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I also found myself pleasantly surprised by the skill system. The beta really didn't do it justice. Only after you get a good, hefty set of runes to choose from do you really begin to understand that despite the lack of stat customization, there is still plenty of room for character building. The wizard, at least, feels like a deep and complex character whose gameplay changes radically depending on your skill loadout.


What do you mean with lack of stat customization?
A big part of your stats is in your gear (the majority if you dont have crap gear), which means you can do stat-customization at any time, and respec massively between every fight if you want, instead of a small incremental increase only on level up.

Normal mode was very very easy, I one-hit-killed almost everything the whole game with my little monk.
Nightmare feels like the part where the game actually starts, where every champion is harder then most bosses in normal mode, I'm about 2/3s through it now, can't wait for hell mode :)

I loved act 3 btw, such a nice atmosphere with the hordes of demons banging the walls :)

Nytegard: Sounds like you are confusing "legendary" with "rare"? The yellow rare gear is not very rare at all, just means its more rare then the normal magic gear and have more bonuses. I've sold tons of "rare" stuff to the shopkeeper...

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Nytegard: Sounds like you are confusing "legendary" with "rare"? The yellow rare gear is not very rare at all, just means its more rare then the normal magic gear and have more bonuses. I've sold tons of "rare" stuff to the shopkeeper...


Nah, the legendary, not the rare. (I already have tons of rare, and was surprised that normal actually dropped legendary, but it does). Just started Act 4 (normal) and have 5 pieces. I have yet to sell anything to any shopkeepers (I've been salvaging all my pieces), so I'm severly short of money from being able to buy a tab for more storage space (and the artisans are upgraded as far as I can get them on normal).

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Blew through Act 4 last night. It felt... unfinished. There were a couple special rooms that seemed interesting, but which in fact turned out to be nothing. No champions or bosses, no resplendent chests, nothing in them but standard old mobs. It's like Blizzard meant to populate them with interesting stuff, but ran out of time. (What ever happened to Blizzard's 'release when it's done' mentality? I'll tell you what happened to it. Activision.) One room had this big, square open space where tiles of a sort would fall from the sky. Stepping on the tile made it permanent, and a couple mobs would rain down on the tile like meteors. It was pretty cool, and I used the tiles to cross to an unreachable pedestal where I found.... just a regular chest. Had a couple pieces of white junk in it. I thought "surely that can't be all this neat room holds". So I solidified all of the tiles. Took me a bit of time, since it was, like a 5x5 grid of them and I had to fight the meteor mobs on each one. Completed them all and that was it. Nothing special in the whole room, just that one stupid chest.

Other rooms in Act 4 turned out similar. Meteor mobs raining down, sometimes shadow fiends spawning to mob me. But those other rooms didn't even have chests. They were just mob-filled dead ends. I did all the special branch rooms, and the only thing I got for my efforts were those two pieces of junk from the chest and some stupid achievement. Really?

From the start of Act 4 to the end, I felt like I was just being rushed along to the boss fight at the end. It started out okay, what with having to clear mounds of corruption to find some rifts, but once that was done it was all "okay, head out and kill the big D." It made me wonder why they even had an Act 4. They could have just gone with Act 3->cinematic->Fight Diablo! It was a shame, too, because the idea of fighting demons in the slowly-corrupting halls of heaven seemed pretty sweet to me. They could have done so much more with it. If they'd spent as much time on the second half of the game as they did the first half, it might feel like a finished game. As it is, beyond Act 2, it just felt like an unfinished beta again.

I started Nightmare difficulty and cleared the skeleton king. Outside one or two decent champion packs, it's been more or less identical to Normal. Sure, I have more abilities and sure, the enemies hit a bit harder. But the loot that is dropping is the same worthless crap that dropped throughout Normal. I haven't seen an upgrade in my equipment since Act 3 Normal, and even that wasn't an upgrade so much as it was "abandoning my wizardly-feeling wand and offhand in favor of a piece of shit bow because the bow has twice the damage of my wand+offhand." Another "really?" moment for me. Why do none of the rare wands I find have anything even approaching the damage of a crappy blue bow? Not even close. Why am I forced to pack a 2-hand bow around, despite being a wizard who should carry a wand and spellbook? Sure, I might get some other stats from the rare wands, but they won't make up for the DPS difference. When the best rare wand I can find is 36 damage and the crappy blue bow is 55.7, there just aren't any secondary stats that will make up for that huge gap. This game is all about killing stuff fast, so really the only stat that matters is DPS.

