Blasphemery

May 232012
 

I know you, you’re sitting at your computer thinking “Blasphemery, I cut my baby teeth on Archbishop Lazarus. I did so many Mephisto runs that the Durance of Hate is practically my second home. There’s nothing you can possibly tell me about the world of Sanctuary that I don’t already know.” Well mister, you’ve got quite an attitude. Diablo III is a much different beast than the previous titles, and there are quite a few things that even an experienced player like yourself might miss out on due to being caught up in the excitement of this decade-in-the-making title.

1) TURN ON ELECTIVE MODE AND ADVANCED TOOLTIPS. This eliminates some of the obligatory dumbing down that we have in modern video games, lets you use any skills you want in any slot, and helps in figuring out how to gear your characters. This should be the very first thing you do when you start up D3. Well, after you know, making your awesome new Hero.

2) PICK UP GOLD. For the love of Tyreal, pick up every single gold pile that drops on the ground, it’s not worthless anymore! White/grey items sell for about 1-10 gold each and do nothing but clog up your inventory, so picking up gold piles is actually the best way to acquire currency! You don’t even have to click it! Just walk over it! Stop being lazy, you need gold! Why
do you need gold you ask? Well…

To upgrade your stash 7 slots: (10k each.)
To buy another stash tab: (100k, 200k, respectively.)
To upgrade your blacksmith
To craft blacksmith items
To upgrade your jewelcrafter
To upgrade the quality of jewels
To buy vendor items
And of course to buy items off the fancy new Auction House.
(Oh and you can also sell gold on the Real Money Auction House once it’s implemented.)

3) LEARN HOW TO GEAR YOUR CHARACTER EARLY. Again, this is much much different than Diablo 2. Gone are the days where you wanted to stack as many +skill levels as possible. There AREN’T any skill levels! Your character’s prime stat is what upgrades your damage and is generally what you want to be focusing on. This means strength for Barbarians, dexterity for Demon Hunters and Monks and intelligence for Witch Doctors and Wizards. Also WEAPON DAMAGE ACTUALLY MATTERS FOR CASTERS. Thats right Witch Doctors and Wizards, many of your spells do a percentage of your weapon damage so you want to be rocking the highest DPS weapon you can- even if that means a two-handed axe. Keep in mind attack speed affects cast speed as well though.

4) BOSS FARMING FOR LOOT DOESN’T WORK. The more elites/uniques/bosses you kill in a single game increases your chances of finding better loot. This means joining a new game and right as they kill diablo will probably only net you a few blue items and thats it. Sorry Mephisto and Pindleskin, looks like your record for number of times killed by loot hungry adventurers won’t be broken anytime soon. In fact once you hit level 60 you get a buff that stacks up to 5 times that reflects this.

5) ZOMBIE BEARS IS THE MOST METAL SKILL IN THE HISTORY OF GAMES.

Oct 212011
 

Diablo 3 was first announced on June 28th 2008 at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris, France, but that wasn’t the beginning of my anticipation. I, like many others had been waiting for this announcement since Diablo 2 hit shelves in the year 2000.

My good buddy Canker and I were lucky enough to attend both Blizzcon 2008 and 2009, 2008 happened to be the first time that Diablo 3 was playable in America outside the Blizzard offices themselves. We got in line, it was a long line, but at the end of it were about 50 shiny new computers all loaded with the Blizzcon build of Diablo 3. An hour later it was our turn. One of the staff members herded us to a row of computers, we sat down, gave the poor bastards still waiting in line the smuggest look we could muster,  and created our first characters.  The wizard class had just been announced earlier in the morning and the venue was rife with videos of her prowess. What can I say? They won me over, and so that’s the class I picked.  Canker picked witchdoctor, and our two other companions choose another wizard, and a barbarian respectively.

As you may know the current beta contains about a quarter of Act 1, and climaxes with the defeat of Leoric the Skeleton King. The build we played dropped us into the middle of the Cathedral already armed and with a few talent points to pop into the (now defunct) talent tree. Whilst Canker ran around with flaming zombie dogs, I chose to focus on disintegrate because… well come on, its disintegrate. Even at this early stage, with only a cursory number of skills available the classes felt incredibly unique and polished, it was a fully satisfying experience. Unfortunately, due to every one’s fault but mine our time elapsed before we reached Leoric. His comeuppance would have to wait, for 3 years actually. Sheesh.

