The Three-Legged Race Tournament

Maltatai

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Mar 17, 2020
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I think you are right to focus on the paladin first but the amazon will not keep the summoned valkyries from Peace without a point in the skill. Peace is still a useful rune word compared to the cost early on, although the points to critical strike from it would clash with the tournament rules if the amazon has only javelin skills unlocked, wouldn't they?
 

Crudesash

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Feb 19, 2021
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I think you are right to focus on the paladin first but the amazon will not keep the summoned valkyries from Peace without a point in the skill. Peace is still a useful rune word compared to the cost early on, although the points to critical strike from it would clash with the tournament rules if the amazon has only javelin skills unlocked, wouldn't they?
I believe you have saved my tournament bacon. I did not realize the Valk does not stay until killed, and for some reason I thought the CS buff is similar to what you find on items and not the skill, but I see it now. Auras, like from Insight, are allowed, but not passives.
Very glad I did not make or equip the armor yet. Now I’ll have to do some more thinking, but I still think with how powerful the Zon will be in NM from range gives her the single tree edge. Let’s hope I’m right. And thank you!
 

Crudesash

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Feb 19, 2021
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Quick one here; cleared the Den on /p5 with both characters; rolled the dice with the defensive tree for the Paladin...Act 1 will be a bit of a slog until I can get that might merc. None of the defensive auras are truly fire and forget, kind of like bouncing between Salvation and Cleansing as needed for the moment but I think I may actually choose Defiance as the Main aura once I get the might merc, but we'll see.

Code:
SP  Forum Name         Characters        Level   Furthest WP             Points
--  -----------------  ----------------  ------  ----------------------  -------
Y   Hanshotfirst       Sorc/Sin          86/85   (H) Harrogath              166
N   Booble             Sorc/Druid        54/65   (H) Rouge Encampment       124
N   Crudesash68        Zon/Paladin       46/46   (N) Cold Plains            62
Y   skoolbus           Druid/Sorc        48/49   (N) Dark Wood              60
N   PhineasB           Necro/Druid       43/47   (N) Rogue Encampment       60
Y   Gynli              Zon/Necro         32/48   (N) Rogue Encampment       51
N   Swamigoon          Sin/Druid         34/31   Harrogath                  39
Y   Pb_pal             Sorc/Zon          33/29   Pandemonium Fortress       39
N   DariusTriplet      Sorc/Zon          31/24   River of Flame             32
Y   Vildecor           Zon/Sorc          21/20   Lut Gholein                12
Y   Maltatai           Druid/Druid       21/15   Lut Gholein Sewers         9
Y   b1ur               Paladin/Druid     20/1    Lut Gholein                6
N   CaseyJones         Sorc/Druid        1/1     Rogue Encampment           0
 
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HanShotFirst

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Jul 23, 2020
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Bend, Oregon
Win-Guardian-Leviosa!

Screenshot434.jpg

'You're saying it all wrong.'
It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa ...

Oh, right. Mmm, never mind then.
I think we're talking about two totally different things ...

My Frozen Orb Sorceress has done a full clear of Hell Act V! Mostly at players 3, Nihlathak's Temple Level 2, Icy Cellar, (and Cows), at players 1. (Nihlathak's Temple Level 2 due to monsters, Icy Cellar due to time, and Cows because, well, it was my shooting gallery victory lap :D ).

Hell Act V went really well, but I guess that shouldn't be much of a surprise. The challenge part of the tournament has passed. So mostly, the challenge was continuing the single pass full clear. Early monster spawns sped my journey. I didn't encounter cold immunes until the Arreat Plateau. And even then, it was no big deal. I've got a pretty well geared merc and Static Field, for damage, and then Teleport, Telekinesis, and a Life Tap wand on switch for crowd control. Throw in Energy Shield (backed by a maxed Telekinesis) a good pool of health and mana (about 900 each), and a good amount of damage reduction, and you've got a winner!

Still, when you're trying to get every last monster, some areas are certainly harder than others. Before starting Act V, the Frozen River was an area of concern. It lived up to expectations. Snow Drifters met me at the entrance:

Screenshot417.jpg

Being cold immune, I could half their hit points with Static Field, but needed the merc to finish them off. Not an easy task considering their stun attack, but with Life Tap and Teleport I do believe all things are possible! Also in the Frozen River were those cursed Winged Witches and Souls :rolleyes: . Oh well, we've seen these goons before. Nothing to it but to do it!

The one place where I backed off a bit on my 'can do' attitude was the second level of Nihlathak's Temple. There were cold immune Flesh Spawners. Lots of them. And they sure seemed to be spitting out babies at an extra amazing rate! I would have liked to have done the whole act at players 3, but these guys were just too much. I dropped the players setting to one so that the merc could one or two shot the babies and forward progress could continue ...

So Flesh Spawners are annoying, but not really dangerous. The most dangerous area was probably The Ancients' Way. Why? Frenzytaurs! Probably my most feared monster foe. These guys are fast, hit hard, and run right through most attacks :( . Add uniques:

Screenshot429.jpg

Screenshot430.jpg

And things can get scary fast! Fortunately, while close to the entrance, there weren't any super scary unique Frenzytaurs right at the entrance. With a bit of room to maneuver I was able to break up the mobs and deal with the individuals more one-on-one. Life Tap then allowed the merc to stand and fight ... which was key, because otherwise, these guys were going to blow right through him and be all over me :oops: . But, as they say, it's only dangerous if you don't know what you're doing! And by Hell Act V, I sure felt like I knew what I was doing :D .

