Diablo III thread

Tomorrow Diablo III gets released.  Not gonna lie, it looks kind of underwhelming.

The graphics look dated, probably due to the release getting pushed back so much, and the landscapes look bland.  The game play doesn’t look terribly different from Diablo II, not that that’s bad since D2 rocked, but a sequel should be more than the same engine with a newer (though dated, in this case, skin).

This project has been in the works for ten years.  It doesn’t look like a ten-year project.

Has anybody been playing this in beta?  Is it good?  Worth buying?  Anybody else gonna get it?

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • unbound

    I’ll probably pick it up later. Some of the gameplay issues you mention here are the same issues with StarCraft 2.

    In both cases (D3 and SC2), they are both fun and probably worth the money, but equally disappointing considering that the prior versions were over a decade old. Only evolutionary improvements instead of the revolutionary improvements you would expect 10+ years later.

  • Predator Handshake

    I had been using “my laptop won’t run it” as an excuse not to pick up DIII, but seeing how it looks I’m not so sure anymore that it’s true. I’ll probably just get the Game of Thrones thing on Xbox, not knowing anything about it other than “it is about Game of Thrones” which will hopefully be enough to make it fun.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/VeritasKnight VeritasKnight

    I’ll be giving Diablo 3 a miss.

    I’ve been playing Legend of Grimrock recently, which is an old-school style dungeon smash in the vein of Eye of the Beholder. Highly recommended.

  • http://www.dellion.net Allison

    I’m definitely getting D3. Like most other fans, I’ve been waiting a long time for this!

  • William R. Dickson

    I played part of the first act in beta. I very much expect the game to eliminate my WoW beta testing time for a while; I liked it a great deal. The graphics may or may not be dated compared to other games today; they looked damn good to me, but I don’t play a lot of games. They’re certainly miles ahead of D2. I like nice graphics, but next to gameplay they’re way behind in importance, and the gameplay is superb.

    As always, the only thing comparable to gameplay in importance is storytelling, and while I limited my play to avoid heavy spoilers, the storytelling looks to be very good – strong voice acting, plenty of dialogue without being excessive.

    I bought it as part of an annual WoW subscription, so it’s all downloaded and ready to activate at midnight.

  • Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach

    I still play Diablo 2 occasionally with some friends and cousins back home. We talked about picking this up asap just cause we’ve covered every inch of D2. But it just looks so meh, we’re going to wait a few months til the price drops, then we’ll probably grab it.

    Never heard of Legend of Grimrock, VeritasKnight, does it have online and/or LAN co-op?

  • Dhorvath, OM

    It’s a slot machine with monsters instead of fruit. I will be getting this game nonetheless as a slot machine with monsters is exactly the type of game that holds my interest past the first hour or two.

    As for the development cycle, ten years is not truly accurate. Blizzard North’s work was scrapped when they were folded in 2005, actual work on this game is quite a bit shorter.

  • Mike de Fleuriot

    I never really got this fixation with graphics. Pretty pictures are nice, but after the 100 magic find run, you really could not care about them. For me, it’s all about being the best demon hunter that I can possibly be. If you can not stick with a game for less than 8 hours, take some coin out of the cup and go buy us beer and pizza.

  • Michael

    I played through the whole beta and i am absolutely picking it up. I mean it’s diablo, it feels like playing diablo. The first time i heard the tristram music kick in I nerdgasmed super hard.

  • Wren, a Tru Hoppist

    My husband and I are going to play. We played the beta and I think some of the best things about it are not the graphics (which are actually pretty good, not SWTOR good, but still much better than D2), but all the neat things you can do in game. Like decapitating a demon and watching its head bounce. IMO, the physics engine is pretty good.

    Looting is improved. Anything that drops on your screen is only for you, so people can’t join your game and steal your gear. Playing with your friends is much better and easier.

    What I don’t like is the constant trope of heroines having unrealistic outfits and running around in high heels (looking at you, demon hunter). Also, I am uncertain about how I feel about the real money AH. I’m happy that people shouldn’t be able to scam others, but I’m afraid that if I want something, I’ll have to pay money instead of gold…

    Truly, I played through the beta on every character, and while I don’t want to play the part through the Skeleton King anymore, I am looking forward to the rest of the game.

    • Daniel Schealler

      What I don’t like is the constant trope of heroines having unrealistic outfits and running around in high heels (looking at you, demon hunter).

      Yeah, that one bugs me too.

