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The Dumbing Down of Diablo 3:

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Initial post: May 11, 2012 7:55:47 AM PDT


The Dumbing Down of Diablo III?
Will I buy Diablo III? Yes. Will I play Diablo III? Yes.

Will I play Diablo III more than once? Maybe.

Will it matter how I build my character? No.
From what I've read--and correct me if I'm wrong-if two players have max-level barbarians side-by-side in Diablo III, items and names aside, there will be zero difference between our characters. We will have access to the same base stat build and access to the same selection of skills and runes.

Welcome to the 'stupidification' of Diablo, where build skill no longer matters. If I didn't care about character build and only wanted to find items, I'd rather put 80 hours into Final Fantasy.

Differentiation between characters was what made my Diablo II characters unique, not the items I had. Why can't I make a unique stat-heavy ranged barbarian or a melee wizard? Well, that seems impossible in DIII.

`Leveling' the playing field reduces replayability and the customization we've come to expect and love in Diablo II. I want my characters to be tweaked how I want and not some cookie-cutter build.

There's some evidence that character builds, player-defined stats, and fixed skill trees lead to great games, especially within the Blizzard family. This was the case in Diablo and Diablo II obviously. But what about the introduction of heroes in Warcraft III (both Reign of Chaos and the Frozen Throne), where proper hero skill placement and attribute calculations could mean the difference of a ladder spot, or more importantly victory or defeat? And what about the long-lasting playability of Defense of the Ancients (DotA), a wildly popular mod to Warcraft III, which has evolved into its own genre. In each of these games, efficient skill placement and calculating attributes was not only critical, but it made playing and replaying the game fun. I'm pretty sure if you nerfed or removed the skill tree and attributes in these games or allowed unlimited skill `respecing,' replayability would suffer.

If I didn't care about character build and only wanted to find items, I'd rather put 80 hours into Final Fantasy.
If I'm Blizzard, I want "replayability" built into my game. I want players coming back for more. I want them building and rebuilding characters over and over. I want the difference between newbs and players to be more than items and reaction time. Right now, I'm only going to play this game five times until I max out each character class and then... well really, what's the point?

I remember spending hours calculating optimal builds and skill placement in D2. I remember doing math on the fly about MF% `magic find' or CtB% `chance to block' or HP to MP ratios for the perfect PvP mana-shield sorceress. Teach the next generation of Diablo players how to do math instead of doing it for them.

So Blizzard, give us back the power to allocate stats, let me build unique characters built for rushing, magic finding, and low level PVP. Or at least make it an option for the non-lazy stupid players-you could call it "Hardcore Mode."

Jesse (@jessema) is on the Legal Team at Gawker Media and has been an avid gamer since Contra.

Posted on May 11, 2012 7:57:46 AM PDT
MrFoxhound says:
This is the exact thing that killed Skyrim for me. It was too open with character skills.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 7:58:40 AM PDT
Things are different than they were before, RABBLE!!!!

Posted on May 11, 2012 7:59:03 AM PDT
Gamblor says:
It's hard for me to take seriously a critique of a gear grinder. If gear grinding isn't for you, than you will be miffed with D3's design changes.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 8:00:01 AM PDT
uncledonnie3 says:

Posted on May 11, 2012 8:00:31 AM PDT
I've got to say, the writer has a point.

I'm sure D3 will be awesome, as I enjoyed the beta a LOT. I'm *not* sure yet if it has the longevity of D2 though. There is going to be a ton to do, but nearly every character I ever created was different in some way to others. Now, they're all pretty much the same at high level. Every one of them.

I can't make an elemental druid, then a summoner, or a bone necro, then a poison necro.

Actually, they kind of removed this as well in D2 with the addition of Tokens and skill resets each difficulty level for free for each character made....

Ah, oh well. I can't wait. 4 more days!

Posted on May 11, 2012 8:00:55 AM PDT
J. says:

Posted on May 11, 2012 8:01:10 AM PDT
StriderNeo15 says:
This is all Xbox's fault.

