Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Diablo III vs. The Death Nerds

I know I said a couple days ago I wouldn't be posting this week, but this one begs to be linked. Along with about ten billion other hosers, I'm a fan of the Penny Arcade comic. Today, though, they've outdone themselves. What's this about?

Last night I mentioned Dragon Age is my #1 most anticipated game of the next year or so. Number 3 on that list is Diablo III... granted, that may not be out for two years or more, but I'm all aflutter just to know it's coming out eventually. (For the record #2 on my list is Fallout 3. The list ends at three titles.)

As you probably know already, after Blizzard announced Diablo III (last month) and showed off some sharp-looking footage of it, a certain segment of the fan base, henceforth to be known as The Death Nerds (a reference from the online comic for Dr. Horrible), went indiscriminately insane. Why? The game was too bright. There was too much color. Worst of all, at one point there was a very subtle rainbow in the midst of an outdoor chasm. And, as everyone knows, the inclusion of a rainbow means your game is designed for pussies and dudes who like other dudes. And, girlfriends, that just ain't how the D-train is supposed to roll.

Naturally, up went the online petitions to Blizzard to Goth up the game. (I won't link to them, but I kid you not. There's at least one online petition over this.) You know, because grayscale is compelling and because Diablo II never ever used color or bright environments.

See what I mean? Total darkness.

Anyway, I'm digressing. One of these concerned citizens of the Intertubes (TM) went so far as to take screenshots of some of the gameplay footage and Photoshop them up for the Blizzard folks so he could show them how they can better do their jobs. Generous, some folk are.

In addition to drawing attention from the guys at Penny Arcade, I was glad to see MTV's Multiplayer Blog was all over this, getting a Q&A with Blizzard designer, Jay Wilson, who -while more civil than the wonk who made the shots- pretty much tore them to shreds in spectacular fashion. Okay, it's not that extreme, but I love it when the pros strike back at wannabe's who don't know half as much about game design as they'd like to think they do.

Plus, I really want these Death Nerds to shut up. I don't have a problem with people criticizing a game that's been published or having concerns over an upcoming game's direction. Discussion and debate is good. But wailing like banshees, gnashing teeth and filing online petitions are a whole 'nother pathetic level.