Diablo IV

It’s kind of strange that it took us so long to write something about Diablo 4, especially knowing that Hack’n Slash are our favourite games. This is actually the third version of my Diablo post. Since the first beta, we went through three stages:

  1. The Beta: we didn’t enjoy it;
  2. The release: we enjoyed the campaign but we ended up disappointed by the gameplay;
  3. The first season: amazing!

During the beta, we were quite disappointed by the slower gameplay. We’re used to Diablo 3, Path of Exile and Grim Dawn, where we can destroy an entire map with very little downtime. In Diablo 4, the builder/spender builds are slower and the monster density is very different from what we’re used to. It was very frustrating at the start.

At launch, we actually enjoyed the campaign which is absolutely amazing! Blizzard’s seal of quality is everywhere: the gorgeous cinematics, the huge amount of details and the soundtrack. The scale of the world is also very impressive. Unfortunately, the gameplay of the Barbarian and the Sorceress made us very nervous and, once the campaign was complete, we found it hard to continue. We played very slowly because the weather was very warm and the PCs made it even warmer in the office. So we actually completed the campaign two weeks before the release of the first season.

The launch of the season changed everything. We started with a Necromancer with the sever build from Maxroll and, with the synergies of the malignant powers, the gameplay feels amazing. Since we had completed the campaign before the season, we could skip the story and I was afraid to run out of things to do, but I was wrong. Between the renown, the malignant dungeons, the whispers, uncovering the map, the altars of Lilith and so much more, we never ran out of things to do. We’ve been playing the entire weekend with sessions of 5-6 hours and not once have we felt like we were doing twice the same thing, all that thanks to the variety of activities.

The Team behind Diablo 4 wasn’t afraid to change things and it really pays off, they delivered a superb game and I can’t wait what they’ll come up with for the next seasons.

As I write this post, I’m watching the Exilecon 2023 and the gameplay videos of Path of Exile 2 look fantastic. What a time to be an ARPG fan!

Evil Dead Rise

Once more, the Book of the Dead has been opened and, once more, evil has taken possession of humans to bring chaos to this world. While the plot isn’t very different from the previous movies, the setting is. This time, except in the first scene, the cabin in the woods has been replaced by an old apartment from which people can’t escape.

The team in charge of the setting did an amazing job, the apartment where it all happens is amazing. Then, there’s Alyssa Sutherland, who delivers an absolutely stunning performance. The perfectly composed second wife of Ragnar in Vikings turns in one of the creepiest possessed woman I’ve ever seen! I’ll never see her with the same eyes again.

All the ingredients of a classic Evil Dead are there: relentless action, a fantastic casting, a ton of gore (6,500 liters of fake blood were used for the movie), an amazing soundtrack (the voice on the recording is none other than Bruce Campbell’s) and even a chainsaw.

Honestly, we didn’t expect it to be so good and, apparently, neither did the studio. The film was originally meant to release exclusively through HBOMax via direct-to-streaming, but it performed so strongly during test screenings that they decided to release it theatrically instead.

Definitely a top pick for a solid horror evening, even if you’re not a fan of the franchise.

Hardcore Adventures in Classic WoW

Last week-end, following the huge trend, we both tried Hardcore Classic WoW. While we had fun in the starting zones, our nostalgia trip was brutally interrupted by death. I understand the excitement around Hardcore but I personally don’t enjoy to delete a character that I’ve been levelling for hours. I can’t imagine the feeling when your character dies after level 50, I would be devastated.

However, this little adventure made us realise how great vanilla WoW was and how bad retail has become when you play the game the way it was meant to be played. It was a game made by roleplayers for roleplayers while retail feels like a phone game ported on PC.

So, thank you Nostalrius for having made Blizzard consider creating Classic servers. And fuck you, J. Allen Brack, You were dead wrong!

Diablo 4 Beta

It wasn’t easy to find a “cute” screenshot

I’m gonna start this Diablo post by talking about World of Warcraft. In case you didn’t read the blog, Soforah and I have been playing WoW for 15 years. Ok, there were highs and lows, but the game always managed to keep us entertained. I don’t know if it’s due to the new – more socially acceptable – crowd at Blizzard, or if the game is simply not targeted at us anymore, but we both have had the most horrible time in Dragonflight. It’s so bad, it had us quit after 2 weeks, and I’m not talking about a break… The game is a chaotic, frustrating, ugly pile of stinking dung!

