Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |
LOS ANGELES—The years between Diablo II and Diablo III were ripe with isometric, dungeon-action clones, all trying to feed gamers’ next-gen hunger for click-and-loot adventures. That era has long passed, but now that I’ve played Minecraft Dungeons, I wish I could go back in time and drop Mojang’s very solid Diablo-like game into that late-’00s fray.
There’s really no getting around it: this is Diablo through a Minecraft prism. The 20-person team behind this Windows 10, Xbox One, Switch, and PS4 game admits as much, calling Blizzard’s legendary series “one source of inspiration, certainly.” But after name-dropping other modern co-op games like Vermintide and Left 4 Dead, the Mojang developers at E3 2019 made one point emphatic to Ars Technica: “We want to make sure this is Minecraft.”
Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | No classes—and it’s classy
Stop me if you’ve heard this Diablo-like sales pitch before. Players control a warrior as seen from an isometric, top-down perspective, then either click a mouse or move a joystick to explore procedurally generated dungeons. Defeat waves of enemies, contend with traps, solve simple puzzles, and pick up oodles of loot along the way. Play solo or team up with up to three other friends; the more players, the higher the difficulty.
This new game’s biggest differentiation from Diablo, in terms of mechanics, is a lack of pre-defined classes, just like in the base Minecraft game. Every single character in Minecraft Dungeons can equip any weapon, spell, and ability, then load it into one of five active ability slots. Two of those are dedicated to “primary” weapons, divided into melee options (left mouse button or A) and ranged weapons (right mouse button or RT).
The other three abilities can be, well, anything you want.
Maybe your dream-ability trio is the following: a companion dog that bites enemies’ ankles; a wide-radius laser that damages everything in its screen-filling wake; and a “temporarily swing your melee weapon faster” buff in the form of a “deathcap mushroom.” Go right ahead.
That build as described is already a sort of rogue-necromancer-wizard fusion. To make it, you simply have to find each ability in the form of an item pick-up in a dungeon, then equip it. These abilities typically have an activation cooldown, with certain magic abilities requiring an additional “souls”-energy meter (which you refill by killing the game’s “mobs”).
Additionally, the game includes a new “enchantment point” (EP) currency that replaces other loot games’ takes on “leveling up.” Instead of investing level-up points on things like skill trees or RPG-like character stats, Minecraft Dungeons lets you dump EP into your equipable weapons and armor (not the “items,” however). A peek at the inventory screen shows a diamond-shaped interface beneath each piece of gear, with one, two, or three diamonds. Each of these is subdivided into three or four possible buffs. Once you have EP to spend, pick your favorite buff within each of these diamonds, then spend 1-2 EP to equip it and further EP to increase its power.
The buffs we saw in a hands-on demo revolved around attachments to melee and projectile weapons. One of these buffs increased the percentage chance that a melee strike would result