[2009] Tournament: The Randomly Challenged II [by jiansonz]

Mar 14, 2020
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This tournament has already ended. It was originally started by @jiansonz on Apr 21, 2009. The last post was made Mar 20, 2015.
(link to original thread on diabloii.net)

Tournament: The Randomly Challenged II

A long time ago (even before the Great Forum Crash in 2003), DiamondSoul hosted a tournament that I enjoyed a great deal. I think it´s long overdue for a follow-up!

I plan to keep the rules quite simple. There will be no overly complicated scoring system, no annoying forced premature quest reward getting, finding WPs is optional, non-essential quests are optional, etc.

In essence, this a laid back, untwinked, single-pass HC tournament guided by random numbers.
If you die, it´s perfectly OK to try again. I hope to have this as a long-term project going, as long is there is interest.

How do I roll the random numbers?
Several ways are possible:

* Low numbers, you can use a die. (some of you probably have old Pen and Paper RPG experience, and may still have some of those nifty dice around. I have seen dice with 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20 sides. The d12 is my favourite - it has sides with 5 corners...)

* Go to http://www.random.org/ and roll a number. The simple little box on the first page works great for this.

* Program a calculator to ask for a number, then have it roll a random integer from 1 to that number.

* Write numbers on little pieces of paper, put them in a bowl and draw one without looking.

* Draw a 5x6 grid and write the numbers 1-30 in them, then use two die rolls (one for row, one for column) to get the number. Reroll if it´s too high.

However you do it, the important thing is that all outcomes in a roll should be equally likely.

Rules, the fun part

1. Class
A random roll (1-7) decides your class.

2. Mercenary
Last time, you were equally likely to get any of the 12 merc subtypes, so you had 50% chance to get an Act II merc. This time, I plan to make it harder (I also think the desert mercs are used far too often), so:

Roll 1-4 to decide the main merc type, then roll for the subtype (if applicable). Important rule: this is the only merc type you are ever allowed to use with this character. So unless you roll a rogue, you will be mercless for 1, 2, 4 or 6 acts. (It will happen to some of you that you will accidently click on Kashya and get a rogue. If that happens, just do your best to get her killed as soon as possible...)

3. Stat points
For each individual stat point you earn, roll 1-4 to see where to place it.

4. Skill points
For each skill point you want to distribute, see how many possible options there are to place that skill point, then roll a random number to see where it goes. Keep in mind that (unless all skill trees have the same number of open skills) you can´t roll for the skill tree first, then the skill. All possible options should be equally likely.

Important rule: random numbers will place the skill points, but YOU decide when to roll for and assign the points.
This has tactical consequences. Let´s take a hypothetical example. Let´s say you play a Necromancer and all you care about is getting as many points as possible in Golem Mastery. Since this skill has no level 1 prerequisite skill, you should not place any points until you reach level 6. (whether or not this approach gives you too much trouble to actually get to level 6 is another discussion...). At levels 6-11, you should place points until you get one in Clay Golem. Let´s say you get sufficiently lucky to score a point in Clay Golem, then you should of course hold on to the rest of the points until you get to level 12. At level 12 and onwards, you should now spend points ASAP, as long as Golem Mastery can receive them.

We will likely feel like we are trying to close a zipper wearing boxing gloves, but at least there will be some tactics involved. 😉

Rules, the boring but necessary part:

5. This a HC tournament. You can play SC but one death means that the character is no longer in the tournament.

6. Save and Exit to avoid death is not allowed (exception: if you start a new session and just want to run through an area you cleared last session, S & E is allowed during the "transport")

7. You play untwinked and single-pass (no reruns of areas/bosses allowed). When you start a new session, it´s OK to clear a path from WP (in an area you cleared last session) to exit if you must do so to stay safe. Loot and shrines in this area are off-limits in this case.

ATMA and other muling programs are allowed as an extended stash. You can even mule off gold temporarily (let´s say you plan to do some major gambling at a higher clvl than you are now) as long as you can keep track of it.

8. It is OK to completely avoid areas (or parts of areas, if they are easy to separate, like in the Arcane Sanctuary). If you do so, you still have the right to come back to play these areas later. In earlier difficulties, you can only go back to play areas you have not killed anything in (due to map rerolls, you can´t know where you´ve been already).

9. If you save and exit a ways into a particular area because you dislike the monster draw you got ("FFS, I can´t deal with these damn archers on the Bloody Foothills! I´m out!"), you may no longer pick up any loot in this whole area, and you should treat the rest of the area like something you´ve already played. Rules 6 and 7 should make it easier to move on to the next area.
(This rule may seem harsh, but the whole spirit of the tournament is to 'play with the cards you´re dealt', hence this penalty if you stray from this ideal.)

10. You may not use TP scrolls from the belt. TP parking is a perfectly fine tactics, but you should go through the casting animation.

11. Any /players setting is allowed and you may change it any time you desire. Cheesy 'crank up the players setting before opening chests' tactics is fully endorsed. :whistling:

12. RWM is allowed, but there are some runewords that I felt the need to delay, in order to give a chance to us Vanilla players to come up with something of comparable power at the different stages of the game:

Insight is unrestricted for the character, but if you make one for an Act II merc, there are restrictions. Cruel damage for a measly Sol rune is simply too powerful compared to Vanilla, at some stages of the game:
Insight in Normal Polearms: not before Act II Nightmare
Insight in Exceptional Polearms: not before Act IV Nightmare
Insight in Elite Polearms: not before Act II Hell

Obedience as an Act II merc weapon is also insanely powerful for the rune cost (Hel + Fal):
Obedience in Exceptional Polearms: not before Act I Hell
Obedience in Elite Polearms: not before Act II Hell

13. Fool´s and Grinding weapons and Faithful armor items give you a lot more cash if you equip them and use the 'Sell' button instead of using drag-and-drop. This is allowed, but in some cases you can sell them for more than you need to cash out for buying them back (so here´s a potentially endless souce of cash). In this case, you can only sell them once.

Similarly, it´s forbidden to buy cheap axes and daggers, cube them to Throwing Axes and sell the pack for more than you paid for the axe + dagger. It´s of course OK to cube near-worthless axes and daggers you find in the field, if you think it´s worth the hassle.

14. This tourney is for DII LoD, version 1.10 and up.

15. There is no scoring system - it´s simply a matter about trying to get the furthest into the game. Bragging rights depend of course on how difficult your roll is. A Druid with an Act III Fire merc is probably the toughest challenge you can get.

So just join in whenever you wish, and make sure to keep us updated! 👍

I am entering with Pete, a Necromancer that is going to join up with a Barbarian companion (if he survives that long...)