One of my gaming goals for this month is to finish the story mode of Diablo 3. I’m trying but my god is it a terrible game.
Now before my Diablo 3 loving readers come gunning for me, I’m talking specifically about the story mode that you have to clear before you can start doing Adventure Mode and Rifts and Seasons and stuff. In other words, all the stuff my friends love about the game is locked behind the requirement to finish story mode. I also am talking about playing single player mode today, long after launch. It may have been different when you played through it.
The issue here is mostly about balance. I guess this happened when they pulled the Auction House stuff out of the game and re-did the loot tables? In my game, played on Hard (and I realize in retrospect I should’ve turned up the difficulty) there has been virtually no challenge in the game because there’s so much good loot.
I haven’t made an effort to grind or anything (though I am something of a completionist) and when I got to the fight against Diablo in Act IV, just as an example, I literally just sat there with my thumb on the X button, talking to Angela while my character whittled down Diablo. The only ‘challenge’ was I had to keep in range of him. My gear gives me so much health regen that Diablo couldn’t hurt me.
When I first started playing my policy was to sell regular gear, salvage blue gear and stash yellow gear. Then I switched to selling regular and blue and salvaging yellow and stashing Legendary. By the time I got to Act V I’d stopped picking up anything that isn’t Legendary. My blacksmith has a ton of materials and I’ve never really had to use him. I have more gold than I know what to do with. Meanwhile sometimes a quest will give you a reward. The rewards are blue level items…that’s what was intended to be good loot at this stage, back at launch (I’m assuming). I’m so over-powered compared to these quest rewards.
Then there’re the NPCs. You get blacksmith, enchanter and jeweler well before you “meet” them in the story. I was totally confused when I met the enchanter in Act V after I’d been chatting with her since at least Act 3 in town.
The problem is that Diablo 3 combat is so simple that when it’s easy it becomes really tedious. Sometimes the screen will fill with a ton of enemies and it’ll be amusing just to watch stuff die, but running down hallways killing 3-5 enemies at a time is started to feel like work. I finally got to where I just run past things until I get a huge crowd then stop to kill everything.
I spent most of my gaming time this past weekend trying to finish Story Mode. I thought there were only IV acts and I was SO happy to kill Diablo. When Act V started, I almost sobbed. Even Angela was disappointed and she isn’t playing!!! Hopefully Act V is the end of it.
Now for all this griping, I do have hope. First of all, I’ve had fights in Act V that were an actual challenge. Times where I had to think and avoid attacks and even back off to heal. MUCH more fun than Acts I-IV were. And once I had character level 60 the loot seemed to kind of reboot. Now I’m getting gear as low quality as Blue stuff that is better than some of the legendary items I’m using. And I discovered there’s Green loot too. Who knew?
I really hope Adventure Mode is as fun as everyone says it is (and as fun as Act V is suggesting it might be) because Diablo 3 story mode is one of the worst games I’ve played in quite a long time. Mindless, tedious, boring… I can’t wait for it to be over. I see Trophies about completing Bounties. What’s a bounty? Maybe I’ll find out soon.