The official launch of Diablo 3 [official site], uhhhh, it could have been better, yeah? Game Director Josh Mosqueira, who joined the team as the console lead in 2012, did a talk at GDC yesterday about how things were internally at this time and going forward into developing the expansion, Reaper of Souls. Check it out below, along with the latest details on the upcoming patch.
What’s most interesting to me is how often Blizzard manage to underestimate both the size and skill of their community. While Reaper of Souls and Heart of the Swarm both had impressively flawless launches, WoW’s Warlords of Draenor was a Diablo-tier mess. Massive queues, people unable to login, community and support teams working 18+ hour days for a solid week trying to get it fixed. Somebody, somewhere is consistently underestimating demand for everything the studio puts out.
In a similar vein, as Josh discusses, the players – and this is true everywhere, but Blizzzard’s ravenous fanbase has a particular talent for it – will find the easiest, most efficient and often least fun method to play a game. Bioshock’s lightning wrench build, Destiny’s loot cave, people gathered around timed spawns or rare mobs in every MMO you’ve ever touched. None are as fun as playing those games in other ways and sometimes they aren’t even more efficient, but people love to feel like they’ve ‘broken’ the game, tricked it out of its goods – even at the cost of their own enjoyment.
The full talk is well worth a watch if you’ve any interest in Diablo and its impressive turnaround, or game design in general. Thanks to Gamespot for getting it uploaded.
Meanwhile the game itself is currently gearing up for the latest patch, 2.2, which has begun public testing. There’s a run-down of the changes here and full patch notes here. There’s nothing particularly huge, especially in comparison to the second-expansion feel of patch 2.1, but enough to keep the hardcore entertained and some lapsed players thinking about a rerun. Plus, they’ve removed that fucking armour debuff from those god damn succubi, praise Satan.