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King of the Barbarians - a 1.04 Adventure

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by DariusTriplet, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. DariusTriplet

    DariusTriplet Diabloii.Net Member

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    I was planning on resting on my laurels after making Queen, but I couldn't resist starting a new character :)

    For this attempt at Kingdom, I'll be playing a 1.04 Maul Whirlwind Barbarian. I've selected this patch and build for a number of reasons:
    • My first ever Baron, way back in the spring of 2001, was a Maul Whirler on Bnet; ever since, I've had an affinity for mace Barbarians.
    • Maces get an additional +50% damage against undead, which are generally the monsters with the highest physical resistance. My hope is that the extra damage will help offset their resists.
    • Martel de Fers are the most damaging weapons in Classic (even moreso than Lances!), and require a staggering 170 strength to equip...which means even more damage! Who cares about survivability when you have huge LCS numbers :cool:
    • Spear Whirlers are the kings of 1.00, and I wanted to showcase a character that only exists between 1.01-1.06.
    • I chose 1.04 thanks to the smaller search radius on Whirlwhind, which complements range 0 hammers very well; cheers to @Fruit for this super informative post
    • Flavor-wise, I just really like the idea of swinging a giant hammer around moreso than trying to thwack monsters at range 0 with a long pointy stick.
    The rules that I'm setting for this are as follows:
    - Single-pass, more or less - a King has no patience for re-running areas.
    - Players 8 only - a King needs his court, after all (and I don't have the patience for P1 Classic...).
    - Untwinked 1.04 HC

    Since I'll be playing a Maul Barbarian, it's only fitting to name him after the Maul Barbarian set in LoD, which also happened to belong to a King. The fact that it's the cheekiest possible name for a HC character - Immortal - was not lost on me :p We'll see if he lives up to his name!

    The Regents
    Queen Marle, 1.05 Orber

    The Fallen
    Duchess M'avina, 1.04 Strafer - Act 4 Hell
    Duke Cheeseburger, 1.05 Hammerdin - Act 1 Hell
     
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  2. Vildecor

    Vildecor Diabloii.Net Member

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    I've enjoyed reading these 1.04/1.05 adventures. Looking forward to watching Immortal's progress!
     
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  3. helvete

    helvete Diabloii.Net Member

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    Ww search radius vs the low range of mauls will make this interesting. Needs some skilled whirling.
     
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  4. Fruit

    Fruit Diabloii.Net Member

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    Damn, this man is unstoppable.
     
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  5. DariusTriplet

    DariusTriplet Diabloii.Net Member

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    The Bear Tribe tell of an ancient warrior who continues to walk the earth...

    Act 1 Normal isn't terribly exciting for Barbarians; the flow of play is roughly:
    1. Pick up the hurtiest weapon in your mastery of choice
    2. Swing it at monsters
    3. See 2
    Immortal's journey started no differently from this. I had the good fortune of finding a Spiked Club of Flame in the Den of Evil, which was upgraded to a Sharp Mace of Performance from Gheed. The Mace was a bit of a splurge - more on this later - but the 6-14 damage was just so effective when boosted by high strength and Mastery. For once, I didn't have to retreat to the Crypt against Blood Raven; Immortal's life pool and damage were enough to go toe-to-toe with her, only needing one TP out to restock on potions.

    I tried dual-wielding Maces for most of Act 1, but was honestly underwhelmed. I had hoped that, being the Barbarian's special ability, dual-wielding would be an effective way to increase damage, but having to give up blocking was a steep price for a small damage boost. Despite having a huge life pool for Act 1 - Immortal finished with roughly 280 HP - he felt even more vulnerable than Marle or M'avina ever did. I had the good fortune of finding both a Large Shield of Warding and a Cap of Warding in the same loot haul; after equipping both, Immortal suddenly felt much closer to his name.

