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Author Topic: Jay Wilson moving away from Diablo 3, Woo Ooo  (Read 29190 times)
waffel
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on: January 17, 2013, 03:47:31 PM

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7592242994#1

Quote
Hey everyone,

I wanted all of you to be some of the first to know that I've made an important decision about my future, and how that decision will affect the future of Diablo.

I recently celebrated my seven-year anniversary working on Diablo III, and while it's been one of the most challenging and rewarding periods of my life, I've reached a point creatively where I'm looking forward to working on something new. The powers that be at Blizzard have been gracious enough to give me that opportunity. Over the course of the next several weeks, I will be moving off of the Diablo III project and transitioning elsewhere within Blizzard. This decision was not an easy one for me, and not one I made quickly, but ultimately it's what I feel is right.

The first thing I want to assure you all is that this will not negatively impact our ongoing support of Diablo III. The game was not made by one person, far from it, and the team that poured their passion and considerable talent into it isn't going anywhere. We have lots of things planned for the future, and those plans will carry forward as normal. I also won't be abandoning the team, and will remain available to them during the transition period while we determine who will take over duties as game director.

To that point, you shouldn't be surprised if you see a job posting for a game director on Diablo III, as we want to make sure we explore every opportunity to find the best possible leadership for the project. We're looking forward to finding this person and hearing what kind of fresh ideas they can bring to the table.

I'm proud of Diablo III, and despite our differences at times I will miss the community that has formed around it. I feel I have made many mistakes in managing that relationship, but my intent was always to provide a great gaming experience, and be as open and receptive as possible, while still sticking true to the vision the Diablo team has for the game.

I know some of you feel we fell short of our promise to release the game "when it's ready." While we're not perfect, we try to make the best decisions we can with the information and knowledge we have at the time. That doesn't mean we always make the right decisions, but if we made a mistake then I feel we've made an exceptional effort to correct it.

This is what you can always count on from Blizzard: that we will stand by our games and make every effort to continually improve them over time. We heard the feedback and suggestions from the community. For example, we agreed that Diablo III's itemization at launch was not good enough, so the team made numerous changes, including changing drop rates, re-tuning legendaries, and adding scores of new items to the game. We also agreed that the end game needed more depth, so the team added new events, and new systems like Monster Power and Paragon levels.

Our commitment to making our games as good as they can be is what has always defined Blizzard as a game studio, and that commitment never ends for us at a ship date. With your help, we'll continue to play, debate, and improve Diablo III, as we've done with every Blizzard game.

To that end, patch 1.0.7 is underway, the PTR is live, and there are many other great things brewing for Diablo in 2013. I'm leaving Diablo III in good hands, and my departure will not jeopardize the progress of the game as we continue to do what we do: listen, play, and improve.

You are the most passionate, dedicated group of gamers a designer could hope to have. I wish you all the best, and want to thank you for making this an amazing experience for me. Keep your axes sharp, your spell books handy, and that crafty devil in check.

--Jay

Great news!  Popcorn
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 07:51:16 AM by Yegolev »
Paelos
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Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 03:59:00 PM

 Rock Out Thumbs up! In love Yahoo!

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waffel
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Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 04:03:40 PM

Quote
I recently celebrated my seven-year anniversary working on Diablo III

Apparently he didn't start working at Blizzard until 2007.

Quote
I've reached a point creatively where I'm looking forward to working on something new.

Uhm... how about the two expansions planned for D3?
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Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 04:08:24 PM

My guess: He got removed by the uppers on the project because they wanted to rebrand the expansions as NOW 100% JAY WILSON FREE!

In short, he got fired from the game. Now his new project will be that guy spinning in his chair until we decided what he can't fuck up on Titan.

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Rokal
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Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 04:11:35 PM

Quote from: Jay "Fuck That Guy" Wilson
I recently celebrated my seven-year anniversary working on Diablo III, and while it's been one of the most challenging and rewarding periods of my life, I've reached a point creatively where I'm looking forward to working on something new. The powers that be at Blizzard have been gracious enough to give me that opportunity.

...

To that point, you shouldn't be surprised if you see a job posting for a game director on Diablo III, as we want to make sure we explore every opportunity to find the best possible leadership for the project. We're looking forward to finding this person and hearing what kind of fresh ideas they can bring to the table.

I'm sure they were real reluctant to let him move on, even without another candidate in mind, after being passed over for almost every GOTY nomination and even making a few "most disappointing game of 2012" lists.

