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Azimuth: "I'm not a gamer at all"

Azimuth's mage 60 (100) hardrore

Translated by Azimuth and Horadric.ru


First of all, congrats to you. How do you feel? You're just like the first man on the moon, did something no one accomplished before you. That's not just Paragon 100, that's hardcore Paragon 100!

    Thank you once again -)

    I'm feeling myself, lets say, pleasing and relaxed. I didn't experience some enormous rapture at the moment of getting 100, since this actually happened not in one second but was stretched in time. When I've got 99,9% of exp, I spent smth like 20 minutes to record a final video episode. That's why, as you can see, there was no accidental breakthrough. Can't say what was more pleasing at that moment - that I've reached 100th level, or managed to take a video or that everything was finally over.

Yeah, not an easy task. Why have you decided to do this to begin with? Do you like to be the first? Or maybe you just hate sleeping?

    Maybe that will be a surprise for many, but I'm not a gamer at all. For the last 6 years I hadn't been playing any games except some casual ones with my daughter, like Mario. However, Diabo 1 left an imprint on me - at that time I was attending high school. That was 1996 and few people had a PC, not saying about Internet, while I had both. And so that game really dragged me in. After a while I also played Diablo II, but without any noticeable success. Then, when news about Diablo III reached my ears, I felt a strong nostalgia and started reading news, watching video materials, ect., and that dragged me in more and more. As a result I decided to pay 1800 rubles (45 euro) and buy EU-version of the game (not russian one) to start with all european players. On 15th of May I started Softcore and through tons of rips and mirth I've made it to Inferno in three days, which happened to be an insurmountable barrier. At that time I saw people started buying things on auc and somehow I lost interest for the game. I even had thoughts to quit, but then I made my mind to try Hardcore mode - though I did understood that I'll make it to "Hell" difficulty and not, probably, not higher than that. In the process I was drawn into it and decided to finish Hardcore on Inferno. That was accomplished in 1.0.3 patch where Inferno was not that easy as in 1.0.4. After that I also almost quitted. But then they released 1.0.4 with paragon levels...

    At first I didn't have an idea to take the 1st place, but already had a thought to reach 100th level and finish with D3. Then accidentally I fell within top-10 and later top-5. And then I thought to myself: "Hm... What if I ...." -)

Well, you just busted a myth that only 16 year old teenagers can have success in video games. What about your family? What have they thought about your journey to level 100? You must have spent a lot of time doing this.

    Hm. Good question. My family spent vacations at the seas and I played generally in the evening or night. So no one paid attention. But when I joined the marathon for 100, I had to put down roots into my chair -) However, my family is very patient and so I had no reprimands from this side. Only sometimes they asked: "Why do you sit so much?" and I answered: "Emm... you see.. I need to win here". On the 99th level I said that it seems that I'm gonna take 1st place in the world, and got the question: "And how much they will pay you?" -))

How much did you play daily? Have you spent all your free time or like "from 6 to 11"?

    Well, at first I need to notice that I work for myself. So I can choose free time for myself whenever I want. My work schedule is very flexible. At first, when 1.0.4 patch came out, I played only in party (I don't like solo game at all), and so exp was pumping up very slowly - even if that was 3rd act farming. That's why it took quite a lot of time to get first 30 or 40 levels. But then I started some kind of powerleveling, played only solo games, making a relaxation in act3 party farming with friends from time to time. At the very end - on 90-ies levels - I pressed so hard, it was a 15-hours non-stop solo game. I got up at 9 a.m., started farming and finished it at midnight. Yes, I had a break for dinner -)

How's your business? Sold to competitors?

    -) No, everything here is tight -)

You look like a good example of a guy who can do well in both real life and video game. Ok, just a few more obvious questions.
Why wizard? There are no heroes of any other class in your profile. It seems like you have never ever created one. That's all, just your brutal hardcore Mage.

    Can't say why that is so, but I always loved to play mages and wizards. Even in my childhood when I roved in local parks and forests with Tolkien fans, I used to take mage role -) And also I played mages and wizards in all old RPG games. Diblo III was no exception, though before the release I had some thoughts to start Witch Doctor. Later, when I got drawn in, I had no interest in other classes. More than that, it was better to concentrate on one class and one game mode so you can always have items for your next char in the case the present one dies -) I saw comments like "Heh, what an original char name - Mage" - but the truth is that this was a secondary char, not main one. I created it to show my daughter 1st act, because she asked me to show the game. However, when my main one died, the secondary had 12 or 15 level, so I pick it up to continue.

You seem like a very good mythbuster. And if you started about discussion of your success on horadric.ru, let's talk about it. There are always people who criticize or just think that it's nice to say bad things about cool people. Were there any questions that you'd like to address in this interview?

