Blizzard Admits Diablo 3 Isn’t Sustainable
While Diablo 3 has an end-game that certainly involves more than its predecessor, Blizzard admits it still isn’t enough to keep today’s players engaged.
For anyone who has played (or still is playing) Diablo 3 (or 2 for that matter) you know that both games consist of an extremely small feedback loop of content. Diablo’s appeal has always been loot and the only way to find the best of that loot is to run a few small pieces of content over and over and over again, each time hoping for good drops. That’s been the formula for the last eleven years and, for me at least, it worked pretty effectively. Having put somewhere around 500 hours into Diablo 2, at no point did I worry about why I was obsessing over collecting the best gear. In those days you couldn’t even sell it on an auction house. You just wanted it… well… because you wanted it, and that was enough.
For players in current times, though, that apparently isn’t enough and Blizzard recognizes that.
In a post on the Diablo 3 forums the Blizzard community manager spoke up, saying:
We recognize that the item hunt is just not enough for a long-term sustainable end-game. There are still tons of people playing every day and week, and playing a lot, but eventually they’re going to run out of stuff to do (if they haven’t already). Killing enemies and finding items is a lot of fun, and we think we have a lot of the systems surrounding that right, or at least on the right path with a few corrections and tweaks. But honestly Diablo III is not World of Warcraft. We aren’t going to be able to pump out tons of new systems and content every couple months. There needs to be something else that keeps people engaged, and we know it’s not there right now.
We’re working toward 1.0.4, which we’re really trying to pack with as many fixes and changes we can to help you guys out (and we’ll have a bunch of articles posted with all the details as we get closer), and we’re of course working on 1.1 with PvP arenas. I think both those patches will do a lot to give people things to do, and get them excited about playing, but they’re not going to be a real end-game solution, at least not what we would expect out of a proper end-game. We have some ideas for progression systems, but honestly it’s a huge feature if we want to try to do it right, and not something we could envision being possible until well after 1.1 which it itself still a ways out.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something has defiantly defiantly changed between Diablo 2 and 3. All the hallmarks of the classic Diablo formula are still there, but for some reason it just doesn’t seem to grab people like before.
With PvP and “changes” still on the game’s horizon there’s still loads of content to stick around for. Blizzard has always been great about supporting their games post launch and they aren’t afraid to implement radical changes. Today’s Diablo 3 will probably be very different than Diablo 3 six months from now. The lingering question is whether the masses will still be playing it when the eventual changes hit.