A Merciful Ending: Untwinked Assassin Reaches 99

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
975
648
93
Originally posted May 22, 2017

Mercy, an untwinked-99er-to be, began her journey in March 2016 as an entry in @Kitteh’s relaunch of the untwinked 99er challenge (original untwinked 99er tourney thread is here). She actually got a head start by about a week.

Let’s start things off with a vid of her last two runs, then stats and gear, followed by a rundown of progress and reflections and finds, before ending with a round of thanks for everyone who helped along the journey.


Stats and Such
How about info on Stats, Gear, Charms, and Merc? Sure, why not, see below (stats are with final skill point and stats unspent).
Code:
Name:       Mercy
Class:      Assassin
Experience: 3520485254
Level:      99

            Naked/Gear
Strength:   81/162
Dexterity:  20/57
Vitality:   459/488
Energy:     25/32
HP:         1623/2083
Mana:       172/486
Stamina:    766/996
Defense:    5/1508
AR:         100000064/100000446

Fire:       190/150/90
Cold:       148/108/48
Lightning:  172/132/72
Poison:     155/115/55

MF:         218       Block:      9
GF:         91
FR/W:       85
FHR:        89
IAS:        0
FCR:        115

Fire Blast: 20/40
Shock Web: 20/39
Blade Sentinel: 0/0
Charged Bolt Sentry: 20/39
Wake of Fire: 1/21
Blade Fury: 0/0
Lightning Sentry: 20/39
Wake of Inferno: 0/0
Death Sentry: 20/39
Blade Shield: 0/0

Claw Mastery: 1/14
Psychic Hammer: 1/14
Burst of Speed: 4/17
Weapon Block: 0/0
Cloak of Shadows: 1/14
Fade: 0/0
Shadow Warrior: 0/0
Mind Blast: 1/14
Venom: 0/0
Shadow Master: 0/0

Tiger Strike: 0/0
Dragon Talon: 0/0
Fists of Fire: 0/0
Dragon Claw: 0/0
Cobra Strike: 0/0
Claws of Thunder: 0/0
Dragon Tail: 0/0
Blades of Ice: 0/0
Dragon Flight: 0/0
Phoenix Strike: 0/0
Code:
Mercy's Harlequin Crest
Shako
Defense: 110
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Level: 62
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0x782376be
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
All Stats +2
+148 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+148 to Mana (Based on Character Level)
Damage Reduced by 10%
74% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Perfect Topaz

Mara's Kaleidoscope
Amulet
Required Level: 67
Fingerprint: 0x6b8ff10a
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
All Stats +5
All Resistances +28

Raven Frost
Ring
Required Level: 45
Fingerprint: 0xede1ae81
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+197 to Attack Rating
Adds 15 - 45 Cold Damage Over 4 Secs (100 Frames)
+20 to Dexterity
+40 to Mana
Cold Absorb 20%
Cannot Be Frozen

Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
Ring
Required Level: 58
Fingerprint: 0x3b88676
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
5% Life stolen per hit
+49 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+50 Maximum Stamina

Magefist
Light Gauntlets
Defense: 25
Durability: 18 of 18
Required Level: 23
Required Strength: 45
Fingerprint: 0x53160735
Item Level: 82
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Fire Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Adds 1 - 6 Fire Damage
+26% Enhanced Defense
+10 Defense
Regenerate Mana 25%

Arachnid Mesh
Spiderweb Sash
Defense: 138
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Level: 80
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0xd70968fe
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Slows Target by 10%
+120% Enhanced Defense
Increase Maximum Mana 5%
Level 3 Venom (11/11 Charges)

Mercy's Enigma
Superior Light Plate
JahIthBer
Defense: 883
Durability: 66 of 66
Required Level: 65
Required Strength: 41
Fingerprint: 0x49c67301
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+45% Faster Run/Walk
+1 to Teleport
+14% Enhanced Defense
+760 Defense
+74 to Strength (Based on Character Level)
Increase Maximum Life 5%
Damage Reduced by 8%
+14 Life after each Kill
15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
99% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based on Character Level)
Increase Maximum Durability 11%
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Jah Rune
Socketed: Ith Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune

Aldur's Advance
Battle Boots
Defense: 46
Durability: 15 of 18
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 95
Fingerprint: 0x2061da46
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Indestructible
+40% Faster Run/Walk
+50 to Life
+180 Maximum Stamina
Heal Stamina Plus 32%
Fire Resist +50%
10% Damage Taken Goes To Mana

Mercy's Heart of the Oak
Flail
KoVexPulThul
One Hand Damage: 1 - 24
Durability: 30 of 30
Required Level: 55
Required Strength: 41
Required Dexterity: 35
Fingerprint: 0x283c8135
Item Level: 45
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to All Skills
+40% Faster Cast Rate
+75% Damage to Demons
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
7% Mana stolen per hit
+10 to Dexterity
Replenish Life +20
Increase Maximum Mana 15%
All Resistances +36
Level 4 Oak Sage (25/25 Charges)
Level 14 Raven (60/60 Charges)
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ko Rune
Socketed: Vex Rune
Socketed: Pul Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune

Spirit
Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 146
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 86 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0xe8eb3521
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+35% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+98 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+5 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune

Call to Arms
Superior Crystal Sword
AmnRalMalIstOhm
One Hand Damage: 19 - 57
Durability: 22 of 22
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 43
Fingerprint: 0x7a78316c
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
282% Enhanced Damage
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
+3 to Battle Command
+6 to Battle Orders
+4 to Battle Cry
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Increase Maximum Durability 10%
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Amn Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Ohm Rune

Spirit
Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 146
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 86 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0xe76c5272
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+32% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+100 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+7 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune
Code:
Emerald Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0x59e35bbc
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Poison Resist +11%

Serpent's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 40
Fingerprint: 0x5e53346c
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life
+15 to Mana

Coral Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 29
Fingerprint: 0x26637384
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Lightning Resist +9%

Ruby Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x8c4d7994
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
Fire Resist +10%

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xdc222d23
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Ruby Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0x94f7f078
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Fire Resist +11%
6% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xc197a2c8
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Ruby Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x6825c2c4
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
Fire Resist +10%

Azure Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x4dd6fc81
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
Cold Resist +4%

Gheed's Fortune
Grand Charm
Required Level: 62
Fingerprint: 0x3dcf2fb4
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
91% Extra Gold from Monsters
Reduces all Vendor Prices 13%
39% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Coral Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xf181982a
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
Lightning Resist +9%

Entrapping Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x6c3eacf6
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)

Entrapping Grand Charm of Life
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x394d9aa6
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)
+5 to Life

Entrapping Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x713d3250
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)

Entrapping Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x3ae958e7
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)

Entrapping Grand Charm of Balance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xc7172ad4
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)
+12% Faster Hit Recovery

Amber Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x3a779cd7
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+18 to Life
Lightning Resist +10%

Entrapping Grand Charm of Balance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xf91edc64
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)
+12% Faster Hit Recovery

Shimmering Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 53
Fingerprint: 0x69d4c8c0
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+31 to Life
All Resistances +15

Serpent's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 40
Fingerprint: 0x5a72bfdf
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
+13 to Mana

Horadric Cube
Fingerprint: 0x165f4ac0
Item Level: 13
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Code:
Thankfully not needed much!

