Did you enjoy the Blizzcon 2009 gameplay movie, and think the characters looked great, the spells big and impressive, and the desert setting a lot of fun to explore? Well then you’re clearly not a “real” Diablo fan, since you should have spent your viewing time nit picking the shade of green used in poison spells, complaining about the glowing weapons, and disagreeing with the lightning choices.  Yes, it’s time for another DiabloWikiart controversy!

    Srsly, some fans are going there again, with a half dozen selected images, each marked up with critical commentary and comments on the various pros and cons of each image. Bashiok saw the post and leapt right into the fray, stating his counter claims with some ferocity. Quotes follow, with thumbnails of the half dozen new color controversy screens, all of which you can view in the appropriate gallery.

    Yeah, and that’s cool. It was said I don’t know how many times at this BlizzCon alone that we’re always working against the issue of having too many effects that are too crazy and over the top going off at the same time. So yeah, it’s always a potential problem. I just don’t think our artists need to be drawn a schematic of how to fix it. They’re paid professionals, they do this for a living.

    I don’t like good ideas going to waste. Over this past week quite a few members have been discussing this only to be rejected by a lot of “supporters to brightness”. I am getting this growing suspicious they are employees of yours.

    The reasons we would like a tone down of spell effects / lighting is because they are unnaturally bright and don’t blend into the game world. They don’t have that “diablo touch” or feel, yet. They dominate the battle by flowing over the enemies and they are just plain too bright.

    Bashiok: They seem to indicate, in an unnecessarily blurry way, that spell effects should change depending on the environment. Which is a really odd and unnecessary direction. They also seem to indicate that Diablo games do not have bright/flashy/glowing weapons, armor, enemies, or spell effects to help differentiate things on-screen, that each environment should be a brown mess and spells are indistinguishable from the background. I can only assume they did not play Diablo II.

    Truthfully whoever created those images has an entirely distorted perception of what Diablo is. Really.

    But hey, thanks for the feedback. It was delivered in a very hostile way.

    Click through to read two more long point by point posts in this series, and to see the rest of the fan-corrected screenshots.

    That wasn’t the end of things, and after some fans called out Bashiok’s “D2 was also bright and flashy” comments, he tried to back them up.

    Ah ok, fair enough, maybe not so much on weapons. A mistake. Screenshot it.

    There were more than a few.

    Do any of those blend in? Diablo II always used very bright garish colors to help give indicators to the players to serve the gameplay. There was nothing wrong with it, but condemning what’s in one hand while hiding the other is just untruthful.

    But in general it was much less flashy and noisy. Maybe that’s the reason that Diablo II can have 8 players before things start to get messy, and DIablo 3 only needs 4 to make that happen.

    Bashiok: Wholly disagree. And we limit to 4 because we recognize that even in Diablo II 8 was way too many people, that anything above 4, even in Diablo II, made a terrible mess of the game.


    I’m sure that Blizzard have a bunch of awesome talented artists and animators working on that stuff. It just that things still look a little bit over the top / unnecessary and simple people like me would like to know why…

    Bashiok: We want the game to look awesome. Skills should feel awesome. And more importantly you should be able to tell what each skill is. But I would disagree that most people are actually curious, as you are. The OP and others want to tell us that they know how to make a game better than we do, and I find that insulting.

    PLEASE, be curious, ask why, give some reasoned feedback. But marking up a screenshot with red marker like it’s a test and we’re being graded by a teacher, it’s a hostile approach as far as I’m concerned.

    The skills are absolutely not final, we understand the issues with skills being too noisy, as I said, and it’s something we’re aware of and will keep on top of.

    And yet more, a short time later:

    Yes, but the garish green color for poisoned enemies was rather unnecessary. Also, saying “Well Diablo 2 had some garish colors so, therefore, any garish and/or over-the-top colors we put in D3 is justified” is not a good argument.

    Bashiok: Quote from the OP: “They don’t have that “diablo touch” or feel, yet.”  He was drawing direct comparisons to previous games, and to that, I say that we’re not straying.


    Plus, In none of those screen shots you linked did the effects so completely overpower the scene as we’ve been seeing in Diablo 2.

    Bashiok: Ok fine, I’ll go find better examples. Bottom line is that we all know Diablo II is commonly bright, colorful, and messy with effects. It’s insincere to propose otherwise.


    And, is it really good design to make every spell and effect over-the-top to convey “power” or give it an “epic” feel? Aren’t there other ways to go about that than simply making very bright and garish animations?

    Bashiok: Yes it is good design, because it’s easy to then build variations, less powerful versions, or tone it back. Make everything as awesome and amazing as possible, then you work your way back if necessary to a point where it all works together. There’s no real way to be completely precise with it on the first shot, so why not make things awesome?

    But overall, yes IT IS awesome design to make everything feel epic. Do you want to put points into a skill and think it feels weak?


    Arguing about whether or not “most” people are “curious” is pointless. Neither you nor the OP has any real statistics for how much of the D3 audience is concerned about it. What you do know for sure is that there are some people who are concerned about it.

    Bashiok: And I think I’m just tired of stating over and over that it’s a known concern. Everyone has a bad day, just give me this one as a mulligan.

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