I haven’t gotten a lot of spare time to run around in Diablo III as of late, but I try to log in for at least 15 minutes a day to push my Witch Doctor a few more steps through Act I. It’s still surprisingly enjoyable in a mindless, bubble-popping way. I suffered a lot of indecision on the class choice, as none really were calling out to me, but pets plus some pretty visually funky attacks have endeared me to the WD.
Right now I’m running around with poisonous zombie dogs, tossing out exploding frogs, and generally feeling OK about my choices in life. I’m hitting a level every play session or so, which almost always unlocks a new skill or rune or follower ability, and I’ve even found a couple of legendaries (I have legendary pants! My pants are legendary! They emit a stench when enemies are near! I can’t stop telling my friends this!).
Above all, what really endears this game to me is its atmosphere. It’s like going through a giant Halloween playground with all sorts of visually impressive set pieces. I forgot about the farmer you rescue who has his wife — now a skeleton in a rocking chair — down in the cellar. It’s a goofy, grim world that would actually be pretty enjoyable to play as a proper over-the-shoulders MMO, methinks. But this is almost as good and still quite visually detailed.
Last night I hit level 21 and finished up Act I. It had been pretty much a cakewalk up to that point, so I bumped up the difficulty level from normal to hard, which started to feel more like a challenge. I also got two skills I was looking forward to: my gigantic zombie pet and a fireball basic attack. The last time I played Diablo III, I never progressed far into Act II, so I’m looking forward to seeing what lies beyond the boundaries of my past experience.