5 Things We Like and Dislike about Diablo 3

We Like…

Skill Runes
You can use a skill one way for a long time, but then you use a rune and suddenly the skill can change completely.  For example, the Witch Doctor’s fire bats start as a cone with limited range but with the first rune you send out one big bat that does considerable damage and flies a bit further.  Upgrading the poison dart turns it into a 3 shot burst.  We like the added, and much needed, diversity.

Global Stash
Your stash (treasure chest in town) is the same for all of your characters.  Transfer items to other characters you play easily and stay organized.  This is a simple but great change from the way Diablo 2 kept characters on the same account very separate.

Crafting (so far)
It’s nice to have an alternative to selling all the magic items you can’t use.  Salvaging magic items yields materials used to craft upgrades with random stats.  In a way, it’s like gambling.  Crafting is also a money sink.  We have no idea how well the crafted items will scale through difficulties, but if they remain very competitive with drops it’s a nice addition to the game.

Individual Loot
This has been a real joy.  There isn’t a rush to pick up items when they drop.  There isn’t this nagging fear that you might miss something.  If something drops, it’s yours and you don’t have to worry about being too greedy or thinking about others.  Sounds totally selfish, but it works for Diablo 3.  It’s also mandatory given the RMT system — can you imagine the drama if something worth $20 dropped and it was a race to see who picked it up?

Convenience and Improvements to Ease of Use

There’s a minimap so you don’t have a map open all the time in your face. Joining friends is really straight forward and quick via the friends list.  The Banner system lets you instantly join friends by teleporting right to them.  That annoying stamina bar is gone. Taking up inventory space with a book of town portals and identify is gone, and it’s harder to quickly escape via TP.  Putting points into stats has been eliminated — let’s face it, there was really only one best way to do it.  These are conveniences that don’t hurt the integrity of the game and, in our opinion, allow for more enjoyment.

We Dislike…

Worthless White Loot
The very fact that you can have an entire inventory full of items and have the entire sum of their gold value be worth less than a single stack of gold you pick up off the ground is aggravating. It becomes a chore to keep white items from clogging up valuable inventory space.

Jennifer Hale (Graev’s Personal pet peeve)
She sounds the same in everything!  I’m so tired of hearing her voice in every single game I play.  She’s on my list of over-used voice actors like Nolan North.  Maybe it’s weird, but I hear certain voice actors and they detract from the experience. Cue the Femshep defense force.

Constant Internet Connection
Downtime means you can’t play the game at all.  There isn’t a real single-player because every single minute you’re playing the game you’re connected to the Diablo 3 server as if you were playing a  MMO.  The added benefits of a chat window and “connected to the community” feel are negated by the annoyances.  Today is launch day and we should be able to play, but we’ve had four hours of downtime already.   Blizzard should have made it work like StarCraft II where you don’t get achievements if you’re offline.

Tiny Text
Text is too small and we can’t find a way to increase the size.  Playing on a TV across the room makes it hard to actually read.

A little easy so far…
So far the game has been faceroll easy.  I haven’t used a single Health Potion (Graev) and we’ve only died once from user error (standing in bad stuff).  We’re definitely looking forward to getting out of normal difficulty and into Hell.

 

  • I’m only level 16 / end of Act One, and I haven’t died yet, but I’ll tell you what makes me feel reasonably confident about the difficulty scaling: the changes to town portals and potions.

    I recall in Diablo 2 doing a fair bit of cheesing with opening a town portal, fighting and spamming pots until I ran out, then hopping through the portal to restock.

    Because D3 doesn’t let you pre-open a portal out of a dungeon, making you channel the portal and then jump, and because it has a cooldown on potions, this cheese won’t be possible.

    And while I haven’t died yet, I didn’t find the second half of Act One “faceroll easy”. I have hit the “flashing red screen, you’re nearly dead” point maybe half a dozen times, and the end boss of the Act tested my abilities to fight, kite, run to health wells, then fight and kite some more.

  • Anyone else annoyed by the dirt walls mobs throw up? At first I thought it was specific mobs that had the ability but after a few hours it just seemed like random mobs used it to prevent ranged from getting to range. I enjoy a challenge but keeping my weak to melee demon Hunter locked down with a cheese mechanic is just plain lazy design.

    Unless I’m missing something and it is mob specific and not just an artificial way to boost difficulty.

  • I love what they’ve done with the loot. In every other diablo-clone I’ve played (D2, torchlight and Titan Quest) loot is a pain in the ass where I end up with my inventory full of loot that I’m obligated to pick up and sell in order to have income.

    In diablo 3 however, they make the gold value of white and gray items so low you aren’t obligated to pick them up, and consequently I haven’t had to make any extra trips back to town to sell stuff like I usually do. So kudos to Blizzard on that one.

    Agree with everything else you guys said.

