The Untwinked Level 99 Progress Thread, Revenge of the 99ers

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
@Grape Thanks for the props, though I do have the unfair advantage of not having that S&E delay. :) On the other hand, don't know if previous 99ers ran Nihl with Lightning Sorc using Crescent Moon, but can't really think of a better setup. Easy to target Nihl immediately, and the ability to push through broken immune rolls with Griffon's and CM makes a massive difference since very few runs are aborted. With a twinked char even more so IMO, in particular full skiller inventory will speed up the runs with LI rolls significantly.

EDIT:
@ffs

dude, you're pulling out the best all time P8/sorc/Nihl or there about.

Not wanting to challenge you, but I definitely must check some things now :D


and if those numbers are even near (and they might be, great runs), fastest 99-- go go!
I feel I just have to add and clarify that I can't take full credit for that. :) @PhineasB was trying this with Hiatus and it just didn't work because she wasn't as lucky as HelpYourself was with that Griffon's drop (and a 5/5 facet to go with it). I'm still amazed by that luck with an untwinked Sorc, couple of months later. ;)

Would be interesting to see you go for it with your twinked 99er Sorc and how much faster it is with better gear! Though that unfortunate S&E issue all of you guys seem to have will probably make it difficult to find out exactly. :/

@NanoMist Good information about shrines, didn't look at it like that until now. I might actually be able to have 1.5s quicker runs when not checking any shrines at all. But it's a very close call, and still seems to be worth it to check them for gems and like I said also came to like the skill shrine.
 
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Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
I don't think that P8 is required anyway, I had the most success with P1/P7, although I suspect that this two seals only system might be more efficient. Personally, I would find that too dull and stripped back to enjoy, but still.
 

Gynli

Diabloii.Net Member
End of the year update.

Amazon hit lvl 94 just this morning. Originally planned to grind it out to level 95 over the week, but fell short a full level - all because I was gifted PUBG. =P

While testing out the newly made Faith at CS, LoH finally decided drop for me. With that, I respecced into a multishot bowa and went back to the pits for some leveling. And boy what a difference! The new set up clears the Pits faster on /p8 and /p3 than the upped WWS did on /p3 and /p1. After some trial runs, I found my clear speed is only a couple seconds apart up till /p5 at around 2:30 per run and climbs to 3:00 on /p8. Because of merc dying to skeleton packs on /p8 and some scary archer packs one shotting me every now and then, /p5 ended up being my comfort /p setting for majority of the 2 levels.

For now, I'll be staying at Pits for an extra level, then head over to CS for 2 seal runs at lvl 95.

Also, I'd like to ask for some help on deciding between 100 vit + rest dex vs 222 dex + rest vit.

Currently I'm at 345 dex/100 vit, which is about ~700hp with fine/sharp charms. With extra 100+ pulled from dex, it'll be at about 1k; and if I also swap out all the fine/sharp charms for lifers, i can pack about 300 extra hp which puts me at a comfortable 1.3k life. I plan on using Fleshripper/SS on switch for Diablo, and 222 dex is required for max block with SS at lvl 99; and that means I won't have a CtA. Taking into consideration the lack of CtA, which do you think will be better? How big of a damage loss will I have with 222 dex setup? And, is it worth the extra 300 life considering the small pool?

EDIT: After reading through the WF vs Faith comparison; I'm convinced I should go for 222 dex with Faith/Pride/Might setup. The lower dex isn't a massive loss in damage due to high %ed from rest of the gear, and I much prefer the fact that I don't have to worry about Faith merc running off somewhere leaving me w/o the aura.

