Hi. You’ve been asking recently what animates the hardcore gamer and how they can rewrite reality. From my experience, the answer is selfishness. No customer, hardcore or otherwise, likes to be told that the things they are passionate about are no good. For one thing they take it personally because they tend to see their games as extensions of themselves. But more importantly they fear that developers will read these negative statements and stop making their favourite games. Fighting reality is the hardcore gamer’s way of ensuring that their favourite games continue to get made. Sales only matter when they help the hardcore gamer get his way. Reviews only matter when they help the hardcore gamer get his way. Anything that can be construed as negative is either bad data or simply irrelevant to the definition of a game’s quality.
The hardcore developers are also using the same tactics to make sure they stay prominent in the gaming media circles. Sales and reviews only matter when the developers get their way. If the developers can create a “legend” for themselves like Miyamoto, they can make money from speaking at conventions and events. The gaming journalists in turn will make whatever spin they can to please their hardcore readership and the hardcore developers that feed them with quotes and stories. It is all pure politics. That is why you cannot reason with a hardcore gamer, they only exist to spin.
I don’t want to lump hardcore gamers into one group as a scarecrow and keep attacking it. These are our brother gamers. One thing is for sure is that game companies have a enormous analytical challenge due to the hardcore gamers. Are their complaints worthy? Or they just whiners? What is going on?
The Diablo 3 situation I am most interested in at the moment. Lots of things swirling around that. Here is a video from one video maker who says he is quitting.
When I listen to these videos, I scratch my head in amazement. They say they are bored with the game after putting in 200 to 300 hours within a few weeks. Well, how is that a surprise? In order to answer the question, “Is the game broken?” we must first ask what the game design was in the first place.
If you play Wii Sports for ten hours straight, you will get bored and not want to play anymore. Is Wii Sports broken? The game was never meant to be played with such a manner. While I am a huge fan of 2d Mario, I never play the game, over and over, for a month. That’s just silly.
I’m curious because my reaction to Diablo 3 is very different from these people. I have all five classes in Inferno. The more I get ‘stuck’ at a wall and must gear up, the more excited I become. I’m excited because it will be a while in order for me to progress past that point.
The only time I was not happy was when attack speed got nerfed because my demon hunter felt nerfed. I actually like the greater repair costs for dying because I now have to play at a higher level. Dying in softcore actually has a penalty now. We know what happens when you die in hardcore.
Diablo 3 reminds me of the Old School RPG games of the 80s like Dragon Quest 1. Your actions in those games were nothing more than a massive grind. The further you went out, the more dangerous the monsters became. If you grinded enough, you got enough gear and levels where you could steamroll most monsters. You felt powerful.
The repetitive grinding doesn’t bother me at the slightest. In fact, I find it familiar and enjoy it. But it is not grinding like getting more levels. It is getting better gear and more gold. And if I’m slick enough with my wits, I might be able to get some better gear through the Auction House if I bid strategically.
One major difference between me and others is that I have all classes in Inferno. If I was stuck on just one class, I’d imagine I’d get burned out too. Even though I’ve probably put into 300 hours into the game so far, I’m not trying to ‘progress’. I just play and I slowly, but surely, get stronger on all my characters. I really enjoy it. The repetitive nature doesn’t phase me due to the arcade-like action of the game. The combat can be very fast. And some elites with insane affixes really make you sweat.
Certainly, the game won’t be for everyone. No game ever is. I hated Warcraft 3 even though I was a huge Warcraft 2 fan (then Frozen Throne came out and I relearned how I was supposed to play Warcraft RTS).
In Force’s video above, he says he kept losing money due to dying. And that the game died to him once he purchased some items from the RMAH. He said, “Even if I kill Inferno Diablo, then what?” Like many, he incorrectly frames the game as progression. Who cares if you complete Inferno or not? It is the same exact content we’ve seen for every difficulty level. The entire point of the game is not a destination but the feeling of constantly upgrading your character. Inferno difficulty was put in because Diablo players said they wanted a more difficult level than Hell. Blizzard puts it in, and people have been crying ever since.
Anyway, I’m enjoying the game immensely. Diablo 3 is the first video game I could ever place in my ASSET COLUMN on my FINANCIAL STATEMENT. Best game I’ve played since NSMB Wii. <3 Jay Wilson.