First Impressions: Diablo III's Hits, Misses, and Head-Scratchers

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gamewizard

Wow it is as bad as i thought it would be,the always having to be online is a deal breaker for me i liver in a area where internet connections are hit and miss at best and the inability to play with out a connection is just sad and disappointing. Shame on you blizzard this could have been great but you had to be a bunch of ass-hats.

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gtw3

I really enjoy the Diablo world ,but to have to wait 11 years for D3 i was hoping for more...oh well live and learn.I really do not see me going thought the game more than once,where as in D2 i played it more than i can remember.
I have only had the error code come up twice but that was a pain in itself.
And dont get me started on the DRM.I live in the sticks and am very lucky to get 2mb on the internet(mostly im down around 1.2mb).
I enjoy the game but wish it had more meat to it.
Is there going to be a PVP?
well i guess ill go back to BF3.With that game i at least know there is a bit more to it.
Thanks for listening to me b...h
gtw3

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Jono

The game is growing on me, but I gotta agree with alot of folks here that the always online DRM for single player is utter crapola. Always subject to variables like server lag and isp latency or even a cell connection for mobile play. I should be able to play single player on a laptop without having to worry about a signal. This would suck on long trips. It's cool if it automatically connects every so often to update achievements and progress, but always online?

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blacksand

Not being able to play Diablo III at launch was the first miss. I think we can all feel this gamer's frustration. Check this out...funny as hell! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsqUZkmO-zk

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azuza001

My major concern is this. With the focus on weapons now being "get your DPS as high as you can" it removes the feel of the weapons all together. Who cares what the weapon really is, as long as it gives better damage it's good to go! It defeats the entire purpose of different weapon types. Only thing you focus on is Vitality/DPS/Life Regen/Your class stat.

Also with the removal of loot mattering nearly as much as before what do I do once I hit lvl 60? In D2 I had 2 different Sorceress's, one was a fire based and one was an ice based. Now there is no incentive to have multiple variations of the same character.

D3 is a fun game, but it's not going to last as long as D2 did. Just before D3 came out I was playing D2 and found a unique bow that caused exploding arrow on every shot! It was a sweet weapon that I then turned around and made a Bowazon just to use it to great effect. I don't see anything like that happening in D3.

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bling581

"With the focus on weapons now being "get your DPS as high as you can" it removes the feel of the weapons all together. Who cares what the weapon really is, as long as it gives better damage it's good to go! It defeats the entire purpose of different weapon types."

I also don't see the point in 2h weapons. Maybe it's different for a berserker, but on my Monk the dps rating for dual wielding was far greater than anything I could find on a 2h weapon. I believe there was one skill that granted a bonus when using a 2h weapon, but I don't remember it being that great. The dodge bonus from the passive dual wielding skill was pretty good.

For monks it appears that you can only get the + spirit regen stat on fist weapons, but I don't think it makes that much of a difference.

The different weapon types are probably just an aesthetic thing in case some people like the look of swords versus maces and what not.

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h e x e n

I will not buy this title based on a couple reasons, and this is solely my opinion, of which I do not expect everyone to share.

1. Always online DRM scheme. If D3 was an online only title, I would probably rethink my position on this point. The fact of the matter is, however, is that D3 has a single player, and a single player title is one you play by yourself for your own enjoyment and experience.

2. Auction House. The entire games online interaction, from what I have determined by watching and reading reviews, is that this system is part of the very groundwork of the title. While some people probably make off like bandits with this kind of system, the true reaper of profits is Blizzard and they intended it to be as such. While this is kind of a cool feature for the consumers, the bottom line is that your feeding Blizzards bottom line, in a micro transaction based way.

Now, if the game was free, or say $30 upon release, I also wouldn't have a huge problem with this system. And, obviously, people aren't forced, from what I can tell, to use this sytem if they don't want to. But for me, I don't like the idea of feeding a mega corporation through an ebay like feature, auctioning fake, virtual items for real world moeny. Where ebay is free to use, Blizzard requires the initial $60, something I can't stand behind.

3. The concept behind this kind of title just doesn't appeal to me. It's the same as WoW. After the charm wears off it ceases to be enjoyable and is just addicting in nature. Level, level, level, click, click, click. D3 is one of the purest and most recent titles that demonstrates just how effective the operant conditioning system can be.

I have no doubt about the quality or production value of D3. It looks really slick and is probably worth the triple A title asking price. Per usual though, it's the little stuff that keeps my money in my wallet.

