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Editorial: Diablo 3's poorly planned end-game plays to addiction, not fun

Blizzard is finally coming out and admitting something that Diablo III players realized some time ago: The end-game is "not long-term sustainable." It didn't have to be that way.

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I've tried to stay engaged in Diablo III, I really have. I got my monk to level 60. I played into Act IV of Hell mode. I created a Demon Hunter for a change of pace. I've even tried playing the AH game to make some money. But in the end, the game offers the same trap as World of Warcraft: Grinding for gear and leveling up alts is more of an addiction than it is enjoyable game play.

Blizzard has finally caught on to its end-game problem publicly, admitting in its forums that it knows the game does not have a "long-term sustainable end-game." Community manager Bashiok said they are working on lots of fixes and changes in patch 1.0.4 as they move toward PvP arenas in 1.1, but any further changes are still only a distant work-in-progress:

"We have some ideas for progression systems, but honestly it's a huge feature if we want to try to do it right, and not something we could envision being possible until well after 1.1."

Bashiok acknowledged that content and systems roll-outs, like in World of Warcraft, are not possible every few months in Diablo III. But DLC has become an expected part of non-MMO games. Did Blizzard really expect fans to just play the auction house and grind for gear in Inferno mode until PvP finally made its debut? What if you don't like PvP? Excessive repetition isn't good design. It's a pandering to players who have a compulsive need for the best possible gear. But unlike World of Warcraft, where new content is inevitable and better gear is needed, Diablo III gives you nothing but an endless cycle of grinding for no future purpose.

I've been at Blizzard's mercy since the first Warcraft RTS. I have played every Blizzard game (with the exception of Lost Vikings), but not until World of Warcraft did the actual addiction kick in. While I wasn't as bad as some poor souls, I still had four level 85s geared well enough for the pre-Deathwing raids. I also had four other characters between 81-84, three twinks for levels 29, 39 and 49 battlegrounds, and four more characters between levels 45-65. I finally broke away, but trust me when I say that I know about grinding and the desire for better gear, and playing the auction house to find the best deals.

I guess that Blizzard may have subconsciously hoped that players with that World of Warcraft mentality would be able to sustain Diablo III as they moved toward the PvP patch. But personally, I broke my grinding addiction about a year and a half ago, and I have stopped playing Diablo III because I recognized the addiction signs I had in WoW. This time, however, I wasn't going to let myself become one of those mindless zombies I was killing in the game.

I am surprised that Blizzard did not have a longer term plan for the game. I'm sure an expansion is already planned (Diablo II: Lord of Destruction came out only a year after the original), but how many times can you kill Belial and Azmodan without wanting to beat your head on the desk when your gear upgrade doesn't drop? There are no other options. And since I suck at PvP, the 1.1 patch doesn't interest me. But even that is still at some undefined time in the future.

It's a shame that a company with Blizzard's pedigree couldn't have foreseen the monotony and disillusionment that could creep in less then two months after the game's release. Blizzard has some good storytellers and a fantastic animation staff. Something as intriguing as Halo 4's planned Spartan Ops episodic content would have been enough to keep me engrossed until the inevitable expansion, even if it was every month instead of every week.

In the end, I guess, players with the same mentality as die-hard MMO players will continue to populate the Diablo III servers. Diablo III was an enjoyable game for the first 80 hours. Bashiok said in a later post:

"We have hundreds upon hundreds of thousands playing every night. Comparing to just normal drop-off post release of a WoW expansion, Diablo III has been very solid, and it's not even out in China yet."

That's the kick in the head. The game is a huge success financially. Blizzard has my cash, so my departure will go unnoticed and my protest of poor planning will join with that of a vocal minority of others dissatisfied with wasted potential. It didn't have to be that way.

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    July 5, 2012 9:00 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Editorial: Diablo 3's poorly planned end-game plays to addiction, not fun.

    Blizzard is finally coming out and admitting something that Diablo III players realized some time ago: The end-game is "not long-term sustainable." It didn't have to be that way.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 9:04 AM

      Yes, such a drastic shift from the first two games that weren't about grinding gear at all.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:09 AM

        Gaming has evolved a lot in the last 12 years since D2 came out. Just because D1 and D2 did it doesn't make it right in the current gaming climate for D3 ...

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 10:09 AM

          I agree. I have very fond memories of playing Diablo 2 but I played Torchlight when it came out due to the hype of it being made by some of the D2 guys and I was just bored the whole time. I think I just grew up and out of the mentality that addiction is fun.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:10 AM

        Maybe the two previous games were fun to grind? Oh, that can't be so! Blizzard can't make mistakes!

        xD

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 9:11 AM

          yeah im getting tired of anytime there is actual valid criticism of Blizzard people immediately dismiss it.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 9:14 AM

            It goes both ways, too. Any tiny, minute, nearly insignificant (or in some (most?) cases, entirely untrue) issue gets blown into such a giant shitstorm by folks. It's ridiculous.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 9:22 AM

            Valid is a matter of opinion.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 9:23 AM

              It is, but when EVERY criticism, contrustive or not, gets instantly shot down by battered wives blizzard fans, it becomes suspect.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 9:30 AM

                I guess, it just seems to me that perhaps people's expectations were way too high. Comparing the time I've spent on d3 to any $60 console game, I'd say it was above average.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 9:31 AM

                  high expectations on a sequel to a game a lot of people were still playing 12 years after release? That's absurd!

                  • Zek
                    reply
                    July 5, 2012 9:35 AM

                    Who are these people you speak of? Were you still playing it?

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 9:40 AM

                      Copies of Diablo: Battle Chest continue to be sold in retail stores, appearing on the NPD Group's top 10 PC games sales list as recently as 2010. Even more remarkably, the Diablo: Battle Chest was the 19th best selling PC game of 2008[44] – a full seven years after the game's initial release – and 11 million users still play Diablo II and StarCraft over Battle.net.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diablo_2

                      • Zek
                        reply
                        July 5, 2012 9:42 AM

                        Okay, how about without the bots?

                        What I'm asking is whether you know anyone who still plays it. Or anyone who knows anyone who still plays it.

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 9:45 AM

                          Yes.

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 9:53 AM

                          I do. Biding my time till Torchlight 2 comes out

                          • Zek
                            reply
                            July 5, 2012 9:59 AM

                            To be clear when I say "still playing it" I mean really running the endgame content on a longterm basis as your preferred form of entertainment. D2 is a classic and it gets replayed for nostalgia all the time, but perpetually replaying the endgame for the best gear has always been an ultra-hardcore niche as far as I'm concerned. I've hardly ever known anyone who has the attention span to do that for a long time.

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 10:07 AM

                          I play Diablo 2 at least twice a year.

                          • reply
                            July 5, 2012 10:07 AM

                            With Lord of Destruction installed, of course.

                            • reply
                              July 5, 2012 10:12 AM

                              Well, you have to stay informed for your book of course. Research, right? ;)

                              D3 should offer you a whole new chapter ...

                              • reply
                                July 5, 2012 10:59 AM

                                I definitely discuss all 3 versions of Diablo 3. ;) But I meant that I play Diablo 2 multiple times a year not just for research, but because it's still my favorite PC game ever. Ropes me in every time.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 9:57 AM

                      Not every day but I usually played through it a at least a few times every year.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 10:12 AM

                  I spent a lot of time playing in hopes that it got better. It took me almost 40 hours to get to where "the game actually begins." After that, I kept grinding away for more hours just hoping that something changed -- call me crazy. Then they started patching things, changes were made etc etc. So I spent more hours trying to convince myself that these changes made the game more fun or interesting, but the little that it did wasn't enough.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 9:57 AM

              It's perfectly valid. Some people just have to start picking their knickers out of their ass cracks over it.

          • reply
            July 6, 2012 5:49 AM

            frontpagers, disgusting!

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:11 AM

        haha. well people now aren't about pacing themselves. gotta consume the game content absolutely as fast as possible, dump 100+ hours into it, then ask for a refund.

        blizzard had some glaring oversights in tuning the difficulty scaling, and arriving at inferno was a disaster. then there's all the farming techniques that people developed that weren't even exploits or cheats. all of that had to be nerfed. endgame should be about farming, right? if you want to farm, FARM... but there were some egregious deficiencies in design that made things so unbalanced, they had to be removed entirely.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 9:27 AM

          Well sure but it took d2 an exp pack as well as patches that changed the entire way skills worked to get it to a good point.

          I like your 100+ hours argument. A friend of mine was recently complaining about the game and saying he wanted his money back after beating Diablo on inferno. He put in over 200 hours into the game... how bad could it be? So the game isn't our digital messiah, if I put 200+ hours into a game normally I would say that game was fun or a success.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 9:08 AM

      Blizzard has my cash, so my departure will go unnoticed and my protest of poor planning will join with that of a vocal minority of others dissatisfied with wasted potential. It didn't have to be that way.

      Completely agree.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 12:13 PM

        That's kind of true but it's kind of not. Blizzard will make more money if there are more players that stay and play because of the real money auction house. But yeah for the most part it sucks.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 9:09 AM

      Game should have waited another 4-5 months before release.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 10:31 AM

        More like game should have proper planning (however long it should takes) and listening to people's feedback before releasing..

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 1:56 PM

        I don't see how that would have changed any of this.

    • Zek
      reply
      July 5, 2012 9:10 AM

      The reason Blizzard designed D3's endgame this way is because D2's endgame was exactly the same, and people loved it(or at least so they claim). It was even more tedious actually because you were just slaughtering the same bosses in Hell again and again with zero challenge. They made a bunch of good changes to that formula - albeit with a couple missteps - in the form of Inferno and NV, but ultimately a lot of people who never enjoyed that formula in D2 are discovering that they still don't like it in D3 and getting mad about that.

      I think the constant thorn in Blizzard's side with D3 has been trying to figure out what their fans actually want. Everybody is always shouting their own ideas and Blizzard ultimately went with a pretty faithful recreation of D2's endgame with some gameplay improvements, which I think was ultimately not good enough for most people.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:13 AM

        Putting an easy level cap is a lot different than Diablo 2. It was damn hard to get to level 99 in Diablo 2 where as it's really easy to hit 60 in 3.

        • Zek
          reply
          July 5, 2012 9:21 AM

          Level is irrelevant in D2 after beating Hell, it's just a number to go along with your grinding. If the cap were still 99 in D3 people would just complain about how impossible it is to get there.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 9:23 AM

            It makes a massive difference. It means you always had some goal to get to since it was so hard. What a lot of people are doing is hitting the hard cap and the absolute only way to get better is gear. There is a large psychological difference.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 9:23 AM

          Depends what patch you're talking about. For the first 4 years or so - up until patch 1.10 - getting to level 99 was trivial. Normal cow rush to 30, rush to nm, nm cows to 60, rush to hell, hell cows to 99. About 3-4 hours total.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 12:32 PM

            I call BS on you. You talk out of your ass, it has never taken 3-4 hours to hit 99. Not even if you were rushed trough cows, no.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 12:32 PM

            I call BS on you. You talk out of your ass, it has never taken 3-4 hours to hit 99. Not even if you were rushed trough cows, no.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 1:59 PM

            That's only when Lord of Destruction came out. When the base DII game arrived, the only way to get to 99 was the chain-kill Diablo for days on end; entire teams of people would share characters in an attempt to be the first ones to do it, and it took them weeks. I don't think many people ever hit 99 before LOD came out. Even after it did, I don't think I got anywhere close to it.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 3:02 PM

            3-4 hours to get to 99? BS, maybe that was true if you leeched ubers or whatever new bosses they added years after LoD came out.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 3:33 PM

            Hell cows to high 80s/low 90s, sure. After that it slowed way down. After 1.10 instead of cows you did Baal runs with the same result.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:23 AM

        The more I play, the more I think the absolute worst thing they did wasn't the AH, but instead the very low level cap. The second is the way they handled gear. There needs to be something between magic, and rare. The third is that bosses and super unique, that I know of, don't have the chance to drop specific pieces. And yeah, the AH would be last. Keep it in but turn it into a item barter system. No gold or money involved.

        Basically in Diablo 2 you were rarely at level cap, so your character was still progressing. When you played you had a goal to kill some super unique or boss. While you were playing you had the chance to goodies to drop.

        In Diablo 3 your character is no longer progressing. Rares rain from the sky but 99% of it is useless for the character you are playing. Super unique and bosses are not a goal by any means.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 9:30 AM

          Depending on your build, after level 70 or 80 your character was basically at max power. Levels after that were just numbers -- there wasn't any real progression.

