So after trying out the new season, I have to admit, I got pretty addicted. While there are certainly many lingering problems (BUGS!!!!!), the bulk of the season that I’ve experienced especially with the vampiric powers and item farming has been quite good thus far. There were a few adjustments I made that helped my progress along the way and I created two additional characters because my goals had altered.
First, let me applaud the developers for making the progression aspect of the current Diablo 4 Season 2 more fluid. Generally, my two largest complaints about a game like this is the grinding aspects of leveling and finding good items. Both aspects have been solved with the vampire hunting zones behaving as a quick method to do Tree of Whispers (which grants a lot of XP and gold) as well as items. I’ve come to the conclusion by my 3rd character in this season that the best way to level is to do as much vampire quests while they’re active as possible. Not only will you work towards your Tree of Whispers points, but you’ll gain keys, items and Potent Blood. The Potent Blood becomes a godsend early on since you want to level up and unlock as many powers as possible asap. In addition, you’ll get special bounties per character that you can unlock, which is like a mini season journey. I think this aspect is really cool as you can get supplemental gear. When you choose to unlock that rewards probably should be a little strategic (I assume they scale) but I like the fact that it’s an option at any time.
But the main reason (for me at least) in rushing to unlock your vampiric powers is that they will pretty much make you OP in dealing with most content, especially the annoying Capstone Dungeons. While I haven’t tackled the Elias encounter, the first Capstone Dungeon gets pretty trivialized by having your key gear and your vampiric powers. On my first character (Necromancer), I struggled slightly in the Capstone Dungeon but that was due to having un-optimized gear and vampiric powers. On my second character (Sorcerer), the entire dungeon became trivial. I will admit that I did ensure both characters were level 50 when I did them (and my Sorcerer had her initial paragon points from Renown) so I had some boost. Without a doubt though those vampiric powers really help early on.
The other part I’m quite happy about is being able to target farm uniques. This has been my bane especially on my first druid where I could not find certain build enabling uniques and practically killed my desire to play. However, the new system that allows us to target farm uniques is a true game changer. While my Necromancer at this stage doesn’t have a real need for uniques, my sorcerer does. I managed to secure a Raiment of the Infinite from the Echo of Varshan. And at T3, the Echo of Varshan is not a hard fight at all.
Leveling mostly has been quite fluid. One thing I did find out (too late) was that I just needed to login to my older characters with the maxed out Renown to give my seasonal characters the same benefit. So my Necromancer had zero help but at least my sorcerer and rogue did. With that said, I had been doing Renown activities on my Necromancer early on which expedited leveling. With my newer characters, I mostly spend time doing vampire areas for all the seasonal bonuses and so I can push my vampiric powers. Early on, I try to unlock one Aspect from a dungeon so I can begin using the Occultist especially if I require a key Aspect. Because of how the drop rates for items are very good, doing at least one dungeon early is a huge boon for leveling to get those legendary powers.
Usually around mid 40s is where leveling starts to feel like a drag. The problem I’ve encountered is that once you figure out how to do the vampire bounties, you end up finishing them quite quickly. Like I try to get them whenever they spawn. That usually leaves 20+ minutes to do other activities. What I’ve been doing is unlocking Waypoints, finishing key Strongholds, some dungeons for the Aspects for my class (or maybe another that I plan on leveling afterward) and the occasional one off bounty to get my Tree of Whispers points in. Also, I try to get in the main season quest in early on.
One thing I mentioned was creating a Rogue. While the sorcerer has been a literal blast to play, I wanted to try another Rogue out because of how one could easily farm a Condemnation as well as seeing how the vampiric powers would change the play style of the Twisting Blade build. Mostly, the criticism I’ve had for a Twisting Blade rogue has been squishiness. There is one ability that acts as another life on hit so that combined with Siphoning Strikes would help in boss fights. So I was thinking that this could be a good boss killer.
However, with the updated methods for target farming uniques, I do want a Druid since my original one could not obtain the two key items for a proper Pulverize build. The only terrible aspect of the Druid class in Diablo 4 is that most of the key builds have certain item requirements to enable a build to shine. Right now, I’m looking at Pulverize (again) and/or Landslide builds. Neither are great but at least with Landslide, I haven’t tried it thus far. What I might do is go for Companion early on and then switch to one of these two (or three for Tornado) if I manage to stumble upon the right Aspect.
Also, I’d like to do a Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian. I never finished up my Barbarian on the Eternal Realm and probably will delete/re-create her on seasonal. Because of how fast I can level in seasons with all the bonuses, I feel like it presents a good opportunity to go in and check out all the classes to an extent. The upper echelon stuff like Uber Lilith will remain out of my grasp. For now, it’s more like a buffet of classes/builds that I want to take a gander at.
Now, let’s talk about the shit part: CRASHES. Yesterday, I experienced at least 10-12 different crashes. None of them were spectacular but most were just me trying to click on something then a dialog freezing. I suspect there’s a weird lock going on in the UI that just fucks up Diablo 4. Like it could be a combination of network activity, some bizarre client-server validation or action that’s not synching or maybe even a graphics card issue (I am using a laptop). At any rate, this is beyond annoying. It probably is a graphics card because I saw Kripp at Blizzcon mention that the graphics card would just cause some random crash. Also, my laptop is old so I probably just need a better system. Some people suggested getting a PC rather than a laptop because it’ll be more powerful and cheaper. I just don’t want to be forced to lug another PC around. That said, with my new desktop setup, I do have the proper space and probably could just set the PC on the floor and add another monitor to place the area that my gaming PC is situated at.
With that said, I did watch Blizzcon and saw the upcoming patch for tomorrow. I’m kinda excited mostly because of the new Unique rings coming from the previous season’s powers. I’m still trying to determine how one can farm those rings but I read it’s going to be through fighting Varshan. I can’t tell if these rings will be added to his normal pool (meaning on T3+) but it’ll be cool to have more power and another reason to do this content. I read how there’s a tier list of where these rings rank and the top one seems to be for a Barbarian. So again this gives me more reason to re-create my Barbarian on season and justtry to obtain one of these.