Act 2: First Blood

As one might rightly assume, I encountered the infamous Infernal Act 2 brick wall.

The best sort of welcoming committee for melee.

To say I was “pwned” by the very first elite pack (Frozen, Molten, Plagued, Desecrator) is to suggest that the Allies merely dropped by Dresden in 1945 for a night on the town. The melee attacks alone were brutal enough to take me out in 3 hits, nevermind all the shit on the ground. As the respawn timer crept ever higher, I thought that those “discretion better form of valor” guys might be on to something. Unfortunately, the FMPD welcoming committee had other plans. No matter how far away I dragged them from the Checkpoint I kept respawning at, at least one was hanging around for his turn to teabag my corpse.

The cherry on top of this injury cake was when the Enrage timer went off. Fun fact: the Enrage timer is actually a debuff that simply kills you in seconds no matter where the fuck the elites are at. As I sat there stunned IRL as to how I can be killed by elites not even on the goddamn screen, I had to further endure the 10-second logoff Wait of Shame before I could scurry back to the AH. After spending something in the neighborhood of 500k (on top of the 300k I talked about last time), my stats ended up looking like this:

A 3 oz bottle of Vaseline doesn’t go as far as one might hope.

I came to the sad conclusion that perhaps I was going to have to alter my Noob Wind spec. So I did… grudgingly. I swapped Mantra of Evasion for Mantra of Healing with the 20% resist runes; I dropped Seven-Sided Strike for Serenity; I switched the rune for Breath of Heaven for the 1.5 second Fear. And… that’s basically it. Bought a 1h weapon + shield combo for when things still get really hairy, but the loss of 7000 paper DPS is almost worse than dying in-game.

I still have issues with many some elites, but at least I have enough time to react to said fact before being ground into a thick paste.

The fact that I am still having occasional issues is somewhat perplexing though, considering the Inferno Act 2 Monk 200k video floating around. If you haven’t see it, the basic premise is a dude went naked to the AH with 200,000g and walked out with enough gear to progress through the entirety of Act 2 Inferno as a Monk… skipping only 3 elite packs along the way. And made a profit with vendor gold alone. I went ahead and did an unbuffed comparison shot of his stats from the video and my own:

Yikes.

I quite literally have 400 more resist than this guy, and I still have issues? The biggest difference – aside from his rather ridiculous amount of Increased Attack Speed – is his spec: Deadly Reach. Ah, yes, the ranged monk. For what it is worth, I did actually try Deadly Reach for a while but couldn’t make it work; without all the extra IAS, you cannot actually kite all that effectively, nor trigger the 3rd punch for the +50% armor bonus.

Then, I noticed something else about his video… the elites he actually faced.

  1. Fast, Illusion, Electric, Plague
  2. Nightmare, Electric, Waller, Health Link
  3. Waller, Fast, Electric, Plague
  4. Frozen, Reflect Damage, Health Link, Waller
  5. Teleport, Jailer, Nightmare, Fire Chain
  6. Fire Chain, Arcane Enchanted, Mortar, Reflect Damage
  7. Molten, Electric, Plague, Fast
  8. Mortar, Waller, Shield, Plague
  9. Plague, Fast, Fire Chain, Vampiric
  10. Mortar, Illusion, Knockback, Waller
  11. [not shown]
  12. Extra Health, Nightmare, Jailer, Fire Chain
  13. Extra Health, Teleport, Vortex, Plague
  14. Electric, Plague, Avenger, Wall
  15. Health Link, Desecrator, Fire Chain, Fast
  16. Desecrator, Teleport, Shield, Molten
  17. Fast, Frozen, Extra Health, Electric
  18. Vampiric, Mortar, Nightmare, Minion
  19. Avenger, Molten, Teleport, Nightmare
  20. Teleport, Avenge, Molten, Electric
  21. Frozen, Vampiric, Jailer, Arcane Enchanted
  22. Molten, Shielding, Arcane Enchanted, Electric, Minion [skip]
  23. Extra Health, Arcane Enchanted, Reflect Damage, Waller [skip]
  24. Molten, Knockback, Illusion, Reflect Damage
  25. Nightmare, Teleport, Illusion, Fire Chain
  26. Knockback, Molten, Reflect Damage, Minion
  27. Fast, Waller, Reflect Damage, Teleport
  28. Arcane Enchanted, Fire Chain, Reflect Damage, Vortex
  29. Frozen, Knockback, Extra Health, Reflect Damage [skip]
  30. Knockback, Mortar, Frozen, Shield

You are goddamn right I wrote them all down. Aside from the four I marked in red above, the elites he faced in the video (barring the occasional enemy type) were a total joke. Could he have faced down my FMPD welcoming committee with his spec? Maybe, maybe not. I have grave doubts.

Sour grapes aside, his video has educated me in various ways. For example, his +631 Life on Hit is obviously doing more for him than my +1027 considering he is getting nearly a full extra attack per second – nevermind all the extra Spirit he generates. The single-minded focus on Dexterity was similarly interesting given how much effect it is having: 229% more damage from his 612 DPS weapons, making them nearly on par with my 1000+ 2H. I am not entirely willing to go Deadly Reach just yet, but I can definitely spend another ~5 hours “playing” Diablo 3′s AH to repair my errors.