The next year we were back, at Blizzcon and in a not quite as long line. Only 3 of us were herded to our computer this time to face the minions of evil. I picked the Witch Doctor, and there started my obsession with the class. Canker and our other friend were both swayed by the new shininess of the just announced Monk.  Dropped into the middle of a desert this time, I mostly remember watching the monks place glowing circles on the ground before annihilating anything nearby, whilst I spammed swarm of locus because the death animation it caused was really cool. The game was even more polished at this point and playing again only served to set my anticipation into overdrive, where it’s been since.

We unfortunately could not make it out to Blizzcon 2010 where the Demon Hunter and Arena were announced, but right away the Arena piqued our interest. You may have guessed that, as well, we created this site! The both of us loved PvP in Diablo 2 (guided arrow is bullshit) and plan to jump headfirst into the scene once Diablo 3 is released.  You can check out the videos of the Arena from this build in our video section.

Which brings us back to the current day and the Blizzcon that only a few days away! From all reports, it seem like the major thing that will come out of this Blizzcon (Diablo wise) is lore and backstory. Hopefully we’ll learn whats the deal with the falling star that features so prominently in the beta, how the lord of terror is going to rise for a third time, and maybe even find out what every one’s favorite angel Tyreal has been doing since destroying the worldstone.  They will also be releasing a new cinematic, which are just always  incredibly amazing so be sure to catch that!  We’ll be paying close attention to the gameplay panel on day 1 and the open Q&A panel on day 2 for any other juicy tidbits Blizzard might release (hopefully on the arena system!) So far my magic 8 ball is telling me that its unlikely that we’ll get an release date announcement, so don’t get your hopes up too much in that regard, but hey, even magic 8 balls have been known to be wrong occasionally.

Oh and if you didn’t know, blizzard is streaming the opening ceremonies for free at http://www.blizzcon.com/live-stream/ at 11am PST on friday.  This might be when they announce some stuff, so be sure to check it out!

Oct 032011
 
If you’ve ever played a Blizzard game before you probably know how much they love to slip in pop-culture references and call backs to their older games. Diablo 3 is no different in this regard, and the items recently released on the community site are filled with them. Here’s a bunch that we found, along with some returning fan favorites from Diablo 2.

 


Oculus Ring = In Diablo 2 this was actually a hacked item with the same stats as the sorceress’ occulus wand.
Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac = In Diablo 1 the suffix “of the zodiac” gave a bonus to every attribute. Rings of the zodiac were very commonly duped.
Justice Lantern = “In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight, Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!”
The Murlocket = Anyone who has played World of Warcraft won’t need an explanation for this one. Mrglgrlgrlgrlgrl!
Ouroboros = An ancient symbol of a serpent devouring it’s own tail, important in alchemy and several religions.

 

 

The Sporting Hat = The Sorting Hat decided which house students of Hogwart’s were assigned to in Harry Potter. The Diablo 3 Wizard would obviously be in Slytherin.
Storm Crow = This was one of Gandalf’s many nicknames/titles in Lord of the Rings.
Ghost Face Mask = The mask worn by the killer in the “Scream” movies.
Andariel’s Visage = Andariel was the final boss in act 1 of Diablo 2, though she was less famous for her visage than other…assets.
Quetzecoatl = “Quetzalcoatl” was a mesoamerican feathered serpent deity.

 

 

Ice Climbers = The Iceclimbers are Nintendo characters from their own NES game and the Super Smash Brothers series.
Hammer Jammers = Stop! Hammer time!
Blood Raven Armor = Blood Raven was the first miniboss in the first act of Diablo 2. There is unconfirmed speculation that she was supposed to be the Rogue character from Diablo 1.
Lachdanan’s Hauberk = In retconned Diablo 3 lore Lachdanan was the Captain of King Leoric’s guard, and it fell to him to slay Leoric once his madness became too prevalent to ignore any longer.
Chaingmail = Gmail is Google’s web-based e-mail service.
Tyrael’s Might = Tyreal is an angel who plays an important part in Diablo lore, as well as the storyline from Diablo 2.
Beckon Sail = Kate Beckinsale is an actress, most famous for her roles in the “Underworld” movies.
Hands of Fate = “Manos the Hands of Fate” is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time, and a very popular episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
The Undisputed Champion = In professional Wrestling/Boxing/MMA champions are awarded belts as proof of their accomplishments.
Pride of Cassius = Cassius Clay was Mohammad Ali’s name before he converted to Islam. He is considered the best boxer of all time.

