AN IRONSNOB WARRIOR'S TALE -- the introduction
(The author would like to thank the following persons who assisted in this IronSnob run by either contributing birthday gifts, holding games for birthday gift import, or clearing previously cleared levels so that the IronSnob could get to his appropriate level. In no special order: DeeBye, Tristan, Sabra, BigD, WildViking, Totalrecall, and Oncal. Your assistance made this post possible. Thank you all.)
Recently my gaming partner (RoedeOrm/WildViking) turned me on to a variant style known as Elitist, where the character can only use Unique game items, receives a birthday gift at the game start and every fifth level, and has certain constraints on spells that are allowed (see: http://realmsbeyond.net/diablo/variants.html and look under Elitists). I had been enjoying playing the
character as a nice break from Ironman when it hit me -- why not do BOTH -- an Elitist playing an Ironman game! I decided that a warrior would stand the best chance of making it all the way through (the rogue would run out of bow too soon, and the mage couldnt make it without specific spells he is denied by the rules) and started several games. It wasnt until the fourth game that my SNOB warrior romped through dungeon levels one through six and onward into Hell.
Here was my character development/ battle plan:
Bday1 gift: Deadly Hunter(qlevel 3)
Bday5 gift: Wicked Axe(qlevel 5)
Bday10 gift: Ring of Engagement(qlevel 11)
Bday15 gift: Scavengers Carapace (qlevel 13)
Bday20 gift: Gotterdamerung (qlevel 21)
Bday25 gift: Second RoE (qlevel 11)
and face Diablo so equipped.
I was using Taonis IronSnob rules as posted here:
http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/mes ... 1026007995
as the basis for the IronSnob attempt. Among other things these rules limit the qlevel of each birthday gift you may receive to clevel +2 or lower, adding to the IronSnob challenge. (You can look up Unique item qlevels at this site: http://members.core.com/~dfrease/JGFrame.html. The plan was to use the DFE of items to make up for lack of Blood Fountains or Purifying Springs, and the inability
of the IronSnob warrior to cast heal on himself since every lup is going into Dex, Str, or Vit in his preparations for facing Diablo (so that stun can be achieved).
Major challenges/roadblocks foreseen for the attempt include:
1. Boxing ones way naked to clevel five may prove difficult depending upon the foes (especially Hiddens and Plague Eaters).
2. If any of the levels are major archer levels, Ill be going through reds like crazy (no Shield = no block = get hit very often) meaning Ill have fewer potions for the lower levels.
3. Not sure I can kill both the Butcher and Leo naked except for an axe.
4. Stunlock with Storms in the Caves may prove a stopper.
4. A triple witch level will probably spell the games doom.
5. Not sure I can kill Diablo with that axe in that setup (poor to hit; no blocking; no AC). Should prove very interesting.
Anyway, that was the plan. Here are some of the actual games played, prior to the winning contest.
Game 1: Retired character after dlevel 4 completed as I had chosen a TFoS as my first birthday gift. (This was before I had figured out the above formula.) Although Im having a blast with this character, I decided that I had wasted the opportunity to get a much better first Birthday gift, the Deadly Hunter. Deleted. Restarted.
Game 2: Ambushed by the Skeleton King at the stairs on level 3. I was a level 7 warrior. He and his melee minions took me apart, surrounding me and damaging me faster than I could drink.
Game 3: Levels 1-4 cleared without a single unique item dropping!
Catacombs Level 5: Cutting to the chase -- encountered Foulwing and his minions. Died to being surrounded by Glooms that pecked me to death. Argh! Just overconfident and approached them too closely, allowing them to surround me. My fault, my bad. Live/die and learn.
Now on to the winning session! (Please read on)
GAME FOUR, THE WINNING IRONSNOB GAME -- Church and Catacombs
Town Purchase: ID scroll.
First birthday gift in Town: Deadly Hunter. Why Deadly Hunter you might ask? Well, its qlevel 3 and so can be given as a first birthday gift (up to qlevel 3 gifts can be given at the games start according to Taonis IronSnob rules); it has tons of durability compared to other bows, and it has a + to hit that is especially needed by warriors. I knew Id need a bow at some point in the game -- the question was when to try and get the bow and what bow to select. I considered the Needler with its great to hit adds, but dropped it because of poor damage and lousy durability. Flamedart also came to mind, but it meant Id have to wait until I reached clevel 10 AND give up a decent Bday gift at
that time. Plus, I didnt want to waste my first Bday gift on some weapon or armor that was going to become obsolete anyway -- I wanted to be able to use every item I took throughout the game in case I never ever found another Unique item!
The downside to selecting a Deadly Hunter as the first Bday gift is the fact that the warrior cannot equip it until he turns clvl 5 and gets his Dex up to 40, and of course at that time hell be receiving another birthday gift anyway! But there simply wasnt another qlevel3 or less Unique item that I wanted that badly (I know, I know, everyone talks about the CC and using it versus the Butcher, Leo, and Diablo in the final conflict. Naaaah.) So Ill be boxing naked for my first four lups, it seems.
Church Level 1: The usual suspects. Drops: book HO. Shrines: Stone.
Zombies are a piece of cake. Fallen Ones arent really that bad. Skeletons shatter nicely. But Skeleton Captains -- ouch! You take some damage with those guys! And Scavengers are a pain too in that they have a good to hit and they run away to heal after you hit them. The trick is to try and to line up and kill foes on a single tile (say, just behind a doorway or arch) so that all the corpses are stacked in one tile. When the Scavenger appears, step onto the corpse pile and fight from there. The Scavenger cant heal, and youll eventually kill it. Clevel 4 achieved by a naked, boxing fool! Cost me two heal scrolls and one red.
