Recently on the Diablo III forums, a Blizzard representative has come forward to explain and agree that the player’s complaints are valid, but the end-game content was never in the company’s plans.
The community manager, Bashiok stated, "There needs to be something else that keeps people engaged, and we know it's not there right now".
The item hunt that is in-game was supposed to occupy players, but the developers had misjudged and expected more out of it than how it actually turned out to be.
“We believed pre-release that the item hunt would be far more sustainable, and would work to be a proper end-game for quite a while. That didn't turn out to be true, and we recognize that.”
They are currently working on a patch 1.0.4. which is supposed to pack as many fixes and changes in order to help out the players and engage them more. They are also working on 1.1 with PVP arenas.
“I think both those patches will do a lot to give people things to do, and get them excited about playing, but they're not going to be a real end-game solution, at least not what we would expect out of a proper end-game.”
Several players were suggesting that this proves Blizzard released Diablo III before the title was ready, but Bashiok refuted this. He did admit however that, "Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose, but we believed pre-release that the item hunt would be far more sustainable, and would work to be a proper end-game for quite a while. That didn't turn out to be true, and we recognize that."
Bashiok went on to say that “Diablo III is not like World of Warcraft”. They don’t have the means to continuously push out new content and systems every so often in order to keep the interest there. Players gave Blizzard a one-time payment for a pre-packaged experience and that’s what was given.
“We have some ideas for progression systems, but honestly it's a huge feature if we want to try to do it right, and not something we could envision being possible until well after 1.1 which it itself still a ways out,” said Bashiok.
"We have hundreds upon hundreds of thousands playing every night. Comparing to just normal drop-off post release of a WoW expansion, Diablo III has been very solid, and it's not even out in China yet," he said.
Diablo III was the fastest selling game of all time when it was released in May with 3.5 million copies within 24 hours.
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