I`ll just leave this here:
Some of of the things that did not make it to the launch:
Ladders to climb up and down on.
Boss Hero-Death animations.
These areas "Forgotten Tomb" does not exist and "Leorics Highland" changed much.
Cinematic cut-scenes in a middle of a dungeon.
UI system: Mana as a resource for all classes.
Hovering healthbar on each and every enemy only visable while hover mouse on them
The Talisman (icon between the weapon slots)
Inventory style changed into the "tetris" style.
"Super block" by skeletons with shield did not make all the way to the release and was weakend.
Number 5 "Scroll of townportal / identify" was scraped.
Random people you click on that will follow you (like those in this video, not chicken warriors Act 3 included).
Minor Energy Rune and Elixir of Vitalty do not appear in Diablo 3 at all (see around 04:22).
Inaccessable gaps wouldn't work at all since not all classes could pass them. Animation was pre-fixed. Just like the death-animation on the siege breaker.
Girls dancing before they explode just to be summoned into a mini-boss, which just became normal monster later on.
And many other things!
Yes I`m sure they dropped all the things they announced at blizzcon because they didnt feel like it was good...yeah right lets make this game simplified so that we can attract as many casuals as we can just like we did with WoW and badge gear yey marketing strategy...
But to give them due credit you have to acknowledge their creative and innovative side when it comes to systemic and technical implementation.
WoW's UI and character handling/look&feel is even rarely matched by modern MMOs and most of it has been that way since its original launch.
Starcraft's ergonomic handling of UI and units as well as slick responses made it a reference and paired with unique faction design principles they made way to the idea of allowing actual different playstyles to flourish in a RTS which in return was one of the reasons it became popular as E-sports.
Diablo's itemization and character handling is still reference model for many bird-view-based ARPGs out there - yes, Diablo is not a canon Blizzard product as they just acquired and renamed the company behind but still they wouldn't have got into that position if there was no compatibility in views.
Let's not forget the Warcraft franchise whose constant support of high levels of customization throughout the series even gave birth to an entirely new game genre: MOBAs. The innovation there lies in introduced concepts which hadn't been there before and I didn't and certainly could not name them all.
Yes, that was once a key strength of them actually and I am aware of that eventually there will be diminishing returns. Still as time went by - a decade actually - they may have found themselves outpaced and as such it was more and more easier for them to copy and incorporate rather than literally re-invent the wheel just in a more circular form than before. Also they seem to have become too afraid of experimenting in fear of alienating the lower denominators within their playerbase.
I think the interview is with some guys that worked on Torchlight 2 if I am not mistaken.
From what I know artwork comes before any actual 3d/2d modelling so guess both metzen and didier had some creative input even at an early stage in game dev.
Good thing I have Torchlight 2. In D3 I could go several days to find even one upgrade. In Torchlight 2, there's always something to use.
It amuses me how Torchlight 2 is the vastly superior game.
The game has a better loot system, but that doesn't really matter when the developers don't understand the basics of making a game, and that is the connection between your game avatar and you.
It's sad, it could have been a lot better game if they just understood the basics.
Their whole marketing motif was "lol it's cheaper than Diablo" literally that's it.
Last edited by Diocassius; 2013-01-23 at 03:47 PM.
What you are saying is that Activision forced Blizzard to being selling in game items for real money. You say this because Blizzard wasn't doing this before they were purchased by Activision. You also say that the overall quality of the game has declined due to Activision's involvement in the developmental process.
Let's start with the first point you made. Activision forcing Blizzard to sell in game items for real money.
Now, there could certainly have been a push from Activision in favor of this... I could agree to that. However, I would think that it's more likely that Blizzard saw the monetization success of games that run on a microtransaction system (think Guild Wars and the like). They then realized that this was an untapped market for Blizzard games and saw the potential for not only money making, but bringing fun/cosmetic items into the game. You must remember, Blizzard has the card game loot too... which could have easily spurred this in to creation. People buying the card game for the loot items (spectral tiger, x-51 nether rocket, mottled drake, etc) but not getting them will eventually stop buying the cards. The online store allowed those people to reap similar benefits without the RNG factor and thus Blizzard is able to keep cashing in on it.
