My First Tourney--the Point of No Repair


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erimatbrad said:
What's your plan for playstyle, Jian? You going to go full tilt MF again?
No reason not to. Since rares are even more interesting than usual, I want as many chances as possible to find good ones. Uniques also, of course, especially some of those exceptional unique merc weapons are tasty.
Right now, Leharas the Defiance merc has +113% MF on his kills.

Io will be a 'mercasorc' throughout Normal and NM, mostly hanging back, assisting the merc with Enchant, Teleport, Glacial Spike and Telekinesis (maybe Terror and Life Tap from charges, too). There are 4 reasons to let the merc kill (almost) everything:

* He will have no trouble keeping up with Io´s level.
* I get ALL the MF factored in for every kill.
* Item´s won´t lose durability. :D
* Safer. If Leharas dies in about two seconds, even if I don´t know why he died, I KNOW that I don´t want my character to be where he was standing!

The Savage polearm recipe is cheesy, but oh so addictive and useful. Some of the weapons you can generate with this recipe are overpowered way into Nightmare on /players 8! Imagine how good they will be on /p1. The only slight downer is that it will take longer for Leharas to reach the level needed to equip the best ones.

For the late game. I plan to have high blocking and defense, so Io can have the option to fight shoulder-to-shoulder alongside the merc, chilling enemies with her Shiver Armor, popping some Statics against bosses and pounding them with fast weapons. I just realized that a small investment in Lighting Mastery can pay off really well, using the right gear. Already at level 5, the lightning damage is almost doubled. Guess I´ll save the good lightning damage charms along the way. I am really good at looking for good items to buy when I sell stuff anyway, so I´ll stock up on good lightning weapons along the way. With good damage both with fire, physical and lightning, nothing should be immune to our damage (every full clearer must deal at least 3 different damage types OR use Open Wounds).

Her dream (but still very much possible) end-game weapon is a 'Crescent Moon' Phase Blade. Sooner or later, one of these tourneys HAS to give me an Um rune from NM Hellforge.


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I think I'm going to make a bit of a different plan with Virvelvind in terms of weapons.

I'm going to put 1 point into every weapon mastery, and focus on maces and axes. Why? I just realized that the Blood / Hit Power recipes called for those.

It will also be nice to be able to get a +30% damage bonus and a chance for critical hits with just a small investment of skill points. I'll also have range (woo!) and a weapon with huge damage to use with berzerk for PIs. At the price of 2 SPs, how could I not?

I'm torn between a might merc and a cold wolf. Might merc seems to be the very 'traditional' route to take for a damage dealer. The bonus to using a cold wolf is an alternate source of damage (yay!), and the fact that frozen enemies can't hit me when I'm whirling through them.

The bonus to the might merc is that I'll leech that much more, and at 30+ mana per whirlwind, that'll be muchly needed late game. Worst case, I'll socket P. Sapphires for the +38 mana. That's one more whirlwind per gem!

jiansonz said:
Right now, Leharas the Defiance merc has +113% MF on his kills.
I'm way impressed at the 113% MF. I've got 18% right now -- no MF items have been dropping for poor Virl, and I've only found 2 chipped topazes. It's still early game, though, so I'm not worried...


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erimatbrad said:
I'm way impressed at the 113% MF.
And I still don´t have any MF on the rings and amulet yet...
Yeah, my topaz luck started off slow, but improved greatly during the second half of act 1. Current MF gear:

* Two Gemmed Helms with 2x cTopaz each
* Gemmed Ring Mail (Leharas) with 3x cTopaz
* Gemmed Breast Plate (Io). Andariel was kind enough to drop a chipped topaz with one of her gem drops and a flawed topaz as an item drop. Still one empty socket in this armor.
* Gloves and Boots 'of Fortune' (23% and 24%, respectively). Io couldn´t for the life of her gamble anything better than some crappy 7% boots, even though piles and piles of cash went into Gheed´s pockets. :lol: By the time I reached the Catacombs, I gave up on the gambling and saved the cash from the Catacomb finds for shopping in act 2, where you can actually buy MF stuff.


