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Default Diablo 3 - End-Game Comments

July 5th, 2012, 01:54
Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok has made some surprisingly frank comments about the Diablo III end-game, saying they will try to address them further with the 1.04 patch:
We recognize 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). Killing enemies and finding items is a lot of fun, and we think we have a lot of the systems surrounding that right, or at least on the right path with a few corrections and tweaks. But 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.
We're working toward 1.0.4, which we're really trying to pack with as many fixes and changes we can to help you guys out (and we'll have a bunch of articles posted with all the details as we get closer), and we're of course working on 1.1 with PvP arenas. I think both those patches will do a lot to give people things to do, and get them excited about playing, but they're not going to be a real end-game solution, at least not what we would expect out of a proper end-game. We have some ideas for progression systems, but honestly it's a huge feature if we want to try to do it right, and not something we could envision being possible until well after 1.1 which it itself still a ways out.
More information.
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July 5th, 2012, 01:54
The diablo franchise was always about item-hunting in end-game and it sustained D2 for years and years based on that.

The problem is that D3 itemization is weak, too random, too much low level/crappy rares drop in inferno and the AH just made items way less important when they drop reducing our eagerness to kill stuff more and more for more drops.

Basicaly now when we kill elites and bosses we have a mentality of "oh well, another crappy rares will drop that i'll never use and PERHAPS i can sell something if its not extremely crappy and i'm realy realy realy lucky". The mentality should be "hopefuly something awesome drops again!, go go go !"

After killing a couple hundred elite packs and having most items so bad that not even in the vendor they give any decent gold, i just tend to have less and less motivation to kill them.

They shouldnt need to make more stuff for end-game if the item-hunt was gratifying, just saying my opinion.
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July 5th, 2012, 09:13
You're absolutely correct KnightPT.

Also, they killed long-term interest in build experimentation quite efficiently.

It's like they never designed a game before, and I have no idea what happened with Blizzard.

Maybe they're good at actually making games - but designing them? Indeed not - not anymore.
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July 5th, 2012, 09:31
I have no interest in they healing this broken game. I want it dead and burried. Haven't they wasted enough resources on this pile of trash
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July 5th, 2012, 09:33
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You're absolutely correct KnightPT.

Also, they killed long-term interest in build experimentation quite efficiently.

It's like they never designed a game before, and I have no idea what happened with Blizzard.

Maybe they're good at actually making games - but designing them? Indeed not - not anymore.
It all comes down to Blizzard North was the reason for there success in the past. Now there a shell of modern ideas living on the glory of the past.

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July 5th, 2012, 09:34
I haven't bought it, or tried it, yet and I wonder if the disappointment that seems to abound in the "old-time-hardcore-gamer" is also representative of how casual gamers feel? Maybe Blizzard aimed more at making a game for "them" and maybe the design decisions (such as easy leveling, lack of builds, less map randomization) were aimed at making people who only play it through once, if at all, satisfied?
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July 5th, 2012, 09:49
I relly like D3, and play it alot, but I have to agree whit KnightPT, on Inferno the only real item hunt are on AH, not in game.

(Sorry fore the gramma, are Danish)
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July 5th, 2012, 10:24
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
It all comes down to Blizzard North was the reason for there success in the past. Now there a shell of modern ideas living on the glory of the past.
That's too easy.

I think they've become too complacent. I think there's a misconception related to WoW, which is that every design change they've done in WoW is seen as a popular choice - because the game is still so popular.

My theory, however, is that WoW vanilla was a VERY strong design and a fantastically executed game - and that WoW was made with a ton of passion and design competence.

This is what drew millions to the game - and all the choices since then have little or nothing to do with how popular the game still is. It's all based on the core design - and people would have stayed almost no matter what they did to it. Note that I'm not talking about content, just the overall design paradigm.

This is making Blizzard believe that they can do no wrong, because they STILL have the most popular MMO out there - by far - after 8 years. Coupled with how many top-tier developers have tried and utterly failed to compete - and it's easy to see how they could become complacent and over-confident.

