One 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!
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!