Forbes on the Diablo 3 End Game

There have been so many stories since Diablo 3’s launch highlighting various issues but many have not examined all the factors that contribute to its failure to meet many people’s high expectations. A new article on Forbes, Diablo 3 Needs an Endgame, and Fast makes a decent attempt at looking at the problems and why Blizzard need to address these as soon as possible.

Commenting on the drop in player numbers which was highlighted in the recent Xfire statistics, the author adds:

Why is this a financial issue for Blizzard? There’s no monthly fee for Diablo, and most companies would be thrilled with the kinds of sales numbers the game has put up so far. Once they’ve put in their $60, who cares if they play for four hours or four thousand?

But it’s different this time around. The new Real Money Auction House has changed all that. It’s an additional revenue stream for Blizzard which takes a cut of commodities and items sold in the game, generally around 15% of whatever’s put to market and pulled out through Paypal in real cash. If they could generate the kind of long lasting and established economy that Diablo 2 has had for the last decade, Diablo 3 could be a constant revenue stream for them. Items have been selling for the maximum price of $250 for weeks since the RMAH opened, and with Blizzard getting a cut of everything, that can add up to a significant sum if a large number of players are motivated to buy or sell the best gear.

The problem now is that they’re leaving, and less players means less sales on the RMAH and Blizzard’s experiment looks increasingly like a not-so-good idea. The Auction House was a gamble for them. They wanted a cut of the black market item and gold sales they knew would exist with or without such a feature, so they made the AH a central feature of the game. THE central feature, really.

The RMAH is probably the main reason the game’s design missed the mark in places.  Because there was no monthly subscription model the only way to monetise the game was through a Real Money Auction House.

When the RMAH was announced last August I did feel a little uncomfortable about it because ultimately Blizzard would control the economy with item drop rates, which could be changed at any time.  From the outpouring on our forums at the time I wasn’t alone in this uneasy feeling.  However, after the dust settled, some began to feel it could become an enjoyable dimension to the game and in turn add longevity.

I don’t believe many Diablo 2 players were concerned about problems with the “black market”.  Blizzard are keen to at least try and stamp it out, which so far has proved unsuccessful with the prices of gold on the black market likely to trump anything the RMAH could offer.  However, there is a comforting level of security when using the RMAH which offers reassurance to players concerned with getting ripped off by third party sites.

With the rise in the free-to-play model, one option open to Blizzard was to release Diablo 3 for free and rely on the RMAH entirely. I think if that had happened there would be fewer complaints because people wouldn’t have felt out of pocket. It would probably have bought Blizzard extra time to continue development and avoid the sizeable drop-off in players.

Free-to-play gamer numbers now equal subscription gamer numbers for the first time (see story), and F2P is expected to surpass the subs model in 2013. With such a long Diablo 3 development cycle, and having restarted development of the game after Blizzard North was shut down, it would have taken far too long to recoup costs with a F2P model so was unlikely to have ever been on the table. It’s a nice idea though.

Blizzard have a lot riding on Diablo 3, their reputation for one, so I am confident they will make every effort to resolve the end game, items and economy. It will take a little time for the development team to fix the mistakes. I think fans of the series, like all of us here, are behind Blizzard 100% but its success could rest with fans’ willingness to be forgiving of the mistakes and patient enough to wait and return when the issues have been resolved.

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    63 thoughts on “Forbes on the Diablo 3 End Game

    1. Why ? Why in godsname does everything need to be monetised ? What happened to games being sold and then maintained for free. Why does a company that is multiple times more financially solid than years before need to 1) raise the price of their new game above current market standards and 2) monetise it for as long as possible afterwards ? Can we PLEASE stop squeazing the lemon already ?

      • If there’s a chance to make (more) money, pretty much every single refutation loses validity, these days. Not just in the video game industry.

        That is not a recent developement though. Blizzard has stated before that they never imagined they had to keep those free D2 server services running for over a decade. In other words: D2 multiplayer cost them more money than anticipated and they think they should have taken counter measures accordingly, in retrospective. Until D3, they probably filed those server upkeep pennies under their corporate image budget instead though. 😉

      • My theory is they looked at D2 running for 12 years and for a lot of that time income only trickled in as new/returning people bought it from the bargain buckets. They didn’t expect it to be as popular for as long as it has been.

        They saw the trading forums still buzzing with action and knew that it would be the same with D3. People would trade, it was a sure thing and so they looked for a way to capitalise on that.