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It took me a while to realize that Io was wearing the armor, and not that Jian had put an Io *in* the armor. :)

Anyhoo, a short playtime today. Virvelvind is level 13, in the Jail, Level 1, and is the proud owner of the Hand of Broc, thanks to the boss shaman he whacked to death.

I've thrown a skill point into Mace/Axe/Polearm/Spear mastery, which makes me a bit of a renaissance man. It's so far not provided for any particular flexibility in weapons, as a Vicious Bardiche is still the best I've seen.

With the Hand of Broc, I've got enough mana to bash repeatedly, and that helps keep enemies far enough away so that they can't hit me. Hopefully things will remain smooth sailing until I get the whirlywind skill, and can level it up enough to overcome the -50% damage it starts out with....


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Io now has my 'standard' act 2 equipment: 'Steel' Flail and (Crimson) Bone Shield of Deflecting. Even with this shield, her blocking is only in the low thirties. That´s because sorcies start so low in the two most important early stats (10 both in STR and VIT, that´s SO not fair!) Still haven´t reached 200 life, which is the bare minimum I want against Duriel with characters that don´t have castable minions or have Blaze (or are allowed to use Static Field with no restrictions).

Circlets have started to show up in the gambling window and I got one that actually caused me to decrease the MF I wear by 7 units: an Amber (34%) Circlet of Chance. When Leharas is going to poke some more beetles, it will be good to have 53% lightning resistance. Less dancing will be required...

Io has killed exactly two monsters with her weapon. She just leads the merc around. In Halls of the Dead, Leharas one-hit killed the skeletons, so there was no need for any special tactics to get to the Hollow Ones. Io still hasn´t cast Enchant yet, there´s no need. However, Teleport was really useful in the Maggot Lair.

I now have the cube, but I won´t cube rings->amulets and vice versa until really late in the act (level 24, when I can get Garnet/Coral/Cobalt on them).

Name: Io
Level: 21
Next area: Harem


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about Shiver Armor not your fault if the critters die for hitting at you.
As for the the other kills, the main thing is that you do not rely on your spells as your main form of damage, you are expected to do a bit for yourself. Although I applaud the tried and true method of killing via merc, do lash out and lend a hand (and pointy stick) in taking down your foes.

And I would agree that the best way of saying "the time you have in a waking period" is a day. I even know some people who will not call it the next day (date, day of week, or relative references (today, tommorow, ect.) -wise) until they have gone to bed, slept for more than 1 hour and then wake up; despite the actual time.

Anyway, kudos!
Everybody keep up the goodness, I expect to get a bit more play time in soon.


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erimatbrad said:
It took me a while to realize that Io was wearing the armor, and not that Jian had put an Io *in* the armor. :)
I would only consider that with a barbarian (not very likely, though), as they are the only characters that get more life from an Io than from a perfect ruby.

It wasn´t until after I played a bit that I realized that my character and a rune had the same name. The name is from Greek Mythology:

"The beautiful daughter of the Argivian king Inachos, and one of Zeus's mistresses, who the god had turned into a cow to avoid the wrath of Hera. When Hera realized who the cow was, she made the monster Argus guard her until Zeus sent Hermes to rescue her. Hera kept persecuting Io in the shape of a gadfly, who swam to Egypt, where she turned into a nymph again and gave birth to Heracles ancestor Epaphus.

The Ionian sea was named after her since she swam across that sea on her way to Egypt.

According to Herodotus, Io was in reality a Greek princess who was kidnapped by the Phoenicians."

water_moon said:
Although I applaud the tried and true method of killing via merc, do lash out and lend a hand (and pointy stick) in taking down your foes.
Will do. But most of the time, Leharas will kill them so quickly, it isn´t easy to get involved. But I am eager to try out my new ethereal Short Spears of Replenishing against archers, Unravelers and the like. I think those javelins will be quite powerful with a couple of more levels in Enchant.


