Diablo 3 – First Impressions

Diablo 3 – First Impressions

With Diablo 3 being released this week, the question of first impressions is critical. Is the game similar yet different enough from Diablo 2 to be successful without feeling like a clone? The answer is actually harder than the question, it depends on what consumers are expecting.

 

Similarities

Diablo III - Mac/Windows
Diablo 3 has many things in common with Diablo 2, obviously. The basic gameplay is nearly identical. The atmosphere is maintained through the entire series, as is most of the music. The starting area is again in Tristram, with King Leoric being one of the first major villains. The overall areas are also fairly standardized, like in Diablo 2, rather than incredibly random as they were in Diablo 1.

 

Differences

There are a plethora of minor differences between the two titles. Although the overall feel and gameplay are the same, there are key mechanics details that work differently between the games.

 

Classes

Diablo 3 includes 5 classes, one of which is repeated from Diablo 2, but due to differences in mechanics, it is not identical. Barbarians, which were in Diablo 2, focus on devastating melee attacks. Demon Hunters are masters of ranged combat and traps. Monks are incredibly agile melee experts, moving around the battlefield quickly and striking with fast attacks. Witch Doctors are devoted to the darker forms of magic, focusing on summoning undead as well as cursing and poisoning their enemies (similar to the Necromancer in Diablo 2). Lastly, Wizards control the elements such as lightning and ice to destroy their enemies. Each of these classes will be reviewed in detail in a later post.

 

Character Progression – No More Skill Tree

Advancing through levels in Diablo 3 is vastly different than in Diablo 2. There is no longer a skill tree to allocate points as the character levels. Instead, the game grants abilities at certain levels and the player selects which abilities they want for various hotkeys (1-4 and left/right click). Later, players can modify these abilities as their character gains in power, or select other abilities.

 

Shared Gold and Stash Slots

Previous editions made it risky to transfer equipment or funds from one character to another. In Diablo 3 this problem has been thoroughly solved. All characters (and each player can have up to 10) share a stash (think bank) as well as all of their gold. Although the starting stash is fairly small, it can be increased by spending gold.  This way your Diablo 3 character doesn’t have to worry about dropping items and hoping to get them back like in previous editions.

 

Auction House

Diablo 3 introduced a new approach to buying and selling items within the game in a more secure and reliable method. Players can now sell items through an ingame auction house. Currently, these auctions are for gold only, however the real world currency market is expected soon. Battlenet charges a percentage for each sale, and funds to the seller can go to either their Battlenet account or Paypal.

 

No Scrolls and Fewer Potions

One of the largest problems from Diablo 2 was the amount of space that various potions and scrolls occupied. Diablo 3 has removed the need for most of these items. Town Portal is now an ability that is acquired fairly early (about 8th level). Identify is no longer needed either. Mana and Rejuvenation do not appear to be in game.

 

Traps and Terrain

Another interesting aspect of Diablo 3 is how much of the world can be affected by characters. All of the different titles in the series have had a small amount of destructible objects, such as barrels. Diablo 3 has a variety of objects that can be annihilated intentionally or by stray fire, such as wagons, tomb stones, railings, etc. Along with this destruction and mayhem, many different traps exist in the game to attack characters or monsters, including swinging blades, stacked logs, and other disasters waiting to happen.

 

Crafting

Diablo 2 had a variety of crafting by using the Horadric Cube to create various random items, but Diablo 3 changes crafting significantly. Items in Diablo 3 are made by training various recipes, then using ingredients collected by salvaging other magic gear to create the desired equipment. For example, you can make “Journeyman Chain Boots” with 7 “Subtle Essences” collected from other magical gear. These boots are level 18 and have 2 random magical properties.

 

Summary

Although Diablo 3 has much in common with Diablo 2, as should be expected, there are significant differences in several aspects. The true question is whether these changes make the game distinctly different or leave it too similar to its predecessor. My first impression of Diablo 3 is a positive one, but every individual has different tastes and desires.

Diablo III - Mac/Windows Diablo III – Mac/Windows

Synopsis – Deckard Cain scuffs his foot just in front of the ruins of Tristram Cathedral. The stirrings of evil have returned to this world, and these ruins must hold the clues to defeating whatever fresh hell is about to return to the realms of Sanctuary. Just as his hope is fading, Cain spots a glowing ball in the sky. A fiery harbinger of doom hurdles toward him, falling straight from the heavens. Striking the very ground where Diablo once entered the world, the ancient evils of the past reawaken. The fire burns rapidly and it becomes clear that this world is once again in need of a hero. Will you still have what it takes two decades after the last battle? Return to Sanctuary to confront the many forms of evil once again in Diablo III. Choose your hero from five powerful character classes, including Barbarian, Witch Doctor and Wizard each with their own spells and abilities. Decimate your enemies by using the interactive environment to your advantage lay cunning traps and use destructible objects and environmental obstacles to your advantage with the Havok physics system. The realms of Sanctuary are now rendered in gorgeous 3D for rich gameplay that pulls you in, allowing you to explore highly detailed regions of Sanctuary. Enjoy new character customization and embark on exciting adventures with the new quest system and prepare for the ultimate action-RPG experience. Join the battle with friends in the intense Battle.net multiplayer platform that lets you connect with other players so you can jump right into the action.


ESRB Rated Mature

Rated Mature for Blood and Gore, Violence

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