Blizzard Admits Diablo 3 Isn’t Sustainable

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.



  1. Evan Hill

    I played through it three times the first week I had it. Haven’t touched it since.

  2. KeiToEverything

    Diablo 3 is the first time I’ve played a game like it, and honestly I find it kind of boring. I’ve just finally gotten a character to Hell within the last 2 weeks. The idea of finding hundreds and hundreds of pieces of loot and having the subsequent playthroughs be asininely hard sounded cool to me, but actually playing it is not as great as I thought. I’m still playing it for whatever reason, but I’ll only play like, an hour or two a day.

  3. Justin

    You know what’s interesting? We’ve changed. The industry has changed. We’ve gone from being content consumers, who are happy with whatever comes out that is of at least moderate quality, to demanding, critical, hardcore gamers that expect the best and expect consistent satisfaction. Once we’ve completed a game, we expect to be fed more. Isn’t this the problem? Our expectations? I hear complaints of “wasted $60”, yet so far I’ve seen people have played it for at least 20 hours total. Isn’t that the typical length for a $60 game? With no replay value? I hear no complaints about those games. Yet here we are, we have an expectation of Blizzard to continually entertain us after the $60 value has been attained, and if we don’t get what we want, we bash them for failing us. Pretty sad if you ask me.

    I miss the days where a game was fun because we weren’t comparing it to other game types and genres, instead we were just content with a quality designed game that provided us appropriate entertainment for the price we’ve paid. Drop your elitist and childish expectations, and just enjoy a game for what it is.

  4. hi everyone – I am new to this site and what got my attention was the google headline about Diablo 3.
    Let me start by saying that I have been and avid Diablo player since the first one came out – and have enjoyed each version in their own right.

    however – yesterday – I decided to abandon the current Diablo 3 game as well as my support of blizzard.

    This is due to several different reasons. But it really just is all summed up to being totally disappointed.

    when I watched the Diablo 3 pre release trailers, the promotions and the reviews – before the game release – I was just estatic and could not wait to get the game 🙂

    however, almost 2 months into the game – what I bought and what I am playing are 2 different things.
    without going into some elongated post of what is all wrong in the game and with the support-
    I will just say that everything that they have done since the release of this game has gone against the player to the point that it is impossible to complete the game.
    Dont get me wrong here – I love a goooood challenge, but there is a difference between a challenge and impossible. I would love to enjoy this game for what it is – except that I do not enjoy being in the middle of a situation without even so much as a sliver of a chance to survive. to me that is just frustration – which I have enough of in my real life (and I didnt have to pay someone to get me that way)

    To further the salt wound – blizzards support and feedback to the community has been without a doubt almost non existent. this is just poor and downright shameful. not to mention the new information of Blizzard Selling. so it looks like to me that they released a game that was not ready -and are packing their suitcases and heading out the door…shame!

  5. Psychonaut

    For someone who spent 500 hours playing D2 your inability to see the differences between the two games and somehow blame the backlash on D3 as lacking content is fairly mind boggling; the complaints about D3 have been far and wide since the release and nearly none of them have had to do with the amount of content.

    D3 is nothing but a dumbed down WoW Diablo hybrid with far too much of what made the previous games great missing with deliberate elements to draw people into the AH and RMHA.

    One recent example of endless good examples of the course D3 has taken.

    I guess this article is just another example of the cowardliness of gaming writers to take Blizzard to the sword over D3, which they rightly deserve, and instead write some dumbed down article telling people there will be great stuff to hang around for (finger down throat).

    • “I guess this article is just another example of the cowardliness of gaming writers to take Blizzard to the sword over D3, which they rightly deserve, and instead write some dumbed down article telling people there will be great stuff to hang around for (finger down throat).”

      If you have ever listen to the podcast, or read pretty much anything else I’ve ever written, you’d know that my cynicism and real-ness are almost too much for any one reader to handle. I have never, nor will I ever, sugar coat anything and the implication that I have some higher authority to please actually sickens me.

      I have played (and am still playing) Diablo 2 and 3 EXTENSIVELY and the amount of content in each is almost identical. Not really sure where this “lack of content” is coming from… Hours of gameplay wise, both games are extremely close. Blizzard has actually encouraged players to experience ALL of that content, rather than just boss running, with their new drop system (which I still think sucks) and the Valor of the Nephalem buff.

      To say its a dumbed down WoW/Diablo hybrid is just ignorant, and makes me wonder if you’ve ever even played WoW or Diablo. Yes the skill trees from Diablo 2 are gone, but the system they are replaced with leaves infinitely more viable builds for characters. No longer will do players need to simply roll a Hammerdin because anything else is inefficient.

      I am still enjoying the hell out of Diablo 3, probably because I’m not one of those whiners who feels the need to compare everything to World of Warcraft and then complain because I’ve just compared everything to World of Warcraft. WoW did a lot of things extremely well and, though I hated the game, to use some of those same great mechanics is how game development works. Onwards and upwards and all that.

      And as for there being a lot to look forward to, the mention of some way of making Diablo’s end game actually sustainable IS something to look forward to. And as someone who enjoyed the hell out of Diablo 2 PvP, I can’t wait to see what that’s going to be like.

      An ending more to your liking might have been, “Well, this game’s real fun but you’d rather be bitter because some fantastical build of the game that existed back in 2008 didn’t come to fruition and no, this game can’t actually cure cancer.”

