12:30 AM, it must be time for bed.Wife said she would stay up until 1:00 playing the Diablo II expansion with me, but we got up to the first waypoint in Act V before she went to "take a rest" and never woke up. She's had a hard day, I guess. The druid/assassin team of Morpheus and Trinity will have to get their start another day.We played our level 37 paladin/sorceress team, and act 5 was extremely easy. I kind of prefer it that way... I want to stroll through and enjoy the scenery the first time around. Even though those catapults were perpetually raining all kinds of elementals on our heads, we barely got scratched. Except when I got poisoned. The rumors are true: poison is very very very nasty in the expansion. Avoid like the plague, pun intended. Stock up on poison resist before you get to act 5.After she fell asleep, I decided not to dig into act 5 any further without her, so as not to ruin the surprise. But I had to explore the new character classes, so I made one druid and one assassin and took them each up to around level 9.Of all the new skills, I think I like the assassin's martial arts tree the best. Some people will probably hate them, because they require a lot of key switching. I like the fact that it introduces some kind of tactics into the game. You can put charge-up moves on your left mouse button, so you'll be charged all the time just from attacking monsters normally. Then whenever you see a really strong monster, you whack 'em with a finishing move. What fun. Assassins can rip through boss monsters like nobody's business.The druid is cool too, sort of a combination sorceress/necromancer or barbarian/necromancer, depending on which tree you go down. I like the werebear/summoning druid a lot... you get the power of an army at your back like the necromancer, but you also have enough power to be a tank, like the barbarian. It almost seems unfair.The mercenaries are greatly improved, in the sense that "You would actually want to buy one now." Giving them potions is nice enough, but being able to put armor and weapons on them is the real bonus. You can tell that it makes a huge difference. I understand that you can now resurrect your hired partners if they die, but I haven't had to yet. The rogues in act 1 are so much more durable now, I haven't lost one yet. Finding equipment for them provides the same little thrill as finding your own items. They can wear all your hand-me-down armor and helmets, and non amazon players will have a good reason to pick up those bows.Hope this review wasn't too incoherent. Honestly I have no idea if I wrote one comprehensible sentence in this entire post. Good night.
I am really impressed with D2X. A wealth of additions. Great job, Blizzard! Highly recommended.DG
Kazim, I think I read in a previous post that you and your wife play D2 over a LAN, meaning multiple copies of D2. Did you have to buy multiple copies of D2X as well, or is it not necessary to keep the D2X CD in the drive?
Kazim, I think I read in a previous post that you and your wife play D2 over a LAN, meaning multiple copies of D2. Did you have to buy multiple copies of D2X as well, or is it not necessary to keep the D2X CD in the drive?Nope. You can install the game on both computers, then start the application on one machine, pop out the disk, and bring it to the other machine.The only thing that prevents you from doing this is that the music is being read off the CD, but you can fix this by either turning the music off, or copying the music file to the Diablo 2 directory on your hard drive. I think it's called d2music.mpq or something like that. It wastes a few hundred extra megabytes, but it gets the job done.I'm relieved to find that this trick still works with the expansion.
