I've compiled a bunch of tips I picked up from playing the beta and following the game to help ease the transition from D2 to D3.
First thing you'll want to do is go into "Options > Gamplay" and activate "Elective Mode". Doing so gives you the freedom to assign skills as you wish without being constrained by arbitrary skill categories. Veteran Diablo players would no doubt find this frustrating, and frankly I wouldn't be surprised to see this changed before release since it's a huge point of contention among the beta community.
Set builds are a thing of the past. Players no longer gain attribute and skill points as they level. They gain pre-defined attribute points automatically and unlock skills/runes progressively up to the level cap of 60.
Players can have at most 6 active skills (each of which can have a single rune augmentation among 5 choices), along with at most 3 passive skills. As players level they gain the ability to equip extra active and passive skills.
Skills/runes can be swapped out with complete freedom, and doing so invokes a 30-second cooldown before that skill can be used or swapped out. Swapping skills in town does not trigger the cooldown. If you're swapping out multiple skills it's recommended to TP back to town and do so without cooldown to minimize downtime.
By default skill descriptions are simplified. Hold down CTRL to view more advanced descriptions with actual data. Choosing the gameplay option "Show Advanced Tooltips" will always show these instead.
Attributes in D3 are Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Vitality.
Strength: +x to Armor, +x to Barbarian's damage.
Dexterity: +x% to Dodge chance,+x to Demon Hunter's damage, +x to Monk's damage.
Intelligence: +0.1 per point to Resistances, +x to Witch Doctor's damage, +x to Wizard's damage.
Vitality: +x to Life
Each class has unique resource systems.
Barbarian - Fury: Attacking monsters (and inanimate objects) as well as receiving damage generates fury. Certain skills contribute to fury gain, while other skills expel it.
Demon Hunter - Hatred/Discipline: Hatred fuels her direct attack skills (bow skills, for example) and generates quickly. Discipline fuels some of her defensive and trap oriented skills and generates most slowly. Some skills function as hatred generators.
Witch Doctor - Mana: This is the only class to use mana which functions exactly as it did in D2.
Wizard - Arcane Energy: Similar to mana, only arcane energy generates more quickly. Signature skills (her basic attacks) do not cost energy.
Town portals are no longer scrolls but instead has been worked into the UI to be used whenever you please. You eventually earn this as a quest reward.
Identify scrolls are gone. Occasionally you'll receive unidentified items which you merely need to right-click to identify.
In parties there will be a banner for each of your allies in town. Clicking the banner will instantly teleport you to that ally.
Banners can be customized from inside B.NET and are constructed of various pieces you've unlocked through achievements. They're purely cosmetic.
Monster hitboxes are exaggerated in this game and can lead some some frustrating and buggy movement, especially when using a ranged attack on your LMB. There's a separate keybinding for "Move" which will instruct the player to follow your cursor when held down. I mapped this to my mouse thumb button for easy use. Train yourself to use this amidst packs of monsters for precise and stratetic movement.
Don't sell any blue/yellow/orange items early on in the game. When you unlock your blacksmith these can be salvaged for crafting materials which are precious early on. Crafting mats can be used to craft equipment and weapons. White items cannot be salvaged.
SHIFT-clicking continues to anchor your character in place as they attack.
There's a limit of 10 characters per account.
Any gold accrued is account-wide and stored in a single bank to be withdrawn from by all characters. Likewise, there's a single stash which you can store items in to pass off to other characters. There's a separate stash/bank for hardcore vs. softcore characters in your account.
It's entirely possible to make money from playing this game via the in-game auction house. Hold onto items you think are worthwhile for selling, unless you prefer to sell or salvage them. You have the option to sell/buy items on the AH using either in-game gold or real life money.
Your shared stash initially offers 14 blocks, and can be expanded by an additional 14 blocks for 10,000 gold. That gold is precious early on, so a trick to conserve space is to offload items from your stash onto other characters in your account until you can afford to expand your stash.
Artisans (Blacksmith and Jeweler) can be upgraded with gold and later on pages of training. Doing so allows you to craft better items and jewels. Artisan progress is account-wide and affects all your characters.
Look for the occasional book in towns and outside. Clicking a book will reveal a bit of lore and give you a slight EXP boost.
Keep a watchful eye for environmental traps like hanging chandaliers or loose walls. These do not harm the player but can be dropped on monsters for kill bonuses.
Players can earn EXP boosts by chaining monster kills, inanimate object destruction, and environmental kills.
Health globes occasionally drop from monster kills. These are floating red orbs. Picking these up will instantly heal you and all your allies/pets. Some passive abilities modify health globes to also affect class resources or other stats.
Mana and rejuvination potions are gone. Health potions still exists (Default key is Q), but there's a long cooldown on when you can use them again so use them sparingly.
You can no longer run around with the map overlay expanded. Clicking with the map expanded will instead pan the map rather than direct your player.
Player death incurs a durability hit on your equipment (you don't lose gold or experience). Dead players can be temporarily revived by allies before they're returned to the last checkpoint.
Num keys evoke player emotes. #6 is the classic "Time to Die".
Magic find (MF), +EXP, and +Gold affixes are averaged among all players in co-op.
Loot is individualized to players, meaning whatever you see dropped is yours and yours alone. If you drop an item from your inventory on the ground all players can see it.
Keep a watchful eye for the elusive Treasure Goblin. He's a glowing monster that rarely appears, and if you kill him he'll drop a lot of loot. Upon discovery they'll often run away leaving a trail of gold, and attempt to warp out off screen. Kill them before they get the chance to do so.
Walking over gold piles automatically picks it up.
