Ended up logging off when I reached level 11, I just couldn’t fight the sandman’s alluring and beckoning call to dreamland. Running around and dousing off only to open your eyes a few moments later to find yourself in the middle of a mass of monsters and/or half-way across the map…you know then that you’ve had enough and it’s time to sleep…
When I logged back in I decided to try out the cooperative mode with a few of my guild mates. I became immensely interested in it when I seen just how fast they were leveling their characters in that mode compared to me going at it solo =D. And certainly playing cooperative mode along with the fun you can share with other people, makes it much easier to level and progress through content. And another great thing about the cooperative mode is that you have the option to give your team mates rare loots that are useless to your character class and vice versa for them.
Now while it is easier to progress through content, I have found that it is slightly harder to follow the story when partying with other people, you don’t necessarily have the luxury to take your sweet time to enjoy the story and whatever happens to tickle your fancy during your playthrough as you don’t want to burden the others in the party. I didn’t really get a chance to immerse myself into all the characters dialog scripts and so was unable to during some Acts to hear all the stories they had to tell (left it for later when played through the game again).
Those character dialog scripts are amazing, they add a lot of surrounding material fleshing out the main story of Diablo III giving it more substance. The effect of being more engrossed in the story makes the gaming experience so much more memorable. When shocking developments happen in the story, you get shocked, when badass things happen, you get pumped up; the more you understand what’s happening, the more meaningful and worthwhile progressing through the story will be.
Those allies you can hire, their stories are great as well; I loved taking the time to listen about their past and their journey that brought them towards their faithful meeting with you and how they have changed as a result from the journey to save mankind and from the presence of your company – the Enchantress’s story is my favourite, how amazing that it linked back to one of the main plot points in Diablo III.
Those information books you collect throughout dungeons and in the game also further add to the gaming experience of Diablo III. Learning more about the lore of Diablo (what happened in Diablo I and Diablo II) and about the demons and other monsters in the game are quite fascinating. Diablo, as with Blizzard’s other groundbreaking games (Starcraft and Warcraft) all have such rich and thrilling stories and the universes each are based in are handled on such an epic and vast scale, it really is remarkable when you start to see just how massive everything is. The journals you find throughout the game give you an individualistic perspective of how things were during keys events in Diablo I and Diablo II which ends up being quite insightful and interesting. I especially enjoyed reading the ones relating to Tristram’s downfall when Diablo first tried to corrupt the world (Diablo I), mainly cause I never played Diablo I =P. Also enjoyed learning more about the Nephalem in the Sin War extracts since I had no idea what the Nephalem were =P. Well anything that I didn’t know before I found incredibly interesting when I stumbled upon such information during my playthrough and the great thing is that I haven’t collected all the information books yet =P.
The story, ah how incredible, but there are a lot of open plot holes at the end of the game, is an expansion planned or what? It does seem like it could go on for another Act or two because a lot of the characters fates remain a mystery at the end and there are parts of the story that were entirely made clear. I won’t go into more detail here because I don’t really want to spoil anything. Diablo does have that cliché Shadow vs Light set-up in the story, but everything is handled and presented in such a quality and intense manner than the genericness of the story at its base doesn’t matter at all. The depth and twists present in the story are the things that stand out the most.
I loved how you (your character) ends up going against everything that stands in your way, be it demons or even Gods and even when the Gods doubt you and expect you to fail, you twist it all up wringing out Diablo combined with all his power and prove to everyone, especially the Gods, that fate and hope depend on you and your ability to unconditionally believe in it along with unshakable resolve to follow through with what you’ve decided on (your character makes such an awesome hero). I don’t know if it’s because I absolutely loved playing the monk, because I did immensely, but I just felt so badass at the end, and my goodness, I love the monk’s dialog…even I became inspired and enlightened by the talks of discipline, clarity and balance – ah I love it.
Animation, just epic, blizzard really have outdone themselves and the ‘totally speechless’ moments I had when watching the cut scenes followed by a rush of excitement and awe were present during all the cut scenes. The beginning of Act II cut scene is my favourite one – oh boy so something like that took place, insane! Ah I’m tempted to post a screenshot of it, but I will resist the urge, it may end up spoiling someone else’s gaming experience.
Going to try the game out on Nightmare difficultly later, also plan to experiment around a bit with the monk abilities and see what works best for my play style.
For those interested, here’s the female monk intro (it’s awesome):