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Diablo III: Maybe the Philistines Are Right

I don't know, this new fan-made desaturated video makes a fairly convincing case. Your thoughts?

For the record, I think the outdoor stuff looks fine.
Doctored screenshots just weren't enough! From the Debate-that-wouldn't-die department* comes this user-created Diablo III video taking some of the saturation, some of the greens and blues, some of the happiness out of June's lengthy debut video of Blizzard's forthcoming click-happy dungeon crawl. Destructoid has a very brief clip showing the contrast, but you should head over to Soheill Deriss' home page if you want to see the whole thing. (That's the guy who made this.)

Man, I feel like a total hypocrite for throwing in with this lot after just railing against people who post online petitions earlier today. But this example looks an awful lot more like the Diablo I remember than the stock footage does. Maybe I missed out on the necessary high school goth phase that would have purged my need for such darkness, but I always liked that the Diablo games skewed a lot grittier next to the tongue-in-cheek humor of Starcraft and Warcraft's relatively cartoon-like style. It's not that the default art style looks bad, it just doesn't scream Diablo at me the way this does. Anyway, I have the utmost faith that Blizzard will continue to make excellent games until they prove me wrong, so let's all just wait till we get our hands on the final game before passing any serious judgement. In 2019.

*Alternately known as the Wish-I-had-thought-of-this department or the Bob-Colayco-is-going-to-IM-me-in-a-huff-later department or the Jeff-is-shaking-his-head-at-this-and-making-that-frustrated-blowing-sound department Brad Shoemaker on Google+
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Posted by Brad
For the record, I think the outdoor stuff looks fine.
Doctored screenshots just weren't enough! From the Debate-that-wouldn't-die department* comes this user-created Diablo III video taking some of the saturation, some of the greens and blues, some of the happiness out of June's lengthy debut video of Blizzard's forthcoming click-happy dungeon crawl. Destructoid has a very brief clip showing the contrast, but you should head over to Soheill Deriss' home page if you want to see the whole thing. (That's the guy who made this.)

Man, I feel like a total hypocrite for throwing in with this lot after just railing against people who post online petitions earlier today. But this example looks an awful lot more like the Diablo I remember than the stock footage does. Maybe I missed out on the necessary high school goth phase that would have purged my need for such darkness, but I always liked that the Diablo games skewed a lot grittier next to the tongue-in-cheek humor of Starcraft and Warcraft's relatively cartoon-like style. It's not that the default art style looks bad, it just doesn't scream Diablo at me the way this does. Anyway, I have the utmost faith that Blizzard will continue to make excellent games until they prove me wrong, so let's all just wait till we get our hands on the final game before passing any serious judgement. In 2019.

*Alternately known as the Wish-I-had-thought-of-this department or the Bob-Colayco-is-going-to-IM-me-in-a-huff-later department or the Jeff-is-shaking-his-head-at-this-and-making-that-frustrated-blowing-sound department
Staff
Posted by mrfluke

people will stop bitching once they play the game but the fan made stuff looks cool

Posted by deaux

That darker version does look better to me, so hats off to that guy.  Still, people who get all worked up about it are silly.

Posted by GoodAssLettuce

I originally thought these people were crazy as well, but this video actually fits with the overall esthetic of the Diablo  series. 

Posted by aurahack

It looks neat but fanboys need to get their narrow-minded heads out of their not-so-narrow ass. If you don't like the art direction and think it will affect your enjoyment of the game, then vote with your dollar and opt not to purchase it. Simple as that. I, however, will be enjoying the game regardless of texture color.

Posted by FengShuiGod

The game will be awesome regardless of color scheme, but I do like the darker look. It adds more tension and atmosphere to the game.

Posted by JoshuaN

I still cant get over the fact people still want to play a diablo game.  It was great back in the day, but all this looks like is brand new graphics. 

Posted by DedBeet

I think I'll join Jeff in the "making-that-frustrated-blowing-sound" department.  Do any of us truly believe that we only played Diablo 2 because of the dark palette?  I joined up and stuck it through for gameplay and loot, period.  Can't speak for the loot, but D3 looks to have gameplay in spades.

Posted by Thermonuclear

The Black does look better then the green tint but its too dark anyway. Your cant see anything apart from directly around the character and the torches. The torches themselves arent actually lighting any surroundings. Due to the poor lighting your not going to see many monsters until they are right in your face which is quite a problem for ranged classes.

Still I think the Black is better then the Green but then there probably are black, red, yellow themed dungeons as well as many more. I mean it would suck if they were all Black which is what Blizzard is getting at. You need variety or you get bored.

Posted by DavidSnakes

I still prefer original color scheme.  The dark limits the visibility.

Posted by Vinchenzo

Blizzard knows what they're doing. Never, once, have I seen them mess up a franchise. (Well except for WoW, but that's just in terms of lore.)

Posted by Mooshu

Hmmm... It actually does look a lot better. I would be happy if they made the game look more like this, but it's nothing for me to get too worked up over.

