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The "I've Literally Never Played This Class" Thread

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by AlexTheNextOne, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. AlexTheNextOne

    AlexTheNextOne Diabloii.Net Member

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    Alright, ladies and gentlemen, as I had hinted about earlier in another thread I hold dear, the time has finally come to begin my very first foray into the only class I've Literally Never Played, the Druid! All 6 other classes have been carried through at least Normal mode, and it was about time I did the same for the (personally) most neglected of them all.

    Screenshot054.jpg

    "How can this be?", you ask? How, in over 18 years since the release of Lord of Destruction, have I never bothered to at least test out, even if for only one quest, a child of the land of Scosglen? The answer is quite simple, and petty, in retrospect. My younger brother loved his very first Druid back when LoD first released, and as I watched him battle against the hordes of Fallen, Blood Hawks, and corrupt Rogues that made questionable sounds upon death that might concern a parent or two in the age of the internet, I felt that this being of nature simply, well, attacked too slowly for my liking, having been spoiled with the blistering speeds of such classes as the Assassin, Sorceress, and Amazon I was so used to playing. Thus, after a cursory glance, I felt it not worth my time to bother with such an enigmatic figure as the Druid.

    However, with age, maturity, and a genuinely deeper appreciation for my favorite game and the Single Player community I've come to respect, I felt it necessary to pull up my bootstraps and finally familiarize myself with the only class that, well, I'll be completely honest, I have absolutely no idea how to play!

    Now that the meager theatrics and pomp are out of the way, I'll get to the point(s) of the matter. I have NO idea how to play a Druid, not through Normal, certainly not all the way through Hell, I am not intimately familiar with his skills, the weapons he is more proficient at wielding, nothing. This is pretty much a blind run into the only class I've never played, save for whatever random videos, Battle.net companions, or viewings of my brother playing his own favorite class I may have been privy to in the past, and we are talking about a considerable amount of time in the past. So yes, I obviously know that the Druid can transform into a werewolf, he has some summoning abilities, and that he has access to a number of fire and ice spells, but not much else beyond that.

    I will try to play through at least all of Normal on /p8 as much as I can, though considering I am completely unfamiliar with the Druid, I will likely run into considerable trouble by Act IV, and may need to tone it down a tad unless I find items strong enough to carry me. But not without a fight.

    Also, as I am unfamiliar with the Druid's skills, I will be investing at least one point in EVERY skill I have access to, and provide you with my input on what I think about those skills as I use them, which surely won't amount to much, but I really want to experience all that the Druid has to offer.

    Finally, I will document as much as I can remember on a quest-by-quest basis, so as to keep this thread as entertaining (hopefully) as I can. Sets and uniques are a given, but even rare or magical items that may perhaps, even in hindsight, turn the tide against the foes I'll face, will be given a mention here.

    Character creation and Den of Evil quest post to come soon! It is time that (in this player's world) the children of Scosglen finally emerge from their enigmatic and sacred forests, and play their own part in buttressing Sanctuary against the Burning Hells that wish to subjugate and annihilate them!
     
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  2. Gynli

    Gynli Diabloii.Net Member

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    I envy that you can still have the 'first-time-playing-this-class' experience.

    Hope you take it slow and enjoy the playthrough! :D
     
  3. dkn

    dkn Diabloii.Net Member

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    Very cool. I've never gotten past nightmare with a Druid before. Excited to see your progress!
     
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  4. DiabloTwoinDC

    DiabloTwoinDC Diabloii.Net Member

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    1 point in every skill. That is a good way to ensure you will want to make more Durids, or ... never again. :p
     
  5. ioupainmax

    ioupainmax Diabloii.Net Member

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    Just dropping by to say this ^
     
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  6. AlexTheNextOne

    AlexTheNextOne Diabloii.Net Member

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    Seldaren the Druid is ready to go!

    Screenshot055.jpg

    My first observations are that his Strength seems rather low to start, so I'll definitely be pumping up Strength until at least 30. He also wields a simple club, which, true to Dungeons & Dragons conventions, makes me think the Druid is better at wielding blade-less weapons, perhaps, such as maces or staves? I'll have to look around at the different weapon types later, but for now, the plan will be to purchase a simple scepter, preferably socketed, as soon as I can, which would be a huge upgrade to the meager 1-6 damage this wooden stick offers me.

    Akara has now given me my first quest, and, after a quick prayer to Óðinn in the form of "/players8", I'm ready to go!

    Screenshot056.jpg

    First level-up came pretty quickly, as it always does on /p8, and without hesitation, my first skill point went into Werewolf. The early life and stamina are always a helpful boost, but I find that my attacks are slower than my human form, which I find strange. You'd think werewolves bit and slashed at their prey with blistering speeds. I'm actually going to hold off a bit and wait until Werebear becomes available to try that form out, until I make a decision on which form I'd prefer to invest further points in. But the attack speed thing is a bit of a turn-off, honestly.

