Every now and again, we gamers are faced with the situation of having to seriously rethink our past opinions. For better or for worse, our outlook on what we play has a good chance of changing over time. Today I’ll be talking about a recent occurrence of this realization that has happened to me. I’ll be talking about my second opinion on Diablo III.
Alright, so when D3 first came out, I was as excited as anyone. I went to the midnight release, I lost many nights of sleep, and I grinded more XP and gear than I think I did in my first year of WoW. My friends and I were obsessed, and we had just jumped on the D3 bandwagon; we didn’t even play D2.
Alas, a couple weeks ago we all just stopped playing. While we didn’t openly acknowledge it, we literally just quit signing in to D3 and started playing other games, mostly on Steam. When we finally did talk about why we thought we quit after hours of grinding to get good gear, lots of gold and many gems/crafting pages, we realized that was in fact the issue: grinding.
Describing why we left D3 would provide the exact same reasoning behind why we left World of Warcraft. Simply put, we grew to hate XP grinding and the absolute repetitiveness of the game. We knew that Diablo was all about replaying the story to level up your character, but it seems to me that there is something inherently flawed about the system. My friends and I found that increasing the difficulty of each run-through didn’t exactly make it more fun, in fact it just made it feel re-skinned just like every piece of WoW content that has come out for the past 2 or 3 years (another reason why we left WoW).
We also came to figure out that XP grinding didn’t even get you the gear you wanted (sorry, NEEDED) to progress further into Inferno mode (the hardest difficulty). Instead, all you did was grind 1 boss over and over again until you had enough gold to buy a piece of equipment from the Auction House substantial enough for you to move on (each piece of gear could take literally hundreds of runs to afford). Even this system is flawed, because taking damage and dying in the game penalizes you significantly; it’s a much higher rate of cost than it is of profit, which frankly makes the game seem broken.
Unfortunately, it seems that this is the path Blizzard has been taking for far too long and I guess they haven’t veered off it yet. I hope soon that they come to realize that a game should not be centered around any sort of grinding—XP or gear—if you want the game to have lasting appeal. Blizzard actually admitted that D3’s end-game isn’t enough to satisfy players. Yikes; maybe we can all learn from this.
Anyway, I really think that my time with D3 has come and gone. Maybe it will be fun again if they patch some of the issues, but I don’t see myself finding it interesting again until at least the end of the year, when I will want a small break from Guild Wars 2 (side note – that’s one of the many things that GW2 does right; they are all about NOT grinding to have fun).
While D3 still has many players, they’ll have to seriously rework their loot/damage system before my friends and I log back in any time soon. It was a great game at first, but just like WoW, long-term analysis was required to see the negative parts.