Beta Review From a Gamer

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I dont post much, but seeing as this is a small community compared to the insanely few people who get beta keys, I will offer my insights, as a beta-key winner, on the game... for those of you who haven't read a dozen or more posts on the official diablo 3 forums.

My credentials:
I played diablo 2 for... too long. 7ish years. I am a pretty harsh game critic, and think from more of an elitist point of view. For instance, After the first 10 hours of skyrim, the game began into a downward spiral that can only be compared to what Activision did to Blizzard games. If you aren't willing to take the good with the bad, please don't read.

What you are missing (as of right now):
Level 13 is the cap in the beta. You can hit it in a few hours with any class. For those of you who are sad that you don't have a key already, you aren't missing much. With this in mind, There is a lot of the game I cannot tell you about.

Graphics:
The first thing you will notice about a game is how it looks. Diablo 3 looks stellar, fact. The ability to use abilities that go "ka-boom" and send various parts of monsters flying multiple screens away, is, great. Really. 10 outta 10, from what I have seen, for a game that claims to have the content of a Diablo game. Any true gamer (people still playing Warcraft 3, or Starcraft 1 in 2009, or even the 50,000 users normally logged onto Diablo 2 at any given time) understand that graphics don't make a game.

Storyline:
As I am capped at level 13, I cannot say how well the overall story-line flows start to finish, what I can tell you is that the early story-line is complete garbage. Without ruining anything for anyone... you start off outside of a small town. guy says "cant open the gate until the road is safe" you reply "okay" and then together, kill things that run out onto the road. you go into town and are told by, "talk to that girl, she lost her uncle" and you reply "okay". You talk to the girl, she says "my uncle is lost in XXXXXX, and there are (bad guys) there." you reply "i will help" then you go to said place, and kill some baddies. talk to her again, she says "look, a trap door, we should see what is down there. but I want to sit here and read this book" you reply "okay, I will go by myself"... Yeah, seriously. I hope that gets my point across. It might not be those exact words, but the concept of lore is completely out the window. I am the guy who skips through text in any game, and later wonder what my goal is. The fact that people who love the diablo storyline are being presented with this trash, is saddening.

Gameplay:
Thankfully, they have really stuck with the classic "Diablo" style of play. Well, with exception to the ability to respec your hero at any given time. That one is pretty bogus. Also, so far, I am given set attributes when I level up. that is, I cannot make the conscious choice to put my first 40 points into strength, and my last 200 points into vitality. the game makes that choice for me. In old Diablo, the way you built your hero was set in stone. It made every unit very different. you would have 4 paladins, just to have different builds. Weekend warriors united to say "I only want to play a game once, and they experience all of the end game content from every angle possible" and their wish was done. In diablo 3, there are 5 classes that are easy to level, and once the unit is max level, you will never need to level another unit of that type. Hardcore players will have this done within 2 months, casual players within a year. Not the 10 years of replayability that Diablo 2 offered.

Uniqueness:
This is always a neat factor to a game. And, this game has little of it so far. With a level cap of 13, I really hope this opinion changes. All of the monsters I have encountered come from other versions of diablo, if you dont include graphics alone. (a puking zombie replaces "fallen shaman" while weaker zombies are "fallen" and bigger zombies are "zombies" then I find gloom bats, skeletons, cave crawlers.... There is 1 neat monster that is unique. I wont ruin him though, because it is an impressive first sight and fight. The storyline, which is early, is boring. Not to say that Diablo 2 had strong start either. Artisans, which I am yet to play with, add a nice uniqueness that I feel will be of little value once the economy is working. a way to add gold to the economy, and allow lower level players to craft things and make a little extra gold. No game changer. The skills, so far, are pretty much skills from Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, or World of Warcraft. When I saw "cleave" on a barbarian, I thought "lol, cleave is pure damage, this is OP in any custom game" and had to use it. Their idea factory is running low this game; but again, people have played Diablo 2 for 10 years; seeing something new only really gives you 1 opportunity to view it as new.

Overall:
I would give the graphics a 5 outta 5, great, love them. The text, storyline, ability to even attempt to draw you into a storyline, I woud give a 2 outta 5. The fact that it is a Diablo game, and is the most anticipated game to ever exist, means that it doesn't need a compelling story line for people to play start to finish in 2 sittings, interrupted by a nap and a single food break. Uniqueness is low, quite low. For anyone who loves to play Blizzard games for the Lore, the unique fights, the quests, see what strange skills they came up with.. well, you wont be too happy if you have ever played another blizzard game. Uniqueness I give a 2 outta 5.

