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Diablo 3 Hype – I’ll be that guy

FerrelOne of the things I really dislike about the blogging experience is the contrarian who feels it is necessary to make a post talking about how a new game that everyone else loves sucks. It seems someone always has to be a “special snowflake” as Vaellen calls it. Unfortunately this time it appears that someone has to be me. Now full disclaimer: I am not about to say Diablo 3 sucks, is bad, or anything like that. I do not truly believe that but I realize I’ll probably get some hate-mail regardless. What I am going to say is why I am a little disappointed.

14 years, really?

Diablo 2 blew me away when I got it. It was such a huge improvement over Diablo that I couldn’t begin to describe the awesomeness that Blizzard had created. The cinematic movies were better, the game was larger, and everything was just a far deeper experience. I played the heck out of it and truly enjoyed every minute. Diablo 3 has not blown me away. It certainly has better cinematic movies. I have been thrilled with that. I’ve also really enjoyed the lore books that pop up for you to listen to. All of that is wonderful. The core of the game, however, feels like Diablo 2. I haven’t seen anything that really improved upon that recipe. Blizzard took a good thing and continued it. There is value in that but with a 14 year development cycle it leaves me wondering what they did. I felt the exact same way about StarCraft 2. StarCraft 2, like Diablo 3, was a good game. It was a solid play experience. It just didn’t warrant the massive development cycle. I feel like both games could have been released in half the time and, based on the technical level of them, probably should have been.

I’m a cheap bastard

I’m going to make this clear: I’m cheap. I’m really freaking cheap. I do not buy PC games for full price. I wait until the hype is over and the price comes down. Then I wait until the discounted price goes on sale. If it isn’t 50% off I don’t buy it! I’m cheap, my father is cheap, his father was cheap, and I suspect his father was cheap. I expect a lot of bang for my buck is the point of this presentation. That is why I love MMORPGs. Based on how much I play, one hour of Rift costs me $0.46 or less. When I am full bore it probably gets down to the dime level! That is why I don’t see movies in the cinema. $10+ per person for two hours of entertainment? Insanity!

Diablo 3 is $60! That is a whole lot of money to a cheap guy like me! To reach Rift levels of cost I would have to play around 130 hours to get my value out of that. I just don’t see that happening. The game is cool and fun. I will absolutely complete the campaign but I just don’t see me running the higher levels of difficulty over and over again. Diablo 3 just isn’t a different enough experience from Diablo 2 to support me doing that. Without knowing all of this I went ahead and bought the game anyway thinking it was going to be a different situation from StarCraft 2. Oh Blizzard, you fooled me twice. Shame on me! I won’t make that mistake when you release WarCraft IV in 2017! I’ll wait until it goes on sale!

Always online?

Evidently Diablo 3 is an MMORPG and I didn’t know it. I can’t say I enjoyed the launch day blues that most MMORPGs run into. I was certainly surprised when the servers came down and I couldn’t play at all. This isn’t a knock at Diablo 3 itself so much as the PC gaming market. Enough is enough. I paid the money. I’m not licensing your game. I bought it. Good luck to me winning that battle though.

Diablo 3 is pretty cool

The cinematic movies are awesome and the story, thus far, has been interesting to me. There is a lot of tie in with what happened in the original two games and you certainly have a big feeling of nostalgia. You get to see the destruction that has been wrought on the world and the characters are all familiar. Diablo 3 is comfortable and familiar. It cannot be worse than Diablo 2. It cannot be a bad game. Everything that made Diablo 2 great is here. I like that. I just feel like for the time it took to create the game and the premium price associated with it that I probably won’t find the same value. This is especially true when you have a perfectly good alternative product in Torchlight 2. People keep comparing and contrasting them, talking about how Diablo 3 is better, and as someone who has now played both, I don’t see it. They seem so similar to me that I can’t even begin to see how someone can make a value judgement. Torchlight 2 feels happier is about all I can say.

At any rate, if you’re a cheap bastard like me, you can wait on Diablo 3. If you don’t follow the hype and buy it immediately you’ll be ok. The game will still be there for a long time and you’ll have plenty of people to play with. When the game hits $30 I’d say it is absolutely worth the money. Otherwise, buy Torchlight 2. It is a product of a small company that needs your support. Blizzard really doesn’t. They’ll get by just fine!

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15 Responses to Diablo 3 Hype – I’ll be that guy

  1. Troy says:

    Another thing that is a deal breaker for me is no mods. One of the greatest aspects of Diablo II was the modding community the popped up and kept the game alive for ten years. All of that is gone — Diablo III will never have home cooked content. There was some magnificent mods in D2, in D3 once the game is played it will collect dust.

