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Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Pb_pal, Sep 11, 2017.
Phew! (and thanks)
My character Fran almost died in NM cow level. She used Glacial Spike to freeze packs of cows, and the problems arose when she couldn't nail the whole pack with it. Cows have a 'narrow' shape so it's much easier to freeze several of them compared to more bulky monsters but it was still hard to freeze more than 5 at a time. So a lot of separation had to be done early on, and that's where the first of three NDEs happened. She used frantic teleporting to try to find some quiet "base camp" to go from. At one time, she teleported right next to a large pack and took several hits at once. Lucky to survive that.
The other two NDEs were when she had been freezing a pack except for one or two cows. That one (or two) moved forward, took the next GS shot but were too far from the old frozen ones for GS to hit them again. That meant that maybe 3-5 cows would now swing (and mostly hit) simultaneously. Too dangerous for comfort. I eventually learned to give myself more margin for error. Which was also easier the more secure space I had, of course.
Now I am taking a few days break from D2, except for trying to put together some Hell worthy gear.
Here are the resist improvements I need to scrape up on the gear:
Fire: 63 more (leads to 75). Will be enough with Nokozan Relic and a Resist All ring I have.
Cold: 77 more (leads to 35, enough so I can get 85% with Thawing potions when needed).
Lightning: 58 more (leads to 75).
There is some extra space available for charms (I must have one 2x4 and one 2x3 space left for the selling trips to be bearable...). Not that the charms I have saved up are that great...
Boots will be swapped. I can focus pretty much fully on resists there because extra foot speed isn't needed as long as my merc is with me (Vigor from Harmony bow). I have a semi-decent rare, otherwise I can go for a 'close-to-40%' pair via Anya shopping.
Hoping to swap my Coral of the Colussus belt for a Cobalt/Coral/Garnet of the Whale. Larzuk should help with this.
Weapon will probably be my Spirit sword. I usually don't care about FCR for my Sorceresses unless they have spammable damage skills, because a Sorc has decent base casting speed anyway, but I suppose the large number on Spirit could be useful, and the FHR on it is probably just as important.
Will probably shop for another Jeweler's Gothic Plate and place rubies in this one. Or try the recipe on a Gothic Plate. Helm will probably be my socketed Rainbow Circlet of the Colossus, likely with a resist rune in the socket.
Merc will get Boneflesh armor. I don't have any partiularly useful helm for her, so will maybe keep a 3x PTopaz one. MF is nice in Hell too, if you can afford it.
I have the stuff to craft some amulets, rings and a Mesh Belt. Not sure if I'll give those a go.
Nox took the stat/skill denial route in Act 1, so it was back to the usual grind with a scepter and poison potions. Unlike Ruru, it took some time for Nox to get to the 25 strength required for a scepter, so a spiked club was a decent temp until then. I was hoping for an early pelt drop to provide a few utility skills to get the ball rolling, but Nox did not find a single pelt until the Black Marsh, and it was only a +1 Werewolf pelt. It wasn't until the later parts of Act 1 did Nox find a +firestorm pelt, but it wasn't useful as the damage was lacking at that point. Fortunately, an early poison shrine blessed us with a great AoE attack for level 16:
Although not as damaging as a scepter, Blood Crescent did offer fast attack speed, some open wounds, and a few nice mods.
The game plan for Andariel was to have her chase the oak sage around while Klaudia and Nox bombarded her with arrows and choking gas potions.
Yew wand will sell for decent gold in Lut Gholein at least!
Stats going into Act 2:
To prepare for Hell, I didn't do that much shopping, and no crafting. No new belt, but scored another Jeweler's Gothic Plate. I just wish the suffix animal was a bigger one...
STR 80, DEX 42, VIT 318, ENE 45
Life 1084 (feels low for this build in Hell)
Resists: Fire 83, Cold 39, Lightning 75, Poison -34
(I only list the ones I use and the ones with more than 1 point. On main switch, all skills are at +2.)