After the Frenzytaurs in The Ancients' Way, the Ancients themselves were laugh out loud easy. I separated them and took them down one-by-one. Many, many, potions were brought ... I think I used one? ... Let's hear it again for the Life Tap wand!

Even at players 3, it felt like I just sort of walked into the first three levels of the Worldstone Keep and took them on a whim. I was worried about Souls and Frenzytaurs, but neither monster group made an appearance. There were Souls in the Throne of Destruction and Oblivion Knights too. That monster combo can go terribly wrong ... especially if there's something like a unique Soul with conviction ... which there was ... but I suppose if you know what the danger is, it's pretty easy to avoid it. The Throne was cleared without incident and the waves too! Interestingly, the Unravellers seemed hardest. The combination of the skeletons chilling the merc plus effective poison from the Unravellers caused problems ... but nothing some gold couldn't fix :p . Baal didn't put up much of a fight. Static Field, crushing blow, and open wounds were all very handy, and Frozen Orb actually seemed to be doing pretty good damage too! Baal dropped something of interest:

Screenshot433.jpg

Though, I don't think my Assassin's merc is struggling with attack rating. IDK, it might get some use.

Here's the full list of set/uniques that resulted from the players 3/1 full clear of Hell Act V:
With an imposing 10 mf (+23 if the merc kills).

Immortal King's Pillar, War Boots (Frigid Highlands)
Sigon's Guard, Tower Shield (Frigid Highlands)
Cleglaw's Tooth, Long Sword (Pit of Acheron)
Howltusk, Great Helm (Halls of Anguish)
Cleglaw's Pincers, Chain Gloves (Halls of Vaught)
Arctic Horn, Short War Bow (Icy Cellar)
Demon Limb, Tyrant Club (Baal)

My best find came in the Crystalline Passage:

Screenshot416.jpg

Shimmering Small Charm of Vita
Keep in Inventory to Gain Bonus
Required Level: 39
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 82
Fingerprint: 0x567824ad
+17 to Life
All Resistances +5

Nice! I'll take one of these any day!

Also of note, I found my first white monarch shield ... all the way in The Ancients' Way. I suppose that just underscores how lucky I was to find a four socketed one in Hell Act II with my Assassin :) .

Code:
SP  Forum Name         Characters        Level   Furthest WP             Points
--  -----------------  ----------------  ------  ----------------------  -------
Y   Hanshotfirst       Sorc/Sin          88/85   Guardian                   183
N   Booble             Sorc/Druid        54/65   (H) Rouge Encampment       124
N   Crudesash68        Zon/Paladin       46/46   (N) Cold Plains            62
Y   skoolbus           Druid/Sorc        48/49   (N) Dark Wood              60
N   PhineasB           Necro/Druid       43/47   (N) Rogue Encampment       60
Y   Gynli              Zon/Necro         32/48   (N) Rogue Encampment       51
N   Swamigoon          Sin/Druid         34/31   Harrogath                  39
Y   Pb_pal             Sorc/Zon          33/29   Pandemonium Fortress       39
N   DariusTriplet      Sorc/Zon          31/24   River of Flame             32
Y   Vildecor           Zon/Sorc          21/20   Lut Gholein                12
Y   Maltatai           Druid/Druid       21/15   Lut Gholein Sewers         9
Y   b1ur               Paladin/Druid     20/1    Lut Gholein                6
N   CaseyJones         Sorc/Druid        1/1     Rogue Encampment           0

Up next: Will I have one Guardian or two? We're about to find out ... Here goes my Trapsin (y) .
 

Crudesash

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Feb 19, 2021
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Grats Han, and well done! Really impressive work. My SC Sorc survived a lot of scares on just /P1 but I had a brutal time in late A5, especially the Ancients.
 

PhineasB

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Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
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Congrats on Guardian @HanShotFirst that was quite the journey! Good luck with the Assassin. As for me:
NM A5 (Conqueror).jpgNM A5 (Conqueror).jpg
A bit of a spoiler, but they both made it :p Without full clear and some rerunning, it was reasonably quick progress (with limited time to actually play). There really wasn't much of note that that happened. Drops were poor, but we were able to get a Spirit Sword and Insight Partizan by A2 NM.
NM A2 (Spirit).jpgNM A2 (Insight).jpg
Deimos, the Necro, overtook Typhon the (for now) single-tree Fire Druid as the vanguard by A3 NM. He was super safe, a little slow, but not too bad. He encountered his first unbreakable PI in A2 NM, but I had dropped to p1 for the maggot pit, so it wasn't too much trouble:
NM A2 (First Unbreakable).jpg
Then he pretty much steamrolled through, picking up a Ko at the HF, and navigating an unbreakable PI Korlic (but again had dropped to p1, so not a problem). The only significant drop (and quite significant) was an Um in the WSK (y)
NM A5 (Unbreakable PI Korlic).jpg
NM A5 (Um).jpg
There is not much to report for Typhon: He nearly deeds in Sewers level 2 when two boss packs of stygian dolls with amp and might swarmed as he went to collect the body part. He was able to retreat to level 1 entrance and TP to remove amp, then gambled to reenter and use teleport staff to go southwest, which worked and merc got a foothold. He had a second NDE entering the Plains where a pack of bats that I hadn't seen swarmed. It took a full row of purples, but finally got back behind the merc. I've come around to viewing the bats as one of the most dangerous monster types for these HC playthroughs, at least for me, because I have a hard time seeing them sometimes. HF was a Shael.

