Diablo III hits another setback

I remember when around two years ago, Diablo III was my most anticipated game ever. A game that I’ve waited for over ten years. Until I saw an interview with Jay Wilkinson. The man that single-handedly killed a large sum of my hype for the game, and I am sure for millions of others as well. But it doesn’t end here, oh no, the setbacks continue.

In case you missed what Jay said in that interview, let me summarize it for you. He said that Diablo III’s balancing and focus will be in the PvE. That all balancing and item considerations will be primarily developed with PvE in mind and PvP completely in the shadows. He said that there will be no esport support, in fact, he said they’ll do everything in their power to discourage it. They will not have ladders. They will not have rankings. They will not have stats. They will not have tournaments. They will not have replay functions. Basically: they will not have anything. All they’ll have is that PvP Arena without any meaning. Just random pug matches without statistics and purpose. It will be a secondary feature that won’t receive much attention. Indeed, very saddening to hear. And with news like that, and my experience with the beta, Diablo III is far from my most anticipated game of 2012.

But it doesn’t end here. Oh no, there’s more. Recently Diablo III lost a senior producer from its staff and they also announced that they’re scratching their entire previous items/profession systems. Scrolls of Identification has been removed. I guess it was too complicated for the casual player? And it would be too annoying for console players? Removing the fifth quick slot button and making it a potion button, further dumbing down the game and making it less complicated for casuals and, that’s right, console players. But wait, there’s more!  Mystic enchantment has been completely removed, but is something “they’ll go back and look to add in the future.” and you know what that means right? Expansion. They’re removing content to fill up the expansion easier and quicker for more money. Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube are completely removed and a “teleport to town” button has been added. Wow. Really? No scrolls for that anymore either? Oh, that’s right, I guess it was way too complicated.

You probably think I’m done now right? Well. There are some more small changes, but there’s still one thing I’d like to bash. No attributes depth and each attribute only affects a specific character. Such as strength, will only be beneficial to barbarians. Otherwise, I mean, it’d be too complicated right? For the casual and console people. I mean, imagine if they’d have to keep tabs on dexterity, strength, vitality, and intellect. That’d be impossible. Oh wait, wasn’t that how Diablo II was played? They’ve also cut off defense, attack, and precision attributes to make it even simpler. Amazing.

I’ll give Diablo III an honest go. Despite all of this. Despite the fact that games are more casualized than ever before, even prior to launch. I guess it’s something I’ll have to live with. This makes me think that Star Wars: The Old Republic isn’t so bad after all. I mean, just look at how Blizzard, the best developers in the world, are treating their future titles. It’s shocking. At least BioWare has inexperience as an excuse and are trying hard to improve. But Blizzard? What’s their excuse? I already mentioned that the beta I got to try at Gamex was disappointing. It felt extremely slow and the graphics were hideous, even by 2006 standards. But that was many months ago. Blizzard has had over four months of beta testing done and now with all these major changes, don’t expect Diablo III to drop before Q3 this year, if even that. The more information that comes out about my most anticipated games of 2012, and the more I try them, the more Guild Wars 2’s philosophy is shining and looks more promising for each day that passes by. With this pattern, it should be my most anticipated game of 2012 within a few weeks.

What do you guys feel about the changes made to Diablo III? The attribute removal, dumbing down, making everything “quicker and easier” along with the fact that you won’t be able to select stats anymore like in Diablo II when you level up? Are you for or against the casual trend?

Let’s make it even easier.

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