Diablo III

Players: 1 player offline, 2 online players
Publisher: Activision-Blizzard
Genres: Action, Adventure, RPG
Release Date: May 14, 2012
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
MSRP: $59.99
Platforms:
Return to the dark, dank dungeons of Diablo once more. With five classes to choose from and a new co-op feature, PvP Combat and a real money auction house are just some of the features found in the latest title in Blizzard's dark fantasy dungeon crawler.

Witch Doctor needs food badly.

In a time before time (the 90s), Blizzard Entertainment started development on what was to become the hack ‘n slash dungeon crawler, loot manufacturing machine called Diablo. Sixteen years later, and still as much a staple of gaming as it ever was, Diablo III promises a return to the world of Sanctuary, and many gamers waited with baited breath. So it became that Blizzard Entertainment did make decisions, on the requirements to run Diablo III and would arrange it so that players must be online in order to enjoy the fruits of their various labors. Quick responses came to this requirement, yea, and players did cry out in annoyance and anger that an online component was necessary to fulfill their dreams of phat lewts and ganking of monsters. And lo, Blizzard did part the clouds and respond to player anguish by saying “I’m actually kind of surprised in terms of there even being a question in today’s age around online play and the requirement around that.”

Let me put ye olde book of Enligshe down here and spell it more plainly. Earlier this week, Blizzard Entertainment announced that Diablo III would require an online connection to play at all times. Characters will be saved on Diablo servers, single player or not. Given the amount of knicker twisting going on over in Ubisoft’s corner, you’d think that they might have been prepared for the backlash, but no. Talking to MTV’s Multiplayer Blog, Robert Bridenbecker, Vice President of Online Technologies at the big B.E.’s offices expressed genuine surprise that fans of the series would be upset about this.

“We’ve been doing online gameplay for 15 years now…and with ‘World of WarCraft’ and our roots in Battle.net and now with ‘Diablo 3,’ it really is just the nature of how things are going, the nature of the industry. When you look at everything you get by having that persistent connection on the servers, you cannot ignore the power and the draw of that,” Bridenbecker continues. In perhaps the most baffling confession, he claims “Internally I don’t think [DRM] ever actually came up when we talked about how we want connections to operate.”

I keep seeing a lot of bridges in screenshots for Diablo III. Has Blizzard travelled… a bridge too far?

The impetus behind the always online play for Diablo III, Bridenbecker asserts, is to streamline the Diablo experience. He cites the example that offline characters in its predecessor could not be used for online play, and to have players juggle between two sets of characters is a lot of needless fluff for an experience that people are going to wind up using anyways. He’s also quick to assure players that just because online connectivity is a necessity, it doesn’t mean that players will be forced to socialize, or have their exploits published on Facebook.

Whatever happens, this is sure to be a divisive feature of the upcoming stabby simulator. On some of the other titles announced with this kind of requirement, it’s become obvious that many readers feel very strongly about these kinds of features. On the other hand, there’s the fact that it’s Diablo III, and how everybody seems to think that keeping your status as card carrying PC gamer requires you to play it. I kind of get the impression that the release of Diablo III is going to separate the wheat from the chaff of hard line opponents of DRM. Sure, they don’t CALL it DRM, but if the shoe fits, wear it. What are your plans? Is this worth getting bent out of shape about, or is your money struggling to get out of your wallet and into retailers’ hands?

Source: MTV Multiplayer Blog

Diablo 3 Review

Diablo returns to conquer the gaming universe after 12 years of being sealed away... but what makes the Lord of Terror think he can just waltz in here and take over?!
avatar

Johnny Maloney

Having been a gamer since 1986 when his father brought home an IBM PCjr with King's Quest and Crossfire included, it seemed destined that PC gaming and Johnny Maloney's life would run parallel forever. Despite his occasional affairs with movies, books, music and single malt scotch, he's never once left the side of his PC. In fact, on a full moon on a friday the thirteenth, if you sit in his old chairs... chills will run up your spine if you say "you fight like a dairy farmer," and you can sometimes hear ghostly whispers in the night respond "how appropriate, you fight like a cow…" -- Attempting to contact Johnny at Johnny@Blisteredthumbs.net may be successful.

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  1. August 08, 2011 at 08:16pm
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    I think most hacking in Diablo and Diablo II has been due to single-player files mixing with the multi-player. It’s just speculation, but I’m wondering if this will severely reduce, if not eliminate, hacking in Diablo 3. SC2 is already a step in the multi-player only direction, if you notice how achievements work and such.

    I think it’s a great thing, mostly because if they can’t handle the server load and don’t keep everything completely secure and running smoothly, they’ll have a 2x angry customer base. So I’m expecting things to go swimmingly now. Or else.

  2. August 06, 2011 at 03:35pm
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    I have not bought SC2 because lack of LAN and D3 can also GO FUCK ITSELF if they don’t change this before release.

  3. August 06, 2011 at 02:17pm
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    TL;DR:

    You, the consumer, is wrong.
    We, the corporation, is right.

    Good business!

  4. August 06, 2011 at 01:39pm
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    FUCK
    YOU
    ACTIVISION!
    STOP FUCKING WITH ME OR ELSE!!!

    srsly…i think im still going to buy it but i´ll probably play a cracked version because theres no such fucking shit and PROBABLY a lan mode. fuck you…all…of…you… srsly

    • August 06, 2011 at 07:12pm
      In response to PuresGift
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      Don’t buy it :) If you buy it you will support Blizzards actions.

