Flask Half-Empty

ramblings about warcraft, other games, & randomness

Category Archives: diablo 3

D3: Still Puttering, but Halfway Through

New Tristram Cathedral : Artwork from Act II Cutscene

Things are winding down a bit in the real life (I say this on the eve before I fly to the other side of the country for a weeklong work conference, heh) so I’ve finally had a chance to get a decent bit of game time lately. My better conscious keeps telling me, “No, Ninevi! You should be working on your End-of-Cata bucket list and getting ready for Mists! Or exploring more of the Beta! Or working on your WoW Ironman Challenge attempts!” Alas, I’ve pretty much done all but that and been spending some time with my demon hunter on Diablo 3 instead. She’s so cool, and D3 is just. So. Gorgeous. And horribly, horribly addicting. Jumping into game and blasting away at demons and barrels and more demons has just been more satisfying than the frustrations of RNG and the loot gods in WoW nowadays.

I’ve really enjoyed just turning of the Auto Join feature and playing on my own. Even though the Public Games option is there, I haven’t bothered to try it because I’m satisfied just exploring by myself and my templar! I finally finished up Act II (still on Normal…hush!), and the Belial fight was incredibly fun. It took me two tries to get him — the first time was annoying when he skewered me into pools of green bad, and I couldn’t move, but thankfully that didn’t happen on the second try. I can’t wait to try him on harder difficulty. Now I’m onto Act III and halfway through the game, yay! And I love that the scenery has changed to be all snowy and fortress-y. I also found a super neat crossbow that heals me whenever I deal damage, so I’ll maybe have a bit less of a hard time with evil ranged/caster mobs now!

I really like my templar follower, and the things he says are so silly. He reminds me almost of Castiel from Supernatural. Although his conversations can be a little repetitive, they make me smile and I don’t mind that he’s there! Although, he really does channel Castiel’s semi-innocent and naive-ish-ness by stupidly standing in fire sometimes and then asking me, “I bleed…?” To which, I shuffle around madly in hopes of moving him away and shout at him, “Yes, you’re bleeding! Get out of the bad stuff! You’re dying! HEAL YOURSELF, YOU SILLY, THAT’S WHY I GAVE YOU THAT TALENT!” And then he’ll finally roll out of the fire and be all like, “We did it!” Yes…we did it…very messily. Herp derp, silly paladin templar, but I still love you! I still somewhat irrationally get excited every time I find a better piece of gear for him. “Yay, here’s a pretty and awesome shield!” And he’s always so grateful. :D Although, it was annoying that I’d found all of the other followers’ relics before I found one for him. But at least the stats were appropriate, and it came with an achievement!

Besides all of the small details in the game, my next favorite part are probably the gorgeous cutscenes. It keeps having me wonder, why can’t Blizzard invest in a CG film? Even a short one? It would be awesome, but I don’t remember hearing any updates regarding the Warcraft film. Watching the cutscenes in Diablo 3 remind me of when Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children had just come out — I must have watched the movie at least twenty times, in both English and Japanese (terrible dubs and all), because Square Enix’s CG work was just fantastic. If Blizz were ever to consier a CG film, I think the fangirl inside of me would die from squeeing too much!

But while playing, there are definitely some features from WoW that I keep wishing also existed in D3. It may be that some of them exist, but I haven’t yet discovered them yet out of my newbieness. And ignorance, I guess, since I’m continually turned off by the D3 official forums and haven’t been too thrilled by the general D3 player community in general…surprise, surprise. But I definitely need to explore the Wiki pages more at some point so I’m not completely poking around in the dark and being less than optimal in game-play, especially if I’m going to attempt the harder levels later!

