Diablo 3 Open Beta

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Diablo 3 open beta began this weekend.  I wish I could say it went off without a hitch, but it took five hours before I was able to best the cap Blizzard placed on the number of players.  Graev had it worse than me because he can’t even get the installer to function properly.  When he double-clicks the install file a window comes up saying something about updating files, then it goes away and nothing happens.  We’ve tried everything from re-downloading, checking windows updates, running as admin, adjusting network settings, to deleting files, and nothing works for him.

What little I got to play today was enjoyable.  I think I’m going to like the skill system, despite not being a skill tree.  I would definitely prefer customization over being handed my skills when I level up, but something about the simplicity of it all empowers me to go kill monsters and have fun instead of fretting over every point I spend; There’s a give and take.

I love the art style and the direction the game took in terms of overall presentation.  I was getting some minor hitching, though, and hope it was simply the beta.  Being able to chat in-game like I would in a MMO to any of my friends online is fantastic.  The chat functionality is way better than D2.

I played around as a Monk and liked the feel of the class.  I’m a little perplexed by the ability system and how it plays into weapon use.  My monk used a sword and a shield but when I actually attacked something he would put them away and use his fists for abilities.  Since every attack I make is an ability, I never use my weapon.  I’m told weapons increase ability damage and attack speed, but using a sword/shield on my monk was bizarre.  Am I missing something?

As soon as I heard the Tristram music I knew I was going to pre-order.  I can’t wait to see the places my character will go and the story Blizzard will tell.  Give it a try!  It’s open to everyone, if you can get past the log in screen.

  • I’m currently updating Windows for the chance to play, but still not sure if I’ll get the issue solved by the end of this weekend. :/

    This is the first game that has ever told me to update Windows before playing. One of my friends told me, “Huh. Sounds like Blizzard and Microsoft are in cahoots.” I’m pessimistic enough to believe that, but I hope it’s just some small fix.

  • Played a Witch docter which was fun. The skill system is too simple for my taste, I hope it gets better with the rune thingies you can put in, but i’m not counting on it. Its kinda a bummer nothing you do is permanent, you can change everything if you want to, but thats the way of the gaming world now.

    I have not played a hack and slash since D2, which I played alot, but so far i’m pretty hooked

  • Skill system is horrible and the world is to linear for my tasts. I will not be buying.

  • Cannot even get connected to a game this morning (which is why connection for SP games = fail). I played a monk last night and had the same question as Keen- the equipment doesn’t fit the combat style, which is just stupid. I have a pre-order with Amazon but am seriously considering canceling it- will give them the rest of the weekend, though.

  • I quite like it, I’ve got a level 10 Monk and have beaten the King twice so far, although no yellow drops :(.

    I can see the new skill system being really good when you’re higher level with plenty of skills and runes unlocked, significantly more customisation than D2, and I understand there’s going to be affixes and prefixes that modify the skills as well at high levels which replace the equippable rune system.

    I also really like the crafting system, it seems like an excellent gold sink and a much better system than gambling, and it makes it so all the trash blues are valuable!

    Only 2 issues with the game apart from the obvious connection problems (which is what this stress test is supposed to reveal so it can be fixed) which are:

    1. The Monk’s disappearing weapons being really silly, it would have looked better if he just kept them on his back or something. At least the fist weapons don’t look stupid though! Hopefully they’ll patch in a full set of attack animations for the various weapons at some point.

    2. The skill interface isn’t the best, I’d like an option for a legacy style selection mode where it just brings up a list of your skills and their associated runes when you right click on a slot like it does in D2.

  • “When he double-clicks the install file a window comes up saying something about updating files, then it goes away and nothing happens.”
    I had the same problem, fixed it by running it in compatibility mode ‘Windows XP (Service Pack 3)’

  • So I have a question. First time we killed Leoric I got two yellow items. The next 3 times nothing. Any of you experienced something similar? I know in Diablo 2 the chance of finding good items was better the first time you killed a boss, is it the same with diablo 3?

  • Meh, not impressed. But then again I’m not a great fan of these treadmill skinnerbox ARPGs.

    @Cthreepo First time I got 3 yellows, second time (on another character) I got one.

  • My understanding is that there’s always a chance of getting yellows, but it’s higher during the first run. It’s not guaranteed during the first run though, as I seem to have gotten unlucky and received no yellows at all.

  • I enjoyed it enough to know it will be the perfect time sink for me until GW2 goes live. Plus I can just pick it up and play it whenever I want because there is no subscription. I’ll definitely get my money’s worth over the two or 3 months ill play it before GW2.

  • Ya i didnt like it.. too linear, too simple.. and i hate how on witch doctor your default attack is poison dart.. I have a sword and shield equipped he doesnt even use. its dumb… Made a monk too and dont like it either sword/shield but isnt used.