    • August 06, 2011 at 07:42pm
      In response to PuresGift
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      Pirate it! It would be better to give your money to the people who make good games without the online BS. Or maybe support some indie devs. :)

      • August 07, 2011 at 07:20am
        In response to GoodGuyEddy
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        bros – im all about that shit and I support the indie scene whenever i can (bought aaaaaa and braid recently and the beat.trip games) and I would love to not buy this game and I know that this is probably the way to go but it´s just…im waiting for this game for years even if its bad i just want to have it…if anyone can understand that :D

  5. August 06, 2011 at 11:08am
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    Well, then, they won’t be getting my money.

    You know, we should just all with all games make an example one of these days: only on-line? Nobody buys your game, at all, nobody, until you implement off-line mode.

    Just once.

    Trust me, not a single company will ever THINK of delivering a single-player game that requires on-line connection at all times ever again.

  6. August 06, 2011 at 07:41am
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    The major problem that I see here is that Diablo III is only playable online. Meaning that if you go to a con, and you want to play Diablo, you better hope and pray that the 300 dollar hotel per day your spending for has free internet. With out those annoying codes, 24 hour periods and so on. Granted your enjoying the con and who has a Laptop that might be able to run this thing but still.

    Also what if this uses the speed or memory space of your internet? Basically there is one Internet service that limits the amount of download and this also includes upload memory space for your Internet service. I think Road Runner was testing about 4 GB per month at Texas or something at one point as well. What if Diablo III brakes that limit? There was a user on Kotaku who said that his service was canceled for one year after breaking this limit twice. As for speed, Roadrunner is the only other internet we have around here. Other wise we still be on AOL Dial Up.

    So the problem is, not everyone has unlimited and not everyone upgraded still. They should have if they play games but it might be true. There should be a offline mode. Even Starcraft II had no Lan mode right? They done this before.

    Bottom line, and I mean this. UBER mod Diablo II/2 and make the new classes into that game. That makes everyone happy. And then Blizzard will destroy it for some copyright deal because I guess that’s kind of true.

    Ps: Personalty, as long as it works well it don’t bother me. But any, A-N-Y chance that you might lose a customer is bad. Back then during Diablo II, I had Dial Up. I would have been unable to possible play this. Now i have to try D-3 and see if it can work under dial up.

  7. August 06, 2011 at 07:19am
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    Blizzard seems hellbent on making Diablo III their most controversial title as of yet.

    I bet all the people who say “this sucks, I refuse to play DIII” will eventually buy the title anyway, though. Me, personally – I don’t care.

    :|

    This is my caring face.

  8. August 06, 2011 at 05:32am
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    Fail, just FAIL. I guess i will not be playing Diablo III.

    And if i do i guess I will have to look for a pirated version. I HATE piracy for videogames, and havent done so in probably over a decade, but if developers are gonna pull bullshit like this, then i have no choice. When i buy a game, i damn well better be able to play it whenever and how ever the hell i want. Comparing this to an MMO like warcraft is retarded. Thats an online ONLY game. Why the hell should i have to be connected all the time to enjoy this single player?

    bullshit, fuck you Blizzard

  9. August 06, 2011 at 03:09am
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    To claim it’s just the nature of gaming these days is just a cheap excuse. They can’t just fuck us over and say “welp, that’s just the way it is.” They’re the ones who make it that way, not the gamers. Throwing the blame at the gamers for the way things are is downright infuriating. Empower the consumer instead of oppressing them.

    Pfft, surprised…like they didn’t notice people raging about Ubisoft. I highly doubt that.

  10. August 06, 2011 at 01:29am
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    I dont buy Ubisoft games cause their DRM. And I am genually pissed cause I would really like to play some of the coming games (M&M:Heroes 6 and Anno 2070). But I won’t buy them!

    Blizzard is not Blizzard anymore, its completely and utterly taken over by Activision.
    A Blizzard game without “mods” *lol*
    Permanent internet connection?

    I was completely down after playing Starcraft II, because it plays like the old game, but the story isnt as good as it could be (bad narritive structure, your decision is always right [Nova or Tosh], just one story turn) and the missions lack fun.

    Btw did anyone notice, that he wasnt surprised cause the AH, yeah they knew all would hate it!

    Blizzard go and rot in corporate hell and let your last 2 fanboys rot with you…

    • August 06, 2011 at 10:57am
      In response to Balberoy
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      I agree 100%, blizzard has taken a horrible direction.

      If they continue down this route, i will have to stop supporting them. Which sucks cause they where one of my favorite developers. But i just can’t support this corporate crap.

  11. August 06, 2011 at 01:16am
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    This whole thing reeks of PR spin and BS.

  12. August 05, 2011 at 09:02pm
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    Though I am loathe to admit it, this is the direction of gaming outside of consoles. Hell, even consoles to a certain extent are crawling in that direction ever so slowly.

    It’s an inevitability. I can certainly understand the desire to have a single player. As one fellow said best, not everyone has a stable internet connection and if that internet ever goes down, or say for example, they have to go without service for a period of time, they have lost the ability to play the game they just paid the full retail value for.

    Me personally? I find it illogical. There’s an ulterior motive for making this strictly online and I think most people can pinpoint quite a few of them. The ones who suffer for this however, are the fans.

    Now this decision doesn’t really effect me personally. I’m playing online whether it had a readily available single player with no online necessary or not. That’s just me though. That doesn’t mean I can’t see how foolish this decision was and how much it can potentially damage the consumer base.

    We may be the majority, but we are not the all. The moment companies say “screw the rest of you”…I’ll let you decide how you feel about that.

  13. August 05, 2011 at 08:34pm
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    The always on-DRM is still an issue for me on certain titles, particularly those with robust singleplayer components; but it doesn’t bother me so much in this case as I can’t see myself playing it at all without other people, and I’d need an internet connection to do that anyway so the always online component doesn’t really ranch my plans.

