Approaching 60

Now before you jump to any conclusions I am most definitely not approaching the age of 60. Nor am I implying that I’m leveling yet another wizard that is approaching level 60 in Diablo 3. Well … I do have my hardcore wizard but she’s only level 34, hardly worth mentioning in terms of approaching the level cap.

What are you implying then?

My main wizard, Malnevicent, is sitting at paragon level 59 and is maybe four or five Act III farming runs away from having a new portrait embellishment. To put this is perspective of the whole paragon level grind, once she hits PL60 that is only 28.52% of the total experience required to reach the end, paragon level 100. Another interesting factoid is that leveling from PL90 to PL100 requires slightly less experience that it took from PL1 to PL60. If you want the exact percentage of the whole PL90 to PL100 is 27.13% of the total experience required.

So yah, still a ton of work to do to get to the fabled PL100 for my wizard. Will I make it? I’m sure somewhere down the road I will, but considering that the paragon leveling system has been around for just over 6 months it will be quite awhile before I’m scratching at that last “quarter” of the pie.

What about the monster power bonus xp buffs that came in 1.0.7?

You’re right. The buff that monster power bonus xp received in the latest patch was massively appreciated. I’ve noticed a marked improvement in my farming runs at MP3 which is a large part of how quickly I’ve been grinding through the 50s with my wizard. My wizard can handle MP4, but the decrease in killing speed and increased chances of a time-consuming death make MP3 a better fit. Granted my wizard still occasionally dies when cornered or the stars align or I’m not paying attention to what’s going on.

Then there’s the fact that I’m still picking up rares, gems, tomes and health potions. So you could say that my time isn’t quite as efficient as it could be while grinding xp, but what’s the rush? Also what good would it be to wait until PL100 before attempting to farm for great items? Sure, 99.9% of what drops is pure garbage but if I didn’t pick anything up and identify it, I might be missing out on that 0.1% item that dropped that could be worth millions of gold.

That being said, I haven’t had much luck with the RNG demon and 95% of the legendaries that have been dropping for me have been salvaged into fiery brimstones. Even more disheartening is the fact that I seem to be cursed with tons of Hellracks dropping, a completely worthless 2H crossbow. Where’s my Manticore? Witching Hour?

If the drops are as abysmal as you say, why are you still playing?

It might seem foolish that I continue to farm hoping for that amazing piece of loot to drop, but I don’t necessarily play for that reason. Sure, it’s a huge motivating factor as that next demon could drop a well-rolled Echoing Fury, or Mempo of Twilight, or … well you get the idea … but I continue to play because the game is FUN.

Even better is when my game time lines up with my good friends of the Shattered Soulstone community and we do fun things like full act clears, or Uber runs, or just shoot the shit on mumble, or play a game of “OH LOOK! DEATH WATCH MANTLES!”

While Diablo is, and always be, all about the loot it is also all about having fun. Fun with friends, fun with wacky builds, fun with commiserating with others about your horrible luck with RNG. As long as Diablo 3 remains fun, I shall play it and given that I’m now over 800+ hours invested, I doubt that the day I stop will be anytime soon. Besides, there’s always Maghda … alwayssssssss …

Extinguishing the Inferno

Oh boy. By the looks of the calendar I’ve come awfully close to not updating my blog for two months. TWO MONTHS! That’s absolute madness. It wasn’t for a lack of potentially having something to blog about as I’ve been up to plenty of things. All the things? Some of the things? Who knows? Definitely not me.

Anyhoo, what could have possibly kept me away from jotting down words for all of prosperity … or at least for my own sanity? I’ve been in somewhat of a funk for the past two months from the lack of being allowed to work resulting in my coping with several bouts of insomnia and a general feeling of aimlessness. I just felt like I was spinning my wheels and getting no where. Fortunately my daughter started 2nd grade (although that was weeks ago) which enforced some structure in my daily routine and my bouts with insomnia have been curbed.

