Diablo 3 after Act 1 Inferno – A Wizard’s Perspective

           Every since I entered hell difficulty I realized I could no longer run into a mob and spam my nukes in hopes the mob dies before I do. Enemies simply have too much life and damage output. So, after a complete rework of my build, the kiting began. Eventually I killed the Butcher in inferno difficulty yesterday, and then I hit the proverbial brick wall that is Act two inferno. With lacuni huntresses that come out of nowhere to hit for eight to ten thousand hitpoints, and sand wasps that hit for sixteen thousand hitpoints for each tiny wasp, which is about half my hitpoints, I have to treat every regular monster like a champion or elite monster from Act one. I hesitate to even think about tackling champions and elites in Act two. And from what I’ve read in the official forums, even melee classes have to run around nasty monsters like I do. With less than a million gold, the gear I really need is out of my reach in the auction house. Looks like a long grind for gold and items is ahead of me. Well, at least Guild Wars 2 is just around corner…
           So, now that my zealous enthusiasm has worn off, and my eyes are less clouded by fanaticism, the flaws of Diablo 3 has become more apparent. Let us go through them shall we? Just to get them off my chest.
           The writing is terrible. Plot development often times made very little sense, and felt at random. Other times, it’s completely predictable. Who didn’t see who Belial really was? And Azmodan: why would a great tactician, or so the writing goes, reveal his plans so bluntly to our heroes? The only praise I can give to the writing is the sometimes humorous banter between your hero, the followers, and other NPCs.
           The itemization is a let down as well. There are definitely less item types, and magical affixes and suffixes, than Diablo 2, not to mention less imaginative magical modifiers. In Diablo 2 we had attributes like Crushing Blow, granted plus skills, Faster Cast Rate, and so on. But because of simplified game mechanics, and design ideology, much of the more unusual modifiers are gone. Also, there are no runes nor runewords. The consequence is that items are less interesting and hence less exciting to find, which is a major concern when loot is a main feature and attraction for a game such as this.
           Speaking of items, only two out of five classes truly use the weapons they wield. The witch doctor, monk, and wizard never really attack with their weapons. But because the game is designed to base all skills and spells on weapon damage and attack speed, you see wizards running around wielding giant colossus swords (such as myself). There is a disconnect between game mechanics and actual weapon function. That, and it just doesn’t quite sit well with me how a wizard has the strength to wield such huge weapons, and why a monk holding a staff would improve the damage of his fists and kicks.
           Two of my best friends had their accounts compromised. Their main characters were stripped and all gold stolen. One opted for an account restore, the other remade all his gold back within a few days. Whether these incidents arose from the mistakes of my friends, or whether there is a security flaw on Blizzard’s end, I do not know. But judging from what I’ve read in forums and articles, I’m inclined to believe the latter. Diablo 3 is a hugely popular game, and with real money auction house on the way, the game is undoubtedly an attractive target for hackers and gold farmers to profit off of.
           All in all, for a game of this calibre and development time, with this many blemishes, I have to admit I am a little disappointed to the overall experience. At its very core, the hacking and slashing, Diablo 3 succeeds. But everything else that surrounds it, the story, the loot, the graphics, game mechanics, and so on, are less than expected. Already with my first level sixty character, my interest in Diablo 3 is waning, and the same can be said for my friends. As a long-time Diablo fan I can only hope the inevitable expansion can improve upon these shortcomings.

Published in: on June 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

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