Personal thoughts on the D3 Open Beta So... I have played the series as a teenager back when it first came about... Back then, I had more patience, and it was a deal easier to "amaze" me(I imagine this is true for most of us) I wasn't among the fortunate(?) people who got to be beta testers, so occasionally I caught news and bits here in DIII.net. I was really excited when I saw that there's an open Beta weekend and so I jumped at the opportunity. First, allow me to play "devils' advocate" and say that I was not a fan of Diablo 2(I can taste your rage)... but really, as far as I am concerned, there was little to no atmosphere(save for the cinematics which were awesome). I missed the gothic theme in Diablo 1... the character avatars, I feel, were better than the D2 ones as well. Be it as it may, I still spent hours upon hours online playing D2. And so, eager to play and see D3, I logged in and played. I played with three characters, which are the most appealing to my taste: Started out with a Wizard, then Demon Hunter and finally, Monk. Graphics: They really are great, I feel. It's polished and strikes the nail right at the head... I think it looks exactly how the devs wanted it to look... On a personal note though? I was just a bit disappointed. The effects and colors... it was a bit cartoonish and not proportional to my taste. It didn't feel "realistic" for me to shoot a huge spear of a missile out of a small hand-crossbow for instance. The beginning of Act 1 is limited in color... I would have loved to see New Tristram during day-light for instance... I really do hope that acts in their entirety don't play in night or day... a mix of both would be far more welcome. One must bear in mind that the Beta represents a small part of the game- but still, considering that it can take a person up to 2-3 hours of straight gameplay, I would like to see more variety in color and scenery. Skills: All three characters seemed very able... I haven't died once during the gameplay, though I was at few(extremely few) "tight" corners with the Monk. I can't say I understand how there are so many possible skill combinations... I was actually left quite confused as I didn't find any runes, but I could simply allocate some sort of rune to certain skills when my level allowed it. The way skills are presented right now is a bit underwhelming... the sense of achievement is lost now that there aren't trees to show your progress... it's tiresome to have to look over several different screens just to see what skills remain unlocked. I liked the skills you could unlock, certainly.... I found them to be quite awesome, in fact... and I didn't get a sense of severe disappointment as I used to get in D2 for instance... There were simply tons of completely useless skills there, unlocked but with absolutely no effective use(Elemental Druid, Gha). Switching skills was too easy, no form of binding exists which really takes allot out of the "flavor" of the character you built. Yes, I understand the cons of having to stick to a specific build, and God forbid you placed a skill point in the wrong place... and yet, I am sure there's a better middle-ground, it feels too loose, as opposed to D2's too restricting... Gameplay: I loved the quests, I really did. I loved the monsters as well, though here too, not enough variety IMHO... Playing and exploring is FAR more interesting than it is in D2... the random events are simply terrific. Yes, the gameplay is kind of easy... but this is the first stages of the first act on Normal... We can wait on difficulty-judging until we go through Nightmare at the very least. Leveling up... I have mixed feelings about that. At first it's fast and fun... after that, it really slows down... and there aren't enough things to give you a sense of progress in between the relatively long stretches... It's great that levels don't come by too easily, but the "in-betweens" should be richer in content. The items are underwhelming... it is a bit sad that the best items truly do come from crafting at such early stages... it's very accessible and obtainable, and the drops are not even close to competing with what can be crafted. The idea behind Diablo is loot- and it's lacking in the beta... the gap between what you can craft and what you can find at any given moment in the beta is too big... Picking up items was nigh pointless... I mostly did it in order to salvage... it took quite a bit out of the game. I loved the resource systems- they functioned very well IMHO. I -do- have to say that I do not like the idea of the Demon Hunters' resource pool being called "hatred"... it just sends a rather ugly message all-round. Techincal issues: Wizard: I don't see a reason to get the "Snared" pop-up on all monsters which are caught in the knockback effect of the force-wave... it's not a trap, and the effect is very visibly clear. Templar: the dialogue about the sun made -some- sense with the Wizard... but was completely disconnected with the Demon Hunter. All in all, they should either take the dialogue up a notch or remove it... this "in-between" is too lacking and does little to contribute anything. I found the ghosts to display lacking AI consistently... So in conclusion... I liked it, I really did. How can people play the beta over and over again though is beyond me... the content is not enough to hold that much interest for me. I truly hope that at least some of what I said will be rendered moot once we see the complete game. It's good, don't get me wrong... better than D2, without a doubt, at least as far as I am concerned... I can't help but say that I maybe expected just a-bit- more.