Press Any Key: Diablo 3 Beta – Monk Playthrough
Diablo is one of those beloved franchises that people have played for so long and so many times over, and over, and over, that, in the minds of many, it can do no wrong. Along that same logic, Diablo III is so hotly anticipated by fans and newcomers alike that every single detail of the game has come under extreme scrutiny. From the new look of the game, to the classes, the revamped skill tree, and even the new auction house, everything that can be nitpicked by the fans has been.
On some level I can understand the fervor the fans are bringing to the table. People really want this to be a sequel that lives up to everything gamers remember Diablo 2 being: an epic, endlessly replayable, and incredibly fast and furious action rpg experience. On the other hand, Diablo 2 is beyond long in the tooth at this point. As fun as the game is, and continues to be, the gaming landscape has evolved and so too has the point-and-click action adventure genre. So how does a team create a game that revamps both a franchise and a genre without burning all the fans who think they know what Diablo 3 should be?
I assume no matter what Blizzard keeps, revamps, fixes, or ultimately throws out, the old adage “you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” will never be so apt as with Diablo III. Regardless, if the beta is any indication of what to expect in Diablo III, the heart and soul of the franchise remains intact and better than ever, even if some of the details have been changed to bring the series into the 21st century.
As you’ll see in my beta playthrough below (I played as a monk) I have been happily impressed with what Diablo III has to offer. I can’t wait to spend more time trying out every class and seeing how certain classes work together in the multiplayer campaign. I’m also very interested to see how the auction house and constant connection issues work on my end as well as with other players during the initial roll out of the game, as well as beyond launch day. Last, but certainly not least, I find the new skill system to be a dream to use. While I know it’ll seem like a ‘noobification’ of the skill tree from Diablo 2, I think that it does a nice job of allowing for a variety of play styles within one class while cutting down on the kind of min-maxing toons that D2 is known for.
As I’m sure you’re all aware by now, Diablo 3 will be launching in for the PC on May 15th, 2012. Be sure to check out www.battle.net for more info.