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chaosdsm

1> Like World of Warcraft, you can use in-game gold to purchase & sell items in the Diablo III Auction House.

2> You have no obligation to use the D3 Auction House at all.

3> eBay does not charge you to buy items from other sellers, however selling on eBay is not even close to "free". I've personally paid eBay an average of around $4 for each of the 300+ auctions I've sold on eBay in the past 15 years.

4> Show me a single top-tier game in the last 5 years that on launch day was available in unopened retail packaging to everyone at just $30.

I do agree on the Single Player issue, let me play single player like it was in Diablo II. If I have D3 installed on a laptop & I'm flying cross country, I still want to play even though I don't have an internet connection.

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JCCIII

Diablo III, under Blizzard Entertainment’s requiring customers to have an Internet connection, is a threat to society.

Some say they are happy with Blizzard, but how can anyone be happy about an invasion of privacy? Hackers, dupers, and exploiters are also obviously in the real world. Therefore, should we monitor everyone every day to stop hackers, dupers, and exploiters in our non-virtual world?

Should we forget the Constitution and except Blizzard’s new model of society?

If demonstrating there is no way to stop cheating were possible, the company could offer two modes, one for those who do not mind living in a totalitarian country and take down the Star-Spangled Banner if one is flying in the yard, and another for those who are in love with principles essential to America and its freedom.

For play, two network worlds of implementation would be necessary, one for those who would play online and be monitored even while playing single player and another for those who would not participate in off-line monitoring willing to cope with those hackers, dupers, and exploiters as a price worth paying for freedom.

Setup one’s character for online, which requires an always on connection, even while in single-player mode, and set up one’s character for off-line, which allows him or her to participate online when desired.

There are several other possible options that protect privacy and respect customers’ rights to use what he or she purchased.

How can a thinking person find comfort knowing that a company has chosen a lazy, money-hoarding, and reckless way to say its focuses is your benefit?

We are living in a country stealing what is at stake when people do not understand the principles of America. Do you understand what you are willing to lose?

Sincerely, Joseph C. Carbone III; 21 May 2012

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poee

> "Diablo III, under Blizzard Entertainment’s requiring
> customers to have an Internet connection, is a threat
> to society."
> "We are living in a country stealing what is at stake
> when people do not understand the principles of America.
> Do you understand what you are willing to lose?"

Do you understand what you are even saying? Do you understand the "principles of America" and the Constitution? If so, then you would be happy to see that Blizzard Entertainment, a private company not funded by taxpayers, is allowed to operate freely in the marketplace, setting their own prices and other requirements for selling and using *their* product/service, which they funded and created and are under zero obligation to do anything with.

They inform their potential customers beforehand what the requirements are, and NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON has been forced to pay for or install this game against their will by Blizzard. NO ONE is under any obligation to allow Blizzard to "invade" their privacy. That is a choice that you, as an adult who clicks on the "I Accept" button under the EULA, has made. You did not have to. But you did. This is liberty! This is your choice. Stand up, man. Take personal responsibility! What, you think you have some RIGHT to Blizzard's property? That they must provide it to you on your terms?

It sounds more like you are in favor of curtailing free enterprise, nullifying freely-entered contracts, and forcing private businesses to do whatever you think they should in the public interest (as you conceive it). Tsk tsk. Dr. Paul would *not* approve.

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JCCIII

I was hoping for a meaningful reply. Nevertheless, I support Blizzard's right to conduct lawful business. Therefore, just about everything you said should be erased.

Your thoughts are random and do not follow your own argument. You may want to study your premises and conclusion if you can find them in lieu of what I have proposed.

Nevertheless, companies recognize they are under an obligation to please their customers, or there would be no revenue. This is the power I am provoking you have missed. Would you buy a burrito that tasted like dirt?

Your assumptions are immature, or are you being presumptuous? Though I have purchased every Blizzard product known to me, I will never purchase from the company under these circumstances. Why would I purchase something unwanted?

For someone speaking as boldly as you, standing up under what you have written would be hard for any man.

You are the one who sounds like I want to end free enterprise. I want thoughtful consumers to reject Diablo III and the philosophy Blizzard is projecting.

Sincerely, Joseph C. Carbone III; 21 May 2012

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nedwards

You don't need to sign and date your posts. Your username and the date already appear at the top. 

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JCCIII

Dear Mr. Edwards,

I have grown to anticipate your articles when the magazine arrives. They are thoughtful and give good-friends feelings. However, this feels odd.