I kind of don't feel like playing anymore, which is a big departure from Diablo 2. When I finished Normal D2, I ended up clearing half of Nightmare mode that same night because I just couldn't get enough. Maybe it's just that i have more demands on my time now, maybe it's that I'm older and more of a stick-in-the-mud. But I just don't feel any compulsion at all to play further, despite the fact that the game in a way really only begins once you reach Nightmare.

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When the best rare wand I can find is 36 damage and the crappy blue bow is 55.7,[/quote]

Look on the AH. Search for int + vit + favorite extra.

Or you can farm for weeks and never win at RNG.

Another thing is tiers. At various level breakpoints, stats jump greatly. If blues are better it simply means you outleveled the old yellow by far.


Alternatively, start a character with different primary attribute. Then use one to farm for another. Since items that drop tend to be lower level, one will leapfrog the other in progression, but items looted will be much better for the one of lower level.

There's only 3 primary attributes, so by having two characters (or 3 if you wish), you are able to make use of 1/3 of looted items. Edited by Antheus

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I agree act 4 felt a bit... short. Could have been a lot more epic.
Though at that time, in normal mode, due to it being so easy, I was insanely overpowered for the mobs...
Will be interesting to see how it feel in NM.

I think you should give NM a bit more chance, around the middle of act 1, stats started to rush, and I doubled my dps quite quickly.
Now, in the middle of act 3 NM, I have 4x the dps I had when starting NM.
Though, it still manage to get harder and harder, since the mobs scale up a lot quicker then normal mode.
Obviously you have to put a bit more thought into your build on the higher levels.

Now in act 3, even the non-elite/champion mobs of certain types start to feel dangerous.
In normal mode I felt like a 6th grade bully raiding the kindergarten.

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I've been reading through the D3 general discussion forum. Sounds like I made the right choice in not getting this game. (I know, I know, forums exist solely for complaining retards and the fans who oppose them; but still...) The common complaints seem to be: bad/lack-luster itemization, requirement of cookie-cutter builds in order to be competitive at Inferno difficulty (wasn't the whole point of dumbing down the system to eliminate the cookie cutters?), lack of polish in the last half of the game, a general feeling that this entire game is designed solely as a thing to push people into using the real money auction house so that Activision gets their cut, single-player disconnects causing progress loss, inability to connect to play single-player, etc... I even saw one awesome little gem of a thread detailing a crash/exception bug. 10 years in development, and they're still getting actual C++ exceptions?

I've also been watching my brother in law play. The gameplay does seem fun; it's all action-y and boom-y, just like Diablo should be. But Rob was always 3 times the Diablo fan that I was, and even he can't stomach playing it for more than an hour or two at a time. I don't know what's missing, I haven't really played it. Just watched. But the magic seems to be gone.

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I don't think it's that the magic is gone, I just think that the game hasn't really evolved enough to be seen as a true successor to Diablo 2. It's honestly hard to succeed when you have high expectations (ie. Deus Ex: Invisible War, Ultima 8, etc).

Quite honestly, it's refreshing to see a real money AH. If people are going to devote a portion of their lives to the point it's a second job, they might as well be allowed to make real money from it legitimately.

The always on connection is definitely frustrating, as I can't tell you how often I've been in the middle of a dungeon to lose connection and have to replay the whole dungeon all over again. It's even worse when you find an awesome item and lose it (hence why I teleport to town now after every major find). I guess another thing I would have preferred is if Blizzard wasn't so west-coast centric. (This isn't necessarily a Blizzard only problem, as many online games seem to treat the west coast as the center of the gaming world if you live in the USA). I don't think I could play HC mode as I've already died several times through warping and other connection issues (I'm lucky if my ping goes sub 200). I might as well join the European servers, as I'd probably have a better connection there.

