Diablo 3 Requires Advance Planning. No, Really!

An online friend of mine who shall here remain nameless has become mildly-obsessed with D3 b.net forum posts by Kaivax. That CM is a long-time WoW mod who has recently begun sporadic posting on the D3 boards, and who, according to my friend, routinely says head-slappingly amusingly things about his Diablo 3 play strategies. This friend obsesses over every Kaivax post, and keeps badgering me to adapt some meme to represent Kaviax’s regular output of guileless derpitude.

Personally, I think that Kaviax is just being honest about his skills and trying to relate to fans. If he doesn’t exactly possess an Inferno-quality skill set, then welcome to the 99%, Dude. Most of us are there with you.

Naturally, I bring this up since Kaivax submitted a prime example over the weekend. I’ve added an underline for emphasis, as that’s the part that was quoted to me in a frantic IM.

…About five weeks ago, a co-worker of mine really hit a wall on the last boss in the game on Nightmare. And he’s a fine gamer. Dude has plenty of talent. And he called me over and showed me his struggles, and I was stumped. I watched him playing very admirably, and going down, and I didn’t know what to suggest. It was the first time that I really contemplated how complicated the build decisions can be for each hero. I was just merrily playing along on my heroes, making whatever build decisions seemed like the most effective, and not thinking ahead much. I started imagining scenarios that might come along and completely shut down whatever I was counting on (example: very close quarters when you’re a Vault-centric demon hunter.) No big deal on normal. You die a couple of times, try a different build, and then work from there. But on Hardcore… you don’t get to experiment. Once you engage that boss, it’s win or lose. Big.

A third person came over and made some suggestions to the co-worker who was struggling, and made a positive difference. He defeated the boss, and was so happy that he forgot to pick up his loot before going on to Hell!

So, now that you guys know that some advance planning will be required not to die like a cross-eyed dog in Nightmare… keep Jay’s commonsense advice in mind, and get thee to a character builder!

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71 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Requires Advance Planning. No, Really!

  1. derp
    My monk spreadsheet is getting bigger and bigger and I haven’t started on the passives yet. It’s hard enough comparing the generators alone, let alone all the skills put together.
    I’m confident, however, that by the time my D3 box arrives in my mailbox, I’ll have it all figured out, what works best with what and when and where 😀
    These dudes are just noobs.

    • I sorta agree. But I admit that I haven’t figured out anything yet, even when I’ve used the Skill Calculator and watched lots of videos.. It’s one thing to read them and it is another to actually experience them. So as I progress through the game, so as my understanding of my class.
      With that being said, I find it quite intrigued that the dude in the story had problem with Nightmare. By default, the game itself encourages us to have one generator, one spender, one defensive, one AoE etc. So it’s either he was playing a totally unbalanced build or not wearing the best available gear level possible.

  2. I really really really really really hope that D3 is as hard as they make it sound. It’s been a while since I’ve played a really hard game.

    • If it really does turn out to be hard, they’ll nerf it. So enjoy it while you can.

      • I don’t think they will… They said inferno is not the average player. If you want easy, then continue playing around at a lower difficulty.  

      • Nerfing won’t happen. That’s the worst thing they could do. The last thing they want is every average Joe to farm up Inferno in a week, get all the great loot, and move onto something else.

        • Again read the blue derp, it talking Nightmare 2nd difficulty not even Hell mode.

  3. I’m not making any plans.

    Just use the skills/ runes that suit me, make some runs before going into each difficulty, the rest will be all discovery and suprises. Playing softcore for my first char up to lvl 60 has its perks hehe.

  4. it basically also gives a shot at available and viable builds. they can put the billions builds deep into their … you know. the same goes for fun/useful/useless skills. every skill can be superior. yeah, sure… all the marketing shit, i hate it.

  5. I think the right way to make build is get some idea and pick skill for this idea. Many pps pick skills that looks good and only after that thik how they will use it. it’s may be wrong.

  6. The only advanced planning i can see from this blue post is to always remember to loot ur items….. 

  7. dont you think its funny he said ‘on the last boss in the game on Nightmare’?
    mustn’d be diablo then

  8. Kaivax’s post is enlightening in an unwelcome way. What about all tht “All builds shalt be viable” maxim the devs were spouting earlier? If making a build requires so much planning to get it right, as Kaivax’s post suggests, then perhaps aforesaid line is untrue, and there are AGAIN cookie-cutter builds?