Item wishlist :
- WF
- Cat's Eye
- Fleshripper
- 20+ str/5+ ll/life/min dmg/dr blood ring
- 30 frw/life/res/dr tiara
- Cham/Jah/Sur for new Faith and Pride
- Reaper's Toll
- Hotspur

Bowazons are quite flexible when it comes to skills,
so here's my current setup and some reasoning for anyone interested.
STATS
100 str
345 dex
100 vit
base nrg

75 fr
52 cr
30 lr
6 pr

without Might
1k - 3.6k MA
750 - 2.7k Multi

with Might - takes a while to activate
1.1k - 4.3k MA
900 - 3.2k Multi

SKILLS
13 Magic Arrow
13 Multishot

16 Crit
16 Penetrate
9 Pierce
13 Decoy
20 Valkyrie
5 prerequisites
- 5 skills points left to go.

GEAR
Faith
Harmony on switch
Fortitude
Razortail
LoH
Ravenfrost
War Travs

2 Ama/30 frw/20 allres Tiara
19 str/18 life/30 cr/10 fr/3 ll Blood Ring
21 str/14 allres/24 lr Rare Amulet

+39 max dmg/some life/some res from charms

NOTES
- 100 str
Later on, Fleshripper/Stormshield combo will be on switch for taking down Diablo. 156 str for SS is too high for me, so I socketed it with Hel down to 133 str. With base at 100, and 10 from war travs, the extra 23 needs to come from rest of the gear. 15+ str on blood ring is necessary - and full 23 str will be ideal - but a charm or two can cover the missing str.

- 100 vit
I'm actually regretting 100 vit. I feel there's no difference betwen base vit and 100 vit at such low life. Tempted to try max block on SS and rest into vit though... Quick calculation says I need 222 dex for max block on SS at lvl 99.

- 13 Magic Arrow
13 is the level that the mana cost is removed. Works wonders against PI/stoneskin and useful for sniping targets.

- 13 Multishot
Anything above 10 is fine, higher the better for me. Decided to stay at 13, largely because Magic Arrow is also at 13. =P

- 20 Valkyrie/9 Pierce
Must have's. Decided 9 solid points in Pierce because I didn't want to worry about + skills.

That left me with 47 points to play with; so the obvious choices were Crit/Penetrate/Decoy. After fiddling around with the skill calculator online, I decided on 13 decoy, 20 penetrate, and 17 crit. lvl 17 crit gives 0% increase over lvl 16, but I liked the idea of wasting the final skill point. =P

