I’m probably going to perma-delete my Path of Exile game and all related files from my game machine seeing the direction that the company is heading. But the last two leagues for me were skipped for various reasons, mostly in that I had been losing interest for some time. With the new league launch coming up against Diablo 3’s season 24, there’s no question which game I’m going to be playing.
I saw bits and pieces of the update to the game and started to watch their video describing the upcoming changes. At a certain point, I just closed the browser window tab for the video because it affirmed all my beliefs culminating slowly in that the GGG is catering to streamers. What I mean by that is rather than trying to grow the player base out, GGG had decided to revert to its original plan in making hardcore (i.e. nostalgic) game play the emphasis.
There absolutely was no reason to do this. The original game was very difficult due to it being overtuned. Unless you were in a group, the game play pretty much was frustrating. My guess is that they’ve aligned their thought process with the misguided beliefs that ex-Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime stated about World of Warcraft not focusing on the social aspect anymore, which supposedly is what caused the game’s slow decline.
No, what causes a decline or rejection of a game is if people get too frustrated to want to play it. And that’s exactly what I’m seeing here.
Let me take you back to another game with similar prospects that ultimately bombed and failed: Wildstar. The game makers there theorized that by making a delta of Vanilla World of Warcraft with some updated mechanics in combat that it would be the thing that would be the latest and greatest WoW killer. Instead, what happens? Yup, company dies and you’ll never see the hard work if you were suckered into thinking this narrow focused idea of a game would ever survive.
What about Diablo 3 when it initially launched? Pre-auction house, the game on Infernal was unbeatable. Very few got their Diablo kills in before an infamous nerf that would lead to the auction house. Of course, the hardcore players loved it because they would be the ones reaping in making money from the gear they could collect and sell off to the suckers who just wanted to get passed that stupid artificial gate of gearing. Eventually, the only things that would happen were a bunch of scams and the eventual closure of the Auction House once the gold dupe issue got out of hand. But in my case, all my friends had quit long before then.
Then let’s take another example of a cataclysmic failure in gaming: Cataclysm. Again, one of the lowest points in World of Warcraft coming down from their peak with Wrath of the Lich King. What happened there? Lich King peaked with a good story and features that would allow for more casual playing. Yet video makers frequently cited the LFG function and supposedly lackluster dungeons as things that killed their videos. So Cataclysm comes out with higher difficulty and people hate it. No more LFGs because people didn’t want to bother with watching videos that “hardcores” would do. “Bring the player not the class” became what I consider a failed mantra of poor myopic game design.
And yet again all the hardcores praised the moves, loved the raids, loved the increased difficulties in dungeons. But where are they now? These are the people that supposedly would be the bread and butter as all the n00bz and casuals fucked off.
Let me tell you where they are: sucking their own dicks.
Because eventually the hardcore player will grow old, mature a little, get a family and look in the mirror at their declining health as they no longer are their lovely high school or even college figure (and probably they dropped out too thinking that the 100-200 live viewers on their Twitch channel barely can support basic living these days). Only the few that remain are clinging on because frankly, they’ve managed to create the “cult of personality” surrounding them or in all honesty never had anything else.
Yet these foolish game makers believe that “making things harder” is the way to improve their game. Okay, so how exactly does revamping old story mode that you repeat every fucking season for every fucking character that you want fun exactly? How does that improve the game? My first instinct in starting a new character is get me to the end game as fast as fucking possible.
There’s a reason Adventure Mode was created in Diablo 3. Heck, I read the demand pop up in Path of Exile because people are fucking sick of going through the same damn 10 acts. And now you’re telling me they want to slow things down and add artificial dangers just to “scare the player?” Don’t you mean scare any possible new players off?
The whole “slow things down” argument to me is that it’s an ineffective method to mitigate perceived player loss by supposedly keeping them more engaged and not handing out anything. So a fight that I’ve done a hundred times in a less than a minute or whatever will be painfully prolonged without any true rational to 10 minutes per or however long because they believe I will stay engaged in the game a lot more. No, it just means I’ll delete the game from my drive and use that space for a good pr0n0 movie. So why the hell would I want to prolong a fight that has the same boring mechanics for the sake of doing it longer for the 100th time? Please, answer me this. Why should I ever want to repeat content that’s unfun, that I’ve completed already numerous times because I supposedly enjoy ruining my already ruined wrist? How is that a good user experience? And which user are you targeting? A new user? A veteran user? A bored veteran user? Where did this usability study come out from that informs your finance department to okay such an endeavor?
