Categories
Featured PC Games

Diablo 3 Is Always On, But I’m Not

Of course, Diablo 3 has yet to actually BE always on, but..

I do not yet own Diablo 3.  There was a time in my life, years ago, when I younger me would’ve been shocked at older me saying that.  I played the heck out of Diablo 2, and it’s one of the few games I can play with my wife where one of us isn’t absolutely destroying the other in some way.  We played it both separately, and together, often when one of us needed some backup against a lesser or prime evil.  It was simple fun that only needed a couple of PCs and a LAN.

But I’m realizing now that Blizzard doesn’t want my money.  I am not their target market.  I like playing solo or just with another person or two I know, not random strangers.  Having all games hosted ‘in the cloud’ is an unneccesary tether.  I don’t want to buy items in an auction house.  I like killing monsters and taking their stuff instead.  So why do I have to play D3 like a pseudo-MMO?  If you don’t want to allow items from local games into the online games, that’s fine.  I never encountered a hacked or duped item myself, but I just played the game for fun, not to break it or make money off of it.  Single player gaming is much more convenient for a good bit of the population, so of course let’s make it hard/impossible.  I know, DRM!  They steal our games!  Read that story about Kingdoms of Amalur’s devs being broke and you can kind of understand that angle.  But you can still have the key requirement for online play, which means MOST buyers of the game will need one, some of the rest of us will buy the game anyway because we like to be legit, and a few jerks will pirate it.

That’s not my problem, though, and I’m being penalized for it.  That is, if I were to buy the game.  I don’t think I am, at least not while it’s $60 for a game that’s only half-working anyway.  It’s obvious from their sales that they don’t need to cater to my interests to keep me as a customer.  That’s fine.  I think the $20 for Torchlight 2 will be money much more well spent for me, as it has LAN play and can be modded.  This is what everybody means when they say ‘vote with your money’, right?

Categories
PC Games

Diablo 3 Open Beta Weekend

I said on my forums that I might be more excited for Torchlight 2 than Diablo 3.  Considering my reaction this morning to news of an open beta weekend for D3, I might have to adjust that a tiny bit.  Heh.  I’ve kept myself out of the loop as far as development goes, hoping that I could be surprised by the game a bit when it actually came out.  And with Blizzard, you never quite know when that will be.

If anyone else will be jumping in this weekend, and I know some of you will, comment here and we’ll try to get in a game.

Categories
Featured PC Games

Vintage Gaming – Diablo

Ah, Diablo.  A game that I came to quite late – after it’s own sequel came out.  In case you are a young punk, or simply have lived under the gaming equivalent of a rock, Diablo tells the story of a town under assault by the forces of Hell itself.  Unbeknownst to the towns folk, the town’s cathedral was built upon the site where one of the three Prime Evils of their world, Diablo the Lord of Terror, was imprisoned.  The King and his son are corrupted, and the town the town quakes in fear until a hero arrives.  Guess who?  Yep.  Diablo basically originated most of the concepts of the ‘Action RPG’, where you still get to customize your character and their skills, but combat can be a frenzied click-click affair.  There are 16 levels, which were randomized for each new playthrough.  Character selection were the standard Warrior (smash-em up melee guy), Rogue (ranged weapon master), Sorcerer (magic user).  Half of the fun for me (both in this game and it’s sequel) was the loot.  Randomly generated items of various strengths could drop, and hours could go by with you killing dudes and frantically checking the ground for a sweet new bow or axe.

I actually played through all of Diablo at work – my old job (at the Pit of Despair, for those in the know) had let us know they no longer required our services, and so many of us started to find things to do that weren’t, shall we say, work related.  A network of our own might’ve been involved, strung over the top of the cubicle walls.  But between games of Unreal Tournament, I played Diablo while still doing approximately 5 times as good of a job as that place deserved.  Fond memories, these.

One interesting note, with Diablo, is that it had an ending that would probably have cause just as much of an uproar as Mass Effect 3 did now, had social media existed in any meaningful way back then.  If you don’t want it spoiled, LOOK AWAY.  At the end of the game, with the Lord of Terror defeated, your character walks up to the Soul Stone that imprisoned his essence…and JAMS IT INTO HIS OWN HEAD.  Yes, Diablo will live on in you, and hello sequel!  I remember some really ticked off folks back then.  Considering there are already people with their dander up over Diablo III, which isn’t even released yet, I can only imagine the meme pictures and Hitler videos and what not that would be created today.  Anyway, if you’ve never played it, you’ve missed out on a bit of gaming history.  If you want to try something newer, I recommend Torchlight.  Or heck, Diablo II.

Categories
Featured PC Games Review

Lightning Game Review – Realm of the Mad God

I was glancing through the Steam ‘Free to Play’ section, lamenting how bad Star Trek Online was when I tried it, when I spotted Realm of the Mad God.  The vintage 8-bit style caught my eye, and it promised fast-paced cooperative action which would be a refreshing change from the heavy fantasy RPGs I’ve played lately.  It’s no more and no less than that.  You move around the map, and you shoot in whatever direction you click.  Spacebar launches a spell attack (speaking as a Wizard, the default starting class) which does area of effect damage.  As you kill enemies and complete quests, which mostly amounts to killing boss versions of the enemies, you gain levels and find loot.  The best comparison would be Diablo, if you dropped the graphics down to Gameboy Color level, with a little Robotron 2084 mixed in.

The game is diehard, in the way that when your character dies, he or she is simply dead.  No recovering the items they had (though you can store stuff in a chest back at the Nexus), you just start right back with another character.  Playing cooperatively is very much encouraged, as you get full XP for any enemy that chip in on with damage, and even better, you can click any player on the minimap and teleport straight to them.  Be wary of going above your class, as that’s a very quick way to get beat down.  All in all, if you’ve been hacking apart dragons in Skyrim, or saving Earth in Mass Effect, Realm of the Mad God can be a very nice diversion.  If you don’t like Steam, you can play on the Realm of the Mad God website, Kongregate, and probably a few other ways as well.  Now let me try and get all the characters unlocked…