    • Prof_Hockenberry

      😀 You show im who’s boss Eades!!! 😀

  6. All the people who are enjoying Diablo 3 are too busy playing Diablo 3 to post comments. THIS FEEDBACK IS HORRIBLY SKEWED.

  7. Psychonaut

    Haha the old, “people who are enjoying D3 are too busy playing to post comments”.

    Yes the comments are skewed and filled with bias but I have yet to see anyone argue successfully in favour of the game over the endless flaws that have been well documented, other than, “I like it”, “I am enjoying it”, which in all honesty is fine but it is laughable to say people will deliberately focus on and find these problems simply because of bias or dislike.

    Simply D3 for an ARPG lacks everything it should have for me, farm to progress (at least on some realistic level), useful affixes, usable interesting legendaries, more interesting useful loot items (check out path of exile’s gem system, orb currency system), but most of all customised. Turned out to be nothing but a gear check which lead to the AH systems, Bashiok even stupidly admitted on the D3 forums at one point that this was intended. Seriously how could anyone not see how dumbed down the system and items are to facilitate this? This is where the real problem is for me, pay to win and Blizzard executing a business model.

    If you can not see the influence of the WoW devs then what can I say? We have come a long way from Blizzard North to where we are now and none of the facts around it read pretty. Just compare games like Path of Exile and Grim Dawn as well, people with passion for the genre on next to nothing budges but who know what needs to go into this style of a game; for a company like Blizzard with massive resources and so many years it is hard to comprehend the outcome.

    Sorry if I made any cheap insults and glad to hear you are cynical and keeping it real, the article was just so brief and it looked like a Blizz press release. Maybe read this old post about the history of Blizzard, their merge with Activision and you might have greater concerns about how their games have changed and why,


  8. Hey – here’s someone who enjoys Diablo 3 and will post a comment.

    First things first; Diablo 3 will never be, nor could ever be, Diablo 2. Diablo 2 was just amazing in all of its repetitiveness because I, for one, had never played a game like it before in my life. Level up a single hero [[obvious Paladin]] to make as strong as possible to kill the hordes of Evil for a profit. Pure jubilation when you can 1v1 Hell Baal and get some kid to pay you for it ((better receive it pre-Ancients if it isn’t for his Hellforge!)). Even though you could just make a new character if you screwed up, the fact that you had to place skill points perfectly to be effective made it pretty crazy until the reset patch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m kinda glad the skill tree is gone for several reasons including the fact that you can see an assortment of character builds w/ each class rather than the only difference in classes being an ice/fire/lightning sorc. But still, it just made Diablo 2, well, Diablo 2.

    Now, everyone clings to their concept of Diablo 2 and those feelings they had as a youngster and expect the exact same if not better feeling. Listen, you grew up. You tasted the fruit and it was delicious, now tasting it again isn’t gonna be as good. Gotta still embrace it. Diablo 3 is a fantastic addition to the Diablo family. Although the drop system is FAR from perfect, the fact that there are more “mini-quests” to go to make it all the better. My cousin loves to pull my Final Fantasy move in Diablo (his first time playing any Diablo): explore EVERYTHING. Back in D2, it would be a complete waste of time searching everywhere. Now, it’s worth it a bit more. A BIT – they still have to fix things.

    Now criticisms. The Auction House spoils us. Before, creating games beckoning players to “COME WITH 2xSOJ for SHAKO” or “BUY TAL RASHA FOR 2 SOJ” was a fun ass way of finding gear. You wait for the merchant player to spot your plea, or you spot the merchant player’s, and make your way there for a bid. Player trades were awesome, setting up your shot, seeing what they put and trying to match. Some kids trying to pull the quick one and put an awesome Shako in the slot then quickly replacing it with a normal Shako to see if one was a serious fool or not haha. Back to my point, the Auction House crams ALL of the goods in Diablo 3 world into an easily accessible spot. Sounds great? Kinda.. INFLATION. There is a big difference between players who love the game (3 hours a day maybe more maybe less) to those who ADORE it (5+ hours definitely daily). They pack on gold – what to do with it? Buy gear. Well, you all know how inflation works. Once the mainstream want Critical Hit Damage/Chance + Dexterity on items, it skyrockets prices to match those who never get off. Making it hard for the average player to get great gear. It puts most people in a hole. Thing is, you can still find the random steal. Some disgruntled merchant tired of not selling his gear for 1,000,000 gold puts it to 50,000 with no buyout price.. Now the fun comes. There is always a steal waiting for those who put enough time and effort in.

    I’m gonna cut this complete ramble short. Basically, Diablo 3’s focus on the Auction House could be a great thing had not the obvious signs of inflation taken over. That is why they added the Real Money Auction House to try and reduce inflation. Thing is – no one wants to spend cash really. At least not most people. I don’t blame them. So for now, inflation will dominate the game. I don’t really care much for that. THe steal is always there.. I can dominate Hell and run through Inferno (with a party) for gear I found all together bought for under 750k. Just look around.

    I still enjoy killing the hordes with friends or solo, especially w/ new characters here and there. I look forward to the patches and expansion packs and just want Diablo to include more pixels to travel to with friends in search of glory and riches. I know 95% of this makes no sense but… in the end.. Everyone stop complaining. If you like Diablo 3, play it. It’s fun. If you don’t like it – Don’t play it. There are plenty of console and PC games out there. Peace.

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