I <3 Diablo III: Setting Up & First Impressions
May 16, 2012 | ~4 mins read time.

Diablo IIINormally, I try to find a pretty picture to use for post illustrations. This time, I was going to share what my character looks like, but she’s dressed a little funny at the moment because I haven’t got access to dyes and such yet. I’m wearing armour looted from things I killed or crafted with the Blacksmith, but I’m not able to customize yet. So, I went with the graphic of the logo, instead.

That said, I’ve been up since 0600 EDT playing with a break for breakfast, one for a walk, and one to clean up after Sasha (the borrowed cat.) I wasn’t able to play a lot yesterday. Chris got home from work early, due to the downpour we were experiencing around here, and we went to Gamestop straight away to pick up my pre-order. By the time I got it home and had it installed, I had to wait another hour or so because there was a server meltdown or something so Blizzard was doing emergency maintenance.

To kill time, I wandered around the Diablo III forums and I was amused at all the complaining about the emergency maintenance. There were lots and lots of posts in the vein of, “Blizzard, you suck. I want to play my game now, how dare you have a problem on the first day of release of all days. How dare you.” I was picturing them all with faces from a crowd of kids put out when they haven’t gotten their own way. My immediate thought was to reply to one of the especially whiny threads with, “Well, sirs. One, this is a Blizzard release. Two, it’s release day. Three, have we mentioned it’s a Blizzard release, yet? This is normal”

I was just happy I didn’t have to download a hundred patches (I’m exaggerating a little bit) like I had to with Diablo II’s release. At any rate, after the second server shutdown, I only had a couple of hours to try out the Demon Hunter class and I have to say, I wanted to stay up all night and keep playing. However, I’d been up since 0500 EDT yesterday morning and I was a shade tired when bed time (which is between 2100 EDT and 2200 EDT in this house) rolled around, I was exhausted.

I love that Blizzard kept the look and feel of Diablo III similar to Diablo I and II. The controls are all in the right places, things are where I expected them to be, and I didn’t have to go hunting around for anything. I’m not sure how players who are new to the series feel about the GUI, but I’m very happy with it. I also love the fact that the inventory space is huge compared to the predecessors. Huge. I’m not sure how it’ll be once I reach Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno, but in Normal, I’m able to pretty much complete a dungeon without having to trudge all the way back out or cart around a million portal scrolls and tomes (which used to take up valuable space, damn it) with me to sell everything then head back. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

That’s another great thing about Diablo III so far. The town portal spell is right there in the skill/navigation bar. No more space-sucking scrolls and tomes to be had. Identify Scrolls and tomes are a thing of the past, as well. Simply right click on an unidentified item and voila, identified. Skill point spending is gone, too. Now, skills are added and upgraded for each Class based on level. More time can be spent playing, rather than tinkering with skills and attributes. I like tinkering in Guild Wars. I like tinkering in World of Warcraft. Diablo was always a different beast for me.

So, first impressions? I haven’t found anything yet that has annoyed me, but we’ll see. I’ve been waiting for this game for so long that I don’t want to waste time finding things wrong with it for the sake of finding something wrong with it for readers. I will say this, though, if you play games like WoW and GW largely for the ability to spend a lot of time playing around with detailed character builds, physical appearance, and skill leveling: Diablo III might not be for you unless you’re looking for something different and not MMO.

Diablo III, though you need to be connected to the internet because Blizzard is storing character info on their servers instead of locally, like in past releases of the series, and because they want to try to keep ahead of pirating more efficiently, is not an MMO. It is largely single player. You can invite people to play with you, you can participate in a community of players, and you can buy, trade, and sell items with other players. However, it is geared toward individual playing and there are no leaderboards this time around.