Archive for the Diablo 3 Category

Time Out!

Posted in Diablo 3, Priest, PvE, Real Life, Reasons I am Going Insane, Reasons I am Still Sane, WoW on June 10, 2012 by Srsbusiness

Stay A While and Listen.

 

A pause. A break. A rest. A lull. Anyone one of these synonyms will also suffice for what I have given myself, but also what has been given to me. A bunch of elements, both in the gaming world, and outside of the gaming world have amassed and it has allowed me to not only take a time out from game related activities, but also issue myself one from the calamities elsewhere. The main issue for these timeouts revolves solely around my job, in which I work in a high stress environment directly with my superiors to help improve the quality of life for people.

 

Timeout #1 – WoW and Raiding

 


My schedule varies weekly depending on the people I see and when they are scheduled to come in for visitation. Lately, my schedule has been taking away my Tuesday evenings, which means my ability to make raids has fallen off for the week. Over the past few weeks, Apotheosis has been able to successfully finish off the remaining achievements and earn the Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider achievement, along with the shiny drakes that comes with it. In order to do some of these achievements however, we had to do some of the bosses on normal, making the encounter almost trivial for the level of play our raiders bring to the table. After running achievements for two weeks, we’ve gone back into heroic modes once again. With my schedule in conflict with our raid times of recent weeks and at the rate we clear the instance, I have been in for  only a single heroic boss kill now for one entire month (and 5 weeks come next raid lockout reset). I have been a participant in the normal clears for everyone to get their meta drake, but have heroic Deathwing die once since before Apotheosis knocked out the remaining achievements for the guild.

 

And you know what?    >>>I am okay with this.<<<

 

I do not mind being out and missing raids if my work interferes and it is beyond my control. This is a time out involuntarily given to me and I am making the best of it by performing the best I can at my job. I also put a long term spin on how this helps my long term career in WoW. By having this time out per se, it is allowing me to get rid of some of the burnout I am experiencing from the 7th month in Dragon Soul now. This will help greatly down the line when Mists of Pandaria is about to be released and my interest will be piqued by something new from the game, as compared to playing this game for x amount of months straight, and then continuing on without shedding any residual effects of burnout one may have due to lack of new content, loot, pvp, etc. This is not to say I have lost interest in the game, but with everything going on outside of it, my time is, nay needs, to be spent better elsewhere.

 

This has also affected my ability to also make our guild’s scheduled Rated Battleground Nights. Many months ago, I was almost a lock to show up on our Wednesday evenings and be ready to rollout for some hot 10 on 10 action. But lately, I have been showing up to them around 1030-11pm for the last hour in the three hours they run. While I certainly don’t mind sitting out to allow people to get their spiky pony and title, of which I was able to obtain those, it is nice after raiding and long days at work to come home and indiscriminately dispense justice upon your opponents. Heck, I have even caught myself letting go a few snide comments outside the Darkmoon Arena. That being said our team is doing very well and just recently got a bunch of our players the Knight-Captain title as we work towards Knight-Champion. I did however, manage to have time to participate in the Arena Pass this year with a rogue and druid as the composition with myself, and we finished at 1640, a solid rating for the assembly and using gear from the pvp tier 2 seasons ago, which will also earn the Vanquisher title.

 

I have also acknowledged my own social aloofness, as I have not been as responsive and active with people in game and in social media. Another cause of not wanting to displace stress in areas it is not warranted.

 

Timeout #2 – Diablo 3

 

In the time I do have when work, at the job and on the home front is taken care of, I have been spending a lot of time here. Admittedly, this is the biggest timeout I have given myself. Its like the people who waited overseas for 16 years for Starcraft 2 to come out, and then it finally came and euphoria swept over the entire player base. That’s the kind of rush I got when Diablo 3 was released, as I had spent a considerable time playing its predecessor before the release of WoW. Not only do I enjoy it being different from WoW, but finally being able to down that Vortex/Reflecting/Jailer/Shielding elite pack after getting rolled by it, is a VERY satisfying experience.

 

We all need to take a timeout sometime.

 

Timeout #3 – Real Life

 

This is of course the most intrepid facet. Between the job and leisure, there are the intricacies of what happens at the job and in correlation to how much leisure time I  and we (as in you the reader) get. Recently workload has been pushing 50+ hours a week, sometimes heading north of 60 in rare situations for some people. This leads to a combination of stress and a reduced amount of time to cope with that stress. It also requires you and the team of people you work with to step up to the plate, especially when you oust your department manager for general douchebaggery. Its kind of like being in a guild, and not having enough healers to efficiently heal a boss or instance encounter, but having enough people to raid. For the betterment of the group, some people will be asked to step outside and above their designated roles to ensure that the team succeeds. This is where I feel I am figuratively at, just in a setting outside the game.

