[2008] The Heptad Team Tournament [by Wolron]

Mar 14, 2020
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This tournament has already ended. It was originally started by @Wolron on Mar 2, 2008. The last post was made Oct 2, 2011.
(link to original thread on diabloii.net)




The Heptad Team Tournament

The Heptad Tournament Description

Several friends were seated around a campfire in the Rogue Camp and discussing their plans for the upcoming tournament. Each of them was entering a different tournament and each of them had their own specialty. Evermoor, the Sorceress, noted that she thought that it was very difficult to find good Orbs in the field. Baldak, the Druid, exclaimed that he had found one yesterday that had +3 to Blizzard and +25 to life. Evermoor almost fell off her stool.
“Where is it?” she exclaimed.
“Well… I tossed it. It was no good to me.” Said Baldak.
“Why is that always the way it is? Good equipment going to waste because it falls into the wrong hands”, said Angreus, the Paladin. “Hey, I have a neat idea. Why don’t we team up and agree to meet at certain points and share the fruits of our labor?” I know that we each have different objectives and different rules that we must follow, but there is no reason why we shouldn’t be allowed to help each other out occasionally.”
Everyone immediately agreed with Angreus and the team began to plan their trading points.

The Team

Your team will consist of 7 characters, one of each character type. Each character will have a restriction in attribute assignment, skill assignment, equipment that they can use and the type of mercenary that can employ. Your task is to plan your team in such a way that all the restrictions are used by some team member and that the restrictions will have as little impact as possible. There are a total of 28 restrictions, and each of them must be used by one of your characters. That means that every restriction will be used exactly once in your team.

Note that each restriction comes with a difficulty level in parentheses at the beginning of the description. Each character will have a difficulty rating from 4 to 28 by adding up the four difficulty ratings of their restrictions. The difficulty rating will be used as a multiplier in the scoring.

Scoring
Each of your characters will score according to the following rules. Your score is the total of all seven of their point totals. Note: when a character dies, his final score will continue to be part of the player’s total score.

A character’s base points are calculated in a typical tournament fashion:
Plus one point for every way point that you activate (including the town way points).
Plus one point for every quest completed.
Minus one point for every level (that means you start at 0: +1 for rogue camp, -1 for level 1).
+25 bonus points if he has filled all his and his mercenary’s armor, jewelry and weapon slots.
+100 points for filling all his and his mercenary’s armor and weapon slots with exceptional items (any jewelry is OK if it meets the basic restriction requirement).
+500 points if he has filled all his and his mercenary’s armor and weapon slots with elite items (any jewelry is OK if it meets the basic restriction requirement).

The base score is then multiplied by the character’s difficulty rating. Example: Jerubal is a barbarian who:
(1) Assigns attribute points to strength only (difficulty 7);
(2) Puts points into only one skill tree (difficulty 5);
(3) Limits himself to blue (magic) equipment (difficulty 3).
(4) Has the full time use of a Rogue Scout from Act 1 (difficulty 3)

That gives him a difficulty rating of 7+5+3+3 = 18. At the end of act 3 normal, he has hit 25 way points and completed all 18 quests. He has also found blue items for all of his and his mercenaries equipment positions. He is at level 29. His base score would be 25+18-29 = 14. His total score would be 18x14 = 252 + 25 = 277.

Attribute Restrictions:

This refers to what you must do with each five points that you get for leveling or from Alkor.

(1) No attribute restrictions.
(2) Two points to Strength, Two points to Vitality, one point wherever you like.
(3) Assign no points to Strength – Assign all points to the other three attributes in any way that you wish.
(4) Even Distribution – Assign points to attributes with lessor points until they are equal. After that, you assign four points at a time and remaining points must be saved until you have at least four to assign.
(5) Assign no points to Vitality – Assign all points to the other three attributes in any way that you wish.
(6) Vitality Only
(7) Strength Only

Skill Assignment Restrictions:

If you equip items that have other skills on them, the other skills may not be used. If they are passive skills, they will be of some help (that’s fine). If they have “chance-to-cast” mods, that is also allowed.
For the most part, quest skill points are not handled any differently than leveling skill points. However, in (6), you can assign quest skill points to skills that will be developed in later acts. In that way, you may get another skill to use earlier than it would otherwise be allowed. On the other hand, in (7), you must use quest skills to max out the currently selected skill or its prerequisites.

