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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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!

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!

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.

Destiny 2 Settling In

Destiny 2 has been out for a few weeks now, and I’ve been happily playing at least a little bit every day. When I was preparing for the launch, I suspected that either I would be super hooked and play obsessively like my friend Belghast, or I would play hard for a short while and then bounce. What actually happened is much more interesting.

Destiny 2 is pretty great at encouraging moderate daily play. Every day there are goals that move your character forward in small doses. there are also weekly tasks with more substantial rewards, and you can usually find some overlap with the daily goals for efficiency’s sake. Sure, you can keep grinding reputation tokens and grind for the rare exotic engram from any activity at any time, but if you complete your main tasks for the week you’ve gotten most of what you are going to get without extreme luck.

What all this means for me is that I play every day, but usually stop working on my main after I’ve accomplished my daily goals or gotten one of my weekly “powerful engrams”. After that I feel free to play alts, play other games, or just do something else in general. It feels strangely healthy.

That said, I have still been playing a bunch. I even got to see part of the raid last week. I was pretty nervous because I’m not great at shooters and I worried about being able to hold my own, but it seems like I did okay. I never raided at all in the original Destiny, and I had trouble wrapping my head around what a raid in a FPS game would even look like. The encounters were more interesting than I expected, and I had a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to getting back in there this weekend.

So that’s my status with D2 at the moment. I’m enjoying it but I’m not obsessively spending every free moment with it. Hopefully that will continue for a long time.

November 2017 Gaming Goals

What is it about getting older that makes the months seem to go by in a blur? Probably the lack of sleep from playing too many games. Anyway it’s time to review my October goals and make some new ones for November.

October Goals in Review:

WoW: Level either my warrior or my horde monk to 60. Done! I did even better and got my warrior to 100 and got her artifact.

Get at least one more of the concordance pet/mount/toy rewards I’m missing. Done! I think I actually have all of the concordance rewards now, unless there’s one for warriors that I’m not aware of.

D3: Master the last Necromancer set dungeon. Nope. I didn’t get much D3 time in this month at all.

Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Done!

Destiny 2: Hit the level cap. Done!


November Goals:

WoW: Get the warrior to 110. This should be reasonable to do in a weekend, especially if I can catch some invasions and/or the darkmoon faire. Once I get her class mount I can call Legion “finished” as far as I’m concerned.

Destiny 2: Try the raid. I’m having a blast in D2 so far and I want to capitalize on the fact that so many of my friends are playing right now too. I still have no illusions about being hardcore or good at this game, but I’d like to at least see what a raid in Destiny looks like.

Diablo 3: Finish the last Necromancer set mastery I’m missing. I really do want to knock this out and put set dungeons behind me forever (until new classes or sets come along anyway).

Complete the baseline chapters of the Season 12 journey. I’m not really feeling D3 much right now but a new season starts soon and I want to try to get the cosmetic goodies during the initial rush like I usually do. There’s new wings this season and I don’t want to miss out on them!


That’s a very modest list for November, hopefully that will set me up for success!

Smooth Destiny 2 Launch

Destiny 2 launched on Tuesday afternoon and by most accounts it was a success. The only problem I’ve encountered is that the Clan interface seems to be broken. Other than that I’ve seen no bugs, lag, queues, or any of the other headaches that usually accompany an online game launch. Impressive!

I’m recently back from a vacation so I can’t take extra time off to play, but I still managed to get to level 20 already. The main story of the game feels exceedingly short, but this is expected. The meat of the game happens at the level cap of course. I spent so much time running around doing public events and “adventures” that I hit 20 well before I was finished with the story. That meant I got to motor through the story in one go late last night. It didn’t have much in the way of surprises but it was fine. I don’t exactly play Destiny for the compelling story anyway. It did have a couple great cutscenes and some epic battle sequences and that made me plenty happy.

Speaking of happy, the game runs great on my machine and I’m fully converted to PC controls. When I tried the beta, I used a controller since I was so accustomed to playing on the PS4. For the actual launch, I decided to give the mouse and keyboard a try and I’m extremely glad I did. I think if I didn’t have a gaming mouse with extra buttons I probably would like the controller better, since my tiny hands have trouble hitting all the keybinds quickly. However, with my Naga I had no trouble swapping weapons and using my abilities. Since the control scheme is so different I don’t have any outdated muscle memory interfering with my progress. Now I just need to get better at aiming.

Overall my opinion of D2 is that it’s a very solid successor to Destiny. My two complaints so far are that shaders are now single-use, and that you can only infuse gear of the same item type. Otherwise the game is so similar to the original that it feels almost like a PC relaunch instead of a new game. For some people that might be a bad thing but I enjoyed the heck out of Destiny and I foresee a lot of enjoyment of D2 in my future!