Tournament -The Road Not Taken

Wolron

Diabloii.Net Member
Tournament -The Road Not Taken

The “Road Not Taken” tournament

Those of us who have played Diablo II over and over again have probably trod every inch of the landscape and delved into every corner of every dungeon. But, after a while, most of us have come to know the common ground of success. Some of it has been laid down for us by Blizzard as they constructed the game story line and provided quests to tempt the daring adventurer. Other areas are known for treasure and lure us there in hopes of a miraculous find. But have you traveled the Ancient Tunnels recently? Are you even sure where they are? What about the Swampy Pit? Many areas are ignored because there is no need for the experienced Diablo player to invest time in them. But are we missing something?

It was this sort of thinking that brought to mind the poem of Robert Frost:


The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


In this tournament, you will take the “Road Not Taken”. You will go where the experienced Diablo player does not care to go. Why would you do this? Because only those seldom seen areas are free for you to pillage and loot. Here are the rules.

Here is the road not taken (your road!)


These are the areas that you will probably want to visit. Why? First, because you will receive one score point for each of these areas that you clear. Second, because these are the only areas where you are allowed to pick up items or gold, open chests, kick pots, etc. You are allowed to travel over the rest of the Diablo world, and, you are allowed to kill anything that you like, but you can only pick up things if you are in one of the following areas:

YOUR ROAD TO SUCCESS

ACT 1 - The Rogue Encampment
The Cave Level 1
The Cave Level 2
The Mausoleum
The Crypt
The Underground Passage Level 2
The Hole Level 1
The Hole Level 2
The Pit Level 1
The Pit Level 2
The Tamoe Highlands (Yes, the whole thing!)

ACT 2 - Lut Gholein
The Stoney Tomb Level 1
The Stoney Tomb Level 2
Halls of the Dead Level 3
The Ancient Tunnels
The six false Tombs of Tal Rasha

ACT 3 – Kurast Docks

Arachnid Lair
Great Marsh (yes, the whole thing!)
The Swampy Pit Level 1
The Swampy Pit Level 2
The Swampy Pit Level 3
The Disused Fane
The Forgotten Reliquary
The Forgotten Temple
The Ruined Fane
The Disused Reliquary

ACT 4 – The Pandemonium Fortress

The Entire Act (counts for ten points in scoring!)

ACT 5 – Harrogath

Abaddon
Acheron
Halls of Anguish
Halls of Pain
Halls of Vaught
The Drifter Cavern
The Infernal Pit
The Icy Cellar
The Frozen Tundra (Yes, the whole thing!)
The Secret Cow Level


Skills and Attributes

Blizzard provided three skill trees and ten skills per tree for each character type. However, the best builds typically use a very small number of these skills. To travel “the road not taken”, you must also use the “skills not wielded”. Therefore, each character has four to six skills that he/she is not allowed to use. You may put a point in the skill if it is needed as a prerequisite for another usable skill, but you cannot put a second point in it and you cannot ever use that skill. If you find equipment with mods that support that skill or CTC for that skill, that equipment must never be equipped. An item with skill charges for a banned skill may be equipped, but those charges cannot be used.

Blizzard provided four attributes, STR, DEX, VIT and ERG. Some character types can ignore one or two of these. Other character types should maximize one of these. But, that would not be the way of this tournament. Each character type has a restriction on attribute assignment. {NOTE: the Alkor points are subject to the same rules.}

Here are the Unusable Skills and the Attribute restrictions for each character type:

Amazon: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to ERG}
Lightning Fury and Charged Strike
Pierce and Valkyrie
Freezing Arrow and Strafe

Assassin: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to STR}
Phoenix Strike and Dragon Talon
Shadow Master and Cloak of Shadows
Death Sentry and Lightning Sentry

Barbarian: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to DEX}
Battle Orders
Natural Resistance
Whirlwind and Berserk

Druid: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to DEX}
Tornado
Fury
Summon Grizzly and Oak Sage

Necromancer: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to DEX}
Raise Skeleton and Clay Golem
Corpse Explosion and Bone Spear
Decrepify and Amplify Damage

Paladin: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to ERG}
Salvation and Redeption
Fanatic and Conviction
Holy Shield and Blessed Hammer

Sorceress: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to STR}
Blizzard and Frozen Orb
Static Field and Teleport
Fireball

NOTE: The attribute rules are precise. For instance, for every level and for the Alkor reward, the Amazon must assign 2 points to energy. The other three points can be used in any way she likes.



EQUIPMENT/POTIONS/GOLD/ETC.