        • Zek
          reply
          July 5, 2012 9:32 AM

          This is sort of what I'm talking about. I don't agree with any of your suggestions at all. Most of the things that people are claiming to have loved in D2 made that game objectively worse for me. I think the times have changed since D2 was popular, and a lot of people who look back at that stuff in fondness would actually not enjoy it anymore in D3, let alone the much larger community of people who were never into D2's endgame at all. IMO Blizzard should have thrown out even more of D2 than they did and redesigned the endgame from scratch.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 10:37 AM

            I guess it all matters on how you like to game then. If you disagree with wombat and wish that d3 was nothing like d2, then im guessing you wish it was more simplified? If so im assuming you like casual gaming more. The reason I enjoyed d2 so much was that it seemed more of a hardcore game, and with that mindset expected d3 to be the same. Instead you get a ridiculously easy game until you hit inferno, at which point it becomes a game of AH trading

            • Zek
              reply
              July 5, 2012 11:04 AM

              I wanted D3 to be more fun than D2. And it is. I thought D2's "endgame", consisting of joining a game, jumping into the sorc's town portal, killing Baal/Meph/whoever, then leaving and joining a new game, rinse and repeat, was the most tedious experience imaginable. And I think the AH is at least more fun than D2's convoluted player trading economy, though I would prefer if it was more feasible to find/craft your own loot. Which was only relatively feasible in D2 because there was no Inferno mode.

              I think the complaints with D3's general play experience are still resolvable with patches in the near future. For example, there's still hope for crafting to be made a real alternative to the AH for gearing yourself, but it certainly isn't there yet. The more fundamental endgame problems that the blue post is talking about though are problems that D2 always had too. I think people are getting their own complaints with D3's direction mixed up with the actual concession that Blizzard made, which is that once you beat the final difficulty there isn't really anything left to do but keep playing it. That in and of itself is the Diablo formula, but Blizzard is saying here that they don't think that's good enough.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 1:01 PM

                Exact opposite for me right now. The way D3 is set up right now I could sit down for 30 minutes or 5 hours and potentially not progress my character at all.

                The following has happened to me more often than I care.

                1: None of the rares dropped are of any use. *Extremely common

                2: Died a several times so now I actually lost gold overall. *Which ever way the wind is blowing with uniques that day.

                3: None of the items that were obtained sold on the AH. *Getting better at this but I want to play Diablo 3, not auction house simulator 3.

                In diablo 2 at the very least character level was typically always progressing, which meant more stats & skill points to disperse.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 3:36 PM

                  technically, you could lose progress in d2 too, if you died a lot (causing you to lose exp)

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 3:42 PM

                What you're saying about D2 is true, but when you get bored, you could always go and help your friends (powerlevel), do PVP with your friends or random people, or just challenge yourself by doing stupid stuff (poison bombs or potions). And while youre pretty much spot on in d2's endgame, isn't d3 endgame the same, if not worse? replace joining a game to buy/sell on the AH.

                I do agree that if the crafting system was more in place, it would be a lot better. And no, crafting mode was feasible in D2 not because of the lack of "inferno mode" but because there was an off chance that it might actually be really really good. Getting an ammy that had +2/+3 to skills with crazy boosts to resist was really rare, but still possible. On the topic of inferno mode, I honestly don't understand why they would add another difficulty level if its essentially the same as D2's hell. sure monsters are harder, but guess what your equipment are also hundreds of times better.

                While I agree that d3 could get better, I'm pretty sure it won't be any time soon.

            • reply
              July 6, 2012 11:55 AM

              have you reached 500k dps on all 5 classes? nope? theeen whats the issue with end game?

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:55 AM

        the thing is you can make grind optional for the 40 year old virgins while making content manageable for other people. the real problem with Blizzard is they don't get what virtually every other company already has and that's that poopsocking is out of date, as are fake excuses about not having the money to make more content systems for normal people.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 9:59 AM

          I don't really get it. They put a way in there for you to avoid grinding altogether: go to the RMAH and drop $150.

          Improving your characters through getting stuff is *the point* of these games. It's the adventure that's supposed to be fun, not the final destination. You don't have to be able to "win the game".

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 10:06 AM

            You get the best gear, even if you buy it. What then? To what end do you need better gear? To kill Diablo even faster? There is nothing that has been remotely mentioned that gives us hope that better gear can be used beyond what we see now.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 10:13 AM

              What is the motivation to do the same things in an MMO? You grind raid bosses for gear to make grinding that raid boss easier. Then an expansion or content update comes out with a new set of raids to repeat the process to get the new gear that super ceded the old stuff you grinded for. Then there's some amount of PvP. And D3 will end up with PvP and an expansion pack or two.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 10:22 AM

                Crafting

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 10:30 AM

                  that's just another system for grinding for gear for the same purpose (redoing raids)

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 10:37 AM

                    What? I craft for fun. I've only been on a few raids.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 10:47 AM

                      Crafting is just acquiring loot through grinding a different system. If the complaint is 'what am I acquiring better loot for?' then 'crafting' is not an answer.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 11:56 AM

                Those are better social experiences as well.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 3:40 PM

                  You get out what you put in. I play with less than 10 different people and it's no different than running a 5 man with guildies. If you are joining pub games and then upset that the social experience is lacking, it's your own fault.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 10:23 AM

              I agree, but that was the point in D2. Kinda just tweaking your character(s) based on your available drops to be as powerful and versatile as possible. It was certainly an addiction of sorts.

              But what else could they do? Without content patches to inject a "new challenge" on a regular basis, there's really never any tangible purpose to keep acquiring gear. It's always kind of a competitive endeavor, even if it's a level removed, to see how well you can perform relative to your time spent relative to everyone else who's playing the game.

              The major problem I see is that they offered plenty of options for character improvement that don't involve playing the game. And in doing so, they screwed up any hope of tuning that progression through the content, and made it feel like the point was not really the pursuit of gear but *having* the gear. That's an incredibly shallow goal in itself, *especially* when you can go open up your wallet and shortcut to having enough gear to skip straight to the end.

              I just really think they missed the point of their own game, or cynically let the dreams of dollar signs overwhelm their good sense.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 2:37 PM

                I think a lot more of it has to do with unrealistic expectations. It's almost like people went into Diablo 3 expecting more of an MMO type end game, rather than a Diablo type end game.

                If they restricted the AH somehow or didn't include one, people would be pissed about having to visit forums or spam in chat channels to buy and sell.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 2:31 PM

              To gear alts? Sell for gold or real money? Do the same thing you would have done in the previous two games? It's not WoW, or SWTOR, or some other MMO. What were you actually expecting? Honestly, I'm curious. It's Diablo, not Skyrim or some MMO.

              I'm really curious. You wrote an article about the lack of end game, what end game did you actually expect coming into the third game of a franchise?

              Not enjoying how the three games play out at high levels is fine, it's not for everyone. I sure lost interest after killing inferno Diablo. But expecting some huge shift to a whole new type of gameplay in an established franchise?

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 3:17 PM

                I don't understand what kind of "endgame" an aRPG is supposed to have. Diablo has always been about item grinding. Isn't Torchlight the exact same thing? There will also be PVP, as there was in previous games.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 4:22 PM

                  Yeah, I wish Keefinator would clarify what he actually wants and how Blizzard would have justified completely changing the gameplay of the previous two games without having people even more up in arms.

                  And I also expect him to post the exact same article when Torchlight 2 comes out and Grim Dawn and any other action RPG comes out

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:14 PM

          You expect them to add new areas & bosses for free? Or are we going down the DLC route? Because there are no monthly fees here, of course they're not going to keep churning out content. Look at D2, over the last 12 years they added a handful of new bosses.

          So basically, you're complaining that a aRPG is out of date because it's an aRPG and you don't like that kind of gameplay.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 3:40 PM

        D2 end game was not exactly the same lol

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 9:11 AM

      Blizzard has some good storytellers and---

      **RECORD SCRATCH**

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:29 AM

        I said good, not great, although I do like Blizzard's story lines.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 9:55 AM

          They spend a lot of time and effort telling a story, that much is for sure. The story ends up being disjointed, cliche, immature nonsense, but it's well-produced nonsense.

          Story-telling was far more minimal in D2, but I think it worked for that game. It allowed the atmosphere to build a story that enabled players to fill in the blanks with their imagination. And it didn't annoy or obstruct players on substance play-throughs.

          I was fairly charitable early on, but honestly, gamers should expect better from AAA titles.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 10:10 AM

          Haha, well if you'd said 'great' I'd have assumed you were joking. More power to you if you enjoy their stuff, but I don't think there's any critical measure by which the storytelling of today's Blizzard could be called good.

          I'll stop being a dick now, though, this was a good article.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 10:25 AM

          Who really plays a Blizzard game especially Diablo for the story?

          It's basically go kill this and gopher quests. Rinse, lather, and repeat. Every now and then you unlock an awesome looking CGI cinematic with dudes going "Fuck you now die!" and "No, fuck you now you die!"

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 10:46 AM

            I thought SC1's story was pretty sweet. SC2's... not so much.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 11:01 AM

            You're right, they don't play it for story. They do, however, play it for the atmosphere, which D2 nailed.

            If anything, the D3 "story" just gets in the way of the atmosphere and the gameplay.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 6:45 PM

              Damn I wish DroidChatty can post to news articles because I couldn't reply except on a browser or Lamp.

              But year the atmospherics were excellent in the game. Music, voice action, art, etc. D2 also made me feel like a fucking bad ass. Like with the NPC's said, "Hail to you CHAMPION!"

              D3 doesn't make me feel bad ass at all. All my followers are meh.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 11:12 AM

            I played D1 and D2 for the story, and the awesome art direction and the awesome music.

            D3 has none of these.

            Honestly I don't think any of Blizzard's games have any of these and I'm baffled as to why people love them so much.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 11:19 AM

            I really liked the warcraft 3 and SC1 storys myself

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 11:42 AM

            To add to the above comments, how is this even an argument? The game has a story. It doesn't matter very much that it's shit, but it is shit and there is no reason why it needs to be. Why make excuses for it?

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 1:47 PM

            I think a lot of people really liked early blizzard games for the story, however crude they may seem now.

            Also, I mean, however bad that shit was back then, what we're seeing now is about the same and possibly worse.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 2:39 PM

            I loved them back when I was a kid. I don't know if I've just grown up and like them less now or if the stories have gotten worse. I suspect a bit of both.

            First time I went through normal D3, I stopped and listened to everything, though. It's probably the worst they've ever written by a good amount.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 3:45 PM

            The story isn't even the big issue. The dialog (too much and bad) is the real culprit here.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 4:24 PM

              You know what bothered me more than anything? Diablo's voice. It's fucking mind blowing that they listened to that pre-release and thought it sounded good.

              the lord of tear-roar is a giant faggot

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 7:02 PM

            Starcraft 1 story was GREAT, Warcraft 3 story was good but told GREAT. Now,... not so much

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 7:32 PM

              SC1 was fine for a story but I enjoyed the characters interacting more. That was the best part of the game's campaign. Their story got surpassed by the likes of Relic and Homeworld.

              WC3 wasn't as interesting as Age of Mythology. That game was more advanced than WC3 in every way and it came out only a few months later.

              • reply
                July 6, 2012 4:28 AM

                WC3 is more advanced than SC1 and SC2 combined.

          • reply
            July 6, 2012 12:53 AM

            I do

          • reply
            July 6, 2012 1:07 AM

            Dude, the writing used to be good.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 1:08 PM

          Even good storytellers is a gross exaggeration. D3's story is the textbook definition of amateurish.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:16 PM

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJS4TeykUmM

          go back and watch the diablo 2 cutscenes and compare it to how the story is presented to diablo 3

          diablo 3's story was just ridiculous, the villians were cliched and had some of the worst writings, and the expository is borderline retarded.

          diablo 2's writing was much more mature, dark, more fleshed out, and infinitely more cohesive.

          Blizzard's story-telling has just taken a dive after LoD

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 4:17 PM

          Personally, I thought Diablo 3 had one of the most terrible stories, and even worse writing, of any game within recent memory. Nearly every event, every dialogue there was, I had the impressive that the target audience meant to enjoy this was developmentally challenged children.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 4:13 PM

        Indeed.

      • reply
        July 6, 2012 12:15 AM

        Just wanted to join in on the hating of Blizzard's story telling abilities group. Damn they're terrible.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 9:19 AM

      There's a typo in Lords of Destruction -- Lord should be singular.

      I also think you miss the point a bit; grinding for gear through an unchanging end game did in fact hold players' attention in Diablo 2 for years and years until the 1.10 patch introduced a new boss ... and then that single new boss again kept players entertained for years until 1.11 introduced a new endgame event.

      Players are perfectly happy to play through the same content over and over given sufficient motivation, of which Diablo 2 had several. Diablo 3 undermines almost every one of those reasons:

      1) Never any reason to have more than one of a character, since every class can do everything that class is capable of. In Diablo 2, you were rerolling all the time to try out new builds and for all the griping about that system and praise for the infinite rerolls you heard about Diablo 3's system pre-release, I think the reality is that while in theory it seems superior, it takes away some of the challenge and compelling reasons to replay. It's kind of like using a cheat code in an FPS to have every weapon from the start. Awesome, rocket launcher in Act 1! And it's fun as hell at first, but it does diminish the fun factor of the game.

