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Blizzard: DIII Art Style, WoW Achievement System

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 04:26 AM

MTV Multiplayer recently published a pair of interviews, each featuring comments from Blizzard employees about upcoming additions to the company's franchises. Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson addressed the issue of vocal fan dislike of the game's art style, while Jeff Kaplan discussed the new World of Warcraft achievement system and Blizzard's plans to expand it to other game titles.

Diablo III Art Style:

“There’s no going back now,” he said during an interview in a Manhattan hotel where Blizzard was showcasing their newest games. “We’re very happy with how the art style is. The art team’s happy. The company’s happy. We really like this art style, and we’re not changing it.”

But fans take note: The decision to add color to the macabre world of “Diablo” didn’t come lightly. “It’s actually the thing we struggled with the most,” Wilson said. When Wilson joined the project two and-a-half years ago, the game was similar-looking to what fans of the old games might expect — darker, desaturated and a lot of brown and gray tones. However, translating the game from 2D to 3D with a dark color palette didn’t make for the best gameplay experience. The first and second iterations of the art direction had a “modern, gritty look” but made it difficult to distinguish enemies from the environment. “When you have 30 creatures on screen — and four or five different types — target prioritization is a factor,” he said. “You need to be able to tell those things apart fast, and you can’t do that when your world is gray and your creatures are gray.”.
Achievement System:

When the new Blizzard Accounts are active, a player’s ‘WoW’ points can be added to an overall score dubbed an account holder’s “Blizzard Level.” “It’s basically a gamerscore,” Kaplan said, when I made reference to Xbox Live’s Achievement system. “For now the points are just a ‘WoW’ character score. As we graduate to that Blizzard Account system, which is right on the horizon, it will switch over to a Blizzard Level.”

He added, “Your ‘WoW’ score would be just one factor that will go into your Blizzard Level. And rather than call it a ’score,’ we just wanted it to be like you’re leveling up on Blizzard games… You’ll have this Blizzard identity, and you’ll be able to see things like ‘Oh, this guy was great at Diablo III, but he never played Starcraft and he was mediocre in WoW.’ That sort of thing.”

In the interim the new Achievement system — which will launch upon the release of the “WoW” expansion “ Wrath of the Lich King ” — will be tied to the current “World of Warcraft” armory website in addition to the in-game Achievement interface.
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#2 cleansanchez



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Posted 04 August 2008 - 07:00 PM

Source: http://multiplayerbl...r-talks-colors/

Blizzard / Diablo fans will recall the break up of Blizzard North Development team as they were preparing the sequel to D2. All the main players decided to move on to greener pastures with the remnants opting to move down to Blizzard in Irvine. Part of the problem was unspecified issues with the direction of the project.

It was always clear that Irvine management did not agree with the development leads at North at the time. The reasons why have never really been discussed completely (NDA severances?) but step by step it is becoming clearer.

Things like the HP / health text around each character and monster, WoW style, and the point and click mousing style of the hack and slash have played a part. Recently we found out that the North team did NOT want to revisit the same character types. Irvine won that fight with the Barbarian featured in the first preview although the Witch Doctor seems very much along the lines of the original North direction.

But it has always been suspected that the graphics were the main sticking point and that QA issues caused the upheaval.

This interview really confirms this. along with the rumour that Blizzard "started afresh". According to Wilson, what we see now is the 3rd iteration of the graphics.

They are very keen to get this right.

I appreciate the response from Blizzard. They have been listening to the noisy minority of fans who have been protesting (mistakenly) that Diablo 3 will look like WoW. The reasons offered by Blizzard appear sound and should placate many of these disgruntled fans.

The trolling and flaming on gaming sites around the word is starting to die down since this interview. That can only be a good thing. The "silent majority" of fans can get on with the heavy task of drooling over each titbit of information Blizzard chooses to release.

Just who the hell is Leah?

One idea is that she is Deckard Cain's acolyte / apprentice...