Kyrie's Quest for 99/Grail

Yng

Diabloii.Net Member
This thread will serve a dual purpose, as I haven't introduced myself here yet.

Personal Introduction:
I'm Josh. I've been playing D2 in some form or another for over a decade now. I started out like most others, making mistakes and just getting a general feel for the game as a teenager exploring PvM. After a while a took an interest in PvP and the majority of my time on the game was was spent dueling and devising strategies/builds etc. I played mostly on East NL as Ele Druid and organized/participated in many different variations of 1v1 tournaments/ladders.

But enough about that, that's not why I'm here. After a while I began playing HC single player, with the majority of my walks being limited to only P8 settings with very few exceptions (Countess reruns for example). I've been browsing this forum for quite a while now without an account (major props for the awesome work done here running Lower Kurast and the LK Patterns thread in particular) and I decided to make one and post my progress for my latest project. I noticed a thread here for "untwinked level 99 progress" (don't worry, I'll be posting there as well, this is just more of a personal blog) and it really sparked my interest. This (finally) leads me to the point of this really long post: my experiences trying to reach level 99 as a Druid and his grail attempt.

First, I'd like to clarify that Kyrie is already a level 90 Guardian. This is my first successful P8 HC untwinked walk. My previous Druid RIP'd @ Hell Maggot Lair and I've also RIP'd an Assassin and Sorceress @ Hell Lower Kurast and Hell Ancient Tunnels respectively. He is currently a Fury Druid that I have not played in roughly 5 months outside of the occasional LK run or two just to spice things up from other projects. Before my hiatus I was already planning to token to Ele (I've already used up all of my Akara respecs during the original walk) so I have already acquired a good bit of the essentials for the change but I'm still missing a few items and the last essence (Baal being stingy). We will pick up from where I left off, trying to acquire the last essence for the respec and hunting down the last few items to support the runs to 99.

Short-term Goals:
1. Acquire the last essence from Baal to respec to Ele.
2. Construct a viable Ele setup/merc setup to handle P8 CS runs.
3. Test my setup with a few runs, make adjustments necessary before the long grind.

Guardian Summary:
Normal: I used Fissure with stops at Countess for Leaf/Stealth and Pindle to catch up on levels before NM. The AoE output of Fissure is ridiculous so I didnt have any issue clearing the content @P8.

Nightmare: I continued as Fissure to farm bugged Andariel and decide which spec I would finish the game as. I was really leaning towards Fury as my first Druid attempt was Ele. One ethereal Vipermagi drop later (roughly 300 runs in..) and I had firmly decided to play Fury. I ended up doing over 500 runs without producing a Ribcracker so I settled for a Butcher's Pupil and respec'd Fury. The damage was ok at best but I was rather safe with heavy investments in Werewolf/Lycanthropy/Oak Sage and inherent leech from Feral Rage. I ultimately upgraded the Butcher's and even spent a socket quest on it before entering Hell.

Hell: Early Hell was an uphill battle. I gave myself the luxury of running Countess @ p1 (her rune drops are better this way anyway) and that helped but the Archers in the tower are dangerous and I often encountered situations where I had lost upwards of 2500 HP in 1-2 seconds at most from nasty packs. After a few days of P1 Countess and P8 Pits I had enough levels and a decent enough setup that I felt comfortable progressing. In the same spot that my first Druid RIP'd I got my first real break of the walk (IIRC it dropped from a regular Swarm mob:
Black Locusts - swarm2 (H) Maggot Lair Level 1 1:1936782)


It didn't take long to find the base from Pits which led to one of the worst rolls I've ever seen, but a ridiculously good weapon nonetheless:


From there I bee lined for LK, feeling I was only one piece away from safely completing the walk. After a little over 2000 runs I had the last piece in hand:








From there I felt extremely confident I could complete the walk sporting Grief damage, 4500+ HP, max elemental resistances (PR was a little under max), and ~30% physical resistance. I ran into some trouble a few times (most notably @ my attempt on Hell forge, which I ultimately had to abandon after being surrounded) but I eventually stood above someone's corpse:

Funny, I actually forgot to restock TPs in my anxiousness to finish so I had to do waves 4 & 5 + Baal with no trips to town..


E: I also have not used any muling programs thus far in any of my walks as they were completely untwinked and I didn't have plans for grail attempts. Open to suggestions of which of the two programs would be better for this as I'd like to track my grail progress throughout my push to 99.
 

darkstarhub

Diabloii.Net Member
I never used Atma, but I really like GoMule. With the ability to separate everything into different projects it lets you keep things apart from each other. The Sorc I am playing is running untwinked to 99, so I keep everything for her separate from the other characters I use. Plus, GoMule has a great report telling you how many of each category of item you have and what percentages you have as far as grail completion.

