What’s This? Your Diablo III Is Evolving

By Nathan Grayson on May 29th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

Soon, I will also have water cannons sprouting from my back.
For a game whose primary function is to be played, there has been (for obvious reasons) a comparatively small amount of discussion about, you know, playing Diablo III - especially on Blizzard’s end. The master of click-click-click, however, has finally gotten around to type-type-typing up a roadmap for its hack ‘n’ slash opus’ immediate future. So then, what’s on the diabolical docket, which I imagine the hulking red embodiment of all sorrow and suffering carefully looking over while adjusting a pair of tiny glasses that implausibly sticks to his face thanks to hell magic? Well, among other things, Inferno difficulty’s in for some fairly major changes – though honestly, the more telling information may arise from the “unbalanced” bits Blizzard’s opting to leave largely untouched.

Blizzard reiterated the method to its seeming madness in a lengthy blog post:

“Regarding the changes to [the Demon Hunter's] Lingering Fog, [Monk's] Boon of Protection, and [Wizard's] Force Armor: we determined these skills were simply more powerful than they should be, and we felt their impact on class balance and how each class was perceived warranted hotfixes as soon as we were able. However, we don’t want you to be worried that a hotfix nerf is lurking around the corner every day. If a skill is strong, but isn’t really breaking the game, we want you to have your fun. Part of the enjoyment of Diablo is finding those super-strong builds, and we want players to be excited to use something they discovered that feels overpowered. A good example of this is the monk Overawe rune, which many players have identified as being quite good. We agree it’s good, but we don’t think it’s so far out of line that we’re going to swoop in and hotfix it out of existence.”

Inferno difficulty, meanwhile, was cited as not quite adhering to the pace Blizzard intended, so it’s getting optimized to be less “spiky.” Hopefully Blizzard will add a porcupine or pineapple mode to compensate.

“The intent of incoming damage is that it should be a very consistent drain on your health, and mitigating that drain is a major part of what makes Inferno mode difficult. Right now, there’s a lot more damage ‘spikiness’ occurring than feels right, and that’s one major area we’re looking to adjust in patch 1.0.3. While we don’t have any specifics yet, our design goals are to support and promote build diversity; continue to ensure that a mix of champion packs, rare packs, and boss fights are the most efficient way to acquire the best items in the game; and ensure that all classes are viable in Inferno.”

Lastly, legendary items and blacksmith crafting are undergoing tweaks to better reflect their respective positions in your arsenal – with a much-requested “straight-out buff” on the way for legendaries in a future patch. And, of course, PVP’s still off in the distance, gazing knowingly down upon us from mountains made of the future.

There will apparently be a public test realm launched in advance of that, but you know how Blizzard is with dates. Actually, I’ve heard that employees aren’t even allowed to pack dates (the fruit) in their lunches, as you can’t actually be hired to work at Blizzard unless you have a near-fatal allergy to them. So then, expect all of these changes… at some point. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this incredibly anticlimactic post conclusion as much as I did writing it.

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130 Comments »

  1. Manac0r says:

    I get it.. Dates..as in…oh me oh my…

  2. HisMastersVoice says:

    Did I just read they want me to grind Hell for items in order to beat Inferno? How about I don’t waste my time beating the same content over and over again and you go die in agony, eh Blizzard?

    • xian says:

      That’s exactly what Diablo always was about, yes.

      • HisMastersVoice says:

        You could grind loot. You didn’t have to grind loot.

        • Vorphalack says:

          Exactly. I made a new Necro after the last D2 ladder reset and went through Normal and Nightmare exactly once. I am not held back from entering Hell because my gear is inadequate.

          • JackShandy says:

            You have been forced to grind through normal and nightmare (Which have the same content at harder difficulty levels) in order to reach Hell.

            It’s hard to argue that Diablo isn’t about “Beating the same content over and over again.”

          • Vorphalack says:

            It’s not really a grind if i’m just playing through it once. That is by definition not a grind, just playing the game.

          • JackShandy says:

            Once you’ve played through the game once, you’re playing it to get better items/unlock things(higher difficulties, etc) rather than to experience the content, aren’t you?

            If you’re going through normal, then nightmare, I would say you’re playing the game twice.

          • Vorphalack says:

            The grinding in Diablo 2 only really starts once you finish Hell Baal, at that point you are only playing on to get better gear. The point is that there is no enforced gear check between difficulty levels / acts, as your skill damage in Diablo 2 is not as strictly linked to your equipment as with D3. Also, Normal, Nightmare and Hell are reasonably different in terms of the enemy variety and general difficulty they throw at you.

          • Eich says:

            @ JackShandy,

            you know that your last statement is blasphemy in Blizzard eyes?

          • jrodman says:

            @JackShandy: Yeah, it’s playing through the game twice.

            However, there is definitely something to be said for really *getting to know* a series of challenges, especially as the difficulty is cranked up. I do think Blizzard’s general designs for refamiliarizing myself with this type of enjoyment (avoided since days of c64 and NES).

