Ryu’s Musings – Diablo 3

Ryu’s Musings – Diablo 3
Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action-RPG Diablo III is moving the eternal war between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells to a new battleground–PlayStation! Armed with a controller and a custom-designed interface tailored for consoles, players will step into the role of one of five powerful character classes—barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter–and embark on a dark journey to save the world of Sanctuary from ancient demonic forces. As these heroes adventure from the humble town of New Tristram all the way to the Diamond Gates of the High Heavens, they’ll engage in pulse-pounding combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, grow in experience and ability, and acquire items of incredible power.


  • Five powerful character classes to choose from: barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, and demon hunter.
  • Direct character control and console-focused changes to character abilities and combat mechanics thrust PS3 gamers into the action.
  • Four-player online co-op and four-player local co-op for seamless cooperative play.
  • Four different difficulty modes–Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno–that progressively increase the challenge and reward players with more powerful armor, weapons, and abilities.
  • Hardcore mode for players who seek the thrill of constant peril that comes with the possibility of permanent death for their character.
  • Completely reimagined interface and new dynamic camera designed specifically for console play.
  • Interactive environments with dangerous traps and obstacles, and destructible elements.
  • Randomized settings, events, and loot deliver endless, dynamic gameplay.
  • A wide variety of fiendish monsters, with unique attack patterns and behaviors redesigned for console.
  • Features like the Paragon system, Monster Power, Infernal Machine and Brawling add substantial replayability.
  • Connect with friends, send game invitations, and access voice chat through the PlayStation Network.

So, unlike a lot of people, I actually liked Diablo 3, flaws and all. That’s probably due to the fact that I was never into the original 2 games and have never really played them. So in a way playing this game was my first taste of Diablo. Anyway, while the game has been out a while, the other day, I picked up the PS3 version (thank you, amazon, for taking Danganronpa back!!). I’d already completed the game several times on the PC, but the PS3 is supposed to be the ‘definitive’ version of the game, so I decided to give it a whirl.

So without further ado, off we go!!

Love or hate the game, you have to admit it looks nice! While the art is pretty much your usual ARPG style, it looks well done. Playing through the game on the PC the first time, I was constantly amazed at how good the game looked. For me, this was especially true since, at the time, the computer I had wasn’t a gaming rig, yet it still looks bloody awesome.

The special effects of the attacks give the game a good amount of feedback, which it needs since, early on, all you’ll be fighting are the same monsters. While we get a good variety, it’s not a great variety; after a while early on, it gets a bit dull fighting the same undead over and over. This is one of the problems with this style of the game however, there’s no real way to counter it; so with that in mind, Blizzard did a good job.

The settings and backdrops are really well done, though; both the above and the dungeons are very atmospheric and done really well. The changes from dark and dank to light work really well and help set the stage really well.

What really matters, however, is the weapons and armor for your characters are bloody awesome. The variety is awesome

The problem I have is that when I got the set I liked I didn’t want to give it up, I hope that at some point they add the transmogrify thing from WoW so we can change armor and weapons to look like the bits of armor we like. Me i love this:

But I’ve yet to get the full set so I’m keeping hunting. The other classes all have their own unique style of armor and weapons that look pretty cool. The Witch Doctor has some of the freakiest-looking armor and weapons in the game, but I just can’t get into the character. So on the PC, I have to admit this game is bloody gorgeous and amazing to watch. The cut scenes are amazing, and the CGI in them is the highest quality I’ve seen in a while, blended with perfect voice acting, direction, and atmosphere.

the big question here, however, is how it looks on the PS3, I’m sorry to say it’s nowhere near as good-looking. Frankly, after playing in 1080 on the PC going to 720(?) on the PS3 just doesn’t feel right. I’m also convinced that it’s not 720, hell at times, it looks more like 480. The character models look heavily pixelated and fuzzy, and the backgrounds are fuzzy and washed out. It’s not a good-looking game in the way the PC version is. For example, I’d take ages getting my gear to look right and then trying to get the perfect screenshot lol

In the PS3 version, that sort of goes out the window, though in a way that’s a good thing since I spent more time playing the game. The cut scenes still looked as good as the PC version, but they didn’t play as smoothly. This means that graphically, the PC version is superior (is anyone surprised?).

So, now we get to the meat of the game and where things go through some major changes.

Anyone with half an interest in the game knows that Blizzard screwed up big time here. But I’ll cover that screw-up last. Firstly let’s talk about the combat mechanics. These are pretty much like every ARPG out there, click to move with the left and right mouse buttons being your attack/skill buttons, as well as the 1-5 buttons being your acting skills. Of course, you have potions as well, as and when needed. So nothing overly interesting or different there.

