maka, on 27 May 2013 - 07:55 PM, said:
But seriously...I mostly agree with what you said. What I want to know is: what consequences do you think Blizzard suffered/is suffering/will suffer for those blunders?
If the blunders are severe enough and the patches in the meantime are not "good enough" then they'll lose expansion sales. They know this. You and I know this. I would be VERY shocked if they sold as many expansion boxes as quickly as they sold D3 boxes. People ARE going to be more tentative. I know I won't, but I have no doubt that others will. They can write off 90% of the annual pass people too, as the liklihood of those folks picking up the expansion is pretty low - on my friends list I am the ONLY person who picked up an annual pass who is playing D3, everyone else is back to WoW. Then again, the annual pass was a way for them to attempt to get an existing demographic (who may not have purchased D3) to install it and try it out and maybe even keep up with the patches. Even if only half of those people buy an expansion I'm sure Blizzard would consider that a pretty massive success.
The consequences for the existing D3 sales are low. I mean, I'm sure if publicity were better, they'd probably have sold maybe 500k more boxes in the meantime? IDK, that's an estimate based on nothing. But in terms of real money, all the patches, it's all designed to make us like the game enough to buy an expansion. All the time and energy on their end invested in these patches, it's an investment in expansion sales, from a business perspective.
That's exactly why they promised that PvP wasn't going to be in the expansion and would be patched in. Forcing people to buy an xpac to get PvP would have, literally, sunk the ship. It would have been one of the worst management decisions ever made. Expansion sales will tell just how much the patching has "made up" for the blunders. If they keep going with good patches like 1.0.8, the sales will probably be good. If not, well, they probably won't be so strong.
That being said, without proper competition, it's arguable that there won't ever be irreparable damage to the brand. I mean PoE seems content to cater to the most hardcore of ARPG fans which alienates a LOT of players and, as such, PoE isn't gaining tons of traction meanwhile Blizzard is releasing patches that people seem very pleased with and D3 is, actually, gaining traction. I don't like PoE, but I never wanted it to fail, simply because I believe the competition makes both games better by forcing the companies to listen to the fans. But, so long as Blizzard doesn't really consider them "competition" due to their rather low number of concurrent players... the mistakes Blizzard makes won't be as disastrous as they would be if there were that kind of competition which, from a "free market" perspective is tragic.
maka, on 27 May 2013 - 07:55 PM, said:
It's not "D2 did everything perfectly", nor is it "screw D3, I'm gonna play D2 for ANOTHER ten years". It's more like "I can't believe you managed to take a CORE part of the game that D2 did QUITE WELL and made it QUITE WORSE". Let's just drop the entire hyperbolic speech.
If you think that D2 did LEGENDARIES (which is what the guy I quoted was ranting about) "quite well" then we're going to have to disagree. Every time I look through a list of D2 uniques I see, basically, the same problems that D3 legendaries have: 3, maybe 4, uniques in a slot that were desireable, 15+ that just weren't cutting the mustard. I will concede here that the "bad" uniques in D2 don't seem to be quite as bad as the "bad" legendaries in D3. But they were still basically garbage that no one wanted, we're just discussing how "garbage-y" they were.
In general, D2 had better itemization, but I don't think it was because their legendaries were great - it was because they had buffer against this in the form of runewords, top-end sets that were generally desireable, etc. Most of the legendaries sat on the floor because they just weren't that great. Blizzard SHOULD have learned from that, and I was very vocal about that.
The itemization patch will tell just how much they learned about the stat system in D3 having a one year retrospective much the same as LoD showed us how much they'd learned about stats in D2.
Edited by shaggy, 27 May 2013 - 11:43 PM.