On the one hand, I am impressed you wrote, and on the other, I am disappointed by my interpretation of why you did.

I knew you looked familiar, did the double-take on your picture! But, in support of signing, I had to click to find out if “wards” was Edwards because I do not live here.

The date after my name is courtesy, and both are on the same line, an effort to be friendly, helpful, and echo responsibility.

If this helps, I have made efforts to exclude my name were my name is the username and complemented with the date, rather than: “time since post.” However, the customary salute is genuine, which I believe should be more like: “Your Friend, signature,” because tone is hard to establish and communications are incomplete without generous attempt.

Alas, when I have dropped signing, because my name appeared at the top, the communication was likewise incomplete. However, I am incomplete and strive for healthy agreement.

Lastly, because there are so many different website formats, I need to adopt one method of signing and leave it at that when I am pressed for time. Even if I do not like using the date at the end of my name, doing so is necessary, some places, in order to resist managing every site differently.

Some of us, quite literally, suffer from moderate to severe dyslexia. Once I wrote a three syllable word backwards. Consequently, what may seem easy to some is complicated to others. When I find something that works, sometimes dropping the date, which I would prefer to do here, is, at times, too much effort when taking into account the diversity of possibilities and my propensity for error.

Sincerely, Joseph

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p47riot

Hmmm, reading Poee's response to you, I'm inclined to agree with him. Your take seems a bit misguided as you claim Blizzard is violating your Constitutional rights by requiring an internet connection. But the Constitution protects you against GOVERNMENT suppression of your inalienable rights, and does not apply to agreements with private corporations whose Terms of Use you willingly accept before utilizing their products. If we're missing your point, please feel free to elaborate, but I'm not making the connection between Blizzard's requirement to play their game and a Constitutional violation, especially since you acknowledge that you have the final choice to purchase the game or not.

Now if you're talking about an Orwellian future where corporations are mining their customers data to constantly track our whereabouts, activities, social interactions and spending habits, well we're already there. Google has been doing this for years. Sooner or later, there's only going to be one option for someone who wants to live completely free of these intrusions: off the grid, in a cave somewhere eating mice and bugs. But hey you can still play Diablo 2 (offline.)

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JCCIII

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JCCIII

I am claiming Blizzard Entertainment’s practices are dangerous to our society. Have I mistakenly claimed Blizzard Entertainment has violated my rights? Even, if I owned a copy, which I will not, I believe I have refrained from stating there were Constitutional violations. Nevertheless, I will allude to the possibility Blizzard Entertainment’s practice can be seen legitimately as disloyalty to the fundamentals of integrity.

The implication, people should recognize Blizzard Entertainment’s indoctrination as similar to governmental excess. Why the comparison? Corporations are threatening our freedoms by buying the government, and the government is colluding with businesses. These accusations are easily researched.

For example, we have decades of the Department of Defense editing Hollywood movie scripts for war propaganda, which is censoring speech, pushed by a military-industrial complex, and there is AT&T’s contracts to spy on citizens.

Both illustrate mega-profitable private industries and unlawful collaborative partnerships. Correspondingly, the money that devised and built the infrastructure of one of these was paid for by the citizenry, and, ironically, its ownership and profits are nonpublic and are used to fight against the voice of our Republic.

Defining Blizzard Entertainment with Diablo III:

Irresponsibility is manipulating unwitting people into accepting harmful practices that are both immature and unnecessary.

Oppression is irresponsibly convincing people they must accept something bad in order to receive something good.

Reckless is ignoring irresponsible and oppressive actions that have historically been the precursor of destruction.

Borderline Treason is when an entity’s actions attack the principles of our Constitution.

What is being missed is the subtleties of their actions, an attack Blizzard Entertainment, maybe by ignorance, is effecting, setting precedent, a precursor, we as a people should reject by refusing to purchase Diablo III.

Making connections of things that appear separate is important. With connections in mind, is free enterprise good? With moderation, yes, but unrestrained greed is a devastating force that has no conclusion except permeation and death.

Understanding the relative nature of these terms is imperative; otherwise, they will be mistaken as absolute. I have not perceived “free enterprise” outside of totalitarianism, “individual freedom” without subjects, nor “equality” without confusion—only semblances of these ideas have we carried and cherish. Who is equal to another, in any way, ever, but we exclaim understanding.

What should we do? Hold on to those things that clearly define freedom, and reject those notions suggesting incremental losses are okay. Blizzard Entertainment’s initiative is a lesson in destabilization. Do not be indoctrinated out of your freedom. Monolithic companies like Google and other companies like Blizzard Entertainment may appear insurmountable, but they are not.

