Diablo 3 Console Feature and Fan Reactions

Yesterday’s announcement that a Diablo 3 Console was coming (soon?) to the Playstation 3 and the future Playstation 4 was big news, but not surprising news. After all, Blizzard has repeatedly confirmed that they were “exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles,” and at Blizzcon 2010 and again in 2011 they announced that the project was scaling up, being led by Josh Mosqueira, and that help was wanted. They even hired a PS3 specialist last June. They were thinking about a Diablo 3 console game long before then, though, as this October 2008 quote from Jay Wilson makes clear:

If we did it, we would want to do a really high quality version–we wouldn’t just want to do a port,” Wilson said. “We would never make that decision if we thought we had to compromise the overall quality…we could probably do it at any time, we could release the game and then decide we wanted to do a 360 version or a PS3 version. We haven’t really decided to take the [console] plunge,” he continued “We’ve really come to the conclusion that it’s probably the best fit because the control scheme is actually not that incompatible. So if we were to make that decision, Diablo would be the natural choice.

Not a fake screenshot.
Not a fake screenshot.
For much more on the history of the Diablo 3 console project, I refer you to the extensive DiabloWikiDiablo 3 Console article in the DiabloWiki, which has numerous Blue quotes on the issue, most of which seem right in line with the console news Chris Metzen debuted yesterday. You can also see a fair amount of coverage

So, while the announcement wasn’t a real surprise, the whole thing became a lot more real with the official announcement, and our news post and forum conversation about it saw a lot of feedback, much of it negative. What are the main issues with the console project, and how might it affect the Diablo 3 community and Blizzard’s continued support of the PC/Mac version of Diablo? Let’s take a look at some of the main issues you guys are addressing in feedback.

Topics in this article include: Offline mode for consoles, UI issues, dumbed-down D3 blamed on consoles, will console gamers take to a grindy ARPG, how will no-split-screen work, what does this mean for further Diablo 3 development and patch support, and more.

Everything Bad in Diablo 3 is due to the Simultaneous Console Development

This seems to be the biggest or more angry complaint, so I’ll hit it right at the start. First of all, it’s hard not to notice that there’s a bit of a Mad Libs aspect to this, where the complaints stay the same and only the noun to blame changes. D3 sucks because ________ (Choose one: Jay Wilson, RMAH, Bobby Kotick, Console version, Global Warming.)

Skill interface, February 2012.
Skill interface, February 2012.
That said, as someone who used the phrase “dumbed down D3” often enough that I made a news category for it, there is an argument to be made here. The skill interface remodel is the biggest example of a system that appears to have been simplified in function and appearance, and possibly part of the reason behind the change was to make it more console-friendly.

Background: All during development DiabloWikiRunestones were objects you found from monster drops (like gems, basically) and you socketed them into skills to modify the function of the skill. There were five different types of runestones and up to seven quality levels, and the theory was that players would collect them and try different ones out in their skills.

There were problems with the system, though: The devs said that people tended not to desocket and resocket and thus didn’t experiment much, that the runestones completely clogged your inventory (especially when they got magical affixes on them and thus every one was different and unstackable), and that it was a generally cumbersome and complicated system. These points were strongly argued by guys from the WoW strike team when they did a full play through of Diablo 3 in late 2011, and that led to the entire system being reworked (and improved?) As you see in the game today, each skill has a base form and then 5 rune effects, but you don’t require runestones to change them, and you’re able to switch freely between them any time.

Whatever you think of that change, if clearly necessitated a reworking of the UI. Before then, you only saw the runestone effect when you hovered on the runestone. The basic skill window only showed the base skill function, so a new UI was required that could show the base skill, plus all of the rune effects in one place. And not just in some long hover tooltip. Which is why we’ve now got the one big skill window that fills the entire screen, rather than small icons that appear on a side window like you get with the Inventory or Follower.

There was a ton of debate about that system and change at the time, (I wasn’t a fan of the change) and some people did indeed say it was a change made to match up with the Console. And maybe it was, but I don’t think it’s exactly Exhibit A. After all, they had to change the UI to show all the rune effects and the skill at once, so some sort of change was required. And it’s not like they overhauled everything in the PC game for the console; look at the feature list and screenshots from yesterday: no paperdoll, no inventory grid, different waypoint menu, no belt interface, etc.

So yeah, the skill UI changed back in late 2011 (and went into the Beta in Feb 2012), and many of us weren’t big fans of the change. But there’s nothing really linking that change to the console UI, and we see tons of other UI changes for the console that would definitely be worth outrage if they came to the PC.

