Diablo News Jay Wilson says Early Diablo 3 versions were “more like Diablo 2.5”

jay wilson in taiwanJay Wilson took a lot of heat when he was game director of Diablo 3. Some of the criticism was fair while some was a little over the top. Jay left Blizard some time ago now but his Twitter account became a little more active in the past 48 hours.

Jay took some time out to answer a few questions about Diablo 3 and the game’s design and direction which was hotly debated prior and after the game’s launch.

Read on for few snips from his Twitter activity.

Q: How much of what makes current D3 so good was discussed & tabled during original design?

Jay: Depends on what you mean by tabled. Seasons and rifts were planned in a general sense, but D3 benefited from play and learning in the wild. I wish the current D3 had been shipping D3, but the learning process is what led to what’s current.

Jay: I get that you felt it went too far away from originals. We were worried about stagnation, so built what felt like, to us, a unique sequel.

Jay:  Truly great companies, like Blizzard, believe that money follows quality and treating your customers right. I agree with this.

Jay : I can’t say no regrets about anything. Everything I work on I look back at and think a lot of things could be done better.

Q: Were you surprised at all with Blizzcon Diablo announcement? Felt incredibly underwhelming and the community is up in arms.

Jay: Name another game company that adds a new class and remakes an entire game inside their existing game…for free.

Q: What was the major factor that made you guys decide to make D3 more of its on beast rather than just D2.5?

Jay: We wanted to call it Diablo 3, not Diablo 2.5. 😉

Jay: The non-cheeky answer is that our early versions were more like a 2.5, and we weren’t excited by it. It wasn’t worth releasing.

Q: Who was truly responsible for D3’s artsyle? You took blame for it too but I don’t believe that. Pardo? Upper management?

Jay:  The art directors, but I was responsible for all final decisions

Jay: No regrets of visual look/tone. IMO D3 is a beautiful game that doesn’t visually copy the previous games while still paying tribute to them.

Q: And finally considering the lighthearted tone and feel compared to previous games, I suspect it’s Blizz upper maganement….?

Jay: But no, there was no upper management pressure. Blizzard was the most creative freedom I had in my game career.

Jay: A part of me wishes I stuck around for this, but after 8 years I was very burnt out. I also think there were benefits in some fresh eyes.

It’s always great to hear more about decision making, and like Diablo 3 or not, the game is what it is. You can read a few more comments in Jay’s Twitter feed.