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Default Diablo 3 - Interview @ Eurogamer

October 8th, 2010, 23:50
Blizzard's Jay Wilson has been interviewed at Eurogamer about Diablo III, with a chunk of the conversation dedicated to the Artisan crafting revealed a little while ago and then branching into other territory. A bit on developing the genre:
Eurogamer: The action RPG is a genre that frankly hasn't changed a lot since Diablo II. There have been good games, Torchlight is a recent example, but it doesn't seem to have advanced much over the intervening years. Do you think you can do much with this game to change that?
Jay Wilson: Yeah, I think we look at a couple of things as not good enough. Whenever we decide to make a game, especially if it's a sequel, it's always because we look at a game that we've made or a genre that we like that we see flaws and problems in. And we go, "We want to fix that. We love it, but it would be even better if it was like this."
So when we looked at Diablo II, the main things that we really focused on were: the combat model doesn't have as much depth as we'd like; it can be a very simple, one-button game, and that can be good, but we'd kind of rather it be a mostly one-button game and occasionally a three- or four-button game. That's got more depth, it's more interesting, it's got more mechanics to it.
And that funnels down into class design and monster design; when you've got more mechanics to play with, they can be deeper as well. That's why we changed the health system, that's why we created the skill hotbar, that motivates a lot of the changes we've made, right down to the resource mechanics also.
The other side is story. This genre, even though half of its blood is RPG which is a story genre, most of these games are not very story-intensive or don't tell great stories. So that's something we really wanted to focus on: creating a world where story is pervasive, that felt like as you moved through it, even though it's randomised, there are events occurring that tell you what's happening in the game world.
More information.
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October 8th, 2010, 23:50
There you go, take something that isn't broke and fix it until it is!
hint to Blizzard.. it's just a game, no one expects it to be SIGNIFICANT in the course of mankind, just another addition to Diablo.
/sigh
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October 8th, 2010, 23:55
I'd strongly disagree there Greymane.

I'm not even what I would consider a core target audience for Blizzard's game but I really love their approach to game design, how much they iterate their games and how open the process is to the fans (for such a large company). I wish we'd see more of that approach in gaming in general instead of the usual "crap out games as fast as you can make them" approach.
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October 9th, 2010, 01:42
Originally Posted by Starwars View Post
I'd strongly disagree there Greymane.

I'm not even what I would consider a core target audience for Blizzard's game but I really love their approach to game design, how much they iterate their games and how open the process is to the fans (for such a large company). I wish we'd see more of that approach in gaming in general instead of the usual "crap out games as fast as you can make them" approach.
That implies that mulling over something for a very long time always makes something better.
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October 9th, 2010, 07:09
Originally Posted by JuliusMagnus View Post
That implies that mulling over something for a very long time always makes something better.
right, at some point you have to ask how long is too long? Why is it taking so long to make this freakin game? Is D3 really going to be that much better because it has taken ten long years to make?
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October 9th, 2010, 07:30
Its blizzard remember there policy its done when we say it is.As it stands it probably wont be out till late 2012 or early 2013.
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October 9th, 2010, 15:44
If you don't think Diablo 2 is broken then you haven't been paying attention to the market since it's release. It was impressive on release day, and it's a testimony to it's developers that it is still such an approachable game today, but to imply that it beyond need of refinement is living in a rose colored world. I don't know what D3 will be like, and I don't know if I will enjoy the changes they make, but I do know that it will be well made and that every achievement or setback I encounter will be due to someone's reasoned idea of what would be fun, rather than some project manager's last minute "copy all the monsters, double the hit points and make the game twice as long" attempt to finish within an artificial deadline.

All studios say "when it's done" these days. Blizzard is one of the few* with the ability to stand up to he publishers and say 'STFU, sue us if you don't like it' and survive. And I hope it stays that way.

