My Curse Upon You!

May you be consumed by the bloodthirsty swarm.

One of the more interesting achievements for the Diablo III 20th Anniversary Event is to complete The Darkening of Tristram with a freshly created Lvl 1 character. Not necessarily too difficult, but definitely something I had to think about (mostly because I have duplicates of most classes and don’t desire triplicates). That said, there was one class (and build) that I’ve been interested in for a while- the summoner Witch Doctor. My first Witch Doctor is more of a poison orientated caster that barely relies on his Gargantuan at all.

I only really use it to provide a small amount of damage.

The resulting new build relies heavily on pets but does do formidable cold damage without them. Focusing mostly on the damage over time aspects of both Haunt and Spirit Barrage, Firebomb (with the Ghost Bomb rune) is the only direct damage skill she has. Alongside her combination of Zombie Dogs, a Gargantuan, and a limited use Fetish Army.

The most surprising aspect of this build is the passive skill Fetish Sycophants. Originally taken just to have something in the slot before Fierce Loyalty became available, I actually opted to keep it even after that was available as it’s really fun to use. It has a chance to create an additional fetish pet (which seems to have a fairly high/no summon limit) when you deal damage. They’re only temporary- but they’re really useful while they’re available. I’ve seen the ability to summon as many as twelve at a time already. Fierce Loyalty would only provide a slightly better bonus, which is that I could summon an additional Zombie Dog (for a total of six). But I feel the overwhelming swarm of dagger wielding psychopaths is a better choice.

For they are legion.
For they are legion.

I’d considered this build to be more of a novelty than an actually functional progression build at first, but it’s proving to be anything but that. It’s a strong build both offensively and defensively. With pets holding back enemies so I can blanket them with damage over time skills, while the pets hold their own quite nicely and deal decent enough damage even when they’re not scaling with her damage. Then there’s the Enforcer Legendary Gem which makes them even more powerful. So, overall, they’re doing quite nicely.

It’s definitely working out better than I ever could have anticipated.

I’m also considering Zunimassa’s Haunt, which will eventually allow her to have Fetish Army available indefinitely once summoned. One of the few times I’ve felt that a set has actually fit around the skills I’ve chosen to use. Besides the Might of the Earth set which my Barbarian could benefit from. So those are things I can work towards acquiring to take the builds even further.

For as powerful as she seems at the moment I recognise that she’s lacking Intelligence. A substantial amount, too. So the next thing to work on would be to replace her Imperial Topazes with Royal Topazes. A matter of money mostly, which can be easily solved with The Boon of the Hoarder. I’ll also need to keep an eye out for items that boost her cold damage. But it’s a build I can definitely see going quite far. But, for now, the 20th Anniversary Event is complete and I’ll be working towards new goals. Like the acquisition of a range of high level Intelligence equipment for all of the classes I have that could benefit from that. It’d be nice if one of them could farm some of that up.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

The Darkening of Tristram

Let’s go back to where it all began.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Diablo series Blizzard is bringing a unique event to Diablo III. This event hopes to recreate the town of Tristram, the cathedral where it all began, and even reintroduces some of the classic sought after items from the original Diablo. These items (as far as I can tell) are there for flavour, as only a select few can be used for transmogrification appearances or cosmetic effects. There’s also a shard of the iconic red soulstone available as a Legendary Gem for those who fell The Dark Lord.

It’s an event that lasts roughly a few hours if you’re looking to see it all.

It also features a rather interesting screen filter (and adjusted camera angle) to bring back the feeling of the original. Along with all of the original music, ambience, and sound effects which have given me more than a few pangs of nostalgia in my heart. That could also be my cholesterol. But I’m pretty sure it was the nostalgia doing its thing.

There are a handful of achievements available during the event, too. These are fairly simple things for the most part. The most interesting being that you brave the horrors with a fresh new character and complete the event. Which may be slightly more difficult if you don’t feel like completing the event in full in one run, as I don’t think there’s any way to leave and then to return to where you were. Which is slightly odd, as the original Diablo featured more than a few paths back to the surface from specific levels. It’s a pretty interesting event, though. If you’re a fan of several Blizzard titles you’ll be pleased to know that most of their major titles also have smaller time limited events. All with Diablo themed items and rewards.

Naturally it wouldn’t be a Diablo event without some mention of Wirt and that’s perhaps my most treasured acquisition from this event. The Royal Calf, a baby cow that bears a resemblance to the murderous cows you would encounter in the Secret Cow Level. Which is now safely nestled alongside my other pets. Following me into glorious battle and to great riches! You can also collect a special version of The Butcher as a pet. But he’s not going anywhere near my cow! I love that little guy.

I don’t care if the steaks are high- he’s not having him!

I am slightly disappointed that the event is only available during January (at least that’s the plan so far), but it’s a series which has always meant a lot to me and one that I’ve enjoyed for the past seventeen years. It’s also one that has influenced me both as an artist and as a gamer. So I’ve made a considerable effort in participating in (and enjoying) as much of it as I can.

I’m looking forward to the Necromancer, too. It’s going to be interesting seeing a seventh character class added to Diablo III, it’s also going to be interesting to see what kind of abilities they have besides those we’ve been shown already. I wouldn’t mind if this is how Diablo III played out, either. Small character class packs alongside minor content updates. Not to forget the refreshed content for Seasons that rolls around every so often. While I may have had my criticisms of Diablo III in the past (and they’re criticisms I still have), I like the new direction that it has been going since the release of Reaper of Souls. It’s improving ever so slightly with every new patch and new release.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie