been a long time coming, but finally a report on characters who
have earned the Baron(ess) title. I've never been even close to
a pump-one-character player. In D1 I had about two dozen characters
in their 20's before a single one had been to Hell diff. Then a
string of 3@30's
followed (30, eventually). Similar mindset in D2.
One thing that blew me away was the frenetic speed with which folks
leveled their characters and developed new strategies. Almost a
half-dozen times I would start something I had never seen, slowly
get to about lvl 18, then suddenly it became a fad and I would read
Hell victory guides (doh!) What would be known as Hammerdin, Zealots
with Khalim's will, Smite specialists, Tweaker... At the time you
start, Blessed Hammer is being absolutely ridiculed as a pathetically
weak skill, and before you defeat NM, it's looked down upon, but
this time as some cheesy uberskill (!) that everyone has done. This
speaks very well of the variety possible with characters, but I
can't help but feel left in the dust :P
report covers the first Baron in each of the five classes, emphasizing
when I can travel paths less chosen.
Javelinist || Toxic Necromancer
Pal || Glutton-for-Punishment
Sorceress (Mana Templar) || Barbarian
Ama, Elemental Javelinist
There is no
Fury like a woman scorned... CharisaFury was abandoned by her father
as a child. If that was not enough, he killed he mother and 2 sisters,
sparing only the son. The eldest, Fury tried to save them, but was
too weak. She escaped with her life, barely, and vowed to train
her body. Physical defense alone had failed her, so she would rely
on strong magic to complement her powerful javelin attacks. An unintended
consequence was a strong distrust of men. She banded together with
a group known as the Elemental Strike Team, of the Western Realm
Beyond. Yet the tensions between the alpha-dominant males and her
were too much, and she strode off to go it alone. But she missed
Penny and Greencloud, and even the headstrong Yuan, and their paths
would oft cross again.
- Premise: A
non-bow, non-jab, non-Pike amazon can be not only playable, but
- Restrictions: No jab, fend or Valkyrie, or bow use of any kind.
Javelins only, melee or thrown. (Exception: a very uncommon rare,
a tri-elemental dmg spear class weapon, could be used if found.)
No twinking of any kind, and fair trades/gifts considered after
Dame. - Initial plan: With caution and teammates, only 1 point to
pre-req's saving many for Lightning Strike and Fury, with some Plague
Javelin and passive skills along the way. The relative use of melee
vs ranged was unsure, so both would be tried, and dex and str pushed
equally. The hope was to go for crushing blow items to help melee
dmg, get a fair amount of mana steal, and a Coif of Glory for damage
with a shield of deflecting, she became most useful as a tank for
her coop elemental sorceresses. Melee dmg was low, and ammo was
scarce for throwing all the time. Mephisto dropped her dream armor,
Rattlecage! It's monster-flee action convinced her even more of
the need to gamble for a Coif (it took 11 tries). The Toes were
found not long after that (after many failed gambles). To the Cage,
Coif and Toes she used a shield of deflection, any jav she found,
and non-descript gloves, belt and jewelry.
* It's very
possible to get by with no jab and only 1 pt in prereq skills in
Normal diff for a Javelinist.
She repeated act 4 several times to make 30 and get her two loooong
awaited key skills. To figure out which way to go she wanted a few
more skill levels and fast, so she pushed further to 32, gambled
a Tarnhelm and traded for a Sigon's Shield. Donning a fletcher's
Amu, she could see how well medium levels of LtStrike and LtFury
were working. Visually, it's simply a feast! On impact bolts would
fly everywhere, and the Chain could fly back between two hapless
foes for nice punishment. But...
i) LtStrike takes a LARGE amount of mana given that leeching does
NOT work on the Chain Lightning. It required a Superior heavy javelin
to come close to keeping up, and could not be sustained. The mana
costs rises with level.
