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Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 5

Thulg the Barbarian and the Blacksmith

In  this installment, we're going to cover the basics of forging and using the auction house. The latter is actually up and running, but for now beta lab rats are only allowed to trade weapons. To be honest, I really haven’t done any business in the auction house simply because I’ve generally found what I’ve needed within the campaign. What's more, I’ve collected just over 23,000 gold pieces between all five characters, so I really don’t need the money. Still, you’ll discover that the wares offered by the New Tristram locals are a bit underwhelming, so in one sense, the auction house makes up for that... and probably on purpose.

The inventory houses the Nephalem Cube which is needed for forging.

For starters, the player character’s inventory features three items. First there’s a Stone of Recall, which essentially replaces the Scroll of Town Portal, allowing users to teleport back to New Tristram for whatever reason, and then return back to the dungeon. The inventory bag also contains the Cauldron of Jordan that lets you sell items on the fly rather than having to head back to New Tristram and unload the collected goods to the local merchants. Then there’s the Nephalem Cube which will break down armor and weapons into materials that can be used in crafting.

This is essentially where the crafting starts: by breaking down the useless junk you gather in the dungeons. Regular armor and weapons are reduced to common scrap and magical armor and weapons are reduced to Subtle Essence. Both of these are required by the Blacksmith to forge armor and weapons. For example, the Apprentice Oak Wand, a one-handed weapon for the Wizard class, requires eight pieces of common scrap, four pieces of Subtle Essence, and 220 gold coins. The Apprentice Leather Cuffs require six pieces of common scrap, four pieces of Subtle Essence, and 220 gold coins.

Setting the Blacksmith up to create a cool weapon.

Currently in the Witch Doctor’s game, the Blacksmith is a Level 1 Apprentice. In the closed beta I was able to uncover "recipes" that the Blacksmith was able to learn by right-clicking on them in the Inventory (while the Blacksmith’s window is open). However, he can also be trained by acquiring five Pages of Training and then binding them into a book. To reach level 2, the Blacksmith requires one Tome of Training, five pieces of common scrap, and 500 pieces of gold. By attempting to level up, he’ll learn two additional recipes, which include the Apprentice Leather Hood and Apprentice Leather Doublet.

For a while I suspected that the Blacksmith may remain consistent across all saved games, and after loading up several other characters, that seemed to be the case, as my Demon Hunter had several Apprentice Rope Fist recipes stashed away in his inventory which stated that it was already known - this was taught to the Blacksmith by another character (I forget who). But to prove my theory, I acquired the Pages of Training from all my characters by using the Stash chest, and then bound 5 into a Tome of Training. In addition to dipping into the same cash (gold) box, player character also share the same Stash chest. This means any weapon you come across as a Wizard, but is slated for a Barbarian, can be stashed away and withdrawn later by your Barbarian character. The same goes for any item you come across, including Pages of Training.

After all that work and then submitting the required materials, the Blacksmith gained experience but didn’t advance to level 2, yet he did learn the two armor recipes. Even more, he remained consistent across all five characters, meaning that any leveling up you do with the Blacksmith as one character in any part of the game will apply throughout any game and any character.

The auction house is limited in the closed beta.

As for the Auction House, players must be out of the Campaign in order to access this area. As previously mentioned, most of this is disabled in the beta save for selling and purchasing equipment. All items that you have packed away in your Stash chest show up in the Shared Stash section. To sell one of these items, simply highlight the object and press the "Sell Item" button. A window pops up asking for a starting price and an optional buyout price. Blizzard also warns users that 15-percent of the final sale goes towards the
"Posting Fee." Honestly this should be free as compensation for not allowing customers to play the game offline (but that’s another rant).

The Auction House itself is essentially broken into four parts: Search, Buy, the aforementioned Sell, and Completed. In the Search section, you can find items for specific characters, and in the case of equipment, narrow down the search options to one-handed, two-handed, offhand and whatnot. Bids on the items you’re currently selling will show up in the Bids section, and the Completed area keeps a record of all completed transactions.

That’s it for this installment. There are other aspects that still need attention, so I’ll do that in the next installment.

If you missed them:Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 1Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 2Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 3Diablo 3 Closed Beta Hands-On: Part 4

  • fyend
    Yawn. 2003 called, it wants its game back.
    Reply
  • Harby
    Care to elaborate? Or just a dumbass troll?
    Reply
  • DroKing
    To much of Activision touch =/ all over this poor blizzard game. Farewell Blizzard was nice being your customer but its time for me to turn else where for my gaming needs.

