The "Pass It On" Tournament


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skunkbelly said:
*takes a bow*

I AM TEH L33T!!1!!1111!1 :laugh:

Great tourney Skunkbelly, I feel very lucky to have outlasted players here that I consider far superior to myself in skill at this game, and that was a truly horrible way for this to end.

I intend to continue to follow the tourney rules (keeping the stash rules and switching at switch points) and see if I can guardian one or both remaining chars.

Today I switched to Trueheart, and was able to take him to the sewers 2 switchpoint. He really deserves to gain a level or two though, so I am going to take him to the pits for a run or five. I was actually very surprised at how well he played after I struggled with him in NM.

Thanks Skunk for hosting the tourney!


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You kept Trueheart alive and moving forward? You are 1337! :wink:

In my own (weak) defense, I thought the Inner Cloister had spawned deserted. The monsters were apparently hiding down in the corner. One was a Conviction aura boss, which reduced the time I had to react. I had left the game open, since I wanted to rummage through Ravenous' inventory and consider possible improvements.

His gear is what helped us deal with the PIs, although I didn't try using the Kuko. I didn't want to shift out of wolf form to fire arrows, and something just seems wrong about smacking monsters with a bow! (Does the fire damage even still apply when not using arrows? Probably.) At any rate, Ravenous was equipped with:
  • Goblin Toe (although I believe the CB shouldn't trigger for PIs)
  • Saracen's Chance (not sure if the IM works against PIs, either)
  • a handful of elemental damage charms
  • Plague Bearer on switch (300 poison damage + ctc Poison Nova)
It wasn't particularly fast, so we would close cage doors on corporeal monsters to let the Wraiths slip in alone. As long as they weren't cursed, we could take one down in about 30 seconds or so.

As always, thanks for the tournament Skunkbelly! :thumbsup:


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jgreg7 said:
You kept Trueheart alive and moving forward? You are 1337! :wink:
I can't take too much credit for Trueheart. Since you mentioned gear I will admit that I have been pretty lucky with gear for this tourney.:grin:

Remember my posting that I found a Lum? Well, that turned into this when Pastyface found an Archon plate in the pits (base def 509)

Archon Plate
Defense: 890
Durability: 60 of 60
Required Strength: 103
Required Level: 63
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 85
Fingerprint: 0xed0216a3
+10 to Energy
+75% Enhanced Defense
+280 Defense vs. Missile
All Resistances +50
-1 to Light Radius
20% Faster Hit Recovery
Level 6 Weaken (18/18 Charges)
Socketed (2: 2 used)

A t-gods vigor was found at NM Meph, making lightning using enemies much less scary.

Pastyface also found this truncheon, which is was a massive improvement over the 'strength' small crescent:

Dread Gnarl
One-Hand Damage: 89 to 110
Durability: 49 of 55
Required Dexterity: 43
Required Strength: **
Required Level: 39
Mace Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 75
Fingerprint: 0xb5d106
+156% Enhanced Damage
+107 to Attack Rating
+80 poison damage over 4 seconds
10% Increased Attack Speed
Prevent Monster Heal
150% Damage to Undead

A chromatic ammy and ancient's pledge shield give good resists, while Sigon's Boots/Gloves provide a nice combo (I also have the shield, socketed with a P Diamond, though Trueheart is sticking with the Ancient's Pledge). Demon Machine is the switch weapon. A Peasant Crown was also socketed with a scintillating jewel (11 res all) way back in normal. The merc has tals mask, upped goldskin and kelpie snare.

But the best is the charms... In this last span Trueheart even found a +1 necro summoning skill charm! He has a +1 Offensive aura already, and a couple of nice sharp charms. He has a lighting damage from charms that is helpful: total of 6-131, and another 1-50 from t-gods.

All this adds up to excellent resists (82F/75C/77L) and versatile skills.

Well, in any case Trueheart has leveled to 75, and I have now 'switched' with myself back to pastyface (who is lvl 80). Time to see how the desert treats him.