Also note that as of October 2011, when the big skill UI overhaul was underway, the Diablo console “team” consisted of three people. The project was hardly even begun, and if you believe that the other 150 people working frantically to finish Diablo 3 were missing deadlines because they were throwing out entire game systems and reworking the UI so that they might save the console developers a bit of effort 8 or 10 or 12 months later… yeah.

Click through for a lot more on other topics, pro and con-sole alike…

No Split-Screen?

Advanced split screen technology.
Advanced split screen technology.
This one is just guessing now and we’ll know more about it come the demos at PAX East, but lots of players are speclating about how it might work for 2-4 players on the same machine, which is to say on the same TV monitor. Most shooters and race games and the like handle this with split screen, so each player gets half or a quarter of the monitor to follow their own character, which is an awesome way to get into violent screaming matches about who is a cheating screen watching son of a bitch. (Because see, you can watch someone else’s screen, figure where they are, and set an ambush accordingly.)

Diablo 3 says it won’t have split screen; all characters will remain on the same screen with some innovative camera angle technology. I’m happy to be surprised, but don’t you just figure “innovative” means “zoom out higher” and they’ll combine that with some kind of system where one character is designated the leader and everyone has to stay within 50 yards (or whatever) of him to be on the visible screen?

It could be annoying if you’re not the lead character and you’re fighting something (or trying to reach an item drop) just off the screen, but it might actually be cool for better party play. If you must stay together then you will, and everyone teaming up all the time on every enemy should make for some pretty fun co-op play.

Besides, this is only when you’ve got multiple people on the same machine, so you’re all sitting together in the same room and you can communicate your break times and movements and town visits. It’s not like you’ll be doing this online and get stuck in one spot, twiddling your thumbs while some guy screws around with his inventory, or respecs, or goes AFK to burn some pizza rolls. If you’re playing together in the same room, you can just talk and compromise, right? (Note that I grew up without any siblings. Though of you who gamed with a big or little brother can probably offer some counter arguments.)

Four Player Game Limit

Another point being cited as a change made for the console. Perhaps, but we’ve all played Diablo 3 for the past 10 months (unless you’re one of the haters who last played in May and only comes around anymore to bitch with a dedicated ferocity only explained by the fact that a drunken Jay Wilson backed his Ferrari over your dog) and how many of us have thought, “If only there were 8 players crammed into this small level, all emitting massive visual AoE effects at once. That would make everything so much better!”

IMHO, the levels and dungeons in Diablo 3 aren’t large enough to support 8 characters, especially not as fast as everyone can move now, and as big as the graphics and visuals are. Honestly, Diablo 2 had the same problems and that game wasn’t real optimal with 8 characters in the same area, but we were just used to it, so some complained when D3 lowered the max players allowed. Plus in Diablo 2 the drop rate and experience was hugely boosted in big games, and you could move between acts and bosses freely in the same game, so it was quite viable to play in 2 or 3 parties in the same game, in different acts, interacting not at all. Those features aren’t in Diablo 3, and maybe they should be, but as D3 works today, more players in a game wouldn’t make it better.

Besides, why would it have mattered if they’d allowed 8 players in PC/Mac games, but only 4 in console? Or only 4 in console games played on the same machine? They’re including offline play for the console, and many other game changes. They could have done that and no one would have cared. Aren’t there shooters that support 8 or 16 or 64 people in online play, but only 4 for consoles, especially if on the same machine/split screen?

Offline Mode?

The full feature list for the PS3 version isn’t yet finalized and we’ll surely get more details in the weeks to come, and especially at PAX East in late March when they’ll be rolling out a playable demo. But we can speculate on some of the features now, and Chris Metzen’s presentation confirmed that there will be an offline mode for the console. Presumably it’ll work a bit like Diablo 2 did, where there were single player/open realm characters stored on your end without any real anti-hacking/duping security, and closed realm/Battle.net-only characters who were stored on B.net without any real anti-hacking/duping security. (Kidding!)

This seems a concession to market realities; I’m not real up on console gaming in the last two decades or so, but for all the fun social interactions available via Xbox Live other console online gaming services, I assume some considerable percentage of the market is *not* able to play online, at least not all the time. Thus a major new AAA console release that *required* an internet connection to play would have been a big marketing and sales problem, (AKA a Bobb-lem) hence some compromise had to be made.