  2. Pingback: What Do You Think About Diablo 3

  3. Tesh says:

    I got around 150 hours of play out of Torchlight for $5. All offline. Titan Quest was pretty similar. D3 just can’t compare with that. I’ll happily pick up Torchlight 2 on sale, though. I’m cheap, too. (Which is why I hate subs, incidentally… if I had the playtime to run down the cost/value ratio, they might work, but I don’t, so the ratio comes out pretty poor for me, and then there’s the psychological crap that comes with “must play to get my value before the month runs out”…)

    I think being cheap is healthy in this economy. It’s good in general, but more so when things are kinda… depressed… out there.

    • Ferrel says:

      Yes, I’m totally with you there. I imagine Aure and I will get a huge value out of Torchlight 2. She’ll be enthralled by the backpack wearing pets. I also saw that the guy that made Titan Quest is running a kickstarter for a sort of sequel (http://kck.st/I2ACkD). Seems legit!

      I’m with you on being cheap. I don’t mind it because it means I occasionally get to do something fun!

  4. MJC says:

    Yes, apparently you are “that guy”, well to each his own.

    “Diablo 2 blew me away when I got it. It was such a huge improvement over Diablo that I couldn’t begin to describe the awesomeness that Blizzard had created.”
    How Diablo 3 has not blown you away compared to D2, is beyond me, it’s such a huge improvement in every single way. (Except for modding).
    I played beta, when beta was over I played D2 from May 1st all the way up to release date just to keep me busy. The improvement in gameplay, character customization, monster AI and Elite Events is just astonishing.

    “The core of the game, however, feels like Diablo 2. I haven’t seen anything that really improved upon that recipe.”
    What is the core of the game mean? I’m glad it has the D2 feel, it wouldn’t be much of a Diablo game if it didn’t. I can also appretiate some “simliar” acts, albeit A2 is probably the only act in D3 that is similiar to any act, and I think they did this on pupose for nostalgic reasons.

    “I feel like both games could have been released in half the time and, based on the technical level of them, probably should have been.”
    Your not an architect, developer, technical analyst (or at least I assume), I am, otherwise you wouldn’t have said this. I am amazed at the complexity of the systems Blizz has been able to come up with.

    The in depth gameplay alone makes this game worth the purchase. In D2, there was no thinking and you could not die, unless you were a barb whirlwinding in Chaos Sanctuary and got Iron Maidened, which by the way Blizzard patched and took that out eventually.
    The complexity these champions, elites, minions and end bosses is so satisfying. You do have to think about things, you have to avoid projectiles, you have to try and make sure you don’t get backed into a corner.
    As far as skills go, the customization is so much more complex. Thank goodness I don’t have to reroll my character if I find out a skill it terrible when I’m high level. Each class has 180 possible skills/runes, that is a Ton of combinations to choose from and use only 9 of them at any given time.
    The farther you progress you will find yourself needing to switch between skills in different areas.

    I can go on and on, to each is own remember? Putting d2 next to d3, d2 feels like a childs game and is so linear beyond belief.

    • Ferrel says:

      I appreciate you keeping your comment relatively civil even if it does have a tone of “I’m an expert and you’re a tool” to it. I’m glad based on my article that you can accurately judge what I do for a living ;) Suffice to say, you weren’t that accurate but having a professional pissing contest serves no purpose. I don’t develop games as my primary day job so I’ll just leave it at that.

      I’m probably not as far into the game as you are so there is the chance that I have not seen some of what you have yet. That said, to just randomly answer one point I have run into elite groups and mini-bosses and they’re no different than Diablo 2. I have not seen this complex encounter system that you’re suggesting. What I have seen was completely familiar. Teleport? Yep, I’ve seen that. Slightly harder hitting versions of the same monster? Yep, nothing new there. I utilized the same tactics that I did in Diablo 2 and was perfectly successful. If it becomes drastically different far later in the game I’ll be glad to see it.

      At any rate I’m glad you enjoy the game and feel it is the right value for you. You took it too much to heart that I didn’t enjoy the product like you did. I never said it was bad. My point was that as a cheap guy, the value probably isn’t there for me at $60. I tend to be on the same level with other “cheap guys” and that comprises my readership. If you’re cheap, the value isn’t there at the $60 price point. This isn’t a “must buy immediately” game. It certainly is a “buy this game” situation but not immediately.

  5. shadow-war says:

    http://www.pathofexile.com

    Strong same-genre game, with a really cool take (borrowing) on skills systems. 10 bucks gets you into the beta and some game currency for when it launches F2P (similar to how Tribes did recently).

  6. MJC says:

    “I’m an expert and you’re a tool” I’m sorry if you got that connotation from my post, that wasn’t my intention at all and this isn’t a pissing contest. You said “I feel like both games could have been released in half the time and, based on the technical level of them, probably should have been.” So I felt I needed to bring you back into reality, I have no idea what your profession is, but good things take time. Name one Blizzard game in the past 15 years that hasn’t been a smash hit record breaking sales game, or one game that has failed. None of them, yeah they took 12 years to make D3, they didn’t announce it until 2008. They were busy making SC2, WoW, then went on to make D3.