      For what it’s worth though, they’re doing a lot better than I expected with the female versions of the barbarian and monk. The female barbarian looks big and hulking and intimidating. I was expecting Red Sonja.

      • Hibernia86

        Then again it is a computer game. I’m sure there are many things in it that wouldn’t actually work in real life.

  • karmakin

    The game is designed to be relatively accessible, technology wise, to a large player base. I strongly believe that pushing the graphics is something that simply isn’t needed, when basically 80% of graphical quality is all in the design anyway (and D3′s is really good..not as good as Guild Wars 2, but still really good)

    The gameplay is entirely different than D2. Or at least, the same concept is there, overhead, attack guys, kill them, but there’s much more focus on a wider variety of skills instead of making one or two overpowered skills and using it the entire game. There’s much more of a focus on snares and other crowd control rather than potion guzzling.

    There’s very little revolutionary anything in this world, to be honest. It’s a good evolution for this particular genre, possibly, unless you prefer the way it used to be. And personally, I’m happy that gameplay has evolved..a lot..in 10 years.

    • Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach

      Ohhh, Guild Wars 2. Now that one I am waiting for with bated breath. Tried to get into the beta, but my poor old compy just wasn’t up to the task. Going to get me an upgrade shortly, just so I can play. An MMO that finally breaks out of the WoW mold will be awesome, assuming they deliver as promised.

  • Metaphysical Ham Sandwich

    The graphics are acutally quite amazing. Everything moves. The detail of little papers and debris getting blown around by your attacks is nuts.

    It does play a bit like diablo 2, but the abilities all feel better tuned, more badass, and fun to execute. I’m willing to bet that if any fan of Diablo plays it once, they won’t be able to put it down.

    Hell, I was sold when I learned I could make a male or female of any class. :P

  • Timid Atheist

    I’ll be playing it simply because I loved D2 and what I’ve seen in Beta was a nice upgrade all around. I’m glad they finally added both genders for all the classes, though I hate that there is no customization.

    And I might also be playing it because I get a free copy since I signed up for a year of wow. *cough*

    And I gotta say, the graphics in the beta look great. I mean, really, it’s a huge improvement over D2. It’s stylized because Blizzards graphics always have had a storybook feeling to them. But it’s still pretty damn great. And I love the voice work they put into the game.

  • http://www.atheist-faq.com Jasper T

    I heard from a guy who knows a dude who beta tested it, and he says it’s the best of the three.

  • sqlrob

    Nope, not bothering with this due to the online DRM (my preferred digital provider is GoG, battle.net and Steam are non-starters)

    Back to Torchlight after work. I played way too much of that yesterday and will probably be going back down to the ruins. Sure wish I had a bigger inventory :-/

  • http://jonvoisey.net Jon Voisey

    I preordered the game last month, although I won’t be picking it up till Saturday. I spent a ton of time playing D2 so I’m expecting D3 will eat my soul as well.

  • nick

    I’ll probably pick up, play through it once or twice and then abandon it, like I did with the last 2 diablos

    1 was a horrid mess online with everyone basically hacking everything and going on PK sprees

    2 was a bit better, but it still had issues with limited replayability, and still having some balance issues

    Both were basically just horrid grind-fests of click, click, click, click, yay! Sword of 3 clicks, goodbye shitty sword of 4 clicks. Maybe someday I’ll get the coveted sword of 2 clicks.

  • http://schlosnagle.com Steve Schlosnagle

    It’s a Dungeon Crawl, so it pretty much looks and plays like a Dungeon Crawl.

    That being said, Blizzard has learned quite a lot over the last 10 years on how to make Dungeon Crawls more fun. So, I am looking forward to it, and have purchased it digitally already. (So, nice not to HAVE to go out an wait in lines at midnight anymore…)

    I’ll tell you the main reason I am excited about DIII: Enough of my friends that I played D1 & D2 with are excited about it that I am looking forward to playing with them!

    There have been plenty of good single player (& great see: Bastion) games in genre in the last 10 years. But I have never been able to get a good number of my friends to “invest” in a game since D2.

    I’ve played the MMORPG’s (Asheron’s Call, City of Heroes, & WoW) but most of those were “too much” for my friends and family to play (never mind keep up…)

    The Diablo game series has been both approachable and “replayable”. So I can convince F&F to play and I can easily keep multiple characters that are level appropriate for whatever group is available.

    I have much more fun playing when I am playing with friends, so their excitement is the “cake” to the “icing” that I would have bought DIII to play myself anyway.