ii) LtStrike is, as reported on the Lurker Lounge, bugged. If monsters
are too far away, the chain is broken, and (sadly) if they are too
close it does not work either. This has a big negative impact on
the usefulness of high lvl LtStrike.
iii) LtStrike, unlike jab, depends on weapon speed. Also, tossing
junk ones for ranged attacks worked fine, but ending up with a cracked
jav for melee killed my dmg and mana steal. I usually chose the
wpn for what I was doing most of the time _in that region_.
iv) LtFury sends a bolt out at several foes on hitting its target,
so it's more reliable at higher levels. One per foe, but if several
are lined up, they can get hit several times. Some good opportunities
for tacticians here. But wait, there's more... v) Pierce works with
LtFury. This gives the spray of bolts for each target hit. When
it works, tis a feast for the eyes. Mana steal DOES work with fury,
so it's a little easier to keep up.
vi) Might and concentration give an increase based on the str/dex-
modified damage, and can help leeching quite a bit. vii) In games
with high # players, the damage 'looked' a whole lot more impressive
than it was.
unless bug fixed, LtStrike would not at all be worth pumping to
20, while Fury held up better - and Pierce was very helpful if Fury
is used commonly.
Concurrently I was playing my Toxic Necro, with slvl 20 Poison Dagger.
From there and strat posts I saw and learned that *rates* and durations
are additive, and the displayed dmg is wrong. Five items doing 6-12
over 3 seconds don't add to 30-60 pts dmg. Rather, 2 to 4 pts/sec
adds to get 10.0 to 20.0 pts/sec for 15 secs, with an average total
dmg of 225. The problem is it takes soooo long. Necro skills increase
in _duration_, but really not in dmg rate. OTOH, the Ama Plague
javelin is fixed 3 sec, but it's dmg increases with slvl. Fury gambled
for a Snakecord (4-8 dmg over 3 secs) and gave it a try.
- It increased plague jav duration from 3 to 6 secs, and added 1.3
to 2.6 more pts per second, more than doubling the total dmg.
- The poison cloud for Plague Jav increases with slvl, so a single
jav thrown when a mob is first seen acts as 'vileness' for 6 full
secs (preventing any monster healing) and does light-medium dmg.
- LtStrike/melee creatures, and the one struck with any jav, including
Fury, were lightly poisoned/vile for 3 secs, due to Snakecord effects.
Nightsmoke might be better to fuel my great thirst for mana, but
Snakecord has been fun and effective so far. I've been gambling
like crazy for Frosties, no luck yet. That will add chill to the
mix too. (Eltich would be also very nice for this)
* The Elemental
Javelinist is HURTING for all stats - Str for melee dmg and to equip
armor, Dex for thrown jav dmg and AR, Mana for her expensive skills,
and Vit for her low hp. It's a rough juggle. I would avoid the top
heavy plates for that reason. Dodge and shield more than make up
for it. Choosing one attack mode, melee/strike or ranged/fury, would
help in stat distribution.
The low dmg became even more apparent in NM, where it could take
several melee hits to kill something. The low hp became very evident
as well. The low mana meant using a too-low-lvl Power strike often
instead of LtStrike, in some cases. On the plus side, having moderate
amounts of quite good (or exceptional) javs dropping was very nice.
Can't wait to have the Str and Dex required to launch those Superior
Harpoons. Will Harpoons and extra Str alleviate the mana steal problem?!
