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diablo 3The dust has finally settled on Diablo 3. When it came out, things were crazy. Error 37s were happening all over the place and I felt lucky if I could even get in and play a little. Thankfully, that is mostly behind us. Sure, there are some server snags here and there, and there was that incident that killed hardcore players around the world, but for the most part, I have been able to sink my teeth into the game (about 120 hours) and really get a feel for it.

Overall, I love Diablo 3. It has some problems, but the sum of its parts makes for a special gaming experience, the likes of which has not existed since Diablo 2 (you could argue that Torchlight filled the gap). Today, I am going to talk about the things I love most about Diablo 3. I intended to write this as things I love and things I hate, but it turns out I love so much, I am going to have to split it into a two-part article (that, and Blizzard has a patch coming soon, so the stuff I hate might be fixed in a couple of days).

The Auction House

Diablo 2 was full of scammers. When you got an incredible item, and you wanted to sell it, for either real money or in-game currency, you had to meet up with another person and hope that they did not stiff you on the deal. Those days are gone, since Blizzard introduced the auction house.

diablo 3

Sure, the market is flooded, and the economy can be a little wonky at times, but I will take that trade-off knowing that anything I sell is secure, and I will receive my item or currency (after Blizzard takes a cut of course).

Nephalem Valor

Nephalem Valor increases your characters ability to find rare and magic items with each hard mob he kills. These mobs, known as champions and elites, are scattered throughout the dungeon, and each time you kill one, you get a stack of valor. You can build up to five stacks, and this helps a great deal in getting more quality items.

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I love this because it gives you incentive to keep banging your head against a hard enemy. It also keeps you playing longer because once you leave the game, you lose the valor you worked so hard to build. Overall, it is just a fantastic feature that improves the game a great deal.

The Gameplay

I have always loved the concept of an MMO. The problem is that I am just not committed enough to be online at a certain time for raids and all of that. Diablo delivers a very MMO type of gameplay experience without the commitment. You can invite friends to your game and do boss runs, which feel much like an MMO raid, but if someone leaves, it is no big deal. The game scales based on the number of players in the room, so you quitting will not mess with your friends’ fun.

diablo 3 review

In Diablo 3, you will be clicking on enemies, using your keyboard to cast spells, and all around having a blast (as long as you like dungeon crawling RPGs). It is a simple game at its core, but the amount of skill and strategy that goes into the game once you reach Inferno (the hardest) difficulty is truly amazing.

Character Builds

In Diablo 3, you can change your character on the fly. Most RPGs force you to progress up a skill tree, and what you choose is locked in. With Diablo 3, you can change a spell at any time. If a certain spell just is not meeting your expectations, feel free to change it, just remember that you will lose your Nephalem Valor.

diablo 3 review

I’ve heard some people complain about this, because it takes the commitment out of your character, but I personally love tweaking and fine-tuning my build. I love knowing that if Blizzard issues a patch that weakens one of the skills, I can just try another one (it’s already happened to my Wizard). For people who hate commitment, the character builder in Diablo 3 is perfect.

The Cutscenes Between Acts

diablo 3 review

I am never a big visual person. Generally, I only care about how a game plays, and the visual appeal means little to me. However, the rendered scenes between each act in Diablo 3 are mind-blowing in their beauty. They are the most gorgeous cutscenes I have ever seen. The facial animations, environments and voice acting is better than a lot of big budget movies, and it is truly something to behold.

The Co-op

Diablo 3 is a single player game. However, you can party with up to four people and play co-op. The enemies scale, keeping things difficult even when you are rolling with a full crew. When you are farming the spots repeatedly for gold and gear, bringing in some friends can break things up and give the game a different feel.

diablo 3

In addition, while progressing through the game, bringing a friend can help you break through a spot that is giving you difficulty. I play as a Wizard, which is primarily a ranged-based spellcaster. Some types of enemies can give me serious problems, and bringing in one of my Barbarian friends can help take the pressure off and make thing more bearable (although on Inferno, it’s never easy).

Conclusion

All of these combine to make one of the most awesome gameplay experiences I have ever had. As I said, I have spent well over 100 hours with Diablo 3, and I am sure I will spend hundreds more. Of course, there are some problems, and we will get to those next week.

What do you love about Diablo 3? Please, do not comment and tell me you hate bad mob affixes and weak legendary items. I know. We will get there next week.

  1. Wabisuke
    July 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    items are too b0rken in this game. back in the day, just spec your tree properly, and you can progress thru higher difficulties slowly BUT surely. it's too gear dependent.

  2. Michael
    June 27, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Diablo 3 is a rip-off! The game is focused entirely on making money for Acti-Bliz! The RMAH is a scam so Acti-Bliz can make more money. The skill tree is laughable with hardly any customization, the item systems is messed up, but the biggest atrocity they *SPOILER ALERT* committed was killing Deckard Cain! It might have been better if Diablo killed him and it was in a high graphic cinematic, but no he gets killed by a butterfly who we have never seen before. This is Deckard Cain who survived D1 and D2 and then dies to a mini-boss. Thanks goodness I got my money back

  3. Robin Siebler
    June 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I bought the Digital copy. I started playing the game and when I killed the Skeleton King, I got an upgrade message. I had to search the internet to find out that it could be 3 days before I got full access to the game. It wasn't 3 days, but it wouldn't have mattered if it was only 20 minutes, the fact is Blizzard did not notify me BEFORE I bought the game (or at all, actually) that I would be denied full access to the game for any amount of time. I tried explaining my point through Customer Support, but they were either too thick-headed or too apathetic to see my point.

  4. Matt Smith
    June 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I like Diablo 3.

    However, I am a bit bored of just playing a Barbarian and I want to roll another character.

    Apparently I can't roll a new character in Nightmare, which is probably the dumbest thing ever. Normal is a cakewalk and there's no way I'm going to willingly do that again.

    So I guess that's it for Diablo 3.

  5. Christopher Meyer
    June 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    D3 is had a good story, but that is about it. I played hundreds of hours of d2 and I still do fire it up from time to time. I don't see this ever happening with D3. How can you care about your character when it is exactly the same as any other of the same class? I could give a crap about the auction house. I can't imagine what enjoyment any one could possibly get from that.Hopefully Tourchlight 2 will give me the gaming goodness I am looking for. The other thing that I hadn't considered at first, was that unlike D2 there will never be a mod for D3. The mods for D2 were one of the reason I played so many hours of it.

  6. Joe
    June 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I wish I could love this game as much as others but I did not find it as fullfilling as the last 2 Diablo games or as an MMO. It was a decent story and had a blast playing through it the first time and a half but I lost interest extremely fast when I realized thats basically it. I played through the game, ive seen most of what the game was going to offer the only thing I didnt have is the equipment but I dont really see the point of obtaining more equipment when ive already seen the entire games story! Im not a big PVP player so I wont be to interested in that. I guess I just wish the game had more to offer like other MMO's since the main games story was pretty short even by single player game standards these days. Im all for equipment upgrading and working towards a more powerful character but when I have no where else to advance besides playing through the game on higher difficulties then im not really that interested in continuing. Maybe when expansions come out I will enjoy it once more. For me all I have left to hold out for is Guild Wars 2.

  7. Chris Hoffman
    June 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    The real-money auction house is still mind-blowing to me. I've seen people say it's turned the game into a tedious part-time job to them -- I play games to get away from the real world, I don't want to be optimizing my hourly income in a game or thinking about how I could be making more money grinding elsewhere or selling this awesome item I found instead of using it.

    R.I.P. old Blizzard. They were such a great company back in the day.

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