Monday Musings: Smashing Things and New Ventures
Hello, Monday. Where did the weekend go?
Oh, yah – Inferno.
Laz and I are making progress in Inferno. No, we have not started doing Act II yet.
I think my Demon Hunter is ready (see Soloing, below). Though, Act II mobs hit really hard! A lot of mechanics one shot me – like Lacuni Huntress fireballs. (The phrase “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball” just came to mind.) ><
Laz’s Barbarian is proving quite gear-specific, and items with Strength, Vitality, and All Resists are proving very expensive. Comparatively, I am only really focusing on Dexterity and Vitality – with some Attack Speed and Life on Hit where I can get it.
So we have started combining our efforts and cash flow to get him geared. I know it is hurting his man-pride some, but I reminded him that tanking in any aspect requires a lil more help. When his Pally was Prot, his gear was more of a deal breaker than mine. When we came into Cataclysm and started initially raiding in BWD and BoT, our raid leader specified the need to get some gear to the tanks first.
Tanks are the first line of defense… if the tanks are dead, the raid is dead. Period.
So I told Laz that him dead usually equals me dead. So it is in both of our best interests for him to be able to take the hits better. ;)
Speaking of Barbarians
So the whole process of leveling and progressing and gearing and researching with Laz between the Barbarian and the Demon Hunter has me a little annoyed.
My Demon Hunter is a glass cannon, I have come to accept this. But her gear is pretty simple – Dexterity, lots of damage, and some Vitality thrown in there in case I step in bad or something. Legendaries and Set items would be pretty sweet, but I am progressing well without such things.
Laz’s Barbarian on the other hand seems to have no option of high DPS, only high survivability. Lots of Resists. Lots of Armor. Lots of Health. And also, apparently, lots of Block Chance.
It seems to complete the entirety of Inferno there are actually three Legendary pieces that are absolutely necessary to a Barbarian’s survival:
It seems these all have a high value of Block Chance.
I find this ridiculously stupid.
Somehow, Barbarians can only get through Inferno if they have insanely high Block Chance, which is only available through a very few very specific items? And Block Chance is not a stat helped AT ALL by their main stat – Strength. Barbarians get a small amount of Armor from Strength, it seems, and they have a passive that gives Armor for Vitality. But Armor does not give enough survivability.
But all Monks need is Dexterity to tank (AKA Dodge from Dexterity).
How does this make sense?
Dear Blizzard, please fix the Barbarian mechanics. Barbarians could really use a mitigation tied to their main stat of Strength. Block would be okie, but I think a Parry mechanic attached to Strength would be even better. This way, Barbarians would be viable as both 2h and 1h with a shield, which is how it should be.
More Block Chance items or at least higher percentages of it on random items would also be helpful.
Lastly, please put more stats on 2h weapons, as they really need help to be comparable to similar 1h choices paired with offhand items. 2h axes, maces, swords, polearms, crossbows, etc. cannot compare to their 1h counterparts with a shield, offhand, or quiver.
Soloing as a Glass Cannon, err, Demon Hunter
While he was finishing up some work stuff last night, Laz joked with me I should farm Inferno. I was pretty nervous about the idea – I know how squishy I am! And I know how much I rely on that speed bump in front of me (as Laz is currently referring to himself). Before last night, I had not soloed any current content with my DH.
But I figured I had some time to kill (and some money sitting on me for pots and repairs).
I did Act I Inferno straight through to the Skeleton King, and it was actually pretty smooth. I had a few elite packs that were hellish for me. Mortar, Jailers, Teleporters – these are a few of my banes. And of course tight corridors with no room to kite.
While searching for King Leoric’s crown, I was trudging through some defiled crypts, and came upon a pack of elite skellies. Teleporting, Fire Chains, and Mortar equaled lots and lots of kiting – luckily they were towards the end of my search through that particular crypt. But they finally died, and it proved totally worth it when I saw my first Legendary had dropped!
What was it? A gorgeous 2hand axe named Skorn. I tried to contain some my jubilation and excitedly shared my news with Laz, who was very excited too! He did try it out when he was done with his work, but it was getting late so he did not get to test it too much. Hopefully, he can find a good spec that works with it, but if anything, I think it would be mostly for soloing, as I imagine duo he will still need his shield.
After I beat the Skeleton King (yay!) Laz mentioned that I am probably ready to work on Act II. I humored the thought, and loaded up the very beginning. So far, the combined extent of Laz’s and my progress is the opening of the initial canyon where the Enchantress opens the way by removing the first illusion.
I survived the canyon.
I survived the first open area.
I survived the first elite pack.
Wow. (Okie, okie, so I did get insta-gibbed by a fireball in the narrow canyon at the beginning, but I pressed on!)
