“We recognise that the item hunt is just not enough for a long-term sustainable end-game. There are still tons of people playing every day and week, and playing a lot, but eventually they’re going to run out of stuff to do (if they haven’t already).
Honestly Diablo III is not World of Warcraft. We aren’t going to be able to pump out tons of new systems and content every couple months. There needs to be something else that keeps people engaged, and we know it’s not there right now.”
I’m curious to know what your response is to this statement. You’ve been saying that players “don’t get that the game is about loot” but I suspect that players do understand the importance of loot but they just don’t like it. In fact, I always thought the emphasis on loot sounded like something that the WoW clones used to do because they didn’t have or understand Blizzard’s RTS roots. Loot should be a tool to help players kick ass, not the object of the game itself.
I already commented on the quote earlier. But let’s do it again as Diablo 3′s situation is not well understood.
Something did go wrong. Everyone says, “Diablo 3 was designed around the auciton house.” But that is totally wrong. It was designed to be played without the auction house. How can Blizzard test out Diablo 3 with an Auciton House of millions and millions of people? It can’t. There is no way on Earth a testing environment like that can be done.
Remember right before Diablo 3 was released? Remember how much Blizzard hyped Inferno? At first, I thought it was just their marketing department doing standard hype. But when I saw the developers and community managers do things like congratulate a WoW guild who killed Skeleton King on Inferno or a CM scold a poster who complained that the game was beaten in a day on Normal that “Let us see how that person does in Hell or Inferno!” made me believe that they actually did think it would take months if not a year for players to get through Inferno. Remember how they said “Our players are better gamers than us so we took what was extremely hard for us and made it even harder for Inferno!” When people begin beating Inferno, Jay Wilson was asked on twitter whether he was surprised it was being beat so fast. He said no since those aren’t the common players.
Blizzard had estimates of how long it would take many people to get through the content. The Auction House, which they cannot exactly test since they do not have millions and millions of people, gave greater accessibility to items and allowed people to go through the content much faster than Blizzard anticipated.
Have you wondered why the costs for crafting and artisan training were so worthless compared to just buying stuff off the Auction House? They thought people would be going the treadmill grind but the Auction House made it too easy to get gear. Remember Bashiok saying the Auction House did cause changes with the patches but then deleted it with Jay Wilson having to say that the Auction House did not make any changes? It’s clear the game was designed without the Auction House (but some of the patches that came out after release was in reaction to the player behavior).
So while I don’t think people understand Blizzard didn’t expect the Auction House to allow people to chew through the content, there is the issue with Diablo 3 that absolutely no one seems to get. Not Kripparian, not Sixen, not the fansite runners, no one. They need to stop seeing Diablo 3 from their context and see it from Blizzard’s content. Diablo 3 is the Anti-WoW. (Just as the whiners were wrong about the game being designed around the Auction House [just the opposite], they are also wrong with saying the game is like WoW. WoW did have massive influence on the game but in a way no one expected.)
I’ll continue this with another post called ‘The Anti-WoW’.