Tag Archives: Diablo 3

Can’t blog, Killing hellspawn…

14 May

I just wanted to throw up a quick poll to see what everyone plans on doing for D3 day (T-minus 12 hours and 36 minutes as of this moment).

So… I know a lot of you are going to be fighting mass quantities of hellspawn in a few hour’s time. Question is, WHAT will you be playing?

As for me? This is what i’m gonna be playing…

 

Monk vs Monk

7 Feb

So, this isn’t a Diablo 3 post. Or is it?

(no, it really isn’t)

(except in the parts where it is)

Sorry… I watched Eddie Izzard’s “Dress To Kill” last night, and i’m *still* not entirely sure if Engelbert Humperdink is alive or not, and if you catch that reference then good on you.

But no… This is not a D3 post.

Except it just might be.

…….okay i’ll stop.

I actually want to talk about the Monk class being given to us in Mists of Pandaria… but I also want to compare it to the Monk class given to us in Diablo 3. Perhaps there’s some serious corollaries there, or perhaps I am just talking out of my hat. Speculation is fun, and I don’t care if I am right or wrong. (Do you at least understand all the waffling between whether or not this is a D3 post? Good, cause I don’t either)

Now then. The monk in WoW has been relatively closely guarded, mechanic-wise thus far. What do we know about it? Well… We know they will have a tank/heal/dps spec. And……. hmm. I guess that’s about it, isn’t it? No, there are a few other things they’ve given us snippets of, but not a whole lot to work with really. However, I think we could draw some parallels between it’s cousin, the monk of Diablo 3.

Now, it is important to say that in Diablo 3 there is no such thing as “tank/dps/healer” really. If you’re in a group, you pretty much have to do all of them. You will get enemies on you, they will punch you in the face, and you will have to know how to take care of yourself. How you do that varies from class to class. Some classes have pets, some have nice utility in the form of snares and stuns and escapes, others just bring MASS AMOUNT OF FACE NUKING. They’re all equally effective, given your comfort with a given hero. Obviously, this is not the case in WoW, but I *do* think some similarities will be seen between the two.

I’m going to go ahead and link the talent calculator to you now, for easy reference.  Bam.

First off, one thing we DO know about monks in WoW is that they will have no auto-attack. They will use abilities to build up “chi” as their resource (except for the healer spec, if I remember correctly), and use that to set off other abilities. Well, monks in D3 have combo-abilities that build up their “spirit” resource, which they can then use for other abilities (everything in the “Spirit Builder” category).

Let’s look a little bit at the tanking aspect of monks. If you glance quickly through the Diablo monk’s talent calculator, you may notice some abilities such as “Mantra of Evasion”, and “Serenity” that definitely sound… tankish. You may also have noticed an ability called “Cyclone Strike”, which has a progenitor found in Death Grip, and a cousin in Gorefiend’s Grasp/Ursol’s Vortex (DK and Druid talents upcoming in MoP). Blinding Flash is a sort of minor avoidance cooldown mixed in with a warrior’s Shockwave, which could prove to be an interesting combination. “Seize the Initiative” is a passive ability that almost *screams* “TANK”. “Your armor is increased by 25% of your Dexterity (agility)”.

Looking further into the Passive skills, you can see “The Guardian’s Path” which reads an awful light like two spec bonuses (as they exist now) rolled together, doesn’t it? “When dual-wielding, you gain a 10% chance to dodge incoming attacks. While using a two-handed weapon, all Spirit (chi) generation is increased by 20%.”. “Fleet-Footed” is another passive that has found a common place in WoW, as movement speed increases are almost ubiquitous these days for both PvE and PvP. “Pacifism” (When Stunned/Feared/Charmed all damage taken is reduced by 75%) is pretty standard fare for a PvP talent, although the damage is much higher in that particular case.

Now obviously, i’m not going to go line by line, talent by talent (and DEAR LORD no, i’m not getting into all the runestone combinations, because this would be THE POST THAT DOESN’T END), but I think we could probably expect to see a fair amount of overlap between the Diablo monk and the WoW monk. I’ve got to admit though… the monk in Diablo is fun as hell to play, and it would make some of the other classes in WoW seem pretty boring by comparison. By the way… I’m not really going to make any comments on the healer aspect of monks in WoW, because I have honestly NO IDEA how that’s going to work out. Should be interesting, at the very least.

