idiocy in action

Let me explain.

I’ve said repeatedly that my normal approach to playing RPGs is to play as a Barbarian/Tank/melee fighter.  When I started Diablo 3, however, I decided to switch it up and try the Monk class – it seemed to be an interesting mix of melee combat with support magic.  And for a long time – probably right up to beating the game on Nightmare difficulty – everything was going fine.

Sort of.  Towards the beginning of the Nightmare run, I – for reasons yet unknown – switched from fist weapons to two-handed staffs and daibos.  I was hitting much harder, but also a bit slower, but I felt the trade-off was worth it.

And then I started playing Hell difficulty, and was getting the shit kicked out of me by elite mobs.  It got to the point where, like I said in the last post, I started up two new characters just to avoid having to go back and deal with what I clearly couldn’t deal with.  And then I bought a legendary two-handed weapon (and some better armor) in the auction house and decided to replay Act 1 of Hell, and things started to go a little better – not much, but I wasn’t dying all the time.

My 2nd run of Act 1 of Hell was a goddamned cakewalk compared to Act II, though – I was still getting crushed left and right, and I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong.

And then I suddenly remembered that I was playing my Monk like a Barbarian.

I quickly bought some insanely powerful one-handed weapons in the auction house, switched up my skills (more specifically, I got rid of Mystic Ally and put Seven-Sided Strike back in) and started ripping the shit out of everything.  I basically re-ran Act II and got through the first third of Act III dying only once, hitting Level 60 in the process.

Fuck and yes.

* * *

Now, here’s the thing.  I didn’t even open up the Auction House until I started Hell difficulty, but there was absolutely no way I could survive more than 10 minutes of Act 1 of Hell without going to the Auction House.  I’ve forgotten how many hours I’ve put into the game, but I’m sure it’s somewhere between 60-80 hours, and in that time, I’ve had to throw away (or salvage) about 98% of all the loot I’ve picked up.  I’ve taken the Forge guy and the Gem guy up to their maximum levels, but the Forge guy is wildly inconsistent with the stuff he makes for me – I almost always have to junk it because it’s got the wrong specs.  (The Gem guy, on the other hand, is absurdly cheap – until the last three levels of construction, where it costs 30K + Tomes of Secrets (which I’ve only found on the Auction House) just to make 1 gem.)

I kinda think that’s insane.  That in 60-80+ hours, I’ve only been able to use maybe 2% of the stuff I’ve picked up.   That the only possible way I could continue to succeed in the game is to use the Auction House, where I’m seeing stuff that is so absurdly better than the stuff I’d seen in-game that I wonder if I’m playing a different game entirely.  I mean, I don’t mind spending the gold – it would’ve gone to an in-game vendor (although the stuff they sell is pretty terrible, too), but it’s just a little bit nuts that the usable drop rates are so stingy.

(Of course, now that I’ve hit level 60 and had my first experience with the Nephalem Valor buff – and picked up some serious loot in the process – maybe now I’m seeing where all the stuff in the auction house comes from.  I still haven’t had a need for any of the loot I’ve picked up, but at least I can get some decent resale value for it – or, alternately, I can salvage it for my Forge guy.  I might just alternate runs going forward – I’ll fill up my inventory once to sell, and then fill it up again to salvage.  And if I find something useful, well, hooray for me.)

Author: Jeremy Voss

Musician, wanna-be writer, suburban husband and father. I'll occasionally tweet from @couchshouts. You can find me on XBL, PSN and Steam as JervoNYC.

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