Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Diablo 3 Weakens

So many problems...where to start?

I finally hit the wall that is Inferno difficulty and have been able to reevaluate the game in full...well, mostly full. At present, my demon hunter is slowly crawling through Act 2 as I grind for gold rather than gear. Since arriving in Inferno, I have received zero beneficial drops. There was a patch to increase ilvls and droprates; I get more high lvl drops yet their stats are atrocious or completely useless. I have salvaged or vendored everything, taking the long, hard road to millions in gold, as I refuse to purchase off the real money auction house.

The loot system is just downright terrible. A lot of times you receive a drop for a specific class, say a wizard that uses intel, and the item will be stacked with strength. In other words, it's garbage. Random stats on an item that can be used by every class is understandable, but something that is class-specific should contain the main stat for that class at any capacity. To make any sense, it could be low intel on a wizard-specific helm, doesn't have to be a huge number, not dex or str. They haven't buffed legendaries or sets, so they're still terrible, despite dropping once in a blue moon. Rares are better.

And the AH game got old real quick. Even on the other classes I'm currently leveling, I'm forced into the AH because a lvl 40 barbarian will get lvl 20 drops. I have to farm acts and modes ahead of my characters, if I want upgrades, and upgrades are necessary, because at any point in the game there is a gear check, whether a boss or a champ/elite pack that wipes the floor with me. It leaves me scratching my head.

I said in previous posts that I'm the type of person that enjoys breakables and searching every corner of a map. Doing this, however, is now pointless. In a patch, gold and gear drops were nerfed into the ground, and magic find on breakables and searchable items was removed. Now when I level new classes, I dart through maps. If I find a side dungeon I haven't explored, I go in. Otherwise, I travel from point A to point B (on another post I explained how predictable maps have become), only killing mobs I encounter along the way. More than half the maps remain unexplored at the end of a quest.

Another reason Inferno's grind is so daunting is the affixes on champion and elite packs. They have four, and when I see fast, invulnerable minion, vortex, arcane on my demon hunter, for example, I run for the hills. Running, as crazy as it sounds, is not what I expect from an arpg on any difficulty. Kiting I can deal with as that's how ranged is supposed to play, but there have been times where I'm literally running in circles around a tree for ten to fifteen minutes or skip a group with insane affixes I know no amount of skill will overcome. To beat these groups, one must spend a lot and outgear them.

To further the aggravation when fighting mobs, they patched in double the repair costs that they were originally and made it so monsters reset in health when you die, in case you wanted to corpse run a near-impossible affix group down. Both decisions are frustrating. As a demon hunter, I basically can't get hit more than once or twice; that means I have to fight for about ten minutes without letting anything near me while avoiding ranged fire. If I die too much, I start losing more gold than I started my session with.

Bosses and champ/elites have rage timers now. It's ridiculous. In fighting the Skeleton King, I couldn't beat the timer, had to squander gold for more dmg, and then downed him solo. It didn't matter that he wasn't touching me until he enraged, because once he went crazy, I was one-shot. Bosses are a dps race, nothing more. If you can't shell out damage fast enough, you're doomed.

Past Hell difficulty, the builds become very specific as well. A few abilities are successful while the rest become throwaways. I have had to forgo four of my six favorite attacks and maneuvers simply to survive. For a game that touted customization, this is unacceptable.

Almost two months in and I still rubberband constantly. I still disconnect at random. I still lag and experience some choppy movements. On a rare occassion, I have mobs that vanish when I get close to them, and I just have to move on. In fact, these things happen more often than a month ago when I was playing on a ten year old computer that could only handle the minimum settings. I had originally thought the problems had more to do with my computer than the servers, yet since receiving my upgraded technology, it's glaringly obvious the issue is not on my end--my fps and ms are stellar.

In summary, after sinking over 250 hundred total hours across all five classes, I have no idea where Blizzard is taking this game. If anything, Diablo 3 seems to be taking steps backward with each patch rather than forward. My enjoyment is becoming less and less to the point that some days I log on simply to check my auctions and log off, as my demon hunter can not progress until I farm/auction enough gold to gear him properly.

A few weeks ago I recommended this game to my brother, but the other day I told him to forget it; he's better off just playing WoW or getting Diablo 3 when it's only 20 bucks. I'd give this same recommendation to anyone else.

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