Wednesday, May 16, 2012

D3 Marathon - Day 1

As promised, here's day 1 of my 2-week D3 Marathon.

I've noticed that many people are complaining about Diablo 3's launch and how much of a disaster it was. I don't know folks, but it wasn't at all terrible for me. Granted, I managed to log in about 1.5 hours after the servers went live but afterwards there were no more issues and I managed a solid 3 hours of play before real life took over.

I started a Demon Hunter called Prometheus as my first character.

I reached level 7 in 1 hour and had 5000 gold.

2 hours in, I killed the Skeleton King at level 9, with 13,800 gold.

I spent some of that gold buying a couple of 18.5 DPS 1H crossbows from the fence vendor because I figured they'd give me a much-needed DPS boost. I wasn't wrong, except that a little while later I came across 20 and 22 DPS 1H crossbows that put my vendor-bought ones to shame.

I also bought an amulet with 2-4 damage and 4% increased attack speed. So yeah, the fence now carries amulets in addition to rings, which wasn't the case in the beta. This amulet alone increased my DPS from 33 to 43. Great investment.

The Auction House seems to be a mess. Items are dirt cheap and mats are at rock bottom. I will no longer salvage and attempt to sell mats on the GAH because I will get more money by vendoring them and I won't be needing those low level mats anyway. Even Nightmare mats have tanked. Today they're 1/3 what they were yesterday.

One thing's certain: your first character through the game will be a pioneer and a pathfinder. Keep all the best items you find for other classes and transfer them to your lower level characters. When you start leveling them, they will have a big head start. Here's an example of all the crap my level 2 Monk had in his inventory, courtesy of his big brother, the DH.

The cool thing is that when you move past the Skeleton King you start finding some really powerful weapons. I already have a collection of 22+ DPS 1H weapons that only require level 10. All of them went to my Monk, Barbarian, Witch Doctor and Wizard, which, by the way, are acting as my extended stash because I haven't spent any money expanding the shared stash yet.

At the end of the first day I had played my Demon Hunter for almost 5.5 hours and he's level 15, with 30K gold. He's still in Act I. This is the build I'm using at level 15. Interestingly, I prefer Hungering Arrow runed with Puncturing Arrow to Bola Shot because the latter has that short delay and monsters tend not to wait for it to explode before charging me. My DPS at the end of the first day is 70.39.

Speaking of gameplay, I find the actual game harder than the beta. Maybe it's because of the lack of gear with my first character but I've had a few close shaves and I even died once, stupidly, I will add. I found myself surrounded by a rare boss and his minions and either I was stun-locked or I was out of Discipline because I couldn't escape them with Vault, so I died.

I found Vault and Caltrops to be indispensable. Combined, these two will save your life countless times. The Demon Hunter is turning out to be more challenging than I expected but it also requires more skill and finesse and I pride myself that so far I have found the class very engaging and satisfying.

A final word about followers. As soon as I encountered the Scoundrel, I dismissed the Templar and never looked back. While the Scoundrel doesn't seem to be a good match for the Demon Hunter because it also uses ranged weapons, I just love his personality. He's always cracking jokes and making funny comments, not to mention hitting on female companions (including Leah) all the time. He's a hoot, I highly recommend him.

Now I'm off to start my first full day of gaming. Stay tuned and see you tomorrow!

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