Heart of the Oak
Flail
KoVexPulThul
One Hand Damage: 1 - 24
Durability: 17 of 30
Required Level: 55
Required Strength: 41
Required Dexterity: 35
Fingerprint: 0xa125c491
Item Level: 83
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to All Skills
+40% Faster Cast Rate
+75% Damage to Demons
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
7% Mana stolen per hit
+10 to Dexterity
Replenish Life +20
Increase Maximum Mana 15%
All Resistances +31
Level 4 Oak Sage (25/25 Charges)
Level 14 Raven (60/60 Charges)
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ko Rune
Socketed: Vex Rune
Socketed: Pul Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune

Moser's Blessed Circle
Round Shield
Defense: 173
Chance to Block: 37
Durability: 59 of 64
Required Level: 31
Required Strength: 53
Fingerprint: 0xd6a9c40d
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+30% Faster Block Rate
25% Increased Chance of Blocking
+210% Enhanced Defense
All Resistances +25
Lightning Resist +28%
Poison Resist +25%
9% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
2 Sockets (2 used)
Socketed: Ambergris Jewel
Socketed: Jade Jewel of Prosperity

Skin of the Vipermagi
Serpentskin Armor
Defense: 279
Durability: 13 of 24
Required Level: 29
Required Strength: 43
Fingerprint: 0xfead1590
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+30% Faster Cast Rate
+120% Enhanced Defense
All Resistances +35
Magic Damage Reduced by 12

Skull Hand
Demonhide Gloves
Defense: 46
Durability: 11 of 12
Required Level: 51
Required Strength: 20
Fingerprint: 0x2d7e0e39
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+30% Enhanced Defense
+12 to Strength
+9 to Dexterity
Lightning Resist +24%
Fire Resist +27%

Bladebuckle
Plated Belt
Defense: 51
Durability: 13 of 24
Required Level: 29
Required Strength: 60
Fingerprint: 0xcaac0a7b
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+30% Faster Hit Recovery
+80% Enhanced Defense
+30 Defense
+5 to Strength
+10 to Dexterity
Damage Reduced by 3
Attacker Takes Damage of 8
Code:
Name:       Pratham
Race:       Desert Mercenary
Type:       Off-Nightmare
Experience: 114149042
Level:      98
Dead?:      false

            Naked/Gear
Strength:   209/234
Dexterity:  169/169
HP:         2287/2410
Defense:    1671/3528
AR:         2066/2066

Fire:       162/122/62
Cold:       192/152/92
Lightning:  192/152/92
Poison:    262/222/162

Fortitude
Archon Plate
ElSolDolLo
Defense: 1521
Durability: 57 of 60
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 103
Fingerprint: 0x8d09d49d
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
20% Chance to cast level 15 Chilling Armor when struck
+25% Faster Cast Rate
300% Enhanced Damage
+200% Enhanced Defense
+15 Defense
+123 to Life (Based on Character Level)
Replenish Life +7
+5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
All Resistances +30
Damage Reduced by 7
12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
+1 to Light Radius
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: El Rune
Socketed: Sol Rune
Socketed: Dol Rune
Socketed: Lo Rune

Andariel's Visage
Demonhead
Defense: 336
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Level: 83
Required Strength: 102
Fingerprint: 0xf52e8813
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
15% Chance to cast level 15 Poison Nova when struck
+2 to All Skills
+35% Increased Attack Speed
+14 to Maximum Damage
10% Life stolen per hit
+117% Enhanced Defense
+25 to Strength
+10% to Maximum Poison Resist
Fire Resist -30%
Poison Resist +70%
Level 3 Venom (20/20 Charges)
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Vermilion Jewel of Fervor

Vermilion Jewel of Fervor
Jewel
Required Level: 50
Fingerprint: 0x86f46eb7
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+15% Increased Attack Speed
+14 to Maximum Damage

Infinity
Thresher
BerMalBerIst
Two Hand Damage: 64 - 757
Durability: 33 of 33
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 142
Required Dexterity: 108
Fingerprint: 0xdae0dcd1
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
50% Chance to cast level 20 Chain Lightning when you Kill an Enemy
Level 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped
+35% Faster Run/Walk
259% Enhanced Damage
-52% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
40% Chance of Crushing Blow
Prevent Monster Heal
+49 to Vitality (Based on Character Level)
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level 21 Cyclone Armor (30/30 Charges)
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune

Progress
Mercy made quick progress early on, reaching level 87, and was aided by some very nice rune drops. A little more than a month in, she was at level 90 and had the base and runes for Infinity. She mixed up LK and Pits, mostly, for the next stretch, with a major assist of a Jah from a Pit run and then a final set of LK runs to make Enigma possible part way into level 94.

In all, 1103 runes found from LK plus some helpful finds while area running allowed Mercy to gracefully transition to XP grinding in late May 2016. Progress slowed over the summer due to work and starting a second untwinked 99er (Sorc that is currently level 96), but Mercy reached level 96 at the end of the summer.

A long break followed due to vacation and then a busy work schedule, but picked up again after Thanksgiving, reaching level 97 with Baal runs. I found level 96 and then level 97 especially to be the most challenging stretch. In terms of total time, they should have taken less than level 98, but they felt much longer, probably due to Baal runs being Mercy’s best option for XP. Mercy found her first +skill ring (BKWB) a third of the way into the level and still didn’t have Arachnid’s Mesh.

At this point, I set goals of 80 Baal runs each week (8 per weekday and 40 total on the weekend). I found it helped stay focused and not get discouraged by the slow progress on the XP bar. She generally exceeded her goal, particularly during Round 1 of the RFL. Those 20 hours got her almost all the way to level 98, and she finally hit level 98 in mid-February.

Mercy then transitioned to Nihl, following the path charted by @NanoMist's Izuna. She toyed around with becoming a kicker, which did not turn out well :oops: Nihl finally dropped Arachnid's, and she settled into the routine, visiting Nihl somewhere in the neighborhood of 11,500 times, hitting level 99 yesterday.

She had one real death, with body recovery, about a third of the way in. Again, I set a goal (XP per week this time), and Mercy again far exceeded that goal, finishing about 5 weeks earlier than the weekly goal projected.

Finds and What Not
As others have observed, the journey to 99 is lucrative in terms of finds, particularly in 1.13+. Untwinked makes it especially so, as the focus on getting runes for major runewords is paramount. And, unlike starting the quest for 99 with a character that was already at level 90 or so, the untwinked journey means you keep track of all the finds.

Key runewords made and total remaining high runes is below:
Code:
CoH (Eth)
CtA
Delirium
Enigma
HoTo x3 -- the [email protected] roll was not improved upon :(
Fortitude
Infinity (Eth)

Mal – 8
Ist – 6
Gul – 5
Vex – 5
Ohm – 1
Lo – 4
Sur – 6
Ber – 1
Jah – 2
Cham – 1

And cubing up the mid-highs would get 2x Ohm or so.
Nihl was stingier with high runes for Mercy than he was for Izuna, but no complaints here.

Overall, Mercy made it to grail -29, with mostly TC3/TC87s missing, but also two exceptional uniques :mad:, three pieces of jewelry and two parts of the Cow set. There are too many nice finds to summarize well, so I will just list a few of the ones I liked the most (aside from the high runes above and Mercy's charm collection, which I really like).
Code:
Eth Griffon’s (bad roll, but it’s cool)
Eth Steel Shade (near perfect roll)
Pestilent small charm of Pestilence
Death’s Web (high roll -ePR)
I will probably spend an afternoon sorting through her stashes (1232 keeper items, runes and charms from Nihl; 1560 items, 233 keeper charms and 133 keeper jewels from 1-98) and being pleasantly surprised when I remember some of those.

Oh, and I almost forgot about my favorite find of all:
Code:
Preserver's Grand Charm of Vita
Grand Charm
Required Level: 83
Fingerprint: 0x6d2f5a7b
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Defensive Aura Skills (Paladin Only)
+45 to Life
Yes, the only Baal GC skiller with vita that she rolled was defensive aura :rolleyes:

Thank You-s
I have to start with thanks to this forum and everyone who participated or contributed to this thread and supported Mercy’s journey.

