Call Me Gorbachev

I TORE DOWN THAT WALL!

I've had it said to me multiple times over the last couple of weeks that Act II Inferno is a brick wall that cannot be hurdled without spending something close to 30 million gold if you are a Barbarian. In 135 hours and only about 2 million gold later (I'm still sitting on a fair stockpile of the shiny yellow coins), I've jumped over the wall of Act II Inferno, and I keep asking myself "why are people finding this so impossible?"

That's not to say it wasn't hard. You definitely have to be on your toes...despite sleep deprivation on a couple of nights causing me to kill the Spider Queen Aranae in Act 1 while falling asleep a few times (and I have eyewitnesses). Nonetheless, Act II definitely felt tough, and having been through the entire act, I can retract one of my previous statements in multiple different blogs and threads around here: the first half of Act II is definitely more difficult than the second half. The enemies felt a little more brutal, a bit more...well, like a brick wall of a gear check saying "get your weight up, son".

"Got my weight up" is exactly what I did, though, and after downing Belial in Act II, I felt this great sense of relief come over me. I had done it, and now I could look forward to further progression.

However, Blizzard is still posting up stats that say a very VERY small percentage of the 7 million+ people that are playing this game have not even SEEN Inferno mode. Reading the Diablo 3 forums, there are people struggling with NIGHTMARE! This is something that my mind just...I don't know, I cannot fathom how people AREN'T clearing these difficulties. Act 3 and 4 of Hell, yeah. I can see some issues going into those, as you have to start dealing with some hard-hitting zerg-rushes of demons clattering to slice you open.

Don't get me wrong: this isn't some big e-peen post of "hey, check it out, I'm better than you". This is me saying "I've done it, so why aren't other people?" I can understand that cost is part of it, and it doesn't help that Blizzard really shot some players in the foot by manipulating good drop chances for useful gear in order to prioritize the use of their Auction House. However, I've spent 2 million gold on gear. That's it. It seems like a lot, but after about a month, that's not nearly as much as you think. That's about 20 Warden/Butcher runs (which in essence is about one full day of farming).

If anything, I think farming Warden/Butcher in Act 1 Inferno has actually been highly beneficial to me. I understand my character in ways that I did not before doing those farm runs. There's an understanding of how skills and stats synergize with each other that help to look at the builds I use and say "man, this would work really well if I use this along with it". Currently, my build is pretty much "cookie cutter tank". There's nothing surprising in it. Hell, my stats aren't even necessarily spectacular.

xXxFINLEExXx is my hardcore character. I needed to emphasize how hardcore he was with a numerous amount of X's.

There's nothing special here. As a matter of fact, you'd be relatively surprised to find out that four of those pieces of armor...are blues...with nothing but vitality and all resist. Those particular pieces of gear never got me more than 100k gold. As for general stats, I'm sitting on about 700 all resist with my War Cry buff up (so around 460-480 unbuffed, which is not nearly that impressive) with no % melee attack or ranged attack damage reduction. I think the only "reduction" I have from any of that is 2% from elites, and that was on the 1k armor shield I'm using...that only cost me 10k. Seriously, good gear can be found for CHEAP! Hell, I know that when I find good gear, I'm usually posting it for under 200k gold (I have 10 auctions up right now that all have over 40 all resist for around 10k-20k gold each).

For wizards and witch doctors, I am sorry for the pain you have to deal with. I've seen the prices you guys are having to deal with, and it's pretty fucked up. Nonetheless, my buddy Findaill (that's his in-game name) has not only gotten geared for around the same 2 million as I've spent, BUT HE WAS ALSO HACKED and had his gear sold off, everything taken from him other than his Staff of Herding. He got regeared in about two days time.

So needless to say, I just don't understand it. I know part of it does come down to skill - whether the cut of your gib is capable of hanging with the Inferno difficulty. With 1.0.3 on the horizon (and changes that I am actually excited about rather than the perturbed sense I had before), I'm curious to see if the progression numbers change drastically or whether it'll stay in the same 1-2% area it has been stagnating at.

Until next time, keep pushing forward in Sanctuary and I hope to hear success stories from you guys. Oh...and piece.

