Archive for the ‘Diablo’ Category
Recently I decided to pick up Diablo 3 again. I hadn’t played it in a quite awhile, and when I had stopped it wasn’t because I wasn’t enjoying it, but rather because I had a flare with my hands and the Diablo controls were pretty hard on them. But now that I’m not spending a lot of time playing as much WoW and abusing my hands with raiding, dailys and whatnot there, I figured I’d check out the many changes that were made in Diablo (most of which I really like!).
It’s been so long since I’ve played, and there have been so many changes, that I found myself pretty lost. While the spec I was running when I stopped playing is still serving me very well, a little bit of research has shown me that other specs may now be more viable. That being said, I don’t know if some of the more popular specs really fit my preferred playstyle so I’m toying around with meshing what I like about my spec into what I like about those specs and seeing how it works for me. Anyhow, because I felt so out of touch, I decide to simply restart inferno from scratch and play my way through again. I’m at the point in act two where I’ve finished assembling Zultan Khule and I need to go meet his treacherous, double crossing self. In the process I’ve found three legendaries (two of which I am pretty sure are rubbish) and gained three and a half paragon levels. Not too shabby.
Since I have decided to pick the game back up, Brade also decided to update his and resume playing again as well. We generally had a lot of fun playing together and I imagine that once his schedule settles down (and I’ve finished my current play through), we will pair up for shenanigans again. One of the topics that came up while we were discussing some of the changes was the auction house (not the real money one, which we’ve never used, just the gold one). He made a statement that he thought the game would have been more fun without the addition of the auction house – and I tend to agree with him.
As such, I wanted to explore that thought a little bit – but break it down into two areas: The dominance of the Auction House “game” and the subsequent loss of community by virtue of the convenience of the auction house. Read the rest of this entry »
I made this cake for Brade’s brother’s birthday (inside joke), but I think it turned out really well!
There isn’t a whole lot new on the WoW front. We finished getting everyone a firehawk last week, so I can finally say that I am (mostly) done with Firelands! We have an out of guild tank that has been helping us for the past month-ish and so we will probably do one more run to send a firehawk his way as a thank you. But other than that, I think we’ve likely put that fiery lord to rest once and for all.
We are still trucking along clearing out Dragon Soul every week. And, honestly, I think that is note worthy. I know that there are a lot of people who have stopped this effort, and each week that we get a full raid team together to continue pushing through I am grateful. Ends of expansions are hard. Motivation is lacking. This year it has the misfortune to compete with summer. And, honestly, after seven months of clearing the same content to be able to come together as a team and do it one more time each week shows dedication. And that, in my opinion, should be heralded.
I am a little more than disappointed with beta testing right now. I am not going to lie, I’m sitting somewhere at level 88 (or like a bubble from it, maybe), and lost some desire to continue my level push when Diablo came out. It had long been my intent to make a pre-made 90 to hit the raid content when it became available. Except that they have started some of the raid testing, and announced that they would not have pre-made 90’s available yet. I was disappointed, to say the least, but started looking at my schedule to find some time to push my character to level 90. And then they announced the raid test times…which so far are all when I’m still at work.
I understand that Blizzard is in the same time zone that I am, and that they want their folks to be able to go home at a reasonable time every evening. But man does it really suck to want to be a part of beta testing for raids and realize that it’s not going to be a possibility because you are on the west coast and have a commitment that keeps you from being at home during testing times. That has pretty much driven any desire to continue to level to 90 right out. The reason to get to 90 was to get a feel for how my class plays in a raid setting at max level, and realizing that it is unlikely for that to be an option for me pretty much bums me out completely. Read the rest of this entry »
For those of you who are chomping for some WoW insights, today is not that day. However, I will let you know that I do have a few drafts sitting in my folder that have to do with WoW. I’m hoping that I will have at least one of them up sometime this week. Maybe. I do still have things to say about WoW, I just haven’t put my thoughts together completely on them. That coupled with the fact that I haven’t played the beta since Diablo released, and I’ve only been raiding one or two nights a week, just means that I have less to say about WoW and a little more to say about Diablo. I won’t apologize for this, because, well, it’s my blog and I can pretty much write about whatever I want! But for those of you who are sick of listening to me talk about Diablo, rest assured that there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Over the course of the weekend Brade and I continued our push through Inferno. At some point early Saturday Evening we managed to knock down both Cydea and Azmodan, without too much effort. Getting to them, on the other hand, is another story. I don’t really feel that I need to reiterate my feelings on Soul Lashers again, but let’s just say that depending on what you roll when you enter the spire, your journey through it will be relatively painless, or you will be more emo than a 14 year old Justin Beiber fan by the time you are finished.
