Archive for October, 2009

Diablo 3 delayed why?

Now, ever since Activision and Blizzard merged, I had a feeling that moneytalk will take over. Sure enough, listen to Activision’s boss, Bobby Kotick: “Next Blizzard MMO will have a “more broad appeal”…

I can’t believe 10+ million subscribers is now considered marginal for a MMO! For some perspective, LOTRO has about 250,000 and Warhammer Online is seeing a decreasing 300,000 or so.

The other point is … how is WoW not appealing enough for everybody? It has purple (gay?) elves, orcs on motorcycles… it’s as cartoony as a Disney picture.

It looks like Activision-Blizzard is definitely pursuing a strategy of attracting the lowest common denominator and putting “niche” products like Diablo 3 on the backburner. Just 40 people are working on Diablo when the support team for WoW alone is something like 3000?


Torchlight – a Diablo clone?

Now, this is the first time I hear about Torchlight, thanks to Shacknews. One look at the screenshot and I could swear it’s very Diablo-esque.

Update: Wildgames have Torchlight for just $6.99 – download it now!

Turns out the team has some Blizzard North veterans like Peter Hu; Erich and Max Schaefer, and some artists. The best piece of news? You don’t have to wait till 2011 to play it. It’ll be on Steam in 5 days!

torchlight diablo clone

Diablo 3 items and inventory

diablo 3 itemsBlizzard is hard at work figuring out the inventory management. If you compare the screenshots from the initial announcement to the current version, you’ll see plenty of differences.

Yet, they aren’t happy with it. Blizzard states:

Inventory management and the systems that surround it are something we’re obviously interested in, but not something that can really be tuned until we have more of the item game fleshed out and tuned itself. It’s hard to know exactly the best way to handle inventory management when the items, types, pickup frequency, and removal frequency can’t really be measured with any real accuracy.

I hope this doesn’t mean we get to play item tetris – as it was in Diablo 2 with different items taking different number of slots.

At the same time, Blizzard obviously don’t want to copy WoW’s inventory system. Or, Warhammer Online’s system of different bags filtering different item types. They want to make us THINK about which items we put in the inventory.

Diablo 3 updated screenshots

Remember the big discussion about Diablo 3 getting TOO SUNNY for a Diablo game? The fans had to re-do screenshots in Photoshop just to make their point that a darker Diablo is called for – no green fields.

In public Blizzard remained adamant about the art direction but since then they have let the Art Director go and lo and behold – the updated screenshots look very much LIKE Diablo 2!

Check out the desert screenshot below – I did some minor sharpening in Photoshop but I must say it looks like Act II (Lut Gholein). Mercifully, the green grass has been removed and the characters look dark and desperate!
diablo 3 area

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