Diablo 3 Beta Review: Your Mouse is F*cked

Blizzard makes quick work of other inefficiencies. Instead of having to carry around Scrolls of Town Portal, largely a formality by the end of Diablo II, players get a Stone of Recall, which enables you to open a portal back to the nearest town at any time, provided you can survive the fairly lengthy channeling without taking damage.

Health and Mana potions have also gone by the board. Quaffed in great supply by Diablo players past, they represented the worst kind of un-fun repetition, whose only appeal lies in necessity. Even the goofy sound effect was a rare misstep by the developers.

Instead, health is now replenished by “health globes,” which drop from defeated enemies and take effect as soon as you walk over them. Health potions still exist, but they’re confined to long cooldowns and used only in emergencies.

Only one class, the Witch Doctor, still uses Mana, which refills automatically and very quickly. The Wizard spends “Arcane Power” to cast spells, which is practically the same thing. The Demon Hunter draws on two resources, Hatred and Discipline, to cast spells. The first recovers speedily, the other more sedately. The Barbarian and the Monk employ a sort of tension and release system. For them, hitting things builds up “Fury” and “Spirit,” respectively, which can then be spent to trigger powerful skills.

Skills in Diablo 3 have been radically redesigned. In the previous two games, a misspent stat or skill point could “gimp,” a character forever, invalidating hours of play. Now, there is no such risk.

To begin with, stat upgrades in Diablo 3 are entirely automatic. The game simply assigns them based on class. This means that two characters of the same class and the same level, stripped of their gear, are exactly the same.

Variation is introduced through the new skill system. As GameFront’s guide to the Diablo 3′s top five biggest changes explained, skills unlock automatically at their given level, and they either lock or unlock — you can’t continue to invest multiple points into a skill, level after level.

Even if you have a wealth of skills unlocked, you’re limited by the availability of Active Skill slots. Each character begins the game with two, then gets one more every six levels, stopping at level 24 with a total of 6. You can only use as many skills as you have active skill slots.

This may seem like a rigid system, but it’s decidedly not. You are free to change your active skills as much as you want. This makes character customization in Diablo 3 entirely about creating synergy. If you’re fond of one spell that snares all enemies in a certain area, you’ll want to complement it with another that deals out area-of-effect damage to all those temporarily sluggish monsters.

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11 Comments on Diablo 3 Beta Review: Your Mouse is F*cked

Z

On October 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Thank you for the great read!!

sean

On October 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This is by far the best review I”ve seen on a game. Feels like graduate paper! kudos!

Ronit

On October 30, 2011 at 6:02 am

Very nice review. Do you mind if I use it on my website and give this website full credits as well as full credits to the author?

Ron Whitaker

On October 31, 2011 at 5:26 am

Ronit, if you would like to link to this or post a short portion of the review with a link back here, that is fine. However, we do not allow other sites to post the full text of our articles. Thanks for the kind words!

Naylar

On November 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Indeed a great read. Enjoyed it a lot. Now PLEASE… release the game.

Rahul

On November 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm

A truly refreshing read. I’m looking forward to more reviews from you.

Matthew

On November 20, 2011 at 10:02 am

Yes great read, now I have something to look forward to.

Heather

On December 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Fantastic review! I have been anxiously awaiting the release of 3 for a few years now, and this review has me totally amped all over again! Looks like all the new changes are going to make it better than ever. Can’t wait!

Alex

On December 28, 2011 at 11:47 am

“Diablo 3 received an “M” rating for “slashing and flesh-impact sounds, screams of pain, and frequent blood-splatter effects; creatures often explode into bloody fragments as multiple enemies are dispatched at once.” In attempting to warn parents about the illicit thrills of Diablo 3, the ESRB accidentally penned an eloquent description of the things that make the game so much fun.”

Perfectly said.

Zomax

On February 7, 2012 at 6:15 am

Unfortunately the game is far from epic. The game feels simple as if it were design for xbox. Perfectly boring, no number no feeling of progression. Limited abilities, basically 3 moves, upto 7. Diablo 3 caters to 7-9 years a great game to bundle with a new xbox or ps3.
Diablo 3 like B.net 2.0 fails epicly. Thanks Booby!

Mighty

On February 7, 2012 at 8:14 am

I have to agree with Zomax on this. I’ve been playing the BETA for the last week and the least I can say is DISAPPOINTED. No leveling system no character customization. Honestly, I’m not even sure I’m gonna buy the game. Sorry but if you’re under 15 and you didn’t play the first two games. Maybe you’re gonna like this one with the old dated graphics. Would have been a good game if it was released in 2006 like it was supposed to be.

Oh and by the way… I hope Blizz will have de decency to rate it as an action game and not an RPG cause there’s not RPG elements in this game.