Oh yeah, welcome and good luck on your journey man!!!
 
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PandadudeSP

Diabloii.Net Member
Welcome! I use Atma since that's what I've always used, but I think gomule gets more support and is the preferred mod for most people here.
 
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T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Welcome !!! Great write-up to start things with.

I'm also using GoMule, and love it, for the reasons @darkstarhub mentioned.

Good luck on the journey !!!
 
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Yng

Diabloii.Net Member
I never used Atma, but I really like GoMule. With the ability to separate everything into different projects it lets you keep things apart from each other. The Sorc I am playing is running untwinked to 99, so I keep everything for her separate from the other characters I use. Plus, GoMule has a great report telling you how many of each category of item you have and what percentages you have as far as grail completion.

Oh yeah, welcome and good luck on your journey man!!!
Nice write-up, welcome and good luck!
Welcome! I use Atma since that's what I've always used, but I think gomule gets more support and is the preferred mod for most people here.
Welcome !!! Great write-up to start things with.

I'm also using GoMule, and love it, for the reasons @darkstarhub mentioned.

Good luck on the journey !!!
Thanks all, I will try out Gomule when I get the chance and make sure everything is set up before CS runs. We had our first child in early September so time available to play is limited right now but I'll make sure to keep this updated.
E: I did a few Baal runs last night but no luck with that essence yet.
 

Disposition

Diabloii.Net Member
Completely untwinked melee druid? Mind posting your skills/progression as you went along?

Edit : Also, you played exclusively on P8 aside from hell countess runs in hc?

Edit 2 : Also curious your mention on LK runs, never heard of this and I played D2 for 11 years solid, what's so beneficial about these runs?

Edit 3: What is a grail attempt?
 
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Yng

Diabloii.Net Member
Completely untwinked melee druid? Mind posting your skills/progression as you went along?

Edit : Also, you played exclusively on P8 aside from hell countess runs in hc?

Edit 2 : Also curious your mention on LK runs, never heard of this and I played D2 for 11 years solid, what's so beneficial about these runs?

Edit 3: What is a grail attempt?
Yes, everything was found by the Druid himself during the walk; nothing transferred on to him. All content and reruns were P8 aside from Countess (she was ran P1 on Normal, NM, and Hell for the better rune drops). I have also ran Baal P1 trying to get that essence, but only after I had completed the walk.

I have the entire walk posted elsewhere so I have shots for just about anything you wanted to see. If you could be more specific on what you wanted to see exactly it would narrow things down for me, don't care to transfer the entire walk shot for shot here. It's a LOT.

LK runs are referencing the superchests in Lower Kurast. It's the most efficient way to get runes up to Ber. There's actually a nice write up here on it.

Grail is a complete collection of all items (sets and uniques).

E:
Good luck on your adventures! :)
Welcome and good luck!

That's quite the challenge!
Thanks!
 
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Disposition

Diabloii.Net Member
Yes, everything was found by the Druid himself during the walk; nothing transferred on to him. All content and reruns were P8 aside from Countess

I have the entire walk posted elsewhere

LK runs are referencing the superchests in Lower Kurast. It's the most efficient way to get runes up to Ber. There's actually a nice write up here on it.
!
That's awesome man. :) I'm going to try this aswell.

If you hook me up with that post I'll just read it! I just want to know your skill progression between norm-nm-hell when you used akara ect and when you committed to damage output.

I found that thread, that's amazing, just non-stop rune hunting.
 

Yng

Diabloii.Net Member
That's awesome man. :) I'm going to try this aswell.

If you hook me up with that post I'll just read it! I just want to know your skill progression between norm-nm-hell when you used akara ect and when you committed to damage output.

I found that thread, that's amazing, just non-stop rune hunting.
I don't want to break any rules linking to other sites so just google "Kyrie the Druid".
 

Yng

Diabloii.Net Member
So I've had a little time to play thanks to this storm and I have some updates finally!
First, someone decided to finally give me something after roughly 20 P1 runs:


I already had the other 3 so I finally took a big step towards being CS-ready with a respec to Tornado.
I hadn't done my Rescue On Mount Arreat in Hell yet (I was quite anxious to finish the walk by the time I reached Act 5) so I headed to the Frigid Highlands:


Razan had served me well throughout the walk but I'd feel a lot more safe with a Sanctuary-equipped Act 5 mercenary. I already had a Champion Sword Lawbringer (couldn't find a 3 socket Phase Blade early on so I just used what I had) for breaking PIs so I just swapped over Razan's Treachery/Stealskull (I found a Blackhorn's Face later on which he is currently using) and he was good to go. Barloc is going to play a big role in making sure I can farm seals safely with Sanctuary and increasing effective damage output through Decrepify.

