[2009] Family Tournament Begins [by Wolron]

Mar 14, 2020
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DISCLAIMER: Please do NOT post in this thread yet. We still need to migrate all posts from the old thread on diabloii.net to this thread. If you want to help, feel free to do so :)


This tournament has already ended. It was originally started by @Wolron on Apr 6, 2009. The last post was made Oct 23, 2011.
(link to original thread on diabloii.net)



Family Tournament Begins

The Family Tournament Description

Natasha was finishing her daily housekeeping chores and noticed a team of adventurers passing by on the road to Lut Gholein. She watched them longingly as they laughed and slapped each other on the back, telling jokes and relating their tales of victory over the monsters in Kurast. Why did everyone else have all the fun in life? She was stuck here tending the house and raising their only child while her conservative husband, Morris, was eking out a meager living as a stable hand in Lut Gholein. She did not mean to belittle his efforts. She did not intend to ignore his dedication and his own sacrifices, but she would have to have a talk to him.

That evening, Morris was not in a very good mood. He was actually sulking as he finished his apricot cobbler. It was his favorite, and Natasha could not understand why it did not cheer him up. She intended to use it as a wedge to get him into a good frame of mind so that she could discuss their future with him. Instead, he just stared down at the bowl and stirred the cobbler with his spoon. Finally, Morris looked up and noticed that Natasha looked a bit concerned. Feeling guilty about his own moodiness, he decided it was time to tell her about his own concerns.

“Natasha, this cobbler is great, but I am not in the right frame of mind to enjoy it. Master Goodby at the stables pulled me aside this morning and told me that he was going to have to let the business go. The times are bad and people are cutting back. There are fewer travelers to serve, and none of the locals can afford to board their horses. Some have even slaughtered them for meat. I am afraid that we need to talk about our future.â€

Natasha was so shocked that she did not take advantage of this obvious opportunity to begin sharing her own ideas. Instead, Morris continued, “ I noticed the Formast family talking to Atma. You know them, they are the ones that live in that old cabin on the other side of the wasteland. Their backpacks were full of weapons and provisions. I was curious and I asked them if they were planning a trip. It seems that what they were planning was a lot more than just a weekend outing. They are going to join the adventurers that are headed for Kurast. They are going to seek their fortune and fame! The whole family! At first I was stunned that anyone would be so reckless. Mr. Formast is not exactly the sort you would expect to see heading into battle. He is a bit overweight and looks like he hasn’t wielded a sword in years. His wife has calluses on her hands from hoeing fields, and the axe on her back made her walk as though she was stooped over. Their two kids were barely in their teens and would never be able to stand up to a goblin or ghoul. Natasha! If that family can do it, we can too!†Felix is fifteen and needs to begin honing his fighting skills if he is going to grow up to survive in this accursed land. Well, what do you think Natasha?â€

Natasha smiled. Her eyes twinkled with delight as she studied the hopeful look in Morris’s eyes. He hadn’t looked that eager since their wedding night. “Whatever you say dumpling, if you think the three of us can do this, then we most certainly can. I will pack up a few potions and some roast spine lizard. My bow needs to be restrung and your tunic needs some mending, but we should be ready to leave a daybreak.â€

As Natasha turned and began gathering their provisions, Morris watched her with stunned relief. He had expected her to talk some sense into him. He had been ready with his own arguments. What a woman!

Overview:

This tournament has variability similar to the Heptad tournament. That means that there is a design task that the participant must perform before entering his family into the fray. Trading is also possible as the family proceeds through their adventures so there is opportunity to gather equipment that may be useless for one character but very helpful for another.

There are five categories of tournament restrictions:

Attribute assignment
Skill assignment
Equipment selection
Mercenary utilization
Grab Bag of play options

Each category has three options. All options must be utilized by one of the family members. That means that each of your three family members will have five restrictions. Each option has a weight of from one to three. Each character will have five restriction (one from each of the five categories) and the sum total of the five weights will be the difficulty rating and it will be a factor in the scoring for each character (see the section of scoring).

Attribute Restrictions:

These are the three types of attribute restrictions that may be selected. Each member of the family must select a different attribute restriction so that each of them is utilized by one of your characters. Alkor points must be assigned in accordance with your restriction selection.

(1) Attributes must be assigned evenly. This means that you may have attribute points that cannot be assigned until another level is achieved.
(2) No strength points can ever be assigned.
(3) No vitality points can ever be assigned.

Skill Assignment Restrictions:

These are the three types of skill restrictions that may be selected. Each member of the family must select a different skill restriction so that all three are utilized by one of your characters. All quest reward skill points must be assigned in accordance with your restriction selection.

(1) No skills above level 18 may be assigned.
(2) Single Skill Tree.
(3) 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.

Scavenger’s Apprentice: 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. This could allow you to get a higher level skill prior to the time the act comes up where you had planned to develop that skill.

NOTE: only those eight skills can be used. The prerequisites cannot be used. If you finally max out one of your skills, any added points can be placed wherever you like, but you are still limited to only using those eight skills.

Equipment Restrictions:

These are the three types of equipment restrictions that may be selected. Each member of the family must select a different equipment restriction so that all three are utilized by one of your characters. Starting equipment may be used only until they are replaced by equipment that agrees with your restriction. The Anya quest personalization reward is a wild card that can be used by your character. This may help to soften the very tough restrictions that apply to equipment. (Throwing potions are always allowed)

(1) You can only wear crafted, socketed or rune word items. Jewelry must be crafted. Socketed items do not have to have their sockets filled to be worn. Any item with sockets can be used (yellow, blue, gray, S/U). The socketing quest in act 5 could be very useful for the family member with this restriction.
(2) Set and unique items only. That includes jewelry.
(3) You can only wear ethereal items. Ethereal items that repair themselves will be treasured! This does not apply to jewelry, but it does apply to all weapons and anything you wear other than jewelry. If you embue an ethereal item, it may remain ethereal (it did for me, but I am not sure it always will).

