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Adventure Mode!

I’ve dipped my toe into Diablo III many times over the years. I am not much of a PC gamer but when it hit consoles I put a decent amount of time into it. I just picked it up again on the Switch and tried playing a seasonal character in adventure mode which is something I’d never tried before. In past versions of the game you had to beat the entire story to unlock adventure Mode, but the Switch version allows you to jump right into it. I’ve probably started the Diablo III campaign a hundred times, but never gotten all the way to the end. I like the game on the Switch but honestly wasn’t looking forward to grinding through all the same quests I’ve already seen a million times. Enter adventure Mode!

(I would totally have gotten this rad Diablo edition if I didn’t already have a Switch)

I didn’t know how this mode worked and so I figure maybe some of you don’t either. When you start adventure mode the entire map and all the acts of the game are unlocked and you can freely travel to any of them. There are no longer any story events, just zone after zone of monsters to murder. Instead of pushing you through a story, adventure mode lets you explore however you like and guides you with bounties spread across the various acts. A bounty might want you to kill a 100 monsters in a particular zone or defeat a specific boss. There are a few different types and they offer a variety of gameplay. After you complete five of these bounties you’re rewarded with a Horadric Cache which is just a goofy word for chest full of rad loot. I love playing the game this way as it strips out all the fluff and just puts you right into that sweet, sweet grind.

I’m also playing a seasonal character which I have never tried. These characters must be started from scratch and can only be played with other seasonal characters. The hook is that the character comes with a “battle pass” style progression system (only it’s free) that has you completing challenges during the season to earn special rewards. During the season you can get all kinds of stuff like new pets and cool cosmetics. Once the season is over the character becomes a normal hero and you can start a new character for the next season if you want. I am really digging the combination of seasonal progression and adventure mode. There’s nothing wrong with the campaign and a new player should probably check it out. If you’ve been down that road already though, the Switch version allows you to bypass all of it right out of the gate! No more checking on the Blacksmith’s wife, just killing piles of monsters and opening treasure chests. The only way I’ve discovered to stop playing, is for the Switch battery to die.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 1 week ago

I don’t know if it kept me up all night or anything, but I did spend some time, maybe a… day, considering some fairly heady - and footy - topics.  I feel like the next step is to ask my friends who are furs.  Indeed, I shoulda fuckin’ started there.  Call it a hunch, but my guess is that this is a question their people have already answered a million years ago.

I’m heading up to Victoria on that Clipper they got, to take part in Desert Bus 2018.  Brenna has made and subsequently framed a special Magic: The Gathering themed cross stitch that is sure to get their heads ringing when the auction for it comes around:

The new DB shirt just hit from FanGamer, and it looks great at always.  I just saw a bunch of the Loading Ready Run crew down at PAX Aus, and the line was as plump as ever.  This is because they are funny as hell whenever they’re not raising money for charity.  Indeed, the for the next week or so, they’ll be doing both things simultaneously.  I am glad to know them.

(CW)TB out.

Come Ask Us Anything!

Tycho and I are doing an AMA over on r/Boardgames. Come ask us about 20 years of Penny Arcade, PAX, Thornwatch, Child’s Play or just say hi.

-Gabe Out

Tycho / 1 week ago

Gabe and Kara “Carry” Krahulik checked out some World of Warcraft Classic, and found more or less what you would expect, except for whatever you might have forgotten about it.  One of the more fascinating things about WoW to me has always been the fact that its UI mods, virtually from the start, flirted with game design - and many, ultimately, became canonized.  Some were excommunicated, as I recall.  It was just a lot of power to extend the user in a space that was, ultimately, about dripping them back their own time.

The progenitor of Modern WoW held a lot fewer hands.  Let’s say that much.  And it was still a damn sight more humane than its contemporaries, like Everquest, who routinely punctured the neck skin of its players to suck out human juices.  Of course, some want that!  I wouldn’t want to take that from you.  But we can call it a kink and not be wrong.

Hey, do you want to see something really, really cool? Well, here you go.

I never stop.  It’s not a virtue or an ethos or anything like that, I literally just don’t know how to do it.  I only know how to work and it occasionally makes my life difficult; if I want to retain something of value, I ultimately have to transform it into labor. 

So taking a moment to recognize what it’s like to do something for twenty years is not something I would undertake willingly.  But people who work here - Dabe, Dora, Keek, Lidija, and Patrick, headed up by Gavin - made this beautiful thing to mark that time, and it’s making me think about it in a way that I would otherwise have strenuously avoided.  I can’t take it.  I really can’t.

We’ve got a few things hitting the store soon with an eye toward celebrating two full decades of whatever we’ve all managed to accomplish here.  Twenty years is a long time anywhere, but it’s an especially long time on the Internet, where the natural process of erosion seems to happen on an accelerated timetable.  I very clearly remember somebody telling me that the hyphen in was going to affect discoverability and consign us to the most shadowed corners of the Internet.  If only, friends!  If only.  The things we do are still crashing servers, even when they’re virtualized thirty deep, and we can’t express our gratitude in any other way than to continue being out here, in whatever way you need us to be.

(CW)TB out.

Gabe / 2 weeks ago

Too Many Games Not Enough Something

Seeing as we’ve done three comics in a row about RDR2, it should come as no surprise that I am hooked on this game. Kara is playing it as well and while she is banging out story missions I can’t stop hunting and fishing.

All I want to do is track legendary beasts through this stunning world. There have been times in the game when I just stop and gawk at the visuals. It’s ridiculously big and beautiful. The only thing it needs is the ability for me to rob these trains and banks with my friends. Once they get the multiplayer working it will be damn near perfect.

Speaking of “damn near perfect”, Diablo on the Switch is just that. When Diablo III hit consoles it was a great game to play with the family. We all had a blast but anyone who has played it on a console will tell you it’s also pretty frustrating. Having to wait while your friends sort through their inventory or manage their skills is a pain. Having kids who are always trying to run off in different directions or portal back to town sucks. These are all problems that are fixed when everyone has their own screen. Plus now I can grind between Overwatch rounds!

The Switch version runs great and looks awesome in my opinion. It feels fast and responsive whether I’m playing handheld or docked. I will say it chews up battery but that’s my fault for not being able to put it down.

-Gabe out

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