Diablo 3 has launched, stumbled, corrected itself and is now hobble-jogging its way into my most played game since Diablo 2. But it needs to be said... I feel like I'm "faffing' about. The game starts off simple enough and once you waltz up to the first serious mini boss (name avoided for spoilers) you're not having too much trouble getting through. I even started having friends log on while i motored ahead and had no problem slaying the legions of hell. The loot dropped fine and i pimped out my witchdoctor with so many inteligence boosters minions were dropping left and right. Upon getting to the final act and confrontingthe final boss, I had not yet felt truley challenged. A little disappointed, sure, but the game had brought back that feeling of late night diablo 2 marathons and I'll always love dungeon crawling for loot.
Starting up Nightmare difficulty, the game still felt easy. Until we got halfway through act 1. Then it got a little harder. My minions weren't lasting long and one hit kills weren't happening anymore. Act1 final boss was easy enough but it was annoying I had to resummon so often and I was losing mana fast. Act 2. I began to feel the bite. I remembered from Diablo2 how nightmare level minions encouraged multiplay but this was different. This encouraged me to change my entire playstyle. I stopped summoning zombie dogs and rebuilt my character to cast a lot of spirit spells and mana regen. I started kicking ass again but it required me to think! Not mindlessly running about and occasionally using a fancy skill. Now I had to make sure I wasnt going to die. Luring a group of enemies away and no longer taking them head on, flushing out the weak ones first while stunning the large ones and even using an escape skill.
I see a lot of upset online about the ease of Diablo 3. All that tells me is they haven't even finished normal yet. I even understand the insanity of Inferno mode makes the game unbearably difficult. But loot has always been a key factor of Diablo and if you crawl every dungeon the loot drops make it wothwhile, even if you dont get class specific items. A shared stash does make up for it though and it never hurts to roll other classes.