*Le Gasp!*

May 21, 2012 by Tim

Well, I’ve managed to briefly surface from my Diablo 3 coma. I’m nowhere near done enjoying this game, which puts me in a bit of a pickle this week.

I’ve got Diablo 3, of course. I still love TERA, and I need to put some time in so that I can hit level fifty and register for Vanarch (a sort of governor of a zone) before the end of the week. And starting tomorrow, I’ll have Dragon’s Dogma clawing at the remaining shreds of my free time.

But I’ll worry about that tomorrow. Right now my mind is on Diablo 3. Though the game had a rocky launch (and honestly I think it was silly for anyone to expect anything else), things seem to be running fairly smoothly now. I’m currently on Nightmare mode with some friends with my Monk, my main character. I’ve also got a handful of Hardcore characters that I’m playing exclusively with a variety of people.

I really sort of feel like my monk will be my only “softcore” character, just to get all the way through Inferno with. For every other character, the lure of hardcore mode is too enticing to resist. I did lose one character already, my Witch Doctor, Oobadoo. I thought I’d cleared an area, and I alt-tabbed out to answer a message, and when I tabbed back in ten seconds later, he was dead. He was only level nine, so it wasn’t a crushing loss. My second Oobadoo is now level twenty, and it’s starting to get a little nervewracking approaching boss fights.

Last night I was playing him in a full public game, and a L14 demon hunter started the Butcher event before everyone was ready, and ended up locked in the Butcher’s room alone. That was the end of his character. I’ve had a couple of close calls myself, narrowly popping a potion just in time to save myself, and it’s this feeling of danger and mortality that attracts me to Hardcore mode so much.

In regards to the game at large, the gameplay mechanics and whatnot… it’s Diablo. If you’ve played a Diablo game in the past and enjoyed it, chances are you’ll enjoy Diablo 3.

Normal mode is pretty easy. It’s the acclimation setting. You’ll rarely die, there isn’t a ton of challenge, but you’ll have fun. Nightmare mode gets noticeably harder. It’s less of a spam/AOE fest and you have to consider your targets and your positioning a bit more carefully. Enemies can do surprising amounts of damage, so you have to be careful. I can only imagine what Hell and Inferno difficulties are like, but I doubt they’ll disappoint.

A lot of people complained about Diablo 3 not locking in your skill selections, but rather allowing you to change your skills/runes on the fly, whenever. They said it was going to make Diablo 3 too easy. Whatever. I absolutely love this skill system. On top of the fact that certain situations require different abilities (difficulty level, for instance, gradually becomes more single-target based over AOE-based as you ramp up), it’s just nice to be able to try something different for a while. Sixty levels of mashing the same combination of abilities is boring.

At any rate, I’m having a blast with the game. It’s definitely got my attention for the foreseeable future.

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