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« Skyrim / Game of Thrones mashup | Main | Toon of the Day - March 1st, 2014 »
Tuesday
Mar182014

Return to Diablo III

I have to admit that I got Diablo III when it came out -- but I never got into it.   At the time, my old PC graphics card couldn't handle it.  IF you got it working, the graphics would break up.   I ended up shelving the game until I got my new PC over a year ago.  But that one I still couldn't get the settings right.  A bad driver evidentally.   I had got it working several months ago, but kept getting drawn into other games.

Well I've played Skyrim to death, and only lack a 4 or 5 achievements on both XBOX and PC versions of the game.  I've toyed with several games but nothing has been as good as a match.  Even Champions doesn't hold my interest like City used to.  So I've been trying some old games here and there.   During that, on the 13th, I rediscovered Diablo III.   And haven't been able to put it down.

To be true -- with all the problems I had with set up, I'd never been much past the middle of Act II, nor had any character over level 20.   I did have a Monk up to that high.   But for some reason I decided to play a Wizard and actually did some things right it seems.   It was a lightning heavy build, but it worked.  Once I got a Disintegrate Ray as well, and a few of the good Runes and perks -- it took off.   I managed to get him to destroy Diablo (on the first try even) at Normal.  I remember Diablo II at normal being a pain to defeat soloing. 

  

 

I have to admit that I was eager to try again.   I started with a Barbarian and was having fun, but it didn't last.

I had done some research on Youtube for various builds and hit upon one describing the Witch Doctor, stressing Acid Rain and Locust Cloud usage.   Intrigued I gave it a try.  Enter Tulchakka.   He became an intstant hit, and I managed to get him leveling faster, reaching level 40 before he hit Act IV even.  Whether that is the Community event going on right now, my gear, the class, or some combination,  I don't know.  But it worked.   Now he is on his second playthrough on Hard and leveling fast .  And the gear has changed his looks along the way -- especially as new legendary gear dropped,  and was replaced or out levelled.

  

I expect to have him to level 60 in the next few days.  And hope to start seeing Set items start dropping after that.  Meanwhile both the Blacksmith and Jeweler are now at Level 10, I've got some HIGH level jewels slotted, and am finding legendary recipes.   My stash is now 3 full tabs, so I've got a HUGE amount of gear in reserve.

I do like some of the features of this game now that I understand them.  It was always a numbers game on  DII -- you couldn't easily see how well gear affected you on several different levels.  Here, any new gear is compared, and you see the percentage increase or decrease it gives you for damage, toughness and healing.  Since some of these are indirectly calculated because of attribute bonuses, this is a big help.  When I see new gear that is all positive increases, it usually gets nabbed.   Some legendary gear I keep anyway, especially if there are certain effects I like.  i've had some legendary gear that causes champions to appear whenever you hit a shrine.   This mob-on-demand may be why Tulchakka did so well at levelling up.  Sadly i can't use that any more -- even the best of gear gets outclassed eventually in a game like this.   At least until you get to the max levels.

My timing couldn't be better.  The game has been updated to make ready for a new expansion adding another class of character.   The Crusader seems to be something akin to the old Paladin class, which I loved.  Like the DII expansion, the Reaper of Souls DIII expansion is adding another new Act , Post-Diablo. It realeases a week from today, but the game has been changed.  They are ditching the real world auction house effective today I believe.   In one week the new game releases.   A lot of gear is now ACCOUNT BOUND, which means it can't be sold to anyone else.  You might be able to shift it to other toons, via the stash, but that is all.

Some of the changes are VERY subtle.  I did notice that the old list of waypoints you could teleport too has been replaced by maps.   I do like that a lot.  It is a lot easier to read, and it gives you hints as to where you need to go.   I've noticed a few creature types in some dungeons I don't recall -- they may or  may not be new.   I did find some events -- both in dungeons and out in outside areas.  Usually an odd chest or shrine, sometimes a special object initiates them.   They are timed events -- kill 100 enemies within time, survive so many waves, etc.   Payoffs are damn good -- I've had some chests spawn a second chest after the event because I did well.    I tend to keep an eye out for them.

Playing on the Hard difficulty hasn't been a problem for the Witch Doctor so far.  I've died only a handful of times.  The worst times are when we get my pets drawing in more than one mob -- its hard to fight a champion and another mob, especially if it is another champion or elites.   And they start dropping magma, poison, or worse -- walls.  I'm not maxed out, but am throwing firebombs that spout fire columns, so that alone can turn a battle into flames.   Unlike the old game, I rarely use healing potions -- With some gear giving you maybe a 100 or more regeneration of health per second, and multiple items giving you health per hit  -- It tends to make you counter most of what you get hit with.   My Zombie Dogs give me health now as well.  Some battles I don't seem to take a scratch.  

Eventually I do want to get back to the Barbarian.  I've kept a few choice pieces of gear for him to use in the stash.  Since my two best are magic users, I'm wanting to see a more MELEE based character.    Especially before the Crusader is available.

 

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