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An Online Novice Has Dumb Questions

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February 7, 2006 8:23:52 PM

Hi. I have played the Expansion many times but just offline. I am newbie ignorant in the realms. What drew me to the East ladder was word of UberTristram. I started what may be the wrong character for the quest, a Hammerdin, a couple months ago. Just played him up to 89. Still hardly know a third of the acronyms lingo...the first time a barb told me he had level 27 BO I backed away<g> but will check some glossary if anyone is kind enough to reply.

So a few dumb questions.

What is the best way to level up past 89? Baal runs barely move the needle . Up to now had just soloed, but heard multiplayer games give higher experience payoffs. So what I tried a few times is joining a trading game, and just played while others traded...but that seems dangerous... barely avoided dying a few times. ( those little stygian doll types can kill me in a blink...I run when I see em now...let my merc handle them..he's tougher than I am...lol).

Joined a Baal run with many high level characters. They seem to just have someone tele to the throne room and polish off the minions..then all leave without jumping Baal. During this time, another hammerdin kept the hammer going slow and steady between waves of minions. How is that done? Mine only flies when enemies are present.

Has a hammerdin ever soloed Ubertristram? Impossible? Have heard of smiters doing that...and one zealot. Any other classes succeed in a solo?
( impossible or not I will try and probably get whomped).

And a REALLY dumb question. Payed $7 for some backup enigma archon plate. How do you tele? Gave it a quick tryout and the hops seemed very short..is there a way to tele long distances?
in one jump or is it always a series of tiny jumps?

I am using a lesser crown of ages helm with Lo and Ber runes. Cheap Guardian Angel armor. Heart of Oak flail ( both not ethereal). Arachnid Mesh belt. Drac's gloves ( though I still do not know if lifetap benefits a hammerdin). InfernoStride boots. Mara's Am. Ravenfrost ring. Experimenting with other ring. Should I sacrifice 10% fast cast for skills and/or extra lightning absorb? A hellfire torch. A bunch of extra resist charms for Uber. +a lesser annihilus charm.

Tried to equip my defiance merc well. Delirium helm which really helps with crowd control, and my merc is a hilarious tough little mutha when he transforms. One of the lower level doom cryptic axes. And Chains of honor archon plate. But resitances only 75 so I wonder if he will last long in tristram.

Anyway, I will give it a run and probably report being pulverized :wink:

thanks in advance for any replies. I admit that I know next to nothing...
February 10, 2006 5:23:58 PM

Diablo online newbie pilgrim's progress.

Well I still don't know the best ways to level up. Nor how to get the hammer going when the enemies aren't around. Or the best build for a hammerdin. Or if a hammerdin has ANY chance to solo Uber tristram. Or how to tele effectively really ( feel VERY dumb about that one.

Have only stretched my experience a little past 89. (80% to go yet - got careless and died for the first time ever in Baal's throneroom...dunno if it was me or lag)

Have learned that many party games are more fun...for me anyway. And the most fun I have had is in mixed groups of 8 or so clearing Chaos. Know it is wise there to take it slow...draw em out and then kill a few at a time...but inevitably nobody has patience for that and frantic kamikaze rules the play. And, fopr me anyway, it is a BLAST.

Sacrificed 10% fast cast for another skill level and a little more life support( Bull Kathos wedding band) Have pushed Concentration to level 35.

My hahhemerdin has many weaknesses, but fairly potent in most situations.

When I finally get to 90 I'll try a Tristram solo. Then annihilated or not, I'll open a portal to tristram the next day for all comers over 81 to try their hands.
February 11, 2006 3:24:22 PM

will keep this all but important online newbie journal going.

Thought my Diablo IQ was at least 20...more like 5...lol.

I got to 90 mainly joining large parties. BUT...lol. All the years I played Diablonow and then offline, I never read the manual. Always thought Holy Shield was an aura like the others, so never built it in ( amazing, isn't it?).
So now I see I have to make 91 just to activate it. ayiyiyiyi Which of course means I have far too many points in dex...weak on life .

My first Baal run after hitting 90 hardly showe any advance at all. Guess it is parties to 91.

Outta curiosity I did jump in to Uber Tristram...and fought at the portal for a little while.....then took off towards top of the screen. But all 3 came after me...lol....my armor with my defiance merc is 6700. Without him, only 1770. Meph's conviction aura and whatever other curses might have been active dropped it to 89. My merc died almost instantly ( though he has 2900 in life). None of his delirium bone visage helm spells activated.

