Blizzard Shelves Diablo III Team Deathmatch Mode

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LUL wut? You make a virtual MMO then ban PVP....WTF?!?!!?!? As always modern games are worth more like 25$ than 50+.......................

Funny story about Torchlight 2:

With the coming tools, I can mod it as I see fit.

That means I can, if I had the resources, kick the awful and unmemorable lore and story and whathaveyou up the jaw and up its balls and force it to have reconstructive surgery lest I kick it some more. And I don't have to worry about internet connectivity or the prospect of being invaded by another player with hax because, in tandem with the Steam version, I bought their non-Steam version for my tablet laptop convertible whenever I need to travel to some treacherous and crime-ridden Southeast Asian city.

Diablo 3, on the other hand, dictates that I need a fucking 3G portable modem to even play the gods-forsaken thing, and faith to its server-side data storage for any semblance of progress, and modding is completely verboten.

I completely expect the entire world to say that that mindset alone still makes me a fucking fanboy and dismiss my calling it "the most optimal choice". Yes, just rub that in my face, will you? I don't suppose you'll come to my house and sledgehammer my computer to prove your point against mine?

Aeshi:

Gameplay in Diablo II can be summed up as "Just spam your classes uber-skill" *footnote snipped for formatting* to name the biggest two and just chug potions if by some miracle you actually manage to be in danger of dieing", you don't get much more "casual friendly" than that.

All D3 did was remove the horde of padding that was the skill & stat system that surrounded said gameplay.

If all you wanted was to beat the game and pad out your stats, then yes, you could make a typical Hammerdin, FO-MF Sorc get rushed to 85 and do Bhaal runs until you died of boredom.
Nothing better demonstrates the banality of the genre than doing exactly that: High Efficiency with no room for deviation.
Factor in stupid amounts of Grind, and I cannot honestly call that "gaming" anymore: I call that a job.

If one actually wanted to play the game, they could make it legitimately more challenging by not just using max-efficiency cookie cutter builds, and seeing how far they could take them (or combine them).

What you call skill padding is design space for the player to experiment (though some skills have always sucked to the point of uselessness. I didn't claim it was perfect).
I beat the game with unconventional builds that "shouldn't have worked", and I had more fun doing that than picking the uber-skills and abusing them for maximum efficiency.

This may not make the game interesting for you personally, but the fact that the option was there on the table at all shows how D2 had more potential in concept than D3 ever will in practice.

Blizzard cites several factors leading to its choice to halt work on the mode, including PvP balance issues and a lack of depth. "Simply fighting each other with no other objectives or choices to make gets old relatively quickly,"

Translation: We could not figure out how to effectively monetize it, so there is no way we would add something that allows players to decide their own enjoyment and draws attention away from other "features" we have properly monetized.

Now, if only we could get blizzard to shelf the entire game, and somehow undo all the damage done by people buying it in the first place, this might look less like the gory train wreck it has been since well before launch.

Atmos Duality:
the fact that the option was there on the table at all shows how D2 had more potential in concept than D3 ever will in practice.

Yes well "concepts" are exactly that, concepts. Fleeting, insubstantial and - unless you happen to be one of the people capable of making them happen - useless. "Concept" has never achieved anything unless it had Practice to back it up.

In concept, D2 may have more potential customization-wise than D3, but in practice the vast majority of said skill & stat combinations were basically useless even when they weren't competing with the aforementioned uber-powers.

In concept, the TF2 unlockables are side-grades, but in practice there are a good few that are basically flat-out upgrades (Escape Plan, Soda Popper & Red Tape Recorder to name the most notable 3)

When there's a game that actually proves that large skill trees and their like can be balanced then I'll start opposing the so-called "dumbing down" of games. Until then you get no points for multiple choices if there's an optimal one.

major_chaos:

Then enlighten me, because complaining about the requirement to be online in an age where most people are connected 24/7, especially the people on a tech forum, seems fairly ironic.

