“Just was wondering, is this an out-of-season April Fool’s joke?”
November 6, 2018 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Diablo Immortal and How Hype Culture Can Negatively Impact Game Reveals [Dual Shockers] “Last weekend saw the reveal of Diablo Immortal, a brand new game in Blizzard’s long-running series. Unfortunately, it was met with overwhelming negative reception upon its reveal by fans, as it was for iOS and Android and announced when fans were expecting a Diablo remaster or the next main entry in the franchise, Diablo 4. As Diablo Immortal doesn’t even look that bad, the negative response to it highlights a larger recurring problem with hype culture and how it can prevent fans from seeing the bigger picture or giving something potentially good a chance.” [YouTube][BlizzCon Reactions]

• Blizzard Says It Wasn't Expecting Fans To Be This Angry About Diablo Immortal [Kotaku]
“Backlash to Diablo Immortal, however, has continued to rage across social media, YouTube, Reddit, and other sites since then. It stems, for the most part, from a pre-BlizzCon Blizzard blog post that was meant to temper fans’ expectations and clarify that there are multiple Diablo projects in the works, but which did say that “we do intend to share some Diablo-related news with you at the show.” The blog post got many fans’ hopes up foreven a low-level loot drop of information about Diablo IV. Failing that, they were at least holding out for a remaster of a classic Diablo game. Instead, they got a mobile game that’s being developed in collaboration with Chinese company NetEase. Some fans have taken this as a sign that Blizzard has forsaken PC and console in favor of greener mobile pastures—and thus, that they’ve forsaken the fans that they built their foundation on.”
• Diablo: Immortal broke the unspoken rules of Blizzard, and BlizzCon [Polygon]
““The way I’ve been kind of looking at the mixed comments is what those folks are really saying is they desperately, passionately want the next big thing,” Allen Adham, executive producer and Blizzard co-founder told Polygon in a previous interview. “So I actually think that those two items are being conflated ... It’s pretty clear to us that there is a huge audience around the world that is gonna love this title. So hopefully we’ll get there.” I disagree with this assessment, and it ignores the expectations that Blizzard itself has spent decades creating in its fans. So what went wrong with this reveal? How did Blizzard mess up what should have been a fairly standard game announcement? Why is Diablo: Immortal such a bizarre shift for Blizzard, and why is it triggering such rage and anxiety in the audience? You have to look at the big picture to make sense of all this, because there’s more logic to this situation than it may appear.”
• Diablo Immortal backlash shows once again triple-A publishers are afraid of their audiences [Pocket Gamer]
“Of course, it is perfectly reasonable to dislike the majority of mobile games if they do not fit in with your style. That’s a lot of genres to hate, but that's okay. To get so riled up or disappointed with a mobile release of a big IP and start spitting blood seems unreasonable. As if mobile games are so inferior as to be worth no one’s time. As if they only exist as a cash grab. It’s an opinion stuck firmly in the past. The potential to generate money is no doubt a motivation of course. It’s the same motivation that leads these big companies to invest $100 million-plus in a triple-A console game. It’s time for people to get with the times and understand that there are hundreds of millions of people who play and enjoy mobile games. Who aren’t all gambling addicts. Though that’s not to say there isn’t a serious discussion to be had about certain monetisation practices (which many Asian countries have cracked down on). It’s also quite rich for some websites to decry the toxicity surrounding the Diablo mobile game backlash when those same websites consistently air disappointment about mobile game releases when it comes to big IP. Typical reactions include: “Game has been announced!... but it’s for mobile."”
posted by Fizz (72 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
The analogy I used to explain this would be like if Porsche went to the Geneva Motor Show and instead of showing their next generation 911 or Cayenne, they instead just had a booth showing a cheap subcompact economy car and they were outsourcing the design and manufacture to Great Wall or Geely.

Yes the tears or Porsche fans or Geely fans are amusing and arguably they're both a flavour of entitled but it's really not an unexpected outcome...
posted by xdvesper at 5:21 PM on November 6 [15 favorites]


I think this backlash is just an extension of the age-old "PC Master race" and "Console Wars" nonsense that has been going on in games for ~25 years now. The only thing "hardcore" PC and Console gamers can agree on is that mobile is for "filthy casuals".

Videogame fanbases can be breathtakingly lower-case "c" conservative about what they want. Just keep releasing the same thing I like but a bit better. Don't go off the beaten path. I saw a lot of the same kind of bellyaching around the announcement of Fallout 76: "bbbbut I wanna another Fallout New Vegas, don't try something new."
posted by Groundhog Week at 5:25 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


I disagree that this is just another manifestation of "PC/Console" wars, Groundhog Week. I think it's pretty clear that Blizzard took an extremely low-effort approach to a mobile game (to the level of simply having a vendor reskin an existing pay-to-win game) and made the mistake of it being a centerpiece of their own con rather than a "by the way" for something else (such as D4 or a remaster of D2) that they definitely knew the crowd was expecting. It was tone-deaf, and lazy. They definitely deserve to get a good PR whacking over it.
posted by tclark at 5:35 PM on November 6 [45 favorites]


The analogy I used to explain this would be like if Porsche went to the Geneva Motor Show and instead of showing their next generation 911 or Cayenne, they instead just had a booth showing a cheap subcompact economy car and they were outsourcing the design and manufacture to Great Wall or Geely.

Except that this is a bad analogy, because the reality is that mobile gaming is a massive sector of the overall industry and where a lot of people are playing - and with titles like FortNite having mobile clients that are playing with other platforms, one that is becoming comparable with other platforms. The idea that mobile gaming isn't "real gaming" is purely a fiction, and one that needs to die.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:36 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


Blizzard doesn't understand its users. They shouldn't be surprised, they should be controlling the surprise.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:38 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


Sorry I meant to write "Blizzard fans" not Geely fans.