      2) Itemization. There's been enough talk about this that I won't go into detail, but the items, the drop rates, and the prevalence of the AH all undermine what was perhaps THE most important factor in Diablo 2's success, the item hunt game. Trading was a huge pain in the ass in Diablo 2 but, in retrospect, that was actually to its benefit! It was scarcely easier to find upgrades via going into a trade game and suffering through the inevitible "WUG?"s than it was just running bosses. The fact that it was just as cumbersome meant that neither way was neceessarily faster, but you had two options to choose from of equal effort so you use the method you preferred. In D3, it's unquestionably faster to gear up via the AH, which means it is always the superior option, which undermines the actual core mechanic of the game -- finding gear in the game itself.

      3) There are some other design decisions that I think directly undermine fun, addictiveness, and replayability (in-game player hostility is a big one) but those are the major ones. More minor ones could be tweaked easily enough with patches but numbers 1 and 2 are fundamental to the game and barring a huge overhaul in an expansion, Diablo 3 will in hindsight be considered Blizzard's weakest game of the last 15 years imo.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:27 AM

        Got the typo. Thought I had fixed that before it went live. Thanks.

        As far as point three, it may be Blizzard's weakest game, but they will determine it a success based on sales. Only time will tell whether they learned from the mistakes. I maintain that the the games industry has progressed significantly since D2 and that what happened with D3 is inexcusable, especially with a company as experienced as Blizzard.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 9:29 AM

          The Blizzard of 2012 is a very different company from that of the late 90s. Course, that's true of basically everyone (Bioware, notably).

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 12:00 PM

          In pre-release interviews, the staff were saying they would only consider it a success if it had a thriving community and long term player base.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:56 AM

        I think for me #1 is the reason D2 has longevity, always a new build to try (and different builds, for the same class, would often require different gearsets, unlike D3).

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 10:06 AM

          Perhaps my favorite time in Diablo 2 was theorycrafting a new build for a sorc, figuring out what gear would work best for it (which included some insanely unconventional items that no one ever ever ever used - e-bugged Prudence, Memory staff), building it, and having it succeed (in hardcore, no less) beyond my wildest dreams. That was easily my favorite sorc, and a big part of the fun was levelling her up, getting each new piece of gear I had theorycrafted as being ideal as I reached such and such a level, and just watching her progression.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 12:08 PM

        Great points. Personally, I still like the decisions behind #1, but #2 is a really big factor affecting my enjoyment. At this point I never feel hopeful that I will find a nice item when I'm grinding. I feel like I am just trying to maximize my gold farming so that I can get something on the AH. That is really fucking boring and slowly killing my desire to keep playing. The only time I have fun now is when I play with other people, which I used to avoid because I find it harder to keep track of what is going on and I end up dying more. But that is not the end of the world. I appreciate the changes they've made to drops, but I still barely look at items when I identify them (and fuck the stupid "open your present" bullshit, just have them revealed god damn waste of my time) because they are never better than what I bought on the AH. I just check to see if they're worth anything and even that is becoming ludicrous. 100k items have to have the hot stats; crit, crit dmg, main stat, vit, all resist, run speed, gold find.... and it has to have all of them or its shit. grumble grumble rabble rabble. I WOULD HAVE ENJOYED THE GAME MORE IF THE FIRST PLAY THROUGH WASN'T A FUCKING JOKE. THE MOST FUN I HAD WAS SEEING NEW CONTENT. FUCK.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 8:08 PM

        Weakest of the last 15 years you're crazy bro d3 rulez

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 9:30 AM

      I came to the same conclusion a few weeks ago: that its addictive but not fun; even exploitative:

      http://www.shacknews.com/article/74361/south-korea-bans-virtual-item-trades?id=28379046#item_28379046

      however, no one seemed to like that opinion because I'm not an editor.

      TLDR: agreed.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:34 AM

        People will still disagree with me as well. But such is the nature of opinion.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 9:39 AM

      WTF happened,(been lurking and occasionally posting since 00) this site used to be all about playing games and enjoying them with friends, now its nothing but a bunch of whiny little bitches screaming about remakes of games they were not even old enough play much less understand.

      Gaming has evolved? really? I'm sorry but no. It has be devolving for a good time while everyone and their slimy investor brother jumped in for fast cash in the light of a dying music industry and completely stagnant, greedy film companies.

      Whine and bitch all you want about it, until people start making games for fun and enjoyment again and not just a deadline for profit and investors, the shit is only going to be re-flung back your faces over and over again. And don't bitch about the costs and misc of making something, Black Sabbaths first record cost roughly $800 to make and is still a timeless icon of its genre. And still quite awesome in light of all its sequels and knock offs that cost much much more to make.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:43 AM

        what you are doing is whining and bitching. lol.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:49 AM

        Wait is livejournal down or something

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 10:00 AM

        I approve this post, it's not an mmo, it's a dungeon crawler

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 12:13 PM

        Lots of great indie games have come out and been enjoyed and discussed by people here. DIII is just a huge deal and huge disappointment for lots of people, so it's at the top of discussion a lot. I'm excited to try Quantum Conundrum soon :)

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 12:40 PM

        Irony: krakhead420 doesn't get it.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 9:45 AM

      arrgh this $60 video game only entertained me for 80hrs, fuck Blizzard. Sound about right?

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:52 AM

        You missed the point. I said I loved the game. Had a lot of fun. Would love to find a way to keep playing it, but the current end-game system does not allow for that. Blizzard did not design the game with the intention of "Beat the game and you are done." It wants you to keep playing. But the premise to keep you playing is flawed and troubling.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 10:06 AM

          I don't understand what people like you want out of a diablo game besides a hack and slash gear grind. That's all it ever was and will be. The itemization may need some tweaking, which they are addressing with buffed legendaries, but that doesn't sound like it would alleviate your concerns. They nailed the diablo premise perfectly, your expectations are flawed and troubling.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 10:10 AM

            On a scale of 1 - 10, precisely how troubled are you?

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 11:13 AM

            So if we don't like diablo 3, we're just wrong? Hah.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 11:44 AM

            You need a reason to get the gear. Even a shitty reason.

            Bad PvP, getting to a ridiculous level cap, getting to the next level of an infinite dungeon, something.

            Diablo 2 had that.

            Also, I think the end game would be much better if they could take care of botting. People are still running 24/7 bots. It ruins the economy. Why log in and "farm" for an hour or two when you can set it and forget it with an AutoIT bot?

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 12:41 PM

            Fully concur with ya, darcspeed.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 1:54 PM

            Agreed

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 1:59 PM

            I DEMAND GREATNESS

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 2:15 PM

            yeah, there are flaws but ultimately it is filling the same role as D2, I'm just not in high school anymore and in the mood for that amount of grinding

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 3:05 PM

            Actually, considering that Blizzard wants longevity out of their product (heck, look at the RMAH), that's not what Diablo III was meant to be.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 3:32 PM

              Diablo was not built in a day. D3 will get there, just like D2 did. If anyone remembers D2 vanilla, it had none of the itemization that people loved about D2:LoD and are complaining about in D3.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 9:08 PM

                I fail to see how this exonerates them in any way. I thought the goal of a sequel was to take what worked in the previous game and improve upon it, not take two steps forward and three steps back...

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 10:38 AM

          It's ok. They'll bitch at you if you don't play the game enough, but then bitch at you if you do play it enough.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:28 PM

          So you basically want it to be more of an RPG then, with a huge amount of sidequests?

          Or do you actually want there to be a huge level grind? Which, IMO does nothing for longevity as I played hundreds of hours of D2 and never once achieved L99 on any character, or felt the need to.

          Have you played D1 & D2? What do you think of those games?

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:48 PM

          Sounds like you were hoping for an MMO.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:55 AM

        Seeing as how people have been playing and still play d2 ten years later this argument seems juvenile.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 9:56 AM

        I absolutely got my money's worth with D3. Amazing value for $60. It still doesn't have the long-term gameplay of D2 IMO.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 10:04 AM

        People keep saying this, like it totally negates criticism of games.

        Here's my canned response: the Diablo series is legendary for its replay ability. The Diablo 3 designers admittedly set out to create a highly repayable experience. If the game is falling way short of expectations in spite of 12 years of consideration and 7 years of development, it's fair to think about why that is.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 2:10 PM

        this is mega retarded

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 10:21 AM

      I didn't make it even to 20 hours. I got bored with it and didn't finish.

      The game is dull. It does not have any of the charm of Diablo 2. Diablo 2 was much more engaging to me. It's certainly possible that I've simply moved on from this type of game. My feeling though is that the game is simply not up to the same bar set by Diablo 2. That bar was set very high, but I think this game misses that mark by a fairly wide margin.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 10:29 AM

      Well, it did make a ton of money for Blizzard, so from a business standpoint, I guess we can say its a been a huge success. Sure people are upset at this game but those same unhappy people will most likely be at the midnight launch for their next release as well, wallets open.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 10:37 AM

      You know... this ISN'T an MMO.

      It's a Hack and Slash game, like Diablo 2 was. Grinding is the core mechanic of hack and slash games.

      And if you expected something different... well, then probably you didn't even play diablo 2 to begin with, or stopped at around lvl 50-60 in diablo 2.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 11:14 AM

        Or you played Diablo 2 to level 99 and had a blast while doing so and expected Diablo 3 to be just as fun if not more so.

        And you were thoroughly disappointed.

        Diablo 2 is the better game by far. Titan Quest is better than D3 too.

        • Zek
          reply
          July 5, 2012 11:26 AM

          When playing from Normal through Hell, D3 is by far a better game than D2 in just about every respect IMO, except perhaps the story. It's in Inferno that all their really new experimental ideas begin, which have had their strengths and weaknesses. It would be an incredible feat if they had nailed all of it right out the gate, but that didn't happen. There's still time for them to do some course correction and fix most of the biggest issues over the next few months I think.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 11:54 AM

          How many characters did you get to the level cap?

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 12:15 PM

            A Necro, a Druid and Barb. I had a Sorceress on the way too.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 1:09 PM

              How many were done with no power leveling?

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 1:25 PM

                None of them? I enjoyed playing through the game for what it was.

                I didn't do all this in the space of a few weeks.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 9:27 PM

                  you leveled 3 chars to 99 in d2 with no power leveling??? as in... not running baal thousands of times?

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 1:26 PM

                I meant none of them were done by power leveling.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 1:29 PM

                  Ok. Just curious.

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 3:02 PM

                    I didn't power level either. Also, keep in mind that most D2 players did NOT reach level 99, nor did most of them play through Nightmare. Just like most Diablo 3 players haven't hit Inferno and probably never will.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 2:12 PM

          But i was not talking about how fun it was or not, i was talking about the "endgame".
          Thats a whole different story.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 2:22 PM

            i forgot to say, if its fun or not, appart from beeing a whole different story, its subjetive, everybody thinks different about it.

            But its a fact that its a hack and slash game, and beeing one means the endgame is grinding for better gear. And that is objetive, its a fact and there is not two ways around it.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 2:44 PM

          Maybe you grew up. Back when EverQuest was new, I could camp dervish camps all day. I did level 45 (a "hell" level) in one 18 hour day camping one single npc that had a 30 minute spawn time.

          Just because I enjoyed stuff like that back then, doesn't mean I will now.

          That said, the amount of complaining about the required amount of grinding to progress in Diablo 3 is way over the top. I think I finished the game with less than 20m worth of gear as a monk. The only truly rough spot was going from Act 1 to 2. After that, it wasn't a big deal getting through the rest of the game.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 4:24 PM

            Except I was playing D2 until a few months before D3 was released. I'm burned out on D3 and after say 50-60 hours I just stopped having fun. Even while I was having fun I still had my gripes about many aspects of the game.

            I got my moneys worth but I doubt I'll ever go back to it, whereas I absolutely will play D2 again at some point.

            It's just a more fun game in many respects.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:36 PM

          Opinions. D3 is a way better game than D2 was. D2:LoD had a lot more longevity than D3 and was easier to have fun in though.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 6:34 PM

          Titan Quest is awesome...yeh, two cents in an angry thread!

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 10:48 AM

      QUICK HIJACK: Just found an awesome dungeon in Act II that I didn't know existed. It's a timed dungeon, and if you find the exit before time runs out you get like 4 chests, including a Resplindent one. That place is intense when it's full of elites and you're in HC mode! Much fun.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 11:21 AM

        That one is fun. If feels like some Aladdin level.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 11:32 AM

        I found that one and got to the end two seconds after the timer expired. ARGH!

