Posts Tagged ‘beginning’

Huzzah, got to 70 this morning on my hardcore seasonal monk! I’m only on Expert difficulty at the moment, but some of the gear things I’ve had drop were pretty decent. The first legendary I got was from Kadala, and they’re those pants that fart out an AoE to kill things around you. It works perfectly with the overall build I have as a holdover for actual stuff. Now that I’m max level, however, the battle has barely begun. Gotta get moar gear, finish up the chapter by killing the key wardens and other bosses on Torment, and random other shenanigans. I’m looking forward to it.

And since I finally have the time, I’m gonna ramble on a bit about my experience with Diablo in the past. I started out with the first game, and still don’t remember when or how I got it. Much the same as other Blizzard games I had, I think they more or less just appeared in my possession, or were lent to me by a friend (back when you could still loan out a video game). The Hellfire expansion was cool, but all I really remember was blowing countless scrolls and trying to set an entire map on fire with a cleric, to make the skeletons run through layers and layers of flame just to get to me.

Diablo 2 is where I sunk a lot of hours. My friends and I dusted it off from time to time, and almost always used the increase player level command to give more difficulty and chance at loot. I never really bothered with the Amazon or Paladin, might’ve done Assassin and Sorcerer once or twice… but good gods, did I love rolling a barbarian and beatstick, or a bone army Necromancer, or a shifter druid. I loved tweaking different barbarian builds to just smash things forever and get more potions and gold and practically perma-running. Or doing some absurd druid combo form thing, or roll out with every damned possible pet as a Necro.

One of the things I miss the most from Diablo 2 to 3 is the skill tree synergy, where X ranks of that skill would increase the effectiveness of Y. It helped change things up, by getting you to pick different abilities that you might have otherwise overlooked, because you wanted those next couple percentages or some more bodies. Sure, the new modular system works rather well, especially for changing on the go, but it isn’t quite the same feel of sinking points into something and seeing the results. Eh, I guess paragon levels are kinda close to it.

When Diablo 3 came out, I was really on the fence about getting it (and also pretty broke at the time). I didn’t play the beta, and didn’t really think the game would be that good, especially after seeing the changes between 2 and 3. One of my friends had both the pre-order for the game, as well as the WoW Annual Pass, which gave D3 for free, so he tossed me a copy for opening day. I was one of the many laughing at Error 37 and 1006 or whatever the other numbers were. But once we were in, we had a blast. I might’ve stayed up and blitzed to max level… I don’t quite remember.

The AH felt like a gimmick, and I used the ever-loving crap outta the damned thing. Once I found out how to truly search and dig for whatever things I wanted, I started to tweak out my character’s gear and get it nice and fine-tuned, while selling back the occasional item to cover the costs of whatever I spent. It ended up being to the point that I stopped playing the game to get gear for myself, and instead just tried to farm more gold so I could buy the upgrades. When they took it out, I was ecstatic. Good riddance, and that’s coming from someone who used the damned thing constantly.

Reaper of Souls came out, and more importantly, seasons. I decided that, if it’s some new ladder system with reset progress, then I might as well do something different. So my first character was a Hardcore Crusader. I don’t even know how many I lost due to herpderping into all the things (before Crusaders had the 30% melee survivability buff thing, if I recall correctly), but I loved it. Had a softcore one too, but bleh, doesn’t matter anymore. The second season, I was too busy with WoW, and ended up trying to blitz a hardcore Demon Hunter up during the final weekend. Lost her at… 65, after 15 hours of play. A couple levels away from max, and during the last leg of the whole thing. Pissed at myself, I ended up getting another one blitzed up using leftover gear and a bit of help.

Third season was where I really got into it… My Witch Doctor, ZergSwarm. Started it out knowing I wanted a massive pet build. And good gods, did I make one. Not liking the whole Carnevil thing going around, I instead started off with zombie dogs, the gargantuans (three, due to the ring), and the fetishes. At one point, including my character and follower, I was rolling out with 37 different friendlies on my screen. Regularly. Then I started getting more gear, and felt my damage slacking off, and REALLY started to farm. Ended up with a 6p Zunimassa’s build using fetishes and mana spender to basically just apply a damage taken debuff. Tore through everything. t6 was a *joke*. Eventually I got bored of hunting for a solid Starmetal Kukri, and went back into WoW again.

