There’s a subtle yet distinct difference between playing a game like Diablo III and playing it with zeal. Many players participate until the game is finished and then move on to another game. Other players go all out. They ensconce themselves in the game for months, even years, giving the term ‘zealous’ a whole new meaning.
A friend of mine, who has a cush-job testing for Blizzard, is definitely a zealot, having dedicated mega-hours every day for a whole year plunging into dungeons, snatching up plunder, and annihilating Diablo and his bad-ass buddies. When asked about his single-minded pursuit, my friend told me, “The attraction lies in the metagame. Completing the overt story is simple. After that, though, there’s the real challenge of finding the best way to navigate the game. It’s about supremacy.”
Translation: Diablo III is not just another hack and slash, slice‘em and dice‘em game. You’ve got to take the metagame concept and run with it.
Diablo III occupies a point on the timeline 20 years after the world of Diablo II. There are five avatars to choose from: Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, Demon Hunter, and Barbarian. Once you make your choice – and choose wisely – then the adventure, composed of four acts, begins.
The rationale behind the warning to choose wisely is that the various avatars encompass different abilities, which means, depending on your avatar, you have to alter your tactics. For example, Monks and Barbarians, so-called melee warriors, are best in Kill Bill situations – wading into the middle of a horde of bad guys and going berserk. On the other hand, Witch Doctors avoid direct confrontations, letting their underlings do the Kill Bill stuff, while they let fly death-dealing missiles from a vantage point in the rear.
Diablo III has a bunch of much improved minor characters, nothing more than hired-guns, that you can have tag along on your adventure. Or – even better – you can team up with three friends and go that route. And it seems obvious, once you get familiar with the game, that the developers designed the game around the teamwork concept. This explains the various abilities (strengths and weaknesses) of the avatars. Their powers are designed to balance each other.