Home Editorial Path of Exile: The game Diablo 2 & 3 should have been

There’s no polite way to frame this, so here it goes: in all likelihood, Diablo 3 is going to be a huge disappointment.

The character classes look like they’ve been pasted together from a few different anime series. The story and acting are, at initial glance, laughable. And the dark, hopeless tone of the original Diablo has all but disappeared.

And in the decade since the second game in the series, Blizzard was acquired by Activision.* The game’s entire soul has effectively been sucked out, chewed up, and spit out in a nasty, console-friendly pile of filth.

But what’s a gamer to do? Most dungeon-crawling action/RPGs since Diablo 2 have been a far cry from perfect. And while there’s always the option of dropping back into numero dos for another thousand hours or so, you’ve probably exhausted every PvE and PvP build known to man by now if you’re anything like me. You know every drop rate, every unique weapon variation, every farming route. You need a game that has the soul of Diablo and Diablo 2 without whatever bullshit Bobby Kotick tries to ram violently into Diablo 3.

Well, dear reader, you need to check out Path of Exile.

In development by a small New Zealand studio called Grinding Gear Games, Path of Exile is an unabashed Diablo clone that has improved upon almost every aspect of the series’ strengths and fixed the majority of its weaknesses. It’s no exaggeration to say that anyone who loved Diablo 2 will love Path of Exile, especially considering it is completely free to play. More on that later.

Players familiar with Diablo 2 will be immediately at home in POE. The game features six character classes, a 3/4 overhead camera angle, and endless fighting through hordes of loot-carrying monstrosities. The controls are a mixture of mouse clicks and hotkey quickfire uses,  and areas are connected via waypoints across a series of Acts.

Yes, there are even identification and town portal scrolls.

But where Path of Exile shines is not in its myriad similarities to Diablo, but its clever divergences. Grinding Gear Games has managed to rethink, rebalance, and redesign some of the most tedious, boring, or otherwise useless aspects of Blizzard’s masterpieces to create a game that is somehow more compelling, more complete, and more addictive. The elegance of the changes are astounding and make for remarkably improved gameplay, trading, and customization.


It’s the economy, stupid

In Diablo, the vast majority of items that dropped were completely worthless, including the default in-game currency, gold. Most players accumulated vast millions of gold, the purposes of which usually deteriorated into gambling for rares or repairing extremely high-end equipment.

In POE, there is no in-game currency. Items are “sold” to NPCs through a bartering system that revolves around consumable items. Instead of gold, you might receive Scrolls of Wisdom (that identify magical items), or other single-use trinkets. Some can improve weapon damage permanently by 1%. Others can make a normal item magical, or a magical item rare, or re-roll a rare’s stats.

The end result is that NPCs can always provide players something of value. Their “currency” scales with your level and loot, because you will always be interested in identifying items, improving your best gear, and rolling the dice on middling finds. This system effectively makes all drops useful, since junk items can essentially be traded for scrolls that make other junk into usable equipment. And because it’s all consumable goods, it is readily emptied out of the economy. There is no longer a disconnect between what’s useful to merchants and what’s useful to players.


Actually, do drink the Kool Aid

Let’s look at another example: potions. In Diablo and Diablo 2, potions were loaded into your belt for near-instant healing whenever you felt like mashing your number keys. It was intuitive, but it made certain encounters a matter of how much Kool Aid can I stuff into my pants? In Diablo 3, this has been replaced by the significantly more awkward “some enemies drop health orbs when they die” system. Because we all know how fun wagering your life is on each mob’s drops, right?

In POE, players stock health/mana containers that fill as kills accumulate. In essence, they combine the systems of Diablo 2 and 3 into a more manageable, less game-breaking way. Players can no longer bring 400 Full Rejuvenation pots with them to a boss fight, but neither are they at the mercy of the game’s drop system to keep them alive. Instead, gamers must now balance their health/mana consumption against how much they think they can fight in the next few minutes. Players who overestimate their abilities will be overrun as they take damage faster than they can kill baddies. It’s significantly more fair, and it keeps the player from having to spend hours managing an inventory of neon soft drinks.

In addition to the balance struck by POE’s health and mana management, flasks and vials can also be magical, with special properties. It’s possible to find a use for a Small Health Vial, if it has a property that gives you its entire boon instantly (instead of the default healing-over-time effect). Some larger vials might come with bigger vitality boosts, or may offer side effects like “Run 20% faster while this potion is in effect” or “Cast spells 8% faster during this potion’s effect.” Instead of being  just a means of staying alive and recharged, the potion belt is a strategic element of its own. Who would have thought chugging mana pots could be so cool?


More choices, less confusing

In the original Diablo, the three character classes had mild differences but could otherwise learn any spell, up to certain limits. In Diablo 2, character classes were locked into rigid skill trees with minor variations possible along the way. Each system had pros and cons, though both got stale over time. Diablo’s system didn’t really give the player real choices (other than “get every spell as high as you can) and Diablo 2’s skill trees, while large, were easily exhausted as “best” builds were discovered.

Path of Exile did away with skill trees and, yes, stat points, opting instead for a radical combination of ability gems and passive skills.

What most players think of as skills (Multishot, Smite, Whirlwind, etc) are now socketable gems that any player can find, buy, or trade. A gem like Lightning Arrow can be equipped by any character, and that gem will progress in level if it’s active while the player gains experience. Abilities can be enhanced by other socketed gems, and items have different socket numbers and types (Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence alignments). Don’t have a use for an Axe-based skill? Trade it to someone else. Need gloves that will allow you to use a cool new Fireball spell? Use one of the previously-mentioned NPC resocketing consumables.

While this system may sound counterintuitive, it accomplishes several important things. First, it gets rid of the entire problem of min-maxing one’s skill tree. Players don’t have to choose how to level their abilities, because abilities auto-level whenever they’re equipped. If you have ten abilities socketed into your gear, they’ll all progress linearly as you fight. Secondly, it gives you the ability to play how you want. Instead of bemoaning the lack of a summoning tree for your Duelist, you can simply throw some summoning skills in his equipment for an instant set of minion-based abilities.

