I've been enjoying Diablo 3, but rather than review it normally, I'd rather launch into a series of straw man arguments. So, without further ado, I present to you: A Polemical Diablo 3 Review. Within, I will list a series of common complaints with the game and then explain why the people who have those complaints are stupid.
It was overhyped! Uh, how? I guess I could see how you might feel overexposed to Diablo 3 if you, I don't know, went to video game related websites and clicked on Diablo 3 related material. Then, you might have even gotten excited about the game. You might have even wanted to buy it and try it out. Sounds like they're doing their fucking job, eh? When you get excited about something you give websites pageviews and developers money. Welcome to advertising.
Me, I didn't read anything about the game, I didn't watch anybody stream it, and I didn't get into the beta. My only exposure to it was other people talking about it and some commercials on Twitch.tv. Somehow, I didn't feel overhyped. I believe I felt an adequate amount of hype, that is excitement over a new game and the possibilities within.
In fact, I don't even know what "overhyped" is supposed to mean. Blizzard's goal is sell their game, and judging by the sales, I'd say they did a pretty good job. Do you think Coca-Cola is overhyped, too? They spend more money advertising their stupid soda than entire third-world countries make in a year, but I don't see people complaining about that. I think most reasonable people realize that it's their job to advertise their crap. So why do I keep seeing the word "overhyped," in relation to this game? I just don't understand it.
Even if you could somehow quantify "hype" and make a judgement about what was "overhype," what difference does it make? Let's say you could mathematically prove that Coke spent 2 billion more on advertising than they "needed" to, how does that effect the product? It's still the same shitty sugar water whether or not they had the adverts. Does anybody really drink a can of Coke and think to themselves "Man, that polar bear bastard really raised my expectations to unfulfillable heights"?
The story was dumb! No, you're dumb. Who the fuck plays Diablo for the story? People play Diablo because they have an addictive personality type but are too poor to spend real money gambling, not because they care about the fictitious interplay between Heaven and Hell. Go read the Bible or the Apocrypha or something if you're interested in that shit. Diablo exists to give people who want to grind but don't want to pay a monthly fee something to do.
The story itself is fine, anyway. It's only there to give you an excuse to run around and fight evil and it does just that. Nobody reads the shit after the first run through, anyway, and most people probably don't even do that.
The major point of contention seems to be the story, but let's be honest. Were the people I was power trading with interested in the story? Did the crafters I traded sets of 40 perfect rubies or amethysts for Pul runes care about the story? Did high school me care about the story when I stocked up on Mountain Dew and leveled new characters with my friends? Did the people glitch rushing for hell forges worry about the story? Did the people who PK'd in Baal runs worry about how their actions would affect the demise of the Lord of Destruction?
No. The people who cared the most about Diablo 2 were the ones that cared least about its story. The ones that care about the story are transient. They play a few times and then they drift to another game with another story. The grinders, the farmers, the power traders, those are the ones that give the game its longevity, and they are the ones the game is designed to cater to.
It's too grindy! All you do is click on things! Well, no shit, it's a hack and slash game. If you don't like spending a quiet evening in your basement slaying thousands of demons for the minute possibility that one of them may drop something useful, then why the fuck did you buy it in the first place? What were you expecting? A poorly-written BioWare snorefest where you listen to dialogue more often than you fight monsters? If so, I suggest you check out SWTOR, it might just suit your terrible tastes in video games.
It's too much like WoW! How, precisely, is it like WoW? Because it's made by Blizzard? Because strength, dexterity, and intellect increase your damage? Because the UI has damage indicators? Because it has crafting? These days, every new RPG has a bunch of retards calling it a "WoW clone." What the fuck does that even mean? WoW is the most generic game on the planet. Why do you think it's so popular? It has absorbed elements from every single RPG in the past 20 years and amalgamated it into one behemoth monstrosity of a game—of course you could draw comparisons between WoW and other games! WoW has fuck all to do with Diablo, though. In Diablo, people are out slaying hordes of demons, while in WoW everyone is sitting in Orgrimmar waiting for a queue to pop or a raid to form. I'd say the difference is significant.
Also, calling something a "WoW-clone" implies that WoW is something shitty and not worth emulating, which is entirely subjective.
