Bill Roper likes the look of original Diablo better than Diablo III

Tuesday, 17th March 2009 16:30 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Bill Roper, design director for Cryptic, says that he prefers the “darker, more realistic” Diablo to the “Blizzard interpretation” of Diablo III.

Speaking in an interview with, the ex-Blizzard North exec said he does not think that the new Diablo looks bad as such, just that he liked the more gritty version better.

“You know, I liked the darker, grittier. I liked the differences in art style, to be honest. So, I think I would personally, from a player standpoint, prefer that.

“I think that one of the things that we always tried to get across was that Diablo was Gothic fantasy, and I think there was just a need that was put in there from the visuals that I didn’t necessarily get,” he continued.

“I got it from the architecture and to a degree from the character design but not the feeling of the world. I can’t say that I dislike it. I didn’t look at it and go, ‘Oh my God that’s horrible.’ But I looked at it and went, it’s not really… To me, as a player, it just didn’t really ring with Diablo.”

Say it ain’t so, Bill. More through there.



  1. SticKboy

    Diablo 3 = *huge* amounts of interest.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. mightyhokie

    Some people didn’t like Fallout 3 because it was ‘different’ from the first 2.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Soong

    gamers do not want change. change bad. same game over and over good.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. lelik

    i thought people were over this. how long have we known it wasn’t going to be as dark as d2. where the fuck has this dude been?

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Esha

    There’s a difference between a difference in game mechanics (Fallout 3) and a worrying degradation in art direction (Diablo 3). I found the change in game mechanics quite tolerable as far as Fallout 3 was concerned, because it still felt like Fallout.

    Diablo 3 on the other hand is another matter, the almost purposefully weak art direction is clearly targeted at the pre-teen World of Warcraft demographic. It looks to me like it lacks any kind of cohesive link between one area and the next (from the screenshots). It’s got the same melting pot feel that Warcraft did, it appears to be very improvised. What I’m getting at is that the art direction looks amateur, so much so that it makes me flinch when I see it.

    Just like Bethesda needs to hire some decent animators, Bethesda need to hire some proper, professional art direction people, and fast, for their problem is much more severe than Bethesda’s case.

    So Diablo 3′s not a game I’ll be buying, I’ll leave that one for the kids who don’t have any artistic sense whatsoever. They’ll be able to enjoy it. But anyone with even a small amount of artistic talent is probably going to feel the same pain that I do when looking at Diablo 3.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. hitnrun

    If Blizzard feels put upon by the artistic expectations of its fans, maybe it should try making a game that isn’t Diablo 3? Just a thought.

    And people aren’t hating on the Diablo art because it’s “new.” They’re hating it because it’s old. Like, World of Warcraft old.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Soong

    I dunno, I played Diablo 1 and 2 recently and the art direction was nothing special tbh. Extremely generic, and certainly not the ‘Mona Lisa of games’, which is what the hardcore Diablo fans are making it sound like.

    The art direction in 3 is certainly different, but no better or worse than in 1 or 2. It’s still the same generic and clichéd fantasy stuff as ever, just less gothic.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Lee

    I enjoy the frequency with which Bill Roper speaks to the gaming public.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. SticKboy

    Esha – that has got to be the lamest post I ever read. Ever. Mechanics > art. Does anybody really doubt that this game will be anything less than additively fun to play? Diablo 2 was far less dark than Diablo 1 anyway and I don’t recall complaints back then,. Also, there was *always* gonna be a slightly more cartoony feel after the jump to textures and polygons, the only way to avoid it would have been to have Crysis-level system reqs.

    Whilst you’re busy wringing your hands over what might have been, I’ll be levelling up and kicking the snot out of the Prime Evils across the world of Sanctuary. I just can’t wait to find out what the other classes will be – Werebears with flame claws FTW!

    PS: I bet you played as a Necromancer.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. SticKboy

    Furthermore, that graveyard scene in the launch trailer was pretty fucking dark. Moreover, that trailer showed great cohesion between different areas IMHO. I’m certain that what’s been revealed so far represents only a fraction of the game, the barest minimum of what we can expect… have a little faith, it’s Blizzard FFS. They don’t make bad games.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Shatner


    #11 6 years ago

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