Jay Wilson: In his own words - From US Forums

General Discussion
Here is another AWESOME post from US forums (by Brokebach, cheers!), if it is posted already on EU forums, sorry guys.

And original link to the post;
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5911771771#new-post
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During the development time of Diablo III, game director Jay Wilson highlighted many of the flaws that Diablo II had, which I wholeheartedly agree with:

Jay: "people’s memories of Diablo II were way different than the reality of Diablo II. They remember all kinds of stuff that never actually happened in that game." [/quote]

It appears Jay Wilson failed to realize that, not only was Diablo 2 available for play leading up to Diablo 3 launch and beyond, but that the player base has been playing it off and on for years. Frankly, I remember fairly well what I played less than 2 weeks before Diablo 3 came out. Apparently Jay does not.

Jay: "when you ask them about game challenge, they remember what it was like in hell difficulty. They don’t remember what it was like in normal difficulty. They remember something that visually darker than it ever was. They remember a variety and depth of monsters that was never there."


Again, we remember perfectly well. And besides, the point is that (like in most games) end game is the majority of the experience. This would be akin to a future criticism of Diablo 3 wherein someone pointed out we only remember Inferno mode, and not normal. Inferno mode IS the game.

There is plenty of evidence (look it up on youtube) about how visually dark Diablo 1 and 2 are. Jay being in denial doesn't make him any less wrong. He has a better point regarding variety and depth of monsters, but Diablo 3 really isn't much better. If you'd like I can make up an itemized list comparing each monster type in D2 vs. D3.

Jay: "It’s one of those things where if you love a game (Diablo II), then the things that are bad about it become endearing. Everybody remembers Deckard Cain saying, “Stay a while, listen.” But the reason they remember it fondly now is because it was so damn annoying! He said it every time, and you had to talk to him so often!


I loved Deckard Cain because the voice acting was great and he was a constant character. I liked Stay a While and listen because it was an iconic phrase, and because I fondly remembered the Deckard Cain rap. You gave Deckard a truly pathetic death, getting killed by a butterfly attack and leaving the player to have that moment of, "WTF? That KILLED him? No, they can't be serious, that's absolutely retarded." The only two constant characters are Tyrael and Deckard (and maybe Diabla), you killed off one unceremoniously early on and gutted the other one of much of what made him awesome. The only redeeming quality was some great cinematic work showing still-angel Tyrael.

But thank you very knowing with such certainty what we are fond of and why. In all seriousness, please stop pretending you have any idea what we liked about Diablo 2, because you've CONSISTENTLY been way off base.

Jay: "In Diablo II, the most optimal way to play was to find the quickest boss you can do, and repeat that boss run forever. It’s our intent to create a system that encourage people to play a lot more varied amount of content, and have that be the most beneficial way to play, such that the boss runs are really mitigated as a primary things that people do and become more secondary."


First of all, you're wrong Jay. See, unlike Diablo 3, depending on the boss that you killed, the likelihood of receiving different loot changed. If you wanted to try to farm unique rings, you'd go kill Andariel. If you wanted to farm runes, you'd go kill the Countess, or perhaps go kill the Council. If you wanted the best loot in the game, you'd kill Nihlathak or do Baal runs. The decision was based more on strategy than on convenience, excepting for maybe Pindleskin who was slain more by botters than by players anyway.

And now let's suppose for a moment (erroneously) that people DIDN'T like that system that they continued playing for over a decade...

Your system is better how? You want to disincentivize boss-killing so that we can focus our energies on killing elite packs of fallen curs? That's really inspired gameplay Jay... How about you take advantage of all those random events you put into the game and make exploring and flavor events high reward scenarios. Wanna complete the crumbling vault? Congrats, better loot than a 5stack NV elite kill. (And apparently a LOT more impressive and valuable than a boss kill). People like doing things that feel epic. Killing an elite pack of cultists pales in comparison to killing a boss or completing a more interesting event. But that's not what you've done. Again, please stop telling us what we think is fun. You're just about always wrong.

