Jay Wilson Interview from Gamescom @ Gamer.NL

EvilMe points us to Dutch site Gamer.NL where there’s a new interview with DiabloWikiJay Wilson from Gamescom last month. It’s a short interview, but they get right to the point with the requisite questions about the Real Money Auction House and the Always-Online DRM, before concluding with a couple of non-standard (and thus more interesting) questions about other ARPGs. I’ll quote the Google translation of those.

In recent years games and recently appeared as Torchlight Bastion clearly inspired by the Diablo series. Is there anything in this game that has inspired you?
Jay Wilson: Blizzard as a company is a major user of all media forms. We always carry that we are inspired by everything, be it books, movies or games. They inspire us very much.I do not know if there is a connection, but since Diablo III was announced, there are a lot of action-RPGs have been added. If so, I think it’s great. It’s a wonderful genre, and there is still a lot to participate. Look for Torchlight, many similarities with Diablo, but a completely different approach. That’s what we love. It’s very inspiring to see what others do with the genre. Thus, the dungeon crawler finally mature.

Diablo III but may actually still compete with much cheaper games that many of the same offer?
Jay Wilson: If you compare it to Diablo Torchlight or Bastion, you will see that our game has more content and better images. It’s a larger game. I would therefore prefer to turn around. Is not it great that we have a market where different games with different price levels can co-exist? Torchlight is well priced for the size of the game and I will not affect the game. It’s great to have a game at that level and it can spread over several sections. The price difference is an outlet for them, but I do not think Diablo III will be attractive not because it is a different price. I think it’s a different game, and so it is good that both games can coexist.

A very diplomatic answer by Jay, and realistic. But behind the scenes, don’t you think he and the other Diablo III developers are like, “We have to work our asses off so no TL2 or PoE other ARPG can steal our cake!” I hope they are, at least. Pride, ego, and competitive fire drive most of the really good/interesting things in this world, and I’d like Diablo III to be amongst them.

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28 thoughts on “Jay Wilson Interview from Gamescom @ Gamer.NL

  1. Diablo 3 is a class of its own compared to TL2, a whole other league. Just look at all the Diablo3 beta gameplay footage that is out now on YouTube. Diablo 3 stands out in every respect, and I think that TL2 might just be the niche game for the folks who travel a lot and don’t have an internet connection at hand all the time.

    • “TL2 might just be the niche game for the folks who travel a lot and don’t have an internet connection at hand all the time.”  TL2 also is great for people who like to mod their games.   The MOD tools that come with TL and now TL2 are amazing and in the right hands you can create a whole new game out of em.   I played TL and the one thing I said that would make it a better game was online support.    Will it impact D3 in anyway?  I might and that is a big might steal a sliver of the pie but Runic is a small enough studio that the sliver is all they really need.  

      I am glad to see there are other games out there it only adds to the appeal and broadens the options for those of us who truly love the ARPG genre.   I can say without a doubt I will be buying TL2 and D3.

  2. Interesting. Elsewhere in the interview, Jay argues that one of the advantages of being online continuously is that your characters will be stored for years to come. Although I have nothing against being online continuously, this doesn’t seem to be a waterproof argument. Games that are stored offline tend to last for years too.

    • He is probably speaking for the perspective of people who don’t know what character save files are. To them, changing a computer means losing all their single player saves.

    • Well… if you choose to rage and delete a character- they are still saved at Blizzard HQ and can be brought back. Same if someone deletes them and you didn’t want them to. Also- if your computer happens to blow up for some reason and all your files are lost, guess what: they are still alive at Blizzard ;p.

  3. Calling the online requirement DRM is a bit misleading for a couple reasons.  First, DRM is not the primary reason for the requirement.  The increased security granted by the client-server model is.  Second, it implies that the game can be played offline, but with constant online authentication.  This is the way most always-online DRM systems work, but is not true for D3.

  4. Finally the media catch up about the whole Torchlight thing. Thats been pissing me off big time, because it’s not just inspired by D3, it’s a total rip off. The Warriors skills in Torchlight , around half of them are skills that had been revealed at the time. Copyright? Sue them!

  5. I don’t think it is very hard to make a game that is better than Torchlight 2. Bastion on the other hand . . .
    Seriously, Diablo 3 will dominate the ARPG market no matter what, i think that is a given and when Jay says that it’s good that games like this can co-exist, he really means that he is not worried buy the competition. Do you think there is a single person that will play Torchlight 2 and not Diablo 3 ? Nope, but there will be plenty how do it the other way around (like myself).

    • ” don’t think it is very hard to make a game that is better than Torchlight 2.”

      Interesting, since you haven’t played TL 2 yet
      and any footage of TL2 you’ve seen is pretty much still alpha 

      in other words, you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about

      I’m not saying TL2 will be better than D3. I’m saying you have no idea what you’re talking about. You talk without facts. You talk like a D3 fanboy.

  6. Non diplomatic it would be “Lol you compare those half assed games to diablo ? No competition:”Anyone willing to spend cash on games will rather buy diablo then those gamee and with online requirement they are sure to convince whole lot of those unwilling to pay.

