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Ok, so Li-Ming aka the Vizjerei wizard apparently already was very powerful having fought her master prior to going on the adventure to Tristram. However, and as every RPG game starts minus Final Fantasy II, the starting characters are barely capable of killing a pushover zombie.
How is it that these great barbarians leave their caves, travel thousands of miles avoiding combat dressed in loin clothes toting just a tiny ax?
Something should explain how the Wizard went from using master spells to mere firecrackers. Maybe have you play like in Final Fantasy a part where you are traveling from Caldeum to Tristram and come along some champion pack or a unique monster that wipes you out leaving you with 1hp and your memory erased or something.
This would better explain these scantily clothed "heroes to be" as heroes who met a terrible fate previously, and have to recover it. Make the Barbarian someone whose homeland was invaded; most of his kin killed and as a child, he was forced into slavery for the galley. Maybe the crew gets lost and shipwrecks near some waypoint to Tristram. Seeking vengeance, he signs up with some people seeking fame over the Falling Star rumor - you know getting fighting experience and explaining why you look the way you do.
Each character needs a unique intro story that plays like a prologue prior to even entering Tristram. Even have a unique ending where they return home to seek justice or retribution.
Heck, they did it right with Kormac. Only time will tell if he seeks retribution for what happened to him through the next expansion. Otherwise, these starting heroes make no sense. It makes sense to start at level 1, but there should be something that explains why they are level 1 and also powerful wizards or whatever in all the lore that I've read.
level in D3, as in other 'modern' RPG's, is not a good representation of the character power. take WoW bosses as an example: both Archimonde and Kil'Jaeden are the masters of the burning legion, and the lich king is a creation of Kil'Jaeden. and still the 1st is level 60, the 2nd is level 70 and the 3rd is level 80. Kel'thuzad appears twice, as level 60 and level 80. Kael'thas is a major character, but in the Magister's Terrace he's only a 5-man boss instead of appearing as a raid boss of the Sunwell. do you really think these numbers represent the true power of these bosses?
in D3 it's pretty much the same thing, look at the butcher, in D1 we killed him at level 4 or 5 at most, here he's the final boss of an act. and it's the same thing with our characters, our level is 100% a mechanical feature, to give an (important) illusion of proggression, but it means nothing lore-wise.
So a firecracker was a "master" spell in Caldeum enough to leave it in flames?
I understand that levels are a poor choice in description, but what I mean is that a starting character who left his kingdom on a pilgrimage to a distant land with loads of prior training like the monk would hopefully arrive with more than a rudimentary knowledge of fighting.
I know, I know I'm arguing about game logic and lore being what it is. Still, a unique prologue story for each class would be a better intro than the generic zombie at the gates thing everyone goes through. Have them arrive differently to the gates and diverge at the end of the game. I know it would not be good for cooperative play, but it would be mostly for lore purposes.
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