    However, that’s only my view – there are plenty (and a few have already voiced those concerns below) that seem like they would want to play Diablo 3 solo – I can’t understand why, but I don’t need to. Those people should be able to play those games offline, and so should I if I would like to as well.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the always online “feature” is not unpopular enough in the player community that it’s hurting sales for the games that have it; ergo it’s here to stay. If I had to put money down, I’d say within 5 years all PC games will require a constant internet connection. Sometimes, reality sucks. Guess I can just count myself as one of the lucky ones that isn’t sabotaged by gaming moving in this direction, as I don’t game on a mobile device & my ISP rarely suffers outages.

  14. August 05, 2011 at 08:30pm
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    I call BS on not even thinking of it as DRM. Im with others that the thing that grates most on that decision is that you can only play the game if you have a good connection. Too much latency- boom cant play, servers down for maintenance- boom cant play, servers over stressed cause too many people are logged in- – boom…. I do not find it difficult to choose between two buttons that decide if Im going to play on local or server stored data. Tweak the ui by adding a button or a check box and have the associated code for pulling character saves. Offline characters get a flag on them so you cant play them online except on servers/channels/games that are have offline characters flagged as ok, you can do the same thing with mods if they become available. Maybe someone and their buddies want to play with a mod or fool around with some cheats and power game or fool around with a max level character build. Hell, id be fine with it buried in the options somewhere, If Im playing a solo experience I should at least have the OPTION to not pointlessly eat up bandwidth.

    • August 06, 2011 at 03:09am
      In response to crystlshake
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      I agree, give ppl offline and make it so it cant be use online.

      The is still alot of ppl that play alot of their games offline or in small networks.
      Blizzard you just lost alot of ppl working places like the navy, no offline mode, well, then the game is pretty useless for them now.

  15. August 05, 2011 at 08:05pm
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    Blizzard, i am disapoint.
    NO OFFLINE MODE WHAT THE HECK. AND REAL WORLD MONEY FOR INGANE ACTION HOUSE. WTFF

    /rage

    But in all calmness i think blizzard are taking some bad directions. Is it really necessary to have everything run online? I mean how hard can it be to implement offline mode. I’m not a game designer, but i can imagine it goes something like this:

    “Copy game”
    “Paste”
    “Edit UI”
    “DONE”
    “Feel good about self for listening to fans”

    Ok maybe it’s a little more complicated, but the game is nearly done. How hard can it be??
    And.. i just cant comprehend the new auction house.. it’s just.. baaaaaaaaaaad. And i don’t care if people can make money off of it. It still ruins the gameplay. I for one do not like the pay 2 win formula. Now i will get pwned by noobs because they spend more money than me.

    I don’t know why Blizzard took this direction.. Maybe it’s because of Activision, but BioWare didn’t get messed up when they merged with EA. But Activision does seem like that bad girlfriend who want’s to dominate your life, and only want’s you for the sake of money.

  16. August 05, 2011 at 07:40pm
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    I am genuinely surprised at this guy’s surprise. In fact, I’m so surprised that he is ‘surprised’, that I am willing to call Bullsh*t on his surprise.

    Actually, that fella now owes me a new Bullsh*t Detector. Mine just exploded. I can say I’m fortunate to have survived.

  17. August 05, 2011 at 07:00pm
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    I just fucking love it when my single player games are held hostage by internet connection issues not to mention they have the ability to end my enjoyment by deciding they want to use the servers for WoW2 or something in the future basically dictating how long i can play the game.

    fucking dammit.

  18. August 05, 2011 at 06:59pm
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    The only thing that bothers me about it is if they ever shut down the servers the single player will be dead also. I like going back and playing old games sometimes. They should at least give an option to play offline with your character saved on the computer.

    • August 05, 2011 at 07:58pm
      In response to Eagle7D8
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      Considering that they have a history of supporting their old games (reselling the first two Diablo games via downloadables that doesn’t require a CD you throw away easily – a service I made use of despite already owning them), I honestly can’t see Blizzard discontinuing support for this in the future – unless they go downright bankrupt. Of course, with all these things that they’ve started pulling with Diablo 3? That might not actually be so unimaginable as one could assume.

    • August 06, 2011 at 05:33am
      In response to Eagle7D8
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      +1 Other than the general annoyance, this is the biggest issue i have with crap like this. People seem to think this stuff will be around forever.. NO. IT wont. Im a collector and have games all the way back to the NES. What th ehll do we do with all this DRM and online play only crap, 10 years down the road when these servers and things dont even exist? Your screwed. You can never play them again.

  19. August 05, 2011 at 06:47pm
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    I’ve just convinced myself that it’s a free to play MMO. So now I really don’t care.

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Blizzard Taking Down Diablo III's Auction House

Posted by [ 6 months, 4 weeks ]

Hallelujah! An improved loot system and no more auction houses is on the way.

Diablo III Expansion Reaper of Souls Gets Gameplay & Cinematic Trailers

Posted by [ 7 months, 3 weeks ]

Death is coming for you. Personally.

Reaper of Souls Teased By Blizzard as Possible 1st Diablo III Expansion

Posted by [ 8 months ]

The developer has also trademarked the name “The Dark Below” as well.

Korean Blizzard Offices Raided By FTC In Response to Diablo III Complaints

Posted by [ 1 year, 10 months ]

Well, I can’t say I was expecting this.