This is an issue since it reopens all of the “online-only” wounds from years past. (See them all via the news category tag.) To recap briefly, Online-only was announced in August 2011 and provoked a huge outcry. That hate died down and not long after most fans didn’t seem too bothered. It obviously didn’t hurt D3’s sales either, but then May 15, 2012 arrived Error 37 and and the whole issue exploded again.

I was fairly complain-y about the online only thing despite the fact that I’m personally almost always online, mostly since Blizzard’s explanations were so transparently facile. In interviews and presentations they mentioned “stopping piracy” about twice, while talking up things like, “enhancing a more robust multiplayer experience” about seven hundred and forty-three times, which was just transparently manure-like.

I am more sympathetic to their claims that not allowing TCP/IP play helps with B.net security, since it doesn’t let end users get their hands on the multiplayer code to reverse engineer it or find other security vulnerabilities. And that doesn’t appear to be impacted by the console offline mode, since it’s not a TCP/IP sort of thing. You’ll be able to export your characters (or have to create different ones for SP only?) but you can’t import your SP characters back to the servers, and you’re not hosting the TCP/IP type thing, just playing multiple characters via the same machine. Hence no security issues (in theory).

Battle.net 2.0 Social Features

There’s been a lot of complaining about Diablo 3’s lacking social features since it went live on B.net during the beta, and most of those complaints are justified. I don’t want to get into that whole argument again here, but again, how does that relate to the console? You can say the lack of robust chat options and such are console-previews since no-keyboard, etc… but SC2 has all the same B.net social issues, and it came out years before D3 and still has no console plans at all, to my knowledge.

Yes, there are some bad or sub-optimal features in Diablo 3, but it’s silly to blame everything on the console project.

Will Console Players Embrace a Grindy ARPG?

No idea. Obviously Blizzard thinks they will or they wouldn’t be spending the time/money/effort to create a console Diablo 3, and I bet they’ve done just a tad more market research on the topic than any of us. There are plenty of very popular RPGs on consoles, and LotR or Skyrim type games set in a similar dark fantasy world, so obviously the basic elements are fine. The question seems to be if console players will grind paragon levels, spend time in the Auction House to min/max their gear, devote hundreds of hours to upgrading a character, etc. And there, it’s an open question.

In a way it doesn’t matter. Most people who bought Diablo 3 on a PC or Mac didn’t do those things, or at least not to a huge extent. It’s kind of the dirty secret of gaming, but a huge percentage of people who buy a game never finish it, or only play through once, etc. We saw some interesting figures about that before Torchlight 2, when the Runic Games guys talked about the Steam Achievements in TL1, and how very tiny percentages of the players had achieved even the basic “complete the entire game once” type awards. Most of us have games we only played for a while and quit, or we know people who bought D3 and hardly played it, etc. Two good friends of mine have D3CEs sitting on their office floor, right on top of their SC2CEs, which they never even opened, since all they play is WoW. Still.

So would console gamers build up Paragon 100 characters in Diablo 3? Or would they play more casually and just have fun sometimes? Dunno. Guess we’ll find out, but there will have to be some infusion of new players (fresh meat) from the console. I certainly hope so, and that they can access the same economy and player base, since I can’t even give away low or mid-level equipment in the GAH anymore, and 3 million noobs with gold to burn would be an awesome addition to Battle.net.

Will Console Characters Join the PC/Mac Character Economy?

I would think so, barring some technical difficulty in merging the PS3 players with the current players. They said the consoles will launch at v1.07 with all the same features; Monster Power, Hellfire Rings, Demonic Essences, etc, and that the console will get patches and updates along with the PC version.

Maybe someone else can suggest some reasons why not, but as far as I can see Blizzard would want to throw us all into the same pool. They’ve resisted doing ladder resets or new seasons or other such ways to split up the player base that we saw in Diablo 2, so why start now?

You could say that communication issues would be a problem, with PC gamers using keyboards and console players using headsets, but no one types or talks in public games anyway, so that’s not really an issue.

It’ll be interesting to see how the technology works, if it does. Can you access an existing account via a console? Or create an account on a console and then access it via your computer? I imagine we’ll find out about these issues soon enough, though I’m not entirely confident, given the many issues and very slow dev times we’ve seen for new B.net 2.0 features.

Can Console Players RMAH?

No idea. I don’t follow consoles very closely, so correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t there all kinds of monetization elements to console games today? Map packs for CoD, bonus weapons and armors and skins in other games, new cars and tracks for race games, etc. Given that Diablo 3’s long term financial condition is supposedly going to be supported by the RMAH, I’d imagine Blizzard would tie the whole system together, to include console players, if at all possible.

What Does a Console Title Mean to Ongoing Support?

