Posts Tagged ‘Diablo 3’

So today is a big day for FMG. I tossed up my first video to good ‘ol YouTube. Nothing major. Just a quick video going over the build I’ve used on my Barbarian. I’ll probably expand that a bit and throw up some more game-play footage of it in action. I haven’t done much in terms of video editing in a very long time so I’m pretty terrible at it. I’m trying out a ton of different programs and compressing the videos a few times with different programs/settings to see how the quality is. It’s been pretty fun. Very tiring, but fun. Looking forward to making more.

Let’s get to it.

At this point I’ve spent about 120 or so hours with Diablo 3. Despite the “Error 37” problems at launch and the complaints about the persistent online part of D3 I am loving the game. Even tho D3 isn’t an MMO I guess I’m used to having servers taken down for patches and stuff like that. I can definitely understand the strictly single player gamers out there who are upset with it. While it definitely wasn’t the smoothest game launch ever, I’m just glad to finally have my hands on the full game. The main concern for me with such a large gap and all the problems over the years they have developed D3, was if they could pull it off again. D1 and 2 were amazing games and I played the crap out of them. In my opinion, yeah. They nailed it. It feels like a Diablo game. Rolling through slaughtering baddies for shiny baubles has never been so much fun.

I just want to touch real quickly on graphics. The graphics in the game aren’t that bad. The environments look pretty awesome. The character models? I don’t think that they really look that great. Not terrible, but you can tell that this has been in development for a little while. I’m usually a person who loved throwing max settings on my games and sitting in awe at how amazing they look. When it comes to Diablo? It’s not that big of an issue for me. I just want that excitement of action and discovery. I can overlook the slightly dated graphics issue because the game really is a lot of fun. The dated graphics do not extend into the cinematic cut-scenes. Those are incredibly well done. You see those at the beginning, end and between each act but each one is mind-blowingly awesome. My personal favorite is the one between Act 1 and 2. Not gonna spoil it for ya. I’m just gonna say – HOLY SHIT! By the end of it I was standing with my hand over my mouth and my jaw on the floor. Incredible.

I’ve played all 5 classes at this point to at least level 20–ish. The two I’ve focused on are my Barbarian(Level 55 in Hell difficulty), and my Witch Doctor(Level 45 in Nightmare difficulty). Back in Diablo 2, there were a few classes that I couldn’t really get into and I didn’t play much. Back in Beta I was able to try out all the classes up to thirteen and did have fun will all of them. Throughout Beta certain skills got moved up and down levels and difficulty was getting tweaked. So I knew that at launch I would have to try them all again and see if I was still down to level all of them. I still find all the classes a lot of fun. They all play differently and have their own feel. The one class that I was finding early on that I wasn’t enjoying as much was the Monk. There’s just something about the abilities you get early on for them. I just wasn’t really feeling it. I’m around 20 on him now and have unlocked some pretty cool abilities so I am getting a better feel for it. The other classes I was off and running right at the start and loved all the abilities that I was getting and had a tough time choosing which abilities to use. Even now on my Witch Doctor I sometimes wish that I had just one more skill slot.

I’m sure that at this point with the amount of time I’ve played I probably would be well into, if not finished Inferno difficulty if I had focused on one character. I know I have a problem. Alt-oholism/Alt-itis is no laughing matter. Ok. It kinda is. Even with the amount of hours on my two higher characters I probably should be a little but further along than they are. What I have done a lot of is replaying areas with different builds to really get a feel for what best suits my play-style. I’ve almost got my Witch Doctor nailed down. Just a few things I need to decide on and tweak a bit. There’s some really great runes that some of the powers have so that is often the hardest choice for me. Certain abilities for my play style are a must have and sometimes there’s a couple of runes that are all viable for me. Once I really get that one refined a bit more I’ll make a video like I did for my Barbarian. With the Barbarian I still occasionally swap a thing or two out, usually passive abilities depending on the situation, but I use those skills in the video for everything. Trash mobs, elites, bosses and it all seems to work most of the time. There are times when I go rushing in before I realize what abilities a certain elite will have and get decimated. I can usually come back and take them out relatively easily once I see what I did wrong. I’ve rolled with pretty much that same build since about level 35-ish. Obviously there are some runes that I’m using now that are unavailable at that level but the abilities for the most part haven’t really changed. Check out the video and see what you think.

