Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why? Because There Is A Sucker Nephalem Born Every Minute?

If paying for a small DLC, adding a single character, 2 hours of gameplay and randomized dungeons (unrelated to the story), the same amount the money you would for a complete full-priced game makes sense to you, kindly stop here. This review of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is not for you. In any other case, please read on.

Charging 66% of the original game's price for only 20% of extra content is disgustingly greedy. This is not an expansion in any sense of the word. It is an overpriced DLC - and a small one at that.
We need to pay as much as a premium game to get randomized dungeons in a game that was way too short to begin with?
And, you are not fooling anyone, the Crusader is basically the Paladin that should had been included in the game in the first place. Does this mean we can expect the next $40 expansion to include an Assassin and then yet another $40 will give us the Druid? With these people at the helm of Blizzard there seems to be no low they will not stoop to.

Let me make this as clear as possible: the problem was NOT the Auction House. That was a brilliant idea. The problem was that the game was designed in such a way to ensure that it was unbeatable unless you payed real money to buy virtual gold from Blizzard's Gold sellers (remember all those PVPbank "friends request? guess what!). After Hell level (and especially true for Inferno) it was impossible to survive long enough without full sets of powerful Legendary items. Blizzard made sure to keep the drop rates of Legendaries into the infinitesimal (a single drop after a complete playthrough. If you were lucky). Even at those small drop rates, it was still very unlikely to get a Legendary with useful attributes and stats! What is the use of a +300 Intelligence Manticore when high level wizards are useless with crossbows? Hence the need for you to keep visiting the Auction House - where the prices were always kept super-inflated. Hence the need for you to pay real money to buy millions of virtual gold.
So, if they were able to milk their own customers for more money, why did they yank it out? Because it got too expensive for them to operate and the class-action suits were amassing like a storm. Because of the wide-spread popularity of D1 and D2, D3 sold millions. Unfortunately for Blizzard, the disappointed gamers who abandoned the game were also measured in millions. So, the Auction House was costing too much to keep open. Especially when the number of people who lost great amounts of real money to Auction House "glitches" approached critical and the lawsuits kept coming one after another.
They did not do us any favours. And they certainly did not decide that the Auction House was "hurting the enjoyment of the game". They just decided to take away a major feature the original game was sold with, just to make some more money for themselves.
You think they "listened to their customers"? Please read on.

After 2 years the verdict is out and it is definite: Blizzard cannot run enough stable servers to properly support a popular always-online game. Or they are not willing to unless they charge you a monthly fee like they do with World of WarCraft. In any case, their servers are fickle as ever, prone to loose connection at any time, in need of weekly day-long maintenance and always ready to kick you out if you leave the game to take a break longer than 5 minutes.
Have you ever lost a legendary because the servers hiccuped just after it dropped, not allowing you to pickup or open anything? Have you ever had to start over an area, missing on the random spawning of a rare event, just because the servers lost it once again? Yes, I am sure you know what I am talking about.
So, now that the Auction House is no more, what is the excuse for not making private/Single-player games free of any need of an online connection? None!
The game takes up 12GB of our HDD. Are they going to lie to us all (like EA did with The SimCity) that it cannot run offline for private/Single-player games?

Without warning,a about two months ago, BLIZZARD forced the Loot2.0 patch on all of us. This is what this much praised by the usual company shills patch did: it made sure that every single hour you had spend on the game up to then was wasted!
Did you grind for hours to get Legendary items (or, even worse, did you pay real money to buy gold and then buy them from the Auction House)? Well, you wasted your time (and money). Those Legendary items were now insultingly weak, much weaker than Rare (yellow) items.
Did you make endless runs of the same areas again and again to bring all of your heroes up to Paragon 100? Again, you wasted your time. Now Paragon levels are shared between all of your characters.
Any time you sunk into the game prior to the Loot2.0 Patch was now wasted. So why would anyone trust Blizzard ever again and play any more D3? Next time they want to release yet another DLC as an expansion, they will not hesitate, once more, to render all of your time spend in the game totally wasted.

Replay Diablo II or Titan Quest. They are real games.
Play Torchlight 2. It is a complete game.
Play Path of Exile. It is free on STEAM.
Or wait for Grim Dawn.

In any case, I am sure you were not born yesterday.