An Explosive Conclusion: Untwinked Necromancer Hits 99

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
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Originally posted July 30, 2019

Pestilence was my fourth entrant in the relaunch of the untwinked 99er challenge hosted by @Kitteh. He now joins the Table of Heroes, along with Mercy (trapper assassin), Hiatus (Blizz sorc 1-98 and lightning sorc 98-99), and Phaedrus (Hammerdin).

I started Pestilence in late November 2017, while Hiatus was making her final push at Nihl, as a planned untwinked entry and he moved through Act 1 over Thanksgiving weekend. He had progressed to A2 Palace by New Year’s, and after Hiatus pinged 99 and Phaedrus had started moving again and reached lvl 95, his untwinked 99er journey started in earnest.

This guy had truly ridiculous luck for an untwinked playthrough, with multiple rare items perfect for a Novamancer dropping just for him. So he was a blast, especially in the gearing stage, with several stare-at-the-screen-in-disbelief moments. His drops were quite poor for the last level at Nihl (but still decent due to sheer number of runs), but his progress was smooth and fast. In all, I’m quite proud of this guy.

We’ll open with a vid of the last few Nihl runs, followed by summary of his progress, run down of key finds, final stats and gear, and then some concluding thoughts and thanks.

Progress
Pestilence’s career had four distinct phases, with the least amount of target switching for any of my 99ers so far.

Playthrough to Hell Anya Quest
As summarized in this post and this post, Pestilence started as a Fishymancer and quested through the Hell Anya quest and lvl 81 by the end of January. He played direct through Normal at mostly p7 and p5, and then p1 through Nightmare. He was nearly maxed on resists for Hell with basics from a brief stop at NM Meph and leveling at Pindle, making for a smooth transition. The next stretch was uneventful, with minimal drops through Anya.

Lower Kurast
Pestlience then transitioned to LK in search of runes. It also delivered some nice charms along the way, beginning with his first PnB skiller of Vita and Sur #1 in quick succession. He then had another solid stretch, finally picking up the third Lum to allow Harmony :rolleyes: and a Vex for HotO, followed by Sur #2 and his second PnB skiller of Vita.

Around this time, I entered Quinta in the S/U Worshipper tourney, so I generally was splitting time among her, Phaedrus, and Pestilence through the end of the year. But Pestilence continued in LK, with Sur #3, Lo, and some nice charms summarized here, Sur #4 here, and Sur #5 here, allowing him to make Enigma before the end of March 2018.

The Pit
That game-changing runeword allowed him to respec to Novamancer and transition to the Pit, where he stayed pretty much all the way to 98, with two brief stints back at LK, a lucrative sidetrack to Council, and some dabbling at Nihl to find GCs to reroll.

Progress from lvl 82 to 89 is summarized here, with a nice 4os eth Giant Thresher becoming an Insight upgrade (and eventually Infinity) and Shako. Then he his ridiculous luck continued in quick succession, prompting some speculation from others that I’d used up all the SPF luck for a while ;)

It began with Dweb, with a nice roll to boot, on his way to lvl 93, as summarized here. That stretch also included Arachnid’s and Andy’s, which were two end-game pieces of gear, so quite nice. Having reached lvl 93, he planned to burn through his pAmethysts, but didn’t have to go further than the 11th craft before hitting gold with a 2/20 necro amulet, along with gambling a 1/20 coronet that allowed 125 FCR set up with Dweb.

I was hooked on this guy at this point, and he continued moving to lvl 93.5, picking up a fourth PnB skiller and Darkforce, which was an overall grailer for me at that point. He had cube socketed a 4os eth Dusk Shroud, and a Lo dropped on the way to lvl 94, allowing a major merc upgrade in Fortitude. He then detoured for 1000 LK runs with enough to cube to a Sur.

Pestilence then returned to the Pit and progressed to lvl 94.5, with noteworthy drops a 5/5 poison facet prompting him to reroll his Pit map to grab Normal socket quest for DWeb, and with a Templar’s. On the way to Lvl 95, he rolled a +6 BO CtA to replace his original +1 BO roll. He then netted his last major gear upgrade in Infinity, with a Sur dropping while messing around at Council prompting him to focus on LK again, and a few hours later he had two more Surs to cube up.

He pushed to lvl 95.5 in advance of the MFO Warmup tourney hosted by @ffs in July, and made it to lvl 96.5 over those 20 hours plus a little extra. As noted in that update, he netted a Griffon’s during this stretch, which bested the 1/20 coronet for a 125 FCR setup. Pestilence was then parked, as I focused on Quinta as my MFO entry and Phaedrus made his push to 99. When Phaedrus dinged the last level in November, Pestilence pushed to lvl 97 with quite some nice drops for that half level.

I’d decided to stay in the Pit in advance of the MFO Warmup tourney, and then at least to finish the level there, but was hoping I could make another option would work for faster XP from 97-98. I wasn’t able to find a better option, so he remained in the Pit despite netting only a little more than 3M XP/hr, by far the slowest of my characters for this stretch.

Although somewhat slow, progress was smooth and the drops were plenty throughout the level, with updates at lvl 97.25, lvl 97.5, lvl 97.75, lvl 97.9 and lvl 98. Highlights for the level were a Jah, not one but two Unique Sacred Armors (both Templar’s), two unique Caducei, and Earthshifter x2, which was an overall grailer and brought me to grail -2.

Nihlathak
We then transitioned to our pasty friend in the Halls, and went toe-to-toe in a CE battle. Except for an early death when testing things out (about 4M in), Pestilence came out on top every time :) The drops were really poor, with only 5 Vex+ runes (and the two highest a Lo and a Sur), and a high roll Griffon’s. But after his luck leading up to this level, no complaints at all.

The other nice part was he had the fastest XP/hr so far for my characters on Nihl, consistently getting 3M. I managed to shorten the S&E lag from 6-7s average to closer to 4s, which helped a lot. But he also could manage almost every roll, so there were few aborted runs. I think the limited drops actually helped the XP/hr a bit also.

The other thing about the necro was how important the map roll was, particularly how often mobs spawned around Nihl’s platform. With the IG and merc charging blindly ahead, Viper clouds weren’t a danger to Pestilence, but the merc dropped frequently until I rolled a nice map.

His progress is summarized in the following posts: testing up to lvl 98.05, as my entry to RFL Round 3 up to lvl 98.33, lvl 98.5, lvl 98.75, and lvl 99.

A vid that I made on his final map is below to show a representative sample of how things went, including FI Stone Skin rolls! Below that is the vid of Ancients, which I chickened out and took at p1, because I thought it could be interesting with only amp and pNova, but was mostly just funny because of how OP merc and IG were. Amp roll wasn't even a concern!
(I generally have a fairly mellow Pandora stream going when running, so sorry if the background music isn't to your taste :p)

Finds
Although slow for XP, focusing on the Pit led to some solid S/U drops, including lots of Unique TC87s, and also some decent progress on my ethereal grail once I remembered to start checking drops for eth status. I’m pretty sure his stashed charms and rares are solid, so I look forward to sorting through those.

