(Note: I wrote this a loooooong time ago, a few months after the D3 release. I wrote a TON of posts during the course of this illness, just for some reason, I never really posted them. I’m not sure if they’re still relevant or make a lot of sense – thank you morphine- but it’s not like anyone reads this shit, so it’s pointless to go back and edit it. I can’t just delete it, because then I feel like I TOTALLY just wasted a bunch of time, and at least this way I can pretend I did SOMETHING productive, even though it has absolutely no value beyond my own verbal thought diarrhea. At least this is one of the more “calm” and “friendly” (aka boring as fuck) posts)

So Diablo 3 is here, and by this time, most of the hardcore players are 60 and the majority of us have sore clicking fingers. Most of us pre-ordered or bought the game the day it was released, as shown by the game breaking sales records. So we all picked our classes, added each other on the Blizz ID, and hacked our way (solo or in groups) to Diablo. Then we did it again. And again. And was it worth it?

Fuck No. I’ve played the previous Diablo games and the expansions. I also – like many others – played the HELL (haha -punny!!) out of Diablo 2. Not only did the single player game & story in Diablo 2 take a lot longer to complete on a single difficulty level, it also felt much more epic & engaging. The random map generator, which for some reason is missing in D3, took a lot off the repetitive edge, especially when playing with friends.

I’ll start my ranting with Diablo 3′s story, or rather, it’s lack of one. In previous Diablo games, the story had much more depth, & a larger sensation of discovering a huge plot that had been unraveling for years. Diablo 3 really doesn’t manage to convince me that I’m the last hope for mankind, & the only one who can stop this diabolical plot that’s been in motion for years. Here’s the plot in convenient condensed form:

Blue Fireball crashes into old church

Me: Did you see that shit? Let’s go check that shit out!!!

Leah: I think it totally splatter my crazy old uncle. Thank god – I don’t have to listen to his crazy old man stories anymore.

  fight loot fight loot fight loot fight loot

 Me: So the comet made that crazy old Skeleton King rise up AGAIN? It couldn’t even   wake up something new? Well, we have to kill him to get to that comet…..

  fight loot fight loot fight loot fight loot

 Deckard Cain: ‘Bout time you got here. Look over there.

  Me: Holy Fuck! It’s Tyreal! Fucker tore off his wings to be mortal. You dumbshit.

Tyreal: Yo, Belial and Azmodan are totally here. Wait…where’s my goddam sword?

Deckard Cain: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Me: No one was watching the old guy?

Leah: We’re totally kicking his killer’s ass. Follow that Maghda cunt to Caldeum!

Act II

Me: Hmmm. This place looks familiar. Well, let’s go chase that crazy bitch Maghda into the desert. Maybe then we can get an audience with that totally unsuspicious 7 year old king that can astral project.

fight loot fight loot fight loot fight loot

Leah: DIE BITCH!!! Hey look! My mom, who I totally thought died 20 years again, is alive and conviently RIGHT HERE! HI MOM! You owe me 20 years worth of birthday presents.

Adria: We’ll go shopping after we stop Belial and Azmodan, which we can only do by duct taping this dead guy, Zoltun Kulle, back together. He has this Black Soulstone we store all the demons in.

fight loot fight loot fight loot fight loot

Me: Ok, we found all his pieces, he’s good as new!

Zoltun Kulle: Suckers! I KEEL YOU and keep the Soulstone and take over the world! Muhahaha!

Me: *stab stab stab*

Zoltun Kulle: Shit. *dies*

Adria: That kid king is really Belial. Go kill him.

Me: ‘k. *stab stab stab*

Belial: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooo! *dies*

Leah: Woooooo totally had a vision of Azmodan invading some place that looks like a Led Zepplin album cover!

Act III

Me: The Keep is under attack! fight loot fight loot fight loot fight loot Dammit – there’s a gate in the way!

Tyreal: I totally got this.

fight loot fight loot fight loot fight loot Kill Azmodan

Leah: OK he’s in the stone too – that’s all of them! We should totally destroy this right now!

Adria: Fooled you! My baby daddy is DIABLO & we’re totally using this stone to become the PRIME EVIL & trash Heaven! Oh, after I kill Leah, of course!

Leah: wait, wut? You bitch. *Gurgle gurgle choke dies*

Act IV

Heaven is under attack!

Imperius: This shit is all your fault, Ty.

Tyrael: WhatEVER. *pouts*

Me: ok Aspect of Fate says I need to rescue the aspect of hope, because without her we’re all too depressed to fight or play harps.

fight loot fight loot fight loot fight loot

Me: Not that you’re not depressed, get off your ass Ty, and help me kill Diablo. Again.

fight loot fight loot fight loot fight loot kill Diablo loot loot

Me: Whoops, I dropped the Black Soulstone and it fell back to earth. Should we go get it?

Tyreal: Nah, it’s fine. Ima stay here and be the Aspect of Wisdom and keep promoting Angels on Human lovin’.

So that’s the story.  Nothing engaging. Nothing really epic. It also seems to  lack more substance as the acts progress, instead of getting more involved as most stories do. It’s almost like someone had the beginning of a basic story idea written on a post-it note, but the author left the company and they tried to finish it.  The story was barebones, and just plain short, which brings me to my other bitching point:

DESIGNING A GAME TO REQUIRE PLAYING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN IS NOT CONTENT. I DON’T CARE HOW MANY CARROTS ON A STICK “ACHIEVEMENTS” YOU ADD TO IT.