    They should have each class use different weapons that is for their class.. Monks should have fist weps.. give witch doctors blowguns.

  • What annoys me is that it has connection issues….for a single player game. I know you can go multiplayer and you can chat, but it was quite annoying to not be able to play a game that is on my machine because server load is too high.

  • @Bartillo

    There are class-specific weapons. The Monk has fist weapons and I’m pretty sure the Witch Doctor has blow darts.

    You can, of course, change your default attack to some other ability, it isn’t locked into Poison Dart.

    For some classes you’re definitely left wondering what the weapon is for, which isn’t helped by the default level of ability description (you can enable advanced tooltips in the options) which doesn’t say that they all use % weapon damage and weapon speed.

    The Barbarian and Demon Hunter are much more satisfying with their weapons, as you can actually see them using them.

    Let’s look at Poison Dart, it’s ranged, does 100% Weapon Damage and then an extra 40% weapon damage over 2 seconds as poison and it only costs 10 mana. Why would you ever use a normal attack instead of it?

    Or, the Monk’s starting ability, which is an AoE, costs nothing, does 110% weapon damage AND generate your primary resources so you can use your big abilities.

  • @Jason

    They’ve put a hard cap on the number of players allowed on the server to prevent crashing and things I assume, I understand when the servers come back up they’ll be raising it more.

    Of course, that’d be unacceptable come launch, but for now it’s all about stress testing so they can handle the number of players without an enforced hard cap on player numbers come launch.

    We suffer now so we don’t suffer later!

  • @Morningstar

    I do understand it is a beta stress test. And I am thankful that they will be able to iron out issues ahead of time. I guess it is more of an annoyance that I assume I wont be able to play this game at some point in the future due to network issues, server issues, patch/maintenance days, etc. If it were an MMO or online only game I could understand.

  • If it isn’t significantly better by Sunday night I’m canceling my pre-order and waiting for a sale- it’s one thing to suffer through a rough MMO opener but a rough opener for a single-player game is beyond stupid.

  • What a shambles, worst open beta since Warhammer Online EU beta. Back to testing Path of Exile and waiting for Torchlight 2 I think.

  • Keen, I had to jump through hoops as well and had the same issue as Graev. Damn installer would hang and close itself, and did everything in the world to get it to work. Something is wrong with the agent.exe file. So after 4, yes 4 hours of dicking with every solution I read about, finally someone posted a fix that worked for me.

    I downloaded the European client off my battle-net page instead of the US one. Just drop down the menu to select it instead of US. This finally worked for me.

  • Ya know I must just be getting old. I had great desires for this game. Loved D1 and D2 and have been debating the WoW annual pass to get it. My install was flawless, and I got into the game first try. I was stoked!!!

    ** 20 minutes later **

    Now I just got done playing the beta for only 20 minutes, which I know is nothing, but….I couldn’t get into it.

    I will give it another chance, but for me it’s the “Halo effect”. By the time Halo 3 came out I just couldn’t stomach to play the same game. I guess I just want more then a ‘click, click, click’ game with some sort of upgrade treadmill. And I don’t think there is any way PvP is going to be what I can get into. I have no idea why this game took so long to develop. I guess I thought time == innovation.

    I know I haven’t given it a fair shake. But my gut said the same thing to me about SWTOR after I played it for an hour and now it is saying the same thing about D3.

    DAMN!!! I hope I’m wrong.

  • I do not like the way diablo 3 looks (looks like wow) and the whole Ah for real cash thing.

    You ever heard of the game path of exile?
    I will be a free to play diablo2 style game.

    There was a stress test weekend and I had fun.
    HUGE skilltree. kinda like in final fantasy x or 12.

    If you like diablo keep that game in mind.
    (btw if you pay for 10$ of currency for when the game goes live you will recieve guaranteed closed beta access)

  • @Wastelands: He doesn’t have SP3 under the compatibility section. Just SP2. He’s on Vista… is that normal?


    For those saying the game is too linear, I think you’d have to never have played Diablo 2 to make that kind of statement. That is, unless D3 doesn’t have randomly generated areas/dungeons?

    It’s no more linear than Mass Effect, Bioshock, Diablo, or any other RPG or action RPG on the market.

  • D3 have randomly generated dungeons, at least to some degree. I thought some of the areas was pretty big, and it is the starter zone. I have not played a hack and slash since d2 so maybe i am just not fed up with the clicking yet

  • I am really really disappointed.

    I am 48 years old, still play Diablo II occasionally.

