Other D2 Devs Weigh in on the D3 Dev Comments Controversy

Today in the Runic Games forums, Max Schaefer weighed in on our instantly-infamous Dave Brevik interview and D3 Developers’ F’ing angry reaction to it. As you’ve heard in past interviews and some of our podcasts, Max always speaks his mind and shoots from the hip and PR-consequences be-damned, so it had to be good, right?

His reply came on page seven of a long thread about the whole controversy, and thanks to Glass for the tip:

I bet you all want me to comment on this, right?


Oh Max, must you tease?

We’ve seen no shortage of comments from Max about Diablo III, including things he liked and things he didn’t (such as the removal of crosses and pentagrams). So he’s not lacking in opinions on the game, but he’s (probably wisely) staying out of the current name-calling and bitterness. We’ll interview Max later this year, around the launch of Torchlight 2, and perhaps we an elicit some further comment at that time.

Update: Azzure points me to an interesting update to this issue. It’s on Tom’s Hardware, and they found a Twitter quote from Mark Kern, who was a producer on Diablo II who is now the CEO of Red 5 Studios, which was founded by ex-Blizzard employees.

“Gotta say, that Jay Wilson, never having been at Blizzard for D1 and D2 and never having met Dave Brevik, has no place to say what he did.”

“Dave Brevik created 2 genre-busting, award winning, world-loved Diablo games. Jay Wilson has done ____ with Diablo 3. Fill in the blanks.”

“Blizzard arrogance has reached new heights,”

He dares where Max will not fly!

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78 thoughts on “Other D2 Devs Weigh in on the D3 Dev Comments Controversy

  1. Flux, why you are trying to create more negative feelings about D3?
    It should be fansite ;/

    Putting this kind of info on front page is not helping.

    • I don’t know which article you read, but the one I read did neither create more negative nor more positive feelings…

      Linking to the controversy and quoting a post from Max that actually doesn’t say anything about D3 is not what I would call “create more negative feelings”?

      Is it possible that you are biased towards Flux yourself and want to believe, that when he links to the controversy, he wants people to get negative feelings about D3?

        • That’s fair and understandable, but it’s not like we’re not posting about the game. Like 15 big news things in the past few days, and just hours ago I posted a whole article about playing v1.0.4 and liking many of the changes.

          Many of our readers are very interested in the community as well, as the number of views and comments on the Dave Brevik interview shows. So we cover that stuff too.

          • And, it is indeed a Diablo Fansite. Not only a D3 fansite. I like these stories, largely due to this site I became a huge fan of the Blizzard North team. Keep up the good work!

          • Please continue to post these controversial news articles. I get more entertainment out of them than I do from D3.

          • If mods didn’t post stuff like THIS I wouldn’t find time to come to this site. I love the show btw, Blizz sucks and J.W too fuck them. Never couldn’t imagine that D3 brings this bad reputation to them ROFL.

            Also tried the new paragon patch – meh not saving this game much. The game is too static.

    • The very reason I’m staying at this site, is that you get everything up front at face value, good or bad.

      If you want a more gullible fansite, there’s plenty out there.

      • Same as what this guy said, didnt diii.net even lose its blizzard official fansite endorsement due to not straight up lying for them?

        • We don’t know. They never gave us any reason or explanation. They never even told us at all until shortly before blizzcon 2010 I asked Bashiok why I hadn’t heard about a ticket this year and he hemmed and hawed and said we weren’t getting invited, but he couldn’t say why not. And no subsequent conversations with him or his bosses clarified things one bit, and they weren’t even going to tell us if I hadn’t asked; like little kids who break a lamp and then tiptoe out of the room, like no one will notice if they don’t admit to it.

          That’s one of the annoying things about dealing with Bliz Irvine PR if you’re not a major powerful media platform. Everyone else who doesn’t suck up is randomly ostracized, and they won’t even come out and say why. It’s all weasel speech and platitudes. No word who makes a decision, no word why it’s made, no word what you could do to change their policy, etc.

          • Reading Jills most recent sarcastic comment, it probably has something to do with Blizzard not finding incgamers objective.
            Could it be incgamers related in general and not just this diablo fansite?

          • man that is just SAD. I hate Bli$$ more now. I always wondered why Diabloinc was not being treated like an official forum or fansite… oh well back to Darksiders 2. 😀

          • Blah, I have known that Blizzard was a bunch of asshats since time ago from reading fellow PC gamers -I am into consoles-.