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Level 16
Lut Gholein


Playing on p1 is way, way easy starting out. I still wish I had whirlwind for big packs of enemies, though. Everything pretty much drops from the "bash bash" method of attacking, though.

The only thing that is scary is CE enemies -- being frozen and swinging a slow weapon is very, very bad.

Anyhoo -- Andariel was quite kind, and coughed up a rare +all res amulet (with major cold resistance) that had a ctc frost nova. She also gave me a ring of 2x% cold resist and 10%MF with a boost to AR and light radius. A few assorted weapons dropped, but nothing really worth mentioning.

I'm looking somewhat forward to Act II. This is where weapons and armor should start breaking and I'll be forced to throw things down in disgust (I had to relegate my MF cap to my merc, as it was about to shatter into pieces).

I'm also excited about the cube, as it will open the door to trying to get better rings and amulets. :)


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Name: Krushara
Class: Assassin
Clvl: 26
Act/Difficulty: Act 3/Normal
Waypoint: Kurast Docks

I've picked up a nice weapon: ethereal blade talons of self repair. I doubt I'll be finding anything significantly better for a while. Most of Act 2 was relatively easy. Duriel was a pain, but after several trips back to town he died and I lived.


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Apparently, old habits are hard to shake off. For some players here, it´s the challenge of avoiding the Repair All button. Myself, I´m having a very hard time fighting my 'only help merc if he needs it' routine. I have to constantly tell myself to "Get in there and fight!", "Throw some javelins!", "Smash the buggers!". I tried to fool myself into thinking I was playing softcore. Even that didn´t help much, as my playing style is much the same in SC.

Even so, I managed to fight enough to break my runeworded Flail. I have a good supply of the three lowest runes, so I just made another one. :D

For the Duriel fight, I Enchanted both our weapons, drank a bunch of Thawing Potions and activated a Combat Shrine. Listed damage for Io: 46-142! We smashed /p5 Duriel silly. Duriel didn´t hit very often (gogo Defiance!). I only had to feed Leharas 3 Healing potions (no rejuves needed).

Merc was using the result of my third cubing attempt: Savage Halberd of the Wraith. Very powerful at this stage, but it was annoying that it got mana steal and not life steal. I found Razortine (unique Trident) in Canyon of the Magi. While the fast attacking speed, slowing and -target defense are good things, the damage output is simply outmatched by the halberd.

Already at this stage, I fear the Diablo fight. I want to use Throwing Spears in that fight. They are fast, do good damage, have stacks of 80 and Halbu sells them. When Io levelled to 21, she broke the 200 life barrier, and I feel that I can finally afford to put more points in anything other than Vitality for a while. Io had 35 DEX at this stage (to be able to use a Flail). Throwing Spears require 65 DEX. What level will she be when she faces Diablo? 27 or so? Seems like I thought of this just in time...

Name: Io
Level: 24
Next area: Spider Forest


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jiansonz said:
Even so, I managed to fight enough to break my runeworded Flail. I have a good supply of the three lowest runes, so I just made another one.
Nicely done, Jian. Have you stocked up on 2 socket flails to keep the chain going?

jiansonz said:
For the Duriel fight, I Enchanted both our weapons, drank a bunch of Thawing Potions and activated a Combat Shrine. Listed damage for Io: 46-142! We smashed /p5 Duriel silly. Duriel didn´t hit very often (gogo Defiance!). I only had to feed Leharas 3 Healing potions (no rejuves needed).
That's an impressive damage range again. I was a bit dismayed when I hired my defiance merc and discovered he was doing more damage than me with a worse weapon.

jiansonz said:
Io had 35 DEX at this stage (to be able to use a Flail). Throwing Spears require 65 DEX. What level will she be when she faces Diablo? 27 or so? Seems like I thought of this just in time...
This is why I always have such a hard time committing stat points in normal. I never know what I'll need, and am often too lazy to look it up...