    1. I had to run around talking to different people in a MMO like quest. NO!

    2. My stash was horribly small but I could buy extra space with gold. NO!

    3. I had to wait between drinking healing potions. NO!

    4. The loading screen music was some sort of classical number without any spooky guitar or drums. NO!

    They missed the point entirely. Diablo is about FUN FUN FUN, not GRIND GRIND GRIND.

    What happened?

    I had to talk to people before I could fight. These people, soldiers, other villagers, … where did they come from? This is not Diablo.

    Perhaps this game, ignoring all Diablo history, will do well on it’s own, but this is not Diablo. Diablo is about hopping into a game and fighting, looking at loot, drinking potions like mad to stay alive, having fun fun fun.

    I feel like I’ll have to play it more just to make sure I didn’t get a wrong impression, but my first impression was horrible.

  • @Mark: Diablo 2 had running around and talking to people as well. Not that we can really judge with this little D3 content, but it does feel about the same talking wise (replayed D2 3 months ago)

    Regarding health potions: I found this a good change, it actually encourages strategy since you can’t just take extra pots anymore. There are health globes though, not sure if I like those.

  • yeah the health potions is a good thing. Spamming potions like a mad man in D2 was not fun

  • @Gankatron

    Yeah stupid me .. I forgot they did an article on this site.
    Guess I got to busy in my dislike of D3 compared to D2 to remember.

  • Allso, its fun making stuff. Not as deep as some other RPG’s, but much better than D2’s gamble mecanic. Now you can at least decide which slot its for. Me and my mates thought it was quite fun

  • Well like I said, people might like this game, but for me potions = Diablo II. it was part of the game.

    Like I said, near impossible for me to judge this on it’s own. I’m looking for Diablo III, this is some game named Diablo III that a lot of people might like.

    But I will say this. Diablo II is still on the shelf at Target. Something made the game so much fun it still sells. Did they miss it?

  • hey fellas,

    you are probably already aware of this but if you sign up for blizzards annual pass
    you get diablo 3 for free, i did it and its already downloaded on my system waiting for the install on release day hehe any way, sorry if you alredy knew this or wasnt interested

  • Imo there is no idea in making Diablo 2 with better graphics, it wouldnt make any sense to me at all. They have to innovate some, hopefully for the better. So far the story telling is better, you get loads of gear which is fun. The witch doctor class is fun and different, the Wizard not so much (kinda fun, not different from D2)

    The voice acting could be better at times I feel.

  • After playing the beta a bit this weekend I came away not that impressed. Not saying I didn’t find it enjoyable enough in a simple, Diablo manner but I don’t feel the game is worth $60. It feels like the same Diablo type setup with little in the way of innovations or unique changes to it and just better visuals. Speaking of the visuals, they were decent but not really all the at special.

    The character movement feels slow and plodding, I don’t know if there is any way to increase character movement speed over the course of the game but I doubt there is. My number one issue with the game is the STUPID point and click movement. I disliked point and click movement in the earlier Diablo games and here we are in 2012 and they couldn’t even add the OPTION for keyboard movement.

    Overall I feel that D3 will be moderately entertaining for a bit but is going to get boring quickly. Only the fact that many of my friends and guildmates will be playing it has me leaning towards buying it.

  • Played through until the end with 2 other friends (witch doctor,monk, wizard) skeleton king didnt stand a chance game is way to easy needs to be about 3 times harder hopefully nightmare will fix it.

  • Eh, it’s a tiny part of the first act.

    People are making some pretty crazy leaps about the longevity of the game based on a *tiny* part of the game.

    The DiabloII “Beta” consisted of killing Blood Raven with the Barbarian… that was it. Not all the classes, with all their abilities unlocked up to lvl 13.

    There’s random events that occur between play throughs, so each run resulted in me stumbling across something new and interesting.

    There was an excellent post on Battle.Net regarding “customisation”.

    As you level, your options go up exponentially. So by max level you have *HEAPS* of variants and options.

    The funny thing is that they functionally work very similar skill tree’s. Think about it. When you played DII.. how many skills did you have unlocked by lvl 10? How much *say* did you really have in that respect?

    Been in the beta for a few months nows. Played all of the characters up to lvl 13 and had a blast. I think it probably needs a little tuning here and there, but the experience is solid.

    Looking forward to launch day!

  • @Keen – Re: the Monk. A lot of people have commented on the fact that 3 of the classes in the game don’t really “use” the weapons they have equiped.

    I think Monks will get another look in myself. Blizz has already started they *wanted* to have animations for the monk, but ran out of time basically.

    They may well patch them in down the road. I admit, it feels a bit odd, but eh. Once you get past it, it doesn’t make a lick of difference.

    You’re going to spend 100% of your time using skills, not weapons.

