Kaeros created a thread to flesh out the mega-recommended point he made in comments on the latest Item-based Dev Answers news item… and given that he’s got 98 upvotes right now, it’s obvious a lot of you guys like his thought. To paraphrase him: has Blizzard grown too big? Does dev by committee mean that everything takes too long and lacks vision and innovation? We’re always told that one of the strengths of Blizzard’s game design is the iteration, and the way that everyone gets to put in their ideas and the best ones evolve and prosper. But that system clearly didn’t work so well with D3 as many major features as they’ve changed since release (often back towards how D2 did it), and the patches seem to take forever. Big games are big and complicated and slow to change/fix? Or is there a larger institutional problem as well? And how might it be changed?
Golbez2 posts some interesting ideas how a reforging system could work to modify existing gear and reroll unwanted stats. Obviously such a system would have to have a lot of randomness and variance or else everyone would quickly turn every existing item into something uber and there goes the economy. I don’t know if his specific suggestions would work, partially since there are like 5000 of them and I TLDRed it, but it’s an interesting issue to debate.
I lost my first long-time-slow-leveled Hardcore character, a DH, last week. I’ve since restarted a HC Monk and I’ve been reading more HC forum posts and giving some thought to the strategy, and a thread like this one absorbs me. It’s a debate as to whether it’s worth it to play Act 1 on MP10, or if you should just push on to Act 2 for better exp there on a lower Monster Power setting. Opinions vary, naturally.
I took an unusual approach with my new Monk. I did almost all of Act 1 on MP10 and got way above the level curve, finishing the act around level 21. I then dropped down to MP0 and raced through Act 2 in an hour, since it’s a big act with very few monsters. Once in Act 3, I turned the MP back up and played through slowly, leveling much more than I would have in Act 2… and once I finished that, I did Act 4 on MP0 in 40 minutes. End result was a much higher level than I would have gotten otherwise, and more fun by skipping the 2 acts that I find lame. Plus I didn’t die.
Another useful Monk thread is this one from our Hardcore Strategy forum, debating the Monk’s best passives for HC. The conventional wisdom of Monks is that OWE is mandatory for all, and NDE is mandatory for Hardcore. Neither has to be true; good Res All gear can render OWE irrelevant, and NDE will save your life… but it might only trigger once a month (doing zero for you the rest of the time) and perhaps if you’d used another passive that actually did something, your life wouldn’t have needed saving in the first place? (Whether there are other useful Monk passives is another issue; as we covered in the last Forum Watch on D3 Passives, Monks have arguably the worst passives in the game — there are half a dozen Barb passives that would instantly be *the* best Monk passive in the game.)
I also gave this Monk thread a close read, as players talk about their hits and misses with the Bell Dropping Monk build enabled in v1.07. I don’t see much point in attempting to recreate my same SC Monk build in HC, so I’m giving this one serious thought. It’s a totally new/different play style, uses all different passives, is based mostly around Spirit Regen, and it even has very different equipment needs, which means shopping bargains. Wave of Light Monks value raw DPS and LAEK highly, while ChC, ChD, and LS/LoH are much less important than in the usual Sweeping Wind Monk builds.
I’m not going to suggest that everyone start up a new HC character, and I’m still playing my SC chars and will continue to do so. That said, if you’re bored with your current chars and builds and gear, doing a new Hardcore character, knowing that you’re going to have terrible gear, no money, and that you absolutely can not die… is a real change of pace.
I feel little desire to change things around for my SC Monk’s build. She’s very high level and has great gear and a build I’m comfortable with. But with a new HC Monk and no budget, I *had* to do things differently. I’m not pulling a Jason Bourne and completely committing to the program, but my recent hardcore play is a nice way to change things up, and rerolling isn’t so bad, especially if like me, your last *new* character occurred like, last July. I was terrible at the Monk when I first did one last year — I didn’t have a decent build, didn’t have good gear, didn’t research or plan it out in advance, etc. Now that I’m doing a new one, in HC this time, after months of experience with the class, it’s been different and interesting to level up and try new/improved skills and builds.