Diablo® III

Open Letter to Chris Metzen

/signed

The story was boring, Cain, one of the best recurring characters of the series is killed by the butterfly lady (wtf?), Belial and Azmodan seem like they are completely incompetent idiots who wouldn't be able to find their way out of a paper bag, and the Prime Evil simply wasn't scary enough. The Prime Evil is supposed to be a combination of all seven main Evils so why is the only aspect used Terror? Also, I never got to fight Imperius.
Edited by Youcoulddie#1103 on 5/26/2012 10:40 AM PDT
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/signed

I agree that the essence of the problem here is that the writers suffer from a group-think mentality.

Beta tests should not be about gameplay feedback and finding bugs alone, but evaluating the entire game.

Can you imagine if they implemented the story feedback received here before release? The game would be incredible.
Edited by Krypteia#1846 on 5/26/2012 11:02 AM PDT
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Posts: 52
[quote]
WC3 is where the Horde became more mature, which I think is a welcome change that allowed many new possibilities other than "me Orc, me kill you". In fact, it led to an interesting role reversal: whereas the Orcs turned out to be not all bad


You mean like how in SC2 the overmind was not all that bad, because the zerg were "altered"?
It worked for the orcs but come on blizzard.... The zerg is supposed to be "me zerg, me consume you".
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Posts: 10,298
WC2 mostly retconned WC1 in that regard: Orgrim Doomhammer was initially unnamed and looked like a stereotypical Japanese samurai; he was also a pawn for the Council of Shadows, and "replaced" Blackhand at their request because the latter was an immature idiot who had the Horde chase after her unruly daughter who had run away with an Ogre or something along the lines.

WC2 added some complexity, but in the end, Orc politics were still quite goofy and juvenile.


Not sure where you got this retcon from - Orgrim Doomhammer didn't exist until Warcraft 2 if you're going by the manuals. (Not the horrible books written 10+ years later which retconned everything).


Orgrim Doomhammer is essentially the Orc player-character from WC1. In WC2, they retconned him into an opponent to the Shadow Council, and they gave him a name, a look as well as a personality.

You can't really call them mature - they were turned into teenage anti-heroes. It wasn't a horrible storyline so I am not arguing with you there - but if you look closely enough it was really the begin of the loss of 'grit' in Blizzard storytelling.


While I can understand people preferring 2D graphics over 3D, I honestly fail to see what "grit" you're talking about here. There was nothing "adult" about the Orcs in WC1-WC2; even "Lord of the Rings" or "My Little Poney" feature big bad ugly-looking monsters who sound like retards and only think about destroying everything. WC3's Orcs are therefore a step in the right direction to a more mature storytelling: they are still violent, but now tend to think more first.

I am not insulting you and simply being matter of fact. I would be truly surprised if you were older than 23.


I'm older than 23.

What does age have anything to do with this, anyway?
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 5/26/2012 11:31 AM PDT
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You mean like how in SC2 the overmind was not all that bad, because the zerg were "altered"?
It worked for the orcs but come on blizzard.... The zerg is supposed to be "me zerg, me consume you".


I'm actually fine with that, as it makes the Overmind into a more ambiguous and intriguing figure rather than just a giant eyeball cheesily monologuing about stuff we already know. Besides, it can also allow the Swarm to develop actual characters instead of the obnoxious Queen of Blades and stoic lackeys with about as much personality as the Terran advisor.
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/signed
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/signed
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/unsigned

Am I defending the story as it is? No. Clearly it's full of holes, inconsistencies, and inexplicable NPC behavior. I sometimes got the sense it was put together by people sitting in separate rooms, and only some of them were using the BoC as a reference point. Others seemed to be using Saturday morning cartoons, Terry Goodkind books, and Plan 9 from Outer Space.

But how much of that is Chris Metzen's fault? I don't know. Neither, I suspect, do many of you. I don't think developing the storyline for a game is quite the same as sitting down and writing a novel, for example. There are a lot of people involved, and the whole is the sum of its parts.

Now, I'm sure he had the final say on what stayed and what didn't, but I'm also sure he was under pressure from Blizz to release the game we were all clamoring for. As for Starcraft 2...well, I can't speak to that, never played it.

I still enjoy the game, warts and all. I just close my eyes whenever the Butterfly Witch appears on-screen. Maybe one day Metzen will write his memoirs and explain what the hell happened.

:)
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/signed
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But how much of that is Chris Metzen's fault? I don't know.


He's the head of the creative development department. Leaders get all the credit and all the blame. That's part of the job description.
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D1 and 2 had great atmosphere, D3 missed the mark big time. There are too many facepalm corny moments that just shouldn't exist. The Butchers rock star introduction, Diablo's "I AM LEGION!" line, and pretty much all the other demon dialog take me right out of the moment.

