Seven Self-reliant Saviours of Sanctuary - Kartongen's untwinked sept

Kartongen

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Hi all.

As some of you have seen here, I have been planning three septs. Two are centred around the 1.11 runewords, while one is untwinked. Since my other thread quite focused on the 1.11 runewords, I felt it more suitable to keep this untwinked project separate from that thread. And thus, this thread was created.

My rules for the untwinked sept:​

  • Softcore.
  • FAM and extended stash. (Currently D2L 1.14.)
  • May freely use the players setting option.
  • Respecs can only be used to optimize/tweak builds. The core build must remain the same.
  • Reruns of areas are allowed.
  • Untwinked: only items found by character may be used.
  • No character can proceed past the countess unless all others have killed Baal on previous difficulty.

After I finished my first Matriarch, completely untwinked, I got attached to the idea of finishing the game untwinked with each class. I am much more excited about some classes than other though, so I felt I needed some sort of incentive to keep the group going as a group. While I at first was planning to shamelessly copy a rule I have seen many people use, that each character must be within X (usually 1 or 2) acts of each other, I dreaded that running the same act 7 times over might break my will. Hence, I opted for a looser rule. I will probably try to keep the group about 1-2 acts from each other, but this should be more doable. As an added bonus, I can also rush those I think will have to farm countess straight there, and then have the others to provide buffers from the endless grind (end inevitable El riches). Most other rules were shamelessly stolen from various smart forumites though.

Below will be the names and outline of each character as they are planned right now. I will list some guides, in part for my own convenience. I don't think I will follow them too strictly - it's more to get an outline for me.

Mihua, Amazon, Archer with extra focus on Multi shot​

Mihua will favour multi-shot for two reasons. Partially since I never really used it much and want to try it out, partially since an Amazon in another sept will be using strafe heavily.
There was a guide on the old forum comparing various bows (or was it only runewords) that inspired me to play an untwinked Archer. But now I can't find it. I know amazons decently though, so I think I can wing it. And from memory, Edge-->Harmony-->Faith was a pretty good progression. Feel free to let me know if I need to plug some holes there. ;)

Nartaki, Assassin, Flame dancer​

"Guides" used are this and this
Reworked this a bit after some useful advice. Looking forward to it quite a bit. Will be interesting to see how firetraps do in hell, and also if I can manage all the hotkeys. (I have heard dancers needs a pianoplayer. ;) )

Crepitus, Necromancer, BOOM​

Guide followed.
I have played one like this before on BNET, but that was in a duo paired with a charger. Let me tell you, that is an amazingly fun combo. The charger can easily kill single enemies, but struggle against crowds. The BOOM THRIVES against crowds, so long as 1-2 corpses are generated. Will be more of a challenge to run alone, but still fun I think.

Kaha, Barbarian, Berzerker​

Guide followed.
I am really excited to play the first barbarian after starting to really like them. Let's see if Kaha kindles that flame, or if my old concentrate barbarian was an outlier. I am tempted to lock in on a weapon type just to make sure I really use a mastery for once (rather than save it for "what if"). Maybe axes, the feel the most barbaric to me.

Meskhenet, Sorceress, CL/FO​

No guide for this on the forum, but luckily lot's of mat/pat threads to help me get a nice balance.
Sorceress is my second favorite class, and these two spells are high on the list for my favorites. So this should be fun.

Umbani, Paladin, Holy shock​

Guide followed.
This paladin will set records for me, as I belive my highest levels paladin ever was about level 30. So I should at least be able to break that record. The check-point should help me carry him to Patriarch. And who knows, maybe I will enjoy a paladin for once. Others seem to like them so much...

Allaidh, Druid, Fury (PI solution probably rabies)​

Can't find a guide here, but I should be able to do ok.
If I find some nice elemental damage weapon, or something with ctc amplify damage (and decent speed), I will probably forgo rabies. But going untwinked I find it unlikely.

The adventure begins with <die roll of 6> Umbani. Let's see if we can't clear that den Akara is going on about.
 
