Diablo III – Review


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Combat flows incredibly well. Many characters need only to attack an enemy with some basic attacks to generate the resources needed to unleash a mighty flurry of blows. Others, like the Witch Doctor, need to be a little more calculated with their skill use as their Mana regeneration is significantly slower then that of other classes. Each class has their own nuances that help to differentiate themselves from others. It’s all about figuring out what works best, not only for your chosen class, but also for you in order to maximize damage output. Of course gear helps with this as well. While it may occasionally be beneficial to spend all your hard earned gold crafting items at the blacksmith, it’s worth noting that items can be incredibly costly and will, more often then not, generate an item you have no use for. I found the Jewelcrafter to be a much more useful and reliable, albeit expensive, alternative to breaking down and building random equipment. While both are fun additions to the formula, nothing is more rewarding then slaying as many beasts as possible for that chance to find a mighty weapon worthy of being wielded into the fiery pits of hell!

Different equipment drops from practically everything, including jars of ashes and piles of skulls. Blizzard has designed the game so that the best gear will drop off champion creatures, that’s blue or yellow named enemies. These types can be found anywhere, and are randomly generated with skills and abilities. All that matters is that you explore the areas of the game and kill every champion you can to get the best possible gear. Uniques, or purple named enemies, are generally scripted or Act bosses. These aren’t randomly generated, and are always found in the same spot, so they don’t have the best drops. This has lead to some controversy, since the epic battles with the Prime Evils are generally easier then the battles against Random Champion Creature #6385, and the drops are worse. It’s the forum users complaint that a Prime Evil shouldn’t be easier to kill then his minions. While I concur with this statement, I understand that Blizzard was trying to entice players to explore for new gear, rather then resort to the “Meph Runs” that plagued Diablo II. Blizzard has already gone so far as to adjust drop rates, enemy placement, and enemy frequency in order to encourage more exploration since the release of Diablo III. They’ve even begun making changes to the Legendary items in the game. Buffing them up so they earn their status as truly Legendary artifacts of Sanctuary.

As of today there’s still a very large number of active users. Those who state otherwise are lying. As with any given game the number of active players will dip after a few weeks, just as they will once again rise when more people get wind of new changes and additions. And the release of the Real Money Auction House won’t hurt either! I can attest that within hours of activation the forums went from being full of “THIS GAME BLOWS ALL OF THE DONKEY BUTTS!!!” to being nothing but “BUY MY SHIT!” posts. It’s amazing what one feature could do for someone. There isn’t much to say about the RMAH, since it’s brand new. Yeah the fees are a tad high, but it’s a virtual item that someone’s going to be crazy enough to drop $30 for! If Blizzard wants to take $5 from me because I’m looking to profit from their product, then so be it. Integration with paypal is easy enough. You do need to have an Authenticator and the new Blizzard SMS setup in order to qualify to sell items with paypal. Again, some people complain, but that’s what nerds do.

So, is Diablo III the game we’ve been waiting 13 years for? In my opinion, it is. The story might be your standard fantasy cookie cutter affair, but it fits with the nature and feel of the Diablo franchise. Combat and skills have evolved to allow for more flexibility and creativity within builds without punishing the players for making bad decisions. The difficulty builds up perfectly to help acquaint new comers, and old timers, to the improved mechanics. For those of you looking for a challenge and willing to play past Nightmare mode, you’re in for quite a treat. And the loot! Glorious, shiny loot! There’s plenty of it and Blizzard has promised to improve the quality of the items and drops throughout Sanctuary. Crafting is a fun way to spends some time and a great place to get some great equipment, but the random nature of the system leaves much to be desired, but I suppose that’s what the Auction House is for. The five classes offer multiple ways to play the game, not just by choosing a different class but rather, by allowing the player to create viable builds with nearly any combination of skills. I commend Blizzard for finding a way to make a 13 year old franchise feel new, yet familiar, while simultaneously reinvigorating the genre for a fresh new audience. Like Diablo II, I’ll be playing Diablo III for years to come, and I have a feeling that many others will be doing the same.

 

We’ve seen this before… But the smile still holds up.

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is not a boss.

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