Diablo III review
[Continued] Page 2
Gameplay is similar to Diablo II but way upgraded (as expected) and definitely streamlined. There are more abilities, better graphics, and it's easier to jump in and out of games. There can only be four players in a game at a time, which is less than in Diablo II, but I feel like it is still enough. Although the game does not explain that there is more customization than is implied to your skills, by checking the Elective box in options, the entire skill bar can be customized however you want, not the way Blizzard predetermined it.
My experience with the game has been obsessively positive thus far. What I learned from my first normal playthrough were a few key things. Firstly, don’t ignore vitality. It should be your secondary if not prime stat you want to keep up. Bosses won’t care if you have low hit points and can one shot you if it is low enough. Secondly, and this goes along with the first, keep your gear updated. If you aren’t getting the types of drops you want, go to the auction house and buy upgrades for cheap. Don’t overpay for gear because in a few levels you are just going to swap it out anyways. Thirdly, change your spells and runes for certain areas/boss fights. For instance, if a boss takes more damage from lightning, use lightning instead of frost. Instead of using a rune that makes a larger AOE – use the rune that does more damage for boss fights. Lastly, know which way you came from. If you are running from mobs into unexplored areas, you will aggro more and die harder.
I feel that there are certain aspects of the game that are completely useless but only exist due to nostalgic purposes. The first of these aspects is the need to identify rare items. Once an unidentified item is in your inventory, all you need to do is right click the item and wait a few seconds. That’s it. It doesn’t require any sort of resource or item. The second are waypoints. Once you get the town portal ability very early in the game, waypoints become almost completely useless. Why use them when you can teleport back and forth using town portal feature at any time?
As far as the aggravating aspects of the game, there are only a few I’ve come across thus far. I assume it is an anti-piracy move, but only being able to play Diablo III online on Blizzard Servers can be a pain at times. If I lose Internet or their servers are down, I’m completely unable to play. I can’t just play solo offline. There have been numerous times while playing that I’ll just get randomly disconnected from the game and be forced back into the main screen. This wouldn’t be a big deal except maps are randomized, which means upon resuming your quest, the map is completely covered again, and completely different. If you are towards the end of a difficult area or even a boss fight, this can be very very frustrating since you need to start the entire area all over.
Overall, I have to say I’m pretty impressed thus far — a week in and I’m still obsessively playing. The harder difficulties make for harder challenges and the need for better gear. The fact that the groups of three blue mobs getting new magical properties per difficulty level alone is challenging. They are by far the hardest part of the game in my opinion — vortex, jailer, shielding Hulking Phasebeasts are my NIGHTMARE. I died more to that particular random group than ANY boss in the game.
While Diablo III is a fun solo game, it really shines when playing with friends who have similar pacing rates. If you are a Diablo fan, a hack and slash dungeon crawler fan, an action RPG fan, or if a bunch of your friends have this game, I strongly suggest it. It’s an easy game to lose track of time with or even just load up and play for 20 minutes. As a PvP fan, I am slightly disappointed with the lack of player vs. player action at release. Blizzard announced this long ago though, and they also said its coming; so we have that to look forward too.
Happy demon slaying.
[Reviewed on PC]