Slowly abandoning Diablo 3

zinho73

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As I write this I have played something like 40 to 45 hours of Diablo 3. This is quite a feat for a game, as I simply don?t have the time these days to spend on that much gaming. So D3 must be a really great game that truly grabbed me by the balls, right?

More or less, the truth is, my first feel of the game was one of disappointment. I was playing it with a strong sensation that it would get better as I played it, but I just found that I felt just the opposite: the more I played, the more I asked myself why I was playing.

The first obvious thing that bothered me was the always online thingy. Living in Brasil, I?m far enough from the servers to have guaranteed lag with an uncomfortable frequency. And I also had my share of disconnects (today even, two times), losing progress at key times. People tell me that this is all standard for an online game, but I?m an old geezer that likes to play his games whenever I want to. So it bothered me, but, hey, already bought it, right? I continued to play.

Second thing: the story. It is not that great to begin with (although the cutscenes are great), and from Nightmare on it kinds of get in the way. I found myself hitting the space bar with more vigor than my left button on the mouse. Minor annoyance, very personal, not a reason to stop playing, so I continued.

Third thing: the skill system. About level 20 I stop caring when I leveled up. Almost always the things that were unlocked were not the things I was using and I was fine using them. I discovered that the skill system does not offer a sense of progression. It adds variety, but do not evolve. There are no pre-requisites, no stats to allocate, no synergies with weapons or gear, there is nothing to aim for. It boils down to personal preferences or specific setups like when in coop or boss raids. So I changed when I was going to fight a boss or when going to participate in jolly cooperation. In the beginning I was quite excited to get a new rune or skill, because the beginning of the game is really boring and you are just hurting for anything to happen, but my hard on eventually went away.

I guess this system is all right for a superfast game like DOTA, in which you do not have time to think about your progression, but it ended up taking something away from the game. But it is a solid system and by level 60 I would sure have so many possibilities that my mind would explode with excitement, so I continued playing? But now less so. I also scratched my head in order to find a reason to roll another Char of the same class again. Couldn?t find any reasonable one (the achievement is not reasonable).

Fourth: the gear. My first character was a witch doctor. After half an hour playing I realized that, although I was equipped with a sword, I was still spitting from a zarabatana. Look, if you wanna my character to throw pots at people, please make her use a pot as a weapon. It would actually be a cool, unique, original weapon. Once I realized all magic stuff was related with weapon DMG (any weapon), I felt my immersion going away, I quickly switched to a Demon Hunter so I could not see this aberration anymore.

Fifth: the loot. One thing is the character using a sword to throw pots. Unsettling, but I could live with it. The other thing is the loot itself being uneventful. By level 30 I wasn?t even ?opening? the little yellow packages of rare loot on the spot. I was waiting until my inventory was full to sort things out. The thing is, as a Demon Hunter, the only really useful stuff were the ones that added DEX and VIT, also, most of the blue loot is fantastic and the yellow stuff seemed better suited for maybe two levels ago. I found two uniques that were garbage. Also, bosses were pretty disappointing the second time around. Well, there are a lot of posts on the net talking in detail about the itemization of the game, and I agree with most of them: it is lacking. It is too homogeneous and feels uninspired. Weapons should have had unique attributes or bonuses for certain classes to make more of them viable (and viable for different reasons), blues should be less powerful, uniques should have been way more powerful.

But this is something fixable with an expansion or a patch and it only really hurts the endgame, because there is still a plethora of thins to equip. So I continued playing.

Sixth: the auction house. A little bit on my background: I?ve never bought anything outside a game to progress within it. I guess this is becoming more and more common in these days of DLC, but I simply cannot get used to it. To me, it is simply not part of the game.

Money in D3 is plentiful and if I can buy the best loot from the auction house, my drive to play the game is seriously diminished. Also, there is just one sensible thing to do if you are looking for the best equipment: your main stat and VIT. In the auction house things like that are plentiful, relatively cheap (especially if you are selling everything you come around) and better than almost anything you can find.

Also the whole thing is self sustainable after an initial investment, because you can resell what you have bought. A friend of mine plays to find items to sell on the AC to buy items for his character. Well, wherever tickles your fancy, man. I find the whole thing the endorsement of something that was wrong to begin with, created to exploit our addictiveness. I don?t think this kind of stuff makes us better games and I?m sure that the fact that Blizzard decided to build the game around it lead to some sad design decisions like the always online thingy.

In the end, I think that the action is great (it is actually less clicky), the art direction is ok (if totally uninspired) and the pacing really good (aside from the story bits after beating the game). Also, leveling up between 12 to 45 feels all right, because you can?t really see the loot homogenization (unless you are paying attention) and the skills keep coming (without any kind of greatness, but it is something), also the game ramps up in difficulty and the added challenge is welcome.

But after that... I don?t know. Well, I stop playing to write this boring wall of text, so the drive to get back to it is clearly not there anymore.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Emiscary said:
Sooo not even close to being worth 60$? Gotcha.

