It’s addictive, but is it fun?

I made a dreadful mistake a week ago. With my Radeon HD 4870 in MSI’s hands in City of Industry, my desktop has been cheerfully running on a Radeon HD 4670. The 4670 is a beast for what it is, and miraculously, a bunch of my games play perfectly fine at my display’s native 1920×1200 resolution. Unfortunately, once you’ve tasted the incredible power of a higher end (albeit now quite affordable) graphics card, making the step back proves difficult.

So, I wound up going back to an older game. Specifically, I installed Diablo II.

I’ve never been a huge Blizzard fan, but I respect what the company does. Just to stir the pot a little, I don’t think its games are actually that great. Certainly, by a commercial metric and by the rabid fan base, Blizzard games could be considered absolutely amazing. For me, though, they’ve always been a kind of gaming junk food. Much as I never feel very good about myself after eating a bag of Milano cookies, Diablo II leaves me feeling curiously empty after a few hours. I got the same feeling with World of Warcraft. To my credit, however, I was able to kick that habit pretty easily. Every class but the Rogue felt like a series of timers in the early going, and the game eventually no longer seemed worth the subscription fee. I ended up buying the Nicoderm CQ of MMORPGs, Guild Wars.

With that said, I feel like Diablo II and World of Warcraft manage to be devastatingly addictive without feeling very rewarding—for me, at least—simply because Blizzard designed them only to stimulate the ever-loving crap out of the human brain’s reward center. When I play Diablo II, I am rewarded for my tireless, ceaseless clicking. I play a fairly popular mod called Eastern Sun (a friend admonishes me constantly for this, saying he thinks vanilla Diablo II is better), and with the tweaked drop rate and vastly increased number of uniques, set items, and so on, I get to see all kinds of new and exciting gear. Goals are set for which items to grind or gamble for, what level to hit, and so on.

By the time all is said and done, though, I may have bumped up a couple of levels and amassed a veritable wealth of gear, but nothing has actually happened. Even in the game, progress doesn’t seem that exciting. The story itself never struck me as being terribly compelling, crippled by how orderly the game plays out. I never really feel like I’m getting anywhere, knowing I’ll just be playing the same five acts on a harder and then harder-still difficulty level.

There’s just something about the way Blizzard designs games. Diablo II has always had aggravating balance issues, and I gave up playing the vanilla version in part because only certain, specific builds could really make it through the game. It’s the same reason I don’t play Magic: the Gathering competitively, either; I don’t like when one choice is so simply, purely better. The class I liked playing, the Amazon (javelin specialized), got nerfed a while ago, which caused the character build to just lose steam at a certain point. My understanding is that World of Warcraft isn’t much better in this respect, and to me, that defeats the purpose of a class system and character building. In Mass Effect or Fallout 3, I largely adapted my builds to my playing style. The games gave me different ways of interacting with them, and all avenues were at least viable. Blizzard games seem to punish more casual players and balance things for the obsessive ones.

Speaking of balancing, the ever-changing nature of Diablo II (and even more so World of Warcraft) also bothers me. Game patches normally exist in large part to fix problems, but Blizzard patches often radically revamp the games themselves. Classes get heavily tweaked or nerfed, drops change, and so on. It certainly seems to keep the game fresh, but the policy never agreed with me.

Yet I can’t stop playing. As I said before, there’s something about Diablo II that just stimulates my brain’s reward center. In an episode of the Garfield cartoon, there was a game show called "Hit the Buzzer, Win a Cookie," and that seems to be pretty much what’s going on here. Kill some cows, gain a level, get some loot. Sell the loot, lather, rinse, repeat. Look at all the cool new gear I can go kill cows with! And the only progress I’ve made is that I’ve become more efficient at the grind. It’s questionably satisfying, but I can’t seem to stop.

With the other games I mentioned, I at least get the feeling I’m progressing through a story, like I have a set goal and will eventually get to some type of ending. Diablo II was never about that. From day one, it was about rapid character-building with friends, racing through the game, and settling on a specific build. There were just certain ways you did things, and we’d all get into it and talk about them, but that sense of "what exactly am I achieving?" eventually set in.

I’m genuinely curious if anyone else has gotten this same vibe. There’s no question that Blizzard’s games seem to demand a heck of a lot of play, especially with entire television stations devoted to Starcraft in South Korea, and the embarrassing amount of cash World of Warcraft rakes in. Am I alone here, or are these games (or at least Diablo II) just addictive despite not actually being that much genuine fun?