Back in Diablo 2, the initial storyline itself required a decent time investment, regardless of what difficulty level it was played on. When you finished the game, you didn’t feel the need to play it AGAIN on a higher difficulty level in order to get the most out of the game.  But if you DID, thanks to random map & Dungeon Generators, and different boss locations & behaviors, it didn’t feel repetitive.  The co-op aspect of the game kept it going for more than a decade. In Diablo 3? Sure, playing with my friends did extend the life of the game for me…..for another few weeks. Big fucking deal, right? Most of us don’t play the Hack N’ Slash dungeon crawlers for storylines. We play it for the loot that falls from the sky! Not once did I feel like I was rolling in loot in Diablo 3. Most of the drops were garbage, epics and legendaries were extremely rare, and getting one that was usable for your character was almost unheard of. At least you could give potentially good ones for other classes to your other characters – oh yeah, that reminds me. You were expected to play all the characters, in all difficulty levels in order to “Maximize” your game play. Oh sure they had “randomly generated encounters” but that was nothing more than having a door to a basement or small house open on one area, & and closed upon revisiting it. They were still located in all the same spots, and had little to do with the actual game.

It’s Dangerous to go alone! Take Them!

Playing Diablo 3 offered very little in substance or challenge -and  if you could complete all the difficulty levels without boring yourself to death, you were rewarded with a virtual cockblock (initially – it’s been toned down) at the last act of the hardest difficulty level, this requiring you to farm previous acts over and over for resist gear….or you could just buy it on the Auction house.

That fucking auction house.  At first, I didn’t give two shits that people could sell items for real money. It’s not an MMO, it doesn’t affect me – fuck, maybe I’ll find some Uber Sword Of Ass Kicking and be able to sell it for hundreds, like people were doing with Diablo 2 items on Ebay.  Of course, in order to make it rich, you would have to dedicate most of your waking hours to remain above poverty level, after giving Blizzard its 15% cut, and then another 15% of the total amount you want to “cash out”. Fuck that. No, there was a bigger problem – most loot that dropped in game was either too low for the content level I was on, or it would just be a random generated mash of stats I didn’t need. Crafting, you say? By the time you could craft it, the item was pretty much obsolete. Did you HAVE to use the auction house (either with real money or in game currency)? No – but you’ll be farming for a metric shit fuck length of time. How fun!

As I said, I started writing this a long time ago, about a month or two after release. Since then, there’s been some updates, fixes adjustments….whatever.  Gamers are a fickle bunch – when you promised certain things, we expect you to deliver. Most games don’t get a second chance. Look at a good majority of MMOs released:  No matter how much they improve, fix or add, if they had a shit launch, the opinion has already been formed. There’s way too many games out there to choose from to warrant giving a game that’s already disappointed (& taken money from) the game player.

And I’m not even going to TOUCH on the always connected internet bullshit. That’s the way things are heading, we might as well get used to it.

I win! Now I have to do it all over again as a Witch Doctor!

Blizzard used to be a game company that you would fork your cash over to without asking any questions. You know you’d get a solid game. Maybe it was getting involved with Activision, or maybe they just became victims of their own success. Whatever it is, it no longer seems like maximizing value for the gamer is the first priority,and goals seem to have shifted to getting as much money as possible out of as little investment as possible. They know we’ll continue to buy what they keep shoveling. Between the disappointment World of Warcraft had become, to the questionable decisions regarding StarCraft 2′s split releases, and now Diablo 3….Blizzard games aren’t a sure thing anymore. It’s not even anything special. You used to know a Blizzard game was released “when it’s ready”. Not anymore.

CONSPIRACY!

But here’s what REALLY fucking bothers me. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. I see people talking on twitter, Facebook, hell in the game chat itself or within other games. But you would think this game could perform fellatio with the amount of positive reviews it received online. Not just decent reviews – GLOWING REVIEWS. 85,90 A/A+ 9/9.5, ****/***** Reviews. Look, I don’t mean to sound like that one asshole on twitter who sees a conspiracy in everything, but come ON – tell me there isn’t a case of “you suck my dick & I’ll suck yours” going on here” with a lot of these large production games these days?

I got my ass kicked by a Chubby Pink Unicorn, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

I just built a new PC. I didn’t even bother re-installing Diablo 3. I think of how many months I played Diablo 2 – solo play, mind you – before I even tried online play, or added expansion packs…. I think I can measure Diablo 3 engagement in hours. Sure, there’s been patches/fixes/additions to the game:

8/22/12 patch 1.0.4 was released which included a new system of leveling, called “Paragon levels”. It also included a redesign of all the legendary items, making them more powerful.

10/16/12, patch 1.0.5 was released including new ways of scaling difficulty selectively, called “Monster Levels”. Furthermore, the patch included changes to many class abilities, as well as new “uber-bosses” designed to provide an additional challenge for players with a chance at a new craftable legendary ring as a reward.

2/12/13 patch 1.0.7 was released. It brought the first PvP addition to the game, a simple free-for-all system called “Brawling” and multiple item crafting options

5/7/13  patch 1.0.8 was released which included monster density increases (act 1, 2 & 4), identify all book in all acts and improved multiplayer functionality.

But it just seems like the company no longer understands what a gamer wants; from a marketing standpoint, probably because on paper, the average gamer doesn’t maximize profits. So as long as we keep handing over our money, the only ones we have to blame is ourselves.

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