Monday, December 23, 2013



Hello dear friends, readers and followers!

Since I can't tell how Christams itself will turn and most of you are scattered around the globe anyway, let me take the chance and extend my best wishes and holiday greetings to all of you already now. This is the real cat btw. ... also famous during Christmas time as Santa Jesster!

Actually this year wasn't that bad and especially the last quarter, since I started blogging, was a very exciting time for me. I am happy and thankful I found that many followers and friends already and I am positive the next year will bring even more surprises and exciting developments... who knows, maybe I will even get some sponsoring deals going and can review even more stuff for you. :)

Until then, keep up the spirit and stay true to gaming and yourselves. I hope you'll also have some quiet time and you'll be able to relax probably with some nice games.

- On that note: I also need to wish you a great new year's eve now, because I will be on holidays in the east of Europe without internet access, so... I guess I will really see you just next year then. No, wait a second I can hopefully twitter you a happy new year... :D nice!

Play more! Relax more!

Saturday, December 21, 2013



Sorry for being absent for a while there but currently I am busy as hell in the Diablo 3 and/or Reaper of Souls forums and testing the PTR version myself. - So much going on there. I will give you some more details on the expansion at a later point, but for now and just in case you missed it:

Reaper of Souls will be released on 25.03.2014 !!!!

I am just too excited about this expansion... unfortunately it will not come cheap at 40$/40€!

Given the amount of actual new content versus the stuff that can only be considered as fix for Diablo 3 as well as the price of the original game, this price seems a bit over the top.

You wouldn't believe how intense the discussion are about that in the forums right now... we will see if Blizzard will give us some more incentive because I am not too sure if it will do them any good not to get a lot of players back into the game.

Play more! Pay more!

Monday, December 16, 2013



Not too long ago Blizzard started their friends & family beta for Reaper of Souls. - Unfortunately I am neither friend nor family so I couldn't test it myself... BUT as a big fan of the Diablo franchise since ever, naturally I am keeping a close look this great and also absolutely necessary addon/expansion. Diablo 3 was (when it came out) a rather bad game as soon as you reached endgame, everybody knows that. Completely misbalanced and faulty in several aspects. - The auction house being one of the major mistakes. Fortunately Blizzard saw their mistakes and listened to the community which over time made the game better with each single patch. For a while it got quiet in D3 and hardly anybody is playing right now, because since a few month we are all just waiting on the addon Reaper of Souls, which will knowingly render most of our current efforts useless. Now, thanks to some streamers who got into the f&f beta, we can already see the delicious meal that this addon will put on our tables in the near future (RoS release still TBA but expected in spring 2014). With this - rather extensive - post, I would like to give you an updated and complete overview about Reaper of Souls. Because I know you will probably want to see it with your own eyes, the last section of this post will include several links to some excellent sources with tons of (spoiler-free) footage and coverage!

Most Diablo players rightfully suspect that this expansion will turn the tides and make Diablo 3 finally to what it was supposed to be from the start, similar to what happened when the expansion Lord of Destruction for Diablo 2 came out. I don't want promise too much, and while it must be clear that anything mentioned here or on linked content is subject to all sorts of changes until the full release of the expansion, it seems that it is really going to hold up to all its promises and expectations!


Due to spoiler issues I will not go into the story of the addon too much and just want to sum it up according to the little information I have unwillingly got so far: One angel - or former angel, we'll see - has enough of this never ending fight between good and evil and decides to basically destroy everything. - Kind of a radical approach but a possible solution nonetheless. Of course, nobody would benefit from that, so the Nephalem needs to stop the diabloesque depiction of the grim reaper. He/she will do that in a new act with a decent playtime in a much darker and death-related setting, and with the help of a new character class: The Crusader. Although there were rumors before that the expansion might feature two new classes, so far it seems more than definitive that the Crusader will be the only one. However, never say never when it comes to Blizzard... It's still a while until the addon hits and they might have something up their sleeves that they are keeping from the public for as long as possible.