Comments closed
    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 10 years ago

    I think Diablo III and Starcraft II are going to kick ass, whatever their predecessors.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 10 years ago

    I think its a bit sad that people rely on what comes in the box so much for their gameplay experience. As a modder, I usually get bored of the normal gameplay quickly, but find ways to spice it up.

    You can get a few total conversions for Diablo 2 which overhaul the skill system, the monsters, and the items. New things that were never possible before are at your fingertips. The only one i played was the Lord of the Rings mod but it was pretty awesome.

    One additional way to add fun and excitement is to play on open-bnet with a hacked character. You can type /players 8 to make the monsters strong even though you are all alone or only have 1 or 2 friends playing, and do hell runs with awesome items like 100% chance to cast level 40 frost nova on hit and permanent aura of fantacism level 30. Since you are making the items you can design cool themes and try to come up with the most awesome looking effects as you run around and destroy the super tough monsters that are easier but still challenging… depending on how powerful you make yourself.

    Will this keep you occupied for hours upon end… probably not… but its a great way to breathe life back into the game while waiting for the next one to come out.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 10 years ago

      hey modding is nice but the boxed product is what you pay for.

      what if you bought a game and it was bad, lasted 1-2 hours and had bad graphics, story, sound, net code, glitches etc. you can’t defend that with the ability to mod it. DLC costing extra is simply nickle and diming the consumer, no one likes razor blade marketing ok.

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    Yup, Blizzard games are all about giving people just enough to keep them hooked without actually giving them anything.

    That’s why after playing WoW for hours on end after you’re done at night you realize you accomplished absolutely nothing if you look back on it. Time pretty much slows down and trying to accomplish something takes months instead of hours. I personally don’t understand how some people do it.

    Admittedly I do play WoW, but the only reason I currently play it is for the social interaction, which can be admittedly sparse. A lot of the people who play WoW are very bitter and jaded, I’d almost say it’s the steaming cess pool of the internet. It’s where everyone goes that fails at life in one way or another (socially, economically, religiously, you get the idea).

    If you ever tried talking to someone who is running a instance you should understand what I mean. It’s impossible to break through to them, the button rotations become monotonous and they tune out the rest of the world. It’s not like that game is overly hard either, I can do fine in instances while typing to other people, but it doesn’t works so well the other way around.

    Blizzard is hell bent on milking their consumers for all they’re worth now too. You can see this trend in how they’re upgrading content in WoW. There is always something better and I believe their expansion pack release schedules are based on when enough people start canceling their accounts.

    SC2 is starting to do this too where they added just enough content to one game where they can justify splitting it into three, but I can guarantee you it’s not the same as getting three full blown games even though you’ll be paying the price for it.

    WoW in itself is a grind, you load up the game and all of a sudden it’s time for bed, but you don’t know where all your time went. Blizzard has mastered the art of sucking out peoples souls. It’s worse then reality TV and cocaine combined. At least with one you fall into a clique and with the other people can say there is something physically wrong with you besides being a hikkimori.

    And just to correct things, WoW and Diablo 2 aren’t fun past the first time beating Diablo 2. They make you placid. It isn’t fun, but it isn’t bad either. It rides the grey line between being happy and sad and people much rather do that then actually experience something and be disappointed.

    • brm001
    • 10 years ago

    Newsflash: different people have fun doing different things

    No need to put an editorial out about it

      • VaultDweller
      • 10 years ago

      Newsflash: Editorials and blogs are intended to be opinion/discussion pieces about what’s on the writer’s mind.

      No need to whine about an editorial being an editorial.

        • tfp
        • 10 years ago

        What I don’t understand is why the author isn’t involved in the discussion after the piece is released. People have valid questions related to the write up and they don’t get a response.

        I do understand why these pieces are here, but they would get more site hits if the writers were actually involved with the discussion.

        • brm001
        • 10 years ago

        But it’s literally a stupid article. The final question is “are these games just addictive and not actually fun?” which is objectively unanswerable because different people find different things fun.

        Editorials should be strongly opinionated, not weak attempts to provoke a discussion–that the author apparently has no intention of participating in–with an incendiary strawman question. If the author would have gone to the trouble of realizing that different people find different things fun, he would either have written a different article or at least come to a conclusion/question other than the pointless one in this article.

