The Daily Hilario: Awakened forces

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans.

GOOSEBUMPS:

HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE

THAT’S how you do a trailer, Terminator and all you other movies that give everything away in 2-3 minutes.

There’s much more Star Wars content here from this week’s Star Wars Celebration (which runs through Sunday), including a plane painted as R2-D2. Bleep bloop.

In other news, I played Diablo III for a bit (read: an hour) earlier today. Still enjoyable. I know you care.

Also, the BLACKHAWKS try to steal another one in Nashville.

And it’s still crazy at the top of the Championship:

Championship standings

FOOTALL (all times BST):
12.30: Jose Mourinho press conference (LIVE)
19.30: Bundesliga, 8th vs. 3rd: Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Gladbach
19.30: Ligue 1, 11th vs. 4th: Nantes vs. Olympique Marseille
19.45: Championship, 2nd vs. 4th: Norwich City vs. Middlesbrough
00.00 (next day): MLS, 2nd(E) vs. 3rd(W): New York Red Bull vs. San Jose Earthquakes

…read more

Staff Picks: Christoph Waltz, ‘Faking It,’ and ‘Diablo III’

ChristophWaltzBigEyes

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.

Christoph Waltz in Big Eyes

Tim Burton’s attempt to recapture the magic of Ed Wood—another oddball period true story with a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski—doesn’t quite land, thanks to the shininess of the aesthetic (nothing really looks lived in), the unevenness of the performances (there’s no bigger Amy Adams fan than your film editor, but he lets her overdo it here), the unmotivated visual flourishes, the crushingly old-fashioned score, and the comical obviousness with which the director is working out his issues with critics. But there is a reason to see Big Eyes, out this week on DVD and Blu-ray: Christoph Waltz is magnificent in it. From his first appearance, purring “If I may respectfully disagree” to a couple of pretty girls at his art stand, he captures the complexities and deceptions of Walter Keane, who spent years taking credit for the work of his wife. Waltz’s nuanced turn conveys what the script can barely be bothered with: how a potent combination of misunderstanding, salesmanship, sexism, and professional jealousy led him to tell that lie, and keep on telling it long past the point where anyone believed it. The performance only grows richer as his facade melts away and the monster steps out, his smug intensity and wild-eyed desperation coming to a head at their trial, where he defends himself by showboating, mugging at the jury, and, in a comic tour de force, cross-examining himself. It’s a wickedly entertaining and psychologically potent performance; it’s a shame it’s not housed by a better movie. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor


Ruining My Life With Diablo III

Much of my childhood was spent clicking away mindlessly on some Blizzard-made game, and most of my middle school summers were eaten alive by Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. So it was probably not a wise move when, after finally buying a gaming-capable laptop, I purchased Diablo III. I am now a fully grown man with several jobs and a full-time relationship, and yet I must not want to be, because …read more

Do you have some other optimal way of reaching level 70 in Diablo III?

TOKYO: Blizzard have perfected the Diablo III addiction cycle. It starts out like this: Play the game in a crazed manner for dozens of hours levelling, looting, and having the constant feeling of progression and achievement. It then progresses to: “my work here is done; I don’t feel like playing another class, so let’s move on to another game.” Then, this is where the magic happens, Blizzard kick off a new season with some juicy additions and changes that draw people straight back to step one. Here are some ways to hit that sweet level 70 cap in no time at all.

Find some high-level friends

This is easily the best way to reach level 70 as quickly as possible. All you need is a really patient, high levelled friend to hold your hand through these few hours.

It’s simple; you, as your level 1 (or low-level character) start a game on the hardest difficulty, Torment VI (1600% extra gold and XP is delicious). It is important that you start the game, as the creeps will then be tailored to your level.

This will allow your high levelled, super DPS friend to dispatch enemies in stupidly short amounts of time. You will be dinging so often that you probably won’t be able to keep up with all your new skills, runes, and passives.

As you start hitting higher levels, you may want to lower the difficulty accordingly. If an elite pack suddenly feels like it is taking too long to die, a lower level is probably required. Too many people get caught up in slogging through harder difficulties thanks to the promise of more XP and better loot. They forget that killing more enemies on a lower difficulty is just as efficient, and not nearly as painful and slow.

