Blizzard’s latest title, Diablo III, has recently been undergoing a beta test. Luckily, I was able to participate in the closed and open version of this beta test. I thought I would share with the 2old2play community some of my thoughts on this very big release coming up on May the 15th.
DISCLAIMER: Since this was only a beta, this is not a review. The game is still in the process of being finished and what follows are only my thoughts on what I was able to play.
Now onto the game....
First of all, this game feels like a Diablo game. They did not tinker with the formula to ruin what made Diablo II so much fun. They made some changes but, from what I have seen so far, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The really significant change is the move to an all-online game. Basically if you do not have internet, you cannot play. They are doing the same thing that they did with Starcraft II. I know this is a big deal and may turn some people off. I will say that lag-wise the game is pretty fast. I own a laptop that is a few years old and was really surprised on how fast the game ran. Altering the shadow detail improved game speed even further.
Classes of Diablo III
I was able to play a little of each class. Here are my thoughts on each one.
Barbarian - The Barbarian class is a heavy weapon and armor class. If brute force is your thing, this class is the way to go. Creature bodies can be seen flying through the air in pieces as the Barbarian hacks away at multiple foes. The resource of power is Fury, which is gained through using certain abilities. Other abilities spend the Fury that has been collected.
Demon Hunter - This class is definitely for those that like to fight from a long range. The Demon Hunter uses ranged weapons such as bows and crossbows (which can be dual wielded) and uses a multitude of traps. This character is the only class that actually uses two separate resources, Hatred and Discipline. Hatred is used and acquired through projectile abilities. Discipline is used for traps and regenerates.
Monk - The Monk class is similar to the Barbarian in power, but focuses more on abilities than the Barbarians’ focus on weapons. The Monk uses martial arts moves and the resource is Spirit. It regenerates quite slowly but, similar to the Barbarian, can also be built by using abilities. The skills were very cool to watch as the Monk performed flying kicks and punches sending the enemies flying off the screen.
Witch Doctor - I found this class to be somewhat similar to the Necromancer class in Diablo II. The Witch Doctor summons spirits to help fight the many creatures encountered. This class also focuses more on abilities than the weapons controlled. Mana is the resource used by the Witch Doctor and is automatically regenerated through time. While creatures are the main source of power, some abilities act as traps to slow down and attack foes.
Wizard - Wizard is the spellcaster of Diablo III. The spells are quite varied and include elemental attacks, area of effect spells and protective spells. Arcane Power, which regenerates very fast and can use lighter spells almost infinitely, is the resource by which the Wizard acquires its power.
Final thoughts on the beta
The Diablo III beta covers the beginning of the game until the first major boss. It was long enough to get a really good feel of the game, but short enough to want to play more. I thought for the beta the game looked fantastic. The game also seems to have a lot of lasting power as the the dungeon layouts are randomized each playthrough. The final product will contain four-player co-op play. PvP will not be included with the release.
Blizzard did a pretty good job throughout the beta. Issues that I encountered were fixed pretty quickly. They also tested latency problems by opening up the beta and including a larger sample of users. The server was down from time to time, but that is to be expected.
Diablo III is looking to be a great game. I was excited to play the beta and am now even more excited to play the final release. For any questions not covered, please feel free to leave a comment or send me a message.
About the Author
Jason "Pulsaris" Thomsen joined 2old2play in 2006. He is 33 years old and lives with his wife in Radford, Virginia. Jason is a 2003 graduate of James Madison University with a Bachelors of Science degree. His first gaming console was the Intellivision and has been gaming since. Gaming favorites include first-person shooters, role playing games, and sports games. He loves playing for both competition and for fun, as well as for the social interaction with his friends. Other activities include playing trumpet and skiing.