Town purchases: two res scrolls, two id scrolls, an Amber Composite Bow, a cap of the Mammoth (+72 life), 16 assorted potions (full reds, full yellows, and half yellows), a Pearl Heal Staff with 36 charges. We also IDed all the gear from the Normal Game.
These were our character stats and equipment brought over from the Normal victory.
Roede..Orm Level 22 Ironman Warrior
Str 96/106 Blessed Full Plate (Ac 141)
Mag 10/5 Blackoak Shield (+10 Dex, -10 Vit, AC18, -10% light)
Dex 60/65 The Bonesaw (Claymore, +10 damage, +10 Str, +10 HP, -5 Mag, -5 Dex, -10 Mana)
Vit 30/77 Crimson (+35 fire res) Crown (ac 9)
Life 273 Ring of Life (+30 Vit), Ring of Skill (+8 dex)
Mana 16 Gold Amulet (+24% to hit)
Armor Class 183; to hit 113%; damage 22 -29, resistances 35/0/0
Backup weapons: Thundercall (a unique Staff) and Messy’s Reaver (unique Great Axe)
Taoni_the_Fell Level 24 Ironman Rogue
Str38/47 Garnet Studded Leather Armor of the Stars (+9 all attributes)
Mag27/36 Cap of the Mammoth (+72 life)
Dex 116/125 Crimson Long Battle Bow of Shock (1-6 lightning damage)
Vit 22/31 Jewelry: Diamond ring(can’t remember; CR in inventory)
Life 93/178 To hit 108+%
Mana 80/? Resists: (fire maxxed, magic 50%,other unknown)
First NM session, Tuesday, June 19th. Total playing time: 3 hours 45 minutes.
NM Level One: the usual suspects. Shrines: secluded. Drops: 4 short battle bows, a short war bow, a magic saber, magic ring mail, and two rings. Although we had discussed using Taoni as a shield (having her use the Saber of Skill and a shield) and Roede as executioner, the level was simply not challenging enough to continue so slowly in this fashion. We pretty much played it as a free for all, both characters working to clear the dungeon quickly. We both opted to use weapons dropped by opponents in order to “save” the durability of our better items. Roede lupt to clevel 23; Taoni still 24.
NM Level Two: Plague Eaters, Scavengers, Hidden, and Fiends. Shrines: Holy and Spooky. Drops: a mace, a warhammer, a magic great sword, res scroll, and . . . The Butcher is lead to the stairwell and killed by the rogue (Book HB drop). The rest of the level is a ffa (free for all). Meanwhile, Shadowbite drops a unique mace on our intrepid pair! It isn’t indestructible (so not Crackrust), and the dungeon level just isn’t great enough to give us a Dreamflange at this point, so the mace is probably Civerb’s Cudgel. Roede (our warrior) is ecstatic! Taoni is puzzled by his behavior. Roede comments that this weapon is even better for killing Diablo than The Bonesaw, and Taoni begins to comprehend. Roede comments, “If we make it to 16, and you can lead Diablo to me, the rest will be easy”. Hmmm, the trick will be getting there in one piece, however. Roede 23; Taoni 24
NM Level Three: Black Deaths, Corpse Captains, Dark Ones Shrines: Blood Fountain!!! Drops: Book TK, Book Fb, staff FW(10), staff heal(20), magic blade, magic studded leather, short war bow, elixir Str, Brokenhead Bangshield drops a short war bow, while Leo drops a unique Longstaff (either Immolator or Staff of Shadows). We reverted to standard “bait-and-trap” tactics in respect for King Leoric and his gang; we were originally worried about archers, but there were none. Bringing Leo to a doorway where we laid in wait yielded one dead boney King and no potions drunk. After Leo was dead, Roede soloed for the exp. Roede 23; Taoni 24
NM Level Four: Burning Dead Captains, Burning Dead Archers, Horror Archers, Plague Eaters, Bone Gnashers, Flesh Clan Goats. Shrines: Creepy. Drops: Book Heal, Book Fb, Book Cb, magic great axe, magic plate mail, Spineeater drops a dagger, and Backash the Burning a ring (we choose not to id it at this point). Again went ffa to clear the level in a timely fashion. Drank at the Blood Fountain when life became a concern. Even archer packs didn’t slow us down. Roede 23; Taoni 24.
