"Why Diablo 3 is Broken"

  • #1
    I just wanted to share this article with you, and to hear some feedback about what you think about it.

    To the lazy ones:


    I would love to find a belt. You wouldn't believe the raw ecstasy that locating such a modest piece of fashion would give me right now. Seriously. I'd probably leap up from my chair, holler a high-pitched "woohoo" at the ceiling fan, and close with a fist-pump for good measure. But, the sad truth of the matter is, I probably never will find that belt - at least not one I can use - and I'm just not willing to give up another hour of my life for better-fitting pants. I'm quitting Diablo III.
    Now, let me get just one thing out in the open: I do like Diablo III - at least, I like most of it. To date, I've thrown nearly 200 hours into cleansing the lands of Sanctuary, have raised two max-level characters from diapers to Depth Diggers, and have personally murdered The Butcher more times than the Templar has asked if I've "seen that enemy over there!" (which, if you know Kormac, is quite a lot). My problem with Diablo III isn't the time I've already invested, it's the fact that's there's not much of a reason to add to it.

    The fact that Diablo III has end-game issues shouldn't be too surprising; Blizzard's own community manager even went on record stating the company's failure in providing what he called "a proper end-game," citing a lack of both "things to do" and a reason for players to "stay excited." Heck, even Blizzard's CEO, Mike Morhaime felt the need to write an open letter to players that addressed common controversies; server overloads, that always-online requirement, and the game's addition of a Real Money Auction House all made the list. So, assuming Blizzard has noticed Diablo III's rapidly declining playerbase - Xfire shows an 80% drop in the past two months - and is actually willing to discuss problems openly with its flagging community, then what's the problem? Why haven't we seen a fix? The answer isn't pretty: There isn't one.
    To better understand the issue, we should first look at the game's older brother, Diablo II. Diablo II was a defining moment for its genre, either introducing or perfecting mechanics that its competetors struggled to emulate for the ten years following its launch. During its lifetime (which, arguably, hasn't even ended yet), Diablo II was able to maintain a large and dedicated playerbase, so perhaps it seemed reasonable to someone at Blizzard that carrying much of the core gameplay into a sequel would produce equivalent, or even better results. You can see this thought process pretty clearly when looking at Diablo III - for better or worse, the two share far more than they don't.
    For one thing, both games are circular. Unlike shooters or more standard RPGs, your difficulty is, at least when starting, chosen for you. A player's first lap around the campaigns' four Acts of content is locked on Normal; you start from nothing, slowly building up your inventory and skill set while monsters are restricted to weak attacks and low fortitude. As you progress, you find more powerful items, and with them, you can fight more powerful foes. Those more powerful foes drop even more powerful items, and with those, you can fight even morepowerful foes. Those foes then drop even more ... well, you get the idea. This critical cycle churns each Act while simultaneously repeating on a grander scale as you cross from Normal to Nightmare to Hell, and finally, Inferno. If you're the sort who digs this form of core play, then Diablo III is the prime example of a near-perfect, self-sustaining system at work. At least, it would be, had Blizzard not made the game-breaking mistake of tacking the Auction House to its side like a misplaced rod jutting out from a wheel.
    On the surface, the Auction House seems a fantastic idea. Statistically speaking, a player could run through the rings of Diablo III a hundred, a thousand, even a million times or more and still never loot the exact item he or she's been looking for. That's the glory, the genius, and the eternal frustration of having randomly-generated loot. That's also the fuel that powers Diablo II's lingering verve, a component sorely lacking from its sequel. While it certainly feels good, in an instant-gratification sort of way, to simply go shopping for those +12% movement speed boots, or that socketed Helm of Command whenever you like, your ability to do so decimates the experience the farther you tread into the game.
    The Auction House isn't simply an add-on, it's literally a game changer. Because players have full access to hundreds of thousands of items they'd statistically never interact with during natural play, enemies in the game have to accommodate by providing a challenge equivalent to superior gear. And it's not just about item level; it's about options. Stacking certain stats, and designing your gear set with an encompassing strategy (as opposed to the "this is the best helmet I've found, these are the best boots"-type scavenging otherwise required) is a colossal boon to any aspiring Nephalem. In fact, the advantage is so substantial that the game's difficulty is adjusted to it by necessity, thereby reinforcing, if not demanding, the Auction House's use to remain competitive against the A.I.
    During the first few laps of the game, Normal and Nightmare, this isn't a problem. Auction House gear is expensive enough to force players to find a balance between looted items and purchased ones, leaving players with the thrill of gear hunting while adding what may, at the time, even be considered a mildly fun distraction from demon thrashing: shopping in the community marketplace. Journeying into Nightmare, however, places the burden of gear (and by extension, power) advancement almost exclusively on that shopping. But even if you lucked out, and were still somehow wearing one or two personal drops for your third matchup against the Prime Evil at the end of Nightmare, the likelihood of even one of those items remaining competitive by the time you hit Inferno is next to nothing. Suddenly, that cycle of finding stronger loot to slay stronger monsters has, for the first time, abruptly broken, hereafter trading the joy of item hunting for what's soon little more than endless rounds of gold farming to finance mindless bargain sifting.
    In my nearly 100 hours playing Inferno (which have been almost exclusively in Acts I & II), the majority of the math has gone something like this: Every hour, I leave about 150 items where they fall, and find about 100 more worth picking up. After selling off most of those to the nearest merchant, I'm usually left with about 15 Rares, of which, about one is good enough to peddle in the Auction House every third run or so. In not one of those runs have I ever found something worth actually equipping myself. Multiply those figures out by the total time put in, and you have a system that's given me a mind-boggling 25,000 items to choose from, without so much as a single ring or pair of pants that could help me through the very mode I play to earn them. Sure, I also gathered about 15 million gold during the same stretch - enough to upgrade perhaps three of the thirteen items that just one of my characters uses via the Auction House - but that's just not why I started playing this game. At some point, Diablo III became less about the excitement of finding a new sword or accessory, and more about cold calculations, the difference between playing poker with friends, and hopelessly trying to outwit the dealer at a casino.
    So, to Blizzard: The problem is not that we "don't have things to do." We've the same things to do as we ever did: arrive in Tristram, ascend to the heavens, and kill everything in between. The problem is that you changed the game we were playing midway through, stripping it of the element instrumental to making Diablo fun. So, that said, I'll make you a deal. I'll meet you back in Sanctuary the moment you can promise me that at least once, justonce in my next 200 hours, I'll finally find that damn belt.

