Diablo Learns from WoW

All the cool stuff is happening on the Diablo 3 forums, as far as roundabout WoW internal design philosophy goes. For example, this is Bashiok:

You’re overestimating what stat points actually provided, customization-wise in Diablo II, and really overestimating what skill points did.

Diablo (1) did not have skill trees, it was a feature added to Diablo II, and then more or less copied by World of Warcraft. Some could say to World of Warcraft’s detriment as it’s been struggling with how to cope with a skill tree system, which has huge inherent issues with very little benefit, for years. Diablo III, like Diablo II, is an evolution of the series and game systems.

Saying that Diablo III shouldn’t learn from the successes and mistakes in World of Warcraft, let alone Diablo II or any other game, is just nonsensical.

Bashiok went on to post some Youtube links of Jay Wilson being interviewed about a host of Diablo 3 design questions. One off-shoot of that was about Diablo 3 PvP, in which he very strongly expressed disgust about how “PvP wags the tail” when it comes to WoW design, and that it would be “over his dead body” for the same to happen in Diablo 3. In fact, this is what he literally said vis-a-vis WoW:

Even the amount that PvP can alter the PvE game in WoW is unacceptable to us. Whenever we run into a case of “this would be really cool for us in PvE,” the PvP guy goes [raises hand] “That kind of screws PvP,” the answer is always “Shut up, PvP guy. It’s awesome in PvE and so that’s what we’re doing.”

This is not particularly groundbreaking news (the tension between PvE and PvP has been officially recognized for years), but it is fascinating to me hearing a more candid take on these subjects from designers. And, of course, what it could mean in design moving forward. Given that PvP is essentially free, infinitely recurring content while patches take 6-7 months to phone in lovingly craft, such hostility is… instructive.

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Posted on September 15, 2011, in Diablo, WoW and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.