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Kartongen

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I did not plan to update after my short playing session, but here we are. Umbani has activated the dark woods waypoint, and he got a pretty nice stick from blood-raven.
oayhulj.jpg

Look at that stick. It has ED and dual leach. I mean, it is really low level, but still. Will probably use it for a while.
 
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Kartongen

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Umbani has killed Andarial, liberated the cube, and rolled three savage polearms, two of which turned exceptional. :)

Crepitus has gotten the Malus, made a stealth and unlocked (but not yet fired) his bonespear. (He has so far whacked things with a scepter-->sabre, mixed with some poison potions.) He also found Death's sash - arguably one of the best set items.

Edit: A small thing I forgot to mention yesterday but bone armour is amazing. I knew it was good from before, but it is SO GOOD. I put one skillpoint in it and tanked everything. Fallen Shamans were scary, but only because they were the only ones (along with bone mages later) who could touch my precious red orb. (It apparently only absorbs physical damage. I feel like I knew this at some point, but was under the impression it absorbed all kinds of damage.)
Later I found a head with +3 BA pushing it to a level 4 bone armour, and placed 1 point in bonewall. This small investment (2 skillpoints and a head with +3) allowed me to tank stairtraps with a cursed archer pack and 4-ish goats while my merc made pin cushions out of them.
 
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Kartongen

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After killing everything with poison potions and a sabre, finally getting bonespear was quite the change. It made questing so fast and fun that I ended up at the city of the damned waypoint with Crepitus. Glad I modified that "stick together rule" a bit. Still tempted to push him to NM countess so he can farm 2 Um in tandem with the others catching up. 😇
Then again, I could also take my breaks shopping a white base at drognan. (Current base is a 2 open socket +3 CE I shopped. Filled with TirTir for now.)

edit: I was too tired yesterday. Normal/Nightmare transition he will shop for white bases. Nightmare/Hell transition he will "shop" countess for 2x Um. Then again, I think there will be many who visit the countess out of the pack.
 
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Maltatai

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Nightmare countess can only drop Io runes and lower, and those aren't too common either. A Lum for a Smoke armour might be practical to obtain that way but usually one drops somewhere along nightmare anyway and with the bone necromancer typically using a shield he should be able to handle the resistances until hell.

What will the paladin use apart from holy shock? Melee or ranged?

What mercenaries are they going to use? They should be as varied as possible too, like the characters, shouldn't they?
 

Kartongen

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Nightmare countess can only drop Io runes and lower, and those aren't too common either. A Lum for a Smoke armour might be practical to obtain that way but usually one drops somewhere along nightmare anyway and with the bone necromancer typically using a shield he should be able to handle the resistances until hell.
Yeah, I realized that after that post. Hence the edit. Hell countess will see my Necro quite a few times though.

What will the paladin use apart from holy shock? Melee or ranged?
The Paladin will be using zeal to deliver a heavily synergiesed holy shock. That is at least the plan so far. He will probably shop hell countess too, but only for a single Um for crescent moon.

What mercenaries are they going to use? They should be as varied as possible too, like the characters, shouldn't they?
They should indeed. I have a goal to use at least one from each act over the three septs (the two runeword septs found here).

So far, I know the mythical medusa will field an Act 1 merc (cold arrow), and that finding a use for an Act 2 merc will be easy. Just need to decide who will have an act 3 merc and who will have an act 5 merc (leaning toward the principle paladin here).

I am very open to (and excited by) feedback or ideas in hireling pairings. Because like you say, having them be varied sounds like a nice cherry atop these septs.
 

Maltatai

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I've found barbarians to be good guards for sorceressess and with the crowd killing focus of frozen orb and chain lightning a third damage type and mastery of one on one combat should be just what she needs. Barbarians are either sent into permanent hit recovery or keeping their opponent in such a state when facing unique enemies but a sorceress can break that by teleporting him out to try again, very effective.

