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#241 Tetsuya

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:09 PM

View PostEric5h5, on 11 July 2013 - 08:49 AM, said:

I thought TL2 used the same engine as TL1, which makes the delay rather odd since most of the work would already be done.

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If so, it is *heavily* modified and updated.

#242 badger2d

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 05:31 PM

I've reached the end of Act 1 in D3. The demo was short enough to leave several questions hanging in the air for me that reflected on how worthwhile the full game might be. Finishing up Act 1 has mostly put the questions to rest, I'm unequivocally enjoying the hell out of it. The game is now feeling to me like a well-cooked stew of several of the best ingredients apiece from earlier Diablo games, Titan Quest, and Torchlight, with a pinch or two of new spices on top.

Past Diablo games contribute the gothic horror atmosphere and the lore and characters to flesh out the world. And there's a lot to draw on. I think Act 1 was very well done, feels like in both lore and feel it pays ample homage to both previous Diablo games while also clearly establishing its own place. Not much more can be asked of the opening act of a 3rd game.

The design of the outdoor areas feels strongly influenced by Titan Quest, which is a very good thing, one of that game's strengths.

Torchlight's influence feels apparent in the dungeons, which so far have mostly shown a considerably more sprawling, fantastical architecture style than the claustrophobic feel that characterized D1 and most of D2's dungeons, although they are certainly filled out with horrifying aesthetics that make them much creepier than anything in Torchlight. Though there are still some quite Diabloesque dark and cramped crypts and caves as well. Also, the variety of ways in which monsters can jump out at you, rather than them always just being there hanging out for no particular reason, is a good piece of Torchlight that's been well adopted in D3.

I'm almost completely smitten with all of the above, with the single exception that the Torchlight style dungeons are taking me a little getting used to. I had mentioned in an earlier post that I was disappointed that Tristram Cathedral, the setting for D1, when revisited in D3 feels more like Torchlight than anything. I stand by my statement that that was the wrong choice for that particular dungeon; the already established look and feel of that dungeon should've been used, or at least acknowledged as a significant part of the redesign. On the whole though, and with that specific misstep aside, the Torchlight architecture with a Diablo coat of paint (or coat of blood, as is literally often the case) is growing on me. Having a mix of that along with the cramped spaces certainly adds variety and that's usually a good thing.

#243 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:54 PM

Act 1 of Diablo 3 was indeed awesome, I loved it too. Unfortunately it is all down hill from there, in my opinion.
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#244 badger2d

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 01:14 PM

Hm. :(

Well, I'll see how it turns out for me eventually, I'm not in any hurry to run through, so far it's been worth savoring. Probably get into Act 2 next week.

#245 badger2d

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:49 PM

Act 2 done now. The single sentence summation of my feelings would be: it started off strong, and then went out with a whimper.

Part of the problem was that it felt like I was leveling too fast and the enemies were not keeping up. The first half of the act was fine, easy, but not to a totally brainless degree. By the end of the act I was just running through levels, mostly ignoring monsters, which were being constantly picked off by my Storm Armor anyway, and if I drew a really big swarm onto me I would break stride for a second to kill them all with a single cast of Wave of Force. The boss was pretty weak sauce as well.

The narrative premises at the beginning of the act were compelling enough.
Spoiler

And then, it pretty much went nowhere interesting at all. When the story managed to make even a modicum of sense, it was stupid. "Well, you're not playing for the story," is an old gamer cliche by now. That's a poor excuse for accepting mediocre writing, and no excuse at all for writing so bad it actually detracts from the experience.

Things I'm still enjoying: the lush and varied visuals, which means environments, monsters, spells, everything. Experimenting with different spells and runes and dithering endlessly over which ones combine well for various possible coherent gameplay strategies. The background lore snippets from talking to various characters in town, which seem to follow a perverse rule of thumb that the less relevant it is to the main storyline, the more interesting its likely to be.

Hoping Act 3 will be better.

#246 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:41 PM

View Postbadger2d, on 18 July 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

Hoping Act 3 will be better.
He he he he.


Poor guy.
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#247 badger2d

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 04:49 PM

Finished the game.

I really enjoyed the setting for Act 3, and it had excellent variety of fun monsters to fight. Also unlocked a bunch of great spells at this point in the game. Rapid-fire Chain Lightning is wickedly delightful to use as a primary spell. Meteor and Blizzard, two favorites carrying over from the Sorceress in D2, are as much fun as ever and I played around going back and forth between the two for a good while before settling on Blizzard. And Teleport is always good to have - I have a strong tendency to gravitate towards mobility in my class/faction/loadout choices in various games.

