gaming August 29, 2014 Jack No comments

More D3 – The Fanbase from Hell

I really didn’t intend for this blog to be entirely based on gaming, but considering I keep most of my software updates here, and most of my work and life private, that’s what it’s turned in to.

Diablo 3 fans suck.

There, I said it.

2.1 came out on Tuesday with the usual myriad of buffs and nerfs and new mechanics, etc. Chief among them, in my mind, is the introduction of “seasons” which is basically a ladder system with a leaderboard, some exclusive items and achievements.

Once again, a major patch has been released and a significant part of the Diablo community is totally butt hurt.

The Blizzard forums, and the comment sections for their releases are just a complete clusterfuck, so let me hash a few things out for such luminaries as cremdelacrem for his brilliant comments on the 2.1 Season Preview.

1. D3 ain’t D2

This ship has sailed, folks. D3 was not, is not, and will never be D2. You will never have skillpoints and attributes to allocate, you’re never going to have chat spam trading, you’re not going to be fifteen again and you’ll never be able to wile away summer nights doing Mephisto runs while your mom interrupts you with the laundry. It’s time to get over it.

This game is different. It’s streamlined, and I say this as a hardcore D2 and D3 fan, I’m cool with it. Yes, I have nostalgic thoughts for D2 sometimes. I wish they’d delivered on PvP. I remember trying to turn a dime into a dollar on [Trade], but Blizzard controls Diablo and they decided none of that was worth it. PvP means class competitive balance which is a total nightmare with all of the possible builds, especially when even in D2 it was pointless and achieved nothing. Trading got removed for the same reason the (RM)AH was a thing: the corrupting influence of botters and auction sites. It’s hard to argue now that it’s easy to self-find upgrades that we’d be better off with it even if it would make compiling sets and niche legendaries easier.

It’s easy to think of D2 with rose colored glasses, but I remember a lot of it being a tedious bore punctuated with finding a good item. It’s not possible to argue that killing Mephisto or Baal ten million times to find a Windforce is more fun than running a random dungeon filled with random monsters and a random boss, on a selected difficulty. Blizzard has chosen its direction with the franchise and it’s focused on the one core, inviolable tenet of Diablo:

2. Diablo is a fighting game

This isn’t a trading game, it isn’t a slot machine, or a hoarder simulator, or even really a classical RPG for that matter (ugh the story is still awful). D3 is a fucking fighting game. The core mechanic of Diablo is fighting, finding better shit to fight harder. That’s it, and D3 accomplishes this handily. There are many ways to fight, many places to fight, many enemies to fight, but Diablo, at its heart is a fighting game. In a fighting game, you fight. You fight until you get bored of fighting, and then you stop and play something else. Nobody is forcing you to grind. Yes, there are lots of super rare items, but you don’t have to find them. There are unabashed grinds like the Infernal Machine rewards, but nobody’s forcing you to do those either. I’ve had fun with D3 since launch and I’ve never once crafted a Hellfire anything because fuck it, that’s not fun for me.

Yet all I read is bitching about grinding and PvP and “who wants to play seasons, you lose all ur shit!” and “DHs are too strong” and “my class sucks!” and “waah, they nerfed my set!”

Which brings me to my next point:

3. Blizzard doesn’t owe you shit

All of this reads to me like spoiled children. Keeping in mind that this is a fighting game, the logic for you to play D3 should look something like this:

It shouldn’t look like:

Look, if you don’t want to grind the answer is simple: don’t. I find it funny that our friend cremdelacrem is paragon level 400+. Considering most of his criticisms were just as valid day one, it’s interesting that someone so vehemently against D3 has probably dumped more than 1000 hours into it. If you’re not having fun then stop. Or level the other classes that you still haven’t touched. Or try manning up to play hardcore.

There is no out of game reward for this shit. You fight, you find better stuff, you fight harder. In short, you play D3 to get better at playing D3. This is especially true now that the RMAH failed. None of this translates into the real world. You’re not going to get a job based on your paragon levels. It doesn’t teach you anything. It doesn’t make you think. You don’t win anything for being first or best or toughest.

This is why I find this community so frustrating. Any amount of difficulty, any amount of grind is fine, as long as it’s not mandatory. Hellfire jewelry, putting together ultra-rare sets, finding all the gear for your niche build – these are all tasks that take a lot of time but aren’t necessary to enjoy the base game. You can beat the whole campaign, you can Rift and Grift, do bounties, and find great items all without grinding.

For example, I’ve played on an off since launch (and more on since the 2.0 patch and RoS made everything so much better). I’ve easily put a 1000 hours into the game, probably half on Softcore and half on Hardcore (I’m P90 SC, P75 HC or so). The character that I created day one, my softcore main, is facerolling Torment III solo and doing Torment IV in pubs. I’m not bragging, and if you’ve ever been in a game with a P600 you’ll know this. My point is that he’s still not endgame. He’s still not being limited by gear such that I’m trying to get vanishingly rare legendary items, or that I need a Hellfire Whatever to progress to the higher difficulty and this is with more hours of play time on this character than I’ve put into some other entire games total.

Here’s the rub. It’s bullshit that the Diablo community will complain about the grind and in the same breath demand a practically never ending endgame. You can throw weeks of your life into this game before you have to grind to get better, and after that point Blizzard has provided us with ways to keep improving even when our gear is basically perfect. They have stretched this game as far as they can without entering the realm of the absurd.

So next time you think about complaining about drop rates, or grinding, remind yourself that it’s just a game and there are ten thousand others you haven’t played. If you’re not having fun, then stop and play one of them. Making optional endgame stuff easier to get defeats the purpose and after getting thousands of hours of play for a game you paid (at most) $120 for, Blizzard doesn’t owe you shit.

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