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Diablo 3

Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Fri May 18, 2012 11:38 pm

THAT is the key issue for me, right there.

Now, if they patch the game to let you keep playing - in single-player at least - once the servers are done and dusted, that's fine... but that comes with a cost too.

I want to be able to play a game for a good long time without worrying about whether or not it's still making money for the company I bought it from. Heck, I'm still periodically playing games made over a decade ago... and I'd hate to have lost them just because an Always-On DRM model killed them before their time.

I can also appreciate big companies wanting to protect their bottom line. I have no issue with that at all. We wouldn't get the big games if they didn't make the big money... I just would like to hold onto a shred of hope that somewhere underneath that bottom-line somewhere is a business-person who still occasionally thinks like a gamer.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Gawain on Tue May 22, 2012 9:06 am

Well into Act 3 now and deciding it is a damn good game.

Notably, there has been a lot of effort spent on making the world feel a bit more real and depth given to all the characters. All of your hirelings and the major characters in the story arc have history and their own problems to deal with, and your interactions with them will vary depending on your character class.

Previous Diablos had extensive world history but no real storyline beyond killing everything that moves. While that still aplies here if you want to power through the game, you can also take the time to soak in the ambiance and atmosphere of the various areas.

Many of the side charcters also have spoken dialogue that either triggers when you get near them or can be activated if you choose to talk to them. None of this impacts the game in any way, it is just there to add depth - and I love it!

I like to walk around the town areas just to listen in on these conversations, which make the townsfolk feel like real people, and add meaning to your slaughter of the demon hordes.

The gameplay is very smooth and the skill balance seems good, although there will no doubt be some tweaking over time.

My one issue remains the WOWification of the game though. There are no longer any decisions that are irreversible after character creations.

Class, sex, name, hardcore or not. These are the only choices that you make that have long term results and they are all made before you start play. After that you can redo any skill choices any time you like, with the only restriction being a 10 second cooldown to stop you re-speccing mid battle - although in a group game you would even be able to do it that way if you could lose agro for a while.

This means every level 35 barbarian is exactly the same as every other level 35 barbarian, stats identical, skills identical, only items creating any variance - and of course items can be traded.

Overall though, I have to say Blizzard has done this one very well, and I expect to spend many more hours playing.
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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Tue May 22, 2012 5:37 pm

What's your experience with the "Always ON" internet been like?

I keep hearing horror stories about losing hours of play due to crashes and odd save-fail scenarios - and people logging in to find their characters without gear, or with corrupted settings due to bugs in mission elements. (eg: Talking to a particular templar(?) causing an inability to log in, being one of the more severe ones)

Not to mention queues to play single player, even recently, when server loads should not be extreme.

Any issues like that?

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Tue May 22, 2012 5:42 pm

Ooh, they've added multiplayer to Torchlight II. Given how much fun Torchlight 1 was, I'm suddenly extremely enthused. I have yet to see a release date, however.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Gawain on Wed May 23, 2012 7:54 am

There were definitely server issues to start with. That seems to have settled down now, although the 8 hour downtime last night for maintenance in NZ/Aus primetime was a bit annoying. On the pro side, while the server is sometimes down, I have never seen it full as my play time is nowhere near US primetime.

As for the bugs - I heard about the templar one (it was giving a shield to the templar before he actually joined you that caused the crash), and there have been lots of stories of hacked accounts, but I have had no issues myself, nor has anyone I know personally.

The hard part is thinking about this as an MMO, with the server issues that are involved, when I will mainly be playing it solo. Being a guy with a wife and two under 5's I get few chances to play when I am unlikely to be interrupted, and multiplayer games will not be full of people willing to wait for half an hour while I go give the kids a bath. Also, as mentioned in an earlier post, I like to explore everywhere and soak in the atmosphere. Most multiplayer games are all about powering through content as quickly as possible, so it does not suit my playstyle.

Once I have completed the game at least once solo, I might try some group play, but until then it is single player only.
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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Thu May 24, 2012 7:05 pm

Crap on a stick... I succumbed. :-(
It's downloading now. I'm Psygnal#1326 if you're lookin'.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Gawain on Fri May 25, 2012 8:27 am

It was bound to happen.

I will add you to friends tonight and maybe see if I have some stuff to give you - although most of my gear/wealth is in Hardcore.
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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Fri May 25, 2012 3:22 pm

Thanks, but I pointedly don't want stuff. First time through at least, I'm treating this like a single player game.

That is, assuming I can play. I've been server-kicked four times so far, and each time have lost about 5 mins of play. I gave up last night because of it. Definitely server-side, as the rest of the Internet was working fine.

Currently level 5 barbarian.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Gawain on Fri May 25, 2012 5:05 pm

Got kicked once last night myself - and had a bad lag patch that nearly cost me my level 34 Demon Hunter.

Worst I have seen it lag-wise. Switched to a lower level character as the risk was too high.

