The RPS Verdict: Diablo III

By Alec Meer on May 29th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

Belial loves to be tickled on the chin

And it so it came to pass that the bickering collective of Walker, Smith, Rossignol and Meer all gathered in one place to discuss their recent oddysseys of violence in Blizzard’s latest offering, the electronic videogame known as Diablo III. Would this brave party come to embrace the high-speed demon-bothering or grumpily sneer at it from the back of the room? Follow me into the Cave Of Mysteries (level 1) to find out.

Alec: OK, shall we begin? I am happy to be ringmaster

Adam: do you have a top hat?

Alec: no, but my hair is very large at the moment

Adam: it’ll have to do

John: Do you have a whip?

Alec: the action-roleplaying game known as Diablo III, then. Apparently we hate it on RPS, which is news to me. Who has played how much of Blizzard’s latest orgy of violence?

Jim: I’m around level 20 with two different characters, and I have just started one for HARDCORE mode. I’ve been playing solo and with my woman, who has played a lot more of it than I have.

John: I’ve a level 25 ish, just in Act 3.

Adam: I bet I’ve played the least. Up to the end of Act II solo multiplayer and the end of Act I in multiplayer multiplayer.

Alec: I’ve played the most, then. I’ve finished the Normal mode and am in Act II of the harder setting with a level 40-ish Monk. I also have a level 15 Barbarian, the famous Slough. Played a bunch of co-op with chums and unsettlingly silent randoms. Do these playtimes reflect how much we’re enjoying it or not?

Jim: I think that play time reflects how much I am enjoying Day Z.

John: Mine is based on how sunny it’s been.

Adam: I wish I had more time to play but I don’t like dipping in. I have to find a few hours so I can make proper progress.

Jim: If it had come along at another time, I’d have been playing it non-stop, I suspect.

Alec: I’m playing it as light relief from Game of Thrones RPG, which is slow and involved while this is like binging on Pringles. I’m enjoying it just fine, though I do suspect it will entirely fade from my memory in a couple of weeks

Adam: It’s hypnotic. I know that once I start I’ll probably do nothing else for the rest of the evening. Although I listened to an audiobook while playing a couple of days ago. That worked fine.

John: Yes, it’s perfect company to a podcast or unvisual TV show.

Alec: we’ve previously established that Adam and I both quite like it, Jim loves it and John is somewhat dissatisfied by it. Has any of this changed in the last week?

Adam: I prefer playing the monk to any class in the previous games. There is that. Although that’s partly because I find all the visual feedback more pleasing than is probably justified.

Jim: Yes, it’s sugary clicky acceptableness, and I like that, but it’s like eating sweets versus amazing steak, or something. I’m happy with it, but there’s little substance. I wouldn’t say I love it. I am having a great time playing it, but I don’t think it really does anything interesting, which is a major issue.

John: See, I think I’m being miscast. I have repeatedly said that it’s good. Just that it’s not good enough to merit being so crippled, and it’s a big disappointment that it fails to make a single innovation.

Alec: I’d argue it makes plenty of innovations, they’re just not the innovations you wanted. Or I wanted either, frankly – the persistent auction house and the long road of crafting make me feel tired even to think about them.

John: Really, in what way does it move the aRPG forward?

Jim: The innovations it makes aren’t interesting, perhaps. They’re functional, commercial, but not things that raise eyebrows.

Alec: it’s very much about builds, played and monitored on a very high level that I know I am unlikely to have the stamina to stick with. And it’s very carefully designed to be an infinite experience rather than one bludgeoned through a couple of times then left alone. As in, it’s an MMO in every respect except the actual levels

Adam: My biggest gripe, in terms of actually playing the game, is the difficulty issue. I don’t necessarily want to play through it several times but I do want to feel threatened occasionally.

Alec: the second setting is so much better. Feels balanced properly, rare monsters and bosses are real threats

Jim: Has anyone tried playing it on hardcore? Because there’s an interesting tension there. And I think it’s the most interesting thing the game has done

Alec: Not yet, as I think it’ll only be really worthwhile on Inferno or Hell difficulty. But that means I need to risk a character I’ve already spent 20 hours with.

Adam: I plan to start a hardcore character soon. I do like that idea.

John: So basically they’ve put an enforced 10 hours+ barrier before it’s possible for the game to be as good as it’s meant to be?

Alec: they’ve screwed up the balance badly, presumably in the name of accessibility. The second setting, or at least what I’ve played so far, feels like what you’d experience with a boxfresh Diablo II or Titan Quest or Torchlight

John: What a strange and enormous shame. It kind of makes me resentful of the huge amount of time I’ve put into a crappier version of what the game contains.

Alec: The counter-argument to claims they got it wrong is that this is how Diablo is supposed to be played, you have to graduate from rookie school with all the right gear to survive. Which is just bullshit. If they’ve put in an auction house and got rid of mana etc, why is changing the progression and difficulty-selection so sacrosanct?

John: It kind of makes me resentful of the huge amount of time I’ve put into a crappier version of what the game contains.

Alec: It is a lot more fun played co-op, at least. As Kieron said, it’s something to do while you chat. Solo is a hollow grind.

Adam: Yeah, it’s great background noise.

Jim: Agreed, I think I am enjoying, it mostly, because it’s fun to play with the Mrs. We’ve been looking forward to it for a while, and that context of playing together adds much.

John: Laura would just complain about the blood, and then say, “But I love his hat.”

Alec: It’s interesting that I’m now 30 to 40 hours in and it’s less boring than it was 15 hours previous, even though I’m nominally seeing stuff I have before. so while I do think Normal is a big screw-up, at least what you do get at the other end of it is an improvement.

Adam: What makes it more interesting? Different uniques, more risk and reward?

Alec: I’m really thinking about which skills and runes and looking for specific attributes on gear now, as well as recognising other classes’ abilities and how they can help me. Playing it better, essentially. I mean, it’s WoW Raids. And yeah, the shower of loot improves in volume and colourfulness. In some strange way, that makes me feel more heroic.

John: But I think we have to apply the Kieron Principle: If a game is crap for ten hours, it’s a crap game. Diablo III isn’t crap for ten hours, but it’s average. So it’s an average game.

Jim: My feeling is that it’s a bit like wrestling. It’s the same moves over and over, but occasionally it’s really spectacular, and you stay for that. I like wrestling, btw.

Alec: Me too!

John: Wrestling is best.

Adam: If it was a wrestler, who would it be?

Alec: Rollerball Rocco

John: It would be Hulk Hogan, a formerly great wrestler who now does reality TV shows most of the time, but occasionally goes back to the ring.

Jim: it’d be the child of Ultimate Warrior and Undertaker, simultaneously cheesy and gothy

Adam: It’s almost definitely one of the big lumbering monster types. Certainly not some high flying youngster.

Jim: I’m loving the art design, though. I am such a nerd for fantasy worlds, but it gets all that stuff pitch-perfect.

Alec: It’s just weird enough, isn’t it? In both the monsters and the powers. I don’t subscribe to the Kieron Principle on this one, though. It makes a huge mistake, but it makes up for it.

Jim: Yes, that principle has many exceptions, especially where multiplayer is concerned – Eve was bad for almost a year before it became the best game I had ever played

Alec: That’s especially pertinent for Blizzard’s recent history. We might not want to turn these games into careers, but for WoW, SC2 and now D3 players it’s all about working out and working out and working out and getting forever better at it

Jim: Yes, I know folks who were seeking those final rare bits and pieces in Diablo II right up to the release of D3. It’s a weird mindset, but there it is.

John: Yes, but EVE was bad for a period of time, then was good from the moment you started playing later on. That’s not the case here. We can’t fall into the trap of forgetting the first ten hours of something, just because something good comes later.

Alec: I’m not forgetting. It needs to be made loudly clear that the first playthrough with each class is a bit boring, doubly so if played solo. But I don’t see why that should preclude enthusing about the later stuff

John: Actually, I found no benefits from playing multiplayer. It was still just the same for me. But I couldn’t listen to a podcast/watch Castle.

Adam: I’ll stick up for solo slightly. but maybe that’s because I find the radio more interesting than the people I play with (sorry the people I play with)

John: I entirely agree with Adam.

Jim: That’s because your entire brain is geared toward playing alone, John. You hardly even enjoy multiplayer, so there’s no reason it should be true here.

John: I love aRPGs for being games that let me consume other media at the same time, while still being fully engaged. And D3 gets that right, and is partly why I maintain it’s still a good game.
Alec: I just dig the increased spectacle, the lightshow of powers, and the little tactical death-defying stunts of tackling a serious challenge with a team you’re chatting to (and on that note, why the hell doesn’t D3 include voice comms?)

Adam: I genuinely get a thrill out of finding new loot and having someone right there to swap a bit with is where I enjoy being with someone else – getting a bow for my demon hunting buddy – but I don’t particularly invest in seeing how our classes support one another. That’ll come later. But I still enjoy the level of exchange it gives me. And I find it all quite funny as well – swapping pants with people in the middle of a dank cellar.

Alec: yeah, loot swapping is great. You feel like a muscley Santa when you throw down something you know is good for a buddy.

Jim: Yeah, it ramps up with more people, and watching two of you explode mobs is a MUCH better feeling. Although I did die by alt-tabbing out while the Mrs aggro’d demons, so that was embarrassing.

Adam: We should all try hardcore characters together. See how long we last. And how many of us fall due to alt-tabbing.

Alec: or at least get logged out and lose our checkpoints. I suppose, once the hardest difficulty is unlocked, it becomes a way to have instant dungeons. you pick a level you know is hard-as and wade in there, just like a WoW dungeon but none of the waiting and far more frantic, tactile combat. It is in my head in a way that scares me a little. Knowing there’s incredible loot out there that I don’t have yet… it bothers me. It shouldn’t, be it does.

