Diablo3.Gamona has posted a hand-on report based on play time of the Diablo 3 demo at Gamescom. It’s fairly short (wish I’d been there) but does give some insight into the tone and mood of Westmarch, the Crusader, and changes in Loot 2.0. Here’s an excerpt from the Google translation of the article.

    It’s dark, it’s gloomy, it’s brutal – and it’s really fun. Malthael did a great job. We play in a city that is attacked by the henchmen of the angel of death, which is to feast on the residents.

    So we are confronted at the outset, as a Soul Reaper transformed an entire group of fleeing residents into the undead, they of course want us to plate armor. But since we played the normal difficulty setting with a level 32 Crusader, we had no worries, the opponents not to master.

    … The capabilities of the Crusaders are very, very cool. In the demo unfortunately we only had a very limited range and could not look in the skills window, which will give alternatives or future attacks. Even with the runes only one was selected. Nevertheless, we have what Blizzard has provided us very much.

    For example, the ability Falling Sword. In this Crusader for a moment jumping several meters high in the air and can then fall into the middle of enemy hordes. It therefore makes immense AoE damage to the monsters, which not only looks spectacular and is effective, but also huge fun.

    … That means now is not that one finds an object at any opponent who is better than the equipped, but only in the demo we have, even though the Crusader was quite well equipped, can replace some parts. Yellow items now drop from constant regularity and during the 15 minutes we have found 2 legendary items. …And above all gray and white items we have hardly seen, even though they are used with the addon yes for the manufacture of articles.

    I wouldn’t read too much into the loot drop rates as seen in a short play session on a demo. Even aside from the fickleness of RNG, Blizzard constructs their demos to be ideal 15 or 20m play sessions, and they may differ from the full game in various ways, such as popping out more bosses and/or loots. That said, for Loot 2.0 they’ve promised much more frequent legendary finds, especially for lower level characters earning their first boss quest kills, one of which would certainly have been included in the Gamescom demo.

    The article also mentions the Wrath resource, and there again don’t read too much into it for the final game. None of the original five classes (WD excepted?) had anything like their final resource when they were first playable at Blizzard demos in 2008-2010; basically they all had a Mana-like refilling pool that was much turned up in regen rate so demo players could blast away furiously without a thought of resource management issues.

    Click through to read another short hands-on report from the Gamescom demo:

    God's Butcher Flail: Scaled to lvl 31.

    God’s Butcher Flail: Scaled to lvl 31.

    A user named Rondrian posted a reddit thread with his hands-on report. It’s short but covers drop rates and monsters and is worth a read. He even grabbed a pic of a new Legendary he found. Excerpt:

    Monster design seemed to be improved as well, they are a lot darker and more ghulish, but imho it fits the game very good. A bit annoying was that tons of enemys where only spawning while running by them, needing you to stop running and wait for them before you could attack and kill them. It was really like 70% of the mobs in the beta, so I really hope they change that, because imho it interrupts the gameplay.

    …Also the level design for the couple of beta levels (only about 15 min per run, so not that much levels) looked improved, no endless dead ends, alternative routes to goals etc.

    Loot Experience was a lot improved, there were barely any whites, a few blues, some yellows and three legendaries in 20 minute run. Even found one of the new legendaries:

    They removed a lot of statistics from the basic inventory view and focus completely on two values:

    “Toughness” – which I assume is something like EHP from all the calculators that we know and love. “Damage per Sec” – which is the usual added damage per second.

    I’d think that issue of monsters taking time to appear and become hittable is a demo-artifact, as Bliz wants to pack in all the cool new visuals for demo players. game. Good news on dungeon layouts too, though of course all the other “it was only a demo” warnings apply to that as well. I played all of the Blizzcon PvM demos extensively in 2008-2010 and the dungeons were slightly-to-considerably different in shape and size from how they are in the final game.

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