  • Bruce Gorton

    I will probably be getting D3 with an eye to reviewing it. Blizzard has a good history – but they have been about due for a bad game for a while now.

  • ccaldwell314

    I’ll probably pick it up, but I’m not as excited about it as a lot of my friends are. I’ll probably wait until I get tired of playing Minecraft on the 360.

  • sqlrob

    An “interesting” Diablo fanfic (link is SFW, dunno if the full story is or not)

  • leftwingfox

    Collector’s Edition will be arriving tomorrow, where it will likely sit on my shelf glowering at me for another few weeks while I listen to the soundtrack and study the art books.

    My computer is about a year older than the minimum system requirements. Couldn’t even open the game during the Open Beta. I have since heard a suggestion on how to hack the setting files to allow it to work, so we’ll see. Otherwise, I’ll have to wait until I get a new computer; which means waiting for Apple to release the 2012 Ivy Bridge iMac.

    (I managed to play the open beta on another computer, and enjoyed myself a lot. It should waste a few weekends admirably.)

    • leftwingfox

      Update: the hack worked! I can play the game!*

      *For very generous values of “works” and “play”. Minimum settings, lowest screen resolution, and it still runs at about 1/2 to 2/3 the speed it should.

  • Bruce [Base]

    My pre-ordered copy is being shipped to me at this moment. I can count the number of games I’ve bought at launch on one hand, so yeah I’m looking forward to this one.

    A starter edition will be released next month for those on the fence.

    My impressions from the beta:

    As far as the graphics go, the character models do look dated (Blizzard probably didn’t want to pump money and computing resources into a graphics element that is usually only visible from a distance), but other aspects of the graphics are quite nice. You can’t see it very well in the video above, but the environments have this paint like texture to them (sort of like the background of a very early Disney movie) that I found very immersion inducing. The detail on equipment seems good as well.

    Combat feels visceral. A big thud from the bass when an attack lands, limbs flying off enemies, bodies and debris thrown into the air/off ledges by strong attacks. D3 has a much more satisfying feel to combat than I remember D2 having (though I haven’t played D2 in a number of years, so possibly I’m misremembering).

    My impression from the beta was that there are plenty of fun and useful builds to be made from skills and their rune variations. And I won’t have to replay the game a zillion times in order to experiment with them (YAY!).

    I also recall laughing my butt off at something involving the Templar follower. I can’t remember what it was though, so it probably wasn’t really that funny. Forget I mentioned it.

    What I don’t like is the constant trope of heroines having unrealistic outfits and running around in high heels (looking at you, demon hunter).

    I was disappointed by that as well. During the beta I kept looking for a torso armor that wouldn’t leave my wizard’s abs exposed, but alas she was stuck that way. (Well, it didn’t bother me too much since she was a ranged character, but what of the inevitable battlemages?) Looking through Diablo III’s battle.net area suggests, however, that some gear has a legitimate armor look to it even for heroines, so I’m willing to cut Blizzard some preliminary slack there.

  • Daniel Schealler

    A lot of thought went into the art style, actually. [CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS]

    It’s worth following through on that link: I’m not artistic at all, but still found it very interesting to hear about the thinking process behind their design decisions.

    I thought it was pretty smart. ^_^

  • Robert B.

    Nope. Getting Torchlight 2 instead. A friend of mine (who I party with in games like this) looked at D3 and said the same sort of things about the gameplay that you said about the graphics, JT – old, pushed-back-feeling, behind the genre’s curve. I got a few minutes with Torchlight 2 at PAX East, though – I was rushed, but it plays like a game designed in this decade. (Pets can buy potions for you, now, as well as selling loot. If they could just train them to turn in completed quests and start new ones, I’d never have to go back to town again.)

    • sqlrob

      Is it just potions or can you tell them to buy you a load of identify scrolls?

      Even better would be if you could send them to bring back your storage chest from town so I can get the stuff I’m now leveled enough for :D

      • Daniel Schealler

        No more identify scrolls in Diablo 3. Also no more town portal scrolls.

        Identification just requires you to channel the identify ability for 5 seconds while out of combat. Bing. Item identified.

        Town portal likewise becomes an ability that you can cast. Can’t remember if you could cast it during combat or not, but I suspect not.

      • Robert B.

