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I played through the #Diablo3 beta last night; it only took a couple of hours, and I was underwhelmed.

I built a Monk and the character seemed ludicrously overpowered, never once really getting in trouble; wiped out the final boss on the first try. Also, the sense of menace that I recall from D2 was missing. It felt slow, but then I seem to recall that early-stage characters in D2 did as well; I only got up to level 10.

I liked:
- The fact that there’s a time-of-day readout, so you don’t accidentally stay up till 3AM
- The lack of skill-design choices that you don’t fully understand and might turn out to be irrevocable. But does this mean you have less scope for a fully custom build?
- “There is no cow level” sign on the sign-in. I bet there is, really.
- Beautiful graphics.
- Visual wit in the monsters; the fat guys that you have to kill twice, one way or the other.
- It ran well on my late-2011 15" MBPro with 8G, as long as you don’t mind the fan blowing all the time. Beautifully on the big Mac Pro with upgraded video card, of course.
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25 comments
 
I remember Diablo being that way - never once getting in any trouble.
 
Something to consider is that a lot of what's available in this beta is a slimmed-down version of what's going to be in the final. The early acts have some content removed in order to prevent giving everything away.
 
It looks interesting, but I'm going to pass on Diablo 3. The fact that it requires an Internet connection at all times to play while not being an MMO is enough to make me dis-interested. I can install Diablo 2 on my PC today and play without having to go through Blizzard's servers. Will D3 work in 10 years?

Anyway, most of the people who worked on the first two Diablo games aren't even with Blizzard anymore. I'm personally more looking forward to Torchlight 2. Made by some former Diablo developers, only $20, has an offline mode, and the first one in the series was pretty awesome (if lacking in some features).
 
I'm probably going to skip D3 and go straight into Torchlight 2, with Magicka filling the gap in the mean time.
 
I've played through a few times and I played Diablo 2 heavily. I agree that the beta is trivially easy but I'm banking on it getting rather difficult in the later stages. As I understand it, longevity will be achieved through increasing difficulty rather than a level 99 cap. Diablo 2 was a more difficult game in the early stages (especially alone) and I hope that the whole of d3 isn't as easy as the beta or the game is ruined!

The control scheme is simpler than D2 but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing - difficulty through obscurity can only result in frustration. As party play is more encouraged in Diablo 3 I think we'll see more tactical battles later on, similar to World of Warcraft. 
 
The game will be nowhere as easy as the beta. We get access to one difficulty and even that ramps up once you get co-op going.
 
It was more fun when playing co-op with some buddies while skyping, but I'm not sure I want to buy it.
 
this is awful but... this is the first Google+ post I've commented on and now I'm getting an email every time someone else comments. I looked for a way to turn this off but couldn't find anything. not cool.
 
There will be a secret cow level. See my latest public post for more confirmation. It's as good as secured.
 
Or you can go to settings and turn off email notifications.
 
Blizzard always gets my money. The beta is fun, but difficult, but can easily eat up an evening without that "this raid will last for hours" feeling. I am sure the game will be harder when released, but yet still enjoyable (and constantly updated with special events ala World of Warcraft - hence another reason for always online play).
 
Agreed with what others are saying. The beta is to stress test their servers. If people stop playing due to difficulty then there is no real test so I expected it to be fairly easy.

Controlling the character was underwhelming for sure and I suspect that is more indicative of the style we'll see in the game (M1, M1, M1, M1, M2, M1, M1, M1, 1, M1, M1 (yay...)).

The graphics were soft and great. I really enjoyed the graphics and the sounds. Love the spell effects too.

The co-op mode is definitely fun too.
 
So... the first part of the first act of the game is easy? I highly believe that's the intent. You'll get challenge further down the road but the game has a better difficulty curve to appeal to the newcomers.
 
I've been very underwhelmed by the beta, and with all the online connection, real money auction house crap tacked onto it I shall definitely be giving this a miss. Hurry up Torchlight II.
 
It isn't that the game is underpowered and easy - it's that you build up in difficulty as you repeat the game. Wait for inferno mode - which is the hardest mode you can play. It will be difficult.
 
Can I just juxtapose this entry with the line "I don’t read lots of books; too busy with work and being a Dad/husband/homeowner/citizen" from the earlier post :) #pottokettle
 
+Koushik Dutta Why is that? Doesn't seem like a very smart way to test things. The code for player death must be pretty much unused to date
 
+David Caunt player death doesn't exactly stress the servers. They are gaining metrics related to the amount of information flooding into their servers. The game itself has been in "beta" for quite some time...presumably enough time for them to work out the issues regarding player death.
 
+Nick Campbell my point was that you can't really test something if you've made it different for the test. Why would the game be easier in a beta? Clearly the death code doesn't stress the server.
 
I finished the 10th level last night. It was surprising to be able to get there that fast. But it was fun. I did dump a lot of time into D2
 
I did play the game, but noticed that it was set on normal. I went and played Diablo II on normal, and there the menace was missing too. So I am hoping that playing Diablo III on something other than normal will bring back the menace.
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