    Ye, I didn't answer anyone in the thread so to answer it all in one place. I'll take a look at the questions asked if you don't mind..

Yeah, I think it's a good opportunity for every user of our website to get an answer.

    First question is interesting for at least 9 people: "What is the name of your internet provider?". I already answered in the thread, but will repeat again in short. This is Saint-Petersburg company "Eltel". The line is really stable indeed, it gives no disconnects. But, the provider isn't perfect still, because they sometimes reset the line or suddenly turn it off for some period. This happens at least once a month or even more often. All these things happened to me - that is - internet suddenly was cut off in the middle of the game because of these "provider surprises".

And that's not a good topic for jokes. I'll ask you a view questions about risk of disconnection a bit later.
Another common question: can you explain some sort of "Azimuth's method" of farming experience?

    This will take a while to answer. Starting from 90th level I got 280-320 mln exp per day. So, roughly, 1 level a day. To have such a result I had to do the following: at 9 a.m. I farmed CotA (crypt of the ancients) in Cain's set for 3 hours. After that I made act 1 runs (route is "Tower (if spawned) > Leorics mansion > Weeping Hollow > Crypts in the cemetery > Festering wood > Prison > Butcher (dont clear 2nd or 3rd halls of agony much, just run-through-farm there). At 9 p.m. I farmed CoTA again for 3 hours. Then - sleep time - and get up at 9 again.

    The most exp you get in CoTA. But the nuance is that you can't farm it all day long even if you can do that, since there is a limit on games you create. I set up best schedule to get as much exp from this area as possible.

    Plus to that, it is important to buy 2 leoric rings (advisable with 28-30%). One you put on your char, another - on the follower (which will give you 1/3 exp, but better than nothing). And, of course, place a radiant star ruby into the cap.

Still seems like a total no-life. There was a post on our forum: "I'm sorry for his brain... how could it survive this monotony for such a long time?

    People asked me about that several times while I was level 50 or so. I answered like this: "At the present moment I'm feeling vomiting from all acts - 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th - so it doesn't matter for me where to farm" -) But yes, this is very hard to do and not everyone can fulfil it. You need tremendous persistence, contrariness and purposefulness. It is actually testing all these qualities was my real goal. It was interesting for me if I can handle it and make it.

How many times have you tried to drop this idea?

    Never. I have strong persistence and striving, and this is so not only in game, but in all matters in my life. If I get down to some business, I complete it. However, in the present situation these qualities of mine became more than necessary -)

A question from the forum post: "how's level 100?"

    I made one act3 test run on 100th level - the result is 2 plans and 2 legendaries (62, 63 lvl). So it works -)

Someone is asking: "man, it's cool to get 100 on the first zombie in the game. how many tries were required?"

    Ay first I didn't get it (you have only 1 chance to do it), but then I did. Yes, I had to sweat here. I made about 5 takes with archon, zombie and banner -)

Just 5? Many were sure, that you had at least 5000.

    Yes, about 5. But in between I farmed exp on zombies near the gates. And I was afraid I would take 100th level too early on them. That is why I did it very slow and accurately.

Let's speak about one of the most common topics: disconnections. You said that your main character is in the Hall of Fallen Heroes. So how was the way to 100? Were there moments where you almost died?

    Yes, sure, I had several disconnects because of this or that reason. However, my first wizard (played him for 200 hours) died not because of that. He fell in action on act 4 inferno hell rift (1.0.3 patch), almost immediately after defeating Rakanoth (who btw enraged and almost killed me with my barb partner). I did remembered that hell rift is a dangerous place, but we were in a hurry, barb were about to leave the game. This was a mistake, I didn't think the situation over and entered the rift. There's a huge pack of monsters with 2-3 armaddons. So death was not instant, but was certain. Neither teleport, nor diamond skin saved me, I couldn't get out as I entered. So I did this place with the secondary char (Mage). I used there freeze nova build, and it worked fine. There was a problem with Ghom also, he was hard in 1.0.3. Almost died there too.

    Concerning the marathon for 100th paragon - if I recall it right, I had smth like 6 disconnect on my way. Each of them I survived. Only 2 were dangerous, one on the pack, which, as I see it, was finished by my hydra, that's why I survived.

Wasn't you afraid to farm in Cain's set on hardcore? I wouldn't dare to wear a set called after a character with such an unexpected death...

    While in the crypt, no, it is okey there. But act 1 route farming - here this is dangerous with Cain's. Though my armor and resistances allowed me to farm in this set and I've got some levels starting with 90 like that - wearing Cain's set all day long. But there were a couple of dangerous situations and so I decided that I should not hurry, and so I put on normal gear again. Btw, we see now that at least 2 top HC chars ripped in Cain's set. I imagine how that could happen.

