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Let me preface this post to say that this has nothing to do with Jay Wilson and his recent comments and just an unbias review of my experience of diablo III.
Instead of beating this game with a stick until its dead with negative feedback let me start with the good elements first. Something a lot of people aren't willing to talk about as its become one of those games that is just popular to hate.
I feel like the classes were well made and had some good thought put into them to try to diversify them with the exception of the Sorcerer.
Diablo I/II References:
This game has a ton of references to diablo I and diablo II which are enjoyable little tid bits of nostalgia.
The various amount of stats and rune slots on skills allow for a high degree of customization on how you choose to play your character. Although you really do have to min/max a few important stats you at least have the option to experiment. Passive skills also play an important role on the design of your character.
The story is good and much more important in this installment however I have conflict with this which I will delve into with the next section. If your a lore buff though it really does fit in a lot of the holes in the Diablo lore.
Separate loot tables/drops for each player:
No more fighting over a unique that drops or the rare, no more hitting your self in the head because your inventory was full or you lagged at a bad time. A simple but good mechanic.
Paragorn levels/Nephalim buff:
I enjoyed the Nephalim buff because it really took the focus away from farming the bosses in the game over and over. This allows for a greater choice of what mobs to kill and where. Paragorn levels prodive a bit of end game goal even though they were a recent update compared to the release date features. They are basically bonus gold and magic find at bonus levels after 60 with small stat increases as well, up to an extra 100 personal character levels.
I really enjoyed the fact they have a challenging mode after hell which creates a greater struggle and desire to progress instead of just facerolling mobs once you get decently geared.
Acheivements: A good addition to most games.
First off rarity of items especially those that are unique or "legendary" should generally be better then those of their lesser counterparts. With their infrequency of dropping and getting them to drop rarely it was very frustrating to see how weak they felt in comparision to their Diablo II counterparts. Not that Diablo II didn't have terrible uniques but they still felt much stronger then lower rarity items that were on par with Item level. Other items have stats that don't feel like they are useful at all on them or are just filler, or even worse just don't affect gameplay in a meaningful way with very narrow exceptions, I am looking at you gold pickup radius and damage to melee attackers.
The auction house:
Now some people here are like yea that RMAH is terribad. I agree with you but I feel the same way about the normal auction house.
From all my years of playing diablo II I don't remember many of us every really having a problem with the fact the main currency of the game was not gold. In fact bartering really did create some unique features of diablo II. Never knowing what you could get for an item someone really wanted was a thrill in a trade game. This addition made it so you felt like you either had a choice of grinding gold all day with gold find gear or magic find gear and hope you found the items to sell on the AH to get your gold. If you were/are extremely lucky you'll actually find a piece that your class can use. This is assuming you aren't playing multiple or all five classes at once.
This takes the emphasis off items and on to the currency, a big no for me. The one thing that the currency was good for in diablo III was gambling... which unfortuantely quite frankly sucks in diablo III.
Gambling in this game requires a huge money investment before you can really even have a slim chance at getting a useful item for your class or a better chance at selling something in the auction house. That is if you can afford to spend more money buying patterns off the auction house to "Learn" how to gamble the good items. Also keep in mind that you will constantly have to dampen your income by destroying the only items in the game that sell well. So it hits you twofold.
Too Story driven:
If you haven't yet played diablo III this may seem confusing. Essentially everything in diablo III is driven by a linear story line. Even after you have finished the game in any given mode you can't just freely travel where you want. Before you join a game you have to select a story arc and go from there. This also makes it impossible to go back to previous acts in the same game. Everytime you complete a story event after the first run through you'll find your self mumbling to your self: "yes yes yes" while spamming the space bar key to skip through needless dialogue.
No lobby system:
This also means that there is no lobby to join games from. You choose the quest you are looking for and it pairs you automatically with other people. You won't see Unicorn runs (diablo 3's cow level if you aren't familar), or any other type of specailized short game that was to be done in repetition. I enjoyed these in the previous game and I feel like this is a loss in some respects.
This also killed any chance at bartering (trading) becoming a feature in the game.
Other honorable mentions that fit this cateogory:
There is no experience bonus for playing with others and when you do you are automatically partied with everyone, if someone completes an objective too fast your taste.. well too bad.
All games are set to private when created until you open them to the public but because there are little to no incentives to play games with large amounts of people you probably will play mostly alone the entire time.
I highly recommend playing the game solo the first time around atleast through normal.
My rating of Diablo III: Its a 7.0. I did come into this game with big expectations, I mean lets face it we waited 10 years for an expansion to a game we felt was great as is. I know Diablo III is in its own right a differnet game made by different people but its fair to assume when you have a great predecessor you are expecting a lot of those same elements in its next game. In the end run this game was too much of a hybrid of an MMO with severely lacking social elements. The good news is this game does have good potential in the years to come, but only time will tell. Not bad for a clearance/discount price if your interested in filling the holes of the Diablo Lore or just want a cheap Action RPG with some replay value.