Review by twitterfriends

"Buyer Beware: Why Diablo III is Not Worth $60 or Even Your Time"

In 1996 a fairly unknown gaming developer Blizzard North released a video game called Diablo. Diablo is set in the world of Sanctuary, in a small town called Tristam and a hero (you) has arrived to ascend down the town's cathedral to expel the evil that festers beneath. Originally crafted to be a turned based RPG it grew into a wildly popular free roaming dungeon crawler that would set the standards for all of the ARPGs genre in PC gaming. The cult following spread like wildfire when high schoolers and college gamers alike started distributing burnt copies from the trunk of their cars. Everyone from then on was hooked.

Fast forward to now in 2012 'Blizzard North' is no longer here. Nor many of their top developers, neither is the real Diablo game loyal fans of the original series sought. Diablo II and D2: LoD took what was great about Diablo and expanded the world, the vision, the atmosphere, the characters, and the storyline. Now D3 only leaves a bitter taste of corporate greed, cook cutter, Ken and Barbie versions of 'hack and slash'. It is ActivisionBlizzard who is completely at fault.

Nothing about Diablo III is good, not a single thing. I can't think of one redeeming quality about it. In fact what resonates with the Diablo community now is this sentiment:

How in the world did ActivisionBlizzard mess up so badly?

The answer has a long detailed history, but I will try to summarize as best I can:

It goes back a few years actually during the release of WoW, MMORPGs and subscription and the massive revenue it generates. Back then it was still Blizzard, but somewhere along the line - they literally sold out. This came the merger of ActivisionBlizzard. I do not fault Activision for making money. In fact that is what companies do. Activision people pay a mortgage like you and I. The problem is that they're in our pockets at every turn, even now with D3 and the Real Money Auction House. Diablo III is not a MMORPG, it cannot really sustain a monthly subscription, so with RMAH they intend to milk every penny they can from their gamers.

There's one stinging fault with this concept in D3 however. RMAH has not and will not pay for new content. The plan was so ill-conceived by Activision that they prematurely released an incomplete, broken, glitched, laggy game in hopes to profit before their WoW cash cow that is losing steam had any impact on their quarterly numbers. The fact is it took them eight years to develop the Diablo III but then rushed it at the end the moment they could profit most.

Currently the game is missing these key features promised:
PvP Arena
Online Character Profiles
In-game universe social lobby

Despite these features the game still lacks in many other areas as well.

Diablo III's story is uninspired and filled with glaring holes. Intended or not it leaves the player bored with streamline dialogue - just like the gameplay. Maps in this world have a single template and only dungeons randomly generate. The world does not look remotely like that of Tristam and the Sanctuary towns in previous versions. What we have now is more like a water paint/stencil photoshop of a cartoonish Diablo world, they went so far into that concept that the characters and mobs don't mesh at all the with the environment.

Jay Wilson the lead director for Diablo III, made it clear D3 would be different than D2, and explained that gamer's memory of it were far from reality. Jay's team took out the Horadic Cube and did not explain sufficiently why, they took runewords and used the concept for the skill system which is horrible and extremely lackluster. Unlike building a unique customized characters like the older versions you unlock attributes and runes. Perhaps this was a way to make up for the fact leveling up and doing quests are unrewarding at all.

They took out Teleport and Identification scrolls and replaced them with a long character animation. They've also made resurrecting other players a hassle. Playing with others in public games is quite aggravating as well. You no longer have a game list to select from, you are automatically queued onto quests you're on or "want to do". You no longer can jump from Act 4 and then back to Act 1 or hunt your favorite bosses this way.

In fact Activision is intently serious only how you play this game, they do not like you opening up chests or breaking urns for gold or gear. They want you hunt elite packs to build up a magic and gold find buff you will get at lvl 60. At this level you are meant to farm a difficulty called Inferno where affix combinations on the elite packs are designed to be tedious. Keyword is tedious not challenging.

If you do have patience to do this over and over again you will find that itemization is sorely uninspired and quite frankly, garbage. It's unrewarding to find lvl 52 items in Inferno. Even if they were iLvl63, the max iLvl in the game chances are you will roll unwanted affixes or item affix combinations that make no sense.

Perhaps after days of grinding you will find a single slot upgrade, that's if you're lucky and with good magic find gear. Perhaps you will be like most people who are now suddenly tempted to use the RMAH. It's not a coincidence here folks, that was the original design, that my friends is clear as day. This is the same reason why you are required to play online at all times, it's a forceful method of saying, hey you cannot finish the game so spend more money. There are many articles and reviews written about this fact - but do not complain to Activision they are not there to listen to you. In fact Jay Wilson had a good time mocking Diablo II fans with the secret level Whimesyhire, clearly mocking fans of old because of the rainbow criticism of first time leaks of D3.. back when.. good God how many years ago?

What made Diablo II: LoD effectively addictive was the competitive nature of PvP In game. It's better known as PK to real fans. This feature will never emerge in D3, neither will a ladder system because Activision will not listen to us, they listen to the almighty green dollar in this case.

Feedback falls on deaf ears on the Forum, if you have a moment to read a thread regarding Magic Find Swapping Gear. Posts by lead community manager Bashiok come off as very condescending, rude and down right egotistical. At one point in on the games most memorable events Bashiok prematurely commented on a streamers successful complete of Hardcore Inferno, only to have come back and apologize to him. Lylirra another community manager on the official forums has been caught contradicting in her own words regarding 'No Stone Unturned' in a in-dept discussion regarding achievements and desirable gameplay.

Changes since the release have only left customers angered and the number of active players documented by gameplay tracking sites look painful for this game.

I hold only one lingering ounce of faith in this game, which is the fact that it is relatively young. Promises of great changes are near with 1.04 and beyond but even then I have my doubts. Again, only time will tell but my patience is running out and so my desire to support the once great Blizzard Entertainment.


Reviewer's Score: 1/10 | Originally Posted: 07/30/12

Game Release: Diablo III (US, 05/15/12)


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