Ways to acquire “Stuff”:

(1) Starting Equipment
(2) Items found in The Blood Moor in Normal Difficulty only, and no reruns of this area! (Just to get started; per Nazdakka request)
(3) Buy it at stores
(4) Gamble for it
(5) Find it in one of the areas listed under “YOUR ROAD TO SUCCESS”
(6) Quest items {Yes, you can use Wirt’s Leg if you like!}
(7) The Anya reward (Only if you decide to do the quest and take the penalty!)


MERCENARIES

Any mercenary may be used. The mercenary equipment is subject to the same restrictions as your character. In other words, it must be bought, gambled for, or found in one of the allowed areas.

SCORING

Scoring in this tournament is quite different. Read the directions for scoring carefully. They may dictate your strategy during the tournament.

(1) You receive one point for each of the special areas that you complete. “Complete” means that you have exposed all areas in the map and have killed all monsters in the area. {ten points are available in each act.}

(2) You receive one point for each way point you find and activate.

(3) You must subtract one point for each level.

(4) You must subtract one point for each quest you complete except those that are required to exit each act. You may wish to sacrifice the point to get the reward in some cases! The following quests are required and do not cost you a point.

Act 1 - Sisters to the slaughter
Act 2 – Horadric Staff, Tainted Sun, Arcane Sanctuary, Seven Tombs,
Act 3 – Khalim’s Will, The Blackened Temple, The Guardian
Act 4 - Terror’s End
Act 5 – Rite of Passage, The Eve of Destruction


GENERAL RULES
1. HC only.
2. Version 1.10, 1.11 and 1.11b are permitted. The Rune Word Module may be used. The Red Rune Module may be used.
3. No Multi-Player permitted. No trading permitted.
4. You may play on any players setting you wish, and change that setting as you see fit. Please do NOT engage in cheesy “kill monsters on players 1, open chests on players 8” tactics.
5. You may not use the escape key to bail out of a rough battle. If you cannot run away or portal out, RIP.
6. ATMA is permitted to extend your stash, but no items may be used except items that you find in the designated areas of this tournament, buy at stores or gamble in this tournament.
7. You do not have to solve all quests or activate all WPs. NOTE: Some quests penalize you in the scoring, but you may still do them if that reward is important to you.
8. Rerunning areas is allowed as long as the area is not a required area. In other words, you can rerun any area where you are not allowed to pick anything up. Rerun the countess if you like, but you cannot pick up her runes!!!!
9. You are not allowed to go back to previous acts or previous difficulty levels for any reason. After killing Baal, you may play the Cow Level. (You do not have to do the Cow Level!) The Cow Level is considered part of Act 5 and you may go back to Harrogath after killing the cows to use your socket quest or Anya personalization quest.

REPLAYS

Replays are allowed, but you must select a new character type each time. That means that you are limited to 7 attempts .

POSTS

To enter the tournament, just add your character to the table that is provided. Here is one way to do this:

Begin by replying to the last post with the table in it. Erase everything before the table’s {code}command and everything after the {/code} command. NOTE: I used “{“ and “}” here because the square brackets would have been interpreted as commands. Do not erase anything inside the table!!! Update the table with your new character. Then, although it is not required, give us an idea of the type of skills that you intend to pursue for this character in front of the table. It might look like this:

Death_Goddess will be concentrating on Chain Lightning. She will put points in Charged Bolt, Nova and Lightning as synergies, and she will maximize Lightning Mastery. Warmth will probably get a few points early on. Enchant is also a thought, but she probably won’t live long enough to get to that.

Code:
[b][U][I]ALIVE[/I][/U][/b]
Character        Class         Forum Name  Level  Act  Last WP         Score
Death_Goddess    Sorceress     Wolron        1     1   Rogue Camp        1

[B][I][U]DEAD/RETIRED[/U][/I][/B]
Character        Class         Forum Name  Level  Act  Death Site      Score
For providing updates, just do the same sort of thing, but modify your character’s score line and move it up if you passed any of the other characters.
 
Last edited:

Nazdakka

Diabloii.Net Member
This is a neat way to implement the 'banned skills' idea. A few thoughts:

ACT 1 - The Rogue Encampment
The Cave Level 1
The Cave Level 2
The Mausoleum
The Crypt
The Underground Passage Level 2
The Hole Level 1
The Hole Level 2
The Pit Level 1
The Pit Level 2
The Tamoe Highlands (Yes, the whole thing!)
This does mean that the first opportunity to acquire anything better than starter gear is quite late... maybe also allow the Blood Moor in Normal?