23 Comments
24 Comments
Edited by jakob187
I TORE DOWN THAT WALL!

I've had it said to me multiple times over the last couple of weeks that Act II Inferno is a brick wall that cannot be hurdled without spending something close to 30 million gold if you are a Barbarian. In 135 hours and only about 2 million gold later (I'm still sitting on a fair stockpile of the shiny yellow coins), I've jumped over the wall of Act II Inferno, and I keep asking myself "why are people finding this so impossible?"

That's not to say it wasn't hard. You definitely have to be on your toes...despite sleep deprivation on a couple of nights causing me to kill the Spider Queen Aranae in Act 1 while falling asleep a few times (and I have eyewitnesses). Nonetheless, Act II definitely felt tough, and having been through the entire act, I can retract one of my previous statements in multiple different blogs and threads around here: the first half of Act II is definitely more difficult than the second half. The enemies felt a little more brutal, a bit more...well, like a brick wall of a gear check saying "get your weight up, son".

"Got my weight up" is exactly what I did, though, and after downing Belial in Act II, I felt this great sense of relief come over me. I had done it, and now I could look forward to further progression.

However, Blizzard is still posting up stats that say a very VERY small percentage of the 7 million+ people that are playing this game have not even SEEN Inferno mode. Reading the Diablo 3 forums, there are people struggling with NIGHTMARE! This is something that my mind just...I don't know, I cannot fathom how people AREN'T clearing these difficulties. Act 3 and 4 of Hell, yeah. I can see some issues going into those, as you have to start dealing with some hard-hitting zerg-rushes of demons clattering to slice you open.

Don't get me wrong: this isn't some big e-peen post of "hey, check it out, I'm better than you". This is me saying "I've done it, so why aren't other people?" I can understand that cost is part of it, and it doesn't help that Blizzard really shot some players in the foot by manipulating good drop chances for useful gear in order to prioritize the use of their Auction House. However, I've spent 2 million gold on gear. That's it. It seems like a lot, but after about a month, that's not nearly as much as you think. That's about 20 Warden/Butcher runs (which in essence is about one full day of farming).

If anything, I think farming Warden/Butcher in Act 1 Inferno has actually been highly beneficial to me. I understand my character in ways that I did not before doing those farm runs. There's an understanding of how skills and stats synergize with each other that help to look at the builds I use and say "man, this would work really well if I use this along with it". Currently, my build is pretty much "cookie cutter tank". There's nothing surprising in it. Hell, my stats aren't even necessarily spectacular.

xXxFINLEExXx is my hardcore character. I needed to emphasize how hardcore he was with a numerous amount of X's.

There's nothing special here. As a matter of fact, you'd be relatively surprised to find out that four of those pieces of armor...are blues...with nothing but vitality and all resist. Those particular pieces of gear never got me more than 100k gold. As for general stats, I'm sitting on about 700 all resist with my War Cry buff up (so around 460-480 unbuffed, which is not nearly that impressive) with no % melee attack or ranged attack damage reduction. I think the only "reduction" I have from any of that is 2% from elites, and that was on the 1k armor shield I'm using...that only cost me 10k. Seriously, good gear can be found for CHEAP! Hell, I know that when I find good gear, I'm usually posting it for under 200k gold (I have 10 auctions up right now that all have over 40 all resist for around 10k-20k gold each).

For wizards and witch doctors, I am sorry for the pain you have to deal with. I've seen the prices you guys are having to deal with, and it's pretty fucked up. Nonetheless, my buddy Findaill (that's his in-game name) has not only gotten geared for around the same 2 million as I've spent, BUT HE WAS ALSO HACKED and had his gear sold off, everything taken from him other than his Staff of Herding. He got regeared in about two days time.

So needless to say, I just don't understand it. I know part of it does come down to skill - whether the cut of your gib is capable of hanging with the Inferno difficulty. With 1.0.3 on the horizon (and changes that I am actually excited about rather than the perturbed sense I had before), I'm curious to see if the progression numbers change drastically or whether it'll stay in the same 1-2% area it has been stagnating at.

