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My progress thru Normal with 7 HC characters

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by HC Gunther, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. HC Gunther

    HC Gunther IncGamers Member

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    My progress thru Normal with 7 HC characters

    I would greatly appreciate any advice/feedback/comments on my play. I think I am playing MUCH better since I started reading these forums, but I have far to go.

    I am playing 7 HC characters at the same time, keeping them all in the same act. Single-pass, full clears for each character. I trade freely among the characters, but if a character is using an item, he/she keeps it. My playing style is to let my merc kill almost everything. Once a character completes an Act, he/she can shop at the next Act, but not leave town. I didn't lose anyone in Act 1, so, whoopee!, I am not unlucky/awful. All characters are level 20 except the Paladin (clvl 21) and the Assassin (19). All characters and their mercs have 3s armor and 2s helms with chipped topazes in addition to gloves and boots of 20+ MF.

    My characters in the order that they finished Act 1:
    Fishymancer
    I am using Nightfish's Fishymancer Guide for the build. Really easy through Act 1. So my rogue could kill things, I used only 1 skeleton. I actually used Weaken quite a bit instead of Amp Damage to minimize the damage monsters did while I waited for my rogue to kill them. The only real trouble I had was with Andariel. I forgot to raise my full compliment of skeletons before taking her on and she killed my skeleton, golem and rogue quickly. I also stupidly ran out of TP's, so I had to run out of the level and make the long way to the WP. I then raised an army of skeletons and took her out. Fortunately, I took her on at /p3. For most of the Act, I used a +3 RS, +2 CE wand and a +3 RS and +2 Amp Dam head and on the switch, I had +6 Bone Armor. With a Defiance merc, I am hoping to pick up the kill speed but otherwise continue the easy play. My wand/head is going to be +2 RS, +3 SM, +1 BA and +2 RS, +2 SM, +2 Amp Dam and on the switch I will have +1 GM, +3 CG and +3 CG. The only question I have is, "Should a put a point in Iron Maiden?" I would think the way to take out Act Bosses would be to cast Clay Golem in their face and then cast IM on it, but Nightfish's guide doesn't mention IM. Skills: 1 S Mastery, 10 Raise S, 1 Clay G, 1 G Mastery, 1 Teeth, 1 CE, 1 Amp Dam, 1 Dim Vision, 1 Weaken, 1 Terror, 1 Confusion. Attributes: 36/25/89/25. If I did it again, I wouldn't put points in S Mastery, Teeth, CE and Terror and put 14 points in Raise S.

    Lightning Fury Amazon
    I am using Flux's LF Javazon Guide for the build. Just one point in skills until clvl 30. Really slow through Act 1 as the character doesn't help the Rogue at all. Slow Missiles is a helpful with missile monsters. I would use Posion or Plague Javelin for really strong packs. For the most part, the Amazon just stood there and got swarmed while the rogue slowly picked off the monsters. For Act 2, I am looking forward to getting Decoy at clvl 24, so I can have a minion to support my merc. This merc has top priority for weapons/armor as the character is providing so little support. I don't have a plan for Duriel yet - this will probably be the last character to take him and I will use the best weapons/armor I can find. I will probably try a variety of weapons in Act 2 to see what works best. Skills: 1 Poison J, 1 L Bolt, 1 Plague J, 1 I Sight, 3 Crit Strike, 1 Dodge, 1 Slow M, 1 Avoid, 1 Penetrate, 1 Magic A, 1 Cold A, 1 Multi Shot, 1 Guided A. Attributes: 45/62/53/15. If I did it again, I would only put 1 point in Crit Strike.

    LS/DS/FB Assassin
    Other than max LS and DS, I have been very indecisive about the rest of this build. Right now, I planning on max FB and CBS. I have 1 point in Shadow Warrior and I am indecisive about putting 1 point in Shadow Master. Perhaps put a point there and not in Mind Blast? The Shadow Warrior made for a pretty good tank, so I had a pretty easy time of Act 1. I need to work on my CoS tactics as I tended to use it once the monsters were upon me and I need to use it as soon as I see them. With a Defiance merc, I am hoping to pick up the kill speed in Act 2 but otherwise continue the easy play. Skills: 1 C Mastery, 1 P Hammer, 1 BoS, 1 WB, 1 CoS, 1 Fade, 1 SW, 1 FB, 1 Sweb, 1 CBS. Attributes: 50/55/45/25. If I did it again, I would put less points in Str and more in Vit and plan on using a rare Katar.