        They could have gone for a sub system which would have required regular content patches which is a massive expense and creative commitment. They could have gone for microtansations for vanity items, such as different coloured wings, clothing dyes, none-combat pets, maybe even things to change skill visuals (as in PoE) but that’s pretty limited in an isometric game where opportunities to pose are more limited compared to an MMO where there are plenty of mailboxes to stand on.

        The easiest was to charge people for what they are going to do anyway. Make themselves the middleman and cream off a little bit of cash as the merchandise passes through their virtual hands. It’s money for old rope.

        If the game runs for 12 years they have a very steady guaranteed revenue stream. That’s unfortunately why many development teams have their eye firmly focussed on monetisation.

        • Who would have payed a sub for D3 ?
          Its already a disapointing game, shouldn’t be overpriced on top of that. And its not even an mmo…

          Meanwhile in Guild Wars 2 land.

      • Well, irrespective of their true intent, which can easily be ascertained, it’s very sad to see how everything centres round money. Sigh!!

        • The RMAH won’t cover the costs of bad reputation, lost consumers etc. At least if the game was incredible that would have been a good move, but the game has some terrible issues that aren’t even due to the RMAH.

      • I’m OK with “monetization” as long as it doesn’t mean my characters aren’t deleted after only 6 months of inactivity like in Diablo 2.
        Of course there are other problems stemming from a RMAH-focused design…

    2. “The RMAH is probably the main reason the game’s design missed the mark in places.”

      If there were no AH/RMAH, it would not change the fact that the items themselves are lackluster and hence, it is not the AH or RMAH that is “the main reason” D3 is struggling.

      • Okay, not the main reason of everything wrong in D3, but surely the reason of some fundamental design decisions (e.g. online only) which led to the current situation.

        • It is quite simple. D3 is an item driven game – so much so that the dev team wanted the items alone to drive the end game for several years. If the items are less than spot-on then the game itself will be less than spot-on.

          Neither online only nor the AH/RMAH are responsible for poor item design and hence are not responsible for D3’s failings. They merely compound a pre-existing problem.

      • “If there were no AH/RMAH, it would not change the fact that the items themselves are lackluster and hence, it is not the AH or RMAH that is “the main reason” D3 is struggling.”

        Maybe. But without the AH, we could have still have actual Unique Items around instead of the vastly random, glorified crafted items they call Legendaries. For obvious reasons, uniques (with fixed affixes) wouldn’t work with the AH in place – either they had to have even much lower drop chance or be non-tradable. And god forbid something in D3 couldn’t be traded / made 15% profit of.

        • So you are saying that the AH contributed to the poor item design? Feel free to respond to my post below.

    3. The main problems are definitely the lack of usable legendaries and the almost destroyed economy.

      In comparison to that:

      look at dayZ.. it’s in the alpha state and has higher playernumbers (almost 600k) than diablo…

    4. I am still at a loss for why people do not enjoy the inferno difficulty.

      The drive to play diabo 2 was to find the best items. Sure, 99 was there as an additional carrot on the stick, but in a way, diablo in inferno is a similar goal. My “99” is to be able to kill everything in a4 without dying. I am a long ways away from that, although that journey has been shortened a little bit with the addition of higher ilvl gear in a1 inferno.

      So, to reach my “99” I have to farm. I get to do something other than hours of mephisto or diablo or baal runs, I get to venture into the same “semi” predictability as in the past and look for RANDOM bosses. Some are too hard and I must abort. Some are easy. The point is, I never know what 4 modifiers I am going to get. I am still learning what modifiers NOT to mess with. Arcane Descecrator Plauged Waller? Not too terrible in an open field, but I certainly would have lost my character if it wasn’t a monk and able to go immune for a short amount of time… enough to get away and run for my life.

      Also, finding new combinations of rares is thrilling. I found a weapon with +elemental damage, +min/max damage, and +%ed on it today. The rolls came out bad, but if I were to find semi perfect rolls of that for a ilvl 63 weapon, it could be in the 1400+ range. And that is only 3 mods… the possibilities are endless. Hell, the damn weapon was a ilvl62 with only 410 damage, but could of rolled 1k+, on a lvl62.

      I think a big problem is, people just don’t have the patience to look for items like in the past. They want their GG items NOW. And, they want more than to just corpse hop through inferno? I am really sure how softcore players handle their business. But I bet it isn’t fun for them to die over and over and over…. but really that just means either they are not playing right, or their not geared enough for the content they are attempting…. I am sure my HC monk is better equipped to handle a2/3 than most softcore players who “farm” it, but I refuse to step foot past a1 until I know I am geared and capable of handling business.

