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back to article Battling with Blizzard's new WoW expansion and Diablo revamp

Kerrigan is hunting me down and the Zerg are swarming. Praise the Earth Mother – Chen materialises to rescue me with his Brewmaster skills and calm me down with a tankard of Thunderbrew. Am I hallucinating? No, I’m at the EU Blizzard HQ to talk to the development teams behind the new expansions for World of Warcraft: Warlords of …

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Anonymous Coward

Diablo 3

I'm not a WoW player so skipping that part altogether really.

Diablo 3 however failed to appeal to me for a few rather simple reasons

1: Customization

Diablo 2, for me, was all about customizing. I could make myself a mage with an absurd amount of HP, I could build a necromancer who flooded the field with minions. I could go druid and either destroy you with spells, let my animal companions rip you to shreds, or go beast mode on your face and pretend I'm melee. Disablo 3 lacked this customization You were left with a bunch of basic skills you had little to no choice in, set combos, set ungh.. It was like they stripped down the complexities of the classes, you couldn't play them your way anymore, you had to play them the way blizzard wanted you to play, and for me that was a major killer for the game.

2: Story

Diablo 2 the story intrigued me slightly, not much, but slightly. I didn't expect certain parts of the 'story' (i use the term loosely) to unfold as they did. Diablo 3 was predictable. <SPOILERS> The moment it was revealed that girl was special, I instantly went "companions gonna go demon" the moment that kid showed up in Act 2 my mind went "Demon" it just wasn't the same.

3: Difficulty

I don't think I died while playing this game. I mean, I came close once or twice thanks to critical hits etc, but nothing was able to kill me outright. Diablo is meant to kill you. I remember throwing myself at Andariel several times before I got the kill, I remember Diablo absolutely destroying me. In Diablo 3 it just wasn't hard.

4: AH

I actually stopped playing before it went live. But the idea of a real money auction house just didn't do it for me. I don't really need to go any further into this

5: Time

I remember playing Diablo 2 over the course of a week or so getting to the end of the game. (Faster once I'd learnt where everything was for additional playthroughs) I remember playing diablo 3 for a day and beating it. This goes hand in hand with the difficulty before, I understand that Diablo 2 probably wouldn't have taken nearly as long had I not died so much. But still rather annoying personally.

Diablo 3 is not a Diablo game, it's blizzard trying to cash in on nostalgia. Sad to say loads of us bought in before we knew what we were getting, which is probably what paved the way for their new dungeon keeper bs.

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Thumb Down

"I don't think I died while playing this game"

You didn't play in Inferno, then. Nobody who did would ever say Diablo III was easy when it first came out. Inferno mode stole everyone's lunch money and all the first Inferno Diablo kills were done with exploits because it was impossible without them. It's easier now, because Blizzard have learned from their mistake.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "I don't think I died while playing this game"

Well no, he said he didn't die while he played the game.

He didn't say "I died a lot when I played the exact same game through for the 4th time."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "I don't think I died while playing this game"

What the Above AC said.

Playing through it once was easy and death free. The second and third times I did die. Inferno I was bored out of my mind already and I'll admit I didn't get far in it. But if you have to beat a game 3 times before they give you a challenge, it isn't a very good curve.

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"it isn't a very good curve."

If the game was murderously hard from the off then a lot of people who only want to log on and kill sprites for 20 minutes would have been driven away. People who have been driven away don't buy expansions. So instead they put in a system where even the most casual player gets to see and kill Diablo but the hardcore gamers would still have something to aim for.

The mistake Blizzard made was in having it take three trips through the game before you reached the level cap. I agree this was a bad decision and it did drive people away simply because it got tedious. But you're blaming Blizzard because you didn't die during the tutorial, and that's silly.

As of patch 2.0 this week it's all moot anyway - monsters now scale to your level and difficulty levels can be adjusted on the fly so you can pick one that's right for you. If you play a brand new character on Expert (the second difficulty level) you should get to 60 by the time you complete Act IV for the first time, and loot rains down upon you like pigeon crap in Trafalgar Square. If you've already paid for the game, you might want to give it another go.

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if you think Blizzard is suggesting that the first 90 levels are so boring it's worth $60 not to play them, then I would heartily disagree.

That's exactly what they're suggesting. It's why powerlevelling and goldselling services exist. And you know they exist.

Welcome to the modern MMO - a game so bad your players will pay you not to have to actually play it. A game where the fun is locked behind enormous walls of grind and money so that you'll never know until you spend that time or that money that it's not all that much fun anyway.

