iRate:- My Issues With Blizzard

Blizzard Entertainment is a fantastic company known for it’s ability to produce well programmed and written titles such as Starcraft, Diablo and the juggernaut that is  World of Warcraft. With over 10 million monthly subscriptions, this is one of the industry’s most successful titles of all time. While I am a fan of their works, I have been left annoyed by their actions of late.My most recent issue comes from the release of Diablo 3, an action role playing game. Anyone who played this game during the first week very likely found that there was no room at the inn, and was confronted with the dreaded Error 37.

Diablo 3 is an incredibly fun game that I enjoyed when I was able to play it, the fact you have to connected to a server just to play the single-player (an activity normally done alone) is really annoying. Especially when you can’t log in because there aren’t enough servers. There’s nothing worse then spending £40 on a game, bringing it home and not being able to play it just because Blizzard didn’t buy enough servers for a game that shouldn’t be online in the first place. Diablo 3 putting the ‘on’ in offline play, even if it makes no sense…at all. [Or: Diablo 3 putting the multi into singleplayer, even if it makes no all.]

But… but… I wanna plaaaay!

This confused me at the time because Blizzard is known for having a high number of servers for their massively popular game World of Warcraft (WoW). It absolutely boggles the mind that a game company so experienced in running a online experience wasn’t ready to receive the millions of players that attempted to play on launch. Due to all copies that were primed to be sold (plus pre-orders) on launch day they should have known roughly how many were going play. Speaking of WoW, on average it pulls in £80 million a month, even after subtracting wages, server maintenance, the hamster food, so they must have plenty of funds left to buy additional servers. Either someone in Blizzard made a big mistake and forget to add an extra 0 on the order form, or having a reduced number of servers was some marketing strategy to increase awareness of the game. Regardless of the reason behind it, both the choice to make this game online and not having the servers to back it up, pissed off millions of gamers who just wanted to play Diablo 3.

Sadly Diablo 3 is not the only title to be affected by Blizzard’s recent action, World of Warcraft has also found ways to annoy me. The Scroll of Resurrection. an item that could be used to ‘resurrect’ a friend’s account for a 30 day period was recently changed to encourage people to use it. The Scroll now gives the sender an exclusive mount  and the receiver the ability to take one of their characters and bring them to level 80 (the current cap is 85). The latter really hurt me as a gamer, I have personally spent nearly a year levelling up my character to level 80 and beyond. But now, with Blizzard handing out this level, all my hard work and the hours I spent playing this game feel completely pointless. Why should I spend all that time levelling up my character when I can just unsubscribe and be ‘rewarded’ with an instant level 80 character?


My second issue with World of Warcraft is the introduction of a new pet the ‘Guardian Club’ which costs roughly £6. This in itself is fine, Blizzard has been selling stuff you can use in-game for quite some time. What makes this different is that you can sell this pet via the in-game Auction House. On my server this pet is sold for around 8,000 to 12,000 gold, which is a quite a lot of money. Even through buying and selling hundreds of items on the auction I struggle to earn this amount in a month of play. Blizzard is giving players an easier less time consuming method of earning in-game money.  Again I feel that all my hard work and all my years of play to earn the gold I have has become completely pointless because Blizzard has made it easier.

I love playing all of Blizzard’s games but, due to their recent actions, I feel unable to enjoy their games as much as I have in the past. Blizzard is coming across as a company that doesn’t truly care about gamers like me. Gamers that enjoy playing the game on launch, that enjoy the journey of levelling, and those that feel pride when they can afford something few others can. Hopefully future decisions made by Blizzard will enable me to love this company again, until then I can’t help but be annoyed at them.

- David Lee
Mightyles (0 Posts)

One of the founding members of and long serving Managing Editor until late 2012 when he left to pursue a career in the games industry.

Mon, July 30 2012 » Articles, iRate

2 Responses

  1. Apricotjelly July 30 2012 @ 7:02 pm

    LOL I don’t even want to start with this article really. The first thing I found hilarious was that it took the guy a year+ to level his character. I’m not even ragging on people that could be new, my friend is as new as they come and it took her a month tops she has a baby and is pregnant lol, even when I was new when the game was more challenging than it might be now it didn’t take that long at all lol.

    If you run enough dungeons and raids, pick up a farming profession and a skill set that produces something valuable and sell-able, + all the quests you ever do then you should be making a hefty chunk of gold (so I guess you camp sw instead of doing something useful).

    While I agree that they could also make long term players seem more important to them because we do play constantly and give them quite a bit of our money, his reasoning’s are as silly as they come.

    I was kind of mad about the ressurect a friend thing too but you know I was happy to be able to give my friend some free time to play because they also got a free 7 days and he has 2 kids and hardly ever gets to spend the money to play the game. It had it’s unfair sides but life is unfair and in my scenario the good outweighed the bad.

    You probably also shouldn’t bitch about people using their own real world currency to pay for something to resell it. They worked harder for the real world currency than you ever could for fake game currency, so really that’s not unfair at all, in my opinion I think it’s stupid to buy the pet to sell it and waste real currency but it’s their money that they earned and I have no say in what they do with it and if they want to use their hard earned money to sell a pet they bought (which has no guarantee of sell) then so be it.

    Lastly, I’m going refer back to your Diablo issues. While I agree they had to have known how many people were anticipating and would play this game and should of accounted for that, one line bothered me. “[Or: Diablo 3 putting the multi into singleplayer, even if it makes no all.]” You’re clearly a moron if you really believe it doesn’t make sense. There are features for the game that require you to be online at all times, thus allowing it to make sense.

    I hate players that just bitch bitch bitch instead of overcome.

  2. gateway4shadow July 31 2012 @ 9:42 am

    While I somewhat agree with the server jams QQ when d3 released, I expected it, so I installed and went to bed, (yay blizzard for making it appealing to go sleep).
    With the scroll of resurrection, yes, this is annoying when noobs end up at lvl 80+ not knowing their class and being completely stupid. In my case, I used this to get my brother back into the game, but he is the type of gamer that actually bothers to learn what they are playing, thus making me feel not so guilty about using this feature.
    The big burn is all the dead/ almost dead wow servers that have craptastic players on them and the lack of any viable way most common players can GTFO these useless servers. 25$ for transfers? 30$ for faction change? No bundling either when you want both feature or a bundle option for bulk discounting on say 5+ toons? REALLY? I honestly want to know what they actually have to do to warrant that amount of money being asked. Honestly, I love my characters so much I want to keep them, instead of lvling new ones ALL THE WAY UP. Yea yea, power level. Ok, but I also work, etc. However 600$ for my toons to transfer+ faction change to a server with raiders that want me there to actually play? Pretty steep. Maybe an option for people who have subscribed for years where their transfers are cheap? Buy 1 get 1? SOMETHING?! But what would I know… of course I too make a ridiculous amount of money from all my world wide subscribers also.
    (I’m currently accepting anonymous checks for large sums of money).

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