Activision Blizzard hits New Record thanks to Diablo III

Posted by [ 1 year, 10 months ]

Diablo III has sold so well, that within 24 hours, it had moved 3.5 Million copies, making it the fastest selling PC game of all time.

Diablo 3 Review

Posted by [ 1 year, 10 months ]

Diablo returns to conquer the gaming universe after 12 years of being sealed away… but what makes the Lord of Terror think he can just waltz in here and take over?!

Diablo III Game-breaking Bug Discovered

Posted by [ 1 year, 11 months ]

Templar’s don’t like to lose their equipment…

Torchlight II Due 'Ideally' After Diablo III

Posted by [ 2 years ]

More news from PAX East trickles through, this time from Torchlight II developer, Runic Games, who hope to put their hack and slasher dungeon crawler in the market right after the big D3 makes his grand entrance.

Diablo III Release Date Official

Posted by [ 2 years, 1 month ]

Too much cream in your coffee? El Diablo! Can’t find your Keys? El Diablo! Wondering what Blizzard game is going to release soon? Uh… Diablo… THREE.

Diablo III PvP Pushed to Post-Launch Patch

Posted by [ 2 years, 1 month ]

Bad news has come down from Blizzard regarding a major component of the much anticipated Diablo III and Blistered Thumbs has the information you need to know.

Blizzard Taking Down Diablo III's Auction House

Posted By about 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Hallelujah! An improved loot system and no more auction houses is on the way.

Diablo III Expansion Reaper of Souls Gets Gameplay & Cinematic Trailers

Posted By about 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Death is coming for you. Personally.

Reaper of Souls Teased By Blizzard as Possible 1st Diablo III Expansion

Posted By about 8 months ago

The developer has also trademarked the name “The Dark Below” as well.

Korean Blizzard Offices Raided By FTC In Response to Diablo III Complaints

Posted By about 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, I can’t say I was expecting this.

Activision Blizzard hits New Record thanks to Diablo III

Posted By about 1 year, 10 months ago

Diablo III has sold so well, that within 24 hours, it had moved 3.5 Million copies, making it the fastest selling PC game of all time.

Diablo III Game-breaking Bug Discovered

Posted By about 1 year, 11 months ago

Templar’s don’t like to lose their equipment…

Torchlight II Due 'Ideally' After Diablo III

Posted By about 2 years ago

More news from PAX East trickles through, this time from Torchlight II developer, Runic Games, who hope to put their hack and slasher dungeon crawler in the market right after the big D3 makes his grand entrance.

Diablo III Release Date Official

Posted By about 2 years, 1 month ago

Too much cream in your coffee? El Diablo! Can’t find your Keys? El Diablo! Wondering what Blizzard game is going to release soon? Uh… Diablo… THREE.

Diablo III PvP Pushed to Post-Launch Patch

Posted By about 2 years, 1 month ago

Bad news has come down from Blizzard regarding a major component of the much anticipated Diablo III and Blistered Thumbs has the information you need to know.

Diablo III Collectors Edition Detailed

Posted By about 2 years, 5 months ago

My god that’s a lot of stuff…

Diablo 3 Review

Diablo 3 Review

It’s been long over a decade since the release of Diablo 2, and to this very day games of Diablo 2 are still played on Blizzard Entertainment’s ‘Battle.net’ service. But for the majority of us gamers we’d almost forgotten the game series that existed in a much simpler time. Without YouTube, item database sites, user profiles, and countless other things we take for granted today, Diablo 2 existed before the huge influx of social media and communication we know today.

Content to quietly dominate basements and computer rooms throughout the world in the year 2000, the sinister Diablo worked tirelessly to weave its foul magics, to claw its way into the hearts and minds of gamers around the world. Waiting calmly, patiently, for its time to once again rule the world under its tyrannical reign. Over the years the name of Diablo drifted from the minds of gamers, fading until nothing but a memory of darker, simpler gaming times….

PROS Beautiful gameplay, breathtaking cinematics, solid mechanics, amazing story, addictive in the extreme with high replayability
CONS Needless and unwarranted always-online DRM means Single Player Games are sometimes impossible
WTF?! “WHAT THE FAAHHH… PONIES?!?! UNICORNS?!”

Many thought we’d never see the continuation of the series. Many thought the story over. With Diablo‘s soulstone shattered upon the Hellforge deep in the Burning Hells, and only a few scattered plot points left unfinished, it didn’t howl out for a sequel like so many games have in the past. Little did we realize what was waiting for us in 2012….

Secretly in development hell since the release of Diablo 2, Diablo 3 has seen numerous builds and styles which have, in the years since, been abandoned before what we now know became a reality. Announced for the first time to the public by a chilling and familiar guitar solo at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in 2008, Diablo 3 once more began working its way into the minds of gamers as information slowly leaked to the net.

In hindsight, it's kind of a shame you can't knock people off this bridge…

Released on May 15th at 12:01 a.m. around the world, through digital and retail-box sales, Diablo 3 pushed an estimated* 8 million copies within the first 24 hours, setting records across the industry for Fastest Selling Game of All Time, Highest Pre-Orders of All Time and many more. Safe to say, Diablo 3 made an impact even before it could be played. I’ll touch base on said controversy towards the end.

(Sales estimation based upon minimum numbers needed to break stated records for Pre-Orders as well as Blizzard’s statement regarding Diablo‘s numbers vs World of Warcraft’s release numbers, Blizzard Annual Pass holders, and an estimate of physical retail sales figures including Best Buy and GameStop.)