        I can understand why the author wouldn’t want to participate, though–his entire editorial amounts to a weak troll of a gaming forum post. Thousands of idiots trying to get attention by edgily not liking Blizzard games have gone before him by dropping their “bomb” and then disappearing, and he is apparently no different.

          • scpulp
          • 10 years ago

          Actually, I tend not to reply to comments on my blog posts because they’re usually needlessly, openly hostile like yours.

            • brm001
            • 10 years ago

            How is my post hostile? I didn’t blow up in a rage or even use any particularly nasty words. I just stated my opinion of his article and his subsequent non-participation. In my opinion the article is stupid and his behavior is idiotic.

            If you can’t handle that other people might have negative opinions about your articles, you should reconsider having a blog.

            • scpulp
            • 10 years ago

            I’m this blog’s writer.

            • rohith10
            • 10 years ago

            ?

            I thought Dustin was Meadows in disguise.

            • tu2thepoo
            • 10 years ago

            l[

            • VaultDweller
            • 10 years ago

            This dude is hostile, but surely you don’t think that there are NO comments worth responding to?

            Your view on the matter is very close to mine, and I saw some comments that expressed points that I thought were worth addressing.

    • GreatGooglyMoogly
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve never liked a Blizzard game. They’re just not for me. I’ve never had the patience for this kind of, pardon the word, autistic gameplay.

      • pogsnet
      • 10 years ago
    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 10 years ago

    I have found that Diablo 2 looks like ass on my laptop but looks great on by desktop while take no prisoners looks amazing on my laptop but looks like ass on my desktop

    laptop = nvidia 8400 GS-M
    desktop = ATi 4870

    • mcbowler
    • 10 years ago

    It is an equation that someone has figured out. Men want to dominate. They believe that if they click the mouse button enough times then they will eventually be on top. Never mind that someone else is always higher than you because you are putting all those bots further underneath you.

    Reward center of the brain.. interesting concept… best way to make sure someone loses all their money at the casino?.. Let them win the first time they try. Luckily I lost $100 and never took it seriously again.

    Next, I played the stock market and turned $2000 into $4000 in a week. I have been losing ever since then.

    • mcbowler
    • 10 years ago

    I played Everquest and had some fun when I lost all my gear… I decided that no matter what I could still be successful. I grabbed the biggest ax in the game (at the time).. with like a 12 second delay time.. but 156 dmg or so.

    My troll character was but naked. People thought I was nuts wasting time swinging and backing away for 12 seconds and swinging again into the ogres. But I was still having fun with it. People felt sorry that I lost all my gear so they started giving donations. I didn’t wear them. I’m not sure if it was just so I could streak or if it was proving the game wrong. I had a purpose, I was unique, and everyone had a good time with the naked troll who refused to join in the endless quest for more imaginary crap. I gained 5 levels this way. Then I paid a friend real money for a better imaginary weapon. I guess I am nuts.

    BTW, I see no point to WoW at all. The only good thing that came out of WoW was the South Park episode.

    • c1arity
    • 10 years ago

    Fun is all a matter of perspective. I personally had a lot of fun with D2 and found far more flaws with Fallout 3 and Oblivion. Mass Effect I thought was a great game, though is a bit more difficult to compare to a traditional RPG.

    In the end RPGs can be the most anti-social or most social game genre out there. It’s all what you make it.

    • Heiwashin
    • 10 years ago

    Come play Aion dusty. The open beta has been announced for the 6th to the 13the. Worth a try but i can’t say you won’t feel the same way about the non pvp storyline and such. I do love the pvp though.

    • cegras
    • 10 years ago

    I used to play a MMO called ‘Knight Online.’

    The PVP was fricken awesome.

    But the grinding wasn’t. So I quit after wasting 1-2 years … I really wish I hadn’t gotten into it, but oh well.

      • NeronetFi
      • 10 years ago

      I played 2Moons for a year, met alot of cool people online even a couple that lived about 30 mins away from me. But the constant Grinding for barley andy advancment killed it for me. You can only get so far in an MMORPG till you say ok, I have spent XX hrs playing but am only 1/4 closer to my next level.

      My 2Moons buddies want me to play Aion, just not sure I can talk myself into pay $15 a month for a game i will probably get bored of fast.

    • TheOtherUser
    • 10 years ago

    I too was underwhelmed by Fallout 3 and Oblivion. while fallout 3’s general issues were its clunky shooting mechanics and lackluster story, Oblivion was just too lifeless, everything from the towns to the NPCs (which were recycles of each-other) failed to captivate me even for a moment.