This one seems like good news (for those of us who want a better Diablo 3) since more players = more money = more developers = more patches, etc. We’ve had a good number of patches and updates with Diablo 3 so far (albeit spurred largely by the lackluster state of the game upon launch) and there’s no reason to expect that to stop. Maybe slow as the devs work on an expansion and console version, but long term they’ll want to keep the console players playing same as they want to keep the rest of us playing, and that means patches and updates and occasional expansions.

On the whole I don’t see any real reason for concern about the console version. We’ve know they were planning to make it all along and there’s not much evidence that any of the big changes in Diablo 3 due to the console. If we see future patches making changes that seem designed more for console than PC (What would that even be? I can’t imagine any such?) then it’ll certainly be worth complaining about at the time.

Sadly, or happily, depending on your perspective, Diablo 3 is what it is since the developers made it the game the wanted it to be. If you hate some of the features that’s your choice, but simply saying anything you don’t like is due to the console, without any logical connection between them, is pointless. Argue against features or implementation if you like, but do so on reasonable terms. And as I said in the last point, no matter what you think of console gaming yourself, it’s hard to see how the D3 devs having a few million more incoming customers is a bad thing in terms of ongoing game support. More mouths to feed should equal more content and updates and improvements for the rest of us. Right?

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61 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Console Feature and Fan Reactions

  1. “The devs said that people tended not to desocket and resocket and thus didn’t experiment much,”

    I just don’t believe that at all

    we all experiment now and try out new skills when we level up and the skill becomes available
    I don’t think it would have been any different with runes

    we would have found a new rune and then tried it
    if we preferred it, then we would have kept it till we found the next rune;
    if we didn’t prefer it then we would have traded it or sold it to a vendor

    in POE I’m always trying out different support gems to see how they affect my skills
    sometimes I prefer the new support effect, sometimes I don’t
    but I almost always try the new skill out

    • You seem to confuse “people” and yourself… Of course the active portion of gamers who follows the game (you) are more likely power gamers. But you claim of “me and my friends do that, so everyone does that too” is either a logical fallacy or you imply that your friends are the whole Diablo community.

      Most people are unmotivated, lazy, or, god forbid, tired from daily work. Would you say they do not deserve game systems to be tailored to them?

      • “power gamers” ?
        because we switch skills ?


        so it’s perfectly ok to swap out and upgrade gems, but it takes a power gamer to socket and unsocket skill runes ?

        ha ha ha
        good one

        “But you claim of ‘me and my friends do that, so everyone does that too’ is either a logical fallacy or you imply that your friends are the whole Diablo community.”

        no, I’m implying Blizzard is flat out lying

        they put in a system where you’re encouraged to craft, upgrade and swap out gems, but they claim it’s too much trouble to swap out skill runes ?

        how does that make any sense ?

        well, what do you expect from a company that said they took out arena PvP because there were no rewards, no goals and that made it no fun
        but then they claim one of the great features of “brawling” is that there are no rewards, just the fun of combat

        LOL !

        hey, I guess they discovered it take a real power player to constantly switch out all the great gear you find from drops

        so that’s why they decided to make the drop rate and items so poor;
        so those “unmotivated, lazy, or, god forbid, tired from daily work” wouldn’t be bothered picking stuff up !

        there was a method to their madness !

        • Well, if you just want to say “they are mad”, this argument is irrefutable and I have to go.

          Regarding unsocketing gems vs. skills – this is not “too hard”. This is harder. Note that their argument was that people “tend to not experiment with resocketing”. I am sure there are few people who actually experiment with item gems too – they just put a Ruby into weapon and mainstat elsewhere. There is nothing to discover for most people, just replace a Ruby for a bigger Ruby.

          I hope you won’t argue that resocketing skills would *reduce* the number of people trying out skills?

          I do not say Blizzard says the truth, sometimes they clearly justify decisions that are made elsewhere. I say that their statement of “people experiment rarely” is more true than you statement that “I experiment, therefore people experiment often”.

        • “no, I’m implying Blizzard is flat out lying

          they put in a system where you’re encouraged to craft, upgrade and swap out gems, but they claim it’s too much trouble to swap out skill runes ?

          how does that make any sense ?”

          Uh, maybe the rune system *as a whole* was more cumbersome than the gem system and consequently discouraged players from using it, to the point where it was ultimately deemed too complicated (and scrapped) whereas the gem system was not?

          To me that’s the most obvious and logical conclusion, but the fact that in your world, calling Blizzard liars makes more sense, is pretty telling.

