I have made a video I think a lot of people will be interested in. It discusses the major flaws that D3 currently faces and how to fix them. We also discuss what features and new things need to be added to the game to make it the amazing game people it was going to be at launch.
If you do not want to watch the video, I have included the full transcript below. And vice verse if you don't want to read this whole thing, the short video is there for you also.
Hey whats up everyone. Let me first preface this video by saying this will probably be unlike my other videos you've probably seem from me so don't be surprised that this dialogue seems rehearsed. I also want to introduce myself to those who may not currently be subscribed to my YouTube channel and are finding this video through other means. My name is GamerLCD and I am a gamer enthusiast, entertainer, and blogger. I started gaming when I was only six years old and have experience in all video game genres specifically RPGS and MMOs.
As I'm sure you guys may have already noticed, this video is going to be all about Diablo III and it's future; specifically speaking of its upcoming expansion and why Diablo III is sill a good game but also fundamentally lacks in three major areas that if fixed could make it a great game. Though I did not play Diablo I and only some of Diablo II which I'm sure i'll receive a lot of flack for, I'm still confident that we can still all agree that it doesn't take a genius nor a game expert to figure out what is wrong with Diablo III.
Now don't get me wrong, I haven't given up on the game and I'm currently still avidly playing it. Otherwise why would I be making this video right? Though many people have moved on to other games (*cough* Path of Exile) and seem to have given up hope for Diablo III, the game continues to surprise its lasting player base with patches that seem to make small improvements to the game to hopefully fix those major issues over time.
Back in early November of 2012 during one of Blizzards quarterly conference calls, Mike Morhaime President of Blizzard Entertainment, revealed that a Diablo III expansion was planned and in the works. No other details were given such as a time frame but if we look back at product slate that was leaked back in 2010 (which at this point has been self proven to be accurate with only 2 small exceptions) a Diablo III expansion was planned for Q2 of 2013. While is is obvious those plans have fallen through due to the multiple delays of the main game it is not so far fetched to expect an announcement for the expansion at this years confirmed 2013 Blizzcon with a release date early in 2014 assuming things go smoothly this time around.
While I am going to try and make this video as short as possible I cannot guarantee very much. Before we actually begin discussing what we would like to see in the expansion, we must first address these fundamentally game breaking issues in the game currently which I mentioned earlier.
NO END GAME
Many games success out there, mainly MMOs and RPGs, are all driven by the amount of content that is available to a player from the time they purchase the game all the way to the time they reach max level inside said game. Flaw #1 in Diablo III was that is possessed little to no end game. When Diablo III first shipped, players were given the option to progress through the short 4 act story line on 4 different difficulties until they they reached max level which was 60 at the time. Once they reached max level they only had one option to continue playing the game and that was to farm those same 4 acts for gear.
This posed a huge problem because there was actually no incentive to do anything else once you obtained any gear you could find which made playing the game virtually pointless. While this issue was address in small patches, players again began to quickly run out of content.
ITEMIZATION & THE AUCTION HOUSE
While I'm sure most of you out there may know, the Diablo games have always been about hours of endless farming in order to obtain the best gear in the game while slaying hordes demons in the progress. Flaw #2 that we saw in Diablo III was that the game's item system was poorly thought out and brought no actual game play to the game. DIablo III faced an issue where virtually every item in the game was useless because later down the road everyone focused on obtaining the same stats which meant everyone was wearing the same gear. At the time it was thought this wouldn't happen because gear stats were randomized based on which piece of gear you found.
The auction house while though to be a great way for players to safely trade items, this system helped further the problem of players always wearing the same gear because only the items people knew would sell at high prices were listed. Blizzard has since agreed that the AH has become a monster that must be stopped and has recently released a new system in their latest update patch, 1.0.7 which introduced a new type of bind on account crafted gear which was intended to help lure people away from the auction house and actually spend time in the game getting their own gear. While not fully fixing the problem I truly believe this was a step in the right direction.