For more context - Diablo 3 is the third highest selling PC game of all time at 20 mil copies. The gap between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 was 12 years (2000 to 2012) so on that basis we'd be lucky to see Diablo 4 in 2024... if ever. Remember that Diablo 3 is essentially a failed experiment in monetization at this point - they planned to fund the servers via the real money auction house, but found it had a very negative impact on the game. To preserve the integrity of the game, they cancelled the auction house and have essentially had no plans how to monetize the game ever since, while delivering updates (notably the update that brought the game to DX11) and new seasonal content every 4 months. I gained a lot of respect for Blizzard over this.
posted by xdvesper at 5:39 PM on November 6 [6 favorites]


I think it's pretty clear that Blizzard took an extremely low-effort approach to a mobile game (to the level of simply having a vendor reskin an existing pay-to-win game)

You know, I've been hearing this, but what I haven't been seeing is actual evidence that this is the case. And given that there is $Alaska in mobile gaming, it's not surprising that Blizzard would go in this direction, because, well, $Alaska.

Or in short, what Bob Chipman said.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:42 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


I think it's pretty clear that Blizzard took an extremely low-effort approach to a mobile game (to the level of simply having a vendor reskin an existing pay-to-win game)

I disagree that this is "pretty clear". I know that that is what many expect, but that is unknowable with just demo. Upon release, it could be the best damn mobile game ever with the breadth and depth (if not more so) of Diablo 3. We don't know until release.
posted by Groundhog Week at 5:44 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


essentially had no plans how to monetize the game ever since

Well except for the $20 (+$20 for expansion) current price tag (it was a full $60 at launch). You might argue that servers are expensive and not covered by the up-front cost, except computation (and bandwidth) are cheaper than they've ever been, and there's no reason D3 had to be always-online dedicated-servers-only, except that their money making plan of the real money auction house required dedicated only to stop cheating.

I'll note that this reflects a trend in which effectively single-player games are made always-online for the business reason that the companies can then charge money to let players cheat (in an offline game the companies cannot stop the players from cheating for free).
posted by Pyry at 5:50 PM on November 6 [6 favorites]


This is hilarious. Pay-to-win Skinner box mobile games are an absolute blight, and Blizzard should have seen this reaction coming from way off. I mean, of course it's a ludicrous overreaction, but it's still funny to watch.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:51 PM on November 6 [20 favorites]


It's a cheap F2P Chinese cash grab. I don't care about it one way or another, but I would be surprised if anyone was exactly excited about it.
posted by codacorolla at 5:52 PM on November 6 [11 favorites]


The only thing "hardcore" PC and Console gamers can agree on is that mobile is for "filthy casuals".

I am a longtime Diablo fan. I have been actively playing Diablo 3 in, like, the last week. I'm not upset because mobile games are casual. I'm upset because mobile games are, by and large, a scam. This is ridiculous. This is not some kind of innovation on Blizzard's part. This is not FortNite. Mobile games are a space where if you're going to pay another company to make it for you and you're going to paste your art assets on top of that, yes, in 2018, you need to establish that it is not just going to be a monetization scheme with minimal gameplay, rather than the other way around. I haven't seen evidence that there is a real game here. I would be 100% okay with it being a casual game. There is a difference between a game that is casual and a game that exists primarily to get its players to keep pumping in cash for minimal development effort, and there is no reason to be giving any AAA company benefit of the doubt on this.

Tons and tons of resources right now are being pumped into turning games into a platform for generating revenue without regard for whether they are actually entertaining. Yes, I object to this. The kind of manipulation that the mobile "game" companies do is stuff that I think ought to be actually illegal. There are places that can and have put out genuinely good games on mobile that this doesn't apply to--but there's nothing here to suggest this is that game. This isn't innovation; this is Blizzard taking the next logical step after "oh, but the loot boxes are just for cosmetic items".

Casual gamers deserve so, so much better than what the industry is currently providing, and if this moves that needle at all, it will, like the real-money auction house, be because Blizzard figured out their hoped-for cash cow isn't going to materialize.
posted by Sequence at 5:54 PM on November 6 [56 favorites]


Mobile games are a space where if you're going to pay another company to make it for you and you're going to paste your art assets on top of that, yes, in 2018, you need to establish that it is not just going to be a monetization scheme with minimal gameplay, rather than the other way around.

That's a fair point.

I'm still going to withhold my judgement until release. Until then, I choose optimism.
posted by Groundhog Week at 5:59 PM on November 6


they instead just had a booth showing a cheap subcompact economy car and they were outsourcing the design and manufacture to Great Wall or Geely.

Also you can only ride in it via Uber/Lyft/etc, except it's surge pricing all day every day. You can elect not to pay, but every ride you take in it, ever, will increase the next ride by an hour.
posted by curious nu at 6:04 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


You ever hear the phrase "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining?"

I'm willing to concede that the idea of a mobile Diablo is pretty damn good. Diablo's gameplay would be conducive to a touch interface, there have been other pretty good games made in the same style that succeeded.

However, there are a few major concerns:

1. Diablo Immortal isn't a real blizzard product. It's made by a Chinese company called NetEase. It looks like a reskin of an already existing game Crusaders of Light (which is made by NetEase).

2. PC gamers don't take mobile games seriously because of their "Pay 2 Win" reputation. Blizzard also doesn't have a great history with this (look at Hearthstone).

3. The Diablo series has a history of P2W - Diablo III shipped with a real money auction house and was P2W at launch! Diablo fans are extremely sensitive to the concept of P2W with the diablo series in particular, the case shop pissed everyone off.

It's possible to make a mobile diablo that isn't P2W gacha crap, but literally no one on the planet trusts Blizzard to make that game, given the history of Diablo III and Hearthstone.

Now if they'd announced Diablo II remastered, and were like "look, you can even play it on your cell phone", that meeting would've gone well.
posted by Veritron at 6:21 PM on November 6 [19 favorites]


Teenage edgelords can't handle the prospect that their mom could beat them in a Diablo game.
posted by straight at 6:27 PM on November 6 [9 favorites]


Won't someone please make sure the billion dollar corporations get the respect they deserve!?

My main concern about gaming audiences is death threats and other harassment. If people are pissed and letting the company know, even if they aren't the politest about it, fine. If they're going after individuals and crossing the line, then fuck them.

It's possible to do good mobile games. Blizzard is great at taking existing concepts/genres and outdoing everyone else on polish. Will they do that here? I guess we'll see.
posted by ODiV at 6:40 PM on November 6 [6 favorites]


This reaction is somewhat primed by the last Fallout, roll out to, know? Gamers don't like to see tentpole series ship without singleplayer, even if they have a robust online fanbase. And as popular as Overwatch is, Blizzard fans don't all want that kind of game.So this is just seen as another bad omen. I might be way out of my element here, as I'm a pretty casual gamer. So tell me if I'm talking nonsense.