Table Update
Code:
Name          (C)            SC/HC    Class  Level/exp   Extended Stash  #of S/U   Grail/504   #of Deaths  # of Hours
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
zticazzy      Perkele         SC      Barb      99             No            -          -            -           -
Pb_pal        Eleanor         SC      Sorc      99             No         3068        437            5           -
NanoMist      Izuna           SC      Sin       99             No         5109        470            4         360
PhineasB      Mercy           SC      Sin       99             Yes           -        475           11           -
PhineasB      Hiatus          SC      Sorc      99             Yes           -        471           21           -
Neksja        Aura            SC      Paladin   98.50          Yes        8606        464            -           -
T72on1        Neverland       SC      Sorc      98.25          Yes        2190+?      477           13         270?
ffs           HelpYourself    SC      Sorc      98             Yes           -          -          many          ?
hasuprotoss   Reina           SC      Sorc      97             Yes        1751        384            -           -
Tarantella    Tarasha         HC      Sorc      96             Yes           -          -            -           -
Grim          Furious_Blonde  SC      Ama       96             Yes           -          -            -           -
darkstarhub   Neptune         SC      Sorc      96             Yes           -        452            -           -
XyleneCyanol  Fishie          HC      Sorc      95             No            -          -            -           -
ThomasJohnsen xInTheBuffx     HC      Sorc      95             Yes           -          -            -           -
Dezrok        Salome          SC      Sorc      95             Yes         792        318            -           -
Yng           Sophie          SC      Sorc      95             Yes           -          -            7           -
NamelessPenguin Rockatansky   SC      Barb      95             No            -          -            -           -
PhineasB      Phaedrus        SC      Pala      95             Yes           -        292           12           -
Gynli         Amazon          SC      Amazon    94             Yes           -          -         many           -
Reyz          Qty             SC      Sorc      93             No            -          -            -           -
Zenigma       Ayura           SC      Barb      92             No            -          -            -           -
Chaostar      Prairie         SC      Sorc      91             Yes         659        261           12         126
OldSoldier    Battleforge     HC      Pala      91             Yes           -        236            -           -
tokerdin      tokeress        SC      Sorc      91             yes           -          -            -           -
Southpaw      Njord           SC      Druid     90             Yes           -          -            -           -
Qwernt        CanbeOnlyBlizz  SC      Sorc      90             Yes           ?          -        Dont want to know
MercMan       Este            SC      Ama       90             Yes        1212        278            2  Classified
Me2Nik        Fugu            HC      Ama       90             Yes          80
Lynchgrinch   Tattersail      SC      Sorc      89             Yes           ?        321         too many    lots
LiquidClear   Sally           SC      Assn      **             Yes         225          -            1           -
liquid_mage   zDadColdSorc    SC      Sorc      **             Yes           -        160            -           -
Neksja        Turirao         SC      Druid     87             Yes         191        124            5           -
Gladstone     Socrates        HC      Druid     86             ?             -          -            -           -
Zenigma       Gnosis          SC      Druid     86             No            -          -            -           -
Lord Molyb    Cruise_Control  SC      Necro     86             No          115         94           19         idk
hackedagain   Hugo            HC      Necro     85             Yes           -          -            -
Naturallog    Athos           HC      Barb      84             No          159        105            0           -
Lord Molyb    Verisimilitude  SC      Ama       83             No           28         25            0         idk
Qwernt        AmaAgainstAll   SC      Sorc      81             Yes           -          -            -           -
Gambit        Mallenroh       SC      Sorc      81             Yes           0          0            0           0
Lord Molyb    But_Why         SC      Sin       81             Never        55         51           53
aarrgus       Acala           SC      Barb      80             Yes           -          -            5           -
Jean Avila    SpeedAdict      SC      Ama       77             No            -          -            -          50
logo          Digimon         HC      Nec       76             Yes          85         65            0           -
TwentyMule    Rayne           SC      Sorc      76             Yes         195        140            ?           ?
Gripphon      Ryu             SC      Sorc      76             Yes           -          -         over 9k       13
ffs           Ric             SC      Nec       76             Yes           -          -            -           -
Darke Rahl    Bells           HC      Ama       74             No           19          -            0
ioupainmax    Durnik          SC      Paladin   67             Yes          87         61            0           -
Vildecor      Celia           SC      Ama       59             Yes          52         43            0           -
Xul's Gull    Araphel         HC      Necro     54             No            ?         N/A           -           -
TrU           Henryk          SC      Barb      41             Yes           -          -           22          12
Gambit        Colossus        SC      Pal       39             Yes           0          0            0           0
Smancer       Smancer         SC      Necro     26             Yes           1          -            -           -
BKC           FearsomeFreddie SC      Nec       23             Yes           -          -            -           -
Ergroilnin    Erilinda        HC      Sorc      20             No            -          -            -           -
Kitteh        Kaylin          SC      Ama       19             Yes           -          -            0           -
Sleepybear123 Rob_theBarb     HC      Barb      29             yes           -          -            -          10
The Fallen
Code:
Name (F)    Name (C)       SC/HC   Class   Level/exp   Extended Stash   #of S/U   Grail/504   #of deaths   # of Hours
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
coju        NintyNine_orRiP HC      Sorc      81             Yes           -          0            0         a few
TwentyMule  Valus           HC      Barb      76             Yes           -          -            1           -
Pb_pal      Stevesy         HC      Paladin   76             Yes           -          -            0           -
Tenecabo    OldShatterhand  HC      Druid     49             Yes           -          0            1           -
coju        fB              HC      Sorc      29             Yes           1          1            0           2
Kitteh      Verallus        HC      Druid     26             No          N/A        N/A            0          N/A
logo        Rolex           HC      Barb      21             Yes           0          0            0           1
 
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T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Always great to see another joining. Welcome !!! You'll see that this journey is full if win.

Great progress everyone, and good luck in the new year.
 

Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
I just wanted to say thank you to you all for making this reboot so awesome, it was a great end to the year to read some of the highlights last night. When I rebooted this I figured that it would be me and one other person, so... Go us! :rolleyes:

Also, I reentered yesterday with Xylar, a Bonemancer. My plan is to run Chaos Sanctuary and then ping on Ancients. I'm mostly settled on equipment etc, but feel free to chime in on a few things below. I am planning to record every thing that I do with this character, except for normal act 1 yesterday which was so friggin boring melting my way along that a) I didn't imagine anybody wanting to see that and b) I had to put music on to get through it myself, so no recording. From hereon though, now that I have bone spear, I will be recording.