So, when we went to the beta week-end of Diablo 4, we didn’t have high expectations. Of course, we were very curious to see what Blizzard has in stock for its next gen Hack’n Slash…

We both completed the beta and we both found the game underwhelming, to say the least.

First, the monster density is horrible! Sometimes, you fight 20 mobs, then you have to cross an entire area without finding a single enemy to kill. I understand that they want to introduce mounts in the game (so they’ll probably fill the cash shop with hundreds of poneys, horses and unicorns in every possible colours), but it completely broke the pace of the game.

Second, I find the textures quality pretty poor for a next gen game. I know that Blizzard is trying to keep their games accessible to most, even those with outdated PCs, but this is ridiculous for a game set to be released in 2023.

Finally, I played a sorceress and I found the gameplay boring. I was using arc lightning and I was constantly out of mana. My other ability was a recycled hydra, which I already found boring in Diablo 3.

I know that the game is still in Beta and still needs polishing, but I found the core of the game bad.

I remember the beta of Diablo 3, it was awesome, it had left me wanting more. Diablo 4’s beta makes me afraid, I hope that nowadays Blizzard is not gonna butcher another of its franchises.

We’ll probably try the game in its final state, but the beta has set my expectations very low.

Dragonflight Hype

Image via @KatieDev on Twitter

The new expansion releases in less than 2 weeks, so there’s no time to waste.

The Search For A New Main WoW Character

For a few months, we’ve been using all our gaming time trying to decide which class could replace our Hunter as main characters. Here’s a little break down of our research:

Elemental Shaman: You like casting Chain Lightning? Because you have to cast it 12263737 times/hour which makes it very dull.

Balance Druid: The spec we’ve tried the most. It could have been nice, wouldn’t it be for eclipse… We both get very nervous after a few hours keeping track of the short duration dots, full moon/mushrooms, astral energy and being in the right eclipse. I thought that it would all become muscle memory. It doesn’t.

Shadow Priest: In dungeons, in raids or in the open world, the game has become an AOE fest. So, having to use Mind Sear as main AOE ability easily becomes easily frustrating. Too bad, we really enjoyed this one.

Destruction Warlock: The lack of mobility, in and out of combat is very frustrating. Burning Rush isn’t enough, if you even talent in it.

All those hours spent trying other classes were kind of hardhat they made us realise how much we enjoy our BM hunters. I guess that using the same rotation (give our take a few minor changes) for a decade becomes a bit old at times, but it remains the most fun for almost every aspect of the game. So, we’ll keep maining our hunters in Dragonflight, without any doubts in our heads.

WoW’s 18th Anniversary

Happy Birthday to the best game ever created! I’ve been playing it for more than 16 years and I can’t imagine a world without it anymore. Sharing the adventure with Soforah is also one of the best thing ever.

Unfortunately, the celebratory event isn’t too fun. It could have been if these damn Dragons would chain stun us until oblivion. So, event complete, let’s move on.

Dragonflight’s Pre-Launch

The first phase was filled with classes and specs experiments (hundred of hours). The new talent trees are great but we’ll only get to experience the real thing when we’ll be 70 and geared.

The second phase got us really hyped for Dragonflight. We’ve created two Drachtyr (even though we don’t plan on playing it) and we went through their starting zone. It gave us a taste of the Dragon Isles which really look awesome! The pre-launch event is also pretty great, we especially enjoy the revisited version of Uldaman and the huge chaos surrounding hundreds of players simultaneously farming the primal invasions. Is it me or it feels less laggy than Shadowland’s pre-launch event?

From A to Zereth

After the fun we had completing the “Breaking the Chains” meta achievement for Korthia, Sardoken and I started working on the one for Zereth Mortis, “From A to Zereth”.

Until now, we’ve downed all the elusive rares, found all the remaining treasures,… the only thing left on the list is to reach exalted with The Enlightened. Since this is fairly easy by just doing world quests and killing rares, it’ll happen soon. 