Of course, a Duelist won’t be nearly as good at summoning as a Witch or Templar, thanks to the Passive Skills system. When a character levels up, he or she can elect a single point into one of literally hundreds of passive bonuses. That’s not an exaggeration; the Passive Skills screen is so large it has its own zoom function to let you better navigate its dozens of winding paths. Most passives grant more blocking, better magic find, and the like, but several offer special abilities (like projectile piercing) that will define your character. Each bonus has its own interconnected prerequisites, and each bonus is tied to Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence.

As you might imagine, the more magically attuned classes have significantly simpler prerequisites for attaining powerful sorcery passives. So, while any class could be spec’d to sling Fireballs everywhere, it would take a Witch fewer passive skill points to do so. The end result is a game that won’t punish players for a single misspent point, nor force them all down the same skill paths.


Mmmmm… fresh meat

If you’ve played Diablo, this header doesn’t require explanation. It was so simple yet so utterly terrifying, like so many other moments in Diablo (and, to a much smaller extent, Diablo 2). The first game was so good at throwing hulking, barely visible monsters at you from every angle. They hunted you relentlessly and could easily corner you if left unchecked. Tied with the haunting music and claustrophobic levels, it made every trek into the underground of Tristram a scary proposition.

Most deaths in Diablo 2 felt cheap by comparison, with lightning wraiths 1-hit killing the player character from off screen. As a result, a lot of that foreboding tone was lost in Diablo 2, and it looks like Diablo 3 won’t be making a return to that terrifying mortality either. Players can run so quickly through generally open areas that it’s hard to imagine getting ambushed or stalked… which begs the question Will Blizzard resort to annoying monsters instead of simple spatial challenges?

The answer is a resounding Who gives a shit? Play Path of Exile instead. Grinding Gear Games is committed to preserving a dark, claustrophobic atmosphere full of unsettling imagery, powerful audio, and general hopelessness. The game immediately begins with the player clawing for survivals after washing up from a shipwreck, and immediately throws him/her into barely-lit caverns to fend for dear life. And while POE does have forests, they’re actually more terrifying than some underground areas, thanks to gloomy shadows and broken line of sight created by the numerous hulking trees. Sprinkle in some deadly, well-camouflaged mobs and things can get real Blair Witch real fast. The player character can’t outright sprint like in Diablo 2, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed, at least as far as I’ve seen.


The price paid for perfection

While I could spend a few more paragraphs waxing on about the small, ingenious touches of Path of Exile, there’s really only one more thing you need to know: the game is entirely free to play. When it’s released, it won’t cost anything up front or per month. The devs are hoping to sustain it solely through aesthetic microtransactions and the kind of paid services that fueled Guild Wars: extra character slots, special personalization options, additional weapon skins… that sort of thing.

The game is currently in closed beta, but periodic stress test weekends (like the one I just played) do open up. In the interim, creating an account at the official Path of Exile site will automatically enter your name into the constantly run drawing for more closed beta players. I suggest you sign up, read about the title, and get ready to lose all of your free time the minute you gain access.


* If that requires further explanation, you probably don’t meet the minimum Intelligence requirements to finish this article: WiNG’s Gaming Rant of the Ages, req lvl 18, req INT 198

92 replies to this post
  1. Oh I know this game I have played it for a while and it is an enjoyable dungeon-crawler.

    It will definitely hold me over until I find out if Diablo 3 is worth it or at least until Torchlight 2 comes out.

  2. I really don’t like the sound of that lack-of-currency thing. One of the things that turned me away from MMOs with no currency was trying to determine the exact value of my hard-earned Monkey Testicles.

    • Nothing in D2 was ever valued based on gold.

      Currency still exists in the sense that the consumables you receive are actually *worth* something, and people trade their unneeded rares for these consumables.

      • Upon further reflection, it kind of reminds me how Guild Wars worked in regards to trading although I have to admit that I never could stop thinking “This game really needs an auction house” most of the time. Hopefully, that’ll be different in Guild Wars 2.

  3. Sounds great! The first couple paragraphs sounded like they were about me. I played Diablo and Diablo 2 for sooooo many hours. Then I moved onto to MeridianXL mods for Diablo 2.

    I haven’t been too excited for Diablo 3 for two reasons: my computer can’t handle it and I don’t know how much time I’ll have to devote to it; the wife is pregnant. :) Free-to-play is right up my alley, though! How are the system requirements?

  4. This was by far the best diablo type game I’ve ever played. The graphics are fantastic, the lack of gold makes the economy work no matter what level you are. In fact, there are type where you have to choose whether or not to identify an item to sell it. If you use an ID scroll, it isn’t always the case where the item is worth the price of a scroll, and you in turn lose “money” on the gamble. The skill tree is phenomenal and the fact that it’ll be FREE, with the exception of microtransactions for only cosmetic reasons, is a winner right there. I seriously urge any action rpg fan, and diablo fan, to try this game.

    • What’s this, a comment that has proven me wrong in a polite, useful manner?

      Thanks, actually I had no clue this is how it worked. It’s a significant relief to have learned this.

      • The fact that you did not know this shows your opinions are ill-informed and not to be trusted.

  5. I’m going to start out by saying this, there are so many game reviewers out there that review a game they have never played, or played a small amount then reviewed and end up having no idea what they are talking about. I came upon this review by accident looking for an error I got trying to log into Diablo III Beta. Usually after reading the first paragraph I close the page and move on, but after I started reading I realized you have actually played thousands of hours like myself and explained so many of the issues I always had with Diablo II and now already with Diablo III that I couldn’t stop reading until I was done. You’ve got me very curious, I’m going off now to sign up for a beta, and I thank you sir for your recommendation and your intelligent assessments of both games that made complete and utter perfect sense.

  6. SOLD!

    Everyone of my friends is either going crazy about GW2 or D3.
    I’m more on the GW2 side, D2 was great and all but I don’t think Blizzard have improved enough on it to release virtually the same thing with a little better graphics.