General Opinion:
I can give a game lower ratings and still think it is good, right? I think it is a good game, and even though I will have played it fully by the time it is released, I will waste my hard earned money on it; to play it more with friends. A weekend warrior can enjoy this game as they play through it alone because they dont like to chat with other people. A hardcore Blizzard fan can blaze through the game, and enjoy it while playing it. The people who I feel will be let down most by this game are the hardcore players. the people who played Diablo 2 for a long time, or quit WoW when Cata came out (or shortly after beating it), or even the DoTA players... as much as I dislike that game... are the people who will not be enjoying this game as much as they expect it to. The biggest downside is that this game will have a short run time unless it is constantly being updated with new, bigger bosses, and more content. If in 2 years we aren't on "Act 11" I will be surprised. Act 9: "Gollum glued all the shards of the soulstones together and created "meh-di-al" the super devil. Act 10: "Your hero drank from the river of flame, battle internal monsters to save yourself form being overtaken by evil." Act 11: "Be passed as a large kidney stone"


Insert a disclaimer here about this being my opinion, and me being an opinionated person. If you have any questions about specific content, it is a good idea to check the Diablo 3 site. There is a lot of information on things not currently in the beta, and you can find the opinions of dozens of people who have tested whatever aspect of the beta you may have questions about.
 
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I don't see how D3s attribute system is worse than D2. Sure I can't put into what I want, but it's not like anyone actually did anything but stack vitality in D2, as you said. It's really no different.

Thanks for the review! Can't wait or the game.
 
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I do think that they could have offered a better attribute system in the game though. Diablo 2 had a terrible one. This is better when compared to that, yeah.

What is slightly upsetting though, is that stats from items are a lot... "more". Currently in the Beta, you can have 300 vitality at level 12. When you level up, you only gain a few attributes; takes some potency out of leveling.

With that aside, because everyone can have their own opinion on that; this game could actually use a system where you are allowed to invest your own attributes. Every stat has a use. No hero can gain from not investing points into their type of "mana". Vitality is the most common attribute on items. Strength adds an amount of DPS that actually carries value. Dex gives crit chance, which is also DPS. It would be nice if we could pick our own attributes in a balanced system.

I hope that there is enough variety in items that it wont matter. Customization through items is still customization. What I would hate to see is 400 of the identical build with identical items.

The beta has dulled down, for anyone who doesn't follow it too closely. They aren't going to be adding content to it; and a vast majority of the reported bugs are still not fixed. Blizzard has been spending a lot of time attempting to create their social media system on Diablo 3, and fix the amplitude of problems with the RMAH (real money auction house).

Hopefully they will have a final product out by June; realistically, that is about when it will be ready. Any release before then will be "servers down for maintenance" and there is no way to play offline.
 

Dr Super Good

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What is slightly upsetting though, is that stats from items are a lot... "more". Currently in the Beta, you can have 300 vitality at level 12. When you level up, you only gain a few attributes; takes some potency out of leveling.
They already said item stats are being worked on. Additionally heroes are meant to have a doze off thousand hitpoints in Diablo III looking at the way abilities are set compared to Diablo II where the best endurance builds had 4-6K. Do remember that items at level 12 might allow you 300 vitality, but items at level 60 will probably allow 2000 vitality so a big part of leveling is allowing you to equip better items for the stats.

With that aside, because everyone can have their own opinion on that; this game could actually use a system where you are allowed to invest your own attributes. Every stat has a use. No hero can gain from not investing points into their type of "mana". Vitality is the most common attribute on items. Strength adds an amount of DPS that actually carries value. Dex gives crit chance, which is also DPS. It would be nice if we could pick our own attributes in a balanced system.
No such system is possible in a team game. You will always get someone specing to a tank which has stupidly high hitpoits (everything in endurance) while someone else will go "glass cannon" (everything to boost damage to the maximum limit). This way they still allow customizability in that you can trade some extra endurance for extra damage with different items equiped but you will never be able to sacrifice all durability to damage.

I hope that there is enough variety in items that it wont matter. Customization through items is still customization. What I would hate to see is 400 of the identical build with identical items.
There is little worry of this. Look at all the abilities and you will see that every class allows for different play styles which all have simlar DPS output. One could go a tanking related wizard for example which will use durability orientated gear or a glass cannon wizard which will aim to get the highest damage from gear.

