Orange You Glad That Rune Dropped: Craft-Centric Tournament

PhineasB

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Mar 14, 2020
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@Luhkoh nice progress! And that's a nice chippie reroll, but it may be worth to keep using the chipped/flawed diamonds until you get a Partizan and reroll that also for when the merc gets stronger. The extra damage will likely help in later Normal and A1 NM.

I have quite a bit of progress to report for Orange, who is at the Docks, deciding how to spend her NM personalization before progressing. As noted in my last update, for the start of A1, resists were quite good, made even better by this Amber (11) SC found right out the gate to nearly max lightning resist. We kept it at p3 or p5, except for Countess and Andy's level, dropping to p3 when I knew there would be LIs. The lightning immune bosses were not uncommon, and with nasty mods took some care (here's one example and another that was PI and amp to boot).

That screenshot also shows a use of respec, to grab a maxed Valk. The merc was just too squishy to tank LIs with such low damage and life leech. After having to hit and run Blood Raven with CS after the merc had been overwhelmed by skeletons and zombies at p3, I knew it was time to pull the trigger, keeping jab to contribute a little pit for the LIs. This resulted in only 8 points less in the Power Strike synergy because I rebalanced out of Decoy and the 3 I'd put in Impale. So a bit weaker LS and CS, but much stronger on net.

Unsurprisingly, progress was MUCH smoother with the Valk to occupy monsters, although it takes some maneuvering, and often just recasting, to get her at the front of the engagement instead of the merc). And that first boss delivered my first elite magic spear, which was became this:
H A1 (War Pike craft).jpg
Not too bad, at least having some enhanced damage. The merc became sturdier after that, with two runes going into his 2os blood helm to max cold and poison (which were below 50). Careful progress led her to the Cain rescue, and Griswold was really tough coming way out to east and bringing the amp with extra fast right into that fixed champ pack and another boss pack that came over. It was probably the most challenging Tristram clear I've had in a long time! Akara's reward was promptly sold.

I was a bit worried about dark archers in the Pit, especially with amp or aura, but decided to keep it at p3. This lass greeted Orange right at the entrance. Thankfully it was a round layout, rather than the "u" that is a dead end at each arm. So I was able to go back and forth to draw out the minions before tackling the boss solo. After that, it was uneventful to Pitspawn, who forced a retreat before getting a smaller group isolated with the boss. I had picked up a plain Coronet by this point, so decided to chance an Imbue with solid results:
H A1 (Imbue).jpg
No + skills, but the resists are nice, with an increase over current caster craft mask to lightning, major bump for cold freeing up some charms in favor of vita SCs, and poison increased once it got Larzuk treatment at the end of the Act and the 15 IAS/22 PR jewel. Only fire dropped a little. Oh, and Andy was easy with nothing of note dropping.

A2 was taken on p3 until the Tombs. But first we did some crafting, with only the caster armor an upgrade, but a welcome one with the FHR, LR and mana boost! I really value FHR, and the armor allowed Orange to get the 52 FHR breakpoint with a plain 5 FHR SC, the two resist GCs and the 10 FHR from the belt. An LI Unravaller Champ pack greeted Orange as a stair trap in the Halls with another boss in the doorway to the west, but we were able to steer around them and get a foothold to the south and then clear that way to come at the Champ pack from the east.

Progress was steady, but slow, due to quite some LI boss packs, with quite a few times 3 overlapping packs, and one time 4. I won't bore with all the sceenshots, but will highlight two encounters.

First, in the Palace Cellars, we saw Fanatacism and a lot of skeleton archers flying our way, amp triggered, and Lehoras dropped immediately. We retreated, TPed to remove amp, and tried again with some Decoy scouting, Lehoras dropped immediately, again, as a Blunderbore pack came charging through. Thankfully the Blunderbore pack had followed out of fanaticism range, so the Valk and Orange took at the pack and then whittled down the boss. I now surmised that there were two archer packs, so left Lehoras down and made multiple approaches with walls as cover, finding a third archer pack, but eventually taking them out separately (boss 1 taken down, boss 2 missed the screen but you can see the fanatcism aura in the other pic, and boss 3 ). It took about 10 minutes to work through the archer packs.

Second, in one of the False Tombs, coincidentally I took a screenshot to show a tactic when LIs and mixed in with non-LIs, which is get in a doorway and poke over the Valk's shoulder with LS to whittle down the non-LIs, which allowed a retreat into the hallway to let the LI beetles through 2-3 at a time and a Decoy blocking the door to keep from getting overwhelmed. Suddenly, amp triggered and champ beetle charged to ward the door from the north. After a quick retreat, we regrouped and learned there were also two Blunderbore packs back there, one of them an LI boss. And it turned out there had been two beetle champ packs, the second of which pushed the crew back after it charged through after the LI amp Blunderbore had been taken down. Fun times! (boss 1, boss 2, beetle pack).

Then onto the True Tomb, and Duriel went down meekly, with Orange just shy of level 83:
H A2 (Duriel down).jpg
In terms of item upgrades, we rolled this caster ring before tackling the Canyon and Tombs, with the FR a nice improvement over the unnecessary cold resist on the prior one.

And the drops that make for the decision: a non-eth Superior (15% ED) Thresher that will get 5os from Larzuk, and a 3os non-eth Thresher. I have Fal/Ko for Obedience and an Um for Crescent Moon. Obedience seems like the clear winner, with higher ED (on top of the 15% for Superior base), some fire damage, AR FHR and resists allowing other uses for the helm sockets. Because LIs are the issue here, the static from Crescent Moon seems less helpful, and the ITD isn't as clear an improvement with Enchant's AR boost. Open wounds would be helpful, but only LI/PIs really make it needed given CS making short work on PIs.

So I think that I'm going to pull the trigger on Obedience and may get some progress into A3 this afternoon. We've full cleared so far, so I will try to keep that up, but will likely drop to p1 from here on out to keep things moving.

