Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

skunkbelly

Diabloii.Net Member
Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

It’s been a while, but in honor of the long wait for Diablo 3, I thought it was finally time to have another SUTC tournament. I floated this idea a couple months ago, and there was some interest... but work got in the way. Now the time has come.

In this tournament, like all previous SUTC tournaments (for those who remember them), you will not want to get too attached to your characters. You will play your character for *one act*… then you will pass it on to another player, who will be randomly determined. They will then take over that character’s fate… while you will have a new character to push ahead with. And so on and so on, until all characters either achieve Guardian status or take a more humble title, such as Daisy-Pusher-Upper.

As if that wasn’t enough challenge, there are several skill and item restrictions that will affect your gameplay. The idea, this time around, is to give magic a different feeling… magic items are harder to come by, and must be made, not simply found. All characters will have certain key abilities, and then some special additional Powers, but in general, the number of skills that may be used is fairly small.


BASIC RULES

1. Hardcore characters only.

2. We will switch characters every two weeks. Therefore, you must be able to play through an act in two weeks’ time. If you cannot, you will be disqualified. Act 4 will only be given one week, due to its brevity.

3. All items must be found within the game… no bringing in items from your other characters.

4. No cooperative gameplay… you can only play solo.

5. In order to join, you must sign up in this thread by December 25th.

6. The tournament will begin on December 27th. All starting characters and classes will be posted then.

7. When you sign up, list your forum name and your email address (necessary for sending character files).

EQUIPMENT RULES

1. Non-jewelry Items that have inherent magical qualities (including all unique, rare, magical, and set items) may ONLY be used if they have been received or modified through a quest reward. Magical items permitted therefore include:
a. Charsi imbue rewards (items must be redeemed before leaving Act 1 in that difficulty).
b. Items personalized using the act 5 quest reward.
c. Anya rescue quest reward class-specific items.

2. All white items, all non-magical ethereal items, and all non-magic socketed items may be used. Sockets may be filled with anything you like.

3. You may use any jewelry and any charms you like.

4. You may craft items.

5. You may use the Cube to create items, provided they do not break any of the rules above.

6. You may make and use runeword items.

7. Gambling is allowed for jewelry only, or for blue magic items to craft.

8. When your character completes an act, they must be passed to the next player WITH ALL OF THEIR EQUIPMENT AND GOLD, including charms and potions. The ONLY items you may keep for yourself are gems and runes, and *ONE ITEM* that you’d like to save for your act 5 personalization reward… once the item has been personalized, though, it has to stay with that character.

CLASS AND SKILL RULES

For each class, a character may use the “Core Skills†listed, and *three* additional skills, which we’ll call “Powers.†These Powers will be determined by the people who play the characters, with the following rules in mind:

1. A point may only be put into a skill if it is a Core Skill, a Power, or a pre-requisite for a Power or Core Skill.

2. If a skill is only a prerequisite for a Core Skill or a Power, it cannot have more than one point in it. These skills can only be used in Normal difficulty.

3. Once more than one point is put into any non-Core skill, it becomes a Power skill. This includes all synergies… if you want to put points into a synergy skill, it must be either a Core Skill or a Power.

4. No player in Act 1 or Act 2 Normal may determine a Power skill… you may add points to Core Skills, and you may add single points to prerequisites for other skills… but you cannot commit the character to any Power skills by adding a second skill point. Once a character hits act 3, Power skills may be assigned by the player who will play that character through act 3 (though they are not required to assign Power skills, if they don’t wish to…).

5. After completing Normal difficulty, you may not use skills except for Core Skills and Power Skills.

6. You are never obligated to assign a character’s skill points… feel free to leave them for the next player.

An example:

Say Tina is a sorceress. Because she is a sorceress, her Core Skills are the three elemental mastery skills and Warmth. When you start the character in act 1, you may put points into Warmth as much as you want, since it is a Core Skill. You may also put one (and only one) point into any other skill you want, and you may use those skills. But you cannot add a second point to any skill except Warmth… that would be committing that skill to be a Power, which is not permitted until act 3.

The same holds true in Act 2. But when Tina reaches Act 3, the player for Act 3 may choose to add a second skill point to any skill, thereby making that skill a Power skill permanently. For example, our player might choose to add a second point to Static Field, making Static Field a Power skill for Tina the Sorceress. That player could then add as many points to Static Field as they like.

CLASSES AND CORE SKILLS:

Sorceress Core Skills: Elemental Masteries, Teleport and Warmth.