Any mercenary may be used. The mercenary equipment is subject to the same restrictions as your character. In other words, it must be bought, gambled for, or found in one of the allowed areas.
You're not applying 'path less taken to mercs too? Surely in the spirit of the tournament you should ban act 2 mercs :D
 

Wolron

Diabloii.Net Member
This does mean that the first opportunity to acquire anything better than starter gear is quite late... maybe also allow the Blood Moor in Normal?

You're not applying 'path less taken to mercs too? Surely in the spirit of the tournament you should ban act 2 mercs :D
See change made to include the Blood Moor equipment found in normal difficulty. (Thanks, that is a good addition to the rules)

Mercs can be any type. I agree that most people use only Act 2 mercs, but there are limits to what changes some people are ready for:rolleyes: Personally, I prefer the Act 3 merc for my melee characters.



 

Drystan

Diabloii.Net Member
I find the Crypt/Mausoleum are places well travelled. Early levelling, Alvl 85/82(?) in hell, and relatively slow monsters. Just my opinion though. Same with the AT's.

(4) You must subtract one point for each quest you complete except those that are required to exit each act. You may wish to sacrifice the point to get the reward in some cases! The following quests are required and do not cost you a point.

Act 1 - Sisters to the slaughter
Act 2 – Horadric Staff, Tainted Sun, Arcane Sanctuary, Summoner, Seven Tombs,
I don't believe the Summoner is required. If you touch the book without killing him, I believe you still get the correct chamber. I may be wrong here, but I am pretty sure he's not required to kill.
Maybe test it out, and make killing him a penalty quest for difficulty. :wink3:
 

purplelocust

Diabloii.Net Member
This looks interesting- not being able to pick things up, even gold, will be torture if I decide to play. One question- what is "purist?" You mention it in passing: 7 regular tries and 7 purist tries, does that refer to something you decided to omit?
 

Wolron

Diabloii.Net Member
This looks interesting- not being able to pick things up, even gold, will be torture if I decide to play. One question- what is "purist?" You mention it in passing: 7 regular tries and 7 purist tries, does that refer to something you decided to omit?

Purist was an idea that did not pan out. I have erased reference to it now. Thanks for the quick correction!:thumbsup:



 

Wolron

Diabloii.Net Member
I find the Crypt/Mausoleum are places well travelled. Early levelling, Alvl 85/82(?) in hell, and relatively slow monsters. Just my opinion though. Same with the AT's.

I don't believe the Summoner is required. If you touch the book without killing him, I believe you still get the correct chamber. I may be wrong here, but I am pretty sure he's not required to kill.
Maybe test it out, and make killing him a penalty quest for difficulty. :wink3:
Hmmm, I have never tried to let him live. I had assumed that you would need to kill him to get the portal. I will take your word for it and try to edit a change in the original instructions!! [done!]



 

purplelocust

Diabloii.Net Member
I find the Crypt/Mausoleum are places well travelled. Early levelling, Alvl 85/82(?) in hell, and relatively slow monsters. Just my opinion though. Same with the AT's.
Yes, there are several areas listed that are level 85 areas in Hell (Pits, Ancient Tunnels, Mausoleum, others) which I take as Blizzard's effort to get people off of the travelled paths already. Somehow, though, I think Hell is the least of the worries. When I played Skunkbelly's It Takes All Kinds Tourney, there was requirement of having basically balanced stats, which meant lots of energy investment for my pally, and that made it very slow going as it was effectively a low-life tourney. I think that may happen here as well, with the 2/5 dedicated stat points to non-standard attributes.



 

skunkbelly

Diabloii.Net Member
One thing I would like to point out: placing a demand for energy on two character classes seems a bit unfair, when you consider that the other classes get either Str or Dex, either of which are quite useful (to wear gear, or for blocking/AR). It might be more even-handed to make EVERYONE put one or two points in energy per level, since it is a useless stat for all character classes :cool:

Otherwise, looks fun!
 

Naab

Diabloii.Net Member
Code:
[b][U][I]ALIVE[/I][/U][/b]
Character        Class         Forum Name  Level  Act  Last WP         Score
Death_Goddess    Sorceress     Wolron        1     1   Rogue Camp        1
Myrgine          Necromancer   Naab          1     1   Rogue Camp        1
[B][I][U]DEAD/RETIRED[/U][/I][/B]
Character        Class         Forum Name  Level  Act  Death Site      Score
This sounds fun. I'll try out a poison necro as i've always loved em. Probably will use somekind of golem or mages for immunes(because LR doesn't break all) if i get that far.:thumbsup: tournament.
 