    As I carefully traversed across the Blood Moor, I came across a very helpful Experience Shrine, which turned me into a hurried paragon of bloodlust, diametrically-opposed to all that you'd think a humble Druid would stand for, leaving me at level 4 by the time it wore off. The next two skill points were placed into Lycanthropy (of course), followed by Poison Creeper. The early poison damage seems helpful against the hordes of Fallen that are ever-prevalent throughout Act I, but unless the poison damage ramps up heavily each level, the lack of bonuses from synergies here means I probably won't end up relying on this skill very much, save for perhaps having a way to prevent monster heal?

    I found my first ring and amulet shortly afterwards, +5% lightning resist and +18 to attack rating, respectively. I sold the amulet right away to give myself the funds to equip a basic set of armor ahead of the Den of Evil, and picked up a 2os scepter which greatly increased my damage. I hope to find a chipped sapphire and topaz soon to socket it with.

    After exploring the area and reaching level 5, having placed a skill into Raven, I have found the Den of Evil. It's dark, and smells funny.

    Screenshot061.jpg

    Raven seems simple enough, and I like the blind effect it causes occasionally, though unless the chance to blind rises significantly with each skill level, this skill will probably go in the bin pretty quickly. I found my chipped topaz almost right at the beginning of the Den, after cutting through a small army of Fallen pests, and reached level 6 about halfway through:

    Screenshot062.jpg

    I placed it into Werebear, and immediately prefer this form over Werewolf; I seem to attack just as quickly, and the damage is great. I'd have to see how the other Shape-Shifting skills compliment the different were-forms, but so far I'm definitely leaning towards the Werebear.

    I then cleared out every single vile monster in the Den with ease, save for one; it's go time!

    Screenshot063.jpg

    My Werebear form absolutely wrecked the poor guy, and he dropped a decent rare quilted armor:

    Screenshot064.jpg

    Screenshot065.jpg

    And that wraps up my very first quest with the Druid! I placed the two skill points I had left into Summon Spirit Wolf (I have a wolf now!), and Firestorm, which I'll try out in the Cold Plains against tightly-packed groups of enemies, though I mainly placed the point there because I want to see how Molten Boulder is; seems like it might be a good skill to use at chokepoints in smaller areas.

    So far I like the early versatility the Druid has to offer, and I really like Werebear. The next skill I plan to try out is Molten Boulder, followed by Oak Sage, though I particularly have my eye on Heart of Wolverine for the near future. Sisters' Burial Grounds up next!
     
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  7. Kitteh

    Kitteh Diabloii.Net Site Pal

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    Why don't you instead play normal, nightmare and hell as three different builds? That way you can get a genuine feel for the power of the druid. Points here and there will tell you little my friend. You have some super fun builds ahead! My personal recommendation would be a hunter druid (bow/throwing + summons). A very enjoyable build!
     
  8. AlexTheNextOne

    AlexTheNextOne Diabloii.Net Member

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    I figured I would just wing it throughout Normal, just to get a basic understanding of the class, and respec to something more specific come Nightmare, when the training wheels are off.
     
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  9. DiabloTwoinDC

    DiabloTwoinDC Diabloii.Net Member

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    @Kitteh, I would like to see the normal/nm/hell builds as well. Planning that myself down the line.

    @AlexTheNextOne you will appreciate Werewolf speed when you get to use Fury. ;)
     
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  10. AlexTheNextOne

    AlexTheNextOne Diabloii.Net Member

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    Sisters' Burial Grounds: From slow zombies to annoyingly-fast corrupt Rogues

    Seldaren begins his next quest to relieve Blood Raven of her earthly (Sanctuary-ly?) presence, but not before some gearing up before traversing the Cold Plains; mainly to boost resistances, but also a 3os long bow for the Act I merc to eventually socket with a topaz, ruby, and sapphire.

    Not much to really report because everything actually went swimmingly, though I decided to tackle Blood Raven before The Cave because I did not want Coldcrow to hand me a death so soon in the game. Her fire arrows didn't hurt all that much, having bought a 3os large shield earlier and throwing 3 diamonds into it. I think I'll use mace+shield for the time being, with a huge two-hander on switch, like an axe or a maul.

    Oh, a great early-game drop, quite fitting for a Druid, after having finally swatted that pesky fly:

    Screenshot070.jpg

    By this point, my small army complete with decked-out merc ripped through The Cave, Coldcrow's gang included, and the cold damage was manageable now with the extra resistance boost from Arctic Furs. I figured I would need to make use of Molten Boulder or Arctic Blast throughout The Cave in tightly-packed areas, but it didn't end up happening. I find the elemental spells a bit underwhelming so far; my summons and my own gear are more than enough at this point, though I could see myself possibly trying out Molten Boulder or Arctic Blast again later on in the Underground Passage, particularly the latter if I run into a boss pack of Misshapen.

