Blizzard no longer follows Bushnell's Law.

General Discussion
Blizzard's motto has been, "Easy to learn, hard to master."

This is known as Bushnell's Law or as Bushnell himself stated, "All the best games are easy to learn and difficult to master. They should reward the first quarter and the hundredth." Obviously, he was referencing the arcade games of his time, but quarters has become an excellent metaphor the time players invest into a game.

The founders of Blizzard believed that the best way to achieve this was through a design philosophy that began with building the game's depth first to ensure that it had something to master and provided longevity they wanted. Then after that was in place meticulously polish those systems to make them accessible so that anyone could pick-up the game.

Blizzard no longer seems to have this philosophy and as a result hasn't followed Bushnell's Law. What they appear to do now is design for accessibility and the short term experience first. Then come back and attempt to inject depth and longevity into the game. The problem is the core design remains shallow and the newer systems they bake into the game only end up providing a superficial layer.

D3 is the prime example as a majority of its life cycle has been under this new direction. D3V launched with a straightforward leveling experience and an easy to pick-up skill system. However, there was no depth beneath that. There was almost nothing to learn or to master. Worst of all it would rapidly become less rewarding the longer a person played. They've since added paragon, scaling content, and an end-game set bonus meta, but at it's core nothing has actually changed. There is still almost nothing to learn or to master and the game goes stale very quickly without resets. The game lacks replayability because there is nothing a player could choose to do differently if starting over. The entire experience is on rails and mostly out of the control of the player.

Basically, the game falls into the "Easy to learn, easy to master." spectrum or in other words it is more like checkers and less like chess.
06/01/2015 12:04 PMPosted by Hackuseme
"Easy to learn, easy to master."


easy to learn, yes.

easy to master? i don't see anyone who mastered RNG.

the meta of the game is to beat RNGesus.
D2 and D3 are equally easy to master. It's not like anyone has to figure out what works and what doesn't work, outside of a few that comes up with or refines builds. With both games you know what you need and grind (or in D2s case, trade) for the items.

Blizzard making sets so dominating dumbed down the game a bit, but marginally so.

These games have never been very hard. With a bit of a hand eye coordination, spacial ability and ability to adjust on the fly you can be good at Diablo games. The other ingredient is to play a lot so you have high level and good gear.
06/01/2015 12:08 PMPosted by Chorro
easy to master? i don't see anyone who mastered RNG.


because there is nothing to master...and even if you do find little tid bits within the game you can actually excel at....its just paltry compared to what potentially could have been.....

that's people are frustrated......because the game should have lots of "meat and potatoes" and it doesn't.

Start 1 season or start 500 of them. doesn't matter...

All you will be doing is following your nose to trifecta gear and the same set pieces as the rest of the planet....
06/01/2015 12:15 PMPosted by Freudian
D2 and D3 are equally easy to master. It's not like anyone has to figure out what works and what doesn't work, outside of a few that comes up with or refines builds. With both games you know what you need and grind (or in D2s case, trade) for the items.

Blizzard making sets so dominating dumbed down the game a bit, but marginally so.

These games have never been very hard. With a bit of a hand eye coordination, spacial ability and ability to adjust on the fly you can be good at Diablo games. The other ingredient is to play a lot so you have high level and good gear.


I would argue that was not the case.

D2 had enough depth and variety within the mechanics and itemization that it took a considerable amount of knowledge about the game to know the what, where, and how of optimized builds. Even bypassing part of the learning curve by looking up build guides for cookie-cutter setups involved lengthy multistage processes people had to keep on hand like a check list.

The devs for D3 openly admitted they didn't want a game where people felt they needed to google the best builds. They wanted a, "Play your way." design where players could choose for themselves what skills they used. Problem was they built that design on the pipe dream of equality and balance hoping that having all skills homogeneously scale from gear would achieve that. Of course there is always imbalances and always a most efficient meta, which meant certain skills were definitely stronger and since they all shared the same scaling they would always be better. The set item and legendary redesign was basically their band-aid fix to this problem, but they've sort of contradicted the very reason they made the game's core shallow for in the first place.

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