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 12:00 PM

        Haha yeah, I did that one in HC as well. If you "die" you just get teleported outside (but I didn't know that at the time).

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 1:18 PM

          Hah! And here I thought I was doing some uber-risky thing by racing against the clock. Oh well, was still really fun, and came close to dying like twice, which made it that much more crazy :D

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 12:14 PM

        Too bad they nerfed chests and took all the fun out of opening them >:[

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 1:17 PM

          I got two rares, some health pots, gold, and a few whites. :\

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 10:58 AM

      they had 10 years.. and didn't think the end game out? wtf.. sc2 was crap.. so is d3

      no innovation at all -- rinse and repeat change graphics

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 12:52 PM

        HEY! Just because you suck at sc2 multi doesn't mean you gotta bitch that it's got no innovation.. wtf were you expecting an MMO? GTFO troll

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 1:01 PM

          wow that escalated quickly...

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 1:25 PM

          lol.. i guess i prefer warcraft 3 style RTS

          you don't have to get all twat hurt like that kid

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 11:03 AM

      I was kinda wondering when the next diablo 3 editorial would come out, and if it would be something along these lines.

      It is funny if you think of them all....how great the game is when you first start, and then how boring it ends up being.
      So sad....and such potential gone to waste.

      Just like John said.........Blizz already got our cash and doesnt care about the vocal minority.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 11:09 AM

        Because at the start it's like "oh fuck I'm finally playing diablo3 this is fucking awesome!" but then as u continue to play, the feeling dies. Act 3 and 4 felt especially rushed.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:12 PM

          I FREAKING LOVE Act 3! It reminds me of the LoD Act, all war torn and barricaded and explodey.

      • Zek
        reply
        July 5, 2012 11:18 AM

        I'd certainly like to hear how you came to that conclusion. The blue post that inspired the article you're responding to is basically a direct apology to the vocal minority. Blizzard has been completely open about their design process every step of the way, and in response the "fans" just spit in their face.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 11:46 AM

          Apologies are easy. I'm sorry. See, how hard was that? But it doesn't undo the disappointment and it doesn't put $59.99 back into my bank account.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 11:53 AM

            I still can't believe people want refunds for Diablo 3. I bought fucking BRINK at full price. the game barely even worked.

            the scope of what deserves a refund is completely fucking skewed. people dumping more hours into it than it takes to finish an FPS title of the same price point.... still want refunds ????????????

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 12:21 PM

              Yea I don't get it either. I played for 3 weeks and then moved on when I got bored. That being said it's rare that a game can keep my attention for longer than a week, so by that standard it's a fantastic game.

              I wasn't expecting to be entertained for the rest of time but I more than got my moneys worth, good grief.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 1:25 PM

              I bet your expectations of brink weren't that high though. And by the way, I'm not demanding a refund. I just think their apology is flimsy. They feel bad about disappointing me? That's an almost a meaningless gesture.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 12:34 PM

          Haha, you're the typical internet kid who thinks people should be GRATEFUL to Blizzard because they're being open about the game being trash (after 3 months..) and after they've received their $60.

          You are exactly the puppet companies want you to be, so they can throw anything at you and you instantly reply with your fanboyism. :)

          • Zek
            reply
            July 5, 2012 12:37 PM

            I am grateful to companies that release fun games that I get many hours of enjoyment from playing, you're right. And I also think that game designers are human beings doing their best to satisfy their fans and deserve better than bitter vitriol from entitled nerds on the internet.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 1:07 PM

            You forgot to use the term "white knight."

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 1:27 PM

            3 months? You can't count.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 11:06 AM

      Well said Keefs. I'm not entirely sure you're the "vocal minority" here though, lots of us were disappointed with D3.

      • Ebu
        reply
        July 5, 2012 12:40 PM

        More like, "The minority who are vocal"

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 6:17 PM

          More like, using the same words to mean the same thing!

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 11:45 AM

      Here's the real problem , they removed a lot of the grinding aspects, such as having to reroll and relevel characters to change specs, making nightmare and Hell complete cakewalks, and the watering down of the entire economy and challenge due to the AH.

      The AH, outside of a revenue stream was supposed to circumvent the 3rd party trading/selling of items. Instead it took what was a relative minority-based *exploitish* behavior that only hardcore gamers were really using and they airdropped it on everyone. You cannot avoid the AH, because without chat rooms your only option is to hit up the trade channel and then you STILL have to hit the AH to price items properly. So now every gamer is just buying their way to the top and then wondering where all the fun has gone?

      If you remove the AH, if you add in stat allocations and at least a partial painful experience to change specs, then the game becomes a lot more fun and rewarding over time. Right now ALL CHARACTERS ARE THE SAME. There is no difference between any level 60 characters outside of gear. Gear can simply be bought with gold/cash in 5 seconds meaning your level 60 character is worthless. I assume part of the reason for easy changing of skills was to make the actual character have zero value for trading. Focus all the value in the AH. Well ok you can do that but now I have no attachment to my cookie-cutter wizard who is the same as anyone else when you take gear away.

      Blizzard dumbed it down, and in my opinion did so for too many reasons relating to capturing all trading traffic in the AH.

      Another problem is the paper-mache/brick wall duality of playing. All normal mobs outside of like Act 2+ inferno pretty much just melt like butter then you hit the brick wall of champ packs. So you are running through levels just ignoring 90% of the content and spending all your time on just the champ packs alone. Normal mobs NEED AFFIXES TOO. They need to be challenging, and I will say they need elemental invuln affixes. NV should take care of skill swapping to overcome invuln affixes, but they really need to make those normal creeps feel like more than just breaking vases.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 1:42 PM

        The idea that the AH was going to stop gold sellers or 3rd party companies selling gear was a lie from the beginning. It was just an excuse for blizzard and everyone else to get a piece of the action. Chinese farmers are still selling gold and gear. And they are undercutting AH gear prices.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 11:46 AM

      I agree with Ars Technicas article on the subject a bit more

      http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/07/blizzard-admits-diablo-iii-is-a-game-that-ends/

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 1:55 PM

        He cherry picked some ridiculous posts to shame the general population of people who aren't happy with the game. That's not fair.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 12:20 PM

      Dying in softcore should reset your game. Fuck repair costs. Take off all NV and replace all mobs.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 12:36 PM

      I guess I'm just confused as to what they (Blizzard) are supposed too provide for some sort of expected end-game? I suspect that players are disgruntled because they thought this was supposed to be like World of Warcraft or some other MMO.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 12:36 PM

      Any game with gear and levels plays to addiction and not fun :/

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 12:43 PM

      Your efforts to dismiss my unengaging endgame are meaningless. Prepare for doom as I have already broken into your lower levels and lauched the REAL MONEY AUCTION HOUSE. Suffer as my minions grind to make us more money with every transaction.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 12:45 PM

        So what you are saying is that Blizzard is Diablo? Interesting hypothesis ;)

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 12:52 PM

          Hmm. In this case they would actually be Act 3 Asmodan. Although you can pick your shitty dialogue and boss from just about anything after Act two. I'll throw the Belial dialogue in there for good measure.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 12:43 PM

      For me, the endgame of D3 was when you beat Diablo and saw the ending. Any further play is just for difficulty completionists. I'll probably fire it back up someday, with a new character, and different friends, but I was done with the game when the credits rolled.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 3:46 PM

        That's a short game for $60 :(

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 6:18 PM

          I'll replay it later with different friends.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 12:45 PM

      this is why i'm taking my time. playing occasionally.

      i'm level 57 or 58, in act 3 hell. no rush to get to inferno or burn myself out on it.

      blizzard will tweak, update, add. and i'll happily put in a few hours a week and slowly build my barbarian up until i've beaten inferno.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 12:58 PM

        The problem with this view is Inferno isn't like Normal-Hell. You will find places where you are just stuck and cannot advance without lots of farming. You won't burn out in Inferno because you rushed to get there, you'll burn out when you can't advance.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 12:55 PM

      I do like the Ars-Technica viewpoint on this.

      You got your 100+ hours(and for some 500+ hours) and you're complaining there is nothing now to keep you coming back because you've exhausted what Blizzard has made for you. If any game gives you that much entertainment, how can you really complain?

      I think the frustration is this, at least for me: we've waited many, many(many many many) years to get play the 3rd Diablo. We have such fond memories of what Diablo 2 was. This game could never be Diablo 2 or offer the same complete feeling of Diablo 2. But it tries to act like its that good.

      I think the way they set up the skill system and the inclusion of the AH is very much how WoW is like now. That's a problem because it gives people the false sense that this game IS that game. It isn't. It's a action RPG that has a clear beginning, middle and end.

      I think this game is a lot more fun to play interms of how you use your skills and you level up your character but at the same time, loot drops basically are worthless. Once you start using the AH, any gear you ever get in a loot drop is either going to sold, salvaged, or put to the AH. I think the AH basically ruined the experience that Diablo 2 did so well. If you aren't excited about anything that may potentially drop...then the whole point of the game really suffers. Even worse, it's not like you can avoid the auction house. You literally cannot play the higher difficulties of the game without using it. That is the worst intentional design decision of a high profile game that I think I can remember.

      It is a fun game, I love the battle and skill system. The AH has taken its toll, however, and I don't really think those that dislike the AH are in the minority.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 1:01 PM

        Time is by far the worst argument for entertainment. Addictive play necessarily means you will put in abnormal amounts of time "playing." Is this the user's fault for coming back when they know the odds of payoff? Yeah, it is, but that's why "addictive" is bad.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 1:19 PM

          If you're spending a lot of time doing something that is entertaining you, I fail to see how that is "the worst" argument.

          I played Skyrim for 140 hours. 140 hours of FUN. Yes, it may have been "addicting" at times, but always fun.

          Diablo 3 is fun to play, it also can let you just zone in on it for hours. I fail to see this as a bad thing, too. Unless it causes you to not maintain your responsibilities in life.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 1:24 PM

            Because it isn't entertaining. I'm constantly finding myself just staring at the start screen and thinking of other things to do. I have to work up the will to play or else I'll just quit and do something else. I just DL'ed Spelunky and am playing that more than D3 now.

            As for Skyrim, it was fun to grind in that game because outcomes weren't random. I knew what I had to do and could accomplish individual tasks in a matter of hours, if that. I, too, put in 100+ hours and enjoyed it; that's not what's happening with D3.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 1:31 PM

              Oh, and the other part is the time required to get to Inferno. Normal to Hell is a cakewalk with non-level capped gems. Why not just start at that difficulty if you are going to make me hit a brick wall at the end of every act? There is no logical sense of progression in the game and the solution has shown me how dated the farming mechanic is. I have no idea how but running dailies in SW:TOR was more enjoyable than farming in D3.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 2:00 PM

              but that's your experience. You are entitled to that experience. I don't feel the same way.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 1:25 PM

            Time spent isn't necessarily a measure of fun. You can spend 140 playing an addictive game and not really enjoy it.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 1:30 PM

              But is that the games fault you got addicted to it? Even still, you still played the game enough to justify it's initial cost.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 1:33 PM

                Addiction plays on the weakness of the user. It doesn't work towards justifying a cost, just how long it can keep one trapped in it until they realize they have a problem.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 1:37 PM

                  If you get addicted to video games, you shouldn't be blaming Blizzard your should be seeking help from a professional addiction specialist.

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 1:42 PM

                    I have no problem if I get addicted to fun things.

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 1:44 PM

                    Oh, and you are still missing the point. We are talking about fun and you are equating time spent with fun. That's not a logical connection when it comes to addiction.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 1:50 PM

                      Time spent is just one way to quantify fun. My argument was that you spent 100+ hours playing a game, whether you're just addicted or your having fun...you still spent 100+ hours of your life. Why are you complaining that you're "bored" now?


                      So, for me with this game and other games I play: the more time I spend playing, the more I feel I'm getting fun out of it and once I'm not getting fun out of it, I no longer play.

                      Sure, it can be the cause where you get addicted to a game you absolutely hate playing and just playing because you are... addicted to it for no other reason than that the mechanics are prime for getting young and innocent gamers into the game addiction circuit.

                      I think time is a valid way of determining if you have fun with something or not. It isn't the only way but it surely isn't the worst way.

                      • reply
                        July 5, 2012 2:00 PM

                        I still don't understand how simply spending time with something equates to fun, worthiness, or enjoyment but if that is how you view things, we are just going to have to agree to disagree.

