Diablo 3 failed in some respects and was a monumental success in others.
Diablo 3 Succeeded at:
1) Gameplay - Smooth, good control system, intuitive but with depth and intricacy, minimal bugs. Technical perspective, D3 is a brilliantly executed game, and in keeping with what I have come to expect from Blizzard.
2) Financially - selling millions of copies and keeping the money flowing with the RMAH at least for the short term while they plan out the long term hooks to keep people playing and using the RMAH, I don't think anyone doubts that D3 was and will continue to be a financial success
3) Visually - the art and animation are stunning, thats all there really is to say
Things Diablo 3 failed at
1) Replay value - this is the biggest departure from the franchise history which has a lot of replay value and longevity. The RMAH and GAH are to blame for this, getting the gear in earlier diablo games took forever, and a lot of hard work. That time investment went out the window when Blizzard embraced a pay to win model of monetizing the game. People who are going to pay to win will do so and move on. The increased amount of trading going on drastically reduced the amount of time it takes individual players to accomplish what they want to accomplish in the game, which means many of them have and are moving on. Inferno Diablo has been killed on Hardcore, its conceivable that there are people who have killed diablo on inferno on all five classes, have each class at max level and top end gear, etc. The game is only in its second month, and these things took much longer to do in D2.
2) Game Balance - Inferno was largely untested from a game balance point of view and it showed. The MMO mindset and constant tinkering with class balance and unwillingness to take the time to get it right the first time while the game is in beta is one thing that is getting kind of tiresome from blizzard. 0 Vit wizard builds and infinite smoke screen DHs, various farming exploits, attack speed, the war against botters, and almost zero inferno build diversity means the game was not looked over well enough from a balance perspective.
That is what I see as Diablo 3's successes and failures. I don't have to look very hard to find either which tells me it was a mediocre game overall. Ultimately I'm sure the people at blizzard care about making good games and won't be satisfied with a mediocre game, but for now the fact that they got the checkmark in the "financial success" column probably means there won't be much of a shake up or serious changes in direction over it. There is a chance when it comes time for a D3 expansion, that they will see a substantial hit to their sales numbers (and the phenomenal sales of D3 will raise their sales targets) because of how disappointed many people were with the game, but we may also see Blizzard learning from their mistakes and making the game substantially better in the areas in which they failed in an expansion if not in content patches before that. Or we may not, time will eventually tell.
Considering the hours played I can't call it a failure (making > $60 off it helps too!). There are just so many flaws and issues that I find myself disappointed that a company of Blizz size couldn't have spotted in development.
I think one of their biggest mistakes was not ramping up the difficulty like they should have. With zero AH gear I facerolled my way all the way to Act 2 inferno before I even noticed the game getting more difficult. Stepping into Act 1 of Nightmare/Hell/Inferno should have made you stop and think "Oh s**t I need to stop and work on my gear a bit before I move on". Waiting until the last 10% of the game to present any challenge (which was a brick wall to some) is stupid.
I never got that far in D2 but I remember just leveling into Nightmare felt like an accomplishment and you noticed how fragile you were right away. At least to me Nightmare/Hell just felt like repeating Normal twice.
Here's some issues, in my mind, that kind of ruined the game's play.
In the beginning my barb was amazing. I did what I chose and enjoyed learning new skills. Going through the game the first 1 or 2 times still felt fresh and kind of exciting. (Really the first 30 hours of gameplay were pretty amazing).
But, along came something in the game that I did not expect--predictability. By hell mode I was starting to get...almost bored. Not quite, but something started being not quite as "fun." I have tried for weeks to understand why hell through inferno modes were aggravating to me. Was I just really bad at the game? Did I not know how to play barbarian correctly? Was my gear terrible? I finally pinned down, I think, the reasons why the game was a disappointment to me.
1. Yes, I probably overhyped the game. I had high expectations and I'm not sure those expectations weren't well justified.
2. Predictability. The lack of a random element to a dungeon crawler exploration game...They really should have worked on that. Why explore the dungeons when you know, 90% of the time, exactly where everything is. Sure the mobs are RANDOMLY given affixes, but the whole point of crawling through a dungeon is for the
adventure, not just affixes.