 

See also:   Role Adaptation

 

And this is where I call my third timeout. Reality may hit you in the face when you least expect it, and how you react to it can greatly dictate future occurrences. Where I can’t reach harmony, between my work and my escape from reality, I need to reach a happy medium. While I certainly am able to get time to escape in my games, I find other ways to cope with stress and just relax. With the weather heating up in North America, Ive been able to get back to doing my personal hobby of photography as a way to de-stress, relax, and enjoy what I can out of my days.  Where I can metaphorically show you both the calm and storm (of shots I have taken) in relation to this post.

 

The Calm.

 

The Storm.

 

Nothing of course will beat a good nap if one can find time for it in their schedule. The best thing I can say is that I am glad we are not restricted to only 3 or 7 timeouts that we can take for ourselves, like in football, basketball or other professional sports. And it this point in time, i am really glad I am in a timeout.  How do you all feel about shortened raid weeks? Will not having to allocate that time every week help keep your interest high going into Mists of Pandaria? What do you do as a way to de-stress?

My Little Prime Evil: Friendship is Terror

Posted in Diablo 3 on May 24, 2012 by Srsbusiness

Spoilers To Follow!

 

Forewarned! Its been a little over a week since the release of Diablo 3, which over the past week, has sent millions of people away from other games and out into the world of Sanctuary. Only this time there is another level of hell to get through in the Inferno.  The game saw the addition of some new evils, such as Bashiok, Thrall of Azmodan or Zarhym, Terror of the Grave, but also some old classic monsters including Diablo himself and this guy who first made his debut way back in 1995.

 

The Butcher! And my Wizard in Archon form.

 

Even after only a brief week of the game being released, I can already tell what I like about the game, and what I do not like about the game.

 

Likes:

 

  • The game is not WoW and plays completely different from WoW. With the exception of perhaps an in game auction house (one day perhaps?) to streamline sales.
  • They made gold have relevance again. Unlike in Diablo 2 where people would be gold capped on damn near every toon they made because other things were used for currency.
  • The game is challenging when you hit the end of Nightmare and Start of Hell Difficulty. You can brute force your way through the normal mobs, but the elites provide a challenge all of their own.
  • Single player.
  • A decent storyline, albeit with a predictable ending, and an easter egg.
  • New elite attributes aside from Fire/Cold/Lightning/Aura Enchanted and Stone Skin.
  • The damage scaling system. Instead of synergy (which was integrated much later in Diablo 2, not at its launch), damage is modified by the weapon (even for casters) and scales with your character’s primary attribute and + damage items and gems.
  • Your mercenaries and companions have some dialogue. Which is a nice interjection between the carnage every now and then. Just don’t pair up your wizard with an enchantress and then find the enchantress again in act 2…… er…. unless of course you are into that stuff!

 

Dislikes:

 

  • Elites are infused with rabies. And by this I mean, you may find yourself legitimately screwed if you run into a combination like, I don’t know, Mortar + Frozen + Nightmarish (fear) + Jailer.
  • Lack of Gems and No Runes/Runewords. I am not terribly impressed with the variety of options of what gems do, nor the fact there are no runes or normal socketed body armors/weapons to make rune words. I am guessing this is to prevent runes and runewords to become the standard of currency again.

 

You trudge through the acts, encounter a ton of new bestiary, new fortifications that the evil forces are driven to overtake and claim as a permanent outpost of hell, and new parts of Sanctuary. And you conquer your way through it all! To reach the apex, the summit, the pinnacle of heaven where your final test awaits.

 

Diablo, Lord of Terror

 

For some reason, I really like the final room. While its set in a divine and ascended matter, the tinge and crumbling debris help give it a nice battle tested setting. They also used the same model as the final area where you fight Diablo in Diablo 2, only the Star of David is omitted (to avoid any possible religious snafu).

 

And then just like that, its over. The worlds of Heaven and Earth are saved (again) by a mortal entity, but surely there must be something else out there to enjoy as a reward for the fruits of our labor. The heroes and heroines scour the world fervently for this place, where cows and ponies and humans can all coexist in harmony, peace. Where cupcakes are found a plenty, the water gives birth to a vibrant plethora of rainbows, and cuddle bears and sunflowers illuminate the land. And the heroes seek out this place. All in the name of merciless carnage.

 

Yes, blizzard has come through, with perhaps its best trolling of its players to date, by releasing its own revamped version of “the secret cow level”. Much like in Diablo 2, you need to gather a few crafting materials to get to this secret level. They made it much more difficult to get the items in Diablo 3, a lot of cases you have to wait for a rare layout to spawn as the map, with a rare spawn enemy in that map, who has a (you guessed it) very rare chance to drop the crafting reagent you need to make the item. And well, after you get the item… I will just let the screenshots do the talking here.

