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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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81. Re: Blizzard on Diablo III Jul 20, 2012, 10:46 Beamer
Dades wrote on Jul 19, 2012, 18:38:
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 19, 2012, 18:29:
avianflu wrote on Jul 19, 2012, 14:48:
D3 might serve is a warning sign to other developers wanting to make mandatory-on-line, real-money-auction-house type games. Time will tell.
In what way? It sold 7 million copies.

It's a Blizzard game, they had almost two decades of good will and brand power to work with. It would have sold no matter what. Other companies might not have that same kind of power to force online requirements or get away with putting real money features into the game.

I think a lot of companies are going to tread very lightly here. For one, I think they need a reason. Diablo 3, as designed, needs to be online in the same way an MMO needs to be. It sounds like a flimsy reason (why couldn't most of that be on disc rather than on server? I haven't played so I don't know, but I don't think there's an answer for that question), but it's still a reason. Just a crappy one.

So I think other companies will do this, but it's going to be for big games and games that logically have a reason to be connected to the internet at all times, even for single player. This is why I doubt Fortnite will do this - it'd pretty much tank a game that's a gamble, anyway (I also don't get why that isn't a f2p multiplayer only game, but we know nothing about it so I'm sure my expectations aren't too close to what it actually is.)

The next game to do this will either be a surefire hit or it's going to die.
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