Jim: A random thing that annoys me, actually, about this sort of game is having to leave a build behind. I had an incredible double axe-hook thing going on. It looked amazing, and was great at the right level. But I had to move on, and I like my character less again

Alec: oho, but if you look back you’ll see its attributes have improved. The new unlocks aren’t necessarily better. whenever you level, so do all your old skills.

Jim: sure, I was talking weapons, rather than stats

Alec: ah, yes. Well, there are always higher-level versions of stuff you like, if you filter down auction house stuff. But then you’re playing eBay rather than Diablo

Jim: Yeah, and that was sort of what I spent a lot of time doing in WoW – the hunt for the sword that looked good and was actually useful. But I don’t care enough about it here, partly because there’s less personal unique investment in the character, and partly because so few people will see it.

Adam: Is it weird that I kind of resent the skills because they’re fixed – as in not randomised like the weapons? I like the idea of being more unique, with odd little effects and quirks. That comes more from the gear than the skills, which everyone unlocks in the end.

Alec: I suspect that more Runes will be added in time to increase that kind of variety. For instance, with the Monk bell-from-heaven thing at the moment, I have three different types of it depending on the Rune

Adam: I do like that bell

Alec: yeah, I can’t imagine choosing any other power for my right-click, no matter how much more effective

John: My spinny attack is way better than that bell.

Jim: it is a great big bell

Alec: We should all stop talking about my bell and go look at it instead. Right now

Jim: SAVED BY THE BELL

John: Shall we all just quickly and unanimously condemn the DRM and abysmal servers?

Jim: I kinda like it.

Alec: Consider it condemned.

John: Jim is a bad person.

Jim: Who doesn’t want to be disconnected and lag in single player games? It keeps the “this is broken” flavour in PC gaming.

Adam: I loathe it with every fibre of my being. When I wake up in the morning my mouth is full of blood because I’ve been grinding my teeth down to the gums thinking about it ALL NIGHT LONG

Jim: besides, it’s not like I was using my internet connect for anything else.

Alec: There’s also the plot, which is bleh. Though the companions’ backstories aren’t bad if you stick with ‘em.

Adam: On companions, has anyone noticed that companions can beat up a zombie for ages without either doing much damage to the other? If it wasn’t for the player heroes the fight between light and dark would go on forever. Just people gently nudging one another.

John: Which is best, or they’d just play the game for you.

Alec: yeah, if you look at their DPS it’s just a fraction of yours. They’re just there to make it look/feel less lonely I think.

John: The plot does seem a deliberately egregious attempt to be bad.

Alec: I was saddened, though, that so many people interpreted my unofficial novelisation as a missive of hate. I was just taken with the disconnect between all that DESTINY and PRIME EVIL and the reality of CLICKCLICKCLICCK. Like GTA 4, where Nico has all that moral deliberation about the dark things he did in his past then goes and runs over 48 old ladies without blinking

John: My Nico didn’t do that. Because of his deliberation. It convinced me not to.

Alec: Goddamned hippy.

Jim: Yes, hippy.

Alec: Well, shall we conclude?

Jim: Yes, I conclude that most people will buy Diablo III and find it to be moderately entertaining.

John: In conclusion, I’m right about everything.

Adam: Bells.

Alec: I concur with Jim, and will be taking John to court for his lies.

John: I would agree with moderately entertaining.

Alec: BELLS.

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214 Comments »

  1. Swanny says:

    Bells indeed.

    A great review, and why i keep coming to RPS. You guys just talk about the game. No 6/10. 3/5, buy/rent/pass scores. Leave us to decide on our own.

    Personally, i rolled a monk (and probably bought the game) for the Bell.
    It’s just so damn awesome. That said, i’ve gotten out of it at level 53 for other, more tanky abilities (cyclone strike). I always play with others, and my monk can’t kill anything on hell level- it literally takes me 30 seconds to kill one normal monster. I can’t be killed, however, if i have someone behind me to smack things.

    I, too, found normal insultingly easy, and a bit of a chore. Nightmare was ok, but Hell is much better. There’s a hollowness to D3 I can’t put my finger on, logging on. Like i’m about to spend an hour on a treadmill, but then i get on, and it’s an hour later, and i’ve had a blast.

    • irongamer says:

      There are some aspects of Diablo 3 that feel hollow.

      Personally I feel the random level generation is weak. Most of the areas are very wide and open in outdoor maps, I would have liked to see more variety of paths and mid sized open areas along with the huge open areas which make up most of the outdoor.

      The drops do feel a bit lack luster compared to Diablo 2. A friend and I are 42 in nightmare and have still not seen anything other than blue and yellow drops. I guess the word is that set (green) only drop in hell or maybe even inferno (or the chance to drop in lower games is just about zero).

      One thing that was surprising and a strong point is the difficulty level increase didn’t just make mobs hit harder or give them more life. In addition the mobs gain abilities not present in the previous difficulty. Combat from Normal to Nightmare becomes a bit more tactical when you meet up with chained, arcane laser turrets, lava trails, vortexers, illusionists, freezers, and jailers. Some of these were in normal and others were not, but the combinations (and new mob abilities) make for some very good fights. I don’t know if hell will add more or just increase mob stats, since we have not reached there.

      We do usually have a good time once we get on the “treadmill” though. However, I can’t get myself to play the game solo like I did in Diablo 2. For me Diablo 3 must be played with friends or not at all.

      • iucounu says:

        I do think the random generation thing is a good point, because over three different characters I am not seeing anything, well, randomly generated. There might be layout differences but I’m not noticing them – it’s the same experience each time. There’s not enough variation in the basic enemies, and there aren’t more than two levels in each kind of setting, so that you go from a desert with the same set of desert enemies to a tomb with the same set of tomb enemies, and the dungeon feels identical every time even if the geography is different.

        Maybe that was the same in D1 and D2? I seem to remember more variety in the dungeons (more variety in general, in fact.)

        • irongamer says:

          The randomness in Diablo 1/2 was much… better? Or more annoying depending on where you are coming from. I find that both those game were better in that regard even if they generated some things that didn’t necessarily make sense.

          Torchlight 2 is much stronger in this area, at least in the little bit I saw in beta.

        • Gnoupi says:

          Almost everything was random in D2, but suffered from the “crossword” effect. It wasn’t looking like real places, just like interlaced squares.

          In D3, they apparently went the Titan quest way for outdoors. The layout is fixed, but feels more believable. They tried to go the torchlight away for dungeons, by using chunks. But from what I saw in the beta, it was quite unsatifactory, resulting often in long corridors glued together. Now this is only what I observed from a short passage of the game, it might be different later.

          If you want actual random areas which feel like something you haven’t explored before, torchlight 2 seems to nicely fit the need. From the beta, I observed it generate large outdoor areas, with different sub quests in them (some won’t be accessible unless you play another character), while feeling quite believable.

          I played 7 characters in the beta, and while some areas are clearly fixed, most of the game was feeling like a different place to explore. And it’s quite pleasant for a game that you will most likely play through several times.

          I agree however that while it feels believable and pleasant, it doesn’t have the same “ambiance” of Diablo 3′s outdoor areas. It will feel less “tight”, because of the randomness. A bit like compared to Titan quest. Having a fixed layout allows for a more dramatic setting, more controlled in its presentation.

          • Ragnar says:

            So I try to play Diablo 3 tonight with my fiancee, to continue our journey into Act 3.

            Error 37
            Error 37
            Error 3006

            I think this was a character building exercise on Blizzard’s part, as I can now much better identify with my Barbarian toon as we are both filled with rage.

            Diablo 3, the best game you pay for and then cannot play.

            Update:
            Error 3006, Error 37, Error 37, Error 3006, Error 37, finally get in to reap the benefits of this latest patch: “Players now join General Chat by default.” WTF? This patch brought us the inability to connect and joining General Chat by default? This is the kind of crap you patch OUT of your game! So… much… rage….

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Indeed now the first thing everyone does when they join is /leave

            What was the possible point of that change?

        • UmmonTL says:

          I have only played the open beta but noticed that the levels didn’t feel randomly generated at all. Only as I ran through several different dungeons and passed the same “double staircase leading to an upper balcony” in each, even three times in a row in one of them, did I notice the problem:
          It is basically the same way that D1 and D2 used to randomly generate their levels, have a large set of level pieces and randomly stitch them together. The problem is that the pieces are much too huge so that one fills up one or two screens. You notice the double staircase each time because there aren’t several different possible places they lead to or other branching paths that may or may not connect to that piece of the level. The pieces themselves are of course much nicer designed and maybe the destructible clutter is random as well but that was my impression of the dungeon. Is it still the same in the later dungeons (after leoric)?

          • iucounu says:

            I would say it is, yes. I think the thing is any given dungeon will contain the same bits each time, just slightly differently connected and populated, and on top of that there are dungeons (Leoric’s prison, say) that look identically laid-out every time. I feel like we ought to see, say, one of at least three possible quite different versions or permutations of a level on any given playthrough, with some things left completely out.

            I’m playing a Monk in Nightmare and a Barb in Normal at the moment, and they’re keeping pace with each other; when I swap from one game to another there’s no discernible difference in the environments I’m seeing. This seems like a shame. I’d go for more randomness and variety at the expense of environmental logic or difficulty-curve smoothness.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Does the pool of magic abilities that an item can have increase on higher difficulties? I just got done with Normal mode and it felt like there are really few attributes that an item can have so the items ended up very samey and some of the attributes were just general duds (e.g. the XP increasers that add single digit bonuses) so I only looked for items that gave plus intelligence or damage (since I’m playing as a mage, really damn vulnerable though, even in Act 3 normal I got killed in split seconds at times, Azmodan’s fireballs were instakills from full health for me).