    I felt that Immortal had real to-hit problems even as early as the Dark Wood, but I suspect that it was caused by desync and not game mechanics. Either due to this being an earlier patch, or to the sheer number of monsters on screen at once in Act 1, I felt that monsters were desyncing constantly - Immortal would Bash a monster, whiff the next 4-5 attacks, and suddenly find that the monster had warped across the screen. It could be that knockback causes a lot of desync - it certainly did in 1.05 for Cheeseburger and Charge - but I'm not looking forward to three more acts of warping monsters. It'd be a pity to not be able to use Bash, since in addition to knockback, it often puts the monster into hit recovery; I used it to pummel Teleportation bosses, since it kept them from warping away.

    I scrimped and saved all through Act 1, and in the Jail, my stingy ways paid off. Mauls have an ilvl of 21, and since the ilvl range of gambling is -5/+4, they can be gambled as early as clvl 17. It's not hard to reach that in late Act 1 Normal on players 8, but the price - 44k gold - requires a combination of good fortune and careful spending. I saved every gold piece that I could, never repaired non-weapon equipment (except when selling it), and picked up every Superior and magic item that I saw. I hit the magic number in Jail 2, ran to Gheed, and was rewarded with this:
    Screenshot259.jpg
    It doesn't look like much - that affix is about as bad as it could get - but having a 30-40 damage on-mastery weapon is quite lovely:
    Screenshot261.jpg

    This is enough to one-shot monsters with a critical, and two-shot them otherwise. Not bad for players 8 :cool: Even Maces felt great against undead, thanks to the bonus damage, but a Maul completely flattened the Ghouls and Vampires in the Catacombs. Coupled with SIAS gloves, Immortal had no problem cruising through here, powered along by raw damage and Mastery-boosted AR. I've already started saving up for the next gamble, since I'd really like to upgrade this weapon; my dream is to gamble a Bonesnap (93-123 weapon damage!), but it's unlikely to happen anytime soon.

    Andariel fell without any fuss at all - I had saved purples in case of difficult battles, and they kept Immortal's bulb full against the Maiden of Anguish. One thing that's missing from Immortal's gear is any sort of leech; I'm really hoping to fix this in Act 2, since it's going to be increasingly important as his damage increases. The good news is that Act 2 is filled with undead, so Immortal should get a nice free damage boost just for being a Mauler; I tried a similar plan with Cheeseburger, but he lacked Mastery and was reliant on a buggy skill, so I expect Immortal to have an easier time of it.

    @Vildecor Thanks! :D

    @helvete The frequent desyncing is making me a bit worried about fancy Whirling, but I'm hoping to figure out a pattern as I go.

    @Fruit Tell that to MSLE bosses ;)
     
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  6. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Very nice. Good luck, and looking forward to reading about your adventures !!
     
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  7. DariusTriplet

    DariusTriplet Diabloii.Net Member

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    He brought his hammer down upon Pain...

    Act 2 Normal has been a real headache throughout these playthroughs - Ghosts and Vampires have high physical resist, Skeletons can swarm while Unravelers revive, and Duriel is Duriel. I was worried about these coming into the Act, and hoped that the extra 50% damage against undead on maces would carry Immortal through. This was immediately borne out in the Sewers, where Immortal was able to bash 'n' smash his way through Burning and Preserved Dead with ease. His total lack of leech was starting to become a problem - Immortal drank red potions like no other character I've played - but there was an entire Act to go before it would really matter.

    After the Sewers, Immortal had the 44k to gamble another Maul, and picked up this interesting hammer:
    Screenshot264.jpg
    On the one hand, 11% mana leech is tremendous at this point - Bash and Leap Attack are now self-sustaining, meaning that this Maul comes with an "invisible" +50% off-weapon damage and knockback. On the other hand, Howling is arguably the single worst affix in the game, being one of the few that's more negative than positive. Regardless, the raw damage of 30-40 + Strength + Mastery + Bash was too appealing not to use, and Leap Attack helped minimize the tediousness of HCMTF.

