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    posted a message on Summary of artistic direction
    Ok, before anyone says I’m beating the dead horse and/or is intimidated by the length of this post, I urge you to take your time to read what I have to say. I think this post will provide valuable insight to both parties regarding the artistic direction. I’m gathering points thrown across on both sides of the argument and I will give my objective opinion and analysis about them.

    Those who’ve signed the petition:

    D3’s graphics look too WoW’ish.
    If the graphical resemblance to another game was merely a linear function with one end being Diablo and the other end being World of Warcraft then Diablo 3 would not reside exactly on the point where Diablo is. In this function, D3 would be somewhere half and half (afterall, both D3 and WoW are 3D games with more than 256 color). Some will argue it’s closer to World of Warcraft, but that debate is inconsequential. The point is that if you consider many other games, I’d say this game looks more like the Lord of the Rings universe (think of the greenish/blue hue in the movies) with some God of War influences (look at the barbarian’s normal attack) and less like WoW (unless you’re going to compare that greenish/blue hue to places in Razorfen Downs).

    The shoulder armor looks too big and cartoonish. Looks like it’s pasted from WoW.
    I’d rather my character look buff and awesome than normal and mundane. Big armor insinuates the look of coolness and gives the artists a better opportunity

    I want the light radius from Diablo back.
    If I’m going to be playing this game on a bigass LED backlit monitor, I want it to utilize all the screen space I have, not just a small portion in the center of the screen. Get with the times people.

    Have you seen the altered visuals? Especially the ones that Corwyn made.
    I commend Corwyn on such a valiant effort. Some screenshots are silly as hell such as altering the image of the overworld daylight to night, but Corwyn successfully puts his point across. But don’t be swayed by these visuals. A lot of you haven’t realize that you’re judging the game by a bunch of still screenshots and are failing to realize how this artistic direction fits in the game as a whole (including animation, music, etc.). And since we don’t have a playable demo, I’m not expecting you guys to vividly imagine you as playing the game thru the gameplay video. I did, and guess what? It works. I imagine myself playing through these dungeons again and again and I realize the ambient color invites me to keep playing the game. I also imagined if the game was mostly of dark, orange, and brown color scheme, and it seemed a little less inviting.

    If Blizzard North were to make this game, they wouldn’t have butchered D3 the way it is now.
    Most of you here know that some of the key players from Blizzard North left and formed their own company, one of which was Flagship Studios who’ve made the spiritual successor of Diablo 2 called Hellgate: London. Some stayed at Blizzard North until its closure and moved down to the Irvine offices and of them was the notable music composer of Diablo and Diablo 2, Matt Uelman (who actually left Blizzard after WoW: BC). But anyway, I’ll base my argument on the failure of Hellgate: London, since it is the only notable work of some Blizzard North employees after the company’s closure. The game was less fun than Diablo 2. D3 as of now, does not look like it’s butchered and I think having more of the old Blizzard North team back would make much of a difference. One of the reasons that many of them left was because they wanted to do something new, so them returning to work on Diablo 3 does not seem likely to happen.

    Hellgate London would’ve been good if they had enough time to complete it and the financial resources. It has a lot of potential.
    Sure it has a lot of potential, I don’t deny that. But aside from the plethora of bugs, poor business model, and online issues following the opening of the game, there are also some poor game design choices made to the game that will probably still be there if it were “completed.”

    1. 3rd person perspective: I’m sorry, this perspective was poorly executed for a hack’n’slash game. If I want a Diablo type hack’n’slash game where my attacks are mainly governed by weapon statistics and not aiming at specific body parts, then I want to be able to do flashy stuff and be able to see a lot of monsters I’m killing. If I want a one on one duel and to aim at specific body parts, I’d have a third person or first person perspective. Mish mashing them altogether just doesn’t work well.

    2. Redundant gothic environments: Ok, this part is debatable but I’m sure many of you agree that the game looked really repetitive and monotonous. Oh look another dark alleyway. Ah, another gothic cathedral. Is this how post-apocalyptic London look everywhere? I know that this is supposed to be fitting to the lore, but it can use a little variety and be slightly better executed. A good example is Resident Evil 4. It looks dark and morbid but with enough variety to also look very interesting.

    3. Inventory tetris: Oh c’mon, haven’t they playtested this game to realize how annoying this is? At least put an auto-sort button. Just because it was like this in Diablo 2, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t innovate and improve on some gameplay features.

    And look what Flagship Studios did now. Mythos was supposed to be a small and simple game merely to test the multiplayer capabilities of Hellgate: London. After they hear of the disappointment of Hellgate: London, they went to bank on Mythos and it became more than a simple project into something that competes against other MMOG’s. And guess what? It’s intentionally more colorful because they felt that the color in the game is more inviting to new players. A lesson was learned, if you ask me.

    Quote from "XxL2PxX" »
    How do you know that Blizzard Nroth can't make Diablo 3 better? If you read the part that I explaiend why Blizzard North was disbanded in the first palce was their direction of an upcoming game they were producing which is widely believed to be Diablo 3. Their past direction is only known between them and Blizzard, who's to say that it was too good to be in the hands of Blizzard and the feared what would happen to their other franchises? Who's to say that it was poor descision to begin with and decided to scrap it. No, that descision doesn't lie within any of our opinions, the best we can do is guess what happened in the fateful 2003
    You're right. I really don't know. But it still stands that some the developers in Flagship Studios have made some poor design choices as I've pointed out, and so did Blizzard fucking up on Starcraft: Ghost. I think you've successfully argued my point.

