Diablo III Catch-All

Well what are the TL2 guys doing? They're certainly taking their time as well

They probably have a whiteboard with the ETA at "Diablo 3 release date - 1 month"

With D3 being delayed, they just got a bunch of extra months.

With a few dozen employees, I'll give Runic a little more leeway.

eh nvm it's a dumb argument

shoptroll wrote:
nihilo wrote:
Grenn wrote:
Lothar wrote:

I don't have a problem with any of the changes and I hope the game is out sooner than later but I'm not worried it will be out whenever and I will play it than.

Lothar, hearing someone of the same opinion of optimism as me fills my heart with joy. When it does drop, we will rain frogs from the sky and explode enemies with our kung fu together! Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where's the Tylenol?

I'm definitely playing this game when it comes out, and I'm pretty sure regardless of the intricacies of their design decisions I'm going to enjoy it. Can't say I've read much of this thread other than looking for more info about the game as it trickles out, but I have to think I'm not alone with these thoughts.

My thoughts exactly, and I'll probably be getting Torchlight II as well once I actually sink some time into TL1.

Absolutely, I'll be picking up TL2 as well. I can't wait to play with all of you in both.

I can neither confirm nor deny that the "changes" might have possibly but not necessarily been pushed out.

kyrieee wrote:

Well what are the TL2 guys doing? They're certainly taking their time as well

To be fair, Runic is taking about 2.5 years (instead of the planned 1.5) to develop TL2, as opposed to Blizzard taking over 10 years to develop D3.

MeatMan wrote:
kyrieee wrote:

Well what are the TL2 guys doing? They're certainly taking their time as well

To be fair, Runic is taking about 2.5 years (instead of the planned 1.5) to develop TL2, as opposed to Blizzard taking over 10 years to develop D3.

But to be fair, Blizzard only announced Diablo III in 2008 (less then 4 years ago). Any development they do behind closed doors is strictly their business. I wasn't expecting them to ever make a Diablo III but instead move onto new IPs. Runic on the other hand actually told us they wanted to release TL2 last summer and didn't deliver. At least Blizzard doesn't tell us anything about release dates until they are sure.

kazar wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
kyrieee wrote:

Well what are the TL2 guys doing? They're certainly taking their time as well

To be fair, Runic is taking about 2.5 years (instead of the planned 1.5) to develop TL2, as opposed to Blizzard taking over 10 years to develop D3.

But to be fair, Blizzard only announced Diablo III in 2008 (less then 4 years ago). Any development they do behind closed doors is strictly their business. I wasn't expecting them to ever make a Diablo III but instead move onto new IPs. Runic on the other hand actually told us they wanted to release TL2 last summer and didn't deliver. At least Blizzard doesn't tell us anything about release dates until they are sure.

The last thing I want to do is upset any diehard Diablo fans (of which I used to be one), but I don't see how releasing D3 four years after its announcement (2008 - 2012) is better than releasing TL2 two years after its announcement (2010 - 2012).

MeatMan wrote:
kazar wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
kyrieee wrote:

Well what are the TL2 guys doing? They're certainly taking their time as well

To be fair, Runic is taking about 2.5 years (instead of the planned 1.5) to develop TL2, as opposed to Blizzard taking over 10 years to develop D3.

But to be fair, Blizzard only announced Diablo III in 2008 (less then 4 years ago). Any development they do behind closed doors is strictly their business. I wasn't expecting them to ever make a Diablo III but instead move onto new IPs. Runic on the other hand actually told us they wanted to release TL2 last summer and didn't deliver. At least Blizzard doesn't tell us anything about release dates until they are sure.

The last thing I want to do is upset any diehard Diablo fans (of which I used to be one), but I don't see how releasing D3 four years after its announcement (2008 - 2012) is better than releasing TL2 two years after its announcement (2010 - 2012).

It's not but it's totally different than saying that D3 has been in development for 10 years. I am pumped for TL2 and wish it would come out sooner than later because I feel that the closer they are to D3, that it would be worst for TL2 than D3.

My beta name is Lothars#1531 if anyone wants to play.

MeatMan wrote:
kazar wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
kyrieee wrote:

Well what are the TL2 guys doing? They're certainly taking their time as well

To be fair, Runic is taking about 2.5 years (instead of the planned 1.5) to develop TL2, as opposed to Blizzard taking over 10 years to develop D3.