Hopefully this was a once off.

Solo play first time through is the best way to go I think, as you get to enjoy the storyline properly. While avoiding spoilers, I have to say the story got a tad predictable towards the end though -they started stronger than the finished, but still a fun ride.
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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Sat May 26, 2012 10:17 pm

I have been rubber-banding all over the place tonight, and a couple of poorly timed disconnections have resulted in irritation.

This is basically Diablo2. If you've got D2, then really the only thing you'd be buying with this game is better graphics and more convenient multiplayer. If that's enough, then go for it.

My network performance has yanked me out of the moment so often that - while I will continue to play - I would not have bought the game if I had known in advance just how irritating it was going to be. This with the assertion that everything else I play online - from Minecraft to World of Tanks - is giving me no problems at all.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby MrBillwulf on Sun May 27, 2012 6:48 pm

I'm tempted to buy it so I could play with you guys, but I think I'll wait until Torchlight II. I enjoyed the beta and like the cartoon-style, not to mention having a bulldog as a pet.
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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Cruin on Sun May 27, 2012 8:59 pm

I can't speak much about connectivity for D3 post-release, but I also had a few issues during the beta much like Psyg mentions.

In contrast, I also was able to hop in the Torchlight 2 beta for a bit, despite being a tad chagrined it was testing online mode only, I was quite impressed by the smooth experience. I never noticed any lag whatsoever the entire time.

I'd likely enjoy playing through D3 but I'm holding out for Torchlight 2. I found it overall even more enjoyable and better paced game compared to D3; compared to Torchlight 1, streets ahead across the board.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Sun May 27, 2012 9:43 pm

It wasn't so bad tonight. I had a bit of fun playing with Gawain tonight, and while I bounced a couple of times, it was a good laugh. Most of the mechanics are fine, but I do find it a bit hard to figure out what is going on some of the time, and find I am standing there looking stupid instead of hitting things when the screen is getting full of action, and I have not clicked on the right bad guy.

Overall however, it's fun. If this was a pure single-player experience without the always-on component, I would have no problem recommending it.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Gawain on Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:20 pm

Been waiting for the end game before I gave my final opinion of this.

Have to say I am conflicted.

Despite some bad press and huge negativity on the official forums this is not a bad game.

Unfortunately, it is also not a great game.

For every good point there is a weakness that lets it down. Here are some examples;

Storyline plus - As mentioned before there is some great work on the background NPCs and there are lots of very clever stories and characters hidden away in the notes you find and the people living on the "town" areas.
Storyline minus - The main storyline sucks canine testicles. I mean it is really, really bad. You do not play Diablo for the story, but this feels like a bad fan fic written by a 10 year old, that really craps all over traditional Diablo. Lets just say that Diablo 3 storyline is to Diablo 2 storyline what Twilight is to Dracula!

Gameplay plus - Some lessons have been learned and they made some changes that definitely smooth over gameplay and keep things rolling - such as automatic gold pickup and shared stash for your different characters.
Gameplay minus - Took some core concepts that made DIablo2 a classic and threw them out the window to make it more like WOW. Also, far too easy for first play through. The so called "end game" where it gets difficult requires you to play your character through the entire storyline 3 times. Only the 4th play through is in "hard mode"

If I had paid $20 for this as a Diablo clone I would be happy, but as a full price Diablo sequel it just fails. It is just nowhere near the classic that the first two games were.

Ultimately I am aware that a year or so from now, when I get that familiar Diablo craving, I am more likely to go back to Diablo 2 than revisit this.

http://www.pathofexile.com/

Although to be honest, I will probably be playing Path of Exile long before that.

After all, that one is free and made in NZ - so at least latency should be better :)
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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Cruin on Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:55 pm

I'm still holding out hope for Path of Exile, but I'm still not terribly excited by it just yet. Though I hadn't noticed the bit about it being made in NZ. Cool.

Also waiting on Grim Dawn for it's feature rich goodness but that light won't shine on game cave walls until next year. Thankfully there is still Torchlight 2, and it should be out much sooner than 2013, which after playing the beta for a while I know I'll be happy with it for some time.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:02 pm

While I won't go so far as to say I've lost interest, it's not panning out to be worth the wait. It just isnt as epic as Diablo2.

I'm having fun with it, but I'm still going back to Kerbal and World of Tanks.

I've never heard of this Exiles game.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Cruin on Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:31 pm

If nothing else Blizzard has certainly mastered the skill of eliciting ire from their fans.

A new change for digital purchasers was just announced earlier today (though I suppose 'yesterday' would be more apt for you in NZ - this time travel stuff borks my mind lol) that those paying customers are to be restricted to the trial version for upto 72 hours after activation. A large number of players have been complaining of retroactive account rollbacks as well - locking them out of the game for the duration as they had already passed the level 13 limit of the trial account.

To note, this does not affect players who went to a store and bought a physical edition.

