Meta

Pages

About O:PUG Contact Us

Categories

Board Games Cartoon Dev Blog Gaming Miscellanea Movies Operation: SimPUG Podcast Stream Archive Tech Video Podcast

Archives

November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015
Gaming, Tech, Nerd Stuff. Also there's a cartoon.

Sublime Overkill: An Ode to Diablo 3/ by /

25 Jun

Meet Abagail

Diablo 3 launched Season 14 last week. This in itself is a sentence that underlies one of the core principles Diablo has had from the very first: overkill. Just when you think you’ve plateaued, there’s another thing.

Diablo 3 launched in 2012 to less-than-favourable reviews, but after a serious overhaul and constant adjustments and additions, it’s become a game I can easily put in my top 10 of all time. For someone who tends to jump around a lot, the total of at least 600 hours I’ve put into the game (across three platforms) speaks volumes.

Again, overkill. This is what Diablo does best. It’s not merely a matter of throwing tons of enemies at the player, it’s the escalation of scale. The heart of it is a basic power fantasy whereby one builds one’s character up to a point where you can conquer the next of a proportionally more difficult tier. Very few video game things I’ve done are as satisfying as getting that perfect synergy of powers and equipment that lets me conquer a difficulty level that I previously couldn’t touch. Having absurd numbers of powerful enemies and at the same time being *ready* for that is sublime.

Moreover there’s a point beyond mere bragging rights. New tiers open up new equipment, and the motivation to move forward is always immediate. In this way it is the opposite of the Souls approach — they are both difficult, but Souls is all (mostly) stick and Diablo is (mostly) carrot.

While the loop is a basic dopamine reward injection, the fact that there are no microtransactions and only two expansions (which are now integrated) means that at no point is the player exploited for this rush. There is a holistic quality to Diablo 3 that makes it feel very much like a game out of time. It’s a complete package.

Word is that Blizzard is hiring for the next Diablo project, whatever that may be. After the goodwill they’ve generated from turning Diablo 3 around and supporting it well past it’s logical life span, we can hope that whatever the next iteration is will carry forward that same mindset.

See you in Sanctuary.

No Comments

Leave a Reply