The Normal Set Project

Maltatai

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Arcanna has found her first set piece...
...which is nice but she won't be able to complete the set due to the impossile odds of the amulet dropping. Perhaps she can go with no amulet instead or something.

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Mimmi meanwhile wades through lightning into the City of the Damned...
...and I am still unable to keep Kundri alive as the gloams pose the same long range problem as the hydra casting council members. Mimmi has managed notably well given her worthless equipment. Only her belt, Bloodfist and the set jewelry is really good in hell. I am so disappinted in my inability to protect the hireling that I am tiring fast of the character and she will probably die soon.

The beginning of Act IV was amusing as Kundr got stuck in a corner and continued to shoot unopposed as Mimmi had snuck back inside the fortress limit. The plains of despair had four despairingly unpleasant burning soul bosses that Mimmi could knock back rather well with dragon talon, but only if she separated them from all the minions first. I put a point in mind blast, rising to 3 with equipment, which is helpful of course. I don't remeber if she was planned to go without the skill, maybe it should be considered cheating in some way that I have forgotten.

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Mimmi is now at the City of the Damned, almost reduced to a weak, and worse: casual gamer cookie-cutterly, trapper since her boots are too weak to make melee worthwhile at all. I try to use dragon talon regularly and it is certainly effective against some enemies but it is starting to get too risky.
 
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Maltatai

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Twice-damned devil!
Mimmi endured a slow trail through the River of Flame against maggots whose poison she has no tolerance of and maw fiends and pit lords that took forever to take down. At least there were no abyss knights, those are an absolute pain with their lightning immunity. The landscape is fairly good for a ranged character with both open spaces and bottleneck areas that allows for many kinds of tactics. Mimmi found a nice bridge and sharp turn close tot he Hellforge where she intended to trap Hephasto. That succeeded but he was so fast and wandering that he eventually got around and crossed the bridge.

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Hephasto can be knocked back reliably with mind blast which proved to be a good investment in the end of Act IV. Mimmi burned through her mana in no time alternating between mind blasting the fast smith, casting death sentries and throwing shurikens in spare moments. Kundri kept firing most of the time and added physical damage and open wounds. It was an effective but very tiresome tactic.

The guy looks totally silly in green. Why not the original brown, or some dark red instead? These green and blue demon leaders look quite out of place.

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The forge did yield a good rune, a Mal! I would have preferred a Pul, Um or Lem but the Mal in Mimmis sabre ensures no enemy will be able to resist the duo, and quickly proved its worth in battle against big demons.

The Chaos Sanctuary was very slow and dangerous with the oblivion knights and scattered formations of their minions. Mind blast added a lot to the effectiveness as enemy mobs gathered and became vulnerable to lightning shots and corpse explosions. Conversion does by the way attract monsters from fara way like the confuse and attract curses and bone walls do.

The last battle against the venom lords went well but some remained due to having been converted. I couldn't make them face Diablo though, which would have been a sight. Blade fury was handy even with its low damage, thanks to the Mal rune. Cutting regeneration shortened the battle a lot.

Against Diablo, I had decided to melee and that was the right decision, He favored his lightning, which in hell starts so far out from him that close combat is safer than ranged combat in that regard. Mimmi had taken note of a skill shrine close by and had great use of it. Goblin Toe quickly dropped Diablos hit points but the last quarter was slow and Mimmi ran out of potions and Kundri wnadered to far to the side and got hit by the lightning which she died of in milliseconds. It was all in all an encouraging experience, proving that Diablo can be tanked even with unimpressive equipment, as long as you watch out for the firestorms. He castt hose once or twice but Mimmi spotted his overly dramatical gestures in time to move out of the way.

So Diablo died and Mimmi had opened a town portal the very moment. Because of that or because of the converted and remaining venom lords when Diablo appeared, the game showed the quest as unable to be completed in this game! WHAT THE FLAMING FIRESTORMS!? She would have to do it all AGAIN!?

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So damned be it, then. To avoid even potential trouble with conversion I went in the opposite direction and started with the Infectors venom lords and saved the grand vizier of chaos for last, a pack that Mimmi would be able to handle well witout mind blasting. The tactics were otherwise the same and when going back to Act I to look for a suitable shrine the first good one she found was another skill shrine.

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The second battle against Diablo went mostly like the first but Mimmi had just two rejuvenation potions and had a risky moment when disengaging to retreat and resupply. I first tried to resume meleeing but it was far too dangerous with just a single rejuvenation potion left for emergencies like the firestorm. So it would have to be a ranged affair and eventually deaths entries took the title chaarcter down, this time for good.

