Diablo III Brings Global Play to Battle.net

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Hammeroj:

John Funk:
Or, perhaps more likely, that people think they're getting value for their money. It's one thing to feel like you're being ripped off - that you're not getting what you paid for - and another to feel like you're paying for a premium service.

If I pay $5 for a hot dog, and it's undercooked and comes with a packet of ketchup, I'm going to feel ripped off. If I pay $10 for a hot dog, and it's juicy and seared to perfection with a ton of toppings, I'm going to feel like I got my money's worth. Is it, objectively, worth $10? Maybe not. But the psychological factor can't be underestimated.

Not really sure what you're getting at. Of course people will think they're getting value for their money, otherwise they wouldn't fall for it. Don't know where the being ripped off part comes in.

Maybe it's a reading comprehension fail on my part or something, but I feel like your post is the definition of a non-sequitur.

It was getting at the "giving them more slack than they deserve" part, sorry if that wasn't clear.

John Funk:

Hammeroj:
Not really sure what you're getting at. Of course people will think they're getting value for their money, otherwise they wouldn't fall for it. Don't know where the being ripped off part comes in.

Maybe it's a reading comprehension fail on my part or something, but I feel like your post is the definition of a non-sequitur.

It was getting at the "giving them more slack than they deserve" part, sorry if that wasn't clear.

Still not seeing it. Not seeing the point of the hot-dog analogy, and not seeing how the 'some people don't feel like they're getting ripped off' ties into what I said.

This isn't a real way to argue any sort of quality, either. There are people who will like anything, even the shittiest pieces of entertainment you can imagine will have people who don't feel ripped off by paying for 'em. Now I'm not saying you think this, but I'm getting a hint that it's the "The only thing that matters in gauging quality are the people who like [insert thing]" mentality at play here. Really, I'm having a hard time connecting the pieces.

Hammeroj:

John Funk:

Hammeroj:
Not really sure what you're getting at. Of course people will think they're getting value for their money, otherwise they wouldn't fall for it. Don't know where the being ripped off part comes in.

Maybe it's a reading comprehension fail on my part or something, but I feel like your post is the definition of a non-sequitur.

It was getting at the "giving them more slack than they deserve" part, sorry if that wasn't clear.

Still not seeing it. Not seeing the point of the hot-dog analogy, and not seeing how the 'some people don't feel like they're getting ripped off' ties into what I said.

This isn't a real way to argue any sort of quality, either. There are people who will like anything, even the shittiest pieces of entertainment you can imagine will have people who don't feel ripped off by paying for 'em. Now I'm not saying you think this, but I'm getting a hint that it's the "The only thing that matters in gauging quality are the people who like [insert thing]" mentality in play here.

People are "giving them more slack than they deserve" because they don't feel like they're getting ripped off, not because it's some sort of insidious scheme to lay low and fly under the radar.

If some schmuck wants to pay $25 for a cosmetic WoW pet that doesn't do anything that something you can get in-game doesn't do just as well, that's his business. It's not like where, if you don't buy the $15 map pack, you have fewer people to play with/against in a Battlefield or COD, and it's not like if you don't buy the $10 extra campaign you don't get the whole Fallout 3 or Mass Effect story. That's stuff that people DO get pissed at, because not buying it negatively impacts their game experience, which I would consider objectively more "greedy" than offering something completely cosmetic that people would be willing to buy.

At least, that's how I rationalize buying all those skins in League of Legends ;)

John Funk:
People are "giving them more slack than they deserve" because they don't feel like they're getting ripped off, not because it's some sort of insidious scheme to lay low and fly under the radar.

If some schmuck wants to pay $25 for a cosmetic WoW pet that doesn't do anything that something you can get in-game doesn't do just as well, that's his business. It's not like where, if you don't buy the $15 map pack, you have fewer people to play with/against in a Battlefield or COD, and it's not like if you don't buy the $10 extra campaign you don't get the whole Fallout 3 or Mass Effect story. That's stuff that people DO get pissed at, because not buying it negatively impacts their game experience, which I would consider objectively more "greedy" than offering something completely cosmetic that people would be willing to buy.

