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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt photo
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher almost didn't star leading man Geralt

Would you have preferred a customisable lead character?
May 26
// Vikki Blake
Former Witcher project lead Ryszard Chojnowski has shed light on the development of the hugely popular RPG series in a YouTube video, revealing that the game was very nearly a top-down Diablo clone inspired by the l...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm is now in open beta, will launch next month

On June 2
May 20
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm has been in alpha and closed beta sessions for a while, but it's prepping for a full launch next month. For now, you can enter the open beta on Mac or PC with a simple signup on the game's websi...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III to celebrate third anniversary the only way it knows how: cows

May 15
// Chris Carter
Diablo III turns three years old today, and Blizzard is hosting an event to celebrate. PC, Xbox One, and PS4 players will be able to embark upon extra portal quests, which will grant you extra loot. It'll run until May 2...

The beauty and tragedy of a perfectly planned character

Apr 27 // Nic Rowen
I spent way too much time looking at screens like this. City of Heroes probably holds the dubious distinction of having the most skewed relationship in terms of “time spent planning characters VS time spent playing characters” in my life. I spent entire nights pouring over different power sets, ability combinations, and team synergies for a game that doesn't exist anymore. I devoted hours upon hours to figuring out the perfect stat progression for super villains that I knew in my heart of hearts I'd never take out of the starter area. The only crime they'd ever commit would be loitering. However, City of Heroes wasn't the only game to trigger this kind of obsessive cataloging, not by a long shot. I have a stack of character builds and ideas as thick as the Yellow Pages for Dark Souls PvP set-ups, gimmicky X-Com squads, and Darkest Dungeon dream teams. I have concept characters (complete with embarrassing back stories) sketched out for both of the modern Fallout games. All of their would-be perks, S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats, and fashionable item accessories already plotted out -- all that’s left would be to actually wander out in the wastes and find them, but who could be bothered after so much work? This goes way back, long before I had easy access to the internet where character planners and clever apps make it simple to plot these things out. Go back to the Precambrian era of high school days, dig through the fossil records of my notebooks and I'm sure you could find Diablo 2 skill trees scribbled in the margins of my English homework. The cave wall painting blueprints of a Hammerdin specced holy warrior looming above my predictable observations about MacBeth (probably, hopefully, accompanied by a cool doodle of a flying hammer crushing a zombie's skull).   When I step back and look at the sheer amount of go-nowhere ideas and try to tally up the time I've sunk into them compared to the relatively meager hours I've clocked into some of the games they're for, it dawns on me -- maybe this is kind of messed up. Maybe I've been living all wrong. Looking at it from a distance, it all seems quietly sad. I've spent more time in my head with some of these games (some of my favorite games, I might add) than I have playing them. There's a small critical voice in the back of my mind that is furious with me for squandering those hours, for not doing something more productive with the time -- both in the sense of actually playing the fucking games, and in the broader and more judgmental “what are you doing with your life?!” sense.  I have perfectly good reasons (or maybe I should call them “justifications”) for all the obsessive plotting and scheming. For one thing, there are just too many cool ideas out there and not enough time to see them through. For as much as I beat myself up for the papery death of my stillborn characters, I never really would have had the time to convert those dreams into reality even if I had the work ethic of John Henry. How long does a full play through of Diablo 2 take anyway? How many trips through Hell do you need to make to grind through the necessary experience points? If you're after a certain item set (and you know you are because you're the kind of crazy person who didn't stop reading three paragraphs ago) you'd probably need to go online to trade and wheedle your way into a full set to see it done. It's a hell of a lot more of a time investment than goofing off in English class, that's for sure. Sketching out those ideas for gimmicky Paladins and upstart Mages let me stave off the temptation to roll another character while I took my (unfortunately less imaginative) Barbarian to kick the shit out of the Prince of Lies. In a weird (insincere) way, I could even argue it helped me save time. Besides, an immaculately planned character can be satisfying in its own right. It's always good to get your intellectual hands dirty, to put your fingers into the putty of an idea, to roll it around and shape it. As far as pastimes go, you could do worse. Let's not forget all the situations where actually playing a game would be impractical. You can goof off a little at the office and play around with the Borderlands skill editor without causing much of a scene. But try and boot up your lv 30 Gunzerker at your desk just once and you'll never hear the end of it. Human Resources takes a dim view on bringing akimbo guns blazing justice to the wasteland during company hours, apparently.  Still, I look at the swollen and poorly organized folder where I dump all of my character ideas, filthy with PDF character sheets, webpage saves from online builders, .txt documents imported from PC to PC for games I'm not even sure I own anymore, and I wonder if I have a problem. I can justify all the characters I cooked up sitting in class or during lunch breaks? I know I spent just as many perfectly fine nights sitting in front of the same machine that actually displays and runs the games I was thinking about, tapping away at some poorly conceived concept character while utterly ignoring the game itself. At the same time though, I love those characters, I love those ideas. Yeah, most of them never made it out of the gate, but those characters had character. If videogames are mostly an exercise in mental stimulation, of burning off stressed out braincells and decompressing after a long shitty day, does it really matter if the satisfaction you get from them is through play or by tinkering with the ideas they present? If I could swap those hours around, gut about a quarter of that folder and take the time spent on the fantasizing about those ideas to actually playing out a few of them, would I be more satisfied? Or would it shake out to be about the same? I honestly have no idea. What I do know is that while writing this article, I did have an idea for another Dark Souls 2 character, and it's been all I could do to keep myself from drifting over to a wiki to start putting him together. There may be no hope for me.
Character building photo
I'm the man with the plan (and little else)
I've probably spent more time creating characters, builds, and dreaming up party compositions in my head than I have actually playing games. It seems odd to think of it in that way, but if I could somehow tally it all up I be...

