It feels like a bus ran over me, stopped to pick up some fares, left and then realized he missed someone and drove back over me. So you know, good.
In between fits of sleep, I was able to get a Witch Doctor off the ground in D3. I had 1000 bloodshards and over 1000 death’s breath going in, so I knew I had a decent shot. What I didn’t account for what the MUCH slower levelling speed of a WD, given that it’s so heavily pet based. I died less often than my Barb but it took nearly double the time due to slow kill speeds. Anyhoot, once I dinged 70, I started to gamble and gamble.
I was able to get a full set of Helltooth, a Belt of Transcendence, Thing of the Deep, and a Scrimshaw without too much hassle. Plenty of Zuni’s as well, though that set takes a bit more work to build through. I went from level 70 to T6 in about 15 minutes. That’s 15 minutes of gambling as the result of rewards over X hours on the monk mind you. This became abundantly clear when I played in T6, as most people didn’t have Paragon 100 and I was sitting over 500 (which due to scaling is about 10x more).
T6 works. I’m continuing to gamble to fill in a few more slots but the amount of rerolls needed on the gear is quite a bit different than on other classes. Most other classes focus on a single skill, stacking it upright. Barb is either WW or HotA, Monk is EP. WD are different, in that they have quite a few options available at the same time. Wall of Death, Acid Cloud, Zombie Bears have 2 of the 3 in use. Then there’s the weird synergy with gold pickup range increases, which through passives, provides a significant buff to output. It’s a hot mess, with very specific “perfect rolls” that seem to be of a higher difficulty to achieve. But that’s me, after a couple hours on the WD.
I will say that the playstyle is quite a bit different. Having a screen filled with pets and fire and bears (oh my!) is an eye assault. Throw in another WD (or 2) and then you really have no idea what’s going on. There’s a level of hectic present here that isn’t found in other classes, a sort of puppeteer without strings if you will. Where the barb just blindly swings through the mess and the monk zip-zips through, the WD has a stutter to combat. It’s certainly more deliberate, requiring use of all the buttons to be clicked.
Anyhoot, it’s an interesting run. I think I’ll encounter a skill wall before a stat wall, which is different than the barb I have. Also trying to fish a decent GR60 as well on my monk. Ghosts and caves can take a hike.
I guess more good news/bad news. Outside of perhaps SWTOR, I’m struggling to think of an MMO that did the F2P swap and wasn’t able to take the load of returning/new players. SWTOR’s issues were rather minor, as their instancing/super server technology was “fixable” with some additions to the hardware. Wildstar’s mega-servers are just face paint, they need to actually add entirely new servers to the fold, and that’s usually not an overnight fix. So good news in that there are lots of people at your door, bad news in that they are having a heck of a time getting into your game – which can quickly snowball into a lost opportunity.
The extra good news is that there is zero MMO newness for a while. People are dumping WoW in droves, FF14 is in the content lull before 3.1, SWTOR is a month+ out from their 2nd relaunch. Even the F2P games out there aren’t showing a whole lot at this time (TSW feels “done” after Tokyo). At least, not enough for me to pay attention. Who knows, maybe they all expected this to happen.
Once I’m able to actually log in and play, I’ll have some updates to show for it. In the meantime, my only reliable source of info is Syp. And to be honest, his posts are giving me the Wildstar itch something fierce!