Posts Tagged ‘diablo’

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.”

…and apparently, neither do I. Now that the new Diablo season is out, I’m more than willing (and hopefully able) to continue staying up ’til 3 AM, slaying the minions of hell. After getting home at a little before 10pm, I got myself nice and comfortable and completely lost myself in the game, yet again. And no, I’m totally not eating at the moment, because I forgot about food over the past few hours. Of course not…

Last night, I left off with my character right after she hit 42. Woke up, did another handful of bounties, got to 45 and finished up some other random stuff. Tonight was just waves and waves of bounties, plus the occasional rift once I cleared all 5 zones. At the moment, however, I have two MVPs to thank for my character’s progress, and for keeping my gameplay from steamrolling me and making me lose a level 62 monk.

First and foremost is Nagelring. Oh good gods, that Nagelring. Got my first one at 15 or so. To be honest? The stats don’t matter whatsoever. It’s the passive ability on it, that causes a little suicide bomber to spawn every 10-12 seconds and explode for 4000%-5000% WEAPON DAMAGE. These little bastards hit HARD. And I don’t care if it weakens the overall “feel” or “experience” or “challenge”… I love waiting for the max of 4 of them to spawn, then go into a boss fight and make it implode before the mechanics even start. When I was starting to get really concerned about the super low stats on the one I was using when I was close to 60… lo and behold, another one dropped. So that first one is likely gonna go into my cube, since my follower doesn’t get anything from it aside from spawning the little runts faster.

MVP runner-up? Kadala. That’s right, the disciple of RNGesus herself, and Gheed’s frustrated daughter or whatever the hell she is. This chick has never legitimately helped me with anything before. Sure, she sometimes gave me something that I could potentially maybe kinda-sorta use, but nothing jaw-dropping. Well, as I was grinding out more bounties (and right after hitting 61), I killed a blood goblin and went over my blood shard cap. Dreading the worst, I went back into town and decided to waste some on her. Who knows, maybe I’d get some weapon that wasn’t garbage, and of a higher tier (Since 60 was the max level without the expansion, there’s a significant power jump at 61). So I give it a shot… and get a Monk Daibo with 178% damage increase over what I was using. Oh, and it already had a socket on it. Dumbfounded, I try to use another gamble, this time on shoulders in hopes of replacing the lower level ones I still had… poof, another legendary, with the buff of town portal becoming an absorb shield. Two tries, two legendaries. Pretty damned strong.

Well, since hitting 60 gained access to Chapter 3, I had to see what all things I didn’t complete yet. Level the Blacksmith and Jeweler to 12, need more gold. Level to 70, okay. And then… beat any end-chapter boss on Master or above. Huh. This whole time I was playing on Hard (difficulty 2 out of the 4 non-Torment ones) and Master was two tiers higher. Well, what the hell. I just got some new shinies. So I replaced my gems, buffed my survivability, slapped some weapon damage into that new daibo, and went to town on the Butcher.

Rolling in with 4 of the little suicide bombers and a new weapon, plus whatever other stat boosts? He melted. Even for me doubling my difficulty level. Felt damned good, man.

Now to get some sleep, get through an early day of work, get home, and hit 70. Catch ya guys once I see what Chapter 4 has in store for me, and I’ll update you all tomorrow. Might even get around to rambling about my old Diablo stories.

-Bane Falcon

Gold may shine, but steel smashes, rips and chops.” (Reminding dwarves what is important.)

Yesterday (or today, as I like to put it, since I haven’t slept yet) I had a rather long and boring day at work. Nothing much to say on that front, it was the normal crap with a bit of back pain and a headache thrown in for good measure. I finished up the shift, got home, checked WoW missions briefly, then finally managed to dive into what I’ve been waiting on for quite a while… Season 4 in Diablo 3.

Seasons are Diablo 3’s ladder system. Each one has a limited time, usually a little over 3-4 months, sometimes more, sometimes less. There’s random dungeons called Rifts that just throw a bunch of mobs onto a randomly created map, and Greater Rifts which do the same thing, but get progressively harder and don’t drop any loot until the end. The ranking part of the season is based around how high of a greater rift you can complete in the time window before the rift closes.

The best part about seasons, in my opinion, is that you get a fresh start. At the end of each season, your seasonal characters become the non-seasonal versions of what they were, and all the loot and stash items go along with them. So, my paragon 239 Hardcore Seasonal Witch Doctor joined my other normal Hardcore characters, and is sharing their bank and gold. Regardless of that, when a new Seasonal character is started for the first time, it gets its own sub-server thing. For example, when I rolled a Hardcore Season Monk earlier tonight and got it killed at level 6, the next hardcore season character I rolled had access to the bank and the gold from the first monk… all 1100 or so gold. But not the 100 million+ gold from my main hardcore account.

