The (unconfirmed?)Fury system of the barb sounds, in a way, similar to the Frenzy skill in D2. That skill is fun to use in PvM, but obviously isn't viable in PvP, since it takes time to charge up, time you dont have during a duell. That's fine with me, and so is any "charging" resource system Blizz thinks of in D3, because a fun class/skill is way more important then duelling.
If we all remember, Assassins that relied on charge up skills, and Druids that relied on Feral Rage, were very rare sights in PvP. The time it took them to charge up their skills, often left the opponent with a solid opportunity to kill them off. This is because skills that charged up had to wait several seconds longer to use, while skills that had no charge-up system, could be used at their full potential only by expending mana.
Which, raises the question, of how the Barbarian will be able hold his own in PvP?
Thankfully, Bashiok was there to shed some insight on the new system.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Well there are skills that generate fury, as was said, and there are skills that don't require any to be used. It's not going to be a situation where you get into a game and have to lumber around using your normal attack until you have enough fury to actually start dealing real damage. That wouldn't be very fun, and we don't like things that aren't fun.
So there you have it, the barbarian will be able to use certain skills without using fury. However, with this new knowledge, it raises the question of how powerful these skills will be?
If we use the example of the Assassins charge up skills once more, they were generally quite powerful at the third charge, but only for one hit. The fury system seems to be functioning quite similarily, except instead of having to "charge" specific skills, we will be charging our fury, then we'll be able to execute skills that meet the fury requirement.
So, if we draw some similarities between the two, we can conclude that skills that require fury will be more powerful than those that do not.
It's still unanswered how the barbarians skills will stack up against those of the classes that need mana to use theirs, however.
I'd like to think that the skills requiring no fury would be slightly less powerful than the skills of the other classes that use mana, but the skills that do require fury, would be much more powerful than those of the other classes. The time needed to charge the skill would be easily offset by extra damage, hopefully encouraging their use in PvP, and PvM.
However, we don't know for sure how these skills will be balanced. Knowing Blizzard, they'll do it right.
We learned back in September that Blizzard had decided to change a major mechanic in the Diablo Universe. The first two games relied solely on Mana as their resource source to cast spells. No matter what class you played, every character used mana. However, for Diablo III, the team decided to give each character a unique energy system. The announcement of this change started when the Barbarian's energy source was being changed to Fury. The system relied on the Barbarian attacking creatures to raise his fury to cast higher level skills. At this time it was unknown whether or not any of the other classes would also be getting a change to their system. We then learned later that the Wizard class would no longer be using Mana. The actual system name was not given but only hinted at the fact that it was going to be volatile. Then the Monk was announced and there was not so much as a clue to what energy source they were planning on using for this class.
Each class with a different system than Mana has had a lot of debate about how the system will work and what exactly that system will be. Speculations on relations to World of Warcraft and other RPG's have been brought up as well as other real world connections for the Monk. Barbarian Wizard Monk
That is where we left off before the Holidays but with the Holidays over, it looks like Blizzard and the Diablo team are back to work.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Diablo: ... and we're back. Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. Have you tried the Diablo II 1.13 PTR yet?
And it appears that they are still at work trying to iron out the details of each character's energy source. On both Twitter and Facebook, there were comments made about the progress of both the Wizard's and Monk's resource system.
Official Blizzard Quote:
Diablo: The monk resource system early implementation complete. A resource certainly fitting of a holy warrior.
Official Blizzard Quote:
As you may be aware every class in Diablo III will have their own resource system. The Barbarian will use Fury; Witch Doctor, Mana; and Wizard, Instability. We also completed an early implementation of the Monk's resource system just before the holiday break, and that's continuing to undergo programming and visual refinement. It's a resource certainly fitting of a holy warrior.
Blizzard has given us a few more clues on what resource system the Wizard and the Monk will be using. In addition to the "volatile" comment made earlier in '09, we now know that they are calling the system Instability. Going along the same lines as the previous clue, DieHardDiabloFan has started a new thread with new speculation on what the system will be.
The Monk's system has also been hinted upon now, referring to the fact that his new resource system is very fitting of a Holy warrior. With the Monk being influenced by a mix of both Eastern European and Asian Monks, it is still hard to say in what direction Blizzard is taking with this new system. They could also be taking an idea from the Lore of Sanctuary as oppose to real world religion.
