Saturday, April 28, 2012

Diablo III: Weapon Distribution By Class

As I said in a previous post, the Demon Hunter was my favourite class in the Open Beta. The other classes were a lot of fun to play but the Wizard was disappointing and I don't like the Witch Doctor's style.

I've been rethinking all this because the Demon Hunter does not have so many weapons available. Two handed weapons cannot be equipped and one handed melee weapons cannot be dual-wielded. Using melee weapons limits your choices of skills, but switching to a melee build could be fun once in while.

One thing I like about random action RPG is doing my best with whatever the games provides me. I also like being able to use the items I find. Changing my build or play style to fit the characteristics of my gear is part of the fun, for example if I have a big slow weapon with a Barbarian, furry generation is going to be slower but individual skill uses are going to do more damage, requiring less furry to kill a specific monster, how do I deal with that? But what are the chances that, playing the Demon Hunter, I find a one-handed weapon that's better that's better than two hand-crossbows or one bow/xbow and a quiver.

That would mean that a lot of time I would find great drops ..... that I can't use. "Oh this sword is awesome, too bad I'm a Demon Hunter". And that's not cool, even the damn Witch Doctor, that skinny old man, can run around with big two-handed weapons.

Let's see hoe the classes compare in numbers.

I gave a generous 0.75 points where a class cannot use an offhand weapon.

One could argue,  "It does not matter which item you find, you can trade them at the auction house". But the problem is that even if you are going to trade, the same phenomenon will happen on the market, 4 classes will each be fighting for around 10 weapon types; while all the Demon Hunters will mostly be fighting for 3 weapon types. At least we could say that the Demon Hunter might spend more time trading than the other classes who can mostly use what they find.

There is also the matter of crafting "plans". Plans are recipes required to craft the end game weapons. I will be happier if I can find a plan for a weapon I'm going to use. When the other classes find a plan, it will most likely be for an item they can use. When the Demon Hunter finds a plan, it will most-likely be for a weapon type he has no use for.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Splinter Cell Conviction (PC)

I wrote this review in 2010 when the game came out but never published it until now.


Good game. Different from the other Splinter Cell games. Splinter Cell Conviction is a stealth third person shooter.
In single player, when you start a mission enemies are usually unaware of you and from there you can either try to remain undetected and take them down silently or engage in cover/shoot fire fights. You can only take a few bullets before you die but if you hide for a little while your health comes back. "Hit and run" works well for this reason and because enemies will loose track of you if you hide after they lost sight of you. Taking down an enemy in melee give you points that you can use to "Mark and Execute" enemies. That is, you mark a small group of unsuspecting targets in your sight or through one of your gadgets and when you press the execute button the character takes them down in a small animation. You are not invincible while "executing" but it might be more effective than what you can do with your own skills. Also some enemies with an helmet which take two bullets in the head to be killed require only one bullet if "executing" and guns which only shoot in bursts will shoot one bullet in the animation. I think that if you would try to shoot that fast when you are in control, it would not guaranty your kills because there is a loss of accuracy between consecutive shots. On an other subject, there are "interrogation" scenes (which I'm not a fan of) where you get to destroy the face of some key enemy characters. There is on level in the game where your mission fails if you get detected before you enter the main area. Soon after that there is an automatic save, a 2 minute animation, and then you have 2 seconds to react and then you have a few seconds to kill some guards and go through a set of doors. And if you fail at any point, you go back before the cut-scene The most annoying part in the game.
On PC the multiplayer is lacking several features. No chat lobby. No list of games. No chat when all players must click ready before the game can start. There is automatic match making but: when the game launched there was no voice chat in game. In coop, cooperation is needed and there was no way players could communicate. No way to tell your random friend "Hey come back here idiot we need to both be there to complete that objective!". People would fire in the walls. Write on the floor with their guns. Pathetic. Fortunately they fixed the "no voice chat" issue on PC with a patch. But to my knowledge there is still no keyboard chat. The multiplayer part of the game was probably made for Xbox Live and they did not care much about PC. Also every time I start the game, it forgets some settings like invert mouse, and there is no way to change it once the multiplayer game is started. Also multiplayer is limited to 2 players. The multiplayer part of the game can be a lot of fun but because it is lacking basic features you can't seriously consider it a multiplayer game. (I would rate that part of the game 3/10)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Diablo III Open Beta

I never got a key but I was able to play the beta this weekend. It was great. Now I know which class I'm going to be when the game comes out. I tried the Wizard first. He was ok but when I tried the other classes I thought that he did less damage. For some reasons the bonus percentage of damage on his skills are lower. He would have been my favourite.

My preferred classes in order are:
  1. The Demon Hunter.
  2. The Barbarian.
  3. The Monk.
  4. The Wizard.
Its a Beta and it was only the very first part of the game. so we never know.
Anyways playing was fun I would say that the game seem to fullfill my expectations. For me Diablo I was a very very very good game. I played it recently and still enjoyed it, even if it did not age so well (walking in town and looks bad on my wide screen).

When DiabloII came out I had a lot of expectations. I still remember the first 15 minutes y played. I found it very ordinary, I had played other games since Diablo I and expected some improvement. Today I still have a "meh" feeling about it. Also I really like the story of the first Diablo: battle vs good and evil, going deeper and deeper into the Labyrinth, until you reach Hell and fight the last boss. The story in Diablo II becomes rather silly when they tell you, "You know, the angels made a mistake when imprisoned the demons into the stones, actually the demons wanted to be into the stones and even now that you defeated some of them you must destroy those stones because they are bad somehow". In Diablo I, the ex prime evils had been banned from hell by other demons and later imprisoned by Angels and humans into stones. In Diablo II, hahaha it was a joke, the demons happened to be good actors they wanted to be in the stones all along and the the angels were fooled. How convenient for the writers who can now just ignore some of the stuff which was told in the first game . Anyways maybe I got something wrong, but the point is that it killed it for me story wise. Previously I might have bought a book related to the game but after Diablo II I just stopped trying to follow the story. I'm saying all that but in the end I stilled played lots of Diablo II. It was still a very good game. I did a few ladder runs which was a lot of fun. I would play a lot one week after a ladder reset and see I how far I could get into the ladders. However I would not play so much once my characters were able to solo Baal at hell. I know some people continued to farm after that ... 

Anyways back to Diablo III, in contrast I find Diablo III very polished. The "don't put something that's not fun in the game" philosophy seems to work very well and the Beta was a lot of fun to play. I even restarted an other barbarian in the same weekend just to play with my friends who were lower levels. Its fun and action packed. The graphics are super fine, the physic is awesome. *BANG* Zombies can fly if you hit them hard enough. I loved it. The game seems very polished. I will play it for years. I probably wont need to upgrade my computers in the next 5 years or so because even in 5 years I'm convinced there will be thousands of players online and a welcoming community to go back to.