  • I was going to get D3, mainly cause of friends. Four things have changed my mind:
    1. TSW was an amazing MMO experience and the Questing system and Character Skill Deck system is 2nd to none (yes its got better class system then GW2).
    2. I am already destined to play the next big MMO of GW2, all the little things and tons of fun. So I cant play 3 games and one had to get cut out, so naturally the non-MMO gets cut.
    3. D3 has had a horrible launch.
    4. Heard the first play through takes 12-20 hours to reach the ending. I could care less about the progression or the different hard modes. I quit WoW because Last thing I want to do is run repetitive content ad-naseum to get better gear so why would I want to do it in another game. Looks like Blizzard failed to learn from WoW’s mistakes.

  • Battle.Net has been the biggest problem. From not being able to log in, to achievements not counting, to game busting bugs, to Battle.Net just being offline. This has been a horrible launch. Reminds me of WoW’s original launch, which was a disaster.

    Blizzard was, yet again, not prepared.

  • simple fix is that it should have had a offline mode. But Blizzard needs full control over your gaming time.

  • Yes, great game, just bullshit game design in not having offline single player mode.

  • Ever since I heard about the crappy DRM I’ve been tempted to cancel but decided I had little to lose as I’d only spent £22 on the game (I ordered it over 2 years ago).
    I’ve since heard a LOT of griping about it and trusted bloggers are calling it a “Gamebreaker”.
    The game’s not arrived yet (should be today/tomorrow) but still tempted to send it back unopened and wait for Blizzard to disable this DRM disgrace.

    It is inexcusable and unforgivable that you must be online to play D3 solo.

  • @Zederok – Had not previously heard about The Secret World. Looks like it could be a decent mmo, however, I have concerns that it doesn’t have a solution for too many people joining one faction making the PvPvP(?) unbalanced. At least in GW2, it’s server vs similar server so the balance should be fairly even plus the changing ever two weeks.

    Any comparisons you’d like to share?

  • @Zederok – If you call about 4 hours of downtime a horrible launch I’d hate to see what you have called the last X MMO launches… Come on man, can you get any more picky?

    DRM requirement is annoying but not a complete deal breaker.

  • @Zederek: Only valid one out of those is number 4 and that is a personal opinion. The re-playability of D3 comes from running the difficulties more than once, and rerunning the areas (about 75% of which the maps are randomly generated, some are static, most areas aren’t) to find loot, which you now can’t just rush to the boss and kill them as that gives you worse loot than exploring the areas. Me and friends are 3/4 of the way through act2, and already have 10 hours logged as well.

    @Keen: Me and my friends got to about 3/4 of the way through act2 last night, and all of us died at least once. Running solo… I have never died and I just finished act1. It seems like the scaling was fixed and the game is actually harder the more people you put into it, at least in my own experience.

    Also, act2 is a lot harder than act1, in my experience, not sure how far you got yet.

  • But it’s not an MMO, it’s a single player game onto which they have forced an MMO infrastructure. NO downtime or lag or progress resets are acceptable. Just checking with some friends here the EU launch failed too:

    “Yep, it’s rubbish. Error 3007 every 10 minutes, which disconnects you and resets your current zone. You keep loot and xp though. Forum
    quote:

    4 yrs Blizzard? Well done!”

    I suspect most, like me, have absolutely no intention of competing or PvPing in the game: I want to solo smash monsters on my computer. They could easily have enabled this offline and simply split the solo characters from those legal in multiplayer/PvP.

    If I want to play WITH friends then obviously you need to be online and I can understand MP characters being controlled to stop people cheating.

    Diablo, D2, Titan Quest, Torchlight and all the other “Action RPGs” managed fine (in fact better) without this “always online” debacle. So yeah it’s a big deal for a single player game to behave like an MMO.

  • Although embarrassing to say I died 2x solo in the area after you kill the skeleton king. These large bull like Minotaur’s rushed my demon hunter and wtfpwned me into oblivion. It also didn’t help that I un-keybinded my healing pots 🙁

  • @Intruder: The whole have to be signed on thing is annoying yes, however it is also somewhat understandable. I know at least 5 people who told me they are upset about it because it means they cannot pirate the game and will have to save up to buy the game to play it… to me this says what Blizzard did making it online only is fine because you should not be able to pirate the game. There might be a better way to stop someone from pirating it true, but a lot of companies are doing the same.

    I have to ask people who complain about having to be online to play it… do you play any steam games at all? If so it is pretty much the same thing…

  • @Drathmar No it is not pretty much the same thing. Steam titles may require a one time online activation to play but the game itself is still on my computer and I can turn steam off and play the titles in Offline mode. D3 does not offer that choice for the consumer.