Decisions

Stormshield vs Homunculus
I like SS on HC characters, however... I will have a highly synergised bone armour plus max block (with Homunculus having a higher block too), so the DR may be a bit overkill compared to the huge resists boost that I would get from an Um'd Homunculus. This in turn will allow me to use my charms to get the far breakpoint whilst topping up resists, and then fill the rest with vita charms, since necromancers get a pathetic return on vitality.


Mercenary Weapon
Since I will be doing P1/P7 CS runs, I don't think that Insight is really required. I considered Reaper's Toll, but I can case decrepify myself (see curses below), so that would be a waste. Next I thought about Obedience as a damage source against Big D, until I find, oh I don't know, a Zod run for BotD :rolleyes: Honestly, I'm a not really sure what I will be doing with this slot... I'm thinking perhaps a source of CB for Big D? (Obedience etc)


Curses
Currently my plan is this; teleport to whatever mob, cast attract once or twice depending on size, lay down decrepify if melee and dim vision if ranged. Decrepify for Big D of course.


75fcr vs 125fcr
Currently, I am intending to go with 75fcr. I geared up Redemptio yesterday to test how teleport feels on 75fcr, and it feels absolutely fine. I don't have huge experience with bonemancers though, so I would certainly appreciate input here :)
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
First 10% down for HelpYourself, after a couple really dangerous runs due to New Year's hangover. :)

8_one tenth.png

Runs have improved a bit in efficiency and smoothness. Discovered a slightly different teleport route through Halls of Pain which spawns the shrine directly in the alley, in a spot where I can recognize the symbol while teleporting past it. ;) Much more comfortable with Nihl and his crowd by now. As @T72on1 said, ever since I started doing the side-stepping after landing at Nihl's platform, vipers are barely an issue and it's a pretty safe routine. Ironically, the biggest danger for her now seems to be teleporting in Halls of Pain. There are up to 3 boss packs in her teleport path, and I had a very close call when stopped teleporting next to a Might pack next to the Halls of Pain shrine. This led to her now grabbing only the XP shrine on that level and not checking for gem shrine if there's no symbol, reducing GC rolls a bit but speeding up runs a tiny bit more.

From now on I'll also keep a corpse recovery kit in stash. Went with Hoto/Viper/Spirit/Shako 'Sol' for now to get 105% FCR and some DR. Suggestions welcome, though I hope I'll never put it to use obviously. :)

Reason for this early update however is that Nihlathak has been much more generous than Baal so far and had numerous welcome presents:

Finally a Blizzard Ormus:

8_Ormus Blizzard!.png

Never found any >100psn SCs, now two in quick succession:

8_281psn sc.png

8_250psn sc.png

Speaking of charms:
8_awesome sharpGC.png

8_great sharp GC.png

Also Nihl likes to hoard Legendary Mallets apparently. First got two (non-eth) Stone Crushers, followed by these:

8_Schaefers.png

8_eth Stone Crusher.png

Going to stop here since the 10 picture limit won't allow for all of these other noteworthy drops to be included:
- Ohm
- second SoJ
- third Mara's ([email protected])
- 40/12 Gheed's
- two more Stone Crushers (non-eth)
- second eth Demon's Arch
- two Redeemers (1os and 2os)
- two more Ormus' Robes (Charged Bolt and Frozen Armor)
- Carin Shard
- Lenymo
- Combat skiller (Paladin)
- Trap skiller

And of course this GG find (also posted in IFT):
Trapper's delight:

8_Assassin Tiara.png

Probably going to Cham this actually, truly amazing find IMO.

