Blizzard is Abandoning Diablo III’s Team Deathmatch Mode

Game developers have had to apologize for a lot of things over the years, from content to characters to endings, and in the case of the recent “War Z” debacle, pretty much the fact that their game even exists.

Now it’s Blizzard’s turn to taste humble pie, as they are admitting defeat, and yanking the imbalanced and unpopular team deathmatch mode from “Diablo III”. Citing numerous shortcomings, Blizzard admits they just couldn’t find a way to get the mode to work, and will be removing it, ultimately, because it wasn’t really any fun.

However, they are working on a temporary mode that will still allow for player duels which should arrive with the next patch, and are also apparently designing an entirely new mode that will replace, and hopefully surpass, team deathmatch. The only details know about this new mode is that it will be a free addition to the game, available sometime in the new year.

Considering the numerous failures surrounding “Diablo III” at its release, it’s easy to look at this news as a further embarrassment, or a little more dirt on the grave. However, Blizzard is spot on that the mode just didn’t work in any entertaining or creative way, and even though the work on implementing team deathmatch apparently took up a sizeable amount of the development time leading up to “Diablo’s” release, its best that they admit their failures now and improve them, rather than skirt the issue entirely and rest on the laurels of some sizable sales figures. It’ll be exciting to see what they come up with instead, now that they have some more perspective on what works, and what definitely doesn’t.

People Who Didn’t Buy Diablo III Can Now Also Get Screwed

In what is simply a video game news story too bizarre not to report (in other words, sorry mom), French sex toy store Absoloo has a very special promotion going on for any ladies (in France, at least) who lost their boyfriends’ attention due to spending more time with “Diablo III” than them.

This is how it works: You simply post a photo of yourself on the company’s Facebook page holding a copy of “Diablo III,” and they send you a private message with a code that lets you get a free… let’s say it’s a special vibrating magic staff, from their website.

Here is Absoloo’s own (poorly translated) take on the offer:

Ladies and

Your man has not left his computer since the release yesterday of Diablo III?

Still a long time before you find yourself in his arms during a romantic evening …

You yearn … You feel abandoned … Abandoned …

The situation is so, you must admit, your man would rather go in search of magical jewels, gloves sorcerers, and other heavy war clubs to get XP points rather than engaging in the research of your G-spot and gain sexual experience.

So what to do?

Do not despair over! We decided to help you!

Find the force and the attention you need naturally, but with a new friend …

Some people are crying foul that this promotion is sexist against women that play “Diablo III” as the implication is that only men would play the game. To this I say, complaining about it just blinds female gamers from a free toy with purchase of video game promotion that puts all happy meal pack-ins to great blushing shame.

Personally, I think that all available gamers should take the company up on their offer and then send every one of the toys over to Blizzard so that they can go #*%! themselves for all the botches in “Diablo III’s” launch.

Blizzard Fumbles Diablo III’s Launch, and the Consequences It Could Have

Although its actual development time was considerably shorter, in the minds of most fans, “Diablo III” has been no less than 12 years in the making. That’s how long it’s been since the release of “Diablo II,” and that’s how long it’s been since gamers have been craving a true follow up. 12 years.

And after just two days of release, some gamers are already more excited about “Diablo IV.”

This is mostly due to Blizzard’s controversial decision to have gamers log-in to its servers in order to play the game. What’s irksome is that it doesn’t matter if you’re playing single player or multiplayer; you have to be online. Ideally, this allows for a range of features that should allow the gamer to be in a constantly networked world where gamers can aid each other in their quest, and friends can drop in at any time to do battle by your side, as you smote your enemies with joyful ease.

In reality though, the servers have been having nothing but trouble since launch. The battle.net network has appeared so far to be insufficiently capable of handling the mass numbers of users “Diablo III” has added without doing that annoying crashing thing and rendering the game unplayable in any form. It’s almost as if Blizzard didn’t anticipate that the sequel to one of the greatest selling and most acclaimed games of all time might actually sell a few copies itself, and that a mandatory online account coupled with that could lead to serious server problems.

Of course, the conclusion that just about everyone who isn’t a Blizzard employee has come to is that the game shouldn’t require a mandatory online account. It’s so ludicrously unnecessary, in fact, that as I was booting up the single player for the first time and it asked me to create an account, I couldn’t help but think of the Kramer line from Seinfeld. “Why does Radioshack need your phone number when you buy batteries?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Official Blizzcon schedule is up

Blizzcon 2010 schedule of events

Blizzcon’s coming at the end of the month and should bring all sorts of goodies for World of Warcraft and Diablo III fans. The official schedule of events went up last week, and it’s worth taking a look at.

From what I can tell, there isn’t much about the next Starcraft II expansion. Players have been aching for a new campaign to follow the Wings of Liberty release, and though there’s still a chance we might get something, it’s not looking likely.

Then there’s Diablo III. I’m really having trouble deciding whether or not I’m excited about the game. As much fun as I had with the first two titles in the franchise, I’m still having trouble imagining how the playstyle could translate to a fun game in 2011. The classes sound interesting so far, but at its core, the Diablo series turned into little more than a grindfest, to the point it was easily programmable for bots. I’m hoping the gameplay videos give me enough reason to believe the game can be good.

Of course, there’s also WoW news, which will be all Cataclysm, all conference long. We’ll finally get the new content on December 7th, which means Blizzcon will be showing off all the stuff players will soon be having.

First round of WoW class changes are up

Level 80 Shaman.Yesterday we got news that Blizzard would start to preview the class changes coming with WoW: Cataclysm. Good to its word, the changes are up on the official forums. So far it’s just Shamans and Warlocks, but it’s something, right?

