Posts tagged ‘Blizzard’


Today in Diablo III news…

by wfgodbold

We learn that Blizzard really has no clue. At all. Have they never played another game before, or what? This smacks of more MMOification (making it more of a strict numbers game, like WoW).

Since my last post, I’ve lost a hardcore Barbarian in Act I nightmare, and gotten a hardcore demon hunter to Act II nightmare. My softcore barbarian is in Act I hell, and I haven’t really played any more with my monk or wizard (let alone started a witch doctor).

In non-D3 news, I’ve been busy too; summer classes start on Tuesday, and the write-on competition for the law review started this past Monday (and goes until the end of the first week in June, I believe). So unfortunately, it’s not all demons and clicking here.

Especially since I’ve been dealing with the car service people trying to get my headlights squared away. One or the other will randomly shut off while I’m driving, and that’s not exactly helpful (one time both shut off, and wasn’t that exciting). Turning them off and on again fixes it, but usually only temporarily (and I’m not the only one to experience this problem (yeah, I drive a Prius; the price was right, and thanks to the wonders of ethanol-free gasoline, I regularly get 48-50 mpg (I would classy it up with an NRA sticker or something, just to screw with people’s heads, but I’m paranoid (and here I go, overusing parentheses again; like semicolons, they’re a hell of a drug)))).

I’ve been able to avoid the headlight issue for a while by not driving at night, but since my summer classes are all in the evenings, I decided I’d put it off long enough.

I should be back to a more regular posting and tweeting schedule in the coming weeks, but for now, I’ll probably still be intermittent (Oh, I have some D3 screenshots to post, too, but that will wait for another day. Maybe I’ll schedule daily D3 screenshots or something).


Good old Blizzard.

by wfgodbold

They obviously didn’t learn anything from their 7 1/2 years running a MMO, because the Diablo III launch has been terrible.

Just terrible.

The servers were down for maintenance for a few hours earlier today (on launch day), and now I’ve been disconnected (and can’t reconnect) because of an error that claims itself is down.

And all I want to do is play the single player game!

Once I’ve gone through the story once or twice, I’ll start doing multiplayer games, but for now, single player is all I care about.

And thanks to their retarded internet connection required DRM, I can’t.

Oh, if the servers ever do come back up, and you want to talk/play, my battletag is DrWyrm#1924.


Diablo III Beta impressions

by wfgodbold

Well, I’ve played through the beta with four of the five character classes, so I’ve got a solid enough basis to gather my thoughts.

First off, the required internet connection is pretty annoying. I haven’t decided if it’s a dealbreaker or not, though; the game itself is good enough that I’m leaning towards not. Of course, this means that even if you’re playing in single player mode, if Blizzard’s servers are down (say, for maintenance) you won’t be able to play.

The level cap for the beta is set at 13, and everyone is restricted to Act I; the final boss is the Skeleton King (the final boss of the beta, that is; whether the Skeleton King is the final boss of Act I, I have no idea). This is high enough that you can unlock 2 (0f 4) extra skill slots, and 1 (of 3) passive skill slot.

Unlike Diablo II, there is no skill tree; each class has 3 categories of skills (for the Witch Doctor, it’s Physical Realm, Spirit Realm, and Command); each skill in each category is learned at a certain level. However, the player may only have 6 active skills at a time; these six can be chosen from any of the three categories, and can be of any required level. The player can change skills out at any time (though this does trigger a 30 second cooldown on the skill chosen, so that you don’t try swapping abilities in and out during battle). The passive skills are similar, only their effect is constant (instead of triggered, like attack spells are). The skills default to the right and left mouse button, and 1-4 on the keyboard (5 is set as the health potion button).

The inventory system has also changed since Diablo II; instead of every item having its own grid size, everything fits in either 1 slot or 2 vertical slots; this makes inventory management far less of a headache. Like D2, D3 has a stash; it works like the bank in World of Warcraft. You start with a couple rows, and can upgrade it 2 rows at a time until you have a full page; once you’ve got the first page, it looks like you can continue buying additional pages (at least 2 more right now). Unlike Diablo II, the stash is shared amongst all characters on the same account; if you get a great fist weapon on your Demon Hunter, you can just stick it in the stash, switch to your Monk, and get it out of the stash (this is also how the shared stash in Torchlight worked). This is a great improvement; I know in D2 some people had multiple copies of the game and would dual box on to make swapping items between characters possible. Aside from being needlessly expensive, this could also make you lose your items (if the server crashed during character swaps, for example).

