Diablo III, 3.5/10? Gamer entitlement strikes again!

3 mins read

Just a quick note to point out something that is, frankly, utterly embarrassing for the gaming community: Diablo III’s Metacritic score (user ratings) is sitting at 3.5/10.

Before I go on, I do want to clarify: there are some good, genuine complaints raised by some of those user reviews. And nor, based on what I’ve seen, read and heard from people that have played the game, do I think it’s a 10/ 10 game. The reasonable people sit between the 6/10 and 9/10 range, which is as I expected.

And in the interest of full disclosure: I don’t have Diablo III. There is very little point in spending my time playing it right now when the review would get lost amongst the mass of other professional Website reviews. We will have a review for Diablo III, never fear! But it will be in a few weeks when we’ve all had a chance to digest the game properly.

I also didn’t buy Diablo III at launch because I knew something would go wrong. The improbability of a perfect launch for a game of that size and marketing scope is such that any rational person should have gone in expecting that.

But again I seem to have overestimated humanity and indeed we’ve got a lot of people slamming Diablo III because they can’t log in (and thus play) the game right now. It sucks certainly that you woke up on Christmas day and there were no presents under the tree, but that’s only because your parents were having a bit of a joke and there’s a really freaking awesome present hidden away until after lunch.

Diablo III’s problems are problems that anyone would have realised is going to be fixed, and soon. You don’t have a game that is broken, you have a game that is simply too popular to possibly be glitch free right now. It’s overloaded, simple as that. But to all those those many people who gave it 0/10 score on Metacritic for that reason: That knee jerk and utterly childish reaction is part of a permanent discussion that may well have real ramifications – on Blizzard as a business and the people that worked really flipping hard on making this game for you.

So well done, folks. You’ve tainted the game release of the year, and all because you’re so entitled that you quite literally spat a dummy over not being able to play right now.

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  • While I do agree that the overreaction is unjustified, I do also think that always-online DRM can extremely cramp any game-playing experience. Reviewers shouldn't ignore things like DRM and online passes just because they aren't "Part Of The Game" when they can directly influence the experience that anybody has with said game.

  • For sure I agree with you there. I don't necessarily agree with always-on DRM (although Diablo III seems to be more than a regular game – seems to me to be very online heavy – almost MMO-like). But providing a "review" to give a game 0/10 – professional or otherwise, it's a published piece of work – based on not having access to a game for one day? When for many years onwards it'll be a top-tier game for these people?

    That is little better than a two year old child throwing a tantrum because they didn't get the lollypop from the candy store.

  • I disagree. The numbers are meaningless, people are downvoting it with negative reviews because they are giving blizzard a message about how frustrating it is to deal with all the launch issues and always online DRM. the entire 'x/10' scoring system is beside the point, and focussing on that just means you buy too much into a numerical score for the abstract thing that is quality of a game.

    Metacritic could've put up a simple 'Recommend/do not Recommend' option instead of the number system and the message would be much clearer: people who have paid for this game on release are dissapointed and would recommend against doing so to others.

    You can say "oh it sucks but they will fix it," but there is a tacit promise from a game developper that once they sell you a game, you can play it and it will be functional, because you've given them the money for a final product. Before the days of internet patching, this kinda shit would never have flown, you couldn't get away with selling a broken game and not expect people to call you out on it. If the beta made it obvious to them they wouldn't be ready for launch, then they should've pushed the lauch back if they didn't want to get hammered with negative press for releasing a broken product.

    People are willing to be patient for a game to be ready to release. They aren't willing to be patient after they've already paid for a game they don't get to play.

  • I agree over reaction is not justified, nor are ridiculously low scores. But come on, people com planing because they can't use a product they paid for? How unreasonable!

    The single player game should have been available offline, on install, for every single player who shelled out their money to buy it. Just like every other single player game going back 30 years, with the exception of the past few years. This is not, or should not, be an unreasonable expectation.

    These DRM's claim to be fighting piracy but do nothing of the sort. The game will be cracked and there will be people who will be able to download and play it without connecting or paying. The DRM punishes us honest people, not the crooks.

  • As thus we now see why PC gamers truly do more harm than good when compared to console gamers, they are like the spoiled brats screaming and bitching when it doesn't go as they want and when it does all they do after wards is bitch how it could be better.