Orange, Level 82, and Lehoras the A2 HF Merc, A3 Hell, Kurast Docks
 

PhineasB

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Mar 14, 2020
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Alright, Orange is nearing the final stretch:
H A3 (Meph down).jpg
H A4 (Diablo down).jpg
But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. Before setting out in A3, we pulled the trigger on a nice upgrade that made the progress through A3 and A4 much smoother:
H A3 (Obedience).jpg
We continued full clears on p1, with no real trouble throughout the Act. Ormus provided a ring that was actually an upgrade due to massive +mana and FR. And there was a tame stair trap in one of the temples, but otherwise nothing of note except hiding behind merc and Valk when dolls were around. No Gloams in the Marsh and quite manageable ones (only one boss) in the non-Flayer Dungeon underground area by the WP in Flayer Jungle.

A4 started off with a bang with a Garnet SC of Vita that, together with the Ormus ring, got fire maxed. Hephasto was easy, HF was an Io, and CS wasn't too tough with limited LIs. Infector had the hook layout, and he had teleportation and used it only to the TP I had dropped, briefly blocking Orange from accessing while the pack swarmed towards him. She got out and it was easy pickings coming from the WP. Diablo actually provided the closest NDE so far, below 200 HP when he stopped tracking merc and Valk briefly enough to land a physical hit. But a full Purple immediately negated any threat, and he dropped in short order.

We have now progressed to the Plateau WP, which is right in front of Threshsocket for when we pick back up. Foothills had spine beasts and the little flying, bombing bugs, which was annoying but safely navigated. Abaddon had witches but no LIs, Archeron had easy rolls and no LIs, and there no LIs to navigate in the two surface areas.

The plan is to keep the full clears, given the progress to now, and hoping to finish by this weekend.

Orange, Level 84, and Lehoras the A2 HF Merc, A5 Hell, Arreat Plateau WP
 

Luhkoh

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Mar 13, 2020
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MOAR progress. Am trying to get through a1nm before rfl round 2 starts because I'm realllly eager to do my first craft session. Not sure if that will happen, but much progress has been made.
UqBZq4S.png


First ever destroyer! We left off at end of a3. A4 went great. I love a4. Coolest act in the game and its short length somehow makes it more epic instead of wishing it was longer. Nothing too signficant to report. Here was the forge and diablo kill.
WHwPk9D.png

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Forge was a bit unlucky with a useless rune, useless pgem, and 1 of two flawlesses being noncraftables, but hey no big deal. Onto a5.

This act took ages. I'm so not used to clearing those open outdoor areas haha. But I was gaced with an early shael rune. Have considered rhyme as a personalization item since I would like some block, but we'll see. Wont be making that decision till end of nm I think. I had also been extremely eager to save anya and see what my reward was, and she didn't disappoint.
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Was hoping for a 20fcr orb. No plus to my main offensive skills, but wow energy shield, shiver armor, life, and res on a hc orb? Pretty dang sweet. Could possibly be endgame for me, but we'll see how the dmg ends up being and how my other options look. Either way gonna be awesome in nm.

Nihlathaks halls felt excruciatingly big, but he went down without issue. No vipers. Plenty of CE's but they didn't hurt much at all. Did ancient on p1, but did baal on p8. No reason not to with static ^^.
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Onto nightmare!

Rich (BB code):
Forumite     Character         Class   Lvl   Progress
--------     ---------         -----   ---   --------
Skiff        ColdFever         Sorc    77    Guardian
Vang         *Spokane          Zon     81    Guardian
Norcim       Valryka           Zon     81    A2 H
Grisu        Lugh              Barb    79    A2 H
OldSoldier   GaranDarkslayer   Pal     ??    A1 H
PhineasB     Orange            Zon     74    A1 H
Pb_pal       Elding            Pal     66    A5 NM
Vildecor     Rowena            Sin     53    A2 NM
Luhkoh       Amaresu           Sorc    48    A1 NM
Babyhell     ItsATrap          Sin     21    A2 N

Rich (BB code):
Forumite   Character   Class   Lvl   Progress
--------   ---------   -----   ---   --------
zemaj      OUGNecro    Nec     33    A3 N
Jocular    PopeJohn... Pal     48    A1 NM
Vang       Solidify    Sor     54    A1 NM
 
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Mar 19, 2020
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Canada
First ever destroyer!
Congrats!

Great progress to the others as well, seeing some really cool gear out there!

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Slingers in the foothills so it was a bit of a careful journey up to Shenk. Found some (useless) Ghoulhides in the foothills, freed the barbs for some runes and moved his way up. High-LR guys like this one are starting to become a bit of a pain.

sa8toGR.jpg


Will need a merc weapon upgrade soon to help deal with them. One other thing that i never really consider when doing elemental-melee build is the lack of LL. All it means is that tons of potions get consumed, but its also getting increasingly dangerous as baddies hit harder. Up through the Passage we got ourselves a Mal

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Don't think I'll be able to use it as NM personalization is marked for Crescent Moon (once I have a base), but I'll see if anything drops by the time I get to A5 Hell for the final stretch. No gloams in the Frozen River (which is good, since they would be LI and I don't really have a solution to that right now) meant for a relatively easy saving of Anya. Also found a nice little charm along the way:

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Another useless Anya reward sold back, but at least he found another nice charm on his way to Nihl.

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Through Bonesaw it was up to the Ancients, who once separated were easy to handle

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Straight shot through to the Throne, and the waves melted easily before it was time to take on the big guy.

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What a perfectly-timed drop! That's what I would have said in any other tournament, anyways. My normal personalization was used on Rhyme, NM is going to be used on CM, but I guess I can hang on to it until the end of Hell and still get to use the Kelpie for the final Baal fight. Either way, Conqueror at level 73.

LT32qHi.jpg


All in all I'm happy. Act 4 was by far the worst of it, so I'm cautiously optimistic that he'll be ok in Hell, especially if he finds a base quickly for CM. Getting a touch worried about his squishyness, but a big crafting session should help that (hopefully!)

First order of business, get to the a85 areas (maus, pit, even the crypt at alvl83) and cross my fingers for a CM base! Hoping for a Phase Blade, but I'll gladly settle for any of the fast 1-h swords or axes at this point and just deal with repair costs.