I had two elite packs that I skipped, but all in all I made it to Chapter 3, and face to face with Magda. She hurts. And without my meat shield, I was having trouble doing much damage to her – what with adds and dodging her damn bugs.
Come to think of it, D3 is making me hate bugs more. lol
Oh and BTW, the Dune Threshers are crap – those guys will not pop up unless they are under my feet (not close to me, underneath me) and my traps do not affect them while they are submerged. So one of the elite packs I skipped was Dune Threshers with Illusionist and Jailer. Basically, they would pop up from underneath, jail me and immediately surround me with their copies and pwn the crap out of me. Lame.
I did get better at handling the non-elite threshers, though. Basically, stand in my traps and scoot to the side just a few feet away to fill them with arrows.
I also discovered yesterday that both Evasive Fire and Chakram are great for Invulnerable Minion packs. The elite boss in these groups seems to like to surround himself with the minions, who tend to absorb most of my arrows. Evasive Fire and Chakram both bypass this, as they hit everything without stopping after they initially make contact with the closest mob, like a normal arrow (ie. Hungering Arrow).
On that note, I am quite impressed with the AI given to elite mobs. Fire Chains elites, especially. These guys are very adept at surrounding me and cutting me to pieces (Jailer and Teleport combined with Fire Chains is exceptionally deadly). Even while kiting, the Fire Chains mobs are very sneaky and do everything they can to flank.
Definitely beware – those elites are smart cookies.
Another exciting thing happened while I was solo farming in Act II – I got a green (AKA a set piece) – Natalya’s Redemption. That is the first green to drop for either Laz or I, so we are thinking they drop in Act 2 and up. It was a crossbow, no less.
I have to say that my initial elation was snuffed mostly by the awful stats that came with the green – less damage than my current bow and Intellect. Wha?
I understand some of the reasoning behind random stats, but there are some combinations that make me go – “Really, Blizzard?? Really??” 2handers, crossbows and Monk weapons with Intellect for one. Wizard or Witch Doctor-only items with Strength or Dexterity. Barbarian belts and weapons with Intellect (at least with Dexterity they get some mitigation).
Basically, any class-specific item that has a stat that particular class finds useless.
Also, blues and yellows are fine with stupid random stats as I can vendor or salvage useless stuff, but Legendaries and Set (green) pieces should be somewhat limited in their variety. IMHO. Please.
WTH am I going to do with a crossbow with Intellect?? Apparently, I am going to hang onto it and see if I can get the whole set so I can get my achievement. <sigh>
BUT that equals my first Legendary drop and my first Set piece drop.
One thing that I have noticed in Diablo 3 is that I greatly enjoy destroying things.
I have to wonder if this is some sort of release for the pent up aggression I do not take out on RL things IRL. Smashing a chair or a table or a pot would equal something I would then have to clean up. Or if it were an object smashed in public, there would likely be some monetary discipline involved. Neither situation sounds fun.
For the longest time, I told Laz it was because destroying several objects at time gave me an XP bonus, which I joked was the only reason I was keeping pace with him experience-wise since I die so much. I am not sure how viable that argument really is, but I liked it.
So now that I am Level 60, now what is my excuse? hehe
The other small feature I find amusing is squishing bugs and other critters. I think it is far more entertaining than shooting or smacking them with a hammer. They make an amusing “squish” noise, which for some reason reminds me of Command and Conquer and the amusement of running over infantry with tanks. Squish!
But once again, this is not something I would do IRL. Heck, I do not even like squishing spiders, I prefer to take them outside. Ants and the occasional earwig are another story – yuck.
New Ventures and Brainstorming
Saturday I somewhat revealed my idea for a new comic I am working on – called How Not to Pally.
This is a venture into a new medium for me – comics created through WoW Model Viewer and Gimp. I am still fighting with Gimp on how to draw shapes with it. Rather than search, I made the chat bubble with Paint on Saturday. I know, I know. I just need to do some research, and I will figure it out.
Previously, all my comics (this is middle school and high school we are talking here – God, I am getting old lol) were hand drawn. I will have to see if I can find some, maybe I can scan one and post it. Yes, I still have some boxes that are yet to be unpacked. ><
My primary high school comic characters were Psycho Super Chicken and his sidekick CW.
PSC was my original superhero. Those comics also took some flavor from the old 1960′s Batman TV show, The Tick, Darkwing Duck, and some other various superhero influences.
My goal for Sir Piotr is a character who is bumbling but loveable, and who is really saved from himself by his squire, Tøggle.
I cannot honestly say how long it might take me to write and assemble these. I am sure they will come faster with practice, but to start, I imagine I will be pretty slow. :)
But no worries, I have a few other short story projects.
Listening to my Disturbed station on Pandora somehow came back with Lynyrd Skynyrd. So since I secretly have a soft spot for this song, here you go. :)