Diablo 3's two most hated features stuck around for two years because of the game's box

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,721   +1,171
Staff member
Looking back: It might be hard to remember now, but when Diablo III launched in 2012, fans had two major gripes about it — the always-online requirement and the auction house. Despite the many loudly voiced complaints, Blizzard kept the features for over two years, and the developers recently explained why — it was the box.

First, let's remember the issues that had people outraged at Blizzard. Nobody wanted or asked for an auction house. Many cried "money grab" at the developer. Even more annoying was the forced online aspect of the game. Having to log in to Blizzard servers to play with friends is one thing, but the single-player campaign also required users to have an internet connection. The reason for this was "security."

One of the big problems with Diablo 2 was item duplication. Hackers would figure out exploits to create accounts with rare gear or loads of gold, then sell them online. Blizzard decided the best way to combat counterfeiting was to control the reseller market. So it created a marketplace they could monitor for cheats.

At this year's Portland Retro Gaming Expo, former Lead Designer Jay Wilson said the auction house was never about making money (masthead). They knew it would not generate much income compared to the likes of WoW. Instead, they aimed to control the marketplace, so players didn't get scammed. Of course, this required the game to be fully online.

"And that's the other reason we went online only," Wilson explained. "Because when you … don't go online only … the hackers got you."

Wilson said the team was not allowed to say it was for security because that would only provoke the hackers into trying to compromise their efforts.

While the developers wanted to remove both aspects immediately, they couldn't because the auction house was an advertised feature on Diablo 3's packaging. Lawyers feared a false advertising claim. So for two years, the dev and legal teams argued about the situation until they finally decided to remove the problems and hope for no lawsuits.

Since nearly the entire community hated these two aspects of the game, the gamble was worth the risk. They removed the marketplace and online requirement in 2014, and everyone lived happily ever after — that is, until Diablo Immortal, but that's another story.

Permalink to story.

 

brucek

Posts: 1,349   +2,025
The game got better after the RMAH was removed (along with supporting adjustments to gear/loot), but I salute the idea of keeping your promises. More companies should try it.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,517   +2,260
Ah the old merry-go-round: developers blame corporate for [x] feature, claim it wasn't their idea, and corporate saying you just need to suck it up, deal with it and buy the game or they won't be able to support the developers in the future
 

dangh

Posts: 853   +1,446
Good for you, your loss. Cosmetic MT's are fine. Everyone does it. I wish Blizzard went more the Steam Marketplace route, that eco-system is genius.

D4 > all other ARPGs ;)
There are better arpg's - PoE and Grim Dawn comes to mind first.
Diablo become a mindless 'sweep all map using 2 skills' game where only skill that's count is persistence to be repeating over and over and over again to grind a bit better item to repeat the process using one or two meta builds from which you can't deviate. While this is obviously part of the experience, Diablo lacks anything else, and both PoE and GD are more complete games with simply better experience across the board.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,189   +881
There are better arpg's - PoE and Grim Dawn comes to mind first.
Diablo become a mindless 'sweep all map using 2 skills' game where only skill that's count is persistence to be repeating over and over and over again to grind a bit better item to repeat the process using one or two meta builds from which you can't deviate. While this is obviously part of the experience, Diablo lacks anything else, and both PoE and GD are more complete games with simply better experience across the board.

PoE hardcore is trash. Challenger Rifts can be challenging solely due to poor itemisation. GR150s are not a joke either at which point you decide how hard you want to push. Yes anything up to GR100/110 is a snooze fest.

Never played GD but looks like ****. I would only consider PoE but like I said, hardcore is trash.

To each their own, D4 > All ;)
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,957   +7,003
Good for you, your loss. Cosmetic MT's are fine. Everyone does it. I wish Blizzard went more the Steam Marketplace route, that eco-system is genius.
No. Cosmetic MTs are not fine. They are constantly abused to high heaven. "everyone does it" jesus christ, if everyone jumped off a bridge you'd be right behind them, wouldnt you?

Paid games should not have mtx in them. Period. This naked wanton greed is destroying the industry, and has been for years.

D4 > all other ARPGs ;)
HIGHLY subjective, I'd say that torchlight is a far better aRPG then the garbage that was DIII.
 

Farkinell

Posts: 220   +369
Features get changed and withdrawn all the time after artwork goes to print, would this really be false advertising? They could just remove the reference for subsequent print runs and say that if anyone bought the game solely for the marketplace they could have a full refund, of which hardly anyone would.

Seems a cop-out to be honest, and a flimsy one at that.
 

Alfonso Maruccia

Posts: 193   +92
Staff
To bad D4 will likely be a great full priced game riddled with MT's that ill never play.

Thus far, the closed beta hasn't shown any of that stuff to me. Or rather: I carefully avoided every single possible sign of that stuff, with no issues on my normal gameplay experience.