11 years on Sanctuary: how Diablo 3 was made and released (Topic)

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11 years on Sanctuary: how Diablo 3 was made and released


11 long years. 11 years of labor, collapse, disappointment and triumph, again collapse, and the beginning of the road to the sequel. Diablo 3 was one of the most famous long-term builds the industry knows. While we are inundated with facts about the announcement of Diablo 4 at Blizzcon 2019, let's talk about the predecessor, which we had to wait a decade after the second part was released. Even when it came out, we couldn't play it properly and had to wait for the game to be repaired, but it was worth it. Today we will tell you about the history of the creation of Diablo III.

It was in the 2000s

The history of the creation of Diablo 3 begins officially in 2001. The embers left over from Diablo 2 were still smoldering, so it was just a matter of time before the triquel was created. The game already had a budget, a group was formed to deal with production, and there was a blessing from above. However, Blizzard is suddenly faced with what no one expected - an internal rift.


The development team, divided into two halves, was radically different in the vision of the continuation of the series and what ideas it should defend. Often this was because the senior staff who worked on the two original games believed that their ideas alone were key to successfully creating a sequel. The second, younger part of the team was outraged by this, because they did not want to be a rear wheel that follows the front wheel and believed that everyone in the team had full rights in creative freedom.


The reason for this disagreement was the shadow and legacy of the past two games, which imposed a huge responsibility on developers. The first and second Diablo have the status of cult games, and when you make a continuation of the cult game, either you have to surpass it, or not take up work at all. That is why there were several opinions on what the ideal third part should be.

This whole situation was leaked to reporters by one of the Blizzard employees, who was just taking part in the development of the game.

This disagreement led to the fact that two opposing forces created their own Diablo 3, each of which was radically different and, unfortunately, ran into a dead end. One part of the team believed that the world he left as a legacy is so wide that you can tell about its other side. Concentrate not on demons, but rather go beyond the devil's dungeon further expanding the lore.


Another part of the team was conservative, who believed that such an innovative approach was contrary to the ideals laid down by the series. Conflicts could arise from scratch, when the designer created a very cool monster, and the senior employee said that this was not in the last game, so you can throw this monster in the trash. In general, this monster is not "demonic" enough, so put it all the more deeply as you know where.


Also, the designers created new locations, some of them more diverse, not so gloomy, and they were also "not enough Diablo" in the eyes of the old-timers. It could be said that the senior studio staff cherished the image of the original dilogy, but no. Diablo 2 was just an ideal, a diamond that Blizzard had once again immortalized itself, but it also had bugs that should have been fixed in the sequel. This is what a sequel (in our case a triquel) should do in an ideal world, and if the developers were creating the game the way senior workers want, hearing that "it's not enough Diablo" and "it's not enough Diablo", then it wouldn't make sense at all to make a sequel .


The year that everything changed.

Closer to 2008, it became clear that disagreements did not lead to anything. The studio was doing almost two different projects at the same time [behind the scenes everyone was making the same game, but if you look at the design of the cities, everything fell into place] and none of them was the same game that we saw in the end. The decision was made to develop three new standards for the game to meet. One of these was the condition that the game must always have an Internet connection, even in order to play alone.

The emphasis was to be on the content of the game, and all the differences in the design of different cities were eliminated. At the time of the announcement of the game in 2008, it was still far from what it should be. It was then, consider, and began a long and exhausting path to the exit, which lasted another 4 years.


According to an anonymous developer, creating a game can only be compared to running a huge empire. If the developers had initially set tighter deadlines, things might have been different.

But despite the release of the game, its release was as long-suffering as the development itself.

Error 37

As Jason Schreyer wrote in Blood, Sweat, Pixels, in 2012, the entire gaming world froze in anticipation of how the game would play and they would plunge into the story they had been waiting for. During this time, the developers had fun. They finished development and threw a party to celebrate their success.

However, here the players met an unfortunate fate, because everyone who tried to download the game received the message “At the moment, all servers are busy. Please try to log in later [Error 37] "- these are all consequences of the studio's disastrous decision to require players to have a permanent internet connection.


The forums have already churned out memes and angry comments, and the developers did not even know that in the whole world no one can enjoy their products with ten years of exposure. At the same time, Blizzard's service centers were just going crazy with user messages. Nobody understood anything. Gamers went to bed postponing the game until tomorrow, and those who sat until the last witnessed Error 303, which, alas, did not gain such popularity.


Blizzard mobilized all possible forces, and within 48 hours repaired the servers. However, Bliezam still had to struggle with the consequences of Error 37, which made all gamers in the world think that the game they have been waiting for is doomed.

But the gum didn't end there either. The auctions generated by the Inferno regime entered the scene. The fact is that the difficulty of the game was ambiguous, so the company added this difficulty mode for those who have completed the game and want a real test. It dropped the best equipment, without which players could not pass it. But the question is, how to start playing in a mode that requires the most powerful equipment that can only be obtained by her at the same level?


This is how Blizzard got the idea to sell it for real money. This was a case that caused a lot of publicity. Like, microtransactions have been introduced into a AAA level game, are you out of your mind? Pay a second time? You won't surprise anyone with such things today, but back then it was 2012 and EA had not yet released Star Wars Battlefront 2.


It's funny that soon players rebelled and broke the system. They realized that the loot is based on a random number generator, and the likelihood that you will drop a cool weapon is about the same, that when killing a boss, or when breaking an earthen pot. And yes, farm came to the devil lands when players broke pots.

Eventually, the studio had to create 18 patches to make the game more flexible. Including making the Inferno difficulty level more accessible. And for the auctions, Blizzard received "fu" from the players.

Diablo 3 can be said to be a great game, although for the most part it looked more like Diablo 2 than we wanted. The employees are just happy that they were able to survive all the hardships and make, though not a phenomenal game, just a good one. And the very story of the creation of Diablo 3 has become indicative that studios with a multi-million dollar budget and a huge team of professionals can also become victims of a long production hell and problems typical for indie. Let's hope Diablo IV escapes the fate of its predecessor.

The Topic of Article: 11 years on Sanctuary: how Diablo 3 was made and released.
Author: Jake Pinkman