    This Maul carried Immortal through the desert and the three dungeons. There wasn't much to say - take hammer, apply to monster, repeat - although the lack of life leech was increasingly dangerous. Factored with occasional desyncs and lag spikes(!), I had a few scares; there's nothing quite as terrifying as whiffing 5-6 attacks in a row and wondering how much damage you're really dealing/taking. For once, the Maggot Lair wasn't a complete nightmare - Immortal had no real issues bashing bugs. I had hoped to fight Fangskin, but after Leap Attacking to the altar, then slowly using Leap Attack to safely clear Vipers, I started to run into some really nasty lag. I opted to play it safe and TP out; no point in putting the "mortal" in Immortal yet :p

    I also found this lovely trinket in the Lost City:
    Screenshot265.jpg
    One huge problem taken care of! This dramatically reduced the number of red potions Immortal had to go through, and kept his life bulb mostly full.

    I was very pleased at how well the Arcane Sanctuary went - the Ghosts and Vampires are usually very difficult to fight at this point, but Immortal's high damage smashed right through them. Using Bash with a Howling weapon against Ghosts is a particularly frustrating experience, as they have a habit of being knocked back -> fleeing over space :p I opted to swap Immortal's Maul for a Bronze Maul of Swiftness (gambled), which dealt less total damage but meant that I wasn't standing around waiting for Ghosts to float back to land.

    Thankfully, right before fighting the Summoner, Elzix had something really quite special:
    Screenshot267.jpg
    That damage! Those resists! That crushing blow! Everything about Bonesnap is absolutely lovely - it's likely the most damaging weapon that Immortal will find before imbuing a Martel, and is (IIRC) the only weapon in the game with more than +200% ED. I won't be surprised if Immortal uses this throughout all of Normal and most of Nightmare, one-shotting monsters all the time. The only thing it's missing is IAS, but starting at clvl 30, that won't be important anymore.

    To give you an idea of how powerful Bonesnap is:
    Screenshot269.jpg
    Not bad for Act 2 Normal.

    One more nice thing about having Bonesnap so early is that it's the only expensive item a Barbarian needs to gamble - from now on, I can focus on bottom-tier items to stretch my gold. Time to burn through gold on Leather Gloves, Boots, and Caps, hoping for big resists/life/stats :cool:

    The hunt for Ancient Kaa went swiftly, thanks to the staggering damage that Immortal now dealt. Even Ghosts and Vampires fell in 1-2 whacks, and Leap Attack meant that Unravelers could be attacked first before working through the oceans of undead. After only three tombs:
    Screenshot271.jpg
    Immortal's lightning resist wasn't great (33%), and even though he had 2 MDR (Isenhart's Case - not just Ormus fodder anymore!), this fight is always a bit worrisome. As it turns out, walloping even the scariest monsters with a big enough hammer will do the trick nicely.

    I honestly wasn't sure how the Duriel fight would go - Immortal had 623 HP after Battle Orders, and huge damage, but no block and a very slow attack even before Holy Freeze. Coupled with how laggy the game was being, and the potential for critical Charge / Smite-lock, and I could see the fight potentially going very poorly. Thankfully, after deploying the usual plan - hire a mercenary, pop down, run to the wall, and start bashing away - Immortal was able to keep up enough leech that red potions kept him topped off. I aggressively recast Battle Orders - only +6 seconds/slvl, compared to LoD's +10 - and smashed away. After about a minute, Immortal reigned supreme, wrapping up Act 2.

    Next up - Act 3, so lots of chasing down Fetishes and hoping that Dolls don't do me in.
     
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  8. Vildecor

    Vildecor Diabloii.Net Member

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    Congrats on securing that Bonesnap this early! Definitely a game-changer.
     
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  9. Fruit

    Fruit Diabloii.Net Member

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    Can't believe you already have Bonesnap. That's rich!
    Also, Leap Attack is so amazing it's just filthy, as long as you target a monster directly. Filthy!

    Good luck in Act 3! Consider skipping Dolls (if you allow yourself to). :D
     
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  10. DariusTriplet

    DariusTriplet Diabloii.Net Member

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    His training in the forests of the Northern Steppes prepared him well for Kehjistan's wilderness...

    Honestly, there isn't a whole lot to discuss regarding Act 3 Normal. Bonesnap continued to one-shot most monsters, so Immortal swung, walloped, and leapt through the Act as quickly as possible. I planned to knock out the jungles in one session and do the Kurast half in a second, but instead breezed through the whole thing in one shot.