  • Well after spending half the weekend playing I have actually changed my mind. I love the Witch Doctor Class (just wish like the Monk we actually used our weapons because it appears they are aesthetics) I think I will go ahead and get this game because the actual lobby system in joingin multiplayer games seems pretty fast with hardly any wait. I have a feeling that the harder modes will take care of the ease of the game on normal difficulty and I hope after Act 1 the areas open up for more exploration.

    Anyway read this reddit post it actually makes sense regarding the perceived issues people have with D3.


  • The comments about Monk weapons and the like are deeply worrying: are Blizzard releasing and unfinished game and breaking their own golden rules?
    I find it hard to accept them “running out of time” given the massive amount of time spent on this game – I pre-ordered it 2 years ago and by then it had been in development for a very long time.

    It really is starting to sound like they rushing it out to beat competitors to the punch.

  • One thing that is really lame is that, there is no way to change the look of your char, beside armor. You can pick between female or male, and thats it. No improvement whatsoever.

  • Having played the beta for the past 2 months I have the following things to say:

    1: The skill system before they released the runes into the beta was horrible… the runes add a lot (if you get a char to max level you can look at a fair amount of what you can get) and actually add variety to skills. Me and my friend both went to the talent calculator for D3 on the blizzard website, and came up with our main demon hunter builds we will be using (and I expect a lot of people will stick with 1 main build and they do have rewards for this later), and we didn’t even have 1 skill or rune the same, and looking at them they would play completely different. My demon hunter was all about getting up close and doing massive AoE damage around me with Chakrams and Vault, his was all about staying out of close range and taking things down quickly with his bows.

    2: The difficulty is very easy, especially if you use the blacksmith. However, this is probably intended as the beta is showing the area that is the ‘starter’ area. They have confirmed and I do believe them, that the areas past that get progressively harder even in normal. In D2, normal was easy until Act2, then you ended up with those lightning scarabs and other new enemies that made it much much harder. Also… there are 3 difficulties beyond normal, not just 2.

    3: Talking to people… seems a lot in the beginning, but after you get past the initial 2-3 quests you don’t really talk to anyone else the remainder of the beta, and overall is not more than D2.

    4: The weapon thing… I actually stopped noticing after awhile. For monks/witch doctor the weapons basically just increase the damage and possibly speed at which you use your abilities. Attack speed seems to affect the speed at which you can use most abilities with all classes. The monk animations make sense for a monk, yes it’s weird to have them put the weapons away, but it makes some sense, as a monk should be fighting with just punching/kicking etc, and so letting them use non-class specific fist weapons is just for balance, in my opinion.

    5: Not being able to change the look of your character is honestly just Diablo. That is always how diablo was. I didn’t expect different, and actually being able to choose your gender was more than I was expecting and farther than Diablo II.

    6: Not sure why people were having so much trouble installing and playing this weekend :(. It was sad because the installer worked fine previously to this weekend and I have rarely had any trouble playing/connecting etc over the past 2 months, or even this weekend when I played with a couple friends running through again.

  • 5) Not really any excuse “thats how its allways been, lets never change it”
    They allready removed alot of the permanent stuff that would make one barb stand out from the others, they didnt even add a bit if looks

  • @Cthreepo: Well, it’s not just Diablo. Most action RPG’s don’t actually let you choose an appearance and only change it through items. Look at Torchlight, Titan’s Quest, etc. This is something that is really just more opinion based though so no use arguing over it. It doesn’t bother me as I never expected it and I was actually surprised they changed it and let you choose your gender.

    Also what did they remove that made one person stand out from another? Yes most of the armor makes you look similar now, but that’s just quest 1 stuff. Which if you play D2 and only play up until blood raven… every class pretty much looks the same if they only use found armor from that point.

  • Skills and stats (they might have changed it, and allowed you to respec skills)
    but thats was def. permanent, and could make you different.

    I do not understand why you feel, that if most other games do not do it, then its fine that Diablo 3 do not do it. Do you really want a game filled with mediocrity because most others games didnt do stuff?

    Most of the game is fine and fun. But it feels lazy that you cant change your apperance at all beside gender

  • Character customization is simply a non-factor for me in a game like Diablo. It’s not even something that comes remotely close to crossing my mind. To me it’s like wanting to customize your face in a first person shooter or your fingernails in a game like WoW.

  • I played most of the classes to the level 9 or 10, and I was surprised by the low graphic quality. I had no problem downloading or playing except that, for the first time in my playing life, I experienced….lag in a single player game !! Not my graphic card (GTX 590) or memory (24 G) or processor (i7).

    The sorcerer was a little disappointing, the witch doctor I didn’t like, but I had fun with the Demon hunter and the barbarian.

    I played on normal, and during the second run, tried not to drink any healing potion, just used the one you get by killing stuff.

