Blizzard Talks Diablo III's Launch And Future

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Posted by patrickklepek (3914 posts) -

By most measures, Diablo III has been a huge success for Blizzard Entertainment. Successfully coming out of the gate would be enough for most companies, but Blizzard games tend to have a lengthy shelf life. Two months after the release of Diablo III, the company has issued a letter to fans about the last 60 days and what's next.

Penned by Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime, the letter touches upon a number of hotly debated topics related to Diablo III. I’d encourage you to read the letter in full, but I’ve pulled out the highlights:

On the severe server issues the game experienced when it launched:

“We’ve never gone from 0 to more than 6 million players across multiple continents within a few days with a brand-new game. For Diablo III, we looked at historical sales for Blizzard games and other top-selling PC games and watched preorder numbers. We even upped our estimates to ensure we had additional capacity, or so we thought. In the end, it just wasn’t enough, and that is something we will work hard to conquer for future releases.

In response to the immediate and overwhelming demand for the game, the team worked around the clock to support all regions, increase capacity, ship additional hardware to our datacenters, and troubleshoot and fix bugs as they sprang up. While things have by and large been running smoothly for several weeks now, various game-related issues have come up that we have either already responded to or are continuing to investigate (such as the latency issue some of you are experiencing) and make adjustments for.”

On what’s coming in the next series of incremental patches:

“You’ve seen some of that work already in patch 1.0.3, and you’ll see additional improvements with patch 1.0.4. On the game balance front, this update will contain changes designed to further deliver on the team’s goal of promoting “build diversity,” with buffs to many rarely used, underpowered class abilities. Another topic we’ve seen actively discussed is the fact that better, more distinct Legendary items are needed. We agree. Patch 1.0.4 will also include new and improved Legendary items that are more interesting, more powerful, and more epic in ways you probably won’t be expecting.

We’re also working on a number of interface updates, including social improvements that will allow players to more easily view their friends’ achievements, more quickly join games, and more efficiently communicate with each other. In addition, we’ll be making updates to the auction house in the future to provide players with better information through tooltips and notices, offer improved search functionality, and more.”

On the theory that Diablo III’s always-on requirement was more about DRM than anything else:

“While we’ve never said that this requirement guarantees that there will be no cheating or game cracks, it does help us battle those problems (we have not found any fully functional cracks). More important to us is that the online requirement is critical for the long-term integrity of the game experience. I fully understand the desire to play Diablo III offline; however, Diablo III was designed from the beginning to be an online game that can be enjoyed with friends, and the always-online requirement is the best way for us to support that design. The effectiveness of the online elements -- including the friends list and cross-game communication; co-op matchmaking; persistent characters that you can use by yourself, with others, and in PvP; and some of our customer support, service, and security components -- is tied directly to the online nature of the game. These and other online-enabled features are essential to our design for Diablo III. That said, there are still improvements we believe we can make to expand the online experience and make co-op play even more rewarding, and this will remain one of our priorities moving forward. Overall, while there are some downsides to the online-only approach, I still believe this was the best long-term decision for the game.”

Finally, on the subject of creating a more satisfying endgame for the most hardcore of players:

“We’re also working on a gameplay system that will provide players who have max-level, high-powered characters new goals to strive for as an alternative to the “item hunt.” We’re not ready to get into specifics just yet, but I can say that we’re actively taking your feedback into account as we plan out the future of the game.”
Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (3914 posts) -

By most measures, Diablo III has been a huge success for Blizzard Entertainment. Successfully coming out of the gate would be enough for most companies, but Blizzard games tend to have a lengthy shelf life. Two months after the release of Diablo III, the company has issued a letter to fans about the last 60 days and what's next.

Penned by Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime, the letter touches upon a number of hotly debated topics related to Diablo III. I’d encourage you to read the letter in full, but I’ve pulled out the highlights:

On the severe server issues the game experienced when it launched:

“We’ve never gone from 0 to more than 6 million players across multiple continents within a few days with a brand-new game. For Diablo III, we looked at historical sales for Blizzard games and other top-selling PC games and watched preorder numbers. We even upped our estimates to ensure we had additional capacity, or so we thought. In the end, it just wasn’t enough, and that is something we will work hard to conquer for future releases.

In response to the immediate and overwhelming demand for the game, the team worked around the clock to support all regions, increase capacity, ship additional hardware to our datacenters, and troubleshoot and fix bugs as they sprang up. While things have by and large been running smoothly for several weeks now, various game-related issues have come up that we have either already responded to or are continuing to investigate (such as the latency issue some of you are experiencing) and make adjustments for.”

