Reader, what is wrong with this picture?
Above: The wizard should not be able to survive by standing in Diablo’s fire.
The above is a screenshot from my game. Inferno mode Diablo (endboss of Diablo 3) has cast a nasty firepatch on the floor. But my wizard stands in it like nothing is going on! Normally, she should be dead.
But instead, it is Diablo who is dead.
My wizard went on quite an adventure. Below, she kills Azmodan dozens of times by standing where she should die.
What will soon be called the Infamous Godmode bug of Diablo 3 was just patched out of the game today (it took TWO hotfixes to correct it. Blizzard looked amateurish after failing with the first hotfix). Godmode in Diablo 3 could be obtained by wizards casting ‘Teleport’ with ‘Fractal’ rune and immediately casting archon (with the mouse cursor held over your wizard). This popped the Wizard into a mode where she could never be damaged. Only if you teleported again would the invulnerability wear off. This godmode was discovered a month ago, was posted on the Diablo 3 forums a few days ago, and only hit critical mass of the Internet within 24 hours (every Gaming Forum site began to publish it).
Aside from being a ticket for wizards to clear all of Inferno, godmode also allowed your wizard to complete the crazy challenges like defeat bosses with no clothes on. Below, my wizard struts her stuff naked while standing in the middle of Azmodan’s fireballs.
If you kill Cydaea while naked, you get the Naked Lust achievement. This was actually frustrating as the Enchantress kept attacking the little spiders instead of the big one.
There is a saying within game development that when a bug is ‘revealed’, you should wait until it is a feature before you declare it a bug. “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!” The best features from video games have come from bugs. Why is Godmode a bug? For many players, it was extremely fun.
With Old School games of the past, most people cheated through them. Do you think the common person GRINDED or FARMED their way to the end? Heck no.
A whiny pitched reader squeals from the sideline: “I demand you prove the cheats existed in the glorious Old School games, Mr. Malstrom!”
First of all, it is ‘Master’, not ‘Mister’. Second of all, all I have to say to you, reader, is: UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A START. That is the infamous Konami code. It made games like Gradius more fun. Even starting Life Force with 30 extra lives made the game more fun. According to Modern Blizzard standards, such a ‘cheat’ should have destroyed the value of the game. Instead, it added value. It allowed the player to play how they wanted. It placed the control of how the person wanted to play the game in the gamer’s hands, not in the developer’s hands.
Cheat codes existed all over the place. Remember holding down a button on the second controller gave Mega Man, in Mega Man 3, invincibility and the ability to jump really high? It was cool. All the password games could be ‘cheated’ if you typed in the cool password. For you Metroid fans, does Justin Bailey ring a bell? And how many people actually beat Kid Icarus? I bet many of you just put in the password to do the final stage. Other forms of cheat codes was the level select that appeared in some game like Wrecking Crew or Lode Runner.
The Game Genie was very popular in the 80s for a reason. People were looking for hints, cheat codes, and were willing to pay for a game genie to skip the grind. A few years ago, Nintendo came out with a mode in NSMB Wii to allow players to skip levels if they are proving to be a challenge.
And this brings us to Super Mario Brothers’ famous Warp Zones. Miyamoto said he put them in there for advanced players to go to the challenging stages immediately instead of having to go through the easier stages. What is fascinating is that the gaming population didn’t behave like this. Most people beat Super Mario Brothers by using the Warp Zone. The Warp Zone was used not by the advanced player but by the new player who was anxious to ‘beat the game’. I remember gamers challenging other gamers to not use the warp zones in Super Mario Brothers since that was the ‘legitimate’ way to beat the game. Unlike Miyamoto’s vision, the advanced players played ALL the stages while the new players SKIPPED to the end.
The thing is that the cheating was fun. No one saw it as removing value from the game but adding value. It gave an option to players to play their game differently. Even in a game of solitaire, the player can ‘cheat’ if they choose. It’s become a running joke that people cheat in golf if it pleases them.
“But cheating disrupts the very fabric and nature of the play.”
Dude, it’s just a game. People have been cheating in games since the beginning of gaming. So long as it isn’t a competitive multiplayer game, who cares if someone cheats? I care if people cheat real life laws. But video games are just games.
Lately, people have been comparing Classic Blizzard and Modern Blizzard. One major difference between the two is that Classic Blizzard embraced cheating. They even picked out pop culture phrases as the cheat codes. “I see dead people.” “Who is John Galt?” “Something for Nothing.” “Power Overwhelming.”
Why is cheating fun? The behavior of the gamer may have them cheat and then they might come back later and play through it legitimately. For some reason, great importance is placed on ‘checking the game beat’ on their list. Perhaps it is to remove a nagging feeling from their minds.
I don’t see any of the wizard players upset that they ‘cheated’ to finish Inferno. They actually seem relieved! As if a weight had been dropped from their shoulders.
Diablo 3 has been a ton of fun for me not just because of the game but all of the drama swirling around it. Diablo 3 gets the ‘Melodrama Award’ based on the performances we see on the Gaming Message Forums. We’ve been discussing why so many gamers went from a love it, at first, to ‘this game sucks!’ all of a sudden. Diablo 3′s godmode provides an answer.
The tradition of the RPG is to start the player off feeling weak and only at the end does the player feel like a god! But Diablo 3 did it backwards. The player starts off feeling like a god but then feels weaker and weaker with each new difficulty and Inferno Act. I have seen countless times when a player happily progresses from Act I Inferno to Act II Inferno only to get his butt kicked. And if they somehow gear themselves up to make it through Act II, their reward is to feel EXTREMELY WEAK once they hit Act III. Is constantly feeling weak fun? No. Everyone should be feeling godlike at the end of the game. Instead, Diablo 3′s Inferno mode makes everyone feel like weaklings. This explains why a good portion of why players went from a ‘LOVE IT!’ at early levels to ‘HATE IT!’ once they get to Inferno. Successful RPGs increase the difficulty without making you feel weak. Diablo 3 is unsuccessful in doing. Aside from the beginning of the game, the player never feels ‘strong’ in the game until they over-gear Act III Inferno.
Even with non-RPGs, they make you feel like a god at the end. Think of Kid Icarus when he has all those powers. Or Mega Man. Or Metroid with Samus screw jumping and melting through all mobs (is it the backtracking people liked in Metroid or the feeling of being a god?). In Super Mario Brothers 3, Mario has all these power-ups like Hammer Brothers and Tanooki suits. In Classic Zelda, Link goes from weak to becoming badass powerful at the end.
Here is a photo I found weeks past of a very frustrating experience. I kept dying repeatedly to Ghom on my glass cannon Demon Hunter. Do I feel like a god? No. I feel very weak. Anyway, you can bet I was cussing up a storm when the below happened.
Diablo 3 is like a RPG in reverse. You start off feeling powerful and godlike but you end up feeling very weak at the endgame. What is Endgame? It is the players, being godlike, doing things with their godlike abilities. I suspect the feeling of going from godmode to being a weakling is the cause of most of the Diablo 3 gamer turmoil. No one likes to feel weaker. At the end, gamers desire to feel like gods.