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. The mercenary equipment must conform to the character’s equipment restriction.

(1) You must use only a melee mercenary. That means that you go without a mercenary in Act 1 normal difficulty and then purchase the Desert Warrior immediately on arriving at Lut Gholein. Later you may switch to an Act 5 mercenary if you like. You can change back and forth between the two as often as you want.
(2) You must use only a range mercenary. You must use the rogue as soon as she is available, but you may replace her with an act 3 mercenary later if you like. You can change back and forth between the two as often as you want.
(3) You must use only the mercenary that is available in that act. Act 4 must be played with the act 3 mercenary. In some cases you cannot get the new mercenary until you reach a particular point in that act. Act 1 mercenary is available after killing Blood Raven; Act 2 mercenary is available as soon as you arrive in Lut Gholein; Act 3 mercenary is available when you bring back the Gidbin; Act 5 mercenary is available when you free the captured barbarian soldiers. You may continue to use the old mercenary until the new one becomes available, but you are not allowed to delay that point by ignoring the quest that provides the mercenary. Example: in Act 5, you must free the captured barbarians prior to proceeding on to the Anya quests even though it would be possible to skip it. Similarly, you must kill blood raven prior to moving on to free Cain.

Grab Bag Restrictions:

These are the three restrictions to be selected. Each member of the family must select a different grab bag restriction so that all three are utilized by one of your characters.

(1) You may not carry charms or use equipment if they enhance an attribute. However, the mercenary does not need to follow this rule.
(2) You must play act 1 on players 1, act 2 on players 2, etc. Play level increases like this until you get to act 3 of nightmare where you will play at players 8. Then it goes in reverse. In act 4 of NM you reduce to players 7, act 5 NM you are at players 6. Finally, you are back to players 1 to play act 5 of Hell. NOTE: There is one exception! The Ancients can always be played on Players 1.
(3) You cannot wear any equipment or wield any weapon that is metallic. This rule applies to personalization items too! However, the mercenary does not need to follow this rule.

Non-metallic:
The following items and their exceptional/elite counterparts are considered to be non-metallic:

Armor:

Quilted, leather or hard leather armor.
Bone shield and necromancer heads.
Sash, light belt, belt.
Boots and heavy boots.
Leather gloves.
Cap and bone helm.
Jawbone cap and fanged helm.
All druid pelts.

All jewelry. (yes, I know they are metallic, but they’re so small and have so much sentimental value...)

Weapons:
Club
Javelins (We assume that the point on a javelin is bone.)
Gnarled Staves
Orbs
Wands
Bows (not crossbows!)

Trading

There will be carefully selected points in the game where your family will stop and you will be able to redistribute equipment between them. 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 “Family_OCâ€. 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 member of the family 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 that wants to participate in the trading. 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 three characters searching for each of the different equipment types referred to in the “Equipment Restrictionsâ€.
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.

Scoring

Your characters will score according to the following rules:

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).

The base score is then multiplied by the character’s difficulty rating. Example: Jerubal is a barbarian who:
(1) Assigns no attribute points to vitality (difficulty 3)
(2) Puts points into only level 18 or lower skills (difficulty 1)
(3) Limits himself to ethereal equipment (difficulty 3)
(4) Uses only a range mercenary (difficulty 2)
(5) Uses no metallic equipment. (difficulty 3)

That gives him a difficulty rating of 3+1+3+2+3 = 12. At the end of act 3 normal he is at level 29, he has hit 25 way points and completed all 18 quests. His base score would be 25+18-29 = 14. His total score would be 12x14 = 168.

Other Rules
1. Hardcore only.
2. Version 1.10, 1.11, 1.11b and 1.12a are permitted. The Rune Word Module may be used. The Red Rune Module may be used.
3. No Multi-Player permitted.
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. Note: you may use the escape key to pause the game, but you must go back into battle after taking a breather.
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.
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. Replays are allowed, but you must select a different set of character types for each of your three team members. Example: If your original team was an Amazon, a Barbarian and a sorceress, then your new team would have to use 3 of the other four character types. A third attempt would have to use the last character type and one character type from each of the other attempts. If you have enough stamina to try a fourth family, just make it different from the other three.

Posts

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

I will be entering the 'Jones Family'.

Father is Brad, a barbarian; he will have even distribution of attributes (1), he will assign skills as the scavenger apprentice (3), he will wear only set/unique (2), He will use a melee mercenary (1) and he will use players levels progressively (3).

Mother is Alexis, an Amazon; she will have no strength (2), she will use only the passive and magic skill tree (2), she will wear only ethereal items (3), she will use a range mercenary (2) and she will use only non-metallic items (2).

Child (daughter), a sorceress; she will have no vitality (3), she will use level 18 or lower skills (1), she will wear only crafted/socketed/rune word items (1), she will not use a mercenary (3), and she avoid attribute enhancement in all charms and equipment (1).

Play can start as soon as you declare your family. After a signup period of about a week, I will devise a table to be used for scoring that will look something like this:
Code:
[b][U][I]Families[/I][/U][/b]
Name        Type             Level    WPs   Quests   Score    Location
Jones Family                        60    Rogue Camp
           Brad Barb (13213)    3    3    2    20    Rogue Camp
           Alexis Azon (22322)    2    3    2    33    Rogue Camp
           Kelly Sorc (31131)     4    3    2    7    Rogue Camp

Unique designs are not a requirement of the tournament, but uniqueness is encouraged.

Tournament End

The tournament will end when there have been no posts for 30 days.