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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Diablo 3 has a release date (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Diablo 3 has a release date
Sa'eed
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It is May 15th.

http://us.battle.net/en/int?r=d3

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BlackBlade
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I wonder what the collector's edition will contain.
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Derrell
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Collector's edition Click on the second picture.

[ March 15, 2012, 08:08 PM: Message edited by: Derrell ]

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BlackBlade
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Sounds good to me!
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Geraine
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I am in the beta and here is my opinion:

I am kind of torn with Diablo III. I feel like Blizzard has mis-managed the development of the game. The game has been worked on for more than eight years now, and after playing through up to the skeleton king, it makes me wonder what the hell they were doing for the past eight years. I played Diablo III four years ago at Blizzcon, and the game plays exactly the same way it did back then, but WORSE.

Here's why:

Back in 2008 when I played Diablo III for the first time, they had talent trees. Not only did they have talent trees, but runes were in the game as well. Runes weren't used in socketed items at the time. You could attach a rune to a skill to change how it behaved. In the demo I played at Blizzcon I got two or three different levels of runes that I could attach to my skills. I could choose what talents I wanted. It felt like Diablo.

In the beta, talents are gone. Now you just automatically learn spells as you level up. The rune system has been dumbed down. Now instead of finding and attaching runes, when you hit a certain level a rune "unlocks" and you can apply it to that skill. Thing is, not all runes unlock at once. You have to level up for the ability to use the runes.

As far as gameplay is concerned, its the same as it was in 2008. Nothing has changed. The Graphics look a little better than they did before. Some of the lighting and particle effects are nicer.

Essentially it feels like Blizzard has spent the last four years trying out a ton of new systems, trying to tweak them, then scrapping them. Then they realized it is now 2012 and people are getting mad, so they put in the simplest system they can without screwing the game up, and are now calling it good.

I'm fine with creativity, but I feel like if they hadn't tried so many systems and focused on perfecting one, the game could have been released two years ago. Now I feel like the game has been dumbed down. Blizzard famously uses the excuse that they are trying to cater to a greater audience by making the game more casual. I'm not convinced.

Blizzard is looking to put Diablo III on consoles, which I think is the best reason to simplify the game. I wish they would just say that.

Now, there are some good changes they have made. You can return to town by using a town portal spell instead of carrying around books. You can also identify items without scrolls. You will still want to go back to town to break items down and craft gear.

All that said, I am taking May 15 and the rest of that week off to play that game. I've been waiting for it for 12 years, and though they made changes I don't like, I still love the game. I can't wait to play it. [Smile]

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Xavier
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If you'd asked me a year or so ago how likely it was for me to buy Diablo III on its release date, and I'd probably say "100%".

Now though I'm just not sure. A few months back I played Diablo 2 again for a while (leveled several characters to 85+ and got good gear for them) and that seems to have satisfied my nostalgia urge for now.

Plus I honestly am not drawn to any of the 5 classes they've released. At least not like I was to the Necromancer and Paladin of D2. The Monk is pretty cool I guess, and at first I was digging the Witchdoctor, but neither really is making me long to play them.

I'm sure I'll buy the game, but perhaps not on release day, and without the same sort of "gotta have it" enthusiasm I once had.

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Raymond Arnold
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Diablo II really frustrated me because the Necromancer looked SO COOL!!!! And then was pretty meh.

I'm probably getting Diablo III just because Blizzard games are solid experiences and I haven't played anything at all in a while, but I'm not super looking forward to it.

I do think most of the classes look cool, though Witchdoctor reminds me too much of Necromancer mechanics, which I didn't like, but without the awesome flavor). I really like how the Monk covers the paladin archetype but with a completely different feel. Demon Hunter is straightforward but solid and cool. Wizard feels surprisingly unique given that it's... you know, a wizard.

Even the barbarian has me kind of excited, because it looks they put a lot of work into making it cool in a way that it wasn't before.

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BlackBlade
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I played the Beta, and while previously I wasn't enamored with any of the classes prior to playing, I was surprised how fun the classes are once I got my hands on them.