    • I don’t think you should look at the “All builds shall be viable” as an anywhere, anytime kind of thing. The whole point of the skills system being so flexible is to allow switching during needed circumstances. Staying with the same skills the whole game simply isn’t the name of the game anymore!

      Example: You’ve used skills combo A1, B1, C1 and D1 to take out many standard bosses. Suddenly, this new boss appears and his approach is different (idk… he summons alot lets say). Well, maybe you need to switch your skills to be more AoE oriented, lets say A2, B2, C2 and D2. I’m not saying there’s only going to be one viable combo options (I’m sure there are plenty and it will depend on the skill preferences of each player), but it’s a bit unrealistic to think that one attack skill will be viable for every and all situation in the game.

        • To give you incentive to find a build that works and stick with it. Just because every build isn’t A1 godly, doesn’t mean there aren’t those that exist.

          And just because there are a few that are better than others, doesn’t mean it’ll be a OMG 8 MORE DAYS.

    • They have succeeded if D3 has more viable builds than D2. I don’t need millions of builds.

      • Lets face it, 10 legit builds (as in builds you can play and succeed in inferno) per class would be a big improvement. 

      • Beautiful answer. Gotit, my bad. Still, the amount of planning he describes seems unneccessary. I mean, you can switch out skills anytime, and what +skill gear that drops for you is not really in your hands is it?

        • Just because you’re not required to read an entire FAQ on how to play a Wizard on Elitist Jerks forum doesn’t mean it’s not planning. When you sit down — outside of combat — to determine which skills you’ll engage big bad ugly with, that’s planning no matter how you slice it. You’re planning for battle, not planning on how to avoid screwing your character over before you reach level 60.

    • No one ever said all builds would be viable. Bashiok has said numerous times that some will suck.

      • This.

        Blizzard have never said that they want all builds to be viable. That’s nonsense. They’ve said that they want numerous viable builds, and it’s implied that they want all skills to be viable (when used with certain others), but they definitely don’t expect every build to be viable.

        Now the question becomes: Is “humungous” a troll, or just a bit slow? 

      • Very true. If all builds were truly viable, this would be the easiest game ever made.

        • You will be able to make even crazy builds work if you got enough of the “uber gear” items I expect.

    • well of course all builds are not viable
      that’s just stupid
      a DH can’t have all spenders 

      I made a thread in the strategy forums awhile ago asking who could come up with the worst build. there were quite a few that were just awful.

      and its not that making a good build requires “so much” planning, but it does require some thought 
      but the fact that the players didn’t know this and that Jay’s “tips” are things we would consider common knowledge (get a single target spell, get a AOE spell, get a defensive skill), you have to wonder if the game will be as difficult as they claim

      • If you are used to playing D2 where your 2-3 skills are all offensive, these are actually really good advice. Actually I’m willing to bet that most people would ignore defensive skill from the start and just focusing on AoE thinking that they are too good for this game…

        In fact from the beta comments alone, some people are already saying… “omg, Blizzard screwed up the rune orders, the first rune on Cleave and Shock Pulse are already the best!!” 

    • Not all builds will be equally valid I mean theres some builds that you be flat out crazy to think of useing like putting all the spirit generators on a monk etc.
      Any way it likely that they guy was under-geared for the boss, I mean the game is partly luck base where this concerned.

  9. just as I start to believe that Inferno may actually be as difficult as they say it is, a post like this comes along and I start doubting again 

    • Well, I’m with Flux’s mysterious online friend. The herpadurp from Kaivax has been astounding in almost every single post he makes. He gets away with it because he isn’t as douchy as Neth or Bashiok.

      • My only real worry is that everything in hell/inferno will one-shot you. That kind of stuff isn’t fun. It’s tedious. Hard is one thing. Getting murdered on every pull isn’t interesting.

        • i agree with you, but I.Want.To.Get.Murdered.

          At least on inferno. 170K damage…  

        • Hate to bum you out, but Inferno is designed to one shot you. At least if you’re fresh out of Hell. It’s designed for bleeding edge progression type players. You’ll be farming Hell for a while before you even touch Inferno, and the devs like it this way. It’s not your natural NM to Hell scenario.

