Season 4 Begins

In my last Diablo III post, I had just been leveling up my Demon Hunter, trying to hit level cap before moving onto a new character in season 4.  Things were going well. I had checked out the new content in the newest patch, and I figured I’d raise the difficulty up a little bit just to try and speed along to 70. I was level 61 when it happened.

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I snapped this before (or maybe after) the death message had appeared, but you can clearly see I have no health. You can also see how it was easy to happen, with all of those spells and walls sitting near my corpse. A frustrating end, though one you have to accept when you play hardcore. This is the highest level character I’ve had die though, the past high was 52, but that guy was powerleveled and died while in difficulties he had no business being in. I suppose the same should be said of this particular death, but I didn’t have a problem with Master difficulty pre-70 on the Witch Doctor. I guess I just like casters in this game, as I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really care for the Demon Hunter or his kit. Things got better towards the higher levels, but it’s still not exactly my cup of tea. The Wizard and Witch Doctor put up bigger numbers, have more survivability, and more AOE. Maybe it was just my build, maybe the class just isn’t for me. I do like the Monk and Crusader though, despite not being so bursty, but being nice and tanky. Anyway, season 4 started on Friday, so I was keen to get into game with a new character, and to forget my loss.

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The entry screen gives a good summation of what to expect in the new season, and I decided to go ahead an make a wizard this time around, because I had the recent loss of the DH (and don’t want to replay that class), already have a Monk and Witch Doctor at 70, and don’t feel like playing the Crusader right now, but that’s my next character for sure. The season journey proved to be exceptional as I expected, and gives you clear goals that you can use in Adventure mode that you’d be doing anyway, but the tracking of these tasks is nice.

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Soon after starting up my game, Eri popped in with a brand new Barbarian, but had also mentioned running a new wizard up into the 20’s solo. We were burning through content, hit level 11, and I said we should go over to the new zone to unlock our Kanai’s cubes in the seasonal mode (I have it open on my non-seasonal hardcore characters). This was perhaps a bad idea, as we got crushed by the first named we encountered, and our lowly new characters have already died!

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That was quick. Two deaths in two days… not boding well for the future of my hardcore characters. My Witch Doctor and Monk are both on Torment I but because they won’t benefit me with seasonal rewards, I don’t want to play them at the moment. However, it is required to grind out a bunch of paragon levels to access the post T6 difficulties, so I’m going to have to devote some time to them if I ever want to see the “true” endgame. For now though, I’ve already rerolled a new wizard which I’m intending to level to 70 and beyond. I want to get it done quickly though, so I can work on the paragon stuff, as the paragon levels do transfer to the non-seasonals after the fact, which is a nice bonus for them.

So that’s where I am now. So far I’m really enjoying the new stuff that keeps coming out of Blizzard’s Diablo team. Keep it up y’all!


This post marks the end of Blaugust, and the collective blogosphere will breathe a sigh of relief. I have sort of forced myself into this whole blogging every day thing, along with updating The Digital Backwoods daily and doing the whole Nuclear Throne Dailies, and I think if nothing else, I might use those dailies as daily post fodder for days when I’m not in the mood to write. I might just keep up the practice, and I might not. I’m not entirely sure at this point, so I guess we’ll find out together!

 

Diving into Patch 2.3

This past Tuesday morning Diablo III came down for patching, and when it came back up, 2.3 was live. I’ve talked about the new patch quite a bit in recent posts and have brought it up a few times on the podcast because honestly, it’s refreshing to see a single player or small multiplayer game getting new updates and being kept alive like this. In the past year and a half Diablo III has seen the complete loot system rework in 2.0, along with removal of the shitty auction house system, a full expansion in Reaper of Souls, and the introduction of Adventure mode and seasons. This patch adds to that considerable amount of new content in such a short time, it makes you wonder why Blizzard couldn’t keep up with content production for some of their other titles. Anyway, I jumped into the game the other night to check out the new changes and work on my Demon Hunter a little more before the new season was to start up on Friday.

