Necromancer Set Mastery

Screenshot058There is no fancy wing reward for mastering the Necromancer set dungeons, which partly led to me ignoring these set dungeons for so long. Like all of the other classes, there are still two banners to get though, one for basic completion and one for mastery. At this point there’s also the principle of the thing. I’ve come this far, I might as well master all of the available dungeons. Plus it is my secret hope that Blizz will continue to add more classes, and eventually add another cosmetic reward for mastering everything. In any case it’s finally done, and here’s how it went:

The free set for Season 11 was Rathma’s, so that’s where I started. The two objectives were to get a total of 500 seconds of cooldown reduction on army of the dead, and to summon 100 skeletal mages. The summoning part was easy, especially with the ring that summons an extra mage every time. The cd reduction was a bit trickier. On my first attempt I didn’t get anywhere close. The second attempt saw me get the objective but run out of time trying to mop up the required kills. I finally mastered it on the third try. The “trick”, which wasn’t really a trick, was to make sure I was using army of the dead immediately when it came off cd so I didn’t waste any cd reduction. I basically got to a big room full of enemies and let my skeletons swing at them until I got the objective done, then summoned tons of mages and mopped up. I waited to summon the mages since when they’re up the damage buff means things die before they contribute much to the cd objective. Not a bad dungeon at all, and I appreciated that both objectives tied to the set, and weren’t gimmicky “don’t get hit by X” type things.

I worked on the Inarius dungeon next. The objectives also both directly tied to the set bonus: rip the bones from 100 enemies and kill 200 enemies affected by a bone armor tornado. This one was incredibly easy. I had the full set but no other specific legendaries, I just used whatever I had laying around in the season. I went in blind to the map and I got the mastery on the first try. Killing enemies affected by bone armor tornado is super easy, it will pretty much happen naturally. Ripping the bones from enemies required a bit more care, mostly because I was killing things before I could group them up. It was definitely easier than Rathma’s dungeon so if you’re having trouble with that one try Inarius’ instead.

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Next up was Trag’oul’s dungeon. This one requires you to spend, and then heal, 1,000% of your life with your abilities. I basically just went at a cautious pace, alternated blood nova and devour, and beat it in one try. The layout of the dungeon has some nooks and crannies for enemies to hide in, but as long as you don’t leave stragglers you should have plenty of time.

After how easy the first three dungeons were, I was pretty nervous that I had saved the hardest for last. In retrospect I should never have worried. It was way harder for some reason for me to actually farm up the full set and bother to try this dungeon than it was to master it. The Pestilence dungeon objectives are to hit enemies with 150 empowered bone spears, and to NOT take 400k damage. The first bit is the easy part, it will pretty much happen with any build that you would want to use in this dungeon. Avoiding damage wasn’t that bad either, I just had to play a bit conservatively and not rush into the middle of swarms and elites. I mastered this dungeon on the first try, with over a minute of time to spare. Easy as bone spear pie.

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Overall the Necromancer set dungeons were some of the easiest in the game. The worse of this lot was definitely Rathma’s. I one-shot all of the others, so I guess they were all equally easy. You can find my thoughts on the other classes’ dungeons in this post from September. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to finish the Necromancer, especially with how easy the last dungeon was to master. It felt a bit anticlimactic after the long journey it took to get to this point. At least now I’m officially finished with set dungeons, at least until they release a new class!

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Reading Challenge #84: The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

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January 2018 Gaming Goals

Happy new year! December was a month of mostly not meeting my goals. Let’s resolve to do better in 2018!


December Goals in review:

WoW: Decide on a new long-term goal. Done! I’ve been chasing old transmog sets on my priest. As an extra bonus side project I’ve been trying to go through her tailoring and craft every item she still needs the appearance for too. It’s not super exciting but it is keeping me busy.

Destiny 2: Explore the new expansion content. Sort-of. I have explored some of the new expansion, but I still haven’t finished the story or moved on to the new grinds yet.

Diablo 3: Complete the last Necromancer set dungeon. Nope.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete the new DLC. Nope. I fully intended to do this over the holidays but I got distracted by other things.


January Goals:

WoW: See every Legion raid at least once, even if it’s just LFR. The last bits of the current WoW raid will be out for the LFR crowd this month. That means it’s time for me to see them. I still haven’t finished all the wings of the previous raid yet so I’ve got some queuing to do.

