Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dungeon Crawler Battles

     So the long awaited Diablo III is out, and it feel like Blizzard has somehow failed one of their prized IPs with content 'their grandmothers could play'.  They allowed a free beta weekend where everyone was able to try it for themselves and see the 10 year awaited title.  While playing it, the game felt a little too easy and a few things you've come to expect from the old Diablos are just missing, like choosing stats and the feeling of being able to wonder aimlessly.  But the saddest part is surely the leveling system and their skill trees...
Diablo III Skill System
     You can try it out for yourself, at http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian and see basically everything you're expected to play around with in the game, which isn't really much for the assumed AAA title.  The game itself is decent graphically, and the voice-overs are probably the highest quality content in the game.  I did like the level designer, and the dungeons were nicely rendered and had many interactive qualitys to them which made me go around and destroy everything!  The interface was nice and clean, but the game didn't have too many many variations on gameplay for the classes.  Today Blizzard announced it's free 90 day (with many conditions like you must have played WoW) in hopes to get more people on board their flagship.  It's interesting how Blizzard is somehow expecting their old fans to have incredibly low standards with a game that built the standards for the genre, however I hope its due to the creators dropping certain features for other ones, and the story should be prime.  It's a shame really, they've had soo long to work on it and their demo likely doesn't represent the final game very well(I hope because if it does... >_>)...

     However we're in luck, there is another Dungeon Crawler that isn't cherry coated, and is actually 'scary' as my friends compare it.  Apparently this game has been around for a bit in Alpha (about a year or so) and has finally hit Beta.  The game is Path of Exile, and it looks very nice... It might not have a zoom feature like Diablo III, but the actual game system and the passive skill tree is insane!  How insane?
Path of Exiles Skill System
     You are able to also check this one out for yourself, and try it real time: http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/ And unlike many other games, this tree allows for the same class to have totally different uses and gameplay styles, making for actual intense replay-ability.  Not to mention the art style and feel of the game is much darker and gnarly looking.  The game company itself is a small one, and it's amazing what they have created considering Diablo III is their competition.  However this doesn't stop there, Path of Exile is set to be a Free 2 Play game, and their business models doesn't really support a pay to win aspect, making it more like TF2 where you are able to buy cosmetic items or items abundantly available in the game as it is.

     I hope the Diablo team realizes their flaws and accepts their fanbase's wants in order to produce the type of game 10 years in the making should look and feel like, or perhaps they want to go the way of Duke Nukem Forever and just add Half-Life's strict one path to take style to the dungeon crawler genre.  What happened to making a game that follows how the previous games worked?

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