Mtv’s MP Blog has dribbled forth their daily tidbit from the Jay Wilson interview they conducted a couple of weeks ago, and today’s is actually pretty interesting. In this one Jay talks about approachability and difficulty scaling in Diablo 3. The game is very easy early on, he explains, but it ramps up considerably in later sections, and has a great deal of depth over the long term. Yes, this is fairly standard “easy to learn, tricky to master” Blizzard game design 101, but it sounds so captivating when it’s about Diablo 3!
Keeping the game approachable is key for Wilson. ?It?s one of the reasons why we made some of the choices we made, like when we pulled out the potion system,? he said. ?When we wanted to add a hot bar we knew we had to pull the potion stuff out. Every time we add something, we have to pull something out to keep the game very simple and straightforward to play.?
?One of the things that happened in ?Diablo II?,? Wilson continued, ?was the player was faster than most of the monsters and had pretty much infinite health because they would just pop as many potions as they wanted. So when you have a player who has more mobility, more health and endless power, essentially the only thing you can really do to challenge [the players] is to kill them? by just spiking the difficulty.?
I’ve no argument with Jay’s overall design theory, but the disinformation about potions he and the rest of the D3 team have perpetuated in every interview since the WWI is beginning to wear on me. Can whoever next interviews him point out that most high level characters in Diablo 2 hardly ever drink potions? D2 isn’t too easy because it’s got potions; it’s too easy since leech and mana regen equipment is so common and powerful.