Kill them all...

Kill them all...

Lissa
Lissa

August 6th, 2003, 6:09 am #1

...or how I made level 48 in Normal Players 8 full clear in 1.10 and the silliness of it all.

Yes, that's right, level 48 with an Amazon without having to enter Nightmare. It took about 60 hours game play total spread out over a couple weeks with D2 running, minimized while not in use. No repeat of areas was performed while making this run.

What have I learned? Act 5 has way too much EP potential. The leveling of the character went something like this: End of Act 1, level 20.5, End of Act 2, level 28.5, End of Act 3, level 32.5, End of Act 4, level 35.1, End of Act 5, level 48.5. Note as well, at level 35, you have about 3 Million experience total with your character, at level 48.5, you have almost 37 Million experience. The ammount of EP gained in Act 5 alone is enough to make a character go from level 1 to level 47, almost level 48.

The real cake taker is the amount of EP that Lestor and his minions give you. It's actually more than the Ancients give you upon completion of their quest. From Listor and his minions, I went from level 47.5 to level 48.5 on 6 mobs, about 3 Million experience.

Personal belief is that Blizzard shouldn't drop EP gained per mob exponetially after level 70, they just need to lower the EP from the mobs in Act 5, it's too much. If they cut the EP gained from Act 5 by 75%, they wouldn't need the EP drop off that they instituted as levels gained here would be more respectable.

Couple of Random thoughts/annoyances

Removing piercing from GA hurts the boss killer Amazon builds. While piercing made GA too powerful, removing piercing entirely takes away one of the fun aspects of the skill. Better solution would have been to institute a counter and only allow GA to pierce a certain number of times instead of disallowing it all together.

Diablo is quite a different boss now that they no longer allow you to leech from him. I found that I had to use normal attacks to eventually kill the bad doggie since I couldn't get any mana back from using attack skills like GA. He is definitely the toughest boss now, taking the crown away from Baal because of the loss of leeching on him (Baal still allows leeching).

Stupid political correctness is annoying. They took away two of the best smart-ass remarks the Amazon had. It use to be that when you killed Izzy, the Amazon made the snide comment, "Hey, wait! Don't I get three wishes?!" and now it's, "Goodbye Izual"...bleh. Likewise, when killing Nithaltek, the Amazon had a good line before, but the new one is just bad, horrible.

Minion AI is more horrid than ever. I don't know how many times my Iron Wolf go stuck behind something and just stood there while I and my Valk were blazing away at something and the Merc was twidling his thumbs (wasn't even casting).
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Sirian
Sirian

August 6th, 2003, 6:59 am #2

Act Five Experience Completely Wrecks Game Balance! Wow, whodathunkit.

Oh, wait. We've known that since the second week of the Beta over two years ago.

Too bad there isn't an option to Say No To Act Five. Oh wait, that exists, too! And I found out how to do that almost two years ago, as well.

I always wanted to try what you did, though: a full uninterrupted run. Came close a few times, but never did all four acts in one chunk.


Can't leech off Diablo? Does that make him more challenging, or merely more time consuming? Blizzard is actually screwing with experience penalties for high level chars again? Instead of actually fixing the game? My oh my oh my, do not even get me started.


- Sirian
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Joined: October 4th, 2001, 6:39 am

August 6th, 2003, 8:08 am #3

...or how I made level 48 in Normal Players 8 full clear in 1.10 and the silliness of it all.

Yes, that's right, level 48 with an Amazon without having to enter Nightmare. It took about 60 hours game play total spread out over a couple weeks with D2 running, minimized while not in use. No repeat of areas was performed while making this run.

What have I learned? Act 5 has way too much EP potential. The leveling of the character went something like this: End of Act 1, level 20.5, End of Act 2, level 28.5, End of Act 3, level 32.5, End of Act 4, level 35.1, End of Act 5, level 48.5. Note as well, at level 35, you have about 3 Million experience total with your character, at level 48.5, you have almost 37 Million experience. The ammount of EP gained in Act 5 alone is enough to make a character go from level 1 to level 47, almost level 48.