  • #2
    /yawn

    TL;DR

    Just another Dear John letter from someone who can't shake themselves from hating a game they paid $60 for. The sheer obsession with this franchise is scary; this guy needs to get a life.

    BTW: not attacking OP here, just the writer of the article.

    EDIT: this article is an op-ed, which makes me take this even less seriously than before.
  • #3
    The amount of ad-hominems in your post is too damn high!.

    Seriously, attack the idea, not the poster.

    Thanks.
  • #4
    I think it's a fairly spot on description. Very few people enjoy the math and thinkering with the AH to deal with knowing you will never ever find upgrades for you self, and in case you do it's most likely better to sell to get 2 or more upgrades for the sell value.

    The MF blog has a lot to live up to, the game lives or dies on this premise as I see it. Maybe not as dramatic as completely dying, but there will not be any increase in people playing which; for the EU means an even more dead AH.
  • #6
    I don't quite get all these AH hate to be honest. Without AH, wouldn't it take a whole lot longer to find upgrade all by yourself? Wouldn't you feel more frustrated by seeing one piece of junk after another? That is the nature of totally random loot generator game. With AH you can actually expect after X amount of time, i.e. get enough gold, I can find a piece of upgrade.
  • #7
    It's not the nature. If there was no AH, the drop rates and quality of loot would HAVE to be drastically higher or people would quit in higher numbers. The AH creates the problem it tries to solve by effectively lowering drop rates BECAUSE there is the option of using the AH. Just think on it, if there was no AH and the drops were the same everyone but groups of people would be in horrible gear -- this could be a good thing, but way too late to pull off.

