Jay Wilson Interview with Railgun

Jay is in front of the cameras once again and this time the guys from Railgun.tv ask the questions. Jay discusses the background story in Diablo 3 as well as some of the features in the game such as checkpoints, items, magic find, RMAH, followers, Inferno etc.

According to Jay they are still fine-tuning the character levels and determining when players should move onto Nightmare, Hell etc. Listening to Jay it really sounds like they are not 100% sure how they are going to structure the difficulties which is a little surprising this late in the day (or is it late?).

Jay also mentions that the team will be committed to the game post release and it won’t be a case of finishing the game and the dev team moving on. They plan to keep tweaking and balancing and looking for feedback from the community post-release. It sounds like they are going to release the game in as solid a state they think is possible and then start working on making changes based on feedback. So out the box when it ships I think we can expect quite a bit to change over the first four weeks or so of release.

Thanks to Lars from Railgun for sending that over.


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  1. Jay again expresses the bizarre view that Hardcore is all about bragging rights and thinks single players did not play hard core.  He either knows little about the Diablo community or is trying to pull the wool over a lot of eyes. I played a lot of hardcore single player characters as a lot of other people did as well.

    • Not what he was saying…

      He means there’s no bragging rights in having a single player character HC character because you can easily just use a hack or copy/paste backup your save file to make it so you’re not really killable. Or just use a hack to created a level 80 char from the get go. Geeze man, you are too grumpy!

      • I like how you assume all single players are hacks and cheats… 🙄

        • Assumes you! You’d be wrong.

        • He’s just trying to ape what Jay Wilson said. Which was ridiculous in its own right.

          • It’s only ridiculous if you didn’t comprehend what he was saying. 
            I’ll be the first to admit, he could sometimes choose his words with a little more care, but don’t be so quick to demonize everything he says.
            I play SP HC, myself, and I don’t automatically assume that he’s calling us all cheaters.  He was merely stating that the possibility existed in single-player for hacking your character.
            He wasn’t implying that everyone who played SP HC did that.

          • I comprehend precisely what he was saying. He was admitting that he doesn’t know anything about the hardcore community, and is basing what he does know on assumptions.

        • How many single players used ATMA?

          • And how many bnet players used map hacks, TPPK hacks, item hacks, CHICKEN HACKS, Pindle bots, Baal bots, or have otherwise indirectly benefitted from it? Yeah, ATMA is obviously pure evil, especially considering you can do muling with yourself (if you have two sets of CD keys, which many SP’s have) or friends (although, admittedly, both change your current map). 🙄

      • You obviously never played Hardcore then.

      • Regardless, it’s a ridiculous statement; I could have gotten my bachelor’s degree by plagiarism, the winner of the Tour de France could have been using illegal medical stuff (not sure about the correct term), etc. etc.

    • You’ll get downvoted by people who don’t play hardcore, GOW. That’s simply the way of it.
      They can argue wording all they want, but Jay has made his “understanding” of HC players quite clear in numerous interviews.

      I mean, so far they’ve been handling HC very respectfully, so that’s good news.

    • It struck me as well. I’ve been exclusively playing single player HC D2 for the last years, because that is the only way I know there won’t be cheating and hacked items. I don’t need bragging rights, I just like to challenge myself.

      This will not be the case if their online system is secure though. And they’ve been doing a pretty good job with SC2, so I’m not too worried about it. But Jays comment just struck me as funny since I experience it just the other way around as he’s explaining it. To him single player offline = cheats & hacks, while to me online Bnet = cheats & hacks.

  2. With much of what he has been spouting lately about the “community”, I find that he is wrong more often than he is right.  I also have this sneaking suspicion that he personally has purchased more items for D2 than anyone else out there (he seems REALLY adamant that almost everyone did it (though, I have yet to meet a single one, in person)).

    • But you have yet to meet a single person, period. So that’s not saying much. /jokes (I <3 u)

      apparently 9% of people did do it… that’s close enough to almost everyone for me! Hey, but if people think it’s going to help improve their penor size I’m happy to sell them my junk on the AH. 😀

      • “help improve their penor size I’m happy to sell them my junk on the AH.”
        Oh gawd…  If I was drinking something it’d be all over my monitor right now.