Also, I DO know that Diablo fans have flocked to the excellent Path Of Exiles, which has a TUN of free content, is still updating for different features and builds, and long ago fixed a bunch of crap that Diablo 3 players are still complaining about.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:07 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


I am absolutely not "PC Master Race", but Diablo is a keyboard & mouse game. I have zero interest in holding a phone or tablet in my lap for the 2 hours that I want to spend on Diablo today. I will give them $5 for a Kingdom Rush game that features the Diablo universe. I have a Samsung S9. Diablo Immortal would drain the battery in 5 minutes. Guess I will stay home and play my "mobile" games? Yeah.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:25 PM on November 6 [5 favorites]


Another note: If I step away from Hearthstone on my S9 for more than a month, it takes at least an hour to download and install updates. Not a mobile game.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:27 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


I'm still going to withhold my judgement until release. Until then, I choose optimism.

I think this is something where I don't fault you for doing that, but I lost my ability to do that when Dungeon Keeper came out five years ago. Now, I will be SUPER EXCITED if studios start coming out with actually good mobile games, because I have a phone and, honestly, even my interest in Diablo 3 is really predicated on it being a game that's really good to play around the rest of the stuff in your life. But I need these companies to do some consistent work in this area before they get the assumption that they're trying and that the monetization isn't going to be gross.

But yeah, as Veritron notes, I think the biggest thing here is that doing this with Diablo is leading to the impression that Diablo is the IP they're going to keep using to do their riskier monetization experiments, and yeah, it makes me feel like I somehow wound up in the population of fans they deemed the most exploitable.
posted by Sequence at 7:44 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


Here's Jim "Jim Fucking Sterling Son" Sterling's video on the announcement. He gives a bit of background, in that mobile versions of PC games are often pretty terrible.

Previously, here's him talking about EA's Command and Conquer: Rivals and Dungeon Keeper Mobile. Two unique and well regarded franchises that have been pulverized into a slurry of micro-transactions.

This announcement was "That thing you liked? Yeah, we're pulverizing it into more slurry". To a crowd of people who were so enthusiastic about the thing that they had paid to be at a con.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:46 PM on November 6 [12 favorites]


Portal of Evil is super fun, and gets regular content additions. And is also somehow F2P. It's basically what Diablo 3 should've been.
posted by codacorolla at 7:50 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


The thing that always gets me is that as gamers, we're not obligated or forced to buy games. No one is holding a gun to our heads. I vote with my dollars, but all too often, you see these scandals, these dust-ups and a few months later, people are still pre-ordering deluxe editions and playing on release day 1. If gamers truly want to send a message to these massive corporations, then we should use our dollars and vote by not purchasing, by not engaging, by not playing. I try to do that as much as possible but it seems the vast majority of gamers just don't have that spine or fortitude.
posted by Fizz at 7:54 PM on November 6 [5 favorites]


The idea that mobile gaming isn't "real gaming" is purely a fiction, and one that needs to die.

On the level of principle, I totally agree with this, but on a practical level it’s a feeling I’ve started to harbor on my own, although for very different reasons than the anti-casual segment of gamers offers. I’ve come to resent how, for the most part, the people who make mobile games have responded to the limitations of the control scheme (and I think touchscreens are inherently limited because of things like their lack of physical feedback) by making games that are insultingly and boringly limited in their breadth. Consider all the racing games that offer just the ability to turn left or right: so many mobile games are like rail shooters with even less player input involved, and how am I not supposed to find that completely not compelling? There are notable exceptions: The Witness makes the most of the touchscreen, Monument Valley creates challenges for the player on a level above how you move about its spaces, FEZ adds dynamics that are easily controllable via touch but that give you a real sense of agency. But that sort of creativity in response to the medium’s constraints are rare, and I keep seeking out good games on the platform only to find that they’re either intolerably clumsy to control or infuriatingly limited in what they let you control. I’m sure that the price pressure of the various app stores is a deciding factor in how crappy most mobile games end up being, but it nonetheless makes for a pretty bleak landscape.
posted by invitapriore at 7:57 PM on November 6 [13 favorites]


I saw a lot of the same kind of bellyaching around the announcement of Fallout 76: "bbbbut I wanna another Fallout New Vegas, don't try something new."

Uhh, ever hear of Fallout: Tactics? Companies will always try for this kind of thing, and sometimes it works. But they eventually return either because they fail or whatever is old is fashionable again. It's kind of cyclical.
posted by FJT at 7:58 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


It's very funny to me that Diablo fans are complaining about a mobile game because they're casual and rely on hooking you into addictive feedback loops. Diablo is a game where you click on things to kill them and get better loot so you can click on things to kill them better. Slot machines aside, the franchise pretty much invented feedback loop gaming!
posted by naju at 8:35 PM on November 6 [11 favorites]


Slot machines aside, the franchise pretty much invented feedback loop gaming!
naju

Yeah, but they didn't make you pay each time you clicked on things to kill them, which is the current mobile model.

Except that this is a bad analogy, because the reality is that mobile gaming is a massive sector of the overall industry and where a lot of people are playing - and with titles like FortNite having mobile clients that are playing with other platforms, one that is becoming comparable with other platforms. The idea that mobile gaming isn't "real gaming" is purely a fiction, and one that needs to die.
NoxAeternum

It's not the "PC Master Race" crowd's fault that mobile gaming has become virtually synonymous with low-quality garbage and loot box cash scams. Your own defense of Blizzard notes how much money there is to be made by exploiting this ocean of essentially skinned-over gambling apps.

If you're bothered by mobile gaming having negative connotations, perhaps be upset at the terrible practices (which, frankly, should be illegal) that have infested the space.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:46 PM on November 6 [10 favorites]


It's very funny to me that Diablo fans are complaining about a mobile game because they're casual and rely on hooking you into addictive feedback loops.

The issue is... Diablo 3 released 6 years ago? Many of the 20 million players were no doubt people who played it for the story and then put the game down once they got to the end. Yet there's still an active playerbase.... people who are still playing the game are most like having fun with the competitive aspect of Seasons play. That's probably who shows up to Blizzcon...

The gameplay is astonishingly deep and complex, the twitch reactions required rivaling that of a bullet hell game. I would say it has one of the higher skill caps that exists in single player gaming - I have been playing for years and I'm still so far from what the top players achieve.

