Diablo 3. Hot goddamn, I can't think of a game in recent memory that has pissed off so many people for so many different reasons. The constantly online approach to design, the Real Money Auction House (RMAH), the server issues at launch including downtimes, log on issues. The bugs the baffling restrictions to accounts, account security. The list goes on, and on, and on.
I looked past all that. I played since the Closed Beta. I was anticipating this game ever since I had my fill of Diablo 2 way back when. And for all of its problems, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with 3 (once I could actually log in consistently). Progress wise, for some context, I have completed Act 1 on Inferno with a Witch Doctor, with about 100 hrs played.
However, after seeing the content four times now, not including playthroughs on secondary characters its starting to get stale. The loot pinata aspect of Diablo, which I usually enjoy just wasn't catching me. The frustration of getting to 4 stacks of Nephalem Valour (the buff that increases your Magic Item Drop chance) then meeting an elite or rare pack that is UNDEFEATABLE at my current ilevel and class choice meaning a restart and a loss of all the stacks is becoming more and more frequent. The ~200 ping that I am playing the game at makes it impossible (in most cases) to effectively dodge attacks, and it's compounding my frustration. My character dies in 1 hit. That's not cool.
Playing with a group alleviates this somewhat, but even then the impossible packs are still occurring. The cries of 'get better gear' 'grind out items' 'do some crafting' just annoy me further. I feel like I am making backwards progress, especially the most recent patch, which effectively halved my DPS output, due to it relying on Attack Speed % which was nerfed hard, so I need a better weapon. Sure, I could spend $180 on a replacement, but that's a little bit too crazy for me. (Although, in my moments of extreme frustration, I have been tempted).
And the game isn't really very fun for me anymore. In order to progress, I have to play a Witch Doctor build I don't enjoy. It doesn't suit me and the ping in Aus doesn't suit it. The much touted ability 'choices' are almost non existent at this level, with only 1 or 2 builds being effective. That's not what we were promised. In fact, it's the opposite.
I feel bad. I will stop playing this game. I defended it from all the criticisms and rage directed at it. I am not angry, just melancholic. The game is extremely fun. Playing with my group (shout out to my homies Sovereign, Batlad and Flower!) was such a consistently great experience. Maybe my expectations were too high, overall. I mean, most games end. Maybe I have finished this one? I don't know why that feels strange to say. Maybe because I have enjoyed effectively infinite fun from all previous Blizzard products? I'm not sure. Luckily, plenty of titles to enjoy in 2012. Maybe I'll come back once expansions start arriving, new content is released, or the patch notes finally list changes that make me excited, rather than upset. Who knows.
Thanks for the entertainment Blizzard and Diablo 3. Hope to see you again soon.