This past weekend was the public beta weekend for Diablo 3, a game I had been waiting for with great anticipation and disappointment. Was it as bad as I suspected it would be? Had Blizzard learned any new tricks from World of Warcraft and StarCraft 2?
Where do I start? The whole time I spent playing the game I felt miserable but I still played on, hoping that something in my brain would click and I would enjoy it, but alas, nothing. So what is making me feel this way? Perhaps the lack of nostalgia that I get when I go back and play through the first Diablo, but then wouldn’t that carry over as it did for D2? Despite all of my disappointments with Blizzard and their handling of a beloved series, I was still excited for a new Diablo game! But upon finally grasping it and spending time playing it, I feel as though it has become brackish and stagnant.
Aside from the obvious rant about a lack of local single-player and the countless number of error messages received while trying to either log in or just create a character, the game I played was mind-numbing and absolutely boring. My first character was a monk named ‘GordonLiu’ because martial art monks are sorely lacking from most RPGs these days (more on RPGs in a moment). The first few minutes where awesome. I enjoyed watching Godon punch everything with flashes of lightning mixed with a few twirling kicks that would send enemies flying at times, but then I started two-shotting everything and eventually killing everything with a single attack. By the time I got to the end of the beta, I just sat there wailing on King Leoric until he died. By then, I had hit level 10 and amassed 47 health potions while managing to use only one the entire session. I tried the other characters, of course, but they all played the same and by level 5 I had to quit because I was falling asleep.
Now, about the RPG, or lack thereof. The new system is pointless (See, that’s a joke because you don’t place any points. Anywhere. ZING!) As I said before, the characters all played the same with the ability to kill everything by yawning at monsters and skills were really just eye candy rewarded to you for looking at lower-leveled eye-candy long enough. You get a new skill at certain levels and eventually you unlock active skills and runes that are used for specific skills which is supposed to vary how you can take down foes. Basically more eye-candy to kill monsters to. When it is so ridiculously easy to kill everything in the game with ANY skill at your disposable, it really doesn’t matter how you go about doing it.
If the point of the test was a test of patience, then I would say it was a great test that Blizzard failed. Yes, it is a beta and most likely for testing server stress, but it is also a small glimpse into what’s to come at release and as a small glimpse, it is wholly depressing. As I said, I was still excited for it before having played any of it. I love playing Diablo and Diablo 2 from time to time, but having played Diablo 2 a little over a month ago and then jumping into D3 with the experience I had, I find myself completely turned off to the game, and in-turn, Blizzard. It was a great run, but there is nothing for me anymore save for games of an era gone and the fond memories had.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Also Mists of Pandaria will suck.
Stay lazy, Nephalem.