    First order of business, though:
    Screenshot274.jpg
    Coupled with Bonesnap, and Immortal is now near-invincible to fire and cold attacks. I needed a nice rare to boost his lightning resist up; thankfully, the Flayer Jungle provided:
    Screenshot276.jpg
    Faster R/W and near-immunity to lightning - I'll take it! With 3/4 of his resists at MAX, and 3 MDR patching over the remainder, Immortal certainly felt like he lived up to his name against magic.

    Physical attacks, though, are starting to catch up to him. With no block, and poor defense, Immortal just has to eat any incoming physical damage. This hasn't been too much of a problem before, thanks to his absurdly high damage (can't be attacked by dead monsters!), but the high monster density of Act 3 meant that I couldn't power my way through packs. In addition, the lag that I've been experiencing tends to get worse with more monsters on screen, meaning that the most dangerous scenarios are exactly the ones most prone to lag spikes :p I really need to start playing more carefully; the absolute last thing that I want to happen is to get into a bit of trouble, have the game stop responding, and have it resync into a deeds screen.

    In addition, Amp Damage has gone from "minor annoyance" to "major threat"; Sszark and Ismail Vilehand both gave me good scares. Maybe once Immortal hits clvl 30, he'll go back to an invincible monster-slaying machine, but for now I really have to start taking monsters more seriously. In good news, the Ruined Temple had a classic stairtrap (12-15 Spiders waiting at the entrance), which Immortal clobbered his way through without too much hassle - exactly the kind of situation that I'd expect a Mauler to excel at :cool: In other good news, his life pool is great enough for Act 3 Normal (~450) that even players 8 Dolls didn't pose much threat; a few swings of the hammer, and he was back to full after eating their blast.

    The Ormus ring was...fine:
    Screenshot277.jpg
    Nothing to write home about, but not bad when you're still using crummy magic rings.

    Immortal smashed his way through the Durance with minor fuss - it's really quite nice to be able to bathe in Bremm's lightning without taking damage - and took down Mephisto easily. For once, I cleared the entire floor, thanks to Bonesnap dealing enough damage to put even players 8 Council Members into hit recovery. Meph dropped Frostburn, which felt ironic, given that Immortal's my first character in a long while that doesn't ever want them :p

    Act 3 filled his coffers to about 250k gold, so I went to Elzix to try and gamble either Hand of Broc or Gorefoot (the two cheapest sources of mana leech). After blowing through all 250k with nothing to show, I felt that the game had its revenge for giving me Bonesnap so easily :oops:

    Next up - Act 4, and the single most challenging area I've played yet.

    (EDIT) I forgot to mention that I found this rare, which I got a kick out of:
    Screenshot279.jpg
    It took me a moment to realize what was going on.
     
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  11. helvete

    helvete Diabloii.Net Member

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    Do Leap Attacks still count as ranged in 1.04? They did in 1.00 which meant immunity from Iron Maiden. Maybe a HC char isn't so great to test it with, though....
     
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  12. DariusTriplet

    DariusTriplet Diabloii.Net Member

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    Defeating a fallen angel, he realized the secret of the Tribe of Thunder...

    On to (Normal) Hell! Immortal started the Act at clvl 29, so I spent the Outer Steppe still bashing monsters with Bonesnap. There were a few dicey moments, due to Flesh Spawners creating large packs of Flesh Beasts; once again, I really felt the lack of block compared to Marle. Single big monsters haven't been much trouble yet, but swarms of small monsters are - it just takes so long to clear them, even one-shotting with Bonesnap, and Immortal is taking damage all the while. Thankfully, this wouldn't be too much of an issue starting at clvl 30...

