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New Feature: “THE CLIMB TO 99-TechJedi’s Experience In Maxing Levels in Diablo 2″ Part 1

Sunday, September 21st, 2014
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Diablo 2-among many of my friends and I, a damn near perfect game. I think, through all the years I’ve been PC gaming, there has likely only been one or two other games that has so time-sunk me than Diablo 2. I don’t necessarily count World of Warcraft in this, as we started it long before WoW came out, or even before Warcraft 3 came out. Somewhere right now, in the darkest depths of my oldest backup cds, yes, backup *cds*, is my old friend and companion on the quest to destroy the Prime Evils- Antioch, the Paladin. Swart of skin and stout of heart, Antioch and I killed tens of thousands, if not more, of the worst the netherworlds connected to Sanctuary could spew forth from it’s vile pits. Antioch wasn’t alone though, as he had a Barbarian counterpart, somewhere in the level 70s, whose name is lost to time, and a Sorceress, named Aes Sedai, somewhere in the 70s as well. No, I’m not particularly imaginative with character names. There was also a Druid at some point I never really got far with at all, named “SerLoras”

In the years after the release of LORD OF DESTRUCTION-the only authorized expansion to Diablo 2- I continued to play the same characters, off and on, sometimes waiting a year or more between gaming sessions, but never reached the mythical LEVEL 99. I think the last level I got to was 88; at that point, my armor and skills were so high, and I was so rich, I left money on the battlefield and literally only picked up gold, green, and orange items. Blue? pfft. Who gives a shit. The vendors throughout Sanctuary had run out of things I was actually interested in. Nothing they could offer matched the UBER ELITE GEAR YO, I had with me.

That, my friends, was 12 years ago.

It says alot about the design of the game that people still play it 12 years after release, long, long after patches and content have dried up, with literally thousands of games having come out in the interim. Or it’s says alot about how horrifyingly easy it is to addict me to something. Eh. Some of our younger readers may not even have ever played either Diablo 1 or 2; if you’re, say, 24, then the last patch came out when you were 12-and god knows if at that age, that long ago, you even had an interest in games. Seems likely, since you’re reading this, but back then, what parent gave their kids something with the kind of nightmare inducing images Diablo2 had in it’s cinematics? Which, by the way, I still watch occasionally.  Opening cinematic-D2. LOD cinematic.

Now, having picked back up on Diablo 3-widely regarded as a disappointment among some of us older ones who actually bought Diablo ONE off the shelves in 1996-and resisting the urge to spend a whopping forty fucking dollars on an expansion, for fuck’s sake-I’ve decided to reopen the Second World of Sanctuary, as I see it in my head. In this series of articles, you can follow Antioch’s new quest to hit LEVEL 99 with screenshots, irritations, companions, gear stats, and all that stuff.

 

Let’s start with my player character philosophy.

When I play a Paladin, in any game that offers them, my one big thing is this: Survivability. Some people prefer to build a character that can take monsters out in one swipe, or take on masses of demons like Bruce Lee taking on the Triad gangs, standing in the middle of a mass of enemies and mowing them down. That’s not me. I’ll take as many swings as I have to, as long as I have to, to come out the other side of a fight. In keeping with that philosophy, I am in a constant state of DEFENSE and LIFE improvement. My sword? It will eventually get better. I’ll take all afternoon against a bunch of Balrogs, long as I don’t have to waste the time and resources continually hitting the health potions. Good shields are key in this-but more importantly are life stealing and mana stealing. There *are* no cool downs in D2, and that’s likely one of the things we older guys like best.

Obviously on earlier levels, say, before 25 I guess, that’s not a strategy that’s easily implemented. You have no dough, the armor takes forever to find, and you continually find things that you just can’t use yet. We’ll see how this plays out.

Now as a Magic user like AesSedai, it’s not quite the opposite. I want to be able to nuke enemies from orbit. I want those bastards dead and dead fast, before they even notice me if possible. And that’s just fitting with the character type. Cloth armor is…well, it’s fucking cloth. AoE abilities and ranged attacks are what it’s all about.

But for now, let’s see where Antioch stands after a full thirty minutes of hacking.

 

Woof. Not exactly impressive. But he’ll get better. You’ll notice MIGHT aura is on, allowing higher damage dealt, since no really good defensive stuff is available yet. That’ll change soon as well. And you’ll note I like to have dexterity way up there-The most badassed sword around, some Gold named piece from Hell itself-doesn’t matter if you can’t actually make contact. So I like dex points. I sacrifice mana points from energy but get by just fine with items that leech mana and life.

I hope you enjoy Antioch’s journey, however long it takes. It’s a long, cold winter usually in Connecticut, so Sanctuary, HERE I COME!

