This weekend — maybe the last week — has been really, really hard to get any time in to game. Diablo 3’s Season 14 launched on Friday at 5pm, and I was all set to get in there any level up my Barbarian. Between family stuff that came up and work, I had wasn’t able to play until this afternoon. Things didn’t quite go according to plan, but despite that I was able to hit level 70 and actually get many of the items I need to start my build.
Have you heard of Moonlighter? If you love the idea of being an RPG shop keeper stocking your shelves, crafting more wares, but still going out on adventures to make it all possible, then you're exactly like me -- and you should be paying attention!
The game is officially coming out May 29 on Steam, GoG, Windows 10, and Xbox One, and PS4. Back in October of 2017 they announced a Switch version, but it appears that won't be coming out until sometime later.
Vermintide 2 comes out in just two days! Graev and I have put in several hours into the beta (available now if you pre-purchase the game on Steam) already, and have a lot of great things to say about the game.
Here's a quick video of the gameplay for you to watch before or after I give a quick rundown of the game with my thoughts.
The Blizzard rumor mill is running rampant over the past few days. While these rumors are pure speculation and in many ways hopeful wishing, I’m still liking everything I hear.
First we have a rumor that Diablo 3 will come to the Nintendo Switch. There’s also a rumor of a local co-op mode, which has me intrigued though admittedly I would be very disappointed if there wasn’t online play.
The Switch does need hack and slash action RPGs. Though I’m not sure whether or not I could find a place for D3 on the Switch, since I’ve played it just about as much as I’d like to on the PC, it makes for a good addition to the console and a reason to back up Nintendo’s statement about expecting a longer shelf life on the Switch.
I was at Graev’s today checking out some games with him (Skyrim on Switch, Battlefront 2, and Pokemon Ultra Sun) when we stumbled on this little gem on Steam: Titan Quest: Ragnarök. Yep, it looks there’s a new expansion to one of the best action-rpg’s of all time.
Graev and I DEVOURED Titan Quest back in the day. We played through several times to experience that story and explore the vast worlds. Titan Quest is perhaps the only action RPG that I can say beats Diablo, and still — even above Path of Exile for me — holds the crown.
The latest expansion brings with it quite a list of features. From the official website:
At long last, Titan Quest continues its epic journey through the world of antiquity. A mysterious threat calls the heroes of Hades to the uncharted lands of northern Europe, where new enemies await and new powers and treasures are waiting to be found!
This new expansion to the acclaimed Anniversary Edition of Titan Quest adds a fifth act of unprecedented scope, along with many new and requested features including new weapon types and a 10th Mastery for your characters to learn.
New story act with dozens of new quests
- Brave the realms of the Celts, the Northmen and the Asgardian gods in the largest act to date
- Revisit the other acts to find new items and secrets
New 10th Mastery
- Become a Runemaster, a magical warrior fighting with both, spells and weapons
- Combine newly learned with existing masteries for a total of 45 combinations
New experience curve
- Reach level 85 and maximize your character’s potential
New weapons and gear
- Find new and powerful gear, from colorful Celtic shields to famous weapons of Germanic legend.
- New relics and charms for crafting, and a new option to improve even legendary items.
- New thrown weapons strike the balance between range and speed!
New Enemies and bosses
- From the denizens of Germany’s dark forests to the forces of Asgard itself.
Improved character customization
- A wider variety of regional styles and color dyes
- Finally: wear pants!
Technical and QOL improvements
- New shaders and graphical effects
- Improved ragdoll physics
- Improved UI and combat feedback for total information
- Improved control customization
- Improved modding tools
I’m really excited to visit the Celtic lands and Asgardian lore. The original was very much set in ancient Greece with the Greek gods and lore. This will be a fun departure.
I feel it’s worth noting that the original developers (who left and formed Crate Entertainment) have another game out right now that I have played and highly recommend: Grim Dawn. Titan Quest is currently developed by THQ Nordic, who — all things considered — have done a nice job bringing back the Titan Quest property.
Graev and I will let you guys know what we think of Ragnarok, which by name alone has earned itself an impulse buy. In case you’re wondering, it’s on Steam right now for 25% off ($14.99) and I believe GoG will have it next week.
I needed a game to pass the time until Battlefront 2 comes out, so I decided to jump in a few days after the start of Diablo 3’s 12th season. For the uninitiated, a season basically means you start a character over at level 0 and play ‘fresh’. Each season tends to bring a patch to balance things, maybe introduce some new items, etc.