    After fighting Izual (who took ages, even with Immortal's inflated damage), clvl 30 was finally reached. I immediately put one point into Whirlwind, one into Natural Resist, and two into Mace Mastery (slvl 20!). I didn't want to start Whirling until I had a source of mana leech - Immortal only had 32 total mana, and Whirlwind required 25 at slvl 1. Needless to say, I had no interest in using Whirlwind once every 90 seconds :p After much more gambling, Gheed finally coughed these up:
    Screenshot283.jpg
    2% is about as paltry as it gets, but it's infinitely better than 0%. Still, only having one WW in the mana pool meant that I had to Whirl with care - if I whiffed, or didn't deal enough damage on a Whirl, I'd end up with an empty tank.

    The Plains of Despair spawned Finger Mages and Souls - needless to say, I didn't get much Whirling done :p Starting in the City of the Damned, though, I was able to finally take it for a spin; even with the -50% damage penalty at slvl 1, the absurd rate of attack and area coverage made it absolutely devastating to use. In addition to the mana issue, I quickly learned two things about Classic Whirlwind:
    1. There's a real art to using it effectively
    2. I'm nowhere near being competent at it
    I tried my usual setup - WW on left-click, Leap Attack on right - but that wasn't working out at all. Misclicking on a monster would cause Immortal to go into the dreaded whirl-right-up-to-a-monster-and-stop-at-its-feet attack, and having to left-click in odd places just broke flow for me. In addition, the lag that's been so pervasive this playthrough made it hard to line up good Whirls against big packs. I swapped to Normal Attack on left click, WW on right, and it just felt much better - it feels really nice to click on the screen to move, then right-click to immediately kick off a Whirl. Having ready access to Normal Attack also helped a lot when needing to refuel mana; I had hoped that the attack from trying to Whirl on empty mana would be enough, but there's nothing worse than doing that and kicking off a useless Whirl.

    I started to really feel in the WW groove in the River of Flame; while I had a few miscues (running out of mana next to a pack of Doom Knights...), I felt that I was getting a grasp on it. I've started to approach it a lot like playing Marle: fire your big attack right along the edge of monster packs, as if Immortal was a Frozen Orb. This has kept Immortal much safer than the greedy mid-pack Whirls, but I'm still getting a handle on making it effective at range 0. Hephasto fell without much issue, proving that Immortal is truly the king of hammers:
    Screenshot285.jpg

    I swapped off WW and on to Leap Attack during the maze part of the River of Flame. This NSFW (Not Safe For Whirling) image explains it all:
    Screenshot287.jpg
    If Immortal attacks any monster - even with Normal Attack - while under Iron Maiden, he's toast. His ~300 average damage gets multiplied, thrown back in his face, and would drop him in a single blow. Whirlwind is completely out of the question; many a Classic Barbarian has fallen to the dreaded mid-Whirlwind IM cast, which kills you with quite literally no possible reaction/defense. I could Normal Attack through the entire Chaos Sanctuary, but even that's risky, as Immortal could be cursed mid-swing and die to his own attack. Any melee attack near an Oblivion Knight would be lethal - what's a Barbarian to do?

    Swap to Leap Attack, which counts as a ranged attack in all Classic versions*, and start hopping.

    Even at slvl 1, Leap Attack provides a nice +100% ED, auto-hits**, and has a screen's range. With Bonesnap, the +50% undead bonus, and skill bonus, Immortal could Leap Attack to most monsters in the CS and drop them in a single blow. The comparatively low cost (9 mana) meant that it wasn't burdensome to continue using; even if his mana pool emptied, a single (risky) Normal Attack would regain enough mana to fire off another Leap Attack. There's a lot to love about Leap Attack, although it suffers from one major problem - it's very buggy in multiplayer. It ought to auto-hit monsters and deal huge damage, but I noticed that it only seemed to actually hit about half the time - the other half, the monster would be knocked back, but lose no health while Immortal leeched no mana/life. Needless to say, this made for a frustrating trip through the CS, as half of my single-target attacks completely missed. It got the job done, though, albeit slowly and with lots of retreat to the front hallways -> furtively hope that no OKs are still hiding behind a nearby pillar -> Normal Attack.

    I'm really not sure what I'm going to do in NM/Hell CS, where I can't lean on raw power to get through. Immortal can still one-shot most monsters in late Normal, but that isn't going to last, and they're only going to get more and more dangerous. I might have to take a very slow approach of Leap Attacking monsters one at a time outside of the CS, since even the unlikely risk of an OK hiding offscreen is too scary to not account for.

