Diablo 4: Got the Barbarian Helmet Finally!

Decided to do a bunch of Duriel runs today on my Barbarian. Of course, the last run is where I managed to secure the Tuskhelm of Joritz the Mighty, which was the last major piece for my Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian build. Along the way I finally got an upgraded Azurewrath too. When the sword dropped, my heart paused for a second as I had hoped it was going to be a Doombringer. Of course, Barbarians have that other weapon dropping too so my luck just ended up sucking.

I did pick up another Banished Lord’s Talisman 925 item power version. So I gave that to my Necromancer along with the Godslayer Crown that was sitting in my stash waiting for my next Sorcerer to make use of it. Along the way, I also tried to farm for a Lidless Wall but had zero success. I ended up using a stack of 100 of those blood summoning mats. It sucks that it didn’t drop because that along with the Blood Moon Breeches pants are the main things left for this character.

While playing my sorcerer I ended up doing the winter season event, fought the boss (of course, he shows up when my lame leveling character is around) and managed to down him. Got the achievement and a Trophy (I guess). Kinda lame that he only gives out one of those currencies though.

Also, I managed to hit 100 on my druid the other night. After that, I decided to try something else. I kinda lost motivation to play my Rogue and figured it’ll either be my new sorcerer or finishing up my Necromancer. One other thought is to level up a Tornado druid but the druid leveling process is just horribly painful. And I even have the main helmet Tempest Roar (two of them!). But that means, I won’t be able to use them until WT4 so I’d have to play a different build until then. In theory, I could just play another Pulverize build but that one glyph is a pain in the ass to farm before WT3.

I’d want to leave a comment regarding the state of Druids. While they are fun, they really don’t start to shine until the mid and early late game. I ended up really liking the Stormclaw build but it sucks there’s no direct path to it from a leveling build. With that in mind, I just feel druids kinda blow. I’m glad I was able to get a level 100 druid. If it wasn’t for my switchover to Stormclaw, I probably would’ve gotten really bored with Pulverize. At the same time, I found Pulverize literally hit and miss especially with bosses and trying to level with Trample stunk. I think part of the problem is that the key builds are gated behind uniques or certain aspects you have to discover in the wild. Without those key items/aspects, your build just feels super gimped.

Going back to my latest Firewall sorcerer, I have to admit, I’m not truly motivated to playing her out. I’m already thinking about a Blizzard sorcerer but couldn’t find any good leveling builds. I have that Blue Rose ring and considered switching her over since Firewall kinda sucks. I guess it’s just lame that nothing can outshine Ball Lightning right now.

That said, I’m starting to lose motivation to play. I got to do most of the activities I wanted. I even found one Uber Unique along this journey so the rest is just farming up more mats to farm up Duriel. However, I feel that without a solid group, Duriel farming just sucks. Even if they increased the drop rate for uber uniques, it still sucks that the overall drop rate blows and that you get a bunch of lame items in the process.

I know that the focus mostly has been on the AoZ content since that was the next power push while the winter event kinda failed imo. But I think this direction especially with leaderboards arriving in S3 is completely incorrect. I heard an interview come out about the current director for D4 and it didn’t sound good. My main concern is that the directive from the top is to force esports into every single one of their franchises. So you’ll get a bunch of wasted resources on crap like leaderboards or AoZ type of content. However, it’s going to end up just catering towards a very small set of the ARPG audience.

My hope is that by S4, they nail down itemization. There’s a bunch of good ideas floating around but the execution has been very poor. I like the overall concept of what they were trying to do with Aspects where you copy a key ability over to another item. But the implementation is pretty horrid. I think Blizzard recognizes this too because they’ve acknowledged that they want to move aspects from stash space elsewhere. How will they do that though? What will happen to the range portion of an aspect? I will say that if they just flatten the whole thing into a library for the Codex that’ll be far better than people hoarding a bunch of stuff to imprint which stinks.

But there’s another thing that I want to see where we have true gear progression. The gear enchantment that was taken from D3 blows. It’s essentially bozosort to waste time and mats. But I don’t see that as gear progression. Gear progression to me is giving life to a piece of gear. Lost Ark had the basic idea down where you want to give people gear that they can improve upon. But you don’t want to make the base gear itself so boring that there’s no reason to pick up anything.

If gearing is part of the end game where you need better gear to do harder content, then the better gear aspect should go beyond just bozosort discovery. Instead, controlled  crafting should be a meaningful exercise. I think people won’t mind if the grind is about getting the gear to incrementally improve ones existing gear. But that would entail a system similar to aspects where you can rip away key things to improve or replace a stat on a piece of gear. Also, those stats should do more than just do +/- damage/ehp type of modifiers. I’ve talked in the past where I want to see my fireballs get bigger as I put more points into them. Or I would like a way so that my Blood Surge gets compensated for the lack of single target. Or some sort of trigger mechanism like the Greatstaff of the Crone where another skill gets cast when the primary one is used. When you get that type of pool of effects, you can truly create a pool of diversity because it allows players to experiment rather than forcing obvious builds that aren’t interesting or end up limiting what a person can play.

Also, I hope there’s more of an endgame rather than the generic slay all mobs in dungeon and finally uber boss type of thinking but let’s add a timer to annoy people so that we can call it an esport. There’s nothing creative nor fun in that mode if people have seen and done that mode over and over again. Instead, I want to see something like a Harvest League for Diablo 4 where you simply have a mechanism to farm a variety of materials for crafting end game gear.

Now, I know they added the Malignant rings because of Season 1. And Season 2 to me has been a very good success given the activity. I honestly hope that they will keep the Season 2 powers and element in the game. I like how they incorporated those powers onto the gear and allowed for some mechanism to upgrade them. Heck, they should be doing what PoE is doing in just using these seasons to add content rather than just experiment. If you get a popular season like this one, then keep it around in some slightly reduced form. I would like to be able to level and play the game in a variety of modes.

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