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jiansonz said:
I applaud azn_apocalypse for fast progress in two tournaments. :clap:
Do your days (and nights) have more than 24 hours?
Well, I sure wish they did. I just happened to get a lot of playing time in last week because my final exam schedule was pretty light this semester, and I didn't feel like studying very hard. I needed a distraction. :xsmile:

Anyway, I played Warranty today, getting him past the Claw Viper Temple and now he's ready to enter the Palace. My character has run into a crazy streak of good MF luck. I've never found so many good items in one day before (I've never done boss runs or Pit runs, so that is probably why). Here's the best of what I found.

Stealskull (unique Casque)
Immortal King's Will (Avenger Guard), socketed 1 PTopaz, 1 socket free
Tal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth (Mesh Belt)

and here's the kicker...

Viper Breaker
Great Maul
Two-Hand Damage: 49 to 76
Durability: 43 of 60
Required Strength: 99
Required Level: 24
Mace Class - Slow Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10 Expansion
Item Level: 50
Fingerprint: 0x2d942f01
+29% Enhanced Damage
+44 to Attack Rating
+2 to Maximum Damage
150% Damage to Undead
Level 2 Ice Blast (10/25 Charges)
Repairs 1 durability in 33 seconds

This is going to get upgraded to a Martel de Fer as soon as I can get the PSapphire...I wish the enhanced damage was a little higher but this is definitely a great find.

Generally, I've finding so many good items now that I am debating whether to put them on my character (and risk having them lose durability and be unusable later in the game) or just put them into the stash and use them when I really need them. Since I'm a slave to Magic Find, I have decided I am going to wear them for now. Right now I'm wearing the IK Will and Tal Rasha's belt, and I gave the Stealskull to my barb merc.

I have a new strategy that will prevent me from getting hit and my gear from losing durability. It involves letting my merc do some heavy tanking. With Stealskull added, the merc is now practically the Claw Viper temple Level 2 he tanked Fangskin's entire pack of minions and his health bar never dropped below full. What I do now is let the monsters surround the merc and start attacking him, while I drop back. Then I taunt a random monster away from my merc and deal with it one-on-one. Once I kill it then I taunt another one over to me. Meanwhile my merc continues to keep the monsters busy and kills some of them on his own. And this continues, until the monsters are all dead. I almost never get hit this way, since my defense now is about 3500 when attacking (1500 when standing still)


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Virvelvind has cleared Act II!

A Superior 'Steel' flail does incredibly well in Act II. Mine lost 2/3rds of it's durability clearing the sewers, though. :(

So, I decided on a different tact. I went a-gambling. The first Spetum I gamble on was, essentially, a Deadly Spetum with LL and Repair. Woohoo!

This baby was killing things in one hit all the way through. Nice! I, sadly, got hit way lots, though, and lost my Hand of Broc. :( I've yet to replace it with something worthy, though.

Duriel was way easy, and I went over to my Steel Flail for him. Not having blocking is a major issue! I'm not sure if it'll be better if I go the insanely high defense route, though....

Duriel gave me a beautiful Bardiche with 175 poison damage on it. I might hand that to the merc. It might be a nice whirlwind weapon too. (Can I possibly find a Pestilential Axe/Mace of Pestilence? :))

I used the Savage Polearm recipe three times, and the best was a Savage Lochaber Axe of Readiness. My merc had LL, and I had it too, and it is somewhat necessary for me at this state.

I'm hoping I'll stumble across a +3 Find Item helm. It'll make my adventures all the richer...

Name: Virvelvind
Level: 22
Next Area: Spider Forest


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Name: Virvelvind
Level: 28
Next Area:, the place after the barbarian prisons. :)

A huge amount of playtime yesterday. Act 3 was way easy with just a randomly shopped sword from whoever happened to be around. I made another Steel weapon, which got me further along than the last one happened to.

Things flew by in Act III. Nothing could hit the moron hard enough to damage him, and Virvelvind was smashing things to death with an ethereal maul.