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Mimmi is now at level 82, happy to be in Act V, less happy to run into gloams and vipers and ancients.
 
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Maltatai

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Restless dead of the jungle
Restles and his skeletons proceeded through the Great Marsh yesterday, encountering two dangerous gloam packs which I am happy not to meet again. Their lightning barrages cut down his army quickly unless there are many revives in it. Restles has explored most of the Spider Forest and reached the Flayer Jungle waypoint but parts of the forests and the respective dungeons remain. Ormus' ring will be interesting too. The normal enemies were not particularly troublesome, far less than the undead hordes of the deserts. Just the moment before reaching the waypoint, Restles found a very useful amulet.

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I am not using it at the moment since the skeletons are still strong enough to do the job without the extra skill levels. The job being more precisely to hold off enemies until Diane can shoot them. I have contemplated going for a more defensive setup with a shield with Sol runes instead of open wounds, which would free the amulet spot from providing PDR and allow Maras Kaleidoscope to add to the cold and poison resistances and strengthen the army. It may prove necessary later but it is a secondary goal to make Restles actually able to deal damage with his set sword and the shield is required for that. Also very stylish with the red and black theme along with the Iron Pelt.
 
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Mar 19, 2020
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Nice find, Mara's is always a welcome sight. Also love the red and black look, very cool. Lord of Mages is one of my favourite builds, they are surprisingly resilient while still being effective (albeit not the fastest) killers.
 

Maltatai

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Restles' hardest battle
...took place in the Swampy Pit this evening. That place has the possibility to spawn the despicable combination of undead dolls and gloams, which now had happened at the second level. Restles and his army encountered first a gloam boss pack, aided by a might aura and cursing from themselves or something else behind.

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This something else later proved to be nothing less than another gloam boss pack and two undead doll boss packs, one probably also coming in from the other side. Might, amplify damage, spectral gloam lightning flying across the narrow corridor... Restles army fell apart and that could easily have been the end of him had it not been for two things. The first was the perpendicular corridor seen in the picture. The other was Diane, who not only survived the battle thanks to a few timely purple drinks from a not abundant belt supply, but proceeded to turn the battle thanks to her fast Riphook sniping. No other mercenary would have stood a chance. With a couple of skeletons and a few battered revives holding the entrance, her arrows created corpse after corpse and slowly the undead scourge rose again, which is the specialty of the undead after all.

Long live the rogues!🏹 :cool: 🎯

Restles, now at level 81 and still at the Flayer Jungle, but having cleared all recently passed regions and with one less stinking dungeon to worry about.
 
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Maltatai

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Career change
Hsarus the wind druid has so far led a moderately succesful life since finding his set. Pushing forward in a dangerous and grceless fashion he has at last decided to follow Civerbs example and change career. Just like the former dropped his summoning for fire spells will Hsarus drop the bland wind magic for the summoning of bloodthirsty beasts...or at least a bloodthirsty and - more importantly - red and thematical Heart of Wolverine spirit. Next he will need some brutish and hairy creature to do his bidding. The arch-enemy druid Cleglaw is angry about the immaterial rights infringement of Hsarus and claims sole rights to the concept of badass red set items, and has sent many cease and desist carved wooden tablets regarding Hsarus' unlawful use of Cleglaws reserve gloves. Hsarus counters with studying summoning extensively and managaes to at last summon Cleglaw in werebear form and force him to walk on all fours and do his bidding. Hsarus has no qualms about sending his eager minion into the bloodiest and most dangerous heroic situations possible.

The peculiar gods of nature, the divine leaf and divine pine cone, so rewards him for his efforts of staying truer to his sets colour that Hsarus decides to hire an even more slow...I mean of course more slowing, town guard. For those who wish to decrease the pace, there is only one real choice. Be cool, man.

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With slowing overdoing from Hsarus' flail and Waheeds fishing tool the deserts are swiftly conquered and thanks to a thematic wand of life tap Duriel is made a huge joke. On top of it, Hsarus has after two tries managed to create a three socket knout which is now black and promises swift demise for all act bosses. With the teleport amulet he has found earlier, things are finally starting to look easy for a mediocre and only moderately effective character. The party needs only one more damage type and if nothing else works he has a rare balanced axe with over 500 poison damage and pretty much nothing else, one of my weirdest finds in nightmare. I can not wait to see what the hellforge or perhaps Mephisto can add to the team.

