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on July 7, 2012
I had some dental surgery last week, so I needed to kill some time at home. Unfortunately, I had played a lot of other games so there was nothing to really try but Diablo 3. I had heard a lot of tall tales going around about people making big money off the RMAH (real money auction house) so I figured why not give it a try.

After a week of playing and getting to Inferno act 2... I can safely say this is one of the weirdest products foisted on the gaming community that I've ever seen. I say product, because D3 is more product than game. You surely know how casinos glitz up their slots and their decor to create constant stimulation... Well, Diablo 3 is more like a casino than a videogame. The spell effects are big and over the top, the graphics dramatic and colorful. There's stimulation constantly. However there's no game.

Strategy-wise you don't really do anything. Either you have the appropriate gear and items to fight or you've run up against a wall and need to buy something extra in the auction house. This can be done with gold you earn playing the game... BUT... not when it matters.

The final run of the game is called Inferno. At this point you'll need millions of gold per gear piece by Act 2 or simply die in the game. And remember, as I said there's no strategy either way. Either you've bought enough gear, or you die. They were even thoughtful enough to add huge fees for dying in Inferno, to truly lock you in to using the auction house.

Now to make matters even worse for the poor soul playing the game normally, they added a real money auction house. Using this brilliant feature you can buy items for up to $250 to help you beat a game you already beat 3 times. Make sense? It shouldn't. The "money for nothing" greed surrounding this is reminiscent of the web craze called bitcoins. To clarify, everyone loses here except for the house and the early adopters. Because I started the game last week, I doubt I'll ever make more than a few dollars here and there on the auction house versus the thousands some have already made. And as the pyramid scheme gets less and less believable by the people willing to hold up the bottom, the whole thing will be utterly worthless. In short, the game currently resembles a money making scheme of the shadiest type more than a game.

It really makes me wonder what Blizzard is doing in the gaming business. I mean they are casino developers. That's a fact, they just do it in the virtual space.

As game developers they lack any concern whatsoever for the elements of the RPG experience. The storytelling is Saturday morning quality, which is being generous. Cartoons usually have themes and some plot development. This game does not; it just has the silly voice acting of cartoons.

This game lacks any attention to gameplay details. It's impossible to think of any fresh tactics to try playing this game, because you can't do any with the controls and design of it. You can whack away at the monster. You can use one of the few build selections that work at level 60. That's it, the rest is 99.9% stats. Anyone who says all ARPG or dungeon crawlers are this simple is crazy. It's the norm for there to be layers of options to your play choices in any game. This game doesn't have any layers because they want you to focus on buying the items and that's it.

So there you go. You have been warned, and probably chastised by many for even thinking about buying this game. But the choice is yours. If you do get it though, give some love to developers of games that care. Check out Guild Wars 2 or some indie games. You can't go wrong playing those thoughtfully developed games.
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on July 27, 2012
The game revolves around the auction house. Fun for the 1st run through Normal then Loot Sucks, Boss Drops SUCK! , No PVP at release, no PVP 2 month's later and NO SINGLEPLAYER (offline). Don't waste your time.
Research TorchLight 2 it's $20 same style game play and offers SINGLEPLAYER as well as MULTIPLAYER.
if you preorder on steam you get Torchlight for free.... FYI
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on June 25, 2012
Unfortunately the excitement of this game lasted 5 days before it quickly began to go down hill. Originally my husband bought copies of this game for both of us and a friend, he and the friend were fans of Diablo 1 and 2. I played Diablo 1 only.

My review:
You start on the regular difficulty and you play through the entire story line in about 5 days if you play leisurely pace.(It took us under 3 but we played at a faster pace than some would be able to). I will avoid spoilers for those who opt to purchase anyway, but we were all disappointed in the lack of depth to the dialogue. It just does not feel well thought out for how many years it has been between games. Players of the game have already re-written better dialogue (that stay in the story line) on the forums than the in game version. It just lacks depth and development. There really are no surprises or twists in the story; What you see is what you get. The baddies are spot-able a mile away and the one "twist" that there sort of is was like a pair of high beams coming at you. This overall left me feeling disappointed. At the end I did look at my husband and say "Wait..that's it? Oh..no..maybe they did a more story for Nightmare and as it gets more difficult you get more of the development".

