I’ve been playing a ridiculous amount of Diablo III this past month. It has consumed all of my free gaming time. I’ve linked up with my friends from 0 HP Gaming and we’ve been running what could effectively be called Dungeon Crawls. Something that I haven’t experienced in the Diablo series since I binged on Diablo II with my brothers over our summer vacation over 10 years ago.
The latest patch for Diablo III brought about a lot of welcome changes. The game feels more like the hack and slash dungeon crawler that the previous series installments brought to players. Less grind, more fun with cutting through hordes of monsters. The new difficulty system brings an almost-well-balanced risk versus reward system.
I say almost-well-balanced risk versus reward system because it isn’t 100% balanced. The currently popular Torment III difficulty has some strange difficulty versus reward boosts bonus. The difficulty between T2 and T3 jumps up a lot but the reward – the increased gold, loot and experience doesn’t jump as much. From T3 to T4, the difficulty increases a bit but the reward increases much more leveling back off to a linear increase that can be expected. (TO DR: If you can play through T3 try T4; it isn’t that much harder and the rewards are huge when compared against T3.)
Being that I only play the wizard class and I have only ever played the spell casting class throughout the Diablo series (Sorcerer, Sorceress and now Wizard) I had to come up with a new build. Two things changed from the last time I played D3 more than 18 months ago: 1. The game and 2. I’m not playing solo anymore.
What I came up with is a build I call “Blizzard Wizard”. It brings a ton of Area Damage Over Time (ADoT) by utilizing Blizzard and Hydra. It works great in conjunction with a melee party member who can keep the focus of monsters so I can spam ADoT. Ray of Frost is added to apply a high DPS to stragglers.
ADoT is great but only good when the monsters are stationary. That build also lacked any kind of alpha strike. So I did research and arrived on a build that centered around both Frozen Orb and Blizzard. The former provides alpha strike capability and the latter provides ADoT.
Frozen Orb and Blizzard are currently considered overpowered by the community. The former allows for some serious penetrating damage to mobs in a short amount of time and the latter produces a lot of damage over time to mobs for the Arcane Power expended. This gives the wizard a substantial damage capability for both quick engagements and longer engagements. It works extremely well with a dedicated tank and crowd control who can corral the mobs so the wizard can apply damage.
Some other changes to the build above are Prismatic Armor instead of Storm Armor and a general focus on maximizing the chance of critical hits in order to increase damage even further.
Ultimately, my recent time back in the world of Sanctuary (The world of the Diablo series) has been both very enjoyable and refreshing. I’ve realized that Diablo III is a game that has been missing from my regular gaming regime.
I am really looking forward to Reaper of Souls, which releases midnight (EST) on the 25th of March. I’ll be hosting a midnight release party via my stream, so be sure to follow me on Twitch so you get notified when I go live. ( twitch.tv/yukanojo )