Diablo 3 – Talents and Runestones

28 Jan

I already briefly touched on the talent selections for Diablo 3, but I want to give a bit more detailed information on this unique approach to character powers. First off, here is a link to a workable talent calculator (much like what Wowhead has).

As I already mentioned, there are 9 spaces total that unlock as your character progresses. 6 active skill slots, and 3 passive skill slots. If you’re anything like me, you could easily spend a lot of time just tooling around with this calculator and seeing what you can come up with. The best part of this is that there is no right or wrong way to build your character. Whatever abilities you want to use, that’s what you can pick. The power is really in your hands.

Now, in addition to just the baseline talents, D3 introduces runestones that can augment or change the functionality of each individual active skill. You could sort of think of this like the glyph system in WoW, only the runestones attach directly to the skill instead of your talent tree as a whole.
There are 5 different types of runestones: Crimson, Golden, Alabaster, Indigo, and Obsidian (or red, yellow, white, blue and black). Each runestone will do something different depending on the active skill you attach it to. Unfortunatly, the runestones are not in the beta so my experience with them is limited to hearsay, and the limited information released by Blizzard.

The way I understand it is that there will be a different levels for each color of rune stone. This is a sort of way of adding extra power to your spells as you level, even after you’ve unlocked all the abilities for your class. Let me give an example using this very simple build. Mousing over the Cleave ability, you will see that it deals 115% weapon damage. Socketed with a crimson runestone (we’ll call this a level 4 crimson runestone) it increases the ability to 150% weapon damage.  Now a level 7 crimson runestone may give you 200% weapon damage, whereas a level 1 crimson runestone may only give 125% weapon damage. Another example would be this witch doctor build. Haunt, by itself does 500% weapon damage over 15 seconds. With a level 4 obsidian runestone socketed, it also slows the target by 37%. A level 7 obsidian runestone may slow the target by 60% whereas a level 1 obsidian runestone may only slow it by 10%.

The level cap in Diablo 3 is 60, but as you can see, you get no more new abilities at level 30. However, I feel that the runestone system is a way of giving new flavor to the abilities as you continue to progress past the point of getting new skills. As I understand it, socketing runestones doesn’t cost anything, but removing them in order to slip a new one in it’s place will. This cost will, presumably, scale with either your character’s level, or the runestone level you’re removing. At this point, I’m not sure how switching talents out will affect runestones. To me, the way that would make the most sense is to have a runestone tied directly to the active skill, and if you swap that skill out for another skill (say.. swapping Haunt out for Poison Dart), the runestone will stay attached to Haunt. This keeps you from having to spend unnecessary gold removing runestones you don’t want from new abilities, or from accidently destroying them. It also keeps you from having to go back into town every time you want to change out an ability (which is part of the reason they removed the Nephalem Altars in this most recent beta patch).

 

Diablo 3 – Patch day changes

25 Jan

Blizzard updated the D3 beta on Tuesday morning with beta patch 10. There are a couple of significant changes regarding things I’ve already posted about, so I figured it is probably worth it to make a new post and let you all know.

First – Pages and Tomes of training are removed from the game. Now, upgrading your crafting NPCs is simply a gold sink instead of something to gather for. All in all, I think its a pretty good change. Now upgrading your NPC is something that can be done on your own terms, instead of dependant on the amount of something you’ve picked up.

Second – the Nephralem Cube (used to break down items into crafting parts) has been removed from the game. Instead, the blacksmith will be able to salvage items for components. This change will add a little bit of extra time to your game, but isn’t particularly a bad thing. If nothing else, you may need to go back to town a little more often for bag space. Not a terrible change, all things considered.

Third – Grey and White quality items are no longer salvageable. Because of this, the white-quality components have been removed from the game. I actually really like this change. If you’ve played D1 or D2 then you know that there comes a point where its really not worth it to pick up grey or white items anymore, and this just makes the same true for D3. Plus, getting rid of unnecessary crafting components really streamlines the whole process. After a certain point the “common scrap” (previously received from salvaging greys and whites) would simply become redundant and time consuming at best, so this is a pretty good change overall. In the screenshot below you can see what the new tab looks like for salvaging gear via the blacksmith.

