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I wrote up much of this list quickly back last summer in a post on a different Diablo 3 forum, however it's all still pretty relevant. I have re-organized it and tried to update it as best I can. Many of the points are inter-related to each other. The items listed are not really in any sort of meaningful order and are just sort of a stream of thought.
The following is a list of what I feel are Diablo 3's major shortcomings and why I am personally very disappointed with the game. The following are just my own personal opinions, but are clearly shared by many others. I finally took the time to think about them, point by point and write out what I didn't like. They are not ordered in any particular way, other than just how they popped into my mind.
1. The items are boring and uninteresting
Diablo games have always primarily been about the item hunt, there need to be super interesting items to chase that give you upgrades, fantastic new abilities, maybe even ones that will support a specfic powerful or whacky build. As long as the item system is subpar, the game will be subpar. Diablo 3's item system is about as boring and generic as you can get. DPS, Main Stat, Vit, All Resits, Crit GOOGOGO. Every class, every item slot. There are never interesting decisions or choices to be made. You are simply increasing the numbers. Nobody gets excited about upgrading their boots +1 dex but that's the type of upgrades you are forced to seek out in this game because there is nothing else to chase.
2. No character investment
Auto-stat point allocation, all skills and runes available at all times, no permanent decisions, your character is just boring and you don't feel like you had any hand in making it, in fact you didn't make it, it made itself. You have no connection to or investment in your character at all. You are walking gear. In Diablo 2 you also had incentive to make characters over and over again, You had a frenzy barb, a WW lance barb, a WW sword bab, they all played differently and needed different gear, same for your ice sorc, your fire sorc, etc. This incentive doesn't exist in Diablo 3 which effectively renders the game 1-59 completely useless, including all low level legendaries and such.
3. No social system
The lack of a decent lobby and the ability to create named game instance to attract people with similiar and desired interests (duels, trades, questing, etc.). Just trying to give away items is painful, spam chat, hope to find someone who wants it, invite them to a party, create game, etc. Having a list of named games that people could pop in and out of to do whatever was in the title was awesome and is sorely missed. It allowed people to group with those who shared similar interests, rather than just 3 randoms. The 4 player cap is also horrible. 8 players in a game would be crazy and also FUN. If we can't have 8 at least give us 5 so we can have one of each class. Why don't you let people CHOSE how they want to play? Why was 8 players deemed "not the way it was supposed to be played" and removed? Let people play how they want, be it solo or in a huge group.
4. All game aspects have been simplified/streamlined/removed
Remember when weapons had range? Like using a lance was slow but had long range and using a mace was faster but had short range, remember that? Remember when axes did extra damage to demons and maces did extra damage to undead? Remember when each of the elemental damages actually did damage differently? Remember when there were 6 different gems types and they did drastically different things depending on where they were socketed, making all 6 types interesting and viable. Remember when there were more than 4-5 types of shrines? WTF happened to all that? They were all small, simple things that gave the game character and at least a little depth, why were they all ripped out? Worried it might confuse people? Diablo 3 has been streamlined, simplified, and flat out dumb-downed to near death.
5. The story is terrible and is shoved down your throat.
Diablo games have never primarily been about the story, the story has always been kind of a back drop and left a lot to your imagination. However Diablo 3's story is not only ridiculous and childish and laughably stupid, but is CONSTANTLY IN YOUR FACE ALL THE TIME. You can't get away from it, you are always questing, no matter what, replaying the same crap you've done a million times over and over again. In D2 once you got done with the story you were done with it if you chose to be. You could kill all the bosses or uniques, go where you want, etc.
6. The world is not random or open enough
The world feels small and disjointed, the areas are all connected the same way geographically every time. There are no large open areas that are random and connected to random other areas. The ability to warp between acts is gone. The entire world feels railroaded. This is very related to point 5. It also makes the game feel much shorter and smaller than D2 when it actually isn't. For the love of God give us the ability to play the game in "open" mode, allowing us to use all waypoints and go anywhere without questing. Make the world areas significantly larger and more random. Give us the ability to explore again.
7. The AH makes the item hunt feel pointless and boring
No matter how much you farm, better items are always a few clicks away on the AH, it's always more efficient to use the AH. Finding awesome items as drops will always be way more fun than buying them Wal Mart style from the AH, however farming is just a gigantic inefficient waste of time. Knowing this kills the fun. The AH clearly isn't going away, but something needs to be done to promoting FINDING items, not just buying them in the AH. Unfortunately I have no answer on this. Find a solution though if you want D3 to be fufilling despite the existence of the AH.
