Diablo 3 Forum Watch #83: Beta First Impressions Galore


With the open beta weekend giving thousands of long time Diablo players their first chance at Diablo III, our Diablo 3 Community Forum and Diablo 3 Beta Forum are blowing up with conversation and debate, with numerous first impressions type posts. Quoting them all would make for a very long post and defeat the purpose of the forum posts, most of which have many-page reply threads going on, but I wanted to excerpt a few as I read them and took the mood of the community.

  • ZwanZigZwolf was a long time Diablo player who had lost interest in D3 after the cheesy, anime robot looking Inferno armor was revealed. He tried the open beta weekend anyway though, and… loved almost everything about the game, aside from some of the Battle.net features and shared quest exploits.
  • Chaosmage isn’t pleased with most of the noob friendly early features, but he did think the difficulty felt alright. Naturally, others in the thread beg to differ.
  • Kiroptus has a terrible feeling of meh. He blames intangibles, but says D3 lacks that feeling of gothic immersion he got back in the old days. The thread’s gone 130+ replies in one day, so clearly it’s food for thought.
  • Our frequently-banned curmudgeon Septar returned and graced us with his beta reactions in the modestly-titled, Beta Impression by Someone Who Actually Matters. It’s a bit of a bait and switch, since Septar mostly just vivisects a “a terrible thread written by some idiot” from an MMO site forum. Read it to find yourself in shocked agreement with almost all Septar says in praise of D3?
  • Nysyarc liked his first playthough, but thinks the linear, unvarying progression of skills and rune effects will suck replayability out of the game.
  • Thunderchild is that rare individual who loved D1 but didn’t care for D2. How does he feel about D3? I can’t sum up his excellent post since he touched on at least a dozen topics, but he likes the quests and levels and exploring, but misses the feeling of progression with a level up, and hates the skill UI.
  • Joeb has a mixture of good and bad, though he felt the early game progression was too linear and felt bottlenecked.
  • LucianDK liked almost everything, especially the gothic horror feel, and he shares his reactions to all 5 classes. He likes the Barb and DH best.
  • Dator loved the game and rated all the classes. He likes Barb the most and DH the least, but thinks they’re all pretty good.
  • There are numerous other first impressions, often posted in replies to the above threads, so click through a few and see much more than I can quote here. Thanks to so many players for sharing their opinions about the game most of us have been waiting years and years to play.

    Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3 Beta, Forums, Hands-On Reports

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    1. im really glad blizzard did this for the fans. it almost seems like blizzard forgets all about us and then does something like this.

      • Blizzard didn’t do anything for the fans 
        Blizzard did it to stress the servers
        They wanted to make sure the mess that happened on Friday didn’t happen on May 15.
        It would have been bad press and people would have returned the game.
        Blizzard did this purely for good business practice. 
        There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m glad they did it. 
        But they didn’t do it “for the fans”

         

        • Im thinking it might not all be just black or white 🙂 They needed the stress test, i got no doubts… However i find it possible that the devs are actually kind at heart and truly enjoyed the fact that they could provide their fans with an open beta 😈  

    2. Agreed, I’m quite happy about getting to try the game even though now that I have played it I want it even more. It makes the wait that much harder but I know it will be worth it.

    3. I’m not sure that I want a “gothic” horror style. It worked for D1, but as for me, I’ve had enough gothic BS for one lifetime with all the tim burton and vampire crap out there. If they’re looking for horror and gore, there is plenty of it… Bodies chopped into pieces, nailed to a wall, blood stains, torsos that crawl out from the bushes. What the hell is wrong with these people?? Were they playing the same game I was this weekend?

      • It’s called nostalgia. A Diablo game you played when you were 12 was quite frankly scarring if you had a protected childhood. By 25 you are so numbed that torsos jumping out of bushes and bodies smeared to the wall seem almost like my little pony. Ofc some of the less bright can’t really grasp the idea and instead blame blizzard for somehow making dismemberment “less scary”.

        • While I think your explanation is correct, there are a few other reasons people can find a game scary. In D1 your character is much much more vulnerable than in D3. The Butcher is on level 2 and will kill you almost instantly if you aren’t prepared for it, you likely even have to come back later with more exp. There is nothing like that in early D3. Even just regular enemies can kill you if you aren’t careful in D1.
          This isn’t to say they *should* make it like D1, I prefer D2 and like D3, but when someone wants scary, that doesn’t just mean limbs on the floor.

