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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 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 4.
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45. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:05 avianflu
 
Wilson is being completely disingenuous here. Very glad I skipped D3.  
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44. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:05 SimplyMonk
 
In all honesty, I really don't knock them for trying this. It seems a major goal for D3 was to eliminate the secondary markets which existed in Diablo 2. How they attempted it now, I will knock them for as they did so at the expense of the game itself. In order to kill the secondary markets they had to be more convenient and cheaper than going to a third party but in doing that they also became more convenient and cheaper than actually finding the loot yourself.

I don't even know if there is a way to kill the secondary markets while at the same time preserving the balance of the game that was achieved in D2 but this obviously isn't working.

For those of you that think that killing the secondary markets isn't necessary, you have to look at it from Blizzard's point of view. Yeah, they are slicing a little cash of the top but the real savings for them in this area, if it had been successful, is they would of greatly reduced their Customer Service costs in dealing with accounts hacked by third parties trying to make a buck or dumb people giving their passwords away to leveling services.

Obviously D3 is a grand failure in that regard as well. Maybe the only way to get this done was to make all gear account bound and you could only trade gear with people who were in the game when it dropped? Would of sucked for twinking out friends. Also, at the point you are pretty much playing a single player game where people occasionally pop in to steal your loot.

This comment was edited on Mar 29, 2013, 12:11.
 
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43. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 12:02 007Bistromath
 
Having an auction house wasn't the problem, it was their implementation. Everything they did with it was geared towards making it an income stream, rather than focusing on solving the problems caused by the black market in Diablo II. A game like this needs trade support, but the dev sticking their fingers in the pie will fuck it up every time.

ETA: I should note that a game like this needs trade support when there's any kind of competitive aspect to it. Torchlight's not my bag, but their solution of dispensing with all pretense of competition and not giving a damn about dupes is an entirely valid one.
 
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42. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 11:59 NKD
 
InBlack wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 11:39:
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.

Thats not an explanation. Thats an excuse.

It doesn't excuse anything, so how can it be an excuse? It's not like the game being 12 years in development somehow absolves them of blame. On the contrary, that's all their fault.

It's like anything else. Too short a time in the oven, it's undercooked and inedible. Too long in the oven, and it's charcoal barely recognizable as food (Diablo 3).

That's not an excuse, just a truth applicable to just about any creative endeavor. If you can't see how 12 years of iteration can iterate away all that's good in a project, I don't know what to tell you. Look at what's happened to 9 years of iterating on World of Warcraft. All the little tiny changes they made that seemed ok at the time snowballed into making the game a shadow of its former self.

The same thing happened to Diablo 3. Due to their infinite supply of money, hookers, and blow, Blizzard simply wasn't under any pressure to perform, and they got lazy and stupid.

 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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41. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 11:39 InBlack
 
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.

Thats not an explanation. Thats an excuse.
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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40. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 11:30 NKD
 
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.
 
Avatar 43041
 
If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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39. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 11:15 InBlack
 
What I would give to be able to go to that GDC talk!!!

Goddamn I would wait for question time with ninja patience and then I would let rip....especially after reading this bit (from the talk writeup):

Blizzard has a number of game design values. A postmortem on the development of Diablo III gives us an opportunity to see these game design values in action. Values such as “Control is King,” “Avoid the Grand Reveal,” and “What is the Fantasy.” Ultimately these values are driven by iteration.

Iteration? Iteration motherfucker? So explain to me how the fuck you iterated from DiabloII to this goddamn mess....
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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38. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 11:09 RollinThundr
 
InBlack wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 10:42:
nin wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 10:13:

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. Having multiple characters of the same class made for awesome build styles and planned paper work on character design beforehand. (not that I ever did that, lol).

Here, with the way that you can respec at will, anybody and everybody can have the exact same character build at any given time and where the hell is the fun in that? It's a bunch of cookie cutter toons running around. Blizz putting simplicity into this meant try to get as much money from all age groups and keep it simple enough that even the total unexperienced gamer can get in on the cash flow.

The theory that it was basically designed for consoles and the PC version was a giant beta test becomes more and more believable, doesn't it?


Yeah, yeah it does. Also, remember how awesome Diablo2's Battle.net lobby was? With all the little avatars which displayed items worn ingame. The large numbers of public and private chat rooms, the awesome public game system, ladder rankings etc. etc.

How the fuck do you BREAK THAT SHIT if it aint broke? I mean seriously, the only reason why they would remove that stuff would be because these kinds of keyboard + mouse friendly systems dont belong in a console game.

