Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My First Night In Hell

I think Blizzard has taken immersion too far. Not only did they want me to play a game simulating a fantastical hell on Earth, but they really wanted me to feel it as well. This, of course, is evidenced by the server failure just as I was getting going.

I didn't have a whole lot of play time last night, but I did roll a toon. A monk. I think I'm around like level 6. The early levels go fast. Having never played a Diablo title before, the gameplay is all new to me. I can't speak to any improvements.

I like that it is very mouse driven. It provides a nice change of pace from most of the games I've been playing lately. I guess I feel that I'm playing in a more relaxed posture because of that. Slumped back, hand laid negligently across my poor mouse (which may quickly tire of the repeated clicking). It's a far cry from the normal "stooped gargoyle" look.

The gameplay is addictive. I'm enjoying my monk. I think the game design engenders a feel of nostalgia, even for someone that didn't play Diablo. It's "throwback" without looking "old."

I've not tried any of the online features yet. I was simply playing single player. Fuu started her download after her raid last night, but it didn't complete by the time I was being kicked off. Server instability appears to be an issue with Diablo. There was a whole lot of rage on the forums.

I'm not terribly upset, despite my comments above to the contrary. These things happen. I do wish Blizzard had seen fit to include an "offline" mode for pure single player play. I don't see why this couldn't have been done. Having to rely on server connectivity when playing alone seems pretty dumb. Maybe there are reasons, though. Otherwise, it doesn't surprise me that their servers are getting bombarded. They gave away a ton of games essentially for free, plus I'm sure there are a whole boat load of people that didn't do the year-long deal. That's a huge in-rush of players. Still, who better to handle this than Blizzard? It's not like they're new to the game.

I suppose I have some questions, not knowing much about Diablo. I've not read up a whole lot. Perhaps the wisdom of the interwebs can rescue my newbness. Feel encouraged to answer me in comments:
  • Am I right that there is essentially no character customization? You simply pick class and gender?
  • Do different classes have different stories, or does that not matter?
  • I saw the "make game public" option, but what if I just want to play with my wife? How does that work? I'll break this down into two sub-questions:
    • Are private co-op games easy to create?
    • Do you both have to be on the same story parts? If not, how do the levels resolve? That is, what's to stop me from bringing a max character to a new co-op event? Not that that's necessarily a problem, just wondered...
That's all I have for now. Gotta run to lunch. Thanks in advance for the help! I'm sure y'all know way more than I do at this point.


  1. The class stories won't really matter, except for colour detail. The characters will say slightly different things and have different voice actors but there's no real gameplay change.

    It's very easy to set up a private co-op game. First, friend the other person using their battletag or email address they used to register. Then if you log in while they are playing, there will be a button on your screen marked "Play with X" and if you press it, you'll get into your private co-op game. The second person will join whichever act/ quest the first person is on. When you arrive in the game, you will be in a town and there will be a banner in front of you marked "Join X" - if you click it, it'll open a portal that will take you to them. I don't think the levels resolve, but can't remember from beta.

    Blizzard assume that you're cool to set up co-op games at any time with anyone on your friends list so keep that in mind before you friend someone.

  2. Private Co-Op games are right on the home page. Just scroll through your friends and join. Easy peasey.

    My bf joined a co-op group as a level 1 character with friends who were level 13. The mobs were level 13.

    There is NO character customization. You just get to pick your sex and your name.

    Khizzara at did a nice write up for the game. You might want to check it out.

  3. IIRC, D2 had issues with people installing god-mode hacks and able to complete some of the most difficult content without really trying. The On-line only mode may be their method to avoid that from happening again, especially with this new Real-Money auction house coming online.

  4. There isnt visual character customization. But there is gameplay customization.

    You will end up with many more skills than you have slots for. And at some point you start unlocking runes for skills you have. Runes change the way skills work pretty dramatically.

  5. It appears Blizzard talked to my Day Job bosses, as they're trying to knock my personal server offline today by overloading it. Yes, personal server is a metaphor there.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for the replies, I've skimmed them, and they are helpful. Hopefully I'll get to play around with it more tonight, and I knew y'all would know more than me :-).

  6. With regards to character customization, you do get dyes that you can dye your armor with. There's a video about it on diablofans. 27mins long, shows you how your armor looks like on your character with the various dyes. :) If you are talking about say customizing your character looks, uhm i'm sorry to say no.

    One more thing to note, I have a feeling that different classes will say different things to their followers and to quest givers as well. Might not be a lot compared to other MMOs, but seeing the arrogant wizard snub people can be quite hilarious :)

  7. "Quick Join", which is a private co-op option can also be turned off. So, if you want your friends to ask to join your game first, you can.

    Another way to create a private co-op: you can go to your social menu, pick a friend and select "invite to party". Best done when your characters are close to the same level. I also believe whoever the party "leader" is will dicate the questline you're on. You may end up skipping or re-doing certain quests that way.

  8. Thanks guys. Ima respond in a post today just cuz... Stupid work makes responding promptly to comments hard. Woe is me.