            Users have been ripped off and WoW has been in full production of being milked for every dime they could get from it.

            And now this. The last straw for me was the Jay Wilson remark.

            So I definitely wash my hands of Blizzard, and I certainly revel in any bit of bad press I hear or read about them.

            Goodbye forever Blizz.

          • The reason: you said or allowed something to be said that made Jay butthurt. The only way to get back in their graces, is for Jay’s butt to unhurtify itself. Nothing you can say or do can ever change the Status of his buttzone; only he can change himself.

            This reminds me a lot of the Flagship days, when they pressured fan sites to clamp down on dissent. The best part of Hellgate was joking with each other over how bad it was – would there even BE a fanbase without the hatorade?

    • This is a “Diablo” fansite, not a “Diablo 3” fansite.

      Hey, I’m just saying…..

      Some core Diablo fans don’t like Diablo 3, y’know?

      • This is a “Diablo” fansite, not a “Diablo 3? fansite.

        that is an excellent point that should be made more often

      • Ha so true. I dare you to tell that to r/diablo (note that there is also a r/diablo3) over on Reddit though. Infested by diehard D3 fanboys there.

    • “Flux, why you are trying to create more negative feelings about D3?
      It should be fansite ;/”

      Sorry, but are you stupid much? Nobody is trying to “create negative feelings” about the game. He is reporting something of interest of Diablo fans. If you want a fansite who is blindly swallowing everything and worshipping all Blizzard releases as god-given thing you are wrong here and should move on to diablofans or whatever, there is enough of this trash out there.

      Oh, and I accidentally recommended your comment because I mistook it for the reply button. Sadly, there is no downvote here.

    • Agree Robi. I have the “long view” being on this site since 1998 (originally under the handle Beastiaryocracy). On or about 2009 Flux started posting a bunch of negative associations to WoW, ActiBlizzard / Kotick / Bobbyeyes garbage, making back-to-back posts about the art controversy, etc… A lot of the “positive” posters simply moved on, leaving the trolls. Misery loves company and Flux is getting what he wanted.

      Now back to on point – if somebody slammed something that I had been working on, I’d say **** that loser too.

      All of you would, stop being hypocrites.

      • Well edit is gone, but my troll post needs to be clarified with the following: Flux, Elly, and all of the other site contributors are brilliant and I appreciate the hard work. I think some “law of unintended consequences ” kicked in, that is all.

      • So Flux should only post happy “positive” news stories and ignore all the negative news stories? It’s the news… it’s all out there for everyone to read. You the reader are free to react to this news however you wish. I for one am happy that Flux and the contributors to this site have the cajones to post negative news stories in the face of oppressive tactics by Blizzard.

        Also- if someone slammed something I had been working on (which I don’t believe happened in the article) I might say f that loser to my friends, family and co-workers in a private setting. I WOULD NOT post that thought on a very popular social media site for the world to see. I would not want to get fired over that thought.

    • Yes, cover your eyes and yell F*CK F*CK F*CK F*CK (that guy) until the problems go away. Great way of going at life.

  2. This isn’t negative, i’m sure some people were wondering what Max’s thoughts on the subject would be and here is your answer.

  3. I think this post should be renamed “Max Schaefer’s Bold Statement on the D3 Dev Controversy” so as to not sound like Brevik is in a war. I mean, he was nice enough to give his opinion to us, we shouldn’t really start a controversy named after him.

  4. I’m fairly disappointed with everyone involded at this point and in all camps. Bravo to Max Schafer for at least not sinking down to everyone else’s level.

    Also, the timing of the interview with Brevik and the 1.0.4 patch seems a bit well played to. Paragons of objectivity indeed.

  5. I knew all of this would happen one way or another as soon as someone interviewed David Brevik. As the creator of Diablo series (even before Blizzard, they bought his company a few months before the release of Diablo I), he would not speak very diplomatically like Max or any other Blizzard North developer. It’s obvious he’s very sad about the state of his franchise.

    As for Jay Wilson, who is he?

    BTW it’s a very classy move for Mark Kern.

  6. oh! those FB accounts were actual devs??? I thought they were parodies!! that Jay Wilson sonofabitch!!! for real??

