Remember the Diablo III real-money auction house? Of course you do; that stuff is like horse armor or “you think you want it, but you don’t.” It’s timeless. Developer and Diablo Immortal game director Wyatt Cheng took to Twitter to insist that despite player perception, the game did not have its difficulty tuned to account for the inclusion of the real-money auction house; instead, it had been tuned around a great deal of grinding based on the design of Diablo II. The fact that these two design elements lined up perfectly was apparently something that never occurred to anyone.
Cheng went on to state that the obvious solution would have been more public testing, which makes a great deal of sense as Blizzard is famously a company known for carefully listening to public feedback during test phases. He also notes that it’s very difficult to iterate with major design pivots late in development, presumably because it would be very hard to improve drop rates based on feedback that the drop rates were too low.
Gonna set the record straight on a Diablo 3 tidbit. This won't be popular but I feel with D2R on everybody's mind, now is a more relevant time than others to bring this up. With the design lessons I learned at the end /thread.
— Wyatt Cheng (@candlesan) October 13, 2021