He also had good rune luck up to lvl 98, allowing him to build a body recovery kit Enigma for Nihl (which was thankfully not needed). The key runewords he made are below:
Code:
Enigma x2
CtA x2
HoTo x2
eth Fortitude
Infinity
Exile (for rune word grail)
The high runes still in the stash are Mal x5, Ist x3, Gul x4, Ohm x5, Lo x4, Sur x1, and Ber x1. As with the other three 99ers, there are too many nice items to summarize, so I will just list a couple favorites:
Code:
PnB Skiller of Vita x2
6 more PnB skillers, for a full backpack if desired!
DWeb
Earthshifter x2 (overall grailer)
Darkforce Spawn x3 (overall grailer)
Stats, Gear, and Merc
I removed readouts of the runes included in runewords to shorten things.
Code:
 Name:       Pestilence
Class:      Necromancer
Experience: 3520485254
Level:      99

Naked/Gear
Strength:   83/164
Dexterity:  31/40
Vitality:   441/470
Energy:     25/32
HP:         1104/1854
Mana:       221/508
Stamina:    603/831
Defense:    7/1491
AR:         110/200

Fire:       149/109/49
Cold:       133/93/33
Lightning:  103/63/3
Poison:     127/87/27

MF:         219       Block:      5
GF:         217
FR/W:       85
FHR:        60
IAS:        40
FCR:        85

Amplify Damage: 1/13
Dim Vision: 1/13
Weaken: 0/0
Iron Maiden: 0/0
Terror: 0/0
Confuse: 1/13
Life Tap: 0/0
Attract: 1/13
Decrepify: 0/0
Lower Resist: 0/0

Teeth: 1/14
Bone Armor: 0/0
Poison Dagger: 20/33
Corpse Explosion: 20/33
Bone Wall: 0/0
Poison Explosion: 20/33
Bone Spear: 0/0
Bone Prison: 0/0
Poison Nova: 20/33
Bone Spirit: 0/0

Skeleton Mastery: 0/0
Raise Skeleton: 0/0
Clay Golem: 1/11
Golem Mastery: 20/30
Raise Skeletal Mage: 0/0
Blood Golem: 1/11
Summon Resist: 1/11
Iron Golem: 1/11
Fire Golem: 0/0
Revive: 0/0
Code:
Trang-Oul's Claws
Heavy Bracers
Defense: 69
Durability: 14 of 16
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 58
Fingerprint: 0x965b98e3
Item Level: 59
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Curses (Necromancer only)
+20% Faster Cast Rate
+25% to Poison Skill Damage
+30 Defense
Cold Resist +30%

Aldur's Advance
Battle Boots
Defense: 47
Durability: 16 of 18
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 95
Fingerprint: 0xb359ea83
Item Level: **
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
Set (2 items): +15 to Dexterity
Set (3 items): +15 to Dexterity
Set (4 items): +15 to Dexterity

Pestilence's Enigma
Breast Plate
JahIthBer
Defense: 828
Durability: 45 of 50
Required Level: 65
Required Strength: 30
Fingerprint: 0x179c5fd8
Item Level: 50
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+45% Faster Run/Walk
+1 to Teleport
+762 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)
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Jah Rune
Socketed: Ith Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune

Doom Spiral
Ring
Required Level: 74
Fingerprint: 0x3561afe
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+10% Faster Cast Rate
+2 to Minimum Damage
+45 to Attack Rating
6% Mana stolen per hit
All Resistances +11
Poison Resist +24%

Dwarf Star
Ring
Required Level: 45
Fingerprint: 0x74b31fc7
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+40 to Life
+40 Maximum Stamina
Heal Stamina Plus 15%
Fire Absorb 15%
Magic Damage Reduced by 14
100% Extra Gold from Monsters

Mara's Kaleidoscope
Amulet
Required Level: 67
Fingerprint: 0x27a8f6c8
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
All Stats +5
All Resistances +27

Arachnid Mesh
Spiderweb Sash
Defense: 132
Durability: 8 of 12
Required Level: 80
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0x39d48942
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Slows Target by 10%
+110% Enhanced Defense
Increase Maximum Mana 5%
Level 3 Venom (11/11 Charges)

Pestilence's Harlequin Crest
Shako
Defense: 122
Durability: 6 of 12
Required Level: 62
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0xc6dd8ab2
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
100% Chance to cast level 23 Venom when you Level-Up
+2 to All Skills
Adds 37 Poison Damage Over 2 Secs (50 Frames)
-5% to Enemy Poison Resistance
+5% to Poison Skill Damage
All Stats +2
+148 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+148 to Mana (Based on Character Level)
Damage Reduced by 10%
50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Rainbow Facet

Rainbow Facet
Jewel
Required Level: 49
Fingerprint: 0x79355403
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
100% Chance to cast level 23 Venom when you Level-Up
Adds 37 Poison Damage Over 2 Secs (50 Frames)
-5% to Enemy Poison Resistance
+5% to Poison Skill Damage

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: 0x6acdd562
Item Level: 79
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 +32
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: 140
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 78 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0x51fe094b
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+35% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+111 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+3 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
Crystal Sword
AmnRalMalIstOhm
One Hand Damage: 18 - 54
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 43
Fingerprint: 0xe92ff96b
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
265% Enhanced Damage
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
+6 to Battle Command
+6 to Battle Orders
+3 to Battle Cry
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Amn Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Ohm Rune

Spirit
Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 143
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 86 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0x327ce544
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
+100 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+4 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune
Code:
Fungal Grand Charm of Vita
Grand Charm
Required Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0x3b4c50e2
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Poison and Bone Skills (Necromancer Only)
+39 to Life

Fungal Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xab3193b9
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Poison and Bone Skills (Necromancer Only)

Fungal Grand Charm of Vita
Grand Charm
Required Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0x85ff09c0
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Poison and Bone Skills (Necromancer Only)
+40 to Life

Gheed's Fortune
Grand Charm
Required Level: 62
Fingerprint: 0x745b9d0b
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
117% Extra Gold from Monsters
Reduces all Vendor Prices 10%
40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Snake's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xf685c245
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
+11 to Mana

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xfaeeb1e3
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life


Ruby Small Charm of Dexterity
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0x27e931f9
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Dexterity
Fire Resist +11%

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xdc6b7dc6
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Rugged Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x64b8eb3f
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
+8 Maximum Stamina

Garnet Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 20
Fingerprint: 0x2fed7689
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+15 to Life
Fire Resist +9%

Snake's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xca32ecbc
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life
+10 to Mana

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xaad5e739
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xbda0dc8e
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xd04415fe
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Ruby Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0xad738c60
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Fire Resist +11%

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xeb07869c
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xae1f7328
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Serpent's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 40
Fingerprint: 0x715aede7
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life
+16 to Mana