            The problem, for me, is that this kind of joy is not always one I want, and tends to be exhausted around the 4x to 10x mark, depending upon various factors. But Blizzard designs are more about the 20x+ repeat.

          • Phantoon says:

            As someone that raided Naxx in vanilla WoW, the statement about “getting to know challenges” made me laugh. People hated how easy Naxx was in WotLK, even the casuals. It just became another loot grind when they made it easy to “get to know the challenges”.

            Maybe not everyone hated how dumb the place was, and sure some people had issues with it. But the majority of my server (Emerald Dream) didn’t like it.

    • Torn says:

      Did you ever play D1 or D2? That’s the formula.

    • zeroskill says:

      Actually, they don’t want you to grind for the loot, they want you to buy it in the RMAH.

      • Torn says:

        The RMAH has been delayed indefinitely for now.

        So no, they want you to grind for the loot or trade for it with other players. This is how Diablo has always worked, trading was a large part of D2 using 3rd-party sites and trade games. Offering an AH to streamline things is a sensible move in 2012.

        • zeroskill says:

          “The RMAH has been delayed indefinitely for now.”

          Can you please provide a source for this claim. I’m interested to know where you got that information from.

          • zeroskill says:

            It doesn’t say anything about “delayed INDEFINITELY”, just that they have to make the game actually secure for the RMAH to be introduced. “Delayed INDEFINITELY” means, it wont come at any point. Therefore your comment: “The RMAH has been delayed indefinitely for now.” is misleading in every way possible. The announcement from Blizzard that the RMAH isn’t going live in MAY doesn’t mean they have delayed it INDEFINITELY, like you claim. So I ask you again, please provide a source for your claim. I would actually like them to scrap the RMAH from the game. But honestly, I don’t believe that is going to happen.

          • ShadyGuy says:

            @zeroskill, delayed indefinitely doesn’t mean delayed forever. Because that would be a cancellation, not a delay. Delayed indefinitely simply means there’s no definitive date when the real money auction house will be implemented. You know how Blizzard are with dates. ;)

          • zeroskill says:

            @ShadyGuy: Sure, all good and fine. Still, my original comment was about how the game is designed around the RMAH. And just because the RMAH has been delayed doesn’t change that.

          • Torn says:

            the game is designed around the RMAH

            That’s misleading. The great loot drops have been tweaked lower than they were in D2 because there are auction houses, not just because there is an RMAH.

            This is because the AH makes finding and trading items easier — if they didn’t tweak loot drops then there would be millions of legendaries and set items flooding everything.

            Items in virtual games has been a big thing since, well, forever. D2 had a multi-million dollar economy around item sales, funded mostly by botting, spamming and duping.

            I think it’s a good thing I can use an in-game AH for trading rather than visiting dodgy sites like D2JSP where I risk getting ripped off. At least my trades are secure.

            I won’t use the RMAH because I don’t want to pay real money for items. It’s 100% optional, if you don’t like it don’t use it.

          • Vorphalack says:

            ”I won’t use the RMAH because I don’t want to pay real money for items. It’s 100% optional, if you don’t like it don’t use it.”

            Lets wait and see how many people are still selling items on the gold AH once the RMAH is live.

            My bet is we will have your game designed around an auction house, with nothing worth trading being available for gold.

          • Lamb Chop says:

            Which actually can be okay, since if you never cash in or cash out of the RMAH, then you’re trading what is essentially another in-game currency. I intend to use the RMAH without ever spending or receiving real money.

            I think the gold auction house will still see enough action because it offers people critical seed money that you can’t get on the RMAH without spending or already having a great item to sell, which you won’t get until the late end-game.

    • Grim_22 says:

      No, you didn’t. Loot is personal and fitted to the class you’re currently playing, so chances are that you’ll get your rare items after downing a boss. The fact that you can select to start anywhere in any level on any difficulty after you’ve completed it just makes it so much easier.

      Seriously, this Blizzard hate is getting so very tedious. Yes, DRM is bad, Satan walks the earth, blah blah. I agree, but people are acting like a mob with pitchforks and torches.

      • HisMastersVoice says:

        I don’t know which version of Diablo 3 you’re playing, but end bosses drop next to no rare items and most of what they drop is pants compared to what a random elite mob can drop.

        • Grim_22 says:

          Actually, you’re right about that. Bosses next to never drop rares in nightmare or higher. My mistake. But considering that I run in to rare and elite spawns in every area I enter, I still fail to see the problem – so my argument stands, I’d say.

          • Edradour says:

            They do drop alot of yellow if you play multiplayer…it isnt said anywhere but i started a new character together with a friend and compared to my monk ( who i played solo 98% of the time since everyone i know was leveling way faster than me ) i got like 4 times the amount of yellow drops.
            Sometimes up to 4 or 5 items per boss although when tried to “farm” a boss with a convenient reset point ( diablo/first boss of act 4 ) the second and third time they didnt drop a single one i guess thats some weird mechanic that prevents you from farming just the boss?

