Diablo III Producer Leaves Blizzard
The senior producer on the project leaves in the wake of sweeping changes.
Diablo III should be entering the final stretch. It’s been rated in Korea, and there’s only a couple months left for the game to really qualify for that “early 2012” release window. With that being said, there have been some interesting new developments in the saga of Blizzard’s hotly anticipated action/RPG.
In a shocking move, senior producer on Diablo III Steve Parker has announced his departure from Blizzard. The reveal came from Parker’s Twitter, where he stated that he had had a great 5 years with the company. It’s rare to see a producer leave so late into development, especially from Blizzard, a company that famously awards long-time employees with swords and shields for milestone anniversaries. This story comes on the heels of a large amount of studio closures and layoffs, as well as the design director on the upcoming Silent Hill: Downpour bowing out just before completion of the project.
Parker did not detail his reasons for leaving Blizzard, or his plans for the future. Development on Diablo III continues, and Blizzard is currently seeking a senior producer on the project.
Normally, a departure from a producer this late in development on a project wouldn’t result in a delay of the final product, but Diablo III is a different animal. In a recent development blog, director Jay Wilson went over a number of drastic changes coming to D3.
First off is a general streamlining of some of the core features. Gone are the Cauldron of Jordan (remote item selling) and the Nephalem Cube (item salvage). Instead, players will find these services in town, now easily accessible with the return of the Town Portal from Diablo II. Scrolls of Identify are also out, with players simply having to examine an unknown item for a time to discover what it is. A new “potion button” is also being implemented for those tight pinches.
The biggest changes come from the restructuring of the character stats. Defense, Attack, and Precision are gone, with the core attributes becoming Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality. These four attributes govern each of the five classes and health. For example, Strength affects Barbarian damage and the Armor rank for everyone, while Dexterity governs damage for Monks and Demon Hunters, as well as the Dodge ability.
These are sweeping changes that will soon be integrated into the ongoing beta. What this means for the release date of Diablo III remains to be seen, but signs point to a possible delay. We will keep you updated, and look forward to our hands on preview of the new features.