* Well, maybe 3DRrealms too.
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October 9th, 2010, 17:00
I'm a firm believer a game should not take mote than 4 years to develop it does somethings wrong or they love to squeeze people dry slowly.
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October 9th, 2010, 18:10
Originally Posted by spiraling69 View Post
right, at some point you have to ask how long is too long? Why is it taking so long to make this freakin game? Is D3 really going to be that much better because it has taken ten long years to make?
They probably started to work on D3 a few months before they announced it in 2008, average dev time for a game is ~3 years, so a release in 2011 or 2012 would be "in time".

I find all Diablo games to be the most boring stuff ever published, the max I spent on Diablo 2 was 6 hours (less on D1), that's when I realized that there was only two things I was going to do in the whole game: spam right mouse button & use town portal scrolls. Pretty shiny stuff isn't going to keep me playing.
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October 10th, 2010, 17:54
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
I find all Diablo games to be the most boring stuff ever published, the max I spent on Diablo 2 was 6 hours (less on D1), that's when I realized that there was only two things I was going to do in the whole game: spam right mouse button & use town portal scrolls. Pretty shiny stuff isn't going to keep me playing.
I found the last book I read to be the most colossal waste of time that could possibly exist in the universe. I spent a few hours with it, but soon realized all I'd be doing the whole time is reading words.
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October 10th, 2010, 22:17
The main problem I have trying to replay diablo2 is the tiny amount of bag space and to a lesser extent the low res.

Also, when you've played it a lot it becomes all about the drops and you don't bother playing 95% the content cos you just grind the same place for the good drops. Then you get bored and quit and they delete your character for inactivity. I think they won't delete your toons anymore, but it'll still be all Baal runs.

Diablo3 really doesn't look that far improved. WoWs bag system, tiny hotbar for 4 moves. They think its innovation to have health orbs which are pretty much potions you drink on pickup. Runes for spells could be alright….

But in the end its Activision published which means it's going to have as many ongoing costs as they can think of. I'm getting a bit jaded towards the industry these days. Selling maps for FPS games, DLC everywhere. bah, i cbf even going on. I dont think ill even post this reply. meh, why not.

I've only been properly impressed by one game in recent times. Heroes of Newerth. Oh, and Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, the roguelike. Love that game
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October 10th, 2010, 22:24
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
I find all Diablo games to be the most boring stuff ever published, the max I spent on Diablo 2 was 6 hours (less on D1), that's when I realized that there was only two things I was going to do in the whole game: spam right mouse button & use town portal scrolls. Pretty shiny stuff isn't going to keep me playing.
After playing D1 and realizing that was all you were going to do and it was boring to you, why would you bother with D2? If i find a game that I despise as much as you say you despise Diablo, I certainly wouldnt buy a sequel.
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October 10th, 2010, 23:45
Originally Posted by Icefire View Post
After playing D1 and realizing that was all you were going to do and it was boring to you, why would you bother with D2? If i find a game that I despise as much as you say you despise Diablo, I certainly wouldnt buy a sequel.
I started with D2 actually, it was released closer to when I started to play PC games. I tried the first game out of curiosity (demo), saw it was the same thing and didn't bother going that far away with it.
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October 11th, 2010, 10:15
So the potion belt's gone, we have the skill hotbar. It's got one extra button and we also have the extra button on the right mouse side, but we removed all the F keys. That was a big complexity that we pulled out of the control scheme and I felt like it paid for us to add a little bit back.

There have been other features, some of which we've cut. The original incarnation of artisans was different, not really appropriate for the game, and so we changed that pretty drastically. So we've had features from time to time that we were really excited about, but when we actually started putting them in the game, we said this is just adding a lot of complexity, it's not actually making the core game any better. And so we got rid of 'em.
Adding more depth by removing stuff ?


I am a sacred series player so used in 4 buttons games no problem there but iirc the other 2 Diablos were single button ones , i am very intrigued to see how their fanbase will react
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October 11th, 2010, 13:08
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
The main problem I have trying to replay diablo2 is the tiny amount of bag space and to a lesser extent the low res.
If this game teaches you ONE thing, then it is this : Let go.

