Review of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Zach, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Zach

    Zach Well-Known Member

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    I know I have blasted Diablo 3 in the past – as it indeed was a horrible game to put it nicely. I myself didn’t have any intention to purchase the expansion pack when it came out; my brother did, as he had over 40 bucks tied into his Bnet account. And I jumped right in to the flow as he did. Here is my small review – I’m writing this review after completing Malthael run with my Crusader at Torment 6 difficulty.

    1. First and foremost, the game play is much smoother. It’s been fine-tuned very well. To put it bluntly, this is what it feels like:



    Diablo 3: Return to the Original Diablo. [And it failed to even bring the feel for it.]

    Diablo 3 expansion: Return to Diablo 2.



    2. So what’s so great about this expansion pack that wasn’t there before?



    a. First and foremost, you do not need to beat the same scenario four different times at different difficulty level any more. One run and you unlock everything. What a welcome change.



    b. So… how does that translate into the actual game play experience?

    It actually translates very well. The game provides you with 5 different difficulty level. [Normal, hard, expert, master and torment, with torment level again separated into Torment 1 through Torment 6.]

    Now, even with your fully geared and leveled 70 level champ, act 1 won’t quite be the pushover that it was before. The HP of the mobs scale with respect to the HP and respective level of the champ you are playing. This means that, you can try difficult end-of-the-chapter bosses at low level and come away with a victory, if you play with some savvy and strategy.

    c. How about itemization?



    It improved big time as well. First of all, they separated the stats into two levels: primary stat and secondary stat. Here is a list of primary stats:



    - Vitality

    - One important stat for any given champ [Str for Barbs, etc]

    - Damage modifiers

    a. Attack speed

    b. Crit chance

    c. Crit damage

    d. Elemental Damage modifiers.

    - Defensive stats

    a. Prismatic resistance. [All res]

    b. Armor

    - Sockets

    - Movement speed

    Everything else is secondary – the most important of which [at least while leveling] is the reduced level requirement tag.

    And with this, the kinds of unreasonable stat distribution [str and int on DH cloak, for instance] does not happen anymore. If you are rolling with a barbarian, unless the item is intended for some different class, you will not see useless stat on your gear.

    Better yet, however, if you find one stat missing or you prefer that one particular stat missing in other gears, you can modify that stat. D3 expac allows you to modify one stat of your choosing and change it to the stats available in exchange for the stat you are giving up. [You may not modify more than one stat on any item – that’s the tradeoff.]

    So is that all there is to it, with itemization? Actually, no. The best part is that, no item is wasted in this expansion – that includes the trash white items. Now you want to collect them on sight. You may need it either to craft a new gear, or you’d need the part you can get by salvaging the gears. Nothing is wasted here – that’s another welcome change.

    Last, but not the least, in-game gold is in very, VERY high demand. Now everything works very compactly, and like a well-oiled machine.

    d. So where is all the fun? If someone else gives you all the overpowered gears at start, you’d be smashing your way into the end in no time, no?



    Actually, no. First, all the items after expansion are account bound. They are not tradable. You MAY trade an item – but it comes with conditions. You must have played with that said friend, and you must trade the item within 2 hours from when you got it. If you modify the stats, it’s all off. The item is bound to your account; i.e. you cannot get a gear, modify it, then give it to your friend.



    e. So, if single run is all there is to it, what’s there afterwards?

    They added this ‘Adventure’ mode. It’s more like a small run you played in D3 proper – just, now the interface supports it, and gives you rewards for doing that. The game client will pick any 5 short-sized missions out of the entire chapter [and there are five chapters now] and you just need to pick the mission, and complete the run and get it over with. It also gives you sizable Exp and gold bonus, so it helps when you are leveling up your alts after you are done with your primary champ.

    f. Last, but not the least; transmogrification! You can change the look of your gears with any item you once owned. So, with this, I mogged my crusader as an all-black plate villain you find in these movies, with burning flail and big tower shield with skull engraved on it. That he’s wearing stag helm gave me such a kick out of it. During my Malthael run, it looked more or less like the villain was killing the angel. [Ha! That’s fun.]



    This is not all of the topics that I have embarked to touch on – but what else was there, escapes my mind. I will add more as I find them later on.

    3. So… this brings us to the review of the class Crusader. It is a very fun champ to play with – and that’s an understatement. In a span of a week, I and my brother both leveled a crusader to 70 each, but we play in vastly different playing style.



    As for me, I’m more or less a melee person. I also believe that, when you are geared in full plate mail and big tower shield, you must use it. So I play like a typical tank in those MMOGs, i.e. Warrior or Tankadin; consequently, my choice of main attack was Slash. My brother preferred hitting the mobs from afar – and he went with Justice. That’s not all – where I opted for all res passive, my brother opted for ATS/crit dmg spec instead.