Shiver Armor 1
Ice Blast 1
Glacial Spike 1
Cold Mastery 4 (random points from Act III NM)
Telekinesis 5 (4 points randomly placed in Act III Normal)
Static Field 3
Thunder Storm 20
Lightning Mastery 6
Fire Mastery 13
* Rainbow (11) Circlet of the Colossus (52), socketed with an Ambergris (30) Jewel of Passion
* Nokozan Relic
* Spirit Crystal Sword
* Jeweler's Gothic Plate of the Jackal (5), socketed with Perfect Ruby x4
* Rhyme Heater
* Garnet (30) Gauntlets of Fortune (24)
* Rare Ring with 10% Resist All, +3 Life, +23 AR, Replenish Life +5
* Coral (29) Plated Belt of the Colossus (51)
* Wyrm's (60) Ring of Fortune (21)
* Sigon's Sabot
Charms: assorted resists- and life-giving ones. Nothing remarkable.
* Edge Hunter's Bow
Gwinni, level 75 Fire Rogue (hired in Normal)
* Artisan's Great Helm of Nova Shield socketed with Perfect Topaz x3
* Harmony Blade Bow (+250% ED)
* Boneflesh unique Plate Mail, socketed with a Garnet (11) Jewel of Carnage (15)
Thus, I used the NM socket reward on the merc armor. That jewel pushed up her max damage by 89 points. Not bad.
Good luck in Hell Jiansonz. I don't have my pictures in front of me but Amodan_Crane made his merc's Edge last night (in a double bow) and found his third Hel rune to cube into an Io for White, thus upgrading his weapon tremendously. Kill speed will go up quite a bit, which is exciting because act 2 always seems like a long and slow one to me.
OK here are some pictures after coming home for lunch.
I SAID STAY!
Countess drop was a good one, 1/3 of an Io.
Andariel's usual drop.
Some items found along the way. Most were turned into IGs because of the lack of sufficient points in Golem Mastery.
Endgame weapon creation. Woo hoo!
I think Amodan_Crane is level 54 now. He's at the Dry Hills WP ready to go for more.
Just a quick update:
Fissure's fire power made short work of Act 2, no surprise there. A Prayer Merc for life replenish and a MPK wand provided some comfortable running.
+3 Fissure Antlers provided a nice boost in damage.
Fissure melted Act 3 as well. Stats from the 4 levels rolled evenly into each stat, and the stats from the black book went into more energy (yuck). Skills rolled 2 into Werewolf, and 1 each in Raven and Volcano.
Act 4 and its fire resistant monsters held up a little better against fissure, but the raw damage was just too much for them.
The boots were quite nice: 30 FRW with 34 LR & 20 FR.
@jiansonz Nice progress and welcome to Hell! NM Cows are tough! I don't think I've ever actually died there but have come very.very close on many, many occasions!
@OldSoldier Congrats on the White. May the rest of NM go smoothly!
@NanoMist Great to see your progress, will be interesting to see how things go once you start meeting Fire Immunes.
Duriel is dead!
Act 2 took a while, but mostly because I wasn't playing much and I stuck with the full clears. PIs slowed us done, but not really by much and things felt safe enough on p3 for Naruma to push much more aggressively than I would normally.
Not much gear upgrades during the Act. Some better +life charms for Naruma and a 4os Partizan from the Stony Tomb saw Neeraj's listed damage go from 423-704 up to 594-1022. However, in areas with PIs and monsters with high physical resistance it turned out much better to let Neeraj use the upped Woestave full-time. Without the Insight, Naruma did have to drink the odd blue pot, but it was hardly habit forming. So when a gold Yari dropped in the Canyon, I seriously thought about having Neeraj switch to wielding Hone Sundan. Perhaps if I find the runes to up it? However, Naruma's Tornadoes make really short work of anything that isn't PI (or very high Phys resist), so Neeraj's main job is to speed up the killing of these, and Hone Sundan isn't going to help with that. Switching to the Woestave full time is also an option, but for now I'll leave things the way they are with Insight as main merc weapon and Woestave in the stash.
For pics, these maggots were super colourful:
And then this dropped in the 7th Tomb!
32%MF ... really, I shouldn't use it, however, it is Gheeds! And I really couldn't not use something so rare. And so I swapped out a 38 life GC. Hopefully I don't come to regret that decision.
p3 Duriel went down very quickly. 4 blue pots, no red or purple pots and no merc deaths.