Multiple Lums and a Fal also dropped, so he has some options for Runewords, but no base. In general, that was the theme of NM, terrible bases! I was holding out for 2os wand with decent staff mods for the one Io, and nothing. I was holding out for a 2os necro head with decent staff mods for Rhyme, and nothing. I may do some clearing of A5 NM surface areas with the Necro (grabbing skellies from Pindle's garden) to try to get a light exceptional 2os armor (none of those dropped either somehow) so the Necro can build a Smoke for Hell. Typhon will transition to this namesake, with Windy build and maxed Cyclone Armor allowing lower resists.

And the other theme was really poor charms -- nothing higher than 8 on single tree for resists on SC, and nothing above 20 for GCs. So the smoke for the Necro will be key. The only other interesting drops were Ali Baba (perhaps for the Necro), plus some +1 skill amulets and secondary mods, and Nats boots. It was p7/p8 the whole way for both, except for Maggot liar (p1), AS (p1), and Act bosses (p1 or p3) for both.

The real challenge will begin in Hell, but as noted above, I'll spend a little more time in A5 NM looking for some bases. Good luck to everyone still progressing!

Code:
SP  Forum Name         Characters        Level   Furthest WP             Points
--  -----------------  ----------------  ------  ----------------------  -------
Y   Hanshotfirst       Sorc/Sin          88/85   Guardian                   183
N   Booble             Sorc/Druid        54/65   (H) Rouge Encampment       124
N   PhineasB           Necro/Druid       73/74   (H) Rogue Encampment       124
N   Crudesash68        Zon/Paladin       46/46   (N) Cold Plains            62
Y   skoolbus           Druid/Sorc        48/49   (N) Dark Wood              60
Y   Gynli              Zon/Necro         32/48   (N) Rogue Encampment       51
N   Swamigoon          Sin/Druid         34/31   Harrogath                  39
Y   Pb_pal             Sorc/Zon          33/29   Pandemonium Fortress       39
N   DariusTriplet      Sorc/Zon          31/24   River of Flame             32
Y   Vildecor           Zon/Sorc          21/20   Lut Gholein                12
Y   Maltatai           Druid/Druid       21/15   Lut Gholein Sewers         9
Y   b1ur               Paladin/Druid     20/1    Lut Gholein                6
N   CaseyJones         Sorc/Druid        1/1     Rogue Encampment           0
 

Crudesash

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Feb 19, 2021
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Paladin has cleared most of A1NM, stopped at the Jail level 1 after dispatching the Smith. Upgraded that rare Morning star to a Jagged Star, rocking that bad boy now:
Screenshot027.jpg

No real NDE's along the way but a few hairy situations; I started the act on /p5 but dropped to /P3 after the Den, and I still came across some rough spots. I've been using Redemption for most fights, Salvation when needed, Vigor in between. I've got to work through the skill assignments and figure out the best setup for end game, I don't feel like maxed Redemption will be enough in Hell, but there are not a lot of great choices for default defensive auras, as much as situational usage. Best find so far in this act was a Riphook, too bad my Zon is J&S. Hopefully Andariel dies tomorrow.

Code:
SP  Forum Name         Characters        Level   Furthest WP             Points
--  -----------------  ----------------  ------  ----------------------  -------
Y   Hanshotfirst       Sorc/Sin          88/85   Guardian                   183
N   Booble             Sorc/Druid        54/65   (H) Rouge Encampment       124
N   PhineasB           Necro/Druid       73/74   (H) Rogue Encampment       124
N   Crudesash68        Zon/Paladin       46/49   (N) Jail Level 1           67
Y   skoolbus           Druid/Sorc        48/49   (N) Dark Wood              60
Y   Gynli              Zon/Necro         32/48   (N) Rogue Encampment       51
N   Swamigoon          Sin/Druid         34/31   Harrogath                  39
Y   Pb_pal             Sorc/Zon          33/29   Pandemonium Fortress       39
N   DariusTriplet      Sorc/Zon          31/24   River of Flame             32
Y   Vildecor           Zon/Sorc          21/20   Lut Gholein                12
Y   Maltatai           Druid/Druid       21/15   Lut Gholein Sewers         9
Y   b1ur               Paladin/Druid     20/1    Lut Gholein                6
N   CaseyJones         Sorc/Druid        1/1     Rogue Encampment           0
 
Mar 19, 2020
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Canada
Grats on the Guardian Han!! Awesome job, best of luck going for the double!

@PhineasB also congrats on the double-conqueror! Spirit and Insight should definitely help things, good luck moving forward!
 

HanShotFirst

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2020
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Bend, Oregon
'Pity the warrior who slays all his foes.' - Klingon poet G'trok

Screenshot459.jpg

Well, we did it. We've really gone and done it now. There's no more enemies left to fight :cry: .

Yes, that's right. It appears my tournament journey has come to an end.

Hell Act V has been full cleared by my Trapsin at players 3. Which also means, that my Trapsin has pulled off the full, full clear, clear ... (I'm going to have to work on the name for that) ... in other words, my Trapsin full cleared every act, every difficulty, every monster! There was not one monster survivor anywhere. My Frozen Orb Sorceress was close, but left three unique PI/CI Wraiths alive ... er, um ... undead? ... A bit of a shame given I had the means to kill them (open wounds armor for the merc), but it was in the stash not the chest. Oh well, D2 life goes on ...

But back to my Trapsin. Hell Act V went well. Players 3 from start to finish felt very good. And why shouldn't it? This character has a lot of tools at its disposal. Lightning damage from traps. Fire damage from Fire Blast and Death Sentry. Physical damage from Death Sentry and the merc. And lots of choices for crowd control from the well geared merc, summonable (and very tanky) Shadow Master, Mind Blast, Life Tap wand, and Teleport staff. So, yeah. If you can't get it done with all of that ... you're probably doing something wrong.