    I cleared the CS, then took on the seals. De Seis & Co. were Leap Attacked away; after that, I could freely Whirl again, and made short work of the Infector and Grand Vizier. I took a LCS screenshot right before hitting the last seal:
    Screenshot288.jpg

    Diablo himself was tough, but not as tough as I had feared. After BO (+47% HP/mana), Immortal could eat a lightning hose without breaking too much of a sweat. I Whirled when possible, although Diablo's blocking meant that I couldn't guarantee refueling; awkwardly, I kept clicking on his tail when trying to line up a Whirl, which led to a lot of really bad Whirling. Lots of short Whirls, lots of Normal Attacks, lots of cursing as I click on his tail again, and pretty soon...
    Screenshot289.jpg
    Nothing exciting, although the ring was a minor upgrade over Immortal's old +55 AR blue ring.

    Welcome to Nightmare, Count Immortal.
    Screenshot290.jpg

    * @helvete I checked this on the Lurker Lounge before entering the CS - I'd hate to find that I was wrong the hard way.
    ** Even though it provides an AR bonus - this game sometimes!
     
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  13. DariusTriplet

    DariusTriplet Diabloii.Net Member

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    Clad in a magic tunic, he assaulted the fortress of Anguish...

    One last thing to do in Normal. I don't have any screenshots of the Secret Cow Level, because I learned something surprising - Maul Whirlers are absolutely dreadful at fighting cows. I had expected Immortal to blast through the Cow Level without any trouble at all, but instead I was unable to make headaway against the very first herd. There were a few reasons for this:
    1. Cow herds can easily fill the screen, so it's difficult to find a spot to click on that won't lead to a dreaded Whirl-to-the-foot-of-a-cow attack.
    2. Range 0 means that Immortal couldn't Whirl along the edges of a herd easily - by the time that he could land hits, the cows would already be on top of him. Even with 10% life leech and BO'ed up health, herds were just too dangerous to Whirl through/into. This was the first time that I really felt the sting of range 0 - what I wouldn't have given for a Pike/Lance!
    3. Hell Bovines have a lot of HP (77-165, times eight), so Immortal needed to land multiple hits to defeat one - I couldn't just power through and rely on raw damage to winnow the herd.
    4. 2% mana leech meant that anything short of a solid Whirl would leave Immortal with an empty mana pool.
    All told, fighting through the Cow Level wasn't getting me anywhere. The King's pen was near the red portal, but even after fleeing->TPing->red portaling back to break up herds, I just couldn't separate out the King and get him to cough up his guaranteed rare/unique. I had to give up; the Secret Cow Level(s) will go unconquered by Immortal.

    On to Nightmare! I was concerned that Immortal might struggle in Act 1, given how difficult the Cows were, but he effortlessly Whirled through the Act. Bonesnap continues to shine, and Whirlwind's rapid attack rate + area-of-effect coverage clobbered even large packs easily. Thanks to Natural Resist + rares, Immortal's resists are MAX/near-MAX even after the penalty, and 5 MDR meant that non-physical attacks were almost completely negated.

    Speaking of resists, this lovely belt came out of a house chest:
    Screenshot291.jpg
    Garnet Amber 4-Slot Belt of Titan and Wealth? Sign me up :D The +18 strength is particularly exciting, as it'll be 18 points Immortal can now invest in Vitality; in other words, the "of the Titan" is as good as a +72 HP affix. Not even a perfect "of the Colossus" (+59) is as good :cool: I'll be very surprised if I find anything to replace this before King/death.

