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    Bashiok has continued his week-long defense of various new Diablo III “features” that many fans object to. Today it’s the “overly-convenient” topic, as brought up by Grug.

    I thought Blizzard was pushing for the Waypoint system in Diablo 3. You start off with an empty inventory as you enter a dungeon, then try to make it as far as you can on limited resources and inventory space. I thought the whole point of the Cube was to break down items so they could be carried more easily. Once you make it to the DiabloWikiwaypoint, only then can you return to town for repairs, selling items, and stashing valuables.

    But now, Blizzard has the DiabloWikiCauldron of Jordan, which will instantly turn any item into gold, just like if you had sold it. Combined with the DiabloWikiStone of Recall for trips back to town, the pacing has been removed in exchange for an endless Grind. How does a player feel accomplishment for finishing a dungeon if they could escape whenever they had a peaceful moment? Why would they even need to go back to town except for repairs and to deposit the few items they want to keep?

    I know Blizzard is all about the casual audience, and they want “a game you can play for 10 minutes during a coffee break”, but It’s not like players lose everything if they quit in the middle of the dungeon. They come back safe in town and can sell and repair easily before another venture into the dungeon.

    Suddenly I wonder about the frequency of waypoints. Will there be one every 5 minutes so even the super-casual players can get through areas?
    Bashiok: This [Cauldron of Jordan] has been a feature for a very long time. We previously had the ability to sell items as a scroll you’d use to sell the item, but really we wanted the decision to salvage or sell to be a choice and not limited by you having a scroll or not.

    Combined with the stone of recall for trips back to town, the pacing has been removed in exchange for an endless Grind. How does a player feel accomplishment for finishing a dungeon if they could escape whenever they had a peaceful moment? Why would they even need to go back to town except for repairs and to deposit the few items they want to keep?
    Bashiok: They could ‘escape’ whenever they wanted before. It was just a hike back to town, and if that’s what they wanted to do, they’d do it – portal or not. Say you’re out of health potions and know you’re going to need some because a super tough boss is coming up that always murders you, you’re more likely to trek it back to town than throw yourself against it and risk multiple durability losses. Really all it does is make it less annoying to get back to town when you need to, but, getting back to where you were is still going to be a chore. Waypoints are spread out enough where if you peace out near a boss you’re going to have a decent walk ahead of you to get back to where you were, which is why it’s best to enter a dungeon prepared than to rely on the stone of recall to jump back to town midway through.

    My 6 year old brother will be competitive at this game.
    Bashiok: It’s a co-op game. What exactly are you expecting people to compete over?

    And I’m guessing you didn’t play Diablo II.

    We seem to get a different flavor of the same argument every day, now. We recently learned about a lto of big changes to the game — changes from how stuff worked in D2, and more relevantly, changes from how D3 functioned during most its development cycle. In every case, these changes are excused or exalted as simplifying the gameplay, a development that seems to usually be a good thing in the eyes of D3’s developers, and is always a good thing in the eyes of the D3’s marketers. (No, I’m not going to put in that image. I can resist! Just this once.)

    The forum clashes come about because many members of the Diablo community do not see eye to eye on these feature changes, and especially not with Blizzard’s constant, “X is good b/c it makes the game easier for noobs to understand/play” excuse/justification.

    I’m sure this will die down; fans will get tired of complaining, those who are really upset will leave the community, Bashiok will stop responding to the arguments, or all of the above. And as with so many other things about the game, the proof will lie in the pudding. Which we’re still waiting to devour.

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