How Many Diablo 3 Hours of Play is Enough?

How many Diablo 3 hours played have you accumulated? How much did you enjoy those hours? Can an entertainment product really be measured by time spent using it? A fan brought up that question and got a Blue reply:

If you’ve played more than 10 hours, there is no reason to complain.

Most games today are over 50$ and offer about 10 hours of gameplay or less. I’ve racked over 400 hours of gameplay. That’s about 15 cents an hour of entertainment, you cannot find this anywhere else (ie: movies)
Grimiku: I would like to chime in, and both agree and disagree at the same time. Playing a game for a certain number of hours might make it worth the money spent on it, but spending a lot of time in a game shows a deeper investment. When a design decision that you don’t agree with is made, it would be easier to dismiss it if the game only had its monetary value for you. However, if you disagree with a change and it’s a game that you’ve sunk a lot of hours into then it can feel like worlds colliding.

Either way a complaint is feedback and it all counts. As long as people are addressing the issue and not the individuals surrounding it (i.e. players or developers) then we are happy to read it and pass it along.

This issue has come up lately in regards to fmulder’s end of the year hours played survey, and (see also the main page commentary) it’s instructive to view the figures. That forum vote is still running, but here are the current results:

How many hours of D3 have you played in 2012?

  • 0-50 hours — 3.89%
  • 50-200 hours — 15.00%
  • 200-500 hours — 32.22%
  • 500-1000 hours — 37.78%
  • 1000+ hours — 11.11%
  • Obviously there’s a self selection issue with people voting in a fansite forum, but 96% having played over 50 hours, and 81% over 200 hours, would *seem* to point to a very good, popular game. As we all know from the comments though, that’s far from an unanimous view. Video games are odd that way; no one watches a movie or TV show or reads a book 10 or 20x over if they don’t love it, and yet the most vocal haters of games often come from the ranks of those who have played the most hours. In one way that’s logical; you’ve got to play a lot of a game like Diablo 3 in order to get deep enough to see some of the problems with itemization or other systems, but it is odd that video games can be played so long and so deeply by people who wind up vowing that they disliked the experience.*

    One truism I’ve heard spoken is that, “No bad movie is too short and no great movie is too long.” That’s kind of a koan, in that it’s self-proving (if the movie is too long it becomes less good, and vice versa) and yet it’s basically true about movies… but not about video games. Perhaps since the more you like a game the more you play it, until eventually your hours spent begin to lower the perceived quality of the experience, as you grow jaded and are bored by things that delighted you 50 or 100 or 500 hours ago.

    Best ARPG item system EVAH!

    Best ARPG item system EVAH!

    * Philosophical footnote: Another related field is the issue of perceived enjoyment at the time vs. remembered enjoyment afterwards. We’ve all lived experiences that we really liked at the time but that left us with no lasting memories. And we’ve all lived experiences we disliked at the time but that lingered and improved in our memories. Lots of the “it’s for your own good” type experiences fall into this category.

    No one much enjoys say, cleaning their house or washing their car or giving birth, but you’re usually glad you did it afterwards, and in your memory you tend to retain and elevate the positive result memory over the “it was tedious/awful” moment-by-moment memory from when you were actually doing X.

    This basically correlates to the “nothing’s as good as it used to be” mentality most humans fall into. We remember only the high points of past things and compare those to the actuality of whatever we’re doing today. Thus is a vague memory of D2 perpetually held above the current experience of D3 (in the minds of some) while we all grow a sort of amnesia about how boring we found it doing hundreds of repetitious, unchallenging cow runs or meph runs or pindle runs, and how annoying it was finding yet another green breastplate, etc.

    Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Controversy, Ex-Blizzard


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    1. 100h for a aRPG is nothing, when I’m buying such a game I’m expecting nothing less than that, just as a bare start. If you think about it, in D3 just to ‘finish’ the game, you will play through the same content 4 times.

      I played around 200h of D3, maybe 15-20h of that was genuine fun, the rest was grinding and HOPING the game eventually gets better and that your 200h hours won’t be for nothing. Sadly, we all know how that ended.

      For me, a 20h investment in for example in LA Noire was a better experience than 200h in D3, and I value those 20h more.

      • Also there’s the interesting point that not all “hours of experience” are equal. For example, one could watch 3 games of a sport in the regular season vs 1 game in the post-season, for the same total price, and yet remember and enjoy the post-season game so much more. Factors can include:
        – ability to emoke powerful emotion
        – meaningfulness of the outcome
        – social interaction (friends with you during, ability to talk about the experience with them after)
        – build-up / anticipation

        So the 10 hour games mentioned by the original bnet poster might have lots of moments which invoke emotion, all your friends might have played the game and you can talk about it with them, the ending might be more rewarding, you might have been looking forward to the game for months etc. This could mean 10 hours in this game could be worth 100h in a lesser game.

        I think its up to the discerning gamer to select the experiences they want to have. Do you want 100h of lesser gameplay, or only 10h but with a more intense and satisfying experience? Or pick both, depending on what you’re looking for at the time.

        None of this really impacts my opinion on D3, just thought I’d make the point.

      • My story is more or less the same as Odoakar.

        There were moments that were fun, but most where hours searching for where the fun were. It should be there, perhaps if I do this, or that, perhaps this and that. Then, when I finally gave up and decided that the game was not fun in the least for me, I leveled all the characters to level 60 and called it quits. I returned for some of the patches, but, nothing had really changed.

