Diablo Creator on Diablo III Interview, Diablo III Developers Respond Angrily

Blizzard North co-founder David Brevik has been interviewed by IncGamers on Diablo III (at the moment the website is offline, but various websites have quotes of the interview saved), and offered his opinions on the action-RPG threequel, which was developed by a completely different team than the one that worked on the two original titles.

He offered some generally critical comments on the direction of the title, claiming he would have done differently:
IncGamers: Do you think they bought the wrong people in? As we understand, Jay Wilson, for example, his background was RTS. From our point of view it looked like they misunderstood what kept people playing, The type of loot drops, which has been a big issues. One of the other issues is they have not listened to their community, and they have not anlaysed what makes up that addictive Diablo experience. What are your thoughts on that?

David Brevik: Well, the loot system. They made some decisions with the loot system that were very different than the way that we did it in Diablo 2 and I think that obviously the community has been upset with some of the decisions they made. Having all of your powers work off your main weapon and things like that, to having blues that are more powerful than yellows. Eventually the auction house and how that worked, even something as simple as when you equip an item and it's bound to your character permanently would have totally changed the dynamic of the game.

It seems odd that they have not really responded in a quick fashion to some of these things. I think they are very well aware of the problems at this point and are trying to fix some of this stuff. It's a shame that they had to learn some of these painful lessons

IncGamers: As you created Diablo, how do you feel about it? Do you feel a little let down that the legacy has kind of been mashed up?

David Brevik: I have very mixed emotions about it (laughs). On one hand I am sad that people haven't enjoyed Diablo because it's a love, a passion, and its obvious people still have a giant love and passion for Diablo and they are speaking out about it because they have such love for it. That makes me feel great.

I am sad because people are outraged and, you know, some of the decision they have made are not the decisions I would make and there have been changes in philosophy and that hasn't gone over very well. I think in that way I am a little sad.

I am also a little happy, which I hate to say, it shows that the people that were involved in Diablo really did matter, and so I am happy that it has come to light that how talented that group was and how unique and special that group was. I am hoping that, as this happens very often in the industry, you see it with Call of Duty and things like that , when the people leave the game changes and it shows how critical people are in this industry.

This seems to have caused quite a bit of resentment among the developers of Diablo III on Facebook, including game director Jay Wilson who unceremoniously commented "Fuck that loser". The post is still available here, but many of the comments, including the previously mentioned game director-authored personal insult, have been removed (you can still see them in this screenshot of the discussion).

I suppose it's a symptom of the social network era that this kind of emotional outburst gets broadcasted online to a much vaster audience than the social circles we use to share our complaints with, and I can understand how it can be hard to respond to that kind of criticism after pouring all of your energies and time into the title, but that said, I'd have difficulties to not call that comment extremely unprofessional.

Thanks RPGCodex for the transcripts and Reddit for the other links.