        • iucounu says:

          I’m in Nightmare, and I have to say the pool doesn’t seem amazingly broad or deep. I have some nice stuff like chance to inflict bleed, which I don’t remember seeing in Normal, but that sort of gear isn’t dropping much. The general feel of the game is like many of the interesting spikes and variety you might have been expecting from the loot if you played D2 have all sort of been smoothed out. (No socket runes, that sort of thing.) I think we’re intended to get the interesting stuff at auction.

          • irongamer says:

            Yeah, I haven’t seen much in the way of new stat types in nightmare. Although in some ways it feels like the game started at nightmare. I sure hope the AH isn’t really the only way to find stuff…ick. I’ve mostly been avoiding it thus far.

          • Ruffian says:

            While I do wish that they would drop more uniques and such in my own game, IMO the auction house isn’t really that big of a deal. It’s there, it’s easy to buy what you want and if you look around a bit you can generally find what you need for a decent price. it’s not like you have to use it tho. I’d say about half of my gear, is from the auction house and half is from stuff I’ve found or traded with party members. Also, I have to say, and yes I do agree that it’s somewhat asinine, I’m currently a lvl 53 Witch Doctor in Hell, and the game really does get much better on nightmare and then hell. The unique monsters start to get really intensely challenging with all sorts of weird abilities and ability combinations. They actually end up being much more challenging than the boss fights.

          • Azradesh says:

            Oops, wrong reply.

          • Nesetalis says:

            The item mods have been reduced to about 10% that which was in diablo 2… Seriously, there were so many arbitrary mods and effects added in d2, and almost none of them are in this game. I can count maybe 30 or 40 at most.. and I’ve seen them all. None of them are particularly amazing or effective. The most annoying one is pickup range for gold and health globs.. either you don’t have enough and its a pain in the ass to pick up anything.. or you have too much and you nom all the health before you need it… And it eats up a stat field in your gear!

        • Azradesh says:

          There are quite a few new item stats that stats appearing in hell and onwards.

          • Belsameth says:

            It starts in Nightmare. At least, Nightmare was the first time I saw resistence gear…

    • djbriandamage says:

      I’d have preferred if at least most of the reviewers had actually finished the game once before evaluating it. I do enjoy reading RPS’ casual chat-style but I’d hesitate to call this a “verdict”.

      hang on… wait a couple of seconds…

      ok, now it’s a verdict.

      no it’s not. I still seem to be hesitating. Finishing a game before giving a “verdict” remains my unwavering expectation from games journalists.

      • iucounu says:

        I’m not sure it’s any more possible to finish D3 than it is to finish WoW, unless you want them to finish Inferno. It’s set up more like an MMORPG than anything else. Difficult to review in a conventional sense; remember KG doing Darkfall?

        • djbriandamage says:

          Come on now. When the guy the game’s named after has a new orifice spewing raspberry preserves you can pretty confidently declare job well done.

          • Chris D says:

            Not sure that would satisfy the “The game doesn’t start till Nightmare” people.

            More generally I think the concept of finishing a game only works for some genres. It’s fine for a linear FPS or adventure but when do you finish Grand Turismo, or Street Fighter, or a Total War game, or Eve? Minecraft? Do you only have to finish the main quest or all the sidequests too? What about multiple characters? “Finished” seems to be something of an arbitrary distinction.

          • iucounu says:

            I think the pertinent question is “when am I finished with the game?”

      • mckertis says:

        “I do enjoy reading RPS’ casual chat-style”

        I dont. If i didnt read anything about D3 before – there is literally nothing i could take from this…article. No number at the end is a good thing, but this “chat-style” is the worst way to tell someone about the actual meat of the game. Especially when its so pretentiously labeled “Verdict”.

        • wodin says:

          Then why on earth do you read the website\visit the website or even more bizarre sign in to post comments on the site?

          The internet has lots of websites to look at you know, I’m sure there are plenty of game sites where you will like the style.

        • djbriandamage says:

          Have a look at some of their other pieces in this style. They’re usually very informative and personal. The writers rarely all agree on everything which spurs some exploration and debate.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          However, if you don’t “finish” the game, a mechanic which gets samey and boring through the game, will never be picked up by the reviewer, a la Assassins Creed.

          While you give the example of a game that starts crap shouldn’t be given a good score, what about games which start good but have a rubbish end? Don’t the consumers deserve to know about that?

          Which is why I would never trust a review by someone who had only tasted the game.

          • InternetBatman says:

            If it started out well and ended poorly that would provide the impetus to keep playing it. Also, in a game with this much grinding, what level is finished considered?

      • drewski says:

        Rough guess – 15% of game reviews are of “finished” games.

        At least RPS admit it.

        • djbriandamage says:

          Rough guess – I take 2% of game reviews seriously. PC Gamer, Eurogamer, and RPS are the most professional and best written. This is probably the one and only time I’ve ever felt RPS was unprepared to tender a review.

      • SouperMattie says:

        I’d argue that almost any time Rock Paper Shotgun uses a loaded word like “Verdict”, it’s tongue-in-cheek. Having said that, I think all the participants in this conversation had played enough to have something useful to say. I actually think It’s kind of interesting to hear people’s opinions that are based on different levels of completedness of the game.

        Also, RPS team: please please please do more of these multi-person conversations about games because I often find them more enlightening than a single-person review/”Wot I think”.

        Making the post into a conversation instead of a monologue keeps everybody honest, as people will immediately get called out if they make outlandish claims. More than one point of view (simultaneously!) is almost always appreciated.

    • dontnormally says:

      Okay, I’ll bite: WTF is Bell?

    • mmalove says:

      Just logging in to say:

      I hated the bell. I built a very defensive monk with the trident runed wave kick thingy, and was not disappointed. Kinda a kung fu paladin.

    • Carra says:

      Insultingly easy, that’s how it feels indeed. So far I’ve put in 10 hours and died one time.

      And then there’s the lag in single player. Battling a boss and then seeing how a lag spike completely blocks your game is frustrating. Even WoW did not have this outside of expansion releases.

      And the auction house. What’s the use in me gathering items? I can just buy everything from the AH and it will be a lot better than what I find.

      It is of course, also a lot of fun. Walk in a room, shoot everything, get loot, walk in the next room. Something about it just screams for more.

      • Highstorm says:

        I beat the two bosses at the end of Act IV in 7 and 28 seconds respectively. Yeah it’d become such a joke by that point that I started timing them for kicks.

    • Armagetiton says:

      You’ll be killed in Inferno as a monk. And you won’t be killing anything anymore. Enjoy being 2 shotted in Act 2 while wearing 20 million gold in fantastic gear while 60k DPS ranged classes farm act 4 with 15k HP and terrible gear because they don’t get hit.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      “Personally, i rolled a monk ”
      AND IN THE GAME…

  2. Greggh says:

    “Eve was bad for almost a year before it became the best game I had ever played”

    Were you brainwashed to change your mind whilst playing?? How come one play a bad game for an entire year???

    Maybe you said to yourself it was bad, but in reality you didn’t think so…?

  3. nibbling_totoros says:

    I respect your opinions RPS- you are actually doing video game journalism correctly.

    Stick to your guns, remain pragmatic, and don’t sugar-coat your opinions.

  4. Defiant Badger says:

    ‘I loathe it with every fibre of my being. When I wake up in the morning my mouth is full of blood because I’ve been grinding my teeth down to the gums thinking about it ALL NIGHT LONG’

    Ho ho ho, I do like this Adam chap.

    • McDan says:

      He is rather good isn’t he? Though I thnk it’s still a conspiracy that someone called smith left then anothe joined, hmm RPS? though the hivemind must have higher purposes and thoughts than us mortals can comprehend

  5. Sensai says:

    I’m going to be the guy who starts the flame war, then, since no one else seems to do it:

    I’m not going to purchase Diablo III. There are lots of reasons and there’s nothing you can do or say that will convince me to buy it. Furthermore, I think your decision to buy it reflects negatively on you as a person and you are the terminal disease that people take chemo to cure that is killing PC gaming.

    • nibbling_totoros says:

      Really, at this point, this debate is largely meaningless- people who want it have already bought it; people who don’t want it are obviously not going to be swayed the other way.

      In the end, Blizzard HAS the money already- they’ve won regardless of how you feel about Diablo III.

    • NathanH says:

      I will join you on this sinking ship, sir.

    • mire says:

      And people like you are the chronic back pain that’s kept PC gaming in the shadow of the consoles for so long.

      • woodsey says:

        No doubt you danced around a fire naked out of sheer joy when Ubisoft announced their always-online DRM.

      • Twisted says:

        I submit that the chronic back pain comes from the tying of single-player to multi-player so tightly that they cannot be told apart, and attemping to sell me the resulting product as a single-player experience with all the downsides of internet multiplayer.

      • rocketman71 says:

        If this shitty DRM is the alternative, I’m happy to stay in the shadow of the consoles.

        Besides, I’d say that what we’re getting from competent developers that care about gamers and quality, indies, kickstarters and the rest piss all over the consoles.

        Not to mention Torchlight 2.

        Diablo 3 can go to hell. And we need more chaps like Adam and Sensai to keep saying NO to unacceptable DRM, and less conformist fanboys that will justify whatever Blizzard does.

        • PopeJamal says:

          Well worth repeating:

          “Diablo 3 can go to hell. And we need more chaps like Adam and Sensai to keep saying NO to unacceptable DRM, and less conformist fanboys that will justify whatever Blizzard does.”

          • Sensai says:

            Well, I just gotta find my Che Guevara hat and we can get this revolution underway.

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      Very dramatic.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Sensai, these kinds of posts usually make me roll my eyes, but I have to raise my glass to you here.

