The Adventures of Vikhyat
(Last Edited on 07/06/12 - Working on tables for the stats. Sorry they don't align neatly yet. If anyone knows a trick, please share. Otherwise hopefully I can take care of it later.)
So. I decided I wanted to start up a SP Self-Found HC 2 Handed Barb, whose name is shamelessly stolen from the D2 merc of Act 5. I have no intention of making a real guide or anything out of this (mainly since I have no clue what I'm doing, and am fairly sure it won't go well...), but I thought that I could personally have more fun by chronicling the various things that happen. Neat drops. What level I was when I finished X, Y, and Z. Stuff like that. This said, I have some disclaimers.
First: It's not a new account. I've already leveled up my jeweler and blacksmith to helpful levels, and am just sort of stuck with that.
Second: I'm not going to ignore the gold in my stash and try to keep tab of Vikhyat's separately. I hardly have any gold worth mentioning in the stash though (~200k), so that's not a huge issue, but it bears pointing out. It will make the first bits of normal easier especially, since I'll be able to buy random gear for 3k or craft easily.
Third: This isn't really a disclaimer, so much as a point of order. The stats I'm showing are displayed as buffed by passive traits (weapon master, nerves of steel, etc), but don't take any active skills into account (war cry, battle rage, etc). You can probably figure out how much damage/crit chance/armor/etc those add on your own if you want, I felt it simpler to keep it this way though since there's no guarantee those will always be up (although most should be).
If my (mis)adventures go better than I expect, maybe this will be mildly helpful to some newer players as a side bonus just because it will show what HP/etc/etc I had when I cleared X, Y, or Z with a fairly sub-optimal build and very sub-optimal gear.
At any rate, don't worry about me bumping it or anything. I'll just go and edit this main post when I have things to say.
The Fallen Star is Near! Vikhyat got created on 07/02/12, and the first bits of the game went as straightforwardly as one might expect, using the trusty default one handed ax and whatever upgrades he could pick up. At level 6 however, Vikhyat ran into a super awesome white "Solid Two Handed Sword" - 12.1 DPS, 9-13 Damage, 1.10 Attacks per second, and +2% Critical Hit damage. With little regard to personal safety, he dropped his one handed axe and targe.
At level 7, Vikhyat found a one handed weapon that was easily better than his white two handed sword and smiled bitterly. This was offset by getting to come back to town and crafting his very first piece of gear, a little leather doublet that regenerated not one but two! life per second. Not very impressive, but nice to get started on crafting. If I get anywhere, this will no doubt be a huge part of the game for me going self-found.
The Skeleton King: At level 8, Vikhyat had descended through the depths of the cathedral and was ready to take on the shade of King Leoric. Well. Maybe he wasn't ready, but he was locked in the room with it at any rate, and that's just as good. At this point my stats were -
My gear was, well, awful. I was still using that white two handed sword along with a pair of white pants. I had no rings, necklace, or shoulder pieces. I didn't have too many choices for skill layouts. I ended up going with Ground Stomp for some CC/Damage Reduction, and made my primary attack Cleave because it wasn't too much worse than bash, but gave good aoe for dealing with the skeleton adds. My Secondary attack was Leap in case I needed to vanish fast - and that was a good choice, because I did twice. This was probably the worst geared skeleton king I've ever done, and it took a little while and two (I think) minor healing potions. He got my health a bit low on occasions when I didn't get out of the way of his charge and repeated swings.Code:Stats for The Skeleton King at Level 8 Str: 35 Dodge Chance: 2% Dex: 20 Damage Reduction: 29.08% Int:15 All Resist: 2 Vit: 23 Max Life: 298 Armor: 164 DPS: 17.09
I prevailed in the end, and got my first rare piece - a leather doublet with 3 vitality! Not much, but I'll take it.
At level 10, I was finally able to craft a magical flamberge with the help of Haedrig. It didn't get particularly great mods, but at 16 dps, 12-17 damage, and 1.10 attacks per second it was a solid upgrade over my old white.
I also picked up the Ruthless passive to fill my first passive slot. +5% chance to crit and 50% critical damage isn't a ton, but it was nice to finally have a passive working in my favor.
The Spider Queen: At level 12, Vikhyat came to the spider queen. My gear was still all sorts of mismatched and random stats, but at least I had something in every slot this time, and none of it was white. This fight was really straight forward and easy. It took a little bit more time than it would have twinked, but I never came close to death. Vikhyat's stats at this point were...