I could write 10 pages on Lightning Wizard mechanics alone, and that's just one of 4-5 viable builds for Wizards, never mind all the other 6 classes. For those who might be interested here is the most abridged summary I can provide...

Clearing GR70 solo is the first "milestone" of a new Season and it's not an easy challenge - enemies are very tough and you are under a 15 minute time limit. Getting enough damage and survivability at the same time is a function of players figuring out how to stack multiple interlayered game mechanics with impeccable timing, which I'll briefly run over.

Convention of Elements - it's a ring that constantly cycles through each of the 4 elements (fire-lightning-arcane-cold), giving you a massive damage bonus to that element for 4 seconds each, making a full cycle 16 seconds. This cycle time underpins the rest of the build. Basically you focus on a single element (Lightning in this case) and you only do damage for 4 seconds, then spend 12 seconds "out" of cycle.

Tal Rasha's Elements set bonus - each elemental attack type gives you a large (750%) damage bonus for 8 seconds, stacking up to 3000% at once if you spec into and land all 4 elemental type attacks. However, when you enter Archon form you are restricted to just 1 element, which means you only keep that 3000% damage bonuses for 8 seconds at best while in Archon form, then you're "out" of cycle until you drop Archon form.

Vyr's Amazing Arcana set bonus - Archon gains the effect of all runes and gains bonuses per stack. "Archon" is a Wizard spell that transforms you into a being of energy with high damage and survivability. It has a 120 second cooldown, it lasts for 20 seconds. Kills you make while in Archon mode gives you "stacks" which provide massive bonuses to damage, attack speed and survivability. Basically you only do damage for 20 seconds, then spend 100 seconds "out" of cycle, the out of cycle time is reduced by cooldown reduction (which becomes crucial later)

Gogok of Swiftness - gain 1% cooldown reduction for 4 seconds per enemy hit, stacks 15 times for a max of 15% cooldown reduction. If you don't hit any enemies for 4 seconds your stacks drop to zero. Basically you always need to be hitting enemies or you lose this critical bonus.


---

How it works - basically the gameplay revolves around timing your "in-out" cycle of Archon / Non-Archon forms with the Convention of Elements (COE) boost to the Lightning element by taking advantage of cooldown reduction (CDR) to cut the Archon cycle time sufficiently. One of the runes you get with Vyrs reduces Archon cooldown to 100 seconds. This means to get it lined up to COE's 16 second cycle time, you need enough CDR to reduce it from 100 seconds to 32 seconds - which means you need at least 68% CDR on gear.

CDR is multiplicative and hence has severe diminishing returns. For example, if you have 10% CDR on one item, it will reduce Archon's cooldown from 100 seconds to 90 seconds. However, if you add another item with 10% CDR, it won't reduce the cooldown by further 10 seconds down to 80 seconds - that would be an additive relationship. Since it's multiplicative, it reduces it by 10% of the existing cooldown (90 seconds) hence the second 10% CDR item will bring you down to 81 seconds instead.

This gets much worse the lower you go - say your Archon is at 50 seconds cooldown, and you put on another 10% CDR item, that will only reduce its cooldown by 5 seconds, bringing you to 45 seconds. When you're at 36 second cooldown, 10% CDR only brings you down to 32.4 seconds!!!

You need to farm pretty much max or close to max CDR rolls on most items to hit 68% CDR overall - amulet, both rings, gloves, shoulders, offhand, weapon, helmet gem, paragon stats - and crucially, also maintaining all Gogok of Swiftness stacks, which means you must always be able to hit an enemy without a 4 second gap.

--

So, mechanically how this plays out - keep attacking enemies to build Gogok stacks to 15 and keep it there, and kite enemies around until there's a big enough mob of elites / champions worth killing. Wait until COE rotates to fire, then you ramp up - your basic attack is magic missile (Ice damage rune element), you cast black hole (Arcane damage rune element that pulls enemies together and stuns them and gives you a damage bonus per enemy hit for 5 seconds), then you teleport into the enemy group (calamity rune, stuns all enemies for 1 second, you also have Parthan Defenders which gives you damage reduction per enemy stunned) then cast Archon (which has combustion rune, deals Fire damage in an area) and then finally start firing your Archon main attack (since you have all elemental runes, it picks the element which you have the highest Elemental damage bonus, so you must roll lightning damage on your amulet), and by time COE will be ready to tick over to Lightning for 4 seconds.

This gives you every single stacked bonus for a 4 second window - you get the COE damage bonus, Tals 4 stack damage bonus, and double the Vyr's damage bonus from Archon stacks since you immediately get 45 stacks from Fazula, and still have the lingering stacks (maybe 80) from the last Archon cycle from The Swami, and the Spellsteal stacks from the Black Hole. Then you lose COE in 4 seconds, and in another 4 seconds you lose Tals, then for 12 seconds you only have Vyrs, then Archon ends at 20 seconds in, and you now have 8 seconds of downtime until the next Fire cycle where you can prepare for the next Lightning cycle 4 seconds after that.

Since damage bonuses are multiplicative, it's the opposite of CDR - missing even one damage bonus here will make you do almost nothing to the enemies, you need every single piece of this puzzle. The point 4 seconds in where you lose COE you do 66% less damage, and the point 8 seconds in where you lose Tals you actually do 99% less damage than the initial 4 seconds, and when you lose Archon it's probably something like 99.9% less damage. Basically mistime your timing windows by 1-2 seconds and you're only doing 0.01% of your regular peak damage.

So, you need to juggle these precise cooldown timings and know when you're running "behind" or "ahead" of the cycles so you don't mistime the damage windows, and always keep enemies in reach so you can keep your Gogok stacks up. You want to aim for more than 68% CDR, of course, because if you only have 68% CDR, if you fall "behind" in timing you can never catch up - you see in the clip I fall behind by 1-2 seconds early on when I drop my Gogok stacks or just fail to get the right timing but I manage to catch up fully by the next two cycles.

You need to do all this while there's a million things going on and trying to avoid being hit by projectiles / enemies leaping at you / environmental hazards. And even if you do all that, you haven't' achieved anything unless you've gathered up a big enough mob of enemies to be worth spending your super burst damage on - no point dealing trillions of damage if there's no enemies grouped up. So you're constantly traveling through the map, identifying the different mob types and movement patterns, making the call - is this mob type worth grouping up? What is the likely terrain ahead going to be based on what you know of the random level and mob generator?