Barbarian Core Skills: Increased Speed, Iron Skin, and all Weapon Masteries

Amazon Core Skills: Inner Sight, Critical Strike, Penetrate, Pierce

Assassin Core Skills: Claw Mastery, Burst of Speed, Fade, Cloak of Shadows

Paladin Core Skills: All Defensive Auras, Holy Shield

Druid Core Skills: Lycanthropy, Werewolf, Werebear, Oak Sage, All Creepers

Necromancer Core Skills: Skeleton Mastery, Golem Mastery, Summon Resist, Bone Armor

That’s it. Rules may be altered, based on really good suggestions, between now and December 24th. I will then post the final, complete rules for the tournament, and after that they will not be changed.
 

ChrisTheMean

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Very cool idea. Here are a few suggestions.

-Possibly add Natural Resistance to Barb core skills. 1 point is often enough, and if one wanted to for example; BO, conc, zerk, one would not be able to put a point in it, or would have to sacrifice zerk.

-Current Druid cores really force a shapeshifting build. Maybe HoW, Oak Sage, Dire Wolf? Thats a tough one.

-Holy shield as a core sort of forces weapon/sword as opposed to a two-hander. Maybe zeal instead? Also tough.

Are mercs allowed? If so, would they follow the same gear restrictions? Thanks for all the effort with the idea, and I look forward to joining if I have time.

edit1: Also given the nature of the tourney I assume respecs would be banned? Also, I have never done anything involving exchanging chars, but I imagine its important that everyone is on the same version.

edit2:Any rules regarding single pass, clears, etc?
 

Joosh

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Nice sounding tournament, I've seen these before but never entered, seems awfully restrictive but I guess that's the challenge.

Just one thing I'd like to know, do the same restrictions on items apply to mercenaries as well? Or if not, are there any mercenary restrictions

Joosh :thumbup:

EDIT: Pwned by Chris
 

purplelocust

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Sounds great, I miss the SUTC tourneys! It's great to see you around, you've been missed!

A few preliminary questions:

1) what about keeping jewels for yourself? If gems and runes are to be kept, how about jewels as well?

2) what if the character accumulates more than the max gold for their level? Should that be sent along as a stash or the extra just kept?

3) I assume this is multi-pass, whatever player count desired, no S&E except in town, nothing cheesy, etc. like the other SUTC tourneys.

4) Since runewords are allowed, are those just vanilla runewords or are the ladder-only ones allowed? I play Vanilla so of course I prefer if the rules don't require the mod.

5) How about requiring Power skills selected sequentially by different players, one in A3 norm, one in A4 norm, and one in A5 norm? A character in A3 norm might not be high enough level to select tier 6 skills anyway.

6) I suggest some strong limits on the merc to avoid the gameplay becoming just a spectator for a strong merc. Perhaps cubed-only magic items for the merc? Or shopped only magic items for the merc? Or no merc?

7) What kind of communication is there to be about the planned build? In at least one of the earlier tourneys, there were little notebooks about the item and build choices, but here I don't think it's needed as the Power Skills can be detected just from looking at the current skill allocations. So I would vote for no communication or any hints of builds etc. permitted, as the joy of opening up an unknown character is really quite nice.

Good background reading would be the earlier SUTC tourneys:

 

Quickdeath

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Provocative tournament as usual, Skunkbelly. This sounds like a tough one.

Under Equipment Items you surely meant to include any S/U, rare or magic items socketed by Larzuk, correct?

Please clarify the use of Staffmods on white or gray items.

Is Wirt's Leg a Quest Reward Item? I suspect the answer is No.

For the Druid, you might include Cyclone Armor as a core skill and maybe drop Lycanthropy or the Creepers (creepers are nearly worthless, except poison creeper as a synergy to Rabies.)

Under Amazon, consider adding Slows Missiles as a Core Skill. Pierce is useless to a Spearazon.
 

Brak

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

OMG, I'm definitely in for this :D. I promise to play nice this time.

Just one big concern I have is that the current sets of core skills create a lot of artificial build restrictions. For example the only druid you're likely to see is a shape shifter. The Shout restriction for barbs is likely to make mostly zerkers. Pali Holy Shield will take away any two handed builds for the most part. Necro core skills make it such that summoners are going to be really prevelant.

EDIT: also when passing on "all equipment" I take this to mean everything in the stash, inventory and equipped. We aren't making an extended ATMA stash to pass along with the characters, and we aren't only passing what is in the inventory. Just wanted to double check this.
 
Last edited:

Grisu

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Great idea and tough tournament! Unfortunately, I won't have the time to manage an Act every 2 weeks...