          • ok, I know you crafted gems when the game came out

            do you remember how ridiculously slow it was to craft one single gem ?

            and even if you have an inventory full of material you can only craft one gem at a time

            there was no reason to make gem crafting that slow or tedious
            but they actually tested it, tried it out and made the decision to make it that slow !

            there’s no reason gem swapping had to be such a time waster and there’s no reason skill swapping had to be cumbersome either

            in POE it takes a whole 2 seconds to swap a skill gem
            right click on the socket and the skill gem comes out then you drop it back in your stash,
            now grab a skill gem from your stash and put it in the socket

            how complicated is that ?

            it’s actually even less complicated than that
            just grab a gem one from your stash, drop it in, and the old one comes out!

            yeah, I guess if Blizzard purposely made it swapping runes cumbersome, slow and difficult then nobody would experiment with it
            but why do it that way ?

            why design the game to make gem swapping so slow ?
            why design the game to make rune swapping such a pain ?

            if it was too cumbersome, it’s because they designed it to be

    • Um, more importantly, who are “the people” they are talking about ? Could it be the internal testers, those who did such a stellar job “testing” the game ?

  2. I do not think that a console D3 is anywhere near as significant as it was for the first Diablo was in coming to the playstation. Nowadays computers are dirt cheap and D3 has comparatively very low system requirements compared to many of the other games coming out today, something that was not the case when they released the first Diablo on console.

    I remember having a 486/33 that could not run Diablo and it absolutely killed me having to play it only when at friends’ places. When it came out on the console I bought it and enjoyed it for much time for come, was a lot of fun playing with another person right there in the same room, even with the split screen movement limitations (you had to stay within a half screen of each other) it was a hell of a lot of fun. Also duping items on it was so stupid simple, save character, load a game with two separate controllers both playing that character, then toss the items from one guy to the other, save THAT character over the old file and then repeat as many times as you wanted… Ahhh good times.

    Diablo 3 on console is just meh.

    Sure would be nice to hear about 1.08 but its not summer yet so I expect I shouldnt hold my breath there.

  3. About split screen: That’s one of the things I love the most about console gaming. Looking at what the other 3 people are doing is a skill (multitasking) in itself and if you’re good at it you deserve to win!

    Might be I love it because, well, I’m good at it…

  4. I personally do NOT think that all the problems in the game take root in developing with consoles in mind. I think they take root in an uninspired development team with poor leadership. I DO think that it would be pretty naive to state that developing the game with consoles in mind did not negatively effect it. It’s also naive to say that because Diablo 1 was ported to Playstation that makes everything better.

    All that being said this isn’t the only PC game to be held back by console limitations FARRRR from it. So we have to keep in mind that it’s just the way of the world now. As an elite PC nobleman who builds his own towers I don’t like it but it is what it is.

    Honest opinion at this point though… They should make the xpac a PS4 launch day exclusive. Show Sony the sales figures for D3 then ask for a boatload of money in return for all those potential unit sales from such an announcement. Knowing todays gaming \consumer\ I bet it would work despite the bad vibe the game currently has. Mwuhahahaha 🙂

  5. The console version of D3 will probably be better then PC due to the fact that, offline play and No RMAH.

  6. I’d just like that we could use our already accounts in the PS3/PS4 version, so we can play either on my lap or in my ps3. With same features, you could connect wireless keyboard with mouse, and play as in the PC/Mac. =)

    • cut the crap with your pvp shit !!!!!!!!!

      pvp for (a)rpg/hack ‘n slash games is just stupid !

      diablo III is great as is (with a few wholes)
      I want more PVE content and a console version to play where,with who and when i want !

      and where is my beer ?!!

      • Oh yeah absolutely. Listening to Browder talk so enthusiastically, it makes me get excited too, because you can see and hear how passionate he really is about Starcraft 2.

        He’s straight forward with 1) what he has (current state of SC2) 2) and what he wants (future state of SC2). There’s a plan, and he sells that plan by talking about it as clearly and openly as possible. Has a good temper too, it seems, as he gives the metagame time to adjust but will try to “nudge” it in a balanced direction if he sees it start to wobble.

        Browder is sort of the cool dad that fixes up a bike, teaches you how to ride it, and then rides it with you too.

  7. Offline mode for consoles? OFC, since there is no need for DRM. Blizz doesn’t have to worry about piracy.

    What happened to that uber-epic Battle.Net gaming experience? Blizz is too predictable and pathetic.

