Thursday, 23 January 2020

Bosses of D4 better not call me on their evil walkie talkies

If anything comes from this post, it's that it's a talking point I wonder for what D4 could do to do this better. Especially with a character as nuanced as Lilith. I'm no game designer, but I'm curious what others might think is a good way to capture the spirit of our beloved demons, tell a good story, keep us moving along nicely objective to objective, and what ideas there are to make this achievable in an ARPG genre. That being said...

Azmodan's demonic phone calls where he frequently appears to tell me his evil plan and how I will never defeat him make him seem.. like a joke.

Diablo portrait dialogue is arguably more guilty of this: "You may have beat the previous step in my evil plan that I said you wouldn't, but it matters little, NEPHALEEEM! For you cannot stop my Hell Rifts!" wink wink

Me: "Oh, uhh.. I guess I better go do that next. Thanks Diablo!"

I understand their arrogance in these moments, thinking they get this win in the bag. But this method of story telling (more like holding my hand telling me where to go) is even ridiculous on lesser characters like Magda: "It matters not that you found the last piece of the sword, I'm already killing the most beloved protagonist of the franchise in his cabin as we speak!" evil cackle

Diablo spoke one phrase in D2 and the phrase still quakes in my bones to this day: "Not even death can save you from me."

I'll find my way through the game, so I say, don't force screentime on Lilith or other cherished Demons of the franchise just to point me to my next objective. Make sure the time they have when we interact with them is powerful, meaningful, and arguably most important, true to what they represent as characters in the franchise.

Tl;dr I'm no game designer, but I wonder how antagonists could be better represented in the story and furthering the plot, without using evil walkie talkies in an isometric ARPG.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Diablo 4 story theory: Lilith is a red herring

Now that we know that the pale cultist in the D4 trailer is actually Rathma, I think I've figured out the main bent of D4's story. If my theory is correct, then despite Lilith's prominence as the de-facto main villain of D4, I think that she is actually a red herring and that another character will actually be the main villain. This theory assumes that another theory is true, this theory being that the old man in the D4 gameplay trailer is Lorath Nahr, and that the dead "old friend" whose grave he is at is Tyrael's.

So, to start with, Rathma summoning Lilith is something that should ordinarily be very lore-breaking. Despite being Lilith's son, Rathma both hates her, and helped seal her away in the ancient past. Furthermore, Rathma was described as being rational, but not cold, and was not portrayed as an evil or sinister figure in the Sin War trilogy. While obviously things can change over thousands of years, and retcons can likewise happen, I believe I have a rational explanation why Rathma would suddenly reverse course and re-summon the mother that he once sealed away.

After the Sin War, Rathma founded the Priests of Rathma, the necromancers, with their guiding cause being "to protect the balance between Heaven and Hell, because both sides ultimately want the ruin of Sanctuary and humanity, and if either one gained supremacy in the Eternal Conflict they would surely destroy us all."

Given this, Rathma must have watched in horror as Diablo 3's events came to pass, as D3's story represented the worst-case nightmare scenario that the necromancers were founded to safeguard against. The seven Great Evils joined as one, and were defeated and imprisoned by the Nephalem and his/her friend Tyrael, leading to the greatest triumph on Heaven's part since the start of the Eternal Conflict. Immediately following this, the Archangel of Wisdom took the Black Soulstone and attempted to use it to wipe out humanity, just as the necromancers feared would happen if Heaven ever won a decisive victory against Hell.

As I stated above, the necromancers serve the balance between Heaven and Hell. In prior times, the angels kept to themselves in Heaven, while the demons marauded through Sanctuary spreading ruin: thus, the necromancers served to push back the demons. However, now the tables have turned. The seven Great Evils have been scattered and weakened by their defeat, while Heaven holds the friendship of the Nephalem, through Tyrael, and is posed to gain the definitive upper hand in the Eternal Conflict. Malthael's assault on humanity has simply proven the justice of the necromancers' cause: just as they had once fought to push demons back from Sanctuary and humanity, now they must do the same to the angels.

However, allying with any of the Great Evils would likely be a colossal mistake: unlike angels like Tyrael, none of the Great Evils have a vested interest in keeping humanity safe, and none of them are trustworthy. Lilith, however, DOES have a vested interest in protecting humanity, and while she is not trustworthy, Rathma at least knows her intimately and has the measure of her in a way that he wouldn't with any other powerful demon lord. Thus, re-summoning Lilith is starting to look like a good option for protecting Sanctuary from Heaven. Plus, Rathma helped seal Lilith away in the ancient past; once Heaven has been appropriately humbled and Hell has gotten back on its feet, Lilith can safely be betrayed, sealed away once more, and then life can go on as normal (for whatever passes as normal on Sanctuary).