    • Nesetalis says:

      I wasn’t going to buy it, I was going to boycott it.. really.. I was…
      but torchlight 2 isn’t out yet, and all my friends are playing diablo 3… so after they hit 3 million sales I figured, meh, whats one more? they’ve already broken records! and then I purchased it, suffered the DRM, suffered the online abuses… hated the battle.net bullshit they ruined it with..
      but the game? oh the game is fun… though I’ll be bored with it quickly.

    • Sardaukar says:

      You are special and important, and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

    • daebwae says:

      Friendly piece of advice: comparing people with cancer isn’t just bad taste, but also bad tactics. If I read this metaphor, I won’t bother thinking about your argument. You appeal to your base, you like the fight against the other party, but you loose the swing customers.

      • Sensai says:

        What I said up (well, the second half at least, from the ‘furthermore’ and on) there was a joke, a kind of imitation of what people so blindly displeased with a product say when they’re angry about it. I was kind of doing a tongue-in-cheek bit, hoping others might find it a little funny…but it seems to have missed the mark. Maybe I should have made it into a separate paragraph to distance the serious from the (attempt at) funny.

        The cancer comment always makes me cringe, which is why, even in satire, I couldn’t get myself to out and out write it. But to complete the persona, you just have to insinuate that someone or something is cancerous to video games.

        All of that being said, I am honestly not going to buy the game and it’s pretty crummy that a lot of people have. I don’t dislike those people at all (most of my friends have purchased it and are enjoying it) nor do I wish them any ill will (and Christ, who could really wish cancer on ANYONE?), but I do think that it’s doing more harm than good.

        [Edit:]

        Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it. – E. B. White

    • drewski says:

      I’ll buy it.

      When it costs the same as Torchlight 2.

  6. LlamaNL says:

    I see that three of you didn’t finish and then decided to judge it. I will now do the same. This verdict is a load of bullshit

    • nibbling_totoros says:

      Exactly what makes you say that? Are you just mad that they didn’t heap praise onto your purchase? Do you need validation that badly and can’t handle other opinions?

      Even if they didn’t finish the game, how does that make their points any less valid? The flaws of the game are fundamental flaws that are not resolved with any amount of playing. Diablo III isn’t a game with a definite “end” or “finish line”.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      how does one “finish” diablo 3?

      • LionsPhil says:

        When you come to the conclusion that it’s the best game ever, clearly.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        I’d say completing normal difficulty would be the bare minimum, just to see how the awful plot pans out. You’d be at least level 30 at that point.

        It’s quite odd to see this kind of conversation on RPS when only one participant has invested the 15ish hours necessary to finish the story. I agree with all the criticisms and more, but really, it’s an incomplete view of a fairly short game.

        • x1501 says:

          Says something about the game, doesn’t it?

          • Phantoon says:

            Considering you can remove the references to Diablo 3 and be talking about Final Fantasy 13, yes it does.

            “It gets good after ten hours!” Nothing is worth doing for ten hours to get to the good bits unless it’s Dwarf Fortress.

        • Sinomatic says:

          Since when did the worth of a diablo game depend on the plot of all things?

          I could barely tell you what happened in DII and I played that for more hours than I care to admit.

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            OK, but if you want to get to the serious bits of what the endgame is like and how D3 will hold up over time (or even just the higher-level skill runes!), then you’re talking more like 30-40 hours in one character.

            I’m just saying, completing Normal is the barest minimum for giving a fair view of the game. Otherwise, you may as well just review the beta.

          • drewski says:

            Blizzard didn’t charge people $60 for the beta.

            Oh, and news flash – many, if not most, reviewers don’t finish games before reviewing them.

      • Casimir Effect says:

        Clearly it’s when your head has gone so far up your own arse you resemble a Klein bottle.

    • wodin says:

      I’ve been playing computer games since ’83 and probably finished less than 20, but I can certainly give you my verdict on all of them.

      Do you have to eat a whole cake to say whether it tastes like shit or not? Or just one bite?

      Your statement is bizarre.

    • Lacero says:

      I didn’t think it was great, but I read it through a second time and actually it was much better.

    • Nick says:

      So you think the game is bad then?

  7. Gasmask Hero says:

    I am sad, because I feel that D3 could have been a lot better. This really is just a single player WoW, with all the loot compulsion and grinding that goes with it. It seems odd that WoW, to me, borrowed chunks from D2 (notably the loot colour coding), and it seems that’s come full circle. That’s not neccesarily a good thing.

    I’d consider this as a purchase, just not an immediate purchase like Diablo was, and certainly not a preorder must, like Diablo 2. Which covers the extent of my feelings on it.

    The opinions in this article pretty much spell out what this game is. And yes, that makes me sad.

  8. Hindenburg says:

    To quote Old Man Murray:
    “According to Erik, after the first 5 or 6 hours this game really begins to shine. According to me, after 5 or 6 hours of polishng my own shit, it will begin to shine. Doesn’t mean I am going to spend the time polishing my shit. You spent $40 bucks for the game, why do you need to spend 5 hours playing before it gets good?”

    Was true for Anachronox. Don’t see why it shouldn’t be true here.

  9. secretdoorinvisiblewall says:

    Sounds like for those (like me) who don’t have the time or interest for multiple playthroughs this is a definite Do Not Buy. No way I’m paying $60 to play something as shallow and easy as the game seems on Normal difficulty, and I’m just not willing to put in 40 hours to play the same thing twice. I like my games to be challenging and tactical, Blizzard, so I’ll be passing on this one.

    • NathanH says:

      Obviously a good solution to this problem is for people who are happy to play through on Normal to upload the save files for their single-player offline characters who’ve completed Normal, and then people like you could download them and have fun. Given that D3 seems to allow on-demand respeccing, you don’t have to worry about being locked into someone else’s build.

      Seems like the perfect solution. What could possibly be wrong with it?

      • trjp says:

        It’s the path to item/character duping and online misery – that’s what’s wrong with it.

        • NathanH says:

          How long is it since Blizzard bought you? What was the promised price, Grima?

          • trjp says:

            I was ‘bought’ when all my effort in D2 was made pointless by people who cheated – when any chance of fair competition in leagues etc. was rendered impossible.

            If all I cared about was single player – I’d play something else entirely (Depths of Peril leaps to mind) but I play Diablo for multiplayer (or I did – D3 is far too immature to venture into just yet).

          • NathanH says:

            I guess if you think a pointless online competition that you’ll probably have to pay to stay competitive in is worth the downfall of PC gaming and the end of civilization and indeed the known universe, fair play.

  10. 153351 says:

    “I love aRPGs for being games that let me consume other media at the same time, while still being fully engaged.”

    I liked the review otherwise, but you realize how dumb this sounds, right? Who plays any game because they can consume other things at the same time? And how is that fully engaged?

    That’s just dumb, and it throws the rest of John’s comments out the window. “Here’s a review of a game I played while consuming other media. While being fully engaged.”

    Ok, whatever.

    • Durkonkell says:

      John has talked about this in the past – I think on the olde Electronic Wireless Show, but I could be wrong. He said that he has trouble ‘absorbing’ certain types of media unless he’s doing something else at the same time. If my recollections are correct, he used to get shouted at for not paying attention to people when in fact if he stopped whatever he was doing and focused only on them, then he wouldn’t be paying attention.

      People are individuals, they don’t all behave or consume media the same way as you. That doesn’t invalidate their opinions.

    • djbriandamage says:

      That’s actually a comment that deeply resonates with me. That ray of remaining awareness can be happily spent watching The Simpsons or chatting with party members or composing erotic haiku. I occasionally enjoy a game I can excel at without surrendering myself entirely to it, like Mortal Kombat or Bejeweled or Binding of Isaac.

    • leomr says:

      This is absurd. For years now I’ve played most games on mute (FPSes and the like excepted, since audio cues are typically pretty important in those) — I’m rarely enamored of music or voice acting in any game, so if I can safely mute them while listening to an accompanying podcast or some music, why shouldn’t I? You can still be fully engaged with just about any ARPG while listening or watching to other things.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Not every game has to be pure, raging, sweating, maniacal, focused intensity. Some people play games to relax. I even shave (electrically!) while playing WoW.

    • Nick says:

      I listen to the radio/have the TV on during a of gaming that isn’t super abosrbing or demanding, like Skyrim or World of Tanks.. or Desktop Dugeons, or other turn based games.

    • drewski says:

      Lots and lots and lots of people.

      How dare anyone play games for a different reason to you, eh?

    • The Greatness says:

      I personally don’t experience this, but I know people who do. Also, he does this while watching Castle, so therefore he is correct.

  11. HexagonalBolts says:

    As people will have no doubt seen from my constant complaining, I have a computer that could probably run four copies of diablo at once without lag on the system and a download speed of 1.5mbps and diablo is still completely unplayable in single player for me. That’s unacceptable.

    • trjp says:

      Define ‘completely unplayable’ – as I suspect what you’re actually saying is “my internet is shit” but trying to make it sound like it’s someone else’s fault!?

      • Durkonkell says:

        My Internet is shit and it’s someone else’s fault. British Telecom, to be precise. However, there is a tiny chance that I’ll be able to get a small sliver of an echo of the local Infinity bandwidth when my local exchange is upgraded – maybe – in about a month.

      • HexagonalBolts says:

        trjp, as you can see it has a 1.5mbps download speed which, yes, is a bit shit but it should be more than capable of playing Diablo and especially singleplayer. Completely unplayable is 10-20 second timeouts every minute or so (i.e. dieing every minute). But thanks for the derisive comment…

        • Phantoon says:

          Don’t forget! It’s YOUR fault always-on doesn’t work, not the fact always-on is a terrible idea in the first place.

          • trjp says:

            Whether you – or anyone else – thinks it’s a good or bad idea is utterly irrelevant.