By end of act 1, gear is looking variantish, but buff: Rattlecage,
Goblin Toes, Coif of Glory, Snakecord, Sigon's Shield (Lt dmg on
Isenhart Parry was fun earlier, but it gives up too much), so-so
gloves covering hands that long for frosties, three mana steal or
rare jewels, and typically a Superior Great Pilum. Preparing for
a triple Diamond shield or rare resist/deflecting shield for Hell
diff. Resists are already a big problem, giving up better resists
to keep up the mana steal. Hoping for a Prismatic Bat amulet or
Eye of Eltich. Also dreaming of Stone of Jordon. NOT primarily for
the mana and +1 skills, although nice, but... for the +Lightning
dmg! (The sign of a true variant
In NM, the Smith
ate a few stacks of furious javelins, the Maggot Lair was a piece
of cake, Izzy was a fireworks display, Hephasto was done ranged
in coop, and Diablo went through almost an inventory full of plague
and fury javelins. In NM/4 she came across a prize (well, sorta)
rare Pike, an unusual tri-elemental spear-class. With those attributes
used up, the others weren't of much interest, and damage only so-so,
but now she's got a new toy to experiment with in Hell. At the least,
mana steal will be much better, perhaps allowing continuous Striking
(?!) CharisMerciless found the Silks, and will never be able to
wear them - should she swap out the Rattlecage? +1 skills *and*
bonus mana steal, is very appealing. Fury will have to try to that
for comparison's sake. With that she might swap in Tarnhelm for
Coif, since 'monster flee' would no longer be present. More than
anything else though... she wants to hook back up with her old friends
for the final assault on Diablo in H/4.
* Plague Javs
vs LEB bosses... One MS-LEB strat that Fury developed was to throw
a plague jav in the *path* of such a beast. It would walk into the
stream, and become poisoned, but discharge NO bolts. Several bosses
were killed this way. It was VERY slow going, but with the vileness
of the poison, they could not recover.
Finally I get a character to hit lvl 40. The dmg dished out by monsters
and the heavy resist penalty meant more trouble. So these three
setups were tested: i) existing Rattlecage + Coif + Sigon, ii) Silks
+ Tarhhelm + Sigon, iii) Twitchthroe + 3DT + Tarnhelm. The three
focus were thus on crushing blows, +skills, and blocking/resists.
With Goblin Toes, CB was still 25%, and the reduction from 50 to
25 was noticed, but far from painful. Monsters took a few extra
swings to kill in games with many players, but that's it. The second
setup was interesting in two regards- the extra skills were nice,
improving all passives, Lightning Strike and Fury and Plague Javelin.
But also, the Silks give +5% mana steal. In combo with three bat
jewels, she could 'Fury' continuously throwing javelins. In coop
games with tank support this was very effective and quite fun. The
danger was magic attacks - LEBs, Ghoul Lords, and OK's knocked her
down pitifully easy. The third setup was by far the most resilient
and least dangerous. Near maximum blocking, near max resists, and
it even left the helm slot open (for high +life, or Tarnhelm). She
felt comfortable in both Melee and ranged modes with this setup.
Dmg and mana steal was lower but not horrible. By the end of Hell/3
this was her new 'default' setup. She's gambling for prismatic-effect,
+life boots and helm now, and ideal amulet would be a rare +1 skill,
Act 1 and 2
were pretty easy - the Maggot Lair fell to Fury and once she got
adjacent to Duriel, he was slowly but surely Harpoon-stabbed to
death. Bremm was lucky, finding him stuck on the right, felled by
javelins thrown in safety from the center area. In Act 4, AK's were
very annoying, hard to finish off due to low dmg, recasting Bone
armor, and throwing cold balls at her. OK's hurt, but the 3DT made
them survivable. Would the single evade point cause her troubles
vs Diablo? The plan was to try both decoy+fury and close-and-power
strike and see which avoid LBOD pain better.
had essentially a 'pair' of Baron games, one with her long time
coop partners from the Elemental Strike Team, and one handling Diablo
solo (in a game with 3 players) to truly earn the title. The coop
game saw a Poison Explo/Nova Shaman Necro (only minion was Clay
Golem, and no amp dmg), a Fire Sorceress not allowed to have resist
fire, and a Paladin with skill limitations and tri-elemental attack
required. Also joining in was an Amazon. They moved swiftly and
surely through the CS, and Fury was in ranged mode (plague..fury..fury..fury..fury).