New Salvage Interface from Crafting NPC

 

 

 

 

Fourth – The Nephralem Altar has been removed. Unlike the first three, this is completely unrelated to crafting, but it is still something I briefly covered in my first Diablo post. The altar used to be where we would go to switch out our active and passive skills (unless you levelled up and unlocked a new slot, then you could just slap an ability into the mix). Now abilities can be changed anywhere, almost at will. The downside of this is that when you swap out an ability it triggers a 30 second cooldown. This cooldown prevents you from using the ability you swapped in, and prevents you from switching the ability out for something else.

If you think about it, this change makes sense. You can change your skills any time you feel like, but at the same time you can’t game the system and use a bunch of high-cooldown abilities back to back to back. This will, essentially, keep you out in the world more, while still making you have to pre-plan your skills.

There was a little bit more to this patch, but I mentioned those things specifically because they’re things I have discussed in my previous D3-centric posts. If you’re even slightly interested, you can see the full patch notes for Beta Patch 10 here.

Intro to Diablo 3 – part 2 – Crafting!

19 Jan

Alright! To continue on with my “Intro to Diablo 3″ series, i’m going to spend this post talking about the crafting system.

 This first screenshot is of your “stash”. This is basically your account’s bank. Unlike the banks in WoW, it is not character specific. This will span across every character you have on your account. There are also no “Bags” in the game. Instead, you buy pre-sized tabs (much more like a guild bank) with a certain number of slots (14) automatically given. There are 5 pages of slots of 5 14-box slots. Unlocking each one costs a bit of money (the first few are cheap, progressively getting more expensive as you open more pages).

 This screenshot is meant to point out the Nephalem Cube. This operates just like the “disenchant” ability from WoW. You click the cube, and then you click the item in your inventory or bank that you want to break down, and then crafting materials are automatically placed in your inventory. As you would imagine, the better items require higher end crafting items. UNlike disenchanting in wow, you can break down items of any quality (grey, white, blue, yellow, etc). Of course, disenchanting lower quality items gives you a higher chance of the “cheapo” crafting materials, and the higher quality items give you higher quality crafting materials.

 Throughout your travels, you will come across this item: a “Page of Training”. These are for your crafting NPCs, to upgrade the amount of items they can craft. 5 of these pages, when combined, will form:

 A “Tome of Training”, which is then something you give to your crafter, along with some basic crafting materials and a modicum of gold to upgrade them. In the two screenshots below, you will see the “Upgrade Crafter” screen, and the Crafting interface.

 When upgrading your crafter, you will see the recipes that he learns from the upgrade process. (For the record, my blacksmith is upgraded WAY beyond anything I can use in the beta. /sadface) When you upgrade the crafter, he “levels” up, giving him access to higher item level recipes. As you can see in the crafting interface, there are apprentice,  journeyman, adept, and master “level” items, which equates to their item level. This particular NPC is the blacksmith, who creates weapons, armor, as well as repairs your gear. The crafting interface is very similar to what you’re familiar with from any crafting done in WoW. Click on a recipe in the list, and it will tell you what materials you need, as well as the gold cost associated (which also increases with the higher level of item to be created). Also, as you can see, the recipes also show you how many of that particular item you can create based on the materials currently in your bag… it doesn’t take into account any crafting materials in your stash.

It is also worth noting that your crafters, just like your stash, are account-wide. When you upgrade your blacksmith on one toon, all of the new recipes are available for creating among each character. Also, along your travels, you can find crafting recipes, which you can simply give to the respective crafter (weapon/armor recipes to the blacksmith, etc). Crafting in Diablo 3 seems to be very simple, and if you’ve ever done any kind of crafting in WoW, then you’re already 4/5’s of the way to understanding this crafting system.

And now for something completely different…

16 Jan

A post on Diablo 3!

