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  1. #1
    IncGamers Member
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    Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    I just wanted to offer a few impressions on the D3 Closed Beta to date, speaking as someone who was an enthusiastic but ultimately casual D2 player.

    I never played D1, but my wife and I both played D2 to death together over on our little LAN at home. (Ah, those were the days...) I took all of the classes to the end of Normal, and a Barbarian and Amazon to the end of Nightmare, and that was it. I delved a little bit into the theorycraft online to ensure that I wasn't making the wrong choices for that Barbarian and Amazon in particular, but that's about it. My wife and I were both definitely focused less on game mechanics and more on the joys of playing our characters reasonably well and hacking our ways through enemies for hours on end.

    Hopefully, that gives you some idea of where I'm coming from as a Diablo player. And that's the context when I say that my experience with the D3 Beta has generally been very positive. I've played to the end with both a Barbarian and Witch Doctor so far, and I've had a blast. I don't have a lot of detailed notes on the Pros and Cons (in the abstract, or in comparison to D2), but I can say that I'm generally pleased with what I've seen so far. It looks good. It sounds good. It feels like there's some depth there without deviating too far from the core simplicity of a click-click ARPG. I appreciate that the quests progression is obvious now, as someone who dislikes wasting time wandering around wondering, "Where am I supposed to go now?." I like the way that the controls have been kept simple at (essentially) the mouse plus four buttons (plus a potion hot-key).

    In the context of the furious debates that are waging over the character progression, attributes, skills, customization, builds, and so forth... I guess I just want to offer a less numbers-oriented, less-hardcore perspective. Speaking as a casual, I like the notion that I have a lot viable character builds that could be taken to the end game (or near the end game, at any rate). All the usual provisos apply: I've only seen 13 levels on Normal; the game will look different at launch and future patches; Blizz' success at balancing all the skills at level cap has yet to be proven. With all that understood, I really enjoyed what the non-tree, open-ended skill system had to offer, even at early levels.

    The Witch Doctor is a great example. I liked the savage, animistic vibe of the character right away, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the whole game using the Poison Dart as my left-mouse primary attack. Yet none of the other Skills I acquired reached out and grabbed me... Until I got Corpse Spiders. Spiders! I love Spiders! I had my new left-mouse primary attack. It didn't matter when I got Fire Bats. I was going to use Corpse Spiders now and forever.

    I would say it's a positive that D3's character system--and, again, this is just my perception of the early levels as a casual--allows me to build a viable Witch Doctor around one skill I love, and possibly take him to the end game. There's no winding up with a string of abilities I'm not excited about because I had to "sacrifice" a bunch of "slots" on other skills to "reach" Corpse Spiders. I just get it when I hit Level 7. The effort at building a great character will rest in trying to figure out how to make a powerful (yet still fun) Witch Doctor around that one Skill's strengths, by combining particular Skills, Runes, and items. My feeling is that this is a marvelous way to approach character customization. I understand that it may not make the "best" Witch Doctor, and that, ultimately, only one or two very specific, top-DPS Witch Doctor builds are likely to appear in the top BattleNet rankings. That doesn't really matter to me, however. I just want to make an interesting character that can survive the higher difficulties and that will be fun to play all the way to 60 and beyond.

    Those are my impressions. The readership here seems to be much more hardcore than I am, so I thought it might be worthwhile to share. Feel free to ask about anything in particular related to the Beta if you want to plumb the mind of a casual player.



  2. #2
    IncGamers Member Urzuxo's Avatar
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    Re: Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    Yeah I agree, the skill system is loooads better than what it was before!



  3. #3
    IncGamers Member Wurmer's Avatar
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    Re: Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    I pretty much agree with you here. I used to be a hardcore D2 players, spending up to 50 hours of gaming a week during my zombiest moments. I don't think that's going to be the case with D3 (lack of time) but I think I'll enjoy the game more as a casual player. I also think the infinity of combinations of skills will keep the game interesting for a good long while. It's very appealing to me that any skill can be useful at any level. It gives you the opportunity to explore pretty much any skill without the obligation to built a new caracter each time. In D2 early days, many skills were completely set aside till someone reached the high level skills, afterward low level skills were mostly for synergies. I didn't like that because you couldn't really "explore" skills. Some lower level skills were good at low levels but you knew that sinking points into them would penalized you further down the road so you kept you skill points for latter. There was no skill adjustments along the way. Come the 15th of may, I'll be on line for sure...




  4. #4
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    Re: Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    And to top that off, what will you're spiders look like in end game? You have an option for a single awesome spider, jumping spiders and spiders that paralyze and flaming spiders too.




