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    dkirschner's Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PC)

    [August 26, 2021 09:29:32 AM]
    It's been over a week since I finished this. It was a grind. I played Diablo III, what, a decade ago? My then-new computer came with a free key for it, so it was a rare "day one" experience. If you recall, with Diablo III, the day one experience wasn't fantastic. Two things stand clear in memory from back then: (1) the auction house was horrible because it incentivized pure grinding for gold and (2) elite monsters were pains in the ass often because they had ridiculously large health pools. But also, I played some with a friend back then and enjoyed co-op. A lot has changed!

    I picked up Reaper of Souls a while back and was waiting for the Rise of the Necromancer expansion to go on sale before playing it. I got tired of waiting and bought it just to play as a necromancer, which was one of my favorite classes in Diablo II. Who doesn't want to raise an army of undead? Was it worth it though? Overall, the necromancer character was really cool: dark, moody, sarcastic. The level of fun varied depending on how far along the skill tree I was and the difficulty level. As a class, the major advantage is that you are largely shielded from attacks since you can have about a dozen minions running around at any one time. The only really dangerous enemies are the ones that relentlessly attack you (e.g., bosses or elites with lasers).

    I started from level 1, act 1. When I logged on and saw my level 60 barbarian, I did have a moment of "well, maybe I should just play the new content and save time..." I'm glad I didn't because, even though the game was a grind, I enjoyed having the full experience, beginning to end. The game is basically how I remember, minus the auction house, and plus a lot of optional lore. I think the lore was probably there before, but either was expanded, or I just don't remember. Also, plus CRAZY DIFFICULTY LEVELS!

    I started on "normal." This makes sense. Normal is the base game, no bonuses, no extra challenge. The game was simple, so I bumped it up to Hard (+75% xp and gold, nice!). It was still easy, and somewhere around here I completed act 1 and got a socketed helmet from the boss that increased the power of any gem slotted in it by like 83%. Rubies increase experience when put in helmets. From my previous playthrough, I had some powerful rubies, so I put one in that increased XP by 30% or something. With the socket bonus, that was roughly 55%. With the difficulty bonus, that was roughly 130%. Nice.

    The game was still easy, and it seemed like I was starting to be over-leveled. So I changed the difficulty again to the highest available, "Torment 1," which granted +300% XP and gold. Plus 55% from the helmet = 355%. Nice. I cannot convey how absurd the game became! I was leveling up SO FAST. I think I was over level 60 by the end of act 3. Note that the level cap is 70 and there are 5 acts. So yeah, the enemies were way harder, but I was ridiculously over-leveled such that, for a long time, I was untouchable. Eventually though, the difficulty ramped up (I was basically getting one-shot), and I lowered it back down to something more reasonable sometime in act 4 before fighting Diablo. I finished the game at level 70 with like 30 paragon levels (levels achieved after 70). All said, I loved the weird difficulty. It is so specific that you can find the perfect challenge for your level, play style, gear, or whatever. I just looked and there are 10 "Torment" levels. I don't know how one unlocks them, but wow. I saw people linking weapons with insane stats in the general chat, and I guess they are playing on these highest difficulties.

    As the difficulty went up and down, my fun did as well. Too hard? Get one-shot and take forever to kill elites. Not fun. Too easy? Steamroll through, pretty fun. Just right? Great balance of threats and rewards. As a necromancer, my favorite skill was corpse explosion. The more you kill, the more corpses you can explode. So for me, that was incentive to keep the difficulty down enough such that I could explode corpses constantly. I mean, I really loved exploding corpses. Other necromancer skills were not as cool, and the class really stagnated. At some point, you've got all your skills, and you just unlock little tweaks to them. Those tweaks are usually like "who cares?" So for most of the game, I used the same abilities with pretty much the same tweaks. This made it feel grindy too, not just because you're literally grinding through monsters, but because it's very much like repeating the same skill combinations over and over and over ad nauseum.

    I persevered and killed all the things. The world is safe once again...for now.
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    dkirschner's Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 5 August, 2021

    GameLog closed on: Monday 16 August, 2021

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Necromancer is fun so far. Normal mode is ridiculously easy. ------ Playing with difficulties is fun.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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