Our intrepid editors have taken it upon themselves to slog through the world of Diablo III and provide you, the reader, with a daily update on their progress. With all three playing as different classes (as seen above) you’ll be privy to three very different updates. Prepare yourself for the drama, the perils of fighting demons, and the mystique that accompanies a journey into the depths of evil. Oh, and explosions. Tons of explosions.
Smapdi the Demon Hunter (Chris U)
As predicted, Azmodan was no match for my bow, and it would not be long after before the Lord of Terror himself, Diablo, fell by my hand. It was done. For most adventurers, this would mean a welcome respite – a time to breathe easy and relax knowing that my mission was complete. But my thirst for vengeance can never be quenched.
Minutes after Diablo’s fall, I was back in New Tristam to tackle the horrors of Nightmare mode. The second of four difficulty levels, the enhanced challenge soon became readily apparent. Monsters grew more adept in their defense. Packs of champion and unique enemies roamed with a greater frequency, boasting more and more special modifiers (you truly do not know pain until you’ve been locked in place and slowly rotted to death by a Jailer Desecrator). High-powered loot began to flow with greater frequency, including special training pages for my artisans that allowed them to reach greater levels of proficiency and craft for me amazing items.
It quickly became obvious that a change in strategy was necessary. In Normal, a single-minded devotion to damage and murder was enough to get by. Not so anymore. Now, survivability becomes a huge concern, making item modifiers like vitality and life leech all the more attractive. I have my full array of skills at my disposal now, but each new hard-fought level brings a bevy of runes to alter their function and use. My build is constantly shifting as the situation necessitates.
Things are definitely getting even more interesting.
Woozle the Monk (Dan T)
I rarely play video games on my computer because of the red tape I imagine I need to cut through to enjoy the experience. A terrible stigma for sure, but I’ve been burned by drivers and hiccups in the past. Each time I log on I’m giddy to the gills at how user friendly it is to connect with my friends. When my character appears on the load screen, I can join my friends with a click of a button. My finger barely has time to return to its default position before the I’m in a game playing with a pal in another state. If you looked streamlined and efficient up on Wikipedia I’m sure you’ll find the character screen of Diablo III in the entries. Together we crusade into tombs destroying rare enemies and looting tombs without encountering an ounce of lag. It’s a system that works almost too well and I wonder if I didn’t sign a deal with the devil for this fluidity.
My friend, Altered Beef, was level thirteen when my level five monk joined his party. A demon hunter and a monk may not sound like the best team on paper, but I’d imagine these ghouls would have an easier time living on the surface of the moon than be within a foot of us. We tore through enemies and destroyed bosses despite my low levels. My monk fearlessly leapt into battler, teleporting around the skirmish punching enemies in the spine and then releasing lightning. The demon hunter stayed back and shot a volley of arrows that would make Hawkeye proud. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair for the enemy.
The monk soaked up experience like a dry sponge soaks up water and soon I was level six. Then seven. Then eight. My skills unlocked with newfound power and I discovered runes, individual augmentation to skills. Runes are specific to each skill and it looks like each skill will have around six runes to choose from. Simplicity worried me a day ago, but now I’m afraid I’ve stumbled over the Pandora’s Box of options. For the time being, I don’t have to think too much about what I’m equipping; enemies still explode after a few clicks. Diablo, you are more than meets the eye. Are you sure you’re not a Decepticon?
Royastrasz the Wizard (Chris H)
I could talk about what skills I’m using, or how I’m avoiding getting hit as a wizard. I could talk about how awesome mirror image is – or maybe even mention how awesome lasers are. Again.
But really? I just want to go on about how pretty this game is. Because it is.
The art just gets better and better as you travel through the game. While Act I is gorgeous, Act II and III are mind-blowing – with the end of the latter showing off some of the most metal art I think I’ve ever seen in a video game, period. While I don’t want to spoil anything, the sheer amount of detail that Blizzard has massaged into their world is pure insanity. From the textures and animations constantly going on in the background, to the bugs you can squash under your foot – everything feels as if it was designed by a team that absolutely loves what they do.
And Act IV? Bliss. It’s so hard not to spoil everything for you, guys. Maybe in a week?
But really though, if you don’t think Diablo 3 is a gorgeous game, go to Hell.