I just bought D2X at EB today. EB has a pretty good deal going with a $10 dollar GC for your next purchase when you buy D2X. Here is the list of games they offer rebates/GC on:http://www.ebholdings.com/rebates.aspFirst impressions: HOLY MOLEY!! This is sweet!! 800x600 rocks! I played the asassin for a while, but didn't find her too interesting. The Druid however...whoa. I'm developing a barbarian style Druid (currently lvl 9), splitting my points so far between Werewolf (lvl 6) and Lycanthropy (lvl 7). I have a helm that gives +2 to both attributes. My points are mostly strength, with a few in Dex. and Vit. as needed. I am only playing single player, no online play.Anyhow, suffice to say, I feel like a freaking tank at this point. My health is doubled when I switch over to the werewolf, to nearly 160. I can stay in animal form indefinitly, as my mana is always regenerated by the time I change back to normal. Wow.The Hirelings. Oh man. My little rogue (lvl 8 or 9) is the engine that could. I have to race to the bad-guys before she starts taking them down. It's not so good, as I'm missing out on a lot of exp. points. I gave her a decent red bow that adds 1-6 lightning damage. She's doing nearly 23 damage per arrow at this point. I'm considering giving her a crappy bow so I can kill some bad-guys. It's insane. I do love giving her little presents though. 'Hey Honey...take some armor..' 'Awww...you're welcome.' 'Hey....you like this nice new shiny bow?' Given that I just rescued Cain, I feel like I'm in pretty damn good shape. It does however look like it will be long time before I see Act 5. I re-installed D2 for the expansion pack, and somewhere in the last little while I lost my lvl 45 barbarian. Oh well, I think my Druid will be a very nice replacement...I was leerly of paying $30 for D2X, but having played it for a good 8 hours or so, it is worth it IMO. The graphics, the improved NPCs, the extra large storage bin, the improved mini-map etc. It just makes playing D2 that much more enjoyable by removing much of the fustrations of the original game. Steve
Just wait until you actually see Act 5, then you will know that it was worth it. The surface area is huge and the variety of both monsters and challenges exceeds anything in the original.You will also find it much more challenging than the original. At a level (64) when I was previously just taking a character out for more XP runs, my current character has not even finished Act 4 in Hell yet. I don't know how single player differs since I have only played on line, but Blizzard has definitely made group play necessary. At least until very high levels.
dakeyras,Are you saying that the difficulty level in general has been upped in D2 or just in Act 5? I have heard that Blizzard made the entire game much harder, due to the new (and powerful) combinations that an online party can present.What do you think?Steve
The whole thing is tougher once you start hitting Nightmare. The monster levels and resistances are significantly higher (+66 levels in Hell vs +50 previously), plus many of them now have outright immunities. These immunities can cover any of the elements, magic or even physical. The monsters both hit harder and are harder to hit. This makes it very difficult for a character to go it alone unless a variety of attack options are available. This may be different in single player for obvious reasons. The resistance penalties for characters are much higher reaching -100 in Hell. Add to this the fact that poison has gone from ignorable to potentially devestating and you have a much tougher game.Just wait until you meet the Minions of Baal. ;)
I have heard that Blizzard made the entire game much harder, due to the new (and powerful) combinations that an online party can present.It's all in the way you look at it. On the one hand, the monster levels have been upped significantly in nightmare and hell mode; monsters have more resistance and immunity to certain types of damage; and your own resistances are dramatically increased.On the other hand, you have this whole other act with monsters that give HUGE experience. You can comfortably level in act 5 until your character is well into their forties without setting foot in nightmare mode. So I think this is a mitigating factor.Also, you have mercenaries who actually do real damage and live more than a few seconds. You have super items that are much easier to find. My sorceress spent MONTHS trying to find the unique staff that gives +1 all skills... last week I found two orbs that give +1 all, IN THE SAME GAME, mind you... in normal mode. There is also a quest that gives you 10 free resistance points for completing it, so by the time you make it to hell mode, the resistance penalty is really -80 and not -100.So what I'm saying is, you can attain a very high level without going into nightmare and hell levels. And since partying doesn't carry the major experience penalties that it used to, I find that people on battle.net are a lot more friendly and quicker to party with you than they were before. So it is not so hard to cruise through some of the areas that are too difficult for one person, ganged up with large groups who all have different skills. It used to be that there was a terribly long and boring stretch in between levels 25 and 35, and levels 50 and 60, when getting experience is extremely slow and tedious. That gap has mostly disappeared, and there is once again a sense of accomplishment from gradually and steadily levelling up all the time.My best character is a level 56 paladin. I have a scepter that gives +2 all skills, but I can't deal damage worth a darn. Before the expansion, about 10 levels ago, I used to be able to solo up to early act 2 in hell. Now I can barely survive act 4 nightmare, let alone act 5. If it wasn't for the conversion skill, I'd have to beat on every monster for 2 minutes to kill it. BUT, throw in a barb and an amazon and a sorceress, and let me give them a level 23 damage enhancing aura, and I can fight alongside them with my meager damage, gain levels quickly, and I'm becoming better and better equipped to stand on my own as well. It will probably be another 10 levels before I can go back to hell mode.That doesn't bother me. I think it is reasonable that casual gamers should be able to win normal mode, and after that, all bets are off. Only the really hardcore, fanatical players should be able to win the game in hell mode. I still hope to be one of those one day. But I've got patience.
