Exhibition Mode - Where Tournaments Never Die

Vildecor

Diabloii.Net Member
Swimming in rune-wealth following this year's RFL and getting bored of your new toys already? Need a break from your untwinked 99er? Wish you could have joined one of the Random character tourneys? Really wish you would have finished Wolron's Heptad Team Tourney? Now you can!

I really enjoy two things on this forum: following along with everyone's personal projects and tournaments. Exhibition Mode is where these two can come together: playing characters following old tournament rules as a personal project. Rather than it being just my own personal project, anyone else who desires may join in. Go for a sept of characters following the rules of your all-time favorite tournament, or just dip your toes in and try out a few that you've always wanted to attempt.

The rules are simple. Pick any completed tournament (from Post #2 or #3 in the Tournament Listings thread) you wish to challenge yourself with, and post your progress here. No prizes, no pressure, no competition.

I'll keep a table on this post listing what's being, who's running it, and their progress. Links will be provided in the table to the original tournament rules, since it may get confusing following along with different rulesets. When posting progress updates, it may be helpful if you go into a bit of detail about the constraints you must follow (especially in the beginning stages).

The only other rule is to have fun. Want to play your character SC and continue after your death? Perfectly OK, since this is Exhibition Mode. Otherwise, try to stick to the original rules without making any alterations (that's what NEW tournaments are for!)

* * * * *

The Runners
Rich (BB code):
Forumite      Character   Class   Lvl   Last WP                Tournament
------------  ----------  ------  ----  ---------------------  ----------------------------------
Vildecor      Nathan      Druid    20   Lut Gholein            Set/Unique Worshipper Tourney ('04)
 
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Vildecor

Diabloii.Net Member
I decided to start with @jiansonz original Set & Unique Item Worship Tourney. It was extremely fun and had the added challenge of 2/3 of your skills being randomized (to try to balance out casters). I've always wanted to try out a sept of characters following these rules, much as I believe @jiansonz said at one point he wanted to as well.

My random roll gave me the Druid class. Can't remember if it was this tournament or not where my Druid met his demise rather early - in Act II normal to a beetle boss's frost nova. I think I can manage to do better this time around!

Nathan, S/U worshipping Druid, lvl 1, Rogue Encampment, 0 S/U equipped
 

Jocular

Diabloii.Net Member
Great thread!

And I was so sad to see jiansonz was missing from the forum when I decided to end my D2 hiatus and come back. he?/she? did a lot for this place.
 

jonnyphive

Diabloii.Net Member
My plate is full at the moment with one active tourney character and several other projects, but this is a great idea. I always liked some of those other tournaments I never participated in, so you may find me contributing here at some point in the future.
 

Vildecor

Diabloii.Net Member
Great thread!

And I was so sad to see jiansonz was missing from the forum when I decided to end my D2 hiatus and come back. he?/she? did a lot for this place.
I totally agree. There's a whole in my tournament-loving heart that only he can fill. Or...something like that.

My plate is full at the moment with one active tourney character and several other projects, but this is a great idea. I always liked some of those other tournaments I never participated in, so you may find me contributing here at some point in the future.
This spot will be here when you're ready! My plate is probably best described as piled super-high with multiple items spilling on the floor. A quick check shows I have ten characters I've been playing the past couple of weeks, with another ten sitting on the character screen scowling at me. I suppose it's nice to always have options though!


Nathan has finished Act I, and it was TONS of fun! As soon as his first random skill point went into Werewolf, I never looked back. I've got a lot of casters on my plate right now, and I think a low damage Fury Wolf will be a nice change of pace. I've so far saved all my "free" skill points and will likely continue to do so until level 30 or beyond, depending on how things fall. I think it makes sense to dump the points into Fury once it opens up though.

For his first weapon I got a Large Axe and stuck in chipped sapphire, ruby, and emerald as per usual. Once I hit level 7, Olena the Fire Rogue got a matching Hunter's Bow. Consequent random skill points went into Poison Creeper, Raven, Lycanthropy (nice!), Spirit Wolf, and a 2nd in Raven and Werewolf.

Nathan001.jpg

Blood Raven stood no chance against the group with too many targets to choose from. Feral Rage rolled as a random skill before reaching Coldcrow. From this point on, nothing really stood a chance! The early ability to leech life made even tough enemies nothing to fear.

Nathan002.jpg
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No sweat. Even lacking a shield with chipped diamonds, elemental damage just couldn't compete with Feral Rage.

Nathan005.jpg

As can be seen above, the next random skills were Oak Sage and Carrion Vine. Really, his random skill luck feels crazy. Of course, down the road when he's got a few points into Arctic Blast and other points going into other newly-available, undesired skills it will probably end up evening out. But for now, the point placement made the rest of the Act very fun to play.

A very helpful 2os Wolf Head with +2 to Lycanthropy dropped and once 2 more chipped topazes were acquired, replaced the 2 chipped topaz cap he was wearing. Only 40 seconds in WW form was definitely becoming tedious. During the level 17 gambling session, I got some upgrades.

Nathan007.jpg
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The mana leech allows using only Feral Rage on bosspacks without needing a mana pot. Very handy! The full steamroll continued.

Nathan010.jpg
Nathan011.jpg
Still no sweat!

There was still something missing though. Green and gold drops. The first Act can be pretty stingy with these, sometimes with none dropping at all. The worrisome part of the tourney rules are that you must have the maximum amount of set/uniques equipped. Meaning once you've found enough 1-handers and shields, you're forced to use a 1-hander and shield instead of a 2-hander. In addition, this also means that before long you are going to be stuck with an Act III mercenary, since they can equip 4 items. I also definitely didn't want my first weapon drops to plummet my damage output.

And it looks like I'll leave you with a cliffhanger for now before revealing the first S/U item. I didn't realize there was a max of 10 embedded images. I may have to set up an image hosting account again. :p

Nathan, wanna-be Fury Druid, level 19, Inner Cloister, 0 S/U equipped
 

Vildecor

Diabloii.Net Member
Picking right up where I left off. Nathan found his first S/U item upon descending into the catacombs.

Nathan013.jpg

I was pleasantly surprised by this. This is one of the handful of normal unique weapons that will definitely be held on to for upgrading. It's currently sitting in the off-hand. Just before Andariel, we got our second S/U item to drop.

Nathan014.jpg

Hmm. Looks like I'll be hanging onto the Fire Rogue for now. I'm now one weapon drop away from being forced to get rid of my lovely axe. There were also a couple of rare rings to help increase my MF before taking down Andariel.

Nathan018.jpg

After quickly dropping the pesky shaman just before the Maiden of Anguish, I went straight up to her and challenged her without bothering to separate her from her court of demons and undead. She was quickly dispatched and dropped nothing of use. Or so I assume since it didn't warrant a screenshot apparently. :D

We're now in Lut Gholein and I'll be skipping the Sewers until after I get the Horadric cube. No extended stash was allowed in this tourney, so that lines up nicely with the two current tournaments. I do need to do another gambling session soon to see if I can get some rares with lightning res.

Nathan019.jpg

Fire resist looks good though! Here's a breakdown of his random skill points so far:

Werewolf - 3
Lycanthropy - 1
Feral Rage - 1
Raven - 2
Poison Creeper - 1
Oak Sage - 1
Spirit Wolves - 3
Carrion Vine - 1

I'll be happy if my randomizer continues to never roll a 1 or a 2, leaving me without Elemental skills.

Nathan the wanna-be Fury Druid, level 20, Lut Gholein, 2 S/U equipped
 
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