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Ajora

Diablo Immortal

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On 11/6/2018 at 4:45 AM, ETTiNGRiNDER said:

And I always thought people already considered the Diablo franchise to be dead and buried after how Diablo 3 also got massively negative reception.  Or has that been forgotten about already?

Diablo 3 sold like crazy and did not get bad reviews. It was a fun game for was it was and mostly the nerds wanting a 1000-hour grindcore experience were the ones complaining. I also made like $400 selling off my junk on the RMAH, so call me a happy customer. :P

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Diablo 3 was degrade in series. Diablo II have incredible replayability value, multiplayer. Also it does not look like paint book or require 24/7 internet like D3.

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That Ouya boxart is gold Almost as hilarious as seeing the insaniac blue-tick internet mind-readers try to run defence for a multi-billion-dollar corporation.

 

Cards on the table, I'm not really a massive Diablo fan, but I personally am sick, sore and tired of seeing beloved franchises get shafted by greed. C&C, and now this. No, it is NOT time for gamers to take mobile seriously as a platform, regardless of how the major pubs try to spin it. It's not about processing power and it sure as all the fuck in the universe is not about how many women play on that platform either. It is about unwieldy controls covering a tiny screen which I for one can barely make out at the best of times, but most of all it is about lazy cash-grab titles designed SOLELY to milk every last penny from players via in-app puchases.

 

You know, I laughed my ass off when I saw that article claiming that the Blizzcon demo build was actually fun and that anyone who dissented was a "pathetic manbaby" or whatever. Let's consider this - the demo may well have been fun to play, but a demo build isn't going to have the paywalls or the artificially extended grind, is it? More likely, progression will be accelerated, and that's even if the characters aren't straight up buffed from the outset. Anything we hear about the game before it hits is meaningless, because in all likelihood only the privileged few with the requisite access will ever get to play the "good" version of the game. And maybe convention attendees, although judging by the photos, if you wanted to try Immortal for yourself, you didn't have to wait too long.

 

Some games work on mobile. You know what I play on my phone? DoDonPachi Daifukkatsu. But even that had to have its control scheme nerfed to account for the lack of real buttons. So no, I will NEVER take mobile seriously as a gaming platform. Not while the App and Play Stores are clogged up with F2P P2W tripe that is designed purely to psychologically pummel me into submission and make me hand over my debit card.

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A lot of journalists seem to be spinning this (rightly justified IMO) outrage as a combination of sexism and gaming elitism. I myself have nothing against phones as gaming devices, nor do I have anything against casual games. In fact, there was a period of my life (maybe 6 years ago) where for a little over a year I played almost nothing but casual games on my iPhone. Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja, Ziggurat, and Hook Worlds are all well designed, challenging and highly enjoyable games.

 

But a game like Diablo lends itself best to a computer and keyboard configuration. Playing a game like Diablo on a tiny screen, with a cramped touch-screen interface is highly unintuitive, and ultimately dilutes the experience. Wyatt Cheng from what I hear is a nice person, but I have a hard time believing him when he said that the developers themselves wanted to design the new Diablo title for mobile devices when it's almost guaranteed that it was a decision made by exclusively by Activision.

 

That along with the predatory nature of paywalls and microtransactions, and it's not difficult to understand the outrage. Unfortunately, many gaming journalists are seeing this as something that it absolutely isn't.

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I like my phone for simple games like puzzle and dragons where there's interesting gameplay but I can drop out at any time and come back later, and there isn't any need for fast reactions beyond solving the board fast. (and to be fair I can also stomach older jrpgs and the like through emulation) I very much worry what a diablo-like experience on my phone would actually play like. Something's gonna have to be compromised at some point, and it would be too much for something like diablo in my eyes.

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Continuing my thoughts about casual games, it's a damn shame that Peggle 2 never got a PC release. The first game was a lot of fun, though, as with Bejeweled 3, I have zero desire to ever play it again.

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On 11/7/2018 at 12:53 AM, printz said:

Name sounds very similar to Doom Eternal. Or Batman Forever.

Perhaps the Doom after next will be called Doom Returnal: Doomguy's extended visit back to HELL.

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@Ajora"Gatekeeping" is a term that gets thrown around a lot. My eyesight sucks, so it could be argued that mobile-only games are keeping people like ME out, because I can't see the screen properly. Even if I was into Diablo and Immortal ended up being awesome and balanced properly for a once-and-done buy, I still wouldn't be able to check it out because I wouldn't be able to follow it.

