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    dkirschner's Diablo III (PC)

    [September 11, 2012 10:12:26 AM]
    Ok last entry about Diablo and I'll shut up. It seems like every time I play something happens that makes me want to contradict what I said earlier. So I came home from work tonight and sat down to just try a little of Inferno by myself. P and I had cleared through Act 2, so I figured I could do Act 1 alone. 5 minutes later and I was crying of boredom. You have to go real slow by yourself in Inferno or else die a lot, so the fast pace and 'joy' of killing things that was my (1) earlier is somewhat stifled in Inferno, especially alone. Also, elite packs are annoying. Sometimes they have the super deadly combinations, and if they don't then a lot of times they'll have like Extra Life or Shield or one of these stupid ones that makes them take for freaking ever to kill. That's boring in co-op too. I think the elites take too long to die. I actually prefer the hard ones to the long-lasting ones because at least there's a challenge with the arcane/jailer/molten ones instead of standing there holding the left mouse button for 3 minutes.

    Second thing I said earlier, that the upgrading was more interesting than I thought, is also false upon further inspection. I used the auction house and finished decking out my barbarian in level 60 stuff. It took probably 30 minutes total. And in the hour I played with P and in the, I dunno, 3 hours I played online tonight, I got 0 upgrades. So forget upgrading.

    The fifth thing I said earlier was that there were supposed to be other things to look forward to doing, like acquiring all kinds of gear sets and getting Paragon levels and starting another character. I already said no to the latter two, and it turns out the 'acquiring gear' is a pain. The stuff I bought off auction was cheap, but it turns out that's because it isn't the high-end desirable stuff, even though it is good enough for me to wade around in Act 3 Inferno (which I beat with a group tonight, twice!). I mean, I still die a lot and don't do much damage, but I have good starter gear for Inferno I guess. So you're supposed to build your character up and get better gear. I went online and checked out barbarian websites for character builds and stat priorities and whatnot, saw a couple interesting ones, and decided to buy a couple items according to their stat specifications. I had been focusing on strength and vitality, then life on hit, life percentage, all resistances. So I have a ton of HP, over 60,000, more than I've even seen anyone have, but I still die easier. Not exactly sure why. Anyway, the stats for these barbarian builds are more attack stuff like crit chance and crit damage, along with strength, vitality, life on hit. That combination of stats on items costs like millions of gold. Like even hundreds of millions of gold. For reference, at level 60-1, I have under 200,000. So I obviously cannot afford to purchase anything. So what people do is build magic find sets and go farm. Uuuuh, that sounds fun. Not. They build magic find sets and then hope to get good stats on items they find to use or sell for big bucks. This involves repeating the exact same couple of farming spots over and over and over and over forever (because you're never done upgrading). Sounds like raiding but a hundred times more monotonous.

    So the only one that really stands is playing with friends. Random people are alright too, but I'm glad to finally be able to jump in games with people I know in real life. With that said, I will just see them from time to time in-game, and I am done playing by myself and without people I know because I see no point. I did just go in on a preorder 4-pack of Torchlight 2, so hopefully that doesn't overshadow Diablo too bad!
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    [September 11, 2012 04:31:59 AM]
    Resolved a couple issues I had with the game going forward. I might have stayed up all night last night clearing Hell difficulty. I did Act 1 alone, then partied for Acts 2,3,4. It's hard to leave a group when you're flying along because you get caught up in the success. I did learn a few things.

    First, the game is just fun. It's a joy to run around killing and looting things. It's hard to argue with the simplicity of that.

    Second, the upgrading game is keeping me interested. I thought it wouldn't, but for now it is. Once you move from Hell to Inferno (the last difficulty), there's a HUGE boost in item power. The level 60 items are like whoa. I mean there's a huge range. 1-handed weapons can be from like 200 DPS to 1200 DPS; 2-handers from 300 to 1600 or so. I finished Hell using a sword and board, the 1-handed sword being something like 300-400 DPS. And I had, I don't exactly remember, maybe 20,000 HP. Well, the last thing I did before logging off was ogle the auction house and replace about half my things. Hell sword = 300-400 DPS. New Inferno sword from auction house = 800+ DPS. Old Hell 2-handed sword = 400+ DPS; New Inferno 2-handed sword = 1200 DPS. My HP went from 20,000-ish to where it is now sitting comfortably at just under 50,000. So the odd small upgrade may not get me excited, but I do love the massive jumps here.

