D3: Surviving Hell
I have been meaning to make this post for a few days, after making an executive decision to not write at all while on my extended D3 weekend. I am still playing WoW, and continue to do so for plenty of time here forward, but the new shiny of D3 has apparently given me a huge writer’s block currently in regards to WoW.
So instead of one of the many things on my agenda (and in my drafts folder), I felt the need to express some of my recent thoughts on my Demon Hunter. (Something other than her ever-changing armor colors and banner – though I will subject you to some of those screenshots. heh)
A Demon Hunter Perspective
Over the course of our four day weekend, Laz and I beat Normal and Nightmare modes, and began working on Hell mode. As of last night, we are Level 55 and about midway through Act II in Hell.
I will stick to discussing the game difficulty, elite mob abilities and my character, so as to avoid any storyline spoilers, because it is a wonderful story that everyone should have the opportunity to experience through the game and not through a blog entry.
The Difficulty Levels
Diablo 3 has four difficulty levels: Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno. Each level of difficulty plays through the same storyline, but with an exponentially increasing difficulty. Though the storyline is the same, every zone and dungeon has a degree of randomness, and therefore mobs, loot, side quests, and side instances change every time you load the game.
So this randomness and the difficulty add some variety.
A quick breakdown of my experience and my thoughts thusfar:
- Normal - Mostly faceroll. High as possible DPS is a good thing to make fights go faster. Standing in stuff kind of hurts and is not suggested but probably will not kill you unless you go AFK in it. Some boss mechanics are brutal, but many are completely avoidable with the proper timing. Rare and Champion elite mobs and their cohorts are fairly easy as they have low hit points and only 1-2 of several annoying abilities (see below for the list).
- Nightmare - Requires some coordination. Higher Hit Points on your character start to become important. Standing in stuff is bad, sometimes even a few ticks can mean death, and do not let things blow up on you. Bosses have few to no new abilities, but have more health and hit a lot harder – staying ahead of their mechanics is key and will equal “win.” Rare and Champion elite mobs become more difficult, as they now have 2-3 annoying abilities, with some hairy combinations possible. Expect to die some – more to Rares and Champions (and their skill combinations) than bosses.
- Hell - Be prepared! (More prepared than you originally think!) Keep your gear up to level. Hit Points and Armor are crucial so you avoid getting one-shot by certain mechanics and Resists begin to become very important. Bosses have more health and hit harder, but basically have the same mechanics. Rare and Champion elite mobs are ridiculous with 3-5 annoying abilities, all of which hurt a lot. Expect to die A LOT – keep repair money!
- Inferno - Uhh, I know I am not prepared! lol This is max level (Level 60) content, and I know I still have a ways to go.
Rare/Champion Elite Abilities (courtesy of the D3 Fans site):
- Arcane Enchanted (Level 31 ) – Monsters imbued with the Arcane Enchanted trait can summon a deadly purple beam. These beams rotate in a withering circle of pain that inflicts arcane damage.
- Avenger (Level 51) – Only Champion monsters can spawn with the Avenger trait. When a Champion group imbued with Avenger arrives, the death of each group member imbues the remaining Champions with added power as they wreak their frenzies vengeance on the Hero.
- Desecrator (Level 22) – The Desecrator creates fiery pools beneath the feet of the Hero.
- Electrified (Level 26) – Gives the monster higher Lightning resistance as well as lighting damage when attacking. This also gives the monster a special Lightning-based ability which radiates small lightning bolts from the mobs in every direction.
- Extra Health (Level 31) – This trait bestows the imbued monster with extra HP.
- Fast (Level 31) – This makes monsters run, attack and cast magic faster. Monster granted with fast are granted no additional resistances, nor do their attacks inflict extra damage.
- Fire Chains (Level 31) – Champion backs are attached by a fire chain. The Hero suffers damage if he touches or even gets near one of the fire links.
- Frozen (Level 22) – Frozen-imbued monsters inflict Cold damage with their attacks and have strong Cold resistance. They also wield a pair of Cold based special attacks. They can slow the Hero, as well as freeze them with frozen orbs or on death.
- Health Link (Level 51) – This special trail is for champion monsters only and it activates only if more than one champion is present. Health Link reduces the amount of damage taken by the champion with that trait by linking his HP to that of all other Health Link champions in the area.
- Horde (Level 31) – This special trail is for Rare monsters only. Horde increases the squad of minions that spawn with a rare monster, crowding the battlefield.
- Illusionist (Level 26) – The illusionist trait imbues a creature with the ability to create clones of itself. The trait grants no new resistances, and the damage deal by an Illusionist is not modified in any way. Illusionist is available to minions, as well as Rare and Champion monsters. Each clone has the same HP as its host. Clones can not create clones. Each monster has a chance to use polymorph to create two clones of itself when damaged.
