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Default Diablo 3 - Interview @ PCGAMER

July 31st, 2013, 15:58
PCGAMER interviews Diablo and Diablo II Lead Designer Stieg Hedlund on Diablo III.

PCG: What did you think of Diablo III?

Stieg Hedlund: It’s hard to separate personal feelings about something like that from how the game was perceived. I think the audience really didn’t react to it very well. A lot of the changes were things that they perceived as negative. Personally, I was just so deeply involved in the creation of the world and how everything worked in it… The direction a lot of things went was not something that I felt was where I would have gone. But I don’t want to Monday-morning quarterback them. It’s a tough thing to follow up on, the success of Diablo and Diablo II, and not encroach on the territory of World of Warcraft.

Is there something you would have done differently in creating Diablo III if you were involved in that project?

Hedlund: I think one of the things that I looked at was really… The low-level stuff. The dungeons didn’t feel random enough to me. They felt a little bit been-there-done-that very quickly. I think the way that people played in multiplayer games, they were pretty much just running for the exits and trying to figure out the quickest way to get there, rather than engaging with the minute-to-minute exploration of the world.

What’s something that Diablo taught you about game design?

Hedlund: The big difference between Diablo and Diablo II was character customization. That’s something that I’ve embraced for ChronoBlade. It totally fits with our vision for how the two halves—the minute to minute and the RPG—fit together. There’s very strong skill trees that allow you to customize the play of each of the characters to how you want to engage with it. We have passive skills, what we call traits, and active skills, what we call abilities. You can decide, “Hey, I just want to play a powered-up version of a fighting game. I don’t want to use abilities. I want to use traits. I’ll just do as much damage as I can with the core gameplay.” Or you can say, “Hey, I want to do all these abilities and cool things.” Or a hybrid of those two. There are different themes, as well, within each of those things. Obviously there’s the overlay of equipment that helps you continue to customize those character builds.
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July 31st, 2013, 15:58
I think the audience really didn’t react to it very well. A lot of the changes were things that they perceived as negative.
Wow, that's a nice bit of doublespeak. The "audience" (ie. people who paid for your product) "perceived" changes as negative (ie. didn't like the product they paid for). Wouldn't it be easier to say you built a game your fans didn't like?

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July 31st, 2013, 17:59
The one thing he would change in creating D3 is the dungeons? Lets see, the skills sucked, the character customization was non-existent, the drops were crap, oh, and that always on-line nonsense. Nahhh. Lets change the randomness of the dungeons. That's what was wrong.

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July 31st, 2013, 18:25
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Wow, that's a nice bit of doublespeak. The "audience" (ie. people who paid for your product) "perceived" changes as negative (ie. didn't like the product they paid for). Wouldn't it be easier to say you built a game your fans didn't like?
Stieg Hedlund didn't work on D3. He was lead designer of Diablo 1 & 2, he left after D2 and has bounced around since.
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July 31st, 2013, 19:25
I'd have to agree with Hedlund; the major problem was a lack of randomness in the dungeons. Layout design was sub-par.

The flaws Icefire pointed out were fixed months after release, so yeah… I tend to forgive as long as i get what i want Still, it would have been cool to pick your own stats after each level, but I guess that fundamental decision was brought while they still believed they would offer balanced PVP arenas; which would also explain the initial lack of op drops and skill placement.
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July 31st, 2013, 19:32
The game was boring through and through. Haven't looked back since the 10 hours I spent with it. Unlike Diablo 2, Diablo 4 will NOT be an insta-buy - especially after reading this PR word spin of truth dodging.

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July 31st, 2013, 20:28
Originally Posted by SacredPwnzor View Post
The flaws Icefire pointed out were fixed months after release,
How were they "fixed"? You dont need to be online to play a SP game anymore? They changed the skills? You can actually customize your character now? The drops are fantastic now? Explain how they were "fixed" please.

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August 1st, 2013, 12:18
-yes
-no
-changed the way you can customize your build; it's more flexible now
-more than you could in the beginning. Besides, the auction house offers items that make up for the rest. I'd go as far and say that the auction house is the central part of character customization. (not sure if they envisioned it that way but it certainly works like that)
-yes indeed
-I don't know HOW they fixed it but i suppose it's mostly server-side game logic. I only know that they fixed most of the things people complained about.
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August 1st, 2013, 16:31
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Wow, that's a nice bit of doublespeak. The "audience" (ie. people who paid for your product) "perceived" changes as negative (ie. didn't like the product they paid for). Wouldn't it be easier to say you built a game your fans didn't like?
He is saying additionally the he doesn't buy the fans disliking.

Later he mentions he doesn't buy either the designers vision but can't judge.

The direct answer would be, negative reception, no opinion, I'm not well placed to give any opinion.
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August 1st, 2013, 16:38
Originally Posted by SacredPwnzor View Post
I'd have to agree with Hedlund; the major problem was a lack of randomness in the dungeons. Layout design was sub-par. …
Quite disagree with this, for me it's a fun game but they killed the series because of 4 points:
- Have destroyed the character builds by allowing pick among all skills available.
- Have simplify too much character options during action by limiting too much the number of skills available at same time.
- Have switch the game duration from builds and level up, to stupid items grinding.
- Have design a drop rather boring, not only less good than D2 but also a lot less good than TL1 and TL2.

I think they can still release an expansion and D4 much later, it's not a definitive murder because the game despite the gigantic flaws had many very good points.
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August 1st, 2013, 19:19
Originally Posted by SacredPwnzor View Post
-yes
-no
-changed the way you can customize your build; it's more flexible now
-more than you could in the beginning. Besides, the auction house offers items that make up for the rest. I'd go as far and say that the auction house is the central part of character customization. (not sure if they envisioned it that way but it certainly works like that)
-yes indeed
-I don't know HOW they fixed it but i suppose it's mostly server-side game logic. I only know that they fixed most of the things people complained about.
They may have "changed" things, but they sure as hell didn't "fix" a damn thing.

Why in the fuck should anyone have to use the auction house? To "make up for the rest?" If the auction house is the "central part" of character customization, that is far from fixed. That is seriously flawed.

But we could go on forever. You like the game. I don't. We will just leave it at that.

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August 3rd, 2013, 23:44
Originally Posted by Icefire View Post
But we could go on forever. You like the game. I don't. We will just leave it at that.
At least we agree to disagree
Also, I believe there was no need to appear so angry at my personal and biased opinion

Originally Posted by Ihaterpg View Post
Quite disagree with this, for me it's a fun game but they killed the series because of 4 points:
- Have destroyed the character builds by allowing pick among all skills available.
- Have simplify too much character options during action by limiting too much the number of skills available at same time.
- Have switch the game duration from builds and level up, to stupid items grinding.
- Have design a drop rather boring, not only less good than D2 but also a lot less good than TL1 and TL2.

I think they can still release an expansion and D4 much later, it's not a definitive murder because the game despite the gigantic flaws had many very good points.
Wow, that's kinda hard to swallow. I basically love every aspect of the game that you mentioned as a flaw; except for the last one, not sure what to think of it since I haven't played TL2. I also feel that comparing it with TL1 is not doing the game justice.

To each his own I guess… we seem to have different tastes regarding hack and slash titles.
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