Sunday, October 21, 2012


A few days ago I was asked by a somewhat opinionated colleague of mine, what was in fact 'wrong' with me to still be playing Diablo 3? Apparently everyone else in the world had 'quit', so my persistence with it was seen to be unnatural.

Am I still REALLY playing Diablo 3? Well ... yes. So it seems anyway. I don't quite know what has compelled me to return to the world of endless hordes of demons to mow through (though its probably that), but I have fired up the old girl to see what has changed in the world of Diablo. Alot, it seems. In particular, the buffing of Legendary items, changing of drop rates and addition of both monster power level and the Infernal Machine. Should I ever choose to level another character (quite likely), one can now finally say "fuck you" to the default easymode difficulty and ramp the monster power level as high as they can handle. This should at least provide a more engaging and dangerous experience for newcomers ... which is unlikely to happen. While most of the super casual (i.e. non Inferno/60) players have moved on, unfortunately they have taken a large chunk of Diablo 3's reputation with it.

Many people were apparently unsatisfied with the game, partly due to conforming opinions (i.e. everyone else doesn't like it so I don't like it either). While I still think many of these people were expecting of and playing the game for entirely the wrong reasons (i.e. narrative, perfectly attuned item drops, fast/challenging leveling immediately etc), I can honestly say that I don't miss their presence. Diablo 3 has begun to turn into a gem of a game without Blizzard appealing to the squealing masses and the game is on road to becoming something I will frequent in the future.

After dabbling a bit into Torchlight 2, I have decided on one simple, honest truth. Diablo 3 is a superior game. I have no bias towards either game or their parent company, but when it comes to straight up, non-skill capped game play, Diablo 3 trumps a game like Torchlight on almost every aspect. An example of this is the fact that I have found an even more powerful and interesting build than the apparently confusing one I was using before. I say this because several Barbarian friends I introduced my old build to (dubbed 'Riding the Walrus') found the build to be too complicated. I feel this is because they didn't understand the purpose of it, or realise its true potential (i.e. near complete invincibility), perhaps not having witnessed it first hand themselves. Watching someone else or a video is very different than doing something yourself. Nevertheless, the new build, which is far simpler, involves using a huge 2 hander, leaping into packs of stuff and doing enormous burst AoE and direct damage, using straight lifesteal as your main means of survival (besides defensive stats of course). While this probably means very little to anyone reading this blog and while there is obviously a bit more to it then that, I will say I have dubbed the build 'Nuking', for that is exactly what it feels like. It is also incredibly fun. Observe.

While Riding the Walrus is an incredibly strong build, it unfortunately lacks some oomph, which can make its undertaking a little underwhelming. With Nuking, the visceral and destructive power I felt as a barbarian while leveling has returned. While it is not as safe as Riding the Walrus, it is powerful enough to handle Inferno content on as high as monster power level 5, which is good enough.

Why am I back to playing Diablo 3 again? I am not entirely sure. I think it offers a satisfying game play experience that I don't think many people encountered, perhaps due to their own personal playstyles. For me, the semi-theorycrafting, bloodthirsty, honour bound lunatic, the way I play the game is enjoyable and so I enjoy playing the game. It is really as simple as that.

... or maybe its just the numbers +_+

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