D3: The Benefits of Friends

Time for an update on my D3 Season 5 progress. I feel like I’ve been flying though things this season.
1.    Hit level 70 on Friday night. Done!
2.    Complete the Seasonal Journey for the pet by the end of the weekend. Done!
3.    Reach solo greater rift 50. (My best last season was 45). At 46 now.
4.    Reach paragon level 400. (Last season I hit around 350). Done!
5.    Complete greater rift 30 with 2, 3, and 4 players. Done!
6.    Bonus goals: Reach level 70 on a hardcore wizard or complete at least one set dungeon on a witchdoctor. Still waiting on this one. I should really level a gem of ease I guess.

As you can see, I’m quite close to being finished with my goals, and we’re only a couple weeks into the season. How did this happen? I have been playing about the same amount I did last season. The big difference this time around is that I’ve spent a lot more time grouped up with friends. Even though grouping up can be a bit more stressful for me, the benefits are pretty obvious. The drops are better, everything goes much faster, and I can tackle higher difficulties than I could on my own.

This isn’t really new information. I’ve always known that grouping up in this game is way more lucrative. This is the first time I’ve had enough experience with it to really appreciate it though. As someone who still prefers playing solo it is a little overwhelming. And now we get to my next issue: the seasonal journey. Last season I got through the Champion rank, and last night I achieved this again for season 5. There are some parts that expressly have to be done solo, but I found that many of the goals were met easily during passive group play. I’m not sure whether to feel happy that I didn’t have to worry about them, or to feel robbed of any feeling of accomplishment. For now I think I’ll err on the side of being happy, because some of the upcoming goals are still going to be a real struggle for me.

You see I’ve decided to try to go for the extra stash tab you can unlock this season. It is locked up near the end of the season’s journey, behind things like “complete 2 conquests” and “solo greater rift level 60”, the kind of stuff I never even wanted to attempt in previous seasons. To be honest, I don’t really want to attempt it now. Trying to meet these goals feels way beyond my normal relaxed playstyle for D3. I’m afraid I might never be able to complete this, certainly not without help. I am nervous that I might not have a chance to knock out some goals that would be easier in a group before my friends lose interest in the game and move on. Mostly I feel resentful that something as desirable and useful as an extra stash tab is locked so high up the seasonal ladder.

I understand that a lot of people who play this game are more hardcore than me, but I always liked that in previous seasons the rewards for completing the higher levels of the journey were all cosmetic. You could push yourself as far as you wanted to but also feel comfortable stopping when you’ve had enough without feeling like you were missing out on something important. I’ve been playing Diablo 3 semi-regularly since it launched and have never even come close to achieving most of the things that are required to unlock the stash tab this season. Maybe that means I’m a terrible player and I’m ok with that because I’ve enjoyed the hell out of all the time I’ve spent with this game. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that pushing myself past my comfort zone to try to get some more room to throw my excess legendaries doesn’t end up souring this season for me. Hopefully I’ll still have good friends around for a while to help me along the way.

D3: The Benefits of Friends

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