It was quite a light display. She let them finish up Diablo, departying,
then next game took on 'D' by himself. The biggest threat was indeed
the LBOD, so the ranged game wasn't working well. Minor evade lock
was noticed but at slvl 1 it was NOT a real factor. The more effective
approach was to get in close and melee (Lightning Strike til blue
orb empty then Power Strike to fill it back up, alternated with
a Plague Javelin). I don't know if it's considered a feature or
a bug, but that LBOD does NOT hit creatures that are on top of Diablo
using a short-ish range wpn. So meleeing with a harpoon was relatively
safe, although it took quite a while to finally bring him down.
With the focus on dex and str however, vit and hp were very low,
so she did die several times.
was great fun to play :)
Nec, Toxic Necromancer
S9, as his friends
call him (those few who call him friend), has always been a calm,
cool, but vindictive fellow. There was no greater delight than to
absorb the brutal blows of a bully just to slip in a little nick
with a dirk, and run in circles taunting it while its nervous system
breaks down and it keels over dead. "Walking Dead!!" he would jeer,
for he knew that those who took a hit were without hope. Early levels
were a bit of a blur, and his middle youth was spent shamelessly
mooching from those who could hit hard, take blows, and kill quickly.
His Dim Vision or Amplify Damage (low as they were) was sufficient
help that they let him hang around. Even as old as 27, he felt whoafully
inadequate. Coop was a nightmare - his dmg was puny, and even if
he scored a hit that was 'lethal', others would waste their time
or mana and kill his 'walking dead'. It was then he went off to
sulk, and tried some solo games. What a different story! By this
time, with Venom Ward (received in trade for Isenhart's case, another
Breast Plate), Snakecord (gamble), and the Jade Tan Do Kris, and
max poison dagger, damage was incredible. Enough to kill any non-resistant
creature in the game (Norm) in a single slice, often in seconds
(solo). Fighting style was unlike any other character - when a hit
was scored, it was put out of his mind, and he ran to the next foe.
It would chase, and thoughtfully die and drops its treasure at his
feet. Zealots would turn and run, only to keel over 2 steps away,
same for ghosts. Diablo and Izual took longer than other creatures,
but with much circling and jeering, they too fell.
There was one
other non-obvious problem from coop. Cold sorcs. No, not because
they didn't leave corpses (who cares!), but because they turn every
single creature blue. I had no clue who I had hit, and who I had
not. So S9 specifically gambled on and got a Coif of Glory, as a
visible 'neon sign' = "I'm dead!".
Oh, did I mention...
S9 was not distributing any stat points from lvl up! He would take
those received as a quest bonus, but by lvl 33 he had 180 points
undistributed. (Did I mention I play variants from time to time?
This made equipment
a challenge. No str meant no real armor, no str, not enough leeching
to fuel constant PD. No dex meant he HAD to wear +dex items to even
wield a Kris, and thoughts of an 88 Dex Cinqueredas drive him nuts.
He couldn't even wield a rare Blade from a gamble until almost 30th
lvl. Plus, every slot that COULD have blight was, when possible,
used to increase poison dmg and duration. So plate and belt were
fixed, and the wpn dagger class.
(You must be
asking at this point, "So how much dmg DO you do?" Dmg listed on
screen was around 300, which is false. When I get some jewels of
blight (not found yet), a rare pestilence dagger with slvl 20 PD
will dish out 16-29/sec for 42, totalling 670-1222. That can be
doubled with a medium lvl Lower Resist skill. Before you cry foul,
how would you like to wait for up to 40 seconds for a foe to die
after a fatal blow has been struck?!)
Nightmare... To combat gross tedium in highly-multiplayer games,
and to make up in small part for the total lack of vitality, a lvl
1 Blood Golem was used in coop games and for 'quick leveling'. It
was not used solo for first-time quests. By this time, level 33,
he had finally learned Poison Nova and Lower Resistance. The latter
would keep the low dmg rates from become totally useless, and would
make him a welcome friend in coop with mages. The former was much
lower dmg than PD, but with all his adders, the duration was superb.