Turn the gamma up slightly in video options. It improves graphical clarity and makes the game look better.
Items sold at a vendor can be bought back for the same price.
Activating a shrine shares the buff with all party members.
There are 3 followers players can hire throughout the game. Followers are reserved for solo play only and cannot be used during co-op.
Pressing "G" will drop your banner on the field, allowing players who click on it to teleport to you.
Beyond normal, nightmare, and hell...a fourth difficulty has been added called inferno. You must be level 60 to play here.
Strength and dex are no longer a requirement for gear and weapons. The only pre-requisite is character level (clvl). Some items are class-specific, but beyond that all classes can don the same equipment. The same equipment will look differently on the various classes.
When you die you become a tombstone and can be resurrected by your allies for a brief period of time.
Death during a co-op boss fight will lock you out completely with no way to continue. If you die make sure your ally resurrects you.
+ Magic Find, + Gold Find and + XP will be equal for each character in the group and depending on the sum of bonuses for all players. For example, if in a party party group the total of their stats are 50% MF, +20% GF and 10% XP, each of these players will have a 12.5% MF, 5% and 2.5% GF XP.
It's killing me not being able to play this game while waiting for my computer to return from repairs. Been spending my downtime watching strategy videos. Here's a bunch of tips I've picked up and am noting here to share with others.
If you see an enemy in the distance press the Q key to spot them. Doing so give you 10 points and marks them with a red icon and on the minimap.
When exiting a tank you'll leave in the direction the turret is facing. So if you want to leave behind the tank to repair while getting shelled, point the turret towards the back before exiting.
The engineer EOD bot can be used to capture and defend MCOM points in Rush. It can also run over enemies or torch them.
The SOFLAM is a Recon gadget that laser designates ships and vehicles, which your teammates can then fire at without anti-flare distractions. You can also use it remotely to survey the land or spot enemies.
You can kill someone with the engi repair tool.
You can drive a tank over/through water.
You cannot cook grenades but you can aim them after pulling the pin. Press the grenade button, and aim while holding down left mouse.
Aiming a laser at people's eyes will slightly blind them. Flashlights are far more blinding.
You can disable enemy C4 by picking it up.
Tanks are most vulnerable from the back, and somewhat from the side. Front has the most armor.
When flying, your warning sound will beep when being tracked, make a solid sound when locked onto, and then beep faster when being shot upon. Listen, and deploy flares during the third stage.
Landing a sniper shot isn't always a one-hit-kill when not striking on the head.
Using the Javelin, lock onto your targets head on but fire the rocket upwards into the air for maximum success.
Spawning on your own radio beacon will destroy it. If you place the beacon outside, spawning players will parachute down to it. Placed inside, players will simply spawn on top of it.
You can hurtle while zoomed in.
Mortar has an alternate fire which tosses smoke. They have independent reloads, so be sure to alternate between them.
The Tow and Kornet launcher missiles can be guided with your mouse once fired.
Apparently FedEx damaged my computer during shipment and sent it back to Dell. They've since run out of supply in their refurbished department. So I gave up on Dell and decided to build a computer from CyberPowerPC. It was $810 after $75 shipping.
Asus USB-N13 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 300Mbps Wireless USB Adapter
24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 1GB 16X PCIe
600 Watts - XtremeGear Power Supply - SLI/CrossFireX Ready
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Operating System DVD
This ended up as a better deal than the Dell so it all worked out in the end. Should have it shipped on Nov. 8th. In the meantime I'm shopping for a new mouse, 24" flatscreen monitor, and new office chair because my current one is uncomfortable.
Decided I'm going to keep my current laptop. It's more than I need for something that won't be used for gaming but I don't think I'll get too much for it on ebay. Figured it's nice not always being confined to my office when doing work.
31.4 hrs played. I wouldn't recommend this game to friends. On medium difficulty I found it unchallenging and the gameplay got stale real fast. My character specialized in combat and hacking. With this I could pretty much get into any room I wanted to and blast my way past any resistance. I think they placed an emphasis on stealth, so if you opt for a run and gun playthrough it's ridiculously imbalanced. The AI was horrible too...a sniper rifle and shotgun is all you really need to clear a room. Pick off enemies at a distance, and once they're alerted wait for them to round a corner before pumping a shell in their chest. After a while I just wanted the game to be over with and felt no compelling drive to continue playing.
There were hardly any vendors so my inventory was inundated with junk that I never used and I was rich at the end of the game. The upgrade system was ill conceived and half the upgrades were useless. Although the augmentation that allowed your player to see through walls was pretty cool.
The game suffers from major stuttering on even decent computers. This was likely due to how they loaded environmental textures progressively. Once you've explored a bit the stuttering subsides a bit. It never used to be as bad, but people were complaining about long load times so they released a patch that minimized load times but introduced the stuttering. In certain places like the streets of Detroit it was unbearable.
Boss battles were a joke, too. With the typhoon upgrade all you had to do was walk next to them and fire of 1-2 volleys and they're dead.
If I get bored I may go back and play through the game one day on the hardest difficulty using stealth only, just to see if I can get the remainder of the achievements. The game attaches itself to Steam once installed so sadly I can't resell it. It's not a game worth keeping.
Time to upgrade the computer for today's generation of games, mainly in anticipation of Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, and the new Batman. I bought this refurbished Dell for $800 after taxes.
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Operating System DVD
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Operating System DVD
Still debating if I want to sell my current laptop or not. I bought it in July '08 and it has served me well throughout the years, despite be spilling an entire beer on it. But it's reaching its limit for today's games and constantly suffers from overheating. I've burned through 2 video cards already and this one is one its way out. It has a blu ray reader/burner which I never used.