Hsarus the red and bloody summoner general, commanding his army through the Flayer Jungle at level 57
 
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Maltatai

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Hsarus' advancement
No longer a windbag that blows, Hsarus has summoned his strength and his minions to confront both nightmare Mephisto and Diablo with great success, never losing Waheed at any time. Diablo focused on the bear all the time which bodes very well for future episodes. Mephisto dropped the epic and legendary Woestave! Waheeds fishing rod is probably better right now with solid damage and fire resistance but Hsarus kept the Woestave as a means of dealing with dual immune enemies. Cleglaw the enslaved bear is growing steadily in strength, especially since Hsarus made a Lore hat with +3 to the grizzly. It is a falcon mask, which is sort of fitting since Hsarus' signature skill is maxed ravens. He completed his magic finding wardrobe early in Act V, bringing it to about 240 % with good resistances included. It has paid off, especially with several visits to Mephisto after rerolling the map a few times. Hsarus has found the cool Goldskin plate which looks good and fits both his dark red shield and yellow hat decently. The gold could be useful to unlock steady corpse explosions from a black weapon and steady teleporting from his amulet.

The hellforge gave Hsarus a Shael rune. Quite boring. He will have to rely on a black tyrant club or something similar which should be reasonably easy to acquire. Hsarus has started saving stat points in order to meet the requirements of what he can get his hands on. Waheed could also use an upgrade but in the worst case Cleglaw and the spirit will see to it that the party can deal some damage still.

Here is Hsarus in the Bloody Foothills next to a random pillar. I took the screenshot because I figured the pillar could be used to make a cool frame for edited pictures. It's nicely detailed and the shade on the left side would make a good contrast to lighter pictures like those from Act II.

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Currently at level 64 in nightmare Glacial Trail.
 
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ffs

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Nice progress! Huge fan of Death's set, very underused and I actually had a few ideas of using its bonuses for Hell farming builds.

I mean, first of all it's a lvl 6 set that can easily carry you to lvl 30+ on P8. Super strong twinking option. Then it has some really nice bonuses that are not only OP for playthrough, but also interesting at later levels.

The most interesting combo is gloves + belt. This provide 30 IAS, which is otherwise only possible from those two slots when using Nos Coil. On top of that it's the only belt + glove combination that provides 30 IAS and CNBF. And this comes along with 8% LL and +15 all resist. Hello!?

Using the weapon is probably not worth it for Hell builds, but something like a Barb who can use it as "stats only" offhand might still find a use for it and the full set bonuses it provides, which aren't bad either.
 

Maltatai

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A barbarian could maybe make it worth his while by charging up frenzy with the help of the off hand set weapon. I hope to be able to make the Berserkers set work in that way.
 
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Maltatai

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Ssssssss...we will eat you, Alicccce...
The Claw Viper Temple greeted its visitor with an immediate ambush that at once pushed Alices party back to the stairs.

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It would seem every serpent of note had slithered here to terrify another bowazon. So many were they that one has to wonder where they all live under normal circumstances. There are no woods in Aranoch so they must consequently be snakes on a plain. Each more terrible than the next.

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"Trusssst in me...come a little closssser...Sssssss"

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There were no bone warriors or guardian mummies in the temple, so full was it of the revolting reptilians.

With a heavy heart Alice stepped lightly down the stairs. Barely had she noted that no Fangskin seemed to be near when a pack of champion claw vipers charged from nowhere and pinned her valkyrie in place ever closer to the stairs.

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In a daring move, Alice used her teleportation amulet to jump to the northern top of the second level, where Fangskin in my experience rarely nests. It was necessary to get away from the champion pack and I was hoping to quickly seize the upper corner to defend. To Alices delight the northern corner was empty so she could approach the mound, confirm that it was also empty, and teleport onto it in a blink. That was that.

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The Palace Cellar is a dreaded place for mercenaries with archers and mages waiting to ambush with overlapping auras and a megazillion of enchantments. Not this time though, for between Geraldines bulky appearance and Ajheeds cold the enemies managed little.

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Alice has reached the Arcane Sanctuary without casualties, Ajheed continuing to deliver and stay safe. She has now her own set of frames, constructed from Jerhyns palacial pillars no less.
 
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Maltatai

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One lucky find indeed, especially for a character that could not buy a teleport staff due to the set item restrictions.

Alice is now at level 79 in the Canyon of the Magi. The Arcane Sanctuary is nothing except tedious when you have a recastable valkyrie. Burning dead droves await, yaaawn...
 
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