Why do Diablo 3 Patches and Fixes take so long?

A fan asked why it takes so long for Diablo 3 patches and fixes and other game changes to get from the drawing board, to the PTR, and finally into the live game, and received a lot of words that boil down to, “it’s complicated.” Quote:

One statement I’ve seen over and over on these forums and elsewhere are proposals for “easy” fixes and overarching assumptions about how long implementation for a variety of changes “should” take.

The reality is, game development is a hugely iterative and time-consuming process, with many people involved along the way. Design takes time, Coding takes time, art takes time, QA takes time: you name it. There are also multiple steps in the pipeline for each and every proposed change and bug fix, no matter how minor, and what issues are being worked on in what order and by who can and do change as new matters arise. Sometimes extra testing is also needed for bugs that come back broken and need to be retested, because we didn’t want them to go live with a bad fix.

While there may indeed be a list of known issues and bugs that run alongside some patches, for every one you are aware of, there can be dozens or hundreds being worked on behind-the-scenes that you likely never be aware of. We do things just as quickly as we can, but even then, it’s a process that takes time. [/source]http://blues.incgamers.com/Posts/10/1/40/819/197970/one-question-for-ur-dev-team#postId_529766

Such are the perils of a massive gaming company. I can’t find the interview, but I recall reading one with Dave Brevik years ago about how much slower everything got with a big team. How on Diablo I, one programmer could add a chest or a small feature to the game in just a few hours, but on a bigger game like D2 or HGL the same minor change took days, with multiple programmers, artists, animators, Q&A, etc. It’s the same reason a mod-maker (not for D3, obviously) can turn out a total revision in just a few days while even a medium-sized patch takes months from the “official” game.

At least we get fewer bugs this way?

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21 thoughts on “Why do Diablo 3 Patches and Fixes take so long?

  1. More proof gaming companies don’t know what the hell they are doing anymore with these huge teams, Blizzard needs to shrink the Diablo III team down a lot and have those guys stay dedicated to just Diablo III instead of moving from game to game.

    More people doesn’t = a better game. Quality/Quantity.

  2. A harsh reality, much simpler to just place the blame on the convenient boogeymen Kotick and Wilson.

  3. PoE gets faster and more consistent updates, fixes, features with maybe 1/100th of the team and budget. Also only need about 2 minutes to apply them not a whole day of maintenance. GG Blizz.

  4. POE likely has better engineers that know what automated testing means. D3 has an altogether untalented team,

  5. 7 months of development to get the coding done for S2 style act switching? Sounds about right on pace for them.

  6. The usual “They only want to sell copies” complaint. Check!

    The ever so welcome “PoE is soo much better” statement. Check!

    The mandatory “I say this super ironic thing followed by a …oh wait” comment. Check!

    The dude with the weird username(FluxHatesHisJob). Check!

    The same 10 ppl that always is in here to spread sh*t. Check!

    The comment section of this site never fails to amaze. Keep it going guys! I know you can keep on with this sh*t for another year!

    .. Oh and now, thanks to me, we also have the dude with the funny check-list. Check!!!

  7. Writing takes time. Everything takes time. I guess that producing a mediocre game takes time as well. You name it. Classic.

  8. Hurray every day a new bug…Today….only 1 chat room…Wizard Chat…the game development is sooooo slow, soooo…PoE soon…

  9. So they created a system of developing that is very time consuming, and this is our problem, because? Blizzard dont depend on other system to deploy patchs, like when you work with Microsoft. They also have PTR so people can help find bugs.

    When there is a bug, like the invincible wizard, they fix it in hours after it get midia attraction.

    Also, they removed PvP TDM without getting an opnion of the players, instead of releasing with the system they are going to now. This was a big waste of development time.

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