PLAYER BUILD DIVERSITY
When first announced that Diablo III would not adopt the skill tree from Diablo II, a lot of players freaked out and feared that there would be no real way to progress their characters outside of gear. These fears ended up coming to fruition. While Diablo III may be a gear focused game, flaw #3 is that a lack of a skill tree or point system really hurt class development and lead to every players class being the same which the rune system also contributed to.
Diablo III's rune system went through numerous changes throughout the game development and ultimately I feel they went with a "lazy" solution. As you level through the game you earn various runes to add to your abilities which enhance that skill in a particular way. The problem we faced was that every player was picking the same rune for max benefits and saw no real other use for the others. Another problem we saw with the skill and rune system was that there was always a go to ability that was the focus of any particular build. As an example, shortly after the games release barbarians discovered that they could just whirl wind everywhere and kill anything. They could do this buy focusing all of their other skills and runes to help further power their whirl wind ability thus only every using 1 skill in their build. This I feel is not avocation for build diversity and just made it a push 1 button and win game.
FIXING THE GAME
Now that we have addressed the three major problems with Diablo III, we can now actually begin to discuss how we can fix these problems what types of things we want to see in the expansion.
1. We must first admit to ourselves that everyone has their own interpretation of what good end game is and what is enjoyable. We must also admit that PvE content is something that can easily be devoured through quickly and if looked through a developers eyes, it is really almost impossible to keep up with the players the quickly devour content.
Making Diablo III a better has to start at the end game. There is literally many ideas I'm sure we could all come up with but lets start simple. The most simplest and smalls things to do can keep people interested and having fun for hours on end. A lot of people have suggested a survival type mode or an endless dungeon in which players can compete in and always do. A survival style is where a single player or a group would slay hordes of demons that get progressively harder the longer they stay alive. You can compete with friends and try to earn your spot on a leader board. An endless dungeon is exactly what it sounds like. You are a group can immerse yourselves into a never ending dungeon that seems to throw bigger and tougher demons at you the further you progress from the time you first entered. Find how long you can survive but oh wait you may not teleport out. These are examples of just small things people can do that are always available but also never ending fun.
Something I have noticed is that there is really no content in Diablo III currently where a player can just login and enjoy any particular system other than brawling. Other various systems include Uber bosses or crafting exceptional BoA gear, but again these revolve around hours of farming which a casual player might not have time for. This is where those ideas I just mentioned come into play, content for everyone.
2. While we all know players complain about itemization being broken in Diablo III, we must also realize that a major game system such as that can not be easily fixed in a patch but something that will obviously come in a larger update such as this forthcoming expansion.
One of the major problems I mentioned was that every class valued the same pieces of gear equally because of the stat randomization. While I do think the randomization adds value, it needs to be better handled. The stats that everyone looks for are of course there main stat, and the perfect trio which are increased attack speed, critical hit chance, and critical hit damage. I suggest that there needs to be a breaking point were certain stats become devalued past set thresholds, thus allowing classes to focus on other stats than the three that everyone wants. The other big problem we see is that there really isn't a whole lot of gear in the game which again goes back to the problem of everyone wanting the same pieces of gear. In my opinion there should never be a Best in Slot piece of gear in an RPG. There should always be other options for gear that will give you better stats. In other words, add variations of gear into the game that have similar stats but also have stats that set them apart from the others. This accomplishes two things. First it keeps players from hunting the same 1 piece of gear per slot and two it adds diversity so that players are feeling trapped into thinking that this one piece of gear is the only one they will ever want or need.
As far as a skill and rune system, it goes without saying it could definatley see an ajustment or two. Other than paragon levels and gear, we really have no other way to set ourselves apart from others. While I don't begin to understand the process of game development, it is apparent there needs to be alternative ways to add value to a character other than just gear and paragon levels which eventually everyone can obtain anyways. This goes back to a type of skill tree or point system in which a player can specc there character even further past their skill and rune choices. If not implemented correctly though, players might again feel forced to spend such point into areas that always give them the max benefit instead of real hard choices based on what the player wants to accomplish. I hate to use World of Warcraft as an example here because the game a very different, but anyone who has played the game knows that talents have changed and actually involve choice pending on what your character is doing which is a good base to work off of when thinking about character advancement Diablo III.