The Crusader is some sort of special unit among the Paladins - sort holy knights. In the previous games the Paladin was always a standard character class, built around shielding, tanking and buffing other players with close- or rather sword combat related weaponry. The same goes basically for the Crusader, but since it is a special kind Paladin the Crusader's characteristic weapon is a flail and he can also use his shields for attacking. New class = a whole new set of skills = lots and lots of thing to try out. - For a detailed overview of all the cursader's abilities I recommend you check out diablofans. - Unfortunately DiabloWiki (at the time of this post) and other pages still need to update their content with the new info revealed from the f&f beta.


Besides new and changed skills you will have one additional passive skill slot.

  • PARAGON 2.0
Paragon levels will be summed up throughout all your characters to one general paragon level. Each level does basically what it did before - give you bonus points. In the new system the advantages will not manifest only in main stats, gold and magic find, but instead you can choose yourself from several categories (including for example Strength, Movement Speed or Pick-Up Radius) and put the points into what you prefer most. Each of your characters will have the full pool of paragon points to put individually. The game will save each character they way you spent your points and all paragon points - for example when you found a new item and you want to change your character - can be reset at any time without cost.
  •  + 10 Levels
Level 70 is now the new maximum before your characters continue to earn paragon points. The new levels themselves offer new skills among all character classes.
  • Infinite Paragon Levels
There is no more cap and you can get as high as you want. The level progression currently looks continuous compared to the old exponential progression. Advancing in paragon levels will stay tedious nevertheless since it starts about where you left of when you leveled from paragon 99 to 100!

  • Less Drops
No more screens full with item names. Drops will be drastically decreased.
  • Better Drops
The items that drop have been improved to an unprecedented level. Even white items allegedly become worth picking up, at least due to collecting crafting materials from them. Numbers suggest an overall stat increase (damage, HP, etc.) due to new items of 300% within the first hours of playing and advancing above the old level 60 cap!
  • Smart Drops
Items will be dropped with the new smart drop algorithm. That basically means if your current character is a Wizard to a certain degree you will no longer constantly find for example useless bows or fist weapons, but wands and Wizard gear instead. Smart drops also influence the stats that the items role; why should a Wizard's wand have a strength property instead of intelligence? - The new algorithm takes care of that... to a certain degree, of course.
  • More/All Legendaries
This is a rather vague topic unfortunately. I am keeping my eyes on this expansion for quite a while now, so basically sometimes it is hard to distinct rumors from facts. With this one, to be honest I am not really sure now and I didn't get any answer from the official sides so far. However, a few months ago I understood the following: Reaper of Souls will not only give us a ton of new legendaries, but it will also remove the level range restrictions from all legendaries in the game! In the old Diablo 3 items (also legendaries) were designed to drop between specific levels. The legendary Axe Genzaniku for example was designed as a iLevel 12 item. This meant that after your character surpassed level 16 or 17 it was no longer possible for you to ever get this legendary dropped! Not that it wouldn't have been completely pointless to find this weapon and equip it to a let's say level 30 character, but people agreed pretty fast that it is a shame that from all the probably more than 200 legendaries people would miss out 90% (check out the Diablo 3 - Game Guide and see for yourself how many legendaries there actually were that you probably have never heard of before). These never-to-drop legendaries were actually good... Genzaniku for example could have been a nice and fun to play Axe, given the Chance to summon a ghostly Fallen Champion attribute. At endgame - as soon as characters hit level 60 - they could only find a handful of legendaries: Only legendaries between iLevel 59 and 63, if I remember correctly. Now, in RoS we are maybe able to have the chance to find any legendary that was made for the game when we get to the maximum level. And furthermore those legendaries, when they role their attributes, are supposed to be adapted to the level of the character. That means if you are on the level maximum of 70, you could now be lucky and find a iLevel 70 Genzaniku (with DPS 1300-1800, 650-950 Minimum Damage, and so on). Like I said, I am not 100% sure about this change, but I will do my best to clear that and give you confirmation as soon as I can.
  • New Affixes for Legendaries
Since now, a lot more legendaries are available they have all been revisited. Furthermore legendaries feature special, unique attributes that make them outstanding and truly build-shaping! All stats on all items are now also divided into primary and secondary by the way, which makes them easier to comprehend and to plan builds accordingly.
  • Almost every Legendary offers and induces to create new Builds
As seen and heard from all kind of beta sources by now, and also as declared goal of Blizzard, each legendary should now be special for you. Together with all the other customization options (paragon points, the mystic, and so on) a legendary drop is supposed to be something you feel happy about and that opens all kind of new build- and playstyle options for you.