Lots of people have spotty internet. Mine right now is fine, but when I visited my family over Christmas they were having small disconnects constantly and I know my brother can't play anything that needs you to be always on reliably because things slow to a near halt several times a day. He doesn't even live out in the country, just a somewhat out of the way part of the city. While it may slow things down it doesn't stop him from using his email, downloading things, or any number of things, but it does prevent him from playing games that require you to be always online. Anyone who lives in his area wouldn't be able to either. It's really not that rare for places to have old or poorly maintained lines, especially in lower population areas or places where the primary provider has little competition.

Aeshi:

Therumancer:
They dumbed it down to make it more approachable to casuals, which they also did to WoW, but to be fair that's not entirely unexpected nowadays.

To say Diablo III "dumbed down" the gameplay of the series would be to imply that said gameplay was ever intelligent to begin with.

Gameplay in Diablo II can be summed up as "Just spam your classes uber-skill[1] and just chug potions if by some miracle you actually manage to be in danger of dieing", you don't get much more "casual friendly" than that.

All D3 did was remove the horde of padding that was the skill & stat system that surrounded said gameplay.

Actually they did, originally Diablo had multiple skill trees allowing you to build very differant kinds of characters out of each professions. Yes there were ideal builds and skill choices, but nothing ever forced you to use them, and those builds developed over a substantial period of time, playing, and community testing. Yes you did wind up with a lot of skills that wound up being replaced by better skills later on if you were looking for an ideal point, but you still had those skills, and the option to play the game using them beyond their peak point if you so chose, with people finding odd ways to maximize earlier skills through synergy to do some rather impressive things, part of the appeal that kept people playing Diablo 2 all the way up until the release of 3 (and afterwards).

Diablo 3 removed that by making each class a complete cookie cutter, you didn't have to choose between trees and decide where to put points, rather your given everything, there is no real need for experimentation, or to have differant members of a class with differant skill configurations or whatever, because everybody has everything.

In short they removed what depth was present in what was a very simple game.

To put it into perspective other people working with the "click looter" genere (I have a hard time calling them Action-RPGs), increased the depth. For example "Sacred 2" not only went with an open world approach (multiple towns, quests, somewhat ambigious objective, etc...) but allowed you to develop each character type in radically differant directions with innate abillities, but also added skills into the mix. For example you could do a Dryad with either the magic or ranged weapons options that come from the basic uses of the abilliy path, but some people have also managed to do things like turn it into a melee monster using dual wielded staffs which is kind of counter-intuitive to the way the character is presented. This game expanded on what Diablo 2 allowed, but it used to be a similar kind of game. Diablo 3 went in the opposite direction, becoming simpler, rather than expanding on developments and depth of other "loot clickers". When I went into Diablo 3 I was thinking the game was going to blow my socks off, if a relatively small and failing company like Asceron entertainment could make something like "Sacred 2", imagine what Blizzard had for us... Yeaaah... imagine alright.

[1] Like Frozen Orb & Sacred/Blessed Hammer, to name the biggest two

ZippyDSMlee:
LUL wut? You make a virtual MMO then ban PVP....WTF?!?!!?!? As always modern games are worth more like 25$ than 50+.......................

To be fair Diablo is not an MMO. It's more of a single player game that has some tacked on multi-player aspects. The issue of PVP and visiting other people's game worlds and such has always been a touchy one due to the single-player core of the game, with things being broken ever since the very first Diablo... PVP and large scale interaction was something they never could get to work here. The one thing that actually did work was a few people being willing to sell loot for real money, with some rather impressive Ebay auctions. The real money auction house was kind of intended to facilitate these transfers and give Blizzard a cut, but it was always a really fringe occurance, so the idea didn't explode quite like they were hoping. At the end of the day most people aren't going to pay someone else to get loot for them, when that's the point of the game. It's a little differant from games like WoW, where the reason why people have paid for things like that is because of the way raid tiers work, and players wanting to skip over shunned content or things they aren't interested in, to catch up with the majority of players at the level of endgame they are interested in. It's a practice I don't agree with, but fundementally differant in it's reasoning than Diablo loot sales, coming from a differant kind of game with a persistant community.