          • I agree, but the reason the butcher was scary was not by design, but rather by the lack of it. Games back then were released very rough with lots of wild difficulty jumps and exploits. This did not matter since practically the only people who games were young males with lots of time.

            For better or worse,  games have gone massive. Blizzard has to design D3 with a much wider customer base now, and this includes people who are not fast at clicking or experienced with gaming. Hence the “easy mode” mode complaints. We’ll still get what we want, but it won’t be in the first 10 levels. Personally I’ll glady suffer through dumbed-down intros as long as it means my hobby reaches out to more people. We have later difficulties to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    4. I have no idea how anyone can dislike the armor sets in D3.  They’re incredibly varied, explosively awesome, interestingly themed, brilliantly crafted, and brutally badass in appearance.  I like how people label them “anime-ish” as if that was a bad thing.  Some of the most visually creative minds hail from Japan, and some of the things I’ve witnessed in Anime are far cooler than anything that’s come from anywhere else.

      I’ve never played an ARPG with cool looking armor sets, yet I have an extensive list of games under my belt.

      Over the top, action-stylized armor just feels awesome to run around in and watch yourself kill things with.  Look at the armor on Tyrael and Imperius, they both strongly represent that Blizzard touch, even though one was created long ago.  Character armor sets, for the most part, seem to have been created with a similar visual goal in mind.

      You mean to tell me that people can look at these pictures and honestly say they don’t look freaking awesome?

      http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&safe=off&biw=1920&bih=979&tbm=isch&tbnid=5cK7JILVyX0UTM:&imgrefurl=http://www.news-nerd.com/2011/09/diablo-3-armor-sets-detailed.html&docid=hzFTJV53JXmuGM&imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I-lOLcVe-ow/Tnt0CaJegSI/AAAAAAAAANA/FdXJYGYUsG8/s1600/armorsets.png&w=522&h=952&ei=WTaVT9jFFqzk6QHRtI2fBA&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=318&sig=118045806399568613193&sqi=2&page=1&tbnh=150&tbnw=83&start=0&ndsp=45&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:72&tx=34&ty=74 

      And that’s not even including all the possible dye combinations you can create.

      Some people are just impossible to please.
       

    5. I agree with nevindaal, I had to put down a blacksmith’s wife this weekend because she was infected with a zombie plague. Before we slay her she barfs around disgusting goo and she turns into a horrible creature!

    6. Since I didn’t want to register, but still wanted to share my Opinion, I’ll write a little bit about my impressions right here.

      First of all, excuse me, English isn’t my mother tongue, so you may find some or many mistakes.

      My first meeting with the Diablo Series began, when I was about 5 or 6 years old. My father instantly bought Diablo 1. We still have the originial game. When I first watched my father playing it, I was quite scared, I even got nightmares because of it. Then my father stopped playing it, when I was around. A couple of years later, my brother borrowed Diablo 2 from a friend, and we went on and played that game day and night. Then when we finished the normal difficulty, we went on, and installed Diablo 1, since we wanted to see if it was that great as well. A friend of my brother came over to us, and we 3 sat in front of the screen. We were scared as fuck, as we passed through the dungeons. When suddenly, my bother opened a door, and a very loud voice screamed something, we couldnt understand, because we weren’t able to talk English that day. But the friend of my Brother started screaming, then my brother started screaming, and I started screaming, too, because I was so afraid because they both started screaming suddenly.
      As you can see, I had some funny moments with the earlier games, and I started playing that game on the Internet when I was around the age of 13.  That’s why I had very high expectations, that Diablo3 becomes one of the most awesome games as well.  I was quite sad, when I read all those \beta key give aways\ in the newsfeed, because I never got one. I think you can imagine, how awesome I felt about the open Beta announcement.

      NOW THE INTERESTING PART STARTS

      I and 2 friends immediately started playing, after I fixed the multiple errors (error 315300 for example) I was able, to play every class to level 9, and the witch doc to level 11 (because he just rules!) 

      The first character I played was the wizard. I never really felt like the Dev team told me to feel. I never thought of me being something like a glass cannon. Her damage output was low, and she was squishy as hell. I didn’t die or something, but she just felt… weak and boring instead of strong and interesting. I only reached level 7 first and started playing other classes.