 

That Ominous Cow Ghost

 

I too am Udderly pleased if you have taken the time to read this, as well as the puns…. so many puns…..

 

After your dialogue with the ghost of the cow king, the fun starts:

 

Whimsyshire, and you thought Disney was the place where dreams came true.

 

The alluring glow of the rainbow calls to you. You become placated, drawn in by its soft glow and the aura of mystique that pervades it. You approach the entryway and reluctantly left click on it, wondering what you are about to see……

 

Cuteness Level: Newborn Baby
Troll Level: Korean Starcraft 2 World Champion

 

FIST PUMP!

 

I Knew someone doodled this level in the middle of Physics class!

Who wants CUPCAKES!? Also pancakes are dead, so you know.

 

I guess I should, you know include a shot with ponies and bears BEING MERCILESSLY SLAUGHTERED too, right?

 

All Hail the teddy bear overlord!

 

Overall the game is a solid 9 in my books for what I have seen in the first week, opinions certainly vary! I do know that you got me good blizzard, thank you for trolling the heck out of me with that Easter egg level. If you have played the game, in its entirety, what do you think of the game? Did you enjoy what was put into in by the May 15th release date, or did it come up short of what you were expecting? And most importantly, did you enjoy the secret pony level, with all the sounds and warped machinations of what they passed of as music?

We’ve Saved the World, Just in Time to Again Save the World

Posted in Diablo 3, Shameless Plugs, WoW on May 14, 2012 by Srsbusiness

The world is saved! Evil no longer reigns over Azeroth as on May 13, 2012, Apotheosis of ET successfully cleared the Heroic  Madness of Deathwing encounter, being the first and only guild on our realm to do so on 25 man difficulty. The fight took considerably less time to conquer than the previous fight on Spine of Deathwing, but the duration of the encounter is what can take a toll on your night of attempts/kills. Our kill took almost 14 minutes, compared with some other fights in the zone which take less than 5. Speaking of which, if you are a skilled dps and want to be a part of our team as we continue to save the world in the near future and going forward into Mists of Pandaria, you should check us out over at Apotheosis!

 

Madness of Deathwing

 

The elements of the fight are still relatively the same on heroic, however, there is the addition of two new elements, the Corrupting Parasite and Congealing Bloods that the raid will have to contend with. Kind of like how one has to contend with a particular group of in-laws friend who plays music really loud in the car that may rub them the wrong way.

 

  • Corrupting Parasite - Affixes itself to a random (non-tank) raid member, dealing increasing fire damage over 10 seconds before exploding from the host. The parasite has roughly 9 million health and will deal 10% of its remaining HP to everyone in the raid if not killed. Basically, if you ignore this, it will explode and hit you for 900k if not killed. With a 20% nerf, this has about 7.2M hp now, and you should get about 2 parasites per aspect platform unless your dps manages to get the tentacle down quick enough.
  • Congealing Blood - Once you get to the final stage of the Deathwing encounter, he will start to periodically increase his fire damage to you based on his remaining health. At 15%, 10% and 5% he will spawn a set of 10 congealing blood at one of three random spots on that platform. Each blood that gets to him heals him for 1% of his total HP, and if he is healed over one of those percentage indicators, he will spawn another set of bloods. They can be slowed, but not stunned or knocked back, heavy aoe and spellweave cleave should kill all 10 of them before they get to the boss.

 

Raid damage also tends to get very high at the end, liberal usage of your dream will help at the end. And for our kill, most players used it between 3 to 4 times on the platform, some as many as 8 times, which made all of our healers very happy. As a shadow priest, you will really like this fight. There is always at least 2-3 things to apply dots to, your talents let you mitigate the most incoming fire damage possible, and when blood are our you get to unleash your twisty ribbons of face melty destruction upon them. Getting to the last 5% starts to get the adrenaline running, you see his health fall below 2% thinking you have the encounter beat, when suddenly you see 6 bloods racing towards him about to heal him…. and then suddenly………!

 

You’re the Savior of Azeroth. You’ve killed all possible content on the highest difficulty setting for the first time (while it was relevant). And you have the proof to show it:

 

25 people went into the Dragon Soul, 25 people came out of the Dragon Soul. Congratulations!

 

But evil only rests for a moment. It is never truly vanquished. For the dawn of a new, reborn evil is upon us:

 

Evil. is. Back.

 

I am completely stoked about the upcoming challenge, and at the same time proud of what the team of a 25 man guild has accomplished in the past month in WoW. To my guild folks, how does getting through all that content finally feel after what seemed like beating our heads off the wall some nights? And for everyone who reads, are you ready to lend spell or sword to the evil thats 11 years in the making?

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