    There are three main reasons Blizz gets all the hate. Sacrificing the game content to target wider audiences, making critical non-user friendly decisions to maximize sale numbers, profit and trying not to hurt potential buyers’ feelings by integrating politically correct philosophies on art, music, story and the game world.

    In fact Diablo 3 is a high quality game at it’s core. But these three reasons combined would destroy any game. That’s also why D3 misses any soul.

  8. One question I’ve had since they announced the same screen/ no split deal, is how are item drops going to work with no split screen. Is loot going to be shared? How would that work exactly?

  9. The game has so many flaws but every once in a while I have to come back and play to see if they actually made the game any better. The answer is still no. I can still go from normal up to the end of hell mode and still get craptastic drops no matter how high my MF is . Then I have to hope I get lucky enough to have a good item drop in Inferno. If I get a PS4 atleast I can kick my feet up while still bitching I get crap drops.

  10. The four player couch co-op should NOT be a concern at all. If you think it will be go pick up any Gauntlet Legends game or Baldurs Gate 2 for Ps2 and prepare to waste an entire weekend having an amazing time with your friends.

    • I agree om the play style, and keeping everyone on the same screen, but those other games aren’t all about your items, or your character’s level. All the chars are fairly even in their strength, if not exactly even like in arcade-style FPS and such.

      I guess it’ll be okay in in D3 since you’ve all got to stay closer together, so if one char is way stronger than the others since he can just carry the group? So his strength is a plus, instead of an unfun imbalance.

  11. Console gamers will be fine with a grindy ARPG. They are perfectly fine with a grindy Borderlands, which has added inconvenience of being a gamepad-controlled 3D shooter 🙂

    Also, I’d say console interface is not an evil in itself. Borderlands on a PC is just fine.

  12. Console players won’t be sharing the same Auction Houses as PC players due to the Console offline mode.

    Google “Diablo 2” “ITH hacked items”, “Open Bnet” and “Closed Bnet” and you will get the explanation.

  13. Xbox 360 (and the soon to be new Xbox) are THE BEST. With Kinect, everything will be super realistic and I am 1000% sure the graphics will be way better than what the PS/Nintendo crap consoles can output.

  14. The PSOne Diablo was really good. It was almost the same Diablo 1 we all know and even had some new cool graphical features added including softer, colored lightning, reflection in water (just walk along the Tristram river… you’ll be surprised 😉 ) and a few others. It had different, “arcade”, as I would call them, controls, but retained the difficulty of the original. And there’s also a double speed mode to make hacking, slashing and looting faster!

    I’ve never had a chance to check out the two-player coop mode, but judging from my experience with console action/RPG’s like BG:DA and Champions of Norrath, I imagine it might be fun.

    The only major disadvantage of this port was the use of 10 memory blocks for saving your progress. On the other hand, there was an option to save only your char’s data which takes a single memory slot.

    Not going to by a console to play Diablo 3 though.

  15. lol if everyone thinks the Bnet forums are a hellhole as they are, wait to see what’s gonna happen after the Kiddieboxers attack in droves.

  16. “the Diablo console “team” consisted of three people”

    Because the other 150 already finished the console version of Diablo 3 for the PC

  17. Who is to say that they didn’t plan on doing some of those things because management was already looking to port to Consoles and told them to change things around to better fit on a console in the future?

  18. I had a long post, but deleted it later on. Here is a TL;DR version.

    I and many other people here criticised Blizzard’s attitude here, emphasizing on the points game lack, and blame them because they dumbed down the game for console.

    Having the idea of releasing D3 was on their minds for a long time and even they did come out and said it from time to time, nothing to argue here I guess.

    But building up on that idea and sacrificing UI, gameplay, mechanics or whatever the game would have had better pisses people off. On top of this, there is the offline mod debate too.

    And in the blog post, these points are “refuted” by saying “PC version had 150 people and console had 3”. Yeah it was because it only takes a few people to adjust the game to another port:


    Sorry for caps.

  19. Having the idea of releasing **on consoles** D3 was on their minds for a long time and even they did come out and said it from time to time, nothing to argue here I guess.

    sorry missed out the ** marked part in the original post

  20. Oh, every point in this article is entirely invalid. If you have any sort of programming background, you would know Blizzard must have designed D3 with console-port in mind from grounds up.

    Which makes console port an overarching design influence.

    It’s a million dollar franchise. Decisions are not made on a whim.

    • Specially when the masses are being facepalmingly stupid as they are being about this console thing.

      The idea that Blizz would *purposely* make the massively anticipated PC version worse in the hope that it would make a not that anticipated port easier to make is so laughably stupid that it’s hard to believe anyone thinks this is a discussion worth having.

