No rerolls. I don't think I'll lock anything this difficulty either, although both Cold Arrow and Multishot look like good locks (one for the synergy with Ice Arrow and then my merc and I could become Fire & Ice duos!, and the other for some AoE) but I feel like I can get lucky enough to nab something in NM. Dropped my beginning gear as although I'm allowed to use it, I don't feel like it. Plus, it shouldn't take me too long to grab a first weapon.
The bows are a little underwhelming, but hopefully a WWS drops and I get something like Strafe in NM. That's a lot of hope though, so we'll see how things go
Achalye has reached the Outer Cloister WP. Her journey was safe and successfulitem-wisely. Not sure what to do with the Mal, though. The problem with these rare runes is that you need at least one more to make useful items. In the end it's probably going to be moved to my SC stash once this character is finished the one or the other way. Same for the Trang Oul's Belt, it's actually a SC grailer for me and while Achalye could wear it and has found the gloves (which she is also allowed to wear), it would be less useful than her +100 life Heavy Belt - no Venom and no oskills allowed.
Conqueror Achalye the BF Trapsin and Champion Haseen the Might Merc, level 75, Hell Pit next
Signe_Levers has finished Act I Normal (I know, not much of an accomplishment, but hey!). She found one S/U, but couldn't use it due to the restrictions. Speaking of equipment, it took her awhile, and all of her bargaining prowess to convince Gheed that he wouldn't need this beauty anymore. Also, I should have rerolled heavy armor. I hate running slow !
There are already a few NDEs... (what can I say, I like living on the edge!). Most notably, Signe almost bit the dust when her controller was changing songs while she was tanking a CE archer pack... Oh well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
Finally, the Andariel haul was nothing of use. But, at least we're moving on!
Signe_Levers the Cold and Ice Archer and Itonya the Fire Archer level 20, Sewers and Act II next!
Going with a rogue merc worked quite well in the first half of the last act. It's such an advantage against ranged attackers, for several reasons:
- Only a few enemies need to be alarmed at the same time, not the whole archer pack (and often the next one as well!) which happens if you play with a melee merc.
- They do not get a bunch of free hits in while the merc closes the distance.
Met those bugged Slingers in one of the early huge outdoor areas. Laughable opponents for us, as I only had to be a diagonal step behind Klaudia and she would just take them down with all javelins passing right through her and nothing would hit me either. The javelins can not hit mercs and summons. It is baffling to me how this bug could have been missed or ignored - didn't they TEST v1.10 (it's been the same since then...) before releasing it???
Oh yeah, I finally found a nice shield of the correct type. I ended the session after reching the WP, and could now make myself a better Rhyme. Lightweight, with better blocking (keeping it at 55%) and that sweet resist bonus that allowed me to stash the Chromatic amulet and instead don a 10/74 Rainbow Amulet of the Squid. Over 1300 life now, yay!
The entrance to Abbadon was close to the Highlands WP, which I appreciated. After some initial nerve-wrecking fights, I felt the need for some some portal parking. This boss took forever for Klaudia to kill since it was all done with the Venom damage from Treachery. As you can see, Conviction didn't break the fire immunity, but it was crucial for Klaudia so she could hit with almost every shot. If she missed one shot, or if she decided to cast 2 Inner Sights in a row, the progress from the last 3-5 shots would be gone. This took many minutes. This boss was much easier to kill.
Enter Crystalling Passage, and more Frenzytaurs and an early snake boss pack that had me going the other way. This boss would not have been easy to tackle together with a melee merc unless his gear has good elemental damage. Another Frenzytaur boss was FE (meaning, I didn't want to Smite-lock him all the way to the FE explosion). I brought two friends over (I removed Klaudia's bow when I lured them over, so she wouldn't kill them too soon). I made sure to have a couple of seconds overlap between the Conversions. It was important to still have one tank when I needed time to re-convert the other yeti. Then a couple of Vengeance whacks (like in the screenie) whenever I had the time.
After I was done with the first six areas and bonus areas (Tundra WP secured and Infernal Pit cleared out), I ended the session and went back to Normal to hire Hrothgar the Barbarian merc. This will be my companion until the end. Depending on monster draw, Icy Cellar may be nasty without a ranged merc, but I need to take that chance. I used my third imbue on an ethereal Highland Blade but it yielded crap.