    • Alkaine says:

      YES; I hate that bullshit. It was fine in d2 but not now. Take T2 for example: in the t2 beta you can start elite difficulty at level 1. You don’t need ridiculous gear for one difficulty level. I think the t2 system is not retarded, in contrast to Diablo III’s. Of course, if the gear you get is BAD, then there you go: a game about tediously farming the RNG, perhaps for real money.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Depends how good you are surely?

      Still, your complaint to me does read like “I need to play the same content again in order to be able to play the same content again”

      • HisMastersVoice says:

        An elite mob on Hell is different to an elite mob on Inferno, so the content has a reasonable variance between difficulty levels to make it bearable.

    • ukpanik says:

      “Did I just read they want me to grind Hell for items in order to beat Inferno?”

      Well you can try playing through it naked if you want, but you need to farm/buy items to survive on all but the beginning levels of Diablo. Dummy.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Inferno is meant the people who like farming all day, not someone who just wants to run through with whatever gear they find on the first go by.

    • Armagetiton says:

      Naw, that’s not it at all. They actually want you to -try- to grind gear in hell and inferno act 1, realize that you’re not making process and still can’t afford adequate gear after 150+ hours of farming gold, and throw in the towel and start buying shit off the real money auction house.

  3. gschmidl says:

    Wait, where’s the complaint about always-online DRM? Have the terr… Blizzard won that war? Please no.

    Not being sarcastic, I want it gone.

    • caddyB says:

      Well now that some people ( like me ) were disappointed and wish they kept their money in their pockets, there shouldn’t be too much problem with it.

      I mean, most people who hated it already stopped playing or didn’t buy it at all ( I hope ) so the rage slowly dies down.

      And I don’t think it’ll ever go away, since it’s the core of their buy stuff from our real life auction house scheme.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      You may not be sarcastic, but you are being tedious. If you want to discuss that issue yet again, the old threads are still open.

    • lordfrikk says:

      I don’t think you understand how this game works. This game doesn’t have online DRM, it IS an online game. Everything except assets is running from the servers. It’s not like the “classic DRM” where there’s shit slapped on top of a game which can be removed via cracks or by the developer later on. It’s literally like saying “I want the online DRM removed from World of Warcraft”.

      • jrodman says:

        Considering that this game has a legitimate single player mode, you’re just saying the DRM is deeply integrated into the game.

        • lordfrikk says:

          I’m pretty sure that “deeply integrated in game” is an understatement of the year. They’d have to code it from scratch. And what do you mean by “legitimate single-player mode”? Because this game stretches the definition as far as it goes.

  4. Toberoth says:

    I LIKE spikiness :(

  5. Torn says:

    RPS readers have recently been railing pretty hard against what is actually a pretty good game with a fairly bright future. I suspect there’s not much been said in Blizzard’s defence because most people are too busy enjoying the game to comment ;)

    Anyway looks like Blizz have a roadmap to address the main concerns of the community (service issues, legendary item balance, item affixes, inferno viability).

    I think we all knew the balance would be tweaked post-launch. D2 wasn’t balanced and perfect to start with, I don’t see why we expected D3 to be the same. It’s currently bloody good value for the £30 I spent on it in terms of enjoyment and hours invested, and I’m happy to see it’ll be tweaked moving forward.

    I’ve also not had network or logging-in issues since the first two days after release. It’s been stable as a rock for me, and I haven’t had a single crash or game bug. Compare that to other ‘AAA’ games like Skyrim – whose gameplay/quests still aren’t stable and bug-free.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Yeah, but we can mod Skyrim to fix pretty much anything we want, just like Diablo Th-

      Oh wait.

      • Torn says:

        Yes, and if there are bugs or balancing issues then Blizzard will issue patches. Problem solved. Mod support was never on the table.

        Skyrim is still a bug-fest despite community and developer mods and patches. We just accept that because it’s a Bethesda sandbox game, and take the quirks as part of the experience. Battered-wife syndrome, perhaps.

        What I’m trying to get across is that D3 is a game which delivers what it says on the tin very well, and if you like frantic clicky-looty ARPGs then you’ll be right at home. It’s smooth, fairly polished (and about to be further balanced through upcoming patches) and a lot of fun.

        • Vorphalack says:

          It wasn’t a question. Mod support is highly undervalued by the games industry, and has generated some of the best content for original IPs in the last 20 years. It is purely to the detriment of Diablo 3 that they chose to block mod support. Oh, and in case you weren’t aware, no developer in history has managed to patch out all bugs.

          • dE says:

            Oh, mod support isn’t undervalued. They’re very aware about the quality content fans can produce. It’s just that DLC means more money. Much more money.

          • Vorphalack says:

            That’s what I mean by undervalued. They could potentially turn a really good mod into the next major title release, but shut that idea down from the start by prioritising short term profits.