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They exist because ....

..... some people just want to pose. They like to sit outside the AH all day in their pretty raid armour and never actually do anything. Posers will always pay to look good.

As for bypassing the first 90 levels, no need to. The game has changed the amount of work required so you can blast through from 1-85 without any real struggle (some of the rebuilt quests are more entertaining these days). The hard work is usually from the last expansion level cap to the new one.

On Diablo 3 though they will not get a penny from me again (Same with SC2). It was a very poor game and not once running through it to completion did I have one moment where I thought 'Nice'. Torchlight 2 on the other hand is miles ahead with nowhere near the same budget.

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Re: They exist because ....

> ..... some people just want to pose. They like to sit outside the AH all day in their pretty raid armour and never actually do anything. Posers will always pay to look good.

I don't buy it. I find it more likely that people do this because they want to actually get to the fun bit they keep hearing about. Which they never will. MMOs based on DIKU are an exercise in Zeno's Paradox of the Tortoise. You will never reach the fun. You can never reach the fun. You will just run out of barriers.

Then they give you new barriers.

>As for bypassing the first 90 levels, no need to. The game has changed the amount of work required so you can blast through from 1-85 without any real struggle (some of the rebuilt quests are more entertaining these days).

I don't buy that either. If it were true there would be no powerlevelling.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They exist because ....

A few friends of min started a contest the otherweek, see who could reach lvl 90 the fastest. Bearing in mind they only had an hour or two to play each day, I believe the winner reached 90 in about a week and a halfs play. Possibly 2 weeks. In my mind that's fast.

Then again I used to play RO, where it took a week just to go from lvl 89-90 out of 99 levels.

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Re: They exist because ....

A week and a half to level 90? That's fast indeed 0_o

On the first version, I think I reached level 60 after 12 days in game. And the record at the time was like 6 days in game.

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Re: They exist because ....

@dogged you will find that, on PC especially, that there are systems in place to get to the finish line without playing on many games. I remember seeing fully completed game saves for titles such as GTA available for download.

For a fully specced level 90 toon on WoW there wouldn't be that much left to do apart from raiding or pvp, two aspects of the game I find quite boring and work like. Being able to participate is a bragging right within the game, like the first guild to achieve a new raid completion, being at the top of the league of the Arena's (knowledge is fuzzy, I don't participate).

And since the Cataclysm expansion the number of gold sellers and power levellers have totally dropped off due to the ease of doing it yourself. Myself and two friends are in a guild with just the three of us, because we can enjoy the benefits of the guild perks without the obligation to set every Tuesday and Thursday as raid nights and Sundays for PVP Arena. We enjoy playing the game for fun.

Buying a lvl 90 character would be the same as buying pre-made Lego kits and where is the fun in that?

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Re: They exist because ....

@dogged "I don't buy that either. If it were true there would be no powerlevelling."

WoW could have issued you pound coins via your PC's air vent every time you dinged...and power-levelling services would *still* exist. It has nothing to do with the speed or quality of the experience, and everything to do with people who simply have no time, or patience.

And by the way, please spare us your pseudo-philosophical claptrap.

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Re: They exist because ....

@ratfox. Over the years the levelling experience has been streamlined, smoothed, and vastly increased in speed compared to vanilla WoW.

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Re: They exist because ....

@ Neil B

>And by the way, please spare us your pseudo-philosophical claptrap.

There's nothing pseudo or philosophical about saying that if people are prepared to pay not to play your game, that is one shitty game. It might be an amazing profit-generator but it's still a shitty game.

So please spare us your fanboy apologism.

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Re: They exist because ....

@dogged. "So please spare us your fanboy apologism."

Huzzah! You've just qualified for the WoW General Discussion forum. Please take these free gift phrases and be sure to use them wherever you can:

"Fanboy" (see you've already nailed that one!)

"Slap in the face"

"Literally worse than murder"

"Unplayable spec"

"No concept of balance"

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Back in my day....

I haven't played WOW but have played a lot of other MMO's. I enjoy playing the char from newbie zones up. Sure I may twink a bit here and there but with a few friends you can go through all the zones you didn't on your first, second, third or more playthrough. It's not just about rushing to get to end game. Once you have your main up and raiding that is.

And Diablo 3, enjoyed it but AH was just crazy bad for the game. I have done complete run on Diablo 1 and 2 many many times and thoroughly enjoyed it each time. 3 just seemed like a chore and the drop rates were so bad it hurt. Having said that, I will probably play through it again a few more times just to see how the recent patches have affected game play.