      Then I came to my 2nd class, I definitely wanted to try out: the witch doctor. I played him to level 9, and it was an awesome gameplay. Just like the Necromancer with his thousands of minions, you just had to actually DO something, instead of waiting in the back, till your minions kill everything. I’m the kind of person, who likes summoners, who like an kind of lazy gameplay, but sometimes, the necromancer from D2 was just too boring. Blizzard was able to get the boring stuff replaced with some other stuff, which makes you really interfer in the fights. I really liked the system with the corpse spiders. It’s a really nice idea, and especially the jumping spiders look really nice. This is definitely my favourite class.

      After that I tried the Barbarian. The Barbarian was really awesome. Tanky, a high mobility, strong attacks, good AoE dmg, and very good utility. Although I never really could enjoy the Barbarian in Diablo2, I think the dev team was able to get the most out of him. He is really an enjoyable character. One of my favorite classes now, although I hated the D2 Barbarian.

      Then I started playing the Monk. His AoE is much higher then the one of the Barbarian, and his gameplay is quite enjoyable, too. He may not be the one I like the most, but he is acceptable. I never had any trouble playing him. Very well balanced.

      The last one was the Demon Hunter. I feared that, similar to the wizard, she would just be too weak to have an enjoyable gameplay. But her multiple slows just kept the distance between the enemies and you, so you can constanly hit and run all the time. Very good. I only had some troubles against packs of bigger enemies, or bosses, but that’s okay I guess. So after I played her, I thought, that I may should give the Wizard another try, so I tried her again. I took my old lvl 7 char again.

      But she just sucked. Although the wizard was the class I used to like the most, she was just horrible. Her Beam of frost does low damage at a high cost of magic power. It may slow, but only for a short time, so you can’t just shoot some magic missiles and switch back to the beam. Her frost Nova was only senseful when you were sourrounded by enemies, and her overall gameplay was just lame. She is squishy, has low damage, has not that hit and run feeling… She just isn’t balanced. 

      I don’t know if that happened because I found a 13 dps bow on level 4 with my DH, so thoughts may are wrong. I don’t know how the Wave of Force felt, since I put her aside, as I reached level 9, but she has many many problems, and she does’t seem to be that kind of nuker, blizzard promised her to be.    The only char I had to take a health potion with was the Wizard… And that didn’t happen only once…  But everything else was very well balanced.

      • Did you know that in D3 all skils damage are dependent on your weapon damage?

        So as a wizard it’s better to replace your starting wand with a axe or bow, your damage will jump 300% 

        • Yeah, this was my mistake on the first play through. The dummy-fied skill descriptions don’t say anything about ‘weapon damage’, and since I never found any wands I never changed my weapon until I got to the cemetery and thought “hmm, this is getting a bit ridiculous”. After that it was much easier.

          Demon hunter seemed the fastest killer, with Chain Gang Entangling Shot effectively doing 300% weapon damage per shot to 4 targets and Impale doing 250% to 1 target. It’s easy to find bows with 17.6 damage on them too, which seems higher than all of the other weapons I found – I got about 4 of them with 17.6 damage, 1 of them rare.

        • Yea I knew that, since I wasted hours on playing with the Skill calculator on the official D3 website. It was impossible not to notice on what the damage depends.

          And yes, I always picked the weapon with the greates base-damage. 

      •  
         Yeah, i think the ranged skill in the beta wheren’t very good for spamming… i enjoyed playing it short range with Spectral Blade and the charged bolt skill which they renamed Shock something more then playing it ranged… 
         
         

    7. So ZwanZigZwolf is not going to buy the Ferrari, because he doesn’t like one of the optional colors that you can get the car in? Sure. I believe that right away…

    8. I lol’d hard at Septars post and found myself shockingly agreeing on most of his points;-) Excellent read :mrgreen:

    9. Flux, you mention “noob friendly early features”: do you have any info as to whether the flashing inventory icon is one of these, and will it eventually stop doing that?  It’s distracting- though, not as much as that damn OBJECTIVES text, jutting out on the screen, even when condensed.  And, while I’m asking questions: I thought that when any character was out of resource, clicking a skill would default to basic attack- I found this not to be so, in some cases (firebats).  Has anyone read/heard about this?  Thanks!