Special thanks go to @Pb_pal, @NanoMist and @T72on1 who have been in it from the beginning and helped with feedback and encouragement throughout. Of course, @Kitteh gets a special shout out for (re)starting this challenge, along with @NanoMist and @Pb_pal again, and @Neksja and others, for great theorycrafting info and pointers that we all benefited from. @Gripphon also gets special mention for the past work that provided a foundation for all our paths to 99 in this challenge.

What’s Next-es
As for what’s next, Mercy will stay strictly untwinked (with one exception noted below) and likely serve as a runner for future tourneys. I think she will do well in the WSK challenge @Gripphon plans. I am thinking about using the Cham in her Shako to free up the ring slot for MF or an SoJ for extra mana. Now that +life isn’t as big a deal (can’t lose XP!), charms and other gear (back to 7% caster ammy and gloves with +MF) are back in play.

If she Cham’s the Shako, she will loan it to Midrian, my Pit zerker. That’s the exception, but I think it’s easy to keep track of given that it’s personalized. :) Otherwise, she will mule off a bunch of skillers for other classes and the many other SCs with 10/11 resists + nice suffix (MF, vita, FHR) in her stash, plus some of the better finds that she will never use.

Hiatus, the 99er sorc, also will get more time. She’s just short of 96.25, and I may try to get a second 99er before the end of the year. With Mercy and Hiatus so far, I've moved from grail -15 overall to grail -7, so I'm hopeful Hiatus will chip away further over the last couple levels.

Finally, I have a couple builds in progress and think that will be a welcome break from countless runs of the same target. I also was inspired by the eth Nightwing’s that Mercy found and low-roll cold facets sitting around to try a more off-the-beaten-path build, so that should be fun to test.

Anyhow, final thanks are to everyone who followed Mercy’s journey (and is still reading this text wall). Cheers!
 
Last edited:

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
975
648
93
Originally posted March 31, 2016

As I explained in my intro thread, this challenge inspired me. I actually started a few days before Kitteh officially started the thread (hope that’s okay). I'll hold off on trying to update the table, because I think I'll mess it up.

Short version: I created a Trapsin called Mercy, who is now Lvl 87 and Matted. It’s been a blast so far, aided by great rune luck. Only a Ber away from Infinity! I created an Album with screenshots of major drops/progress.

Congrats to all on the good progress so far. Best of luck on the leveling, MFing or rune searching.

I followed the usual path of single pass tourney characters, although I had pretty bad topaz luck. No major finds in Normal – socketed angelic armor when I found second ring, which was a waste that I regret. I died once to hitting tab in windowed mode :\

The next weekend, my wife was away and I spent a lot of time playing. I did the minimum possible to get through NM, focusing on Hell Andy and Countess runs as the way to get Mercy to where she could run LK. There was nothing of note through NM; I got a Lem at NM HF. I found enough runes to make insight for Merc, although I had only a 4os Bill. After netting nothing with 20-ish Meph runs in NM, I decided to move onto Hell with terrible resists and using Fade to compensate.

I don't recall ever having this type of luck in D2 before. I finished A1 and a bit of A2, and then did runs for countess and Andy. On the 9th run, this happened (my first rune above Lem). Hello Fortitude! I had a +500 Archon Plate that got 4os in Cube. Hard to argue with the roll. The merc was now able to survive in Pits, so I added Pit runs into my cycle and finished A2 for a change of pace. Pit run 20ish we got lucky again with a Sur.

At this point, I was hooked on this character. Only 3 Surs (or one Sur and one Ber) from Infinity! I went through A3 as quickly as possible to reach LK and rolled maps (remembering not to hit any WPs except LK). I spent the day in LK, with a break to finish A4 and get the first A5 WP. HF was Mal.

I didn’t time the LK runs (because it would have been discouraging), so I instead set a goal of picking up 250 runes. It started slow, with a Mal and a Pul, but also another Lem so I could make Harmony. Then I had a run of Sur, Lo, Gul, and Pul #2 in about one hour of playing time. Ran a bit more after dinner and got Um and Gul #2. The next morning before work while drinking my coffee = Ohm.

I decided to take a small break from LK, saved Anya and hit the WP for Ancient Way (or whatever it’s called). Then ran Eldrich a few times to level up before going back to LK runs and found my first Elite Unique, a Ghost Flame.

I picked up again this past weekend and finished my 250 runes, with a nice Traps skiller and Gul #3 and Pul #3 to round it out. I then tested where I could run for leveling. I hadn’t gotten another 4os polearm, so the merc still had the bill. In Pits, I found a 4os Giant Thresher and made Insight, but he was too weak to wield it (oops). Did Eldrich and Shenk and Pindle for two levels until Merc could equip the new Insight, and Pits became much more manageable.

But I decided to open up WSK as a run so finished Ancients quest. One of Baal’s minions dropped Spike Thorn, and Baal eventually died. Matted at Lvl 85. I ran Pits to level up before planning to go back to LK, and found another Gul.

I went back to LK, with a goal of another 100 runes, hoping for a Ber to allow Infinity, but ended up with Um #2 and a few mid-runes. I got some nice charms though, with another Skiller (this one plain), a [email protected] SC, and a [email protected] SC of Sustenance (13 life).

I’ve leveled to 87 with mixture of Pindle, Eldrich, and Pits. Maybe another lucky rune drop will open things up.
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
975
648
93
Originally posted April 16, 2016

Good job, everyone. Excellent finds on the runes, @Pb_pal and @Nano.

Not much progress because I was offline all week because of work. I did a couple Pits runs, but it was too slow, and I couldn’t do high P-setting Pindle runs. So I took the advice from @Pb_pal and went back to LK. I set a goal of another 125 runes (half of a 250 rune set), hoping I’d find enough Vex+ to cube up to the second Ber for Infinity.

Rune 60 was an Ohm, and then number 90 was a Vex. I decided to finish the 125 and also found Pul #5. I had found an ethereal Thresher, which went into the cube and got 4 sockets! The alternative would have been Hel-ing a non-eth cryptic axe that I’d used for an Insight. I prepped the runes for cubing, and made the Infinity. Pretty bad roll, but whatever, I am happy to have the conviction aura.

I’d died once more on an LK run, so I was back at a flat 89. I’ve never used Infinity with a trapper, so I did a little testing on P3-7 Pindles and P3 Pit runs. Eventually I settled on WSK, minions and Baal. Lister took too long at P8, so I just switched to P1 for Lister and Baal. I netted a Tal’s armor and Black Hades along the way, and hit 90.

As much as I like my LK map, I am going to re-roll for a better map for Pits and WSK. I think I’ll be more likely to push through if I can switch up Pindle, Pits, and WSK for variety.

I may actually start a second 99er (this one a Sorc) to have another character as a break. And I am going to work on writing up my 7x7 (and finishing the 49th, a poison dagger necro in A1 Hell).

Keep up the good progress everyone!
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
975
648
93
Originally posted May 16, 2016

As for Mercy, I returned to this challenge after a short break taking a character through Normal in the Sword of Destiny playthrough that several folks have chosen in the Create Your Own Tourney challenge.

I had stopped after hitting Lvl 92, and picked back up with a mix of WSK + minions and Pits, instead of returning to LK. I had pretty good maps for both, and realized that I was one level from amulet crafting level. My current amulet leaves much to be desired. :rolleyes: If I was lucky, I might get a high rune or two to help me along the path to Enigma and save some time in LK down the road. I eventually focused on Pits at p7, and it's paid off nicely, with Mercy currently half way to 93.

Found a set vortex shield, then shortly after picked up a unique ring off a Carver Shaman in Level 2. As with the earlier Boneflame, I had never found Wisp Projector in all my years of playing, so that was cool to see. Then I got a game changer: Jah. Sweet! All I need is a Ber for Enigma.

I hope to play some more tomorrow. I'll hold off on a table update until I reach level 93. In the meantime, here's the current gear.