Also understand that Blizzard has never, ever, been able to do PVP right. I consider surrendering the issue to be a good thing, rather than tacking on more broken modes that will lead to nothing but frustration with an unfixable mess. At the end of the day if your going to have PVP in an MMO balance needs to come before everything, that's fine if your doing a game totally based around PVP, but if the game exists primarily as a PVE experience, that isn't a whole lot of fun, and the tendency is to want to create the character types as you envision them and are fun to play in the majority of the game. There are also issues involving things like crowd control, which is a useful tool in PVE, but a character based around it becomes "all or nothing" in PVP. Loot accumulation also becomes a problem, after all if you can't use your loot it kind of defeats the purpose of wanting to compete with it, but if you can use it, it means nobody who doesn't have equivilent stuff remotely has a chance.

At the end of the day I am beginning to think PVP is going to be dead as an "add on" for MMOs, at least as a serious focus, Blizzard's "surrender" at least for this flavor of PVP (duelling is still in the works) is probably a sign of this as they are probably the most influential MMO developer. I suspect your going to see MOBA games totally based around PVP from the ground up filling that niche, while MMOs focus entirely on PVE and Cooperative play. Trying to do both has ruined a lot of games, with characters getting ruined trying to juggle the usefulness of abillities in PVE and PVP with them becoming gimped due to concerns about one arena or another. I look at the Smuggler in ToR as an example of that, they gimped the holy hell out of that character (at least when I played) because of PVP complaints, and made it very difficult to even play in PVE as a result. Of course I'd also say that I expect 90% of that problem was Sith "PVP masters" complaining about losing to smugglers, seemed to me like anything that was slowing down the Sith Inquisitor from being a PVP gawd class was getting nerfed for a while, but that's just how it looked. (I played Jedi Counslar, I did okay in both PVP and PVE, but wasn't super good at either, played pretty slow to me).

Aeshi:
In concept, D2 may have more potential customization-wise than D3, but in practice the vast majority of said skill & stat combinations were basically useless even when they weren't competing with the aforementioned uber-powers.

Seeing how I was still able to beat D2 on the highest difficulty using most of them in some fashion or another, I cannot call them "useless". They weren't OPTIMAL, but it's still quite possible to win, and it forces the player to improvise, which I find entertaining.

D3 doesn't even offer you that. You *MUST* use cookie cutters and grind to win Inferno.
(and hope Blizzard doesn't nerf your build)

In concept, the TF2 unlockables are side-grades, but in practice there are a good few that are basically flat-out upgrades (Escape Plan, Soda Popper & Red Tape Recorder to name the most notable 3)

That doesn't entirely fit, because TF2 is a PvP, competitive game, and it's designed from the ground up to be a competitive game. Different philosophies for balance apply to PvP and PvE.

PvP, you feel pressured because you have to compete. That's the nature of it.
PvE, who cares how other people play?

Until then you get no points for multiple choices if there's an optimal one.

Well, it wouldn't need those points anyway, because that isn't a universal truth in gaming.
Variant gameplay doesn't exist under that philosophy, and I prefer games that give me the options for variants.

If you enjoy totally-objective gameplay, fine. There are games for you.

Therumancer:

ZippyDSMlee:
LUL wut? You make a virtual MMO then ban PVP....WTF?!?!!?!? As always modern games are worth more like 25$ than 50+.......................

