Five Things to Do in Diablo 3 Before Gamescom

Editor’s Note: We have a new column by a new columnist debuting today. The columnist is Waterfiend, a Diablo 3 player who approaches that game from a primarily self-found perspective. This intro column serves up a number of general purpose Diablo 3 gaming suggestions, but future columns will cover more personal play style and strategy topics, often from an DiabloWikiIronborn point of view.


Five Ways to Kill Time Until Gamescom

Blizzard is expected to release details about the Diablo 3 expansion at Gamescom, which starts August 21st. So, what should we do while waiting? Play the game, of course! As we wait for the details, you can pass the time by trying out these gameplay styles (if you haven’t already).

Finders Keepers in Self-Found Mode

Not everyone agrees on what self-found play means, but they do share one idea: avoiding the Auction Houses. While it’s not for everyone, self-found play can be rewarding. Taking a “live off the land” approach has long been a recognized way to play Diablo games, and self-found play takes that idea a bit further with different variations on the main concept. For example, you might trade only with friends, only play with gear you found yourself, avoid in-game vendors, and even avoid crafting. While playing without the Auction Houses was a serious challenge pre-patch 1.0.3, subsequent difficulty nerfs and skill buffs have made it easier. You’ll also experience more gradual gear improvements over time, rather than the more common race-to-the-finish approach encouraged by regular use of the Auction Houses.

After the break the other four and add your own.

Become An Achievement Chaser

When it comes to achievements, most players fall into two camps: you either pursue them aggressively, or ignore them completely. Many achievements – like defeating bosses for the first time – happen automatically while playing the game. Still, there are a few that players pursue for the challenge or just for fun. For example, have you found all lore books in the game? Run up to Diablo and punched him in the face? Or my personal favorite – found every outcome of the ancient device in the Desolate Sands? (Hint: yes, there is a level with chickens and a pig in the desert.) Finding all the unique monsters in the game is another fun challenge. Since we won’t be getting new content in the game till at least after November, why not try to knock out a few achievements?

Race To The Top of the Ladder

Since they earned official support from Blizzard in Diablo 2, ladders have been a fun activity for players to enjoy. It’s fun to compete with others to see who can hit max level the quickest – and it adds an element of suspense to an otherwise take-it-at-your-own-pace game. A lack of official support from Blizzard hasn’t stopped ladders from returning in Diablo 3, either. Sites like host a new season for players every 3 months. As with self-found play, ladder play in Diablo 3 is based on the trust system, so it’s possible for players to cheat by gearing a new ladder character with items found previously. Thankfully, the site allows you to customize your ladder experience by organizing your own group of friends to play with, reducing the chance of someone cheating.

Test Your Mettle With Hardcore Mode

While it can be scary to watch a character you’ve developed come close to death (and frustrating when they die), it also creates a strong emotional bond between player and character. Xanth has detailed his own Diablo 3 hardcore experiences in many posts here – and it makes for a compelling read. Playing a hardcore character forces you to play defensively and to genuinely see the challenges facing your character as threats to be avoided, rather than a temporary setback before respawning at a checkpoint. There are also achievements tied to hardcore mode – another good reason to try it. Just be careful when you do!

Play “Build Roulette”

If you’ve stuck to tried-and-true cookie cutter builds till now, your Diablo 3 experience is probably starting to wear thin. One way to combat boredom is to try “build roulette.” Start by taking a character at level 60 (or leveling one) and creating an entirely different skill set than the one you have right now. Try it for one day and see how you feel. Are there any skills you like, but they don’t hold up well without supporting skills? Is there a skill you’ve always wanted to try, but it’s just not as efficient as others? Give it a shot. Then the next time you play, create a completely different build. Do this for one week and see if you haven’t found a completely new build you’d like to experiment with. You might just find that it sticks.

Even without first-party support for some of these gameplay modes, it hasn’t stopped the Diablo 3 community from taking these ideas and running with them. And who knows? Maybe by seeing how much fun we have experimenting with gameplay ideas, Blizzard will consider adding official support for them. They’ve already mentioned wanting to do so for self-found and ladder play, at least in some form.

How many of you have tried self-found play? Gotten stuck while trying to score an achievement? Tried ladder play? Died (or survived) in hardcore? Tried a totally unconventional build? Let me know in the comments.


Waterfiend is a writer and avid gamer who follows Diablo 3 news religiously. Say hello at his forum profile.


You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.
  1. 1,2,3,4,5 already did, about six months ago, when the game started to bother me 😉

  2. I like the different ways to play a game. And especially the Diablo games. I’ve destroyed many mice buttons with Diablo 1, played Diablo 2 for many, many hours. Both of these I played off-line with my girlfriend/wife. And even though the start was rough, I now play Diablo 3 since the launch.
    From the start I haven’t looked at the Auction House. It just feels like cheating. But we do switch gear we found between the two of us, when we play together.
    I also have played many a night with hardcore characters of different classes and builds. But almost always lost them by doing something stupid (for instance opening a door in Act 3 with a explosive beast behind it and the game on Monster Power 4… Instant death for a Demon Hunter. 🙁 )
    But the main reason I now only play single player is that my wife lost interest in the game after beating nightmare twice, due to the limited variety of the game. Levels always feel the same, improvement in gear is limited and the progression of the characters seems too limited. For some reason we haven’t had this feeling in Diablo 2…

    So we will play the game on-and-off till the expansion. And will almost certainly buy and play the expansion. And I will play the different play styles you mention (I’ve been doing it from the beginning, apart from the ladder system, which I won’t do because I don’t have the time for that), alone or in a party…

    And there is a extra target you might try: play the entire game on the maximum Monster Power. You might need to re-play some parts to get your character to level up to be able to beat certain parts, but it will surely give some of us a challenge. And if you can beat it with one of the classes, there are still 4 more classes…

    • @BigEl – I didn’t think to include playing on MP10. Great suggestion! And if you’re nervous about playing hardcore (which I still am, a bit), MP10 SC would be good practice, I think. Will have to try it out.

