Guest Article: Content Accessibility?


Today’s guest article is the second submission by AniMe, and it touches on a hot issue. How rare should the top end items be in Diablo 3? This topic has been churning around in the forums lately, since DiabloWikiBashiok remarked that nothing in D3 would be as “astronomically” rare as the highest level runes in Diablo 2.

This article doesn’t dwell on the reactions or interpretations of Bashoik’s coment. Instead the author goes for the deeper issue; how rare should items be? And what will it mean for replayability and the casual vs. power game interaction if the rarest Uniques are much more common in D2 than in D3? Click through to read on…

 

 

Casual Gamer vs Power Gamer: A battle of content accessibility

A common topic right now concerning Diablo 3 is item rarity, leveling speed and caps. The consensus among the casual players is this:

A) I have a wife and a job and can only play a few hours on weekends, I still demand that level 99 is reachable in a few weeks, no one likes grind!

B) I have a wife and a job and can only play a few hours on weekends, I still demand that I should have access to the best items in a few weeks, no one likes grind!

This does make sense, I won?t lie. You purchase a game and with your limited time you kick back and enjoy your favorite game for a few hours. Of course you want to be able to take part of what the game has to offer. However there is a danger to this when you put the game in a competitive environment such as battle.net or multiplayer in general.

Some people will always have more time than others and as with everything in life, the one who puts in the most effort should reap the biggest benefits. What perplexes me is the outcry from the community of making everything easier! So far I can?t tell of any player who has quit Diablo 2 for the reason of it being too hard. The fact that you always have items or levels to look forwards to is a powerful motivator and one of the biggest keys to Diablo 2?s longevity. Should we not let that remain in Diablo 3?

One argument has been that items so incredibly rare that it?s likely to assume that in a duping free environment there will be but one per realm should be gone! The argument being ?I can not find it, therefor it should not exist.? The idea of such rare items is to me an incredibly thrilling concept. Just think about it; this item will probably never pop up but.. It COULD? I?ll just kill those Fallen Overseers over there and see what happens?

Another argument was this; ?make items as rare as the Harlequin Crest.? If the top items would be of the aforementioned rarity the concept above would be forever gone and replaced with this; “So I?ve killed a bunch of enemies the last and this new top unique dropped, cool. What unique will drop after I finish that camp over there?”

The thrill would be gone very quickly due to the guarantee of drops. Now, most people have found at least a couple of Harlequin Crests, but remember that there are other (less useful) uniques in the same treasure class. Even though Diablo 3 will offer boatloads more items, they would very quickly be discovered and the content would rapidly be exhausted if there weren’t rarer items to drool for.

The same goes for leveling. People want to reach level 99 even faster than what?s currently in play in Diablo 2 patch 1.12. This would make it pointless with a ladder and competition centered around leveling.

There was no public outroar back in the early patches on Diablo 2 when level 99 was impossible to reach for a solo player. Quite the opposite! People followed the ladder with great enthusiasm while still having fun with their own characters. Neither did people complain about item rarity back then even though no one, and I mean NO ONE had the ?best? items possible.

So I wonder; where did things change? D2 has become A LOT easier over the years and as that has happened louder and louder has the voices been of all those who want the game to become EVEN easier.

This is very scary with Diablo 3 being around the corner (a very distant corner mind you). No one can argue that Diablo 2?s longevity can largely be attributed to the constant quest of improvement. When a player has tried every build and found all of the items and reached the highest levels, what is left to do? Where is the sense of accomplishment if all this happens in just a few weeks?

Power Gamers

Here?s when another problem comes into play. The people who have more time to play. Those who perhaps order a pizza instead of standing in the kitchen. Those who don?t live with their partner. Those who work part time or not at all. Let?s put all of those in the same category; ?Power Gamers?.

People seem to forget that it?s thanks to those who play more and achieve things faster that we have access to early build orders, strategy guides, item combinations and in-depth understanding of the game. Which brings me to the core point of this column; I think that those who put in more effort should reap the bigger benefits.

No one I know who plays Diablo 2 feels that they are cheated because they haven?t found the top runes or the rarest of uniques. On the contrary, it?s what drives them to continue playing after all these years. It?s the reason of Diablo 2?s greatness! Sure, they removed the leveling competition with LoD but there?s always more to do, more to find and new builds to try.

The power gamers will always exist but I wonder; if Diablo 3 becomes easier than Diablo 2 currently is, the power gamers would still have the best items and highest levels way ahead of everyone else ? will there still be demands of making the game even easier?

Personally I wish for a game that can cater to both parties and make everyone happy.

—AniMe


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Tagged As: | Categories: Diabloii.Net Columns, Items

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