Yes, this entry will be about Diablo 3 as well. To be completely honest, I haven't really played much else since it released other than some time spent on Operation Raccoon City for the FPSGuru review. Spoiler: Save yourself the pain, just avoid it.
Anyway, back to D3.
Progress Report: My main (a Monk) is now level 56, finished with Nightmare and on to (I think) Act 3 in Hell mode. Now some observations on things I've seen/done/experienced since last time we chatted.
Whimsyshire: By now I'm sure you've all seen the video(s) circling the interwebz about D3's "secret" level. Much like Diablo 2's secret cow level, Whimsyshire is hidden and accessed by combining an odd assortment of bits and bobs you come across throughout the game. Chances are, if you've found something that isn't sellable, and you don't know what else to do with it, it is a part of the puzzle. First and foremost I have to give Blizzard some major props for the very concept of the level. Basically, it's a direct trolling response to all the haters who complained about the game being too bring and colorful. I'm all for a developer taking the time to troll some trolls, and building a complete level to do so is just win.
That being said, for as much effort as it takes to gain access to the place, you'd think it would be better farming grounds. I mean, some of the pieces you need have a random chance of spawning from a mob that has a random chance of spawning in a dungeon that has a random chance of appearing on a map... So basically, to farm that piece, you keep loading a game in the correct Act and area, explore the map hoping the right random dungeon appeared, if it did, you explore that dungeon hoping the right special mob inside spawns, and then kill it hoping it drops the right random item... And if not, start all over.
Anyway, once you gain access to the place, you go in and kill a bunch of unicorns, cuddly bears and flowers, some of which will be blues if you're lucky. I've farmed the place a couple dozen times now easily. I've yet to get anything out of there worth equiping.
Difficulty: There's been no shortage of complaints circling the interwebz about how hard Inferno is, I know. And I haven't even made it there yet. I can't imagine it personally, Hell is rough enough at times. At level 56 there are mobs with certain enhancements that I just have to avoid. Even with my Monk's build set to a purely defensive/regen-heavy way I still get once-shot by some things. So in Inferno will regular mobs kill me just by looking in my general direction?
I'm not saying I'd prefer it to be easier. I have to admit, if the whole game was like Normal mode, what would be the point in playing? There has to be some ongoing challenge. I'm not overly displeased with the difficulty levels (again, I haven't made it to Inferno yet, so who knows if that stance will change.) It is definitely frustrating at times, especially on the odd times when there's a set of mobs that repeatedly one-shot me that I can't just avoid. Generally that ends up with me having to leave the game and go back in until the mobs reset with a set of enhancements I can deal with. Damn you laser beams!
Auction House: Another topic with no shortage of complaints on the web. My main complaint on this front is well, how absolutely useless it is. Naturally I'm not talking about the RMAH as that's not even active yet. Just the regular one. Considering I've taken a character to level 56 now, and done an extensive amount of farming on that character, and I've still yet to find my first piece of Legendary gear. Oh, why not pop onto the AH and see what's there... Look, TONS of legendaries suitable for my character... Hmmm... the cheapest of which is millions of gold... I have like 100k gold... Well, NM. I'd sell some of the Rares that I get from farming, but with so many legendaries on the AH, no one gives a damn about rares. Even at bargain basement prices. I'm curious how people are making enough money to afford Legendaries at their current going rate... Like I said, I've spent some time farming... And while I've been leveling up my crafters, even if I hadn't been I don't think I'd be anywhere near a million gold yet, much less several million. So what am I doing wrong?