The beta has dulled down, for anyone who doesn't follow it too closely. They aren't going to be adding content to it; and a vast majority of the reported bugs are still not fixed. Blizzard has been spending a lot of time attempting to create their social media system on Diablo 3, and fix the amplitude of problems with the RMAH (real money auction house).
Most of the bugs are because of them still working on the system while people test it (releasing systems too early to the public). The actual reason for the beta is to test the server stability at large loads, as most of the reported bugs are caught through internal alpha testing. They are also using the beta to try out various game play style ideas to see the overall opinion towards them but even still that is mostly done via internal testing.
 
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They already said item stats are being worked on. Additionally heroes are meant to have a doze off thousand hitpoints in Diablo III looking at the way abilities are set compared to Diablo II where the best endurance builds had 4-6K. Do remember that items at level 12 might allow you 300 vitality, but items at level 60 will probably allow 2000 vitality so a big part of leveling is allowing you to equip better items for the stats.

In no way was I suggesting that 300 vitality was imbalanced in any way, or even that 2000 vitality late game was imbalanced or stupid. I was commenting on the comparison of 5 stat points per level, for 60 levels (totaling 300 stat points) having very little effect on a hero in any way. A level 10 hero has more attributes than that. To a level 60, that might be the difference in swapping out a piece of level 60 gear, for a better piece of gear.


No such system is possible in a team game. You will always get someone specing to a tank which has stupidly high hitpoits (everything in endurance) while someone else will go "glass cannon" (everything to boost damage to the maximum limit). This way they still allow customizability in that you can trade some extra endurance for extra damage with different items equiped but you will never be able to sacrifice all durability to damage.

You are suggesting that people could never be allowed to pick if they wanted to tank or DPS with their stats from leveling? It could never exist in a system? I do not understand any point you may be trying to make. If it can be done with items, why can it not be done with stats?


There is little worry of this. Look at all the abilities and you will see that every class allows for different play styles which all have simlar DPS output. One could go a tanking related wizard for example which will use durability orientated gear or a glass cannon wizard which will aim to get the highest damage from gear.
Because in diablo 2, you dont see 4000 hammerdins with the same gear? Yes, there are 5-6 popular, strong, paladin builds. Hammerdins are the most popular anything. Saying that people can pick forked lightning over chain ligntning, doesn't really make a build too different; and we all know that whatever ability is statistically better, will be the common one used.


Most of the bugs are because of them still working on the system while people test it (releasing systems too early to the public). The actual reason for the beta is to test the server stability at large loads, as most of the reported bugs are caught through internal alpha testing. They are also using the beta to try out various game play style ideas to see the overall opinion towards them but even still that is mostly done via internal testing.
This is true, and blizzard has said this many times. they also release patches, claiming to have fixed these problem, and made them worse. The argument was not about "what is beta-testing for?" It is a simple statement that the beta is still riddled with bugs. This is a fact. Bugs that have not been fixed yet. They still have to fix those bugs before they can release the game. That is a fact.
 

Dr Super Good

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You are suggesting that people could never be allowed to pick if they wanted to tank or DPS with their stats from leveling? It could never exist in a system? I do not understand any point you may be trying to make. If it can be done with items, why can it not be done with stats?
Because damage means more killing power and almost always people will focuse on damage with the odd group character going endurance to take the damage for 3 other damage characters. Gear already allows this so think of the ballenced stat allocation as a sort of limiter to the extreemity of character builds (people will always survive a couple of hits).

Because in diablo 2, you dont see 4000 hammerdins with the same gear? Yes, there are 5-6 popular, strong, paladin builds. Hammerdins are the most popular anything. Saying that people can pick forked lightning over chain ligntning, doesn't really make a build too different; and we all know that whatever ability is statistically better, will be the common one used.
The pallidin was rigged in Diablo II. Highest res (due to shield), fastest block (due to animation timing) and 2 of the strongest moves in the game (smite with 100% hit and stun and blessed hammer which dealt stupidly high magic). If you look at the stats of moves in Diablo III you will see how they are all simlar. You will build your wizard to match wich moves you like using rather than which moves are viable as they are all nearly equally viable. Yes some moves might deal 200% while others deal 50% but multiple times but the end result is they will all be dealing near the same DPS if used in the correct situation.