I entered Pindle's garden wearing a 'Nadir' Great Helm. I cast a TP in the back corner, waited until the right moment and cast CoS, then went to work Converting a couple of the closest skellies. Pretty soon, Weaken from Ondal's Almighty triggered, overriding the blinding. But the Conversion chain was now going well, so it was just a matter of keeping it going. Hrothgar didn't even need any potions. This was on /players 1 because I have respect for the place.
Tomb Vipers on Nilly's floor, but I was prepared for that. They never hit me much. Hrothgar died half a dozen times - that was to be expected. I spent a lot of time luring out some stubborn PI harpies around Nihlathak. I eventually succeeded but I was slightly sloppy when doing the actually fighting against Nihlathak. I got hit by a CE. Not so bad, but I still kicked myself for that. If this had been 1.09, I'd most likely be dead...
Now I am going to gamble about 7 million gold looking for an amulet with Teleport charges.
I think I will be able to stunlock the Ancients if I can separate them. Smite is only level 5 but I have a fast javelin type and 60% IAS in total.
Gotta reach the Summit first, though, and who knows what horrors the next two areas will bring...
Conqueror Flea the Paladin and Hrothgar of Harrogath, level 87, Hell Ancients' Way next
I never knew that those slingers couldn't hit mercs/summons, that's nice.
The weird thing is that it's only the slingers that are guests in Act V - the ones in Act II work as intended.
Ancients' Way brought yeti, cold mages and - Frenzytaurs - including two early boss packs that I parked for the time being. The second time, I had to run the long way from the Tundra WP again (past some crazy goatmen etc.).
That's one very good thing about Conversion: you can often dump a whole pack somewhere and they won't follow you since they are busy fighting. I could probably have won those fights right away but I have learned that it's generally much safer to have a planned escape route before taking them on. I dumped those packs before even looking at the boss' abilities. One was Cursed, too, and that always makes me nervous around these guys.
After finding the WP, I could start working on these packs. When you have two entryways, it's much easier to separate them. Finding the WP also 'allowed' me to start opening the many Evil Urns (at least 6 of them). Here is an observation I've made over the years: If skelly mages spawn in these areas, the urns will extremely often pick that monster type. This time, too.
Icy Cellar had sirens, ghosts and frozen horrors. Two siren boss packs had me on my toes (it's important to keep moving!) but nothing too bothersome.
My excessive gambling hadn't brought a Teleport amulet, so I separated Ancients with Vigor and lots of running. That sure took a while. One of them was obviously Cursed. I think I lucked out a few times that Hrothgar didn't die when he lagged behind. I realized that the Barbarians' weapons can't have been in the same league as ours. Madawc was first up. Smite-locking him wasn't really possible (my plan was to do that and have Hrothgar CB the crap out of them with his 'Strength' Cutlass). I found it better to give him his big sword back and just monitor the fight and give him the occasional potion.
Talic next. Here, Smite lock actually did work quite well.
The WSK didn't have any particularly tough starts or nasty monsters. I remember spawners, vampires, boars, poison mages, snakes and witches.
Throne level had a lively start. A Witch pack down-right from the entrance tossing bloodstars and Amping us, a Death Lord coming in, and two Unravelers shooting from the corners. Somewhat later, there was a Death Lord Champ pack, but I had secured enough space so I could fight one at a time. I used Smite-lock, or, if Weaken had triggered, I used Vengeance from behind Hrothgar.
Crushing Blow tactics against Baal wasn't good, mostly because it was hard to get Baal to focus on me, and hard to get Hrothgar to focus on Baal with lots of Appendages around (which he almost couldn't kill with a weapon that does almost only CBs). I switched to Vengeance whacking, taking cover behind H. Or just fought myself at times.
Good spawning place of the red portal in cow level. Right in an inner corner and with no cows really close. I managed to keep Hrothgar in check, which meant I never had to make a panic run. Hrothgar could take down packs of up to 5 cows by himself. More than five, and Conversion was needed. A few times I pulled out Hrothgar when the pack was like 15-20 cows and I could barely see him. It's also hard to keep track of the Convertees and when they are going to revert when they are so many. Hrothgar only died once here, to a PI Extra Strong boss.
We made it! Yay!
(The last part of Act V had very few interesting item finds. I guess that is to be expected with almost no MF.)
Guardian Flea the Paladin and Hrothgar of Harrogath, level 87, Complete Game Clear
I really liked this character. Guardian thread coming up in a couple of days, I think.