Botchweed’s Diablo 3 Beta First Impressions

A gaming site called Botchweed has posted their first impressions of the Diablo III beta. There’s nothing real new there, but just because it’s been weeks since we’ve seen one of these, I figured it was worth a news post. Here’s a quote:

Diablo 3 tries to show that it’s no where near as limited as Diablo 2 in terms of movement space and playable area. Unfortunately adding a little bit more area to explore around each town and dungeon doesn’t really detract from the inevitability of going from town to dungeon and down various levels until you find the next person that you need to kill. Going from town to dungeon on repeat isn’t a criticism of the game though. It’s the method that worked for Diablo 2 and we all loved it, and I think we’ll all feel exactly the same about Diablo 3. The only problem with this illusion of free-roaming open spaces is that it’s not really there, the spaces are incredibly finite and almost not worth being there in the first place.

There’s no telling if this guy just got into the beta recently, or if he’d had a key for weeks but no time to check it out. It would be nice to think the former, since then you could imagine that *someone* had been added to the beta since those idyllic weeks back in early and mid-September, when the invites were flying and interest was spiking.

The lack of fresh meat blood is very telling in the few public games available, the general lack of fresh posts and conversation about the DiabloWikiDiablo 3 beta, and especially in the DiabloWikiAuction House, which is just comatose for lack of interested participants.

I can only repeat what a few of the Blizzard guys said at Blizzcon, which is that they’re going to ramp up the invites considerably in a couple/few weeks, after a big beta patch goes in. Hopefully the many class tweaks in the patch will reactivate current testers, and as they mingle with the waves of new people the Diablo 3 Beta test will regain its lost momentum/attention/interest level.

I do continue to wonder why Blizzard didn’t include DiabloWikiArena access in the Beta. Surely they needed to test out the match-making and hidden character ranking features, and PvP dueling would have provided an end game for beta testers, ensuring constant crowds online and giving players an incentive to keep grinding and trading for top items. Besides being fantastically fun, even with just Clvl 13 chars.

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17 thoughts on “Botchweed’s Diablo 3 Beta First Impressions

  1. “I do continue to wonder why Blizzard didn’t include Arena access in the Beta.”

    I believe they said at BlizzCon that they didn’t include the arena because they didn’t want to hear all the complaints about how the classes are not balanced at lvl 13. 

    And I think it will be interesting to see how Skyrim affects the D3 beta.
    Skyrim’s release is in a little over a week, so even if the D3 beta patch and new beta invites were to go out, I’m thinking most people will just play the beta once and then go onto Skyrim.

    • i dont see how skyrim is relevant to the diablo 3 beta … not only are they totally different in gamestyle – but also one is a fullprice game and the other is a free to download beta client …
      they can shed out as many key as their servers can stomach – and i wouldn`t be suprised if they add something like
      “preorder diablo 3 now and recieve a beta invitation” about 1 month from release …

      PS: i agree on the pvp part the QQ would be be pointless and tedious – and setting up some kind of elo system for matchmaking is a pointless excercise – given the experience they have with sc2

    • If people whining about level 13 balance is their concern, then why don’t they just give us level 60 characters with rank 7 runes like they did for Blizzcon? 😐

      • is this a serious question ? Obv because they dont want to spoiler the experience ( yes i think it would be a spoiler even though its not lore specific) and second becasue they would just QQ as much on level 60 as they would on lvl13 i guess even more so  – given that they were premade ….  and the chances of them releasing arena with fully costumizeable Characters would even be more ridiculous …

        • If people are going to qq about level 60 balance in beta, then they will do it in the release game… and what is ridiculous about letting people have customizable level 60 characters to test the arena?

          • did you miss the part where i said that blizzard would never spoiler 100% of the skills pre release ? no ? think again . just because you desire to play the game more extensively  because you presumably already are in the beta is nothing to blizzard. do you think they released the beta for your amusement ?
            do you think blizzard gives a crap ? do you think the average joe who did not even get into the beta in the first place feels any pitty for the likes of you who are already bored with the beta ? iam kinda disgusted

  2. I for one hope that all the beta testers that quit, don’t return.  Blizzard will be forced to hand out more keys, increasing my odds of… oh who am I kidding… I still won’t be lucky enough to get one.

  3. I gave up hope on waiting for a beta key and discovered Minecraft in the meantime.  I know Minecraft is old news for a lot of folks but I never tried it till now for whatever reason.  Now I’m at the point where I would almost rather play Minecraft than D3 beta.  Almost 😉

    • unless you LOVE building stuff, Minecraft gets old REAL quick.   As an aside…buy Terraria.  Now that game kicks ass.  Way better than minecraft IMO.   Having bosses to kill really adds a good reason to progress in your gear.

  4. why do people continue to count the number of public games?  It is a horrible measure of how many people are playing beta.  The majority of people simply don’t start a public game.  Most have no interest in playing with random people.  And the folks who have tried public games have expressed how irritating it is how players just rush thru things simply to get to a boss.   It would be nice if blizzard gave us a number of private games.  THEN we could truly comment on number of beta players.

    • I’m guessing most people rush through because they’re tired of exploring the same ol content over and over 

      and while counting public games is a far from accurate measure of how many people are in the beta, at least it is a consistent measure 

      it is certainly interesting to see 68 people in public games, then see 200 beta keys go out and see a jump in public games, but then 3 days later see the number of people in public games drop to 38 and consistently stay that low 

      I would certainly think that 200 people playing the same limited content over and over and over would get bored and would start creating public games just to experience something different : different classes, different players, different combinations,  
      and we would see at least a marginal increase in public games 

      but that doesn’t seem to be happening either

      @WhiteGiant, while Skyrim is a different type of game and costs $60 compared to a free beta, I’m sure many of the people who are into Diablo are also into Oblivion series 

      and when it comes to playing the same ol limited beta over and over or playing a full and complete Skyrim, I’m pretty sure most of them will choose Skyrim

      how many of the media sites that received beta invites do you think will continue with the D3 beta instead of quitting and going to Skyrim ?

  5. ” Surely they needed to test out the match-making and hidden character ranking features”
    they probably used the same thing as WoW arena, which have been tested for many years.

  6. Hmm, does no one else think it a grim and foreboding thing that D3 can’t even maintain people’s interest for a few weeks?  That people who got into a free beta, who are assumed to be the most slavering and die hard of fans, can’t be bothered to create public games/ don’t want to because they don’t want to play with other people?  I know, I know, this is just an incredibly small sampling of content to test specific areas, but still… if people don’t like playing with random other assumed die hard fans, then what makes us think they’ll enjoy playing with random people from who knows where with who knows what kind of priorities and interest levels?  And if it can’t draw people in to eek out every detail they can delve about how skill W from class X interacts with skill Y from class Z, to farm for drops and see what’s even possible to get (in terms of modifiers/ affixes etc), or to do any of the other things that kept people rabidly interested in D2 for years, what does that say?  Perhaps, as flux indicates, the arena will fix some/ many/ all of those concerns.  Perhaps not.

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