Player made dungeons in Diablo 3

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Player made dungeons in Diablo 3

One of the problems I had with City of heroes back in the day was the lack of tile sets for instance zones. What this means is how the layout and design of a map looks. In COH, you often had the same four types of maps, sewer, office building, warehouse and the laboratory.

diablo 3 rifts

Now I get it, we are in a modern city, how many unique places can there be? My answer is, have you been around a modern city? Why were we not fighting in grocery stores, sport stadiums, malls, jails? As time went on a few more were added, but nothing near what it should have been.

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In Diablo you have adventures, you can do bounties or rifts and the levels rotate so one moment you are in Hell and when you zone to level 2 you might be in a cave or one of the open zones. In addition, the maps themselves can rotate so it might be the same storage room, but the layout is different enough that it almost feels new.

While this is a nice touch I still feel as if more could have been done. Consider, in previous games not only could you play via LAN, but you could make your own maps. In the original StarCraft people would make some fantastic maps and they were fun to play.

city of heroes

Now there is a bad way to implement maps and sadly City of Heroes did so at first. People would make maps specifically to herd enemies and level up quickly. Little time or design was put in and the result was a flood of bad maps.

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Dungeons and Dragons online did player map maps well, where they are not only approved by the developers but by key players and bad maps don’t make the cut.

dungeons and dragons online, neverwinter. foundry

Let’s face facts, we are not going to get fast expansions and content, but another fact is we as gamers eat through content. I believe the fix is to allow players to design maps, leave monster and loot placement up to the developers. It is not a perfect system, but I believe it could bring more uniqueness to the maps and improve gameplay overall.

The Effect of Diablo 3: Real Money Auction House

Class warfare is not for politics alone. Many of the Asian MMO’s that have a paid item system have people who spend a lot of real life money to become powerful. In MMO’s the “eBay” character is a term meaning you paid for your character and do not know how to play it. ~J.A. Laraque

The Effect of Diablo 3: Real Money Auction House

When I first heard about the real money action house I just laughed, but then I had to pause for a moment. I remembered back in the early days of Everquest people could sell not only their high-level characters, but gear as well for a lot of money. I knew someone personally who sold their character and was able to take a vacation with the money he made.

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

I thought back to some of the feelings over selling a character or loot. One person felt in an MMO your character is your identity, so, you should not sell it. This of course was when that statement was relatively true. Another person felt that selling in game loot for real cash would cause more loot stealing and hording, which I personally did not see happen.

However, now we have Diablo 3, which is not an MMO, at least not in the traditional sense. You can already twink your character using in-game gold and the gold based auction house, so , the question would be, what effects would real money have on the game?

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

Less Help from Max level characters

For most gamers you can get through the normal and nightmare difficulties pretty easily. However, once you reach the Hell levels you will need some help. Now you can always pug and since loot is your own, you do not have to worry about loot stealing. However, you do have to worry about finding competent players. What about all your level 60 friends?

The problem I see with the money auction house is people get the fever as soon as they make even a few bucks off the game and so they want to keep working on the inferno level at all times. Obviously, the game is based on progression and nobody wants to go backwards. In this case, helping a friend can cost you money because you could be getting loot or reaching a higher act, which leads to more loot.

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

Blueprint for a Free-to-Play Model

Consider this. We know that MMO’s are in a transitional period. Even if we are to be blamed for some of the downfalls of MMO’s it is clear that the monthly payment model is on the way out. We have already seen the nickel and diming of MMO’s, but for the most part fans do not seem to have an issue with that. With the downfall of games like Star Wars and DC Online Universe the writing is on the wall. So what can be done.

With the fees gained from these transactions, you can begin to recoup the money you would lose from subscriptions. Couple that with a store that allows you to buy items like mounts and pets and expansions and soon you might find yourself spending more than you would just paying a monthly subscription. Companies can release games, charge you a one-time fee and make money off micro-transactions.

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

Gold Futures

On one hand, lower level items will become cheaper on the gold auction house since there is no benefit to having a low level twink. The goal is to get to 60 and farm inferno for loot to sell for real money. This can have a number of effects on gold and items.