Name: Mercy
Class: Assassin
Experience: 2009731959
Level: 92

Naked/Gear
Strength: 151/182
Dexterity: 97/140
Vitality: 282/316
Energy: 25/27
HP: 1078/1354
Mana: 161/483
Stamina: 536/536
Defense: 24/1208
AR: 100000449/100000861

Fire: 164/124/64
Cold: 187/147/87
Lightning: 196/156/96
Poison: 161/121/61

MF: 253 Block: 31
GF: 13
FR/W: 32
FHR: 101
IAS: 0
FCR: 102

Fire Blast: 20/32
Shock Web: 18/29
Blade Sentinel: 0/0
Charged Bolt Sentry: 20/31
Wake of Fire: 0/0
Blade Fury: 0/0
Lightning Sentry: 20/31
Wake of Inferno: 0/0
Death Sentry: 20/31
Blade Shield: 0/0

Claw Mastery: 1/10
Psychic Hammer: 1/10
Burst of Speed: 1/10
Weapon Block: 0/0
Cloak of Shadows: 1/10
Fade: 0/0
Shadow Warrior: 0/0
Mind Blast: 1/10
Venom: 0/0
Shadow Master: 0/0

Tiger Strike: 0/0
Dragon Talon: 0/0
Fists of Fire: 0/0
Dragon Claw: 0/0
Cobra Strike: 0/0
Claws of Thunder: 0/0
Dragon Tail: 0/0
Blades of Ice: 0/0
Dragon Flight: 0/0
Phoenix Strike: 0/0

Shimmering Large Charm of Frost
Large Charm
Required Level: 26
Fingerprint: 0x9a9cb3fb
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Adds 1 - 3 Cold Damage Over 1 Secs (25 Frames)
All Resistances +8

Shimmering Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 53
Fingerprint: 0x69d4c8c0
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+31 to Life
All Resistances +15

Garnet Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 29
Fingerprint: 0x4f21bf66
Item Level: 79
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Fire Resist +9%

Entrapping Grand Charm of Balance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xc7172ad4
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)
+12% Faster Hit Recovery

Entrapping Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x713d3250
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)

Azure Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0x4816dd1f
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Cold Resist +5%
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Shimmering Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 25
Fingerprint: 0x45a65d0d
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+13 to Life
All Resistances +3

Full Rejuvenation Potion
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenishes Mana 100%
Replenishes Health 100%

Ruby Grand Charm of Inertia
Grand Charm
Required Level: 22
Fingerprint: 0xea7c79d1
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+7% Faster Run/Walk
Fire Resist +27%

Amber Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x3a779cd7
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+18 to Life
Lightning Resist +10%

Garnet Small Charm
Small Charm
Required Level: 20
Fingerprint: 0xc65bb57a
Item Level: 46
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Fire Resist +8%

Russet Small Charm of Greed
Small Charm
Required Level: 15
Fingerprint: 0x54cefb83
Item Level: 26
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Fire Resist +7%
6% Extra Gold from Monsters

Harlequin Crest
Shako
Defense: 110
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Level: 62
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0x782376be
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
All Stats +2
+138 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+138 to Mana (Based on Character Level)
Damage Reduced by 10%
74% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Perfect Topaz

Perfect Topaz
Required Level: 18
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 1 - 40 Lightning Damage
Armor: 24% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: Lightning Resist +40%

Bitter Eye
Amulet
Required Level: 27
Fingerprint: 0xa11622c5
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Assassin Skill Levels
+9 to Dexterity
All Resistances +14
Poison Resist +7%
14% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Skullder's Ire
Russet Armor
Defense: 695
Durability: 90 of 90
Required Level: 42
Required Strength: 97
Fingerprint: 0xb04402a2
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+185% Enhanced Defense
Magic Damage Reduced by 10
115% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based on Character Level)
Repairs 1 Durability in 5 Seconds
+60 Maximum Durability

Dread Band
Ring
Required Level: 60
Fingerprint: 0xf4422bff
Item Level: 90
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+10% Faster Cast Rate
+40 to Life
+44 to Mana
Cold Resist +19%
Lightning Resist +22%
Damage Reduced by 2

War Traveler
Battle Boots
Defense: 127
Durability: 48 of 48
Required Level: 42
Required Strength: 95
Fingerprint: 0xae5bbe9f
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+25% Faster Run/Walk
Adds 15 - 25 Damage
+166% Enhanced Defense
+10 to Strength
+10 to Vitality
40% Slower Stamina Drain
Attacker Takes Damage of 8
43% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+30 Maximum Durability

Magefist
Light Gauntlets
Defense: 25
Durability: 17 of 18
Required Level: 23
Required Strength: 45
Fingerprint: 0x53160735
Item Level: 82
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Fire Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Adds 1 - 6 Fire Damage
+26% Enhanced Defense
+10 Defense
Regenerate Mana 25%

Shimmering Small Charm of Greed
Small Charm
Required Level: 25
Fingerprint: 0x6ba8f1bb
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
All Resistances +5
7% Extra Gold from Monsters

Viridian Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 29
Fingerprint: 0x445956b9
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Poison Resist +6%

Shimmering Large Charm of Dexterity
Large Charm
Required Level: 26
Fingerprint: 0xbd85324a
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Dexterity
All Resistances +8

Raven Frost
Ring
Required Level: 45
Fingerprint: 0xede1ae81
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+197 to Attack Rating
Adds 15 - 45 Cold Damage Over 4 Secs (100 Frames)
+20 to Dexterity
+40 to Mana
Cold Absorb 20%
Cannot Be Frozen

Storm Lock
Battle Belt
Defense: 48
Durability: 18 of 18
Required Level: 55
Required Strength: **
Fingerprint: 0x3b56dd56
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+24% Faster Hit Recovery
+27% Enhanced Defense
+19 to Strength
+36 to Life
Cold Resist +15%
Lightning Resist +16%
Required Level +5

Horadric Cube
Fingerprint: 0x165f4ac0
Item Level: 13
Version: Expansion 1.10+

Call to Arms
Superior Crystal Sword
AmnRalMalIstOhm
One Hand Damage: 17 - 53
Durability: 23 of 23
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 43
Fingerprint: 0x9a5a4066
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
254% Enhanced Damage
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
+6 to Battle Command
+1 to Battle Orders
+4 to Battle Cry
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Increase Maximum Durability 15%
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Amn Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Ohm Rune

Amn Rune
Required Level: 25
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Ral Rune
Required Level: 19
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
Armor: Fire Resist +30%
Shields: Fire Resist +35%

Mal Rune
Required Level: 49
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Prevent Monster Heal
Armor: Magic Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Magic Damage Reduced by 7

Ist Rune
Required Level: 51
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Ohm Rune
Required Level: 57
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Enhanced Maximum Damage
Armor: +5% to Maximum Cold Resist
Shields: +5% to Maximum Cold Resist

Sigon's Guard
Tower Shield
Defense: 22
Chance to Block: 44
Durability: 60 of 60
Required Level: 6
Required Strength: 75
Fingerprint: 0x7ffba990
Item Level: 82
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
20% Increased Chance of Blocking

Heart of the Oak
Knout
KoVexPulThul
One Hand Damage: 13 - 35
Durability: 30 of 30
Required Level: 55
Required Strength: 82
Required Dexterity: 73
Fingerprint: 0xb4154db2
Item Level: 83
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to All Skills
+40% Faster Cast Rate
+75% Damage to Demons
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
7% Mana stolen per hit
+10 to Dexterity
Replenish Life +20
Increase Maximum Mana 15%
All Resistances +30
Level 4 Oak Sage (25/25 Charges)
Level 14 Raven (60/60 Charges)
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ko Rune
Socketed: Vex Rune
Socketed: Pul Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune

Ko Rune
Required Level: 39
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +10 to Dexterity
Armor: +10 to Dexterity
Shields: +10 to Dexterity