Drixx

Diabloii.Net Member
Sounds interesting but I'll pass. Some of the requirements are a bit too harsh. You crippled the sorceress class completely. She can't teleport, or use static to speed up killing to make up for the fact that you took her fast killing away from her. You made the cold tree worthless, and kept the fire tree from being able to synergize properly, and basically force players to play lightsorcs.
 

adzicents

Diabloii.Net Member
Code:
[b][U][I]ALIVE[/I][/U][/b]
Character        Class         Forum Name  Level  Act  Last WP         Score
Death_Goddess    Sorceress     Wolron        1     1   Rogue Camp        1
Myrgine          Necromancer   Naab          1     1   Rogue Camp        1
Trayectoria      Necromancer   adzicents     1     1   Rogue Camp        1

[B][I][U]DEAD/RETIRED[/U][/I][/B]
Character        Class         Forum Name  Level  Act  Death Site      Score
Count me in, although I probably won't start until all these rules are sorted out.
 

Naab

Diabloii.Net Member
Drixx there still is firewall in fire tree so something like 20 firewall,20 fire mastery,20 cl,20 lightning, 1 lightmastery could work(tbh that was my first idea for this tourney)
 

stephan

Diabloii.Net Member
Code:
[b][U][I]ALIVE[/I][/U][/b]
Character        Class         Forum Name  Level  Act  Last WP         Score

Death_Goddess    Sorceress     Wolron        1     1   Rogue Camp        1
Myrgine          Necromancer   Naab          1     1   Rogue Camp        1
Trayectoria      Necromancer   adzicents     1     1   Rogue Camp        1
Zaphira          Assassin      stephan       1     1   Rogue Camp        1


[B][I][U]DEAD/RETIRED[/U][/I][/B]
Character        Class         Forum Name  Level  Act  Death Site      Score
An Assassin as always. And 2 points in strength each level are only going to work in my advantage. :tongue:
 

Luca Rescigno

Diabloii.Net Member
One thing I would like to point out: placing a demand for energy on two character classes seems a bit unfair, when you consider that the other classes get either Str or Dex, either of which are quite useful (to wear gear, or for blocking/AR). It might be more even-handed to make EVERYONE put one or two points in energy per level, since it is a useless stat for all character classes :cool:

Otherwise, looks fun!
Agreed on this one. For all the classes that don't have to put points in energy, there are plenty of options for putting those supposedly "wasted" points to use. A Sorceress using a Spirit monarch or (should she be lucky enough to find one) a Stormshield will want to put about two points per level into strength anyway. Same with an Assassin using imbued Mirrored Boots or Myrmidon Greaves. For the Barbarian, Druid, and Necromancer, all can use a shield and get max block with their required dex points. That puts the Amazon and Paladin at a great disadvantage, because Energy really is wasted on them (especially the Amazon, since their only mana-intensive skills are on the banned list). I mean, good luck making a Paladin that can do max block, equip his gear, and survive when you have to put two points into energy each level. Meanwhile, you could make an iron barb that relies on defense and blocking without any real disadvantages (except that finding a decent weapon inside the tournament's restrictions won't be easy).

On the other hand, Paladins can still go for a fully synergized Holy Shock and/or Holy Freeze with Zeal, which isn't really gear dependent at all.

Hmm, I can see why this sort of thing is hard to plan out...

Just off the top of my head, it seems the best builds you have available for each class are:

Amazon: Fire + multishot, or actually maybe a poison-based javazon since you have no pierce...
Assassin: Don't know b/c I never play assassins... TS+DTail maybe?
Barbarian: Iron Barb - Concentrate + Shout + Iron Skin + Mastery (make up for no BO with huge defense). Biggest problem is the need for a powerful weapon.
Druid: Fireclaws Werebear, no question. Not item dependent at all, and Lycanthropy makes up for lack of Oak Sage.
Necro: Poison nova? I'm building one now but I'm relying heavily on skellies for killing. Poison Nova kills really slowly even with LR. Hopefully once I max it and its synergies and get more +skills for LR it'll be decent. I could see using mages instead of warriors, it'd just be harder.
Paladin: Tesladin, Frost Zealot, Teslafroster. Zeal is allowed so these are all viable. Lack of Holy Shield hurts a bit but it's manageable. After all, this is a tourney.
Sorc: Lightning + FW? Like Drixx said, not many options. The problem here is that, while I understand banning the super-powerful timered spells like Blizzard and FO, in doing so you also mess with the synergies. What about banning more skills for the Sorc, BUT allowing any skill to be used as a synergy? OTOH, that might make them TOO powerful.