Saving it for GW2, as planned.
I bought both!

Diablo III was questionable as a $60 purchase but I'd be lying if I said I haven't been having fun with it.

Guild Wars II I am ardently anticipating, and I expect many hours of enjoyment when it releases in Q4 2015.
 

eventhorizon525

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BloatedGuppy said:
Emiscary said:
Sooo not even close to being worth 60$? Gotcha.

Saving it for GW2, as planned.
I bought both!

Diablo III was questionable as a $60 purchase but I'd be lying if I said I haven't been having fun with it.

Guild Wars II I am ardently anticipating, and I expect many hours of enjoyment when it releases in Q4 2015.
2015?! Wow now, lets not get ahead of ourselves. We only just hit pre-order beta [weekends], got a good another forever to wait.

On topic: There are some problems with how weapons are used in animations (the monk WILL punch, no matter what you have equipped, even a staff designed for the class), but they aren't universal. Some spells of the wizard did actually incorporate the weapon into them though it still wasn't all that impressive or special.

The itemization is an issue depending on view point. They definitely had stuff they had to fix from D2, and the fact I've been more curious at the enchantments on even blues says they've at least cleaned that up some. Leveling, while not necessarily the most interesting thing late game (haven't gone there myself, taking OP's word), it still beats D2 builds. By level 30, you had all the skills you were ever going to seriously use, and it was all just numerical increases from there. I do feel the easy of respeccing and lack of choice with how to assign attribute points is frustrating (killing the unique feeling of a particular character).

Personally, I'm already finding the story somewhat annoying at times with all the seemingly contrived stuff (seriously, does anything ever happen to her BUT that - don't spoil if something does, haven't finished normal yet). Despite having filled out the story more as compared to previous games, it feels less cohesive at times.
 

Rastien

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You are the single most polite and well spoken Brazillian i have ever met online. Majority of my experience is "BR ES#1 huehue mordekeiser" etc etc. So its a pleasure to make your aquantence good sir :)

I fully understand where your coming from with it wearing abit thin, for me personally i had played the previous 2 and was knowing full well what to expect, re play throughs etc.

What i dislike is the weapons :< as you say you don't actually seem to use them! they are more of stat sticks than anything...

But for me personally i am still loving it, but the rose tinted glasses are slipping :).
 

oplinger

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zinho73 said:
Fifth: the loot. One thing is the character using a sword to throw pots. Unsettling, but I could live with it. The other thing is the loot itself being uneventful. By level 30 I wasn?t even ?opening? the little yellow packages of rare loot on the spot. I was waiting until my inventory was full to sort things out. The thing is, as a Demon Hunter, the only really useful stuff were the ones that added DEX and VIT, also, most of the blue loot is fantastic and the yellow stuff seemed better suited for maybe two levels ago.

Most of the yellows are from 2 levels ago. All the items have levels, and each level has a certain amount of a stat is can have at max (like a level 20 something can have 30 on any stat on it, or whatever)

The difference between blues and yellows is the number of enchantments, not the numbers in the enchantments. So I kind of feel you're missing the point on that one.

Otherwise you're kinda spot on.

However I'm still having a blast, and I'm about 50 hours in. Mostly because the game feels new and interesting to me on other characters. I think the leveling is a nice curve, at least it lasts until max level. I can think of countless games where the skills you learn just kinda end about halfway..

Fourth: the gear. My first character was a witch doctor. After half an hour playing I realized that, although I was equipped with a sword, I was still spitting from a zarabatana. Look, if you wanna my character to throw pots at people, please make her use a pot as a weapon. It would actually be a cool, unique, original weapon. Once I realized all magic stuff was related with weapon DMG (any weapon), I felt my immersion going away, I quickly switched to a Demon Hunter so I could not see this aberration anymore.
This one I sort of agree with to a point. It's awkward that your attacks don't use your weapons, but your primary attack is not a weapon attack in D3, it's a class skill. You attack with your weapon when you run out of energy, so it's sort of a backup to your classes strengths. That's the only reason I let it go. Makes sense to me >.>
 

BloatedGuppy

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TheKasp said:
May I steal this paragraph? Because it expresses exactly the reason I did not spend a dime on Diablo 3.
Can you describe the skill system in Diablo 3 to me in the words you would've used prior to reading that, and explain why you find it inferior to Diablo 2?
 

BloatedGuppy

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TheKasp said:
Oversimplified, lacking sense of progress, lacking sense of achivement.

And I really don't find it all that inferior to D2, I wasn't all too fond of D2 system either (especially the stat thing... I did not like that at all). D2 was quite unintuitive after certain patches and it was easy to fuck characters up and render them useless. In the case of D3 I just never had the patience to write it down due to lack of interest.
Fair enough, I suppose, as it has been simplified. After a fashion, anyway. There's still the same breadth of possibilities in terms of which skills you choose, there's just no more pumping points into them, and there's no more locking skills down in talent trees, you can fluidly adjust your build on the fly. I'd disagree about the sense of achievement/progress...I find unlocking a new skill/rune no less satisfying than putting a skill into "axe mastery" and getting a small passive boost to my numbers. Diablo 3 probably has a BETTER sense of "new toys!" than Diablo 2 did, in that regard.

