In just under two months from now, the carpel-tunneling click-fest that is Diablo III will finally be available to the masses. But I can’t wait 45 more days, and thankfully I won’t have to. When I first saw that Blizzard had finally given us our beta access to their games (Mists of Pandaria included) which we had endlessly pleaded for, I nearly dropped my iPad and ran straight home. The game downloaded quickly and within a few brief moments I was in the world of… whatever the world is that it takes place in, ready to face the endless onslaught of the undead from Hell. Thankfully, the NDA has been lifted completely now that the game is in the Public Closed Beta period, so I’m going to whet your appetites by sharing my first hour of Diablo III with you.
Careful though because here there be spoilers (although they’re pretty minor).
The beta lets us pick any of the 5 classes, but I’ve had my heart set on playing the wizard for a while now. I like magic, it’s flashy, it’s effective, and it’s fun. So I made my wizard who starts off pretty bare and armorless, and ended up in the familiar town of New Tristram, built upon the ruins of the old village from the past Diablo games. After helping the guards take on an attack of undead trying to get into the town, I’m told to go meet Leah, the niece of the infamous Deckard Cain. After a quick introduction, I discover that Deckhard Cain has gone missing (sort of) inside a cathedral outside of town. So after a few short quests and a few mini bosses, I find myself ready to enter the first main dungeon of the game.
After trudging through some familiar territory, be it the basement of the cathedral, I find Deckard Cain who is being attacked by a skeleton boss. The boss finally goes down thanks to my spells (and the bunch of potions I had) and Deckard shows me the back way out of the cathedral’s basement. I decided to stop there for a night.
I’ve got to say that I’m incredibly impressed by the world of Diablo III. Not only did it have an impressive first dungeon, but the overworld had a bunch of smaller single room dungeons that I could easily hop in and out of for loot. Be it the basement of a house or down a giant hole at the base of a tree where dead men had been hanged, this world has so much hidden detail in it that I can already see the replay value.
The performance of the game worked wonderfully on my late 2011 MacBook Pro, and I don’t see it having any hiccups on older machines either.
Currently, the much talked about real money auction house isn’t available, but the gold auction house is. I can’t really say too much about it since I don’t have much gold to spend in it, but it appears to work much like the World of WarCraft auction house does.
My fingers are starting to twitch now as I’m already craving my next adventure in Diablo III. Stay tuned as we’ll have more updates from the beta and will hopefully have a preview of Mists of Pandaria soon for you all to eat up.