Progress Report: D3 Season 5

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The above screenshot paints a picture of what’s going on with my latest character in this season’s journey. He’s max level. He has 124 paragon levels. He’s got all but one of the season journey objectives completed. He’s got mostly matching gear. Grinding Torment IV rifts has become nearly effortless, and moving onto Torment V is happening very soon. I’m sure you can probably guess which one of the objectives he hasn’t completed yet, but I have already spoiled that in the above sentence and also on the latest episode of Couch Podtatoes. For those of you who suck at guessing or weren’t paying attention, this Crusader still has yet to finish a set dungeon.

Ah, the elusive set dungeon. Truth be told, most everyone who isn’t playing a hardcore character (or didn’t kill their first one off like I did) had no issue getting their first complete set of armor, allowing them entry into the exclusive club known as set dungeons. Nay, they had Haedrig’s Gift on their side, and they completed all of the objectives needed to earn that full set of gear, and they triumphed over their dungeon and perhaps moved onto other set dungeons. My stupid luck meant that I had only one Haedrig’s Gift to reap on this character, as the other two fell into the ether once my Barbarian died. The last gift contained only one set piece I could use, as I had already found the other via RNG (grinding). I have since been grinding quite a bit. I pushed through the 20 levels of Greater Rifts required for the last gift a week or more ago. I’ve earned a bunch of paragon points along the way and have increased the difficulty each time things started to feel easy. I’ve upgraded a legendary gem to rank 25, and a second to rank 10. I’ve found ancient weapons and armor. I have matching set rings. I have set pieces in almost every slot, legendaries in the rest. I’ve even nearly filled up my stash with more set gear, legendary gems, and legendary weapons and gear.

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At this point I have gear that will go to my other 70’s who aren’t seasonal after this season ends. I have four pieces of the Akkhan set, four pieces of the Invoker set, three pieces of the Light set, and two pieces of Blackthorne armor. This isn’t counting duplicates that I broke down for components. I really don’t care which set is completed first, I just want one to be complete so that I can get the last bit of the season journey done and probably go back to not playing Diablo III for a while. At least, til they add something new or refresh the seasons once again. I feel like I have had my fill, but I want to finish what I’ve started. It will also be fun to flesh out my other 70’s whom I’ve spent less time on but have some gear waiting for them in my stash.

At this point I just want to share my personal build for the Crusader:

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I’m running Slash with the Zeal rune which gives 1% attack speed for 3 seconds, stacking up to ten times. This combined with the Heavenly Strength passive means I can still sword/board with two handers and attack a bit fast during sustained fights. Fist of the Heavens with Divine Well rune means the initial strike of lightning spreads out to other enemies. AOE is killer on Crusaders. Akarat’s Champion with the Hasteful rune gives my Crusader extra damage, wrath regen and attack speed (this really helps with elites/bosses). Condemn with the Unleashed rune makes the damage instant, and this is another great AOE tool. Combining that with my first Kanai’s Cube power, from the Blade of Prophecy makes the Condemn trigger multiple times. Bombardment with Impactful Bombardment rune makes for a stronger damaging single projectile. I have a proc from one of my set pieces that makes this effect trigger twice. Finally, Falling Sword with Flurry is a great engage/escape tool. You leap into the air and come slamming down, and then a ring of swords pops out that continuously damages nearby enemies (also staggers weaker ones). My other three passives are Indestructible (death prevent), Holy Cause (+10% damage – helps to offset the -% damage from Heavenly Strength), and Vigilant (health regen and -20% damage).  The other two Kanai’s powers are from the Death Watch Mantle (25-35% chance on receiving damage to shoot out fan of blades causing 750-950% weapon damage) and Countess Julia’s Cameo (prevents all Arcane damage and heals for 20-25% of the amount prevented). Also, here are my paragon points at this time:

Mainly keeping with the themes of more attack speed, sustain, and some other defensive stats. Overall I have found this build to work really well for me. Perhaps it will work well for you too.

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.

Down and Dirty in Season 5

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or perhaps don’t give two shits about MOBAs, you’d know that Season 5 of League of Legend’s competitive season has started. I spoke about it a little bit in my last post, where I had done some of my provisional ranked games to see where I’d end up. Well, I managed to finish those off since then, and have even played a couple more games beyond that.

When I finished up my 10 games, I had one 4 and lost 6. That sounds pretty horrible — and it is — but I managed to still start off in Bronze I, which is actually better than where I started when I first played ranked back in Season 3. That year I ended up in Bronze III and had to work my way up to Bronze I, then promote into Silver V, where I stopped as the season ended. It had been my goal to get to Silver that year, and I accomplished that goal. I had planned on shooting for Gold last year, and I don’t remember why I never played. I just didn’t. So I resolved to try for that goal this year. Starting off in Bronze I means I have to promote into Silver and then run up the ranks there to get to Gold. I don’t think it will be too difficult, but we’ll see.

Since finishing my provisional games, I have played two more, one loss and one win. So currently I’m 5/7 on the season, which isn’t great by any stretch, but I don’t care as long as I meet my goals. So far I have had the best luck running Braum support, but I have won a game with Sona and Corki as well. I haven’t had any luck playing top so far, despite feeling pretty good at the role — I’ve had bad teams or bad games that didn’t result in wins. I have 27 league points currently, so a few more wins and I’ll be ready to promote into Silver. That will be pretty quick, and there’s still nearly the whole year ahead of me. I did get a game in with a fellow blogger and ranked player — Nitocris that resulted in a win, and that was cool to have a duo queue partner. So yeah, you can view my match history here if you’re interested.

In other League related news, Patch 5.2 is coming down the pipeline already. Here’s a video primer:

The biggest points are the removal of Deathfire Grasp (which I never really used, even when I play mid), and a new featured game mode in the works called “Nemesis Draft.” Interested to see what that’s going to be about, which should roll around when the Lunar Revel starts up soon. There are other tweaks and fixes, the Tristana rework and more, but you can check the full notes for more info.

Riot put out another one of those creative “artsy” videos that they are famous for. This time they decided to make a music video, and it’s focusing on Amumu, The Sad Mummy. I’m sure he’s sad because he doesn’t get played too much anymore. The whole thing is rather depressing, but you can see for yourself:

Lastly on the League front, there has been a new chunk of music released. Like the Pentakill album before it, this is a full CD’s worth of music, downloadable for free. This time around it’s more of the music of League itself, and I haven’t listened to it yet so I can’t comment on how good it is/isn’t. But free stuff is always nice right? You can go download your free copy of the album over here. It’s listed as “Volume 1” so I assume that means more of this will be coming out eventually. If you’re a video game music lover, this is for you.

That’s about all the news that’s come out recently. If you are playing League of Legends this season and want to duo, drop me a line. I’m Izlain on the Rift as well, so just do a search. Otherwise, happy gaming, where ever you find yourself!!

#leagueoflegends #patchnotes #music #season5