Elding the Tesladin, lvl 73 - Hell Rogue Encampment

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Rich (BB code):
Forumite     Character         Class   Lvl   Progress
--------     ---------         -----   ---   --------
Skiff        ColdFever         Sorc    77    Guardian
Vang         *Spokane          Zon     81    Guardian
Norcim       Valryka           Zon     81    A2 H
Grisu        Lugh              Barb    79    A2 H
OldSoldier   GaranDarkslayer   Pal     ??    A1 H
PhineasB     Orange            Zon     74    A1 H
Pb_pal       Elding            Pal     73    A1 H
Vildecor     Rowena            Sin     53    A2 NM
Luhkoh       Amaresu           Sorc    48    A1 NM
Babyhell     ItsATrap          Sin     21    A2 N

Rich (BB code):
Forumite   Character   Class   Lvl   Progress
--------   ---------   -----   ---   --------
zemaj      OUGNecro    Nec     33    A3 N
Jocular    PopeJohn... Pal     48    A1 NM
Vang       Solidify    Sor     54    A1 NM
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
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Orange made it:
Guardian.jpg
The A5 rolls were remarkably easy for this build, hardly any LIs throughout, and no double LI rolls. No Moon Lords, and no gloams or dolls. It was much smoother sailing than I'd expected, but that was largely attributable to the rolls. The biggest risk was amp, especially the amp casting witches, but that's no surprise. And they were easier to navigate with Valk and a sort of ranged attack with LS :)

Due to map layout, we cleared to the Tundra WP and all non-Anya underground areas before circling back for her rescue. Frozen River had the rogue spearwomen type LI, with this might boss a bit of a challenge, but otherwise easy with ghosts and the non-amp witches. The reward was a useless Mat Javelin that was sold and . . .

Smooth sailing all the way to Ancients. Some witch rolls needed care, but simply had to make sure not to run too far ahead of merc and Valk. Ancients took one reroll with amp, and second where the merc fell when only Madawc was left but he was extra fast, spectral and LI. Third time was a charm, with Madawc again Spectral LI but managed (Korlic, Talic, Madawc).

I ended up using the socket quest on the armor and using a pRuby for extra vita. I then continued to WSK rather than tackling Nihl because we didn't need the personalization and I was not looking forward to full-clearing the Halls. There was only a single LI roll in all three levels, the rogue spearwomen again, with this boss the only real challenge, and not much then. Waves were easy with Decoy absorbing decrep, Lister had a kind roll, and Baal dropped without a clone or needing a town trip (although we had only two full purples left). The boots were actually pretty nice:
Code:
Stone Tread
Light Plated Boots
Defense: 9
Durability: 9 of 18
Required Level: 52
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0x281cbd3a
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Unidentified
10% Chance to cast level 3 Charged Bolt when struck
+10% Faster Hit Recovery
Replenish Life +5
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +30%
Poison Resist +33%
Nihl and Cows await, but I think I may call this the playthrough. We full-cleared all they way until now, so I may end up trying to finish things. But I'm ready to shift to some SC questing or XP runs for now. I'll plan to post a Guardian thread this weekend either way.

I had shopped this, thinking to personalize for the last stage of Hell, but I will save it perhaps for leveling characters in HC:
Code:
Jeweler's Ancient Armor of Equilibrium
Ancient Armor
Defense: 224
Durability: 60 of 60
Required Level: 47
Required Strength: 100
Fingerprint: 0x77ab778
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+17% Faster Hit Recovery 4 Sockets (0 used)

Four classes with Guardians now complete. Hoping to tick two more off in the Two Legged Race that @Pb_pal will host after RFL, which will leave either Paladin or Druid (definitely will go necro, but undecided on the second) for a HC tournament Guardian sept.

Orange, Level 85, and Lehoras the A2 HF Merc, Guardian

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Rich (BB code):
Forumite     Character         Class   Lvl   Progress
--------     ---------         -----   ---   --------
Skiff        ColdFever         Sorc    77    Guardian
Vang         *Spokane          Zon     81    Guardian
PhineasB     Orange            Zon     85    Guardian
Norcim       Valryka           Zon     81    A2 H
Grisu        Lugh              Barb    79    A2 H
OldSoldier   GaranDarkslayer   Pal     ??    A1 H
Pb_pal       Elding            Pal     73    A1 H
Vildecor     Rowena            Sin     53    A2 NM
Luhkoh       Amaresu           Sorc    48    A1 NM
Babyhell     ItsATrap          Sin     21    A2 N

Rich (BB code):
Forumite   Character   Class   Lvl   Progress
--------   ---------   -----   ---   --------
zemaj      OUGNecro    Nec     33    A3 N
Jocular    PopeJohn... Pal     48    A1 NM
Vang       Solidify    Sor     54    A1 NM
 

OldSoldier

Active member
Aug 19, 2020
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Congrats on the Guardian, @PhineasB ! Well done!

GaranDarkslayer moved on with a different attitude after this realization that Thorns/Conversion sucks. So rather than full clears, we switched to git-er-done mode and are skipping all areas that aren't related to a singular purpose of tracking down the prime evils. This is purely because I've done smite before and the mechanics don't really change if you have crafted gear vs unique gear.

We did go into the high mlvl areas, because there's chances for good loot there.
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Nearby where we felled the Smith, dropped a sweet shield with which A5H might bring us a nice spirit shield.
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Andariel was cake. Interstingly enough, I've done a smiter with Iceblink before. This time we left it to rot.
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After leaving the rogue encampment behind, we decided to go back to NM to get Anya's personalization reward, and shoved a few runes into the beast. It became this.
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It looks like it has about the same horsepower as those Obedience threshers. Under the power of a level 20 fanaticism and the merc's inherent holy freeze, he's doing three forms of damage plus open wounds, very quickly indeed. He hits just below 1,000 to just above 3,000 every 9 frames. Needless to say, our monster through put is very fast now, which makes playing this character not too bad. I think it was a better choice than the Duress, even at the expense of some survivability. To rectify that, we made a safety body in a Great Hauberk that dropped late in A2H and it spawned with 2 sockets, so that replaced the field plate he was using before, for about 800 more defense.