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I've switched back to Trueheart. Pastyface had an easy time through the desert. Though the Maggot Lair was a pain there were no NDE's. I'm not looking forward to trying to get Trueheart through the various crypts. He has absolutely no corpse destruction capability, so the ressurecting mummies are going to be a major pain.

Interesting finds: Jade Talon, Lycander's aim

I've realized as well that when one char dies the other will be screwed, since I'm using the shared stash. Here's hoping they both live!



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crazy_bear said:
I've realized as well that when one char dies the other will be screwed, since I'm using the shared stash. Here's hoping they both live!
Good point... the rules make it tricky. At least you have the pleasure of knowing you already won :cool:


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Trueheart had a fun trip through the desert to the Viper Temple. No problems were had in any of the areas until he reached the maggot lair lvl 3. It just was a major p.i.t.a. to get at coldworm! With all those spawners around zeal became hard to use because only the occaisional one hit where I wanted. However, on a brainwave I switched to the demon machine, which worked brilliantly. Soon Coldworm was no more and the staff was in hand.

Entering the Viper temple he encountered ressurecting mummies and assorted skeleton minions. Having trouble getting at the mummies he circled the skellies to get them one on one. At this point a fourth mummy and a boss pack of vipers became active. The knockback of the vipers' charges pushed Trueheart back toward the stairs and put him back behind the skellies again... ugh. I ran trueheart up the stairs and out and thought about what to do. With a boss pack of vipers right at the door and at least 4 ressurecters going I realized I had messed this beyond recovery. So I saved and exited and planned to try for a hallway where less could come at trueheart at once. The next attempt went way better, as he lucked out and got no mummies. Level 2 was a snap as he avoided Fangskin and got up onto the altar. A TP then was used to get the merc on the altar too. The merc provided the cover while Trueheart let fly with the demon machine. Nice combo there, exploding arrows + holy fire. The level was soon clear and the ammy was his.

Notable finds: Gheed's Fortune (99/32/13), Nat's Shadow, Windhammer

Switching back to Pastyface now...



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There have been a couple of switches since my last posting. Both Pastyface and Trueheart defeated Duriel but he only gave a decent drop for Trueheart (goldstrike arch and skystrike). However, Pastyface can't complain because he found a second Lum rune, this time in one of the false tombs. This one will probably go to another Smoke, though Lionheart is tempting for the merc if a good socketed armour appears since he has also found both the Hel and Fal that are also required for that armour. :grin:

Moving along the spider forest was not bad for either char. Trueheart's Holy Fire is good vs flayers and the horde works well for Pastyface. I switched again and now Pastyface is all the way to Lower Kurast and is lvl 83. Soon it will be Trueheart's chance again. :thumbsup:

I have stashed all the extra finds from this tourney and sothey are on their way to you Skunk for the "SUNNIT."



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Next switchpoint again for both Pastyface and Trueheart. This time it's Upper Kurast. Only one NDE for Trueheart when he got mobbed by some dolls in the sewers, but that was mostly due to inattention.

Pastyface simply uses normal skellymancer tactics, so there isn't much to tell there. I expect to visit Meph a few times with him (here's hoping for a nice map). He is as expected: scout with golem, keep amp going, get a kill and start the CE chain.

Trueheart worries me though. As a melee HC his life is precarious at best. Getting amped and surrounded by Sarina's pack was scary, but it didn't go so badly. The frenzy feature of the tree monsters was damaging, so he did have to split up groups of them, and when possible he softened them up with the demon machine. I never would have guessed how important a find that Demon Machine was. (I forgot that it was in the stash even until Hell diff.) The exploding arrows add the HF dmg, making it an effective wepon, even in hell. Also the PMH mod on his truncheon is great. Once he hits anything then he'll eventually bring it down since it will never regen. He is constantly switching auras to maximize damage, which make playing him more interesting too.

Anyway, they are ready to go take on the Council, Pastyface first!



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My holy shock / holy fire zealot guardian used Demon Machine for lots of key battles against fire immunes. It was especially key in getting past the Council. It will serve you well!