The graphics are greatly upgraded; that’s not surprising, since Diablo II was sprite-based and came out in 2000. Diablo III is more modern, and in addition to the overhead isometric view, you can also zoom in for a much closer view of your character and its immediate surroundings. This is handy for taking screenshots, but not so useful the rest of the time; it really hampers your field of view.

The character classes are almost all new; the only returning class is Diablo II’s Barbarian. The Monk plays like a hybrid Assassin/Paladin; it’s focused on melee combat, but has mantras that function much like D2’s Paladin auras (they provide passive bonuses to the Monk and other party members while they are active, and only one can be active at a time). The Demon Hunter is a ranged physical damage class that mainly uses crossbows; its abilities are geared towards staying mobile and out of the range of melee. The Wizard plays a lot like the Sorceress; it gets old standby spells like frost nova and ice armor, and one of its passives slows any creature hit by any spell. The Witch Doctor is reminiscent of D2’s Necromancer, but with less of a focus on summoning a gigantic army of the undead.

I enjoyed the beta; I’ve only played the single player campaign so far, but I’ll post more once I’ve tried out the co-op multiplayer (and once I’ve taken more/better screenshots).


Dammit, Blizzard, I needed that free time!

by wfgodbold

Sleep is for the weak, I suppose.

I’ll give it a whirl this weekend (tonight? tomorrow?) and post my impressions after trying out the various classes.


Blizz, you could learn a thing or two from Runic Games…

by wfgodbold

Torchlight II will feature online multiplayer, LAN multiplayer, and offline single player.

And it will do all of this at the low low price of $20.

That beats the hell out of the $60 I’m sure Diablo III will cost (or $90+ for the inevitable collector’s edition), and it doesn’t even require a permanent internet connection.


Truth in Webcomics

by wfgodbold

Gabe and Tycho have a point:

Especially regarding the tendency of gamers to raise holy hell complaining about all manner of slights and problems, only to buy the game the instant it releases, anyway.

Fortunately, Runic Games is planning on bringing Torchlight II out this year, and presumably you’ll be able to play the single player component without a persistent connection (the first game had no multiplayer, so it wasn’t an issue). Torchlight played almost exactly like Diablo II (in fact, it was created by a bunch of former Diablo II developers who ditched Blizzard to make their own company). Runic’s customer service also blows Blizzard’s out of the water.

Who knows when Blizzard will finish Diablo III? While I’ll be tempted to buy it, I’m going to do my damnedest to at least hold out until it’s discounted. They took what would have been a day one purchase and ruined it (and I say this as someone who’s played Diablo II off and on since its release (which was back in ’00)).


Someone sign that man up for a Dale Carnegie course!

by wfgodbold

Way to dig that hole just a little bit deeper, Rob Pardo of Blizzard:

I want to play Diablo III on my laptop in a plane, but, well, there are other games to play for times like that.

That’s right up there with telling your customers they need to loosen their foil hats in the annals of “shit you don’t do if you want good PR.”


No Diablo III gamer is an island

by wfgodbold

Blizzard’s sequel to their smash-hit Diablo series is going to require an always-on internet connection, even for single player.

That’s fine most of the time, but for people who are often in locations where they don’t have a persistent connection (like if you want to play on a plane), you’re going to have to play something else.

I am intrigued by the idea of cash-based auction houses. I guess their experience with Diablo II and WoW taught them that people are going to figure out how to spend real money on stuff, so Blizzard might as well sanction it and get a cut. The beta review makes it sound like they’ve done a good job, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

To paraphrase Ian Malcom, “The market finds a way.”


If I’m never heard from again

by wfgodbold

It’s because the new patch for World of Warcraft went live today, and I’ve broken my computer in rage and frustration at Blizzard.

They’ve brought Ragnaros back, and I hardly care at all. Hopefully the Firelands raid will be better done than everything they’ve put out since Ulduar (easily the best raid dungeon in WotLK), but given their recent performance, I’m not hopeful.

If it weren’t for my internet friends, I’d’ve canceled long ago!


Kotaku has published a few tidbits of information

by wfgodbold

About Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the Zerg campaign expansion to Starcraft II.

They’ve got hands-on-impressions, screenshots, and a video of the game in action.

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s going to release by the end of the year; they haven’t announced a concrete date, but that seems a safe bet. I doubt they’ll make it by the end of July (which would have been a year after Starcraft II’s release).

Heart of the Swarm looks pretty good, though. Maybe I’ll finally learn WTF I’m doing when I’m controlling the Zerg.

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