A quick note about the voice acting; some people have complained about it, I do not find it that bothersome. I find the dialogue to be the bigger issue than the voice acting. I think they did well enough with the poor script they were given.

So back to my statement about "maybe the plot thickens as the level gets harder"... No, this isn't the case. You will be playing through identical story lines and dialogue on every level (normal, nightmare, hell, and inferno) nothing changes except the difficulty of the mobs. For me this got very old, very fast.

Character Customization: The only 2 customization options offered are: Male or female and then a very limited array of armor dyes. To be specific; there are 20 dyes. If you buy the collector's edition there are 2 more making 22.

Classes: There are 5; Barbarian, Monk, Wizard, Demon Hunter, and Witch Doctor. For those familiar with typical mmorpg terms you can consider the Monk the tank, the Barbarian an off tank/DPS/tank (depending on build) and everyone else is extremely fragile DPS. The real problem with the classes is the skills. While there are many to choose from they are extremely badly balanced within themselves. To clarify: You have a skill and then as you level you get "runes" that allow you to change the way the spell works a little bit. So you may get a spell that at the base slows the enemies movement 75% and then you might get a rune that changes that to slowing their movement 40% but now it deals damage over time to the monsters in it. The balance in the runes is completely out of whack though. There are very low level runes that do, say 260% weapon damage in their special effect...but then the higher level runes only do 25% weapon damage in theirs (and no the effect doesn't balance it out at all, you will -always- choose the higher damage one). To be honest, at first I thought the 260% was a typo and it was supposed to be 26%, that is not the case. So you end up with skills all over the place that you will never end up using except to see them once or twice. By the time you are progressing into Inferno you will be locked into a choice of 1 or 2 very specific builds that your class can survive Inferno with. This is also a disappointment that there are not more viable skill options for progression and once more limits customization.

"Class Balance": Apparently a PvP element is planned for Diablo 3. This is causing the development team to over focus on balance issues between the classes themselves and not enough focus on the effectiveness of each class versus the actual environment or in team play. In my opinion I feel like they are attempting to retroactively fit in a PvP element that will not fit into the story, will not be a true element of the game itself, but will likely just be a secondary play option in the menu screen that will let you do some kind of arena style battles. And for this endeavor the PvE of the game is suffering. Diablo was originally a single player game. It was more action adventure "you are the hero of the world!!!" feel. Diablo 3 (at current, more patches will be sure to come) is more of an mmorpg game with a lot less people around. Your party is capped at 4 people and other than that you never see anyone else at all....except in the Auction House.

The Auction House: This is where you actually spend the most time "playing". The AH is -not- in the game. It is only accessible through the game menu and to use the auction house while playing you must exit the game which can be problematic with Nephalem's valor (a buff you get once you hit level 60 that will increase your drop rates and stacks up to 5 times when you defeat elites or bosses but it is completely loss if you leave the game, (even if their server crashes or your net hiccups)change a skill or rune, or leave the act you started in.) So if you get a great item to sell or your auction is up on something you bought and you are mid-stack..you are stuck until you finish your farming. Also, you are limited to selling 10 items at once with no way to increase your number of selling slots. Once you put an item up it is stuck there for 36 hours, no taking it down for something better, even if no one has bid on it.

Farming: This will be the other place you spend most of your "play" time. At current the economy is completely destroyed by gold farmers and bots combining with the "RMAH" (real money auction house). Gold farmers now have a completely legal and legitimate place to sell their farmed gold/items right there in the game and Blizzard takes a $1 cut of all sales it facilitates. Don't get your hopes up that this stops the farmer spam in general chat...no, that is still alive and well too. Since people who want to buy gold instead of earn it can get it so easily now, items are costing millions of gold that have no business being that high. No player bothers to sell 'low' level gear because low level players could never afford it given the restricted sell slots. You need to sell expensive items to hope to keep up with your repair costs so anything that would sell for under 100k is generally just thrown away as it's not efficient.

Repair costs: this last patch made them completely absurd. To the point some players were unable to even continue playing because of broken gear and not being able to afford to fix it. These players had to get gold from friends or..buy it off the RMAH. This apparently was put in to keep people from zerging (just dying over and over) content to progress through it. Sadly it does't stop the zerging so much as increase everyone's dependence on the RMAH.