At least, that's how I rationalize buying all those skins in League of Legends ;)

I wouldn't say it's some sort of insidious scheme, it's just being smart about approaching the teets of a milkable franchise. I'd say people in general are just way too plain old, let's say simple and ignorant, to give Blizzard shit. The issues with their business practices mostly aren't as cut and dry as ridiculously overpriced, on-disc DLC, locked player characters, yearly sequels or things to that extent. Although some are, like region locking, but those aren't as big.

I have a problem with not being able to get everything within the game without paying extra. Especially when the game is full priced. Especially when the game requires monthly payments. The idea of microtransactions[1] of any sort in a game that already sucks hundreds of dollars out of people pisses me off. It's not as egregious a move as your examples are to be sure[2], but it's still a move motivated purely by greed, and as such, I find it hard to applause. As should everyone.

The bigger and sadder point I was getting at (though it's probably not apparent) was that at this point Blizzard gets praised - literally - for making greedy moves. Not even what people perceive to be positive effects of those moves, like the generally short-sighted "I think that's a nice premium feature to have there because..." remarks, but "That'll make Blizzard some more money. Good on them.". Blizzard is the definition of a successful wolf in sheep's clothing case.

League of Legends isn't an apt analogy because the game is free.

[1] The expression sounds weird when talking about prices like 25 bucks
[2] Although, on second thought, maybe it's more insidious to have people pay hundreds of bucks and still not have everything.

Hammeroj:

John Funk:
People are "giving them more slack than they deserve" because they don't feel like they're getting ripped off, not because it's some sort of insidious scheme to lay low and fly under the radar.

If some schmuck wants to pay $25 for a cosmetic WoW pet that doesn't do anything that something you can get in-game doesn't do just as well, that's his business. It's not like where, if you don't buy the $15 map pack, you have fewer people to play with/against in a Battlefield or COD, and it's not like if you don't buy the $10 extra campaign you don't get the whole Fallout 3 or Mass Effect story. That's stuff that people DO get pissed at, because not buying it negatively impacts their game experience, which I would consider objectively more "greedy" than offering something completely cosmetic that people would be willing to buy.

At least, that's how I rationalize buying all those skins in League of Legends ;)

I wouldn't say it's some sort of insidious scheme, it's just being smart about approaching the teets of a milkable franchise. I'd say people in general are just way too plain old, let's say simple and ignorant, to give Blizzard shit. The issues with their business practices mostly aren't as cut and dry as ridiculously overpriced, on-disc DLC, locked player characters, yearly sequels or things to that extent. Although some are, like region locking, but those aren't as big.

I have a problem with not being able to get everything within the game without paying extra. Especially when the game is full priced. Especially when the game requires monthly payments. The idea of microtransactions[1] of any sort in a game that already sucks hundreds of dollars out of people pisses me off. It's not as egregious a move as your examples are to be sure[2], but it's still a move motivated purely by greed, and as such, I find it hard to applause. As should everyone.

The bigger and sadder point I was getting at (though it's probably not apparent) was that at this point Blizzard gets praised - literally - for making greedy moves. Not even what people perceive to be positive effects of those moves, like the generally short-sighted "I think that's a nice premium feature to have there because..." remarks, but "That'll make Blizzard some more money. Good on them.". Blizzard is the definition of a successful wolf in sheep's clothing case.

League of Legends isn't an apt analogy because the game is free.

Well, WoW is probably a bad example for either of us to focus on just because there is *so much to do* in that game, that I don't think anybody would be able to accomplish it all unless they've been playing from the beginning and throwing their life away to Azeroth. But this isn't content in the game, dude, it's the simple way your mount looks or the little non-combat pet you have running around with you at all times. If Blizzard starts locking content to the newest raid to people who have the sparkle-pony, then that's problematic. But... it's purely aesthetic, so I can't agree with you that it's barring you from acquiring anything in the game.

Also, to be honest, there's probably a lot more in-game prestige in having the mounts/pets from doing the hard achievements, etc, than just shelling out money.

