"One of the things that we considered when we were working on the visuals for Diablo III is the fact that color is your friend," Lee told MTV Multiplayer. "We feel that color actually helps to create a lot of highlights in the game so that there is contrast. A great analogy is like in Lord of the Rings—not everything is dark."
Following the debut of the game at the Worldwide Invitational, fans displeased by the game's vibrant new color palette issued a petition declaring that they "seriously want some changes in the artistic direction of the game so it could be more coherent and familiar with the Diablo universe."
Lee explained that the original Diablo had players "basically in a dungeon the whole time," whereas Diablo III brings the users outdoors, in dungeons, and numerous other areas. The team's goal, Lee said, is to bring variety to the game while ensuring that environments don't look too similar.
"What we also tried to do is create very clean textures so that you can really focus. It's a stylized feel and in that sense, it's very sort of a Blizzard philosophy," Lee added. "We think that Diablo III is going to be better in so many different ways. We're just building and improving upon the the first and second Diablo games."
"We're very involved, because everyone's very passionate about our games," he concluded. "We really want to get as much feedback as possible so that we can improve on the game and ensure that we meet Blizzard quality for our fans and for ourselves as players."
The new color palette isn't the only element of the game to spark heated discussion—a dedicated fan went to great lengths to analyze the sun's position relative to rainbow and shadow angles.
Faith in Blizzard (tm).