So what have I been up to?

As I initially alluded, I’ve been up to lots of things. Well okay, maybe not a ton of things, but interesting things nonetheless. Probably the most interesting thing that has developed in the past week and a half is the fact that I’m filling in on my good friend Rioriel’s blog, Postcards From Azeroth, while he’s taking a much-needed hiatus from the game to recharge his batteries. I’ve always admired Rioriel and his blog so being able to contribute in my own way has been electrifying. Having an outlet for my artistic juices has revitalized my drive to get back to what I do best: art and design.

Wait. Is that what I truly do best? Well, perhaps procrastination is what I do best, but art and design would be a close second … maybe. Gaming, blogging, podcasting and living definitely wouldn’t be up there. Oh heck, who am I kidding? Getting under Rilandune’s skin deserves mentioning — I’m exceptional at that — but I digress.

So other than scouring through my screenshots and transforming them into pretty postcards for everyone to enjoy I’ve been playing a lot of Diablo 3. A. LOT.

I knew going in to D3 that I was going to become addicted to it, I just didn’t realize that I would invest over 500 hours to it in only four months. Granted there were a few occasions where I burned out a smidge on grinding and farming for little benefit, but there’s just something about the Diablo formula that GETS ME as a gamer. I’m always chasing after the “something amazing could drop from the next demon” and with patch 1.0.4 at least I can channel that into grinding Paragon XP. As of this moment my main wizard, Malnevicent, is sitting halfway through paragon level 18 and my newly minted wizard, Aiom, is paragon level 2.

Yes, folks. I do indeed have TWO level 60 wizards. Why? Why not? Everything little thing she does is magic.

My reasoning behind the madness it is actually quite simple, I want to enjoy more than just one playstyle with the wizard. Malnevicent is my tanky melee wizard whereas Aiom is my shits n’ giggles wizard where I’m not afraid to experiment with wacky builds. I could elaborate on that a bit more, but I think I’ll save blogging about Aiom for another day. I’m still honing a REDONKULOUS wizard build — which I’m sure will get nerfed come 1.0.5 — so I’d rather blog about it separately.

As for my main wizard-squeeze, Malnevicent, I recently completed all of Diablo 3 with her. Yup, that’s right. Malnevicent slayed Diablo in Inferno last week with the help of a few friends of the Shattered Soulstone podcast: Swaying Mango and MDB3. It wasn’t quite the walk-in-the-park that a lot of D3 elitist have made it out to be, but in the end we stood there victorious … err, well at least Swaying Mango and I did since sadly MDB3 had to drop immediately preceding our victory. Perhaps MDB3 was dragging us down? I kid, I kid.

If you’re familiar with the Diablo encounter, the sticking point in our multiple failures was always the Realm of Terror. Diablo isn’t too much of a threat, but man those shadow clones of ourselves … THEY HURT. BADLY. No I don’t think you quite understand the depth of which they hurt you. Getting gibbed from two simultaneous wizard’s meteors is … depressing. There was also this little issue that since both Swaying Mango and I were more tanky wizards, our DPS was rather low.

After two failed attempts I swapped out Wave of Force for Archon – Arcane Destruction for slightly better DPS burns. I lost my stacks of Nephalem Valor but getting phat loots from Diablo wasn’t my goal. My goal was to complete Inferno in its entirety, preferably before any further nerfs to its difficulty happened. Needless to say when Diablo finally toppled over for us to kick his/her limp body I jumped out of my chair and fist-pumped, repeatedly.

I know many, many, many people have long since had this accomplishment under their belts but it in no way diminished my feeling of accomplishment. Inferno is HARD without amazing gear and to finally clear it out with my moderately decent gear felt amazing. I did it, ME, and it felt great.

Now with Inferno completed I can go back to farming … and fighting the urge to switch Malnevicent over to Aiom’s build. How’s that for a tease?