Planned from the beginning of D3, then removed, the third Artisan - the Mystic - will finally be available with Reaper of Souls. She will give you even more customization options as well as battle upgrades via Enchantments.
  • Transmogrification
Although personally I really hate that word and I think it doesn't really fit into the Diablo universe, this is something many players are looking forward the most. With this you will be able to change the optical appearance of any item. Meaning... you hated for example how the Vile Vard shoulders looked like? Just change them to some Journeyman Shoulder Guards for example. Just a bit cash and the Mystic will do that for you. Finally not every class will look the same anymore!
  • Enchanting
If you still are not satisfied with your new items and their smart-dropped abilities, the Mystic will give you the option to re-role any attribute of any weapon! Not satisfied with 400 Strength on your new awesome legendary bow as Demon Hunter? - All you need is some cash, crafting materials and a bit of luck and you will get 400 Dexterity in no time!

The maximum gem level has been raised significantly! Currently we can see three more tiers after Marquise: Imperial, Flawless Imperial and Royal. Furthermore Flawless level gems will no longer be the maximum level gems that can drop for you. If you have a maxed character (level 70) even Imperial level gems will drop on a regular basis!
  • The Diamond Gem
Finally the diamond is back... Need some extra All Resist or Cool Down Reduction?

Nephalem Rifts are completely randomized dungeons that you can visit at any game mode (Story or Adventure) provided you find a Rift Stone. These special dungeons, filled with new extremely powerful Shrines, consist of up to 10 levels and one or more bosses during or at the end. There is a lot of testing going on with the rifts and it is hard to tell how they will really play at the end of the day. Currently it is for example still unclear whether the rifts will be accessible more often and be therefore be not that rewarding, or if they will be not so frequent but on the other hand more rewarding in terms of loot.

Is a new mode to play specially designed for farming/endgame. In this mode you can travel via the new advanced map/portal layout seamlessly between the locations of all five acts and farm whatever you want. There will be no more annoying dialogues and cutscenes to skip, just the pure looting!
  • Bounties
Additionally to just farming, each "run" - so to say - in the Adventure Mode will offer you random bounties from now on. For example: Find and kill this certain enemy in that certain area, or clean this certain area completely from monsters, and so on. Bounties will reward you with Loot Bags that drop - I guess depending on difficulty - somewhat from 5 to 15 items, which of course can include legendaries. Furthermore Bounties reward you with Shards that you can exchange for even more Loot Bags or directly use for Gambling on certain items (similar to gambling in Diablo 2).

Of course the new Fifth Act brings a lot of new monsters.
  • New Affixes for Enemies
Monster affixes have been revisited and changed. There will also be completely new Affixes!
  • Enemies scale with your Level
I am not too sure about that one, but since you hear it frequently I can't neglect to mention it. As I understand it, the monsters stats will no longer be determined by the difficult alone but scale with the level of your character. This sounds a lot like Diablo 2 and can be challenging as well as unfair at the same time since at some point your gear will no longer get better - even in RoS. Like I said, I don't know too much about that yet, but it seems to be part of the new endgame-orientated balancing and if done correctly will be a great game prolonging feature in the future.

Self explanatory... new Gems, new Weapons, new Armors,...
  • New Crafting Materials
Crafting materials have also been revisited. Even white items are now supposed to be worth collecting and salvaging. I recommend you check out some footage of what is worth saving from Vanilla.
  • Stack Sizes
Stack Sizes of crafting materials have been increased and won't take too many sperate slots in your chest anymore. So far it looks like all materials stack up to 1000 units in one slot!

