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  1. #1
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    I am addicted to Diablo 3 - which surprised me...

    Diablo 3 isn't the game it used-to-be - it's also not the game you might think it is...

    It may LOOK like an ARPG but it's actually a crazy hybrid of bullet-hell shooter, speedrunner, fruit machine and clicker.

    As always, Blizzard polished-the-fuck out of it. There's a relentless sense of upgrade/improvement, paired with a literal deluge of loot which open-up some really interesting ways of building (and rebuilding and rebuilding again) your character.

    You can even avoid the story/campaign (though you probably shouldn't) as "Seasonal" characters gain instant access to Adventure Mode/Rifts. Furthermore, all characters have a range of difficulty settings from-scratch which means once you have the hang of things, you can whack up the difficulty and mow through the levels at your own pace.

    As you level-up, you'll go from systematically potshotting enemies (as in a trad. ARPG) to being more of a moving cloud of death, damage will be oozing from your every pore, every fight will be a tornado of enemies being torn apart/thrown/stunned/feared or just battered into submission.

    Every Bounty/Rift is then a spin of the fruit-loot machine, you'll want just one more go because you pretty-much always get something worth having and you'll want to try out the thing you got the last time whilst getting the next thing!

    Enchanting and the (Po)Kanai(mon) Cube open-up many possibilities for tailoring gear without too much grind and there's a 'gotta catch em all' aspect if that's your thing.

    tl;dr I didn't expect D3 to be the game it is and I'm LOVING it, you should maybe take a peek too because there's really nothing else like it - it's polished-to-hell-and-back - literally!

    We have a guild here - come along, pwn shit, click... click... click...

  2. #2
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    Are Seasons still just "start from the start again, earn a bonus bit of cosmetic kit"? The issue I had with them was when you completed the campaign and hit max level, you were out of stuff to do on the season. Compare to Path of Exile's Leagues, where you have a new economy, some medium sized changes and a greater range of builds.

    I did like D3, but the grind for gear just got me down a bit in the end. I've not played since the Cube came out, though, so maybe I should give it a go.

  3. #3
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    A Seasonal Character starts completely from scratch and cannot share anything with Non-Seasonal characters (Money, Stash, Artisans, Paragon Levels)

    You can reroll an existing char and their gear is mailed to you for later reuse (Seasonal Chars become regular chars when the Season ends) but I guess that's just for people out of slots?

    Seasonal Chars get free access to Adventure Mode and Rifts, higher chance of drops, Bounties which award a decent 6-piece legendary set/a pet and probably more - obviously there's a bigger pool of people playing these which is the whole idea of it, it's great for new players in particular.

    Kanai's Cube changed the game ENORMOUSLY in terms of reducing grind - it can change the slot of a gear piece (got 2 chests? make one into gloves!) - it can make Rares into Legendaries (esp handy if you want a Wand not just a random 1h Weapon) and pull 'specials' off Legendaries which you can apply to your character (so you don't have to keep a weaker Legendary just to use it's special) - and more

    No need to grind for Rift keys now (Greater Rift keys drop in Rifts - Rifts are free-to-enter) - basically the game is more "grind gets loot" and less 'grind this to grind that to get loot - repeat'

    2.4 apparently made a lot of changes to itemization and other things which lapsed players really like - lots of new ways to build characters (some clearly a bit more OP than others!)

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    Kinda funny in that I was addicted to D3 until Patch 2.1 or whatever patch was like "hahaha I hope you like Greater Rifts and only Greater Rifts," and then I got pretty sick of it and stopped.

    I recently jumped back in and while you're totally right that it's some kind of insane bullet hell/speedrun nonsense game now, and that's kind of fun, it's not actually the game I want to play.

    I liked using random skills (literally decided by RNG), grabbing items out of my stash that complemented those skills, and then seeing how far I could get without dying with that build (run a rift or bounty set, if I survive, increase Torment level, if I die, I stop playing, re-randomize skills next time and drop down a Torment level, etc.).

    That playstyle doesn't really work anymore. I mean, it sort of does, but it feels kind of pointless when sets have crazy number inflation that allows you to insta-gib stuff. In like a year after RoS release I managed only to get up to like Torment IV or V; in a week or so playing a seasonal character in Patch 2.4 I was able to do Greater Rift 25 or something by just mashing the Haunt key over and over. It wasn't as fun.

    But I'm glad you're enjoying it! It definitely scratches a persistent itch in a lot of ways. And dat polish...

  5. #5
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    It's clearly not a trad. ARPG, but there's plenty of those out there I guess?

