For those not familiar with the situation, Jay Wilson, the director of Diablo 3, took a nice trip on the creator of the Diablo franchise. The latter claimed that the soul of the game was gone and that there were some balancing issues that had yet to be overcome. Quite right by any means. Jay said “f*** that loser”. Classy. So less than a week later, here comes the apology.
The Auction House can short circuit the natural pace of item drops, making the game feel less rewarding for some players. This is a problem we recognize. At this point we’re not sure of the exact way to fix it, but we’re discussing it constantly, and we believe it’s a problem we can overcome. … If you don’t have that great feeling of a good drop being right around the corner — and the burst of excitement when it finally arrives — then we haven’t done our jobs right.
This exact issue has been my #2 complaint for the game thusfar. In a game where loot is the be-all, end-all, having a non-binding trade system is ridiculously flawed. It does make sense from an RMAH position though, which is becoming more and more evident as the primary driver for the AH.
Part of the problem, however, is not just item drops, but the variety of things to do within the game. Many of you have stated that there needs to be more to the game than just the item hunt, and we agree completely. The Paragon system is a step in the right direction, giving meta-progress for your time in the game, but it does little to address the variety of activities you can do while playing. I don’t think there’s a silver-bullet solution to this problem, but I do think we can make this aspect of the game better, and as such we’re planning more than just PvP for the next major patch.
This part I agree with and disagree with. Sure, Diablo 2 had ladders but the final levels were pretty much horizontal in terms of difficulty. You killed Baal well before level 99. Weeks if not months before. In Diablo 3 you hit 60 well before Inferno. Then climb a stupid crazy mountain of difficulty to get through Act 4. If you’re able to even start Act 4 (the first enemy is a boss), then Act 1 and Act 2 are a complete joke and Act 3 is easy enough. This means that if you are able to clear the game, then <10% of the actual game has any challenge at max level and that challenge is artificial. Not to mention that Act 4 has some of the worst enemies in the game in terms of mechanics.
Later in the development of Diablo II, the ‘players 8’ command — which let people set monster difficulty — was added to address this issue, and we’re considering something similar for the next major Diablo III patch to allow players to make up their own minds about how hard or how easy is right for them.
What? Later as in 3 years after launch later. They didn’t turn that feature on for challenge, they turned it on for experience and loot to try to get to 99 on a ladder challenge. It’s messages like this that make you wonder exactly how such an iconic franchise is being led.
I might sound like an angry gamer but it’s more like a confused one. I hate to compare anything to TOR but D3 is right up there. The game up until max level is an interesting one and a decent one. Review scores show that as I don’t think there’s a single reviewer that even passed Act 1 before sending their score out. The end game (as in TOR) is: unbalanced, unforgivably challenging (less so after 1.04), lacking rewards (you’re trading to people under you to buy better on the AH) and built on a system of unequal plateaus.
It’s like Blizzard didn’t learn a darn thing from Cataclysm’s massive failure of “moar challengez”. People played Diablo 1 & 2 because it was an easy to pick up game with shiny rewards you could use. Not to chain die to a whelp.