But that's not to say that even if you're doing everything right, things still can't go wrong:

Screenshot441.jpg

Here's a mob of Souls that dropped on my head when I activated an evil urn. The initial barrage of spectral hit enhanced lighting really did a number on my health ... this screenshot is from when things calmed down a bit. I was ready to stun whatever came out of the urn with Mind Blast but the Souls were faster on the draw :rolleyes: . I don't think I could have done anything better there to avoid the damage ... except, well, not activate the urn ... but then it wouldn't have been a full clear. Anyhow, maxed resists (75) were good enough to save the day and the journey went on ...

The hardest area for my Trapsin was Nihlathak's Temple. I had been expecting trouble there based on the number of LIs that my Frozen Orb Sorceress had encountered. And the area certainly lived up to my fears!

Screenshot445.jpg

Level 1 had LI Frenzytaurs and Beetles. Both seemed to have pretty good physical resistance as well :( . What are you going to do? Well, Mind Blast for crowd control, Teleport for positioning, Fire Blast and merc for a corpse, and then ride the corpse explosion train with Death Sentry! Very workable, but certainly slower than if there hadn't been so many lightning immunes.

I was hoping for a break on Level 2 ... but no such luck:

Screenshot449.jpg

My Trapsin's most hated foes from Act III (maybe anywhere), made a guest reappearance. Nihlathak's Temple Level 2 is rather large, and those LI Zealots (and their healers) are very annoying. The problem? They run away mid-battle :mad: . So they're hard to hit with Fire Blast. They're hard for the merc to finish off (when one retreats he just starts anew on the next and we get nowhere). And even if they did stand and fight, their healers could heal them much faster than I could damage them. Unless, I could get a corpse explosion train going ... but with all the factors going against getting that first corpse it was an annoying area. Things got better when I just started tele-bombing the healers (and sometimes the Zealots), but it was still annoying ... oh so annoying ...

Level 3 only had one LI foe. But it was kind of an important one:

Screenshot451.jpg

A lightning immune Nihlathak meant that I had to get way closer to him than I wanted to. You see where I'm standing in the screenshot above ... that wasn't good enough. At that distance the merc just sort of wandered around taking in the sights :rolleyes: . Okay, so closer we must go. KABLAMO! Nihlathak gets his corpse explosion off faster than my Death Sentries ... and there goes more than half my hit points :eek: . If I'd let him have two corpses with which to work with in short succession I imagine that would have been the game ... Fortunately I had a way to clear corpses (Death Sentry). And once the merc actually entered the battle, it wasn't much of a fight (though Nihlathak's teleportation did mean we had to set up on him a few times :rolleyes: ).

But Nihlathak's Temple was the worst of it! There were certainly other foes that got our attention, like all LI Ancients:

Screenshot452.jpg

Or fanatic dolls in the Throne (there were actually two groups right by the entrance):

Screenshot458.jpg

But in the end we handled them all!

The full clear of cows started off in doubt:

Screenshot461.jpg

The portal was in a lousy location right next to the stockade. Two uniques (not including the Cow King) came wandering right out to greet us. I thought I might try getting some maneuvering room by going to the right but only found a third unique there ... and that one was cursed :oops: . So back to the portal we went to make a stand. Mind Blast proved important here and throughout the Secret Cow Level. Mind Blasts' conversion provided lots of cover for the merc and bought us enough time to get a corpse so the Death Sentries could do their thing. Once we got rid of these first two uniques and got some maneuvering room it became a pretty fun area. At some points I had my own private army of ... I'd say, up to a dozen cows :devilish: . I wish I'd bothered to get a screeenshot. Alas ...

What else ... Drops! There were a surprising number of interesting drops!

Here's the set/uniques that resulted from a full clear of Hell Act V at players 3:
With 82 mf (+23 mf if the merc kills).

The Battlebranch, Poleaxe (Bloody Foothills)
Bladebone, Double Axe (Frigid Highlands)
Skin of the Vipermagi, Serpentskin Armor (Crystalline Passage) <-- 34 resist all, 13 mdr!
Arreat's Face, Slayer Guard (Crystalline Passage) <-- Awesome! ... you know, for a Barb ...
Blackhorn's Face, Death Mask (Frozen River) <-- Interesting, but not if you've got Tal's Mask.
Crow Caw, Tigulated Mail (Frozen Tundra) <-- Nice, but doesn't beat the Duress I just made.
Verdungo's Hearty Cord, Mithril Coil (Frozen Tundra) <-- 15% DR, +38 Vitality! Amazing!
Lidless Wall, Grim Shield (Halls of Pain) <-- Could be handy ... if I didn't have a Spirit shield.
Arcanna's Deathwand, War Staff (Halls of Pain)
Laying of Hands, Bramble Mitts (Worldstone Keep Level 2) <-- Nice, for a different character.
Aldur's Rhythm, Jagged Star (Worldstone Keep Level 3)
M'avina's Icy Clutch, Battle Gauntlets (Baal)
Sigon's Guard, Tower Shield (Baal)

Some great stuff there! For my Trapsin there were two standouts:

Screenshot438.jpg

Skin of the Vipermagi
Serpentskin Armor
Defense: 279
Durability: 23 of 24
Required Strength: 43
Required Level: 29
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 85
Fingerprint: 0x5b35a7e1
+120% Enhanced Defense
Magic Damage Reduced by 13
All Resistances +34
30% Faster Cast Rate
+1 to All Skill Levels

This one beats the socks off the one I've been using (found at normal Diablo ... 25 resist all, 10 mdr). But I don't really need more resistances (they're at the 75 cap), and the one I've been using is already socketed with a Sol Rune ... so given how late in the game it was, I didn't see any reason to make a change.

