“And so, you call me your friend but you only want my gifts
And I’ll never see you if I had no loot, I’ll never see them
I’m just glad I know the truth and I’m payin’ my own bills
and I’ll never ever depend on you”
— Tony Toni Tone “If I Had No Loot”
Diablo III starts with something falling from the sky which the hero naturally had to go check out. Wait, let’s cut the pretense right off the bat and just be honest about all this – I’m in it for the stuff. All the character development and storytelling in both the real world and the realm of sanctuary have taken a back seat to the one primary motivation that called shotgun years ago when I last left it somewhere near Mt. Arreat: looting corpses. This is the story of all things Diablo: I hit monster piñatas, they go splat and boom, things drop loot for me to pick up. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Very briefly about the plot, though – there is a lot of betrayal in the story. Some of them are actually pretty obvious, like the sorcerer with the gruff voice and the maniacal laugh whom I had to revive sometime in Act II only to predictably turn against me at an opportune moment. All he ever did was talk about world domination while we were in the quest series. In fact, all of Diablo 3 could have probably been mitigated if the hero just burned New Tristram to the ground within the first two minutes of the game. The hero could have then gone about looting corpses uninterrupted.
In a game about breaking piñatas, Blizzard provided numerous different methods to do so as the character levels up to unlock skills and runes. I found it a bit sad, however, that I favored the lower-level skills since they appeared to deal damage to more people than the higher-level skills did. Then again, I’m actually not sure if the damage is the same, since regardless of slotted skill (with one notable exception), the DPS indicator had the same number. Does one shot of force lightning do the same amount of damage as one shot of magic missile? No idea. In the end, I prefer AoE with the implied splash damage over breaking one piñata at a time.
Overall, the game is great and highly addictive. The character classes and skills allow for a variety of play styles and the auction house addresses any equipment deficiencies that come up from time to time. There is a story narrated through wonderfully rendered cut-scenes with quality voice work. Most of all, there are piñatas – lots and lots of piñatas that drop all kinds of loot.
I’m not too sure how I’d feel about Diablo III if it had no loot. Leah, on the other hand, “you can new jack swing…”