Right out of the gate, Diablo 3 fulfills every nostalgic memory of Diablo 1 and 2. The controls are similar, the style is similar and everything functions as you would suspect, but innovation and the metaphorical “raising the bar” has happened across the board. The graphics are highly detailed and fit the aesthetic and style of Diablo perfectly. The music and sound are spot-on and immediately bring back the memories of dark nights hacking away at countless waves of demons over a decade ago.

"Delicious little morsel…"

Nearly everything beloved about the Diablo series is back with a vengeance. A strangely simple yet fulfilling crafting system melds nicely with the game’s almost-slot machine like feel for item rewards. Gems can be found, cut, combined, enhanced and placed within items to enhance a variety of stats and rewards. A host of new abilities for each class can be customized and equipped to a character at anytime, anywhere and even on the fly in combat to allow a fast paced feel to combat that Diablo has always cultivated. A rich and expanded history and lore has been embraced within the game giving the world of Sanctuary a depth that it has never known before.

While such things aren’t the only, nor the largest, of Diablo 3‘s features, some things that Diablo 3 has been advertised with aren’t quite in the game yet. The highly controversial “Real Money Auction House” and its highly anticipated “Player versus Player Arena” have yet to launch, but based on my personal experience with both features though convention and Beta experiences, they too will be a (possibly) welcomed addition to a game already destined to win awards across the industry.

Character creation in Diablo 3 is a simple affair, you choose a class from a list of 5 with each having strengths and weaknesses to be utilized and overcome during play, a gender (which ultimately only effects the voice overs used during the game) and a name by which to mark the character by. Certainly not akin to an MMO’s customization, but that brings up a very important point:

Diablo 3 is, as it always was, a Hack and Slash game. It doesn’t really pretend to be anything else on the surface, but it does provide numerous bonuses and fleshes out the world and mechanics to a point that almost in a way disguises some of the game’s brief failings. To judge Diablo 3 as anything other than what it is would be a disservice and I’ll try and touch base on this during the wrap-up.

While you can customize your in-game appearance slightly with dyes bought in game, this is as much as it gets before then…

When you start a game in Diablo 3 you’re given a choice to start anywhere in the game’s storyline that you’ve completed and on any of the game’s four difficulty setting you’ve unlocked. The game’s mechanics slowly ramp up over time as you gain your first levels, beginning with an ever-familiar 2-Button Mouse control which slowly develops into using numerous keyboard keys for advanced skills, health potions, and communication.

Beginning with a small cast, the game introduces you to a growing cast of specialty vendors, crafters and their skills as well as characters over the course of the first of the game’s 4 Acts. The story unfolds through numerous cinematics across each act which are so incredibly detailed and awe-inspiring you’ll undoubtedly want to watch them over and over again. Not content to leave the storytelling to pre-rendered cinematics, in-game cinematics using the game’s engine are present to quickly bring characters along on the hell-spawning ride of the game’s dungeons, caverns, ice fields, hellish landscapes, and deserts.

Centered around the player and two main characters (a familiar face and a newly introduced character named Leah), the story stretches across the landscape of Sanctuary and brings back many familiar faces despite the game taking place 20 years after the events of Diablo 2. Lovers of the series will be immediately drawn into the story and will find themselves clicking through optional dialogs that unlock along the way for many of the game’s characters, often times unlocking even more dialog options the more you speak to them. While these conversations don’t directly effect the story, they do hint at the future or give tremendous background to characters both new and old.

From a small town with a small forge, you'll set out to save the world.

In fact, the final twists of the game’s final 2 Acts might even be a bit of a surprise if you never talks to a few of the game’s characters. Blizzard’s storytelling is once again in full form though, even going so far as to poke fun at itself and the genre during the course of the game through its character dialog, with lines such as, “A secret passage hidden behind a waterfall… how unimaginative….”

Classes this time around are the Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard. While more classes are slated to be added in the game’s stated “Multiple Expansions”, for now, 5 choices will have to do.

The Barbarian is the only “returning class” from the previous games and functions in a similar fashion to its ancestor. Instead of mana, however, he gains “Fury”, a resource gained by hitting things, getting hit by things, and generally breaking everything around him. Aesthetically the class is what comes to mind immediately after hearing the word Barbarian, though even I gotta admit the female barbarian has some curves to her that actually are believable and make you believe she truly could snap a demon in half with her bare hands while NOT actually wearing a chain mail bikini. Only full armor for this gal.

The Demon Hunter is the game’s ranged specialist which many see as a melding of Diablo 2‘s “Assassin” and “Amazon” classes. They’re fast moving with a wide array of traps, mechanical devices, and rapid fire arrow-related death. Utilizing a twin-resource system called “Hatred and Discipline” which must be generated and spent in a balance using various abilities in combination. This is well-tuned to the Demon Hunter’s class-related lore of treading the line of demonic fury. While often see as the femme-fatale version of the class, the male demon hunter is a dark anti-hero much the same as his female stage-hogging counterpart.

8/10

Diablo 3 Review

Diablo returns to conquer the gaming universe after 12 years of being sealed away... but what makes the Lord of Terror think he can just waltz in here and take over?!
  1. June 02, 2012 at 02:09am
    In response to Article
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    I take issue with the re-design of the skill tree. Why? Because I was promised a versatile set of abilities that allotted for unique combinations and ideas.

    This is false, and anyone grinding out inferno mode can confirm this. Quite frankly, the large majority of these “skills” will never see the light of day.

    I’m not gonna lie, I love the game. Playing with friends and having a total blast. Fact of the matter is though, the large majority of the abilities each class possess are complete and utter tripe, born to a sickly mother called uncaring and raised by a worthless father known as lazy.

    I chose wizard as my first class, because I was promised unique skills and abilities…I also love fancy particle effects and being creative with my skill usage. Even before I got to level 30, the halfway point in your skill development, I realized just how lazy the development was on these ‘abilities.’

