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March 1st, 2014, 11:02
PC Gamer interviews the Lead Content Designer Kevin Martens were he reflect on his mistakes in Diablo III, and looks forward to Reaper of Souls.

PC Gamer: Diablo III obviously took kind of a beating out of the gate back at launch. How did you feel about that?

Martens: Well "bad" is the short answer. We felt terrible about the connection issue stuff. I know people that sent their families out of town on vacation so that they could sit down and play the game, and they couldn't connect. So that stuff was terrible and I think we've spent an incredible amount of time ensuring that kind of stuff doesn't happen again. We took that very seriously and certainly feel bad about that.

I think we did eight major patches on the game. We did many months of support, we added new content, we did big tuning passes. Like anything, best laid plans meeting 15 million people usually means that you're going to learn a few things… or a lot of things in this case. That's what I think I like about expansion development. It's kind of our second at-bat and we know a lot of things about what's actually fun about the game. And we don't have to fight against player instincts or make guesses. We can do what people do; we can see what people like to do, we can read on the forums, and we can interact with them at BlizzCon and other events, and we can make a game that closely matches what people want out of a Diablo game.

PC Gamer: Do you guys continue to stand by the decision to require an internet connection to play Diablo III? Is there any chance at all of that changing in the future?

Martens: Yes, we stand by it. Diablo III is a co-op game from the ground up, so having the social stuff be there at your fingertips whenever you want it is integral to the experience.

PC Gamer: Not too long ago, Blizzard announced that it was shutting down the auction house. Is it fair to characterize it as a failure at this point?

Martens: It did what it was intended to do in one way, which was to make trading a safe place to happen without trading scams and other ripoffs. However, it had a very bad unintended consequence of making trading the best way to get items in the game. The fact is that the most fun way for the vast majority of people is to kill monsters and take gears from their cold, dead claws. Trading became very easy. The auction house lowered the barrier of entry so much that it became the best way to get items, and ultimately players will do whatever is smartest. They will find the golden path and do what is most efficient.

You should play the game to get gear to kill the monsters. You shouldn't get gear to kill monsters because you will get bored too quickly. It stole people's reward curve is essentially what it did; it made it very easy for them to do it. So trading isn't a bad way to get items, but if it negates playing the game, then we've made a huge mistake. And we did, which is why we're shutting down the auction house.
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March 1st, 2014, 11:03
they seem to blame every wrong design choice and fail on their revolutionary CO OP vision.

some of them might have even convinced themselves in the process.

i just hope they all get out of the gaming industry ) ..faster
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