Other than Gheeds and the Hone Sundan, an eth CV dropped in the Maggot Lair (strength requirement still too high), a 6os +3 Matriach Spear in the Palace Cellar (is this even useful for anything? it feels like it should be but probably isn't (and obviously not for a Druid)), a Key of Hate from the Summoner, IK Stonecrusher in the AS, Dangoon's Teaching in the 1st Tomb, and a Twisted Essence of Suffering from Duriel. All a bit of a mixed bag really.
So, on to Act 3 with 10 million gold to gamble. Lots of places where gear could be improved, however, nothing that drastically needs improving, so we will see what turns up across head, amulet, rings, gloves, belt and boots.
I'm also going to drop to p1 and stop with the full clears. While I'm not planning on racing as fast as Nanomist, Naruma is level 84 now and pretty ready for the endgame. If he picks up an extra level each Act and the odd better item on the way then that will be a bonus.
Naruma the Wind Druid, Level 84, Hell Act 3 Kurast Docks
Last time we saw Amodan_Crane, he was in the Dry Hills, looking for trouble. He felt angry, so angry that each time he felt like he gained enough experience to increase his skill and potency, he immediately chose to increase his mana pool rather than his life, quickness or strength. Energy is his media and it must be so.
Most of the rest of the act proved fairly uneventful, giving neither good treasure nor providing harrowing experiences. His usual modus operandi was to curse his enemies and allow them to kill themselves on the thorns of the Iron Golem (added to the level 15 thorns aura on Wendy's Edge bow). Put together, they returned over 1000% damage, and it was then doubled to most enemies as they were cursed with Amplify Damage. Even on /P8, heavy hitters like greater mummies and gorebellies put themselves into dire straits in short order when attacking the golem. Such is an example below, which showed Amodan_Crane that his golems were not yet strong enough to warrant expensive items as reagents.
Amodan_Crane felt much better when able to line up his victims for several hits from each spear of his bone.
Mummy sarcophagi proved very time consuming, as Amodan_Crane has neglected the killing power of his spears in lieu of a stronger golem through most of the act. However, when someone stood in front of the doorway...
Rather than the standard curse of Decrepify, I tried Amplify Damage on Duriel, at /P8. I decided to use his full strength and fury against him. It took maybe half a dozen trips back to town to save the golem (he still died once and it took a couple thousand gold pieces for a simple dagger from Fara to build another, which survived the remainder of the battle) but even full power Duriel, hitting 10x harder to minions, amplified and returned 10x more with Thorns, went down without any real trouble.
His drop was pretty incredible for how I plan on playing the remainder of the journey.
The two sources of OW on the two unique weapons will be very handy against enemies in hell difficulty, and that Fleshrender, which has PMH, OW, DS, and CB is a great IG weapon. I'm going to be pushing golem mastery as hard as possible (now at 10 hard points) because he still dies way too much, but that's a great weapon for an IG. Once I am able to get a couple of Revives to shield the IG a bit, he should be much sturdier and weapons like that should be great additions.
Some fun drops along the way. The Bonesnap is his current IG.
Amodan_Crane, level 60 bone/golemancer, Kurast Docks
Nice work @OldSoldier , I'm pretty sure you can't make IGs from Barbed Clubs though. The barbs aren't enough iron for them to count as an iron weapon. Otherwise it would be awesome for IGs!
Well dang it! I do have plenty of items for Malice weapons but those have no CB... This was going to do it all. Back to the drawing board i guess.
Fissure doesn't hit often against static targets such as ranged monsters, but at this point Azrael is cleaning up remaining monsters quite quickly. So far Nox has been all elemental fire, but he will focus more on the summoning side in nightmare. Against Baal, Firestorm and Lower Resist took him down in short order.
Chancies were 38%, nice!
Oak Sage proved to be an even better tank against the nightmare version of Andariel, being immune to both her physical and poison attacks.
Stats going into Act 2.
Nox met a few fire immune skeleton mages in the sewers, and also this ghoul. I had to trade in Azrael for his Brother Ahsab for that Might aura. As much as I love the life replenish from Prayer, that Might aura will be critical in boosting Merc and Bear damage against fire immunes.
Played the ol' whack-a-bear with Duriel while throwing in Fissures and Lower Resist.
The long cool-down of Fissure and high mana pool meant that Nox's natural mana regeneration was able to keep up with demand. Still, I'm searchng for a decent Insight Base in order to significantly upgrade Merc damage. Hopefully I can get one before Act 4 by continuing the full clears into Act 3.
