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Diablo III: Art Controversy, Designer Q&As


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#1 IMG News

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 05:20 AM

Kotaku and Games Radar recently published new articles focusing on Diablo III, the next chapter in Blizzard's popular action RPG series. Jay Wilson, lead designer for the game, spoke with Kotaku about the ongoing controversy surrounding Diablo III's art design. Games Radar posted a PC Gamer article featuring an analysis of what is currently known about the game as well as short Q&As with Jay Wilson and lead producer Keith Lee.

From Kotaku:

What about the complaint, then, that Diablo III may be "too much like WoW" in style and vibe?

"There's a philosophy that goes across all of our games, and that philosophy stays true from game to game... so it probably draws some comparisons," Wilson said. "One philosophy is that our artists feel like if they're just using photorealism, not creating a unique look for the game, not stylizing so that it's uniquely Blizzard, then they're not doing their jobs."

...The preliminary art we've seen so far, Wilson said, is from early on in the game. "We want to generate the feeling of everything getting worse... it's part of our narrative. It makes the more gloomy part of the game a place where the stakes get higher."

"If you start out at the apocalypse, and then move to more apocalypse, it's not going to have much of an impression on players."
From PC Gamer:

PCG: What do you think Diablo fans will be most excited about in the new game?
Jay Wilson: Our co-op focus is something that were really proud of. I think Diablo and Diablo II were always focused on co-op, but they unintentionally did things that harmed the co-op game. Weve really learned from that and are getting rid of [those things]. How we do loot drops is a big change for us. It used to be in Diablo II that everyone fought over the loot - the Barbs and the Paladins usually managed to win that fight, and we changed that system completely so that essentially whatever drops, drops individually for each player. So, when a monster dies, if youve got three people in the game, it can actually drop three different things, one for each person, and then people just see their own drops, so if you see it on the ground, you can pick it up. Overall, not only is it more friendly to cooperative play, it also doesnt encourage people to fight - it encourages people to work together. What we found is that it actually encourages a lot of trading.

PCG: Any one big thing you wish youd had the chance to talk about but didnt?
JW: I wish people had asked a few more story questions, because were bringing back a lot of characters from the previous games. The Barbarian has his own story, and its actually meant to be the same Barbarian from D2, the same person. A lot of those characters, were trying to pull forward and give them a real place in the Diablo universe - a history and a feeling of depth that I dont think the previous games have done enough justice to. Its a great universe with the coolest lore, and we really want to make sure this game serves that.
Check out the rest of the comments at the link provided below.
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#2 Janichsan

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:08 AM

View PostIMG News, on August 5th 2008, 01:20 PM, said:

The Barbarian has his own story, and its actually meant to be the same Barbarian from D2, the same person.
Wasn't Diablo 3 set twenty years after the end of D2? That must be a rather aged barbarian like Cohen The Barbarian.

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#3 Tesseract

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:46 AM

The insanely overpowered items he's picked up in 20 years of grinding more than make up for the effects of ageing.

#4 Janichsan

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:10 AM

View PostTesseract, on August 5th 2008, 02:46 PM, said:

The insanely overpowered items he's picked up in 20 years of grinding more than make up for the effects of ageing.
The Walker of Smiting, Golden Dentures of Doom, Reading Glasses of Revelation and the Beard Comb of Holy Grooming?

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#5 devSin

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:30 AM

View PostTesseract, on August 5th 2008, 05:46 AM, said:

The insanely overpowered items he's picked up in 20 years of grinding more than make up for the effects of ageing.
Nah, he just wasn't played for three months so has to start over at Level 1.

It sounds a little ridiculous, but the Barbarian they demoed was clearly a bit old (and the one in Diablo II is fairly young); maybe they're talking about their demo and not necessarily the character you're going to be playing in the game (or maybe it's a tutorial bit and the original characters all get killed off)? It seems an odd choice to give the player a character who supposedly defeated Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal.

View PostJanichsan, on August 5th 2008, 06:10 AM, said:

The Walker of Smiting, Golden Dentures of Doom, Reading Glasses of Revelation and the Beard Comb of Holy Grooming?
The Septic Diaper of Self-Repair.

His Vacuous Diaper of Holy Sh*t didn't survive the rust storm, sadly. Cheater.

#6 cleansanchez

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:38 AM

View PostJanichsan, on August 5th 2008, 01:10 PM, said:

The Walker of Smiting, Golden Dentures of Doom, Reading Glasses of Revelation and the Beard Comb of Holy Grooming?

LOL! Gold!

If the old development crew had had their way then they would not have included a barbarian in D3 - they wanted all new character types. Blizzard Irvine insisted on the barbarian being included.

My guess is that this was because the barb was the most popular character type from D2 so the new D3 buffs would be a major selling point for old fans --> $$$ in the bank.

Whatever. Doesn't bother me.

#7 QuantaCat

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 01:35 PM

Meh. I would welcome a bit more plot to diablo.
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#8 Kilvain

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 02:02 PM

What are you people talking about? I don't remember D2 giving any particular age for the characters, but it seems very likely that the Barbarian was around 20 years old. That would be logical given that most young males would be expected to learn the fighting arts from a young age and get into the action as soon as they were able. So, he would be around 40 at the time of D3. I hardly think that would put him in an old adventurer's home. :) Perhaps that age would be old in a medieval Earth setting, but Sanctuary is a fantasy world.

It is an interesting choice though, nearly every RPG style game I've ever played starts the character at 18 or so. Maybe this is an acknowledgement by Blizzard that a fair number of gamers out there aren't 12 year olds? Or maybe it's just an excuse to bring back the "Hulk Smash" fun of the Barb. :)

#9 cleansanchez

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:58 PM

Yeah like Ric Flair the 18yo Barbarian in D2 and Ric Flair the 38yo Barb in D3. In real life he was still doing it until the day he retired at the hands of HBK.

God, I think I'm going to be hammered for that WWE analogy... :D

----------

When Jay Wilson said the Barb was the same he could also have meant from the same clan? I hope he wasn't really meaning its the same old Barb because in an RPG fantasy setting he should be dead or at worst found in town training the younger ones. Chances are, by 40, a Barb should be dead - one monster too many, slower reflexes, too many battle scars, etc.

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The new loot system WILL encourage trading. I just know we'll all be messaging / shout outs to each other about the unique I just picked up or whatever and also keen to find out what everyone else got, who wants to swap / trade. In the early days of D3, before everything has a "fixed" price, the trading will be real fun.

---------

The comment by JW about the lack of storyline questions indicates he was expecting to get a really tough time with questions about Deckard, Leah and Inarius - the three obvious ones in my opinion. I hope we live up to his expectations!

#10 Janichsan

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 01:01 AM

View PostQuantaCat, on August 5th 2008, 09:35 PM, said:

Meh. I would welcome a bit more plot to diablo.
Evil raises. Mayhem ensues. What more plot did Diablo ever had?

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#11 cleansanchez

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 07:04 AM

View PostJanichsan, on August 6th 2008, 07:01 AM, said:

Evil raises. Mayhem ensues. What more plot did Diablo ever had?

Yeah, let's move right away from this excuse for an old fashioned hack and slash. Let's...