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I downloaded the Diablo 3 demo...

and went, its Golden Axe for 2013, at night, will probably buy it went its down to £15, in 3 months or so. Want to know how good a game is, look how its price decays over time in Game.

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Dumbed down?!

I didn't think it could get any dumber or casual friendly after the Cataclysm PUG raid system was introduced in order to let the no hopers hang off the shirt tails of the real player's Alts all the way through to end boss.

Sorry, of course it did. I forgot about the Pandas...

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Re: Dumbed down?!

I don't know who voted this guy down, but they're in denial, whoever it was.

Some dude did an experiment where he did nothing but LFR his way to success, in shit gear, rarely doing anything at all, came out laden with epics.

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Don't bother with either

Long story short:

WoW is a shadow of the game it was years ago packed with all the flashy lights and momentary distractions offered by on the best of the worst carneys. Simply put the game hands everything to you with no effort and tacks on mini versions of Facebook games to try and keep your attention. Serious pass.

Diablo 3 was an abortion from the start. The Dev team dropped important game features all the way up to the release (upgradeable rune system, mystic, PvP). What was left had all the depth and resilience of a paper bag. The Auction House, while something I actually eagerly anticipated was quickly overwhelmed by sheer numbers and the mechanics. You shouldn't be able to buy your way to the best loot in a loot hunting game. Negates the whole idea of hunting at that point. Even if you did perhaps split the AH up some so that the entire world +dog isn't flooding it subsequently dropping prices like a stone. No clan/guild support for an always online game? Really? Who thought that was a good idea? Now, are some of these things being fixed in the expansion - yes they seem to be. Is it too late to try and charge me $60 for things that should have been in the game from the original release? That is correct. The only good thing I have to say for Diablo 3 is that the combat mechanics were very fluid. When it wasn't lagging. Or rubber-banding. So I guess that would actually be nothing.

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Wow...

To me Wow is dead, and died the day Mists of Pandaria came out.(well actually prior to that, but I decided to look at the festering corpse for 2 months longer)

They dumbed character builds down even farther then they did prior in Wrath(or was it the exp prior I forgot). In Wrath they removed the option to put say 5 points in one tree, 10 points in another, and whatever in the last where you could be a pure hybrid which worked well for certain classes to where you had to pump one tree to max then you could put a few points in another to as they put it at the time give players more options, which was by limiting their choices(yea the logic makes no sense).

From that dumbed down edition they went to what I deemed the mentally handicap choices where you got to choose one skill out of 3 every 15 levels... and those skills only one was of any use, and the other 2 were essentially complete crap to as they put it give players even more flexibility... Yea more flexibility by completely forcing the builds so players are carbon copies of each other.

Then they claimed prior to pandaria they were removing the rep grind, just to make the rep grind even more tedious, and time consuming then before. So yes I will really believe blizzard when they say that the instant level 90 for $60 is not a sign that they are not going pay 2 win(was stated in another story I read last week)

The game got so fun that the guild I was in which had over 50 members, after one month of Pandaria we were down to only 15 logging in as the others quit, and I dunno after that cause me, and my buddy who was a guild officer canceled out subscriptions and never went back.

Instead we went to Guild Wars 2 which I find not as good as wow was back in the day, but way better then it currently is, and best of all has no monthly fees.

Diablo 3... Another huge disappointment, and a blatant cash in. IMO the game was designed around the Real Money Auction House as the gear that dropped was never good enough for the area you were in. I got halfway through Inferno before quitting, and never going back. Got sick of farming the same boss for days at a time to hopefully get an item that was useable at my level, or gain enough gold to buy one of the AH... Will say my friend lucked out as he sold one of the items he picked up on our farming sessions for $120 on the RMAH which he jokingly threw up there(and almost crapped his pants when it sold).

Even StarCraft 2 game was worth no where near what they charged, I found WoL so poorly done I didn't bother with the zerg one.

I used to be an insane Blizzard fan, and honestly loved every single game they had, and sank a good portion of my life into playing them non stop, but the past few years they just lost their touch. Maybe its Activisions presence that destroyed them as that was around the time they seemed to drop in quality.

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I played WoW mostly casually since its release, and quit when Mists of Pandaria came out. Cataclysm had its moments, but it was easy to see where the trend was going, and it didn't seem worth it to spend money and time on the next installment.

The scary part is, I still have dreams about playing WoW and the fun times with the guild and other stuff, and sometimes I daydream about going back, but I don't want to. Fortunately the mental health counselor here says "you can't be addicted to a computer game, get over it" so I'm safe.

