Diablo 3 Podcast #84: Jay Wilson’s Resignation

Flux and Elly chew over Jay Wilson’s surprising and sudden resignation as Diablo 3’s Game Director. What, why, when, where, who, how, and more, all discussed on this show.

Jay’s surprising departure spurred another surprise; the return of Elly to The Diablo Podcast. (With any luck she’ll return fairly soon, as we’ve got a 2012 Year in Review show in the works.) Neither of us exactly “knew” Jay, but we’d had interactions with him and some brief in-person conversations, and we’ve certainly observed the highs and lows of his work, both in Diablo 3 and as a spokesperson for Blizzard Entertainment.

Topics covered on this show include:

  • The resignation news and the timing of the news.
  • Rob Pardo recruited Jay to run the D3 team and he (and others at Bliz) still support him.
  • How must it have felt for Jay to work 6.3 years on D3 before it was released, for the release to be rocky, and then to become a punching bag for every disaffected fan.
  • How Jay aged 15 years during D3’s development and how we could judge the game’s progress and crunch time by the hollows under Jay’s eyes at game conventions.
  • The infamous “F that loser” event and its fallout, and how Jay once again took bullets for the team.
  • Jay’s mysterious future at Blizzard.
  • Who will be the new D3 Game Director? Why might they benefit from bringing in an outsider with fresh ideas.

  • The Diablo Podcast Episode Guidein the DiabloWiki provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    48 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Podcast #84: Jay Wilson’s Resignation

    1. It is interesting how Jay’s “F*ck that loser” has eventually caught up to himself, isn’t it? ^^

      • Going to have to agree with you on that one. I’ll be voting with my wallet on the next Jay game instead of complaining after the fact. Also this podcast inspired me to actually visit the incgamers diablo facebook page and vote with my real name and everything. I did it to impress my friends…

      • Nor I.

        I find it hilarious too to claim that hes worked on this game for “7 years,” when the games clearly only been in development around 3. And is still in beta.

    2. Mornings from europe. Im going to put this on my mp3player for todays marathon. Podcast about jay wilson in my ears while running – cant go wrong there πŸ™‚

    3. Enough of this Jay Wilson nonsense already. Jay here Jay there it’s like he’s a God or something.

      Diablo 3 hasn’t been well recieved overall so he didn’t do a very good job. Now he’s leaving. Maybe some people will be happy. End of story.

    4. RE: Changing items and the RMAH, they already had two patches that made a whole lot of items worthless: the IAS nerf and the legendary patch.

    5. warhammer 40k is awesome, after jay was gone they made warhammer 40k 2, and that was a big failure.

    6. I can only say good riddance.
      His fallout over the twitter thing really showed he has no place in the public. The guy should stick to garage coding until he learns to control himself at the least.

    7. I really hope that the new game director will be a passionate gamer with some developer and game industry insights and not a passionate developer with some gaming habits..

    8. Great podcast! I really enjoyed it.

      I feel bad for Jay. It can’t get much worst than being remembered as “that guy who killed the Diablo franchise”.

    9. Nice podcast. And “All the people in Diablo community would never use such language” is a winner, I almost fell off the chair πŸ˜€

    10. awesome podcast. it’s a nice refresher from reading all the hateful and often immature comments going around

    11. The only reason I “blame” Jay is because he was the ‘face’ of Diablo 3. maybe all these “awesome” choices were not his maybe they were but regardless he was in charge of the project but I do agree there is no reason to attack him personally. I think that is the reason he is moving on to something else — they want to show that they are doing something with D3. The problem is:


      I’m not so sure they can fix what has been done with the game. NOTE: I really only play HC! Items are to simplified. Everyone is trying to find the EXACT same items. WTF?!? THAT is the stupidest thing evar! I may never have found several items in D2 but I did find several BiS items for various builds. I have never had more than 2mil gold on hand – and my gear is really laughable. I do a nice Pox ring — so my choice is do I give it to my WD or sell it to perhaps gear up several characters a bit better.

      I don’t think they can fix the problem with items and here’s why – the game is item based for everything; your skills mean little other than the graphics that are displayed. There is no reason to use most “runes” since you do not need to change the damage type for any reason and a bunch of them simply make it so you use less of your resource (THIS SHOULD BE A GEM’s JOB) not a rune. Again, in D2 your skills meant more which is why you could have “naked” character builds. Add to this the simplified system of ONE stat wanted. again, WTF?!?

      So everyone wants the same items with a change in one stat – STR, INT, or DEX. GENIUS!!!

      So while they may fix some abilities so that people can play slightly different builds it doesn’t matter since each of those builds still needs the same items. YAY!

      /rant over

    12. I’ve been reading through the stuff again, and I must say: What did Pardo think when he installed someone with a heavy RTS background as game director for Diablo 3? I mean, seriously, what did he expect? New, fresh ideas? Come on! If I want that, I put 1 or 2 RTS devs into the team, but the director HAS TO BE a top notch H&S professional who can than evaluate the input from the RTS guys.

      • yeah right, but where do you find a director which has shipped a AAA-ARPG?
        It’s not like this happens every year or even every 10 years as its now πŸ™‚

    13. Many of you commenters here are totally immature. This just shows the sad makeup of this incgamers “community’

      • That’s your contribution is to insult people? Was it worth dragging yourself away from you troll pit for that.