Meanwhile, in Heaven, the archangel Imperius is faced with a never-before-seen opportunity. He hates humanity and would gladly see Sanctuary destroyed, but Tyrael and Auriel have opposed him at every turn, while Malthael and Itherael abstained from aiding him. Now, however, Malthael and Tyrael are both gone: Malthael having accomplished some of Imperius's goal, while Tyrael impetuously cast off his immortality, became mortal, then died as mortals do. Both are still angels in essence, and will thus be reborn from the Crystal Arch at some point, but that point is likely far off in the future. At the moment, aside from Auriel, Imperius's authority in Heaven is relatively unchallenged. Not only that, the forces of Hell are reeling from the blow of suddenly losing, then regaining, its seven Great Evils. Hell is discombobulated, and Heaven is poised to claim a strong advantage in the Eternal Conflict if it can just seize the moment.

So Imperius moves to seize it. He consolidates his power and authority in Heaven, overruling Auriel's objections and instating himself as the leader of the Angiris Council. Imperius orders the gates of Heaven closed, in order to build up a massive army of angels and sweep down across Sanctuary and, eventually, Hell. When his army is complete, Imperius will lead a flood of angels out of Heaven, to consume Heaven's enemies in holy light and fire. Humanity will finally be annihilated, its stain on the cosmic balance purified, and after that Imperius can flood into Hell and wipe out the demons once and for all.

Having seen this coming, Rathma hurries to re-summon Lilith and rebuild her power base. He may hold no love for his mother, but like her or not, she is the best chance for humanity to survive Imperius's assault. And while some humans will no doubt resist her, they will eventually come to see the necessity of her summoning once Imperius's treachery is finally revealed.

TL;DR: Rathma summoned Lilith to act as humanity's champion against Heaven, who now hold the upper hand in the Eternal Conflict and are poised to wipe out both Hell and humanity. Imperius is the true villain of the game, and has closed Heaven's gates in preparation for a massive angelic invasion of Sanctuary to finally cull humanity, before moving on to annihilate Hell and win the Eternal Conflict once and for all.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Diablo II - What’s The Deal With Act III?

I’m currently playing through Diablo II so far in my hype for Diablo IV, I’ve never actually played Diablo I or II, I know all about the story with Diablo II however because I used to watch my Dad play, he was extremely addicted during the days of the game’s peak. Now I’m getting the chance to play through these myself, Diablo III was the first time I truly played a Diablo game.

Onto my topic, I’m up to Act V but looking back on my time so far and looking at discussion threads surrounding Diablo II from across the years, there seems to be a certain stigma surrounding Act III. Apparently it’s annoying, skippable and one of the worst Acts in the game.

And I found this odd because during my time playing, I’ve found Act III to be one of the best things in the franchise, one of my favourite Acts. I couldn’t fathom the negativity surrounding the map, the enemies, the quests, Kurast is so interesting. It was a huge breath of fresh air and a visual departure from anything I’ve seen in all three games up to that point. Having this dark, Mayan-esque Swamp/Jungle to explore, the music, atmosphere, everything was really amazing.

I found it to be the Act I’ve most enjoyed so far, there wasn’t any enemies I found frustrating or annoying, they were addictive and enjoyable to defeat, the dungeons in Kurast were really cool, the temple, Gothic, bloody artistry of the dungeons were amongst some of the most atmospheric dungeons I’ve played in Diablo (don’t get me started on the Durance of Hate.) I loved how this Act mostly left it to my devices, the quests had to be searched out and explored across the Jungles and Cityscapes, I naturally just unravelled the story of Act III as I went along, with the main Goal of reaching the heart of Kurast to kill Mephisto in his prison. The increasing corruption of the city as you ventured further and witnessed what had become of this place, what it could’ve been like, almost felt Metroid-like and I have no idea why.

Act III has got to be the most memorable thing thus far. I enjoyed Act I but Act II really annoyed the hell out of me. It’s enemies were enraging to my Barbarian class in his earlier levels and the dungeons and landscape got old very quickly (mainly because I’ve been burnt out by Caldeum in Diablo 3, which at least had its nice Oasis section to break away from the constant dreariness of its locale.) Lut Gholein itself is interesting but I found the Act overall very weak, it picked up majorly towards the end (the Arcane Sanctuary was by far the main stand-out), the Palace was a cool dungeon and Duriel actually didn’t annoy me because I landed some nice weapons and I Dual-Wielded his ass to death with the help of some Thawing Potions.

Personally though, out of all the Acts, Act II has been my least favourite. Kind of like how Act II of Diablo 3 was my least favourite, they’re so visually dreary. I’m kind of nervous that in Diablo IV, there is such a huge expanse of desert, two whole regions dedicated to it, I’m hoping they can diversify it more, mainly make their dungeons more engaging and interesting. Considering Kehjistan is explorable, I’m sure we’ll see the Oasis’s of Caldeum come back, I was hoping to see Kurast as well since that was a former capital of Kehjistan but it’s just barely off the map, which is disappointing to say the least.