3. While even Blizzard has admitted that the auction house has not really worked out how they originally planned, I personally think that it is still a worthy game system that should be kept in place as a safe way to sell and buy items to and from other players.
The current way people look at the auction house is like an endless place to always find the best gear whether you use in game gold or real money the end result is always the same. We must find a way to keep players using auction house use to a minimum but also make sure it is still useful. This can easily be solved by making sure the top end tier items in the game can not be found or sold on the auction house, it is that simple. I think that the AH should be viewed as a stepping stone for players to push them further through the game, but not to the point where they don't have to do any real work playing the game. Limit the types of items that can be sold in the auction house so that some players can still find it handy to help them progress through the game, but if they really want to max our there character then they must do it the ol' fashion way.
While we haven't even begun to scratch the surface with ideas for the upcoming expansion, I believe Blizzard has heard a lot of the communities feedback enough to the point where they know what they must do. So before I end this video I would like to talk about a few more ideas which I think could make a great expansion.
1. I've always thought that 5 classes weren't really enough and I was kind of right. There should be at the least 2 more classes added to the game with the expansion. I agree that there is a lot of work that has to be done when creating a new class like making sure it fits the Lore, creating animations for each ability and rune and creating armor sets, but I do truly feel adding any less than two would just feel like a waste.
2. Gems on the other hand need to become more important. Simply being allowed to un-socket and socket gems whenever you feel is kind of a sloppy mechanic. While I'll admit the new marquise gems added in patch 1.0.7 which have a 5 million gold un-socket cost and are account bound are a step in the right direction, we also need to see new gem variants that set classes apart from each other instead of everyone virtually using the same gem based on their gear slot.
3. I'll never understand why gear enchanting never made it into the game to begin with. Enchanting gear has always been an intrical part in becoming that special snowflake in a game. Enchanting and crafting should be something that yes everyone should be allowed to do, but only if they work hard to achievement various things first. Make enchanting and crafting patterns have low drop rates which are account bound. Make people work creating that best possible character they can achieve.
4. I really love followers in Diablo III even though they never shut up. There defantley needs to be more followers added to the game, maybe 3 more; but also, the way followers currently work are just cookie cutter. There are no real options when it comes to them and I personally think they need to be better utilized to players. The way you use your follower shouldn't have to game breaking but they should defiantly matter when it comes to what happens your character overall.
5. Last but not least, and I'm sure you guy were wondering why I haven't mentioned it yet, lets talk about PvP.
While blizzard has stated that they don't want PvP to be balanced or regulated, I'm sure it has come to their attention, that simply just can't happen. For PvP to truly be fun and something people want to do whenever they decide to release it, it must be sanctioned in specially made arenas, have a perk and ranking system and also have pvp gear. I'm sorry to say that there is just no way of getting around it. A good example of this is the brawling system that has been put place in the latest patch. Very few people find it entertaining to be 1 shot over and over again which little to no gear of abilities that help in that regard.
For PvP to truly work, Blizzard must come to the realization that those mechanics must be put in place to provide a good system and people will enjoy.
Well I think I have done enough talking for one day guys and I hope at least some of you have taken something away from this video. Diablo is a great game franchise and Diablo III is not the greatest but has so much potential to be the amazing game people once thought it was going to be. I haven't given up hope and expansion has my hopes up higher than ever before.
My name is GamerLCD and if you enjoyed what you watched today I encourage you to check out the other video content I have on my channel and if you like what you see please feel free to hit the subscribe button for more content like this. If you're are a person who is dedicated to making Diablo III a better game instead of just moving on to another game, also consider sharing this video wherever you can so that Blizzard can see it and react. You may also follow my live streams over at ... and I hope to see you guys again real soon. Once again thanks for watching and I'll see you guys next time.