Rob Pardo talks candidly about Diablo 3's design mistakes

Rushster

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Rob Pardo talks candidly about Diablo 3's design mistakes



By pure accident today I stumbled across a very recent podcast with ex-Blizzard CCO Rob Pardo who left Blizzard back in July. It's a really long interview, but in it Rob talks about the problems with Diablo 3 and some of the mistakes they made, as well as the now removed auction house.

As a long-time fan of the Diablo series, it's actually quite hard to listen to because many of the problems with the game when it shipped were highlighted right here on this site months and months before a beta test even started. The fans were trying to stress potential problems with some of the revealed design decisions but it felt like Blizzard were just not listening.

When the game was released and problems with the loot system and the auction house surfaced, as many here predicted they would, the horse had bolted. With Josh taking over from Jay, it was only at that point Blizzard realised they needed to have more dialogue with the community. The community was really torn over how they felt about the game and it's taken an expansion and more interaction with fans to get the game back on track. Just a real shame that wasn't done from the start and Blizzard had actually tested the game properly, a point Rob makes in the interview.

Interestingly, Rob still feels that there could have been some form of an auction house when they were discussing the problem internally and Josh was one of the vocal team members that wanted to have it pulled from the game.

Rob's interview is a whopping four hours long covering all Blizzard games, but if you head to this page and jump to around 1 hour 39, he talks about Diablo 3. Here's a snip:
We were never truly able to beta test the game at a scale... I think we would have uncovered the problems, fixed it and made changes to it before it went into wide relase. The way we tested Diablo 3, we only really stress test, we never really tried to have a big population that played the game over a period of months, like we did with World of Warcraft.

We never really got at that in the beta (auction house), until we had ten million players, and yeh, it had a lot of problems that of course, in retrospect we should have seen those things but we just didn't see them.

The other thing I think that people confuse, because its such a magnet for controversy, the thing I think was bad about the the auction shouse, it's not actually the real money part of it, because people think they did this real money thing and that's why it's bad. Even if you took the real money part of it out, it was the auction house itself that hurt the game.​
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Flux

Administrator
I don't know if anyone has the time to listen to all 4 hours during the holidays (I certainly don't, visiting my parents and trying to keep them occupied this week), but I'm curious if Rob is that forthcoming about all of the Blizzard games? Usually ex-Bliz employees hardly say anything, at least not anything negative or self-critical.

Even the Big 4 from back in the Bliz North days wouldn't go into detail about the many problems they had with interference from Bliz Irvine, and just talked about wanting to go a new direction, start over smaller and get back to just doing game design, etc. Their only complaint about larger issues was the financial troubles with the forever-impending sale of the gaming units from Vivendi, and that was really more about the stock price manipulations that were killing their retirement funds value.
 

Carlyle

Diabloii.Net Member
"We were never truly able to beta test the game at a scale…" R. Pardo

Wow! What a singularly great testimony to remember when Blizzard keep spouting their "gameplay first" design philosophy BS mixed with hyperbolic reference of how perfectly polished their long-delayed games needed to be, the next time they want to sell their 'premium products' at premium prices complete with premium unilateral ToS to you.

That said — Merry Christmas, everyone! :D
 

ChimpMagnet

Diabloii.Net Member
As if the core issue with Diablo 3 was server or AH. No wonder the game was such in a bad shape at launch, even now this genius doesn't understand, or care to understand, what was deeply flawed with the loot system.

Maybe, instead of thinking about the game in front of a black board like an engineer, he should have played and interacted with the product in the real world like a technician.
 

Mackan

Diabloii.Net Member
Totally wrong team from the beginning to make a Diablo game. They took a dump on the previous Diablo games. Not surprising to see someone come clean and admit a few mistakes.

Announce Diablo 4, announce return of skill trees, announce... oh well, time to log off and bury this pipe dream. Diablo IP is stuck with these clowns at Blizzard.
 

nurman

Diabloii.Net Member
Yeah, people love a game that requires you to google around and metagame the heck out of it.
 

Silverfang

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, some people are indeed longing for a game with a design deep and complex enough to make them want using part of their brain digging into its finer details.
 

T2000

Diabloii.Net Member
"I don't know if anyone has the time to listen to all 4 hours during the holidays (I certainly don't, visiting my parents and trying to keep them occupied this week), but I'm curious if Rob is that forthcoming about all of the Blizzard games?"

https://www.idlethumbs.net/designernotes/episodes/rob-pardo-part-1/

about Diablo 2 (and known story of turn-based first Diablo) 84 min - 93 min
 
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