When you take the last 3 categories: Farming + Auction House + Repair costs, you will have what the game ends up being an endless cycle of. In order to progress in difficulty you -will- run up repair costs. It takes time and deaths to learn tactics and how to handle mobs based on their changing affix abilities (unless you just want to go read how to do it instead of figure it out on your own) Since each death (at current for a person geared to handle Act 1 and 2 inferno) costs roughly 11k each death and (at current, but they have said they will be fixing this) it actually costs you money (roughly 30 gold) every time you hit something, something hits you, or you break a pot or other destroy-able in game object, you need a lot of money to repair your gear to advance. And boy are you dependent on money and gear. Since good gear drop rates are very low you will have to purchase most upgrades from the AH or RMAH or you will be spending weeks of play time farming lower level content to try to find it. Though, either way you must spend a large amount of time devoted to farming for gold to either find or purchase upgrades unless you opt to spend more actual money.

The darkside of the RMAH: For the buyer: You can purchase an item off the RMAH for real money and if the item gets nerfed, Blizzard will change the item you already purchased. Many players were recently hit by this happening when Blizzard nerfed Attack speed items. Player's had bought items for attack speed off the RMAH and now those items value (and use) have dropped 50% or more. Which brings us to the downside for the Seller: People are able to contest these purchases through their credit card company under the stipulation that the item purchased is not the item received clause. I am not sure where this will leave the seller of the item in the long run since this is all a very grey legal area but I know people are contesting the charges. If I hear how they come out, I will update this. For everyone: If your account gets hacked and you are an RMAH activated account, the hackers can buy a ton of gear on your credit card. This is to dangerous for my liking with the amount of hacked accounts there are currently.

Game play: Besides all of the above, the game play itself has issues with "rubber banding" and lag that are not client side but server side. Some people continue to try to say "it's your connection" but even Blizzard has acknowledged that this is not the case. They are working on fixes to these issues but for now there is no way to escape it when it hits.

Over all I am disappointed. I am concerned at the diversion from what the game line used to be (an action based game you could play alone or with friends) and what it's becoming (a balanced PvP focus) and Blizzard's unusual unconcerned/unhelpful responses that we are seeing on the forums. Customer service for this game seems to have gone down hill from previous ones.

End suggestion: Don't buy it just yet. I suggest going to the forums and reading the posts there from legitimate player concerns (there are your typical rant posts of course...try to find the well written ones not the rants)and the community managers, see how the next few weeks of patches go and see if you think you would enjoy it as it is before spending the money to buy it.
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on August 30, 2012
The gameplay is boring as hell yet Blizzard's arrogance really pissed fans off.
Good job BLZ, you won't get another damn dim from my pocket !
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on July 11, 2012
First, I bought this through digital purchase on the Blizzard website, but I think getting as much negative press out there to prevent more gamers from falling for this ponzi scheme is important.

Warning: If you purchase this game, you are willingly becoming a human node to farm profit for Blizzard. The game is designed completely around the need for the real-money auction house to compete and do well in the end-game. The difficulty curve in the final stages of the game is so absurd and the loot system is so obscenely weighted against you in terms of probabilities to actually receive an upgrade, that you have no choice but to farm for hours on end to afford to purchase upgrades from the auction house. This game could have been named: "The World of Auctions" and it would have at least not been as big a let down as slapping the Diablo franchise on the front of the box.

One month into the game, Blizzard releases the real money auction house. Now the auction house that uses the in-game currency (Gold) is a barren wasteland of good loot. It's meh-mediocre at best. Anything very good to great gets slapped on the Real-money auction house for 25 bucks or more, sometimes 250 bucks. It's ridiculous. But here's where Blizzard's greed starts to shine through. They get $1 for every successful Real-money auction. So there's no incentive for them to fix their broken game experience. They'll just sit back and watch desperate people trying to squeeze an ounce of fun out of their game by spending their real income on virtual garbage. Did a champion pack with aggravating affixes just demolish you repeatedly? Why not spend 5 bucks on this amulet to improve your chances?

Then there's the fact that the real-money auction earnings either dump directly into a blizzard balance that you have to spend in their digital store, or you can transfer it through paypal to your account. Paypal takes their cut, and I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard owns some part of Paypal through subsidiaries.

