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.


14 Responses to “Diablo 3 cult game status revoked”


  1. 1 HorstSchlemmer Oct 24th, 2011 at 6:29 am

    The reasoning behind skill swapping only in town is that you could otherwise swap your skills endlessly even while you’re in combat. There wouldn’t be any character builds if it was allowed to swap everywhere.

  2. 2 Karl Oct 24th, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Good point, i just hope it will be well worth it with its gameplay and quests to keep us interested. Mabey they should make a visual feature to where it can look either demonic or wow graphics. Either way I will be waiting for it to arrive.

  3. 3 nycplayboy78 Oct 24th, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Agree with you 150%….Diablo 3 will be the last Diablo game that I buy. I am looking forward to Torchlight 2 and Skyrim and Guild Wars 2. Diablo and StarCraft where my first PC games that I purchased back in 1997 and I have been in love with the RPG genre ever since. Yes I do hold a special place in my heart for both Diablo and StarCraft…SIGH!!!

  4. 4 Erik Oct 24th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    … funny thing is how wrong you are in some of this, to be honest. Let me explain.

    1. Mists of Pandaria have bin in the lore for awhile now as I’ve heard and it was expected.

    2. Skill swapping in town makes a lot of sense, if you want to keep some diversity while lvling, what’s the fun in being able to spam as many different skills as you want all the time, instead of making choices that will affect gameplay(ah yes it makes a lot sense from a developer side)

    3. Instantly respawning? or a wait time then respawn, whats the fun in being dead the whole time and waiting for a 5-10min game to end(doesn’t make any sense).

    4. The light radius removed? I’m pretty sure they never said that, there is still a fog of war, so maybe a stat that improves light radius was removed?(who cares, it only give you a foot of more vision that didn’t matter at all). Also fog of war was only removed for in town… which makes sense.(It was in the Q&A)

    5. Publicity is a good thing, facebook is the biggest social site. More publicity = more sales, more sales = more content for a game.

    6. Same as above.

  5. 5 Stalkerous Oct 24th, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I have to fully agree with you. Since D3 was announce, especially the monk class. Every other MMORPG game out there started to make Monk classes, what is going on in the gaming community these days companies are just giving in to these little kids that are crying that the games are too hard to play, WELL GET OVER IT. Game should never be easy to play, especially RPG’s.

    Also, when I hear about this new WoW expansion and the promotion I was like “are you joking me” you could just go to the store and buy the collectors edition of D3 and the expansion of WoW instead of spending double the money and feeding Blizzard for 12 month. What are the gaming industries aiming for in the future? Little kids(teenagers). I’t going to be hell, if all this continues.

  6. 6 Diablo Oct 25th, 2011 at 7:02 am

    @Erik

    My point is that Blizzard no longer caters to hardcore gamers. They will take your money, make no mistake about it. But they don’t like nerds anymore.

    You can interpret the individual facts any way you want, as you are entitled to an opinion of course. However, do me a favor and google “Kung Fu Panda”. Now go to Mists of Pandaria microsite. List 10 differences between the two.

    If you can’t, it means that Kung Fu Panda and WoW now share the same audience. I am not in that audience… maybe when I have kids I will go back to it. Peace.

    P.S. I am not even going to argue who stole which from who, though Blizzard’s title comes 3 years after Kung Fu Panda.

  7. 7 Diablo Oct 25th, 2011 at 7:48 am

    @Horst

    Blizzard has stated that they restricted the swapping of skills because the interface was too clunky to use while in combat. So to save you the pain of looking at this interface, they only allow you to use it in town.

    I call this bullshit. I think the REAL reason we will be restricted to 2 skills is… Diablo 3 on consoles.

    Yes, Blizzard have been silent about it. When asked they say “no comment” and then ask if any console developers are listening to come join “the greatest video game company in the world” (exact quote).

    I imagine that the Diablo 3 will have 2 spammable skills on hot keys because that’s what you have on consoles. Case in point: Skyrim.

  8. 8 Diablo 3 Rocks Nov 3rd, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I don’t see how Diablo 3 is NOT a cult game anymore? Has anyone of you played it already?

    I’ve played 3 days straight, ok with a few breaks to get some food into me :) But this game rocks, and it def. is a cult game, still.

  9. 9 Kevin Nov 5th, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    You guys are looking at this the wrong way.

    Im sick of playing console-built games on PC, which is basically every game these days. They have no depth whatsoever. Battlefield 2 – Tribes2 – Half-life Series – Warcraft – Starcraft – Diablo – Age of Empires 2 ….those are the games I miss. Out of all of the early epics – blizzard is on of the only companys left making anything worth a shit. We should be thanking them. At the rate PC companies are selling out we should support what we have.