This speaks to the assumed number of gold sellers taking advantage of credit card cancellations I suppose. Just a guess. Though it's still a crap move on Blizz's part and highlights another reason reason I'm becoming more tired of the antics of large game publishing houses.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Cruin on Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:24 pm

I guess my last post here needs an update. Blizzard has apparently been doing some PR clean up since yesterday and have taken down that original post.

What they are claiming now is that the level restriction and being stuck in Act I was "unintended". They still plan on limiting new player access to public games, all auction houses, trading, chat or global play.

Another odd thing, which seems to go against their entire anti-goldseller motive, is they are still allowing new accounts to send friend requests, with the singular limitation of not being able to attach custom messages. Spamming people with requests: okay. Making it obvious that you are spamming someone: not okay.

I can at least give Blizz' credit for reacting fairly quickly to this and trying to fix it. I'm less impressed that they are attempting to cover their tracks by claiming they never said something in the first place.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:30 am

Scary thing is - even though I'm a bit Jaded and Cynical about Blizzard and Diablo3 in general, I still find myself coming back to the game.

I do wish there was a bit more depth in the crafting. It's OK, but I do miss the experimentation in combinations that Diablo2 had with the Horadric cube. There was just this feeling that if you spent long enough trying different combinations you could end up with something fantastic.

You *couldnt*, but I didn't know a vast amount about how gaming mechanics worked back then, so every new thing was an "ooh!" moment. I guess I also miss the Asheron's Call spell mechanic, where you had to actually 'research' your spells for hours on end (before it got hacked) and sitting in a corner quietly with a notebook to write down the combinations really paid dividends.

The auction house is a bit disappointing. It's not as functional as Warcraft's, and I felt that was barely working at times. Frankly, I don't think there's enough *stuff* in the game to warrant getting excited about an auction house... and WoW's 'mini-game' of making a 'living' playing the auction house is just a bit 'meh' in Diablo3. The prices are a bit iffy too. Top end stuff is VERY pricey - we can be talking MILLIONS of gold to buy. But the 'not quite top' stuff which is only a point or two off the mark will sell for a handful of coppers and a promise to come again soon.

I also detest how you have to specify how much of something you want when searching for it. If I want ten gems of a particular type, but nobody is selling ten, it will tell me there aren't any.
Someone might be selling eleven... but if I don't search for eleven, I'll never know. Someone might be selling nine... same problem. Why not give me the option to just search for that gem type?

Insta-respecs are a bit too much too. I can move off and re-spec as soon as I'm out of combat - and then jump back in. Sure, it's nice to be able to respec prior to a boss fight, but it should be harder than it is - quite frankly. I think it would be reasonable to require a visit to someone in town and pay some money based on your level, and what skills you wanted to jiggle about.

Things should wear out. I mean, you change your gear often enough anyway - I think it's reasonable to suggest that wear-and-tear damage (rather than death damage, for example) be permanent. Make it a visible stat, and chuck it on the Auction House. It could help with price variation, and will certainly stop the market from being flooded with eternal hand-me-downs.

I can see this being a bit of an issue since they're trading in real money - and they certainly don't want to put people off using real money - and I don't know how to appease their business model to pop this mechanic in there... but since the game isn't one of competition, perhaps that could be an additional benefit of real-money purchase... as long as YOU own something you paid $$$ for, perhaps it won't wear out permanently. Throw it on the auction house, and it reverts to a normal destroyable item.

And the game's still too short. It starts on a ridiculously easy level that you HAVE to play through. This nearly killed it for me, because when I did get to the end I almost felt cheated. One more full length 'act' would probably have fixed that. I've said it before, so bear with me. :) The game should have been harder from the outset. The difficulty level of the second play-through seemed about right if they wanted to start easy.

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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Gawain on Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:02 pm

So Blizzard have finally said, "Ooops!"

An official post on the forums has admitted there is not enough end game content and that they miscalculated the ability of the item hunt to hold interest before launching.

I doubt they will ever admit the storyline is horrible too, but at least this admission could mean they will get around to adding to the end game in the long term.

It might be a case of leaving the game for now and waiting for a decent patch before trying it again.

Of course, by then they might have lost their market to Torchlight II, Grim Dawn, and Path of Exile.
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Re: Diablo 3

Postby Psygnal on Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:20 pm

I saw the post linked on Kotaku. Yeah, D2 kept me interested because of the story that was developing. I played through it a few times after that because by the time I'd finished killing off Diablo, the starter levels weren't so fresh in my mind. That's not really true for D3.

Still, upcoming patches adding in PVP battles might be interesting, but I can see it just being a grind in crushing defeat, having to save up vast amounts of gold by playing the game over and over again just to afford the increasingly expensive auction house - which will almost certainly be a MUST if you want to do well in PVP... we'll see.

If their next content package is free... well, again... we'll see. Otherwise, I may pop in from time to time when I feel the urge to smack the crap out of some pixels... but I'm definitely no longer hooked.

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