And if it sounds like I am enjoying Diablo 3 better overall, you wouldn’t be wrong. The cheeky among you might suggest that it is because of the increased difficulty, and I am inclined to agree – Act 2 has been the only stretch of road I have not been zipping down at 80 mph in a 65 mph zone. Indeed I thought Act 1 Inferno was about as hard as Act 2 Normal in the scheme of things, given the latter’s lack of gold for upgrades and all the locked abilities.

After 38 hours /played, it is about goddamn time some fun was had.

The end is probably nigh however, for all the reasons I have seen in the comments to my own posts (and elsewhere). “Farming” Act 1 Inferno holds about as much appeal as sticking my balls in a toaster, and… well, actually, that is basically the way forward here. Or giving in to the Deadly Reacharound build. While the thought of maybe getting a $200 item drop soothes the chaffing a bit, I already spend more time in the AH than in-game. I don’t know how much longer…

…hold on, I have an email.

Pics or it didn’t… damn.

BRB, grabbing my toaster.

P.S. Congrats to Anderasill, the owner of the above screenshot + $173.40 ($200 minus fees) and a winner of the Diablo Annual Pass Challenge (Hardcore). She actually got Diablo 3 via the Annual Pass, so there’s that too. And she probably could have saved herself the 15% transaction fee since I know damn well she’ll just spend all that money and more buying the new WoW pets.

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Posted on July 5, 2012, in Diablo and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Surprised that you write off fire chain + jailer as “a total joke”.. progressing through Inferno Act 1, I’ve been finding fire chain + anything that screws with your movement completely impossible.

    • As melee? Most of the time two elites seem fine with staying on the same side of me, while the third to fighting my Mystic Ally nearly off-screen; I hardly ever seem to get dealt noticeable amounts of damage from the Fire Chains at all. It is possible my high resist and Life on Hit scores as screwing my perception though.

      As long as there are only 2 melee-unfriendly affixes, the elites I face generally aren’t a problem.

      • Corners and narrow passages are also great for avoiding fire chains damage. If you can find a convenient spot, they’ll be forced to fight you 1-2 at a time, without the chain ever touching you. This also helps with nightmarish, as you have nowhere to run, and the pack doesn’t disperse. Of course, this can be dangerous if the elite pack has a nasty combination of arcane/desecrate/plague/electrify/molten, or if they explode/gas upon death, and you need to find a corner that isn’t adjacent to a wall if they have mortar.

        Personally, I’ve been running a melee wizard, after tiring of the endless kiting involved with most wizard inferno skill setups. It’s definitely been more interesting, but my enthusiasm started to dwindle noticeably once all of the easy upgrades were made. Having finally passed the Ghom cock-block, the end of Inferno is in sight. And, most likely, the game, as I don’t see myself doing that song and dance again, different class or not.

    • If it makes you feel better, karmic justice was delivered mere hours after my posting a reply. I ran across two Fire Chain groups that absolutely destroyed me faster than all the other FMPD pretenders I faced that night.

  2. Keep in mind elite packs also have abilities aside from their affixes due to their race.

    My cousin earned 1200 EUR in Diablo 3 within the first day when RMAH went live but he had been saving up items and played the game a lot and is a former hardcore raider and gladiator in WoW. There is no doubt in my mind some good players who are devoted and have earned a lot of money with Diablo 3, and some good players who are devoted and had a bit of luck in their drops a lot more. Just the other day one of my WoW guildies sold a 700 DPS weapon with good stats for 52 EUR. He was saying on vchat how can someone be so lame to buy a weapon for real money let alone that much?

    Me, I lost the game at “devoted”. In the first week when I could not play much due to a vacation after which I leveled up but (unable to play for hours ‘n hours) my class was nerfed long before I reached level 60. I cannot grind or farm, it bores the living daylight out of me and it feels like a day job. There’s no lore to discover, it is more of the same, and while I play the game (say I farm) Blizzard resets my NV stacks when I respec for whatever reason (say I want to experiment on a pack? Himmel verbietet!). Gear and me, they just don’t mix well anymore. There’s not much happening in my brain anymore. Even with relation to real life money.

    I’m having a lot more fun playing around in the MoP beta and TSW. There’s a lot to discover there in classes/specs, quests and lore. Grinding and farming in 2012 though? C’est passé.

    Glad you’re enjoying the challenge though. Wonder how long it’ll last.

  3. Now imagine you were playing a Demon Hunter, and 3/4 of the mobs had some way to turn invisible or invincible or both when out of melee range for more than an instant. It kind of makes me wonder what the heck they were thinking with some of this.

  4. A good compromise is to use Deadly Reach along with a melee spirit generator (FoT/Thunderclap being the most popular option). It gives you a ranged weapon/Sweeping Wind refresher against melee-unfriendly packs while allowing you to still rack up spirit quickly against ordinary foes, plus you can fire off the first two strikes of a combo quickly via FoT and then use Reach’s third strike for the armor bonus.