In addition to the two great reports we posted by Blascid and Kunzaito, we’ve seen quite a few others posted around the internet. Most of them were on general gaming sites, and are therefore fairly useless to we hardcore fan since we’ve read it all before. Here’s a bunch of the short, not-very-interesting type about the Demon Hunter, Telegraph UK, TenTonHammer, ShackNews, Kotaku, 1up.com, Filefront, Joystiq.com, GameInformer, and Fear.net. And a few more Hands-On about the Battle Arena, all of which are also short and unequal to our needs. ShackNews, Gamespot, Warcry, Diablo Source, and Kotaku.

    Is all lost, then? No! There have been two juicy reports filed, besides the ones we’ve posted here. The first is from VGChartz, and while it’s not brimming with great game info, it’s by a “total Diablo noob” and is therefore interesting for the “my first time” aspect of things. Plus it’s well-written and engaging. A short quote:

    Being a total Diablo n00b, I went with the class that seemed most attuned to my console sensibilities: the Barbarian.  Big sword, looked tough, my kind of killin’ machine.  (Then found out later that the Monk is a straight-up God of War-ification of PC gaming.  If only I had known!)  There was an option to pick the sex of the character, but each class had only one option at this point in the development cycle.

    Dropped into a dungeon with a fifteen-minute time limit, I quickly come to terms with just how simple and intuitive everything is.  Click on a barrel, hit the barrel.  Click on an enemy, hit the enemy.  “I” brings up the inventory.  Shuffle things around and re-equip new weapons and armor with an easy click-and-drag.  Hit a number key on the keyboard to use one of your spells or abilities.  Simple as that.

    It’s good that it’s so intuitive, because within about thirty seconds there are more than a dozen zombies lumbering toward me, while mages behind them fire off spells at my character and summon zombie dogs to attack me from underneath my feet.  Click click click.  My Barbarian cleaves through one undead enemy after another with an entirely unexpected viciousness.

    The other highly-recommended Hands-On was posted on Slashdot, and it’s just a smorgasbord of great info. It’s based on multiple play sessions, goes into great detail about PvM and PvP,and includes some of the most detailed Runestone info we’ve seen anywhere. This is a must read, and it’s been praised in our forums all week. A quote about skill runes, though I could happily quote the whole thing.

    The skill I chose when I hit level 10 was DiabloWikiFirebats. It functions similarly to the Inferno spell in Diablo 2, only instead of projecting a cone of flame in front of me, it projected a cone of DiabloWikiflaming bats. The first DiabloWikiSkill Rune I looked at extended the spell’s range, trading off damage to do so. That was a bit underwhelming, since I already had ranged attacks, so I went with a different rune that turned the cone into a whirlwind of flaming bats that surrounded me. Another rune added a life-drain effect. It was tempting, but the whirlwind looked too cool to pass up. Finally, the skill that sold me on the Skill Rune system was DiabloWikiZombie Charger, a spell that summoned a zombie, who would shamble a few steps forward and then spray poison in the immediate vicinity. It was a solid, short-range attack. Fortunately, I lucked into a rune that modified the spell to summon a group of DiabloWikizombie bears that charged forward and trampled whatever was in their path. The buddy I was playing with happened to get a rune at the same time that made his DiabloWikiWizard‘s basic lightning spell change into a massive, conical spray of electricity, and we couldn’t help but laugh as we used our new-found power to demolish groups of monsters.

    As for more Hands-On from our readers? Other than Blascid and Kunzaito, no one’s posted any. Since I know at least a dozen of our regular forum posters were at the show… I has disappoint! Hell, we got more Hands-On reports from people who played at that Warcraft 3 tournament in Texas back in July! If you’ve been thinking about writing one, do it! There’s still time, as demonstrated by the fact that I haven’t actually written up my detailed five char and PvP observations yet. *cough* I will post those each day this week, now that the most urgent DiabloWikiSkills and DiabloWikiTraits updates have been added to the wiki.

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