Huzzah for whatever attempts to explain all of that stuff. I’ve been craving a new Seasonal experience for a good month or two, now. Hardcore with no safety net and no stockpile of crafting materials to get my characters tweaked out before they leave base for the first time? Oh good gods, do I love it. Sure, I got my monk killed twice before level 10, and had to start over. But now TooFuriosa (was just Furiosa twice, but then I remembered my personal rule about changing the name when they die) is riding nice and cozy at 42, with several legendaries and more than able to farm whatever comes her way.

I’ve already got my build guide lined out, and practicing with the playstyle as I level into the other abilities. It’s the first time I’ve actually played a monk, and not just had it powerleveled and checked out some gimp guide to go along with the random pieces of gear I had in storage. Nope, now I get to deal with all the close calls, and get the muscle memory of twitching a certain way to just barely avoid something that’ll flatten me.

Another interesting part of the new season is the “Chapters” system. It gives you a bit of a guide to follow along, making sure that you deal with different things at the appropriate time. For example, doing a Rift and hitting level 35 are parts of the first Chapter, whereas making sure your follower is fully equipped, leveling the different crafters to 10, and hitting 60 are part of the second Chapter. The fourth Chapter reward is where you get the rest of the seasonal cosmetic items, so it’s got incentive to have players follow through and not just get farmed or carried.

All of that said… any time I can sit down at my computer at 9:30pm, blink, and realize it’s past 2am because of how fully immersed I am in the game? Yeah, that’s a good thing. A bit dangerous, but always enjoyable. And now for sleep before I continue to blitz through and try to start farming for the pieces I need.

-Bane Falcon
Rest your shields, lean on stones, listen and always remember, long are the arms and legs of men, yet still longer, the Dwarven members!” (a battlefield limerick meant to relieve stressed-out dwarves, usually exclaimed by leaders and commanders whenever the outlook is otherwise grim)

Today I woke up, started getting ready for work, and sat down at my computer while grumbling about having to go in early. Got comfortable and checked up on if the new Diablo patch went live, and it did, then complained mentally even more… until finally checking my schedule and noticing the later start time today! So, huzzah, I’m writing this while dead on the ground in LFR. Someone pulled extra trash mobs and brought them into the room while the tank blitzed right for the boss.

Regardless, there was apparently something thrown into the game that I might’ve noticed briefly, but never bothered paying attention to… and that’s the option to queue for multiple LFR wings at the same time. Sitting at my computer at 11am, and not having to be at work ’til 1:45, you bet I queued up for three wings at the same time in hopes of getting at least one to proc. Had a false start on one of ’em, and this one isn’t beginning on the best of notes, but… hey, it’s something. And even if I get one wing done before work, it’s one less I have to do later.

Now, I would have loved to sit down and start in on the new Diablo content, working towards Kanai’s Cube on my no-longer-seasonal characters to clear out some banks, but that’s something I want to savor. I want to kick back, enjoy the story, catch the mechanics, and then farm up every damned piece I need in order to get it going in one sitting. So instead, I’ll settle on some mindless LFR nonsense.

My warrior, since I’ve gone casual, has been getting all of his legendary stuff via LFR. I’m currently sitting on 29/33 tomes. At bare minimum, if I get one tome per wing, I’ll have this thing done today. I’m hoping to have it done WITHOUT sinking that much time into this… fun, exciting experience… but even if that’s not the case, I’m just hoping to get it done this week before going into Archimonde.

Well, looks like the fight’s wrapping up, or that the people are gonna die soon. One way or another, time to pretend like I care about the raid group and see about finishing this quickly and hoping to squeeze in another run before work. Tomorrow, Diablo and more LFR adventures!

-Bane Falcon

The belly is the best clock there is.

Sometimes, there’s the mysterious conflux of events, where everything aligns. When Soon becomes Soon becomes Release Date becomes Next Week. When it’s for a single game, or beer, or movie, it’s kinda awesome when it’s right around the corner. When it’s for BlizzCon, it’s a frazzling event, where you’re losing sleep because you can’t wait, and you’re losing sleep because you’re not ready. All the hype.

Then there’s the times when the releases all align with one another. For example, the next week. We get the new Hearthstone patch on the 24th, which I was dumb enough to drop $50 in order to get the card back. We have 2.3.0 in Diablo, and the new season starting on the 28th. And then we get flying in Draenor in WoW. Oh, and they just added another new hero in Heroes of the Storm.