    14. 1) Never post anything on Facebook/Twitter unless you want it seen by many people. Even if posting on a private feed.
      – Communicate with the players, speak to them about upcoming changes, features, and have an open discussion with them regarding their concern. Also, make changes that are suggested sometimes and put on the PTR, see what players think and take the feedback. I’d say deploy to live and see what all players think, if negative, remove the feature. However, as has been noted, D3 is slowly getting features from D2 put into it. With Path of Exile, Grim Dawn and Marvel Heroes around the corner they will need something to keep the ARPG people playing besides the AH.

      2) The developers (Wyatt Chang, Andrew Chambers, etc.) aren’t making great decisions, they are barely making any changes at all.
      – Paragon Levels are not interesting, useful or fun. They are just a band-aid because itemization, skills, and inherent power are horribly designed.
      – “New” Legendaries don’t fix the itemization problem. They just made legendary items the BEST for almost all slots (gloves, amulet, rings are the only exception). Thus, it didn’t solve the problem it just made rares worthless.
      – Infernal Machine is a cop-out to the problem that is both itemization, end game and paragon leveling. There is nothing original about it, in fact it takes UBERS from D2:LOD and then makes the item completely worthless except to help with Paragon leveling. And since Paragon leveling is a worthless endeavor anyways it didn’t fix any problems it set out to resolve.
      – PvP, dueling is what it is, should have damage reduced by about 90% of other than that leave it be.
      – Balance, what balance? Most runes are still trash, the only saving grace is PvP is seeing “bad” runes get used due to being so good at one shotting players. That is fine, PvP can fix the damage issue but runes themselves are garbage and 1-2 are useful per skill, and only about 60% of skills for a class are useful. This needs to change, but never seems to even be looked at (increasing numbers doesn’t fix anything as we have seen with Monk “buffs”).
      – Gold being the only commodity with zero customization or use for farming anything else. Horrid system whereby the economy is driven by a single good. And the good is ridiculously easy to come by and there is no “standard” prices that are regulated. The system has failed miserably because of Itemization, Crafting (no reason to use it, no gold sink), the high cost of gems (that aren’t used for anything besides sockets), and no other tradable good is what gives people the most grief in the game.

      3) People who criticize/hate/talk about new features in a negative way are probably the best feedback you can receive. It points out flaws, problems, issues, and gives a general sense of what could be done to make the feature better.
      – Hearing, wow your product is so good! Omg best thing ever never change it! etc. leads to Apple. Apple products are trash, and anyone who looks at them critically knows so. People only buy them because they are “easy” and marketed well. I have an Apple TV (gift, I didn’t purchase it) and it is bloody aweful. Easy to setup, seems to have neat features, but constantly wants to find my Home Sharing (iTunes is the problem here), disconnects from WiFi (please put something other than a crap network card into the TV thanks), and doesn’t stream well because of the above 2 problems. How this got by QA I’ll never know, but it isn’t the only thing that is garbage with Apple.
      However, Apple just laughs it off because they make so much money, but now Samsung and others are catching up, and overtaking Apple because it isn’t innovative, treats their customers like shit, and just plain doesn’t care. Sound like some other company?

    15. In Poland people have talked about almost everything aspects that should be changed or not in D3(skills, PvP, farms, items, goal, story, music,ect.). Generaly they think that this game is really/quite good. D1, D2 and D3 has advanteges and disadvantages. But in the end all agreed that the biggest lack is atmosfere, mood, climate in Jays product.
      Maybe If there was dark music with dark mood and dialogues, people could forgive everything.
      P.S. I love this game, BTW

      • i am glad for blizzard that there are still people out there who like their products ( sc2 excluded, good game)

    16. Great podcast. Interesting what Flux said about the wow managers trying to force a skill system without elective mode. OMG that would be a disaster. It sounds like Jay had major challenges to get the elective mode implemented. If that is the case I’m not sure how much power he actually had in the direction of the game. Something is telling me that this is the core issue about the development of D3; too much wow developers involved. Their impact probably screwed up the itemization, which is THE problem in D3.
      Unfortunate that Jay ended up being the face man for bad decisions he perhaps disagreed on, and he can’t tell the public. I totally understand if he is fed up and wants another job. Good luck in the future Jay and thank you for the elective mode!

    17. All I can say is that after the abuse Jay Wilson took, what qualified game director is going to want this job? From an HR perspective, I can’t imagine the difficulties of filling this role with talent.

      • From looking at the job description, who would want the position? It’s a baby-sitting, PR job, with little to no power over what actually goes into the game. The game designers and executive producer have this power. The Director just has the responsibility to make sure everyone has what they need and that everyone works together efficiently, along with being the PR liaison between fans and the game developers.

        It sounds to me like Jay’s job was to shovel us the _____ and tell us how awesome it was going to be.

    18. The game is beyond repair it seems. You would need to fix the art style, remove RMAH and Gold AH, bring back crucifixes, fix itemization, bring back randomization not to mention balance most of the classes. You are better off trying a Diablo 4 than fixing Diablo 3 because of all the work someone would have to do.

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