The Rise of the Necromancer, the long awaited Diablo 3 DLC has finally released. Despite all the excitement of having the beloved hero class back (I mean who doesn’t have a fetish at playing a tall dark man with long white hair), I had to pause this week and look at the price. I’ll be honest, I’m very pleased with the fact that it’s more or less still within the promised amount of content that Blizzard stated it will be. To my surprise, there is also a few other additions I didn’t expect. Unfortunately, though, it’s just too little and too late.
Long Long Ago
Diablo 3 released in 2012. The much-awaited sequel to the gothic hack and slash series was initially well received (barring the real money auction house) with brilliant changes to the series’ style and provided a well-rounded variety of heroes. The years went on with little to no content being added to the game. Eventually, Blizzard announced the first expansion to Diablo 3, Reaper of Souls, releasing in 2014. This new expansion offered an additional hero, multiple changes to how the game functioned, and an additional story act. At the time, I felt upset, having to pay nearly full price for an expansion that I felt didn’t offer much in comparison to the base game. Having only one additional act and character felt like an insult to me, but being the core-fan I was, I swallowed my pride and paid the price, just so I could continue enjoying the game.
I should have trusted my initial instincts, but I didn’t and was treated to content that felt unfished and rushed with an ending that left me wanting more. With nothing new to experience, aside from some small additional maps in adventure mode, the game slowly faded away from my memory, leaving me waiting patiently for a full expansion.
That never happend.
Back From The Dead
Instead, someone thought that bringing back a class—one which was favored by fans—would reinvigorate the buzz surrounding the game it once had. And it did, for those still invested in the series it did create a fair amount of buzz and hype, but I’ll be the first to say that I believe it was a mistake on Blizzard’s part. My fetishes aside, the Necromancer really doesn’t have a home a hero in Diablo 3 as that hero was replaced with the Witch Doctor, who functions very similarly. On top of this, there was already a fair amount of Necromancer lore in the second chapter that could have easily been used to create a rich expansion, leaving room for a new, more creative hero instead.
This obviously did not happen.
Instead of finally finishing Leah’s storyline (which Blizzard has stated they planned to expand upon) or perhaps designing a full second expansion (which I personally would have no problem paying for) they opted on creating a small DLC pack for a 5 years old game, at the exuberant price of $15.
I’ve read the comments, I know that many will probably find no fault at this price, and will be more than happy to pay this sum to get something new for a game they love, but here I must draw the line. I hate DLC with passion. I hate the fact that I need to pay extra to receive a complete product that I had already paid a full price to play. I hated it with EA’s titles (Mass Effect, Dragon-Age, etc), I hated it with Ubisoft (Assassin Creed), I hated it with Bethesda (Fallout) and now I fully hate it with Blizzard. This type of small content shouldn’t be offered as something standalone that you need to pay for, it should be included in a larger package such as an expansion or perhaps its something that is just given to you for owning the game. It could even be simply offered at a far more reduced price, but instead, we are forced to consume this content in this very abrasive manner.
I see companies like CD Projekt Red who have absolutely no issue giving away such small DLC for free (16 free DLCs for Witcher III), rewarding their fan base with additional content. While others simply insist on milking their base by creating multiple little DLCs at absurdly high prices. The funny thing is, I don’t think this would bother me to the point of writing an article if the price wasn’t $15. To me, $15 is a whole other game, an Indie game but still a whole other game and a whole new experience. So when I am left with the question of do I spend this $15 on an Indie title or two that offers a new experience or to play a new hero in a game that I have played 5 times before, the answer is obvious.
Despite my words, I hope you will consider what is right for you and make your own informed decision. I won’t judge you, just as I hope you won’t judge me, but I believe we have reached a point where we shouldn’t buy into this immediately. Let us not encourage companies to push unfinished games out or charging such steep prices for DLC because price vs content is important. It’s a shame, although I didn’t touch the game in over a year, I still was looking forward to seeing something new, but I feel this isn’t the new the series needed.