Max Schaefer on Diablo 3 from Gamescom

Rush has posted his Torchlight 2 hands-on report over at IncGamers,. It’s an interesting write-up, with his game observations woven into a conversation/interview with the ever-loquacious Max Schaefer. There was a bit of Diablo III in the discussion, of course, and here’s the quote.

The conversation naturally moved onto the Diablo series, and the first two games are obviously something Max is very proud of. Diablo 3 however has moved in a different direction with its real money trading and art style change. I got the feeling Max was a little disappointed with some of the changes that have been made, such as the removal of pentagrams and crosses, Max thought that was pretty ridiculous and not in the spirit of what the Diablo series was about.

On the Diablo 3 Real Money trading issues, Max had been following it a bit since it was announced a few weeks ago and he did say it was probably right for Blizzard. Max was also incredibly pleased with this decision and the direction Diablo 3 is now taking because it separates the two products completely. With Runic having a very open game which allows modding, LAN play and no always online requirement, it’s going to attract a different crowd of action RPG players or even Diablo players that may not be happy with the direction the game has gone in recent weeks.

It’s interesting how TL2 and D3 have fairly similar gameplay, and yet thanks to their very different publishers they’ve turned out to be diametrically opposed on issues of game access, modding, real money trading, freedom of play, etc. Perhaps some of the substantial numbers of fans who say they hate D3’s always-only DRM, and support of RMT, and lack of LAN-support will get their ARPG action on with TL2? I’m sure that’s what Max and the other TL2 devs are hoping, at least.

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46 thoughts on “Max Schaefer on Diablo 3 from Gamescom

  1. It’s an incredible world some people live in, where the concept of getting a full-priced ARPG, a F2P ARPG and a low-price ARPG is seen as taboo. It’s also strange that these offworlders even seem bitter that they’re not getting 3 identical games from 3 different publishers when anyone else would be quite pleased at the concept of basking in the golden era of ARPG-Gaming.

    • ^^one of the best posts ever
      I will play D3 (full-priced ARPG), Path of Exile (a F2P ARPG) and TL2 (a low-price ARPG)
      and I will also get GrimDawn when it comes out

  2. I think Max should stop bashing D3 already. It’s not his game it’s Blizzard’s and now he have left Blizzard so he doesn’t have anything to do with Diablo series. It’s like he’s trying to say that Blizzard is ruining his game which in fact it’s not his game and Blizzard is not ruining it. He’d better concentrate on his game if he don’t want it to fail.

    • I think your definition of the world “bashing” is a bit lacking, or it is because you have not really read the thing you are commenting fully.

      There is a difference between sensless bashing, and having a personal opionion of something 🙂

    • And I am not being biased here, but I can’t feel anything but disdain for Max Schaefer right now. The first game under his direction was a ripoff  of D2+D3, now so is the second. So many new studios are making a name for themselves by building new IPs, why can’t his team let Diablo be, and begin something new of their own? Why are they cannibalizing on D3?

      PReP, if you think Max Schaefer is dumb enough to “bash” Diablo 3 outright, then you should probably never start a business of your own. Make no mistake, he IS bashing the game, very gently, very diplomatically. What’s more, he drawing attention to the TL2 v/s Diablo 3 standoff where TL2 chances seem to be getting a bit better.

      The worst part is, if TL2 has a better story than TL1, I just might have to agree with his views 🙁

  3. Diablo 3 will clearly be the better game. Offline play, modding and no RMAH are not very persuading “original” features.

      • You don’t play a game for it’s features. You play it for the gameplay. And considering everything there is going to be more material, more armors, more skills and more everything in Diablo 3.

      • Some of us consider a restricted online experience a HUGE plus. The chance of playing with someone who cheats or hack is very small. You can’t even play some multi-player games online because people can corrupt your character files!

    • i will propably get both – except torchlight releases is after diablo 3.
      i dont expect torchlight2 be to be as good as d3 but i guess it will still be worth my buck. especially if it only costs 20 usd , just like TL1 did.

  4. More and more I get the idea Max just goes with the ‘angry d2 mob’.  If they yell RMAH sucks, or graphics are too Wowish. Max yells it some more and says TL does that better.

    • I don’t think so. He clearly is in favor of RMAH, and you use that as a point; so no he’s not “going with the angry D2 mob”. If anything, I actually believe that he has a sense of responsibility for the incredible game(s) he helped to create, and shares an interest in the game’s production as the rest of us do.

    • Considering Max helped create D1 and D2, and i’m assuming part of pre-2005 D3, it’s not surprising at all that he has feelings of dissapointment toward D3 in its current form. It’s his baby, of course he wants it to turn out to be an awesome game (or at least awesome in the eyes of the original team).

      Now he’s developing TL with features that HE believes are good for the game. And he obviously thinks that Blizz is doing certain things he feels are NOT good for the game, and is aware of the debate and controversy surrounding them. So of course he’s going to be happy when he gets a chance to hilight these differences in favor of his game.