        • you won’t be one-shotted, once your gear are ready and you done farming Hell for some time….

          In fact the devs said exactly that in the “you’ll die” video… “You’ll need to farm the previous difficulty just to prevent from being one-shotted”  

      • or maybe he should have listened to Jays’ tips and got a defensive skill  🙄

  10. Not every build is going to be viable, it’s statistically impossible. However, many builds will be viable giving you the ability to play how you want and not how the cookie cutter build of the week dictates.

    • Agreed! I’m glad they have a fine set of testers. I mean, what kind of Diablo player actually picks up loot from a boss they’ve STRUGGLED TO KILL?

  11. Many builds will be viable but not all of them.  People with common sense know that something like 4 armor Wizard won’t be viable.

    • ^ Yep then there are other combos that you know are going to be poor like all single target attacks vs mass mobs or all AOEs vs a boss etc.
      IE the advice might of been to add bash with the stun attack to skill listing or something.

  12. I wonder what new Blizzard devs think makes a persona  “fine gamer”.  He’s the office champ at angry birds!  This guy knows how to play gears of war!  Dude plays Zynga poker all weekend long!

  13. I don’t see why this post is being mocked or whatever the OP’s point was. So the game is tougher and has more depth than Kaviax had previously encountered. Why is that strange?

    • the game is tough for Kaviax because he’s a CM/tester who never put any thought into his build 

      meanwhile, we’ve all been looking at skill calculators and character planners and have been debating various builds in the strategy forums before the beta even started ! 

  14. only 8 more days until I never visit this site again and have to be disappointed with articles like this!

    • You’re like patient zero in the “does Bliz pay sock puppets?” debate. If so, I hope they kept the receipt.

    • you don’t have to visit the site now 

      there are plenty of other sites to go to 


    • Flux knows that flowery posts don’t generate site hits. Of course they don’t, humans love drama. Either way, you’ll be back.
      Har, Captcha: Lovey dovey

  15. All I know is that I think I’d be reassessing any provisional builds I made if I had a chance to watch someone play an endgame boss fight on Nightmare.

  16. You die a couple of times, try a different build, and then work from there.

    So any build you envision will still be swapped out for builds that will handle certain situations?  It’s great that you can do that I guess. What happened to sticking with  a certain build?

    • Well, if you’re dying a lot, your build needs work. If you’re not dying, you’ve probably got something pretty good going.

  17. help me here-
    what things/upgrades- arent reversable in the game- how could i fx. “plan” the future of my char. i thought everything was respecable….except for attibutes of course that have been decided for you 

    • Gear that you keep instead of melting down for mats or RMAHing, for one thing 🙂
      But just because you don’t have to commit to a skill or rune doesn’t mean you can’t think ahead of time about what situations it will be useful in, and ideally equip it BEFORE you need it rather than after.

  18. I was thinking it was more a single passive that needed to be changed or a certain rune stone replaced kind of situation, rather than a complete overhaul of your character. That kind of nuanced consideration of synergistic build design, rather than “My build was awful, so I made a new build.” I interpreted as him speaking in regards to this sort of consideration of fine tuned elements within a set build. I doubt it was a situation where his friend liked Arcane Orb but they were like, “Nope, all of your skills suck, use THESE skills, bro!”

    I guess Kaivax has been too busy working (he’s only played 50 hours of Normal after all) to get a feel for all of this.

    • Yep like on a Barb grabbing bash with the stun rune (stunned monster is a sitting duck) etc.

  19. There is a hard boss based on how badly you build you character. (which is impossible to do in D3 unless half of your brain is missing).


    There is a hard boss simply because it wasn’t balance to start with and purposely made difficult to halt players progress in favor of longer play time and “THE CHALLENGE FACTOR” which many of us have been asking since the day blizzard announced lack of character  customization.
    End result is simple – everything will get nerf few month down the road.

    • I don’t think so, but okay. I think there is a lot of customization in this game. To limit the player in how often they can change their skills would reduce customization more so since, y’know, you can do less of it.

      But we’ve been over this. We’ve been over everything. We’ve even covered how cartoony the health globes are.

    • bad build is impossible?

      I think we’ll find you with exactly that… half your brain missing on the first week of release….
      But then you’ll just cry that the game is impossible cos if you can’t do it then nobody that have a life can…. :S 

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