Bren

Diablo III

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I've played D2 a fair amount since it came out, and I've *never* once picked up a single item that I actually was able to trade, and I found only a few items I was able to use (aside from 50 dozen Lidless Walls or so). I found a high rune, *once*. This, after probably a couple thousand meph runs. I've actually found more usable gear in D3 than I ever did in D2. My D2 wealth was built by working people to get insane deals on good items, then selling them back at twice the price :D D3 removed most of the personal facet of trading with the auction house which forced me to farm to become wealthy, and that became a chore after a couple of weeks.

You never played a pure run of D2? You'll find plenty of items you can use, then - that's the only way you can progress, in fact.

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You never played a pure run of D2? You'll find plenty of items you can use, then - that's the only way you can progress, in fact.

Actually, no, haha. My friends and I had always rushed one another and then grushed once LoD came out. I don't think I've ever played D2 through naturally.

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Actually, no, haha. My friends and I had always rushed one another and then grushed once LoD came out. I don't think I've ever played D2 through naturally.

Well then, yeah, you'll never find anything "useful", then - rushes take a lot of the thrill out of the game. Do a pure run sometime - you'll be learning the gambling mechanics and prioritizing all sorts of stats, and a lot of those 'useless' items suddenly look like godsends.

Do it in hardcore and you'll be hooked on the damn game all over again.

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Well then, yeah, you'll never find anything "useful", then - rushes take a lot of the thrill out of the game. Do a pure run sometime - you'll be learning the gambling mechanics and prioritizing all sorts of stats, and a lot of those 'useless' items suddenly look like godsends.

Do it in hardcore and you'll be hooked on the damn game all over again.

Getting hooked on a game is the last thing I need in my life right now. There's a reason I started doing the one hour compo D:

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I'm really looking forward to 1.0.4. I think D3 is a great game overall. I've played 200 hours or so, and for $60 that's a hell of a deal. Knowing Bliz they will continue to refine and polish things, add content, etc. I never had a problem with Inferno's difficulty either, having beaten it before even the first nerf. It was a fantastic feeling. I also remember when Zero and I beat Belial on Inferno for the first time, and how psyched we were to have done so.

The auction house is an interesting conundrum. In D2, the dupe economy and spamming in trade chat was not exactly ideal. On the other hand, the AH trivializes the early difficulties, and does take away a bit from the item hunt. The best solution would probably be items that bind on pickup and cannot be traded. That, or items you find/craft yourself have some kind of special bonus(es) that are removed when you trade them or sell on the AH. Anything to make your OWN finds more special.

I'm not really playing my Monk anymore since I already cleared Inferno with her and built up my DPS to something like 41k, which is pretty hard to do as a Monk. I got a little bored of farming and not finding anything good to sell, whereas upgrades cost insane amounts. Co-op was, as Bliz noted, clearly a worse option than solo play due to the huge monster scaling. I'm glad they're fixing that. I've been leveling a Barb to 60 in the meantime and playing a bit of Hardcore on a Demon Hunter.

As for pure runs in D2... yeah, I played through the game maybe once or twice total, everything else was just getting rushed. There was little motivation to actually play everything through. I'm glad the NV system encourages you to farm big swaths of acts in D3.

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For me, I can't beat Inferno Ghom after 1.0.3 - sure, Ghom used to be cake for range characters, but he became significantly more challenging - I lost incentive to play after then.

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the best solution would probably be items that bind on pickup and cannot be traded. That, or items you find/craft yourself have some kind of special bonus(es) that are removed when you trade them or sell on the ah. Anything to make your own finds more special.

this this this this.

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Personally I think BoP with the ability to trade any items you get with those you were playing with when you found them (for a limited time at least) would be ideal.

Of course something like this will never happen, as there's no money to be made with such a system.

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That's a cynical view. I actually have a huge problem with everyone wailing about how Diablo III is "balanced around the AH" or that all of Blizzard's decisions are to make more money from the RMAH. It's a logical fallacy. Anyone who played Diablo II saw the prevalence of people buying items from shady 3rd party sites. The same thing happened (and is happening in WoW). It would have been absolutely stupid for Blizzard to just plug their ears and pretend people weren't doing that, so they did the best possible thing - offer a legitimate, safe option that wouldn't encourage the black market.