Adoriablo photo

Diablo III's Big Head Mode is too cute

...And it begins
Mar 31
// Brett Makedonski
Season 3 in Diablo III is almost upon us, but before we delve into something that serious, let's pull back a bit and use the adorable as a palate cleanser. (Who would've ever thought that "adorable" would be an adjectiv...
Diablo 3 photo
Diablo 3

Sorry America and Europe, no Diablo III microtransactions for you

It's probably for the best
Feb 20
// Robert Summa
Blizzard has revealed that their upcoming 2.2.0 patch for Diablo III will include microtransactions. However there's a catch: It won't apply to the Americas or EU regions. So, I guess that leaves everyone else to milk that Di...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm entering into closed beta this week

From alpha to beta
Jan 14
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm is feeling pretty great so far, and it's only in alpha form. Well, it was in alpha, as Blizzard has just sent word over that it has entered the beta phase. A patch is ringing in the change, which adds...

100% Series Retrospective: Diablo

Oct 24 // Chris Carter
Why Diablo? Diablo has a special place in my heart for numerous reasons. It was one of the first co-op games I ever played with my pal Joey, who would end up being one of my go-to friends for gaming to this day, nearly two decades later. It was the first game I played over a [dial-up] internet connection. It was also one of the first games I really started theorycrafting for -- or for those who aren't aware of the term, basically obsessing over item values and statlines. Diablo II came at a specific time in my life when I was going through some major family troubles. It also "clicked" with my group like wildfire. Slowly but surely Joey and I recruited tons of people into a massive collective, where we'd share secrets and tips, as well as loot farm together. I saw people go from "I don't know what Diablo even is" to playing it for entire weekends. You know that feeling when you're playing a cool game none of your friends are in on? This was the antithesis of that. I'll never forget a hilarious quote from a newlywed couple that was twice our age and started gaming with us when they said "dying in Hardcore Mode (where your character is deleted instantly after death) is like dying in real life." Diablo II was one of the biggest group experiences I've ever had outside of the original StarCraft and the first Halo. I'll never forget it. Diablo III wasn't nearly as life-changing as the first two, but it allowed my wife to get into the series, and we've enjoyed many hours of co-op together. However you slice it, Diablo has gotten me through a lot of tough times and created lasting memories. Diablo - Mac, PC [owned], PlayStation [owned] Although I had played a lot of dungeon crawlers as a kid, there was nothing quite like Diablo. I still remember the day I unassumingly booted it up for the first time, in the early afternoon, asking my parents to play it late into the night. My first character was a Rogue, the agility-inspired female character that was playable alongside the male Warrior and Sorcerer. I recall the first time I became hooked, very early into the game. The town of Tristram was sprawling, with a decent amount of secrets and a lot of character. The really cool thing about Diablo is that it takes place in one zone, with one giant dungeon at your disposal that you slowly progress through. The first major quest deals with killing The Butcher, who was an immensely satisfying kill after hearing those level-up sounds and seeing all the rewards that came with it. This was essentially Positive Reinforcement: The Game. Diablo was an open-ended dungeon crawler in that it didn't prescribe to a heavy-duty build limitation system. Although it was "best" to min-max, you could freely distribute your stats upon leveling up, and everyone could earn from generally the same pool of spells and abilities. If you played online outside of a circle of friends, mods, trainers, and hacks were rampant, unfortunately. I avoided them wholesale, but one day my friend showed me a hacked item called "The Hair of Coolio," an elaborate mace-like weapon, and I tolerated them after that just due to the sheer comedic value of the items. Plus it extended my playtime for a few months. Since the PC version is so difficult to run on modern hardware I opted for the PlayStation version of the game for this Quest, which runs just fine, even if it's quite dated. I know you're probably wondering about Hellfire, the official-but-kind-of-not-official expansion, which was only available on PC. I wasn't able to play it here, but I distinctly remember it. It was a strange game that wasn't quite up to par with most other PC expansions at the time. Hellfire was actually developed by a company called Synergistic Software, and published by Sierra On-Line. It was authorized by Blizzard but wasn't playable on or offered in the physical Battle Chest package. It featured a new class, the Monk, as well as a few new floors of the game's dungeon, and a few extras like traps. While it was an odd duck, it augmented the game in a modest way. I still found it enjoyable. Diablo II - Mac, PC [owned] If Diablo was elementary, Diablo II was university. Here's a small picture of how hardcore some people treated the game. I had a friend who created a Paladin, and wanted to invest into a selection of skills that crafted a "Hammerdin" build. In Diablo II, you couldn't re-invest points at launch (re-spec), and he was off by just a few points, having made a mistake after reaching max level. He deleted the character and re-rolled a new one a few days later. It's sounds crazy, but he loved every second of it. This is DII. It was insane how many elements of the Diablo series were expanded. People created PVP characters, maxed out with specific skillsets and gear just to participate in unofficial PVP matches and ganking online. I had friends who had "chatroom garb," which showed off particularly cool cosmetic gear when you were in's chatrooms. It garnered a crazy level of dedication, and there are few games like it today -- even in the MMO