These companies are still slightly sensitive to public opinion. However, as with Comcast, they will not be fazed for long. The more the Atty. Gen. of the United States allows them to gain monopolization over markets, the less one woman or man’s voice will matter to them even if a bona fide profit speaks.

Reward them for bad behavior, and their bad behavior, like a child’s, will grow out of control.

There is no need for you to believe you have to eat bugs in order to have the liberty guaranteed us. But, if you believe them, you will need bugs because eventually you will be in their prisons if you speak against them.

Sincerely, Joseph C. Carbone III

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p47riot

Alright, I see where you're going. Although I don't quite view Blizzard and their policies regarding Diablo III as an act of treason as you put it, I do admit that there are always negative consequences for handing over our freedoms in exchange for security (which is what Blizzard is asking us to do essentially)

I guess I'm just not seeing what's really the big deal here. As a father, I've learned to pick my battles with what gets me riled up, and Blizzard's DRM scheme just doesn't make that cut with me. For me the benefits (playing an excellent game, hacker/cheater free) outweigh the risks (Blizzard doing whatever they're doing with the limited info I give them.) When the overlords come to take me away for re-education then I'll let you tell me I was wrong, but until then, I'm going to enjoy this video game. Now, when Diablo 4 comes out, and the US government is telling me that I must buy it (and of course have high-speed internet) THEN we have a problem, Houston, and I'll get my cranky face on.

The point you're making, if I'm understanding you completely, is the "death by 1000 paper cuts" addage. That is: slow and constant erosion of our freedoms until we wake up one day in a totalitarian state. Like a frog in a slowly simmering pot, unaware of what's happening until it's too late. It's a valid concern, to be sure, and I think people SHOULD be vigilant against these would-be controllers. I also admire your commitment to the Constitution and you make some excellent points...most of which I agree with. Again, though...we're talking Diablo 3 and I'm not sure that history will identify May 15, 2012 as the pivotal date in which our liberties met their demise.

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JCCIII

The really big deal is destruction.

Blizzard Entertainment is a representation of the laziness that has gotten us here, and my argument is, do not support a lazy and likely dishonest company.

Fun is relatively unimportant when compared to falsely indoctrinating people into believing that entertainment is more important than integrity.

The ideology saying manipulating customers is business, is unsafe. Couple that with harmful doctrine and I recognize strong words may be off-putting for a pro-gaming article, but I have treasured Blizzard Entertainment until this, and I do support its constitutional freedom.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide” (Abraham Lincoln).

Blizzard Entertainment has literally banked on the dumbed-down effect or has been dumbed down itself. Essentially they are ignoring other viable options and are saying, ‘You must allow us to monitor you to play a game. There is no other way. Be leave us; we are friends of yours.’

After understanding the numerous other options available, the conclusion should be obvious and create an unfavorable position toward the company.

Similar circumstances are leading our countries children into the chaos that has already begun. http://youtu.be/en79AvuBJvA

Thank you for thoughtfully considering my words and the media. I have thoughtfully considered your views, and I thank you for them, blessings always.

Sincerely, Joseph C. Carbone III

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bling581

I have mixed feelings on this game. To start with I'd like to mention that I've never played any of the previous titles so I have a fresh look on the game.

It's easy, at least at first it was. It didn't get semi-difficult until around level 20 or so. Then it was still pretty easy, I think I rarely hit my potion button. That being said, my first character was a monk. I just finished my first time through last night and immediately started a Wizard. Still easy? Not so much. It wasn't significantly harder but no more standing toe to toe with mobs spamming buttons. I had to watch my positioning more so I didn't get creamed. Again, the character is only lvl 3 so I can't say how it will be later on.

I'd like the option to increase the difficulty from the start. I started playing the next difficulty on my Monk (lvl 32) but with all the abilities I had the first area was still cake. Why should I have to play through an entire game just to get a higher level of difficulty? This is a bit ridiculous in my opinion. You're forced to play the game for X number of hours just to reach a higher challenge? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the system? I'm not at my computer to verify but maybe once you beat it on Normal with one character you can start new ones at the next level?

Followers. I wish the Scoundrel and Enchantress seemed as good as the Templar. I was able to get my Scoundrel geared up enough to dps as well as the Templar, but I missed the skill bonuses so I went back. Probably 95% of the game was with the Templar. The self heal and health/resource regen just seems a lot better than anything the other two have to offer. DPS means little because at lvl 32 I think my Templar was putting out around 55 a hit. It's basically about their bonus skills. I do enjoy the commentary though they provide during the game. The Templar's enthusiasm for combat was amusing.