    The games combat mechanics were well developed and the character customization was deep but the quests (especially the story ones) were just tedious and the interactions with NPCs bland.

    For me the most enjoyable RPG of recent time was The Witcher, great story and characters not to mention it gave the impression of being in a living, breathing world.

      • NeronetFi
      • 10 years ago

      I’ve been playing “The Witcher” for the past couple weeks. The game is fun, but I’m starting to get that “what have I accomplished?” feeling. I want a new game to play but something about the story keeps me coming back.

    • Voldenuit
    • 10 years ago

    I recently got hooked on Prototype. Man, the game is just sheer *fun*. The potential for (and execution of) carnage and its sheer antisocial nature is maddeningly enjoyable. Imagine a super-powered Mirror’s Edge crossed with Assassin’s Creed, Wolverine, and Hulk, and you’re halfway there.

    It runs buttery-smooth on my Radeon 4870 at 1920×1080 w/ 4xAA – you can thank (or blame) cross-platform limitations for that, but the engine is quite impressive and world it creates is very engrossing.

    As to Dustin’s opinion, I also agree that Blizzard games lack a certain ‘meatiness’ for me. In pizza analogies, it’s all topping and no crust. D2 is fun, but it’s not as engrossing for me as the Fallout series or say, The Witcher.

    • Anatta
    • 10 years ago

    Who was the biggest D2 player here?
    To give some idea I had 5 or so 90+ characters, and 5 or so 80+. My roommate used to play ps2, and one time he looked at me playing d2 and he was said “are you even having fun”. So I get what your talking about. I probably just looked like a zombie clicking a lot to him.

    Now the game gives me slight disgust and I could not bring myself to play it. After one has mostly explored all of the classes and items that is it. All that is left are social aspects like PvP. Not to mention the ruined economy and lots of creeps running around.

    But clearly the rewards, fun, and social interaction are enforcing conditions. Where are the studies on this though? Look them up and make another blog eh 😉

    Also I think the word “addicted” is thrown around too easily. I played the game a lot sure, but I suffered no ill consequences when I stopped playing. Games can have addictive characteristics, but to call a game addicting in itself is a bit sloppy.

    • Skrying
    • 10 years ago

    WoW is only good if you’re raiding on bleeding edge content or doing PvP. Otherwise you truly are not having fun.

    • neoanderthal
    • 10 years ago

    Fallout 3 and Oblivion both remind me to be a huge pond that stretches for miles, but turns out to be only a few inches deep all the way across.

    I was constantly underwhelmed with both of these games by the lack of depth to the gameplay.

    As for D2 – it was fun for a bit right out of the box. I got bored quickly with the default game, though. I only finished D2/LoD one time, with a sorceress at that. By that time, I would make up my own rules to keep my interest in the game after a while (like paladins would never loot graves/crypts, barbarians wouldn’t use magic armor/weapons, etc., *every* character was ‘hardcore’, and was deleted after death, etc.). It added to the challenge, and kind of kept the game somewhat fresh.

    I also hated the fact that Blizzard continued to nerf the game with patches, rather than just fix bugs. Years after the game comes out, here comes the 1.10 patch that made creating rejuvination potions require a gem fragment. Stupid.

    My kids would grind that game all day, every day, though. Perhaps that’s Blizzard’s *real* target audience – people who are up for the korean MMO-esque grind. I couldn’t take it.

    • Beomagi
    • 10 years ago

    10 accounts, through college 😛 all living off the land…

    What’s fun is you can keep tweaking and developing your character, or build your characters is numerous different ways.

    e.g. paladin – zealot, avenger, charger, bow user (fanat+buriza, holyfire+explosive) etc.

    i.e. just because you pick a class, doesn’t mean you’re going to be a cookie cutter.

    If you’re picking up diablo, pick up the high res executable.

    E.g.
    §[< http://beomagi.ath.cx/pics/game/DiabloII/1600x900is_pretty.jpg<]§

      • Convert
      • 10 years ago

      Hmm, I looked into those before but it seemed like either they were buggy or you couldn’t play on bnet.

