As you may or may not know, I've never done a "character complete" thread before. No mat/pat thread, not even for my level 99 1.13 hammerdin. The reasons for this are manyfold. Most importantly that I never feel that a character can be complete, in any sense. And those few characters I have "completed", someone else have already done, and better. But enough of this. FirstBorn's journey has been in tandem with my journey to explore this game in all its aspects and patches. I realized that 1.07 eth weapons weren't even close to the limit to what earlier patches could offer. After a few beers, and another few, and then yet another few, I came up with the idea of writing a grand guide, encompassing every possible benefit of going back to any official patch. I thought that was going to be hard, but I had no idea... Just starting off a character in 1.00 is pretty tough. As years pass, games get easier. Oh boy have we seen that with D2! I remember playing "Eye of the Beholder" as a kid, hardly even understanding English. Now that was tough. D2, you can "just" hack your way through. However, in soviet 1.00, the game just might hack through you. Speaking of hacks, just getting the game to run properly wasn't easy. Well, that was until I found out about @fearedbliss and his version switcher. Add in sven's glide wrapper, and voillá! FirstBorn started out solo. He was determined to use pikes as his weapon of choice because: - Lances can't drop until 1.04 - Low requirements - Higher damage than most exceptional spears/polearms and most certainly the bugged maces - Wide range, which comes in handy as WW attacks every. single. frame. - Pikes drop a lot more often than the other viable options, and can be gambled. He was also determined to use Whirlwind as his main skill because: - 25 attack attempts per second cannot be beat by anything - nostalgia FirstBorn, true to his name, was the first character I started in 1.00. I was well aware that I didn't really know what I was doing, so I was very careful with his stats and skills. Too careful for SC, but not careful enough for HC. Luckily, we're not talking HC right now. Thing is, there is no respec, no players command, hirelings can't be equipped and don't travel between acts, no charms for extra life, no circlet for high elemental damage (no high elemental damage at all, really... SoJ has the highest....) and no easy solution to anything.... So he struggled. A After beating Andariel on normal on his own, I decided that FirstBorn would need some help. So I started four more characters, one of which was a sorc. I leveled the sorc for a bit, so that I could use Static Field and Glacial Spike to great effect. A push was made to reach the Canyon of the Magi, where I would park FirstBorn and three other characters in a corner, while running around the map with the sorc, causing maggots to spawn, then killing them with SF, GS, and Fire Wall. The beauty of this was, that in a single game, everyone leveled from around lvl 13-17 to level 24 with no rejoining and repartying etc. And lvl 24 unlocked Battle Orders, the cue to take on Duriel. I had dreaded Duriel, as in experiences in the distant past told me he could kill me before loading finished. However, I guess my processing power caught up with him. The experience was just like 1.13 when it came to loading. Static with BO'd sorc, then using Concentrate with some sword (I think, I put one into every mastery since pikes just wouldn't appear) made short work of him. He dropped my first pair of Magefists, which fortunately have the stats we know from 1.13. Awesome. As there are no cast delays on ANYTHING in 1.00, this helped my sorc spam firewall. Or... spam... not really, as she could only afford like 4 of them before running out of mana. Act 3 was more or less rushed, alternating between the sorc for movement and static, then Firstborn for finishing moves. Mana pots can't be bought, but TP scrolls can. However, they DO run out, so I had to make trips to act 1 to buy them from Akara. I was in such a hurry that even health pots ran out, and I had to move all the mules away from act 3 to refresh vendors several times. No real problems with monsters, only the vampires close to meph became bothersome. Act 4 saw FirstBorn's eventual rise to lvl 30, going from a wimp at lvl 29 to a freaking killing machine at lvl 30. A gambled pike with some slight enhanced damage and a gambled Hand of Broc made him around 20 times faster at killing. Which