Review by Crimson681
""World of Diablocraft""
I'd like to start off that I had high hopes for this game, and got caught up in all the hype. And was waiting for this game to be released for close to 10 years.
Much to my dismay, this game didn't have the feel of a Diablo game at all and reminded me more World of Warcraft. Now some might say why wouldn't they copy after their biggest success? Well World of Warcraft is one of those games, you either love it or absolutely despise it. Unfortunately for them, I am in the later crowd. If you didn't enjoy WoW, you aren't going to like Diablo III, if you like WoW, then you might like Diablo III.
Alright, now I will get to the general game play. You can choose any of the 5 classes, which of course all have different skill sets and playing styles that go along with them. Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor, Wizard, Monk. I'm not going to get into describing the skill sets of each, seeing how that information is better presented on Blizzard's website. But you use a mouse to navigate around, and you have hot keys and mouse buttons you use to activate certain skills to aid you or harm your enemies, some of which cost resources to use. I tried out all the classes up to around level 30, and I can't say I really enjoyed any of them a whole lot. If I had to take a pick, I guess Barbarian was my favorite, but this was just the least boring out of the bunch.
Now on the surface this might appear typical of a Diablo game, and what makes this less like a Diablo game, and more like WoW, is the character development. You don't have stats or skill points to assign, and instead you have "runes", and hot key locations to put skills in. Not only this but the performance of your skills/abilities is entirely equipment based, for example a skill does 120% weapon damage. This is why the game is more like WoW and less like Diablo II, your characters performance is entirely gear based, and much less based on the few modifications you are able to control. Now to compare this to Diablo II, they had a skill point based system, and many skills raised damage in set amounts depending on how many skill points you had in that particular skill. Which meant even if you didn't have that godly set of gear, you weren't gimped to the point where you couldn't kill anything. This is the difference between a Diablo game, and the difference between WoW.
You could theoretically find top tier gear and make most any skill/rune combination work, and this is what Blizzard coins as "skill diversity", but unfortunately for most players, it doesn't work out that way and people are already sticking to tested and proven builds. Not only that but when anything is found to be effective, they end up just nerfing it. So those that happen to find an effective build, and might not necessarily need top tier gear, your time is limited to maybe 1-2 weeks tops before they hot fix nerf the entire way you play the game.
Also the map isn't truly randomly generated as they were in the previous Diablo games, and many areas looked the same every time you went through them, which made repeated plays of the acts even more dull and boring. I feel like for the budget and time they had for this game, there is really no excuse for this, so I'm definitely knocking points off here too.
I'd like to add that I found this game to be horribly addicting, but not in a fun kind of way. I'd compare it to a gambling addiction. I found myself playing this game, even though I was bored, frustrated, and outright annoyed. This definitely isn't a game for the casual gamer, or for anyone who just wants to sit down and relax and play a game.
Most of the boredom was for completing the same areas and same dull storyline, same cookie cutter skills you've been using because they are effective, repeatedly over several difficulty levels just to get to the end difficulty, Inferno, which is nothing but endless frustration once you get there just due to the difficulty spike, and the fact that you need to grind, grind, grind to progress, and they make it hard to even grind for the gear to progress, which is why the game is so frustrating. There is a saying in MMOs, called putting something on "farm" status which basically means you efficiently farm something as a means of progressing further, and they completely throw a wrench in that idea in Diablo III due to the overpowered elite mobs being the best way to farm gear. And they don't actually drop gear frequently enough they a player might actually be temped to use, which makes the entire struggle of playing feel rather pointless and unrewarding because you don't feel like you are making any progress. I feel like I'm waiting for the 1 in 500 drop vs a very powerful enemy of which I don't have an efficient means to take out.
Now enough of the game play and lets get to the issue of the "always online DRM".
Basically this forces players to be online and subject to Blizzards server down times and maintenance, when I did play Diablo III, it seemed like a decent portion of the time, the servers were down for an extended period of time, several hours or more. I feel like this game should be a single player game, it feels and plays like a single player game, and it very much annoyed me that I was subject to down times to play what I thought should have been a single player game to begin with.
And finally, the Auction house.
Originally I thought this was a decent idea, it seemed to allow players easier access to better gear than they could actually find at any period of time, and also an outlet to sell stuff they found, but might not be useful to them, but could be quite useful to somebody else. This was also subject to down time by itself separate from the game being down. It seemed like there was always some sort of issue with the Auction house. Commodities buy/sell was down for weeks, there was frequent lag in the system, which at worst case scenario could actually cause you to lose items. I had 8 items for sale on the auction house just "poof" disappear. and even 3 days after the fact I never saw my items or any gold for those purchased items. So basically I got screwed.
And the Real money auction house, or RMAH, is a completely different demon. It allows people to basically pay to win, but it also sparks an addictive drive in many players for the hope that they net a big $ item they can sell to the people who want to pay to win. In my opinion, that defeats the entire purpose of gaming, which should be for fun factor only, and they throw in a demon called real money into the equation. This can only end in disaster.
I'd like to say that I got a refund from Blizzard. Which is the only positive thing I have to say about this game unfortunately. And I'd encourage others like me who aren't pleased with the game to also file a ticket for a refund. You got 30 days within the purchase date. Blizzard is the one who offered to give it.
Also a new development Blizzard is doing, where if someone purchases a digital copy, they have to play the trial version for 3 days before their account goes to full. Blizzard stated it was a way to combat all of the bot farmers, but only the legit paying players are going to suffer against that. Its just 1 more reason out of the multitude of reasons I already have given to not buy this game.
To sum it all up, for all of the major issues I had with the game, I can't give this game any higher than a 3/10. Yes the game was that bad for me. I don't recommend anyone buy this game. This was just a terribly executed game, and even more terrible DRM which was created to be terribly addictive for all the wrong reasons.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 07/03/12
Game Release: Diablo III (US, 05/15/12)
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