Diablo 3

Freyn Returns

posted in Diablo 3

As I'm sure anyone not living under a rock - in the atlantic ocean with no eyes or ears - is aware, Diablo 3 was released yesterday. My copy did not arrive until this morning so I'm a little behind on the slaughter but I'm certainly going to put the time in. Unfortunately the servers have just been taken down, but I guess that gives me time to get this written!

I've only given the one class (Barbarian, as if it needed saying) the go so far, because I am certain I am going to enjoy it and I'm more of the 1 character first kinda guy. Needless to say, Freyn (both Freyn's actually) is currently making a rather bloody mess in the world of Sanctuary at the moment.

Note: I am aware that there are kill streaks of 10k+ out there, this isn't meant to be showing off. Although it's worth noting they are all done by deliberate kill farming, not just playing the game ;)

I'll do a more thorough review in a few days on a seperate post, this is more about my barbarian who has finally found his way out of Diablo 2! He has had one change since he left where he was left up in the Arreat mountains - Due to weapon related changes he is no longer a shield/axe wielder, but a dual anything. Late game I may return but for now the damage and attack speed boost is far too great to pass up for some small block/armor.

I've currently got 2 barbarians called Freyn, 21 and 11 with the latter being hardcore. Whilst I can't say my hardcore character has come close to death I must admit that my normal character has died a few times. One was in the second act when I decided to unwittingly change my equipment to have less +life on hit without changing my rather gung-ho attack strategy. The rest on the other hand, can be attributed to Fatbuddha.. whilst I was perfectly okay with him joining and strengthening the minions in my game, I was not expecting that whilst he was nearby I would be getting no (or near to no) xp*. This resulted in the skeleton king rather beating me up, as I was level 6 instead of the expected 9.

Hardcore however this was not an issue, and I found the fight incredibly easy due to one particular skill/rune combination: Bash. A chance to stun every hit, dual daggers (fast attack speed AND an attack speed magic property on each) and a rather long cast animation from the boss resulted in a near permanent stun lock. Trivial is not quite the word.

I'm currently sitting scratching my head about hp regen stats and how much they are worth comapared to raw damage. Then ofc there is the age old philosophy that all you need is enough regen to survive the incoming damage, which with the constant health globe drops (+25% drop +100% heal from passive) is very little.

So, my conclusions for barbarian and Freyn's future growth are:
- Faster attacks require less +life on hit to be useful
- Strength is superior to attack speed other than for the above.
- Pound of Flesh trivialises pack mobs.
- Bash + Clobber is a boss killer.

The ingame stat sheet lists general damage, but does not take your skills into account so I'm going to try put some time (ha right) into a damage calculator. For now, here is where Blizzard have capped me with tonights server maintenance.

* These are my theories, XP gain certainly slowed, seemingly halving my leveling speed (mostly from quests).

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