While I have played a lot of the game solo, I know quite a few people who also are playing. The system they have in place to group up with friends and hop into a game is amazing. Probably one of the best and easiest multi-player experiences I’ve ever seen. When you log on if someone on your list is in a game it shows a quick join tab in the bottom right that you can mouse over to see what level/act/difficulty your friend is playing. To join them it’s as easy as clicking their name on that list. You hop straight into the game and then can instantly catch up to them by clicking on their player banner right where you spawn in. You can also form up groups and start games together just as easily. So much easier than the old D2 days. Also if you’re rolling through by yourself and no friends are on at the moment and are feeling the multi-player itch, opening your game up to random players is as easy as bringing up the main menu and clicking the open game to public option. Joining a public game is a simple as clicking that option at the main screen. They really have made the multi-player experience very seem-less. I can definitely see some strictly single player gamers out there giving it a shot because of how easy it is.

I guess that it’s for today. I’m sure I’ll do more D3 posts in the future. Thanks a lot for reading and I hope you enjoy the video. Be sure to subscribe to the blog and Youtube and check out FMG on Facebook for updates!

-FMG-

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So between catching up on the Mass Effect series, a ridiculous amount of SWTOR and that silly thing called the real world and a job, I still managed to play quite a bit of D3 beta. Especially over this past week. I knew that it would be ending soon and so made sure to get a good refresher in before making another post about it.

While the game has undergone some major changes the last few patches, it’s still fun as hell and feels like a Diablo game. The one change that I really didn’t like at first was when they changed the skill UI. Skill used to be separated into three categories for each class as and you leveled up you unlocked more skills and more active skill slots. You could have a total of 6 skills available to you by the time you reach the higher levels. You could pick and power to put into any slot as long as you’ve already acquired it. Now the powers are separated into 6 different categories and each group is assigned a button by default. Now Despite the change to how the skill UI looks and the multiple categories for different powers, there is an option to allow you to put any power onto any slot like it was in earlier patches. I don’t see them changing where this would be in the options from beta to live. So in order to have a little more freedom and customization make sure that in the Gameplay section of the Options, in the Interface list on the right, make sure that the Elective Mode option is checked off. For people that are new to the game or just casually play, the default setup works fine. For those that really want full flexibility for their spells setup this option i a must.

Next thing I wanted to touch on was the matter of the difficulty. Much earlier in the beta the overall difficulty was pretty easy. Most figured that Blizzard would adjust it closer to release and they have. The normal difficulty is slightly more difficult that before. I can’t walk into a mob of blues on my Witch Doctor and kill them all with melee attacks anymore. Which is good. I still feel that the normal difficulty could be tuned up a little more. Even playing through with a Hardcore character I never really found any point that I was in a lot of danger. Obviously they don’t want to make the normal difficulty too over tuned so that the average player can’t get past the first chapter, but I feel that it could still use a bit of tweaking. Definitely looking forward to playing the harder difficulties.

This past week I’ve played mostly multiplayer public games. I had done a bit with a friend of mine who was in the beta before, but I really wanted to see how it felt with more than two people. We were actually having a bit of trouble grouping up and getting a game going when we tried a few weeks back. It was weird. Once we got in, the games seemed to run fine but inviting to groups and starting the games was giving us problems. This time around I just joined random public games. I found that there was little or no lag. Everything seemed to run very smoothly. The enemy strength seemed to scale appropriately(although I feel that this could be tuned a bit more with the overall difficulty) upon a person joining or leaving. I’ve put in at least a few hours almost every day the last week or so with D3 and not a single disconnect. Unless you count the server downtime where we were rushing our asses off to down the Skeleton King before we ran outta time. We didn’t make it. Probably had him to about 10% when servers went down. So close. The multiplayer was pretty fun. I felt rushed for most of the games I joined tho. People were just rushing through to the end. I tend to enjoy exploring around. It just seemed that almost every game that I was in was like that. I’ll probably stick to playing multiplayer with people I know for the most part. Still had a lot of fun tho.

