give me a couple of more weeks and i'll have some fantastic input 8-).
seriously, i am on the ISO team, and it is similar enough to IM to give a great indication of how it will go (isolationist team spends no gold, BUT is allowed free heals in town, and to play without entire party present, and unlimited deaths). in actual play, almost no one bothers with free heal as we have pots coming out our ears.
anyway, the ISO team finished off Mephy last night and is ready to start act 4.
the following comments are valid only for norm diff acts 1-3, which is why i said wait a couple of weeks--then i can give you the low-down on act 4 (this should only take one night) and nm diff act 1.
tomes: we found enough tp tomes through act 1 and the start of act 2 for everyone to have one. we still don't have enough id tomes yet, but generally solve the problem by just not picking up id scrolls unless we have a tome. i vote no buying tomes.
items: in normal diff, you have some difficulties, normally because the game's prng goes nuts and refuses to drop an entire class of items, say, gloves, for an entire 3-hour session. but most of the equipment problems like that are early, due to horrible durabilities. at that point, you don't really need equipment anyway. by the arcane, some quality stuff with good durability is dropping, and you can wear an item for an entire act. (it's kinda funny really, as an item is evaluted by dur alone-- "hey! i just found a hat with 40 dur left!") weapons are an entirely different catagory. you run through them so fast, you don't really care what it is except for swing speed and damage. so far, i actually haven't cared much what i wear--i just pick up something and put it on. the main item crunch is jewels, which never wear out and are the only dependable source of mana and life steal and resists. once you get the cube, you start cubing the suckers up, looking for steal and prismatic 8-).
gems: heh, not much mention of them yet. you will use them. pick up every cracked gem and save. they are great on weapons and for ar in hats.
pots: start out scarce. barb needs about 5 in find potion to keep a team going, and you are still very reliant on prayer and shrines/wells. by act two you start to get on the curve and don't really have to conserve. by act 3, when the big boys start to fall, you are drowning in them. the entire team could just about use full rejuvs exclusively 8-). i don't even want to think about nightmare diff, and having to go back to the little bitty pots 8-(. about half the pots that the barb finds will be mana. think about that. consider doing a HC-type stat build, with a large emphasis on vit. mana pots will be there, but this will also depend on the character/skill choices of the party.
game length: i wouldn't worry about nightmare difficulty just yet 8-). screwups will happen. and once the party starts to go down and you lose your interlocking skills.....
that being said, do you project this as in HC or care bear? if b.net actually worked, HC would be the obvious choice. but with the realms the way they are, it would be brutal. in D1, when you disconnected, your character went with you. in D2, it hangs around a while to give the monsters some target practice. not to mention the fun of being mid-act 3 or so with an IM party and losing a party member because their sister picked up the other phone on that line or their windows critical update reminder went off or their firewall detected an attack...
personally i would play it care bear, with bogus deaths voted on by the non-dead party members (require unanimous?) and the fact footnoted in any writeups.
this choice might be one best left to each team as they start, and their policy explained at the start of any writeups.
see you on the realms 8-).
Posted on Mar 30, 2001, 11:40 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52