It's too much like Diablo 2! I cannot believe I saw someone type this in a twitch chat. Why is there not an option to permanently close them? Every time I get the idea "Hm, I wonder what's going on in chat," it is immediately followed by me closing the chat and reaching for my aspirin bottle. I wasn't even watching a D3 stream!
It's not enough like Diablo 2! If people have complained both ways, then maybe Blizzard actually did a nice job making the game. It has the same Diablo feel without being the same game. After all, if you wanted to play Diablo 2, the servers are still up. Or you could play MedianXL, for which there are also servers.
Personally, D3 feels like it has a faster pace than D2, excluding the pace of sorcs or characters with enigmas. Other than the pacing, It's pretty much like D2, you run around and kill shit. The zones are somewhat more linear, especially in act 1, but there is still a great deal of side areas and windy paths to explore. I think the slight increase in linearity was a response to most people hating act 3 in Diablo 2. Even though it's my favorite act, I still fucking get lost in there sometimes.
The game is too easy! Normal mode is pretty easy, I'll grant you that. However, people who only play softcore will only have to go through it once on each character, because characters can respecialize. People who play hardcore will have to do it many times, but I'd say having an easy normal mode is an improvement from Diablo 2's normal mode where the difficulty goes from extremely easy to "oh shit Duriel." An easier normal mode allows a HC character to safely gather some gear before going to NM, where shit does start to get real.
In general, the bosses are easier than they were in Diablo 2, which I think is an improvement in pacing. It was pretty stupid to try to kill some of the bosses if you were doing an untwinked run through D2. Attack rating in particular made the bosses very difficult for melee characters based not on player skill, but on RNG. Didn’t find an angelic ring and amulet for the 2piece bonus or a good attack rating item? Too bad fucker, you only have a 30% chance to hit Mephisto. Good luck.
Along with AR, I (believe) monster immunities are gone. While this does make the game easier, I think it also makes it more enjoyable. The first Diablo 2 character I ever got to hell with was a fire sorc and I can't tell you how fucking disappointed I was when I realized I couldn't even do the den of evil because I couldn't kill the fallen. Every diablo 2 character (with the exception of hammerdins) has to design themselves around immunities instead of which skill they like using the most. Now you can just play how you want.
The resource systems are stupid! Actually, Diablo 2's resource system was the stupid one. Seriously, try leveling a barb without a manald heal. That shit sucks hard. Hell, try making a sorc. You'll find yourself picking up a spear and stabbing things until around act 3 because you only have enough mana for a few spells. That's not exactly thrilling.
Nearly everyone used act 2 mercs because they could wield insight polearms (as well as infinity if you had lots of cash for an eth 4os cv to put it in). Finding that first sol rune after a ladder reset was a joyous occasion, because it meant you could finally cast spells without chugging mana pots every 5 seconds. You would still drain your mana pool quickly without good gear, but it would recharge nicely. This is exactly how the resource systems in Diablo 3 feel like. You have a huge amount of regeneration, but a small pool from which to draw from. Running around using Blizzard and Meteor on my wizard felt just like playing a poorly geared sorc with an insight merc.
I haven't played a barbarian yet, so maybe the fury system sucks, I don't know.
The real money auction house is bad! Nobody who claims this has ever actually played Diablo 2. If they had, they would know that there were(are) a myriad of sites that sell items for real money. The difference now is, you know that the person you're buying from isn't a Chinese scammer, because you buy the item directly. I'm sure people will still try to bot/dupe and sell the results on shady websites, so people who want to use those services still can. I've heard Blizzard's cut from the RMAH is pretty steep, but when you take a step back and realize that you're fucking selling pixels in a video game, it should lessen the sting.
Also, there was always forum gold which you could just legally purchase and then exchange for anything you could ever want.
Achievements are stupid! So don't do them.
It makes dumb messages when I kill a bunch of monsters! The Diablo series is one step up in complexity from a side scrolling beat 'em up game. If Dungeon & Fighter tells me how big my combos are, why shouldn't Diablo 3 tell me how many monsters I killed at once? Plus, are you telling me you never wondered how many cows were in that pile of cows you killed? Not even once? An option to turn off the messages would be nice, but I think people take the game far too seriously. They have some idiotic grimdark vision of what the other Diablo games were like when in reality they were very silly games.