      As for longevity, blizzard kept adding patches all the way up to diablo3 release for diablo2. They reset the ladder every 6-12 months. They made diablo2 fun for the people still playing it. Why do people think they will not do the same for diablo3? Blizzard north didn’t make the 1.11 patch, that was our good old current blizzard.

      TLDR: Your new carrot on a stick is not getting facerolled in inferno, or surviving it on HC. Also, rare items have huge potential to be super godly, just like in d2. And blizzard would be fools to give up on patching d3 in the future, because diablo4 won’t be happening for probably a longer time that 10 years.

      • Intelligent post. You successfully cut through all of the BS and your TLDR summary is spot-on.

        I thoroughly agree with your statement about people not having “patience to look for items”. In recent posts I have called it a lack of “discipline” (to borrow from a DH) – people buy an item on the AH or RMAH that took 1000 hours of farming NV runs to find, they equip the item, then they wonder why they can’t find a better item in Inferno Act 1 on a character that has logged only 150 hours. Asinine.

        • To provide a counter point: I think many people are discouraged that they have to use the AH at all. I know I wasn’t planning on it, until I couldn’t progress past Act 1. I ended up having to buy a bunch of All Resist gear to begin. Resistances being so necessary, combined with the really low drop rates (due to the AH), makes for an item hunt that is less than exciting. When I’m identifying rares (and especially legendary and set) items I’ve found, I have no hope or excitement. I just click them by the Blacksmith with the intention of salvaging everything, and if one is good, it is a pleasant surprise. Now I don’t mind putting in time for a reward, but that reward shouldn’t require 150 hours of NV farming.

          • Counter point to your counter:

            The AH is the same as trading in game or on forums from Diablo 2.

            You have your currency (gold or $$ on softcore) and if you have enough currency to get an item you want, you get it. Just like trading a SOJ for a vex rune, or whatever you want to equate.

            It seems people are unwilling to believe that inferno was meant to be HARD. It is not like Hell in d2. Hell in D3 is Hell in d2. Inferno is the next step up. If Inferno was in d2, it probably would of been extremely difficult to progress without trading, or reaching level 90, or both.

            You can easily progress through hell without trading, and you can trudge through it without trading in HC too. But if you have currency, why make it harder on yourself than you have to? All the items you trade on the AH, whomever is buying them might really need that upgrade. So we as a community are all helping each other out by using a much simplified version of trading in d2.

            So ask yourself, did you NEVER trade in diablo2? Then think to yourself, diablo2 didn’t have a 4th dificulty that was MADE to kill you.

            • I would have to disagree with you. The AH is not the same as trading because the drop rates and itemisation of Diablo 3 are tuned completely around the ability to auction. Finding an item goes like this:

              1. is the ilvl appropriate?
              2. did it roll All Resist?
              3. did it roll main stat?
              4. did it roll vitality?
              5. hopefully rolled crit and/or crit damage so my dps isn’t terrible
              6. are all these rolls high enough in value to be useful?

              To be decent, an item must meet all these criteria. This leaves such a minute chance of finding a decent item that the item hunt can get very frustrating very quickly, and weapons are even more so.

              This virtually eliminates the ability to progress through Inferno at a reasonable rate with items you found yourself [Let’s leave everything before Inferno out of the discussion since we could beat Hell with items found in late Normal]. This doesn’t matter to some, but it does matter to others. I don’t like finding my next upgrade through the skilled use of filters and searches.

              Believe it or not, I never traded once in Diablo 2. I preferred to find gear myself, and never ventured into multiplayer games too often. I also have absolutely no problem with Inferno being difficult. In fact, I really enjoy the challenge. But the game centers on finding desirable items at a rate that is reasonable, and that just doesn’t seem to be the case right now.

            • And, counter to the counter to the counter to the…

              D2 was playable as a SINGLE PLAYER GAME. MOST people who played it didn’t even play multiplayer, much less trade. Those people were all effectively thrown under the bus in multiple and significant ways.

