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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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105. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Apr 5, 2013, 10:00 Tanto Edge
 
Oh hi guys, I'm here to talk about Blizzard and the exciting things we're doi--

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Avatar 13202
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=705LEH3j2g0&t=0m24s
http://www.youtube.com/user/tantoedge
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104. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 31, 2013, 20:26 FU
 
No shit  
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103. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 31, 2013, 10:08 Redmask
 
The auction house isn't the problem, it just sped up people discovering how fucked up the itemization in the game is. Same thing would have happened without the auction houses, it just would have been a much slower process. Dumb MMO shit like ilvls and a focus on a few core stats on items was the problem. They approached designing this game like they did World of Warcraft in several important ways and that damaged the game significantly. They showed outright hostility to the community following the games release which really upset longtime fans. They started blocking farming and making other 'balance' changes that didn't make sense. The balance changes were always fast to appear yet fixes took much longer of course.

Their Saturday Morning Cartoon story didn't help and it was jammed in the audiences face at every opportunity. The game was downright patronizing in its story telling and many people didn't like it. I forget the head writers name but they need to be rid of him, Blizzards audience is growing up but Blizzards story telling and design isn't. This is going to be a real problem for them in the future. I'm not buying anymore MWUWHAH I AM THE EVIL VILLAIN HERE IS MY PLAN games. The gaming industry is growing up, these people can tell competent stories with real writers and still make a great game.

Jay should feel some gratitude to his elders, he got to coast an otherwise mediocre 70-75 metacritic game to 12 million copies on the backs of his predecessors. The Blizzard name was built on over a decade of great games, I wonder how long it will take to undo that work.

This comment was edited on Mar 31, 2013, 10:14.
 
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102. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 31, 2013, 06:31 Dev
 
KS wrote on Mar 31, 2013, 03:16:
Create No-Auction-House servers.

When they're everywhere, people will feel ripped off if they are removed. But if there are servers you can go to without them, so you have to earn your items the hard way, suddenly servers with auction houses seem cheap and lame.
Sounds good to me. But they'd have to have appropriately boosted drop rates. Or else it would be pointless to play on them.
 
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101. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 31, 2013, 03:16 KS
 
Create No-Auction-House servers.

When they're everywhere, people will feel ripped off if they are removed. But if there are servers you can go to without them, so you have to earn your items the hard way, suddenly servers with auction houses seem cheap and lame.
 
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100. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 31, 2013, 02:37 deqer
 
You gotta love those fanbois that respond with "I got my 60 bux worth.", lol. What they're really saying is "I'm telling myself I got my 60 bux worth, so I can win the argument. Even though deep down, I really got shafted." lulz
 
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99. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 31, 2013, 00:06 Asmodai
 
Dev wrote on Mar 30, 2013, 07:38:
Jivaro wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 18:21:
I don't know who Jay Wilson thinks he is talking to when he makes statements like this, but anybody who cares enough to read it is informed enough to know it makes zero sense no matter how much of a fanboy you may or may not be.

He's talking to people like this (one of the comments on the linked article):

This post made me think more about Blizzard. I'm glad to see that they realise the mistake they went. I tought Activision affected them so bad.

+1 Blizz in my book.



Those kinda people will use this as a rationale that blizzard has surely improved, so we should buy their next expansion/game right?

If anyone wants to see the fanboism you only need a brief peruse of the D3 bnet forums to see rabid people continually coming up with new and interesting permutations to explain away what is patently obvious to anyone with eyes.

They don't want to admit the truth so they ignore it. The same fight you'll have with any group who denies something in the face of overwhelming evidence (anecdotal or actual) to the contrary.

If they enjoyed D3, great, more power to em, but it's a hard sale to conclude that it is a good game objectively, or that it lives up to it's franchise in any way shape or form...
 
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98. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 30, 2013, 07:38 Dev
 
Jivaro wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 18:21:
I don't know who Jay Wilson thinks he is talking to when he makes statements like this, but anybody who cares enough to read it is informed enough to know it makes zero sense no matter how much of a fanboy you may or may not be.

He's talking to people like this (one of the comments on the linked article):

This post made me think more about Blizzard. I'm glad to see that they realise the mistake they went. I tought Activision affected them so bad.

+1 Blizz in my book.



Those kinda people will use this as a rationale that blizzard has surely improved, so we should buy their next expansion/game right?
 
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97. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 30, 2013, 07:34 Dev
 
Redmask wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 20:21:
Was there actually people trying to defend this?
Yes. They can be found by reading bluesnews threads before d3 release (and in some cases after too).
 
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96. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 30, 2013, 04:45 Theo
 
ItBurn wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 19:14:
That's called Path of Exile. It has excellent mechanics overall. It's just not as polished as D3.

Its a great game - the fighting's jarringly slow :-( the rest of the mechanics are great however.

This comment was edited on Mar 30, 2013, 05:04.
 
Avatar 23977
 
Everyone on Bluesnews is synical, get over it.
edit: i cant spell, this is my disclaimer.
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95. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 29, 2013, 21:35 Quinn
 
Retards didn't stop to think there was more to their success than just the addicted fanbase.  
Avatar 57334
 
"Moo," she said.
And I trembled.
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94. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 29, 2013, 20:21 Redmask
 
Prez wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 19:15:
I guess the Blizzard apologists are going to crucify Jay Wilson now. You can't say anything negative about Diablo 3! It's the game they wanted to make, so shut up!!