8. The world is not as dark/gothic/mysterious
Yes the old art controvesy is back, in fact it never went away. I know this has been said a million times, but the game is NOT as dark as previous Diablo games, I'm sorry it just isn't. It's too cartoony and it really detracts from the game. A lot of this is due to the horrible story (see point 5). There's way too much dialog breaking the mood, way too much comedic relief, villains that behave like petulant 4 year olds taunting you, not to mention the pastel haze over everything. Azmodan and Diablo aren't scary or mysterious, they're inept cartoon villains. My character or followers constantly spotting one liners doesn't make me smile or draw me in, it KILLS THE MOOD.
9. The music is basically non-existant
The actual music tracks that are present are ok, but for some reason it was decided that 95% of the game it should be bland background ambient noise rather than discernable tracks and it makes the game feel dull and lifeless. I know you don't have access to the talents of Matt Uelman anymore, but surely something could have been done more interesting than barely noticable background rifts. Music creates mood, followers spouting off stupid lines do not.
10. The level cap
It took many months upon months to reach the level cap in prior Diablo games, you always felt motivated to play because you were always leveling up. So if you were farming items and not getting anything good, at least you were leveling, your character would improve, you'd get those 5 stat points and shiny new skill point to spend, grinding to get it gave you a sense of progress, no matter what was dropping. The paragon system has tried to address this shortcoming but is still not as rewarding as regular leveling would be.
11. The drop rates are terribly out of whack breaking the slot machine effect
In D2 you were getting uniques and sets frequently, maybe they mostly sucked but you were still getting them, and were possibly useful for your low level characters, which you would DEFINITELY be making over and over again.. It kept the carrot/slot machine effect in a positive way. In D3 legendaries and sets barely drop at all and RARES DROP TOO MUCH because they are normally crap. Items should drop with frequency proportional to their power, but can't be an extreme where they drop too frequently or too infrequently as it breaks the slot machine effect. Finding the "sweet spot" for drops is a delicate task, drop too much, it's boring, don't drop enough, also boring and frustrating. I'm not sure what the sweet spot is, but D2 felt right, D3 does not.
Edited by Zaqwert#1770 on 2/8/2013 7:48 PM PST
12 No ladder system
The ladder system in D2 was light hearted and fun, nothing anybody took too seriously. However the ability to start "fresh" in a new world without everyone being super powerful was awesome. It gave the game longevity, as people made characters again. In Diablo games gear and gold inflation is inevitable, over time everyone's stuff just gets better and better till eventually they are super strong. Having a ladder world was like actually getting to start the game fresh, with a new economoy and new everything. I wouldn't expect Diablo 3 to have exactly Diablo 2's ladder, but how can it have NO LADDER AT ALL? This is a sequel, why does it have so many less features than a game that came out over a decade ago.
Edited by Zaqwert#1770 on 2/5/2013 3:45 PM PST
1) absolutely true
2) I agree with the general feeling, but it is more complicated than that. A lot of people hated rerolling characters, so the skill system in itself is at least debatable. Furthermore, a system that provides manual stat allocation should be done perfectly, otherwise everyone ends up clicking over and over again that "+1 vitality" or whatever the game requires.
3) agreed for the most part. 8 player party with the current camera distance and clustering of light effects would be a mess. 5 player maybe (one for each class).
7) not really. It is the itemization that makes the item hunt pointless. Right now it is possible to play self found, but due to how the itemization works it is strongly recommended to play with at least some other people to trade those fantastic bracers with 150dex you found with your wizard. The AH is a problem only when you consider "farming efficiency", which has nothing to do with "fun" - in fact I would say it's the other way round, if you play self-found in a party of 4 you'll find an upgrade much more often. When you start playing "efficiently" you buy gear from the AH to get gear to sell in the AH, so don't complain.
8) A lot of people like the followers one-liners, other than that I agree.
9) I don't think this deserved it own point.
10) If you want just stats and progression, paragon system is there for that reason.
11) "In D3 legendaries and sets barely drop at all"... What? I get one legendary every ~25 minutes or so, and I'm not one of those efficiency fanatics (I don't even play sprint-WW). Legendaries drop so frequently that 90% of them are worthless.
I agree not all the points I listed are equally important to the game, I tried to put the most important ones first. Also they are just my own opinion, a lot of them are shared by a huge number of people (like the itemization sucking and the community elements sucking, etc.) but some of them I may be in the minority.