I’ve gone through and played every class at least once through to cap level during my time with the beta. Each class really does have its own feel to it. Even setting up your powers differently can give a single class a couple different play styles to really suit how you want to play. This definitely makes for plenty of replay and experimentation with the different classes and set ups. Really looking forward to experimenting with different spell builds. Also curious to see what kind of builds that the community will come up with. They did a really great job of making each class have many diverse types of abilities to let the player decide how they want to progress with their class. Obviously some classes excel at certain things like a Barbarian is obviously great in melee range. If you built your Wizard with the close range abilities and armor/damage reduction abilities you can also be viable in melee range. My favorite is still the Witch Doctor. Those Firebats so awesome. Just wish I could get high enough in beta to summon the wall of Zombies… Overall I feel the classes were very well designed and diverse which gives the game great replay value.

Barring any major changes between now and the release in three weeks, Blizzard really nailed it. This game feels like a Diablo game, but not just a D2 rehash. Definitely seems to have more depth than the previous titles. We waited over ten years for Starcraft 2 and Blizzard didn’t disappoint. I have faith that the rest of Diablo 3 will be just as bad ass as what I’ve gotten the chance to play so far. Definitely stoked. Less than one month. Evil is back 05/15/12.

Be sure to check out the Full Metal Gamer Facebook/G+/Twitter for updates. Thanks for reading folks.

-FMG-

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.

-FMG-

So lately I’ve been going on about some awesome game with laser sword and telekinetic badasses. Today I will absolutely refrain from babble on about that sweet piece of awesome. Absolutely. In this post I’ll be drooling all over my keyboard while I write about a great little game called Diablo 3. I got in to the Beta the other day with the latest slew of invites. Thank you Blizzard for not having an NDA. After waiting ten years for the next Diablo and finally getting my hands on it, not being able to talk about the sheer awesomeness would literally kill me.

Wandering around the world murdering tons of monsters for shiny baubles brought me back. I’m a huge fan of Diablo. Played the hell out of the first one and still have Diablo 2 installed and on my quick launch bar that I pop into from time to time. No huge leaps and bounds apart from the previous titles. It feels like a Diablo game, and damn does it ever feel good. Even with the limited part of the game available in the Beta, in my opinion it blows D2 out of the water. Can’t wait to get my hands on the full game.

At this point I’ve played through the Beta 3 times. Twice with the Witchdoctor because fire and Zombies are awesome. Once with a Monk. About halfway with the other three classes. Some of the abilities are pretty bad ass. The resources for the classes are each different. Nothing really groundbreaking there. Barbarians use rage. Builds up as you use certain abilities so that you can use others. Monk, same thing but it’s called spirit. Except Monk starts at full spirit and has to build it back as they use it and Barbarians start with no rage and have to build it up to start. Witchdoctors use mana. Self explanatory. Wizards use arcane power. Kinda like mana except its a fixed amount that doesn’t seem to increase as you level.

The one class that has a bit of a unique dual resource system is the Demon Hunter. They have hatred and discipline. Some abilities generate hatred.  Other abilities use hatred or discipline. Some actually use both, sometimes… For example there’s an ability called Evasive Fire that uses four hatred. If you are firing at an enemy that is close to you, your character does a back-flip away from the target that causes the ability to cost four discipline as well. I’ve only gotten to about level five or six on the Demon Hunter so far but its pretty fun and definitely feels unique compared to the other classes.

My favorite so far is definitely the Witchdoctor. I’ve been playing games for a while now and can take a look at skill trees and abilities and can usually tell which one I’m gonna like the most. Since I have a huge obsession with Zombies as soon as they showed the early clips of the Witchdoctor abilities I knew that would be my “main” class. While I am unable to reach the level to unlock the Wall of Zombies ability in Beta, I have my Zombie dogs and one Zombie that jumps out of the ground at things and eats their faces. Pretty damned wicked.

Even with those kick as spells I have to say my favorite ability in the game that I’ve seen so far is Firebats. I’ve seen abilities in other games that summon swarms of bats. This one is next level wicked. While you summon in this swarm of bats that fly in over your head and attack in a cone, you breath fire. Which in turn sets the bats on fire. Then they swarm the targets. Yes. A swarm of flaming bats. Epic. When I did my second play-through with the Witchdoctor that’s pretty much the only ability I used. Was constantly getting bonus experience for killing multiple enemies with a single blow. It was hilarious. So much fun.