 

 

Pig Pimple’s Crucio = Pig pimple, or another way to say hog wart. Another Harry Potter reference folks. The crucio curse was a name of a spell from that universe.
Jaryth’s Crystal of Dreamshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt2zoY45508
Murderer = Axe Murderer. Cute.
Fenrir’s Tooth = Fenrir is a monstrous wolf from Norse mythology.

 


Logan’s Claw = Logan is Wolverine’s real name in the X-Men universe. You’ll also note this item provides health regeneration, which is one of Wolverine’s mutant powers.
Odyn Son = Odin’s son, or you know, Thor. Carried a hammer, you get it.
Harvest Moon = Harvest Moon is a long-running farming simulation game series.
The 300th Spear = A reference to the graphic novel/movie “300″ by Frank Miller.
Griswold’s Edge = Griswold was the blacksmith in Diablo 1, and a zombie in Diablo 2.
Rakanishu’s Blade = Rakanishu was an unique monster in act 1 of Diablo 2. Also the noise fallen shamans made.

 


Blackthorne’s Sword = Blackthorne was the first game made by Blizzard Entertainment, after changing their name from Silicon and Synapse.
Thunderfury = Thunderfury was the first Legendary Sword in World of Warcraft
Butcher’s Carver = Ahhhh! Frest Meat! The Butcher was an iconic boss from Diablo 1.
Sister Sledge = Sister Sledge was an all girl group who enjoyed some success in the 80s, most famous for their hit ‘We are Family.’
Cataclysm = Cataclysm is the title of the latest expansion for World of Warcraft.
Monster Masher = You might start hearing this 1962 novelty song pretty soon as the Monster Mash is a Halloween favorite.
Wormwood = This one might be a bit of a shot in the dark, but the graphic on the staff is rather green, and wormwood is one of the primary ingredients in Absinthe, also known as ‘the green fairy’ for it’s distinctive color.
Maximus = “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

 

 

Monster Hunter = Monster Hunter is a long-running video game series known for their garish weapon designs.
Flavie’s Vigil = Flavie was the helpful little Rogue Scout in Diablo 2 who warns you about the Cold Plains if you haven’t completed the Den of Evil yet.
Hawk Eye = Hawkeye is a bow-wielding superhero from the Marvel universe. He will be in the upcoming Avengers movie.
Manticore = A Manticore is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and tail of a scorpion.
Styx Shooter = A double whammy! A six shooter is a nickname for revolver type handguns that carry six rounds. The river Styx is the border between the land of the living and the underworld of Hades in Greek mythology.
Calamity = ‘Calamity’ Jane was a famous American frontierswoman who was known as a crack-shot marksmen.

 
 

Returning Items:

 
 

Can you find any that we missed? What’s your favorite reference? Which items are you happiest to see returning? Let us know in the comments!
Sep 262011
 

As stated previously, we’re going to be posting PvP builds using the talent calculator and the most up-to-date information there is. And what better way to kick off this segment than with a build from what appears to be the most underrated class in PvP at the moment. Working to disavow that notion, I present to you a Witch Doctor PvP build that I feel shows some great potential and explain my logic.

Here we go!: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#kdUaVh!ZWf!bbaaYc

First Slot:

Skill: Wall of Zombies
Runestone: Unrelenting Grip (Golden)
Explanation: This is your general crowd control ability, setting up walls to block your opponent’s movement, while the golden runestone adds a slowing effect on top of the movement blocking. This should make kiting a breeze.
Possible substitutions:
Skill: Grasp of the Dead - Cost: 53 Mana, Cooldown: 8 seconds – “Hands reach out from the ground slowing enemy movement by 50% and dealing 50% weapon damage per second as Physical for 8 seconds.
Runestone: Desperate Grasp (Golden) – “Reduces the cooldown to 4.5 seconds.” Or: Unbreakable Grasp (Obsidian) - ”Increase the slow amount to 64%.”
Explanation: About the same idea, but I feel the movement blocking of the wall will be more beneficial in most situations.

