I have been unfortunate in my time to live through alot of stupid gaming bullshit. Way more than I wanted to.
But, today’s post is about the one that I care the most personally about. The complete failure of the Diablo III launch, its fallout, and why you should actually play the game now (if you set your expectations right).
I mostly want to talk about the last part (cause I feel like it being a good game (now) is all that counts, but Ill relive some memories.
What it was like going through launch?
These days, big ass launch failures are commonplace. But, back then, it was…not uncommon, but not spectacularly huge. I feel like Blizzard’s biggest fuck up was building up way too much hype for what they had at launch.
What they had was a campaign that was mid at best, difficulties that were tuned way too high, and the NOTORIOUS Real Money Auction House (RMAH).
I feel like its the last one that actually killed people’s opinion of the game. I feel like people would have forgiven a meh campaign, figuring that expansions would fix that (it did)….no its the RMAH.
Playing the game…it was unnecessarily tough. And not in a fun way. If you managed to get to the end game, it was a constant “sorry, you didnt have the right defensives, you are now one shot from full health.”
Truthfully, the only respite was the RMAH. Perfect roll gear went for big, actual, money. American dollars. But, like a dogshit roll on a set piece or legendary you needed, you could get for the standard gold currency which flowed like manna from heaven. It was the ONLY way to gear up back then, as the drop rate was dogshit.
But, people hated it. Diablo III being Pay-To-Win was a common refrain. Which, while it wasn’t true, it was in the realm of accurate. Blizzard was trying to get a handle on all the black market trading and item duping and it totally backfired.
The aftermath and resurrection
A fucking FLURRY of goddamn ARPG clowns hit the 4 winds. Just piles of people who wanted nothing more than Diablo II but more complicated and not fun making games that just sucked.
Meanwhile, to Blizzard’s credit, they attempted to fix the game.
And I think its worth taking a few sentences to appreciate that. I don’t know who at Blizzard made this choice (and I hope it was not one of the people responsible for all the rape and shit), but in pockets where things haven’t been as successful of late (Starcraft II, HotS, D3), they figured out they weren’t committed to make the thing that the super hard core gamers wanted. So they could make the clean accessible thing.
They could make something that was as polished as we expected, but simpler. Something catering to that most damnable of words today….casual (almost as damnable as meta).
Why you should put Diablo III into your rotation?
So what did Blizzard spend their time fixing? Well, in my opinion. They are all the reasons to play now. In no particular order.
1. Do what you want and you can still do end game.
You know what is a big complaint I hear from people playing that new fucking bullshit. “Oh man, I wish I would have known about X before I did Y. Now I have to start with a new save.”
You know where you DONT have to do that shit. Diablo III. You have a skill you like, there is a build for it and you can get to the end game.
You do not have to Meta to actually see what the game has to offer. Let me repeat that. YOU DONT HAVE TO META. This automatically makes Diablo III better than what you like.
And the designers know this. There is a set or legendaries that support a build around every skill every character has. Will it be better than skill X. Of course not. But will you get to do you.
Yes. And thats worth more than anything else.
2. Seasons are made to throw a new idea in the mix. They aren’t all winners, but they are all fun.
Blizzard also knows there is only so much killing for the same shit you can do over and over. Enter seasons. We are ending 25 now, and they have each been unique (since season 8, I think). Some mechanic they are either testing for the full game or a way to make you really strong…force you into different gear.
For example, this season had these special gems that, while they made you super strong, you kind of had to give up a bit for it. Change your gear….make you stronger.
And for me, thats just interesting enough to have me come back.
Next season is like Super Rifts (more on rifts next), and to be honest, I’m going to roll a new season character for that.
3. Rifts are made to chill
I know what some of the hardcore folks are going to say, “Path of Exile has that too…”
Yeah they do, but what they DONT have is casual.
Fuckin Adventure Mode is chill incarnate. If you are like me, you dont want to sweat forever. You dont want to have to grind your brain in the ground having to roll to oblivion. You want to have fun and chill.
There are very few things that are more chill than doing Challenge Rifts with friends. Its a good fucking time to shoot the shit. Its a good time if you want to watch something you have already seen a million times on the TV, get drunk, and fucking have fun.
The idea of just a regular random dungeon and a super random dungeon (if your nasty) is simple. Clean. Two types. That’s it. And a good time awaits every time.
Notice, I didn’t even cover all the window dressing additions. Ancient Primals, Hellfire Amulet, Emenating abilities, and more that they added to the game from launch.
I just wanted to focus on what should keep you coming back.
Diablo III is not a game you are going to play every day for the rest of your life. There are games that can be that for you. But Diablo III is the gift that keeps on giving. You will come back every six months, year, few years, and find something new…and have a good fucking time.
That’s the best review I can give it. Its a good fucking time. And you don’t have to sweat to do it.