Season 12 did a ton to balance the classes in the game so that there isn’t such a disparity between “the best” and “the worst”. In other words, if you had to classify a ‘build’ as the “best” (let’s call it S Rank) and a class as the “worst” (F Rank) there would be several builds for each class closer to S than F.
That’s a big change from even just two seasons ago. Plenty of builds sucked and would never exceed Greater Rift 100. Totally different now, and instead of having to play a “good build” you can just play what sounds fun to you.
So, for the first time since Diablo 3 launched, I’m playing a Monk.
I was power-leveled to 70 (max level) in about 10 minutes thanks to sitting at the entrance while a friend clears T6 rifts. Now I’m gearing up to find the Sunwuko set so that I can use a Wave of Light build. It seems like the most fun to me. Lots of screen-clearing ability and capable of pushing GR115+, but that like I’ll ever see that. I’ll probably see 70.
Diablo 3 seasons tend to be 1 week endeavors for me. I find lots of gear, clear lots of grifts, and then decide I don’t feel like doing the “grind mobs mindlessly for small upgrades to min/max and optimize gear” game.
This time around, I think I’m going to start coining it the “3-Dayer”. The 3-Dayer actually has much larger application which I’ll post about in the near future.
I was really excited to get home today and watch some of the people streaming Dauntless. Dauntless can now be streamed by people who buy into the really expensive Alpha. I mean really, look at the prices. I’m going to vent about this for a second before I get to my main subject.
Only the $80 pack lets you in today. The other two are September 1. Alpha to closed beta, planned less than a month apart. PLANNED people. This isn’t a real alpha test. This isn’t development. This is marketing. Ugh, it’s a pet peeve of mine. Like they know when they’re leaving alpha in such a prescribed fashion. Then the game goes free-to-play at launch. Really? Come on guys.
Regardless of the scummy pricing model, I was saddened to see that Dauntless looks really boring. I was really hoping for this stylized epic hunting adventure, but it’s in rough shape.
First, it’s so repetitive in animation and gameplay. It’s just wailing constantly on mobs. I watched 4 hours of Twitch (while doing other stuff on my other monitor). If it changes after 4 hours, I’d be shocked. So far everything the streamers are playing looks the same.
Second, the audio sounds bad. Lots of squealing high-pitch mobs and weapons making contact with enemies began to sound like nails on a chalk board. I had to mute the streams to keep watching.
Visually — environmentally — I like the art style. The interface and animations leave much to be desired.
Based on what I saw, this marketing beta backfired big time. I won’t be picking up Dauntless. For being a Monster Hunter-like, I’ll skip and wait for the real thing.
Quick little update for you guys tonight because I had a super late day and haven’t had much time to play a whole lot or write up something thought-provoking or intelligent.
There are two main things to update you on for this week.
My “SRS” necromancer-ish-thing is like level 30’ish and I’m in Act 3 now. Have to say the SRS stuff just absolutely obliterates everything. Nothing even comes close to hurting me now, and I pop everything on the screen in a few seconds.
I’m finally understanding what some of the lingo means. I’m linking my gems up nicely (melee splash, duration, etc) and figuring out how to read this guide I’m using. One of the big things I learned that started to help me was how to “craft” — aka sell to a vendor.
The game is growing on me more and more. In fact I think it’s the only thing I played on Saturday and most of Sunday. Hoping to continue my progress this week except there’s…
Agnarr’s Kunark expansion drops in two days (Wednesday, Aug 16) and I’m prepping for two main goals:
The CoS is pretty dang awesome. Instant invis? Check.
Whether or not my friend and I can actually get a camp will be the challenge, but he’s taking off work and I can usually swing getting home a little early. Servers open up Kunark around 2pm PT.
The reason I’m going Enchanter is because, quite frankly, I need groups. I’ve complained plenty about not getting a group on my Shaman and now my Necro, and given I can only play at prime time
Playing an Enchanter means getting 5 group invites before I can even finish loading into the game. Only makes sense to me, and I love Enchanters anyway.
Okay guys, that’s all for tonight! #31DayBloggingChallenge 2 week point!
Hey all! For tonight's blog post, I'll be streaming Path of Exile. Keep in mind I'm a complete and total noob at the game. I'll be seen trying to figure things out, messing up just about everything, and having a good time exploring the game.
After the stream ends, I'll be converting the live player below into a video for you to watch as well as updating the post with a writeup of what we did in-game.
While live, feel free to interact in the chat and ask any questions. I'll answer whatever I can from a newbie's perspective.
I walked away from tonight's play session with two main thoughts.