Only 10 items per person on the AH? Wow. I have a single tab full of legendary and rare items I couldn't post because of the limit. I mean, it's an additional feature so I can't complain too much. It's better than the vendor price, but I still think the limit is too low.

DRM. It's incredibly annoying to be playing a single player game and have my connection drop and lose my progress. I have a great connection, but there was rarely a time I've logged on for the night and gone without a DC. If you AFK too long it seems to drop you also. And maintenance almost every night or morning? Terrible experience.

"Nitpicky? Yes. When a company has spent 11 years working on a single title, I think nitpicking is completely fair game."
Yes, we have every right to be. I would be more tolerant to things if it was a normal dev, but when you spend this much time on a game that seems so mediocre I think it deserves some thorough criticism.

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zepontiff

I'm pretty amused by it. The Belial fight blew my mind the first time. I thought it easy though. The only thing i don't like is the skill system. Turning on elective mode helps but it does get messy and confusing that way.

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spokenwordd

I'm so disappointed with D3. After all the waiting and waiting this is what they deliver? The game is fun, yes but Tetris can be fun. This is not worth $60 for me, at all. This is the kind of game I pick up on Steam in 8 months for $15 during a 75% off sale (I realize this will never be on Steam).

The change in the talent progression is a major downer for me too. The game is just meh, average, okayish. Torchlight 2 all the way....

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stradric

I get a kick out of it when someone bashes Diablo and then hails Torchlight. You really have to be laying the double think on pretty hard to take that position. Torchlight is a good game for $10. Let's leave it at that.

Sure you can not like the skill system, but it's objectively an improvement over a tree-based system just by sheer numbers alone. In a tree-based system, you hoard all your points until you unlock the skill you want. Then you dump all of your points into that skill. With the new system, you create a character build where different skills complement each other. The number of builds available in previous Diablo titles is quite small -- only varying in power. There are thousands of different builds available for each character in Diablo 3 -- varying in power, effect and appearance. Not only that, but you can swap out skills to create a new build on the fly. It's better in every way.

Do the math. There are some 7 skill classes. Each class has 3-5 skills with passive skills in the 10s. Each skill has some 7 or 8 runes that modify the effect and appearance. Each class then has 21-40 different skill choices. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Permutation.html

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poee

I'm doing the math... Ok. It looks like you are getting a paycheck from Blizzard! (If you are not, they should be ashamed of themselves for letting you carry so much water for them gratis.)

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stradric

I love that Diablo 3 is multiplayer-focused. I love jumping in and out of friends' games, checking my auctions and buying awesome equipment for cheap. I love the environments, crazy physics and char and creature animations. I'm quite pleased with this game. The new skill system is a refreshing change over point distributions.

As far as the writing, what did you expect from a game focused around Angels and Demons? It's based in cheese. If you expected anything other than cheese, you were probably disappointed. That being said, the story has far more depth than a game like Torchlight -- which people seem to want to prop up in the face of Diablo. Torchlight is a good $10 game, and little more.

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JCCIII

Diablo III: Blizzard Entertainment’s requiring customers to have an Internet connection is an obscene effort to compel obedience not liberation, which is ironic because games are to be fun.

Blizzard Entertainment, run by people like CEO Michael Morhaime, is monitoring users’ activity with profits in mind, rather than the rights of its paying customers owning his or her copy. A single player campaign, such as is in Diablo III, should not require forced Internet.

Knowing Mr. Morhaime cannot reasonably blame it on DRM, he wants you to sympathize with his reaction: “I’m actually kind of surprised in terms of there even being a question in today’s age” (idiocy); later he confesses he does not care about the people who will be unable or unwilling to play the game do to its online requirements.

Blizzard and company want to know everything they can about who, when, how, how long, where, how frequently, and the people behind the company do not need your name to get a good idea from an IP address. Furthermore, there will be multiple trackers, pinging and pressing in on anyone’s IP while connected to Blizzard’s servers, monitoring and logging personal activity, stealing your bandwidth, fun…, right?

This is a violation of privacy, thievery, and it is by no means going to be the norm, unless, of course, you, I, and our friendly journalists accept Blizzard’s behavior. However, Blizzard Entertainment, with its Mr. Morhaime, would have you believe there is no choice.