Throughout the entire Churches Taoni used regular bows that dropped (mostly short battle/war bows) while Roede used the following plain drops: a mace, then later a warhammer, a saber, and then a falchion. The Church was a cakewalk, with our characters lapping up experience and hoarding potions. By the time we were done, we had the following (large/small): reds 13/20, blues 9/0, and yellows 26/9. Over 75 potions (this includes our town buys at the game start), and we also
have two heal and one heal other staff with over 70 charges! Yowser!
Second NM session, Thursday, June 21st. Total gaming time: four hours.
NM Level Five: Dark Ones, Hiddens, Burning Dead Archers, Black Deaths, Glooms. Shrines: Abandoned. Drops: Book TK, book Heal, Book HO, Book Cb, magic long staff, magic hard leather, amulet (burning archer), Foulwing drops a battle axe. Nothing of note. Roede 23; Taoni 24.
NM Level Six: Horror Archers, Bone Gnashers, Stalkers, Flesh Clan Goats, Glooms. Shrines: None. Drops: Book Cb, Book Fb, Book HO, Book Lightning, elixir Str, Magic morning star, Magic short battle bow, a ring (from a chest), and an ID scroll.
The larger archer packs were dealt with by Roede distracting, Taoni firing from a distance. 3/4 of
the level done in teamwork, the rest Roede solos on. Roede lup to 24; Taoni to 25
NM Level Seven: Winged Demons, Gargoyles (an entire level of just these two opponents!) Shrines: Sacred, Tainted, and Holy. Drops: bastard sword, magic short bow, magic hunter’s bow, magic small shield, magic club, elixir Dex, Nightwing the Cold dropped Ringmail.
As soon as the boss pack was out of the way, Roede soloed the rest of the level, returning to the fountain to drink as needed. Taoni destroyed the entire boss pack with two well-placed firewalls and bow fire. Roede 24; Taoni 25
NM Level Eight: Night Clan Archers, Mud Men, Unseen, Familiars. Shrines: Secluded. Drops: Book CL, Magic chainmail, magic mace, magic dagger, amulet (from a Mudman), amulet (from a chest), ring (unseen), ID scroll, and Baron Sludge dropped a Falchion.
Some desync on this level -- Taoni sees unseen, while to Roede they appear as Night Clan Archers. Teamwork with scouting until Taoni oversteps and runs into a single Unseen that appears adjacent to her. In very little time he stunlocks her and dispatches her -- I went through three potions before I realized that it would be a waste of time and potions (and armor durability) to continue, and then let her die. I was hoping Roede would hear me taking the hits and realize I was in stunlock, but he said that although he heard my opponent attacking, he never heard me taking any hits and thus didn’t know I was in any trouble. (What is up with this, Blizzard? I’ve noticed the same thing with attacks on the warrior, with my Rogue standing back as the fighter melees and doesn’t take a hit on my
screen, then cursor his character and see he’s lost over 100 hit points! How come damage and the sound effects don’t synchronize on both screens? It’s frustrating!) Roede disposes of the Hidden (a mudman on his screen), and resses Taoni, who decides that the Unseen will make this a difficult level, and opts to go to town. Roede solos about 1/2 the level, until Taoni (bored and anxious, there is a heavy storm coming in to the area) returns just in time to run into Baron Sludge and his crew. The invisible foes make our set and trap formation useless, so we break apart and destroy them individually.