    Somewhere on 70-ies I farmed 3rd act in party and because of carelessness almost died on kamikaze gnomes. On 90-ies as I already said there were a couple of nasty situations when I almost got "red screen" (so I decided not to take risk further).

    The most funny moment, you won't believe, was on the 99th level while I farmed in full gear. Exp was about 3 bars, everything went smoothly, I was relaxed and rushed into pack of dragonflies with freeze and some other unpleasant affixes. So they freezed me two times, hit me a bit and as I were about to avenge, there appeared 2nd pack, also with freeze, and it freezed me again. Health pot and diamond skin were in cooldown, health started to fall with frightening speed. I recalled those sarcastic comments I've read on forums: "What if he dies on 99th level on the last xp bar" )) But then, when red screen was about to appear, freeze abated and teleport was still active, so I escaped. It was a bit nervous moment, ye -)

Wow! You got... nerves... of steel. However, it was a wizard who first got level 100 hardcore paragon. That was a shock for many (if you remember, on softcore it was a pretty strong barb Alkaizer). I saw posts like "wizards require a nerf blizz. no balanz is dis game". What you think about it?

    Hm, it's hard for me to give any comments here, because I have never played for other classes and seen rips of all kinds of chars with different builds and equip. So this is hard to say that this class is most durable and that one absolutely not. Yes, monks and barbs feel fine because of natural reasons and other chars have at least +30% damage from everything. Speaking about wizard, I can tell that this is a comfortable class to play. The main idea is to avoid dangerous spots during a battle with pack and cast spells from afar, his skills are very good for that. He also has some save-abilities like teleport and diamond skin and you can buff defense as well (though they will nerf it in 1.0.5). However I'd say that in solo play wizards and hunters are weak if compared to other classes. For example in 1.0.4 WD has nice tank pets and it is WD who is the leader in act 3 solo farming (according to my f-list).

Another important topic is the loot. You said level 100 "works", but many have noted that there were only 2 legendaries and they were not the best ones. You saw more that others, so what do you think needs to change in order to make everyone's way to 100 more comfortable?

    Concerning the legendaries - this is Hardcore, where auc is always empty and hardly you will get something really good from it. If a good item appears, it dissapears immediately, or the price is so insane, that no one buys it. Here on Hardcore even if you have gold you can't get really good equip. For example while I was approaching to 100th, I accumulated 200 mln gold but still couldn't buy anything for a long long time. There was no stuff neither on auc nor on forums. Concerning the 100th level, yes it works, the chance to get legendary item is big enough. But I farmed 1st act where legendary drop is poor. I can't say if the drop has to be improved or not. Softcore and Hardcore are totally different and perhaps Hardcore should have its own drop system. On the other hand bad drop makes hardcore even more hardcore and many people love that -) As for me, I accepted reality as it is according to present situation. The same attitude I had in all patches. While other players whined or rejoiced I thought how to adjust to new changes, what to add or to remove and so on.

I can't miss one of the most popular criticism: "n00by nolifer got his glory in act 1", "paragon 100 in act 1? my condolences" and so on. Any answer?

    Ah ye. I read such comments on other sites too. I will tell thus: the goal was to take 100th level - before others will do that - and to make it in hardcore realities, not softcore. That is why such things as "Alkaizer method" just don't work here. I have full friends-list and I don't know anyone who would farm 3rd act all the time and didn't die. That's why it was obvious that the fastest farm (which is possible on act3) is not an option, especially for my class, and you have to play solo all the time. So when I plunged into the marathon I spent some time to find out the best way and area for leveling. I tried to farm different places and routes in act 1, Kull's caves in act 2, Arreat craters in act 3 and Iskatu runs on act 4 (who knows that trick with archon in the corner can understand what I'm talking about). I even tried to farm on hell difficulty. All data I collected (exp per this or that time) and chose the best variant that would fit the following criterions: 1) less chance of rip 2) maximum speed 3) maximum XP.

    I would also notice that the goal was to take 100th paragon. So reproaches about 1st act just miss the point. If the goal is to show your cool skill dealing with packs - well, go to 4th act, gather 3 packs in one place and record video how you do them. But this has nothing to do with the goal I had.

I laughed a lot on a dialog between you and user eers. He said: "why you was grinding, i was working and now bought a car". And you answered: "if i wanted to buy a car and instead was grinding - then yeah, i would be wasting time. but i wanted to get paragon 100, not to buy a car." Any additions? By the way, do you have a car?

    Here again we've got a substitution of ideas. What car? What if I prefer walking, riding on the bicycle or on the bus? To hell with the car! You know, it's as if someone else were to tell him - "Hey, while you was working to get a car, I defended a thesis and had a trip to Guadeloupe!" What thesis, what Guadeloupe, what are you talking about? I need a car!