Needless to say, I'm not exactly missing Baal when it comes to drops. ;)
 
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darkstarhub

Diabloii.Net Member
Wow, those are some really nice drops man. Those sharp grand charms are really nice and that Tiara made me cry a little. Just a single, solitary tear that warmly slid down my check.
 

darkstarhub

Diabloii.Net Member
@Grape I noticed in your CS runs video you had Laying of Hands equipped. I didn’t really look at the stats at first, and upon watching the video again just now I noticed why you had them equipped. I racked my brain trying to figure out why you were wearing them. Was it the dmg to Demons? Nope. That doesn’t apply to elemental dmg(unless I’ve been wrong in my thinking all this time). Nothing else other than the Fire Res would make sense.

Like I said, upon further review of the video, I noticed the distinct difference in your LoH vs what they are now. That is really awesome man. If I didn’t want to time travel enough already I really want to now. In the meantime, I will have to go with maxed @res and as much dmg as I can muster.
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, after all her recent success, and some 10 hours of running after her initial "artifical" couple of deaths when aggressively stress testing Nihl runs -- some bad news for HelpYourself. Right after she made the first 10% and could thus theoretically lose the full XP amount on death, the D2 gods decided to teach her a very painful lesson. :/

While teleporting through Halls of Pain, she suddenly stopped, due to the cursor hovering over a poppable tomb. That wouldn't have been so bad, had she not been next to a Might pack, similarly to what I've described in the previous post. I was too slow to hit escape or teleport away, and she died. Well I facepalmed in light of that absurd death, but I was thinking it was close to the WP and there were only a few mobs, allowing for easy corpse recovery. So I bought back the Merc, put on her recovery gear, hit the waypoint and started to calmly make my way to her corpse.

Can you see the mistake hidden in the last sentence?

I didn't take Delirium away from Merc. Making my way slowly and safely to the corpse, the Merc was engaged in combat constantly and he had all the time in the world to trigger the previously discussed Delirium/Jab bug. That's exactly what he did, and as a consequence the game crashed. (I had already understood that the longer he fights mobs the more likely it is to trigger, and I adjusted my play at times. For example I made a habit of clearing Nihl's platform in case of a good drop, so the game doesn't crash while I get there and pick it up due to him fighting leftover monsters. However, obviously didn't think about it in this situation.)

At that moment I didn't know exactly what this meant. I noticed that when this crash occurs, the progress upon restarting was as is if the last run had not taken place. Now of course it wouldn't have been fair play if the death was not recorded at all (probably I should then have died on purpose in the next run and recovered the corpse, to have her progress "as it should be"?). But the other option I thought of was much worse, namely loss of gear, and I was pretty nervous about that as you can imagine.

When I restarted the game, neither of those things had happened. She was naked, the corpse before her had her main gear, and her corpse recovery gear was in her stash. However, a full 29m XP was lost. :(

Of course pretty bummed by this setback, especially since corpse recovery would have been easy, and with that only some 2-2.5 hours of running lost. But I guess the bright side is she didn't lose any gear.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this in detail, hoping it will be helpful for others experiencing this Delirium bug. Better make damn sure to take Delirium away from the Merc for corpse recovery. ;)

Her "nonbinding goal" to finish by the end of February is of course even more ambitious now. We'll see how it goes, might still happen. After a brief pause she's now back to running with another lesson learned. :)
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Ah crap, that sucks big time !!!

I always hold alt while teleporting, because that way you can't accidentally click on poppables. At least I think you can't. It's been so long since I started doing this that I am not entirely sure to be honest. But I can't recall hitting a poppable that way, so it probably works.

Condolences, and I hope you recover from this fast enough.
 
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ioupainmax

Diabloii.Net Member
My take on the Delirium crash bug is that:
"You take the good with the bad"

I haven't gotten to the stage in untwinked 99er where I have Delirium but for my other Delirium using characters, I've lost plenty of items (luckily nothing like a High Rune or Grailer). I haven't died yet with those characters, but were it to happen and my crash caused the death to not register, I'd class it the same as I have for my lost items, a lost piece of time!
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
@T72on1 I actually didn't know that! Just tested it and you're right, holding alt works around that. Good to know situations like that can be avoided by doing this, since the uncomfortable thing about the death was that I wasn't sure the risk of something like that happening can be eliminated. But apparently this factor can be, so thanks a lot!

