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Diablo Creator on Diablo III

An interview on IncGamers talks with David Brevik of Gazillion Entertainment about Diablo III, getting the co-founder of Blizzard North's impressions of the latest version of the series he helped originate. He offers a perspective on how the game was impacted by the loss of the company's action/RPG knowledgebase with the closure of Blizzard North and how the third game in the series more reflects the tastes and experiences of Blizzard South, and verges on schadenfreude in describing part of his mixed feelings about how it ultimately turned out: "I am also a little happy, which I hate to say, it shows that the people that were involved in Diablo really did matter, and so I am happy that it has come to light that how talented that group was and how unique and special that group was. I am hoping that, as this happens very often in the industry, you see it with Call of Duty and things like that, when the people leave the game changes and it shows how critical people are in this industry."

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6. Re: Diablo Creator on Diablo III Aug 19, 2012, 16:10 Jivaro
 
Having listened to the interview, I think David hits the nail on the head. At the end of the day, regardless of what you think the defining issue is with the game design of Diablo 3, all of the issues can be attributed to a design staff that simply didn't have the same priorities as the fans and the previous design team. This resulted in a game that was simply too different to maintain the attention or approval of the fan base.

The same thing has happened before with so many franchises when the core team either leaves or gets bought out. Yes, we can put a lot of the blame on specific design choices like the loot system, the auction house, and the lack of random levels....but the reason for those design decisions is because the Diablo 3 team didn't have the experience of the Diablo 1/2 team. They didn't value the upsides of things like a random map system etc, and as such they were confident that they could make the changes and be successful, and now they are finding out that their confidence was misplaced. David's point was that he can take a bit of satisfaction in Diablo 3's problems, not specifically because they are having problems, but because it proves what he thought all along; which was that the people making the game...who they are and what their experience is...are important and not easily replaced.

When I look at games that are being designed now in the ARPG field, games like Grim Dawn, Path of Exile, and Marvel Heroes...I know better what to avoid because of Diablo 3. My guess is the designers of those games do to, so maybe some good will come out of this in terms of the genre.

I am not holding my breath mind you, the industry seems to want to make specific individuals celebrities rather then keep successful teams together, but I can hope that they see David's point for something more then sour grapes.
 
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