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[Spoiler] An overdue (re)introduction

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Thirty-Thirty, Mar 21, 2013. | Replies: 5 | Views: 750

  1. Thirty-Thirty

    Thirty-Thirty IncGamers Member

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    Ahoy,

    Not sure if we're still rolling with intro threads these days, but I guess I'm stuck in D2 SPF way (even now). So here goes...

    Me, D2 and the D2SPF

    It took me a long time to get into D2. I played classic through with a necro, an amazon, and a sorceress, but basically left the game there. (I think that was v1.00.) Then, the expansion came along, and it was v1.09 by the time I got those 'toons through Act V. Meanwhile, some of my friends had started playing too, so we ended up MPing into Nightmare, and ultimately all the way through Hell. One of my friends had his heart set on a necro, so I stuck to the sorceress, my first character to beat Hell difficulty.

    Then came 1.10, and everything changed. My first observation was that my nova/hydra/Forb sorceress (a typical noob-mess) just wasn't cutting it. I hit teh Interwebz, searching deep for all the information I could about how to really knock the game sideways, and this led me to the SPF. It was a treasure trove of some magnitude, and the wisdom really got me into the game. I started with a new Meteorb and ran Mephisto for more Sigon's Guards than I could possibly remember. All the useful kit went into all sorts of new characters and even my original Classic characters, who had been dawdling at the start of Nightmare. I, until then a forum-lurker, sprung from the darkness and effectively introduced myself with a few questions about the game. (I'm still impressed with how well-received a list of seven n00b-questions was.) Thus began my participation in the SPF. This included some trading of lucky high level finds, the occasional MP if my lag didn't ruin everyone's day, and quite a few matriarch and patriarch threads.

    Enter D3

    I stopped really playing D2 around the end of 2005, although I'd been playing quite a bit of Eastern Sun. I still occasionally lapsed back into a few Meph runs here and there. Then, a few months ago, I got the itch again. I guess it never really goes, right? :p I played StarCraft 2 and was bitterly, bitterly disappointed by the game. The gameplay was great fun, sure, but I found the writing and the story-line incredibly bad, so my excitement for D3 took a serious hit. But I found the D3 "starter" version that let's you play up to the Skeleton King, so I thought I might as well give it a try. I really enjoyed that, so I went for it and bought the game using some bonus money I happened to get at the right time. (I wish it had been before Christmas though, because then I would've paid less for the game!)

    My sorceress blood still flows strong, so a Wizard it was. A wizard, it had to be, in fact, bearing the name of my Meteorb, for old time's sake... :cloud9:

    Thoughts on D3's gameplay

    I've now beaten Inferno with my Wizard, so I'm going to indulge myself in the chance to comment a bit on the game. Regarding gameplay, I think that the changes can be summarized thus: as an action RPG, Blizzard have focused a lot on the "action" part, at the cost of the "RPG" part. For me, that's fine. I find the gameplay (like SC2) unbelievably fun and addictive, and mostly free of many annoyances in D2 that occasionally made the game frustratingly difficult. They've streamlined out the scroll nonsense completely, which I took as a blessing, even if it means the game makes less sense. Ditto the health orbs: I just think of it as the presumption that you'd drink a potion after combat? And, obviously, the notion of a wizard carrying 30 sets of armour in her backpack is a little silly. But it's a fun game. :)

    I also like the loss of the Horadric Cube in favour of the craftsmen. The gemcrafter in particular opens up an extra avenue of gradual, steady progress in the late stages of the game. The blacksmith was very useful while levelling but my items quickly became sub-par when I hit Inferno. That's when I turned to cheap rares on the auction house. It's a blessing and a curse, but the curse is mostly because of flaws already in the item system. (I thought that this post at the US Battle.net forum was pretty insightful in that regard.)

    Thoughts on D3's story

    D3's storyline is guilty of most of what was wrong with SC2's. It's badly written, more than anything else, and involves a bit too much fetch-this-do-that-fetch-this type thing. But D2 wasn't free of this either, so let me qualify a bit.

    A major change (for the worse, IMO) between the D2 and D3 quest structures is like this. In D2, you pursued one grand over-arching quest in each act: Kill Andariel, open Tal Rasha's Tomb, kill Mephisto, kill Diablo, and finally find and kill Baal. There were smaller side-quests along the way, many of which were totally unnecessary (esp. Act I) but possibly featured nifty rewards (Radament, Charsi's forge). Granted, two were also a bit (fetch item)x3 + Horadric Cube! = new Key! (The Horadric Staff A2; Khalim's Will A3).

