The Hate for the D3 Item System and RMAH's Failure

Posted by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev at 05 July 2012 22:21
Azzure from Diabl3Markets has posted an opinionated article on why Diablo 3's item system will be the undoing of the Real Money Auction House. "What Blizzard failed to do with itemization is make it fun," writes Azzure to express his disapproval of the system.

The topic of the itemization being not fun persists through Azzure's introduction and argumentation why the RMAH will not be the success that Blizzard imagined.

"The RMAH is looking to be a huge financial loss to Blizzard, whom invested a lot of money in to. Remember, I am speaking prophetic here, I don’t have any solid revenue stats from the RMAH etc, but from what I’ve seen and what I know, items will not sell anywhere near as well as Blizzard expected. And it is absolutely no wonder.

As I wrote before the game launched, the item-system is the most important system in Diablo 3. It is also the heart of the RMAH, and the RMAH cannot exist without a fun, robust and intriguing item system. Unfortunately, Diablo 3′s item-system is for the most part, a complete failure in achieving that spark and excitement that made the item-system in past Diablo games so awesome."

But what's really wrong with the system, why is did it deserve author's scolding? According to Azzure, the problem is the complete and utter lack of interesting unique/set items and the liner nature of getting those perfect rares.

"So what makes items fun you say? For starters, I can tell you what is NOT fun: Ridiculously underpowered “Legendaries”, which are not just weak and unusable, but immensely bland, unflavored, non-unique and almost identical to rares. In fact, the quickest way to destroy a Diablo item system is to screw up the most awesome and interesting part of it, which are the sets and Legendaries. Imagine Diablo 2 without uniques, sets and runewords. It would be an utter disaster.

You know what else isn’t fun? Rare items that are linear. The Diablo item-hunt is fun because it has a slot machine feeling, that feeling that you can stumble on a good item at any time.

When you replace the slot machine with a predictable super-strict item-level system that pigeon-holes the types of stats you can get to the point of “Impossible to get good item if < inferno Act 1, and extremely uncommon to get good stats if < Act 3 Inferno”, you in essence, have killed the slot machine. On top of that, making item-stats virtually like an MMO, is also a great way to make the item system incredibly boring, which was done to great extent in Diablo 3."

The full article - along with some really cool unique/set item design suggestions - on Diablo3Markets.


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