      • There’s a difference between purposedly bad and consolitis. D3 suffers from the latter, though the former could almost be argued if you look at the MoP release schedule, and how D3 miraculously became better with massive feature releases (MP, revamped legendaries, key farming) only a few weeks after said MoP release. It makes sense to want to avoid cannibalizing sales of their biggest cash cow. D2’s legacy is so strong that people pre-purchased and purchased the game entirely based on that. They didn’t have much to lose even if the game sucked.

      • Well said.

        There’s no way Diablo III’s poor design choices are to blame due to a console version.

        The PlayStation ports are really very late to have had any influence.

        • I agree with your agreement, and my TLDR version of the article (constructed some days later (after rereading it, additional thought, and reading all the comments) would be something like this:

          The main complaints about the release version of d3, things like, bland itemization, too difficult inferno, unbalanced skills, not enough end game, etc, have no plausible connection to console development. The devs took 34 years to make d3 and thought it was a great game upon release. They were wrong, in the judgment of most hardcore fans, and that’s why so many big changes have come in patches since release. And all of those content fixes and additions in patches are going into the console, which is planned to launch at v1.07, the current version of d3.

          People are free to dislike d3, now or at launch or both, but I don’t see any logical reason to blame the state of the game on long-held plans to produce a console version. That D3 is simplified over D2 in a lot of ways, and that console titles are generally less complicated than pc games is a correlation, but not a causation.

          • Flux, are you saying you know the cause of the issues that the hardcore crowd complained about? I tend to think the people complaining don’t know for certain what the cause was. Maybe it was that they didn’t spend enough time working on item drops because they were working on making the game more console portable. Isn’t that possible? Unless we know what the real cause was I don’t see why that couldn’t be it.

      • You make the false assumption that Blizzard believed making the game easier to port would make it bad. They made a bad game. If you think they knew what were good and bad design decisions then how do you explain the game they released?

  21. The skill UI certainly wasn’t simplified. it was made needlessly complicated with SIX pages of tabbed browsing and arbitrary categories. Back in the beta you could see all the skills at once.

    • which is difficult to see on your TV. I tried playing WoW on my TV, but since you are, relatively, further away from the screen, it is undoable.

    • Yes, that’s why I included a screenshot showing the interface. But at that point you could *not* see any of the run effects, much less all 5 of them in each skill. How would you fit a display that showed all of the skills and all of the run effects for them onto the same screen? With legible type? Just a lot of tooltip hovering?

      I’d be okay with a long list of all the skills and then each one expands to show the rune effects when you click on it, but is that real optimal? Certainly not to bliz, who so disliked text and on-screen complexity that they brought us simplified tool tips. It’s their design philosophy (which I think is lame on that issue), but I don’t see how it’s necessarily some grand console-conspiracy influencing it.

  22. If I had to pick the biggest issue out of everything I have read the last few days, it would be if the game was designed as a PC game first, then a decision to port was made, or the other way around. I agree with an above poster, in that a multimillion dollar corporation does not do something like this on a whim. There is no way JW and company were sitting over coffee one morning and had some brainstorm to port the game.

    I would love to believe D3 was a PC game first, and the decision to make a PS3 version came later. I do not think this is the case. I cant get past the thought that the game somehow could have been better if the idea to port was not on the table. We dont know everything, but I wonder how many cool ideas got shot down because of being incompatible with consoles?

    Hell, I played D1 on Playstation, and it wasnt that bad. I did not have access to a computer I could use all the time back then, and playing it on my PS1 allowed me uninterupted play time. I have played D3 since launch, nearly everyday, and this news is not going to make me stop playing anytime soon. What will bother me is if later on down the road, somebody comes out and says a certain feature was scrapped because of the console. Maybe there is a silver lining in all this. Maybe Blizz will put more resources into the game which could result in more patches and content. I guess its just a wait and see type thing now.

  23. ^ It is a discussion worth having. If you think they would build a game that requires a ton of rework to port to consoles, then your nuts.

    It’s MUCH easier for them to build the PC game with console design philosophies in mind so that they don’t have to rework every patch addition to fit it into a console version. It’s a lot of extra work that can very easily be avoided by making both games relatively the same. You also avoid having the console people feel like they got a compromised experience if too much changes.

    You can see signs of this all over Diablo 3. The fact that it has no complexity and zero depth to most of it’s systems. The fact that it has little to no randomization and is a forced A to B linear experience. The way they force the story on you no matter what. The lack of lobbies in favor of a console style match making system.