          • Deano2099 says:

            I don’t think it’s under-valued. Modding has always been very, very niche, and the people who are involved in it often over-emphasise how common it is. The sad thing is we now have the technology to make it more widespread – the Steam toolbox thing is great for getting people to use mods, but that same technology is being used to lock things down instead.

          • zeroskill says:

            Counter-Strike…niche…Team Fortress…niche…Dota…niche…

            You don’t even have to go back that far. DayZ is responsilbe for keeping Arma 2:CO, a game that hasn’t sold very many copies lately, in the top spots on Steam.

            And yeah I agree, the “industry”, meaning corperations like activision or EA, simply don’t understand the potential of modding in general. They are not gamers or developers. They are just a bunch of managers in suits after all. Thats why you don’t see modding tools being released by developers under the strong influence of those kind of corperations, while other developers, that have more power over their own decisions, like Valve, like Bohemia, like Bethesda, are capable of delivering those.

          • Vorphalack says:

            It’s really hard to say modding isn’t undervalued when you look at how much it has contributed to gaming, and how little it is still promoted. DotA 2, Team Fortress 2, and Counterstrike GO are all examples of mods turned into fully funded commercial releases, I think in all cases with the mod creators joining the development team. I’ve played mods for most of the games I own all the way back to Thief, which had a few modded levels that surpassed anything in the main game. Mods are currently making some of my oldest games function on Windows 7. Modding isn’t really a niche thing at all, it’s bloody everywhere. The main problem facing modders is getting publishers to recognise the value of their user created content, both to consumers and to the industry, in the way Valve have.

          • skorpeyon says:

            Yeah, you know Blizzard, they totally hate modding, just like with Starcraft II…

            The company isn’t against it, they just plain have a different model with this game, just like they have a different model with WoW. It’s going to work out, but you can’t act like they should allow modding when the game has a very serious model based around ideas like an auction house, real money or in-game, and providing people a safe, secure way to trade items. Throw mods in there and it’d be screwed.

          • Vorphalack says:

            You do know that Blizzards policy of ”we own all content made through the SC2 map editor” has pretty much torpedoed any chance of a serious out of house modding community developing, right? It’s about as conducive to mod creativity as just banning them completely. Also, you don’t consider that the RMAH is going to make D3 a huge target for account hackers and item dupers? By building their game around a real currency economy they are practically painting a target onto D3. If the recent hacking epidemic is any indication of the future, D3 will be far from ”a safe, secure way to trade items”.

          • Deano2099 says:

            Yes, Team Fortress, Counterstrike and DOTA were big enough that they eventually made full games of them that were hits. But those actual mods were niche. I don’t have the numbers to hand, but I’d be shocked if it was more than 5% of the player-base of the game, and expect it was less than 1%.

            So yes, niche. The fact that one mod every five years spins off a big commercial hit doesn’t change that.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Pulling numbers out of your arse does not a good argument make.

          • 12kill4 says:

            @Deano2099

            No. you’re wrong. DOTA is still bigger than vanilla WC3′s MP user base, easily; and Counter-strike 1.x and Team Fortress were really only competing with each other and Natural Selection as far as MP in Half-life were concerned, as HLDM had a pretty limited following. And that isn’t even mentioning the iterations of TF in more or less every major first person shooter since Quake…

            You seem to be forgetting the fact that each of these games has contributed significantly to the emergence of wider trends within the games industry, e.g. Desert Combat for BF1942 and CS’s influence on the popularity of modern warfare theme, or DoTA spawning the MOBA genre. How often has the mainstream industry created a significantly successful new genre (hell, even a new game-mode), maybe once or twice every 5 years? And that is being generous…

          • realityflaw says:

            @ skorpeyon
            The modding scene in SC2 is vapid and empty, there are very few good maps and almost no innovation going on.

            And as Vorphalack pointed out it is entirely Blizzard’s doing.

          • Nesetalis says:

            Diablo 2′s mod base is vast and powerful… but blizzard didn’t make it available with any API or tools.. no, the game was hacked to death to be modded. And guess what? Its still quite playable and awesome with those mods… diablo 2 vanilla bores me to tears after a decade of play, but the mods? still fresh and new.

            Diablo 3 will probably never have that treatment.

        • Khatzen says:

          I really enjoy Diablo 3 but I cannot believe anyone has not had ANY lag issues since launch unless you coincidentally play at odd times when no one else is playing…

          I experience 150-300ms lag at peak times most days (on an evening between 5-9pm) which can make the game rather unplayable.

          I have several friends playing it and experience much the same thing- one of which said he literally couldn’t play because of it.

          If I play at less popular times I can get a latency of 40-70ms but it still spikes to 150ms, which is rather annoying.

          I can honestly say that without the horrible always online DRM, Diablo 3 is a rather solid game, which is rare… a game with very little actual bugs… which they then cripple with the always online requirement, forcing me to worry about lag and server problems when playing in single player.

