Respawn: Diablo III's Anti-Social Changes

The best loot in Diablo III is now account bound, removing trading and a ton of social interaction, but at the same time giving players an incentive to play (and group). We take a look at this phenomenon in today's Respawn.

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Diablo III is removing the auction house, has revamped the entire difficulty system (mobs scale with your level and, in addition, you can choose difficulties that also scale with your level and your gear), paragon now gives you something, and loot is revamped. The loot system is now the most anti-social loot system any game could ever have. No more auction house, no trading of gold, no trading of legendaries. As a matter of a fact, the best gear is now account bound. Certain crafting materials are now account bound as well. The only way to gear up is to play the game, which drastically improves the quality of the game because it gives you an incentive to, well, play.

I dare say, right now Diablo III is good.

Good and anti-social, in a way. It’s odd, it has removed a ton of the social components from the game, such as the need to trade or interact with your fellow man outside of grouping, but that in itself has made the game so good because it gives you not only a reason to play, but a reason to actually interact. Confusing, huh. Let me give you two different examples of how D3 played.

D3 Loot

Before 2.0: You logged in, paid about $100 to $200, logged off, you have successfully completed D3. Oh and find the cookie cutter build so your character looks sweet on the armory.

After 2.0: You log in, play alone or with a group, farm legendaries, grind levels, get a wave of endless loot, constantly upgrade and tweak your build based on the loot you find. Trade legendaries with friends, and have fun.

Woah, night and day huh? D3 has turned itself around by removing trading and by removing currency trading. How in the world can this work? It just… does. I don’t know. Maybe it’s going to be a uniquely D3 thing, but they’ve solved so many issues with the game by just removing some of the social interaction, which has boosted the rest of the social interaction by leaps and bounds.

Before there wasn’t a lot of reason to play with others or do anything at all in the game. Once you reached sixty you were pretty much set, just buy your gear and you’re done. Removing the ability to buy gear and replacing it with a crazy system where you constantly farm your own gear for yourself is just crazy… crazy good.

D3 Loot

I really wonder if that can translate over into regular MMOs. If there is a way to craft a system in an MMO where trading isn’t something that is done, everyone has to be self reliant for crafting materials, currency, and gear. No auction house and no trading beyond rudimentary items. Just complete self reliance. That would cure a lot of the issues with the gold farmers, with drama, with game economy, but it’s also heavy handed.

D3 is really good right now, but only because we all seen the desolate wasteland that was pre 2.0. When the game was all about the auction house and it was either farming gear to sell on the AH or buying gear off of the AH, with loot drops that rarely were ever good enough for you. Now most of the gear is good enough for you and farming is just so easy and organic that it’s crazy. However, in a perfect world, the previous method with the true RNG loot drops and the AH would have been awesome, if it didn’t evolve into the end all be all of the game. Is that a player problem or a mechanic problem? I don’t know.

Anyway, in summary, Diablo III is great even if there isn’t much reason to interact with others beyond co-op grinding. I don’t know if we’ll even get to a D2 like SOJ trading system since the best gear is now account bound. I’m totally okay with that though and honestly encourage you to give the game another try.



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