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 2:02 PM

                          I live in a weird and wacky world where I spend my free time doing things I enjoy. The more I enjoy something, more time I spend on it.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 1:46 PM

                If a game is designed to be addictive, then I could see it being the games fault. That's not saying that you don't get your money's worth out of a game you have 140 hours in, because you clearly have. But if a game like D3 is designed to be addictive, with little reward, with the end goal of feeding the RMAH and maintaining a revenue stream for Blizzard, then it's a problem. But that's still not saying you didn't get your money's worh. Just that it's a shitty way to do business.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 1:57 PM

                  No argument there. I think the AH and the RMAH are the worst design decisions interms of making the game better.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 1:55 PM

                enjoyment seems like a much better metric to justify cost than time-spent; as many have pointed out, time-spent does not necessarily equate to time enjoyed. i spent about 15 hours playing in the first week on the hope that i would start enjoying it, but i never did.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 2:37 PM

            I think some people want some bigger purpose or accomplishment out of games than what they can provide. Perhaps that's when they need to start thinking about moving forward with real life accomplishments, something that might be more fulfilling.

            *shrugs*

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 1:03 PM

        answer honestly: if there was no AH/RMAH, do you think people would be MORE or LESS pissed off?

        customers now want things right away. it is my opinion that no AH would make people even more volatile, as they'd be forced to replay the game forever to get good loot. look how successful the AH was, so successful it crashed a fuckload.

        from an overall design standpoint, sure it might not be pure to diablo 2.... but, for TODAY'S consumers, I think it was wise to include them.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 1:16 PM

          If the AH didn't exist, the game would have been designed for more drops that are necessary to continue playing the game. Drops from bosses and elites would actually be useful and you wouldn't just immediately get rid of them. The AH completely changed the design of how they handled the frequency and quality of loot drops. So honestly, yes I do. For a game that's all about getting incredible loot that you want to use...like any dungeon crawling loot game...I don't see how players today would not have played this game and like it more than they do now.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 1:19 PM

            so, you're suggesting they'd have to go away from randomness? class-aware guaranteed drops?

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 1:24 PM

              The weird thing is, to me, that there are very few items which are class specific.
              There are a few weapon types and armor types that you can't use for any class and yet it seems to me that these are the majority of the drops I get. Useless in most cases because why would I save something for a level 50 Witch Doctor when I'm likely to find something better on my way to level 50, unless it was a legendary item.

              I think having a majority of drops that pertain to your specific class makes sense. Getting a few items for another class is cool too, with the shared stash so you can easily share it.

              My biggest complaint about the game is that instead of awesome loot drops that are more frequent in the places you expect them, the AH has replaced that entirely.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 1:28 PM

              Why is that bad? I don't know any DH's who are stacking Int. I don't know and Monks that are stacking it either. Why would a Barb-only weapon need it? I'm not sure if they fixed it but there was the picture floating around awhile ago of a a class-only item with a differen't class' ability. Why would it be ok to remove these conflicts and not the ones I'm talking about? You don't need >100 of an off-stat for most builds before the benefits are negligible so why have them on class-specific stuff?

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 1:50 PM

              Which is interesting because that would be the exact opposite of what Diablo 2 was. It's loot was incredibly random and you got just as much shit as you do in 3.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 1:53 PM

                I think Diablo 2 gave you a lot of shit, but there was shit in there that you actually wanted and used. That doesn't really happen in D3. All the shit you want is in the AH.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 1:57 PM

                  Well someone got that. It's not like it just magically materialized on the AH. I do understand the difference though. It's far more exciting to get items then to buy them. However, there isn't any difference really in the drop rate from D2 to D3 as far as crap you got.

                  Where you run into trouble is once you start buying stuff from the AH you've effectively bought some of the best items so getting an actual upgrade is going to be even more rare.

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 1:58 PM

                    That's true. I mean, you still get stuff. It's just after the AH, that stuff is just more crap you get rid of.

                    • Zek
                      reply
                      July 5, 2012 2:05 PM

                      You are just as capable of finding loot that you can use in D3 as you are in D2. Nothing has changed in that regard. There is a reason that third party trading was so rampant in D2. They didn't add the AH for no reason or to pull a profit, they added it because it was an extremely high demand feature.

                      • reply
                        July 5, 2012 2:09 PM

                        Not in Inferno.

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 2:17 PM

                          Inferno didn't exist in Diablo 2, and Hell was still easy as shit.

                          The difference is you didn't need badass gear to complete Diablo 2, so there was less of a pressure to farm it just to see the final difficulty defeated.

                      • reply
                        July 5, 2012 2:14 PM

                        That is objectively false. There was a far greater ratio of sets/uniques to base items in D2, meaning you were much more likely to see those drop. Furthermore, any given set or unique item was much more likely to actually be useful.

                        I would possibly argue that it was easier to stack magic find in D2, but that part might be offset by NV stacks.

                        That said, the influence of the AH is such that they probably can't make sets and uniques too powerful, because they're fairly easy to obtain through that channel. Serious players will definitely get complete sets in very little time.

                        • Zek
                          reply
                          July 5, 2012 2:31 PM

                          Sets/Uniques have clearly been delegated to a lesser role as of now, but that's a separate issue. In D3 if you don't use the AH at all, you'll find upgrades for yourself pretty frequently. Yes, you will have to progress through Inferno fairly slowly. As you deck yourself out in sweeter gear, it takes progressively longer to find upgrades - exactly like in D2. Both games have the option to fast track that process by trading with other players. The only difference is that in D3 the AH makes trading much more accessible.

                          I do think they should improve crafting to be a completely viable alternative to using the AH, but that would be a large improvement over D2. As it is, they're very similar in this regard.

                          • reply
                            July 5, 2012 2:39 PM

                            Crafting should be considered a replacement for D2's gambling.

                            Honestly, it seems like a lot of the "faults" of D3 are it differs relative to the established norm of mmo's. Instead of trying to understand what the different areas of D3 are on their own, people go into game mechanics expecting it to follow the mmo mold -- legendaries to be the best stuff in the game, crafting not to be random, endgame to be easily obtainable and last indefinitely, spec's to be solid, etc. This isn't what D3 is, and as a result there's a lot of friction because a number of people want to complain about the game instead of update their model of what it is.

                            • reply
                              July 5, 2012 2:41 PM

                              Yup, people should totally learn to find the game fun!

                              • reply
                                July 5, 2012 2:44 PM

                                I'm saying they shouldn't go into it expecting certain game mechanics work a specific way and then raging when they don't work the way they want them to. Learn how the game works and then decide if it's fun, instead of raging about how it's different than what you expect.

                                This is how you should approach every game.

                                • reply
                                  July 5, 2012 2:53 PM

                                  I personally have an extraordinarily good idea about how the systems in the game work. That's just me speaking for myself.

                                  I suspect when other people playing the game make their own decisions about whether they find it fun or not, you'll have reasons for why their idea of fun is wrong as well.

                                  But maybe everybody who thinks the end game sucks is just a big uninformed idiot who needs to reevaluate what "fun" means to them.

                                  • reply
                                    July 5, 2012 2:56 PM

                                    I'd suspect you're wrong, given how many of the reasons being touted about are either straight false (ex: forced to use the AH, crafting useless, legendaries useless etc.) or mismatched expectations (legendaries should not be worse than rares).

                                    Everything is so fucking hyperbolic these days that people really do believe the shit they're saying, even if it's false.

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 3:56 PM

                          Don't forget that you're talking about D2:LoD. Sets and uniques were pretty much worthless in vanilla D2 because none of the Hell ones existed.

                          I would say that at some point they will add a lot of new items to D3, and they will be cool.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 2:16 PM

            Except if you listen to the lead designer, the game wasn't balanced around the AH at all.

            Normal, Nightmare, and Hell were balanced around what was dropping in the game. Inferno was balanced around weeks to months of farming. The AH negated the difficulty of the first three difficulties, and made progression into the last significantly faster.

            The idea that the drops would be better without the AH is directly opposite of the available information. Additionally, without an AH there would have been a fuckton of "WTF No AH?!?" complaints because it's expected of a game like this.

            • reply
              July 6, 2012 3:03 PM

              Diablo players did not want an auction house. Blizzard shoe horned into the game so they could make money off the RMAH.

              The AH is the single biggest detriment to the game there is. Instead of being excited over boss drops, the only "Excitement" comes from clicking Buy on the AH after farming gold for weeks.

              Stupid design and completely removes what made D2 great - the "wow" factor of getting an awesome drop or gear tailored towards specific builds / play styles that is basically non existant in D3.

              Basically D3 lacks variety in player builds & and has shit poor itemization that is made even worse by the AH presence.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 1:52 PM

        You literally cannot play the higher difficulties of the game without using it.

        You are wrong. Maybe it was harder post 1.03 patch, but I've made it into act 2 inferno with a Monk w/o using the AH for gear.

        I bought 1 Logan's Claw for 20k just because I like the wolverine reference and they look cool. DPS on it is way to low to actually help in late game Hell so I never really used it as I had better weapons.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 1:58 PM

          The impression I've gotten is that a lot of people have been successful getting through Inferno Act 1 either without the AH or spending very little on the AH. This was my experience as well. It apparently gets rather hard to do after that point.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 2:02 PM

            I'm sure that pre 1.03 patch that yes it gets hard due to drop rates and needing resists, but for me in my experience and with what my gear / resists are at now I should be able to make it pretty far into act 2.

            Hell there is a youtube video of a monk beating act2 inferno using 200k in gear. Yes it might take me a longer time to finish all of inferno w/o using the AH, but it's not something I want to use because I like the challenge of doing it with drops.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 2:48 PM

              There was a witch doctor that beat act 2 with 25k, although he died a lot more than the monk.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 2:55 PM

                I just looked that up and sent it to my co-worker who spent millions on gear for his WD. I am awaiting his reaction.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 2:59 PM

                  Kripp beat all of Inferno for less than 500k on his Barbarian.

                  Dude also beat pre-nerf Inferno hardcore, which was a system that didn't have ilvl 63 items propagate the market due to certain classes being able to deathflop content. It was always possible, but it's easier to dismiss personal failures as something insurmountable than admit it's a personal failure.

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 3:09 PM

                    Scouring the AH for deals is cool, can't argue with you there.

                    As for the Hardcore accomplishment, yeah, it was a hell of a thing. A lot of the loot acquired for that was done by things like farming treasure goblins for dozens of hours, or just having gear straight up gifted to him by fans. Is that a valid way to play? Absolutely, but it may not be enjoyable or feasible for most players.

                    I think you get really hung up on these literal interpretations, over and over again. Yes, it is literally possible to do fine without the AH. Is it realistically a compelling gaming experience for a skilled-but-not-ultra-serious player to do so? Not so much.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 3:16 PM

                      Yeah, dude, keep repeating I'm hung up on taking things literally when people use the word literal to prove their point, and the point falls apart when it's not taken literally. That's.. that's mighty fine detective work right there, Lou.

                      Inferno mode isn't for everyone. Never was. Inferno mode was designed to require some of the best gear in the game to complete and progress. This requires a ton of farming and item trading. This is what it was designed to be. If you don't like this, then it's not designed for you.

                      Every game is going to have aspects not intended for you. Instead of acting like a spoiled 2 year old whenever you encounter one, you should recognize this, and either move on when the game dives too much into the "not for you" category, or find some way of liking that stuff to continue playing. That's the mature adult way of handling this.

                      • reply
                        July 5, 2012 3:21 PM

                        Critiquing the game means I'm throwing a tantrum? Get real.

                        If a huge percentage of players are finding that they're disappointed with the end game, to the point where the makers have to openly acknowledge it, then maybe it's not just something that everybody has to just "learn to find fun."

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 3:28 PM

                          I would say a lot of vocal gamers reaction to Diablo 3 is akin to throwing a temper tantrum in Walmart because your mom won't buy you a $2 action figure, yes. Whether or not you fall into this category is up to you.

                          How many $60 have an endgame? You've got Diablo 2, and... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

                          Oh, and revisionist views aside, Diablo 2's endgame is very much what Diablo 3's is. The only difference seems to be people thought Diablo 2's endgame was more than this, when it really wasn't.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 2:21 PM

            The AH shortcuts farming. That's all it does.

            Anything you get off the AH can be found in game, and the perception that you needed ilvl 63 items to get through Act 2 was blatantly and repeatedly proven false. The trade-off is time, but instead of admitting that people have concocted this notion that it's literally impossible as a scapegoat to not wanting to admit they either can't or don't want to do it.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 2:34 PM

              Seems to me like you're taking a very literal interpretation of the word "impossible" that some players may or may not have used. I doubt anybody thinks its literally impossible.

              When players have the option of getting that same gear through farming, but observe that it takes 20x longer than just popping into the AH, then it's probably fair to say that it *feels* impossible.

              This is where you say, "but it's still possible, gamers today are just lazy" or something like that that's technically true but still kinda misses the point. Go ahead, I'll wait!

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 2:43 PM

                When people say it's literally impossible, yes I'm going to take the literal interpretation of the word impossible because that's what their words mean. Further more, when they use the difficulties said impossibility to support or prove the rest of their assertion, it's going to be what I point at first because that's how you go about disproving an assertion.