          • Grygus says:

            I’ve had lag spikes now and then, but they have yet to kill me. Been at least a week since I had any real problems at all, actually – a little rubber-banding, occasional unexpected short-range teleport, one time the game froze and thencaughtupreallyfast, all of which I blame on the always-online model, but generally it’s been smooth as silk. Maybe once I’m on Hell (on Act IV Nightmare now,) the lag will become more important and I will change my tune. It’s a shame regardless, because I agree that the game is good when it’s not shooting itself in the foot.

          • Nesetalis says:

            i’ve died maybe 30 or 40 times from lag spikes.. :| but i’m playing a wizard, who dies in 2-3 hits and only survives by dodging kiting and tactical use of spells… so any time i randomly backtrack 5 seconds because of lag… it pretty much costs me my life.

            Forget playing hardcore.

    • Buemba says:

      “RPS readers have recently been railing pretty hard against what is actually a pretty good game with a fairly bright future. I suspect there’s not much been said in Blizzard’s defence because most people are too busy enjoying the game to comment ;)”

      While I agree the game is great and all, it’s hard for me to defend Blizzard when at best their DRM means I get lag when I’m playing by myself and at worse it actually prevents me from playing at all. They basically released a game with all the problems of an MMO and almost none of its benefits.

      It’s true, the game really is damn good. Too bad I can’t play it for the next 7 hours.

    • Plivesey says:

      I haven’t really been around to say how much I love the game as I’ve been busy loving the game. It’s always the way – the haters are far more vocal. Also, a lot of people who dislike it (even if they haven’t played it themselves) are going to disagree with any good things I have to say about Diablo 3 regardless.

      • Lycan says:

        I’m sorry, but that works both ways. Plenty of people (like me) enjoy the game *when it works and they can play it* but have no wish to paint a target on themselves for Blizzard fanboys’ raving – so we keep (reasonably) quiet about the various problems. It’s a great game *when it works* but at the very least Blizzard are guilty of marketing an MMO-lite as a sequel to a traditional action rpg. I’ve played games with always-online DRM before (including Assassin’s Creed 2) but Diablo 3 leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth despite the gameplay actually being fairly enjoyable. In other words, in this particular game I actually think Blizzard have disrespected me as a customer. It’s sad that I rejoice when my latency drops to under 200 ms – there’s something inherently wrong with that.

  6. Fierce says:

    Has there been any mention at all of a Hotfix for allowing user-selectable difficulty settings without having to grind through lower tiers first?

    Seems like a no brainer, angst mitigating, self-policing, PR winning move that they seem highly uninterested in making.

    • Torn says:

      Are you seriously suggesting they re-do the entire difficulty / act mechanic / character progression as a ‘hotfix’? If so I’m guessing you don’t really understand how the difficulty mechanic in Diablo games works.

      The difficulty adjustments in D1-D2 have always centred around redoing the same content with harder monsters as you level your character up to maximum level.

      In D3, Normal is around character lvl 1-30, Nightmare is 30-50, Hell is 50-60, Inferno is at 60. If they let you in nightmare/inferno/hell as a lvl 1 character you’d die in a split second.

      Granted, normal is a little too easy in D3, but the later difficulties prove pretty challenging and are offset by skill and spell unlocks leading to a lot of build variety.

      What are you actually asking for, here?

      • The Godzilla Hunter says:

        Simple: a game that is actually a challenge for the first 10 or so hours. When people say that they want to start on a higher mode they do NOT mean that they want their level 1 to fight level 30s. They are saying they want their level 1 to fight other level 1s that are actually a challenge. Is the concept of difficulty not being tied directly to levels that hard to comprehend?

        Difficulty: easy, medium, hard.

        Then once you beat it, you start a new game+ (so easy-inferno, medium-inferno, and hard-inferno)

    • Belsameth says:

      I’d love to see you hold your own on nightmare, at level 1 without items… :)

      • omo says:

        What with having a stash, shared gold and the AH, the “you cannot start a new character on Nightmare/Hell/Inferno because items” argument is pretty weak, though.

        • Plivesey says:

          Okay, I guess he’d happily rephrase that to “I’d love to see you hold your own on nightmare, at level 1 WITH items… :)” and it’d still be applicable.

          • Belsameth says:

            Correct, good sir.
            Tho I wouldn’t be opposed to rolling a level x char, where x is equivalent of the difficulty level you reached. Racing through normal the second time around is conciderably less of a chore tho, mostly due to stash and the likes.

    • Goateh says:

      I think the biggest hurdle is that the difficulties are completely tied to level (and gear level once you’re 60). If a new char went straight to nightmare they’d be fighting things designed for level 30 with no abilities unlocked and die instantly. Letting you go straight to the higher difficulties would require creating characters of the appropriate level with some reasonable gear, and I can’t imagine that’d go down well with lots of people.

      You might not agree with tying difficulty levels to character level but that’s what they’ve done and it wouldn’t be a siomple hotfix to change the design so completely.

