Surprising no one, the D3 servers took a beating last night. As a veteran MMO player, I guess I’m used to it during launches but for single player games – like D2 – it must have been infuriating. They’ve been in beta for a year, stress tested the crap out of it and still they had fairly obvious game-breaking bugs and lack of stability. Hmm…
It took me about 4 hours to download the optimal (7gig or so) client in order to play. I started with 1m/s, then continually dropped to 200-300k. Not quite sure what happened there but it did take me 4x as long as it should have. Oh, for those who have yet to install it, make sure you’re installing it as an admin, otherwise it just stays at 0%.
The neat thing is the easy connection to friends. I logged on, picked a class and there were a couple games my friends were playing. One click and I’m in their game. Downside is that they were farther along than I was and nothing respawned so I had to leave and start my own. They were level 9 in their game, came into mine and were level 1. Which I found odd but we’ll see how that plays out in the long term.
The actual gameplay is pretty much just Torchlight in terms of controls and environment. You run and pick up cash automatically, the world is destructible and there are nooks and crannies to find. Enemies are varied, though not as bunched in the first few levels. I’d guess that changes as you get stronger. There’s a distinct lack of a boss in the first hour but there are mini-bosses – just normal enemies with more HP from what I’ve seen.
I selected the Wizard for the first run. Always liked the ranged DPS mode but I think I’ll be swapping to the Monk for the next try. I really liked the Assassin in D2 (which was turned into the Rogue in WoW) and the gameplay seems familiar. Still, shooting beams and missiles from a distance is fun. There’s some variety to attacks early on, which is good, and the rune system seems like it will add the “talent slots” that I’m used to seeing. I wish I could save a loadout though. Like going from single target to AE attacks without having to enter the screen (which doesn’t pause) select the appropriate items, then wait for them to charge. It breaks the flow.
Quest for Glory
I finished QfG2 last night while D3 was downloading. I consider it one of the stronger ones in the series, with a good story, challenging combat – especially the VGA version – yet still has a semi-linear adventure path. Plus you can become a Paladin at the end!
The thing I don’t like about it is that you can get sections with nothing to do but sleep until the next day. I had maxed out my combat skills by day 9 and I needed to wait until day 16 for the next sequence to unlock. The last part, from the cavern on out, is pretty cool. If it had been a little longer and the last boss not as timing intense, I think it would have been the best in the series.
Next up, Wages of War! Lions, Leopards, gigantic trees and demons. It’s a filler game, the weakest of the bunch as there’s nothing for Thieves to do but still provides some new game mechanics and a semi-interesting story.
For those jumping into the series, the Fighter is the easiest to play (and getting to be a Paladin is cake), then the Mage (with some rough spots in #2) then the Thief (with an amazing story in 1, 2, 4 and 5). The Thief naturally can’t become a Paladin due to the, ya know, Honor issue.