Believe It Or Not, Diablo 3 Is Now An Awesome Game
Posted on Friday, March 8 @ 16:05:20 PST by Jonathan_Leack
Diablo III was voted as one of the most disappointing games of 2012, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Most people, including myself, would argue that the game did a lot of things right. Its combat was as fun as you could ever ask for, and that by itself is enough to warrant plowing through the first three difficulties to reach level cap. But it was once you reached Inferno that you began to wonder what Lead Designer Jay Wilson was thinking.
After months of patches, Diablo III is now in a state that I can confidently call ‘proper’. More specifically, it’s where the game should have been on release. Sure, it took 10 months for it to reach this point, but sometimes it isn’t how you start but how you finish that dictates success. It’s now a game that is worth playing beyond the leveling phase, and myself and many others who have come back to see what’s new have consequently been sucked back into the unrelenting addictiveness of Diablo.
Inferno is no longer the hellhole that it was at release. In its current state, you can get through it with about as much struggle as you would in Hell mode. Some might argue that it’s too easy, but it’s balanced to the point where the average person can complete it without tearing out every strand of hair from their head. Given that playing on Inferno no matter what skill level you are grants the opportunity to receive the rarest items in the game, it’s almost more fun to play on Inferno than the other three difficulties. That’s certainly not something anyone would have said when the game first released.
If you’re seeking a challenge, the new Monster Power setting allows you to set the difficulty personally. If your character is weak, or you are just looking to speed through enemies while farming, then Power Levels 0-3 are the best way to go. However, the higher Power Levels are extremely difficult even for the most hardened players. Naturally, increases in the setting also yield higher loot drops. As you improve your gear at maximum level you’ll be constantly tweaking the setting to find the sweet spot where you can farm efficiently and yield the increase your chances of re-experiencing that moment when you see a legendary drop.
As great as Monster Power is, it’s the improvement in the loot that has most surprised me. Items are much more in tune with what you’d expect from the series with a wide-range of legendaries to equip for all five classes. Legendary sets are affordable on the Auction House, so you can pick-up some powerful items without too much capital. However, items scale so high that even if you’re a hardcore player, there will always be an item you can upgrade.
Paragon levels have reinvigorated the grind of Diablo III for those who reach maximum level. It makes farming at level cap more than just a search for items. Each Paragon level obtained increases stats as well as Magic Find further increasing your effectiveness in farming for the most valuable items. You’re even given a special portrait that evolves as you increase in Paragon so those you play with can see how much of an addict you are.
PvP is finally in the game, although I must admit I haven’t spent much time with it. There are no rewards, but it’s similar to the fun destruction that Diablo II’s PvP offered. This, in addition to the new Infernal Machine quest, adds some additional content that’s worth pursuing.
Diablo III could still use some tweaking with its rare items, since they drop too often and 99% of the time are useless, and identifying a bag full of items is annoying, but both are being addressed in the next patch. The only major addition that I feel Blizzard needs to look into is making Diablo III a more social experience. It still feels way too anti-social for a game released in 2012, and something as simple as lobbies would be a huge step in the right direction. Nonetheless, Diablo III’s endgame is in a great state, and with an expansion pack in development this just might turn out to be the game we were waiting for, after all.
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