Second Slot:

 
Skill: Hex
Runestone: Hedge Magic (Golden)
Explanation: Hex is a no-brainer here, a complete disable that actually INCREASES damage taken? Yes please. I picked the golden runestone to add even more utility to the skill, taking them out of commission while healing yourself at the same time, can’t beat it.
Possible substitutions:
Runestone: Jinx (Alabaster) – “Increases the damage taken by hexed targets to 90%.”
Description: Increasing the damage bonus on hex to a whopping 90%, use this if you don’t feel you need the healing.

 
 
 

Third Slot:

 
Skill: Spirit Walk
Runestone: Healing Journey (Alabaster)
Explanation: Your ‘get the hell out of dodge’ ability for when things are getting too hot for the fragile Witch Doctor. Lets face it, you’re probably in dire straights when you need to pop this ability, so the healing component with the alabaster runestone isn’t going to hurt.
Possible Substitutions:
Runestone: Jaunt (Indigo) - ”Increases the duration of Spirit Walk to 10.0 seconds.”
Explanation: You lose the healing component but make Spirit Walk useful for kiting as well as escaping.
 
 

Fourth Slot:

 

Skill: Poison Dart
Runestone: Snake to the Face (Alabaster)
Explanation: Besides having just about the coolest name of any skill in the game, this ability will provide consistent DoT damage with the possibility of a 3 second stun. This combined with Spirit Walk and Zombie Wall should be able to get you much needed distance on those pesky Monks and Barbarians while chipping away at their HP.
Possible substitutions:
Skill: Horrify - Cooldown: 20 seconds – “Don a spectral mask that horrifies all enemies within 12 yards, causing them to run in fear for 5 seconds.”
Runestone: Stalker (Alabaster) - ”Gain 50% increased movement speed for 4 seconds after cast.”
Same idea of creating distance from your opponents, but this time by fearing them and giving yourself a speed boost. Possibly more reliable, but no DoT damage.

Fifth Slot:

 
Skill: Firebats
Runestone: Hungry Bats (Indigo)
Explanation: This will be your bread and butter for dealing damage. The indigo runestone basically turns this ability into Bonespirit from Diablo 2, and we all know how powerful Bonespirit was.
Possible substitutions:
None. You need this.
 
 

Sixth Slot:

 

Skill: Gargantuan
Runestone: Big Stinker (Obsidian)
Explanation: This big guy will be your tank to soak up some homing type spells, along with providing consistent damage from melee and the added poison DoT from the runestone.
Possible substitutions:
I feel this is really your swing slot, if you’re out there shrinking heads and you find your have a weakness to a specific class or build? Slap something in here to help you against them. However if you like the idea of having a pet here, you could try…
Skill: Zombie Dogs - Cost: 176 Mana, Cooldown: 60 seconds – “Summon 3 zombie dogs from the depths to fight by your side.”
Runestone: Life Link (Indigo) - ”70% of damage taken is absorbed by your zombie dogs.”

 

Passive Skills:

First Slot: Vermin - ”Your Plague of Toads, Corpse Spiders and Firebats abilities do 20% more damage.”
Ups the damage of your hungry, hungry bats.

Second Slot: Rush of Essence - ”Spirit spells return 200% of their Mana cost over 10 seconds.”
Spirit Walk now breaks slows, heals you, and restores your mana. Hell yeah.

Third Slot: Death Trance - ”Reduce damage by 20% whenever you are below 50% of your maximum life.”
Damage reduction when you’re under 50% HP. Seems like this one was made for PvP, a safe choice.

Possible substitutions:
Pierce the Veil (“All of your damage is increased by 20% but your Mana costs are increased by 30%.”) and Tribal Rights (“The cooldowns of your Fetish Army, Big Bad Voodoo and Hex abilities are reduced by 25%.”) could slip in this build easily, but watch your mana if you chose Pierce the Veil. If you have Zombie Dogs in your swing slot, Zombie Handler (“You can have 4 Zombie Dogs out at once. The health of your Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan is increased by 60%.”) might be a good idea.

*Remember folks, this is build is based on beta skills that are subject to change, and until we step foot in the arena this is all merely theorycrafting. However if you have your own badass Witch Doctor PvP build feel free to share it in the comments!

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