  • @Nukethesitefromorbit: That is only true for maybe 50% of steam games. There are a bunch of steam games that do not work in offline mode, not to mention you have to actually be able to connect to the internet to turn steam into offline mode because you have to be SIGNED IN to steam to turn it into offline mode. I know this because whenever I am on my campus internet, it blocks steam, and if I forgot to turn steam into offline mode while signed on at home I cannot turn it to offline mode once I am on campus, and therefore cannot play any games offline at all.

    Really not that different.

  • I really like the game (when the servers let me play) but it is pretty sad when I want to play a $60 game that just launched in single player mode but can’t, yet I am able to hope right into a similar genre game (Torchlight 2 Beta) and play it offline without any problems. Do I regret buying D3? No. Do I think I will keep playing it after Torchlight 2 releases? That is still way up in the air.

    I think the problem is that Blizzard really kicked themselves in the foot when they decided to eliminate LAN play, and true single player play. While they used their concern about online cheating honestly I think the main reason for the constant connection is for an excuse for the RMTAH.

  • Alot of whine here. I live in EU, had no problems. I played launch day when I got home from work, logged in first time. Disconnected once, but got in straight away. Played with a friend, he didnt have any problems either. Great game

  • I think the strange thing for me reading this is how almost every single one of the things you list as liking are things that Guild Wars 1 already had, years ago. I’m noticing it as that’s where I ended up about a year ago, and was delighted by the same things. Most of the problems are the same, too…

  • @Cthreepo:

    I am not playing D3, but I think the need for constant internet connection is a negative feature, an opinion shared by others as well (http://kotaku.com/5910480/last-nights-diablo-iii-debacle-demonstrates-the-problem-with-always+online-games).

    When I was playing SWTOR I became plagued by Error 9000 dc’s and low frame rate issues though my machine was well above recommended specs. As such I would go onto the CS forums to report my problems and hope to find a solution as the game had become unplayable.

    Invariably there was a minority of players that would repeatedly visit each thread to contribute that they were not suffering from those problems to any great extent, if at all, and that those who complained were whiners. I found their lack of empathy bordering on trolling and statements irrelevant to the problem at hand.

  • @Steeldragoon: TSW has 3 factions so in theory if one side gets to big then the other 2 join forces to bring them down. It worked in DAoC so no reason to not believe it wont work there. TSW combatand the animations are kind of boring compared to GW2 but the Questing experience. Like actually using an ingame Google search browser to look up clues. Theres very few Kill 10 rats style of questing as well. The beauty of the game IMO is that it offers vertical as well as horizontal progression. The SkillDeck Character system is amazing and its the main reason why I am interested. Its liek playing a combination of Magic The Gathering and Asherons Call.

  • @Zederok – I played DAOC, so I understand the 3 faction concept, however, I have to add that sometimes the 2 smallest forces did not join each other and the battling was lop sided. Hence why I like that in GW2, the 3 sides change to better match each other. It seems to be a more perfected 3 faction PvP IMO.

    I will have to look up some vids about the “skilldeck.” Also, not sure by what you mean by horizontal and vertical progression.

  • @Zederok: I too am in love with Secret World, first MMO I have been excited about in a long time. And after playing the closed beta and the beta weekend, my excitement actually INCREASED instead of being disappointed that it was more of the same vanilla MMO flavor instead of the differences they promised. First time I can say that about an MMO in forever.

    I think it will fail big since the quests are so hard(which I love, but most MMO players just looking for arrows pointing where to go and farm quests will not). The having to actually write down clues and numbers and then use them to solve puzzles is awesome. And the googling answers and researching people is awesome, but one quest I did yesterday the first result in google was for a Secret World wiki! When you try to just google a topic for clues, and then get the wiki page with the answer to the puzzle as the first result it kind of kills the system.

  • TSW seems fun on the surface but after finding out that Funcom was behind it and that we will have the same lame instance fest as in Age of Conan I couldnt get excited about it. I guess that is a deal breaker by now…if you cant make a game without opening up a new instance for every new fart that joins then dont make a game at all or dont try to make them pretty graphics if you cant support them in your game. Instancing is just retarded and unacceptable…well..let me tell you how I really feel about instancing haha…

  • @Drathmar, I haven’t done it in forever but I’m pretty confident you can put steam into offline mode even if you aren’t currently connected. I think it requires disabling any network connections though or some such silly step. And the only games that I’ve purchased on Steam that won’t work in offline mode are games that require other players. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any, but that’s up to the company that made the game, not Steam which is merely a distribution method.

    I actually dislike the removal of Attribute allocation. In D2 it added a good deal of depth and balance to building your character. Most equipment had stat requirements of one sort or another. This meant that if you wanted to wear that super strong armor or huge sword you needed a correspondingly high strength attribute. This did make for situations where you spent attribute points to be able to wear gear while leveling but then later couldn’t use something great you found because your attributes were wrong. But that was eventually fixed when they put in the mechanics to respec your characters attributes and skillpoints. And even before that it wasn’t hard to reroll a character, even without exploiting to rush a character. I played open games where we rushed ourselves through normal and nightmare in less than a day of play, all with characters that started at lvl 1.