Finally, here's a look at my stats after respec. Not bad but this is with 3k+ total LK runs invested and many Pit runs as well as others:


And just because I don't think it's fair for anyone to post a SP Enigma without the lead up, I went ahead and transferred these shots over just for peace of mind. It was around 2k LK runs pre Guardian completion and another 1k after to finish the Enigma:












I also went ahead and downloaded Gomule and everything seems to be working fine. From here I'm going to try to reroll a decent LK/Meph map combination and farm my ass off until I'm satisfied with my setup. I'll be doing quite a bit of crafting/gambling as well as I intend to run 163% FCR for seal runs. Here's a list of items in particular I'm looking for:

Edge Hunter's Bow (for Gambling purposes)
Ethereal 3 socket Legend Sword (for Lawbringer upgrade)
Ethereal Archon Plate (to bug for Treachery upgrade)
4 socket Monarch (for swap Spirit, I only have one for now)
Arachnid
Magefist or Trang-Oul's (prefer Magefist as I'm not using Insight)
Waterwalk or Aldur's Boots
Guillaume's or Vampire Gaze/Tal's Helmet (one for boss killing, one for seals)
2 Druid/20 FCR rare Circlet
2 Druid/18+ FCR caster craft Amulet
Blood craft or rare Ring with FCR
Elemental GCs (I have 0)

Obviously they aren't all mandatory and I'll almost certainly start seal runs long before I've acquired everything. More soon!
 
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ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice work, though you didn't post the Enigma :) but it's always impressive to actually farm it without teleport, don't know if I had the patience really since it takes so much longer.

I'm curious though regarding Lawbringer, is this for lack of Reaper or do you prefer it over Reaper due to Sanctuary aura in CS? (Cause I really like the HF aura for my Windy.)
 

Yng

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice work, though you didn't post the Enigma :) but it's always impressive to actually farm it without teleport, don't know if I had the patience really since it takes so much longer.

I'm curious though regarding Lawbringer, is this for lack of Reaper or do you prefer it over Reaper due to Sanctuary aura in CS? (Cause I really like the HF aura for my Windy.)
I just wanted to post the runes leading up to it so that people wouldn't be skeptical if they starting seeing Teleport in my screenshots with me being new here. Here's my roll:

Funny story, I actually remember thinking I'd be satisfied if it at least hit 4 digits on the defense. I guess you get what you ask for.

I've also done roughly 100 P8 Meph runs since respec so I guess I'll go ahead and post the few I've checked off the list already. I've got quite a nice start on my grail as well, but still a long way to go obviously.






As for your question about Lawbringer, I don't have Reaper's Toll yet and I wouldn't use it over Lawbringer for CS specifically. I'd use Reaper's on Act 2 mercenary for just about everything else, though.
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
Kudos, that's ballsy in HC, especially when going for 163% FCR which (apart from the challenge of getting there untwinked) means sacrificing defensive stats as well. But I've never tested it so I'll be curious to see how this setup works out for you. Good luck with the drops!
 

Yng

Diabloii.Net Member
Kudos, that's ballsy in HC, especially when going for 163% FCR which (apart from the challenge of getting there untwinked) means sacrificing defensive stats as well. But I've never tested it so I'll be curious to see how this setup works out for you. Good luck with the drops!
I tested a few Infector/Vizier seal runs last night @ P8 with 99 FCR. I'm rather safe already but it is a little slow. I'm not expecting to ever be able to compete with Barb/Sorc speed but there's a few things that I can upgrade (especially getting some Ele GCs) to increase damage output. The thing is you're really only sacrificing DR making the jump to 163 and with so many Amp/Decrep applications it's much less efficient as a stat anyway. With the KB from Sanctuary + the fact that I can play mid range with Tornados I should be fine barring a massive mistake in positioning when popping Infector seal while Amped or something like that. I'll definitely test both setups and compare before I commit, though.
 

Yng

Diabloii.Net Member
Not much to talk about lately with drops. A few rune drops in LK and a good bit more towards my grail from Meph.
I also checked out AT, WP close to the trap door and chest + 2 uniques right by the entrance. I've only done like 5 runs of AT so far so nothing to really show from there. Still need to reroll a better LK/Meph combo.
I did take a break from this to start leveling a SC sorc so I've slowed down a bit.





 
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