The druid might want a cold mage, to ease the job and gain another damage type for dual immune enemies. Watching over a reckless meleer might interfere a lot with the druids own attacking and especially if you are using rabies the mercenary should be inclined to skirmishing tactics when it is needed.

The necromancer would probably pair well with a lightning mage or fire rogue, with bone walls and curses keeping the foes at bay.

Do please share the successes or failings of the different pairs of colleagues.
 

Kartongen

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I've found barbarians to be good guards for sorceressess and with the crowd killing focus of frozen orb and chain lightning a third damage type and mastery of one on one combat should be just what she needs. Barbarians are either sent into permanent hit recovery or keeping their opponent in such a state when facing unique enemies but a sorceress can break that by teleporting him out to try again, very effective.

The druid might want a cold mage, to ease the job and gain another damage type for dual immune enemies. Watching over a reckless meleer might interfere a lot with the druids own attacking and especially if you are using rabies the mercenary should be inclined to skirmishing tactics when it is needed.

The necromancer would probably pair well with a lightning mage or fire rogue, with bone walls and curses keeping the foes at bay.

Do please share the successes or failings of the different pairs of colleagues.
Nice breakdown of the various options. :)

I did consider a mage for the necromancer myself, but I think he is gonna need that insight. Since he is untwinked, I am hesitant to give that up. Otherwise it would have made a very nice fit.

Your thread has made me really temped to use all variants of hirelings, although I am not entirely sure I can be bothered to track how long I manage to keep live for. Do you still want me to post there? I would not mind theorycrafting hirelings somewhere, and to report if practice match theory later.

I am considering giving my druid a fire rogue. Reason is in part the catious behaviour of them you decribe, and in part since I remember using one for a barbarian way back when. The idea was to give her 2xShael Wild Witch String, stealskull and treachery, and thus get a pretty decent "casting" of amplify damage to break physical immunes. (Equipment above gave the fastest IAS breakpoint iirc.) I never liked it on the barbarian, cause I had major AR problems and thus warcry was a better curse, but the wolf has no other alternative.
It would require a fair amount of MF-ing to make sure I get those, but should be doable. (And if they dont drop, I can always change plans.) Also, the loss of might aura from an act II merc can be matched with a high level HotW if she can help me realiably kill PI, thus saving skillpoints from Rabies (or fireclaw).

Gonna theorycraft some more pairings for now. From a cursory glance Act II Thorns feels like the hardest to find a nice place for. 🤔
 
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Maltatai

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Insight-shinsight. Meh... Since I've always played vanilla I've never counted on those runewords when planning.

The druid, instead of rabies, might want some more minion from those freed skill points? A rogue can be a wonderful support but she will take her time taking down the immune enmies and without leeching the druid might be hard pressed to keep tanking. I think she will benefit more from a hat with resistances and damage reduction than stealskull in most situations. Blackhorns face or vampire gaze, for example, since lightning poses a threat of striking through the meat walls surrounding the rogue. With Blackhorns, you can easily borrow it for a moment to halt regeneration of strong bosses and then give it back.

If WWS eludes you, I've had great success with a rogue with treachery and Kuko Shakaku, especially against gloam and ghost packs and mummies.

Do you still want me to post there? I would not mind theorycrafting hirelings somewhere, and to report if practice match theory later.
YES, please do, that is the very point of that thread. I mean, facing hell Diablo without casualties for example is no less of a feat just because the journey there was less fortunate and all such examples are needed. The main point of strategy threads is to gather opinions and knowledge and not to brag about things that happened to work, in my opinion.

Thorns is easy, pair with a cleric paladin and invite enemies to hit themselves to their doom :cool:, or pair with a necromancers army and amplify the damage. It is worth it solely to watch Fangskin, Duriel and Talic humiliate themselves.
 

Kartongen

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YES, please do, that is the very point of that thread. I mean, facing hell Diablo without casualties for example is no less of a feat just because the journey there was less fortunate and all such examples are needed. The main point of strategy threads is to gather opinions and knowledge and not to brag about things that happened to work, in my opinion.
Well then, I most certainly will. Just was not sure then I would only be "half-joining" the challenge what to do with it. But I shall make a post there when I have some more time there then.