    Some of the coolest ideas implemented in the worst of ways. At least in Diablo III skills did indeed have synergy and some worked welel in combination…not in Diablo III. At most, you’ll have two combinations at any given time as a Wizard, each dependent on whether or not you’re in a group or solo. Why? Because every other ability is completely nonviable or worthless in an almost comedic sense. I have well over 100 hours poured into this game (joys of playing w/ your boss ^_^) and I genuinely feel I have a good enough feel for how it is played. One way or the highway.

    It saddens me that all the amazing looking abilities like Sleet Storm and some variants are completely useless in the hard difficulty that is Inferno. Not even because of issues with skill, no it’s simply unusable because even if you maxed your defenses in every way, it would still be worthless because you would simply die if you get close to enemies to use it.

    Some of the coolest ideas simply have no use in the game because using them means you die. Plain and simple – they aren’t even options in any capacity because the enemies in higher difficulty can and will one shot you. And even if you max out on your defensive capabilities, it still wouldn’t work because you would lack the capacity to do anything with it.

    What little synergy some skills had, such as Critical Mass and Force Shield had, were immediately hit with the nerf gun. This wouldn’t really be an issue if not for Blizzards way of nerfing things – break it so it does nothing or is unusable with a promise to come back and fix it later. Quite literally, Wizards now have an ability in their tree that does absolutely nothing now.

    All other builds that would be ‘fun’…don’t work in any reasonable capacity. You’re stuck with one, possibly two cookie cutter builds in higher tier gameplay and that’s all there is to it.

    Diversity? More like advertising BS.

    I’ve played a number of classes now and unfortunately, Barbarians, despite being heavily gear dependent, are by far the most versatile class in the game, whereas Wizards, Monks, DH? Yeah, no, if you’re on Inferno A2 or higher, I can call out the build you’re using here and now skill for skill…

    It is a fun game though, not gonna lie. I just wish they’d quit jerking us around and make some of the abilities actually useful. There are some I can actually take one look at and tell you ‘wow, that’d be cool if it was actually useful in any capacity…shame it’s as useless as tits on a boar hog’.

  2. May 31, 2012 at 08:16pm
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    Now, full disclosure, I’m one of those people who got it for free through Blizzard’s WoW Annual Pass. Maybe my room to critique is slim to none but I feel like I can be very objective with no money invested in this.

    My philosophy on the game is simple: feels like they had a few different design philosophies that collided. They made an old-school feeling overhead hack-and-slash that on multiple levels feels like it does exactly what it’s supposed to and it delivers exactly what it promises. It’s also very grind-heavy requiring you to clear each difficulty to reach the next with each character you make…pretty much to all but force multi-player for Inferno mode I suspect.

    I think if you CAN manage to put the controversies aside and ignore the big fat hippos in the room, it stands on its own as a good game and a good experience overall. That being said, I would have probably would have waited to purchase the game until a price cut leading up to an expansion, or a bundled deal with an expansion pack. I would have paid for it, but for my own standards of quality and expectations, it would have been eventually and not in the current state that the game is in.

    Which seems to be the fourth recommendation coming into gaming reviews. It used to be just “buy it,” “rent it,” or “don’t buy it,” and now we can add in, “buy it when the game feels more finished.”

  3. May 23, 2012 at 02:01am
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    This game is fun, I will grant it that. But I do have one major problem with it. And it isn’t the DRM or server issues of Battle.net.

    It’s the ten years.

    Ten years we waited for this game. Ten years since that Diablo 2 expansion. Just like the ten years we waited for Starcraft 2.

    During that time World of Warcraft came out along with three different expansions before we even heard word they were working on either of those games.

    Now I am not bashing WoW. I had fun with it and know many people who still do. But Blizzard was lucky enough to have three hit franchises in three very different categories of games. Usually when a game takes so long to have a sequel it is because of licensing agreements or other such problems or something extreme like Valve who had part of their Half Life 2 source code hacked.

    But Blizzard just sat on their two franchises for a decade focusing the bulk of their development on one genre of game. And that annoys me because you know they will do it again. We will get an expansion (or two if we are lucky) and then nothing. All because… well no reason really.

    Like I said, this is a fun game. I am enjoying it. But can anyone point to anything here and say, “This! This is why we had to wait ten years.” Or, “We needed technology to catch up to their vision for this here!”

    Other than the always active online connection (and that is debateable) it feels like they could have had this game out five years ago. And the only reason it didn’t is because Blizzard chose, despite a large fanbase and an ever present demand, to focus all of it’s attention on another game in another genre.

    That being said, very fun game. I will recommend it to everyone who has been living under a rock and hasn’t heard of it yet. And I will be first in line in the year 2018 when Diablo 4 comes out.

    • May 23, 2012 at 01:14pm
      Tyr
      avatar
      In response to Menocu
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      Not to mention the score of hack and slash grind fests that have come out in the last 10 years, especially on consoles were I found them to be more engaging. I think I have 3 of them for my PSP alone, well 4 if you count MUA. 3 or 4 of them for my PS2, and a couple of them for my PS3. So it’s not as if I’m exactly in short supply if I need to get my grinding and loot fix.

      So I wasn’t exactly interested in this when I heard it was announced. And the always online feature makes me even less interested, even if I had a computer that could run this.

      Also, and it’s not that I’m saying your review sucks or anything of the sort Nobunaga, I’m sure its a good game for those who wish to go out and buy it. Among other things I’ve heard the character build system is a lot more forgiving in this one then it was in 2. However, haven’t you admitted that you are the this sites official Blizzard zombie?