  7. ah and here’s an alleged interview with *EDIT* on a Taiwanese thing


    just click on the GREEN button once the page loads up, I believe it’s some kind of “accept the rules”. here’s a rough translation by someone else.

    Q: Could the design team please define what exactly do you think is “cool” with actual examples?
    A: The developers have the responsibility to decide on the content of the game; take Paragon Level as an example, we have to judge what is the appropriate time to reach level 100. 50 hours? 100 hours? 200 hours? That’s the “cool” we have to decide. These are mainly based on communities’, players’, and developers’ (and other teams, such as WoW, SC) feedbacks; we know many times we decide subjectively, but we try out best to make the decisions to attract the people with who we wish to keep close relationships.

    Q: As Legendary items in 1.04 are improved greatly, would the drop rate for these items to be lower than before?

    A: We did not make any big changes to the drop rates, as we are satisfied with them right now. However, the drop rates for Legendary items below level 50 will increase, as we acknowledge the the level-up process is brief and swift, these items will allow players to first experience the changes we made. As for reaching the max level, with the addition of Paragon level, the drop rates for Legendary items would relatively increase, which in term provides easier access for the players to obtain these items.

    Q: The original intention of NV is for players to find the best combinations of skills, but many Taiwanese players raise the issue that this actually inhibits the desire for players to try new skills; what does the head of developers think about this? Would there be any plans to address this issue in the future?

    A: We have received a lot of feedback regarding NV, low level players wish to receive this buff, high level players wish to freely change their skills. These requests are all reasonable and understandable, but for the depth of the game, it is necessary to have these limitations, you cannot have it both ways. The purpose of NV is for a player to find a suitable, personal skill set, and fight with it for a certain duration of time. Right now, if a player wants to freely change skills, it only takes 30 seconds, but we want each player to find one set of skills to deal with every situations.

    Q: The reviews for the game dropped heavily from the super positive before release to nowadays, and players lash out against not only the story, but also the difficulties and subsequent adjustments. What are the developers’ thoughts these three months? And what improvements can we expect in the future?

    A: We all hope the game would be perfect when it goes up on the shelf, but that is impossible. Blizzard’s games have always been improved based on feedback, and the changes for 1.04 are designed this way, we feel the content of 1.04 is great.

    Q: What changes can we expect for the auction house in 1.04? Now with the transactions that easily reach tens of millions or even hundreds of millions, does it really conform with your original economy design that “gold will worth a lot”?

    A: With the Paragon level in 1.04 which increases players’ MF and GF, the supply and demand will be even more unpredictable, let’s just leave it to the free market to decide. [Editor’s note: Jay may not have understood the questions correctly, but due to the limitation of time, we did not further press for clarification.]Q: In terms of extending play time, are the designers focused on encouraging players to start new characters? If so, will the drop rate for killing bosses the first time improve? In the current environment, even if you kill the final boss, you might get nothing but blue items.A: We wish the players would try many different characters, not just one. Right now only a small percentage of players play only one character, therefore in terms of addressing feedback from these players is placed at a low priority on our to-do list. As for additional rewards on first time boss-kills, in the future we indeed plan on adding this in Nightmare, Hell, and Infernal difficulties, but not in 1.04.

    Q: Finally, last night, a screenshot of a facebook discussion began to circulate on the internet, containing the discussion of developers in responds to David Brevik’s interview with INCgamers. You left a comment saying “f*** that loser” in the thread, is that your personal opinion? Or is it fabricated by the online community?

    A: That… is indeed my own message. We originally thought that was a private, non-public discussion thread, not something we wish to announce to the public. This was an unfortunate accident.

    • Hey Solomon, thanks for posting that interview up. I edited out the first bit though so we can keep it civil. Ta 🙂

      • you BETTER not swap “hooker” with “Solomon”……you’ve been warned. I got a paddle and I enjoy using it

        • and what happened to the Edit Comment function? now instead of correcting some stuff, we’re forced to spam replies underneath. not good

  8. I’m surprised that I kinda enjoy all this drama and I think it’s good that incgamers are posting it.

    In a way I feel a bit sorry for Jay Wilson. I do understand that it must be hard with so many critics on a game that you’ve been working very hard on creating for a long time and that you do snap after a while. On the other hand, his FB comment was truly idiotic, and I do at least expect an official apology. Just waiting for that one to be posted!