The Crescent Moon made mincemeat of even the itchies in the maggot lair, and we finished off Coldworm's room in about 20 seconds between us, and even that was with Garan poisoned and retreating so that a beetle lightning bolt wouldn't kill him.

No stairs trap in claw viper 2, so far so good.
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Found a skiller with some FHR.Screenshot014.jpg

I also found a coronet and decided to have Charsi imbue it. The results were nice to say the least. I may re-enter this tournament with a Necro, this would have been great for him. Even so it was good enough to replace the crafted helm that Garan was wearing before. It basically helped cold resist a lot, and we made up the loss of fire resist with a couple of charms.
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Many many ghosts in the AS. We had to go to all four arms to find the summoner, but it wasn't too bad. With sanctuary at level 6 the radius wasn't too much and the lightning + cold damage and open wounds from the merc got them down without too much trouble. This was the only guy that was able to kill Pratham. He smoked the others.
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This guy went down without any problem too. We have diverse damage now, and that suits Garan perfectly.
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Duriel killed (edit: Pratham) at the end of the act but he was a sliver of his former self and the Black smites finished him off. Second straight tournament character with a Demon Limb, nice! Can't wield it though, we're too weak.
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GaranDarkslayer, level 79 Kurast Docks
 
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Norcim

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Jul 21, 2020
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Nice progress @Luhkoh, congrats on the first Destroyer! I completely agree about Act 4 being the coolest, the ambience and environment just feel exactly how Diablo should to me.

@Pb_pal - that Kelpie drop in this tournament is such a tease. Any other one and you'd be ecstatic.

@PhineasB - Congrats on Guardian Orange! You just flew through Hell. I'm really excited to see your writeup and compare Orange's gear and skills to Valryka's. I think they are going to be almost identical in many areas. Hoping we get similar rolls in Act 5 to yours, so far we've hit gloams pretty much everywhere we can so far.


Valryka is resting up before proceeding down into Hell in Act 4! The jungle areas started out smoothly, with Kasim and the Valk rolling through the LI flayers. Once we hit gloams in the Great Marsh I finally decided to burn Valryka's 18 saved skill points. Frozen Arrow doesn't freeze them, and running around without the resists from Rhyme or the extra D/A/E from the +skills on the javelin was not a good idea with them around. Frozen arrow at skill level 4 will be used to freeze LI enemies, and OW/FA/Enchant damage should hopefully be enough to take out the LI/PIs we run into. We've had good luck there; we had a long stretch from the Far Oasis up to the temples where we didn't run into any. In all, we only hit two LI/PI bosses the whole act, and we were able to take both down.

I maxed the Valk and spent most of the rest of the points on Power Strike. I did put two extra points into Decoy and likely will put the remaining here. I'm finding that Decoy goes down a little too quick for my liking at times, and 2 or 3 more points into PS won't make that huge of a difference in terms of damage. Having the Decoy last an extra second or two might be crucial later. Plus it makes the Valk tougher, which is never a bad thing.

We hit the Gidbin and Flayer Dungeon as soon as we entered the Flayer Jungle from the Great Marsh WP. After rescuing the Gidbin, we actually got a nice ring from Ormus. This replaced a crafted blood ring, as it had pretty much the same mods as the blood ring but with more resistances and better life.
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We rolled dolls and gloams in the Swampy Pit, but really didn't have any trouble down here. Valryka caught one doll explosion and it took off ~600 life, but other than that pretty smooth sailing. As we carried on through the Flayer Jungle we saw Aldur's Deception drop. Not particularly useful but very cool to see.
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We found 0 runes in LK, which is always a bummer. Did pick up a Peasant Crown from a poppable log though, which was always one of my favorite twinking helms. If I have nothing better by Act 5 it might get personalized and socketed with an Um rune we've got. We finally found where Black Hack had respawned after the last time we killed him:
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The first two temples didn't have stair traps, and so we rolled through them. We fought Sarina in a big pack but the Decoy held up long enough for us to establish a good position and then I just recast it every now and then when I felt like it might be about to die. It soaked up a lot of the damage and attention, which allows Kasim and Valryka to cut through them.
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Minor stair trap in the Forgotten Reliquary with a single boss pack, but at P1 our team just rolled through them without any issue. The Ruined Fane was completely empty. There wasn't a single monster inside it, which I don't think I've ever seen before.
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We hit an urder pack early in the Durance who pushed us back almost to the stairs to the Trav. These guys were too much for Kasim to handle until I finally got the battle field shaped right with Decoy and could spam Freezing Arrow and keep everyone but the boss frozen. Once that was established Kasim and the Valk had no issues.
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The battle with Star Wound almost cost us our full clear status. We finally got him separated, but then he killed Kasim quickly while I wasn't watching and so Kasim lost his Enchant buff. We could kind of bring him down with OW from jab, but once it wore off he regenerated back to full health quickly. I eventually got him focused on the Valk since Kasim would eventually have died if he was being attached since he couldn't leach and I would have burned all my pots before Star Wound was dead. But this meant I couldn't resummon the Valk until she rolled Amp or a weapon with elemental damage. I eventually decided we'd resort to normal attach with the bow since the poison damage should work with the OW to prevent regen. It was working, albeit slowly, when all of a sudden I was out of arrows. All those saved skill points and I didn't think to put 1 into Magic Arrow... We finally had to bail to town and stock up on multiple arrow sets, but I was really worried I'd come back and he'd have full life again. Fortunately he only had about half life left, and so we were able to slowly fire away and bring him down. Full clear is still intact!
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The battle with Meph was a joke after that fight. Kasim required a few pots since Meph really wanted to kill him, but otherwise CS just dominates bosses. We had a much harder time with Bremm, as he was packing Conviction and kept smoking Kasim. Eventually I just left him dead and let the Valk battle it out while Valryka shot normal and freezing arrows. Didn't actually take that long with that approach.
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The Meph drop was terrible, unworthy of even a screenshot. We finally picked up another Sol rune in the Durance Level 2. I crafted a Mat Jav after we were done with the Act because I felt it was appropriate for this tournament to at least try to get a crafted javelin. The roll gods decided that we were unworthy of anything useful.
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Conqueror Valryka, level 83, Act 4 Hell