    Definately checking it out

  7. Having played both of these games in beta i would still plum for Diablo3. PoE has a rather annoying way of obtaining skills whereby u receive a rune which grants a new ability but u are then forced to use that ability until u find a new rune. I’m sorry but after about 2 hrs of using the exact same skill (i was unlucky enough not to pick another up) I gave up. I can understand using one skill if u chose to do so but to be forced to do so is an entirely different manner

    • Did you do any quests at all? Half of the game’s early quests they reward you with new skills. They give you the option of like 5 different skills within your class’ attributes.

      It’s possible you played for 2 hours and did no quests or you forgot to return to town to get the reward!

      • It’s possible that you are being a condescending douche bag that likes to make assumptions.

      • It’s also possible that you have no life. You know out of all the time you spend on this site you could’ve gotten a job and be making enough money to move out of mommy and daddy’s basement….. Food for thought…..

  8. I really find it so damn hard to believe that you can judge Diablo 3 off of the first 50 minutes of game play in a restricted beta. I actually find your thoughts amazing and as i read your article all I could think of was….How much did Path of the Exile pay this dude to say this none sense.

    I play diablo 1 in grade school. I played diablo 2 and diablo 2 LOD throughout middle and high school. I still play diablo 2 and cant wait for the 2nd for the ladder to reset on diablo 2 LOD to get in one last run before diablo 3.

    I wonder why I still even play D2 and the reason is because its an awesome game. Diablo 3 is going to be even better and 11 years down the road people will still be playing Diablo 3. No doubts about that. But enjoy PoE while it lasts because we all know no one will be playing it in 11 years.

    Have fun tho

    • You’re entitled to your opinion but you didn’t state a single fact. I also played D2 for a decade post-launch, so that is why I was sad to see several things I loved about D2 get taken out of D3.

      Diablo 3 is going to be a great action game but it is not going to be a great action/rpg game.

  9. I dont buy it. Yes, I read the whole article, and youre basing your entire opinion on 2 BETA versions of 2 different games in comparison to 2 decade+ old games. Thats like saying “God of War Ascension” will be better than “Devil May Cry 5” because DMC2 was full of flaws, and you played both new titles at E3 for an hour each.

    For the record, I found Diablo 1 to be extremely annoying, if anything because EVERYTHING in the game moved at the exact same speed. It had a great look, feel and sound; obviously, or it wouldnt have branched out like it did…but chasing an enemy for 10 minutes and never catching up to it, or trying to run away from a foe that was constantly 2 steps behind you as you clung to your last 5 HP, was very obnoxious.

  10. You can call Diablo 3’s demo a beta, but the game launches in about 3 weeks. It is as close to final as it is going to get, give or take minor balance changes. They won’t be removing/adding features at this point.

    So the game mechanics I’m complaining about aren’t going to be different. In POE, maybe. The game is a little farther from completion.

    I LIKED the pace of Diablo 1 because it meant you couldn’t just run from every fight. You could get in over your head. In Diablo 2 that basically wasn’t possible unless you were instakilled, which FEELS cheap by comparison.

    Also, I liked how in Diablo 1, enemies had AI. They wouldn’t just charge you and follow you in a death herd. Some were afraid of fire. Some would never attack from in front. In D2, all enemies except for teleporting enemies would just run straight at you. It was asinine.

    • In diablo 3 I found enemies would run away quite often.And there is a huge difference between a beta and a demo.It’s called Diablo 3 beta for a reason,and unless you have some Blizzard insider knowledge then you should just shut the fuck up.I’m going to be enjoying D3 as soon as I get home from the midnight launch on May 15 with thousands of others.You and your few hundred Pile of Excrement friends can have fun jacking each other over your D2.1 clone.

      • They weren’t running from you… they were running to that sweet piece of ass known as your mom…. Just a shame she didn’t abort you though. Would’ve been one less douche bag in the world and it would’ve prevented her from having those stretch marks i hate so much

  11. The only mechanics your comparing POE to D3 about is the health mechanic and the look.

    On the heath issue you skipped over how most skills have a aspect (skill rune) that incorporates life leach / life restoration… which is probably meant to offset “wagering your life on each mob’s drops”.

    The looks is different in D3, but it seems pretty dark from what I have seen of it so far in the Beta. Not as “Gothic” themed as D1 and D2, but still dark. ( In this I do think POE keeps to the aesthetic soul of the original D1 and D2.)

    Aside from that your comparing vs. D2’s mechanics and the improvements they made over it.

    You have done a great job selling me on this game. But not on why I should think Diablo 3 is going to be disappointing.

  12. Taking some time to read this article and semi comparison I have to say that I was really impressed with the way you gave credit to POE and I may even have a gander at it. What I believe wasn’t necessary was the premise that you needed to undermine one to bolster the other. Maybe for shock value to get the article some attention o.o Good job on the whole ^_^

  13. wingspantt bro you have no facts to back up anything your saying!!!! the beta is like .005% of d3 everything is going to be different. your afraid of change obviously. why would blizzard come out with Diablo 3 and make it the exact same as Diablo 2? why not just play diablo 2 then? your train of thought is just childish. Diablo 2 was all about the item hunt and then about hacks and then about rune words and thats whats its still about to this day? and that was so great? you had no choice of builds. It was put x amount of points into strength until you can wear your gear then dump 500 points into vitality. and skill points were pick one tree and what skill u are going for and then max that and all its synergies. how is that giving you any choices other then im gonna be a hammerdin or im going to be a lightning sorc or im going to be a frenzy barb. i looked into PoE and that skill tree is a mess if i have ever seen one. If you really think a witch is going to go dex skills that use a bow your just…..do i even need to continue with that? no they wont. a witch will go with the spells. so then again no choices. if you wanna troll? you can troll an any game no one will stop you.

    • It’s insulting to tell me I have no facts when you begin your comment with a number you made up. It’s not 0.005% of the game. It’s 100% of the interface and basic structure, and 8.5% of the game’s content.

      Second, you obviously didn’t read the article title because I don’t want a D2 clone. Hell, I think D2 had tons of flaws. Some were obvious from day 1, others took years.

      Third, there was choice and if you played D2 for years using only cookie cutter builds I feel bad for you. I made dozens of characters with different builds, including Warcry Barbs, Kuko Bow Assassins with stacked fire damage, and healing Pallies. I cleared Hell with all of these both solo and coop. So if you played copy/paste builds, that was your problem, not mine.

