Friday, 29 June 2012

D3: Dumbing Down Diablo

Diablo II may not be perfect, but it was a great Adventure RPG
Diablo II is arguably one of the best Adventure RPG's of all time. In fact people still play it because it is just that good. The fact that Blizzard took almost 10 whole years to make Diablo III should make it a masterpiece right? Not quite. Diablo III is a great game, but it is far from perfect. Its fun to play, but it seems to be losing that adventure charm Diablo II had.
While Diablo III is a good game, it has been stripped down to make it a stroll in the park for anyone. With each update the game seems to be getting easier and easier, but maybe that's just my perception. Lets talk about the main thing that went wrong; Auction House.
Diablo II was a struggle(at least for those of us that didn't use the item creation hack). Wandering into the Stony field or the Valley of Snakes, making your way through The Halls of the Dead or Canyon of the Magi. These weren't just places you went through, but adventures. Every time you ran into a rare enemy it was a fight for survival and in the end you were rewarded with an item which could very well make or break your day. The loot in Diablo II was hard earned, every item was valuable to the mighty adventurer. Having to weigh the pro's and con's of every item, having to decided between attack speed and damage and so on. Each item had some worth, you might need one at one point and the other 5 minutes later. Diablo III just put a price tag on everything. There is no adventure, no struggle, no sense of achievement. Everything in the game leads back to one place; So deeply integrated into the game that its almost impossible to ignore. The Auction House.

The one stop solution to all your problems
Completing Diablo II on nightmare and hell was an achievement because it was actually hard. You had to look around for items, sometimes even pray a little and with some luck you would find something useful. But now every time you think your item is doing just a little less damage than you like, BOOM Auction House. Did the last enemy hurt you too much? BOOM Auction House. Want to be OP? BOOM Auction House. Everything revolves around it.While Diablo III is a good game, its lost the sense of adventure and achievement playing Diablo II gave. Its more like playing a salesman rather than an Adventurer.

Blizzard's attempt at keeping the adventure of the game alive by keeping the hardcore mode is pretty much at odds with the addition of the auction house. For those of you that dont know, if you die in hardcore mode your character remains dead, its game over. But its not as hard as it sounds. Play through the game and farm with a regular character and then hit the AH to equip your hardcore character. In theory your only concern in hardcore should be your internet, that's one thing the Auction House can't fix. So despite having different difficulty levels, Diablo III isn't very hard. The auction house is your one stop solution for anything the game throws at you. Blizzard tried to make the game more challenging by scaling repair costs in a recent update; while it does make it annoying for players starting out it really doesn't bother you much in the long run. The other day I made over half a million gold selling just 2 items and my repair costs for that 5 hour session were just about 50k. Doesn't really burn a whole in your pocket.

After reaching Inferno with my Shopaholic Hunter I realized the game wasn't fun anymore, there was nothing challenging despite having scaled up in difficulty; only minor speed bumps which were fixed by a quick trip to the auction house. So I sat down with a bunch of friends and made a pact, we're not going to use the auction house anymore, at least not for the my other 9 characters(the first one is going to be my PVP character, and lets face it I'll get whooped without the AH). Took me just under 3 hours to finish act I on normal with a friend without using the auction house at all. I never did at that level anyways, but it feels good knowing the loot I'm picking up isn't just some useless trash that ill salvage later. We're constantly comparing and trading items to make sure we can get the best out of what we have and its a whole lot more fun than saying brb I'm going to the auction house. It's almost like playing Diablo II again, minus the potion and teleport spamming. You should try it, It's much more enjoyable and a lot less monotonous.

If you really want an adventure, try playing the game without the Auction House


  1. Well, im glad I didnt shell out Rs. 3799 for the game. :P

  2. As I said its not a bad game at all, you just have to try and not use the Auction house.
    Loads of fun in a party if everyone is doing the same.