    • blitzy
    • 10 years ago

    WC3 is my fav blizz game because the games are nice and fast, doesnt have the same hair pulling micro as starcraft, cool custom maps if youre into that, ladder play finds games nice and quick…. and it has been supported SUPERBLY through patches to this very day

    WoW is also great, but a heck of a time sink. Despite how people say how simple and noobed out of a MMO it is, there is heaps to learn, it is a massive game no matter what angle you play (PVE/PVP/RP)

    • designerfx
    • 10 years ago

    I play eve online for this reason. There is always progression, and you are able to achieve what you want, without it being dumbed down.

    Meanwhile I agree, lots of games need to fix this crap, this brain reward center manipulation.

    I played wow hardcore, went back to guildwars. played eve hardcore, goes back to L4d/supcom.

      • Lazier_Said
      • 10 years ago

      I played Eve for the two week trial.

      The real time elapsed based skill advancement detached the reward from the grind and killed the ‘slot machine with every click’ feeling of more addictive games.

      I lost interest before the two weeks were up.

    • moshpit
    • 10 years ago

    “Blizzard games = gaming junk food.”

    Pure genius and absolutely true!

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve actually never played WoW or any of the Diablo games, but I have a favorable impression of their RTS games. I think Starcraft makes a great LAN party game and WC3 is fun for people who have played it at least 5 hours or so.

    I think that the problem that you’re talking about is an RPG problem and not necessarily a Blizzard problem. RPGs are often designed to be as long as possible because people want that for some strange reason. D2 is a fairly old school RPG made back in the day when a reviewer would deduct points if the game didn’t take 50 hours to beat. It’s not entirely fair to compare a game like Mass Effect to a game like D2. It was much easier to create environments and battles in D2 because it’s an isometric game with simple graphics. Every level in Mass Effect probably took months to make, so every level was thought through more thoroughly than a D2 level.

      • VaultDweller
      • 10 years ago

      l[

    • Richie_G
    • 10 years ago

    I’m surprised anyone’s surprised. It’s a business first and foremost; they want your money, and they’ll use the cheap tricks to get it. No doubt Blizzard does a good job with content, but at the same time the basic mechanics of their games are unchanged – for good reason.

    If they try a different model they run the risk of biting the hand that feeds them.
    What confounds me is how little people are willing to point the finger: woe betide anyone who does, for the number of people viscously throwing themselves to the defence of these shameless profiteers. I don’t hate them, but I’m not going to pretend that our enjoyment is their highest priority.

    • Creamsteak
    • 10 years ago

    I spent an unholy amount of time on SC, Diablo, D2, WC3, and WoW respectively. I enjoyed it all. What ruins these games for me now isn’t the grinding or the repetition, but rather, the lack of mystery. I loved these games when everything was new and nobody knew all the secrets to the game. In the case of Starcraft and WC3, I still enjoy them though because of the nature of those games.

    I like going into a game blind, no cheat codes, no walk through, no guide. When Diablo 2 originally released, a lot of what is common knowledge now didn’t exist. I miss those days.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve actually been playing r[

    • willyolio
    • 10 years ago

    i sometimes get the same feeling, except i know exactly why i do it. for me, perfecting a character is fun in itself. i do this with japanese RPGs and stuff, too.

    like final fantasy 7- finding the rarest materia, mastering 3 versions of every one, getting all the ultimate weapons, etc.

    or FF8- keeping my level ridiculously low, getting the rarest magic through cards, ending up with characters with 9999 HP and 255 strength at level 12 or so.

    and Fallout 2: ended up with a character with very high stats in melee and energy weapons, 100% critical hits on every attack, etc. oh, and Bloody Mess, of course.

    Diablo 2 makes getting the last, ultimate pieces extremely hard, so every little increase in power is exponentially more difficult to achieve. that’s why i end up playing it so much.

    • Clint Torres
    • 10 years ago

    Tell me you built a Druid…the ravens are mean lil bastards when maxed out and don’t get me started on the grizzly bear.

    Yes, I’ve wasted plenty of my life on this game.

    I’ll let you in on a lil secret…you can give items, gems work well, to a player you create to “hold” these items. Save the player after you’ve given him something then have him give it back to you then restore the player’s saved state prior to him giving the items back. You can amass huge fortunes this way…perfect skulls are worth $25k in Harrogath. You do all of this in lan multiplayer mode. Also good for stashing runes.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      you might as well use a trainer if you’re going to do that. This sort of duping is why the “closed” b.net sessions have your characters stored on a server.