      Fourth, you “looked” at the POE skill tree? So basically you’re saying you didn’t play it, and therefore YOU are now the one with no facts. You looked at a tree on your screen with zero experience and somehow that is supposed to be an argument.

      Will a witch go with DEX? That is up to the witch. Having played a Ranger I run out of mana all the time, and I have considered taking less damage and rolling a witch just to have more ability to spam bow abilities.

      TL;DR: You falsely accuse me of making stuff up, then you do it yourself. Then you basically argue because you played D2 in a boring way EVERYONE must have done so. Finally you theorycraft your POE strategy and use that as an argument.

  14. and a beta is not a demo at all!!!!!! a beta is a test of bits and peices of a game. a demo is the entire game up to a certain point. for example: in WOW the demo is a free trail to lvl 20 where u experiance every aspect of the game. your talking down about Diablo 3 to make PoE sound better which totally destroys your credibility. troll away tho

    • Where did you learn the definitions of these words?

      “Demonstrations” show off a part of something. If you let someone read part of your book, you demonstrate the type of writing in it. WoW may have “the whole game client” in it, but up to level 20 you can only experience/survive part of the game. It is a taste of what the full experience is.

      A beta is a post-alpha build of a game client, which typically contains the whole game, the beta version of it. A beta is typically made for beta testing, to find bugs, balance issues, fix HUDs, etc.

      This is obviously a demo. Blizzard may be having a “stress test” but they weren’t soliciting feedback on bugs, balance, etc.

      • Did you play the beta? obviously not because you would know that there was so much not in the beta that will be in the whole game. But beta’s aren’t “typically” like that right?

        You say you dont want a d2 clone but you based all the things you say you dont like or will be bad about d3 off of what you liked in d2. so you dont like d3 because its not d2? hmmm….

        I didnt just base my opinion off PoE from just the skill tree i watched about 10 different gameplay videos off the web because im not gonna pay 10 bucks for a game i will play maybe an hour.

        And all those builds you listed for d2, like i said troll away. and like i said you can troll an any game no one will stop you. I bet those fun builds never did ubers? or diablo clone? because the only way you could do that was by the cookie cutter builds i described. and in d3 any class with any skills will do inferno. d3 is all about user skills not what skill you use or what gear you have equiped. im sure it will help but it wont decide solely on if you succed or fail.

        o and since you obviously did participate in the stress test because thats all it was ill fill you what wasnt in the beta which makes it not a demo( but then again thats why you added typically, am i right) because the jeweler wasnt in it at all nor were gems which will drop from lvl 1 and on. there was no tomes of training which will drop from lvl 1 and on. the blacksmith had limited recipes to craft. the open beta was solely for a stress test only. and the reason they weren’t soliciting feedback on bugs, balence, etc. becuase it was a open beta for a weekend. they have there own blizzard testers and then closed beta testers supplying them with all there information. they did the open beta to only test the servers so that on may15th at 12:01am PST things go alittle more smoother then if they went into blind.

      • I’m not going to respond to your personal attacks as it’s a waste of time, but I find it odd that you are saying my builds are “troll” builds using content that was added a decade after the game’s launch as your barometer.

        No, I didn’t use these builds vs the Diablo clone because I quit after playing the game for a DECADE and running out of things to do. When I heard about them being added, I didn’t come back because it sounded corny. This was when nobody even understood how to find the new content.

        Anyway, if you want to believe “only cookie cutters worked” based on content that was added 11 patches and 11 years later to the game that the vast majority of players never even knew existed (except for ones who hung on that long), what can I say? It’s an unrealistic expectation.

        If they add new content to D3 11 years from now, and it breaks the current skill system, that doesn’t mean the system at launch was or wasn’t a bad idea. D2’s balance wasn’t designed for that content so it’s a ridiculous measurement to use.

      • It’s funny you said you won’t respond to Trevor’s ‘personal attacks’ yet you write a huge wall of text.Idiot.

  15. I dunno, I just tried PoE beta and I find it to be a rather slow game. When I played the open beta for D3 it felt sooo fun. I tried the monk and I was flying into enemies across the screen, just feels I can be more aggressive, which is fun. I find AoE’s mouse movement rather slow and the animation of the character just looks.. awkward. *click* “here comes the club, here comes the double hit”. When using the mage ( or whatever he is) kiting with range seems very slow as well. After the spell, it seems to take awhile the move. Maybe I’m not use to it yet, who knows. Oh and the skill tree hurts my eyes.

    I would say PoE looks much better graphics wise than D3. The water, ground and seagulls moving when walking by just looks great.

    This is just my opinion from playing a little of both. I’m not trying to be biased here (Although it’s hard since Diablo series is the only RPG I play), but I believe D3 will be the game to have more re-playability.

    • THISx1000. The atmosphere of PoE is great; it brings you back to a feeling of “wtf am I going to do?” like the original Diablo. That is it though. The rest of the action is way too slow by today’s standards; it simply feels antiquated. To some that may be a good thing, but to others it isn’t and it makes the game just feel… meh. The game couldn’t hold my attention for more than 30 minutes due to the “slow feeling” of it all. Diablo 3 on the other hand, I just had a blast playing.

      Now, as for PoE itself, I think it is a good game in its own right and will definitely keep the interest of individuals looking for a more “retro” feeling aRPG, but it is no Diablo killer or replacement; it will serve a niche.

      I hope GGG does well on this as it is a beautiful game; just isn’t for me or for a lot of other people.

      • Agreed. I’ve been playing hardcore only, making it extra tense. Came close to death a few times, and the extremely limited line of sight doesn’t help!

  16. Actually I also think that the big gaming companies have really fallen. EA/Blizz and co are nothing more than money making salesmen.

    “Casualization” should become the gamer’s worst term in the near future.
    Indie devs are in coming since they offer sth. that the big companies already wrote off as a waste of money: innovation.

    But even while those are my own thoughts, reading your review, it’s nothing more than unobjective gibberish which sounds more to be the work of a fanboy than an unobjective reviewer.