A question occured though: You are allowed to keep Runes (and Gems and for the Anya quest reward) but nothing else - does that mean one has to part from their runeword along with the character?
 

skunkbelly

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Thanks Chris, here are some answers:

1. Yes, mercs are allowed, and Yes, they would follow the same gear restrictions.

2. Respecs... hmm, yes, let's ban them. Good idea.

3. Everyone should be on the latest version of the game, to keep things rolling smoothly.

4. On replaying areas... if you want to, you can. But since the basic goal for everyone is to play their character, survive, and move on, that adds risk. If you're willing to take that risk, when loot itself isn't a particularly useful goal, by all means. In order to prevent the most obvious exploitations of this exception, act bosses and the Countess may not be killed more than once.
 

skunkbelly

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

More clarifications!

Sounds great, I miss the SUTC tourneys! It's great to see you around, you've been missed!

A few preliminary questions:

1) what about keeping jewels for yourself? If gems and runes are to be kept, how about jewels as well?
Yes, you may keep jewels as well, sorry for that omission!

2) what if the character accumulates more than the max gold for their level? Should that be sent along as a stash or the extra just kept?
Good question. If your character's in-game gold is maxed out, then yes, you may bank the rest.

3) I assume this is multi-pass, whatever player count desired, no S&E except in town, nothing cheesy, etc. like the other SUTC tourneys.
Yes, no S&E to avoid death, play on any /player setting.

4) Since runewords are allowed, are those just vanilla runewords or are the ladder-only ones allowed? I play Vanilla so of course I prefer if the rules don't require the mod.
Very good point. In order to make this possible for vanilla players, let's keep runewords limited to ladder-only runewords.

5) How about requiring Power skills selected sequentially by different players, one in A3 norm, one in A4 norm, and one in A5 norm? A character in A3 norm might not be high enough level to select tier 6 skills anyway.
I like this as well.

7) What kind of communication is there to be about the planned build? In at least one of the earlier tourneys, there were little notebooks about the item and build choices, but here I don't think it's needed as the Power Skills can be detected just from looking at the current skill allocations. So I would vote for no communication or any hints of builds etc. permitted, as the joy of opening up an unknown character is really quite nice.
Players should refrain from discussing the builds of the characters they've played... part of the fun is not knowing what is coming your way in the next act!



 

skunkbelly

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Under Equipment Items you surely meant to include any S/U, rare or magic items socketed by Larzuk, correct?
Nope... I absolutely meant to exclude them! You can certainly have Larzuk socket an item for you, but in order for you to use it, it must first meet the other rules (i.e., you could only use a Unique item that Larzuk sockets if you *first* had Anya personalize it for you).

Please clarify the use of Staffmods on white or gray items.
White or gray items with staff mods are permitted.

Is Wirt's Leg a Quest Reward Item? I suspect the answer is No.
Er... well, if you're that desperate, sure, I'll allow it. This also means you could temporarily use any other quest items (the Viper amulet, staff, Gidbinn, etc.).



 

skunkbelly

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Just one big concern I have is that the current sets of core skills create a lot of artificial build restrictions. For example the only druid you're likely to see is a shape shifter. The Shout restriction for barbs is likely to make mostly zerkers. Pali Holy Shield will take away any two handed builds for the most part. Necro core skills make it such that summoners are going to be really prevelant.
I'm listening to all of the skill comments, and will no doubt make some adjustments. So fear not! My hope is to make it possible for a character to use any skill tree. But I also think some Core Skills are bound to be useless for all classes, depending on where they end up... for a fire sorc, for example, both cold and lightning mastery might end up being useless, if nobody picks a back-up combat skill in those elements. Etc. Anyway... some changes are bound to be made.

Also when passing on "all equipment" I take this to mean everything in the stash, inventory and equipped. We aren't making an extended ATMA stash to pass along with the characters, and we aren't only passing what is in the inventory. Just wanted to double check this.
When you pass your character, all of their equipable items (including charms) and in-game gold should go with them... but you would not send a separate stash (just the .d2s file). Their merc's gear must also go with them. You may only keep socket-fillers, and one item that you'd like to save for the personalization reward (if any), which you can keep in a private tournament stash.



 

Brak

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Can we use ATMA as an extended stash for:

1) Our socket fillers that we can keep and

2) Any items that we find during the span of a single act. For example I find a Venom Ward breast plate in Act I, but don't have room for it. So I dump it in ATMA, and then bring it back for the Andy fight.