I thought I had an overkill load of resistance, but the conviction dropped em all to the 30s and 40s. Iswitched to vigor and ran like a scalded mongoose....and managed to circle on out without dying.
Then was going to invite others, but realized I opened the portal on a whim and had set a one player limit in the solo game.lol . So a pretty poor first step.

At first glance I don't think this is doable for me solo. Hat's off to all those who can. I would like to go back with a powerful diverse party, and see how that plays...but maybe after I haver tried to make it to 91 and at least have Holy Shield ( not that it will help much)
Related resources
February 11, 2006 6:02:14 PM

...continuing to babble. Misspoke. My Merc's life is 1900 ...only 2900 with the spirit of aok spell. ( but that add on to my gear doesn;t last long in Uber)
February 11, 2006 7:44:59 PM

running commentary...will return to real life soon <g>

Opend a come one come all 81 and above UberT portal. Going on right now.

Went in solo and headed to top of screen...and circled...no luck drawing anybody out. ( but I think tht is maybe a good opening approach fo a group..just a guess.

Tried it again and drew all 3 out. Returned. Merc dead.

A couple brave barbarians and druids and a necromancer went in, and seemed to et wasted quickly..the portal swartmed at this point. I went back in solo and managed to cut to the top of the screen, then hung a left and took on Baal for a minute.

There it got educational....at least a couple hundred 10K hammers didn't move him down much if at all. So my build would be great for a supporting aura...like salvation..and for crowd control...but has little effect on Baal.

Baal couldnt kill me but mephisto came up behind, and with my merc long gone I hightailed back to portal and was killed at the doorstep.

Left game, and now I cannot get back in....lol. Says it is full. Good luck to all figting on ( which reminds me why this is sometimes a great game).

One thing...which most everyone BUT me must have learned by now. If you are trying to build a high end merc for Uber, and you want him or her to survive, better mainly try and gear up with as much resistance as possible for the merc.


And a party HAS to have some plan that keeps em together....and a role for everyone. Best I can do, it appears, is support.
February 11, 2006 8:47:15 PM

Never could get back in the T portal game I began. Shouldn't have left the game...my body was close to the portal.

Somebody must have finally cleared out Uber T though....an hour or so later

Taking my leave. If a hammerdin ever solos T...and happens to read this...please report how you managed it.

Have Fun, Everyone
February 12, 2006 12:54:27 PM

PS oh, just FINALLY bothered to read the Diablo keystroke commands. ...loll..took me long enough.<g>Now I see that to get the hammer field going ahead of time ...or to attack without advancing...just hold down the SHIFT key. But I have usually had best hammer luck by tanking anyway
February 12, 2006 8:12:38 PM

another ps

snowy day here so trying to solo again. Just tangled with a couple of em and managed to escape to town. ( with Vigor)

This time the hammers did do some pretty good damage. But noticed a couple things ( while I survive...lol) A defiance merc is very handy if your armor is light, but the aura doesn't seem to kick in at all in Uber Tristram. So instead of 7100 armor ( as it now stands) I only have 1770.
So since Uber is my main goal, while I am still trying I guess I should go back and get a combat Merc instead.On the other hand, my concentration aura does kick in for the merc.

Nobody wants to join in today.....guess they don't want to die. Next time I will open the game to 81-85..those players do not seem as afraid.

well back into the fire...lol. Will try an learn some more before I expire
...good to know the hammers do have some potency.
February 12, 2006 8:27:53 PM

well...lol...still alive soloing. I see what was happening with the hammers yesterday. Baal heals himself very rapidly...and I do not have a Prevent Monster Heal item...clearly, as a zealot who soloed said...a necessity . ( my merc does but he rapidly died again - and I am not sure his would cut in.) A problem with fighting Baal was the regular arrival of drain mana minions. And while I was reloading mana he was reloading health.

So latest conclusions. The zealot was right. You have to have a prevent monster heal active. ( another wrote it only slows down healing). And you have to do as much rapid damage as possible....so a party of more than one tanking Baal ...smiters and zealots or a barb with high resistance best probably. A sorceress or two in the background...if you could establish a background ...with hyper powered elemntal attacks would help too.
A Pally with salvation aura very helpful. A zon would work too....for now would settle for ANY help...lol. Back into it....
February 12, 2006 9:27:38 PM

da all but important saga took a strange turn. An excellent sorceress showed, and I switched to a my mediocre zealot build ( skills add on made it 18 or so). And I had a free non perfect BOTD berserker axe the place I bought my gear threw in. Went in as a zealot because the it has a prevent monster heal. Was making great progress..had Baal down to about 15% life when i got a longgggg phone call...lol...had to hustle back to town. While I was talking, some other folks moved in and took em all out.