    I've been trying to find a video to give people an idea of what exactly is involved with Diablo 3 once you get geared-and-working - this is a Wizard slightly ahead of mine (on par with my Crusader perhaps) in a Rift you have 15mins to beat - beating it in 2



    For non-players, the objective is to kill Elites and collect tokens to fill the bar (killing other things fills it more slowly) - hence you zip around trying to find them and kill them quickly.

    Don't worry about the other mobs, plenty of poison/fire/bleeding will take them out without you standing-around waiting for that to happen (and nice loot is highlighted on the map so you know what to go back for!)

    Your speed/rift level is kept in a leaderboard for global/build purposes too - more chasing!
    Last edited by trjp; Today at 04:34 AM.

  6. #6
    Yes the game is more interesting and speedy.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    You had talked me into perhaps giving D3 another go with your previous post, but then that video talked me out of it. Maybe it's just been too long since I last looked at footage, but man the graphical fidelity and the aesthetics are pretty bad. One part mishmash of indistinguishable gray-brown environment, one part rainbow-colored effects and numbers barf. And the point of a bullet hell game is NEEDING to dodge the bullets, not just shrugging them off. Obviously Blizzard still doesn't understand what made D2 the better game.
    Last edited by Xzi; Today at 09:47 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xzi View Post
    You had talked me into perhaps giving D3 another go with your previous post, but then that video talked me out of it. Maybe it's just been too long since I last looked at footage, but man the graphical fidelity and the aesthetics are pretty bad. One part mishmash of indistinguishable gray-brown environment, one part rainbow-colored effects and numbers barf. And the point of a bullet hell game is NEEDING to dodge the bullets, not just shrugging them off. Obviously Blizzard still doesn't understand what made D2 the better game.
    Diablo 3 is the only game I can actually lose my mouse cursor in. I've played most ARPGs since their conception and never encountered that problem anywhere else, and in an ARPG it's quite a large problem. No idea which direction I'm going to move in, no idea where I'm aiming my abilities.

    That said, D3 stopped being an ARPG the moment they introduced those stupid greater rifts, it became a racing game. I hate racing games.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Skeletor68's Avatar
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    I just uninstalled it for another while yesterday. Ran a Demon Hunter to Level 70 and built a cold bola, 30 stack Fan of Knives Shadow Mantle build. Hilarious at lower Torment Levels to one shot bosses. I usually play a Witch Doctor.

    It's fun to try and push a build with a particular theme for a while. I usually lose interest once I'm just grinding for 1-2 items to finish what I'm trying to do. I'm really just playing the lotto at that stage.

    Great game though. I'll probably pop back in towards the end of the season and then do it again for the next one. It's a fun process with a real zen level of relaxation.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkFenix View Post
    Diablo 3 is the only game I can actually lose my mouse cursor in. I've played most ARPGs since their conception and never encountered that problem anywhere else, and in an ARPG it's quite a large problem. No idea which direction I'm going to move in, no idea where I'm aiming my abilities.

    That said, D3 stopped being an ARPG the moment they introduced those stupid greater rifts, it became a racing game. I hate racing games.
    Path of Exile is a better game all-around for my money. Even Torchlight 2 has things it did a lot better than Diablo 3. I still have to give Grim Dawn a shot.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Did nobody play D2 online by doing endless boss runs? "Andi-Run-238", " Andi-Run 239 NG NG NG - Go Go Go!!!" It was the only way I bothered to level a character, and once you leveled to about 70 in a single weekend you spent the rest of the time trying to find or trade (or illegally buying) skill charms online, trying to find the right runestones to make the right words to get the best gear.

    There's very little different between how I played Diablo 2 online and how I play Diablo 3 online except they made it infinitely easier to ensure I don't lose the group I'm playing with because we no longer have to keep starting new games to find more bosses.

    If I want to slow level a character, I'll do it in a private game and ignore my paragon levels until I get to 70. Otherwise, it's rifts for days which are just a replacement for boss rushes which is just how I played D2 with my friends way back when.

    Other than ascetics, there's not a lot different between D2 and D3. And you can turn the numbers off and the spell effects down if they're too much for you. I don't play with numbers on because I'm not some streamer/youtube mentalist who wants to show off their damage output. You can even shorten the numbers if you want to get a rough idea of the damage being done but want to see 2M instead of 2,000,000. Also, I've never lost the cursor playing the game because I'm never looking for the cursor. You don't need to know where the cursor is because it's in whatever direction you're moving or attacking. That might sound weird but it sounds equally as weird to me to say you need to know where the cursor is in a game that you're almost constantly moving or attacking in.