      So RMAH – I don’t know if he supports it for all games, but definitely supports it for D3, because it differentiates between his ideas for a good game feature vs. Blizzard’s. Obviously D2 was popular without RMAH, so it’s not like D3 would LOSE fans if it came without RMAH; but since it IS, Max wants to show players “ok here is a game that hasn’t been tainted by RM trading”. The more Blizzard does things their “wrong” way, the more his “right” way shines.

  5. Torchlight2….. looks like a fucking Gamecube level game as far as graphics goes ESPECIALLY HOW IT’S 100% MORE COLORFUL THAN WoW. :S.. Just say’n though.

    Also, Max seems to be quite angry with Blizzard, judging from how much he’s bashing the game and dev team. Perhaps there was some disagreements that lead to his resign from Blizzard? Because him calling Torchlight 2 a “rival” to Diablo III is quite frankly insanely insulting.

    • Max has nothing but praise for the D3 dev team, he talks to guys at Blizzard all the time. Graphically, having seen TL2 in person now, I will say for me it was on par with D3, the style is just different.

  6. I am okay with Bill Roper but I don’t quite like Max. Although Bill may not completely agree with D3’s art but he still said about D3 and Blizzard Irvine with respect but Max seems like he is jealous of Blizzard.

  7. Hope to see all the whiners and complainers ignore D3 and play T2. Not like D3 won’t be able to survive without them, blizz has plenty of cash flow coming in all over the place, D3 won’t be any different.

  8. Max seems to be quite angry with Blizzard, judging from how much he’s bashing the game and dev team. Perhaps there was some disagreements that lead to his resign from Blizzard? Because him calling Torchlight 2 a “rival” to Diablo III is quite frankly insanely insulting.

  9. I don’t think so. He clearly is in favor of RMAH, and you use that as a point; so no he’s not “going with the angry D2 mob”. If anything, I actually believe that he has a sense of responsibility for the incredible game(s) he helped to create, and shares an interest in the game’s production as the rest of us do.

  10. I dont see all the hate you guys seem to be seeing from max … Ive followed TL since before TL1 was released.  These peeps came from the original diablo team and worked on mythic and then that got scrapped and they had to make their own company and thats what they did and they came out with a product called TL (their ultimate goal was/is a MMO – but they wanted to play these games first (easier gives them $ etc)).
    ya I Bet they are a bit sad they arnt in on the new d3 team since they are the ones that helped create it – so IMO its ‘OK’ to have an opinion about the game even if it isnt always d3 “is the greatest” … Heck and they are selling a competition product so how else you going to sell it? but expressing the differences you have with your game and IMO thats a smart move.
    ya sure he probably knows TL2 wont compete with the conglomerate that is blizzard and d3 but I bet it will still be a fun game that can be played offline (for all you laptop users or military personnel).
    I know Ill be buying it regardless how much I like d3 – TL was and is a cool product and Ill be happy to support their company.

  11. I don’t think so. He clearly is in favor of RMAH, and you use that as a point; so no he’s not “going with the angry D2 mob”. If anything, I actually believe that he has a sense of responsibility for the incredible game(s) he helped to create, and shares an interest in the <a href=””>buy wow gold</a>’s production as the rest of us do.

  12. The main difference between Diablo3 and Torchlight is that TL is for a soooooo much younger audiance while D3 is not.

    • I dunno… TL was a cute little arcade game. It was a good time killer for a few weeks but not entertaining enough for the long term. Otherwise, I think the age groups are the same.

  13. Since 2008, D3 development is being documented by fansites, feature by feature, because Blizzard wants these things to be discussed, because they value people’s opinion. Taking into account other people’s opinion that only know part of the game or even didn’t ever played it, (yes, i’ve seen some trolls flaming in forums that i’m pretty sure they’ve just downloaded a cracked SP version of D2 and call themselves fans) it’s a risk that other companies are not willing to take. Schaefer is indeed bashing D3. He’s constantly saying : \oh.. D3 doesn’t have offline-mode? TL2 will support it!\, \you dont like RMAH? so TL2 won’t have it\. For each ‘fan’ who simply whines about a feature they have announced, two other fans come and aprove their decisions with some valid points.

  14. I’m surprised at all the recent animosity towards Max and TL2.  Am i on the Blizzard forums here or what?  Where’s all this supposed “bashing” from Max?  Apparently i’m not reading the same news posts as some.
    Relatedly, for those that are fans of ARPGs as opposed to fans of Diablo-only, good video on TL2 out of Gamescom here:

  15. It’s pathetic how Schaefer and his band keep riding on the back of Diablo 3’s hype (primarily the negative hype) and keep pointing out, why people should buy Torchlight 2 instead of Diablo 3. I am sorry, I will buy your game if it’s any good, not because you keep trolling around in the D3 community. Also, easy to talk the talk about the pentagrams and crosses etc. big mouth, how about putting some of those into Torchlight  ? Oops, I forgot, Torchlight is a cartoonish game in a fluffy world, good thing you stayed true hardcore. I will definitely not touch, let alone buy Torchlight 2.