Jay: "One of the pieces of feedback we got during the internal alpha was that skill points as an element of our skill system didn't really suit the game, It created a lot of conflict in terms of what the players would choose to do. So what we had is this system that has these six – it used to be seven, now six – slots, that implies that you should have six skills, but a system with skill points? Well, you really want to dump every single point into one skill. "

Jay: ""I feel that in a lot of ways the current system has more choice involved in it compared to Diablo II because that finite limit of how many skills you can take versus the number that you have means that you have to make a very restrictive choice, so we focused a lot more on restricting the number of skills you have and having that be the interesting choice, as opposed to skill points, which are really commitments before you even know what you're committing to."


When I first read these comments, this is what I was naively interested to see. Could Blizzard have finally discovered a way to promote endless build diversity? They've tried to pull it off in WoW for years, and failed every time as players still find the optimal and everyone specs it. Even the proposed changes in MoP are likely still going to end up condensing into 1-3 specs that everyone uses.

Well, Jay. Turns out your system is no better. But why? Well, when you make the game as "challenging" as inferno is, you start pigeonholing classes into certain behaviors. Tell me Jay, how many Wizards in Inferno right now aren't using Venom Hydra? How many aren't using Energy Armor? Excepting some rogue CM build users, the majority of players are using something like Blizzard, Hydra, Energy Armor, Teleport with alternating Shockpulse/MM and maybe Diamond Skin.

If you recall Jay, Diablo 2 had a cap of 20 skill points per spell, and you got a hell of a lot more than 20 skill points to distribute. I was defending the variety of spells in Diablo 3 the other day when pointing out I use about 9 different spells (12 if you count re-runing). My last Diablo 2 sorceress on the other hand only used: Teleport, Frozen Orb, Meteor, Chilling Armor, Thunderstorm, Static Field, Fireball, and Energy Armor. That doesn't sound like an interesting selection at all? Especially when you consider that I could use all 8 at one time, instead of the 6 I'm restricted to in Diablo 3 due to Nephalem Valor.

Which brings me to my main critique of your "build diversity" approach. If the whole point of the game is the farm game/trade game, then NV becomes a pre-requisite of play. And if you want NV, you have to pick 6 abilities and corresponding runes and THAT'S IT. So what in the hell made you think that we wouldn't find an optimal build?

Because of course in Diablo 2, I couldn't possibly play a sorceress built around: Blizzard, Frozen Orb, Nova, Lightning/Chainlightning, Meteor, Hydra, Enchant (lol), Firewall, or even Fireball, right? The best thing about Diablo 3 is that, unlike Diablo 2 which still ended up with a respec system, I could switch between all those options with considerably more ease. You know, until I found the one that was most effective and never swapped out because of NV...
2ND PART OF THE POST
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Jay: (Regarding DII's Skill System) "What you probably did was go up on a website and find out what the optimal build was, because there's just too much math involved for you to really get involved in it. A small number of players will go in and do the math… but the majority of players will go 'I don't know, I guess I'll just put it in whatever I already have'."


Already answered. Players have done this for a long time, they won't stop any time soon. Maybe if Inferno wasn't super hard, people would find something fun and stick with it. Unfortunately, given the difficulty (a good thing) you don't have the diversity of builds you pretended was realistically available to us. (Not capable of clearing the game with it = not viable build diversity). The nicest part is that (if you dont care about NV) beating the game the first time is easier with the ability to swap between clearing levels and fighting bosses, etc.

Jay: (Regarding Stat Distribution In D2) "Stat progression as a system is very difficult for a lot of players to understand because you get these 5 points, but you don’t exactly know where to put them or what benefit you’re getting with them. You might make some obvious choices, for example, with Diablo II’s Sorceress, you might put all of your points into energy because that’s the obvious choice, right? Except that for almost every build out there, you’ve just made the wrong choice."