I’m curious as to your thoughts and opinions on Act III and Kurast overall, I really loved my time there (not to mention Mephisto is one of my favourite Prime Evils based on aesthetic and visuals alone, fingers-crossed he plays a prominent role in Diablo IV.)

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Diablo IV game play trailer

Diablo IV is the newest incarnation of the genre defining ARPG players have come to know and love. Hellish new features, brutal challenges, and an indisputable return to darkness lie at the core of our hard work. Take a glimpse into the terror that awaits


I'm actually really disappointed. This probably means yet another rehash of the Skeleton King or something too.

I just hate them rehashing old bosses. It seems lazy and an easy way to get people excited instead of making actual interesting new encounters. I think they were good but poorly executed though!

Which was completely due to the shit storyline d3 had. With better writing both Leoric and the Butcher could have been re introduced in a way that made us go “no fucking way!” Instead they gave Leoric the exact same story that Aragorn had in Lord of the Rings pretty much and turned the Butcher in to some stupid looking pet.

They could have done those way better to be an “omg yes” moment.

As for Duriel I’m slightly excited. Dude is a lord of hell. My belief is he was never KILLED. But instead sent back to hell when he died. So if Lilith wants she can return them to earth to “do better” this time.

Diablo IV cinematic trailer

Fair warning this trailer is nsfw. If you don't like blood don't watch.

Obviously this is a knee-jerk reaction, but this is close to the best thing they've ever made. My other favorites were the real stirring ones that really made me feel something... but this one... yikes... that is a villain's entrance their other games have been missing for a long time.

want her to not be a 'villain' per se... but rather just an antagonist with similar goals to the nephalim. Remember, in the lore, her and Inarius created Sanctuary. I kinda wanna see a story where she is super pissed off at the other prime evils for fucking up her world.

I'm fairly sure while she does care for the nephliem as a mother does, she also has her own plan, if I recall its either to use the nephliem to eliminate the angels, or to eliminate both sides, I believe it was certainly the former, but may have been the later...

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Diablo 4 information leak [SPOILER!]

Hey there! My servants...

Whatever, I got some news about Diablo 4 for you all and I think you will like it despite what's been recently happening... If you don't want - don't believe me, especially since I can't provide any sources for this... My "history" could convince you but eh - I won't force anyone!

Diablo 4 is actually going to look dark, gritty and gross - no more rainbow shiny bullshit this time! Loactions are toned down, infrequently laid with corpses, wasteland, greyish deserts, clut caves surrounded by flesh, rotten crypts, marshes and bogs, plagued cities you name it. They are also seemingly much bigger, maybe even open? Characters now are able to ride horses (possibly other mounts), also there's contextual interaction with environment ? - climbing a wall Lost Ark style. Blood splatters look more like blood and not splashed jam too.

So far i can confirm 3 classes: mage (uses fire, ice and lightning so far), barbarian (swords, clubs, axes, kicks etc), and druid (lightning, wind, and transforming into beasts - so far bear and werewolf!).

Possibly there will be PvP from the start?. 4 player coop is there for sure.

All this game seems to be is a W I N K to the Diablo 2 fans, Lilith being the new diablo (she's covered in blood veil kinda), characters being shown sitting at a campfire as character selection, nitty gritty dark style that 2 was praised for, some skills also seem to be just taken from it and put in here (like sorceress' charged bolt). I'm interested and hope they don't fuck this up. The company is bad, but the game might not be this time.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

How Bingo Sites are Attracting a Younger Crowd

Bingo is a classic game that is played around the world in many different forms. It is a game that many are taught as early as their primary school days. It is a fun past time that we don’t have to leave behind in our childhood. For a long time, bingo was considered a game for the elderly, but this is no longer the case. In fact, many casinos and online bingo sites are attracting a younger and younger crowd with the game!

Introducing them to Online Gaming with the Familiar

Bingo is a great way to get people to check out a site because it’s a game that they know. Instead of advertising more niche games, advertising a simple but fun game of bingo is welcoming. Even those who are not familiar with playing games online will feel comfortable playing bingo. It’s a simple game, but even young people will log in to play when they know that they can play for real money if they choose to.

Free No Deposit Bonuses

Everyone loves bingo, but what young people love even more than a game of bingo is a free game or an offer that gives them something for nothing! Bingo sites have been very successful luring the young crowd into play by offering a free no deposit bonus because it allows them to play without any financial investment of their own.

The no deposit bonuses come in many different shapes and sizes including free cash, free cards, free games, and new player bingo rooms. Players can find the latest new bingo sites at to find the best no deposit bonus offers.


Many older bingo sites are reinventing themselves. Old bingo sites are relaunching with new themes, games, colors, and fun. Just having fun, funky themes and sites that are easy to use and enjoy will attract a younger crowd.