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Rich (BB code):
Forumite     Character         Class   Lvl   Progress
--------     ---------         -----   ---   --------
Skiff        ColdFever         Sorc    77    Guardian
Vang         *Spokane          Zon     81    Guardian
PhineasB     Orange            Zon     85    Guardian
Norcim       Valryka           Zon     83    A4 H
OldSoldier   GaranDarkslayer   Pal     79    A3 H
Grisu        Lugh              Barb    79    A2 H
Pb_pal       Elding            Pal     73    A1 H
Vildecor     Rowena            Sin     53    A2 NM
Luhkoh       Amaresu           Sorc    48    A1 NM
Babyhell     ItsATrap          Sin     21    A2 N

Rich (BB code):
Forumite   Character   Class   Lvl   Progress
--------   ---------   -----   ---   --------
zemaj      OUGNecro    Nec     33    A3 N
Jocular    PopeJohn... Pal     48    A1 NM
Vang       Solidify    Sor     54    A1 NM
 
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Luhkoh

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Mar 13, 2020
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Am trying to get through a1nm before rfl round 2 starts because I'm realllly eager to do my first craft session. Not sure if that will happen
This did happen! But I didn't get this post written up till now. Am now near the beginning of a2 nm! And have played a bit with my crafted gear.

Let's see, we left off at and of normal. At some point in a5 norm, I forgot to mention i did reroll one of my savage partizans for the merc, with a pretty cool result.
xF4JEi9.png


In a1 nm, I stuck with my 3x tir double axe, just for the help with the mana. Also I must say nm is more dangerous than I remembered. Seems like it goes from barely any bosspacks in normal to basically the same number in nm as you have in hell, rather than an in-between amount. Had a triple boss pack in jail of skele mages and skele archers that i could barely run past and fire an orb without going down to ~100 hp and rejuving. But they went down eventually and I'm still alive.

Countess drop was thul amn, and andy drop was uninteresting.

In a bit of a snafu, I forgot to see what my reward ring was from akara and stashed it without looking. But at the beginning of a2 I remembered, and I did some detective work. Fortunately amazon basin came through for me and told me the akara reward ring for nm is ilvl 30, so I was able to equip this.
K1brtPn.png


That mana is a big help for me. But anyways, beginning of a2. Finally time to CRAFT. Had enough material to craft something for every slot, except merc armor unfortunately. I was one plain ruby short of being able to make him his blood armor. I'll probably just wait till a4 nm to make it so I can shop a templar coat. Here are the crafts!
x7rco9E.png

I always like to get an action shot.

A4A4e1I.png
\
Merc lance got life leech! But no ed. Still happy with this one.

lnE8BbT.png

Blood helm was decent enough.

zKYfVwz.png

Safety helm underwhelming but I'll take it.

XcdTiUP.png

Hitpower armor rolled HUGE fhr, but nothing else.

9mOabN6.png

Caster belt was pretty good, but since I'm overstacked on fire res from my 25fres ormus ring and 38fres anya orb, its a bit of a waste.

ZcGLuF2.png

Pretty dang nice caster amulet, but leaves me 3fcr short of the 37 breakpoint, and again heavy on fire res I don't need. Still pretty great, but might not be end game. We will see.

LrE3gQX.png

Cubing up emeralds for another craft. Haha did about the same with sapphires.

0bxxHZa.png

Caster shield, quite pleased it rolled some all res.

gNwWPAf.png

The gloves didn't offer much. I'll take the cold res though ofc.

N8Btxlu.png

Lastly, the boots probably weren't even worth the crafting mats, but I'll wear them anyways :p. I didn't want to craft safety greaves since I'd rather keep my strength at 60, but we'll what happens when I craft again before hell.

Here is what the resists look like for nightmare.
2bcRiMU.png


The 256 mana is also a huge improvement. 256 mana with 0mpk seems to be treating me better than the 150 mana with 8mpk I had been using. Can actually teleport some distance now :). I went ahead and cleared radament and rocky waste plus stony tomb to try out the new gear, and it feels pretty good! Better res, better mana, same dmg. I'll take it :). Would love more light and cold res, but I'm glad I have some light res on charms, and this should be fine through nightmare.

Ooh lastly, I did burn a respec because I decided I wanted to try out orb/hydra, rather than orb/fireball. Some dps calculations I did earlier this morning suggest that may have been a bad idea, but we will see haha. Decided it would be fun to try out.

@PhineasB are you allowed to save and exit to reroll monster types if you haven't killed anything in the area? Seems a bit cheesy and/or against the spirit of single pass to me, but I don't immediately see that it breaks any rules. And if it indeed doesn't, am sure I'd use it to reroll frozen river gloams in hell or something 😅.

Rich (BB code):
Forumite     Character         Class   Lvl   Progress
--------     ---------         -----   ---   --------
Skiff        ColdFever         Sorc    77    Guardian
Vang         *Spokane          Zon     81    Guardian
PhineasB     Orange            Zon     85    Guardian
Norcim       Valryka           Zon     83    A4 H
OldSoldier   GaranDarkslayer   Pal     79    A3 H
Grisu        Lugh              Barb    79    A2 H
Pb_pal       Elding            Pal     73    A1 H
Luhkoh       Amaresu           Sorc    54    A2 NM
Vildecor     Rowena            Sin     53    A2 NM
Babyhell     ItsATrap          Sin     21    A2 N

Rich (BB code):
Forumite   Character   Class   Lvl   Progress
--------   ---------   -----   ---   --------
zemaj      OUGNecro    Nec     33    A3 N
Jocular    PopeJohn... Pal     48    A1 NM
Vang       Solidify    Sor     54    A1 NM
 

Norcim

Active member
Jul 21, 2020
20
125
28
We had finished Act 3 just a hair shy of level 84, so we picked that level up early in the Outer Steppes. I put the skill point into MA just in case we run into another tough LI/PI and I want an attack that doesn't use all my arrows.