I exploited. Thoroughly. By the time we hit Diablo, we were level 30+ on all characters. Nightmare was rushed. Teleport for speed (remember no cast delay? Full TP tome is all you need) and WW for melting monsters. At this time, I wasn't aware the Cow King could be run indefinitely, but I discovered it as I tried a few runs on NM cows. He seemed to drop very well, but I didn't know the mechanics at this point. He gave me my first few SoJs, and pretty much all the best unique armor pieces. Wormskull, Frostburns, Heavenly Garb, and a truckload of rares. Hell was rushed in the same fashion. I believe the sorc was the highest level when we reached act 4, at level 50-something. The Chaos Sanctuary is NOT a pleasant place for ANY untwinked character nor party, so we left that out for a bit. It was time to see what good killing zergs (maggot young) could do. It did beyond all expectation! In a single game, I went from lvl 40-50ish to level 70+ on the main chars. I left a paladin at around lvl 33 (gambling reasons) and a necro at around lvl 50 (no reason except bored). It was around this time I came into contact with @Treeharl and learned about the mechanics for the Cow King drops. So Diablo had to go. Off we went. It took two tries, and a LOT of potions and scrolls, but it got done. Diablo himself wasn't the problem, but the barrage of elemental damage in the CS proved to be a problem. I had to slowly nibble away at the OKs (anyone remember Iron Maiden?) and try not to get killed with a low HP low resist sorc. Using FirstBorn was just too dangerous. We made it, in the end. FirstBorn got his Baron status. However, his work had only just begun. I was curious about the Cow King, and ran him for quite a while. Producing drops like this one Which ultimately netted him this ultima weapon: However, that durability.... It bugged me for ages! I did find a better one, which is part of the final gear listed, but I never saw that high damage again. FirstBorn was essentially complete, however, I had grander plans for him. At the time, he was used for leveling mules and collecting gems for forwarding. Diamonds and Amethysts went to 1.10a where they still wait. Topazes, Sapphires, Emeralds and Rubies went to 1.07 where they were turned into various rings and crafted items. But the skulls.... The skulls were cubed, then transferred to 1.06b to cube rare amulets to get the ilvl 99 ones which can have +2 skills. Which 1.07 can't! As flawless gems don't drop, I became obsessed with the thought of gambling them directly. This meant a massive leveling session. I rushed a batch of 6 sorcs and one barb, mostly for forwarding to 1.07 after making the mistake of forwarding the startout sorc, vastly underleveled and with the wrong set of skills. Then the level grind started. In one single game, 7 characters went from level 1 to level 70+, ALL exp coming from maggot eggs and maggot young. It was a slaughter. It was a repair fest, as 1 minute of maggot whirling would deplete 25 durability. It also resulted in around 200 of each game type. Which meant mules had to be created, and one char had to run between games to mule off. At last, I reached the first level to gamble +2 skills directly. 86 would give me a 10% chance of ilvl 90. However, I gambled more of them than expected. So I forwarded a batch of +2 amulets to 1.07 to use ATMA to check ilvl. And BOOM! ilvl 8_8 is good enough in 1.00-1.06!! Now, I had my final solution planned! I would hurdle up and kill all the... champions in act 4 hell that I could, with as much goldfind as I could, to reach as high a level as I could, and gamble as many amulets as possible! And today, this effort is nearing completion! I just made lvl 90 with FirstBorn! Three more levels, and he'll assure ilvl eighty-eight on every gamble. With goldfind gear all but weapon (no spear with goldfind) rings (need upgrades, but need a LOT of luck to get them) and armor (no armor with goldfind), he makes 1 000 000 in ten minutes on average. It takes about as long to spend it, as amulets don't always show in the gambling screen. To top this post off, I'll provide gear: and an example run Future plans is lvl 93 for better gambling odds, finding rings as good, but with goldfind, and finding a map similar to this one, but with Urdar champions instead of Maw Fiends. (Urdar champions are lvl 84, compared to 82 for Maw Fiends. Makes for faster leveling). I hope you enjoyed reading my first "character complete"-thread. Yours Helvete.