Leonard Boyarsky’s reputation precedes him. He’s currently working on Diablo III as lead world designer, but you might also know his previous works – Arcanum, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, and the Fallout series, where he was responsible for introducing the 1950s future graphic art style.
By the way, he’s not making up that 97 billion. There are in fact 96,886,969,344 possible builds per character (so that number multiplied by five for the total game), thanks to the introduction of skill runes. According to the developers, this is a “$&#@load” of builds – and that’s before you start thinking about traits, gear, charms… so it’s pretty obvious that nobody is even thinking about bothering to balance out every possible combination.
Still, sometimes when you want to take on your mates for a quick bit of Diablo III hack’n’slash, you’d like to pretend it’s a game of skill, and not just the fact you’ve maxed out your stats and have super-awesome gear, right?