Diablo 2 was a successful game. It has issues at launch like all games, but even before the expansion came out, most of those issues were resolved.
By the time the expansion came out, even more playability and function was added and there were new bugs added as well. Within a few patches and the addition of the ladder and various other tweaks - you had a HUGE game with an epic system that people enjoyed and continued to play for over a decade.
Here is where the design flaw comes in. Why, in any mind, would you not capitalize on the what you did in the prequel and create a game which used the same features and added upon them - instead of taking away features in the name of BS excuses?
And why, when you already have these features existing 5-10 years prior, does it take so long to create a game that doesn't even include them? What exactly were they doing in the meantime to fill in the space they should have been using to add in the features people were expecting to see return from Diablo 2? My only possible guess is readying their market place, because honestly - that is the only new and original feature that they have provided that is worth any ounce of spit.
If you don't believe me how much was minimized from D2, allow me to break it down on the very simplest of levels.
Customization. Even if they claim it was the "illusion" of customization in D2 - it still made the game FUN. The limitations they placed on the game completely destroyed any immersion any link I had to any of my characters. No stat allocation, no skill points. I was simply playing an avatar that was assigned skills as I went along. What options do I have? Well, I have the option to wait until my nice skills get the next rune which is obviously better and then move up. Can't wait til I get the rune that does "more damage".
Dumbed Down Interface "More damage"? Well that's great. How MUCH "more damage" does it do? 1-5 more damage? 1000-10,000 more damage? It would be nice if the game told me, but it doesn't. In fact, unless you go in and turn on damage numbers yourself, and test out each skill individually, there is no way to tell just how much damage each skill is doing in D3. You are just supposed to base it on how quick an enemy dies I guess. Afterall, it doesn't really matter how much damage a skill does - all that matters anymore is your weapon because of...
Itemization The only thing that matters anymore is STR, DEX, INT, VIT, and DPS. Five three letter acronyms make up the entire economy of D3 at this point, and they are the sole basis of whether or not you are able to survive throughout Hell and Inferno. Not enough damage? Add to STR or DEX. Not enough resists? Add to INT. Dying to quick? Add more VIT. Not killing fast enough? Need better DPS.
Stats that in Diablo 2 were crucial and made you sacrifice other stats in order to take advantage of, no longer matter. MF and gold find is a complete joke. The percentages to stun/freeze/ect. are just bonuses to have so long as an item already has some main stats. Resists? Nice... but completely unnecessary if you try hard enough. And all the rest - all the countless additional little tidbits and quirky little things that Diablo 2 could have on items that made it so fun - gone. The ones that are there are either so rare or appear on the crappiest of items without the big acronyms and as stated before - there is no point in using them.
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Atmosphere I ceded defeat to Blizzard a long time ago that D3 wouldn't be as dark as D2. I didn't care but they not only far disappointed me more than I imagined, but laughed in everyones face about it with Whimseyshire. And they even proved that they COULD make a dark and atmospheric place. The cathedral was amazing and so were places such as the the Hell's Gates or where you got Zoltan Khull's body. Yet they joked it up with BS such as "The Horadric Hamburger" and other joke items that kill immersion completely.
And one of the major features that could have saved the atmosphere of the entire game, yet they somehow failed to transfer over from D2 to D3 - was the idea of LIGHT RADIUS. It was that aspect of walking through the catacombs or hell and NOT being able to see everything that stood around the next corner that added to the atmosphere - not being able to see absolutely everything through walls and yards ahead of you.
Story *SPOILERS* I haven't heard of anyone yet who can tell me that Diablo 3's story is stellar by any means. The progression of it and the obvious "plot twists" that occur, if you can even call them that, are ridiculous and seem to serve no purpose. I personally had no spoilers given to me in the game and I new immediately that The Stranger was Tyrael when I saw him, I knew that Leah would turn in to Diablo when she revealed she had "strange unknown powers inside of here", I knew that the emperor was Belial the moment he came to me in Act 2, and I knew Adria was a turncoat within 10 minutes of hearing her talk after rescuing her. I don't know if it was they way they said it or the fact that they made everything so damn obvious, but whoever wrote the story for Diablo 3 deserved to be fired for the telling of it.
Don't even get me started on the ridiculous boasting of Azmodan in Act 3 and the revealing of his plans throughout. Or the stupidity of Diablo, Lord of Terror, actually showing fear in the face of an enemy.
