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Blizzard on Diablo III

The Diablo III Forums have a Message from Mike Morhaime reflecting on Diablo III in the two months since the action/RPG sequel launched. He recaps and explains the game's growing pains after launch, and goes on to discuss its future, saying they are working on a way to make the game playable without playing Diablo tycoon on the auction house, reducing issues related to the game's always-on requirement, and they are "also working on a gameplay system that will provide players who have max-level, high-powered characters new goals to strive for as an alternative to the 'item hunt'." Here's a bit:

You’ve seen some of that work already in patch 1.0.3, and you’ll see additional improvements with patch 1.0.4. On the game balance front, this update will contain changes designed to further deliver on the team’s goal of promoting “build diversity,” with buffs to many rarely used, underpowered class abilities. Another topic we’ve seen actively discussed is the fact that better, more distinct Legendary items are needed. We agree. Patch 1.0.4 will also include new and improved Legendary items that are more interesting, more powerful, and more epic in ways you probably won’t be expecting.

We’re also working on a number of interface updates, including social improvements that will allow players to more easily view their friends’ achievements, more quickly join games, and more efficiently communicate with each other. In addition, we’ll be making updates to the auction house in the future to provide players with better information through tooltips and notices, offer improved search functionality, and more.

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30. Re: Blizzard on Diablo III Jul 19, 2012, 13:55 Endo
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jul 19, 2012, 10:31:
The problem is that they went awaay from what "worked" in D2 to this. They said the Ladders weren't important and that Items are important....well, when you can buy all the items in the AH, you have killed your own game.

I enjoyed the game. I will go back to it just like I do D2 once in a while. Over 100 hours for a game is good for me and I have moved on. When they released info about the AH I posted it would kill the game - and it has. They can't be so daft and ignorant (well...maybe they are) as to think their numbers would sustain with such a small game after 2 months.....they dropped the ball.
The problem is (as I've posted quite a few times before) that Blizzard has lost the majority of the top developers they had back when they made stellar games.

So I'll say it again: the days of Blizzard making games of unparalleled quality and fun are gone. They no longer have the developers to pull it off. They'll still make good games, but they don't have what it takes to make truly great games anymore.

I called this before Starcraft 2 came out, and again before Diablo 3 came out. The evidence has been there for some time, but a bit difficult to see because they weren't releasing any new games for a long long time. So the only way to tell was with the WoW updates, which were steadily getting worse and worse (both on fun factor and quality - just look at the number of things they break in every new patch nowadays as compared to back in the early days).

With each new release, more and more people will become aware of this and it's going to get harder for them to just rest on their laurels. Unfortunately for Blizzard, I don't think they can ever rise to the level of production quality they had in the past so their releases pretty much aren't going to get better.
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