Since the launch of Diablo III everyone and his uncle voiced a strong opinion on the always-on debacle which was recently highlighted again by the launch of SimCity (5). The game experienced the same criticism as D3 had before it. Namely that the gameplay could easily accommodate an offline mode and also the fact that servers were less than stable in the weeks following launch, making the game inaccessible to those who bought a legitimate copy.
At the expense of giving the impression that this blog is all about Diablo III (it’s not) here is another topic related to the recently released Blizzard game. (It’s not my fault that I decided to start a blog so close to this game’s launch! Well, in actual fact it is, but the two are unrelated).
A lot has been said in favor of Diablo III’s hardcore mode (Gamespot, Eurogamer). The arguments are roughly the same. The game becomes more exciting, your choice of skills is more meaningful and you get to care more for your character and what you do with it. In short this is Diablo III as was intended and according to the opinions linked ‘if you’re not playing hardcore, then you are doing it wrong’. It’s about the journey not the destination, and indeed hardcore mode does make the journey much more thrilling and meaningful. I know, I started a hardcore Demon Hunter myself (although still at a modest level 8). You tend to take nothing for granted when the character you invested hours upon hours (I use the term invested lightly here) ends up erased from the face of the earth because you ran into a swarm of hell spawn without considering that there are a couple of elites mingling in the crowd. Continue reading
I’ve spent almost a week battling the hordes of hell. I just logged out and frankly I cannot wait to log back in. However, I decided to endure my withdrawal symptoms to blog my present thoughts on this game. It will be interesting to read this again in the future and see how my opinion changed (or possibly remained the same). Having said that I feel I have quite an informed opinion at this point, having played over 50 hours both on my own or with friends. (That’s around 8 hours a day math fans)
Diablo III is a wonderful game. If you have the slightest interest in action role playing games then this is a game which you definitely must play. It ticks all the right boxes needed to make an excellent entry in the genre. In fact I do believe it is the best entry in the genre by virtue of being 1) the most modern 2) having the biggest budget for this kind of game 3) being made by Blizzard who have ‘some’ experience in this genre. So what does Diablo III do right? Or rather, what are my favourite things about this game? Continue reading
On Eurogamer yesterday prior to the Diablo III EU launch:
Eurogamer: What’s your best advice for the many players trying to log in today and over the next few days who may struggle to play because of stress on your servers?
Leonard Boyarsky: We have fantastic guys working on that stuff. We have people who’ve worked on World of Warcraft. It’s not like this is our first multiplayer game. I’d put my faith in them.
I will not comment much on the game so far apart from saying that it’s a blast. I played yesterday (or this morning if you are so inclined) at launch. Not at 12.01 am as expected. We were four friends and we had to wait for all of us to painfully log into the the game, one at a time. The first one got in at around 12:25am. The last one logged in at 12:50am. It was gruelling for sure but once we started playing all was forgotten and this transgression was duly forgiven.
What is totally unforgivable to me is that this evening, at peak time, we have a similar situation. There is a temporary outage of the battle.net service it says. And sometimes, to mix it up, it tells me that the servers are busy. The servers must be busy counting the truckloads of money they made from this game. It’s the fastest pre-selling game in pc gaming history folks! So I am here updating my blog and venting instead of playing the game.
It boggles the mind how a company like Trion, lacking any experience where online gaming is concerned, and having much less resources than Blizzard, managed to launch Rift so painlessly.
So Mr. Boyarsky: Your faith was misplaced. Ponder this while I go give my ctr+v a good workout.
Diablo III is going to be released soon and I am well prepared. I booked leave from work, told friends and family I will be absent for a few days and stocked on energy drinks for those long nights of leveling and looting.
Truth be told I am not a huge Diablo fan. I never played the original as a matter of fact. I did dabble with Diablo II for a while but it never really gripped me. Having said that I love action RPGs. Played Dungeon Siege II and Torchlight to death. Got well acquainted with Nox and Titan Quest. I am currently working on finishing Dungeon Siege III on my Xbox. It’s not exactly the best ARPG I could play but it’s an enjoyable game anyways.
What makes the Diablo III launch special is that lots of my gamer friends are going to jump in as well. Diablo III is at heart a cooperative game, at least that is what the devs said. It’s a well known fact that playing games with others is always better than playing by yourself. Kind of like sex. We have been hyping each other for this launch for a good couple of months now and hopefully it will meet our expectations.
So, roll on May 15th. I am well prepared!