The forty-third episode of The Diablo Podcast is a conversation with Thomus, one of the busiest of the Diablo 3 Beta testers. Thomus has played over forty hours of Diablo III in the past week+ and has leveled all five classes to the maximum level (13) possible in the beta, and he’s got anecdotes and experience with everything in the current version of Diablo III.
Topics covered are too numerous to list, but here’s a partial list: Thomus’ gaming background, how he got into the F&F beta, his first reaction to D3, his favorite characters for full play throughs and for Clvl 13 item hunting, game balance, nasty boss mods, hardcore mode, the Arena, the economy, the current failings of the Auction House, the game UI, B.net game creation and friend features, SP vs. MP benefits, magic find issues, bugs and technical issues, and much more.
A few of the things I found most interesting in this one:
Thomus doesn’t think the economy is working well. Gold is WAY too abundant at this early level with no sign of sufficient gold sinks, and he thinks long term trading will be for gems or other items, with gold too plentiful to hold value. This is partially due to the ease of salvaging and selling items without ever returning to town, especially since everything you salvage yields common scraps, so there’s quickly no reason to salvage any white items, and soon after that no reason even to salvage blues. (Since you have way more of the common materials than you need.) So players end up quick selling all that junk with the Cauldron of Jordan, and the gold adds up.
He stressed something I’ve noticed in the gameplay movies; that Rares are really rare. Even with Magic Find, it’s almost unheard of for any boss to drop a rare item, much less a legendary. (Chests do, but only very seldom.) The first Leoric kill for each character is the source of 99% of the rares in the beta.
Diablo 3’s difficulty is exactly like Diablo 2’s. Very easy 99% of the time, with the only danger coming from occasional nasty boss modifiers. That’s ironic, since avoiding that game style was the whole point in the no-potions, health orb, combat-system overhaul the D3 developers implemented. Let’s hope things change later in the game.
The Auction House is pretty bad now, with inadequate sorting and searching options. It’s hard to find something you want with just a few hundred testers. Imagine when there are millions of people playing and flooding the AH?
Thomus even shares an interesting tip about why it’s far faster and more profitable to play in an MP game. And no, the answer has nothing to do with the fact that more people can team up to kill the monsters more quickly.
All that and MUCH more covered in this episode, and we’ll have some more Beta Tester interviews coming up later this week, plus other podcast features.
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