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Continuing on...
You know, this is a nice way to play in a lot of ways, it keeps the play targets short, and switching keeps the interest up. Though at this point I'm very interested to see if I can take either char all the way anyway.

Both chars have completed to the next switch point again. Pastyface took out Meph maybe 5 or 6 times and was rewarded with a couple of good finds: Boneshade lich wand (from a boss blood lord though) and Hellrack colossus crossbow. He also found an ethereal hellforge plate with 762 def and a Nat's shadow from the armor rack near Meph. With the cube recipe the ethereal plate became 1143 def with 3 sockets. So I was going to make 'Lionheart' but then found out that I actually hadn't found the Hel. So now I'll wait and see what the Hell Forge turns up before deciding what to make. Duress would sure be nice, or possibly Gloom.

Trueheart had a bit of a nervewracking time in the durance. The exploding dolls HURT! He blocks at 75% but a two explosions in a row got through on more than one occaision. This left him with only a small amount of red left in the life bulb. Quite scary because a third or a good whack from another monster would have easily killed him. However, he got lucky and that third doll explosion never came, or the rejuv was in time. He also found a second demon machine in travincal! I'm not sure if it's better to use the hellrack or the demon machine. At least with two spaces for missle weapons he can save both! I expect to switch to hellrack for the Chaos Sanctuary to pick off the OK's as it will do more dmg to individual targets, but the exploding arrows on the demon machine are very nice.

Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing what the hell forge brings.


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Well, the big finale is coming for both Pastyface and Trueheart. The showdown with the greater evils began with Meph fallnig to Pasty's minions and Trueheart's truncheon. Moving on, they each dispatched the Fallen Angel Izual and prepared to enter Diablo's lair. Along the way Trueheart found a new weapon: Headstriker.

Pastyface, secure behind his horde, boldly entered the river of flame. Abyss knights, Urdar, ghosts, none could stand before his skeletons long. At the hellforge he smashed Mephistos soulstone, revealing some gems and a Lem rune. Diablo's sanctuary was similarly no challenge, and soon the lord of terror was defeated as well. Quest drop: garbage. While the residents of Harrogath were not exactly overjoyed to meet him, they soon warmed with the lifting of the seige and the release of captured soldiers.

Trueheart took his new blade and entered the river of flame. Abyss Knights showered at him with bolts of magical energy from every direction. For every short advance it seemed he had to return to town to recover. Maggots spawned hordes of young to attack him, but he dispatched these with explosions of flame from his trusty crossbow. Balrogs tried to incinerate him, but his long experience with fire left him resilient to these attacks and he dispatched them with fanatic blows from his sword. After great effort he reached the hellforge where the terrible smith Hephaesto charged at him. Hephaesto turned on Vikhyat, the trusty mercenary that had stayed with him all this time, and crushed him with 2 rapid blows of his hammer. Under the relentless assualt, Trueheart was also forced to retreat to the safety of the Pandemonium fortress from the nearby waypoint. Tyreal brought Vikhyat back from the dead, and another attempt was made for the hellforge, but again the smith beat him back. On a third attempt finally Hephaesto was destroyed, and the soulstone of Meph smashed on the forge. A Lem rune was revealed amongst the shards of the smashed stone. After this test, Diablo's lair seemed simple. The doom knights were lured away from their masters, and dispatched with lightning. The Balrogs and ghosts were no match for his magical steel. Trueheart pulled out the massive Hellrack crossbow, and sent bolts through the Oblivion knights at range, saving himself the danger of their iron maiden curse. Soon, he faced Diablo himself, and showed the great demon that though it may take 1000 strokes, even a prime evil of hell could be destroyed in his own domain. (Quest drop was crap again) Thus Trueheart found himself in Harrogath, charged with destroying the overlord Shenk, and relieving the siege. Entering the blood soaked hill surrounding Harrogath Trueheart headed toward the concentrated catapults on the hill above. Immediated a shower of arrows descended upon him. Volley after volley fell, and though he might destroy the undead archers that fired them, it seemed there were always more behind the next trench. With the cuts of a thousand arrows he finally reached shenk, only to find the overlord weaker than the archers.

