Typically, developers reveal more features the closer a game gets to release. The wizards at Blizzard are taking the opposite approach with Diabo 3. They're zapping any anything that isn't quite perfect so they can concentrate on polishing everything else to a mirror sheen.
The latest victims of their feature cull are companion scrolls and scrolls of reforging. The first ability would summon a critter to run around looting gold for you, but that's now gone. Blizzard community manager, Nethaera, explains why on the Blizzard forums . "The companion pets felt like they were mandatory to maximize play efficiency and some of the pets were too cutesy for the gritty, dark world of Sanctuary." In a way, he's right. The little rats were adorable.
The Scroll of Reforging would let players change the properties of an item entirely on the fly. As with the pets, Blizzards say that the scrolls felt "underdeveloped and just not quite good enough for the game in their current state."
"Neither of those are issues we felt like we could solve without a lot of additional work, and we're trying to close in on a solid release date for the game, not move further away," Nathaera says.
These changes are a few of many pretty wide-ranging tweaks to D3's stats system, outlined in a recent blog post by game director Jay Wilson . He recognised that it's been a long wait for fans, but says that "no one will remember if the game is late, only if it's great."
Will they ever finish Diablo 3? If they do, will it be the leanest, silkiest most polished game they've ever made? Will there even be a game left? Who knows, but there's something quite exciting about a company that can afford to keep on refining a game that they could probably have released a year ago, trimming and hopefully improving it with every round of updates. Luckily, the companion pets and reforging scrolls may not be gone forever "We think we can make companion pets into a much cooler system (both mechanically and visually), and evolve the reforging scrolls into a more meaningful system at some point in the future," Blizzard say.