From a survivability point of view, you're a total glass cannon since you've sacrificed all survivability stats for cooldown reduction. Many enemies can one-shot you, however you are running a variant of Energy Armor which, to cut a long story short, guarantees you survive at least 2 hits before dying. You also run a talent called Unstable Anomaly which gives you the ability to cheat death once a minute, instead of dying you gain a shield for 5 seconds and knock enemies back. It's a very mobile build, using Aether Walker to gain a no-cooldown teleport in non-Archon form, and Vyr's also gives you a no-cooldown teleport in Archon form. Having this cheat death up allows you to play more aggressively, doing more damage, and when it's cooling down you will play more conservatively.

This isn't optimized gameplay, me finishing a GR70 rift in 7 minutes but it gives you an idea of what it looks like very early in the season - I think this is week 1 of a Season that lasts 4 months, and it's my first time playing the Lightning Wizard. The initial ramp is slow but it gets faster a 3-4 minutes in particularly in stage 2. The fun part is I can look at it and compare it to the top players and see a dozen areas for improvement.

So you can see my doubt that the mobile game will be anything like this...
posted by xdvesper at 9:10 PM on November 6 [34 favorites]


Many of the 20 million players were no doubt people who played it for the story and then put the game down once they got to the end.

That's me! It didn't help that when I picked it up to play it for the story, they were still deep into "trying to make the monetization scheme work". But I have always been a filthy casual by the standards of Diablo players, which is probably why I am not too worked up by this announcement about this game.

Really though, I think the concept of mobile gaming has just been utterly poisoned for a lot of gamers by totally unethical F2P game devs churning out low-quality money-grubbing Skinner boxes. And yes, you can say "but Blizzard is better than that!" but the very fact that Diablo 3 launched with this miserable unworkable monetization scheme embedded into it is exactly the reason why fans are so pissed that the next big Diablo announcement reeks of monetization and greed.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:44 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


Video game fans unhappy? The hell you say.
posted by thelonius at 10:04 PM on November 6 [5 favorites]


Yeah, but they didn't make you pay each time you clicked on things to kill them, which is the current mobile model.

Eh, they're just paying $60 upfront for the privilege rather than parceling out payments over the course of their time with the game. These are different models and even though I've always gone with the "pay upfront" route, it's probably more to do with me being an older gamer scared of change than with me being somehow smarter or the games I'm playing possessing more integrity or affording me more respect. Free-to-play with optional microtransactions, as a model, is maturing rapidly and the AAA experiences in that model are getting deeper and more interesting every year. We've come a long way from FarmVille.
posted by naju at 10:07 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


So you can see my doubt that the mobile game will be anything like this...

My eyes glazed over that wall of terminology. Sounds like some people like to play the metagame of min-maxing every single technical characteristic of the gameplay to the point where they're no longer even seeing the game world, just a rapidly mutating spreadsheet of numbers. That's not my style and the appeal/superiority isn't self-evident to me. Guess I'm a casual noob mobile gamer after all :)
posted by naju at 10:13 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


I've also read crazy walls of texts from players who get deep into optimizing their gameplay in the casual kid-targeted free-to-play mobile game Pokemon Quest, by the way. Cooldown cycles, mitigating mobs, area of effect spells, stacking attacks, choosing your parties and their builds and how to level them up, etc. This is for a game where your characters move around the field by themselves!
posted by naju at 10:21 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


What? Paying full price for a complete PC game does not make it comparable to a play-to-win mobile game. No one wants microtransactions. Ever. It's not some mechanic that hasn't quite evolved yet. It's a scam and people fucking hate it. What?
posted by Brocktoon at 10:23 PM on November 6 [14 favorites]


I bought D3 when it came out. Played for a while. Defeated Diablo. Years ago.

Clicked on it recently and played a bit more, no expansions purchased.

Destroy everything, take no damage, loot stuff. Soothing, I guess, but...
posted by Windopaene at 10:26 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


No one wants microtransactions. Ever.

The developers of Fortnite would beg to differ?

I mean, there are bad ways to implement microtransactions, and good ways. Or ways that piss people off, and ways that people don't. That doesn't translate to "no one wants microtransactions."

Personally, I'm (in theory at least) excited about free-to-play games where progress is not crippled if you don't pay a cent, and it's completely optional or cosmetic. I also like free-to-play where there's this whole other route of having to be really hardcore/good/understand the gameplay mechanisms well to succeed without paying a cent, but it being entirely possible and rewarding.
posted by naju at 10:31 PM on November 6


My son's Fornite obsession has cost him a lot of money for basically nothing. None of my other kids bought cosmetic-only garbage skins for real money...
posted by Windopaene at 10:35 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Diablo is a game where you click on things to kill them and get better loot so you can click on things to kill them better

And this is exactly why calling this "anti-casual" is so silly. Lots of Diablo people know full well that we're playing a game that's basically just about getting better and better pants. But I can go get better and better pants in various different ways using different combinations of gear and skills and things explode in a satisfying way and it's nice at the end of a workday. Which is fine! It's an enjoyable time-waster! And I knew up front how much it cost me to have that enjoyable time-waster, and I agreed to that cost up front, which is a perfectly reasonable way to put together a game on whatever platform.

But it did have to go through a terrible middle period where I was quite upset because I could not get any of the gear I needed to progress through the late game, when the game first came out, because I wasn't getting anything dropping that had enough auction house value and the things I needed were so expensive, and suddenly I would have had to put down more real life money to actually keep playing.