            We have to get over this idea that game developers give a fuck what you think – D3 is selling like cocaine-studded hotcakes – I’m guessing the developers aren’t getting this message anyway :)

          • NathanH says:

            He’s right, it’s definitely not Blizzard’s fault for doing this. It’s the people who have bought the game that need to be put in front of the firing squad.

          • jaheira says:

            You want to execute me because I bought a game that you don’t like? Man that is cold. I’m sad now.

          • NathanH says:

            I have no idea whether I like the game or not, because I am standing my ground as a dedicated defender of humanity, whereas you are merely a sexy elf with an annoying husband.

          • jaheira says:

            Your don’t like Diablo 3 becasue you see it as a threat to humanity. Also, FYI I’m not sure that me and Khalid is gonna be a thing much longer.

        • trjp says:

          I wasn’t being derisive – I was simply suggesting that you bought an ‘always online’ game and are complaining because your connection isn’t upto the job (for the record, there’s a LOT more to internet quality than raw bandwidth – just like there’s more to power supplies than the wattage on the box).

          How is what you’re doing any different to me buying Crysis 2 for my 3.5-year-old laptop and then complaining that it doesn’t work? Should the developers of Crysis have considered my laptop and downgraded it accordingly?

          • rocketman71 says:

            It’s different because the quality not only depends on YOUR internet connection, it also does depend on Blizzard’s servers. And Blizzard has not been up to par here.

            On the other hand, it seems like the people making the big decisions at Blizzard and those at Crytek are exactly the same species of douchebag.

            Keep playing, fanboy. Keep defending Blizzard whatever they do.

          • theleif says:

            Well, if the minimum requirements for Crysis 2 just read “A processor” then yeah, you would have the right to be upset. The minimum requirement for Diablo 3 is “Broadband Connection”, and a note that some wireless connections does not qualify as broadband, without specifying which.
            I have a 100/10 fibre connection. I believe that qualifies as “broadband connection”. I’ve had it for over a year, I have not even once noticed it dropping, and have not had one problem playing any game online (excepting of course connections to laggy servers). Still while playing D3 tonight I had a couple of lag spikes of which one got me killed.
            Getting killed by a lag spike while playing single player just feels… wrong.

  12. Wut The Melon says:

    Ah… after all the so-called ‘professional’ reviews there are on the internet, going on and on about absolutely nothing and then condemning it to EXACTLY an 8.7, it’s nice to see just a couple of random chaps chatting about a game they played. I would argue this is the better way of doing reviews. It certainly is more enjoyable to read (for the record, I have absolutely no interest in D3 whatsoever).

  13. iainl says:

    According to Steam, the proportion of my PC games that I’ve played for more than 20 hours is pretty shockingly low. So i honestly can’t see me ever reaching the ‘good’ bits. Stuff that.

  14. aliksy says:

    Yep. The game’s a very solid “alright”. No great innovations, some flaws. Like the #@%#’ing MMO-style hit detection and inability to run away from fights. Still bugs me.

    • drkliter says:

      How can you not run away from fights? Every class has an ability to get out combat quick.

      • Phantoon says:

        You get a debuff that deals damage over time.

      • Sic says:

        They’ve actually made it so that attacks go through after a certain frame in the attack animation, no matter what you do.

        That certain frame is pretty god damn early for most monsters. They said they did it because they didn’t want people to run through the entire game without killing anything.

        It’s annoying as all hell, especially combined with the constant lag.

      • aliksy says:

        What the other people said, and most escape skills have a fairly long cooldown. So I can teleport 30 yards away (more if I use a different rune). Most champions are pretty fast, so that buys me maybe 5 seconds before they close the distance. Teleport has a 15 second cooldown. Potions have a 30 second cooldown. You see where this is going.

        Compare to diablo2, where teleport had no cooldown and you could generally escape (via sprinting, potions, and/or a quick town portal )

        I filled my bar with defensive skills and it’s still not enough for inferno. Need better gear, and then I can probably just faceroll again.

        I really don’t like how there’s very little room for player skill. In my ideal world, a hero/pc is still heroic when naked, gear just helps. But I guess that’s anathema to blizzard’s model (and some people’s perception of how the genre must work).

  15. gritz says:

    Is there a reason this game didn’t ship with built-in voice chat?

    Also, is it controversial of me to say that the Diablo 3 companions are more interesting and well written than all of the companions in single-player lore juggernaut Skyrim?

    • Screamer says:

      I’d say lag is the reason. Their “servers”, if you could call it that (seems more like a bunch of Celeron pcs with a “Add mandatory 200ms delay” box ticked), won’t be able to handle voip as well as Diablo, which in turn seem to double the delay as soon as it tries and send a teeny bit of more info when entering an new area :/

  16. vivlo says:

    In my mind, it’s like a four-headed chimaera talking to itself, with one of its head constantly disagreeing.

  17. Det says:

    I always thought it was spelt hippie, not hippy.
    and the plural form being hippies.
    I guess maybe they though John as a man who was hip though. That’d be hippy now that hipster is taken up by hipsters, I guess.
    Is john hip?

  18. MythArcana says:

    I’ll give it a 2/10 because I like the font.

  19. Hoaxfish says:

    probably one of the lesser said “no buys”, along with the DRM, art, weird “lack of interesting loot in a game all about looting”….

    I just don’t have any desire to play any of the classes. Even in D2, I went with the Assassin (kicking kung-fu combo type) and didn’t really feel it for the other classes (I didn’t get the game until LoD was actually released).

    The hirelings seem like they’d be fun to play, partially because their clothing and approach is a little more “staid”. I mean, they’re the basic fighter, rogue, wizard… something which neither D3 nor Torchlight 2 seem willing to engage with (except maybe Embermage). Sometimes, I just want to be a sword&board trained soldier bashing people in the noggin… so I’m kinda just waiting on Path of Exile (Duelist).

    I guess I could pick up the 100 of other generic fantasy games, but eh, they keep waving ARPGs in my face.

  20. Maldomel says:

    I really imagine four dudes arguing in a cave when I read that.

    I haven’t played it at all, but “moderately entertaining” is what I expected from the info and feedback I got.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Bury them up to their necks in sand and we have a serviceable Beckett play on our hands.

      Then again, that’s kind of true about any conversation.

  21. takfar says:

    Really, for everyone saying Normal difficulty level sucks: It does.

    It’s also incredibly easy to rebalance for your own gameplay.

    Want to make it harder? Don’t use magic items. Go at everything using only white items.
    Still too easy? use only low-quality (gray) items.
    Still too easy? Play naked using only the starter weapon you get at level 1 (or only your bare hands!).

    Items are such a huge part of a character’s effectiveness in the Diablo series, it’s completely effortless to make this small change and experience the normal-level gameplay at a completely different challenge level.

    And yes, always-on for a single-player game is horrible, and retarded, and it only benefits the publisher while effing the customer.

    Still, D3 is an OK game. I’m having fun with it; just nothing amazing, just as the RPS review states.

    • Herbert_West says:

      Buddy. If I have to handicap myself to enjoy the out-of-the-box version of a game, you know, the version that is supposed to draw me in, then its not a good game.

      I, as a customer, expect the product, the game, the deliver me enjoyment. If I have to work for that enjoyment by effectively _not_ playing the game (not using weapons, magic, abilities), then its not a good deal for me.

      In the same vein, you could make the argument that Master Of Orion 3 is a good game if you look past the spreadsheets.

      Lastly: gamers already have a horribly publisher-pleasing, bend-me-over-rape-my-ass customer attitude, and such defensive posts only further that. Stop this. You are a paying customer for a product. Not a serive, a product. You are completely entitled to enjoy it out of the box, you are completely entitlled to voice harsh criticism, and you should not, under any circumstances, let copmanies get away with such shite.

      • takfar says:

        Whoa. I’m pretty sure you read my post all wrong. I’m not saying the difficulty level in the game is fine, and I’m not defending the developer. I actually think the first levels are basically mind-numbing. I’m just giving a suggestion (something I tried myself) to improve the game for people who are bored by the default difficulty.

  22. kalirion says:

    “The second setting, or at least what I’ve played so far, feels like what you’d experience with a boxfresh Diablo II or Titan Quest or Torchlight”

    Wait, Titan Quest? The game that was famously super-easy on Normal until around the middle of Act 3? Just how easy is Diablo 3′s Normal then? The equivalent of Torchlight’s “Easy” selection?

    • Moraven says:

      You can still die if careless. Also in co op games some things can take you down quick. (Damn the Wasps that fire nukes in 4 man games.)

      Your equipment makes a big difference. If you hit up the AH for everything, you will rock through Normal pretty fast. Do not have anything Vit in Act 4 during a co op, you will get 1-2 shot from boss.

      Bought a nifty Xbow during Act 3, could multishot groups easily with 2-3 in the game.

  23. AmateurScience says:

    Fair points all I think, I’m just into act II of a nightmare playthrough and the game has certainly beefed up significantly. I made the mistake of ‘completing’ normal twice with different classes before starting Nightmare and now whenever I play I can’t shake this feeling that I’m a hamster on a wheel and that I could be doing better things. I suspect a wee break and coming back to the game in a day or two will sort that out though.

    Also, it’s much better with friends, particularly if you’re voice-chatting too.

  24. Bluerps says:

    Ah, so you never said that you hated the game. I was a little confused because people kept saying that, and I thought I had somehow missed the “Diablo 3 is shit” article.

    I agree with most of your verdict – my first ten hours with my Wizard haven’t been boring. Though I admit that that impression could change if I’d start a new game with a new class.

    • subedii says:

      You didn’t. There was just a ridiculous amount of fan-angst when articles started coming out detailing some of the problems they had.

  25. Moraven says:

    Off hand likes:

    -World Events. Mini events throughout the world that reward exploring. Some give a little lore background. Still have not seen them all.