Destiny 2: Finish the Osiris storyline. I’ve been working through this with the spouse on my hunter and solo on my warlock. Hopefully I can finish both soon.

Diablo 3: Finish that last set dungeon already dang it. I have no motivation to play D3 right now but this goal has been on my list for months and it would feel great to knock it out.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Start playing the new DLC. I might not have time to finish it considering all the other things on my list this month, but I would at least like to see it.

Hollow Knight: Get to an ending. I picked this one up on the Steam holiday sale and have been loving it. I have a lot of trouble with the boss fights but I like everything else so much it balances out. I doubt I’ll ever get close to 100% completion, but I hope I can progress far enough to see an ending.

Catch-up

Whoops! I can’t believe it has been a couple weeks since I’ve posted anything. Lately my free time has been devoted more to creative things than to gaming. This has the positive effect of spending more time with my spouse, but the negative effect of feeling quite out of the loop with my online social circle.

I have been playing tiny bits of WoW, Diablo 3, and Destiny 2. Diablo isn’t doing much to hold my interest right now. It’s just something I log in for if I only have a few minutes and need to blow off some steam killing demons. WoW is doing a slightly better job of distracting me. I’ve given up completely on keeping up with current content in any way. Since I finished my “every class mount” project I’ve been drifting around, running old raids and chasing transmog and mounts and pets. Although I’m a little sad not to be running dungeons and/or raids with my friends, I’ve been enjoying myself in the most relaxed way possible. I might even finish leveling my horde-side monk soon, if I can muster the will to push through WoD.

On the other hand, Destiny 2 has been very hit or miss for me recently. I bought the first expansion but haven’t played it enough to finish the story yet. That’s a far cry from my enthusiasm when the game launched just a couple months ago. I’m planning to run through the story together with my spouse and hoping that will pull me back into the game. I really enjoyed leveling with a companion through the main story and am looking forward to doing that again. I have played just enough to get my first masterwork item. Sadly it was a sidearm, so it is completely useless to me. Hopefully I have the chance to earn something more useful soon.

Finally, I am in full-on nerd hype mode about Star Wars. I saw The Last Jedi last night and I’m pretty sure I need more time for my brain to finish processing it but I still loved it. I have a lot of feelings and opinions, but I’ll save them until the movie has been out a bit longer. No spoilers here.

December 2017 Gaming Goals

Another month has come and gone, so it’s time to reflect on what I’ve been up to and what my new plans are.

November Goals in Review:

WoW: Get the warrior to 110. Done! I got my class mount too!

Destiny 2: Try the raid. Done! I haven’t completed it yet but I have at least seen it a few times.

Diablo 3: Finish the last Necromancer set mastery I’m missing. Nope. I did get the set farmed up on my seasonal necro, so I’m closer than I was before.

Complete the baseline chapters of the Season 12 journey. Done!


December Goals:

WoW: Decide on a new long-term goal. A goal to set a goal? WTF? Well after finishing up the last class story and mount, I realized I was flailing around with no direction. I need a really long-term project to chip away at every month, and I have no idea what the next one should be. It doesn’t help that what I really want to do is level a new alt to try out the new low-level zone scaling tech, but we’re not sure exactly when that patch is coming.

Destiny 2: Explore the new expansion content. I somewhat object to them calling these “expansions” but whatever. There are going to be new things to do and new gear to get. My excitement over D2 has died down but I at least want to see the new stuff.

Diablo 3: Complete the last Necromancer set dungeon. No excuses left at this point, I just need to sit down for an evening and knock this out.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete the new DLC. I had this preordered and I just haven’t had time to sit down and dig into it. I want to do that ASAP because I absolutely love this game and can’t wait to explore new parts of the world.


November was surprisingly productive, considering my play time has been dramatically lower than normal. Here’s hoping my December goals go well too.

 

Accidental Achievement

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Whoops. I accidentally got the Mountacular achievement, for getting 250 mounts. How was it an accident? Well, over the weekend I crafted a few of the jewelcrafting panther mounts that I was still missing. Today I happened to swap over to my paladin alt, and was greeted with the achievement when I logged in. I guess those panthers, on top of the original paladin mount and the one from the argent tournament were enough to push me over 250 once I logged on. What a happy surprise!