I love the lore that Cain narrates through when you come across creatures or events. The idea of the runed abilities is much more appealing to me, than what they did previously. Honestly I have to withhold judgement until I've played the game at least through one act. My biggest gripe with D2 is I felt like a lot of the time I wasn't fighting the legions of hell so much as bugs, elementals, pigmies, buzzards, and animals.

One of the best things about Diablo 1 was how the progression through levels felt so right. You start fighting the legions of hell who are just starting to spill out into the cathedral, you keep going down and come across bigger demons, until you get to hell where bodies are everywhere, angels are dismembered, and Diablo himself is there waiting.

Acts I, IV, and V in Diablo 2 were just fine. Acts II and III were just tedious and boring for me.

I love how in D3 events are scripted. Impassable chasms suddenly become passable as a spirit rages and crumbles the pillars making a bridge. Their philosophy for boss fights sounds *way* better than how bosses in the previous games were handled. Long term strategy pays off, rather than just hacking and slashing while downing potions, interrupted only with town portals so you can buy more potions.

The idea that at higher difficulty levels you will have to spend some time looking for items and bringing a build together instead of just progressing sounds awesome to me.

Honestly my only real gripe is that there isn't a class where day one, I absolutely wanted to play that class. I kinda like the monk, wizard, and demon hunter. But I don't *love* any of them.

Maybe the expansion, or time with one class will change that.

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Samprimary
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Well, this game is coming out soon

SPOILER ALERT: It's absolutely better than D2 in nearly every way but some people would sooner jump into a pit of sharks and die rather than remove their rose-colored glasses and admit this.

I'm pretty glad that these days we've moved past any point at which D2's character system would be even remotely acceptable! It means we've grown as gamers and game-makers.

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twinky
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Heh, I knew I could count on you, Samp. I still read your posts in the voice of t-rex from Dinosaur Comics. [Big Grin]
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Samprimary
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Are you sure you don't actually just read t-rex's lines in the voice of my posts?
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Raymond Arnold
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I played in the open beta last weekend.

Actually did get the "hey, this does capture everything about D2, but better" feel.

Except.

The online connection.

I had been one of the people who WASN'T all that upset about that. I agreed with the principle of "we shouldn't have to have a connection, what if we want to play on the airplane/whatever." But in practice I expected to buy it anyway and not end up caring that much.

Last weekend was the stres test, and I get that it was a stress test, and the lag was *supposed* to be ridiculous. But it made me really viscerally aware that this single player game was going to be (at least occasionally) laggy, for no good reason. And it made me mad to the point that I may well not get the game.

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Samprimary
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I put online connection required stuff into the "get used to it" category. PC gamers as a group have incentivized it beyond the point of no return, because we pirate billions of copies of everything and are generally just terrible. A ton of people will be mad about it and say they won't get the game. Most of them will. Some won't. But the size of the 'actually won't' crowd is excruciatingly small compared to the 'would have pirated the game faster than a photon' crowd.

To say nothing of the duping and online inventory management issues they solve by having this be an online monitored game, as opposed to just programming the game to have to trust client-side loot management in any significant sense.

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Raymond Arnold
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Well, when you put it like that...

(yeah, I more or less agree with you)

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Samprimary
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i'm actually for it because it means there are no offline characters. spontaneously wanna start playing with friends from wherever? Just put your existing character with them in a world together, as opposed to having to start new characters for shared server experience.
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Raymond Arnold
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If it regularly lags anywhere near as awful as what I dealt with, all the advantages in the world will not be worth it. I'm hoping that was just a stress-test-weekend thing.

Do you know if they'll be a followup weekend after they work kinks out?

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Raymond Arnold
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In other news... I have to say getting to shoot lazer beams was awesome. I really liked the feel of the Wizard.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I put online connection required stuff into the "get used to it" category. PC gamers as a group have incentivized it beyond the point of no return, because we pirate billions of copies of everything and are generally just terrible. A ton of people will be mad about it and say they won't get the game. Most of them will. Some won't. But the size of the 'actually won't' crowd is excruciatingly small compared to the 'would have pirated the game faster than a photon' crowd.

To say nothing of the duping and online inventory management issues they solve by having this be an online monitored game, as opposed to just programming the game to have to trust client-side loot management in any significant sense.

