Diablo Developer Reflects on Missed Opportunities in Flagship Episode Development

Game news He regrets not having worked on this aspect of this video game in depth, this Diablo developer looks back on the development of this flagship episode of the Blizzard saga


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More than ten years after the release of the original game, one of the developers of this episode of Diablo returns to one of the main controversial design choices of the title. A decade later, he publicly confessed to regretting this decision.


In 2012, Andrew Chambers was one of the system designers for Diablo III at the time of the release of Blizzard's highly anticipated hack'n'slash. Today, the latter is a professional game designer still for Blizzard, but also for Relic, Netflix and others. In addition to his main activity, Andrew Chambers has a YouTube channel on which he posts videos in which he talks about game design before popularizing this field and making it accessible to as many people as possible. Recently, the latter made a video about Last Epoch, the hack'n'slash of the moment which delights fans of the genre, to return to the design choices of the game which could not have been made at the time of Diablo III. And that’s where we learn some very interesting things.

Diablo III, a desire for openness for the series

In this 27-minute video, Andrew Chambers compares the design choices of Last Epoch to those of Diablo III and looks back at the major decisions that led to the creation of the game as we know it today. Among one of the crucial choices that shaped the experience of this episode, it was decided to make the skills system more accessible to attract a new audience, or even a different audience. In other words, a policy on the complexity of Last Epoch's gameplay that speaks more to Diablo veterans. In his video, here is what Andrew Chambers explains:

Basically, we wanted to target a broader audience than just Diablo. We didn't want to just capture Diablo's audience, we wanted to expand it. The best way to do this is to create systems that are much more accessible, which usually involves trade-offs in complexity. It's not for lack of trying, I remember the team doing the skill system going back and forth – I think they created 12 different complete iterations of the skill system.

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“I really regret it”

Among the many systems imagined, there was one in which players would have had to search for “runes” to insert into skills to add different properties and thus strengthen them. This would have resulted in a never-ending quest to constantly improve his skills and become ever more powerful. At the time, the system designer refused this idea which he regrets today. He details:

The irony is that I strongly opposed this idea. I was like, “This is way too complicated; people are going to try to figure out the best solution; they're going to end up with a nightmare inventory; that's not something we can really expect from our audience.” I really regret it. I think that skill system probably would have been better than what we have today, at least for the more 'pure' Diablo audience.”

Next May, Diablo III will soon celebrate its twelfth anniversary and it will have been a year since its successor was available. One thing is certain, it is that this episode will have caused a lot of ink to flow and that it continues to do so, even today.

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