    Third, the auction house is important. I do enjoy buying and selling things. Particularly buying them. For cheap. All the stuff I replaced cost me maybe 50,000 total, which was like 1/4 of my gold. Okay, 1/4 of my gold to seriously overhaul my character? Yes, please. I have 3 stash pages of rares to sell too, and I can make a lot. The 100-item limit though is making me feel like I have to compulsively check on auctions to list new things.

    Fourth, I can play with friends! I logged on once this afternoon to check my auctions and P was online and invited me. I'm level 60, and he's level 60-5. I was at the beginning of Act 1 Inferno and he was stuck on the last boss in Act 3 Inferno. So we weren't too too far apart. I mean, I closed the gap since Friday. So he came and ported me to the ends of Act 1, 2, and 3. We killed the Act 1 and 2 bosses, and wiped a bunch on Azmodan in Act 3. So now we're at the same spot. Pretty cool. And I can play with any of my other friends I like now that I've opened up almost the entire game.

    Fifth, other things to do looking forward. From talking with other people, I know that the game supposedly changes at Inferno/level 60, kind of like WoW changes at max level. So far, Inferno doesn't seem particularly hard. P and I breezed through Act 1 and 2, maybe died a couple times on the Act 2 boss. Act 3 ramped up considerably though, so that might be a gear check. So you do have to focus on upgrading gear, and I guess it's cool that it's not upgrading just for the sake of upgrading, but upgrading in order to complete Inferno. But I'm sure I could join a party and beat Inferno that way, and then what is the point of continuing to collect gear? Is that the 'end' of the game or is there more still to do? Does it become upgrading for the sake of upgrading after that? I suppose that's where the paragon levels come in. You get +3% magic find and gold every paragon level, so I suppose that would help you deck out other characters and what not. But I DO NOT want another character or anything, so then again, the point after completing Inferno is what?

    Until then, I have figured out that I can build some sets for specific situations, like a broad DPS set and a vitality set. I can have items to focus on life steal, and I can make a resistance set. Those elites are bastards and I figure resistance helps immensely. P and everyone else I know have magic find sets to help them get more rares and the chance for an upgrade. Will I bother with that just to get upgrades? Which is the easiest way to get upgrades? Magic find or buy on auction? Or magic find to get the gold to fund the auctions? Crafting? Who knows. I feel I cannot rest until I find more answers to these questions. I used to have dreams about Diablo 2. I wouldn't be surprised if Diablo followed me to sleep soon too.
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    [September 9, 2012 11:47:41 AM]
    I totally binged on Diablo 3 this weekend and it was pretty sweet. I'd pre-ordered it like a year ago and when it came out I played it two or three times over the first 2 days it was out in May, one character with friends and one character to get the story alone. The multiplayer is way too fast paced to hope to enjoy the story. Everyone just clicks through all the dialogue and cut scenes and quests, so I recommend playing normal difficulty alone, then joining groups as you please for the rest.

    So after I finished Deus Ex, I figured I'd try Diablo again. Several of my friends have been playing it off an on since May and have been bugging me for months about playing with them. I also watch P play it maybe once a week, so I've been intrigued. Anyway, Friday came around and I decided to take my Barbarian who was level 15 and see how far I could get through Normal. There are 4 difficulty levels: Normal, Nightmare, Hell and Inferno. So turns out the game is pretty short and Normal is pretty easy, so I hacked and slashed my way through Acts 2, 3, and 4 on Friday night and killed Diablo. After I killed Diablo I started wondering why the hell would I want to play again 3 more times through all the difficulty levels. Blizzard has made it so you level up through all 4 difficulties. I finished Normal at level 30 or so I think.

    Today I figured, what the hell, I'll take on Nightmare, and I grouped up with people all day and killed Diablo on Nightmare after a while. I had good groups, no deaths on bosses, and I think this isn't typical and made me think it was easier than it should have been. I'm pretty sure a lot of these players are on alt characters and just have awesome weapons and things from their other characters. I tried to move on to Hell, but apparently there are level caps, and I was one level shy at 49. So I went and tried to solo act 4 Nightmare but it was impossible for me! Diablo ripped me to shreds. So I joined a public game and we made it to Diablo, but died a handful of times. The shadows are freaking hard. There were 4 of us, and 2 left after several failed attempts. Me and the other guy started working on changing tactics, skills equipment. I changed a bunch of skills over a few attempts from my typical (up until then) multi-target attack focus to defensive, life leech, and oh-shit-button skills, and equipped a shield for the first time ever, and they are damn useful for mitigating damage! I was definitely the weak link in our group of 4 - I had way less HP and seemed to do less damage, as well as died the most. But me and this other guy, a sorceress I think, ended up doing just fine and we won. So Normal was simple, Nightmare ramped up the difficulty toward the end, and so far Hell is what it sounds like. I've gone through part of act 1 and I feel the progress will slow considerably. I feel like I need much better gear. And I've changed skills and tactics and such to hunker down and become more defensive, which seems to help a great deal.