The dark feelings evoked in the first two games are half of what makes Diablo one of my favorite franchises (gameplay being the other half). In D3 there are plenty of dark themes, dialog, gorey visuals, but no real feeling from them, other than some comedy. The game comes off as a blockbuster adventure type that failed miserably at capturing the essence of the first two games (if that was even a goal they wanted to achieve).

edit- afer re-reading what I typed I just had to add the I still love the game overall due to the gameplay and awsomeness that is my Barbarian.
Edited by Matthew#1923 on 5/27/2012 1:05 AM PDT
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I actually enjoyed all Blizzard storylines, including WC3. However we now have tow latest Blizzard games with very formulaic, cheesy storylines, characters that talk too much and sugar-coated happy endings. (I'm of course talking about SC2 and D3) I don't want to blame just one man for this, but I want blizzard to return to more serious storytelling.
People actually don't want over-the top characters and contrived storylines.
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100 Night Elf Hunter
14715
Posts: 6
/signed

This is a dated story that destroyed a lot of beloved roles. by trying to be new and exciting or even "modernizing" you have done what new starwars did to the old ones. The story of Wrath got me so excited about what was to come and the cinematics !@#$ on all of it. Most of all having Leigha a someone none of the lore buffs give two %^-*s about be the pinnacle of the story was terrible. We deserve better then this ten years really no wonder why wow subs drop and this game will be dead soon. You don't seem to care and just want us to use the real money AH to make up for your fall in profits. Or is it the story of a big wig at blizz who has lost touch and been corrupted that you were trying to tell. My memory of the good job Blizz north did is almost shot to bad you cant hotfix story. ( BTW went to development hell we missed you in there)
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I actually enjoyed all Blizzard storylines, including WC3. However we now have tow latest Blizzard games with very formulaic, cheesy storylines, characters that talk too much and sugar-coated happy endings. (I'm of course talking about SC2 and D3) I don't want to blame just one man for this, but I want blizzard to return to more serious storytelling.
People actually don't want over-the top characters and contrived storylines.


Just so. There are those that argue that the nature of the Diablo games (nonstop action) makes intricate storytelling unnecessary, but that's still no reason to get sloppy about it.

Who was the guy who left Blizz back in January? Steve Parker? Did he ever give a reason for splitting just as a major Blizz project was coming to fruition?
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/signed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVzaU_Taz-8#t=2m32s
^ go.
Edited by Rune#1166 on 5/27/2012 3:24 AM PDT
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100 Draenei Shaman
19445
Posts: 26
/signed
Metzen just really likes his characters too much. He doesn't treat them like parts of a story, but part of some fantasy to keep himself entertained. Complexity has been declining, to the point we have reached with Diablo 3. The story honestly is bringing down the enjoyment I am getting from it.
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[insert random rants]

I annoy my clan-mates whenever Diablo says, "terror" because it sounds like some country hick woke up from a hangover to record in the microphone: /teh roar/. Ok Bob, nows let's increase the bass on that and make it slightly feminine.

The story is terrible. The ending cinematic was dismal. A dozen years to get the lawyers to work out the details for the AH, 3 years for the actual coding of the game, 5 hours for voice acting? I bet you have Diablo 4 ready for us, but it will take another 12 years to get the lawyers to work out the details of that AH. I think Oblivion had better voice actors minus the emperor and his son.

I got tired of being slammed in college for poor writing, but I am an expert at recognizing it now. This game has poor writing and direction written into everything.

And off on my other tangent, next time you think Inferno is difficult hire a bunch of guys like Kripparian to test the game. The game seriously reflects a long legal battle that ended in 2011, and suddenly they were like holy smokes we need to actually build the game.

BTW, your 2008 beta was 100000000000000000000000000000000000000x better than what we have now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT4K6e2q10g this had better story than what we have now. The siege-breaker was amazing, but now all he does is vomit on you when you get through fighting Act 3 aka Lord of the Rings part 3.

The originality in this game is gone. Diablo 1 was original in many more ways than this. Now, when I look at the game it is a Star Wars, a Lord of the Rings, and a Harry Potter reference everywhere.

Hmmmm...rated Mature. Oh you mean Diablo's saggy [bleeps]. I was expecting dark and foreboding. Instead it feels like it was written for 12 year old children with a lot of whatever made it cool in 2008 chopped out.

Sigh.

[/rant]
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I do take issue with Blizzard's storytelling of the past few years. It seems to me that many players of their games outright ignore their stories, don't really care about them, or even skip the story parts of the game altogether, e.g. players of SC2 who have never touched the single player.

This is a sad truth on its own, but Blizzard seems to have decided that because story is not very important to many of their players, they will not strive to break new ground in it, and instead will simply make do with the minimum amount of quality required.

For those of us who adore story in videogames, indeed, who see videogames as a storytelling medium, this is a shame.
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Posts: 237
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,


/signed
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