The only thing that I did not see coming, because it was so pointless and unnecessary, was the death of Deckard Cain. Why did he die? To further a pointless enemy that would be a subboss in act two and further the storyline to nothing. To me, the death of Deckard was nothing more than symbolic. He was the old, what Diablo 1 and 2 were known for and what was great... and they just killed him off like it was nothing, serving no purpose but a cliched death.
And the ending? "And they all lived happily ever after. The end." Seriously? WHAT? In Diablo 2, when I defeated Diablo and got to see Marius give the soulstone to Tyrial... and then Tyrael revealed himself to be Baal - I damn near S*** my pants. I got excited because I knew that my time wasn't over and that I could get excited for something new and be ready for something grand to come down the road.
Instead of an awesome cliffhanger like that, we just have unanswered questions hanging opened that we are expected to question ourselves, and even then - they don't provide for that exciting of adventures. So we will get to go kill Adria then, maybe save Leah's soul, whoop-d-whoop. We just beat THE PRIME EVIL, I'm sure an old witch is going to give us problems... like I'm sure anything is going to give us problems.
But Diablo 3 did try. The skills system was a novel attempt and I liked it, though they could have done the same but kept skill points and choices involved. They could have done the same skill "subsystem" without runes and kept runes as socketable items, thus adding thousands of options to items. They could have done a lot of things... but they just... didn't.
It tried... it wasn't terrible... but it wasn't good either. Blizzard failed and D2 is just plain better in all regards and always will be until a TRUE sequel is born.
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ITT: another whiner beats dead horses.
Whimsyshire so needs undead.
ITT: another whiner beats dead horses.
It's great that you took all that time to generate interesting discussion by avoiding absolutes and and having clear, concise points for other posters to debate and discuss...
Seriously, what can anyone say in response to that huge wall of whine other than YEAH D3 SUCKS or GTFO HATER!
You can set it in options to tell you exactly how much damage is done per ability. This game takes away almost any reason to do math by doing it for you. They just set it as default because they wanted casual players to not have to worry about stuff like that.
That's just one example of something where you just whined about it, while the whole time there was a fix.
I just LOVE hearing them die--- Xenomic
The interface part I don't agree with, it's pretty easy to try out different skills to see what ones work well. There's no downside to switching skills around so really it's a moot point, IMO.
I agree 100% on the atmosphere part, however. They knew the Diablo series was supposed to be a dark, gritty, and mature.... But I feel like they just spit in the face of loyal fans of the series. Between dumb dialogue and Blizzard trying to throw jokes into a game that really doesn't need them... It just feels wrong.
And don't even get me started on the Lords of Hell.... Azmodan... Greatest strategist in hell.... For some reason he shows up every 5 minutes to let me know what he's doing.... And doesn't even lie about it...? Good strategy..
All the Prime Evils in this game just felt like morons rather than the ultimate forces of evil they were supposed to be. They interacted with the player WAYYY too much....
"OH YA! Look at ya! Talkin all dat good **** a second ago! Then you got KICKED IN YO CHEST!" -Col. Stinkmeaner
I agree with most of your points, but the main one that kills me is the boring item affixes. You're totally right about that.
As far as the freeform skill system, I can see why a lot of people like it over D2's rigid one. I, on the other hand, preferred starting characters from scratch and experimenting with new builds. I realize that isn't for everyone, though, and wouldn't put D3's skill system down as a "con," since it's so subjective.
I also don't like how much your character is praised as being unstoppable throughout the game. I'd rather feel helpless against the onslaught of Hell.
Honestly, I agree with the itemization complaint. By making it possible to put "damage increased by X%" - the most coveted equipment mod in Diablo 2, and indeed any dungeon-crawler - on any equipment slot, and simultaneously nerfing equipment-based proc effects like freeze, blind and knockback - Blizzard guaranteed that people would look for primary stat bonuses above all else. And, of course, VIT is still coveted above any other option except extra damage.
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They needed to either improve on the stat allocation from D2 or just scrap it completely they decided to scrap it and id prefer they had improved but D2 was a terrible system and im glad they didnt keep it.
It does tell you how much more damage if you click a box in the option page.
Disagree with the atmosphere, D2 wasnt dark and the light radius was annoying as hell.
Both stories were average cant give points to either on that one.
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