Diablo 3 was a game that I couldn’t wait for. The RPG dungeon crawler is one of my favorite video game genres.
I never actually played Diablo 2 for more than an hour. I only tried to play it a month before Diablo 3 came out and I was too busy with Torchlight to actually put the time in to play D2.
When it did finally come out I instantly got in and played the hell out of that game. I got my Demon Hunter to 60. Even now I still go in and play as a Barbarian that I named “Bran”. Yes, that is a game of thrones reference.
A lot of my friends, who played Diablo 2, no longer play D3. I understand why. There isn’t much to do in the game. You will keep fighting the same enemies and then you beat the boss. Then you start over on the harder difficulty. This continues until you give up due to the immense frustration of the elite mobs. Molten, shielding, vortex, mortar, jailer, waller, and missle dampening I can deal with independently. Not 4 at a time.
Most people dealt with it for as long as they could, but there are still a ton of players out there in the world who will continue to play that game whether they love the game or they are playing to get all the achievements (What I do).
The auction house is a great way for some people to make money, and blizzard is going to want to keep players purchasing stuff from the real money auction house because they get a cut of the money. Is that system unbalanced? Well, kind of.
Other games like Team Fortress 2 have a similar setup but Team Fortress’s real money system feels more balanced. You can purchase items to give your “avatar” more personality or weapons. The weapons give you an advantage and a disadvantage. “The Force-a-Nature” is great example.
Compared to the original Scattergun, you can’t actually say The Force-a-Nature is better always. It gives your gun knock back, faster firing speed, and more bullets per shot. However, with that comes some penalties. It does less damage and it has a much smaller clip. If you fight a guy with The Force-a-Nature and you have a regular scatter gun, you will still have about a 50% chance of winning provided you think about how to deal with the situation.
When you purchase something from Diablo’s real money auction house it affects your stats. Someone can buy a crossbow that increases his dexterity by a lot. That increase in dexterity then changes your DPS (damage per second.) There also isn’t a guarantee that there will be a disadvantage to switching to weapon. Why would you purchase a weapon that gave a disadvantage? After you purchase that weapon you go out and fight. That’s when the real problem happens. There isn’t a GUARANTEE that you won’t stumble a better weapon. You could have just wasted 10 dollars on a crossbow, and then within 20 minutes of playing you find a new crossbow that increases your armor, resistance, and DPS. So what was the point of buying the original weapon. In a PvP scenario no matter how smart you are, if the enemy has better stats than you, you have a much smaller chance of winning. There isn’t PvP… Yet.
Blizzard is in fact working on the PvP aspect of D3. But will it be enough to get people to play or to keep people playing? Probably not. Most people play Diablo as a Co-Op experience. PvP is going to be something that people do while they wait for their third friend to join the game, or they are going to do it to troll other players. There might be some leveling capabilities, but is that enough to fix the end game?
Blizzard’s other games have a ton of end game content. World of Warcraft has an entire world for you to explore, raids to participate in, bosses to kill, quests to accomplish, and they are constantly updating it. Of course WoW has the subscription model, so they don’t need a real money auction.
Starcraft 2 has custom games and the ladder. You play and you get better. The more you play the higher up the ladder you go. Plus you can watch people play Starcraft, because that game is all about skill, and not stats like D3 or WoW.
So, the big question, is Diablo 3 a bad game? No, of course not. It’s fun, and it’s great Co-Op experience, but it doesn’t have the replay value that other games, including Diablo 2, have had. Knowing Blizzard, there is going to be an expansion pack. I for one will purchase this the day it comes out. I will play it until I don’t want to anymore. Hopefully all of the problems that seem to be plague Diablo 3 now will be fixed. And I will continue to play it every now and then even with those problems.
At the moment though, it doesn’t look like Diablo 3 will be played by millions for the next 10 years, like well,