    And no, I don't have a car (though I do have enough money to buy it) - just because I don't need it. If you've got a car you have to use it but I rarely go somewhere far enough so that a car would be needed. For example, I work at home. So on the present stage of life a car would be more a problem for me rather than a benefit. If there are situations where I need it, I can ask my brother or mom - they have it.

Well, adults will understand. I saw is commenataries even "breaking news" like this: "so what? finished the game in optional mode? softcore is for men". What do you think about hardcore? Only Diablo, only hardcore?

    As I said earlier, I was bored with softcore quite fast, in 3 days. At first it was fun when no one had any good items at all. Everyone runs and rushes ahead, someone is still in act1, someone didn't even have the game installed. No good gear, everyone dies on packs even on Nightmare, there's a leapfrog play all the time with dead chars ressurection and so on. But this fun ended very soon when people started buying things on auc which itself started to be filled with items very quickly. Plus to that, endless lives - this is fun only for some time. If you remember cool classic game DOOM 2, there were cheat codes IDDQD and IDKFA. That was fun. But fun for 5 minutes and then you get bored. Same with Softcore - this is IDDQD and IDKFA in Diablo.

    On Hardcore everything is different. Even the perception of the game is different beginning from act 1 normal, and many people told me about that (who tried it). Every details and small things are important and light-mindedness and inadequate playstyle will punish you very fast -)

    By the way, it would be cool if there were an intermediate mode - like in Diablo 1. If you die, all equipped things fall on the ground and you should get them back somehow. Naked. -))

Do you have any future plans? There isn't anything for you to do anymore...

    Exactly. I had plans to quit the game because I've done what should be done. People asked me about that even on 20-ies 30-ies levels and I answered - I will quit the game if I a) die b) reach 100th level (no one believed I would fulfil the second, btw -) I didn't change my mind even now, but maybe I'll do some a3 runs with friends who call me to join in from time to time. Also I will be in a game to answer all questions and congrats. Soon they release 1.0.5 and I know there's a lot of new stuff, but I'm not gonna participate. This is endless process, you can build up your gear eternally and never I had such a goal in Diblo III.

    Concerning PvP - can't say now, may be I'll take a look at what it is, but I'm likely not to participate as well for two reasons: first, I don't like PvP and I didn't play this style even in Diablo 1, 2, war/starcrafts. Second, I don't see much fun in PvP where eveything depends on your gear and not skill. But maybe they'll do smth really interesting, we will see.

I think that only thing is left to do is to say thanks to beautiful dames that watched and supported you and say something nice to the users of our website.

    Thank you very much too, I really wanted to share some thoughts and ideas. To all horadric.ru users I wish two things: persistence - not apathy - and showing respect and generosity to others (the second quality is especially important to me personally). By the way, I was pleased and much surprised to see so many well-wishing and friendly comments on my victory - and not only from russian playes but from players all over the world as well. This shows that Diablo community consists mostly of nice, pleasant, adequate and really "sane" people. That is good and cool.

About community and generosity: i know you have some sort of surprise...

    Ye, indeed. For horadric.ru users and in honor to my victory I'd like to present a legendary offhand for hardcore wizard "The Oculus". As far as I know horadric.ru holds short Diablo3 marathons and it would be nice to present this orb to a winner in one of them. It would also be nice if all participants whould be wizards so that the best wizard would get it -)

Well, is there is a prize, there will be a marathon. Thank you for the interview!

    Thank you! -)

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Аватар пользователя Nosorozhek
Хорадрик написал(а):
I'm feeling myself
"Feel myself" как речевой оборот очень часто ассоциируется в английском языке с самоудовлетворением :) Лучше изменить на что-то более демократичное, имхо :)
Аватар пользователя 2DStaLkeR

Of course, I was all clear and without translation!

Аватар пользователя Doc.tr

Азимут же русский человек. Не потрудились найти русского, чтобы вопросы задать. Стыдно должно быть заграничным.

Аватар пользователя 3LiON

А где его опубликовали?

Аватар пользователя Хорадрик

Русский оригинал был опубликован у нас на портале. Интервью по мнению сообщества получилось отличным, поэтому мы решили перевести его на английский язык. "Пусть знают наших!" не только у нас, но и в англоязычных сообществах.

Аватар пользователя 3LiON

Ну а опубликовано это английское интервью где ещё, кроме нашего портала?

Аватар пользователя Хорадрик

Акция: "Знай наших!" Неистово плюсуем тему на реддите! Пришло время англоязычным фан-сайтам публиковать переводы с русского! =)


Аватар пользователя Anksunamun

Кстати да... насчет последнего абзаца. Будут ли марафоны?