We went through the spire in a group of four (2 DH, 1 Wizard and myself). I will say that I found Azmodan to be rather tame for having been the dude that taunted us for three full acts. But Cydea, at least in co-op, was slightly more challenging. Those little spiders can be rather beastly! I believe that I died once on each encounter – but I can also state that I was able to pull off some miracle rezzes of my own, so felt less terrible as a result. I believe that we had 5 stacks of NV when we pulled each boss – and if my memory serves me correctly, I don’t think that any of them were and upgrade for me, or particularly good for anyone else. This isn’t overly surprising, considering that it is Diablo, but I will admit to having a twinge of disapointment when I collected up my loot from Azmodan and realized that I had a bag full of vendor trash. Read the rest of this entry »
I just wanted to toss out a few quick (ha!) thoughts today regarding the Real Money Auction House (RMAH) in Diablo. For those of you who aren’t aware of what this is, basically it’s an auction house supported by Blizzard that allows players to sell gear from actual, spendable currency. The way it works is that you can list items that other people can purchase for real world money. You receive payment in the form of “Blizz Bucks”, that you can then cash out via paypal for US Dollars (or whatever your currency is).
I didn’t really have much of an opinion on the RMAH when it was announced, and didn’t have much of an opinion as the game released and it was delayed. However, now that I’ve gotten farther into the game and invested more time, I was surprised to realize that I had an overwhelmingly negative reaction to it when it went live yesterday. I think this stems from the fact that I have zero desire to pay money for items, or to use a second currency (blizz bucks) or a second auction house to advance my character in the game. I am already somewhat cash poor – and my gear upgrades on the AH cost an obscene amount of gold (I bought a ceremonial knife last night with mana regen and no IAS, that was a 1700 dps upgrade, for the bargain basement price of 500k gold). I am now worried that with the addition of the RMAH, and eventually the ability to purchase gold, that it is going to cause a massive inflation in the cost of items on the gold auction house to the point that you are forced to utilize the RMAH to obtain upgrades to your gear. Not only that, but I am now also forced to utilize a currency that isn’t innately found or earned within the game itself.
I understand that I can utilize the RMAH without ever investing a dime of my real world cash, but there is just something…offsetting about the whole process. I don’t even know if I can exactly describe why I dislike it so much. To me, the fun in the game has been playing it. Not farming the AH for steals and deals. Not “flipping” items on the AH. But actually participating in the game play itself; you know, going out and smashing things in the face with my dart gun and having my ass handed to me in return. I don’t want to be misleading, I’ve certainly used the auction house to acquire upgrades; but the auction house isn’t what draws me to sit down at my computer and log in.
I guess, ultimately, I have a sinking feeling that if I want to improve my character to its maximum potential I am going to have to participate in a system that I don’t think I agree with. There is just something…cheap about buying gear for real money. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just old fashioned or short sighted. But I have realized that I pretty strongly feel that I should be able to earn my rewards through the time, effort and work I put into my game, and not through how much pocket money I (or anyone else) have to spend on any given day.
How do you feel about the RMAH?
(This is not a screenshot of me, it’s merely a representation of how I spent my day yesterday that I found on Google images, and is apparently a monk. So, thank you Hammor for also dying, and posting about it on the internet! I would give better credit for this picture than that, but unfortunately that is all I have!)
We are still clearing out heroic DS weekly. We are still farming Firehawks for all of our members weekly. We are still trying to hear how awesome we are weekly. And we are still recruiting for MoP/DS farming (http://www.monolithwow.com)! Other than that, WoW has been very quiet for me.
One of the more interesting things I’ve been pondering on in WoW right now isn’t the future of druids in MoP, or what the latest beta changes are, but rather how hard it must be to be a trial in any guild right now. Between the end of the expansion, Diablo 3 and summer, non-raid times are extremely quiet inside of WoW. Our medium population server is quiet, our guild is quiet, the game in and of itself is quiet. That being said, I can log in and my friends list at any given time will have at least 10 people on it from the guild (often more), but all in Diablo. As I understand it, this is fairly typical for most guilds right now. The problem that it causes, though, is that I think it’s very hard for a trial to find their footing in a guild when there is one and a half raid nights a week. It’s hard to get to know people. It’s hard to find how you fit into the structure of the guild. It’s just hard to find your place.
I don’t fault anyone for doing things outside of WoW during the down time right now. I actually encourage it, so that people are fresh and ready for the new expansion, myself included. But I do feel for those people trying to find their place in a new home. And, unfortunately, having not been “new” to a guild for over seven years, I don’t have any sage advice for how to ease that transition during this quiet time other than to say things will pick up when Mists get here and finding your footing will get easier. Read the rest of this entry »
I have been playing a lot of Diablo the past few weeks. I continue to enjoy the game, and I am having a good deal of fun with it. I have a barbarian that is part way through act three (normal), patiently waiting for a friend to have a some free time to smash faces with him; and then I have my “main” a level 60 witch doctor. I haven’t had a lot of time outside of those two characters (yet!) to play much else, but I do intend to try them all.
