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Diablo III (PC) artwork

Diablo III (PC) review

"A very grindy endgame but can appeal to some hardcore Leaderboard players, and I just like the RPG elements."

I once attempted college several years ago for nine months before being suspended for failing four out of twelve classes. I wonít bore you with the details of my economic hardships as a result of that but I did take a few things away from it. I took a public speaking class and, at that age, I was quite terrified of that. I basically skipped every day where I knew I had to stand up and speak to the class which contributed to failing that class. One of the things I learned there is to not lead any speech with a disclaimer. I forgot the reason why (Failed, remember?), likely something to do with setting a negative vibe for the whole thing.

However I disagree in certain circumstances. That is, after all, 15+ year old information, especially since the age of game reviews really kicked into gear. Sometimes you just have to let people know certain things off the bat, so hereís a couple.

This game is not for everyone. The story mode is there but the real endgame is extremely grindy. WoW players may feel at home in a similar environment but the entire name of the game here is trying to get your numbers to go higher. Iíll get into the method of doing so later but Diablo 3 is a grind machine. Be aware of that going in.

Secondly, I will be reviewing this under the assumption that owners have Reaper of Souls and prospective buyers will be getting Reaper of Souls. Without it, thereís one less class, one less act, -10 to the level cap, and I think it adds a couple of other features that I may not be aware of. Might as well buy RoS to get the full experience.

Lastly, I will give a brief mention as to the launch of the game. I wasnít there for the dark days. Some of them, anyway. I know the stories of the game not functioning for two days after release. The Auction House, which I was around for, was a bad idea and badly implemented that gave the game a pay to win aspect. There were a couple other flaws but the pre-RoS days were not great.

Iíll start with story mode.

You pick one of six classes and you start off meeting with Leah, whom you accompany throughout a majority of the game. The rise of Diablo himself is imminent despite his defeat in previous games and youíre mostly just acting to mitigate the power plays of various other demon lords. Belial, the Lord of Lies has a stranglehold on a city. Azmodan, the Lord of Sin launches an assault on Arreat. Soon it becomes clear that Diablo himself is somehow manipulating things in the background and most of the story revolves around discovering exactly how.

Thatís basically it. The story is not what people come to a Diablo game for, as a cooperative RPG. Later patches introduced Adventure Mode, one of the best decisions the game has ever made. If youíre coming in with a fresh account, you simply have to beat the story mode to unlock it, for all characters, until the end of time. Even fresh season characters can hop straight to Adventure Mode without having to worry about playing through the rather boring story (at least, after doing it several dozen times) every time.

In Adventure Mode, you have access to a few mechanics. Each act has five bounties you can complete for special reward boxes that throw crafting plans and materials at you en masse. There are Nephalem (the half demon/half angel mortal hybrid all characters play as) rifts, which act as a sort of practice grounds for Nephalem on a lore standpoint. Many achievements are based around doing them under a certain time limit, but they themselves are not timed. Most players rift until their eyes bleed until they can acquire a full green set - full sets of gear that give you massive buffs with a few specific abilities, all of them catering to a different kind of playstyle. You can look up specific builds online.

All of this leads to what is the effective endgame: Greater Rifts. They function similarly to the normal rifts except with a few differences. One, they are timed. You have fifteen minutes to complete them and there is a bar that continually moves towards the end and you have to stay ahead of it. Killing elite packs and bosses drops little purple globes for you to grab which bumps up your progress a few percent to stay ahead of the timer.

Secondly you are greeted with ďLegendary gemsĒ which have particularly powerful effects that help supplement youíre already badass self at this point. Adding damage into the thousands of percentiles, reflecting, bonus gold, and some insane attack speed sometimes. It all depends on how you build your character.

Lastly, and most importantly for most, you get greeted into Leaderboards if youíre good enough, it displays the top 1000 (and I think there are multiple pages so you can go deep to find your friends).

This ultimately ties into my disclaimers at the beginning. Once you get past a certain point your gameplay can be boiled down to a few specific things: Grind a few normal rifts to acquire Greater Rift Tokens, and some crafting resources. Do a few of those Greater Rifts. Find a few legendaries to slot into a the Kanaiís Cube mechanic. In order to do that, you need to do a few rounds of bounties. Do that, swing back to some rifts, then more greater rifts. Over and over.

You can join public games to speed some of this process up, and Iíd certainly recommend that. You can do a few solo things but this is not a game I play very much without friends to at least speak to while Iím playing. I recently recorded a session of gameplay for my Youtube channel and I expressed that this game is difficult to keep my fullest attention. I always have to play music or podcasts in the background. Best case scenario, I have music on low volume while talking to friends on Discord. If that does not appeal to you, then I understand if this is not the game for you.

To wit, I give this game a 7/10 for being solid but certainly not for everyone.
Itís a character-builder/gear simulator just trying to eke out those last few greater rifts, just to see how far you can possibly go. For this, I typically only play during seasons and usually only for a couple weeks at a time, maybe more with friends. This game just needs that social aspect to stay alive, or it just wonít survive the test of time. Itís doing pretty well to my knowledge, and it never takes a lot of time to find public groups.

Give it a go!


Zydrate's avatar
Community review by Zydrate (April 05, 2017)

Zydrate is most active on Steam and Tumblr.

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hastypixels posted April 05, 2017:

This lends some clarity to an old school Diablo II player. It sounds like they've picked up the pieces of a bungled launch and implemented a nice middle ground to ease players into the new paradigm. I doubt I'll pick it up, but if I did it seems worth my time.
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Zydrate posted April 05, 2017:

Yea I heard the proverbial horror stories about the launch and my brother and I were a couple months late to that. I think my bro did buy it but barely played it. I later got it myself, piddled around a bit but never got hardcore into it until Adventure Mode came out, which is great. There's certainly plenty to do.

(Also I'm old school. I played the original Diablo too, even with my own mother! As well as D2).
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EmP posted April 10, 2017:

Zyd likes words.

I mean, sure, we all do. Thereís not a lot of people who go around shaking their fists at dictionaries, but Zyd writes in a stream of consciousness type way and that means that words tumble straight out of her mind and onto her word document where they stay forever. This has a lot of plusses; her writing is often fun and relatable, but itís also prone to tangents (says me, right?) and, sometimes, things are less concise than they should have been. For example; I quite like the idea of the intro, but itís three paragraphs when it easily could have been one, and thereís a fair bit of word repetition going on ( e.g: the word Ďclassí pops up four times in the first paragraph alone. Twice in one sentence at one point). It could be tidier, I guess the point is, without losing that rambling onto a page feel you go for.

It also makes the assumption that people are already very familiar with Diablo, which is fair in a way because itís, you know, Diablo, but an existing knowledge is required to make the most sense of this review. Every now and then a line crops up that I just want to edit away (you donít need to write a score in the review body; oneís assigned at the end)
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Zydrate posted April 10, 2017:

All I can do is chalk it up to style. That, and some day I'll have a real editor behind me to go over my stuff before I plop it on multiple websites. Otherwise, I do like how people feel that my stuff "flows" well. Even my own brother told me that many years ago, so it's certainly a constant.

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