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What you are missing is that Diablo 3 is an online game that is run as a service. All the attributes that folks are upset about flow directly and inevitably from this basic premise. The word 'security' comes up multiple times because traditional offline play and modding outside a rather difficult to setup sandbox tends to result in massive, game killing fraud. (See the rather pertinent example of the broken online community for Diablo 1)

Why not stick with the old ways? It is no longer a 'traditional' offline boxed retail game because you'd need to be a complete idiot to make a game with a lifespan of at least 10 years that is fundamentally tied to a dying, unsustainable business model.

Millions will still buy the next Diablo and Blizzard will be very happy. Do not mistake whining about relatively small changes for a rejection of the immense value a revised product offers. If anything, I'd expect the community to be stronger for Diablo 3 because you'll see Blizzard investing heavily in it.



Hi Danc,

Historically the Diablo franchise is a single player roleplaying game with the addition of online content. It's a modern day Rogue/NetHack.

It's never been an MMO, and I would contend that the audience for the game (which is large and voluble) is not looking for a different game from the one that they know. As id found out years ago to their cost, when you change the fundamentals of what a franchise is (Doom -> Doom 3) then it's usually a huge mistake. Or, to quote yourself, never innovate half way.

So if that's the basis of the game then all the other criticism of its strategic choices flows from there. I don't believe that there's much of an issue with the auction house (although it would appear that the game will still be sold as retail rather than freemium, so there may be an issue of having cake and eating it there) but rather that tying the game to online mode fundamentally restricts what it is and how it's played. And that runs contrary to what its audience expects.

On the 'whinging' point, consider this: When id did change the focus of Doom there was some amount of outcry from the existing fans but it was pooh pooh'd. Tush and fie, said the faithful, Doom will sell and you know it. And it did. And then id died a few years later.

It's not about the single instance of a franchise that will sell well. Of course Diablo 3 will sell. However negative actions that try to maximise the opportunity often kill franchises in the long term (see Guitar Hero for a recent example of how Activision screwed another will-always-sell IP up).

I'm very concerned for Blizzard in the long term. In the short term they'll bring in huge revenue, but what happens after that?

As always, thanks for the comment.


The id example is an interesting one. Quake was originally a single player game with a multiplayer component. The multiplayer was so popular that they spun out a multiplayer only Quake Arena (Epic did the same with Unreal). That was a reasonable success. I agree that Blizzard could have messaged it all better. The changes they made are the natural result of running a primarily online game, but their customers didn't really expect it to be such. Nor did they describe it as such. Imagine the excitement if they had.

Yeah, I do worry about Blizzard long term as well. It has been a while since they pulled a new Diablo or World of Warcraft out of their hat.

take care,

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