So whenever I left a 'zone' or 'map' and then returned, even in this same play session, the map regenerated and even randomly generated behind me. On one hand it's neat to have what seems like an infinite source of mobs, but it's sort of frustrating for a player like myself that doesn't know where I'm going and ends up backtracking to figure out where I am.
On one hand I like that I sorta have no idea where to go. I'm meandering/roaming and trying to unlock/solve the mysteries of the map. That's super cool.
On the other hand, I'm roaming around and spending a lot of time making little progress - exacerbated by the maps regenerating behind me.
In fact, I accidently beat act 1 and stumbled into act 2 without even realizing what happened. I was looking for an alternate way around a gate I couldn't open (inexplicably) when I suddenly beat the boss of Act 1 because I wandered into a hole in the ground.
Cool moment, but I don't think I even had a quest to do it!
I'm really excited to continue with the game because I'm starting to feel like I can get into the story and the world and what's going on.
Did you know that I haven’t played Path of Exile? Well, that might not be entirely true. I originally played Path of Exile during its earliest phases of … beta, I think? I played back when Act 1 was the only act available, and act 2 had just come out. It’s been a while.
I thought it would be fun to present my opinions on the game from a complete newbie’s perspective. Patch 3.0 just came out which apparently added a ton to the game and revamped a whole lot. As a newbie, I’ll have no idea what changed… but I will be able to judge the game for what it is right now.
I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what the classes even do. I just learned 30 seconds ago from a friend what a chromatic is and why I should start picking them up.
As a Diablo 3 veteran — one that actually does like the game and currently played a Necromancer in Torment 12 — I think I can provide an interesting perspective. From all the Twitch streams and general consensus out there in the PoE community, D3 sucks and PoE is so much better. I’ll be the judge of that.
I’m a few hours in now, and my opinions are already starting to form.
Where D3 streamlines and polishes that user experience to the point of being almost too straight forward, PoE goes the other direction. As a newbie, there’s so much they don’t teach you. Like I said, I didn’t know what a chromatic was (3 sockets (1 of each color) linked together on a single item). There’s also a tree of passive skills that will blow your mind.
Compared to Diablo 3, the PoE passive tree is way closer to D2 — and dwarfs it 10 fold.
Passive skill choices are permanent, which is both awesome and horrible. You can respect your passives using respect points the game sends your way, but you really shouldn’t make too many mistakes otherwise you’ll be living with them.
I’m not enthralled by the story. I don’t know that I necessarily should be at this point. This is an ARPG, so I don’t expect the story to do much more than pretend to give me a reason to go on the the next fight.
I get the gist of what’s going on. We’ve been exiled to this island off the mainland where an empire lives (Oriath?). We’re helping the people who settled here get inland more because there’s probably food there and other people.
I guess that’s as far as I’ve gone? I’m sort of figuring out this gem stuff and think it’s experimental or something. We’ll see.
I’m going the route of a witch that summons lots of pets. I got a tip to use something called “SRS” which I discovered means “Summon Raging Spirit.” It’s not actually as good as my frost gem I picked up that sends of a pulse of frost (that might actually be its name).
Speaking of gems, I also learned about gem linking. There are support gems that augment a gem they are linked to. Linking is when the sockets in an item are linked by a path — it’s not enough to just have socked on an item; They must be linked.
The difficulty is obviously pretty balanced right now. Compared to D3, it’s hard. I feel like as a newbie in D3 I can still melt everything. PoE makes me kite some harder mobs. Though at level 12’ish right now I feel like I’m getting closer to being safe. Interestingly, no deaths yet.
I want the game to feel hard–ish. I don’t want to ever feel frustrated by the difficulty, but it’ll be nice to hopefully have some challenge. This is all ignorant prediction. It may very well turn into lasers pew pew melt everything like D3.
I caught a glimpse of some streamers I watch playing PoE. Shout out to Shortyy, Lirik, and Waffle. They’re occasionally fun to watch. These guys are using something like “Builder” which is program that somehow tells them their builds and exactly what to get and what to do. That feels so… bleh. Why bother?
I think the most I’m willing to do right now is download a loot filter and read a guide on how to generally play my build (which I did.) The loot filter takes the crap in the game and helps highlight stuff that isn’t garbage. My guide is basically helping me understand my stats and which passives are generally good for a pet build.
I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. Is this a long game? Is it short but turns into a grind like D3? ::shrug:: I’m here for the casual adventure. I’d like to keep you guys updated on my thoughts as I continue. Not a bad time to start PoE since this is also only day 7 my 31 days of blogging!