If younger players have the choice between a boring site with an older looking theme and one that has a fun theme, they will always choose the hipper theme and vibe. Many of the oldest bingo sites and online casinos have been very successful at reinventing themselves and attracting even the youngest of players.

Social Media Savviness

Social media rules the marketing world these days. Very few businesses are effective if they don’t have a social media presence. Younger crowds take to their social media resources to learn about new forms of entertainment, to find friends and even find love. A strong social media presence will ensure that the younger crowd knows about a bingo site.

A great marketing plan will ensure that bonus information and promotions are put in front of potential players every time they log on. Social media done right is a target-rich environment for bingo sites as people are always looking for great things to do in their free time.

Mobile-Friendly Sites

Bingo sites who want to appeal to a younger crowd are ensuring that sites are mobile-friendly. Ease of use is important to the younger generations. Instead of having to log in on a site from a computer and then having to log in on an app to play from your phone, sites are transitioning to one mobile-friendly site. These allow players to log into the same awesome site from any device, allowing them to play anytime and anywhere life takes them.

More than Bingo

In the fast-paced world, we live in, people get bored of things quite quickly. Bingo sites have gotten smart and have started expanding their horizons, offering more than just bingo. Many players love bingo but want to change things up from time to time. Adding a few slots and other casino games will attract an even wider audience than bingo alone.

Bingo and slots go well together, which is why players will find a lot of great bingo sites also have a huge slot selection. Having just a couple of the most popular slots games serves sites well!

The Younger Crowd Ensures Success

Bingo is an old game with a huge following, but the younger crowd has gotten a hold of this game and breathed new life into it. Marketing to the younger crowd has helped many sites ensure their success as the younger generations of legal players are familiar with and utilize the internet far more than any other. Bingo really has made a comeback thanks to the internet!

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

With the recent Blizz/Activision issues... I feel like I'm alone in this

So if we remember back to Nike supporting an NFL player, people started burning Nike apparel. Not only were people burning things they owned, but people were *buying* items to burn... that's still money in the pocket.

Though this isn't identical, I keep that in mind when I see people jumping up and deleting accounts, etc. I do know of two people who recently posted their account deletion within the hour of buying a new game from Blizzard; I am unsure if they're working towards a refund or not, but that did kind of take me asunder.

I know I bought games and they're tied to my account, things that I *own*, so to speak. I am not providing more money for these items, as I have bought them in entirety.

I don't believe that my emotional state related to the executives warrants disbarring myself from things I own, but I am all for stopping playing games until things get rectified.

I will say, if I had any subscription based games, I would cancel that sub in a heartbeat.

Essentially, I believe that money talks, and similar to how I wont spend money on anything EA related, I will no longer be spending money towards Activision and its cohorts (including Blizzard), but I'm not going to "burn" the items that I bought... I may enjoy them, but coming back to them after some of the issues have been resolved, to me, feels like a positive view.

I am hopeful that more people in the entertainment industry will take the stance of Trey and Matt, and when that day comes, you'll see me back, but I can't guarantee I'll ever spend more money in their direction.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Online casinos and you

Have you ever played at an online casino? We’ve seen a trend of people who love online games like Diabloz and also love other online games like casinos. This is a great way to enjoy your relaxation at home in your pajamas but still have some fun. There are more types of games out there today than you could ever imagine.

You can even try these games in an online casino without risking money you can’t afford to lose because there are so many free trials and no deposit bonuses to help you get started. In fact, a great way to get started and explore an online casino for free is to do so with a no deposit bonus. This is the amount you get for free that allows you to try a casino and many online casinos offer them.

You can try new games, or enjoy your old favorites, all in one place. If you’re familiar with online casinos and you’re just looking for a new place to play, try out the free slots or free games to get a feel for how that particular casino works before you start loading money onto it.

You can also browse the site and see the different types of games they offer. Most people want to go for an online casino with a lot of variety. You don’t want to sink your money and coins into it only to find you’re bored a month in because they don’t have enough games to play. So, do some research first and you’ll know if it’s a good fit for you.

There are some other things you should look for when you’re choosing the right online casino for you. First, you should be sure the site is following all of the rules and running a legal business.

You should also be sure it has various ways to make deposits and withdrawals so you’re not locked in, or prevented from cashing out when you want to. You also want a site that’s easy to navigate and you’ll want one that is secure and safe so you can feel comfortable putting your personal info there.

Finally, you want the options to play at day or night, anytime you choose, since this is a big reason people turn to online gambling in the first place. Want a great suggestion?

You can play at this online casino with New Zealand dollars, which is really great for people from New Zealand who may be looking for options and finding other casino sites don’t accept their currency. And it’s not just for New Zealanders. Their games are open to players all over the world.

