Diablo III WAS a giant !@#$-up

General Discussion
Taking off on the Schreier article. This is not to bash the game or the devs but D3 vanilla was undoubtedly a colossal mistake and missed opportunity; the Kotaku piece provides some insight into its ensuing impact at Blizzard.

Initial sales of D3 vanilla don't matter. Majority (?) of vanilla players left the game and apparently never returned; I remember an old infographic that said the majority of vanilla characters did not finish Inferno. And they did not come back to RoS either.

In that relationship between the devs and the suits at Activision, one group might have come out stronger than the other as a result. Blizz has always prided itself on being a dev-focused gaming company which makes great quality games. But Jay Wilson and Co.'s mistakes and plunders weakened their influence on subsequent Diablo projects, including the still-uncertain state of D4.

This suggests for one that D4 cannot be left solely in the hands of the devs anymore. I am not in great sympathy with Acti or any form of mega-management, but obviously an AAA game does not only need to sell well, but also to establish a robust reputation and credibility in the minds of gamers. D3 failed in that respect.

One takeaway from the history is that the devs have to take greater note of what the community wants, both D2 fans and newer/potential players.

Given the state of Arpgs today, I don't think the franchise can survive another debacle like D3 vanilla.
11/22/2018 09:18 PMPosted by rahl
This is not to bash the game or the devs

Why do people tell this lie right before they do what they say they aren't going to do
The way I see it if you are going to lie right before you say your piece it doesn't give any credence to what you are saying because you have already lied in the opening statement
It kind of was. Launch issues aside, the game was (and still is...) plagued with horrible design choices. I do understand why Blizzard executives lost faith in the game and told the team the franchise would be better off if they started on a new game as opposed to a new D3 expansion.

I mean, the fundamentals of D3 are literally flawed and go against everything fans loved about the previous games. Trash itemization, trash skill system, terrible story, art style is wrong...the list just goes on. This game is just broken at its core. As many people have said, Diablo 3 is a good game, but a horrible Diablo game.
11/22/2018 09:18 PMPosted by rahl
I remember an old infographic that said the majority of vanilla characters did not finish Inferno.

Because Inferno was so overtuned that no one wanted to do it.
11/22/2018 09:31 PMPosted by Steve
11/22/2018 09:18 PMPosted by rahl
This is not to bash the game or the devs

Why do people tell this lie right before they do what they say they aren't going to do
The way I see it if you are going to lie right before you say your piece it doesn't give any credence to what you are saying because you have already lied in the opening statement

It's because being critical of the game...constructively...which means adultely / politely is not the same as bashing.

see basing and being critical are about attitudes. you can say the same message with two different attitudes...making them mean different things emotionally.

therefore, you're looking for ways OP bashed over criticized. Could you provide a clear example of bashing that is exactly-not being critical? Where bashing is clearly the intention and not-criticism?
11/22/2018 10:02 PMPosted by Thorodan
therefore, you're looking for ways OP bashed over criticized. Could you provide a clear example of bashing that is exactly-not being critical

11/22/2018 09:18 PMPosted by rahl
One takeaway from the history is that the devs have to take greater note of what the community wants,

D3 is in the mess it is now because of the players
RoS came out with open world, which the players wanted and delivered on along with bounties and rifts
From there the players wanted GR, legendary gems and Leaderboards all delivered on, and even now being able to do a GR 150 is still not good enough and has to be higher and the Powercreep has to increase to accomadate the players wish to do GR infinity in 10 seconds flat
The players also wanted a WW barbarian set because there wasn't a WW build and surprise, surprise there is a WW build
Most of the mess this game is in is because of the devs listening to the players, there's even the give us PvP from the players that was delivered on and people still say there is no PvP
So why is he bashing the devs for doing exactly what the players want
From what I have heard vanilla sold around 20 million ex before RoS was released.
Total sales with RoS + all consoles aroumd 30 million.

So I'm guessing around 5 million RoS copies. Sound little. Maybe RoS sales is closer to 10 million?
Still RoS sold waaay less. Even if RoS is known for a massive improvement. I think the vanilla flopp was enough to scare away the people.
D3 release was indeed a large disappointment.

-Missing features that were shown in the gameplay video / pvp
-Real Money Auction House
-Legendary drops were extremely rare and usually sucked
-Difficulty wasn't balanced with Inferno being ridiculous (one shot hits, elite enrage timer)
-Deckard Cain's in game cinematic death by purple butterflies
-Story/Narration being super cheesy with bosses telling you what they were up to

Plenty of other issues as well. A lot of the developers who worked on Diablo 3 didn't have prior experience with ARPGs or the Diablo franchise.
11/22/2018 09:59 PMPosted by Lightdeity
It kind of was. Launch issues aside, the game was (and still is...) plagued with horrible design choices. I do understand why Blizzard executives lost faith in the game and told the team the franchise would be better off if they started on a new game as opposed to a new D3 expansion.

