Ultimately, I failed at my (rather audacious) goal: complete Diablo 3 over the long weekend. I failed because I was weak; needing sleep and human companionship and groceries and a Mexican Scramble from Deacon’s Corner. Still, between Friday and Monday evening I managed to log an impressive (and somewhat disgusting) 23 hours and 16 minutes of game time even while having a semblance of a real life and a nasty migraine to deal with. I haven’t done a marathon gaming session in years, which is why I needed to take an occasional break now and again – but I managed to make it to the final boss before I grew tired of having my ass handed to me repeatedly, and I gave up my weekend quest. I could have kept going and probably eventually beaten the game, but it was hard enough to get moving this morning – I can’t imagine how late I would have been for work if I continued to make my way through the Corrupted Gates of Anguish and Despair.
For a short while, I thought the game ended after Act III. I had forgotten the extremely linear Rules of Diablo: there are always four acts, and each act will always take place in these environments in this order:
- Act I is in a backwoods town surrounded by fields and some distance away from a cathedral or sprawling estate on top of dungeons of a surprising depth
- Act II is in the desert where the Big City is, and will alternate between said desert and the sewers of the Big City
- Act III is at a perpetually snowy keep that doubles as a battlefield swarming with demons
- Act IV is in an alternate dimension: space, heaven, your mind’s eye, etc.
Given my history of hating sequels, I was pleasantly surprised that the basic mechanics and feel of D3 had not changed, or changed for the better. I appreciate that enemies can drop health – no more surviving battles by sheer mashing of your potion slot alone – and the triumphant, if short lived, return of the Butcher (the only Diablo character to ever give me the wiggins). You’re no longer reliant on scrolls for identifying items or returning to town, and mana (sorry, “arcane power”) regenerates itself at a healthy rate; blue potions are a thing of the past. When you die (at least on normal), you don’t lose all your gold and gear (I used to have full on foaming rage fits at dying mid-battle then having to wade back into the fray basically naked to retrieve my weapons and armour) but rather take a 10% hit on the durability of your stuff; easily repaired at any merchant. It makes it a little easier for the novice to deal with – and if it’s too easy, then play on Nightmare or Hell or Hardcore mode.
I am pleased at an entire weekend spent being unkempt and nerdy!
I could use another four showers, though.
And um I promise this will be my last post about Diablo 3 for a while, okay?