On what’s coming in the next series of incremental patches:

“You’ve seen some of that work already in patch 1.0.3, and you’ll see additional improvements with patch 1.0.4. On the game balance front, this update will contain changes designed to further deliver on the team’s goal of promoting “build diversity,” with buffs to many rarely used, underpowered class abilities. Another topic we’ve seen actively discussed is the fact that better, more distinct Legendary items are needed. We agree. Patch 1.0.4 will also include new and improved Legendary items that are more interesting, more powerful, and more epic in ways you probably won’t be expecting.

We’re also working on a number of interface updates, including social improvements that will allow players to more easily view their friends’ achievements, more quickly join games, and more efficiently communicate with each other. In addition, we’ll be making updates to the auction house in the future to provide players with better information through tooltips and notices, offer improved search functionality, and more.”

On the theory that Diablo III’s always-on requirement was more about DRM than anything else:

“While we’ve never said that this requirement guarantees that there will be no cheating or game cracks, it does help us battle those problems (we have not found any fully functional cracks). More important to us is that the online requirement is critical for the long-term integrity of the game experience. I fully understand the desire to play Diablo III offline; however, Diablo III was designed from the beginning to be an online game that can be enjoyed with friends, and the always-online requirement is the best way for us to support that design. The effectiveness of the online elements -- including the friends list and cross-game communication; co-op matchmaking; persistent characters that you can use by yourself, with others, and in PvP; and some of our customer support, service, and security components -- is tied directly to the online nature of the game. These and other online-enabled features are essential to our design for Diablo III. That said, there are still improvements we believe we can make to expand the online experience and make co-op play even more rewarding, and this will remain one of our priorities moving forward. Overall, while there are some downsides to the online-only approach, I still believe this was the best long-term decision for the game.”

Finally, on the subject of creating a more satisfying endgame for the most hardcore of players:

“We’re also working on a gameplay system that will provide players who have max-level, high-powered characters new goals to strive for as an alternative to the “item hunt.” We’re not ready to get into specifics just yet, but I can say that we’re actively taking your feedback into account as we plan out the future of the game.”
Staff
#2 Posted by Spooty (86 posts) -

Too little, too late. Lost faith in their ability to make that game fun..

#3 Posted by LordCmdrStryker (346 posts) -

This is the same bullshit PR spin we've heard since the second they announced it would have always-on DRM. I uninstalled D3 before I finished Hell difficulty and I have no desire to go back. At this point I'm seriously considering skipping Heart of the Swarm despite being really excited to see the story. I don't know if this is Activision's influence or if they've always been like this and just camouflaged it well, but Blizzard is now on the outs with me.

#4 Edited by iAmJohn (6114 posts) -

@Onkel_Dunkel said:

first?

Really hope you already had that quest, cuz you done fucked up.

I'm still not fond of their reasoning behind always-online, and this explanation and refusing to answer the pretty simple question of "so why not have an offline-only mode where I can do whatever I want but can't ever take the character online or use the auction houses?" does nothing to make that reasoning any better. :\

#5 Posted by Xeirus (1294 posts) -

@Onkel_Dunkel said:

first?

Never gets old...

#6 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

I just hope that upcoming patches will make endgame stuff more enjoyable. Inferno was so off-putting, it makes me enjoy Diablo-style RPGs less, which is sad because Diablo 2 is my favorite game. At least waiting for new patches will give me an excuse to get away from D3 for a while.

#7 Posted by Silock (238 posts) -

Good post, looking forward to the improvements especially the PVP patch!

#8 Edited by jakob187 (21662 posts) -

@Spooty said:

Too little, too late. Lost faith in their ability to make that game fun..

My sentiments exactly. As someone in Inferno difficulty, the continually discouraging thing isn't anything to do with progression. It's the fact that the part which made the game fun - the item hunt in particular - doesn't matter because you can just buy whatever you want from the AH. The dungeons aren't nearly as random as they think they are. The Legendaries just aren't worth getting (unless you are a tank that's needing a Helm of Command and Justice Lantern for high block percentage). The fact that iLVL 61 and higher drops are typically whites and greys when you are farming rather than at least blues is kind of a joke, and even then, there is RARELY a time that the iLVL 61 yellows actually give any kind of bonus to the base stats shown before identification.

If anything, the one thing I want Morhaime to comment on is that guy they pulled away from the mic at a recent Q&A. He asked if Blizzard themselves were placing high-end items on the AH (since there are no names associated with the actual auctions themselves) in order to turn a profit. They pulled the guy away and threw him out of the Q&A.

