Monday, 14 November 2016

This Again?

Recent events have brought how-wrong-everything-is to the front of my mind, and I spend a lot of the day thinking about that. Being a moderately wealthy, white person I generally have the luxury to enter a variety of numbers into a red queen race with a pixelated demons.

It's been a while since I played Diablo 3. I last played season six, and only for a week, I think. I just joined season eight, so I missed seven altogether. I certainly didn't mind the break.

I was going to play a wizard, because I always play a wizard, but the free set for playing a wizard was Vyr's, which is the Archon build, and I didn't feel like doing that again, so I thought I'd check out the other classes. I wasn't very interested in the look of the witch doctor or monk set, but the barbarian set was had permanent pets, so I thought I'd give that a go.

Wizards' absurdly high damage channeled skills make leveling up easy, but I had suspected that the early end game is actually much harder on wizards than other classes. This is largely because of lousy two piece set bonuses that don't really increase the amount of damage you can do. My two piece set bonus with the barbarian was three friends who hit for 540% damage each and used various area effect ability, knock ups and stuns. I practically didn't have to attack in order to get my four piece bonus which let me keep a very powerful self-buff up all the time. The six piece bonus was only 400% extra damage, not 2000% extra damage, but I already did a fair bit of damage. Add on a weapon with a side effect of letting me cast two one minute cooldown attacks on a 10 and a 20 second cooldown, and I was racing through Torment VII rifts about 24 hours after starting a character.

One obstacle I recall being a problem as a wizard in making my way through the season's journey was mastering a class dungeon. When I was in the mid 50's greater rift tiers, I was still struggling to complete a class dungeon because the challenges involved weren't easily out-geared. Having to slow time on 30 enemies at once is trouble when you don't meet groups of 30 enemies. You can kite a group to another group, but because of the timer you have to move quickly, and if one gives up chase then you aren't going to kill all the enemies fast enough. You also have to stand around not killing enemies for a while in order to meet the reflect missiles requirement. My experience in other dungeons was similar.

I had a sneaking suspicion this was going to be fantastically easier as a barbarian. I can't put my finger on it, I just felt that wizards were getting a hard go of things where bad enemy placement could cost you your run. I was literally 2 seconds away from mastering the Immortal King's set dungeon on my first try in gear that was suitable for Torment VII. The goals were basically, "Kill enemies as efficiently as possible." When I came back the next day, having done a tier 50 rift, I missed a couple of enemies and had to scour the entire dungeon a second time for them and still completed it with 30 seconds to spare.

I'm facing a situation where the "hardest" part of the current tier of season's journey I am on is going to end up being leveling 3 gems to 35 just because I will have easily accomplished all the other things before running 35 greater rifts.

And I don't exactly care about any of this. I'm having fun with Mrs. Finn and I've long ago decided that balance in games like this doesn't make the game more fun. I care a little bit about set dungeons being so anxiety inducing for wizards since I found those dungeons was genuinely annoying.

What I really care about is that Blizzard has announced a new class, looks like they won't be releasing that class until late next year, and has new changes on the PTR that amount to next to nothing. I feel like they need to either abandon the game for dead and make a new one or release something exciting within a few months. If they continue at the rate of adding a class every two years, how long can that go on? Then again, maybe that's pretty dumb advice coming from someone who is, apparently, still playing.

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