I have the game already purchased.
I bought it as part of Blizzards promotion of Annual Pass for Wow. I spent around 150usd and it includes 12mounths of wow and a full digital copy of Diablo III. Thats important because the price of wow far less then it would be normaly. A deal in and of itself.
I loved Diablo and Diablo II. And I have been a long time fan of hack and slash. So getting Diablo III was a no brainer.
The promotion was good for Blizzard. If I had played Diablo III before putting money down on it, I wouldn't have purchased the game.
It isn't so much that is a bad game, it is more that it isn't a great one.
I think it has to do with the fact that this is one of the biggest and most anticipated releases on PC, certianly this year, but maybe even in the past few. This is a storied franchise from one of the best/biggest PC developers. Peoples expectations are a mile high.
I think that will cause some people to be cautiously optimistic and others to be disapointed. Some gamers will go easy on it and some will be tuff on it, both for the same reasons.
If I examine the game based on what I have seen, and that is all I can do at this point, the thing that stands out most to me is missed opertunity. This game could have been so much more.
Thus far in the hack and slash genere the best char development to date was been found in Titan Quest: Immortal Throne. With Diablo III they had a chance to exclipse that. Instead of building layers of depth the devs choice to simplify.
The game offers a small selection of classes. No doubt more will be offered in DLC through the Diablo III Store. Thats another missed opertunity for value. And think about the classes offered. Why would you abandon long time fan favs? Would you make a Mario game w/o Mario, Yoshi, or the other staples that fans have enjoyed? I can see adding aditional classes. But where is the Paladen at least? Again, i am guessing he will be offered in some form of DLC. I also want the Druid and the Necro, both possible additions down the line.
The opening of the game takes you by the hand, leads you down the story in a very real and literal sense. Even the map is tight, narrow and restrictive. Lacking is a sense of exploring. Its not discovery when its the only damn pathway you can travel down. Even the dungeons, rooms, caves, and near everything of importance is lit right up. No fear of missing something here. To the point that playing it feels a bit like a mechanical chore.
At several times it seems the game goes out of its way to limit and control your experience. You have very little choices building your char and your funneled from one qst/zone to the next. Where as other games say "there is the world and here are your quests, go get them", Diablo III says "hey we will take you there and show you where they are".
Acti/blizz want us all online. All of the time. I believe it is less to do with the game experience and more foster a sense of being offered a "service". Why? A game is something you buy once. A service is something you continue to pay for. We will be shown a steady stream of things we can buy at the Diablo III store. Some of the services we can spend money on will include in game gold, crafting matts, potions, gear, and there is little doubt we will see stuff like double xp pots. Who knows what else. But for sure none of it would be purchased by single players, playing offline. So, we have an online service. Thanks Acti/Bliz login to play single player is great! Server issues, even better.
I can't be the only one that doesn't want to play online with randoms droping in and out of my games. I played DII for years, like many of us. But I played on my in house lan with friends/family. Never over Battlenet. Handling the sp portions of the game in the fashion that they are could be seen as forcing control over the gamers. At the very least it is taking away more choices. What if you wanna load the game up on a laptop and take a trip? Unless your on a relyable isp, not going to happen.
Its just another form of DRM.
Now the game isn't all bad.
The actual gameplay mechanics are solid. Graphics are decent enough. And it has that Diablo atmosphere. The multiplayer elements are handled well. Droping in to a friends game is painless enough. I enjoy a couple of the new classes. The story we have seen thus far isn't terrible.
I can't recall a game where the forums were so full of gamers with so much anger. When I visted there were of course the "defender" crowd. You would think these people made the game or had some sort of vested interest in it, and maybe some of then did have a hand in it. But you had a flood of people expressing everything from mild disapointment to sheer shock.
The biggest complaints mirrior my own. The game lacks satisfying char development and plays too linear. To me it feels like a polished arcade game you might find on PSN or XBLA.
I will play the game. I already own it. I think sales of the game will be high enough, initialy. Their promotion and preorder push has been strong. And the fact that it is a Diablo game will move copies. The question for me is how long will I keep playing? I played DII for years. I can't imagine that this time around.
All of the disclaimers apply. Its an early build. It was beta. It could get better. etc. But those sound like excuses to me tbh. I put in Titan Quest and was blown away instantly. Same with diablo II.
I guess we will see what happens.
There is always Tourchlight II, and that has been shaping up very nicely.