3. Environmental dangers. This was something that took awhile for me to understand. Why can we completely ignore environmental dangers? Why is it that blizzard worked so hard to make it look amazing that it is completely useless? My god, those giant axes look awesome! Why not allow people the ability to use the environment to help slay your enemies? Seriously disappointed there.
4. Activision's bottom line $$$. I'm pretty disappointed that I can actually see a companies greed. I mean, I understand that they are making a product for share holders and what not, but I can't help think about their appetite to squeeze money from every situation.
5. The lack of creative gameplay. Alot of the inferno modes create a cookie cutter, all build the same, type of mentality. YES I KNOW you can do different things, and I might be looking through tinted glasses as I'm a barb, but there were certain abilities that were damn near mandatory. I wanted to do strange things with builds, do things others weren't doing, and create a barb that was mine and fit my play style. It might be because they made the game difficult, which I'm completely fine with, but in order to progress it really did take away alot of player freedoms.
In closing, the game has fun ideas. I just think blizzard missed the target a bit. Maybe they can fix it and maybe an xpac will help. But I will be waiting to see what people say this time before going out and spending any more green on the game.
Which is more musical, a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school? --John Cage
There's people making babies to my music. That's nice. --Barry White
Well, if this is an reflection of the market, I had 52 friends pick the game up and 4 of them still play. The rest got bored and upset with the RMAH. All of them played D2 up until about a year ago. So there was definitely something different about the games ability to stay fun. I cant put my finger on it but in my case its very apparent.
When Diablo 2 launched everyone hated on it the same way Diablo 3 is hated on right now.
The main problems D3 has are in my opinion the auction house (discouraging the player to play the game) and the forced online mode (to back the auction house I already despise and for copy protection).
Not being able to outlevel the content is a good idea. Going to 99 in Diablo 2 was dull, playing the game with a lvl 99 char was even duller. The gameplay and story is fine. I like the graphic, I hate the occasional lags in my single player game (oh, I adressed this already?).
The only sad part about D3 is, that I vastly prefer The Binding of Isaac over it. The 5$ steam flashgame by the SMB guy. Though, many people might disagree here, as graphics kinda matter to the broad gaming demographic.
I'm more inclined to believe that the game sold as well as it did through hype and name alone.
Granted, it's a good game in its own right, but for me it fell a little flat and went in its own direction which never really provided the same impact as its predecessor (again, for me) for several reasons which I don't want to get in to as it has been done to death.
If anything, it actually made me go back to Diablo 2 because I realized all of my personal complaints made me think "well, why not play D2 if that's what I want" and I've never really looked back since.
It isn't a very good mmo.
Define failure? Financially Diablo 3 is a complete success.
Gameplay wise? I think the problems are exaggerated to a large degree, but they do exist. Hopefully Blizzard will fix them soonish.
I absolutely love PLAYERS who convince themselves that the company needs "money to function" and therefore everything they do is fine. This isn't a starving child we are talking about here, they either earn your money or they do not but it is not up to you to keep a company within its profit margin simply because you want to see it succeed. Have a damn spine and be a better consumer, get more for your money instead of saying here just give me less but by all means charge me more.
Isn't "failed to make a good game" enough to call it a failure? Fuck the numbers. Twilight is a failure. Bad movie based on a bad book with bad fans. Failure.
Diablo 3 got me playing WoW again. Pretty sad really!
But its all good
It didn't. I feel that the majority of complaints (not all) come from people who either:
1) Massive WoW fans who got the annual pass and expected a hack and slash mmo with a similar endgame.
2) Diablo 2 players who hyped the game for ten years, they wanted it to revolutionize the game while remaining exactly the same.
I think the game is amazing.
Played Diablo 3 longer than I did Diablo 2 (but Diablo 1 has them both beat... easily. Combined). I was happy with my purchase.
My only complaint was Act 2... whenever I got to Act 2 on any difficulty I'd lose interest for a day or two, but then would come back, marathon my way through the rest of Act 2, and then have a blast in Act 3 (my favorite).
I think that it is missing something to do once you have killed diablo on inferno, I myself have done it once and not tried again. There is no reason to continue playing at the moment unless you count making gold / real money on the auction houses.
I do like the game and i've played over 300 hours but i wish there was something more to do. Since the level cap is low there is no big grind to 99 or public pvp games to waste time in like in diablo 2.