Sincerely,
Joseph C. Carbone III; 15 May 2012

P.S. ★”˜¨¯¯¨˜”ª¤(¯`*•.¸(¯`*•.. The Hon. Dr. Ron Paul for 2012 ..•*´¯)¸.•*´¯)¤ª”˜¨¯¯¨˜”★

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Biceps

It's good that you were able to capture your "Crazy Eyes" look in your profile picture - that way everyone knows you are just joking.

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JCCIII

You had me laughing. Actually, for several hours, every time I think of that picture and your comment, I have laughed. Honestly, no lie, I tried to delete it more than a year—or so—ago but thought, whatever! You have motivated me to follow through till success.

Thanks for the laughter and smiles!
---
Maybe you have not seen what I have seen, or felt what I have felt, the harm that has come from a people losing their sensitivity to freedom. I am serious, and words like obscene are not strong enough to express what an uninformed society will do to itself by ignoring the signs of encroachment.

Sincerely, Joseph C. Carbone III

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USraging

i found the game to be fun for the most part. the biggest complaint i have about the game is sometimes you go along feeling like you are doing pretty good, than blam hordes of bad guys bash your face in. my other complaint is about skills, you dont really get full control over what skills you want to develop, this is all done for you. i dont like dieing and sometimes i log out and try again in the next few hrs. i got a chance to play torchlight 2 beta this past weekend and i had a lot more fun than diablo 3. yes the graphics were not as good but the action and spells rocked, the world was massive and the beta demo had lots of content to work with. it took me all night to beat it. sometimes i think game makers forget how to make a game fun. so for me diablo 3 is fun yes, but i enjoyed playing torchlight 2 a lot better.

diablo 3 $59
tortchlight 2 $20 win

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lisaibin

nice post Li like play games , I like play boy games online

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rubyhoward

neighbor's step-mother made $15935 a week ago. she is making an income on the computer and got a $560200 condo. All she did was get lucky and use the clues made clear on this site uuurl.net/x87p6

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someuid

I fence sat on D3 while we all waited for the release date. I was pretty much on the bandwagon along with everyone else on the always-online requirement, the lack of skill trees, the auction house, etc.

The day before the launch, my wife mentioned she wanted to pick it up (she doesn't read tech sites and game sites like me.) Seeing the excitement on her face, I decided, what the heck. I'll stop griping about the game and just go get two copies. With her discount at Kmart, it came to about $54 a game. A shy over $100 is lunch money for me.

The first night - forget it. Servers were toast as everyone knows. Got in the second day, haven't had a problem since.

So far, I do like the game. We're having fun playing together and after talking with a friend about the game, I'm not longer hating it.

The loss of the skill tree is ok - it just means you will get all the skills (eventually) and that your customization is choosing which skills to use that match your play style. Not much different from D2 to be honest. In D2, you just chose those skills that fit your play style.

The always-on connection so far doesn't bother me much. If anything, it single-handedly will probably cut down on a ton of piracy. Yeah, someone might reverse engineer the protocol and write their own server, but that is going to be a big hurdle and the casual pirate won't bother trying to get all the pieces lined up and deal with bugs (yeah, hack jobs have bugs just like everything else.)

The graphics are a major improvement over D2. All other complaints are honestly personal opinions. I see occasional graphic designs I don't like. For example, the huge pad locks on the gates, or the blacksmith with his 4 foot hammer. That speaks crap WoW cartoon graphics to me. But so far they are few and far between. It could be a bit bloodier though. I mean red blood, not zombie goo or spider innards. The hand drawn portraits remind me on pre-3d games. Some of the character designs are like WoW. But seriously, so what. I can't stand bell bottom pants, but that doesn't keep me from going outside.

As for the WoW influence (map, quest list, chat) - so what. We expect our windows apps to look and feel similar. No reason a game company can't do the same with their game interfaces, especially when they tie it all back to battle.net accounts and their version of social gaming.

So what does bother me? The larger design of gameplay. The sign-in of the game defeats piracy, and the auction house layout and fees ensure no one is going to make a mint from playing this game. 10 auction limit, 15% fees on just about everything, and zero market analysis tools (I'm a regular EVE Online player - EVE Online has a wonderful in-game market that helps you spot pricing trends and make sure you're not over paying or under charging.) The interaction with the game has been simplified to pull in a larger demographic of players (such as younger players and casual players.) Mix all that together, and I get the feeling that a lot of game play has been designed around making sure Blizzard hits their quarterly income goals no matter what.

