Transition between normal and nightmare - advice needed Here goes: First of all, I play single player, using /p8 I recently returned to diablo ii after a very long break, so I am very inexperienced (never played past level 60ish before break). So I decided to level a Hammerdin, having gathered that they were probably one of the easiest characters - and since I'm a newbie I figured that would suit me. Got through normal with no problem, was level 48 by the end of it. So I went on to Nightmare, and Hammerdin guides that I've read say that I should be able to breeze through it without problems. However, I had a really hard time, going from full health to 0 in split seconds etc (early act I), so I decided to go level up a bit more doing Baal runs. I am now level 55, and decided to try again on nightmare, now late Act I, but I am still getting slaughtered. I know I could just avoid using /p8 and it would be easier, but still I must be doing something wrong if other people's experiences differ that much from my own. So all that aside - my question is, what am I doing wrong? About what level am I supposed to start nightmare (single player, using /p8)? Where should I level (xp in Act I, NM so far is pitiful, even if I didnt die - compared to Act V, Normal for instance)? Anything else I could change? Is my equipment too poor? (and if yes, any tips to how to get some better). Here's a summary of my stats: Code: [B]General[/B] Level: 55 Health:581 Mana: 157 Defence: 484 (w/o holy shield - 822 with). Blessed Hammer damage (with concentration aura ofc): 1107-1150 [B]Attributes[/B] Strength: 142 Dexterity: 95 Vitality: 128 Energy: 42 (base, the extra is from equipment) [B]Resistances (on normal)[/B] Fire: 29 Cold: 29 Lightning: 43 Poison: 40 [B]Skills[/B] [I]Combat:[/I] Blessed Hammer: 11 (7 base +4 from gear) Holy Shield: 3 (1 base +2 from gear) Prerequsities: 3 [I]Defensive Auras:[/I] Vigor: 21 (20 base +1 from gear) Meditation: 3 (1 base +2 from gear) Redemption: 2 (1 base +1 from gear) Salvation: 2 (1 base +1 from gear) Prerequisites: 3 [I]Offensive Auras:[/I] Concentration: 22 (20 base +2 from skills) Prerequisites: 2 [B]Gear[/B] [I]Helm: [/I] Bone Circlet Circlet Defense: 30 Durability: 35 of 35 Required Level: 16 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 24 Fingerprint: 0xa9e2a6e8 +12 to Energy +16 to Mana +1 to Combat Skills (Paladin Only) [I]Armor:[/I] Sturdy Ancient Armor of Remedy Defense: 285 Durability: 60 of 60 Required Strength: 100 Required Level: 5 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 45 Fingerprint: 0xbd8fbeaf +22% Enhanced Defense Poison Length Reduced by 25% [I]Gloves:[/I] Sander's Taboo Heavy Gloves Defense: 25 Durability: 14 of 14 Required Level: 28 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 60 Fingerprint: 0x7b74816e +40 to Life +20 Defense Adds 8-10 poison damage over 3 seconds 20% Increased Attack Speed [I]Boots:[/I] Rite of Passage Demonhide Boots Defense: 59 Durability: 12 of 12 Kick Damage: 26 to 46 Required Strength: 20 Required Level: 29 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 45 Fingerprint: 0xbf4a4b1f +25 to Maximum Stamina +25 Defense 30% Faster Run/Walk Half Freeze Duration [I]Belt:[/I] Plated Belt of the Colossus Defense: 11 Durability: 24 of 24 Required Strength: 60 Required Level: 22 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 49 Fingerprint: 0x50e73623 +49 to Life [I]Amulet:[/I] Order Scarab Amulet Required Level: 50 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 80 Fingerprint: 0xa771d4fa +20 to Strength +15 to Energy Fire Resist +11% Lightning Resist +11% Cold Resist +11% Poison Resist +22% +1 to Paladin Skill Levels 10% Faster Cast Rate [I]Ring1:[/I] Ring of Fortune Required Level: 31 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 42 Fingerprint: 0x74235589 20% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items [I]Ring2:[/I] Felicitous Ring of Chance Required Level: 9 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 47 Fingerprint: 0x937ac75b 13% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items [I]Weapon:[/I] War Scepter One-Hand Damage: 10 to 17 Durability: 70 of 70 Required Strength: 55 Required Level: 24 Mace Class - Fast Attack Speed Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 35 Fingerprint: 0xe2538601 +1 to Concentration (Paladin Only) +1 to Meditation (Paladin Only) +2 to Blessed Hammer (Paladin Only) 150% Damage to Undead [I]Shield:[/I] Stone Badge Aerin Shield Defense: 51 Chance to Block: 42% Smite Damage: 4 to 10 Durability: 50 of 50 (Paladin Only) Required Strength: 50 Required Level: 18 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 41 Fingerprint: 0x10c649ce +5 to Mana +39% Enhanced Defense Magic Damage Reduced by 2 Fire Resist +8% Lightning Resist +22% Cold Resist +8% About the shield, trying to get a Rhyme, but not been fortunate enough to find a Shael rune yet. My mercenary is an Act II defensive merc (defiance) - will get a holy freeze one when I get to Act II, NM. His stats: Code: [B]General[/B] Health: 905 Defence: 728 Resistances (on Normal): All capped Damage (with concentration aura): 630-1180 [B]Gear[/B] [I]Helm:[/I] Circlet of Luck Defense: 29 Durability: 35 of 35 Required Level: 19 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 24 Fingerprint: 0xaf5317 31% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items [I]Armour:[/I] Gemmed Ring Mail Defense: 45 Durability: 26 of 26 Required Strength: 36 Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 12 Fingerprint: 0x7d0b3ee6 27% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Socketed (3: 3 used) [I]Weapon:[/I] Dire Gutter Partizan Two-Hand Damage: 70 to 153 Durability: 63 of 65 Required Dexterity: 67 Required Strength: 113 Required Level: 36 Polearm Class - Slow Attack Speed Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion Item Level: 60 Fingerprint: 0x283adbe1 +105% Enhanced Damage +234 to Attack Rating +1 to Minimum Damage +7 poison damage over 3 seconds Level 2 Stun (20/25 Charges) My fighting tactics is having concentration aura on while fighting (unless there is a lot of fire / frost /lightning damage then I use sanctuary), using blessed hammer to wipe out enemies, with the help of my mercenary. Redemption when in need of health / mana between groups.