The Core of Diablo

mlnevese

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There is something funny about Diablo 4. It excels on audio and visual levels. It is the only Diablo game with a great story. It has the potential for a great game, but it needs to have more work done in the form of gameplay adjustments, bugfixing etc. from the developers to meet the expectations, especially considering the game's price and battle passes. But the funny thing is, even if the developers do something really good (like the next big patch), the "marketing team" still fails to portray it. Because, holy hell, they won't even double-check whether the info they share is correct.

How?
The worst part is you can see there is a fun game there... mechanically it could have been the best Diablo ever. It has a good story. But there was a time my Barbarian couldn't walk 4 steps without spending half my healing potions... I haven't even finished the campaign yet.
 

O_Bruce

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269
Aramaki the Druid
Hell difficulty, act II

Aramaki's journey through the act II started with finding a Druidic pelt in the Sewers:
1697563850071.png

+2 to elemental skills is nice, but it doesn't offer additional life per level up. And it doesn't increase my summon's levels. For now, it says in the stash.

So, Radament fight:

After which, while traveling throught the desert, Aramaki found a Wire Fleece. Nothing too crazy about this, but since Elexa's armor has been obtained in the normal difficulty, Aramaki thought she could use a new clothes. With Charsi's help, this is the result:
1697564085175.png

"Not great, not terrible" - comrade Diatlov, probably.

Anyways, as per usual Aramaki was ready to clear all the areas of monsters and eventual treasure as he proceeded with his quest. But, that meant also something Aramaki has dreaded the most: clearing up all of f... maggot lair. But Aramaki, you handsome perfection of a ginger druid, I hear you say, why would that be?

Well, because of how Aramaki does damage. Some passive cold damage from Hurricane, with main damage being Tornado. This is a projectile spell, which moves kinda at random which means that in the narrow corridors (like in maggot lair), it hits walls more often than it does enemies RIGHT IN THE FRONT OF the caster. Ging through the all the levels of it was a pain. It being level 85 area and Aramaki not finding anything nice to relieve his suffering didn't help...

But hey, he found a nice new base for the Smoke runeword while exploring the Claw Viper temple:
1697564777704.png

And a skiller grand charm for barbarian:
1697564819129.png

The Arcane Sanctuary still offered some annoyance, with ghosts. Killing them is not a big deal, but Aramaki wanted them to die over the actual ground, so that they could drop loot. That required nannying Elexa to not shoot them down too early.

After the adventure in the Arcane Sanctuary, Aramaki explored all the tombs in the Canyon of the Magi. And finally, Aramaki's luck seemed to turn:
1697565075054.png

Just look at the beauty above. Lum rune, exactly what Aramaki needed for his new armor:
1697565118160.png

But wait, there's more. In the very last (and the real) tomb of Tal Rasha, Aramki found all components for Elexa's new armor:
1697565207127.png

The armor's defense is lower, but on the other hand, +2 to amazon skill levels and +2 to critical strike (would that be effectively +4?) is worth it, considering that both Elexa and Aramaki are benefiting from wolves and a bear being a damage spoonge.

With that, to the fight with Duriel! Let's see if Aramaki can mantain his luck:
I'm... out of words, ladies and gentlemen.

------------

@mlnevese
Interesting. I wonder if I could help you, assuming you'd ever want to play again of course. From my experience, just going through the campaign shouldn't be that difficult. Then again, patch that's supposed to come out today should change some systems, so I wonder if my advice would be actually worth anything.
 

Antimatter

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A great update, as always. I've been on the receiving end of "only scrolls of Town Portal" drops from Duriel in the past as well. It happens quite often, no matter the difficulty. Everything is looking solid enough, good rune drops. Keeping 🤞 for Aramaki.
 

Antimatter

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The core of Diablo still rules supreme in 2023.

"After we discussed what improvements we wanted regarding perks in update 2.0 [for Cyberpunk 2077], the team investigated progression systems of various games, including Dying Light, Borderlands, and even Dota 2," gameplay design lead Karol Matyasik said in an interview with PC Gamer.

"When it comes to the structure of 2.0 perks, I think the old school design of Diablo 2 skill trees, with their clear paths and progressively more powerful (and fun!) abilities, is what we often referred to in our discussions."

