Saturday, September 8, 2012

State of the nation address (Wizard rocks!)

I feel that now's about as good a time as any to give an update on my progress in Diablo 3. Not that anybody would (or should) care. I'm mostly doing this as a personal journal to refer to later.

2 weeks after patch 1.0.4 I can safely state that I enjoy Diablo 3 much more than before the patch. Before, I was in a kind of lull and was just going through the motions. In fact I used to spend most of my 20 minutes a day on the AH, wheeling and dealing. I played actively only on weekends. But now, I would like to play at least 3 hours during the week and 6-8 hours on the weekend. Unfortunately I've got other things to do so my time is limited. But still, I really feel like playing the game as much as possible.

My characters
I made a bunch of mistakes in D3, that I will admit. The first was starting to play with a Demon Hunter. The other was abandoning it for a Monk and then spending more than 100 hours on this character. The one thing that I did right was leveling my Wizard to 60, although she was the last one there. In retrospect, I should've started with the Wizard from the beginning. These days the Wizard has become my main and she's by far my most favorite class. In fact, if Blizzard doesn't do anything to fuck up her skills (read "nerf"), I can safely say that I won't play another class until my Wizard hits Paragon level 100.

The Monk is Paragon lv 2 and while he's very resilient, it comes at the cost of DPS and 22K is not nearly enough to have fun in Act 3 (Inferno) where he's at right now. He can kill boss packs - eventually - but it takes a very long time. And that's not fun to me. All my other classes (Barbarian, Demon Hunter and Witch Doctor) are 60 but I have abandoned them a long time ago and they don't tempt me in the least.

The Wizard
Andromeda, as she is called, is my pride and joy. She's Paragon 13 as of this writing. She has progressed to Act 3, just before Cydaea. I am confident that with her current equipment she can finish the rest of Inferno. But I'm in no rush. I like to smash everything without effort. I like being overpowered. It felt awesome to finish Acts 3+4 on Hell with 12K DPS on all of my characters. I want to feel the same thing with the Wizard in Inferno. She's not there yet, but she's inching closer.

Speaking of stats, she does 57K+ DPS (with the Enchantress follower), with 20.5% crit chance. Unfortunately her crit damage is only 50% because I was going for a Critical Mass build before I decided to go in a different direction. Her attack speed is pretty awesome at 2.22 attacks per second. Her defenses are nothing out of the ordinary because I kind of play a glass-cannon build. She has 26K life, 5000+ armor and between 200-300 resistances. Best of all, she has over 1000 life per second regeneration because that's something I like very much. It helps enormously, especially when kiting.

Here's my build. Incidentally this build is available at level 54.

The gameplay
What I love about the Wizard is that, using the above build, she obliterates-exterminates-devastates everthing in Act 1. She one-shots trash mobs and 3-5 shots boss packs. She's a vicious killing machine. Act 2 is almost the same but for some reason I feel that I make more gold farming Act 2, as well as find more boss packs. She hardly ever dies in these two acts. Act 3 is very doable but sometimes she dies if I'm not careful and I meet the wrong affixes on boss packs. But whenever I want to feel like a god, I go to acts 1 or 2 and zap everything with my finger of doom.

I will admit that I suck at making money in D3. This hasn't been a big priority for me until now so I didn't spend countless hours researching and playing the market. Well, ok, I have a couple of strategies that work but they simply provide a bit of additional income. The most I saved was a bit over 7 million. Thing is, I feel that now's not the best time to waste money on upgrades. I made the mistake of buying a good weapon for 3 million (a bargain at the time) right before patch 1.0.4. That weapon was quickly upgraded post-patch with something that was much better and only cost 1 million. And I barely managed to sell the original for less than 100K. Oops. Yeah, I made many of these stupid decisions which ended up costing me a lot of gold. Anyway, I plan to wait another month or two before I start to spend more seriously. Prices will only go down (as more good loot is found over time). The only spike I anticipate is when the PvP patch is released but I doubt that will happen before November. My problem is thay my equipment is pretty decent right now and it is becoming harder and harder to find cheap upgrades that don't cost millions. Suffice to say that I can't afford any good legendary item. But that's ok. It takes time to build kick-ass equipment.

Just don't ask me to lend you money if you see me in game. A dude I played with a couple of times wanted to borrow some but I was like, dude, I barely have enough for myself and now you want me to trust you when I don't even know you? Sorry dudes but I don't lend gold and that's final.

On the Real Money side, I'm inching close to $30 which is pathetic. On the other hand, as I said, I don't play the AH so whatever I sell is stuff I find on my own. Unfortunately most of what I find is crap (but you can relate, right?). First, I want to cover the cost of the next expansion ($40 likely). Second, I'd love to cover the cost of the game x 2 (I bought 2 copies), or $120.

I don't have big ambitions but my long term goal is to reach Paragon level 100 with my Wizard. The way I play, I doubt this will happen in less than 2 years. But fuck it, I've waited 10 years for this game. 2 years of actually playing it won't be so bad.

My short term goal is to reach a sufficient amount of DPS to steamroll Act 3 and possibly Act 4. I don't care much for Act 4 because I hate everything about it (and drops are supposed to be the same) so I would be satisfied to stick to Act 3. I want to kill mobs as easily as I do in Act 1 today. That's my fantasy. For that, I estimate I need at least 65K DPS. I'm only about 9K short so I shouldn't have big problems getting there in the next several weeks. Once I can cruise through Act 3, I will finish Inferno once and for all and continue farming for 1337 items.

To those who quit, sorry but I still enjoy Diablo 3. I believe it will become even more enjoyable as they continue to fix some of its issues. I just hope they don't nerf my favorite class, the Wizard, in any significant way. Yup, there's still life in this here game.

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