Problems with Diablo 3

16 06 2012

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I like everyone else ( or at least the majority) have played Diablo 3. While I must say that my first couple of plays through I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, after some time something started to bother me and I had to figure it out. So this post will serve the purpose of attempting to explain what I feel bothers me about Diablo 3.

I think it took me a couple of times through to discover what it was, mainly because the game play itself is very satisfying. It’s easy to get distracted in viscerally slaying thousands of hell spawn and their ilk. After two times through it started to dawn on me that I didn’t particularly care for how the story was executed. Not to say that I think the general concept is terrible, it’s just that the game tries to make you care about Leah and her story. While it is a pivotal aspect to the story, the way it’s executed is, well how do you say it… too in your face. No matter what character the player chooses to play with or what the player does it’s always the same thing, “follow Leah because she’s the star of this campaign and not you”.

In my opinion the player does not necessarily have to be the focal point of the story, however if you don’t have any character development with whomever the player is playing as, over time or immediately it will break the player immersion or the “suspense of disbelief” as many designers would refer to it as. Ultimately on some psychological level when we play a game in some aspect it’s about us, we are living that fantasy life, we are slaying that dragon, we are rescuing the damsel in distress! However in Diablo 3 you show up as whatever character class you pick, like “Hey I’m here to save the day!”… with no explanation of why you’re there and for what purpose, or any real back story on your character. Almost as if “Player X arrives to New Tristram = True, then only Que Leah Story = FOREVER”. Even in the cinematic cut scenes, all you get is some sketch of your player saying “Hey we are going to the next act to slay some baddies!”, then guess what… QUE THE LEAH STORY with ridiculously awesome graphics and we’ll talk about her and not you!

Now let me say I’ve played Diablo since it’s inception and that being said I think I’m well versed enough to say what I’m saying, however if there are books (which I’m sure there are) explaining the story behind these characters you play….. THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. So hold the fanboy rage if I’m supposed to have read some comic/book to get all the story elements I want. When your produce a AAA title such as this and you have the financial power that Blizzard/Activision does, then there’s no excuse for such a weak story execution. It’s almost as if they expected, and designed the game around, the idea that farming for ‘epic loot’ indefinitely would satiate the mass majority, and maybe it will for some or a lot. However in my opinion I feel that a good amount of people will quickly become bored with the concept of endlessly farming hell spawn for that next big piece to drop. Obviously from a design standpoint they created it with the mathematical purpose of you’ll never get all the best pieces, even if you play 24/7 there will always be that next thing for you to get.

So before I get off my soapbox about the story elements in closing I hope they come out with expansions that elaborate on the story aspect, for me, and for what I feel would be a lot of people, creating some narrative and plot line where the player actually starts to relate to the character would increase the longevity of the game. Instead right now I feel like a lab animal in a Skinner box just tapping that button for the next stimulation.

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One response

18 06 2012
Arcos

I played the demo and stopped after like 20 min. I didn’t like it at all

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