    • TheCollective
    • 10 years ago

    I think you’ve missed the point. The feeling of emptiness is not a lack of fun, but rather a realization that you’ve wasted so much time without realizing it. That is the premium crack that Blizzard sells. The story is compelling, the environments immersive. Down to the last detail, they work to make the game a satisfying experience. Don’t knock them for doing what they do, they just do it too well.

    • BooTs
    • 10 years ago

    I can totally see what you mean about the games being designed to hit your brains reward centre, but to lump all Blizzard games in to that pile isn’t accurate. Warcraft III was a really awesome games, and WoW is/ (was when I played it) a very deep game, in terms of the combat. There is deffinately the same type of reward centre activation as in Diablo, but the game combat in raids and PvP is very deep.

    Hopefully Diablo III is deeper in the combat and story with some sense of progression that is missing from II. But if not, I think I’ll still enjoy hacking up baddies with my buddies online.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 10 years ago

    I never liked Diablo II. It feels like a waste of time to me. Before anyone says anything, yes, I know, it’s a video game, but I mean like it’s beating you over the head that grinding away is the point of the game.

    I love Starcraft to this day, though. The funny thing about SC is that you don’t progress in it, but I find it more rewarding than any other game I can think of.

    Rather than just repetively doing the same things and watching some numbers on items and your character go up, you can make whacky UMS games and write your own AIs. You are your own limit, rather than the game (for the most part), so it allows you to push yourself, if that’s what you’re interested in.

    I can’t think of anything else, in any game, that’s more rewarding than figuring out how to make your own AIs and maps more difficult and over the top than anyone else’s, and then finally managing to beat them.

    I don’t like most Blizzard games, but they sure are good at putting the seemingly little things into games that keep them addictive over time. I guess it just depends on what type of person you are. They seem to have most people pegged, with one game or another.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 10 years ago

      edit: reply to wrong post?

    • kcarlile
    • 10 years ago

    Yup, that sounds about right. I kicked the WoW habit over a year ago, happily. Thresher’s got the right of it, too.

    • VaultDweller
    • 10 years ago

    l[

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 10 years ago

      I like both, and also diablo’s atmosphere over diablo2’s.
      Additionally, I prefer hellfire over diablo, because of missing features.
      And even at that, I use mods because hellfire is lacking.
      (dclicker+the hell/dark/HFF)

      However, Diablo 2 rolls all of the good features into one, and has more viable characters.
      D2 takes the hassle out, has better graphics, but less atmosphere, it’s a trade off.

      If you can’t stand the bugs of d1, or the hassle of using mods to manage them, D2 it is.
      D2 is easier to get immersed/hooked because of that.

      I don’t like playing either game online though.
      Too many headaches dealing with hardcore players.
      Kinda like starcraft.

    • swaaye
    • 10 years ago

    As just about anyone else who was a gamer during those years, I’ve done both D1 and D2. I liked the games for their music, atmosphere, and even the stories I suppose. And of course I’m not entirely immune to the RPG loot/leveling happy feeling. But I definitely don’t get an endless rush from loot/leveling grinding and doing “runs” or raids as they call them now. Blah. “Missing the point” is what I call it. That sort of gaming isn’t something I even really imagined until I saw people doing D2 boss runs for years on end.

    • Shinare
    • 10 years ago

    You need to play Sacred 2.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    More manufactured rage. At least this time you didn’t go buy a CPU for a chipset you knew wasn’t going to perform the way you wanted to, randomly tossed out hardware and upgrade stuff on the hopes that one of the whole big mess might actually fix the problem, and then spent more money than you would have if you’d gone with a smarter choice that would in the end give better performance.

      • FubbHead
      • 10 years ago

      Helloooo…

      /[

      • ludi
      • 10 years ago

      Speaking of manufactured rage, what on earth is /[

        • derFunkenstein
        • 10 years ago

        Nah, I just think this guy kinda killed his credibility with his rush to spend wads of cash without thinking about whether or not it was 1.) even an upgrade to what he had and B.) the solution to his “problem”.

        I actually like some of the blogs. This guy needs to think about “do I really want to say this publicly?”

          • ludi
          • 10 years ago

          *shrug* I’ve had a couple moments of 73h $7up|d taking over my brain because I was autistically intent on getting the job done, some of which cost me more money than I needed to spend. Shoot, I nearly blew up the electrical system on my car last spring because I was having a bad day and attempted to install a battery backwards, right up to the point where I gently tapped the positive terminal to the post and got a shower of sparks (saved by the alternator diodes).

