Diablo 3 Impressions Continued

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We want to fill you in on more of our Diablo 3 impressions now that we’ve had over a week to play.

Joining Games / Public Games

It’s been difficult for us to get a good public game going.  We played five hours today and in that time not a single person joined our game.  In fact, the only two times we had random pubs join our game was at the end of act 1 and act 2 nightmare.  On the plus side, we had a blast with those people.  We’d love to see a list of games like D2 with the ability to name the game something like “Act 2 boss runs” or “Izual Farmin Game 1” (with subsequent game titles 2, 3, etc.) to increase the ease and efficiency of public play.

Useless Abilities

Some abilities are great, but some are absolutely not worth using at all.  Inferior abilities need to be changed or something because as it stands now about half the abilities we’ve seen aren’t worth using — simple math proves the superiority of a few abilities.  Blizzard made a point of saying that all specs are viable, and in reality it’s probably true that all specs can ultimately beat the game, but not all specs are created equal.

Not so Randomly Generated?

Anyone else notice the dungeons and areas are not at all random like they were back in Diablo 2?  Playing through once we already feel like we’ve come across identical maps.

The little things…

  • We’re not fans of the potion cooldown.
  • Wish we could use companion characters in multiplayer — technically we’re all forced to always be online, so the fact that you can’t have a companion character in a coop game is just odd.
  • I sent you a friend request at the start but I have never seen you with a game open to the public (as shown by quick join). I’m not one to intrude so I haven’t thrown you an invite randomly. Next time I will send you a tell and see if you are open.

    I agree about the useless abilities. Both my Barb and DH have way too many that just don’t synergize well. I would like to see a bit more tuning on the Elite versus Boss difficulty. It seems that Elite can be a real bitch most of the time and the Bosses a bore. And I’m talking Hell difficulty.

  • I think there are “sections” which are not random. I.e. You’ll always see those sections at the same time and place in every game. But the connections and rest of the level is mostly random, barring certain small levels.

  • Diablo 3’s random map generation seems to be constrained by the fact that the landmarks cannot be rotated, so everything around them must be quite similar. There’s also several singleton maps like Wortham, Zulle’s sanctum and the Royal Crypt that have an identical layout in every game. At most the breakable items and interactive doodads change.

    The lack of Act boss randomization was an issue in Diablo 2 as well. They just never really had anything to turn themselves immune, heal themselves or auto-retaliate against player attacks. Randomly generated minibosses could have all of the above.

  • I’m now in Act 2, Nightmare, and I tried some various specs with my sorcerer, but I’m now only using one : at lowest difficulty I used one for dungeon crawling (AOE) and one for Bosses (Single target DPS).

    But at nightmare, random encounters can be much more challenging than Bosses : those groups of blue mobs with their laser turrets need a lot of running, then invincibility, then huge sigle target “laser beam”, rinse and repeat.

    So I’m now down to only one spec with multi-targets electric arcs, meteor strike (heavy damage rune), and powerful “death ray” secondary. That seem to work for all encounters. I’m mostly dying when taken by surprise and not identifying the laser turrets fast enough.

    Overall, much more fun than the demo which left me on the fence.

    Also, it seems to me that distance DPS are easier than melee. Am I right ?

  • My only complaint with the game is the absolutely abysmal, horribly atrocious, insanely stupid, appallingly unrefined loot drop system.


    How is it that 1h weapons still match the dps of 2h weapons constantly in Inferno?

    How is it that I can STILL see a drop with around 150 dps?

    Why does the stupid ******* Socketed Ring drop constantly? When would I ever need a single socketed ring with no other stats of any type?

    So yea, besides that, I’m having fun. Also, the difficulty scaled up. Way up. To the roof, and now its growing into the sky like Jack’s famous beanstalk. I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if the items that dropped had the potential to be an upgrade more than .00005% of the time.

