Diablo 3 Hands-On Report: Penncrow


Here’s another hands on report from a new tester in the Diablo 3 Beta. This one is by Penncrow, a self-described “long time Diablo player.” He’s a fan of most things in Diablo III, with only the tooltips he says are written for, “idiots that just got off the short bus.” standing out as a strong negative in his judgment.

Here’s a quote from his thoughts on the classes and skills; click through to read the full report.

Characters – Usually I would start out a game with a melee character since they are more item dependent and has a flatter learning curve than a ranged/skill based character. But since all damages in D3 are based on items, I decided to play the WD first, followed by Barb and then Monk. I am not going into details about each, but note that I will most likely play the Barb first once D3 goes live, due to their ability to leap in and out of action and having a huge starting HP pool.

Skills – I like the fact that Mana is not required for all skills now. A lot of the skills can be done without any “mana”, which makes a normal attack absolutely worthless after a few levels. I remember my Sorc in D2 trying to club Andy to death because she did not have mana to cast the worthless and puny icebolt or lighting bolt spells (which were useless at level 1 anyways). So the idea of having all skill damage increase based on items and runes is really a genius way of being beginner friendly while keeping the end game viable. The cooldown period after you select a new skill to use is a good way to deter any abuse of instant skill switching.

All beta testers are invited to write up their own experiences and opinions with the DiabloWikiDiablo 3 beta; post them in the forums and we’ll try to get them quoted on the main page as well. Original forum version here.

Click through for Penncrow’s full post.

Long Time Diablo Player’s Review of D3 Beta

I will start out by saying Diablo is the only “RPG” game that I have played for more than a week without the help of a walkthrough (don’t judge me). The Diablo brand of RPG really suits me well since I crave constant action with occasional stoppage to admire my own gear. Diablo 2 was my poison of choice, but I was not as nearly as hardcore of a player as some others were. I never played hardcore mode, did very little trading and still don’t quite get the entire storyline. The items I had were all found legitly through the game, none were acquired through trades (imagine the time I spent on getting a Vex for hoto).

That was the good o’ days, now fast forward 10 years, a marriage and a mortgage later, I finally have a chance to play D3 beta (having 4 bnet accounts increase my chances I suppose). Before I get into my experience, I just want to set the expectations for those who are lucky enough to play the beta. The beta is meant to test the basic structure of the game, mainly skills, items, NPCs, bnet and other vital aspects of D3. All other parts of the beta need to be viewed with the understanding that it is only a portion of the whole product and the final judgement should be reserved until D3 goes retail. It is like playing up to the Countess quest in D2 in terms of length and difficulty.

First Impression:

Overall feel – The feel of the game was not as dark as I thought it was going to be. The colors were too warm to be diablo like. I did not get that doom & gloom feel of D2 Act1. The artwork and sound are gorgeous, but honestly they become secondary as you play more. I was just glad that Diablo was back.

Quests – Just like any RPG or action RPG games I play, all quests are optional to me unless they are not. So I cannot really comment on this portion of the game.

UI – It is very similar to D2, with the exception of the “c”haracter screen. Just got to get used to the skill allocation slots on the 1-5 buttons which takes about a few minutes.

Characters – Usually I would start out a game with a melee character since they are more item dependent and has a flatter learning curve than a ranged/skill based character. But since all damages in D3 are based on items, I decided to play the WD first, followed by Barb and then Monk. I am not going into details about each, but note that I will most likely play the Barb first once D3 goes live, due to their ability to leap in and out of action and having a huge starting HP pool.

Skills – I like the fact that Mana is not required for all skills now. A lot of the skills can be done without any “mana”, which makes a normal attack absolutely worthless after a few levels. I remember my Sorc in D2 trying to club Andy to death because it did not have mana to cast the worthless and puny icebolt or lighting bolt spells (which were useless at level 1 anyways). So the idea of having all skill damage increase based on items and runes is really a genius way of being beginner friendly while keeping the end game viable. The cooldown period after you select a new skill to use is a good way to detour any abuse of instant skill switching.

Items – Lets start out with gold. Gold actually means something (thus far) in D3. Upgrades to your artisan will require gold as well as crafting. Items don’t sell for much gold anymore, as white items are pretty much useless (can’t breakdown for parts and dont’ sell well at all). Blue items are always picked up to be broken down for parts in crafting. Yellow items are rarely seen.

Speaking of crafting, I believe this is a create way to obtain items. It is fun and rewarding, knowing that you will get a decent item with random chances of getting additional attributes on the items. This is almost like gambling in D2 before blizz nerfed it. Not sure how useless it will be in the end game, but the potential is there. This is where I spent most of my time nowadays, crafting items.


I don’t want to get into too much details about the beta as I am sure it has been discussed elsewhere. However, I do want to point out a few things that I did not like in the beta, hopefully they will make a change in the retail version.

Tooltip – It is great that a 1st grader can now understand what each skill does in D3, but I need more. Simply stating that “skill x shoots rainbow skittles at monsters” does not cut it for me. I know blizz is trying to cater to the casual gamers. But still, they are casual gamers, not idiots that just got off the short bus.

Text – The texts on the items and in general do not have that gothic/diablo feel to it.

Conclusion:

The beta has shown that D3 will undoubtly be a great game as it kept things that made D2 successful while altered a few aspects to keep it interesting. As a diablo fan, I worry about the end game. Will it be different from D2’s constant Baal runs? Because in beta, all you see if people running full speed ahead towards the SK with no stops elsewhere.

In the end, after I killed the Skeleton King, I was craving more. To me, this is the ultimate sign that D3 will be that game we will be talking about 10 years from now.

The opinions in this article are those of the poster, and not necessarily those of Diablo.IncGamers.com.

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

Comments

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  1. and noone seems to give a shit, as expected 🙂

  2. LONG TIME DIABLO PLAYER BUT NEVER PLAYED HARDCORE OR UNDERSTANDS THE STORYLINE AND STARTS WITH A BARB THINKING MELLEE CLASSES WILL BE EASIER TO PROGRESS AS A FIRST CHARACTER….WOW… WHERE DO YOU FIND THESE PEOPLE SERIOUSLY… GOOD THING I DONT HAVE A BETA I WOULD EMBARASS ALL WITH MY EXCLUSIVELY DETAILED EVALUATION SINCE I STARTED PLAYING DIABLO 1 WEN I WAS 12 IN 96 AND HAVE NEVER REALLY STOPPED PLAYING THE WHOLE SERIES OR ANY OF THE BLIZZARD PC GAMES FOR THAT MATTER… THIS POST IS EMBARASSING

  3. What’s embarrassing is 1) that you don’t even know how to spell ’embarrassing’ and 2) you post in all caps. Please don’t do that. 😀

  4. typing with a nokia which has the worst operating system ever being the symbian….your counter post was terrible and had nothing to do with the game at all….if your gonna post something dumb at least make it about the game like this guy did..

  5. Thanks for your post Penncrow. I too have never played hardcore and hardly ever trade with anyone in Diablo 2. I have been playing Diablo 2 off and on for about 10 years. It’s the only game that keeps me coming back. I don’t think it’s necessary to play hardcore to have a noteworthy opinion. Having a melee character as a start off due to the large health pool and simplistic nature of their use seems understandable. There are no steep learning curves when your character is designed to just move towards the enemy and kill. I like your post for its genuineness. I would like to know more about how the witch doctor played out for you.

  6. Oh and by the way, the game looks amazing. Happy now HenD?

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