This time the merc's defiance aura did kick in. And the hammer did serious damage for as long as the merc's pmh was around. Major problem was the spectres Baal continuously summons draining mana ...so a hammerdin has to go through potions in a hurry. I now think a hammerdin solo with just the right build is not impossible. In 5 or 6 trips into Tristram I was at least not killed.

anyway a novice's journey continues awhile longer. I am gonna pick up a PMH item, and try one more time.
February 18, 2006 4:03:54 AM

leveled up to 91 soloing the Worldstone Keep + joining teams for Baal runs + joining some groups for Chaos Sanctuary runs ( the most fun for me).

So Holy Shield finally activated.

Gonna gather some potions and probably soon take a quixotic crack at soloing Uber Tristram...probably try several times. On behalf of all the Hammerdins out there <g>
February 18, 2006 9:20:15 PM

Gonna take a quick trial run at UBER. Just a test drive, with an eye to my Merc. To see if I can keep him alive. And to see if his Delirium Bone Visage helm's Confuse, Mind Blast, and Terror spells, which are so great at helping with crowd control in almost every other part of Diablo, go off at all in UBER. Also to se if his prevent monster heal attributes is working in UBER too.

If no to any or all of those questions, I'll switch to a Drac helm for him, and give up some skill and life support by switching to the nasture's Peace ring (has PMH). I think I'll need my Mercs defiance aura and damage to have any chance to succeed at the solo.

I know everyone says take on Mephisto first...and I would prefer to do that because if I could kill him with a forced salvation aura going, I'd be just about certain I could take out the other two with 585% more power unleashed to the hammers by Concentration....

but I do not know how to draw Mephisto out alone. Each time I have fought him either Baal or both B and Diablo jumped out to join him. So I'll make an attempt to start with Baal.

( never fear..this babbling will be over soon ' - )
February 18, 2006 10:55:33 PM

best laid plans...lol.....Baal and Mephisto both came out. Merc died right away. I ran to the upper left corner of the screen...both followed...so I hightailed it back to the portal.

Kept trying returns with various combos of equipment to keep the Merc alive, but none worked...and I died several times fumbling with potions.

Not only did the Merc die quickly with Mephisto around....even when I used salvation...but none of his helm spells ever activated. So I switched to the Nature's Peace ring.

Finally just left the Merc behind and managed to draw Mephisto out...at this point I had wasted all my Full rejuvs...and just slugged it out with him alone utilizing Salvation and basic mana and healing potions. But without the concentration aura I only did maybe 5-10% damage to his lifeline. Was gonna take forever and I encountered Baal coming back when I headed back for potions....got caught at the portal and died. Gave it up for the day.

Will try one last time in a few days. Will bring far more big purple potions this time.

Have learned at least this much. My Merc is uselss against Mephito. Will go in without him seeking Meph first next time..if two come out will try to separate them ( by running like hell of course in hopes only Meph follows...lol). Will have to use Nature's peace. Will have to use Salvation against Mephisto, and so even if I do somehow manage to take him out, it'll take a very long battle. VERY long.

One last try before too long....
February 21, 2006 10:04:44 PM

took another crack at it today....went over an hour...just gave up because I ran out of gold...lol ..But educational ( for me anyway). I didn;t do it but I now think a Hammerdin definitely can ( but would be expensive..more of that later).

Started with a sprint towards the upper right corner of the screen this time. Hey to my surprise my merc arrived with me...lasted more than 5 seconds for once. Using my salvation aura...though that aura + use of ravenfrost and nature's peace rings ( as opposed to skill rings) drops my modest hammers from 12k to 2.6 or so. And whaddya know but Mephisto arrives alone...seemed a perfect initial setup because I heartily agree Mephisto is best taken out first ..( more on that later too).

...then the screen froze....went to windows view and had an unrecoverable error...ayiyyi....

rejoined the game and we went back in but this time all of em were out and minions everywhere. This time I sprinted to the left of the screen and then down...merc went down quickly. Mephisto had followed me down, and we went at it several minutes with the salvation aura on. I overused my limited full rejuvs, and finally had to hightail ity back to the portal ( having done fairly limited damage). I learned in this that Nature's Peace PMH, as another poster had said, merely slows UBER healing..it doesn't prevent it at all.

