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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Beta first impressions

I realise this post may potentially annoy those of you who don't have access. Do keep sending off for those random twitter and facebook giveaways though if you want a ticket.

OK, first an overall impression or two. It is VERY good. Clean interface, simple controls, enormous fun. I think D3 will be an amazing success. As in the most successful Blizzard game ever both in revenue and in numbers of players.

Next it feels really really simple. You start off with a skill. You click it, things die. Quests come one at a time, there's no juggling of 25 different errands trying to figure out if you can drop off the Mysterious Letter on the way to Kill Ten Boars and whether that's near the Kobold Cave. If that wasn't simple enough there's big pointy arrows and glowy dots. Occasionally you'll be on a map and you don't know where the exit is but there's not a frustration of where is it, where is it, there's a fun of rampaging through killing things then at some point a yellow circle will start flashing nearby and you'll remember you had some kind of quest.

The lore is beautifully done but still will be skipped by nearly everyone. In fact it's already being skipped by everyone. There are shared cut-scenes but unlike SWTOR if anyone cancels the cutscene it's canceled for everyone. If you want to see the lore, you'll have to solo.

Skills have been reworked and the progression is nothing like what is indicated on any online skill calculator I was able to find. I'll be giving more detail class by class over the next week or so.

Multiplayer is fast and furious. I just played a monk and their big initial spirit spender does spectacular knockback. It frequently knocks the mob right off the screen, even bosses. Naturally it annoyed melee players in the party. In the spirit of testing I decided to carry on punting mobs across rooms and see how the party reacted. A social science experiment as it were. They grumbled from time to time but couldn't do anything. There's no party kick. I suppose the only option they had was to leave and find a new game. (Apologies to the people I teamed with, I just wanted to try it out and see how it panned out).

Multiplayer may well be the best option for fast leveling. It feels tons safer than soloing. I haven't died yet but I've come very close.

After 24 hours I have:
12 Witch Doctor
11 Barbarian
8 Demon Hunter
7 Monk
6 Wizard.

That's with being quite slow and exploring and having to do real life things too.

And on that note I'll get back to playing it!



  1. Grats on the beta key, you will get bored of it very soon though. Not much content.

    The mobs were even easier pre-patch. One huge arcane orb from a wizard would destroy entire packs of mobs. It was much easier to craft stuff, and become OP by level 10 or 11 ish. I like the changes they made, making it more expensive to level the smith and craft.

  2. I actually think they may have tuned it too hard.

    The zone we're seeing should be tuned for very casual players. Grandmas and Facebook gamers should be able to feel comfortable.

    I've very nearly died a couple of times playing untwinked from level 1. If the more casual players die early on they'll leave.

    I think it should be next to impossible to die until you've got your first rare from the Skeleton King.

    Of course beta is full of dedicated gamers so all their feedback will tell them it's too easy but it's not really for us, it's for people who don't play games like Diablo.