Introduction Should be the last (for now) of my many recent posts, but Tormund is the second completed character of my "untwinked and small stash till patmat" sept. I wanted to get this guy done in time for RFL round 2, and succeeded! Though it remains to be seen if I can gear him adequately to take on the council. This is the first barb I've played, and it was a surprisingly fun, and very interesting process. The Character Skills Spoiler Bash: 1/1 Leap: 1/1 Double Swing: 0/0 Stun: 1/1 Double Throw: 0/0 Leap Attack: 1/1 Concentrate: 1/1 Frenzy: 0/0 Whirlwind: 0/0 Berserk: 20/20 Sword Mastery: 0/0 Axe Mastery: 0/0 Mace Mastery: 4/4 Pole Arm Mastery: 0/0 Throwing Mastery: 0/0 Spear Mastery: 0/0 Increased Stamina: 1/1 Iron Skin: 1/1 Increased Speed: 1/1 Natural Resistance: 1/1 Howl: 17/17 Find Potion: 0/0 Taunt: 1/1 Shout: 1/1 Find Item: 0/0 Battle Cry: 1/1 Battle Orders: 20/20 Grim Ward: 0/0 War Cry: 11/11 Battle Command: 1/1 Equipment Spoiler Prismatic Amulet of Energy Amulet Required Level: 31 Fingerprint: 0xb09f4ecb Item Level: 50 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +3 to Energy All Resistances +18 Plague Touch Ring Required Level: 13 Fingerprint: 0x91b0ce19 Item Level: 21 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +23 to Attack Rating +2 to Strength Cold Resist +19% Lightning Resist +28% Wraith Finger Ring Required Level: 16 Fingerprint: 0xa9684ba2 Item Level: 30 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +113 to Attack Rating 3% Life stolen per hit Cold Resist +17% Poison Resist +24% Sigon's Gage Gauntlets Defense: 15 Durability: 19 of 24 Required Level: 6 Required Strength: 60 Fingerprint: 0x5810511c Item Level: 86 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +20 to Attack Rating +10 to Strength Set (2 items): +30% Increased Attack Speed (2 items): 10% Life stolen per hit (3 items): +100 Defense Sigon's Sabot Greaves Defense: 12 Durability: 17 of 24 Required Level: 6 Required Strength: 70 Fingerprint: 0x416f63b0 Item Level: 56 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +20% Faster Run/Walk Cold Resist +40% Set (2 items): +50 to Attack Rating Set (3 items): 50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Sigon's Visor Great Helm Defense: 56 Durability: 26 of 40 Required Level: 6 Required Strength: 63 Fingerprint: 0xfa6b3f87 Item Level: 59 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +25 Defense +30 to Mana Set (2 items): +592 to Attack Rating (Based on Character Level) Treachery Breast Plate ShaelThulLem Defense: 68 Durability: 36 of 50 Required Level: 43 Required Strength: 30 Fingerprint: 0x3951216a Item Level: 20 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 5% Chance to cast level 15 Fade when struck 25% Chance to cast level 15 Venom on striking +2 to Assassin Skill Levels +45% Increased Attack Speed +20% Faster Hit Recovery Cold Resist +30% 50% Extra Gold from Monsters M'avina's Tenet Sharkskin Belt Defense: 81 Durability: 8 of 14 Required Level: 45 Required Strength: 20 Fingerprint: 0x20f51a12 Item Level: 49 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +20% Faster Run/Walk 5% Mana stolen per hit +50 Defense +5 to Light Radius Bonesnap War Club Two Hand Damage: 211 - 311 Durability: 10 of 60 Required Level: 30 Required Strength: 124 Fingerprint: 0x1026e78 Item Level: 49 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 299% Enhanced Damage +200% Damage to Undead 40% Chance of Crushing Blow Cold Resist +30% Fire Resist +30% Required Level +5 Fleshrender (Swap) Barbed Club One Hand Damage: 71 - 120 Durability: 51 of 56 Required Level: 38 Required Strength: 30 Fingerprint: 0xfe82d25f Item Level: 49 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +2 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only) +1 to Druid Skill Levels 181% Enhanced Damage Adds 35 - 50 Damage +150% Damage to Undead 20% Chance of Crushing Blow 20% Deadly Strike 25% Chance of Open Wounds Prevent Monster Heal +20 Maximum Durability Rhyme (Swap) Bone Shield ShaelEth Defense: 18 Chance to Block: 40 Durability: 35 of 40 Required Level: 29 Required Strength: 25 Fingerprint: 0x26becefe Item Level: 20 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +40% Faster Block Rate 20% Increased Chance of Blocking Regenerate Mana 15% All Resistances +25 Cannot Be Frozen 50% Extra Gold from Monsters 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Mercenary Spoiler Name: Pratham Race: Desert Mercenary Type: Def-Nightmare Experience: 47794828 Level: 73 Dead?: false Naked/Gear Strength: 165/190 Dexterity: 132/132 HP: 1317/1483 Defense: 980/1670 AR: 1100/1100 Fire: 205/165/105 Cold: 185/145/85 Lightning: 185/145/85 Poison: 155/115/55 Duriel's Shell Cuirass Defense: 656 Durability: 27 of 150 Required Level: 41 Required Strength: 65 Fingerprint: 0x673f605b Item Level: 64 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +178% Enhanced Defense +92 Defense (Based on Character Level) +15 to Strength +74 to Life (Based on Character Level) Cold Resist +30% All Resistances +20 Cannot Be Frozen +100 Maximum Durability Mechanic's Great Helm of Balance Great Helm Defense: 34 Durability: 40 of 40 Required Level: 21 Required Strength: 63 Fingerprint: 0x122fe36d Item Level: 75 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +10% Faster Hit Recovery Lightning Resist +30% 1 Sockets (1 used) Socketed: Ort Rune Kelpie Snare Fuscina Two Hand Damage: 83 - 153 Durability: 32 of 35 Required Level: 33 