    Throwing Barbarian
    I am using Fallen's Guide for the build. I find the guide a difficult one as it doesn't talk about how to develop the barb. I found the barb difficult to play as I spent a lot of time surrounded, waiting for the rogue to kill the annoying swarm. Taunt really helped with shamen and archer-types and Find Potions was very helpful to keep the healing potions coming, but overall, the skills weren't much help. Battle Cry has a nice effect, but too small of a range. The Barb was the first character that I used to face Andariel at /p8. I was planning on using two Short Spears on Andy, but I quickly ran low on ammo. Fortunately for me, a Crushflange fell in Andy's anteroom and my barb used that to take Andy out in melee. For a while, I strongly considering ditching this character and playing something different because he lacks a crowd control skill, a minion skill, a merc-enhancing skill and his skills aren't that useful if he gets mobbed. After much thought, I decided to break with the guide once I get to clvl 30 and put 10 points into War Cry to have a crowd control skill. I will probably get a Blessed Aim merc and try to save on points in Double Throw. For Act 2, I will use a Defiance merc and I am going to keep Crushflange and a Bone Shield of Deflecting as my primary set and have on switch a throwing weapon with another Bone Shield of Deflecting. As for which throwing weapon, so I will try a number to see what works best. Shouting should improve my merc's defense. I am going to max Battle Orders as soon as I can. Skills: 1 Howl, 1 Find Potion, 1 Taunt, 1 Shout, 1 Find Item, 1 Battle Cry, 10 Throwing Mastery, 1 Bash, 1 Leap, 1 Double Swing, 1 Double Throw. Attributes: 45/62/63/10. If I did it again, I would reduce the skill points in Throwing Mastery and save them to pump Battle Orders and War Cry.

    FoH/Conviction Paladin
    I am using Asmodeous's Elemental Templar Guide as a base. I find the guide a difficult one as it doesn't talk about how to develop the pally. It's a build with a ton of pre-req's. Early on, play was easy. I had an ethereal scepter with +3 Might and a staff with Frost Nova charges on the switch, so the Pally would slow things and the Mighted rogue would quickly dispatch them. By the time I hit the jail, the rogue's killing speed had dropped and I was getting mobbed. I had an character in Lut Gholein buy a +2 Holy Freeze scepter. It took FOREVER to find one and I took the +2 even though I wanted a +3 because I couldn't stand the shopping anymore. I was still getting mobbed with the Holy Freeze, but the mobs were slowed. For the jail, I changed the switch item to a wand with Dim Vision charges to blind skel archers/mages. For Andy, I changed my main weapon to a +3 Holy Fire scepter and easily whacked her into submission. For Act 2, I am not too sure what I am going to do. His merc will be the #2 priority for weapons/armor. Once I hit clvl 24 and get Holy Shock and Holy Shield, I will probably have the pally be a melee fighter. Skills: 1 Prayer, 1 Defiance, 1 Cleansing, 1 Vigor, 1 Might, 1 Holy Fire, 1 Thorns, 1 Holy Freeze, 1 Sacrifice, 1 Smite, 1 Holy Bolt, 1 Zeal, 1 Charge, 1 Vengeance, 1 Blessed Hammer. Attributes: 41/46/73/15. If I did it again, I wouldn't change anything.

    Meteorb Sorcercess
    I am using sasja's guide for the build. Levels 1-5 were terrible to play, as usual. With /p8, they are over quick, before the end of the Den of Evil. I had one panic moment shortly after entering the Den - there was a small dead end cave to one side of the entrance with two Fallen Shamen at the back. I went around the double pack of Fallen to kill the Fallen Shamen and I couldn't kill either before the Fallen had mobbed me. I thought I was dead for sure, but it turned out to be easy to fight my way out. Once I hit level 6, the Sorc turned out to be a decent tank with Frozen/Shiver Armor and the orb that I had - +2 Ice Blast, +3 Charged Bolt, +2 Fire Bolt, +3 Energy, +3 Mana, 5% LR, 5% PR Eagle Orb. I would cast Frost Nova as soon as anything came on the screen to slow them down for the rogue to pick off. Medium size packs I would slowly retreat from, spamming Frost Nova the whole way. For Shamans, I would retreat to pull their minion away from them, Frost Nova the minions, then run around and Ice Blast the Shamans. Many times, the rogue would show up for the killing shot. For large packs, I would spam Charged Bolts and steadily retreat until the pack size was down to a manageable number. Once she hit the jails, the rogue's killing speed had dropped to the point that this system didn't work too well and when she would encounter a champions/bosses, she had a very hard time. Once she reached clvl 19, I gave her a Leaf built on a +3 Fireball staff. I wish I could say that the Leaf staff made her a killing machine, but it still took multiple fireballs/firewalls to kill things. When I got the leaf, I changed my orb to a +2 Static Field, +1 Frozen Armor, +2 Charged Bolt, +4 Life, 5% Ctc Lvl 3 Firebolt. From then on, I used a variety of skills - cast Frost Nova when I first see enemies to slow them down, cast Glacial Spike to freeze them in place, cast Static Nova on champions and bosses, cast Glacial Spike on shamens then cast Fire Wall to toast them while they can't move. Andy wasn't too difficult, but she didn't drop anything of interest. For Act 2, I am going to switch to a Defiance merc and keep using the same variety of skills. Skills: 1 Ice Bolt, 1 Ice Blast, 1 Frost Nova, 1 Glacial Spike, 1 Static Field, 1 Telekinesis, 1 Teleport, 1 Fire Bolt, 3 Warmth, 1 Inferno, 1 Blaze, 1 Fire Ball, 1 Fire Wall. Attributes: 30/25/75/45. If I did it again, I would follow the guide and put only 1 point into Warmth.