And if you’re looking for a great casino Canada players can enjoy, it’s got you covered for that as well. Players from all over the world can enjoy all of their favorite games here in one place.

Monday, 23 September 2019

XP outside of Greater Rifts needs to be buffed

I think it's fine for GRs to be the go-to place for paragon farming, somewhere has to be. But it gives so much more that doing anything else feels like a complete waste of time if paragons are one of your goals.

People who want to play efficiently never run bounties and only run rifts to get keys.

If XP was buffed outside of greater rifts players who enjoy that content wouldn't feel so far behind and the XP farmers wouldn't feel as bad doing non-GR stuff.

This also wouldn't "buff" botters or gold farmers or anything since they can run GRs just as well.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Wizard Set Idea - Mirror Mage

I made this post in the Wizard segment of the official forums, but wanted to submit here as well as I'm excited at the prospect of new sets coming in the future and figured there would probably be more visibility here, so here we go:

I’m fully aware that the primary iterations of the sets coming in a future season are set and underway, but I’d like to throw an idea in the ring anyway, in hopes that one of my favorite skills could be utilized in a versatile and flexible way. My idea is for the Mirror Mage.

Keep in mind, this is a concept idea, not a comprehensive iteration with any particular multipliers in mind for the set itself.

Mirror Mage:
2 set) Mirror Image gains the effect of the all runes.

4 set) For each active Mirror Image, gain X% Damage Reduction. Damage received by the Wizard is shared to their clones (But not from their clones).

6 set) Your Mirror Images assume the form of each of the 4 elements at the Wizard’s disposal (Fire, Cold, Lightning, Arcane), firing an elemental copy of the ability used by the wizard (If the element is not available for this spell, it will use a random rune instead). The damage of the Mirror Mimics rune is increased to x% of the damage of your own spells. Black Hole, Blizzard, Energy Twister, Hydra, Wave of Force, Magic Missile, Shock Pulse, and Spectral Blade, can be cast by your Mirror Images.

The goal here was to realize the fantasy of a wizard as a master of illusion combined with the force of their elements. While Tal Rasha forces you to cast a skill of each element to maintain the buff, I rather like this iteration instead. Tal Rasha basically asks you to cast 2-3 of your skills as a courtesy to maintain the buff, while all of your damage is funneled into one skill rune (usually from meteor). This allows an element of randomness, by selecting a random rune from the available elements, or a random rune of the skill when the element isn’t available.

Arcane Orb and Meteor were intentionally left off of the list, as they already have sets that clearly encourage the use of those abilities, and thus have established identities. I’m very open to feedback and discussion, and would like to know if there are other set ideas you have as well!

Thursday, 12 September 2019

The top 100 solo players for each class on Switch are using hacked items

Which is really disappointing. I understand that things like "Player X has played 20 hours for every 24 since the season started" can seem like obvious bots to us, but it is at least semi FEASIBLE that someone pulled that off.

Instead on Switch, inspecting the gear of anyone in the top 100 places on the leaderboards shows them as OBVIOUSLY cheating. There are no yellow rings with 3 gem slots that do +1,000,000,000% physical damage. Same goes for a Jawbreaker fist weapon with 561,775 damage and 3 gem slots. 

How is Blizz not autobanning these people as soon as they reconnect to the server?

Makes me sad, especially because of how amazing this game feels on Switch.

I've been playing this on Xbox One since they brought seasons to consoles. But at least it wasn't so blatant. Or rather, it got better overtime. If people were hacking (probably) they were at least swapping into non hacked gear before logging out so it wasn't clear to anyone who has played more than half a season they had hacked it.

It is just SO BLATANTLY OBVIOUS that it is clear Blizzard isn't even looking for people who are cheating.

What makes me so furious about it is how you have to bend over backward to play offline on the switch. You can't even start a seasonal character offline, you have to log in with a Nintendo Online account to auth with the server first, then you can disconnect. You'd think for how much trouble i had to go through to just play locally with my wife (who has no nintendo online account) they'd at least be enforcing SOMETHING

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Guide Compendium for the New Season - patch 2.6.6

So this one is a little late, isn't it? I truly apologize, but a pesky goblin named Gamescom whisked me away and stole my attention for much of the week! :) Now that we're here though - welcome to Season 18, with the theme of the Triune! Throughout Season 18, circles of power will spawn during combat, which empower characters in various ways; they affect combat from the humblest character beginnings, all the way to the highest of Greater Rifts. These newfound effects will cause you to reposition, shift and weave through combat more than you might be used to - and personally, I find it a great incentive to try out some of the more mobile builds.


(No, really!)