    Furthermore, the AH representing an upgrade after X amount of gold is just stupid. It's like valor points, except you're not guaranteed the valor points and it goes up according to your time spent and is balanced as such (valor points have weekly caps etc, no cap on gold). X amount of time invested should amount to Y amount of loot that is good enough to use by anyone and Z/Y
  • #8
    Well, my eyes are crossed now after reading that. None the less I'm subject to Agree to about 98.9% of it. Check out my post called A Step in the Right Direction. I dont like being a part of a problem, i like being constructive. That article is good, but lacks fixes and mostly just points out the obvious.
  • #9
    Same shit, different day. We know there's no end game right now. There will be in the future. Wait for it....
    ☆ ✮ ✯
  • #10
    May be obvious to you, but it doesn't appear to be obvious to Blizzard.
  • #11
    Xfire as source is a sad panda, but it shows a trend. Keep in mind Diablo is a series where people quit then pick it back up later on at some point, this isn't a MMO that requires 100% up-time of players. Learn the genre you’re trying to compare to.

    Game has issues and currently no endgame, yes it’s agreed can anybody else bitch or give constructive criticism on something else for once?

    Item grind is currently endgame.... well that's a piss poor endgame and if D2 didn't have ladder, PvP and that other entire stuff people would have said the same damn thing. This game needs some patches and more content, but remember D2 wasn't so great on release either.

    I find it funny people think D2 was full of I can find whatever I want so easy. Did any of you actually find a Zod rune ever? How about Tyreal's might, or the IK soul cage... I could go on and on but there is no point.

    Ahhh the good old AH debate... let’s go back to D2 shall we. Did any of you trade ever? If so then you are using a form of the AH the only difference now is it's much easier to obtain new items through inflated currency. Not everyone used 3rd party sites but now it’s a common practice. Your choice to use it or not should not be a factor for QQ

    Too add to the AH "woes" every person who complains they can't find an upgrade bought a bunch of gear from the AH... WTH do you expect. Say you traded a bunch of your duped Soj's, +skill charms, and runes for an amazing assassin set. You then try to grind for items but yet you don't find any upgrades... hmm wonder why.

    TL:DR QQ derp derp derp derp derp
    Playing Diablo since 97. I know nothing and having nothing good to say, I be a troll.
  • #12
    Quote from Sandgnome

    May be obvious to you, but it doesn't appear to be obvious to Blizzard.


    True story, sad but true +1
  • #13
    People will just zerg in and go the article writer is a hater etc...

    But there's so many people who feel like this... D3 is a great engine, but a very, very average game, with a very low difficulty.

    Succeeded solely on the shoulders of D2, next patch will make finding a legendary much better, will wait to see if we feel the same way though re: gameplay.

    Seems too early to judge, but so far, it hasn't been great for the majority of players it seems.
  • #14
    Quote from Slayerviper

    TL:DR QQ derp derp derp derp derp


    I guess you didn't get very far in the game? No offense intended. What you describe is not what is happening. I've literally only found 2 items over my entire 500+ hours in inferno that I could use my self at any point of my progress. I was among the first in the first weeks of the game that got to act3 inferno and have farmed that extensively. The same amount of time in D2 would've yielded a ton of 99s and definately a lot of upgrades for my self and my friends who would also have found a lot for me. I know this because I've played d2 on every ladder reset the last few years with a couple of friends and we never spent much time trading. Never cared that I didn't find a Zod rune, I realized it was extremely rare but I've found other very rare items and always did on ladder resets.