    • VeliV says:

      How many gear and level progression based there are out there that allows this? Do you understand the game design problems that this would create? Which level would the character start on? What gear would the character have? What would prevent them from selling those equipment to vendors or AH?

      The game is designed to be linear, from the point of view that you start the game on lvl 1 and progress through the difficulties to reach the higher levels. This is not something you can hotfix without seroius ramifications.

      • Didero says:

        You could start them out at level 30 with some basic white crap weapons appropriate for the class and level, just like level 1 characters get.
        Since those weapons would be both incredibly simple and overabundant, they won’t have any value in the AH, like I would imagine most white weapons. So it won’t cause a problem there.

        (I haven’t played Diablo 3, so I just assume ‘white’ weapons are the most basic ones without any enchantments or the like)

        • VeliV says:

          With the white weapons of the same level you wouldn’t get very far, as those dont have stats on them. Then people would whine it’s too hard.

          This might actually be the fix to the situation! Don’t use other than white equipment if the game is too easy for you ;)

        • fish99 says:

          With white gear you would actually get slaughtered. Most of your damage, and a lot of your health, comes from stat buffs on your magic gear.

          Also if someone started on nightmare for their first playthrough as a lvl30, they’d miss out on gaining and experimenting with all the skills and runes up to that point.

        • Benkyo says:

          That is exactly how I played Diablo 2 after having run through all the difficulty levels with every character on other computers.

          I’d use some kind of trainer program to make a level 30 character with all white equipment and whatever loot you were guaranteed from quests. If I remember correctly that meant all white gear and a set of runes that made a ‘resist all’ shield.

          The result was challenging but far from unplayable and skipping the incredibly boring ‘normal’ grind was the only way I could bring myself to play Diablo 2 again.

          The more I think about it, the more it looks like the easy ‘normal’ grind would be the main thing preventing my long-term enjoyment of Diablo 3. I suppose the always online thing means you don’t have to worry about losing old characters, but what about if you want to re-roll another character of the same class?

      • Wetworks says:

        They could allow you to set the mob difficulty based on the number of players even when you’re playing solo. So, you could solo normal mode but set the mob difficulty to 2-3 players resulting in more challenging mobs.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Isn’t it more that, if they just gave you the option to start any difficulty with your level one character, people would stop complaining that fixing it was ‘easy’?

  7. Khann says:

    My refund for D3 came through yesterday.

    Made me feel warm and fuzzy.

  8. weego says:

    Becoming the slashdot of games is not a good look. Change the record slightly.

  9. Hunchback says:

    People crying about how bad D3 is really sound like spoiled brats to me, tbh.
    When the beta was going, everyone and his dog were going “OMG IT’S SO EASY TROLOLO I WILL BEAT THE GAME IN 1H EYES CLOSED!!!1oneone”, now that people are starting to hit Inferno difficulty they are all “OMG I HAVE TO GRIND FOR GEAR IN ORDER TO PLAY INFERNO ZOMG THIS GAME IS SHIT GIEF MY MONEYS BACKK!!1ELEVEN”

    Good grief!

    Here’s what D3 IS – Awesomely fun, awesomely polished, awesomely detailed, increasingly hard-yet-not-frustrating, loot massive melee cooperative-play-stimulating game. And it’s totally worth the 35 euros for the amount of pure and light-hearted fun you can have with it.

    Here’s what D3 IS NOT – Diablo 2.
    Get over it, or just go back to grinding Mephisto on hell, i say. Jeez!

    • zeroskill says:

      35€? Wow, where did you get Diablo 3 for 35€? I wish I could get it that cheap. The cheapest I can get it is 55€. I bought three games for that price. Endless Space (15€), Torchlight 2 (20€) and Xenonauts (20€).

      • Hunchback says:

        amazon.co.uk, preordered about 1.5 years go… Got 2 diablos for about 50 euros (for both, not each)

        • zeroskill says:

          thats fine for you, I still can’t get it that cheap though. And I imagine most other people can’t either. Its still 49.99€ + shipping on Amazon. Not worth it for me.

    • nibbling_totoros says:

      I guess simple games attract simple minds. Your two points aren’t even related to each other beyond overt subject complaints.

      People complained that normal mode is too easy and that you HAVE to go through normal mode to get to harder content.

      Now with the latest patch notes- people HAVE to grind gear to beat inferno. They aren’t complaining about the difficulty, they are complaining about the fundamental mechanics of the game now.

      You sound like you are trying very hard to justify your auction house simulator.

      • Hunchback says:

        It’s not the patch that makes “grinding on hell” necessary, it’s like that by default.

        Complaining that you have to play through normal is reasonable, for all it’s worth, but then again you can beat normal in about 12h of gameplay, which is not all that awful now, is it? Also, normal difficulty is kind of an introduction to your hero and it’s basics, it’s not really a bad thing that it’s easy.

        • rocketman71 says:

          Wow. You must LOVE the Blizzard kool-aid.