Until next time, keep pushing forward in Sanctuary and I hope to hear success stories from you guys. Oh...and piece.

Posted by Turambar

10 thousand armor is definitely a lot of armor.  How much % damage reduction are you getting off that?

Edited by Jack268

Yeah, I can't believe people struggle on Nightmare either. "Normal" should be renamed easy, and Nightmare should be normal. "Normal" should also be fucking optional because it's a gigantic snore fest.

But act 2 inferno really is hard. Especially as a demon hunter, those invisible snake ass holes can literally kill you without there being anything you can do. You can't push Smoke Screen on reaction, so your best bet for solo is to press it randomly and hope the snake attacks you within the next 1.5 seconds. It seems the best option is to let a player playing Monk or Barbarian carry you through the act is the best option. I guess it's possible with high enough DPS to kill them before they can go invisible (i.e. if you one shot them) but my 70k w/ sharpshooter is not enough for that.

But the worst enemies in the game are definitely the Act 3 soul rippers and hulking phase beasts. Slap on reflect damage and/or extra health and they are literally not killable, and the best option is to leave the game and remake.

Edited by ichthy

Congrats. But Act 3 is much, much worse for melee. I don't think anything in the game has made me more angry than a pack of champion hellfllyers with molten.

Posted by mandude

135 hours...not sure I'll even play long enough to see this wall. Maybe if I get some multiplayer going it'll happen.

Posted by WinterSnowblind

I think the stats were a bit misleading. They were released just over a week after the game launched, so obviously a very small percentage of people have unlocked Inferno. I only just got there today and I'm playing what I'd consider a significant amount, I'm not sure how some people finished all 3 prior difficulties so quickly, unless they were literally doing nothing else or just rushing through them.

People struggling with nightmare is a bit head scratching though. Hell kind of requires you to use the AH or have been pretty lucky with drops, but no one should be finding any of nightmare tough.

Edited by uniform

What's your block %? I shelved my DH to create a Tanky Barb, currently 55. One thing I've learned preparing gear for 60 is the importance of block %, and how a lot of Barb Tanks make the mistake of neglecting it while only focusing on RA>VIT>STR>LoHW.

Posted by jakob187

@uniform: My block percentage is 18%. The key is the block AMOUNT, which for that style of shield and higher is a minimum of 3700. Block is actually something I need to start buffing up a bit more, but right now, I've got a pretty hardcore focus on buffing up my armor to around 12k+, getting a 1-hand 1k DPS weapon, and buffing my health up to about 45k (I'm currently at 35k).

@Turambar: That's about 74% damage reduction. However, you also need to remember the order in which all that happens. From what I'm to understand (and I still have no hard evidence about this, so forgive me if it is incorrect), resists come before armor in the equation. Therefore, the damage reduction is actually based on the amount after your resists. Seriously, there are a TON of things that come into play. Regardless, 10k is actually pretty low in comparison to what you SHOULD be rocking. 10k is...I would say...the bare minimum to be successful, and even then, I JUST hit 10k armor last night by buying two new pieces of gear (finally replaced my String of Ears belt). When I finished Act 2, I was sitting on about 9.3k armor, then buffing it to 10k with the Enchantress.

That's another thing I'm curious about: how many people are using their companions? The Enchantress IS A FUCKING BEAST! She's a walking buff, and once you give her some decent gear, she can be some incredible supplemental damage. She may not always last the longest, but it is ABSOLUTELY worth gearing your companions up.

@mandude: Many of those hours have been sunk into Whimseyshire farms, Warden/Butcher farms, and playing with my friends to get them through their various playthroughs so we could all get into Inferno. Overall, getting through the first three difficulties and then the time it took to get through Act 1 and Act 2 was about 70 hours at most. There's also the fact that I have TWO Barbarians, one of which is a level 24 Hardcore. That counts towards the 135 hours, so my main character probably has about five hours less than what that is indicating.