Thorns is easy, pair with a cleric paladin and invite enemies to hit themselves to their doom :cool:, or pair with a necromancers army and amplify the damage. It is worth it solely to watch Fangskin, Duriel and Talic humiliate themselves.
Cleric is a high PDR high prayer builds, right? I can never remember all the clever names for builds people come up with, especially for my least played class. But that sounds like an interesting idea. I have had musings of pairing it with iron maiden or spirit of barbs in the past.

Insight-shinsight. Meh... Since I've always played vanilla I've never counted on those runewords when planning.
Ugh, I completely agree with you to be honest. Insight is bad design in my opinion, because it makes merc and weapon for merc a non-choice for most casters. If it was made with no/bad ED and no CS you would at least have the trade-off between mana-reg and a high damage (and thus through leech: surviving) merc. But as it stands now Insight gives unparalleled mana-reg, tremendous damage at a ridiculously low cost.
I am tempted to not use it for the sake of principle, but tempted to use it for the sake of convenience.

The druid, instead of rabies, might want some more minion from those freed skill points? A rogue can be a wonderful support but she will take her time taking down the immune enmies and without leeching the druid might be hard pressed to keep tanking. I think she will benefit more from a hat with resistances and damage reduction than stealskull in most situations. Blackhorns face or vampire gaze, for example, since lightning poses a threat of striking through the meat walls surrounding the rogue. With Blackhorns, you can easily borrow it for a moment to halt regeneration of strong bosses and then give it back.

If WWS eludes you, I've had great success with a rogue with treachery and Kuko Shakaku, especially against gloam and ghost packs and mummies.
Some good gear suggestions here that I will keep in mind. But one clarification, the merc is there to remove PI through amplify damage, thus letting me kill them. Her on kill contribution would be mainly for unbreakable PI I guess.

Hmm, looking at WWS it was only 2% ctc. That is very low... Compared to a 10% chance on a rare/magic bow. I might just get one of those instead. I guess I will just have to identify every bow dropped, first to find one with "of amplify damage", and then to find one with good other affixes.
Too bad both "of alacrity" and "of amplify damage" are suffixes, otherwise the chippie recipe would have been amazing. Still good for this I guess. Will probably keep a lot of chippies and reroll whatever nice bow I find/shop at end of NM. (1/219 chance to get of amplify damage if I am using the affix calculator correctly. Guessing that is chance of suffix only, so probably getter odds if you include all with a random prefix.)
 
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Maltatai

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Cleric is a high PDR high prayer builds, right?
That's the abbot build, cleric is basically maxed holy bolt, especially the ehaling so it's close. My first guardian was a cleric with a lot of PDR/MDR so the builds are very close to one another and easy to combine.

Amplify damage suffix gives 5 % to cast, not 10 %. Still much more than WWS but that bow owns in several other ways so I still think you should keep it if you find it. But cool rares are super stylish so I hope you stumble on a really godly blade bow with cursing.

Also, my thoughts exactly on insight, hehe...
 
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Kartongen

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That's the abbot build, cleric is basically maxed holy bolt, especially the ehaling so it's close. My first guardian was a cleric with a lot of PDR/MDR so the builds are very close to one another and easy to combine.
Haha. Like I said, I have a hard time with the builds with unique names. Yeah, cleric also sounds like a very viable build for that. Would also make the Thorns mercenary the star of the show, so to speak.

Amplify damage suffix gives 5 % to cast, not 10 %. Still much more than WWS but that bow owns in several other ways so I still think you should keep it if you find it. But cool rares are super stylish so I hope you stumble on a really godly blade bow with cursing.
Well, I guess that is the last time I trust a random link off of a search engine.
I have to use the pure diablo resources more. That one (and countless others) states 5% ctc, as you said. That explains why people suggest WWS over a rare/magic. :sneaky:
 

Kartongen

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Forgot to add before...