    -Set pieces. Particularly Act 3. Reminds me a lot of Titan Quest in some areas with a expansive background, but this one very active. Great to be constantly bombarded, soldiers being grabbed from flyers, seeing assault worms from the surface approach then appear at the top. Lots of detail all around.

  26. MrEvilGuy says:

    “No player must be greater than the game itself.”
    -Rollerball Rocco

  27. fish99 says:

    The game is fun, and I don’t regret buying it, despite being hacked, and unable to play several evenings. If it innovates anywhere it’s in making you use 6 skills all the time (at least with elective mode), rather than having to F-Key through them all and ending up only using a few. I also think the physics add something, but it’s a shame you only appreciate that as Barb/Monk – my DH never sent bodies flying anywhere.

    Overall though, it’s Diablo …… again, and Diablo is still a very fun co-op game. Maybe the hardcore Diablo 2 crowd find elements of it dissapointing, but for casual players like me, it ticks all the boxes.

  28. BatmanBaggins says:

    I just think they missed the mark in the loot system, and the general tone of the game. It’s less “gothic horror” and more “Saturday morning cartoon villainy”. The constant taunting from a certain someone in Act 4 over the PA system is just terribad.

    It’s a fun enough game but it won’t have the longevity that D2 did.

  29. Henson says:

    I miss Diablo 1.

    I mean, sure, it was a click-fest that destroyed many a mouse, and subsequent entries have improved on that basic gameplay of clicky-clicky, but it seems that no game of the same genre has been able to match the first for its great focus on atmosphere.

    Descending further and further downward through the church, traveling at a ponderous pace, you really got a feeling for the sheer depth (ha ha pun) of the corruption around you, for the heavy, oppressive atmosphere pressing in from all sides. ‘Hell’ was more than just a word; it felt visceral – real. It was wonderfully paced, and I’m waiting for Diablo to rekindle that magic once again.

    • Cockles says:

      I’m with you on this, I loved the atmosphere of Diablo 1. On the surface there was a (barely) functioning town that had a lingering whiff of evil boiling just under the surface and the deeper you went, the more corrupted everything got. It was like a metahporical journey inside of the darkest reaches of ones own soul (as a child I once called my sister fat in order to get some sweets off of her, THAT’S how dark my soul gets). The classes were simple but distinct and the loot system was pretty tight, it really felt like my character was progressing.

      To me, Diablo 2 lost the edge that the first game had. I couldn’t really find a home in any of the classes and there seemd to be too much damn stuff to collect, the items didn’t really feel that special and the missions weren’t that interesting to me, wandering around forests and deserts didn’t have the same impact as the church and crypts from 1, I equate the first game to a fly entering a spider’s web to get to the middle of the web because the spider has… possessed a child? This analogy isn’t really going anywhere.

      I’ve not played Diablo 3, perhaps I’ll pick it up one day when it’s cheap but I get the impression that Blizzard have focussed on the stuff that gets people hooked rather than drenching the game in atmosphere.

  30. zagor says:

    nobody cares what John or some Jim who plays some over hyped(on rps at least )game called Day Z
    D3 is as marvel of a game
    combat is super fun and killing is satisfying and rewarding
    level of details and design is is amazing,there are no bugs or glitches at all,coop is a breeze,classes amazing,graphic and physics are a wonder …u can play with anyone from a massive region
    not to mention a replay value,hc mode,multiple difficulties…
    This is the game we PC gamers are gonna mention when some console feller say PCgaming is doomed,we waited and we gain the most popular exclusive out of all three platforms!
    Also,log in/connection issues are a thing of a past,who did not expected that when there was 4 millions peoples on launch that wanted to log in…

    • Kresh says:

      “Also,log in/connection issues are a thing of a past,who did not expected that when there was 4 millions peoples on launch that wanted to log in…”

      Oh, um, the internet called, and it wants to know if you’ll share what you’re smoking.

      “nobody cares what John or some Jim who plays some over hyped(on rps at least )game called Day Z
      D3 is as marvel of a game”

      Yet Zagor, wise sage Zagor, he’ll be remembered for his brave defense of said game in the face of people who had a different opinion than his. Glad I was here to see it. Probably be telling my kids about the day I read his post.

      • zagor says:

        i hope your kids wont be as ignorant as you are
        no one could pull it of,even if they had some mega servers from the future
        With that unexpected numbers of players across one of three massive regions it was impossible to sustain it
        Also Zagor is a popular character from a legendary same- titled comic book

  31. Zael says:

    First off, I think this site is great and it’s my first stop to any PC gaming news/opinions. That said, I’m really dissapointed by this verdict. I mean you don’t really tell us anything here. Diablo 3 deserves to be condemned for its awful DRM etc etc. But looking past that, this game does bring something new to the ARPG genre, it does innovate. I was hoping you guys were going to talk about these innovations.

    There are a few new things Diablo 3 throws at us, such as events, party-wide healing health globes, the auction house.But the two main innovations come through stat customization and the skill system. Stat customisation first: One of the things I’ve seen Diablo 3 criticised for is the removal of stat allocation on levelling up. That is to say, when you level up you get a few points to distribute into your stats. This has been a common mechanic in pretty much every RPG I can name, but Blizz decided to remove it in Diablo 3, in favour of automatic point allocation. Now on the surface this looks likes less customisation, however nothing can be further from the truth. Blizzard didn’t remove stat allocation, they merely moved it to gemming. Let me explain, gems now come with massive stat bonuses. They also have no required level, they drop very regularly and are cheap as chips on the
    auction house. Now as an example take a max level character, he will probably have 8 or 9 sockets to play around with.

    The highest level gem gives a +58 bonus to a primary stat. This means the player now has around 464 points to play around with. Considering in a normal aRPG you get about 5 points to allocate every level up, a max level player would only have 300 points at his disposal. Not only that, but gems do more than just increase a primary stat, a player can choose to increase damage speed, magic
    find, pickup radius, critical hit %, life drain, the list goes on.

    But that’s only one part of this new system. The second (and I would argue more important) effect is that it takes away the need to pre-empt the game. Allocating stats as you level up is extremely risky, what if I don’t buff my health enough and come across a boss that does high unavoidable AoE damage? What if I’ve been ignoring my strength and I come across this amazing new sword that requires far more strength than I have? Diablo’s new system manages to avoid all of that and gives us increased stat customisation. (And before someone comes into to yell at me about Diablo 2 also having gems, the highest level gem in Diablo gave you a +10 stat increase, and you had less slots in which to socket them.)

    Diablo 3′s equipment also has no stat requirements, meaning you never have to increase a stat purely to keep up with the equipment dropping at your level. If you’re level 40 and you feel like you’re doing plenty of damage but your health is a bit low, you can afford to drop your primary stat for vitality without worrying about being able to use that lovely new helm that’ll drop off the next boss. Finally, Diablo 3 has also removed the annoyances of stat allocation. I’m sure you’ve come to a point, like me, where you’re at a high level and stats become less relevant and you start dumping them all into one stat. You don’t even think about it, you level up and throw all your points in to that stat because they’re useless anywhere else. After a certain point in Diablo 2 you just dumped all your stats into vitality for example. This doesn’t happen with Diablo 3.

    Ok now to the skill system. Go and take a look at the Torchlight skill tree (Disclaimer: I love Torchlight I just thought it’d be the most appropriate example). How many passives can you count there? More importantly how many skills are in there that you can actual map onto a mouse or keyboard
    and see on the screen? Looking at the Destroyer as an example, taking all three trees I can count 15 skills that you can actually map onto a mouse or keyboard and use. Let’s take a level 20 Torchlight character and a level 20 Diablo 3 character. Now as a level 20 Destroyer I’ll head down the Beserker/Spectral tree and I’ll probably put about 2 levels into Slash, about 4 into Dual-Wielding, 3 into Shadow Armour, 2 into Armour Expertise another 4 into adventurer and 5 into Chain Vortex. With that build I only have three actual moves I can use, the rest of my points have gone into straight up passive skills and then upgrades to skills I’ve chosen. Even if you think I’m being disingenuous here, I’ll pick every single actual ability I can actual map and I get ten different abilities.

    Let’s compare that to my level 20 Diablo 3 character. Let’s stick with big meaty guys and pick the Barbarian. At level 20 I have 15 different skills to choose from. Not only that, but I also have runes to consider. I’m not going to bother checking how many different runes there are at that level, but
    it certainly brings up the number. (Yes I would consider runes another skill since they have a completely new effect and come with their own graphics
    and everything).

    Ok the point of all that wasn’t to put down Torchlight, it was to try and highlight this new skill system Blizzard have created. The ARPG has always used the “tree” mechanic. In the tree mechanic you go down or up a skill tree putting points into different abilities. Some of these are abilities you can map and use, others are passives. But the tree mechanic also allows you to upgrade a skill by putting points into it. These upgrades are always a passive buff, usually increasing damage or something. The point is, with the tree system you’re spending a lot of points on abilities you don’t actually get to use. You’re putting points into a skill simply to increase the numbers that are happening off screen. However in Diablo 3, every skill you get you can actually use (apart from passives but they’re a minority compared to the wealth of mappable skills.) Runes are the new upgrades, but instead of just increasing off screen numbers, these actually have a new effect.

    Just as an example, let’s take the Barbarian skill “Cleave”. With this skill you can have a rune that causes enemies to expload which deals damage to surrounding enemies, another that generates extra fury, another that knocks back enemies 6 yards on a critical hit, another that reduces movement
    speed, and then admittedly one that simply increases weapon damage, but 4/5 ain’t bad. With this skill system Diablo 3 is letting you actually do and see more. You might ask what’s wrong with passives and off screen number increases? Well nothing if that’s your thing, but I think ARPGs are all about watching massive numbers of monsters rushing towards you and then turning into a red mist as you mash your keyboard.

