“Diablo” fans aren’t just those taking the time to make petitions and their own screenshots.
According to lead “Diablo III” designer Jay Wilson, the team has to appease an “extremely broad audience” as well as hardcore fans.
“Up until fairly recently, ‘Diablo II’ was Blizzard’s best-selling game,” Wilson recently told me when I asked him just who “Diablo” fans are. “‘World of Warcraft‘ has finally surpassed it, but it took it several years to do that. And part of the reason is how approachable the game is.”
Keeping the game approachable is key for Wilson. “It’s one of the reasons why we made some of the choices we made, like when we pulled out the potion system,” he said. “When we wanted to add a hot bar we knew we had to pull the potion stuff out. Every time we add something, we have to pull something out to keep the game very simple and straightforward to play.”
“One of the things that happened in ‘Diablo II’,” Wilson continued, “was the player was faster than most of the monsters and had pretty much infinite health because they would just pop as many potions as they wanted. So when you have a player who has more mobility, more health and endless power, essentially the only thing you can really do to challenge [the players] is to kill them… by just spiking the difficulty.”