More to the point, if Blizzard only cared about RMAH revenue (which I can't imagine is at all significant relative to the 10m+ sales of the game itself) they wouldn't have made multiple changes that reduce the need to use the AH/RMAH:

* 1.0.3 Inferno nerf

* Act 1/2 ilvl 63 buff

* Acts 3/4 ilvl 63 droprate buff

* Upcoming 4x drop rate on trash buff

* Upcoming Inferno nerfs

All of these things reduce the need to use the auction house. Blizzard is not retarded. They're also not being controlled by Activision (something that has been debunked repeatedly.) They're doing their own thing just as they've always done. Diablo III is an interesting property because the Diablo series has always had a massive unedground economy. It was simply the right call to offer a first-party, legitimate and safe way of exchanging money/goods.

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More to the point, if Blizzard only cared about RMAH revenue (which I can't imagine is at all significant relative to the 10m+ sales of the game itself) they wouldn't have made multiple changes that reduce the need to use the AH/RMAH:

* 1.0.3 Inferno nerf

* Act 1/2 ilvl 63 buff

* Acts 3/4 ilvl 63 droprate buff

* Upcoming 4x drop rate on trash buff

* Upcoming Inferno nerfs

All of these things reduce the need to use the auction house. Blizzard is not retarded. They're also not being controlled by Activision (something that has been debunked repeatedly.) They're doing their own thing just as they've always done. Diablo III is an interesting property because the Diablo series has always had a massive unedground economy. It was simply the right call to offer a first-party, legitimate and safe way of exchanging money/goods.

I don't see it that way. Diablo 3 has been bleeding players extremely rapidly since launch. I had a 30+ people in friend list and now when I log its always empty. These changes aren't made with the mindset of "let's make people need the AH less" but rather "let's make people play the game again". More people playing = more people using the AH/RMAH, because even with these changes, people still have to use it to be able to gear up.

About the underground economy I do agree something had to be done but I don't think the AH is doing any better. In fact, I think it's worse because it made the game's objective to farm for gold which isn't exciting at all imo instead of making the game about the item hunt.

Without the AH we would have to do direct trades with other players but at least the game wouldn't be just about farming gold. If you found a decent item you can save it and do a trade with another player who might be interested. I don't know, I just hate the fact that all you do is farm for gold on inferno, that's not fun gameplay for me. Direct trading works just fine for other games, TF2 for example.

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Direct trading is fine when there isn't a massive underground economy like there was in D2. When you have a big black market you should try to deal with that by making legit ways of acquiring items, even with real money.

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Direct trading is fine when there isn't a massive underground economy like there was in D2. When you have a big black market you should try to deal with that by making legit ways of acquiring items, even with real money.

The underground economy is still there BTW. It's just not the majority of the economy now but still an important chunk of it. The AH got rid of most of the underground economy, at the cost of what makes an ARPG addicting and durable. it wasn't a good trade IMO.

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I just don't think conceptually it's a bad idea. As I said if they just did bind-on-pickup or bind-on-trade items, that would basically solve the problem. Alternatively, make it so you can't buy/use AH items beyond your current progression level. It's sort of stupid to go from 2k dps at level 59 to like 15k at level 60 because you have a godly weapon bought for 20k gold. There should be a requirement for ilvl 62-63 items that you clear content.. unless you find the items yourself.

Anyway, yeah, Blizzard obviously has an interest in getting players back because a healthy playerbase is important for any game. It's not BECAUSE of the auction house. I mean they were patching Diablo 2 for years and that had no auction house of any kind. Why would they do that unless they actually cared about the playerbase and the good of the game? Some of those patches were as recent as 2010 iirc.

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http://www.diablofans.com/news/1317-unofficial-patch-104-changes-class-changes-new-items-affixes-and-more/

HOLY CRAP. Assuming these datamined notes are true, and they might not even be complete, this is practically like an expansion in terms of awesome changes and new stuff. Tons of class balance changes (BUFFS), like 40-50 new legendaries with insanely awesome unique procs, new 2-handed affixes, new 'paragon' XP levels (?!) presumably for when you hit 60... just wow. This is outstanding. Combine that with the server-side changes like getting rid of Invuln mobs, reducing the BS elite affixes, making elite packs easier but trash mobs harder, increasing drop rate on trash by 4x, and it looks like Blizzard is going to knock it out of the park.