Afterwards, we go to town to pack up the loot. I am hurrying Roede due to the storm, when --CCCRRAAAAACCKKK!!!!!! BOOOOOOOM!!!!!! --- lightning hits a transformer two blocks away and cuts all power for a two mile radius, crashing the game. Can’t believe this, I’ve lived here for six years and the first time it happens (lightning strike cutting me off from power) it happens during an Ironman game! Doh! The potions were already on mules, and we have counted the Res and ID scrolls, but we do lose every item we’ve picked up on levels 5-8 (the rings and ammys) along
with the Massive Bow of the Stars I brought over from the first (Normal) game, and TWO magic Bows of Puncturing we brought in and left on the ground for future use, and uncounted stone curse, fireball, lightning, firewall, heal, flamewave, mana shield, and infravision scrolls (over two dozen all told). We choose to replace the Res and ID scrolls that were lost, but since we hadn’t accurately counted the other scrolls, we chalk it up to Murphy’s Revenge. Well, thank goodness we didn’t lose the Messy Reaver or Bonesaw or CC! As it was, I couldn’t log back on (no power) for over two hours, and by that time I had to go in to work. Roede and I emailed about replacing the ID and Res scrolls, but agreed the rest was a total lose. Sheesh! That Mr. Murphy plays a mean game!
Roede lupped to 25; Taoni 25.
Comments: We are still kicking booty in the Catacombs, although that one Unseen did kill the rogue, otherwise it was “no contest” for the entire session. Waiting to see what the deeper levels hold; again, the upper levels have been somewhat easy. Still using non- magical weapons found on each level.
Third NM Session, Tuesday, June 26th. Total playing time: 2 hours 15 minutes.
NM Level Nine: Blood Claws, Hellstones. Drops: Long and Short War bows, Magic cape, elixir Vit, elixir Dex, Book of TK.
We started the level in Shield/Executioner setup, but soon switched back to our standard bait and trap teamwork. Taoni scouted and brought back foes to Roede’s set point and lent artillery assistance. Roede’s armor and weapons are still up to the task. The lava balls make things interesting, but overall it isn’t that dangerous.
Roede 25; Taoni 25
NM Level Ten: Obsidian Lords and Storm Riders. Drops: Book FWave, staff MS, Mag Large Axe, Magic short bow, Magic dagger, The Flayer drops a small axe, while Blackstorm drops a broadsword.
Roede, who always goes down the stairs first, is immediately ambushed by an Obsidian Lord at the stairs. When Taoni joins him and we get a set point established, we barely move when The Flayer and his pals are activated. The trap point is good, however, and Roede is still hitting reasonably hard and often, and no Storms can get past to our Rogue who is firing madly. The entire encounter costs three small reds and yields -- a small axe. Bah! Stupid drop!
Lucky for us Roede figures that against Obsidians he hits about 40% of the time vs their 41%; while against Storms he’s score 65% to their 33%. To increase stun potential and knowing that the Obsidian Lords may have a Boss on the level, Roede stashes his plain bastard sword and breaks out The Bonesaw.
Bad incident: Taoni is way out in front scouting when she activates an Obsidian Lord, who charges, and two Storms. She easily sidesteps the OL, who charges way past her, but activates two more Storms in the process. Time to head for the warrior and our trap point! I’m running around a corner, to the left (the storms are coming from the right) planning to head north to our set point, when the Obsidian Lord shows up above me! I try to shoot him down, but a closed gate absorbs
most of the shots. I run for the gate, and end up just inside it as the Lord steps up from the other side. We begin exchanging blows (bad idea for a Rogue), but I don’t have much of a choice as the four Storms show up to press the issue from the right and South. With nowhere to go and trapped between two groups of foes, I die. Roede later states that he had to kill one Lord and SEVEN storms before the area around me is safe for a res. Guess I activated more storms with errant bow
We’re both pissed off by the time Blackstorm shows up, and we murder him and his minions.
Roede 25; Taoni to 26.
Comments: to me, this session was a bit more challenging. The baddies are beginning to hit often
and hard, and the ranged attacks are really beginning to hurt too. It was bad planning on my part-- not making sure my retreat path was open-- that caused my rogue’s death. Have to be more careful. Down to four res scrolls! While packing up we decide to ID the unique mace -- it is, indeed, Civerb’s Cudgel.