Ok, so I officially believe that Blizz hates melee chars. Where a ranged char could pick off the millions of archers, Trueheart was forced to advance into them, receiving a hail of arrows at every turn. At one point a cursed extra strong boss made his merc evaporate about 5 times before Trueheart was able to pick off enough minions to safely approach. Individually the archers weren't so bad, it was the fact that they spawned in groups of 6-10 and typically 2-4 groups were on the screen I wish I had taken screenshots a couple of times, but it woudn't have been safe to do so. In any case, Trueheart did fight his way to the plateau WP and rescued the soldiers. No good finds, but survival is reward in this case.

Back to Pasty now.


edit: forgot to mention, with 2 lems, the ethereal hellforge plate became a 'treachery' for the merc. He had been using it plain up to this point because without a Hel there was no way to unsocket it for a later change. The range of 1 for the weapons Trueheart has had have been a problem, so he is hoping to be able to find a Beserker axe that can be used for 'Passion' for a better weapon.


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The travels of Trueheart and Pastyface continue...

Pastyface isn't so interesting, so a quick rundown is that he summoned his hordes, they marched onward, he made sure that CE eliminated everything that the skellies couldn't. He spammed lots of amp damage and the merc rocks with 'treachery.' He saved Anya from the prison and Nilhitak got wiped from the face of Sanctuary. He now awaits his turn at the Ancients Way WP. :grin:

Now, Trueheart is more of a challenge. He has to work very tactically. On entering the crystalline passage he found that blood lords (or some lord or another anyway) were waiting for him. These physical immune minotaur types hurt because they can't be leeched, and the merc can do little damage to them and once they get going the frenzy can do a lot of damage. Second monster type was ghosts, also phys immune, but not so dangerous, and the third was cold mages. Soon inside the stairs Trueheart woke 4 champion minotaurs at once, (actually, his merc did, Trueheart was advancing only a tiny bit at a time). this called for a quick 'Sir Robin' Fortunately trueheat was able to make it around a corner and lose the pack without having to flee the passage. He continued down the other branch and found that he was able to make enough space to use hit and run tactics on other packs of minotaurs found so that he never had to face more than 3 at once. Once he cleared most of the rest Trueheart came back and was able to pick apart the champion pack as well by being sure to wake only 1 or 2 at the same time.

Next up, prison of ice. This is where Trueheart found his resists were definitely good enough. Succubi, Gloams and more cold mages. One particular gloam boss made me wonder about survival for all but such an excellent tank ... cursed, extra strong, FE. Ouch. Anyway, he took them down and did eventually rescue Anya. Resists of 83/75/86/75 definitely help! :thumbsup:

So next up is Nilhitak. I've never liked him since his CE is just so hard to avoid and does huge damage. I had planned to make 'black' for the CE charges, but never found an io rune. At least it isn't the OHK that it used to be. He made his way down to the Halls of Pain without too much difficulty, and right away found bugged vipers. Not liking a HC melee char's odds vs their buggy poison clouds I opted for the safe route: reroll. Second try, more vipers. Third try was cold archers and PI succubi. Not pretty, but not buggy anyway. So he cleared out the arms of the halls, leaving Nilhitak for last. It was very hard to draw the succubi away from Nilly. In the process of trying he took a couple of CE's. Each one did about 750 dmg. Definite rejuv reaction! Eventually Trueheart had to try some hit and run tactics. Run at Nilly, take a few swipes, then run before getting overwhemed. Slowly the surrounding monsters also got lured away and eventually this tactic left a clear spot to fire bolts from the demon machine while the merc took the blows. One CE while the shield was off came close to knocking him out, but not quite.
Soon Nilly was down to a small bar, and trueheart had to start chasing his teleporting. Back to shield mode, but it didn't take long after that, and Trueheart survived. Hooray!:thumbsup:

So Trueheart survived Nilly, and now only two quests remain for each char... Ancients and Baal. The end is drawing near, one way or the other!