We still do not know how either of these systems gain and use their energy and we also do not know in what form aesthetically these new systems will be taking. The Barbarians system has gone from the Mana globe to the infamous Fury Ball system. This was reiterated to a ring look and revealed at Blizzcon '09. It will be interesting to see what shape and form these new systems will take. Perhaps the Wizard's system will be a glowing ball and the brighter it gets the more volatile she becomes. The Monk's system could be a giant prayer bead that fills with the souls of the demons he has vanquished.
How do you guys think the new systems will work and what will they look like in the bottom right hand corner of our monitors?
Thanks to DieHardDiabloFan and Dunhac for noticing the posts. Toss the some rep if you get a chance.
Another year with Diablofans has drawn to a close, and with it comes the the beginning of a new year. The past twelve months have been very eventful, and we've seen many changes to the site. The site management changed as Sixen joined our site. We did a restructuring of the staff, resulting in the new News Reporters coming on to the team and working to give you constant updates on all things Diablo. We received a complete site redesign during Blizzcon.
But, most importantly (subject to bias), we received the most awesome change in the beginning of 2009: The Diablofans Wiki was launched.
In truth, it began in 2008, on the 1st of July. In this post, by an unknown user vrel. I liked the suggestion, took it and refined in a bit. The original plan became to create a sort of guide sub-forum where users could post lore info, character guides etc. It was Genesis who first suggested a wiki in the Moderator forum however.
Quote from Genesis »
How do wikipedias work? Are you sure that theres no way to have something like this
www.diablofans.com/wiki/"article name here"
I think that its in the realms of possibility. I'm sure a DiabloFans Wiki would surpass the other Diablowiki
(In retrospect, opting for a wiki rather than a forum proved to have immense benefits. So we made the right choice. Can you imagine having a thousand articles in a forum, sorted, searchable, and linking to each other? And getting that to work smoothly?)
After some discussing around, and Curse going with it, the wiki was actually created 21:13 on November 7th (GMT +1 I believe). And the very first article of all was written 0:50 a.m on November 8th, and fittingly, it was about Diablo himself. You can read the original Diablo (old) here, and the current article about Diablo here. Well, that is unless you count the main page as an article. Technically it was the first page to be created, but I don't know if anyone would call this an article
Although the wiki was set up in November, but was at the time only known of to the staff. It was publicly viewable however, so if anyone had entered wiki.diablofans.com in their URL bar, they would have been taken to it at that time. Not that there would have been much to see in it though; the wiki was bare, and the staff were tasked with adding a few articles to it before launch.
On January 12th, the wiki was launched. At the time we had only been able to create a few articles that had been previously written by staff, and few were any good. We were all stumbling in the dark, and no one really knew how to manage a wiki. The announcement itself was made amidst mixed reactions. Some were happy and expectant, others thought it was a dumb idea.
Progress was slow, or rapid, depending on how you see it in the following months. As early as April we already had a thousand articles.
But wait a minute now you say, that means 10 articles were created a day on average? Probably yes; however a lot of the early pages were imported from diablo.wikia, most by then-sysop Blackwing. However, the imports were quite sporadic and incomplete, for example a page might be imported, but the tables and images on it might not, resulting in a lot of broken, incomplete and generally ugly pages. So while we had gotten a lot of new pages really fast, the actual progress of the wiki as a whole might not have been as great.
The copying of pages didn't really help anyone and just made us into a copy of diablo.wikia, we stopped doing that shortly thereafter. Since then, there's been a slow but successive cleanup and structuring of the wiki, with lots of pages being merged together. This in turn has led to a not so large article-count, but with hopefully better pages. Here's an example of a merged page: Bows (Diablo II). It essentially carries 24 articles in it, if you consider each bow could have been a separate page.
During the year, we've also had a great many users who've helped out with the wiki, some of whom have been sysops. I'd like to give thanks to them, and all others who I know have contributed to the wiki. Unfortunately, or maybe I should say fortunately, you're too many to list
Dauroth, for his many edits and and contributions as a sysop
Lt. Venom, for his many edits and ability to put in a massive effort during crunch time
zhuge, for his continued sysop role and regular contributions
Yemen, for making lots of boring edits that needed to be done, and for indirectly giving birth to the current wiki design
Rousse, for his short but insightful edit period earlier this year
blood-doll, for taking the time to add depth to the wiki and not just numbers in tables
Seth, for his extensive guide and skill editing, and wiki support in the forum
Zhar, for his brief edit sysop period and for continuing to showcase the wiki.
skyknight, who just today making a lot of edits and is working towards expanding the Eastern Sun section of the wiki.