Like I said I tried to list what I consider the biggest, most important factors first.
points 1 to 8 are totally true(2 -4 is subjective stuff) but, the big problem which doesn't get enough attention is #6. Random events are an awesome addition but, they don't address the aspect of "exploration" which is missing from this game. Probably, blizzard just sees all the zombies playing WoW and thinks people are happy with playing the same map/instance over and over and over again...
Most of this is true, and it will be fixed in the next 2-3 years. This is Blizzard. You just gotta have patience. I still enjoy playing in the meantime.
Couple things off the top of my head that keep things interesting:
1. I use a non-cookie cutter build (maxing my intelligence/minimum damage for 1-shotting monsters, rather than going the crit route)
2. I don't use the path of least resistance; I add a few zones like Skycrown to the Alkaizer run; I check for some purples/champ packs for achievements; I pick up all lvl 63 rares to play the lottery; I pick up emeralds for some consistent cash; I check Superior Archon drops to see if it's better than my white set; I play a WD
3. I play my HC toon from time to time
4. I remember the bad parts of D1 and D2, as well as the good parts
5. I sell on both the GAH and RMAH, and got HotS with blade wings (look awesome on WD) for free
6. I care about looks and pimp my enchantress
7. I time my farming runs and try to beat them
8. I enjoy the math of the game and use several Excel sheets
9. I help gear my friends
10. I drink while I play
You pretty much nailed everything absolutely perfectly. Well said too. But a lot these things they can't change, or even want to change. They like their story mode, they like the art, and they like the ambience. I doubt they will change those things, although I really wish they would. The most I see them doing would be adding some options to play around with brightness and contrast, basically just making darkd3 an in game option.
I hope they see this though
I agree with most everything here, OP. I am just so tired of agreeing and acknowledging.
We all know what is wrong, Blizzard knows what is wrong. They don't care. Will it ever get fixed? Who knows? I hope so.
And Blizzard doesn't care that we know, that we are unhappy and all in agreement with the games shortcomings did I mention that part?
They couldn't care less it has been evident since launch. And RMAH. And I am done.
Edited by OwnerBoner#1629 on 2/5/2013 1:25 PM PST
By them removing skills/stat points it removed any kind of commitment and attachment towards your character. You would think you replace that commitment with itemization such as more gear like 300th spear that promote certain builds...yet they could not even do that one right.
I generally agree, that's kind of what I put in my earlier wall of text post. I personally like not having to reroll every time I want to try a new character build, but there are still ways to change up skill builds, like letting Paragon points be used for leveling up a rune, for example. Definitely agree about male and female characters though, there really is no point to making another character for any reason aside from Hardcore. I like how Dungeon Fighter Online did by making male and female have different skills and stats, and I could see that adding a lot of diversity to the game.
Account binding, just don't do it. Account binding is bad, mkay?
I'd like like an open world. No quest selection, just start game. Every boss, beast monster will be in it. Free to travel between acts using way points. Have really random maps and dungeons (as far a computer allows for random that is).
They took starcraft, gave it a new graphics engine, upgraded and tweaked stuff and tadaaa starcraft 2 (simplified summary). Everyone loves it. Why? They took a success formula, kept the winning bits and peaces and got another success game.
Why didn't they do this with diablo3? There are too many winning bits and peaces missing in diablo 3 that made diablo 2 one of the greatest games ever.
Why did they dumb diablo 3 down. Should 3 year olds be able to play this game?
Ah well, good post OP.
Account binding, just don't do it. Account binding is bad, mkay?
Account binding would be pretty terrible, hopefully they don't start down that route.to try to make up for a flawed item system.
Most of the things i noted have been noted before, the real question is what will be done about them and when.
Some of the things can be fixed in patches, others really can't and will probably need an expansion to fix sadly.
The real question is, will hubris prevent Blizzard from fixing these things.
Many of these problems are things the community saw coming a mile away and repeatedly warned Blizzard about during development and immediately after release, but the criticism was always ignored or poo'pooed.
Well here we are and the game is not even a year old and dead as a doornail. Will Blizzard's pride and ego prevent them from being like "Dang, ya, all those things you have been saying for the last 3 years and we have been defending, turns out you were right and we were wrong"
That's a big jump to make.
Perhaps with a new game director there is hope.
The fundamental thing I want Blizzard to understand is that they cannot tweek D3 into a great game, it needs radical changes as the core game systems are rotten.
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