All that said, Activision could have helped Blizzard see the untapped market sitting in front of them. Which I don't really see as a bad thing. I mean, we as people have the option to not purchase these vanity/cosmetic items and we have yet to see Blizzard offer "Must Have" items for real money.
Okay, so on to point two. The overall quality of the game declining since the Activision merger.
I am willing to say that Activision is indirectly responsible for an apparently loss of quality, but they aren't the main cause. Assuming this drop in quality truly exists. Activision is in the business of making money. They also know that a quality product (or a popular IP) is the way to get this done. They aren't going to intentionally drop the quality of a game because they stand to lose money on that deal.
Now then, I would guess that Activision gets a little bit of say when it comes to the design direction of the game. In the same way that NCSoft gets a say in what Arenanet does with Guild Wars 2. Activision will have meetings with the top brass of Blizzard to see where the game is at any given moment in time (this is known as a Vertical Slice). They would also get to see any results stemming from play sessions or UX testing (User Experience). They would then get a chance to give input on the findings. What they don't get is direct creative control of the game. That is something Blizzard retains. Blizzard may choose to act on input given by Activision, but Activision can't outright nix something Blizzard decides to do. Nor can they force Blizzard to do something that Blizzard feels will be a hindrance to the game/IP.
Finally, about the potential quality loss of Diablo 3. I would have to ask how much of that comes from your dislike of the current game. From my experience, when someone becomes bored with any given item, they tend to look for ways to justify giving it up. One of those ways to say that the overall quality of the game has dropped significantly. Usually, this means that the player has grown bored or is simply unhappy with what they have in front of them and needs a way to justify their feelings. Please note, I am not calling you out in any way shape or form. Just stating that the perceived drop in quality could be nothing more than your distaste for the game in its current state.
I sort of went off on a tangent there huh. Hope all that makes sense. If it doesn't, let me know and I will try to clear it up as best I can.
---------- Post added 2013-01-25 at 06:45 AM ----------
A good example of corp pressure would be to make them release the game unfinished in the spring. D3 sells a ton of copys (company value goes up), blizzard goes up for sale by vivendi in the summer and upcoming xpansion pack for wow in the fall. They really baited that hook to be sold, didnt work out though.
without the RMAH blizzard makes no money post launch while with it they do. I dont see anything wrong with the RMAH itself i just wish at launch it was easier to gear your character for harder difficulites without feeling like you had to use it.
Activision basically just get to have its name on official documents and that's about the extent of there influence over Blizzard.
I disagree with Ravenblade in post #20 regarding the secret of blizzards success.
He states it was a combination of innovation and polish that led to their success. Wrong and wrong. the TRUE secret was battle.net. THAT'S where the real value was.
The games were good. Dont get me wrong. But what put Blizzard over the top were the social / community tools battle.net provided. Starcraft and D2 were truly social games, with lots of in-game community building for the era they were released in.
World of Warcraft, while not on battle.net, provided a vastly improved social structure for people to talk and build ingame communities.
But then came battle.net 2.0.
2.0 rolled BACK in-game social features. Gone were chat channels. Gone was naming custom games. D3 in particular feels like some console game for the nintendo in the 1980s with essentially a dead online community.
Bnet was the secret. And they are MISSING it. They need a total revamp to infuse this game with a vibrant community feel again. Either that, or they can think their success was about polish and innovation and Blizzard will be shell of its former self.
Seriously, anyone that think there was corporate pressure in a game delayed for almost 5 years isn't right on their mind.
---------- Post added 2013-02-11 at 07:42 PM ----------
The real problem was how the always online DRM forced the players to have a connection to it at EVERY game session, by depriving us of your cheated, alone, private game where we used programs to get gear for free, so we can feel tempted to get it by effort in a ladder system.
And how the developers used this always online DRM to guessed manipulations on the loot, so they could play overlords of the market, by maximizing profits.