This is true, and blizzard has said this many times. they also release patches, claiming to have fixed these problem, and made them worse. The argument was not about "what is beta-testing for?" It is a simple statement that the beta is still riddled with bugs. This is a fact. Bugs that have not been fixed yet. They still have to fix those bugs before they can release the game. That is a fact.
Do not forget that the beta itself might have it's own bugs that are not present in the full internal build.
 

Archian

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Just want thank you for posting this review. It's always nice to hear from one of the few who actually got the BETA.

I wont ruin him though, because it is an impressive first sight and fight.
I assume you mean King Leoric? aka. the Skeleton King?

Also, just want to leave this link here. In case someone hasn't gotten a glimpse of the BETA, Force Strategy Gaming posted gameplay videos of each class for your entertainment. Starting with the Barbarian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHLzcl7IwxM
 
I still think allowing us to pick our own builds is far better especially for a game meant to be played with friends... even for a SP game, selecting our own stats is much better than a predestined stat build...

anyway, thanks for posting this, I believe I feel what you felt by just reading the post... but ofc it was still a beta so let's hope it changes for the better...
 

Dr Super Good

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I still think allowing us to pick our own builds is far better especially for a game meant to be played with friends...
They do... You have only 3 passive slots and 6 active slots while there are dozens of abilities and passives to choose from. I highly doubt everyone will end up using exactly the same skills all the time and if they do Blizzard will fix the reason.

even for a SP game, selecting our own stats is much better than a predestined stat build...
You must never have played Diablo II by the sounds of it. They let you choose your stats there but you just pummped every stat point into vitality with exception of gear requirements (which you tried to avoid by using bugs). Why did they even have the energy stat? Dexterity was only useful for the poor character builds that needed a dex requiring weapon (non casters which usually delt much less damage).
 
I played D2 a lot... and I never did pumped all my stat points into vitality...

I played sorc, necro and amazon classes and I never pumped vitality into any of those three classes...

maybe a lot of players that you know pump vitality, but me and my friends never did that style of build... and just fyi, I played DII only with my friends so I never actually stumbled upon someone who has put all his points into vitality...
 

Dr Super Good

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I played sorc, necro and amazon classes and I never pumped vitality into any of those three classes...
What on earth could you have pumped stats in if not for vitality? Strength and dex are only useful for gear (no affect on sorcress abilities). Energy is usless since you end up with over 500 energy anyway and will be under meditation aura from your merc.

That only leaves vitality.

Every sorcress should have around 350 vitality for over 1000 health (without BO or oak).

I suspect you were just playing the game badly and are using this as an excuse for "builds".
 

Dr Super Good

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If you went bow amazon that is understandable because it does improve your damage and attack rating (one of the few builds which actually pump a bit into dex). Then again this build is very weak due to poor teleport (amazon has the slowest cast rate) and the need to run attack rating rolls (so you can miss).

If you went Javazon (the most effective and best Amazon build) then it was unnescescary as the abilities do not run ratting rolls if I recall correctly.
 
I went for a bow build...

Dr Super Good said:
Then again this build is very weak due to poor teleport (amazon has the slowest cast rate) and the need to run attack rating rolls (so you can miss).

that's why you play with friends...

anyway, if at least the skill build could be highly variable then that would be fine... though I think the predestined stat system would have an effect on how you choose your skills which might limit the variance on the skill builds of players...
 

Dr Super Good

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You have friends so that you can obliterate baal's minions in 1-2 seconds every wave and also to handle elemental immunities. I always played a different elemental sorcress from my brother for this reason (eg he was cold and I was fire in the last ladder we played).
 
You have friends so that you can obliterate baal's minions in 1-2 seconds every wave and also to handle elemental immunities. I always played a different elemental sorcress from my brother for this reason (eg he was cold and I was fire in the last ladder we played).

well, we all have our own different methods of playing trough a game... and by the looks of it you and your friends have a totally different gamestyle than me and my friends...

Adiktuz said:
anyway, if at least the skill build could be highly variable then that would be fine... though I think the predestined stat system would have an effect on how you choose your skills which might limit the variance on the skill builds of players...

but I think we need to see the official release to have a better judgement... I'm still looking forward to playing this game...
 
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I would like to point out that this is NOT diablo 2. Stop comparing it to diablo 2. It isnt like they took D2 and said "lets move that exact thing over to here with new graphics" (sc2)

The mechanics will be different; to bring up and compare stat allocation and build types from Diablo 2 is stupid; especially taking into account the difference in what stats do, the amount of stats you get from items, and the fact that blizzard announced there will be no monsters immune to types of damage.
 
there will be no monsters immune to types of damage.

