Blizzard used to be the company that bent over backwards for their customers, which is why this launch hurts more than other shaky launches. Which might be unfair to Blizzard, but a decent part of their reputation used to be based on the fact that they were a developer you could trust not to rip you off. Honestly, that didn't change until WoW became such a significant cash crop.
And, as a random additional point that's only loosely related, it boggles my mind that Blizz didn't build in tablet support for D3. Yeah, I'm sure that would have been additional work. And you couldn't have had the same number of graphics options. But I can't think of any game better suited for a decent-sized touch screen. Playing online would be a b*tch though, I bet, but it would be amazing as a localized single player rpg without always-on connection demands.
@Digg, I know you really really want to hate the game, but so far the difficulty is scaling really nicely. The butcher is an awesome fight, and heading into act 2, you can no longer just romp around, you will start dying. Not all the time yet, but now and again for sure. I'm also finding the number of abilities and how they can be modified really compelling and interesting. It really changes my playstyle which moves I chose to use.
I don't want to hate it, quite the opposite. D2 was my first foray into online gaming, and I played it for a long time. I want D3 to be amazing, but it feels like they stripped everything I loved from the first two games and just left behind a hack n' slash game. I think some of the changes, had they been implemented slightly differently, could have been awesome.
For instance, builds. I actually hate the fact that you can switch in any ability at any time. I know we've had this conversation before, and others disagree, but I hate
it. I think it absolutely destroys any value that comes from customizing your character. If your build meant something more interesting than taking 10 seconds to select your new set of abilities, it might be a different story. And maybe there's a happy middle, like being able to change your abilities whenever, but the ability choices have an intrinsic effect in and of themselves (which I haven't thought through, just tossing it out there). ANYTHING to make my Wizard feel at all distinct from any other random Wizard. Right now, I don't see anything
doing that, and it is probably my biggest game-related issue.
Associated with this is my issue with the stat homogenization. I really, really hate this. I would have rather seen stats mean extremely little, but come with customization, or stats having some effect that was more utility-based in nature, but gave you a way to make your character yours
. In D2 I could make my Paladin an Archer, my Sorceress a heavy-armor wearing warrior, and my Amazon could use daggers for some passive-effect mayhem. Stat options and lack of class restrictions on weapons are what enabled this. To do away with stats, but fail to replace this system of customization, is a really big snafu.
Difficulty was an other issue. You say it is getting harder, and I'll trust you on that--I'm relieved. Because it was ridiculously easy in the stress test.
I don't like that the RMAH exists, and I don't like what it represents for Blizzard as a company. I'd get over it by never using it, but it makes me deeply uncomfortable. Had D3 launched as a F2P game, I wouldn't mind it at all. But I don't agree with charging full retail price and then pressuring players into using a system that lets you get milk more money out of your fan base without delivering content in return. Expansion packs? Totally acceptable. Pay real money for uber weapons? GFY.
Those are actually the sum of my issues with D3, beyond the always-on one. I honestly don't know if I'd buy the game if I got over the three remaining, because the DRM is a big issue for me. But with those AND the DRM, it's just not going to happen. I'm going to continue to follow the game, and if balance is done well enough that I feel like there actually are many viable builds, which are sufficiently varied for me to care, then I might change my mind. Until then, no. Edited, May 16th 2012 9:10pm by idiggory