Diablo 3 Review - Is Blizzard Failing the Gaming Community?

With the launch of Blizzard Entertainment's anxiously anticipated PC game, Diablo 3, starting off with huge server problems and thousands of disgruntled gamers... the now owners of D3 appear to be gravitating into two camps. Whether you belong to D3's defenders or D3's complainers, everyone should at least acknowledge the apparent short-comings of Diablo III and Blizzard's failings to live up to all the hype they created for their most recent title.

The problems go much deeper than simply releasing a game that needs to be patched because of server issues and lag.

Addressing just the server bugs and lag...

This should have been avoidable. Blizzard already runs the largest MMO on the planet, WoW. They also launched StarCraft II which required gamers to be connected to play Single Player and started with multiplayer from day one. That launch did not turn into the catastrophe Diablo III's did.

Blizzard's games have been intertwined with servers since the original Diablo and the launch of Battle.net. They're pretty much experts in this department by now.

Then there's the stress test and the pre-sales data. Either Blizzard rushed the launch of an already delayed game without the proper infrastructure in place, or the company made a bottom line call to just ignore the numbers. Either way, they totally dropped the ball. They apologized, but did so in a less than sincere way, with some jokes, and stating they thought they overshot the server stress-load estimate.

Now, the DRM.

If you check out the first link above, one commenter compared buying a video game to buying a car, while another said you cannot compare the two.

What makes this different than a car? I get to test-drive a car. And not just a piece of the car, the whole car. I can take it on the freeway, try out the AC, play with the gadgets, everything. Then, I can decide whether or not to buy it. If I do buy it and decide within so many days I don't like it, I usually can return it or exchange it, especially if it's brand new.

Diablo III on the other hand... I cannot really test play the game before launch. Even if I play the first couple of hours, I will be disappointed. I'll barely be able to touch the tip of crafting available, the battles will seem very mundane and repetitive, the story not all that compelling, the crypt and graveyard graphics a bit dull.

So, I buy the game. If I don't like it, I cannot return it. I cannot exchange it. $60 down the drain. I cannot even sell the game to someone else.

You combine these factors:

1. Inability to really test a product before purchase.

2. Inability to return or exchange a product or sell it to someone else.

3. Servers making it unable to play the game at launch.

4. Servers causing lag so bad during a game that one cannot play the game well.

And now you, as a gamer and a consumer, start to really feel cheated.

But wait, the wound festers more.

You're not just some gamer, some prospective buyer. You've been buying Blizzard games for well over a decade. You bought the original Diablo and Diablo II. You stuck by Blizzard even when they let the core developers of those games go because of creative disputes. You stood by them even after they butchered WoW with patches and expansions that catered to kids.

Your reward as a loyal fan and customer? To be backed into a corner. To be tricked into buying a game with inherent server problems which you cannot do anything about. You feel robbed. Not just because Blizzard stole your trust, but they also stole your money, and they do not seem to care.

Then you look at their grand plan, the Auction House. How long did theyhunt down players for selling their "digital property," for selling intangible gear and characters you created and slaved to get? Now, they finally figured on a way to profit from it. They decided to become the eBay of Diablo gear and make millions off of players earning and finding digital loot. Blizzard's imaginary loot. A scheme that runs on borderline gambling facilitation.

You look back at that $60 you paid. You look back at how Blizzard threw your trust out the window. Diablo III should have been free. Blizzard will be making residual income from the game for years, possibly on par with WoW. And this time they didn't have to promise anything in return in the way of new content or expanding the game.

And this game… this game they plan to profit so highly from that they cannot even launch it properly.

What Diablo 3 gamers are really complaining about.

Many positive player reviews dismiss the negative ratings as simply disgruntled players who could not jump right into the game on midnight on launch day. But if you actually read those reviews, you'll find them littered with other complaints…

  1. Poor and linear story.
  2. Dated and series breaking graphics.
  3. Dated top down view of game-play with no camera control.
  4. Lack of character model customization.
  5. Too simplified character ability and progression systems.
  6. The beginning of the game is too easy.
  7. And in the end… more of the same. A similar problem plaguing SC2.

