Vote: Diablo 3's Seven Design Pillars, in RoS


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Vote: Diablo 3's Seven Design Pillars, in RoS

[caption id="attachment_362476" align="alignright" width="129"] Miss me yet?[/caption]In his recent GDC presentation, Diablo 3 Game Director Josh Mosqueira reminded us of Jay Wilson's foundational "Seven Design Pillars" for Diablo 3. We quoted the vote about that topic from 2013 (when JW left the D3 team) in our article about Josh's GDC panel, and spent much of last week's podcast reviewing those seven pillars.

In retrospect, the seven were good points for designing a Diablo game. The problem wasn't that the Seven Pillars were bad objectives... the problem was that D3v didn't execute them properly. But our vote on that was from early 2013, barely half a year after Diablo 3's release. Now that we're a year into Reaper of Souls, how well do you guys think the original seven design pillars are doing?

Please vote yes/no based on how the current version of Reaper of Souls supports (or not) these seven pillars.

[poll id="200"]​

We talked all seven of these over on last week's podcast and the consensus was that most/all of them were pretty sturdy at this point in Reaper of Souls. Whether you guys voting will agree... remains to be seen.

Click through for a reminder of the results of that old 2013 vote, and a reminder of Josh's Three Pillars for Reaper of Souls.

Results from the original vote in January 2013:

D3's Design Pillars. Vote for as many as you think were done well.
  • 1) Approachable (66%, 1,967 Votes)
  • 2) Powerful Heroes (50%, 1,491 Votes)
  • 6) Strong Setting (27%, 804 Votes)
  • 7) Cooperative Multiplayer (23%, 677 Votes)
  • 9) None of them (19%, 561 Votes)
  • 5) Endlessly Replayable (12%, 351 Votes)
  • 3) Highly Customizable (10%, 311 Votes)
  • 10) Other factors were more important than these 7. (9%, 274 Votes)
  • 4) Great Item Game (7%, 198 Votes)
  • 8) All of them (2%, 57 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,966​

That's the 2013 vote, and it'll be interesting to compare the new results to that one. As for Josh's Three Pillars for RoS, here they are: 1) Focus on the Fantasy, 2) Endgame for Everyone, 3) Make Online Matter. Hard to argue against any of those as useful pillars, but they seem like Expansion pack pillars to me; non-specific and meant to be more inspiration than actionable.

That said, while I think #1 is well-done, I'd actually quibble about #2 and #3. I still want longer-form Endgame, along the lines of an endless dungeon, or viable bonuses for doing Story Mode, or completing every Bounty in a game. RoS is much better than any previous Diablo series end game, but it's still all about repeating the same semi-random content in 10-15 minute blocks. As for #3, clans and leaderboards and seasons are great, but until there's at least one kind of proper PvP, I can't say that Online really Matters.
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Diabloii.Net Member
I only voted for Approachable and Cooperative multiplayer. It is approachable; at this point, any fool can buy and play it, it is so easy to get in. I play solo most of the time (due to weak machine), but at this point the game has a good multiplayer aspect and it is enjoyable to play with friends.

- Yes, some heroes are strong. Some are always ignored, ehem, WD. Are we all supposed to cry our eyes out (like DHs) until someone notices?

- I always had an issue with candy colored D3 settings. I remember shivering with the soundtrack and the atmosphere in D2. Hardly ever experienced the same in D3. RoS only improved it a bit. Perhaps the next expansion is more gothic with a better audio track.
- It is possible to say that some content is endlessly replayable, but it is so boring. I am with Flux here. GRs do not provide sufficient replayable-content for all players.

- Item game has improved; cannot say it's great yet. Very few strong builds that can be employed in the only replayable-content part of the game, the GRs.

- Item game issue connects to the customizable aspect.
I am so sick of this 6-7 piece sets approach. My main is a WD and the sets approach hasn't brought any love to WDs (even with the coming 2.2 changes).
While other heroes get new sets, we only have a working half-a-set, Jade, with which it takes forever to kill RGs. Don't get me started with the Helltooth. Zuni still sucks and what do they do? They add gloves and a belt to the set. Come on dude! TnT is a mandatory item for high level pet-WDs; and Zuni is a pet-WD set. What are they thinking? All WD sets have helms, which ridiculously hinders WDs customization options. And they dare to argue that they are doing it to provide challenge to choose between items. No, you are not! You are just forcing me to choose between two mediocre options by not allowing me to unite my good single legendary items with set pieces for a stronger WD.
And now the barbs are reaching GR60s in the PTR...I am just sick of this cookie-cutter-characters fetishism at Blizzard. They don't even have a clue how to improve WD spells.
Show some courage to bring some complexity with unorthodox female characters to your game man. Nooo, strange voodoo woman only chant spells helping strong characters smash. Pfft...

p.s. I am sorry if I offend anyone whose main is not a WD. I don't intend to. I am just so frustrated with the lack of attention to WD from Blizzard that I may have vented my frustration on you. If so, I apologize again.