But to be fair, Blizzard only announced Diablo III in 2008 (less then 4 years ago). Any development they do behind closed doors is strictly their business. I wasn't expecting them to ever make a Diablo III but instead move onto new IPs. Runic on the other hand actually told us they wanted to release TL2 last summer and didn't deliver. At least Blizzard doesn't tell us anything about release dates until they are sure.

The last thing I want to do is upset any diehard Diablo fans (of which I used to be one), but I don't see how releasing D3 four years after its announcement (2008 - 2012) is better than releasing TL2 two years after its announcement (2010 - 2012).

most games take 4-5 years to make. Blizzard usually adds a couple of years to that. Usually games don't get announced until 60% is done (when it is demoable).

Re: 10 years of development. What I have read is that Blizzard North was developing Diablo 3, and then Blizzard axed that whole site. I think D3 died with it and was only resurrected a few years later. So it might not have 10 years of actual development.

Hm. Guess I didn't get a key from the Twitter thing.

Boo-urns!

MeatMan wrote:
kazar wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
kyrieee wrote:

Well what are the TL2 guys doing? They're certainly taking their time as well

To be fair, Runic is taking about 2.5 years (instead of the planned 1.5) to develop TL2, as opposed to Blizzard taking over 10 years to develop D3.

But to be fair, Blizzard only announced Diablo III in 2008 (less then 4 years ago). Any development they do behind closed doors is strictly their business. I wasn't expecting them to ever make a Diablo III but instead move onto new IPs. Runic on the other hand actually told us they wanted to release TL2 last summer and didn't deliver. At least Blizzard doesn't tell us anything about release dates until they are sure.

The last thing I want to do is upset any diehard Diablo fans (of which I used to be one), but I don't see how releasing D3 four years after its announcement (2008 - 2012) is better than releasing TL2 two years after its announcement (2010 - 2012).

Maybe its the lesser of two "What the hell? C'mon!"?

So it seems the cool fatalities from the 2008 demo video were just specially scripted.

Bashiok wrote:

Unfortunately we never managed to get these implemented. They were a really cool idea, but a pretty huge amount of work. The one we showed of the siegebreaker was a scripted sequence we set up specifically for that video. It was never implemented, and never actually worked without someone sitting there typing in a bunch of commands to get it all to fire off properly. It's still something we'd like to do, though.

All things considered there are just higher priority tasks sometimes. We'd love, for example, to have the monk display his weapons during all of his skill animations. But it's an enormous animation and effects investment to get it done, and we have to weigh all of these things against other features and polish. A lot of the skills we could improve have multiple animation sets, multiplied twice for each gender, and then multiplied by each weapon type he can equip. That can be 40 or more unique animations, and then there's a full FX pass, approvals, QA testing, etc. etc. and that'd just be for 1 skill.

We have our wish lists, but it's a balancing act of resources. Ideally our choices when balancing go toward setting realistic limitations, and producing the best game possible.

I am slightly miffed.

Within the last month it does seem like Bliz are cutting a lot to get it under control and out the door. I've no idea if the changes are for good or bad, but it doesn't help my perception of a project a bit out of control rather than the usual "when it's done/polishing". I'm sure plenty of other games cut things, but few other games have an open beta like D3 that lays it bare to the public.

The game sounds hopelessly generic to me. If Blizzard wants my business again, they need to start making innovations instead of refining old features and techniques that have long grown stale.

ZaneRockfist wrote:

The game sounds hopelessly generic to me. If Blizzard wants my business again, they need to start making innovations instead of refining old features and techniques that have long grown stale.

That's close to where I am. I'm not heavily invested in Diablo than any other ARPG, so from my perspective I don't know the answer to why I should pick up D3 (for around £35 plus other restrictions) versus other alternatives (old and new) that are going to be cheaper. I don't know what the 'killer features' are that make it rise above, other than "it's a Blizzard game" or building on the earlier games reputation.

The Rune skill system is the only innovation left. Fortunately for Blizzard, it is quite a doozy.

All things considered there are just higher priority tasks sometimes. We'd love, for example, to have the monk display his weapons during all of his skill animations. But it's an enormous animation and effects investment to get it done, and we have to weigh all of these things against other features and polish. A lot of the skills we could improve have multiple animation sets, multiplied twice for each gender, and then multiplied by each weapon type he can equip. That can be 40 or more unique animations, and then there's a full FX pass, approvals, QA testing, etc. etc. and that'd just be for 1 skill.

