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 sense...at all.]
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.