                Kind of part of the deal here.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 2:51 PM

                  Case in point :

                  I think the AH basically ruined the experience that Diablo 2 did so well. If you aren't excited about anything that may potentially drop...then the whole point of the game really suffers. Even worse, it's not like you can avoid the auction house. You literally cannot play the higher difficulties of the game without using it. That is the worst intentional design decision of a high profile game that I think I can remember

                  His thesis is Diablo 3 was ruined because of the inclusion of the Auction House.

                  The support for this thesis is :
                  1. The Auction House changes the excitement over drops, changing it from a "potential upgrade" to a "potential sale."
                  2. You cannot avoid the Auction House because "you literally cannot play the higher difficulties of the game without using it" (emphasis mine).

                  Now, the way you go about debunking a thesis is to attack the validity of the support and/or provide counter-examples. Given the nature of this thesis, the easiest approach is to attack the validity of the support.

                  The first support is a perception issue, and differs from person to person. Some people will see it that way, others won't, and likewise, some will find it fun while others won't. In other words, it's an opinion.

                  The second support is phrased as a statement of fact -- you are forced to use the AH to progress. The game is bad because you're forced to use this thing that you may not find fun. This is a false statement, and attacking it as such is the way you'd go about refuting the argument.

                  Claiming I'm hung up on a literal interpretation of a statement intended to be taken literally in support of a thesis is a straight failure of critical thought.

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 2:59 PM

                    Uh, I read your post, and you're STILL hung up proving that it's not literally true that it's "impossible" to not use the AH. You just reworded your argument.

                    When people talk about whether they find games and their systems to be enjoyable, it's practically by definition a matter of opinion and personal preference.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 3:02 PM

                      The entire point of this subtread was me saying it is possible to beat the game without using the AH and that it wasn't "literally impossible" we aren't talking about fun or enjoyable systems in the game in this subthread.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 3:03 PM

                      The idea that it's literally true is the crux of his argument. He even used the word literally when making the statement.

                      What else are you supposed to do? Oh, well what you say is false, but I guess your conclusion is still valid because logic is for nerds? No, that's stupid.

                      • reply
                        July 5, 2012 3:15 PM

                        How does your hangup on the word literal debunk the premise that "If you aren't excited about anything that may potentially drop...then the whole point of the game really suffers."?

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 3:19 PM

                          That's a personal opinion. He might not be excited about a potential drop, but that doesn't mean no one is excited about a potential drop.

                          The "endgame" for crawlers have always been about getting excited over potential drops, but that's not an endgame everyone (or even a majority of people) can enjoy. This has always been something that caters to a very small niche and Diablo 3 is no different.

                          • reply
                            July 5, 2012 3:38 PM

                            Enjoyment of any activity is opinion. The question is whether it is commonly held. The idea that changing the game to pay-to-win, be it through the AH or RMAH, lessens it isn't unreasonable. You could also argue that AH/RMAH enhances it by allowing people to over come obstacles and it would also be reasonable. The true state of it is probably somewhere in between with some players falling on both sides. It doesn't make either side right or wrong.

                            • reply
                              July 5, 2012 3:45 PM

                              "Pay to win" now includes in-game currencies? Fantastic.

                              • reply
                                July 5, 2012 3:50 PM

                                They are planning on selling gold for real money. And in a game that's all about grinding and progression, I can't think of a better way to describe it.

                                • reply
                                  July 5, 2012 3:53 PM

                                  Blizzard is not selling the gold for real money. They are allowing players to put their own gold up for sale on the rmah.

                                  That's the fundamental difference between actual "pay to win" and Diablo 3 -- the "pay" part is player driven in D3. Blizzard isn't magically creating anything and selling it to players for a free -- it's all stuff the players found in-game and offered to sell. They're taking the black market D2 & D3 stuff and putting it in game.

                                  • reply
                                    July 5, 2012 3:59 PM

                                    It doesn't matter who's selling if you're paying to beat a part of the game.

                                    • reply
                                      July 5, 2012 4:01 PM

                                      By that definition, every game with an in-game economy is pay to win. Or if you include paying someone else to beat the game for you, every game ever created is pay to win.

                                      ... which distills the term "pay to win" to nothing at all.

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 4:02 PM

                          Because you can choose to play w/o using the AH?

                      • reply
                        July 5, 2012 3:17 PM

                        Okay, well, even if I think it's kind of a stupid thing to debate, you still haven't really provided any sort of rigorous proof in support of your claim.

                        Regarding the idea that Kripp beat Inferno on 500k worth of AH gear... Needless to say, that involved the AH.

                        Regarding the idea that he cleared Hardcore, I think it's true that relatively little of that support came from the AH. That does not imply that none of it did. If he hasn't explicitly said that they didn't use the AH, then it's reasonable to assume they were benefiting from all that loot channels available to them. Especially given that they died several times along the way. Plus, when you've got random dudes just giving you stuff, it seems as likely as not that the AH was directly or indirectly involved in the acquisition of that gear.

                        If you want to play this game we definitely can, but I don't know if it'll get us anywhere.

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 3:25 PM

                          What do you want me to prove?

                          Everyone on the AH can drop in the game. The hardest difficulty can be beaten using drops in the game. Therefore, the AH is not required to beat the hardest game. QED. Done. Finished. Proof over.

                          The fact that Kripp beat pre-nerf Inferno hardcore is direct proof that you did not need Act 3 & 4 drops to beat Act 2, which was a statement many people were clinging to. The statement was the only reason people were able to beat Inferno was because broken classes deathflopped their way to farming Acts 3 & 4 and flooded the economy with ilvl 63 items letting people beat the content. This strategy is literally impossible in hardcore mode, and therefore cannot be used to explain how Kripp & Krippi beat it. QED. Done. Finished. Proof over.

                          The fact that Kripp beat Inferno on 500k of gear was a direct contradiction to the statement that you need tens of millions of gold (or hundreds of dollars) to beat Inferno, yet another statement many people were clinging to to explain why D3 sucks. There's your proof. QED, blah blah blah.

                          This won't get anywhere because you're not doing anything other than poking me about taking the word "literal" literally. I'm sorry, but if a certain argument depends on taking something literally then it's stupid not to take it literally when trying to refute it.

                          • reply
                            July 5, 2012 3:34 PM

                            The fact that everything on the AH must have dropped in the game is not, in itself, proof of anything. For all you or anybody else knows, without doing a thorough statistical analysis, it could take four thousand hours to successfully navigate the progression curve and put together a set of gear capable of completing Inferno. You're making huge, unfounded assumptions about the nature of progression and randomness.

                            You assert that because some people have beaten Inferno with a degree of AH usage that you perceive to be negligible, it must be possible. As you're fond of pointing out, that is a logical fallacy oh the face of it. That doesn't *prove* anything, and in fact your examples directly contradict the value of that claim.

                            If you want to go total aspy pedantic on me, find somebody who at least *claims* to have beaten Inferno without having touched the AH.

                            • reply
                              July 5, 2012 3:42 PM

                              Actually, my assertions are fine because neither you nor anyone else complaining about this shit is making time bounded statements. Therefore, if it's possible given four thousand hours, then it directly contradicts the statements you and others are making.

                              In fact, in the time prior to release the statements regarding Inferno difficulty from Blizzard implied it would take a minimum of months of farming for an individual to complete. The goal was to provide long-term progression for people who farmed the fuck out of Diablo 2. This was how they tuned it, meaning if it does take four thousand hours then it's exactly what it was intended to be. The fact that it was completed so quickly (in both softcore & hard) indicates it was actually easier than what they had intended.

                              If you carefully read what I wrote, I'm using other people's achievements to disprove specific common statements accepted as truth by the outspoken community. There's no logical fallacy because I'm not making time-bounded statements. The purpose is using their achievements to prove you don't need Act 3/4 loot to beat Act 1/2, which is something that would make progression literally impossible.

                              • reply
                                July 5, 2012 4:05 PM

                                Okay, I stretched it to mean "beatable by right now, 6 or 7 weeks after launch." You're right, you got me, given infinite time it's totally possible.

                                And on that note I concede that you have won this discussion and I give up.

                                • reply
                                  July 5, 2012 4:24 PM

                                  See, and this is what it reduces to --

                                  Statement A : Inferno Act 2 is impossible to beat without drops from Act 3 & 4.
                                  Statement 1 : [Diablo 3's hardest difficulty designed for hardcore players and intensive farming] is impossible to beat without [farming beaten content for 10+ hours]

                                  Statement A makes it sound like the problems with Inferno difficulty is a fundamental design issue with the game. This one is factually incorrect. Statement 1 makes it sound like whining from players who feel their $60 entitles them to beat content not necessarily designed for them. This one is factually accurate.

                                  That's the disconnect. Inferno was not intended for everyone, but everyone feels like it should be intended for them.

                                  Prior to release Blizzard reps said their desire was to create a progressive difficulty from normal to hell that people would find challenging *somewhere* along the normal, nightmare, hell, and inferno line. Those people could then work to overcome the challenges and progress, whether that "work" included researching different builds & playstyles, or farming content for better gear & drops.

                                  The problem is the Auction House, but not in the way people are complaining. Without the AH, trivializing normal -> hell content through outgearing would not have been possible. Many people would have hit a wall prior to Inferno difficulty, and would have had to overcome it legitimately (either through farming, or through new specs). This would make Inferno's difficulty less of a shock. Instead, a lot of people got used to the brains-off difficulty outgearing content afforded them, and suddenly hit a wall when they couldn't play and spec like shit, or outgear everything by a ridiculous degree for next to no coin.

                                  At this point, their reaction wasn't to step back and do what they should have been doing all along in getting better at the game, but to start regurgitating Statement A over and over again like it was a legitimate complaint.

                                  Sure, you need Act 3 & 4 drops to beat Inferno if you want to beat Inferno with busted ass specs and playing like shit, but the people who beat Inferno did not beat it this way, nor was Inferno intended to be beaten this way (at least initially).

                                  • reply
                                    July 5, 2012 4:31 PM

                                    "The problem is the Auction House, but not in the way people are complaining. Without the AH, trivializing normal -> hell content through outgearing would not have been possible."

                                    Hadn't really thought about it that way, but I think you're completely right.

                                    I leveled my barb using sprint + leap and just running past everything and stopped only to attack things for fury or kill bosses. I actually thought it was pretty fun because I'd pull huge packs doing it that I would kill in seconds without any real risk of dying thanks to AH gear, that and it was pretty fast paced.

                                    I actually skipped so much I was forced to redo Act 3 nightmare three times so I could hit level 50 to start Hell. I was 5 levels below the level requirement for Hell and had finished the current difficulty. Hell was more of the same.

                                    It doesn't really work in Inferno without a whole lot more gear, though.

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 3:29 PM

                    They are MY STATEMENTS. Thanks for "debunking" my opinion.

                    You are welcome to disagree.

                    Maybe I should have phrased the whole thing as "In my honest opinion:". However, as it is coming from my mind, not anyone else's, I think that is a far gone conclusion that it is, in fact, my opinion.

                    So, IMO the AH ruined a lot of the fun getting loot in this game. IMO the higher difficulties basically demand that you have better gear than is being dropped, so IMO the AH is necessary. IMO I feel forced to use it just to progress through the game. IMO. IMO. IMO.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 3:31 PM

                      I literally think my opinion is my opinion, by the way.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 3:32 PM

                      Except now Act 1 Inferno can drop everything the game has to offer. There's no difference in potential loot quality between Act 1 Inferno and Act 4 Inferno. The differentiating factor is expected time.

                      • reply
                        July 5, 2012 3:51 PM

                        but by then, most people(including myself) will have given in to the AH and already Inferno level loot.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 1:34 PM

      Luckily, unlike other games, regardless of how quickly you want to rush to the end, the near-limitless content provided through randomized events, dungeons, enemies and items (and their random drop chance) mean that you'll be able to play for years to come.

      Awesome

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 1:35 PM

      Wow, this is an incredibly negative and entitled editorial. A company rep comes out and makes a post saying "We realize that the end game is kind of weak, and we are going to work on it and give you some new systems to make the game you already paid for better," And he still complains about "being unnoticed". How long should a game entertain you? You played a character all the way to 60, and have beaten the story of the game at least 4 times. How many hours do you have sunk into it? The endless grinding of gear was enough to keep diablo 2 going for a long, long time, and they are now admitting that they didn't do as good a job with the system in Diablo 3, and they are going to try to fix it. What else do you want?

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 1:41 PM

        It's Blizzard. Like I'd software, no matter what they do it will be criticized.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 1:50 PM

        I want diablo to blow me and tickle my balls with a feather

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 1:51 PM

        I think a lot of people played through Nightmare and then Hell based on the notion that level 60 and/or Inferno would be as compelling as Diablo 2. I assume that if they knew they wouldn't have any fun in the much-touted Inferno difficulty, they wouldn't have bothered and sunk that time into those difficulties. I personally felt like the game started to drag around Hell.