Ideas for Core skills:

I think a bread and butter skill for anything that would need to be highly synergized in order to work would be a decent idea. So for necro Core could be:

1 poison skill (ie nova since it is a synergy for dagger and explosion i think)
1 bone skill (already have one in armor I guess, but an offensive bone would be more helpful)
1 skelimancer skill (mastery or raise skeleton)
1 golemancer skill (golem mastery makes sense)
I like having summon resists included, but may not be needed
And I would argue for all curses being core similar to pali defensive.

This opens up any build for the original character. But once it's been started on it's path it can't really get hijacked.
 

purplelocust

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Very good point. In order to make this possible for vanilla players, let's keep runewords limited to ladder-only runewords.
I think you meant to*limit runewords to "no ladder-only" runewords

On replaying areas: I would prefer more latitude in rerunning areas and bosses. In the earlier tourneys, including the ones with gear always passed on, I still reran areas to improve items and gear before passing them on. Sometimes it was important, particularly when receiving a poorly-equipped or underlevelled character, which happened with some regularity.

Running the Countess will be important for the crafting runes and runewords in grey items, I would think. Rerunning normal Andy usually is a great idea (Bloodfist for example) but in this tourney there isn't much point with the gear limits.

@Brak: "bring Venom Ward back for the Andy fight"- my understanding is that you can't wear a unique unless it's been personalized, so that wouldn't be possible.



 

skunkbelly

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

I think you meant to*limit runewords to "no ladder-only"
Yes... that!

I'll consider the re-running areas thing.

@ Brak: you can use ATMA for socket-fillers, but not for other items (except your one permitted "holding for personalization" item).



 

Jason Maher

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Why not make Cyclone Armor a core Druid skill (since you've made Bone Armor a core skill for the Necro)? That opens up the Windy option.
 

Quickdeath

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

I dread getting a Sorc to play in A1 or A2 Normal. Imagine needing to face Normal Duriel with a Sorc that has 26 pts in TK and Warmth and only white/grey eqpt !!!!

Skill suggestions:
1. Make Battle Cry a Core Skill in place of Shout. BCry doesn't synergize any other skill, is useful to all builds and having multiple points in it is a viable option that is normally never used.
2. Consider designating the first one or two Sorc Cold Armor skills as Core Skills.
3. Consider banning one skill per class from being chosen as Power Skills, namely the skills that are bugged or would only be picked so as to sabotage the charcter for the subsequent players. I am thinking of:
Barb: Increased Stamina
Assassin: Psychic Hammer
Sorc: Inferno
Druid: Arctic Blast
Paladin: Sanctuary
Amazon: Impale
Necro: None or possibly Blood Golem.

Eliminating those skills will not affect the creativity or flexibility of any participant and would make the Tournament more fun, IMHO.
 

jiansonz

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

I dread getting a Sorc to play in A1 or A2 Normal. Imagine needing to face Normal Duriel with a Sorc that has 26 pts in TK and Warmth and only white/grey eqpt !!!!
Piece of cake - one orb/staff with Static and one with Blaze. /p8 Duriel pwned in 15 seconds.



 

skunkbelly

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

Piece of cake - one orb/staff with Static and one with Blaze. /p8 Duriel pwned in 15 seconds.
Exactly! Good to see you, jiansonz... I hope you enter.

Keep the ideas coming, folks... but more importantly, SIGN UP!



 

purplelocust

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Skunkbelly's Ultimate Tournament Challenge 2011

From experience with the earlier tournaments, there is no way to rule out a determined saboteur. Banning Increased Stamina still leaves Find Potion as possible bad Power Skill, or even having 3 totally unrelated or conflicting reasonable power skills could make the character essentially unplayable. And there are no suggested restrictions on stat points, another method of crippling a character. I think a better method is to hope that people build characters that they think could reasonably take onwards to hell.

After one of the earlier tourneys, probably the one where Brak wreaked so much havoc, there was the suggestion that players get some kind of scoring bonus from characters that they played earlier that continued to survive even after they played them. I'm not sure a good way of doing this, but it would be good to have more of a cooperative spirit. That could be done either by the scoring or by agreement. Perhaps not having actual scores but just by totaling number of acts survived may be enough.

I remember at least two effective suicides from earlier tournaments, where reasonably far into the tourney very accomplished players realized that the character that they had been given to work with was playable only with extreme tedium, and decided to kill themselves. I thought that was pretty depressing and sad. It's one thing for people to have different playstyles and build or gear choices, or to spend more or less time leveling/MFing, but those were deliberate and I hope not to see deliberate sabotage in the next SUTC.
 
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