The changes seem…good? I don’t know. Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve played either class that it’s tough to say whether the changes are actually decent or if they’re just changes that will be unqualified until they’ve actually been tested. My guess is the latter. This kind of thing usually takes a while to properly iron out, and even then there are periods of underwhelming results for a lot of classes. Remember the sad state of the elemental shaman?How bout the retadin?

Today also brings word that press-only beta opt-in invites are going out. That points to a very close beta date, but the fact that it’s press only means it’s probably a hype ploy. Why give it only to the press if you want real testing? Because they’ll leak things, that’s why. I’m sure Blizzard is well aware of the fact that people have been losing interest and with Bob Kotick at the helm, you can bet everyone at Activision is anxious to keep profits high.

You want WoW news, you got it

WoW Cataclysm wallpaper.It figures just one day after I write a post wondering what happened to everyone’s favorite MMO, Blizzard decides to unveil some of the major changes coming to each of the game’s ten classes. Oh, except Paladins, but really, who likes Paladins anyway?

Technically, we don’t have the changes just yet. There was a post on the official forums, though, that said we’d get a preview of the new spells, skill changes, talent trees, and other class modifications to be found in Cataclysm within 24 hours. As to the Paladin thing, here’s what Blizzard had to say:

The paladin is still deep in development. Instead of giving a preview that would be potentially less comprehensive than the other classes we made the decision to post it when it’s ready, in order to properly honor the paladin class and those that play them. The wait isn’t too long however as we’re expecting to be able to post it on April 16.

I would never have guessed that “deep in development” meant one week from public consumption, but I’m not a developer now, am I.

This is a big day for the crackheads. It’s the first real news about specific changes in Cataclysm since the expansion was announced.

Source: WoW Forums

What happened to WoW?

WoW April wallpaper.The last I heard of World of Warcraft was that it’s losing steam. Blizzard’s juggernaut finally stopped growing and has actually been on the decline. The Cataclysm announcement seemed to spark interest for some a while back but without a hard release date, it’s tough to keep ex-WoW players’ interest.

I was thinking today about my former days as a WoW player and I realized I haven’t heard a single thing about the actual game in at least a year. I fired up Chrome and made my way to the official site to see what I had been missing. As it turns out, not much.

The first two news stories are about new fan art and a couple new wallpapers. Further down the list you’ve got some news about the CCG and an announcement for a shamelessly branded wireless headset. The only game content story is about new Random Battlegrounds, which from what I can gather is just a way to queue for all the battlegrounds at once for some extra bonuses. It sounds like something that could have been implemented years ago.

It’s pretty tough to revisit WoW without thinking about the game’s eventual demise. At this point Cataclysm seems like a stopgap – just another way to buy time until the next great MMO. The revised leveling system and zones sound cool, but I’m willing to bet people will still burn out when they get to Outland/Northrend. Can you imagine leveling to 80 again? I know I can’t.

Activision gets almost 70% of its revenue from three franchises

Tauren dance, baby.Activision’s fiscal report for 2009 contained some seriously juicy news. First, there’s the scandal at Infinity Ward. Second, there’s this. The report included statistics regarding the company’s revenue sources, revealing that a large majority, like 68%, come from just three franchises: World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Guitar Hero. The report also noted that WoW accounts for a whopping 98% of Blizzard’s revenue.

The obvious concern is for one of those franchises to flop. One bad Call of Duty and suddenly Activision doesn’t look so stable. As the company puts things, “Due to this dependence on a limited number of franchises, the failure to achieve anticipated results by one or more products based on these franchises may significantly harm our business and financial results.” I would say so, fellas.

We already know that rhythm games are on the decline and WoW hasn’t grown in more than a year. No wonder Blizzard’s trying to push Starcraft 2 out the door by mid-year.

Source: Kotaku

D&D Online got the free-to-play model right

D&D Online.Everyone loves a free game, especially a free game done right. Take League of Legends – the game has been around for less than a year and has already been downloaded more than a million times. It’s a great model, but one that hasn’t been as successful in the MMO world. Dungeons and Dragons Online is bucking that trend, continuing to grow both its free and subscription fee paying user base.

Turbine announced that the game has seen more than a million players in growth since the re-launch last September. Paid player subscriptions have also doubled, and the game’s store transactions are blazing along at three times the industry average, giving the franchise a 500% growth in revenue. Can you imagine what WoW’s numbers would look like if Blizzard could pull that off? Are there numbers with that many zeroes?

CEO Jim Crowley summed up the success quite well. “We’ve known all along how great this game is and by implementing an innovative new model that put the players in charge of how they pay and play DDO Unlimited, we’ve successfully expanded our reach and injected new energy into the game. Without a doubt, DDO Unlimited is a hit!”

Source: Kotaku

Blizzard still wants to release SC II in the first half of the year

Starcraft 2 interface.Depending who you ask, Starcraft II has been in development as long as 10 years. The game finally entered closed beta earlier this month, which is hopefully a sign that we will see it go to print before the end of the year. Blizzard is staying optimistic as far as timetable is concerned. The latest Blizzcast included Chris Sigaty, production director for the game, who said they were shooting for first half of the year for release.

“We were targeting three to five months for the beta, we’re really at a three month period of time for the beta at this point. We are still targeting the first half of this year, so with that in mind, it really shortens the window of time with our major content patch coming out pretty close to the end whether it’s even worth it putting out the map editor at that point.”

The map editor is one of the things that has everyone all hot in the pants, but it wouldn’t be so bad not to have it at release. Just remember, you’d be playing StarCraft II. Are you really going to get hung up on a map editor?

Source: Blizzcast Ep. 13

Related Posts