 

I don't think gaming on a phone shouldn't be a thing, I just think that, for the most part, core games don't work on the platform, and those that do are generally ruined by the predatory monetization practices they invariably contain (old JRPG ports aside, of course). It's flat out impossible for me to believe that any of the fans disappointed by Immortal's announcement were secretly thinking, "ffs why are they making a game for girls?" More like, "ffs my favourite game is about to be watered down and pumped full of wait timers and paywalls in lieu of a fun experience."

 

Mobile is a different market. Who that market comprises is ultimately irrelevant beyond what they are playing and where. I prefer to play on a decent sized screen with either KBM or a controller. I prefer to play a decent sized, single player game with no paywalls. Other people like puzzle games you can play with a touchscreen, and that's fine. I like puzzle games too - for example, Kurushi is one of my favourite games of all time. What I don't want is exactly what the likes of EA and Activizzard are actively trying to force upon the industry. They want to drive mobile gaming because they think that's where they can accrue the most revenue for the least effort. The problem is that games which introduce these post-purchase practices, either on mobile or on dedicated hardware, are inevitably made worse as they always succumb to the temptation to artificially extend the grind to make those paid skip buttons all the more juicy (isn't that right, GTA Online?). I've said this before, either here or elsewhere, but if you have to introduce a premium means of skipping portions of a game, then there is something fundamentally broken in your game's design. Games are supposed to be fun. TotalBiscuit (mayherestinpeace) once said that some players have more time than money, others have more money than time. My issue is that AAA pubs have chosen to ignore those players who have neither the time nor the money and just want to dip into a quality game they can enjoy without it becoming a job in itself. That isn't fun, that's tedious.

 

However, to show that I'm not an elitist soggy-kneed manbaby, I'm prepared to meet mobile gaming half way. Give me a phone with a HDMI out, a means to hook up a controller and some premium quality once-and-done purchase games with no additional paywalls, and I'll start taking mobile gaming seriously. I know that at least two of those things already exist, but I'm confident that there's no way that the big pubs will ever embrace the third one. They are in the mobile market for one reason and one reason only, and it isn't to make the best games they can.

 

As an aside, I really feel for those two guys they had up on stage. They must have known what they were in for before even announcing the game. Sure, the comment about "don't you guys have smartphones" was misguided, but faced with that kind of negative reaction, I probably would have buckled and said something daft too.

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Angry Birds was pretty good. I thought Infinity Blade looked like it might bring something new to the table(t), but in retrospect, maybe not. Certainly not my platforms for gaming. Sad to see the gimmick spouting spin doctors with their practiced lines running the show and insulting the intelligence of their audience when criticised. Maybe the company ballooned out of control with WoW's success, idk. Third party licensing to cheaper countries makes echonomic sense, but it sure don't bring a dev team closer together or make you care more intimately about every last onscreen pixel, which is the feeling I got from playing the likes of Starcraft.

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@TederDiablo 1 is the real Diablo game. I adore its music, sounds, graphics, infinite ground-stash. If not that damned walking speed... Hellfire gave running in town, but removed walking sounds everywhere, game feels weird without them. I still have to play through D1 with Rogue and Sorcerer. Diablo II is perfect in another way, but it lacks that darkness feel from D1.

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@scalliano That was by far one of the best posts I've read here all year. But I do think you're wrong about one thing. From what I can ascertain, the people who participated in the live announcement have generally claimed that they expected some negative backlash, but to nowhere near the extent of what happened. I find no reason to doubt their sincerity. Unfortunately, the developers of Diablo Immortal really do just seem to be entirely out of touch with their own fanbase.

 

@Rimantas What I remember most fondly about Diablo 1 were the NPC soundbites. Many of them are permanently lodged into my memory forever. Diablo 1's NPCs kicked ass.

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I wouldn't doubt their sincerity either. Ultimately, they were the ones unfortunately thrown to the wolves, and that does suck. This is why I get mad when fans go after devs on social media. The devs are only doing what they're told by the publisher, yet they are the ones who have to put on a brave face and run damage control when the publisher tells them to do something shitty. Game development is stressful enough without angry fans to have to deal with. Not that I'm saying that if a dev runs their mouth they shouldn't be called out on it, but it is pointless giving them grief for something that most likely wasn't their decision. Give Activision hell. Give EA hell. Don't give some individual member of staff a hard time. That just hurts the case, no matter how valid it may be.

