Well, that was fast.
I might have to revise my statement from Monday’s post, as Act V wasn’t as long as I expected. The Act V in Diablo II seemed to be much longer, at least in my memory. But it has been a long, long time since I last ran it, so that might just be a false perception.
Thanks to a suggestion in the comments on Monday’s post, I figured out how to bump up the difficulty, so went to Expert. At that point the game was pushing back on me enough so that it didn’t feel like a walk-over any more, but I didn’t have to adjust my play style, equipment, or skills I had selected in order to be more effective. If I had gone up to Master I would have had to look into how I should be playing a Crusader as opposed to just picking the skills that had cool effects. I then launched into what I would call the second half of Act V which, as my character pointed out, didn’t even follow the usual route out of town.
Again, I remain impressed with the scale and detail of the graphics in Diablo III. Out on the the Battlefields of Eternity the size of things and the terrain coming apart and the details were all very impressive. And the cut scenes then emphasize where you are.
Yeah, it is just a painted backdrop of a giant battering ram… which you go and fight on later… but that is my character as equipped in the scene.
Anyway, I did that, got into the Pandemonium Fortress, found the necessary points, and was directed toward Maltheal, the main boss.
I figured that this might be one of those decoy battles, where you show up and then the main boss runs off and you have to fight a major henchman… though they hadn’t been building up such a henchman as they sometimes do. So when I finally went through the last portal, I did indeed find myself facing Malthael.
The fight was drawn out and I did have to use a health globe, but was mostly just able to persist by staying out of the worst of the bad stuff he lays around the scene of the fight and just chipping away at him as best I could. Eventually I wore him down. He died, a sizable pile of loot showed up, then Tyrael wandered in from stage right and uttered his lines, after which a dialog came up asking if I wanted to exit. I clicked on yes and got the #winning screen.
As the credits began to roll I was feeling a bit “that’s it?” about the whole thing, though on reflection there was a good act worth of content there to be played. Usually I make a point about exploring the whole map in each area, but it just so happened that in the Pandemonium Fortress I stumbled along the most direct route the the end and, once there, stepped in for a look, so actually left quite a bit of that map unrevealed.
Now I am left with what to do now. I could go chase achievements I suppose. I am only 25% done on that front, though a bunch of them require you to do things in a multiplayer setting.
And then there is adventure mode. I wasn’t sure what that was really about. It appears to be a return to the map from the game in order to accomplish specific objectives.
I do want to get my Crusader to level 70 at some point, and the choice appears to be between Adventure Mode and just restarting the whole story over again. I am not sure I am up for another full run through the story. But then again, moving through the story is something I find motivating, while Adventure Mode at first glace looks to be a very WoW-like series of standard murder for hire quests. I will give it a try and see how it plays out.
Meanwhile, the events of the final battle in Act V and Tyrael’s final statements makes it clear that there will most certainly be further titles in the Diablo franchise. While it is possible there could be a second Diablo III expansion, I would lean more towards a Diablo IV being announced at the BlizzCon keynote address.
Blizzard seems to have learned their lesson when it comes to the Diablo franchise, so I will more than likely buy whatever comes next in the series.