So now that I have your attention with that wonderful little title, let me clarify that I do not mean Diablo III is a bad game. I mean that it is the worst managed game I have ever seen in my many long years playing videogames. It’s so badly handled that it somehow manages to be an object of art and endless beauty. Seriously, this is the single worst train wreck I have ever seen in the industry, moving so slow yet so terrifyingly fast and only allowed to thrive based entirely on the quality of the game itself, despite everything else desperately trying to murder it while cackling like a campy-era James Bond villain.
Let me first bring your attention to this video here, a rant done by one Mr. Jim Sterling about why people hate EA (and he’s spot on as well, at least in my eyes). Now imagine if you took many of those complaints and threw them into a single game. In that video, he flat out says that Activision is only looking better than EA right now because they aren’t EA, whose dick moves are unbelievable. Capcom would look at some of the dumb shit they’ve done and think to themselves “That’s really going to piss off the customer.”
Diablo III is the game that’s going to bring the fire back on Activision and Blizzard, despite Old Republic’s attempts to seem worse. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and I just have to say something about it. Oh, and Blizzard fans, I’m sorry in advance if the following sequence of words makes it seem like I just kicked in your door, did my business on your couch and then rubbed your kids all over the mess before lighting them on fire.
So, let’s start at the beginning of the stupidity. I’m not going to go into the idiotic argument of whether this is a single player game or an MMO because it is an idiotic argument that usually ignores all logic, so I’m sticking to the terrible idea of having a single player mode in a game that requires that you be online in order to play it. Which is the dumbest fucking thing I have ever heard of. If you don’t see the problem here, you either love this game so much that you’re in denial or you forgot about that big old hissy fit over DRM, which this basically functions as. DRM stands for “Fuck you customer we know you’re trying to steal from us” and won’t allow you to play a game if not connected to the internet. Some services manage to prevent this from being too intrusive, but on the whole it is a god awful idea. It’s worse with Diablo III because you can’t play the single player mode by yourself without being connected to Blizzard’s servers, and god help you if Blizzard’s servers are down, which even shuts down Starcraft II and World of Warcraft. This would make sense with the multiplayer mode, but it makes no damn sense when you want to play by yourself. Also, almost everyone played the first two games by themselves because online was barely a thing at the time, so having the option would have been nice, like you can play offline by yourself and then have to be connected to Blizzard servers for online play. But that didn’t happen because fuck the customer.
Well, the real reason is a feature I’m sure will end up being removed or changed eventually. It’s effectively a way to buy items in the game using your actual money, which is a common MMO tactic for free to play games. Offer little extras for cash that you don’t truly need. The problem is that they’re so worried that people will find ways around it that they started doing stupid crap that led to me writing this article. Online games do have cheaters around and a major goal is to make sure they’re under control and not hacking important stuff, like their main form of income for the game. Because of the Auction House forcing full online in order to play, what you can name your character is actually limited in single player mode, along with other problems. One of those major problems is stupid people trying to turn the game into the next Second Life by making actual money selling virtual hats. I’m not sure if hats are a thing in Diablo, I just wanted to make a Valve joke because that’s pretty amusing to me.
What really amuses me is that Blizzard is using the same structure of a MMO game and seems to be failing terribly at it. See, a good MMO has a lot to do. Diablo III has the main quest and some hidden items to find, like a good single player game. Not like a MMO. Seeing the problem? You can’t defend Diablo III has a MMO because it’s very obvious that the team didn’t design it as so game wise. It’s like some sort of weird hybrid that has no idea what it wants to be and no one understands how to handle this. It’s made worse because Diablo III can’t be easily updated with new stuff like WoW can, leading to a lot of complaining.
Oh, and there was a recent little nugget dealing with Linux users. Said users using Wine were mass banned as of recent and a little firestorm of butt-hurt comedy has been going around. The program supposedly allows people to cheat at the game, but many people using it supposedly aren’t…and are backed in mass numbers, flooding the Battle.net boards and were demanding an explanation for a good while, probably still are. This tells me that Blizzard doesn’t really know how to sort the actual hackers from the people who paid good money to play a fun game and use a similar program because they’re Linux users and enjoy the smell of their own farts (while us PC users really are as stuffy as those Mac ads said we are). So people who paid good money are no longer allowed to play the game they bought.
Including the single player game.
Just about every way you can come up with to piss someone off is present in this game. I already know lifelong Blizzard fans who have just quit due to the disgusting practices in this game and the incredible amount of bone headed decisions. People waited twelve long years for this game and I don’t believe this was what they were waiting for. They got an amazing game that hates you for playing it because it means you’re most likely stealing from it somehow. Diablo III sums up the modern AAA game culture rather well, one where the product is ultimately strong but you have to jump through hoops in order to enjoy it. Makes me want to walk into the Blizzard offices and slap everyone of the major executives with a phallic object connected to my person.