Diabloii.Net Member
Approachable: Only design pillar they got right. Then again, it's a Blizzard game. It's not like you have to apply three or four search filters on Steam to find it, or search through some EuroAsian malware site with google translator to find the download. And it's still easy enough to play the game with a mouse alone.

Powerful Heroes: No. One shot city, Nuff said.

Strong Setting: LOL! This is by far THE WORST of the 7 design pillars. D3 Vanilla was actually a little better in this regard, but this vote is for NOW, in RoS. Now in RoS there is no setting. There is no story. You just log into adventure mode and kill stuff.

Cooperative Multiplayer: Only to the extent of Strength in Numbers. And only co-op to the extent that you're all shooting at the same thing. Sure it's there, but it's very weak and doesn't really offer anything single player already doesn't.

Great Item Game: This is the second weakest of the seven pillars. The items are still pretty much all boring trash, and how you get them is also pretty boring and stupid.

Endlessly Replayable: The second strongest pillar... The graphics and flow of combat outside of Elite battles is pretty fun to watch for a while, before it gets boring. I've quit so many times but always come back.

Highly Customizable: Ok, I take it back... THIS is the weakest of the design pillars. At least you have the OPTION of playing adventure mode in RoS. The setting and story is still pretty shit but at least it's there. There just isn't ANY customization in D3 AT ALL. You just have to sit there and play online only exactly how Blizzard tells you to. If this game could have mods for it, it would be AMAZING!


Diabloii.Net Member
How can I count in the 30% of votes given to the three 2013 choices that were left out in the new vote? Simply distributing the votes evenly would distort on the lower end, here. Just drop them, as both votes are multi-choice votes anyway, so it makes no difference?


Diabloii.Net Member
Yeah, the first mod to come out (if its ever feasible) will blow the doors off the live version. Once the restrictive Dev philosophies are broken free of, then the game would be pure gold.

End game rares, more socket-able items like Jewels and Runes, powerful magic items, better crafting, more things to do end game, etc.

One can dream.......


"Perhaps the next expansion is more gothic with a better audio track."

I've always been dissatisfied with the music in D3, in that it's hardly ever audible. Just ambient and background sounds. But more gothic than Act 5? Is that possible? We literally have monsters that do this.

I've been thinking the opposite; since Westmarch went full Gothic they'd feel freer with new areas in a second expansion and we'd get the sandy beaches and Grecian temples of Skovos, or maybe the rainforest jungle of Xiansi.


Diabloii.Net Member
I voted for
- Approachable as the game is really easy to start nowadays.
- Powerfull heroes. I think the feeling of power while fighting is present.
- Endlessly replayable. As I do not play a lot, I can play the game for years. And they added seasons to reset the game if you like that.

I did not vote for:
- Strong setting...
- Great Item game. Considering everybody uses the same two-hand hammer, the same three rings and one of the class set, I do not consider that as a great item game
- Highly customizable. Well, same deal as the item game.
- Cooperative multiplayer. This is probably the weakest coop game I know: guilds are an afterthought and not well developped, no trading, no exchanges between players, no PvP, no content designed for groups... Sure there's coop but in its most basic form. I should say that things look a bit better at high rift level where some level of cooperation appear (support characters, tanks, DPS...).


Diabloii.Net Member
"so gothic, I shit bats!"

haha, touché...

joking aside, I was always almost-shitting-bricks while playing D2. never happened in D3. the environment and soundtrack combo in D2 really put you in the mood. that guitar man...I felt it was squeezing my insides while I was trying to figure out my way in dark corridors and deserted spaces.

I can accept that RoS sorta put the environment in order, but the music still didn't do that much, at least for me.

I am out of ideas for the next exp environment, but gothic or not-gothic, they should make sure to hire a professional for the soundtrack to put us better in the mood this time.


Diabloii.Net Member
My main issue with 'Strong Setting' is so many of the environments almost mirror D2. As has been noted so many times the dialogue is terrible, ROS didn't even try to fix any of the cheese and just add another act of the same garbage. It is impossible for a horror theme to work, when the villains are so cringe-worthy. I bet if someone read Mathael's diary he would go running and crying to his room. Every monster in D3 I can picture a grandma with a broom chasing them off her porch.

If the setting they were going for was 60's B horror with a medieval theme I guess they nailed it.


Diabloii.Net Member
I voted NO for:
4. Great Item Game - it's better then Classic, but +% skill or type seems uninspired.
5. Endlessly replayable - Rifting + fast-bounty-clears is not enough.

I voted YES for 3) Highly customizable. And I'm surprised with it being the lowest. There is planty look customization. And you can clear T1 with whatever skills you use. And that's the most for many players, who want to play the way it's fun to them. All this one build, one set crap is completely irrelevant for most. There are many legs and sets neccessary to come, but skills are in really good place, compared to endgame.