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Stop

Diablo 3 Expansion.

Diablo 3 was a total let down; being forced to play on super easy mode, then easy mode up to still insane mode killed any enjoyment to be had. I have friends who stopped playing it well before they even reached the higher levels, because the game was ultimately boring.

Why on earth would anyone buy the expansion is beyond me?. Better games have come along since, Path of Exile for instance is totally free to play and you can build any sort of toon you like. Even Van Helsing was a 1/2 tidy game with some tower defence elements thrown in.

My love affair with Blizzard is over; a few years ago I would defend them. Warcraft 3, is superb, with excellent mod support (bring us games like DOTA). Early WoW was great fun, thou' I'm not a great fan of the new talent tree. It's like they are dumbing their games down as much as possible to appeal to the widest audience.

I've hope for Heros of the Storm, it looks good and will be the next game I would consider getting.

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I used to play WOW as a casual player - by that I mean I didn't belong to a raid guild that had mandatory raiding nights, and I would "only" play a couple of evenings & most days at the weekend. I would enjoy levelling and working towards things. Now it's a just a grind, the quests start to be boring after a couple of toons have been levelled, and there's virtually no diversity when you spec & very little for gems, enchants etc. I suddenly realised a few months back that I hadn't been bothered to log on for at least 4 weeks, and had no inclination to do so.

Diablo II was fun, and for me more importantly was my game of choice if the internet was down. I would have bought & tried Diablo III IF it was available in non-connected mode, but always-connected totally killed the idea for me.

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I'd like to care, but Blizzard broke my give-a-damn

I played Diablo and Diablo II quite a bit, and despite my qualms I bought D3. Bad decision. Bad, bad decision. I should have dumped the money down the drain and saved the time.

Ok, so it might have been a bad decision to pick up D2 again for 6 months before D3 came out as a way to remind myself how good a game Diablo could be. But I have to say that playing D2 for 6 months before D3 came out just slaughtered any enjoyment I had playing D3. The mechanics in D2 were so much better, the customizations so much better, etc. It was night and day.

Torchlight 2 put D3 in the trash bin, never to return. I like T2 simply because it's more fun to play and you're not really grinding for the one or two items that let you survive. You've got more variety of stuff that keeps you going, but giving you slightly different emphases that keep things fresh. And you can LAN party with friends, you get fanboy mods, etc. All the things that kept D2 fresh rather than playing in the Blizzard D3 jail.

If Blizzard would update the graphics and AI of D2 I'd buy it again. But an "upgrade" to D3 isn't going to get my money absent a complete overhaul.

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Edging quietly away from Blizzard..

I've never played WoW, primarily because I'm a 'casual' player, and don't want to have cash siphoned from my account every month for something I probably won't play that month.. I'd feel obligated to play to get value for money, and that doesn't sit well.

Guild Wars 2 hit the sweet spot for me. A nice little story (or set of stories, as it turned out) with a free to play system. You can grind if you want for the "bragging rights" items, but they don't affect gameplay hugely. A slight advantage, but that's about it.

Diablo 3.. Well, that one was a huge letdown. I bought it late, and reasonably cheaply, and I still regretted it.

Diablo 1 through 3 give a challenge. In D2 there was (sort of) a story that perked you up from time to time (I loved the cinematics and the story they created there, and I can still remember feeling sad at all the bodies in the Harem). The amount of customisation allowed you to tweak the game to play how you wanted it. The voices all carried depth (ok, it was the narrator, or Deckard Cain in the main, but hey, they were _memorable_).

D3 has some of the most wooden voice acting I've come across.. I'd expect it out of a bargain basement no-name title. The story is completely formulaic (where it exists). There's nothing that leaps out and you and makes you go "That's new!"..

The sad fact is I've not completed it. Not through difficulty or anything; it's just because I got bored with it. There was no real engaging storyline that made me wonder "what comes next?". There was nothing exciting about bluntly mashing everything in sight with no real worry about anything.

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If you're after hardcore hack 'n' slash

Then may I recommend Path of Exile - https://www.pathofexile.com/‎

Just take a look at its Passive Skill tree, that'll either entice you or put you off.

Plus its free

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all I (and a million Koreans) wanna know..

is Where TF is the last piece of Starcraft II? Is the WoW cash cow and D3 auction house all there is to Blizzard anymore, where an expansion using the same game engine and many of the same assets, with only "balance" tweaks and a few new units, takes two years? We're 4 years out from the original release, so let's get this over with. then we'll leave Blizzard alone to milk their WoW players.

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