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Lets start off with a Jay Wilson quote:
"We never wanted to make War and Peace. Just a Decent Pulpy story about heroes killing demons."
Let me talk a bit about the problems in the story and why its "mediocre" as IGN puts it:
1. You think people WANT a super-fleshed-out world and a linear, "tell-me-what-to-do" story: You're so, so wrong. This is not Warcraft, or Starcraft. We are not talking Murlocks or Space Opera here. This is a really dark, dreary world and part of liking this world is not knowing everything about it.
Damon Lindelof once said "If I had to choose between the ending of Lost and the Architect scene in the Matrix, I would be miles away from the latter." Closure is good but too much half-baked descriptions and shoddy details just killed it. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS. People sometimes mess this up the wrong way. Mass Effect 3 had too little closure in the ending, but they corrected it to give just the right amount.
2. BADLY-DONE DETAIL INSTEAD OF WELL-DONE MINIMALISM
Diablo 1 and 2 had a tacked-on storyline but the overall storyline was engrossing with very little plot holes (since the plot wasn't so elaborately detailed). The characters were few but well-done (even the old man who opens the gate of Sescheron was brilliant in his 2mins).
D3 tries to put in too many characters, thus most are not well-done. The followers really are the ones who stand out, and Zoltan Kulle is a brilliant new character. Apart from them, everything else somehow feels tacky. As Bilbo Baggins would say, it's "...like butter sc*!*!d over too much bread."
3. A "PULPY" STORY FOR DIABLO???
What the hell do you mean by this? Do not disrespect the Diablo franchise, guys. I repeat, Diablo is not Starcraft or Warcraft. The storyline of the first 2 games was dark and epic. I repeat, dark and epic. This time around, you promised us an "epic storyline" and in the end you defend it as "pulpy"??? It's sad because pulpy is EXACTLY what the storyline is. Which makes me think you guys never invested time into the story, since you were aiming for a "pulpy" one anyways.
That is sacrilege. Again, don't put in so many characters if you can't make them worthwhile, nobody's asking you to. Keep it simple and dark and non-pulpy.
People may say the music was decent; I say bollocks. I still remember the music in the haunting ending cinematic of Mass Effect 3, the opening chords of DA:Origins, and almost 9-10 of the tracks in D1 and D2 in my head. The music in D3 is ambient and never pulls you in, never stays in your head. It just works as an aside. The only 2 tracks I still remember is Overture, the one that plays when you're running to the Crystal Arch, and the music accompanying Cain's death (post-Act-1 cinematic).
The problem: You went for ambient music, too much of it. Ambient music is just not clear or memorable enough. Screw that in the expansions. Make your audio team work double. You have to create a musical landscape for the games otherwise immersion will JUST, NOT, HAPPEN.
Any views/additional points/thoughts on the above are welcome.
Edited by Sparker#1675 on 7/3/2012 9:55 PM PDT
I don't hate this story as much as many people do, but I'll add my $0.02 for whatever it's worth, and hopefully Blizz will take note.
I agree with the minimalism. Sometimes less is more. Diablo only uttered a single line in Diablo 2 and it was badass. In Diablo 3 he goes off like he's on his cellphone with his BFF. He talks way too much, much of what he says is petty and it seriously undermines the notion that he's the Lord of TERROR. He's just plain not scary.
Blizz, it's not too late to redeem the lore of this franchise if you really have two expansions in the works. We want scary villains with less-is-more minimalist but quality dialogue. If Imperius is the next villain, then he needs to sound like a boss, and avoid cliches like "SILENCE!" In terms of visual character design, Imperius is one of the most awesome looking characters you folks at Blizz have ever come up with in my opinion, so please don't ruin him by giving him cheesy lines, taunts and that dreaded Saturday Morning Cartoon villain vibe that's rampant in this game.
Damon Lindelof is the pretentious hack who is responsible for the nonsensical mess that was Prometheus. Unlike him, Jay Wilson knows not to brag; there's plenty of dark epicness to be found in D3, but at the core, it is still a pulpy story about heroes fighting demons and monsters.
Which is what Diablo has always been about: evil demons want to corrupt the living and stereotypical heroic-fantasy characters rise to face them in battle. It doesn't get any more complex than that.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 7/4/2012 7:42 AM PDT
Yeah, agreed 100% OP. The same goes for Tyrael and the high heavens. Tyrael was the coolest NPC in Diablo 2 because of his mystery and intrigue. We got just a glimpse of him, but we felt like he had this immense, unknowable power. Diablo 1 and 2 were really good at giving you an intriguing glimpse and just stopping there without saying "OK, here's what this guy looks like from every angle and here's all the crazy stuff he can do." It's just lazy to write it that way, and it doesn't let people use their imaginations at all.
Tyrael's whole presence was killed with him having a face and human emotions too. And it was killed even more by having him go along blindly with Adria's OBVIOUS plot to betray us. Tyrael was tricked by Izual because he implicitly trusted his #1 go-to lieutenant; he was tricked by Adria because he was a moron who wouldn't stop for 3 seconds and say "wait a second.... that sounds like it could be a trap."
I agree with the OP and am hoping that Blizz does return to the origins of the game being of a gothic nature. I miss the chills to be had when entering tombs and encountering 'silent' bosses who just exude the essence of evil. This philosophy has become tangible in there minds and things like colour pastels have given Santuary a rather colourful look when its all meant to be medievil, apart from eastern 'exotica' such as Caldeun and Lut Gholein.
I believe the sound track was alright. Different, but still good. True the tracks like Wilderness and Mephistos Tomb cannot be toppled but the essence and intention was still there.
In general the essence of the characters and the lore are not the issue but more or less the execution. The lore, even in its plot holes, have a chance to be redeemed or clarified in the expansions, so i would wait till there done to criticise... i must say if they dont explain how adria was able to mark the soulstones ill be annoyed. That needs a good, thorough, believable explanation.
I talk about this in my own thread in rather simple detail if you wish to also look at my pointss....
100% agree. Subtlety is brilliant for this franchise. Hire a writer who embraces it :)
And remove all in-game cutscenes I guess?
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