Posted on May 11, 2012 8:52:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2012 8:54:59 AM PDT
J. says:

Captain, not sure if you ever saw this post before, but I felt it did a good job of explaining some of the "customization" differences between D2 and D3. Originally, I was also concerned about the replayability factor of D3, but the more I read about D3, the less worried I became. Let me know how you feel after reading it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 8:54:38 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
Did you just say learnt?

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 8:56:08 AM PDT
J. says:
I re-read it, and said to myself "wow, that was terrible." It has been edited...

Posted on May 11, 2012 8:56:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2012 8:57:22 AM PDT
AxisBeefyBoy says:
So because they eliminated the biggest time-sink aspect of the game (stat/skill point permanacy, necessitating the creation of multiple characters and play through the same content), this equals "dumbing" it down?

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 8:57:03 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
No worries, I am quite busy at work today. I am sure I will post something weird.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 8:57:54 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
Yeah I don't understand it either...

All you had to do on D2LOD was get a token OR do the Den Akara quest and reset everything. You never had to level up multiple characters.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 9:01:09 AM PDT
Prior to the token being instituted, we didn't have that luxury :)

Posted on May 11, 2012 9:03:57 AM PDT
is there pvp in diablo?

Posted on May 11, 2012 9:05:48 AM PDT
Super R-Typ0 says:
PC gamers are only whiny because no one wants to touch their genitals.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 9:07:13 AM PDT

Thanks for that. D3 for years to come indeed. Longevity certainly hasn't gone the way of the dodo.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 9:07:22 AM PDT
J. says:
Because getting a new character g-rushed after effing up your build was such a in-depth mechanic, amiright? :P

Or for the less fortunate: Trist to 15, Tombs to 20, Cows to 24, Norm Baal to 40, NM Baal to 60, Hell Baal to? was such a rewarding experience... Weee.

Posted on May 11, 2012 9:11:54 AM PDT
Lyrick_ says:
They allowed you to respec your skills and stats in D2 after one of the many patches. In order to maximize DPS you created one of very few builds anyway. The stats in D2 were little more than an equipment limitation factor.

Your equipment is what matters most in D3, everything scales from your equipment.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 9:16:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2012 9:17:00 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
I know, I started D2 when D2 came out lol.

They instituted the token and the Den update for reasons like people got pissed to re-do an entire character when they messed up or wanted something else.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 9:17:41 AM PDT
JJ4prez says:
Which I like more.

Posted on May 11, 2012 9:21:16 AM PDT
AxisBeefyBoy says:
My time, effort, and thought in Diablo 2 involved reading through sites like gamefaqs and the Ararat summit, looking for the build that best suited what I wanted to do with a particular class. Invariably stat-distribution involved "put enough points in str/dex to wear your equipment and dump the rest in vit." Not exactly chess right there, is it? As far as skills went, if you dumped too many points in early skills, start over. Nope, the skill tree involved saving and pumping points into one or two skills and their respective synergies. Again, more checkers than chess.

Diablo 3 isn't even out yet, but I've had way more fun creating and saving builds with the skill calculator than I ever did reading through the experiences of others to find out which skills suck and which skills are good.

Diablo 3 may not last as long as compared to D2, but there will be far less "junk" time, meaning time where you're playing through content you've done a million times before just because you're leveling a Zeal-a-din as opposed to a hammerdin.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 9:39:48 AM PDT
Aku says:
Stat-distribution depended on two things:

What your equipment needed.
What you wanted your build to be, say ES sorc instead of vitality, or whether or not you wanted max block.

Also there's the gains on which synergy gave the most bonuses if you couldn't max them all (important for lld), balancing fhr/fcr/ias/blocking speed, it's not rocket science but there's quite a bit going on. From what I understand of Diablo 3 so far, a lot of this "tediousness" has been removed in favor of what I'd consider a baby-mode difficulty. It took over a decade for D2 to allow respec'ing, D3 has it right off the bat. That means people will probably just level up the different classes once, ESPECIALLY because of that recent "your character name is hardly ever shown" crap.

Posted on May 11, 2012 9:50:57 AM PDT
RJMacReady says:
They dumbed down Diablo? The game wasn't exactly complicated to start with.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  37
Total posts:  95
Initial post:  May 11, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 27, 2015

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