Season 5 Journey

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I wrote about the newest patch when it released last week, just before the season reset went down. There are some videos of the new areas introduced in 2.4 in that post as well, so check that out if you are still unfamiliar with the changes that have come to the game. Season 5 started shortly after I made that post, and I jumped back into the game whole-heartedly. I hadn’t touched Diablo since Season 4 started, and after my first hardcore seasonal character died post level 60, I lost interest in playing further. This is nothing new, because despite playing during every season since the concept was introduced, I only reached level 70 once, and my play time petered out shortly after that. Last time I was trying to make a “battlemage” build with a new wizard, as my only high level wizard is a normal character, and I have played nothing but hardcore characters since then. I love hardcore because of the extra challenge, but it sure is off-putting when you are level 70 and lose a character you’ve poured a couple dozen of hours into. That’s exactly what happened this season too. *sigh*

I really didn’t know what I wanted to play when I logged in a perused the new goodies that are a part of the new season. I finally decided on a Barbarian, because it’s the only class I really hadn’t played much of. I did create one at one point that died at a really low level and that was really all the time I had spent with the class. With my mind made up, I hopped into adventure mode and powered through bounties and rifts on my way to 70 — a milestone I reached in only a couple of days. It felt like it went quite a bit faster than usual, and I felt like was pretty well geared shortly after hitting 70. An added bonus was the fact that Haedrig’s gift is part of the season journey this time around, and it provides a full set of gear, which is actually pretty damn good. I managed to clear most of the season journey requirements and snagged two of the three Haedrig’s gifts netting me four of the six pieces of set gear.

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Those are the last four objectives I need to complete to finish off the season journey, and I managed to make it a lot further than I did in the previous season. I’m still determined to complete it, but that checklist has been put off a bit, because while working on the “Seeya” objective, tragedy struck.

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The requirement was to kill the Siegebreaker Assault Beast on Torment IV. A previous check mark was earned by killing another boss on Torment II, and having done that rather handily, I figured that I could handle Torment IV with no problem. It was a little hairy fighting my way to the above boss, but I managed to make it and I thought I was doing well enough against the beast. Unfortunately I was unaware of a debuff that is applied if you don’t kill a boss fast enough (I’m not sure if this is due to the torment level or what, but it happened nonetheless) called “Out of Time.” It causes you to take damage over time, which for a hardcore character is a near guaranteed death sentence. I managed to get him to about a quarter health, but it seems that I couldn’t keep my sustain up and died. What a waste. Here’s the evolution of my Barbarian (who was a bad ass I might add) over the course of time:

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I wasn’t ready to give up though. I wanted to see the season journey through, and see more of the torment levels, greater rifts, legendary gems, set dungeons, and all of the other goodies I hadn’t really experienced. Typically after hitting 70 I would lose interest in the grind and would stop playing until the next season or next time I felt like mindless slaughter. I also finally used Kanai’s Cube to snag some of the passives off of legendary items and filled up my stash with plenty of gems and decent gear that I’m going to hold onto for the next time I feel like running a new Barbarian up the ranks. Getting a few Paragon points also helped quite a bit with my new Crusader that I made the day after my Barbarian succumbed to death. He’s felt rather twinked, having a ton of recipes to work with to give him good gear as he levels, along with high end gems and those passives from Kanai’s.

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The two passives I have currently are rather nice. One is a fan of knives proc that does a shitload of damage, and the other ignores arcane damage and heals you instead. Definitely helps with survivability, to the point where I am only in my 40s on the Crusader and am already on Master difficulty. Here’s what the new guy looks like at this point:

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I’m hoping to hit 70 soon, and then finish off the season journey. I know now that I should probably get better geared, and get more paragon points before trying that Torment IV boss again, or perhaps I’ll recruit one of my friends that’s been playing as well, but it seems that outside of Eri, I don’t know many people who are playing hardcore characters. Sissies 😛

Have you been playing D3? If you want to join up, I’m Izlain#1300 on battle.net.

Diablo III Patch 2.4

Diablo III had another big patch go live this week, and just like in patch 2.3, there was a whole new zone added to Adventure Mode. This does mean that you need to own Reaper of Souls to access the new content, but if you haven’t picked up that expansion by now, you’re probably not much of a fan. The brand new zone added is called Greyhollow Island, and it is an offshoot of the Act V portion of the map. A gloomy, rainy, wooded island, there are plenty of new creatures to fight, lore bits, and places to explore. Outside of the new zone, there was also two previously existing zones that were expanded, both the Ruins of Sescheron and Leoric’s Manor. The former was expanded with the zone called Eternal Woods, and the latter had a section called the Royal Quarters added to it. They are smaller areas, but combined with the new zone add quite a bit of variety to your bounties and other adventures.

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There’s much more to the patch than just new zones. Set Dungeons have been added, and require you to don a full set of class armor to enter them. The seasonal journey that was introduced in season 4 is also being tweaked for season 5 (that starts tomorrow), where completing it provides a whole set, so if you are having trouble finding a set of armor for your class, you have a guaranteed way to pick one up now. That will allow you to check out the set dungeon as well. Finally, there are empowered rifts, which is building upon the ever-changing rift system that has been around since RoS launched. I have no experience with the latter, so I’m not sure how good or bad that ends up being. All I know is that I feel re-motivated to try and complete the season journey this time around, and actually get far enough into the end game to see beyond Torment I and jump into greater rifts and all that good stuff. Who knows if that feeling will be maintained for very long, but I’m aiming towards getting balls deep in Diablo III again.

Last night I decided that it would be a good idea to play through the new areas on one of my existing max-level characters. I also decided to record all three of the new areas while I played through them, so at this point I’d like to share those videos:

Part one is a full clear of Greyhollow Island. It’s a fairly large overland zone with a lengthy dungeon so this is the longest of the three videos.

Part two is a full clear of the expanded zone of of the Ruins of Sescheron: The Eternal Woods. This zone is a bit smaller and also comes packed with a dungeon but it is only one level and was a much quicker clear.

Part three is the shortest run of them all. The Royal Quarters is a section added onto the Leoric’s Manor zone. It is filled to the brim with undead but is a relatively short clear. It is also the area you have to access to be able to enter the set dungeons, as you’ll see me discover in the video.

That’s all I have for now. Happy Gaming!