Patch 2.6.6 brings some unexpected and exciting changes, introducing jewelry that rivals some of the most popular staples, reworks crafted sets into very powerful and enticing options for builds, and brings the usual round of reworks and additions of legendary powers to items - some of which are incredibly potent! Amulets like the Flavor of Time and Squirt's Necklace will shake the position of Hellfires in many builds, while legendary powers like Echoing Fury and Messerschmidt's Reaver will surely bring out new builds, as well as enhance older ones. And by the way, Mortick's Brace came back. Hell, it was about time.


Before moving on to class impressions and recommendations, I just want to give a quick pointer to the new basics and conquest guides that I compiled recently. If you are new to the game, returning after a long break, or simply have friends that you want to get into Diablo, give those a read:

Beginner Seasonal Guide

Bounty Farming Guide

Regular "Nephalem" Rift Farming Guide

Greater Rift Farming Guide

Conquest Guides for Season 18

As a guide hub, Icy Veins receives a ton of messages on a regular basis for topics like these - I hope they are of use to the community and answer a lot of questions for Seasons to come!


Haedrig's Gift Beginner Build: Legacy of Raekor

A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your seasonal Barbarian. Some of my personal endgame build highlights for this Season include:

Might of the Earth - Earthquake

The Earthquake is one of the steadiest performers in the Barbarian roster; an AoE-heavy, visually satisfying playstyle with a rock-solid rotation. In Season 18, the build is improved with the addition of Mortick's Brace - much like other Barbarian builds, of course, since you can't argue with the addition of all Wrath of the Berserker runes - which helps with the troublesome survivability of the build. The addition of Messerschmidt's Reaver is another curious option for the build, vying for the Kanai slot to bring you steady WotB uptime.

Legacy of Dreams - Hammer of the Ancients

Hammer of the Ancients is a signature Barbarian playstyle that revels in melee destruction, slamming down the mighty Gavel of Judgment onto the demonic hordes with unrelenting precision. Turning the Legacy from a Nightmare into a Dream (see what I did there?) does wonders for the legendary-based HotA build, as it is now free to keep the triumvirate of Convention of Elements, Band of Might and Zodiac Ring at the mere cost of a legendary gem slot. WotB performance is assisted not only by Mortick's, but also the addition of the revised Echoing Fury and its insane attack speed bonuses - directly feeding into your Zodiac CD resets.

Wrath of the Wastes - Whirlwind

You can't get a more clear description than "Whirlwinding" for what this build does; a spin-to-win, medieval lawnmower of a playstyle, this is by far the smoothest and most satisfying farming build. A long-standing lament of Barbarians is its lackluster performance in GR pushing, and while it's not quite solved yet, the Whirlwind barb is greatly boosted by Mortick's Brace (solving some of the survivability issues) and Echoing Fury (which is now a fixture to IAS-dependent builds). Add The Flavor of Time on top of it all for the delicious doubled duration of Pylons, and Whirlwind gets a much needed spike of power.


Haedrig's Gift Beginner Build: Armor of Akkhan

A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your seasonal Crusader. Some of my personal endgame build highlights for this Season include:

Legacy of Dreams - Blessed Shield

Empowered by their resource-free playstyle, Blessed Shield Crusaders cover the battlefield in Captain America-like barrage of fiery steel. Exchanging the Legacy of Nightmares for a Legacy of Dreams, this mighty Crusader build gets to keep a potent jewelry combo of Convention of Elements, Justice Lantern and Unity, and even adds The Flavor of Time on top. I'm sure you can imagine what doubled pylon duration does to a build that is already rock-solid in most fighting situations.

Invoker - Thorns

Where this build lacks in flashiness, it more than makes up with approachable and easy-to-grasp, yet top tier performing playstyle. Despite its somewhat subdued visuals, the devastating efficiency of the Invoker Thorns Sader is undeniable. Staying true to its 'understated powerhouse' reputation, Invokers simply adds an Echoing Fury to its lineup - and will proceed to decimate high tier GRs once again.

Rolands - Sweep Attack

Affectionately called the 'Janitor Crusader', Sweep Attack-based Rolands quite literally clean up battlefields in precise, blindingly fast arcs (on top of the most satisfying ASMR 'whoosh' of the sweeps, you can't deny). The newest addition to the build is the craftable Captain Crimson, which plays wonderfully into the needs for cooldown and resource management of the build, and even empowers you for it. And then there's the prospect of running Messerschmidt or Echoing fury into the Cube (or just play it straight with Furnace), enhancing different aspects of the build... quite promising for an underdog.


Haedrig's Gift Beginner Build: Embodiment of the Marauder

A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your seasonal Demon Hunter. Some of my personal endgame build highlights for this Season include:

Legacy of Dreams - Rapid Fire

The emergence of the Rapid Fire build finally brought the close range, Tommy gun-like fantasy of the Demon Hunter class to life - all in a destructive, methodical playstyle that isn't afraid to get into the thick of fights and chaingun-and-grenade its way out. In Season 18, the swap from Legacy of Nightmares into Dreams allows the Rapid Fire DHs to keep their protective powerhouses - Elusive Ring and Unity, while bringing extra devastation with Convention of Elements and The Flavor of Time on top.

