Thoughts and impressions: Diablo III

Many years players waited to finally get their hands on this game and now it’s finally here … Diablo III. My posting on this is a little late since I “had to” go on holiday for a week but looking back at forums posting and early reviews, playing in the sand with my daughter might not have been the worst thing to do while a lot of trying-to-play-ers were basically sitting in front of error 37 … beware of spoilers!

This is one of the mayor issues with the game, people simply cannot play it because they cannot log in. There is no offline single player mode, so if you cannot log in to blizzard’s battle.net, you’re basically screwed. Although I have to say that since I started playing the game, like 4 days and roughly 20 hours of playing ago, I only had this issue one time – today. Which is probably why I am writing this now instead of actually playing the game.

I defeated Diablo on normal difficulty monday evening, like 2 days or 12 hours of playing after I started it.

I did do quite some exploring and listened to every talk and cutscene, so this is not particularly fast but also shows how short the actual story of the game is. I think I remember it taking more time when first playing Diablo II, but can’t say that for sure – it’s been a while. Anyway, it’s been an enjoyable journey all the way and I really liked how the story was told and the cutscenes looked really awesome. I purposely avoided reading any spoilers or guides or reviews before playing the game myself because I wanted to experience the game on my own, not be influenced by anyone but myself.

There were some annoyances though that I’d like to mention here (in order of experience). Most of them come down to what I think was designed to make the game more accessible to new players and those not familiar with the previous games.

1. Display of travel direction on the map

Although not uncommon in todays games, Diablo III implements a rather far distance in which it shows you the way to travel in order to reach the next target. The following screenshot shows this.

The yellow circle on the left side of the screen shows where the next quest/checkpoint will be. And it is so far away that one would usually have to search for it for some time. Instead of encouraging people to search every corner of the game, blizzard decided to make it terribly easy to get to the next checkpoint by just showing where it is when you’re still miles away. They should have at least made it optional imho, but still, this is just minor.

2. Man I look like a barbie doll!

Pink pants, gold helmet – seriously? Anyone saying graphics style did not degrade in comparison to part II is just plain wrong here. This looks so aweful and even if you can color items nowadays, this is just such an unnecessary and stupid detail, it should have been left out.

3. Not showing the selected server on the login screen

After making it through roughly half of act 3, I wanted to play with my brother but could not send a message to him. This was because he was playing on the european servers and I – since I bought the english version of the game (so I don’t have to endure the rediculous item- and monster name translation) and this version had the US servers selected by default. So I had to start all over again in order to play with him … blah!

4. Duplicated items on the first playthrough

The next annoyance might be a real problem for blizzard. While playing with my brother, a monster dropped two rare gloves at the same time. After identifying them (which you don’t need Deckard Cain or any scrolls for in part 3 btw … wtf!), I found them to be exactly the same item! So either I should start playing the lottery or this is a major bug. Each property of a rare item is randomized and so are the stats of the property. So there is a random on which of the (probably) 20 possible affixes you get and there is a second random on how much points the affix gets. There are 4 properties on this item and every one is 100% identical. Lucky or bug? We’ll see – I opened a ticket with blizzard on this.

I feel this is a big problem because if this is exploitable, people may be able to get more items than usual and if they find anything good, they’d even have it twice!

5. So how do you hold that hammer?!

Anyone want to explain this to me?

I mean, it certainly isn’t very important, but it just looks wrong.

That’s just a few things I came across during my very first playthrough. I’ll likely give it some more and maybe even report what I encountered. I don’t share all of the hate postings across the internet saying blizzard made an aweful game, but I think there’s some truth in it. From my point of view, it’s a great game, but it certainly has some severe issues.

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