    If you think they didn’t design the game for easy of port when they already knew years ago it was going to appear on a home console, then you aren’t thinking clearly.

  24. If it was supposed to be a console game first, then why even bother w/ click-to-move? Why not give us WASD or some other analog/non-mouse based control scheme? Why not tailor the skills to a controller ahead of time?

  25. Your geographic location determines whether or not you will have access to high speed internet. Doesn’t really matter what you do, or if you game on a console or PC or not.

    Those decisions on infrastructure are made in closed board rooms or if you are lucky and your community can afford that type of infrastructure investment, a city or town hall.

    Its a hilarious double standard by Blizzard to say that it “gets it” for console gamers but seems virtually negligent to the same fact for PC gamers.
    LOL in many instances its the person who has no high speed acces who has both.

    I guess I missed the map passed around at blizzard that showed the whole nation crawling with brand new gleaming broadband infrastructure.

    I just don’t understand it, D3 for the PC could have had separate characters
    for single player and BNET as well, why develop software to ensure a “safe” offline gaming experience?, the AH that’s why. Instead the term “security” was shoved down our throats and this meant the double golden egg of AH and online only was way forward for a profit driven company. This came from the top, choice in gaming was shattered for the sake of profits. Control them and profit from it. This is the new model for the PC gaming world.

    D3 was meant to be a cash cow, not the true successor to D2LOD. You know that game that gives you choices in just about everything.

    My hopes of D3 being saved by the next expansion are now finally shattered by this announcement. This will hold them back now from any major changes the community was asking for. The Auction house was the first place all good ideas would go for a quick death, no no cant do that, that would effect the ECONOMY. Now its going to be the console version, Nope cant do that, to COMPLICATED. LOL!

    Things will stay boringly simple, items will still suck, be to hard to find, to expensive to buy, and there will not be enough of them.

    We still will not have any other mechanisms to deal with resistances like charms or jewels. No sockets, recipes for upgrading weapons, etc, etc.

    On what planet did having freedom of choice in a flipping game become evil?

    Blizzards planet that’s who.


  26. so i’ve watched the announcement video a couple times and read the press release, and i still am unable to find the place where offline play was confirmed. could someone please tell me at exactly what time in the video he says that? and don’t try to tell me that “local multiplayer” means the same thing as offline play. it doesn’t. they could still make you log on to play. offline play means offline play, and blizzard chooses its words carefully.

  27. To be brutally honest: I’d be more excited to see Diablo II on the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4. Heck, even on PlayStation Vita.

    Diablo III is a let down and I am quite surprised to see it coming to the Sony machines. Oh well, it will still probably sell very well due to PlayStation 3′ huge installed base (~75 million). PlayStation 4 launch hype and lack of many titles will also sell good amounts of Diablo III copies.

    Blizzard might as well enable RMAH on the consoles; in fact they would be dumb not to. You PC-only guys would be surprised how much money devs are making on microtransations on consoles. The PlayStation Store is integrated to most games in a way you can purchase content in-game very easily.

  28. There’s a sense I get that some people, who should have been fully aware or at least suspecting how terrible D3 was just by skimming this site, still bought it out of customer loyalty, willing to give it a chance, and then worked really hard to overlook all its flaws and managed to squeeze some joy out of playing it, and then heard the news of the console version, and that brought back all the bitterness, and gave it a target. And so the fact that there’s a console version gets to take the blame for everything bad in the game. I find this funny.

    Now, I’m not very into consoles, but you know what? I’m going to buy this game now that there’s an offline mode.

  29. is that you Jay? Someone is sure schilling for D3. when a 13 year old game is better in almost every way than it’s modern day counterpart, we call that a failure. I hope blizz does not expect to break sales records again. The people who would play it on a console already got turned off by the crappy pc version. Who else can’t wait to shell out another 60$ for this terrible game!

  30. IncGamers does censor comments that contain offensive language. Avoid the word filter with HTML entities, to produce the word fuck. Blizzard provided support for Polish and Russian languages for players from Poland and Russia.

  31. I had no idea you used to collect the runes to modify skills. It vaguely sounds familiar if I really concentrate and think about what I read back then about D3, but in any case, that sounds awesome. I wish they kept that system. I can see their point though about it clogging up your stash, but seems like the obvious solution to that problem (if that really was the problem and not a red herring), would be to give us the other 2 stash tabs that were promised to us in Beta.

    Finding runes for the skills would have added a lot of needed depth IMO. What a shame.

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