Unhallowed Essence - Multishot

The Multishot build embraces the long-range powers of the Unhallowed Essence set, bringing the "lone archer eclipsing the sun with arrows" archetype to life. The screen-wide decimation of Multishot has never been sweeter, now that it adopts Squirt's Necklace and Captain Crimson's set into the setup - extra incentives to stay alert, on the move and always shooting your (now stronger) volleys of death.

Shadow - Impale

The ninja-like, assassin playstyle of Shadow Impale ramps up in power so fast, that it often sits at the top of the leaderboard for a week, waiting for slower builds to catch up. Impale DHs vault in, plant a dagger in an elite's back (usually ending its life outright), and then disappear in the shadows, onto their next target. I'll be honest, this build hasn't budged much - but it's so damn satisfying that I can't help but point it out.


Haedrig's Gift Beginner Build: Inna's Mantra

A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your seasonal Monk. Some of my personal endgame build highlights for this Season include:

Inna - Wave of Light

Although not particularly exciting, this is a purposeful highlight; Inna is the free set of the Season, and the (relative) ease of starting an Inna Wave of Light build can take you very far into the Season with relatively minor time investment. Inna WoL is a tried and tested build that combines the inherent screen-clearing AoE of Explosive Blasts with the forgiving, easy-to-play Inna set. If you're looking for something to breeze the Season with, this is a strong contender.

Legacy of Dreams - Wave of Light

Roll your eyes as you might at another WoL season, you simply can't argue with the skill - from the relative safety that Tzo Krin's Gaze provides, you can obliterate the screen with Wave of Light spam, dropping blazing clusters of holy power on demon upon unsuspecting demon. The transition of Legacies - from Nightmares to Dreams - allows you to keep all S17 toys, and the trio of Convention of Elements, Unity and Zodiac (DPS, protection and utility staples respectively) is now strengthened even further by The Flavor of Time. Double duration of Pylons on a build that benefits from pretty much all of them? Yes, please!

Legacy of Dreams - Lashing Tail Kick

Lashing Tail Kick builds are the counterpart of their WoL bretheren; getting into the fray where WoL keeps to the side, and melting the enemy in a flurry of Chuck Norris spin-kicks. You might argue this is a weaker build - and it is - but similarly to its WoL brother, it gets to keep all synergistic legendary jewelry from S17 and add The Flavor of Time on top, plus the option to deviate into Echoing Fury if the cubed Flying D isn't consistent enough for your tastes.


Haedrig's Gift Beginner Build: Pestilence Master's Shroud

A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your seasonal Necromancer. Some of my personal endgame build highlights for this Season include:

Legacy of Dreams - Singularity

Love them or hate them, you can't deny Singularity Necromancer is one of the most ruthlessly effective summoner builds in the game; cold, calculating and intensive to play (both in terms of resource management and, befitting of Necromancers, frailty of the character). Replacing The Legacy of Nightmares for that of Dreams, Singularity Necros stay at the peak of their offensive power through Convention of Elements, Krysbin and the Circle of Nailuj rings.

Legacy of Dreams - Skeleton Thorns

Let's get one thing out of the way: this is a quirky and slow-to-construct build. But there is an undeniable appeal to an army of undead minions that cripples - and eventually destroys - the enemies through their own attacks. In Season 18, Thorns Necros get to add Squirt's Necklace, adding another massive source of damage to a build that already benefits so much from its deliberate, calculated pace.

Legacy of Dreams - Blood Nova

Nova Necromancers are an evocative playstyle, spilling fountains of (literal) bloody destruction from their bodies, which grow in efficiency the more enemies you throw at them. In reality, the build has its issues (the mechanics and numbers on items like Bloodtide Blade are a culprit), but the build is damn fun, and I wanted to give it a little spotlight just for that.


Haedrig's Gift Beginner Build: Zunimassa's Haunt

A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your seasonal Witch Doctor. Some of my personal endgame build highlights for this Season include:

Zunimassa - Carnevil DoD

The Carnevil Witch Doctor summons an army of swarming minions at his side, whose adorable mimicking of his blowdart attack - and positively horrifying attack speed - are a sight to behold. This has been a long time coming; Zunimassa has been building up in power over the course of a few patches, with set and item changes that slowly inched it up in viability. Season 18 will be the triumph of this oldschool build, with the Zuni Fetishes empowered by the craftable Aughild set (fitting just right into the vacant slots of the setup) and the Attack Speed madness of Echoing Fury in the Cube.