Ha! I really liked this summation. I was totally guilty of pirating like a mad man when I lived in Hong Kong. The only games I didn't were ones were it wasn't possible (cartridges for example) or game from companies where I was just so impressed with their work I wanted to reward their efforts.

Anyway, having played over this past weekend, any concerns I had for enjoying the classes were wiped away. I'll be diving into monk come release, and I'm actually excited to try the other classes once I burn out on him.

As for leveling skill trees, I'm for it too. They were awesome back when thy were created, but we should be able to progress through just as we did when Quake introduced jumping to the FPS. How much jumping does one do in a COD game?

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Samprimary
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stress tests are usually pretty abysmal. Our own stress tests during alphas and betas were only superficially catering to playability concerns, and that's because prerelease betas are 90% a marketing tool now. Otherwise than that, we were trying to break it, while thousands upon thousands of people were on.

Occasionally, we would give them a warning.

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T:man
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I'm not a fan of the "always online" drm, but then again I'm not going to be buying the game.

It just sucks when the server goes down and you can't play. (Though, I bet blizzard will never let this happen, unlike Ubisoft grumble grumble)

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
As for leveling skill trees, I'm for it too. They were awesome back when thy were created, but we should be able to progress through just as we did when Quake introduced jumping to the FPS. How much jumping does one do in a COD game?

I'm not sure I understand the comparison, but for what it's worth, D3 succeeds in understanding that D2-style skill trees (and the resulting flavor-of-the-month-acceptable-correct-build churl) were a fatally flawed concept, ultimately, and that trying to make a game without respeccing is stupid and should not be done ever again.
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Raymond Arnold
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What bothers me is when games have mechanics that flavorfully *shouldn't* allow respeccing, and but allow it for practical reasons.

Originally, talent trees had a particular flavor of "you've gained experience and learned a new particular skill." A lot of games seem to keep that abstraction but layer on increasingly convoluted "magically relearn everything" mechanics on top of it.

One that particularly bugged me was Bastion, where you pay to upgrade weapons in a particular way... and then you can freely swap between completely different weapon upgrades.

Silly thing to be bugged by, maybe. But it irks me. I like mechanics to be flavorfully evocative and I'd rather they* created a new one that made sense on its own terms, rather than a hodge podge of abstracted RPG tropes.

[ April 24, 2012, 01:02 PM: Message edited by: Raymond Arnold ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
A lot of games seem to keep that abstraction but layer on increasingly convoluted "magically relearn everything" mechanics on top of it.
This is just wank over game design issues, not a critique on what irks you.

Yes! Abstraction. It's because the preservation of 'flavorfully making sense on its own terms' mechanics by disallowing respeccing has been proven pretty conclusively over time to be a terrible idea that cannot be recommended in any meaningful sense to game design. Not succeeding the meta-challenge of knowing exactly how to design your character from out of the gate (and having to reroll 20 hours in) is bad design. Having patches or ramping difficulty issues render your character permanently obsolete and useless (hi, shock sorcs!) after you have invested hundreds of hours into them is painfully bad design. enough that they even gave up the ghost on it in D2 and patched in respec. D2's first adventure for practically all of its players facing an unintuitive challenge presented by the game's infinite opportunities to have you build a broken, worthless character. Everyone remembers their first necromancer, and enjoying having skeletons in act 1. Everyone remembers having to dump the necro and reroll because skeletons cease being useful very rapidly.

Games are mostly abstracted convention. Even what we accept as 'thematic' is abstracted artifice, from skill trees to hp bars to third person and overhead views. It becomes an issue of what artifice helps the game work from a mechanical and gameplay perspective, and respecs are way off on the far end of Extremely Acceptable And Productive Artifice.

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Raymond Arnold
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Perhaps this was unclear: I agree that un-respeccable talent trees are a bad idea. What I'd like to see is a new method of character progression, that is mechanically fun, but not a talent tree, and which is flavorfully evocative in a way that is different from the way talent trees were flavorfully evocative.

