Monday, October 29, 2012

Patch 1.0.5 commentary

I will make no apologies for not blogging about D3 lately because, well, I haven't felt the need. That and the fact that I was away from the computer for several weeks. But then I returned just in time for patch 1.0.5. And what a breath of fresh air this is! Now Diablo 3 is finally beginning to feel like the game it should have been from the beginning. I lauded the Paragon system when it was introduced in 1.0.4 but the new Monster Power system helps to further consolidate the game. But even more than MP, I was excited about the huge improvements to the Auction House interface.

Love the new AH
"Search for similar items" is an awesome feature. It has simplified AH searches immensely. Best of all, they managed to implement it exactly the way I envisioned it. Of course, YMMV. It helps in two major ways: 1) makes searching for upgrades very easy and 2) helps you easily price items for sale. I'm just annoyed they didn't think of this from the beginning. Oh well, better late than never.

Monster Power = Players X rebooted
Monster Power is, IMHO, even better than Diablo 2's Players X because it allows for finer tuning and it also improves the loot and XP gained. I'm currently playing on MP 1 in Act 1 because, well, I'm chicken. I like to play it safe. I prefer to annihilite everything easily vs struggling to survive on a higher difficulty.

The market is more dynamic
Maybe it's just me but I've noticed that the AH seems to be more dynamic in patch 1.0.5. I've never managed to sell more items and for such high prices as I do now. Maybe it's the surge of new players or the huge influx of improved items. Speaking of gold and stuff...

How to make and lose a fortune
For the first time in my D3 career I've managed to top 14 million gold. I know what you're thinking, pathetic. But hey, I make most of my gold by selling stuff I find on my own, not by playing the market, ok? So give me a break. Anyway, I decided I deserved an early Christmas present so I spoiled myself by buying a Tal-Rasha's chestpiece with good stats for 13 million. Was it worth it? I might have paid less in a week or two but I wanted to enjoy the game today. Besides, it added over 8000 DPS to my Wizard.

Cool drops bro!
I can attest to the fact that item drops have been vastly improved in 1.0.5. I found a lot of good stuff that I managed to sell on the AH for decent amounts. I even got 2 legendary drops, which, while mediocre, fetched a few cents on the RHAH. This is a very good sign. Before the patch, I never found anything worth more than 100K on the AH. Now, I sold drops for hundreds of thousands or millions of gold. And I didn't even play that much.

Wizard 2.0
My beloved Wizard is kicking ass more than ever. A week ago she was standing at around 65K DPS. After buying a 2H weapon with good DPS and nice stats for 1 million gold, and swapping the 1H dagger + off-hand she was using before, her DPS jumped to 95K. Massive! With the new Tal-Rasha's chestpiece, it went up even farther, to 103K. Now granted, that 1 million upgrade was a much higher bang for the buck (+30K DPS) compared to the 13 million chestpiece (+8K DPS). However, keep in mind that my equipment is pretty good and, going forward, each upgrade is very expensive. The only thing that will make a big difference now is a shoulder upgrade. Anyway, despite all the DPS, I still haven't killed Diablo on Inferno. I could do it anytime but I'm just lazy. Because I would do it on MP 0 (just to be safe), there's no big incentive for me, so I'm postponing it indefinitely. I'd much rather farm items in Act 1 on MP1 (or higher).

Torchlight 2
A quick word on Torchlight 2. It was supposed to be a D3 killer, or D2 reincarnated or something. I downloaded the demo and tried it for a while but it didn't gel with me. I disliked the original and, while the sequel is a vast improvement, I found it unappealing. Some of you will hate me for this but I find D3 superior in every way. TL2 made me realize how much I enjoy D3's skill system, automatic attribute leveling and the weapon-DPS-to-skill-damage system. In contrast, TL2's system felt confusing and awkward to use. Sorry folks, maybe I spent so much time with WoW and D3 that I "dumbed down" but I don't feel like going back to the old system. The dark side must have won me over because I much prefer D3's online play with all the convenience of the AH to an offline game which seems very static and isolated in comparison.

No expert here
Having said all this, I want to re-iterate something. I'm not a Diablo 3 expert. A reader once lambasted me for being too pretentious because I tagged this blog with words such as "strategy" and "theorycrafting". Not to burst anyone's bubble, but I don't take myself too seriously with this blog. I don't excel at making money (gold or $), in fact I downright suck at it, because I don't play the AH. I don't excel at killing Diablo on MP 10 (or even MP 1) because it's not my thing. I'm not a D3 pioneer in any way. I simply play the game for my personal enjoyment and blog about it occasionally. If I happen to come across an interesting strategy, I will discuss it. If I can craft some theory, I will. But I won't go out of my way to do these things. So there. Expect laid back, not cutting edge.

The future
Diablo 3 is slowly getting there. It's too bad they released it in an unfinished state and it took 5 months to get it on track. Either way, things are looking good. I love the feeling of being (slightly) overpowered and mowing down monsters with the greatest of ease. Unfortunately there's something about D3's progression (zones/events are separated by quests and acts remain separated from one another) that gives me a weird vibe. And now with Monster Power I don't feel the need to venture outside Act 1. The next 3 acts are pretty boring to me. What I think Diablo 3 desperately needs is an expansion with an additional, much improved act and a revamped/reloaded/reimagined crafting system.

The end.

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