#9 Posted by Laksa (240 posts) -

once i found out about phantasy star online 2, i ve not logged on to diablo 3 since.

#10 Edited by Scarabus (478 posts) -

Only time I couldn't connect was the day it came out. Big deal. I knew that was going to happen the day they announced it was going to require internet connection.

The ire some people have against D3 and Blizzard baffles me, especially since those people are playing it 50 times as much as I do.

#11 Posted by furiouscabbage (20 posts) -

While I appreciate the attempt to honestly address and acknowledge the community's issues with the game, it rings pretty hollow now. I hope they are able to improve things, but D3's base design mechanics have some severe issues. Without drastically overhauling everything, I don't see how they can fix it.

#12 Posted by paulwade1984 (477 posts) -

That's not a letter, its a series of lists which read like politician bullshit rhetoric.

I stopped playing d3 about a month ago. Only actions will bring me back, he can take his letter and shove it up his ass.

#13 Posted by Panpipe (473 posts) -

As someone who is still playing Diablo 3 (and therefore according to popular consensus crazy) all I can say is that I'm really looking forward to the changes.

#14 Posted by Panpipe (473 posts) -

@paulwade1984 said:

That's not a letter, its a series of lists which read like politician bullshit rhetoric.

I stopped playing d3 about a month ago. Only actions will bring me back, he can take his letter and shove it up his ass.

Why are you so aggressive?

It's a video game.

#15 Posted by vespene_jazz (32 posts) -

Why do people expect this game to keep them occupied as long as a MMO ?

I played well over 80 hours, have 2 lvl 60 inferno geared characters with 3 others in the 30s. I don't play it anymore but for the time I sunk into it, I had LOADS of fun (more much then any MMO) and will gladly return when they release new content.

I don't understand why people are so mad ? It's a great game and much more fun than D2 (gasp!). What's the point of being angry about it ? If it's not fun anymore, just play something else... you don't even pay a monthly fee!?

I don't understand gamer rage...

#16 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1421 posts) -

People can be hard to please.

#17 Edited by Xeirus (1294 posts) -

@Panpipe said:

@paulwade1984 said:

That's not a letter, its a series of lists which read like politician bullshit rhetoric.

I stopped playing d3 about a month ago. Only actions will bring me back, he can take his letter and shove it up his ass.

Why are you so aggressive?

It's a video game.

I also think it's hilarious people played Diablo for 50+ hours yet complain how worthless it is. How many games can you get more than 8 hours of for the same price?

People love to complain.

@vespene_jazz said:

Why do people expect this game to keep them occupied as long as a MMO ?

I played well over 80 hours, have 2 lvl 60 inferno geared characters with 3 others in the 30s. I don't play it anymore but for the time I sunk into it, I had LOADS of fun (more much then any MMO) and will gladly return when they release new content.

I don't understand why people are so mad ? It's a great game and much more fun than D2 (gasp!). What's the point of being angry about it ? If it's not fun anymore, just play something else... you don't even pay a monthly fee!?

I don't understand gamer rage...

I agree with you on everything (see me post) except I don't think it's better than D2. I think it's a fine game, but right now it's not better than the 2nd.

I think that has to do with D2 having the LOD expansion, which really made the game so much better and feel more full. When D3 gets its expansion I think it will be on par.

#18 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

@paulwade1984 said:

That's not a letter, its a series of lists which read like politician bullshit rhetoric.

I stopped playing d3 about a month ago. Only actions will bring me back, he can take his letter and shove it up his ass.

what actions are you expecting... a hand job to say he's sorry

#19 Edited by jakob187 (21662 posts) -

@Xeirus said:

@Panpipe said:

@paulwade1984 said:

That's not a letter, its a series of lists which read like politician bullshit rhetoric.

I stopped playing d3 about a month ago. Only actions will bring me back, he can take his letter and shove it up his ass.

Why are you so aggressive?

It's a video game.

I also think it's hilarious people played Diablo for 50+ hours yet complain how worthless it is. How many games can you get more than 8 hours of for the same price?

People love to complain.

50+ hours was easily put into the game BEFORE 1.03 patch.

People have been complaining the most AFTER that patch came out.

The overall community has dropped about 60% consistently since that patch was released. I personally haven't launched the game since a couple of days after the patch hit, and I don't plan to launch it again anytime soon.

Maybe once I'm done playing Titan Quest...in a year or so...and even then, I'll probably just launch up Torchlight or possibly even start up another character on Champions of Norrath before I go back to Diablo III.

Hell, I've played more Diablo II recently than Diablo III. At least I have fun on Diablo II.

