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 I know that Blizzard is trying to keep their games accessible to most, even those with outdated PCs, but this is ridiculous for a game set to be released in 2023.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.
E3 has come and gone. All over internet, gamers were going crazy with anticipation, begging for their yearly fix of hype. And, as usual, the developers threw us scraps. I went back to my cave with my tail shaking, but uncertain whether I should feel excited or disappointed. Between ridiculous announcements like Mario Rabid (lol) and a new BMX game from Ubisoft (there is still a public for that kind of crap in 2021? I’m baffled!), not much happened.
Starfield’s teaser looks good but I was more excited about the Elder Scrolls 6 Easter egg it contained. I’m also happy for Outer Worlds 2 but, once again, the trailer had absolutely no gameplay shooting.
Meanwhile, Blizzard revealed the release date of Diablo 2 Resurrected (23.09.2021). Finally, something concrete came out of that week.
I’m in Heaven right now and I’ll probably be for a few years. Yes, you read well: YEARS! Diablo 2, the game that ruined my first university years but made the rest of my life better is about to be “resurrected”. Even better, it’ll be released on or before December 2021, which instantly makes this year a great one, filled with news, hype and a huge countdown.
We’ve watched the Diablo II: Resurrected Deep Dive panel and it seems that the remaster is in very capable hands. The folks at Vicarious Visions are very committed to bring Diablo 2 to modern days graphics while keeping the experience as close as possible to the original. Also, we get a shared stash!
The new Diablo 4 class, the Rogue, was announced and it looks amazing, with a mix of range and melee attacks. The trailer is pretty dark, which is a good thing. Diablo 4 development is moving on and it feels great to know that there are so many great things ahead for the Diablo fans.
As if it wasn’t great enough, Blizzard had Metallica perform “For Whom the Bell Tolls” in a studio version exclusively recorded for the Blizzcon.
Oh, I almost forgot, something was said about Diablo Immortal but I didn’t really pay attention. While My initial attitude toward it was pure hate, I think that I’ll probably give it a try anyway but, even if it’s amazing, I doubt that it’ll change my attitude toward phone games.
We’ve spent the morning listening to Metallica and we’ll probably spend the rest of the day playing Diablo 3 and watching all the Diablo panels from the Blizzcon. Life is better than good!
The anniversary event, The darkening of Tristram, has returned this year. I’ve already completed the Diablo 1 inspired dungeon on my PC, but I also wanted to run the event on my Switch. This time, I rolled a Necromancer. It was good fun exploring the labyrinth once again.
I’ve made some notes for the future since some things are easily forgotten:
When you start, make sure you start a fresh level 1 character. Run straight from the Old Ruins waypoint to the portal for The Darkening of Tristram without killing any mobs on the way. Once passed through the portal, you run straight to the Labyrinth without clicking anything. Clicking the cows, dead bodies,… will come later when you have obtained the necessary items. They are important for getting certain achievements, pets,… during the event.
The Butcher pet was the first one I got by clearing the dungeon with a fresh level 1 character solo. This will grant you the ‘An Eerie Red Glow Blurs Your Vision’ achievement and the Butcher pet at the end.
The Ogden’s Sign, and Ogden’s Brew (both banners), Red Soul Shard (legendary headslot gem), and The Butcher’s Cleaver (transmog) are easily obtainable since they are guaranteed rewards from killing bosses in the labyrinth. You clear the entire dungeon once and you have all of these for sure.
The next one is more tricky since it was bugged once again. How to get the plans for The Wirt’s Leg (transmog) and The Royal Calf (pet):
In Level 9 of the dungeon, you will find the Black Mushroom, click on it to obtain a Rotten Mushroom;
Go back to Old Tristram and find Adria’s Hut. Throw the Rotten Mushroom inside the cauldron to obtain Witch’s Brew;
Click the four corpses in town in this order: Farnham, Ogden, Pepin, and Griswold. The last corpse will drop the plan for Wirt’s Leg;
Then you can teleport back to town and teach it to the Blacksmith. You’ll find the plans under the Maces section. Now here’s where you have to pay attention since it was bugged 2 years in a row: If the plan is blue in stead of orange (legendary) don’t craft it! It costs 1 million gold to craft and a blue one (the bug) won’t do it. It has to be orange! They fixed the bug a few days later, but the damage was already done, I had lost a few million trying to craft the right Wirt’s Leg. I also had to first log into another character and then go back to my necromancer before the plan appeared legendary.