I have, legit, on a number of occasions, fallen for "mobile" games where it's not like I went broke, but I definitely spent $20-$30 on games that were worth maybe $5, because of this kind of system, and I'm somebody who knows what they're doing and can see what's happening as it's happening. There are people close to me who've spent a lot more than that, often of money they don't really have--amounts they'd not spend on one-time purchases of traditional games. They spend tons of money to get people to do this. It's not okay.
posted by Sequence at 10:40 PM on November 6 [11 favorites]


D3 endgame is not for casual players. I bought the game about 3 months ago and right now we're 6 weeks into the current season. I have about 200 hours on my main seasonal character, and can almost crack the top 1000 in the leaderboards for solo play, and that's probably a skill factor more than gear or setup. I know it's a game about getting better pants, and I am fine with that because it's fun and doesn't have microtransactions. I have zero interest in a Diablo mobile game even if it's not saddled with microtransactions and I think it's insane that blizzard thought that the kinds of folks who have played it for 6 years and traveled to a con would welcome a mobile game. I'm only 3 months in and that is a total non-starter.
posted by axiom at 11:35 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Haha Axiom I found that if I just play on Day 1 it's possible to get some absurd global ranks without much trouble, for example in January 2017 I got to rank 38 on day 1 and have gotten similar ranks in other seasons. I don't really have the interest in sinking a few hundred hours to "keep" that rank, nor grind out an ideal set of gear to start really competing against the top players in GR90+, but I would play Diablo 3 for a few days each Season just to test my skills in the latest patch iteration...

While I'm ultimately glad the real money auction house went away (I made about $250 from it just playing casually) but it was clearly killing the game for me and others... I sometimes wonder how much this perfectly rolled Starfire I found would go for, I would think easily over a thousand dollars.
posted by xdvesper at 12:00 AM on November 7


Sure, but day 1 ranks are obviously volatile. The current solo wizard #1000 is doing GR99 IN 13 minutes and change. My current best is GR96.
posted by axiom at 12:13 AM on November 7


I don't understand Activision Blizzard. A HD remake of Diablo 2 would sell like hotcakes. Don't change the gameplay, just update the graphics and tweak the UI. D2 gameplay is solid as a brick.
posted by Pendragon at 12:46 AM on November 7 [6 favorites]


I don't see any reason in principle that there couldn't be a Diablo tapity tapity game as well as a Diablo clickity clickity game.

If you liked Diablo and think Blizzard fucked it up in Diablo II, then you can play Torchlight. If you liked Diablo II and thought Blizzard fucked it up in Diablo III, then you can play Path of Exile. If you like Diablo III and you come to believe that Blizzard fucked it up in Diablo IV, then no doubt some like minded people will make a forever version of Diablo III.

In the meantime, enjoy the fruits of late capitalism and tapity tapity when it's inconvenient to clickity clickity.
posted by ethansr at 12:49 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


Just keep releasing the same thing I like but a bit better. Don't go off the beaten path. I saw a lot of the same kind of bellyaching around the announcement of Fallout 76: "bbbbut I wanna another Fallout New Vegas, don't try something new."

That is not why anybody was unhappy with the announcement of Fallout 76.

I don't see any reason in principle that there couldn't be a Diablo tapity tapity game as well as a Diablo clickity clickity game.

Absolutely. A Diablo mobile game could totally be good. But NetEase makes the kind of shallow pay-for-power games that are responsible for the wide-ranging disdain for mobile games, and it certainly doesn't help that it looks like all they're doing is draping Diablo's skin over a pre-existing awful game instead of developing anything new.
posted by IAmUnaware at 4:46 AM on November 7 [5 favorites]


So, a couple of ages ago I worked for an online game company that had a couple of relatively popular text-based fantasy MMORPGs. Our fans liked us because there was a good deal more role-playing in our role-playing games, compared to things like Everquest and the fledgling World of Warcraft.

We had a yearly convention for the fans. One year, we used the banquet/keynote to announce our upcoming graphical MMO and show them this cool little demo.

And they hated it. They weren't there for new things, they were there for the games they already liked.

This is the same thing, and it's 100% predictable.
posted by Foosnark at 5:18 AM on November 7 [7 favorites]


Fortnite fans don't like microtransactions, and Fortnite isn't pay-to-win. Nothing you've said in this thread is remotely close to reality.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:17 AM on November 7 [4 favorites]


I would love to play an iOS Diablo game... If it were single-player.
posted by SansPoint at 7:22 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]


The developers of Fortnite would beg to differ?

Yes...the game companies love this new avenue for milking their customers. That's the point.

"But the casinos like it!"
posted by Sangermaine at 8:02 AM on November 7 [5 favorites]


D3 endgame is not for casual players.

I mean, there's definitely a space in Diablo 3 for people who want to play more seriously, I don't mean to dismiss that. There's a lot of content to get through before that point that can largely be consumed in 20-30 minute increments whenever you like rather than four-hour marathons, and the number of people who've ever had a leaderboard position versus the total number of people who've bought the game is pretty minuscule. And yet it's not just the leaderboard people who find this mobile game thing gross.
posted by Sequence at 8:16 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


I find my response to this whole debacle to be potentially very biased because of some of the people involved in making this a debacle and more general thoughts about politics and how the gaming community was/is a bellweather for some of those shifts.

My main impulse here is basically to tell people up in arms about Diablo Immortal to grow the fuck up. Oh no, Blizzard decided to announce a mobile version of Diablo that probably has microtransactions and gacha elements in it at Blizzcon. BURN EVERYTHING DOWN, GAMERZ RISE UP. I am so tired of self-anointed Gamers deciding everything is shit if it doesn't match their expectations for what a game should be.

And to be clear, you're absolutely allowed to dislike Diablo Immortal. I don't think that game is for me and though I am curious, I probably won't end up playing it. Gacha games tend to burn me out fairly quickly and it's just not something I'm interested in. But I'm not going around crying that Blizzard isn't listening to Gamers Like Me and how dare they turn their backs on us and they've lost touch with the core gamer and whatever other entitled gamer bullshit they're spewing in r/diablo.

You know what franchise I really liked? Valkyria Chronicles. That was a great game, and I'm very much enjoying the fourth game now, which is very much a return to the formula the series abandoned to an extent after the first game. They put out a mobile gacha spinoff of Valkyria Chronicles in Japan. I think it was even moderately successful. This kind of thing happens all the time to beloved games. The world didn't end when that game was released. Hell, it wasn't even the end of the franchise. Neither was the abhorrent Valkyria Revolution. Somehow, after all of that, we managed to get another really good Valkyria Chronicles game. And that's a niche Japanese RPG.

Does anyone realistically think Blizzard is not going to make Diablo 4, or that it won't be announced eventually? I saw a lot of people say that all Blizzard needed to do was show a D4 logo and say it was coming at some undetermined point in the future and fans would be a lot happier. Let me turn that back around on the fans: why is THIS the thing that would mollify you? Showing a logo at Blizzcon changes nothing. You already know the game is coming. You already know it's going to be a while. The announcement of Diablo Immortal and the lack of a D4 announcement doesn't change any of this. Why would this suddenly make you happier, or at least less angry that Diablo Immortal exists?