    In other rares news, the Cain ring was remarkably useful for once:
    Screenshot293.jpg
    Most of the affixes are functionally blanks, but a Jade Ring of the Bat is exactly what Immortal needed. I could finally ditch his crummy Gorefoot for a more useful pair of boots (Faster R/W and some okay resists) and have much more flexibility regarding Whirlwind. With only 2% mana leech, I had to be fairly conservative in my Whirling - each hit only returned ~6 mana, so each Whirl needed to land 5-6 hits to refuel itself. As such, short Whirls - the kind that you want to use with a Mauler! - and single-target Whirls were out of the question. With 6% mana leech, each hit now returns ~18 mana, so Whirls only need to hit twice to refill Immortal's mana bulb. This allowed for much more liberal Whirlwind use in the back half of Act 1, since a suboptimal Whirl wouldn't leave Immortal helpless.

    I ran into a number of Might-y or Cursed bosses, which were terrifying, as Immortal has no physical damage mitigation. The Smith spawned Cursed, and could have killed Immortal - while 10% leech (30-40 life/hit) could refill Immortal's life bulb quickly, the Smith's hits were absolutely crushing. Playing a Mauler in Classic HC takes serious nerves, as there's no real option other than getting up close to monsters and hoping that damage+leech can kill them before they kill you. I'm going to have to start playing more conservatively as the difficulty increases, since all it could take is a Might-y Cursed boss to end the adventure.

    Immortal's first real challenge in a long while appeared in the Catacombs: a Stone Skin Vampire boss. Despite his huge damage, 75% physical resist meant that I needed a lot of Whirls to take down the boss - likely a sign of challenges to come.

    I didn't bother equipping Death's Hand (for MAX poison resist + 75% duration reduction) for Andariel, and didn't really need it at all. Whirl away the Dark Ones and Ghouls, short Whirls against Andariel, and it's on to Act 2. Act bosses are proving to be annoying since their sprites are so large - it's difficult to do a short Whirl when your target takes up 20% of the screen :p I'm still learning how to effectively use range 0 Whirlwind, so perhaps Act 2 is when it'll start to come together for me as a player.
     
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  14. ioupainmax

    ioupainmax Diabloii.Net Member

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    Excellent finds and write up!
     
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  15. DariusTriplet

    DariusTriplet Diabloii.Net Member

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    In the realm of the dead, he sought the tombs of the Horadrim...

    Act 2 Nightmare felt like the first true part of Immortal's journey. Thus far, he's been able to swing, smash, and Bonesnap his way through any and all comers; instead of needing to develop tactics and pay attention to the game, I instead leaned on his raw power to fly through the game. The good times couldn't last forever, though, and the Act 2 desert was when the difficulty started to ramp up. I couldn't just lazily Whirl and smash through monster packs effortlessly anymore; Vultures and Sabre Cats gave me a few NDEs before I started paying more attention. Most surprising were the Itches, which have never given me difficulty before, but seemed to hit extra hard this playthrough. Even with the increasing difficulty, Immortal is still zipping through the game - I think I cleared the Sewers/desert/Sanctuary in maybe 90 minutes, and another hour for Tombs+Duriel.

    The Maggot Lair was unusually difficult, since Itches were so strangely difficult to hit/kill, and it's hard to do good Whirls in such a cramped space. Clearing Coldworm's chamber was easy, but getting there was a huge headache. I've been having trouble getting a feel for how much HP Immortal has at any given moment - between BO coming on/off, hits being immediately leeched back, and how quickly he can take damage, it's been difficult to gauge minor damage versus NDEs.

    This was also the Act where I really started to feel the pinch of range 0 Whirlwind. I started to worry about Immortal's AR while Whirling through packs of Burning Dead, as I noticed that he was barely hitting any monsters. I also noticed that Whirling at single targets would lead to the satisfying crackcrackcrackcrack of multiple critical hits in quick succession. I checked Immortal's to-hit numbers, checked the Whirlwind mechanics again, and realized that the problem wasn't AR - Whirlwind was just selecting monsters outside of range 0 to target, which auto-misses the attack. It dawned on me that I couldn't just right-click on the other size of a dense monster pack and expect to survive, since so many hits would auto-miss -> no leech -> take lots of hits. By the end of the Act, I was Whirling much more tactically, trying to pull apart packs before Whirling through monsters.