@Jack268: See, I would believe that Demon Hunters were that underpowered if it wasn't for the amount of videos I've seen that show that not necessarily being true. It really does come down to the gear, the build, and how you are playing through it all. I'm not saying it isn't tough, but I'm saying that it is doable. As for the bosses themselves, I've found them to be the easiest things in the game, but again, I am also a melee that runs with two big healing moves (Revenge/Provocation and Furious Charge/Dreadnought). Therefore, it's difficult for me to understand what the Demon Hunter kit is like and how that translates to your own survivability outside of "kite all day and hope they don't get to you". Even then, I would think running with the Templar as your companion would probably benefit you greatly, as giving him some heavy vit/RA gear can make him into a pretty hardcore tank.

Posted by Lumley

Wow, I can't wait to get that deep into the game. At the moment I'm 8 hours in as a Witch Doctor.

Posted by Cincaid

Nice to see you progress, and a nice read! Currently farming a bit into Act 2 with a friend, but since things will be easier in 1.0.3 for us we're mostly just fooling around and hoping to pick up upgrades here and there until then. Haven't really been trying to solo it the last couple of days, even if my stats are higher than yours. Some of the elite packs just piss me off too much. :)

Posted by jakob187

@Cincaid: I'm the exact opposite - I want to progress as much as possible BEFORE 1.0.3 hits. I just have this thing where I HAVE to finish stuff out before a patch dulls it down a bit. Even then, the patch talks about "adjusting" more than "nerfing", which I like. I think there are plenty of enemies in Act II and beyond that offer a perfectly fine challenging experience in their health and damage scales, while there are a couple that really do need to be evaluated.

Posted by Jaqen_HGhar

I am only on Act 1 Inferno with my Monk so far (just beat the Skeleton King), and yeah. I rather doubt I will be able to beat it. At least not solo. And while the later Acts of Hell was fucking aggravating I see what you are saying. It wasn't that hard, in the grand scheme of things. And I beat Hell with only buying a few items. I might have spent a total of 200k for my Monk, and I still do fairly well on Act 1 Inferno. Hell, it is all about your build, playstyle and items. Guess I lucked out on finding useful items then, and I have found a build and style that managed to get me through all the bosses on Hell without dying once. On the bosses I mean, Elite packs knew how to fuck me over.

I see that I struggle a lot on Inferno when meeting most Elite packs on Act 1 Inferno though, and I know I will be completely fucked on Act 2 if I ever get there.

Edited by WilltheMagicAsian

I've been playing Hardcore since launch so I have yet to get to inferno (Max Payne 3 on PC has also been taking up most of my time as of late). Although I don't really want to check it out right now since I'm also playing a barb and one mistake will make all those hours pretty much moot. got me to make a normal character though. So I'll probably get to Inferno tomorrow.

Edited by emem
@jakob187: Nice, do you play solo or with other people? I solo'ed pretty much everything and only did some public games and games with friends to farm a little bit of gear to be able to progress. 
 
As far as I remember I (as a wizard) beat Belial with 300 resist to all, which works out if you don't get hit by anything, but I imagine that it's a terrible fight as a melee. And Azmodan was really really hard as well, it's a bit like playing a lottery with the black lava spawns... I have my doubts that the fight is possible as a melee unless you've got incredible gear. It would be interesting to hear how you are doing in act 3. 
 
My wizard is actually standing infront of Diablo (inferno as well) for about a week now and I probably could have killed him by now, but that fight is so incredibly long... it's exhausting. 
Posted by stinky

i'm giving up on Hell with the diablo fight.

can't do it. lasts too long as said above and i'm tired of him teleporting on me.

Edited by SJSchmidt93

I finally got DPS to around 24k unbuffed and am started to slowly kite my way through Act II. Shit takes fooooooreveeeer. It's somehow still fun, though.

Posted by WMWA

Uhh congrats

Edited by Arkasai

I've noticed this same thing, there's a pretty huge skill gap between players right now. Not so much in inferno (still a bit) but in the earlier difficulties I found there were about the same number of people who were doing just fine staying at 100%, as there were constantly dying and waiting on resurrection timer. They're all using the same specs, it's just some actually understand the finer points of that spec and know how to avoid damage.

Inferno is all about avoiding every avenue of damage, while laying as much hurt as possible down on those elites, and it's great! I never feel like I was killed in a cheap way because I've come to accept the level of difficulty, when I die it was totally my fault for putting myself in that position.

