Diablo 3 – Seasons change


I never bought Diablo 3. I got it from an offer that Blizzard had where you commit to a year of World of Warcraft and you got a mount, Tyrael’s Charger, and you got Diablo 3. I had played the first two games and enjoyed them, but I wasn’t as hooked as a lot of people were playing them.

I played through Diablo 3 when it came out. I picked the monk class because it was the closest thing to a Paladin that they had (hand to hand combat and holy magic, including healing). I am a Lawful Good type of guy (if you played Dungeons and Dragons, you’ll understand that)  and I enjoy pretending that my job is to smite evil. The story was fun and the graphics were beautiful but there was no way in hell I planned on ever playing through that story again with a different class.

Fast forward a while and Blizzard made an expansion, Reaper of Souls, which introduced another class – a Crusader (close but still not quite a Paladin, come on Blizzard!) and it also put a fifth act in the story of the game. I purchased it much later when they had a sale and I picked it up for like half price but I never really played it.

One thing that I did not really pay attention to was they added a new mode to the game where if you beat the story, you got a new game play mode called adventure mode. You could go fight in any of the previous locations for bounties that had you do certain objectives and also a new thing called a rift which just spawns monsters and powerful boss monsters for you to kill for loot. Somewhere along the line they also starting doing these things called seasons where you start from scratch and have a multi-stage list of objectives to do in game that will earn you some cool cosmetic stuff for your character. I think they do it to introduce you to all the things you can do in the game.

With this adventure mode, it really breathes new life into the game. You can get recipes to make powerful items, the materials to make the items, a lot of gold, and of course powerful items to equip your hero with. They had just announced that a new season, number 4 would be starting soon so I hurried up to finish the story in Act 5 so that I would unlock Adventure mode and be able to start a seasonal character so that they could level up solely through Adventure mode.

I first tried a witch doctor class but I could not really get into it. I only got to about level 14 (out of 70) and then I tried a demon hunter and it was kind of boring too. I did not want to do another close combat class just yet, so I picked the wizard. Holy crap it was fun! I got this cold ray that was basically just like a freezing laser beam you paint the targets with and they die. Even better it upgrades to a disintigration beam that is the closest thing to plasma weapons you will get in a fantasy game.

What this country really needs is a good $5 plasma weapon.

What this country really needs is a good $5 plasma weapon.

Another cool spell I got was the equivalent of a Sith’s force lightning and I could make it jump to a total of 10 targets. I felt like the Emperor from Star Wars.

Unlimited POWER!!!

Unlimited POWER!!!

These seasons are supposed to last a few months I think. There were four chapters of objectives to finish to get the rewards. I pretty much blew through them all in a few weeks. It was extremely fun to play and even in small sessions I felt like I was making progress. Sometimes with other games you feel like you play all night and don’t really advance. But this is not a monthly subscription game like an MMO so I guess there is no need for the developer to try and keep you hooked. Maybe I just clicked with the class, but I am thinking I might try the barbarian or the crusader next before the season ends. Time will tell.

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Is this thing on?


I feel bad that I have not posted in over a year but I really don’t think anyone is reading this besides me. So why does it still bother me?

My free time and money are what I consider my most valuable resources. I look at the people who’s blogs I religiously read and whose podcasts that I constantly listen to and I have to wonder how and more importantly why the content creators do it?

I get home from work, sometimes late, and after helping the kids with homework I just want to turn on the computer and game. I love to spout off to my coworkers about gaming and hobby related stuff but most of them just look at me funny. I still do it and most of the time get a kick out of it because at least *I* get the reference.

I do my critical websurfing in a short session before my gaming starts. I listen to podcasts at work or while gaming. When I have free time, I usually want to be gaming. But I feel like I have been in a rut for a long while now. A long freaking while. Maybe I don’t need to spend so much time on gaming.

Maybe I could go for a walk. Lord knows that I could use a cross country walk! Now that the weather is about to turn cooler I want to try some of things that I used to do, like post my musings here.

Even if no one else reads it, someday my daughters will be able to look back on this and with an adult point of view maybe get some insight into their old man. I found a letter in my Dad’s wallet after I cleared my Mom’s belongings out of my childhood home. It wasn’t long but it did provide me with insight into my father. I would have never called him a man of faith, but he did have faith and he believed!

So I am going to try and at least post weekly, or maybe a little more as the spirit moves me. Mostly about gaming and other things I am interested in or mad about. Sometimes it will be these other kinds of posts that I can only equate to my own self therapy.

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Blowing off the dust..


Wow. Last time I posted was before we moved. The last six months have been filled with problems moving and my mom passing away but also with some gaming.

I had my system set up in my mother-in-law’s basement for four and a half months and there I mostly played WoW and EvE.

