It’s the Obligatory Diablo 3 Post!

I know you’re all shouting “Hooray!” right about now, but let’s be honest. For a blog that updates only twice a week, writing something about Diablo four days after its release would be like updating your Facebook status through snail mail. It’s a day late and a dollar short (because postage is expensive!). But, you know, I’m gonna do it anyway. Because the blog-gods have blessed me with the ability to write exhaustively about nearly anything. And to what greater purpose can I devote my abilities (superpowers, really) than to the GREATEST GAME TO COME OUT SINCE the greatest game that came out before it, whatever that was. Probably some Poke’mon game or another. And while this may seem to be exactly the same stuff as is in my blog about the Diablo 3 beta… it’s, well, not. I’ve played it more, seen more of the game, and have more to say about it. Much to your enjoyment, I’m sure.

Now, everyone who hasn’t bought Diablo 3 (or has no intention of EVER buying it) is probably thinking, “Great, this is the most useless post ever, it’s irrelephant! BUT! I can tell you (if you’ll get past the fact that I just made an entire sentence out of a conjunction) that, while I may not offer any new insight into the game itself, you’ll enjoy reading it all the same. Or at least that’s what I’m telling you so you’ll read it. It’s like reverse psychology, only this time I’m just lying to you. Cheers! 🙂

So what about Diablo 3? Didn’t we kill him in the first game? And the second game? Yes, and yes. And, believe it or not, Diablo 3 is as of yet kind of unrelated to Diablo at all. But that’s fine, we’re still killing baddies, we’re still making a name for ourselves, we’re still picking up random crap that doesn’t do anything and selling to random people that also don’t do anything! This is what gaming is ABOUT! This is art at its finest! Okay, maybe that’s oversimplifying the game a little bit. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

What’s nice about Diablo 3 (that the others also do well) is how simple it is to grasp. You click on things, they tend to die/raise abilites/give you money/explode in a fiery rain of doom. It’s fabulous! But Diablo 2 was cluttered with unnecessary abilities: I scream at dead things until they give me potions? Well, that’s useful, I guess, considering I go through them hand-over-fist-over-axe-over-bardiche. In Diablo 3, not only do you have less abilities, but you go through WAY less potions as well. Hooray for simplicity! It should be striven for in every game, especially one that has you killing such a high volume of enemies. Just sayin’. And the idea that you were chugging healing potions like a college student the night before his research paper is due chugs Four Loko was a little bit of a turn off. Especially when, y’know, you DIED in spite of your record-setting liquid ingestion attempts. Also, your inventory is made up of 2 things: 1-slot items and 2-slot items. There is a sense of realism in the fact that, yes, your gigantic spear (no double-entendre, please) takes up a large portion of your backpack. But, again: simplicity is better. So, now, your pair of gloves is the same size as that heater shield you’re lugging around. Score one for simplicity!

In the grand scheme of gaming, simplicity and the learning curve are deal-breakers for playability and popularity (unless we talk about Contra and Dwarf Fortress… which we’re not talking about, and, God willing, never will). Blizzard excels at creating just the right learning curve, and this game is no exception. But there’s other good stuff, too! For one, the voice acting is just downright sexy. High quality, high quantity, well-written enough to be a BioWare game, and Deckard Cain’s original voice actor is back for more action! HECK YES! Possibly the most awesome old guy ever to grace the video game world (though Bill from Left 4 Dead is a pretty close 2nd).  So you have great voice acting, and great music. The music is more intense than Diablo 2, less atmospheric and more conflict-based. Blizzard has made some changes in their musical palette in recent years, and if I could give them more than 2 thumbs up, I would.

If you have a well-written, easy-to-learn game, you’re pretty much set. But if it’s also shiny and incredibly artistic in its graphics and enemy/environment rendering, than we have a complete winner. And, lo and behold, Diablo 3 is a complete winner. Its graphics are simply gorgeous. There were people who said the color scheme was too light for Diablo (what does that even mean???) and in response Blizzard released this T-Shirt. The baddies are varied, all look pretty freaky and cool, and the environment is really interactive. Sometimes things will break when you walk on them. Sometimes things will break when you throw things at them. Sometimes things will break because they’re actually traps and– OH GOD, WHY DID A LOG FULL OF DEADLY POISON SPIKES JUST FALL ON MY HEAD?? So maybe the environment isn’t always a good thing. Also, in response to the whole “color scheme” debate, there are interactive barrels full of sacrificial heads. That explode. I mean, seriously? “Too light”? These must be the people who sold their Disney collection and replaced it with all the Quentin Tarantino collection, supplemented with the Saw movies, Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. “Guess what, kids? In this movie, your favorite princess gets devoured by a pack of rabid demon-wolves! Is your childhood dead yet?”

Get real. Diablo is as gritty as it gets, or as close to it as to make no difference.

Yep, that’s a boneyard full of flaming blood with some sort of human meat-grinder thing in it. Yeah, I’m really getting the “too light of a color scheme” vibe here.

There are a couple of things, however, that I don’t appreciate about the game. This section isn’t just to prove that I’m not a slack-jawed, drooling gamer equivalent of a Twilight-mom, but because I actually have a little bit of a complaint. It’s not actually with the game itself, it’s with Blizzard’s treatment of it. While creating artistic masterpieces in the gaming world, Blizzard has shown a remarkable insensitive streak towards its players. What, with the draconian wait times for GMs and lack of concern in dealing with hackers in WoW, it’s been bad. However, with the release of D3, it’s gotten worse. 1. I didn’t realize the word “demo” was now spelled “beta.” The open beta for Diablo was really just a teaser. If it truly were a beta, then they would have been prepared for number 2. Epic fail server crash the day of its release. Dear Blizzard: you own the world’s PC gamers. Get over yourselves and actually open up enough server bandwidth to accommodate us! Every release date of every Blizzard game, this inevitably happens. I can’t help but think there’s a way to avoid it, and that Blizzard’s just avoiding getting extra bandwidth and servers because they know demand will go down over the next couple of days. They should consider a career in politics. This leads me to number 3. Diablo is a single player game. It has always been a single player game, it likely always will be. True, there are multiplayer options, and that’s delightful. I appreciate being able to play with friends. However, requiring me to connect to a server and be connected constantly to that server for the remainder of my playtime is just, well, STUPID. I don’t care if my friend got an achievement. I’m not really interested in talking to them, either. And if I am, I’ll play on Battle.net! But the idea that we’re forced to be connected, and unable to play if we’re not, is about as well-thought-out as Kim Kardashian’s marriage. Unfortunately for us, it’s going to last longer.

I definitely see the resemblance, though I’m not sure which is less evil.

So, did you get some world-altering insight? Maybe, if you live somewhere besides the internet (which, if that’s the case, I’m sorry…?). But these details have been ranted about exhaustively on the forums, albeit with worse spelling, grammar, and capslock abuse, and I’m sorry if I’ve failed to sway you either in the direction of joining the horde of computer-playing zombies or in the direction of joining the PETA activists who are boycotting it (they boycott everything, don’t they? “Diablo is murder!!” “No kidding!”). If you want my honest opinion, and you’re HERE so I assume you do, I’d go out and buy it were I you. But I’m not you. And I’ve already bought it for myself. So… I guess that’s irrelephant.

~Another Gamer

P.S. Kim Kardashian thinks there’s a cow level.

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About Isaac Smith

I write about music, technology, video games, and probably many other subjects that don't bear mentioning here. Either way, most of it's worth reading, and you may even enjoy yourself!

Posted on May 18, 2012, in Miscellaneous and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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