Tag Archives: Diablo 3

Review: Diablo 3. Tool tips are serious business.

Diablo 3 Review: Tool Tips Are Serious Business

Diablo 2 released on June 29 2000. Needless to say we’ve all been waiting a long time for Diablo 3. Does it live up to over a decade of anticipation? Diablo 3 sold 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours and last I heard was at about 7 million.

I was pretty hesitant about buying Diablo 3. It has a hefty price tag at about 60 bucks. Online-only is a negative that makes such a hefty price tag less than enticing. I participated in the Beta and wanted to see more past the level 13 progress limit. I just wasn’t really pulled in and got bored after a few hours of playing the beta. There really hasn’t been much out lately to excite me so I just couldn’t help myself and picked up D3. I did enjoy the original games and games like Titan Quest so I am a fan of the genre.

Skeptics hit the nail on the head when they stressed online-only as a rather large negative. Down-time has been a common occurrence in Diablo 3. Scheduled maintenance is expected but Blizzard does like to take the server down in the middle of the day with nothing but a fifteen minute warning and then call it scheduled. They did this today and the reason was: we’re fixing tool tips. Yes, tool fucking tips bro.

Checkpoints are another issue. Meaning automatic save points which you can return to. You run through 5 hours of difficult hell or inferno content and leave the game thinking you can return to the last checkpoint. Oh silly you. Damn you Blizzard. Damn you to… inferno!

Joining a public game doesn’t put you with other players on the quest you select. Nope. You get shoved back at the beginning of the act and are forced to play through hours of content you already completed. You can however open your game to the public and start where you left off. It’s too much to ask for this to make sense.

Once you’ve completed normal and nightmare modes which can be plowed through in a few days your next difficulty mode is hell and then inferno. I love a hard core game like everyone else and trust me; my complaint is not the difficulty. My complaint is the mechanics. There are none. Mobs are given several more abilities in hell and inferno. And these spells range from creating walls, invulnerability shields, molten lava fireballs of death and so forth. This would give the illusion of a mechanic but don’t make me laugh. Har har mechanics. What’s that!?

Mobs just randomly choose targets and rape glass cannons and tanks alike with no rhyme or reason. IF you had a monk or barbarian (these classes received 20% damage reduction) in your group then they’re about as useless as a wet toilet paper square in a house fire without any real taunt abilities to curtail the chaos. You have no control. Not a damn sliver. Get used to it.

The story is a joke. But this is a loot game. And loot is awesome! When you get it and when the stats aren’t fucking atrocious. Which is 99.9% of the time.

I actually like Act 1. Act 2 is alright. But Act 3 and 4 all but prove that Blizzard got bored making this game and said “Fuck it”. Apparently hell is made up of nothing but platform after platform and heaven looks like an elven city built in the clouds. Angels are just push overs that get wiped out by demons that shove them onto pikes. Probably anally.

Titan Quest rocked this game hard. TQ is the longest game I’ve ever played in 29 years and that isn’t counting the expansion. It was a Diablo clone and a damn good one. Looting was fun. Areas were well designed. The story was more interesting. Just an all around good game. Diablo’s development team just said “fuck it these stupid assholes will enjoy anything Blizzard shits out”.

There are few redeeming factors for Diablo 3. I can’t think of what they are though. There’s something. I swear. Maybe. Ok for some reason it is somewhat addictive. I just can’t figure out why. But really I would have taken a Titan Quest 2 over this steaming… @&&#(SERVER SHUT DOWN IN 15 MINUTES.

God Damnit.

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Review: Torchlight 2 Beta and Diablo 3

Review: Torchlight 2 Beta and Diablo 3

This weekend I participated in the Torchlight 2 beta. I am inclined to say, “Hot damn pick this bad boy up”. Torchlight 2 is only twenty bucks! Diablo 3 released on May 15th. Runic expects a June or July release for T2 if I remember correctly and the beta is closing for everyone on May 22nd further indicating an impending release.

Right now Diablo 3 is $59.99. Torchlight 2’s pre-order cost is $19.99. You can pick up three copies of Torchlight 2 with a group of friends and get the fourth free. So you can technically pre-order for about $14.99. Steam pre-orders get a free copy of the original Torchlight. I am not aware of any such offer that was or is available for Diablo 3.