I thought the whole point of "speccing" in the first place (both flavorfully and mechanically) was to show your character evolving in a unique way. If you get to respec essentially whenever... then don't see the point in making the choice in the first place. Just let the player acquire all the skills, let the "choice" come from the ones they actually end up using together, and don't force artificial "one thing or the other" decisions that you'll get to re-pick as soon as it becomes inconvenient.

(I haven't played enough D3 to know how this is really handled here, I may not have a problem with it)

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
As for leveling skill trees, I'm for it too. They were awesome back when thy were created, but we should be able to progress through just as we did when Quake introduced jumping to the FPS. How much jumping does one do in a COD game?

I'm not sure I understand the comparison, but for what it's worth, D3 succeeds in understanding that D2-style skill trees (and the resulting flavor-of-the-month-acceptable-correct-build churl) were a fatally flawed concept, ultimately, and that trying to make a game without respeccing is stupid and should not be done ever again.
Poor choice of words. I meant leveling as in crushing trees so they are a flat surface and you pick from among the skills, rather than leveling where you invest points in the skill tree while you gain experience.
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Samprimary
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quote:
I thought the whole point of "speccing" in the first place (both flavorfully and mechanically) was to show your character evolving in a unique way. If you get to respec essentially whenever... then don't see the point in making the choice in the first place.
It works analogous to saying that your character now has a 'kit' that they have to carry out with them into the field. like picking a new class on respawn in an FPS. It preserves actual choices in a meaningful sense, wherever the game can manage it, balance-wise.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
I thought the whole point of "speccing" in the first place (both flavorfully and mechanically) was to show your character evolving in a unique way. If you get to respec essentially whenever... then don't see the point in making the choice in the first place.
It works analogous to saying that your character now has a 'kit' that they have to carry out with them into the field. like picking a new class on respawn in an FPS. It preserves actual choices in a meaningful sense, wherever the game can manage it, balance-wise.
That makes sense for a FPS because you're really just swapping out equipment, and nobody thinks of their guy as a progressing individual developing. I mean they throw him on just about every team from the military to terrorist groups regularly so I guess it feels less strange. They call it choosing your load out, which doesn't feel wrong.

But with a fantasy game it feels like your character is progressing and choosing specialties. Perhaps Blizzard should find a way to present the D3 system in unique terminology so people realize they aren't doing the same thing they do in other fantasy RPGs. Or better yet, develop a new mechanic that integrates into the game and exists for that purpose. Perhaps something along the lines of say the monk needing to meditate so as to reassign skills, and actually having a meditation animation while the switch is made. The risk of course is that slows things down so ultimately it might be a bad idea, but still designing something that explains why a character swaps features in an out, but isn't necessarily limited to that set would be nice.

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Samprimary
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It is a valid complaint! respecs make the character entirely fluid, with the only permanency being what class you picked in the beginning, and this can feel kind of weird. But I can't figure out a good way to make a D3 character in any way that doesn't allow reconfiguring.
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Samprimary
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To go further: D3's system is an interesting peek into how permanence (or even semi permanence) plays into people's perceptions of accomplishment and enjoyment.

You can play a suboptimal build all you want, the only thing different with respec is that if you decide it's too bad or the game patches away your gimmick, you have other options besides being screwed.

It goes without saying that I'm entirely for this. A game is badly designed if it demands that you make lots of detailed, finicky, permanent choices before you have sufficient info to really make involved decisions. A game should not demand you make permanent choices if there is any chance (and in the case of Diablo, that chance is 100%) that there will be significant balance and ability changes across the course of a game.

Lastly, a game is badly designed if a permanent decision to take a skill deep into the time investment of character growth is inherently necessary for testing that skill for yourself in-game.

D2 did all these things. That's fine, we didn't know any better and it was okay for the times. By the time we reached Hellgate London, having to do FOTM builds on your uneditable character and make permanent decisions based on tooltips and forum theorycrafting sprees represented all of the worst elements of "pseudochoice" that trees had come to represent, and was soundly rejected.

BUT it's worth noting that even if we don't have the option of much in the way of permanence as a sound design decision, it's worth looking at why it bugs people to lose that permanence; people want to be making decisions that matter, and that comes through in difficult to manage ways.

