Diablo III – Up to level 20 Review
Three are 60 levels to Diablo III, one could argue that it has much more depth than that with difficulties and loot drops etc. But for the most part I’m just going to discuss the game three times, once for each third of the level range that I’ve gone through. My feelings thus far are fairly positive, I’m a Witch Doctor by the name of House, I’m calm, friendly, and full of sage wisdom that comes from being a mystical stereotype.
These are my buddies, two of the three eternal zombie dogs that I am perpetually reviving from death, and the big lug is Gargantuan, a cuddly zombie with a heart of gold (and heart, it’s complicated). Off in the corner is the Enchantress, I was told that there wasn’t enough eye candy in my group so I asked her kindly to tag along. She has since told me she thinks of me as a brother, this makes things very awkward.
There are many complaints at this time of the always on requirement of Diablo III, this is a ranked online game and as such uses online only to keep the game clean and genuine. I understand this and don’t mind it but I am highly curious of the exclusion of an unranked offline mode, they have this in Dungeon Defenders, I’m quite sure that Blizzard has a larger budget than the team behind that game.
But no matter, that’s all I have to say on that. My experiences with House have been bitter sweet, sometimes I feel like a walking god and other times I watch a teleporting elite melee demon smash my asshole through my skull with a vigorous winding swing, leaving nothing but my banner and a skull topped stick to commemorate my death.
Yet, I remain, much like my zombie dogs House returns from the Ether to fight again. The entire experience is thus far quite fun, I am enjoying it and the little bit I played today with my Wife was a lot of fun, at least for me, who knows how she felt firing those arcane laser beams about.
I purchased the CE Edition of Diablo III and it was worth every penny. The box alone is one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever purchased, it does not feel mass produced or cheap in any way. The contents are mostly things I can’t look at until I finish the game, spoilers galore I’m told. The Skull for holding the USB “Soul Gem” is quite hefty and as a colleague at work said “Is very cool.”
The controls are simple and enjoyable. I’ve actually mapped the “don’t move” button to my mouse so that I can play almost the entire game with simply my mouse. Occasionally I need to click the hotkeys to revive Gargantuan or my Zombie Triplets, but otherwise it is a matter of walking around interesting landscapes and fighting interesting and devious foes.
Each time you kill a monster for the first time you can hear a backstory about it from Deckard Cain or another fellow whose name is escaping me. I really enjoy these, they are wholly unnecessary and it makes them all the more enjoyable.
While you can drop in and out of friend’s games with an ease that is almost magical, there is also the option of playing with NPC companions. These are quite neat to me and act a lot like humanoid pets. They have a skill tree and a low maintenance equipment list that you can buff up to improve their abilities.
At certain level intervals you get to choose one of two abilities. My general rule of thumb is taking whatever will keep things furthest from me, because of the previously mentioned renovation of my Witch Doctors rectum.
There are a ton of achievements in this game, I normally hate achievements because they tend to force me to play the game in an enjoyable way if I wish to get them. Most of these achievements are either whimsical or neat, I realize that is subjective, but for the most part it is “be a badass” or “You saw a squirrel!” You won’t find many of the “play the entire game without getting hit once with no exceptions” kind of grind achievements that tend to fall apart in the last 30 seconds of a 9 day long slog.
You can also redo any chapter you’ve completed at any time. Did you want to shoot for a Feat of Strength on the Skeleton King? Well reload that piece and go slap him around (or for the FoS let him slap his minions around).
So far I really enjoy the disassembling and crafting systems in the game. They are not complex but the simplicity in them is sinister in its genius. The slurry of useless loot that drops from monsters triggers some of the most basic reward receptors in the brain, this game effectively has all the tricky psychology abuse of a P2P (Or as they are often erroneously titled, F2P) game while having none of the subscription fees.
I stand behind their plans for an auction house with real money, it’s a clever idea and I’m only upset that when I suggested it long before the D3 announcement I was told it was “silly”. We’ll see, if it does really well I will prance about my office like a Peacock in mating season. However I doubt the people I’d be flaunting to would even remember shooting the idea down.
But I digress, thus far I find it enjoyable. The server problems are unfortunate, but they do give me a chance to delve into a world I normally loathe: video game forums. Reading commentary from people who have never worked in the industry is fascinating and delightful, so much rage, so much bile, and so little data or reason. It’s a very bestial place and it reminds me that the world outside is much bright, so that I suppose is what Diablo III has taught me, its all unicorns and rainbows in the world outside of video games, relatively speaking.
Note: I just realized all these account bound items I am getting from play are part of the secret level in Diablo III…and so the grind for the rest begins! I can’t honestly say I’m not looking forward to it.