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requirement of cookie-cutter builds in order to be competitive at Inferno difficulty[/quote]

It's been less than a week. People who made it to inferno are the equivalent to top 1% of WoW raiders. Talking about balance is completely pointless right now.

If anything, I've found that it's very well balanced, but various points requires certain gear check, where it goes from "cannot be killed" to "moderately challenging". Either way, I won't be seeing much inferno myself, so these issues concern me as much as progression raiding in WoW (not at all).

I haven't really played it. Just watched. But the magic seems to be gone.[/quote]

Of course it is. We're what, 10 years older? If anything, it would be very worrying if things didn't change.

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Quite honestly, it's refreshing to see a real money AH. If people are going to devote a portion of their lives to the point it's a second job, they might as well be allowed to make real money from it legitimately.


The issue I see with the concept in its current form is that it is only really viable for those who already make money from these sorts of games (aka gold farming businesses). The drop rates along with the 30% cut, $250 cap and limit to 10 auctions at one time mean only those with multiple account and multiple users will be able to generate any decent level of income from the game. It all results in a system that isn't really designed to give the long term player a way to make a decent amount of money from their playtime, but instead a system for the developers to get a cut from the already established gold farmers.

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As for the real money, $250 is more than enough as far as a cap goes. To give an analogy, for the past several years, I've used StubHub to sells sports tickets. Similar model. Laws use to be in place forbidding scalping, but there would be several scalping companies (ie: to the gold farming companies). When the state I was in (along with several states around me) revoked the laws, I purchased season tickets to several different teams. The general consensus on the fans' forums was how this was going to be the death of the fan being able to attend games, and how prices were going to skyrocket. In the end though, ticket prices plummetted to the point where you could buy tickets far below face value. Open up competition, and prices plummet. Now, I'm not stating that this will affect the gold farmers money, rather, it will force undercutting of everyone that $250 won't be nearly as low a price as many people think.

As far as the cut, that's to be expected. And the drop rate should make it that 10 auctions hopefully won't be too little. If too many people complain, who knows, Blizzard might up the amount.

I don't see it as a way to get rich by any means. Just that you might be able to make a couple hundred, if lucky, over the course of a month or two. My biggest concern with a real life money AH is that when money gets involved, certain less ethical events tend to happen more often. These tend to attract people who make aimbots and other cheating devices seem like childs play in their sophistication, and also tend to lead to a revelation as to the real security of the company behind the product.

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The issue I see with the concept in its current form is that it is only really viable for those who already make money from these sorts of games (aka gold farming businesses). The drop rates along with the 30% cut, $250 cap and limit to 10 auctions at one time mean only those with multiple account and multiple users will be able to generate any decent level of income from the game. It all results in a system that isn't really designed to give the long term player a way to make a decent amount of money from their playtime, but instead a system for the developers to get a cut from the already established gold farmers.


Wouldn't it be even more convenient for the farmers if there wasn't any cap?
I think the cash cap is more about mitigating money laundring. (a big problem for anyone who want to design any handling of real money)
And my guess for the item count cap is that otherwise, people would use the auction as a bottomless stash... Edited by Olof Hedman

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[quote name='Telastyn' timestamp='1337260379' post='4940923']the move from a roguelike to a tiny isometric action-MMO is disappointing.
I'm confused as to which diablo games you've been playing? Hasn't Diablo always been an isometric beat-em-up with RPG-like character progression, woven together with a weak storyline?
[/quote]

I dunno, I've always seen the playstyle as a roguelike. You have a town and a random dungeon you progress downward (an occasionally return to town) until you hit the 'bottom' with no real quests to speak of.

Especially for the first... I dunno, 2.5 acts of D3 there's no reason to return to town and little reason to explore. Just a bunch of sequential quests that lead smoothly into the next.