That doesn't bother me. I think it is reasonable that casual gamers should be able to win normal mode, and after that, all bets are off. Only the really hardcore, fanatical players should be able to win the game in hell mode. I still hope to be one of those one day. But I've got patience. Spoken like a true hardcore Diablo player. :)A wee update: I managed to find my lvl 43 barb in my old Diablo II folder, converted him to d2x and have played through most of Act 5 (normal) with him. As it might be expected, I am not being challenged, most times fighting it out till my weapon need repairing. I will probably just skip along to Act 1 nightmare, and let my druid come along later and explore the rest of Act 5. My impression is that Act 5 is pretty cool, although I sure do wish I had a rogue to take down those annoying fire demons. I keep missing them with Leap Attack. My Druid however is now lvl 21 and just finishing off Act 2. The battle with Duriel is imminent. This should be interesting. Given that I have about 250 life and a powerful rogue backing me up, I do not expect too much of a fight. It will be hairy -fighting Duriel always is.One more thing: I think the coolest thing that has happened to me yet, is my rogue taking down the Summoner (Arcane Sanctuary boss) before I could even reach him. It was really funny, as I had just walked the steps and was just about to hit him when my rogue killed him, and I end up swinging at empty air. It looked like the poor guy had fainted before I could hit him. I had a good laugh out of it.Steve
My impression is that Act 5 is pretty cool, although I sure do wish I had a rogue to take down those annoying fire demons. I keep missing them with Leap Attack. Start a nightmare game and kill blood raven if you can, then hire a rogue from nightmare. She will be past level 30 and she will stay with you if you go back to normal.
Kazim,Thank you very much for the tip! I'm very grateful. I do however, take insult at your insinuation that my barb cannot handle the namby pamby Blood Raven in Nightmare. ;)Shame on you!! Steve
I like that the hirelings are improved, but I still can't manage to keep them alive for long enough to be worth spending the money. Both my Rogue and the cold sorc from Act 3 kept running into combat and getting mutilated rather than standing back and firing away. So I just gave up on them since at 50K a shot, it gets expensive to keep bringing them back.
Hope this review wasn't too incoherent. Honestly I have no idea if I wrote one comprehensible sentence in this entire post. Good nightKazim!first of all, nice to find you here. in a year at the fool, i seem to have managed to not find this board til now.thanks for your comments on the d2 xpac. i have been playing d2 like mad lately, and all my palying buddies keep moving to the xpac so we can't play together anymore.noone had yet provided to me any of the details of just how good the xpac was, but i remember how good the xpac for d1 was, so i guess i was just waiting for the right words.as soon as i get my paladin up to about 55 i'll switch over. that'll happen quite soon.and sorry for responding to a two-month-old post, everyone.-gabep.s. kazim, "/w azara'leth" next time you're on.
Kazim!first of all, nice to find you here. in a year at the fool, i seem to have managed to not find this board til now.thanks for your comments on the d2 xpac. i have been playing d2 like mad lately, and all my palying buddies keep moving to the xpac so we can't play together anymore.noone had yet provided to me any of the details of just how good the xpac was, but i remember how good the xpac for d1 was, so i guess i was just waiting for the right words.as soon as i get my paladin up to about 55 i'll switch over. that'll happen quite soon.and sorry for responding to a two-month-old post, everyone.-gabep.s. kazim, "/w azara'leth" next time you're on. Hey drachman,Unlike "Black & White", my love of Lord of Destruction has not diminished with months of play. Levelling up is faster, the variety of tactics is better, and battle net is a much friendlier place now that you get more experience by playing in a team. There are huge amounts of items to be found, and less of a sense that you have to find a few particular super uniques. It really rounds out the Diablo experience nicely. Get it.Look for me as "KazimTheOnly" on battle.net, but you'd better tell me whether you play more on east or west. I have several characters on both servers, all expansion only of course. That includes some low level characters, in case you want company while you try a new assassin or druid. Email me if you're going to fire up a game on some particular weekend or evening.