S9 is considering trying a howl weapon or the Mask of Horror. Some
confusion might also be fun to try.
* Weapon speed
matters! Why? You just need to get one hit?! Well, a necromancer
swings so slow that if not very fast, the chances for being interrupted
were quite high. Even with a Barbarian (or Golem) around you want
to get in, get a quick hit, and get out.
* Poison Dagger
has +AR% that rocks! I was initially rather concerned with the lack
of AR and lack of +AR jewels that I would miss alot. But the +AR
for the PD skill is a percentage, and it reaches +205% at slvl 20.
I didn't even notice this until one day I looked at AR and my jaw
dropped at seeing 1100, 91% to hit.
S9 has been
a lot of fun, but not so much I want to do full clears on each difficulty
:P NM was done frequently in coop, losing as much exp as he gained.
He's eager to pump Lower resist and wear some blight jewels, but
otherwise I won't be pushing him to lvl 70. Hell/DOE, solo with
no Golem, was very painful indeed (NOT a good sign), and the decreased
durations and increased resistance were showing already. Andariel
and Radamint will be very cool - battle of the Poisons. :)
S9 was NOT looking
at all forward to Act 2... With deaths so slow, the maggot lair
will be insane. Even the Summoner won't be easy. Duriel - the issue
was, will he continue to take dmg from poison while I'm sitting
on the ground dead?! I also wonder if Decrepify will work against
his charge?! Looking past that to Act 3, LEB's don't scare me much.
Hephasto's speed concerns me too - (tries to recall what can/can't
be decrepified). As of end of Hell/1, no imbues used yet. Hmmm...
dare I try it on the Cinqueredas?! He would have to wear his Emerald-Socketed
Mask to have the dex for it :P
Duriel and act II were not much problem with his little Blood Golem,
now named "Curare". Much of his gaming was now coop, apart from
most end bosses. He helped a Sorceress get through Mephisto (with
Lower Resist). In one Hell/4 game he got beat up so bad by Knights
and Diablo, he decided he would have to repeat it solo, or mostly
solo, to earn his title. ROF was a pretty good draw, Urdars, Spiders
and Grotesque (no AK's). It was however very tedious, and when he
would just start gaining enough exp to think he would come out ahead,
his low hp and lag would knock sense into him, setting back at the
start of 38. After about two hours clearing that stretch, and the
entrance to the CS, a friendly sorceress wandered into game. Hmmm...
the point was proven, all types taken out, this would knock several
hours off the game time, sure. They helped each other alot, with
lower resist and golem making things easier for the fire sorc, who
in turn killed about 10x as fast. The seals were rough, especially
De Seis, but by carefully isolating one it could be cornered and
killed. There were many deaths on the seals.
Finally it was
time for Hell Diablo. The sorc stayed in game to save me money on
tp scrolls. Since his hp were doubled, my goal was to take out 50%
of his life solo, using nothing but poison dagger and an occasional
Clay Golem for decoy. Lower Resist was used alone, never IM or others.
Poison Nova was minorly helpful too. Strychnine landed several blows
in early, gaining a false confidence when he was soon at 80% strength.
With Hell/D going at 37K hp single player, it took a ton of charges
at him to do it. Each poison nova, not hard to land, would do about
400 points damage (with all his +pois dmg gear and with the lower
resist counteracting Diablo's 50% resistance), while if a blow was
struck, damage just below 1000 pts. One minor point that helped,
his 'range' with the dagger was so small, he would slip under the
LBOD, taking no dmg. Even a sliver of LBOD on his approach or retreat
would slay him. When he was down to about 60% health, the feasibility
was demonstrated, and the fire sorc then took out the next 50% of
life, leaving 10%. That last 10% was again taken solo by Poison.
