Archive for the ‘Diablo 3’ Category

“My Current State of Affairs in Diablo 3” or “Endgame Has a Whole New Meaning!”

June 12, 2012 4 comments

Diablo 3 is a very easy game in normal. You blast through most of everything that you come across. I don’t think there was a single boss fight where I wiped more than once (except Belial – took a while to learn him because of the many phases of the fight), and you can complete the whole experience very quickly and rather heroically. Nightmare was also quite easy, I didn’t have too much trouble beating back much of anything at all. Hell Act 2 was where things got complicated. By the third quest, I realized that I was death-zerging elites, and occasionally dying to white monsters. The situation got so dire, I played around with nearly eight different build setups, and tried to upgrade my gear as much as I could.

And then I discovered the joy of Zombie Bears.

Then I hit level 60, and got myself a 600 DPS Ceremonial Knife and some other minor upgrades. My in-town DPS was 10,476.3. But with that much, I absolutely tore through the rest of Hell difficulty, literally ripping apart anything that came my way. Only a few fights gave me pause. These included Belial: Stage 3, the “lickers” in Act 3, and any combination of “Fast Vampiric” or “Invulnerable Minions”. Hell, in short was a blast.

Then I got to Inferno, and the bulk of Act I, I played very prudently, only going after my primary objectives, never veering from the beaten path, and managed to get to the Halls of Agony without too much trouble. The Spider Queen was problematic, and I wiped a good dozen times before I took her down, but I still managed to get through it with the same gear.

And then I entered Halls of Agony, and realized that it was a very aptly named place. I couldn’t survive anything above the normal monsters, and even those, especially the fast ones, would kick my ass. I had recently spent all my gold on fully upgrading my stash and training my JC and BS, so I was down to literally 30K gold, so I couldn’t exactly upgrade anything either. So at this stage I am just reduced to gold-farming. And in that regard, any tips?

Categories: Diablo 3

“Invulnerable Minions are Ridiculous” or “A List of Suggested Changes to Diablo 3”

June 8, 2012 6 comments

I am in Act 3 of Hell right now. My Witch Doctor has nearly 39,000 health, and despite a Zombie Bear build that tears through monsters, still seems to be a glass cannon! Couple that with some of the craziest combinations for rare and elite mobs (Vortex, Electrified, Mortar anyone), and the fact that they regenerate their health after you die, makes for a very frustrating experience. Just when I thought this game could not get any tougher, I came across invulnerable minions. What the hell are those things?! Invulnerable minions? Are you kidding me? The pack was an “Arcane Enchanted, Frozen, Invulnerable Minions” pack. So they spawned frost orbs that exploded for massive frost damage and froze you for a few seconds, purple orbs that spun lasers of doom that could decapitate you in a few seconds, and the main elite’s minions were completely impervious to any damage!

My solution, 9 times out of 10, has been to restart that part of the game. Why? Because Invulnerable Minions are bullshit!

Here is a short list of changes I would like to see made to Diablo 3. It is an evolving list, that I will eventually post on the Blizzard forums hoping for a response. Please let me know if you feel there are others that should be added:

  1. As a Witch Doctor, it is very frustrating to see my pet (or even followers) to charge into battle. If I see a rare or elite mob off screen, I would ideally want some preparation time to deal with its unique set of abilities. However, this preparation is completely negated by the fact that I have no control over my pets, followers or minions.
  2. Invulnerable minions are ridiculous. I am still able to combat a few of them because of my AoE abilities as a Witch Doctor, but I’d imagine they are hell to deal with for projectile based classes such as Demon Hunter or Wizard. I don’t know how to fix them, but if my first instinct is to just reload, something went wrong somewhere.
  3. There should be a “Spec Manager” or “Build Saver”. I find switching out frequently. It would be very helpful if we had an option to save a fe of our favorite build templates.
  4. On the Auction House, we should be able to search for an item (regardless of quality) by name.
  5. On the Auction House, with the search results, there should be more than five pages to scroll through at the bottom. There is plenty of space to do so.
  6. On the Auction House, the auctions and bids should be in separate tabs. The top portion is easy to scroll through, because the limit is 10 auctions. But you could have hundreds of bids.
  7. On the Auction House, we should get more options to filter items by sorting them by tables.
  8. On the Auction House, there should be filters to “not have” some stats. So if you wanted to search for gear with intel and vit, but no dex or str, you could.