I can't argue simplification because I don't know what you'd consider to be a good level-up reward system by way of comparison. I find D3's more or less appropriate for the nature of the game, which is fast and dirty. It does suffer a little at lower levels as you struggle to unlock enough skills to tailor the class to your play style, and the fact that elective mode is A) not the default and B) hidden away under game play options and never really advertised or explained at all is fairly unforgivable.
 

Scarim Coral

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BloatedGuppy said:
I bought both!

Diablo III was questionable as a $60 purchase but I'd be lying if I said I haven't been having fun with it.

Guild Wars II I am ardently anticipating, and I expect many hours of enjoyment when it releases in Q4 2015.
Same here, while I am enjoying Diablo 3 despite some of the shortcomings (like losing the connection after you pick up a rare loot and spending hours on the area and it only save via checkpoints) but I pretty much playing it until Guild Wars 2 official release (which will not please my Diablo hardcore fan mate).
 

Lunar Templar

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heh

40+ hours is a good run, and agree with some of the comments like the weapons and rares (most the ones i get aren't worth the drop in DPS).

don't really agree on money though, yeah there's a lot of it, but, >.> when i need to save a whole act to get the coin to expand my stash, there's not enough of it (the 100K upgrade)

my biggest gripe with the game is the rubber banding and lag :/ seirusly blizzard has millions to stuff the concussions with, fix it >.<. even NEXON fixed this in Vindictus, and i know they don't make nearly the coin Blizzard dose
 

zinho73

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Draech said:
PreviouslyPwned said:
45 hours out of a non-MMO is a decent run, to be honest.

I think the only games I played for longer than that were Fallout3 and New Vegas.
If I get more than 50 hours out of a game, I might be wasting one of my other purchases. Money isn't my limiter. Time however...
Yeah, I don't think I completely wasted my money. Had some fun, no doubt. The main problem is that I spent a lot of this time waiting for the game to get really amazing, which never happened.
 

VladG

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The latency issues are, unfortunately, present everywhere, and the only reason I defended their always on DRM was because I thought Blizzard could be the one company to provide flawless service. Well thanks for serving me those words on a shit and lag sandwich, that's a nice way to treat a paying customer Blizzard, kudos.

Most of the issues you've mentioned are mostly gone when you reach level 60. I've so far sunk over 100 hours into the game (quite impressive nowadays, no game has managed to keep me quite so occupied in many, many years).

The skill choices become significant when you are penalized for changing them on the spot, money is FAR from plentiful.

The loot is randomized. You will find terrible yellows, you will find awesome blues. But in the end Yellows have far greater stat potential than blues, and you'll end up wearing only yellows (or better).

The AH can only help you so far with the gear, since I'm currently farming inferno, there are VERY few upgrades for me on the AH, and they cost insane amounts of gold (enough that I can't even come close to affording them)

That achievement is a cheap trick to get you to play more hours, I completely agree, there's no other point in it whatsoever.

I agree with the lack of sense of progress, but the endgame content is difficult enough that the challenge of it is quite rewarding to beat.

On the other hand, once you reach level 60, pretty much all you'll be doing is grinding for gear, progression is extremely slow on inferno.
 

zinho73

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One thing that I really do not agree is when people talk about the old leveling system in D2 as it was broken.

Sure, it could improve.

Sure, some very few bad decisions could block your advancement.

But the fact is that even if your Char wasn't optimized you could tackle the game with no major problems, with a ton of fun and creative combinations, which felt very different from each other even inside the same class.

Granted, in multiplayer, some builds were destroyed on sight. But if your thing was multiplayer you were probably hitting the net to get build tips and a simple respec would get you on track again. And probably the same thing will happen now with D3.

Also, if you wanted the ultimate damage machine in D2, very few builds would provide that, but you didn't need the ultimate dmg machine to finish the game in any difficulty.

Right now in D3 I already see a lot of skills that are not going to cut in multiplayer (some not even in single player). I guess it comes with the territory because you simply have lots of skills to choose from and this is just a nightmare to balance properly.

What I think is that Blizzard missed an incredible opportunity here, because they could have gone to a more bold skill system in D3 simply because with the always online feature, they could re-balance things as needed very easily.

I guess we got the short-end of being always online. Blizzard gets the functioning (somewhat) auction house, less cheaters and a delay on piracy. We get lag, disconnection, hackers, gold sellers spam and so on.
 

Evil Teddie

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I just hate the fact that with no choice in character progression, all that differentiates your character from another one from the same class is the items you have equipped.

Why hello there Real Money Auction House, can I buy some items please?

It's sickening, character progression taken away so that the only way to improve the builds is to buy MEGA SUPER ITEMZ from the RMAH.

I'll see you on Path of Exile which is Free To Play and has the mighty Sphere-Grid-like Skill Web.