Vex Rune
Required Level: 55
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Mana stolen per hit
Armor: +5% to Maximum Fire Resist
Shields: +5% to Maximum Fire Resist

Pul Rune
Required Level: 45
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +75% Damage to Demons
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons
Armor: +30% Enhanced Defense
Shields: +30% Enhanced Defense

Thul Rune
Required Level: 23
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
Armor: Cold Resist +30%
Shields: Cold Resist +35%

Spirit
Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 146
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 86 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0xe76c5272
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+32% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+100 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+7 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune

Tal Rune
Required Level: 17
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames)
Armor: Poison Resist +30%
Shields: Poison Resist +35%

Thul Rune
Required Level: 23
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
Armor: Cold Resist +30%
Shields: Cold Resist +35%

Ort Rune
Required Level: 21
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 1 - 50 Lightning Damage
Armor: Lightning Resist +30%
Shields: Lightning Resist +35%

Amn Rune
Required Level: 25
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Mercenary:

Name: Ahsab
Race: Desert Mercenary
Type: Def-Nightmare
Experience: 94460568
Level: 92
Dead?: false

Naked/Gear
Strength: 198/198
Dexterity: 160/160
HP: 2047/2222
Defense: 1501/3147
AR: 1994/1994

Fire: 201/161/101
Cold: 201/161/101
Lightning: 201/161/101
Poison: 201/161/101

Fortitude
Archon Plate
ElSolDolLo
Defense: 1521
Durability: 57 of 60
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 103
Fingerprint: 0x8d09d49d
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
20% Chance to cast level 15 Chilling Armor when struck
+25% Faster Cast Rate
300% Enhanced Damage
+200% Enhanced Defense
+15 Defense
+115 to Life (Based on Character Level)
Replenish Life +7
+5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
All Resistances +30
Damage Reduced by 7
12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
+1 to Light Radius
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: El Rune
Socketed: Sol Rune
Socketed: Dol Rune
Socketed: Lo Rune

El Rune
Required Level: 11
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +50 to Attack Rating
+1 to Light Radius
Armor: +15 Defense
+1 to Light Radius
Shields: +15 Defense
+1 to Light Radius

Sol Rune
Required Level: 27
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +9 to Minimum Damage
Armor: Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Damage Reduced by 7

Dol Rune
Required Level: 31
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Hit Causes Monster to Flee 25%
Armor: Replenish Life +7
Shields: Replenish Life +7

Lo Rune
Required Level: 59
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Deadly Strike
Armor: +5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
Shields: +5% to Maximum Lightning Resist

Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest
Death Mask
Defense: 125
Durability: 11 of 20
Required Level: 66
Required Strength: 55
Fingerprint: 0x15f41e15
Item Level: 57
Version: Expansion 1.10+
10% Mana stolen per hit
10% Life stolen per hit
+45 Defense
+60 to Life
+30 to Mana
All Resistances +15

Infinity
Thresher
BerMalBerIst
Two Hand Damage: 64 - 757
Durability: 33 of 33
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 142
Required Dexterity: 108
Fingerprint: 0xdae0dcd1
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
50% Chance to cast level 20 Chain Lightning when you Kill an Enemy
Level 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped
+35% Faster Run/Walk
259% Enhanced Damage
-52% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
40% Chance of Crushing Blow
Prevent Monster Heal
+46 to Vitality (Based on Character Level)
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level 21 Cyclone Armor (30/30 Charges)
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune

Ber Rune
Required Level: 63
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%

Mal Rune
Required Level: 49
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Prevent Monster Heal
Armor: Magic Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Magic Damage Reduced by 7

Ber Rune
Required Level: 63
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%

Ist Rune
Required Level: 51
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
975
648
93
Originally posted May 29, 2016

As for Mercy, I was able to play some Thursday evening and then some more this weekend. It was an Ohm-fest.

She returned to LK for another set of 250 runes. I got an Um early, but nothing else above Lum. I was starting to get bored, so I decided to do finish up the 100 and then some Baal runs. Rune 98 was an Ohm #3. Cool!

I then did Baal runs for a while. I rerolled maps for a bit in the middle and found a nice one with the door to WSK3 right around the corner from the WP and then a short corridor to the throne room (and it would be ~2 teleports if/when I got Enigma). At somewhere between 1/5 and 1/4 XP gain to level 95, I had nothing much to show and was starting to slow down.

So I checked LK, and that map had two fire pits near the WP. The LK runs had been really safe (unlike multiple deaths in my first patch of LK runs), so I wasn’t worried about potential loss of XP and decided to switch back.

My goal was to finish the 250 rune set and then go back to WSK for a bit. Within 5 runes, Ohm #4 from a corpse. Rune #123 was Ohm #5. Vex #2 showed up about an hour later. And then rune #228 was a Ber. Mercy also picked up a plain Fungal, Trainers of Sustenance and Druid Elemental with + Strength from this batch of LK runs.

With the assist of a Sur and a Jah from the Pits and a Lo from Countess, it took 1103 runes found from LK for Mercy to get Heart of the Oak, CtA and Enigma, plus Infinity and Fortitude for the Merc. And she has 3 Ohms stashed for possible rerolls on the CtA. :cool:

It will be back to WSK and Baal, although Mercy may test out Chaos Sanctuary for a change of pace. She definitely could use a few upgrades -- Arachnid’s Mesh, at least one +skill ring, and a better amulet. And another Spirit shield for CtA switch would be good – she’s still using Sigon’s because she has found only one 4os Monarch and 5 sockets recipes have failed. :rolleyes:

Name: Mercy
Class: Assassin
Experience: 2340670350
Level: 94

Naked/Gear
Strength: 151/255
Dexterity: 97/130
Vitality: 292/326
Energy: 25/27
HP: 1112/1430
Mana: 164/512
Stamina: 551/551
Defense: 24/1444
AR: 100000449/100000863

Fire: 180/140/80
Cold: 160/120/60
Lightning: 186/146/86
Poison: 166/126/66

MF: 247 Block: 28
GF: 54
FR/W: 70
FHR: 101
IAS: 20
FCR: 82

Fire Blast: 20/33
Shock Web: 20/33
Blade Sentinel: 0/0
Charged Bolt Sentry: 20/33
Wake of Fire: 0/0
Blade Fury: 0/0
Lightning Sentry: 20/33
Wake of Inferno: 0/0
Death Sentry: 20/33
Blade Shield: 0/0

Claw Mastery: 1/10
Psychic Hammer: 1/10
Burst of Speed: 1/10
Weapon Block: 0/0
Cloak of Shadows: 1/10
Fade: 0/0
Shadow Warrior: 0/0
Mind Blast: 1/10
Venom: 0/0
Shadow Master: 0/0

Tiger Strike: 0/0
Dragon Talon: 0/0
Fists of Fire: 0/0
Dragon Claw: 0/0
Cobra Strike: 0/0
Claws of Thunder: 0/0
Dragon Tail: 0/0
Blades of Ice: 0/0
Dragon Flight: 0/0
Phoenix Strike: 0/0

Mercy's Harlequin Crest
Shako
Defense: 110
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Level: 62
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0x782376be
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
All Stats +2
+141 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+141 to Mana (Based on Character Level)
Damage Reduced by 10%
74% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Perfect Topaz

Perfect Topaz
Required Level: 18
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 1 - 40 Lightning Damage
Armor: 24% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: Lightning Resist +40%

Raven Frost
Ring
Required Level: 45
Fingerprint: 0xede1ae81
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+197 to Attack Rating
Adds 15 - 45 Cold Damage Over 4 Secs (100 Frames)
+20 to Dexterity
+40 to Mana
Cold Absorb 20%
Cannot Be Frozen