Categories: Diablo 3

“How WoW Influenced Diablo 3” or “The Previous Title is Misleading”

May 30, 2012 6 comments

My Witch Doctor died a lot in Nightmare. It took some time and painful calibration to figure out how to help him survive, and so I also read a lot of opinion on the class. Interestingly, the one piece of advice I found to be pretty consistent is: “Don’t be lazy, grind. If you are dying a lot, it is not your abilities, play-style, or curve, it is your gear. Don’t be lazy, grind.”

I want to say that WoW has influenced this grind subtext, and that the “Everything Must Take Longer (TM)” has permeated into the core of Diablo 3, but Diablo has always been about the grind. The major change is that you don’t grind to level-cap, you level-cap and then grind to endgame, but the basic structure stays the same. I feel that the grind of WoW may have influenced it a little, as one form of grind influencing another results in a more grind-oriented approach to game design.

For example, I am constantly short on gold in Diablo 3. I have to spend it on repairs, buying new items that are an upgrade for my incredibly squishy Witch Doctor, to upgrade my jeweler and my blacksmith artisans, combining or removing gems, and I have to buy more stash space. I understand that your stash space is permanently unlocked, as are your Artisan abilities for all characters (on the same regional server and not hardcore). But it still means all of that has to be unlocked once, and so (at least) the first character is extremely grind oriented.

Then again, the AH flipper in my tells me I should just play the AH, make a ton of gold, and do whatever the hell I want to after.

What has your experience been?

Categories: Diablo 3

“Diablo 3 Rare/Elite Mobs Abilities” or “Vortex, Nightmarish, Mortar, Illusionist, What?”

May 29, 2012 10 comments

Struggling through the rares and elites in Diablo on my hyper-squishy Witch-Doctor has been complicated by the fact that these mobs can spawn with any combination of lethal abilities. After some search, I found a very useful post on, which clearly details all the abilities that rare and elite mobs may possess. This is invaluable information, so I thought I should share it as well. Thanks for putting it together Everamilli!

Here are the abilities that any given unique mob will have. They often come in groups of three and some of them can be rather tricky:

Nightmarish – Will drop a fear bomb and will send you and your companions running in fear for ~3 seconds.

Molten – Will leave a path of lava wherever they go; it will cause a small amount of damage continuously while you stand in the fire. Can cause a floor full of hurt if in a confined area. Also, upon death, the mob will explode causing a large amount of AoE damage.

Teleport – Will randomly teleport to an area in close vicinity. Try to keep them stunned. If they do teleport, best to use your gap closers here.

Vortex – Will suck you in toward them at random times. If you are a ranged, use knock backs and speed boosts naow.

Mortar – Will run from you and fire a barrage of ~5 or 6 fireballs in an arcing path. They can be avoided rather easily if you don’t get tunnel vision.

Knockback – Will knock you back randomly. Nothing you can really do but use a gap closer here as well.

Plagued – Will drop pools of green poison. Just kite them out of the pools and don’t stand in them.

Frozen – Will spawn up to five frozen orbs that will explode after a few seconds, causing damage to anyone in close proximity and freezing you in place for ~3 seconds.

Waller – Creates walls that can often trap you and your companion if you don’t move.

Jailer – Similar to Freezer (see above), will conjure a red circle that will root you for ~2 seconds.

Electric – Will continuously emit electrical pulses that crawl along the ground in 360 degrees.

Fast – Increased movement and attack speed. You can’t really outrun them, better to use knockback / stun.

Illusionist – Create copies of themselves with about 20% of their original HP. Really dangerous if they are in pack, as if they all use illusion at the same time, you’ll get circled by the copy and unable to escape.

Invulnerable Minions – Must kill the champion mob, minions take no damage (hence the invulnerable). Once the champion mob is killed, the minions die instantly. First Seen in Hell mode.

Arcane Enchanted – Mobs will spawn an orb that shoots out an arcane laser that will spin in one full circle before going away.

Shielding – Casts a shield around one of your enemies.

Vampiric – Every landed hit (including projectiles) will heal the mob.

Fire Chains – Will cause the champion mobs to connect via a fiery chain that will damage you if you cross it.

Health Link – When pack of mobs is near each other they share incoming damage from the party and every mob take only a % of total damage done. If mobs are away health link is broken. Can be seen as a dark red chain between mobs. Animation in flashing every few seconds only.

Avenger – When one of the mobs die, others in the pack become stronger. Last mob in the pack is going to enrage (becomes much bigger and gain red colors in his texture). Enraged mob is much faster and stronger.