The real cake taker is the amount of EP that Lestor and his minions give you. It's actually more than the Ancients give you upon completion of their quest. From Listor and his minions, I went from level 47.5 to level 48.5 on 6 mobs, about 3 Million experience.

Personal belief is that Blizzard shouldn't drop EP gained per mob exponetially after level 70, they just need to lower the EP from the mobs in Act 5, it's too much. If they cut the EP gained from Act 5 by 75%, they wouldn't need the EP drop off that they instituted as levels gained here would be more respectable.

Couple of Random thoughts/annoyances

Removing piercing from GA hurts the boss killer Amazon builds. While piercing made GA too powerful, removing piercing entirely takes away one of the fun aspects of the skill. Better solution would have been to institute a counter and only allow GA to pierce a certain number of times instead of disallowing it all together.

Diablo is quite a different boss now that they no longer allow you to leech from him. I found that I had to use normal attacks to eventually kill the bad doggie since I couldn't get any mana back from using attack skills like GA. He is definitely the toughest boss now, taking the crown away from Baal because of the loss of leeching on him (Baal still allows leeching).

Stupid political correctness is annoying. They took away two of the best smart-ass remarks the Amazon had. It use to be that when you killed Izzy, the Amazon made the snide comment, "Hey, wait! Don't I get three wishes?!" and now it's, "Goodbye Izual"...bleh. Likewise, when killing Nithaltek, the Amazon had a good line before, but the new one is just bad, horrible.

Minion AI is more horrid than ever. I don't know how many times my Iron Wolf go stuck behind something and just stood there while I and my Valk were blazing away at something and the Merc was twidling his thumbs (wasn't even casting).
I have been going through the game with a bowazon at players 1 (which matches playing solo on the realms; a contradiction, perhaps, but something I've done with quite a few hc characters) and the experience gains seem well balanced for that -- appropriately so, I think (IMO playing solo, the game should be balanced for players 1 not players 8). I've found that the xp rewards 1.10 are very well matched to what they should be to progress straight through the game without doing lots of additional clears to lvl up (not that I did that before anyway). This is true even with the nerf on xp from the Ancients (which seems like a good thing to me).

I was around clvl 31-33 on leaving normal, and was at clvl 74 in hell/kurast (now at clvl 75 rebuilding my equipment in the hell/arcane sanctuary after have all of it wiped by 1.10s, which is an enjoyable challenge -- maxed immo and valk make my bowazon completely viable with no items to speak of, though I did have my hat handed to me by a bunch of extra-fast wendigo-type mobs in the canyon of the magi).

I could be wrong, since I haven't tried players 8, but my guess is that the extra xp make playing the sp game through at players 8 much easier than players 1 because you gain so many more lvls (more skill points, no clvl/mlvl curve etc.)

However, even on players 1, Lister and his mob were really tedious to kill -- no threat at all, just really tedious -- so they must have been even more stultifying at players 8.

I agree about the loss of piercing GA as a boss-killer skill (always a weak point for zon's before, and especially since the multiple strafe arrow "bug" was removed). I've been using a maxed immolation arrow, and it's been good (though not great), but I suspect it's won't be enough to carry through to hell/act 4-5, unless you're really patient.

Some high-level offensive arrow skills should be beefed up and the 1.10 valk should be toned down. A high lvl valk is so strong that you can safely go out to get a cappuchino while she beats up on things --- not really the way to run a strategy/RT combat game.

Diablo I found actually easier than before -- but more tedious. Leech has been a real problem for me: even with 10% mana leech all the way through nm, my bow (around 60 max da) didn't do enough da to hardly notice the leech. In hell, I just switched out my leech items for resists (all of which are still massively negative), and in normal I had none anyway. So I've essentially gone the D1 potion route (easy but also tedious and a little expensive) so leeching doesn't affect difficulty at all -- perhaps with good enough equipment this could be avoided.

I jabed Diablo to death on normal --- again no risk, just very tedious (and it cost me 30k in healing potions). On nm, I kept hitting him with immos from outside his "cage", and had no trouble wearing him down eventually, even with 3% fire resists (I'm pretty sure his fire attacks have been toned down without ressurecting the LBOD).