      • The flashing inventory icon is to let you know that you picked those items up recently, which is it. You can get it to stop by mousing over them, but there’s no way to turn it off.

        Not every skill will default to the basic attack when out of resources. In the case of a ranged skill, you’d end up running towards a monster when you didn’t mean or expect to. This is handled by a case-by-case basis, but normally you do default to the regular attack. 

        • I love the inventory flash feature. Makes it so easy to find which items you picked up amidst the clutter.

          • I like the internal indicator, I just hate having it flash on my screen while playing.  I get easily distracted by out of place visuals, and it breaks my immersion.  Plus, it’s rather senseless.  This is a game about loot, so, of course you will have new loot in your inventory every few minutes.  If someone can’t remember to check, then chances are their problems go far deeper than D3  😛

        • Yep, I caught that, I just don’t like it.  As for the skills not reverting to default attack, I really consider that a design flaw.  It further cuts down on build diversity.  For example, I was having fun playing WD with firebats as my primary attack.  As it is mana intensive, it added an extra resource management challenge that I enjoyed; however, when I was out of juice, that was it.  I just stood around, waiting…which Jay should have figured out, is not awesome.  I see no reason why I shouldn’t revert to a normal attack, at that point, and start carving away while I wait. I understand that, at this point in time, that just a sacrifice we make, should we wish to use such skills in this way, but, again, it’s not fun, and, untimely, will cut down on diversity.

          • Firebats might be a special case, but the Wizard definitely would use her regular attack when she ran out of arcane energy. Same with Demon Hunter and impale.

            I guess probably it didn’t revert to a normal attack because you were targeting the ground? If you targeted a specific enemy with your firebats, I would expect that if you were out of mana you’d perform a normal attack against them.

            • Not sure about that exact case, but the default to a regular attack isn’t always there. Switch from a bow to a sword with a DH, for instance, and you’ll just stand there, getting an error message about “a different weapon is needed for that skill” if you’ve got Hungering Arrow or whatever on the left click. You have to actually click the skill icon to select normal attack for it to start working.

      • i agree. the inventory icon flashing is terrible.  This is a loot game.  99% of the time, I’m perfectly well aware that I picked something up.  Flashing the icon at me is distracting as all hell, and I have to open inventory or hover over the damn icon to get it to stop.  VERY disengaging!  
         
        This is the ONLY thing I hated during my beta weekend. 

      • There is also a bug in the flashing inventory message: if you’re wielding a 2H weapon and have offhand item in your inventory, then you get the alert.

        • The flashing notification tells you that you picked something up, that’s all. It doesn’t tell you that you might have something worth using or not.

    10. great game, can’t wait till the 15th.
      Still getting used to the graphics style, but overall the game is great. 

    11. So, anyone else feel that the graphics look like there’s a dirty fog over everything and that the overhead camera is too close? 
       
       Frankly i prefer my gore in more vivid colours…

      • I noticed the fogginess of in the first couple areas..

        Though, a bigger concern of mine is when your expected to fight mobs in a room you can’t see into until you walk right into it. Hopefully they tweak with when walls disappear before launch.

        • Yeah, some of the arches in the cathedral didn’t vanish soon enough. You’d open a door and then start attacking some mystery thing on the other side. That’s fine for this early in the game, but later on, or in harder acts, that’s going to be terrible. I guess you could open a door and then run away, drawing the monsters to follow you.

    12. Ahh, I really REALLY enjoyed playing the Beta! thanks Blizzard for letting everyone have a small taste of what’s coming in a few weeks! I bet this game will be monstruous!! I can’t really wait!! Loved the graphics, the lore, the new systems (still have to get used to the new skills one, but it’s ok). The artisan is so much fun! At first I hated the life globes system, but when started to play it’s really good and you don’t have to worry about pressing the potions buttons anymore. Only thing I have to complain is about the speed of changing the skills… can we still assign the F1 to F9 buttons to different skills? That would be much easier… overall, I LOVED the Beta and can’t wait to have the full game and break my mouse for clicking so much, lol! 😛

    13. I ended up reading through the whole post that Septar tore apart. It was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. And I see handfuls of posts almost exactly like that EVERY DAY on the battlenet forum. I agree with Septar’s points and after finally having a weekend with the beta, I find all those cookie-cutter anti D3 posts more stupid and obnoxious than ever.

    14. The game still needs a better skill ui.

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