This is a weird one.
Recently it came to my attention that Diablo III will be adding a Liv Moore zombie pet, along with a number of other new cosmetics. To make things even better, it apparently drops from a rare spawn named Ravi Lilywhite. Clearly someone’s a slash shipper.
This actually isn’t the first bit of cross-promotion between iZombie and Diablo. It’s long been established on the show that Ravi and Major are avid Diablo players, and the game forms a cornerstone of their famed bromance.
Under normal circumstances, I could not be less interested in non-combat pets in games. They’re just not my thing. But I instantly knew I needed this in my life. Even if I wasn’t a huge fan of iZombie, just look at her.
Excitement overwhelming good sense, I initially misunderstood and believed that Liv and the other new cosmetics were already in the game, but they were in fact part of the next patch and still limited to the PTR.
But by the time I figured this out, I was already in the game, and one does not simply log into Diablo and not murder something.
On my adventures, I encountered a blood shard treasure goblin. With a sudden wealth of shards, I asked myself what to spend them on. I have been trying to get Andariel’s Visage for my crusader for a while, but for some reason it occurred to me to try to get a few more pieces of my wizard’s Tal Rasha’s Elements set.
Now, some context. I’ve been working on this set since before Reaper of Souls launched. Two of my three pieces of it were still at level 60 (amazingly their stats still beat most level 70 gear even without the set bonuses). I had never had any real ambition to finish it. I was content with dropping a rainbow of meteors on people.
But hey, why not? It’s not like Kadala ever gives anything good.
More context: In all my time playing Diablo III, I’ve never gotten a legendary or anything else useful from Kadala.
Imagine my shock when she gave me the legs to Tal Rasha’s. That got me the four piece bonus.
I’d gotten a taste. The loot frenzy descended upon me.
I spent all my blood shards, got a few more legendaries, though nothing immediately useful. Apparently Kadala had been saving all her good stuff for that one day all these years.
Not sure why I haven’t used that more. It’s awesome. I got several more useful legendaries, including some pants that surrounds my character with a near-constant poison damage aura (I extracted and equipped the power via Kanai’s Cube) and some nice boots that double the damage of Meteor, which I don’t cast directly but which Tal Rasha’s Elements casts automatically.
Before anyone brings it up, I know Tal Rasha’s doesn’t include boots, but boots were the last slot I didn’t have a legendary for, so while I was at it, I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone.
The Cube had one final treat for me: The gloves for Tal Rasha’s Elements.
That brought me to five pieces of the set, one piece away from completion and the final bonus: a 500% damage buff for each element of spell I cast, stacking up to four times for a total of 2000% increased damage.
So close I could taste it.
Running low on crafting materials, I decided my best bet would be to farm bounties for the Ring of Royal Grandeur. The Ring reduces the number of pieces needed to trigger a set bonus by one, so that would give me the six piece bonus.
I went on to run quite a lot of bounties in act one and four, those being the only source for the ring. I am not going to run out of Corrupted Angel Flesh or Khanduran Runes anytime soon, let me tell you.
Along the way, I continued to try other methods of completing the set, spending blood shards as I got them and upgrading rares as my depleting stores of crafting supplies allowed.
I got two pieces of the Vyr’s Amazing Arcana set along the way, but I dislike archon builds, so that’s no help.
Because RNG is a cruel mistress, I did have another piece of Tal Rasha’s Elements drop… but it was the helm, which I already had.
It did have slightly better rolls than the old helm, so I equipped it. I then stuck the old helm in Kanai’s Cube and used the convert set item function, which resulted in more pants. No help there. Later I did it again, and got the amulet, which I also already have. However, the amulet was one of the legacy level sixty pieces, so a level seventy amulet was an upgrade.
Night fell, and my time ran short. My last run of act four netted me a legendary ring from the Horadric Cache, and I thought my search was over… but no, it was a different ring. One last run of act one with the bonus up, but the shoulders dropped instead of the ring. I despaired.
I realized I could try the convert set item function one more time if I salvaged some of the less valuable legendaries cluttering my stash. So in went my old amulet, my hope spent.
Kanai’s Cube spit out the belt.
Let me tell you: You’d think 2000% increased damage would make a big difference. You’d be right. Before, the highest difficulty I’d managed was around torment III. I can now handle torment VI comfortably, and I could probably go higher — I haven’t done much testing yet.
I never, ever expected to able to finish a full six piece set in this game. I still can’t believe it actually happened. Years to get the first three pieces, then just a day to get the final three.
I played with the new set just long enough to get a feel for my newly godlike power. Along the way, I found another blood shard goblin. With my wizard fully tricked out, it was back to hoping for Andariel’s Visage.
Kadala didn’t give me that, but I did wind up with a helm that halves the cooldown on Phalanx, which is enough to ensure I’m never without my archers. It might not be 2000% increased damage, but it’s a pretty big performance boost. Zoosader for the win!
And that, friends, is the story of how iZombie vastly increased my performance in Diablo III.