 

Wolron

Diabloii.Net Member
Sounds interesting but I'll pass. Some of the requirements are a bit too harsh. You crippled the sorceress class completely. She can't teleport, or use static to speed up killing to make up for the fact that you took her fast killing away from her. You made the cold tree worthless, and kept the fire tree from being able to synergize properly, and basically force players to play lightsorcs.
I know nobody is going to believe this, but I have never used Teleport (though I know it is supposed to make the sorceress a real easy guardian). In addition, though I love Static Field, I usually die as a sorceress because I get too close to the opposition when I use it.

In any case, the idea is to make the character different and then make you compete with that new challenge. Of course, if you really aren't ready for an extreme makeover in your character selection, there is always "Shock Paladin". Myself, I am going to play my first lightning sorceress. Probably won't last too long.



 

Wolron

Diabloii.Net Member
One thing I would like to point out: placing a demand for energy on two character classes seems a bit unfair, when you consider that the other classes get either Str or Dex, either of which are quite useful (to wear gear, or for blocking/AR). It might be more even-handed to make EVERYONE put one or two points in energy per level, since it is a useless stat for all character classes :cool:

Otherwise, looks fun!
I am going to try to defend those attribute restriction choices.

Amazon: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to ERG}
Assassin: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to STR}
Barbarian: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to DEX}
Druid: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to DEX}
Necromancer: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to DEX}
Paladin: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to ERG}
Sorceress: {2 of each 5 points gained must be assigned to STR}


The Amazon can use almost any attribute to her advantage. DEX for bows. STR for equipment requirements. VIT for .... Well everyone in hardcore could use that. Even ERG can be useful for an Amazon who needs to use Lightning Fury or some other mana burner. For the Amazon, ERG just seemed to be less useful and therefore required.

The Assassin and the Sorceress get STR. That is partially because they seldom need it much, but also because they are going to be tough to play with their skill restrictions and this attribute restriction is probably the least restrictive of any of them.

As for the Paladin, with Blessed Hammer eliminated, there seems to be very little need for mana. Thus, you must develop ERG. Yes, skunkbelly, that may not be fair to the Paladin. Maybe that should be changed to DEX.

Necromancer gets DEX because he is still a very strong build (potentially) and DEX is nearly useless for him. He needs the albatross.

Druid and Barbarian are going to be difficult to play, but DEX can be useful for some of the possible builds.

Result: no changes, although I wonder about that Paladin. Any other opinions????



 

jgreg7

Diabloii.Net Member
You're killing me! I've got four other tournament entries going, including yours! I love the idea, though. I'll probably join in once I get some of those characters killed off...
 

Luca Rescigno

Diabloii.Net Member
EDIT: I re-read the post I wrote here and it sounded rude. Apologies if you interpreted it that way. So I'm re-writing my post to be more brief and friendlier.

It seems as though the main focus of this tournament isn't the restricted skills, it's the restrictions on which areas from which you may collect items. That is this tournament's "twist." The skill and stat restrictions are meant to prevent people from making pure Blizzard sorcs and teleporting through the game.

Looking over your rules and what you've posted in response to others, I guess your restrictions do make sense. I think Amazons are the weakest, since they are very restricted in both their skill and stat choices. Paladins have to waste points by putting them into energy, but you can make a tesladin, so that kind of evens things out. The rest of the classes are all able to use their required stat points to their advantage, something the Amazon and Paladin can't do. I think that's the problem.

P.S. I'm in the Barb Thrower tournament and doing single-pass, no ATMA, untwinked play is hard. This is with no limits on which areas we can do, the only limit being I can't re-run anything. I don't have very good gear and I'm not sure if I'll ever get anything really great without being able to re-run. Items in this tournament are going to be so hard to come by that it might be better not to get too restrictive on skills and stats.
 

Nazdakka

Diabloii.Net Member
(EDIT: Replying to Luca)

The trouble is: how else do you nerf the Sorc? She is unique in that she has three trees that are basically independant of each other, and each tree contains a bunch of skills that can become extremely powerful with a heavy investment. Removing one of those skills hurts the entire complex, because she has only one good skill (Orb) that works well without lots of synergies.

Other characters are different because their trees have different functions, and their skills are more independant - look at what happened with the Paladin, he is hurt less because the independent nature of his skills. Losing Holy Shield and B.Hammer has no effect on a Zealot, while losing Blizzard really hurts a Cold sorc.
 
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