Too much of the game design centers around ensuring as many types of gamers have access, the auction house is designed to ensure Blizzard makes a killing in fees and the players will make a pittance, piracy is defeated like never before, and the hard work of providing a more challenging play style and interface for pro gamers was shelved (for example, no character stats, default UI setting forces you to assign a skill to m1 and m2 even if you don't want to.)

With all that in mind, I'm a bit miffed Blizzard charged a full $60 for the game. Between killing piracy and the auction house layout that will ensure I'll make nothing and they'll make boat loads of cash, they should have lowered the price of this game to something like $40. I feel this game was designed more by the Blizzard accountants than the game designers.

As a result, I'll enjoy playing it with my wife and friends, but this won't be a top spot game for me. I'll probably set aside one or two nights a week to play it. D3 definitely won't be cutting into my time with Skyrim, EVE Online, Company of Heroes, Borderlands, Left 4 Dead 2, Minecraft, Metro 2033, STALKER and Team Fortress 2. Blizzard got a bit greedy with the cost, auction house layout, and simplification of the game, and that takes them down a notch for me. They are not the innovative company they used to be.

Drop the price, toughen up the game a bit for real players (not just increasing monster strength, give us an expert mode where we can see stats and have the hand holding disabled) and loosen up on the auction house so I can make a bit o' cash while playing, and they'll have a bonafide hit. Unfortunately, their desire to find a one-formula-fits-as-many-as-possible, while being too timid with the auction house design and charging console prices for a game they can deliver digitally and save the cost of boxes and shipping really got in the way of developing a slam dunk title. If they aren't careful, someone (hello Torchlight) is going to eclipse them. Microsoft did it to IBM. Linux did it to Unix. There is no reason it can't happen to Blizzard.

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poee

I couldn't agree more with this thoughtful review! Thanks someuid!

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someuid

For those of you who read that long post, thanks. I hope it was worth your time.

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naxself

So I'm the only who doesn't have a raging boner for Diablo III, huh? Based on what I've read, I don't see why all the hype, anyway.

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Danthrax66

This game pretty much sucks, it has farmville style gameplay (click everywhere) and the graphics look like they are 4 years old. It's overrated, but for some reason I still bought it.

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steve771

Hmmmm... you say the game sucks, yet you bought it. You, and a lot of other people who complain about how bad the game is, always online, etc.

Not to pick on you specifically, but people who buy this game, with all the issues, only reinforce releases like this will continue.

Still, everyone spends their money the way they want. But they should know that is their only 'vote'. So complain all you want, as far as Blizz is concerned, you LOVE this game.

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poee

You are correct. Many of us who thought pre-ordering a new Blizzard title would be pretty damned safe -- these guys aren't known for half-assed attempts or crappy games after all -- were in for a rude awakening. But all it takes is once. I will never again give any dev a free pass like that by pre-ordering a title. From now on, I don't care how much I think I'll love it, I will wait for reviews from credible sources before I pay a dime for a new game.

Damn, now that makes two of my erstwhile favorite devs (BioWare and Blizzard) that I had trusted in the past enough to pre-order, fail to live up to their larger-than-life reputations and lose that trust with me. The other dev on my top list is Bethesda, but I'm not going to pre-order another game from them, either. As far as I'm concerned, I got lucky with Fallout 3 and Skyrim and I won't push my luck further by gambling on any more un-reviewed titles.

It must be nice for a dev when they can move millions of units on their past reputation alone, but all good things must come to an end.

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bling581

Yeah there really is no safe developer today. I bought Diablo 3 under the same premise and while it isn't horrible it's certainly not what I'd expect from them. BioWare is another company that I have trusted in the past but lately have given me reasons to hold off on new titles. I expected SWTOR to be a lot better than it was and they also failed pretty bad on Dragon Age 2. I guess you could say Bethesda is still up there for me personally.

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mattman059

Is it groundbreaking? No...
Is it short? Yes...
Is it what we were all hoping and expecting? Not really..

but at the end of the day, its freakin diablo, and they've already said there will be extra content, and expansions. I know playing the original diablo 2 i wasnt that impressed, i thought it was pretty boring, but i trudged through it and then LOD came out, and i havent stopped playing since then. Im sure D3 will be the same way. Ive been playing pretty much non-stop since it came out and have enjoyed every minute of it. but what can i say, haters gonna hate.