Actually all the hard bosses seem easier in 1.10 with reduced da e.g. Duriel's charge attack is reduced, though his melee attack is increased, so he's evened out a bit, and one hit kills are more or less eliminated. My valk actually survived hell/Duriel without dying: I just fired immos and dropped decoys at him to distract him from the valk (who regenerates life at an incredible rate) -- the easiest fight I have ever had vs. hell/Duriel.

The minion AI is still terrible, maybe even worse now they've increased the "leash". Also strange is that your decoy will now block you (like the valk of old -- I guess they figure you can just recast your decoy if you get stuck, but it's sometimes nasty in the midst of a battle), and although you can walk through your valk or merc, they never seem to be willing to walk through you.

Some monsters (e.g. Duriel, Abominables) also now seem to have a tendancy to ignore your merc and go after you or your valk/decoy instead, which is not always a bad thing.

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Ashock
Ashock

August 6th, 2003, 9:20 am #4

Still playing this accursed patch, eh?


Well, I am too. I'm lvl 72 in act3, after running all the way through from Hell Countess until Hell Duriel, with a stop at Andy and the Summoner. Not counting their rooms and them themselves, I must have killed 20 monsters along the way. Barb is pathetically weak now, much worse than a pre-1.10 Pally. The room next to Duriel's chamber had 5 Skellies, 1 Unraveler, 1 ghost and one bloodlord, which was lucky for me. It took me 3 trips to town and about 7-8 minutes to clear it. Without a better weapon than my King's Grace Legend sword, I don't think I can get out of Act3 Of course without running, I would never have been able to get out of Act2.


Oh and yes, Diablo is much easier now. His fire attack no longer kills and he might be a tad easier to hit.

All in all, a truly horrible patch. Difficulty through tedium is not really my cup of tea.

Oh and btw, has anyone found any good charms yet? Like a nice amount of +life or +mana? I'm running around with a bunch of lvl 20s charms, and nothing else. I think this might be a bug, or maybe simply horrible luck on my part. Same goes for jewels.




-A


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Joined: March 5th, 2001, 7:01 pm

August 6th, 2003, 2:27 pm #5

I have been going through the game with a bowazon at players 1 (which matches playing solo on the realms; a contradiction, perhaps, but something I've done with quite a few hc characters) and the experience gains seem well balanced for that -- appropriately so, I think (IMO playing solo, the game should be balanced for players 1 not players 8). I've found that the xp rewards 1.10 are very well matched to what they should be to progress straight through the game without doing lots of additional clears to lvl up (not that I did that before anyway). This is true even with the nerf on xp from the Ancients (which seems like a good thing to me).

I was around clvl 31-33 on leaving normal, and was at clvl 74 in hell/kurast (now at clvl 75 rebuilding my equipment in the hell/arcane sanctuary after have all of it wiped by 1.10s, which is an enjoyable challenge -- maxed immo and valk make my bowazon completely viable with no items to speak of, though I did have my hat handed to me by a bunch of extra-fast wendigo-type mobs in the canyon of the magi).

I could be wrong, since I haven't tried players 8, but my guess is that the extra xp make playing the sp game through at players 8 much easier than players 1 because you gain so many more lvls (more skill points, no clvl/mlvl curve etc.)

However, even on players 1, Lister and his mob were really tedious to kill -- no threat at all, just really tedious -- so they must have been even more stultifying at players 8.

I agree about the loss of piercing GA as a boss-killer skill (always a weak point for zon's before, and especially since the multiple strafe arrow "bug" was removed). I've been using a maxed immolation arrow, and it's been good (though not great), but I suspect it's won't be enough to carry through to hell/act 4-5, unless you're really patient.

Some high-level offensive arrow skills should be beefed up and the 1.10 valk should be toned down. A high lvl valk is so strong that you can safely go out to get a cappuchino while she beats up on things --- not really the way to run a strategy/RT combat game.

