After a while the dungeons look pretty much the same. You cannot customize your character besides his equipment. And the gameplay seems to suffer from a myriad of problems (from lag to getting kicked out of your server just before reaching that waypoint). The game has been designed and built around the Real-Money Auction House (RMAH).
In fact, the game is nothing but a conveyor-belt of items.
And the items-for-real-money incentive has been used again and again as a big selling point for this expensive game that otherwise does not justify its asking price. However, as with every pyramid scheme, there is a catch.
A pyramid scheme will make the central swindler rich, it will offer some rewards to those who entered early whereas it will screw everyone else.
Now, as RMAH becomes available to a wider geographical areas, the number of the same item that is available will increase. Exponentially.
So, those who participated early on may find some poor sap to unload their "special" sword for $250. Only, a few days later, tons of the same sword are available for $1.50. If ACTIBLIZZARD geniuses step in to manipulate their economy, make that a few weeks.
The fact that the company can manipulate the rarity of any given item is only an effort to slow down the pyramid scheme.
When you install Diablo 3, your keyboard's built-in and hidden functionality is activated; sucking in dead skin flakes. Your CPU's built-in and hidden functionality is activated as well; transmitting the make up of your clavichordian DNA/RNA subatomic parallel dihydrogen monoxide (yes, the kind that can kill you,...) composite.
Blizzard then feeds all of this information into a massive server farm. Where we are constantly searching for the X gene. The X gene is what we need to bring back our space demon lord Xenu - all hail Xenu. The sciencetologists believe it's in thetan readings and recordings. But, we have rock solid proof that its really nerd/geek gunk (again, dead skin flakes). We both believe in the same space demon lord, Xenu - all hail Xenu - but, we are taking a much more hands on approach.
Instead of sending crazed celebs to spread an awful religion, Blizzard is herding in the geeks, nerds, dweebs and rejects of society to locate and isolate the X gene.
And, we are close.
Bobby has already built his space ship (it's a actually a pile of wet cardboard boxes, that will transform into a glorious space ship meant to travel to the meeting location of our space demon lord Xenu - all hail Xenu). We are just waiting for you lemmings to eventually shed the right clump of dead skin, which contains the X gene,... and the universe,... will be ours; for our space demon lord Xenu - all hail Xenu - has promised us this universe.
"After a while the dungeons look pretty much the same."
Ain't that the truth.
"You cannot customize your character besides his equipment."
That is a lie.
"And the gameplay seems to suffer from a myriad of problems (from lag to getting kicked out of your server just before reaching that waypoint)."
Actually, this stuff isn't a very big problem anymore.
"In fact, the game is nothing but a conveyor-belt of items."
Yup. That is EXACTLY what this game, Torchlight, and other games in this genre are. It's a Skinner Box of shiny things.
"And the items-for-real-money incentive has been used again and again as a big selling point for this expensive game that otherwise does not justify its asking price. However, as with every pyramid scheme, there is a catch. A pyramid scheme will make the central swindler rich, it will offer some rewards to those who entered early whereas it will screw everyone else."
Actually no one is getting screwed by the RMAH. You see, it's a choice. If you don't want to spend real money on in-game items, you don't have to. People who DO spend the money are making a choice. No one is fooling them into purchasing anything.
Why are you so obsessed with a game you hate and haven't played?
And that's pretty similar to other games as well. Very few people actually use the black market in any game, as a percentage of the player population, but enough do to keep the market alive. It's the small percentage of "whales" (as the microtransaction gaming industry refers to them) that support the whole black market -- the small number of people who are interested in spending real currency for virtual currency, items or characters. It is the same in D3, it's just that in D3 the people who want to do that can do it more securely than they could in the black market. And marginally that likely means a few more people will be using the real currency AH than they would if it were strictly black market, but that most people will stick to the game currency AH, because they simply don't want to spend real currency on virtual goods.
And yet, I have over 150 hours invested into the game. I have a level 60 monk and one of each of the other character types a various levels. I have never bought or sold a single item on the RMAH and do not intend to.