Together with the "monsters scale with you" approach this is the one point that is still very unclear to me. Since first reveals of the addon, it was said that Monster Power - your personal difficulty adjustment option for endgame farming - will no longer be capped to level 10. Now it is not only gone completely but also the other "standard" difficulties (Normal - Nightmare - Hell - Inferno) have been removed. Instead we now have: Normal - Hard - Expert - Master and Torment 1  to 6. So... with Torment 6 there will again be a cap for the monsters and they will not get stronger, even if you reach paragon 1200??

Probably the best change of all! Yes, the downside is that trading will take place in kind of "unsafe" environments, but actually that is nothing new. I find myself asking the question: "Why would anyone want to trade at all, given Loot 2.0, awesome customization, and so on?", all the time. Also the game will on purpose make any item you change account bound and therefore render it untradeable. So yeah, the game is finally what it should have been, the loot you find, your loot and no ridiculous, completely beyond any reason auction house prices!

In-Game chat and channel options have been pretty bad in D3. Something the community criticized from the start. RoS has a completely overhauled chat system featuring new options especially for clan/group management.

Ladders (a competitive or rather comparative aspect of Diablo 3) are still not officially confirmed by Blizzard. Neverthells everybody is already anticipating a ladder system for sure. Since PvP will definitely still not be part of Reaper of Souls and similar to Diablo 2 a ladder might be the only system that could prolong the game almost indefinitely, I also presume that Blizzard will add it. - Probably not with the release of Reaper of Souls, but I am sure in one of the following patches. Presonally I don't care too much about a ladder, because I don't really want to play Diablo 3 competitive, but I can understand very well why a lot of player would want one. The best thing a ladder would do to me is shutting up the few real hardcore players and giving them something to be constantly busy with, while the rest of us could continue to enjoy the game without hearing about complaints that it is "too easy" all the time!


  • Life Steal removed (or rather rendered completely ineffective for higher difficulties)
Lots of skills and other abilities seem compensate quite well for that.
  • No more stacks of Nephalem Valor
Loot 2.0, Paragon 2.0, Itemization and new items in general are supposed to compensate for that. So far the droprates and items seem to work even with lower Magic Find, but basically it must be clear that your 300% Magic Find from a level 100 paragon character plus the bonus of 75% from Nephalem Valor, giving you a guaranteed Magic Find bonus of 375% is history! If you manage to transition with paragon level 100 to Reaper of Souls, you can - as it looks now - get only a maximum of 50% bonus Magic Find, provided you spend all 25 point on this paragon attribute! - The maximum Magic Find you can get with the new paragon system is +100% by the way.

! Due to changes since the last test server wipe, it seems Blizzard has still not decided to allow Magic Find as a paragon attribute at all. - Currently (PTR) the Magic Find slot has been replaced and it is no longer possible to put point into that attribute at all !
  • Several "Upgrades of comfort"
For example: If you equip a stronger spell on your secondary attack and you run out of the resource to cast it, the game will now automatically cast your primary skill instead.
  • Elemental Immunity
Certain items now seem to give you complete immunity (and even healing) against one element!
  • Crushing Blow
An attribute that deals 25% of a white enemy's health instantly according to a proc- coefficient. Crushing Blow will be tied to other skills or rather effects, like for example spawn a health globe when crushing and enemy. - This seems quite fun and useful!
  • Splash Damage
New attribute that deals damage to multiple enemies within a certain radius of the character.
  • Toughness
Is the new defensive value calculated and handled differently than the old Defense stat! Thoughness also includes your overall Life!
  • Nephalem Trials
Unfortunately didn't make it into the expansion. They were supposed to be a competitive aspect next to the also announced Loot Runs which turned into the Nephalem Rifts.
  • Nephalem Glory
Similar to health potions, these balls are dropped from time to time, stack up to three and enhance your offensive capabilities for a short time.
  • Standard Shrine Changes
Also all shrines have been overhauled and changed mostly to the better
  • Auto-Potion-PickUp
Something very useful that doesn't require you to manually pick up the potions anymore. The will be now picked up by you character automatically.
  • Respawn at Body
If you die you now have the option to respawn directly at your corpse and not just at the last Checkpoint!
  • Diverse Champion Packs
Champion Packs no longer consist of multiple enemies of the same type. There will now be a leader (the champion) and his minions can be completely different monsters from the game.


