Monday, March 12, 2012

You will die. They promised.

By far the most common complaint leveled at the Diablo 3 beta was that it was ridiculously easy, even judging by Blizzard's admitted design goal of easing people who've never touched a Diablo game into the game without killing them right off the bat. The major worry was that the game wouldn't get tough until hitting Hell difficulty, if not Inferno. And it made sense, too, as the content covered by the beta was basically the tutorial areas (first third of the first act of Normal difficulty, if you'll recall). As a veteran to the series, I had no challenge whatsoever, and even with the melee classes I was hard-pressed to fall to half health, even in the toughest scenarios and without the overpowered armor that could be crafted.

These complaints quickly vanished with patch 14, which was released last week; the damage done by all monsters was doubled, and those aforementioned crafted items saw their level requirements increased beyond what the beta allowed. Suddenly we were faced with some sort of challenge from the get-go, so much so that some people started worrying that a complete newbie could get trashed. I don't think it's such a bad thing, though: if you're doing things the wrong way, the game won't hesitate to tell you so by making you struggle, and THEN you'll learn from it. A newbie won't figure out Plague of Toads is utter garbage if the lowest you ever get to is half HP. But yeah, the difficulty is more in line with what SHOULD be done.

But that was nothing compared to what happened these last few days. A few lucky guys managed to glitch past the gate in the Cemetary of the Forsaken (which is supposed to be impassable in the beta), then snagged a few waypoints beyond that and shared them with anyone who asked. And after seeing some of the footage in those areas, which are expected to be visited immediately after the beta's content ends... I am simply blown away. These places look a lot more cruel than anything seen in the beta, and people who went there were suddenly struggling to survive, with goatmen, possessed trees and gigantic beasts that possess a charge attack not unlike the terrifying Horned Demons from the first game. Not to mention, we get a few new boss modifiers in there, and these, quite frankly, put those in Diablo 2 to shame. Truly, anyone who thinks the game is too easy will have a nasty surprise coming as soon as the second third of the first act.

Oddly enough, while Blizzard was informed of this a few days ago by a benevolent (though some may think otherwise) beta tester, it took them until this afternoon to hotfix the issues with the gate and take all those extra waypoints away from the characters who got them. Some are already accusing them of waiting so long on purpose to drum up some more interest for the game... who knows? Either way, if you want to head to the Fields of Misery or the Festering Woods, these are now gone until release, but here's some footage to show you what you missed:

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