Here are some miscellanous things I’d love to have, some are silly and probably not so important:

  • A “Dressing Room” feature – So much gear drops, and I’d just love to see what they look like on my character, even if she can’t wear them. Maybe even a feature to preview dye before I use them would be nice, too.
  • Better stat distribution on loot – I still don’t understand why I find so much gear like Enchantress mirrors with +Str and so forth. Really? I don’t use my enchantress at all, but wouldn’t she want more +Int? And why in the world would I want +Str on a Demon Hunter specific item? Do not want…
  • A way to sort Auction house – There’s probably some easier way to search/sort, but I still have issues finding exactly what I want from the AH. For instance, I don’t really want to look items as “bid” only, as I tend to just buyout everything. I don’t know if I just got bugged or what, but I couldn’t sort any of my search results at all, and it was frustrating.
  • A naming feature for followers – Well, I think we all know who I’d name my templar after… >_>;;
  • Some jumping feature or auto-run – I haven’t played a click to move since my Lineage II days, so it took some getting used to, and I still really want to move around with WASD every now and then. I still find it irritating that I can’t just jump over some little ledges and so forth, though!

Oftentimes we compare certain games to others ones we’ve enjoyed playing or continue to play. Are there features or aspects from other games that you’d also like to see in Diablo 3? If so, how do you think they might be implemented if at all possible? Bashiok replied to this post on the forums, discussing many WoW-like improvements — do you agree with any of them or find them improbable?


The Lull of Summer

Little Sproutling is too sleepy for beach time fun…

Ahh, summertime. The sneaky creep of hot weather and lazy days is among us. Or is it…?

It’s the summer lull that’s been knawing away at my mind, knowing that expansions and new releases are abound and on the horizon. So close…yet so far. On first glance, the chanced sightings of friends and guildmates online have been slim: WoW seems like a barren wasteland nowadays, with guild members online in the zero-to-single digits, and friends logged onto other games. And even in said other games (I’m looking at you, Diablo 3) friends are progressed into Nightmare-Hell modes, and some even Inferno — far beyond where I’m still lurking, in the early Acts on Normal.

I suppose this is where I feel a bit wistful. I wish I didn’t always feel as if I were far behind everyone, but at the same time the last month has been all-around tasking with work and my slow transition into the next phase of my life/career, moving from research to secondary education.  A classic case of real life “getting in the way” of the fantasy escape. (…it’s been nearly a month since D3 released? Geez, I am behind the times!)

I think these are the questions I always find myself asking:

Did I find happiness, having followed my priorities? Or is there some way I could have managed my time to have squeezed in more gaming?

The answer should be simple. It should be a given that I’m satisfied, maybe proud even, that I’ve been so focused on the next stage of my life and career. When I received my acceptance letter to the teacher residency program I interviewed for, it was surely an “Achievement Unlocked!” moment. And I felt that way again, after I started back on my routine of jogging 4 miles a day. But I couldn’t help but feel selfish at the same time. Maybe I felt like I ditched my friends, guildmates, or even characters. Maybe I missed the structure and set-paced schedule of progression raiding. Maybe I just miss playing hours on end and devoting more time to a hobby I love. Maybe I even felt guilty for playing so little of something I’ve paid for. Or maybe in the end, it’s a kind of withdrawal syndrome.

But back to finding the happy medium. I think the dissatisfaction of being perpetually “behind” stems from the social aspect of these games. Seeing friends take down fantastically designed bosses in D3 has me longing to be there alongside them. It’s hardly so much that spoilers are everywhere I look, but the fact that I take delight in viewing said spoilers is the double-edged sword that has me yearning to catch up to everyone and stop trailing behind everyone. I think this is something I need to discover and remind myself; to be perfectly okay in being slow in progress, but to remember to set aside some game time into my schedule as well. I’ve had laughs with a close friend about planning out “when to work on what” in various games in my agenda, but I think it’s not too far out there. I’ll keep trying to squeeze in time every day, but I’m doubtful of returning to the times where I’d have solid blocks of hours to grind. Oh, how I’ll reminisce those good old days of spending hours and hours with friends doing silly things.

On a positive note, I guess for now the summer lull is a hidden gift. While people may be burning out on end-of-expansion boredom and looking to other games, I’ll take the chance to explore things slowly at my own speed — explore every nook and cranny of maps and crack open every barrel and chest, without anyone to pressure me to “hurry and catch up!” It’s also perhaps a perfect time to squeeze in time to work on my WoW Ironman Challenge, since I won’t be leveling like crazy to hit 90 and then the ever antagonizing grind for gear…yet. So I should probably get on that, yes. Until next time…