In the end with the poison sliver, I got in a double hit with the
Kris, and knew it was over. So Strychnine ran like the wind, dancing
as he ran. About 12 seconds later, "90 seconds to end of game".
A screen or two away, the body was found, along with typical junk.
So a toxic necromancer
CAN strike down Hell/Diablo. Having a golem or not doesn't matter
due to the 10x dmg feature, it just takes some maneuvering and a
lot of patience. The harder part was getting there. It has yet to
be seen how sane the journey would have been using no golem whatsoever.
Then again, distributing stat points and not ending up with 179
to distribute at the end, would help the sane person.
Lest you think
"Ho hum, a conversion-thorns pal", there's much more than that at
work here! The Glutton for Punishment (GFP) was a D1 Variant who
was a Health Nut, pumping Vit above all else and forsaking sane
gear for max +life. My D1 Warrior (also Merciless) reached his goal
of 760 hp in his early 30's (Schaeffer's Hammer, 2 perfect whales,
four perfect tigers). The character screen was a hoot, no stat above
base except Vit, and puny mana. He _owned_ normal diff, but got
beat like a dog in H/H, with no AC, low blocking, puny dmg and tohit.
How would such a concept work in D2? Good early/useless later? One
immediate difference is the lack of skill caps. That meant that
for maximum health nuttiness, every single point had to go to Vit.
This meant low str, low dex, low dmg, low mana. He even had to hope
for rare +life, +str items to even wear medium armor. Given those
serious shortcoming, thorns was his ONLY chance (BH an option, but
mana just too low). The plan was to push conversion some, but I
abandoned pushing it further than about 3 when the convertadin was
getting such bad press. Besides, the life loss from Sacrifice with
his high hp and low dmg was negligible - it would do the trick where
thorns did not.
choices are obvious, and nice. Bloodfist for gloves, colossus for
belt, shield, armor, helm... Eventually that is, he wasn't and isn't
a twinkie. The one cool item he was lucky getting was... Stoutnail!
One of the few +life weapons around, at least until MUCH higher
level. He also got the Blood Crescent later, with +15 life, but
it requires too high dex :P Stoutnail is +10 life and a nice -2
MDR. It served him well though lvl 30. At that point the lack of
AR was too much, and he would alternate Stoutnail with the Skewer
of Krintiz (piercing attack). If he waits long enough and is feeling
real lucky, he might try an imbue of a lightweight sceptre hoping
for piercing, +life, +str and +thorns. Apart from the weapon, where
choices were slim to none, all other items had to be +hp or they
were not worn. The higher the better, although +28 hp with +13 str
could be used over a poor +44.
results? Spectacular! Not too much of a surprise, but it did exceed
expectations by quite a bit. I've had fewer deaths with Merci than
any other - the only bad one was surrounded by an AK mob then OK's
show up and pummel from afar. At lvl 30, his hp topped the 900 mark.
If a Bar partner gave Battle Orders, it would soar over 1200. Not
bad at all for Norm/4 ! Unlike my other underpowered variants who
struggled to carry their weight in coop, he was cheered for teaming
up. Merci was the 'go-to' guy for the cow level, able to clear hosed
portals better than some twice his level. Hephasto? It was hilarious
- he cursed me, causing dmg to soar, then two-hit killed himself
on the thorns.
Here was the next pleasant surprise, his viability was still very
strong. The huge hp and 1050% thorns were wonderful, even if killing
things with sacrifice was like chopping down a tree with a spoon.