I would ALSO argue - and have in the past - that a good subscription-based MMO, whether WoW, TOR or Tera is actually a pretty damn good value for your buck, so the idea that it's "sucking hundreds of dollars out of people" doesn't ring true with me. You get dozens of hours of playtime out of your $15 a month, which is a lot more than you get in other games - but that's kind of a flaw of the genre, so we won't get into it.

A move can be a good idea and warrant praise AND still be what some would perceive as "greedy." For instance, I've never been as against the in-game real-money auction house in D3 because I think it's a great way to beat the third-party RMT black market at its own game. I thought it was a great idea when CCP introduced PLEX and undercut the black market that way, and I think it's a smart idea here, too. People would be buying and selling in-game items for real money no matter what (they certainly did in D2), and rather than having the cash go to some international company which pays a Chinese college student to farm all night while he crams, it goes to someone else playing the game.

Do I understand why some people are opposed to the RMT Auctions? Of course I do. Do I see why some people think it's greedy? Of course I do that, too. That doesn't mean that I don't - or can't - think that it's a good idea on its own merits.

[1] The expression sounds weird when talking about prices like 25 bucks
[2] Although, on second thought, maybe it's more insidious to have people pay hundreds of bucks and still not have everything.

Guess what? I bought starcraft 2 only because they promised, they actually 'promised' that Crossplay would get implemented, by the time I bought it, it was in beta. I bought them because they said it was gonna be a feature -_-.. Just like fucking Empire and their Total War. Im not buying a blizzardgame again. Its not a big loss, they are becomming one of the worse companies out there. A circle of four europeans and a bunch of Americans playing a couple of games together, and it sucks that the only excuse for their massive failures is 'lack of infrastructure' (You already bought our game so suck it!)

And guess what, new game. Suddenly lack of infrastructure aint a problem! And dont give me shit about the ammount of NPC's on screen. In terms of mobs this hack n slash ends up with the same considering how simple SC2 is.

John Funk:
Well, WoW is probably a bad example for either of us to focus on just because there is *so much to do* in that game, that I don't think anybody would be able to accomplish it all unless they've been playing from the beginning and throwing their life away to Azeroth. But this isn't content in the game, dude, it's the simple way your mount looks or the little non-combat pet you have running around with you at all times. If Blizzard starts locking content to the newest raid to people who have the sparkle-pony, then that's problematic. But... it's purely aesthetic, so I can't agree with you that it's barring you from acquiring anything in the game.

I know it's not content in the sense of being able to play through it, but it's still a cool pet or mount that you can't get without throwing an unreasonable amount of money on top of Blizzard's already ludicrous money Himalayas. You would agree that it would be unquestionably better if the items in question were a reward for some sort of challenging achievement, right?

Also, to be honest, there's probably a lot more in-game prestige in having the mounts/pets from doing the hard achievements, etc, than just shelling out money.

Completely true and completely irrelevant.

I would ALSO argue - and have in the past - that a good subscription-based MMO, whether WoW, TOR or Tera is actually a pretty damn good value for your buck, so the idea that it's "sucking hundreds of dollars out of people" doesn't ring true with me. You get dozens of hours of playtime out of your $15 a month, which is a lot more than you get in other games - but that's kind of a flaw of the genre, so we won't get into it.

I'd argue that the amount of time you spend in the game isn't the sole determinant of what price you should pay for the game. But yeah, topic for another time.

A move can be a good idea and warrant praise AND still be what some would perceive as "greedy." For instance, I've never been as against the in-game real-money auction house in D3 because I think it's a great way to beat the third-party RMT black market at its own game. I thought it was a great idea when CCP introduced PLEX and undercut the black market that way, and I think it's a smart idea here, too. People would be buying and selling in-game items for real money no matter what (they certainly did in D2), and rather than having the cash go to some international company which pays a Chinese college student to farm all night while he crams, it goes to someone else playing the game.

Do I understand why some people are opposed to the RMT Auctions? Of course I do. Do I see why some people think it's greedy? Of course I do that, too. That doesn't mean that I don't - or can't - think that it's a good idea on its own merits.

