Geek Ink Thinks: A week in Hell…

Following up on my earlier post, My first hour on the road to Hell (, I’ve decided to take a quick look at Diablo 3 again since I’ve finished the game, and a fair bit of the hype around it has worn off.

Firstly, the not so good:

  • Due to the amount of people playing this game during peak hours, the lag can actually get quite bad. Either item drops will take unusually long, you get delay in combat, or the worst thing that happened was when I actually started lagging out completely (as in losing packets of data) during fights. This can be hugely frustrating when fighting monsters that require you to get out of the way when they attack. There are also a variety of login problems during peak hours, such as people being unable to login, or being kicked from games and then being unable to reconnect. Yes this can be potentially game breaking, so if you’re a Diablo addict, I recommend waiting a couple more weeks for all this to be sorted out. The situation is improving, but for the moment the best experience is to be had when people are at work, since the servers usually fill up in the evening.
  • The boss fights are quite simple and can get quite repetitive on Normal difficulty. Playing a barbarian I was able to just stand on the spot and go toe to toe with all the bosses except for two. It would have been nice to maybe add a bit of variety to the boss fights.
  • On the other hand, there is one absurdly difficult boss fight if you’ve picked a melee character. I had to actually go look up a specific strategy to beat him, and even then it still took me ten or so tries to get it right.

Now onto the good stuff:

  •  The “simplified” tech tree is great (I was going to say in my opinion, but of course it’s my opinion, it’s my blog). People have been quite annoyed (read: pissed off) that a large amount of the customisation from Diablo 2 is gone. The Diablo 2 tech tree pretty much involved avoiding the bad and mediocre skills, and then saving all your points and smashing them into the best skills. So while there may have been a ton of skills, at the end of the day the majority of them were ignored. With Diablo 3, I found myself switching between two sets of skills depending on if I was just grinding away at normal monsters, or if I was going to fight a boss. As a result I have used at least 75% of the skills, with different runes, depending on what combat required.
  • It’s a great co-op experience. I managed to get a few games in with some of my friends, and it really does make it more fun. Instanced loot also means that you get your own items and your friends get theirs. No more fighting over the booty!
  • While the story may be fairly predictable, it has some great cinematics. Pretty much the only company that comes close to Blizzard in this regard is Square.
  • The mercenaries that you could hire in Diablo 2 were pretty useless cannon fodder. In Diablo 3 they are far more useful, and actually engage with your character from time to time. I had the scoundrel backing me up with his bow, and I actually laughed quite a bit at some of the one liners he threw out.

Overall I am not disappointed the way I was with Starcraft 2, although a part of me still wishes the game was a bit cheaper.

There does seem to be an issue where people who’ve friended strangers find themselves being hacked and their items stolen. For now, stick to playing with your friends until Blizzard announces that this problem has been resolved.,15724.html


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