    Finally, Diablo 3s skill system is extremely flexible. Going through the normal campaign on my Witch-Doctor I must have switched my build about 7 or 8 times. This is what ARPGs are about, experimentation. Simply clicking on enemies gets very boring, very quickly. Instead, ARPGs have always been (for me at least) about collecting loot and working on my builds. Diablo 3 encourages this, not only with an extremely flexible swap-in swap-out system, but also by unlocking runes for
    older skills, meaning there’s never a skill you’ll forget about. There have been several times where I’ve used a skill at an early level, dumped it for a newer one only to go back to it after unlocking a new rune. This would never happen with the “tree” mechanic because firstly there’s no incentive to go back to an old skill and secondly even if I wanted to I’d have to dump a load of points into it or go through the hassle of respeccing (if that’s even an option).

    There is one complaint I’ve heard over and over again about this new system. It doesn’t allow a player to be unique. If everyone has access to the same skills then I’m going to be just like Joe Wizard over there. I have some sympathy with this arguement, but Diablo 3 allows for over a billion different combinations per class. Even more impressively is that a lot of those builds are viable. Creating a skill system that doesn’t have one or two all encompassing builds is extremely impressive (especially if you’re an ex-wow player like myself). As an example, I was playing on my level 25 monk last night with a friend of mine who was also a monk. At one point I asked him what skills he was using and it turns out he wasn’t using a single skill I was using. I don’t think that situation will happen to me alone.

    Oh god look at this wall of text, sorry about that! Anyway listen, I have no problem with people hating Diablo 3. The DRM sucks, the decision to force everyone to play through normal was idiotic, the story is….bad, and I’ve no doubt the rumours of Blizz testing horrible acids on bunnies are true. But Diablo 3 does innovate, it really does. And as much as people are fully within their rights to complain about this game, I think we shouldn’t lose sight of these new mechanics in the genre, because personally
    I think they’re pretty great.

    • theleif says:

      You are objectively approximately absolutely 100% right about this, and I would love if other aRPG:s got inspired by it. Actually experimenting with my abilities has been the most fun so far (still on act 3, Normal).

    • Truffleshack says:

      The Diablo 3 gem system to clarify amounts to this:
      Primary stat gem in all other slots / Ruby in Weapon (Unless you have some weird crit build) / and your choice between Magic Find / Gold Find / Vit in helm. So the customization you are harping on is not quite as complex as you would lead us to believe. The gem system is a massive gold-sink, but doesn’t add anything “interesting” to the game.

      One of the main problems of Diablo 3 is the fact that character progression (read: power) is shifted from being divided between levels (and points put into skills) and items, to being almost entirely invested in items. Aside from the 180 or so main stats you get from level to level 60 all of your power comes from the items you equip. This reinforces the need for the AH, but also ultimately undermines the appeal of the game because the itemization that you depend on is so boring (statholders and the quest for bigger numbers).

      • Zael says:

        I’m not trying to lead you to believe it’s complex, in fact if anything it’s very simple which is a great thing. I’m trying to lead you to believe that it’s extremely powerful. You’re right about the other/helm/weapon and I took that into account. Your other slots include your torso, amulet, ring, boots, belt, shoulders. Now at level 60 you’re going to be coming across torsos that have 2-3 sockets and other various items having more than one socket, hence the 8-9 sockets I was “harping on about”.

        I’m not sure of the relevance of your second point. I’ve played a lot of ARPGs and pretty much all of them eventually come down to itemization. Even with stat allocation, Diablo 2 was very much about your gear, as was Titan Quest and Torchlight. I agree that Diablo 3 is even more gear dependent, but in a game that’s about reveling in loot, I don’t see how that’s a bad thing?

        I think maybe your second point is more a criticism of ARPGs in general, and that’s fine. If you don’t like ARPGs you don’t like them, but I’m talking about games within the genre, and not whether or not the genre is good in a wider context.

        • Truffleshack says:

          The problem with the itemization is that it’s really bland compared to a lot of other ARPGs. Legendary items are forgettable, and you are never going to get an item that you pick up and think twice about, things are either an upgrade or vendor trash/(or at best AH). One look at the item comparison and it’s either sold or you slap it on. It feels hollow. For example, since you bring up Torchlight, in Torchlight 2 uniques are feel interesting in that they usually have unique affixes unavailable on other rare or magic items. Crazy shit like “+50% minion run speed,” well ok? Why would I want that? Maybe you won’t, you probably won’t, but it makes you think about the item for a little bit and think how you might use it. It might be super good for one specific build and suck for most others, but to me it feels like a bit more “unique” than a rare consisting of a gob of primary stats.

          • abraxas says:

            I agree with you that the itemization seems rather bland so far. I’m admittedly “only” on Nightmare Act 2, so there’s still a lot of items I have yet to see (which are hopefully less boring/better usable by my class). But that really has nothing to do with the point about stat allocation now being automatic.

            While I realize why distributing your stat points did and would still to this day appeal to people (and having the ability to experiment is always good), I really don’t think it’s that bad of a decision. I already liked it back in WoW (I know, I know, blasphemous thing to say and everything).

            This is somewhat exaggerated to get my point across but I honestly don’t see the appeal of investing 20+ hours into a character and then realizing, a difficulty and a few bosses later that, whoops, I completely screwed myself by giving way too little INT and way too much VIT to my Wizard to ever go further than this. 20 hours wasted on a character that I can either farm easier content with or just retire and throw in the trash. I’d rather sacrifice that bit and substitute the ability to experiment with stats for the ability to grind for some loot and improve my character through that. If your “success” depends on your gear, you usually are able to get better gear in the area you’re stuck in. If you screwed up your stat distribution, you’ve (most likely) fucked up long ago and are now paying the price for it.. with no way to change it.

            A stat reset NPC/book/Skill/whatever would alleviate this problem but I find those exceptionally boring and, to me at least, they take much more away than having my stats distributed automatically to accomodate my class. If you can just push a big reset button at the end you might as well just let the game decide where your stat points go.

          • Schaap says:

            I felt exactly the same about the itemization, but no worries, it finally picks up steam in hell. I’m really enjoying hell so far (in act 2 atm), this is how an arpg should be. They really messed up with normal imo. Nightmare for me would’ve been the ideal starting difficulty, and if you want to continue playing after that, hell gives you a nice combo of difficulty and item drops.

          • Truffleshack says:

            Re:Abraxas

            To clarify, obviously the stat allocation system from D2 was bad, if there was a stat allocation system in D3 it would also be equally bad because there really isn’t any meaningful choice in where you allocate (Damage + Defense/Defense/Health). My point about the gem system wasn’t a defense of stat allocation it was “they replaced a bad system with an equally braindead system designed to suck your gold” It’s a more cynical system because of the enormous gold needed to improve your gems and to train the Jeweler. The only concrete difference is you can’t screw up permanently (Not that you would if you were vaguely aware of what the stats did). They had a much more interesting gemming system in earlier iterations of D3, but the system we ended up getting is awful.

            My second point is that the “Power budget” is extremely different from either D2 or D1. In D1 and D2 you got a large portion of your power from becoming a higher level character. Stats on items in D1 and D2 are really stingy (and hence screwing up stat allocation on characters more painful), and in D2 you could increase the base damage on the specific skills you were using by allocating skill points. What people fail to acknowledge about the skill tree system, is that it allowed you to guarantee some increase in power from one level to the next. You could get a lot further in D2 with bad gear due to this difference. Things are entirely based on gear in D3 and there is a lot more sideways growth (runes). To put stats in D3 in perspective, the auto stats you get at level 60 are roughly equivalent to the item budget on one level 60 magic item. Where this becomes a problem is that due to the scarcity of good drops, you are forced on the AH to actually “level up.” It’s just a really unsatisfying system. I think that the old rune system would have been a great way to address this complaint and I am really disappointed that they changed things so dramatically so near to release. Runes with ranks that you could socket as your choose would have both added meaningful customization as well as the feel of more incremental growth for characters.

    • Moraven says:

      Always felt in TQ I was gimping my character. I was more slight tank with debuffs. Could not do damn for damage tho.

      Should I have skipped all those points in mana pool? I have no idea. I got through it, but you keep thinking how under powered your character could be.

      • Truffleshack says:

        TQ’s stat system definitely has some issues. There are general ratios that are recommended in the community for different builds, but almost all of them I know say to avoid Health / Mana for characters. There is a lot of room to screw up, and the inclusion of items with % increases to stats really compounds that. This also has the side effect of dooming most hybrid (melee + elemental damage) classes since you need Dex/Str for melee weapons, but get most of your power out of Int.

  32. hernismall says:

    The problem with RPS is that.. while I dont mind the humor in their posts, when it comes to games that I actually care about, their humor becomes rather insulting/trollish. Even if they all agreed that D3 was great game, then I’d love for them to just get to the fucking point instead of wasting our time in worthless chit-chat that in the end tells us what we already know.

    Fuck this website and fuck its writers. :D

    • Kresh says:

      Sounds like you took the criticism personally. They were talking about the game, not you. Unless your name IS Diablo 3. In which case, there lots of people who want to know why your log-on servers suck.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      All you basically just said is you hate RPS for being what makes RPS stand out and be unique.
      Basically just made everyone go: Uhm. Why did you even choose this website over “Its definitely not more than a 7/10 because herpderp” comments infested everyplace else-ington?

  33. Aether says:

    Well as much as I love the alt-text of the opening picture. That is Azmodan not Belial.
    Still an enjoyable read though.

  34. grizzled young man says:

    Great review.

    You know what’s funny right now? It’s been basically impossible to play the game all day today.

    I don’t play enough PC games to know better, but if this isn’t a real low in terms of quality control for PC gaming, we’re all in shit shape.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Indeed it has been down in the central US for 4 hours. Would be a little less annoying if the “BREAKING NEWS” was a little more recent or there was a post on the boards. Oh well I’ll just read another book. Maybe some more Hugh Howey.