TechJedi



Episode #181- “There’s No Way Alfred Pennyworth Is SmurfBaby9″

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
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We talk DC this week, and frankly, it’s a grind.We lament some cons and not going to cons. Walk through some dollar box finds. We finally get to DCs with GI ZOMBIE 1. We move RAPIDLY on TO SINESTRO 4, bringing us the legitimately unpleasant Inquisitors and thei unclear mission. SUPERMAN 33 gives us classic Perry White speechifyin’. BATMAN 33-convoluted back up plan later equals city saved. DETECTIVE 33 sewer fights, boxing Harvey, and more. SUPERMAN UNCHAINED 7; looks great, less filling. SECRET ORIGINS 4 continues to redefine mediocre. BODIES 1 intrigued us. ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR 6-just wow. THE WAKE 10 ends with as much confusion as number one. UNWRITTEN 7 is just freakin amazing. AMERICAN VAMPIRE 4 holds our attention.

Come check us out on Facebook, twitter @themeanergeek, leave us voicemail at 203 533 4910 and mail us at themeanergeek@gmail.com, and occasionally see what we have to say textually at www.themeangeek.com



Episode #180-”It Works Out Because He Punches Things In The Face Till They Get Better”

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
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We remember Robin Williams with our oldest memories of the actor; take 20 minutes going through odd finds in dollar boxes. finally get to Marvels with Iron Man 27 and 28-Mandarins, Mole Men and more! Uncanny Special 1 Death’s Head bags the wrong Summers. All New X-Men 28 gives us Discount Future Xavier Junior hijacking hive minds. Thor 23 Future Thor repairs the Earth with Galactus Blood and Braxton is a battlefield. Hulk 4 mini Extremis in people’s brains-WOW. Captain Marvel 4 Still has people negotiating, and JSon is an ass. Captain America 21 gives us Iron Nail while Mecha-Gungnir rips up small Eastern Bloc country. Black Widow 7 Guest stars Daredevil. Amazing X-Men 8 is the Prelude to Wendigo Invasion. Savage Hulk 1 guest stars 70s Professor X. Ms. Marvel 3-4-5 has too much to get into here and it’s all GREAT. She Hulk 5 has Jen going to see the Shocker about the Blue File. ASM 1.2-WE DON’T CARE. Amazing Spider-Man 3 give us revenge plotting from Black Cat and Pete trying SO HARD to focus on the company. Nightcrawler 3 finishes the fight at the circus. yawn.

Come check us out on Facebook, twitter @themeanergeek, leave us voicemail at 203 533 4910 and mail us at themeanergeek@gmail.com, and occasionally see what we have to say textually at www.themeangeek.com

 

Episode #180



Episode #179-”Goodbye, Apone”

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
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We yap about Raquel Welch for a while. After talking dumb, useless things regarding Egyptian accents and Brendan Fraser, we go into INDIE WEEK! We visit THE GOON, ONE FOR THE ROAD, purely on the strength of Jack Davis, although all they do is wander around. CONAN THE AVENGER 3 shows us devil pigs killing people, and a typical Conan scene based on skipping out on hookers. LOBSTER JOHNSON: GET THE LOBSTER 4-Mechanical arms; cyborg midgets; and Peter Lorre. STAR WARS: REBEL HEIST 3 is a great little book spotlighting Chewie and the living hard drive of dna data. STAR WARS 18 shows us an escalating Battle of Arrochar. UBER 4 Hitler is alive and there’s a cavern they throw the battleship failures in. In CALIBAN 3 Karien attacks while the crew tries to make the ships talk. Creepy and atmospheric and Ennis Weird. STAR TREK: CITY ON TEH EDGE OF FOREVER BY ELLISON is a HUGE departure from what we know and very weird and entertaining. UNITED STATES OF MURDER 2-lots of convoluted and complicated plot changes and developments almost make this unreadable. TREES 2 has mystery flowers, and a strategic tree located in Somalia. DOC SAVAGE 6 continues to disappoint us. MORIARTY 4 gives us coup attempts and horrifying medical experiments. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA 1 is just damn weird, but amusing. SKULLKICKERS 28 humors us with a rescue gone awry and DAY OF DUPERY! MANIFEST DESTINY 7 the true point of the company’s quest is questioned. SAGA 20 gives us killer janitors, brothels, and dance teachers. REVIVAL 21 has the world’s creepiest undead in cremation. THAT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE A ROBOT is this years dumbest. book. Period. OUTCAST is all about possession, with the requisite Kirkman complexities. We end everything with NAILBITER 2, which gratefully gives us a bully’s comeuppance.

Episode #179



Episode #178-”For This To Not Suck Would Literally Require Magic”

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
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We watch House of the Dead 2, and boy howdy. Mention Batgirl’s new costume; complain about the number of volumes to any given Marvel book. We finally get to BATMAN ETERNAL 4-8; likely the only readable Bat-book at this point. Sinestro 2, showing us Thaal getting his Corps back. Secret Origins 2, with a decent Arthur Curry story. Batman 31 which i don’t even care about.  Detective 31, which has a new drug on the street-almost giving us an actual CRIME for a crime fighter to fight. Astro City 12, detailing the life story of a clothes horse. American Vampire 3, where Skinner seems to have gone to hell; Unwritten 5, with Pauly just wanting to be a happy bunny; The Wake 8, confusing and weird as ever.

