Diablo III

It has been almost a month since Diablo III was released, so I’m overdue for a post about it.

Diablo III Screenshot

In short, I really like Diablo III, which isn’t a big surprise since I also enjoyed Diablo II. 😛 Multiplayer is handled really well in D3. It’s hassle-free to play together with friends without having to worry about things like being on the same quests and whatnot (*glares at World of Warcraft*). The graphics and cinematics in D3 are incredible, too.

D3 Skill Selection
Skill Selection

The skill selection is also pretty neat. There are six active skill slots, which are unlocked as the character levels. For each of those skill slots, the player gets to pick from a handful of different skills. Each of the skills has five runes associated with it that can affect the skill in various ways and the player can choose one rune per skill. For instance, Barbarians have a defensive Leap ability. The runes for Leap can temporarily increase armor, slow enemies, knock back enemies, pull enemies in, or stun enemies when Leap is used, depending on which rune the player picks. I like how customizable this makes the character.

D3 Auction House
Auction House

My complaints about the game are pretty minor. The lag that occasionally made the game virtually unplayable seems to have fixed itself now. A lot of people have complained about how D3 must be played online, even in single-player mode, though. I also don’t really care for the auction house interface; it feels clumsy to me. My other criticisms are:

  • There is no way to /follow other players, like there is in WoW. It would be nice to be able to follow another player while looking through loot, organizing one’s bag, picking new skills, etc.
  • No jumping! 😥
  • Why do staves make a quacking noise?!
  • No character appearance customization, other than being able to paint armor.
  • Stop putting me in General chat, Blizzard! Please remember that I don’t want to be in there. 🙁
D3 Cinematics
Cinematics

The dialogue in D3 is pretty great. One of the vendors says, “I sell things for cheap because I will just take them off your body when you are dead… no offense.” I laughed when one of the captains told one of the soldiers, “If you need to be told which end of the sword goes where, you haven’t been paying attention” (which reminded me of Jon Snow telling Arya to “stick them with the pointy end” in Game of Thrones).

Players who play single-player have the option of being accompanied by one of three followers: Templar (tank), Scoundrel (archer), and Enchantress (mage). The followers have pretty distinct personalities and it’s funny to listen to them badmouth each other as you’re playing. There was one time when I was adventuring with Leah (one of the main NPCs) when she mentioned how excited she was about seeing her mother. The Scoundrel, who was accompanying me at the time, said something along the lines of, “I think this is the first time a woman has ever wanted me to meet her mother!” 😛

D3 Boss Fight
Fighting a Boss

One thing that surprised me about D3 was which classes I ended up preferring. There are five classes: Barbarian (brute force), Demon Hunter (archer), Monk (martial arts), Witch Doctor (diseases and necromancy), and Wizard (mage). I thought for sure that the Witch Doctor and Wizard would be my favorites, as I heavily gravitate toward ranged, magic classes and because the Necromancer was my favorite class in D2. Much to my surprise, however, I have found myself preferring the Monk and Demon Hunter and the Witch Doctor and Wizard are my least favorites. My Wizard hasn’t been leveled as much as my other characters, though, so maybe I’ll end up liking her more as she levels…? We’ll see, I guess.

This week, the real-money auction house is supposed to go live. I’m curious to see how much D3 items and gold are worth in the real world. 😛

From WoW to Rift

WoW - Eris and Lich King
Me and the Lich King (WoW)

After over 2.5 years of playing World of Warcraft, Nick and I finally called it quits in early February. In that time, I played all 10 classes (every class except for two (rogue and hunter) up to level 80+). We had fun questing, raiding, and PvPing together, with friends, and from people we met from all over the world… but eventually we grew a bit tired of it. And the task of leveling my eight level 80’s to level 85 with the new expansion, Cataclysm, was daunting… having to repeat the same quest chains over and over again did not sound fun. 🙁

We had (or, are having?) a heck of a time finding a good replacement, though. We played Little Big Planet 2 for a while. Then, we started playing old favorites like Age of Empires 2 (best game ever?), Warcraft 3, and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Nick and me (Rift)

A month ago, we started playing Rift with some of our friends from work and personal life. It feels a lot like WoW. It has a couple of nice features, like rifts and invasions, that keep the game interesting. It also handles groups well. In Rift, you are able to easily join public groups and merge groups to form larger groups. This comes in handy, especially during a zone invasion, when everyone in the zone is working together to extinguish the rifts and invasions. When it’s over, hitting “unmerge groups” removes your original group from the larger group. Very cool. Nick and I are still learning a lot about Rift (so we haven’t made our minds up about it yet), but for now, it’s a fun outlet… even though there aren’t any gnomes. 🙁

We’re also looking forward to playing Diablo 3, Torchlight 2, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. 🙂