    I ended the "session" at level 12 and with no idea what I want to place my 2 skill points into; I'm considering Feral Rage for one of them, I could use the life steal and faster run/walk.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  11. Void Stalker

    Void Stalker Diabloii.Net Member

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    Subscribed! Count me in, in the appreciative audience!!!
     
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  12. jonnyphive

    jonnyphive Diabloii.Net Member

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    @AlexTheNextOne Very cool project to familiarize yourself with the class. My very first time beating normal difficulty (either pre- or post-expansion) came with a Druid, and all I remember about that was that progressing through normal, with a skill distribution similar to yours, was generally easy enough, but the Act bosses were absolute nightmares due to my overall low damage and weak summons with such a spread out skill distribution. So, if it takes you 20 minutes to kill Baal, don't be discouraged - any of the many focused Druid builds will easily dispel such problems as you move through NM.
     
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  13. AlexTheNextOne

    AlexTheNextOne Diabloii.Net Member

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    The good thing about dealing with Act bosses this time around is that I already have knowledge of the MVPs-of-Normal runewords, so I'll definitely be using Stealth, a Steel flail with Ancient's Pledge shield, and perhaps a Strength axe or maul on switch as well.

    If this were a "it's 2001 and I've never played a Druid before!" thread, I'd be in trouble.
     
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  14. jonnyphive

    jonnyphive Diabloii.Net Member

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    Good point - I was pretty clueless about RWs (and some other fundamentals such as attack rating :rolleyes:) back then. Some CB would've helped immensely.
     
  15. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Great thread. Good luck !!

    Instead of putting one point into every single skill to get a feeling for things, I'd just make a few different Druids though: a Werewolf, a Werebear, a Windy, a Fire Druid and maybe a Summoner. That way you can really get a feel of what the class is like, in a decent manner ;).
     
  16. AlexTheNextOne

    AlexTheNextOne Diabloii.Net Member

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    The Search for Cain: Because exploding cows are the least of your worries

    Seldaren quickly grew tired of paying for identify scrolls, so he knew what he had to do: find the last Horadrim sage, and hustle him into IDing items for free, because protection doesn't come cheap in Sanctuary.

    It didn't take me too long to find the Underground Passage in the Stony Field, but I still needed to explore the area, find the waypoint, and invade the space currently occupied by Rakanishu's skull with my scepter. His drops were completely uninteresting, however, on the next trip back to town right after having found the Moldy Tome, I saw Charsi selling a +20% poison resist cap, which I picked up right away. I don't think I've ever seen an item with resists that high so early in the game.

    Screenshot079.jpg

    Entered the Underground Passage, and was almost immediately set upon by a LE boss pack of Misshapen, fun! It was a great opportunity to try out Feral Rage, which I enjoy using, especially the run/walk boost. I didn't notice the life leech because I wasn't even taking much lightning damage to begin with, so my orb stayed almost completely full throughout.

    I also found that I like using untargeted Arctic Blast in short bursts to keep groups of enemies under control, but I don't think I'll be putting more points into it, I'm just using it for the slow.

    Finally found the way to the Dark Wood, and I get one of those all-too-common map variations where the burning Carver house, fenced area with rock walls and more Carvers, and heavily-forested area containing, you guessed it, even more Carvers, are ALL located right near each other. The entire left side of the Dark Wood was a hectic mess, but I had to power through it, because they were all protecting the Tree of Inifuss.

    Told Treehead Woodfist to take his ball and go home, took the scroll, dragged myself back to the Stony Field, and opened the portal to Tristram. Must... not... click... the cows....

    Screenshot084.jpg

    This looks pretty easy, right? A slower-than-slowed Griswold against a small army on the side of nature? Should be a piece of cake! Well, this was right before a stone skin Night Clan pack showed up to aid the blacksmith-in-distress, and it was the first time that Basanti almost bit the dust. I had just managed to take down Griswold in werewolf form and quickly dashed over to take the heat off of her before she died. Sure, I could have used my potions, but my mind was elsewhere at the moment; a toddler running around the place can do that sometimes.

    And so I ended the quest by bringing Cain down from his gibbet (ever notice it's called "Cain's Gibbet", like perhaps he owned it before Tristram fell and the demons played some cruel joke by imprisoning him in his own personal property), where he thanked me by offering to identify my items for free, without ever needing to hustle him.

    Screenshot086.jpg

    Last thing I did was place a point in Maul, which I'll try out soon in the Black Marsh, and a point in Cyclone Armor, which seems pretty straightforward. 40 elemental damage I can shield myself from seems like a small but useful buffer I can give myself around the time of Act II, with all the Scarab Demons about.
     
