Diablo 3 Expansions: Too Soon to Speculate?

The Diablo 3 expansion talk keeps rolling with some replies from EU CM Vaneras about why it’s not too soon to talk about it, and to lament over content that didn’t get into D3 but may yet appear in D3X.

it waaaay to soon for an expansion
Hmm… that really depends on who you ask 😉

For me, it depends on what the expansion offers.
This is a very sensible stance to take I think, especially for those who are sceptical about the expansion and the future of Diablo III. Reading reviews and viewing gameplay footage and streams beforehand should be a good help for evaluating whether or not the expansion will be to your liking.

It is not a bad idea to wait and see before making your decision, especially since the contents of the expansions have yet to be revealed 🙂

You advise to wait and see before making a decision… it’s not going to be the same case scenario where we are shown trailers of lots of excellent things and exciting content, only to have lots of it removed on release?
Vaneras: I do not think that it will be the same case scenario at all if those people who are concerned or sceptical about the expansion wait until after it has been released before they make their decision.

In regards to your concern about removed content – I can agree that it is unfortunate when this happens; it is a sucky feeling indeed when content you were personally looking forward to doesn’t happen as originally announced. It is impossible for me to predict if the developers will feel it necessary to remove or postpone content for one reason or another after we have already shown it in previews or sneak-peaks, but I am confident that we will do our best to accurately show you guys what the expansion is about and how it plays before it is released.

In general though, the impressions and reviews of any game or expansion are typically most accurate after release, which is due to the fact that a greater number of people get their hands on them to do appraisals or gameplay videos and streams. So again, if you are concerned about the Diablo III expansion, if you are not sure that it will be to your liking, then the logical option would be to wait and see how it plays out before deciding if you will be getting it or not 🙂

Leaked Blizzard Product schedule.
Leaked Blizzard Product schedule.
Blizzard (Irvine) is much slower in game dev these days, but consider that the D2 expansion went into beta testing 8 months after D2’s release, and was released 12 months after the original game and no, it’s not anywhere near too soon to talk about the Diablo 3 expansion. I think we’ll see D3X announced at Blizzcon 2013, and hope all the post-release work to fix D3 (that delayed the PvP so badly) didn’t also set back the Expansion.

I never seriously believed they’d make the 18 month deadlines they set out in that leaked Blizzard product schedule. Anyone who did should reflect upon how long each of the WoW and Starcraft 2 expansions have taken, but 24-28 months for D3X shouldn’t be out of the question…? The original projection of 18 months would have meant a December 2013 release. That’s improbable, but maybe Summer or Fall of 2014? (Yes, it helps to forget that D3 took 12 years and got a last minute delay of another 5 months after Blizzard had “late 2012” all but set in stone.)

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22 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Expansions: Too Soon to Speculate?

  1. At this point, I just hope they fix whatever is wrong with Diablo3 and release the expansion that will address these issues. I don’t care if it takes 24 months instead of 18. I mean even if they release it early, we have to wait for the patches to correct the mistakes anyway. So why not just take some time and get it right the first time.

    • I fully agree with you, with one small amendment: they need more than time. If Diablo III is any indication, you will see that “taking time” alone will not do the trick, even if in ridiculous amounts.

  2. It is way too soon.

    Everything is taking this company far too long in regards to changes/ updates for this game, and they have done a pisspoor, amateur, mickey mouse job of thus far for me to believe there will be an expansion to the game this year.

    I will be surprised to see pvp this year at the rate they are going.

    There is currently no project manager, and 1.07 has been months in the making now, I think it would be foolish to think the expansion is anywhere on the horizon, and shame on blizzard if it is for those resources and manpower should be allocated to fixing this severely fractured game.

    • The slow patching may be due to most of the people working on an expansion and not on the patches.
      They should however fix all skills before they release an expansion, and it doesn’t really seem like they’ll succeed with this because of how they’ve been so far.

  3. “Yes, it helps to forget that D3 took 12 years and got a last minute delay of another 5 months after Blizzard had “late 2012? all but set in stone.”

    I think you meant late 2011, right? 😛

  4. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if all that cool, interesting, innovative and fun stuff they had and then cut was b/c they realized they needed to work on the expansion. Claiming the Mystic wasn’t polished enough and then releasing those four gems…

    • I also conspire and try to inspire myself too, on the idea of Blizzard holding back too much of content for the release (we all know they play years ahead for games – preparing content for next expansions when you try to figure out whats in for the original content etc), knowing that people will buy regardless of what they put in the D3 Box (a dead rat in a sealed box also would have sold 10 mil.

      I try to convince myself that a scenario of, releasing a game with simple systems and fewer choices overall gives room to easy improvement, epecially when you think they got loads of different scrapped systems and years of knowledge. They might have figured out Jay and his leadership was not going anywhere, so they let him be the scapegoat people want, and since people know D2 was not the biggest hit when it was released and the expansion was the ultimate thing that made D2 so popular, they will ride the same plot for D3 too imo.

      I feel that Blizzard is eventually too smart. They must have figured that there is no need to try and cater an ARPG and a MMO together, since most of its fanbase is the same and they are both games which consume a lot of time of the players (both per day-week, and yearly)(my impressions).