  16. @entranced
    You really can’t see that he is bashing D3? and we are all Diablo fans. I think this is diablo fansite too. Everyone respects Max for helping create Diablo series if he didn’t talking trash about D3 everytime he had a chance for his own good then there won’t be any animosity toward him.

  17. Oh boy a game that was put together in a couple of years isn’t going to be as polished as a game that’s been in development for over half a decade. Quit whining over how you don’t like that it’s not going to be rated M and the graphics are too ‘cartoony’. The fact is that Runic is building an ARPG to please the fans that D3 is letting down. You guys seriously are blizzard fanboys and not ARPG fans. If you don’t care that you’re being screwed out of lan, offline sp, and an honest gaming experience (no RMAH) then go on and buy D3 like Blizzard knows you will no matter what they do to it.

  18. From that screenshot do I get the impression that trochlight 2 has a very different art style, that monster doesn’t looks scarry at all. It looks more like something from a tv show for todlers.

    • Well my reaction to that screenshot was “wow that thing looks fucking awesome.”  And i’m no toddler.

  19. “Torchlight2….. looks like a ****ing Gamecube level game as far as graphics goes”

    Sure does! but ill prolly give it a shot…………..

    After the Amazingness that is DIABLO ! 😈

  20. Max is covering his ass for the future TL MMO.  Micro transaction model.  Not saying it’s wrong or nothing but he is thinking ahead.

  21. It’s really getting annoying reading what Max’s opinion on the state of Diablo 3 is, on the other hand it’s truly amusing, because it’s so easy to read through what he is saying and all I see written across is face is FEAR, he knows his only chance of getting anywhere with TL2 is to somewhat try to bash Diablo 3 to the ground, but I’m afraid you’re fighting a losing battle my friend Max
    Don’t get me wrong I still respect Max for what he helped make Diablo the game it is today, but at the end of the day, he has nothing to do with diablo 3, and all he has left to do is make Torchlight game’s, but he should just do that, and keep his false / warmongering opinions on Diablo 3 to himself.

    • oh my god, he’s not bashing anybody
      stop posting nonsense
      “false / warmongering opinions” ???
      do you have any idea what warmongering actually means ?
      and it is your accusations that are false
      read the quotes from the article I posted a few post below
      Max is not bashing Blizz at all

  22. Don’t worry, Max. I shall buy and play both games. I just hope TL2 comes out sooner than Diablo 3. I didn’t know they removed pentagrams or rather did not include them. Odd. I guess if you never actually go to Hell (doubtful) it would make sense?

  23. I found out about Torchlight thanks to this site. I downloaded and played the demo, and it was pretty cool. Bought it right away. I plan on getting TL2 once it’s out as well. All for game companies that aren’t all “this my game, you play like how I say.” Like how Blizzard is obviously turning. I want more options when buying a game, not less.

  24. for everyone accusing Max of bashing Blizzard and its devs, perhaps you should read a little more, listen a little more and pay attention a little more

    quoting Max
    CEO Max Schaefer – a co-creator of the original Diablo while at Blizzard North – told Eurogamer that he sees the “onerous” DRM measure as an unavoidable consequence of Diablo 3’s ambitious trading features. As such, he argued, it’s a valid move.

    “However, we fully understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. They’ve kind of gone the opposite way we have with an open game and modding tools and stuff like that, whereas they want to have an absolutely secure economy and preserve the complete integrity – or at least try to preserve the complete integrity – of the gameplay.

    “To do that you have to have some of these pretty onerous restrictions. I kind of understand where they’re going – you have to have those things to have a truly secure economy.

    “I don’t think it’s an invalid choice. While I’m happy they’re doing it as it gives us a great opportunity, I also understand what they’re doing and I don’t think it’s an invalid thing to do.”

    So, Diablo 3’s DRM is there to keep the auction house safe?

    “Yeah, pretty much. They want to have that be meaningful. I don’t really know why they don’t allow single player offline as you could segregate those characters and not run into that, but the bulk of what they announced really makes sense given what they’re trying to do.”

    end quote

  25. This is what went through the minds of most idiots who replied ITT:

    >Hey a new piece of D3 related news!
    >It has the name “Max Schaefer” in it…
    >And he is talking about D3??!! Arrrrgh how dare he desecrate a game that he didn’t even make?
    >(doesn’t continue reading and immediately post a reply criticizing the guy of being a D3 terrorist)

  26. I (and most of us) have been playing D2 for a long time.  I have played through Torchlight 1, and I found it to be very repetitive (and I do like to do chaos runs) and it got a bit boring towards the end.  I am very excited for Torchlight 2, because I love loot, but I am much more excited for D3.
    The way I see it is that Torchlight 2 will just be an update (or advancement) of the D2 general game play.  What I really want is a new game play experience.  Even though I am hesitant about all of the changes from D2 to D3 (in particular, how items customize the players instead of the skill point distribution) I am very excited to try it out.  I may not like it, but I will probably love it.

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