PS3 version is pretty similar, though, as you’d expect, not as good. Your movement is bound to the left stick and dodge to the right stick. Your abilities are bound to the different buttons, and after a bit of acclimatization, I found for some characters worked really well. However, for classes that need precision, such as the Mage and Demon Hunter, it doesn’t work as well. I love the Demon Hunter but on the PS3 I found it unwieldy and a pain to use, so I went onto the Monk and found it easier to use.

The skills themselves are pretty weak regardless of your class early on, but they get better as you progress. The layout went through a revision from the PC:

The problem with this version of the skills is that you navigate with the left control stick, and frankly it handles badly. I found I didn’t want to experiment with other skills or runes purely because the interface was so clunky in its use.

This sadly carries over to the inventory screen, which on the PC version is a pretty decent screen, giving you all the info you need right at your fingertips.

Again it uses the left control stick and requires a lot of faffing around to get into a comparison menu, but even then it won’t tell you what swapping around your armor or weapons will do. You have to swap out, leave the inventory and go elsewhere for your info. Not an easy time of things, but admittedly after a while, you will most likely get used to it, or at least I did.

Now, onto the screw-ups.

Always online. If you’re going to be offline you need the console version since it’s only that version can you play offline. The PC version is always online and had a well-documented launch failure with the dreaded Error #37. Part of me understands why they did this since it was tied to their other failure, the Real Money Auction House. But I also figure it was an attempt to try and stop both piracy and cheating. However, having a game reliant on a company’s servers is never good, what happens in a few years when Blizzard decides to move on to another game and close the servers? However, as the console version has shown there’s no reason the game can’t have offline capabilities. Hopefully, they’ll add that in later on since they’re removing the RMAH.

The RMAH was Blizzard’s attempt to cash in and make safe the selling of items, which was commonplace in Diablo 1 and 2. However, they went about it in the wrong way completely. I can imagine the guy coming up with the idea of doing it thinking of the money they could make, and this is very true. They could make a lot of money, and probably did. However, the knock-on effect of this was the ruining of the game’s economy. The best way to gauge this is to look at the gold buying, when it first launched you got around 1 million gold per £1, however at today’s prices (please note these fluctuate daily) you can only get gold in stacks of 50 million and it costs you around £4. this is because the RMAH pushed the gold price of items up to stay in tune with the cash price of items.

Of course, because gold is a low drop in the game, the only way to get the gold needed to buy items from the normal AH was to buy the gold from the RMAH. Hence the RMAH destroyed the game economy.

What blizzard should have done was left it with the normal AH, using only gold for purchases. This would have gotten around the buying for cash outside of the game and added security. It also wouldn’t have ruined the economy to the extent you HAVE to buy gold to get buy.

Unfortunately, both AHs are being removed on the 18th of March in the run-up to the launch of the new expansion. Blizzard overhauled the loot drops (apparently) and added functionality where it makes most of the drops more relevant to your class. Have to admit that it’s going to be interesting to see it in action.

Finally, the expansion is due out later this month, and I for one won’t be getting it. Not until it’s on sale because Blizzard has once again shot itself in the foot with this release.

When Diablo 3 launched, the price on amazon UK was between £20-£25 depending on when you bought it. Most people I know pre-ordered the game early and when Amazon dropped the price to £20 for 3 days they all ended up getting it for that price due to the pre-order promise amazon has. However, even in the run-up to the launch day, you could pre-order it for £24.99. It wasn’t until the actual launch day that the price hit its £29.99 price.

The problem I have is that the new expansion, Reaper of souls, is £29.99 straight away and hasn’t gone much lower. However, the content it adds to the game hardly seems worth it. You get one new class and one new act, which compared to the original 4 acts leaves me wondering if Blizzard is trying to punish their fans for the removal of the cash cow that was the RMAH.

Then, of course, we have the whole console bullshit going on. Blizzard has basically told Diablo 3 fans who play on the PS3 and 360 to fuck off, the expansion isn’t being released on their platform. This is despite them making a big push to get people to rebuy it on said platforms. They made this big issue about how it was the definitive edition, but now they’re saying the definitive edition is the PS4 version, and to get that you’re going to have to out another £60 (estimated price) for it. They’ve no plans to bring reaper of souls to PS3 or 360, and ironically it won’t even reach PS4 until late 2014 early 2015.

Overall I have to question blizzards business sense, cause frankly, it seems like they don’t have ANY

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