        • nibbling_totoros says:

          You don’t need to give a player 12 hours to get the hang of a hero and it’s particular mechanics. ACT I is sufficient.

        • Malk_Content says:

          I quit a game if it is boring after 2 hours, 3 tops. Asking people to be fine with sitting through 12 hours (and doing it again if the want to play a new character) is ridiculous.

    • Nick says:

      And you sound like a brat to me.

      • Hunchback says:

        You all fail to see the point – OFC my post was exaggerated and cheesy, but that’s the whole point – I am getting sick of the whole “Let’s bash Diablo 3″ band-wagon-hopping trend. Not that any of this matters, the game is here and will be around for at least a couple of years more, the tears and angst of all the people jumping the hate train will change about nothing. Still, it’s getting annoying.

        I do understand though, that the game is not up to the expectations of some people. I guess that’s partially due to the MEGA HYPE that Blizzard have been building for years now, and i agree that this is a bad thing. Devs should learn not to over-hype their games or else people will generally be malcontent. Then i guess the other major factor in the extreme expectations is that we are talking Diablo, and Diablo 1 and mostly 2 have been, for most of today’s gamers, one of THE major games of their teen-hood. We expect the game to bring the same feeling, emotions and experience as Diablo 2 did back in the time, but the problem is that it can’t. It’s another game and we are older, grizzled and (mostly) bored with games. That doesn’t mean the game is bad, and one should try to evaluate it for what it is, not for “does it manage to live up to that legendary game from 15 years ago?”.

        To me D3 is kind of not as fun as D2, but i tend to “blame it” on me and my changed tastes. Not that i don’t enjoy the game, me and the wife are having an awesome time nerding it out every other evening ever since the launch. And so far i haven’t really seen anything “broken” (except the launch-day problems ofc) in the game. There are problems, there are some questionable design decisions, there probably are bugs, but it’s nothing major and nothing to cry about.

        /rant

        • Vorphalack says:

          You have absolutely no right to proclaim what others may or may not complain about. More fool you for getting so worked up that you have to rant like a child on the internet.

          • reggiep says:

            Rant like a child? Children rant? I’m pretty sure they don’t. And ranting is one of the internet’s core values. Also, you’re complaining about maturity on a gaming blog? Someone needs to step into reality methinks. We are all children here.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Children do rant. They rant before they learn to voice their frustration in a constructive manner. It’s entirely your prerogative weather you want to act mature on the internet, but don’t tar everyone else with your own brush, and if you do act like a brat don’t expect anyone to tolerate your presence or take you seriously.

  10. wisnoskij says:

    I always thought that the unbalanced nature of Diablo 2 was in many ways a good thing. As you got better at the game you could come up with better builds and do better, and really does it make sense that randomly levelling up should give you as good a character as an expert who planned the whole thing.

    There is not much strategy in the game, but this is offset by the strategy in the levelling up system.

  11. Sureiya says:

    This video(s) sum up whats wrong with D3.
    The guy making them couldn’t be more right.

  12. piratmonkey says:

    Can’t wait to get back to playing so I can get to Hell (finally).

  13. ukpanik says:

    “The master of click-click-click”

    cliche-cliche-cliche

  14. DodgyG33za says:

    Disclaimer: I have not and will not be buying D3.

    Okay, that out of the way, is it just me that finds the whole question of balancing and re-balancing a game a bit weird. I can sort of understand it when you are playing against someone, as in online FPS’s so that no weapon/class gets a massive advantage*, but when you are playing on your own? What does it really matter if people all gravitate to a class/build? And what does it matter if there are easy bits and hard bits?

    Surely the point of playing a game is all about understanding and using the tools, rules and environments to overcome obstacles? Which is pretty frustrating if the goalposts keep moving.

    * I say sort of, because if the game is designed right, each weapon and class will have things that appeal to different play styles, which really should be more important than DPS.

  15. Shortwave says:

    I refuse to play a game on easy. Lol..
    And this game refuses to let me NOT play on easy.

    End.

  16. MythArcana says:

    Blizzard has evolved into a cosplay convention with little focus and care given to what made them great in the first place. It’s a pity.

  17. aliksy says:

    Diablo3′s got some fundamental problems that you can mostly ignore until the higher difficulties. Specifically, you can’t really avoid being hit. Champions tend to be very fast, escape skills have long cool downs, and the player’s hitbox is huge. Combined with massive incoming damage, and it’s no surprise that the “end game” sucks.

    What they should have done instead of “lol run the same story-soaked parts of hell over and over” is make an infinite dungeon like torchlight. Make it one of those asynchronous competitive things where people get high scores for going deeper faster, or higher floor clear percent, or whatever. Have ladders. L4d style “mutations” every month or whatever.

    Man, I’d play that.