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I don't get why devs don't boycott vs shitty publishers. Devs are the ones who make games, publishers without them could sell only own shoes. Devs are really guilty for doing shit for money.

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14 hours ago, Ajora said:

A lot of journalists seem to be spinning this (rightly justified IMO) outrage as a combination of sexism and gaming elitism.

A classic example of how gaming journalists will stop at nothing to get in some clicks, even if it is something as inflammatory and baseless as sexism or elitism. Guess what? Assholes exist in basically every scene, but that's not exactly a surprise that is "news worthy".

 

In the last few days I've seen a good number of hastily thrown together Youtube videos emerge, and not just a few of those YouTubers are trying to talk themselves up to some higher moral ground by throwing anybody who's critical of DI into that elitist/sexist/entitled-basket. Evidently people like to think that there is no objective reason not to be content with a mobile release, because to those people smartphone screens are just as big as a PC-monitor, and these people also think that smartphones are dedicated gaming devices suited for sessions of several hours at a time.

It also seems people are forgetting that some mobile games are watered down versions of former PC titles, which now serve as a platform to make revenue off of micro-transactions. How naive are these people to think even for a second that there will be no attempt to milk people for their cash in DI? Every recent Blizzard game has them: Overwatch, Hearthstone, WoW, Heroes of the storm... They even attempted to get real money MTX into Diablo 3 with the real-money auction house, and now we're supposed to believe that a game that's being co-developed (on an 8 year old game engine no less) by a chinese company, of all things, isn't gonna go down the way so many other "pay-to-win" or rather "pay to grind less" games went on mobile?

Edited by Nine Inch Heels

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5 hours ago, Rimantas said:

I don't get why devs don't boycott vs shitty publishers. Devs are the ones who make games, publishers without them could sell only own shoes. Devs are really guilty for doing shit for money.

Because the game industry is in dire need of unions. Game companies use up workers and then hire someone else when the last one don't cut it anymore. 

 

The game industry is not lacking for young talent jumping at the chance to get a leg into the door.

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6 hours ago, Rimantas said:

I don't get why devs don't boycott vs shitty publishers. Devs are the ones who make games, publishers without them could sell only own shoes. Devs are really guilty for doing shit for money.

I gotta agree with Kristus here. Adding insult to injury is that the devs aren't the ones who decide which games to make anymore, it's the higher ups, the dudes in the suits. Sure, devs can choose not to make what corporate tells them, but it comes with the loss of their jobs and as a consequence the potential loss of their house if they own one, plus the problem that now the dev also can't feed their family any longer because their source of income is done for.

 

Fact of the matter is that at some point in people's lives they settle down somewhere, and build their lives and their daily routines around job, family and friends. So you can't just quit and do something else, especially if you're working in a highly specialized environment with lots of competition (for relatively few jobs in the first place).

 

Surely unions may prevent developers from just getting laid off once they're burnt out or just not needed any longer (as is the case with graphic designers), I agree 100%. But the one thing unions won't solve is how the power hierarchies in these big companies are structured around the interests of their share holders. Established structures in these large businesses always puts the devs in the position of "labourers" with no say whatsoever over the company's course.

 

Historically gamers have always been exceptionally bad at "voting with their wallets". Most people who are now complaining about a mobile Diablo game will download it anyway, and of those who do a considerable number of people will throw money at the game while raging at the greedy shareholders: "Fuck you and take my money!" is how this goes, it always has... People always complained about "pre-order bonuses", but they pre-ordered anyway, people always complained about micro-transactions, but paid for those anyway, people always complained about "lootbox-gambling", but bought them anyway, etc... Core problem here is that many gamers are too young and/or naive, they don't care/know that they're inviting publishers to dive deeper into their wallets (using predatory methods) with every release that comes out.

 

At the moment it looks to me like as if the warning voices were a vocal minority. A majority in this case appears to be the silent paying customers. How else could ie EA have gotten away with their shit for so long while making loads of cash with it at the same time?

 

Even though gamers are the victims of these greedy and cheap tricks, we (as a whole) need to stop playing the victim card, realize that we quite literally played a part in all of this, and stop playing it. We can't wait for the government to fix the situation with laws that deem ie lootbox gambling illegal, because government is always reactive in these cases, and it reacts too slowly to begin with.