Mephisto and Baal seemed to be hanging out to the left of town, so after recovering the merc ( just cannot give up on that) I decided to hightail to the right of the screen this time. Merc was with me...we encountered no resistance. Saw what looked like it might be Diablo in the middle of town...so with concentration on rather than salvation...I went right after him. Have no idea what he was doing..I guess fooling with minions..but my merc..though completely well...did not follow me. But I wasn;t needing him. Was tanking Diablo with the concentration hammers and my resitances without Mep around are 90-95-90-95 + the revnfrost's cannot be frozen and extra cold and fire absorb...so he wasn;t hurting me at all.
Some of his minions would manage to jump in to the namelock, but big D was all but gone.....hardly a shred...then at the last moment...and the big reason why Meph sgould go down first..Meph arrived with his devastating conviction aura....my resists all dropped into the 20s and I was dead from one elemental spell of some kind.

Returned thinking to finish off Diablo, and all 3 were gone. At this point I was out of purples...just using regular potions. Really a waste of purples early on, because in most instances the regular potions can keep me alive and in mana long enough.

Came out again, and really ran around with Vigor on to see who was where this time. Skirmishes. Came back in and got the Merc once more.

THIS Baal was right at the protal...great place to fight due to easy retreat. Merc stayed alivee and we were both tanking Baal and bringing him down quickly when he added his clone. And was ummoning spectres like crazy. kept jumping back to town and ressurecting the merc, but we never got all that close to killing Baal after that one instance. His clone would not leave.

Somebody told me once a way to distinguish between the real Baal and the clone...had something to do with the spatial relationship between the name and the placement of "demon" but I do not recall specifics and maybe it doesn't still hold true.

Meph arrived again as the clone Baal + Baal + the minions were slugging it out ( I wasn;t close to kiilling him in this spot, but again the sudden arrival of the conviction aura did me in.

Went back to fight a couple more times after that...no great luck....merc died early again...then went back to town to load up on blues and reds, but discovered all my gold had been used.

What did I learn? Always good to get Mephisto out first. I do not know if that initial spritn to the upper right corner of the screen brings him out alone every time, but it might be worth a try.

PMH only partially works.

My Merc finally kept alive long enough for his delirium bone gaze helm's excellent crowd controlspells to kick in..was glad to see that. Very effective in UBER ( for as long as he can stay alive anyway). Even though he never joined me aginst Diablo, I believe those spells helped keep minions off of me as we fought.

What I really learned that hammers can hurt Diablo VERY rapidly. Can also hurt Baal, but not as rapidly. Mephisto too, I suspect...but I had to use salvation instead of concentration around him so hard to say for sure.

What I think my particular build of hammerdin would have to do to solo the game is this. Buy 15 more shimmering small charms, so I would not have to turn off concentration against Mephisto; or have to worry he would show up suddenly while i was taking on another.

Shopped around...everybody seems to be completely out of 5% resist all small charms.....

Maybe someday I will try again, but that's it for Diablo for me. My character was fun, but obviously not ideal for UBER T. But again, I believe others........more powerful hammers than me... could do it. Probably many hammers already have. ( without bragging about it)

Best Regards to anyone who reads this....
February 21, 2006 10:09:43 PM

apologies for the galaxy of typos in all these posts. Should have edited em......especially the last. My blood must be Typ O

' - )
February 25, 2006 12:51:13 AM

Taking one last shot at soloing Uber Tristram this evening. Picked up the shimering charms (5% resist all) needed to keep my resistances up even in Mephistos conviction range...

Went in to the upper right again, and nobody followed me and da merc this time...drifted down to try and draw one of the Ubers to us but got more than wanted....Mephisto and Diablo. Didn;t want to take em both on at once so I hightailed it back to the portal and the merc died on the way.

Had him ressurected, picked up a couple potions and an armor repair, and came out again....and got lucky. This time I cut left to the rock wall then drifted down. Baal followed alone. General ruckus. I kept trying to keep the merc alive, and my mana up, so had used all my blue potions and all my read and 3 full purples in that when the merc died. But just about then I got a name lock on Baal with the hammers and just was determined not to let him loose. With 5 potions left, it was anyone's guess whether he would die before I ran out....knew if I even ran out of mana for a moment he'd shake free or split. (the rocks were aginst my back...he was below me and slightly to my right...in tanking range. All the minions were around the corner ( very lucky). He died a few seconds before I ran out of mana and life. Probably took 2.5 to 3 minutes to kill him, though it seemed longer.