If I decided to stop playing today I would say it was worth every penny of the $60 I spent, even without using the RMAH, which the naysayers will obviously try and say is the real point of the game. It's like complaining that a movie sucked because the popcorn and drinks in the concession stand are too expensive. The movie experience may or may not be more enjoyable with those items but they are not requirement to enjoying the movie itself. Niether is the RMAH a requirement to enjoying this game.
That sounds to be the right idea of it. All the changes to the game lately is to limit your gold income to push you toward buying gold on the RMAH. Gimping gold drops, raising repair costs by 2-3x the cost, lowering the drop rate from blue-purple-yellow creatures, the list can go on about what they do.
They need to put it back the waqy it was, they create a environment that kills you over and over on purpose then penalize you for dying, very stupid if you ask me. If they do not want you to die, do not put impossible mobs inside inferno where they kill you in 1 second.
For the vast majority of people who played it, black market trading had no impact on their experience. Most people played Diablo 2 the same way they're playing Diablo 3: alone or with certain friends and with zero interest in playing in public games online.
Even with the auction house supposedly deterring gold sellers and spammers, nothing has changed. The game sticks you in General Chat from the get-go, and I still see spammers all of the time. I also have had multiple friend requests from spammers.
The biggest change from Diablo 2 to Diablo 3 in this regard is that in Diablo 2 at least you could get away from spammers and black market jerks and never have to interact with them. You could play Diablo 2 with friends without ever having any exposure to spammers or people with black market items.
Your post was an aside about how similar Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 are in terms of mechanics and game features. I just want to say that I agree.
-"Black Market Trading," which we'll define loosely as botting, duping, and RMAHing, still does not necessarily have an impact on your experience, despite it's existence in both games. -If "most people" did play Diablo 2 alone or with friends, that practice can continue, unabated, in Diablo 3. -In Diablo 2, the only viable way of "getting away" from spammers was to play the game offline. That wasn't a viable solution in Diablo 2 for people who want to play online.
As far as them spamming friend requests to you, I agree. Blizzard should modify the way this works so that you can block friend requests.
1. Inventory Size and management sucked 2. Elemental Immune enemies Sucked 3. Hacker's/Spammers running Rampant online 4. Game Glitched and never let me finish it on hell mode (Still bitter about that) 5. Skill Trees without a respec option (EVEN if it's there now it was not there on release, and not for many many many years after) 6. Alot of non passive skills became useless later in game as you got past level 18 or so. 7. Stash was miserably tiny, particularly with the amount of gems that don't stack and Runes that you needed to store
1. just use a bp mod, does not change game play except bp size. 2. i beat all mobs that got in my way. Not like D3 where you can die 20x before killing it 3. create a pw game and play with people you trust 4. never had that, i beat it on all difficulties 5. skill tree is the best way to go, if you want to reset, you could use plug-y to reset, then disable it to play vanilla. 6. alot of skills in d3 are useless to me, 99% of the time you use the same skills as everyone else, d3 you can customize your skills with extra damage from synergies. 7 if you want more stash you can use plug-y to expand it. still not spoiling the vanilla game except the space.
That is why we need offline/lan mode with the ability to mod, so we can change things we do not like after we beat the vanilla. D2 mods kept me playing years longer over vanilla. D3 would highly benefit from this for longevity.
1. I don't use mods, It should be IN the game 2. I don't die very often killing mobs now that I have found a build that works for me 3. I didn't personally play online, but that doesn't mean they weren't there. 4. I still dunno why the game glitched, I couldn't find an answer online at the time, that was 7 years or so ago 5. Again that requires a cheat or a mod, that I refuse to use, it should be IN THE GAME 6. Synergies didn't exist for years in Diablo 2 either, people forget that. Diablo 3 has only been out for a month and change, the skills will get better. I am playing a wizard and I have a use for a good 80% of my skills, and I don't do what everyone else is doing, thats boring. 7. Again, cheat/Mod. no.
A game should not have to be made better by mods, it should be good on it's own like I feel Diablo 3 is.