We hit Burning Souls in the Plains... We did OK with gratuitous use of Decoy and Slow Missiles. We could take a few lightning bolts, so I was pretty confident I wouldn't get an insta-deeds because of them. We did run into the requisite Conviction boss surrounded by souls combo, but we were able to lure the boss away and take him on without souls. At least it wasn't a Conviction soul boss... I did a quick resists check while under Conviction and it's not an encouraging site (note that this on the Rhyme switch, we'd be in huge trouble if we got hit while on the bow switch):
Screenshot002.jpg

Izual went down so fast I almost didn't get a screenshot. I put the points into Decoy, which we now cast at level 8.
Screenshot003.jpg

I got to take MA out for a test drive in the City of the Damned. It helped a bit, but I think most of the damage on this guy was from Kasim's enchant. I felt comfortable on the bow switch here under Conviction since there are no souls in this area.
Screenshot004.jpg

We had one of our toughest fights of the playthrough in the River of Flame. It was a triple boss pack, with 2 LI Abyss Knight bosses and 1 Pit Lord boss. The Pit Lord was cursed, and one of the Abyss Knights had Conviction. You really can't separate the Abyss Knight packs so you just have to battle them where they are, and in groups they can pack a punch. We got the Pit Lord group out of the way first, but then had to try to take the other 2 packs on at the same time. I burned almost all of the full rejuvs I had with me keeping Kasim alive since these guys are all LI and I needed him, but I figured that would be OK since I could re-stock from the GoMule stash once we hit the RoF waypoint. I was able to get a screenshot of us fighting the last boss, who of course turned out to be Black Hack.
Screenshot005.jpg

Hephasto took a bit to get lured out, but then went down very meekly to the combined power of the team. The Hell Forge rewarded us with a Mal.
Screenshot007.jpg

We had no issues in the CS. Infectors pack was taking big chunks out of Kasim until I realized that the Infector was PI and Kasim kept attacking him instead of his minions, preventing leech. Once I pulled them apart a bit with Decoy and got Kasim working on the minions it was no trouble. Valryka just went toe-to-toe with Infector by herself and dropped him quicker than I could grab a screenshot.

Our best find of the act was a 3 socket Nat's armor from an OK boss in the CS. This is a personalization candidate for Kasim later if we get there, as the 3 sockets give us plenty of options for customizing it. Valryka would love it but doesn't have the strength, though we could burn a respec and put a Hel or a -Req jewel into one of the sockets. The plus life on the armor would make up for having to spend extra points in strength.
Screenshot008.jpg

The Diablo fight wasn't bad. He actually took the Valk down right away and I had to use 2 full rejuvs on Kasim, but Valryka never took any damage. We picked up a set of Trang's gloves from Diablo:
Screenshot010.jpg

So we've now found something from Aldurs, IK, Nats, Tals, and Trangs on this playthrough. We'll see if we can't scrounge up something from Mavs and Gris before the end just to say we got a little something from every class specific set.

Conqueror Valryka, Level 84, Act 5 Hell

***

Rich (BB code):
Forumite     Character         Class   Lvl   Progress
--------     ---------         -----   ---   --------
Skiff        ColdFever         Sorc    77    Guardian
Vang         *Spokane          Zon     81    Guardian
PhineasB     Orange            Zon     85    Guardian
Norcim       Valryka           Zon     84    A5 H
OldSoldier   GaranDarkslayer   Pal     79    A3 H
Grisu        Lugh              Barb    79    A2 H
Pb_pal       Elding            Pal     73    A1 H
Luhkoh       Amaresu           Sorc    54    A2 NM
Vildecor     Rowena            Sin     53    A2 NM
Babyhell     ItsATrap          Sin     21    A2 N

Rich (BB code):
Forumite   Character   Class   Lvl   Progress
--------   ---------   -----   ---   --------
zemaj      OUGNecro    Nec     33    A3 N
Jocular    PopeJohn... Pal     48    A1 NM
Vang       Solidify    Sor     54    A1 NM
 

OldSoldier

Active member
Aug 19, 2020
58
175
33
GaranDarkslayer ventured through the forests of Kurast with Pratham amid a singular focus toward killing Mephisto and finding the dark wanderer. Along the way, they killed some silly little cleaver-wielding psycho demons, who dropped an idol that Ormus turned into this sweet ring.
Screenshot003.jpg

They were able to skip the great marsh area, which was nice. They did decide to go into the Kurast Bazaar temples, in order to retrieve the Lam Esen book. Sin Rend was quite fun.
Screenshot005.jpg

It wasn't Sin Rend but another boss just a bit farther past this point that did this in one hit (from full health):
Screenshot007.jpg

I didn't think anything was capable of doing 998 damage on /P1 but the numbers don't lie. I stopped running away from this boss (I'm cursed in the shot if you can't tell) to open the portal and he hit me then. Ouch!

The Flayer brothers were the cause of some consternation, but they were not really too bad.
Screenshot010.jpg
Screenshot011.jpg

Mephisto died in seconds.
Screenshot015.jpg

Izual was gone in about 15 seconds as well.
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Steel Grumble was the toughest boss so far (as far as resistance to our damage). We burned two blues killing him with OW.
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...and our Hell HF drop continues an unfortunate streak of "Io" runes. Ugh. It must be 5 in a row where my Hell drop was this same rune. Blar.
Screenshot022.jpg

GaranDarkslayer, level 81 River of Flame WP
 

Dazliare

Active member
Mar 20, 2020
76
116
33
I might regret this, but I'm in again with a sorceress. I'm long overdue for a bunch of upgrades on my pc that I've been putting off because I think a few of them are going to bork my d2 stuff, so I was considering doing all of that after Taliesin died.

