Diablo 3 in 'polish mode' for past two years

Diablo 3 director Jay Wilson was also surprised by the lengthy development time of the upcoming RPG release. "It just took a lot longer than I had anticipated," he admitted. "I was surprised by how long it took to reach it."

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Tomorrow's release of Diablo III marks the end of a journey, years in the making. While Blizzard fans have grown accustomed to the studio's "when it's ready" stance on shipping games, we can't help but question why it took so long for the game to come out.

Diablo 3 director Jay Wilson was also surprised by the lengthy development time of the upcoming RPG release. "It just took a lot longer than I had anticipated," he admitted. "I was surprised by how long it took to reach it."

Speaking to Gamasutra, Wilson says that the game has been in "polish mode" for the last two years. There were "little things" that built up that would constantly have the team revisiting certain events. "We would play it, and we knew what was supposed to happen. But when we put it in front of other people... ehh. They would not feel good about it."

"It's hard to pinpoint any one particular thing. It's lot of areas where we had to do revision," Wilson described.

Those little things added up to a development time of four years after the game was announced. And Wilson says the last two years were focused on polish, he wants to reassure fans that "it's not like the game was 100 percent done for two years, and then we just polished it... There's certainly more content being built during that time."

Fans will finally be able to get their hands on the finished product tomorrow.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 14, 2012 10:45 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Diablo 3 in 'polish mode' for past two years.

    Diablo 3 director Jay Wilson was also surprised by the lengthy development time of the upcoming RPG release. "It just took a lot longer than I had anticipated," he admitted. "I was surprised by how long it took to reach it."

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      May 14, 2012 10:56 AM

      Looks like they polished too hard and smudged all the textures.

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      May 14, 2012 11:02 AM

      Watching that stream and it's pretty disappointing they didn't do a pass on the ability effects. Lots of them look so cheesy.

      I'm sure the game will have a massive amount of content being in polish mode for that long though.

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      May 14, 2012 11:05 AM

      This game will gross a billion in record time and it will be all worth it in the end, too bad most studios can never put that much time into development for a variety of reason:

      1. Cash on hand to hire and retain the right talent
      2. Allow them to gel and find their place on the team or get rid of dead weight/bad apples
      3. Understanding management and publishers

      and on and on, only a few developers have this clout and Valve is another one, everyone else is stuck in "throw together teams full of scared and disgruntled contract employees and pray they work a miracle and create something magical" but the truth is, you can rarely ever achieve this without the above list.

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      May 14, 2012 11:06 AM

      I really read that as Polish as in Poland and I thought it was going to be something about developing the game in a foreign language for some reason

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        May 14, 2012 11:43 AM

        I did too, I thought it was an off-color polack joke, "how many polacks does it take to finish d3"

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          May 14, 2012 1:25 PM

          haha "Why is this taking so long? Are you fucks in Polish mode or something?"

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      May 14, 2012 11:07 AM

      So polished PvP and monk animations aren't in it. I mean I will play the shit out of this game, but it's pretty obvious that they were pushing against the release date.

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        May 14, 2012 11:13 AM

        They also cut one of the craft dudes.

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        May 14, 2012 11:29 AM

        Both of which are things that will be in shortly. It's a big game, theres a lot to polish.

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        reply
        May 14, 2012 11:35 AM

        They weren't "pushing against" anything, the release date wasn't set until a few months ago. They released without PvP because they knew it just wasn't important enough to hold up the game any longer.

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        May 14, 2012 11:38 AM

        polish doesn't mean adding new features, often times it means cutting them and improving what you do have with the time you have left.

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      May 14, 2012 11:16 AM

      Blizzard's polish doesn't mean what it used to. Just look at SC2's single player. Whoever green-lit that abortion should have been shot in the mouth.

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        May 14, 2012 11:16 AM

        that said, D3 doesn't need much to succeed. Just make me entertained while I kill the same 20 mobs over and over for that incremental upgrade in damage/armor/mana/health.

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        May 14, 2012 11:20 AM

        I'm not a hardcore RTS player by any means but I thought that SC2's SP was fun.

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          May 14, 2012 11:34 AM

          I'm finally playing it right now. The missions are awesome but I honestly tune out the story bits in-between missions. I think the dialogue/acting is kinda mediocre and the low-fidelity art assets are kinda jarring. But I do like the way you can do upgrades and stuff. It's just all the "fluff" that I find kinda tedious.

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        May 14, 2012 11:21 AM

        there's absolutely nothing wrong with sc2 sp

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        May 14, 2012 11:22 AM

        what specifically are you talking about?