However:

Screenshot444.jpg

Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Mithril Coil
Defense: 129
Durability: 16 of 16
Required Strength: 106
Required Level: 63
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 81
Fingerprint: 0x726a734e
+38 to Vitality
+107 to Maximum Stamina
+96% Enhanced Defense
Damage Reduced by 15%
Replenish Life +12
10% Faster Hit Recovery

When something this great comes along, it doesn't matter how much game is left. Time to make a change! I had been using the Immortal King's belt, but it really wasn't doing much for me. With Fade active the added resistance were moot. The +25 strength that was helping get me to 156 for the Spirit monarch, could have meant +25 to vitality ... except I wasn't sold on the belt so I was sitting on 25 stat points just in case something better came along. And I'm glad I did! I spent the 25 stat points on strength and got so much more! I only got to use it in Nihlathak's Temple and the Ancients' Way onward, but it was still a great find!

Also:

Screenshot439.jpg

A bit anticlimactic after the Verdungo's, but I am playing in 1.11b ... so it seemed worthy of mention!

Code:
SP  Forum Name         Characters        Level   Furthest WP             Points
--  -----------------  ----------------  ------  ----------------------  -------
Y   Hanshotfirst       Sorc/Sin          88/87   Guardian x2                200
N   Booble             Sorc/Druid        54/65   (H) Rouge Encampment       124
N   PhineasB           Necro/Druid       73/74   (H) Rogue Encampment       124
N   Crudesash68        Zon/Paladin       46/49   (N) Jail Level 1           67
Y   skoolbus           Druid/Sorc        48/49   (N) Dark Wood              60
Y   Gynli              Zon/Necro         32/48   (N) Rogue Encampment       51
N   Swamigoon          Sin/Druid         34/31   Harrogath                  39
Y   Pb_pal             Sorc/Zon          33/29   Pandemonium Fortress       39
N   DariusTriplet      Sorc/Zon          31/24   River of Flame             32
Y   Vildecor           Zon/Sorc          21/20   Lut Gholein                12
Y   Maltatai           Druid/Druid       21/15   Lut Gholein Sewers         9
Y   b1ur               Paladin/Druid     20/1    Lut Gholein                6
N   CaseyJones         Sorc/Druid        1/1     Rogue Encampment           0

Up next: Er, I guess there is no up next. Maybe a double Guardian thread? Though that seems pretty redundant given everything that I've already written here. Single pass, untwinked, hardcore has emerged as one of my favorite play styles. So, it's tempting to go again with two different character classes ... but seven weeks is a pretty big investment in time ... on the other hand, it appears I could get it done before D2R launches ... but single pass, untwinked, hardcore is what I want to do when D2R launches ... so maybe I should just hold that thought and come at it fresh. Oh the decisions ...

Final thoughts (if I don't go again): It was a fun tournament idea. 'Dual twinked' was a play option I hadn't considered before. It was always untwinked or fully twinked. Nothing in between. So this was certainly worth a try! Having tried it though, I'd probably just go with two characters that didn't share gear if I was to do it again. I can't say that my characters ever developed a 'team' feel. It was more like two roommates that were never home at the same time and used each others stuff when the other one wasn't around ... it never felt quite right.

Another bit of let down was that by Hell I was essentially playing two 'normal' characters. If not for the rules, my Frozen Orb Sorceress would have had a point (or more) in Warmth ... but that's not much of a difference ... My Trapsin however, would have been exactly the same. Sure, I could have chosen two character builds that would have been more impacted by the rules ... but it's hard to want to hit yourself in the face for no reason :p . I think it would have been more satisfying if the rules forced the challenge all the way to the end. How? I'm not exactly sure. Maybe giving up on the skill tree restrictions and instead focusing on stat and/or skill points? Maybe something like the stat and skill points earned need to be split between the two characters (i.e. half the collectively earned stat/skill points would go unused)? It would require keeping track of stat and skill points across two characters ... which starts to make things complicated ... probably not the best thing for a tournament to be fun ... but I think it might have been interesting and would certainly preserve the 'tournament challenge' all the way to finish line!

Anyhow, if I make it to the finish line, it's not the tournament's fault. It just must mean I didn't choose hard enough characters :D . Best wishes to all those who remain! I look forward to reading about your adventures!
 
Last edited:

Crudesash

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Feb 19, 2021
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52
Las Vegas
Grats Han! Well done and well earned. I keep feeling like I’ll be “deeds” here soon…and I’m only in NM! I remember the difficulties I had with my 3 SC characters in Act 5, they were all largely untwinked, keeping yourself alive through all of that is really impressive.

Your posts have been great to read, you should at least make a new thread that links here.
 
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Swamigoon

Well-known member
Guide Author
Apr 18, 2020
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Ba5win.png
Ba5winR.png
For the first time in years, one of my hardcore characters has defeated Baal. Ancients and Baal were tackled at /p1, but all other areas were played at /p7. BurlapBag-I clanged up to level 45 the moment Baal fell. Before she goes to fight cows, I will see if I can get her race partner GunnySack-I caught up; he's still at the beginning of act 4.