  • Blizzard has my money right now, they aren't rendering me a service that I paid them money for, if I am unhappy about that it does not make me "entitled."  Entitled is expecting something for nothing, but gamers expect that when they buy a game, they can play it.  It's not waking up and seeing no presents under the tree as a kid, because as a kid you did not pay for those presents, it is buying a service and then having the provider not render it.  It really bugs me when the argument to expect something I pay for to work as adverted is considered "entitlement". If I buy a new car, I expect it to run, if I buy a TV I expect it to work, and if I buy a game I expect to be able to play it, and none of these are entitlement. 

    I am confident that they will fix out the issues, and I am fine waiting for them to do so, however I am not happy about it.  I'm not going to go out and give a bad rating to it, or any other knee jerk reaction.  That said, it was known during beta, the closed beta and the stress test, that there were going to be problems so it should not have been a shock to Blizzard.  Blizzard also has a long extensive history in such launches, so they should have got it right by now.  It is compounded because of the huge marketing campaign they did to play it at 12:01 with saying there will be limited if any problems, as well as major events worldwide, so even if those such as myself are knowledgeable enough to know it is bull that it won't have problems, that doesn't mean others have the same knowledge.  Blizzard deserves what they are getting however, and even if I disagree with some actions of those who are more knee jerk reaction than myself, I do not fault those who are doing such things after their 10 year wait.

  • There is not a single service on the planet that guarantees a 100 per cent uptime, though. Even Government infrastructure, when it's outsourced and costs millions of dollars every year, is set at 99.9 per cent or thereabouts. Why? Because it's as impossible to guarantee 100 per cent. It's just unfortunate that the servers were down at the start of this game's life.

    If my power goes out, I ring the power company and wait for them to come out and fix the problem. I paid for that service, but I understood when I bought it that I wasn't being guaranteed 100 per cent uptime. I would bet my house that Blizzard's EULA for the game doesn't guarantee it either. That thing that you click through without bother reading spells out exactly the responsibilities that Blizzard is taking on, and that's what you are buying. You are not buying 100 per cent uptime.

    People have a responsibility when buying a game to know what they were getting. They should go in knowing it's continuously online and they signed up to that EULA. No one forced them to buy it. 

    Entitlement is expecting to get more than what you paid for. This is therefore entitlement. Now, you might not agree with Blizzard's direction, and you'd have a very strong case for that opinion. The answer is not to pretend the game is a 0/10 game though. That's a dummy spit and it's childish. The answer is to exercise your right as a consumer and not buy the game. 

    Thanks for the input! I'm not saying people shouldn't be disappointed by this (as some other websites have been so happy to assume. Makes them look like the heroes and me look like the corporate drone, see). I'd be disappointed if it happened to me. 

  •  Console sheep dont have brains, and dont know when they are being abused, and continue year after year to buy horribly made games because "they're just games." Its your fault why games suck. PC gamers are your lord and savior.

  • Somehow Diablo I and II both managed the lost art of 100% up time for their single player.  It is well known that for the worse Blizzard requires a constant online connection to play single player, so obviously people should not expect 100% up time for Blizzard's servers, however they expect something close and thus far it has been below 50%, and Blizzard had an advertising campaign which made it clear that you would be able to play Diablo 3 at launch without difficulty, so people naturally expected up time for the one day they were constantly told over and over and over that it would be up.  Also, when you first get it at launch is the one time when gamers expect to be able to play it, because that is when the company is saying they are prepared for users to join.  I do know better, and I was expecting problems at launch as I was following the progress of the beta which was a mess, however with the expectations that Blizzard gave to the general audience, buyers were expecting something what Blizzard would imply they were giving, and obviously they are unhappy and wish for Blizzard to know this.  When someone pays 60 dollar single player game that is expected to work on a specific day, they expect it to work as advertised, and it doesn't matter the technical reasons beyond why it doesn't when it doesn't, and it is not entitlement to expect a multimillion dollar company to hold up the expectations they they themselves created, when all the problems are created by themselves. 

    That said, 0/10 reviews are not childish for an important reason, they are effective.  It is a tool consumers have to make their impression known.  If you want to be able to play Diablo 3 now, then poor reviews are a tool that some (though not myself) can utilize to make sure that Blizzard gets right on it.  Complaints on their forum don't mean nearly as much, because it doesn't hurt their bottom line, and when it doesn't, Blizzard doesn't have the motivation to fix it ASAP.  These reviews did not taint the Diablo 3 launch, being unable to play because Blizzard did not have the infrastructure to handle it tainted the Diablo 3 launch.

