I haven’t been around much this week and unfortunately that pattern is set to continue for another week or two. Work has gotten crazy and filled up my days, while evenings are full of battling demons in Diablo 3 and getting ready for my vacation next week.
As I’ve mentioned here before I didn’t want to buy Diablo 3 until the very last minute, and even when I did it was more to hang out with friends than any desire to play the game itself. Almost a week later, this might not seem like much of a revelation to anyone who played Diablo 2 very seriously (which I did not) but.. hey, this is game is super fun!
So credit where credit is due — when it’s online, this game is pretty good. Here are some of my favorite bits:
1. The Lady Barbarian. I usually don’t play straight up melee classes, so I’m not even sure why I made a barbarian first but I’m glad I did. Montaña the barbarian is a wall of steel and muscle. I stand a foot taller than any NPC, and run with heft. My armor is protective, but I don’t look like a guy. I feel.. tough. For all the steel heels and the like in other classes (variety is the spice of life, I suppose), this was a big character design win for me.
2. Achievements. For all their cluelessness about other things, Blizzard is great at achievement systems. There are lots of them, and a nice selection of ones that you’ll naturally encounter and ones that you’ll have to go out of your way to get and ones that it’ll take multiple playthroughs to hit. (Although to be honest the achievement for repairing your gear made me laugh.) Not only that, but you can see when your friends earn an achievement too which adds a nice sense of community and invitation to interact. I feel part of something slightly bigger than my own game.
3. Only seeing your own drops in co-op. Loot used to really stress me out in Diablo 2 co-op because I am one of those people who worries all the time about being fair. Should I pick this up? Could the other person use it more? Did I pick up too much last time? Let me just open my inventory to look at the stats on this and oh hey sorry you died. I’m having way more fun playing with friends now that I don’t feel the need to worry about any of that!
4. The battle physics. Bashing groups of imps in the head and scattering them around the room feels good. Knocking down shelves and beating in doors feels good. Hitting a dude so hard his skeleton flies out of his body looks awesome and feels good! The art style is a little cartoony (in a standard Blizzard way), but actions have proper weight and things feel satisfyingly thuddy.
And just to be even handed, one thing I don’t like about Diablo 3:
1. Bugs. Specifically, the Act II bugs that shoot bugs at you. They’re jerks. :(