Pictured Above: A really awesome game
Have you ever seen a jilted lover turn to hate on a dime? At one moment, the person is in complete love with the other person. The next moment, the person thinks the person is the worst Human being ever with incredible hyperbole to match.
I’m just pointing out all the ridiculous and absurd hyperbole from our friends, the Hardcore, really shows how much they love the game. When games aren’t liked, they do not attract passionate hatred. They don’t attract passion at all. The reaction to it is ‘meh’. Think of a game like Torchlight (which I did buy and play a while back and thought it was a terrible experience). Torchlight doesn’t attract passionate hatred because there is no passionate love for the game either. It is just ‘meh’ all around. Maybe Torchlight 2 will be a different experience due to how short of development time the first game had. But I doubt it.
You can tell this is just blind passion going from love to hatred because of all the misinformation. “Diablo 3 was designed around the Auction House.” It wasn’t. They couldn’t accurately test millions of people in the AH which is why Blizzard was so surprised how fast people got through the content. They thought it would take people much longer even to get to Inferno.
One of the more interesting pieces of misinformation came from Kripparian (which shows he won’t be getting hired by Blizzard anytime soon). On a video concerning the topic of gold, he uses his friend’s experience with botters to make sweeping generalizations that gold will be destroyed by inflation. If this were true, why are the cost of items falling? The reason why is that items are also being multiplied. Since nothing is soulbound and there is no reason to make more than one softcore character of a class, quality items are multiplying. And as people stop playing because the newness wears off (as occurs with every game), there is less demand. I’m seeing prices fall across the board except for the top 1% of items.
Here’s how events emerged from my viewpoint.
Gamers complain Diablo 2 was too easy.
“OK,” says Blizzard. “We will add an additional difficulty on top of Hell called Inferno. Inferno is extremely tough and only very few people inside Blizzard have beaten it.”
Gamers get all excited for Inferno.
“Be careful because it is very tough,” says Blizzard.
Gamers get their ass kicked by Inferno. Demand it to be nerfed. (Others finish Inferno through co-op games and various exploits.)
“Very well. We will nerf Inferno,” says Blizzard.
“We demand,” say some gamers, “that the drop rate be improved as well.”
“We will improve the drop rate as well,” says Blizzard. “And we will close exploits for botters and others death-zerging through Inferno. We wish to make a better game.”
Patch comes out. The gamers who were death-zerging as progress through Inferno scream and whine like no tomorrow. “You must have designed this game around the Auction House! Wah! Wah!” Some of them quit the game. Some say, “The wear and tear of the gold cost is too much. I shouldn’t be losing gold by successfully killing monsters.”
“You are correct. Our anti-bot measure went too far. We are lowering the cost of the wear and tear,” says Blizzard.
“I am so frustrated,” says some gamers. “I cannot make much progress in Inferno. I don’t feel like farming a ton for items and gold.”
“Do you know what Diablo is?” says Blizzard. “It is a game that revolves around farming loot.”
“Shut up! Wah! This is too boring! I don’t want to farm! I just want to beat Inferno! Wah! In WoW, I can blame my lack of progress to the other raiders. But now I cannot. Since I cannot blame myself, I transfer all failings onto Blizzard. What a crappy game! Wah! Wah!”
And this is pretty much where we’re at. One very dangerous trend I’ve noticed in WoW is that people don’t play the game, they just play their ego. “Do you mean the casuals?” It goes across on all levels. The so-called ‘hardcore’ WoW players from the wannabe raiding guilds tend to use a ton of raiding time to hide their lack of skill. A raiding guild who does the same progress in 4 hours a week is far, far superior than a raiding guild who spends 16 hours a week inside the raid instance.
The jilted lover is lashing out because of ego. In the case of the bitter Diablo 3 players, it is their ego that is talking. They said they wanted greater difficulty, but they just can’t handle it. And unlike WoW, they can’t blame other people for their lack of success in Inferno (or once beating Inferno, lack of understanding the game revolves around items).
It’s not about Diablo 3. It is about them. It is about their precious little ego. The reason why games keep getting easier and lamer is because of these people. Unlike WoW where people unsubscribe the second their ego isn’t getting stroke, Diablo 3 doesn’t rely on subscription rates. All the butthurt ego whining is only going to go so far. Blizzard might add in a ladder or some appearance only additional levels. But there will be no content patches outside of the pvp one. As Bashiok recently reminded our hardcore friends, “Diablo 3 is not a MMO. There will not be content patches.” I expect them to do something along the line of challenge ladders.
Although I can’t be sure of this, from what I’ve seen of Diablo 2′s sales, Diablo 3 has likely surpassed it or will soon be doing so. There is also probably more people playing Diablo 3 than ever did play Diablo 2. Jay Wilson has spent much speech time (at Blizzcon and other places) reminding people that Diablo 2 in their imagination is not how Diablo 2 existed in reality.
People have told me, “Malstrom, you spend time leveling up other classes. Once you spend some more time, you will see all the flaws of the game.” Three hundred hours in and going strong. Maybe some will move the goal posts to four hundred or five hundred hours. And even if I did stop playing at that time, it would have been the greatest gaming dollar to entertainment value I’ve ever seen in a product.
My latest suspicion is that all these Diablo 2 fans thought they were ‘Old School Gamers’. But Diablo 2 came out in the year 2000 which places it in the PS2/Gamecube Era. There is nothing ‘Old School’ about that time period. And there is nothing ‘Old School’ about Diablo 2.
I have Diablo 2. I have it installed on this computer. The game is like baby mode compared to Diablo 3. Maybe after experiencing computer RPGs in the 80s with ridiculous farming, Diablo 3 doesn’t phase me. In fact, it seems too easy at times. I can understand people not liking the game because they don’t want to farm loot, but what did you think Diablo 3 was going to be? Even I knew that was what the game would be about.
A ton of people who grew up with Diablo 2 (i.e. Diablo 2 babies) probably thought they were hot stuff with that easy game. Diablo 3 is telling them that they aren’t half as good as they thought they were. Some are able to go through Inferno and then uninstall the game (telling me they haven’t figured the game out yet. It’s MUCH easier to kill Inferno Diablo than to get geared up where you can farm all the Inferno Acts easily).
I’ve been wondering why no one hasn’t made a good grinding game in a long time. Diablo 3 gives the reason why: today’s gamers can’t handle it. “It’s too much like work!” “I demand instant gratification!” No wonder every game company just makes games as long cinematic experiences where people just click a few buttons.
Now, excuse me, it is time for me to march toward 400 hours…