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Kwea
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Heh....I have never played any of the Diablo games, and they are just my cup of tea, so I am surprised. [Big Grin]
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Geraine
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I both agree and disagree. I agree that permanent choices are horrible. That was one of the things I hated about Diablo II. Get a skill, and you are stuck with it.

What I don't like about what they have done with Diablo III is remove choices almost completely. Everyone will have the same skills. You do have runes that provide some choice, but there will always be a "best rune" to use for each boss fight, if not the entire game. If you take a look at some the character skill calculator they have put up you can easily see which runes will be useful in higher difficulty levels and which will be completely horrible.

I think removing stats is going to hurt as well. Part of the magic of Diablo II was being able to create characters the way you wanted to. Now we are stuck with stat growth like World of Warcraft.

They removed one of the crafters from the game because they didn't think they could have it ready in time. They removed companion pets that would go around and pick up gold for you. They removed the entire rune system that worked so well and replaced it with the unlockables. For those that hadn't played it before it is no big deal, but after playing it over the past 4 years at events, I can say seeing a rune drop and discovering what it can do was a lot more fun than the interface they have now.

With the skill rune system there are still going to be the guys that min/max their characters. There will still be spreadsheets with calculations on numbers. The issue in my opinion is that while Blizzard is spinning this whole thing as giving you more choices, it comes at a cost. It takes some of the wonder, excitement, and fun out of the game. In Diablo II if a Stone of Jordan dropped you were excited. I literally threw my fist up in the air and cheered when it dropped for me. Now imagine if that Stone of Jordan was just a passive skill you got at level 50. All of the sudden that Stone of Jordan just isn't as special. The same goes for the rune system. There used to be runes that did nothing but turn your wizard lazer beam a different color. Another one would make it do damage over time. Another would cause an enemy to explode when it died, causing damage to everything else around it. There were a lot more choices than what we have now.

Meh, I'm done with my rant. I'm off to min/max a monk I plan to use on release. My brother and I are planning to rush through the first two or three difficulties to try and beat the rush. Figure if we get a few high level pieces of gear we can make some money on the RLAH before everyone floods the market. [Smile]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
What I don't like about what they have done with Diablo III is remove choices almost completely. Everyone will have the same skills. You do have runes that provide some choice, but there will always be a "best rune" to use for each boss fight, if not the entire game. If you take a look at some the character skill calculator they have put up you can easily see which runes will be useful in higher difficulty levels and which will be completely horrible.

I think removing stats is going to hurt as well. Part of the magic of Diablo II was being able to create characters the way you wanted to. Now we are stuck with stat growth like World of Warcraft.

1) It is probably going to end up working mostly the opposite way. There are a ton of ways to tweak your character via the rune/skill system, to the point that it is unlikley that many folks will be running the same build. You will actually have a greater running DIFFERENCE in the variety of characters being played, especially given how gargantuan the number of choices you have versus the real choices you had in D2.

2) The stats were another example of pseudochoice. There was a best way to do it, anything else is sub-optimal that you are now stuck with. Did you put even a single point of dex in on your Sorc? oops. Might as well have just thrown that point away.

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BlackBlade
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I'm actually looking at what realistically could be done to play well on the AH market while it's turbulent, so before it settles down. Obviously farmers and hardcore players are going to start flooding the market immediately with vastly overpriced items. Suckers with deep paypal accounts will probably buy them.

I guess there isn't much you can do other than list all rare or better items you pick up and see if they sell. Other than that, I guess it's a matter of finding the resource people need constantly, build up an abundance and sell in bulk, for lazy people who don't want to farm for it.

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dabbler
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You can't buy and sell right? I think there's some sort of cool down before you can repost? If not, people could put down real bucks to corner a part of the market -like all legendary bows. Big risk.
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Samprimary
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The opportunity to pay back this game just by playing it may in and of itself make it the addiction spree of the decade.
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Kwea
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Should I pick up a copy of the first and start playing it? Is it worth it?
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Raymond Arnold
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I don't think there's a reason to prevent people from cornering a market. It's a bit of work and doesn't necessarily pay off. I actually tried doing similar things in WoW a while back, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't and I don't think the economy suffered much for it. (Granted it was all fake gold, but I don't think there'd be a difference)
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Should I pick up a copy of the first and start playing it? Is it worth it?