This can only be good news for the game. With an extremely lengthy and heavily-iterative development cycle resulting in the soulless mess that was Diablo 3, it is clear that Jay Wilson was not and will never be capable of understanding what makes Diablo games fun.
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Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 05:55:43 PM

He will not be missed.
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Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 06:03:14 PM

Was Diablo 3 really that bad?

I feel like there's this "Diablo 3 sucked balls!" bandwagon that everyone has jumped on.

Certain things were absolutely godawful. The auction house was really stupid, but I can forgive someone for thinking it'd be a good idea. Kind of.

I've never looked to a Diablo game for years of replayability, though, I guess? I played it for like 3 weeks and enjoyed it for what it was.

The guy's entire goodbye post read like an apology. That seems unfortunate that he felt he had to do it that way.

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Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 06:08:55 PM

Was Diablo 3 really that bad?

I feel like there's this "Diablo 3 sucked balls!" bandwagon that everyone has jumped on.

Certain things were absolutely godawful. The auction house was really stupid, but I can forgive someone for thinking it'd be a good idea. Kind of.

I've never looked to a Diablo game for years of replayability, though, I guess? I played it for like 3 weeks and enjoyed it for what it was.

The guy's entire goodbye post read like an apology. That seems unfortunate that he felt he had to do it that way.

I think you underestimate how much people played Diablo 2.  I know I played it for years, I know others did here as well.  I happen to like Diablo 3 a lot, and still play it regularly (if not all the time), but I can see why people who saw it as a co-op lan dungeon crawler would be a bit upset with Diablo 3. 
Margalis
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Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 07:27:19 PM

The fact that he is leaving without another director in place and the fact that they are looking for a director to come from the outside appears to be a huge vote of no confidence for the entire team.

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Typhon
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Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 07:30:35 PM

Was Diablo 3 really that bad?

[...]

No, it's not.  Unfortunately they fucked up the most important part - interesting loot.  Combat is fun, tight, char does what you want when you want it.  Nice balance between autoattack and abilities (which I feel TL2 needs more work).  They have the mobs balanced pretty well now.

That said, every comment that he has made pre/post launch (save this one) clearly indicated that he wasn't the right man for the job.
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Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 07:58:53 PM

Good riddance.  D3 was a decent game at release with lousy loot.  But his un-professional twitter comments showed what an incompetent douche he is.

I hope he stays away from games I like.

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Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 10:25:43 PM

He took 7 years to develop a game that had every bit of potential to blow the cover off the market, similar to the way WoW did when it was released. You had a perfect storm of a prior game that was well-loved, an almost rabid fan following, and a large time gap to whip up an absolute frenzy amongst older and new players.

And then we got an RNG loot nightmare mess, polished to a homogonized shine. He couldn't handle the job, couldn't handle the fact he released an unfinished game, and his PR was horrific. He was a cancer, and hopefully it's the first move of many by Blizzard to get rid of those guys.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 10:27:14 PM by Paelos »

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Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 10:27:33 PM

Diablo 3 wasn't bad.

It was pretty amazing.

It was basically what a company that wasn't Blizzard North would make if they had infinite dollars and wanted to clone Diablo.

As in, it was a Diablo ripoff.
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Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 10:31:18 PM

You're right, it wasn't bad. Hell, I still play it. It's ok to knock around, and the patches will make it better with time.

But at release, that's not good enough for the amount of money, time, and name.

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Tebonas
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Reply #14 on: January 18, 2013, 01:07:31 AM

It was mediocre. I guess mediocre wasn't what Blizzard was shooting for, though.
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Reply #15 on: January 18, 2013, 02:53:48 AM

I don't think the issue at Blizzard is the specific people so much (Jay Wilson & GC are the hate figures that loom large) but the fact that their development appears to be so dictatorial. It's like British surgical wards used to be before Harold Shipman - completely ruled by the top surgeons. One doctor going unquestioned for years killing huge numbers of people led to a complete rethink of the hierarchical structures in medical training. And I never thought I'd link that to a games discussion but there ya go.

Anyway, I think Blizzard and Valve are a good comparison here. Both develop games at a geological pace with budgets that outstrip entire 3rd world nations and yet the kind of product the produce is very different. Valve stay silent for years and then out comes Portal, a game that disappointed nobody and was revolutionary in many ways. Blizzard hide away for years and then out comes Diablo 3, a game that disappointed most people in one way or another and that surprised nobody in any way at all.

Blizzards creative direction seems to come mostly from the few people at the top of the project. Valve's seems to come from pretty much everyone working on the project.

So, Jay Wilson fucking off won't change the way things happen at Blizzard, it'll just be some other ego at the top of that pyramid.

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Reply #16 on: January 18, 2013, 04:53:42 AM

Yes.  I said as much just a second ago in the WoW thread.