Now here we are, with me being a bit tired of casual play in WoW, and a new season in Diablo. Lost two monks before level 10, and now TooFuriosa is max level and ready to go. Playing hardcore, and trying to push for higher tiers of content, is all the thrill of Mythic raiding, without any of the hassle of trying to figure out schedules or worry about other people standing in shit and wiping us. No, it’s just me, my reflexes, and my own luck. Everyone plays games in their own ways, and my way for Diablo is solo, while testing my own limits. Can’t wait to see how far I get this time.

And speaking of going far… Today marks the 31st post in a row I’ve made. Blaugust challenge complete, coming from someone who never blogged before. Now that I’m done, I probably won’t do the daily thing anymore, but if I’ve got something worth posting or rambling about, I’ll keep ya guys in the loop.

-Bane Falcon

Good work praises itself.”


Blaugust Day 14: Roots

Posted: August 14, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

So I got to thinking the other day, and I don’t actually remember the first time I encountered a dwarf in literature or media. Maybe it was Snow White? Or something else? I honestly have no damned clue. But whatever it was, something about them immediately called to me. Funny, stubborn little guys who liked to mine? Yeah, that seemed pretty cool.

The more I picked up on them, the more I liked. Master craftsman, solid beards, hairy, stout, enjoy their beards? Arrogant, but not trying to convert or change others to it? Yeah, that definitely seemed cool. Long-lasting friendships and grudges? These guys definitely seemed pretty chill to hang with. Natural skeptics of magic and things they couldn’t prove, while standing firmly behind the idea of their own hard work.

Naturally, I played a dwarf in anything I could, at least for my first character. Any game I roll into, I pick the stout, stubborn, bulky character option, usually a Warrior or Fighter or similar melee class, and name it Bane Falcon. Hells, it was even to the point that any time I went into my old comic and gaming shop, the owner would sneer at me and grunt out “No Dwarves allowed!!”

To go along with my affinities with the race, I also picked up the natural dislike for elves. Not that I’m any sort of mindless barbarian, but the sheer slender beauty, the too-delicate approach, the high and mighty aristocracies, and almost blinding focus on the finer arts just doesn’t do it for me. Dwarves can have their own beauty… a more earthy, rugged, solid one. I prefer to take the blunt approach whenever I can, straight and to the point. And Dwarven artwork is just as beautiful as Elvish, with the added bonus of being effective, or able to drop down a mountain.

I’m now to the point where I’m basically stylizing myself after a dwarf. A fan of the ale, and the craftings thereof, a good burly beard, and surrounding myself with fellow merry dwarves (and maybe a token elf and tiefling). But give me the choice to live in a fantasy world, and my first question is what their mountain clans are like, and how well do they craft with stone, or fight with hammer and axe.

-Bane Falcon
You can kill a dwarf, but you can never vanquish one.”

I’ve been playing Blizzard games for longer than I remember what system I was playing them on. I know that I had an iMac, the giant jelly-bean monitor-and-computer-in-one setups, that I would rock out some Warcraft II and StarCraft on. By which I mean, I sunk so much damned time in WarCraft while growing up, that for several summers, if I went outside, I would hear the peons harvesting lumber for me. WHAK WHAK WHAK. The sound effects were burned into my brain after months of waking up, plugging in, occasionally eating, and sleeping 20 hours later.

StarCraft was also awesome. Raynor was a friend, Mengsk was a dick, Kerrigan was a noble martyr, and the Overminds were a bunch of arrogant aristocrats. Protoss? Eh, they were just space elves. But their dragoons were awesome. I put some hours in there as well, but not quite as much as in WarCraft.

Then the glorious age of WarCraft III. I remember getting a demo disk of it, back when they still did those things, on top of a soda from the movie theater. My computer couldn’t even run the damned thing, so I had to install it on the family PC. I clocked countless hours into Wintermaul and Wintermaul Wars, couple matches of DotA, some of their other brawl arenas, and other miscellaneous custom maps. And that’s not including playing through the storyline several times over. The Culling of Stratholme will always be a Warcraft map, and not a WoW 5-man.

Wings of Liberty eventually came out. Glorious game. Pre-ordered and got into the beta. They errata’d some of the storyline to make it bigger, which I didn’t mind. Mechanics were solid, graphics were awesome. They made the RTS feel bigger and epic again, as opposed to WarCraft III feeling like your awesome hero and their disposable sidekick army. I completed the storyline, went back for some of the achievements, and tried for higher difficulties. I even dabbled into the PvP parts a bit.

When the second act, Heart of the Swarm, came out, I was all over it. Churning through the missions, checking out what different things to do for achievements, completely gung-ho about the whole thing. I loved the characters they brought about, and how Kerrigan more or less spit on Raynor saving her only to become bigger and more badass. But within playing this game and trying my hand against other players, I realized something.

