There are myths we tell ourselves to reinforce our disappointment with Diablo III. We call it a bad game because it failed to live up to the hype we built in our heads prior to the game’s release. We call it a missed opportunity. We call it a failure of the highest magnitude. We call it one of the worst games of all time.
Yet, in spite of all the mean, and awful things we say about Diablo III, the game is none of these things. Far from it, had Diablo III been released under a name other than “Diablo”, we wouldn’t be saying these things and would instead be proclaiming it as one of the best games of the year, if not the decade.
It goes without saying that hype certainly has the power to influence how we think about the things we love. And very few things can compare to a hype machine that’s almost a decade old.
8) Diablo III borrows its aesthetic from World of Warcraft
We get it. It’s a complaint as old as the game itself. Diablo III looks “cartoony” because its characters have oversized pauldrons and wield gigantic swords. These aesthetics give Diablo III its aesthetic, but they certainly aren’t borrowed from World of Warcraft.
Many other games, including the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 franchises feature these aesthetics simply because they allow you to treat your characters as toy miniatures. They are not supposed to look like real, life-sized persons viewed from above.
7) Blizzard likes Botters and Gold Sellers
That would certainly explain the widespread proliferation of botters and gold sellers who attempt to add themselves to your friends list and sell you in-game gold.
The fact of the matter is that Blizzard doesn’t like botters and gold sellers any more than players do, and are in a constant battle to remove their presence from Battle.net. However, given the resources available to these botters due to the sheer profitability of their enterprise, Blizzard is fighting an uphill battle against them.
6) Blizzard is ignoring you
Assuming you post on the official Diablo III forums, your voice is simply one among countless others whom the developers at Blizzard see. They simply don’t have the resources to respond to each and everyone who posts on the forum—but that doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention to what you have to say.
Given the additions and changes in the most recent patch, it’s clear that Blizzard pays attention to its userbase.
5) Diablo II was a better game
Was it, really? Diablo II was a flawed game, enjoyable though it was. It was good for its time, and that was aided by the fact that it had nothing to compete with.
Anyone who says Diablo II was a better game forgets that the ‘endgame’ consisted mainly of grinding out the Secret Cow Level and performing Baal runs. There was little else to do, and there was no reason to revisit any of the areas outside of those boss areas, all of which could be cleared in less than five minutes.
4) The class you play is underpowered / the class you don’t play is overpowered
It’s an RPG. Stats differ from level to level. Every character is equipped differently. How players choose to build their characters differs from person to person.
Given the sheer complexity of a game with five distinct classes, it's a surprise that the characters are as finely tuned as they are—and they're only going to be even more balanced in patches to come.
3) The lack of non-consensual PvP ruined competitive gameplay for Diablo III
Diablo 2 was never designed as a competitive game, and non-consensual PvP was a big reason why it failed as one. The implementation of non-consensual PvP allowed rogue players to barge into public sessions to deal harassment and death upon players who were simply there to play cooperatively against monsters.
While much was done to remove the element of surprise that non-consensual PvPers (or player killers, as they were known in Diablo argot), their presence simply invited players to quit the session and reform elsewhere.
2) Diablo III can’t compete against the likes of Torchlight II or Borderlands 2
Nor should it. Diablo III is a different game from Torchlight II and Borderlands 2, all of which have their own audiences and offer a variety of different experiences. There’s no reason for any of these games to want to be like the other, especially when they’re better off just doing their own thing and being excellent in their own ways.
1) Diablo III is a bad game
Diablo III may not have lived up to everyone’s expectations, but that hardly makes it a bad game. I’ve spent hundreds of hours in Diablo III, and I return to it every other day because the combat remains satisfying and the co-op gameplay is still enjoyable. Thanks to the addition of the new Monster Power setting, the game is even challenging once more.
It may not have lived up to the hype everyone had for it prior to its launch—it’s short, lacks extensive dungeons, and offers little in the way of story—but it’s still a good game for all it has to offer. It could be better, and given time and future expansions, it may well live up to the expectations everyone had for it.