      • June 01, 2012 at 02:39pm
        In response to Tyr
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        Hahaha, how I wish. No, not their zombie though I will admit to loving their games. Hell, I once published a picture here on BT that was me punching Blizzard’s creative VP Chris Metzen in the face. I’ll admit to being a Blizzard fan, but I’d never say fanatic. I play too many other games and think they’re amazing too… though I’m sure you’ll see 7s, 8s and 9s for Diablo 3 on other sites as well.

  4. May 22, 2012 at 12:01pm
    In response to Article
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    I love this game!Although it was expected, Launch day was a disaster and the following day was a disaster too.

  5. May 20, 2012 at 12:55pm
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    The servers were unstable on launch day, anyone will tell you one of the roughest days for any new game is launch day, so I wasn’t surprised by that. I’m willing to put up with having to be online to play the single player, the multiplayer this time around in drop-in/drop-out which means I won’t have to re-roll any of my characters JUST to play online.

    Overall I’m pleased with what I got, I expected the game to be fun and I got a fun game that I’ve already put hours into.

  6. May 19, 2012 at 11:48pm
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    The Euro servers were fine all during the launch,guess we were lucky.Never got error 37 or error 3006 once,only during Beta.
    It IS laggy though,at times during single player.

    • May 22, 2012 at 12:07pm
      In response to Destro9
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      what?Launch day was a disaster and the following day was a disaster too. You’re one lucky sob! I have error 37 engraved in my eyes forever like a Sharingan or something.

  7. May 19, 2012 at 10:26pm
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    Considering that this game was in development hell for the past 12 years, I knew immediately this would not live up to expectations. Since it was in development for more than a decade, this could have easily have become another Duke Nukem Forever, which itself was pretty bad. I would consider Diablo 3 on the opposite end of this effect; sure it is a letdown, but at least it’s polished and manages to recapture the spirit of the Diablo series. That’s just my two cents.

  8. May 19, 2012 at 09:51pm
    In response to Article
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    This game looks great and I had fun in the beta weekend but I’m done with any game that requires you to always be online. What if my Internets out and I want to play? Well too bad. So this will be a no buy for me unless the make it offline capable.

  9. May 19, 2012 at 08:44pm
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    The game was kinda iffy w/servers for the first 24 hours. After that it’s worked like a charm. I don’t understand why everyone has an issue with DRM. How often are you away from internet? And if the servers go down, which happens for short times for resets to assure quality, they usually seem to come up early. Removal of DRM and allowing for offline play means Blizzard will be handing you the keys to their game, opening up the possibility for getting hacked and private servers to open up. They added the RMAH to assure the game stays free past the initial purchase, if someone find out how to abuse the loot system due to having more control client side it could be pretty bad for RMAH considering the possibility for fraud. If a duped item gets in the RMAH what can Blizzard do? Delete the item for those that purchased it? Issue refunds(Which would mean taking from the seller who may not have known it was duped)? Since loot is handled by servers, removal of those servers and allowing for offline play will just create holes for people to abuse the system. If you played D2 you would know the can of worms duped items were. DMR saves this.

    • May 19, 2012 at 10:17pm
      In response to HarpuiaBlade
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      There are allready pirate servers running – and I guess it won’t take too long till there are workarounds for dubing or similar things.

      DMR is not a “keeping everything save” it also has lots of flaws which not only consist of “allways staying connected” – sorry to dissapoint

      And no offense intended

    • May 19, 2012 at 11:19pm
      In response to HarpuiaBlade
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      “Removal of DRM and allowing for offline play means Blizzard will be handing you the keys to their game”

      Oh no, people could play their game whenever they wanted and just have fun without having to wait in queue to play a SINGLEPLAYER game. Thank GOODNESS Blizzard has saved us from this travesty!

  10. May 19, 2012 at 06:38pm
    In response to Article
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    In regards to the game itself, I’m having fun with it. I was on the fence, but after playing in the open Weekend Stress-Test that seemed to prepare them for nothing, I kinda had to get it. And I was not disappointed.
    The cinematic’s are amazing to behold( blizzard never disappoints here.), and while I have some personal griefs with the loot system( its the genre, love it or hate it)I really can’t fault the game play. I do wish their was a return of the skill Trees, but the system is place is better than expected. After playing online for awhile, I found that no other player had a setup similar to mine. Your character may not have much in the way of customization on a cosmetic level, but the variations of play style make’s up for it.

    As for the DRM thing, I.. I’m torn. On the one hand, It sucks hard, and thanks to the cavalcade of problems it helped cause, I’m not a fan. But on the other hand… I can understand a company wanting to protect it’s product from hackers and pirates. I may not like it, but its.. justified? I guess?

  11. May 19, 2012 at 05:42pm
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    Um… I just wanted to point out I could only read two pages, the first and the last. seems the other two are broken or missing.

    just a heads up

  12. May 19, 2012 at 05:19pm
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    It’s a great game, I just wish they retained skill trees instead of the linear “Reach level x, get skill y” they went with. Now the only definining characteristic between your heroes and everyone else’s is how good their gear is. The devs said they did this because people always picked from a handful of optimal builds in D2 but that’s BS. Sure there were optimal builds for PvP or for the highest difficulty but I never used those because I just wanted to have fun and isn’t that the point?

    • May 21, 2012 at 05:11am
      In response to Catsimboy
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      What exactly does skill tree add? Instead of having a fixed number skills to build with you are given everything to screw around with. One of the biggest request in D2 was a respec function and having all the skills solves that problem. People say runes don’t change the skills much but it’s just the same in D2. The difference between low level fillers and high end skills was basically damage and aoe. People can actually play the game starting at low level instead of saving up all the points for lv30+.

