Well I already had an entry called “First Thoughts..” about the demo/beta. So now that I’ve got the game in my hot, not-so-little hands, what do I think?  I still think it’s a great game.  I’ve been playing both the Single-Player and the Multi-Player games.  I do have fun playing with my friends online, but I still find the single-player experience preferable.  It seems to have better tile-sets and more interesting levels than the online counterpart.  I’m sure that will change in the future as the dust settles, but for now, the single-player game just seems more “complete.”

I haven’t found any “shared” lockers like some folks in the beta had alluded to, so I’m going to have to confirm that they do or don’t exist. I’m suspicious that they don’t.  It will really suck if they don’t.  There’s nothing worse than getting a “legendary sword” on your marksman and not being able to transfer it over to your blademaster – ARGH! 

In the “old days” of D2LOD you could just fire up another PC with the game, and trade between the two computers.  Not allowed in HGL, since there is no way to do peer-to-peer gaming – BOO! Again, another of the faults that I just suspected hindered the game came true <frown>.

But I still really enjoy the game and will keep on playing it for awhile.  Mainly just to see where the storyline goes and what other uber weapons I can find.  One cool thing that they added (with respect to Diablo) is a de-modifier, which allows you to remove weapon mods – for a paladium fee of course. (Paladium is the in-game currency).  I haven’t tried any of the crafting stuff lately, but I think I may have enough funds now in my bank that I no longer have to sell everything in order to buy supplies.  So I can start salvaging items for the parts needed in order to begin crafting stuff. 

I’ve played a some of the classes up to lvl-10 or so, namely: Blademaster, Marksman, Engineer, and Summoner.  I haven’t even built the “caster” Evoker or the “tank” Guardian. So far the Engineer has been my favorite, but I’ve always been partial to pet-classes.  The summoner is OK, but I like the fact that the engineer can “mod” his robot to use whatever gun he’s got laying around.  I’ve found that fast shooting guns work best on the bot.  It’s a bit too twitchy to effectively use slow guns like the rocket launcher or the sniper rifle.  Machine guns seem to work very well…   

Second favorite class seems to be a toss up between my marksman and the blademaster.  I love playing grenade billiards with my marksman, but cutting stuff to ribbons with my dual-wielding swordsman is a blast too! 

One thing you really need to get the hang of doing with all of the classes I’ve played is switching weapons while in battle.  You may notice some things just don’t seem to be taking much damage, and that’s a big clue that you’d better change your damage type.  Luckily this is easily accomplished by having 3-sets of weapons “at the ready” using the F1-F3 keys.  As much as I love lobbing napalm rocket bombs, sometimes you just need to blast ’em with a jolt of electricity, or a poison gas cloud, or whatever else you have on hand. 

My friends keep saying that they’re having problems completing the “mini-game,” but I think they’re just not paying attention.  I’ve had it complete and reward me many, many times.  You know you’ve “won” when you hear the little “exorcist-like” jingle and suddenly loot shows up around your body (usually behind you, which may be why my buds think they’re missing something).  I was really hoping the game-booklet would provide an over-view of the mini-game and what the icons meant, but no… But a quick Google of “Hellgate mini game” provides quite a bit of info.

Guess that about wraps it up for now.  If you liked D2:LOD, this is basically D3, and I highly recommend HGL.