Diablo® III

What we MEAN when we say D3 is TOO hard...

80 Human Paladin
2950
It is my conclusion that Diablo III betrays the brand of the previous two titles, and my goal henceforth will be to carefully illustrate why this is so in a calm and polite manner. My hope is to try to really give a voice to the frustration I and many others have felt and voiced on this very forum. I do this because I believe and hope I can very accurately express what many of us are feeling. After having played quite extensively, and farmed inferno for about 1 month, I have discovered why it is this game feels 'broke' to me.

The game is simply too hard.

It is not really that the game is too hard in the generic all around sense, it is that the game is too hard in specific ways that are simply NOT what I would expect from a Diablo sequel. Let me explain this some more:

Some games are hard because they require an immense amount of time (think currency from 5man dungeons in WOW). We will call this 'Time-suck hard'. No, its not hard to log onto your WOW account and clear a 5man for a few tokens and do this every day. In fact, it is easy. It is hard because it becomes monotonous and makes you feel constrained to play the game according to some master plan in such a way that it drains your soul - i.e. only allowing you to be rewarded after 'doing your time.' It is hard (for me at least) because I have to force myself to do it (or had to until I quit WOW). This kind of hard, in the long run, makes one suspect that the game is playing them instead of the other way around.

Some games are hard because they require an immense amount of mechanics memorization to complete or else you die. We will call this 'Simon says hard'. In the end, its about how well you memorize how to respond to certain things in order to win a fight.

Some games are hard because they require you to have only certain builds to be able to effectively play them. Its all about doing the math and making sure you have an optimal build. I would call this 'Chess hard' - after the game of chess which requires thinking ahead and analysis of many options.

Then there was Diablo and Diablo 2. These games are what I like to call 'Icarus hard'. Icarus was the old greek legend of a boy with wax wings who flew too close to the sun (ignoring his fathers warnings) and thus lost his wings and died. This is the kind of hard Diablo 2 specialized in. What I mean to say by this, is the game only got hard when you tried to kill too much too fast. THIS was the fun of Diablo 2. THIS was the challenge, and THIS is what kept me coming back over and over again. Diablo 2, was not very hard of a game to 'clear'. Killing monsters was somewhat easy, gearing was not overly complicated for the most part. Additionally, your choice of game play became simply a matter of preference for most (do you like to smash enemies into pieces with an iceblink whirlwind barb, or pop them like popcorn with a frozen orb sorc?). The diversity was increased because in the end the players did not care whether their build was a little suboptimal in DPS vs another build because it was fun for them to play that way. In the end, they had the luxury of NOT caring because of the fact that the difference might only be how fast you can clear, not whether you can clear at all. Because the game was easy in this way, and only really got hard when you decided to 'bite of more than you can chew', the skills and spells simply became an extension what kind of killer you liked to be (this is what the 'R' in RPG stands for, remember?). The customization made everyone feel 'cool' and 'special' and the open diversity kept us hooked when we, perfectly content with our barb say, played with some random amazon or sorc and saw them kill in some new and fun way and then said 'wow...that looks cool. I think ill go roll a sorc/amazon'. This is the real innovation that Diablo 2 really brought to the mainstream market. A game with RPG elements and a random item system that was 'Icarus hard' in a quasi MMO environment.

Diablo2 was 'Icarus hard'. It was not 'Time-suck hard'. The time suck just happened because they just loved the friggin game so much and all the different ways they could play it. They had the game way beat before they decided to just 'Keep playing it'. They did not keep playing it because they wanted to 'beat it', they kept playing it BECAUSE IT WAS FUN AND THEY LOVED IT!! It was not 'Simon says hard'. There were no 'enrage timers', auto healing mobs(if I remember right) or any other such garbage. Diablo2 was also not 'Chess hard'. The strategies you picked were not TOO terribly important. Sure, there were optimal builds perhaps, but no one cared because it did not prevent you from enjoying the game just because you had a 'non-max dps' build or whatever. You could still kill, you could still have fun, so the builds became a way to express yourself. In fact, I remember being just utterly amused to see some player use some utterly ridiculous build and still 'make it work'. I thought THAT was awesome.