I DO like how the guy presents it respectfully though.

Posted by SuperJoe

it should start off bright and cheery, then gradually become darker as you progress.  the final level should be so dark that it requires night vision goggles.  make it happen colaycovision

Posted by bzooty

Playing a game and watching a video are pretty different activities.  Have a range of color beyond dark and darker conveys a bunch of information to the player.  I think I'll just play the version that Blizzard releases.

Posted by Chocobo_Blitzer

ah, I changed my mind about a dozen times while watching that, I eventually landed on Blizzard's original. Some of that looked pretty neat, though!

Posted by Player1

I personally love the bright colors. I'm not a Diablo  player however. The dark gray style is getting a little old imo. 

Posted by ADC

I don't think there's any question: Blizzard's colors look better. Big props to the guy who made the video, as he did an excellent job; but brown plus gray does not equal pretty, nor does bright dude plus dark environment equal easy to play.

Posted by Leon31

I have to say that it does look a bit better in my opinion, however I still find it hard to care to the extent of starting a petition online against Blizzards choices for their own property.

Posted by Kael

That's a great video. It gives a really good sense of the alternative to Blizzard's new take on the franchise. I'd avoid being too critical of exactly what you see in the video, though, because it's still just post-processing; it's no real substitute for Blizzard taking this approach in-game, but it does convey the concept, the idea, really well; I have to congratulate the one who made it, they did a great job.

Posted by chililili

*SIGH* this has already been discussed, changing prerendered videos or screenshots do not work, as the game must be rendered in real time, and if it were too shadow intensive it would suck to play it. Also they lighted things up to allow the player to be able to actually see stuff and not have dark enemies against a dark background.

Posted by MrKlorox

Dude... I'm sure modders will be able to figure out how to put filters on the game resulting in visuals that resemble the video and screenshots. It is such a non-issue!

Posted by Jormumgandr

Ehh, not really.

I mean, it looks good, but who knows what kind of hardware that would take in real time. And Diablo 1 and 2 were, really, very colorful games, if you ever get out of the first act.

Posted by breton

Video is the same thing as pictures, at least in this case. It's still just an edited copy, that "can't be practically done in game" or whatever the fuck excuse the blizz representatives had said. This is to all the kiss-asses that have come out of the woodwork now, too. Make up your own damn mind. You either like it dark, or you like it bright. A video, opposed to a screenshot, shouldn't be a mind changing factor.

Posted by exfate

It definately needs to be darker & less saturated like the fanmade edit. Also, having a light radius around the player is a fundamental part of Diablo, both aesthetically and in gameplay terms.

Let's not forget, it's more than the way the game looks that fans don't like. The shift from health being managed by potions to health orbs is massive. There's also the change in the way randomization is being handled, as well as seemingly obvious linear paths through the outdoor environments. Other potential changes we havn't heard about might not sit well with fans either. The reality is, Diablo III is going to have a very hard time pulling in new fans. If Blizzard turns off enough existing fans to the game, be it for visual, gameplay, or other reasons, then it will not do well.

The irony is that Diablo fans wanted large changes. Many, many people expected Diablo 3 to be an MMO even before WoW has been revealed. It seemed like a natural progression. I don't think many people saw that as a bad way to go. However, it seems Blizzard chose not to go that route, instead making a totally different set of large changes that seem to go in the opposite direction towards linear co-op action game.

Personally, the visuals only have a very small impact on my opinion of the game. However, I see it as a statement of intent to mess drastically with the formula. If they change the gameplay too much and I don't like those new changes, then I probably wont buy it. The fact it has the name backing it up means nothing to me if it's not the game I want to play.

Posted by Bear

 I think the edited part looks good, but the original is easily just as acceptable.

Posted by HTTenrai

Tsk...dammit. After seeing that, I do admit I like the after better. >_>

Posted by stephengotlost

I have a feeling Diablo 3 will ship with a tongue-in-cheek cheat that will make the colours extremely dark and unsightly.

Posted by Tarsier

Meh. I like the original version better. The dark one is .. too dark.

Posted by TheFrostedGamer

I don't get the "if it looks darker and gothier, it looks better". It's just different. Why can't Diablo (or any other game) use the entire color spectrum if that's what the developers wanna do? Aren't games supposed to be based on a developer's vision and not what kids with video-editing tools want? I'm sorry I don't see why Diablo 3 has to look like Diablo 1 and 2. I also can't see why dudes editing old Diablo 3 videos is even newsworthy. *shakes his head slightly and clicks away from this article*

Posted by Kraznor

I do agree the darker tone does add something but all this has done is convinced me this will just be a pretty-looking isometric dungeon crawler, and that kind of game-play just seems dated now. Click on dudes, click on stuff they drop...yawn.

Posted by kitsune_conundrum

this brings to question how much of us are going to buy diablo 3 because its diablo rather than because its a good game. Theres going to be a group of people like me who are gonna buy this and click through it (literally) just for the story even if we gotta drag ourselves across the drab of clickity gameplay.

