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Jay Wilson: Auction Houses "Really Hurt" Diablo III

Former Diablo III game director Jay Wilson admitted the real-money and gold auction houses "really hurt the game," as Blizzard underestimated the number of players who would turn to auctions to outfit their characters. Joystiq has details from a GDC talk where Wilson said they thought the auction houses were a service players of their action/RPG sequel wanted, and that hosting them in-house would reduce fraud and abuse, but as in the end, they created an environment where collecting money was a primary goal over defeating Diablo and his hordes. He also says they would turn off auctions if they could, but they have "no idea" how many players this would disappoint. His contention that Blizzard thought only a small number of players would use the auction houses is hard to fathom in light of the game's design, which, for a considerable time before a series of balance changes required the very best gear to complete on the highest levels, even though such gear dropped so rarely it was impractical to try to collect it without using the auctions. Blizzard has a GDC talk scheduled for today discussing their iterative design process for Diablo III, and their preview of that mentions a number of systems that were reworked during the game's design because they were unsatisfactory, but all the examples they use are gameplay mechanics, and not things like auctions.

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62. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 14:08 Flatline
 
Beelzebud wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 13:24:
I just hope that Blizzard actually ate some humble pie over this.

When Jay made the "Fuck that loser" comment, in regards to the man who designed Diablo, the thing that struck me was all the people who cheered him on and backed him up on facebook all worked at Blizzard. One of them even bragging that Brevik (the loser of with whom to fuck) never sold that many copies of one of his games.

This is a group of people that started their careers at Blizzard on third base, and thought they hit a triple.

No one bought Diablo 3 because of those people, they bought it because of the reputation the first two games had. When you take a close non-troll look at Diablo 3 it is an utter shell of the former games. The one thing they got right was the "feel" of the game. Combat can be fun. The problems quickly pile up beyond that.

The "randomization" in the levels is simply a joke. Haveing 2-4 ways for a map to slightly change isn't random. Being able to re-specialize your character at every whim takes any real sense of choice or individuality out of the game. Not only the item drops, but the items themselves just suck. They essentially copied the WoW item formula, and ignored everything that made items interesting in Diablo 2. The auction house was just the shitty icing on the shitty cake. They can express regret about it now, but they tuned the item drops to make the ah the only viable choice to get any upgrades at a certain point.

What happened to the game they showed in all of those early demonstrations? It actually looked fun.

If they do put out a paid expansion for this game, I will not be buying it. Nearly a year in and there isn't even the PVP game they hyped. Battle.net 2.0 is a 100% step back compared to the old system they used to run on dial-up modems FFS.

Yeah pretty much all this.

I don't buy that the AH behavior was unexpected at all, unless Blizzard suddenly took to drinking large amounts of Laudanum throughout the day. The *entire* game was designed to funnel towards the AH.

Sad thing is, I uninstalled Path of Exile. It seemed fun and then I... just lost interest. Other things came out worth playing, and my time is at a premium. I guess the Diablo-style games just aren't doable any more for me. I don't have that kind of time to waste farming shit.
 
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