  17. Void Stalker

    Void Stalker Diabloii.Net Member

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    Nicely done! I like the descriptive way the story is unfolding. Congrats on clearing Tristham, and good luck bringing Nature's power to Bear in the black marsh...
     
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  18. jonnyphive

    jonnyphive Diabloii.Net Member

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    @AlexTheNextOne Nice progress. Really enjoying reading your thoughts on the various skills - it's rare to find a fresh perspective on a game this old :p. Since you mentioned Stealth previously, are you planning on doing some Countess runs? I would definitely recommend getting Tir + Ral and making yourself a Leaf staff to at least get to play around with some level 4 fire skills!
     
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  19. AlexTheNextOne

    AlexTheNextOne Diabloii.Net Member

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    The Forgotten Tower: Oh geez, there's blood eeeeeeeeeeeverywheeeeeere!

    Cain confided in Seldaren that should he continue on his journey to discover the cause of the demons pouring forth into eastern Khanduras, he may yet come across a dilapidated old tower containing many treasures that could help the hero in his quest. He raised an eyebrow in silence and continued on his way, because even kids know not to jump into windowless vans driven by men promising candy and puppies.

    The Black Marsh should be renamed the Jawbone Cap Marsh, because I had 4 or 5 of these things drop before I even explored half of the map. I picked every one of them up though, the gold is too good to ignore. Naturally, the only wolf head I've found so far had no +skills.

    The waypoint was easily located in the eastern corner of the map (I write these up as they happen, by the way, otherwise these posts would be far shorter and vastly inferior), and after having found The Hole not far from The Forgotten Tower, I decided to tackle The Hole first, or else this quest post would be over in a heartbeat.

    The only thing of note I found in The Hole was a 3os superior large axe, which I realized actually swings really quickly on a Druid. So I threw a chipped topaz, sapphire, and ruby into it, the same thing I did for my Meteorb Sorceress before she could use a Leaf staff, since both classes seem to wield those suckers better than a Barbarian can.

    I'm immediately attacked by a group of Blood Clan goatmen and Ghosts as I enter, though thankfully the spectral hit Blood Clan pack closeby didn't aggro alongside them. "Bone Drinker" hit surprisingly hard, enough that I got to view the Druid's stagger animation for the first time!

    Screenshot088.jpg

    I was not expecting to get mobbed by The Countess and her minions outside of the room they tend to spawn in, but since Basanti was right next to me, she fell in short order, while my wolf distracted the lesser blood bathers; I was rewarded with a Ral rune for my efforts, and a scepter worth a couple thousand gold in the quest chest.

    Screenshot089.jpg

    I tried out Maul with the werebear throughout this quest, but I think I prefer Feral Rage for the speediness it gives me. I'm itching to try out Fury once it becomes available. I expect the next post to be lengthier than the others so far, and I hope to try out Heart of Wolverine and Dire Wolf, as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  20. AlexTheNextOne

    AlexTheNextOne Diabloii.Net Member

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    Tools of the Trade: So... this thing should just be hanging on a rack or something... right?

    Seldaren could see it looming in the distance, the Monastery Gate, and it is here where Charsi said that he could find the Horadric Malus, the enchanted hammer that clearly must not have been the single most important possession that Charsi felt she needed to hold on to as she fled the Monastery with her fellow sisters. I'll let you fill in those blanks.

    I traversed and explored the Tamoe Highland without issue, and stumbled upon The Pit, a place that I feel might end up being important to repeatedly explore much later on.

    Screenshot090.jpg

    Now THIS was a boss pack that gave me trouble, I had to retreat, heal, and re-summon everything save for my Carrion Vine. Level 2 of The Pit was even worse; Dark Archers and Bone Archers, both cursed, and a Dark Stalker pack with mana burn, so I prayed I wouldn't get hit by them and be unable to re-summon my minions who were getting slammed by the cursed enemies.

    I was disappointed by the items from the golden chest, however, not far from the Monastery Gate, I found a mana burn Dark Stalker pack that dropped a really nice rare amulet:

    Screenshot091.jpg

    With a full inventory, I quickly headed back to make some quick cash, and decided on a whim to check out the gambling scene, to see if any mauls might be available this early on. No luck, but I did find this bad boy:

    Screenshot092.jpg

    With my new toy, I stormed in the Barracks, cleaved through (nearly) everything I saw, and took down the Butc- I mean, Smith, with relative ease.

    Screenshot094.jpg

    I switched out Oak Sage for Heart of Wolverine and right away I prefer this spirit. I also now have a Dire Wolf, and I'm going to try out Fire Claws soon. Now it gets good....
     
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