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Diablo 3 - One Week (or two) In
My First Week with Diablo 3
First of all, there may be spoilers ahead. If you have not played through to the end of Normal and do not wish to have your game spoiled, please read no further! If you have completed at least Normal mode, then you are safe.
No really, this is your last chance!
OK, moving right along...
My first week with Diablo 3 has been fantastic! I have battled through and beaten the game in Normal mode with my Demon Hunter (Now into Act 2 Nightmare), joined a friend's game and battled one of the boss characters with them, seen the Purple Pony level and killed several Rainbow Bright and Care Bear clones, and even joined in with 3 random people in a public game in which 3 of us were one-hit pulverized at the same time by the same rare demon! YES!
So: Am I having fun with Diablo 3? HELLS yeah!
Do I see myself playing Diablo 3 for the foreseeable future? HELLS yeah!!
Do I absolutely love this new game that Blizzard has created? BURNING HELLS, YEAH!!!!!
A Little Cheez with your Whine?
I have been lurking in the Diablo 3 forums on Diablo3.com, lately. Before the game was released, I had wanted to post about my hopes and dreams for the game, but I was unable to, due to a "law" they have that, unless you have an in-game character from one of their newer games (Starcraft 2 or WoW - Diablo 3 counts, now!) then you were not allowed to post. Now that I have an account that can post, I find that I don't WANT to! It is a place to whine, complain and make ridiculous and "educated" claims about the game that has been out for... let's count now... 15 days???
What do they whine about? Let's see...
- The RMAH (Real Money Auction House) that isn't even implemented yet - theories abound on it's use as a vehicle to "buy" your way to win the game, or just a way for Blizzard to get a bunch more money.
- The "broken" nature of Inferno mode - I have not reached there yet, but I am not playing 18 hours a day as I have a job and family, but I intend to get there, and when I do, I intend to have FUN with it, not whine that it's "too hard!" Blizzard said they were making it REALLY hard, and people scoffed that it was probably a bold and unattainable claim. Now they are complaining that it is TOO hard! Well, some people have made it through and are having fun. I think that assuming it is easily beatable is why people are whining.
- Legendary items - apparently, though they are supposed to be Barney Stinson-worthy, they are not legen-(wait for it...!!!)-dary ENOUGH for some people. Bashiok, one of the Community Moderators, made a good point: "...if you want all end-game characters to look the same and have on the exact same items by having a single #1 best item in the game, it’s a good way to get there." Personally, I think that having everyone using different gear will make things that much more interesting.
- "Farming" (going through an area repeatedly until you get what you are looking for, or something "good enough") for gear that is viable in the next acts is too hard, or boring or... I don't know... I got so annoyed by the whinery at this point, I wanted to stomp someone's grapes!!
I don't get why everyone is complaining so hard about it. If you go into the forums, it is post after post after post of complaints and whining about things. And then, because there are so many complaints, they all think that everyone agrees with them. The funny thing is, the people who are not posting are the ones having fun with the game. Considering 6.2 MILLION copies were sold on the first day - I have a feeling that the VAST majority are PLAYING the game and having FUN, not sitting around and WHINING like little children who threw their ice cream at the wall and are angry they don't have any, anymore!!!!
But that's just MY opinion.
I had hoped that going to the forums I would find like-minded people who would be talking about it's virtues and maybe giving their ideas on builds, etc. Not so I can cookie-cutter copy someone, but to get some ideas of what other people like or dislike about the skills and classes, and share my own stories of victory or defeat. Sometimes those ideas you gleen from others can only serve to make you understand your class or skills better. And from talking to someone who - like me - likes the game and finds it immensely FUN, I have already learned about some skill choices that may serve to make my Barbarian run a little better and stay survivable. I may not keep them, but looking at the options could be helpful!
Anyway, the forums are useless unless you want to hear a lot of crying and whining, and I have decided that I will just look at the useful forum posts - which certainly cuts down the amount of time I spend there. Of course, I am sure my boss appreciates me doing more work and less Diablo research, but hey... There's only so much I can do when I don't have active, specific work to do.
If you want to go check out the Diablo 3 official forums, you can access them from here.
So, SlydeDraco - your thoughts?
***REMEMBER - SPOILERS!!! ***
Well, I would have to say that I truly enjoy this game! It has the right mix of item randomization, champion killing, and dungeon-crawling that made Diablo 2 so much fun for me, along with a nice dose of the new features such as skill runes, 4-player jump-in / jump-out public or friend gameplay, the gold Auction House, the new story (which, admittedly has some holes, but is still a compelling journey back into Sanctuary to conclude the storyline), and so much more! I have beaten the Skeleton King for real, now, re-acquainted myself with the Butcher in his quest for "FRESH MEAT", destroyed Asmodan and his rabble, and even battled Diablo yet once more (well, twice, since I beat "him" with each of my characters who have passed Normal mode so far) to the death! And yes, to the death includes the times I died as well!
This is not to say that I feel the game is without flaw. Yes, I have been talking about all of the things that I like, but there are some things that I find lacking, or disappointing about the game. I was disappointed to find that the progression from Act to Act seemed to somewhat follow the same progression as Diablo II. From the areas around Tristram where zombies and Quill Fiends are the meal of choice on which to quench your blade, you move on to the desert in Act II (much like Act II of Diablo 2), then to more jungle-like areas (reminiscent of Act III of Diablo 2). Next, you end up in the areas around Mount Arreat (just like Act V from Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction). However, in the end game you end up in Heaven (as opposed to Hell, where you beat Diablo, previously), which was a nice change, and the scenery choices, and architecture were quite remarkable!
Another slight disappointment was the length of the game. Now, maybe I am remembering Diablo 2 from a different perspective, because it always seemed to take me so long to progress to being strong enough to beat Diablo in Normal Mode before hitting Hell, but I have already cleared Normal twice - once with my Demon Hunter, and once, even more rapidly, with my Barbarian. Granted I finished Act III and breezed through Act IV with another Barbarian, but the mobs should have been hitting harder, making it still rather difficult, I thought. Regardless, while it seemed quick, I still enjoyed progressing through the levels.
The story in Diablo 3 has some significant plot shortcomings that really seem like obvious choices as opposed to moments of discovery. Finding Emperor Hakan was Belial was not a big stretch, considering his decision to kill you early on, then sudden manifestation of magical powers, and everyone apparently finding it odd that he was able to use magic so easily to find you wherever you went. Lord of Lies, sure... but that was just plain lazy storytelling. It was WAY too easy to see through.
While I would not have seen the turning of Diablo had I not lurked in the forums so much and seen all of the chatter regarding "She-ablo" and Leah's possible connections to Diablo, I might have found that to be an enticing bit to discover. Unfortunately, those who had previously figured this out and shared it, ruined that bit of the story for me.
However, all of these things, and other slight annoyances - all online, so if the servers are offline on one of my two days off, I cannot grind the demons to meal, and other things surrounding that - I am thoroughly enjoying the item hunt and the game in general. I love joining up with friends to battle the hordes of hell together, and trade item finds, or straight-up trade items that they may find more useful than I do, and even share strategies, successes and even the occasional *facepalm* defeat!
I think this is a worthwhile game, and was $100 well spent (yes, I got the Collector's edition - regular edition is only $60). If you go to the forums, or listen to all the detractors, you may not appreciate it quite so much. And while the "vocal" majority seem to be against the game, the fact that there are millions of people who are not being vocal about it and are, instead, playing the game... I would urge you to judge the game on it's gameplay and the fun-factor, not on it's critics.
That's just my two-cents. Hope you enjoyed it, whether you agreed or not!