Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Diablo? Hell No.

So, I will never play Diablo 3.  Oh, that's a rather defining sentence ... let me amend that.  I am not currently playing and have no future plans to play Diablo 3.  I am sure it is a fantastic game, but I am very much opposed to some of things (ie, money grabs) that Blizzard decided to go with for D3, aka the digital slot machine.

First and foremost, there is the real money auction house.  "Oh, but Targeter, you daft little Chiss, you don't NEED to participate in that!" you exclaim, spittle flying from your mouths.  No, I do not need to participate in it.  But I find myself reeling in horror at the implication of it.  This is dangerous ground, people.  Some folks are crowing that the RMAH will bring new types of gameplay ... all it will bring is ruin to your wallet.  Blizzard will be taking fees out of every sale.  Originally, they planned to have fees for even posting an item!  This made it too much like gambling for many, and so they removed it to avoid legal problems.  South Korea held up publication of D3 due to RMAH concerns.  As of right now, the RMAH system still isn't implemented.  And of course, the RMAH system, while scary, isn't the most infuriating part.  Blizzard has also added a 'gold-only' auction house for those of you who don't want to participate in RMAH.  Hey, good move, right?  WRONG.  The RMAH will allow the sale of gold.

Yep, you heard that right.  Blizzard, who for years was against the very IDEA of gold-selling, is now going to promote it.  And profit handsomely from it.

"Okay, so what does that have to do with the gold auction house?" you stammer.  The sale of gold on the RMAH assigns value to the currency used in the other auction house.  That means that the gold auction house will be inflated to match the dollar standard set for gold.  This is bad.  I predict staggering inflation on the gold auction house; the gold earned there will then be sold on the RMAH.  See the dark road that leads down?

The second reason I won't be playing Diablo 3 is the always online DRM and other inanity.  So, here's a riddle; what has multiplayer, requires an internet connection, and streams all of the character assets from a server?  If you answered World of Warcraft, you'd be correct.  If you answered Diablo 3, you'd also be correct.  Did you know that when Blizzard decides to shut down the Diablo 3 servers, you will no longer be able to play the game?  You are done.  Kaput.  Do not pass go, do not collect 200 gold coins (which you would then sell on the RMAH).  In 15 years, you won't be able to rummage through your old disc box, pull out Diablo 3, and show your son/daughter the game you lost so much of your free time to.  It won't work.  The server will be gone and all your hard work and characters will be forever wiped.  I've heard some jackasses claim that 'Diablo 3 isn't a singleplayer!'  Then why is it the first option on the screen?  Why allow a singleplayer campaign if you designed it to be multiplayer?  It's just infuriating.  It breaks from the tradition of Diablo and moves it closer to an MMO instead of a hack n' slash dungeon crawler.  Why can't I play the way I want?  Why can't I choose offline only?  "But Targeter!  They do the online DRM to protect your account!"  If you honestly believe that, please raise your right hand and slap the shit out of your face.  Go ahead, I'll wait.  Did it?  Good.  Don't be stupid.  Exhibit A; yeah, that's working out really fucking well isn't it?  Secondly, the always online DRM is designed to ensure the integrity of your account ... so you can use the RMAH.  They want you to use it.  They want you to use it so goddamn desperately that it's almost comical.  I wonder if they'll start buffing drop rates of gear right before a financial quarter closes?  It'll be interesting to chart.  And beyond all that, since it's a server-based game let's not forget the server downtimes!  Nothing better than 1) logging on to play a singleplayer game, 2) discovering that it's maintenance day so you can't play your singleplayer game!  Huzzah!

The third reason, and this is really more of a personal reason, is that the Diablo franchise just isn't all that exciting to me.  Lots of gothic architecture, blood, gore, and demons.  It's dark, grimy, and morose.  That was cool in the 90s, but for me right now it just won't fly.  Maybe I've moved on from that type of game.

Oh wait, I haven't.  Because I'll be playing the ever-lovin' SHIT out of Torchlight 2.  You know why?  Well, the guys who made Diablo 1 and 2 (who, by the by, left Blizzard and formed Runic Games) make Torchlight.  TL2 has online multiplayer.  TL2 has LAN.  TL2 has offline singleplayer.  TL2 lets me play the way I want to play, when I want to play.

TL;DR - D3 is a money grabbing whore that is getting a lot of love right now and spreading herpes while robbing you blind.

Look, I'm really glad a lot of you are playing D3 and enjoying the hell out of it.  I'm sure it's fun.  But I will probably never know because the very idea of that game fills me with fury.  Have fun in Sanctuary, and when those same design systems make their way to your favorite MMO, I'll laugh and cry at the same time.

2 comments:

  1. "Look, I'm really glad a lot of you are playing D3 and enjoying the hell out of it. I'm sure it's fun. But I will probably never know because the very idea of that game fills me with fury."

    An Imperial greysuit standing on principle. Now I've seen it all.

    I do agree with you, though, and while I am so far enjoying D3 for its click-stimulus loop and situational survivability puzzles, I'm doing so with my eyes wide open as to the things you describe. I expect to get out early, and Blizzard will get no RMAH tax out of me.

    If it's any consolation, it's probably trying to be Farmville more than it's trying to be WoW.

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  2. When it was announced, I, like other WoW players, was concerned about what it would mean if it ended up being applied to WoW, as well. (Talked about it on my WoW blog at the time.) In addition to the in-game issues, there was also the issue of potential taxes and whether or not it would lead down the slippery slope of finally having income value placed on in-game gold and taxing said gold.

    I have no plans to play Diablo 3 at all--never have. But as the RMAH has been delayed, who knows if it will actually ever be implemented?

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