--> awesome...

and I think its pretty normal that people would compare it to D2 since it is D3 and D2 is its predecessor... so its pretty normal that people would look forward on how the game changed from its predecessor and how it picks up the story...

and its just comparison, I never said that they should copy what D2 used (not to say that stat allocation is present in a lot of games so its not really D2 specific, the topic just went around D2 since D2 was the predecessor of this game)...
 

Dr Super Good

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I am mixed about monster immunities. Although I hated immune monsters, I will also be sad if there are atleast no resistant monsters (which take very little damage but are not immune).

A frost yeti should not be immune to cold damage but should take very little damage from cold. This would add some stratergy to the game (so a team of all cold sorcresses would still have problem compared to a more ballenced team).
 
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I am mixed about monster immunities. Although I hated immune monsters, I will also be sad if there are atleast no resistant monsters (which take very little damage but are not immune).

A frost yeti should not be immune to cold damage but should take very little damage from cold. This would add some stratergy to the game (so a team of all cold sorcresses would still have problem compared to a more ballenced team).

There will still be highly immune monsters. I might be pulling this number out of the air, and I might have read it somewhere (I stopped following Diablo 3 a couple months ago) but I think 80% was going to be max immunity. I am sure that number can change, and I may not have gotten it from an official blue post. I do know that there will me highly resistant monsters though; just nothing completely immune.

What I dont get though, is how they would do the immunities. All of the classes deal different types of damage; other than the wizard, I am not sure if there is fire/light/ice damage at all. There is holy damage on the monk. Corruption/poison on the witch doctor; the barb, idk. All of their damages are based on their current weapon damage too; unlike many abilities in D2. there isnt a fireball that deals 20 damage, and increases with level. It is a fireball that deals 120% of your weapon damage per attack.

^^Because of that, as long as you have more than 1 type of damage in your list of abilities, I think immune monsters will be a joke anyways. You can use your lightning all game, run into a lightning resistant monster, switch to fireball and deal just as much damage as you did with lightning. This is one of the many reasons I dont like the way the ability system is made; no class will really have a weakness.
 

Dr Super Good

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When you are dealing enough damage to instantly blow appart normal and nm bosses, I would expect it to deal atleast some damage to even a being made purly of the element.

It is there to reduce annyoance, as characters like the barb have very little non-physical damage options.
 
During DII: barb's little non-physical damage options + monsters immune to physical damage = useless barb... so I believe that removing complete immunity is pretty good...

Dr Super Good said:
When you are dealing enough damage to instantly blow appart normal and nm bosses, I would expect it to deal atleast some damage to even a being made purly of the element.

agree
 
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I think in comparison, the barb will come off just as weak though. I do not disagree at all that removing full immunity is a good thing. As I pointed out above though, all of the other classes have many different types of spell damage. You can switch out skills on the spot; and it isnt the same as trying to use a level 1 chain light rather than your level 33 fireball. It is like trading out your level 33 fire ball which you really like, for a level 33 chain light that will still kill the highly fire resistant guy just as fast as your fireball would kill something with no immunity.

Barbs, really only having their physical damage, will be the only class that cannot do that. Making them the only class that really has to worry at all about damage resistant monsters.
 

Dr Super Good

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Wasn't there some affix on items that had a chance to break immunities? I vaguely remember using swords on swap slots with 5% chance to proc some curse that enabled my barb to kill physical immune monsters in hell difficulty.
It is called "Amplify Damage" and is a Necromancer curse. The problem is that it does not break all immunities and also does not stack with "Life Tap", another necromancer curse which gave you a stupid quantity of life steal for even moves like smite which do not run normal life steal.

Barbarian in D3 is far from weak. Almost all its skills deal 100% or more of weapon damage at no cost (infact they generate furry) and has many passives and skills that allow you to deal even more damage. Unlike Diablo II where weapon based damage was usless compared to synergised skills, all damage in Diablo III is weapon based so its damage output is atleast on-par with every other class.

I would also like to remind you the Barbarian can summon the Ancients to help in combat. For those of you who are not aware, these are the 3 Ancients you had to fight in Act 5 of Diablo II LoD which were made of pain on Hell difficulty due to their near total immunities and relentless attacks.
 
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