Diablo I found actually easier than before -- but more tedious. Leech has been a real problem for me: even with 10% mana leech all the way through nm, my bow (around 60 max da) didn't do enough da to hardly notice the leech. In hell, I just switched out my leech items for resists (all of which are still massively negative), and in normal I had none anyway. So I've essentially gone the D1 potion route (easy but also tedious and a little expensive) so leeching doesn't affect difficulty at all -- perhaps with good enough equipment this could be avoided.

I jabed Diablo to death on normal --- again no risk, just very tedious (and it cost me 30k in healing potions). On nm, I kept hitting him with immos from outside his "cage", and had no trouble wearing him down eventually, even with 3% fire resists (I'm pretty sure his fire attacks have been toned down without ressurecting the LBOD).

Actually all the hard bosses seem easier in 1.10 with reduced da e.g. Duriel's charge attack is reduced, though his melee attack is increased, so he's evened out a bit, and one hit kills are more or less eliminated. My valk actually survived hell/Duriel without dying: I just fired immos and dropped decoys at him to distract him from the valk (who regenerates life at an incredible rate) -- the easiest fight I have ever had vs. hell/Duriel.

The minion AI is still terrible, maybe even worse now they've increased the "leash". Also strange is that your decoy will now block you (like the valk of old -- I guess they figure you can just recast your decoy if you get stuck, but it's sometimes nasty in the midst of a battle), and although you can walk through your valk or merc, they never seem to be willing to walk through you.

Some monsters (e.g. Duriel, Abominables) also now seem to have a tendancy to ignore your merc and go after you or your valk/decoy instead, which is not always a bad thing.
Hi,

IMO playing solo, the game should be balanced for players 1 not players 8

Yes, but it isn't. It isn't balanced any way you play it.

I'm working on an axarian and a bowazon, both with strictly weapons skills. I'm only allocating stat points as needed to equip gear. Doing full clears with minimum overlap (I'm not leaving the game on like Lissa did) at players 8. I'm having no trouble at all (except for boredom) with anything but the act end bosses, which I have to take at players 1. Probably wouldn't need to do that if I allocated the stat points and gave each build a little "magical" ability.

I did start a martial artist at players 1, but lost interest by act 2.

Magi and I have been running a bowazon/axarian combo through at players 8, no real attempt for total clear. Again, no challenge but to stay awake.

I don't know what Buzzard was trying for with this patch (except adding more gear to a game that was way too gear heavy in the first place), but I do believe that they have failed to add any challenge or interest for me.

--Pete
Last edited by --Pete on August 6th, 2003, 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lissa
Lissa

August 6th, 2003, 3:26 pm #6

I have been going through the game with a bowazon at players 1 (which matches playing solo on the realms; a contradiction, perhaps, but something I've done with quite a few hc characters) and the experience gains seem well balanced for that -- appropriately so, I think (IMO playing solo, the game should be balanced for players 1 not players 8). I've found that the xp rewards 1.10 are very well matched to what they should be to progress straight through the game without doing lots of additional clears to lvl up (not that I did that before anyway). This is true even with the nerf on xp from the Ancients (which seems like a good thing to me).

I was around clvl 31-33 on leaving normal, and was at clvl 74 in hell/kurast (now at clvl 75 rebuilding my equipment in the hell/arcane sanctuary after have all of it wiped by 1.10s, which is an enjoyable challenge -- maxed immo and valk make my bowazon completely viable with no items to speak of, though I did have my hat handed to me by a bunch of extra-fast wendigo-type mobs in the canyon of the magi).

I could be wrong, since I haven't tried players 8, but my guess is that the extra xp make playing the sp game through at players 8 much easier than players 1 because you gain so many more lvls (more skill points, no clvl/mlvl curve etc.)

However, even on players 1, Lister and his mob were really tedious to kill -- no threat at all, just really tedious -- so they must have been even more stultifying at players 8.

I agree about the loss of piercing GA as a boss-killer skill (always a weak point for zon's before, and especially since the multiple strafe arrow "bug" was removed). I've been using a maxed immolation arrow, and it's been good (though not great), but I suspect it's won't be enough to carry through to hell/act 4-5, unless you're really patient.