I love the strategy of the RTS genre. I love the feel of an army at my fingertips, and the combat is thrilling. Even watching the finals at BlizzCon was like combining my favorite football game set-up with nerdy shit, surrounded by other nerds. I know plenty of the history and lore of the games, and have been a fan of both franchises for several years. I’ve sunk an insane amount of time into their titles.

But holy gods, do I suck at them. Playing against other people in StarCraft is the most humbling experience that I have in gaming. Shows me that even knowing all of that, following it since I was in middle school, I am abysmal at those games. And that just makes me love them even more.

-Bane Falcon
“You are softer than sandstone and drier than talc.” (an obviously disparaging remark)

I once swore that I would never, ever touch World of Warcraft.

I played the TCG regularly, and was one of the contenders in the local tournament scene. I even played the RP system for a campaign or two. I loved Warcraft II, III, and Frozen Throne. But I would NEVER touch WoW.

The main issue? I was pressured into playing it by friends who couldn’t be bothered to play with me. I started it up, got to maaaybe level 20 or so. And while still trying to figure out what do in the game, I would derp around in Stormwind. Occasionally, these giant Abominations would show up, and since some random NPC dude was yelling about defending the city against the abom, well, my little warrior self ran off to help!! By “help”, I clearly mean “get flattened repeatedly”. So, my friends pressures me into playing, I tried it out, and because no one bothered to actually explain any of it to me, I decided that it was a waste of time and stopped bothering.

Now, this was also around the time when I was still workin’ on my slick threads to win costume contests in Atlas Park in City of Heroes, or getting a defense capped/max move speed build off of Hover on my Crab Spider in City of Villains. Dabbling in the win of Star Wars: Galaxies pre-NGE and CU, being a badass Wookie Rifleman (with Bowcaster, of course)/Fighter Pilot/Musician. Because damnit I wanna be a Wookie Pilot Rockstar. Or I was tweaking out my Drake or Raven or Caracal and reciting the Caldari Creed at my enemies as I dipped into lowsec in EvE Online. So I wasn’t against MMOs. I was just against the overinflated, self-important, egotistical WoW crowd who wanted everyone to join ’em, but didn’t wanna be bothered with actually TEACHING them about what do.

A few years went by, and I ended up living with a group of close friends. CoH/CoV was on its way out, we drifted apart from EvE, LAN’d DotA or played Dokapon Kingdom together, and I bounced between a couple other games until one of my friends decided to start up a WoW account for my birthday present.

…I was less than pleased.

But finally starting it up, in a nerd HQ housing set-up, and playing on a dining room table that almost creaked with the number of computers on it? Yeah, that was the way to go. Instead of having issues of not getting it, or being unaware of where to turn to even look up the information, I was essentially dragged along and force-fed the experience. Sink or Swim in Azeroth. I had nothing against the franchise, since I’ve almost always been a Blizzard fanboy (Warcraft 2 and StarCraft could run on this shitty old iMac that looked like a jelly bean and a CRT monitor had a baby, and I didn’t just play Diablo 1, I also played the unofficial Hellfire “expansion) but it took a bit extra to really get me into it.

In one word? Community.

I had no choice in the matter. I was deep-dipped in having a WoW team with me from day one. Barely had to pug while leveling, because chances are that some of the other guys had an alt in my level range. Or I could just quest and do it at my own pace, try to soak up some of the story. Or hells, just make some gold and enjoy the ride while being farmed (although I told them I would only do that with an alt, since I wanted to actually know the game first). But I had the people there, the eager friends, the teachers and accomplices, all within arms reach.

Literally. Within arms reach. They broke me from being a clicker and a keyboard turner by smacking me in the back of the head whenever I tried to do it. I had my keys rebound before I was level 20. One of our household mantras was “Thou shalt not suffer a clicker to live.” But even then, I loved it. When I finally got to 80 about a week after Ulduar launched, we got my dastardly dwarf some gear and threw me into a Naxx run. I got a taste for raiding, and I was loving it.

It was that moment I realized my true issue for swearing off WoW… I knew once I was in, I would beĀ  hooked. It was in my blood. And I take pride in still playing to this day, because of the people I know, the experiences I’ve had, and the opportunities it’s given me. WoW has actually changed my life, and got me out of my parents’ basement, so to speak, and into the functional real world.

But that’s a story for another time.

-Bane Falcon
“The best place to hide something precious is in your beard. (Because no one will think to look in the obvious place)”