Bone Gyre
Ring
Required Level: 60
Fingerprint: 0x238be46b
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+10% Faster Cast Rate
+34 to Attack Rating
+3 to Strength
+38 to Life
+56 to Mana
Fire Resist +27%

Storm Lock
Battle Belt
Defense: 48
Durability: 18 of 18
Required Level: 55
Required Strength: **
Fingerprint: 0x3b56dd56
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+24% Faster Hit Recovery
+27% Enhanced Defense
+19 to Strength
+36 to Life
Cold Resist +15%
Lightning Resist +16%
Required Level +5

Horadric Cube
Fingerprint: 0x165f4ac0
Item Level: 13
Version: Expansion 1.10+

Grim Hold
Sharkskin Gloves
Defense: 76
Durability: 13 of 14
Required Level: 35
Required Strength: 20
Fingerprint: 0x8a058090
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20% Increased Attack Speed
+92% Enhanced Defense
Lightning Resist +15%
Fire Resist +13%
15% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Heart of the Oak
Knout
KoVexPulThul
One Hand Damage: 13 - 35
Durability: 30 of 30
Required Level: 55
Required Strength: 82
Required Dexterity: 73
Fingerprint: 0xb4154db2
Item Level: 83
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to All Skills
+40% Faster Cast Rate
+75% Damage to Demons
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
7% Mana stolen per hit
+10 to Dexterity
Replenish Life +20
Increase Maximum Mana 15%
All Resistances +30
Level 4 Oak Sage (25/25 Charges)
Level 14 Raven (60/60 Charges)
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ko Rune
Socketed: Vex Rune
Socketed: Pul Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune

Ko Rune
Required Level: 39
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +10 to Dexterity
Armor: +10 to Dexterity
Shields: +10 to Dexterity

Vex Rune
Required Level: 55
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Mana stolen per hit
Armor: +5% to Maximum Fire Resist
Shields: +5% to Maximum Fire Resist

Pul Rune
Required Level: 45
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +75% Damage to Demons
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons
Armor: +30% Enhanced Defense
Shields: +30% Enhanced Defense

Thul Rune
Required Level: 23
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
Armor: Cold Resist +30%
Shields: Cold Resist +35%

Spirit
Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 146
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 86 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0xe76c5272
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+32% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+100 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+7 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune

Tal Rune
Required Level: 17
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames)
Armor: Poison Resist +30%
Shields: Poison Resist +35%

Thul Rune
Required Level: 23
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
Armor: Cold Resist +30%
Shields: Cold Resist +35%

Ort Rune
Required Level: 21
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 1 - 50 Lightning Damage
Armor: Lightning Resist +30%
Shields: Lightning Resist +35%

Amn Rune
Required Level: 25
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Enigma
Superior Light Plate
JahIthBer
Defense: 883
Durability: 66 of 66
Required Level: 65
Required Strength: 41
Fingerprint: 0x49c67301
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+45% Faster Run/Walk
+1 to Teleport
+14% Enhanced Defense
+760 Defense
+70 to Strength (Based on Character Level)
Increase Maximum Life 5%
Damage Reduced by 8%
+14 Life after each Kill
15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
94% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based on Character Level)
Increase Maximum Durability 11%
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Jah Rune
Socketed: Ith Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune

Jah Rune
Required Level: 65
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Ignore Target's Defense
Armor: Increase Maximum Life 5%
Shields: +50 to Life

Ith Rune
Required Level: 15
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +9 to Maximum Damage
Armor: 15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
Shields: 15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana

Ber Rune
Required Level: 63
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%

Call to Arms
Superior Crystal Sword
AmnRalMalIstOhm
One Hand Damage: 17 - 53
Durability: 23 of 23
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 43
Fingerprint: 0x9a5a4066
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
254% Enhanced Damage
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
+6 to Battle Command
+1 to Battle Orders
+4 to Battle Cry
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Increase Maximum Durability 15%
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Amn Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Ohm Rune

Amn Rune
Required Level: 25
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Ral Rune
Required Level: 19
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
Armor: Fire Resist +30%
Shields: Fire Resist +35%

Mal Rune
Required Level: 49
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Prevent Monster Heal
Armor: Magic Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Magic Damage Reduced by 7

Ist Rune
Required Level: 51
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Ohm Rune
Required Level: 57
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Enhanced Maximum Damage
Armor: +5% to Maximum Cold Resist
Shields: +5% to Maximum Cold Resist

Sigon's Guard
Tower Shield
Defense: 22
Chance to Block: 44
Durability: 60 of 60
Required Level: 6
Required Strength: 75
Fingerprint: 0x7ffba990
Item Level: 82
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
20% Increased Chance of Blocking

War Traveler
Battle Boots
Defense: 127
Durability: 47 of 48
Required Level: 42
Required Strength: 95
Fingerprint: 0xae5bbe9f
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+25% Faster Run/Walk
Adds 15 - 25 Damage
+166% Enhanced Defense
+10 to Strength
+10 to Vitality
40% Slower Stamina Drain
Attacker Takes Damage of 8
43% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+30 Maximum Durability

Shimmering Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 25
Fingerprint: 0x45a65d0d
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+13 to Life
All Resistances +3

Shimmering Small Charm
Small Charm
Required Level: 25
Fingerprint: 0xe54707b9
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
All Resistances +5

Shimmering Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 53
Fingerprint: 0x69d4c8c0
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+31 to Life
All Resistances +15

Shimmering Grand Charm of Life
Grand Charm
Required Level: 27
Fingerprint: 0xaf4e4cce
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+7 to Life
All Resistances +13

Entrapping Grand Charm of Balance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xc7172ad4
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)
+12% Faster Hit Recovery

Entrapping Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x713d3250
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)

Viridian Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 29
Fingerprint: 0x445956b9
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Poison Resist +6%

Viridian Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 17
Fingerprint: 0xce430864
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+13 to Life
Poison Resist +7%

Snake's Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 24
Fingerprint: 0x84899fdb
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+12 to Life
+11 to Mana

Jade Small Charm of Life
Small Charm
Required Level: 20
Fingerprint: 0x6685623b
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+9 to Life
Poison Resist +8%

Amber Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x3a779cd7
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+18 to Life
Lightning Resist +10%

Ruby Small Charm of Dexterity
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0xa30efc6a
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Dexterity
Fire Resist +11%

Ruby Small Charm
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0x6dec1239
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Fire Resist +10%

Garnet Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 29
Fingerprint: 0x4f21bf66
Item Level: 79
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Fire Resist +9%

Stone Mark
Amulet
Required Level: 30
Fingerprint: 0xd3728eff
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Trap Skills (Assassin Only)
+18 to Attack Rating
All Resistances +15
Magic Damage Reduced by 3
54% Extra Gold from Monsters
21% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Mercenary:

Name: Ahsab
Race: Desert Mercenary
Type: Def-Nightmare
Experience: 100734036
Level: 94
Dead?: false

Naked/Gear
Strength: 202/202
Dexterity: 163/163
HP: 2127/2304
Defense: 1557/3203
AR: 2018/2018

Fire: 203/163/103
Cold: 203/163/103
Lightning: 203/163/103
Poison: 203/163/103

Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest
Death Mask
Defense: 125
Durability: 11 of 20
Required Level: 66
Required Strength: 55
Fingerprint: 0x15f41e15
Item Level: 57
Version: Expansion 1.10+
10% Mana stolen per hit
10% Life stolen per hit
+45 Defense
+60 to Life
+30 to Mana
All Resistances +15

Fortitude
Archon Plate
ElSolDolLo
Defense: 1521
Durability: 57 of 60
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 103
Fingerprint: 0x8d09d49d
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
20% Chance to cast level 15 Chilling Armor when struck
+25% Faster Cast Rate
300% Enhanced Damage
+200% Enhanced Defense
+15 Defense
+117 to Life (Based on Character Level)
Replenish Life +7
+5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
All Resistances +30
Damage Reduced by 7
12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
+1 to Light Radius
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: El Rune
Socketed: Sol Rune
Socketed: Dol Rune
Socketed: Lo Rune