Diablo 3 forces you to login and play online. If the servers are down you can’t load up a save offline. If the servers shut down permanently (of course mega juggernaut Blizzard will likely keep them up for a decade or more) then you never get to play again. D3 has DRM and no one likes DRM. There’s no LAN but friends can pop in and out of your games online seamlessly. Torchlight 2 allows you to create an Internet/LAN game for your friends (or anyone) to join. In the T2 beta Internet games were just as fluid and smooth.

T2 also supports the modding community which I’m sure that Diablo 3 does not. We’re always happy about that.

Areas are much larger than in the original Torchlight and are randomly generated (Diablo 3 does not randomly generate maps). Both games are gorgeous but personally I feel that there is less replay value in a game that looks exactly the same compared to one that does not on the next playthrough.

Torchlight 2 has a lot of improvements. I was really happy with one of them. Say you’re using a bow and you’re holding down the button to keep firing. You can easily turn (or adjust aim) while firing by moving the mouse. This works for all classes abilities as far as I know. It might not sound that special but it is when you experience how fluid it is in T2. Especially compared to the alternative and awkward combat in a lot of similar games (like D3). Any break that you can give your poor fingers is welcome.

Things like that make a big difference and I expected Blizzard to revolutionize the genre but they did quite the opposite. Diablo 3 takes several steps back from its predecessors. There’s no real improvement to combat whatsoever. Some of the abilities (especially early game) seem like you’re firing a dud. Others are really fun to use. But to be fair these “duds” are the unupgraded abilities and do get better.

Runic is quite an amazing company. They give gamers what they ask for rather than shoving restrictions down our throats. I thank them for that. Blizzard in the past few years has seemed to go down the toilet with the announcement of World of Warcraft’s Pandaria expansion and the dumbing down of the Diablo franchise. I don’t know what is up their ass but they are in dire need of a rectal exam.

When I played Diablo 3 I just was not wowed whatsoever and got bored in less than two hours. I couldn’t put Torchlight 2 down. Both games share a lot of beauty (great looking maps for example) but T2 just has far too many superior features and personally in my beta experiences. I have not played retail D3 yet.

I am going to give T2 the crown and the “mark of awesomeness”. No contest. So pick it up. You won’t regret it. It’s only twenty bucks.


Open Beta Review: Diablo 3

Open Beta Review: Diablo 3

The original Diablo and Diablo 2 are among the most popular and essential PC titles produced in the past 20 years. Blizzard released Diablo 2 in 2000 and it is still popular today as is Blizzard’s original Starcraft and Warcraft Series. Blizzard has enjoyed quite a perfect success with these titles. Even more so with World of Warcraft which peaked at about 12 million subscribers (now at around 9-10 million).

Needles to say we’re all pretty excited about Diablo 3. It’s been a long while since the release of Diablo 2 and lots of studios stepped up to hold us over. Titan’s Quest released in 2006 and Torchlight in 2009.

With such a perfect success rate you have to wonder when Blizzard will produce a less than savory title. D3 is the first Blizzard title that I don’t have high expectations for after participating in the beta. Be aware that D3 is still currently in beta and just recently opened up a short-term open beta. Any opinion or observation that I’ve made is based on beta alone and may or may not reflect the final product.

Diablo 3 Open Beta

Diablo 3 doesn’t overly impress or re-invent the wheel. I am a fan of the genre but I feel that it’s well past time to improve on it. Unfortunately D3 does not do so. That would be perfectly fine if not for the fact that Diablo 3 un-improves on the genre in some ways. On normal difficulty you will face roll your way through dungeons. It’s too easy. Or at least it is right now and in the first 13 levels.

The only major complaint I have is how strongly the game is tied to and requires Battle.net. You can not log-in to play without access to Battle.net. Much like an MMO it appears that if there is latency between your machine and Battle.net then all factors of your experience (including single player) will suffer. Hopefully Blizzard will decide to put in an offline mode but I don’t see that happening.

Areas are also not randomly generated which hurts re-play value. Torchlight had randomly generated dungeons and Torchlight 2 (releasing 1-2 months after D3) will have randomly generated outdoor areas. I want to enjoy Diablo 3 and I think it’s a decent game. I just think Blizzard held back for some reason.