@ioupainmax I believe I just found out the hard way that the death will be registered. :/ The situation after restarting the game was exactly as if I had S&E'ed after the death. Makes sense though that game files are saved upon death so it's not too surprising in the end. I was just panicking as I didn't know what to expect after the crash. So yeah, definitely remember to take Delirium away from Merc after dying if you are going to recover a corpse on high clvl. :)
 

ioupainmax

Diabloii.Net Member
@ffs Yeah I saw that it did register, but I meant that in they hypothetical case that 'if for some reason it didn't register...'.

I also always hold down 'Show Items' (for me it is the spacebar) when teleporting. Stops you getting caught on every pot/basket/chest/loose tile etc.

EDIT:
Question for the high level characters and 99ers on here.

What did you use your 3 Larzuk socket quest rewards on?
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
Alright, some good news today at least as I kept track of her XP numbers closely again while starting to make up for the lost XP. She's clawed her way back to ~5% into the level now.

Amazed to see the jump: She is now averaging around 4m XP/h, with consistent sub-20s runs in case of non-LI Nihl and no drops to pick. Timed a 20 minute session earlier in which she gained 1.36m, almost 4.1m per hour. Her adjusted teleporting route/approach to shrines (and I guess an additional ~10 hrs of running practice) are really paying off.

Not trying to spam this thread with boring Nihl run videos without sound ;) but thought I can't share numbers like that without backing them up... and to give @Grape a benchmark to work with. :) I hoped to record a session eclipsing 4m per hour, but ended up falling just short of it at ~3.96m/h in this ~18 minute session:

EDIT: Actually just over 4m based on just under 17m50s of actual running. :)


Not many drops to check in this session, but also some bad luck with several XP shrines being cursed away. Also had a couple of further decent drops earlier with a Mal, 3/5 lightning facet, Storm Spire and Tomby (non-eth, 2os).

All in all I can slowly feel the pain ease away. :)
 
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ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
@ioupainmax For me it was Shako as well, then surprisingly regretting that when Griffon's dropped unexpectedly :) so yeah, Griffon's and also Andy's were the other two for me. I was a bit unfortunate since otherwise I would have contemplated socketing her [email protected] Viper (and just now I found a lightning facet that could have gone in there), but CoH is fine of course.
 

ioupainmax

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks guys, @ffs I notice your merc is now wearing Delirium for safety when running Nihl, did your merc use Andariel's Visage for a long time and in what locations? I assume it socketed with IAS% & Fire Resist Jewel?

I'm trying to build up an idea of what direction to take for my Sorceress at level 90+, so far it seems like the following strategies have merit:

Socketing Quest Items:
  • Lightning - Griffon's Eye, Eschuta's Temper (?) & Skin of the Vipermagi?
  • Cold - Nightwing's Veil, Death's Fathom & ...Ormus/SoTV/?
Holy Freeze Desert Mercenary - Gear Options:
  1. Ethereal Infinity, Ethereal Delirium & ...Ethereal Treachery/Fortitude/Chains of Honour?
  2. Ethereal Infinity, Ethereal Andariel's Visage & ...Ethereal Treachery/Fortitude/Chains of Honour?
  3. Ethereal Insight, Ethereal Delirium & ...Ethereal Treachery/Fortitude/Chains of Honour?
  4. Ethereal Insight, Ethereal Andariel's Visage & ...Ethereal Treachery/Fortitude/Chains of Honour?
What has been your experience with outfitting your mercenary, is there a better aura than Holy Freeze for safety? For casters, I often go with the Prayer/Insight combo because it is cheap and I don't need to use any pots. The merc can survive even without life steal when he has high level prayer. But those were not untwinked 99er characters.

My existing Baal runner uses:

Ethereal Insight, Delirium, Tyrael's Might for the RIP so that the Throne room isn't too dangerous. But I'm not expecting to find Tyrael's again...
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
I found Holy Freeze to be the best by far, making everything a lot safer. I only use Delirium on Nihl, Andy's Visage before that. Tried Delirium in CS, but didn't really like it. Iirc others used it there though, so it's probably a matter of preference.

I found that the merc survived much better with Fortitude, due to higher leeching. I think. So stupid I lost all my notes in most recent win crash and the HDD crash before that.
 
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