Diablo IV – Server Slam

I’ve not preordered Diablo IV and was originally unenthusiastic, but last weekend was the Server Slam, some kind of beta server test event, and while I didn’t take part, I did have a look over someone’s shoulder for a bit.

My original assessment of D4 was “this does not look like enough of a graphical update over D3, 11 years later” – but when you play it it actually does look nice. A bit too dark at times, but ok.

I’m a little more interested now, the “MMO features” I’d read about didn’t seem so very prominent in a Level 1 to 20 journey anymore, the story seems ok (queue “at least there is a story now”) and it seemed pretty solid. Leveling was about as slow as in D3 with your first char in a season, maybe a little slower, but the combat feels ok I guess.

We’ll see if I’ll bite in June.

Season 28 after 48h

So that stationary Hydra build with a Wizard is kind of the worst combo with a completely speed-fanatic Demon Hunter build, also my Ring of Royal Grandeur won’t drop.

Anyway, after 48h I’m very close to Paragon 200, can do Torment IX bounties solo without a problem and have not gone for Rifts a lot. But we got some secondary chars to 70 and maybe I can manage to grab a set on my Demon Hunter and that suits me more. I’ve often lost interest in Diablo III pretty soon and I’m not saying it’s already happened but I’m not so happy with the Wizard but I’ve also not put too many hours in, maybe 5 or 6.

Something that surprised me is that you can’t do the Set Dungeon with the set you get for free from Haedric’s Gift, so in order to finish the Slayer part of the Season Journey (after Chapter IV) you need to farm a complete 2nd set anyway, so this time no real use sticking to the char I rolled first. It’s weird.

Back to Diablo III

A certain someone had pre-ordered Diablo IV and felt the urge to play Diablo, so III it was and I was recruited as well. If we can believe Blizzard this will be the final Season for Diablo III, probably ending when Diablo IV launches in June, so it’s a good chance to get a last session in, as I don’t even remember when we last played outside of the season. Many years I guess.

As usual I was waiting until I could get a quick boost to 70 instead of leveling myself, then it was on to tick all the check boxes for the Season journey up to Chapter IV (but of course I had to do the GR 20 solo).

So after one evening I have a Wizard now, Paragon 76, and need to level a gem, do a GR 30, and do a Set Dungeon. Let’s see how this will work out, this Hydra spec does not play like I had imagined and the combo ultra fast Demon Hunter plus stationary Wizard also seems bad.

Vault of the Incarnates – weeks 13 & 14

Week 13 nearly didn’t happen, but we did have a few tries on Tuesday that did not go very well.

Week 14 Sunday was actually promising, everyone seemed to be out of their chocolate egg induced raid coma and we got one really good try at 5% in the last phase. Also for the first time we consistently managed to even get to the phase with the two large adds. So there is still hope we will make it in time, but it will be close. The Tuesday raid was interesting as Raszageth just died on the 5th pull of the night and the 60th overall (14th this week), so we didn’t even have to do our break and just stopped after one hour, culminating in a raid break until 10.1 Normal opens (or maybe a week later).

In M+ news, I finally did it! I got my Keystone Hero on Friday, with a timed +18 Temple of the Jade Serpent, but the really lucky run that saved me about 2 others was a +19 Ruby Life Pools we two-chested 2h before that. Someone from a Discord community took me in despite the warning that I had only timed it +17 before, but it worked. The other two DPS did more damage but I didn’t mess anything up (one death very late on the last boss, they could’ve easily finished those 20 seconds). So, that was it for M+, and only AOTC was left for the Season but I already stopped stressing out with M+, the Warrior’s gear is basically perfect for what I have done (might just try to run one +20 SBG or CoS for having the max level Vault loot just once) and I’m now only running when I’m in the mood or someone needs help, not because I have a goal I desperately want to reach.

Soo… this is kinda weird now to have reached both long-standing goals in one week, and now it’s only about deciding what class/spec to use for raiding in 10.1, it will most probably not be Enhancement Shaman, but maybe Rogue, or Druid, or Warlock. Or maybe Warrior.

The road to 10.1

There was no raid this week and we also learned that WoW’s 10.1 patch will drop on May 2nd/3rd, so that only leaves us with 4 raid weeks and 4 weeks of M+. I did manage to break the 2400 barrier last week, so it’s 95 more points for Keystone Hero, but not sure I’ll make it, kinda not motivated this week but as there are only 2 Fort and 2 Tyr weeks left I kinda need to get some points, meh. If we will manage to get our AOTC before the patch is the other question.

I’m a little torn about the Forbidden Reach zone. Sure, it’s easy enough to get some upgrades and it was fun for a bit, but I’ve kinda sworn off doing a lot of stuff on alts there, only funneling keys to one char so I can open the Vault every week, but 30 keys are still 30 keys.

I did heal a few Timewalking dungeons on the Druid and kitted her out in 395 gear, and I probably have enough spares for the Demon Hunter. I also heard that TW is nice for leveling so maybe I should try to push the Paladin to 70 and maybe even some other toon, now that we have 6 weeks of Timewalking in a row. Overall I feel like I want a little break, but I also don’t want to miss AOTC and KSH – guess that’s a sign for me that the season is a little too short. I don’t usually get bored by the content. Either I am fully invested and having fun or I don’t want to play, and then new content doesn’t really fix that.