    Summoner/Fire Druid
    I am using jiansonz's Guardian as a base. Summoner/Fire Druids are my favorite characters to play in Diablo. However, I started him late so that his companions could find a 2s pelt for him to use. They found a +2 Poison Creeper, +1 Raven, +1 Lycanthropy 2s Wolf Head. This guy dominated Act 1 - rarely did I have to drink a red potion and rarely did I have to help my rogue kill with spells. Fissue was great for taking out the shamen as I could cast it on the shaman with a swarm between us (though Fissure would frequently not kill the shaman). Sometimes, I would run around to close to the Shaman and toss a boulder at him. Archer/Mages were easy - summon a wolf in front of them and let them play with the doggie. As I started him last, he wound up with lots of goodies. Artic Furs, Artic Bindings and Pelta Lunata are his armor, belt and shield. My Barb had an ethereal Blood Crescent prior to finding the Crushflange, but that went to the Druid went the durability hit 5. The Druid carried it until he found a Gull at the bottom of the Pit. Up until the Monastery, I didn't keep a Spirit Wolf around so my rogue could get more kills. Inside the Monastery, I used my level 1 Spirit Wolf instead of my Dire Wolf so my rogue could get more kills. Andy was easy, even though I didn't play it smart. I meant to summon 3 Dire Wolves before taking her and I instead went in with 1 Spirit Wolf. I went in with 2 Healing potions, 2 Mana potions and 4 rejuv potions. I should have gone with 6 Mana potions as mana was what I really needed. I kept the rogue alive as long as I could keep wolves in front of Andy, but when I ran out of the blue potions, she killed my wolves then my rogue. I had to run around for a bit, but no big deal. She dropped a Hsarus' Iron Stay. For Act 2, I will change to a Defiance merc and hopefully continue the easy play. Skills: 1 Firestorm, 1 Molten Boulder, 1 Artic Blast, 8 Fissure, 1 Cyclone Armor, 1 Raven, 1 Poison Creeper, 1 Oak Sage, 1 Spirit Wolf, 1 Carrion Vine, 3 Dire Wolf. Attributes: 36/20/99/20. If I did it again, I wouldn't change anything.

    Gambling
    When my Paladin finished Act 1 at clvl 21, I had him do a lot of gambling and I wasted a lot of money. I was mainly gambling on Katars, Javelins and Throwing Knives, though I would buy a Pike or Circlet whenever I saw them. I was really hoping for a +1 Skills on one of the low level items, but the chances of them happening are too low to make the expenditure worthwhile. I did get some nice weapons - a rare Katar (+14 Max Dam, 10% FR, 6% CR, 1-9 Light Dam, 4% Mana Leech, +105% Dam/+83 AR for undead) and a Harpoonist's Javelin of Lightning (+1 J&S Skills, 1-9 Light Dam). However, I will probably find just as nice weapons with the first few characters I play in Act 2 (Druid, Necro, Sorc). I did gamble a nice rare circlet - +1 Paladin Combat Skills, Resist All +5, 21-57 Fire Damage, 4% Mana Leech.

    Loot
    I consider myself very lucky on the loot front so far. Over half of the uniques have been useful to my characters as well as two of the set items. My first rune drop was a Ral and my last Countess drop was a Tir, so I had the runes for a Leaf.