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The new entry screen gives you a taste of what you can expect in the patch, and my first order of business was to check out the new zone, The Ruins of Sescheron.

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For those curious, it’s located on the Act III map in the top right corner. The zone consists of the first area called the ruins, another large area, and then a third level that contains a throne room and what you would think would be a boss, but I couldn’t find a way to interact.

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No one wants to talk with me.

The Ruins and subsequent zones all have this snowy ruin look to them, and I think it keeps with the feel of that particular act. Overall I fought a few unique bosses, took part in an event that rewarded a resplendid chest, and earned two levels worth of experience clearing out the three areas.

While clearing the various areas, I managed to find Kanai’s Cube, and our old buddy Zoltan Kulle shows up to become the newest “vendor” in the base camps across all acts.

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Kanai’s Cube is mine!

I can report that it doesn’t matter who you find Kanai’s cube with, once you have found it, it’s yours across all characters (probably separate for normal and hardcore but I did not confirm this). There was also a big change in the way Rifts work, in that you no longer need rift keys, so selling all of the ones on my characters netted me 100k, which was nice. I also confirmed that I have the transmogrifications from finishing season 3 with a level 70, so that is no longer a mystery. Anyway, Rifts are now accessible without the rift keys, but you do have to be level 70 to get into greater rifts, and there’s another stipulation as well, but I don’t remember exactly what it was.

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Lastly, checking out Kanai’s cube in town, you can click on the little book symbol and you’ll be able to check out the various things it can do for you. It turns out that being able to remove the passives from legendaries to add to your characters isn’t just a simple task, they have added new crafting components to the horadric caches, which are those chests you get at the end of series of bounties. 1 of each type of crafting component (1 from each act) is required along with some death’s breath and the item you want to remove the passive from. There are loads of other functions as well, but each requires some old and some new crafting components, but seems to be pretty fair. I look forward to checking out more of these features in the coming season.

That’s all I have to report for now. Have you checked out any of the new features yourself yet?


Today’s run features Y.V. and a stupid melee death on world 3. Woooo!

Diablo III Update

gemcollectionSeason 3 ended this past Sunday without my realizing it. When I logged into the game last night, I was met with a billion in game mails containing all of my gems and crafting components. Side note, I’m wondering how they will be combined when the upcoming patch removes some of the variety? I was curious about some of the season’s rewards and also how many Paragon points I’d end up with but inventory management was the most pressing matter. Unfortunately I had spent a pretty penny on dyes and transmogrification (bad idea at such a low level by the way), so I ended up with a mess of all manner of gem tiers. I was only able to combine some, so I ended up having to go farm some gold so I’d be able to combine what was left. I was extremely lucky and ended up on one of the bovine rifts, and stumbled upon an event I hadn’t seen before.

The gist of it was that there was a spirit cow, and once you talk to him, he says “they look like they have a beef with you” before disappearing. Soon all manner of bovines are swarming your location. I killed 87 before the time elapsed, however I noticed each one was giving me something like 100k experience and 10k gold. I was rolling in dough once more, and managed two levels of experience in that one event. I still had to finish off the rift and the big ass cow boss before returning to town where I managed to combine all my remaining gems and deck myself out in some new gear. I ended up removing so many gems from my old gear that I used up all of my money and ended up with several pieces of gear sitting in my stash — waiting to have gems removed. Oh, and I decided to use up the 350 blood shards in my inventory, and ended up with some legendary shoulders, so it ended up being pretty good overall.

I ended up with 12 paragon points, up from 5 and combined with the seasonal 9 I had earned. Not bad, it helped with some minor buffs on my Demon Hunter. Before the end of the night I was level 56 but I missed my mark of getting this character to 70 before the season ended. Fortunately the new season doesn’t start until Friday, so I should be able to have the Demon Hunter at 70 by then anyway. Worst part of spending on that money on transmogs? I look completely different after only a few short hours. Lesson learned.