It should take you as little as 3-4 hours (maybe even less) to hit level 70. The only real downside to this method is that your friend stands to gain nothing of importance in their time played with you.

Follow a professional guide

If you feel that the above method borders on cheating, or you just want the traditional, fresh-from-the-beginning experience, you may want to follow a legit speed guide where a dedicated gamer has done some number crunching and tested out several builds on classes that results on optimal dinging. This is one that Blizzard themselves highlighted recently.

The author of the guide, Rhykker, makes use of the Wizard …read more

What’s the best way to speed to level 70 in Diablo III?

Header

Blizzard have perfected the Diablo III addiction cycle. It starts out like this: Play the game in a crazed manner for dozens of hours – levelling, looting, and having the constant feeling of progression and achievement. It then progresses to: “my work here is done, I don’t feel like playing another class, so let’s move on to another game.” Then, this is where the magic happens, Blizzard kick off a new season with some juicy additions and changes that draw people straight back to step one. It’s freaking genius, and I hate them for it! If you’re a sucker like I am, you probably spent most of this past weekend grinding out a new Season 3 character. Didn’t level as fast as you’d hoped? Here are some ways to hit that sweet level 70 cap in no time at all.

Find some high-level friends

This is easily the best way to reach level 70 as quickly as possible. All you need is a really patient, high levelled friend to hold your hand through these few hours.

It’s simple; you, as your level 1 (or low-level character) start a game on the hardest difficulty, Torment VI (1600% extra gold and XP is delicious). It is important that you start the game, as the creeps will then be tailored to your level.

TORMENT AAAAAAAAAH

This will allow your high levelled, super DPS friend to dispatch enemies in stupidly short amounts of time. You will be dinging so often that you probably won’t be able to keep up with all your new skills, runes, and passives. For this reason, I only recommend this method if you are levelling a class that you have played before. If you attempt one you’re unfamiliar with, you’ll be forced to take in too much, too quickly, possibly missing out on some neat nuances that class may have. This is unless you really couldn’t care less, and you plan on following some character build guide that another player has made.

As you start hitting higher levels , you may want to lower the difficulty accordingly. If an elite pack suddenly feels like it is taking too long to die, a lower level is probably required. Too many people get caught up in slogging through harder difficulties thanks to the promise of more XP and better loot. They forget that killing more enemies on a lower difficulty is …read more

Diablo III Season 3 is Now Live with New Legendaries, Conquests, Rewards

Blizzard provides the new comers and players starting fresh with an opportunity to get going in Diablo III with seasons.

Since the Season 2 has ended recently on April 5, 2015, the developers jumped up the preparation of the Season 3 complete with the new legendary items you are going to get, the cosmetic rewards as well as the new conquests and achievements.

It is now time for the action to begin! Diablo III Season 3 is now live!

However, if you want an introduction (or a re-introduction) with the seasons program, the official battle.net website has explained what they are and what they do:

Start fresh, leveling new Normal or Hardcore heroes from level 1 without any currency, resources, items, or previously earned Paragon experience. Similar to the separation between Normal and Hardcore game modes, Seasonal heroes will also have their own shared stash and Artisan progression. Any currency, materials, recipes, items, Paragon experience, and Artisan progression earned during a Season will be rolled over to a player’s non-Seasonal profile once the Season concludes.

In case you are wondering what exactly does the Season 3 offer, developers have previously explained the features most notably legendaries that are going to be introduced to Diablo III.

Those who take part in the new season will be looking at a set of those legendaries to claim alongside season based achievements and an exclusive Transmogrification set that no one else can get but those who compete in the season.

In parallel news, US sanctions have resulted in blockage of all battle.net services in Crimea which means fans of WoW, Hearthstone, StarCraft II and Diablo III are going to be left alone in the region.

…read more

Diablo III Season 3 is Now Live with New Legendary, Conquests, Rewards

Blizzard provides the new comers and players starting fresh with an opportunity to get going in Diablo III with seasons.