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x1ea375e0
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xaa1555d5
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x93f51bfe
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xf2eeaad2
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xff006004
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xb8e225d9
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x62a925a3
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Lizard's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x1b42c33f
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
+2 to Mana

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x21bae0c5
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x37c66bf7
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
Code:
Enigma
Light Plate
JahIthBer
Defense: 873
Durability: 44 of 60
Required Level: 65
Required Strength: 41
Fingerprint: 0x62bdea76
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+45% Faster Run/Walk
+1 to Teleport
+766 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)
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Jah Rune
Socketed: Ith Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune

Harlequin Crest
Shako
Defense: 106
Durability: 6 of 12
Required Level: 62
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0xe7abec4e
Item Level: **
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%
50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Call to Arms
Crystal Sword
AmnRalMalIstOhm
One Hand Damage: 19 - 57
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 43
Fingerprint: 0xa59cb6a8
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
280% Enhanced Damage
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
+6 to Battle Command
+2 to Battle Orders
+4 to Battle Cry
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Amn Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Ohm Rune

Arachnid Mesh
Spiderweb Sash
Defense: 135
Durability: 11 of 12
Required Level: 80
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0x1b53f25
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Slows Target by 10%
+115% Enhanced Defense
Increase Maximum Mana 5%
Level 3 Venom (9/11 Charges)

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: 0x4aa275aa
Item Level: 60
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

Homunculus
Hierophant Trophy
Defense: 184
Chance to Block: 52
Durability: 17 of 20
Required Level: 42
Required Strength: 58
Fingerprint: 0xdb197ec3
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Curses (Necromancer only)
+2 to Necromancer Skill Levels
+30% Faster Block Rate
40% Increased Chance of Blocking
+160% Enhanced Defense
+20 to Energy
Regenerate Mana 33%
All Resistances +40
+5 to Mana after each Kill

Bone Beads
Amulet
Required Level: 89
Fingerprint: 0x7d52d88
Item Level: 94
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Necromancer Skill Levels
+10% Faster Cast Rate
+3 to Minimum Damage
+16 to Mana
Regenerate Mana 4%
All Resistances +11
9% Damage Taken Goes To Mana

Insight
Cryptic Axe
RalTirTalSol
Two Hand Damage: 117 - 492
Durability: 56 of 65
Required Level: 59
Required Strength: 165
Required Dexterity: 103
Fingerprint: 0x97479ec6
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Level 13 Meditation Aura When Equipped
+35% Faster Cast Rate
228% Enhanced Damage
+9 to Minimum Damage
191% Bonus to Attack Rating
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames)
+4 to Critical Strike
All Stats +5
+2 to Mana after each Kill
23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Tir Rune
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Sol Rune
Code:
Name:       Alhizeer
Race:       Desert Mercenary
Type:       Off-Nightmare
Experience: 114104776
Level:      98
Dead?:      false

Naked/Gear
Strength:   209/238
Dexterity:  169/169
HP:         2287/2398
Defense:    1671/5142
AR:         2066/2066

Fire:       157/117/57
Cold:       187/147/87
Lightning:  187/147/87
Poison:    257/217/157

Fortitude
Dusk Shroud
ElSolDolLo
Defense: 3132
Durability: 11 of 11
Required Level: 59
Required Strength: 67
Fingerprint: 0x3c7aabc5
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
+111 to Life (Based on Character Level)
Replenish Life +7
+5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
All Resistances +25
Damage Reduced by 7
12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
+1 to Light Radius
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: El Rune
Socketed: Sol Rune
Socketed: Dol Rune
Socketed: Lo Rune

Andariel's Visage
Demonhead
Defense: 339
Durability: 10 of 20
Required Level: 83
Required Strength: 102
Fingerprint: 0x6cca8d34
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
15% Chance to cast level 15 Poison Nova when struck
+2 to All Skills
+20% Increased Attack Speed
10% Life stolen per hit
+119% Enhanced Defense
+29 to Strength
+10% to Maximum Poison Resist
Fire Resist -30%
Poison Resist +70%
Level 3 Venom (14/20 Charges)

Infinity
Giant Thresher
BerMalBerIst
Two Hand Damage: 232 - 661
Durability: 28 of 28
Required Level: 66
Required Strength: 178
Required Dexterity: 130
Fingerprint: 0xb0613822
Item Level: **
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
287% Enhanced Damage
-55% 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
Because he spent more time with his leveling gear, his gear when he finished up in the Pit is at the bottom of the update post for lvl 98 :)

Finally, I don’t regret socketing the Griffon’s for a pTopaz, given his drops from 97-98. But having an IAS jewel in Andy’s would have made a difference in terms of speed for Nihl. It was safe and fast enough without, but I would definitely encourage anyone trying Nihl with a necro to go that route for dropping those corpses faster.

Thank You-s
I have to start with thanks to this forum and everyone who participated or contributed to this thread, with special thanks to @Kitteh for (re)starting this challenge. As I’ve said before, it’s much easier to plug away with company :)

-- Special thanks go to @Pb_pal, @Nano and @T72on1 who were in it from the beginning and have stayed active in this thread, and also have helped with feedback and encouragement throughout.

-- Major thanks also to the continued entries, especially @ffs @Bewitch @Yng who’ve gotten characters to 99 and are still active here, and the more recent participants who are keeping this thread lively. It’s much more engaging with an active community to share progress, and the community here is a major contributor to my motivation to keep these 99ers going.

-- @ffs gets a special shout out for showing the way with Ric, and for the ongoing encouragement to keep our characters going if the other does also. To repeat the script from Phaedrus’ write up, Lucid appears on track to ping 99 soon, so I will at least offer to keep Quinta moving until then so maybe you’ll get a fourth entrant! ;)

What’s Next-es
Pestilence will finish off Baal, and then he will be an option for future RFLs and MFOs (Cows, Council, the Pit). I also plan to go on a gambling spree in my general stash for coronets/circlets, so he may even get some 2/20 headgear!

I want to get back to questing through my new Druid until he can equip to become grief/fury and level in Pits until he can equip the eTomby. And I plan to keep pushing my Overburdened tourney druid, who’s part way into A2 Hell, and a candidate to continue as an untwinked 99er entry some day.

Finally, we will continue pushing Quinta and Death, likely focusing on Quinta in the hopes that she can reach 97.25 between now and MFO (she’s currently around 97.15). Then she will be my MFO entry for Baal, with hopes of getting her past 97.5 and on her way to 97.75. That should allow her reach 98 and transition to Nihl before we leave for vacation in mid-October. It’s not too much time to get Death to 95, so that may also be a weekend project along the way.