          It’s a blog. The man can talk. If you like his topic, great; if you don’t, there’s no point trying to tar him with the mistake of two or three or four posts ago. I mean, to make this a bit personal, you publicly admitted in the dymt2 thread that you’re having trouble not cussing around your baby daughter…and that’s a lot cheaper and easier to do than throwing a cool grand at a phantom hardware problem, right?

            • pullmyfoot
            • 10 years ago

            +1 I agree with that

            • derFunkenstein
            • 10 years ago

            True, the man can talk, and continues to do so – at length – much to my chagrin. As long as I’m dumb enough to click the link and read it, TR is getting what they’re paying him for.

    • Convert
    • 10 years ago

    I think the majority of the fun I personally experienced playing Diablo II was very much tied to the timeframe it was released.

    It’s like going back and watching a series or a movie from a long time ago, you kind of feel silly you ever liked it.

    The reason for that is because for the time D2 /[

      • Pettytheft
      • 10 years ago

      You must not have played Fallout 3 much if you think that leveling doesn’t help. By the time you hit 13 you could lay waste to just about anything out there with no problem. There are certain monsters that you could just not take on in Fallout 3 in the earlier levels. Unless you dumped all of your points into non-combat skills killing things was no problem. In Oblivion that wasn’t the case. If you leveled too quickly and didn’t set the right skills the monsters leveled with you and pretty much owned you wherever you went.

        • Convert
        • 10 years ago

        I beat the game *shrug*. I even tried to find all of the places on the map. I spent quite a bit of time on the game.

        I will admit though that I never even tried using the V.A.T.S. system.

        There are so many things wrong with Fallout 3 though that I best not start rambling on about it.

        • Lazier_Said
        • 10 years ago

        The scaled world totally ruined both Oblivion and FO3 for me.

        Early in the game, I came across my first super mutant. Remembered how badass they were in all the previous Fallout games, looked at the pathetic weapon I had at the time – think it was a hunting rifle, maybe even the 10mm pistol – and figured I was in for a hopeless fight and glorious death. And it was a pushover.

        A couple days and a bunch of levels later, every random encounter Raider – who I went through like a knife through butter back when they had Chinese pistols – was pwning me with sniper rifles and rocket launchers.

        No feeling of weakness early, no feeling of power late, no reward to advance.

          • Convert
          • 10 years ago

          Same experience here.

          I never played the prior Elder Scrolls games so I trudged through. I liked the game because it was something new, Oblivion to me was not like any other game. I am willing to admit that though, prior fans of the Elder Scrolls games probably think Oblivion sucks.

          So the issue with FO3 is two fold, one I played the prior releases and two I already played Oblivion. Oblivion 2: Nuclear Warfare was a dead and beaten horse in a new setting.

      • moshpit
      • 10 years ago

      I honestly found Fallout 3 quite rewarding, enjoyable, and extremely replayable in a manner none of the previous FO games did. But, much like the author of this article, games like the original FO and they’re predecessors like Diablo/D2 just never sucked me in properly immersion-wise. Oh yeah, I could play the HELL out of them, but it was a grind on all of them. Plus I hate 3rd person perspectives.

      I’ve now beaten the main quest line in FO3 only once, but have replayed it more times then I can count as something new and interesting came out to make me want to start all over again. None of the diablo or first 3 FO games had that kind of hold on my gaming time.

        • ironoutsider
        • 10 years ago

        I too was consumed by the storyline, funny quirks (finding the vault full of Gregs was awesome!), and replayability in Fallout 3. I don’t think Fallout3 was a brainless game either… It had a long story line, fun combat system, tons of quests. What the heck more do you want!?

          • Convert
          • 10 years ago

          A lot of people enjoyed Fallout 3, a fact that becomes apparent every time I speak badly about it.

          *[

            • Richie_G
            • 10 years ago

            I also think Fallout 3 is very bland, though I’ve not tried the new content (and am not likely to bother since I’ve not been sold on it so far).

            • ShadowTiger
            • 10 years ago

            I feel like if you just run and gun the game can get pretty boring. However, the way I play I sneak around, carry only a few guns and head shot every enemy with a 1 hit kill. Some enemies don’t die in one hit, and then they call their friends to help. This way of playing is very rewarding, because its like a puzzle with skill involved. Going around and killing the monsters while taking zero damage and conserving ammunition. I ended up with thousands of rounds of ammo because I got so good at stealth kills. You just have to find a way to enjoy the game through ROLE PLAYING. If you don’t… the game won’t appeal to you.