        I really hoped this game to be good, I doubted my self and my taste, then I hoped it to suck less than it appeared to be sucking, and finally, I conceded and started to despise it.

        If this was a movie I really should have walked out on it, but I didn’t. I feel the same way about this game that I do about “The phantom menace”, for much the same reasons.

    2. There is no such thing as “enough” Diablo 3

    3. The hundreds of thousands who have played the game for hundreds of hours yet still claim to hate it are probably the most pathetic element of the many pathetic things about D3.

      It reminds of the story about the boy who was punished for endlessly asking for a pony by getting a dumpster full of pony dung, yet spent days shoveling through it, in the logical belief that you couldn’t have so much pony dung without a pony hiding somewhere at the bottom of it.

    4. Who cares about d3. But that ss flux, the best. I did so many runs of everything in d2 but never had one so glorious.

    5. About how players that logged more hours seem to dislike the game more:

      Snobby wine collectors don’t become snobby wine collectors after their first sip of Pinot Noir — It’s likely after thousands of sips, hundreds of bottles, and so on.

      Box wine is fine with me, but when it comes to Diablo 3, I want moar.

    6. I dont think its a matter of hours, its not a numerical number that people are expecting to assign what they expect of a diablo title, I just didnt expect to be so bored of the game just 2 months after the release. The title is known for its legendary replayability, its just a shame we couldnt measure how many hours we spent on the first 9 months of Diablo 2, but I am quite certain it was more than D3.

    7. When will the full version of the game be released?

      Do any hours until then even count?

      I am still waiting to see this game move from alpha to beta here let alone to a retail form, so better question would be how long until we see 1/4 of the game we have been promised for the past 2.5 years?

    8. Equation: (total number of D2 hours/d2+lod price) way, way, way more rewarding anything-wise than (total number of D3 hours/D3 price).

      Hope it helps.

      If the game was called “something in Diablo universe that we ‘wow’ed just to test RMAH as prototype for the future of ARPGs”, it would be good enough and worth $50. Even the whole Hours played x price would start make sense.

      It’s not a random ARPG, it’s a Diablo game. Not comparing mechanics, itemization and design, since they wanted a different game; but replayability is abysmal low compared with the rest of the franchise. Or even compared with the rest of Blizzard titles.

      Even Rock’n’roll racing have way more replayability

      Around here (Brazil – aka “Taxland”), an action game/recent release for consoles costs 2x more, so, when friends ask me if D3 worths $50, I say “yes, but online only is bad and don’t expect anything near D2 replayability”.

      I know expansion can fix the games and I can win the lottery someday. Problem is – the franchise should evolve. We have “D2 valley” “LoD hill” “D3 valley.”

      If the game was mod-friendly and had an offline mode, the engine would easily worth $50 or even more, imo. DRM and online only are what really kills the marked value of D3 for me.

      And I will buy the XPack – or even a DLC with more decent crowded dungeons – just because I’m curious to see how the combat system can be used. Imo, it’s the best “hit block based” system I played so far.

    9. All these guys hate Diablo3 but they still make comments in a Diablo3 forum 8 months after the release; this is so pathetic! lol

      • Why is pathetic? Please elaborate.
        I stopped playing the game ~2 months after release because it pissed me off to no end what they did with it.
        I still visit this site to be up to date and with the hope that some day it will actually live up to its grand name and be worth playing (to me that is).

        What I find pathetic are stupid comments like yours, most likely posted by equally stupid, immature people with no clue what the f*ck they’re talking about.

        Also, ending a sentence with ‘lol’ makes you look even more like a tool.

        • Yep doesn’t matter how many hours invested in d3. The difference is that you probably don’t leave another game going “f*** that was a shit game”.

    10. When I don’t lika a game I play it for 5 or 6 hours at the most.

      LOTS of games I played less than 5 hours actually

      From the srats above that make that D3 is NOT liked by …3.89%.

      So 96.11% like to play D3 !

      If not these guys are psychos … for doing things they hate 🙂

    11. I played for around 25 hours and hope with all my heart I’d eventually love the game but that never happened. I loved Diablo 1/2 they were 2 of my favourite PC games of all time. The main issue I had with Diablo 3 is it was way too damn shallow. I’m not a idiot, I like to manage my stat points, I like to be able to change my skills on the fly and not be stuck due to the fact they want to force you to use one skillset @ max level for the Magic Find. The game simply never got anymore fun. If they ever release another Diablo I hope to god they have either a new design team or have a new person in charge of the next game.

    12. rough estimates of the significant games i played i the last 2 decades and their hours:

      Supaplex: 500 hours
      Morrowind: 750 hours
      Starcraft 1: 5000 hours
      Starcraft 2: 750 hours
      Diablo 2: 2000 hours
      Civilisation 3: 1500 hours
      perfect world international: 1000 hours and growing.

      Diablo 3: 150 hours, got bored, uninstalled, then appearently got hacked and my account is closed. Couldnt care less. 🙂

    13. ´If not these guys are psychos … for doing things they hate ´

      Well you know when D2 came out, i was initially also a little dissapointed because it had lost that great atmosphere that was in Diablo 1. However, instead it got good character building and item hunting. I had to get used to it for a little while and started to love it.

      So then D3 came out, i was dissapointed, no more character building, boring items, No control over my own HPs, console like controlls. Even though i didnt like the game, yes i kept playing for about 150 hours because i thought maybe i needed to get used to it. It didnt work like that though. The only improvement in D3 is in the graphics, and those are actually only entertaining for the first 10 or 20 hours.

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