        Still not saying that it wasn't worth $60, but I think that in this type of game there are a lot of factors that might convince people to play significantly beyond the point where they feel like they're having fun.

        Besides, like I've said before, I think it's somewhat childish to state that people are "entitled" if they criticize something they've spent time on.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 4:50 PM

          There's nothing wrong with criticizing the product, but this isn't about the product. This is about Blizzard as a company, and how they aren't specifically making him happy soon enough. I

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 2:00 PM

        personally i would like the game to be more fun.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 2:33 PM

        I played 250 hours because I was addicted, not because I was having fun.

        • Zek
          reply
          July 5, 2012 2:33 PM

          You should probably do something about that.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 4:08 PM

          So are you still playing =D

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 4:14 PM

          if you put 250 hours into a video game you don't enjoy then you either have other issues or you're full of shit

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 1:48 PM

      Exactly how many hours should you get out of Diablo 3 before you're satisfied? Even the best games get boring after a while. It happens. I think they've included a lot of content for the price they asked for.

      All this "endgame" talk is MMO nonsense anyway, it's for completionists that have dumped 100+ hours into the game and still want more more more content for their buck.

      You have five different classes and four different difficulties. You can play with friends, or alone. Every bit of the game allows co-op. The different classes give you a different playing experience.

      I'm a little surprised that you guys have so much free time that the game is already boring for you. How many hours a week do you guys play this game? I'm lucky to get 5.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 4:10 PM

        My friends list is pretty barren. I used to see 10+ people on every day for hours.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 1:56 PM

      That "hundreds upon hundreds of thousands" number will drop off soon enough. Yesterday I got to talk games with a bunch of RL friends, and I found out I was by far the furtherest into D3 of anyone in the room, and I'm only level 54. I checked with my officemates after reading this and we have one guy doing inferno out of six players, and the other four besides me are still in 30's and 40's. No one in either group had quit yet, they just weren't playing it very often.

      So it seems to me that there must be a huge population of casual and semi-HC gamers that haven't finished hell yet, and I'd bet that if you're not in inferno by now, either you're not going to bother or you're going to pay to win once and then quit. I'm guessing most of these folks will stop playing in two or three months, and when we really do see the hardcore numbers they'll be a hell of a lot smaller. I wonder what that will do to the AH?

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 2:06 PM

      I'm glad I got my refund on D3 from Blizzard. What an empty and meaningless game. And Blizzard has terrible storytellers.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 2:06 PM

      Does this article count as a troll?

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 2:19 PM

        If you don't agree with something it must automatically be a troll.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 2:23 PM

      I'm extremely happy with diablo 3 -- I never was able to get hooked on diablo 2 but I'm enjoying the third . It's a dungeon crawler -- nothing more . To me anyway.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 2:26 PM

      Well in my circle it's like, "Guys in 10 years when we wanna play Diablo, which one is it going to be?" and the answer will be D2.

      We got our money's worth and D3 wasn't horrible, but we agree it won't be that prestige status symbol like other games. Most companies have to fight to get their game in that inner circle of all time greats, and Blizzard usually get automatic entry like Bioware used to do along with Squaresoft and so on...

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 2:33 PM

        One thing I think that stinks about D3 being always online is that you can't have any mods. Something like Median XL which breaths a lot of new life into D2 is something that would be great on the graphics engine that D3 provides.

        I guess you could technically do it, but you'd have to make your own server to do so.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 2:34 PM

      i don't see what you're complaining about at all. Diablo 3 is just like Diablo 2 and Diablo 1. It isn't perfect, but either were they.

      Inferno is a nice addition from previous games. Do it without the AH and it's incredibly difficult and satisfying to get past parts.

      You shouldn't use cheat codes and than complain about how easy it is.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 2:35 PM

      Haha, people are talking about Diablo 3's endgame like it's an MMO.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 2:43 PM

        seriously when did single player games start having an "end game", lol

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 2:46 PM

          They should add prestige mode. You reboot all your stats, money, and items, but your account gets a fancy icon next to your name. You can do that 1,000 times. After that... well.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:10 PM

          So is it a single player game or isn't it? Any time ANYONE mentions that Diablo 3 has single player on here, everyone has a gigantic cry.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:20 PM

          I still get pissed off about when all the arcade games started ending rather than continuing as long as you had extra men.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 2:45 PM

        A better question is why you don't know that Diablo 3 has an endgame. Are you not aware that people have been playing Diablo 2 for 10+ years?

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 2:46 PM

          What is Diablo 2's endgame and how is it different?

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 3:21 PM

            ime, it boils down to all variations of PvP, philanthropy, and races to the top on ladder reset.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 2:50 PM

          And I'm sure Diablo 3 will have players in 10+ years. Some people like the gameplay, some people don't, and a whole lot of whiny fucks expected to like it and now are discovering that they don't.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:21 PM

          Yes, and you can do the same thing in Diablo 3, though maybe slightly less so.

          Simply play through the game up to level 60 on every class. Also try hardcore, etc. There is well over 300 hours of content if you really want there to be. It isn't endless, but compared to most games these days it's well on the level of say, Skyrim in terms of replayability, yet you don't hear people whining about getting tired of playing Skyrim (and it happens a ton more than you hear!).

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 3:24 PM

            Skyrim is a game about experiences and that comes from a large amount of content and interactions. Diablo's content is over pretty damn fast.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 4:04 PM

              You kind of miss my point, but it doesn't matter, people just love bitching about Diablo 3 at this point it's become it's own thing.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 4:06 PM

            Except in Diablo 2 running bosses was the best way to gear your character. In Diablo 3 its the auction house. One requires you to play the game, the other requires you to have enough money from playing the game to be able to afford items on the incredibly inflated AH.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 4:14 PM

              I think you mean the best way to gear in D2 was doing boss runs, then going into trading games/forums. Which is pretty much like using an AH.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 4:18 PM

              this is such bullshit. 1) Diablo 2 had plenty of trade channels and forums, the AH just makes it less of a pain in the ass. 2) Most of the complainers are whining about having to do butcher runs anyways, so it wouldn't have made a difference. Then they made it so you no longer have to do butcher runs, instead just play through the act and get more loot for it, and people still aren't happy.

              People want the hardest difficulty to be easier and loot to fall from the sky. And then they would complain that it's too easy and loot is too easy to obtain.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 4:25 PM

                You know, I think I might play more if the loot actually shot out of my character's ass.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 5:44 PM

                Why is it mandatory for people to take a post that criticizes a game and reduce it to the most absurd version of the point that was trying to be made. If your counter argument was good enough, you could probably make it without being a jerk about it. Try that next time.

                I don't want loot to fly out of my characters asshole and I don't want the game to be easy. I want the game to be fun for me, and right now its more tedious than fun. I had *fun* levelling up my wizard and getting to 60. I had fun the first few hours in Inferno. Blizzard does this with all of their MMOs, they overtune the endgame to make it artificially harder to extend the life of the game. They admitted they tuned Inferno internally before release and then multiplied the numbers by 5 or 10 because they knew players were going to be better at the game than they were. And yet people still keep defending the game as if by reading criticism the game would be taken away from them and they would never get to play it again.

                Get over it. Some people don't like what you like as much as you like it. Stop trying to reduce their argument to something silly sounding and retarded, it will actually make your argument stronger and people dislike you less!

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 2:47 PM

        Gamers lol

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 3:15 PM

        Well wait a minute... it's an online only game. It shouldn't be one if they're not going to do something useful with that.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:19 PM

          Exactly. Make up your mind people, is it an online only game or not?

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 3:22 PM

            I can't wait for them to add PVP so people will start shutting up about it being online only. It's such a stupid bullshit argument that makes no sense.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:25 PM

          Online only does not mean MMO. I think it's pretty clear why they wanted it online only (control + ease of co-op multiplayer integration).

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:34 PM

          You don't pay $15 a month so it won't have content updates like an MMO.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 3:33 PM

        This is what I keep coming back to. I guess I'm just not one of those people who played Diablo I or II for 10 years and probably wont be playing Diablo III for more than 1 year... the whole 'end game' thing sounds a bit strange for a non-MMO game.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 3:39 PM

          My uncle played Diablo for two years solid after release, like every night, he was on it, just killing shit. I was kind of annoyed, but hell, to each his own. So then when Ultima Online came out, I introduced him to it. He's been playing ever since. Still does. lol, he never got into WoW even with the blizard connection.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 4:07 PM

            Diablo 1/2 and WoW are entirely unrelated though, being that they were completely different development teams. Blizzard as we know it had nothing to do with D1 and D2 other than changing the studio name to Blizzard North.

            I've honestly never liked a single game Blizzard main has released. Something about their design style really turns me off.

          • reply
            July 6, 2012 9:06 AM

            Wow, I can't imagine playing any one game for that long. I played UO in beta and probably for almost 2 years after release. But by that point I was very ready for a change.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 2:53 PM

      im sorta bored of it...ive gotten 100+ hours though so i certainly have no complaints, but these types of games are always cyclical. by the time the expansion is about to come out ill be chomping at the bit for a another binge

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 3:37 PM

      This whole thread and no mention on how it took D2 years to get it right. I would be surprised if D2 was patched at all in the first 1.5 months, roughly the age D3 is on now. We're conveniently forgetting how LoD changed up the game with new places to farm and whole new classes of items. Plus runes!
      All the things that are considered essential to the farming/collecting/upgrading/grinding experience of the previous game were additions that were brought in later. Everybody is dog piling on Blizzard for not releasing the perfect game right out of the gate, while their entire product history shows us that they are patient and tenacious developers who will keep polishing and patching and improving this game until it is perfect. Now that they have all their user data (hopefully offsetting the subjective opinions of their spergy forums) they have all the tools to make this game the best for the largest amount of people.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 4:23 PM

        They dropped the ball pretty hard on Inferno, the criticism is justified. At the end of the day, people don't want challenge, they want to faceroll content. And Inferno (bosses anyway) aren't even that hard. I got to A4 before 1.02 with my friends, don't think our gear was anything special.

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 4:26 PM

          Except some people do want to be challenged, and are dying for challenging content.

          The masses don't and never will, but the masses should keep their filthy hands off of a game's hardest difficulty setting.

          • reply
            July 5, 2012 4:52 PM

            I think the point is the "difficulty" comes down to gear, and has very little to do with how skilled you are as a player.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 4:56 PM

              Skilled players will be able to do more with less. That's essentially what you've got, and what we see.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 4:59 PM

                Diablo is not a skill-based game. The Souls series and God Hand are skill based games.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 5:05 PM

                  If you claim Diablo's not a skill-based game, then I'd argue the Souls games aren't either.

                  The challenges presented by both games can be overcome with either gear or level. Just because they can be doesn't mean they are, and certainly doesn't imply skilled players can't overcome the challenges with less.

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 5:19 PM

                    If you get hit in those games, it is your own fault. In D3, if you get walled-in/jailed/desecrated, you are fucked without gear. I can learn an enemy's attacks and do something about it and stay engaged in the fight for the whole encounter. In D3 I just kite more if I'm undergeared. That isn't fun.

                    Skill-based games also have logical difficulty progression. D3 has a brick wall at the end of each act.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 5:35 PM

                      I'd argue that skill-based games also tend to have difficulty options based on player input. This is not the case in Diablo. In Diablo, you're simply expected to move from normal to nightmare to hell to inferno because that's where higher level monsters are and higher level loot drops.

                      It'd be different if you chose a given difficulty and that was just the level you played at. I think Blizzard's goal (and I agree with it) is that all players will eventually clear all difficulties should they play the game long enough.

                      • reply
                        July 5, 2012 5:47 PM

                        You're not expected to do anything. You can finish the game on normal and move on, finish on nightmare and decide you don't want to do it again, or on hell, or go all the way to the end.

                        Just because the most vocal (lover or hater) people are all pushing inferno doesn't mean everyone is. The last stats I saw had a ridiculously small percent of the player group actually in Inferno and although that was a while ago, I doubt the 1-2% it was at suddenly jumped to being the majority

                      • reply
                        July 5, 2012 5:58 PM

                        http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4254459132?page=33#654

                        There’s a wide variety of players out there and we wanted to make sure everybody had something to sink their teeth into. We expect that anybody with enough time and dedication will reach level 60. But the jump in difficulty to Inferno needed to be different amounts for different people. For the crazy people they need a HUGE ramp in difficulty, for a more “casual but still hardcore” audience you want an obvious but milder increase in difficulty. So for the crazy people who play non-stop they’ll hit Act I and get a challenge, but 1 month later they’ll still have something to work on (Acts II, III and IV). For the “hardcore-casual” they will reach level 60 later and not get brick walled when they reach Inferno. They can experience some “small victories” working on Act I with the dream of maybe someday reaching the later acts.