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        May 14, 2012 11:24 AM

        well this thread is off to a good start

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        May 14, 2012 11:36 AM

        I enjoyed SC2 single player a lot, even if the story and acting were pretty B-movie'ish. I think most people would agree that it was an extremely polished experience that went along with an extremely polished bunch of other modes as well.

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        May 14, 2012 11:41 AM

        Everyone that thinks sequels should maintain or exceed the story telling of their predecessors is in complete agreement with you. Those who think the story is something you skip between fun bits of gameplay don't get it at all. Guess which camp I'm in!

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        May 14, 2012 11:45 AM

        i enjoyed as much, if not more, than i recall enjoying the first game. {shrug}

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        May 14, 2012 11:47 AM

        SC2 single player was a blast. That level where the lava kept rising and falling was awesome. I play practically every RTS that comes out too and SC2 (along with DOW2) was one of the most enjoyable single player RTS games I've ever played. I should also add that the objective-based RISK-style missions from RA3 Uprising was a lot of fun. Way more fun than the actual campaign.

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        May 14, 2012 11:55 AM

        SC2's Single Player was actually REALLY good. People go on as if they expect the dialogue and writing to be Oscar worthy, it's a space opera ffs.

        Despite that though, it was still well acted and engaging. And it was a fun storyline, and it gave me many hours of enjoyment doing it on Hard then Brutal.

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          May 14, 2012 11:59 AM

          If you want bad acting and trite, cliched storylines and dialogue, go play DoW.

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            May 14, 2012 12:00 PM

            Command and Conquer too. I still love both of those games though!

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            May 14, 2012 12:02 PM

            eat my balls! DoW has fantastic dialogue. I played those games with no knowledge of Warhammer other than that its something for dorks, and came away super enthralled with how horrible and flawed the "heroes" are.

            SPESS MEHREEN

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              May 14, 2012 2:13 PM

              Fella, the acting was TERRIBLE in DoW and DoW2. Cyrus was achingly bad but at least he was trying.

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        May 14, 2012 12:30 PM

        I actually thought the SC2 campaign was fantastic. The story wasnt top notch, but the missions themselves, with the additional achievements, man I thought it was great. Played it twice. the jungle one was a lot of fun, I was running reapers around picking off probes. good times.

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        May 14, 2012 12:31 PM

        really the only thing I wanted were like 2 more traditional destroy the base missions at the end with the tech tree opened up, felt like the push on the primary hive cluster should have been a little tougher

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        May 14, 2012 1:08 PM

        I'm glad to see the responses above... because now I don't think I'm crazy for thinking the SC2 SP was pretty damn great.

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          May 14, 2012 1:27 PM

          People were mostly down on the dialog and plot.

          The actual gameplay was top notch, though, and offered a lot more interesting missions than the standard "destroy the enemy" type.

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            May 14, 2012 2:46 PM

            the missions were still pretty gimmicky and way too easy even on brutal.

            the only reason i played it twice over was cuz of achievements - if not, it was a one and done deal.

            in fact, the formula for 3/4 of the missions was "abuse the new unit introduced in this mission" - with whatever the gimmick was for that mission (rising lava, or purple vespene gas harvesting, etc.)

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        May 14, 2012 1:23 PM

        Eh? SC2 single player was friggin awesome.

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        May 14, 2012 1:27 PM

        It might not have redefined storytelling but it was certainly fun.

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          May 14, 2012 1:28 PM

          To be honest I kind of look to blizzard for very polished but kind of cliched stories. Their stuff never surprises but it's always entertaining, kind of like an action movie.

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        May 14, 2012 2:44 PM

        SC2's campaign was awful guys.

        It was too easy, the missions were gimmicky for the most part - only a few missions were actually fun, and the writing and story was fucking awful and trite.

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        May 14, 2012 4:05 PM

        Loved the SP. I still fire it up from time to time to try and get the last few achievements from it I don't have.

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        May 14, 2012 4:13 PM

        lol okay`

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        May 14, 2012 4:16 PM

        SC2 had single player?? straight to multiplayer for me

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        May 14, 2012 4:21 PM

        What? The single player in SC2 was fantastic.

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        May 14, 2012 7:44 PM

        I thought that the multiplayer balancing was the best of the best. EVER.

        That being said, the dialogue and story were god awful. Not saying the missions weren't fun, because they were. Not saying the voice acting wasn't great, because it was. But the actual story? Yuck! I hope they really improve the story in Heart of the Swarm. For that was the great weakness in StarCraft 2.