    • Go to Google.  Type in “Diablo 2 items”.  See all of those sites selling D2 items?  Even to this day the owners of those sites are making money.  Perhaps the majority of the community did not buy items…but enough did to keep the item selling sites running.  

      And he was spot-on with trading being a major part of D2.

  3. in this interview, it sounds like he’s saying that all 3 Prime Evils will be in Diablo 3.

  4. Poor Jay, he looks really frazzled and in need of a weekend at a spa I think.

  5. I liked his comments about relative power and keeping a challenge at end game.  While it was fun to have all the best items in d2 and feel invincible, it wasn’t challenging and got old.  It’d be great if after your character is fully geared, inferno isn’t a cakewalk but just easier.  I want it to still require thought/strategy and be a fun challenge.

  6. Not too surprised that they are still tweaking what levels they want each player to be when hitting a new difficulty level, although I would have preferred to hear that they had it nailed down by now. 🙂  Personally I hope they go the route where right after finishing Normal a character should be strong enough to head straight into Nightmare and to do the same with Nightmare to Hell.  

    And how old is Cain at this point?  130?

    • Sure he’s been a classic character for every Diablo game, but… Geez.. Cain… just die.

    • It’s only been like 22 years since the start of the first Diablo.

    • Deckard Cain was 70 in D2 and 90 in D3. There is (conspiracy) theory that the real Cain died long time ago (perhaps even before D2) and that Belial, Lord of Lies,  took over his body and has been trying to kill/currupt you/whatever evil characters like doing.

  7. Did you catch his comment on the release date?  He said, we aren’t announcing a release date yet, but we are hopeful for 2011 (it’s almost September, so if they thought it would slip, no way he makes that hopeful statement).  At this stage with beta due any day now, they have a really good idea of their release plans.  His comment was direct enough, that I believe he is hinting to the community that it will be announced at Blizzcon.

  8. i just wanna play the game. it comes out february 7th ;), thats my guess at least.

  9. Jay Wilson really should just shave his head so he is bald. That hair is ridiculous.

  10. I like the honest approach they are taking to end game and post-release tweaking. You didn’t hear a lot of this from north, they just kind of acted as if the game was done even though only Act I normal was tested externally. It just makes a lot of sense.

    Hopefully, though, they won’t have some tiny patch team left to shoulder the burden of doing all of this. I doubt that would happen, though, because they’ll also be doing expansion stuff in the meantime and those expansion decisions will probably slowly integrate into the game before the expansion is out. 

    But please don’t torture some poor Peter Hu tasked with 1.10. I still feel horrible for that guy.

    • Blizzard has learned a lot from working on WoW and I think we’ll see some of that knowledge applied to supporting D3.  

      Since PvP is (currently) not a major focus and they are dealing only with 5 classes as opposed to WoW’s dozen or so + races, patching should be much easier and cleaner as well.

  11. That interview seems to imply that they aren’t “On track for a 2011” release anymore, at the end.  He seems more hopeful that it will happen, rather than still being on track for it.
    Not that it doesn’t surprise me.  Until there’s a release date, they don’t have one.  That’s the nature of Blizzard.

    • You just threw all of my hopes out of a window.

    • Hmmmm….good point.  That is a change in word usage from earlier.  We could be splitting hairs here but…it is Blizzard.

      I still think the fact that they are doing public beta soon is a good sign.  If the public beta doesn’t start by early Sept though it may very well miss its 2011 release date.

      • Wouldn’t they determine pretty  quickly that the servers could handle the stress-test?
        The way I imagine it:
        Day 1: Keys handed out
        Day 1: Servers loaded
        Day 1: Servers fail
        Day 2: Servers updated
        Day 5: Servers loaded
        Day 5: Servers keep up
        Day 6: More keys
        Day 6: Servers fail
        Day 7: Servers updated
        Day 11: Servers loaded
        …Continue until you have reached your goals.
        Overly simplified, yes.  Completely in my “non-industry” brain, yes.  But, to me,  this is what I hear when they say it’ll be a short beta.