                        Longevity. We know people really want goals to work towards and challenges to overcome. We made Act III and Act IV really, really brutally hard, for the most elite players only. It felt wrong to make ALL of Inferno that brutally hard.

                        Now, you could (and probably will) just dismiss this as "Bashiok," but that intent very much did ring true for how Inferno was released. While they did underestimate the super-hardcore again, then intent behind how they balanced of the content for most people does follow those two points, which are the exact opposite of yours.

                        • reply
                          July 5, 2012 6:00 PM

                          Also, it seems like the "we know people really want goals to work towards and challenges to overcome" seems to be the exact opposite of what people actually wanted.

                          People really wanted the illusion of challenges that they could relatively easily overcome so they could feel good about themselves.

                          • reply
                            July 5, 2012 6:14 PM

                            I think that's pretty clearly always been the case. The best "challenge" in virtually every game I've ever played, or games I've run (in terms of tabletop gaming) is almost always the sort that makes people feel like it's "hard" without ever forcing a real setback.

                            Just like in real life, *almost* dying is a huge adrenaline rush...actually dying just sucks. People want the game to make it seem like they're doing something that's hard, but they don't want it to actually be hard enough that they are hitting their heads against a wall at any point in time.

                            Obviously this isn't true of absolutely everyone, but it seems pretty damn common.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 5:44 PM

                      Getting hit or not doesn't have a whole lot to do with it. Gear is still going to be what keeps you alive in the end, Diablo or Dark Souls.

                      And regardless of gear in either game, if you just rush into every fight and try to face roll stuff down, you're going to die.

                      They both require gear. They both require you not to be an idiot.

                    • reply
                      July 5, 2012 5:53 PM

                      You can hit a point (level-wise) in the Souls games where getting hit really doesn't matter, just like you can get to a point (gear-wise) in Diablo 3 where the content is trivialized as well.

                      Neither of those states are normal in the game, nor do you get there without paying your dues up front.

                      As for your specific example -- you're fucked in D3 without the gear, without your class' escape abilities in your spec, if you blew those escape abilities early putting them on cd, if you chose to engage the mobs in a bad location, or if you fucked up the positioning during the engagement. Three of those five are what I'd consider to be in the "reactive skill" category, one is in the "planning skill" category, and the remaining one is simply gear.

                      Skill-based games tend to be a brick wall until you hit some magical "skill" threshold. Demon Souls is was after the tutorial, where you had to learn to approach the game tactically instead of frantically. Games like Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry were at each new difficulty level and then again at the bosses, the magnitude of which depended on how many collectibles you had gathered up to that point. There was no less "logic" to their difficulty progression than Diablo 3 -- the later shit got harder.

                • reply
                  July 6, 2012 8:08 AM

                  That's incredibly stupid to say. There's skill is how you configure your dude, which gear, when you use your skills and how, which monster do you hit now, how do you use your abilities. Wow.

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 5:39 PM

              At certain points, my monk had 1k resist and 10k armor and some things still nearly one shot him. Gear only helps so much

            • reply
              July 5, 2012 6:02 PM

              That's not true at all.

              I play many public games and I see many players doing bad decisions like kiting a mob into another mob, targeting immune shielded opponents, even Maghda, or they're not geared enough for the quest/act they're joining.

              You can buy better items but you can't buy experience.

              • reply
                July 5, 2012 6:08 PM

                The public game Diablo kills I've been on usually involve three people getting chain caged, standing in the fire, and generally getting hit by every avoidable attack he has.

                They'll never down Hell Diablo w/o being carried, let alone make any headway into Inferno.

                • reply
                  July 5, 2012 6:19 PM

                  You find lots of people in Act 2 who should be doing Act 1 instead.

                  I think my spot is Act 2 up to desolate sands, does this sound right for that spot?

                  32k damage wizard with 600-700 resistances.

                  • reply
                    July 5, 2012 6:32 PM

                    that sounds like enough to finish the game if you kite well enough, honestly

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 6:14 PM

        I agree with this. People just need to be patient. I will withhold all judgement from this game until blizzard has slowed down with the patches.

        At least we know blizzard is making an effort in improving this game. I don't recall the makers of Brink or DNF reaching out to the community to seek feedback on what to improve on.

        It's a work in progress. Let's keep holding our breaths.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 4:11 PM

      Worst article ever posted to Shacknews. Congrats

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 4:53 PM

      shittiest article i've read on shacknews. i shall go back to not reading articles on shacknews.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 5:11 PM

      Posting in epic thread of D3 lovers and haters and general shack circlejerking

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 5:44 PM

      Keef, you haven't even gotten to inferno and you're already talking about end game.

      Act 1 inferno can be longer than entire hell, and it's fun because there's a challenge but its perfectly doable, even with cheap gear. You need to be more careful and play better, though.


      If you're not up to the challenge, or you don't like the high repair costs, that's fine. In Diablo 2, every time you died you would lose experience. When you were lvl 90, that was huge, a couple of deaths could set you back 2-10 hours.


      If you don't want the challenge that is inferno, Try playing Hardcore. You'll feel your heart beating and you'll learn to not pick up health globes if you're on full health, and other cool survival tricks.


      If you still aren't having fun, the game is over for you, and at least you've had a good time and you have finished it multiple times.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 5:53 PM

      Good article. My beef is with blizzard and their 10+ years to put out a quality product that another good developer would have cranked out in three years. D3 looks stale.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 6:32 PM

      I have gotten less than 1 usable, equipple rare item per week from actually playing the game (read: not buying on the AH). the rest of the drops have been mostly unsellable garbage, meaning it has a collection of affixes that no class would want. i got one helm with decent dex and stats that I sold for 1.5 million, and more than half of that money is gone to new items from the AH or finishing up my stash and crafting upgrades.

      Now random luck is random, but I don't have much luck at all. Most items dropped in the game are garbage and always will be, but EVERYTHING I GET that is dropped by the game, with a few exceedingly rare exceptions, has been trash. i like rare quivers as much as the next guy, but in one clear of most of Act 1's elite packs (we do most of them, not all) I got six rare quivers and a few magic ones, most of them within 2-3 packs of each other. I regularly get bows and quivers and I get plenty of shit for other classes, but anything that looks remotely like Wizard gear is full of melee stats. Like, I will get a high level belt or a chest item with Int on it and maybe a little Vitality, but also 150 Strength or Dex. Almost every item I pick up on it has Dexterity, but apparently that is random and I am just lucky. I'd have the most geared Monk or Demon Hunter ever, too bad I picked Wizard to play.

      I suspect that Blizzard has some kind of algorithm that makes it more likely for a given class to get drops for other classes. This helped them ensure the AH would be seeded immediately with a bunch of stuff. I am aware that drops were random in D2, but I got way better gear more often in D2 and I never hit 99 on any of my characters.

      You CAN level up by playing the game, but you're gonna be playing a LONG LONG time to get items you can actually use to do it and forget about anything beyond Act 1 or 2 of Inferno unless your time is totally worthless to you.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 6:37 PM

        I've been farming act 2 almost every day since 1.03 and I've found two slight upgrades. I made about 10 mil gold selling crap i can't use though.

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 6:46 PM

        If you were getting good monk/DH items you should be able to sell them and get good wizard stuff.

    • reply
      July 5, 2012 6:46 PM

      the end game is when i stopped playing because it feels boring to play a game over and over again no matter the difficulty change

      • reply
        July 5, 2012 8:07 PM

        You must not have been a big fan of Street Fighter or pretty much any first person shooter ever!

        • reply
          July 5, 2012 8:10 PM

          In both genres you mention the level of difficulty changes quite often when you play against people. You'll play against opponents with different skill levels and play styles in fight games and shooters. In diablo the monsters are the same each time except for elites with random affixes. Your comparison doesn't hurt his argument at all.

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            July 5, 2012 8:33 PM

            My point is that, if done correctly, a high degree of randomness can really let a solid set of gameplay mechanics shine. I played the crap out of the same set of maps in Left 4 Dead because they kept the flow fairly fresh each time.

            Ultimately I'm fairly unimpressed with the randomness in D3.

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      July 5, 2012 8:05 PM

      Diablo 3 = 3 times the Disappointment! I got about 100 hours into the game with a level 60 monk and moved on to Dota 2 for literally the exact same reasons discussed in this post. Even from there, like the author said, Blizzard has my money, and at this point really, the less people who continuously play the game the better. There's no monthly fee, so there's no incentive for Blizzard to want to keep a large player base (why have the additional server-load?) They will most likely just hope that most people will come back and buy the expansion.

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        July 5, 2012 9:09 PM

        So disappointed you put 100 hours into it. If I'm disappointed in a game, it's lucky to get 5 hours out of me

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          July 5, 2012 11:51 PM

          You aren't considering the diablo factor. So many of us kept playing and trying to convince ourselves because it's fucking diablo. But in the end we saw the disappointment.

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        July 5, 2012 11:54 PM

        Yes, but my wallet won't be returning for D3x or SC2x for that matter.

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      July 6, 2012 1:57 AM

      It's shit.

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      July 6, 2012 8:02 AM

      80 hours of content for 50 to 60 bucks is pretty good in my opinion. That's at least 4 to 8 times as much as many other games for the same price.

      I think it's just fine. Also, is that 80 hours for playing one character up to level 60? Or 2 characters?

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        July 8, 2012 3:56 AM

        80 hours for what? Nightmare/Hell/Inferno is the same content as Normal, so don't talk out of your arse. The only reason people play that is to get to the endgame, which doesn't exist.

        80 hours for finishing normal is a dream.

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      July 6, 2012 9:07 AM

      Inferno in Act's 3/4 are just frustrating and Anti-Fun. Acts 3 and 4 feel rushed and the difficulty basically just depends on how many descecrating/molten/Invuln/waller mobs you run into..
      I'm around 1000 resist, 40k hp. Still almost instantly die to some mobs as a monk..
      Not a very fun game.

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      July 7, 2012 11:55 AM

      This article is spot on. Repetitive button-mashing action gameplay is the #1 thing holding video games back from realizing their potential. In single-player gaming, "Action" is basically a synonym for repetition. Most games consist of little more than shooting or hacking your way through hordes upon hordes of near-identical enemies in near-identical encounters. Innovation consists of endless attempts at trying to making this interesting again, but without deeper gameplay all such attempts are doomed to fail. This is why almost everyone prefers multiplayer or PvP to single player in these repetitive games, because only with real people on the other side do the simple game mechanics allow for any depth. Action games are only as interesting as their AI, which generally means not very interesting.

      The future of single-player is in story-driven experiences where players make real choices and never face the same encounter twice. Stories are the antidote to repetition, but it has to be intergrated into the gameplay, not just some tack-on story. Telltale's Walking Dead, Heavy Rain, LA Noire are all recent examples of this kind of game. But such games have been with us forever, old text adventures like Zork, classic RPGs like Baldur's Gate, these games have almost no repetition.

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        July 9, 2012 2:54 AM

        Hi! How do you mean "Baldur's Gate" is non-repetitive? I never played it but I'm looking at picking the upcoming HD-version up when it arrives, because everyone seems to have fond memories of BG.

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        July 9, 2012 10:20 PM

        If this was some new game with fantastical claims about being a new genre of play-ability I would agree with much that you said.

        But it is Diablo 3. Of the top down hack, slash, and pick up tons of loot genre - with a few cool cut scenes and story along the way. To expect it to be anything different is silly in my opinion. D3 is exactly what the Diablo franchise has always been about.

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      July 8, 2012 8:08 PM

      You aren't missing out on much Keef. I got through Inferno acts 3 through 4 and beat Diablo last night. Nothing good dropped the whole way. The cherry on top was when I got to Diablo and, after messing up the first time, decided I'd have to switch out a couple things in my build. So I defeated him the second time around at the cost of losing all 5 of my NV stacks. He dropped 3 white items. It was one of the emptiest gaming victories I've ever experienced.

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      July 9, 2012 2:51 AM

      I knew it was smart to wait. I won't even buy the game until patch 1.1 is out, perhaps the endgame and the Auction House debacle will have sorted itself out more, and the class nerfs will be less severe and more balanced.

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      July 9, 2012 7:22 AM

      plays to hefty rmah fees, not fun.

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      July 9, 2012 10:16 PM

      It's just as repayable as Diablo 2 or 1 was. End game of Diablo 2 in particular was just about identical. So what is it people were expecting?

      Diablo 3 delivered exactly what the previous Diablo games have been all about.

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        July 9, 2012 11:02 PM

        I agree there. Problem is all these wow annual pass freebie peeps think its supposed to be an mmo. That said though, it certainly does need more to the end-game than it currently has. I don't think d1 and 2 basic endgame is going to cut it now days. Games have evolved and in turn the definition of what a fun game is to people.