The hardcore tribulations of Atomic Hey all, Atomic is a Frost Zealot. He is born in Hardcore a few days ago, because I needed a break from Softcore and a new challenge. His mission is to beat Hell Baal, hardcore and untwinked. He can do XP runs, some MF runs, but no trading, and no muling. I carefully read the Hardcore FAQ, and decided that a Frost Zealot would be a safe choice, because it gives decent damage, and he can easily escape his chilled enemies if they're too strong. Later in the game, I will max Fanaticism too, so he will also be able to deal with cold immunes. I gave him a lot of vita (100 by lvl 20, 200 at lvl 50). That helped him travel safely through Normal. After a dozen Baalruns, he reached lvl50 unharmed. I guess it's time for him to kill Baal and enter Nightmare. Playing hardcore for the first time in many years is quite different from what I am used to. The fear of dying gives a different taste to the more mundane events. I remember Atomic's thoughts before entering Duriel's room: "Am I ready for this? And what if there's lag when I enter?" And the way he did the Chaos Sanctuary with his bare hands, by fear of hitting a monster when IM'ed... It's a good thing he wasn't alone in those critical moments, but in the same time, he couldn't stop looking over his shoulder, in case some of his "friends" suddenly decided to hostile him... Another thing I am not used to: my gear sucks, big time! But Atomic was lucky enough to find a Gull (100% MF) in the very early stage of the game. He uses it to finish the bosses, which helps him finding decent stuff. That's how he got his Sigon boots (suddenly a treasure, with 10% FRW and 40% Cold Res...), and a Steelclash (unique shield, Pala skills +1, Def 54, blocking 63%, 15 [email protected]). By the way, what would be best? Socket it with a PDiamond and upgrade it (if I can find an Amn)? Or hope to find a nice 3 or 4 sockets Pala shield with a decent Def later in the game (for Ancient's Pledge or Spirit)? Thank you for your advice.