            • as i said earlier, i cannot comment on how it is in softcore. however, i progressed through a1 inferno about 9 or 10 days after release in hardcore. i did this by farming goblins. while this was fixed as blizzard saw it as an exploit, the current system is more effective than goblins. and, my inferno grinding on my first character was before there was upgrades for my character in the AH, so it was self found or swapping with friends for gear. it IS possible to progress inferno without trading in the current state of the game. you MAY have to spend 100+ hours in a1 doing elite runs over and over, but that is the same as searching for upgrades in diablo 2. and once you progress a1, and are able to kill elites in a2, you have a higher chance to find ilvl63 gear, thus making the grind more effective. and eventually you can make it to a3… and so on. sure, for a4 inferno, to not die, you may need all ilvl63 gear with good rolls. but a4 inferno is level 99 once you can kill everything, IMO.

              as for finding the right mods… d2 classic didn’t have SHIT for gear other than rares. blizzard may of made a foul by stepping so far back in itemization, but they really did deliver a TRUE challenge.

              i will agree that the drop rate for uniques appears or is really low, or maybe that there is just so few in the game at this time (just like d2 classic) that it feels off. my only issue with drop rates is patterns… those damn things are so hard to find. and, i haven’t seen or recall anything official saying blizzard tweaks the drop rates of items to balance the economy. if it’s true they do this, than it’s another foul on them.

              but my main point is, it is possible to farm your way to be able to handle inferno. people have defeated a4 inferno on HC… it is possible given enough play time/luck. that is the true essence of diablo TO ME. luck, and a thrilling fight for your life every time you step out into the wild.

            • i can defeat inferno though my playstyle / bang for the buck is pretty much as optimal as it gets. sure i could try to go for the perfect best in slots items but whats the point ? even if i would get my 1200 dps weapon with 200 critdmg each i would still play exactly the same as i do now. and i have no incentive to change my playstyle not with my current monk and not with another monk iam ever going to create. Items provide no synsergy with skills beyond the obvious ; and that just makes for terrible monotonous gameplay.

              and unless they do not fix skills and create real Item synergies i dont see myself picking up this game again.
              I wont handicap myself with an inferior gimmicky specc and horribly designed / balanced skills and pretend i have fun while doing it. just so blizzard’s fancy ~2,7 trillion skill combination holds “true”.

            • “The AH is not the same as trading because the drop rates and itemisation of Diablo 3 are tuned completely around the ability to auction. Finding an item goes like this:

              1. is the ilvl appropriate?
              2. did it roll All Resist?
              3. did it roll main stat?
              4. did it roll vitality?
              5. hopefully rolled crit and/or crit damage so my dps isn’t terrible
              6. are all these rolls high enough in value to be useful?”

              No, that is plainly wrong. The abovementioned makes an item viable on the AH, the AH does not make the item viable. An item has to have these attributes because the combat mechanic requires these attributes.

              The AH may compound a pre-existing problem but it is not the cause of the problem. Removing the AH will not alleviate the need for every single one of those attributes.

              The AH is merely the means by which we obtain the items we are forced to use. The real problem is that we are forced to use those items…

            • Maybe I wasn’t clear. There are two problems: the first is obviously that we are pigeon-holed into the types of gear we must use in order to progress in Inferno. By that, I mean All Resist, main stat, and vitality. This in and of itself would be slightly annoying and a minor pain in the ass. But it is compounded by the second problem, which is the fact that drop rates and the rolls of such stats on the same item – in a useful fashion – must be so infinitesimally small in order to keep the AH from being flooded. This is what makes it damn near impossible to progress with only self-found gear. To me, and many others, this is a problem. This type of game utilizes a carrot-on-a-stick approach (the carrot being the items, IMO). Many players feel the stick is there, but no carrot, thus the incentive to keep playing is small to non-existent.

            • So an AH compounds a pre-existing problem with the items themselves? Revolutionary.

            • “No, that is plainly wrong. The abovementioned makes an item viable on the AH, the AH does not make the item viable. An item has to have these attributes because the combat mechanic requires these attributes.”

              The AH is part of the problem, you goof. It’s what is forcing such low drop rates. It’s the reason for RNG upon RNG upon RNG when any given item drops. Isn’t it obvious that they keep drop rates of good items low so that the AH isn’t flooded? You can post the same thing that I just wrote, after stating that it was “plainly wrong”? Revolutionary.

        • Putting aside “the items suck”, Diablo3’s end-game failure is not being able to play in the end-game without already having end-game items.

