Monday, May 14, 2012

Diablo III: Zero Hour

We are a matter of HOURS away from the release of Diablo III.  This is the moment that many of us have been waiting for.  Some of us have been waiting since beta was released last year.  Some of us have been waiting since the announcement of Diablo III a few years ago.  Many others (like myself) have been waiting a good 11-12 years for this day to come.  The release is so close you can taste it, minutes feel like hours and hours feel like days. 

To jump right into the action remember to update your client today.  Also, take some time to set up a paypal account if you plan on using the RMAH when it is released.  Gather your ax and your snacks and gear up for battle!!!

I will not begin my play session until about 15 hours post release.  However, I do plan on playing for 36 hours over the 3 days after that.  My guess is that I will be well into nightmare by the weekend (hopefully).

There is a little community that I am taking part in forming over at:

Sign up and meet some new people, make connections, discuss/debate different builds and battle the forces of hell together.  There are even some resources that are being made available for use to forum goers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fellow Bloggers: Beware of Spoilers!!!

My fellow bloggers, I know many of you are big fans of Diablo 3 and browse the fansites for information.  I was doing so last night and I stepped in the spoiler trap.  I was made aware of a BIG spoiler to the story that I wish I hadn't seen till I saw it in game.  If you are browsing the fan sites, especially the forums, be very careful of spoilers.

5 more days!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

D3: Coop centric?.....Sorta.

Jay Wilson, and other folks from Blizzard have been promoting Diablo III as a coop-centric game.   A great deal of development time has been working towards this end.  I like this idea, but I think Blizzard could have done a much better job at implementing robust tools to facilitate this type of play.

Currently I am envisioning a Diablo 3 where you enter into an inferno game and begin working together with your teammates.  Before venturing out to kill demons and starting to build up Nephalem Valor charges, you must set up your skills, since changing your skills mid-game will remove the buff.  Who you are playing with and what skills they are using will determine what skills you are going to use.  If your teammates are already using abilities that snare enemies you might be inclined to use abilites that increase your teammate's damage since getting another snare ability would make your group too defensive without any strong offensive abilities.

This brings up a lot of questions.  Are these options going to be discussed through typing messages in chat?  One can image how cumbersome this would be.  No voice communication closes so many doors towards cooperative play.  You can't call out for help, or request a heal from another player very easily.  And you cant discuss skill planning strategy prior to venturing out of town. 

Outlets for the average player to form connections with other players are there, but very limited and/or inconvenient to use.  Things like Guild Support, and Voice Communication would go a long way to helping players establish communities, partnerships, and friendships in-game.  This would make Diablo III a truly "coop-centric" game.

Update:  Shortly after writing this article, Blizzard announced a Clan system to be released for at the same time as StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, which will be later this year.  This is good news for the Diablo III community.  Even if it will come months after release. =)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Clutter on the Battlefield

In Diablo II there were so many things that could drop off of a pack of mobs.

Healing Potion, Mana Potion, Antidote Potion, Stamina Potion, Thawing Potion, Scroll of Identify, Scroll of Town Portal, Armor/weaps/jewelery, Charms, Runes, Gems, Gold, variety of different attack potions, arrows/bolts, etc...

One good item littered amongst so much "Junk"

Most of this stuff was "crap" and was never picked up.  Players would pick up the uniques, some rares, sets, runes, and gems.  The rest was left to sit there strewn about the field.  This became especially annoying since monsters were often killed in "packs".  Huge heaps of "stuff" would drop to the ground, of which, a very small percentage of it was actually picked up by players.  The vast majority was waste.

Now, lets take a look at items that can drop in Diablo III.

Gold, Health Potions, Armor/weaps/jewelry, Gems, Crafting pages, and Crafting recipies,....did I miss anything?

Less than half as many item types, and most of which are valuable to you or at least valuable to someone else on the AH.  The only thing I havent been picking up in the Beta were white items and the occasional health pot if I had too many.  Also, the number of items on screen will be rated for 1 player (you).  Not for all the players in game. 

No more scanning through the piles of items with your eyes trying to see if there is anything valuable hidden in there, later wondering if you missed something that you should have picked up.  Gold pickups will not require clicking anymore, so they will be cleaned up like a vacuum as you walk by, assuming you have a decent pickup radius.  That means more playing/fighting and less scanning and clicking to loot.

The down side is that there is something to be said for having some "stuff" strewn about the battlefield,  it is evidence that a great battle took place and adds to the overall feeling of the game.