@Panpipe said:

@paulwade1984 said:

That's not a letter, its a series of lists which read like politician bullshit rhetoric.

I stopped playing d3 about a month ago. Only actions will bring me back, he can take his letter and shove it up his ass.

Why are you so aggressive?

It's a video game.

...that people waited 12 years for, constantly being jerked around by the next goddamn WoW expansion instead of seeing Diablo III. During the beta, it seemed like they were doing everything right and were on point to release a fantastic game. After the launch, they just killed it.

The same happened to The Old Republic post-1.2 patch...and Dead Island post-patch...and Skyrim post-patch...and many other highly-anticipated games. It seems like no one can get their goddamn patches right and actually listen to the people that are playing their games.

In turn, I'm just waiting for Guild Wars 2 to be fucking excellent upon release...only to be foiled by one of the patches that gets released in around a two-month period after the game's release.

@vespene_jazz said:

Why do people expect this game to keep them occupied as long as a MMO ?

I played well over 80 hours, have 2 lvl 60 inferno geared characters with 3 others in the 30s. I don't play it anymore but for the time I sunk into it, I had LOADS of fun (more much then any MMO) and will gladly return when they release new content.

I don't understand why people are so mad ? It's a great game and much more fun than D2 (gasp!). What's the point of being angry about it ? If it's not fun anymore, just play something else... you don't even pay a monthly fee!?

I don't understand gamer rage...

...maybe because they were able to play D2 for over a decade and they don't see the same thing in sight for D3? I don't know. That might have something to do with it. With D2, I had a fervent level of "want" to play that game. With D3, I barely want it installed on my PC at all. The only reason it is still on there is so my brother can play it, sell items on the RMAH, and buy the OTHER Blizzard games through his Bnet account so we have fun things to play. = /

#20 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1610 posts) -

Well, I'm still having fun.

#21 Posted by brownsfantb (391 posts) -

I don't get why everyone's hating on this game. I'm far from a hardcore Diablo player, but I've gotten a lot of hours and fun out of this game and I plan to keep playing for at least the next couple of months.

#22 Posted by Xeirus (1294 posts) -

@jakob187: Ok, so you got 50 hours out of a $60, I would say you're set. Chill out.

#23 Posted by Warchief (657 posts) -

All I get from this is

"Sorry we messed up, this is what happens when we are made to rush a game out the door when its not ready. Oh and sorry our idea of end game in diablo III is playing the AH...in closing please come back".

#24 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

@Xeirus said:

@Panpipe said:

@paulwade1984 said:

That's not a letter, its a series of lists which read like politician bullshit rhetoric.

I stopped playing d3 about a month ago. Only actions will bring me back, he can take his letter and shove it up his ass.

Why are you so aggressive?

It's a video game.

I also think it's hilarious people played Diablo for 50+ hours yet complain how worthless it is. How many games can you get more than 8 hours of for the same price?

People love to complain.

50+ hours was easily put into the game BEFORE 1.03 patch.

People have been complaining the most AFTER that patch came out.

The overall community has dropped about 60% consistently since that patch was released. I personally haven't launched the game since a couple of days after the patch hit, and I don't plan to launch it again anytime soon.

Maybe once I'm done playing Titan Quest...in a year or so...and even then, I'll probably just launch up Torchlight or possibly even start up another character on Champions of Norrath before I go back to Diablo III.

Hell, I've played more Diablo II recently than Diablo III. At least I have fun on Diablo II.

what is it that make D2 fun and D3 no fun

#25 Posted by Heltom92 (707 posts) -

Yea not sure what the problem is with you guys, they could of just released the game and then left it. people should be grateful that they are adding anything at all to the endgame.

#26 Posted by BaconAndWaffles (69 posts) -

@jakob187: @Spooty: How can you say too little, too late when none of these changes have happened yet? I can understand being underwhelmed with the game as it stands now and the little changes they have made so far, but writing them off now seems a bit short-sighted.

Until an expansion come out none of these changes are going to cost you a thing. If you don't like any of their upcoming improvements after they are release, then I think your position would be more justified. For now, it looks like you (and many, many others) are suffering due to high expectations (nothing wrong with this).

I personally never played any of the prior Diablo games, so I didn't have any expectations. But my impression so far is "This is what the hype was all about?". If I haven't been that impressed then I can understand your disappointment, but as I said before dumping the game now doesn't have an upside...