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Kinetic

"Is it groundbreaking? No...
Is it short? Yes...
Is it what we were all hoping and expecting? Not really..

but at the end of the day, its freakin diablo"

So basically the game isn't that good, but its good because its diablo? Yeah... I'll pass.
I really liked diablo and diablo 2 -and torchlight for what its worth- but I never had high hopes for this game based on everything I had read in pre release press alone. I was hoping those feelings would be proven wrong by an amazing game, but from all the reviews I've been reading it sounds like people who "like" the game are more or less the personification of your statement in that they're just sort of settling for it.
I have nothing against anyone who's enjoying the game, I just expect an experience that stands on its own two feet without having to fall back on its brand to be considered palatable.

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Jeffredo

After reading the comments I'm glad I didn't buy it. I played DII for a couple years almost daily. Sounds as if this game isn't a worthy successor. Its been so long I really don't care anymore. This game should have been released in 2003/4.

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keyboardJuice

Here's the thing: D2 was pretty crappy at first, and after several patches it reached a level where people actually enjoyed playing it. I'm pretty sure it will be the same for D3. Just give Blizzard some time to balance things out. (-; After all, the RMAH and dueling arenas are not even part of the game as of now.

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Scatter

I'm also one of the people who tried to play the game on launch day. I kind of expected that there would be launch problems but that still doesn't make it excusable. They had 11 years to plan for this. And again, the fact that I couldn't play a single player game because servers were down is inexcusable.

I enjoy the game but at the same time I'm also a little bit disappointed. I miss the talent trees of old. The new talent system just feels too clunky. It all could have fit onto one screen but for whatever reason they created an interface where multiple clicks are required to see it all.

I also miss the lobby where we'd be able to chat and most of all join other games and see how many people were in that game.

I hope that publications like Maximum PC, PC Gamer and others show some balls and grade this game fairly based on the final product and not based on Blizzard's past reputation. I give the game a solid 85 but its not a 90+ game.

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AuronX

Diablo 3 did prove to be a bittersweet experience.

I've been an avid player since 1999, when I first played the original Diablo. I read all the novels, lore and anything and everything to do with the storyline, like a true nerd... um I mean fan.

Then... there's Diablo 3. First off, I absolutely agree with the comment of, "who the hell wrote the dialogue and script for the game?"

I have a very difficult time looking past the character renditions and style as is...
To me, it's highly reminiscent of World of Warcraft... and then having your companions talking to you non-stop with their cheerful banter only reinforces that feeling. (ESPECIALLY when your companion, notably the Templar and the Enchantress start kissing your ass a bit TOO much..
I mean damn.. just blow me already and get it done with.)
It isn't the dark, gritty world I had come to know in the previous installments.
Not there's anything wrong with World of Warcraft... but if I wanted to play World of Warcraft, I'd just play that instead.

The music... was... a huge let down. I didn't think the departure of Matt Uelman would affect the soundtrack so much.
There were a few tracks in Diablo 3 that were lively, upbeat and dramatic which sounded amazing... and yet it was nothing compared to Diablo or Diablo 2... to the point where I put the soundtrack on my Zune.
You can only recycle the huge orchestral number from the beginning, so many times before it gets... kinda bland.

The game contains vast, HUGE plains, fields and exploration areas... but despite this the game still seemed rather short. Should it take at least 2 weeks to beat it? Well no, of course not! But.. I think the author of this article was right in saying that because the storyline seemed a bit rushed, it caused the overall game to feel the same way.

I was hoping to see past characters from Diablo 2 in the game, or even better, characters from the novels... so unless my game didn't generate a particular "Event"... then... I don't know. I was hoping to see Zayl, Humbarte, or even Rahtma. Maybe in future expansions?

I had higher expectations, not that the game isn't good... but it could have been even greater, just by making slight adjustments or tweaks.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

I must be the only one in the universe that hates entering a password every time I want to play a game. Why couldn't they add the option to save the password? The apologists are citing security, but that's just so much bull.

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poee

You got that right: *Apologists* are out in force to defend their favorite multi-national corporation from any challenge.

I'm sure Blizzard's marketing department thinks this is precious. "More champaign!"

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compguytracy

this game is bittersweet, port forwarding, getting booted, glitches in game, long quests. i love/hate it got it midnight, and have finally played more than ten minues straight, then server maintenence?? arghhhhhh, and i am a it professional, and i should not have to forward ports to play a game, that is a SINGLE PLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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mattman059

I feel i should point out i dont have to port forward...

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SilverSurferNHS

not if you have UDP switched on - i also don't have this problem

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compguytracy

did udp, any other ideas? put in error 3007 and look at the forum on that issue alone, lamer than a bucket of poop.

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