Review by llaW_Enots
"After playing D2 for 10 years, I am let down"
I played Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction for about ten years. It had its ups and downs, but I loved it. When I heard there was a sequel I purchased it on release. A month later I have thought about my overall experience with this game.
What I Like:
Game Stability: Diablo 2 LoD would freeze and crash randomly. Over a month of playing this game and I have only froze once. Also the game loads way faster. And I can make a game faster than I could in the previous title. Also patches take almost no time to download and install. With Blizzard's new system, you don't have to restart the game over to patch it.
Gameplay: I really love the new minimap at the top right of the screen. In the previous title, you had to hover the map in the middle of the screen and it was hard to see your character. This new map is out of the way and transparent enough that it doesn't block what's going on. Also having a clock over the map is nice. This helps me not lose myself farming and forget about tasks in the real world. The game runs pretty smoothly and you don't see those "black walls" of lag we used to experience in D2.
Auction House: I love this take it or leave it approach to trading. In the old game people would make fun of you or try and scam you out of items. In this game you set the price that you want to sell your item. Instead of jumping from one trading game to the next or spamming a trade channel, you put your item up on a server wide bulletin board and go on with your business. There is no more dealing with people where you are stuck in a cycle of, "well, what you got for trade?" and then, "ok, what do you want for that?" The auction house kind of feels lazy, but it saves me alot of headache from dealing with people who want your item but only want to trade a health potion for it.
Spam Bots: Diablo 2 LoD was plagued with in-game spam bots. At this time, I have not once been spammed to buy items from a shady website. I guess the Auction House helped with this somewhat. I am free to play my game without having my screen flooded with text constantly.
Skills: Being able to change skills on the fly is great. You only have 6 spots for skills, but some enemies/bosses require different tactics than how you would farm for gear/gold. Also you don't have to recreate your character because a certain skill was nerfed or because you picked the wrong skills.
What I Don't Like:
Always Online: I don't understand the decision to force this game online. Why can't I enjoy it offline? And if you log in to your account from another computer, be prepared to change your password or your account will be locked out due to Blizzard thinking you're being hacked.
PvP not in the game/Arena style PvP: In D2 I loved being able to duel anywhere and at anytime. This game currently doesn't even have PvP in it, but once it does it will be Arena style. Instead of duking it out in the streets, you have to take your fight to a proper location. Forcing something like that on a RPG character just doesn't feel right. I understand other games do this, but why change how Diablo is?
Blizzard's Nerf Bat: We've had about 5 patches to date where things are mostly getting nerfed. They somehow let the Monk's skills synergize to the point where the class could tank all day by healing for free over and over. I understand that nerf was necessary. But nerfing "flavors of the month" when it comes to classes/skills/stats is wrong. Let us play the way we want to play. If we want to break pot/vases/barrels for hours to get gold, let us! Don't force us down a tunnel on how to play when in your 2011 Blizzconn Q&A you said there were 7 trillion different builds and you want us to experience the game the way we want to. If we want a tank that doesn't die to monsters, cool. If we want to be a glass cannon where one hit kills us, cool. Also Blizzard has been nerfing popular magic finding spots and bosses. D2 used to be all about killing bosses and going for certain areas to find good gear. Now Blizzard is making players just run out in random spots and get lucky finding a rare or blue mob to kill. It used to be epic in D2 to party up with people to take down hard bosses. Now there is no reason to kill a boss once you did it the first time.
Cooldowns and wait timers: I really do not like how town portals have about a 5 second cast period. In D2 you could instantly portal back to town. This wait timer really slows the game down, especially if our time is limited and we just hopped on for a short amount of time to farm. Also in this game they added cooldown timers on skills and potions.This also slows the game down because in harder difficulties you have to run away or run around in circles or even use the entrance to wait for the cooldown timer. For some reason, we are only allowed to use a potion every 30 seconds, while enemies are pounding away at our corpse.
Gear: Items you find in this game have level requirements, but those requirements don't match up with the damage you need for that level like they did in D2. Plus the stats on items, even legendary items, are rolled at random. This makes magic finding for items frustratingly harder. For example, you could find a sword with amazing stats but it has only 150 damage per second. Or you could find a sword with 1800 dps but it has 200 intelligence, which is a useless stat for anyone using a sword.
I am not pleased with this game. I am hopeful that with a huge patch, or an expansion like Lord of Destruction, Blizzard might inject some serious fun into this sequel. Maybe they will listen to the fans and include some of the old features/gear/items that are missing from Diablo 2. With the current state of the game, I have to give it a 4/10. It feels like an incomplete game that is missing alot of the fun factors the previous title had that kept people playing for ten years.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 06/22/12
Game Release: Diablo III (US, 05/15/12)
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