What apologists? I don't remember anyone dumb enough to defend this when they started announcing details on the internet requirements, auction houses and all of the feature reductions that happened in beta. Was there actually people trying to defend this? How deluded would a person have to be, I can't even imagine.
 
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93. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 20:17 Asmodai
 
Flatline wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 14:08:
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.

Diablo 1 and 2 came out in a relative vacuum, the only other ARPG's at the time were pretty basic and you literally waited months for a good game to come out, and you certainly didn't have digital distribution for the most part (unless you count FTP warez over dialup "digital distribution" ;).

The ARPG formula works well when there isn't much competition, or if you're playing co-op. The games themselves don't really bring any serious storyline to the table, it's just "kill everything between you and the end and get loot".

These days? You have quite literally more options than you can poke a stick at. Hell, I've taken a break from online stuff just to knock over a bunch of steam sale games I've been "meaning to play" for up to 2 years. ARPG's are fun but the fun peters out quickly when it turns in to a grind. I didn't even make max level in the D3 demo before losing interest (and in retrospect, I'm pretty glad I didn't bother).
 
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92. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 29, 2013, 19:15 Prez
 
I guess the Blizzard apologists are going to crucify Jay Wilson now. You can't say anything negative about Diablo 3! It's the game they wanted to make, so shut up!!  
Avatar 17185
 
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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91. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 29, 2013, 19:14 ItBurn
 
wtf_man wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 19:05:
Jivaro wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 18:21:
Thank you indie developers for allowing me to keep my hobby. The so-called AAA market apparently believes that it's consumer base is a recyclable resource with unlimited funds and a short term memory. The cynic in me can't really argue its them as the mainstream gaming consumer has so far been willing to bend over and take it. I just wish the indie developers were the ones in control of Diablo.

Well Said.

That's called Path of Exile. It has excellent mechanics overall. It's just not as polished as D3.
 
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90. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 29, 2013, 19:05 wtf_man
 
Jivaro wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 18:21:
Thank you indie developers for allowing me to keep my hobby. The so-called AAA market apparently believes that it's consumer base is a recyclable resource with unlimited funds and a short term memory. The cynic in me can't really argue its them as the mainstream gaming consumer has so far been willing to bend over and take it. I just wish the indie developers were the ones in control of Diablo.

Well Said.
 
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89. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 29, 2013, 18:55 Closed Betas
 
ugh, the thought of the game just sucks is not mentionable? lol...

Can't make money off something no one cares about.. The game after act 1 was complete shit.... Going thru it with your character 5 times till you actually start getting loot...

Choosing to pay for loot so you could do what? If the game aint fun you dont play it... end of story

Fact now is.. it was designed by a moron who thought he could force the issue, things evolve.. any implementation of force will fail

 
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88. Re: Jay Wilson: Auction Houses Mar 29, 2013, 18:21 Jivaro
 
The whole situation irritates me. 5 years ago I considered Blizzard one of the better developer/publishers in mainstream gaming. Today I rank them with EA and Zynga. It isn't just what has happened to the published franchises in that time, it is the reasoning behind the decisions. I don't know who Jay Wilson thinks he is talking to when he makes statements like this, but anybody who cares enough to read it is informed enough to know it makes zero sense no matter how much of a fanboy you may or may not be. I also don't think that Jay Wilson alone is to blame for this mess, but I bet having someone else heading the team when the inevitable expansion comes out will help sales.....which is just sad. Jay falls on the sword, Blizzard continues business as usual.

The whole thing is just a damn shame. It is like is industry is deliberately trying to burn out the target markets as quickly as possible by generating distrust and rage through poorer and poorer design and publishing decisions.

Thank you indie developers for allowing me to keep my hobby. The so-called AAA market apparently believes that it's consumer base is a recyclable resource with unlimited funds and a short term memory. The cynic in me can't really argue its them as the mainstream gaming consumer has so far been willing to bend over and take it. I just wish the indie developers were the ones in control of Diablo.

This comment was edited on Mar 29, 2013, 18:26.
 
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87. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 18:02 AngelicPenguin
 
Flatline wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 17:29:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 17:27:
Flatline wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 17:12:
And really, assuming that there are a million unique logins a day, and they sold 12 million units, we're probably talking about around a 10-15% player redemption. That's not a lot really.

Ya I have no idea what Blizzard expected, gamers expected, etc. I will say if someone told me 10% of a game's population are playing it regularly a year after it came out, I'd think that was pretty successful, especially when that 10% is a million users. But I have no idea really on something like this.

Call of Duty: Elite has around 10 million users for a relative benchmark.

Is a console game relative?
 
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86. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 17:29 Flatline
 
AngelicPenguin wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 17:27:
Flatline wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 17:12:
And really, assuming that there are a million unique logins a day, and they sold 12 million units, we're probably talking about around a 10-15% player redemption. That's not a lot really.

Ya I have no idea what Blizzard expected, gamers expected, etc. I will say if someone told me 10% of a game's population are playing it regularly a year after it came out, I'd think that was pretty successful, especially when that 10% is a million users. But I have no idea really on something like this.

Call of Duty: Elite has around 10 million users for a relative benchmark.
 
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105 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 1.
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