    Speaking of gear, the auction house is AWESOME. You can list 10 items at a time for gold, and they pretty much always sell. People also buy items at very high (to me) prices. I list things now at a minimum of 1000% markup. At the same time, people seem to sell things for cheap. I guess I mean there's a wide range of prices that people are willing to buy and sell at, which is good for both buyers and sellers if people always buy your stuff and sell what you need. So I've been playing the auction house big time. I have two full stashes of rares to list. I regularly buy big upgrades for as cheap as I can. The last thing I did tonight was try to purchase a set, but I messed up and wasted a lot of money! Apparently there's something called a legendary set, which is the same items as the normal set with its set name, but the individual items have different names (same stats, so I'm unsure exactly how they differ). Anyway, I tried to buy a 3-set for a life leech bonus and I bought 2 of the normal and 1 of the legendary set, wondering if they would work together, but they don't! So I had to go spend money on another piece. I'll sell the extra one later, but this set was expensive. I think I paid in total for the four pieces like 85,000 gold, which was like combined the cheapest buyout price of each piece.

    So, that brings me back to the point of it all. What is it? I play through Hell, the same thing I've already played twice just this weekend. Then I'm supposed to go play through Inferno. Then I'm supposed to go grind for better equipment. And Blizzard added 'Paragon levels' the other week, so once you hit level 60, you start on another leveling track from 1-100, each level giving you more gold find and magic find, so you can have a higher chance to find more and better gear. I see the cycle here, and the motivation I suppose is to come primarily from upgrading your character. So like P is level 60-5 or something. But for real, who cares? I have like 20 games sitting on my shelf where I can go level up a character but listen to a different (and probably better) story. I wonder if this gear cycle can keep people entertained like it used to. It worked in Diablo 2, it's worked for years in MMOs, but the gear cycle has been around a while now, and I know a lot of people are conscious of the gear cycle and see it as relatively pointless. I used to love this kind of thing. I still like it, but I decided I'd rather go through new games or play no games than just do the same thing and farm gear. But then there's the whole social aspect that I like too, and that I end up feeling obligated to play for. I know like 20 people who play Diablo and I could find another 20. When I played today and that sorceress and I killed Diablo in Nightmare, it was great. We chatted for a few minutes and added each other and I wouldn't mind playing with that person again. I also was originally planning to play with P months ago, but he ended up leaving me behind. So should I catch up? Maybe have him run me through Hell and beginning Inferno? Then what will we do? Farm items? Play alts? I don't want an alt. Then that would be 4, 5, 6, 789 times playing through the same game. First-world problems, man.
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    [May 15, 2012 08:55:42 AM]
    Diablo 3 is out! Surprisingly the servers handled all the traffic. We couldn't log on for about the first hour and a half because the servers were busy/full, but after that, no problems. Minor lag spikes here and there that quit after a couple hours. P and I logged on. He made a Monk and I made a Barbarian because I want to whirlwind everything..but no whirlwind until level 20! It's all good because I made it to 15 before I stopped, so not too much longer. We had been on for 5 minutes when Am and Ad made it through, and we all partied together for a good hour before P had to leave. Four-player is not hard at all. The difficulty scales, but I also saw that 4 was easier than 3, 3 easier than 2, and I suppose 2 probably easier than 1, but I haven't played alone yet. I don't think I used a single health potion until it was just me and Am.

    Things I like: Looks great, feels great, very high production value. It is weird playing a game, any game, where you can't manipulate the camera in any way. I find myself wanting to look at the environment but I can't. No matter, because what I can see is gorgeous, the lightning effects in particular.

