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Old 07-01-2008
 
#1
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Default blizzard's downhill spiral

I encourage any civilized discussion in this thread, but I know there will be lots of fanboys that will flame me for this post. I just want to clarify that before I state my opinion.

When I saw that D3 was announced I was intrigued, but at the same time very skeptical on how it would be different from D2 or D1. When I first played D2 I had a great time but felt like it was no different than D1 with new sprites/levels/characters. After clicking my way through the game for about a year I decided to call it quits, and subsequently found that there was little replay value in the following years. Clicking my way through the same dungeons lost its appeal after doing it multiple times.

So here we sit after 8 years have passed, to be told that diablo has come back to life again (how is the plot going to bring him back this time?) After watching the gameplay video I was underwhelmed. It looked great. Graphics were solid, and they're probably not even finished polishing those yet. But what about the gameplay? I saw nothing new here. It was the same thing as the last two games. It was the same thing that many other games have copied (titan quest, dungeon seige etc) I didn't see anything new or innovative whatsoever.

So where has blizzard's creativity gone? Starcraft 2 is slated to come out in a little while, but it looks just like SC1 with new graphics and different units. The gameplay looks exactly the same. Blizzard seems to be on a downhill spiral. I have not seen anything original, creative, or innovative from them in over a decade.

Either I am missing something, or they are too afraid to take a risk with something different (ie SC:Ghost) and just keep popping out sequels to old hits.
 
 

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Old 07-01-2008
 
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Well my beef with SC:Ghost was that it was built on a generic sci-fi "hot chick," when we were all anticipating StarCraft 2, but otherwise I understand what you mean.

(I thought you were going to whine about how Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 are too cartoony, etc.)

Blizzard is going through this down hill spiral because they know how batshit insane some of their fanboys are. It's kind of hard to change a habit after it's proven to be wildly successful and supposedly loved. I don't mean to bad mouth Blizzard, but they haven't really stepped out of their comfort zone since World of WarCraft.

Of course, they've released only a tiny portion of the game - maybe something big is coming up.
 

Last edited by organizedcrime; 07-01-2008 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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Finally someone not whining about the grahpics, good, you made good points, but i have been a fan of Blizz since they made Warcraft 1 and Diablo 1, and i saw the progress of all their titles, so i'll tell you what i think of that subject.

That's because they excel more at polishing existing concepts than doing something revolutionary ( like Relic games Home world ), any long time Blizzard fan knows that, Blizz do innovate but within the boundaries of each genre they work in, they take concepts that are misused by other and put them in the right place with the right polish, and it works just fine.


Besides, SC2 and Diablo 3 are both sequels, it is understandable they won't stray much from their successors, and actually they shouldn't, that's why Blizzard is polishing both SC and Diablo franchises to the maximum to bring out the best out of both, that's their type of innovation that Blizz fans know and love.


Above innovation come the most important thing about Blizz games, they are pure fun and have limitless replay value ( due to their extreme polish and craft ), and that's what matters to me really, fun is what games are all about, innovation is just a tool to achieve it, and it doesn't always work ( like Perimeter which was innovative but i didn't enjoy it even one bit )

So don't worry, the difference between D1 and D2 was very significant ( specially with what LoD expansion presented ), and i'm sure D3 will really be a fantastic game that takes what was good in D2 and expand it


PS: if you didn't like the Dungeon runs in D2 then Diablo might not be your type of game.
 

Last edited by KnightWolf; 07-01-2008 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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I completely understand your point; SC2 will be a "regular" RTS, and D3 will be a "regular" hack&slash RPG. In that sense you are correct. However, I don't believe innovation is necessary for a good game. They aren't trying to reinvent the wheel, they are just trying to bring out some quality games in well-established genres.

If you won't like them then the problem is in you as well: you are simply tired of the RTS&RPG genres.

I certainly liked Diablo 2 and I replayed it countless times. So it sounds to me like you've just grown tired of games, or at least these types of games.

But it's certainly true that Blizzard didn't do anything innovative with these games (yet). It's just that I'm not too sure they should.
 
 

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Old 07-01-2008
 
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Damn its diablo series how much change does it take to call it innovative? - They are not making a new game but still there is much change in D3.
To name only few of those:
3D, physics, interactive environment, improved UI, no health potions, smart loot system(in co-op), new inventory system, classes specific armor, unique classes spells, story quests, randomized places, more action oriented combat system(enforcing the skill more than potions), better interaction with npc's, etc...
I mean there is practically a change in every field of the game, which may on the other side cause disagreement because of much change!
If this isn't enough then i don't know what is.
 
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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If you where making a new Diablo or StarCraft, what would you do differently? How is what they are doing lacking in innovation? What should they do differently?
 


