Blizzard’s CEO talks about Diablo III’s future

A few hours ago, Mike Morhaime, president and co-found of Blizzard Entertainment posted a letter on the Diablo III forums for all the players to read. In this post he outlines the future of Diablo III, how they have been working hard on getting patches ready, why they had the real-money auction house put in, and a few regrets from launch day.

“For Diablo III, we looked at historical sales for Blizzard games and other top-selling PC games and watched preorder numbers. We even upped our estimates to ensure we had additional capacity, or so we thought. In the end, it just wasn’t enough, and that is something we will work hard to conquer for future releases.” said Mike Morhaime.

If you don’t recall, the Blizzard Entertainment team didn’t anticipate Diablo III to sell 6 million units during it’s opening week. This caused server crashes left and right and forced the Diablo III team to make huge fixes within hours of the crashes.

Another topic that was brought up in the post was the character balance issue, more legendary items for all player levels and how some abilities were rarely used or under powered.

“You’ve seen some of that work already in patch 1.0.3, and you’ll see additional improvements with patch 1.0.4. On the game balance front, this update will contain changes designed to further deliver on the team’s goal of promoting “build diversity,” with buffs to many rarely used, underpowered class abilities. Another topic we’ve seen actively discussed is the fact that better, more distinct Legendary items are needed. We agree. Patch 1.0.4 will also include new and improved Legendary items that are more interesting, more powerful, and more epic in ways you probably won’t be expecting.”

Unfortunately, that PVP patch that everyone has been dying to get their hands on is not 1.0.4 and it will be the 1.1 patch, which doesn’t even have a release date yet. Mike Morhaime did talk briefly about max-level players who really don’t have much more to do other than legendary item hunting. “We’re also working on a gameplay system that will provide players who have max-level, high-powered characters new goals to strive for as an alternative to the “item hunt.””. Blizzard is still taking suggestions from players on this subject for future Diablo III patches.

A lot of people have complained about the auction house and the real-money auction house, saying they were necessary in Inferno Difficulty and that it took away some of the Diablo flavor with players being able to easily get powerful items.

“Regarding the real-money auction house, our primary goal for including this in the game was to provide convenience and peace of mind for those players who might otherwise turn to third-party services to buy items. Black market trading sites can put accounts at risk and create many customer service challenges. We felt that the players themselves also deserved the opportunity to benefit from the extra loot they found, as opposed to having all of the benefit go to the black market/illegal trading organizations.”

Overall the letter was mostly thanking the players, letting everyone know what the future will be for Diablo III and what they should have done before the launch. If you missed the link to the forum post at the top, click here. Give it a quick read and let us know what you think about the CEO addressing these issues and how you feel about these issues.