  • "That is little better than a two year old child throwing a tantrum because they didn't get the lollypop from the candy store."

    Try to take money from the kid for a lollipop and then laugh at him and tell him to come for the lollipop some other day. Then explain that to the police or other angry customers… 🙂

  • "Just a quick note to point out something that is, frankly, utterly embarrassing for the gaming community … "

    I hardly think you speak for the gaming community as a whole. The Metacritic score's aren't artificial if one considers that they represent exactly how most people feel about the DRM implementation.

    Indecently the only people responsible for 'tainting' the release are the good folk at Blizzard.

  • You're missing the point. This isn't entirely about the infrastructure going down, although Blizzard's failure to foresee that a lot of people are going to try and play on day one more than a little on the incompetent side. A lot of the people who are crashing the meta scores and making error 37 trend higher on Twitter than Diablo 3 did on its launch day and lighting up the forums are doing it because the actions of companies like Blizzard, Capcom, and Bioware are extremely unethical, and taking advantage of a medium that has very little consumer regulation at this point. Diablo 3 is not worth the $60 that many people payed for it, not when compared to its predecessor that gave us every feature that D3 comes with, plus the added feature of being able to play by yourself without requiring Blizzard's permission. 

    It's no different than hanging any other company that has unethical business practices out to dry. Metacritic scores might have real impact on  Blizzard as a business? You say that as if you think that the people crashing the score don't know that. For many of them, that's the point. Playing along with the developers has gotten us nickel and dimed with on disc DLC, day one DLC, stringent drm packed with spyware, and launching unfinished products to meet shipping dates. The time has come to escalate. Consumers voicing their displeasure is the first step, reporting their displeasure to others, which is what's happening now, is the next step, boycotting the product is the final step, and one that has the greatest risk of irreparably damaging the developers. We're in the second step, although some have already proceeded to the third step, as both bioware and blizzard saw the numbers of people willing to accept the declining quality of their subscription MMO franchises plummet, both of which were launched unfinished in order to beat the Christmas rush. 

  • And this is classic fanboyism.

    You do know that this is fundamentally different from 1st day launch issue where most player log in on the first day to authenticate, register and activate their product? In D3, everyone, everytime, single player and multiplayer, will need to log on to the server and maintain comms with the server every time they play. The server load is NOT going to reduce drastically and what blizzard/activision needs to do is to increase the server capacity to the likes of WWO but without the subscription based model. Think that they will? One word – Kotick.

    And moreover, just logging in won't solve the problem, since lag and rubber banding is going to be a big issue, even in single player games, with all the data streaming in from the server. To solve that, they need to increase the server capacities even more. Any one want to bet that they will do that? I might even give you 1:100 odds.

  • And this shows that you are just like the gamers your describe. Hold a mirror to your face man.

    Complaining because they cannot play the game they bought is spoiled brat? Then I have a gold laden island in the middle of the ocean for sale.

  • When the game cannot even be played … what would you give? When a game keep logging you off and cause you to die due to lag in Single Player (i.,e. only you playing alone), what score would you give. 0/10? I would give -10 for the waste of money and time.

  • Yeah, far be it somebody shell out 60 bucks for a game they want to play singleplayer and not be able to because some clowns decided it's nit gonna be that way.

    What you call gamer entitlement has another, older name, customers wants. If Blizzard doesn't care, one thing will always remain true is a company will show up and give customers what they want.

    Yes, I did look forward to the game and had every intention to buy it. Now that I know a bit more about the game though, nope. I like my singleplayer offline.

  • I've noticed a lot of people have been using the term "Gamer Entitlement" to describe people who become angered when games are not functioning as advertised. They are right to be angered, because entitlement doesn't describe someone who thinks they should have a right something – IT DESCRIBES SOMEONE HAVING A RIGHT TO SOMETHING:

    Noun:The fact of having a right to something.
    The amount to which a person has a rightWhen a person purchases a game, they have a right to it functioning normally as long as they follow the instructions (i. e. have a computer that satisfies the system requirements and install the game).When I see all of these articles about people dismissing people who complain or otherwise show their dissatisfaction as "entitled," I am confused and a little miffed at their gross misuse of the term.