Thanks to all of you, to all of you who make the occasional spelling fix here and there, and for those anonymous users who also contribute. It's great day when one goes into Recent Changes and see the page filled up with wonderful edits.
The wiki continues to move on, and the following year will see a stronger development. We still have a long ways to go before it can even be considered remotely complete or full, but it's all achievable, and a lot has already been done in the previous year. I urge you all to take a closer look at what the wiki has to offer, but also what it lacks. Anyone can edit it, and it's supposed to be edited by anyone. So go ahead and start editing already
Today we have something special, it's a look back on the last decade of the world of the Sanctuary, seeing as how 10 years has passed since the release of Diablo II. Interestingly enough, today is also the 13th birthday of Diablo I, which you will learn more about soon enough. With that in mind, we would like to wish everyone a safe and happy New Years Eve from DiabloFans. Enjoy!
Now, before we get into recapping the current decade, it's necessary to explore the roots of the series. Which, as we all know, was Diablo I.
This monster of a game dominated the RPG scene when it came out, which was December 31st, 1996. Battle-net was introduced with this game, and broke countless boundaries, and surpassed even the expectations of Blizzard. Few, if any, games offered such a utility before Diablo, players could easily connect to each other from across the world, and it was free to boot.
The game itself was also a roaring success, the game has an unprecedented amount of monsters, items, and randomization. Over 150 monsters populated the dungeons of Diablo, at a time when most game developers were proud of 10 types of monsters.
On a personal level, many Diablo players look fondly back upon this game as one of their most favorite games. Myself included. The atmosphere, and gameplay, was something completely new to us all, and it practically spawned its own genre of games, which are referred to as "Diablo Clones."
Diablo II" class="wiki-link">Diablo II"/> Diablo II is released on June 29th 2000. It was awarded a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, 2000 Ed. for being the fastest selling computer game ever sold, with more than one million units sold in the first two weeks of availability. A feat that was held up until the launch of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.
The year saw several Diablo II patches fixing countless bugs, final patch number of the original game at the end of the year was patch 1.04.
Patches continued to be released in a very rapid pace, and by the time Diablo II's expansion, Lord of Destruction, shipped, the expansion came in patch 1.07 (the same version as its beta was in). However, patch 1.08 was made available the day the expansion was sold.
The expansion basically revamped the entire core game while adding a fifth act (see Act V) and two new character classes (the Druid and Assassin). This caused some controversy among players of the original game when the challenge of Nightmare and Hell difficulties was increased for the classic games as well, and players protested feeling that it was in essence forcing them to buy the expansion.
Patch 1.09 was released on August 20th, two months after the initial release of the expansion. This was in essence the era of running classes, such as the Bowazon. It was also the beginning of the era of the infamous ITH items, where the anti-hacking method called the rust storm had deleted duped runes included in runewords, leaving the runeword's mods unchanged but freeing up the sockets on them. These items were illegally sold for obscene prices, up to a hundred USD. Minor patches, patch 1.09b, patch 1.09c, and patch 1.09d, were also added later during the same year.
This year saw no new Diablo II patches, it was what many players refer back as the "Golden era" of diablo II online play.
This year did however see one of the clearest embodiments of the soon (tm)*. Halfway into the year Blizzard announced a new significant patch will soon be available. For those that missed the irony, see year 2003.
Also a 3 DVD-set featuring all Blizzard game cinematics up until then (including Diablo II) was released.
*copyright 2002-2010 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. "Soon" does not imply any particular date, time, decade, century, or millennia in the past, present, and certainly not the future. "Soon" shall make no contract or warranty between Blizzard Entertainment and the end user. "Soon" will arrive some day, Blizzard does guarantee that "soon" will be here before the end of time. Maybe. Do not make plans based on "soon" as Blizzard will not be liable for any misuse, use, or even casual glancing at "soon."
The year 2003 saw first the beta testing of the long waited patch 1.10, and later on the actual release of it on October. The delay experienced was much similar to that of patch 1.13 seen during 2009, but back then it most likely was caused by the development of World of Warcraft consuming every spare developer's time. Funnily enough, the 2009 delay was caused by Warcraft III.