I mean, the fundamentals of D3 are literally flawed and go against everything fans loved about the previous games. Trash itemization, trash skill system, terrible story, art style is wrong...the list just goes on. This game is just broken at its core. As many people have said, Diablo 3 is a good game, but a horrible Diablo game.


Agreed. ROS made D3 playable (and I did play the hell out of it) but did it make D3 a good Diablo game? Would having ROS at launch kept the original players?

We'd unlikely know but we are beginning to know the history that panned out post-vanilla.
11/22/2018 10:01 PMPosted by Omniance
11/22/2018 09:18 PMPosted by rahl
I remember an old infographic that said the majority of vanilla characters did not finish Inferno.

Because Inferno was so overtuned that no one wanted to do it.


Most gave up after a while. I will be in the minority who died numerous times when kiting the wasps, and came back for more. Now I look back upon that time with some fondness and much humor. It's weird :)
Is Blizzard under a lot of pressure to deliver a worthy D4 now? Do they feel the heat?

This is their last chance at the Diablo franchise after the D3 flop, and their last chance to win back the PC fans. Other than Overwatch, their PC games have generally been garbage the last 10 years.
The Kotaku article was a load of crap, but I agree about D3 being a huge stuff up.
There's also a point where Inferno ceased to exist, so you can't exactly use that as a damning demographic since people could have easily came back when some inking of sanity came back to difficulty with the further temporary Monster Power system.

People can be all, "Well, D3 only sold 30+ million copies because of D2!" until they're blue in the face, but that runs under the assumption that every one of those people played D2 first. And I only bring up that number because it's a fantastically asinine glimpse into corporate expectation the article also brought up when the vast majority of video games are lucky to ever break 1m sales.

Anyway, vanilla did a lot wrong, and I'm not the slightest bit surprised if it did scare away players for various reasons. However, I remain unconvinced that some of the frequent talking points like Cain's death, the joke that was the pony level, or not being "dark" enough are actually up there on the list. Things that relate to accessibility (drop rates, A2 Inferno wall, etc.) are where the real damage was done. Class balance and build diversity would likely follow after that. But in terms of behind the scenes stuff, staff shuffling rarely bodes well for any game during production, and D3 eventually saw multiple directors and who knows how much rotation from the grunts we really know nothing about. Chicken and egg about the relationship between consumer reaction, sure, but I'll remain of the mind that the corporate side sabotaged things in their own way. To again bring up the 30+ mil number, you don't move that many units and go on to have the luxury to say you don't have the money to fix things. That was their choice, further feeding into the DI mess.

So, I'll just close with saying an offline mode patch with mod support tools is the only real avenue left to win fans back over here, because it really doesn't seem like the same corporate wants to try to "fix" D3 themselves.
11/22/2018 10:38 PMPosted by DeMasked

-Deckard Cain's in game cinematic death by purple butterflies

I can not imagine D4 without Deckard!

11/22/2018 10:38 PMPosted by DeMasked

-Story/Narration being super cheesy with bosses telling you what they were up to

Yes, it is so stupid! Great evil telling what it going to do!
Remember D2 cinema trailers, nobody knows what and what for is going on. Evil does not telling it to you.
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Because Inferno was so overtuned that no one wanted to do it.


Most gave up after a while. I will be in the minority who died numerous times when kiting the wasps, and came back for more. Now I look back upon that time with some fondness and much humor. It's weird :)

I would like to play with today's drop rate (and today's artisans) on the original difficulty inferno.

Like day 1 inferno.
11/22/2018 10:40 PMPosted by rahl
Would having ROS at launch kept the original players?

Depends on what you mean. If you mean RoS with no RMAH then maybe
The fact is that most people left when RoS was released because the RMAH was also shutdown and they were just here to make money and liking the game had nothing to do with why they were here
especially when you take into consideration that a lot of so called players sat on the AH's to buy/get items cheap and then flip them. Didn't even have to play the game
11/22/2018 10:37 PMPosted by Evilsausage
From what I have heard vanilla sold around 20 million ex before RoS was released.
Total sales with RoS + all consoles aroumd 30 million.

So I'm guessing around 5 million RoS copies. Sound little. Maybe RoS sales is closer to 10 million?
Still RoS sold waaay less. Even if RoS is known for a massive improvement. I think the vanilla flopp was enough to scare away the people.


Across platforms yea thought to be around 10m. Didn't really come relatively close to vanilla sales considering vanilla was initially released PC only.
11/22/2018 10:55 PMPosted by Krine
Is Blizzard under a lot of pressure to deliver a worthy D4 now? Do they feel the heat?

This is their last chance at the Diablo franchise after the D3 flop, and their last chance to win back the PC fans. Other than Overwatch, their PC games have generally been garbage the last 10 years.


They don't care and will never create another ARPG ever because it costs too much to maintain and they don't care enough to try.

The next big Diablo game after DI won't be an isometric ARPG.
For some, if a member on the forums says "d3 a giant f.qk up", he is considered a toxic troll.
When Blizzard themselves internally say it, it's fake.

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