 

O_Bruce

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269
Aramaki the Druid
Hell difficulty, act III

It seems the fate decided to apologize to Aramaki for the awful Duriel drop last time around. Aramaki begun his journey through the city-jungle of Kurast, and nearly immediately found a Waypoint in Spider Forest. After clearing Arachnid Lair, the goldy item drop happened:
1700254645067.png

Given that Aramaki just begun act III, I decided to go back to Nightmare difficulty to ask Larzuk to make sockets into it. That way, a GG item was created soon after:
1700254791535.png

I am really happy that, despite being in a single player only-clear-each-area-once run, I still managed to get my character a dual spirit runeword. That's just wonderful :)
Soon after returning to hell difficulty, Aramaki found a grand charm:
1700255021136.png

Sszark the Burning was immune to both physical and fire, so Aramaki had to... activate Hurricane and just stand there.
1700255055660.png

And another nice drop!
1700255119088.png

And another one! New boots:
1700255151177.png


A thing worth mentioning: all of the above made Aramaki feel practically untouchable. He had a shield of summons, a great amount of hit points, good resistances (with cold and poison maxed out), way of swiftly regenerating hit points with the help of Our Lord And Saviour Carrion Vine. And yet, the trip to the Swampy Pit (an optional level 85 area placed in the Flayer Junge) was a good way to remind the druid to be careful. A mix of Gloams and the greatest, yet smallest fans of Aramaki - Undead Flayers - was a very dangerous combo that resultet in a close call with death. Luckily, Aramaki survived and was more careful from now on.

He had found something to let Chari imbule later. Maybe it will be better than the current pelt:
1700255455279.png

That will have to wait until act III is cleared, so as to not reset the map once again.

Anyways, rest of the act went smoothly. The eye, brain, and heart of Khalims were successfully obtained, and now Aramaki was ready to pick up the flail:

Inside the first level of Durance of Hate, Aramaki once again encountered his favorite undead monsters: stygian dolls. No close calls this time.
Let's face the granddaddy of Sanctuary now:

Yeah... he did dropped the Arreat's Face. GG drop for barbarians:
1700255773097.png


And finally, Aramki went back to nightmare difficulty once more to imbule the previous found pelt. The result:
1700255893132.png

Unfortunately, it is nothing I have hoped for. Bonuses to skills I am not using, smaller bonus to life than my current pelt, very small bonus to mana, and resistances that I have already capped. I can only hope to find something better in Act IV and V. But to be honest, my current loot is already great given it is not-grinding type of run.

Aramaki's and Elexa's stats and skills are available at the end of vs. Mephisto video.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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Ever since I finished Diablo I earlier this year, I have been keeping an eye on D2R. The update in this thread reminded me to check again and it's on sale so I finally got it!

Today will be BG3 day, but I think D2R can become my in-between game for shorter sessions, in the place that ESO had during the last weeks.

Looking forward to screwing up and dying repeatedly and asking for advice here :)
Diablo 4 maybe next year, if I like 2.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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So about D2...
I'm a bitoverwhelmed and have no idea what the choices I can make there mean. There's Ladder, Hardcore and Pre-Expansion, then there's online or offline characters.

Hardcore I think I know, it means if you die you need to create a new character, that's certainly not for a beginner.

But what of the rest of the choices would be the most "classic" experience?
I'm not interested in online MP or leaderboards or whatever, for the start I just want to catch up on the experience of never having played Diablo 2, but without the hassle of getting an ancient game to run.

Does the expansion Lord of Destruction add changes to the system of the base game so that I should enable it right away?

And do I understand correctly that ladder only means ranked seasons i.e. something I can safely skip/disable if I'm not interested in leaderboards?
 

O_Bruce

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Okay then, let's answer your questions.

If you're not interested in multiplayer, you can create an offline character. While at it, I recommend to not pick "pre-expansion" option as in general, expansion is much richer experience. Pre-expansion is for people who wish to have a closer experience of what the game was before Lord of Destruction was released. It has its own flavour, but as I said, it would be best to start with expansion right away.

Ladder/non-ladder are terms associated with online multiplayer play and seasons, so for single player play they are not relevant
 

O_Bruce

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269
Aramaki the Druid
Hell difficulty, Act IV

First thing Aramaki found on his descent to hell was a base for Lore runeword:
1700493532058.png

It's not amazing or anything, but Lore would give +1 to all skills, some energy and more importantly, +30% lightning resistance. Let's see if Aramaki can find some better base by the end of the act IV.

