This isn’t a regular game review, so I’m not going to cover all of my regular details and categories. I only really got to play for a little while last night due to, you know, having to work (d’oh), and thus I haven’t played the game nearly enough to review it. So here are my first impressions on a game that people have waited 12 years for: Diablo III.
Firstly, I’d like to address what everyone seems to be referring to as the Diablo Debacle: Error 37. The bottom line is, they were too conservative with their expectations on how many people would try to log in at the time of launch. Error 37 effectively just meant “try again later”. Does this mean that they were under prepared? I would say not as much as everyone seems to be screaming, as they were forward thinking enough to have a contingency plan for just this circumstance. Blizzard was expecting around 2million accounts to go live, and thus had the servers ready for approximately that amount. This was a gross underestimation. But prior to the launch, they prepped the rest of their Battle Net servers so that they could easily, and more importantly, quickly, convert them to Diablo 3 primary servers. This was done within 2 hours. A big job when you consider how many servers Blizzard has, but not quick enough for people who wanted to make sure they were the first to play. What’s two hours compared to twelve years? I say. I think it was foolish for players to expect that servers would run flawlessly as soon as they were open. There was bound to be a massive influx of people all trying to play at once. It is far from the worst thing to happen upon game launch, but I do agree that having a game that is primarily single player require to be online at all times is a bit much. We will see why Blizzard has made this decision soon enough hopefully, as most games like this experience less issues with just online verification at the point of registering the game, or switching to an / opening online mode for multiplayer or auctioneering.
Now for my impressions of the game. Overall: an updated continuation of the Diablo series. Did anyone expect anything else? To change the game dramatically would take away from what people feel to be what makes the game what it is. It is still top down. It is still point and click. You still must explore every aspect of every map. These are the simple mechanics that made the game so popular. What is different? The graphics are better, more colourful and crisper. As well as some new classes, you now have the option of picking a male or female character to play for each of them (totalling 5 hero stories and 10 toons). Each class has a unique way of fighting and managing your fighting, and skills have a deliteful way of “evolving”.
There is obviously a lot more to the game than that, but I just wanted to highlight the basics. It is still, at its core, a simple story driven game that you can play by yourself or with others. Good news: It will also run on my 3 year old laptop. So far, it feels as though they have found a good balance between keeping what made the game so popular and updating or changing to make it more technologically relevant to today’s gaming standards. I look forward to playing this weekend with my husband, who bought me the game because apparently there’s no one else he’d rather hunt demon hordes with… awwww….Gamers Romance ♥.