  13. May 19, 2012 at 03:36pm
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    I wouldn’t rate Diablo 3 as high as you did because of those Reasons:

    Skills and Character Costumization:
    While the “streamlining” of the Skill System into the Rune System keeps the Game fast and easily modifieable a lot of thought processing and “adventuring” got lost.
    With the loss of directing Stats and Skills into the desired way you are “forced” into playing a certain Way and arent really allowed to experiment – of course you can try switching between the runes which change some skills significantly but it doesnt change how the class is played if you get what I mean.

    Also you don’t really have to put your mind into how you want to build your character, because all the Items you get have stats which make your character and your skills stronger.

    In my Opinion the Character Progression is a perfect Showcase of “holding your hand” at all the times. (or making it possible for brain-deads to play)

    Also not havinng at least diffrent Hair and Face Options is kinda weak.
    Blizzard caught our Hearts with improving on the existing Formula even though mostly it stayed very safe.
    This Game takes several Steps back.

    Story and Cinematics:
    Without spoiling too much the Story of D3 is horrificly generic and features some pretty weak Characters and for some Plot Points you need to read the Books which came out in the last Year (Which is a Sign of weak writing!).
    None of them get really intresting even the re-appearing Characters.
    Even the Deaths of known Characters aren’t sad or motivating in the least and can be seen waaaay ahead before it happens.

    The Cinematis have a great Quality BUT the Choreography at times is very weird and seems rather clunky than anything else. (Specially in the End of Act 4 )

    The DRM is as stated by many people a really bad thing and it keeps people from playing a “Singleplayer” Game.

    D3 is not a MMO!

    In the end it is only my Opinion BUT I try to be quiet neutral with my Comment.

    Good day :)

    • May 21, 2012 at 04:56am
      In response to nothuplay
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      Stat and skill points allocation only provides an illusion of customization. In the end, all you did was put enough str for gear, dex for block, then pump everything in vit. Any other build is simply inferior. Same thing with skills, you get your general utility skills, then pump everything into 1 or 2 main skills, everything else you throw into synergy.

      And the complaint about online only feels more like entitled whining than legitimate complaint. D2 ended up being mostly online and the single player mode was considered a joke so they catered to that population. They made it clear it was online only so everyone had the option of not buying it. People keep thinking it’s a single player game that you have to go online to play when in reality it’s an online game that you can choose to solo through.

      • May 21, 2012 at 04:33pm
        In response to akba
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        The skill points really only served to help spells scale into later acts (some simply didn’t scale into the late game well at all), you weren’t really making the skill any different, just upping the damage and possibly changing the number of projectiles fired by the spell/the range of the spell if even that. You have 30 active skills total, which is the same as what Diablo 2 had, or more in some cases (You had 30 skills in that one too, but that number also included the passives), yes you can’t get any goofy builds like the ranged barbarian or something of that nature, but the system is better overall if you ask me.

        As for the lack of offline multiplayer I said it earlier, it’s not a deal breaker for me, I prefer drop-in/drop-out multiplayer to “Oh you need to re-roll your character” multiplayer anyway.

        • May 22, 2012 at 12:06am
          In response to Basilisk1991
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          Thanks fpr those 2 comments. (uped you both)

          My Point wasn’t really about “everything is useful” it is about trying out your own stuff even though it won’t be nearly as effective as certain builds(!)

          “Creating your own character”

          And like I mentioned in the end it just is an Opinion :)

          • May 22, 2012 at 01:46am
            In response to nothuplay
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            Thing is you can still build your own character. Although you have access to all skills, you can only “equip” 6 at a time. You can also customize stats through equipments. For example, you can go all out str+dmg barb, or vit+armor+resist barb. Instead of being stuck with one build per character, you are given the option to “respec” anytime.

          • May 22, 2012 at 06:11am
            In response to nothuplay
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            I will admit you can’t do the cheesy sort of builds you could in Diablo 2, BUT I personally never was a fan of that, I’m not going to ham-string myself by playing a class in a way that goes against it’s skill-set, if I play a barbarian I want to run up to people and lop off their heads. You can still play around with different builds in terms of spell/ability loadouts, you just can’t make tank sorcerers and that sort of thing.

  14. May 19, 2012 at 03:24pm
    In response to Article
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    I really hope the backlash from this game is enough for companys to stop online drm. But from the looks of it, no.

    I want to say I’m laughing at you all but I can’t, it’s just too sad.

    Great in depth review though, I liked the inclusion of your cosplayer friend. Pretty cool.

    • May 20, 2012 at 05:00am
      In response to Xirbtt
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      Backlash from the game? Roughly 10 million copies sold in 24 hours at £10 more than other PC games in the UK (and simiar in Euro on the mainland)?

      Yeah, I can see Blizzard learning a lesson here, but not the one you hope for.

      • May 20, 2012 at 08:48am
        In response to Yousif A.
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        To be fair,Skyrim and MW3 on PC were also charged at higher RRP than the traditional £25/29 entry point of times yore.

      • May 20, 2012 at 11:21am
        In response to Yousif A.
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        By backlash I was referring to the servers not being able to accommodate the players trying to log in.

        A lot of people got angry, but you’re right, it’s just a juggernaut of a game that people would gladly have Blizzard kill their dog if they could just get the chance to play it.

        :I

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Benzaie plays Diablo III beta

Posted in Benzaie [ 2 years, 1 month ]

You can’t wait for it ? To a point you’re willing to watch a newb play it in front of you ? Well come in !

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