That said, I barely got to use any crafted items on Taliesin, and I love the theme of this tournament, so I thought I would try my favorite build - a Hydra Sorceress. Svetlana has begun her journey
 

OldSoldier

Active member
Aug 19, 2020
58
175
33
GL Daz! I'm thinking pretty hard about doing a necro in this tournament too, after Garan finishes one way or another.

Garan got a sweet helmet in the CS that we'd normally put on almost immediately (or at least give it to the merc). One of Vizier's minions dropped it I think.
Screenshot001.jpg

I never would have guessed that Diablo would drop Blinkbat's Form in Hell. But he did and it is a grailer for me, so I'm not complaining!
Screenshot002.jpg

Garan made it to Harrogath, level 81.
 

CaseyJones

Active member
Mar 16, 2020
91
234
33
Time to make it official ;)

Code:
Forumite     Character         Class   Lvl   Progress
--------     ---------         -----   ---   --------
Skiff        ColdFever         Sorc    77    Guardian
Vang         *Spokane          Zon     81    Guardian
PhineasB     Orange            Zon     85    Guardian
Norcim       Valryka           Zon     83    A4 H
OldSoldier   GaranDarkslayer   Pal     79    A3 H
Grisu        Lugh              Barb    79    A2 H
Pb_pal       Elding            Pal     73    A1 H
Luhkoh       Amaresu           Sorc    54    A2 NM
Vildecor     Rowena            Sin     53    A2 NM
Babyhell     ItsATrap          Sin     21    A2 N
CaseyJones   RunsWithLava      Dru     17    A1 N

Code:
Forumite   Character   Class   Lvl   Progress
--------   ---------   -----   ---   --------
zemaj      OUGNecro    Nec     33    A3 N
Jocular    PopeJohn... Pal     48    A1 NM
Vang       Solidify    Sor     54    A1 NM

Early thoughts, Fire druids are quite powerful right out the gate. It is the end game that is a slog for them. This play through has proven quite the same. No issues up through Outer Cloister, using both Molten Boulder and Fissure a lot. Normal Countess rune was a Nef (forgot to drop to players 1 :( ) Akara's reward ring just a Damage Reduced by 1. I put it on anyway since there was no reason not to.

Found this useful pelt:
Code:
Gemmed Wolf Head
Wolf Head
Defense: 9
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Level: 6
Required Strength: 16
Fingerprint: 0x80c5c74c
Item Level: 7
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Molten Boulder (Druid Only)
+1 to Firestorm (Druid Only)
+1 to Raven (Druid Only)
+10 to Mana
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Chipped Sapphire

The extra raven and MB boost is nice.

Nothing much else to report yet. Many many chippies, no other runes yet.

Countess Drop Pic:
NormCountess.jpg
 
Mar 14, 2020
4,965
367
83
37
Germany
Wow, this tournament is drawing participants and spewing out Guardians! Impressive, everyone! Now I have to stop from playing Divinity Original Sin II for a bit to catch up with you guys!

Act III was pretty underwhelming regarding gameplay and rewards: besides a unique Shako (not usable of course) and the ominous golden BP, no improvements to my gear happened. Equipping Obedience myself payed off well, because gameplay was much faster. The Teleport Amulet is probably my best item though, because it lets me reposition and kill off the resurrecting shamans and other support monsters while the rest of the group is stunned.

For Mephisto I raised the player setting to 3 to reduce the nodrop chance. I would have been able to do the whole Act III on p3, but I would have probably died of boredom because of my single target attack.

I am now looking for Izual and have probably around 12 hours left till making Guardian...but DOS II really has caught my attention, so I don't know how quickly I will make it (if I make it...)

Screenshot160.jpg

Rich (BB code):
Forumite     Character         Class   Lvl   Progress
--------     ---------         -----   ---   --------
Skiff        ColdFever         Sorc    77    Guardian
Vang         *Spokane          Zon     81    Guardian
PhineasB     Orange            Zon     85    Guardian
Norcim       Valryka           Zon     84    A5 H
OldSoldier   GaranDarkslayer   Pal     81    A5 H
Grisu        Lugh              Barb    84    A4 H
Pb_pal       Elding            Pal     73    A1 H
Luhkoh       Amaresu           Sorc    54    A2 NM
Vildecor     Rowena            Sin     53    A2 NM
Babyhell     ItsATrap          Sin     21    A2 N
Dazliare     ???               Sorc     1    A1 N

Rich (BB code):
Forumite   Character   Class   Lvl   Progress
--------   ---------   -----   ---   --------
zemaj      OUGNecro    Nec     33    A3 N
Jocular    PopeJohn... Pal     48    A1 NM
Vang       Solidify    Sor     54    A1 NM
 
Jul 17, 2020
120
179
43
So I haven't made a post in a while, oops! Everyone has made fantastic progress, feels like a tournament of old :) Lots of updates! I think I'll break up mine in two large ones, Norm and NM (yes I'm finally nearly done with NM after slogging through with a Double Swing barb :p)

Here is my most recent combat pic, having fun with a boss pack of Guardians. You'll notice I gave up and ditched DSwing by this point (y)
Screenshot494.jpg


Anyways, here we go. Act I.

Just kidding, I don't actually have any pictures of Act I...? Anyways, from what I remember of it, y'know, pretty straightforward. Grab a couple scepters from Akara, put a few chipped gems into them, easy. Pitspawn Fouldog was skipped entirely, he can be absolutely brutal for melee characters this early in the game on /p8, even with Howl available.