Vault of the Incarnates – week 12

Sunday raid was uneventful, except for a tank/healer pair missing, so we had to improvise a little, including me healing on Hc Diurna, but it worked, also we didn’t skip. Tuesday was only Raszageth, 14 tries – best ones were 42 and 34%, in the second intermission. Signups for next week look a bit bleak, due to the holidays probably.

For M+, I didn’t plan to push, but I managed to get the Warrior to 9 completed and 2330 rating, so that’s only 70 more for gear upgrades and 170 more (haha) for KSM.

Patch 10.0.7

This week the kinda huge 10.0.7 WoW Patch landed. A new zone (that I would have expected in 10.1) with a grindable BiS Ring, some fancy new old Zul’Gurub gear, and Heritage Armor for Humans and Orcs.

There’s one peculiar feature in the new (endgame) zone where you need Bind-to-Account keys and can open doors in a Vault (around 25 per week) with a few easy puzzle elements (e.g. find Fire Ward to be able to go into the fiery room) and you get around 20 special gems that a) clutter your inventory and b) can be upgraded so you’ll have your BiS ring with up to iLvl 424. Anyway, you get 6 keys for free and then you need to grind your way through Rares and chests in the zone, or you run your alts through the story and send your 6 (or maybe 8 if you found a few rares) to your main. Long story short, I managed to open all doors to the vaults (i.e. around 52 keys) on my 2 important chars today around noon by grabbing the extra keys from 4 other toons and doing some rares. The downside is that I maybe can’t complete the weekly Accord quest now on all of them, but I only need to grind out 1 key per toon if I didn’t yet finish it. Maybe that was a little too easy, but why not use the fact that you have 8 max level chars already? Unfortunately Blizzard messed up the tuning a bit so the people who upgraded their gems early in the reset now had to switch, so I’m waiting until shortly before the raid to upgrade – but I already know it’s better than one ring each even before upgrading.

Then I wanted to check out the Zul’Gurub stuff as that was my first proper raid in Vanilla (not Molten Core like for most people), but it seems you need to be 70, so I did the Orc Heritage Armor quest on my Orc Rogue instead. It’s fantastic! And the rewards also look good. Kinda curious how the Human quest line will be, but I guess I’ll not be as involved as I never really mained a Human character.

Vault of the Incarnates – week 11

Nothing out of the ordinary happened, just that we had some problems with Dathea on Sunday and with Diurna on Tuesday, so not many tries on Raszageth, but also one healer down. A bit meh, overall, no AOTC in sight this or next week, but at least we have the skip now.

For M+, I passed 2200 with the Warrior, also timing an 18 SBG, still no decent offhand in sight though. Did only one each on Shaman and Hunter, a deliberate scaling down on time invested.

Today the 10.0.7 patch dropped with the new zone, I’ve explored it a bit, no clue how far I’ve made it so far, it’s decent enough though.

Vault of the Incarnates – week 10

Sunday was a relatively quick clear up to Diurna again but that was a roadblock then. Tuesday had her down after a few tries and we could finally go on to Raszageth. With one of our key healers missing and some unspecified messing up on all parts progress wasn’t too great though. We only reached Phase 2 (back on the main platform after the add platforms) a few times. I wouldn’t call that a successful raid week, but it is what it is.

For M+ stuff, the Hunter did reach 1700 rating and got a bow crafted (no proc, so 402), so it’s time for a short break here. The Shaman reached 2000 rating, so I need to grind a bit of Valor now to upgrade more pieces. Still haven’t gotten a decent 2nd trinket, but I did get an Offhand I could theoretically upgrade now, but it’s expensive. The Warrior has finished around 8 +16s, so very close to getting my 10 tokens to try to upgrade my MH weapon to 418, but still no offhand in sight. Also could upgrade a few things a bit more and slowly making my way to 2200 rating. Finally, the Druid did reach 70 but I am a little overwhelmed by the amount of buttons and I’ll see that I can try to heal something easy now, but 310 iLvl is not a lot and I’m not in the mood for grinding gear.

Vault of the Incarnates – week 9

The Sunday raid started with some nice quick kills of the first three (however you want to count it), then our first kill of Kurog (9th pull), then the two missing “farm” bosses – Council being a complete mess as usual.

Tuesday Diurna died on the 14th pull after we changed our strategy a bit (2 tanks on her, 1 add tank, and 4 good AoE DPS on adds, plus 2 Hunters on standby for some certain adds), also the 2 Enhancement Shamans on egg duty, with a third helping for the third egg. Kinda fun this way. We finished the night with 3 test pulls on Heroic Raszageth, but didn’t reach phase 3. Still kinda happy with our progress now.

For non-raiding, got 8 M+ done on the Warrior, including a few +16s – still looking for an offhand, 16 M+ on the Shaman (still 30ish ranking missing to 2000 and some upgrades) and then some 8 +11s on the Hunter, nearly at 1700, so that’s two goals for next week. Also been casually leveling my Druid as Balance (66 now) because I want to try Resto Druid healing and I’m not bothering before I hit 70.

A very successful week.