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Looking around I can’t seem to find what the exact rewards for having a level 70 during season 3 was supposed to net me. For Season 4 it looks like you get a couple of transmogs for a couple of slots. I imagine the same would go for season 3, but at this point I don’t see them, so either they haven’t been unlocked yet, or I’m not looking in the right place. I did get a new profile ring thing (you can see it above, below my character), but that’s all I can see so far, and that doesn’t seem limited to the season, but rather having over ten paragon points. Anyone have any ideas?

I think this is why the season journey will be nice, as it seems to direct you to what needs to be done to get rewards, and has a tracker much like the achievement system. I’ll see if I can track down more info an report back if no one enlightens us in the comments.


Took Crystal for this daily run. I was doing just fine, actually got a crown for once, and ended up standing too close to Big Dog. You’ll see what happened.

Diablo III is Evergreen

Using a different designation, I’ve been writing about my favorite games for years, and long time readers will notate that there are a few titles I always end up coming back to. Many of them tend to be “session-based,” which is a term I use to describe games you can play in small time frames. Lobby shooters, MOBAs, Action-RPGs, even some MMOs can be designated this way, due to the nature of being able to jump in, play a game and jump out (or make some overall progress). However, not all of the games I play really fall under this category, but I still return to them time and again.

Void, proprietor of A Green Mushroom, and I had a discussion on Twitter before this whole Blaugust thing kicked off.

I have to give credit where it’s due, and since he’s also made it a writing prompt for Blaugust, I figured I could write about one of my evergreen games. Obvious choices would have been League of Legends and Everquest II, as I’ve written more posts about those two games than any others. Due to the fact that I have written so much about them inspired me to look through other titles, and the next most frequently mentioned game is definitely Diablo III.

It’s still a little while off, but the next patch has me excited. I can’t wait to collect Kanai’s Cube and get some new buffs from my legendary gear. I can’t wait to check out the new zone. Shortly after 2.3 drops, season four will be starting up, and there’s actually been some new information revealed about some of the rewards that will be available with that. Another new feature, the “season journey interface” sounds like it will give you some focus as to what you can work on during a new season, and I like the idea of there being new rewards each time. It gives you a reason to come back to the game every few months, or play solidly if you’re a dedicated player. I know D3 is feeling more and more like and MMO-lite at this point, and definitely holds my interest better than some full blown MMOs have. But this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about how it’s similar or could influence the MMO world.

In case you haven’t played a seasonal character before, or have questions on what happens with your seasonal progress once the season ends, there’s a great write up that breaks things down for you over here. I was actually wondering what happened with seasonal paragon levels, as this was the first time I had a character make it to max level and earn any paragon levels during a season. It was assumed that the paragon level would stick on the seasonal end of things, and carry over between seasons, but the paragon xp is actually transferred back to the non-seasonal side of things. So if you had a seasonal normal or seasonal hardcore class, at season’s end paragon levels earned will transfer to non-seasonal normal or hardcore characters. So the few paragon levels I earned on my S3 Hardcore Witch Doctor will tally up with the paragon levels I earned on my Hardcore Monk and affect the entire account. Currently I have three level 70 characters:

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The Normal level 70 Wizard has 25 paragon levels, and last I played him I was very comfortable at Torment I difficulty, but I haven’t braved anything beyond that. I also stopped playing normal mode, as the added difficulty of Hardcore mode is more fun. That, and Eri wouldn’t stop badgering me about being a wuss. I’ve had several Hardcore characters that have died along the way, but I did manage to get a Monk to level 70, and he has 5 paragon levels, also sitting in Torment I. My season 3 Witch Doctor is 70 with 9 paragon levels and is on the same difficulty level. Finally, I have a Hardcore Demon Hunter that is level 40, but gets the added benefit of paragon levels. I’m sort of thinking about leveling him to 70 before this season ends, so then I can level a Crusader to 70 during season 4. Then I just need to make a new Wizard in Hardcore, or try to level a Barbarian. I’ve not been fond of the latter though, despite giving it a shot a few times. Perhaps I’ll save the Barb for season 5 leveling. I know I want to actually try and play more of the end game, because I’ve not seen a greater rift, a legendary gem, or the highest torment difficulty and I really want to. So this might be making it back onto the To-Do list sooner than later.