space. Speaking of, the service was completely overhauled into the powerhouse we know and play on currently. Blizzard cracked down on (but didn't completely solve) hacks, and "closed" was generally a safe place where you could play with friends or strangers. I spent endless nights at LAN parties with friends on, staying over at their houses sometimes for the entire weekend. It's one of my most-played games of all time -- no other Diablo game even comes close. Personally, I stuck with the Necromancer through and through -- I was known for it within my group of friends, and luckily I had the class on lockdown. As for how it plays today, Diablo II absolutely holds up. The visuals are a bit dated of course, but the updates Blizzard provided over the years streamlined a few aspects while keeping the hardcore spirit intact. If you've never played it, get a few friends together and take the plunge. You can even use a number of popular mods to change the game to your liking -- I know people who still play Diablo II, and every few years or so I still get that itch. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction - Mac, PC [owned] Lords of Destruction was everything an expansion should be and more. The major additions to the base game included an entirely new act to farm, new mechanics like runes, and two incredibly deep classes -- the Assassin and Druid. Like all of the other classes in the game, the aforementioned two newcomers had a multitude of build options available. At this point in the game's lifespan almost no two creations were the same. Some people preferred an elemental Druid, some preferred a Bear build or a wolf build, and others did a mix. This level of customization is nearly impossible today with the amount of streamlining in games. All too often you'll see people resorting to "cookie-cutter builds" or specific types of gear so that everyone looks the same, but in Diablo II, I don't think I ever saw two characters that were exactly alike. Now that Act V was in the picture, our group had a brand new act to farm, new bosses to fight, and new items to look for. It expanded the game's lifespan for a number of years, and Blizzard had a long-term plan that it hasn't replicated outside of World of Warcraft. Diablo II is a near-perfect example of how to build and support a game. Diablo III - Mac, PC [owned], PS3 [owned], Xbox 360 Ah, Diablo III. A sore spot for many, a source of rekindled addiction for me for a number of months after its launch. Look, Diablo III had problems -- the auction house in general, the always-on DRM, the lack of loot, the limited builds. They were all very real issues. But that didn't stop me from leveling up every class in the game to 30 in the first few weeks. It was fun on a different level, because let's face it, I don't think Blizzard will ever make a game like Diablo II again. Diablo III was streamlined, easy to pick up, and still thoroughly addicting if you view it as more of an action romp than an in-depth RPG. I remember getting to Act III in Inferno Mode before it was nerfed, and it was one of the most exciting experiences I've ever had with the franchise. Some people thought it was too punishing, but before all the fixes and updates, Diablo III was one of the most difficult games in that space. Diablo III didn't have the longevity of Diablo II at launch, but Blizzard eventually got wise and started supporting the game with what fans wanted, not what it thought they wanted. The result was the Loot 2.0 patch and Reaper of Souls, which was almost universally liked. Playing Diablo III again recently was still enjoyable, even if I found myself wanting to play Reaper of Souls right after one playthrough. I used the PS3 version of the game for this writeup, since it wasn't fully updated with the newest patch and could be played offline. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Mac, PC [owned], PS3, PS4 [owned], Xbox 360, Xbox One Reaper of Souls was the fix that Diablo III sorely needed. It brought disenfranchised fans back into the fold, and ushered in an entirely new audience. The level cap was raised, a new character was added (which was a great mix of old and new Diablo sensibilities), portals added a newly minted random element to the game, and quality-of-life updates like the item-modifying Mystic were all good design choices. You also don't have to beat the game three times to get to the "good stuff," as players can instantly switch on harder difficulties from the start. Even better, the console versions had no always-on DRM and could be played by four people offline. It also takes place in an era without the taint of an auction house. While it wasn't nearly as groundbreaking as Lords of Destruction, which offered the depth of nearly three Reaper of Souls expansions, it demonstrated that Blizzard isn't entirely reliant on Activision's business practices, and still has a heart of its own. I hope that the free updates continue to flow, and the next expansion makes things even better. Final thoughts: Playing through the Diablo franchise was bittersweet, because I mostly did it alone outside of the local co-op offered in the original Diablo and Diablo III's console versions. It reminded me of all the great times I had with friends, and also made me realize that said times will likely never happen again in the same way. The videogame market has changed immensely, and you can see that shift through the history of Diablo. From humble beginnings marred by technical limitations, to the extremely deep and hardcore number crunching, to the streamlining we know today, this journey was an interesting way to see how the ideologies of both gamers and developers change over time. I'm mostly just glad that Blizzard was able to salvage Diablo III. I grew up with the franchise and want as many people as possible to feel the same things I did, even if they're in different ways.
Diablo Carter's Quest photo
Carter's Quest
Things have been crazy at Destructoid since I became the Reviews Director. On my first week, I had to tackle a new Ratchet & Clank, Super Mario 3D World, and three other games. It hasn't let up after that, and as a result...

Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III's patch 2.1.0 brings seasonal challenges, Greater Rifts

Leaderboards are also in
Aug 28
// Chris Carter
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls has a new update, titled patch 2.1.0 -- and it comes with a lot of changes. "Seasonal" characters allow you to restart the game with a new build, which can earn you special items, leaderboard plac...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Microsoft worked with Blizzard to get Diablo III to 1080p on Xbox One

Diablo 1080three
Aug 20
// Chris Carter
I had a chance to test out Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition on the PS4 and it's pretty fantastic. At a cool 1080p and 60fps the game runs great, but on the Xbox One, it wasn't always that way. To upgrade to 1080p from 9...

Diablo III's Ultimate Evil Edition makes the core game a must-play for console owners

Aug 12 // Chris Carter
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition (PS3, PS4 [tested], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Blizzard EntertainmentPublisher: Blizzard EntertainmentRelease: August 19, 2014MSRP: $39.99 (PS3, Xbox 360), $59.99 (PS4, Xbox One) If you've played the game previously and want to bring over your character, the process is painless -- you just log into by way of in-game menus, and log into Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. You can transfer over saves/characters from the previous console generation to the new generation (even cross-platform or cross-publisher), with the only limitation of not being able to transfer from PS4 to Xbox One and vice versa. The process takes a total of roughly one minute, but it could be longer if you forgot your password. What you're getting with the Ultimate Evil Edition is everything from Reaper of Souls basically (which is still currently $40 on PC) -- the new Act V, the Crusader class, Loot 2.0, the new difficulty system, adventure mode, the level cap of 70, the Mystic artisan, and a few more changes. The console version of the game allows you to use an in-game mail system to share loot as well as take advantage of the "Nemesis" feature, which is set up kind of like a Souls game. In short, players can encounter rare creatures that will attempt to assassinate them, which will allow your friends to avenge your spirit. It's a very small social feature, but it's a welcome one that doesn't impede on the experience in any way. There's not a whole lot that's different about Ultimate Evil outside of those small additions, but if you're playing it on PS4 you can nab a Shadow of the Colossus armor pattern, as well as randomized enemies from The Last of Us in certain Rifts. [embed]279348:55207:0[/embed] Ultimate Evil also has the same great console controls, which translate perfectly with Diablo III's skill system. All of the face buttons as well as R1 and R2 are still mapped to abilities, and the right stick is used as a combat roll that's unique to the console version. The only hangup still are the menus, which are particularly slow to navigate with local players since only one player is allowed to use them at at time. Blizzard should have taken a cue from Champions of Norrath on the PS2, which allowed people to have separate menu instances, as well as buy or sell items at the same time. As it stands though it's not the end of the world since the quick-equip system exists with the d-pad, and online players all have their own menus. Speaking of local players, four-player online and couch co-op returns, which is easily one of the biggest draws. On the PS4 the game doesn't chug in the slightest even with extra players on-screen, and there's something about playing dungeon crawlers locally that makes them even more enjoyable. In case you're wondering, loot is distributed equally upon pickup (or directly to players that can use an item, like bows in the instance of a Demon Hunter), and with Loot 2.0, the drops are plentiful. Ultimate Evil Edition is a natural progression for those of you who loved the console version of Diablo III, and current generation owners can pay a $20 upgrade fee of sorts for a slight visual upgrade. If you've already played the PC version to death and don't have any local friends to play with, there isn't much here for you, though.
Diablo III consoles photo
Go try it if you haven't already
Diablo III has had a tumultuous history to say the least. Always-online DRM, the Real-Money Auction House, and loot problems plagued the original release -- all issues that took months to address. It's a hot-button issue even...

Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III will run at 1080p/60fps on both current-gen consoles

Is resolution gate over?
Aug 08
// Chris Carter
After middling around with the idea that the Xbox One version of Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition would run at 900p, Blizzard has confirmed that due to a day-one patch, it will now have full parity with the PS4 edition ...
Diablo photo

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition will allow cross-platform save imports

For the ultimate good
Jul 29
// Abel Girmay
Not unlike what Rockstar is offering with the current-gen ports of Grand Theft Auto V, Blizzard has confirmed that players will be able to bring over their characters and saves from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

China can finally join the rest of the world in Diablo III

Diablo finally sacks the Middle Kingdom
Jul 16
// Brittany Vincent
Chinese company Netease will complete its commitment to Blizzard by bringing Diablo III to China. While the release date has not been officially announced, this release will mark the last major Blizzard franchise to hit the C...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III Auction House closing down on June 24 forever and ever, also forever

It's not like you were using it anyway
Jun 19
// Brittany Vincent
If you're using or have ever used the Diablo III Auction House, you might consider claiming your items and clearing out before it closes down for good on June 24. That's less than a week away, so better get cracking. Weirdly ...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III on PS4 will have exclusive Shadow of the Colossus outfit

Transmogrify yo'self
Jun 11
// Chris Carter
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition will be getting a Last of Us tie-in, but that's not the only Sony property that made it in. According to Game Informer, a Shadow of the Colossus transmogrify outfit will launch with the game ...
Last of Us X Diablo III photo
Last of Us X Diablo III

The Last of Us creatures infect Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on PS4

A strange crossover
Jun 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Well, this is certainly a strange reveal. The various forms of infected from The Last of Us will be crossing over into Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on PlayStation 4.
Diablo photo

Diablo III's higher Legendary drop rate is now permanent

+100 percent buff
May 22
// Jordan Devore
For Diablo III's second anniversary, Blizzard introduced a temporary one-hundred percent boost to PC and Mac players' Legendary item drop rate. Which was great -- the buff, not the fact that it was for a limited time. From th...
Diablo on PS4 photo
Diablo on PS4

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on PS4 sure looks like Diablo

I mean, what else is there to say?
May 20
// Brett Makedonski
Have you been playing Diablo III's Reaper of Souls expansion on PC for the last two months? If so, then you know exactly what it looks like, and there's probably nothing in this video for you. Go ahead and take this dow...