      So what they did was to totally dumb down WoW and change the WoW dev teams etc, possibly giving the Titan priority. They might want D3 to have a much lesser half-life than D2 had, because in the end they want to support one game for both genres. I intend to keep this post saved somewhere and see how it looks when Titan hits. These are my long thought ideas on the subject though, and some wishful thinking for D3’s near future (not the long one when it is left to dust and we are all forced to play Titan :D)

      • Very thoughtful. I’m sooo glad I’m not alone who thinks this way. I should just add (in case someone argues against you with the fact that if original isn’t good enough, the expansion will not sell as good), that it WILL sell regardless of the quality of the original, should it be good enough. Why? Well simply because it’s DIABLO after all. It’s actually very amusing to read all this concern to fix the original before going for the expansion. Why should Blizzard care about the original? You bought it already. Now you have to buy the expansion. Thus everything good goes into expansion meaning that if you don’t buy it, you’ll end up screwed with a crappy game, nobody will play anymore. It only hurts me so much that most of you will swallow this without thinking twice (of course otherwise you’ll be against yourselves) and will maybe even cheer Blizzard for “saving” the game. And Blizzard will be cheering with you knowing that they tripled their income with RMAH thanks to the fact that in the original the drop rates were set up for people to use it….

  5. Too soon. TM

    Besides, Diablo 4 will be full 3D anyway. Blizzard is not going to make this mistake (too close to a very old mechanism – 2D Zaxxon) a second time.

    Your semi God Brevik already tried to make a Diablo 3D with Hellgate London but of course he lacked the resources to make it happen (as he USED all help from Blizzard HQ’s when making D1 and D2). The fact he had the loser of this industry, Bill Roper, at his side didn’t help much either.

    Instead of insulting the lead designer of Company of Heroes and Dawn of War, you guys should never have gotten this fake 3D view of an extended D2 in the first place. D3 is quite good, but it is based on game play mechanics which don’t stick these days (post MMORPG’s).

    So a D3 expansion is simply not worth the trouble, since you’ll find 3000 reasons to not be satisfied with the D2 successor anyway.

    So full steam ahead with D4 and a full 3D setting with a complete overhaul of the mechanics of D2 and a complete new game. Screw the D2 20K people left.

  6. I still believe in Blizzard’s capacity to turn things over.

    If you look on how they managed to win World of Warcraft players back from the failure that is Cataclysm to the success that is Mist of Pandaria, we can be hopeful that the Diablo 3 expansion will change everything for the better.

    The game was boring until they came up with Monster Power and Paragon levels (now, it is only semi-boring, lol). I am pretty sure that they have all of the other good stuff planned too. As hard as it may sound, but there is nothing else we can do but wait.

    • Really? I dont see why. MP and Plvls were not good ideas either, they did nothing at all to add any form of endgame or fun to the game… which is an epic fail.

  7. We can talk about expansion products when the main game is anywhere close to where it should be. So, at the current pace (number tweaking patches taking months plus weeks on PTR), I don’t forsee the topic bearing much relevance in the not-too-distant future.

    Mantra: Patches for fixing broken stuff – expansions for expanding on stuff that’s actually working.

  8. Rob Pardo said that the “next big Diablo thing” is coming 2013, and even *IF* the expansion release isn’t by the end of this year, then the beta certainly will be.

    • PS: Which explains while things move at such a slow pace atm, because most of the team are essentially working on the first expansion.

      • They announced BlizzCon 2013 earlier this year and shortly after that, made tabula rasa concerning their Fiasco III representatives (Bashiok & Wilson). So essentially, your next big Diablo related thing will be the expansion announcement this fall season.

        If the main game’s development schedule is any indication, they’re concepting right now in order to have at least something to present later this year. Then: months of silence, a quick update rush for some pr-heavy event, months of ‘testing and polishing’ (included this one for giggles), possibly further months of undisclosed delays and finally another totally unfoseeable login-servpocalypse … you know the drill … 😉

  9. It’s taken about 3 years for Blizz to whip out 20 missions for the SC2 expansion. I wouldn’t expect anything sooner for D3 lol.

    (And yes, I left out the multiplayer feedback and balancing work for added impact.)

  10. Marvel heroes is coming this spring. Im much more looking forward to that game than D3X. I don’t have much faith in the D3 team anymore. Im not confident that they’ll nail it in the expansion. Remember that the brain behind D2 is working on Marvel. Blizz is going to Get tough competition and the expansion needs to be sooooo much better than the original game for me invest more time in it. 7 months or 4 years? To be honest I don’t care.

    • Agreed. I’m much more interested in Marvel Heroes now. The team working on Diablo just doesn’t get it. If you’ve ever listened to Day9 and his Dailies about Starcraft he recently pointed out that game developers’ job is to inconvenience the player. For instance the goal of golf is to get a ball into a hole. Well why not just pick it up and place it in the hole? Because that’s boring. The developers of golf found a way to make the game challenging and at times completely frustrating, but also made it possible to practice and improve. The Diablo team didn’t do any of that. They removed challenge from the game and hoped that grinding in and of itself would be entertaining. They totally missed the point of games.

    • No offense but, if the marketing “brains” behind the idea of the “Give me your 200$ now because I estimate these to be worth 750$ soon” is an indicator , this game is just a bad attempt to milk the “Marvel” title for more cash.

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