On Cooperative Play
Before I go much further, I wanted to take a quick minute to talk about cooperative play in Diablo. When the game first released, had you asked me, I would have told you that there was no way in hell I would participate in the cooperative play function. And, in fact, through my very first play through on normal, I did everything by myself and politely refused any offers for group play. However, once I hit nightmare Brade and I started to group together and I haven’t looked back. They play experience with a group has been something that has been pleasantly surprising to me. But not only that, it’s an enhancement of the game that I think I feel safe saying that if you haven’t tried it out, you are missing out on some of what the game offers.
As an example of that statement, I had my cake decorating class Friday night. When I got home, I found Brade reading (or passed out…maybe) on the couch. I was a little surprised by this, as he’s got a Hell level wizard that he’s been playing solo when I’m doing other things. But when I commented that I was surprised not to see him at the computer, he commented that he played his wizard a little bit, but really just found he had more fun playing the cooperative games with me. Now, ya’ll, as a complete nerd couple, this is almost akin to walking into a surprise candle lit dinner. But I think also speaks a lot to how much fun the cooperative play can be.
In short, if you haven’t given cooperative play a try yet, you should. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever had one of those weeks where you wish you could just fast forward to the end of it and be done already? That was pretty much my week last week. The oddest part was that I was off of work last week. You would think that it would be relaxing, laid back, enjoyable! But you’d be wrong! You see, Brade had surgery on Tuesday – nothing overly major as far as surgeries go – just a day thing, but lord if that week didn’t take it out of me. By the end of the week, I was so exhausted that even if I didn’t want to sleep my body was telling me to get my ass into bed.
I sort of feel like I need a vacation from my vacation!
Anyhow, one of the upsides to having the week off (even if there were a lot of down sides as well) was that in between Brade care I had a lot of extra time to play Diablo. I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit, and have even surprised myself with how adept I’ve become at it. I played through the normal version alone, wanting to enjoy every nook, cranny, barrel, jar of ash, bookcase and loose stone in my own slow, tedious glory. I finished all the way through the story with a Witch Doctor, and then started up a Barbarian on the side.
However, once I finished, I surprised myself by wanted to try the harder modes. Which, really, isn’t something I expected. But about 3/4 of the way through normal, I asked Brade to hold off on Nightmare with his first character (a demon hunter) until I could catch up, so that we could co-op. And so we trucked through Nightmare together, adding a third in our co-op for the last two acts. I didn’t really feel that the difficulty had ramped up that much, and I really enjoyed the second play through. I even threw caution to the wind and started to venture my way into the Auction House a little bit. By the end of Nightmare, I found myself excited to venture into Hell. Again, something of a surprise to me.
On Saturday, we finished out Nightmare and started Hell. I’ve been running this build with my Witch Doctor, through all of Act 1 Hell, and it’s been working out for me fairly well. I’ve been debating giving up one of my passives for Pierce the Veil, but I’m undecided as yet. I may also eventually swap out Wall of Zombies of the confusion ability, but I’m liking wall of zombies so far. I will say that Hell is most definitely a step up in difficulty. In fact, I think I’d even say it forces you to re-evaluate the way that you play and requires you to think outside of the box, and I find that fun. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had our ass handed to us by an unexpected elite pack, or how much trouble we’ve gotten into with our (my) obsession for killing every treasure goblin we find.
We intend to start Act 2 Hell tonight, and I find myself excited to see what the difficulty offers as we progress. So far, I’ve enjoyed the curve, and the challenges presented, and I can’t wait to see how everything plays out as we get towards the end of the game. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about Inferno levels of play, but I’ve also heard some fun things about it as well. I never really pictured myself as the player that would venture into that level of play – I’ve never been one to put a game on it’s hardest setting “just because the challenge is there”. So I do wonder if I have the mettle for Inferno. I do think that I will at least try it and see if I can muster up the mettle it would take to finish.
In addition to the Witch Doctor (which I’m loving), I’ve gotten my barbarian about half way through the third act. I’ve really enjoyed plaything this character. There is something very primal and satisfying about smashing in faces with a giant weapon. I can’t explain it, it just feels good! I will probably venture into checking out the wizard next and seeing how it plays out for me. One thing that I think I can say has been great, has been the ability to swap between characters and do something different for awhile. I think that it is refreshing, and has added a good deal of enjoyment to my game. I also think it is a large part of the reason that I’ve decided to try some of the harder difficulties in the game.
Anyhow, I feel like this Diablo brain dump is starting to get a little rambly. It isn’t quite the post I had envisioned when I started writing, but sometimes that happens and you just have to go where the post is taking you. In this case, into the very jumbled, sleep deprived parts of my mind that have been pre-occupied with Diablo!
I know I have been enjoying the game, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it if you are also playing! Do you like the story? Do you like the game play? How do you feel about the different levels of difficulty?