I think you missed the point of my last paragraph, because I'm not disagreeing too much here. I wasn't arguing that a move can't be greedy and good at the same time. That's the reason I included the word literally in the post. Because people actually praise Blizzard for being greedy at this point. Not for the perceived positive effects of the business moves in particular. Now, those people are, I hope, not as numerous as the people simply giving them slack for the whole slew of reasons in addition to these, but it's still indicative of how far the termites have spread.

So here's the skinny: While you will be able to switch to any of the game's three global regions - Europe, the Americas, or Asia - at any time before or after logging into Diablo III, your characters, items, and friends lists are server-specific and won't come with you. Ergo, no matter how badass your level 58 barbarian on the American server may be, if you want to play across the pond you're going to be starting from scratch. Since Diablo has always encouraged constant replay, this isn't as much of a pain as it might sound.

thats how all major mmorpgs work anyway. only few of them allow you to transfer between the servers. sure its annoying whne you find a friend and find out hes playin on the "russian server" but its better than nothing.

Hammeroj:

John Funk:
Well, WoW is probably a bad example for either of us to focus on just because there is *so much to do* in that game, that I don't think anybody would be able to accomplish it all unless they've been playing from the beginning and throwing their life away to Azeroth. But this isn't content in the game, dude, it's the simple way your mount looks or the little non-combat pet you have running around with you at all times. If Blizzard starts locking content to the newest raid to people who have the sparkle-pony, then that's problematic. But... it's purely aesthetic, so I can't agree with you that it's barring you from acquiring anything in the game.

I know it's not content in the sense of being able to play through it, but it's still a cool pet or mount that you can't get without throwing an unreasonable amount of money on top of Blizzard's already ludicrous money Himalayas. You would agree that it would be unquestionably better if the items in question were a reward for some sort of challenging achievement, right?

Also, to be honest, there's probably a lot more in-game prestige in having the mounts/pets from doing the hard achievements, etc, than just shelling out money.

Completely true and completely irrelevant.

I would ALSO argue - and have in the past - that a good subscription-based MMO, whether WoW, TOR or Tera is actually a pretty damn good value for your buck, so the idea that it's "sucking hundreds of dollars out of people" doesn't ring true with me. You get dozens of hours of playtime out of your $15 a month, which is a lot more than you get in other games - but that's kind of a flaw of the genre, so we won't get into it.

I'd argue that the amount of time you spend in the game isn't the sole determinant of what price you should pay for the game. But yeah, topic for another time.

A move can be a good idea and warrant praise AND still be what some would perceive as "greedy." For instance, I've never been as against the in-game real-money auction house in D3 because I think it's a great way to beat the third-party RMT black market at its own game. I thought it was a great idea when CCP introduced PLEX and undercut the black market that way, and I think it's a smart idea here, too. People would be buying and selling in-game items for real money no matter what (they certainly did in D2), and rather than having the cash go to some international company which pays a Chinese college student to farm all night while he crams, it goes to someone else playing the game.

Do I understand why some people are opposed to the RMT Auctions? Of course I do. Do I see why some people think it's greedy? Of course I do that, too. That doesn't mean that I don't - or can't - think that it's a good idea on its own merits.

I think you missed the point of my last paragraph, because I'm not disagreeing too much here. I wasn't arguing that a move can't be greedy and good at the same time. That's the reason I included the word literally in the post. Because people actually praise Blizzard for being greedy at this point. Not for the perceived positive effects of the business moves in particular. Now, those people are, I hope, not as numerous as the people simply giving them slack for the whole slew of reasons in addition to these, but it's still indicative of how far the termites have spread.

Well, people praise lots of companies for doing stuff that makes money. I'm not denying that people are praising them FOR being greedy, just that... it's not something I understand, myself, but hey, if that's what they like in their companies then who am I to judge?

In general, I don't actually think we disagree all too much on this issue, so I'm going to focus on your question about the WoW stuff - WOULD it be better to have it obtainable in-game?