    It’s my first venture into Diablo, and it’s quite relaxing, when you have 2 hours to spend, like crosswords. No real quests, just some background story (a skeleton king, that’s a new one !), and there you go.

    Not really sure I’ll buy, due mainly to graphic quality.

  • Okay, i’m not talking about that detailed stuff…Where did I say that? I just want to change stuff like hight, hair stuff like that. General stuff

  • I still really haven’t decided exactly what I think about D3. I played for a few hours over the weekend (when I was able to get in lots of timeouts). I liked the Barb and the DH classes, wasn’t too crazy about Wizards or Monks, and hated the Witchdoctor.

    Gameplay wise I didn’t notice any real bugs or annoyances. Sound wise as usual I turned off background music but didn’t really find any other noses that bugged me. The Mob AI was a bit goofy at times, but no more so than any other ARPG. My main problem right now is that I already playing PoE and I am not sure if I am am willing to spend $60 for D3 to hold me over until Guild Wars 2 or Torchlight 2 come out. In the end when GW2 or TL2 come out I don’t see myself playing D3 a whole lot.

    I enjoyed Diablo and Diablo 2 back in their days, but I was never a diehard fan. I like the genre okay though. I enjoyed the heck out of Titan Quest, Torchlight, and Sacred 2.

    As far as the RMT AH, I don’t really care one way or another about it. The thing though that bothers me is the always-on requirement for single player. I think there should be an option to create a single player character only that you can play without a connection. I just don’t like the trend of games requiring always connected DRM for single player games. Will it make duping and hacking harder, sure, but it will not stop it. All it does is punish those people that want to play from their laptop while they on on the road or maybe their internet goes down.

    But that’s neither here nor there. The bottom line to me comes down to is the game worth the asking price? I spend a LOT of money each month on games. I don’t mind it. I think gaming is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment. None the less I am finding more and more of my money going to indie gaming companies and smaller companies that listen more to what their customers want.

    Honestly though I am sure I will keep my preorder and play it until TL2 or GW2 comes out. Of course with the huge backlog of games that I have yet to play I keep going back and forth. If it was another gaming company I would almost say hell I will wait for it to go on sale, but with this being Activision/Blizzard we are talking about D3 will most likely be $60 for years to come. lol.

  • This is to address the “3 of 5 classes don’t use their weapons” comments. In Diablo 2 it was very similar. Some specs of Druids, all Necromancers, and all Sorceresses never used their weapons even though they had melee abilities available. A monk using a sword when his abilities are based on punches would be similar to a mage swinging a sword when he shoots a fireball.

    All classes have a melee attack but it is simply unmodified weapon damage (go to Gameplay options, select Elective mode, drag your abilities off of the mouse clicks). If you use a Monk with his actual class weaponry (fist weapons, bo staffs), it looks just as it should.

    The weapons do matter, a lot, but you won’t be swinging an axe as every class. Some (like wands or voodoo dolls) are more stat sticks since those classes are not focused around melee attacks, but need to get something out of their weapon slots. At higher levels, only barbarians will likely be able to equip the beefier weapons anyway.

  • Eric My mage in Diablo had a club which she used every time I casted a magic missiles 😀 Looked a bit wierd, but allso fun

  • @C3PO Really? So when you cast magic missile you bashed your club into someones face to cast it? Cause that is what using a club is… not just holding it while you cast a spell. Which Sorcerers do in D3, and I think witch doctors with some spells though I could be wrong. Also monks with fist weapons and even Bo staffs actually use the weapon with their ability.

    As for your comment about skills and stats, there is actually more versatility in D3 regarding those than there was in Diablo 2, and instead of only getting 3 respecs (1 per act I think it was and that added fairly recently) you can change it up anytime you want. You also don’t have to follow the given format if you change to elective mode in options. On my demon hunter build I never had a defense I had 2 skills of another type.

    The runes actually create a fair bit of customization, more than you would think. They don’t just add damage or change effects (well a lot do), but many of them also change the way a skill works. Like chakrams, you have the vanilla one, where it spins out in a line in front of you, then one run makes it so you have 2 mirroring each other along that line, another changes it so it moves more in a circle around you (ala hammerdin). Bola shot is another example, one of them changes it so instead of it exploding after a short delay on contact, it shoots out 3 that do poison damage over time to the 3 targets hit, and actually does more single target damage.

    As I mentioned before, me and my friend made 2 demon hunters, and we had all different skills but for a couple, and on those couple used different runes as we were going for different things. If you go to: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian you can see all the skills for all the characters and all the runes which shows that there is actually a lot more customization than is really shown in the beta.

    Even in the beta my friends and I played the same characters different ways and they played differently. We did a 3 wizard run one time… one of us was a melee wizard, one of us focused on single target, one focused on AoE stuff, and we all talked about it and felt like we were all effective in the roles, and all of those played differently.

