Diablo 3 Redux

So Diablo 3 came and — for most gamers — went a few months ago. I dutifully pre-purchased the game but honestly I didn’t like it very much. I managed to get a Demon Hunter to level 17 and then moved on.

I really felt like the game was dumbed down from D2. You had to start playing on Normal mode and the entire first act of normal was completely devoid of challenge. Death was meaningless (when it even happened) and character building at low levels was more or less non-existent.

Intellectually I understood that many of these issues resolved themselves further into the game or on higher difficulty levels, but emotionally I just couldn’t bring myself to slog through the newbie-friendly stuff to get at the good gameplay. So on the shelf it went.

Now plenty of people suggested I try out Hardcore mode and I thought about it but I was just too soured on the whole Diablo 3 experience.

Fast forward a couple of months and Tipa has been chronicling her Hardcore Diablo 3 adventures. Her posts intrigued me.

So for the past week I’ve been playing Diablo 3 again, in hardcore mode. I’m approaching it like a Rogue-Like. In other words I expect to die a lot and my goal is to see how far I can get rather than to see the end of the game or whatever. And I took a hint from Tipa and rather than just playing 1 hardcore character, I’m playing a stable of them. That way when 1 dies I don’t have to start over at level 1 again.

Essentially I’m playing the meta-game of Diablo 3 now. My crew can share resources and work together to level up the vault and the blacksmith. Good items are traded back and forth. Also switching characters helps stave off boredom, because much of the basic game play is still dull as hell.

The differences now are those moments of terror when you finally encounter something that can put a ding in your health pool and you’re reminded that it is possible to die, and that dying means starting over. It changes the whole experience for me.

Back in the real world, we’re moving next week so that means evenings have been devoted to packing. I generally wind down at 10 or 10:15 pm and then I’m looking for an alcoholic beverage and something fun to do. As much as I want to play The Secret World it kind of requires too much thinking at the ends of these days, and click-click-clicking and sorting loot in Diablo 3 fits my current situation perfectly.

I don’t know how long that will be the case. And I’m not sure how I’ll react when I actually lose a character. But for now I’m at least getting some value out of a game I’d pretty much written off.

I’m really glad Blizzard lets us share resources between characters. What would make the game perfect for me would be if a character dropped its loot when it died and then a different character could actually go and find that loot. I feel like that would be a nice organic ‘quest’ to do… since a dead character means there’s probably something bad-ass where that dropped loot is.

But you can’t have everything I guess, and while I’m still looking forward to Torchlight 2, for now Diablo 3 is entertaining me, and that’s what gaming is all about.