Archive for October, 2011

Diablo 3 cult game status revoked

Looking at the coverage from Blizzcon 2011, I had a sudden realization: Blizzard cannot survive on cult games any more, they need blockbusters!

With the wild success of World of Warcraft, Blizzard has turned from a company specializing in cult games for hardcore gamers to a generic game company producing for the average Joe.

It’s just like a Porsche that’s been made into a sedan and fitted with a 1.6 liter engine. Average Joe is more than happy by the fact he’s driving a Porsche but to anyone who has driven a Porsche from 10 years back, this new thing looks like an abomination.

It’s not like Blizzard has a choice in the matter now. Ever since they married Activision, it was all about mainstream success and blockbuster titles. They simply cannot go back.

Listen to a list of random updates from Blizzcon:

  • New WoW expansion called Mists of Pandaria!
  • – Is it possible to make WoW more cartoony and animaly than already is? Looking at the trailer, the answer is an emphatic YES.

  • Mists of Pandaria will allow pets to fight pets
  • – the only question is when POKEMON is going to sue them.

  • Diablo 3 will allow skill swapping only in town
  • – noobs have a problem switching between skills, so everyone will now spam just two skills the whole game?

  • Diablo 3 PVP will have endless re-spawning
  • – qq much?

  • Diablo 3 light radius removed
  • – is darkness too scary for new players?

  • Diablo 3 beta keys rewarded for Facebook likes
  • – also for email collection on a massive scale (over 1,400,000 likes compared to 400,000 a month ago)

  • Marketing gimmicks
  • – buy 12 months of WoW and get Diablo 3. Or buy Diablo 3 and get the next WoW expansion free. Welcome to our cross-promotions!

Does that mean we won’t enjoy the new 1.6 liter Porsche… I mean Diablo 3? Well, I certainly hope it is as good as a Porsche 911 (Diablo 2) but I doubt it will have the cult appeal of the classic. It is not so much about the game itself but about the people who will play it… teenagers who failed Angry Birds on their iPhone and are looking for something prettier and easier.


Update: It’s obvious WoW wants to ride the Kung Fu Panda wave of the future.

Diablo 3 Chinese players OP

There has been a lot of argument about the new Diablo 3 Auction House and the fact that you can purchase items of real money.

People who have played World of Warcraft (or any other recent MMO) have warned against Chinese players (a.k.a. farmers) who would relentlessly kill bosses in order to get money for the hours they put in the game.

Other have claimed it will be a level playing field with players from all over the world being able to LIVE off Diablo 3 (ridiculous, I know).

This argument has just been settled with the video of a Chinese beta tester killing the Skeleton King in 3 seconds. Combat starts at 22 seconds, don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

2000 beta keys for Diablo 3

Now, if you are ready to kill for your chance to join the Diablo 3 beta, here’s your chance!

To make sure you get one of the 2,000 beta keys that Blizzard is giving away, you only need to kill the 998,000 OTHER participants in Blizzard’s special Facebook sweepstake!

However, before you rush on to your bloody hack-and-slash adventure, be sure to approve the Facebook app and then fill in your details. I’m not sure WHY you need to fill in details considering the app itself pulls them off Facebook but what the heck.

Here’s what Blizzard said about the Beta key sweepstakes:

Want to lead the charge against the minions of the Burning Hells before the game releases? Then join the fight for the fate of Sanctuary by entering the Diablo III Beta Key Sweepstakes!

Starting October 17, we’ll be randomly selecting 200 winners each week to receive a key to our exclusive Diablo III beta test. In addition, every fourth winner chosen will receive a second key to share with a friend! Drawings will occur every Monday for eight weeks for a total 2,000 keys.

Interested? Good! Signing up is easy. Simply follow Diablo on Facebook and complete our official entry form between now and December 12 for your chance to win. For more information about how to participate, check out the sweepstakes rules and eligibility page. Good luck!

So the beta will run at least till after Christmas, if Blizzard is announcing the winners on December 12.

Diablo 3 moon physics

Playing the Diablo 3 beta for hours, one gets used to the unrealistic physics effects.

Now Blizzard claims these are totally intentional and not an accident:

It is absolutely intentional that the barbarian’s skills have crazier impact physics than other classes, because we think that fits with the visual and feel of the character – huge impactful strikes that send dudes flying, whereas the monk might be more of a ‘thousand cuts’ kind of fighter.

I think this in line with the overall cartoony art direction of Diablo 3. While Diablo 2 had a real sense of Gothic horror (as did the original Diablo), the new game is targeted at a wider audience and the horror theme is not so much a theme as a “flavor”. It is present in the monsters and in the storyline but not in the overall look and feel.

Here’s a video that demonstrates the “moon” physics so you can judge for yourself:




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