    In D2 you may not find upgrades for your self if you bought a lot of gear via 3rd party sites or similar - which you are implying is the same as the AH - but you would most definately find upgrades for your friends or your not so strong geared characters or different builds.
  • #15
    Quote from Sandgnome


    I guess you didn't get very far in the game? No offense intended. What you describe is not what is happening. I've literally only found 2 items over my entire 500+ hours in inferno that I could use my self at any point of my progress. I was among the first in the first weeks of the game that got to act3 inferno and have farmed that extensively. The same amount of time in D2 would've yielded a ton of 99s and definately a lot of upgrades for my self and my friends who would also have found a lot for me. I know this because I've played d2 on every ladder reset the last few years with a couple of friends and we never spent much time trading. Never cared that I didn't find a Zod rune, I realized it was extremely rare but I've found other very rare items and always did on ladder resets.

    In D2 you may not find upgrades for your self if you bought a lot of gear via 3rd party sites or similar which you are implying is the same as the AH, but you would most definately find upgrades for your friends or your not so strong geared characters or different builds.


    Act 3 inferno, I haven't beat it but I went with the WD first so that might explain a bit. Not sure why you haven't found anything I've found plenty of items for my alts as I don't use the AH for them (except my DH since it’s an easy farming character). 500+ hours would not result in many 99's it took at least a month to reach 99 full of mindless boring grinding.

    I agree you could find upgrades quite often in D2 but the high endgame stuff was very rare and the gear people are crying about that they can't find is the high end gear for D3. I'm also implying that trading is the same as using the AH, it's just more efficient. I dunno about you but I didn't have a lot of friends to rely on but starting from scratch to obtain a solid mf build to farm gear without trading took a long assed time. Please keep in mind D2 was faceroll in difficulty so you didn't need great gear to accomplish many different builds. They turned D3 into a gear check game (lame yes) but with the 1.0.4. buffs to non-existent abilities should drastically fix this.
    Playing Diablo since 97. I know nothing and having nothing good to say, I be a troll.
  • #16
    Quote from Sandgnome
    Zod rune

    About 6 years ago, my brother broke a barrel open on Hell, and one dropped. One of the funniest things I ever saw.
  • #17
    Shrug, I'd have at least a handful 99's with 500+ hours spent. Semantics, are you really trying to refute that you'd have made a lot more progress in 500 hours of d2 compared to d3? I've found plenty items for my alts, but it's the same with them: Spend a few mill gold and you can reasonably clear through inferno if that's what you want, then it's back to pimping one character. It's rather pointless to gear up an alt unless you intend to do something specific with it and at that point it's the exact same as gearing a main character: You need the AH.

    I fail to see how fixing non used skills is at any point going to fix anything but build diversity. Build diversity is not going to do anything to the difficulty of the game (which they ARE nerfing, so there's that) nor the quality of the loot you find. Notice that while they are buffing across the board, they are buffing so non-used skills are _just_ as good as the "good" skills now, which means across the board the only change in difficulty will be whatever they do to HP etc dmg is only going to go up for currently unused specs.
  • #18
    as much as i hate to admit it..


    he's right.
  • #19
    Quote from Sandgnome

    Shrug, I'd have at least a handful 99's with 500+ hours spent. Semantics, are you really trying to refute that you'd have made a lot more progress in 500 hours of d2 compared to d3? I've found plenty items for my alts, but it's the same with them: Spend a few mill gold and you can reasonably clear through inferno if that's what you want, then it's back to pimping one character. It's rather pointless to gear up an alt unless you intend to do something specific with it and at that point it's the exact same as gearing a main character: You need the AH.

    I fail to see how fixing non used skills is at any point going to fix anything but build diversity. Build diversity is not going to do anything to the difficulty of the game (which they ARE nerfing, so there's that) nor the quality of the loot you find. Notice that while they are buffing across the board, they are buffing so non-used skills are _just_ as good as the "good" skills now, which means across the board the only change in difficulty will be whatever they do to HP etc dmg is only going to go up for currently unused specs.


