With the new patch now being out for a few days I feel like I really need to address my issues with what Blizzard has done with Diablo III. I still will always love my first play through of the game and I feel like the combat is very fun and satisfying, but overall I think Diablo III has been my biggest gaming disappointment in a very long time.
Forget all the issues with the launch and the server problems, I understand launching a game of this size is very difficult and things never go as planned. My problem with the game is that Blizzard seems to have lost sight of what making a game like Diablo is all about and instead has been focused on creating a game that revolves around the buying and selling of items. Yes, Diablo is all about trading gold and items to get the best weapons and armor you can get for your character, but Blizzard seems to be pushing it so that is the ONLY way to get those items.
Drop rates for items are extremely low and the difficulty of the game is still pretty high. Now that they have increased the gold repair to a ridiculously high amount, it feels even scarier to try and progress in inferno because dying means a huge chunk of gold lost which eventually leads to you only grinding gold on lower level characters just to meet your repair costs. Since the likelihood of you actually getting a drop that is something your character needs and is actually quite good, the risk reward of dying while fighting elites for the drops is always risky and barely ever rewarding. Blizzards solution to all these problems is for you to go to the auction house and use real money to buy items and/or gold to progress. This seems extremely unfair, particularly because this game is first and foremost a single player game. I feel like in a single player game, a player should be able to progress by themselves without such extreme difficulties and then have the solution of "hey you are having trouble?" toss down $50 and you can have some awesome gear right away without any work!" being the answer to it. It makes it feel like I am playing a "pay-to-win" or free-to-play business model game that I also paid $60 for already.
Now maybe a lot of people will read this and think I'm just whining and want the game to be easy, which is not true. I enjoy a good challenge, but I also want to do other things in my life as well as play other games while still being able to enjoy Diablo. I do not find it fun that all Diablo is is a grind for gold, on top of running into highly difficult elite mobs where the only way to win is by kiting them around for 10 minutes, or resetting your game because the elites ability combination is too difficult. Everything about this game just makes me feel like Blizzard is trying to get their 15% for every item sold, and they want to make the game as difficult and grindy as possible to force people like me who don't have all the time in the world to farm to buy items.
Another problem I have is with all the "nerfing" of the stats, abilities and gear. Yes, it is important to make sure everything works properly and nothing is game breaking, but this game is not an esports game. The pvp isn't even out yet. Why can't some stats be a bit overpowered? The game is just about having fun and evaporating hordes of monsters, I'm not competing for some MLG Diablo best player tournament or something. Just let the game be the game, once again, its a single player game! This also leads me to question why it took them 5 (4?) weeks to patch in a buff icon for magic weapon. That should be a standard thing in the game when it launched!
Personally I would love it if the difficulty was lowered even more and I could beat inferno as long as I have reasonably good gear. To me this would make the game more fun because all the abilities and different combinations would actually be viable (which is what Blizzard promised) and I would get to go around beating the shit out of everything and have fun watching my gear and gold pile up, while swapping in all my abilities for fun. This would actually make me play the game more, but maybe (probably) I am the minority in that view point. I was just expecting more to this game than there is, and after playing Torchlight again, I realize nearly all the concepts and game mechanics in Diablo III are very unoriginal in the first place. Now instead of spending my summer having a blast with Diablo, I just find myself waiting for Torchlight II to come out. It will be nice to be able to play offline, have mod support, and not have a real money auction house dictating the "balance" of the entire game.
Honestly, I am just ranting because I am disappointed in what Diablo III is. The real money auction house is hurting the game in my opinion because it is basically adapting a free-to-play game model onto a $60 game. After my love of World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2, maybe I just let my expectations of what this game was going to be get too high.