Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Diablo 3 Lived Up to its Hype

The internet has been eerily quiet this week and it's not hard to determine why. Diablo 3 was released last Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Error 37 issues aside, players rejoiced, neglected society's rituals of eating and sleeping, and quested with new and old friends alike (how we've missed Deckard Cain).

Here's why Diablo 3 didn't disappoint.

It's pretty. It will be the first thing you notice and reason enough to draw you in. The 3D graphics are breathtaking. Whether you're side-stepping fire in the Halls of Agony or lurking around the Cemetery of the Foresaken, expect to feel both terror and adrenaline pumping through you as you become part of the game. You'll also enjoy new places to find loot (from cracked tile floors to baskets of sacrificial heads) and new ways to kill enemies (dropping chandeliers and rolling logs).

Let's get started.

No more town portal or identity scrolls. Or having to learn spells for such. Waypoints and checkpoints are abundant and you're granted ability to readily create a town portal at your whim early on in the game. Most objects are automatically identified. The ones that aren't are easily identifiable by right-clicking. Also, there are more magical items than before. These items no longer belong in sets which make them less frustrating to collect.

Know where you're going. Maps are extremely easy to read. Symbols make it clear where you are to go. As the game progresses, there are fewer destination markings, still giving you the need for exploration but allowing you to less frequently feel hopeless and lost.

Clear quests. Of course, you will sometimes be told to explore a territory or have some other vague task but overall, you are told exactly what to do and generally where to go to do it. Need more detail? Just check your journal and it's usually provided. Also, quests are given piece-meal and are updated much more frequently.

The Butcher's back and this time, he means business.

Skills upgraded easily. No longer are you allocated points for skills like dexterity- these are predetermined based on your class.This may seem like a let-down at first but once you experience how streamlined it is to upgrade to a new level, you won't miss the old ways again.  Don't worry- you can still pick and choose your talents.

Improved dialogue. While much of the dialogue is still cheesy, it's less cheesy than the dialogue from Diablo 2. While your inner dialogue may be pleading with your followers to shut up, your character is likely ordering that they do the same in a spicy fashion.

Replayability. One of- no, scratch that- the only benefit of the systems overloading and players being forcibly logged out at the worst of times during the first week of Diablo 3's release was logging back in and experiencing the great randomness of the random generator. While frustrating in that particular instance, it demonstrates the amazing level of replayability of Diablo 3. The layout won't be the only thing that's different your second time around. Add to that the different class options and you can play this game again and again without feeling that way.