Soon, even the in-game currency will be available for purchase through their real-money auction house. They couldn't figure out how to make a game that the Chinese wouldn't farm and sell virtual goods in, so they just embraced it, and now they're going to get their cut at least.

Just do yourself a favor, go play something else. This game is nothing but a money grab in a somewhat pretty looking but poorly developed gaming experience.
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on June 14, 2012
My review is summarized in many of the one star written complaints. To the point: If you expect this game to be like Diablo, or Diablo II(LoD) for that matter, then don't buy it. This game is a locked-down, simplified version of Diablo II, at best. Truly disappointing, and a let down, to have been kept waiting for 10 years for a release of a game that won't live up to its name.

What's wrong with the game? First of all, the sense of community that was Diablo II is gone. There are no more proper chat channels, and the ones that exist are filled with gold spammers. Oh yes, there are gold spammers and bots that inflate the Auction House and incite prohibitive prices for items that you WILL need if you want to progress. Also, say good bye to custom games, the ones you used to create to join with friends, there is no more PvP (remembering the D2 days of Wolf Druid with haste stack).

The game is essentially a click-fest, in a very linear fashion. There is only one way to reach your destination and, seeing how simple the game has become, Blizzard even added pointers and yellow dots to the minimap that tell you where to go constantly, as opposed to actually exploring the world. Which there is none to explore. You start off in Act I in normal, until you finish all the acts and then start all over again in a different difficulty, up to four times (four difficulties). You will be clicking on the same monsters and seeing the same scenarios all the way. You aren't able to use the WayPoint to travel to a different act anymore, as in D2.

You have four classes to choose from, and in my point of view none of them are as good as any from D2. The talent trees and abilities are presets that each class at any given level will have. There is no customization here. There are clearly better alternatives of these skills and, as a result, everyone uses the same ones, while farming through the same content you saw 2 difficulties ago. Overall, very repetitive. You farm because the gear is necessary if you want to progress through Inferno difficulty. There are no longer awesome items as there were in D2, such as Shako, Occulus or Stones of Jordan, instead there is a game engine which randomly generates items with randomized stats, many of them don't even make sense (such as coupling Strength with Intellect, completely opposite attributes). Speaking of attributes, you can't spend them. The game does that for you, and for everybody, automatically, so that a level 44 Barbarian will have the same stats as you, if you own a level 44 Barbarian. And the same skills.

The only customization this game allows is the choice of different gear, for which you are forced to farm gold to buy. Gear is also very expensive to repair in later stages of the game, forcing you to choose between buying a different item or repairing your current. And because everything is homogen, and gear is the only thing to change, you WILL have to use the Auction House. This is because items rarely drop (even with Magic Find, which isnt half as useful as it were in D2) and, when they do, they have ridiculous stats. Speaking of the Auction House, I believe the addition of a "Real Currency Auction House" is ridiculous. In fact, this game is so short and simple, that it leads me to believe it has been rushed (really, after ten long years?) and its only mission is to accomodate this 'feature', so that the user base can feed Blizzard some real money. I don't know about you, but a game is a game and game items stay within the game 'world'. I am certainly not willing to pay any more money than what I initially paid for the game (is $60 a low amount nowadays?) just to upgrade a character -- I should definitely not have to depend on this 'feature' to be able to enjoy the game. Everything points that you do. Gold is hard to obtain and items are useless. In reality, it's easy to obtain, but prices are so high it's quite hectic to have to buy a new item every now and again. Because gold bots have increased these prices dramatically.

** TO SUM UP **

This game doesn't feel like a sequel at all. It feels like a rushed game, I breezed through it in 14 hours and after that point it start to repeat itself. Everyone is forced to use the same abilities and there is no customization whatsoever. Communities are gone, no chats and no custom games. No more awesome Unique items or other items with cool properties. It's a sport of continuous clicking to get gold to buy items at a very high price which forces you to click and click.. and click through the same content you saw ten times already. And spending actual money on items just because of the way they made it so inaccessible is a laugh at my intelligence.

