While I agree gamers are sissified, the problem with the Jay Wilson apology is that it is completely diplomatic. It’s pure PR, damage control. A “rough and tumble” man apologizes face to face, to the person he directly insulted, not to anonymous fans. Or they can settle it in the Blizzard parking lot.
Of course, if you happen to respectfully point this out in the Blizzard forums, expect to be banned. Yeah, they’re real street over there at Blizzard.
And I have been playing Diablo 2 and 3 side by side recently. It’s ridiculous to assert one game can ruin another, but I’m not really impressed with what Jay Wilson and co. have brought to the table. Art direction is really inappropriate. I saw an orange and purple dungeon, for crying out loud! Who taught these people color theory? Too many monsters look goofy. Flat textures don’t help; linear maps, inferior loot/gear game, goofy animation. IMO, this isn’t a game that sells 10 million on its own, so they need to kiss Brevik’s (and sycophantic game news outlets) feet for laying down the ground work for the game’s success. Now, with plenty updates and tweeks, this game could have the legacy and longevity of D2, but I seriously doubt this will happen.
Three points about the Jay Wilson issue:
Everyone is saying the ‘F that loser’ and various comments were made because of lack of respect to Brevik. It is actually the opposite. At the screen capture, read the first comment. The Blizzard employee was asking for Brevik’s email because he felt like he got kicked in the gut. He felt hurt. Blizzard developers’ emotional reactions to Brevik’s comments should illustrate to everyone that they held the man in high esteem. After all, they are making a sequel to a game he was involved in. The Blizzard developers had invested YEARS of their lives into the game. The Internet trolls are operating under a premise that the Blizzard developers are a bunch of douchbags. But if they didn’t care about what the guy said, why did they get so emotional over it? And it was so emotional that they forgot that they were on the Internet (that everyone can see what they’re saying).
If you or I call the Blizzard developer a ‘poo poo head’, they don’t care. We’re just ones and zeroes to them. But this was a game developer who worked on the previous Diablo games. This was their equal, a member of that ‘Game Developer Club’. They take what he says to heart. If they didn’t, why did they have the reaction they did?
I can tell you, for certain, that the Blizzard developers on that Diablo 3 team actually are huge fans of Diablo 1 and 2. Why would they devote years of their life to Diablo 3 then?
The second point is about Jay’s ‘F that loser’. Jay Wilson is the leader of the Diablo 3 team. When he said, ‘F that loser’, he wasn’t talking to the Internet or gamers, he was talking to his team. His team was very depressed over Brevik’s comments. I suspect Jay was trying to buck up his team.
Game development is a team sport. Why did Jay Wilson write that apology note? “Because he was sorry he got caught.” “It was because he is a demi-devil.” Or, as the emailer said, it is just PR. Is it?
What I read from that letter was a passionate defense of his team. I imagine Jay Wilson would stand on his head and do cartwheels if he thought it would help the team.
My final point is that Diablo fans need to realize how lucky they are. They actually have people there who WANT to deliver a Diablo 1-2 awesome experience. This is uncommon in gaming.
I wish I could be as lucky as the Diablo fan. In the games I like, I don’t get sequels. If you are a fan of Super Mario Brothers games (more fans of this than perhaps any other type of game), you were told you weren’t supposed to like what you did. Miyamoto called us ‘bitter’ for not liking 3d Mario. The only reason why 2d Mario exists is because the board demands it be made. How do you think I feel when the makers say they don’t want to make a game I like? And then they keep trying to convert me to like games I don’t like?
I liked Classic Zelda. But the director of Modern Zelda, Aonuma, told the world that Classic Zelda was a terrible game that he didn’t even bother completing. Instead, he told the world that Zelda should be like the games he wants to play (PC adventure games) that are heavy on the NPC dialogues and has lots of item-puzzles. He told us his quest was to be ‘creative’ like how famous Japanese cooks are. And he told us he got his job because he made wooden dolls in college.
I liked Metroid. But the director of Metroid, Sakamoto, tells us that Classic Metroid is an obsolete game and that Metroid should now be about movies about Samus Aran and exploring her maternal instincts.
Brevik’s premise is entirely untrue: keeping the same people does not result in consistent game quality of a series. Cases like Dragon Quest are very rare. In nearly every series, the same creators want to do radical changes and give the middle finger to fans if they are unhappy. The Ultima series had radical changes throughout it even though the same people were largely behind them all. I remember Ultima 6 lost so many fans especially after what many consider the high mark of Ultima 5. Ultima 7′s combat system was a utter joke and nothing but automatic. The Final Fantasy series radically changed despite having many of the same people controlling it. Game series quality doesn’t stay the same when the same people are there.
Let me ask you a series of questions:
Did Diablo 3 drop the isometric viewpoint and go for a fully realized 3d viewpoint and focus on that 3d gameplay?
Did Diablo 3 shift emphasis away from the combat and focused on creating NPC conversations and changing Diablo 3 gameplay to be about solving puzzles?
Did Diablo 3 change to focus on non-skippable movies and the characters’ emotions such as the Demon Hunter’s maternal instincts?
No, you say? Look at all the shit I have with my games. You Diablo fans need to realize you got a good deal. At least the Diablo 3 development team WANTS to make a game that lives up to what you loved with Diablo 1 and 2. In my situation, they say they DON’T WANT to make the games I want to play, and then say I am ‘wrong’ to like the games I do… even though they were huge successes back in the day. (And yes, the NES Zelda games were definite huge successes back then. It is why they were so frequently copied.)
These Diablo fans think they got a raw deal with Diablo 3. But step into my shoes. You don’t know what actual pain is.