If you’ve been following my twitter, you may have noticed that (much to my GREAT enjoyment) I was picked for the Diablo 3 beta the other day. Let me just say that this game is *awesome*. As a big Diablo 2 fan, I can safely say that this has been worth the wait. I am so ready for it to go live. Anyway, I distract myself. I haven’t felt much to blog about in WoW lately, and since i’ve found myself to be one of the lucky few to test D3 out, I thought I would post about it. Some of you may have never played any of the Diablo franchise, so i’ll give a brief overview of the game. There’s a good chance this will be broken up into 2 or more posts, depending on just how verbose I get. These posts WILL be spoiler free in the sense that I won’t give away the story (such as it’s told in the beta), but I will be giving basic mechanics and class information. I will also be posting lots of screenshots (and possibly a youtube video or two, somewhere down the line). Enjoy them :)

Now then, the first thing I want to talk about is talents, such as they are. Why is that first? Because it’s a very similar system as what is to come in Mists of Pandaria, as far as I can tell, and feels like a good jumping-off point for a WoW-based blog to start talking about Diablo 3 (as if I really needed one).

So, here you see the talent tree of a level 12 Witch Doctor. The way it works is quite simple. You unlock hotkey slots as you level up, for a total of 6, active abilities. (levels 1, 6, 12, 18, and 24, with level 1 giving you two slots automatically). Those are the 6 slots you see descending from top to bottom. The 3 circular spots in the very bottom of the screen are the passive abilities. You gain 3 passive slots (at levels 10, 20, and 30). Each class has 3 different “schools”, but you unlock the ability to use every spell just as you level. There is no spec that you have to pick to unlock all the talents. You just get them all as you go, and you can mix and match them as you please, provided you’re at an altar in town.

It may not be identical to what’s going to happen in WoW (as there will still be specs, and such), but there are similarities in that abilities are just given to you right off the bat, for you to use. And there aren’t any talent points to spend, you just have to pick which abilities you want to use. In D3, there is no “wrong” answer. Whatever abilities you feel the most comfortable with, by god that’s what will work for you.

Here is a simple screenshot of the in-game UI. Not much to explain other than what’s on the screen so… Enjoy.

And now, let’s get into the fun shit of this game… the classes :D  First, every class is a little different in that they each have their own resource system, and they all work a little differently from what the other classes have.  And without further ado, Let’s get to the first one… (Also, please pardon that the pictures aren’t all cropped to the exact same size. I fail at life :P)

Barbarian: The barbarian is, as predictable, a basic warrior/heavy melee class. Wade in and kick some ass. They can use either a 2-handed weapon, 2 1-handed weapons, or a 1-handed weapon/shield combo. Each have their benefits and drawback, as you could imagine.  The Barbarian’s resource is called “Fury”, and it works very much like warrior’s rage in WoW. Building up as you fight, allowing you to use abilities, and declining the longer you’re out of combat.

Demon Hunter: The demon hunter is the archetypal ranger class (only no pets, so they’re not WoW hunters). They can use a normal bow, crossbow, or (as you can see) specialized 1-handed crossbows that can be dual wielded… very badass. DH is unique in that it has a dual resource system: Discipline/Hatred. Hatred is quickly regnerating, and used to fuel your offensive attacks, whereas Discipline is very slow to recover, and used for defensive manuveurs and trapping.

Monk: The monk is, much like you would expect, the quick martial artist melee fighter. He can use fist weapons or a certain 2-handed called a Daibo. The monk’s resource is called Spirit, and it neither regenerates nor degrades in combat. The level of spirit you have is built around the abilities you use. Some (combo-type moves) build spirit, whereas others expend it. The spenders tend to be much harder hitting, but you’ll spend most of your time on the builders.

Witch Doctor: This is a personal favorite of mine. The witch doctor is a voodoo shaman sort. He plays a like a strange mixture of a warlock and a death knight, controlling zombies and spiritual fetishes to do his dirty work, while he sits in the back and throws things at you. The WD’s resource is simply mana. Nothing fancy about it. It regenerates relatively quickly on it’s own, as there are no mana potions in the game.

Wizard: The wizard is your archetypal caster/nuker class. They wield wands and orbs or tomes as their weaponry, standing in the back causing all varied kinds of madnes. Their resource is called “Arcane Power”. Arcane power regenerates quickly on it’s own, and is used only for their most powerful spells.

I think i’ve been wordy enough for one day… I will come back in a few days with a new post to go a bit more in-depth on the talents and how to play each class… maybe even some gameplay videos. :D Hope you all enjoy

 

ETA: I made a booboo. I originally referred to the barbarian’s resource as “Rage”, but it’s actually called “Fury”.. /facepalm. I made the change in the description.

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