    • Not every game has to be all l33t hardcore and shit.Some times people just want a game where they can relax and have fun.Really arpg’s never required all that much thought to begin with.

      • Never required much thought, huh? Maybe thats why you like D3 so much. Your last 4 brain cells can actually comprehend its pretty colors and flashy lights……. Ignorant cunt

  17. This article is a laughable joke. I’ve played Diablo 2 for a decade and I find it so hilarious how butthurt ‘fans’ of D2 claim Diablo 3 lacks the soul and proper gameplay of its predecessors. The punchline to this joke is that these people instead turn over to low-level RPG’s like PoE or Torchlight to fill in the void.

    The more often I see rant articles like this the funnier it gets.

  18. All i can say to this artcle is “lol”. The game might be dissapointing to you. Does anyone care about your opinion? The answer to that question is “no” by the way. You are just one person and there are plenty of people who love how d3 is made and what they have changed. So you can keep playing your other diablo clone game and stay off d3, trust me KNOWBODY will miss you and your inferior post definately won’t stop the millions of people from playing D3 and enjoying it for years to come. One other thing, before you post inferior comments, think about what your saying. Didnt you take any english or speech in school? What happens when you assume?

  19. Seriously,Pile of Excrement is full of whiny assholes like Wangspantt.Let them have their cheap knock off while we play the real thing.

  20. Anyone else think this “wingspantt’s mom” person is a big fuckin doucher? What kind of person spends so much time reading reviews and comments about a game they have no intrest. I bet noone is going to hold a gun to your head and say you have to play this game. This entire article is to inform people like me that are pissed at the setup and game play of Diablo 3. They’re making it too much like WoW and not enough like the first game that boosted the whole wave of fans for the 3rd one. So if you hate this game and live Diablo 3 and World of Fagcraft, then get off this site and go play them you immature level 85 Cock Sucker. You make obscene comments about someone and go off on these bull shit tangents about him having a small penis and blowing people for $5. It in no way voices anything about either game and just proves that you’re comments should be overlooked. I for one am very interested in the game and think that he made some very valid points. I’ll back him all the way.

    • There is so much hate and vitriol in this post that I am disappointed that you think this is a valid way to put your point across. I’m afraid the only thing you have succeeded in is proving you are the immature teenager that you appear to be.

      Please grow up before you post any more comments anywhere.

  21. I love how the guy who wrote this article has no idea what he is talking about. It’s fine if you are trying to acknowledge PoE, but why bash Diablo 3 with a bunch of lies and made up facts?

  22. So much complaining in here… This is an opinion piece about a game based on the genre that was essentially pioneered by Diablo. It’s perfectly natural, and even expected, to make comparisons to all 3 Diablo games.

    I happen to think that D3 isn’t really a true successor to D2. The game is based in the same world, based on the same story, and shares some similarities in game mechanics. But, the hand-holding and limitations on builds/playstyle are a step backwards. As with many companies in this age of video games they’re more interested in making a simpler product they can sell for full price.

    There’s nothing wrong with casual gaming, and I like it myself, but when that’s the only option on the market it gets incredibly frustrating for the gamers that are seeking something more.

  23. What’s the point in making a “shock” review?

    Hating on a big company, trying to make them look evil, then introducing an underdog. And all the while trying to put your nostalgia glasses on people.

    A review of a game comparing it to another of the same genre? Fine.

    A blatantly negative review of a game under the guise of a positive review of another game? Childish.

    (The fact you’ve done multiple articles on D3 along the same lines just proves the point.)

  24. Wait wait wait…


    Some people actully claim it was Diablo -1- that made the frenchise famous? Wow.

    Oh lordy, it’s amazing how in one end, you have these young kids calling Dragon age a “Classic” but in the other end, bunch of nostalgia doped nerds who complain why their game isn’t the same old fossil like before.

    Get it strigh,t first, maybe you started in Diablo 1, but I, and i’m pretty sure -most- people started with Diablo 2, so your swooing drops on deaf ears.

    Second, your amazing praise of this PoE game, you might get your hard on, all I see here is a nich game, which just looks…boring, and slow.

    And yes, I will say it before all of you retro peeps, I would rather play Diablo 3, which has amazing presentation, a more simple control scheme instead of this game which seems to run on a snail’s pace. Dear god, how shallow I am.

    • Diablo 1 may have run at a snail’s pace, but that meant there was a sense of danger. You were a strong, but normal person against impossible odds. In Diablo 2 you were a blur of a hero. In D3 you’re essentially an action hero from level 1 on.

  25. Before I get started, I want to just officially say that I’m an idiot bigot. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s continue.

    Wingspantt first of your name is fucking stupid. D3 amazing, the pos of a game you are trying to hype up is a pos. suck the big fat cock you fucking scrub. I bet in d2 the best item you had was a fucking shako and you jizz when you see godly geared toons like mine. Your pvp skills are shit you get stomped like a bitch that’s why you play shit games that no one will play… There’s no one pro on there so u have faggot orgies with dushe bags like your self. Eat a dick next time you write something better be how shit the pos game you play is u fucking nuub.

  26. Wow, not sure if I can compete with some of these comments as I will not be commenting on someone’s housing status or on their sex life.

    Anyways, the gem based skill system you describe reminds me a lot of Sacred 2, which had a similar system. The currency system also sounds like a fresh take on game economy. It seems that in many rpgs I’ve played recently money becomes meaningless far too quickly, especially if you have lock picking (I’m looking at you Bethesda)! And about halfway through Kingdom of Amalur, I dreaded picking up items as I was sick of just vendor trashing them for money I didn’t even need anymore.

  27. Punching a game in beta state to promote another game, also in beta state… I hope peoples don’t take you seriously, i mean, you have some good point and some part of the article is interesting, but in the end, its just another “let’s bash Blizzard because it’s cool”

    Pathetic… Do a proper, objective article FFS…

  28. Hello, on may 15 when i got diablo 3 i thought it was going to be great, but it was a big disapointment, and i have waited several years for this?!

    It was so boring that after playing for 10 min i went to sleep.

    They should make diablo 3 just like diablo 2, in its grafic, skills, levels, and characters but only make new ones. Because now they made diablo 3 like WoW and i dont like WoW. That is why i play diablo 2 and not WoW.