Jade Harvester WD

With power to match his imposing name, the Jade Harvester is a force to be reckoned with - crippling the enemies with damage over time effects, and then recklessly diving in to 'consume' and apply their entire duration instantly with a well placed Soul Harvest. This build now benefits from the Captain Crimson craftable set, as well as The Flavor of Time amulet, keeping it high in the WD pantheon of builds.

Helltooth - Gargantuan

Keeping a trio of overprotective, lumbering, undead giants at your side is the signature of this build - another take on the summoner fantasy, this time relying on stitched-corpse voodoo dolls to pummel your enemies to the ground. This setup, while still in need of buffs, got a nice addition in the form of the craftable Spite ceremonial knife; granting you the Humongoid rune for free, its legendary effect opens you to experimentation both in GRs and speedfarm with this build.


Haedrig's Gift Beginner Build: Delsere's Magnum Opus

A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your seasonal Wizard. Some of my personal endgame build highlights for this Season include:

Vyr - Archon

Transforming the Wizard into an unstoppable being of Arcane destruction, the Achon build simply has it all - power, mobility, versatility. For the modest investment of two relatively easy-to-obtain sets - Vyr and Chantodo - this build will take you into the highest of Greater Rifts, and with a relatively simple to grasp playstyle to boot. One of the strongest builds in S18. Definitely the one with the best power-to-time-invested ratio.

Legacy of Dreams - Star 'Bazooka' Pact

The Star Pact Wizard has a rather complex rotation and playstyle, but rewards it with a monstrously powerful punch - arguably, the strongest one in the game right now. In a densely packed fight, no other build will deliver comparable punishment as the arcane juggernauts dropped by the (fittingly nicknamed) Bazooka Wiz. Oh, and now it gets to play with extra Pylon duration from The Flavor of Time, as if what it had wasn't enough. Geez.
Thank you so much for reading this and my guides! Good luck and have a great Season 18!

P.S. There is a ton of work I am doing in the background at the moment, but in the coming weeks you can expect a massive revision to the way our builds are presented, as well as another clean sweep of old artifacts - I think you will be very pleased! :) Stay tuned!

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Why You Should Join a Zumba Fitness Class

Apart from doing sit-ups, push-ups, jogging, and lifting weights, dancing is also an excellent way of working out. Dancing is not only fun and entertaining,it can also help you get flat abs. To attract more people and make workout sessions more enjoyable, many trainers have begun embracing Zumba. Zumba Fitness Core is the third video game in a fitness series based on the Zumba program. Zoe Mode created it, and Majesco Entertainment published it.

Zumba classes combine Latin Music with Latin dances such as mambo, merengue, samba, and salsa. Unlike the traditional aerobic sessions, whereby there is a systematic movement, Zumba dance moves are smooth and free-flowing. Besides, an hour of Zumba dance is enough for a day. Your Zumba instructor should be certified through the Zumba Fitness Academy, and he/she should take you through a warm-up routine and cool down/ recovery.

According to experts, Zumba utilizes high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves fast songs and periods of slower songs. HIIT has numerous advantages, such as improved cardiovascular fitness, reduced cholesterol, and boosting of insulin sensitivity. All these complemented by your favorited fitness supplement from will help burn excess fat. Also, Zumba provides the necessary cardio that facilitates the burning of belly fat, which flattens the stomach and reveals the abs. Studies indicate that one class of Zumba can burn up to 1000 calories.

Types of Zumba Workouts

There are numerous unique Zumba exercises to choose from, depending on your goals and fitness level. They include;

Aqua Zumba-Water aerobics with the exhilaration of Latin dance. This Zumba class is usually in a swimming pool.

Zumba toning-This type of Zumba involves incorporating lightweights into your Zumba dance, which helps you tone your muscles.

Zumba Sentao- “Sentao" means "while seated." Zumba Sentao is done while one is seated on a chair, and it targets your core muscles and abs. For those who dislike sit-ups, Zumba Sentao is designed for you.

Zumba Gold- This Zumba class is tailored for older people and those who want to get their back into shape.

Many fitness lovers prefer Zumba against traditional fitness programs. The significant benefits of Zumba include;

It is Fun and Enjoyable

For people to stick to a workout program, the plan must involve a lot of fun and entertainment. Zumba involves dancing, which lots of people love doing.

According to research, Zumba is known to reduce fatigue, enhance alertness, and to boost overall cognitive function. Furthermore, it stimulates the secretion of endorphins, which leaves you feeling happy.

Guarantees Massive Weight Loss

In most cases, overweight people find it difficult to perform exercises such as jogging, lifting weights, and sit-ups. However, Zumba is suitable for everyone and can burn up to 1000 calories per hour. Apart from the aerobic benefits, Zumba also offers anaerobic benefits, which boosts your cardiovascular and respiratory system.

Improves Your Coordination

Zumba involves the movement of your entire body, which improves coordination. Proper coordination of the different body parts minimizes the risk of muscle injuries and bone fractures.