I was getting my missioning on in EvE working my way up to level 3 missions and if I felt like breaking my bank (something you should never do in EvE) I could have probably purchased a battleship to attempt a level 4 mission. But then if it exploded, I would have been left with regrets so I didn’t. You really should only fly a ship you can afford to replace comletely, with modules and insurance too so in effect you need twice what it cost you. The lure of EvE didn’t last like it normally doesn’t and the latter part of my time was just logging in to change skill training.

I got a mage in WoW up to the mid 80’s (Cataclysm levels) which was far from where it started in the 20s. But then it got old as well. I tried some farming of old content for mounts but that was kind of boring and it seems like forever until the new expansion comes out in December. I was excited about the expansion at first but the more I hear about it the less I seem to care. Maybe WoW is just getting too old or I am. Maybe a little of both.

By now I was in my new basement (TA-DA!) and it was Elder Scrolls Online time. I am such a sucker for a new title. I was in the beta and I really felt pretty ambivalent about the game but some of my friends were playing and there was a big guild and I got swept up into it. It was kind of fun at first. The story seemed engaging. But my character never spoke and just seemed like a watered down version of their single player games. Plus the heals seemed really weak and if there’s one thing I hate, its weak heals. I might try it again whenever they come up with that spell crafting system they mentioned in that email where they laid out a laundry list of pie in the sky crap to keep people from leaving the game. Yeah, it didn’t work on me. I left after the free month.

Then it was off to Star Wars The Old Republic. I really enjoyed re-connecting with my Sith Inquisitor. I went the DPS spec because – lightning. So all I did was pick every dialog option that involved shocking people with lightning and much fun was had by me. I got into the 40s I think. I was enjoying the storyline of the class too. I forgot that SWTOR had such fun stories. I would probably still be playing it now but there was one little problem, the pre-order for this little game named WildStar.

So I had heard about WildStar and I was even in some phases of the beta. I thought it was okay but I never felt like it had its hooks in me. Maybe its because I try and use betas as demos (close your eyes, game developers) but I never try and get too attached or into a game in beta. Because I know everything I do is temporary and I don’t want to spoil the story or gameplay too much. I got a 25% off code off of Green Man Gaming and used it to grab the Deluxe edition pre-order. I started following the news and forums more and kept tabs on it while I played SWTOR. I really liked how early access was on a weekend so I didn’t have to feel like taking off time from work. The PST schedule meant I wasn’t there right at the start (3:00am, no way) but from the accounts I read it was not really playable for another hour and a half or so anyway. I woke up at a leisurely 9am and rolled my first character, a Mordesh Spellslinger.

The Mordesh are like space zombies that aren’t zombies yet but they are infected with “The Contagion” and they need this life serum to keep from turning. Luckily they don’t make the players farm that stuff so they don’t turn. They have a cool look to them though. I came up with a look I wanted in the beta and just duplicated that at launch. I only had four races to choose from for the Exile side. The Exiles are like the rebels. They fight against the evil Dominion (empire). The other choices for Exile races are human (BORING!), Aurin (small with fox ears and tails, not really my taste but they seem really popular with those that like anime or My Little Pony), Granok (rock people, cool concept but their hands must be too big to dual wield pistols so it wasn’t an option for me).

My class of course had to be the Spellslinger. What else could I pick with dual pistols and spells (including heals – sweet, sweet heals). The only thing is they have light armor and rely a lot on movement. Would this be a good time to mention I am a clicker? As in, I use the keyboard to turn and click on abilities with my mouse. If you read any articles on being “good” at MMOs you will soon learn that clickers are bad and keybinders are good. Well, I can’t get into keybinding. I mean, I can press maybe like the first 4 or 5 abilities because they are near my left hand, but that’s about it. Forget that crap about using shift or alt or control to get more because that is too confusing for my fingers. I have been a clicker in every MMO I have every played and I think I do okay, so I’m not about to change now. Anyway, I am still having fun with the Spellslinger and got her up to level 18. I did have a brief stint with rolling alts this past weekend but luckily for me I did not like any of them. This is unprecedented for me! I might actually stick with a single character for a while. Plus I love the sound and animation when she draws and holsters her pistols.

Well, its getting late and I am getting tired so I will leave you with a pic of my spellslinger.


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Sorry Padre

I found out I love to play the healer role in MMOs. I have five max level healers in WoW which is a lot for a casual player like me and they all leveled up in the Dungeon Finder. Luckily I never had this happen to me.

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Hindsight is usually 20/20


As I sit looking at the icons of some of my recent game purchases on my desktop, I can’t help but wish that I would have went with my gut instinct on some of them.

Guild Wars 2 – OMG I don’t know what else I can do to try and like this game and rationalize why the hell I ignored my impressions and got it anyway. My last hope is a weekly grouping session with my old gaming buds to try and re-kindle some of those good times we had in EQ, EQ2, and WoW.

Rift – I still enjoy Rift but right now I am in a WoW phase and I prefer to have only one paid subscription at a time. Also, I think the lack of a healing add-on similar to Healium for WoW is preventing me from throwing myself into the random dungeon queues.