(1) No Skill Assignment restrictions.
(2) Pick two skills at each level (1, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30). No points anywhere else, not even prerequisites. Any of the twelve skills can be used. Quest skill points must go into these skills.
(3) Pick five skills and only those can be used and only those can have more than one point. Prerequisites may be spent to get to the five skills, but the prerequisites may not be used. If the prerequisite is a passive skill, you luck out. Quest skill points must go into these skills or their prerequisites.
(4) No assignments in skills beyond level 18 are allowed.
(5) Single Skill Tree. All skill point assignment must be in a single tree.
(6) The Scavenger's Apprentice method (pick a skill each act, then repeat in reverse order after act 3 NM). Here is an attempt to explain it.

You can only assign skill points to one skill in each act. Of course, prerequisites can be assigned to get to the skill that you want to use. This continues until you are done with Act 3 NM. At that point you have assigned points to 8 skills and whatever prerequisites were needed to reach those eight skills. After that, you have another chance to develop each of the first seven skills as you work in reverse. In Act 4NM you develop the same skill that you developed in Act 2 NM, in Act 5 NM you develop the same skill that you developed in Act 1 NM, in Act 1 Hell you develop the same skill that you developed in Act 5 normal, etc.

Note that in act 1 normal, you will probably want to select a level 1 skill, because if you do not, you will strand skill points that cannot be used until later in Act 5 Hell. For instance, if you picked a level 6 skill to develop in act 1 normal, you could not assign anything to it until you reached level 6. That would result in four stranded points. Finally in Act 5 Hell, you would get another chance to develop that skill and could immediately place those four stranded points.

In this skill assignment method, you can put quest reward skill points in any of the eight skills that you plan to develop. NOTE: only those eight skills can be used. The prerequisites cannot be used. If you finally max out one of your skillsin a particular act, any added points you get in that act can be placed wherever you like.
(7) Pick one skill and max it out (including all synergies). Then pick another skill in another tree and max it out (including synergies). Finally, if you live so long, pick another skill in a third skill tree and max it. You can only use those three skills. NOTE: synergies include the masteries (Sorceress/Necro/Assassin) for the skill if the masteries help the skill.

Equipment Restrictions:

Equipment refers to anything that you or your mercenary wear. This includes jewelry. You may acquire equipment in the field, in stores, or gamble for it. In addition, you can trade equipment between your seven characters at specific points in the game as mentioned below.

(1) No equipment restrictions.
(2) You can only wear starting equipment and Yellow (Rare) items.
(3) You can only wear starting equipment and Blue (magic) items.
(4) You cannot wear any equipment or carry any charms that enhance strength, vitality, dexterity or energy. Therefore, your attribute totals always appear white on the “C” (character information) screen (except when under the effect of a monster’s spell).
(5) You can only wear starting equipment and Orange (crafted) items or Rune Word items, or socketed items with gems/jewels/runes. Note: The socketed items must be gray items. If you find a rare item with sockets, it is to be used as a yellow (2) item (off course, you may put something in those sockets!).
(6) You can only wear starting equipment and set or unique items.
(7) You can only wear starting equipment and items that have a mod that is level dependent. A typical mod would be: +3 points defense per level. (These pieces of equipment can be identified in stores visually because they always appear to be brilliant gray.) NOTE: Since rings do not come with these types of mods, any ring can be used. Since amulets are very hard to come by, any amulet can be used until the character finds one that contains a level multiplier; then the new amulet must be used.

Mercenary Restrictions:

A mercenary may or may not be used depending upon the Mercenary Restriction that you assign to the character. The following restrictions tell you when you may acquire a mercenary. In all cases except (1) and (5), you must keep the mercenary forever. He does not need to be kept alive, but even a dead mercenary has equipment that must conform to the character’s equipment restriction, and the mercenary equipment is also included in the scoring bonuses for acquiring full sets of compliant equipment.