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3 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Historically gamers have always been exceptionally bad at "voting with their wallets". Most people who are now complaining about a mobile Diablo game will download it anyway, and of those who do a considerable number of people will throw money at the game while raging at the greedy shareholders: "Fuck you and take my money!" is how this goes, it always has... People always complained about "pre-order bonuses", but they pre-ordered anyway, people always complained about micro-transactions, but paid for those anyway, people always complained about "lootbox-gambling", but bought them anyway, etc... Core problem here is that many gamers are too young and/or naive, they don't care/know that they're inviting publishers to dive deeper into their wallets (using predatory methods) with every release that comes out.

 

At the moment it looks to me like as if the warning voices were a vocal minority. A majority in this case appears to be the silent paying customers. How else could ie EA have gotten away with their shit for so long while making loads of cash with it at the same time?

 

Even though gamers are the victims of these greedy and cheap tricks, we (as a whole) need to stop playing the victim card, realize that we quite literally played a part in all of this, and stop playing it. We can't wait for the government to fix the situation with laws that deem ie lootbox gambling illegal, because government is always reactive in these cases, and it reacts too slowly to begin with.

 

So beautifully said, I enjoyed reading your comment. 

 

And it's not just with games, if you hate a certain practice/product/whatever you must stop supporting it and take action. Continuing to do otherwise will only worsen the situation. If all you do is complain without doing anything to support it it's just empty words, plain and simple, the more harm if you go against what you said.

 

Since micro-transactions were mentioned and it's a simple yet good example, they're something I absolutely abhor, and consequently I have stopped buying games that feature them years ago. "Be the change you want to see in the world".

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We fucked up royally when we gave up physical media.  Yeah it's quicker and easier to download a game, but it leaves the door open for... all that stuff. 

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Ehh i welcome Digital Dowloads because quite frankly, its less of a hassle than going out and falling in line a gamestop.

 

Even even when all-digital didnt exits companies have been able to con gamers out of money.

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2 hours ago, Antnee said:

We fucked up royally when we gave up physical media.  Yeah it's quicker and easier to download a game, but it leaves the door open for... all that stuff. 

I see it differently. In my opinion it is much better not to use physical copies of games. Every box that doesn't need to get shipped is a good thing. Less emissions, less packaging, etc...

Physical media, or lack thereof isn't the problem. Never mind that some games, which came on DVD, also had content that was gated behind a paywall in spite of it being on a DVD. People found this out while "datamining" the discs... Content was already there, on the disc, but the unlock had to be paid for. I don't remember which game exactly it was, unfortunately, but it was a thing a couple years ago. Maybe somebody remembers this and can say more about it.

 

Warning! The following spoiler may contain "hints of ramble™.

Spoiler

 

I think the whole issue is deeper down the rabbit hole of how big companies were looking to get even more money for less amount of work (relatively speaking). When free to play games and subscription based games became a thing, for example WoW and Path of exile, two things happened:

First off people noticed that free-to-play games, which carry their "operational weight" exclusively by way of micro transactions, can be surprisingly profitable, since quite a few people were willing to pay more than what a AAA-game usually costs on a "voluntary" basis, especially over time; Except it wasn't as voluntary as a lot of people liked to believe if the game in question was designed to encourage purchases to a high enough degree, while still maintaining the feel of being optional. I played a lot of path of exile competitively before I got tired of the direction the game was headed. At the time it took off, it used to be the "fairest" F2P model there was, virtually no way to buy actual ingame power for money, and whatever you could buy was cosmetic for the most part. I'll ignore that a full cosmetic armour set in PoE could easily cost around 100$ (or more) for the sake of brevity. What really made the game "indirectly" P2W were (premium)stash tabs. Explanation in spoiler:

Spoiler

GGG, who made PoE, introduced more and more league exclusive (one league per 3 months usually) "chase/big ticket items" and more and more currency items, which in return created a demand for more storage space among players, which you had to pay for. What made the scheme even more P2W was that trading properly (and not getting ripped off in the process) was almost impossible if you didn't get premium tabs, where you could put your items with a prize-tag on them, which an external, dedicated search engine would list on a global market-place of sorts, slightly similar to an auction house in WoW, for example. If you wanted to make headway in PoE in a competitive manner, trading wasn't optional, it was mandatory. And even if you weren't racing on the ladder, trading was often necessary to complete your character with certain core items to make it late-game viable. In addition to "motivating" players to get progressively more stash space, and sometimes even special stash tabs for certain items, they also added loot-boxes to their game at times... And I didn't even mention special supporter packs yet, some of which could cost as much as over 1,000$.