Look for me as "KazimTheOnly" on battle.net, but you'd better tell me whether you play more on east or west.i have two characters on us east, a lvl 51 paladin (will be 52 tonight) and a lvl 20 sorceress. i have no characters on us west, though that may change soon.both characters are of course standard, but the expansion pack is just a few dollars away :)question, however: what becomes of my 51 paladin who is in act 2 hell of the moment? i have heard talk of character transfer, but i don't understand...how the linearity flows with the xpac...does that mean i automatically am on hell difficulty in the xpac too, or do i have to beat all those acts in normal and nightmare? just curious, as i don't at all mind doing just that.-gabe(can't wait to start a druid and an assassin)
gabe,There should be no changes in your char. All of your waypoints will be saved and still there when you tranfer over to D2X. From there, it is very simple to get back to where you were before. I do, however recommend once switching over to the D2X, to not go into hell mode right away. The difficulty level has been stepped up.Steve
so, if i understand this correctly, i should go from (act whatever) hell difficulty in standard to act 5 normal xpac?cool. thanks for the tip, Steve.-gabe(imagining hell difficulty stepped up)
gabe,You still should have the choice of what difficulty to take when you start up a new game with that char. Once you have chosen that difficulty, you will end up in Act 1 of (whatever difficulty). Then you will be free to use the waypoints to move to whatever act you were playing beforehand, only you will be playing in D2X, rather than normal.I hope this makes sense.Steve
Gabe,You will want to play act 5 in normal before you do anything else, just so you can familiarize yourself with the area. It will be extremely easy for a level 52 character, and that may sort of ruin act 5 for you since it won't be a challenge, but you'll get a lot of nice loot and a little experience. You may want to consider playing act 5 with a character who's around level 25-30, so it will be nicely difficult, and then run through it with your paladin later.Don't go back to hell mode. You will get SHREDDED at level 50. I promise you will. My level 60 paladin is still mostly sticking to act 5 nightmare for experience. All the monsters in nightmare and hell are about 10-20 levels higher than they used to be. You should only go back to hell mode if you have a pretty decent team with you.I don't know if you will be considered a hell mode character until you beat Baal in nightmare, but if you are, I'd create your own nightmare game and hope that people join.
I hope this makes sense.---------perfect sense---i retain all act 1-4 waypoints, and can play act (5-8?) at the difficulty i choose since i have beaten diablo on nm.very cool-gabe(*azara'leth)
Don't go back to hell mode. You will get SHREDDED at level 50. I promise you will. My level 60 paladin is still mostly sticking to act 5 nightmare for experience. All the monsters in nightmare and hell are about 10-20 levels higher than they used to be. You should only go back to hell mode if you have a pretty decent teamthanks kazim.i'm almost sorry that i ever made a paladin, because while being a great team member, they kinda suck by themself.oh well.interesting to me is the fact that it took blizzard damn near forever to come out with d2, and then the xpac appears like, what, 1 year later?-gabe(looooooooves team play)
It has little to do with having a Paladin character, almost any character would get shredded in Hell difficulty at that level. A sorc could manage it, but then Blizzard still has some balance issues with the sorc.I don't believe that this will be an issue anyway since I don't think that you can even enter a Hell game without having beaten Baal in NM first. I brought a couple of characters over at the beginning just to see what it was like and they could not go into Hell games despite having been in Hell difficulty in D2C. Not that this mattered much since once I took a look I just created new characters anyway.I think that one of the best changes has been the ability to buy good equipment from the vendors and to create good equipment using crafts and runewords. All of these options are good for me since I am not using a single piece of equipment that I found in a drop.The_DefiantOne level 91 defiant PaladinRegnar level 45 ranger Paladin (crossbow)
i'm almost sorry that i ever made a paladin, because while being a great team member, they kinda suck by themself.I've written often on the virtues of being a paladin. Everybody loves you if you're a paladin. You can just run along with a stronger group, mooching experience and items, and no one minds. Distribute your points in good auras and you'll be the most popular guy in the party, even if you do 2-4 damage per hit.Add some conversion into your skills, and you can also save your party's butt against seemingly impossible numbers of monsters.
i guess i gotta give SOME credit...the paladin in norm. difficulty is a badass, whether in a team or not.but then you get to nightmare, and suddenly thorns just seems to stop working.-gabe
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