You have to wonder why Blizzard decided not to offer anything new (other than the Auction House). I can only assume that they expect the tried and true recipe to continue to work and I expect that it will but I know that many of us are hoping to see something more than updated graphics.

People will still buy Diablo 3. Of course. It’s Blizzard and it’s Diablo 3. That’s all that matters. I expect it to receive pretty good reviews but it won’t be played anywhere near as long as the original two.

I will play it and I’ll most likely enjoy it. I just hope to see offline mode added eventually.

Pre-purchase Diablo 3 now.


PAX East 2012: Jessica Nigiri, Reviews, etc.

PAX East 2012: Jessica Nigiri, Reviews, etc.

PAX East 2012 kicked off on April 6th and ended on the 8th. I’ve compiled a bit of videos, photos, game trailers and other information released around the time of PE2012. Max Payne 3 has a solid release date of May 29. Torchlight 2 and Grand Theft Auto 5 are expecting June and October dates.

Barely clothed cosplayer and model for Warner Bros. Games Jessica Nigiri was asked to cover herself up. Later she was asked to change. A bit of controversy arose from this incident and here is what I assume is an official explanation. Here is an interview with Nigiri at PE12.

You can now pre-order Guild Wars 2!

Mojang has released a prototype screenshot of 0x10c.

Trailers:
Guns of Icarus Online: Trailer #2
Diablo 3 Barbarian Class Trailer

PAX East 2012:
Hawken: Destructoid Hands-on / Dev. Interview 1 / Dev. Interview 2 / Trailer
Borderlands 2: Interview 1 / Interview 2 / Interview 3 / Hands-on
Torchlight 2: Berserker Video / Preview

Release Dates:
GTA5: ETA October
Torchlight 2: ETA June
Max Payne 3: Releasing on May 29, 2012 in NA and June 1, 2012 internationally.

PAX East 2012 Photos:
Gameinformer: Day 1 / Day 2
Destructoid: Gallery
VGRevolution: Gallery
TheGameEffect: Gallery
Jessica Nigiri: Gallery
TORWars: Galactic Gallery of Awesome
DarthHater: Day Two and Three

PAX East 2012 show floor image source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/pax-east-2012?before=1334005306


WTF: Playable Pandas in WoW. Blizzcon Links.

WTF: Playable Pandas in WoW, Blizzcon Links

Another World of Warcraft expansion has been announced titled Mists of Pandaria. It will introduce the MMOs first neutral race – pandas. Yes a PANDA race. Check out the Mists of Pandara trailer. As you can imagine trade chat is booming with players who are making jokes about the new expansion. As is Twitter and the forums. Not only are the martial artist pandas nearly a ripoff of Jack Black’s Kung Fu Panda but it appears that there is a pet battle system similar to Pokemon.

Here is a list of new features in the expansion. Now that World of Warcraft literally is for kids, there’s always Star Wars: The Old Republic on Dec 20.

World of Warcraft - Mists of Pandaria

Fans are creating a Starcraft MMO from a mod called World of Starcraft.

Sign up for the World of Warcraft annual pass and get Diablo 3 free.

Check out the Starcraft: Heart of the Swarm trailer.

Blizzcon Links:
Destructoid: Day One Blizzcon Photos
Geekrevolt: Blizzcon 2011 – Opening Ceremony Recap
Destructoid: Hands-on with the Pandaren Monk
Shacknews: Blizzcon Show Floor Gallery
Joystiq: Mists of Pandaria will introduce Pokemon-like Pet Battle System

Star Wars The Old Republic:
IGN: The Old Republic: Companions and Crafting / PVP and Warzones
Mos Eisley Radio: TOR Lore 101: The Hutts / The Old Republic’s Trooper is a Monster
TORWars: Stephen Reid Clarifies ‘Press Embargo’ Ends Tomorrow
TheTORChannel: Daniel Erickson Interview NYCC
Darth Hater: Paris Games Week 2011 Coverage

Links:
Deltagamer Review: Batman Arkham City
TORWars: 1-UP Review: SWTOR is WoW with Lightsabers and it’s Amazing
Destructoid: Details on Blizzard’s DOTA
Deltagamer Review: Might and Magic Heroes VI
joystiq: Samwise Didier talks about finally bringing his Pandaren to life
Massively: League of Legends releases champion spotlight for Graves
Gamesradar: Blizzard shares details on pet battle system


Recently in Gaming: LA Noire PC, City of Heroes F2P

Recently in Gaming: LA Noire PC, City of Heroes F2P

Eurogamer Expo 2011 kicked off September 22nd through the 25th. One highlight of this years Eurogamer Expo was the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s release date. Watch the video of the announcement here. Eurogamer will return in 2012.