  • Wasn’t impressed, just to simplistic and uninteresting. And I was waiting on this and looking forward to it.

    Also tried out Tera this weekend, another blah

    oh well, there are a few other games that look good coming out. I just won’t be doing this linear movie that is diablo3

  • @Goom: Have you gone through the beta more than once? Yes while the general layout of the maps is the same, there are things that change and are randomly generated each time as well, in different areas, etc. I’ve been through it about 15 times and still find new things every once in awhile.

  • I just don’t understand why anyone who liked the Diablo series at all would be disappointed in D3. I can kind of understand with the weirdness with the weapons or bugginess/lag issues if those were experienced, but my initial impression was that it was very Diablo-esque.

  • @Balthazar: I agree with the general sentiment. Diablo 3 feels like all the other Diablo games. There are things I wish D3 had, but there are also things D3 has that I would want in all the previous Diablo games.

  • D3 in my opinion from being in from the started of closed beta is… not that good. The skill system is NOT that robust, eventually as monk I just got my ranged attack and proceeded to kill everything with left clicks from a distance, the advanced skills are a bit undertuned and the most interesting/best ones were changed/removed before open beta came by.

    The art direction is well done, and more colorful, but I wouldn’t say it’s inspired or unique, in fact the entirety of the closed/open beta was pretty much exactly like Diablo 2’s. The addition of collapsable walls and chandeliers felt awkward and didn’t really add much to the gameplay, there was a “neat” factor initially, but they turn out to be fairy unnecessary and you get used to it quickly, maybe later interpretations will be better, but it just seems to be little more than an alternative way to kill groups of preplaced mobs. The animations are excellent, but the graphics themselves and the character models are nothing new, in fact the run animations and attack animations aren’t all that different from D2’s as well, just a bit smoother due to the slightly improved graphical nature of the game.

    The loot system I guess some people love, I nveer cared about loot in any game ever, so the random maps and random loot never really got me interested or invested into the diablo series. However if you like loot, this game has it, lots of it… but again, nothing different from diablo 2.

    And that’s the biggest problem, it improves, but doesn’t innovate in terms of functionality and it over simplifies alot of the core elements, but attempts to add a bit of depth and complexity with a rune system to alter/improve abilities. However the extremely limited trees means specializations and variety will be limited, and absolutly nothing else about the game is at all proving unique compared to D2. Functionality improvements and a coat of paint.

    Didn’t mean to write a review but I got really frustrated and bored quickly with D3, the game will be at it’s best with friends, and the shiny newness makes it more attractive compared to dated D2, but that’s about it. Also blizzard bucks suck and I hate them.

  • Actually I’ll elaborate a little on skills, the skill trees are fairly limited, and despite how attractive some of the skills look, you’ll find yourself never using a good chunk of them. Especiall since in many situations the simply left click is nearly as powerful as a costly skill but provides other benefits (such as monks ridiculously long ranged auto attack, most of my experience was as a monk). However,despite the limited skill selection, there ARE alot of runes that do give a fair bit of customization, even though I feel it doesn’t add much visual variety since you’ll see alot of characters using the same abilities, just with modified versions of each ability, as opposed to D2’s much more recognizable weapons appearance and the kinds of abilities they used.

    But in terms of shiny, this game has big overly loud explosive animations for it’s abilities that are nice and obvious and easy to see, and quite a few seem to be very effective, so I won’t count it out as a total loss, it’s hard to fully judge a progression based system when the game caps progression at such an early stage.

  • Always on single player pisses me off too, I have a terrible wireless connection in my house that I can’t fix in my current condition, losing my connection in single player due to a lag spike, urgh.

  • @Danath: I just ran through the D3 beta again last night, taking a Monk to level 13. I didn’t use the really long ranged auto attack all that much. I mostly used Fists of Thunder with the first rune that teleports you to what you are attacking and adds a minor AoE as well to the attack. Only time I used Deadly Reach (the long range attack), is when I was using the second/third attack of it after using the teleport once I got the rune to increase the AoE of it. I also found myself using lashing tail kick a lot as well… especially for bosses you knock them away, then teleport to them, and repeat as a kind of thing the opposite of kiting… instead of damaging and making them follow you, you continuously push them away and then immediately go after to damage them, and can push them away very quickly, making them get few attacks off.

    I could also see the third spirit builder being very good in nightmare and onwards as it slows attack speed and movement speed, which will help you kite. Same thing with a lot of the skills that I feel you don’t use much in the beta because, well, the beta is extremely easy and you don’t need to. Which is not very much different from D2. In D2 you used 1, MAYBE 2 skills all the way up to, and including the countess or so (which I am just roughly estimating as the same length as the beta time invested and level wise). Hell, you didn’t even really have much more than that amount of skills at that point, at least here you HAVE the skills and gain a skill every level instead of every 5 levels.

