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THESE ARE THE ISSUES Blizzard DOES NOT WANT YOU TO TALK ABOUT
on 25 March 2014
If paying for a small DLC (which adds a single character, 2 hours of gameplay and randomized dungeons - unrelated to the story), the same amount the money you would for a complete full-priced game makes sense to you, kindly stop here. This review is not for you. In any other case, please read on.
TOO LITTLE. TOO LAME. TOO EXPENSIVE.
Charging 66% of the original game's price for only 20% of extra content is disgustingly greedy. This is not an expansion in any sense of the word. It is an overpriced DLC - and a small one at that.
Are we paying for BLIZZARD to fix their game(!) or do we need to pay as much as a premium game to get randomized dungeons in a game that was way too short to begin with?
And, they are not fooling anyone, the Crusader is basically the Paladin (the most popular hero choice in D2) that was withheld and replaced with the Witch Doctor only to be the selling point of the first DLC. Does this mean we can expect the next £30 expansion to include an Assassin and then yet another £30 will give us the Druid? With these people at the helm of BLIZZARD there seems to be no low they will not stoop to.
TAKING AWAY THE AUCTION HOUSE WAS A LICKISH MOVE
Let me make this as clear as possible: the problem was NOT the Auction House. Some people liked it, others ignored it, me, I found it a brilliant idea. In fact, I have had more fun in the Auction House than in the game itself.
The problem was the drop rates of Legendaries. The entire game was designed in such a way as to ensure that it was unbeatable unless you payed real money to buy virtual gold from BLIZZARD's Gold sellers (remember all those PVPbank "friend requests"? guess what!). After Hell level (and especially true for Inferno) it was impossible to survive long enough without full sets of powerful Legendary items. BLIZZARD made sure to keep the drop rates of Legendaries into the infinitesimal (a single drop after a complete playthrough. If you were lucky). Even at those small drop rates, it was still very unlikely to get a Legendary with useful attributes and stats! What is the use of a +300 Intelligence Manticore when high level wizards are useless with crossbows? Hence the need for you to keep visiting the Auction House - where the prices were always kept super-inflated. Hence the need for you to pay real money to buy millions of virtual gold.
So, if they were able to milk their own customers for more money, why did they yank it out? Because, once the number of people playing the game dropped dramatically, it got too expensive for them to operate. At the same time, the class-action suits were amassing like a storm. More and more people lost great amounts of real money to Auction House "glitches", mostly after selling items - and the lawsuits kept coming in, one after another.
So, no, they did not do us any favors. And no one believes them when they claim to have decided to remove the Auction House because "it was hurting the enjoyment of the game". They just decided to take away a major feature the original game was sold with, just to stop losing some money.
You still think they "listened to their customers"? Please read on.
WHY IS THIS GAME STILL ONLINE ONLY?
After 2 years the verdict is out and it is definite: BLIZZARD cannot run enough stable servers to properly support a popular always-online game. Or they are not willing to unless they charge you a monthly fee like they do with WoW. In any case, their servers are fickle as ever, prone to loose connection at any time, in need of weekly day-long maintenance and always ready to kick you out if you leave the game to take a break longer than 5 minutes.
Have you ever lost a legendary because the servers hiccuped just after it dropped, not allowing you to pickup or open anything?
Have you ever had a Level-60/Paragon-50 Hardcore character die because of a usual server lag?
How about having to start over an area (missing on that random spawning of a rare event), just because the servers lost it once again? Yes, I am sure you know what I am talking about.
So, now that the Auction House is no more, what is the excuse for not making private/Single-player games free of any need of an online connection? None!
The game takes up 15GB of our HDD. Are they going to lie to us all (like EA did with The SimCity) that it cannot run offline for private/Single-player games?
THE FORCED PATCH (Loot2.0) WAS AN INSULT TO ITS CUSTOMERS
Without warning,a about two months ago, BLIZZARD forced the Loot2.0 patch on all of us. This is what this much praised by the usual company shills patch did: it made sure that every single hour you had spend on the game up to then was utterly wasted!
Did you grind for hours to get Legendary items (or, even worse, did you pay real money to buy gold and then buy them from the Auction House)? Well, you wasted your time (and money). Those Legendary items were now insultingly weak, much weaker than Rare (yellow) items.
Did you make endless runs of the same areas, again and again (the infamous Alkaizer grind), to bring all of your heroes up to Paragon 100? You guessed it, you wasted your time. Now Paragon levels are shared between all of your characters.
Any time you sunk into the game prior to the Loot2.0-Patch was now very much wasted. So why would anyone trust BLIZZARD ever again and play any more D3? Next time they want to release their next DLC, they will not hesitate, once more, to render all of your time spend in the game totally wasted.
Replay Diablo II or Titan Quest. They are complete games.
Play Torchlight 2. It is an honest game.
Play Path of Exile. It is the game D3 was not - and it is free on STEAM.
Or wait for Grim Dawn.