Some high-level offensive arrow skills should be beefed up and the 1.10 valk should be toned down. A high lvl valk is so strong that you can safely go out to get a cappuchino while she beats up on things --- not really the way to run a strategy/RT combat game.

Diablo I found actually easier than before -- but more tedious. Leech has been a real problem for me: even with 10% mana leech all the way through nm, my bow (around 60 max da) didn't do enough da to hardly notice the leech. In hell, I just switched out my leech items for resists (all of which are still massively negative), and in normal I had none anyway. So I've essentially gone the D1 potion route (easy but also tedious and a little expensive) so leeching doesn't affect difficulty at all -- perhaps with good enough equipment this could be avoided.

I jabed Diablo to death on normal --- again no risk, just very tedious (and it cost me 30k in healing potions). On nm, I kept hitting him with immos from outside his "cage", and had no trouble wearing him down eventually, even with 3% fire resists (I'm pretty sure his fire attacks have been toned down without ressurecting the LBOD).

Actually all the hard bosses seem easier in 1.10 with reduced da e.g. Duriel's charge attack is reduced, though his melee attack is increased, so he's evened out a bit, and one hit kills are more or less eliminated. My valk actually survived hell/Duriel without dying: I just fired immos and dropped decoys at him to distract him from the valk (who regenerates life at an incredible rate) -- the easiest fight I have ever had vs. hell/Duriel.

The minion AI is still terrible, maybe even worse now they've increased the "leash". Also strange is that your decoy will now block you (like the valk of old -- I guess they figure you can just recast your decoy if you get stuck, but it's sometimes nasty in the midst of a battle), and although you can walk through your valk or merc, they never seem to be willing to walk through you.

Some monsters (e.g. Duriel, Abominables) also now seem to have a tendancy to ignore your merc and go after you or your valk/decoy instead, which is not always a bad thing.
Here's the reason why I disagree, although I got 35 Million experience in doing Act 5 Normal in Players 8, in Players 1 that would still equate to a little over 7 Million Experience. That 3 Million I got from the full clear up to Act 4 in Normal Players 8 would have been just over 600k in Players 1. See how it's totally unbalanced still? Simply put, Blizzard shouldn't have just dropped a logarithmic drop off in EP after level 70, they should have curtailed the EP from Act 5. When a single non-boss, non-champion mob is worth over 100k EP in Players 1 Normal, something is out of whack. If Blizzard wants to truly try to balance the game, they need to curtail overall EP in Act 5 and drop the reduced EP after level 70.

And as Pete states, they really haven't made the game any more difficult. In my full clear, I can count the total number of times I died on both hands and that was typically because I got careless or the game setup a situation that I couldn't get out of (being stuck in a crossfire by Baal and his copy with both casting off very quickly and using the V ice blast at varying intervals got me once). Tidium, as Pete states, seems to be more what Blizzard was after.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 6th, 2003, 5:16 pm #7

I have been going through the game with a bowazon at players 1 (which matches playing solo on the realms; a contradiction, perhaps, but something I've done with quite a few hc characters) and the experience gains seem well balanced for that -- appropriately so, I think (IMO playing solo, the game should be balanced for players 1 not players 8). I've found that the xp rewards 1.10 are very well matched to what they should be to progress straight through the game without doing lots of additional clears to lvl up (not that I did that before anyway). This is true even with the nerf on xp from the Ancients (which seems like a good thing to me).

I was around clvl 31-33 on leaving normal, and was at clvl 74 in hell/kurast (now at clvl 75 rebuilding my equipment in the hell/arcane sanctuary after have all of it wiped by 1.10s, which is an enjoyable challenge -- maxed immo and valk make my bowazon completely viable with no items to speak of, though I did have my hat handed to me by a bunch of extra-fast wendigo-type mobs in the canyon of the magi).

I could be wrong, since I haven't tried players 8, but my guess is that the extra xp make playing the sp game through at players 8 much easier than players 1 because you gain so many more lvls (more skill points, no clvl/mlvl curve etc.)

