Blaugust and Nephalem

Last Day of Blaugust

As the subheading says, it is in fact the last day of Blaugust and as such very soon I am going to begin tabulating the results.  It has been an interesting month, but also a very quick one.  It seems like just yesterday I was kicking off this challenge, and now we are staring at the finish line.  It has also been interesting just how many people have participated in one way or another.  Even if you did something as simple as retweet a Blaugust post, you are part of this and I thank you.  In truth I was not really sure how the turn out for year two would end up looking.  The biggest surprise honestly was just how many year one folks came back for this year.  You’d think that they would have learned better by the time the second event rolled around.  As I sift through the results it is going to be interesting to see just how many folks have completed both years at this point.

The big take away this year is that we have already reached a point where we are just too big to be planned somewhat “on the fly”.  Up until July I was still questioning if I would actually go through with a second Blaugust.  I was somewhat shocked at the number of people who were looking forward to it.  So I pulled things together and we ended up with this year, that went significantly more smoothly than the first.  As a result I think for the 2016 Blaugust I will be starting to pull things together about four months in advance.  Folks offering to sponsor prizes was a brand new concept to me, and this year we had Anook and KingsIsle Entertainment both chipping in prizes.  I greatly appreciate them both, but I am hoping if I start the wheels moving several months ahead I will be able to get a few more people to come on board.  It would be awesome to get some game keys donated for a sort of “Blaugust Game Club” like our AggroChat Game Club.  Where every Blaugust writer has the opportunity to play a specific game and write about it, because it is super interesting when you collect a bunch of opinions on the same title.  I realize we are just how wrapping up, and folks are I am sure sick of it for the time being…  but I am already thinking about how to make next year better.

Nephalem Ascended

Diablo III 2015-08-31 00-01-16-066

Friday night when I got home from eating with friends I started a brand new Female Barbarian, and as of last around 8 pm I managed to hit 70 securing at least some of the Season 4 rewards.  While I managed to get drug along for a handful of levels, this is still the fastest and most dedicated I have ever leveled in Diablo.  In part a huge chunk of it has been that I have largely been leveling with my friend Grace, who keeps pushing me to go do content rather than just piddling around like I normally do.  Pushing is the wrong word because she was not even insistent… she just gave me a reason to keep grouping up and doing interesting things.  The other big change this season is that I pretty much completely ignored the story line.  In Season 3 I attempted to level my way through the story, which is apparently the worst possible way to level these days.  Instead I largely started adventure mode from the moment I created the character, and the result is as I leveled I tended to always have legendary weapons that I could craft for my character.

diablo3Season4Journey

One of the big changes that came with Season 4 was the introduction of the “Season Journey” interface that serves as a way of unlocking the various rewards.  Just for hitting level 70 on a seasonal character I unlocked the transmogrification pieces, but in order to get the Portrait Frame and the Pet I have to complete all four Chapters of the Season Journey.  As of last night I have completed the first three and they were honestly all pretty easy.  The final element that I needed was to defeat one of the major bosses on Master difficulty or harder.  Since Belial is the fastest to get to on Adventure mode I popped over there and took him out with relative ease.  Now I have to do some of the more grindy things like taking out each of the key masters on Torment difficulty.  I also need to finally use the Kanai cube to extract a Legendary power, but I am trying to sort out what sort of power I want to keep.  Honestly I feel like I need to read up on how exactly that process works before making any decisions surrounding getting powers from it.  I know that once you do this you can choose at least one power as a permanent buff, and I have a few that are really nice.

Diablo III 2015-08-30 21-57-05-55

I really did not spend much time playing Reaper of Souls, and as such I had never actually done a Rift of any sort until this weekend.  Grace on the other hand is an expert at such things and as a result I spent some of my “post 70” time last night with her working on Rifts and then the Greater Rifts that follow.  I have to say they are crazy amounts of fun, and I am trying to sort out how best to use my legendary gems.  Right now I have two of them, and I need to run more Greater Rifts to power up the second one.  The first one is now at level 6, but once again I think I need to do some research in how best to utilize them.  The game is so much more intricate than I remember it being, and in truth I have never played Diablo 3 seriously.  I am having a blast so I guess that is really all that matters.  My hope is that tonight our Final Fantasy XIV raid can down Ravana Extreme… but after that… I hope to put in big ole dent in some of these Chapter IV objectives.

8 thoughts on “Blaugust and Nephalem

  1. This is my third season playing seasons. I think I missed season 2. So far I love the new way seasons are set up. The quests keep me playing. One thing I’m disappointed in us the legendary rewards. I already have those transmogg sets from season 1.

    Like you I’ve never used the cube, shoot I had no idea until last night how to get it or it existed. On a whim I decided to do that guys quest. I love how the boundaries now give crafting books and you no longer need shards to open rifts. With all these fun rewards I can see how seasons will come to consoles. I’d definitely play there too.

  2. The cube does other useful stuff too:

    1. Take a yellow of some type (like a 2h mace) and a bunch of crafting materials, and turn that into a random legendary of the same item type (so a legendary 2h mace). When you’re first gearing up, this is incredibly useful.

    2. Take a legendary you already have and use some souls/bounty mats to do a total reroll on that item, as if it dropped again. Once you have enough mats to try several times, this is a good way to take a rare legendary and try to make it ancient.

    3. Take a set piece you don’t need and some mats, and change it into a random other piece of the same set. Great if you’re swimming in boots but have no hats.

    4. Throw a puzzle ring or bovine bardiche in there and enjoy what happens. 😀

  3. The cube powers work like this:

    1. Extract powers. When you extract one, it gets unlocked. Once it’s unlocked, it’s unlocked permanently for all characters (or all seasonal characters if you’re in a season). When the materials are scarce you want to be choosy and pick things you’ll use, but it’s pretty quick to get enough of them that you can just extract every power from items you don’t need. This works on almost anything that has a legendary power, including a couple of set items (it has to have a legendary power on top of any set bonuses, and it doesn’t count for set bonuses).

    2. Equip powers. You can pick one weapon slot power (includes shields/offhands), one armor slot power, and one jewelry power at the same time. Changing them is just a matter of going to the cube and picking a new one, there’s no cost to doing so.

    You want to start doing that ASAP, because even with mediocre powers the ability to essentially benefit from three more legendaries at the same time is incredibly powerful. As you get gear, it lets you do things like use a Ring of Royal Grandeur or Unity (if soloing) while also using Focus & Restraint, which right now are the two best rings in the game.

    Or if you’re like me and really hate arcane sentries, Countess Julia’s Camo is a handy power to stick in there as it makes them heal you.

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