  10. 10 Diablo Nov 7th, 2011 at 2:41 am

    @Kevin You were right about Blizzard being one of the few PC-only game companies left. However, you can see that they’ve been moving in the direction of easier games – more accessible, more cartoony, etc.

  11. 11 Lost Nov 7th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    @Diablo
    1. Mists of Pandaria is announced 3 years after Kung-Fu Panda, and 8 years since its 2003 release of WC3: The Frozen Throne, which included the Pandaren Brewmaster, an interesting and highly-loved character concept. The pandaren actually play a role in the lore, so it makes a lot of sense to introduce them.
    2. I agree that this game is really dumbed down from D2. I really, really loved Diablo 2, not only because of its innate difficulty of playing alone (I especially loved Hardcore for this reason) and the difficulty in leveling and generating a character that /worked/. If you screwed up, it was back to the drawing board (until a recent patch, which gives you 3 tries). This forced a player to make more than one of a class to get different roles and added infinite complexity. I feel like D3 has lost a LOT of its complexity that was present in Diablo 1 and 2.
    3. Despite my agreeing that it is no longer a cult game, I appreciate the changes. This is a totally new game, just as D2 was totally different from D1. It is a breath of fresh air that I can appreciate after a long, 12 years of D2, and 14 years of D1. The graphics are beautiful, the classes are engaging, and blizzard has upped its game. This won’t be a clone of D2 with increased graphics, its a NEW GAME, which I love the sound of. This isn’t Fate, this isn’t Torchlight, this is DIABLO III.
    4. Most importantly, I have NOT lost my faith in Blizzard. They are the ONLY company I can trust to come up with revolutionary, engaging games for the PC that have a great amount of depth. Example, following the lore of Starcraft->Brood War->SC2 left me feeling fantastic as I watched Kerrigan and Jim Raynor in the final moments of the game after a playthough. And thats just the Campaign. What Blizzard does on Multiplayer… Goddamn they have some geniuses over there. They’re the only ones to balance a 3 and 4 race RTS (SC and WC3) properly, they have the best dungeon crawling RPG of all time (Diablo), and an enjoyable MMORPG (albeit easy, the game is fun to play for all ages, I’ve even played with my father, and raiding is still intense).
    5. Don’t you dare compare Blizzard to any other gaming company. They have never truly failed their fanbase/playerbase to any extreme. All of their games are good and successful with good reason. One patch of WoW does not ruin the game, I’m sorry. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t make the game more interesting/fun. Just because they nerfed your pally and buffed an arcane mage doesnt mean they’re idiots, it means they are adding variety.
    6. Diablo 3 doesn’t look cartoony at all to me, and the game physics look exciting. I like watching things fly in the air and slide across the ground, mangled and broken as my barbarian leaps 15 feet into the air onto their skulls. In Diablo 2, you’d hear an “umph” sound and the monster would slide back a foot without falling. It’s a change for the better.
    7. I’m uneasy about this “console” idea, however, in regards to the store, it may put other items in the market/economy. Also, us PC gamers will benefit greatly gameplay-wise. The hardcore fans will play PC, the idiots will play PS3 or XBox. Look at TF2 for XBox vs. PC. It sucks on XBox, is WAY better on PC.

  12. 12 lex Nov 13th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    pandas was all ready there back in TFT WC3 so no its not an inspiration from kung fu panda or some other cartoon..

  13. 13 Diablo Nov 14th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    @lex
    The point is that the artwork of the movie and the new expansion signal a shift in terms of core audience for Blizzard.

    Of course, pandas have existed for millions of years prior to their image being commercialized.

  14. 14 Ben Dec 15th, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Wow. Where to start.

    You’re the one that’s changing : not Blizzard. Blizzard games have ALWAYS been very mass market. Diablo is a game even my girlfriend played, and liked, and got addicted to, and she’s not a gamer. I have countless other concrete examples.

    Blizzard games have always sold millions of copies. The Warcraft brand was always cartoony and filled with humour.

    Teenagers have always been playing Diablo. Your problem is that you’re growing up, and you don’t understand why kids enjoy the exact same game YOU enjoy now that you’re not a kid anymore.

    Any changes Blizzard makes to the game, they make for the sake of fun and enjoyability, just like they’ve always did.

    You’ll get over it. I came over here hoping to find decent information about the D3 Beta, instead I have an angst-filled early adult who decent yet understand the world around him. You’ll figure it out soon, I’ll be going to some other website in the meantime.

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