The bag-lady's skills so far: 16 Mind Blast, 15 Shadow Master, 10 Venom, and of course a point in all other prerequisite shadow skills. Venom has been quite nice; her Gull dagger delivers lots of fast poison damage, and she has become decidedly dependent on Mind Blast for crowd control. Five second stun times are pretty sweet.

Despite her 258 MF (Gull, Tarnhelm, Goldwrap, Nagelring, and another 68 MF on magic gloves, a magic ring, a magic amulet, and rare boots), she found very few notable treasures in act 5 until Baal dropped Chance Guards and Sigon's Sabot. However, she did find a Brainhew axe, which I think Gunny will be happy to swipe.
 

HanShotFirst

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2020
80
430
53
Bend, Oregon
Hmm, must have been the shortest retirement ever:

Screenshot474.jpg

I'm baaack!

Did you miss me? No of course you didn't. You didn't have time.

Yes, like the latest Star Wars endeavor: Here I come again. Way too soon, and neither asked for nor needed!

I thought I might just go do some LK runs ... but how could I? I've tasted single pass hardcore and now there's no going back!

So for round two, I'm going to shoot for something a bit more challenging. I couldn't help but notice that we don't have a Barbarian in the tournament ... We don't even have someone who signed up with a Barbarian and didn't follow through. Well that needs to change! Obviously, Barbarians are almost always three tree characters, so that would seem to explain it's lack of popularity here in this tournament. Singers would seem to be the most obvious exception ... but I don't want to do that ... I've played Singers untwinked, and also super-duper-twinked ... and I just don't care for them. So here's my plan: 20 points in Concentrate, Battle Orders (once I hit NM), Berserk, and Howl - in that order. The rest of the points would go into Bash. And masteries? Who needs them right :p . Who knows what sort of weapon class I'll end up using anyways. If anything, this plan is freeing! At least that's what I'm telling myself.

So far I'm out of the gates with a players 7 full clear of Act I.

I started out increasing mf whenever possible, using normal attack and a scepter until I found:

Screenshot464.jpg

Three guesses who dropped it :D .

Stoutnail
Spiked Club
One-Hand Damage: 10 to 16
Durability: 36 of 36
Required Level: 5
Mace Class - Normal Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 8
Fingerprint: 0xd7e317f
+7 to Vitality
+100% Enhanced Damage
Magic Damage Reduced by 2
Attacker Takes Damage of 6
150% Damage to Undead

This is probably my most commonly first found set/unique. But nearly always appreciated! And this time was no different! The damage and life boost was quite pronounced. I would have liked to use a combat skill to go with it ... but mana restraints just wouldn't allow it. I found this in the Tamoe Highland:

Screenshot466.jpg

The Hand of Broc
Leather Gloves
Defense: 14
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Level: 5
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 7
Fingerprint: 0x10762e63
+20 to Mana
+18% Enhanced Defense
+10 Defense
Poison Resist +10%
3% Life stolen per hit
3% Mana stolen per hit

But sadly, 3% life and mana steal based off no damage (I'm rounding a little here ;) ), is still nothing. So these weren't good enough to enable using a combat skill.

At clvl 18 I had reached the Jail and gained access to Concentrate. With monsters increasingly laughing at my Stoutnail Spiked Club, I decided it was time to make a change. After refreshing the gambling screen many, many, many times, I was able to gamble:

Vicious Poleaxe
Two-Hand Damage: 25 to 54
Durability: 65 of 65
Required Strength: 62
Required Level: 6
Polearm Class - Slow Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 22
Fingerprint: 0xd95a8588
+40% Enhanced Damage

Okay! Now we're talking. This has enough damage for 3% life and mana leech to mean something. So I got to use Concentrate for the rest of Act I, and the merc gets to use it in Act II. Everyone's happy! Except the monsters ... they mostly started to die in one or two hits :devilish: .

Along the way to Andariel I found this hiding in a coffin:

Screenshot471.jpg

Blood Crescent
Scimitar
One-Hand Damage: 3 to 10
Durability: 22 of 22
Required Dexterity: 21
Required Level: 7
Sword Class - Very Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 11
Fingerprint: 0x1f5ca610
+15 to Life
+67% Enhanced Damage
All Resistances +15
15% Life stolen per hit
+4 to Light Radius
15% Increased Attack Speed
33% Chance of Open Wounds

Not much damage. But it's fast source of Open Wounds. I used it against Andariel to get her bleeding before switching back to the Polearm:

Screenshot473.jpg

Overall, it wasn't needed ... she went down FAST.

Andariel dropped no set/uniques but there were others.

Here's the full list of set/uniques that resulted from a players 7 full clear of Act 1:
I ended with 101 mf (+36 if merc kills).

Stoutnail, Spiked Club (Dark Wood)
The Hand of Broc, Leather Gloves (Tamoe Highland)
Cleglaw's Claw, Small Shield (Pit Level 1)
Cleglaw's Claw, Small Shield (Pit Level 1) <-- Not a typo.
Cleglaw's Claw, Small Shield (Pit Level 2)
Gorefoot, Heavy Boots (Jail Level 1)
Blood Crescent, Scimitar (Catacombs Level 1)

So, yeah ... if you need a Cleglaw's shield I guess you know where to go. Interestingly, my Sorceress/Assassin team found six Cleglaw's gloves, and seven Cleglaw's swords, but no Cleglaw's shields ...