One effect is any item that is high level and not sold for real money will cost so much gold almost no one can afford it. This could kill the gold selling market for Diablo 3, which is a good thing or it could increase it as people do the ratio to see if buying 2 million gold for a bow is cheaper than paying 100 real dollars for it.

In time as more people list items on the money auction house things will settle down and many might end up moving their real money item back to gold just to sell it. I have to wonder if a gold to money transfer program is not in the works.

Diablo-3-Real-Money-Auction-House

Buying your way to Victory

Class warfare is not for politics alone. Many of the Asian MMO’s that have a paid item system have people who spend a lot of real life money to become powerful. In MMO’s the “eBay” character is a term meaning you paid for your character and do not know how to play it.

In many games, the trend is to allow people to purchase items using real or in-game money but not letting it give them too much of an advantage. Currently, in Diablo 3, it does not really matter if someone pays thousands of dollars to become powerful enough to beat inferno, but in time and if the model continues you could see people beating you not on skill, but based on how much money they have to spend.

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Cashing Out

Full disclosure, I sold my first little item on Diablo 3 and made about 4 bucks after Blizzard and PayPal took their cut, but it did feel good to make something off this game.  When you think about the fact that you waited so long to play this game, then you paid sixty or more for it, the idea of making back your investment is appetizing to say the least. The real money auction house can extend the game. However, I think Blizzard needs to invest in itself and add more dungeons and things to do besides farming for sellable loot.

In the end, this will be more of a positive than a negative for Diablo 3 and Blizzard. Though many might complain about spending real money it has been done in MMO’s since Everquest and has no signs of changing. Either you join in or stay away, either way, the game, just like life keeps moving on without you.

Diablo 3 plus Castlevania

diablo 3 and castlevania

Diablo 3 plus Castlevania

Diablo 3 is a lot of fun, perhaps not a 10-year wait fun, but fun nonetheless. While playing the beginning cathedral I really felt a Castlevania vibe going on so I decided to load up my MP3 player with songs from Super Castlevania and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I had a lot of fun killing demons to that music so I decided to upload a little of my gameplay.

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Enjoy.

Diablo III Hardware Checklist

Diablo 3

A whole lot of you are gearing up for the release of Diablo 3 tomorrow so besides calling out sick, ditching your date and neglecting your hygiene you want to make sure you have all the necessary items to play, undisturbed in the best possible way. Here is a list of items you just might need or can use for your upcoming day of gaming.

The EON 11-S from Origin PC

Origin-EON-11-S

Let’s start with hardware, yes, obviously you need a gaming system to play D3 and if you have to be at work or at school why not take your gaming with you. The great thing about this laptop is it small, but powerful enough to run the game the way it’s meant to be played and you just might trick your boss or teacher into thinking you brought it in for other reasons. Check out our breakdown of the EON 11-S.

The Diablo III headset from SteelSeries

SteelSeries-Diablo-III-Headset

The last thing you want during your game time is distractions and outside noise. The Diablo III headset is ultra-comfortable and keeps external noises out so you can enjoy only the sounds of the game. With its retractable microphone, you can chat with people in game or using a voice program and not miss a beat. Finally, it just looks cool and its Diablo branded, who wouldn’t want this. Check out our review on the Diablo III headset.

The X-Rocker Pro-Series Game Chair

X-Rocker pro series Gamer Chair

One might think sitting on your ass all day is easy, but it isn’t. Especially for us 30+ gamers you want to make sure you can stay seated for long periods of time without hurting your back or your tailbone. Just like your grand-pappy, perhaps being able to rock back and forth will keep you from catching a clot as you lay the smack-down. Check out the stats on the chair here.

The 30 Widescreen monitor from NEC

PA301W-BK_NEC

Diablo III is like stepping into a movie and just like you want the best movie screen you will also want a top notch monitor for your gaming pleasure. The PA301W features a 2560×1600-resolution screen with a 1000:1 contrast ratio. The screen also features an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the display’s brightness based on lighting conditions lessoning eyestrain from prolonged use, which is perfect for the marathon gaming session you will be putting in. Check out the monitor specifications here.