The graphics are bad! You are playing a Blizzard game. Graphics have never been their emphasis. Further, who gives a shit? I can't help but feel like people who point out that "the textures suck" are the same people who go see a movie and say "that looks fake." I would never even notice the texture quality if someone hadn't mentioned it. Suspend your disbelief and shut up.
But the tone of the visuals suck! When people complain about the tone or setting of a game it makes me cringe. Go back to your 1000 level film studies class and leave the rest of us alone. Unless the entire purpose of the game is meant to creep you out, like a survival horror game, then it's really irrelevant. Diablo's purpose is to give you a platform to kill monsters, not make you piss yourself.
Diablo was never dark and scary. Never. Sure, the games had a restrictive sight radius, but only because it's difficult to express changes in lighting in a game made entirely of sprites. You couldn't make one dungeon dark and one light without creating an entirely new set of light and dark sprites. Remember, the game already took up 3 CDs in an era where hard drive space actually mattered.
Diablo 3 has replaced sight radius with enemies that pop out of the ground or are summoned out of an object. So the feel of being surprised by monsters, which rarely happened in D2 anyway, still exists. If anything, I think some of the environments are a little too dark. I had to up the gamma some because my eyes are shitty and it strained them to play for a long period in dark areas.
I hate the items! Rares are as good as uniques and set items! Uh, good? Do you know how fucking boring the game was when everyone had the same items? Once you got "the items," you were done. You could build every single caster with hoto/enigmia/spirit shield/shaco/war travs/mara's/2xsoj. And, because of a combination of duping and forum gold, they were incredibly easy to obtain, and thus incredibly boring. On the other hand, the most exciting parts of Diablo 2 was hunting for a godly bow skills dual leech gloves, or a pcomb with a good affix. Those were the items that were worth the most money, and they weren't set items or rune words. By not making Uniques the be-all and end-all, it means you're never "done" with items, which, for a game like Diablo, is a good thing. I remember the first time that I was "done." I quit the game until the next ladder reset. The moments of "oh boy, my pshaco has a ber in it now," or "hey, my hoto rolled a 40" was not the peak of my enjoyment of the game, despite it being the peak of my character's power.
There's no character customization, no attributes, no skill points! None of those things added customization to Diablo 2. Sure, you got to feel smart by putting points into shit, but if you had any inkling of clearing hell difficulty, there were only a few routes you could take.
Yes, there were attributes, but anybody who had a clue how to play dumped every point in vitality because that was simply the best option. It didn't matter how much strength you had if you died to the first fire enchanted quill rat you found. If you were poor and didn't have a torch/anni, you still put just enough points into strength and dexterity to wear your gear, and then dumped the rest into vitality. The only exceptions to this rule were strafe zons who maxed dexterity and used dual leech to stay alive or the occasional max energy sorc who used energy shield, but that was a troll build for duels. Attributes didn't add any depth to the game, they just made you click the +vit button 5 times each time you dinged.
As for skill points, they weren't really dynamic either. Because of synergies, the only reasonable method for Hell difficulty was to pick 1-2 skills and max the synergies for them. If I wanted to build a trap sin, I had to put 20 points into death sentry, lightning sentry, fire blast, and charged bolt sentry, with 1 point into some utility skills like fade or mind blast. I couldn't decide to go half martial arts and half traps, because if I did, I wouldn't have enough damage to actually kill anything. If I have to do something or my character fucking blows, then it isn't really a choice, is it? That's like saying eating food is a choice, because you could always just "choose" to starve yourself.
Diablo 3 gets rid of the illusion of choice and lets you exercise actual choice by allowing you to pick some skills you find to be your favorite or the most effective. By further allowing you to retrain your skills at any time, it eliminates the "noob trap" element that Diablo 2 had, where a character that appears to work in norm and NM becomes useless in Hell. How many sad saps did you see making windy druids only for them to realize that they suck absolute shit in Hell? If Diablo 2 had the same system Diablo 3 does, those poor druids could have run around with hurricane killing small packs of crappy monsters and then when they found a boss or a tough unique group, they could switch to werewolf form with some life leech to tank them down. Instead, the druid player was just left with a dogshit character and the person ended up just rerolling a meteorb sorc or a hammerdin like 90% of everyone else. If you have 1000 choices and 999 of them are bad, that is not customization.
Some complaints I agree with:
4 players max and no LAN - This doesn't affect me, but I could see where it could affect groups of friends containing 5 people. Plus no offline mode sucks, even though I only ever played offline D2 when my internet was down.