Sadly, Aranae dropped nothing of use.Code:Stats for The Spider Queen Aranae at Level 12 Str: 65 Dodge Chance: 3.3% Dex: 33 Damage Reduction: 31.35% Int:33 All Resist: 3 Vit: 39 Max Life: 474 Armor: 290 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 34.93 Crit Damage: +100%
The Butcher: Now things were getting exciting for Vikhyat! I was pretty worried for this fight actually, because some of the champion packs of unburried had been giving me trouble on the way through the halls of Agony, and I gave some thought to leveling a touch more or trying to get somewhat better gear. Throwing caution to the wind in the end though, Vikhyat descended into the chamber of suffering.
I did some skill switching before this fight, since I knew it was a single target one. It's also worth saying that at this point Revenge was on my skill bar. Revenge is awesome. Probably for any build. It seems pretty awesome for a two handed one as well. My skills were Ground Stomp (Deafening Crash Rune), Revenge, and Hammer of the Ancients (Smash Rune) - this last one replaced the weapon throw I was playing with to pick of random ranged attackers. Bash (Onslaught Rune) replaced cleave as my primary since it had better single target damage and that's all I needed, and Leap (Iron Impact Rune) remained as my secondary for getting out of hot spots on the floor. I kept Ruthless as my passive. Vikhyat's stats at this point were....
The fight wasn't super fast (I'd even dropped my axe for a slightly worse dps one with a touch of vitality on it), but it was pretty smooth. I got hit by the flames a touch, but never had any HP problems that required use of the healing wells. I did use one potions, although I probably didn't have to. Rule #1 in HC though - it's better to use a potion and replace it later than save it and regret it. Hammer of the ancients seemed to do good damage, as did bash, and leap worked quite well both for getting me out of the flames and for temporarily giving me a solid defense. The butcher dropped a rare hat that was a minor upgrade, but was pretty stingy otherwise.Code:Stats for The Butcher at Level ... Oh No, I Didn't Write It? It was 14 or 15 though. 15 I Think. Str: 93 Dodge Chance: 3.6% Dex: 36 Damage Reduction: 30.62% Int:24 All Resist: 2 Vit: 72 Max Life: 810 Armor: 331 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 43.52 Crit Damage: +100%
(Oh... if anyone's reading this, you may have noticed I left the Jailer mini boss out of my write up :x. Sorry about that. I simply forgot to check my stats after him. Suffice it to say that I got through, and revenge worked great to keep my life full while clearing his adds.)
After starting act two, it became evident that I'm going to have to address my gear situation. I don't really like over leveling, even in hard core, but if I don't upgrade my gear somewhat things might go bad earlier on than I was expecting. I used most of my crafting supplies now at level 17 and was able to get a helm with 20 vitality and a socket, which isn't horrible (and certainly beat the earlier one). Unfortunately, since we're doing this character from scratch, I don't have any amethysts to stick in there yet (or rubies). The other thing I'll need is a new two handed weapon, but I can't really craft up a better one just yet. I've almost made it to Maghda, and may or may not try for her. If I do, I'm certainly going to farm gear/crafting materials a bit afterwards though.
I decided to go for Maghda after all, since I'd made it so close. I had the same skill set up as the butcher, but I'd switched out my bash for Cleave (Rupture Rune). I'd been using this for general area clearing, but it was also a decent choice imo to take care of Maghda's thralls. Fight was fairly straight forward again. I'd try to group the thralls in places where I could hit most of them with one cleave to get rid of them fast. Some healing potions took care of health, and I leaped out when needed. When the thralls were dead and Maghda was vulnerable, I'd slam her with Hammer of the Ancients to good effect. My stats for this fight were...
I didn't get any nice drops from her, although she did drop my first gem of the game. An amethyst, no less, so I'll have something useful to toss in my helm. I still need to improve my gear a bit though, or things could easily go wrong. I'm going to go farm the road to Alcarnus a little bit before I progress any further.Code:Stats for Maghda at Level 17 Str: 104 Dodge Chance: 2.6% Dex: 26 Damage Reduction: 32.05% Int:24 All Resist: 2 Vit: 112 Max Life: 1224 Armor: 401 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 56.10 Crit Damage: +100%
I farmed the road to Alcarnus, slightly beyond, and the town merchants a bit until I hit 20. I was lucky enough to find a merchant selling a socketed dervish with +strength, and put a flawed ruby in that. It's upped my DPS considerably, along with my second passive slot (which I filled with weapon master). I'll need more defensive passives later instead, but for this point in the game there's really no reason not to just raise my damage and run things over I think. I got some other mild gear upgrades along the way, but nothing stellar. I think I'll call it a night and pick it up tomorrow from before Maghda. My gear's not good, but it should be good enough now - as long as I don't overextend myself.