In short, GGG had something for everybody in their stores, and some people put down several thousand dollars for that stuff over time. Some money to look flashy, some money to gamble, some money in order to participate properly in a core aspect of a game with RNG-based loot, namely the ingame economy.

 

Second off people noticed since WoW in particular that you can not only sell a AAA-game at full-price, you can also demand monthly fees if you somehow manage to "explain" why the fees are necessary. In the case of WoW it was easy to explain: Running servers basically 24/7 costs money, game masters and such need to be paid for as well and so on. Eventually they also added other stuff to WoW, like mounts, character transfer from one server(realm) to another were a paid-for service since forever, or fully levelled up characters if you wanted, basically stuff you could pay for, which didn't really require anybody's attention at all. Low investment for the company, high margin of profit type of stuff. I'll keep this a bit shorter and leave it at that.

 

With these two examples in mind, plus how people were rather eager to put money down for stuff like Candy-Crush on mobile, it was only a matter of time until the game industry would attempt to put free-2-play schemes into AAA-products, an example would be overwatch. But I think we kinda fucked it up before overwatch was even a thing. Speaking for myself, I never really was oblivious to how these things were aimed at my wallet, and got away unscathed in most cases, except for PoE, which I did spend money on (albeit no extreme amounts), but I definitely underestimated how it might be for others, and I absolutely never saw the stuff along the lines of Star Wars Battlefront 2 coming. It's what happens when a few people in the industry outsmart and trick their consumers into a mindset that makes them more "forgiving" towards exploitative business models. Eventually they tighten the screws on people's thumbs, because they know that most likely they'll get away with it, at least for long enough to make a lot of money, and that's what EA went for. I guess in hindsight we can consider ourselves fortunate that EA fucked it up so hard that it caught the attention of people in a position of political power, but at the same I can't help but think even they don't know the half of it yet. Let's not forget that these laws against loot-boxes aren't global, in over 90% of the cases EA still gets to run their business as usual, and that's the scary thing about the current "MTX-meta", to coin a term here.

 

 

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Would you like more money for less work and effort? The answer for that is shockingly yes by the majority. 

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1 hour ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

I see it differently. In my opinion it is much better not to use physical copies of games. Every box that doesn't need to get shipped is a good thing. Less emissions, less packaging, etc...

Physical media, or lack thereof isn't the problem. Never mind that some games, which came on DVD, also had content that was gated behind a paywall in spite of it being on a DVD. People found this out while "datamining" the discs... Content was already there, on the disc, but the unlock had to be paid for. I don't remember which game exactly it was, unfortunately, but it was a thing a couple years ago. Maybe somebody remembers this and can say more about it.

 

Also you don't have to worry about scratching/damaging the disk.

 

As about datamining discs, I know for sure it was a game published by EA, I've read a few articles back when it went viral, but Google doesn't seem to want to cooperate with me when I need it, as usual. EA is known for shitty practices anyway, they have even cut content from the base game in some cases only to sell it later as DLC, one example being Most Wanted 2012. Content that was present in the game while it was in beta stages (cars and locations) was cut and later got sold as DLC.

 

Apparently Capcom did the same with a different game back in 2012.

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@Nine Inch Heels You're thinking of Street Fighter X Tekken. There were several characters already on the disc that Capcom charged access for, which means it technically wasn't even DLC.

 

I much prefer downloading games over purchasing physical copies. 

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So to make things worst for Blizzard, they are working on MORE mobile games across ALL of their IPs:  

https://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-is-working-on-multiple-mobile-games-across-all-our-ips/?utm_content=buffer2f094&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=buffer_pcgamerfb

 

On 11/9/2018 at 1:01 PM, Ajora said:

@Nine Inch Heels You're thinking of Street Fighter X Tekken. There were several characters already on the disc that Capcom charged access for, which means it technically wasn't even DLC.

 

I much prefer downloading games over purchasing physical copies. 

 

Interestingly enough, the PSVita version has all of the "on disc" dlc fighters without paying for them. 

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