This article comes a day late because… I’m not going to offer an excuse. You’re just going to have to live with the mystery.
I assume that most of us who have played games have at one point (at least) come across a non-playable character that we became attached to. But sometimes we don’t become attached to characters who the game makers want us to get attached to, and sometimes we get more attached than we are supposed to. While quality narrative can do wonders for making a character appealing, I have found that players often base their connections on the mechanics of the character instead (and this sometimes causes problems).
John Romero recently posted an article in which he discussed the strength of Tidiness Theory in game design, the human desire to build, and the potential ramifications these behaviors in games have for evolution. While I think his closing paragraph is rather misinformed (evolution just don’t work that way), the rest of his article paints a good outline of how Tidiness Theory rears its head across multiple genres. I find I both agree and disagree with Romero’s assessment that Tidiness Theory is why players continue to play certain games.
Since I took a look at a spiritual successor to Diablo 2 I figured I might as well take a look at the actual successor. Unlike Path of Exile however, I really can’t think of too much that draws me to Diablo 3. This makes me especially sad since I waited in great anticipation for its release, playing Diablo 2 over and over again in the meantime. I paid full price for it. I paid for a copy for a friend to play with me! That is how much I wanted to continue my Diablo 2 fun in Diablo 3, but I ended up losing interest and dropping the game extremely quickly. You can maybe discount my analysis because I haven’t gotten much actual game time in, but I would argue that it isn’t my job to persist at playing a game until it is fun, it is instead the game’s job to keep me interested in playing.
I like Path of Exile and I hate Path of Exile. This game is everything I loved about Diablo 2, but it also amps up the parts of Diablo 2 that I was not a fan of. It is an action-RPG title that experiments with excess, and by doing so has given me all sorts of mixed feelings.