El Rune
Required Level: 11
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +50 to Attack Rating
+1 to Light Radius
Armor: +15 Defense
+1 to Light Radius
Shields: +15 Defense
+1 to Light Radius

Sol Rune
Required Level: 27
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: +9 to Minimum Damage
Armor: Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Damage Reduced by 7

Dol Rune
Required Level: 31
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Hit Causes Monster to Flee 25%
Armor: Replenish Life +7
Shields: Replenish Life +7

Lo Rune
Required Level: 59
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Deadly Strike
Armor: +5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
Shields: +5% to Maximum Lightning Resist

Infinity
Thresher
BerMalBerIst
Two Hand Damage: 64 - 757
Durability: 33 of 33
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 142
Required Dexterity: 108
Fingerprint: 0xdae0dcd1
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
50% Chance to cast level 20 Chain Lightning when you Kill an Enemy
Level 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped
+35% Faster Run/Walk
259% Enhanced Damage
-52% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
40% Chance of Crushing Blow
Prevent Monster Heal
+47 to Vitality (Based on Character Level)
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level 21 Cyclone Armor (30/30 Charges)
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune

Ber Rune
Required Level: 63
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%

Mal Rune
Required Level: 49
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: Prevent Monster Heal
Armor: Magic Damage Reduced by 7
Shields: Magic Damage Reduced by 7

Ber Rune
Required Level: 63
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%

Ist Rune
Required Level: 51
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
975
648
93
Originally posted August 16, 2016

Mercy hit lvl 96. She mostly ran Baal, but mixed in some CS and a handful of Pits and Pindle for a change up.

There were some pretty good finds from last weekend and today's running: a Fleshripper (exactly middle of the road damage roll); Headhunter's; a ruby SC of vita, which is always welcome with the Spirit shield; a Mal and a Pul; a unique Scourge (sadly it was a Horizon's, otherwise Mercy could have switched to a kick/trap for lvl 98); and a Griffon's Eye.

Not perfect, but good -ELR:

Code:
Griffon's Eye
Diadem
Defense: 158
Durability: 17 of 20
Required Level: 76
Fingerprint: 0x983d4219
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Unidentified
+1 to All Skills
+25% Faster Cast Rate
-18% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+11% to Lightning Skill Damage
+103 Defense

I think I'm going to switch over to Hiatus for a bit, probably focusing on AT runs or LK.

EDIT:

Hiatus picked up a level and is now lvl 92. She ran mostly running AT at p5, but with some Pindle and Meph mixed in (given nearly perfect map for Meph with only 1 teleport from WP to stairs).

No game changing finds, but she finally found an Eth 4os Elite polearm, which made a difference with a new Insight. She also rolled a +2 sorc caster ammy, which isn't great on other mods but made a difference. With the amulet and few other upgrades, she was slowly able to increase her MF without losing skills or resists. Finds that merited screenshots were a Lightning skiller in AT, the Griswold set shield, Tal's plate from Pindle, and a 49% War Traveler from Meph.

Still no cold skillers or a 4os Monarch (kind of frustrating actually), so I think she will switch up gear for LK runs in hopes of upgrading the charms and maybe finding a Vex for Heart of the Oak or the makings for CtA.
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
975
648
93
Originally posted December 17, 2016

Matriarch Mercy and Azrael the HF Desert Merc, Lvl 97 (pic)

Mercy’s last real update was about 3/7 of the way to 97. The 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there so far this month, plus two two-hour sessions the last two days, finally pushed her through.

The approach to running continued to evolve, as well as continuing to mix things up a bit in terms of targets. She still isn’t quite powerful enough to plow through waves 4 and 5 without repositioning and recasting traps several times, and Baal generally takes three rounds of traps. So I’ve changed up targets for a brief break when I start slowing down or getting annoyed (and it ended up being pretty lucrative with lucky drops while messing around).

Early on during her Baal runs, she got another Pul, another shimmering GC that she ended up using when she switched up gear to hit the 102 FCR breakpoint, Messerschmidt’s (her second), the set Corona (her first), and a 5/5 fire facet. About 3/4 of the way to 97, she found a Lion Branded skiller with gold find, which my hammerdin will appreciate.

At this point, she took a little break in CS, netting a Mal. Back to Baal, and she was again disappointed at the RNG for not making the other one a Unique. Gheed’s was lower than then-current 26% MF, and still no Arachnid’s. :( Hotspur dropped, bringing her to Grail -100, which seemed fitting. Another 3os Tomb Reaver (non-eth) plus a passive skills Zon skiller dropped.

Then she got the highlight of this level to match the low roll Eth one found earlier:
Nightwings.jpg
Highest roll for +cold damage and absorb, high roll on Dext. Only the +defense was low-end. Nice! :) Shortly after that, I was burning out on Baal runs, and started messing around with p8 Act boss running (A1-A3) and some more CS runs at p1 for seals and p7 for Diablo. In part, I was hoping Archnid’s might drop from Meph (this was right after @Neksja had found one), but also because I was curious how powerful would be on p8 on Andy, Duriel and Meph. So I decided to 25 runs for kicks. It paid off with a Ber from Duriel, a Mal from Durance and a Vex in CS.

The Mal made it possible to cube an Ist for Delirium, which the Merc got to accompany his CoH, returning to Baal runs. Not a fan for Baal runs – the runs are slow enough and his defense low enough that he turned into a doll almost every run. Maybe it’s my imagination, but he seems less durable and to do less damage when transformed. So we tried more gear combos. Vamp Gaze would be good, but she still hasn’t found one. Interestingly, Blackhorn’s was safer than every other option I tried, I guess because of the slow. But I settled on Guillame’s because the FHR and extra crushing blow sped up Baal slightly and was safe enough.

The final stretch saw a Unique Berserker Axe (first for Mercy) and a nice pair of tri-resist boots that may get some use if she makes it to lvl98. The second best drop of this level fell near the end: the unique chicken head. Low -fire resist roll, but highest for resist all. That brought my overall grail to -9, so I was happy.

* * *

A couple thoughts on her evolution through this level. Curious on the perspective of others who have done theorycrafting and know the game mechanics better than me.

First, I think Ventar only runs would have been more efficient, given my run times and occasional difficulty with Lister and Baal. I did that for a little while around the half way point, but the drops were so minimal that I realized I would lose motivation. Baal ended up having some nice drops that kept me motivated, so even if it was less efficient, it was net worth-it.

Second, around the 3/4 mark, I decided to immediately bail if Lister was lightning immune. I found it frustrating to park him, and he often tore through my merc when spawning lightning immune in a way he didn’t otherwise, leading to more time for merc resurrections. I wasn’t counting runs or times, but it definitely felt like that made a pretty significant difference in efficiency.

Third, around the same time, Mercy kept an antidote potion handy for each run, quickly hitting Malah at the start of a run if necessary. With Baal’s mana drain (needing a row of mana potions in the belt), wanting TP scrolls in the belt, and not wanting to risk only one row of big purples in the belt, the poison from wave two was annoying and often put Azrael at risk from hydras or Ventar’s mob. Again, for me, it made the runs more efficient and less annoying. But I’m curious to hear if there are better solutions that I’m missing. @NanoMist – if you have any pointers from your 94-98 journey (or maybe a video to show your approach), I’d appreciate it.