    “I have run into elite groups and mini-bosses and they’re no different than Diablo 2″ Then no you haven’t progressed. In D2 there was no skill, you had life leech/mana leech and you stood there holding down right or left mouse. Andy, Duriel, Meph, Diablo, Baal, was there strat, no, you stood there and tanked it with every class. This isn’t the case in D3 at all, maybe in normal (not the bosses for sure, you cant stand there and tank the butcher or any other boss for that matter). Even a3 normal things start getting rough, the landscapes and scenes are just amazing at that.

    “If you’re cheap, the value isn’t there at the $60 price point. This isn’t a “must buy immediately” game. It certainly is a “buy this game” situation but not immediately.” I am cheap, $60 for unlimited play with no reoccurring fee is blissfully cheap in this age. For “cheapster” you sure did rush out and get it immediately, I wonder why that is… so did I.

    What it boils down to is, you’ve made this review and haven’t seen the content, I’ve read so many of these “I’m in Act2 normal and here is my opinion of the game” where all the major points of the review are completely incorrect (except for the modding part), that is all.

    • Targeter says:

      Cool, I didn’t know they outlawed opinions! Especially opinions given by the guy who runs the website you’re commenting on! That’s a groovy new law.

      Also, attacking people over videogames is mildly humorous.

  7. Maxivik says:

    I actually wrote a bit about how I’ve been particularly disinterested , even though I pre-ordered D3 through the WoW annual subscription deal with the devil way back in October. I played through the beta for D3 quite a bit, and I’ll be the first to admit that it is not a large enough sample size to judge the game, but for me it just lacked a certain freshness that I was looking for. A lot of it I guess is my real life growth, from avid gamer to … not so avid gamer, but for whatever reason the game just hasn’t captured my attention like I was expecting. Hopefully a weekend of gaming will change my mind! I appreciate the review here, and the discussion too.

    My post from today, sorry for the self promotion, i just thought it was in just a small part relevant to the conversation! http://2fns.com/2012/05/17/not-the-same-old-story/

  8. Starseeker says:

    I was a huge fan of both Diablo and D2. I pre-ordered the collectors edition…it’s sitting on my porch today waiting for me so I can’t comment on the game .
    I will say the biggest thing that has disappointed me even before I have even set eyes on the game is this (let me do this in caps):
    I HAVE TO BE ONLINE TO PLAY THE SINGLE PLAYER VERSON???

    wtf.

    I have paid $60+ to have issues logging in, and having blizzard tell me when I can’t and cannot play….meh. With a 12 year development cycle they should have just made it a real MMO.

  9. Kyns says:

    Without trying to come off as trolling also, i do feel obligated to add one thing.

    Its a Blizzard game, its been in extensive beta with little or no NDA for a long time. Little research goes a long way. Most of the issues i see people complain about were announced long ago and shouldnt be a suprise to anyone. Its not like they were deceptive about it. ( Im not excusing login issues from opening days, clean launches are crucial to the online market now and a huge source of frustration and anger to players when they dont happen. Blizzard is at fault for not having a perfect opening. )

    The first play through of the game is not that much different from 2 however. “Bosses” are more intricate and you can run into some combinations of things that will give you some issue, however any moderate game player wont find much challenge at all. In the later harder replays though you really do start to see where you have to change stats on your char, change strategies, and really pay close attention to boss patterns and abilities. People saying the game is dumbed down skillwise really have not given it a fair shake or played through enough to see what exists.

    Overall it is Diablo though. Its much more of a “new” product than say the next Call of Duty will be compared to the current one on the market, but it is still the same game. Im not sure that is a bad thing for me personally. Id be pretty pissed off if I bought the next Mario platformer and he all of a sudden couldnt jump, or Link didnt have water dungeon to solve….

    • Ferrel says:

      You terrible, beastly troll! I have to be honest and say I didn’t really spend much time looking at the betas. I try not to make judgments based on them any more.

      You’ve got good points. I don’t buy Call of Duty for that reason! Like I said before, I’m actually enjoying the game. I loved Diablo 2 so its easy to like Diablo 3. I guess I was just looking for something more different or rather at the $30 – $40 price point!

      And if you’re playing you should friend me!

  10. Constantin says:

    I agree very much with the review. The reason Blizzard today is NOTHING like the original Blizzard, is that besides most of the original team not being present, Blizzard is now Activision-Blizzard and WHO owns that? Vivendi Universal! And what other gaming franchises do they own?!? Your favorite, retard friendly, 12-yr old, game degenerating Call Of Duty franchise!! So Vivendi absolutely does not CARE about quality, they turned Blizzard into a husk of its former self, just taking their name and slapping Diablo name on it.

    Huge disappointment. I hated the online only idea, but let it go, because I was hoping it would be better than D2. HAHA not even close. D2 is a LOT deeper than D3. And the demons just felt CHEAP in D3. Story is a joke. Humans are now more powerful than demons or angels? Sound like some ultra humanist’s wet dream….

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