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Reply #17 on: January 18, 2013, 08:24:01 AM

He took 7 years to develop a game that had every bit of potential to blow the cover off the market, similar to the way WoW did when it was released. You had a perfect storm of a prior game that was well-loved, an almost rabid fan following, and a large time gap to whip up an absolute frenzy amongst older and new players.

And then we got an RNG loot nightmare mess, polished to a homogonized shine. He couldn't handle the job, couldn't handle the fact he released an unfinished game, and his PR was horrific. He was a cancer, and hopefully it's the first move of many by Blizzard to get rid of those guys.

It's a symptom of the "New" Blizzard.  For as much as people want to say Kotick would be a fool to kill the golden goose, people do just that all the time, and Kotick has.   He's done many interviews where he brags about how Blizzard employees used to come to meetings with him with only ideas or notions and speak in roundabout design terms.  BUT NOW they come to him with spreadsheets, ROI projections and discussions of alternate revenue streams instead of "Hey, this would be cool."

Jay Wilson is a product of this environment.  Blizzard is now that souless EA-like developer, it simply hasn't shown in any large way because they only have 3 product lines and are fucking SLOW to release anything so the 15 years of goodwill haven't been shit on enough.  Yet.

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Reply #18 on: January 18, 2013, 08:52:07 AM

D3 was the proverbial polished turd.

He took 7 years to develop a game that had every bit of potential to blow the cover off the market, similar to the way WoW did when it was released. You had a perfect storm of a prior game that was well-loved, an almost rabid fan following, and a large time gap to whip up an absolute frenzy amongst older and new players.

And then we got an RNG loot nightmare mess, polished to a homogonized shine. He couldn't handle the job, couldn't handle the fact he released an unfinished game, and his PR was horrific. He was a cancer, and hopefully it's the first move of many by Blizzard to get rid of those guys.

It's a symptom of the "New" Blizzard.  For as much as people want to say Kotick would be a fool to kill the golden goose, people do just that all the time, and Kotick has.   He's done many interviews where he brags about how Blizzard employees used to come to meetings with him with only ideas or notions and speak in roundabout design terms.  BUT NOW they come to him with spreadsheets, ROI projections and discussions of alternate revenue streams instead of "Hey, this would be cool."

Jay Wilson is a product of this environment.  Blizzard is now that souless EA-like developer, it simply hasn't shown in any large way because they only have 3 product lines and are fucking SLOW to release anything so the 15 years of goodwill haven't been shit on enough.  Yet.
Agreed, and agreed.

I dunno what else to say. D3 almost needs a new word for it. I really didn't like D3 after I played through it but I'd say it's NOT mediocre, it's not damaged in some single standout way the same way that a lot of (good or even great) games are, but it's not bad in the way where people can try to defend it by saying "There was no way it was going to be as good as D2". It hit a very weird grey area below the bar set for it where it wasn't in the acceptable range for people who realized it wasn't going to magically conjure the same feeling D2 gave them, but also not in the "crushing failure/disappointment" area.

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Reply #19 on: January 18, 2013, 09:15:21 AM

Maybe the language barrier strikes here, but I thought that is exactly what mediocre means.
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Reply #20 on: January 18, 2013, 09:17:32 AM

average, lackluster, unexceptional

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Reply #21 on: January 18, 2013, 09:21:45 AM

As I thought. Nobody can say with straight face it was anything but that.

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Reply #22 on: January 18, 2013, 09:31:21 AM

I do believe the culture at Blizzard has shifted, but I also believe they see it and are trying to make moves to stem the tide. The hire for the new game director will be an important thing for me in terms of seeing where Blizzard is going as a company. If they go outside the company, bring in some new blood, and get a person who wants to respond to the community concerns, then it's the right thing. I get the sense that they are tired of the market completely disrespecting them (the stock has been languishing for 3 years around the same number) even though they produce profits.

I sense a shift. I think the Vivendi thing scared them a little and it's time for a wakeup call. They've been resting on laurels too long, and they are slowly trying to break that habit by removing people who just want to ignore the customers. 2013 will be a make or break year for Blizzard in terms of their staff.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 09:32:52 AM by Paelos »

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Reply #23 on: January 18, 2013, 09:37:59 AM

MoP got my money for a few months because I thought they learned their lesson. Turns out they did learn the lesson, just the wrong one. Some steps in the right direction on a lot of stuff, some complete leaps backward to 2006 in others.

So they're no longer getting my money. If Ghostcrawler gets moved to drawing a paycheck to spin around in his chair and browse reddit all day they might get my money again.

