Gjms.com.pk Review:Gomal Journal of Medical Sciences - Gomal Journal of Medical Sciences (GJMS) is the official Journal of Gomal Medical College, D.I.Khan, Pakistan
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I played Diablo 2 back in the day, shortly after the expansion came out for it. Now, I didn't get obsessively into it -- I didn't grind for the best gear or to level 99, etc, but I had a blast and enjoyed my time in the game world (I especially enjoyed playing the Necromancer). I still come back to it every now and again after all these years, but when I do, I don't usually play Diablo 2 for an extended period of tim, because the game is pretty dated and the age shows. I've tried to get into the original Diablo as well, but, as I said before, the game is quite old now and the user interface is quite out of date. It isn't that I don't appreciate them for what they are (and they are important pieces of gaming history, and the source of many good memories of my youth), but I *can* recognize that gaming has changed since back then (for the better). Over the ten years that I've waited for a sequel, I've definitely yearned for a modern take on the genre, on the world of Diablo, that isn't quite so dated and difficult to get back into.
I tell you this because I want to make clear what my expectations were for Diablo 3. I was expecting and wishing for a modern take on Diablo. I was expecting the core of Diablo to be built from the ground up, to be polished and streamlined, and for the end product to be fun. I was expecting randomized dungeons and items, and I was expecting it to take me a long time (years, even) to get my character the perfect set of gear.
Diablo 3 has met or exceeded each of these expectations. My wife and I both have copies of the game, and we primarily play together. From time to time we open up our game to the public, or we play alongside co-workers, or World of Warcraft guildmates who also have the game. The tuning for each difficulty we've experienced so far has been pretty spot on. Normal was a laid back ride through the storyline that let us learn how to play the game properly. Nightmare stepped things up quite a bit, and Hell has actually given me a run for my money. I'm not yet into Inferno mode, but I'm not delusional about the difficulty jump I'll experience there; I fully expect to take my time in Hell mode before I'm ready for the hardest of the hard modes in the game. Maybe I'm odd, but I'm ok with the hardest-thing-in-the-game taking me a few months to break into.
The game is seamless; you log in and you are playing within seconds, and you don't have any trouble whatsoever getting into the game with your friends. I thought it would be annoying to have your battle-tag / real id friends just hopping into your game, but having played for a while it hasn't been bad at all. It just removes several unnecessary steps between you and the game. I can remember the hoops you used to have to jump through to connect to a multiplayer game in the past, on lan or battle.net; this is much, much better.
I'm grateful for the Auction House feature, which facilitates easy item trading, and, though I have not bought anything on it yet, I'm also glad the Real Money Auction House is around. I may buy a powerful item for myself as a treat, or my wife as a gift, in the future, and I'm glad that there is a secure vehicle with which I can do so, without worrying that I'll be hacked or scammed by some thief online.
I've played all of the classes thus far, having the most fun with Monk, then Barbarian and Demon Hunter. I'm not particularly fond of Wizard or Witch Doctor, but that is because ranged is typically not my cup of tea (Demon Hunter being the big exception there). I'm kind of surprised that they can fit so much variety into a game that can be played one-handed using only your mouse (if you don't like using keybinds). Each class feels unique and interesting, and the skills / runes system is a simple but elegant vehicle for customization. I have noticed that the skills and runes that I favor are different than the ones my friends favor for the same class. Everyone can have their own play-style; you don't have to feel locked in to specific skills. Of course, there are always exceptions (skills that are OP or UP that made it into the game anyway), but Blizzard has already been doing a good job patching things to keep the game balanced. I've had a lot of fun experimenting with different builds and seeing what I can do to improve (Protip: when you're Melee in Hell mode or higher, resistance stats are really, really good. Good resistances can help you so you don't have to try and kite things for ten minutes to kill packs of elites)
My wife loves to PVP, so we both eagerly await the PVP patch that is coming in the short future. We knew that we'd have to wait for a patch before PVP would be enabled, so it doesn't bother us that it was not available straight out of the box. A lot of people have complained that they can't just PVP in the game as it is, or that they can't just go berserk and start attacking their party members, but I'm glad that people can't just go around griefing you like that in public games. People like that are what made me avoid public games in the past (with other games), but it isn't a problem in Diablo 3.
The always-online aspect of the game has hardly been noticeable, but I'm used to playing games like WoW or LoL or SWTOR, or using services like Steam to play my PC games. It is annoying that the servers have to go down for maintenance on Tuesdays -- I get that they have to maintain the servers, but I wish they'd choose a different day than Tuesday, so I wouldn't be locked out of WoW and Diablo at the same time. But, like I said, I'm pretty used to this being the case since I play MMOs. It's kind of a necessary evil of modern gaming.
Like all online games, hackers are going crazy trying to steal gold / items to sell for cash (in not-Blizzard-approved websites), so I'd definitely recommend getting an authenticator if you pick up Diablo 3. If you have a smart phone or an iPad, you can get an app for free, and if not, it is available from the battle.net store and costs ~$5 plus shipping (Blizzard provides these at cost).
I've had tons of fun so far, and I don't expect that to end any time soon. I've already gotten my money's worth out of it, and there will be many, many hours more for me to enjoy from here.
If you've enjoyed Panini's Doctor Who "Storybooks", then you'll love the "Brilliant Book". This is essential for fans of the show, and especially of Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor. The "Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2011" is illustrated throughout with many,many images from the show(some are behind the scenes photographs, some are actually promotional images,etc.), offers original fiction stories(which are also illustrated), gives good summaries of the fifth series episodes,and a bunch of other cool stuff.
I personally liked the page that focused on the so-called "Dream Lord", and which actually gave the readers what appear to be hints about future episodes of the show. Another cool thing fans will appreciate, are the small script extracts scattered throughout the book, showing what scenes of dialogue Steven Moffatt chose to leave out of the finished episodes. :)
Overall, this is a book that could be fun for the younger fans, but if you're an "older" fan of the show I'd recommend picking this up instead of the "Doctor Who Annual 2011"(which is also published by the BBC, and is more kid-centric/friendly than the "Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2011").
Jess Walter does it again. A funny, engaging, clever story (many stories, actually) with surprises and amazing moments. Really sad to finish it. Walter's intelligence, humor, and insight shine through the dialogue and situations. Yes, it switches from past to present and back again, but, truly, if that flummoxes you, then perhaps you should read something a little simpler. I didn't find the transitions jarring (it's a new chapter, the setting has changed) and it was not difficult to follow in the least.
I found myself thinking about the characters, their backgrounds, their choices, long after I set the book down for the night. On more than one occasion I picked up the book again at midnight, unable to sleep, dying to know what happens next.
I might need to buy this in hardcover as well as Kindle so I can share it easily. Love you, Jess Walter!