This is a disappointment for such a strong franchise. I have read the original development team did not work on this game... and it's evident.
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on August 7, 2012
This game. As I place my head into my palm and sigh deeply, I try to think of something nice to say. ANYTHING nice to say about this game. Sadly I can't. There is nothing good about this game it is the epitome of corporate gaming and the poster child of failed reboots/sequels in the gaming industry. All you do is play a ~10 hour story. That's it. That's all this game offers. 10 hours of content. I suppose you could waste 400 hours and get a "decent" set of gear but why bother when someone out there has already hacked it, duped items, stole information to exploit the RMAH. Speaking of the Real Money Auction House, this destroyed the game. If you could buy BiS items off the gold AH and post them on the RMAH, what is the point of the gold AH? All the Chinese botters and farmers do it, they buy the gold items worth a dang and sell it on the real money auction house. How do they do that? well, the first week or so of the expansion you could break open jars and chests and reset the game. over and over and over. The cheaters literally have BILLIONS if not TRILLIONS of gold. Unless you have deep pockets in real life, good luck on getting ahead or having any chance of "fairness" in this game.

If you liked D2 you're gonna have a bad time.
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on September 15, 2012
What can I say that hasn't been said before. For the most part I am writing this review because I want Blizzard to see another paying customer dissatisfied with their game.

Let me start it off simple. I never played Diablo 2. However, what I did play, and play A LOT of, was Diablo 1. I still sometimes bust it out, just for old times sake, play a couple of levels of dungeon, find a couple of artifacts, and kill some monsters.

With Diablo 3, I was hoping for the same. An opportunity to run and gun, hack and slash my way through hundreds of monsters, through randomly generated content with friends. What I got instead was basically a poor clone of Titan Quest. I beat it once, and played through again. No issues with how my character worked, I loved it. Not quite what I had imagined from the 'previews' and 'sneak peaks' that had been given, but at the end of it all, it felt great, fast moving, action packed, gear oriented, but not the gear grind that other games are. Play through again, and it's the exact same game, play through the 3rd time, and again, its the exact same. But now I'm having to buy gear from the AH, because gear that I need to kill the monsters aren't dropping from the monsters.

I don't know what Blizzard was aiming for, but what the game felt like, was an interactive cinema. Sort of a 'you're going to watch this game, over and over, until you succeed, but hey, it looks great right!?'.

All in all, not impressed with this offering to the hack and slash genre. Indie game houses do it better.
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on July 27, 2012
... that's what my friends said to me when I was worried that the new skill system Blizzard was working on might not be a too bright idea. Well, turns out they were wrong. Very wrong.

No need to explain everything in detail, it has been done here in several reviews already.
After 2 days of playing this game, I bet my friends that it will probably take around 2 months before they too will be bored with this piece of crap... and it turned out that I was wrong there. It took only 1 month.
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on July 27, 2012
First, I loved Diablo, Diablo II, the D2 expansions... But this isn't the Diablo you remember. Though beautiful, and sometimes downright disconcerting to look at, the "fun" quotient just isn't there anymore. The main problem, at least for me, is that with other RPGs of this type, you acquire the necessary gear along the way to actually progress. That is, the current zone prepares you for the next zone. Unfortunately, that is not true in Diablo III, and it's painfully obvious why. As in World of Warcraft, Blizzard's flagship offering, the policy is to be extremely miserly about doling out class/level appropriate gear. In Wow, it was bad. In Diablo III it's horrific.

The fundamental reason the developers don't want you to gear your character up yourself is because they're taking upwards of a 50% cut on a real money auction house. Every time you have to use real dollars to upgrade so you can make any kind of progress (particularly in Inferno mode), Blizzard takes a real cut. They're hauling in thousands of dollars a day, cashing in on their deliberately poor game design. In other words, Diablo III was never intended to be fun. It was intended to fleece the players. Oh, but you say there's an ingame-gold auction house. Yes there is. And anything worth having costs over 50 million gold. Let me repeat, fifty million gold. Minimum. I've seen things for sale for 500 million gold! So there's no way to buy the gear you need there.

The other massively annoying part is that you cannot play unless you have a persistent, strong internet connection during your entire play session. It's not a single player game anymore. It's just a glorified Farmville game.

If you want a game you can play (with Internet connection) for a half an hour at a time and don't care about finishing through the hardest setting, then Diablo might be ok (wait for the box price to dip below 35 dollars imo). It's good for that. Otherwise, it's been a big disappointment Diablo fans had to wait 12 years to experience.

Bummer.
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