    I couldn't tell you I didn't have a way to track the hours I dumped into D2 and I didn't know of Xfire at the time. I would guess it would take at least 100 hours to create an half assed MF char with 0 help. I do remember it taking a full day of game play just to go up one or two levels past 85 so not sure how you got multiple 99's in the same time without botting.

    If we get back to my first post I stated that this game has shitty end game (compared to D2) so discussing what to do with alts and mains is irrelevant right now. Nothing but gear "hunt" gets old I get it.

    If you don't think using a different build to clear inferno has any value over using your current build I'm not sure what you did in D2. The point in D2 was to try new builds and play whatever builds (char) you felt like that day; this will at least be possible in D3 now (hopefully).
    Playing Diablo since 97. I know nothing and having nothing good to say, I be a troll.
  • #20
    Just think of how the game develops, eventually, after enough time spent you should have so good gear that it's practically impossible to get upgrades. When you are at that point the game is boring, which is fine, you should invest a lot of time or money to get to that point. Right now you meet that wall very early, you can clear the game with very cheap gear but if you just use items you find your self it's going to take a long time which some enjoy, most don't. Soon as you have beat diablo on inferno, the game is entirely about getting better gear, you reach a wall once more here. At first you get x million item then it progresses to higher and higher values, which is fine, but from x to x+100 you will most never really find anything for your self that can't be replaced with more gold. When you get into the really expensive gear you hit another wall; drops are depending on people farming. This is a huge issue; if you try to compare EU to US to ASIA AH's you'll find being in the EU is horrible if you want high end gear.
  • #21
    Quote from Slayerviper

    Xfire as source is a sad panda, but it shows a trend. Keep in mind Diablo is a series where people quit then pick it back up later on at some point, this isn't a MMO that requires 100% up-time of players. Learn the genre you’re trying to compare to.

    Game has issues and currently no endgame, yes it’s agreed can anybody else bitch or give constructive criticism on something else for once?

    Item grind is currently endgame.... well that's a piss poor endgame and if D2 didn't have ladder, PvP and that other entire stuff people would have said the same damn thing. This game needs some patches and more content, but remember D2 wasn't so great on release either.

    I find it funny people think D2 was full of I can find whatever I want so easy. Did any of you actually find a Zod rune ever? How about Tyreal's might, or the IK soul cage... I could go on and on but there is no point.

    Ahhh the good old AH debate... let’s go back to D2 shall we. Did any of you trade ever? If so then you are using a form of the AH the only difference now is it's much easier to obtain new items through inflated currency. Not everyone used 3rd party sites but now it’s a common practice. Your choice to use it or not should not be a factor for QQ

    Too add to the AH "woes" every person who complains they can't find an upgrade bought a bunch of gear from the AH... WTH do you expect. Say you traded a bunch of your duped Soj's, +skill charms, and runes for an amazing assassin set. You then try to grind for items but yet you don't find any upgrades... hmm wonder why.

    TL:DR QQ derp derp derp derp derp


    in my around 1k hours in d2 (and that's being modest most likely) i found 2 soj's, a handfull of zod runes, easily a dozen ik soul cages, tal rasha's ammy's, tyraels mights etc. The good stuff DOES drop, and it seems much more often than in d3, if only for the reason that a MUCH larger percentage of the items you find are useable. I think my biggest problem with the auction house is the lack of personal interaction that comes with it. D2's community was talkative, vibrant, and always looking to trade, even when you didn't have the top 1% of the most desired stats rolled on your gear. This social aspect is SORELY missing from diablo 3, and the chat channels are a poor attempt to make up for it. Sadly, since everyone can just list their best finds annonomously on the auction house, the trade channel is usually reserved for scammers and flame wars, or just outright riddled with trolls. Either way, id love to see some more "social" aspects to this game to hopefully breathe some new life into it.
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