    One thing I think that people are forgetting with this is that a lot of the complaints about skill power and usefulness is pretty moot at this point due to the length and ease of the beta (which according to videos from devs I have seen is the part of the game intended to be an easy introduction). A lot of the skills you actually get this early I can see not being used much until later acts/difficulties… such as crippling wave, which, when you aren’t ever in danger of being killed seems kind of useless… however once you get to the point where things start killing you easy it will probably become one of the better spirit builders as a monk. Same with things like breath of heaven, the heal that is kind of pointless ins the beta. A lot of the complaints I see have to do with this, and the fact that the beta makes a lot of skills seem useless, and people seem to be forgetting the beta isn’t even a 10th of the game, or probably a 100th the difficulty of the max. Which isn’t necessarily their fault, it is also the fault of blizzard for making such an easy beta.

    Lastly, the whole “Blizzard sucks and I hate them” line makes it seem like you just want to hate the game because it’s made by blizzard.

  • Mark said it perfectly. Keen, I think because you come from a WoW background you look at it differently. And although I will admit, the beta was decent and somewhat fun, this is not a true successor to Diablo 2. If that’s what Blizzard was going for, they botched it horribly. And that is going to piss off the hardcore D2 players and leave a very bitter taste in their mouths, as it has with me. Diablo 3 is going to be a fun game till you get tired of gear grinding. Which for a lot of us is that is going to happen pretty quickly. Not gonna lie, Ill be making the purchase on day one… but once I beat it on Inferno, I will likely put it on the shelf. The PVP looks horrible and doesn’t interest me at all, doesn’t look like Diablo PVP at all, which is what kept me going back again and again these past 10 years. Also, I felt no investment in my character at all with the lack of customization. They also completely botched itemization. And no physical runes or gems? Really? Bleh.

  • @Slayer: That is a valid opinion and I can see why someone who played D2 for the PvP would feel that way. How it plays out might be completely different though, and I was sad they never had PvP in the beta.

    However, me and most of my friends (who all still play D2 fairly regularly) rarely if ever PvP in it and we play it for the gear grind, for finding awesome stuff, and trying to get that one certain item, or to succeed with that certain build, etc.

    I know most of my friends like D3, as do I. As for botching itemization, how did they do that? The new items go with the new way the system works.

    I also really don’t get peoples complaints about lack of customization… I have felt like there is more customization than in diablo 2 personally.

  • Itemization lacks in the item mods area. Customization wise, the skill systemis just wayyyy too linear for me. and auto-allocating stats is crap as well imo. Im not sure how you can say D3 has more customization as D2? Doesnt make sense to me. As for PVP, D2 isnt even what it used to be. But thats what my friends and I used to play it for, as well as item finding as you mentioned.

  • Also, I left out the fact that lack of types of items is what hurt itemization to me. Gems were initially a BIG D2 currency, and later on, Runes/charms. Hopefully those at least come later with an expansion or update.

  • @Slayer Itemization, the item mods are gone, however you have the ability to now craft your own items. Similar to gambling I admit but slightly better and less risky. I wish they would bring back where items had certain guaranteed stats on them.

    Customization, the skill system is only slightly less linear to me than Diablo 2. Ya you had 3 different trees in Diablo 2 to choose from, but other than that the choices were fairly clear, you also didn’t gain something new every level, only every 5 levels up until 30, while this goes up until 60. You have more ‘active’ skills to use and skill choices, even without runes to customize them to your taste. I actually spent a few hours in the game guide skill calculator making different builds and I can think of situations in which almost every skill can be useful as well. On top of that you also have more passive skills than Diablo 2 as well, even with only being able to use 3 at a time. Add in the skill runes on top of that, and you actually have more viable builds than in Diablo 2, at least in my opinion. Which is why I would say you have more customization for skill builds.

    As for them auto-allocating stats… how is that really any different than in Diablo 2 where you pretty much put only enough into stats for your equipment and possibly block percentage increase, and everything else into vitality? People talk about them taking away the ability to allocate your own stats but in Diablo 2, if you actually wanted a decent build that could beat hell there wasn’t really any ‘choice’ in stats either.

  • As far as skills go, I just dont like being on a forced path. I always tried to be a little different with both my skill and stat points, straying from cookie cutter builds. And you could in D2, if you knew what you were doing. That was part of the beauty of the game. I think D3 might end up having more builds, but they are going to be less versatile and much more cookie cutter.

