Kyle Orland, Ars Technica:

In a wide-ranging interview with Windows Central, Blizzard's general manager of Diablo, Rod Fergusson, said that they launched Diablo IV under "the assumption that D4 was meant to be more D2-like." That meant, in part, increasing the length of time required to discover the game's most valuable items after post-Auction-House Diablo 3 made rare item drops much more common.

"One of the assumptions was that people were going to be okay with the long grind for the Unique or an Uber Unique in particular, because in Diablo II, it can go years," Fergusson said. "You can go three years before you find the Uber you're looking for... and so we were like, okay, this is what people love about the progression of D2, that idea of that very long chase."

Once the game launched, though, Fergusson said the development team was surprised to find players complaining of how long it took to get some items—our own review expressed concern about the "'loot treadmill' approach to the endgame" and "loot drops [that] seem tuned a bit low for my taste." "We found out very quickly that if you don't give me my Uber in my [months-long] season, then I'm upset," Fergusson said. "And so we're like, oh, wow, okay."

Just a fascinating little bit to note here, as game developers learn that the age of their average player has gone up, and the hours available to game have gone down.

I know I’ve spoken in the past on here about my “I’m Old, I Have Limited Gaming Time, Let Me Select Easy Mode” opinion, and this feels like an extension of that.

It’s not that we don’t want to enjoy the game — it’s that we can’t dedicate ourselves to it the way we once did.

It’ll be interesting to see how game developers address this moving forward.

Weirdly enough, I’ve been addressing it by playing older games via emulator, and cheating the crap out of them (shout out Gameshark and Action Replay codes!), but I don’t think that’s gonna be everyone’s favorite way of handling this.