So. I take all of that, and my thoughts on why self-identifying Gamers-with-a-capital-G are the way they are and how that kind of entitlement and rejection of anything that doesn't cater specifically to them can fester and mutate into things like Gamergate. And then I ask myself if the response to Diablo Immortal has actually been that bad or if I'm imagining things. I mean, stuff like this is definitely "wow, get some perspective" material. Maybe I'm just so cynical about the gaming community nowadays that if no one's been sent a ton of death threats, I call that a win. But I do want to walk the fine line between thinking criticism of Diablo Immortal is totally fine while also being very much against knee-jerk reactions that the game is going to suck and fuck Blizzard and where's the Diablo I wanted get this garbage away from me. Maybe that's just tone policing. I don't even know anymore.

I'm just so tired, man.
posted by chrominance at 8:35 AM on November 7 [9 favorites]


*looks up from playing Diablo III on his Switch*
*shrugs*

posted by Fizz at 8:40 AM on November 7 [5 favorites]


And to be fair, I've totally been in that mindset before. I remember when EA showed off their Command and Conquer mobile title at E3 this year for ten solid minutes. I remember asking myself, "who wanted this? this looks terrible! it barely even looks like a Command and Conquer game!" But then after that I moved on with my life and forgot that game existed. Maybe that's all that will happen here and we'll forget all this happened, but something about this feels different somehow.
posted by chrominance at 8:40 AM on November 7


I remember asking myself, "who wanted this? this looks terrible! it barely even looks like a Command and Conquer game!" But then after that I moved on with my life and forgot that game existed.

I mean, most people are probably doing just that. I think one thing that feels different is that we're all extremely online now so if we want to we can read hot takes about Blizzard forever. If you tossed your thoughts on Twitter or a forum, they could have joined with the voices of thousands of others resulting in "gamer rage", if one were to look at them all together. Another thing is the speed of the reaction to the reaction. People were talking about the negative reception while the convention was still going on, meaning that the people in the audience quite literally hadn't had a chance to move on with their lives.

Does anyone realistically think Blizzard is not going to make Diablo 4, or that it won't be announced eventually?

I think it's entirely possible that Blizzard pulls a Valve and falls into an extremely lucrative business model to the detriment of their flagship games. People were pretty sure the next installment of Half Life was coming until it was clear that it wasn't. Telltale just fired almost everyone and closed up shop with almost no warning. Blizzard's not doing that badly, but things change.

All of this and I still haven't gotten around to trying Diablo III. I hear it's pretty good.
posted by ODiV at 9:17 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]


All of this and I still haven't gotten around to trying Diablo III. I hear it's pretty good.

If you have a Switch (and you really should), it's pretty amazing in this format. The loot grind loop: kill monsters, get loot, get more powerful, kill more monsters, get more loot, repeat, it just works perfectly on this console. It's good for quick bursts where you can play a half hour or an hour at a time, while you're on a bus commuting, during your lunch break. It's also smooth as butter. I've been enjoying dipping back into this game.

I previously played on the PC and had lots of fun, but I think I'll get even more replay value because it's easy to curl up on the couch and listen to a podcast while playing this game and grinding out for an hour.

Up above it was mentioned that Blizzard should just re-release an HD update to Diablo II and I have to agree with that. It'd be lots of fun to go back to the original games and play through them again. The story is so much fun and the core gameplay hasn't changed that much.
posted by Fizz at 9:37 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


I've heard from multiple places now that a HD Diablo II remake is almost assuredly in the works, but I don't want to track down the source right now (rumors based on past hires or something?). Let's just say none of us would be shocked if it happened.

And I'd get a Switch, but the thing itself costs money and then the games themselves cost more on top of that. I've been making due with Steam sales and bundles of 1-5 year old games for so long that anything over $15 seems extravagant. I think the last thing I bought for close to full price was PUBG at 10 or 15% off. Before that I think it was the XCOM 2 War of the Chosen DLC (which is excellent, by the way). Either way, both around $30 and felt like a lot to spend. New games coming out are often over twice that!

And not to go off on a tangent, but then I read about companies either shuttering or forcing overtime and people will often go off on the consumer's "entitlement" and resistance to pushing the price of a new release even higher as the cause of this. Like I don't want to pay CAD$80, let alone CAD$100 for a game, so me and my "greed" are somehow at fault for the unethical working conditions of the industry? Come on.
posted by ODiV at 9:56 AM on November 7 [1 favorite]


It's not the "PC Master Race" crowd's fault that mobile gaming has become virtually synonymous with low-quality garbage and loot box cash scams. Your own defense of Blizzard notes how much money there is to be made by exploiting this ocean of essentially skinned-over gambling apps.

If you're bothered by mobile gaming having negative connotations, perhaps be upset at the terrible practices (which, frankly, should be illegal) that have infested the space.


Yes, that's the excuse they use. But as we've seen with the Wii, with Flash games, the actual answer is that it's Yet Another Argument For Why The Only "Real" Gaming Is What White Males Play. (See also: a Riot supervisor outright saying that gaming is the last "safe space" for white males.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:07 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


Yes, that's the excuse they use. But as we've seen with the Wii, with Flash games, the actual answer is that it's Yet Another Argument For Why The Only "Real" Gaming Is What White Males Play.

I'm gonna have to disagree here. A lot of people in this thread, like a lot of the gaming journalists writing about this online, seem to really underestimate or underappreciate how much aggressive monetization can piss off loyal fans. Quick reminder: the backlash to Star Wars Battlefront 2 (previously), an uproar that made the drubbing Blizzard's getting now look absolutely tame in comparison, had absolutely nothing to do with Battlefront 2 not being a "real game" - nothing to do with it not being for PC (it is), nothing to do with it not catering to the violent tastes of white male gamers (it does), and absolutely everything to do with lootboxes and monetization. It's not an "excuse" - aggressively monetizing beloved franchises using gimmicks cribbed from F2P, P2W games really, truly, does righteously piss people off.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:45 AM on November 7 [8 favorites]


Fortnite fans don't like microtransactions

Is this a "no true Fortnite fan" argument? Presumably people are buying cosmetic costumes and whatnot to have a good time with their friends in the game, and presumably those people are "fans" as much as anyone else, and it's easy enough to ignore completely if you just want to play the game, so I don't understand that statement.

