Diablo III – Done with Act V

Well, that was fast.

I might have to revise my statement from Monday’s post, as Act V wasn’t as long as I expected.  The Act V in Diablo II seemed to be much longer, at least in my memory. But it has been a long, long time since I last ran it, so that might just be a false perception.

Thanks to a suggestion in the comments on Monday’s post, I figured out how to bump up the difficulty, so went to Expert.  At that point the game was pushing back on me enough so that it didn’t feel like a walk-over any more, but I didn’t have to adjust my play style, equipment, or skills I had selected in order to be more effective.  If I had gone up to Master I would have had to look into how I should be playing a Crusader as opposed to just picking the skills that had cool effects.  I then launched into what I would call the second half of Act V which, as my character pointed out, didn’t even follow the usual route out of town.

Great moments in self-referential humor #277

Great moments in self-referential humor #277

Again, I remain impressed with the scale and detail of the graphics in Diablo III.  Out on the the Battlefields of Eternity the size of things and the terrain coming apart and the details were all very impressive.  And the cut scenes then emphasize where you are.

Facing the ram before the Pandemonium Fortress

Facing the ram before the Pandemonium Fortress

Yeah, it is just a painted backdrop of a giant battering ram… which you go and fight on later… but that is my character as equipped in the scene.

Anyway, I did that, got into the Pandemonium Fortress, found the necessary points, and was directed toward Maltheal, the main boss.

Go get Maltheal

Go get Maltheal

I figured that this might be one of those decoy battles, where you show up and then the main boss runs off and you have to fight a major henchman… though they hadn’t been building up such a henchman as they sometimes do.  So when I finally went through the last portal, I did indeed find myself facing Malthael.

You're the guy from the box art!

You’re the guy from the box art!

The fight was drawn out and I did have to use a health globe, but was mostly just able to persist by staying out of the worst of the bad stuff he lays around the scene of the fight and just chipping away at him as best I could.  Eventually I wore him down.  He died, a sizable pile of loot showed up, then Tyrael wandered in from stage right and uttered his lines, after which a dialog came up asking if I wanted to exit.  I clicked on yes and got the #winning screen.

You and how many other people...

You and how many other people…

As the credits began to roll I was feeling a bit “that’s it?” about the whole thing, though on reflection there was a good act worth of content there to be played.  Usually I make a point about exploring the whole map in each area, but it just so happened that in the Pandemonium Fortress I stumbled along the most direct route the the end and, once there, stepped in for a look, so actually left quite a bit of that map unrevealed.

Now I am left with what to do now.  I could go chase achievements I suppose.  I am only 25% done on that front, though a bunch of them require you to do things in a multiplayer setting.

The achievement board

The achievement board

And then there is adventure mode.  I wasn’t sure what that was really about.  It appears to be a return to the map from the game in order to accomplish specific objectives.

The Act I map for Adventure Mode

The Act I map for Adventure Mode

I do want to get my Crusader to level 70 at some point, and the choice appears to be between Adventure Mode and just restarting the whole story over again.  I am not sure I am up for another full run through the story.  But then again, moving through the story is something I find motivating, while Adventure Mode at first glace looks to be a very WoW-like series of standard murder for hire quests.  I will give it a try and see how it plays out.

Meanwhile, the events of the final battle in Act V and Tyrael’s final statements makes it clear that there will most certainly be further titles in the Diablo franchise.  While it is possible there could be a second Diablo III expansion, I would lean more towards a Diablo IV being announced at the BlizzCon keynote address.

Blizzard seems to have learned their lesson when it comes to the Diablo franchise, so I will more than likely buy whatever comes next in the series.

5 thoughts on “Diablo III – Done with Act V

  1. Ben Kennedy

    The end game is basically collecting set pieces to dramatically increase the power of your character, and doing a series of timed dungeons that increase in difficulty (Greater Rifts) to the point where you max out your time and desire to find incremental gear improvements. I strongly suspect it is not going to be your thing at all

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  2. Asmiroth

    Adventure mode is pure skinner box. Pretty lights and explosions but quite repetitive. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing at all. I’m sitting at ~550 paragon, with a solid Monk, and and OK Barb and Witch Doctor. There’s certainly some fun to be had in the lottery of loot.

    I had to replay the story mode for “reasons” and the largest difference is in the pace. It’s certainly more enjoyable, and brings back the context of the rest of the game. But it’s also about 5x slower than adventure mode. You also get to notice the design decisions between acts 1-4, then in act 5. In story mode, those decisions are amazing. Great art, layout is neat, some cool tricks used. In adventure mode, they are all seen as bad things, as they significantly reduce time to complete.

    I’m in the same boat as you in regards to expansion vs new game. I’m not saying the game is perfect today, but I’d struggle with them adding something meaningful that wouldn’t be better suited in a D4 applying all the lessons learned in D3.

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  3. Whorhay

    Adventure mode also has Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts.

    Nephalem Rifts are just a series of maps filled with monsters to be killed. Once you kill enough monsters a Rift Guardian is spawned which drops more loot, as well as some blood shards and Greater Rift Keystones. Once the Rift Guardian is killed you can return to town and complete the quest to close the rift and do it all again, or you can finish exploring the maps and killing the monsters. The difficulty of the rift, is determined by the games difficulty.

    Greater rifts are much the same as Nephalem rifts with the main exceptions that you are on a 15 minute timer and there is no loot at all until the Rift Guardian is killed. The Rift Guardian however drops more and better loot than those in Nephalem Rifts, as well as legendary gems which can only be socketed in jewelry but are very strong. The loot from the Rift Guardian is the same whether or not you beat the timer, but if you do make the deadline you can upgrade any legendary gems you have. The chance of being able to upgrade a legendary gem is a function of the Greater Rift rank you chose, and the current rank of the gem you want to upgrade.

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  4. Gripper

    I think you would like running the adventure mode for material to make a lot of good gear now and also the rifts are fun – when they are boring to you then the greater rifts which are timed gives you a real challenge – of course the ultimate is play in hardcore mode and dont die :)

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  5. anon

    “Blizzard seems to have learned their lesson when it comes to the Diablo franchise, so I will more than likely buy whatever comes next in the series.”

    I’m nowhere near as optimistic as you are. I bet there are a few C suits there pondering: “well, the last installment shifted less than 7.2 billion units… we need to make this thing vastly more geared to mass market”.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Diablo IV is purelly mobile, with all the usual mechanics there.

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