As per tradition, I'm liking the character screen!
Screenshot002.jpg
In closing, a final thanks to everyone who followed along and provided encouragement for Pestilence and my other 99ers. Questions and feedback are most welcome. Cheers
 
Last edited:

PhineasB

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Thanks for the congrats @everyone! A couple further highlights since posting the 99er thread. First, the Baal fight and making Patriarch. The fight was easier than expected, although I hadn't done waves/Baal on p1 in a while, so I guess there is that. Baal took about a minute:
Baal fight.jpg
Pat.jpg
Next, per tradition, he used up his runes on the Runeword grail. Given what he had left over, he contributed 100% to Fury (went with +3 BF Suwwayah because I still haven't found better despite picking up every one). It is the planned rebuild of my warrior monk, and using Ceramic Weasel's BF info to pump that skill unlike last time.
Fury.jpg
And to finish the runeword grail, we went ahead and dusted off a retired character to Larzuk the best eth GPA I had found so far. And because Pestilence only contributed a Ber and Sur, I let that retired character cube up the Zod, starting with all my Guls, skipping Lo, and still having Vex, Lo x3, Sur, and Ber in my overall stash.
cubing to Zod.jpg
eBotD prep.jpg
eBotD.jpg
So that project is now finished!
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted January 15, 2018

But the real news is that I missed having two active runners :). So meet Pestilence, a necro who is currently in A1 H at level 70. I actually started him back in November, and he was part way through A2 Normal when Hiatus finished her journey.

The nice thing about necros is that they can basically be played without hotkeys early on. So I sort of tooled along with him while watching sports through the New Year.

Normal. He quested through with only the necessary quests, completing A1 and A2 normal on p7, p1 for jungle areas of A3, and then p5 for the rest of Normal. He tried to build up MF, but with limited success due to streamlined approach. Nicest drop was actually Countess, as it allowed Merc to up her damage. Fun little action shot from Diablo:
Normal Diablo.jpg

Nightmare. The transition to NM wasn’t too hard, despite very limited gear (gotta love necros). But he completed everything on p1. His first Amn dropped in A1 NM (I think), becoming Edge for gambling; first Sol dropped in A3 NM; followed by first Shael from NM HF. He had just found his first 2os necro head with +skills (+1 summon resist and IG) in City of Damned, so the Shael allowed Rhyme. He took out Diablo on New Years.

We’ve done 15-20 minute sessions on-and-off since New Year’s, eventually questing through to take down Baal. The first 4os sword dropped in NM WSK, so the second Amn became a spirit. He made Champion (I think at level 56 or 57), and then rolled a good Meph map and mixed in Meph runs with levelling on Pindle until reaching 70.

Besides the early runes noted above, finds of note were a [email protected] GC in A2 NM, Nagelring as the first unique ring in NM CS, a Prismatic Amulet gamble while leveling at Pindle that will be useful for early Hell, and SoVM from Meph run, which turned out to be [email protected] and the only useful drop besides Rockstopper. A Lum also dropped from Pindle, which allowed Smoke for the merc to get ready for Hell.

Here was a tricky spot in A1 (these two bosses were next to each other in the Cathedral:
NM A1 Boss.jpg
NM A1 Boss 2.jpg

Hell. Pestilence just got the last 5 pindle runs needed for 70 and then completed Hell Den of Evil and tagged the Cold Plains WP.

Current Gear. Merc has maxed resists, and Pestilence is maxed or nearly-maxed in Hell. No 4os exceptional polearm (one failed cube recipe of a partizan), and only the one Sol so far. So hopefully the first 4os one will be elite and eth!
Pestilence
Rockstopper
Spirit broad sword
Rhyme necro head
SoVM
Sigon’s belt
Rare gloves with MF and resists
Greaves of Chance with LR
Nagel (19%)
Ring of Fortune (21%)

Merc
Duskdeep
Smoke sup mesh armor
Ferocious partizan of readiness

Planned Build and Progress. All three respecs are available. The plan is to get through A3, do some LK runs (and maybe some Meph runs if he finds a good map for both), then continue questing, as a break from LK as necessary, up to Anya quest. He may then mix in some Pits or Pindle runs as a further break from LK, but the goal will be runes for Enigma.

I will probably then respec to poisonmancer (probably with extra skills into golem mastery for a sturdy IG) and level in Pits and see if/when it makes sense to transition to CS. Based on Gripphon’s testing, poison necro should be somewhat faster in CS than Pits. I have no idea for 98-99, but will test some options with another necro. But that is way, way down the road, as he has a lot of LK in his future that it doesn’t make sense to worry about it too much. ;)

Finally, only one death so far: while running through Tamoe Highland in NM to tag the outer cloister WP before quitting for day, he ran into an amp’ed bosspack while ahead of his minions. :\ So he went back to Cold Plains to pick up more skeletons and carefully walked back through Tamoe to take out the boss pack, retrieve the corpse, and get the WP.

Table update is below: he is using extended stash, not bothering to pick up anything that isn’t useful to him or my overall grails, and not keeping track of time.
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted January 28, 2018

I decided to pick things back up with Pestilence, who is now level 81 and in A5. The plan was to quest through A1 and A2 as fast as possible and then get to LK.

After picking up Cain, Pestilence plowed ahead, making use of Terror to break up packs when things slowed down too much. Nothing of note from A1 or A2 before Duriel, except for this nice map in the Maggot Lair. I also managed to pick the correct arm of Durance on first attempt. Duriel dropped the first unique amulet for Pestilence, which ended up being Highlords. It’s still equipped because the +skill and lightning resist beat any other options at this point.

A 4os Thresher (not eth) dropped in A3, so the merc’s damage increased a bit with Insight. His LK map was a single fire but right by the WP, allowing for a quick run and back to A4. Given no teleport and very little faster run, it seemed promising after a couple test runs. But zealot packs weren’t running away because we hadn’t taken out the Council and orb, so we pressed on and decided to take out Meph. Another very nice map for Durance 1 sped things up.

Somewhere along the way (I am pretty sure it was early A3), a plain Tiara dropped, and I decided to burn the imbue quest. Pretty solid actually, it’s almost as if Charsi knew Pestilence was headed to LK. The +skill helped, and the +FR meant that resist was still maxed when swapping out Rockstopper to the merc:
Code:
Cruel Visor
Tiara
Defense: 86
Durability: 18 of 25
Required Level: 52
Fingerprint: 0x1f604c2
Item Level: 78
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Necromancer Skill Levels
+30% Faster Run/Walk
+70% Enhanced Defense
+9 to Life
Fire Resist +17%
Damage Reduced by 6
He was 2/3 of the way to 78 when he took down Meph. I initially decided to take him to a round 80 before focusing on LK, and he did a little circuit of p7 LK, p1 Meph, p1 pits, hoping for at least one upgrade. Sadly, it was not to be, except for a couple vita SCs (which are actually welcome).

After more than 250 LK runs (single fire, so more like 125) with nothing higher than a Hel to show for it. :\ So I decided to quest on through A4, picking up a Lum at hell forge and taking down Diablo. He actually made solid work of CS, so he may level there the next time he gets bored on LK.