Required Strength: 77 Required Dexterity: 25 Fingerprint: 0x8c347eb2 Item Level: 49 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 180% Enhanced Damage Adds 30 - 50 Damage Slows Target by 75% +10 to Strength +92 to Life (Based on Character Level) Fire Resist +50% The Plan After some research on untwinked barbs (I didnt see as much data as I thought I would), it seemed to me zerker was definitely the way to go. The main issue with untwinked barbs are that they are hugely weapon dependent, as none of their skills give straight +dmg skills like an elemental zealot, but rather all give a percent damage boost to your weapon's damage. So a barb really needs a weapon with good damage for gameplay to be comfortable at all. Berserk has huge ED, minimizing this serious weapon dependency, and unlike frenzy, needs only 1 good weapon instead of two. I wanted to follow Nightfish's zerker guide HERE and so I planned to get a decent two hander (bonesnap being by far the most likely to drop). I would also need to acquire some decent AR and IAS to make a bonesnap zerker comfortable. The Quest Started pretty easy and average, as the barb is pretty sturdy early on. Started with gemmed scepters and farmed countess for stealth and several tals and rals, in order to ugrade to a 3x ral and 3x tal flail at the beginning of act 2. These carried me well through act 3 of normal, and began to lose their charm in act 4 and 5, but still performed fine. Was maining double swing of course with about 8 points in it, 1 pt in mace mastery and the 4 stat boosters, 1 pt in most all warcries and eventually a point in frenzy (which I never ended up using). I think after this I was putting points in bash to increase double swings damage (this was not a good idea, but we'll get to that later) I made my way through and beat normal without much problem. First big stop in nightmare: countess. The goal is to farm nightmare Andariel soon, but Tormund has awful damage. So what we need is speedy application of crushing blow. I wanted to farm nightmare countess until I could make a strength flail and a black flail. Two black flails would of course be better, but I ran some crushing blow calcs and decided that one io for black was definitely worth farming for, but the second one had a much smaller payoff in time to kill Andy. This went well and the io dropped in a reasonable amount of time. I was lucky during countess farming and had a map with two shrines in front of the tower and was able to shrine 3 perfect topazes during these runs. And was also able to find a 3os helm and 4os armor during the runs. 3 ptopazes went in the helm, whereas a tal for poison res, along with leftover topazes of varying quality (got too lazy to farm more shrines) went into the armor. These plus some shopped mf boots gave me an acceptable ~150 mf. Onto Andy. Alright, so she was tough. I'm not sure if Nightfish farmed Andy with 1 point in howl, and 1 point in concentrate/berserk, which is what I infer from his skill progression recommendations, but if so I'm impressed. Because I figured out quickly I had wasted too many points and wasn't prepared for Andy at all, just couldn't reliably handle her in the least. A new plan was needed. Here is what I came up with, and of course I wish I had done this from the beginning and not needed to waste a respec, but at least I could spare it. Build to farm nightmare Andariel Howl: ~8 Double Swing: ~5 Battle Cry: 1 Weapon Mastery: 1 Increased Speed: 1 Natural Resistance: 1 Battle Command: 1 Battle Orders: the rest Most importantly, I needed more points in howl! After this respec I quickly figured out just how insanely good howl is. You need ~8 points in it for a decent radius and then you just cant live without it. Secondly, ~5 points in double swing, and zero in frenzy. Double swing just has a much better fpa, and with our dinky flails, the ED from frenzy is nearly meaningless. So double swing it is, and 5ish points just to slow the mana cost to near enough to nothing. 1 point in battle cry. Tormund's absolutely abysmal AR means that battle cry is very much needed for reasonable chance to hit Andy. Battle orders makes things much more comfortable and I would certainly want 1 point in before messing with Andy, but the more the merrier. Also get max poison res and/or plan to drink a lot of antidote potions. Now things were smooth. Run in spamming howl as needed, run to the back corner of the room, howl everything away, battle cry Andy, and start swinging. If there were multiple champion afflicteds in the back of the room, I would just save and exit. I died enough times to them to eventually realize it wasn't worth trying to salvage the runs. At this point I could only farm her on p1, as the potions just couldn't keep up with the damage she was giving me on p3. After a few dozen runs though, she had dropped me goblin toe, venom grip, mav's belt, kelpie snare (ended up being end game weapon for merc) and this bad boy: Spoiler At this point I probably could have just moved on and used fleshrender end-game, but I didn't fancy farming a pul from hell countess for upgrade, and I thought the weapon without an upgrade was just too low dmg, so I wanted to stick around a little longer, hoping ole bonesnap or steeldriver would drop soon. I was also hoping for any 1 of: angelic ammy + ring, hsarus boots + belt, or sigons gloves + helm. Any one of these would solve my AR issues and boost it to mediocre