Act IV slowed down significantly when I got to the OKs. If I swung my maul, and had IM, I'd be inflicting my own NDE. I switched it out for a longsword that had a lot of elemental damage, and things started to go a bit better. I still cautiously lured them out two or three at a time. I was actually able to break the leash on the Infector's boss pack, which made things go better.

After all of this good news, there has to be some slightly irritating news too.

The only low points of Act 3 and 4 were the Act bosses. It took a few tries (and resurrections!) to get to the point where Mephisto would target Virvelvind. Once he started doing that, it was just a matter of keeping enough potions to go along.

Diablo, however, had no qualms at all at targeting Virvelvind! He never once targeted my merc. His lightning stream alternated between taking 95% of my life, and taking 5%. Very confusing.

I ended up killing him with a Slightly Hurty Long Sword of Mana Leech. (Hmm.. a Vicious Long Sword of the Bat?).

Act V is, of course, easy as always... the only irritating thing is chasing down those teleporters.

I've found a few uniques and sets, most notably Raven Claw (long bow), but I'm not allowed to use that, so there you go. :) Not surprisingly, there were several Isenhart's Cases, but those sell for 6k a pop, so :thumbsup:

I'm getting to the point where I'm breaking weapons all the time. I've gone through no less than ten! I can't imagine what will happen when I get whirlwind. I'm currently using a rare Rune Scepter with 2 flawed skulls in it, but it's at 6 durability now, so I'll probably be switching back soon.

I'm currently always carrying a replenishing/repairing weapon, but only using it when a better weapon breaks and I need something to tide me over.

I've slightly amended my plan -- blood axe and a shield for berzerking, and dual swords (perhaps?) for whirlwinding. If CTC worked while whirling, I'd hope for a Crescent Moon weapon. Since I don't think it does... who knows what I'll end up using.


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Whew...this tourney is tough.

I'm level 59 now, in Act 3 NM, but having major problems at this point, despite the optimism I showed in my last post. I sold my self-repairing rare great maul after I looked at the str reqs for a martel de fer...169 barb doesn't come anywhere near that...

And I wore Immortal King's Will through most of Act 2 but my strategy for preventing it from losing durability did not work, so I'm not wearing it anymore! The problem I (and everyone in this tourney) face is getting hit by monsters. Even with high defense, monsters _will_ sometimes hit you. And when you are surrounded by a bunch of monsters (which often choose to ignore my merc and go right after me), you will likely get hit at least some of the time. This meant that I had to stop wearing my best armors and replace them with crap that had self-repair on it. (I haven't found any self-repairings with other good mods on them).

In light of this I have changed my strategy somewhat. While it's a little late to be learning new skills, I've started placing points into War Cry (first point in at level 59), the skill that stuns enemies for a period of time. Right now the duration is too short to be useful. But I'm hoping in ten levels (if I get that far) it will have improved to the point where I can wear my best armors again.

EDIT: I also made the mistake of selling my only poison dmg charm, causing the monsters to regenerate again. I need to find another pdmg charm!


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An interesting day for Warranty. Lots of trouble early on (see last post) but I have some confidence now. I think my new War Cry strategy just may work to prevent my armors from losing durability. What I do is I basically spam War Cry, keeping the enemies stunned and refreshing the stun as soon as it wears off. Progress is very slow using this method, but it's effective. I went through and cleared basically all of the Flayer Jungle, the Swampy Pit, the Flayer Dungeon, and Lower Kurast, and my IK helm only lost TWO durability during that entire stretch.