    And while the playing style is vastly different, it was immensely fun in both cases. I’d be taking on a huge amount of crowds all by myself, taking them at a natural bottleneck [like doors or a corner] while my brother would run around in the open field, gather the mobs in tight pack then nuke the hell out of them.

    Thus, in that regard, this was also a smashing success.



    Last word: this is a very well-tuned game. They obviously listened. A lot. Not only that, they reflected a lot of valid criticisms into the expansion, and made a fantastic product out of it. I’d give it 5/5.
     
  2. Chutzpah

    Chutzpah Active Member

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    i only bought it so i could sport a Treasure goblin companion pet on my WoW character; i ended up having D3 from that Annual Pass promo back in 2012
     
  3. Zach

    Zach Well-Known Member

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    Okay - I gave a glowing review of Diablo 3 Expansion - so I will give the other 'missing' parts here.

    1. Blood shards: Blizzard officially made a way to improve your gears by providing multiple options to obtain good gears, with a hint of chance rolled into it. Thus far, it's good.

    2. So what's bad? I didn't include in the review above, but the story line is a complete disaster to put it nicely. To me, Chris Metzen is fucking up literally everything that Blizzard of the past has achieved; the legacy of Draenei for instance, and now this. In terms of the story progression, Diablo 3 was a complete disaster to start. It was such and epic fail that, whatever you could imagine bringing up in form of expansion pack would share the same fate consequently.

    3. Now... like I said, I didn't include this story progression thing in the original review; and I omitted that part for a reason. Tell me, how many of you actually care about these? I myself have played Everquest from the Original days all the way through Vex Thal, and while I had a lot of fun playing during Velious days, I had no qualms about killing Yelinak, King Tormax AND Dain Frostreaver IV all at the same time. I get it; good story line can enhance your game playing experience a lot. Yes, they do. But does 'poor' one ruin your game playing experience? Since when? Think back - when we had 8-bit machines, with the likes of Galaga, we didn't care much about some earthen bug-looking space creatures invading the Earth either.

    4. To clean up all the train wreck of a mess that was Diablo 3, it will take more than one expansion pack. This is how I look at it; at least through this expansion, they fixed a lot of - if not all of - the mess related to game play. It is visible improvement, and I can see what kind of effort they must have put into this. They didn't fix everything, but they did fix majority of the disaster. Now whoever is in charge must see Chris Metzen is the root of all evil that is plaguing everything that is Blizzard, and put an end to his influence at least.
     
  4. Zach

    Zach Well-Known Member

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    Now, my commentary, from someone that was involved in that industry:

    1. First and foremost, WoW and Diablo 3 have been revolutionary games in their own right. Make no mistake about it.

    So... if WoW ruined the MMOG landscape like I say, and Diablo 3 was such an epic failure that I make it to be, how can I still say they were revolutionary games?

    This comes from the game mechanics. More specifically, more complicated, but more realistic portrayal of the cold-weapon melee combat.

    Think back the old days - that is, the days of AD&D, where you were rolling dices to find the values in the combat table. If you were playing role playing games as long as I did [which is well over 20 years by now] then you must know what THAC0 is. The defense mechanism was that simple; it did involve some fancy dice rolling, but in the end, it was a boolean function, whose result was nothing but 'hit' or 'miss.'

    This trend remained as de facto the way to establish defensive mechanism even till the 90's. For instance, Everquest was doing exactly that, with countless other MMOGs following the trail. But the landscape would never be the same soon; enter WoW.

    Simply put, what WoW did was to introduce what we physicists call 'Sigmoid' function into the defense mechanism. It would give you a nice cut-off threshold, a sweet spot for gear improvement, then a soft cap, all rolled into one. The defense mechanism won't be the simple hit-or-miss any more. You could either 'dodge' it or 'block' it, and even when you get hit, you could 'deflect' it with shield, or your armor will absorb a portion of the damage. As long as you are clad in some sort of defensive outfit, that would be reflected into the result.

    I could bore you to death with what happened on the offensive side as well; but I will spare you the details. It's more than sufficient to find that, the attacking mechanism accounts for a lot of real-life outcomes as well, just like the defensive mechanism that I have described above. And establishing this kind of new, realistic mechanism is an achievement of its own.

    Last, but not the least; Diablo 3 inherited most of this as well; this wasn't available to Blizzard back in D2 days.

    2. So if the system is so sophisticated and all that, what happened to all the crap experiences and mass death back in D3 days? The problem is two-fold, actually.

    First and foremost, this kind of stuff is virtually invisible to most players - even hard-core players. This fact is exacerbated by the fact that, in case of D3, there is no written log to parse the data. They are all treated internally, and then disappear. They do show you the flashing ungodly numbers, but unless you log them and analyze their distribution, you can't know what kind of DPS you are putting up in reality. You can't know how effective the change of the gear was, compared to the prior DPS setting.

