I found a folder of screenshots from a “Dead and Waiting” event that the hosts and listeners of Shattered Soulstone did on June 4, 2013. I’ve only attended a few of these events. This particular one involved Brawling.
Part of the reason why I am posting Diablo III screenshots from years ago is because this post is part of my contribution to #Blaugust. One of my goals was to use up some of the screenshots that I’d been hoarding. I meant to make a blog out of them someday… so, someday is today. The other reason is because these screenshots show my second hardcore character. At the time, I was extremely new to playing hardcore.
Once again, we broke into small groups and connected to everyone though Mumble. Diablo III allows for up to four players in a party. It simply wasn’t possible to have everyone get into one game together.
As before, everyone was going to create a brand new hardcore character. The class each person selected was decided randomly. I ended up with the Witch Doctor class (one that I had very little experience in at the time). I named her Una, which sort of means “One”. I was anticipating that I’d end up accidentally killing her off due to my lack of experience with the Witch Doctor Class.
This screenshot shows my party when we started the “Dead and Waiting” night. If I remember correctly, people shifted in and out of it as needed. Some switched parties to make things more even. Others ran out of time to play and had to stop for the night. At least a couple of people joined in after we’d started. The party was fluid.
The exact composition of a party wasn’t important. It served a purpose, though. If everyone was in a party, and not playing solo, it helped keep everyone honest. There were rules to adhere to. If everyone was watching everyone else, it prevented the potential for cheating.
If I remember correctly, one rule was that we could equip any kind of weapon – whatever we picked up. I don’t think we were allowed to use armor. The goal was to level as fast as you could for a set amount of time. When the time was up, players would shift over and do some Brawling. The Brawling was something that had been recently added to the game.
This screenshot was taken seconds after we all hit Level 3. We were waiting for the sick people to turn into zombies so we could kill them and complete the quest. So far, so good! If I remember correctly, we decided to go into Leah’s Room and Cain’s House as often as possible to collect the books. It’s rather surprising how much experience those journals give to low level characters!
My team all leveled up at the exact same time. I didn’t realize until then that this tends to happen in parties where everyone started out at the same level. At the time, it appeared to be a cool coincidence.
I want to point something out in the screenshot where Una hit Level 7. She’s standing on the waypoint in New Tristram. Some of the other players in the party had ventured out to slay demons. Their actions were giving Una experience points, even though she was standing around in town. This was the first time I learned about this possibility. I remember thinking it was really weird that a person could, technically, level up a character without leaving town. Where’s the fun in that?
Shortly after taking that screenshot, I decided to teleport directly to one of the other players in my party, instead of using the waypoint. This was likely the first time I’d done that, too. Usually, I play solo games – and there’s no one to teleport to when you are playing solo.
My party all hit Level 8 before the time ran out. Next, we prepared to switch over to doing Brawls.
This was my group for the first Brawl I did as part of the “Dead and Waiting” event.
I gotta give credit to Lanntonio (one of the hosts of the Shattered Soulstone podcast). He created a meticulous set of rules for the Brawl, figured out who would fight who, and managed to get everyone in and out of the party in order for him to observe all the Brawls. I don’t know if he was keeping a spreadsheet, or if he was able to keep everything in his head. Either way, this was more organization than I could have managed.
In order to get into the Brawl area, a player has to talk to Nek The Brawler. You can find him in every act. He sends players into the Scorched Chapel. There is no other way to access that area. You have to have Nek send you there.
The rules for the Brawls were simple. Two players would fight each other. Each one had to start on either side of the little bridge that is in the Scorched Chapel. The other two players, who were not brawling, would stand on either side of the bridge. If one of the brawling players left the bridge, the non-brawling player on that side was supposed to attack him/her. The non-brawling player had to stop when the brawling player returned to the bridge.
In the screenshot above, my character, Una, is standing off to the side of the bridge. I had to deactivate the zombie dogs because they were targeting the other players. It wasn’t my turn to Brawl, and the zombie dogs would have interfered with the Brawl that was going on.
The screenshot above is the only one I took of the Brawl that I was in. It didn’t take very long!
Una was not victorious!
The cool thing about Brawling (at least, back then) was that your hardcore character could die in a Brawl – but not really die. I haven’t spent any time Brawling since that night, so I’ve no idea if that has changed. At the time, the winner of a Brawl went on to fight against another player who also had won a Brawl. I was out of the running for the night.
I took this screenshot after Una “died” in a Brawl. As you can see, Una was able to return to New Tristram, and could have continued her adventure (if I had more time to play that night). The shiny Legendaries you see around the waypoint came from Cyberwolf. Each one is a liquid rainbow. It was an item that was needed by players who wanted to make the Staff of Herding – which gave players access to Whimseyshire. I put that screenshot here because I thought it looked cool.
What happened to Una after the “Dead and Waiting” night? She survived, so I kept her. Right now, she’s somewhere in the Level Twenties. My intent is to get her to Level 70 someday. That goal is going to have to wait until we are between Seasons.