This game is almost 10 years old but it looks like shit and plays like shit. The only somewhat satisfying thing at its peak was destroying things quickly in maps to get loot that maybe 1 in 10 chance was decent. All that’s gone because the game designers are fucking stupid.
And I know exactly when things got fucked. That whole stupid Path of Exile convention is what killed GGG. You had a bunch of sycophants in the audience who were ready to suck any pre-cum stained penis working for GGG, which meant that these bozos allowed a bunch of blowjobs go to their undeserved microscopic heads (yes, that’s an intended double entendre). Imagine that, a bunch of New Zealand jabronie developers suddenly believing that they’re super stars because of a tiny ass convention. You want to ask me what’s wrong with the world it’s exactly this kind of bullshit.
And because these jackoffs actually bothered to pay for a trip to New Zealand of all places, you know they are hardcores. So they probably got into these developers’ ears to give them new backlogs. A small percentage of the population whereas the developers needed to hear from a wider audience.
Then I saw that Neon/Neo/Mark/Whatever guy and thought “well, that’s why there might be a food shortage out there”. But apparently this epitome of someone who probably is better off serving in a Ringling Bros. act has a lead position. The general feedback on the reddit forums, after listening to this candidate for why solar eclipses happen, was “we should hear more from him because he sounds like he has a clue.” Technically, yes. But I immediately got the impression that he is a huge part of the problem (emphasis on physical huge)
Let me say based on the way the game is built at the moment, it sounds like he’s responsible for a lot of the bad encounters. And this is after that bald crackpot Chris Wilson (why are all guys named Wilson dickheads btw?) bragged how “they know how to make a boss encounter” to very little applause (probably Mathil1 since this is his livelihood).
Anyway, at this stage, I pretty much see GGG as a lost cause and I’m extremely sorry I spent all that money on supporter packs and whatnot. Easily, I could have used those funds for more Del Taco or Jack-in-the-Box late night runs or perhaps more accessories and a new head for my sex doll. But pretty much unless Tencent comes in as a deux-ex machina type of figure and literally plucks up the 3-4 imbeciles running that place, I see just a steadily decline in quality in Path of Exile.
What’s worse is that the Twitter responses from the Twitch regular defendants are sickening. They love it because they know that they’ll have more chances to die within the game, which equates to more bullying which equates to the microtransactions that the stupid 14 year olds do in giving these goobers the $1-5 per. Yeah so it works out for them great but the game is going to have a far smaller community just like the declining World of Warcraft. Then what are you going to do? If you want, I’ll lend you some money to buy the bazooka to blow your foot off with because at least you’ll get some pretty good views and donations with your beggar button that day.
Either way, this is an absolute joke. Let’s be honest here. Diablo 2: Resurrection is going to kill Path of Exile’s momentum once it comes out. The people at GGG should have been going, “Oh shit! We need to do something!” So you effectively closed the door off to a possible cross over audience when others looking for new content post-Diablo 2 launch and this is the best impression you can give them? Let’s just chase any potential new customers away by throwing out a horribly buggy, underwhelming game with shit graphics that are stuck in the late 90s with unfriendly game play and carpel tunnel inducing mouse clicking? That’s your response?
I doubt that this blog post will find its way to where it needs to go. But if it does and I get heat with this, I ain’t apologizing for how I feel. I paid for shitty cosmetics hoping that the company would re-invest it into making a better game. Instead, I feel deterred, ripped off and closed off as a result of very poor managerial decisions. If I saw Neon/Neo/Mark/Whatever himself, I’d slap that goof’s blobulous face so hard it’d rotate and put Jupiter into orbit around Earth. But I’d be doing GGG a favor at least in having the balls to do what they should have done a long time ago.