Fourth NM Session, Thursday, June 28th; Total Gaming Time: 3 hours 15 minutes.
NM Level Eleven: Obsidian Lords and Storm Riders (yeah, same as before). Drops: Book CL, long battle bow, Magic Hunters Bow, elixir Dex, ID scroll.
Roede originally planned to use the CC but with the Obsidian Lords The Bonesaw becomes the weapon of choice. Bait and trap tactics lead to an uneventful level.
Roede 25; Taoni 26
NM Level Twelve: Guardians and Fire Drakes. Drops: Long War bow, Magic Ring Mail, Magic Tower Shield, Magic Full Plate(70), ID scroll, Elix Magic, and Viperflame drops a buckler.
Standard Bait and Trap tactics; the snakes are tough opponents, and the Guardians’ infernos really hurt the warrior. Heavy use of the Blood Fountain made for this level. Roede can handle snakes one at a time, and even two if he gets in the first blow on one, but more than that is deadly. Indeed, when two snakes show up followed by two more in short order, our warrior is able to take down three but the last one sneaks in a final blow that kills our hero before he can drink (he was actually trying to keep from drinking, but the gamble did not pay off). Taoni resses him when the area is clear. When Viperflame shows up we have to break formation -- Roede leads a group back to the stairs up, while Taoni locks herself inside a corral (very dangerous; if a Guardian had shown up, we
would have had one dead Rogue). But from her vantage point the rogue is able to kill all snakes that
followed her, including Viperflame himself. The Warrior returns via the stairs and cleans up the stragglers. The rest of the level was a little bit of a ffa, since the movement of the Guardians isolated
them for the warrior, while the rogue lured snakes across lava bridge to their dooms. Lots of running around, but the end result was the same.
Roede 26; Taoni lupt to 27.
Fifth NM Session, Tuesday, July 3rd; Total Gaming Time: 3 hours.
NM Level Thirteen: Lava Maws, Cave Vipers, and Snow Witches. Drops: book HB, mag Tower Shield, Res Scroll, ring (witch), Witchmoon (Ring of Engagement).
Although we tried the standard “bait and trap” techniques using a corner, heavy desync and numerous opponents foiled those plans. The Dogs seem to love the Rogue, running right past the warrior (who can’t hit/stop them) and chase her over creation. There are even several episodes of desync where the Warrior is next to the dog, swinging at it, and the dog is still shooting ranged attacks at a dodging Rogue. Weird! And for some reason (poor scouting?) the witches show up in ever-greater numbers, until at one point the warrior is just doing “happy feet” to draw their fire while the Rogue is shooting down seven -- count em, SEVEN -- witches! Although we don’t lose any lives, the last of our red potions are consumed on this level. From now on we’ll be drinking yellows in the heat of combat.
Roede still at 26, Taoni to 27
Sixth NM Session, Wednesday, July 4th; Total Gaming Time: 3 hours.
NM level 14: Lava Maws, Steel Lords. Drops: mag Long Battle Bow, mag Hunter’s Bow, mag Axe, staff of Res (7), ring (barrel), amulet (knight), elixer Magic, Steelskull = full helm (indestructible)
Things are tight right from the start. When two Steel Lords and a Dog show up, Roede is dead almost instantly. Rouge clears the area, sets a TP, and goes to get a res. After ressing the Warrior, Roede unfortunately chooses to ready his Blackoak shield, which kills him instantly. Ok, so we burn a second res scroll.
Roede is having trouble with the Lords, burning potions like there is no tomorrow. As soon as Steelskull is dead (thanks to two SC spells and the CC), we decide that this definitely isn’t a warrior’s level, and send Roede up to town. Our reasoning ran that Taoni now had enough time and space to shoot down pursuing opponents, and that Roede’s 15% score to hit versus the 89% Steel
Lords score to is not a doable trade off. Since we plan on using the Warrior to be the shield versus
Diablo, it won’t help to have him die on Level 14.
