A Sudden Renewed Interest in Diablo 3

At some point yesterday, this happened:

I… wha… who…?

The real-money AH went Live on Tuesday, but it was not until I went to check on my auctions the next day that I realized it. After collecting my meager sales, I decided to see if the RMAH side of things used the same 10-item limit as the Gold AH. As it turns out, you get a full ten more slots to sell things. So, in the interests of clearing out some Stash space, I tossed 10 items up on there. I let the AH set a default bid/buyout price, which simply appears to be adding a decimal to the vendor price, e.g. something that vendors for 231g becomes $2.31.

…and someone bought the Eviscerator’s Sink.

Blizzard sends you an email too:

Pics or it didn’t hap… oh, wait.

I have no idea what kind of item Eviscerator’s Sink is. My highest-level character is 40, and I technically stopped playing the game a week ago. I vaguely remember the item being in the level ~26 range, which makes the sale all the more bizarre. A quick search of the RMAH shows there are actually quite a few four-digit DPS level 60 items up for $1.25 buyouts (the minimum, netting the seller a whopping $0.25 each). So… was it a misclick? Or did somebody somewhere really want to be awesome for the next two hours?

The title is a bit facetious, although I did experience a brief spell of euphoria. That was quickly dispelled upon the sobering realization that I would have to continue playing Diablo 3. I stopped halfway through Act 2 Nightmare because I had encountered a Whirling Dervish champion pack with Vampirism and Lightning (?) qualities, as a Monk. What ended up happening was I would blow a lot of cooldowns attempting to kill them right away, they would start their Bladestorm-esque attack with a 15-yard range, and by the time I was able to move out of the damage, they had regained all the health they had lost.

Could I have augmented my talent loadout to better combat their abilities? Yes. Could I have simply avoided them? Sure. Could I be bothered to do any of that when I have a perfectly fun Battlefield 3 as an alternative? Hell-to-the-no. I did end up killing that champion pack, but when they dropped garbage rares outclassed by blue items I bought hours earlier, the loot-for-loot’s sake gameplay got suplexed by Final Strawman. Maybe I will return once melee is buffed to actually, you know, be able to reliably stay in melee range when attacking, but the future isn’t looking bright.

For me to pick Diablo 3 back up, I mean. Blizzard already made their $60 + $1 from me, and 3.5 million other people, so no water off their back. Especially not with their gold-plated umbrellas and fancy weather machines.

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Posted on June 15, 2012, in Diablo and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Yeah, life is tough for melee in Act II Infer… wait, you’re talking about Nightmare?

    I’m sorry, but if you can’t kill such a weaksauce affix combination even while wearing AH-bought gear, the problem is purely of L2Play variety. At that points, Monks should be still be in facerolling god mode.

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    • You seem to be confused. “L2P” implies there is a game worth playing.

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      • “I don’t like it, therefore it’s not a real game” was not a convincing argument when Syncaine used it, and it doesn’t sound much better now.

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      • Similarly, a flippant “L2P” remark is not a particularly compelling case to present to someone already not having fun with the game. Besides, did you somehow missing this sentence:

        “Could I have augmented my talent loadout to better combat their abilities? Yes.”

        I was already running on fumes by that point; the most entertaining part of the gameplay being how long I could keep Sweeping Wind going. And I knew that minigame was inevitably doomed by virtue of the forums and Youtube and Blue posts – it was only a matter of when. Act II Nightmare was earlier than I expected (hence why I killed them first), but it seemed just as well.

        If you somehow believe that I would have more fun by L2Ping better, I’m afraid that you have the causation backwards.

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      • Ephemeron is doing you a favor though. You don’t like this game, and you probably won’t like it even if you can make a few bucks with the RMAH.

        You don’t include the stats of the item just that it was low level. It doesn’t tell me much, especially not right after launch when prices are insane (good time to sell though).

        “Although, I don’t think I ever bothered with the same character past Nightmare back then either. Start new class, beat game, start another class/same class with different talent path.”

        From our GW2 discussion it appears to me that -for whatever reason- you don’t like to be challenged and judge quickly upon which you quit without trying out all the options available for you.

        Remember, “Winners never quit, quitters never win. […]”

        I don’t mind your decision; I mind that every time (in the case of D3 and GW2 at least) you keep sharing your clouded judgement with unrealistic assurance while not including the whole story.

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      • From our GW2 discussion it appears to me that -for whatever reason- you don’t like to be challenged and judge quickly upon which you quit without trying out all the options available for you.

        It could not possibly be anything wrong with the games, or the type of challenge being presented, could it? Or that I find the underlying gameplay boring in D3’s case, and making boring gameplay more difficult simply makes something difficult and boring?