#27 Posted by Psychohead (141 posts) -

As fucking stupid and ultimately harmful the always-on DRM is (and PR spin bullshit aside, that's exactly what it is), I find it doesn't really get in the way as I only play the game co-op. That is, it doesn't get in the way until I try to play Hardcore. Thus far, every time I've had a HC character croak, it was either lag or a connection drop that did it.

Given that HC has its own auction house, and that it never touches the RMA, I'll never understand why there isn't an option to play HC characters in an "offline mode."

#28 Posted by fox01313 (5069 posts) -

Considering how freaking short the game is (both story & getting a character to max level), one would think that they would have already put in the stuff for people at max level to do things apart from just the item hunt he mentioned.

#29 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

I wonder what the always-on req. means for any eventual modding of D3. The most fun I had playing DII was playing the Eastern Sun mod on a private server. Even with all the improvements Blizz made to the game up through 1.10, I think Eastern Sun, while overly complex at times, made the game even better. I can't help but feel that the way D3 works is going to make doing that more difficult, but I'd love to be surprised there.

Also, I'd really love to hear what their plans for an expansion are. LoD is really what made Diablo II the game people love and remember, but I thought I heard something to the effect that Blizz isn't planning on releasing an expansion until 2015 or something like that. I sure hope that's not the case.

#30 Posted by Deathpooky (1385 posts) -

It's hard to take any of their statements about the RMAH seriously. Sure, it avoids having to deal with potentially suspect third party services for people who want to pay money, but they're also making money like crazy and the auction house in general has had a huge corrupting effect on the game. On the higher difficulties the auction house is a requirement and it basically defeats the entire fun of a loot-driven game - finding awesome rare and legendary items to make your character better. I don't see how they fix that without completely disrupting the current game economy.

It's hard to complain much given that I had a couple fun playthroughs of the game, but I've generally soured on the game and it looks a lot worse in retrospect than it did after one playthrough. The combat and variety was fun at first, but it quickly turns into a numbers grind and almost as naked a business venture as some free to play games.

#31 Posted by Death_Burnout (3796 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

Hell, I've played more Diablo II recently than Diablo III. At least I have fun on Diablo II.

Yeahhhh....me too.

#32 Posted by jasonefmonk (350 posts) -

I haven't played in a couple weeks, but I am certainly not finished with the game. Inferno was too tough and without much reward, so I chose to play other games while they get these patches out. It's good that Blizzard will recognize mistakes and work on fixing them.

I got over 100 hours out of Diablo III in the first 45 days. Is that all I wanted? No, but I didn't get my 1000s of hours from Diablo II without taking months and years off at a time. Returning after patches to see improvements was a big part of DII as well.

#33 Posted by Elwoodan (807 posts) -

as someone who never played D2 I fully understand the issues with the simplified stat systems and the DRM, but if you don't want to use the AH, if you want to spend hours farming for the perfect item, then just stay off the AH, no one is forcing you to use it. I have 2 toons in act 3/4 inferno, and I have never opened the AH...

#34 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

Thanks, but no thanks Blizzard. Better luck next time.

#35 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7069 posts) -
@Panpipe

@paulwade1984 said:

That's not a letter, its a series of lists which read like politician bullshit rhetoric.

I stopped playing d3 about a month ago. Only actions will bring me back, he can take his letter and shove it up his ass.

Why are you so aggressive?

It's a video game.

It wouldn't be the Internet if people didn't lose their shit over almost anything.
#36 Posted by Lazyaza (2175 posts) -

D3 was never going to have the replayability of Starcraft or the "limitless" content of WoW yet people act as if this fact is some kind of massive betrayal or failure on Blizz's part. I think they delivered above and beyond what I was hoping they would, but I'm no hardcore Diablo fan despite sinking 120 hours in to D3. Best thing for people to do now is just be content, move on and look forward to Torchlight 2 and Borderlands 2. I know I am.

#37 Posted by FateOfNever (1821 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

Hell, I've played more Diablo II recently than Diablo III. At least I have fun on Diablo II.

Ok, maybe you can explain this to me - What is so good about Diablo 2? I don't get this argument. The game is set up in such a way where you put all your points into whatever you need to equip your gear and the rest goes into Vitality because every other stat in the game is garbage (short of boosting mana for a bubble sorcereress.) Skills are built in such a way where you effectively pick two skills to use and that's it, all other skill choices are just to make those primary skills better through synergies. Loot grinding serves no purpose because after you get to Hell and beat Hell there's nothing to do. Congrats, you beat the game, and yet people still farm loot for a game they already beat.

What is it about D2 that people think is a far superior experience? Is it just that you get to make choices? Regardless of the fact that those choices are more or less made for you already (even though you get as much choice, if not more choice, in skills in D3?) Is it just that you can farm bosses more easily? Is it just pure nostalgia?