The highest rune so far is the Lum in the merc’s Smoke, equaled by the Hell HF. So I think it’s time to reroll for a 2-fire map and focus on runez!
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted February 4, 2018

Pestilence has spent more than two hours in LK, now with a 2-fire map, and still hasn't found anything higher than the Lum from earlier, and still can't make Harmony. :( But I can't technically complain because this happened:
Screenshot001.jpg

* * *

Complaining helps theory confirmed:
Screenshot009.jpg
Screenshot010.jpg
Screenshot011.jpg
Um and Ohm dropped on the same run, with the Sur dropping the very next run. He found a Lem and a Fal within five runs prior to that, so I was thinking at least I couldn't say nothing higher than Lum anymore. :) I guess I can still say he can't make Harmony :p
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted February 11, 2018

Phaedrus is moving in CS again, a little more than a tenth of the way to 97. Pestilence has also made some further progress in LK. Another Lum fell, which finally allowed Harmony. A Vex fell, followed by nearly five hours of nothing before a Mal fell (followed by a Pul shortly after). That allowed Heart of the Oak.

Pestilence ended up rerolling maps to another 2-fire layout but with a little more running. The reason was mostly due to monster spawns in first map (5 deaths in quick succession and lots of abandoned runs in last batch because of two boss packs that regularly spawned right outside or inside a hut). The longer map also allows him to hit more pop-ables, which will hopefully help with non-rune finds.

After two more hours of nothing, I decided to make HoTo and quest to Anya as a break. [email protected] roll was a disappointment. But still nice to have. I thought of saving the Vex for possible cubing up for faster Enigma, but I was ready for a little break. Witches rolled for the Anya rescue, which was tricky but eventually completed. He then moved up to Arreat Plateau. He was just short of level 82, so we did one Pit run to get there before returning to LK.

He then picked up a nice Ruby SC of Inertia, followed by Mal #2 and another Um. An Ist was mixed in (the pattern with the Fal), but it was hairy to pick it up with an amp-ed boss pack and I apparently misfired on the screenie. Earlier today he got Mal #3 and Sur #2, so a third of the way to Enigma!

I like the current map, so he will be here for a while. But he will probably eventually take a break and level up to 83 in the Pits and CS.

Edit: So then this happened. Pretty amazing to get a second one of these of Vita! :cool:
Screenshot004.jpg
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted March 10, 2018

Pestilence has also been plugging away in LK. Since his last update, he had done 2 hours when Phaedrus hit 97, and then another 1.5 hours, with nothing higher than a Lem and a Ko. Usually such stretches are helped by other good finds (charms, etc.) but he found nothing useful aside from those two runes. Well, technically he got a Highlord’s, but he already had one, so that ended up being frustrating more than anything else. Then 4 of 5 successive runs included extra fast might enchanted bosses right outside the first hut (2 with cursed proc happening either from that pack or another), leading to aborted runs without popping a single chest.

Rerolling the LK map was my coping strategy for the frustration :p And after 15 minutes he had a better 2-fire map (much less running) with 6 stable poppables right on his path. The fifth run yielded a Pul, and I was happy until I realized that was only one “level” better than the Lem! :rolleyes: But then the next 5 runs yielded these charms:
Code:
Snake's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xf685c245
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
+11 to Mana

Sapphire Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xc7ae96f
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Cold Resist +11%
6% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Ruby Small Charm of Fortune
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0x209e12
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Fire Resist +11%
4% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
That’s what I’m talking about! The next day Sur #3 dropped, although it took a fair bit of work to get it due to the clutter and two boss packs right there. He resurrected the merc, cast a golem, and managed to draw them away without waking up other boss packs for successful retrieval. After that experience, I realized that CtA would make the runs smoother and I had the runes to make it, which it did after I did (meh roll – only +2 BO, although as you will see, I still sometimes forget to cast it).

Over another couple hours, he got Ist #2, a Lo from a corpse, and Pul #5. He also got a Ruby (11) SC of Balance, a Graverobber skiller of Sustenance, and a 40 vita shapeshifting skiller. He also picked up Rising Sun, which makes for 4 unique amulets total (with the 2 Highlords and a Mahim-Oak Curio). The SC is great for a character that will be using Spirit, which he will once he gets Enigma and I find the Monarch base, because the FHR gets the 56 breakpoint with resists in the one element that Spirit doesn’t cover. But the highlight of that stretch was this, making #3:
LK (PnB Skiller of Dext).jpg
Sadly, I mis-keyed N instead of H, and lost the LK map. Killing process didn’t work, so we had to reroll. The second one was another 2-fire map with only a little more running (and no boss packs near fires), so not too bad. But after ~2 hours, nothing of note except two more Ruby SCs (11), one with +6 life. He has stopped picking up flawless gems except amethysts because he was >500 stashed so far from LK. I figured it's time to streamline the rune finding!

Good luck to everyone. Keep up the great progress!
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted March 18, 2018

Pestilence continued to plug away at LK, generally in 20-30 minute spells. He picked up another Graverobber skiller with a little life shortly after the last update. I had a really long work day on Tuesday, and decided to play 30 minutes to wind down before bed: Sur #4 dropped, which was really nice. With cubing everything Fal+, the Lo from earlier is Sur #5, so only one Sur from Enigma now!

Um #4 fell the next morning in the 15 minutes while I had my second cup of coffee, followed by a Gul the next evening in about 45 minutes of running before bed.

That was followed by a pretty long dry spell, but Gul #2 eventually fell (he had to pick up some gold after seeing an orange flash). Finished up for the week with Um #5 after an even longer dry spell earlier today -- including 15 straight runs without a rune and then 10 runs without a rune shortly after that. I figure things will pick up soon to even things out and that Ber will drop!
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted March 25, 2018

This was all the way on page 2. Can't have that, now can we, even with RFL in progress? Major update incoming!

Pestilence continued his LK runs as a break from Cow runs, usually in sets of 25 runs. After the last Um, 150 runs with nothing higher than a Hel. Within the next 50 runs, Pul #6 dropped.

This morning, after doing another 30 minutes of Cows with the fire Sorc, we decided to hit LK again, with Sur #5 dropping on run #15. So we loaded up the inventory and cube (a few gems were hiding in the cube along with three more Fals):
Enigma Prep.jpg
Enigma Prep 2.jpg
Enigma.jpg
Now that's nice! :cool: I didn't keep track of total runs or runes found. I'm pretty sure he farmed his Enigma quite a bit faster than Phaedrus, who needed >4000 LK runs. In all, the third untwinked Enigma in this challenge. I'm pretty sure I'm going to see Pestilence through the end after the effort, although that may be a long ways off. :rolleyes:

He's going to spend some time leveling in the Pits as a break from Cows until I complete that 20-hour set. He has a great LK map for teleporting, so he will also probably return there because he burned through all runes Fal+ except two Puls and an Um. Once I finish the RFL set, Phaedrus will get back in the rotation and push to 3.0B.
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted March 30, 2018


After making his Enigma, Pestilence respeced to a poisonmancer and hit the Pits. He’s now level 89 with some nice finds along the way, serving as a bit of a distraction from finishing my 20 hour set of Cows in RFL.