  18. grizzled young man says:

    Hello. Semi-long time reader, first time commenter here. I’m commenting because I find that both sides of the argument about Diablo 3′s DRM seem to miss the point. Right now, people seem to be preoccupied with whether or not D3′s always on DRM is ethical or not. To me, it clearly is. It just changes what you’re buying. Instead of buying stand alone software that allows you to play a game, you’re buying lifetime access to a service that allows you to play a game. Simple.

    The ethical issue is the product Blizzard is selling – lifetime access to a service that allows you to play a game – is currently not very functional and hasn’t been since launch. In short, they’ve shipped a product that is faulty because they have failed to make adequate technical preparations.

    Now I’ve heard claims that it would have been technically impossible or financially prohibitive for Blizzard to fully test their infrastructure prior to launch. This is complete nonsense. I work in a closely related field (and spend a lot of time in datacenters) and I find is extremely difficult to believe that building out a robust server-side infrastructure and validating it would cost more in this case than it did for, say, Bungie to develop the incredibly effective networking and server stack used in Halo 3 and Halo Reach multiplayer.

    In short, Blizzard tried to do this on the cheap and consequently is using paying customers as beta testers. That is the ethical issue. Simple.

    • psyk says:

      They don’t want to spend cash on something that they wont need in a couple of months.

      “I work in a closely related field ”

      You obviously don’t

      • grizzled young man says:

        Your reasoning is beautiful. Especially the part where you assume that no one will be playing a hotly-anticipated, greatly-adored Blizzard multiplayer game after a few months.

        I literally can’t argue with that.

    • Grygus says:

      This might have been an interesting commentary on May 16, but now you are simply wrong. The main reason that the anger about the DRM has died down is because it is functional, and has generally been since two days after launch. Nobody will disagree that the launch was a mess, but as with all bad launches or buggy games, nobody really cares once it is patched up. It will continue to be fun to bitch about, but most players will forget about it. Unless prompted, who remembers what WoW’s launch was like? Was Portal 2 the GOTY in 2011 because it was the least buggy major release? No, on most peoples’ lists, Skyrim was, despite numerous (and sometimes hilarious) flaws. In this industry, it’s not about releasing a product with no flaws, it’s about the overall experience. After the debacle of the first couple of days, Diablo III has been a positive experience for an awful lot of people.

      Calling Diablo III a “paid beta” is hyperbole bordering on propaganda. The online component aside, this was a solid release on launch day. There are real problems with the game, but they are mostly intentional design decisions that players disagree with, and not unfinished or underdeveloped systems full of holes in the code. The vast majority of games release with far more bugs; if this is a paid beta then pretty much all video games are paid betas.

      You don’t have to know what you’re talking about in order to comment, but it would help your arguments a lot.

      • grizzled young man says:

        I would agree that the technical faults with D3′s solo mode were overstated. D3 is definitely more functional now (aside from today’s patching unavailability), but that fact doesn’t erase the two weeks of consistent bugs and mishaps that I (and many other players) have experienced with virtually every part of the game that touches their servers.

        My point is that those two weeks are where the ethical issue lies. Clearly, D3 required a few extra weeks of intense validation to make it ready to ship. Instead of paying for that validation on their own, Blizzard released the product in an unready condition.

        It’s extremely implausible to me that a company with the kind of nearly unparalleled experience in online gameplay that Blizzard has couldn’t have anticipated this issue.

        On an semi-related note, what is this perverse submissiveness to authority amongst gamers that makes them feel like it’s necessary to defend the big company against its own users? We’re not talking about some indie developer getting needlessly shit on by internet trolls here.

        • cerendil says:

          Diablo 3 was probably the most bug-free and balanced release I have played in the last few years. What problems have you experienced?

          I’ve experienced several server-related problems, but I figure that’s because there are so many people playing. I think Diablo 3 sold 6.5 million in its first week? I can only imagine it’s hard to prepare for such a population load.

  19. psyk says:

    Stop trying to turn games that you don’t like in to something that you do like. Not everything is made for you, your not the centre of the universe please fuck off now and enjoy what you enjoy and let other people enjoy what they enjoy.

    • Unaco says:

      I think the water cannons on the back thing (from the Alt-text) was a joke. I don’t think Nathan really wants them added. Would they really be that bad though? You don’t have to be so rude about the situation though, regardless.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      And who is forcing you to come to this gaming blog and whine about it? No one.

      Fuck off yourself.

      • jrodman says:

        When you see someone being unnecessarily and pointlessly hostile, try to raise the bar. At least do not lower it.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Why bother? He’s the kind of internet person that doesn’t understand reasoned speech.

          In other words, you don’t move to France without knowing the language they speak there.

  20. Beelzebud says:

    Is it okay to say that I’ve had fun with Diablo 3, or should I just go fuck myself?

    • jrodman says:

      It’d be far better (and harder to attack by raving loons) to talk about what you find works for you and why. Actual discussion about the game, especially from informed and considered perspective, is pretty much always good.

    • lowprices says:

      You could do both, and have fun in two ways. Why limit yourself?

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