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Where the comparison breaks down is that roguelikes (at least the ones I've played) require thought and careful evaluation of situations to complete. Diablo (any of the 3) merely requires careful smashing of mouse buttons as rapidly as possible. There's also the whole, you know, turn-based thing. Which results in radically different gameplay. Diablo123 are action games that may have been initially inspired by roguelikes, but simply having randomized dungeons does not a roguelike make. Of the three, the first was perhaps nearest to an actual roguelike in structure, with its 16-level deep dungeon, and greater use of randomization.

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I can see it discouraging people from treating Diablo 3 as a way to generate money simply because there's no chance they could make it big by finding a single rare item. Less people seriously farming will mean less competition for the actual farmers.

They may indeed prefer a much higher cap/none at all, but it isn't necessarily bad for them.

There is also a charge for posting items up on the RM AH (about a dollar iirc) to stop people posting items if they don't plan on selling it.

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I got a refund from blizzard for this unplayable PoS. Game was awesome when it was actually playable for those few seconds.

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Servers have been mostly perfect for me after Tuesday and Wednesday SNAFUs.

Impressions:

- I like the skill selection and runes a lot. You have LOTS of choices to make. Some combinations are noticably more effective than others (same as D2). There is *definitely* room for people who want to make non-cookie-cutter or "challenge" builds (same as D2). Sure, early in the game you are pretty much locked to certain skills since you don't have a variety unlocked yet (same as D2). Once you get at least one rune unlocked for all of your spells, it gets Real. The only important high-level difference between D2 and D3 as far as character skills go is that you don't have to recreate your character to try something different in D3.

- I really like the equipment-based damage instead of invest-points-in-skills system.

- I dislike having the skills on multiple "pages". When you level up, it will most likely be during heavy combat. You can't really pay attention to the "you just unlocked X skill" popups during a fight. This means you'll have to spend a few minutes sifting through your skill menu to FIND what you got and read the descriptions. Meanwhile, your friends continue without you or stand around bored if they're nice enough to wait. Having all skills on a single "page" would make this process much quicker.

- I am not sure whether I like or dislike the difficulty-gated features: Certain things only start becoming available in nightmare mode (items to upgrade your crafters past a certain level, more varity in item stats such as bonuses to resistances, and more abilities on blue/yellow miniboss monsters).

- Acts 3 and 4 had utterly subpar plot and side-dungeons (loot dungeons) compared to the first two. Act 4 is also very short.

- I am a little bummed about the simplified socketed items (max of 2 sockets, four types of gems instead of seven). I don't know if later difficulties add new gems or D2-style runes or not.

- I haven't seen a single unique or set item or equivalent. I've got two characters to Nightmare mode so far - I would have found several by this point playing D2. If these items even exist, I suspect the scarcity is intentional due to the auction house.

- I am disappointed that two-handed items always appear to be vastly inferior to two separate one-handed items.

- Followers are significantly better. Their random conversations are a nice touch.

- Occasional dramatic loss of framerate even on very-high-end PCs is disappointing (and may be a bug).


Overall, I really like it. A few nagging issues, but I would still recommend it to everyone who played the hell out of D2, Titan Quest, or Sacred 2. Edited by Nypyren

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- Occasional dramatic loss of framerate even on very-high-end PCs is disappointing (and may be a bug).

You'll find thats a lag spike from the highly unoptimized server architecture they are using.

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- Occasional dramatic loss of framerate even on very-high-end PCs is disappointing (and may be a bug).

You'll find thats a lag spike from the highly unoptimized server architecture they are using.


I've had a few drops that is obviously a client problem, usually with lots of water effects.
Where I normally always get a solid 60 fps, at these certain spots it drops down to 30.
I've only found a few of these spots and they where all very local, so not much of a problem and overall I must say it works very well for me.
I could even play without problems while my friends banged their head against the endless stream of error codes on launch day.

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I'm starting to really see the shortfalls of the skill system. Halfway through Act 2 Nightmare, and my character hasn't "changed" since Act 3 Normal. Let me explain.

In D2 (I know, everyone is starting to get tired of how D2 was the boss; and yes, D2 was far from perfect. And yet, I still play it to this day.) there were always incremental changes to your character. You get a level, you get a point to make a skill just that little bit beefier. You find a new item, maybe an amulet with +2 all skills. Whatever. There were constant changes occurring to your character.