levels, and sigons would give a very nice 30ias. So I stuck around at Andy for a while longer. The new gear's extra dmg, cb, and +max poison res made p3 comfortable now, so drops were a little better, and soon enough it was here: Spoiler 299! So much better than I was hoping for! Glad I stuck around. I did do a few dozen more runs after this, and although a few set amulets dropped, as well an angelic ring, the AR and IAS issues were not solved. Sigon's boots did drop and I decided to equip them in the chance that the helm dropped but the gloves did not. Like 3 more bonesnaps dropped, but of course none were an improvement. She also dropped an SOE, which was sweet! However I kept saying to myself, I'll stick with mav's belt for the frw until the game gets tough enough that I want SOE, and (spoiler) that never happened But finally I respec'd, used the sol rune in my stash to up the bonesnap once, and finally got to see some real damage on the LCS. Spoiler I put 11 points into war cry at this respec, planning to follow nightfish's guide. However I quickly discovered I didn't like it all. It's mana intensive, they don't stun for that long, and I was just addicted to howl + taunt now. So those points in war cry ended up just being a waste, but fortunately zerk is strong enough that I didn't notice their lack. So I pushed on with like 1k AR and a super slow swing speed (21 fpa ). But it was only nightmare so things went fine. I made a rhyme shield and kept it on swap with fleshrender for facing cold enchants, and liked that enough that I used it through end game. I was still hoping my IAS and AR woes would magically get solved before hell. And Mephy decided to help me out by dropping Sigon's helm! Glad I kept the boots! Now my AR was at a much more reasonable ~3500 and improving with every point in berserk. We then pushed on to the hellforge without any problems. This guy is really quite comfortable to play. Howl, taunt, and BO are all so OP. But guess what happened at the forge? Spoiler I think the game wanted me to succeed! After a stop back at normal fara, we had it. Spoiler I shopped some 10ias gloves at some point, and now with ~4k AR and a 14fpa zerk, Tormund felt soooo much better. As he finished out a5, frozenstein gave him a duriels shell, which filled out the merc's gear rather nicely. He was now ready for hell with regard to equipment, and just needed some levels. I stopped at nm pindle for these levels and killed him and all his minions on p8 till level 70. This took a bit of time because of his single target nature, but was easy to do (BO, howl, taunt ftw yet again). And once again nightmare pindle paid off for me. Spoiler Haha ridiculous. This is the second occy I've gotten from nm pindle in the last month while leveling a character up for hell. But here's Tormund, with battle command and fade active, getting started in hell. Spoiler Radament gave him the sigon's gloves he'd been looking for back when he was at Andy. Although he didn't really need them now, I ran with them for the extra ias breakpoint (now sitting at 13fpa). The only other thing that was interesting act 2 was getting to see this nest boss pack. I knew these happen, but it was my first time seeing one in-game. Spoiler Everything kept going down smoothly. I think I died once in hell with him from neglecting to rejuv, and thats about as few deaths as can be expected from me Act 3 was smooth, Chaos was no problem, and De Seis dropped me this beauty: Spoiler I still dont have a light saber after my reset . Diablo went down quickly, and even my nemesis The Frozen River was navigated without any big issues through the liberal application of howl. Ancients were no problem, as always seems to be the case with weapon-swinging builds who have some CB. Lister was cheesily walked out of the room again when I couldn't howl his minions. And after that, we did it! What's next? Now that can use twinked gear, I'm going to respec him to whirlwind, and try to get him good enough to run trav before RFL round 2. I'm hoping an oath base will drop during round 1, otherwise we'll be seeing some truly budget options that may not work at all! For VERY budget builds, would frenzy with oath + lawbringer be better than whirl? Or is it just ww all the way? I have also nearly completed the third of my "untwinked till patmat" sept, a blizz sorc named Cyndane. I don't think I'll do a mat thread for her since she's as cookie cutter as it gets. I made her for a couple of reasons. First, my newly respec'd poisonmancer is rather underwhelming in cows because of no CTA and his poorly geared merc (have to use decrep a lot and mostly have to stick to p1). So I wanted another character who was better suited to budget cow runs. I'll probably still do round 1 with both of them just for variety, but I won't be expecting much from slow p1 runs with the necro. But the other reason is just that I wanted to use one of my new occy's . But she is my first character I've pushed into hell with no regard for handling immunes (I've always gone hybrid before). So that has been interesting for me, and it's going well so far. Yesterday in about 40 minutes I pushed her from the inner cloister to the river of flame wp! She is so fast! So still a couple of major hurdles to go with chaos, frozen river, and baal, but I think she'll be ready in the next couple of days for RFL along with these two other new characters. Thanks for reading!