After defeating the ancients, my bowazon found going through the keep and killing Baal's minions much more straightforward. No gloams in the keep, fortunately, as they are really nasty --- I'm not sure why they toned down or removed most of the really dangerous attacks in 1.10 like msleb's (even if that was a bug-fix and the ms was always intended as it does now to apply to the separate ranged attack and not the to bolts) but then put in some new ones. Multishot archer bosses are also nasty.
Baal himself took a while and half-a-dozen deaths --- I always find him a PITA for lower lvl/poorly equipped bowazons --- plus a lot of trips to town to get rid of his double and rearrange potions, but it didn't seem so much worse than before. Just fired immos at him. Immolation arrow (+ valk!) was enough to take me all the way to the end, which I wasn't sure about earlier.
A few general conslusions (some of which may not apply across all characters):
Hell is definitely very possible to solo (at players 1 anyway) even with a poorly equipped char (see below -- my resists were in the red pretty much most of the way; though I managed to get positive ligthting res near the end). Probably with good equipment the game is going to just as easy as before, albeit it perhaps a bit slower.
There is less flexibility than before -- I don't now how else I would have done it, other than by replacing (or adding) a high lvl immolation arrow by a high lvl freezing arrow. A high lvl valk was critical. Different builds would probably require having the appropriate equipment.
The first thing you need to do is figure out how you're going to get the damage you need. (In my case, a high lvl elemental arrow and valk) -- everything else is secondary. 'Normal' equipment (like my rare grand matron bow) doesn't cut it in terms of physical da, so for that you need very powerful items. (And no doubt with all the new items, there may be new effective strategies to use them.)
The second thing you need is a way to handle mobs -- it's much more of a D1 style divide and conquer game now. The valk is a no-brainer for amazons, but other classes presumably have their own resources.
Mana leech is much harder to get now: I wound up depending on potions exclusively, which meant trips back to town to restock after almost every battle. Maybe with better equipment, it would be ok, but I never got close to the point of being self-sufficient in mana. (Admittedly, my character was reverse optimized for mana dependence.)
Attack rating plays a more signifcant role now that monsters have better defence. (Conversely maybe defence is more important for players, but I wouldn't know about that as it played no role for me.)
The game is definitely harder than before (not just more tedious) -- I died on a semi-regular basis, whereas before there were just a few key encounters that could cause a death.
The life of some monsters is ridiculous. There were far, far too many times where you just had to tape down the mouse button to kill monsters with massive amounts of hit points. At least it gave you a chance to put out the garbage, but that's presumably not the goal of an action rpg. (According to the read me, the patch increases life on player 1 game relative to multiplayer games, which seems exactly the wrong way round to me.)
Final bases stats and equipment at clvl 80 (all obtained since clvl 74 when I upgraded to 1.10s which wiped her old equip):
Blue helm: +8% life steal, +19% res all
Blue gloves: +2 to bow skills
Blue boots: +40% fast run/walk
Rare armor: +10 str, +24% light res, repairs durability
Blue ring: +6 min da/+100 AR
Blue ring: +2 str/27% light res
Rare ammy: +1 amazon skills, +5 min da, +29 str, 7% light res, 31% poison res, damage reduced by 2
Rare grand matron bow: +2 bow skilss, +39% ed, +11 max da, +150 AR, +266 da to undead, +278 AR to undead, +1 dex, +3 lr (da 19-111)
With everything equipped
F/C/L/P resists in hell -46/-43/+7/-20
I switched from a might act II merc to a cold arrow act I rogue, but didn't use her that much.
Other passives in 1-5 range
Immolation arrow: 20+5 (synergized with lvl 10 exploding arrow and lvl 2 fire arrow)
Freezing arrow: 1+5
Edit: added an extra comment
|This message has been edited by The_cla from IP address 220.127.116.11 on Aug 20, 2003 12:04 PM|