After you’ve crafted the legendary Wirt’s Leg, you have to salvage it so it offers up the Map of the Stars, which reads 2-1-3;
Go back to Adria’s Hut and click on the cow corpses in this order: middle (2), left (1), then right (3). This will open the Abandoned Farmstead portal;
Head through the portal and find Wirt’s Stash. Open the chest to get the Cow Pet Trinket and right-click it to earn the Royal Calf.
The Classic Demon Portrait is a reward for killing 40 unique classic monsters in the Anniversary dungeon, gaining you ‘The Protector of Tristram’ achievement. The full list of unique monsters:
Level 2: Rotfeast the Hungry, Shadowbite
Level 3: Brokenhead Bangshield, Madeye the Dead
Level 4: Blacklash the Burning, Gharbad the Weak, Snotspill
Level 5: Bloodskin Darkbow, Foulwing, Shadowcrow
Level 6: Bilefroth the Pit Master, Bloodgutter, Deathshade Fleshmaul
Level 7: Blighthorn Steelmace, Gorestone, Nightwing the Cold
Level 8: Baron Sludge, Firewound the Grim, Zhar the Mad
Level 9: Breakspine, Brokenstorm, Oozedrool
Level 10: Blackstorm, Goldblight of the Flame, The Flayer
Level 11: Bluehorn, Fangspeir
Level 12: Lionskull the Bent, Viletouch, Viperflame
Level 13: Rustweaver, Warlord of Blood, Witchmoon
Level 14: Graywar the Slayer, Steelskull the Hunter, Stareye the Witch
Level 15: The Vizier
Unholy Altar: Blackjade, Red Vex
Level 16: Sir Gorash
The Classic Angel portrait is awarded from the ‘I Sense a Soul in Search of Answers’ achievement. You can get this achievement by collecting all 7 Cultist’s Page items which are dropped by Temporal Priests. They can be found in the following locations:
Act I: The Weeping Hollow, Festering Woods, Cathedral levels 1, 2 and 4, Halls of Agony levels 1, 2 and 3;
Act II: Dahlgur Oasis, Desolate Sands;
Act III: Keep Depths 1, 2 and 3, Stonefort, Rakkis Crossing, Arreat Crater 1, Tower of the Damned 1, The Core of Arreat;
Act IV: Gardens of Hope 1, 2 and 3, Silver Spire 1 and 2, Hell Rift 1;
Act V: Westmarch Commons, Westmarch Heights, Paths of the Drowned, Battlefields of Eternity.
There can only be one Temporal Priest per location, which may drop duplicate pages so, be ready for several runs. They also drop while doing bounties so, you don’t necessarily need to complete this achievement with the same character you started the event with. Beware that you can’t trade these pages with a seasonal character!
I just finished the event for the second time, and I hope that everybody had as much fun as I had. Meanwhile, season 16 has started, and I’m experimenting with a new Witch Doctor build. But, more about that later!
Diablo 1 was the first time that I’ve truly been passionate about a game. From the moment that Diablo was installed on my PC, all I could think about was going to Tristram and fight the legions of evil. At that time, I had just entered university and I completely failed my first year. Even if it delayed my professional life for a year, it was worth it because it gave me one of my best gaming remembrances.
When Diablo 2 came out, I got infected with the same virus. The sequel was even better and, for many years, I’ve been living in click heaven.
Unfortunately, even if they managed to make something enjoyable out of Diablo 3, Blizzard didn’t succeed at recreating the ambiance from the first two episodes. They made jokes about the excessive use of flashy colours, but they failed to provide the sequel I was waiting for. I long believed that such a task was impossible, that my expectations were simply too high. The Darkening of Tristram proved me wrong. The retro graphics, the character animations and the old music really did the trick for me.
Blizzard gave us an awesome way to celebrate and, for a month, I probably had more fun in Diablo 3 than I had since the game was released.
We’re slowly getting back to a normal gaming schedule. Actually, this week-end is our first real gaming week-end since we’ve moved to Brussels, and it’s Blizzcon week-end… Exactly what we needed to get us back to our geeky selves after this horribly long period of real life crap.
For the second time in a row, the panel that got me the most excited is the one about Diablo 3. Of course, I’m baffled about the idea of Blizzard making an FPS (I love FPSs), and I’m super excited about the WoW movie, but little things like more treasure goblins and quality of life improvements in Sanctuary really get me hyped for the patches to come.
Blizzcon isn’t over, there is still so many things to watch (including Metallica) that this 4 days week-end at home is turning into pure heaven for Soforah and me…