  • Seriously, people who manage to play 2D isometric games like Diablo III should do themself a favor and try Ultima Online… so you guys see what a good game can do even with such aged graphics 😉

  • @Rawblin: Did you ever play Diablo 1 or 2. Loot is not free in diablo. In diablo games you don’t get good loot just for getting to hardest difficulty. Killing diablo on inferno means nothing in terms of loot. You can farm for months and only see 1 really good item. I know people who did thousands of hell pindleskin and hell pit runs in diablo 2 and never saw anything great. This is the beauty of diablo, and this is WHY the game has replayability.

    If you don’t like the way the loot is dropped like that, then unfortunately diablo games are probably not the type of game you want to play.

    @Keen: You are right about the builds, however blizzard has been posting things that make it seem like they are definitely going to take that into account after the game has settled a bit more and they tweak the broken abilities (as they started doing). Them nerfing the hell out of Mantra of Healing: Boon of Protecting, Smoke Screen, and Energy shield (for monk, DH, and Wiz respectively), and fixing the bug on Fists of Thunder: Quickening (monk) have actually helped a lot. Instead of seeing every inferno build run those skills (alone or in combination), I have seen much more diverse builds popping up on the forums from all 3 classes about how to deal with things now that these 3 classes aren’t basically invulnerable in inferno.

  • @ Curious George- If one of your mates are in a public game you cannot simply “quick-join” them like you can when they are just soloing, and games where you can “quick-join” all originated from a single player game that had friends join.What you must do is get the player to invite you into the public game.

    All in All I have REALLY enjoyed diablo 3, I thought the AH would cheapen the experience but things are getting really tough in hell, I realise now the game was Designed with the AH being a necessity from hell act 3 and onwards.

    I’m hearing A LOT of whine for the difficulty in inferno, it really is no joke and super hard.

  • I agree with everything but the “useless” abilities bit. There are some less than optimal runes out there but every-time I thought an ability was useless I found a build that used it, or a friend who used it to great effect in co-op.

    Any specific ones you think are useless?

  • Man I must be one of the slowest gamers in the world. I have a lvl 18 Barbarian, a lvl 10 Monk and a lvl 6 Demon Hunter. Not sure how many hours I have put into the game but I am only in Act II, Normal. I play one section of the story per night then move on to other things like Day Z, I just can not sit at my pc and play D3 for hours on end. Still having fun though, and the online co-op, waste. Have not grouped yet.

  • I actually haven’t found a single randomized dungeon yet. Some maps I’ve seen 4-5 times, all identical. Either this was never implemented, is completely broken, or all the randomized elements are marginal at best.

    I’m actually extremely disappointed with how little depth there is to the game as a whole. It feels like I am leveling to max level in WoW doing nothing but Barrens quests over and over and over. So much potential, so little utilized.

  • It feels like they spent 6 months creating all of the game content … then 4 years polishing it.

    And the storyline writing & voice acting is about as bad as I could imagine it being. These games are not being played by 10 year olds, why does Blizzard continue to treat us as such?

    Also, I have yet to join a public game that wasn’t a single individual with an open game… really don’t understand why this feature doesn’t fill games one at a time.

  • “I know people who did thousands of hell pindleskin and hell pit runs in diablo 2 and never saw anything great. This is the beauty of diablo, and this is WHY the game has replayability.”

    Is that what Diablo calls replayability? If that’s the case, I’m (even more) glad I didn’t buy it, because that sounds like a slot machine masquerading as a game. I understand why this sort of thing might be compelling from a psychological perspective – but you really find this enjoyable and a worthy use of your time? I’m asking this as earnestly as I can, I’ve never understood why people enjoy this sort of thing so much. Doesn’t it just get *boring*?

    “…I realise now the game was Designed with the AH being a necessity from hell act 3 and onwards.”

    Why so? Just to reliably get the gear necessary to continue? I don’t want to assume things based on my limited understanding of the game.

    “Seriously, people who manage to play 2D isometric games like Diablo III should do themself a favor and try Ultima Online… so you guys see what a good game can do even with such aged graphics”

    That actually sounds like a good idea. I never have given UO a try. Or maybe I’ll just make another attempt at getting into EvE. o.O

  • @qpon: Graev says he is constantly joining games with a single person in them AFK. Blizzard definitely needs to fix the public game system.