So yes, there are many other flaws surrounding Diablo III that long time Blizzard fans are very disappointed about. That gamers in general are disappointed about.

Some of the items on the list may seem dismissive because the original Diablo games did not feature them.

  • We never had control of the camera.
  • Diablo never had that great of a story.
  • Diablo's graphics were never revolutionary.

All true. But after this many years, after all the hype, after games like Dragon Age, Skyrim, etc, and considering the largest gaming company on the planet put this game out… they could have done much more than create Diablo 2.5. There's nothing groundbreaking about the game, so why such the big deal? Why not just create another expansion for Diablo II?

More of the same.

It just feels like to many gamers that Blizzard did the bare minimum in creating the next Diablo game and did as much as it could to build a hack-proof DRM. Yes, this is Diablo, but it is in many ways the Diablo you remember. And that's the biggest problem.

We stopped playing Diablo II, just like we stopped playing StarCraft. We wore those titles out. When Blizzard brings us back to these worlds, we expect something vastly new and intriguing to revitalize our thirst and addiction. But when it’s more of the same, it just leaves a bitter taste in our mouths.

Pile on all the 9.0 ratings from critics, who at this point appear insane to many Blizzard gamers (especially because some of them point out the same flaws, but still give the game an A rating because, well, it's Blizzard and it's Diablo), and factor back in the terrible launch and $60 gone forever…

What a bitter taste. What a bitter taste indeed.

Gamers have every right to complain about Diablo III as long as we live in a country that grants freedom of speech and glorifies our capitalist system of supply and demand. These are the masses speaking out, these are the consumers demanding.

Blizzard Entertainment... the beginning of the end?

At this point, Blizzard has much to answer for. Unfortunately, along with the critics and a few other gamers, the company appears to be completely oblivious to it all, or just doesn't care.

Alexis de Tocqueville once equated democracy with mediocrity, rule by the masses as a force depriving people of greatness. Too many gamers feel Blizzard has lowered its standards and that the company feels that mediocrity and simplicity are what gamers want.

And now Blizzard might go the way of Square, a once great game developer that no longer caters to it's long time fan base and today creates "average" games.

What did you think of the original Diablo III release?

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Comments 11 comments

Andrei 4 years ago

You are either frustrated, either payed by somebody else to write this silly article.


Blizzard fan ... 4 years ago

Although Ive suck by and highly rate all of Blizzards previous game titles - I can truly agree with this article.

I gladly paid $60 - hell I would have paid $160! for diablo3.

But from the moment I installed it, all slowly went pair shapped. And when I eventually finished the game on normal after 3 days of (lazy) playing. I was totally dissapointed. where was the wow factor i had waited for i had no urge to even continue with NM difficulty...

Where was the improoved character customization ? like D2s sinergies one had to think about the plan ahead with??

Where are the charms and jewels that we could endlessly hunt and never get enough of finding the next best one ??? Its been removed - i wanted something more!

Where's the risk of death and having the recover your body ?

Ect...

Bitter taste ? its a hell of alot more that that ...

Very sad to say - but heres hoping Torchlight2 satisfies what diablo3 faled on all accounts.

:-(


Ayrean 4 years ago

I (one of many others) totally agreed with you on all the above points and some not even listed.

Blizzard is indeed throwing his backside in the face of the players that have been buying their games for the last decade or more. And the worst part there is NOTHING we cant do about it. Even when nobody buys another Blizzard game again they'll just hop to another company and start all over.

Companies like Blizzard prey on the children these days because they realised theres more and easier bucks won from those. And even if those kids ever complain they would all have forgotten when the next game hit the shelfs. Classic gamers like us are just on the loosing end.

The wait is there for a company that rather satisfies their customers and fanbase with their games then just another selling their soul first chance they get.

Good job Blizzard. I for one will never buy another game from you.


Blizzard is Activision 4 years ago

Blizzard is now a selloff. It's pretty obvious when Activision bought this company. THe quality of D3 is simply abysmal. Lags, server breakdowns, that horrible auction house, etc.

The Blizzard that we know no longer exists. It's just there to create average games for a quick buck.