Vikhyat followed this plan, and started again from Maghda to grab an extra level. I found myself having no problems at all at this point, as I went through the sewers, oasis, and "arcane sanctuary" before Zoltun Kulle. I picked up a few small rare upgrades along the way, both as random drops and from the merchants in town. Most impressively, the stats on Vikhyat's gear all made good sense at this point and were no longer mismatched. I also crafted myself a pair of gloves that added ~300 vitality, which was a nice boost. Maybe the key to my success was finally getting enough chipped and flawed rubies to craft that up a little. Between a good ruby in a decent two handed sword and the 15% bonus damage from my passive, I was hitting things pretty hard. I have the feeling that nothing's going to be /really/ challenging until I get to nightmare at this point, if I can get past Belial.
First though, I had to get past Kulle! And I think it's worth noting that around level 21 I switched from the Templar to the Enchantress, because her +15% Armor Buff is pretty sexy if you're going to be getting hit a lot.
My skills for Kulle were the same I'd been using for area clearing. Not a particularly perfect set up, but a fun one. And normal leaves lots of room open for messing with fun stuff. I had Ground Stomp (Wrenching Impact Rune) and Revenge (Vengeance is Mine Rune) in the first two slots. These skills have good synergy, because Ground Stomp draws everyone into range of the AoE while keeping you safe from damage for a decent length of time. Then revenge clears them right out - it has pretty decent damage - and fills up your health. If revenge wasn't up, I'd hit them with several Cleaves (Rupture Rune, still my primary attack). Whirlwind (Dust Devil Rune) was in my third slot, mainly so I can work on that smash 2000 items achievement, and Hammer of the Ancients (Smash) was in my 4th slot, as a decent single target attack. My secondary was still leap with Iron Impact. I'll probably change that to charge eventually, but not until 59 or whenever dreadnought is unlocked.
At any rate, I got to Kulle and didn't expect too much difficulty. My stats for this fight were...
The fight was actually a touch harder than I'd thought. Not /really/ hard - I didn't put any thought into it. I just ran up to Kulle and his two statues and hit cleave a whole bunch. But they got me low on life a few times. Those statues hit harder than I was expecting. The fight went well though, and I won. Nothing of note dropped. There was a rare chest I ended up equipping, because if I traded my current chest for it and my current belt for another blue belt I ended up gaining 2 damage and 20 hp or something. So I guess I got a usable drop at least.Code:Stats for Zoltun Kulle at Level 24 Str: 154 Dodge Chance: 3.1% Dex: 31 Damage Reduction: 35.24% Int: 31 All Resist: 3 Vit: 204 Max Life: 2324 Armor: 653 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 160.18 Crit Damage: +100%
The stat difference between this point and just a bit earlier at Maghda was pretty impressive to me. I almost tripled my DPS, and almost doubled my vitality. The question now was if I felt comfortable with Belial or not.... Also, the question of what skills to use for Belial popped up. I kind of wanted to avoid earthquake on this character "just 'cause", but that 2000% damage is huge - especially when you have a hard hitting two handed weapon to base it on. For big bosses who like to sit still and not move, it just gets better, so it's pretty hard to argue against taking it.
Vikhyat ended up running straight for Belial instead of leveling more - there was a town that needed saving, after all. I changed up my skills for this fight. Ground Stomp (Wrenching Impact Rune) and Revenge (Vengeance is Mine Rune) remained on my first two keys. I figured they'd be awesome for clearing the adds. I switched Battle Rage in for Whirlwind though, and I put in Earthquake (Giant's Stride Rune) in my fourth slot. I was unsure if I wanted Feel no Pain or Battle Rage. I decided on Battle Rage because I could keep it up always, and a shorter fight would be better for me. I settled on Earthquake because having a skill do >2000% damage to an enemy that doesn't move is... yeah. I kept Cleave (Rupture) and Leap (Iron Impact).
I made a mistake here in retrospect. Ground Stomp wasn't needed at all for the snakes, as cleave handled them really fast. And it didn't work on Belial in his final form (As opposed to the Butcher, where it was handy). It helped a touch on the second form, but something better could have gone in. Even just swapping in Bash so I had a better attack on Belial (Or Hammer of the Ancients, so I had a good Fury Spender on Earthquake down time) would have been good. I probably didn't need revenge either, but I wanted to have the opportunity for extra healing to play it safe. I don't really regret keeping that skill. My stats for this fight were...
Above regrets aside, the fight went very well. I was able to avoid (most) of his attacks, the snakes popped when I breathed in their direction, and that was that. He didn't drop anything usable though.Code:Stats for Belial at Level 25 Str: 164 Dodge Chance: 3.2% Dex: 32 Damage Reduction: 35.63% Int: 32 All Resist: 3 Vit: 208 Max Life: 2371 Armor: 692 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 166.43 Crit Damage: +100%
Act three opened smoothly, with me running through the first few quests and larder until I reached Ghom.