    In D3, the whole act is just a never-ending sequence of fine-grained do-this-do-that stuff. If this were executed intelligently, I guess I wouldn't mind, but when the only way to advance the plot is stuff like Leah coming out of nowhere with the fact that the Khazra are to blame based on visions from fallen Tyrael (how does that even work?), then it's not so effective. The flipside is that I found the events to be quite fun, and added depth to the world. All the stuff (ghostly renditions included) connected to Leoric's gradual fall in Act I, for example, is pretty cool. The overall arc isn't as bad as SC2 ("rebellion! no wait, someone I don't trust has a thing that might de-infest Kerrigan, let's launch a frontal assault on the main Zerg hive"), Adria's betrayal could be seen coming from another planet. Nevermind Tyrael in Act IV. "Oh noes, what has I done! Can't fight. No wait, I'm okay." I wasn't really feeling the character development, although that may have been because I was ignoring all conversation by Act IV.

    Finally, what I really don't like in the new Blizzard sequels is the recycling of material for no apparent reason. (One of the lowest points in SC2 was when Tassadar's force ghost appeared and stamped on all of our fight against the Overmind in SC1. "It was just misunderstood!") I don't fully understand why the Skeleton King, the Butcher, and Izual are still around, when I've killed them before. There's no shortage of other related characters that could've been used as major bosses instead (Warden, Chancellor, Rakanoth, Izikathu). And while I really enjoyed the animation and design of the environments, they aren't particularly original: plains, desert, highlands, hells... sound familiar? At least, the Heavens were new but that was basically one tileset. (To be fair, I'm not sure how many other environments you can invent, and they were well-executed. But I'd hazard a guess that the expansion will feature a jungle...)

    Also, yeah, the writing. "No-one has returned from my realm of terrawr!"

    Plans

    My current plan in D3 is to find some decent items with my Wizard, now level 60(8), to motivate building other characters. I have yet to see a set item, but [STRIKE]uniques[/STRIKE]legendaries do at least drop occasionally. The way I intend to achieve that is by trying to fill out my achievements list, and hope some things drop on the way. I'm short on quite a few lore/world/quest books and some of the dungeons. I guess that'll mainly raise my paragon level and therefore effectively increase my magic find, so it'll get better as I go along.

    I feel like a pentumvirate should be the very least of my goals. But I have less time now than I did 8 years ago, so it might take a while...

    That's enough for now. Congrats for reading this far, and see you around!

    [equips shin-guards]

    30-30
  2. Jason Maher

    Jason Maher IncGamers Member

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    *equips steel-capped boots*

    *kicks shins*

    :badteeth:

    I haven't got any further than act 2 normal, and you've just spoiled a couple of plot points (who plays these games for the story though? D2 was equally silly.) I did think the Butcher popped out of nowhere (had no idea I was about to meet the act boss). But some of the references to D1 and the background story snippets were very cool. I just wish I had to make choices about character development, not have the full gamut open to me at the cost of a 30 second cooldown (making the game more like a fantasy FPS than an action RPG). Thankfully there's a little game called Path Of Exile that kind of satiates my hunger for a pretty version of D2.
  3. BaronScarpia

    BaronScarpia IncGamers Member

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    *steals wallet, gives a T-Shirt with the quote: "Remember Horadric Cube".

    Welcome/welcome back!

    There's a ladder thread on the front page. Personally, I don't like the do-this-do-that working as a key to remove the forcefields on the map. I mean, I can't use the other exit on New Tristram because there's a cart blocking the path or something... I like the D2 "lack of details" better - essentialy, go there and kill <demon> asap. You can buy novels, read stuff, etc. or talk with npc's if you cared for it. On D3, the npcs keep walking after you, talking nonsense even after you cleared the game.

    (See Wheel of Misfortunes achievement, with Zoltun Kulle's voice... 100+ times in one afternoon).

    My barbarian "was like": "dude, I don't care. Just shut up."

    I don't remember if D1 was flawed/broken/weird on earlier releases - or if it was patched. Then D2 was a step foward, XPack another step and 1.10 was a leap on the future. The core issue of D3, imo, is that they took a step back, removing fan-favored stuff just to start walking the same walk after 1 year.

    The progression: Lame legendaries -> Good rares -> Better set/uniques -> Even better set/uniques (here we are) -> ability to use materials to make items with preset mods (runeword-like? Promised for future patches). They could have save 1 year of dev. if they kept good legendaries and "runeword-like" system to have more control about your gear (even disguised as a crafting recipe). Changing the whole stat/skill system was "innovation" enough, imo. I'm not a designer/dev, but I wouldn't remove every single fan-favored element of the game in one game like they did. I wouldn't mind if d5 were completely different from d2, but I mind d3 being completely different from d2.
  4. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    So How come I have not seen you in the off topic forum?

    :D
  5. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Welcome back. Good to see that SPF string in action. :)
  6. BaronScarpia

    BaronScarpia IncGamers Member

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    :)

    Sometimes I show up in OT threads... I was a lurker for ~7 years so I'm used to hide in shadows.

    "You can't see me. You can't see your wallet as well." :p

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