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[D3] Beta First Impressions

March 29, 2012

“You’re not reading it right!”

Well, by some miracle I got extremely lucky and won a beta key.  As a result, I was able to log about 2 hours of playtime last night.  Electing to be a Demon Hunter, my first impression of the game is positive, but there are some issues that bother me.

The Good

Combat – The combat was good. Much more involved than other action RPGs, including Diablo 2, Torchlight, and Titan Quest. I only reached level 7, but with 3 skills on my bar there was good synergy. Not every skill is just ‘spam and do damage’, so I appreciate having skills that let me put my thought into how I dispensed with the denizens of hell.

Graphics – With all of the complaints about the art direction in Diablo 3, I think it still maintains the dark eerie feel of the original titles just fine. So what, if zombies bleed purple?!

Tomes – You discover tomes, journals, and other books that give you tales from the residents in this plagued world. I find little snippets like this really add to the depth of world and immerse you in the fiction.

Lore – As you encounter new demons in the game, you get a little lore voice over from none other than Deckard Cain. Again, great immersion value to get some context in history on the monster who you just splattered into the stonework.

The Bad

User-Inteface – The user interface is just odd. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the customization you get in World of Warcraft (excluding add-ons), Guild Wars, and Rift. There’s no UI scaling, elements like the map can’t be hidden, etc. If this is the action RPG you’ll be playing for the next 15 years, then they’ve got to make this UI more customizable!

Camera – Since games like StarCraft II, Warcraft III, and Titan Quest allow you to zoom and rotate the camera, if only temporarily, it seems lacking that Diablo 3 doesn’t support this. It goes to immersion to be able to look around your environment and not be completely fixed to the isometric view.  UPDATE: Found that you can press the Z key to zoom in the camera, but I still have not found a way to rotate the camera like in Warcraft III.

Stats – Maybe I’m missing something, but I’d like a basic view where I see my character and have access to basic stats including character level. I couldn’t find this in the game. For example if I wanted to see my character’s level, then I had to hover over the experience bar.  UPDATE: Looks like they’ve combined the character level and basic stats into the equipment window. I don’t know why I didn’t notice, perhaps cause I’m use to them being separate windows in World of Warcraft.

Lore/Tomes – While I love the addition of these items, the interface doesn’t take into consideration real life distractions. First, this really needs a window where all of the lore and tomes you’ve discovered can be replayed. Second, the icon showing the voice over playback is crying for a play/pause toggle. Again, this content is such a welcome addition to the game, but it’s a shame that it is consumed and then gone forever.  UPDATE: Found that this is all stored in the Journal.

So, maybe what I find bad about the game is minor, but nonetheless it would nice to see these issues addressed. Overall though, I have no regrets pre-ordering or recommending the game to other just on the couple hours I’ve played. Of course my opinion could change, but I doubt it. I’ll try and post more thoughts as I continue through the beta.

UPDATE: I guess in my excitement playing the game for the first time, I overlooked some obvious things.  So, most of my issues have been addressed!  What can I say?


From → Diablo 3

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