This brings us to Diablo3. Sigh. Long, drawn out sigh.

Diablo 3 is NOT 'Icarus hard'. And by Diablo 3, or course, I mean Inferno. Normal, Nightmare and Hell are 'Icarus hard' but inferno is not. I know many might like to cite that 'you can just go play in hell mode', let me point out as has already been so eloquently pointed out in other threads on this forum: 'Inferno IS THE GAME'. You cannot take a game that is so gear dependent, create a level where the gear is better and expect the gamers to not treat this level as 'The game'. Sorry, in the end we are gamers, we are just not built that way. We want to play where the best reward is since gear is a big part of the game. So PLEASE for the love of God, do NOT give us this crap. If you need proof, go find out how many people in WOW play in the persistent world vs running dungeons all day long. Or better yet, if you want proof, imagine that the drops in hell where the same as Inferno. Would you play inferno just 'cuz i like the challenge and its hard!'. Yeah, I didn't think so.

Diablo 3 is 'Time-suck hard'. I find myself clearing act I over and over again just to either make a little money or find items that are maybe marginally better than what I have but not good enough to be able to play Act 2 the way I want to ('Icarus hard'). I am at the point where Act 1 is almost 'Icarus hard' for me but not quite yet. I have to stick within a few narrow builds if i want to be able to play it easy. Frankly, its getting old. The only reason I keep playing is because I have this small hope that the game designers have accounted for an 'Icarus hard' for all of inferno mode, i just have to grind to get there. Honestly though, I am beginning to believe that this will not be the case and you will still have barbs kiting like cowards and RDPS classes getting one or two shotted in inferno no matter what gear they have. If I knew this for a fact, I would not even be playing anymore. I would just uninstall and see what other games are out there that dont suck (not many unfortunately). When I see blizz trying to make the drops better and scrambling with patches for this and that, I laugh. The drops rates dont really need to get better. The game needs to get easier so that when we get that yellow with ordinary stats except some weird 'attackers take 4000 damage on hit' we actually feel adventurous and curious enough to say 'Hey, I wonder if this would be fun to try??'.

To add to that point, BECAUSE the game is so hard, D3 is also 'Chess hard'. I cannot deviate from a few core defensive strategies and not get owned. I am pigeonholed into a few strats because its about survival. Jay Wilson mentioned the old system was flawed because no one would 'do the math' they would just 'dump some points into this skill' or another. Thats right, Jay, you are very astute in making that observation. We did just dump into that skill or the other without doing the math. Why? Because WE DID NOT CARE ABOUT THE OPTIMAL BUILD. we didnt HAVE to! That was PART OF THE FUN!!! Please, for the love of god, get THAT through your head if nothing else. Instead, we have Blizzard so worried about 'balancing' that DHs are getting nerfed for IAS while we try to find the perfect Utopia where the game is perfectly balanced. The thing is, you can make a game balanced so that every class is no better than any other but that RUINS the game. It makes every class feel hokey, and nobody feels special. The funny thing is, the only reason the players are SOOO upset about DHs being OP or barbs now being OP is because THEY CANNOT PLAY THEIR CLASS THE WAY THEY want to so they lash out. What they are really saying is 'Make my class OP' so I can do some cool stuff too! Again, a game that is 'Icarus hard' does not worry and tie itself up in knots about balance. It favors diversity. Just like the argument "whats the solution to 'bad' free speech? More free speech".

So, in closing, If you are a player and agree with my positions, please bump, like,whatever this thread so it gets attention.

For Blizzard, I am not so naive to believe that all these issues I have raised could not have been understood and carefully considered before you launched this game. However, since this is not the game I would like to have seen, I would only ask that you would be so kind to answer the following questions and give me some peace of mind/closure:

1.- Did you understand the 'Icarus hard' nature of Diablo2 when you designed Diablo3 but decide instead to scrap that in favor of the game you have now?