However, even on players 1, Lister and his mob were really tedious to kill -- no threat at all, just really tedious -- so they must have been even more stultifying at players 8.

I agree about the loss of piercing GA as a boss-killer skill (always a weak point for zon's before, and especially since the multiple strafe arrow "bug" was removed). I've been using a maxed immolation arrow, and it's been good (though not great), but I suspect it's won't be enough to carry through to hell/act 4-5, unless you're really patient.

Some high-level offensive arrow skills should be beefed up and the 1.10 valk should be toned down. A high lvl valk is so strong that you can safely go out to get a cappuchino while she beats up on things --- not really the way to run a strategy/RT combat game.

Diablo I found actually easier than before -- but more tedious. Leech has been a real problem for me: even with 10% mana leech all the way through nm, my bow (around 60 max da) didn't do enough da to hardly notice the leech. In hell, I just switched out my leech items for resists (all of which are still massively negative), and in normal I had none anyway. So I've essentially gone the D1 potion route (easy but also tedious and a little expensive) so leeching doesn't affect difficulty at all -- perhaps with good enough equipment this could be avoided.

I jabed Diablo to death on normal --- again no risk, just very tedious (and it cost me 30k in healing potions). On nm, I kept hitting him with immos from outside his "cage", and had no trouble wearing him down eventually, even with 3% fire resists (I'm pretty sure his fire attacks have been toned down without ressurecting the LBOD).

Actually all the hard bosses seem easier in 1.10 with reduced da e.g. Duriel's charge attack is reduced, though his melee attack is increased, so he's evened out a bit, and one hit kills are more or less eliminated. My valk actually survived hell/Duriel without dying: I just fired immos and dropped decoys at him to distract him from the valk (who regenerates life at an incredible rate) -- the easiest fight I have ever had vs. hell/Duriel.

The minion AI is still terrible, maybe even worse now they've increased the "leash". Also strange is that your decoy will now block you (like the valk of old -- I guess they figure you can just recast your decoy if you get stuck, but it's sometimes nasty in the midst of a battle), and although you can walk through your valk or merc, they never seem to be willing to walk through you.

Some monsters (e.g. Duriel, Abominables) also now seem to have a tendancy to ignore your merc and go after you or your valk/decoy instead, which is not always a bad thing.
>...1.10 valk should be toned down. A high lvl valk is so strong that you can safely go out to get a cappuchino while she beats up on things --- not really the way to run a strategy/RT combat game.

Nerfing skills is almost never a good way to go. Uping other character(s) skills, and monster difficculty to match would give much better results and less chance of screwing up the game mechanics. The more powerful (while balanced to others skills) a skill is the more latitude you have for self nerf, aka variEntism, variantism.

Come on Thecla, tone down Valk!? If you have read the stories on Kyoko or FireEngineRed, you would know Valk has always been BEEFY (if you want or have enuf points to max that skill), so what it can actually kill something now. That's hardly a game breaking skill for 20 plus prereq points.

Be careful when you say nerf! Apparently, Bliz has wierd ideas how to nerf thing....Starshape AOE, Spell Timer and idiot move like taking out the Dance of Death for WW, which conveniently render WWology useless.

So, How should Bliz tone down Valk, perhaps a longer timer? ;p

KoP




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Lissa
Lissa

August 6th, 2003, 5:54 pm #8

...to the EP in Act 5, it's too insane. 7 Million experience for 1 Act compared to 600k experience for the 4 previous Acts shows how needed a Nerf is. They should cut the EP in Act 5 down to about 1.5 to 2 Million max in Normal. Then they need to pull the stupid decrease in experience after level 70.
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Occhi The Sleepy
Occhi The Sleepy

August 6th, 2003, 7:25 pm #9

>...1.10 valk should be toned down. A high lvl valk is so strong that you can safely go out to get a cappuchino while she beats up on things --- not really the way to run a strategy/RT combat game.