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http://www.diablofans.com/news/1317-unofficial-patch-104-changes-class-changes-new-items-affixes-and-more/

HOLY CRAP. Assuming these datamined notes are true, and they might not even be complete, this is practically like an expansion in terms of awesome changes and new stuff. Tons of class balance changes (BUFFS), like 40-50 new legendaries with insanely awesome unique procs, new 2-handed affixes, new 'paragon' XP levels (?!) presumably for when you hit 60... just wow. This is outstanding. Combine that with the server-side changes like getting rid of Invuln mobs, reducing the BS elite affixes, making elite packs easier but trash mobs harder, increasing drop rate on trash by 4x, and it looks like Blizzard is going to knock it out of the park.

Way to go, you just got placated by a bad game.

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All of those things sound good, but don't actually change any of the fundamental problems with the game.

Like how boring the game is, and how it is nothing but a ratwheel of a gear quest.

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As opposed to what? All Roguelike/hack & slash games are like that. You level up, find gear, and kill hordes of monsters. The fun is in the variety of items, the variety of powers/skills you get, and the difficulty of the monsters and their abilities. It's not supposed to be like World of Warcraft where raids are carefully choreographed 'theme parks', or Zelda, focusing on puzzle-solving and small skirmishes. I mean you might as well say the problem with the FPS genre is that you do too much shooting. You're complaining about a basic part of the game.

But hey, if you don't like the style of gameplay, that's fine too. I think the problems with Diablo 3 on launch were the following:

* Uneven Inferno difficulty (fixed, and getting another fix)

* Many skills not useful (getting fixed)

* Many legendaries are bad (getting fixed)

* No motivation to play co-op (getting fixed, better multiplayer scaling)

* No reward for playing at level 60 beyond finding items (getting fixed w/ paragon levels, I assume)

* Not enough items with unique abilities promoting different gameplay (getting fixed)

* No pvp (not being fixed right now, but planned for 1.10)

* Drop rates too low (getting fixed)

* High level items don't drop in early inferno (fixed)

So I think they're on the right track.

Edited by zircon

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As someone who's had a lot of bad to say about this game, I do think this is a good step in the right direction. I'll probably reinstall and play again after this.

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Someone I met at a run was talking about the upcoming 1.04 patch this past Monday. It does sound interesting indeed.

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Making it auction house early on was nefariously brilliant.

Who knows how much cash they've made with that. Especially with the bit of duping that went on. Those Stormshields can sell for $250 a pop.

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As opposed to what? All Roguelike/hack & slash games are like that. You level up, find gear, and kill hordes of monsters.

Yes, but there are a few fundamental things that D3 does different than most dungeon crawlers (including its predecessor) that are enough to spoil the whole thing for me. Some of them you already named (skills that are worthless, no pvp, no incentive to play the postgame beyond itemgrind), but the biggest thing for me was the large majority of the maps not being randomly generated.

Unlike in Diablo 2 or, say, The Binding of Isaac, this means that playing through the game over and over involves playing the exact same levels over and over. The randomly generated dungeons and areas helped to disguise how much of a mouse wheel it was by forcing you to actually use your brain to navigate new areas. Diablo 3's static areas literally had me falling asleep when I tried Nightmare, because there was nothing new to see or do except hope for better equipment.

You're right that the basic idea of these sort of games is level up, find gear, and kill monsters, but Diablo 3 managed to make all three of these things not rewarding. Leveling up to 60 is pointless because of the nonexistent post-game content, finding gear is pointless because the gear doesn't serve any purpose (again, no post-game), and killing monsters is pointless because half of the skills that the characters have are worthless and half of them don't really involve any strategy or forethought at all; I've played through the game as a Demon Hunter and a Monk so far, and the most useful skills on both of those characters were the ones that let me hold down RMB and watch all the monsters slowly die. Flashy, yes, but not really all that entertaining when I could be playing something like The Binding of Isaac instead.

I mean you might as well say the problem with the FPS genre is that you do too much shooting.

Imagine if Halo 4 came out, had a cool, fun little single-player deal, and then the multiplayer/post-game content was Master Chief holding a gun in a blank, featureless space and shooting at a generic Halo enemy forever. You can't move, or jump, or do anything but shoot at this enemy.

I'm not complaining about the shooting, in this case - I'm complaining that there's nothing else. Every genre can be stripped down to a specific concept, yeah, but there are no good video games that are just that concept out there, because they end up being bad video games. Like Diablo 3, a game where Blizzard expects you to grind for items for literally no other reason than to grind for items. I, for one, am tired of video game companies treating people like rats in an operant conditioning chamber.

Edited by Bleck

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