EvE – I still have an article on the back burner about my love-hate relationship with EvE Online. Suffice it to say that I am subscribed for another of those $30 for 90 days and spent the first half doing some mining and missioning and the second half just training skills barely logging in. The summer expansion looks interesting but I won’t be biting unless I get another special offer or a week of free time.

EQ2 – I tried it out after the improvements in the F2P experience and it had me for just a little while but then I got sick of it again. Not really sure why. I think it is the F2P curse I mentioned previously.

Starcraft 2 – I think it was a deal for $20 but much like X-COM and my other single player games I have not devoted much time to it. I found it enjoyable as far as I got. I just need some time away from MMOs to finish it off.

X-COM – I really thought this game was going to be the second coming but there is just enough different that I can’t fully commit to it. Even on easy mode, I find into the middle of the game I am having a harder time than I expect to. Could I just be getting old?

SWTOR – I played it as a paid subscriber after the F2P launch becasuse I did not like the limitations. I enjoyed the time I spent but I feel no desire to play the limited version for free. Maybe if I started on a new server, but then I would just have alts all over the place.

The Secret World – I almost forgot about this one because I actually deleted it. Another one I really wanted to like, but I could not get the hang of the skill wheels and the weak, weak self healing made it seem like every fight was a chore. I did not feel special or heroic at all. Again, am I just getting old? This was another one I was leaning towards not getting when it had a sub.

WoW – It really is the ex-girlfriend you can hit up for a booty call when you need a gaming fix. They have really made it more accessible to the casual gamer, which unfortunately I am until I retire or hit the lottery. I rolled a new Pandaren Monk on the server where my old Rift Guild has been established forever and I am having a good time healing in the dungeon queues and leveling.

So here I sit wishing I could reload a save game of my life with some of these titles. I know it would be cheating but I’ll tell you – I swung a mean hex editor back in the day to cheat at a lot of single player games and even one online one.  I hit max level in Shadow’s of Yserbius after one combat – yeah I found where the XP value was stored in memory <evil grin>.


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Post Holiday Post Mortem and a confession

So I picked up the Rift Expansion (Storm Legion Infinity Edition) with the mount and portal but I did not bite on the one that came with the Stormbringer title and required you to buy a year of the game. After my experience with the World of Warcraft Annual Pass last year and my fickle gaming habits it was not a smart move for me. I did not even subscribe when it launched but I am back in for a month at least as of yesterday and I am having fun re-rolling my Cleric as a Defiant. I cannot get into the Guardian story or lore and I really don’t like any of the races despite having a level 50 High Elf Cleric.

Speaking of WoW, I did pick up the expansion for $20 braving the massive crowd at Target on Black Friday Eve. I did not really take advantage of the content however. I was subscribed for a month over the holidays but my time was spent leveling a discipline priest. I really fell in love with the vampiric style of healing you get with the attonement ability you get in the 30s that makes your smites heal for 1/2 the damage done (100% of the damage if it is not you being healed). I got into the 70s which is still a couple expansions behind Pandaria. I have characters spread over three servers in WoW and they don’t allow cross server mail and transfers cost $25 per character. I really like how Rift makes it not only easy to level a character, but you get free server moves once a week.

For single player gaming my squad in X-COM has been sitting the bench. I also picked up StarCraft 2 for $20 and found the story enjoyable but I have not progressed too far into it. It’s mostly been MMOs all the way.

My confession is that I broke down and bought GuildWars 2 after my trip in August. I was in a gaming funk and wanted something new. Plus my gaming brother was so gung-ho I decided to give it a try against my better judgement. I don’t know how to explain it but I have tried and tried and I just cannot get into it. Maybe it’s because you have to play it like a pvp’er and constantly be moving and dodging out-of-the-way of the mobs. Maybe its the weak self-healing and lack of the trinity type healing class. I even tried the Thief since the stealth abilities help you get out of combat but nothing is clicking with me.

I also grabbed up The Secret World when it dropped the subscription fee but before they put it on sale. I have done some research on builds and had a little more success but not enough to make me play it more than once every couple of weeks so far.

So were your holiday gaming endeavors rewarding?

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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For that Diablo itch that you still need to scratch

I don’t know about you, but after I finished Diablo 3 I was in no mood to repeat the process on the same content with tougher enemies for progressing my character.

While I wait for Grim Dawn to finish cooking in the Kickstarter pot, this game caught my eye as another possible Diablo replacement. The setting seems slightly more interesting than your standard fantasy setting. Does anyone know of a Sci-Fi based Diablo clone? I don’t but I would like to see some come out.

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Chaos Chronicles. Looks like more turn based goodness.

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It’s funny cause for me its true..

I used to think the trinity was old-fashioned. Then I played GW2. Now I love the trinity.

-the SWTOR forums

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