To be fair Diablo is not an MMO. It's more of a single player game that has some tacked on multi-player aspects. The issue of PVP and visiting other people's game worlds and such has always been a touchy one due to the single-player core of the game, with things being broken ever since the very first Diablo... PVP and large scale interaction was something they never could get to work here. The one thing that actually did work was a few people being willing to sell loot for real money, with some rather impressive Ebay auctions. The real money auction house was kind of intended to facilitate these transfers and give Blizzard a cut, but it was always a really fringe occurance, so the idea didn't explode quite like they were hoping. At the end of the day most people aren't going to pay someone else to get loot for them, when that's the point of the game. It's a little differant from games like WoW, where the reason why people have paid for things like that is because of the way raid tiers work, and players wanting to skip over shunned content or things they aren't interested in, to catch up with the majority of players at the level of endgame they are interested in. It's a practice I don't agree with, but fundementally differant in it's reasoning than Diablo loot sales, coming from a differant kind of game with a persistant community.

Also understand that Blizzard has never, ever, been able to do PVP right. I consider surrendering the issue to be a good thing, rather than tacking on more broken modes that will lead to nothing but frustration with an unfixable mess. At the end of the day if your going to have PVP in an MMO balance needs to come before everything, that's fine if your doing a game totally based around PVP, but if the game exists primarily as a PVE experience, that isn't a whole lot of fun, and the tendency is to want to create the character types as you envision them and are fun to play in the majority of the game. There are also issues involving things like crowd control, which is a useful tool in PVE, but a character based around it becomes "all or nothing" in PVP. Loot accumulation also becomes a problem, after all if you can't use your loot it kind of defeats the purpose of wanting to compete with it, but if you can use it, it means nobody who doesn't have equivilent stuff remotely has a chance.

At the end of the day I am beginning to think PVP is going to be dead as an "add on" for MMOs, at least as a serious focus, Blizzard's "surrender" at least for this flavor of PVP (duelling is still in the works) is probably a sign of this as they are probably the most influential MMO developer. I suspect your going to see MOBA games totally based around PVP from the ground up filling that niche, while MMOs focus entirely on PVE and Cooperative play. Trying to do both has ruined a lot of games, with characters getting ruined trying to juggle the usefulness of abillities in PVE and PVP with them becoming gimped due to concerns about one arena or another. I look at the Smuggler in ToR as an example of that, they gimped the holy hell out of that character (at least when I played) because of PVP complaints, and made it very difficult to even play in PVE as a result. Of course I'd also say that I expect 90% of that problem was Sith "PVP masters" complaining about losing to smugglers, seemed to me like anything that was slowing down the Sith Inquisitor from being a PVP gawd class was getting nerfed for a while, but that's just how it looked. (I played Jedi Counslar, I did okay in both PVP and PVE, but wasn't super good at either, played pretty slow to me).

And here I thought I was bad about long widened replies :P

At the end of the day I'd rather have it like it was than not at all.

All I can say is, after essentially selling the game and the constant patches and nerfs and dickery on eventual PvP balance, if the dueling falls flat after pulling a Ghost on Team Deathmatch, they'll have done some rather impressive damage to their goodwill. I mean, more so than they already have with D3.

I didn't even buy this game to PvP, I just bought it to slash through hordes of demons, monsters, men and other such things. That was fun for a few run throughs. But overall, it would seem since their merger with Activision their company has been taking a turn for the worse.

Aeshi:

Atmos Duality:
the fact that the option was there on the table at all shows how D2 had more potential in concept than D3 ever will in practice.

Yes well "concepts" are exactly that, concepts. Fleeting, insubstantial and - unless you happen to be one of the people capable of making them happen - useless. "Concept" has never achieved anything unless it had Practice to back it up.

You might be missing the point there. The point was that Diablo 2 had a system that, while flawed and somewhat archaic in execution, had a much bigger potential than what they used for D3. The problem is that Blizzard threw the baby out with the bathwater by discarding it completely and going for an (also not particularly well executed) linear unlock system that doesn't have room for creativity.

It's sort of the way Bioware went about developing Mass Effect 2 gameplay-wise. They had multiple systems that had great potential but weren't realized well, like planet exploration, inventories and item mods, and threw the systems out completely instead of improving them. I can't say I agree with that kind of development philosophy at all.

