Re: Check your battle.net accounts - D3 beta approvals sent out
Tried it. It got back that "diablo" vibe, as expected.
They changed some of the mechanisms, made it more friendly in parts: as stated, no more characteristics for your avatar, no points to put into them and no skill tree. You get new slots every few levels (allowing to have more power/passive skills available at once) and new skills a bit more regularly to choose from. Skills are single level (either you have it or not), no specialization. You can allocate skills to slots and reallocate at will (takes about a minute of downtime, so no switching in the middle of a fight, but you can gear up before it).
It's really designed to let you play your way and give more choices in your experience with a single character without having to reroll. Most abilities are equivalent, but get used differently.
I finished the beta with the sorceress and for example, she had 2 main attack spells, either a slow orb exploding on contact or a disintegration which was affecting everything in a line as long as kept active. Both work well, just differently.
Outside of those technical differences, the biggest part of the experience is still there. This is still diablo, you see your character in isometric view, monsters roam around, you click to kill them and loot the corpses. Lather, rinse, repeat.
It's addictive and very polished, never getting in the way of your fun. It looks great, more from design than pure technical prowess (like most Blizzard) and you always just want to do one more quest.
I predict a big success and people playing for hours while complaining :P
As the universe is curved, there cannot be a straight answer...