(1) No restriction. You can use any merc at any time. The only restriction is that you can never go without one.
(2) You must use only an Act 2 merc. That means that you go without a merc in Act 1 normal difficulty and then purchase the Desert Warrior immediately on arriving at Lut Gholein. Then you must keep that mercenary (or a similar mercenary from a later difficulty level) for the duration of the game. If your character is able to become fully equipped before the end of Act 1, then he receives the 25 point score bonus. Later, he will get his act 2 mercenary, but he does not lose that 25 points.
(3) You must use only an Act 1 merc. As soon as you kill Blood Raven, you must either use the mercenary you are given as the quest reward, or you must buy another Rogue Scout. Then you must keep that mercenary (or a similar mercenary from a later difficulty level) for the duration of the game. If your character is able to become fully equipped before killing Blood Raven, then he receives the 25 point score bonus. Later, he will get his act 1 mercenary, but he does not lose that 25 points.
(4) You must use only a range mercenary. You are allowed to use a Rogue Scout merc beginning in Act 1 after you kill Blood Raven. Then, you must buy an Eastern Sorcerer from Asheara as soon as you get to the Kurast Docks. Then you must keep that mercenary (or another act 3 mercenary from a later difficulty level) for the duration of the game. If your character is able to become fully equipped before killing Blood Raven, then he receives the 25 point score bonus. Later, he will get his act 1 and act 3 mercenaries, but he does not lose that 25 points.
(5) You must always use the mercenary that is currently available in the Act you are playing. In act 4 you would keep the act 3 merc. This means that you will be using four different mercenaries for each difficulty level.
(6) You must use only a melee mercenary. That means that you go without a merc in Act 1 normal difficulty and then purchase the Desert Warrior immediately on arriving at Lut Gholein. Then, you must buy the Barbarian mercenary as soon as you get to Harrogath. You must keep that mercenary (or another Act 5 mercenary from a later difficulty level) for the duration of the game. If your character is able to become fully equipped before the end of Act 1, then he receives the 25 point score bonus. Later, he will get his act 2 and act 5 mercenaries, but he does not lose that 25 points.
(7) No merc allowed. You never need to find equipment for a merc, so those scoring bonuses are easier.

Team Trading Sessions:

There will be carefully selected points in the game where your team will stop and you will be able to redistribute equipment between your team members. ATMA will be used for this purpose. For example, the first trading point is at the Outer Cloister way point. Create an ATMA file and name it something like “Heptad_OC”. When one of your characters reaches the Outer Cloister Way Point, dump any items that he has for trade into the ATMA stash. That character may continue on if you like, or you may decide to let him remain there while you work on other characters. Finally, when the last character gets to the Outer Cloister, the items in that stash can be distributed to any characters that need them. If you decide to play your characters way out of sync with each other, you may need several of these way points. The key is that no trading can occur until all of your characters have reached the trading point, and no items found beyond that trading point can be included in the trading.

Note that you do not have to play the game in any particular order, nor do you have to hit every way point or do every quest. However, the trading points must be hit by each character. The Outer Cloister way point must be activated as soon as you reach it (feel free to clear out the local monsters first). The Act 2 trading point is prior to entering the palace cellar, so that one is obvious. The Kurast Bazaar way point must be activated, however, you can decide whether to complete the local quests (book and heart) before or after you activate the way point. Whenever you do activate it, you stop and dump your trade items into ATMA. The Glacial Trail Way point must be activated. One of your characters may play Act 5 in such a way that he hits the Glacial trail way point before he goes after Nihlathak; another one might hit the Glacial trail after killing Nihlathak; still another one may not do the Nihlathak quest at all. In any case, the trading point occurs for that character when he activates the Glacial Trail Way Point.

Trading will allow the characters to acquire equipment quicker because there are seven characters searching for each of the different equipment types referred to in the “Equipment Restrictions”.
You may trade at the end of each act and at a point in about the middle of each act (except Act 4). Here are the trading points inside the acts:
Act 1 - The Outer Cloister Way Point
Act 2 – After cubing the staff and before going into the palace cellars.
Act 3 - Kurast Bazaar Way Point.
Act 4 - none
Act 5 - Glacial Trail Way Point.