The patch revamped the game by a huge extent. It introduced the ladder and added a lot of ladder-only unique items and runewords. The age of the Enigma began. It featured the Uber Diablo (also known as Diablo Clone) Pandemonium Event, which would spawn when enough Stone of Jordan's were sold to vendors. Many speculated that this was Blizzard's way of getting rid of all the duped rings.
The year 2004 saw the first ladder reset in July and the start of the season two. A promotional contest called When Worlds Collide was held to promote the upcoming release of World of Warcraft, which was originally designed to be released in 2005 (it was released in 2004 in NA). The contest began for all users playing on an Expansion Realm. The first player to reach level 99 on the ladder on each Realm would be awarded a prize package containing a Blizzard T-Shirt, a signed copy of World of Warcraft Collector's Edition, a toy statue, and a Blizzard North CD Wallet.
A month after the new season started, Blizzard first implemented the infamous "Realm Down" message, which resulted from creating and joining games too fast. The end of the year also saw continuous use of a lite rust storm, deleting many duped items.
Quiet year, mostly just some small, server side patches and fixes that worked out some of the various bugs of the game. One such patch, released June '06, allowed players to move the Annihilus Small Charm, Gheed's Fortune Grand Charm, and Hellfire Torch Large Charm into the trade window. A patch was also hinted at in mid-August as a Blizzard representative posted a list of changes that players wanted. However, no patch arrived this year.
Aside from this, the third ladder season was in progress through the entirety of 2006.
Another relatively uneventful year. The third ladder season was brought to a close June 25th, with the fourth season commencing on that day. There were also anti-duping measures brought into the game in mid-February.
This patch was introduced to drop players when their ping became too high, since the duping method revolved around increasing the ping high enough to drop players. This was often accomplished through using a Necromancer and Sorceress in tandem, casting Bone Wall and Meteor constantly. These two skills would make the ping skyrocket, and the duping could be achieved. Blizzard cracked down quickly with the aforementioned patch, temporarily stopping dupers in their tracks.
The fourth season, started in 2007, was ended nearly a year later on June 17th. The fifth ladder season commenced that day.
Patch 1.12 was released that same month, which added a "no-CD" feature so that players couldcopy certain files from their Lord of Destruction expansion disc to their Diablo II directory and be able to play the game without the disc loaded. This was brought into effect to stem the tide of CD-loading programs that allowed users to open multiple windows and thus play multiple characters by using certain third party programs.
This year was also the year that Blizzard really cracked down on hacking. On November 11th, over 350,000 battle-net accounts (Starcraft, and Diablo II) were found to be using third party hacks. The accounts were given a 30-day ban and any repeat offenders were permanently banned.
Hacking was not erased, of course, but Blizzard had taken steps towards eliminating it from Diablo II. In conjunction with their frequent rust storms (massive server sweeps that destroyed duped items), the servers were beginning to become cleaner and more legitimate places to play and trade.
During the first half of the year, internet was abuzz with speculation over the two images being updated by Blizzard. One was a layer of ice slowly melting away (to eventually reveal eyes matching with the face of Diablo), and digging through the image information a purple penguin-esque creature was found.
Diablo III was finally announced June 28th, 2008, at WWI '08 ( World Wide Invitational) in Paris after a huge buzz when Blizzard acquired the web address www.Diablo3.com from our very own community (we later became DiabloFans.com). Along with its announcement came the return of the stoic Barbarian and the introduction of the mysterious Witch Doctor. Starting off in New Tristram, the game was shown with the familiar isometric camera. Changes to the inventory screen and the addition of the skill hot bar, health globes, and skill runes were welcomed additions to the new game. The year concluded with Blizzcon '08 where we were introduced to the brazen Wizard and the change of the Barbarian's energy system from Mana to Fury.
Known for their hilarious high-jinks on April Fool's, Blizzard created the fake class, the Archivist. Based off of lore from Deckard Cain, the Archivist could toss out mighty a Lorenado and finish off his enemies with his devastating Shush spell.
At Blizzcon '09, the show began with the introduction of the fourth class to join
Diablo III, the Monk. The Monk hails from Ivgorod where the Holy Warriors of 1,001 Gods preside. The Monk's skills range from the quick pace actions of a fist fighter with his Seven Sided Strike to his Holy abilities like his Inner Sanctuary. The Monk is a beautiful marriage between the Paladin and Assassin of Diablo II. His primary weapons are fist weapons much like the Assassin of Diablo II but he will also be using Battle Staves. There has also been some debate on what form his armor will take. Presumably, he will have very light armor and rely more on skills for his defense contrary to the bulky Barbarian. While the Female version of the Monk has not been shown yet. The Diablo team has gone from concept art to in-game model of the female version, who will be sporting a pixie hair cut.