I have no doubt that a lot of the stronger visionaries left Blizzard - especially right around the release of WoW. I remember several new companies starting up with ex-Bliz people - like Flagship, ArenaNet and others. They might have been smart enough to realise what happens when a company grows too big, and the business/image starts being the most important thing in the world.

But I'm not sure any visionary is really strong enough to resist the temptation of not having to prove himself - when millions are singing your praises - and the money is rolling in so fast you can hardly spend it.

I think it's too late for Bliz to recover from this, because after so many years of WoW - it must have seeped into their corporate culture. You don't just turn humble and hungry after something like that.

They've gone the same way so, so many other companies have gone after enjoying too much success for too long. It's only human.
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July 5th, 2012, 10:49
Well I think it's important to keep things in perspective here. No matter how anyone personally feels about Diablo, it is a massive success and is well on it's way to becoming the best selling PC RPG in history (if it is not already). To even get to the point where you've progressed through enough of Inferno to use up all the content, you have play for well over 100 hours. The fact that Blizzard is even trying to extend the game beyond that, on a game with no subscription fees, says something about their dedication. That doesn't necesarily mean you have to think it's a good game. I personally like it, but I understand how it wouldn't be for everyone. It's just a bit unreasonable to portray Blizzard as some shell of their former glory because of it. Obviously lots of people do love it, even if it doesn't please everyone.
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July 5th, 2012, 10:57
There's nothing unreasonable about having that opinion - but you must remember that I don't equate glory to monetary success.

I'm not interested in how big a hit they can make with their games, just as I'm not interested in how much money Avatar made.

I'm talking about their quality as game designers - not businessmen, and not craftsmen.

This is Diablo we're talking about - and there are certain natural expectations related to the genre, and especially this franchise. The fact that they've failed to provide a satisfying long-term design, speaks volumes about their capacity. They CLEARLY do NOT understand the appeal of the genre.

Tell me, what developer with the kind of resources and name-clout like Blizzard would fail to make a hit with a franchise like Diablo? The marketing alone would generate a million in sales even if the game was literally a turd in a box.

They spent so many years dwelling on this game, and they spent so much time iterating and re-iterating the design during development. They had all the money in the world.

THIS is what they came up with?

If you're impressed with that, that's perfectly ok. I fully understand why you wouldn't agree if you look at things in terms of monetary success or the short-term experience.
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July 5th, 2012, 11:07
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
I haven't bought it, or tried it, yet and I wonder if the disappointment that seems to abound in the "old-time-hardcore-gamer" is also representative of how casual gamers feel? Maybe Blizzard aimed more at making a game for "them" and maybe the design decisions (such as easy leveling, lack of builds, less map randomization) were aimed at making people who only play it through once, if at all, satisfied?
I bought the game I think less than a month ago and I've only just hit level 17 on Normal yesterday. I guess I'm casual. I'm still enjoying the game for what it is, I don't really expect to play it over and over… my attention span is too short and my back log too long, and I don't have enough time. So yeah, maybe it is still a good hack-and-slash game for people like me that don't need to perfect their build or get the best gear. It certainly got quality.

As it is, it looks like it will be a game I can easily come back to from time to time and click monsters a bit. No complex story to forget or difficult game mechanics to remember. After three months, I can jump back in and be working up that repetitive strain injury again without any issues. This way, I can foresee that I may be possibly still playing the game in a year… and probably hit something like level 23 on Normal.
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July 5th, 2012, 11:11
If you want to see some nice ideas for ARPG end game, have a look at Path of Exile.

They might be doing it right.
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July 5th, 2012, 11:26
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But I'm not sure any visionary is really strong enough to resist the temptation of not having to prove himself - when millions are singing your praises - and the money is rolling in so fast you can hardly spend it.

I think it's too late for Bliz to recover from this, because after so many years of WoW - it must have seeped into their corporate culture. You don't just turn humble and hungry after something like that.

They've gone the same way so, so many other companies have gone after enjoying too much success for too long. It's only human.
I'm reminded of the lion king movie with the saying it's the circle of life. Like you said developers hell any company gets to a certain point were there is no turning back. Blizzard's turning point was World Of Warcraft.

