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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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65. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 14:22 jdreyer
 
Hellbinder wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 10:33:
eyes.... bleeding.... permanent damage.... xXBatmanXx's... signature... to.... powerful.....

while I am not playing diablo 3.. I have to admit myself that I pretty much have no will when it comes to stuff like this. any game I am playing that has stuff for sale that gives me an advantage or makes it cooler to play... my bank account instantly suffers.

I just kicked out $100 for the firefall beta to get "commander" founder status just to get the motorcycle to ride around on.

I wish I had more discipline and will power but I just don't. this is why I must never play this game.

The reason you have no Will is because Blizzard removed the ability to iterate character stats in Diablo 3.

Devilish
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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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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63. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 14:09 Krizzen
 
Xero wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 10:04:
I cannot fathom the fact that they believe players want simplicity over complexity when it comes to Diablo which namely Diablo 2 made it's entrance through all the customization and permanence of character development.

One word: Consoles.

(Disclaimer: If you're happy with that answer, skip to the next post; otherwise, here is my reply to the inevitable)

There are a TON of folks that would disagree and say, "Oh no, Diablo has always been PC first. They designed it for PC. Auction house, use a mouse to click, no controller support... yadda yadda".

The truth is, Activision is in the house. I wouldn't say Activision OWNS or RUNS Blizzard directly (they're still very separate), but they still have the same board of directors. Activision has always been more money hungry than Blizzard. They want the big piece of the pie. They want Blizzard to "produce" and surely the case is much like: "We want some big numbers out of you guys this year!", and they must live up to the expectations of the corporate beast.

Anyway, all that business junk aside, a console version was publicly mentioned many months before release. You don't publicly mention an upcoming project (or release platform) without that statement carry weight as one of the most successful gaming companies in history. Console was in the pipeline. It had been in the pipeline. Now it comes out of their stanky pipeline.

The game was designed with consoles in mind. Probably not since the start (10+ year dev cycle!), but at some point, it became a big point.

So, a lot of what Diablo 3 has and doesn't have, can be attributed directly to a planned console release.
 
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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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61. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 14:00 ItBurn
 
This usually makes me feel better: Jay memes  
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60. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 13:55 Burrito of Peace
 
Water's wet, the sky is blue, women lie and Blizzard's full of shit.

What, then, is new to report?
 
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59. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 13:54 nin
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 12:59:
I wonder, does this guy get constant "Fuck this loser" posts on his FB wall? Probably not... has his friends fairly trimmed down by now... would be great if he did though.

I can only hope. I wonder how many other Jay Wilson's on FB get it too, wondering WTF is going on?

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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58. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 29, 2013, 13:48 HorrorScope
 
Undocumented Alien wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 13:09:
Now that we know that D3 can be played offline (i.e. Consoles), a "true" gesture of good will would be to patch in an OFFLINE mode for the PC users.

Correct. The right thing now is make Diablo 3 Gold with offline and no-AH. Solved.
 
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57. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 13:24 Beelzebud
 
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.

This comment was edited on Mar 29, 2013, 13:46.
 
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56. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 13:23 LgFriess
 
I want to believe that there will be a great rebellion against the expansion and/or D4 and sales will be horrible. If not, companies like ActiBlizz will just keep on putting out crap. It just kills me to see such great franchises ruined.

For all that is holy in the land of PC gamers, don't buy their over marketed, shallow, microtransactioned crap release. Spend your money on the great indie games that have been released or on the AAA titles that have truly earned your cash. That's the only way they'll hear us.
 
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55. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 13:09 Undocumented Alien
 
So....

Now that we know that D3 can be played offline (i.e. Consoles), a "true" gesture of good will would be to patch in an OFFLINE mode for the PC users.

And yeah, Fuck You Jay Wilson.
 
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54. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:59 Mr. Tact
 
I wonder, does this guy get constant "Fuck this loser" posts on his FB wall? Probably not... has his friends fairly trimmed down by now... would be great if he did though.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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53. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:53 Julio
 
I'm not really excited by the concept of farming the same maps for gold again and again. Random maps, or a least a lot more of them would have made a huge difference. Add the always online DRM, and that makes it even worse.

Jay's an idiot. Fuck that loser.
 
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52. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:48 Fletch
 
Lies. Who the fuck wanted an auction house?! The game was designed for maximum monetization in spite of what players wanted, and shitty drops "encouraged" players to use the AH. Fuck you, Jay Wilson. I suppose we all wanted always-connected drm as well. You designed the game AROUND the AH, and now you have the balls to claim that you only did it because you thought that's what players wanted? How much money has Blizzard made on the AH so far? Again, fuck you Jay Wilson. And fuck you Blizard and all the console kiddies you hired who have no idea what PC gamers want and what made the previous Diablos so good.  
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51. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 29, 2013, 12:45 HorrorScope
 
Online Game Fact:

People will flock to the best loot no matter where it is at.

Latest Example:
GW2, every time they make a switch to loot, where the new best loot is, 1/2 the players it seems go straight to it.

MMO Start out like this:
EXP/HR
Once Max'd:
Gold/HR

For a good portion of the base this happens everywhere and they will excel and study it to no end.

So if the best/most convenient loot is in your AH, then it will be the AH instead.
 
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50. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:32 jdreyer
 
Shorter Jay Wilson: "Whocouldaknowd that if we gave people the chance to make money that they'd actually spend gobs of time making money???"

And I don't buy the shit that the game wasn't tailored to force people to the auction house.

Sorry, Jay. Try again.
 
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49. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:29 ASeven
 
InBlack wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 10:42:
How the fuck do you BREAK THAT SHIT if it aint broke?

Gaming industry - We will break every shit until the crash hits us, again.
 
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48. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:23 Xero
 
You know what probably the worst thing is of all? When they finally make that big expansion announcement and promise to fix all things wrong with the game, I think a lot of us who so desperately want to believe they can be fixed, will shell out the $60 or whatever bones and buy the expansion, once again feeding into Blizzard. I'm not saying we buy anything Blizzard puts out, but I think we believe Blizzard will return to the magic they once had.

I hate that I feel this happens and I will probably fall for it, but maybe it's just some sort of faith in the back of my mind and others that had so many great Blizz game moments that they fall for it time and time again. But hey, could this be their first true disaster title?
SC2 is still pretty awesome (chat channels aside), and HoTS is a pretty solid expansion. I haven't followed WoW in some time but generally the players know what to expect with an MMO and expansion releases. Perhaps it's just the Diablo team that is sour?
 
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Currently playing: Skyrim
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47. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:22 Frags4Fun
 
ASeven wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 09:27:
Translation: "The RMAH isn't bringing as much money as we hoped so we better try and do some spin and talk smack about it in hopes more suckers buy D3."

EXACTLY!
 
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46. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:11 PropheT
 
Creston wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 10:57:
Fuck you, Jay Wilson. You're full of shit.

I'm usually for more of a diplomatic sentiment than that, but that's pretty much it right there.

There's no way this is honest. The game itself was clearly designed around the idea of people using the auction houses, you couldn't even really progress without them when it came out. Certain tiers of loot may as well have not even existed considering the difficulty of finding one for real instead of buying it on the AH...it's just impossible to believe they didn't know exactly what they were doing with this and how it was implemented.
 
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