Diablo® III

Neuroscience & Psychology behind D2 vs D3

In Diablo 2 there was no obvious AH to accelerate your items to the top 0.1 percentile if utilized; therefore the average gamer could find loot that was satisfying and progress normally across the bell curve in terms of itemization. The in-game rewards in D2 stimulated a dopamine release (a chemical in your brain that is associated with motivation) at correct intervals to keep the game rewarding and fun. Said process eventually stimulated your brain to produce neural pathways that caused dopaminergic release when a player would play or even discuss Diablo 2 in general. The main overlay that ensured that players would retain this motivational response was the expansive experience gain to level 99. If a player couldn't get an upgrade in a run, at least they progressed, which in itself caused a player to want to play again due to his/her dopaminergic response.

In addition, there was a skill tree where experience levels let players allocate significant points to skills desired by the player. This process allowed customization that required an investment of time and enhanced meaningful player abilities that didn't rely solely on items as it does in Diablo 3. In addition, rune words and other modifiers in Diablo 2 motivated players to consider white (non-magic) drops because they could be utilized with correct rune words. The multiplayer cap at 8 instead of 4 enhanced the multiplayer experience which in turn accelerated players' motivation to add other players to their friends list. This motivation propagated players to play with groups they were familiar with, and this process alone reinforced players to continue to play the game.

Diablo 2 was excellent at keeping a player base and had an enormous replay value due to skill point allocations allowing variances which allowed for recreating even the same class with a different result. The game designers of Diablo 2 were intelligent in their design. I hope the developers of Diablo 3 are receiving our feedback, and are adjusting the game accordingly.
Edited by roo483#1266 on 7/7/2012 11:57 PM PDT
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Where did you find this arcane knowledge??
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I'm a pharmacy student and I am extremely interested in neuroscience. I felt compelled to speak my mind on the forums for once.
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Paragraphs? tl;dr
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They're hiring, you know. Blizzard is.
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I would really love to read this. I really would, but the lack of paragraphs makes me almost physically ill.
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07/07/2012 11:53 PMPosted by Locust
Paragraphs? tl;dr


Edit it please into paragraphs, a good argument risks being ignored.
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I edited it for paragraphs. Let me know if this helps.
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tl;dr -- Diablo 2 drills your dopamine receptors like railing a bunch of lines of coke. Diablo 3 plays like an H withdrawal
Edited by zastari#1157 on 7/7/2012 11:59 PM PDT
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lol.

07/07/2012 11:59 PMPosted by zastari
tl;dr -- Diablo 2 drills your dopamine receptors like railing a bunch of lines of coke. Diablo 3 plays like an H withdrawal
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It's the monkey/juice experiment if I recall correctly. Same sort of deal anyway.
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07/08/2012 12:02 AMPosted by TedNelson
It's the monkey/juice experiment if I recall correctly. Same sort of deal anyway.


lol
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If anyone would like a further explanation on the difference between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 on an individual's psychology and desire to continue playing one versus the other I will be glad to elaborate.
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07/08/2012 12:06 AMPosted by roo
If anyone would like a further explanation on the difference between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 on an individual's psychology and desire to continue playing one versus the other I will be glad to elaborate.


Please do, working security overnight at an all time low...need something interesting to keep me awake. Plus it may explain why TERA is still keeping my attention long after I put Diablo 3 down.
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Glad you asked. I am not familiar with TERA but I can certainly explain the motivational discrepancy between players that played Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. The motivational system behind Diablo 2 was intelligently designed and was created by designers that understood the process behind keeping the players involved mentally. Keeping players involved mentally led to the legacy the Diablo 2 became.
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89 Blood Elf Rogue
3425
The problem with your theory (besides the context of your Dopamine idea) is that D2 was a game most players played for 3-6 months and loved it but apparently lost their motivation because the game did not become their life.

You also have to look at these players who are playing many other games and are truly video game addicts that sometimes are played at the exclusion of anything else.

The reaction to stimulus and rewards is not static in the context of a persons behavior. Overuse of the neurotransmitters leads to desensitizing effect depleting neurotransmitters leaving that angry lifestate like a coke freak searching under the sofa cushion to try to find more. All Rewards can diminish as reinforcers.

A rat was hooked up to a lever that stimulated the pleasure centers. it pushed the lever so much it died of exhaustion. Reuptake of neurotransmitters, can become bugged. Addicts find exploits to try to fulfil their addictions.
Edited by Helmarolyn#1181 on 7/8/2012 12:27 AM PDT
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I'm no neuroscientist, but I definitely get what you're saying. I didn't play Diablo 2, so I'm approaching this game as a n00b. I've heard a lot of my friends lament over the lack of end-game content, compared to D2.

That being said, I think these forums could definitely use some intelligent, well thought out posts like the ones here to get the attention of the Blues. I feel like the "Jay'd" posts (as funny as some of them are) are redundant and are getting the fans nowhere. I'm "liking" this post, and I hope others do as well.

P.S. I'm a level 60 monk about to hit Inferno. Wish me luck! :-D
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In my honest opinion you should never mix an easy level cap with little to no end game. I think that is the number one mistake honestly. If you are going to make reaching max level a joke then there better be an hell of a dynamic end-game with constant updates and iterations. Diablo 2's "end-game;" (and I am using that term loosely) was not much different that Diablo 3's on a ideological level. The problem rests in the execution IMO. The trek to 99 always loomed over your head while you fought off PKers and geared yourself up for MF and PvP. Even if you didn't PvP in the game, then you always wanted to grind out that next level, or see that SOJ drop from NM Andy. You're definitely right in that area. Diablo 3 is literally, get to 60 in a day and then farm for rares that for the most part are complete junk.

Now I know some may argue that with all the rushing exploits in D2 getting to 60 could be achieved in a day as well; and I agree, leveling in Diablo 2 was rather bleak in its latter years. But there is a reason that Diablo 2 lasted so long, and Diablo 3 doesn't have it right now IMO.
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