After a Tuesday night spent chasing Legion Invasions and being an Illidari, I felt like last night I needed a nice relaxing night of being a completely different sort of Demon Hunter. By nice and relaxing I mean a night spent pushing rifts and causing anime style rocket explosions as I cleared entire rooms at the same time. It is strange how Diablo has morphed over the years for me. Originally it was that game that I wished I could play with friends… but didn’t have stable enough internet to be able to play it. Then it when the second game was released it absolutely become a game I played almost exclusively with friends. When three was released, I was in a place where I was largely soloing and found it a less than amazing experience. Now several years later each time a new season is launched it becomes this focusing force that brings a bunch of us back together for another trip happily through the paragon and gear grind. For most of the night last night I was joined by my fairly regular demon slaying buddy Grace, and we also managed to snag Thalen and bring him along for the fun. The night as a whole was pretty great because on our first tag team attempt at bounties… a Menagerist Goblin spawned dropping this extremely awesome Yeti pet named “The Bumble” for me to go wandering with. Additionally I was able to knock out several pieces of gear off of my list, and I finally managed to get the last of the three legendary gems needed for this build. The highlight of the night however was getting an Ancient Yang’s Recurve to drop… which admittedly made Grace super jealous. However because of this it is now my duty to tag along in any D3 madness to push hard for folks so they too can get their sweet ancient drops.
The other thing that happened last night is that I attempted the “Numlock Trick”. One of the more annoying things in Diablo 3 is that most builds have some sort of buff that they want to cast essentially anytime it is available. The goal of the build is usually to get enough cooldown reduction so that you can keep it up 100% of the time. For the Multishot build I am using for my Demon Hunter, it is focused largely around getting keeping Vengeance up 100% of the time… and right now I have it close enough that I maybe have a second without it up at any given time. The other day I heard something mentioned in a build video talking about “using the numlock trick” on one of these buffs… and I had to investigate to satiate my curiosity. There is apparently a strange glitch in the game that allows you to essentially constantly be spamming a button press. I mean in theory you could do the same thing with hardware macros on a keyboard, but this just sort of “works”. The idea is to bind the 1-4 hotkeys to have a secondary key which relates to Numpad 1-4. To toggle on autocast for any of the abilities you turn your Numlock key on, hold down the keys you want to autocast and then turn off your Numlock. Just like that the key keeps repeating over and over… which causes some weird behavior. Firstly if you are holding any key the cast will not fire… so if you are holding force move or the left mouse button down… just ease up on it to let the next cast go off. Secondly… it has the strange behavior of interrupt abilities like identification or teleport. What I do to get past those is to start the channeled cast, and then hold any key. In my binding I have S set as an alternate bind for Shift… which is to stop moving and hold still. Holding this down while channeling works well to keep my auto casts from interrupting whatever ability I want to do.
The other “strangeness” that happens is that any time you shift games, and sometimes when you just downgrade difficulty it can turn the autocasting off completely. In this case you just flip back on numlock, hold your keys down, and turn it back off to set the glitch back up. Now that I know this exists… I am wondering what other uses can be had for it. Supposedly folks use this regularly for Taeguk builds on the monk side to keep the stacks. In theory I could do the same trick to make sure I am evasive fire shots in with my hunter, to build hatred and keep up the damage shield. For the time being however I am keeping it simple and only using this to try and keep Vengeance up as often as possible as well as my Companion ability. I was always horrible at using these cooldowns, and tended to save them until I reached a point where I had a lot of elites to attack rather than just constantly using them knowing that I had another cooldown just around the corner. I need to spend some time working on achievements so I can catch up to the point Grace is currently in the seasonal journey. I am still not sure if I am going to go for the stash slot this time around… but for the moment I am going to keep playing so long as the game feels fun and fresh. Tonight however I have earmarked to go do Broken Shores scenario on my various alts… because I have yet to actually see the new cinematics.