Since the Season 2 has ended recently on April 5, 2015, the developers jumped up the preparation of the Season 3 complete with the new legendary items you are going to get, the cosmetic rewards as well as the new conquests and achievements.

It is now time for the action to begin! Diablo III Season 3 is now live!

However, if you want an introduction (or a re-introduction) with the seasons program, the official battle.net website has explained what they are and what they do:

Start fresh, leveling new Normal or Hardcore heroes from level 1 without any currency, resources, items, or previously earned Paragon experience. Similar to the separation between Normal and Hardcore game modes, Seasonal heroes will also have their own shared stash and Artisan progression. Any currency, materials, recipes, items, Paragon experience, and Artisan progression earned during a Season will be rolled over to a player’s non-Seasonal profile once the Season concludes.

In case you are wondering what exactly does the Season 3 offer, developers have previously explained the features most notably legendaries that are going to be introduced to Diablo III.

Those who take part in the new season will be looking at a set of those legendaries to claim alongside season based achievements and an exclusive Transmogrification set that no one else can get but those who compete in the season.

In parallel news, US sanctions have resulted in blockage of all battle.net services in Crimea which means fans of WoW, Hearthstone, StarCraft II and Diablo III are going to be left alone in the region.

…read more

‘Diablo III’ new patch 2.2.0 now live with added content, new items and glitch fixes

Battle.net website

The new patch for “Diablo III” is now live.

The update, patch 2.2.0, is now available in the Americas for those who are hardcore fans of the game. The new patch is live for players on the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

As part of the new patch, there are improvements and added content for the game. To start, the new version will add three new treasure goblins into the Sanctuary, as well as seasonal rewards. Players will have choices for two new transmogrification costumes, new pennant, and a new portrait frame.

In terms of items, the most obvious improvement is with the health potions, as the regular ones were removed from the game. In their place, there are two new legendary potions, and the health potion slot on the action bar has been converted into a bottomless health potion that will heal the player for 60% of the character’s maximum life.

Also, there are two new legendary items added, the Iceblink and Mutilation Guard. The first item, the Iceblink, will add Chill effects to players’ Cold skills and will slow enemy movement an additional five percent. For rank 25 players, the item will give them a 10% chance for a critical strike against chilled or frozen enemies. The Iceblink will also add movement speed reduction by .4% per rank.

The second item, the Mutilation Guard, will have melee characters gain 10% melee damage reduction, increasing by one percent per rank. For those on rank 25, if the characters have less than 30% life, the players may move between enemies unobstructed.

Aside from the new items and improvement on old and existing ones, the new patch will also address the bug on the Mystic class. The glitch allows players to attempt to transmogrify legendary quivers. Also, in crafting items and gems, the whole quantity will now be crafted all at once.

…read more

Path of Exile, a killer free Diablo III alternative, gets a major (still free) expansion

Path of Exile: The Awakening

Listen, Diablo III isn’t that bad these days. Sure, the original launch was kind of a disaster, but last year’s Reaper of Souls expansion shaped Diablo III into a halfway decent sequel to the longtime king of the action-RPG genre, Diablo II.

But there’s this weird experiment on Steam. Maybe you’ve played it, maybe you haven’t. It’s called Path of Exile, and it’s basically the sequel Diablo II fans actually wanted: A massive, complex ARPG with almost limitless character customization, a ton of loot, and a gritty art style that matches the tone of the game. The Steam reviews for the game speak volumes—many of the reviewers have put in over a thousand hours.

Oh, and did I mention the game is free? Completely free?

Now, I’m not even close to having a thousand hours in Path of Exile, but earlier this week I got to check out the game’s upcoming expansion, The Awakening. It’s looking like enough to bring me back into the game, at least for a bit.

The developer, Grinding Gear, has released a fair bit of content for Path of Exile since launch. The Awakening is the piece players have been waiting for though—a true expansion, adding a fourth act onto the game’s story, new locations, and completely overhauling a number of systems, including the game’s legendary leveling trees.

Oh, and the expansion is free too.

