In the gap between WoW‘s Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria expansions, I took some time to indulge in a slight distraction, also from Blizzard – Diablo 3. I have the annual pass for WoW, so it’s not costing me anything to play, and I don’t have to stop playing WoW to do it. I heard complaints of many people experiencing errors and crashes in the early launch days, but my experience has been flawless, with no problems at all.
I rolled a demon hunter, and got to the upper 20s, and started a witch doctor. Both classes were a lot of fun, with some very unique abilities. It’s a bit hard to adjust my play-style, with so few hot-bars available and multiple resources to manage. I’m used to having a spot for every spell I learn in WoW, and having to pick only a few to use, and balance my abilities out took some getting used to. I also had to adjust specs for single and multi-player, as well as boss fights.
It’s easy to drop in to the game, click a few buttons, and start killing things. You have access to action almost immediately, so when you just want to pop in, kill things for half an hour and leave, you can do so. I like that there’s no tank/healer/dps roles like so many games have now. It’s also refreshing to not have a damage meter going for everyone to stroke their epeens with.
Grouping is easy. Playing with friends is a breeze, and seeing who is online and what they’re doing through the Battletag and RealID system has never been better. I had some trouble with a few bosses, and I just set up to join a multiplayer game with people on the same quest I was on, and boom – instant group, and we tore the place up. The loot system, where anything you can see is yours to pick up, is a nice feature, and area looting has been implemented. When you’re not grouped, you can choose to partner with one of several NPCs that compliment your main character.
Your stash chest is shared between all of your characters, so if you find a piece of gear your alt can wear, you can hand it down to another toon with ease. Things aren’t soulbound like with WoW, so when you’re done using something nice, you can hand it off to other characters or sell it on the auction house. After years of dealing with WoW’s soulbound items, this was kind of neat to see.
I don’t care much for the auction system. The entire population of the game shares one massive database, and you’re limited to only posting ten items at a time. It’s hard to know what price to list items at, and while I have found a few better pieces to wear, it can be rather expensive. I’m not that far into the game, but it’s a little intimidating.
All in all, it’s a nice change of pace, but I found it really lacks the depth to hold my interest long term. It’s still there, though, and I can pop in any time I want for quick fun, so I’ll keep playing on occasion.