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Diablo 3 raises “very mixed emotions” in original series creator

Monday, 20th August 2012 00:42 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Diablo 3 isn’t the game David Brevik would have made, or the one fans want, the original Diablo creator has said.

Speaking to IncGamers, the Blizzard North co-founder said he has both positive and geative reactions to Diablo 3′s poor reception among hardcore series fans.

“I have very mixed emotions about it. On one hand I am sad that people haven’t enjoyed Diablo because it’s a love, a passion, and its obvious people still have a giant love and passion for Diablo and they are speaking out about it because they have such love for it. That makes me feel great,” he said.

Diablo and Diablo 2 were developed by Blizzard North, which was later closed down. A team at Blizzard’s HQ then took over for Diablo 3. Brevik said he feels “a little sad” that some of the changes introduced in Diablo 3 by its new development team go against his own design philosophies, and that fans reacted critically to those decisions makes him feel guiltily pleased.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Brevik said the new take on Diablo is “a very different game” than he would have made, and that the closure of Blizzard North robbed the publisher of some of its core talent.

“When Blizzard North shut down they lost a ton of experience with why the action RPG works and what about it works. That’s really difficult to recover from,” he said.

“They didn’t have the experience of people that knew it well. This is why you do things with random levels for example, and so when you lose that experience you are going to create a very different experience in the end than we would have created.”

Hit the link above to read Brevik’s opinion of what exactly went wrong with Diablo 3. The RPG sold by the boatload on release but has since been slammed for its lack of end-game content among other issues, something Blizzard’s ongoing support is expected to address.

Brevik is now president and CEO of Gazillion, the studio behind Marvel Heroes, the upcoming MMORPG.

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22 Comments

  1. HauntaVirus

    I bought D3, the auction house ruined for me…It defeats the whole purpose of the game. Torchlight 2 is the true successor of D2.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DSB

    D3 has way bigger issues than the auction house. That’s fully optional.

    Having to play through the game three times to get to your desired difficulty level isn’t.

    It just seems to me like there were a lot of bad ideas that should’ve been weeded out early on. The always online, the flawed loot balance, going for multiple shorter playthroughs, instead of simply adding more content.

    The core of it wasn’t bad, but the direction they took it in was.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. magnumfinger

    Remember, Brevik was also the one who developed Hellgate: London — and as we all know — one of Diablo’s worst copycat.

    So you see, Diablo 1 when released during the late nineties, had its own luck as well.

    I think even Brevik or those folks who developed D2 were the ones assigned to do D3, it’ll still suffer a different kind of problem.

    As for Torchlight, I just can’t stand its graphics.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. TheWulf

    Meh, the biggest issue for me was that the classes and loot were almost superficial. In Diablo II you could play a barbarian through the main campaign twice and have vastly different experiences depending on how you handled the class.

    As for the loot, in Diablo II you could often find some insanely good piece of armour or a weapon that you’d have problems replacing. But in Diablo III everything was a straight upgrade, like WoW. So you’d check whether your new axe had better stats than your old one, and if it did you’d replace it. You’d never uncover an absolutely incredible item a little too early on because they never allowed that to happen.

    Nor did they allow for items with really, really weird stats in Diablo III, which allowed you to build incredibly odd characters.

    So it was just like WoW. A linear progression where every Barbarian was the same as every other Barbarian, right down to their loot. And that was what made it so monotonous. One thing people say most often about Diablo III is that it has no replay value, none whatsoever, and this is why.

    Then Diablo III is plagued by some other issues, like the lack of visual variety, and having far too many big, open, empty fields of nothing (very lazy creative design), and some incredibly poor dungeon generation, which lead to some dungeons where you could clearly see that they were made up in parts because of the unexpected dead-ends.

    These famously became known as the penis pathways, because where they COULD connect to other paths but often didn’t made it look like a dick on the minimap. And these often clustered together, never connecting. The generation was incredibly poor. It didn’t feel natural at all.