Passive skills got more interesting as well. Given how much I like to dither over strategic choices, I had to roll with Glass Cannon, the first one that had a trade off built directly into it, and then busy myself with trying to rearrange the rest of my skill loadout in a way that mitigated the disadvantage. Started to feel like my character had more concrete definition at this point.

Act 4 was alright. More of a coda than a full act, much like D2's fourth. The setting was one I'd hoped we'd visit in a Diablo game at some point, so had some anticipation coming into it. Good variety of monsters again, really a strength throughout this game. Scenery was not bad, but neither did it ever manage to be awesome, in the archaic sense of that word, as I hoped for here. The final boss fight felt well-tuned: I died twice, with the fight feeling pretty bullpopsnizzle at first, but by the third time I discovered a winning tactical pattern without having needed to switch out for any different spells, as I'd started to think I might be forced to do, and I ended up feeling very satisfied.

The writing remained dismal for the rest of the game. In particular, the less is said about the increasing up to ad nauseam Saturday morning cartoon villain monologuing, the better. By early Act 3 I threw in the towel on hoping for any improvement in this department, and I just started skipping through all the nonsense the moment it would pop up so it wouldn't make my brain squeeze itself right out of my ears in a desperate escape attempt. Too bad, but it was only distracting from what really is a pleasurable gameplay experience with delightful aesthetics. Blizzard's artists and game designers are doing as fine a job as ever, but this game plus the two parts of Starcraft 2 that have been released all say that the writing department needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt from scratch.

#248 Matt Diamond

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 10:35 AM

Good writeup. That's pretty much how I felt about it too.

I think the worst thing about the monologuing is how the tactical "genius" kept telling you his plan so you could go and thwart it.

I fully understand that the function of the average game's dialog is to perform a function for the game, such as: inform the player of their next goal, give them a hint, tell them they've died, tell them how to cast their first spell, and so on. And many people skim over dialog so it's often meant to fast and disposable. But even if your game does not aspire to more than that, that's no excuse for the writing and dialog to be quite so bad.
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#249 badger2d

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 05:42 PM

I fully agree with everything you say about the writing.

Layering an overt story into the game can be awesome, can potentially elevate the experience of the game, if its done well. But like any other aspect you add to the game, the writing needs to be good enough to pull its weight, and failing that makes it a negative feature.

It's entirely possible to just leave a game to speak mostly or fully for itself instead and there's nothing at all wrong with doing that.



#250 Gliniolu

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 11:23 AM

Well I prefer TL2 to D3 from far, but if D3 writing is bad then TL2 writing is a scandalous crap. :-)

There's many good points in D3 writing, the merge is well done and it's light and skipable enough to work well in a game purely action oriented. The writing is far to be bad, there's good touch of humor, fairly good development of companions, good spreading of information lore through many ways. It's not great writing from far but quote it bad looks a lot like to bow to the anti consensus against the game.

It makes me smile to read players that consider D2 or D1 was great writing, that sort of comment seems quite guided by youth or teen nostalgia.

#251 Tetsuya

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:41 PM

Great writing in D1 or D2... No.  But it was at least cohesive and made sense.  Trope laden and simple, sure... But solid, for all that.  D3... Blech.

#252 Atticus

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:49 PM

The D3 AH is going bye-bye next year ftw. Maybe I'll start playing again when it happens.
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#253 badger2d

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:18 AM

View PostGliniolu, on 14 September 2013 - 11:23 AM, said:

Well I prefer TL2 to D3 from far, but if D3 writing is bad then TL2 writing is a scandalous crap. :-)

There's many good points in D3 writing, the merge is well done and it's light and skipable enough to work well in a game purely action oriented. The writing is far to be bad, there's good touch of humor, fairly good development of companions, good spreading of information lore through many ways. It's not great writing from far but quote it bad looks a lot like to bow to the anti consensus against the game.

It makes me smile to read players that consider D2 or D1 was great writing, that sort of comment seems quite guided by youth or teen nostalgia.

"Bow to the anti consensus against the game?" Can we please just not dismissively paint people, who have taken the time to think about and write up and share their opinions, with the broadest possible brush? That never does a conversation any good.

D3 has its moments, there are  well-done little lore tidbits scattered around, I agree with that part of your post. And I liked the companions' stories, too. They're straightforward, but pulled off decently enough to be enjoyable.

