The State of Diablo 3 and its online players

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Countless of hardcore fans have given up playing Diablo 3. They’ve deciced to cut the cord and let their once prized posession go and drift down the river towards the pool of “what-could-have-been’s”.  With much debate over Blizzard’s customer retention rate for Diablo 3 and the league of ever so critical fans, we decided to take a look at exactly why these so called fans quit their D3 accounts. What is the State of Diablo 3 and its online players?

Diablo 3 was the game with the highest anticipation for a PC game ever. Bold statement? But prove us wrong. We’ve been waiting for this game since forever! So it is only expected that millions of fans awaited the launch day, the highlight of the year for most of us! But, unfortunately things did not go as planned for Blizzard. From the first day Blizzard was plagued by login errors, servers that crashed, game play issues… and a long list of VERY unhappy fans. Blizzard managed to dig themselves out of the ditch and after a few large patches the game started becoming what we all hoped it would be.

Yet, there are still so many people, fans that refuse to log in and play the game again. I’ve addressed the main reasons why these players have chosen to give up on D3. Is it logical? Is Diablo 3 really doomed?

 

The Launch

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Diablo 3 has one of the worst launches in the history of gaming. Millions of expecting fan’s bought the game and when everything was finally installed and setup, patches downloaded one could still not get into actually playing the game. This is the infamous “Error 37” error given to players when logging on. Understandably this could have caused a great amount of players to just give up, and never look at the game again. But, most of us stuck with it. Blizzard managed to sort out their server errors and stabilized the game. Even though the launch was an epic failure, this should really not have any bearing on whether you keep on playing the game or not.Compare this with the Sim City Launch a few months ago.

 

 

Game glitches and imbalance

The game was far from perfect after launch, and fans where screaming for fixes and patches and features to be added. This of course takes time. Questions were asked as to what on earth happened with all those months of BETA testing, did they do anything during that time? But, once again Blizzard came, after a few expectant patches the game really became awesome. What we hoped it would be. Gameplay and imbalance was an inconvenience, and certain players will still scream “monk is imba!”. But have faith, Blizzard truly does listen to its fans.

 

 

The Numbers

Jay Wilson made a statement in late March that got the entire D3 community up in arms.

Diablo III logs around one million unique players per day, Wilson also noted that over 3 million unique gamers play Diablo III every month.

The statement itself does not make a lot of sense, and although this could just be a PR number, it is still worth looking at the amount of unhappy fans that stopped playing. What is the retention rate that Blizzard has? I guess only Blizzard execs will know that for sure, but if this statement is accurate, then it is open for quite the debate:

 

Is the 1 million a day accurate or is it just a PR number? If so then is it good enough? It’s a sensitive topic when you discuss the success and/or failure of Diablo III. There has yet to be a game that had such a huge and long anticipation before going live. For any other game, 1 million users per day would be a very impressive feat. But for some reason Diablo III has this insanely high golden standard that it has to comply to, whereby 1 million per day will never be enough. Heck if you look at some of the expectations some people had/have out there even a 90% retention would not have been enough.

Another way of looking at it is comparing sales vs. actual online players, 10/15 million copies sold should give you more than 1 million per day. But in what world or galaxy do you get a 100% retention rate? To make an accurate conclusion we simply need more information.

Whether people stop playing the game or not, whether the number fell drastically or not, this should really have no bearing on you quitting.

 

 

The Real Money Auction House (RMAH)

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This is a big one, and few things have confused new fans as much as the RMAH did. Players can now use actual money to purchase the best gear for their character. You can sell gear that you picked up in-game in the RMAH. Firstly this removes the prestige of having the best gear because you are a better player (You picked up the best gear by beating the toughest enemies). N00bs can now use mommy’s credit card and with a simple click have the best gear available in the game. Anyone with enough cash can now rule in this game. This might seem arrogant or mediocre to you, but to me, I like to EARN my legendary armor and weapons thank you very much. We feel that the RMAH is a clever way for Blizzard to make lots of money, but at what expense? At the cost of putting all players on equal ground?

 

Secondly, because you have real money involved with the game, it opens up a whole new door to people trying to exploit it. Steal money, or make money in illegal ways. Yes blizzard is on top of the situation (or are they?) but how many people do you know whose accounts where hacked? This also leads to Bots, which I discuss next:

 

Bots

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Sometimes it’s better not knowing these type of things at all, but once you know, then it changes things. This was my feeling when I learned about the amount of people that are running bots. Bots are killing the game. No doubt Blizzard knows this, but so far they are unsuccessful in their attempts to do anything about it. The fact that a game that is supposed to be fun can be exploited to enhance a players  online character is something that sits in the back of your mind and festers. You want everyone to be on the same level ground, with the same chances to climb the same ladder you are climbing. Yet bots make this an unfair playing ground, mostly once again to the player with the most real money. Don’t get me wrong here, I know bots do not affect my gaming experience DIRECTLY. But indirectly it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, like you just licked an ashtray and you have a few cigarette butts stuck in-between your teeth somewhere. Bots is a bif contributor for us, but is it enough reason to quit D3.

