I've been trying to entice a few ladies to play with me when it goes live, so i'll just copy what i emailed to them of my impressions of the beta:
This weekend past, Blizzard had an open beta weekend, and so i was able to play the "demo" of the game, and test each character class. I was kinda hoping they'd extend it till the close the the beta (may 1st), but sadly i went to play this morning and can't play anymore :(
However, i can impart my findings to give you all a better idea of what you can expect should you decide to purchase the game and play with me once a month (4hrs), or more often if your schedule/family life can accomodate it.
I tried the Barbarian first, and to be expected, he's all grunt and no grace. As you progress in levels, the game provides you with a new skill at each lvl up. The skills are set in stone, in that they can't be moved around into different positions. For example, you have a set of skills for the left mouse button, and a set of skills for the right mouse button, and then a few keyboard skills numbered 1-4. In the demo, you were tasked with defeating the skeleton king, which by the time you got to him you were 10th lvl, and you got to see 2 of the 4 keyboard skill slots open up.
Left mouse button: cleave (this is the basic attack)
right mouse button: wrath of the ancients (like a shockwave)
number 1: leap
number 2: chain (which pulled enemies to you)
and then at 10th lvl i got a passive skill, and i chose critical hit (which improved my chances to do double damage plus an extra 50% damage)
I had at first thought i'd just play the barb, but after playing the other classes, i actually really enjoyed playing the monk, who happens to specialise in party play coz they are mostly defensive in nature that can heal and buff the rest of the party.
Of the other 4 classes, i played them as female characters so that i could assess thier fashion, looks, and feel, to give you a better idea of what to expect.
The female monk has short blonde hair and speaks with a russian accent. All her attacks are martial arts. but she was also like a ranged melee. The basic attack was a series of kicks, but the enemies didn't need to be standing on your toes, your kicks could reach up to 10-15 feet away, with the right mouse button being a roundhouse kick that ignited everything around you in fire. I found the monk a blast to play, and when we play together, i'm likely to play her (or him), but probly her, coz the russian accent. She reminded me of milla jokavich from when she was in that movie with bruce willis, oh god whats it called again, something 5, where she fell into his air cab, and he was hired to save the world, from it being detonated.
Next i tried the demon huntress, and while she looks like sex on legs, (stilletto's, thigh high boots, tall, thin and sexy), i found the class to be really boring. It was just shoot arrows and when in trouble roll out of the way, or throw a smoke bomb (go invisible for 10 secs). She has black hair and talks a bit like she's sexy and she knows it, all confidence and charisma. There was however a moment when i laughed my *** off.. at 10th lvl you get a passive skill, and i chose the one where every 10 secs your next attack will immobolize an enemy, however ingame, it came up as being "rooted", lol, and when u got rooted, u were pretty much rooted, coz u died quickly. I thought it was hilarious, but other than that i found it quite bland playing the demon huntress.
Next i tried the Witch Doctorette, and she's just like the demon hunter, ranged, but her ranged is fun! For example her basic attack was either poison darts (which i used), or throw jars of spiders that would attack the target for a few secs then die, with the right mouse button calling forth a plagued circle of hands reaching up out of the ground to slow the enemies. Not only did you have those 2 skills, but you could summon 3 zombie dogs that followed you around and attacked the enemies keeping them off you, allowing you to pepper them with poison darts or go overkill on spiders. The female witch doctor is dark skinned, dark hair (in a bob), looks like an amazonian warriorette, scantily clad, with tribal tattoo's, and spoke with a dark dusky accent, Next tot he monk, the witch doctorette was my 2nd favourite class.
Lastly i played the wizardess. I've never really been a fan of the wizard or pure caster in diablo as i prefer melee, so i played her last and ran out of time, but managed to get her to 6th lvl. I had hoped to get up early this morning and play some more of her but the beta is now closed for me (i don't have a key). The wizardess looks a bit asian, but ingame doesn't speak with an asian accent, she's quite comely and attractive, with dark hair and olive complexion. Her basic attack was a searing ray of arcane energy that she seems to throw from her chest which i thought looked a bit strange, but was effective. Later she got an electricity spell that cast random little bolts of electricity that extended outwards in an arc, and was good for taking out multiple enemies, but standing that close to the enemies was dangerous to her health, and i found i was often running around casting a spell, and moving again so i don't get pummelled to death. Occasionally when you kill something they'll drop globes of health, and you need to run over those to heal. So i found i was on the move all the time looking for health. She did have a defensive spell, with was a frost nova but it only lasted 2 secs, which only gave u enough time to move back a few steps and they were back to trying to rape you. On the right mouse button was a ray of frost that you could hold down to keep it casting but it used alot of mana and it used it rather quickly, and was largely inneffective except for some select enemies, like this one demon that looked like a pigskin that had been blown up and tied together, or a big balloon, that kinda hovered near you.. as you shot at it, it would expand til the point of it blowing up, and would release either a ton of snakes or a bunch of imps. The wizardess if fragile and is best suited in a party where other players can soak up the enemies while you stand back and cast spells. She's also rather scanitly clad until she gets some gear that covers her up in an off the leg skirt and arabian style blouse.
Overall, i enjoyed the demo or beta as it was called. The enviroments are rich and lush and highly detailed. Much of the surroundings are destructable, and inside the dungeons, there are chains u can pull which drop chandaliers onto enemies or loose walls that can be pulled down onto them. As i mentioned with the wizardess, as you kill enemies they drop globes of health that u need to run near to heal, the same applies with gold, you don't physically click the gold to pick it up, you just need to run near it. There are modifiers on items that improve the range of collection, but i didn't have time to experiment with that modifier. There is a blacksmith in town, who once available, can disenchant magic items into ingredients. You use those ingredients to craft items for your characters which offer better items than what you could buy at a vendor. However, you need to spend gold on upgrading the blacksmith so he can learn new recipes, and in turn, provide you with more options. Likewise you have a shared stash, like a strongbox, which is shared between all of your diablo 3 characters. So if u found a really nice item, but your current character can't use it, put it in the stash and load up the character than can use it, and viola its sitting in the stash ready for retrieval. You get 14 slots, which can be upgraded if u spend more gold to upgrade it.