Bashiok on “Mega-Knockbacks” and Best-Selling Games

A couple of other tidbits from Bashiok’s posting frenzy this week.

A fan asks about some of the flying bodies observed in the gameplay movies. Bashiok replies with a new term.

If I had to guess it was probably a ragdoll death in which case the hit knocked the corpse away.

We do have a specific animation type done by hand for just about every enemy that we refer to internally as “mega knockbacks”. But I don’t know that we’ve shown or talked about them yet, so … I’ve probably said too much.

Elsewhere, a fan asks if D3 might become the biggest selling video game ever, and quotes the wikipedia list of top selling titles. Bashiok replies with some skeptical reality.

I know that comparing one number to another seems to be a good idea for how to gauge popularity or success of something, but statistics can be shaped and formed to fit any outcome desired. It sometimes takes a lot of research and information to find an actual common ground to compare one number to another.

A lot of these lists do their best to post numbers released by the different companies, but if you look at what the numbers are actually saying you couldn’t accurately compare all of them.

In our case not every region that plays World of Warcraft purchases a boxed product, so that coupled with the nature of the game, possibly the “best” number for us to gauge worldwide popularity is through active subscription numbers. For every release we also include a piece of text that explains exactly what we count as an active subscriber, and it’s a very logical, no-pulled-punches way of describing them.

To take that number of subscribers though and compare it to total boxes sold of other games would be inaccurate. These types of lists just don’t wholly exist with an actual baseline to compare them accurately, and that’s not the list maker’s fault, it’s just the nature of business to release a statistic that is favorable to your product.

After another fan points out the impossibility of the 2nd WoW Xpack having a higher listed sales figure than the first (you have to have BC to play WotLK), Bashiok adds a bit more on the unreliability of official box sale figures.

Exactly. Because those stats are copies sold within X amount of time, not total copies sold ever. See how these numbers can’t be compared? They’re pulled from press releases and laid out side-by-side with no logical way to compare them, except that they exist.


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  1. Arcane Distortion seems like the one that’ll be nerfed, to me. Especially when used in combination with slow time.
    No matter how they change the tree (unless they remove all of the active skills that are currently in it :p), I plan on going mostly arcane with my first wiz.

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