Well… it seems like I’m gonna make a bad habit of writing these when what I really should be doing is head for bed. Oh well… The theme of the day is Diablo 3. While I have spend a lot of time playing other Blizzard games (I don’t even want to take a look at my total logged in time in WoW….) this is the one I’m currently having the most fun with, so, it’ll be the one I write about 😉
Let’s start off talking a (very little) bit about vanilla Diablo 3. It had an auction house (which was removed because you could generally buy something better from there than you’d get by grinding mobs for hours), a campaign that you could play through on several difficulties and… well, that’s about it where endgame gameplay is concerned. It let us experience the continuation of the Diablo story, but where it went wrong was in trying to be too much of a Diablo 2 clone. Since Diablo 2 is an extremely long lived gaming experience (I do believe people are STILL playing it) I can’t really blame them, but… 12 years later people are expecting a bit more improvements than was offered. Sure, they promised the PvP arena, but that ended up never materializing.
I played vanilla Diablo 3 for a bit, but got stuck on some higher difficulty and quit, not to touch it again before D3v2 and Reaper of Souls. With D3v2 and Reaper of Souls a huge set of improvements were introduced. They include and improved looting system (where you generally only get gear that’s good for your class), adventure mode where you get bounties (missions in already explored areas) and rifts (kill x amounts of enemies to summon boss). New difficulty levels were also introduced, and you were rewarded with better drops, more gold and xp for playing on a higher difficulty level.
With time a feature called Greater Rifts were introduced. These were a timed version of Rifts with their own set of difficulty levels (rift level 45 is equivalent to Torment X, the highest adventure mode difficulty, but players have gone waaaay beyond that). At the start you got to ever higher difficulty rifts by progressively playing from low levels to high levels until you failed and had to start from low levels again. A few patches later and you can start a Greater Rift of any level (that you’ve completed or up to two levels higher) by using a rift stone, which you can earn by running normal rifts. And, of course you’ll have the best chances of getting great loot in Greater Rifts.
Another feature that’s been introduced is seasons, where you start a new, seasonal character from scratch, get access to additional seasonal items, and a few patches down the road, get the chance to unlock season only rewards like pets, portrait frames etc.
Well, my whole reason for being excited about the game right now is the latest season. It lets you unlock parts of a legendary set as you progress through objectives in the campaign (reach level 70, kill Zoltan Khule on Torment II and complete a level 20 solo Greater Rift), meaning that once you’ve reached a meaningful gear level you’ll also have unlocked a full set. Sets unlock ways of playing the game that wouldn’t be possible with normal gear. My current character Khelgar is a monk who thanks to his set is a ranged character (monks are generally melee focused) using this build. While I have leveled characters in every previous Diablo 3 season, this is the first time that I’ve actually had a really strong one who can easily solo Torment X difficulty bounties and has so far reached Greater Rift level 57 (I hope to push him a little further yet).
Just by giving me access to this one guaranteed set this season Blizzard has given me a chance to play as a very powerful character without having to rely on luck with drops… and I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had in the game. One example of this is that my Paragon level (a leveling system shared between all characters on your account that you accumulate after reaching max normal level, though separate for seasonal and non-seasonal characters) is close to 500 on my seasonal character which I’ve played with for less than a month and my regular characters have only reached something around 170. Another is that I finally have enough gold to upgrade gems etc…
Well, I’ll finish up by mentioning the Kanai’s Cube, a successor to the Horadric Cube, which lets the player reforge (reroll stats) legendaries, create legendaries and reroll setpieces into different pieces of the same set (has some additional features as well, which can be read about here). That one also makes finding that one legendary you’re missing a bit easier.
But… the point of my article is that if you like Diablo, this is the perfect time to get started or get back to Diablo 3. You’ll get a free set as you complete basic objectives which’ll give you a great start gear-wise and make you one powerful character indeed. I just hope this is a feature that’ll be available in future season!
Update: I forgot to mention that while I do enjoy playing Diablo 3, I don’t really consider it a game to play with 100% focus; for me it’s a rather brainless game that’s fun to play while doing something else at the same time, like watching Netflix or catching up on podcasts.