I’m sure, no matter where you may roam on the Interwebz, you’ve probably seen something about a little game called Diablo 3.
Yes, after about 12 years, Blizzard has finally come out with another chapter in the Diablo series and, from checking out the buzz for it, one that’s been highly anticipated.
I’m also pretty confident that you’re getting a little sick of seeing “D3″ posts on whatever social networking site you choose to frequent. Well…..bad news….you’ve stumbled upon another. The good news is, though, I promise to make it brief!
Blizzard was pretty smart (as they usually are) in giving this game away provided you chose to enter into a ‘contract’, of sorts, with them where you promised to continue to play, or at least pay for, World of Warcraft for a year. This was pretty much a ‘no brainer’ for me so I went ahead and signed on the dotted line.
The other day I pre-downloaded the game (whatever that means) and waited for 12:01 on May 15th (last night, as of this writing). At the stroke of 12:01, I hit the setup button…..and the game started to download….again? I guess it was adding files that weren’t included in the ‘pre-download’? I don’t know….
Checking the D3 forums didn’t get me a straight answer right away as the whine-fest had begun.
I finally get the download finished and try to activate the game.
I’m then told servers aren’t online. Another trip to the forums gets me an official answer that the game won’t go live until Midnight…..Pacific Time. Ugh! I had to wait three more hours.
So, I took a little nap then tried logging on. The, now infamous, error 37 (servers are busy) reared it’s ugly head and a faster internet meme you have never seen.
After a bit…I think it was about 4:30am…I was finally able to log on and start making a character.
My very first character was a Wizard, but I never got past the name so I deleted him and made a Barbarian (which I had tried during the open beta and liked) and took off. I’ll probably, eventually, make another Wizard and then a Witch Doctor as these both look like pretty cool classes.
Some of my random thoughts on the game itself:
- If you play World of Warcraft, a lot of the game will be pretty intuitive. Things like clicking to equip things, resource management, buying, selling, buying back, auction housing….things like that will be pretty much second nature. I like that consistency.
- A neat feature in D3 that’s not in WoW is ‘the stash’. A trunk (basically, a bank) that all your characters can add to and take from. The stash isn’t just exclusive per each character. So, if your Barbarian finds a nifty crossbow, you can throw it in your stash and save it for when you make that Demon Hunter you’ve been eyeing. The only catch is that you only start off with so many slots to work with. More slots equals more gold…10,000 for 14 more slots. Just as a sort of indicator of how quick you can make gold (just doing quests and selling to vendors) I’m level 8 and have about 6K gold. So…there’s that.
- The controls are a tad different from WoW in that you use your mouse to move as well as to execute your main attacks. You, eventually, get more attacks and such and will be using the number keys but you’re not pounding near as many keys as when you’re playing WoW.
- I haven’t gotten high enough yet, but you’ll eventually get Artisans to ‘craft’ for you instead of your character doing the work on their own.
- Your character will also get Followers to help them along, giving them access to certain abilities they wouldn’t otherwise have.
- The graphics are pretty crisp though I know some people (my wife, chief among them) think the three-quarters view makes them look like ‘stick figures’. I did find, though, that hitting your “Z” button will zoom you in so you can get a better look at your character. I wouldn’t recommend questing that way as you don’t get near the view you get in three-quarters.
- I’ve heard a few complaints about the font. It’s a little funky in some areas and too small in most. It would be nice if Blizzard would patch that so you could adjust the font size for us (ahem) older folks.
- If you have “Real I.D.” friends on any Blizzard game, you can still keep in contact with them even while playing D3. I was chatting to my wife while she was on WoW.
- I haven’t done any grouping, yet, but it seems like it’s pretty easy to group up with friends or even random people by making your game ‘public’ or joining someone else’s public game.
I’ve read where someone has already finished on normal difficulty….I, obviously, have not and still have a lot of exploring and killin’ to do.
Maybe, I’ll post a follow-up when I get further along…..
Until then, have fun and….if anyone knows what the “Black Mushroom” is for…let me know