Diablo III "First" Impressions – Part 2

I played quite a bit of Diablo III last week, and this past weekend. I now have 3 characters running around: A level 16 barbarian, still on Act 1 of Normal mode; A level 18 Witch Doctor, currently on Act II of Normal Mode; And lastly a level 34 Wizard, who has completed Normal Mode and is now ready to move onto Nightmare. I spent a few hours perfecting my banner. I gathered all of the materials required to access and open the secret level! I’ll write up a full review soon, most likely after I try out nightmare a bit more to see how the increase in difficulty affects the overall feel, and fun, of the game. In the mean time here’s what I thought of the remainder of the game, after my previous post on the same subject.

Acts III and IV of Diablo III are both really exciting. Where Act I and II have a slower build up to the acts finales, Act III and IV throw you into the middle of the war fought between Heaven and Hell on Sanctuary, and… well I won’t spoil the Act IV setting. The story plays out perfectly, not missing a beat, and sending the heroes to new lands to stop the Demon lords from taking over all of Sanctuary. By act III all hell is literally breaking loose into the world! The levels are huge, with tons of action going on in the background. My group and I found ourselves stopping to watch the impressive background battles on more then one occasion. The change of pace, from small town, to big city, to all out war really fuels the action well. Seeing other warriors fall to enemies all around you gives you a sense of hopelessness that is staved off the second you send a bolt of lightning surging through a crowd of enemies. You begin to feel like you’re the only thing that can save this world.

There are plenty of boss encounters in the last two acts, only a few of which gave us any trouble, but that’s to be expected on Normal difficulty. A ton of new enemy types are introduced in the last two acts that make things a bit tougher, there’s also the sheer number of enemies you face that tend to lead to untimely deaths. By the end of Act II we started getting gems, and the gem crafter. This added a whole new, and incredibly useful dynamic to the gear and blacksmith crafting. I was able to increase my Wizards damage output significantly by socketing a few Topazes into my gear. Gem crafting is also really useful for boosting stats that your normal equipment will not boost, like Vitality for my Wizard.

The ending of Diablo III is bittersweet. It’s great to finally see what happens to the Prime Evils after they’ve been MIA for 13 years, but I’m annoyed that there were a few story segments left open just to fit in the obligatory Expansion set. Sure we could all benefit from more classes, more lands to explore, and of course more loot, but do we really need to do this with expansions when every 4-5 months a content patch hit’s WoW that adds new dungeons and loot? It just seems like there’s an easier way to handle it…

The secret level in Diablo III is also quite a spectacle! Blizzard really knows how to poke fun at it’s fans, and still make it an entertaining addition to the game. If you haven’t seen it then avoid googling the following phrases: “Diablo III Secret level” and “Whimsyshire.” For those of you that like spoilers, get to googling! It’s quite a chore to gather the necessary items needed to access the secret level, but let’s say I was… “udderly” satisfied with the outcome. *wink* *wink*

Anyway, that’s about it for now. I’ll get to a full review within the week, so stay posted. If you have any questions, suggestions, or just want to tell us about your experience with Diablo III, feel free to drop a comment below!

is not a boss.

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