Originally Posted by traz
I won't lie, I'm super bored with d3 and kind of looking forward to this.
You should be. It's got a very D2 like feel in that you can run in and smash large groups of enemies, the skills are awesome and allow for unique builds, and the trade economy is great.
For starters the passive skill tree, while looking daunting at first, really is not too complex and allows for a large number of builds. You are not pigeonholed into one specific build just because you chose a certain class. You can be a melee witch, a dual wielding ranger, or a even a glass cannon elemental barb. Obviously certain builds work better than others, but most things are viable if you spec and gear properly.
Active abilities are also not locked in by your class selection. You gain "skill gems" through trading, quest rewards, or even random drops. They come in three colors - red for strength skills, blue for intelligence, and green for dexterity. So long as you have the required amount of str, int, or dex and meet the level requirement you can socket any skill gem into a matching colored slot on your gear. These gems gain experience as you do, and subsequently level up. In addition to active skills, there are support gems which add bonuses to your skills such as increased critical hit chance, multiple projectiles, faster projectiles, or faster attack speed. These gems increase the mana cost of skills, and only affect gems that are in sockets linked with them.
Moving on to loot, I can't say how nice it is to be able to find and use your own gear! My biggest pet peeve with D3 was the auction house. It was just too vital in my opinion. A lot of my enjoyment in these types of games comes from gearing my own character, and PoE delivers big time in this regard. It caters to both styles though, because if you find something valuable for another class it's quite easy to find someone willing to trade armor or weapons you can use or currency items for it. Since there is no gold the game mechanics make every item, even whites, valuable in their own way.
For example, selling a normal white item to a vendor will net you 1 scrap of identify scroll. For an entire scroll you need 5 scraps. The scrolls also drop, and they can be sold to the vendor in exchange for a town portal scroll (and vice versa - portal for ID scroll). Since your inventory is very small, making frequent town trips is necessary in order to create wealth but just like D3 once you return through your own portal, it disappears. The caveat to this is that you can hop through a party member's portal without it closing, which allows for much quicker and inexpensive trips to town to sell as a surplus portal scrolls is not easy to come by at the beginning of the game. This encourages grouping up with friends or randoms, not to mention the added bonus of tons of extra drops in party.
Party loot is also interesting in that it's a mix of free for all and personal loot. I'm not sure how it is determined but items are designated to be looted by only a certain party member for a small time frame and then it's free game for everyone. The timer ranges from 1-5 seconds based upon how close to the corpse the person assigned the loot is, and after the timer expires it's free game.
Getting back to the currency items now, in addition to portal/ID scrolls there are many other types that drop, can be purchased off vendors in exchange for other currency items, traded for, or obtained by using one of the many vendor "sale recipes" (such as the portal to ID scroll I mentioned above). Off the top of my head there are items that do the following:
- Upgrade white items to blues
- Reroll or add one additional property to a blue items (one type rerolls and another adds)
- Upgrade white to yellow
- Reroll or add an additional property to yellow items
- Upgrade whites to random rarity - potentially unique if there is one available of that item type
- Reroll the number, color, or way skill sockets are linked on an item
- Increase item quality which adds damage to a weapon or defensive stats to armor
- Remove all the properties from an item and reset it to a white
- Upgrade the quality of a flask - These recharge as you kill enemies and are used in lieu of potions
- Upgrade the quality of a skill gem which gives different bonuses depending on the skill
- Refund one passive skill point
And I'm sure there are more that I haven't found yet or am forgetting, but as you can see there are tons of options in the game. You don't just have to luck into the perfect item roll, as you can upgrade even a common white item to be extremely powerful by using the right combination of items to upgrade it to your liking.
As far as unique items go, they've made a ton of "niche" items which can be used with extreme effectiveness in quirky builds. There certainly are cookie-cutter specs for each class, but you can also greatly vary the way in which you choose to build your character without being a total gimp. This just really requires putting thought into proper itemization and choosing a good mix of offensive and defensive abilities. Obviously this can backfire, but with enough orbs of regret and respec points from quest completion you can change out your skills if things don't turn out well.
Most importantly though, in my opinion, the devs are highly active in the community, they often run competitions, are very open to suggestions, and constantly making changes/additions for the betterment of the game. It's refreshing to see such passion and caring for the well being of their game, and not just a model designed around maximizing profit. Diablo is still entertaining, but this game puts fun and quality game play first. I'm obviously already a huge fan of the game, and I hope more from the community will get interested once open beta is released.
Yea, yea...walloftext.jpg I know. So here's the tldr; version:
- Awesome passive skill tree
- Lots of variety and uniqueness in building your character
- Great trade economy that is not based on in game gold
- Fun game play that encourages grouping
- Active devs who are passionate about improving the game and not just dat cash
- PvP, hardcore mode, and private leagues
http://www.youtube.com/user/grindinggear for more info