Which is a perfect segue to the next part. You can earn bonus experience points for chaining kills together or multiple kills with a single blow. Also by breaking a bunch of barrels etc. Getting rewards when you have a perfectly timed attack that takes out multiple enemies or just go on a massive rampage is pretty cool. I think my highest one shot kill is about 8 or so with a Lashing Tail Kick on my Monk which is a roundhouse kick that decimates anything around you. It’s pretty cool. Highest chained multikill which is called massacre if I remember correctly, is about 60. I was on my Witchdoctor. There was a room with a jar. I clicked a jar. Massive amounts of skeletons swarmed me like some sort of skeletal apocalypse. Then I Firebatted the crap out of them like a boss. Good times.

I’ll be playing through some more for sure. I want to cap level all the classes and try different ability combinations some more. Will have time to get more into it this weekend I hope and will definitely make another post. So far, I think it’s great. Looking forward to the full release even more than I was. Got my Collector’s Edition pre-order in as soon as they announced the CE. Wish there was an open Beta so more of you could experience the game and squash any doubts you may have about it. Also so I can get in some co-op. Haven’t gotten to try that yet. I know one other person that has Beta access but our D3 playtime hasn’t lined up yet. Hopefully I’ll get into some of that this weekend. Might just try getting into a random public game. So that’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks again for reading folks.

-FMG-

Plenty of awesome stuff came out of Blizzcon this past weekend. Expansion announcement – The Mists of Pandaria, Diablo 3 cinematic reveal and brand spanking new Heart of the Swarm trailer. They also announced The World of Warcraft Annual Pass. A really great idea Blizz. Kudos.

There are a lot of WoW players that will be playing Diablo 3. Having to compete with your own game is something that no company wants to do. So Blizzard is giving the digital version of Diablo 3 free to WoW players who sub to the annual pass. Which is awesome. You also get Tyrael’s Charger mount(which looks pretty cool) for WoW and guaranteed access into the beta for the next expansion The Mists of Pandaria.

I may be very excited for SWTOR but I still love my WoW and will keep playing it between SWTOR sessions. So paying for a year sub, and getting all the bells and whistles that Blizz is giving with it is a great deal. Getting Diablo 3 free? I’m going to be playing that for sure anyways so it’s really a no brainer… Or is it?

They also unveiled the Diablo 3 Collectors Edition. I’m a big fan of CE’s. BIG fan. The D3 CE comes with some pretty cool extras. It has a 4gig Soulstone usb that’s loaded with a digital copy of D2 and D2: Lord of Destruction and a stand shaped like Diablos skull to set it in. In game aesthetic artifacts that makes ya grow wicked ass glowing wings, an exclusive banner and armor dyes. Also a Fetish Shaman pet for WoW and Battlenet portraits. A behind the scenes Blu-Ray/DVD set, Diablo 3 art book and a CD soundtrack. So a pretty loaded CE if ya ask me.

I got a CE of Cataclysm and it also came with an art book and DVD of behind the scenes. The art book was amazing. Really great quality and the DVD has some really cool stuff on it. The quality of the Blizzard CE’s are always top-notch and definitely worth the extra coin if you are a fan of collectibles and extras. So I’m definitely down to get the annual pass for the free version of D3 but I really want me a CE.

I’m very much on the fence about getting the annual pass simply because I REALLY want the CE. I also REALLY want the charger, extra items and MoP Beta access. What I’m wondering is if the product key for the D3 that comes with the annual pass will be separate from the rest of the items bundled with it. Then I could get the items and pass the digital version of the game off to a friend who could care less about any of the extras and buy myself the CE. If I remember correctly with the Cata CE the product key had all the bonus items built into it so passing the code along to a friend wouldn’t work out…

I likes my shiny stuffs… So in the end I might end up with two copies of D3. Possibly 3 or 4 in the future because there’s talk of possible ports to PS3 and 360. So much D3… Damn you Blizzard why are you so awesome. So much cool stuff. I want it all, and I want it now.

WoW players that plan on getting D3, the annual pass really is a worthwhile investment, but if you’re like me and really dig CE’s as well… We’re so screwed… This is looking to be a very expensive few months…

/end rant

Thanks for reading…

-FMG-