After finally downloading the Diablo 3 Beta I got the blessed chance to test it out with a group of friends.
Diablo 3 is a big deal for my gamer friends, especially for me as it was essentially the franchise that defined my childhood. One of the best things about the game so far is the fact that it brings back so many great memories. A lot of what you’re going to experience over the course of the beta is highly familiar. The franchise certainly has stuck to its roots, but there are also some welcome improvements.
Some of what has stayed the same
In order to attack or move, you still, click or hold your mouse button. There is also a similar set up when it comes to inventory slots as well as ball indicators for health and magic. However, when playing as a barbarian (the class I played as) the manna ball is replaced by fury. There’s also still plenty of items to pick up and places to explore, so the franchise’s famous looting aspects are thankfully still present.
There is also still a way point system for saving your character’s progress. Going through Diablo III brought back so many great memories and I was glad to see that the game’s main mechanics weren’t shaken up that much. Blizzard seems intent on providing the same experience I had with the Diablo franchise growing up, only slightly more awesome.
Some of what has changed
Partially destructible environments
Many of the game’s environments are destructible in Diablo III. Objects large and small can be destroyed and occasionally hide extra items. This new feature really adds to the game’s sense of power and destruction and makes the experience better overall.
Graphics obviously, unique awesome
Diablo III has a an attractive presentation unlike anything I’ve come across before, though I admit I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that makes the visuals so unique. It could be the perspective maybe, but whatever it is, I really like what I’ve experience so far.
Items dropped are divided among the team (no stealing allowed)
I think this is certainly one of the best new additions to the franchise. Everyone puts in their own work and gets their share of the bounty. Items dropped for you don’t show up for others and cannot be picked up by anyone you’re playing with.
This was a huge complaint with the last game, where I didn’t feel right playing with anyone but my friends when I was out hunting because you just couldn’t trust anyone else to not steal your valuables. In previous Diablo titles, the quick click of a mouse often resulted in stealing another player’s item, ruining the reward for countless killed bosses in an attempt to get rare items.
Items don’t disappear for quite some time
I can’t say that this happens for sure, but I really hope I’m right. I had left a dungeon and came back half an hour later only to find the stuff I hadn’t grabbed was still there. Not having to worry about your items being stolen or disappearing certainly takes a bit of stress out of the game and allows you to concentrate on fighting hordes of the undead.
Customizable banner and teleportation
This is a cool feature and allows you to set yourself apart from other players, but it’s essentially used as a way for someone to be able to teleport right to you. No longer will you have to run all over the place trying to play catch up and wondering where everyone went. This allows you to get right into the action and lend a helping hand when your buddy got a little to eager and finds himself surrounded by enemies. This banner can be found in town and each banner surrounds the central waypoint.
At the end of a dungeon, there’s a teleporter to bring you to the entrance
This is a lot like the banner concept and it keeps the game going. Best of all, it cuts down on the needless travel time present in previous Diablo titles.
More fleshed out crafting system for weapons and armor
It’s cool to see that Blizzard has put a lot of work into Diablo III’s weapons and armor system. You now have the ability to pay to upgrade your weapons through crafting. The weapons that I found in shops didn’t compare with those I discovered in the badlands, so instead I turned to the blacksmith to get a leg up and some better equipment. It’s a nice addition that allows for new possibilities.
You can use a town portal whenever you want
I remember playing previous Diablo titles and constantly getting myself in trouble when too many cows surrounded me and I was low on manna and potions. I hadn’t really been paying attention to how many scrolls I had when bessy and her entourage showed up, causing me to suffer a death penalty eliciting plenty of cursing. Now all you need to do is hit a button and viola, you’ll have no more problems.
You can now check out the armour and weapons you worked forever to get and see exactly how bad ass your character looks. You can also take a closer look at what baddies Blizzard has created while you tear them apart.
For more information, go check out Diablo III’s official site. To those that have played the beta, what was your favorite part or improvement? To those of you who haven’t played it, what is keeping you from trying it out? Let us know in the comments section or Tweet us @GameJudgment.