My most interesting non-set/unique find was:

Screenshot472.jpg

Circlet of Luck
Defense: 22
Durability: 35 of 35
Required Level: 19
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 24
Fingerprint: 0xb97226a2
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

I was gambling for poleaxes at clvl 20 when I saw a circlet appear in the window for the first time. It had the cost of five poleaxes but I decided given it was sort of a landmark event I'd give it a shot. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be something worthwhile! It only has twelve mf more than the two chipped topaz cap I was using but it looks way, way, cooler! And isn't that what really counts? (y)

Code:
SP  Forum Name         Characters        Level   Furthest WP             Points
--  -----------------  ----------------  ------  ----------------------  -------
Y   Hanshotfirst       Sorc/Sin          88/87   Guardian x2                200
N   Booble             Sorc/Druid        54/65   (H) Rouge Encampment       124
N   PhineasB           Necro/Druid       73/74   (H) Rogue Encampment       124
N   Crudesash68        Zon/Paladin       46/49   (N) Jail Level 1           67
Y   skoolbus           Druid/Sorc        48/49   (N) Dark Wood              60
Y   Gynli              Zon/Necro         32/48   (N) Rogue Encampment       51
N   Swamigoon          Sin/Druid         34/31   Harrogath                  39
Y   Pb_pal             Sorc/Zon          33/29   Pandemonium Fortress       39
N   DariusTriplet      Sorc/Zon          31/24   River of Flame             32
Y   Vildecor           Zon/Sorc          21/20   Lut Gholein                12
Y   Maltatai           Druid/Druid       21/15   Lut Gholein Sewers         9
N   CaseyJones         Sorc/Druid        15/23   Lut Gholein                9
Y   b1ur               Paladin/Druid     20/1    Lut Gholein                6
Y   Hanshotfirst       Barb/Necro        20/1    Lut Gholein                6
P.S. I took the liberty of updating CaseyJones in the table based off of his phone update back at post #39.
@Swamigoon - You're on your own! :p


Up next: My Barbarian is going to continue with Act II. Because, my favorite character always seems to be whatever character I'm currently playing :D .

My other character will be a Necro, because that or Paladin was next most underrepresented in this tournament, and Necro sounds like more fun! It'll be a Bone Necro, another character that typically uses all three skill trees. I'll go Poison and Bone in Normal, and then probably add Curses in Hell ... though, I really do love Golem and Revives ... hmm, decisions, decisions.

Also, I'm going for the glory of fully untwinked. So the Barb and Necro won't be sharing ... I'll probably regret this once the drops start getting good, but hey, it's a tournament, and I'm feeling up for the challenge!
 
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Booble

Member
Mar 20, 2021
13
34
13
@HanShotFirst Congrats on finishing with the first pair. And good luck on the second. I'm excited to see how the Barb does.

Going to have an update soon. Have not had time to play much. Keeping the guys alive takes more concentration than I usually give to Diablo so I have to wait for when I have a good amount of time to make some progress.
 

Kartongen

Active member
Jan 20, 2021
78
132
33
The Frozen North
Haha, @HanShotFirst. How long did you manage to sit on your fingers until you started again? Cause it feels like I read your post about waiting for D2R just this morning. :p

Keep the updates coming ya'll. I am enjoying diablo vicariously through you in my current two-small-childen-means-no-time-to-play situation.

Single pass seems so much like my cup of tea. Will definitely try once I have more time.
Could anyone point me to a breakdown of natural checkpoints (cold plains WP, outer and inner cloister WP, etc.)?
 

Crudesash

Active member
Feb 19, 2021
119
180
43
52
Las Vegas
Haha, @HanShotFirst. How long did you manage to sit on your fingers until you started again? Cause it feels like I read your post about waiting for D2R just this morning. :p

Keep the updates coming ya'll. I am enjoying diablo vicariously through you in my current two-small-childen-means-no-time-to-play situation.

Single pass seems so much like my cup of tea. Will definitely try once I have more time.
Could anyone point me to a breakdown of natural checkpoints (cold plains WP, outer and inner cloister WP, etc.)?
CP, Inner and Outer Cloister, Palace Cellar 1, Arcane Sanctuary, Canyon of the Magi, Travincal, River of Flame, Frigid Highlands. I think that's it?
 
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Kartongen

Active member
Jan 20, 2021
78
132
33
The Frozen North
CP, Inner and Outer Cloister, Palace Cellar 1, Arcane Sanctuary, Canyon of the Magi, Travincal, River of Flame, Frigid Highlands. I think that's it?
Thank you. I felt there would be more, but I think you are correct. Only addition I can think of is the Nilathak "sidemission". (Not listed: lucky additional checkpoints through waypoints near an exit/entrance (I think lost oasis has a decent chance to end up being one).)

@HanShotFirst (and others who have finished such G/M/P's): do you have a rough estimate on total play time per character?
 
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HanShotFirst

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2020
80
430
53
Bend, Oregon
@Kartongen - I did about 100 LK runs before I decided that it wasn't going to be an acceptable substitute for single pass hardcore :D .

I don't have a good time estimate (past it took me seven weeks for the two Guardians with a ~40 hour a week kind of job and otherwise pretty open free time). Outside of LK (where the only interesting thing about the activity is the statistics), I don't know, don't want to know, how much time I've spent on any particular project. I figure that if I'm having fun, that's all that matters!