        Go back and play the original SC again, and pay attention to the lines. There are some great ones that I remember to this day, years later.

        P.S.- One of my favorites is Zeratul's "You speak of Knowledge Executor? You speak of experience?..."

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        May 14, 2012 7:52 PM

        I thought the actual missions and the whole upgrade system was pretty good and a lot of fun, but everything else surrounding it was kind of awful.

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        May 14, 2012 8:03 PM

        I'm with everyone else here, I really enjoyed SC2's campaign.

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        May 14, 2012 9:45 PM

        If you mean the story then yes, very much yes.

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        May 14, 2012 9:55 PM

        SC2 SP was incredibly polished, it sets the bar for a polished RTS campaign experience. That being said, the writing was atrocious. But the gameplay experience is very finely tuned and more playable than any previous RTS SP I've seen.

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        May 15, 2012 3:12 AM

        Love the dogpile on you, it's all about the initial wording on your post really. The SC2 single player was well mocked for at least being weaker than previous Blizzard titles. It's not bad by any means but it truly lacks the holy jesus fuck spark of past games.

        I've finished it twice (and enjoyed it) but I've played through SC1 probably 3 or 4 times and Warcraft 3 maybe 5 or 6 times, SC2 I don't feel particularly compelled to go back and re-play it again.


        I still strongly maintain that the hero system from War 3 (and SC1!) in single player is badly lacking, the character on the main screen, being a controllable hero / "don't let die" unit really helps. SC2 can tell all the story it likes in FMV, in engine cutscenes and so on but the fact is previous titles did this AND had in ingine, in game discussions which felt far more interactive - War 3 especially.
        On my second playthrough of SC2 I opted to kill the nydus worms instead of the air towers at the end and found the mission with all 4 characters from the game by FAR the best mission of the game because units were talking to each other IN GAME.
        This one thing is vastly vastly lacking from SC2. I sure hope it's looked at in the next expansion.

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          May 15, 2012 5:16 AM

          I disagree with most of this apart from your point regarding hero units.

          Controlling Tychus/Raynor, Tychus in a Thor, and your whoel squad in the Nydus worm missions were definitely the most enjoyable missions. I was a massive WC3 fan and player back in the day and I have to say, hero units in SP are the way forward, especially when it's done with Blizzards flair.

          In MP though, WC3 was pretty unique, and I think you'd kill the essense of SC multiplayer if you brought in heros for that, so no heroes in MP.

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        May 15, 2012 3:21 AM

        SC2 SP is the only RTS I've ever found compelling enough to finish, so I can't exactly say I agree with you there...

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        May 19, 2012 1:07 PM

        Omar comin' with a basket full of truth.

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        May 19, 2012 6:51 PM

        0mar stop being so dramatic. You have an opinion, and that's ok, but it looks like you need to keep yours to yourself.

        On the other hand, I'll join the counter-post bandwagon and also say that SC2 multiplayer was excellent.

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      May 14, 2012 4:22 PM

      [deleted]

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      May 14, 2012 9:07 PM

      So then why does it look so bad?

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      May 15, 2012 2:28 AM

      Does anyone else think the Diablo 3 textures look really blurry? The last batch of screenshots look like Warcraft 3 circa-2002, and the polygon count is really crude. That fat miniboss has got horns that are, like, 20 polygons, looks seriously shitty: http://cf.shacknews.com/images/20120514/butcher_barb_rd2_023_22076.jpg

      I'm going to wait 6 months anyway, until at least two patches have come out, fixing the bugs they deliberatly left unfixed so as to meet the release date. Maybe they will have made an HD-patch by then, like with Skyrim.

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        May 15, 2012 3:12 AM

        The same thing bothers me when I zoom in and look closely at what is a fraction of the actual screen is. Luckily for me, I guess, that's never.

        Game looks great.

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        May 19, 2012 6:56 PM

        This is the problem with PC gamers today. Many of them think that because we can have the most incredible systems with massive horsepower, every game must have crisp graphics to the point where a grunt can piss in a toilet and you should be able to zoom in to the individual droplets that reflect the lighting of the realistically rendered bathroom.

        Is it so wrong for a game to NOT be A+ with its graphics? Perhaps some studios want to make a great game that is FUN to play and is also available for a greater amount of the population? Not everyone is going to have $1000+ for a top of the line system. Sure, you can easily get a good grade gaming system for sub 1k but that won't get you in on the highest settings for the most intensive games, such as MP3 and Skyrim's hd texture pack.

        FTR, I'm not a primary console gamer.

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