    There is a surprising amount of depth to the combat. I thought it would just be all hack and slash, left-click left-click left-click, but lo and behold there is thinking involved! Okay, with 4-player, it was pretty mindless. We went on an utter rampage. But when it was just me and Am, we were pausing to strategize, to talk about skills and specs, etc. So this depth comes with very few buttons, but each button is highly customizable. You have your left and right mouse clicks, then hotkeys 1-4. Each of these inputs has like 4 skills that you learn as you level up. So left click has 4 skills, right click has 4 different skills, 1 has 4 different skills, etc. You can only bind 1 skill of the 4 to each button at any time, but you can change which skill that is very easily and (I think) in the midst of combat as long as the skill you want to move isn't on cooldown. Then each skill has like 5 runes you can augment the skill with, which you can also change at will. So, for any given button, you have 4 or so skills and 5 or so runes. That's like 20 combinations FOR EACH BUTTON. And you have 6 buttons. And there are 5 classes.

    One of these probably suits 99.99% of people's play styles. There are CC options, single-target options, AoE options, life leech options, knockback, + damage, cleaves, mobility options, a crazy amount of stuff. THEN on top of that you have your equipment! As a barbarian, do I want to focus on HP, strength, finding magic items, life leech, or all of the above? Do I want to be more defensive with a sword and shield or more offensive with a massive 2-handed weapon? There are so many combinations and so many situations within which to use them. I 'respecced' more than a few times in the few hours I played. For some reason I kept finding more powerful 1-handed weapons than 2-handed ones, so I spent the entire time with a sword and shield, which led me to more defensive combinations of skills and runes. Am says that though 2-handed weapons have roughly the same damage as 1-handed ones, they have a wider arc and hit more enemies to make up for it. I dunno about that, but I figure I'll try it out soon. I went all out with offensive abilities during 4-player, played around with different combinations when there were 3 of us, and hunkered down to a defensive AoE combination when it was just Am and I. He did the same. When it was Am and Ad and myself (they were both wizards), they decided one of them would go AoE and one single target. I find this huge range of options empowering, and it amazes me that by level 10 after just an hour or two, we are talking all this spec and strategy.

    Needless to say, the game is VERY easy to pick up and get into. You just kill kill kill and loot loot loot. Everything is streamlined. The only consumables are health potions. No scrolls of any kind. Everyone gets a town portal spell. You can teleport nearly anywhere instantly, including right next to any other player character in your game. There is a story, though I had no clue what was going on because Am and Ad were moving so quickly (they both played beta). It bothered me at first, but by the end I couldn't have cared less. The story is just the context for killing and looting. It could be about unicorns and cupcakes and I'd probably have just as much fun. That said, I am interested in it, especially since it's obvious so much work went into designing the world of Sanctuary, and I'd like to play alone or just with P at a slower pace sometime.

    Things I didn't like: As fun as killing and looting my way through Hell is, at the end of the day, that's all it is, and I've done it before. Sure, Diablo 3 is by far the best example of this type of game I've ever played, hands down, but this hack-and-slash type of game isn't what I want anymore. When I was a teenager, I played the shit out of Diablo and Diablo 2. I had a bunch of high level characters, I'd go on Mephisto runs and Baal runs. I knew how many Stones of Jordans anything else was worth. My brother was a 'scammer' and sold Diablo 2 items on eBay with his friends after school and I used to really enjoy watching them trick people out of their items...a bit mean, sure, but it was funny because people kept falling for it. Anyway, point being, this is another game you can find an excuse to play over and over because you can ALWAYS get better items. It never ends! I understood that to some extent when I quit playing Diablo 2 in my dorm room freshman year of college trying to acquire all of every set piece (my friend and I kept a tally). When I REALLY understood what it is to play a game that doesn't end was that final disenchantment with WoW last year, that had been building for some time, that I only couldn't stop bothering with because I had to raid and maintain relationships with guild people for work...not that I didn't like the guild people, but I just had to do it, and at some point I realized I could do that forever. Until some new genre comes along and (pretends like it) offers something new that doesn't end, I've no interest in maxing character levels and repeating the same content over and over. So on some level, yeah, this is disappointing because there's a certain magic when you can become so involved with a game so as to play it endlessly, and I' wise? jaded? experienced?...enough to see through the smoke and mirrors. It kills some of the twinkly-eyed magic, but knowing how the tricks work doesn't depreciate their value. A great game is still a great game.
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    dkirschner's Diablo III (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 15 May, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Friday 28 September, 2012

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Intense! ---------- Ok, it's fun the first time or two through, then the difficulty ramps into Inferno and it becomes tedious as hell. Upgrades are ridiculously few and far between and it turns into a massive grindfest that you can't hope to best alone.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on Diablo III

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    2 : Diablo III (PC) by Slee35 (rating: 5)
    3 : Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PS4) by jp (rating: 5)


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