Diablo® III

Open Letter to Chris Metzen

Chris,

I've been playing Blizzard games since 1994 with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and have bought every single title since.

I read every page of the manual(s) for Warcraft 1&2, Diablo, Starcraft, Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, etc. and have always enjoyed the storylines which were well written (at least up until Warcraft 3 but even Warcraft 3 wasn't poorly written, it just took a sharp turn for PG-13, which is okay)

You have brought us three amazing IPs and are one of the most influential figures in creating the Blizzard empire. You're also an amazing artist, and frankly are the father of the worlds we love.

But it is time to pass the torch to some different writers. The quality of writing - especially dialogue - has become really bad. It isn't your fault - one man can't be expected to churn out non-stop quality material for three different universes and one of those being an MMO with constant content additions.

You're currently surrounded by sycophants because you're a big wig at Blizzard and nobody wants to get in a political battle - so please, listen to us fans on this one, or better yet - take a look at the cinematics and dialogue from Diablo 2 (especially the one with Baal) and compare them to what we have now.

Thanks,
Edited by Merk#1833 on 5/24/2012 10:42 PM PDT
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Even Stephen King and JRR Tolkien eventually hit a wall.
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05/24/2012 11:36 PMPosted by Gazenthia
Even Stephen King and JRR Tolkien eventually hit a wall.


What wall was that for J. R. R. Tolkien?
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I hear Metzen is a very charismatic figure. Blizzard just change his position: Make him super marketing boss or something like that and leave the storywriting position to someone else. Since Metzen ALL Blizzard games have the same stories: corruption of the main character and fight against apocalypsis. It was good on SC1, not so good on WC3, bad on SC2 and worst in D3. Just got old.
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I hated Diablo 2's story, aka "Where in Sanctuary is Carmen San Diablo" narrated by a random senile hobo. Even Torchlight's simplistic narrative managed to be more compelling than that. Video games stories in general should be fun and rewarding; not depressing and frustrating.

Also, WarCraft III was far more complex and mature than its predecessors: it was no longer goofy evil Orcs versus cheesy heroic humans. That was a welcome change and made things less manichean.

So, not signed.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 5/25/2012 6:18 AM PDT
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i enjoyed the Lore thus far. it felt a bit short, and linear- iam sure there is a staff of writers.
Edited by Ticon#1156 on 5/25/2012 6:18 AM PDT
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I hated Diablo 2's story, aka "Where in Sanctuary is Carmen San Diablo" narrated by a random senile hobo. Even Torchlight's simplistic narrative managed to be more compelling than that. Video games stories in general should be fun and rewarding; not depressing and frustrating.

Also, WarCraft III was far more complex and mature than its predecessors: it was no longer goofy evil Orcs versus cheesy heroic humans. That was a welcome change and made things less manichean.

So, not signed.


How old are you? Diablo has never been a series with happy endings - it was created to be a depressing, dark, gothic-horror world.

Diablo 2's story wasn't Game of Thrones, but it was told very well - narrated by Marius who had traveled with the Dark Wanderer and ultimately was telling the entire story to Baal instead of whom he thought he was talking to (Tyrael) - it was a good twist and was well executed.

We didn't have ridiculous villains with silly expositions (Belial, Magda, Diablo, Azmodan, spider chick).

Warcraft 3's story wasn't as 'mature' as you think it was - the Orcs were turned into 'good guys'. They were originally bloodthirsty, nasty little daemon worshiping creatures. Doomhammer wasn't a nice guy or a hero - this was simply retconned.

I'm not saying that the WC3 storyline was bad, but I question your age if you think it was a mature story. It was the beginning of the decline in writing quality - still good, not great, and the beginning of PG-13ification of Blizzard writing.

iam sure there is a staff of writers.


They all answer to Chris and his direction. He is the head honcho and these IPs are all his baby, from a creative standpoint. This is why I mentioned that he is surrounded by sycophants - it doesn't take a very good writer to see how bad the storyline is, but if that's the direction Chris wants to go do you think they are going to risk their career/job by opposing him?
Edited by Merk#1833 on 5/25/2012 7:30 AM PDT
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I still missed the good 'ol Diablo 1 story. But that was probably because I played it so long ago, and it left me so many questions as to what happened to my character and if Diablo was this bad, how bad were his older brothers? Then I played 2 and all my questions got answered with a few questions for a 3rd one. The 3rd one just felt so expected at every turn and didn't leave me any good plot holes. It honestly felt like the game could end where it did after you kill Diablo. Which left a very salty taste in my mouth because evil could easily do so much more and the world of Sanctuary has much to be discovered.

But on the topic of OP.

I can agree with this. The same influence leaves the same flavor, and it's starting to dilute the wine. I didn't get any surprises in the story like in Diablo II with Baal. Nor did I feel like I was actually going against evil like in Diablo I.
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Thank you for eloquently putting what I have been wanting to say for a while.

Seriously, there are so many easy marks that could have saved this wreck of a plot and all of them were managed to be missed. There are villains for the sake of having more villains, and none of them are any good.

Also, all significant and important plot items should be told throughout playing the game. You shouldn't have to go looking around for journal pages to get the full story. That's just crude, ineffective, and lazy.
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05/25/2012 07:28 AMPosted by Merk
How old are you? Diablo has never been a series with happy endings - it was created to be a depressing, dark, gothic-horror world.


I didn't care about the first two Diablo games either. I'm not fond of endings that just spit you in the face. Might as well just have ended the game with the screen "Thanks for the money, idiot".

A game's world can be dark and depressing, yet have a compelling story with a rewarding ending.

Warcraft 3's story wasn't as 'mature' as you think it was - the Orcs were turned into 'good guys'. They were originally bloodthirsty, nasty little daemon worshiping creatures. Doomhammer wasn't a nice guy or a hero - this was simply retconned.


The original Orcs were goofy retards with simplistic, borderlines juvenile motives and funny voices.

Under Thrall's leadership, the Orcs are indeed becoming more mature. They sound less mentally challenged, their culture and politics are more complex; they are more responsible as a species now.

Maturity isn't about being as violent and evil as you can: Reign of Chaos perfectly illustrated it with the contrast between Thrall and Hellscream during the Orc campaign.

I'm not saying that the WC3 storyline was bad, but I question your age if you think it was a mature story. It was the beginning of the decline in writing quality - still good, not great, and the beginning of PG-13ification of Blizzard writing.


Last time I checked, Diablo is still rated M and StarCraft/WarCraft is still rated T.

Oh, and BTW, Chris Metzen is the Vice-president of the Creative department: that means he isn't the only one making decisions around.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 5/25/2012 9:33 AM PDT
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I understand there's a lot of new fans you're trying to bring in but I found D3 overly explicit to the point where the dialogue got awkward. For similar reasons the cinematics lost the depth of the previous ones and I felt like I was watching some big blockbuster movie adaptation of Diablo. If you don't know what I mean by this think of any book you read that was suddenly given a big budget and a movie deal and thats exactly how this felt. I have friends that couldn't care less about what you do with the lore but I'll tell you, the ones that are won't be bothered to take the initiative to look up the wiki or buy the Book of Cain and the novels. I'd also like to point out this is the second IP thats ended with "that rise of mortals" (I'm talking about you Cataclysm)...
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