Friday, May 25, 2012

Diablo III

I’m a gamer girl. Not one of those silly console gamers. A REAL gamer. Yanno, with a PC. Hah. Oh, don’t get bent out of shape. I’m just kidding, but not really. My computer is a techno-haven of advanced vid cards and state of the art processors. I don’t know a lot about computer hardware, but what I do know, has to do with making my gaming experience more efficient.
The day that I have been waiting for has finally arrived.
The release of Diablo 3.




It’s been 12 years since the release of Diablo 2. Which means I’ve been waiting for the development and release of Diablo 3 for 11 years and 363.5 days. When Diablo 2 was first released I didn’t leave my computer for a day and half until I had beaten the game. It was awesome. I played the shit out of that game. Sorceress, Necromancer, Assassin, Druid, oh yeah. I dabbled with the Paladin and Amazon but quickly got bored. I didn’t even bother with the Barbarian. I’m not a melee fighter. I like magic.

**whimsical sigh**

I have that excitement all over again. There are some things I’m still pretty iffy about. Cons but mostly Pros.

Let’s start with the Cons:

1.      You must be on Battle.net to play. Even as a single player. Arg. I’m not a social gamer. I like to play by myself so I don’t usually bother with Battle.net. Having to connect to the internet to play struck me as an intensely inconvenient requirement. What if I lose internet access? We have some pretty bad storms here occasionally. What if I were someone in some part of the world that just had shoddy internet access and couldn’t continuously connect? Bullshit.

Admittedly, it’s not as bad as I feared. I had my first game update yesterday and I was surprisingly pleased. I didn’t have to search for a patch or troll the forums to find out about a new update. It informed me automatically.



2.      I was skeptical about the early release. May 15th was the day it came out but rumors are that the game isn’t actually quite complete. There was apparently a lot of pressure to get it out so they released a less than perfect version to appease the powers that be. This means there’s going to be a lot of patches, updates, and (I’m hoping) a full expansion pack. Requiring a Battle.net connection will hopefully make all of these updates and additions a much less harrowing experience. 

3.      Selling any regular weaponry or armor that you pick up gets you diddly squat for gold. If you want any kind of real compensation you need to be selling only the magic and unique items you find. Which you might not want to do…

4.      I’m still not sold on the Skill selection and Rune advancement. You have Signature, Offensive, Utility, and Passive Skills. I like that you have your skill categories but I don’t like that you can only have the option of 6 Skills at your immediate disposal: One Signature Skill, one Offensive Skill, One Passive Skill, and a choice of 4 Utility hot button skills (Each of these Utility skills comes from it’s own grouping of skill sets but you can only activate one from each grouping at a time). You can switch up your skills whenever you want, but you have to stop and go into your Skill Tree and make the change instead of simply assigning more hot buttons keys.

You also don’t get to add more skill points to skills you prefer over others to increase their damage or effectiveness. You level up and unlock new runes with predetermined advancements that you may or may not want to use. Granted you don’t have to use them, and you can switch between your Rune advancements just as you do with the General skills but you can’t switch between any and all of them at the touch of a hotkey. I think there might be a fix or a hack for this. Forum time. There are a lot of really neat new skills, but I just wish I could make some specific ones more powerful instead of just unlocking something that I might not want to use.

Seriously, I don’t know about you, but one of the things I loved about Diablo II was the ability to set 20 hot keys and switch between all of my friggin skills.

Neutral/Interesting Points

You no longer transmute gems in a Horadric cube to combine for better goods. You have a marketplace Artisan who does this. The Blacksmith is also an artisan where you can transmute your magic and unique items to form crafting supplies. For both Artisans you pump gold into Training. The more training you invest in, the better the quality and level of equipment. From there you have the capability of constructing more complete gems, better armor, stronger weapons, etc. Invest in this!  It’s an interesting take on creating magic items and combining the stuff you pick up.



Pros

1.      The game is gorgeous. The graphics and designs are beautiful. I love just looking at it.

2.      I’m really happy they kept the 3rd person perspective. I am not a huge fan of 1st person shooter type games. I like having the ability to see the layout of the immediate environment around me. It enables you to be more capable of defending yourself. I also like that they brought the perspective down a little closer to the action. The monsters, demons, and details are awesome.

