Diablo 3 helped me understand the rich

When last we left him, my Diablo 3 wizard Spellsworth was cruising through rifts and bounties at Torment VI (not V, as I mistakenly reported), focusing especially on an Act III location for a rare drop, the gibbering gemstone. This is the final piece needed to create The Staff of Herding, which opens up the cow level.

Alas, the gemstone, with only a 5% drop rate, and on a spawn that does not always appear in the Caverns of Frost, has yet to materialize.

In the meantime, Spellsworth has killed three gilded barons (treasure goblins that just carry huge sacks of gold) and slayed another that opened up a portal upon death to Whimsyshire, a cartoon land that also showers riches on you. He’s also been to The Vault, which, as name suggests, has a lot of gold in it.

This is to say that Spellsworth now has a lot of gold now, about 243 million or so. I am quite certain this is peanuts compared to truly hardcore players, but it is way more than I have any use for. The most expensive activity in the game is crafting and upgrading gems and Spellsworth has already maxed out his gems as far as they can go…and still has that 243 million left.

And yet.

And yet, I still like seeing that number go up. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an even 250 million gold? And then shoot for 500 million? How about a billion? I don’t need it, but somehow I want it and I will relentlessly pursue the goal, while offering thin excuses (“I just want the Staff of Herding, that is totes it!”) to justify this mad, senseless accumulation of unneeded wealth.

And so I see myself emulating the super rich, never needing more but always wanting more.

Perhaps the solution is to uninstall the game. I could always re-install later, but uninstalling at least creates some friction for getting me back on this pointless treadmill of virtual massing of riches.

The allure of more when more is wholly unnecessary is surprisingly strong, though. I’ll check back with an update in a week or so and we’ll see if I’ve fought back this demon of avarice, or made him my chummy roommate.

UPDATE LATER THAT SAME DAY: Now at 253 million gold

Spellsworth is amazing

Spellsworth is my Season 23 wizard in Diablo 3. I got him to level 70, completed the four chapters of the season and got all six pieces of his armor set. He is now a machine of unbridled destruction. I play at Torment V, which is fairly low on the Torment scale, so he melts stuff pretty effortlessly, but he piles up oodles of gold and plowing through hordes of demons remains strangely soothing.

I think my latest obsessive turn in Diablo 3 will be ending soon, though. I want to make the Staff of Herding (again) and visit the cow level one more time, then I think retirement to a nice wizard castle may be in order.

After that I’ll consider one of the other 700* games I have in my backlog.

* this is not an exaggeration. I’ve been busy…accumulating cheap or free games

Gaming comfort food

I was originally planning on updating my PC this spring but thanks to crypto currency miners driving the price of video cards into orbit I’ve decided to hold off and peruse my massive backlog of games for titles that will still run on my current rig, which is about four years old.

Instead I started playing Diablo 3 again. Like World of Warcraft, it acts as comfort food because it’s pretty mindless. You click, things die. You click more, more things die. You get loot. Your character gets increasingly ridiculous looking. It’s fun. Since I last placed (coincidentally four years ago) they’ve added seasons, which locks your character into a “start over” mode that gives you a few trinkets and baubles for completing various goals. I’ve completed one of nine goals. I probably won’t finish them all and I will be sad, but only a little, because there’s good clickin’ fun in the meantime.

I’m almost worried that Diablo 3 is now distracting me from my writing the same way WoW was. Don’t ask about my writing…