  • Hi Iobham,

    That's certainly not the context I'm using "entitlement" here – I fully agree with you that people have a right to be upset when a game they buy doesn't work on the first day. 

    No, my issue is with the people that decided to express that disappointment by trying to negatively affect the careers of the people who made the game. Game reviews are there to provide consumers with sales advice. By giving a game 0/10 you are telling people not to buy the game. 

    And as we've seen since, once people start playing (one whole day after that review), they discover that it's an above average game. 

    It's entitlement to think you have the right to try and ruin someone's career on the basis of a technical glitch. There are forums and technical support to voice your displeasure. Telling people to never, ever, buy a game because you have to wait one more day to start playing it is childish. 

    That's why I'm upset by all of this, anyway.

  • Matt,

    Your argument would be sound if Blizzard were a collection of enthusiasts who were releasing this game free-to-play for the good of the fans. But they're not. They're a business, and they're in it to make money. We're not being given a product out of the good graces of Blizzard – they're competing for our cash along with everybody else.

    Blizzard is a company with two decades of managing extremely sophisticated online games with millions of players. I expected, as did many other people, that Blizzard's experience meant that the game would have a smooth launch. They knew what the demand for this game would be, and they had the opportunity to prepare for that demand. Nobody else decided when the release date for the game would be – this was always a game that would be finished "when it was ready".
    So now the game's been released, and it wasn't ready, and I (and many millions of others) have paid $60 for this game, and you're saying WE are the entitled party? 


    Blizzard made the design decisions to force always-online play – nobody else did. And as a paying customer, I have the right to voice my complaints however I damn well please. Nobody's given me a thing in this arrangement; I'm out $60 for a game I can't always play. To claim that I am an entitled gamer is either an abuse of the English language or a flat-out lie.

    If anything, Blizzard is the entitled party for assuming that we'd put up with what is for many people a non-functional product. There may not be a "guarantee" of uptime, but there is most certainly an expectation of it – especially when the company stated that problems at launch would be "minimal". I as a consumer should never be punished for listening to what representatives of a company say about their products. Ever.

    Consumers didn't taint the "game release of the year" – Blizzard did.

    P.S. As far as uptime guarantees, you need to be more familiar with technical industries before claiming that "99.9% uptime" is the best uptime in the world. In a year, that's 3-4 days worth of downtime, and for many industries (banking especially) that is simply not acceptable. Talk of "five to six nines" (e.g. 99.9999%) is NOT uncommon, and any company worth their salt knows how much money they'll lose per second of downtime.

    I can only assume that Blizzard (as a company run by smart people) ran the numbers and figured that they'd make more money releasing the game as is than by delaying the launch further and making a smoother launch experience for their paying customers. So if they're going to treat me as a number, I feel completely within rights to do the same to them.

  • a bit late here. are you saying people shouldn't boycott a product or down rate it on a website the same they would by word of mouth? if someone feels 0/10 is valid for always on DRM and an uncertain future for the community its their prerogative to rate it that way.

    expecting people to self censor and toe your, or anyone else, line that's a very scary expectation. Are you saying everyone should temper their reviews with what established, and well known to be deeply corrupt, professional reviewers say?

    Likewise saying 0/10 for ANY REASON is invalid and not a perfectly fine use of free speech to express ones opinion is even scarier. If a utility company i pay has an outage i can talk all the shit i want about it and review it 0/10 if i wanted.

    Finally, claiming "gamer entitlement" completely destroys any ability to have honest and even heated discussions about a game and demonizes those who would boycott and inferior product.

    Being able to spread word about what prodcuts are good and what are bad and make informed buying decisions is an underpinning of a capitalist system. Likewise its exceptionally important a company listens and doesn't lose its base. Why would you ever not try to understand why someone is angry; if you pretend to be an unbiased source of info its essential and if you're a company you need that info to change what you did wrong.

    Whats more on the internet it'll lose YOU as a writer credibility as an unbiased source of information if you use the common corporate argument of "gamer entitlement". It's called a failure, plain and simple. They have a target demographic and their demographic doesn't want their product and hates them.

  • Separate note, you have every right to drive a business into into closure for any reason via boycott, game or otherwise.
    If the people who work there don't want it to happen they need to change their business practices.