Finally, I agree wholeheartedly with a point @T72on1 made in the Quest for level 99 thread:
Which brings us to another point: fun !!! Everyone will be very motivated when they start this journey. But when the real grind kicks in, you have to stay motivated as well. After all it's still a game, and one you play to have fun. It would be a shame if someone burns out on D2 on the whole because the grind drives him or her insane. So despite the fact that we all have been talking about and giving tips about efficiency here, don't neglect the fact that you should still be having fun. It's not as refreshing as starting a new character, it's not as exciting as participating in that MFO or RFO and get awesome drops quite often, it's not as cool as trying out that new runeword on a concept character ... it will always be a grind up to a certain degree. But try to find things that keep it fun for you. Alternate targets for a while if you feel like it. Switch CS with Baal if that's what keeps you going. Get back to AT for a while. Hit Travincal in search for runes, jewelry and gold like I did, even if your 99er runner doesn't need it, because you never know what you get (a Cham in my case) and the drops might allow you to start brainstorming on other D2 projects or characters.

If I’d focused only on Baal runs, which is probably most efficient, I’m not sure I would have pushed through. For me, at least, drops still matter for motivation, so slightly less efficient options that have better drops may be better over the long term.

Next steps: I am going to look for a map that has a good CS and WSK set up and do some testing with different player settings and also give Nihl a shot before picking up XP, just to get a feel for it.
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
975
648
93
Originally posted February 17, 2017

Matriarch Mercy and Pratham the Might Desert Merc, Lvl 98 (pic)
Part way through her 57th Baal run of the week, she pinged 98. To commemorate the occasion, how about a short retrospective on level 97? Sure!

Mercy hit 97 on 12/17/2016. With an assist from @Nano, she improved her Baal times due to better technique. She mixed in Pits a bit, but mostly ran Baal through 1/14/2017, when she found a BWKB. This was her first +skill ring and a major upgrade that allowed some gear shuffling. It also led to a new goal.

Mercy was at 3.035B XP at this point, and she exceeded the goal by a good bit all but one of the weeks since (with a big assist from RFL the last two weeks). Summary of progress (there were some Pits runs mixed in here and there):
Code:
Week 1: 120 runs (30.44M)
Week 2: 140 runs (35.66M)
Week 3: 81 runs (20.56M)
Week 4: 180 runs (~47.80M)
Week 5: 180 runs (~46.50M)
Week 6: 57 (hitting 98)
A quick overview of finds for this level, beginning with runes:
Code:
Jah x2
Sur
Lo x2
Ist
Mal
Um
Notable items, in addition to the BKWB mentioned above, were an awesome +45 life skiller reroll from Baal GC :rolleyes:, upgrading her HoTo ([email protected] to [email protected]), finally a Vamp Gaze (which of course meant that 4 more fell in short order), and Andy’s. There were plenty of others, and she is now 446/504 items found compared to 408/504 at start of 97. Still not Arachnid's though :(

The highlights were two additional skillers that made a big difference, a Mara’s, a 2-off-perfect -EPR DWeb, and Stormlash. As noted after finding the Stormlash, she is going to try out Nihlathak as trapper and respec to kicker to compare the two before settling into the push for 99.

* * *

Mercy sacrificed some XP in the name of science (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself). :rolleyes:

I found a nice enough map (option 3) with one shrine right by the stairs and was trying out some gear combos and techniques for attacking Nihl’s platform as a trapper. But I had planned on testing out kicker/dancer with the Stormlash and realized I was getting some pixels on the XP bar, so . . .

Code:
Hypothesis: 98 levels with one style
            and then switching up in a very dangerous place
            wasn’t going to work out well.

Prediction: Mercy will teleport into Nihl’s mob
            to DT away with poison clouds around, get amped,
            hit something other than Nihl (which he will corpse explode),
            and promptly die.

Outcome:    Correct.

I kind of knew, based on the testing as trapper, that it would not end well. Mercy already had one close call as trapper with Vipers and corpse explosion with might and cursed, which led to different teleport technique and location to drop traps (and more willingness to S&E if things looked nasty). And Mercy had trouble targeting Nihl in the midst of the ice boars with fire blast, so I wasn’t sure how tele-ing in with DT would work, especially if there were vipers around.

But I felt obligated to at least give it a good-faith effort based on the Stormlash drop. I compounded the error by not starting with maximum % damage reduction and integer damage reduction and then working back to balance out kill speed after demonstrating safety. And not spending enough time thinking through all gear before proceeding. And moving to p8 too fast before getting down hotkey order. And . . .

But her last death was level 93 when rolling Baal maps, so it was still a bit of a surprise to see the red letters on the screen.

Anyhow, assassins are pretty safe for corpse recovery and it’s not like she could have lost any more XP with further deaths. :) And thankfully she was nowhere near enough XP to suffer the full 10% penalty. So, seven minutes later, she had picked her body back up and was at 3.236B. I hadn’t actually checked XP because pixels were so low, but I think based on the XP formula that meant she had been ~3.238B.

So only a little less than an hour lost. But she immediately respeced back to trapper, and in the process added some points to BoS to max attack speed without any IAS, which allowed her to add Verdungo’s instead of Goldwrap and keeping 105 FCR (still no Arachnid’s:(). Extra vita and % DR seem well worth it for a slight drop in fire blast damage by dropping 2 points from WoF synergy.

In all, I still think a dancer could be powerful Nihl runner. But Mercy has been a trapper so long she was a bit slow picking up a new play style (nothing to do with her operator! :oops:). Once she hits 99, I think I will respec again and give it some proper testing for comparison.

Nihl rewarded Mercy’s persistence, with Mal and Sur plus an Eth Lacerator. :cool: I created a new stash just for level 98 and plan to pick up every Elite Set or Unique and rune above Hel as a sort of trophy.

And she gained back the lost XP plus some extra. We will take a break for a few days before settling on a new weekly goal for the journey through the last level.
 
Last edited:

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
975
648
93
Originally posted May 21, 2017

Mercy made it to 99.
99.jpg
Seeing Fordyl hit 99 inspired Mercy to plug away and finish up this weekend. For the last quarter of the level, Mercy was averaging 2.65M/hour, with several stretches toward the end at >2.7M/hour. This helped move things along faster, needing only ~11 hours each for 98.8-.9 and the final tenth.

The big difference was leaving flawless Amethysts, limiting the bases checked to grey superior elite polearms (for ethereal) and grey superior elite Amazon bows, and getting out of a bad habit I’d picked up of grabbing gold piles. She still picked up every Hel+ rune and every Elite Unique/Set, plus all unique jewelry, and all jewels and SC/GC.

Finds were solid on the last stretch, with Eschuta’s #3, Lo #2 and Ist #5 within the first 3M XP. Um #6 dropped right before hitting 98.95, then another Dragonscale, Pul #4, Um #4, and Nightwing’s #4 (perfect +cold damage and +20 dext on the roll). The last 5M saw three Ormus (meteor, telekenesis, and ice blast) and the final meaningful drop of the journey was Sur #5.

Complaining about the lack of skillers also helped, as she found an Offensive Pally skiller with +poison damage, a Cold skiller with +24 life, a plain Druid Summoner, a plain Harpoonists, and a +22 life Elemental skiller.

I’ll do a more complete rundown of finds from level 98 in Mercy’s 99er write up, but for now, here are the runes found from Nihl:
Code:
58  Hel Rune
37  Io Rune
33  Lum Rune
16  Ko Rune
15  Fal Rune
13  Lem Rune
4   Pul Rune
7   Um Rune
7   Mal Rune
5   Ist Rune
3   Gul Rune
5   Vex Rune
1   Ohm Rune
2   Lo Rune
5   Sur Rune
0   Ber Rune
0   Jah Rune
1   Cham Rune
0   Zod Rune
That nets to 4 additional Vex runes, with cubing. I guess I don’t regret picking up the lower runes. :)

I hope to post full write up within the next couple days. I have to figure out how to upload videos and such, plus organize my thoughts to make it worth reading!