Rise of the Necromancer

Yesterday saw the launch of the new Necromancer class in Diablo 3. If you’ve been around this blog a while you know I’m a huge D3 fan, so it was a no-brainer for me to spend $14.99 to pick up the new goodies. I spent most of my evening yesterday checking out the class and some of the other offerings that came along with the newest patch, and came away very pleased.

The first thing I tried when I booted up D3 last night was the new Challenge Rift system. Okay I lied the first thing I did was run to my stash and rearrange things to take advantage of the 2 new stash tabs I got with my necromancer purchase. But after that the next thing I did was try a challenge rift! The system took me a minute to figure out. Namely, to get to the challenge rift, you have to select a character, but before you log into a new game you must go to the game settings. Challenge rift will be a new option for your game type (beside the old story and adventure modes). Selecting this will assign you the character for the randomly-selected greater rift run of the week. When you zone in you’re in a new mini-area where you can learn about challenge rifts, check out your assigned skills and gear, and practice on some demons they keep laying around for that purpose. It was fun to see someone else’s build and try to make it work. This week’s rift was a demon hunter with an impale build. The fact that it was randomly selected means sometimes you end up with strange choices, for instance this person had a cubed ability that boosted fan of knives…but they were not using that skill. In any case I managed to get through the rift in about half the time of the original run so I made it work just fine. I really enjoyed this concept and my main hope is that they either make it more rewarding (the crafting mats were nice but not exciting), or update the offerings more frequently. I can see myself trying it out once every week but I’m not that interested in trying to climb the leaderboards or anything. The real joy of it is just seeing what random build they give you and making the most of it.

Anyway after the challenge rift was conquered I finally made my brand new necromancer. I decided to level via the story since it has been quite a while since I played all the way through it. Like I sometimes do with single-player games, I made things super easy for myself so I could play around and focus on the narrative instead of the gameplay. That meant normal mode and a gem of ease, so enemies just fell over when they so much as looked at me until I got above level 60. I ended up setting on a build that I’m sure will not be remotely functional at endgame but has been keeping me very entertained. I’ve got 1 generator, 1 movement ability, and the rest of my abilities all summon minions of one flavor or other. I had a blast running around and turning the corpses of my enemies into part of my rolling death swarm. By the end of the night I had made it into Act V so tonight I’ll finish up and switch to adventure mode. Hopefully I can get some set pieces and start figuring out a viable build for running rifts.

I expect I’ll be heading back to FFXIV before the end of the weekend, both because all my friends are still deeply entrenched there and because I don’t want to burn out on D3 before the start of the new season next month. Still, I’d say I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of this content pack. The cosmetic stuff is nice, the stash space is amazing for this pack rat, and the new class has been great fun. I am already looking forward to playing as a necromancer next season!

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