    From a diablo 2 player

  29. Terrific work! This is the type of information that are meant to be shared across the web. Shame on Google for no longer positioning this submit higher! Come on over and talk over with my web site . Thanks =)

  30. I just stumbled on this page by accident. Having been a die-hard Diablo II player for over a decade I have a solid background in ARPG games.

    I just had to comment about the old comments regarding Diablo III beta. Well, the game has been out for some time now and it still sucks. “It’s only in beta!” ;)

    I played D3 during the beta and my observations made at that time are still correct now. The game has no replay value. It has decent graphics IMO, but good graphics do not make a good game.

    Also, in order to successfully complete Inferno difficulty one must either spend months grinding for gear, or go shopping at the auction house. Unless you are carried in multiplayer by other people. I like to find and use my own gear, like I did in D2. Maybe trade for an item or two, but find most of it myself.

    I own D3 and I’ve played it for maybe a grand total of 2 months. Hell, I had hardcore characters in D2 which died that were older than that! In that time I made 3 level 60 characters all playing solo.

    I’ve also played Path of Exile. I had beta access before they ever started selling it. It’s certainly much better than D3. I’m currently waiting for act 3 to be released to get back into playing it. It’s a great game in beta, but it is still in beta.

    Grim Dawn is another game that looks like it’s going to be better than D3. I haven’t tried it personally, but I have high hopes for it. Check it out.

    Even Torchlight II is better than D3. But it sucks for multiplayer. Too many cheaters. They can spawn any item they want on an alternate character and transfer it to their multiplayer character to avoid getting the cheater label. It’s similar to open BNet on D2.

    D3 is a failure. It’s more like a shopping simulator than a ARPG. The game requires almost no player skill. It’s almost completely a gear dependent game. D2 wasn’t… I could traverse Hell using gear that many people couldn’t get through Nightmare with. That isn’t possible in D3. Do you know another game made by Blizzard that is also gear dependent? World of Warcraft… D3 requires that “gear score” to play. :)

  31. Don’t see anyone sticking up for D3 now that it’s been out for a good 8 or 9 months and has proven itself to be crap. They either slit their wrists or saw the light and have given up on it. Been playing POE for months now and couldn’t be happier now that act 3 is out, though my characters are wiped as a result. Already cannot wait for act 4 to come out.

  32. Path of exile is not nearly as good as you make it out to be. At least for me it isn’t. And there are quite a few reasons for it.
    1) No curreny
    This is bad. I find useful scrolls but I’m never able to use them cause I want to save them to buy things. I can’t identify items because I’ll feel terrible when the thing isn’t a good fit for my character. I have to use waypoints to carry all the hoarded stuff back to town to sell so that I can get more scrolls. Woop. As much as I dislike auction houses, just doing away with money is a terrible idea.
    2) Stale Gameplay
    Look at your youtube video. Check out the boss fight. Do you not see anything wrong here? All you do, literally all you do, is run away, fire, and drink potions. You use no skills other than the one that is basically the same as regular shooting. I’ve seen gameplay of Melee chars, and it’s even worse. There, the guy playing was just spamming his one skill that he build his skill tree around and drinking every potion he had until his enemy was dead. This is about the most stale that combat can get in my opinion. Wing likes to criticize Torchlight and Diablo, and for good reason, but at least with those games, I felt like I was doing something actively. Here, I feel like I always do the exact same thing every single time.
    3) Underwhelming skills
    Using skills feels bad. You never get a sense of “Yeah, I’m casting this really powerful spell right now”. Instead of “KABLOOEY”, the sound most of Path’s skills make is “Meh”. Yeah, I’m getting an effect, and yeah, opponents die, but I never feel like I’m doing amazing stuff. I feel like I’m doing slightly above average stuff.

    There are certainly things that are a good idea, namely the awesome passive skill three, skill socketing, and the way more interesting quest rewards, but overall, I can’t get over the fact that the gameplay itself gets really repetitive really quickly.

  33. I dunno about D3, haven’t really played it and have only really heard opinions from a few friends and my brother about how it plays so I won’t make assumptions. PoE on the other hand; let’s just say i’ve been playing for a little while.

    The skill tree is pretty solid in my opinion. Allowing any character to take literally any path through the skill tree, (which holds 1350 skill nodes) is an awesome and risky concept. I think it was done exceptionally well. Especially with risk-factor skill nodes, such as the Blood Magic node that replaces your mana pool and lets you cast from your health instead. If you have health to spare, and no longer need mana pots, it’s a risky but rewarding endeavor.

    The combat is a bit dry sometimes, i’ll admit. There isn’t an enormous feeling of power in skills that you cast, or the AA movements, but there is a sense of advancement. Every level up is one step closer to the major node you want, which for me has been Twin Terrors (75% crit chance while dual wielding).

    There is a fairly large variety of enemies you face depending on the area though. You can be brawling against a pack of wolves who burst into an area of flames on death just outside of an abandoned and broken down prison, and one area later be fending off hordes of the dead risen by Necromancers and Diabloists. Not to mention the special enemies which usually have skill gems of their own and are far stronger than those that surround them.

    I think the last thing I can comment on that I have a solid opinion about is the story itself, which I find to be enticing. You wash up on the landscape in the first minute, and have to fight your way across the coast against the walking dead and one boss monsters to even gain entry to the initial village. From there you begin the quest which seems to get more rewarding over time; perfect. I game that feels rewarding the more you play it is the essence of a good RPG, because it only further pulls you into the game and its world.

    A lot of people may not like the game, but a whole other fan base does. It isn’t going to make Blizzard come over here and reward you for bashing on PoE, just like Grinding Gear won’t be arriving to sweep up your exile into a new, elitist realm for dredging D3 into oblivion. I loved the article and subsequent articles i’ve seen defending D3, because they’re just opinions. I mean the top of this page states that TTT is just a place where strategy and satire cross swords. Have some fun here, will ya?