 

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Old 07-01-2008
 
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1) Sequels usually aren't innovative. And they don't need to be IMO, as long as they expand on the same idea and do everything better. On graphics, d3 has succeeded already to me. On gameplay I don't know, but it's not going to be worse. As long as it isn't worse, blizzard isn't going downhill for sure. The question is: how much "uphill" can they still go? And is it necessary for each sequel to be a "reinvention" of the game? A good sequal to me is "reimagining" the game, not "reinventing" it.

2) So far we have very little information on diablo 3. I must have heard one of the devs say that diablo 3 will also have very large scale epic battles. Isn't that a large innovation in the diablo series?

3)
Quote:
So where has blizzard's creativity gone?
Blizzard is still véry creative. The innovation and originality seems to be decreasing at certain parts of the games indeed. But I wouldn't say their creativity is gone.

I do agree though that most games, whether they're blizzardgames or not, have been less innovating than back in the good ol' days. Makes me wonder if there's still much room for innovation on the area's of a "regular" rts or rpg. I'm convinced that there can still be much innovated in the gaming world, but games like diablo 3 have to stay loyal to their preceders. You can't do that without sacrificing some innovation.

In my opinion, blizzard has no place to really largely innovate if they don't create a 4th big franchise. This is because they're bound too much to the gameplay of the other franchises.=
 
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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Can someone point out to me exactly what wasn't new, innovative and exciting about a wall of zombies?
 
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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innovative??? world of diablo O_o???? hahahah
 
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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Well it's basically just a wall of fire with different graphics isn't it? Also, a new ability doesn't make a game innovative. Innovation is achieved by adding/changing the game mechanics themselves in a dramatical way. For instance: the fact that you can influence the environment much more (destroy wall to crush zombies) hasn't been done before in diablo games. Although this might be a bad example because there have already been other games where you can interact with the environment. Still, it might be considered an innovation.

By the way: I can't find the exact site where I found the details on the massive battles, but diablofans.com also mentions:
Quote:
- Massive cooperative battles
If they're truly massive, then I'll probably call Diablo 3 innovative yes, because you'll be a true epic hero with many customisation options on a small level (dungeon crawling), and you'll be able to interact at a much higher level.
I'm looking forward to an update on this...
 
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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Saying that Blizzard is on a downward spiral is a bit extreme. Blizzard ought to have a right to copy themselves at least, because everyone else copies them too. Also they did create WoW which was a risk and a new idea that payed off quite well.

Diablo 2 was very different from Diablo IMO and it has tons of replay value. I've gotten countless hours out of Diablo 2 and ever since I got it I haven't gotten bored of it.

EDIT: Also it's important to remember that one of Blizzard's biggest strengths is being creative in terms of art and lore. I can't think of another company that is more devoted to making games artistic as well as fun.
 

Last edited by Alexander; 07-01-2008 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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Sure blizzard has the right to copy themselves and make sequels to their old games. I never said they didn't.

My beef comes with the fact that this is all they are doing. Each game they pop out is a copy of the preceding game with re-hashed graphics (with the exception of world of warcraft, which was a copy of a handfull of other MMO's before it). On top of this, it is taking them nearly a decade to deliver.

I'm not saying they make bad games, but when it comes to innovation they are below par when stacked up against companies like Relic.
 
 

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Old 07-01-2008
 
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Yeah, but their previous games were _really good_ so stuff based on them will be _really good_ and they never have innovated. WC and SC wern't really innovative, they were just ... _really good_. So yes, a lack on innovation, but they do what they do very well.
 
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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A sequel takes a game to the next level, without losing the feel of the game.
It sounds like you don't want a direct sequel, givemeafingname.
You sound like you want an entirely new gameplay style.
But that wouldn't be an RPG D3. It would be a new genre.
And that's not what Blizzard is trying to create, or what any of us want.
 
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Old 07-01-2008
 
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Well, calling this a "downward spiral" is a bit of a miscall. No game frome them ever was "the revolution", it always felt more like creative evolution. Diablo wasn't the first hack n loot, but it was certainly of defining quality.The same goes for part 2, it was simply a great evolution of part 2. Even warcraft 3 wasn't the first RTS with heroes, that was actually Shogun.

The thing is, when Blizzard pushed out a new IP for the first time, whoa... a whole new game. Even if it was not and was heavily inspired by others. But all in all, it felt completely new. Nowadays that they are making sequels, you have a "tried and true" feeling. Some may call it lack of innovation, I call it staying true to the roots and having a "at home with Blizzard feeling". Because when you change a game enough to be a revolution, you also loose the feeling if this game being a true sucessor.

Sure, if you have a distinct vision like with Warcraft 3, go with it. But besides that, just make the changes you want.

So yeah, I still see them as the industry leader for the sheer amount of thought and olish that goes into all their games, with great gamaplay, stories and cinematics. Heck, even people who don't care much love the great presentation of Blizzard's games. I think that should tell people something.
 
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