Compared to other meta achievements (think BfA) the Shadowlands ones are pretty easy and fun. The only part that I thought would be hard to get was “Dune Dominance”, even that was completed in the blink of an eye. The screenshot below portrays perfectly what I love in WoW, the huge amount of people for one rare. What a lightshow! I hope this’ll never change!

Right now, I’m searching for all the schematics for protoform synthesis to craft all Zereth Mortis’ pets and mounts. Before Dragonflight comes out, I want to have completed all that Shadowlands has to offer. We need a lot of special materials to craft protoform creatures, and even these are fun to farm. The LFG tool always has farm groups up to get Genesis Motes, and they drop fairly easy.  I think we’ll still be spending quite some time in this zone, if not for the crafting, there are also other fun achievements to complete like “Apocopocolypse Now”.

Now, if the summer heat would calm down again, that would be great. I have other places to be than in my living room. Even though, having more time to work on the blog is a great thing.

We’ll be there!

That’s right, we’ve done it! We’ve purchased Dragonflight.

At first, we were really not hyped, the announcement was underwhelming (those scripted discussions around a table, yuk!), the Drachtyr looked (and still do) ugly and we didn’t catch anything exciting.

During the last months, we’ve learned more about the new zones, dragon flying, the extra mat stash, the new UI and the return of the Kalu’aks. Now, the hype is real.

Also, don’t think that we could ever skip a World of Warcraft expansion, especially if it’s set to be released by the end of the year. Christmas trees and new stories really make the best time of the year.

See you in the Dragon Isles!

A Promotional Week-End

If you didn’t see the 50 millions Proto-Drakes flying around, then you probably still don’t know about the free mount offered to your retail account if you create a Death Knight on a Classic server and walk him through the starting scenario.

We did it together and, while we were doing it exclusively for the mount, we had a ton of fun following Arthas’ commands, killing innocent people, stealing horses and torturing crusaders, a real blast from the past!

Look at us, all proud on our Frostbrood Proto-Wyrms!

While it made us very nostalgic of our favourite expansion, I don’t think that we could go through it all over again. The past is the past and I would be afraid to spoil a perfect memory. Also, we love what retail has become and we’re both looking forward to Dragonflight.

On Saturday evening, we’ve also connected our Twitch accounts to our Amazon Prime and Battle.net to get the Crown of Eternal Winter for free. So many blue/white transmogs could benefit from that awesome crown, we didn’t want to let it pass.

Dark Iron Dwarves

Last week, we wanted to test the Elemental spec, but the only high level shamans that we have are Dark Iron Dwarves. The spec didn’t really work well for us, but the race was so awesome that it became impossible to go back to our Blood Elves.

After a few days of hesitation, we finally changed our main characters’ faction, joined the Alliance and became Dark Iron Dwarves.

We already wanted to change our hunters’ race for a few weeks. We both tried Orcs, but it was too bulky. I tried Goblin, but I really didn’t have the click. Finally, we went back to Blood Elves but we really weren’t happy… After a few minutes as Dark Iron Dwarves, we knew that we had made the right choice. We’ve had a blast the entire week-end!

Now, we need to find a new server because Draenor is almost exclusively Horde and it’s not easy to tag mobs when you’re the only one from the Alliance. The most Alliance populated European server is Silvermoon. I think that we would jump there without hesitation, but I ‘m not sure that it’s a good idea to choose a full server before a release. The other option is to go to Argent Dawn, where the queues will probably be shorter, but it’s a bit too quiet there lately.

Decisions, decisions,…

Fuck Summer!

Summer sucks! It’s too warm to do anything and we’re more than tired to binge while waiting for the heatwaves to pass. Fortunately, last week-end was fresher and we could game again. We enjoyed our second round of fated raids, we ran through 5 Timewalking dungeons and we completed a few achievements.

While waiting for rares to spawn in The Maw, we started to play with our Christmas toys, it was amazing. Take that, crappy season, it’s Winter when we say it is!

Now, the sun is back and I hope that we’re facing our last 30°C week for the year, it’s been too long!

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