Launch day woes - I hail from the WoW server known affectionately in its early days as "Illidown" for its frequent crashes, lag, and downtime. Maybe because of that I have low standards, but a Blizzard game working perfectly on launch day, or ever, is just not something I expect. Still, I was disappointed with the first couple of days and annoyed that I couldn't play.
The skill page UI is bad - Yep. With the elusive "elective mode" box checked, it works perfectly fine, but it's a shitty layout. One thing they should have copied from WoW was the spellbook, where you can just tab through and see a list of all your spells.
10 item limit on the auction house - This hampers my plan of selling every rare I find for cheap and nickel and diming my way to riches
Witch Doctors are retarded - I just can't get into this character, and I never see anybody else playing one, either. I miss skelemancers, they made for a slow, methodical way to power your way through the game. Every other game sees fit to put timers on summons for some reason.
Diablo has tits - I haven't seen anyone complain specifically about this, but seriously, what the hell.
There's no gem - What am I supposed to click while waiting for my friend to log in? (If there is a new gem, I must be informed posthaste, it is imperative to my gameplay experience.)
So, for the zero people out there who wanted to hear my thoughts on Diablo 3, there they are.
If you're wondering, I'm the kind of crazy person who has constant arguments with himself running around in his head (remember the Jerk Store episode of Seinfeld?), and by writing them down and posting them somewhere, I can finally silence the voices in my head. So, my last 2 posts have just been rants. I will try to come up with something more fun later, but for now I got fuckin' demons to slay. The game ain't perfect, but I'm enjoying the hell out of it.
By the way, I saw this blue post and it made me incredibly happy to see a response like that from a Blizzard employee.
Last edit: 2012-05-23 06:20:34
Aerisky United States. May 21 2012 16:21. Posts 9557
hahaha nice, by the title I assumed that your polemic would be against Diablo 3, but it's really a polemic against polemics against Diablo 3 :D
Nice review, I didn't recognize your name under featured blogs, but this was fun to read and I agree with you on a multitude of these points, nice blog
Last edit: 2012-05-21 16:21:27
"It has always been in my observation of human nature, that a man who has any good reason to believe in himself never flourishes himself before the faces of other people in order that they may believe in him."
Wrongspeedy United States. May 21 2012 16:22. Posts 1533
As far as the story goes I will never forgive blizzard for killing of Cain in such a pussy way.He didn't even get a epic death or a cinematic(well I guess that little cut scene when tyrael and leah are at his grave but meh) or anything,he just died like a bitch.Probably the most iconic character in the diablo universe aside from diablo and tyrael maybe to get such a pitiful death is just disgusting.
I agree on normal being too easy.In d2 normal you could easily die to duriel the first time you fell down into his hole and it was like "o shit this bitch hits hard."I never came close to dying on a normal boss,hell,trash packs were easier to die on. The combat is pretty good tho I have to give that to blizzard.Feels beefy and much much better than in previous games.
Last edit: 2012-05-21 18:05:42
d3_crescentia United States. May 21 2012 18:02. Posts 3716
Where can I see said tits? I've googled the box but I can't find it. That being said, Diablo is one of those games that gets boring real quick. Atleast for me. I can imagine people pouring hours and hours into it.
Vindicare605 United States. May 21 2012 18:54. Posts 6697
There is not one reasonable argument to be found here O.o
Please google the word "Polemical"
All in all D3 is kind of the same as SC2 to SC:BW. 2% Hate it because it´s not the old one 3% love it because it´s from Blizzard and 95% just play as long as they have fun.
Yea the story is not really epic or meaningful but it´s like go into Transformers or The Avengers and say "this doesn´t make any sense". And yea the voodoo guy is not as cool as the necro but thats a general problem in all "slay as much bad guys as possible with a sword and magic - games" that the "created" npc´s are kind of useless in the later stages.
Faraday United States. May 21 2012 19:29. Posts 462
I agree with almost everything you said, except maybe: "The story was dumb! No, you're dumb. Who the fuck plays Diablo for the story?" I actually like the stories Blizzard comes up with, especially how Diablo transfered into the hero that had slain him, turning into the wanderer in Diablo 2 and the whole story, and I think that many people enjoy the storytelling.
"the difficulty goes from extremely easy to "oh shit Duriel." wow that is so true haha