Nerfing skills is almost never a good way to go. Uping other character(s) skills, and monster difficculty to match would give much better results and less chance of screwing up the game mechanics. The more powerful (while balanced to others skills) a skill is the more latitude you have for self nerf, aka variEntism, variantism.

Come on Thecla, tone down Valk!? If you have read the stories on Kyoko or FireEngineRed, you would know Valk has always been BEEFY (if you want or have enuf points to max that skill), so what it can actually kill something now. That's hardly a game breaking skill for 20 plus prereq points.

Be careful when you say nerf! Apparently, Bliz has wierd ideas how to nerf thing....Starshape AOE, Spell Timer and idiot move like taking out the Dance of Death for WW, which conveniently render WWology useless.

So, How should Bliz tone down Valk, perhaps a longer timer? ;p

KoP



Whoops, did I miss a trick?

WW ology is now defunct?

Boooooooooooo!
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Joined: October 4th, 2001, 6:39 am

August 7th, 2003, 12:15 am #10

I have been going through the game with a bowazon at players 1 (which matches playing solo on the realms; a contradiction, perhaps, but something I've done with quite a few hc characters) and the experience gains seem well balanced for that -- appropriately so, I think (IMO playing solo, the game should be balanced for players 1 not players 8). I've found that the xp rewards 1.10 are very well matched to what they should be to progress straight through the game without doing lots of additional clears to lvl up (not that I did that before anyway). This is true even with the nerf on xp from the Ancients (which seems like a good thing to me).

I was around clvl 31-33 on leaving normal, and was at clvl 74 in hell/kurast (now at clvl 75 rebuilding my equipment in the hell/arcane sanctuary after have all of it wiped by 1.10s, which is an enjoyable challenge -- maxed immo and valk make my bowazon completely viable with no items to speak of, though I did have my hat handed to me by a bunch of extra-fast wendigo-type mobs in the canyon of the magi).

I could be wrong, since I haven't tried players 8, but my guess is that the extra xp make playing the sp game through at players 8 much easier than players 1 because you gain so many more lvls (more skill points, no clvl/mlvl curve etc.)

However, even on players 1, Lister and his mob were really tedious to kill -- no threat at all, just really tedious -- so they must have been even more stultifying at players 8.

I agree about the loss of piercing GA as a boss-killer skill (always a weak point for zon's before, and especially since the multiple strafe arrow "bug" was removed). I've been using a maxed immolation arrow, and it's been good (though not great), but I suspect it's won't be enough to carry through to hell/act 4-5, unless you're really patient.

Some high-level offensive arrow skills should be beefed up and the 1.10 valk should be toned down. A high lvl valk is so strong that you can safely go out to get a cappuchino while she beats up on things --- not really the way to run a strategy/RT combat game.

Diablo I found actually easier than before -- but more tedious. Leech has been a real problem for me: even with 10% mana leech all the way through nm, my bow (around 60 max da) didn't do enough da to hardly notice the leech. In hell, I just switched out my leech items for resists (all of which are still massively negative), and in normal I had none anyway. So I've essentially gone the D1 potion route (easy but also tedious and a little expensive) so leeching doesn't affect difficulty at all -- perhaps with good enough equipment this could be avoided.

I jabed Diablo to death on normal --- again no risk, just very tedious (and it cost me 30k in healing potions). On nm, I kept hitting him with immos from outside his "cage", and had no trouble wearing him down eventually, even with 3% fire resists (I'm pretty sure his fire attacks have been toned down without ressurecting the LBOD).

Actually all the hard bosses seem easier in 1.10 with reduced da e.g. Duriel's charge attack is reduced, though his melee attack is increased, so he's evened out a bit, and one hit kills are more or less eliminated. My valk actually survived hell/Duriel without dying: I just fired immos and dropped decoys at him to distract him from the valk (who regenerates life at an incredible rate) -- the easiest fight I have ever had vs. hell/Duriel.

The minion AI is still terrible, maybe even worse now they've increased the "leash". Also strange is that your decoy will now block you (like the valk of old -- I guess they figure you can just recast your decoy if you get stuck, but it's sometimes nasty in the midst of a battle), and although you can walk through your valk or merc, they never seem to be willing to walk through you.