            • Firestarter
            • 10 years ago

            That’s a pretty critical distinction that you make, which many players who just want to play a game may fail to see. In the end, and RPG can only be as good as you allow it to be by allowing yourself to become engrossed by it. Ofcourse, with some games this is easier than with others.

            Which makes me wonder in what kind of delusional happy-land the WoW-addicts live in

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 10 years ago

      I liked Titan Quest the first time through, but once you beat it, it was pretty lame. And the expansion screwed it up. You became too high level and it turned into a complete joke, when it wasn’t terribly difficult to begin with.

      If someone could take that concept of making it more story driven and with continually evolving skills, it would be a blast to play repeatedly, so long as it continues to become more challenging. They dropped the ball there.

    • Thresher
    • 10 years ago

    “Blizzard games seem to punish more casual players and balance things for the obsessive ones.”

    I’ve been trying to figure out what it was that just kind of turns me off about Blizzard games and I think this statement captures it better than anything. WoW is a huge Skinner Box, giving you occasional pellets for repetitive banging on the bar. After a while, one feels like those stereotypical old ladies you see at casinos with a cup full of coins who stand bleary eyed feeding quarters into the slot machine.

    Diablo rewards repetive, brainless actions. WoW, rewards you only if you like working in teams. Soloing in WoW becomes as repetitive as Diablo and it is actually punished at a certain point with crappy gear.

    All that said, I’ve played through Diablo2 a few times, but again, it’s kind of like Chinese food. Even after playing for hours, I tend to feel a bit empty a little while after playing.

    • steelcity_ballin
    • 10 years ago

    It’s a similar process to a casino. The lights, the sounds, the tactile feedback of certain games, and of course the shot at winning all play a large role in keeping you coming back. My mom loves games like peggle and bejewelled. There is almost no incentive to play these in my mind, no loot, no real reward. But she loves colors and noises.

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    I think Diablo II really is fun, and I was moderately satisfied with the story going on, but the game does lose its grasp as soon as you’ve finished it once.

    I also think multiplayer tends to degrade the experience more, whereas it would help in games such as WoW.

    At least it’s dirt cheap nowadays, but sadly D2 is no good for “quick fixes”, due to monster respawns between game loads and the waypoint-bound nature of progress. But if you have at least a half hour free, sure it’ll kill your time.

    • sroylance
    • 10 years ago

    Any multiplayer game with a large player base requires constant tweaking in response to player finding minmax niches or tactics that unbalance the game. I played natural selection pretty heavily for a while, and the situation was similar. We played the same scenario over for hours, with only two possible results each time. The fun wasn’t in any sense of progress, but in interacting socially with the rest of the team and matching our tactics against the ‘enemy’.

    • herothezero
    • 10 years ago

    My sentiments exactly–except that I never really got addicted to WoW or Diablo for the very reasons laid out. It’s got to be fun for me to get addicted. I have other stuff in life to do.

    • Spurenleser
    • 10 years ago

    No one is forcing you to keep playing, just as no one is forcing the smokers to keep smoking. Realizing that the game isn’t satisfying may be the first step in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go. This is from someone who has wasted countless months of his youth playing CS, Diablo II and many others. I still play games. I played Wolfenstein for example. Good times. But redistributing the PC-gaming time to playing basketball with friends or lifting weights is just so much more rewarding that I rarely pick up a new game.

    That said, I think all PC-games are equally worthless (i.e. a waste of time).

      • axeman
      • 10 years ago

      I agree, but what I find sad is that MMOs are designed to suck you in and never let you go. I find it almost borderline evil that they are just trying to milk people for cash on an ongoing basis. That said, we all have free will, and no one is going to make you play.

    • khands
    • 10 years ago

    That’s pretty much how I felt about every MMO I’ve ever played. I enjoyed them sure but they felt really empty. That’s one of the reasons I believe I’ve gravitated so strongly towards RPG’s, is because they usually have such a strong story attached to them.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve been doing the same thing with Hellgate London lately. I recently ran into Hellgate London Revival, which is both a Modification to the original game, and will soon be an extensive addition / patch. It’s been keeping me busy for quite some time now. Still plenty of fun for me.

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