I am speechless. I would love to meet him face to face. lol When he talks about teaching a job to someone and inherently thinking that person can exhibit those skills to teach another, hit home for me. Talking about his experience at Blizzard just made me understand why i have loved and played these games since WC 2 in college. It is so unfortunate he resigned, but he will always be a intricate piece of Blizzard's ability to overcome some of their biggest challenges and successes. I love how he talked about game system design and how he manage his team to get the best results.
On the subject of D3 and the auction house, he identified the issue brilliantly. I too believe it was poor execution; however, i still believe as well the AH have some great advantages which i feel now have placed the game in sorta limbo state. The Diablo team did a great job of creating a system to cover some of the immediate challenges; however, I am sure this team also knows that it also created many windows for opportunity that may not have be discovered till after the AH was no longer present. I do understand damage control and minimizing the bigger issues. The gamer in me felt some of that pain, but the executive side of me understood most of the bigger picture or what we were aloud to see. It comes down to pros and cons and based on what he mention about all the legal challenges the AH, plus with the overly aggressive, AH exploitation, and impetuous player feedback received, I believe that it was the right call. Sometimes it really can be the lesser of two evils. The game faces a much bigger issue than the AH seemed to have caused.
My favorite part of the interview was when he mention Allen leaving the company and sharing they both didn't have a set idea on how to hire for game designers. Moreover, He takes the promotion, implements his longing ideas, shows tenacity and willpower to challenge himself to creatively help morph a new infrastructure in gaming. Its crazy!! Its really refreshing to see someone work really hard, be creative and get mad results. What ever gaming project he decides to take on next, will definitively be on my shelf. Side note. I was huge D&D, TSR gamer. I was our main DM as well. Its funny. Most think that most DMs made their own rules, which is what i feel a good DM should do, but so many people lack the imagination or courage to create sometimes. Thank you Rob Pardo for the amazing prospective and sharing your experiences in Blizzard and and thank you Soren Johnson for setting up the interview and posting it. Take care