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Reply #24 on: January 18, 2013, 09:42:19 AM

That be a pretty nice job actually.  why so serious?

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Reply #25 on: January 18, 2013, 09:46:20 AM

Diablo 3 was the factory production line of games.  You could clearly tell it was simply made without any love or care or attention at all.  It was soulless and polished and marketed and entirely without soul.

And in my head, all I can hear is RocknRoll racing and 'JAKE LIGHTS HIM UP'  'JAKE IS IN ANOTHER TIMEZONE!'

Days gone by.

Anyone who thinks that Kotick is currently searching soul and looking to change back to the good old days is severely misguided.  More Profits.  Full Steam Ahead.  We'll be lucky if the 3rd installment of Starcraft isn't 'pay per mission'

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Reply #26 on: January 18, 2013, 09:50:20 AM

Anyone who thinks that Kotick is currently searching soul and looking to change back to the good old days is severely misguided.

No, I don't. I do think he realizes that the current iteration of development is not working to deliver the profits he wants. There is such a thing as making a connection between game sales and a happy customer base.

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Reply #27 on: January 18, 2013, 09:58:25 AM

Anyone who thinks that Kotick is currently searching soul and looking to change back to the good old days is severely misguided.

No, I don't. I do think he realizes that the current iteration of development is not working to deliver the profits he wants. There is such a thing as making a connection between game sales and a happy customer base.

To Bobby Kotick, I don't think there is any connection.
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Reply #28 on: January 18, 2013, 10:02:01 AM

Yeah, he's always approached running a game company like he was running real estate or a factory.  Widgets and revenue streams are all it takes.

As the CEO of Chrysler just said an in an interview this morning, when you have poorly-run companies, you'll find the problem is always at the top and that's where the shakeup needs to happen.

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Reply #29 on: January 18, 2013, 10:10:47 AM

I think you guys are missing the point. There's pressure from the ATVI board to put up or shut up here when it comes to Kotick and the Blizzard stock.

On December 26, 2009 the stock was trading at 11.41

Today the stock is trading at 11.44

Kotick has almost 3.5 years under his belt, several key releases, and some major lawsuits. The Street still doesn't trust him. I honestly wouldn't be shocked if he left in 2013 for something else.

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Reply #30 on: January 18, 2013, 10:59:32 AM

Yeah but he has been CEO of Activision since 1991 and they weren't exactly lighting up The Street, either.   Looking at the last 5 years none of the big names in games have been moving much.  EA, Take 2, AT-B, all are flat and Nintendo's down.   Any rumbling about AT-B should be seeing similar rumbling from holders of all gaming stocks.

Still, he was just appointed to be a director at Coke last year, so maybe you're right and he's starting a transition where he'll become Yegolev's headache instead.   

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Reply #31 on: January 18, 2013, 11:05:12 AM

I don't work for those assholes anymore. awesome, for real

EDIT to say that his mettle as a "real executive" will be tested at KO.  However I have nothing in that game and can't be bothered.

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Reply #32 on: January 18, 2013, 11:50:41 AM

Diablo 3 was the factory production line of games.  You could clearly tell it was simply made without any love or care or attention at all.  It was soulless and polished and marketed and entirely without soul.

And in my head, all I can hear is RocknRoll racing and 'JAKE LIGHTS HIM UP'  'JAKE IS IN ANOTHER TIMEZONE!'

Days gone by.

Anyone who thinks that Kotick is currently searching soul and looking to change back to the good old days is severely misguided.  More Profits.  Full Steam Ahead.  We'll be lucky if the 3rd installment of Starcraft isn't 'pay per mission'


The best games I play, are games that are, ironically, made for the developers.  By which I mean to say, developers making games they love.  When they start trying to aim their games at target audiences and focus groups, suddenly you get Diablo 3.  I like Diablo 3 don't get me wrong, I've been pretty consistent about liking it despite being critical of some aspects, but it does lack something that Diablo 2 had, and I'm not sure it is easily quantifiable. 

Diablo 2 almost wasn't even a game.   It was an adventure.  Every time I played Diablo 2, especially when it was new to me, but even when I started new characters down the road, it always felt like the beginning of an adventure.  Diablo 3, while strong from a mechanics standpoint, doesn't give me the same feeling. 
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Reply #33 on: January 18, 2013, 12:50:27 PM

How does that line up with the jillion people in the WoW thread all going "why won't they listen to us?".




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Reply #34 on: January 18, 2013, 12:52:12 PM

How does that line up with the jillion people in the WoW thread all going "why won't they listen to us?".

In my mind it means we'll see some shakeups on the WoW team in 2013.

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