Blizzard can go shove their battle.net 2.0 where the sun dont ever shine! Motherfuckers....

I remember when Diablo 1 shipped way back in December of 96, meeting tons of friends on b.net, organizing in the rogues gallery with a group of regulars who frequented that channel, making real life friends out of the deal that I still have to this day.

If they call B.net 2.0 progress considering it has far less features than it did almost 20 years ago (god I feel old now) then I want nothing to do with said "progress"
 
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37. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 11:05 Darks
 
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 11:05:
InBlack wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 11:01:
I wonder where Krooven is?
More than likely on his knees in front of Jay Wilson if you get my drift.

LOL!!! Yep!
 
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36. removed Mar 29, 2013, 11:05 RollinThundr
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Mar 29, 2013, 15:12.
 
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35. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 11:05 Necrophob
 
Creston wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 10:57:
Fuck you, Jay Wilson. You're full of shit.

Creston

Perhaps Jay Wilson is some sort of demon that feeds off of our rage and disappointment? He would have made a good Prime Evil. Baal, Diablo, Mephistopheles, Wilson.
 
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34. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 11:01 InBlack
 
I wonder where Krooven is?  
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I have a nifty blue line!
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33. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 11:01 Darks
 
Verno wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 10:53:
The worst part is that Diablo 3 sold like 10m+ copies so it's not like they needed to court any specific gamer subset anyway, they certainly weren't hurting without console sales.

It may have sold that many copies, but there are defiantly not that many people sitting around playing it now. Compared to D2 this game has failed to hold its luster that kept many D2 players playing for several years.
 
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32. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 10:57 Creston
 
Fuck you, Jay Wilson. You're full of shit.

Creston
 
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31. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 10:53 Verno
 
The worst part is that Diablo 3 sold like 10m+ copies so it's not like they needed to court any specific gamer subset anyway, they certainly weren't hurting without console sales. The game could have been deep and interesting instead of streamlined and shallow with no impact on their bottom line, quite the contrary they would probably be making more ongoing post-release revenue. Blizzard has always been about accessibility but the games have always provided lasting experiences and deep value. Diablo 3 failed spectacularly there.  
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Walking Dead, The Fall, As Above So Below
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30. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 10:42 InBlack
 
nin wrote on Mar 29, 2013, 10:13:

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. Having multiple characters of the same class made for awesome build styles and planned paper work on character design beforehand. (not that I ever did that, lol).

Here, with the way that you can respec at will, anybody and everybody can have the exact same character build at any given time and where the hell is the fun in that? It's a bunch of cookie cutter toons running around. Blizz putting simplicity into this meant try to get as much money from all age groups and keep it simple enough that even the total unexperienced gamer can get in on the cash flow.

The theory that it was basically designed for consoles and the PC version was a giant beta test becomes more and more believable, doesn't it?


Yeah, yeah it does. Also, remember how awesome Diablo2's Battle.net lobby was? With all the little avatars which displayed items worn ingame. The large numbers of public and private chat rooms, the awesome public game system, ladder rankings etc. etc.

How the fuck do you BREAK THAT SHIT if it aint broke? I mean seriously, the only reason why they would remove that stuff would be because these kinds of keyboard + mouse friendly systems dont belong in a console game.

Blizzard can go shove their battle.net 2.0 where the sun dont ever shine! Motherfuckers....
 
Avatar 46994
 
I have a nifty blue line!
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29. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 10:36 Xero
 
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.

Haha, you need to better control that. You are Blizzard's key audience in these types of business decisions when making games. If there were "stronger willed" people out there, we'd have less DLCs and no RMAH in my Diablo. lol.
 
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Currently playing: Skyrim
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28. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 10:36 Acleacius
 
Lying then and lying now. Middlefinger

No way the largest mmog developer/publisher wouldn't know the effect of an Auction House, on an online only game. They knew, they were exploiting gamers and the gamers fought back. Bitches are now admitting failure but still trying to lie their way out of it.

They made their money this is about damage control based on the creditability of their future games and shareholders who are none to happy they backed a pig, instead of a stallion.
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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27. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 10:33 Hellbinder
 
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 Whales name is Bob.
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26. Re: Jay Wilson: Auctions Houses Mar 29, 2013, 10:27 xXBatmanXx
 
I will admit though, last month I put in some more time and the drops are a hell of a lot more than before.....  
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105 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 4.
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