    • If Jay does apologise, so should Brevik. His statement, regardless of the truth of what he said, did a wonderful job of undermining the entire D3 team. No wonder some of its members felt crap after reading it.

      • Bro you don’t know what criticism is right? and besides Dave didn’t even criticize or diss anybody, all he said was that he would have made a different game and that those people like all the originals devs of a game really do matter.
        Blizzard is just Immature thats all.

        • “They made some decisions which we would have done differently. And better. And it’s going to be hard for them to recover. It makes me sad because I love Diablo, and the new team just haven’t done it right.”

          Obviously not a direct quote, but this is the sentiment portrayed by Brevik. Yes, it’s critical and that’s fine. Criticism (done correctly) makes things better, for sure. What Brevik also suggested was that Diablo 3 could have been everything you wanted… Had his team been working on it, and not the current team. That’s a low blow, regardless of the truth of it.

      • Brevik stated his opinion on a video game. Should game journalists apologize for giving a game a bad review? Seriously, expecting him to apologize for diplomatically stating his opinion is just plain stupid and misguided. Jay’s response was to attack the man, not the message. That’s the difference here. I sincerely hope you can see that.

        • I didn’t say Jay is blameless – what he said was stupid, absolutely.

          But, yes, Brevik did attack the people, too. Just take a look at his comments… He’s saying his team would have done a better job. He even basically questions the ability of the current team to pull off the quality of game Brevik would have made. That’s not even criticism.

          Nobody here is blameless. Jay turned it into a slanging match, which is idiotic (and not particularly intelligent of him). Some of Brevik’s comments were simply unfair, and Chris Haga’s response is unsurprising.

          Tell me… I don’t know what you do, but let’s say you complete some sort of project. You’ve put your heart and soul into it for a couple of years, and done the best you could. You give it to your boss, they smile and nod. Then you hear that the predecessor in your position has also seen it, and said to the boss, ‘It’s ok, but this is how I would have done it. And it I would have been better. Sorry for who you’re stuck with.’ How would you feel?

          • “But, yes, Brevik did attack the people, too. Just take a look at his comments… He’s saying his team would have done a better job. He even basically questions the ability of the current team to pull off the quality of game Brevik would have made. That’s not even criticism.”

            He said that the current team doesn’t have the experience with arpgs. And that’s kinda fact, as they where all coming from different genres. But he never said that his team would have done a better job. He said that he would have made different design decisions. That’s all.

  9. While we’re at it …
    I’d actually very much like to hear Matt Uelmen’s honest post-release opinion on how D3’s music turned out. Not the endless voice acting blabla or car crash sound effects, the music specifically. Isn’t there some guitar guru convention or something silly anytime soon where he could be lured towards a mic?

  10. What about all the positive articles mentioned? Do you think \objective\ means always posting only positive articles? Every time there is a negative article someone makes a comment about how negatively biased Flux is… then whenever there is a positive article someone comments about how Flux needs D3 to do well so that the site does well, so he only posts positive things. So which is it? Don’t you think an \objective\ site would contain both negative and positive articles? Isn’t that what this site does?

  11. The immatureness of their responses is staggering. Looks like 13 year olds’s Facebook conversations.

    • Exactly… People will argue ‘well Brevik insulted them so it’s only logical that they would insult back!’

      Fine, but do so in a mature fashion.

  12. The thing is… it probably would have been everything we wanted had his team made it! Afterall they did make Diablo 1 & 2. To me its only common sense that the creator of the original two Diablo’s would make the better Diablo game.

    But i can feel for the devs who worked hard to create Diablo 3. They really did make a great game, just not a great DIABLO game. I mean what were they expecting Dave to say when throught the whole development process Jay kept bashing Diablo 2 and felt the game needed to start again from scratch? They should have made a new IP, but then again it wouldnt sell like a Diablo game so…

  13. Flux, if you’re running a DH, you absolutely need vault: trail of cinders. It’s disgustingly good.

  14. The man’s human. It was stupid, but hey, we were reading a private conversation, so it’s not like you can really get upset at how he behaves in private, because he’s definitely not beholden to whatever standards you might expect when he’s just sitting around talking with his buddies, which is what that post essentially was, except FB is really wonky with it’s privacy settings, sooo… sucks to be him.

    That being said, Brevik wins, as he managed to say about as much as Jay did, but he did it with honeyed words and far more eloquently and fairly diplomatically.

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