  7. Dutch can be a real biatch to translate online. It’s nice of you to offer to translate it for the others, Alysia 🙂

  8. I really don’t think they are competing against the coming ARPGs much, for that you would need a sizable group that actually looks at all ARPGs and decides which to buy depending on which they like the most while in reality most people are not even aware of TL2, PoE or Grim Dawn’s existence. You have some small fan bases for each of those games and certainly some of those won’t buy D3, but that group is just too small to make a difference.

    According to this site, they said they expect an audience roughly as big as WoWs, to do that they need to get people in who have never played any Diablo game, who are probably not even aware of D3’s existence, that is what they are competing for. To make a game so awesome that even people, who have no idea what Diablo is, get sucked in, just as they did for WoW. So you could say they are competing against all other games on the market, and then you get some worthy competition too.

  9. Dutch is my first language, so i tried to translate in a somewhat better way. Of course, i might have made some spelling mistakes or used a slightly different way of saying things, but this is what the interview states:

    It’s a question Blizzard will continue to answer with ‘we shall see’: Will Diablo III make 2011? We talked to Jay Wilson, game director of Diablo III. This time around we don’t discuss release dates, but we talk about the auction house, being online all the time and Torchlight.
    Gamer.nl: You’ve made some adjustments to the gameplay, like the new health-system and the salesmen that travel along that make the game faster and maybe even easier. Why did you choose to do so?
    Jay Wilson: Most adjustments are not pointed towards casual gamers I think, but they are mostly an attempt to take the optimal amount of pleasure from the game. In Diablo II you often used a portal to return to town and sell your stuff. That was pretty repetitif and above all an important activity. That’s why we prefer to seperate returning to town and fighting better. Now you will return to town to update your quests and upgrade your items, a.k.a. For more than just a full inventory.
    Recently you announced the auction house, where players can sell items for real money. Why did you choose for real money?
    Mainly because it was something players already did in Diablo II. There is already a healthy market from a third party where people exchange real money for items. Knowing that, we looked to add something that players always wanted, but then in an environment in which we can guarantuee it’s safe. We do charge some money to put items on the market, mainly to keep away useless items, and we charge money for the transaction, to maintain the servers and databases. Eventually we hope to earn a bit of money from the market, we are in the end a company looking to make money, but we don’t think it will be a big source of income. More over, we are afraid it might cost us money. But as a company, Blizzard is always aiming to offer a good service and if we do that right, the money will come eventually. People that want to use it will pay for it and others won’t.
    In what way will you control the auction house. Is it a completely free market, or do you restrict sellers to certain rules, to prevent abusement of the system?
    Our goal is to create a free market with the auction house. So we’re not gonna restrict prices or something similar. If people sell items for a lot of money and others want to pay for it, then that’s a decision the people involved make. Not only do we not control the market, it is also made in a way that we don’t get any advantage from it. It is not in our interest that you sell something for a high price, since we get a set amount of money per sold item, rather than a percentage, so the price doesn’t matter to us. And if the market doesn’t support de sale of an item, then that’s fine.
    There’s a bit of a controversy about being online permanently in Diablo III. Why did you decide to do it this way?
    For the same reasons as the auction house actually. We think it gives our players the best experience. This way we can offer a lot of services that players wouldn’t get if the game was offline. This way we can store characters permanently. If you de-install Diablo III and you come back two years later for an expansion, your characters are playable again. We offer a safe environment in which everyone can communicate with another, through friends lists, chatchannels and such. There are a lot of services in the game we can offer because it is played online. We try to make Diablo III an online game from the start. The amount of people that doesn’t have a reliable internet connection is so few that we don’t worry about excluding certain people.
    Over the past years there have been games like Torchlight and more recently Bastion, that have clearly been inspired by the Diablo-serie. Did these games inspire you as well?
    As a company, blizzard uses a lot of all media. We always carry out to be inspired by everything, whether it be books, films or games. They inspire us a lot. I don’t know if there’s a connection, but since Diablo III has been announced a lot of action-RPGs have joined the scene. If that’s the case, i love it. It’s a beautiful genre and there is a lot to custimize with. Take Torchlight for example, it has a lot of similarities with Diablo, but still it has a completely different approach. That’s something we love. It’s very inspiring to see what others do with the genre. That’s how the “dungeon crawler” finally reaches adulthood.
    But can Diablo III still compete with games that are a lot cheaper while offering a lot of the same?
    If you compare Diablo to Torchlight or Bastion, you’ll see that our game has more content and better graphics. It’s a bigger game. I’d rather reverse the statement. Isn’t it great that we have a market, where different games with different price-levels can coexist? Torchlight is well-priced for it’s size and by saying that i don’t mean to critize. It’s great that they can make a game on that level and spread it out over several parts. The difference in price is one of their major sellingpoints, but i don’t think Diablo III won’t be exciting because it’s at a different pricelevel. I think that it’s a different game and that it’s good that both games can exist along with the other.

    You’re welcome, tbpotn

  10. “Pride, ego, and competitive fire drive most of the really good/interesting things in this world, and I’d like Diablo III to be amongst them.”

    Well spoken Flux.

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