    Also, regarding season changes because some might not know, no you don't just do it for cosmetic gear anymore. They sort of ran out with that idea. Now in this season when you hit level 70 they give you two pieces of a unique class set. Then you kill a boss at a certain torment level for the next 2 and then you clear a Grift by yourself to get the last pieces of that set. So right from the bat they give you a fun class set to play around with. Then you have a tonne of ways to get pieces for other sets, which can be used for different play styles.

    If I want to farm deaths breath (component for the cube/crafting) I use a build that just has me running around shooting lightning and fire everywhere, never stopping, always running faster. If I want to do Grifts, I use a build that has me throwing tornadoes out there.

    The only thing I still fault D3 on is I still think there's a better solution they could implement for finding a game with people at your level. There's too many torment levels and people don't know/don't want to use the right ones. Why use T1 when you can leech xp much faster at t6?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    It may LOOK like an ARPG but it's actually a crazy hybrid of bullet-hell shooter, speedrunner, fruit machine and clicker.
    D2 was the same thing I should note. I remember thinking it was more like a scrolling shooter than a conventional RPG way back when.

    D3 is massively improved over what D3 was earlier, which is why you're liking it I suspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    Did nobody play D2 online by doing endless boss runs? "Andi-Run-238", " Andi-Run 239 NG NG NG - Go Go Go!!!" It was the only way I bothered to level a character, and once you leveled to about 70 in a single weekend you spent the rest of the time trying to find or trade (or illegally buying) skill charms online, trying to find the right runestones to make the right words to get the best gear.
    I sure played that way with my fiancée, who introduced me to that, as I'd been playing the "ARPG way" before.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xzi View Post
    You had talked me into perhaps giving D3 another go with your previous post, but then that video talked me out of it. Maybe it's just been too long since I last looked at footage, but man the graphical fidelity and the aesthetics are pretty bad. One part mishmash of indistinguishable gray-brown environment, one part rainbow-colored effects and numbers barf. And the point of a bullet hell game is NEEDING to dodge the bullets, not just shrugging them off. Obviously Blizzard still doesn't understand what made D2 the better game.
    Well there's 2 main activities at max level, the rifts and the greater rifts. That video is of rifts which have a capped difficulty level so any well optimized build wont have any danger from the mobs inside, and hence they become the crazy damage race that you see in the video. The greater rifts are like rifts but with no ceiling on the difficulty level so if you want to push to a high level of these it'll be a much slower affair where you wont be one shotting everything you walk past. The mobs however will often be one shotting you, which might be more to your bullet hell dodging preference.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    I enjoy a good ARPG romp, but I've never understood how people can just play these games for ever and ever. If playing with a group of friends and using it just as a way to hang out, sure, but the actual games just tend to get way too monotonous. D3 had the added problems of the main campaign being full of insultingly stupid dialogue (even by Blizzard standards) and the cast of enemies and bosses being kind of boring. I enjoyed bashing my way through it, but I haven't felt any real draw to go back.

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node DevinSmoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Setroc View Post
    Well there's 2 main activities at max level, the rifts and the greater rifts. That video is of rifts which have a capped difficulty level so any well optimized build wont have any danger from the mobs inside, and hence they become the crazy damage race that you see in the video. The greater rifts are like rifts but with no ceiling on the difficulty level so if you want to push to a high level of these it'll be a much slower affair where you wont be one shotting everything you walk past. The mobs however will often be one shotting you, which might be more to your bullet hell dodging preference.
    Also worth noting that video is quite old and someone with that gear and those paragon levels now would be running much higher things almost as quickly, for the most part.

  16. #16
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    I completely disagree on the graphical fidelity - I love how D3 looks and the world is rendered in a RIDICULOUS level of detail and with a tonne of atmosphere. The work they put into those weapon racks which pop-out of the ground is probably akin to some mobile game development times ;0

    It gets hella busy but I've never really lost track of what I was doing. There are what I call "Diablo 3 deaths" - where you're teleported into multiple Molten Explosions or Walled into multiple Arcane Beams - but the game contains multiple means of instant resurrection - it EXPECTS some deaths - it's all part of the risk/reward stat balancing.

    p.s. there's no need to speedrun Rifts - you can play them any way you like, so long as you're done in 15 mins. Given that I've NEVER taken more than 10 - even on a too-high Rift where I died many times (ending-up with 30 second rez times) I was done WELL inside 15 mins, so...

    As for Path of Exile, I don't want to get drawn-into a comparison because PoE is a competitor to D2 and not D3 really. D3 moves the ARPG along and has been developed into a far more friendly/fun game. PoE is unforgiving, demands players build characters a certain way and is frankly an utter BORE to level-up a new character in.

