Recent Features

The Ultimate Twink: Legendary Gem of Ease
There are three new available for PTR experimentation in the upcoming patch; the two defensive LGems that were previewed at Blizzcon 2014 — and — and another special/secret one, the Gem of Ease. The Gem of Ease is the most unusual of all the Legendary Gem; it only sockets into a weapon (not jewelry), and […]
New Treasure Goblins on the PTR
We’ve talked about the four types of new Treasure Goblins since three of them were debuted at Blizzcon last month, and shown some screens now and then, but I’ve seen all of them numerous times during PTR play the last week or two, so here’s a compilation. New Treasure Goblins on the PTR: Malevolent Tormentor […]

Rob Pardo Interview @ Wall Street Journal

Posted 6 Aug 2011 by

DiabloWikiRob Pardo, Blizzard’s Senior VP of Game Design, has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. It’s not a financial interview, since even the WSJ runs an entertainment blog these days. The interview is apparently brand new; it references the controversy about the real money Auction House, but alas, doesn’t really dig into Blizzard’s reaction to the fan outrage. There are some useful questions about the AH though, plus other game feature changes from D2 to D3.

Here’s a quote, and thanks to fmulder for the tip.

You’ve talked about the auction house being unprecedented in gaming in terms of the way it’s implemented here, but it does seem comparable to social games like FarmVille or Tiny Tower that basically allow you to spend money when you lose patience with the waiting game, or in this case the meta-game of grinding for random drops. It allows players to accelerate their own pace. How much have those games informed this new system?
Rob Pardo: There have been microtransactions going for a while in games. What no one’s done is the player-to-player aspect of it. We’re taking it a step back and saying it’s up to the player base to decide. It’s not up to us. It’s a player-driven economy; if people find value and want to do this activity, then there have to be sellers and buyers. You don’t really have that sense that, like in some of these games, players feel they have to buy some of the items, or they have to buy gold from the company to even be able to advance in the game. That’s not how we’re designing Diablo III at all. I think the important thing for us is to make sure the game plays really well if you never trade an item.

Do you expect the meta-game to evolve in unexpected ways?
Rob Pardo: I would say that’s quite likely. Considering that we don’t have anyone to look at that’s done it like this, it’s going to be hard to predict exactly what will happen.

The player base is very vocal about any change perceived to threaten the integrity of the game. In your experience do the majority of these concerns die away after the games are released? Or in other cases do you learn that they did have a point?
Rob Pardo: You ignore the opinions of the fan base at your own peril. I think what’s really important to us is that when there is an uproar or a concern that we listen to it and think seriously about it. The thing that often happens is that players have imperfect knowledge of the situation. They imagine the game’s going to be like this, and here’s everything that’s going to happen. So there’s usually a lot of fear without a lot of knowledge going on. If we’re wrong, then we’re pretty unafraid to change things.

So for the scientifically-measured 51% of you guys who hate or dislike the RMT; do you feel your objections stem from your lack of complete knowledge of the situation?