    Gear-wise, I did find this lovely amulet:
    Screenshot294.jpg
    This brings Immortal's total MDR to 8, on top of his MAX resists. He's functionally invulnerable to magic attacks at this point; for perspective, a monster would have to be at least mlvl 66 just to deal one damage from LE bolts. I made it a point to clear the Viper Temple Level 2 - Fangskin is a total pushover when his lightning can't hurt you :D

    I also found this, which I think is the game taunting me:
    Screenshot298.jpg
    Still no Martels of any color - sigh.

    As always, I cleared the Tombs looking for Ancient Kaa. I had an NDE against some plain ol' Hell Cats in the Canyon, which wasn't great for my confidence :eek: In the sixth Tomb, I found him:
    Screenshot299.jpg
    To the surprise of no one, 75% lightning resist + 8 MDR makes him something of a pushover :cool:

    The Duriel fight was much more exciting than I anticipated. My duels against Duriel so far have been somewhat sedate - stand in place, use my best attacks, and hope that block+leech+purples outlast him. Immortal, on the other hand, would have a much more active fight, since Whirlwind necessarily prevents the stand-and-smash tactic from working. Beyond Whirling around and hoping for the best, I didn't have any great strategies for the fight, since it's my first time fighting Duriel with a Whirler in eons. The only thing I was really iffy on was Charge, since I wasn't sure if Whirlwind would move me outside of his melee range.

    I loaded up on life leech (Amulet of the Leech, Hand of Broc), took this screenshot, and hopped down the opening:
    Screenshot300.jpg
    (Greyform is wonderful armor, but it really does look goofy :rolleyes:)

    I was ready for Duriel's crushing hits, but I wasn't expecting his desyncing. I knew that he could be laggy, but since none of my other characters moved much, I never really appreciated just how laggy Duriel could be. It wasn't uncommon for Immortal to start a Whirl, only for Duriel to suddenly warp a few feet away halfway through; worse, if I did a long Whirl, Duriel would do the dreaded warp-Charge and smash Immortal for piles of damage. It was difficult to really get a grasp on what was happening, given that range 0 forced longer Whirls through Duriel; between Immortal moving all over the chamber and Duriel warping in kind, it was a strangely chaotic fight. I was genuinely concerned that Immortal would die somewhere in the mayhem, but after a few minutes...
    Screenshot302.jpg

    Glad to have this one behind me. On to the jungle!
     
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  16. DariusTriplet

    DariusTriplet Diabloii.Net Member

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    No long post this time:

    Screenshot310.jpg

    ~1100 HP, gone in a single hit, from a Doll pack on NM Durance 3. The boss wasn't even Extra Strong/Might-y/Cursed; it was Magic Resistant Holy Fire-y. I took care to kill the minions first, and have full HP when I Whirled to finish off the boss, but clearly it wasn't enough.

    I really thought that I could eat a single blast - my quick math says that I should be able to (12.5% of 209, times eight, is 209 at the absolute top end, crit to 418), but clearly something happened. Even if BO wore off immediately before I Whirled into the boss, Immortal still had 749 HP, so I honestly don't understand how he died.

    (EDIT) I realized my error - I forgot to factor in the 8x multiplier on HP/damage from the number of players in the game. The base damage would've been 751-1672, which easily kills Immortal more than half of the time. In retrospect, I really should've just run from the Doll boss, but given that it was Durance 3 with a non-Teleporting character, I don't think I could have parked it anywhere safely while fighting Bremm/Maffer/Mephisto.

    Good run, Count Immortal (July 20 - August 17 2019).
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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  17. Void Stalker

    Void Stalker Diabloii.Net Member

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    Well, I'm sorry to see that.
     
  18. Vildecor

    Vildecor Diabloii.Net Member

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    Oh no! RIP Immortal. Sad to see this end.
     
  19. Albatross

    Albatross Diabloii.Net Member

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  20. ioupainmax

    ioupainmax Diabloii.Net Member

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    RIP, I hate dolls in HC and NM dolls are a real pain.

    According to @onderduiker, "Damage doesn't increase when more players are in the game." for the death explosion part anyhow.

    Onderduiker has done some in depth testing which you can read about here: Bone Fetish Death Explosions (The Amazon Basin)
     

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