#38 Posted by Molenator85 (220 posts) -

The contents of the letter seems to check out in my book. I've put over 100 hours into the game and still play it several times a week. This is also my first Diablo game, so that may have something to do with it.

#39 Edited by asmo29a (149 posts) -

@doobie said:

@jakob187 said:

@Xeirus said:

@Panpipe said:

@paulwade1984 said:

That's not a letter, its a series of lists which read like politician bullshit rhetoric.

I stopped playing d3 about a month ago. Only actions will bring me back, he can take his letter and shove it up his ass.

Why are you so aggressive?

It's a video game.

I also think it's hilarious people played Diablo for 50+ hours yet complain how worthless it is. How many games can you get more than 8 hours of for the same price?

People love to complain.

50+ hours was easily put into the game BEFORE 1.03 patch.

People have been complaining the most AFTER that patch came out.

The overall community has dropped about 60% consistently since that patch was released. I personally haven't launched the game since a couple of days after the patch hit, and I don't plan to launch it again anytime soon.

Maybe once I'm done playing Titan Quest...in a year or so...and even then, I'll probably just launch up Torchlight or possibly even start up another character on Champions of Norrath before I go back to Diablo III.

Hell, I've played more Diablo II recently than Diablo III. At least I have fun on Diablo II.

what is it that make D2 fun and D3 no fun

Maybe the fact that there is way more Hack & Slay in D2 than in D3. While it provided a decent challenge, D2 always kept you blasting away tons of enemies all the time, even on the highest difficulty level, which makes it a really satisfying experience. First time Act 2 Inferno in D3, you see a bee or two and maybe an additional couple of cats, and you have to GTFO. At that point, it becomes more of a waiting and kiting game than anything else.

Add to that the fact that you can only have 4ppl in D3 opposed to fun and frantic 8ppl parties in D2 and that grinding Inferno solo is actually more efficient than coop right now..

And you could have more active skills in D2 as well as a significantly greater variety of viable character builds.

And the loot was more interesting.

I bet I could think of a few more things that were better in D2 if I took the time.

Bottom line: noone I know is playing D3 any more, we're all waiting a few months to see if additional patches will make a difference.

#40 Posted by TyCobb (1960 posts) -

Blizzard is one of the greediest companies. I like to blame Activision, but there is no way of knowing whether or not Blizzard would have done things differently.

It all started with WoW. You want to change servers? Well then, pay us $25 for a single character transfer. What, you said you would like to change your name? That's $10. I don't actually have a problem with this since people are willing to spend the money, but that is where it started. They saw how much money people were willing to spend for things. I believe I ended up spending $150 on character transfers prior to Burning Crusade.

Look at StarCraft 2. $60 for a single campaign. Now most people bought SC2 for the MP, but look at how much they are going to milk it. SC1 had 3 campaigns and they all had a decent story. Why on earth should I spend $60 for 1 campaign? Well because of the MP of course. But, now I am screwed because even if I don't care about campaigns, I am probably going to be screwed into buying a $50-$60 expansion because the MP has changed and that's what everyone else is playing. Sure they could just do a campaign, but you know they will do something with MP that will force you to buy the newer version. And there is still a 3rd one that is supposed to be coming. We are the money trees and they are shaking us for everything.

Diablo 3 was nothing but a waste of my time. Luckily I got my $60 refunded right before the 30 days was up. I was in Inferno trying desperately to farm Act I for gear. RMAH wasn't out yet thank god and gold prices hadn't skyrocketed yet on the AH. People on forums were complaining about their classes and there were indeed some valid gripes like Barbarians. What did Blizzard do that whole month? They did silent patches with 0 patch notes to screw people out of farming. Did this stop botters? Nope. All it did was piss legitimate players off and set them back. Diablo 3 is the cash cow for Blizzard and the way that game is set up, Blizzard would lose money if they actually stopped botters. Botters and the RMAH is how Blizzard is making a killing and will continue to do so. They will continue to make changes that only affect the normal gamer. If anything, them slowing a certain farm spot down will actually cause them to make more money because the botters will buy another 20 accounts to compensate.

Sorry, but felt the need to rant.

#41 Posted by jakob187 (21662 posts) -

@BaconAndWaffles: As you pointed out, you didn't play the previous Diablo games. Therefore, you weren't there for D2's release. That game was glorious, even before the release of LoD...which just made it a masterpiece. The level of support they gave that game, the world they built in it, and the ways that they set everything up gave it almost infinite playability. A lot of that WAS due to the item hunt, and that was taken away by the AH in D3.