So, if the above wasn't enough for you and you still want to see everything with your own eyes, I would like to recommend you the following videos to get the best idea possible of Reaper of Souls:

1. ZIGGYD (YouTube, Web). He is one of my favorite public players covering Diablo 3 content. He knows a lot, is always friendly, never arrogant or blowing his own horn. And as a matter of fact I think he is currently the one streamer giving the best and most coverage of the Reaper of Souls beta. To prevent you from any spoilers and to get the best ideas of some of the new content I recommend the following videos in particular:

2. MOLDRAN (YouTube, Twitch) is another one of my favorite streamers and Diablo 3 players. Not only that we come from the same country, he is a particularly smart guy. If you ever wondered why Excel is such a useful program and how it can help you to understand Diablo and efficiency better, you should check out his videos! He is currently on his way back from studying abroad, but be sure when he's back he'll cover lots of Reaper of Soul calculations and give you the most efficient strategies way before the expansion launches! You should definitely drop by his stream and/or check his YouTube channel including those videos about RoS:

3. ARCHON the Wizard (YouTube, Twitch). Basically he was the streamer who introduced Diablo 3 streaming to me... I always liked him as well as his stream. He is a very natural and friendly guy being respected far beyond Diablo streaming. I didn't watch his stream lately because D3 got kind of boring before the RoS closed beta and also he switched to other games, but since he is back online with D3 and the new expansion there are already some must see videos from him:

That's it. I hope I didn't forget something, but even if I did... that'd be nothing more than another prove of the expansion's extent and what great things are coming! As soon as there are any other news and important developments, be sure to get an update here. - Maybe I will be picked and also get a key to the closed beta (which started a few days ago) and I will be able to give you some unique perspectives next time. So far I can only play the new PTR-Version which unfortunately doesn't include the major RoS content that unfortunately necessary to do real testing... anyway,..

Play more! Expect more!

Monday, December 9, 2013



This week my blog will be online for approximately 10 weeks. When I take a look at my followers I feel really happy to see the number growing close to 150! I never would have thought that I could get that many followers in such a short period of time. I don’t want to talk about success yet, but since I am not promoting my blog on a very big scale - mainly because I am new to this and sometimes I have a hard time understanding the rules of social networking services - I am positive that I at least do something right.

Yes, the number doesn’t really reflect direct page views or even real interest in the things I do; I already got that several people will only keep you added if you add them back. You know, people that post something rather stupid and useless every five minutes and have already 40k+ followers. I am sorry for those people, but I really don’t want to be spammed on g+ with posts on a minutely basis, that have nothing to do with videogames or technology. I did all this because of my love for videogames, not for growing big, not for personal gain and most certainly not to get spammed by the boredom or personal craving for recognition of some people… and their cats.

Same as I want to keep quality to my blog itself, I want to keep quality - in a sense - among the people that I add to my circles. This might sound a bit cocky, but I think most serious people on g+ understand what I mean. I am glad I could already make some friends during the past months and I am happy to find more every day. So, on that note, I am most thankful for the true core of followers that really have interest in my posts, that help me and that also for me post interesting, funny and informative things. Maybe these “core” followers come down to just a third of my total followers, but even if I just had you guys (and girls of course) I would be happy and continue what I am doing with a smile.


Since I also always like to give something back (even if it is just a tip), I would like to give you a flower this time. If you like videogame accessories you could probably check out +steve landaverde's page and browse through some great artwork and even shop for awesome T-Shirts or phone cases!

I know I can still learn a lot, come up with innovative content or topics and even bump up the quality of my posts further. You know, I don’t want to give you the same reviews like everybody else, including quick ratings like: graphic = four stars, gameplay = three stars, and so on. I don’t want to do the big research and quote every sentence I write, just like on the university. In the end I want stay true to myself and above all give you my opinion. I want give you an honest and in-depth perspective that you - gamer or not - can relate to and that you can trust, even without quotation. The best I can hope for is that you appreciate that and continue to support me by spreading the word and/or leaving a comment from time to time.