I do find it unfortunate though for that to be all the praise I can possibly give. It ain't much. Oddly enough though, if those things were actually ALL the writing in the game, it would be enough! But there's just too much more that's cringe-inducingly bad and that wrecks the overall score I can give for story. Especially, as I've said before, the villain speeches become incredibly obnoxious, the game would be better with those simply cut out altogether. Hard to say anything worse about a piece of writing than that!

#254 Gliniolu

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:05 PM

All the stuff around the girl was very strong stuff for me, it worked very well, and sometime some tears was very close. And the final and how it ends, it lets vaguely expect it's not fully ended for the girl, and one more quite excellent writing point and quite subtle and with a lot of underlying emotion.

I'm chocked when people insist that the D2 writing was better, it's a lot more basic and direct writing, no way there's the same level of kind humor and touches of emotions. So yeah I'm trying to find an explanation and accuse the extreme anti fame around the game. Ok perhaps I shouldn't and it's not an argue I agree. But seriously there's too much a tendency to just cumulate negative and ignore or not see the positive.

Now for the villain speech ok I admit you could find this naive and argue it's not credible. One point, it could be important, ok. But the D2 writing is a lot too neutral and inefficient. I can't bare anymore the insupportable D2 inventory management because it is constantly full so I haven't succeed replay it since a very long time. But I think I could find many as naive points, just because the writing is just bad coming from a decade ago when games was good but writing was often bad.

#255 cleansanchez

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 05:35 AM

The console version, with the new loot system is a big improvement. The Auction House killed D3 for me. I really tried to be positive throughout (as my previous posts will attest lol).

One we have the new loot system / no AH working and with a new expansion then back into D3 for sure.

Yeah a hassle that I can't port my progress between Mac and PS3 but worth the effort, it is such a good game.

#256 cleansanchez

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 06:29 AM

The tough thing with the Reaper of Souls Expansion, which is out right now by the way, is that I have always played the Diablo series on Mac but with the epic fail of the Auction House based looting system I had to switch to the PS3 version. Now the expansion pack is for PC/Mac only (at this stage at least). But my best heroes are on my PS3 save, although I progressed further in the Mac version (up to the last boss fight of Inferno). I had more fun on the PS3 version.

I don't have an unlimited pocket full of cash and I really only have the time to invest in ONE copy of the game.

Killing me not to buy the PC/Mac version.

All things equal I prefer the PC/Mac version if only that I have easy and full control over the save files. Recalling Diablo II, my really old save files are still useable, albeit on a PC only version of the game (as no longer runnable under OSX). With the PS3 version I know that when the time comes to ditch the PS3 then that is the end of my playing of Diablo III. The Mac version of Diablo II has lasted through quite a few computers in that time.

(Must admit that my best Legendary drops were on the flawed PC/Mac version of Diablo III)

(And a worry is that the expansion for consoles will be Xbox One or PS4 only, sigh)

#257 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 07:33 AM

Thread necromancy!

A nice excerpt from an upcomming book, on how Blizzard dealt with Diablo 3's lackluster release and how they fixed it. I enjoyed reading it.

Speaking of which; They state that it is actually more fun playing Diablo 3 on a console, then with a mouse and keyboard. *Gasp* I couldn't imagine that. Is it true?
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#258 the Battle Cat

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 09:41 AM

Bring out your dead!  

I just got my hands on my first console controller about a month ago.  Using it in the place of mouse and keyboard is like using my toes in the place of my fingers.
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#259 macdude22

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 09:43 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 22 August 2017 - 07:33 AM, said:

Thread necromancy!

A nice excerpt from an upcomming book, on how Blizzard dealt with Diablo 3's lackluster release and how they fixed it. I enjoyed reading it.

Speaking of which; They state that it is actually more fun playing Diablo 3 on a console, then with a mouse and keyboard. *Gasp* I couldn't imagine that. Is it true?

I've always enjoyed ARPGs on console. D3, Torchlight, Sacred 2. It is super smooth to kite around with twin sticks.
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#260 Janichsan

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 10:26 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 22 August 2017 - 07:33 AM, said:

Speaking of which; They state that it is actually more fun playing Diablo 3 on a console, then with a mouse and keyboard. *Gasp* I couldn't imagine that. Is it true?
I have to admit that I never played the PC/Mac version of Diablo 3, but have copious experience with Diablo 2 and the Playstation version of Diablo 3. And I have to agree: other than the sometimes convoluted skill and equipment menus, it's really extremely well playable and fun with a controller.

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