    And I can say from the beta that Torchlight II has none of these problems. The classes are like Diablo II classes in that you can have vastly different experiences on new playthroughs, you have the chance to find really good or really strange loot, and the generation of dungeons is top notch. Plus there are no incredibly lazy big, empty areas. So it’s not plagued with any of the Diablo III issues.

    And that’s not even touching how Torchlight II has LAN play, offline single-player, mods, no auction house, a greater variety of questing areas, and is $20 as opposed to Diablo III’s rather ridiculous $60.

    So anyone saying that Torchlight II is the spiritual successor of Diablo II has it right on the nose.

    Blizzard hasn’t made quality games for years, sadly.

    They have no reason to start. Why should they? People paid them $60 for Diablo III, after all.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. TheWulf

    @3

    Thanks for the misinformation. If you’re going to say something, at least check your sources.

    No, you have Bill Roper’s poor management skills to thank for that. The man’s a curse. He ruined Hellgate: London and went on to ruin a bunch of other games. The worst things to happen to Champions Online were when Bill Roper was the head of it. He’s likely finding he’s having a hard time getting a job, these days, because he has such a sordid reputation.

    Blaming a developer for problems caused by bad management is dickish.

    Look at what Runic Games did with (the original) Mythos and Torchlight once freed from Roper’s idiocy. And really, since you know so much about Flagship Studios, I’m going to say that you’re purposefully being intellectually dishonest here by not providing the full picture.

    I’m guessing you’re a Blizzboy? At the very least you’re incredibly superficial and likely someone who fetishises hyper-realism, given your hatred of Torchlight’s graphics. At least they have aesthetic qualities to them and good art direction, unlike Diablo III.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Talkar

    Although i never liked Diablo 1 & 2, at all. And i’m not really playing Diablo 3 anymore. I have to say that Diablo 3 is an awesome game! The only reason i’m not playing it anymore is due to lack of time. Sure there are room for improvements, but what game couldn’t benefit from some improvement? The auction house has had no impact on my experience, i’ve never used the RMAH and the normal AH is only used when i feel like it. From what i’ve heard, in Diablo 2 people spend days getting better gear and then selling it on shady sites, if there no longer are such shady sites, but instead an AH where you don’t have to spend money, what is the harm?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. roadkill

    “Diablo 3 isn’t the game David Brevik would have made, or the one fans want, the original Diablo creator has said.” No s**t! No true Diablo fan would buy such an abomination. Unless they were sickly rich and had absolutely no idea what Diablo is about. Also, a true Diablo fan would never support online DRM. You’d have to be either pretty dumb or to don’t give the slightest f**k about gamers and the industry to support that.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Fin

    @6

    Yep!
    Never liked the first two, love D3.

    @7

    Sup bro, why would a “true Diablo fan” never support DRM? Apart from your own subjective reason for disliking it, whatever that is.
    I don’t particularly care about DRM – my internet connection is fine, I had a few issues in the first few days with D3, haven’t had one since. I assume that makes me stupid and that I don’t give a fuck about gamers?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. expose the core

    http://i.imgur.com/aaRc5.png

    Notice how some of the Blizzard devs react to his criticism. Especially Jay Wilson the project lead for Diablo 3 and game director.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Fin

    @9

    Yup, makes sense. If I made a game and someone came along trashing it, I wouldn’t like it either.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Stardog

    @9 Well, they are the same people who added the rainbow level to the game. They ignored the point about the texture style and just jumped on the “colors” instead so they could create a little meme.

    They’re just a bunch of “bro’s” and I would never buy one of their games.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. silkvg247

    Diablo III was “ok” as a game in it’s own right.

    But as a successor to Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 it’s just astronomically bad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s playable, and it’s addictive, but let’s put it this way, it’s the first game I actually *regret* playing all the way through. I want my life back. Inferno was literally painful, with not one iota of enjoyment throughout.