To be honest, I actually don't know. My first inclination was to agree and go "Yeah, of course," but then I thought about it for a bit - in many ways, I think that these items are how people who don't have a lot of time to devote to the game get something cool to show off. Maybe you don't have the free time to grind out the achievements or join a super hard raiding guild or whatever, but you do have some pocket change, so now you can hang out in Orgrimmar or Stormwind on something other than your basic gryphon/wyvern mount. It's prestige for the casual player who doesn't have the time to do one of the lengthy rep grinds, which is... at least understandable from a development/community perspective, I think.

So then I thought, "Well, maybe they could be obtainable both ways, by the microtransaction or by the hard achievement," but that might make the people who go through the in-game effort feel cheated. Yeah, I got my white dragon mount by collecting 50 other mounts, it took a long time, and now this guy can just buy it for $10? WTF, Blizzard! So I don't think that's a good solution, either.

I honestly don't know what I think would be better, to be frank. I do think that there's something to be said for letting players obtain everything legitimately - spending money is a question of just cutting the time necessary, not giving an advantage - but I also think that providing ways that even casual players can still get something "cool" to show off is important, too.

So... yeah. I don't know.

I can't say I've fully investigated it, but WOW takes up a fair chunk of my disposable income and I've Diablo III coming for free.

Unless it's changed hugely from the co-operative grind D2 was, how much demand is there going to be for rare items buyable with cash? To me, it just devalues all rewards, if Johnny Richkid can just log on and help himself to a full set of epics by waving Daddy's credit card at Blizzard.

I for one will be playing it without added investment, and if I can't enjoy it that way, well, it'll be getting ignored, not having money thrown at it.

John Funk:
Well, people praise lots of companies for doing stuff that makes money. I'm not denying that people are praising them FOR being greedy, just that... it's not something I understand, myself, but hey, if that's what they like in their companies then who am I to judge?

First off, I have to backtrack a bit. I'm a little relieved that you didn't skewer me on this, but still. There aren't a lot of people in fact directly praising Blizzard for being greedy. There are a few, to be sure, but what makes me feel like this is a more widespread train of thought is the general "They only do this for money, so why don't you just shut up" sentiment that's present in every thread where Blizzard was criticized ever. People thinking this way are actively trying to drown out any sort of critique, and it makes me annoyed beyond belief, not to mention disheartened. The ironic thing is that by saying that and similar stuff, those people are actually reinforcing the callousness of game companies and shielding them from fallout, letting them care more about the bottom line.

In general, I don't actually think we disagree all too much on this issue, so I'm going to focus on your question about the WoW stuff - WOULD it be better to have it obtainable in-game?

To be honest, I actually don't know. My first inclination was to agree and go "Yeah, of course," but then I thought about it for a bit - in many ways, I think that these items are how people who don't have a lot of time to devote to the game get something cool to show off. Maybe you don't have the free time to grind out the achievements or join a super hard raiding guild or whatever, but you do have some pocket change, so now you can hang out in Orgrimmar or Stormwind on something other than your basic gryphon/wyvern mount. It's prestige for the casual player who doesn't have the time to do one of the lengthy rep grinds, which is... at least understandable from a development/community perspective, I think.

So then I thought, "Well, maybe they could be obtainable both ways, by the microtransaction or by the hard achievement," but that might make the people who go through the in-game effort feel cheated. Yeah, I got my white dragon mount by collecting 50 other mounts, it took a long time, and now this guy can just buy it for $10? WTF, Blizzard! So I don't think that's a good solution, either.

I honestly don't know what I think would be better, to be frank. I do think that there's something to be said for letting players obtain everything legitimately - spending money is a question of just cutting the time necessary, not giving an advantage - but I also think that providing ways that even casual players can still get something "cool" to show off is important, too.

So... yeah. I don't know.

Casuals?

image

Sorry, had to.

Well, you basically said everything to the point where there's little to elaborate on. I guess all there is to say is that if casuals really need something cool that bad, it should at least be possible to earn through normal means as well. Obviously, I'd feel cheated that people get to buy the thing without any actual effort, but it's better than not being able to earn it at all.

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