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We all have been waiting for it, we played the beta and we loved it, that game got hyped and no one that played video games for the last 10 years with an internet connection could have avoided that hype, now its near a month since release and i want to share my thoughts with you about that game and what happened to me as a gamer who plays since the early 80s...
It starts good, fresh, everything runs smoothly, i couldnt wait to see the areas past the skeleton king, i wondered which new skills i would get and what new nice areas i will get to explore. I rolled a wizard, as i played the mage and the sorceress in previous games and i just love that class.
After 2 days of afterwork gaming ( approx 6-8 hours ingame time) i reached act 4 and faced diablo with 3 friends. After killing diablo and opening nightmare difficulty i took a deep breath and reviewed the past hours of gaming. And for some reasons i was disappointed at some design decisions blizzard made .
It is obvious that the areas are not random generated, they are just 4 or 5 templates and only mobs and things like chests are random. So everytime i enter a dungeon, i know perfectly in which direction i have to go. poor decision blizzard...
All areas except act 4 were seen in previous games. I found act 1 to be ok, cathedral and sourroundings giving some information about what happened before in form of scrolls and dialogue. That was ok. but going to the desert again in act2 like in Diablo2 ? really? was that necessary? And still worse, act 3? again Arreat and that Barbarians? with ballistas shooting? ive seen this, i ve done this.. i dont want this. I wanted something new. a new area, a sea coast maybe, an urban area maybe, a big citiy to fight in or god , anything else.. but not the same i saw a 1000 times in diablo 2....
After killing Diablo in normal mode i went on and really rushed through the content, i got some items with bonus xp and not long after i killed diablo and his minions 2 more times and i sat down to enter inferno mode.
That was just 2 day before blizzard stated only 2 percent of the community entered inferno. I guessed, well, can only be because other ppl have to work more in their jobs then i do, because game was almost to easy.
Not inferno, inferno is/was bugged, never tested by blizzard themselves (stated by bashiok) with a lot of exploit possibilities.
What happened so far, after 20 hours of gaming i was in Inferno, had to farm the same spots for better loot, auction house prices went up ridicoulusly and every sensation or motivation i had with this game was gone.
And here i am now, being act 4 inferno, and i dont want to log in to D3 because there is nothing more to see.
I am very dissapointed and i will hesitate to buy anything related to Diablo 3...
Gameplay itself is smooth and fun
A lot of skills and possible combinations
Dungeons arent random, just some templates
not enough areas to explore
Inferno neither tested nor balanced
real money auction house postponed
PVP not ingame, no balancing possible in that state of the game
no unique items, only a handfull set items. nowhere near what Diablo2 had
lvl cap of 60 too fast achieved (Diablo2 had 99 lvls and that took you a lot of time...)
Closing comment and final score:
The game itself isnt that bad but it fails to live up to the hype. Most things a Diablo veteran would expect arent ingame and some design changes toward a more MMO style of gameplay dont fit together. A game like diablo shouldnt have an auction house, instead it should rely more on loot itself and not on buying upgrades in the AH, i see it was a design decision to bring the real money AH into play where blizzard could get its share. But its against the game itself somehow. At the moment blizzard is reacting to several problems they did not see in the beta like item duping, inferno balancing, and nerfing farmspots. Give Diablo 3 another half year to patch it and it will be maybe a better game then, as it is now id give it:
6 of 10 points because its too short for a full price game