So switched to vigor and wound my way back to town to pick up my poor doomed merc and take a break to do some necessary. chores. Will renenter after I am done. I know I can take Diablo pretty easily, but still wonder about Mephisto....but I will try.....and if I see em both together again I will RUNNNNN <g>
February 25, 2006 1:49:53 AM

After taking care of some necessities, I went back in. Wandered about and encountered Diablo, and was beginning to fight him when Meph's minions and conviction aura arrived...didn't want to take em both on, so ran back to twon again. ( merc died of course..lol). Returned and turned left, and wandered down....would wipe out stray minions and try approach the town square and back out...finally that drew mephisto out alone....southeast of town. Couldn't get a hammer lock....too many minions and quarters too tight....let my health get low.....died from one stroke. ( killed by Mephisto).

Recovered the body ( and the merc...lol)....went back in. Turned left out of portal again..and once again to the rock wall then to the lower left of screen. Wandered below town again..Merc still alive...killing stray. Then finally lucky enough to draw Mephisto alon to the open air below the town.
Clearly the key is to forget about trying to keep the merc alive and the minions...to simply concentrate on achieving a nonstop name lock on the attack. If your attack breaks with Mephisto in paricular, he heals very rapidly despite the PMH of the Nature's Peace ring.

I did manage that namelock (hammerlock), and just kept firing away without pause.....drinking potions now and then...ignoring the shots from minions..they were doing little damage. And finally Meph's lifeline started to slip below the H...then the P...then below the name....and I had plenty potions left when he died. What a Relief! Casually took out all the surrounding minions a,d vigored back to town.

Gonna take another break.....grab the poor merc again...he must feel like a yoyo...and go Diablo hunting. Feel pretty confident at this point, but ya never know...
February 25, 2006 2:20:50 AM

Diablo only took 2-3 minutes. So it's done. Just had to get a namelock and hang in tenaciously. A hammerdin can solo Uber tristram.

Picked up the Standard of Heroes, and then tried to pick up the hellfire charm and could not. Then realized I had a pally torch in my inventory...only one at a time. So went back to town thinking that if I just dropped the pally torch in my storage, I'd then be able to pick up the other one. Still no go. But wanted to see what it was, so took the torch from my cache and dropped it in town. Then went out again., and this time could grab the new one.

Brought it in to good ol Cain for an ID. It is an Assassin torch. The dropped it, and picked up my Pally torch.

I admire the purists who do not buy equipment, but rather play the game with what they can find and trade for. But I am not a trader, so....

Just in case somebody who wants an Assassin Hellfire torch reads this,
( preferably an Assassin) I will leave the game open another hour or so....or until someone drops by to grab it.

Game Name: Valley
Password: peace
February 25, 2006 2:25:13 AM

oh wait..may have limited it to a one player game. Sorry. Will mule it.( if I can).give it away another time. ( to some reader here)
February 25, 2006 7:47:17 AM

Somebody did pick up the torch. Good.

Last word of this solipsist babble ( keep the cheers down please feel like a karaoke singer with the crowd mumbling " Big Finish....ANY kind of finish...PLEASE <G>)

I was so ridiculously pleased with myself that after killing all of the last of the minions I took a few victory laps...lol. Know this is all pretty silly, but I went online specifically to try and achieve a solo. So I can leave the game behind in peace.

I am certain many hammers had done this before, but the news just didn't make any of the forums I had read...and the very common wisdom seemed to be that hammerdins couldn't solo. Was told that many times
...as summarized by one sorceress in an Uber team game who said " Hammers suck in Tristram"

Two points. Not original but central. Hammers do not activate lifetap, and so a hammer needs a VERY high amount of resist all to
keep concentration going under Mephisto's conviction influence. My resistance under Meph was still two 90s and two 95s + extra fire and cold absorb and a cannot freeze. That kept me alive most of the time.

The other point ...specifically to those hammers who like to fire away from a "safe" distance..... that doesn't work well in Uber T. For me, only tanking would achieve the critical name lock ( hammerlock) I needed. I got all the way up on each of em - at a striking angle - and never paused for a moment until they were dead. I'd say if you cannot lock in that position due to minions or location, run back to town and reload...shoot for a better spot next time.

...as for the little informal team experience I had in Tristram, I'd say a preorganized and disciplined team that sticks together...one patient enough to lure the primes to the team rather than go chasing...can win quickly and easily. Otherwise it's chaos alright...with bodies strewn everywhere.

Via Con Dios
!