Impressions – Diablo 3 Beta

Diablo 3’s beta includes a fairly limited segment of the game – only the first third of the first of four acts on the first of four difficulty levels according to Blizzard. So the amount there is to discuss is, of course, also fairly limited.

It includes all 5 classes, a level cap of 13, up to the Skeleton King – the first major mini-boss, one of 3 followers, one of 3 artisans, the gold(but obviously not real-money) auction house, and no runes or gems. So really, a very limited sampling. But it is a stress-test beta, not a content beta – they have QA for that – so that’s understandable.

The game itself is incredibly polished – more polished and smooth-running than many games are when released which says a lot about Blizzard’s drive for perfection. I’ve only encountered a few very minor bugs, and at least one of them may be due to problems I’ve been having with my own system.

Each class feels very distinct and unique, even at the really early levels, and each has their own distinct flair which really shows through. From the massive, heavy hits of the barbarian to the light and agile monk to the clever tricks and tactics of the demon hunter… each feels different and just feels right.

I can honestly say that I am even more excited to get my hands on the final product than I was before the beta – and that’s a hard one since I was big into the Diablo 3 hype from the start. Now just time to wait to hear stuff at Blizzcon and then hopefully early next year we’ll have a release so we can all get into the lootfest. Come next year it’s going to be really difficult to find time to play other games!

Written by: Sean Engel

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