He went p3 for 82-83, p5 for 83-85, p7 for 85-87, and p8 for the last two levels. One death due to sloppy teleporting into a fanaticism pack while amp'ed. At level ** he got revives, which really increase the safety. Definitely wish that I had respec'ed differently and had them from the start.

As for the finds, at level 83, he found a [email protected] 2os CoA. It’s the best option for the merc at the moment with two ruby jewels for extra damage:
Code:
Crown of Ages
Corona
Defense: 357
Durability: 29 of 50
Required Level: 82
Required Strength: 174
Fingerprint: 0xf73f4c5c
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Indestructible
+1 to All Skills
+30% Faster Hit Recovery
75% Enhanced Damage
+50% Enhanced Defense
+108 Defense
+8 to Dexterity
All Resistances +29
Damage Reduced by 14% 2 Sockets (2 used)
Socketed: Ruby Jewel of Daring
Socketed: Ruby Jewel

Ruby Jewel of Daring
Jewel
Required Level: 58
Fingerprint: 0xe5070e02
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
35% Enhanced Damage
+8 to Dexterity

Ruby Jewel
Jewel
Required Level: 58
Fingerprint: 0x70fa75df
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
40% Enhanced Damage
Shortly after that, he found an eth Giant Thresher, which got 4os in the cube! :cool: This led to a nice Insight upgrade:
Insight.jpg
He had good Monarch luck along the way, socketing white Monarchs as he went, with the third one getting 4os, leading to a 31 FCR Spirit. An Um fell at level 86 (along with another 3 white Monarchs that didn’t cube with 4 sockets).

At level 87, we burned through 7M gold (that he had accumulated from picking up wands and 2x1 orbs in LK) gambling for coronets , netting a +3 PnB/8 PDR coronet that he wore until Shako dropped right before leveling. He pinged level 89, with 2 more Monarchs missing out on 4os (one in the cube and one dropped with 3os) and finally rolling a second 4os right near the end. After 8 rolls, he finally had a 35 FCR Spirit, with a 34 FCR now on switch.

I am going to finish the RFL set and then level him to 90. After that, I plan to get back to Phaedrus and try to hit 3.0B before the start of RFL Rd 2.
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on April 5, 2018 by @zenigma

Time to pack it in boys, @PhineasB has taken all the luck available from all the d2 player base.
*impersonating a security officer* Nothing to see here, move along, folks.
Also that's some pretty alright gear you have there. Obvious understatement is obvious.

In all seriousness, that's quite impressive. Congratulations, hero!
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on April 3, 2018

Thanks to @ffs and @RIP for posting. I didn’t want three consecutive posts within a week because it would look like spam :p But after this last stretch of drops, I’m ready to update.

Here’s a teaser from a prior post by @ffs:
You really need to learn how to find rare items with the right characters, come on. Death's Web with Pally and Trapper instead of your Necro? Griffons with Pally instead of your Lightning Sorc? Fathom twice with what ended up as a Lightning Sorc, wasn't it? Seriously

With the luck bestowed by @ffs complaining on my behalf, here’s the update. :)

Pestilence started off nicely for level 89-90, with Arachnid’s dropping and then an Ohm right at the end. A second Um also dropped earlier in the level.

The Ohm has been stashed in case we get a second before getting a Lo. Fortitude for the merc would be a major upgrade, I’d wager, and the +1 BO CtA is fine for now because he completes his Pit runs well before the timer runs out and he’s plenty safe with the revives. And as for the Arachnid’s, with my history, that was awesome to get before level 90!

This enabled him to hit 125 FCR breakpoint and was very powerful even with only three skillers and no +skill rings (the amulet was a 1 necro/10 FCR rare to hit the breakpoint). As long he had some revives, he could basically telestomp boss packs to start spamming pNova and have the merc and IG target the boss to get a quick 2-3 corpses for the corpse explosion chain.

He has what I think is a good Pit map, with high boss pack density and XP gain is pretty quick. It was enough fun that he pressed on and just hit level 93. One 4os monarch dropped early, which he’s been Hel’ing and rerolling for 12 tries without a second 35 FCR (two 34 rolls though).

Level 90-91 saw Duriel’s shell and Tal’s mask, which were upgrades for the merc. For level 91-92, he got trolled for the first time with a rare unearthed wand, followed by a nice +3 pNova wand that I thought about tossing in the cube but held off. Then on the second-to-last run before hitting 92:
Pits (Dweb).jpg
Pits (Dweb IDed).jpg
Code:
Death's Web
Unearthed Wand
One Hand Damage: 22 - 28
Durability: 18 of 18
Required Level: 66
Required Strength: 25
Fingerprint: 0xf4413a6c
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+2 to Poison and Bone Skills (Necromancer Only)
-43% to Enemy Poison Resistance
+9 to Mana after each Kill
+9 Life after each Kill
Pretty amazing to have Shako, Arachnid’s and now Dweb at level 92! :cool: I had planned to go back to Phaedrus after hitting the level, but we had to test out the shiny new toy.

He’d have to lose his current map seed to socket the wand, which he isn’t willing to do. It would probably get an Ist otherwise, which I can cube up to from the Um- runes, so only 25 MF lost in order to keep this great Pit map and the LK map where he will return once hitting level 93. Losing resists from HoTo caused some gear tradeoffs, but he couldn’t reach 125 FCR so that allowed him to make some lightning resists up (and another +skill) by going back to Highlord’s. The rest was handled with charms, mainly a plain Ruby (30) GC.

The other set up might actually be a wee bit faster due to the 125 FCR breakpoint and being able to play more recklessly with telestomping. But we have to keep the current set up on principle! Infinity would likely push the current set up ahead, with several elite 4os polearms available for Insight IG. Andy’s dropped early on for level 92-93, which upgraded the merc nicely. Still looking for a Lo for Fortitude (and eventually Infinity) but the upgrade was noticed. Stats at level 93.

Other finds worthy of screenshots during this stretch were Trangs helm, Tancred’s boots, the set Corona, Tomb Reaver (2os), Horizon’s Tornado, Stone Crusher, and a 5os eth Berserker Axe (which I think is only the second of those I’ve ever found, including cubing plain eth ones).

He’s now going to burn through 115 pamethysts and then hit up LK for a while, remembering to pick up Spirit and Insight makings as he goes, in addition to Ko+ (and hopefully some resist charm upgrades). Then we will return to Phaedrus to hopefully hit 3.0B sometime this weekend before rolling a Trav map with my Blizz sorc for RFL Round 2.
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on April 4, 2018

Um, so things are getting kind of ridiculous for Pestilence :D
Screenshot002.jpg
That was the second batch of 9 caster amulet crafts. I check at the end of the batch, but it was the second one of the second batch, so craft #11 overall because I waited until he hit level 93 to start crafting.