          Other than my Witch Doctor, my other 4 characters, one of each class, are level 60 and all stuck in Act 1 Inferno. My Wizard has a hard time everywhere past the into area. My Barb has a hard time upon entering the Fields of Misery. My Demon Hunter can do all of Act 1 without much problem, though the Butcher is somewhat of a challenge, doable, but a challenge. My Monk owns Act 1. She can solo in a 4 player game, though at 4 players soloing a champion pack can be a challenge depending on the affixes. But can I take my Monk into Act 2? Yes, but it’s ridiculously difficult to completely impossible, and this fact has nothing to do with my skill at playing the game. It’s stupidly all about your items and whether or not you can kill champion packs in 10 seconds or less. After 10 seconds, if none of the champions are dead, you are going to die. They do too much damage, are still spamming their abilities, all your defensive skills that kept you alive the first 10 seconds are now on cool-down, and they run faster than you so you are not going to escape.

          Quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of running Act 1 Inferno looking for items that will allow my Monk to move forward into the later half of Act 2 and beyond. And this has nothing to do with not having the patience to find the items to allow me to do it. It’s about player skill not amounting to anything and not being able to play the areas of the game where you have the best odds of the highest iLvl items dropping. You know, the Devs went on and on about how they didn’t want us monotonously running the same thing over, and over, and over to get items. And then what did they do? Stick us with running the same area, over, and over, and over again — an area that doesn’t even have the best odds of the highest level gear dropping — and keep us there until we either find equipment that will allow us to progress or go to the Auction House and outright buy what we need. Well, I don’t want to outright buy equipment. I want to find it. If I outright buy it, there is no point in playing. And I want player skill to matter so that with caution and tactics I can play and item hunt anywhere I see fit — so that I’m not stuck running the same damn area ad nauseam.

          I miss Diablo 2 and having level 85+ areas scattered throughout the Acts and being able to play in these areas with sub-par equipment while continually upgrading my gear to make playing these areas easier, and easier, until I became a god. Diablo 3 completely fails at this. In Diablo 3, you either walk all over the enemies or they walk all over you. You don’t get to take on challenges to find better gear. You are forced/stuck playing where you walk all over the enemies until you have the gear to walk all over the enemies in next area, which is highly repetitive, boring, and not any fun.

      • “I think a big problem is, people just don’t have the patience to look for items like in the past.”

        That’s why I’ve gone back to playing D2 and have more fun doing it than D3? No there is an entirely different reason why D3 simply isn’t as fun. Items in D3 are simply boring and don’t integrate with your character build the way they did in D2.

      • I think the inferno difficulty was poorly handled, exactly because of how difficult it is.

        Your “99” is to be able to kill everything, but consider that in D2, very few people ever got to 99. It didn’t matter, though; you could easily farm/pvp/beat hell etc at lower levels.

        I think a lot of people got frustrated going into act2/3, found the difficulty tedious, and the lack of rewards just reinforced that. The carrot is not getting killed? That’s not a carrot, that’s a whip.

        Not getting killed can be a goal. But that’s different. In D2, building your character was a goal, probably [i]the[/i] goal. I feel like that should be the goal in D3 as well; and it nearly is, but overcoming Inferno overshadows that most of the time. What will you do once you reach your goal of killing everything in Act4 without dying? Are you done, then? The goal has to be long-term and less final. At the core, Diablo is a role-playing game, not an arcade game.

        “I found a weapon with +elemental damage, +min/max damage, and +%ed on it today.” Funny you would mention those 3 affixes, because they are the most uninteresting in the game. They might as well just be one stat called +damage.

        Basically, I think the balance between reward and “challenge” is off. So that’s mostly (but not only) a problem with the itemization; it should, imo, be easier to find items by yourself, that will let you get through Inferno. More plentiful – and better – set and legendary items would be good for that, while well-rolled rares continue to be the best in slot items.

    5. “Forbes on the Diablo 3 End Game” – I have never thought that such a headline would ever been possible since all the years of Diablo gaming since 1996. And now it is there, and it sounds so ridiculous considering that this is just a game.

    6. I like how everything is about money now, and about how to maintain income from the game. No one mentions fun anywhere nowadays. It doesn’t matter. Well, then FUCK you, we won’t play your linear shitty game.

      • Big banks and other private equity shareholders are not really fun ppl to begin with. Almost no one who handles too much money is. Since they dictate what is the main driver within a company, it is hard to imagine that the goal becomes anything else than ‘please improve my RoI’.

    7. One mistake I feel most of ppl make concerning the comparison (of many aspects)of D3 to D2 is that they compare a new game as D3 to D2 as they remember it after many years of patching. The best thing imo would be to compare D3 to the first version of D2.

      • Yea, because they can’t learn from past mistakes/success they’ve made.. They REALLY need to go all the way from the ground again, right.

