Diablo 3

The Tormented Walk – A diary of my adventure. Chapter 2: The Butcher

diablo2 - The Tormented Walk - A diary of my adventure. Chapter 2: The Butcher

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Hey everyone,

So with the announcement of D2:R I've been having a massive ARPG craving and, not wanting to burn myself out of Diablo 2 before the big release, I decided to get my fix with a little Diablo 3. This time though, I wanted to give myself a unique challenge. I've always enjoyed "walking" in Diablo, and truthfully it's my favorite way to the play game. There is something really enjoyable to me about starting with nothing and clawing your way through the game using whatever you can cobble together. This time though I decided to spice things up a little bit, and with that I created a fun little challenge for myself – The Tormented Walk.

What is the Tormented Walk? Well.. glad you asked. It's a walkthrough of the campaign but, in order to add some difficulty to the mix, I'm playing by the following rules. Some of these rules have been modified as I progress, to add to the challenge:

  • Torment level scales with Act – As we progress through the walk the torment difficulty escalates along with it. Act 1 is torment 1. Act 2 is torment 2. Etc. This way we ensure that good gear does not relieve the need for good gameplay.

  • Non-Seasonal; Hardcore. – No seasonal buffs to help. Most importantly, HARDCORE. We don't tolerate mistakes on this walk.

  • No cheat death passives. – Your butthole doesn't pucker up quite the same when you know you have a get out of jail free card. We don't tolerate mistakes on this walk.

  • No paragon levels. – Nope. None. Not even after level 70.

  • Can only equip dropped / quest items. – No vendors, no crafting. If you want gear you go out and pry it from the cold dead hands of the unliving. There are no grocery stores in Hell.

  • No rerolling item properties. – We only use what the good lord gives us and we tell our items that they're perfect just the way they are.

  • No stash. – All inventory is managed in the backpack. Early game this isn't much of an issue but I can see it becoming challenging as the game progresses.

  • Only move forward. – You cannot go back to past areas and farm gear. Your gameplay has to continue to progress you through the campaign. Made it to the final boss with no rings, no amulet, two blues and a white weapon? Good luck. NOTE: This was something I did not initially start with but will be playing by moving forward. Doing so puts pressure to save and match gear for various situations, encourages you to fully explore the map and side dungeons, and encourages you to take risks by venturing places you normally wouldn't go or to chase after mobs and treasure goblins you otherwise wouldn't. I did go back and farm prior to the Skeleton King fight, so if you want to recreate my experience you get one mulligan for him. Or you can decide not to be a pussy and just man up and play this way from the start. Your choice.

Initially I started this with the goal of beating the campaign. After getting my ass kicked a few times my goal became a little more modest, which was to beat the Butcher. The above ruleset has proved challenging for me, although I will admit that I'm an inexperienced, filthy casual.

When I initially started this the one thing that had surprised me the most is that finding gear in the early game is surprisingly difficult, and even a good blue drop feels amazing. Being so under-geared means that even small mistakes can in disaster, and taking out big threats is a substantial and risky task.

I'm on my third attempt, and I already know I have a LONG way to go. So far I've stuck with the Barbarian and by this point I'm getting pretty decent at properly kiting mobs and playing around my cooldowns. My build so far focuses on heavy CC and long range AOE damage with Seismic Slam. I cannot stress just how long and painful some of the elite mob fights can be, so having a plethora of CC to kite them and to get out of sticky situations has been absolutely critical. Obviously, staying alive is the most important part, so I prioritize gear with defensive stats such as vitality and regen. This can be tricky though, since I have to leave some room for some damage both in my skill build and my item build, so part of the challenge I think will be maintaining that very fine balance. One thing that has become apparent to me is how quickly your gear can become obsolete relative to the monsters strength, and so the monsters can become deceptively strong after a small dry spell of not finding decent ups.

Past level 30 there was a noticeable uptick in drops of rares and legendries. In order to accommodate this, I'm going to increase the torment difficulty with each Act. This ensures that gear alone will not carry me over the finish line and puts pressure on me to really find whatever I can to help me beat the game. Torment 5, the final Act, using strictly self found gear when I can't deliberately farm it, will likely prove extremely challenging – assuming I even make it that far.

So far this has been an absolute blast and I look forward to continue with it. Thanks for reading!

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