The Issue: Blizzard Forgot to Care

The Issue is where I get to lay it all out. A place where I can speak honestly, all opinions. I’ll take some recent news and examine it for what’s really there.  Sometimes you’ll agree and other times you’ll hate-spam me. Regardless, this is the news and this is The Issue.

There are two reasons I don’t play Blizzard games. Firstly, they’re just not for me. Secondly, and more importantly, I don’t play Blizzard games for the same reason I don’t shop at Wal-Mart: They are mean companies. Yes, I just equated your favorite company to Wal-Mart. I have finally had enough of its repeated pratfalls and “aww, shucks” excuses. I can’t take it.

Blizzard used to be synonymous with excellence. It used to make enduring, classic, timeless games and present the player with the supreme gaming experiences. I used to say that Blizzard and Valve were the only companies that make great games every time. Now, its moves as a company seem so hollow and transparent. I would like to tell you how much this aggravates me. It’s not an issue of game quality anymore; The Issue is that Blizzard forgot to care about the customer.

diablo3scr_007-large

As I stated before, I don’t play Blizzard games. Not World of Warcraft, not Diablo, not StarCraft. They simply don’t jive with me. Likewise, when Diablo 3’s absolutely horrible, divisive launch lurched out of the gate, I just sat back and watched. Always-on DRM made me chuckle. Player-and-critic-alleged long-term playability failures were met with silence from me. An Auction House that makes Blizzard real cash off in-game items sent me into fits of delirium — it does control the drop rates and stats, thus the flow and desirability of each item, after all.

But then, like gifts from the clouds, patches dropped and the online opinions of players began to come around. Perhaps it was fixing it slowly-but-surely. Perhaps adding more items and levels was a completely transparent way to ice over the monumental disrespect dealt to the consumers. Perhaps? I turned my deafened ear to the game once again.

Then, December 27th happened. On that day Blizzard came out and said that PvP, the largest selling point of the game for many (Diablo 2’s is still being played by thousands), was getting scrapped as it was. It was indefinitely postponed. And, as gamers, I think we all know what that means: there probably won’t be any PvP in Diablo 3.

This should not be seen as anything but a slap in the face to everyone who bought the game. If this isn’t the straw that makes a paraplegic camel, what else could? Appropriately, forum-goers are steamed. Here is one:

“I’m not much for the tin-foil hats and conspiracy theories, but waiting two days to drop a bomb about PvP after the biggest retail holiday of the year is an insult, Blizz. It makes us think.It makes us think that, if players knew there was no simple fix to balance issues months ago, shouldn’t have developers? It makes us think, would developers really have been working on something this long and still have nothing to show for it?It makes us think this has been coming down the pipes for a while, but stifled until after Christmas so that gifts can be bought and installed well past the return mark.If that’s true, you’re disgusting. If that’s not true, you’re pathetic. Which is it?”

Diablo-3-monky-business

Guess what? He was banned for three days and the post was deleted. Boom, there’s your answer Mr. So-and-So! Get back in line and drink the Kool-Aid. We’re Blizzard.

Seriously, think for a second about that timing — y’know, two days after the largest gift-giving day of the year. How many thousands of copies were installed just 48 hours earlier? Do we honestly think Blizzard’s employees were up all night the 26th, cranking away, trying to perfect the PvP until finally one broke and pronounced it dead? No. This was a pretty overt move to scrooge the holiday gift buyers and downloaders who spent money on their game.

And, what now? Will Blizzard crush our little site for speaking up? Maybe it’ll blacklist us from review copies and press releases? It definitely could and, considering the iron fist mentality it brings to the forums, maybe there will be suited men at the doors any second. But after the DRM, the lacking end-game, the pyramid scheme Auction House and the canceled PvP — after all that — it sure would be nice to that Blizzard still cares even a little.

Written by: Nick Cane

Game writer, fervent lover of mac and cheese. Favorite games are ES4: Oblivion, Kirby's Adventure, Link's Awakening, Final Fantasy 8 and Mario Galaxy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/logan.hollinger Logan Hollinger

    If there’s any game company that’s probably headed by a Bond villain, it’s probably Blizzard.

    • http://twitter.com/OldLeafNick Nick Cane

      Seeing as it’s your forte to be clever, please come up with a genital-based innuendo for the company name plz. It’s hard.

      • http://twitter.com/TheMrFraz Luke Frazier

        …Butt Lizard?

        Seriously, though, how did I brush over this news so gently? Perhaps even that in itself is a statement to how little I care for Blizzard nowadays. It revolutionized the dungeon-crawler, and Torchlight topped it. It revolutionized the MMORPG, and Guild Wars 2 showed that it can be topped.

        Good thing more great developers like this aren’t eaten up by gargantuan publishers and throttled of their greatness…

        …BIOWARE!

        • http://www.facebook.com/logan.hollinger Logan Hollinger

          Blizzard? More like Blowshard. No?

        • http://twitter.com/OldLeafNick Nick Cane

          See, in Blizz’s defense, D2, SC and WoW revolutionized the genres when they came out. That’s no small feat. Comparing GW2 to WoW is like saying Tomagotchi was okay, but Nintendogs blew it away. HL2 is way better than Doom and Street Fighter 4 is far superior to KUNG-FU!

          • http://twitter.com/TheMrFraz Luke Frazier

            Right, which is why I made sure to note that GW showed that it COULD be topped, showed everyone that NOT following the antiquated WoW formula could be fun and successful. Still, if Blizzard doesn’t make a big move soon, someone else is going to claim the throne.

    • Jay Curtis

      Don’t forget EA =D

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