You’ll need to speak up, though- he’s a little hard of hearing.
It’s rare that I’ll devote an entire post to gaming but it’s one of those moments like on the 15th of May 2012. Everything was set: the collector’s edition was mine, the classes were planned out, and- oh, sweet mother of baby lambs- ERROR 37! Not again. What I didn’t realise then is that Error 37 was the final boss of Diablo III- if you could overcome him you were on the home straight.
Joking aside, it wasn’t a great time if you had expected a lot from the sequel.
For those who don’t follow me closely enough that you know I spent many years enslaved with (see: thoroughly enjoying) Diablo II here’s a screenshot that summarises my experiences in that game. It represents the pinnacle of many hours of building Barbarians, testing skills, farming items, hunting the bosses, slaying the Act bosses. It’s all there and you’ll get a taste for what I spent several hours on when you see it. Presenting, for your viewing pleasure- the pinnacle of my Diablo II achievements-
I was one of the many who were wary of Reaper of Souls when it was first announced. It had all the best intentions and had all the systems that would allow you to build whichever characters you pleased, while it didn’t feature the auction house- which is incorrectly noted as the bane of the initial release- so everything was good. Right? Right. There was a lot of promise in the first release of the sequel and a lot of that fell flat on its face. Incorrectly the auction house has been given as a blanket explanation for stifling progress. Which is and isn’t true.
It’s true to the extent that you can’t really progress effectively through Inferno without the use of it (at least in the original patch). However, it’s untrue as that wasn’t the reason you couldn’t progress- it was the means by which you could progress. It was the generally poor itemisation that made the items you found generally useless. In two-three hours of running MP3-5 on my Barbarian I would rarely find anything worth taking home other than for the purpose of salvaging.
The new loot system promised to fix that- but could it? Would it? Did it? Well, I can say it did fix a number of the problems.
For characters re-entering the fold with an existing character under Lvl 60 just crafting equipment shows a massive power gap between the two. Items are pretty much build defining. You can find some amazingly good legendaries like a Mempo of Twilight I have on my Wizard that defies anything I could ever have found before. Not to mention, the new showering of Marquise and Imperial gems which are going to massively redefine the way you play and what you can socket.
The skills have been redesigned around creating unique, interesting, and diversified mechanics. In some cases there are classic Diablo II skills like Glacial Spike and Frozen Orb coming back as rune modifications on Wizard skills and they are as awesome as they were to begin with. Sure, it’s borrowing heavily from Diablo II in places- but it’s better than what we had.
If you’ve played Diablo III but didn’t enjoy it, the new patch for Reaper of Souls (bringing the new systems and mechanics) is up. Give it a go. You might be surprised.
There’s a post coming shortly about my artistic efforts over the last two weeks as well. I haven’t been sitting dormant. I do have things to share but they’re not pieces (sadly) but something just as cool. For now, however, I’m off to a meeting with death. Hopefully he likes his coffee as black as his unholy soul. I know I do.