As for D3 not being fun, it just isn't. When I load up a game, I shouldn't feel a sense of dread like "well, nothing good is going to drop, and it's literally a waste of time for me to have even clicked play". NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO FEEL THAT WHEN LAUNCHING A GAME! That's what I felt by the end of my time with the game.

Did I enjoy my time pre-1.03? Shit yes. I enjoyed the fuck out of it. At the same time, I'm looking at this game with Blizzard Goggles: they are a company that makes games which have lasted a DECADE before needing to have a new installment. A FUCKING DECADE, MAN! Name one Blizzard game that doesn't have a life past five years. They are a company that is meant to be quality, and this game is no longer quality. They fucked it up and killed it.

Moreover, again, there is a LOT of talk about shady shit. They do not list the names of people auctioning off items. In turn, it means they could easily be ghosting high-end items onto the RMAH and no one would even know the difference! I'm sorry, but that's not Diablo. You can TRY playing it pure, but in my experience, I don't know a single person in real life that has been playing on Inferno and said "yeah, I've gotten all of the gear that I'm wearing from drops". They ALL went to the Auction House. I went to the Auction House. I didn't buy the game expecting that I would be playing Diablo III: Chinese Gold Farmer Edition. I wanted Diablo III, and I got it until 1.03 hit.

I was actually PISSED that they nerfed Inferno with 1.03!!! I felt that the difficulty ramp up had a brick wall at Act 2, sure...but it NEEDED to be there. There HAD to be a point in the game's highest difficulty that said "HEY, WHOOOOOOA THERE...you might want to reconsider some stuff and really think about what you are doing". There were people complaining about how only 2% of the people playing were in Inferno, but Blizzard said all along that those types of numbers were to be expected. Blizzard also said that Inferno would be fruitful for players. It hasn't been, and now that the nerf happened, going through Inferno ain't no thing. I was able to go from struggling and enjoying the challenge to breezing through all of Act 2 and half of Act 3 before saying "I don't even give a shit about finishing the game anymore". The challenge was gone, and that's part of what the most hardcore of players wanted from the game.

So I can understand that you feel like people are complaining about nothing, but they aren't. The game is fucked at this point. Every person I know that was excited about the game hasn't been online since the week of 1.03. It's not Diablo anymore. Blizzard plays to the lowest common denominator now.

They do NOT care about the customer anymore. I have it on authority from a former Blizzard employee!!! Here's the exact quote, and unfortunately, that former employee already told me they wouldn't talk to ...despite how much they would like to:

This place is a fucking joke run by managers only interested in politics rather than doing what is best for the employees and customers. Tired of getting shit on with no reasonable explanation. And we have new shifts starting soon that place me from seeing (my spouse) for 5 hours on a friday night, to never.
#42 Posted by Crushed (884 posts) -

Blizzard tried to make (and hype) this game like it was an MMO or capable of the same long-term satisfaction as WoW or SC2. They didn't succeed.

#43 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

@TyCobb said:

Blizzard is one of the greediest companies. I like to blame Activision, but there is no way of knowing whether or not Blizzard would have done things differently.

It all started with WoW. You want to change servers? Well then, pay us $25 for a single character transfer. What, you said you would like to change your name? That's $10. I don't actually have a problem with this since people are willing to spend the money, but that is where it started. They saw how much money people were willing to spend for things. I believe I ended up spending $150 on character transfers prior to Burning Crusade.

Look at StarCraft 2. $60 for a single campaign. Now most people bought SC2 for the MP, but look at how much they are going to milk it. SC1 had 3 campaigns and they all had a decent story. Why on earth should I spend $60 for 1 campaign? Well because of the MP of course. But, now I am screwed because even if I don't care about campaigns, I am probably going to be screwed into buying a $50-$60 expansion because the MP has changed and that's what everyone else is playing. Sure they could just do a campaign, but you know they will do something with MP that will force you to buy the newer version. And there is still a 3rd one that is supposed to be coming. We are the money trees and they are shaking us for everything.

Diablo 3 was nothing but a waste of my time. Luckily I got my $60 refunded right before the 30 days was up. I was in Inferno trying desperately to farm Act I for gear. RMAH wasn't out yet thank god and gold prices hadn't skyrocketed yet on the AH. People on forums were complaining about their classes and there were indeed some valid gripes like Barbarians. What did Blizzard do that whole month? They did silent patches with 0 patch notes to screw people out of farming. Did this stop botters? Nope. All it did was piss legitimate players off and set them back. Diablo 3 is the cash cow for Blizzard and the way that game is set up, Blizzard would lose money if they actually stopped botters. Botters and the RMAH is how Blizzard is making a killing and will continue to do so. They will continue to make changes that only affect the normal gamer. If anything, them slowing a certain farm spot down will actually cause them to make more money because the botters will buy another 20 accounts to compensate.