Remembering the glory of videogame manuals

May 17 // Brittany Vincent
Call me old-fashioned, but the feeling of thumbing through the crisp pages rife with back story, notes from the designers, and detailed instructions on how to play gave me a real sense of anticipation. It was genuinely difficult to wait those few short hours until the final journey home at the end of the day to eagerly devour the content on the disk (or cartridge) inside. In some cases, being treated with some delicious fiction related to the title was something to look forward to as well, especially if you needed a little extra hype to fully enjoy the adventure about to unfold. And let’s not forget the lovely serial numbers or copy protection that would require you to find a certain line or word in the manual to be able to install the thing. Good luck if you threw it away! But even now, as illogical as it would be to require a simple word or pass phrase as DRM, it was part of the charm that came with buying a new game. Of course, the main reason these miniature morsels of gaming goodness exist can’t be overlooked: they teach you how to play the game -- or at least, they're supposed to. And there are those who, back in the heyday of these manuals, completely ignored the instructions within and jumped straight into the game anyway. I was one of them, only to dive back into the booklet to look up exactly what those glowing red items were, or why I can't save at certain points. While the in-game tutorial is perpetuated for a generation who simply doesn’t have time to (or doesn't want to) sit down and get a primer on what they’re about to experience, I find myself frustrated with learning by example in-game and missing the thrill of discovery that came with gleaning information from a physical guide. I’ve always learned through instruction rather than hands-on walkthroughs, so it’s been interesting adapting over the years as tutorials have become more prominent. They’ve had to, because we need to think green, and whatnot. Manuals are a mere few pages, and if they do happen to be a thick slab of paper, it’s because the mandatory multiple language are used as some kind of cruel, sick filler in my world. Spanish-speakers can find reference within these few pages, but where is the meat of the manual? I can read copyright information and EULAs in-game. I suppose that’s just me being curmudgeonly, but I know that opening up a game these days is completely disheartening. And it’s only getting worse. Beautiful works such as the Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete manual and Tie Fighter tomes may never be seen again. And I’m not really okay with that. We shouldn’t be relegated to picking up collectors’ editions or limited runs of titles to receive a booklet that may be of some value. Unfortunately, this is likely just one more step toward moving into the digital age, and soon enough we may not even be graced with the traditional box. As much as I'm for innovation, hanging onto gaming’s yesteryear has and always will be one of my favorite things to do. Though I'm excited to see the future, I’m also a little afraid. Decent manuals completed the package for me. They taught me to game in a much more efficient way than following directions from an in-game scenario, and they acted as one component of the fifty to sixty dollar package I spent my hard-earned allowance on that made it stand out from my collections of DVDs and CDs. Like the liner notes from your favorite artist, the wit and informative writing seen in great manuals were integral to the experience as a whole. But as much as I’d like to see a renaissance of the familiar little booklets, it’s not going to happen. Thankfully, with resources like Replacement Docs or Nintendo's initiative to sell classic manuals, I can take a stroll down memory lane without having to find old PC titles or dig through the multiple plastic bins that serve as home for my precious commodities. I may have to face new titles relying on my familiarity with standard game mechanics and control schemes, but at least I have my memories. So, I guess this is goodbye, you lovely manuals. I’ll miss the way you smell, your shiny covers, and the comments I furiously scribbled in your “Notes” section. I’ll miss the way you divulged secret codes right under my nose. Most of all, I’ll miss your value as bathroom reading material and padding for my bookshelf. Thanks for so many great memories. Here’s to seeing you in digital format again someday.
Videogame manuals photo
Colorful pages, powerful memories
When I was a little girl, purchasing a new game often meant thumbing through the pages of a mammoth tome detailing impending gameplay down to the letter. If I were stuck on a long car trip with a recently-purchased title, dig...

Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Blizzard enacts special anniversary bonus for Diablo III

A higher Legendary drop rate
May 15
// Chris Carter
Were you planning on playing Reaper of Souls this weekend? Well you might want to reconsider if it wasn't in the cards, because Blizzard has added a special buff for everyone that will be playing Diablo III in the next w...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition coming to consoles on August 19

$60 on new consoles, $40 on old
May 12
// Brett Makedonski
We've known for a while now that Diablo III would be sauntering to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at some point. Today, that timeframe becomes a whole lot more clear. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition will be available ...
Diablo photo

Get caught up with Diablo's lore in a minute

Quite literally, from 'Lore in a Minute'
May 12
// Chris Carter
We've posted a few videos from the Lore in a Minute team in the past, and their latest is Diablo III. Their newest clip will take you all the way through the original Diablo to the newest iteration, setting up the events in ...

Weekend Wallpapers: The Reaper of Souls is here

Art out your desktop
May 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Every now and again we like to dump a collection of gaming related wallpapers for you. Why? Well, why not? It's the weekend, and now is a good as time as any to change up your aging desktop wallpaper. The collection in the ga...
BlizzCon photo

BlizzCon 2014 dates announced, tickets on sale soon

Panels, game demos, tournaments, and more
Apr 22
// Jordan Devore
BlizzCon will be back this year at roughly the same time, Blizzard has announced. This eighth show is set for the Anaheim Convention Center from Friday, November 7 to November 8, 2014. Tickets aren't on sale yet, but they wil...
Diablo III sales photo
Diablo III sales

Reaper of sales: Diablo III expansion has sold over 2.7 million

Reaper? I hardly even know her!
Apr 04
// Steven Hansen
In its first week of availability, the first Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls, has reaped 2.7 million sales. Uhm. I mostly just wanted to write "Reaper of sales." I don't have anything else to say. Good job to Blizzard for responding to fan feedback with a $40 expansion that everyone went out and paid for, apparently. Path of Exile is free if you like click click click click games.

