Diablo III is in a much better place than it was at launch. Between server issues, the polarising real-money auction house and a loot system hell-bent on trolling players, the third instalment in Blizzard's action RPG series wasn't what the world asked for. At this year's GDC, game director Josh Mosqueira gave a brutally honest presentation on Diablo III's fall, and eventually return, to grace.
Nick Wilson at PCGamesN has done an excellent job of pulling out the highlights, if you're not up for watching the whole talk, which rocks in at around an hour. The tidbits include Mosqueira's own disappoint with the game's original incarnation and the loot system's unappreciated sense of humour:
"A true story: on my live character — my awesome Barbarian — it took me 104 hours before I found my first legendary. And do you know what it was? A quiver. Something was wrong there, and I remember that moment — what happened?"
We know now that the development team overhauled the drop system with "Loot 2.0", a desperately needed change that encouraged players to once again fight the creatures of evil, rather than declare war on Bunnings' gardening aisle:
"The game was so hard," said Josh, "that instead of being these epic heroes, fighting against the forces of darkness, you were a Barbarian smashing pots. That's right — the best heroes in Sanctuary were farming terra-cotta, because it was more efficient and less difficult than fighting monsters."
While Diablo IV is probably many, many years away, it's good to know Blizzard has learnt some important lessons with the third game. It won't make the same mistakes again, will it?