I don't know why I'm so attached to the IK helm. The bonuses aren't that big, to be honest (84% MF, +2 warcries); a 3-socketed ptopaz helm would work just as well for MFing, which is my main concern. But for some reason I feel like I MUST keep wearing it at all costs. I don't know, I just seem to find such good items when I'm wearing it. Anyway, if the helm runs out of durability then I'm going to personalize it (can't socket it cause it's already socketed) to extend its lifespan. I don't need it to last forever, just until I can find something better. Or, of course, there is the slim chance that I could always find another one. :xgrin:

Here's the list of notable items I found today:

Aldur's Advance (Indestructible Battle Boots, I put these on immediately)
Venom Grip (Unique Demonhide Gloves, nothing special)
Magnus's Skin (Sharkskin Gloves)
a Dol rune

And here's the rare ring I got for doing the Gidbinn Quest...this is by far the worst quest reward I have ever received in NM:

Shadow Hold
Required Level: 5
Item Version: 1.10 Expansion
Item Level: 35
Fingerprint: 0x9f6687b
+2 to Dexterity
+6 to Maximum Stamina
+14 to Attack Rating
Damage Reduced by 1
Magic Damage Reduced by 1
Fire Resist +5%

Wish list: I'm hoping for an indestructible set/unique weapon like Hwanin's Justice. That would solve a lot of problems.

Destroyer Warranty
Level: 60
Act 3 NM, Lower Kurast WP


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Right, so after a slow start I managed to get BrideofVlad through to level 26. She is currently in act 3 at the Flayer Jungle. I didn't want to go into lowere kurast until I had the time to do full clears as I need to find some runes and some rubies.

Yes, I need to craft some blood gloves.

The build I am currently playing is going to rely fairly heavily on crushing blow and I don't have any yet. That's what crafted blood gloves are for. At the moment, I seem to be the tank and the merc is doing the killing. Brief rundown of build. A few points in jab, fend and impale. A lot of points in dodge and avoid. Might put some in evade, but I don't seem to be running around too much. I'm going to be doing full clears of lower kurast, kurast bazaar and upper kurast on /players 8, mainly because I want to find nef runes and lower, and rubies.

Level 26
Area: Flayer Jungle


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Goshawk (Impalezon)
Level: 20
Area: Act II (Found cube and killed Radamant)

I still routinely set out from town with one equipped spear and another in my inventory. I've noticed one interesting thing about impale, and I'm not sure if this is a general durability thing. Using impale while down to my last durability point my weapon broke before I got my attack. Now with all the weapons I've broken you'd think I would have noticed this before. Eh. Maybe I was seeing things at the time.

This character badly needs it's decoy. I can't handle getting mobbed at all. Constant dodging is a bad thing when you have a second+ length attack. I know my killing speed is bad because without any effort my rogue companion has kept within 3 levels of me. Normally that requires at least some concious decision to let her get some kills.

p.s. Does anyone else think the cube should be the reward for the first quest in the game?


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Level 30 (woo!)
Next Area: Pindle's Garden

Well, I have whirlwind. I'm very disappointed with it too. I can't do enough damage to leech myself to health with the -50% damage it starts out dealing. I'll pump it up and stick to using Berzerk and Concentrate, thank you very much. :)

Anya was nice in giving me a +2 find item helm. Not quite the +3 I was hoping for, but beggars can't be choosy.

Things are going relatively well -- I've switched over to using either a giant axe of amplify damage, or a rare two-handed sword and shield if I need blocking. My merc seems to hit and kill things a lot more than I do. I'm always in the fray, but I seem to miss a lot more than he does, even though I have a 80% chance to hit. Hmm...

Once I get whirlwind to level 10 or so, things should be much easier. I need to, ideally, have two high damage weapons, one with LL and one with ML. :) It may end up that my end game weapons are runeworded phase blades (Perhaps Venom and Honor?) for the leech factor...


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p.s. Does anyone else think the cube should be the reward for the first quest in the game?[/QUOTE said:
Wulfgar is lvl 19 & just got his in act2
I've been using double swing and going through scimitars like nobody's business. Until I found a crystal sword with elemental damage and... Self Repair!

One of the tactics I've been using on my armor is to wear it down to 1 durability and then put it on my merc. That way she gets nice mf or life/mana leech. Plus merc's equiptment doesn't lose durabilty, she's also good when I want to put a back up set on her to hold for a bit. But I got her a nice bow w/ chance to cast amp damage on attack. Helpful w/ Andy.

I also found my 1st green, Berserkers' headgear, quite apt for a barbie.