Well, in the absence of any usable loot drops at all since A3Normal, and the absence of any rune unlocks that interest me, there has been approximately 0 character progression. Sure, there have been the small stat increases with levels, but those haven't been at my choosing. I have not been able to do a single thing to change my character by my own decision in the last probably 10 hours of gameplay. Maybe more.

Rune unlocks: I like the ones I have. Arcane Torrent + Disruption, Chain Lightning, Magic Weapon, Familiar+Sparkflint, Wave of Force (or Fus Ro Dah, as I like to call it), and the ubiquitous Diamond Skin that every Wizard has to take. (Wait, tell me again how we won't be required to take any one spell, but can choose whatever spells we want?) So, effectively, there has been 0 progression with my character for quite a few levels and several Acts. I'm fine with my current choices, and in fact I will be fine with my current choices for quite a few levels to come. In truth, I could see myself using this loadout for the remainder of the game, possibly with the sole change of taking Arcane Orb once I get to the kite-fest that is Inferno. (Which infuriates me because I love Arcane Torrent. I love the way it feels, the way it plays. The fact that I won't be able use it anymore because I have to kite rather than stand and channel just, frankly, pisses me off.)

And the fact that I already have the skill loadout I want to use for the rest of the game is depressing to me, since the only way my character is going to change now is if equipment drops. No more incremental, skill-point based increases. And I have yet to see any good item drops In Act2NM. No, I won't check the auction house. Buying my way to I Win equipment is not why I play Diablo, never will be. But apparently grinding my way to it isn't going to happen either. And I certainly won't be crafting one. I have yet to actually use anything I have crafted, outside of the sole exception of a wand I used around L9.

And let's talk about equipment again, shall we? As far as I can see, the only modifiers that make a bit of difference are: weapon DPS, main stat (in my case, Int), vitality and resistances. Weapon DPS is boss and king, god even. You want to kill things fast enough that they don't pummel you? Drop whatever crummy weapon+offhand you have and find the highest dps axe/sword/bow you can. Anything else on a weapon besides DPS is a second-class citizen at best. Think your Wizard should use spellbooks and wands? You're wrong, he should find the biggest-ass axe he can find. A wand+spellbook is only going to gimp his DPS.

The only "customization" of your character allowed by the current item system is choosing whether to emphasize your main stat or vitality, but by all reports you shouldn't emphasize vitality over your main stat since regardless of whatever vitality you have, you're going to be one- or two-shot in Inferno anyway, so you might as well just beef your damage since having a big health pool doesn't help you kite any better. So the much-vaunted character customization, it turns out, is actually quite a hilarious joke. I honestly think Blizzard has been trolling us all along.

At this point, I'm feeling a sort of sick dismay about this whole game. Yes, the core elements of combat are still fun. But I can see the end of the fun screaming toward me at a frightening rate. Already, logging in feels a bit like a chore. Slog through the story again (and why, oh why, do we have to roll back the story if we want to go back to different spots along the way?) hoping to finally, at long last, score an equipment upgrade. Collect a whole bunch of worthless items, salvage them, have the blacksmith craft something, have it end up with a whole bunch of +Dexterity and increased pickup radius, have the blacksmith shred it, go back to grinding. Ooh, level up! Useless Rune unlocks. Other Useless Rune unlocks. Mildly Interesting Rune unlocks, but I don't really see a way to work it in without changing my entire playstyle away from something I really enjoy. Try it anyway for awhile, end up going back to what I had before. Slog some more.

I remember reading an article somewhere about the psychology of reward systems and schedules in games, and I think a large part of my dissatisfaction has been the complete and utter lack of a worthwhile reward in over 10 hours of playing. The only rewards have been of the visceral variety: the splat sounds of a champion pack successfully taken down, the whirs and clicks and clings of loot hitting the ground (followed up by the depression and frustration of finding it to be simply shredder fodder). There have been absolutely no longer-term rewards. At all. Story progression? This is Nightmare, I've already seen the story. Character progression? Heh. Heh heh. Player skill progression? It's become a routine. I'm already pretty good at pushing the right buttons at the right times to take down whatever packs might come my way.