Either way, it’s apparent that Diablo III has been an evergreen game for me, as I’ve played it fervently for short bursts on several occasions over the past year and a half.

Edit: Forgot to do a Daily Nuclear Throne run until after the 11th ended, so instead of the run being a day ahead, you’re getting it on the actual day (i.e. I missed a daily in there. Oh well, still planning to keep this up for a while). I failed hard on this one, so it’s shorter than the previous run.

Edit again: turns out that the daily runs reset at 5 pm my time, so that was still technically a run for the 11th, so I’m going to rename the file and run with my original “play it a day behind the post date it’s posted on” scheme.

#diablo3 #blizzard #endgame #seasonal

State of the Game: Short and Sweet

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I have pretty much been plugging away at the same games this week, so rather than drone on about what I’ve done exactly, I will just be touching on the main points and calling it a day. Sound good? Okay then.

First up, League of Legends. Yes, I’m still playing regularly, though I haven’t played too much ranked. Still Bronze II. Someday I might get out of it, but I’m not that focused. Been having a blast playing the newest champion I purchased, Jinx, and working on my Mastery ranks for champions, which is a new system Riot introduced recently. Basically, the more you play a champion, you “level up” but it comes down to being fluff mostly. I think I’m at rank 8 or 9, because I have a handful of champions whom I’ve played, the highest being Jinx at level 3. If nothing else, it gives you some other meta to work on, which is alright by me, as I already play regularly.

I had a great game with Jinx the other day, where our mid laner fed 5 deaths and then disconnected from the game. I carried hard, and we still won the game even in a 4v5 which is pretty difficult to do. However, they did have an off-meta bot lane that didn’t work out so well for them, which got me snowballing. It helps that Jinx is such a hyper carry.

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Next, I finally finished Shadow Warrior. The final boss wasn’t too difficult but did take some time to take down. The story ended well, and my overall verdict of the game was that it was fantastic. I will continue my playthrough write ups, though I think I’m going to start combining chapters and get it done fairly quickly, because I want to move on to something else. That’s the big debate I have now. I have League as my MOBA of choice. Titanfall has been my mainstay lobby shooter. I have several MMOs I dabble in, but Shadow Warrior was my main single player game for the last month. Not sure what I want to move on to. I did buy Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel a couple of months ago in a sale and really want to dive into that, but I have plenty of other games in my backlog as well. Maybe I’ll do a poll. We’ll see.

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I have toyed around with Sid Meier’s Starships here and there, and finally finished my first game. Of course, this was accomplished over a long period of time, despite only having a couple of hours put into the game. That’s because it’s really easy to jump in and jump out for ten minutes at a time and feel like you made some progress. As such, that first game gives me a good impression of the game overall, and I like it. It’s a very simplified 4x, but it still scratches that itch. The tactical combat is definitely the best part, but the diplomacy and micromanagement of your empire is still fun too.

Lastly, I’ve been plugging away at my Season 3 Hardcore Witch Doctor in Diablo III. I hit level 53 the other night and have bumped the difficulty up to Expert. I think I could actually handle Master but I’m doing baby steps because I don’t want to kill this character off, like most of my other seasonal characters. I’d like to get her to 70 before the season ends, if nothing else just to get the achievement. Here’s what she looks like currently, along with her build at the moment:

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Alternatively, you can see the full build and stats stuff over on my Anook page.

That’s all for this week. Til next time.

#stateofthegame #roundup