He solo'd NM/CS-Diablo without a death, and was awarded rare ornate
(which he'll never ever have the STR to wear) and from an OK minion
i think, the Silks! Hephasto hurt more on NM than normal, but still,
with some running and drinking, he beat himself to death. (Taking
6 full reds to heal once is not fun) Diablo, even on NM, was a total
joke, hp never falling below several hundred. The infector battle
was fun. I was concerned the dmg might come too fast and overtake
me, but I got some lucky converts in quick. Four of his minions
took out Infector and his whole mob, then one by one, as each reverted,
the others would turn on it and kill it. The last one, still with
thorns, took out the next to last ally :P The most interesting battle
by far was De Seis. Swapping to Salvation, the punishment they could
dish out was brutal, and he barely survived in two of the more violent
flurries. Without melee and thorns, he could not take the beating
long enough to kill one. Now, they don't _like_ to separate from
their boss, but with enough dancing and cajoling, they CAN be hearded
apart. After 15-20 mins of cat and mouse, I lured/chased one to
his death, and pulled the remaining mob far enough apart to be able
to chase away and corner De Seis.
Hell - this
is where the D1 Variant went from champ to chump! How will the D2
GFP fare? To his great delight... VERY well :)
went up as much or more than their hp, so the high thorns worked
well. Merciless found himself drinking a LOT more than earlier difficulties,
converting a lot more foes, and more emergency guzzling of purple
juice. But Merciless almost never has deaths, he has become my go-to
guy for declogging stairs, entering hot wp, and making a clear landing
zone on the cow lvl. Throwing on the Salvation aura, he just goes
up to LEB's (non-MS) and beats them to death, often with converted
minions helping out. On early difficulties he was starting to get
concerned that his shield was blocking TOO much, slowing down the
killing of foes by thorns. On Hell diff, it kept the rate he took
damage reasonable. Without a shield, he would likely die or need
belts full of rejuvenations when surrounded by a crowd. The lack
of deaths was a huge help in leveling - in one game going from 35
to almost 38 just in the Flayer Jungle and Spider Forest.
A good part
of the fun is trying to find and juggle new gear. With *ALL* stat
points going to vitality, all STR (and dex) must come from items.
It takes juggling +str/+life items to even be able to wear half
his gear. Str is around 80 and life is almost 1100 at clvl 40. It's
great when a Bar joins the party and casts Battle Orders.
Sorceress (Mana Templar)
This one has
become totally 'mainline', a Tweaker Sorceress, started right around
the time the name 'Tweaker' came out. Her name essentially means
one who travels faster than light, so the fast cast path was chosen
before I realized quite how powerful it is. Not unexpectedly, her
leveling was fairly rapid and uneventful. Gear by the end of Hell/4,
clvl 36: Garb, WOE, Lenymo, Magefist, dual-skull Gemmed crown, Drake's
Wand of Magus, and fast cast jewels with Amber, Burgundy, and a
weak rare. So her resists and hp were awful. Mana was not as high
as some tweakers. When playing a 'focused' character, I accentuate
the focus. In Tachyna's case that means virtually stat points to
energy, and no jewels that did not have fast cast, so no SOJ. (Like
Merciless, who had all points to vitality, and no items without
+life) (Str was 55 for armor)
15 SF, lvl 8 Warmth, lvl 7 FO, lvl 4 CM, minor Blizz and GS. No
energy shield and no cold armors (ouch). She plans to max SF, Warmth
and FO, around level 66 if she makes it that far :P
At the age of
36, she's still quite young and fragile to be wandering about Hell,
and there were many foes that could kill her in one hit. Duriel
took a few mercs and a few deaths. Mephisto was a problem only because
Maffer snuck out to join him, and the Ghoul Lords meteors actually
hurt bad. Izzy and Hephasto were no trouble, nor was Diablo. Knowing
the Static Field pattern, Diablo was zapped from afar, and finished
off with some Orbs.
Last class to
Baron was the Bar. Another case of picking a path that turned out
to be highly popular, a Maul WW Bar. CharisWryder was a bodybuilder,
putting top priority to strength (whether it made sense to or not),
in both stats and items, so he was Martel-capable around clvl 26.
