This thread saddens me greatly. I know that the Battle.net forums have earned a reputation for rough justice, but I do not believe justice is being served by how people are speaking about Jay’s departure from Diablo III.
I am very proud of the Diablo franchise and what the team was able to accomplish with Diablo III. As a gamer I have enjoyed the game and played for many, many nights with friends and family. I’m not, however, going to use that as an excuse. The Diablo community deserves an even better game from Blizzard and we are committed to improving it. We have a talented team in place and have no intention of stopping work on Diablo III until it is the best game in the franchise.
I’m the only person in this thread who has actually worked with Jay. I hired Jay to head up the Diablo project and had the pleasure of getting to work with him, both in building the team and designing the game. He has great design instincts and has added so much to the franchise with his feel for visceral combat, boss battles, and an unparalleled knack for making it fun to smash bad guys. I’ve worked with many, many designers at Blizzard and Jay is one of the best. He has a great career at Blizzard ahead of him and I guarantee that you will enjoy Jay’s game designs in future Blizzard games.
If you love Diablo as much as we do, then please continue to let us know how you feel we can improve the game. If you still feel the need to dish out blame, then I would prefer you direct it at me. I was the executive producer on the project; I hired Jay and I gave him advice and direction throughout the development process. I was ultimately responsible for the game we released and take full responsibility for the quality of the result.
If you want me to point fingers at you instead of Jay, I'll gladly do it. And, I'm sorry, but Diablo is not a franchise that any of you really have a right to be "proud of". I mean, how many of your staff in this game was involved in making DII? The team who made DII SHOULD be incredibly proud of themselves, they made a game that people still continue to play well over 11 years later.
What your team did, however, was take a classic franchise like Diablo and you turned it into D.I.N.O. - Diablo in name only. If this game were released with the same mechanics with a different name, characters and setting and didn't get the privilege of naming it after one of gaming's most beloved franchises, how many units do you think you would have pushed? Do you think it would have become a block buster like D2? No. Probably not.
The only thing that you kept from it's predecessor is the name, world and characters. You took out some great things that made diablo 2 so beloved (Horadric Cube, Socketing items, turning items into magic items through quests, skill trees and interesting synergies....to name a few) and you've replaced them with boring items with unimaginative stats and a completely rigid NV system that completely nullifies the ability to do bite size game sessions and, also chops character build diversity to bits (You gave wizards hydras for different situations, yet you punish us for changing them out on the fly to fit the given situation... how does that even make sense to you? How did that even get past the cutting room floor?) That wouldn't be as bad if it wasn't for the fact that the ONLY customization you let us have on our characters is the gear we find and let's be honest, 99/100 items are useless and that 1/100 will likely be good only for mediocre characters who are in need of a slight upgrade. The real "godly" items have an almost no existent chance to drop... So, if you're a high level character you're no longer grinding for gear like you were in D2, you're now grinding for gold because you have better chances of grinding/selling your way to 200m gold for an upgrade than you ever have of actually finding the item. Diablo is fueled by the loot hunt, that's what keeps players coming back. If your loot isn't worth hunting then what fuels the game? And, so far... this team that you're "so proud of" has done absolutely nothing to fix this problem but give us incredibly sub par crafting options that are really just a cleverly disguised gold sink. (I played the PTR the new crafting recipes are an over priced joke.)
So, if you want me to point fingers at you instead of Jay, I'd be glad to. Because you managed to turn one of the greatest Action RPG franchises into a dumbed down brawler where personal choice means absolutely nothing. It all comes down to what gear you can afford and what gear you can't, because finding your own gear has become a lost practice in this crap shoot you call RNG. This game is no more a Diablo game than Supersmash Bros is a Mario game, but just because it has the same characters and settings does not make it the same game.