      @slyraje – Hardcore sounds really cool, and this seems like a perfect time to give it a shot. We’ll be getting better items (I hope) with Loot 2.0, so I don’t want to invest too much time in items that will become obsolete soon.

  3. Once you get up to Inferno, you can use random builds (i.e., use an RNG to select your skills, runes, and passives) to prolong the game a bit, assuming you have the gear for it.

    The kind of neat thing about the skills/runes is that most are only RELATIVELY bad, rather than ABSOLUTELY bad, so there are many ways to frag demons and avoid getting squished by them. If you’re okay with not being efficient, it’s a good way to kill time.

  4. I’ve been doing all of these things to some extent. It’s kept me playing since I returned from my first 3 month hiatus back in November. I definitely recommend giving them a shot. Especially HCSF and build roulette.

  5. 6 – Play a better non dumpster game, lulz.

  6. Torchlight 2 or Path of Exile.

    Unrelated note: Unable to log in site wide it seems.

  7. You can also do the equivalent of Pointflessly Flying circles over Stormwind and then finally cancel your account 😉

  8. I play self found only, and have gone through up through Inferno with a few characters. I’d like to start new ones but honestly, I’m so tired of being forced through the story in these kinds of games. Sometimes I just want to go somewhere random for a change of scenery, mobs, challenge etc.

    The story is important, but when you’ve played through it over a dozen times, it can be enough to put me off playing the game at all (In Diablo 3s case.)

  9. Don’t play in Diablo 3, and wait for Grim Dawn or Project Eternity.

  10. Don’t play in Diablo 3, wait for Grim Dawn or Project Eternity.

  11. “Build roulette” could be fun, though for me it would be to try to aquire a Hellfire Ring :S

  12. find a better game to play. this strategy should also be applied post-gamescom.

  13. First off, great guest article, Waterfiend!

    My suggestions:

    Mega Build Roulette: Turn on elective mode and every hour roll some dice to determine what skill/rune goes into each skill slot.

    Vendor-Only: Only playing with items you have bought from a vendor.

    Opposite of Intended: Melee-only items for ranged characters and ranged-only items for melee characters.

    Hardcore and high monster power for twice the fun.

  14. A good roulette option is to use the gem on the skill calculator… I might even try it myself now I think of it… totally forgot about it until now! Even if it’s just hour stints, but you’re only allowed gem skill builds, never tweak, not even one rune!

  15. And by gem on the skill calculator I mean on the blizzard website of course!

  16. OK. So that was quite fun, had a barb with Frenzy/maniac ~ Whirlwind/wind shear ~ ignore pain/bravardo ~ ancient spear/dread spear ~ war cry/invigorate ~ WOTB/insanity ~ Passives: juggernaught/brawler/bloodthirst.

    Turns out that the ignore pain and dreadspear rune were quite handy, dreadspear in particular with its smaller cd giving me a good chunk of health back ~1/3 on a crit. And I found blackthornes chest armour for my monk to use too!

    It’s not the best build due to my lack of items [pretty much self found] but it was fun nonetheless! Gonna try some more now!

  17. Gamescom is in next month? I believe we are gonna get info about the next patch and the Mystic. Why? Cinematic videos is done for a new project and “we cant wait to show it!” Itäs kinda huge and I think they save it for BlizzCon. Next idea is that this cinematic is about D3 expansion – which could be “easy” to do since it are lore-related and storytelling video. No need for either new class(es) or gameplay footage. Next reason; “BlizzCon gonna be awesome!” – Josh Mosqueira. If we are going to see expansion at all next month, it’s going to be just smaller then even a teaser since I believe the teaser are going to be at BlizzCon. Ehm, yeah. Some other stuff can be translated to that we are going to see more of the patch, new items, mystic interaction and some other things. Sry for my bad english, just drank a energydrink!

  18. Boring game,boooring!!!I have no idea what drives me still to log in?
    You dont have anything in this game except items to play for.No charms,no runes,no nothing extra to find,but items… And these items here in D3 are just a big f…ing joke!!!

  19. QUOTE

    The kind of neat thing about the skills/runes is that most are only RELATIVELY bad, rather than ABSOLUTELY bad, so there are many ways to frag demons and avoid getting squished by them. 

    I’ve been saying that for ages. There are tons of decent-to-good builds, even if there are only a handful of super-great builds. (Just like D2.)

  20. Just seems like people are forcing themselves to play this game when they know it’s subpar.

  21. Or still getting enjoyment out of it despite it having flaws.

  22. QUOTE

    Just seems like people are forcing themselves to play this game when they know it's subpar.

    It’s the human condition, when we don’t like reality, we make our own… There’s not one of us who doesn’t lie to ourselves every single day, some just do it more than others… I’m not about to try and stand up for the game and say it’s something it isn’t… but I can still find my fun so it’s not a total wash… humanity on the other hand… total wash, delete and start over.

  23. Problem is, for those looking for a A-RPG, despite all the flaws D3 has (and boy does it have many), there isnt really any better competition out there.

    Well, you could arcgue some of the older A-RPGs (like D2) are better), but for people who already played those older games for thousands of hours, that isn’t really true either.

Comments are closed.