I am sorry but is the Diablo 3 dev team a bunch of newbs? This should have been known from the start. At that point you either cut it or commit. Blizzard has the resources to pull it off. That is the kind of stuff that makes Blizzard games amazing. Think of all the sprites they had to render for Diablo 2 for each frame of animation for each weapon for each class. Now imagine if they said that no matter what weapon the sorceress/barbarian/amazon/etc had equipped, the attack and skill animation will be bare handed?

And now, if I hadn't seen all of the rune skill animations, I'd be worried that they would cut that too. Because, gosh its really hard to do "unique animations, and then there's a full FX pass, approvals, QA testing, etc. etc. and that'd just be for 1 skill".

You guys were the ones boasting 9 billion class builds. I am really starting to question my benefit of the doubt regarding their ability to drastically reduce the game breaking skill combos.

Diablo 3 is slowly growing into a DNF kinda game.

IMAGE(http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/2247744_700b_v1.jpg)

Luggage wrote:

Diablo 3 is slowly growing into a DNF kinda game.

I know it's said in jest, but it's the other end of the 'long development time' spectrum that both D3 and DNF are on. Just like 3DRealms, Blizzard can keep this going for ages, and there are dangers to that. Not every game with a long development time becomes a train-wreck, but I think managing such a project probably requires higher than usual skills.

System changes late in development aren't encouraging, but I'm sure it's not uncommon, it's certainly more visible with the open beta. What it tells me though is that Blizzard is designing as they go along, rather than getting a blueprint and just making the darn thing. I wonder how well finished (and perfectly balanced, polished, etc) anything can be when the creator doesn't have a solid idea what it is they're creating.

What it tells me though is that Blizzard is designing as they go along, rather than getting a blueprint and just making the darn thing. I wonder how well finished (and perfectly balanced, polished, etc) anything can be when the creator doesn't have a solid idea what it is they're creating.

Do you really know that for a fact? This reads like opinion. Unless you are actually working on the team you are going by scraps of info that is released. We are so schizophrenic as a community....and as a developer its not hard to imagine how jaded one must become based on the customer they serve. We crave more info all the time.. but we hate hype.. we decry no info as a bad sign and equally as harsh when under an open beta a developer adapts to feedback. We have created the ultimate no-win scenario.

It must be terrifically hard for companies like Blizzard to not develop a sense of loathing about their own customers... that in itself is to be commended. (sleeping on piles of money probably helps)

Slacker1913 wrote:

So it seems the cool fatalities from the 2008 demo video were just specially scripted.

This is from the part where the boss just kills someone in one hit by slicing them across the torso right? No way that wasn't heavily scripted.

If memory serves, the initial "footage" of Starcraft II they showed at the debut was also heavily scripted.

For some reason I'm not terribly surprised by this news. However, I'm usually more surprised when promotional material isn't bullshotted or heavily scripted. So YMMV.

Scratched wrote:

Within the last month it does seem like Bliz are cutting a lot to get it under control and out the door. I've no idea if the changes are for good or bad, but it doesn't help my perception of a project a bit out of control rather than the usual "when it's done/polishing". I'm sure plenty of other games cut things, but few other games have an open beta like D3 that lays it bare to the public.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Diablo II have some features that were gutted fairly late? Like clan housing and shared storage and all that.

Starcraft 1 dropped the Dark Templar, Valkyrie and Lurker units fairly late into the development process and those showed back up in the expansion.

This feels a little like those moments, maybe more so because some of the stuff they're gutting was revealed a long time ago. I don't think all of this stuff is gone forever though, and I get the impression from their PR that they are serious about shipping this year. Then again, it is PR so maybe that's just what they want us to think...

This is from the part where the boss just kills someone in one hit by slicing them across the torso right? No way that wasn't heavily scripted.

Um, havok middleware has tools for that built in. (context sensitive animation triggering)
You can have something like a state where a specific animation is triggered on death or critical death in a given radius near the boss.

fangblackbone wrote:

Um, havok middleware has tools for that built in. (context sensitive animation triggering)
You can have something like a state where a specific animation is triggered on death or critical death in a given radius near the boss.

Ok, but they had some physics engine stuff in the Starcraft II footage too. Stuff like units ragdolling on death, bullets dropping out of the sky after that temporal distortion field ended. I'm pretty certain most, if not all of those eye candy were removed (although it sounds like some of it might come back with HotS).

Sure I'm a little disappointed as well, but it doesn't feel like something that I was exactly salivating over. Something like that would be cool the first time you play it and you probably either get tired of it or learn to avoid it by about the 5th run you do. I'd personally prefer they focus their efforts somewhere other than eye candy like that. Or move it to an expansion or end of act boss.

