Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Diablo 3: After Thoughts

 No Spoilers

Last night Diablo the Lord of Terror was defeated by Isaac the level 31 Demon Hunter!

In the end it was a quit a journey that seemed to have ended very abruptly, but it wasn't without its awesomeness.

My after thoughts on Diablo 3 are pretty much in line with my first impressions, except I found the story really picks up as the game progresses. Though a lot it is very predictable, it is still very interesting watching it play out.

 Maybe it was the class I played, but as the game progressed on Normal, combat didn't get any harder. If anything it got more hectic, but very manageable... if that makes sense?

The inclusion of runes and passive abilities added to the choices being made in terms of combat spells and such, but none of this got very extensive or complicated. Once you've sort of figured out your playstyle it is only a matter of picking the abilities which suit it.

My guy was balls to the wall offensive, dropping a few abilities in favor of more DPS moves. I did suffer a bit through the 3rd act as the number of baddies picked up - but this was mainly because my guy was all dex and crit with only 89 vitality by the end of Act 3. I sorted this out by the time I started Act 4 though, finding items in the AH that had the same Dex and crit values but with the added vitality.

As far as boss fights went none of them were really that hard, but they did need you to move around a lot, but once the Demon Hunter gets homing missiles and the turret - combat becomes a push over.

My build - Click to enlarge
My guy was all about the explosions, which comes in very handy in the later parts of the game where AOE damage becomes very important.

If anything once you get your toons stats inline and work out a fitting gameplay style, Diablo 3 never losses its casualness, at least not on normal. But this is alright because the game is still fun, especially when the item whore in you gets started and you're after that next best weapon or armor.

The AH however diminishes the joy of armor drops a little, as I had simply bought all the best gear I could get for a certain price range with the stats I was after. Gold is not a problem either as in the end I had more than enough to buy all the bag slots and tonight I'll even buy a new tab because I need a place to keep all my Rare gear before I sell them in the AH.

That would be one cool part of Diablo 3 for me, the fact that once you level past a set of items, you can then take it off and sell it in the the AH.
Spoilers - but no major story elements.

As far as later gameplay goes - up until the 3rd act the game does a very good job of pacing, but from there on it seemed a little rushed. Though I made it a point to explore the shit out of every area I was in, soon the side quests and side dungeons were all but gone, with only the story missions leading the way. This made the last two acts very short.

Sadly the great environments you come across early in the game aren't explored too much in terms of story either, the great settings serve nothing more than a back drop for you to click on things. I was hoping for more background and story on these areas - or even more side quests.

I also hated how combat difficulty boiled down to the number of baddies on screen and not because of any extra added tactics. Between my grenades, homing missiles and turret nothing ever poised a real threat. Most enemies, including bosses, just walked into my rapid fire and explosions often dying before they got half way >_<

I remember spending so many deaths on Diablo back in the day - this time he was taken down on the first try.


The moments after Diablos death were a major let down for me as the game doesn't give any form of solid outcome or conclusion. Everything is sort of left hanging, or is supposdely wrapped up with a few lame lines of dialogue, most probably as a setup for DLC.

Probably the best thing after Act 3 is the FMV - which to me was the coolest one in the game. The setting for Act 4 was an awesome treat as well, as this time you took the fight into the high Heavens. So instead of dark cellars and burning steeps, the last few moments of the game are spent amongst the crumbling halls of Heaven, as Diablo lays waste to all that is good and pure.

This is very short lived though as Act 4 is the quickest chapter to get through.

Aside from a handful of awesome moments, sadly I thought Diablo 3 was a little underwhelming. In the end it really is just a more polished version of Torch Light. Some how the clicking does get addictive, and it's a lot of fun mowing down hordes of baddies, but I wonder how this will play out with a different Toon. My first run was awesome because I thought the Demon Hunter had a very awesome back story and character, even though it doesn't develop much past the description in the characters introduction video.

The main draw for me now is the challenge of pwning Diablo on Nightmare, if anything just to see if it gets any harder. So far it's been a breeze - but I'll hold on a full judgment until I meet the Skeleton King again. If he can be taken down on the first try - then I'll be very disappointed.

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