    Just talking about it makes me want to load up D2 and roll a new Ladder character. It’s kind of sad to me that I don’t have the same impulse to play D3.

  • Since I posted a rather scathing review of it before release I must post again.

    I’m having an absolute blast. Every single point that bothered me has been inconsequential to my enjoying the game. I hate the downtime, but as someone who works (hobby) on the server side of a mini-mmo I can understand just how cool it is to be able to completely control the world and gather statistics about every game, plus be able to add, change, remove things without sending everyone a patch.

    I also agree with the poster who said worthless white loot is good.

    – Mark

  • There are definite pros and cons as far as D3 is concerned.

    Pros:

    Exceptional Diversity: Each class has a plethora of unique combinations of abilities and runes that just makes it fun to tinker with and try out. On top of this, the visual differences for each spell, with every different rune, are top notch.

    Shared Stash/Merchants: Very good idea. Ever wanted to actually craft something for a lowbie alt? Now you can. Not to mention keep a few really good items from another character’s runs that would be great on an alt when it gets into level range.

    Party System: Perfect. Auto-Scaling difficulty, instant teleportation to allies. Easy, quick, fun. Oh yea, and you can rez fallen comrades if you are good enough 🙂

    Portals/Waypoints: Plentiful and easy to use. Self-TP makes cheesing fights less probable, but still useful for getting to town and back to the action quickly.

    Loot: Good amount and a decent spread. Whites aren’t worthwhile past the first few levels, and I personally turn all blues into salvage. Most Yellows now too. I have seen one legendary so far, as of 39. This bodes well for them being rare and good. Also a great deal of diversity is possible. My Witch Doctor is currently using a huge two-handed flaming sword, because it bumps up my DPS a lot more than a dagger/voodoo offhand. Odd but awesome to see my scrawny chic holding it.

    Cons:

    Launch: Appalling. You’d think a company that trumps everyone else with the largest grossing MMO in the universe would have the funding to allocate the proper amount of functioning servers for a start date they chose. Especially when they made the awe-inspiring decision to launch at precisely the same moment around the world, instead of staggering. I will lump connection issues into this, as they are one and the same. All told, very bad for a launch that is at most a 4 player coop game, while in reality a single player game.

    Neutrals:

    Banners: For some reason you can drop these by hitting G, there is a cooldown, but they do absolutely nothing. You don’t need a banner with you for someone to TP to you. I am confused about this.

    Easy Game: This was expected as it is Blizzard, the people that cater to the LCD, and Diablo. Perhaps Infero/Infernal? will fix it. That’s what I said about Nightmare though….

    Internet Required: Doesn’t bother me, I’m always online anyway.

    I’ll update if I find anything else to list out later. All told though I’m having a blast smashing/burning/poisoning/fearing/confusing/etc minions on my Witch Doctor. Tons of fun, and tons of ways to spec. Can’t really ask for more in a dungeon crawler.

  • For people saying its too easy. Hell is anything but easy. Its pretty damn hard. Some elite mob combo’s are really difficult to handle. “Jail, Arane, Frost” You’ll die within one second. I’m lvl 55 atm, and having big problems in ACT II.

  • @Rawblin: “Internet Required: Doesn’t bother me, I’m always online anyway.”

    …but Blizzard isn’t…hehe

  • @Rawblin: The game is very very easy I have found, IF you over-level and use the AH to over-gear yourself for normal.

    Nightmare is still harder, and even over-geared you can still die to some packs (frost/arcane, vampiric/extra health, etc) however it also is generally easy if you use the AH to gear yourself up and over-gear yourself.

    On my alt I didn’t use the AH at all and I have found act II and III of normal to be a fair challenge already, just because you don’t get all this awesome loot that makes things super easy by being over-geared, and honestly only inferno and maybe hell should be really hard while being really geared.

  • Perhaps the ease I have found stems from my class and a certain mindset.

    I play a Witch Doctor, every 13 seconds I can essentially become a ghost and just wander out of anything that might be dangerous. Anything. This also fills my mana bar up. Hooray.

    The other half of it is the knowledge that everything gear related is secondary compared to one silly stat, damage. And that is mostly the damage of your weapon itself. All of my skills and spells and pets scale off of the damage of my weapon. This makes it stupidly easy to nab up anything I can that bumps my listed dps, and just watch amazing numbers fly off all the mobs.

    I don’t consider the ability to die what makes a game difficult anyway. But anyhow it was just my impression. I never expected a Diablo game to be difficult, really.

  • You should try to get into the TL2 Bet this weekend. They’re making a stress test and the game is really cool.

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