    The new art direction is swaying too much from the true vision of the Diablo series.
    If the art direction was like that of Ragnarok Online, Maple Story, or Fly for Fun, then you would be right. But it’s not and Blizzard won’t be that stupid to do that. It is a fitting improvement over the 8-bit graphics of the previous games. The true vision of the Diablo series is a combination of addictive gameplay, dark story, blood and gore, and deep item loot and it seems D3 is going to have tons of that.

    There should be an official poll regarding the art direction. But only those who have past Diablo accounts should be able to vote, not the WoW players who’ve never played Diablo.
    So do you think you’re an almighty fan whose voice matters more than any other consumer who is interested in this game? If so, then my voice should matter just as much since I’m a hardcore fan of the Diablo series. And don’t think there’s a lot of you that want the art direction changed and that you have a bigger say. 47k signatures? I’ll assume they’re all legitimate signatures. It can go up to 100,000 or 200,000 for all I care. That just means that they’re many more of us who support this new art direction. Recall how many people have played the past Diablo games. All you have is a small disgruntled population who are stuck with the past, some people who are easily swayed by some still photoshopped screenshots, and the backup of the media. “Players support the new art direction”? That’s not news, because sounds pretty ordinary and logical. “Players are angry at the new art direction”? Oh yeah, that’s news because it deviates from the norm that the players are happy that their beloved sequel is finally announced. Just because you guys speak loudly and boldly does not mean your voice should matter more than the person next to you. I can speak loudly and boldly, and that’s via this post.

    Blizzard is just trying to appease WoW players so they can stuff more money in their already fat wallet.
    And how is this a bad thing? You seem to be acknowledging that more people will be playing this game if it has more colorful graphics and act defensively of your minority population. Again, I go back to the previous comments about speaking loudly.

    Don’t be influenced by Blizzard PR bullshit. Or maybe you’re just a Blizzard fanboy.
    Who the hell are you to tell me where my opinions lie? This is what I think and I have the vision to see that Blizzard headed towards the right direction. Can you match my detail in analysis to project the significance of your own opinions?

    Then you think your voice should matter more?
    No, I never said that. You may think that when you read between my lines. But I assure you, I don’t think that. I’ll let anyone who reads this post to think for himself/herself. I’m merely providing my own insights.

    Smiling gargoyle? Gaaaaaaaaaayyyy!11!1!!
    Dude, are you going to be playing the game on 1000% zoom and notice these little details? Inconsequential.

    WTF? A rainbow in Diablo universe? WTF is Blizzard thinking?
    So first you complain about unrealistic and stylized environments and then you complain about the existence of a rainbow? Rainbows are a natural phenomenon buddy. It’s not like it’s blaring in front of the screen with a carebear stare. Move along.

    I signed the petition. I don’t like the way the new art direction is going.
    Ok, you signed the petition. So what? Why don’t you like the way the new art direction is going? Please give me a meaningful argument. Just merely saying that you’ve signed the petition is the easy way out.

    Those who support the artistic direction:

    Petitioners will buy the game anyway.
    That’s not the point. The petitioners give a shit about the true successor of Diablo and want it changed to their liking.

    Just be happy that they’ve announced Diablo 3, something many people are excited to hear.
    See above.

    We’ve only seen a very small portion of the game, how can you judge that the game is going to look like that everywhere?
    It’s true that we’ve seen only a small portion but most of the sanctuary dungeon that was shown to us has that greenish/blue hue that many people have a problem with it. But I personally like that hue because it contrasts very well with hellfire aura when the thousand pounder was summoned from 5 cultists.

    Also, it is possible to change and improve the game in its early stages so this is the best time to critique the game in its every detail. This argument is slightly flawed.

    It’s Blizzard’s game, they can do whatever the hell they want.
    Again, that’s not the point. Blizzard cares a lot about fan criticisms. They’ll listen and do what’s best for the game based on the feedback, not listen and do whatever the hell they want.

    If you want the old dark and bland look, go back to playing Diablo or Diablo 2.
    They’re not complaining just to play back the previous games, they want the new game to look more like the old game they know and love.

    If you don’t like the colors, change your saturation/gamma/brightness settings.
    That doesn’t satisfy their needs. I know if I play Ragnarok Online or a similar colorful game, it will still be a colorful and kiddy game no matter how I change the saturation/gamma/brightness settings.

    If you want to specifically remove that greenish/blue hue, there are graphics card settings to reduce the green hue when you play the game.
    Then what about when you get poisoned? I still want to see that green. They just don’t want to see it in the surrounding environment.

    The game looks fine to me. To those who bitch about the colors, STFU ALREADY!!
    This is an unintelligent response. It’s easy to tell someone to shut up. All it does is create pointless flaming without a meaningful and substantial debate and discussion.

    In conclusion:

    It’s easy to say that you’ve signed the petition, or to tell a dissenter to STFU. It’s also easy to just say that you’re neutral and you’ll accept whatever Blizzard brings you and that you trust them. However, it’s a lot more to say you have a strong opinion on something, listen (or in this case, read) what the other side has to say, and provide your own detailed analysis of many points thrown around that are buried deep within heaps of trolling and flaming posts. If any of you who advocate a change in the artistic direction can match me, in detail, on all the things that I’ve mentioned, then be my guest. I’ll be reading.


    July 13th, 2008 10pm PST: Added some missing words in the point about shoulder armor and added XxL2PxX's post.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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