Although Diablo III has been a hit for Blizzard, selling around 10 million copies, there are many who feel that the game is still seriously lacking substantial end-game content other than farming for items. Even Blizzard President Mike Morhaime went out of his way to address some of these issues directly to the community on the forums back in July saying, “We’re also working on a gameplay system that will provide players who have max-level, high-powered characters new goals to strive for as an alternative to the ‘item hunt’.” Since then however, Blizzard’s patches for D3 have really been nothing more than balance tweaks. They’ve made acquiring legendary items easier, given players the ability to change monster difficulty, and have gone through a whole host of ability changes, but none of these have added the end-game that many have been looking for. Everyone’s pretty much waiting to hear about the much promised PvP system, but with no word on it since September, is there any chance we’re going to see it before they release their expansion?
A D3 expansion is probably a long way away, so far away in fact I’m surprised that it was announced at all in last week’s earnings call. There are still many fans who believe the game is incomplete. Without the promised PvP system in place all there is to do is farm away for more items or earn some cash on the real money auction house. Despite these complaints, the game has still been massively successful, selling over 10 million copies since it was released back in May. So while fans may have issues with some of the game’s specifics, these issues haven’t harmed the game’s sales for the year. In fact, Activision’s Bobby Kotick has said that D3’s success has been one of the “primary drivers for earnings” so far this year. Most likely the announcement was designed to make their investors all warm and fuzzy inside by planning a follow-up to a game that sold over 10 million copies.
There’s no word yet as to what will actually be in the expansion pack or if we’ll see the PvP system that was promised as a patch or as part of the expansion. Hopefully the PvP patch is still right around the corner as they said in September, but no news is usually bad news when it comes to Blizzard. For now fans of the game will most likely continue to see balances changes and tweaks as Blizzard continues to fine-tune the current PvP-free experience. If you want to kill monsters the game continues to offer a solid gameplay experience, if you want to kill your friends it’s probably going to be at least a few more months.