I played some yesterday, pushing Mihua - my MS focused bowazon - through act II. Got the canyon of the magi WP and had not enough time to finish Duriel, but decided to exp until I hit 25 since I was at about 24,8. During that little extra stretch, this dropped. Feels like it will be my amulet (or at least in my amulet rotation) for quite some time.

LpArxZd.jpg


Edit: Had 20 min to spare after work (before my daughter got home), so Mihua killed the Lord of Pain.
I guess the amulet paid off. This is probably the best drop from Normal Duriel (possibly from Duriel any difficulty) I have ever seen.
jEumBUd.jpg

Sander's gloves and Cathan's seal are amazing for Mihua. Shield and club was decent rolls, just not useful for Mihua. And an extra topaz is always nice. (She has 1 flawless, 1 normal and 1 chipped now. Will use them after the imminent gamlbing spree.)
 
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Kartongen

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Long since I updated, so I better write something I guess.

I postponed starting Mihua, my bowazon, since I knew once I started her it would be hard to stop. And boy was I correct. Below is her journey through act III, IV and V.

Mihua ran through act III and multi shot things with her TalTalTal hunter's bow. Things died quite quickly. After some time she reached the durance level II, and this was her map (see below). Needless to say, she ran Meph a few times over the course of this story.
LZEwSSv.jpg

I have still never entered nightmare. Considering if normal Meph can drop something of use. Probably better to just keep going, and get a juicy treachery from countess.

Act IV was similarly handled. Creeps were dying slower (at about players 5), but still ok. Diablo bit the dust after a long match of GA and run and granted us a nice present.
FviUL5Q.jpg


In act V, I ran Eldritch and Shenk a bunch of times for some levels. TalTalTal was still ok, but slower. And I was getting bored at just [apply-->juke-->re-apply-->juke-->move on], so I tested out a Zephyr. Boy was that much worse. :p But I got addicted to the run-speed, so I usually swapped between them. (Especially for the meph reruns I interspersed with the rest of the progress.)
They dropped me a pair of gloves so good that I had to change my gambling plans.
S6QKMEl.jpg

Ias (albeit only 10), bow skills and MF. These will likely be what I use until the very late-game, cause odds are small I get something like this soon.
Some 10-20 runs later: I guess I was wrong. P&M will give me more through CS, Penetrate, Decoy, Valkyrie and Pierce.
FT5Sdqd.jpg

During the Eldritch/Shenk running, Shenk finally gave me a reason to move on.
gKie4CO.jpg
Now all I needed for Edge was a nice exceptional base... I started saving all white Edge and Razor bows. But weapons needs an Amn to roll sockets...
When I was done cursing the developers for this piece of comedy (as well as the armour needing a Perfect Topaz, that I was hoping to fill it with), I kept moving thinking I might find a socketed exceptional bow. But all the tundras, glacial caves and ancient temples around Harrogath were liberated with no sight of such a bow.

I decided that Baal must be behind this. He must have ordered his minions to hide all the 3-socketed exceptional (or otherwise decent) bows, and only drop me white, blue and crappy yellow to spite me. For this, I decided he must die. And so Mihua challenged the Ancients themselves, and after a game of toxic tag so did she challenge Baal himself.
BRPcnhi.jpg

From Baal's rotten corpse fell only rare items...
UIfWO9Q.jpg

but among them was a blessing our young maiden had not expected.

What was the recipe to upgrade a rare weapon again?

A perfect Sapphire, taken from a shard of the Lord of Hatreds soulstone.
An Amn, dropped soon after the Lord of Terror, in the very next zone.
An Ort, dropped so dutifully from the Lord of Destruction, whom I did so totally pwn.


UywH2mL.jpg

Mihua will now try not to run too many countess runs before the others catch up. No promises though.
But first, I will try to push Nartaki, my flame dancer, to at least the jungles.
 
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Kartongen

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Started my last member, Nartaki the flame dancer, some time ago now (before the balance tournament), but have forgotten to give you guys an update.