        • Yes, they do, because it’s a *different* game. They only have so much manpower to code and, subsequently, test everything. You don’t make a meal by chucking all the ingredients into a pot and stirring. You put in some and make them *just so* before carrying on. As is the case with Diablo 3.

          The criticism Blizzard get is beyond me. Here’s a developer that’s obviously listening to its customers, that admits it’s made some mistakes, and communicates to us that it is doing something about them (whether or not it does is another story… But hey, let’s give them a flippin’ chance, shall we?). I’m struggling to think of a single other developer the size of this company that even gets anywhere near this.

          • “Yes, they do, because it’s a *different* game.”

            There you just broke it down for yourself. They just piggy backed on the success of Diablo 2 and the Diablo name was the HYPE factor.
            And yes they do have a lot of manpower, and yes they could have made a good Diablo sequel if they had just worked on upgrading, already tested and great mechanics from Diablo 2. 4 years ago, the game was clearly on the right path, the upgraded Diablo 2 path, but then they decided to monetise Diablo.

            “Here’s a developer that’s obviously listening to its customers, that admits it’s made some mistakes, and communicates to us that it is doing something about them (whether or not it does is another story… But hey, let’s give them a flippin’ chance, shall we?). I’m struggling to think of a single other developer the size of this company that even gets anywhere near this.”
            You must be an extreme fanboy to actually make that comment. No offense.
            Deleting every thread that criticizes the game on it’s shortcomings even the constructive ones is a way to listen to your customers , right?
            Only reason why they made that comment was to derail all that problems emerging from the linux users and the people lost money on the RMAH, because it isn’t possible to admit that RMAH is broken, because that is the core of Diablo 3.

          • Lol, all they needed to do is get most of D2’s features, and then enhance the game with new stuff. ?

            They’re just trying to milk us that’s all. The expansion will have all the features presented in LOD probably. But it’s a long discussion I want to avoid right now ..

        • This. I so agree. It is not that EA sports reinvents the Fifa game each year. They take the last one and improve it.

      • Look dude, lets start counting the production of D3 from 2005, giving them a 4 year window.
        They had 7 years to create an outstanding game that could have been better than Diablo 2, how you ask? By working on already successful and tested game mechanics. Every sane dev team does that, they even did that on Starcraft 2, enhanced the already tested mechanics from SC 1.

        *Read Important*
        Why is a game patched?
        It is patched to fix problems that Devs are not actively able to foresee or Fix mechanics that are not popular with the general public. Now all Blizzard had to do was upgrade/enhance the already decade patched tested popular Diablo 2 systems and Diablo 3 could have been the best game ever made. What the Devs at Blizz did was, create broken non tested mechanics revolving around the RMAH.

        How does a game series game-play progresses? Example
        Diablo 1 popularized ARPG click and loot while suffering from some mechanical flaws, D2 fixed these issues while enhancing the overall tested and liked mechanics of the previous game through hot fixes and patches, finally reaching a point where it was ALMOST perfect. All Blizz had to do was work on removing that *ALMOST* while preserving the basic components that made Diablo popular in the first place. This they did not do…. they started from zero, horribly messed up and then just issued a statement admitting that D3 lacks from end game, and that’s all folks.
        How does a sane developer enhances it’s titles.
        Look up Soul reaver and Soul reaver 2 gameplay comparison and changes. You’ll know what I’m talking about.

    8. I have stopped playing d3 altogether now. I cant sell anything on the GAH anymore; it seems that 1 run in 2 now when I get to 5 stacks in a1 with my mf barb (302% mf with 5 stacks) the stacks just magically reset themselves along with one of the skills on my assigned keys… I just mid-fight will find my 5 stacks POOF along with a skill on my UI that just disappears… no skill screen opened NOTHING just POOF!

      Reported it on the bug forum (bnet one) a long time ago, and it just seems to be happening more and more often. I cant bring myself to hit the “start game” button anymore because I just find playing this game to be so goddamn frustrating/ angering and it truly seems like they do not give a crap about any of the HUGE bugs that are ruining this game, let alone the lack of content… oh and need I mention the status of their servers?

      • This can happen when you accidentally drag a skill of your skill bar while clicking around killing things.

        To prevent this you can temporary disable elective mode before you enter a boss battle.

    9. This is getting out of hand. I have never seen so much mainstream interest in a game, and there are tons of games with much worse / nonexistent endgames than this one.