Nothing of note happened, and I had no problems at all, so I figured I'd run into Ghom. For skills I had Ground Stomp (which worked to stun him), Revenge, Battle Rage (Marauder's Rage Rune), Earthquake, Cleave, and Leap. Same runes as always, apart from Battle Rage which just opened up the new one for +30% damage. I wasn't using this questing but, as with Belial, I swapped it in here. My stats for this fight were....
This fight was... hard. Seriously. I was shocked, since it had never been tough for me before, much less on normal. I don't know if it's because I was undergeared, or because of the patch changes to him (I didn't actually recall what they changed... I think I'll go look that up now, since I'm curious). His gas cloud did a lot of damage to me though, at least it was taking big chunks out of my 2455 bulb. I found myself running around the room a lot, as opposed to previous characters that would just run up and kill him. He got cleared though, and dropped some rare gloves that were a slight upgrade on mine. A touch more vit and str, along with 7% magic find. So yay!Code:Stats for Ghom at Level 27 Str: 212 Dodge Chance: 3.4% Dex: 34 Damage Reduction: 35.9% Int: 63 All Resist: 6 Vit: 215 Max Life: 2455 Armor: 756 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 196.69 Crit Damage: +100%
Siegebreaker Assault Beast
After clearing Ghom, Vikhyat boldly ran ahead through the Rakis crossing and got to the Siegebreaker Beast. On the way, I noticed that my weapon was starting to get on the low side (which makes sense, it's still the Lv 15 Dervish I got in Act 2). It wasn't too bad, but I think I'm due for some farming before going down the tower and to Azmodan. I could use some more HP too. Or just random gem upgrades wouldn't hurt. I think I can craft a weapon in just a few levels, if I don't find one, so I'll be doing a little bit of farming soon.
For the Siegebreaker Assault Beast, my skills were Ground Stomp (works), Revenge, War Cry (a reminder: it's armor bonus isn't shown in the listed stats below), Earthquake, Cleave (which I should have swapped out to Bash), and Leap. My stats for this fight were...
The fight wasn't really tough, since he doesn't hit that hard on normal. It definitely took me longer than usual, but I got through it without any worries. He didn't drop anything of use and, like I said, I'm feeling pretty undergeared, so I'm going to go run the Rakis crossing two or three times and see what comes of it.Code:Stats for The Siegebreaker Assault Beast at Level 28 Str: 265 Dodge Chance: 3.5% Dex: 35 Damage Reduction: 36.65% Int: 90 All Resist: 9 Vit: 252 Max Life: 2581 Armor: 810 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 216.49 Crit Damage: +100%
Some brief area running and crafting paid off. I was able to replace my old sword with a new great axe once I hit 29 and could craft that. It's still just a regular blue, but I'm getting roughly 60 more DPS now, along with a few hundred vitality it had tacked on. Not amazing, but a definite upgrade. I crafted some rare shoulders that were another small upgrade. I could craft better shoulder, but want to try and save some of my crafting mats for later in case I need them in Act 4. I did craft a blue body that added more HP though, so now I feel a bit more durable. One more level and I get my third passive slot, so I probably want to hit 30 before Azmodan. I'm sure I'll get it just in the course of going down that tower though, so I probably won't have to rerun anything for that specifically.
After getting through the tower a faster than expected, Vikhyat found himself inside the chamber of the seductive spider (Side note- found a real spider last night. Very not seductive. Thank god I killed it before it got away). Hit 30 on the way down though, so I got that last passive slot. I put Nerves of Steel in there, since that increased my defense more than Tough as Nails. Superstition is a good passive, but there's not a ton of non-physical damage I'm worried about in Normal. I'll probably swap one of my attack skills out for it in Hell should I get there. For Cydaea herself, I just kept my area clearing skills (Ground Stomp, Revenge, Whirlwind, Earthquake). My stats for this fight were...
So, statwise, not bad. Since 28 I almost doubled my vitality and life, and my armor shot up a lot too. Little DPS bump too. The fight itself was incredibly fast. Nothing of note dropped, so onwards to Azmodan.Code:Stats for Cydaea at Level 30 Str: 272 Dodge Chance: 3.7% Dex: 37 Damage Reduction: 47.83% Int: 126 All Resist: 13 Vit: 400 Max Life: 4488 Armor: 1375 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 287.84 Crit Damage: +100%
So I was feeling pretty confident at this point, and didn't bother changing skills from my area clearing ones for Azmodan despite the fact that a better set up was available. My stats were the same as for Cydaea, except for my DPS which increased every so slightly thanks to my enchantress turning 30 and picking up her +3% Attack Speed Aura.