    Uniques
    2 Pelta Lunatas (Druid, Sorceress)
    Hotspur (not used)
    Stoutnail (not used)
    2 Gnashers (not used)
    Gull (Druid)
    Crushflange (Barb)
    Ethereal Blood Crescent (Barb carried it for a while, then the Druid carried it for a while, now in storage)

    Sets
    Artic Furs (Druid using)
    2xArtic Bindings (Druid using one)
    Cleglaw's Claw (not used)
    Death's Guard (not used)
    3xHsarus' Iron Fist (not used)
    Hsarus' Iron Stay (not used)

    Gems
    525 chippies (62 used)
    1 Flawed Topaz
    1 Diamond, 1 Emerald, 1 Ruby, 1 Sapphire, 2 Skulls, 1 Topaz

    Runes
    6 El
    3 Eld
    1 Tir (used in Leaf)
    2 Nef
    1 Eth
    1 Tal
    1 Ral (used in Leaf)

    Rings and Amulets
    284
     
  2. slayer37

    slayer37 IncGamers Member

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    Re: My progress thru Normal with 7 HC characters

    If that is the theme of your septumvirate then I wonder why you chose some offensive builds. Fishy can finish the game on their own no problem. LFzons, Lightning Trapassins and Meteorbs kill way too fast (againsts non-immunes) for the merc to really contribute something. IMO, you should stick with defensive builds so the merc could shine and save the day for all humanity.



     
  3. Kitriara

    Kitriara IncGamers Member

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    Re: My progress thru Normal with 7 HC characters

    I am insanely impressed that you have the patience to do all this. Props man. I enjoyed the writeup a LOT! Fun read. Best of luck, I'll keep reading in the future.
     
  4. OldSoldier

    OldSoldier IncGamers Member

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    Re: My progress thru Normal with 7 HC characters

    Check out Morathi's barb thrower tournament for a couple of ways to guardian the barbarian. I went BA merc, while rD went with a might merc and points in double throw for AR. You shouldn't forget about the barbarian crowd control skills Taunt, Leap, and Grim Ward. Combined with BO and some battle cry, they can handle all situations. Regardless, both of our writeups include how we progressed.

    For your FoH pally, you are on the right path. At level 24 start putting a point each level into holy shock. Save everything else possible until level 30, when you can start putting points in FoH and Conviction at the same time. Do this each level until your spare points run out and then FoH till maxed. Then it's a toss up between conviction and holy shock. I personally prefer holy shock first, as by the time you run out of spare points, conviction will be around 8-9, which is fine for normal and most of NM.

    For the assassin, don't waste any more points in shadows unless you plan on going with one full-time and decide to max one or the other. Unless they have a lot of life, they'll die in one hit and keep you preoccupied making new ones rather than laying traps and avoiding hits. Hope this helps.
     
  5. Wolron

    Wolron IncGamers Member

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    Re: My progress thru Normal with 7 HC characters

    This takes a lot of time. The good news is that you will learn a lot by taking your seven through similar areas and seeing the difference in how they play. The rough thing is changing tactics as you rotate through the various character builds.

    I started a tournament (HEPTAD team tournament) where you devise a team of seven using different types of restrictions on skills/equipment/attributes/mercenaries that you would probably enjoy when you finish your current project of seven. So far, 23 people have committed to the tournament, and that is amazing considering that it will probably take a year or more to take a team of seven through to the end.
     
  6. HC Gunther

    HC Gunther IncGamers Member

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    Re: My progress thru Normal with 7 HC characters

    Wolron, thanks for the invitation, but I am don't have the experience (or the skills) to enter your tournament. I have played only a little in Nightmare and none in Hell. I need to make some guardians before I start playing with one arm and one leg tied behind my back. As the tourney is going to run for a long time, perhaps I will join later.

    I got the idea of using the BA merc from your write up. Nobody in that tournament wrote about using War Cry, so I don't know if using War Cry with a throwing barb is just a bad idea that everyone knew to avoid or a possibility that others just choose to not explore.

    The barb died last night, so I know I have a clean slate. Play was much better with an Act 2 merc, I was using Shout and Taunt effectively to support him, and I would occasionally throw an axe with cold damage to slow down members of pack. With Radament, I wanted to try using a staff with Nova charges and a staff with Lightning charges to see how effectively they would clean out the lair and kill Radament. They were a total waste and I had to run back to town to change back to my normal weapons. That apparently get me out of my game, I played stupid, went toe-to-toe with Radament with the Crushflange (quite successfully) while my merc cleared out the lair and then backed away to let the merc finish killing him. I was poisoned, but no problem because the lair was cleared, right? Well, I didn't notice that Radament raising a skeleton mage and by the time I did, the barb was dead. I should have been leap-locking him instead of twiddling my thumbs. Sadly, the barb had two other uniques with him that he had found in the Sewers - Gorefoot and Skewer of Krintiz.

    So, I am going to run a barb quickly through Act 1 and have him join the rest of the party. I may go with Nightfish's HC Berzerker instead of the throwing barb.


    Thanks for the advice! As I said, the guide doesn't provide much in the way of how to develop the character.

    It does. I read some of jiansonz' exploits in the Skill-less tourney thread and it is clear that I just need to play more smartly than I did through Act 1.

    I tried to find builds that had a good chance of making guardian and yet fit my style of play. What builds would you suggest instead.


     

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