    10. the issue that everyone is over looking about loot drops is the change blizzard made from d2 to d3 and that is that everyone gets their own drops which means a HUGE increase in loot dropping compared to diablo2; that is the main reason why loot drops are so bad and its hard to find that one perfect rolled item or is it. Speaking of – was farming act 3 inferno last night and in 1 run through a windforce, skorn, an ilvl chest with 180 vit 69AR and 3 sockets dropped which is worth a lot but 2 legendaries dropped even though they suck right now which I’m pissed that they should be good. So I could have had 3 amazing drops total.

      • This is a great point. I’ve been playing through D2 again and I’ve seen far fewer items in comparison even on players 8 and those items would have been shared by all who would be in the game. In an effort to achieve their loot explosions they had to fill them all with fluff.

    11. This is what my typical farming day look like:

      Do this for 2 weeks, I have not gotten a single usable upgrade. Not a single one. All I can do is sell entry level gears for gold and hope I can buy something giving me a small upgrade (maybe +10 str). And lately I can’t even do that. Thanks to gold bots, no matter how much gold I save, I can never keep up with the hyper inflation

      Like a NPC once said “Too much pain, not enough profit.”

      So what’s left? Quit or Pay to win. I really wanted to like this game, but for a game that’s based on loot, the itemization is fked up.

    12. Oh look …more footprints….

      That’s the SAME Forbes author who accused Blizzard because his PC account was hacked 1 week after launch. He never heard of an authenticator…he said…

      It was also the SAME Forbes writer who believed there could be session spoofing going on…in public games. Laughs…

      “Look more footprints ” coming from an idiot.

      Now he assumes people are leaving in droves because he cites a closed, non changing, non random XFire sample in which EVERY game looses 70% of actvity after 2 months..

      The fact this guy is allowed to publish on a Forbes website is mind boggling….

      • Ben is spot on my thinking, the article is embarassing for a major publisher…

        Not everything you read is true folks. Even without knowing the past history that Benbos posted it was clear the ‘stats’ were unfounded and the article biased.

      • “he assumes people are leaving in droves because he cites a closed, non changing, non random XFire sample in which EVERY game looses 70% of actvity after 2 months..”

        you miss the point entirely

        D3 is not EVERY game
        D3 is the successor to one of the most popular games in history
        D3 was one of the most anticipated games ever
        D3 had tons of money thrown at it and was made by some of the most experienced game developers in the world

        a game like that should not even have lost 10% of its players after 2 months

        • No other than Mark Morhaime stated 3 years ago that from all the people that start playing WoW only … 30% keep playing after the initial trial.

          As WoW is by far the most and biggest played MMO of all time, it is proof that a 30% retention rate is great in prolonged play.

          After 2 months the number of Diablo xfire players is still very much above that mark in NUMBER of players.

          So a 90 % retention rate for a new game will never happen.

          But as Xfire doesn’t track any new gamers after the launch outside of their sample, it is easy to trace D3 has millions of players.

          On Vgchartz box sales one can view that the game sold around 30% above the launching week, so D3 is probably around 8 million copies sold…

          More than enough to keep everything going at that 30% long term playing time.

          Incredible that a Forbes blogger has no clue about these common known facts within the industry.

          After his first mistakes (like that ridiculous accusation of session spoofing) it shows the man is an idiot.

        • “and was made by some of the most experienced game developers in the world ”

          With almost no experience in ARPGs. Wilson had never worked on one, Pardo had no direct experience on the Diablo series, Lichtner doesn’t even have much games experience, etc.

          That’s the irony, they are basically a rookie ARPG team, but that’s what happens when you drive away 99% of the veterans.

    13. I’d like to add a couple of points.
      1. Forbes is really just a glorified blog now, it is not edited or reviewed in any way so it really does not have the credibility it used to. Anyone can post an article there so I don’t believe this is news worthy.
      2. If you compare the stats for D3 and WoW in XFire for the last month, there is a strong correlation, almost as if many people who got the game via the annual pass beat normal difficulty and went back to playing WoW.
      3. XFire is known to cause crashes in D3 along with other apps that place overlays on games so it’s possible people turn it off before playing.

      • This is mature thinking and reasoning. These are the arguments that should be discussed.

        +1, sir.

        • Well, statistics are one thing, personal experience is another. The number of Diablo 3 players in my friendslist keeps dropping and dropping, some switch back to WoW, others just disappear.

          I mean, maybe it isn’t as bad as Xfire statistics propose, maybe it’s even worse, who knows. At the end the most reliable source is our personal experience and to a certain degree the gut feeling.

