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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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64. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 14:14 Flatline
NKD wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 11:30:
InBlack wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 11:15:

Iteration? Iteration motherfucker? So explain to me how the fuck you iterated from DiabloII to this goddamn mess....

Do you really need an explanation? 12 years in development never makes a good game. It doesn't give you time to perfect an idea, it gives you time to completely forget the reason you started.

You're forgetting that they were halfway towards Diablo 3 years ago, and then they shit-canned the game and the studio and found fucking fanboys to make the next game.

The problem with putting fanboys in charge of something is that they're going to like certain things and have a highly... polarized view of the game they're working on. Hence "fuck that loser", even though "that loser" was responsible for Jay Wilson's job. Hence all the arrogance, the smugness, and the really, really weird design decisions. This wasn't someone going through and saying "what made Diablo 2 a Great Game? How can we build on that?" It was "OMFG I REMEMBER DOING THIS AND THAT IN DIABLO 2 AND WE HAVE TO DO IT THIS WAY NOW BECAUSE I'M IN CHARGE!"

And sadly, you're going to see more of that in the industry as the truly innovative designers age. Diablo 3 is the games version of fanfic.
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