The wait for the PC version of LA Noire is over. It will release on November 8th 2011 in the US and the 11 in EU.

The Skyrim voice-cast has been revealed: featuring Max Von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Joan Allen, etc. Check out this list of perks and racials.

You might want to read the EA/Origin Terms of Service. It seems that EA is taking a very rough stance on cheaters. If you are caught using a cheat, access to ALL of your EA games will be revoked. I absolutely approve of this as long as Punkbuster is not used to decide who is or is not cheating.

IGN has released hour long footage of the Diablo 3 beta. Here’s a playlist on YouTube. The game has been delayed until early 2012. I guess those who dreamed of making a career out of selling D3 loot will have to wait.

The same company that created Just Cause 2 have created a pretty decent wildlife hunting game. Check out The Hunter.

Just when I thought the world was rid of Dead Island headlines it appears that Lionsgate is interested in making a movie. Somehow I foreseeUwe Boll directing the film. Personally I would prefer Romero.

City of Heroes: Freedom is now free-to-play.

Wolfire Games has released a new video detailing the changes made to the alpha of their Overgrowth title.

Release Dates:
PC: LA Noire – Nov. 8 2011 | Confirmation
Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard – Officially Launched
Syndicate – Feb 12 2012Pre-Order Available
Star Wars: The Old Republic – Dec 20th 2011 in the US / 22nd EU

Links:
Thereticule: Eurogamer Expo Hands-On Impressions: Battlefield 3
Gamrreview: Eurogamer Expo 2011 hands-on: RAGE
Gamrreview: Eurogamer Expo 2011 hands-on: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Gamrreview: Eurogamer Expo 2011 hands-on: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
VG247: EG Expo hands-on: Mass Effect 3 goes into overdrive
VG247: Crouching Spider, Hidden Dragon: Hands-on With Skyrim

Video:
Shoptonews: 10 Minutes of BF3 Open Beta Footage
YouTube: Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Launch Trailer
YouTube: Battlefield 3 Developer Chat
YouTube: XCOM Developer Diary #1 – What is XCOM?
YouTube: Batman: Arkham City Joker and Harley Trailer


Recently in Gaming: BF3 Beta, Diablo 3 Closed Beta

Recently in Gaming: BF3 Open Beta, Diablo 3 Closed Beta

The Diablo 3 closed beta has started. If you want to opt-in then head over to your Battle.net account, check your beta settings and upload your PC specs.

You will be able to download Battlefield 3 and participate in the open beta starting on the 29th and ending on October 10th. Get it here when the beta starts. The system requirements have been released. The recommended specs include a DirectX11 compatible card with 1GB of RAM and I expect that you will want the recommended specs. Especially if you intend on playing at 1920×1080.

Borderlands 2 will have a new UI and split screen action. It will also feature revamped weapons and AI.

Apparently Minecraft’s Enderman liked to walk off with player-made structures. Now they are getting nerfed. Take that Enderman-person-thing.

EA says traditional retail outlets are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Upcoming and Recent Releases:
The Lord of the Rings Online: The Rise of Isengard – September 27 2011
Battlefield 3 – October 25 2011
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim – November 11 2011
F1 2011 – Available Now
Red Orchestra 2 – Available Now
Trackmania 2 – Available Now

Delayed Releases:
PC: Batman Arkham Asylum – Delayed until November

Links:
Geek.com: John Carmack coded Quake on a 28-inch 16:9 1080p monitor in 1995
Rockpapershotgun: Diablo 3: Incredibly Early Impressions
YouTube: Mafia Wars 2 Trailer
Rockpapershotgun: Wot I Think: Red Orchestra 2