At Blizzcon '09, we were also shown the burning barrens of Borderlands, striking a large contrast to Act 1. The city of Caldeum is presumed to be the main hub for this area. The desert was full of demonic creatures. The Dune Thresher which is a shark like creature that buries beneath the sands remaining immune to all attacks. You watch as his fin protrudes from the ground creeping closer to you until it leaps out from below to attack you. The Whirling Dervish which Blizzard used to show the skill that will come into play while fighting various monsters. While the demon spins around, he relfects any damage taken, causing players to have to wait and think about their attacks. Finally, the Desert Wasp fires multiple spawn towards you while the wasp remains at a safe distance. These creatures litter the area along with the numerous cultists seen in the Monk's gameplay video. And then there is Belial who is presumed to be the final conflict for Act II. Belial has yet to be seen in the Diablo series but his presence has been confirmed in at least Act II. Lots of work has been completed on Act II including work on the boss of the Act.
Although the development team does not work in a linear fashion, they have begun work on Act III as well. There have been no clues yet on what type of environments and locations Act III will contain. However, there has been a clue about bubbling tar which may or may not be in Act III.
Dreadlands and Arreat crater have also been hinted upon to appear in the game but it is unknown yet to what extent and when we will be visiting the area.
Blizzard is known for test playing their own games and only using ideas that add to great gameplay. This has been evident with the new mechanics they have included and the old mechanics that have gone through and are still going through major changes. Perhaps the biggest change to gameplay is the abolishment of the infamous skill trees. While we don't know what form the skill system will take, it is safe to assume that it will not be a "use to level" system. The only clue we have on the skill system is that they are currently using is that they refer to it more as a pool/path system as oppose to the older tree system. Beside the skill tree change, other changes are being implemented. Skill runes have been completely removed, for now, to be added back in later with more refinement. They have said that the re-iteration of skills was
causing too much of a problem with the runes for now. The energy systems that each character will be using is also being looked at in the attempts to give each character a unique energy system. The Barbarian's fury has even gone through its own redesign from the "Fury Balls" system of '08 to the ring design (seen on the left). The Witch Doctor is currently the only class that will be keeping the classic Mana system. The Wizard's new energy source has been highly speculated on with the clue that system will be "Volatile".The inventory has gone through many changes as well, leading us back to our classic "Tetris" inventory. Other mechanics have been added like the Co-Op resurrection system and special Boss Kills to help make the gameplay more fun and action packed. We have also learned that Sanctuary itself will not be an open environment in Diablo III and that the movement from area to area will be very similar to Diablo II's system.
In 2009, Diablo II received what many called a long-overdue patch. It was first announced with a call from Blizzard to the fans for requests for a hypothetical patch in March (see Tell Blizzard Your #1 Diablo II Patch Note.). After a hundred pages of replies, Blizzard supposedly set off to work. More than half way through the following month of April, it was announced that the patch would be coming with a ladder reset, and it was proposed that it could have been released as early as the end of that same month (see Ladder Reset to Accompany Patch 1.13).
Unfortunately, that release never came. As the hopeful deadline came and went, Bashiok responded in May with his condolences on behalf of the Legacy team and released that the patch would first go up on a Public Testing Realm (PTR), a first for the Diablo series' patching history (see About The Patch). On the tenth of that same month, Bashiok first mentioned that the patch may include an increased stash size (see Patch 1.13: Larger Inventory for Diablo II).
More than a month went by and the fanbase was getting angsty. Ten days after the start of June and the first bombshell hit our conglomerative faith:
Official Blizzard Quote:
Work on the patch was put on hold for a while due to higher priority issues, but it commences, and it is nearing.
Work on the patch, already in a ghostly state, had been put on hold for a higher priority. Our members clambered together to try and deduce what this other priority might be. The guess which was winning by a landslide was speculating around Warcraft III and its recent patching (1.23b)(see here). A month later the higher priority was confirmed to be a Warcraft III patch entering its final testing stage (see Blizzard Reveals Patch 1.13's Delayer).