A few notes:
  • Wake of Fire is very strong early on.
  • Burst of speed makes early playing super fun.
  • The two points above made me forget to level kicks. 😏
She was a bit lucky and scored some life steal as early as blood raven, in the form of Greyform. With WoF and BoS, she moved quite quickly through the acts.
In act III, I was forced to run through the great march, but that place dropped me a Crushflange (hello crushing blow), so I am quite happy with that. Claws look alot cooler though, and since the mace messes with trap laying speed I am quite keen on making a strength claw instead.
She now sits in the pandemonium fortress, awaiting some of her companions to catch up. I have spent points in all one-point-wonders apart from death sentry, so the coming skill points for quite some levels will be invested in dragon talon.
 

Kartongen

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After Nartaki I looked to see which of my characters were furthest back; it was Allaidh, my Fury druid who had just gotten the cube.
I promtly set out to get him to catch up.

For most of my characters, and this sept is no exception, I try to play them as close to their concept as possible from the get-go. That means Mihua, my bowazon, used a shortbow from about level 2, and that Allaidh runs as a werewolf since level 2. Leveling as a werewolf was not easy, and not fun. From about after the jungles, he really started to struggle. I would constantly run out of health pots, and it sometimes felt as if I was only distracting the enemies with my HP pool and potion belt until Ryann (my trusted fire Rogue) could kill them with her TalTalTal bow.

Still, I grit my teeth and pushed on. The best weapon I got my hands on (in terms of damage and speed) was an IthIthIth bradistock. River of flame gave me a marginally better sword. So times were rough.
When I had pushed all the way to the hellforge, I hoped to get something for this effort. Smashing the soulstone, I looked on with anticipation to see an Eld rune drop.

Then came diablo. My damage was low. So low that life leach did very little. My rogue would die to firestorms and lightning hoses, and so would I. My hits did barely no damage at all.
In the end, I stole the bow from Ryann (after resurrecting her for the 15th-ish time) and did a druid version of Mihua's patended "toxic tag". He finally died and dropped me garbage.

By now, I was tired of not having access to my skill of choice. Feral rage is ok, but single target. Rabies, pushed to 4 with a +3 helm, has really lost its sting. So I decided to run Eldritch and Shenk for the 3 missing levels - and boy do I not regret that decision. For Eldritch decided to grant me the general's tan do li ga - a fast weapon with ias, slow target, mana steal and a decent damage boost. An early game weapon I have not dared hope for. And Shenk, not wanting to be worse, then dropped me bloodfist. Now the ias on them are unlikely to have any effect, but the 30 FHR will be very nice.

So now Allaidh stands ready to rescue some barbarians, wild fury in his bestial eyes.
 
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Kartongen

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Umbani set out from the Kurast docks, his trusted Skewer of Krintiz crackling with the electricity from his chosen way to channel his divine connection.
"This place reeks of corruption, and the touch of the unmentionable ones. But their souls shall all be purified by the light(ning)."


Zeal is a really fun skill, and so is holy shock. I am pleasantly surprised to find that the paladin is not my least favourite character in this sept, at least at this stage. In contrast with Allaidh, Umbani could actually handle his own. I think I ran through it on p5, with most slots dedicated to MF. And let's face it, Skewer of Krintz is not the best weapon either, but works really well when something else provides the punch.

Not much to mention in terms of problems etc, but drops.
We start things out with something to make us regret making twinked characters instead of joining @Cattleya in their Cause and effect Project.
DgGGhq7.jpg

We also found our first source of CBF.
XbZOfCt.jpg

And last but not least, we also found this.
c8XlB3W.gif
 
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Arjan

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Really fun to read up on your progress. Hadn’t been on the forum for a while so had enough to read up on.

With regards on your paladin: did you consider giving him high % of CB to go with the zeal and shock? I found the pally getting in trouble without it from halfway through nm.

It’s probably hard untwinked but might be worth trying to get the guilama’s helmet and a rattlecage for it. I made a black runeword for him too. That gives you 100% CB (if I remember my numbers correctly) which should help a lot
 
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