Last week, Blizzard sent out 275,000 beta invites, ushering in a wave of players desperate to get their hands on the game before it releases. To those that have received one of these invites, congratulations! I’m sure that most of you have completed the beta by now. It doesn’t take long, I know, but that first time through is quite exhilarating.
However, the second and third and fourth times through aren’t as much. It’s not that the game becomes any less fun, but as most of you could probably guess, the lack of newness, combined with the overall lack of difficulty, does affect the experience. So how can we stretch the life of the beta all the way to the game’s actual release?
The best way that I have found is by doing the Iron Man Challenge. I read about this challenge on the WoW forums and have since applied it to D3. The rules are thus:
1. Play on Hardcore.
2. You may only ever equip gray or white items; no magical affixes.
3. You cannot equip skill runes.
4. You cannot use potions.
5. You cannot party with others or use the Templar henchman.
While this does make the game more intense, it is still quite beatable. I’ve done it once with a barbarian—who was much easier than I thought he’d be—and the witch doctor, who was a little more difficult but not too terrible (pets help). I died once on a wizard, twice on a demon hunter, and am now working on the monk. I’m finding the monk to be the easiest out of everyone (speed, defensive abilities, and healing).
If you really want to put yourself to the test, my suggestion is that you complete as many achievements as possible doing Iron Man. I’d also suggest hitting max level (13) before you fight the Skeleton King. It helps quite a bit.
The great thing about this challenge is that it’s completely personal. You could lie and say that you beat the beta using no magical items, no runes or potions, but that would defeat the whole point, wouldn’t it? This is about testing yourself to see how good of a player you are. And hopefully this trial will help in prolonging the beta until release day, a day I cannot wait for!
Try it and tell us about your experience in the comments below!