    I enjoyed PoE at launch but 20-odd hours recently proved boring/grindy and I gave up completely in Act 3 - I'd likely already ruined my character build because I'd not followed any guides and the idea of redoing what I'd done was horrifying.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node Skeletor68's Avatar
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    I've played about 10 hours of Grim Dawn so far and have really enjoyed the story mode and exploration aspects. I was always more of a D2 fan than TitanQuest but it has been nice to have an ARPG to more sedately work through.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    As for Path of Exile, I don't want to get drawn-into a comparison because PoE is a competitor to D2 and not D3 really. D3 moves the ARPG along and has been developed into a far more friendly/fun game. PoE is unforgiving, demands players build characters a certain way and is frankly an utter BORE to level-up a new character in.

    I enjoyed PoE at launch but 20-odd hours recently proved boring/grindy and I gave up completely in Act 3 - I'd likely already ruined my character build because I'd not followed any guides and the idea of redoing what I'd done was horrifying.
    Not going to drag us too far off topic, but whilst I love D3, it doesn't meaningfully "move the ARPG along", because everything in D3 (the good version we have right now) is essentially derivative of D2. As people have noted, your entire description of D3 applies to D2. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not a "vision of the future" or something. It also sticks to some rather retrograde guns on some things.

    But it is an excellent game for sure.

    PoE is pretty divisive - I think in the end it comes down to "do you enjoy leveling characters?" and "do you enjoy complex builds"? If the answer is no to either, PoE is right out. D3's way of working means you don't need to re-level pretty much ever, and if you don't like a build, you can change it instantly (the corollary of course is the D3 builds are generally pretty simple - but that doesn't mean they ain't fun!).

    Worth noting, you say the idea of "redoing what I'd done was horrifying" - the thing is, once you get good at PoE, like mildly okay like me, not hardcore superspaceman (like I once was at D2), getting through act three in literally a few hours. Hell getting through act four and into the next difficulty is no way more than 8 unless I'm literally messing around. I think I've done it in under 4 hours before, and I'm pretty slow compared to some. I suspect the first time I played POE it took me 20 hours to get to the end of Act 3 too, when there was only an Act 3, but now? Hah!

    There is a trick though - you want to be slightly underleveled for an area, not overleveled, so you want to skip any sidequests that don't make you more awesomer.

    Plus any time they do a big patch they hand out full respecs for the characters affected.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    I enjoy a good ARPG romp, but I've never understood how people can just play these games for ever and ever. If playing with a group of friends and using it just as a way to hang out, sure, but the actual games just tend to get way too monotonous. D3 had the added problems of the main campaign being full of insultingly stupid dialogue (even by Blizzard standards) and the cast of enemies and bosses being kind of boring. I enjoyed bashing my way through it, but I haven't felt any real draw to go back.
    D3 is my listening to a podcast/watching dumb tv that doesn't require my full attention/talking to friends on skype game. It requires very little attention unless you're playing at a high difficultly level, most of it is second nature to me now and because there's no story going on I don't have to give it my full attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post

    As for Path of Exile, I don't want to get drawn-into a comparison because PoE is a competitor to D2 and not D3 really. D3 moves the ARPG along and has been developed into a far more friendly/fun game. PoE is unforgiving, demands players build characters a certain way and is frankly an utter BORE to level-up a new character in.

    I enjoyed PoE at launch but 20-odd hours recently proved boring/grindy and I gave up completely in Act 3 - I'd likely already ruined my character build because I'd not followed any guides and the idea of redoing what I'd done was horrifying.
    I felt very similar about PoE and put int about the same amount of hours before giving up. I really liked that they used the sphere-grid from FFX, because I like that method of character progression. But actually playing PoE, everything moved like it was stuck knee deep in a swamp.
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  20. #20
    Network Hub dudebro's Avatar
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    Yeah... the more you play Path of Exile, the less "complex" it reveals itself to be. Endgame character gameplay is fairly fast-paced, but not as polished as D3. You can take any of the skills in the game and plug support gems into them to come up with fairly interesting combinations; however, the end result is essentially the same screen-wide Area of Effect nuclear blast with different colors supported by a single or multiple elements. That's it.

    With D3, the way your can quickly switch a character's build by simply swapping equipment really robs you of any investment in your character's longevity. It's possible to get very bored with the game (the same can be said of PoE, since when you inevitably get bored of holding down the left mouse button and one-shotting entire packs of mobs, you're forced to level a new character entirely from scratch to simply fucking try something new... which ends up being essentially the same as your old character).

    I like both D3 and PoE, but I simply don't believe either game is "better" than the other.

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