Izual wasn't that threatening:

Aramki found a nice large charm on his way:
1700493688785.png

The additional 32 hit points were nice, especially since the Oak Sage increases Aramaki's life by an additional 150%. So this charm effectively gives 80 hit points.

Hephasto, or rather everything other around him managed to pressure Aramaki, something I didn't see coming:

For his trouble regarding Mephisto's soulstone, Aramaki received a Gul rune:
1700493924506.png

Not really useful for him, so it went into shared stash. Now, onto the Chaos Sanctuary, where Aramak found a Set item Ornate Plate:
1700493997066.png

It was Griswold's Heart:
1700494028425.png

Not very good for Aramaki, but it's cool it dropped nonetheless.

Diablo:

And like that, the Act IV of Hell difficulty is done. Having not found any better base for Lore runeword, Aramaki decided to make it in the previously mentioned pelt:
1700494223654.png

Our Lord and Saviour Carrion Vine is even more powerful now. Aramaki still have spare Ort and Sol rune, so he can replace this pelt with a better one if he finds any better base for the runeword. Onto act V now!
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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Oh I remember now how it felt to play the first game. The same feeling of those well-done sounds and the charming old-fashioned look... and the primitive and simple fun of stabbing at something that dies with a silly squeaking sound and drops shinies :)

Diablo2start.jpg


I only left the camp and stabbed at the undead critters stumbling around there to get my first level up, which is exactly their purpose I suppose. Going back for more.

I haven't looked up builds, should I?
For now, I've put the stat points I got at the first level into DEX, and picked Jab from the spear skill tree because I thought it's more useful in the beginning than going for magic stuff.
 

O_Bruce

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Hmmm... whether you want to look up builds is up to you. It depends on how you want to experience the game for the first time.
And for the record, most build guides you can find online are for endgame stuff, including really expensive equipment and runes, so the question is how much useful that would be for a person playing for the first time.

If you'd like some general advice, I think I can help. What you'd like to do with your character?
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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988
Thanks.

I think for now I just have general questions, I see I have slots for two weapons sets, so would it be reasonable for my Amazon to use javelin/spear for melee and bow for ranged?
Right now I prefer stabbing rather than throwing but mostly because I don't know how many resources I'll have.
I seem to be finding more arrow drops, no javelins, but that can be coincidence.

Most important question would be how to distribute stats reasonably, what to prioritize. Instinct would say to use Dex over Strength and only put as much in Strength as I need for gear, but what about vitality? Is it a priority?
 

Cahir

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Nah, I'd still very much appreciate advice. I just figured that many people learned to play some games simply by trying and not by asking veteran fighters if they should hold the sword by the blunt or the pointy end.
I don't have any real advice, as I learned the hard way that I suck in this game currently (I wasn't years ago, when D2 was originally released). What I can tell from my (short) experience with D2R on Normal difficulty is that the game is relatively easy, until you reach act 1 end boss. You will cry a lot fighting those. I dropped on act 3 boss.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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I don't have any real advice, as I learned the hard way that I suck in this game currently (I wasn't years ago, when D2 was originally released). What I can tell from my (short) experience with D2R on Normal difficulty is that the game is relatively easy, until you reach act 1 end boss. You will cry a lot fighting those. I dropped on act 3 boss.

From what I have seen and heard, this doesn't seem to be the kind of game where you go straight for the boss once you can, but more like you need to grind through the respawning trash mobs in some areas a bit more often until you gain some levels and get some good drops and then you can tackle the boss. Maybe you went there right when you could and were actually underleveled. But I should probably keep my opinions to myself until I have more than two hours in the game ;-)
 

Antimatter

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I'd probably say that it's better to try & experiment yourself. Mixing two weapon styles wouldn't be recommended though.

As for stats, you either go with Dexterity for defense - the block rate, or Vitality for HPs. For example, Aramaki just picked HPs and neglected DEX totally.

I'd probably recommend keeping STR just high enough to wear a more or less relevant armor based on what you see in drops (depending on your current level), and put about the same number of points in Dexterity and Vitality. Energy gets 0 because you can get it from items.
 
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