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Old May 16, 2012, 14:18   #11
RogerN
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Just a couple of quick comments:
Quote:
Error 37: the servers are full. Please try again later.
During the Open Beta weekend I found that you could just spam login attempts and eventually got on. It never took me more than 60 seconds (or about 20 attempts) to connect once I starting spamming. I don't have the full game so I don't know if this still works.

Quote:
You get your RMB skill at cl2, your first LMB skill upgrade at cl3, your first "action bar" skill (of which you can eventually have a whole four) at cl4, etc.
If you turn on elective mode (it's in the Options) then you get a lot more freedom to mix skills. You're not actually limited to a single primary skill or a single secondary skill; that's just the non-elective-mode default UI for newbies.

Quote:
Let's hope it picks up.
There's a large number of skills for each class, though they unlock slowly in the beginning. The Barbarian for example has 22 skills, and these can be combined with runes for varying effects as well. For comparison, the Diablo 2 classes have about 30 skills - but due to skill trees and the lack of runes there are significantly fewer combinations to play with in D2.

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it's eye-wateringly linear, at least so far. Very reminiscent of TQ, in fact - there's basically one route to the next objective, and almost no freedom to deviate from it at all
This is a legitimate criticism IMO. I don't think it's because they were incapable of reducing linearity, especially since the content is procedurally generated (some areas are fairly non-linear; in the Cathedral, for example, I took some significant detours). Instead I believe it was a conscious design decision to appeal to casual gamers. Most people don't want to spend 5 minutes traveling in one direction only to discover it's a dead end. I haven't played the full game, so it's possible that later areas are less linear.

Also, while hard-core gamers might enjoy the challenge of an open world, casual gamers quickly become frustrated if when it's possible to wander into high-level areas without first clearing the low-level places. So yeah, I think level design has been intentionally watered down a bit for the noobs.

Last edited by RogerN; May 16, 2012 at 14:29.
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Old May 16, 2012, 16:13   #12
Magnate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerN View Post
During the Open Beta weekend I found that you could just spam login attempts and eventually got on. It never took me more than 60 seconds (or about 20 attempts) to connect once I starting spamming. I don't have the full game so I don't know if this still works.
It might do but it really shouldn't be necessary - the servers should be intelligent enough to hold a login queue. I'm happy to wait a bit (perhaps not 60s, but certainly 20-30), but I'm not happy to click 20 times.
Quote:
If you turn on elective mode (it's in the Options) then you get a lot more freedom to mix skills. You're not actually limited to a single primary skill or a single secondary skill; that's just the non-elective-mode default UI for newbies.
Hmmm. I'll have to reserve judgement on this - my issue wasn't really with the UI, but with the dominance - the "strictly better" issue. It's no good having a UI option that lets me use the cl1 skill if I'll never want to use it after cl3. Compare with D2 where you might have chosen to pump cl1 skills for a while instead of immediately using the next level of skills (for example, because they gave better long-term synergy benefits). But as you say, there are lots and lots of skills and permutations to unlock, so the ultimate variety of builds might eventually exceed D2.

Personally I don't hold the view expressed by some (notably Derakon IIRC from other threads) that good design means avoiding self-limiting skill choices. Many of the best AARs I ever read for D2 were the challenge builds that no sane player would have used (like the pacifist necro who maxed Bone Wall, or the singing barb who had *no* skills except cries). Games which try too hard to protect players from bad choices rule out these kinds of alternative builds, which IMO are a vital part of their longevity.
Quote:
This is a legitimate criticism IMO. I don't think it's because they were incapable of reducing linearity, especially since the content is procedurally generated (some areas are fairly non-linear; in the Cathedral, for example, I took some significant detours). Instead I believe it was a conscious design decision to appeal to casual gamers. Most people don't want to spend 5 minutes traveling in one direction only to discover it's a dead end. I haven't played the full game, so it's possible that later areas are less linear.

Also, while hard-core gamers might enjoy the challenge of an open world, casual gamers quickly become frustrated if when it's possible to wander into high-level areas without first clearing the low-level places. So yeah, I think level design has been intentionally watered down a bit for the noobs.
This I can understand - I too don't like dead ends for the sake of it. I'm thinking more about side quests - I know they weren't a big feature of D2, but a few were optional (e.g. the book and the malus in Act I, sunken temple in Act III) and could be skipped. I hope that later on in D3 there are areas you can go into for side quests if you want, but can also skip if you prefer. IMO that degree of nonlinearity is not unfriendly to newbies.
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Old May 17, 2012, 01:29   #13
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Magnate - what class are you playing? I'm just about ready to kill D with my Demon Hunter 31, and my right mouse button skill is Impale... the very first one you get. I just like it better than that later crap. So in terms of linearity of skills with one being inferior to the next one unlocked, I completely disagree for the Demon Hunter.

I thought the game was somehow very short. It's been maybe 12 hours since I started playing, and I didn't aim to power through the game (I watched all cutscenes and read all dialogue). I didn't explore every area for the sake of exploring, but I did go to random dungeons (with the Resplendent Chests) whenever I saw them. 12 hours for a first-timer to beat Normal mode with non-rush tactics seems short compared to D2.