Did Jay forget that you could mouse over stats in Diablo 2 and that they would tell you exactly what they did? Did he forget that the whole concept of a character screen that gives you information isn't an entirely new technology that he graciously put into his game? It's not hard to realize without looking it up on the internet that strength was a prerequisite for gear, and added to melee damage. It wasn't hard to figure out BECAUSE IT TOLD YOU, that Dex was a requirement for certain weapons, and that it affected your attack rating, or that armor affected your defense rating. Hell, it even told you what attack rating and defense rating did for you! But yes, Jay. We're all idiots who need to have our hands held. We're illiterate (which your game doesn't fix). And for the record, Energy is not a wasted stat, and wasn't until it became obsolete due to one particular runeword or group play with a particular paladin aura. But go on, tell us more about Diablo 2, you expert you.

And lastly:

Jay: "Any system where you have to go up onto the Internet to figure out what the right answer is, is not a good customization system. Any system where there’s a “right” answer is not a good system for customization. The truth is, with stat point systems, they are simple math. It’s not hard to figure out what the absolute best choice is so we decided we didn’t want that as a customization system. With that being said, we do have another system we’re working on. The specific intent of it is to capture the imagination of what stat point spending was supposed to do, which is, “I want to be stronger. I want to be tougher.” These kind of simple ideas are not contextualized well within a skill system. The skill system is about what the player is doing, not higher ideals about what their character is. So, we’re going to work on a system that really satisfies that feeling, but is way easier to understand and also has some true customization to."


So, by definition, Diablo 3 is "not a good customization system." Thanks. Apparently neither is World of Warcraft (don't tell your friends down the hall). I guess you had to completely scrap that "I want to be stronger" "I want to be tougher" system, because all we got was a bunch of variety. Perhaps if we combined runes in specific abilities, so that when you leveled up you collected runes, instead of having to pick one. That might make us feel stronger. You'd still have a ton of choice, but each choice you made would feel VERY strong in its own way by the end of the game and provide tons of different potential utility. But that's not what you gave us. We get stronger from leveling up (same as D2) and from getting good gear (same as D2). What we DON'T get in D3 is the chance to take the spell that we like and make that particularly powerful. We don't get to base our character around a few iconic spells. What we get is a ton of variety to pick any combination of spells that are (theoretically) similar in capability, to best accomplish the task at hand.

...Unless we want to keep our Nephalem Valor stacks.

Your team has done a lot of good with Diablo 3. They should be proud of themselves and we appreciate their work. The overall design philosophy is inherently flawed, and the true lessons of Diablo 2 are clearly lost on you. You owe it to your player base and to your employees to right the ship.

You can start by humbling yourself and realizing that there is a growing consensus that you have no idea what we think is fun. You don't know why Diablo 2 was/is fun, and you therefore cannot possibly bring the necessary fixes to Diablo 3.

Prove us wrong, please.
Lol, game made by someone who doesnt know what was fun of diablo 2.

Where is farming bosses endless nights?
Brave of Jay to make these statements.

I may have missed it, did he say nothing about itemization? Perhaps he realizes that at that point something is wrong and we can still hope for it being fixed?
Brave of Jay to make these statements.

I may have missed it, did he say nothing about itemization? Perhaps he realizes that at that point something is wrong and we can still hope for it being fixed?

He already "fixed" it.
The people who made D2 one of the best games ever are no longer with Blizzard anyway, sadly. I knew I was hoping too much when I thought D3 might be equally good.
Best. Post. Ever.

Sums up all my grievances with D3.
Good post & agree with some of the points except about the stat system, it was pretty horrible and bad placement could ruin your character and it not be apparent until way later in the game, that was slightly negated by the ability to respec but that didn't come for years after the release of the game.

Having to research and then plan out exactly where to put them before even starting a character was bad design and off putting to people IMO.
IF one has IQ higher than 1 , D2 stat allocation system was a piece of cake , but apparently to born in 2000-console-ards this it too tough( to mouse-over and actually read , or to ask someone ingame to xplain those to you ... )
Yea , WoW-nians and consolians killed gaming for us , the dinosaurs of gaming ......
23/06/2012 12:32Posted by ivomnik
Yea , WoW-nians and consolians killed gaming for us , the dinosaurs of gaming ......


