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We loved you. We still do - that's why we're upset. Please come back. The following is one player's plea.
Love at First Sight
The first Diablo 3 teaser video I saw showcased the barbarian in what appears to be an early rendition of the Cathedral outside New Tristram. Something was said within the first few minutes, "There's no such thing as too much power..." Granted, the rest of the sentence was something akin to "as long as you know how to use it," but that's irrelevant in this post, because only the first part stuck.
"There's no such thing as too much power."
Those words, coupled with the following footage of a near-naked barbarian destroying monsters in unrivaled awesomeness is what hooked me. A lightning enchanted weapon threw chunks of meat all over the screen, tethered by flickering blue arcs. A frost weapon froze and shattered enemies. This wasn't some contrived hack-n-slash medieval game. This was fun incarnate. And I'm glad to see you kept the effects.
In one scene, a single chest dropped a full set of armor. I know... I know... you told us up front that wouldn't happen in game. This was all for show. But I promise you, everyone who saw that scene immediately gasped. That's the reaction you've been wanting from us all along.
And yes, I realize test monsters with 1 HP explode no matter what attack you use. But again, this is what we saw, and this is what we fell in love with. If my barbarian charged across a bridge, blew apart 50 monsters, and all the resulting carnage and gore being rendered crashed my computer, I'd laugh maniacally and reboot just to do it all again. Why? Because it's fun.
The Deluded Fantasy
Fun is a subjective thing. I've never cared about competing. And I know many people who live for it. I'm fine with that. But this was my sanctuary. The sports-lovers played Starcraft. The gear-mongers played WoW. Diablo was never a sport, it wasn't about "progression" in a rigid structured sense. Diablo existed for 1 reason... to beat monsters until they exploded like blood-filled loot pinatas. That's all. And if you should so happen to set foot outside town, and look at someone the wrong way... maybe you'd be the blood-filled pinata. But in the time I played D2, it never happened unprovoked.
There's another forum warcry. And the Mephisto Runners roared, "Loot Pinata!"
The video I saw those few years ago led me to believe this was still the case. That integrity remained. I've always thought of Diablo as the more loveable step-sibling of the three. Starcraft was for sport. It had balance and individual perfection at its forefront. Warcraft was for raiding and posturing, with balance for pvp and arenas, and group perfection for raids at its forefront. Diablo was... for macabre mexican party games.
Diablo didn't care about balance. There was no competition. Who was going to challenge something like that? You paid for the game, you played it. There was no sanctioned pvp, there was no monthly fee, there was no intended way for anyone to benefit in any way from this game beyond the point of sale. As long as the players bought it, and liked it, Blizzard would build a legacy.
Again, it's my dead horse, and when I beat it, the hollow thumps play the rhythm to the world's saddest song... but this preview movie reminded us why we loved that red-headed gothic step-child.
The forums bleed hatred every day because the things that the fan base called "fun" were taken.
By all means, make the game challenging. But don't squelch the loopholes players find. Legitimate players enjoy finding "exploits". And you will never stamp out the plague that is gold-farmers. If you burn the fields because of the weeds, you'll lose your crops in the blaze. As it stands, there's little to no reason to bother breaking a pot. Breaking a pot isn't fun. Never at Blizzcon has someone taken a mic to ask, "When will we be allowed to smash empty things?" Breaking 20 pots, and seeing gold fly out is fun. Pinata.
By all means, randomize the loot, make us hunt for it. But don't put in filler stats to hinder and hurt us. Nobody is excited to find a rare item with Wizard only stats and Strengh instead of Intellect. Likewise, Damage to Life scales terribly in later acts, and Chance on Hit effects have such a low chance to proc that they serve only as filler and variety. (I did, however, read some exciting posts on WD's Snake to the Face and stacking Chance to Stun + IAS... but that is no more.)
We were told all builds would be viable. We understand that you can't put 4 mantras in your keybound slots and 2 heals on your mouse and expect to win. But if something is well thought out, and played accordingly, it can work. However, the Wizard Force Armor / Regen build was quickly crushed. Snake to the Face / Stun / IAS has been broken. I even lament the loss of the Boon of Protection Spam build for Monk. I'll admit, I originally stopped playing my Monk in protest until Boon of Prot was "fixed", because the whole idea tasted of cheese. But in retrospect, it was the beginning of the end of innovation and playing the game. Not just playing the game, but truly cunningly... playing... the game.
And don't forget. "There is no such thing as too much power."
With every patch, the little shiny things are broken. The game is "balanced" more and more inspite of the repercussions. Inspite of the fact that Diablo was never meant to be balanced. Inspite of how it ruins players' enjoyment.
I'm finding it hard to keep writing and, at the same time, hold back the bitterness. I'll forego the itemized list of griefs, and instead push forward.
Treasure Goblins are, in my eyes, the last glimmering hope. In the middle of all this, there's a nasty little psychological gimmick. How great is my greed? And with child-like glee, and mindless recklessness, I plunge headlong into a group of monsters to chase down a goblin with a bag of goodies, so I can beat him mercilessly to death. The most innocent and innocuous of monsters. He counts his gold, and runs away, because he doesn't want to fight. Yet we slaughter them amid laughter and cheers. This, my friends, is Diablo.
We don't want balance. We don't want to be held by the hand and shown how to play. We don't want safe secure new ways to burn real money. We want to be unleashed on a world full of evil, demonic, hellish-looking sacks of blood, guts, and gold... and we want to be encouraged to play it exactly as we want and find fun for ourselves. We want to feel this intangible, non-existing "too much power." We want the Blizzard and the Diablo we know and love back.
Continued here: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5889090477?page=1
Edited by FluffyMuffin#1303 on 6/21/2012 1:19 PM PDT
The lines that reached me the most:
A million times this.
OP, you nailed it perfectly.
FluffyMuffin, you just became my favourite poster with that one slew of awesomeness.
I think you just articulated the sum total of issues facing the game at present.
I would have just spewed invective myself.
And written by Fluffy Muffin. Icing.
Hmmm, I didn't expect much when entering this thread, but damn if it didn't remind me of my fondest days playing D1/D2/D2:LOD.
I count myself as a fairly articulate poster, but I can't compete with the OP's heartfelt post. It nailed everything that the previous entries in the series were and are (I still load up D2:LOD every now and then), and hit upon a number of the issues in the current entry.
I absolutely especially loved the bit about the Treasure Goblins - they are one small part of this game that truly honours the Diablo franchise, and I've run headlong into multiple elite packs chasing them down, not giving a damn if I died doing it.
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