My honest prediction is that I will probably make it to Hell difficulty. Probably in the next day or two. (And that, too, is a depressing thing. I haven't exactly been playing for hundreds of hours. and you'll recall that my equipment is shitty. I can remember it took me quite a bit longer than this to unlock Hell difficulty in D2. It feels like difficulty-level progression is just being handed to me, without me working for it.) But once I reach Hell difficulty, I just don't see myself playing this game anymore. And I don't really see myself coming back to it some time down the road, either, the way I still occasionally come back to D2. This feels less and less like a Diablo game all the time, and it is becoming painfully obvious to me that the Diablo that I knew and loved is dead, that the original team is scattered to the winds, and that what Blizzard is producing in the absence might be an okay action game, but is most emphatically not Diablo.

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And let's talk about equipment again, shall we? As far as I can see, the only modifiers that make a bit of difference are: weapon DPS, main stat (in my case, Int), vitality and resistances. Weapon DPS is boss and king, god even. You want to kill things fast enough that they don't pummel you? Drop whatever crummy weapon+offhand you have and find the highest dps axe/sword/bow you can. Anything else on a weapon besides DPS is a second-class citizen at best. Think your Wizard should use spellbooks and wands? You're wrong, he should find the biggest-ass axe he can find. A wand+spellbook is only going to gimp his DPS.


Eh, my monk cares about more than simple DPS. Since his common attacks do things every 3rd strike, attacks per second is also important. Likewise, I have him configured with the 'hit all nearby' common attack, so that combined with attack speed means that life per hit (and +spirit per hit to a lesser degree) is something the monk cares about more than the simple dexterity/damage/vitality sweet spot.

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Well, in the absence of any usable loot drops at all since A3Normal.

That's... Odd. My character in nightmare is reliably getting Legendary drops every few minutes, and quite a number of them trump the best auction house gear from normal mode. I'm curious how pimped out your gear must have been to not be matched yet in nightmare...

Rune unlocks: I like the ones I have. Arcane Torrent + Disruption, Chain Lightning, Magic Weapon, Familiar+Sparkflint, Wave of Force (or Fus Ro Dah, as I like to call it), and the ubiquitous Diamond Skin that every Wizard has to take. (Wait, tell me again how we won't be required to take any one spell, but can choose whatever spells we want?)[/quote]
You are playing a stand-and-channel mage, but taking 2 melee skills? You're doing it wrong ;)

I don't get why anyone takes Diamond Skin, unless they are tanking. It's a waste of a skill-slot - sure, it's an escape mechanic, but it doesn't deal any damage (ditto for teleport). You are generally better off taking Frost Nova or Wave of Force with knockback - they offer about the same ability to mitigate damage, plus they deal damage themselves.

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I'm now in Hell act 1 and haven't seen a single Legendary drop. Only rares.

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Frost Nova or Wave of Force with knockback


My wizard isn't into Nightmare territory yet, but has both of these (and the decrease cooldown trait). Very happy with 'em.

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(and the decrease cooldown trait)

Glass Cannon FTW. Between Magic Weapon, Sparkflint Familiar, and Glass Cannon, the damage bonuses are insane.

And if stand-and-deliver isn't your thing, drop an Arcane Hydra on the field, and kite around while it kills stuff - it's possible to win full boss fights doing just that.

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[quote name='Telastyn' timestamp='1337783893' post='4942565']
(and the decrease cooldown trait)

Glass Cannon FTW. Between Magic Weapon, Sparkflint Familiar, and Glass Cannon, the damage bonuses are insane.

And if stand-and-deliver isn't your thing, drop an Arcane Hydra on the field, and kite around while it kills stuff - it's possible to win full boss fights doing just that.
[/quote]

Interesting. I didn't go with the Glass Cannon myself because I don't have good/cheap AoE spells yet and my wizard has the unfortunate habit of being teamed up with dimwits so often times is being attacked by more than one enemy.

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