But it is those subtle little touches that keep the Diablo series from getting boring. I bet you didn't notice that there are 3 or more stock weapon swings in Diablo 2 and that there is no pattern to them. The fact that we don't notice them is good because if we did notice them, it would be a sign that repetition is setting in and we wouldn't want to do our 13,872 Mephisto run.

fangblackbone wrote:

But it is those subtle little touches that keep the Diablo series from getting boring. I bet you didn't notice that there are 3 or more stock weapon swings in Diablo 2 and that there is no pattern to them. The fact that we don't notice them is good because if we did notice them, it would be a sign that repetition is setting in and we wouldn't want to do our 13,872 Mephisto run.

Yes, now amplify that by a non-trivial number and you're probably looking at the amount of work it would've taken them to do unique situational deaths for bosses. Yes it can be done procedurally, but that's not always a complete fix as evidenced by some of Chris Hecker's notes on Spore's procedural animation. You're still going to need to assign at least an artist or graphical designer and probably a programmer to the feature. My guess is that after the demo they decided that it probably wasn't worth the resources and canned it, and it looks like that was an early decision based on that post that was linked.

Besides, from a resource allocation perspective that sort of thing would have to be done really late in development. There is little point in making these animations early only to have a boss scrapped or reworked or moved to a different environment, etc.

Also, while I think that was a cool animation I remember thinking that it didn't seem like it would be fun if I can't interrupt a one-hit kill like that and then have to make a corpse run back to the boss who could do the same thing again to me right after I get my gear.

Oh I don't disagree with anything you said. I have been in computer animation and modeling since 1992. I used bones pro (the first skeletal deformation program) in ~1994.

And I don't mean zillions of custom ragdoll animations (although if you have havok middleware already, you may as well use the ragdoll). You could do say ten per major boss and not class specific. (so the head chomp with stringy guts coming out of the neck would just have a character model swap for the barbarian and witch doctor, as examples) Look at all of the custom stuff that is done in the God of War series. I am not just talking quicktime events either.

Ever since character studio (1996?), animation programs have been able to save poses, keyframes or animation clips to be loaded onto other rigs/skeletons. It is far from a perfect translation but it is a great headstart and for simple animations, only tweaks are needed.

TheGameguru wrote:
What it tells me though is that Blizzard is designing as they go along, rather than getting a blueprint and just making the darn thing. I wonder how well finished (and perfectly balanced, polished, etc) anything can be when the creator doesn't have a solid idea what it is they're creating.

Do you really know that for a fact? This reads like opinion. Unless you are actually working on the team you are going by scraps of info that is released. We are so schizophrenic as a community....and as a developer its not hard to imagine how jaded one must become based on the customer they serve. We crave more info all the time.. but we hate hype.. we decry no info as a bad sign and equally as harsh when under an open beta a developer adapts to feedback. We have created the ultimate no-win scenario.

It must be terrifically hard for companies like Blizzard to not develop a sense of loathing about their own customers... that in itself is to be commended. (sleeping on piles of money probably helps)

Following the info released by Blizzard themselves I feel pretty confident saying if they do have a blueprint it's an evolving blueprint which has grown and shrunk throughout development.

Blizzard wrote:

While working on Diablo III we've been called out for messing around with systems too much, that the game is good as-is and we should just release it. I think that's a fair argument to make, but I also think it's incorrect. Our job isn't just to put out a game, it's to release the next Diablo game.

This opening statement speaks volumes. Why did they start with an apologetic tone bout messing with systems? It's because they've told us game mechanics which they've scrapped. Their only argument that this isn't a correct (but somehow fair?) opinion is because it's the next Diablo game. While I have faith that Blizzard will put out a damn fine game this is a quote I'd have expected from John Romero in 1998.

fangblackbone wrote:

And I don't mean zillions of custom ragdoll animations (although if you have havok middleware already, you may as well use the ragdoll). You could do say ten per major boss and not class specific. (so the head chomp with stringy guts coming out of the neck would just have a character model swap for the barbarian and witch doctor, as examples) Look at all of the custom stuff that is done in the God of War series. I am not just talking quicktime events either.

GoW is a single-player experience and because of that the developers have a lot more control over the flow of the fight. What happens if the other players kill the boss in the middle of the custom kill animation? You need to have it transition seamlessly right or people will call you out on it. I'm sure there's other issues, but the more I think about this the more I think it was probably going to be more of a pain to do for the amount of spectacle it provided.