        I think I heard you can send pets for scrolls, too. (I didn’t get to play the demo long enough to need to send my pet to town) Though I’m not sure why they’re keeping scrolls in the game. They were the last really annoying thing left in Torchlight 1. Still, being able to have them fetched would be an improvement.

  • Cunning Pam

    I played the beta, and while I have some quibbles with the game overall I’ll still be playing it. As a matter of fact I’ve just picked up the two CEs my hubby and I pre-ordered, so I have three guest passes available. If anyone wants one, please reply to this post with a contact email and I’ll check back later today and send you the code.

    • Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach

      Oh please please pick me! A guest pass would be awesome. Email dawise at the gmail, if you know what I mean.

      • Cunning Pam

        How can I refuse the Kwisatz Haderach? ;) Just stopped playing to check this thread, so code will be in the mail in a matter of moments.


        • Mark

          Any chance you’d give one to a lurker?

          thefightingmonk at gmail if you would :-)

        • Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach

          You are 12 different kinds of awesome. Code worked, downloading the client now.

          Who rocks? You rock!

        • Mark

          Thanks! You rock!

  • Epinephrine

    Probably not, waiting on the release of Guild Wars 2. I won’t have time for two games, and as you said, it looks underwhelming.

  • Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach

    I’ve had the game installed for a few hours now, I think its time to update the thread with my first impressions.

    It has a pretty log-in screen.
    That is all.

    Error 37, the servers are busy. Try again later.
    Error 37, the servers are busy. Try again later.
    Error 37, the servers are busy. Try again later.
    Error 37, the servers are busy. Try again later.

    I can’t play a single player game, installed on my hard drive, because Blizzard buggered up their servers. Seriously? Fuck you Blizzard!

    Some day soon, someone will crack this always-on DRM. When that happens, I may buy Diablo 3 and then I will apply the crack and actually be able to play. Why is it that the anti-piracy garbage only ever hurts legit customers?

    Update: Hey looky, a different error. Error 33 Battle.net is down for maintenance. Still can’t play, but at least its a variation from error 37.

  • Cunning Pam

    I want to love Blizzard, I really do. They put out polished, playable games IMO, games that I’ve enjoyed thoroughly in the past (Diablo I and II, several Warcrafts, World of Warcraft, Starcraft II). But this launch…holy mackerel. What a clusterfuck. D3 is a lot of fun, the physics and design are amazing and the gameplay (demon hunter, at least) is a ton of fun. At this point in their history, however, they have no excuses for the server problems. When you release a game that can only be played online, something I was hesitant about to begin with, you make damn sure people can actually PLAY the game. Period. RIFT’s launch was damn near flawless, and the recent open beta weekend of The Secret World was rock solid stable. It CAN be done.

    This former Blizzard fangrrl says “No, thanks, Blizz.” Won’t buy another product without evidence of huge changes to their outlook and processes.

    Funcom’s The Secret World is looking mighty good right about now.

    • Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach

      Sweet slightly seared slices of savior on a sandwich!!! How did I not hear about Secret World til last night? It looks brilliant, also, and this is the rare part, it looks new and unique. I’m definitely going to be in the beta this weekend.

      • Cunning Pam

        Haha! The Secret World is from Funcom, and some people have a thing about them, although Anarchy Online and Age of Conan were moderately and slightly successful, respectively. I agree that TSW is fresh and new; have you taken a look at the skill system? Totally different from anything I’ve ever seen in a game. Not to mention that the actual art in the game for the scenery and atmospherics is freaking GORGEOUS!

        If you end up playing the game and going Templar, look up the Fallen Angels cabal (TSW-speak for “guild”), the husband and I will be playing in that group. We picked them for their clearly spoken philosophy of being a totally secular group, using the Templar concept only for its historicity and not for anything at all religious. Discussion of religion as in attempting to proselytize is forbidden by the cabal, as a matter of fact. We’re secular Templars…all the fervor and devotion to cause with none of the religion.

        • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

          Just took a peek at Secret World. How can I get into the beta on this one?

          • Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach

            JT, put your name in and get lucky in a draw, or pre-order the game. Those are the only methods I can find. I’m just going to pre-order, but I’m one of the assholes with too much disposable income.

            Thanks for the offer Pam, but playing a Templar just doesn’t sit well. Too much historical baggage. I get your point about keeping the fervor and loosing the religion, but… I dunno, doesn’t fit me.

            Besides, given a choice, I will always be an agent of chaos. And the Dragons are singing my song.

            Maybe I’ll lob a fireball at your head in PvP someday :D