Fortnite isn't pay-to-win. Nothing you've said in this thread is remotely close to reality.

Maybe I missed the part where it's been confirmed definitively that Diablo Immortal is pay-to-win and the exact details of that pay-to-win structure are laid out so we can judge the game accurately on it. Blizzard's never put out a mobile game before. They have a lot of ideas about this sort of thing (and hopefully learned some lessons from the real money auction house controversy) so I would hope they're semi-thoughtful in how they're doing it. But again, I guess I missed this in the links, clue me in!
posted by naju at 10:54 AM on November 7


The only real, true, and respectable video games are completely free (traditional/turn-based) roguelikes - open-source or developed by one person as a labor of love. Glad I'm here to settle this.
posted by atoxyl at 11:03 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


I love Diablo III on the Switch but every time I press the B button instead of the A button in a menu, thus canceling out when I mean to accept, I want to throw my controller across the screen.

GAAAAH WHY DOESNT THE SWITCH SUPPORT BUTTON REMAPPING I CANNOT GET USED TO THE IDEA that the "right" button means yes. Because the "down" button means yes! aaaah i cannot un-learn the muscle memory of playing xbox and playstation for years!!!!

(this is a nintendo issue not a blizzard issue i realize.)
posted by capnsue at 11:29 AM on November 7 [6 favorites]


Maybe I missed the part where it's been confirmed definitively that Diablo Immortal is pay-to-win and the exact details of that pay-to-win structure are laid out so we can judge the game accurately on it. Blizzard's never put out a mobile game before.

Blizzard might not have, but they've farmed out the work to NetEase, which includes the title Crusaders of Light- which looks suspiciously similar to Diablo Immortal- is in fact pay to win.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:27 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


Microtransaction-driven mobile games are the research lab for the kind of data-driven mass manipulation that now plagues social media: the experimental methods we now see deployed on Facebook and Twitter to sway political opinion were incubated to extract money from game players. So I would perhaps be a bit cautious in reflexively defending them just because gamers, in a stopped-clock moment, dislike them.
posted by Pyry at 1:24 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


I don't care one whit about a mobile Diablo mobile game, so I'll just let this slide right by. If there are mobile gaming fans that are excited about this, I'm happy for them. That said, I do believe there will be a Diablo 4 at some point, and if there isn't, I'd bet good money that no Diablo 4 would have nothing to do with whether or not there is (or never had been) a mobile Diablo game.

I also don't care about character skin/outfit cosmetics, but I did throw down $20 in Path of Exile, because I'm enjoying it and I wanted to support the developers for what looks to be (at least currently) an ongoing development approach.

Also, a quick, preemptive "Shut up and take my money" for any future Diablo 2 remake.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 1:56 PM on November 7 [1 favorite]


And yet it's not just the leaderboard people who find this mobile game thing gross.

I agree, I was really trying to point out that what I view as the amount of investment a casual player will put into a game doesn't comport with the D3 endgame. I've probably spent hours just learning about builds and the metagame via reading/youtube/streamers/etc. which isn't something I'd expect a casual gamer to do. But because D3 is fairly complex, that also means a casual gamer is pretty unlikely to invent a top-tier build on their own. The casual players are there to massacre hordes of demons for an hour maybe, not grind gear and tinker with builds. That's 100% cool with me, do you, but there's a sense in which I'm playing a different version of D3 than those people (not necessarily a better one, but I'm having fun with it so de gustibus etc.).
posted by axiom at 4:11 PM on November 7


I think a lot of the issues with mobile gaming's reputation come from the single market present for most Android and iPhone users. For every company writing cash grab games with thier left hand, there's a right hand optimizing their visibility in these single marketplace platforms.

Steam is not contested so highly, and even if it were, computers are cutting edge research tools that have taken over the business world, and PC users can research thier own game choices. Smart phones, on the other hand, are cybernetic etch and scetches with delusions of grandeur.
posted by quillbreaker at 4:27 PM on November 7


Fandom is Garbage, Example #14,445,987
posted by brundlefly at 10:56 AM on November 8


I'd be bummed if I traveled all the way to their special conference and that happened.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:27 PM on November 8


Oh weird, turns out Diablo on phones was an April Fools joke.
posted by ODiV at 9:08 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Does anyone realistically think Blizzard is not going to make Diablo 4, or that it won't be announced eventually? I saw a lot of people say that all Blizzard needed to do was show a D4 logo and say it was coming at some undetermined point in the future and fans would be a lot happier. Let me turn that back around on the fans: why is THIS the thing that would mollify you? Showing a logo at Blizzcon changes nothing. You already know the game is coming.

Half Life fans might disagree.

For those who don't know - there was a massively popular series of games called Half Life. The latest one was Half Life 2: Episode Two which came out in 2007 and ended on a massive cliffhanger.

Fans have been waiting for Valve (the company that makes the Half Life series) to release the next installment in the series for ages. However, it looks like the much anticipated sequel may never happen and the story will never be completed.

So if Valve, at a gaming conference, suddenly puts up a Half Life 3 logo during a presentation, it would be something amazing.

If, instead, they released a pay-to-win mobile game that had only the bare superficial resemblance to Half Life and did not actually further the story in any way, you'd probably see something like what happened here.
posted by enamon at 11:25 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


And I'd get a Switch, but the thing itself costs money and then the games themselves cost more on top of that. I've been making due with Steam sales and bundles of 1-5 year old games for so long that anything over $15 seems extravagant.

The thing itself does cost money (but I got a factory refurbished one in funky colors for a bit less than normal).

As far as games go, the AAA stuff is just as pricey as any other format, but I haven't bought any games with more than a $20 base price yet and most of those were on sale. A couple of games were in the $1-$2 range and still entertaining. I have about four games over $40 on my wishlist, including Diablo 3, and another dozen or so games cheaper than that which I'm still hoping go for 30-50% off.
posted by Foosnark at 11:36 AM on November 9


Command and Conquer as a franchise also only exists as an upcoming mobile game as well, and isn't even an RTS anymore. There was backlash against it when it was revealed at E3.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:21 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


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