Taoni is doing pretty good, the knights aren’t really a probably since they walk in pretty much a straight line. The dogs are a bit tougher as they dodge, have a ranged attack, and have a wicked melee attack.
So the level is about 75% done, going for the last 1/4 of the maze in the lower left, when I turn a corner too quickly and activate 3 dogs. I shoot down two of them with minimal damage, but the third one doesn’t follow. I try to take the corner wide to activate him, but he’s already damn close as he charges. I retreat to my previous set position and begin firing. It takes about four hits of my Lightning bow to bring down a dog, and this one is a particularly tough customer, dodging and firing all the way in. In the end, (and I do mean, The End) I hit him three times, he dodges the fourth shot,
and then he’s next to me. Although I know I need just one more hit to get him, this dog goes consistently melee attack (no pause for ranged) and stunlocks me over and over. He never misses! After about 8 hits one after the other I am out of potions and out of luck. Thankful that it’s just ONE dog, Taoni bites the dust on level 14.
Roede hears the death cry in town. I relay to him all the details. He comes down, ready to res, baby- stepping to find the dog. First he comes upon my body (the dog moved northward when the warrior entered the dungeon level) and he picks up the +30 vit ring and the diamond ring. We’re both pretty confident about his ability to deal with this one animal, when suddenly the dog spies Roede and charges again. To Roede, it again seemed strange, but this one dog never tried the ranged attack and hit over and over again, stunning the Warrior and damaging him faster than the yellows could replace the life-loss. After about 12 seconds it’s all over -- both of us dead to ONE LOUSY DOG!
Taoni (Rogue): I had heard that Nightmare was supposed to be tough, and Roede and I made all sorts of elaborate plans to have the Rogue using a shield and sword while the warrior broke out the Messy Reaver and cleaned house. After all this talking, however, levels 1-4 were a walk in the park for the warrior going solo, and by the time we reached levels 5-8, ranged attackers could STILL hit Taoni even when she was using a S/S combo! This was disconcerting to say the least! So we ended up playing to our strengths, the Rouge using her bow and the warrior in a S/S setup.
By the time we reached level ten, the going was indeed getting tough. And when we reached 13 and drank our last red, I am having serious doubts as to how far we will be getting. However, the Rouge’s bow seems up to the task, and when Roede graciously agrees to go up to town to wait out the conflicts, I’m pretty confidant I can finish level 14. Unfortunately, that one stupid dog had other plans!!! I don’t know; I probably could have played even more cautiously, but #1.) my time is
limited since I have to go to work at the end of each session and #2.) sometimes it’s just the cards you are dealt, whether you activate 2 or 5 foes when turning a corner. If I ever get another chance, I know I’ll be using the biggest baddest bow I can find and firing like there’s no tomorrow! Still, I’m bummed that our entire quest was defeated by a single dog! Grrrr!
One note to would-be Ironmanners(?): This game differed considerably from the previous Normal game in that heal staves took on a new importance. In Normal games, you can “heal” by either #1.) simply leveling up or #2.) continually casting HO on your partner. In NM, you won’t level up nearly as often (like, almost never!), and you run out of mana all the time because you are casting HO all the time! So if you ever get the chance with your NM town purchase, go for the Heal or HO staff!
Roede(Warrior): I would have needed another +30 to hit or 30 dex (or both) to stand a chance against Knights or Balrogs, but there just weren’t the drops in this game. I’m still puzzled by that last dog. I had killed dogs before on just the previous level, but this one never missed and I seemed never able to hit or resist being stunned. Worst of all, the life given by drinking small yellows didn’t nearly replace the damage done by each swing of the dog, and that was something new to me. Wish I had stocked up on large yellows in town, but we were saving those for Diablo himself. Ah well, hindsight is golden.
Taoni_the _Fell (level 27 Ironman Rogue)
Roede..Orm (level 26 Ironman Warrior)
Died on level 14 Nightmare Difficulty to a Lava Maw.
Epilogue: Hope you weren’t too bored with the saga. We’re still at it. More tales to come.
Posted on Aug 4, 2001, 8:23 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168