2.- Would you be willing to consider making the game a more 'Icarus hard' type of game if you received enough criticism, and what would that take?
80 Human Paladin
2950
I have submitted this thread here by popular demand as it has trended high in the EU forums.

(the EU post)
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4848905876?page=1

I hope it receives as much support here in the US as it did there.
80 Human Paladin
2950
Your choice of words was odd. But the message is spot on.

Edit: You're from Europe, that explains it.


Thank you sir, No I am not from Europe I am from Illinois actually. Just some bad typos, I am sure. :-]
instead of generically using the word 'hard' for every thing you dislike, why don't you just state exactly what it is.

Instead of saying "this game is too hard, what i mean is that it is time consuming."

Just say "This game is time consuming."

Instead of saying "this game is too hard, i need a spreadsheet to know what to do".

Just say "this game requires a spreadsheet to know what to do."

EDIT: The problem is "we" don't say that at all, only you say "This game is too hard", and it makes you sound like you don't know how to communicate.
Edited by Kryn#1298 on 7/1/2012 8:53 PM PDT
90 Blood Elf Paladin
19865
I agree that D3 should not have an MMO-like gear grind required to progress. D3 makes me feel like Don Knotts from Family Guy, "I knew there'd be a little grinding but this is too many."
80 Human Paladin
2950
instead of generically using the word 'hard' for every thing you dislike, why don't you just state exactly what it is.

Instead of saying "this game is too hard, what i mean is that it is time consuming."

Just say "This game is time consuming."

Instead of saying "this game is too hard, i need a spreadsheet to know what to do".

Just say "this game requires a spreadsheet to know what to do."

EDIT: The problem is "we" don't say that at all, only you say "This game is too hard", and it makes you sound like you don't know how to communicate.


Gee. The post was pretty detailed I thought. But I guess you only read the title.

"The diversity was increased because in the end the players did not care whether their build was a little suboptimal in DPS vs another build because it was fun for them to play that way. "

you never played d2


Yeah...i guess those 4 years of my life must have been an implant....maybe some Total Recall thing.
Nice post. I agree with it for the most part. I love feeling overpowered in these types of games. Diablo 3 just lacks that. If I wanted a skill based game, I would go play one. If I wanted to grind for hours at a time just to slowly progress, I'd play an MMO.

I've said it before, Diablo 3 is trying to be too many things at once. In doing so, it fails at all of them.
I actually disagree with the poster about this, I have messed around with silly mage tanking specs with thorns and weird gear in inferno and I can still clear act2 and 3 with my weird specs.

I have a barb who can tank 3/4 player games in act 3/4 with 75k hp, he can also change gear to his crit damage/life on hit build and still survive if need be.

I think people like to have a huge tantrum when they can't just step into inferno and expect the game to be easy. Act 1 and 2 of inferno are a joke to my mage, I don't even use force armor and I don't get 1 shot. I actually farmed up gear that had good armor and str to offset the need for res.

Think outside the box a little. And to be honest stop comparing this to Diablo 2, D2 on release day had like 5% of the features it currently has including no uniques from hell level, no runes/jewels/charms/runewords, etc. Content is to come, so get farming now so that when the endgame actually arrives you won't be stuck at the farming stage again with another wall of text complaining about how you dont have enough gear.
You should use "I" or "Some of us" .. not "we" .. I think the game is fine.
07/01/2012 08:57 PMPosted by Themaceguy
Gee. The post was pretty detailed I thought. But I guess you only read the title.


I didn't, but i responded to the "i'm going to try to speak for other people."

if "we" agree with what you say, "we" will either +1 or like or reply with "yes!".

I don't post crap with "we" to try to impress the developers that i can read other D3 player's minds. I assume that's how you know what "we" mean when we say "we say D3 is too hard", because you didn't list any other sources of how you determined this is what "we" mean.
yes very spot on post
80 Human Paladin
2950
What you're complaining about is exactly what Blizzard intended. The first 3 modes are "Icarus Hard" and Inferno is a time sink that can't be zerged to keep up the illusion of an endgame. The only only thing about the difficulty of the game I don't like is the ridiculous combinations of affixes that sometimes force you to restart your game rather than push through with retarded repair bills.


