You can invest gold into the blacksmith and jeweler

Apart from the Auction House, you can invest gold into two artisans—the blacksmith and jeweler—learning recipes to create your own gear. Some recipes (especially recipes for rare equipment) require you to obtain plans and bring them back to the blacksmith. Also, items can be broken down into components used in the crafting process. This is a fantastic and robust feature in a loot-heavy game, making even mundane items worth picking up. The jeweler will combine lower gems into greater ones (much like the Horadric Cube did in Diablo II), as well as socket and remove them from gear. Both artisans must be leveled up with a sizable amount of Diablo 3 gold and even some materials in or to access the higher-end recipes and gem combinations, but it makes for a worthwhile goal and a useful way to spend your ever increasing currency stockpile.

On a similar note, the Stash makes a return, where you can keep items and equipment you’d rather not sell. The chest itself has a small storage space to start, and parting with some extra gold can increase the available slots—a must-purchase, especially since your Stash is shared between all characters. Once you’ve beefed up your character and taken on a quest or two, you can head out into the unknown, and, as expected, this comes with a lot of randomization. It’s not as static as Diablo II was, where every area outside the cities was arbitrarily generated, and some sections will remain constant no matter how many times you play through. However, random events can occur both in the overworld or the random dungeons, so every experience feels fresh.

The environments are varied and gorgeous, with a generous amount of detailing. They do seem a little faded overall, washed out from the character models. The animations are wonderful, but I can’t believe that with my graphic settings on high and the anti-aliasing checked I’m still seeing very pixilated characters. However, when playing on the standard zoomed-out isometric view instead of the overhead close-up camera (this angle seems useless except for taking action screenshots and inspecting new gear), they look decent enough. But they still don’t blend into the backdrops like I expected them to.