In concept, D2 may have more potential customization-wise than D3, but in practice the vast majority of said skill & stat combinations were basically useless even when they weren't competing with the aforementioned uber-powers.

Wrong. If you're even remotely smart about it, you could easily beat the game with any number of off the wall builds. And again, the system itself was archaic, and it still allowed for creativity.

In concept, the TF2 unlockables are side-grades, but in practice there are a good few that are basically flat-out upgrades (Escape Plan, Soda Popper & Red Tape Recorder to name the most notable 3)

PvP and PvE games are somewhat different, as Atmos pointed out.

When there's a game that actually proves that large skill trees and their like can be balanced then I'll start opposing the so-called "dumbing down" of games. Until then you get no points for multiple choices if there's an optimal one.

There's an optimal D3 build, too. "Balance" is not why people play these sort of games. They play them to beat the fuck out of some demons in a variety of different ways, and gather epic loot. It's about viable builds, not optimal ones.

Didn't we have this same conversation? Are you seriously vain enough that you can't play a game unless you're playing in the most efficient way possible?

Can't believe I forgot to ask about this.

Atmos Duality:
snip

Do you think there is a possibility that other companies might start doing this kind of thing (promising core features, then later dropping them long after the actual game has been released)? Has Blizzard now set a precedent with this?

Hjalmar Fryklund:
Can't believe I forgot to ask about this.

Do you think there is a possibility that other companies might start doing this kind of thing (promising core features, then later dropping them long after the actual game has been released)? Has Blizzard now set a precedent with this?

Not unless the project is in the shitter, I'm guessing.
Reputation is important. Especially in a world where your product might only get a small window of recognition against hoards of competitors.

Blizzard had a great reputation for a long time, but this, I think they spent it all in one place.

Bait-and-switch is an old old trick employed in so many fields of entertainment, but the response is still pretty universal.

ArcossG:
I didn't know Blizzard makes "High quality experiances"

Actually they did back in the day. You know when they actually made games. Diablo 1 and 2,Starcraft, Warcrafts 1-3 and WoW up to the BC expansion. All good stuff. Then someone in the board room decided games should be revenue streams and that's when it stepped in the *****.

I'm not surprised about this. D3 has been hemorrhaging users and each user that shelves the game is one less potential revenue source from the RMAH. Add to that the bot accounts they banned and they just realized without te transaction revenue from those bot farmers they basically screwed themselves out of a lot of money.

I'm willing to forgive this as an an experiment that didn't go well. They mis understood their market and thusly made the wrong product. Diablo was always the sort of game you play for a bit and then leave idle for a few months then play again. Mostly offline, you know, just for fun, to try something new and what not.

D3 requires you to be permaconnected, thusly leading to that hilarious login and oh yes lag and latency problems. Then they apparently expect people to give a damned about continued play when nothing significant actually change through various playthroughs.

* Are there branching story paths 'nope'
* Are there multiple endings based on what you did or did not do? 'nope'
* Are there new areas unlocked by multiple playthroughs? Nope.
* Is the story deep and varied? Maybe

The above are the factors that enhance the replayability of games. at kleast two of the 4 are required.

Do you remember those old school arcade games and console games (usually bullet hell games) where after seeing the 'Thank You for playing' and the game would just loop back to the start. Or the game would just repeat and repeat. Yeah that's diablo 3 I think but without the ability to post a High Score for others to see.

Blizzard. You have very little good will still. Make use of it and turn yourselves around. if all you try to make are skinner boxes then you will lose to the people that actually provide entertainment.

GoddyofAus:
Maybe Blizzard finally woke up and smelt the sad truth that nobody gives a shit about Diablo 3 anymore.

BUT! BuuUtttT! buuuuuuuuttt..... what about the poor gold farmers!?

All that botting for nothing :(

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