    I don’t know what has changed since back then (it was pretty early that I finished it) but all I can say is.. what were they thinking? What is fun about having to constantly kite for 10 minutes on every single elite encounter (as a wizard, even with high res gear)? What is “challenging” about a boss being able to one shot you at random intervals?

    What the hell is with the auction house? I found myself more addicted to that than the game, which speaks volumes. Being able to buy loot is just so.. stupid. It doesn’t fit at all. But they wanted their extra money I guess.. so greed prevails.

    The loot just didn’t feel right. It was always so boring and samey. I don’t think I ever got one drop that made me feel that “woot” factor.

    The story was perhaps the biggest letdown of all. Decard Cain’s “event” should have had much more of an impact than it did, I should have cared about at least some of the main characters but did not. Tyrael just annoyed the shit out of me and was the biggest example of “this is not the real blizzard” of all. Imagine if the original team had their hands on Tyrael becoming a human. They’d add (adult) humour for God’s sake! They’d make it real!

    Don’t even get me started on the voice acting or script or storyline of the prime evils. Especially Diabla. What the actual fuck, that was not scary. Diabla popping up with 10 year old taunts.. Seriously? I mean.. what.. just what.. were they thinking? I wanted to kill him/her just because I was so fed up and annoyed with him/her. Scared? There’s nothing to be scared of. What a pathetic mockery of the original game.

    The other major flaw, and it’s something that diablo 2 suffered from as well, is they seem to have forgotten that it isn’t supposed to be a kid’s game. Diablo 1 was genuinely scary, I’ve been back and played it in the past month and it still gets to me. It’s hard, but it’s hard because you maybe need to go up an extra level or find/buy at least one decent upgrade. It’s challenging on the first playthrough, which makes it interesting.

    If someone, anyone were to make a genuinely frightening dungeon romp, I would jump on it. I’m done with Diablo now.

    @9 They need to man the fuck up and admit they didn’t make what the fans wanted.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    @9: Yep, embarrassing, really. It’s funny, Kotaku had a picture of more comments made by the developers. All of them basically saying that “God, he’s such a loser, because Hellgate London didn’t work out. Bitch’s ppor and we’re rich, because we worked on the franchise he helped to create.”

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    Silk, I very much agree.

    Personaly I can’t get my wife to finish Nitemare mode(she doesn’t like dying so often). I can’t stomach Hell Mode myself. Samething too damn hard. It isn’t that I can’t get through it, just that the process of doing so is far less fun then it should be.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. TheWulf

    @9

    Whyyyy am I not surprised? Sigh.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. ManuOtaku

    I dont do PC gaming, and i did had high hopes for this game to come up to consoles eventually, maybe in next gen around the corner, but knowing quite well that requires a constant always connected for playing single player is a no-no in my book, i doesnt care if it is the best game in the world and of all time, No, now i just hope this doesnt traslate to consoles either,i mean the always connected part, if thats the case i will only game with nintendo consoles, till them decide to go that route too, and then i will be done for gaming, but well i have a hell of a backlog (unfinished games) to keep me occupied in the future.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. OrbitMonkey

    Diablo 3 wasn’t what pc gamers wanted, but it sure was what they needed. A nice fat cock in their face, which they sucked down right to balls in record number…

    Now their on the forums spitting up invective, trying to get the taste out their mouths. “it wasn’t so much fun on my third playthrough”.

    Hilarious.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. viralshag

    I really liked it…

    Balls deep and all.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. silkvg247

    @17 You have a very disturbed mind.. :p

    #19 2 years ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @17: http://youtu.be/B01o2xtJwgk

    #20 2 years ago
  21. fearmonkey

    @Silkvg247 – I agree with everything you said about Diablo 3.
    I got bored of D3 really fast and I played Diablo2 for a very long time.
    D3 doesn’t seem to have the sticking power the previous game had.
    They made a good game that was a terrible successor to Diablo2.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. roadkill

    “it sure was what they needed. A nice fat cock in their face, which they sucked down right to balls in record number…” Too right mate! :D

    #22 2 years ago

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