        I am not interested in proving to you I enjoy challenging games, so you will have to accept that on face value or not. Suffice it to say, challenge by itself means nothing to me; challenge is what maintains a constant level of fun (which naturally diminishes over time) that you are already having with the game.

        I don’t mind your decision; I mind that every time (in the case of D3 and GW2 at least) you keep sharing your clouded judgement with unrealistic assurance while not including the whole story.

        And what, exactly, would the “whole story” consist of? I am writing about my impressions and experiences with these games. I would love to be having more fun with both – I payed $60 for each one, for Christ’s sake – but I see zero reason pussyfoot around the negatives I experience. If you want to read only cheer-leading articles, there are plenty of other blogs available.

        Or, you know, start your own blog.

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  2. Maybe this just isn’t your kind of game…

    It’s not just you, I’ve seen a lot of people complain that they don’t get good loot. It’s like after 12 years everyone forgot what Diablo is actually like.

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    • Twelve years ago, I was not more excited to browse the AH than identify new magic items. Twelve years ago, I equipped more than ~6 items across 30 levels I found off the ground. When I see yellow text today, my only concern is whether it has good enough stats to sell – I have zero faith or expectation that I will actually use the item at all.

      If anyone forgot what Diablo is actually like, it’s Blizzard themselves.

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      • “When I see yellow text today, my only concern is whether it has good enough stats to sell – I have zero faith or expectation that I will actually use the item at all.”

        I played D2 as recently as last year. When I saw yellow text, I didn’t even bother picking it up unless it was an amulet or ring. It was gold or go home.

        Yes, people have forgotten all of this.

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      • We must have played D2 very differently.

        Although, I don’t think I ever bothered with the same character past Nightmare back then either. Start new class, beat game, start another class/same class with different talent path.

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      • Yes, if you didn’t go past NM you could almost use whatever. Normal rares were even better than normal uniques, though NM uniques were improved. NM act 4 and 5 turned up the heat, but in a ‘challenging’ sort of way rather than the uber-cheapness of Hell. I remember thinking back in one of my Hell games…maybe the 25th attempt on my sorceress against Hell Ancients…that Hell really wasn’t that much fun to go through.

        The point about talent paths is interesting–it comes up on the official forums too vis-a-vis replay value. D2 skills were of course permanent, and it makes me wonder if contra Blizzard, people do need a way to screw up their characters permanently to make them feel like they did something right when they avert that.

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      • Although it pains me to imagine that I secretly want permanent talent trees, I think the difference between D2 and D3 talent-wise is that D2 simply had more interesting talents. On the Monk, I enjoyed Fists of Thunder (Thunderclap), Swirling Winds and… Seven-Sided Strike? Conversely, I remember taking three different druids, two Necromancers, and two Assassins through the game. I think my last character was a paladin who just stacked points in that damaging aura field, which is sort of what I replicated with my Monk via Swirling Winds.

        I dunno. Maybe it is a time and a place thing.

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  3. Could I be bothered to do any of that when I have a perfectly fun Battlefield 3 as an alternative?

    This is something of an important point which seems to be often overlooked by game designers. The market has changed, the offer is ENORMOUS. Alt-F4 + click another icon does not take that long…..

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  4. “And I knew that minigame was inevitably doomed by virtue of the forums and Youtube and Blue posts – it was only a matter of when.”

    I think I’ve put my finger on the problem that prevents you from enjoying D3.

    While I don’t fully agree with Raph Koster’s famous Theory of Fun, it had a kernel of truth in it. Learning new things may not be the total equivalent of fun in videogames, but it is undeniably an important aspect thereof. And one of the most surefire way to prevent yourself from learning (and thus deny yourself the fun) is to go into the game with an ironclad conviction that you already know everything there is to know.

    If you “already know” that all drops are going to suck and mindlessly sell them, you miss out on the delight of discovering an unexpected gift from RNG. If you “already know” that melee is utterly broken, you miss out on the fun of experimenting with your abilities and finding new unexpected uses for them. If you “already know” that your Diablo III experience is going to suck, and treat it as an unpleasant chore (“only three flaws left to confirm on my checklist, and then I can go play BF3!”), it will become one.

    Note that this applies to any game, not just D3. For example, if I decide to play the aforementioned BF3, my experience will be much better if I just install it, start playing and learn as I go, as compared to first soaking my brain in forum/blog QQ about weapon balance, vehicle balance, bugged features and the inevitable death of FPS genre. Likewise, the best way to enjoy D3 is to open your mind and play without [i]a priori[/i] judgments.

    With that in mind, I would like to recall my prior L2Play advice, and advise you to Play2Learn instead.

    “Could I have augmented my talent loadout to better combat their abilities? Yes.”