How the 'new' Diablo III brought me back in

Mar 30 // Patrick Hancock
I’m of the belief that you can’t truly write a game off without actually playing it. Originally, I had zero plans to revisit Diablo III, even after reading about the proposed changes. Hell, I even went on record saying this: And nine people seemingly agreed with me! But I began reading a lot of good words from good people all around the Internet. Saying things like “if you quit for the same reasons as I did, you should give this new patch a chance!” As this became more and more common, I decided to re-install Diablo III. If the auction house was gone, and the loot and difficulty systems were changed, maybe I can learn to love again? Changing how difficulty works was one change which was absolutely required to get me back into Diablo III. While playing through the original version, Normal difficulty was an absolute snoozefest. Yet, I had to go through it because they decided to apply the old, archaic difficulty system. I rarely, if ever, felt challenged throughout all acts on Normal. Nightmare difficulty felt a little better, but by that time I was plenty frustrated at a cornucopia of other things. The ability to change difficulty whenever I want, and get plainly stated rewards for higher difficulties, is still my favorite change with the newest patch. The removal of the Auction Houses is another welcome change. Previously, the game only encouraged the player to earn enough gold to buy something sweet from the Auction House. Loot drops were always overshadowed and there was a constant lingering feeling of “well, I know there’s something better on the Auction House.” It ruined the feeling of finding loot, and I’m glad to see both Auction Houses go, especially with the new Loot 2.0 system also in place. With Loot 2.0, I’ve already found four Legendary pieces of armor. Prior to this patch, I had found zero. I also had very little interest in Legendaries, since what I saw online from other players wasn’t very impressive or enticing compared to what I could just buy on the Auction House. Some of these new Legendaries can completely change the way a character plays, which has perfect synergy with the mix-and-match, no-repercussions skill system. Find a Legendary piece of armor that allows you to always perform a critical hit when below 25% health? Take some time and design a brand new skillset around that idea and try it out! If it doesn’t work, no harm done (except maybe some durability loss). Don’t get me wrong, the game isn’t perfect. The complete lack of trading is something that kills a lot of what I loved about Diablo II. Measuring things in terms of SoJs or “pskulls” was an aspect of the game I always loved to take part in. Trading was the lifeblood of the chat channels for me, and I am incredibly sad to see it removed. Yes, the game still requires an Internet connection, which is terrible, but the bigger picture here is that Blizzard made the changes that the consumers want to see. Now, I’m no idiot. I know it’s no coincidence that Blizzard made the game the way it should have been only slightly before their new expansion came out. As a consumer though, I’m enjoying Diablo III more than I ever thought I would, and if I decide to buy Reaper of Souls, it would be to show my support for a game that I’d like to see more of.  Basically what I’m saying is: if you quit for the same reasons as I did, put away your pride and try out the new version.
I don't hate D3 anymore photo
They successfully transformed my opinion of the game
I never thought I would actually say this, but I am enjoying myself while playing Diablo III. Keep in mind this is without Reaper of Souls, and is entirely about the newest patch -- Loot 2.0. After spending countless hours ...

Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

Mar 26 // Chris Carter
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PC [reviewed], Mac)Developer: Blizzard EntertainmentPublisher: Blizzard EntertainmentRelease: March 25, 2014MSRP: $39.99 Before you even begin your adventure in Reaper of Souls, Patch 2.0.1, or the "Loot 2.0" patch is already fully in place. This doesn't require the purchase of Souls, but it adds in quite a few changes that make the entire game much better as a result. Paragon levels have been uncapped and are account-wide, rare drops have increased (and junk drops have decreased), a clan system is now available, the crafting system has been made more accessible (materials have been combined for less confusion), timed events have been added, and difficulties have been reworked. A lot of these changes seem to be unchained due to the removal of the Auction House, which allows the loot system to really thrive. You'll earn rare and even legendary items on a constant basis, keeping that loot wheel turning pretty much every run -- it reignites that flame of "one more dungeon" that Diablo III sorely missed after a few weeks of play. The other changes are pretty great as well, most notably the difficulty system. Now you can pick from five options all the way up to Torment (which is basically Inferno with a sliding scale) whenever you want, granting extra bonuses like more experience. This is a two-fold fix, as it not only alleviates the issue of people finding the game too easy the first time around, but it also helps keep you interested for longer periods of time with more options. Now, you don't have to beat the game three times to get to the "hard part." It's a win-win. [embed]272063:53130:0[/embed] Beyond that, there are Reaper of Souls specific additions that further augment Diablo III's new features -- most notably a brand new Act, a new character, and "adventure mode." The first thing you'll probably notice when you boot up Souls is the Crusader class, which is defense-minded damage dealer that's basically a mix between a Barbarian and a Monk. Like the archetype allows, the Crusader is a nice mix between offense and defense, allowing you to customize your character according to your personal priorities. Because they have access to a number of buffs and debuffs, you can choose to go all out with strong abilities like hammers or defensive powers like magic shields, or go for a middle of the road approach. They also have a ton of unique skills that no other class has, like a magical horse that crashes through enemies, and their armor design and general theme fits the game perfectly. If you loved the Paladin in Diablo II and the Monk didn't really fill that void, you'll love the Crusader. I would have preferred two extra classes (perhaps another caster) in this expansion to balance things out, but the Crusader is definitely fun enough to go from 1-70 with on its own. Speaking of level 70, that's the new cap that applies to everyone. All classes will get an extra ultimate ability and more runes, as well as more passives and an extra passive slot at max level. The account-wide paragon system also allows you to tweak everyone beyond the cap, allowing for an unprecedented amount of customization -- and that extra passive slot goes farther than you'd think. A third Artisan (in addition to the Blacksmith and the Jeweler) also makes an appearance in Souls, in the form of the Mystic. This NPC can re-work specific statistics in items into more desirable parameters for a price, as well as morph existing items into different skins through transmogrification. The former is a fairly pricey affair, but the latter is so well done (and appropriately priced) that it ensures you'll never hate the look of your character again. If you get an amazing item that looks lame, you can just change it in seconds. Like the new ability changes, it ensures that you're always in control of your character.The meat of Reaper of Souls however is Act V, which takes place in the desolate area of Westmarch. The narrative itself deals with Malthael, a former member of the Angiris Council and ex-Archangel of Wisdom, who has since become the Angel of Death -- the arch-nemesis of the expansion. It's pretty standard stuff when it comes to Diablo III's so-so narrative, but the environments and enemy models aren't ripped wholesale from the core game, which is what really makes Act V shine in its own right. Malthael's minions range from grim reaper type foes, to bone dogs, to general demonic entities, as you make your way through a variety of towns, graveyards, swamps, and temples. It's basically a mix of every Act before it, but with its own signature artstyle and charms. Although the areas themselves are fun I would have preferred better boss fights (and at least one more at that), because outside of one fan-service oriented enemy everything pales in comparison to the Ancients encounter from Diablo II. It's not like the bosses are bad, per se, but I expected a bit more based on Blizzard's past experience. The good news is once you're all done with the story, you can embark upon Adventure Mode -- a new feature in Reaper of Souls. Here you'll basically collect a number of different quests (bounties) with every active waypoint that can be tackled with your leisure. Usually these are shallow requests like "kill this boss" or "clear this area," but you'll earn tons of bonus experience for your efforts, as well as shards that can be used to open up random dungeons (rifts). This is basically the new lifeblood of Reaper of Souls, as dedicated players will no doubt take their 70s into Torment difficulty bounties and rifts in search of better loot -- and with Loot 2.0, they'll get it. It also helps that the new Paragon system is helping you earn stats for every character along the way, including a potential Crusader character, so no session feels like a waste. Diablo III may have lost its allure after a first months of play, but Reaper of Souls has sucked me right back in again. Most of these additions should have been in the base game from the get-go, but there's no denying that they're welcome changes. Now that Diablo III has a new base to work from, I hope Blizzard keeps at it to make it the best they possibly can. Thankfully, Reaper of Souls gives me hope.
Reaper of Souls review photo
No Auction House, no problem
After the classic that was Diablo II, expectations for a follow-up were at an all-time high. Although it could never really meet those expectations, Diablo III was a fine hack and slash, and I ended up replaying it time ...

Diablo photo

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition in the works for Xbox One

But it's not necessarily going see a release
Mar 24
// Jordan Devore
Blizzard hasn't announced Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for Xbox One to accompany its PlayStation 4 release, but lead producer Alex Mayberry told Videogamer that it's in development. "I don't know where we are with Micros...
Reaper of Souls photo
Reaper of Souls

This new Reaper of Souls trailer shows off every change

Learn how the core game has evolved
Mar 19
// Chris Carter
After all this waiting, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is dropping next week. But before you drop your cash on it, you can watch the video above to see what exactly has changed. For those of you who haven't been keeping ta...

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