It’s so much awesome hitting the fan in such a short period of time, I don’t know what to do.

….okay, that’s an exaggeration. I know exactly what I’m doing. Cracking the Hearthstone packs, derping around when I’m completely bored in WoW and waiting on queue timers for Timewalking Dungeons to work on archaeology since I can fly, and sinking all other waking, non-working hours into Season 4 Hardcore Monk, most likely named Furiosa.

If I wasn’t about to finish LFR on my warrior for my legendary, and didn’t get the last daily boss mount yesterday, I’d be a bit more frustrated. And hells, I have a casual raid team trying to softly recruit me, but when we spend 3 hours and get 3 normal bosses down… Sorry, I may have gone casual, but I’m still too much of a heroic/mythic player to just accept all of that. So it’s a good thing that WoW is holding lesser interest for me.

But what if I wasn’t at that point? What if I still had alts I cared about? And was more avid a player of Hearthstone? And still wanted to go deep into Season 4 once it started? It would be an interesting time. It would be a hell of a mental shuffle.

Oh well, glad I don’t have to deal with most of that!!

-Bane Falcon

You can’t milk a stone for water, but you can crush a goblins head with one fist.” (A saying that states never try to do the impossible and that killing goblins is always possible.)

One of the things I keep harping on is the community of Blizzard games. There’s a reason that I’ve been playing them so long, and why I enjoy the company. Part of it is because of all the people I’ve met with a shared interest in the games, but diversified opinions on what faction want to play, or which deck is better, or what class they feel like rolling next. But the people wouldn’t all be there, or at least not in the same way, if the company were to stick to each universe being completely separate.

There’s just something about the bleed-through of the different games that I love and enjoy. Now, some are the tiny easter eggs, like Kerrigan from Brood War being in the console on a shredder in WoW, or the Horde logo on a wall in an Overwatch trailer, or re-used lines by the same voice actor playing different characters in Diablo and StarCraft. But I also love the more blatant ones. Thunderfury and Ashbringer in Diablo. Lost Vikings in Uldaman. Collectors edition pets from the other games available in WoW. And that’s just the ones I can come up with, off the top of my head.

Sure, part of it is branding and intentional and sales. Get people to preorder X game that they might not play, get some cool stuff in Y game that they do play. Level up to a certain amount in that one, get snazzy things in these other two. But to be honest, I love that. I love that Blizzard is intentionally trying to get their players to dabble into other genres, and expand their gaming experience. Hells, speaking for myself, it goes a long way for my longevity of a Blizzard fan. At the moment, I’m fine with being casual in WoW… but good gods, I’m counting down the days ’til the 28th, when I can roll my new Hardcore Seasonal character in Diablo.

The bleedthrough element also goes a long way within one of their more recent flagship games, Heroes of the Storm. Sure, it was based off of Defense of the Ancients (DotA), the custom Warcraft 3 map, but those were all still Warcraft sprites and some interesting character ideas. With Heroes of the Storm, you get everything. Diablo, Warcraft, StarCraft, even classic Blizzard game characters, all duking it out with and against one another. The flavor alone is one of the reasons why I love playing Heroes.

Their most recent step is even more impressive… Instead of simply getting some cosmetic reward, like a mount or pet or flag emblem, Diablo and Heroes of the Storm are having a crossover that gives you a character to play. Sure, you could save up the gold and buy it yourself, but for someone like me who never picked up Diablo in Heroes, but played Diablo III quite a bit, it’s an awesome little perk just for dabbling in different games. And you still get a shiny portrait and banner in Diablo for being a certain level in Heroes during next season. Oh, and a mount in Heroes for reaching max level in next season of Diablo. They had a similar event across Hearthstone, WoW, and Heroes a little while back, giving you a pet in WoW, a mount in Heroes, and a card back in Hearthstone.

Okay, that part is kinda getting away from me, but basically, if you play a Blizzard game, chances are, they’ll give you some free shit to play their OTHER games, too. And even if I’m horrible at some of them (StarCraft, Heroes, I’m looking at you) that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy them… or enjoy some shiny rewards for dipping my toe in the water. That’s even more incentive to play around (giggity), and with battlenet and realID, you can play around with your friends, too (giggity goo).

All I know is, I hope that they continue with these ideas, and keep giving people incentive to cross the boundaries to get free prizes and special stuff, just because they want you to feel awesome for playing.

-Bane Falcon
“Dragons never bother the Dwarves. They just want to compare hoards.” (the dwarves are not resentful of the wealthy)