Nox, level 60, in the Kurast Docks.
Wow @NanoMist absolutely flying along!
Naruma headed into Act 3 at a run. My plan was to do all the quests and hit all the waypoints, kill all the monsters we came across and hit all the poppables we saw, but not to go out of our way looking for things to kill or pop.
On p1, stuff died fast. All good. This guy in the Flayer Dungeon slowed us down though.
Wasted a lot of time killing him when I should have parked him and kept moving while I had the XP shrine active. He did drop Whistan's Guard though.
Storm Thresher and his gang lurking at the entrance to LK gave us our first NDE as we raced into meet them. They took out Neeraj and the Bear really fast and then suddenly were upon a cursed Naruma. One hit took off about 2/3 of his life. Very happy to be packing plenty of FHR to allow a rapid and desperate escape. Our second approach was a lot slower and more considered.
After reaching the LK waypoint I then spent a bit of time checking there wasn't a 2nd super chest in the area and popping lots of poppables. Then I went back to the Great Swamp to find the sparkly chests ... and after searching the entire area I discovered that there were no sparkly chests ...
Next session we pushed on through Kurast and the Sewers.
This guy was unreachable, couldn't even teleport onto the platform, although it looks plenty big enough
I decided to take the time to clear all the Temples, as they are high level areas and good things can drop ... of course they are famous for their deadly stair traps as well. No stair traps but a 4os Cryptic Axe dropped in the Forgotten Temple and made it very worth while. Neeraj was most happy with his new Insight.
The Council put up a good fight:
The Durance had dolls on levels 1 and 2. Dolls were very dangerous as the Hurricane killed them quite quickly but also made them quite difficult to see. Naruma got caught in a couple of their explosions when I didn't even realise they were there and then a major NDE when a cursed boss pack of dolls separated Naruma from the rest of the troops and chased him into a corner. A very panicked teleport while mashing the purple pot keys saved the day.
Meph went down super fast to Tornadoes. The Bear was recast once and not a single pot was used. The drop was lousy:
The whole Act took me about 3 hours 15 mins. No speed record, but normally it would take me days to work through the Act (if I get through a Hell Act in a week I'm usually happy). I was a bit surprised that Naruma didn't even manage one level though. The only stat points to be allocated came from the Book and they went into Strength.
Act 4 I went with the same strategy. All quests and Waypoints, while killing and popping what was found but not going searching for things. This started out well enough, although I was using up Teleport charges fast pulling Neeraj out of sticky situations. With 9 out of 37 charges used just in the first area I decided I needed to conserve them a bit and so slowed down a little and avoided getting Neeraj into the sticky situations in the first place.
Another one of these PI/CI Bosses in the City of the Dammed. Not really dangerous once they were isolated, but took time to kill.
Found the waypoint and then decided to go and clear the island with the stained glass windows (which was close to the waypoint). Glad I did as the Hellslayer dropped (Naruma's highest TC unique by quite a bit to this point).
Down to the RoF and I left Neeraj to die in the very first fight! Idiot! I could see he was getting pounded and even when his life was in the red I didn't teleport him out or feed him a purple. Then he was dead and it hit me that I couldn't resurrect him. Idiot!
So, Naruma and the summons headed off to clear the rest of the RoF. The monsters were pretty good, Pit Lords, Urdar and Maggots, none of them CI or PI. Our biggest problem was mana, I hadn't stashed any mana pots and only 2 blue pots dropped between the two waypoints. I also hadn't stashed a spare Tome of TP and TPs also weren't dropping very often, so no constantly heading back to town to recharge. It was a bit slower than I had been going, but I was really glad I had been pumping points into Dire Wolves. The Bear was now really, really tanky and could survive most things no problem. Here he is going toe-to-toe with Hephasto.
PI Heph meant no Tornadoes, so he took a bit of time to wear down. Those 10 points in Arctic Blast are still coming in handy!
The Hellforge dropped a Pul! Lovely, lovely rune. I can upgrade the Hone Sundan or the Woestave now. Or I can hold out for a Vex and make HoTo ....
