Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A bit more on Diablo III

I posted this as a comment on another blog, but I thought it was a relevant enough point that I should copy it here.

I feel that Blizzard was extremely coy about revealing that this game doesn’t just require an Internet connection as a DRM and anti-hacking protection, it’s a game played completely online, with downtime and server queues and lag. For Australians who have to connect to a servers on another continent, that last point is a very big deal.

I played the beta for hours and somehow missed this fact until launch day. To be honest I do feel betrayed– I feel that I was mislead about the product that I was “purchasing” [I am an Annual Pass member]. Were this a disc product that I had bought in a store I could take it back for store credit, but as it was ostensibly free I guess all I can do is be very disappointed in Blizzard, and to be more careful about what exactly I’m buying next time they try to sell me something.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Diablo III

Like most of the games I talk about, you should assume that the fact that I’m writing about this game means that I enjoy it, even though all I seem to have is complaints.

The word that I keep coming back to is “disappointing.” It’s disappointing that Blizzard has made this product into an MMO in every way they could without actually having a persistent world. I understand why they did it, but for someone who has little to no interest in playing it as an MMO, all this means for me is that my game is laggy at best, disconnects me randomly and at times is completely unavailable for me to play.

I don’t believe that anybody asked for this to be an MMO. I’m sure Blizzard sees it as creating a better game for their players, but I have a hard time seeing 
any kind of majority willing to accept lag, disconnects and downtime as a trade-off for slightly easier grouping and the ability to break normal difficulty with AH gear.

It’s not a game mode that I necessarily have much interest in, but I’m told that Australians don’t play Hardcore mode. It's easy to understand why-- when your latency is around 200ms on a good day and lag spikes occur on top of that, you don’t even need to make a mistake to lose everything. Not my complaint, really, but another disppointing thing to hear; another facet of the gameplay severely affected by unnecessary MMO bullshit.

A higher difficulty should have been available from the start. Normal mode is about the equavalent of Raid Finder difficulty in WoW and forcing experienced players to play the entire game on easy before they can unlock a difficulty level which will actually challenge them is just pointless busy work. It’s like forcing WoW players to gear up in Raid Finder before they can fight any normal mode bosses.

I’m sure it was a very deliberate design decision to disallow players rebinding the left mouse button to anything other than “Primary attack/Move”. This restriction is something that as a player I find completely unnecessary, and as a long-time PC gamer is actually pretty insulting. Control is in my opinion the most important thing to not fuck up in any video game, and having ostensibly the two most important functions in the game occur contextually based on whether the game considers the space under my mouse pointer to be part of a monster’s hit box or not when I click the button is fucking retarded. Fucking. Retarded.

Yes, I get it, this is how the game is “meant” to be played... classic 90s game legacy and whatever, and I know you need to set the game up to make sure that the pants-on-head retards don’t flail around helplessly because they can’t figure out more than one button. Just let me remap my god damn controls in a way that makes sense to me, without having to resort to going into my mouse drivers to remap the god damn mouse buttons themselves just to get around the broken-ness of your compulsory default control scheme. Also, stop pretending that buff spells can’t work on mouse buttons. Now you’re just being difficult.

Oh, but one thing I was impressed with: Brillant simple design in which melee classes just take 30% less damage as a tradeoff for needing to be in the place where the damage is happening. Perfect. Love it. Would love to see it in WoW, except that it probably couldn’t be balanced at endgame-- we’d see the hardcore raid teams swapping their entire melee/ranged roster between bosses and that would make the retards on the forums whinge that the top guilds use anything but a perfect balance of classes. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.

Oh wow that was neat. I took something I liked and found a way to complain about it.


Actually I’m not sure how to feel about that.