Three problems there- no effective combat skill (slvl 1), a strong
neglect of masteries (the hidden crit bonus and the formula for
dmg weren't known at the time), and his hp were atrocious. He was
one-hit kill fodder from norm/4 all through hell/4 (not always one
hit, but so often it was painful). Conversely, everything died in
one hit until hell diff, unless many players. He finished Normal
diff around clvl 24, NM around clvl 33 and Hell diff just upon reaching
clvl 39. Wryder didn't sit in places trying to lvl, if he could
kill stuff, he just pressed forward with quests. So exp loss was
very frequent (hence the low final clvl). As with other characters,
much playing time was coop, but most end bosses were either solo
or with an equal or weaker partner (no free rides)
Baron Gear and
Clvl 39, hp around 400, mana around 100, str 170 base, vit 60 Rare
Sharktooth armor with res F/L, some hp and some DR.
Howltusk for its vulpine effect.
Ocher plated belt of Titan. (Needed a long time for wpn, and kept
for four slots, since he drinks alot)
Rare Martel, sorta weak, +1 Bar skills and some cold dmg, doing
160 max, and with about +90 AR, some life steal.
Jewels: ring of bat (ew), slayer amu of wiz (to be able to cast
BC, BO, Shout and have enough mana to start a WW), and burgundy/mamm.
Resists: with 40% natural resist, hell res were about 10/0/Max/0
collection, I know :P The hp would have been even worse except some
timely lvl-ups at the end pushing vit from 30 to 60. Next step is
go get some lvls, and real gear... I'll probably accentuate the
body-builder theme, keeping vit no more than 100, pumping STR, and
wearing an item only if it has +str on it.
- prereq's as needed, and the following
- Mace Mastery ~9 (all toward end), Sword and Axe slvl 1
- Battle Orders ~4 (also pushed at end)
- Natural Resist ~4, some minor Iron skin, slvl 1 of Speed and Stamina,
bash, stun, concentrate, Grim Ward, BC
- Leap attack~3, Leap ~4, WW ~6, Find Potion ~3 (Yes, a poor plan,
lacking much info when character started)
- His AR is awful with low dex and so-so gear
- (Before hell diff and WW, Concentrate was highly useful given
such a slow wpn) The memory of his first foe in NM will stick with
- a zombie slew him in two hits.
- Range 0 wpn with low life is a wild joy ride
- Coop with a tank or minion partner was MUCH safer and Wryder could
think a little more, not just react in panic.
- Dury took several deaths and mercs and a combo of LA and WW, same
for Mephy, while Andy didn't stand a chance. He's not done Hell
Hephasto yet. The Maggot Lair cleaned his clock bad, and his first
try failed, breeding a ton of little ones and not having the hp
(or DR) to survive. Next try was a leap-chest- staff-retreat, and
it worked, although even then, with a death.
- Fortune smiled with a Fire shrine next to the pentagram on the
Baron run. Alas drop was a very poor set of War Boots.
- For me the fun of WW bar is to line up as many foes at once rather
than indiscriminate spinning. Since it's my first char with WW and
then only for 9 clvl's, I'm not at all tired of it yet :P
- Multiplayer game was easier than solo, in solo the monsters didn't
have enough hp to leech much back, the dmg was overkill, yet the
danger was no lower, and the exp much lower. - Imbues were: one
lousy Martel, one lousy Ornate, and the fair martel described above.
- SOP was BC/Shout/BO cries on right hotkey, then WW on right key.
On the left key, LA was almost always on - Wryder needed to be able
to get out quick often. I made rather heavy use of shift key which
would avoid ending a WW mid-pack by clicking on a monster, and which
would also turn LA into an emergency leap out. Didn't use Grim Ward
much at all since I wanted them clustered for WW, not all spread
out. Taunt got some minor use, probably deserved more, but with
LA/WW as main keys, it required mid-battle switching to use.
That's all for
now - the next 'batch'
you'll see in a report will most likely be: Zealot Paladin (Horadric
Knight), Lightning Sorc, Frenzy Bar, Fendazon Valkyrie, and a Necro