Catering to the lowest common denominator did. Maximise profits, kill off anything resembling a complex and lasting game = D3. The problem is that ever since CoD and Halo, companies have identified dumbasses, chavs and plebs as the largest target group. Consoles obviously played a huge role in shaping gaming.
23/06/2012 12:50Posted by AceOfSpades
Yea , WoW-nians and consolians killed gaming for us , the dinosaurs of gaming ......


Catering to the lowest common denominator did. Maximise profits, kill off anything resembling a complex and lasting game = D3. The problem is that ever since CoD and Halo, companies have identified dumbasses, chavs and plebs as the largest target group. Consoles obviously played a huge role in shaping gaming.


Please explain in depths what you mean... How come consoles and halo, and even call of duty, have anything to do, with this game. Halo is a completely different genre, it's a sci-fi fps ffs...

And consoles... God forbid people liking console gaming. And how do any of these have to do with dumbasses... If anything it takes way more dedication to complete a hard game on a console than on its computer counterpart, as your gaming equipment and cheating/modding opportunitys are way more limited on consoles than on computers. You need to know how to cheat/mod on consoles, or know somebody to do it for you, where as it only requeiers* a simple google search on computers.

And again to the games you mention... A battlefield ripoff (as far as I can tell, never liked CoD) and a heavily Unreal Tournament inspired shooter, what does those games have to do with a hack-and-slash rpg?
23/06/2012 14:05Posted by Zvartso


Catering to the lowest common denominator did. Maximise profits, kill off anything resembling a complex and lasting game = D3. The problem is that ever since CoD and Halo, companies have identified dumbasses, chavs and plebs as the largest target group. Consoles obviously played a huge role in shaping gaming.


Please explain in depths what you mean... How come consoles and halo, and even call of duty, have anything to do, with this game. Halo is a completely different genre, it's a sci-fi fps ffs...

And consoles... God forbid people liking console gaming. And how do any of these have to do with dumbasses... If anything it takes way more dedication to complete a hard game on a console than on its computer counterpart, as your gaming equipment and cheating/modding opportunitys are way more limited on consoles than on computers. You need to know how to cheat/mod on consoles, or know somebody to do it for you, where as it only requeiers* a simple google search on computers.

And again to the games you mention... A battlefield ripoff (as far as I can tell, never liked CoD) and a heavily Unreal Tournament inspired shooter, what does those games have to do with a hack-and-slash rpg?


The huge success of streamlined games for instant gratification kids.


The huge success of streamlined games for instant gratification kids.


Wouldn't that be more the fault of Activision and Micro$oft, than Bungie?

I do see what you mean, but the games you use mentioned, is fairly good games, in each of their own ways, D3 has fallen into the current state of most RPGs in my opinion, wanting to attract players that doesn't actually like playing RPGs..
is he like saying "nonono you all have crap memory" ? lol
23/06/2012 14:19Posted by Nayir
is he like saying "nonono you all have crap memory" ? lol


I am getting old, but think my memory still functions properly :P
You can start by humbling yourself and realizing that there is a growing consensus that you have no idea what we think is fun. You don't know why Diablo 2 was/is fun, and you therefore cannot possibly bring the necessary fixes to Diablo 3.

Prove us wrong, please.


This alone holds so much truth. I've noticed this even in WoW after TBC. They always know what is fun for us and always try to force it on us. And Wilson clearly hasn't played D2, only read a review or two. Pathetic.
The arrogance and stupidity of this individual is amazing.
great post. i recommend reading it while listening to this masterpiece.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2evIg-aYw8
23/06/2012 14:05Posted by Zvartso
If anything it takes way more dedication to complete a hard game on a console than on its computer counterpart, as your gaming equipment and cheating/modding opportunitys are way more limited on consoles than on computers. You need to know how to cheat/mod on consoles, or know somebody to do it for you, where as it only requeiers* a simple google search on computers.


Please correct me if I'm wrong but from what I read here you are suggesting that you CANNOT complete "hard" a game without cheating/modding ? You actually sound like every one of my acquaintances who think consoles are better than a PC.

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