    @Kevin, Although I thank you for doing the review on this game to allow me to make a decision on whetever i wanna blow 60 buck on a mediocre game.
    Reply
  • inthere
    There was a guy, I believe went by the name Hercules on my server in WOW, that made 10 million in gold in the Auction House the 1st two years and got banned. He'll be able to retire in RL on this game.
    Reply
  • nitrium
    @harby
    I think what fyend is trying to say is that this game should have been released in 2003. It will be 2012 when Diablo 3 is actually released. Diablo is very old hat now. This is not necessarily my opinion, but it is imo a valid point.
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    Oh Diablo III I want to be happy for you and really want to support you but you make it so hard... as a long time fan of the series it pains me to not be able to do this. I can deal with some of bad decisions like the always online, sure I won't be able to play during long flights but at-least I will have you at home. I can deal with that. But that auction house... sure you may argue that I am not forced to use it and you would be right, but we both know your going to decrease drop rates
    making them so low to pressure people to use it and spend their real money. Then if this is successful we can only expect other games to line up and all start doing it as well.

    I'm sorry Diablo III but I won't be purchasing you. I feel like the woman I am madly in love with is begging for forgiveness to take her back after she cheated on me and to make matter worse she has genital herpes now (the auction house) and that simply will never go away. It hurts me deeply to have to do this but I have to say no and I think it's time we both went our separate ways. Goodbye old friend.
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    drokingTo much of Activision touch =/ all over this poor blizzard game. Farewell Blizzard was nice being your customer but its time for me to turn else where for my gaming needs. @Kevin, Although I thank you for doing the review on this game to allow me to make a decision on whetever i wanna blow 60 buck on a mediocre game.I understand what you are saying, but Blizzard fans need to be careful to point the finger at Activision. It gives those who blindly follow whatever Blizz does (which ironically shows they never were true, long term Blizz fans) reason to scoff.

    Activision has no authority over Blizzard. HOWEVER, the man who ruined Activision's reputation, and is probably the largest reason they lose money these days, Bobby Kotick, was inexplicably made CEO over the merged Activision Blizzard by Vivendi. There can be little doubt his fingerprints are all over a lot of the decisions that have happened with Blizzard titles since the 2008 merger.

    With the money Activision has been losing, and considering WoW lost nearly 1 million subscribers in the first six months after an expansion was released, Cataclysm, I would hope Kotick would be on shaky ground. With the 3rd quarter over at the end of September, the shareholders conference call which should happen in the next 2 to 3 weeks will be very interesting to hear. It's hard to imagine the downwar trend has been reversed with WoW because they just haven't done anything with it. If a lot more subscribers left in the 3rd quarter, and with Diablo 3 being pushed back till after new year for release, 2011 is poised to be a VERY bad year for Blizzard. They will have had no new titles sold, their main cash cow is bleeding subscribers very fast, during a time of supposedly new content being released, so hopefully the shareholders and Vivendi will sit up and take notice and replace Kotick with Morhaime soon.
    Reply
  • reggieray
    Don't care Acti-Blizzard, no LAN and constant connection DRM is a no go for me. Keep your over rated crap, plenty of other games to choose from.
    Reply
  • trevorvdw
    HarbyCare to elaborate? Or just a dumbass troll?What is there to elaborate on? It looks and plays like a game that should have been out in 2003. Seems pretty obvious what he was trying to say.
    Reply
  • Jprobes
    wildkittenI understand what you are saying, but Blizzard fans need to be careful to point the finger at Activision. It gives those who blindly follow whatever Blizz does (which ironically shows they never were true, long term Blizz fans) reason to scoff.Activision has no authority over Blizzard. HOWEVER, the man who ruined Activision's reputation, and is probably the largest reason they lose money these days, Bobby Kotick, was inexplicably made CEO over the merged Activision Blizzard by Vivendi. There can be little doubt his fingerprints are all over a lot of the decisions that have happened with Blizzard titles since the 2008 merger.With the money Activision has been losing, and considering WoW lost nearly 1 million subscribers in the first six months after an expansion was released, Cataclysm, I would hope Kotick would be on shaky ground. With the 3rd quarter over at the end of September, the shareholders conference call which should happen in the next 2 to 3 weeks will be very interesting to hear. It's hard to imagine the downwar trend has been reversed with WoW because they just haven't done anything with it. If a lot more subscribers left in the 3rd quarter, and with Diablo 3 being pushed back till after new year for release, 2011 is poised to be a VERY bad year for Blizzard. They will have had no new titles sold, their main cash cow is bleeding subscribers very fast, during a time of supposedly new content being released, so hopefully the shareholders and Vivendi will sit up and take notice and replace Kotick with Morhaime soon.
    Yeah, a very very very bad year. That revenue generated from 9 millionish subs isn't even worth it anymore. IMO Blizzard should just blow up their servers and every employee should eat some cyanide.
    Reply