Up To Act Three In Diablo 3.

Unexplored depths are less scary to explore with friends.

So Diablo 3 [D3] had a bit of a bad start. Its launch could of gone a lot better, but 24 hours after its release Diablo had his horns affixed and millions addicted… myself included. Though some of us will never forget Error 37 and the Torchlight fanboy trolling that occurred during D3’s troubled release, I think all of us will remember that moment when we realized we were hooked on the Devil again. Once I had chosen my character and I experienced my first Monster Massacre (D3 keeps track of how many monsters you kill in a certain time frame, 58 is my current record) and experienced my first significant loot drop, I knew I was hooked to an old friend made new. Diablo has returned and it is glorious.

Have a case of arachnophobia? D3 will test your limits, especially with Cydaea – Azmodan’s concubine.

Crusading against Azmodan’s minions in the battlefields that make up Arreat Crater (yes, all that remains of the Worldstone and the mountain that held it is a hole) is a constant melee. You encounter one group of demons after another and you must use all your character’s skills, passive or otherwise, to survive, especially when venturing alone. Each mini battle feels grandiose and after each Monster Massacre you take a deep breath, and prepare for the next one. Your characters powers feel like they should. They feel accurate for a race that is part angel and part demon, these powers are appropriate to the nephalem of Sanctuary. From Act I on the  super human abilities of your character are immersive and provide the proper amount of feed back to the player. This is the first Diablo that has instigated shit talking to the dead demons at my feet. On multiple occasions I have blurted out, “Suck it you bastards!” in response to Monster Massacre popping up on my screen.

Massacre + Loot = Win.

What D3, and all the Diablo’s preceding it, does well, is loot. D3 sticks to its shinies roots, and then turns it up to 11. My first unique item was a moment worth telling others. Actually, I did convey my excitement to my girlfriend upon finding a unique helmet, to which she replied,”So what does that mean?” I guess some people just don’t appreciate shinies as much as a Diablo junkies does. A brilliant move by Diablo, other than making loot drop better when playing with a group, is the addition of the loot focused moster appropriately called the Treasure Goblin. This goblin can be found throughout D3’s environments, shitting gold across the map. If you kill it before it ducks away into its portal, you receive a generous loot drop. My first three deaths in D3 were the direct results of my greed and of the Treasure Goblin. All three times I felt like a stock broker betting on credit default swaps, hoping for a big payout but never considering the risk. I chased that goblin and his riches across an entire map, three times, and each time I aggroed almost every creature in the area, then died. The best way to best the Treasure Goblin is to corner him before he awakens the rest of the map, otherwise you should just cut your loses and save your life. Then again, you could miss out on some unique, or even legendary, shinies. Ah, just chase the little bastard.

Circled in red, a Treasure Goblin being PWND!

A crown meant for a king.

D3 does everything you would expect/want from the third game of the Diablo series. Fighting is more fun than ever. Loot is one the most important elements to the game, hell, it already has its own Ebay built into it. Are you a nephalem who grew up on Diablo in its original form? Don’t worry, D3 is a nephalem nostelgia fest, with hundreds of references to the first Diablo. Hell, my first legendary item… Leoric’s Crown!  Looking to do some ample button smashing and mouse clicking like you did in D2’s Hell difficulty? Don’t sweat hell’s heat, D3 has four difficulty levels: Normal; Nightmare; Hell and Inferno. The only troublesome thing I’ve encountered with D3, is finding the will to stop playing long enough to write about it.

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10 Minutes With The Devil: Diablo 3’s [Error 37] Release

Diablo is just as infuriating and conniving as he was in Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 but for the time being, it’s for the wrong reasons. After setting up my Battle.net account and installing the game, I feverishly anticipate the opening cinematics. It didn’t matter that I had seen the opening sequence at least a dozen times before, this time was different. This time I was watching Deckard Cain convey his worries to his niece Leah (smart move Blizzard, adding the h at the end will keep the Lucas lawyers away), while my very own copy of the game set in front of me. When Deckard Cain asks Leah, “You do believe me don’t you Leah?” and the sky falls down on them in the Tristam Cathedral, I quickly answer, “Yes.” That however, is where and when my belief in Diablo’s third coming… ended.

As soon as Deckard Cain states, “It has begun,” is when my fun with Diablo 3 concluded. After the excitement of the opening cinematic you arrive at the log in screen for Diablo 3. With my account already created and my email address verified, I input my user name and password. Error 37. Here begins an error that will live on in infamy, via internet memes, for years to come. Of course I cancel and try again. Error 37. And again. Error 37. Taking a breath I exit out of D3 and give it another go. Error 37. The message board on the right hand side of the login screen addresses the issues with logging in, and state they will be fixed by 1:30PDT. I rejoice for a bit, it is 2PM CT and well pass 1:30PDT. I try to log in again.

Internet memes, commence.

Error 75. That is the next error I am faced with after my most recent attempt to log in. My fears of Diablo returning with his minions are replaced with the realization that I will not be able to see them nor stop them for the time being. Diablo will go unchecked in the world of Sanctuary, not because I lack the courage to face him but because of his brothers, the real Prime Evils, Error 37 and Error 75. I understand it is launch day for one of the most anticipated games in recent memory. I understand servers will be under a lot of stress but you can’t help but feel a bit of hell fire on the back of your neck as you stare at another error screen.

One of the lesser known Prim Evils, Error 75.

Once the lava cooled in my veins, and I embraced the teachings of the Dalai Lama for five minutes, I returned to the login screen. This time I am rewarded with a box that puts a check mark next to “Connected to Battle.net server” then another by “Authenticated” then finally, next to “Retrieving Hero List.” I am logged in and ready to create my character that will push back the hellspawn spewed from the ass of the Devil himself. I create my Monk, Dalai Camel, and exit out. My battle versus the Devil’s minions will have to wait.

*On a side note. Read the brief description for the Barbarian within the Quick Start Guide. Who does the line, “Armored in thick plate and driven by rage, these primal fighters wish only to crush their enemies and see them driven before them,” remind you of?