      • grizzled young man says:

        If only Blizzard was a huge company with thousands of employees and billions in revenue. Then they’d have had the resources to do it right the first time.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      If people keep surrendering their funds and thus their only way of influence FIRST before then realizing they supported something only worth complaining about beforehand then we’re all going to be in shit shape.

  35. Freud says:

    I do agree that Normal is a bit too easy. It’s basically mandatory story time. It looks amazing , plays amazing but the challenge isn’t where it should be. You do get to experiment with all the skills in relative peace and don’t have to focus on using the best skills, which is a positive thing.

    At the same time the game in the later acts of Inferno can be brutally hard. The wrong type of mob with the wrong type of abilities will kill you in an instant. You have to get over the idea that just because the mob is there you have to kill it. Sometimes it’s better to just kite the enemy to a corner and die so you can carry on.

    I don’t think I can recall a game that starts out that gently being so punishing towards the end. It’s fun seeing people who start the game complain it’s too easy and people who play Inferno complain it’s too hard.

  36. piratmonkey says:

    I’ve already gotten $60 of enjoyment out of D3, can’t really ask for more than that.

  37. theleif says:

    “Adam: If it was a wrestler, who would it be?”
    Obviously Ravishing Rick Rude.

  38. wuwul says:

    You pretty much suck.

    You should have killed Inferno Diablo by now if you played full time.

    Not even getting to 60 is really bad.

    • twig_reads says:

      Because being writers in RPS means you don’t have to do anything else then play Diablo 3 every day. All the other articles magically happen in zero amount of time.

  39. SketchyGalore says:

    I heavily disagreed with John’s article about D3 in the past, but this line really made my eyes roll:

    “John: Yes, but EVE was bad for a period of time, then was good from the moment you started playing later on. That’s not the case here. We can’t fall into the trap of forgetting the first ten hours of something, just because something good comes later.”

    Really? EVE is the one you’re going to use to defend that point? EVE plays like reading a dictionary for the first several dozen hours. If you mean by “the moment you started playing later on” as the several months in the future after your skills had leveled up enough on their own for you to do something other than putz around as an astrohobo, then yes, the game is great then… thirty hours and two months later. But to say that a game should only be judged by the first X hours of play is just boneheaded!

    And even if D3 was only to be judged by its opening content, I’d still think it was a great game! A little easy, sure, but that’s a dent in the armor, not the indication of a bad or even mediocre game. Torchlight was used elsewhere in the discussion on difficulty. Can you honestly call the opening few hours of Torchlight at ALL challenging (without the aid of mods and such)?

    But, I’m laying down my arms. It’s been a rocky couple of weeks and I want to thank RPS for finally putting out a “final” article on this stuff. I was starting to get annoyed by Diablo 3 hate spewing from the mouth of my favorite website every twelve hours. But, all good relationships have arguments sometimes, right? Hugs?

  40. Mallic says:

    Any word on Australian servers?

  41. Belsameth says:

    I would avise playing HC. Even normal becomes a lot more tense…
    You *can* screw up in normal and die, especially in Act 3 and 4 (tho my first HC char died at level 13, just after the skeleton king. Charging bull + tree poison). The fact that every tiny screwup means end of the line adds a *lot*

  42. Sidion says:

    The DRM and loot system are what ruined this game for me. I bought it hours before launch. Pre-loaded a good two hours prior to servers opening for me (in the us). I then waited with Day Z.

    I began trying to log in at 11:59. I got in once at 12:48 only to be disconnected immediately after. Oh well says I after venting profusely on forums. It’ll be fine tomorrow, AND I have tomorrow off. Win.

    I log on the next day and can’t play til 4 pm my time, when I do get to play the experience on my monster of a gaming rig is laggy and unsatisfactory. Oh well, tomorrow the lag will go away says I. And so it did. And I played and played, and beat normal in two days.

    Then I realized that while I’d wanted to play this game alone. (Due to me generally wanting all other life-forms to fall into pits of fire.) I had paid for multiplayer and I wanted to get use of it. (Hell they kept me online for it right?)

    So I proceed a while down the line later to bring a friend over and try to get them to see the game.

    Oh look at that. Another server downtime for a ‘hotfix’. Oh well I’ll show him the game play and the classes til it comes back online.

    Oh but this fix is delayed you say? Suddenly I instead show my friend Day Z.

    “Well I wont buy ArmA 2 AND Diablo 3… Which is really better dude?” He asks me.

    It was a very easy call and now Blizzard lost a sale. Seriously any game that is completely unplayable when some company decides it should be so, should burn in HELL.

    I don’t give a flying flipping %$#* about your WoW’s, your GW’s, your TOR’s, or MMORPG’s. Screw any game that cannot be played when someone else decides it can’t be. If this were ANY other damn medium besides games there would be all sorts of lawsuits and the like.

  43. Iskariot says:

    “I conclude that most people will buy Diablo III and find it to be moderately entertaining”
    -
    So Diablo 3 is a moderately entertaining game with one of the worst ‘always online’ DRM ever conceived in gaming history.
    -
    So glad I decided not to buy it.

  44. Elmokki says:

    Diablo 3 starts at Hell and after. Really, until that it’s more or less boring grind. They’ve seriously not tested the game enough prior to release as usually starting from hell and definitely in inferno 75%+ skills and runes for any class are just crap and the game imposes one or maybe two different builds (with some minor adjustments) on players. Inferno scaling is also retarded. Act I my monk can faceroll, and by faceroll I mean I can just hold left click down on most elites (one arcane sentry or poison blob isn’t enough to kill me, but some mobs still have “AVOID THESE”-attacks that hurt a lot when they’re elites and tons of fire and poison is too much) to kill them. On Butcher I can just hold left click too as long as I’m not standing in fire – his extra “avoid these” attacks take like 50% of my hp pool, but my 800ish life on hit and huge attack speed will heal me quite quickly.

    Itemization, however, is the worst thing in the game. Either you need to grind for ages OR go bargain hunting in AH. Since I got to Inferno I’ve spent like 50% of my time trying to find huge bargains in AH since it’s FAR more effective for both gaining money by reselling and getting gear than actually playing the game.

    I’m waiting for Torchlight II, but Diablo 3 is a reasonable way to pass time until that :)

    • frightlever says:

      Sadly, the Auction House has activated some shopping gene in me I didn’t know I had. I spend ages on there. I swore I wouldn’t use it but it’s just another aspect of hunting and gathering.

  45. frightlever says:

    I accept that I’m unlikely to make it to Inferno with my monk, playing solo. Which is fine. I’ll probably have fifty hours or more played by the time I get to the point where I can’t progress at a non-punishing pace. So I’ll re-roll… but the thought of having to drag a new character through normal depresses the hell out of me. They need to do something about that. The difficulty curve just isn’t right yet.

    Every time I log out of the game, I’m all that’s it I’m done with it. And I keep coming back.

  46. Lajcik says:

    I kind of agree and disagree with you at the same. But first, as a word of introduction – I’m currently rolling a lvl60 DH and just unlocked inferno.

    I disagree with the statement that there is hardly any innovation in D3. There is, and quite a lot. But it’s in the details, the mechanics:
    * Skill system. It was a very risky move seeing how a lot of people are mentally stuck on the skill tree/map model and it payed off big in my opinion. It’s so flexible and accessible yet complex and full of surprise. I just love tweaking my build over and over, finding solutions to challenges presented by the game. A monster one-shots me? Outruns me? surrounds me? There are skills to counter all of that, but finding the right combination to be able to deal with anything the game can throw at you is a tough riddle. Especially once you reach level 60 and are heavily discouraged by the game to change skills during a run by the application of Nephalem Valor.
    * Resource system. It was a great idea to diversify the classes by having each use a different type of resource. It really makes each class different.
    * Difficulty/balancing. While there are issues here, some of which you mentioned (which blizzard stated are going to be addressed) they have really done a great job here. The way difficulty is increasing really forces you to rethink your strategies and how you play. If you try to headbutt your way you’re only going to get frustrated. While this may not be an innovation per se, it’s what changed from D2 the most imho. D2 (and all other diablo clones) just ramp up on monster stats so you have to ramp up on yours. While this is still somewhat true in D3 (the core of the game is to upgrade your toon) there is a lot more to it now because of how champion scale pack and how the skill system is laid out. For example, I spent like an hour trying to defeat a boss who 1-shot me over and over with his charge attack, then I sat down, changed my build and approach and beat him easily on the next try.

    To wrap this up – Sure, the core concept of the game is unchanged since Diablo 1, but this is what makes the game a series. And sure – there are some problems here and there, but blizzard is addressing many of those which is only going to make the game better.

    Also, hardcore has been around in diablo since the first game so I don’t know why you’re mentioning this as a novelty, perhaps I read that wrong.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      I’ve not really seen this answered, what happens when you reach level 60, do your skills improve as you gain more XP?

      Very shiny but shallow game so far…

  47. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    It’s a reasonably solid but mostly forgettable ARPG. Nothing special about it whatsoever. 7/10

  48. ThaneSolus says:

    So you bought a $60 game with DRM Online for singleplayer and you are happy about that. Great…

    Can wait for the next DRM Online SP Game i wont buy.

  49. CPLDANABD says:

    I think they were too lenient on it. But then again the Diablo games just never really clicked with me.

  50. Minsc_N_Boo says:

    I am on the “waiting for Torchlight 2″ bandwagon. I was all set to buy this, despite the RMAH, and always online content. After I couldnt get onto the beta servers I preordered TL2 instead.

    I am still in 2 minds. The game looks freaking awesome, but the hacked accounts and single player lag is making me think I made the right choice. Why is being noble so hard? :-(

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