Yet another month passed of patch silence. Finally, in late July, Bashiok posted saying that the Legacy team was still working on the Warcraft III patch, which was previously said to be in the final stages of testing, and that although work on 1.13 had temporarily ceased beforehand, it was well along the way. A subforum also popped up in the official Diablo II forums on the Battle.net website to account for PTR suggestions and feedback. When asked by a fan if we would see the patch any time soon, Bashiok said:
Official Blizzard Quote:
No. [...] Well the presence of this forum only means that I made it because I want you guys to know it's here well beforehand, to get into the groove of posting about 1.13 stuff here, and to stop cluttering up the other forums with questions about the patch or reset.
In the beginning of the following month of August, Bashiok responded to the community, confirming that skill respeccing was a planned feature of the coming patch (see Skill Respecs Confirmed In D2) and on August 25th the Warcraft III patch that was being worked on in place of Diablo II's patch 1.13 was finally released. This would supposedly be the promised time work on our patch would continue, but more issues with Warcraft III came up and it again became the higher priority. A few weeks later on September second, Bashiok posted that work was commencing on patch 1.13 and the PTR would be up soon ((c)2009 Blizzard) (see WCIII Patch is Up- Diablo II Patch 1.13 Soon to Follow?).
Another month went by and on September 30th a nail struck deep in to the hearts of expectant fans everywhere. After three delays because of work on Warcraft III patches (one for 1.23b and twice for 1.24b), unprecedented issues came up with the patch and its involvement with the Battle.net servers regarding the increased stash size add-on. Later, on the first of October, Bashiok confirmed that the Legacy team would not be meeting the top three suggestions from all the way back in the beginning of the year (see Diablo II Patch 1.13- More Delays, Hopefully a Brighter Future).
Now nearing the end of the year, in November we saw a small update on the patch front. Bashiok posted on the sixteenth that we would be seeing an important update that week. Two days later we received word that increased stash sizes would not be making it in to the final patch (see Another Patch Promise, Will it Prove Itself?).
Finally, half way through December and nearly a year since its initial announcement, patch 1.13 was hosted on the promised PTR on December tenth. It included none of the original top three requests but did add skill respeccing, a small dupe fix, some minor skill rebalancing, and a new Pandemonium Event (see The Wait is Over -- PTR Patch 1.13). It also included a very handy (but somewhat haphazard) way of changing the default channel you go to when you log on to Battle.net as well as upped the drop ratings of Runes significantly (see 1.13 Analysis). We provided some short blips on the redone characters in a select few articles run over the last month:
Patch 1.13 gave some modest class skill changes here and there, but hypothetically I believed that the Druid Werebear build received the best changes, at least to make the build more viable. It is my belief that any good Werebear is first a tank and then whatever else you will it to be. Following that thought, the increased benefits to the transformation, including substantial upgrades to health and a marginal one to defense, as well as a decent revamp of damage, are all good news.
Official Blizzard Quote:
-Werebear - Damage bonus increased by 15% across all ranks.
-Werebear - Increased health by 25% and armor by 1% per point.
-Shockwave - Synergy from Maul adds 5% damage per point.
On the PTR I used gear with attributes that added to my bear's already enormous health benefits, like +VIT modifiers, as well as gear to supplement poor attack speed ( Shael runes are wonderful in that regard- get a majorly socketed maul and cram it with Shaels). Cranking up things like resistances and defense only added to the effect, and before I knew it, I was simply wading through mobs throwing negligible damage at me.
Of course, potions did almost nothing to combat that, so gear with Life Steal modifiers was necessary ( String of Ears Demonhide Sash, which also has a nice Damage Reduction modifier, and a pair of Dracul's Grasp Vampirebone Gloves). At lower levels I also used varies grades of Skulls in my weapons to leach back health (and some mana for my skills).
I used my Grizzly, fully leveled, as a secondary tank to sit there by my side. Add in a defensive Act II mercenary and between the three of us we were something akin to a trinity of Stonewall Jackon's. Shockwave, while my initial prejudice against the skill compelled me not to waste anything in it, turned out to be pretty useful in circumstances to blow off enemies for a bit while I took care of others. I mostly used Maul, however, for its build-up for damage and attack rating. [/HR]
In other, completely non-related news, Curse has managed an interesting interview with both the CEO and Vice President of Bioware for their upcoming title Mass Effect 2, sequel to the popular Sci-Fi RPG- you can check out all the buzz here!