A quick break and then on to the second part of the RoF. This time we had Pit Lords, Stranglers and Grotesque. The Grotesque are CI, so took a bit longer to kill and with their babies underfoot we could take a bit of damage trying to get into position to hit with the Tornadoes. A bunch of Champion Grotesque took a while, but the reward was the Lacerator! Very nice, although the strength and dex requirements are never going to be met by Naruma.
Into the Chaos Sanctuary and more fun. As I went I collected up all the blue and red pots I found into big piles. Then regularly moved the piles to make sure they didn't vanish. By the time we were ready for Diablo we had good mountains of both blue and reds. Vizier and De Seis were no bother. Tornadoes demolished them. However, Infector was a different story and his extra fast, high Phys Resist minions caused us a few stressful moments, although thankfully nothing verging on deadly. Eventually we isolated PI Infector, and the Bear did a great job tanking while Naruma applied the cold.
Just before taking on Infector and his minions we ticked over to level 85. The points would have gone into Vitality, but I put them into Energy to fix my mistake from Act 2. Finally.
Time for Diablo, so I hit the last seal and rushed to the centre of the room to be ready for him .... and nothing happened. Turns out I'd forgotten to pop one of the seals. Found it, popped it and raced back for the battle. Four minutes later Diablo was dead, leaving a big pile of blue.
Total time for Act 4 was about 2 hours 20 mins. A couple of nice drops, but other than the Hellforge, nothing Naruma is likely to use.
Naruma the Wind Druid, Lvl 85, Hell Act 5 Harrogath
Sweet update Dezrok. At least Hell Diablo was kind enough to drop a green breast plate!
@Dezrok - The game must have needed to balance out the Pul with all those wonderful blues. Great write up, keep it up and be safe!
On into Act 5. The Bloody Foothills were kind with no Spear Cats, so it was a fairly fast trip to Shenk (19 mins). On through the Highlands (32 mins), the Arreat Plateau (29 mins) and then around the corner to the Crystal Passage waygate (5 mins). A break for dinner and then down to rescue Anya (46 mins). The Glacial Trail and Frozen Tundra took 57 mins. Glacial Trail was tough once again, with Moon Lords and PI Ghosts. Those Moon Lord Boss and Champ packs are really, really tough!
I went with full clears of all the side dungeons as they are high level areas and I was hoping for a really nice drop. Keeps me interested and stops things becoming a senseless monster slaughter. However, our first S/U wasn't until the Drifter Cavern, and it was Steelgoad! Then the Frozen Tundra coughed up Cathan's Seal! Really awesome!
At the end of this section I was able to shuffle some of Naruma's charms around after the bonus resists from rescuing Anya. Mostly getting rid of some resist charms and adding in +life charms. Naruma's life has reached a much more respectable 994, with a deceptively healthy 1421 with the Oak Sage.
Time for Nihilithak. The first couple of levels are super quick when not doing full clears and then it was time for the final level. The first monsters we encountered were Arachs, easy! Then more Arachs, and more Arachs. I was beginning to think they were the only monsters down here. Then a few Wretched Defilers made an appearance, but still no third monster. Eventually they showed up and it was ... PI Hell Temptresses ... at least not Vipers, but these gals can pretty quickly take off a chunk of Naruma's life if I don't stay awake and the long range of their attack means that nowhere is really safe. Okay, full clears down here. Isenhart's Horns dropped and then Heavenly Garb ... sigh ...
Time for Nihilithak himself. With a not very huge life pool I was pretty wary of his CE, so stayed well back, sending Neeraj and the bear in to do the killing and trigger the explosions. So far, so good. I was wondering if Naruma would actually be able to survive being accidentally caught in an explosion, and then I found out ... the answer was yes, just. Two explosions would have been massive overkill! Okay, change tactics, use the Dire Wolves instead of the Bear and stop Naruma from edging closer and closer to the combat to try and help out with Tornadoes. The Dire Wolves, with their corpse eating ability, were a much better option and by recasting them on top of corpses they would eventually get around to eating them. Once the corpses were cleared Nihili himself didn't put up much of a fight. He dropped Cathan's Mesh. Time taken 52 mins.
I've been surprised how little XP we are getting, very different from doing full clears. Not even halfway to the next level. Also, the drops have just been lousy!
Next up, the Ancients Way (almost there)!