  • Diablo 3 once you cap out at 60 will offer you ~150 abilities (passives, actives, and their runed versions) of which you can choose only 6 at any time.

    I think you’re selling the build customization short based on the beta. You will in all likelihood have a build (that is 100% viable) that is completely different from someone else playing the same class (also 100% viable). I’ve met people that have played even the level 13 max game differently than me!

  • @Zederok I read through the inital post and disagree on quite a few things. But ive already touched on those points. I will say there are wayyy more ways than one to play through D2, of which ive experienced, and never felt gimped. For the Op in the reddit link, he is so terribly wrong about stat point allocation. PS. Ive had many builds of every class and for many different uses; MF, certain PVE runs, torch farming and of course PVP, among others.

    @Eric I just dont see the customization nor do I see builds geared towards certain uses being that much different (within their own use category, if you will). I do hope I am wrong though.

  • Just out of curiosity slayer, when you say you don’t see the builds being that much different, are you basing it on the beta, or have you actually used the D3 skill calculator and tried to make 2 different builds that do the same thing but in different ways?

    I’ve spent about hours just on the skill calculator exploring builds and theory-crafting them as well as just playing the beta, and the only one I really found lacking in options for doing the same thing (mass-aoe farming, boss runs, solo/surviving) is barbarian.

    Lets take one of my favorite ‘build types’ so far… Melee wizard. With that alone you have so many choices after your base choice of spirit blade and magic weapon as your main skills. Which secondary skill do you take? Arcane orb with the rune that creates 4 floating around you? Arcane torrent and the rune that increases the damage but makes it completely random for an AoE? What about your defensive skill? Do you go Diamond Armor for an awesome “OH SHIT” button? Maybe with the rune that causes damage to be reflected? Or maybe you go Frost Nova and the rune that makes more Frost Nova’s when enemies explode. Or maybe you use Frost Nova and the rune that turns it into AoE cold damage around you, to soften enemies up before they get in melee range. From there… what armor are you going to go for (I tend to not get the category that includes force wave/tornado/etc for melee wizard personally… hey look another option). Ice armor to chill melee attackers, Storm armor to reflect, or Arcane Armor? Then what rune… ice you can reflect damage to melee attackers, or you can increase armor, etc… Storm you can increase reflect damage or other effects. Arcane armor has more than one viable rune for a melee sorcerer build as well.

    So that’s just one type of build that has probably 10-15 completely 100% viable ways to build it that will all have the same base idea and play style but will go about it in completely unique ways.

    Same for Demon hunter… I can think of at least 5 different mass AoE damage builds off the top of my head that would completely viable but I have talked long enough so I won’t actually list them off.

  • What I meant is like variations of certain builds more or less. For instance, everyone has ran an Orb Sorc in D2. Mine was different from one clan members and his was different from anothers etc… but yes, ontop of that, I just see things becoming very cookie cutter… I only once messed around with the skill calculator, admittedly a long time ago, though. I will fiddle with it more and see what I come up with. Perhaps things have changed from when the calculator was first released? Or I just missed something? I’ll let ya know after some indepth fiddling. Again, I wasnt arguing that there wouldnt be a lot of different builds, but that each build will be very cookie cutter and not very versatile. One of my favorite things about D2 was going into PvP games and just destroying with some pretty unique builds. Or even having unique builds and ways of going about PVE. And I just dont see ‘uniqueness’ coming from the way skills and stats are in D3.

  • I can see how it is easy to see that, and it really can be just a difference of opinion there.

    However, as I pointed out, all those choices in that long paragraph all work with a melee wizard, and each has the same basic play style but in slightly different ways. I actually think it’s going to be hard to define a build the same way as in D2 honestly, as the way skills work is too different. As you mentioned, you had Orb sorcs in D2, and there were unique ways to build it… Do you get energy shield, what passives do you get, how many points in warmth/cold mastery, what other skills do you get or use once you finish synergies… etc. In this, there is no ‘main skill’ in the same way that you support with all your other skills. Some have that (such as my chakram demon hunter that mainly uses chakrams and the other skills are for generating hatred/survival), but some just have synergy between the skills such as my monk focusing on reflecting damage.

    The reason I think you have more build customization is because of the fact that there are no actual synergy bonuses, so if you want to use one skill, you can use any combination of skills with any combination of other skills and almost all the builds are valid.

  • I see what your saying. Some of the skills and runes just seemed very underpowered compared to others, to me. Also, I hated Synergies. D2 was far better without them (and Enigma, which helped to ruin PVP as well imo). And you just touched on exactly what I meant. There was a lot of plotting and such in D2, and messing with the Skill Calculators for the D3 classes, I pretty much knew what I wanted after a quick once-over… so without even skill point allocation, it just leaves me feeling very uncreative with my character in D3.