3.      I love that they have surprise Events. You still have your general Quests that you discover as you go along, but every now and again there’s a side quest that gives you the opportunity to get something special.

4.      I like that there are check boxes to remind you and verify when you’ve completed a task and/or directs you to the next goal or step in your quest.

5.      Character creation: You can choose any character class AND either gender for each character class! I can always be a girl! Love this. I may have my own gender identity issues, but no joke, I love a strong female character. Love.

6.      Character classes themselves = very cool. We have the Wizard, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Monk, and Barbarian. In descending order of my preferences.

7.      Speaking of character classes: You can switch between character classes at any point. You can start one game, and try out every character if you choose to. I have to admit, I have not taken advantage of this. I’m hard wired into character loyalty. I will eventually play all the characters (when I’m done with my WIZARD!) but I’ll be starting a new game and building that character up from scratch.

8.      You don’t have a limited number of potions you can hold in your belt. Pro! However, you do have a lag time between uses of Health Potions. Con.

a.       Speaking of Cons, you also have a Cool Down Time before you can reuse your hot button Utility Skills. This is aggravating to me since I’m a heavy magic user. They did this to increase the skill and difficulty level of the game. I get that. But damnit, I just want to kill shit.

b.      You can continuously use your Signature Skills without cost. You have Offensive Spells that use your Mana, which regenerates on its own, but you no longer have mana potions so you have to wait for regeneration. It forces you to allocate your defenses differently. I’m getting used to it.  

9.       You have health globes that drop form creatures to automatically refill your health. That’s pretty awesome.

10. You have more armor! Which means you have more options for customization and character abilities!

11. You can have a follower, much like the Hires from D2, whom also are able to level up plus they can achieve class skills to help you.

12. Okay, seriously, the Pros just go on and on. There is so much awesome about this game with just enough nostalgia from the previous ones that it all ties to together. I am such a fan.

Undecided

            Battle.net multi player. You can play with strangers or you can give out your personal ID and only play with a party of specific friends. I do think it’s pretty cool that you can do that easily from home now instead of having to huddle up your laptops on a LAN in someone’s basement. I just don’t know if this is really something I’m interested in. I had my first monster killing date with Tech Boy. He’s the only person I’ve taken advantage of the team playing on Battle.net with. It was fun that we could be all blood thirsty and explodey together. But at the same time I have internal conflicts b/c I start thinking about what the other player might need or might want; does he need the health globe? Would he want the magic drop? Would he want the gem? Or the coins? And I start feelings bad about picking stuff up. Plus I like to clear the boards and kill every single thing. Some people just like to get through to the next level. Or if I need to go to town I’m holding up the game for the other person. All that stuff bothers me. It’s really fun to have someone else to chat with and team up with and see all the cool stuff they can do, but I have some adjustments to make. Maybe once I’ve filled myself up with single play mode it’ll be more fun to play with others.





And that folks, is my quick (yes, quick) synopsis of how I feel about the new D3 release. Get it. Play it. Love it.


And that folks, is my quick (yes, quick) synopsis of how I feel about the new D3 release. Get it. Play it. Love it.




EDIT and ADDENDUM: In continuing to play I am becoming more and more discouraged and disappointed with this game. 


RANT:
Talking to Tech Boy he assures me it is almost impossible to beat Diablo without making use of the Auction House and bidding on better armor than you are able to acquire in game. Fuck. I hate this. HATE this. The Auction House is like e-bay for Diablo III weapons and armor. People put up items they've found for bid and there you go. I DO NOT. DO NOT. Want to play. With other people. I want my gaming experience to be completely self-sufficient. If what he says is true then I am going to be entirely pissed the fuck off b/c thus far I am having great difficult with my Wizard finding strong enough armor in game.  What a bloody waste. 


I may quit playing for a while and just wait for the expansion and upgrades. I'm still really pissy about not being able to level up the Skills you want to improve. Hate. 

1 comment:

  1. Alas, a girl after my own heart. This is what won me over with the wife. She's a gamer too, and like you said, a real gamer, not just "I own an Xbox and have 2 games on my shelf, aren't I nerdy?"

    For her birthday I beefed up her gaming PC massively, in anticipation for D3. We finally ordered it, and I can't wait to play it. Has it really been 12 years? Damn.

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