Come check us out on Facebook, twitter @themeanergeek, leave us voicemail at 283 533 4910 and mail us at themeanergeek@gmail.com, and occasionally see what we have to say textually at www.themeangeek.com

 

Episode #178



Episode #177 “Very few things are as epic as WHAM!SKULL!”

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
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We mention the Toronto statue that DC was being jerks about; We hit Indies this week, and that Means UNITED STATES OF MURDER 1; with such a thin premise. Complain about just how many things Bendis seems to be incapable fo finishing. Finally move on to something else with the Hive Minds of Star Slammers 3. Explore the world of Afterlife With Archie 5, featuring the butler’s backstory; Dr. Spektor 1, which bored me terribly. Doc Savage 5, seeing Doc’s org in the future; Doc Savage Annual, featuring the Sea Spider Society; Atomic Robo: Knights of the Golden Circle 1; featuring the fall out of the last storyline in the old west; Hellboy in Hell 6, showing us the cartographers of hell. Veil 3 Mysterious rituals and corporate evil;  Uber 12 and 13 in which Stephanie walks around telling about false memories; Maria has been hanging out in a farm, feeding the old farmer couple with candy-vomit. Caliban 2 has tensions rising as crewman tart cacking it. Sovereign 3, which im not talking about. Tales of Honor, in which we find Honor set up to fail. Revival 20, showing us daydreams and shmoos in NYC. We love Velvet 5 while she’s on vacation in 1956, Saga 19 has baby robot born, somehow, by a damned alligator. Starlight 3 gets the characters back on the planet desperate for JUSTICE. Nailbiter 1 shows us an entire town of creepy assed serial killers; Trees give us some really odd, late fifties speculative scifi that i find bizarre and engaging. Skullkickers 27 has the team infiltrating Dwyer to rescue rolf, nearly executed. Star Wars Star Wars Rebel Heist 1 and 2-GREAT serie showing covert ops and the perspective of newbie Rebels, really calling out the best bits of the Star Wars characters.  The star Wars is finally over. Finally we cover 4 issues of THE FUSE, which is a much more detailed OUTLAND, but really good.

 

Episode 177



Epsiode #176-”I Have to Complete My Bill Mantlo Battlestar Galactica Run”

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
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We’re curious about the Finches taking over WW; After that we hit Captain Marvel 2 and 3; Cat named Chewie is all we have to say-except that with the cat, we’re reminded of PG and her cat from the palmiotti stuff; Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2-as complete a story ender AND beginning as you can get. Nightcrawler 2 gives us standard you can’t go home again kinda stuff; Hulk 3, with Avengers just getting slapped around for the most part. Thor 22 with the Thoriors three failing miserable while fighting Galactus. Silver Surfer 2 in which Dawn engineers an escape based on mistranslations. Origin 2 5, Logan recriminates, like usual. Iron Man 25 showing us an actual iron suit cause elves are wussies for metal. She Hulk 4-Jen gets some advice and gets in an adventure with DD. Winter Soldier: The Bitter March 4-the penultimate issue-Drain jut makin everyone super sad. Black Widow 6, which should be titled, Nat Just Needs Company. Cyclops 1, enough of that. Captain America 20, Cap breaks free of a terribly obvious lsd dream; Gungnir Mecha. All New X-men 27 with the fututre Apocalypse XMen attacking. Uncanny 21-Dazzletique comes to pick up the fighters at the school while blob is in withdrawal. Amazing X-Men 7, a fun little romp.

Come check us out on Facebook, twitter @themeanergeek, leave us voicemail at 203 533 4910 and mail us at themeanergeek@gmail.com, and occasionally see what we have to say textually at www.themeangeek.com

 

Episode #176



Episode #175-”It’s Already Gross, So Thanks For That, Ennis”

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
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I complain about Cliff and Star Wars. We jump STRAIGHT into Indie Week which is always a great big show. We start with Dark Horse and Veil 2; that being a kinda oddish book with some strange rapiness that made us uncomfortable. I hate Rats. I hate ‘em, Jock. We hit some 30′s goodness in Lobster Johnson-Get The Lobster 3, noting that devil dwarves are hard to deal with. Star Wars 16 with local yokels and Leia eats crap for being a woman. Conan the Avenger 1 appears in our list, with a depressed Conan and demon babies. Not the home run we were hoping for. The Star Wars 7 has Vince McMahon playing Vader. Sovereign 2 disappoints on nearly all levels. Revival 19 has people defecating in public, fundamentalist Revivers, and women tied up in tubs. Skullkickers 26 delights us. End of story. Starlight 2 is enjoyable to us, where Duke is guilted into going back to Tantalus. Manifest Destiny 6, giving us lots of plantzombie versions of just about every animal. Uber 11 Sieglinde unleashed! Caliban 1 presents us with aliens_dark horizon_ pastiches; Curse 4 the hell is finally over; Moriarty 3 with delightful convolutedness. We top off with Star Slammers 2.

Come check us out on Facebook, twitter @themeanergeek, leave us voicemail at 203 533 4910 and mail us at themeanergeek@gmail.com, and occasionally see what we have to say textually at www.themeangeek.com

 

Episode #175