I had a stash full of gold so decided to start gambling coronets/circlets, hoping to luck out with a 2 necro/20 FCR rare or 3 PnB/20 FCR magic.
Screenshot003.jpg
That's after less than 1.5M gold. Both can obviously be upgraded, the circlet in particular with another +skill and any useful mods. But he can now reach the 125 FCR breakpoint with DWeb using one of the several FCR rings he has picked up.

I have no idea where this stretch of luck came from. It's on par with the stretch of LK runs I had with Mercy and a similar stretch with Phaedrus (although his was after nearly 2000 of not much). Either way, I'll just chalk it up to balancing out luck from RFL Round 1. ;)
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on April 8, 2018

Back to weekly updates, at least until something awesome drops for Pestilence (actually, check!).

Before that, though, thanks to everyone for the congrats and encouragement (even if some of it’s sort of sarcastic :p). I agree with @ffs that finding items untwinked is special. With the last two updates, I had stare-at-screen moments while I processed what I was seeing, especially that 2/20. That’s such a fun experience and helps balance out the stretches of nothing in the push to 99. It’s definitely nice to share the excitement with others, so thanks (again) to the SPF for being the SPF!

. . .

Pestilence also has made some progress, a little more than half way to level 94. He started back in LK, hoping for some progress toward Infinity. Not quite, but good nonetheless with an early Pul #7, followed by Gul #3, and then a bit of a dry spell before Mal #4 and Vex #4 dropped within 30 minutes of each other.

We eventually got tired of LK and decided to test out the new 125 FCR rig, much to the good. :D About a tenth of the way into the level, lightning struck and we had our fourth PnB skiller (from a bosspack). Shortly after that, Darkforce Spawn dropped, which is an overall grailer and brings me to grail -5. :cool: I almost felt like I should use it, given the class-specific-ness, but I’d have to add another FCR ring and lose a bunch of FHR. Maybe later!

An Ist dropped shortly after, along with an eth Dusk Shroud that rolled 4os in the cube for a nice Fortitude base. I can actually cube the Lo, but I’m holding out until the end of the level in the hopes something (else) nice drops. In case you're worried the luck is too much, we are on reroll #19 for the 4os Monarch without 35 FCR. :rolleyes:

Keep up the progress everyone!
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on April 15, 2018

As for me, weekly update is pretty minimal due to busy work week and then RFL this weekend. Phaedrus continues to plug away in CS, but I'll hold off on a proper update until he's 97.25.

Pestilence hit 94 with a major upgrade for the merc:
Pits (Fortitude).jpg
As mentioned in the last update, he cubed an eth Dusk shroud, and then the Lo dropped about 3/4 of the way through the level. The only other exciting item from the second half of the level was a Sparking GC of Sustenance. So pretty solid skiller luck for this level, with the fourth PnB and that one, which is an upgrade for my overall stash.:cool:

He's back in LK, picking up a Greyform and Gul #4 on a few minutes before bed on Thursday. CS runs with Phaedrus and LK runs with Pestilence will be limited for the next two weeks as I try to finish a 20-hour set for RFL round 2.

I guess it will be late May before things really pick back up due to RFL. But good luck to everyone else who's running in the meantime!
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on June 10, 2018

It’s been a while since I had an update for Pestilence. He finished up his 1000 LK runs and is halfway to the next level. So I figured it was time for an update. :)

When last we heard from Pestilence, he had just finished 200 LK runs toward the goal of 1000 runs before returning to the Pits. The next 300 runs saw Mal #6 and three Ums (up to #9), with a nice eth Unique Sash dropping. He also got a 3/20 circlet but for the wrong class.

I almost broke down and went back to the Pits, but managed to press on to 750 runs, with Vex #5 and two Puls (up to #10). He then finished up the 1000 runs yesterday, with Ist #3 the only drop of note besides this FCR ring upgrade.

With cubing, he has a Sur, so kind of disappointing on progress toward Infinity makings. But at this point, we moved on to pushing for level 95 before deciding whether to return to LK. Things started off nicely with Stormspire followed by this beauty:
PIts (Facet).jpg
This was enough to give up his map and return to Normal to socket and personalize his DWeb :D:
Code:
Pestilence's Death's Web
Unearthed Wand
One Hand Damage: 22 - 28
Durability: 18 of 18
Required Level: 66
Required Strength: 25
Fingerprint: 0xf4413a6c
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
100% Chance to cast level 51 Poison Nova when you Die
+2 to All Skills
+2 to Poison and Bone Skills (Necromancer Only)
Adds 37 Poison Damage Over 2 Secs (50 Frames)
-48% to Enemy Poison Resistance
+5% to Poison Skill Damage
+9 to Mana after each Kill
+9 Life after each Kill 1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Rainbow Facet

Rainbow Facet
Jewel
Required Level: 49
Fingerprint: 0xd99b342a
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
100% Chance to cast level 51 Poison Nova when you Die
Adds 37 Poison Damage Over 2 Secs (50 Frames)
-5% to Enemy Poison Resistance
+5% to Poison Skill Damage
Rerolling maps took a while, with a unique Sacred Armor dropping along the way to finding his current map. It's a very compact t-shape, and he just focuses on the left arm to level 2, with decent boss pack density but sometimes only 2 boss packs on level 2.

Only other drops of note were two Eaglehorns within an hour of each other earlier today. He’s now at 94.5, and I’m hoping to get him to the level by next weekend. We’ll see.

Phaedrus also has gotten a few test runs, quickly dumping the map he used for 97-98, and settling on another three-shrine one for now to test out various p-setting combos. Without more skillers, he is probably going to stick with p1 for Infector and de Seis and p7 for Vizier and Diablo.

* * *

Oh yeah, the Sacred Armor was another Templar’s :(, so now 3 out of 4 of my untwinked 99ers have found one (and my fifth overall). Still waiting for Tyrael’s!
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on June 15, 2018

Great progress, everyone! I love the bowazon at level 96; very nicely done @Gynli. And I'm looking forward to Neverland getting back in the rotation! As for me:

Champion Pestilence and Alhizeer the Might Desert Merc (and Insight IG), Lvl 95 (pic)
Pestilence finished up the last half of the level smoothly, with some nice drops. He had one S&E forced by teleporting into fanaticism enchanted bosspack with champions mixed in while amp’ed, but otherwise it continued to be pretty smooth sailing.

Runes were subpar, with only 3 Puls to show. But he picked up a Windforce, Dragonscale, and two nice facets (5/5 lightning die and 4/5 poison level).

I think it’s time to transition to CS, probably doing 3 seal runs and hitting boss packs for the next level. So he will probably use his second respec to shift points from strength to vita and see what happens with a new Insight IG in CS. I suspect I will probably have to shift back to Insight on the merc due to IG survivability issues.

But for now I am going to see if Phaedrus can get a tenth of the way toward the last level (he’s about 6M in now) and focus on finishing -- one way or the other :p -- my S/U tourney character so she is available to respec to furyzon and spend her time at Pindle for the (hopefully) upcoming MFO.