          I just can’t find one reason why this game could be a long term success, at least in its current state. The farming feels totally unrewarding, the whole item system is in no way as good as in D2. There is nothing like the ladder, no ladder reset (meaning item reset and therefore a much healthier economy), no real builds.
          The areas do not feel randomly generated at all, it’s just always the same.

    14. Kornkills is putting forth a message I’ve also been trying to get out there.

      The AH is trading, but made easy for everyone! It gives you a common currency and measure for your time spent playing. Now of course not everyone is as efficient as the next and that weighs heavily on your wealth gain/loss.

      Also choosing not to trade has nothing to do with the existence of the AH it just means that your time investment to attain your goals is going to be longer.

      It can be a shock the closer your gear gets to bleeding edge because your time spent between upgrades is longer. This is nothing new…in a few months alot of items that people believe they need now to complete inferno will be cheap. More items will drop and appear for trade and it will have the exact effect as the raid buffs in Wow to make content accessible. (even then people cannot complete the content; this is player ability not the game).

    15. “Blizzard have a lot riding on Diablo 3, their reputation for one, so I am confident they will make every effort to resolve the end game, items and economy. It will take a little time for the development team to fix the mistakes. I think fans of the series, like all of us here, are behind Blizzard 100% but its success could rest with fans’ willingness to be forgiving of the mistakes and patient enough to wait and return when the issues have been resolved.”

      Sure buddy….. keep telling yourself that and keep dreaming.

      • DiabloBaal – I remember telling you the same thing when you were peddling your nonsense about the game lasting 2 weeks. 2 months later you are a drooling fanboy for a disgruntled blogger on Forbes that thinks xfire is the holy grail of game tracking…

        Rhetorical Question: If there is no hope for the series in 1.04 and beyond then why are you wasting the keystrokes? Answer: you like to grief people that want to continue the dialogue on versions beyond the box copy.

        Actual question: have you played the game since MF was buffed? Do you play in 4-man groups?

    16. “I don’t believe many Diablo 2 players were concerned about problems with the “black market”. ”

      That’s completely untrue. A ton of people like myself hated the black market, there was nothing we could do about it so we just accepted and moved on, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have issues with it.

      And yea, kornkills echo’s my sentinment as well. I was one of those farming Inferno the first week of launch getting all my upgrades myself slowly but surely. You don’t NEED the AH to progress, especially not since the crazy buff to drop rates.

      • If you are farming inferno in the first week of playing, you are not an average gamer. It took me weeks to get there with a job, a kid and social responsibilities. I bet you most D3 players have that.
        You are probably just playing lots more than others.

    17. Anyway… D3 is peanuts compared to WoW in revenues (especially the RMAH part, its really nothing compared to the billion they make every year with WoW). I think Blizzard just used D3 as a prototype and doesn’t really care if it failed.

      Incoming: RMAH for Titan.

    18. It doesn’t need an endgame it needs to get rid of the auction houses. D2 lasted 10+ years without an endgame with no auction houses. Amazing how that happened…

    19. That whole article seems based on the premise that Diablo 3 is an MMO. Which it isn’t. Diablo 2 also worked fine without any revenue at all apart from box sales, and less end-game than Diablo 3. StarCraft 2 has neither a sub fee nor a RMAH. Neither does WarCraft 3. In fact the vast majority of games work this way, and now it’s suddenly a problem? And he’s singling out Diablo 3, which actually DOES make a lot more money post-release than 99% of titles? Not to mention way, way WAY more money from box sales alone.

      I especially like that he’s using StarCraft 2 as an example of a great success and mentions how much Diablo 3 has fallen on xfire. Yet it’s played 4 times as much as StarCraft 2 there. In fact, ONLY FOUR OF ALL GAMES on xfire are played more than Diablo 3.

    20. It is COMPLETELY BULLSHIT to say D3 has RMAH because of hosting fucking D2 “costed” them so much that they dont that happening again. D2 player counts been so low for years that it does not cost them basically anything. IT IS FUCKING A JOKE TO SAY ANYTHING LIKE THAT. There is RMAH because of creed, WoW was a fucking milking cow for blizzard and now they cannot settle for anything less. They want more and more. It is 100% certain the next blizzard games will have feees etc… ok maybe sc2 expansions will not, thats about it.

      The game is bad. Rmah isnt the only reason. It is totally fucked up game and the development delays are the sign of that everything didnt go as planned with the game. Bad team, bad people, bad gm. THey are done.

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