The fight was straight forward. Just run in, hit him till I could pop earthquake, hit him some more, then run out when the puddles came and avoid those till they vanished. Then I hit him some more again, and he went pop. No drops that were usable, but that's ok. Time to go see if we can get Tyrael out of his serious depression. I feel bad for him, he used to be such a fun loving guy. Let's see if we can bring that back.Code:Stats for Azmodan at Level 30 Str: 272 Dodge Chance: 3.7% Dex: 37 Damage Reduction: 47.83% Int: 126 All Resist: 13 Vit: 400 Max Life: 4488 Armor: 1375 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 296.47 Crit Damage: +100%
Well. This hardly deserves a write up, but for the sake of being complete... same skills as Azmodan, and exact same stats. Ran up, aoed a bit, and that was that.
Yep. Same skills, same stats, same results. Hammer time. He did a bit of damage to me, so it was handy to have revenge up to keep my health filled. No drops I could use.
Here we had a fight that was a bit more serious. I kept the same basic skills as before, but took the time to swap in Wrath of the Berzerker so I'd have something to free me from freeze if I got stuck in a bad spot (and, also, to get some extra damage - although the extra damage isn't huge until you can rune it). My other skills were the same as before. My stats for this fight were...
The fight went pretty well. I burned down the first half of his health quickly with earthquake. The second half of the fight took longer, but he never did enough damage to make me really worry. I popped Wrath of the Berzerker when he used his freeze so I could ignore it, and just stood there until I won. Pretty much I didn't even pay attention to the adds. Sloppy, but it worked.Code:Stats for Izual at Level 31 Str: 275 Dodge Chance: 3.8% Dex: 38 Damage Reduction: 47.12% Int: 127 All Resist: 13 Vit: 402 Max Life: 4514 Armor: 1381 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 298.86 Crit Damage: +100%
Vikhyat had made it to the pinnacle of the Spire of Heaven, and the ultimate test had come. On his way up, he'd stumbled on a neat rare nodachi dropped by a fallen angel (screen shot forthcoming, if I managed to get it taken properly...) I didn't want to loose here, so I took the time to rearrange skills a little. My passives stayed the same, but for my active skills I chose...
Wrath of the Berserker: Having an ability that prevents you from getting caged, while allowing you to deal some extra damage, is nice.
Revenge (Vengeance is Mine): Extra 8% heals, with decent damage. Always nice.
Ignore Pain (Iron Hide): Lets you ignore a lot of damage for 7 seconds. Not bad if you want to make sure you live.
Earthquake (Giant's Stride): Awesome damage, if you can get diablo to stay put. He usually obliges.
Bash (Onslaught): Decent damage gury generator/primary attack. I might try frenzy later, but it really takes a decent amount of time to get up to 5 stacks with a two handed weapon...
Leap (Iron Impact): Again, having one skill to get you from A to B super fast is priceless. Having it increase your armor a ton in the process is just icing.
My stats for this fight were very close to the following (I checked stats after, but had actually leveled up to 32 unexpectedly on completion - I was able to subtract the listed gains from the base stats, so those are correct. And I checked my DPS beforehand, but Armor/Dodge/Damage Reduction/etc might be just a /tiny/ bit off).
The fight didn't go badly. It was a touch sloppy, mostly because I was trying to take screen shots (which may or may not have worked). I didn't have enough DPS to kill diablo quickly, but it did get him down by and by. I had no problem taking out my "shadow barbarian" on the other hand. I got him stuck in earthquake for almost all 8 seconds once. The second time he walked out after 2 or 3. I messed up popping Wrath at good times but, again, that's because of screen shot efforts.Code:Stats for Diablo at Level 31 Str: 275 Dodge Chance: 5.7% *My DPS listed is /without/ the Enchantress Buff here. Dex: 56 Damage Reduction: 47.00% Int: 127 All Resist: 13 Vit: 430 Max Life: 4843 Armor: 1419 Crit Chance: 10% DPS: 312.5* Crit Damage: +100%
Pretty straightforward though. Run in, bash him, try to run out of his fire circle attack or at least keep up Ignore Pain if I was going to be in it/around him. Wrath of the Berzerker popped at appropriate times helped out (and could have helped more if done well). Other than paying more attention or farming a lot (not worth it this early in the game, imo), I don't think I could really have done things much better.
But anyways, that's normal! Vikhyat had made it through in one piece, and was on his way to Nightmare for greater challenges.