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eric-carter 4 years ago from Fulham, UK

Diablo 2 was way better than Diablo 3. I hate the whole pay-to-win idea, blizzard really lost me this time. Great hub! Voted up


Marc Eric 4 years ago

Totally in agreement... missing a point that litterally throws me for a loop... you can't go back without losing your progression... you can't go back and play acts for the sake of discovering them is you are too high a level... basically you are stuck in their linear way. Honestly, I just wasted 60$ that I could not really afford to lose and this was the last of the money Blizzard will ever get from me. As you said, trust has been breached.


jerm1974 4 years ago

I used to be a diablo-fan.

With the release of diablo 3, my enthusiasm for diablo series faded a little.

I bought the game, played it over a hundred hours and I really liked the highly improved gameplay but I was disappointed by its graphics. Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 have very good graphics for their respective years of release. Diablo 3 has poor graphics for a 2012 edition game which supposedly recommends a high-end radeon HD 4870 video card.

It looks like blizzard recommended a high-end video card for Diablo 3 to create an illusion for the pre-ordering victims that Diablo 3 will have a decent graphics.

Also their server performance is bad.


Passby 4 years ago

Either that or just lazy coding.


Kamorai 4 years ago

Silly article.

These comments are right in line with all the nay sayers in game. Whine and complain, but still playing the game and taking up Trade chat with their complaints. I just wish that if you don't like it - quit - so that those millions of us who love the game don't have to listen to your constant whining in Trade.

About your comments:

1. I do find the story line interesting, with enough changes in the progression to keep it interesting. Subtle twists, depth and sophistication in the sideline activities.

2. The graphics are absolutely amazing in their detail and use of colour.

3. Agreed. I would like more camera control because I would like to pan the environment, see what my toon is getting into, and use the camera angle that I am more comfortable with.

4. Customization is provided in gear selection and colourization together with unique battle standard customization as a means to provide cross toon identifier. For those of us who play private games (or public for that matter) the little tweaks to our toons does not matter. In WoW hundreds of toons end up looking exactly the same anyway except for the gear selections available with reforging - which was probably why it was introduced to give endless variety to a toon.

5. From my point of view there was a lot of thought given to character progression: normal - learn your skills; nightmare - practice your skill development with more variety in the combination of skills you use and learning to switch out your skills depending on what you're facing ingame; hell - put you knowledge and skills to the test against hard content; inferno - separate the coasters from the hardcore, skillful players (which addresses the nerfing complaints about WoW by the way).

6. Really the same as your comment 5.

7. The depth and sophistication in this game will keep me entertained for months. All of those players who went from point A to point B in the rush to 60 may want to take a closer look at all the content.

As far as the auction house is concerned, particularly the real money auction house, it costs real money to Blizzard to develop and maintain that system for those people who want to buy their way to the gear and endgame, and those people who want real profit in selling that gear. For many it will help pay for their ongoing gaming. Blizzard is a business with fixed expenses and research and development costs. Of course they want to make a profit!!!

Comparing a $60 game purchase to buying a plus $20,000 car is ridiculous in the extreme.

I and thousands of others have had no problems with connecting and staying connected to Diablo. Blizzard sets out the system requirements and then warns you during download which parts of your system might be a problem. If a player chooses to ignore those requirements, don't whine about it later. Blizzard is not in the business of hardware, it's configuration and the problems that may present to its owner.

In my humble opinion Blizzard, and its hundreds of staff, artists, developers, programmers, customer support, et al, have done an excellent job in developing this game so I can be entertained for a few hours a day.

For those of you who don't like the game, exercise your freedom and simply quit.


Powersports 2 years ago

It's so obvious that there are some blizzard employees writing comments. Out of the 13 million people who bought the game 12.5 million hate it and feel screwed! Numbers don't lie! The game is broken And dead!!


qiking 2 years ago

Biggest complaint for me is server problems and Blizzard's seemingly indifferent attitude towards the customer and their needs. If they simply added a single player feature that allowed me to play without having to be online all of the time I could of gotten past the most of the time unplayable online game. Even with DRM, why is it not possible to just have you log in to validate then play the game totally from one's computer without having to deal with their servers. At any rate they can do what they want and I will count it as a loss and to hell with Blizzard. I am through with them. Blizzard is overrated and hype at this point, and it is time to move on to better games.

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