Some monsters (e.g. Duriel, Abominables) also now seem to have a tendancy to ignore your merc and go after you or your valk/decoy instead, which is not always a bad thing.
Still playing this accursed patch, eh?

Yup, back after a little break --- though I don't consider the patch to be quite as accursed as every one else seems to. Yes, it's a much slower (or more tedious) game, but I've been enjoying playing through it. Whether I'll have the incentive to go through it again when the real thing comes out is another question.

Barb is pathetically weak now, much worse than a pre-1.10 Pally.

Well, I think one thing that's happened is that physical attacks are relatively much, much weaker than they were before, so characters without strong, primary elemental attacks -- or ones without great equipment -- are going to have problems. I haven't bothered to use ms/strafe with my bowazon since early normal (and have abandoned mana leech entirely -- 10% with a 60 da bow in nm was utterly worthless; this does mean lots of tedious potion restocking trips) .

I guess Bliz has progressively screwed themselves over by introducing more and more item-candy. At one extreme (1.09), they can make the every-day 'good' weapons you acquire playing normally through the game ok and then the top-end ones are absurdly overpowered; at the other extreme (1.10?) the normal weapons do puny damage and the top-end ones are ok (of course, they may still be overpowered in 1.10). I suppose they've tried to provide more ways (cube recipes etc.) to allow you to get the necessary items, but it's a little early to say how that will go. I guess really ramping up the drops of good but not super items might help, but -- as in many other things -- the D1 system where items weren't as crucial was much better.

All in all, a truly horrible patch. Difficulty through tedium is not really my cup of tea.

Heh, a return to Dungeon Siege is always an option.

Yes, but it isn't. It isn't balanced any way you play it.

Well, I wasn't really trying to talk about difficulty balance: I meant simply that the xp you get doing players 1 solo gives you an appropriate rate of increase in clvl by just playing through the game (in contrast to Lissa's comment that you get too much xp in players 8). Perhaps again Bliz has again progressively screwed themselves over by the (IMO) overly generous xp bonuses in large games, so there's no way to balance reasonable xp gains in both 1-player and 8-player games.

Here's the reason why I disagree, although I got 35 Million experience in doing Act 5 Normal in Players 8, in Players 1 that would still equate to a little over 7 Million Experience. That 3 Million I got from the full clear up to Act 4 in Normal Players 8 would have been just over 600k in Players 1. See how it's totally unbalanced still?

Well, I didn't look directly at my xp points, but just looking at my clvl increase (which is what really counts), act V wasn't out of wack with the others -- in fact it was the other way round: after being about an act (and maybe half-a-dozen levels) ahead of 1.09 in clvl in normal/acts I--IV, I finished normal/act V more or less at the same clvl as in 1.10 becuase of the reduction in the ancient's quest reward. Perhaps this masked the other xp gains you're noting in act V compared with the others.

Blizzard shouldn't have just dropped a logarithmic drop off in EP after level 70, they should have curtailed the EP from Act 5.

I'm sure clvl gains will slow down at some point, but I'm currently at clvl 75, and am still gaining lvls quite rapidly (it seems more rapid than in 1.09).

Come on Thecla, tone down Valk!? If you have read the stories on Kyoko or FireEngineRed, you would know Valk has always been BEEFY

I like my valks beefy too -- but honestly, a lvl 1 1.10 valk is beefier than my old lvl 13 1.09 valk. And my lvl 20 1.10 valk stands up to almost everything in the game. Where's the challenge in taping down your mouse keys and watching your valk kill monsters? It's this new uber-tanking ability of the valk I think should be nerfed a bit, not her ability to actually inflict da, which is a good thing.

How should Bliz tone down Valk, perhaps a longer timer? ;p

Yup this would be good too -- gotta stop those people who exploit the game (and cause horrible lag) by spamming valks every 6 secs, especially if they have the gall to throw in a few immolation arrows as well after the valk timer wears off. I'm sure Bliz will fix this in the final release. :P
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