        • As I understand it (and correct me if I’m wrong) the public beta is focused more on hardware compatibility than stress testing the servers.  If this is indeed the case than I could see them only needing about two months worth of testing since their primary goal would be to see how the game performs with odd system setups (“An intel chip and an ATI gpu?!”).

          If it is a stress test it could be a little bit longer.  For one, as you point out in your example, they would be progressively adding more keys as they go along.  Also they would need to make sure the servers could handle the user flow for more than just a day. 🙂

          And this is assuming everything goes smoothly.  A fatal server crash or finding out that certain hardware combinations don’t play nice with the game could add more time to the beta as Blizzard tries to figure out what went wrong.  Which, in turn, could push back the game.  Probably why they keep using vague phrases like “hopefully will be out in 2011″…better to keep it up in the air than say “Oh, it will be out in November” and then have to go back on their word when something screws up.

  12. Nobody likes changes? Every time I see a patch update for PC games I get excited and read through the patch notes as it downloads.
    For some reason console updating is just an annoying hassle though >.>

    • I take it you’ve never been to the WoW forum after an update.  Here’s an example of a change:

      *Warrior cool down for Hamstring has been increased from 1.0 sec to 1.5 sec*

      And here is a few examples of what follows on the forums:

      “OMG WTF that skill is useless now!”
      “Thanks Blizzard for screwing up my favorite build”
      “Sure, they’ll nerf the Warriors but they do nothing to balance out the Warlock”

      And on and on and on.

      Having the most popular MMO on the market also means Blizzard has had to deal with the largest player base ever and their assorted…let’s go with “concerns”.  This has probably colored their perception at this point, for good or ill.

      Considering that D3 will probably end up with an even larger user base than D2 (Whole new generation of gamers, WoW turning more people on to Blizzard games than ever before) he’s probably just voicing what the team is already expecting; a lot of angry forum posts for when they attempt to balance out certain skills.

  13. It seems to me, based on limited act1 beta and hes comments, that “when its done Blizzard” is more or less turning into “get the product out in half beta state Blizzard” like so many other companies do. With targeted 2011 release date so many gamesystems changing radically and comments about tuning everything post launch i just dont feel confident Blizzard is following their “when its done” philosophy and is trying real hard to release no matter what. Probably has to do with ToR and wow numbers dropping.

    • You can say “when its done.” all you want, but the nature of a video game pre-release is that there are just some bugs and glitches you will never find until the mass public plays it. The closer you are to the project the harder it is to see mistakes or glitches sometimes. So yes, when its done is great, but at some point they have to release the game, bugs and all, just to get it infront of us and to start working out the rest of the unfound glitches.

    • Doubt it.  Out of all the other gaming companies out there, Blizzard has the most “street cred” with gamers and the financial backing to sit on a title until it’s complete.  They aren’t like most companies out there where one poor selling title could shut them down.  Blizzard is in a league all its own.  Even their relationship with Activision is unique.  How many other game companies out there have had their brand name merged with the name of the company that just bought them?  

      Yes, WoW’s numbers are down…but it is still the #1 MMO out there.  And having 10+ million subscribers for several years has given Blizzard more money than some small countries.  

      There will still be some bugs.  There are always bugs.  Not a single game you have played has been “perfect” in this regard.  You may not have noticed them but they are there.  

      Blizzard is in a position every other game company wishes it could be in, so I don’t see them following the usual “just get it out!” date that many other studios follow.

  14. He blinked! He blinked, at 2:36, he blinked. 😯

  15. I love his naked Kerrigan keychain

  16. With this kind of feedback you have to ask yourself what kind of game you really want to make? Do you want to try and satisfy five different publishers with their different preferences or do you try and aim at making the game you want to make, and the game the community has shown such a big interest in since the release of the first trailer? We picked the latter.
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