I'll do a full post later, but here are some pics:
The journey was a good read and well done on the guardian.
Congrats to our latest Guardian!
Also, all those Death Lords
Okay, an unevenful trip to the Ancients. Korlic was the toughest, being CI and Stone Skin. Once he was out of the way the other two were much easier (30 mins for the Ancients Way, the side dungeon and the Ancients).
WSK 1 had Death Lords (FI), Ghoul Lords (CI) and Vile Witches (CI). The Ghoul Lords also have high phys resist making them the toughest nuts on this level. Clicked over to level 86 early on. WSK 2 was very easy, with Greater Hell Spawn (CI), Seprent Magus (Pois.I) and Fiends (LI). The full clear of both levels still took 40 minutes though.
WSK 3 was not a breeze with Oblivion Knights (CI), Doom Knights (FI), Death Lords (FI) and Hell Temptresses (PI). While I'd intended to do a full clear, the Hell Temptress were just too dangerous. A couple of massive packs of them (double packs?) blocked any further progress after clearing about half the level. We could have dragged them out a few at a time and killed them off eventually, but there didn't seem much point. (23 mins)
ToD had a boss pack of Cursed Extra Strong Death Lords near the start and when the bear knocked one of them towards Naruma it was very nearly all over. Not sure how much life was left but it was barely a sliver. The other monsters were Burning Souls and Pit Lords, easy enough to manage a full clear. Baal's Minions were much easier than I though they would be. We dropped a bear on their spawn spot to keep them grouped together and then spammed Tornadoes. Lister was cursed, so we were a bit more careful with him and teased him and his pack back towards the entrance, getting them to walk into the Tornadoes. (26 mins)
A deep breath and then it was time for Baal. A teleport onto his platform, a 2nd teleport to reach him. He fired out his ranged attacks and then Neeraj got a hit in with the Woestave and none of us took any damage for the rest of the fight. You can see from the pics in my previous post that we didn't move position the entire time and that even the Oak Sage survived without being recast. Viperfork was a nice, if useless, drop (4 mins from completing ToD).
A full clear of Cows took 33 mins. There were a few PI bosses which took a bit of time, but no real problems. No real drops either!
Thanks to PB_Pal for hosting and to everyone else who entered, commented, liked or read for keeping me motivated in what was a fun tourney. I think Act 1 Normal was the hardest, but Act 4 Normal had the potential to be the hardest. The three Act 4's probably shaped much of my decision making throughout the game, trying to make sure things wouldn't completely fail if the merc died. The no gambling except in Act 3 probably had the biggest impact on our gear, and Act 2 the biggest impact on stats. The random rolls didn't really affect much.
We found a few over 70 uniques, with Viperfork, Lacerator and Hellslayer being the only elites. The eth Hoz probably the rarest. Chance Guards, Goldwrap, Nagelrings x2, Boneflesh and Woestave being the most useful. Skull Splitter and The Diggler were each found 3 times.
About 100 Set items were found. IK Stone Crusher and Dangoon's teaching the only elites. Angelic Sickle and Death's Touch were each found 6 times. The only full sets we found were Cleglaw's and Sigons. Tal's Horadric Crest has to get a special mention.
We made 11 runewords. 3x Spirit, 3x Insight, 1x Steel, 1xRhyme, 1x Splendor, 1xSmoke and 1x Treachery.
Best Rune: Pul (not used); Best used rune: Lem
Skills: Tornado is good ... great even. It seemed to get easier to aim as we levelled. I'm not sure if this is because I learnt to aim better, or if it becomes less random as you get higher level? The biggest skill surprise was Cyclone Armor. I haven't used it before, but being able to stand in the middle of a Gloam barrage and take no damage was pretty impressive. There were only a few times that Naruma took enough damage to break the armor, which meant for most of the game we took zero elemental damage. Very, very nice in HC.
I'll probably write a Guardian thread and put all the stats and gear readouts in there in case anyone is interested.
Up next for Naruma: I'm thinking of entering him in the MFO, just for something different, but he'll get a respec first. And then I guess he could go on to 99 .... but I'll probably get bored and switch to something else.
Thanks again for an interesting and challenging tourney.
Guardian Naruma the Wind Druid, Level 86.
Congrats Dezrok! Well done.