- Invulnerable Minions (Level 51) – Only rare monsters about level 51 can spawn in with this trait. These rares arrive with a squad of indestructible puppet minions and an expanded heath pool. Its health is increased by 50%. You can not kill the minions until the main rare is dead. Invulnerable is distinguishable by the bubble surrounding the mob.
- Jailer (Level 51) -The jailer trait gives monsters the ability to immobilize the Hero in a conjured prison. The effect is brief, but long enough to make you an easy target. Each attack by the Jailer has a 25% chance to cast this on you. Dashing strike lets you move, but does not free you. Spirit walk will however set you free.
- Knockback (Level 0) – Each hit from the mob has a chance to knock back the hero.
- Missile Dampening (Level 8) – Only rare monsters can spawn with this trait. Creatures imbued with the trait generate a reddish sphere around themselves. Any projectile entering this sphere moves considerably slower. (Object will be 50% slower while inside) The projectile will speed up once leaving.
- Molten (Level 8) – Enemies with the Molten trait are granted Fire resistance and add Fire damage to their normal attacks. They also exhibit a pair of Fire-based special attacks. As they move, Molten creatures leave a trail of painful lava pools. When they die, they explode in a fiery bast.
- Mortar (Level 22) – The Mortar monster launches a quick volley of firebombs at the hero every 4-5 seconds. The monster will keep tossing bombs when he dies. Minions can also spawn with this
- Nightmarish (Level 0) – Any rare monster and its minions of all levels can spawn with this. This imbues a monster’s attacks with an element of Fear. Any attack by a Nightmarish foe has the chance to send your character fleeing in terror.
- Plagued (Level 14) – All monsters at level 14 and above can be spawned with the Plagued trait. All damage dealt by a Plagued monster is Poison-based. The trait also grants Poison resistance to the monster (including minions) and triggers three special Poison-based attacks.
- Shielding (Level 22) – Gives the monster a brief period of invulnerability to all forms of damage.
- Teleporter (Level 0) – The teleporter trait allows monster to zap around the field of battle, phasing away when attacked only to jump back next to you moments later for a counterattack. The trait has no effect on damage or resistances.
- Reflect – All Champion and Rare monsters (but not minions) above level 26 can have the Reflect trait. When you strike the foe with any attack, you suffer automatic damage in return.
- Vampiric – The vampiric trait allows monster to literally feast on the damage they inflict to you by turning it into health for themselves.
- Vortex – This trait allows monsters to draw their foes into close quarters, so Vortex is particularly dangerous if your character relies on ranged attacks. The ability itself doesn’t inflict damage, however.
- Waller – Waller allows champions monsters imbued with the trait to erect impenetrable barriers on the battlefield for brief durations of time. These walls impede line of sight and movement.
I made a few tiny changes above where I saw mistakes or missing information. Also please note, that I have been unable to find a comprehensive list of the elite skills, so this is currently the best I can muster – what I found and corrected with the experience of Laz and I. Please let me know if you feel any of these are inaccurate.
I replaced the “Thorns” ability above with “Reflect.” This ability affects melee, ranged, and even trap damage against the elite. I have not played with my turrets on a Reflect elite yet, this will be my next test, as so far everything I damage a Reflect mob with hurts me a lot too!
There may be a Thorns imbued elite, but I have not seen them. Reflect mobs, though, lots.
As the difficulties progress, and elite mobs gain more combinations of abilities, Laz and I are discovering some pretty deadly and just plain stupid combinations. Some combinations are just flat out requiring whittling the mobs down over the course of a few deaths until everything is dead.
As of last night, we came across the first Champion pack we literally just gave up on and skirted around – after ten or so deaths and skill adjustments even. Teleport/Fire Chains/Jailer Deranged Cultists. Basically, these guys would jail me, teleport surrounding me, and cut me apart with chains. Laz was having little luck surviving these guys either.
Need moar gear! (And level 60!)
I am determined to find a way to beat those guys…
Basically, these higher difficulty modes are not meant to be a walk in the park, they are hard. Expect to die some (maybe a lot), learn new ways to combine skills, improve your gear, get some more levels, and progress as you can.
Personally, I am happy with the progression Laz and I are making – slow and steady. We are gaining levels and gear, we are progressing through the stories, and we are learning new ways to look at how we handle trash, elites, and bosses. And that is what progression is to me.
I was originally going to include my current, semi-revolving Demon Hunter spec here too, but I am moving that to the next post.