As far as story is concerned, The Awakening‘s new Act Four will drop players into an entirely new hub city. The real draw is what the Path of Exile team has been able to do with the new combat areas, though.

Path of Exile: The Awakening

I was told by Grinding Gear that prior to The Awakening, the art team was somewhat constrained by the theme of each act. For instance, if you’ve played Path of Exile you’ll know that Act One takes place on a beach. That meant all the action…well, it had to take place on a beach. That makes sense.

Act Four? Throw out all the rules. A big part of The Awakening is a force that causes people’s dreams to manifest as actual places you can visit. Thus, in my short time with the game I visited locations from gladiator pits to heaving lava …read more

WoW, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Diablo III Blocked in Crimea

Crimea

It is sad to see how the political situations in the world can impact things so remotely connected to them that you wonder why the heck!

For instance, after the events of Crimea, the Ukrainian region the United States put up massive sanctions on the region many companies have had to stop offering their services there.

The most direct impact of this on the gaming community has been the blockage of battle.net in Crimea. Yes, Blizzard Entertainment has cut off access to all their major IPs like Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Diablo III and World of Warcraft for the entire population of Crimea.

So the gamers in Crimea who are fans of the numerous Blizzard Entertainment IPs woke up to this message recently which bars them from playing some of the most popular games in the RTS, RPG and MOBA genres:

You are receiving this email because, in accordance with current trade regulations relating to the region of Crimea, we are legally required to suspend access to your Battle.net account. Any recurring subscription payment will be cancelled. We are sincerely sorry that you’re being impacted in this way; if the situation changes, we will happily do our best to restore access to your account.

It is really unfortunate that the gaming community in the region will not be able to take part in the community for what looks like an undefined period of time.

Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Diablo III and World of Warcraft are some of the largest IPs when it comes to the number of people playing them. From where I can see it is going to have a negative impact on the community as well as the company.

Let’s hope the situation can be rectified soon.

…read more

Crimeans Can’t Play ‘World Of Warcraft’ And ‘Diablo III’ Because Of US Sanctions

WoW

Residents of Crimea can’t play video games “Heroes of the Storm,” “Diablo III,” “Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft” or “World of Warcraft” after Blizzard complied with U.S. sanctions on the region. Blizzard follows Valve, Apple, Google and a host of financial institutions in restricting Crimeans’ access to comply with an Executive Order in protest of Russia’s occupation of Crimea in March 2014.
(Photo : dacoolest (clique) | Blizzard)

Sanctions on Crimea had already resulted in Google and Apple suspending their services in the region caught between Russia and Ukraine’s conflict. Now some of the world’s most popular video games and video game services have been temporarily shuttered in the region.

Blizzard suspended its Battle.Net service in Crimea, which has resulted in citizens being unable to play games that require a connection to gaming platform. Games unplayable now in Crimea include Diablo III, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm and World of Warcraft.

Blizzard apologized to its Crimean customers. It the situation improves for the better, Blizzard will try to restore service, the company stated in a notice to its Battle.Net subscribers.

“You are receiving this email because, in accordance with current trade regulations relating to the region of Crimea, we are legally required to suspend access to your Battle.net account,” stated Blizzard (via Geektimes.Ru). “Any recurring subscription payment will be canceled.”

Blizzard joins a long list of companies that have complied with U.S. sanctions and have suspended their services in Crimea based on Executive Order 13685 in December signed by President Barack Obama for “additional steps to address the Russian occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.” Blizzard isn’t the only gaming company to comply with the sanctions, as Valve, owner of the world’s largest digital distribution platform for gaming, has shut off access to its store in Crimea.

“Your purchase cannot be completed due to U.S. trade restrictions,” stated Valve’s Steam platform to a Crimean resident looking to purchase a game.

While the effects of the U.S. sanction may devastate gamers, the embargoes have been seriously crippling the region’s ability to conduct business. Crimean citizens can only purchase goods or services with cash or Russia’s new Pro-100 credit systems because all of the major financial institutions have pulled out — that includes Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and others.

The Pro-100, which was started by a state-owned bank in Russia, was rolled out in short order in Crimea, according to Oleg Saveliev, …read more