  • Welcome to the party, better late than never 😉

    You're essentially playing the free speech card here, correct? It's a good one, because how's this for controversial: Freedom of Speech is a broken concept, and very bad for society.

    Now I've got your attention, here's why: Freedom of Speech always designed with the expectation that people would be responsible in its application. Unfortunately they're not.

    It is *not* a responsible response to do your bit to try and ruin a company because you can't play a game for one (or even two) days. It's your right to complain, yes, and if it's a genuinely bad game it would be your consumer responsibility to say so, but look at this: Diablo 3 has been working fine for everyone for a while now, and is a good game by almost all accounts, and the Metacritic user score? Still under 4.0.

    Those people who attempted to exercise their "right" to freedom of speech have caused genuine and permanent damage to a company's reputation, and that's because they didn't get to play their game for a few hours.

    To sum up: I don't believe anyone should have the freedom to be a jerk. Does that make me as a writer less credible? Only with the people who seem to think that a writer can only be credible when he's biased towards the jerks.

    Bias works both ways. I don't write to pander to the "gamers". I leave that to the Jim Sterlings of the world. I perfer to write the actual truth. And sometimes, the gamers are wrong.

  • You're absolutely right!
    When the kid at MacDonald's screws up my order, and doesn't give me what I ordered, it's not indicative of him having done a poor job! I shouldn't complain that I saw him pick my burger up off the floor and put it on my tray! No, I was simply feeling falsely entitled to expect my fast food to be fast and completely cooked!
    No, if that burger take a half an hour to arrive on my plate, covered with dirt and stuffed with chicken instead of beef, I would be wrong to try to get this kid fired.
    Reviews are publicity… go look up reviews for any game you've ever played, and tell me if you agree with the meaningless numerical score. Personally, I pick the reviews that put games in the 4-7 range, and read a few of them if I want a fair opinion of the game. The 0's exist to inform us of MASSIVE failures on part of the game company, and the 10's exist to let us know how big the playerbase is.
    Quite frankly, I'm not bothered at all that D3 got so many 0's… it's not a 0 overall, but Blizzard damn well needs to recognize that releasing a game unfinished and unplayable is NOT F'ING ACCEPTABLE.
    Especially Blizzard, the company who used to say. "You can have it when it's done."
    I've stopped buying Final Fantasy because they drove that series into the ground, I can sure as hell do the same for Blizzard if this continues.

  • Wow, Freedom of speach is bad? Gamers hurt Blizzard's reputation?
    Yeah, D3 is working JUST fine a couple months later! The talk of re-designing NV stacks doesn't mean they aren't still in beta! The fact that there's still NO pvp doesn't mean they failed to deliver on what they promised! Error 37 is done and gone though, I haven't got that for almost a full week now!
    You still don't seem to realize that people aren't giving this game 0/10 because they couldn't play it for a couple days.
    The outrage stems from the fact that they were told they COULD play it when it came out, that the game launched with half it's features missing, that the unstable connection issues prevent them from playing single player uninterrupted and lag free. That you lose your hard earned NV stacks because of those same connection issues.
    My analysis of your writing so far is that you just wanted to write an article arguing with logic and reason, because nothing riles people up like people believing in stupid things. Yes, I don't believe that you actually stand for the viewpoint you represent.
    You can determine what that means regarding your credibility… but people DO love Stephen Colbert. 🙂

  • For sure I agree with you there. I don't necessarily agree with always-on DRM (although Diablo III seems to be more than a regular game – seems to me to be very online heavy – almost MMO-like). But providing a "review" to give a game 0/10 – professional or otherwise, it's a published piece of work – based on not having access to a game for one day? When for many years onwards it'll be a top-tier game for these people?

    That is little better than a two year old child throwing a tantrum because they didn't get the lollypop from the candy store.

  • I think that I will really enjoy this game, however I can't give an opinion. It's not because the servers are down and I can't play momentarily like you mention above and say that people should have expected. No, I can't play because I can't even get the game to download onto my computer. I've played Blizzards games and I know there is quality in their work. So many claim that they can't believe how upset people are getting and that they should have seen this coming. I am probably more upset about the fact that a company has fans that feel comfortable saying that they expect flaws and massive complications to be apart of a product. This isn't patch day or launch of a new expansion in Warcraft or some other continually evolving online MMO. If you bought a new computer and plugged it in and didn't work would you not be upset? I mean you expect complications with all your products right?

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