Well, the problem with that is that Blizzard already has a game that does that. Its called WOW. If I wanted to play a game like that, I would go play WOW. I wanted to play a Hack and slash. By turning D3 into that, it competes with WoW like games and eventually, I suspect, will lose those players back to WoW or some other MMO.

07/01/2012 08:57 PMPosted by Hitman
I've said it before, Diablo 3 is trying to be too many things at once. In doing so, it fails at all of them.


Hitman is absolutely right. Diablo 3 should be a hack and slash, not Diet Wow. But that is just my opinion. The purpose of this post is to see if I am in the stark minority (which I fear) or if I represent a growing number for fans.

My hope with the recent patches is that perhaps this opinion is not a minority one. Please also note its not about the game being hard, its about what kind of hard. I want the Icarus hard.
85 Goblin Priest
9400
Your personal skill set is never really challenged in D3. They missed the mark on this one!!! Shielding doesn't test my skills as a player, being vortex'd into molten/plague doesn't, reflect damage tests my build/gear not me personally. Most of these affix combinations make the player feel like the mobs themselves are in the driver seat and u are along for the ride. This game is all about getting really strong and dominating everything as fast as possible. Feeling like the games in control of my time is kinda poopy. The more i play this game, i think im at 500-600 hrs players, the more i see how this is absolutely nowhere near a Diablo sequel.

To be honest though, i have like a novel i wanted to type out right now but my caremeters pretty empty. So I'll leave a few paragraphs. I have 1 of 13 total friends from irl/online that still plays. The game for me is a ghost town, and I'm taking a break myself now. I really had such high hopes for this sequel along with many others. Now its just a wasted 60 bucks until/if they can eat a piece of humble pie and fix the glaring issues addressed on these forums everyday. People will say what they have to say always. Its really only a matter of time before all these people that are posting complaints and viable solutions leave.

When they leave it's going to be pretty hard to get them to come back. There is no doubt that this is trickling into WoW profits. I can't name one friend that I've made in my YEARS of playing Blizzard games that hasn't either already canceled their sub to WoW, or is immediately after the year they signed up for. I'm exhausted with the game tbh.
Your personal skill set is never really challenged in D3. They missed the mark on this one!!! Shielding doesn't test my skills as a player, being vortex'd into molten/plague doesn't, reflect damage tests my build/gear not me personally


The challenge of D3 has never really been "can you kill this elite pack".

Its "How fast can you kill this elite packs." or "Can you kill it faster, or with better MF or better GF gear and still kill it fast enough".

If you've ever played end-game D2, you'll know that killing mephisto or diablo isn't really a challenge. Its all about how fast you can do it.
I keep seeing people bring up the fact that "we" don't care about balance. I'm sure there are plenty of you out there that don't (as long as your primary class is the OP one). However, in all games I play, I play all class types. I HATE games that make it easier for one class than another. Nothing bugs me more than to be able to do content on one of my characters and in basically the same level of gear get owned on another. They will NEVER be able to fully balance every class due to all the skills but they should try and I give Bliz a thumbs up for that.

Inferno is for the hardcore that enjoy banging their head up against walls. I'm currently stuck farming in Act 1 as it sounds like you are as well. Not gonna lie, it is getting a bit boring but I knew that is what I was getting before I even started. You conveniently left out raiding in your WoW comparisons. Raiding in WoW is like Inferno in Diablo. Not a lot of people are going to do it due to the shear time requirements and difficulty. They added it specifically because Diablo 2 was a joke. Fun yes, but extraordinarily easy. And we complained about it. If you enjoy Diablo 2 then as you stated you can run up thru Hell difficulty. While the drops are lower, you do have a chance for level 61 & 62 gear to drop.
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