I have yet to find a single Unique or Set items, though I'm getting rares out the wazoo. I like the simplified inventory space system (no more shuffling 4-, 6-, and 8-square items!), and I like the fact that Gold is actually useful and rare now.

I've died a little over 10 times so far: (1) Butcher, (2) Pain Monger (careless), (3) Timed dungeon in Act 2, (4) Belial, (5-6) Fallen Fanatic x2, (7) those guys with the poison hands, (8-9) Izual x2, (10) Diablo.

What did you find easy/hard?
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Old May 17, 2012, 09:29   #14
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Quote:
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Magnate - what class are you playing? I'm just about ready to kill D with my Demon Hunter 31, and my right mouse button skill is Impale... the very first one you get. I just like it better than that later crap. So in terms of linearity of skills with one being inferior to the next one unlocked, I completely disagree for the Demon Hunter.
That's good in one sense (progression is not a no-brainer) but bad in another (all the other Demon Hunter RMB skills are crap??). With skill-point systems you can choose between a one-point-wonder and maxing a skill (or something in between). So you might find that a maxed Impale was indeed better than what came later, but before you maxed it some of the others might have been better. I'm really missing that degree of build customisation in D3.
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What did you find easy/hard?
I'm still in Act I so I'll let you know when I get there! I'm a monk, and I haven't died yet.

One question: the game often pops up "New Record!" type things, when I kill loads of monsters or destroy lots of scenery. Where are these recorded? I can't find them on the Achievements screen anywhere.
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Old May 17, 2012, 13:33   #15
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Well in Diablo 3, you need to have an AoE attack and a boss killer. I went Bola for my LMB (AoE) and Impale for RMB. A lot of people really like Chakram for RMB, but me, I want to unload my SP clip on the bosses, and I don't like switching skill sets all the time. It's possible with later runes the others will be more likable.

Nightmare is a lot more challenging than normal! I must have died 100x already to various champions, that do things like chain freeze you. I have a Wizard that's level 15 if you want to try to play together tomorrow.

No idea about the records.
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Old May 18, 2012, 00:20   #16
chem
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This game is incredible. I have a L25 Monk farming Act 2 (hardcore). If anyone wants to join me in hardcore send a friend request, pmchem#1417
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Old May 18, 2012, 08:05   #17
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This game is incredible. I have a L25 Monk farming Act 2 (hardcore). If anyone wants to join me in hardcore send a friend request, pmchem#1417
It's growing on me too, though I'm not at incredible yet.

My brother finally got online so I started a new character with him (me barb, him mage). The barb skills are pretty similar to D2's barb, but that's forgiveable. My biggest beef with the game is still that the skill system isn't nearly deep enough. I've now unlocked a bunch of runes, and I've found one situation where I'd use lower skill + rune in preference to the higher skill. But both of us are hugely frustrated that we can have only one skill on LMB and one on RMB - we want to be able to switch between two pairs in an instant, and there just doesn't seem to be a way. (I realise that that's actually a UI complaint, and yes I have ticked Elective mode.) Btw at cl10 you do actually get a choice on level-up, between two passive skills. Finally.

But in other areas my earlier criticisms are lifting:

- the procedural terrain generation is really very good - the game world feels really different the second time through - the same basic objectives with carefully linear path through them, but it bore little resemblance to my solo game.

- the fights are balanced to be significantly more challenging with a party. From my limited play so far, both solo and party play are not cheeze-fests. (I've had my first death from aggroing too many monsters when he wasn't around.)

- the items get more interesting. It's a shame that there isn't more variety for the first ten levels or so, but then again I'm probably remembering D2 with rose-tinted specs.

Oh, and the blacksmith is really cool!
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Old May 21, 2012, 12:50   #18
dos350
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DIABLO 3!!!!!!!!! YES,,, as a long time d2:lod uswest hardcore ladder and d2jsp user,
i am very happy2 see this game released and had waited along time 4 it,

anyway if anyone here wants 2 play on hardcore americas with 350, please send me pm!
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Old May 21, 2012, 15:11   #19
dzhang
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Lv 55 Demon hunter in Hell Act 2 with 30k HP and 5k DPS, and it's insane! Every other champion mob kills me. If I weren't a Demon Hunter who has the Invulnerability skill from Smoke Screen, I don't see how it'd be possible to solo these guys. The attributes combo that I hate the most so far: Invulnerable Minions + Horde + Arcane Enchanted. Oh my god, I must have died 10x to those.

Brian, good luck! I don't think Hardcore Nightmare or Hell would be for me though.

Regarding the game itself, I *still* have yet to find a single unique or set item. I think that means they've made the artifact generation odds too low... come on, I should at least have a Phial by now ;-)
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Old May 21, 2012, 16:25   #20
Derakon
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Regarding the game itself, I *still* have yet to find a single unique or set item. I think that means they've made the artifact generation odds too low... come on, I should at least have a Phial by now ;-)
This is precisely why I vastly preferred modded D2 to unmodded D2 -- the drop rates are much more favorable because in the modded game there's nobody worrying about some overarching metagame being ruined by twinked characters. And of course you can't do this in D3.
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