Posted by Mad_Fat_Traction

in design / color schemes u can do things a hundreds million different ways ... im sure not all areas of the final game will be as colorful as the ones in the demonstration

Posted by Rasgueado

Whatever?

 Let him think what ever he wants. It's too bad for him that it's not *his* game. It's great that he's trying to get some exposure for his demo reel, but I would probably suggest that he work on producing something a little more interesting if he wants to get hired.

Posted by momentarylogic

I was going to cut my own version, but I attempted to download and view the avi like 20 times. damn. But that was awesome.

Posted by Haklin

Man the new colour system kills the old style.  Yes I loved the old look but what blizzard doing with this new look diablo is awesome.  Screw these 'emo crying give me original diablo look' kiddies

Posted by solidskorpion

ok, Blizzard should just implement a color tuning thing in the game option's menu....everybody wins

Posted by Quint

The Diablo franchise is probably my all time favourite and most played series of games, a friend of mine and myself have played through Diablo II's campaign so many times it's pretty much ridiculous at this point, with that in mind I do agree that this video certainly looks more like the Diablo I know and love than the official one and this is mainly down to it not being so colourful, BUT on saying that does it really matter all that much? Blizzard make fantastic games and they look after their IPs, I trust them to make what will probably be one of my favourite games for a very long time.

Posted by BobC

The horse is dead, kids. Stop beating it.

Posted by kuddles

Here's the rub for me: sure maybe the doctored photos look good, but so does Blizzard's colour palette, so why the conflict?

Also, this whole hubbub just proves that you can't ever satisfy everyone.  Most people are complaining that Blizzard hasn't changed enough.  Let's face it, if this was any developer other then Blizzard, making a PC-only, eagle eye  isometric game would never be approved, especially with the time and budget they have spent on it.  Asking them to come up with the same design principle as they did 8 years ago even though almost none of the same designers are there is kind of unfeasible.

Posted by SmokePants

I like the fact that I can see the whole field clearly in Blizzard's version, but honestly, I don't give a crap about Diablo. It's just another one of their games that has you compulsively chasing the loot dragon. It seems like they've mastered bypassing conscious, rational reasons for spending time playing a game and have bored their way deep into people's subconscious need to grow a more powerful avatar and I imagine they've found that a vibrant color palette helps them do that even more efficiently. Those bastards.

Posted by Destroyeron

I definitely prefer Blizzards look. Though I agree with MrKlorox, the first mods people will make will be to make it look like the older Diablos, so this shouldn't be such a big deal.

Posted by p0tet

the "desaturated" version looks soo boring and amateurish. why make it look like an older game? and it removes all the nice beautiful background artwork. Btw: go check out the latest Blizzcast and listen to Jay talking about this. 

Posted by 25

I'm going to trust Blizzard in knowing what the hell they're doing.  They currently bat 1.000 in "making awesome games", so I'm not going to second guess them right now.

Posted by Krelle

Never thought Id say this but..When he switches back to the green-ish, original look, it looks rather weird and out of place. 

I was 100% for the more WoW-ish look, until  saw this video. Im in shock. Those rabid, stupid, loud "fans" might have been right after all.

And YES, this is only a video with filters. It doesnt work that way when you create the game. But If I were to choose, I think id choose the darker style. Again, never thought id feel that way about the art direction of D3.
Posted by JackiJinx

This is coming from someone who's never played a Diablo game, but I'm sick of playing dungeons that are all saturated. Yes, I realize the game's not entirely indoors, but for the portions that are, it's a pain.

Posted by TheIneffableBob

I like the current art style.

Posted by Lepuke

The "darkness" of the previous games didn't make them better or worse, it simply created a bit of atmosphere to complement what was going on.
Maybe Blizz will compromise and add some filters in the options menu. Or perhaps the rabid mod community will come up with something.
Either way I will play the game.

Posted by ZeroCast

I can't see how the "darker theme" will change the experince of the game, it still looks great with its current theme.

Posted by Branthog

I'm undecided about Diablo III.

I remember enjoying the first Diablo. I remember playing the second one. But I also remember coming away thinking "how boring, I just ran around clicking a bunch of buttons without much thought to get through the game". I never saw any reason to play through a second time. The truest definition of hack and slash.

That said, I'm willing to give it another shot. I never *hated* Diablo. I just didn't fall to my knees and worship it like a lot of others did.

Posted by NecronKaiser

I think the argument needs to stop until the dang game is done, but at this point I'm siding with the new look if Diablo.   Reason being is that this game seems to start at a different story point than the others.   Diablo one starts out with the town already under control of the title character.   The second also starts out in a world where evil is still pretty alive and kicking.    Diablo III, not so much, it's a world thats had time to regain it's peace and quiet, and maybe Blizzard wants to show that before they plunge it into utter dispair.   

So who knows, maybe the bright lights and vibriant world is only a temporary thing for a few gameplay hours in Diablo III. 
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