  34. i just played diablo 3 to sell stuff online. i found the market aspect much more innovative than the gameplay. diablo 3 is kinda like pepsi — it’s sweet and tasty at first sip, but after drinking a whole can, it’s kinda cloying. path of exile, however, feels a bit more like the demon souls and dark souls series without the overbearing darkness and punishing difficulty. i like the freedom and creativity it gives me when it comes to crafting my own character.

    that being said, i think it’s ironic that an independent company like grinding gear has made a game that doesn’t even approach the budget and development time frame of diablo 3, and people are already talking about it as if it’s the second coming of jesus christ. i think blizzard, with the time and money spent on diablo 3, could have given more effort when it comes to game design. just goes to show, no matter how much cash you throw at a pot of crap, no matter how long you stir that pot of crap, it’s still gonna be a big, steaming, pot of crap.

  35. First and foremost, WINGSSPANTT – You’re a fucking prophet.

    Kudos to you and a phenomenal write-up this is, nailing all the key points about D2, D3 and POE – BEFORE D3 even happened.

    …And your statement: “Diablo 3 is going to be a huge disappointment.” – Damn well thought out , and takes balls to say that before D3 is out.

    I myself played a Good 8+ years of D2, can call myself an inside-out expert on the subject, and have all had the pleasure of wasting 4 months on D3.

    Scarred heavily by the boredom of D3, I tried PoE but could not enjoy so much had D3 drained my life.

    I took a look break and returned to PoE again a month ago.
    Let me tell you what a phenomenal game it is… And such improvements since August! I really feel like I’m playing Diablo3 – as I had imagined it would be.

    So @ all you sad losers from the original flaming comments on WINGSSPANTT: LMFAO Suckers!!! ;)

    • It was called Diablo 3 beta for a reason,and unless Wingspantt had some Blizzard insider knowledge then you should just shut the fuck up!! I’m going to be enjoying D3 as soon as I get home from boy’s chorus school session and play with the hundreds of others from school.We have like already gotten to paragon level 82 and are like less than ~160-165 Act3 runs away from paragon level 100. After my parents gave me $50 for xmas I was able to buy leet gear and own newbs like you in D3. You and your several hundred thousand Pile of Extranewb friends can have fun fingering your hot girlfriends while you play your highly improved and better designed “Diablo3” should-have-been game.

      • i love it when a woman talks dirty, especially if that woman also happens to go to chorus school.

  36. PoE isnt as polished as D3 and never will be.
    Shitty graphics which make you feel like playing a 90’s game.
    Very poor AI, you can run away and shoot, run away shoot till mob is dead, no skill needed.
    On act 1 you get one shotted by some ennemies, so eventually you just run away, shoot, run, shoot etc.
    The combat looks crap, no fun in seeing it, looks like you aint that great of a character in PoE.
    Overall very bad animations, when walking it looks like your legs are made of wood.
    No currency is just retarded.
    Awesome skill tree, but whats the point in that? Eventually the majority of the players copy a build from smn else.
    Some logical things, like right clicking to put stuff from inv to stash aint even implemeneted which makes it frustrating.

    Imo PoE isnt that good as written here, sute hardcore players will like it for all the customization, but other then that its mediocre.

    sry for any spelling mistakes, im not english

    • D3’s ONLY polished component is its graphics/animation system. Sure they dumped millions on it because they can.

      However, I know off the bat that you’ve last tried or seen PoE as it was during closed beta in 2012. Since then, at least now, the details have improved tremendously and the animation / combat feels much smoother and more satisfying.

      You know GGG (GearGrindingGames) is a success when you see a game as phenomenally developed by a tiny company with little/no money.

      You give those guys the funds Blizzard had, and we all would have had our dreams come true – we would have had the Ultimate Diablo3 game that we all waited for.

      So when it comes to support, I will support the highly entertaining, intelligently crafted and designed action RPG game with modest graphics and good intent instead of the empty barbie-doll shell called Diablo3 which only looks Good from the outside, but is empty space on the inside.

      • ROFL Demizo is such uber newb, he probably never even finished hell on D3. LOL

        Blizzard makes the best shit and always will – they made Diablo2, Starcraft2, WoW, and DOTA2. That’s why Diablo3 is Awesome cause Blizzard games never failed.

        And personally the AH and RMAH make the game more fun. Who wants to grind mobs all day to get gear just to see new content in Inferno when you can do some smart selling on AH or buy a couple pieces from RMAH and youre g2g.

        Look they give us Paragon levels (im almost level 83) and I can’t wait to finish to get to Paragon level 100 cause its gonna be freaking awesome. Now they give us Duels and its already better than Diablo2 so PoE is a Piece of E-shit!

  37. fucking D3’s the shit , and whoever thinks its not is a dumbass shithead. i was like loving the game before paragon lvls came in but after paragon lvls and i can get my DH up ive been rocking the paradon exp like doing 10 Act3 inferno runs per hour.
    Last night i finished like 60 or 70 act3 runs and it was legit, got to paragon level 91. Couple more weeks of act3 runs and im gonna hit fucking 100 BABY, gonna be my best day ever cause i can sell my MF gear and RMAH some new godly gear and pwn newbs and act3 . Watch out bitches, BLACK-FALCON will gut your eyes out with my DH.

    BRB, gonna go pwn some more Act3 inferno mobs on my badass DH.

  38. The combat in PoE is just so bad and unpolished it keeps me from playing the game. I love D3 for the awesome animations and fights, even when there is less content for endgaming atm D3 beats PoE for me. When playing PoE it doesnt feel you are a hero exploring and fighting but it feels like you are a stiff wooden puppet.
    PoE is going back in time and thats bad imo, its a complete rip off from D2, if i wanted to play D2 i would play he original and not PoE.
    D3 is fresh and new, its more exciting then PoE for me.
    Ok, it gets repetitive at some point, but which game doesnt? Even D2 was repetitive. Besides that D3 is getting patches and expansion to add new content.

    • I played PoE and its stupid because the bosses are hard to kill and I struggled to beat some of the parts. There are too many skills and choices and I can’t use the One ultimate build like in D3.