    What's worse was that, due to extremely poor itemization, the above battle logic had very few time to work as intended. Not many could survive the fight long enough and see the benefit of their gear change in harder settings. In that sense, the merit above was truly an 'invisible' merit.

    3. Thus, in this regard, I can see that Blizzard staff actually put a lot of work, effort and thought into this expansion. If the story line developed better, it would have been nice; at least, they have tied all of the loose ends in game play section. There is no useless garbage flinging around itself in the face of the users, a la D3 mode.
     
    #4 Zach, Apr 18, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  5. Br4d

    Br4d 2009 Green Guy "Most Knowledgeable" Award

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    Blizzard is the devil in gaming right now. They destroyed the MMO market with WoW and then started putting out crappy titles in the void that a mega-giant game developer creates all around it.

    It would be really nice if they found some way to go out of business at this point but that'll never happen.
     
  6. Zach

    Zach Well-Known Member

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    You never know. SSI, Microprose and Sierra did go down in due time.
     
  7. Umphpool

    Umphpool Well-Known Member

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    I want it for the PS4 so bad!!!!!
     
  8. Antoni

    Antoni Well-Known Member

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    Their new game Heroes of the Storm is total ass. Can't compare to League of Legends or DOTA2. But it will be bought because of the title unfortunately. Hearthstone is a great game and totally annihilated MTG Online.
     
  9. 74

    74 Well-Known Member

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    Anybody ever play Torchlight II?
     
  10. Antoni

    Antoni Well-Known Member

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    After playing unhealthy amounts of hearthstone, I finally bought this game. I like it so far, but I miss the old Auction House system from D3 Vanilla.
     
  11. Zach

    Zach Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't have. This game has gone stale ages ago.
     
  12. Christian

    Christian Active Member

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    Great game, lots of replay value as well. You should get your money's worth.
     
  13. Burnz

    Burnz Well-Known Member

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    This game is just a grinding nuance. Avoid it all cost LEGACY OF THE VOID!! DONT FUCK IT UP BLIZZARD I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD THE PROTOSS STORY BETTER BE DANK .

    Also Blizzard made a awesome moba(Heros of the storm). If anyone is a fan of the League of Legends genre( I am )
     
  14. Antoni

    Antoni Well-Known Member

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    I'm not really interested in the "end game" of the game though. It never appealed to me to farm loot only for the sake of farming for more loot. At least in WoW you can do battlegrounds and arena, in Diablo you just farm more. I got it cause I wanted to do the campaign for the story and what not. I hate that the auction house is gone because I can't buy my guys items anymore.
     
  15. Zach

    Zach Well-Known Member

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    Really, I can't play that thing for more than 10 minutes a day if that long.

    That game bores me to sleep - as in, I literally [sleepwalk] through the gameplay.

    @Burnz//Go back to Brood war. That's your best bet. Starcraft 2 is an utter trash.
     
  16. Burnz

    Burnz Well-Known Member

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    Loved Broodwar! Consumed my childhood from 98-05 that game was non stop fun. I actually enjoy the PVP in SC2 lost my drive to climb ladder in that game anymore but still loads of fun. Now I am just into the story for Legacy of the void
     
  17. Zach

    Zach Well-Known Member

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    Metzen butchers every good idea Blizzard brought out in this world - he literally fucked up the Draenei legacy. [They were evil first.] On top of that, I am more than certain that he fucked up with Kerrigan story line. [She was the meanest evil bitch out there - and now, SHE IS THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD? Just what the fuck?] And he achieved his trifecta of fuck ups when he fucked up the Diablo history. [Adria the evil bitch - just WHAT THE FUCK.] Holy - the Warcraft 3 was a lackluster game, both in terms of game play and in terms of story progression. Birth of the Lich King was about the ONLY thing WC3 story line ever achieved.

    I am not touching Blizzard games as of late for a reason. If I do play, I will restrict myself to the old games, and old games only. That is - until Metzen stops fucking up the world system in these games. [And Jay Wilson should stick to Diablo 3; his involvement in WoW was a complete disaster.]
     
  18. Chutzpah

    Chutzpah Active Member

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    yeah blizzard sharted the bed this year. i haven't bothered with WoW since May, and am not buying into the Legion Hype. i might still buy a virtual pass to BlizzCon, as i have since 2010 just to watch empty promises and pimply Korean teens flex their esport muscles
     
  19. Burnz

    Burnz Well-Known Member

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    The more i read about "Legacy of the void" the more i think about Mass Effect and Reapers LOL
     
  20. Antoni

    Antoni Well-Known Member

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    You like Heroes? To me it feels like a watered down moba because there is no gold and no way to gear your champion. It feels like a WoW battleground in 2D really. League is 100x better. My only gripe with League is you need to be able to play every single position if you play ranked. I'm only interested in Jungle but have had to learn Support as a backup and I can somewhat top. I'm an awful mid and ADC. Stuck in Gold league because of it.
     

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