Desecrator – Mobs create fire circle under party members that starts to burn you with fire damage 1 second after its creation.

Horde – The mob summons additional minions.

Missile Dampening – Slows all projectiles and spells around the mob.

Suicide Bomber – Will kamikaze you and explode, causing massive amounts of damage, while dropping no loot.

Categories: Diablo 3

“Will Torchlight 2 be Out Before Diablo III?” or “Just Let Me Hack-n-Slash Something!”

February 20, 2012 1 comment

There are some new screenshots for Torchlight 2 out. They are at the bottom of this post if that is all you came here for. Click after the jump.

Torchlight was a sleeper hit, and rightly so. It came out of a small studio, it wasn’t a “AAA” title, and no one expected it to be so damn addictive. But at the end of the day, Torchlight was a great hack-n-slash game that presumed very little, and delivered tremendously. When Torchlight 2 was announced, people joked that Torchlight 2 could be out before Diablo III. Given the silence from the Blizzard camp about their dungeon crawler’s release date, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

Lately though I am beginning to feel a little trepidation regarding Diablo III. The game is designed to be a grind-fest, where you run dungeons over and over again for better loot, higher levels, and more gold. With the addition of the RMT Auction House, the game actually encourages this gameplay, and from a designer’s perspective, why shouldn’t it? It implies players will spend more time in the game. But consider the fact that Blizzard most popular game of all time is an MMO, and I am beginning to wonder how much of the MMO grind may have permeated into the development mantra for Diablo III.

Look, I understand that the two games have separate development teams and that they are different genres and different universes, but at the end of the day there is an omnipotent authority over at Blue that directs all endeavors of the studio at the macro-level. I don’t think it would be unreasonable to assume that when faced with the question: “How do we keep players coming back to the game?”, someone with over a decade of experience with WoW would (in)advertently suggest an MMO grind concept, which would then would bleed into Diablo III. Because as much as I love MMOs, I hate the quintessential concept that exists in all of them: Everything. Takes. Longer. ™.

I know Diablo is a grind-y game by nature, but I hope elements in the game don’t get as bad as having to run Arathi Basin over three thousand times to get from neutral to exalted. Just sayin’.

“I’ve Got Good News” or “I’ve Also Got Bad News”

September 29, 2011 2 comments

I’ve Got Good News

Via WoW Insider, this is an incredible video of World of Warcraft recreated in MineCraft, and appropriately titled: Mine of WorldCraft. It hits closer to the heart because the player transmorgifies into a T2 Judgement Paladin, and the starting zone is Northshire. Brilliant!

I’ve Also Got Bad News

Blizzard will not announce it’s MMO at Blizzcon, so M2 Research senior analyst Billy Pidgeon, who predicted that this would happen, can suck it.

They will likely announce a Diablo 3 release date though!

“Why I am Glad Diablo 3 is Delayed” or “EA Won’t Let Me Play SW:TOR”

September 25, 2011 6 comments

Why I am Glad Diablo 3 is Delayed

There are a lot of high-profile titles coming in the next few months that will keep me quite occupied. Dead Island and Gears of War 3, two titles that I’d like to play, are already out. I just haven’t had the time to play anything else, so I have not bothered purchasing these titles yet. I am still working through my second run through Deus Ex: Human Revolution, still leveling my scantily clad made in WoW, and tinkering with the stupidly cute Shakes and Fidget browser game.

Game of Thrones: Genesis also comes out in four days. But I am not sure about that one. I am a hardcore fan of the excellent series by George R.R. Martin, and from what I have seen in the trailers, I have a bad feeling about this in my gut. Over the course of time, I have learned to trust my gut.

October will bring id Software’s latest foray into first person shooters in the form of Rage, the much-anticipated and pre-ordered Battlefield 3, and Batman: Arkham City. Rage is exciting because the studio is finally going for a new IP after so long. Battlefield 3 just looks sick, and Batman: Arkham Asylum was too good to pass up City.

In addition, one of the MMOs that I have always wanted to play extensively but the monthly subscription cost kept me away was Fallen Earth. The MMO is going free-to-play on October 12, so I will definitely be checking it out.

November will be hell month. We have Modern Warfare 3, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will release within the span of about a week. This, coupled with the releases in September and October (along with Champions Online, WoW and Fallen Earth) will keep me quite busy through the holiday season.

Hence, I am glad Diablo 3 has been delayed!

EA Won’t Let Me Play SW:TOR

“Hi EA, would you like my money?”

“No, we don’t like where you live.”

QQ, etc.