Diablo 3 Beta hands on – Part 2

Posted: February 9, 2012 in Diablo 3
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m going to start this post off with a correction to my last post.  In my extreme excitement I kind of misread how a certain ability worked.  In the last post I mentioned that the ability Evasive Fire for Demon Hunters cost 4 hatred.  It’s actually one of the hatred generating abilities and if an enemy is close to you it uses 4 discipline to back-flip away from your target.  Also in my haste when I looked through the Demon Hunter abilities I thought that there were more abilities with a resource function like that.  There isn’t.  Sorry for any confusion…  My head was all over the place when I first got my hands on the game so my notes were very erratic.   I was just so stoked to finally get my hands on the awesome that is Diablo 3.

Moving along…

As of now I have completed the Beta with all five classes at least once each.  Each class has its own feel to it and multiple ways to play it.  Back in Diablo 2 if you leveled up a character on Bnet and decided halfway through the game that you didn’t like the build you had chosen, you couldn’t change it.  Some people don’t mind starting new games and trying new builds.  Some do.  So for Diablo 3 they allow you to fully customize how you play and what abilities you want to use.  You can swap them out any time you want.  Awesome.

As you level you unlock new powers.  But depending on what level you are you can only use a certain number at a time.  So it allows for a lot of experimentation.  At cap level you have 6 active abilities and 3 passive abilities that you can set up.  It allows you to choose from any of the abilities that you have unlocked at your current level.  The class I messed around the most with the different set up is the Wizard.  At one point I was focusing on ranged abilities.  Spells like Magic Missile, Disintegrate and Wave of Force with a Wand equipped.  Standard Wizard type set up.  Destroy it before it can even get anywhere near you.  The other set up I tried was pretty fun and pretty much the opposite.  The spells I had equipped were Spectral Blade, Ice Armor and Magic weapon.  Also instead of having a wand equipped I was using a sword. Ice Armor protected me while Magic Weapon buffed my sword attacks.  Spectral Blade is like a melee AoE in front of you.  If I got overwhelmed or surrounded I would just spam that and break away.  Spectral Blade is a signature spell for Wizard so it costs no Arcane Power.  Both types of play styles for the Wizard were pretty damned fun.  The Disintegrate spell just decimates things.  It’s pretty awesome, but diving head first into the fray with nothing but my pointy little hat and my Ice Armor to protect me was pretty bad ass too.

One thing I have to mention about the beta as well is the non-spoiler factor.  The part of the story they throw you into surrounds an event around Tristram involving an undead King.  While in the grand scheme of things I’m sure it has something to do with the overall story, they do a great job of not mentioning too much.  Also… the beta is early on in ACt 1, if not the beginning of the game so the chance for huge end game revealing story spoilers is pretty damned slim.  I like that there’s just enough going on around you in dialogue, and certain things I saw in the world as I played, to peak my curiosity about the main story.  I was already looking forward to seeing where they would take this dark, dangerous world.  Those little things are just another element to the Beta that has me even more excited than I was before…

Also feel I need to mention a bit about the persistently on-line part of Diablo 3.  Other than logging on to my Battle.net account,  I never notice that I’m actually playing online… Once I’m in the game I have not experienced any lag issues or disconnects.  Except for when I accidentally unplug my computer from the router… Not even going to tell ya how long it took me to figure out wtf happened there… Anyways… Yeah… So D3 persistently online.  Get over it. Starcraft 2 works the same way even when only playing the single player.  To think that D3 would have been any different is insane.  SC2 works just fine.

I’ll expand on that last part a bit.  Back in Diablo 2, you could create a character for single player and level the crap out of him.  If you wanted to take that character onto Bnet, you couldn’t.  You had to log into the Bnet and then create/play the character.  This was to cut down on the rampant cheating that the original Diablo had online.  Cheating still happened in D2 but it wasn’t as easy as downloading a Diablo Trainer, making yourself a god in 5 seconds then hopping on to multi-player Diablo and being a lame ass.  So with this persistent on-line part to D3, any characters you create you can play by yourself or with friends or randoms any time you want.  It’s a much more secure way to play. I like it.  I haven’t had any problems.

Also in the beta there’s a couple achievements that you can get.  I’m guessing that they will become feats of strength once the game actually releases.  I am not one for achievements.  I just play my games and if I get achieves/trophies etc. Cool.  If not? I really could care less.  For the D3 Beta tho… I’m thinking about getting the last few that I’m missing. I know some of my achievement whore friends who didn’t get into the beta are going to be pissed as hell that an achievement slacker like me has some achievements that they can never get… We’ll see if I have time to get them all…

That’s all for today.  I still haven’t had time to hop into a co-op game yet.  Hopefully I can find the time for some and give my impressions on how it feels.  The solo play so far is unbelievably fun.  Really digging it.

Thanks again for reading folks.


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