After watching a baseball game I want to take a nap. After watching CLG vs Legion I wanted to get online, call my friends and play ranked matches all night. By the way, if you didn't watch that match you should!!!
I saw lines to play unreleased games that were a multiple hour wait. I went to panel discussions where the entire room was dead silent in anticipation of developers sharing their knowledge. I watched the League of Legends tournament live and the crowd was louder than any professional sporting event I've ever attended.
This is why I love the "nerd/geek" community, this is why I love gaming.
First off, the game is beautiful. NCSoft has a stellar art department and their stylized art direction is consistent throughout the game thus far. Most quests have an audible cutscene to depict the situation at hand. Definitely blows reading a wall of text out of the water.
Each race has its own starting area and they feel very different. Even though I wasn't very drawn in I'll give them credit for making each race feel very distinct. We got to play the Charr, Human and Norn races this weekend. The Norn are very nature focused, revering the spirits of the animals and the spirit world that only shaman can travel into. They are large too, I was towering over my Human friends. The Humans are exactly wat you would expect, homeland lost they fight on with unwavering spirit. Nothing too special here but the female characters are really beautiful. Lastly I tried the Charr as I wasn't very excited for them. I think they have the strongest story in the beginning. They are singularly focused on their militaristic lives. I was impressed that their gritty and visceral heritage played well into their storyline.
I played Guild Wars 1 quite a bit and have fond memories of that game. Though the characters and story are easily recognizable, not much is the same. Everywhere you run there's a "dymanic quest" which doesn't feel dynamic at all. If you ever played Warhammer Online you remember the public quest system. Well, this is public quest of steroids. The quests became so repetitive and boring I actually started avoiding them.
PVP is something I participated in quite a bit. I played a battleground, which almost put me to sleep, but I kept coming back to WvWvW. That stands for World vs World vs World if you were wondering. In a 4 continent battle putting 3 servers against one another in a very long battle of taking and holding objectives, WvW can be a blast! At times it becomes mindless as you run around in huge groups zerging each other. You will quickly find out that melee is painful, being on the front lines means getting focused pretty hard. Even on my warrior I was mostly using a rifle in combat. There is much less mindless auto-attacking as you need to use skills, dodge attacks and projectiles and revive teammates. The biggest problem I faced was being unable to melee enemies in certain situations due to so much server lag.
All in all it was a fun weekend. Beta's aren't meant to be perfect and this was sure was not. Lots of disconnects, lag and bugs to report. I hope the feedback makes the release a better product. After waiting so long for this title I am a little disappointed. I miss some of the simplicity from the original Guild Wars. Now we can jump in a persistent world, but that doesn't make up for some of the best balanced collaborative PVP I ever played in the original.
There are two resource systems in the game: Riot Points (RP) and Influence Points (IP). You obtain IP from playing games while you buy RP from the store. Either resource can be used to buy champions and runes. But if you want to buy a skin for your beloved champs you can only use RP.
The graphics and animations are very good and gameplay is generally smooth. My biggest complaint with this game is the community. You should either turn chat off or be ready to be trolled consistently by one of the worst communities I've ever seen. You've been warned!
From the first few minutes in you can tell that Diablo 3 is a Blizzard game. It's beautiful and well blended as you have come to expect from their games. I really enjoy the color palette and ambiance that has been created. I read initial complaints that it "isn't dark enough for the Diablo IP", but I am quite happy with it. Graphics are really only a small part of the game but I doubt anyone will be disappointed with the look and feel of the world.
One thing that I can't get past is the environment depth. It screams of Titan Quest - the altitude of cliffs, the depth of chasms. I really enjoyed the effect in Titan Quest and I'm glad to see it again.
Well the other day I found that lots of other beta players agree with me on the lowered difficulty. Blizzard in turn responded with a video about the difficulty in D3. I have attached it for your viewing pleasure. I sure hope it lives up to their foreboding! I want to play in a Diablo world that difficult!
I was a pretty hardcore player of Diablo 2 online. My best friend and I always played the ladder and even hardcore mode. We would spend so much time after a ladder reset trying to be in the top 10. Saying I have some emotional attachment to the Diablo IP would be an understatement.
I've decided to split my D3 beta impressions into a bunch of focused mini-posts to mitigate my scattered thoughts. So feel free to comment and ask questions, I'll do my best to answer them!
Graphics - The art style is very stylized. Though it looks a little childish with the oversized proportions and funny dances, it performs very well. Even with several hundred monsters and towers firing as fast as they can, I have yet to encounter screen lag. The color palette is aesthetically pleasing and I can honestly say I have no problems with the art direction.
Gameplay - I personally enjoy online play over local single player. I have only played online and mostly with friends. You can have up to four players cooperating on a map at any time. I find talking to them in ventrilo or mumble to be a huge help. Discussing strategy with voice is much faster when you're on a tight time-limit. Leveling up to the maximum level (74) isn't very hard. Difficulty levels are what makes this game shine. Along with my friends we try the hardest maps and challenges on the hardest difficulty. This has kept us busy for weeks!
If you enjoy multiplayer coop strategy I would highly recommend this cheap game for you and your friends.