    @Holgranth: Useless was an extreme choice of words on my part. They’re not literally useless… just when they’re factually inferior based on simple math it makes me wonder why anyone would use a worse ability when they could use one that is better.

    @The Merovingian: A few months ago I played UO Second Age (very popular shard, I’m sure you’re aware of it) and I love it. 🙂

    @Drathmer: I suspect that over the months Blizzard will correct this issue.

    @Rawblin: The loot system all stems back to everything being tied to weapon damage. I’m not a fan either.

    @Curious George: hmm. I have it set so that others can quick join on me. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m always in a game with Graev? Definitely message me and see because we love playing with others.

    @Brise Bonbons: Yes, that is essentially the replayability of the Diablo franchise. It’s all about doing loot runs to get better loot. There’s an addictive nature to it all, but the random chance to find loot has to be your thing or else Diablo is definitely not for you.

    Despite the negative criticism, both Graev and I are still having a lot of fun. If we weren’t enjoying ourselves we would stop playing immediately — that’s our nature. We criticize because we care.

  • I finally got to play the game after an epic battle with error 37. D3 feels more like a modern day remake to me rather than a new game in the series. (nothing wrong with that) It has been fun, still only on Act 1 so far.

  • @Drathmar

    I understand that the Diablo franchise is a loot treadmill. What I am complaining about is the fact that items of such a sub-optimal nature as to be so laughable that they shouldn’t even exist, should not be part of the game.

    There is no reason for the variance on 2h or 1h weapons lvl 55-60 to go from 150 dps to 900+ dps. There should be a “normal” range, which is useful, and an “exceptional” range, which is what people aim for and is hard to get.

    As of right now there is the “wtf” range, and the “oh look, this one almost came close to being useful” range, and a smidge, a really small fraction smidge, of “oh goody!” items.

    They just need to optimize the RNG stat distribution system on items. That’s all I want.

  • And knowing this is a double post I’m sorry, but I must use Path of Exile (Beta) as an example of a decent loot system.

    Give it a try sometime, its a fun game. VERY heavily D2 influenced, but still fun. And it doesn’t stick to the cartoony WoW art scheme. (Personal dislike)

  • That is one of the things I have liked from the TL2 demo, you can create a name for your group so you can direct people if you are wanting to farm a certain boss or dungeon.

    Loot wise, I have been very unhappy with crafting. It is way too random. It is pure luck.

  • @Brise Yes, there is no way you can complete Hell(ok maybe hell but with great difficulty) or even inferno with just the drops you get in game, you will have to at some point visit the auction house if not only just to upgrade your weapon but even specific items that complement your build.

  • I like the potion timer, one of my least favorite parts of D2 was how much of a potion fest it was. I don’t know for other classes but the Monk has mostly useful abilities.

    Itemization needs a ton of work and tradeskills are just terrible which just makes it even worse.

    The gameplay itself is just fantastic, easily a 100 out of 100 for me. The graphics work well and I haven’t encountered a single bug in game which is impressive. I have to force myself to log off and find myself cutting corners just so I can get in that one more quest which is something very few games have done for me lately.

    The problem is the game world is too small, too linear and just all around incomplete. It feels like if Skyrim had released with just the main quest. There needs to be class specific quests, difficulty level specific quests, more side quests, more special events, more chunks of zones that aren’t used for anything but grinding etc.

    I feel like they served me a 3 star feast of gameplay on paper plates in an outhouse of a game world.

  • Ugh stuck inching through Inferno act II. The game just isn’t fun anymore. I get 1 to 2 shot by everything and the game is a big kite fest. I’m at the point of either grinding gold to slowly upgrade with overpriced AH gear or farming act I in hopes of getting a drop I can use….but I NEVER get good items to drop lol. I really wasn’t expecting the “wall” of inferno to be like this so I’m kinda disappointed to say the least. What’s funny is most of the upgrade gear for me to even be able to change my build is stuff that drops in act III inferno. Also I’m not a damn Demon Hunter blizzard, I’m sick of getting 56242356234 crossbows and quivers ffs!!!!