Act II

It didn't take too long for a couple Tir and El runes to drop. This was taken in the Lost City, all the blood clearly showing that Cranky is now wielding at least 1 Steel Flail...maybe two? Fara took pity on me and offered a 15%ED base. One of my favorite things to watch in the early acts are monsters like the Spear throwers get proc'd with Open Wounds right before they start running away, spewing blood until they keel over. Was that an overly graphic description? :devilish:
Screenshot012.jpg

Here is a representative picture of how dangerous enemies are dealt with. Bash is hugely important for any undergeared barb to kill Bosses/Champ packs. Or monsters like Urdars/Abominables/Snakes that have stun or knockback. Being able to force them into hit recovery neutralizes the threat nearly completely. Or, if faced with a Champ pack that cannot be howled, pushed away momentarily so that you may focus on killing them one by one.
Screenshot021.jpg

A nice little Breastplate made possible with a 20psn damage/30res rare jewel. Very nice to have some +elemental damage from my armor since weapon improvements will be difficult to source until Battle Hammers, Divine Scepters, and other exceptional maces are available to craft.

And, that was that! Duriel dead and onto Act III!

Act III

Always a scary moment, seeing a boss pack of these brutes make their way towards you. Luckily, Howl+Battle Cry+Bash solves all problems most of the time.
Screenshot038.jpg

A few nice drops at this point in the game. Ormus's ring, double rune drop from LK (please let this happen in Hell), and a +9 @res jewel. A pretty good result from the 3chipped gem recipe that made my life much more pleasant in terms of killing speed. Plus, with using WSM bug on double swing, I'm pretty sure Cranky was attacking at 5fpa.


In general, this is how a lot of fights go for Cranky, depending on how recently his items have been upgraded relative to the monsters being fought. Fast attack+Life steal+Battle Cry means that I take dumb risks, lol. As you can see here I'm surrounded on all sides, poisoned, fighting a super unique, and have already used up half of my health potions. But...it's okay. Like Shapeshifters, Barbs have such a huge surplus of life in Normal and NM that you can play a bit more freely than some other melee builds.
Screenshot054.jpg

Ran into a couple stair traps in Kurast: one, two. Travincal was taken at the threshold (until Razan kicked the bucket). And check out the arm and body extension the Barbarian gets into his attacks, I love this screenshot, really shows how much effort Blizz put into designing the game. And a very scary Bosspack taken care of with positioning and bash.

Meph was taken on at /p7 if I recall, Cranky was feeling relatively strong after his equipment upgrades. Not that it gained me anything!

Screenshot082.jpg

Act IV

There really is nothing worse than Grotesques and Bugs when playing as a melee character. I hate it in Normal, in NM, and Hell. It's just damn tedious. Especially in Hell when the Grotesques have pretty high physical resists.

Screenshot092.jpg

Heph offered us a nice Hellforge drop:
Screenshot096.jpg

De Seis and Infector were taken care of relatively easily, in Norm they're not too bad. De Seis was just a little annoying; Decrep and his penchant for running away can make killing him difficult. I love this picture of Diablo, framed by fire. Got a couple uniques, but nothing useful.
Screenshot100.jpg

And I will actually cut this short for the moment! The rest will be added today or later this week.


Okay, Act V.

Up until the Crystalline Passage, Act V is a bit of a monotonous slog. Which makes sense, you're breaking through their siege on Harrogath. I do like the trenches you battle through to get to Shenk. And I've always appreciated the little abandoned barbarian house. On the way to Thresh, a Dol dropped! Very nice to see some higher runes, even if it will likely go unused.

I think this picture best illustrates Act V...lots of running around, using Howl and Taunt to manipulate the monsters into groups that are manageable. Steel Flail + double ith'd War Hammer really isn't enough damage anymore. Each monster takes probably 8-10 hits at least. Monsters aren't being put into hit recovery as much. All of this means I'm getting hit by enemies much more than just one Act ago. And here's a screeny of a very difficult fight against champ frenzy taurs. I believe what worked best was the old, tried and true, "run-away" strategy until they were broken up.
Screenshot113.jpg

I really hate Abominables with a melee character. Chill+Stun= a bad time, and possibly deeds in higher difficulties if you can't get a source of CBF. Combined with Mana Burn from Frozenstein and things can get hairy quickly. Luckily Cranky had no issues. Anya's reward was useless, but I did finally get a couple gem shrines.

Nothing much happened up through Lister, other than a scary Cursed Frenzytaur bosspack. Wave 1 through Wave 3 were dealt with closer to Baal, but Wave 4 and Wave 5 were given a lot more space. I think if not for my War Hammer having Amp, as well as my Merc's weapon, Act IV and Act V would've been much much more difficult.

Screenshot137.jpg

Thankfully, Baal didn't really move around all that much, check out the piles of blood from Open Wounds. And then Baal gave Cranky an incredibly lucky drop that was personalized once into NM Act I, Spirit Shroud. Having CBF on a piece of gear *other* than Rhyme shield means that doing DSwing is actually, potentially, viable in NM and Hell despite being HC and dealing with the tourney's gear restrictions.

Screenshot141.jpg

Here is Cranky, level 47, right before entering the portal. Strength is at 105 to wield Battle Hammer and Divine Scepter. His double swing damage hadn't increased since the middle of Act III...and oh boy things did not improve that much upon starting NM :ROFLMAO:

Funnily enough, I did Nihl after killing Baal. Cows went fine, and that was that! Onto NM, and some much needed crafting for new equipment.

Code:
Forumite     Character         Class   Lvl   Progress
--------     ---------         -----   ---   --------
Skiff        ColdFever         Sorc    77    Guardian
Vang         *Spokane          Zon     81    Guardian
PhineasB     Orange            Zon     85    Guardian
Grisu        Lugh              Barb    84    A4 H
Norcim       Valryka           Zon     83    A4 H
OldSoldier   GaranDarkslayer   Pal     79    A3 H
Pb_pal       Elding            Pal     73    A1 H
Jocular      Cranky            Barb    71    A5 NM
Luhkoh       Amaresu           Sorc    54    A2 NM
Vildecor     Rowena            Sin     53    A2 NM
Babyhell     ItsATrap          Sin     21    A2 N
CaseyJones   RunsWithLava      Dru     17    A1 N

Code:
Forumite   Character   Class   Lvl   Progress
--------   ---------   -----   ---   --------
zemaj      OUGNecro    Nec     33    A3 N
Jocular    PopeJohn... Pal     48    A1 NM
Vang       Solidify    Sor     54    A1 NM
 

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