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July 5th, 2012, 12:08
Originally Posted by KnightPT View Post
The diablo franchise was always about item-hunting in end-game and it sustained D2 for years and years based on that.
Not for me.

And after I had realized that [it was more or less an "item-hunting game"], I quit.

But what surprises me is that they come up with this patch stuff after sooo many years of careful balancing ? Really ?

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I'm reminded of the lion king movie with the saying it's the circle of life. Like you said developers hell any company gets to a certain point were there is no turning back. Blizzard's turning point was World Of Warcraft.
WOW = jumping the shark ?

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 5th, 2012, 12:21
I never understood how people could play D2 for years without being bored out of their minds, and I don't understand how anyone could do the same in D3. To me, item hunting without ever getting any new content seems extremely tedious.

The item hunt itself is a bit less interesting in D3 due to the auction house, but since I don't understand the fun of it to begin with, it doesn't change a lot for me.
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July 5th, 2012, 12:32
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I never understood how people could play D2 for years without being bored out of their minds, and I don't understand how anyone could do the same in D3. To me, item hunting without ever getting any new content seems extremely tedious.

The item hunt itself is a bit less interesting in D3 due to the auction house, but since I don't understand the fun of it to begin with, it doesn't change a lot for me.
One answer is that it was and is difficult to actually beat D2 in Hell mode or D3 in Inferno mode.

It has never been that you beat the game quickly then item hunt. Actually finishing the game is hard.

Play Hardcore and it's an entirely new layer of difficulty.

That is the appeal for me at least.
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July 5th, 2012, 12:35
I see. And now I think I better understand that guy who tried to play Drakensang 2 like an ARPG and then claimed the game was ultimatively boring and broken, too.

I guess he expected some kind of Hard difficulty like in D2 ?

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July 5th, 2012, 12:52
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
The item hunt itself is a bit less interesting in D3 due to the auction house, but since I don't understand the fun of it to begin with, it doesn't change a lot for me.
Well in D2 you just had in game trading (backed up by websites/forums) so it wasn't any different to D3's auction house to be honest, the AH just helps avoid scams and reduces the need to match up with a buyer/seller in game time.
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July 5th, 2012, 12:59
I never did that in D2 though, but when I played D3 on inferno I spent more time searching the AH for bargains than actually playing the game.
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July 5th, 2012, 13:22
The AH concept is not bad in itself, but the mixture of not designing the loot tables to take the global drop rate into account - as well as making the actual loot painfully boring creates a hollow experience.

If legendaries/sets were actually RARE AND COOL - the AH would work as a more convenient way to get your hands on the best items - but they'd still be incredibly expensive and desirable as a carrot. The problem is that you'd have to use the AH when global drop rates were modified for this feature - or you'd never, ever find the great stuff yourself.

So, what they should have done is include a "non-AH" option when creating characters, so as to let people who prefer to play alone or with friends of a similar playstyle get their hands on cool loot just by playing, as was the traditional approach by most players in D2.

Alternatively, they could limit the AH to Legendaries and Set Items - but they'd still need to actually understand what makes loot appealing, which they clearly don't.

The trading community in D2 was not convenient, so you had to work to get your trades - and the commodities weren't gold, but stuff like rare gems/runes and other things - that everyone could get their hands on eventually. This created a game that mixed the potential for finding great stuff yourself - because the drop rates weren't designed for global trading for the most part, and it meant that you could find other rare items that was used as a means of trade.

Now, D2 wasn't perfect - or anywhere near perfect. It had a ton of flaws - and it's also 12 years old.

Blizzard totally failed to understand why it was such a long-term experience, and they totally failed to evolve the genre. Instead, they turned it into a very short-term experience with a hollow long-term endgame paradigm.

If you want to see developers who understand the genre, look no further than the creators of Path of Exile. They're a very small team with very limited resources - and yet they've managed to design a game that's way beyond D3 in terms of the long-term experience.

The low production values does mean it's not as "exciting" as D3 - and it's clearly not as strong a short-term experience. But if you're into the genre (a lot of people aren't) - then we do have alternatives.
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