I recently finished playing the game on Normal and I decided to give my impressions of the game. I will update this once I finish Hell and Inferno.
Graphics: The game by no means looks like Skyrim but it is not ugly. The world has a lot of detail to it and at times it really looks amazing. The style they went for definitely fits the Diablo universe and I can see it age well which is very important for a game like Diablo. Animations are amazing and everything flows very smoothly.
Sounds: I didn’t even notice the background music while I was playing the game. However, the sound effects are very nicely done and some of the skills have really cool sound effects. When I was playing my WD it felt like I was playing a horror game with all the screams going on.
Skills: As most of you probably know, they scrapped the skill tree system and went for their new rune based system. I really like this new system as the different runes change your skills drastically. Some of the changes are so drastic that it feels like you’re using a completely different skill. You have to choose all the time between different skills and passives. You can only have 6 skills at any one time and you have to choose between 4-5 skills per slot and each skill has about 4-5 runes. You also have to choose 3 passive skills out of 10-15. This new system does not penalise you for your mistakes and there’s no way to gimp your character which is not a bad thing. I was changing my skills all the time to fit the situation. You get a new skill every single time you level up. You sometimes get as many as four skills per level up. The new skills keep coming up until level 60. And you get new mechanics not just +1 level to Fireball which increases your damage by 5.
Gear: You get new loot all the time. Diablo has so many different items and the stats are all randomised, It all feels quite similar to Diablo 2 in this department. The only major difference to Diablo 2 is the implementation of crafting. You get a blacksmith, who crafts armour and weapons, and a jewelcrafter, who combines gems. You level up these NPCs by giving them gold and as a result they learn new recipes. I think this system is much superior to the Horadric Cube crafting in Diablo 2. The items you craft get random attributes which is sweet! The major flaw with the Diablo 2’s system is that you didn’t know what the recipes were so you had to go and look them up on the internet.
Difficulty: Now I’ve seen a lot of complains about this. Diablo 3 is by no means any easier compared to Diablo 2 during the first playthrough. I died quite a few times on my Witch Doctor in Act 3 and 4. I remember someone on these forums saying that he went away for like 5 and the mobs were pounding him for like 5 mins and he was still alive. My WD would drop in like 5 seconds if surrounded by mobs. Overall Diablo 3 has the same difficulty curve as Diablo 2. Nightmare gets a bit trickier, very similar to Diablo 2.
@people who want to ramp up the difficulty right from the start, this is not what Diablo is about. It was never about getting to play the highest difficulty. This would ruin any kind of progression.
Length: Normal will easily last you for 15-20 hours if you explore everything. If you’re one of those people who only play normal and quit, then of course the game will not be very good value for money. But for real Diablo 2 fans the game will last you for a very loooong time. There’s tons of achievements, there’s four difficulties which is a dream come true for any Diablo 2 fan! Then you also have hardcore!
Online only – this is not a huge problem for me but for a lot of people it is. This makes the game more secure as Blizzard doesn’t share all game files with the general public. This WILL make it harder for people to create hacks. The game does play like a single player game as there’s virtually no lag or delay after this Wednesday. Also if you want to play the game as a single player game without anyone interfering with your game you can definitely do that. You don’t have to ever play with other people.
RMAH – I don’t know about this. I don’t like it but I don’t think this will interfere with my enjoyment of the game. I am not one of those people who can’t have fun if someone else buys an item from a shop because it doesn’t affect me in any way. Also I will be playing Hardcore a lot so I won’t have to deal with this auction.
Overall this game is amazing and I love every bit of it. I am not one of those people who played Diablo 2 through normal and then quit. I’ve played Diablo 2 more than any other game. I have created over a hundred characters and have probably tried every single possible class build in Diablo 2. I was one of those minmaxing guys who tried to get every single possible advantage over other people and pawn them in PvP. I have played every single D2 mod and I’ve also done some modding. As a huge D2 fan, I can say that this game is all I ever wanted and I am really enjoying. I will probably not play another game for months.
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