Sorry, but felt the need to rant.

i've always wondered, how much is a company allowed to earn before we class them as greedy.

#44 Edited by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

I haven't played the game and don't plan to.

#45 Posted by DerekDanahy (873 posts) -

I like a lot of other people have stopped playing. It still is a bummer that they haven't completely ironed out the server issue, and lack of end game content. But honestly, I've played this game more than any other game in the past couple of years so I feel like I have gotten my moneys worth out of it. It seems to me that just because its a Blizzard project people expect more.

#46 Posted by FateOfNever (1821 posts) -

@asmo29a said:

Maybe the fact that there is way more Hack & Slay in D2 than in D3. While it provided a decent challenge, D2 always kept you blasting away tons of enemies all the time, even on the highest difficulty level, which makes it a really satisfying experience. First time Act 2 Inferno in D3, you see a bee or two and maybe an additional couple of cats, and you have to GTFO. At that point, it becomes more of a waiting and kiting game than anything else.

Add to that the fact that you can only have 4ppl in D3 opposed to fun and frantic 8ppl parties in D2 and that grinding Inferno solo is actually more efficient than coop right now..

Then just play Hell? Don't play Inferno? That's an option, isn't it? And what do you get out of D2 Hell exactly? More loot that you don't need because you already beat the game? I'm not saying Inferno is great. It sounds brutal and awful and like it was specifically designed for people that want to smash their heads against a wall over and over again, not for people that want to just steamroll shit. I don't think they ever billed it as that. So why do people think that's the experience that it's going to be? Is it just that Hell isn't challenging enough after you've cleared it once? Was Hell in D2 at all challenging after clearing it once (I legit don't know, it's why I'm asking)?

#47 Posted by syenchik (4 posts) -

Ton of fun going through it once but unless you're a serious achievement whore or someone who needs to compare gear with their gamer buddies (cough, tiny penis, cough) there's little replay value.

#48 Edited by jakob187 (21662 posts) -

@Xeirus said:

@jakob187: Ok, so you got 50 hours out of a $60, I would say you're set. Chill out.

Rephrase that a little bit for a second:

"Okay, so you got 50 hours out of a $60 BLIZZARD game, I would say you're set. Chill out."

See where the problem is there? Again, Blizzard is a company that releases games which you don't quit playing after 50 hours (and for me, it was after around 120 hours...yes, I dumped THAT MUCH TIME into the game before 1.03). THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT STILL PLAY THE LOST VIKINGS ON A FAIRLY CONSISTENT BASIS...AND THAT GAME HAS NO LEVEL OF RANDOMIZATION WHATSOEVER! THEY KNOW THE PUZZLES FORWARDS AND BACKWARDS! It's just a solid game overall. These are games that you play for years after the fact. Now, could that end up happening? Maybe, but I won't know. I'll be on something else because Blizzard could not keep my attention with the one game I was more hyped for than literally ANYTHING else I could name (besides Guild Wars 2, but I loved the shit out of the first game).

If you can personally justify "I got 50 hours out of Diablo III for $60, so I'm good", then that's your own personal justification. However, that does not IN ANY WAY mean that it's alright to me...and honestly, it shouldn't be alright to Blizzard, the company that has ALWAYS stated "when it's done", but then rushed a product out of the door to meet some quarterly earnings.

#49 Posted by Sapp (17 posts) -

@FateOfNever: I couldn't have said it better. If Diablo 2 in its 1.0 release state came out today (with updated graphics), people would probably bitch about cookie cutter builds and that there is only an illusion of choice. Oh and that it's too bright compared to Diablo 1. Seriously, I don't get all this nostalgia. I've probably spent more time on Diablo 2 than on any other game, but honestly like Diablo 3 better.

Inferno is either too hard or way too easy, since there are already people farming Diablo after 2 months. Loot is absolutely horrible (people always forget the loot after the D2 launch) and so it goes on and on.

I mean, come on, D3 is definitely not a perfect game but it's also not the horrible mess people make it out to be.

#50 Posted by MonkfishEsq (251 posts) -

None of this makes me want to play D3 again. I was so hyped for it I ended up buying the CE but then I felt 'done' with the game after completing it once.

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