Diablo 3 Level 60 and Beyond: Hell and Inferno


So, ding! I hit level 60 earlier this week. This build is what I ended up running with through the majority of Hell difficulty (and this is the build that I am running with currently). Originally, I had specialized as a full tank for the first half of Nightmare, focusing mostly on dodge and mitigation in terms of talents and gear. It was a great build for grouping since the folks that I run with are squishy caster types, but not so much for soloing given how long it took me to kill anything (to be honest though, my crapass weapon was most likely the actual problem).

Basically what I would do was: Repeatedly pull huge groups of enemies onto me with Cyclone Strike so that we could freeze them and AoE them down. The mobs in Nightmare didn’t hit hard enough to matter. This build wasn’t entirely viable once mobs did start hitting hard enough to matter, thus one of the reasons why I swapped over to a more kiting/ranged style of play. One of the problems with tanking in Diablo 3 is that I feel like I am trying to pet someone’s cat: Everything just seems to wander off and attack whoever. The Earth Ally helps quite a bit though, when it’s not running off triggering Treasure Goblins.

I ended up using Wave of Light over Lashing Tail Kick for most of hell difficulty because I was convinced that the range was a bit larger and that the knock back worked more consistently. In reality, I am pretty sure that I just liked the sound that the bell made when you activated it. To be honest, I am not finding either skill particularly useful in inferno and have replaced with with Blinding Flash for the AoE stun, which has been invaluable.

I was having some trouble earlier on with being severely spirit starved while kiting mobs. I ended up finding a pretty decent helm and main hand weapon with enough regen to allow me to drop Chant of Resonance in favor of One with Everything. If I recall correctly, I have about 3.2 spirit/second at the moment, which isn’t all that much but it is just enough to allow me to pop abilities as they come off of cooldown if I am running about.

There seem to be a few skills that everyone takes eventually: Binding Flash, One With Everything, and Serenity. But other than that, I haven’t seen any one master build being used extensively by the majority of the Monk playerbase, ala every WoW class. People mostly, seem to spec into abilities as it suits their play style (ranged, AoE, whatever), which I like quite a bit. Well, that and it depends on your gear mostly anyway.

So regarding inferno: Bought/found new gear, increased my DPS to roughly, 21k unbuffed and 24k buffed, and smashed through the first act without any real difficulty. The second act on the other hand sure is a jump up in difficulty. Jesus. If you are having trouble with the normal mobs at the beginning of the act, you are going to have a bad time. I need…way way more damage mitigation and health.

Diablo 3 Normal Difficulty Notes (Level 31 Monk)


Just cleared normal difficulty today on my monk, good times. Onwards to nightmare…or my demon hunter alt. This is the build that I ended up using after a bit of trial and error. Gearing up appears to be, at least to my understanding at this point, stacking as much Dexterity as possible with some Vitality. I did end up sacrificing a bit of DPS for the sake of 2.25 spirit gen, which worked out pretty well seeing as how quick I burn through spirit.

I didn’t notice any significant difference in spirit regen when using Crippling Wave over any of the other three primary abilities, none of which seemed to have nearly as much utility given that Crippling Wave applies an AoE frontal Debuff in addition to the AoE damage. I am pretty sure that this will change at some point as I unlock some of the other runes (like for example, Quickening at level 42 until that trick is eventually nerfed lol).

So usually, I begin most encounters by activating Sweeping Wind, moving in (with a Dashing Strike occasionally), and spamming Crippling Wave until I have enough spirit to do one or two Dashing Strikes (the Flying Side Kick rune has a 60% chance to stun; seems to work on bosses). If there is a large group of mobs, Cyclone will pull most of them onto me so that I can AoE them down with whatever. If I get low on health, I have Breath of Life as well as my potions. Otherwise, Transcendence actually keeps me adequately healed up most of the time (if I am low. have healing abilities on cooldown, and have spirit to burn, casting several low spirit spells restores a good chunk of health).

Dashing Strike is great for repositioning, since it always teleports you to the opposite side of your target. Also great for teleporting out of crap on the ground as well as avoiding attacks. Basically, spam Crippling Wave or whatever attack until I see the boss charge up (ie raising a sword up in the air is a good indication), then activate Dashing Strike to avoid the frontal cleave. I am unsure if I like Lashing Tail Kick. I have a sneaky feeling that as we progress upwards in difficulty (Nightmare, Hell), LTK and most likely Cyclone will be replaced in favor of more defensive abilities.

Normal difficulty wasn’t incredibly hard, though sadly most of my deaths seemed to be due to standing in things. After playing WoW effectively since launch, main tanking as well as leading raids for several years (not so much lately though), you would think that I would know better…

Diablo 3: Release Night

image_7In summary, if you did not receive your copy of Diablo 3 until Tuesday afternoon or evening, you did not miss out on a whole lot, given how utterly slammed the servers were (general rule of thumb: don’t really ever expect to play online games of this popularity immediately after release).

I was actually able to login without any problems (seemed to get in before Error 37 was an issue), but got stuck on the character screen in and endless timeout loop. Apparently though, the characters were created, given that my account was full of level 1 monks when I had logged in briefly the next morning to check my account. I have heard that a few folks were able to not only login immediately, but also create characters and play with little to no delay. All of those people are bastards lol. There were a couple more major server outages (servers were down effectively all of Tuesday evening and then for about one hour Wednesday evening immediately after I had arrived home from work lol…). Otherwise, I have been able to play lately without any real connection issues. I have been enjoying playing my monk; Currently level 21 in act II.

Diablo 3 and Real Money Trading


Diablo 3 was discussed over the weekend and the Internet exploded in rageful concern when these three main changes were announced:

  1. Diablo 3 will require an always-on internet connection ala Starcraft 2.
  2. No modifications will be allowed
  3. There will be a real-money trade auction house.

I am assuming that the need for an internet connection to play at all, (as well as the modification ban) stems from security issues associated with the including real-life currency in the game. Or perhaps, it could be thinly veiled DRM plus Blizzard pushing their real ID social networking bit. If I recall correctly, the Diablo franchise has never been all that big on modding, certainty not in comparison to their other franchise (Warcraft and StarCraft). It’s worth noting that I have a reliable internet connection (knocks on wood) and had only ever intended to play Diablo 3 online (yay co-op). Thus, I could care less about needing a persistent internet connection since it does not affect my style of play. That said, what’s wrong with having an offline only mode ala Diablo 2, as lon gas players are sufficiently warned that the offline-mode characters can never be ported over to bnet?

Blizzard has been fighting the good fight against gold selling/trading and I guess if you can’t beat it, you may as well legalize and tax it. This announcement wasn’t all that surprising. It’s not as if RMT did not exist in Diablo 2; It was fairly rampant and to be honest, had a low to non-existent impact on my gaming experience (from what I remember). They may as well offer a legit channel for real money transactions as a legal alternative to any number of shady 3rd party sites (that may result in a ban or being outright scammed). If you don’t like it, then ignore it.

But that said, I wonder how RMT will affect the game’s atmosphere and culture? Any drama with loot gets ugly fast; I imagine real money magnifying the drama by at least 100 fold. *shudder*. I can’t put my finger on it, but real money trading feels sleazy. There’s nothing explicitly wrong with it, but it feels taboo and dirty. Part of me feels as if it moves Diablo 3 one step away from being a game and one step closer to being an occupation. Despite what I have said, I kind of still don’t like it.