    Yes, you could, and you should have! At that point, you don’t have to worry about Nephalem Valor stacks or repair costs, so you can afford to tinker and experiment with your abilities as much as you want. Discovering that a skill or rune that you’ve originally dismissed as boring or redundant has unexpected value is both fun and rewarding. Every class has a fantastic toolbox of versatile abilities, and Monk is no exception.

    For example, you can find out that Crippling Wave (Mangle) will demolish that Vampiric-Electrified pack that was taking forever to die (because Electrified take reduced damage from all Lightning-based attacks, including Fists of Thunder). Or that both Dashing Strike and Tempest Rush can break Jailer cages. Or that Cyclone Strike can be used as a long-range AoE interrupt. Or that you can chain Serenity, Blinding Flash and Breath for long enough to burn down that Dervish pack without having to step out of their AoE. Or that Seven-Sided Strike gives you just enough invulnerability frames to let an Arcane Enchanted beam of death pass through your character without harming him or her – and with the rune that increases the number of strikes to 9, you can also use it for certain boss abilities. Or that Fire Ally is immune to damage from Molten and Fire Chains effects. Et cetera.

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    • If you “already know” that all drops are going to suck and mindlessly sell them, you miss out on the delight of discovering an unexpected gift from RNG. If you “already know” that melee is utterly broken, you miss out on the fun of experimenting with your abilities and finding new unexpected uses for them. If you “already know” that your Diablo III experience is going to suck, and treat it as an unpleasant chore (“only three flaws left to confirm on my checklist, and then I can go play BF3!”), it will become one.

      Under normal circumstances, I would agree with all that. However, I did not come in with preconceived notions of, for example, 10+ hours with no useful gear drops; that was something I learned (!) through experience. While I do derive some form of pleasure from upgrades from the AH, there is a disconnect between the inputs – there is no slot machine pull during regular gameplay, making the killing of mobs to be a chore instead of a source of potential gain.

      Similarly, I did not start out with the idea that Monks were going to suck in the endgame. I only looked into the crystal ball once I started already not having fun early in the game. The knowing of what was coming didn’t spoil anything other than my hopes that the game would improve (much like shaman and paladins in TBC leveling).

      With that in mind, I would like to recall my prior L2Play advice, and advise you to Play2Learn instead.

      I agree with you that “Discovering that a [skill] or [rune] that you’ve originally dismissed as boring or redundant has unexpected value is both fun and rewarding.” But that fun and rewarding discovery experience can be found in any game. In fact, I just had that experience in Battlefield 3 when I was fulfilling Assignments (aka Achievements): I didn’t like the Bipod weapon mod… until I realized I could use it on the edge of windows while standing, or crouched behind some cover, instead of just while laying prone. Now I’m running around as the Support class with a heavy machine gun – a gun I previously hated for its lack of close-range stopping power – and having a blast setting up kill zones.

      Or to use a more applicable example, my recent experiences with Frozen Synapse. I hated that game, until it all clicked. Seem similar to what would happen with Diablo 3? At first glance, sure. But I found the gameplay in Frozen Synapse passibly fun already, up until it seemed the computer “cheated.” When I understood what was really going on, the game blossomed like a flower.

      What is going to happen in D3 when I follow all of your well-written advice? I will breeze through champion packs and… still be bored. Reacting to different affixes constitutes a challenge, but I still lack the motivation to care. Challenge for challenge’s sake, or loot for loot’s sake doesn’t work for me anymore. The moment-to-moment gameplay has to be fun too. And it’s not, for me.
      ______

      Just for giggles though, I logged on today and gained two more levels, bringing me to 42. I would not have much hope that a goal of getting to 60/Inferno will have sufficient momentum, but I have been surprised before. Besides, if nothing else, I will be able bring more personal experience into my inevitable review.

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  5. Now that my DH is in Hell, I can see the basis for some of the complaints. The issue I’m running into is that champion packs just take too long to kill, due to excessive health. A normal mob has 10k health, say. A champion will then have 60k and an elite 150k, with minions having around 40k or so IIRC. My character sheet dps is 4k, so even if i sit and attack constantly with regular attack it is going to take more than 30 seconds to kill that elite. And of course I am not just sitting there, but kiting.

    I can beat these packs, but it takes so long and the reward is so variable that often I wonder if I should even bother. Waller is the worst on an elite mob…whether i die or not is pretty much up to whether i have smokescreen available. Champion wallers aren’t as bad because they don’t box you in. Mortar is bad as well, because it doesn’t fire at my position but rather seems to just fire in my general direction, meaning I end up running into a barrage while kiting. If it is something like waller mortar extra health I am just going to skip it, and invulnerable minions and shielding drive me nuts.

    It would feel much better if minions had 2x normal health, champions 3x, and elites 5x. D2 had some elites that took forever to kill, but this was usually due to crazy resistance combos rather than a ton of health.

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