This has been long gone off the internet, but I wanted to keep it for posterity because it is a poignant run down of the failed design of Diablo 3 and its crippling interaction with the Real Money Auction House. The article is a great nostalgic read and a grim reminder of how far a license can fall when in the hands of the wrong company, the wrong developers and the wrong game designers.
A lot of the problems this guy notes I never experienced, I wasn’t even able to get through act 1 before quitting. Things have changed for Diablo 3 from what I hear since the above was written, but my issues with the game had little to do with the RMAH in the first place, rather the core ARPG gameplay itself, which is not good and the core character models, which are silly looking and all run funny. I’ve always thought of doing a review, but Diablo 3 is one of those special games that is so bad it’s not worth reviewing. It gets the patented: unplayable/unreviewable rating a la the Onion.
I had about 3 hours hours of play with the Diablo 3 BlizzCon 2009 build. The play was mostly broken up into 15 minute session, with a couple 30 min runs. I played each of the four classes in a portion of act two. The characters were already lv’d to around lv10.
Here are my impressions:
– Holy fucking shit it’s great.
– Witch Doctor seems over powered with his summons able to take almost all mob agro, leaving him free to deal damage from a distance free from danger.
– I died the most playing the Monk. Correctly timing his skills in combos seemed critical. This is no doubt part of the new play style being drawn up for Diablo 3. Less mashing attach and one spell, more balanced timed attacks with multiple spells interwoven.
– Spell interrupts seem unpolished, casts don’t start sometimes if you are melee’ing.
– The physics on the dead monsters have weight and feel “right”, bodies fall down, and rag-doll nicely, not like some games which heavily abuse rag-doll.
– Skill customizing with ruins/stones might be the best idea ever. It was not enabled in the build i played, but from how I was using skills constantly, being able to change your skills with mods should help to keep the game fresh.
– Good depth to the scenery around the level. Sometimes the scenery gets in the way of the game field covering the lower part of the screen hiding items, monsters and quest objectives.
– Move speed seems okay for combat the is no run/walk.
– The wizard had some fucking awesome spells, the Mirror Image spell had this incredible effect of the wizard splitting in two, you could almost feel the pulling and splitting.
– Barbarian two handed weapons sucked. I did way more damage using two single handed weapons.
– Mana regen allowed constant skill usage, you really had to spam skills to zap mana.
– Wizard had the best flow of skills I think.
– Largest mobs are around 15-20 monsters.
– Monsters required different approaches to kill, you can just see how much balance the Diablo 3 is designing when you have to change how you fight every couple minutes.
– Screen scrolling dropped frames every once in a while, shuttering a little bit.
– There was a couple here with their 2 children, one like 1.5 years old the other kid must have been 5-6 months. The childern were completely ignored so that the parents could play Diablo 3. Kinda disturbing.
– There’d are some tween girls being interviewed about their wow habits.
– Social awkwardness was at max.