Other Rules
1. HC only. Yes, the team will get smaller and smaller as you progress.
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 between players, only between your characters.
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 this tournament, buy at stores or gamble in this tournament.
7. You do not have to solve all quests or activate all WPs (except the trading point way points).
8. You can go back to previous acts to collect quest rewards or change mercenaries, but you cannot leave town. You also cannot go back to previous difficulty levels, so all quests must be finished off before moving on to a new difficulty level. Quests that have their reward delayed cannot be counted in the score until that reward is collected and the quest display grays out. If a character dies before collecting the quest reward or talking to the appropriate person (Asheara for instance), that score point is lost!
9. No rerunning of areas. This is a single pass tournament. When you do have to quit and come back later, play at P1 and do not open chests or loot the dead until you get back to where you left off. Careful selection of stopping points can avoid this problem entirely.
10. What happens to equipment owned by a character that dies??? It is gone forever! That will give a special incentive to keep a character alive that finds a very special item. NOTE: That character with the special item could put the item in ATMA at the next convenient stopping point. This would make the item available to be assigned to another character at the next trading session even if the original character who discovered the item is dead. Thus, the only items that you absolutely have to lose are those in your character’s in town stash, those worn or carried by the character, and those worn by the mercenary.

Posts

The first post for all contestants will be when they declare their entry. It will look like this:

I will be entering the “Slayer” team.

NOTE: The team name must be limited to 12 characters so that it fits into the table that will be provided later. If you have a longer team name, provide some sort of abbreviation that will be twelve characters or less.

Trading point posts will include your own score table and the master table with all team scores compiled. It will look something like this:

The Slayer team is meeting at the outer cloister. Sophia, Angel and Franklyn have completed there equipment set and receive the twenty-five point bonus. Here is the current team status:

Code:
[b][U][I]SLAYER[/I][/U][/b]
Character          Class  Level    WPts Quests Score
Borgelom(13)       BLANK    12       6      4   -26    (calculation: 13x(6+4-12) =-26)
Franklyn(18)       BLANK    11       5      4   -11
Sophia(21)         BLANK    13       6      4   -38
Fritz(12)          BLANK    10       6      4   0
River Fury(16)     BLANK    12       6      4   -32
Angel(17)          BLANK    10       5      4   +8
Beast Tamer(15)    BLANK    13       6      4   -45
Total Score = -144

Code:
[b][U][I]TEAM SCORES[/I][/U][/b]
Team Name      Score   Team Size  Last Trading Point  
Slayer          -144      7        Normal – Outer Cloister
NOTE 1: When all members of the team are dead, the team size becomes zero, but the entry remains in the proper position based on the final score of the team. The last trading point is the last trading point prior to the death of the last character even though that character may not have had anyone to trade with.
NOTE 2: At the middle of Act 2 (Prior to entering the Palace), the BLANK’s can be filled in with the actual character class. The character class will look like this: Amazon (3263)

This means that the character is an amazon with attribute restriction 3, skill restriction 2, equipment restriction 6 and mercenary restriction 3.

SPECIAL POST:
At the point when I declare that it is time to expose your plans, I will post my own plans and every contestant should do the same using my post as a model. It will look very much like a typical trading point post, but the blanks will be replaced with real information and the scoring information will not be needed. In addition, you must provide the following:

For skill restriction (2), list the 12 skills that will be used, two per level.
For skill restriction (3), list the 5 skills.
For skill restriction (5), give the skill tree.
For skill restriction (6), list the 8 skills in the order in which they will be assigned.
For skill restriction (7), list the 3 skills, one per tree, in the order in which they will be done.

NOTE: New entrants that come into the tournament after this point must avoid duplicating any of the existing character designs. That means that they have to have a unique four digits to describe each of their character types. Example: the Amazon (3263) mentioned above would preclude any new entrants using Amazon (3263).

Tournament End

The tournament will end on 3/10/2009 (a year sounds about right, doesn't it!), or until all are finished by their own declaration or death. If things are still going ahead at that time, common agreement could extend the tournament, but that would require agreement by a majority of players.

Prizes

1st Place: Team with the best score. PRIZE: 1000 Perfect Gems
Survivor: Team lasting the longest with no deaths (highest score if ties). PRIZE: 10,000,000 gold

Luckiest: Team with most Set and Unique Items. PRIZE: 50 Isenhart's Cases and five Ethereal Unique items!

Dunce: First Team to completely die. PRIZE: 1000 Full Rejuv Potions

To determine the luckiest, it will be necessary to have an ATMA file with sets and uniques in it. Yes, you do have to prove your declared number of Sets and Uniques if you want to walk away with all that armor.