  5. #5
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    Re: Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    Quote Originally Posted by arachnophiliac View Post
    I never played D1, but my wife and I both played D2 to death together
    I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your wife. I hope D3 will prove a suitable replacement.





    Also -Spiders FTW!!



  6. #6
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    Re: Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    I dont really think its a matter of the game being good or bad because its definitely a fun game. Its just not the amazing game that many of the old D2 crowd were expecting but then again, expecting anything that great from Blizz these days would be pretty unfounded.



  7. #7
    IncGamers Member cozmiccc's Avatar
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    Re: Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    Quote Originally Posted by tengobotas View Post
    I dont really think its a matter of the game being good or bad because its definitely a fun game. Its just not the amazing game that many of the old D2 crowd were expecting but then again, expecting anything that great from Blizz these days would be pretty unfounded.
    Isn't it too early to do a review already? :P

    Myself, I played Diablo 2 alot during high school, roughly for 4 years, so I don't think I can call myself casual. But seeing that I can never progressed beyond Act 1 Hell, I guess I'm not hardcore either... And this is one of the reasons why I love Diablo 3 system, there's no chance of me pushing the wrong button on level up and ruining my character for life. Personally I don't get the joy of levelling a class more than once. 5 class (plus 2 or more in expansion!) to max level and four difficulties are more than enough for my enjoyment

    To sum it up... Yes OP I agree with you



  8. #8
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    Re: Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    Quote Originally Posted by cozmiccc View Post
    Isn't it too early to do a review already? :P

    Myself, I played Diablo 2 alot during high school, roughly for 4 years, so I don't think I can call myself casual. But seeing that I can never progressed beyond Act 1 Hell, I guess I'm not hardcore either... And this is one of the reasons why I love Diablo 3 system, there's no chance of me pushing the wrong button on level up and ruining my character for life. Personally I don't get the joy of levelling a class more than once. 5 class (plus 2 or more in expansion!) to max level and four difficulties are more than enough for my enjoyment

    To sum it up... Yes OP I agree with you
    LOL! Man, I define a hardcore D2 player as somebody who can easily beat Hell on Ladder. If you didn't do it, you can't call yourself a hardcore Diablo 2 player.




  9. #9
    IncGamers Member dragon457's Avatar
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    Re: Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hideo View Post
    LOL! Man, I define a hardcore D2 player as somebody who can easily beat Hell on Ladder. If you didn't do it, you can't call yourself a hardcore Diablo 2 player.
    If you didn't notice, cozmiccc didn't call himself a hardcore player. If anything, he placed himself between HC and casual, which I think is where the majority of us are.

    On the review; this, this and more this. I feel exactly like arachnophiliac. While I played DII to a higher level, I still consider myself just above casual and really enjoy and appreciate the leveling, skill system and overall play-ability of DIII. I don't want to have to resort to differential equations just to play a game. If I were playing pencil & paper D&D, sure, I do math. But I have no desire to have to think about numbers constantly when playing a video game. No skill/stat points are fine by me.

    I also agree with the sentiment about finding a skill you like and knowing it'll be just as good in Inferno as it is in Normal. Corpse Spiders was also one of my favorite WD skills and while choosing a different rune later on might make it better, it's good to know we'll be able to kill just as effectively with it at level 60 as we were with it so early on.

    Good review of the game as a casual, arachnophiliac. I think you'll find that outside of the hardcore minority, most people think like we do.




  10. #10
    IncGamers Member Wurmer's Avatar
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    Re: Closed Beta Impressions from a D2 Casual (Spoiler: I Liked It)

    The WD seems to be a favorite character to many who played the beta. I liked it to, I find it's a good balance between minion master and the use of more active skills. I like it better then the necromancer in D2 which, IMHO, was a pain to play at lower levels.

    "On the review; this, this and more this. I feel exactly like arachnophiliac. While I played DII to a higher level, I still consider myself just above casual and really enjoy and appreciate the leveling, skill system and overall play-ability of DIII. I don't want to have to resort to differential equations just to play a game."

    Agreed, it's probably one of the main reason why they changed the skill system. In D2, a lot of the parameters related to skills and game mechanics were far from transparent. In later years, people have completely forgotten that but what is common knowledge today about D2 relies mostly on what some hardcore crackpots could dug out of the game files. Zeal rate, blocking rate, casting rate etc, were not concepts described anywhere. In D2 early days, there was a lot of trials and errors before you could make a decent enough character. Those of us who have played D2 from the very beginning can surely attest to that by remembering a plethora of unfinished characters stuck at different level, left there because they couldn't be advanced further.




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