Game On

Now you have the gear and you have a nice quiet place to game. You will want to keep the area cool and clear and have a big waste basket around for all the food wrappers and if possible some recycling because it’s just a good thing to do. Set your phone to vibrate, your instant message status to, “Leave me alone noobs I’m pwning Diablo 3” and leave reality behind. Just don’t end up on the news because you neglected your kid or your house burned down with you in it.

The SteelSeries Diablo III Headset Review

SteelSeries Diablo III Headset Review

SteelSeries Diablo III Headset

First thing you will notice when holding the box, is the Diablo III art all over the package. Then when you open the package you realize how light this headset is!

Inside the box you will find the headset, a quick start guide, a SteelSeries professional gaming gear insert, a nifty SteelSeries sticker,  and a USB extension cable.

The USB extension cable will be important, because if your keyboard does not have a built-in USB port, the cable on the headset might be too short. SteelSeries realized nobody likes excess cables that you can trip over so they reduced the main cable length and included the USB extension cable. This gives you more options than other headsets where you would have to hide the excess cable. The only thing to note is that the USB extension cable isn’t gold plated or braided. But since it would probably be routed behind your desk you wouldn’t even see it.

SteelSeries Diablo III Headset Box

I tested the Diablo III headset with the following games and applications: Star Wars – The Old Republic, World of Tanks, The Witcher 2, TeamSpeak, and Ventrilo. Both the microphone and headset were astounding. The 50mm drivers on the headset do a superb job on the high, mid, and low-ranges. And the microphone allows you to retract it into the left ear-cup. This is a great feature if you just want to use them for listening to music.

The SteelSeries software for the headset feels like you’re in a menu of a Diablo game. You have several options to adjust the intensity and pulsation of the red LED lights. And the best part of the software, you are able to adjust the Equalizer to your liking.

The overall feel to this headset screams quality. From the attention to detail paid on the cable lengths to the light weight of the product. You can definitely see SteelSeries did their homework on gamer’s “work environments” and thought of everything.

SteelSeries-Diablo-3

Rating 9.5 of of 10.

Technical SpecificationsHeadphones

  • Frequency: 18 – 28.000 Hz
  • Cable Length:
  • Headset (1m / 3ft)
  • USB Extension (2m / 6.5ft)
  • Headset Jack: Gold Plated USB

 

Microphone

  • Active Noise Reduction: up to 20dB
  • Frequency: 50 – 16,000 Hz
  • Pick up pattern: Uni-directional
  • Sensitivity: -38 dB

 

Blizzcon 2010 Announced

Blizzcon 2010 logo
Blizzcon 2010 logo

You don’t have to be a fan of World of Warcraft to enjoy Blizzcon, (Though it helps). With games like StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 on the horizon this year’s Blizzcon should be pretty interesting and hopefully informative. You might remember the rumored news that Blizzcon would be hosted in Las Vegas, but alas it was not meant to be. Yesterday Blizzcon 2010 was officially announced and surprise, surprise its back in Anaheim.

Here is the report from Blizzards website:

If you’ve been holding your breath waiting to find out when and where the next BlizzCon would be held, then… you’ve probably passed out by now. But if you’ve just been patiently watching for an announcement, then we’ve got good news for you: BlizzCon will be returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, October 22 through Saturday, October 23! Just as in years past, BlizzCon 2010 will feature an exciting mix of discussion panels, tournaments, hands-on gameplay, contests, and much more. Check out the announcement press release, and keep an eye on www.blizzcon.com in the months ahead for further details, including ticketing information.

I am sure over the next coming months more information with be released about who will be appearing and what will be talked about and for you World of Warcraft fans I know there will be some talk about Cataclysm. The Obsolete Gamer team will be there (at least one of us) so we hope to see you there and maybe we will have some goodies to give out. As more information is released I will bring it to you.

You can check out all the current Blizzcon 2010 in here.