The latest rumor from Bill Roper is that May is when the Patch 1.10 will take place, and they promise that it will be more like an expansion than a patch.
Let's all give one more round of applause for someone trying to stretch our credibility!
What say some of us try Seven Samurai on Seven Lances in the interim? There may be a few SS forum folks interested, possibly Sir Die Alot, and Count Duckula, if schedules can be harmonized, which is without a doubt the key to any team play.
FoS is now complete, in that we killed Baal in Hell last Sunday night, to the sound of great rejoicing. We will probably do the Cow Run before this is all over just for the hell of it.
The final roll call of The Friends of Sysiphus is as follows:
Celtic_Hound: Drey FoS the Flexible Paladin
HawKmoon: Shane_FoS, the Singing Barbarian
Zed: Andante, the Magical Meteor Maiden
Occhi: Spicer_FoS, Bow Wielding Airhead of the Tamoe Highland
Doc could not finish with us, sadly and it was great part due to his recent surgery. His last character was Murphy's Law, an Elemental Druid who tended toward Hurricaine, Ravens and other such lines of attack.
Paul_Uhn was Sissy_FoS and then Kissy_FoS, our first sorceress, but RL and possibly the glacial pace of our progress cost us his continued ability to join in. We shall not forget the, fair Sissy! Your deeds will be remembered!
Lessons: the original aim of minimum practical level with all quests completed got a bit watered down by the LoD implementation, due to the Ancients, leveling and XP protocol change, which made us all level up a bit faster than we would have otherwise. We ended up in the High 60's, and I will say that the Hell Ancients Fight was a pretty vigorous exercise in not screwing up. Diablo in Hell was remarkably tame for the four of us, what with Decoys and Valks keeping his eye off the party, Drey tanking manfully, and the focus on resistance that we all had adopted: a fundamental HC approach.
Tactically, WarCry and Meteor/Mastery are a frightening combination, except against Fire Immunes. The monsters stand there and death rains down from above.
Socketing a MageWrath with a perfect Skull guarantees that you will never be short of mana, except versus Physical Immunes.
A good Paladin is an immense asset to any party, thanks again Hound for your sacrifice and leadership in that regard, in that 'the right aura at the right time' creates a huge advantage over the bad guys, or kept us properly uncursed, resistant, etc.
Thanks again to Zed for his continual reminder to keep focused on the mission and not gain unnecessary XP.
Pumping life early and often, and making sure that you actually have that High resist shield selected via the W key is an aid to overcoming the occasional mindless assault on MSLEB's in the Countess' Tower.
Slow Missile is a superb party skill, as is Hurricaine, when LEB's are about. I had some connection problems that made my SM application rather tricky now and again, particularly when I lost track of my cursor in all the video of Meteors et al, so I often did not get the full effect of them on all spell and missile opponents. I will say that OK's and AK's are waaaaaaaaay less trouble when SM has their spell coming inbound at one third of the speed. Another one point wonder.
I suggest we continue on Sundays with our current team on something else, and slot 7 Samurai in for another night of the week. This would make it more likely that we could accomodate people's schedules and give us something to continue with in the event that it is not possible to harmonize schedules beyond what we already have going.
My preference for Sun nights would be something that is "forward-compatible" -- i.e. something where we make as few commitments to the char progressions of our characters make as possible, so that we have a chance to check out the new changes when 1.10 does finally arrive before picking a permanent development path. (Hence my suggestion concerning softcore slackers / one-trick-ponies.) This would mean we aren't forced to start from scratch when 1.10 does come out, though of course that option would still be available.