Thank you all very much,


Play more! Thank more!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013



Does your world end with the decision between PS4 or Xbox One? Or can you see beyond the horizon and realize what great times are ahead of us? Admittedly, it is hard to ignore the fact the basically most of what happened in the recent past of console gaming took place on either Microsoft's or Sony's flagship - the Xbox 360 or the PS3. Despite the other fact that Nintendo's Wii, as always thanks to its legendary brands, could keep up pretty well and that Nintendo basically owns the worldwide market of handhelds, we all know that the Wii could just graphically not reach the level of the Xbox or the PS4.

And although many people, including myself, think that graphic alone doesn't make a good game, we simply cannot ignore it. Long story short; most of us are used to our Xboxes and PlayStations. We even might have a Wii as well, but truth be told, we mostly play the other systems, right?

What I want to tell is that in contrast to how it might seem, the war is not over! Actually Microsoft and Sony are just fighting one single battle of a war that just got started. All over the world PS4s and Xbox Ones are released right now or have already reached the living rooms of their cheerful players. But this is not the end! It's not as simple as "first come, first served" anymore. And if you take it like this, well than the WiiU should have won by now, since it was released already a year ago! It all comes down to your personal preference and how you decide. But how do you make your decision?

Are you going for hardware specs? Do you take the console with the best media playing options, or the one with the best network? Do you have the luxury to get your hands on a new Xbox, a new PlayStation and have a WiiU already?

You know, I played and tested the Xbox One intensely, I saw the PS4 several times, but to be honest I really don't see the jump to the next level. Ever since, new consoles always dawned a new age of gaming. - That's why they have long been categorized into generations and everybody refers to them as "next-gen" consoles. But so far, I - as many others - can't see it... can't feel it. Actually, if it comes to WiiU that's where I can see a clear difference to the Wii! So basically we just have to put the WiiU into consideration as well. But even that is not enough... I hope you have already heard about the Steam Machine?

The Steam Machine is a console produced by Valve and supposed to launch 2014. It is capable of playing all Steam games, designed to be freely modified (similar to a PC) by its users, featuring a free and open operation system (SteamOS) based on Linux and allegedly the most advanced controller the world has seen in a quite a while.

You all did track how Steam has advanced over the last years and how it almost single-handedly brought PC gaming back to life again? - Yes, some people really thought (and some still think) PC is dead! You know how big the Steam market is and how many great AAA titles as well as independent games are born and available there on a daily basis?

And by the way; what about PC gaming itself? Another system you, as serious gamer, simply cannot ignore... that is at least until the Steam Machine launches.

And guess what, maybe you are that deep into the Xbox VS PS struggle, that even this is news to you: The god of information collection himself - Google - is currently thinking about his very own gaming console, the Google Nexus Orbit! - Though officially this project is just rendered as concept for now and the word "Nexus" gets kind of boring already, the thing is, that something like that could actually launch. Maybe next year, maybe in three years. Personally I see no reason for Google not to try it. If they can bring this concept to life and keep the current hardware specs together with the tons of unique options, like Google Glasses for example, we are in for a treat!


Well, I think the deeper you are in the rabbit hole, the more fun it is! And one could see choice also as excitement instead of a problem, because the question actually comes down to: Is it really that simple to narrow your gaming experience to just one or maybe two consoles? Just on the console market alone, now we are already faced with a decision between four great gaming platforms that all offer their unique appeal and quality: Xbox One, PS4, WiiU and the Steam Machine. Then there's the PC... and although it's not very unlikely that the Steam Machine will have the power to completely take games away from that platform and deem the PC to work only, is it so inconceivable that this will not be a fight only between PC and Steam Machine, but instead expand to the actual console realm too? And don't forget, there is also the possibility of other great gaming system in the very near future!

I don't know about you, but I am just excited about that! It reminds me of a fantastic past with lots and lots of gaming systems to choose from. I think this is what we all need. Everybody knows how bad a monopoly is from an economical viewpoint - which in turn comes down to the viewpoint of the customer. Not too long ago I was seeing us already playing on just one single system as expensive as three. But now I am happy! As much as we need new games, we need more systems too! More to talk and report about, more to criticize and argue with each other - basically: More excitement! I think we have great times ahead of us.

Play more! Choose more!