      In D3 its clear-cut – you have one good build and you know ur doing it right. You can one shot most monsters and it makes you feel awesome. So what that we have to run A3 hundreds of times – it never gets old! I love storming thru Act3 over and over again to rip face and own all the mobs. You fight act3 cause its the fastest way to reach Paragon lvl 100 and that is how you prove you;’re better than others.

      Now that gear is super cheap on AH and RMAH, more players will be coming back cause u can like buy all top godly gear to own Inferno for almost nothing so its like why would you struggle in PoE when you can be a God in Diablo3??

      • I’d have to say that comment is in fact brilliant.

        Further pinpoints the key differences between Diablo3 and PoE:

        Easy, grindy, RAMH the gear, little thought involved and close to zero customization, especially with gear & skills.
        High end graphics but wrong theme for Diablo.
        – Great game for kids I’d say – my 11 year old cousin is playing it and loves it.

        Challenging, not for kids except smart ones, much complexity and thought involved, tremendous character development and itemization. Graphics are not Top-tier but art theme and style is flawless for a Diablo style game.
        – The game is designed to be complex and diverse. I do not recommend to kids or quitters.

      • @ Demizo

        – Challenging? In which way is PoE more challenging then D3? Did u ever try to play D3 without using AH, without buying items from others?

        – Complexity in a talent tree which majority of the people wont use because they will copy builds they find on the internet.

        – Graphics are just crap, same as the animations. I cant play games with shitty animations and graphics. The engine in PoE looks like its made in the 90’s.

        – Complex and diverse? In which way? Eventually you will be repeating the same things over and over.

  39. You just nailed it, head on. No matter what , no single game will cater to one group. When it comes to veteran gamers and past Diablo2 players, out of the two Path of Exile is by far the top / best choice.

    New players, kids, and the like will always enjoy Diablo3 because of its showy presentation. They simply don’t know how to enjoy or play a game like PoE yet.

    • Based on these comments alone, I am convinced that Diablo3 is simply not the game for me. Thanks for the input.

      I tried PoE and I must say it felt slow in the beginning. But then unlike those who quit and complain, I decided to go on and reach past ~20.

      Wow. The games pace, the skills, the system .. everything just comes together as you progress. It feels so much more fluid… and satisfying.

      Now I understand why they made the early levels of PoE feel “slow” paced – it just makes it That much better each level as you progress and grow with your character.

      Oh, and it also filters out the trash players ;) if you know what I mean. Genius!

    • I know that I’m probably overinterpreting here and that this isn’t entirely neutral territory, but I feel like I need to stand in for D3 here. And before we start, I am in fact over 18, have spent a heavy, heavy majority of that age gaming, and am not a complete retard, so don’t accuse me of noobiness et cetera.

      Briefly said, is D3 D2? No. Does it have to be or, in fact, was it meant to be? NO! Without wanting to offend anyone, somehow everybody seems to assume that hardcore players who have not played anything but D1+2 since their release are the one and only audience Blizzard was going for. Face it, more casual players are a growing audience and with them (as well as almost all but hardcore people), games where you need to lock in your choices from the start, where a single lag spike can be permanently deadly, and so on, those types of games are out.

      What if you’d wanted to try Energy Twister instead of Hydra? Would you really want to level another character which is the exact same through the exact same regions (putting aside replaying on higher difficulty in D3 for a moment, please) just to do something differently only to then find out that it sucks, or maybe that your equipment drops weren’t as great and that you get killed or something the likes?

      What I’m trying to say is, please stop judging D3 by its appeal to hardcore gamers who want everything to stay as it was 13 years ago and only by that. D3 applies to a more casual lobby, yes, that’s what it was made for and that’s what it’s good at!

      Take my example. I got D3 for free due to annual pass, downloaded it, and every now and again I launch it. I’m not in Inferno, though I am fairly close to that, I’m not running for Paragons or anything. What I want to do is select a variety of spells which I think would be fun and effective to use (maybe some others than yesterday?) and go around clicking on monsters until either of us dies.That is a job which D3 does very well.

      Just to clarify, I’m not exactly fanboying for D3 and I certainly don’t want to start a flame war, but how about we stop judging D3 by what we want it to be and instead look more at how it does at being what it actually is?

  40. The amount of people in this post that have retarded comments is absurd. I don’t know why you even respond to half of them, like “Wingspantt’s mom” is one of the dumbest people I’ve seen on the net. This article was amazing.

  41. I tried, 2 characters lvl 30 and 35, and the game is not as good as old D2 , better than D3, but not worth my time :S

  42. Diablo 3 – utterly boring.
    Path of Exile – same, horrible characters and skill animations.
    Torchlight 2 – I played for 1 week. Then got bored of it.

    I’m hoping Grim Dawn will be of interest for me, but then again maybe I’m just tired of these games.

  43. I read the title and I’m speechless.

    You’ve just lost -all- of your credibility as a game reviewer.

  44. Happened across this review on accident. Excellent review that hits on a lot of key nuanced points. I was a long-time D2 ladder player and it remains one of my favorite games of all time. D3 was an incredible let down in a lot of different ways. I stuck with it until the end of launch year but once it became clear the game was so far off fundamentally from being a true D2 successor I left the game.

    Since then, I tried Path of Exile after many recommendations, and I’ve watched the game grow tremendously over a short period of time. Regular updates, gameplay additions, they listen to the community and the passives/skills/end-game maps system is brilliant. The flask concept is brilliant as well. And the item modification currencies. I was waiting for years for D3 to come out, but it turns out POE is the game for me. It’s still only in beta, and it’s already innovated the ARPG genre in more ways than I would have ever thought.

    Wonderful, deep game that has a fun end-game mechanic, fun to re-roll and test builds, and a seemingly limitless amount of build variety both now, and into the future as every new skill gem, unique item, or passive skill tree change opens up new paths.

    After playing D3 for months, I really enjoyed the return of relevancy for single resistances, interesting item pieces, and actually useful unique items that go well beyond D3’s “this one does more damage” approach. Everything is done right in POE, and it’s only getting better.

    Excellent review again, much better than any POE review I’ve read. And to the person that said “I read the title… You’ve just lost -all- of your credibility as a game reviewer.” I’ll be the first to tell you that you gained –all– credibility as a game reviewer.

  45. I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by
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