 

 

Diablo 2, Really?

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The old school Diablo 2 players will make you remember for how long D2 was successful, even prior to D3 launch. D2 seems to be the fallback for the D3 haters. Even though D2 had 100-150k players overall before theD3 launch (and with that number now only slightly above 10k) [guest-imate]. It seems very illogically in my opinion keep referring to D2 as the success that D3 could have been. With all the numbers aside, D2 really was not that good for me. After going through the game a few times it really got monotounous. I;ve said this before, but the diversity you had was simply not there. Does this sound familiar:

Attack Way to strong Enemy – Drink Potion – Drink Potion – Drink Potion – Portal back to town – Buy more Potions – Portal back to Enemy – Attack Enemy – Drink Potion  -Drink Potion – Drink Potion – REPEAT CYCLE.

Diablo2 was and never will be a reason why I stopped playing Diablo 3. So old-school fan boys, stop being dumb.

 

 

Lack of end-game

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Lots of people complained about this one, and frankly we believe this is the biggest factor in fans quitting. Fans race through the game only to get the cliché’ d “Been there done that” T-Shirt. We made the run a few times, until we completed it on the highest difficulty level. The question is… then what? Then you do the whole multi-player of course. This is lots of fun as well. But the story becomes almost non-existent as you play with your friends and other people. Who cares about the story? All players are concerned about it picking up that legendary. Making money. Face it, once your finished the game on solo a few times, and farmed every level multiple times on Multiplayer, there really is nothing that keeps you playing apart from greed.

 

 

Diablo III’s Expansion

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Even though Blizzard lost a crap load of players already, how many of them will buy the expansion? They will definitely tackle the lack of end-game issue, but how long do we have to wait for this? If you ask me most of the people that bought the game will buy the expansion. Even the WoW players. I would say most of them. Hell I’m one of them. Why? Because it is a game we love, whether we hate playing it or not. We love the game. We will cling to that faint glimmer of light that is the hope that the game will be perfect. A perfect game, there is no such thing… wake up. Yet we have this hope. And if we are all honest with ourselves, we love playing.  The expansion will  gather my interest, especially with a new class addition being rumoured. Chances are post expansion I’ll read the reviews, and possibly decide to open my account again…

 

 

Conclusion:

If you are one of the many that stopped playing, then please give your opinions or reasons below. Why? All of the possible reasons above can contribute together to such a decision, but are they enough on their own? Can any one of these things upset a player so much that they simply stop playing?

We love Diablo and will keep on playing. Yes, it is far from perfect, but what game is?

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Author: TheFran

Geek, Gamer, Metal-Head, Movie-Buff, Series-Whore, Early-Adopter and Gadget-Lover. GeekShizzle is the digital representation of my mental self.

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  • Tim

    Maybe you shouldn’t judge diablo 2 after playing through it a few times. You are obviously did not spend a lot of time with it and really have no idea what made diablo 2 so great. Go log a few more hours before telling the real fans what’s good and what’s not. Diablo 1, 2, LOD fans have many good reasons to refer back to to d2 as being a good example as the route blizzard should have taken. We don’t need another WOW fan boy determining what is good about the game and what isn’t.

    • http://Geekshizzle.com TheFran

      Tim: We all know what happens when we make ASSumptions these days, so please stop ASSuming. Perhaps you can tell us what makes D2 so great compared to D3? And believe me, I logged my hours in D2. Did I upset you with my potion-potion comment? Then prove me wrong? D2 sure had it’s time and place, an awesome game indeed. But that time is over. Remember, we’re not saying D2 is crap, we’re saying that its pretty dumb to compare it they way it has been with D3, and especially use it as a reason to give D3 the middle finger.

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  • asdfasdf

    I hope few will buy the expansion. I know me and most of my friends won’t, unless the core game gets a major overhaul in design direction (which won’t really happen.)

    The game as it is now is rotten at the core of its design.

  • bryan

    It’s like that girl you had a crush on in jr high and 10 years later shes 300lbs.

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  • http://Geekshizzle.com TheFran

    With the new expansion revealed, are you guys gonna get it?

    http://geekshizzle.com/2013/08/22/diablo-3-reaper-of-souls-everything-you-need-to-know/

  • aGuyOnTheInternet

    This is one of the dumbest articles I’ve ever read. Wow. Why did you even type this up? It’s full of jabs at legitimate criticisms that are all over the internet. Instead of logically approaching criticism you just talk in circles baiting your interest and then have a nonsense punchline after each paragraph.

    • http://Geekshizzle.com/ TheFran

      Please read the article before commenting, it is anything but “talk in circles”. If you’d like to mention something specific you don’t agree with then please do so.

  • sammymcgee

    Jesus Christ, are you sure you’re not on Blizzard’s payroll? This article was NOT a fair and balanced analysis.