Posted by jakob187

I will say this: your main priority should not be downing elites and rares on Inferno until you know you can walk up to something and stay alive for at least one solid minute. Work on progression and normal mobs. If elites get in your way, kite them out of the way and then die, move on, and just keep progression at the forefront of everything.

As for my own progress in Act 3, I haven't really been doing so much with it. A lot of that is because I remember the zerg-rush style of play that the enemies had, and in turn, I know I need a bit more armor and a bit more damage. I have been able to clear mobs in the beginning of it, but it's been hairy because of a reliance on Revenge procs. I'm debating on some Life on Hit, but in reading the D3 forums, it would seem that there is a nerf to lifesteal/life on hit when going into Inferno. Therefore, I don't want to go wasting money on gear that will not end up helping me out.

Basically, it comes down to "I have more research to do before Act 3 is in the books".

I'm really not looking forward to the guys that bring down the meteors in Act 4. Those guys can suck my fucking dick and die.

It's nice to see a lot of good discussion and talk of progress with Diablo 3 this time around instead of people complaining left and right. It's one of the reasons I enjoy blogging on Giant Bomb still. = D

Posted by Jimbo
"I've done it, so why aren't other people?"
 
Probably something to do with not playing 6 hours a day since the game came out, would be my guess.
Posted by jakob187

@Jimbo said:

"I've done it, so why aren't other people?" Probably something to do with not playing 6 hours a day since the game came out, would be my guess.

No. I spend my days off doing exactly what a day off should be about: relaxing. In actuality, I only get to play solidly two weeks out of the month on any given game. With the way our schedules are handled at work, I work seven days in a row one week and have four days off the next. In turn, it's more like "I get to dump a solid 20 hours into a two-day period, then barely play for a few more days when I have to work, then play for my other two days off for a solid however-many hours.

It was a nice attempt to just average everything out and pretend that I don't do anything ever, though. = D

Posted by Jimbo
@jakob187 said:

@Jimbo said:

"I've done it, so why aren't other people?" Probably something to do with not playing 6 hours a day since the game came out, would be my guess.

No. I spend my days off doing exactly what a day off should be about: relaxing. In actuality, I only get to play solidly two weeks out of the month on any given game. With the way our schedules are handled at work, I work seven days in a row one week and have four days off the next. In turn, it's more like "I get to dump a solid 20 hours into a two-day period, then barely play for a few more days when I have to work, then play for my other two days off for a solid however-many hours.

It was a nice attempt to just average everything out and pretend that I don't do anything ever, though. = D

"I've done it, so why aren't other people?" 
 
Probably something to do with not averaging 6 hours a day since the game came out, would be my guess.
 
Better?
Posted by Arkasai

@jakob187: Life on hit is currently a few orders of magnitude better than life steal. They both scale with attack speed, but life steal is heavily dependent on your damage, which the developers expect will get crazy high in the next few months as more people clear/farm inferno. Eventually life on hit on many pieces of gear will be a waste, as just having a flat 3% life steal on your weapon will be enough...combined with like 300k dps.

Posted by Ares42

@jakob187 said:

Don't get me wrong: this isn't some big e-peen post of "hey, check it out, I'm better than you". This is me saying "I've done it, so why aren't other people?"

It is, and you're not the first one. While I certainly spent more money than you on the AH, I wasn't anywhere close to your supposed 30 millions either. It's just a matter of luck really. Some people find that 10 million piece themselves, while others find that 10 million item they can sell and buy what they need. I found most of the gear myself too, or bought it for less than 20k on the AH, but that's not really what people are complaining about. It's just the fact that there is this very clear wall. In a well designed game you would find things harder and harder over time, and while you're able to push yourself further and further into it at some point you just have to give up and grind. In D3 it's just full stop. The gear required to beat Butcher is so far below the gear required to do anything in Act 2 that even the most skilled player wouldn't be able to progress. People just like to exaggerate when they're upset. Also, a lot of people who play Diablo doesn't play it because they like to farm, they play it because they like to progress.