Edit: My contribution to the nice CtA rolls:
Screenshot003.jpg
First was +1 BO, so the second roll more than makes up for it!
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on July 3, 2018

Pestilence has a minor update in terms of XP but likely his final gear milestone. As noted in an earlier post, after hitting 95, he messed around in Trav, netting a Sur. He had also picked up Stormspire #2 and Fleshripper in the Pit before that.

He decided to push partway into the level in advance of the MFO warmup that @ffs will hope, assuming the 20 hours would see him to level 96, if not beyond. That led to a sweet double drop of the Set Caduceus and Ist #2 from the Pit, followed by Mal #1 from the Pit.

With Mal and Ist and the cube-able Ber (Trav Sur + Sur cubed from 1000 LK runs before he pushed to 95), he was now only 2 Surs short of Infinity. :) Because I like round numbers, he continued to run the Pit up to 95.2 before returning to LK. It was also a target that could be run while I watched a couple World Cup matches. He also mixed in about 30 minutes of Trav (regear was necessary for each target).

But it was a total of 9 hours over the last week or so. He rolled a nice circular map with 7 stable popables on-route and a well right by one of the huts. The first five hours had nothing but two Puls from the LK chests. The popables were the saving grace, with Gul #5, Um #10, and Mal #7. Vex #6 fell from a chest in the next hour or so of running on Sunday before LK started wearing me out and I returned to Trav for a bit. I then focused on my S/U tourney zon as a break.

We spent a couple hours back in LK yesterday evening, yielding two more Puls (up to #14 from LK now). But then a popable delivered Sur #6. Some LK runs while drinking my coffee this am finished the job, so we hel’ed the eth Insight in the giant thresher, cubed some Bers, and viola:
Infinity.jpg
Max -eLR but low-end +damage%. No worries, it’s the aura that Pestilence was after anyhow! :D He has ~15 4os elite polearms and Insight makings stashed, so the Bonesnap IG will be replaced for mana regen.

Sadly, there were no major charm upgrades along the way. He picked up some more resist/+life SCs, but not even marginal improvements. Skillers were meh, with a Fire skill +18 life the only one that improves the current overall stash.

He managed to acquire another 7M gold in LK and Trav that will be gambled for a possible upgrade to 2/20 rare or 3/20 magic circlet, however unlikely that is. Aside from that and charms, only gear upgrades remaining are a +skill ring (still hasn’t found one) and a possible improvement to FCR ring.

I think Pestilence will roll a nice Pit map and get to a round 95.25 for the start of the MFO warmup tourney.
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on July 7, 2018

Due to fun-ness, Pestilence is half way to level 96, taking a little less than six hours for 95.2 to 95.5. He was warming up for the MFO Warmup tourney. :p

So he rolled maps as he went early on, doing 10 or so runs on promising maps to see if it was a winner. He’s finally settled on a map that’s decent in terms of boss density and stability and very close to Cloisters WP. But level 1 is a bit large and level 2 sometimes spawns only 2 boss packs. It also occasionally (1 out of 20 runs?) spawns with almost no bosses on level 1, which is weird. But we decided to stick with it because we’d gotten comfortable with the runs.

Drops were solid this stretch, starting off with Ist #3, and then a top-5 S/U of Horizons, Shadowdancer, Tomb Reaver (2os), Stonecrusher, and Gris Shield (he also found another Stonecrusher). Also this ring with useful mods on every roll except the stamina (wish it had been mana leech!):
Code:
Corruption Circle
Ring
Required Level: 43
Fingerprint: 0x787f7760
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Unidentified
+120 to Attack Rating
3% Life stolen per hit
+24 to Life
+6 Maximum Stamina
Fire Resist +24%
13% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
With a Pul (#4 from the Pit), Lem, and Ko, he would have a credible MFO Warmup score just from this ~6 hour stretch. And with the Mal, Ist, Stormspire and Gris Caduceus posted earlier from the first part of this level, he’d have a nice score indeed with a bit over halfway through a set!

So I’m hoping he’ll be competitive. :) He tested out different gear combos, starting with the 125 FCR setup, but quickly focused on the 75 FCR breakpoint with Shako and dual Nagel (25/19 MF are best ones). Given the upcoming tourney format, it’s hard to pass up the 74 MF from Shako, and that frees up the extra ring slot for additional MF.

With some rare boots (MF/resists) and charms, his resists are barely positive on fire and cold and barely negative on lightning and poison. But that’s plenty safe for Pit runs with >2400 life pool after BO. Only danger is mistakenly landing in a fanaticism pack with mana burn while amp’ed – but an S&E sorts that out easily enough.

He’s at 317% MF for 75 FCR breakpoint. Going for 125 FCR would still have 224% MF, so I think he’ll do that when he hits 96, part way through the 20-hour set. Should be close to 50/50 split of the set, so it will allow a decent comparison of results under two approaches.

He will rest here until the tourney kicks off next weekend. The 20-hour set will see him well into level 96, and he will probably stay in the Pit to finish up to 97. Even though it is probably less efficient than CS runs, Phaedrus will be doing enough of those that I’m fine with slightly longer for Pestilence to get these levels because it allows a change of scenery.
 

PhineasB

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Originally posted on July 31, 2018

I’ll continue the theme with post-MFO warmup updates. But first want to echo the congrats on progress—the tourneys really help keep things fresh on the way to 99—and epic-ness of the untwinked 99er reboot. :cool: Thanks to @Kitteh for launching it and the SPF for making it so great!

* * *

Pestilence is half way to level 97, moving from 95.5 to just short of 96.35 during the 20 hours, with one dumb death as he got close to 96 mixed in, and getting the rest of the way in a few days after he finished his set.

His MFO warmup results are here, with key progress updates here (hitting 96 just short of the 10-hour mark), here (including one of three item upgrades for him along the way with a 6th fungal charm!), and here (with a 40MF Gheeds for his second upgrade). The third item upgrade was Griffon’s, which beats his 1/20 circlet due to +1 all skills helping BO (no useful secondary mods on either). And the roll was solid to boot:
Code:
Griffon's Eye
Diadem
Defense: 234
Durability: 19 of 20
Required Level: 76
Fingerprint: 0xab4bab6d
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+25% Faster Cast Rate
-18% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+14% to Lightning Skill Damage
+177 Defense
He also picked up another Darkforce Spawn and a 5/5 cold facet in the final stretch to 96.5. So, all in all, a very nice stretch. And surprisingly solid progress from the Pit at this level, so the point that I will do some serious testing to consider continuing there or moving to Nihl from 97-98 rather than CS runs.

But that’s still a ways off! First things first is to get back to Phaedrus, hoping to get to 98.2 before MFO, while also progressing my S/U tourney zon so she can partake in Pindle for MFO. I may mix in some runs with Pestilence, but it’s unlikely he’ll make much more progress toward 97 until after my September vacation (unless I neglect Phaedrus in favor of Pit runs . . . we’ll see :)).