As for checkpoints (i.e. where I might exit the game), those are all good places. I might add the Sewers in Act II as their own thing. The early Act III wps (Spider Forest, Great Marsh, Flayer Jungle) often (not always) have an option where you can enter and exit in separate directions. If you clear the Kurast Bazaar and exit it's often a short run from the wp to the Sewers (and once done there you can pop up in Upper Kurast). The City of the Damned is another good wp before starting the River of Flame. But sometimes you've just got to put it players 1 and make a run for it! Choose to do that in an open area like say the Arreat Plateau, or Frozen Tundra, (NOT somewhere like the Crystalline Passage or Glacial Trail). When running stay clear of the walls (so monsters can't pin you) and a teleport staff on switch can really help. Also, this tournament's rules say you can "S+E if running from a previously cleared area and you get yourself in trouble" ... I never had to, or got anywhere close to feeling like I needed to ... but I suppose results may vary. Worst case scenario, if you need to kill a few players 1 monsters (and leave the loot) that's really not going to change anything in the grand scheme of things.
 
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HanShotFirst

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2020
80
430
53
Bend, Oregon
SLUG-BUG!

Screenshot483.jpg

My Concentrate Barb has lopped and chopped his way through Act II. It was a full clear at players 7.

Game play was far too sophisticated to put into words, but I'll give it a try. It went something like: See monster. Hit monster with big stick. Die. Die monster, DIE! Yep, that pretty much sums up Act II.

Big sticks used were:

Vicious Poleaxe <-- Gambled in Act I. Used through the Halls of the Dead.
Two-Hand Damage: 25 to 54
Durability: 65 of 65
Required Strength: 62
Required Level: 6
Polearm Class - Slow Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 22
Fingerprint: 0xd95a8588
+40% Enhanced Damage

Savage Lochaber Axe <-- Cubed once I got the cube.
Two-Hand Damage: 10 to 103
Durability: 50 of 50
Required Strength: 80
Required Level: 21
Polearm Class - Slow Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 50
Fingerprint: 0x3d6289bd
+78% Enhanced Damage

Savage Halberd of Excellence <-- Cubed from a diamond found in the Palace.
Two-Hand Damage: 28 to 77
Durability: 55 of 55
Required Dexterity: 47
Required Strength: 75
Required Level: 19
Polearm Class - Normal Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 50
Fingerprint: 0x7323f00a
+72% Enhanced Damage
+8 to Minimum Damage

I had fifteen diamonds stashed at the point I found the cube. The initial set of rolls was pretty disappointing. No poleaxes. No partizans. No interesting suffixes (such as plus damage, leech, IAS, or minus requirements). The best I came up with was a pair of Lochaber Axes. One for me, and one for merc. The damage boost was nice and kept me killing monsters in one or two blows but when I rolled something a bit faster I leapt at the chance. So the damage on the Halberd is a bit less, but I felt the faster weapon speed more than made up for it. I kept cubing savage polearms whenever I found a diamond and eventually got a partizan:

Savage Partizan
Two-Hand Damage: 59 to 131
Durability: 41 of 65
Required Dexterity: 67
Required Strength: 113
Required Level: 23
Polearm Class - Slow Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 50
Fingerprint: 0xeb48c2a3
+75% Enhanced Damage

Though, at this point, it's only aspirational. Neither my Barb or the merc will have the stats to be able to use it for quite some time ...

On the other hand, the chipped diamond that Duriel dropped resulted in:

Savage Bill of Ease
Two-Hand Damage: 24 to 93
Durability: 27 of 50
Required Strength: 76
Required Level: 25
Polearm Class - Normal Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 50
Fingerprint: 0x7f660c2d
+76% Enhanced Damage
Requirements -20%

Cool. The -20% requirements means I can use it right now ... and will, once I start Act III. It'll give a little bit of a damage boost while still maintaining the '0' weapon speed.

Set/unique finds were less interesting. Here's the full list of set/uniques that resulted from a players 7 full clear:
I ended with 138 mf (+45 if the merc kills).

Skewer of Krintiz, Sabre (Far Oasis)
Serpent Lord, Long Staff (Arcane Sanctuary)
Blood Crescent, Scimitar (Tal Rasha's False Tomb) <-- My second.
Civerb's Cudgel, Grand Scepter (Tal Rasha's True Tomb)
Leadcrow, Light Crossbow (Tal Rasha's True Tomb)
Infernal Sign, Heavy Belt (Duriel)

I had hoped for better ... or at least more. Oh well. I did what I could with players setting and choosing to equip mf items whenever possible. Maybe things will start to pick up in Act III.

Code:
SP  Forum Name         Characters        Level   Furthest WP             Points
--  -----------------  ----------------  ------  ----------------------  -------
Y   Hanshotfirst       Sorc/Sin          88/87   Guardian x2                200
N   Booble             Sorc/Druid        54/65   (H) Rouge Encampment       124
N   PhineasB           Necro/Druid       73/74   (H) Rogue Encampment       124
N   Crudesash68        Zon/Paladin       46/49   (N) Jail Level 1           67
Y   skoolbus           Druid/Sorc        48/49   (N) Dark Wood              60
Y   Gynli              Zon/Necro         32/48   (N) Rogue Encampment       51
N   Swamigoon          Sin/Druid         34/31   Harrogath                  39
Y   Pb_pal             Sorc/Zon          33/29   Pandemonium Fortress       39
N   DariusTriplet      Sorc/Zon          31/24   River of Flame             32
Y   Vildecor           Zon/Sorc          21/20   Lut Gholein                12
Y   Hanshotfirst       Barb/Necro        28/1    Canyon of the Magi         12
Y   Maltatai           Druid/Druid       21/15   Lut Gholein Sewers         9
N   CaseyJones         Sorc/Druid        15/23   Lut Gholein                9
Y   b1ur               Paladin/Druid     20/1    Lut Gholein                6

Up next: But before I can start Act III, it's time to start my Bone Necro. Aaah, that new character smell. Should be fun!