Let go of superfluous material.

This game teaches a generation that "you cannot have it all". If this "learning lesson" goes into other areas of life, like wages - then good night.

[My current theory is that the lesser the wages for the workers, the more money is there for the higher positions. Which is just fine for them. Greed at its purest.]

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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October 11th, 2010, 15:07
If they are trying to give at least a bit of a shit about plot and world building I might be up for this. Not remotely a fan of the previous games, but only due to the lack of plot.
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October 11th, 2010, 17:03
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
I started with D2 actually, it was released closer to when I started to play PC games. I tried the first game out of curiosity (demo), saw it was the same thing and didn't bother going that far away with it.
IMO, D1 was the better game, at least in terms of atmosphere. D1 absolutely blew away D2 in that department.
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October 11th, 2010, 22:05
Good interview! Sounds like the game is coming along. I have a couple of issues.

1. Removal of the F keys for the skill assignments = bad idea. It was the only way to keep the game interesting for me,byt adding the complexity of a situational skill swapping build like my flashdancer assassin. Spamming RMB gets REALLY old with no skill switching.

2. For a game designer, this Jay Wilson is woefully misinformed about randomization in computer games. He thinks games have "true" randomness. Wrong. There is no such thing as "TRUE" randomization in computers. They all have "pseudo" random number generators. Some algs are better than others. If the algorithm is bad, the randomization is not random - patterns appear. There have been a few games where this is REALLY clear once you play them and talk to others with similar experiences (NWN 2 comes to mind). To brush this off as a non-issue REALLY concerns me. He seems unqualified for building a game that so very much depends on good randomization.
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October 12th, 2010, 12:02
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
He thinks games have "true" randomness. Wrong. There is no such thing as "TRUE" randomization in computers. They all have "pseudo" random number generators. Some algs are better than others. If the algorithm is bad, the randomization is not random - patterns appear.
From a technically aspect you are right.

But - maybe he didn't mean the technical aspect ?

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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October 12th, 2010, 16:14
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
If this game teaches you ONE thing, then it is this : Let go.

Let go of superfluous material.

This game teaches a generation that "you cannot have it all". If this "learning lesson" goes into other areas of life, like wages - then good night.

[My current theory is that the lesser the wages for the workers, the more money is there for the higher positions. Which is just fine for them. Greed at its purest.]
Maybe it does teach us this. But I don't think that was the designers intention.

I think rather than sitting around the whiteboard and saying, "look, its really important we teach life lessons on how you cant have it all" they would have said something more along the lines of "Look, if the bag space is limited we can artificially extend the game play time because players will be forced to constantly run back to town. Also, in diablo1 in end game everyone had FAR too much gold so lets limit not only the max sale value of items from act to act but also not improve the amount you can carry. Furthermore! By having randomly shaped items and no auto-sort button we can extend gameplay time even more by making the player play Tetris with his items to get them to fit."

There have been better ways to handle the bag space problem, the best probably being hellgate london where you could break down your unwanted items from the ground with a CTRL+Click into crafting materials. Sacred2, while an awful game, had a very nice auto-sort button too, worth a mention.

Today, as a more matured developer, they've done away with all those notions seeing them as the tedium they are and knowing they can extend gameplay time in other areas that are less recognizable as just being there to extend gameplay time without extending content. Such as grinding stuff for the artisians!

Also, having WoWs bag system is good because not only does it add another treasure type to the game, but it also creates the illusion of more bag space since you're getting more slots, but you get them relative to the more stuff you need to lug around later in the game. In the end it works out about the same.

I gotta remember theres no reason from a programming perspective you can't have an inventory that has as many squares as you can find on the screen… and then arrows to flip through pages of screens! Its just there to make the game last longer without adding any more to it.
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