D1 would just come off as a primitive version of D2, at this point best to just stick with the D2 experience.
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BlackBlade
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KWEA: Diablo 1 will really show its age if you played it now. D2 is still a classic if you don't mind the graphics. But D2 is still a way addicting game if you want a taste of D3. There are primer videos online if you want to catch up on the lore before playing D3.

-----

Cornering the market on WoW was possible because the AH was at least initially linked to the server. In D3 everyone uses the same auction house. You'd have to spend a lot of money to corner the market.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
2) The stats were another example of pseudochoice. There was a best way to do it, anything else is sub-optimal that you are now stuck with. Did you put even a single point of dex in on your Sorc? oops. Might as well have just thrown that point away.
I'm sure Sam's well aware, but it's actually quite a bit worse than that. If you put any ENERGY into your Sorc, you've thrown away those points. You get enough strength to wear your chosen armor, and then you get vitality. For nearly every build. Any other choice just made your character worse.

quote:
You do have runes that provide some choice, but there will always be a "best rune" to use for each boss fight, if not the entire game.
You know, I was worried about this as well. There are a couple things that reassure me a bit:
1) There are a lot of ways Blizzard could allow for varying rune usage through itemization, and

2) I've heard Blizzard say that late game, hunting random champion/elite monsters will provide better loot than just boss running over and over. Hopefully, that randomness will prevent one single build from becoming too superior.

The lead designer has spoken a fair bit on wanting to facilitate broad build viability rather than build optimization. It's an encouraging focus, and I hope they succeed.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
I'm sure Sam's well aware, but it's actually quite a bit worse than that. If you put any ENERGY into your Sorc, you've thrown away those points. You get enough strength to wear your chosen armor, and then you get vitality. For nearly every build. Any other choice just made your character worse.

lol, wait. who would put points into ENERGY for a sorceress. SO not what anyone would do not realizing it's a mistake. At all. Completely intuitive.
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BlackBlade
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1.5 days! I can't stand this!
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Geraine
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The problem with the stat points being removed is this: I am building a support monk for Inferno. He is going to have 1 single target skill, one AoE skill, and the rest is all going to defensive skills. My brother is building a high damage sorc for inferno. My build is focused on pulling all of the enemies towards me and staying alive through my massive regen while he nukes everything in sight.

The problem is that due to Blizzard removing state points, I will most likely get some stats in categories that don't matter at all. If I want to build a DEX monk with a metric ton of Dodge, I have to do it through passives and gear.

If you pre-ordered online and have downloaded the client you can install it now btw. [Smile]

I wrote a thread on the forums on how to keep healthy if you plan on starting at midnight and running a Diablo 3 Marathon. Take a look if you like.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4837103874?page=1

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Samprimary
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quote:
The problem is that due to Blizzard removing state points, I will most likely get some stats in categories that don't matter at all. If I want to build a DEX monk with a metric ton of Dodge, I have to do it through passives and gear.
This problem essentially translates into: "I no longer have to read a guide or theorycraft on how to minmax my build to a single archetype or be given an option to do it wrong" nor, for that matter, do you any longer have to play in a game which is tenuously balanced around optimal output builds due to the availability of such — D2's stats were the very pinnacle of pseudochoice.
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BlackBlade
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UPS has guaranteed my copy delivered by 10:30am. I'm starting to think about that commitment in terms generally reserved for wedding vows, mortgages, and the scout oath.
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Raymond Arnold
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I always buy Blizzard games the next day at noon.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
I always buy Blizzard games the next day at noon.

But look what you're missing

http://i.imgur.com/FrL9K.gif

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Aros
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Isn't this game just a gimped version of Nethack with an updated UI? I'll pass. There's a great port of Nethack for Android that I've been playing for a year or so, and I don't need fancy graphics.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Isn't this game just a gimped version of Nethack with an updated UI? I'll pass.

Excellent parody impersonation of an aging game grump 10/10
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Samprimary
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Is geraine dead from lack of sleep yet
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