The felfire hawk reward is quite pretty, I love the color. I figured Wrath-era players might get a chuckle out of me posing here. Back before flying was enabled over old Dalaran, you could stay mounted if you could land in just the right spot on the well. That combined with the prime real estate in front of the bank made it a hot spot for showing off. Anyway, getting this mount was a fun distraction that really brightened my day!

Reading Challenge #85: Anathem by Neal Stephenson

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Warrior Mount Quest

WoWScrnShot_112617_113623I finally finished up the last class mount quest. The warrior class hall and story is very much not for me, much like the warrior class in general. I like the aesthetic of the halls of valor just fine, but I hate Odyn, he’s a jerk. That made all the class quests running around doing his errands for him so painful. The mount quest was more of the same, proving myself for the 10,000th time to Odyn by beating 4 other champions in combat. Then for some reason when he gave me my mount, I punched it in the face? Must be a warrior thing…

Anyway now I’ve got all of the possible class mounts, so that’s one huge goal checked off of my gaming goal list. It’s been fun seeing all the different class stories and the various mount questlines. I think the rogue mounts are my favorites, I just love the look of those ravens. The paladin quest was probably the best quest though, just for the sheer nostalgia factor. Now that I’m done with these I need to figure out some other silly goal to keep me busy for a while!

Gaming Time

Between the upcoming holidays and various real life happenings, I haven’t been immersing myself in gaming like usual. A lot more of my free time has been dedicated to various creative/crafty things instead and I feel really good about that. It’s relaxing in a different way than gaming is for me, and at the end of the day I have something more tangible to show for it. I will never consider time spent gaming as time “wasted”, but I do sometimes have to think about what I really have to show for all the hours spent.

Playing through the story of a single-player game, or questing through the main story of a MMO are easy to justify. To me that’s the equivalent of watching TV or reading a book, consuming content. Group activities like raiding are more like sports. You’re developing a skill, but also socializing with your teammates. Then there’s the repetitive, grindy stuff I often do in games. I find it hard to find an analog for that in other leisure activities. Leveling that 15th alt is a bit like binging reruns of your favorite TV show I suppose. But grinding? Whether it is gearing for raiding, chasing primal ancients in Diablo, or gaining reputation for a cosmetic reward, grinding is a lot of work and time spent for very small gains. Yet those grindy tasks are the things I gravitate toward toward when I am using gaming as an escape from daily stress.

Leisure activities, by definition, don’t actually have to be productive. Leveling through Outland for the 1,000th time is as valid as writing a novel. But societal pressures put very different values on those two tasks, and personally I get a bit more gratification from creating rather than consuming. I think I’ve got a good balance now that I’ve been doing daily creative things for a few months. Sometimes I don’t have a ton of time for both creating and consuming on a given day, and I’ll devote my time based on how much energy I have.

I’m not entirely sure what the point of all this is, except that creating things is hard work and it’s ok to consume things like games. You don’t have to be productive all the time, but it is nice to feel creative when you can.

Diablo 3 Season 12

Last Thursday was the start of Diablo 3’s Season 12. Once again I abandoned my paragon levels and stash full of ancient legendaries so I could start fresh. This time around I am playing a necromancer. My thought was this was the only class I haven’t finished all the set dungeons for, so if I can get all the pieces I need I can knock that out as part of the season journey and check off one of my long-term goals.

I haven’t been very engaged with D3 lately, and even though I’m participating in the season it is not my gaming focus. Still, I managed to knock out the first four chapters of the season journey over the weekend. That earned me my cosmetic rewards, which include a nice portrait and a sweet set of druid-themed wings.

I don’t have any plans to push much farther into the journey, but I’ve been enjoying myself enough to keep playing for now. I got a carry from a friend which helped beef up my paragon levels a bit, and can solo T8 without breaking a sweat. I don’t love the blood magic theme of the free set necromancers get this season, but I don’t have a full set of anything else yet. I need to get a few more key pieces of gear so I can handle T13 and push greater rifts. We’ll see if I stick with this season long enough to do that, or if I wander back to Destiny 2 where all my friends are right now.