Church Level 2: Fiends, Skeleton Captains, Hiddens, Fallen Ones. Drops: book Heal, Bladeskin = book FB, Butcher = book Heal. Shrines: none. Birthday gift: Wicked Axe!
As a level 4 character you do 2-2 damage with your bare hands, which really isnt too bad, especially against skeletons. Boxing naked versus Hiddens is a pain, however, as they wont stand up and fight, running away to heal instead. Tracking them down and cornering them is a dangerous affair as their claws are sharp and they hit regularly! I box and drink, and slowly reach clevel 5 meaning another Birthday gift: the Wicked Axe! Yah! This Axe has a great to hit add, a -5 DFE, and does tremendous damage (6-16!). It is just out-and-out awesome! With this axe I crush my opponents and begin quickly clearing the level. Cleaned out the rest of the dungeon and got ready for the Butcher.
Attica(SNOB) level 7 warrior (Pre-Butcher stats)
AC 12; to hit 110%; Damage with the Wicked Axe = 8-18.
Open the door: AH, FRESH MEAT! The Butcher charges; we engage in an axe-fight. Uh-huh, you think youre bad? (Ouch!) Ill show you bad! (OW!) Take a look at the size of MY axe!
WAAAAUUUUWWWW! The Butcher is dead after hitting only twice for nine points damage (I hit and stunned him consistantly) Didnt even have to drink! He drops a magic Large Axe -- of course, unuseable by an Elitist -- have to leave it. Character level 7 achieved.
Church Level 3: Burning Dead Captains, Shadow Beasts, Plague Eaters, Devil Kin, Corpse Bows. Drops: Skullfire = Staff of Lightning (60 charges! Unuseable, of course); El Chubacabras = book CB (unuseable again), book HB. Shrines: Secluded and Eldritch! Whoa!
Start out this level with the Wicked Axe and prove to be the match of all my foes. The next lup I put into Dex (now at 55), technically maxxing my Dex prior to Leo -- the next lups will go into Str for increased damage. Why not max the Dex to its actual maximum of 60? Because I have 5 more dungeon levels with shrines to clear, and I may meet up with an Abandoned or Mysterious (which hits Dex more often, Ive been told) Shrine. I dont want to waste them!
The level is about 1/2 done when I come upon a door in the West with a tell-tale glow behind it -- I avoid it and clear out the rest of the dungeon (now about 4/5 complete overall by the looks of the map). When I return and open it, sure enough, its the Skeleton King. Open the door . . . .
Leo attacks like a tiger!
I run like a rabbit!
I lead him all the way to the Northeast corner of the dungeon, set a portal, and dive up to town and then walk back down to level 3. Hes effectively parked in the NE corner of the maze and now I can deal with his minions. Behind Leos door is a slew of archers defended by plague eaters. Strangely, these plague eaters wont leave the archers to attack me on the other side of the door, and by sheer numbers the archers are impossible to take on melee-style. No choice; time to break out the Deadly Hunter and even the odds some. At a loss of one durability I take out nine Corpse Bows from just beyond the doorway, then switch back to the Wicked Axe and charge! Yah!
The plague eaters chew me to bits while the archers pincushion me. El Chubacabras is stuck BEHIND a pack of archers, which is why the plague eaters dont pursue! Argh! I kill four plague eaters(minions) and two Corpse Bows and have to retreat behind the door and use a heal scroll. Then time for round two. Grrrrrr! Charge again!
This time I kill three more Corpse Bows and open a path to El Chub and his remaining minions. They scramble after me as I beat a quick retreat behind the door (too many archers still!). At the doorway (blocking arrows) I make a stand, and take out the rat pack and boss. Take THAT you rat! Then its another heal scroll and on to round three.
Charge! This time, as Im moving deeper into the room, I take out three Corpse Bows and activate four Burning Dead Captains. Run away! Run away! Back behind the door and deal with the captains. Charge again! Now three Devil Kin show up. Run away! Back to the door to deal with them. Sheesh, this is gonna be my last Heal Scroll! Better find some more, and soon. Charge again! Finally I destroy the last remaining Corpse Bows. Whew! No Unique drops, however, just lots of
Cleared out the remaining rooms of the level, opened all chests, broke all barrels, and then its time for the final contest: a single round sudden-death elimination match.
*****DING! DING! DING!*****
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO THE MAIN EVENT!
In this corner, sporting a massive two-handed sword with life-stealing capabilities, a twisted evil soul, a distorted and deformed demeanor and mad as a hatter to boot, the pawn of the forces of Darkness, the Black King, the Skeleton King, King Leoric! (Boo! Booooooooo!)
And in this corner weilding nothing but a spiffy Wicked Axe and an upturned nose, an Ironman, an Elitist, an IronSnob warrior, Mr. Attitude, Attica(SNOB)! (Crowd goes wild! Its free beer night.)
Attica(SNOB) level 8 IronSnob warrior (Pre-Leo)
AC 13; to hit 112%; Damage 8- 18 with the Wicked Axe.
LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!
We have at each other. Leo hits hard, consistantly. I also hit hard -- stunning Leo when I do -- but I miss quite frequently. Leo knocks my health down and I drink my first red -- only five others are in my belt! Man this guy is tough! Chop! Whack! Taking serious damage here. Drink my second red. I feel like were in a slapping contest, and worry that I might be on the losing end of this one (remembering when Leo took apart my level 7 warrior in the other game). Yeow! Drink another red. We continue battling, with him doing some serious scoring and me beginning to get REALLY worried when -- KER-BLOOM! -- he blows apart! YAH! The drop is a magical -- but not Unique -- Claymore. Have to leave it. Still, I got the Skeleton King at a cost of only three reds! Waahoo! Still character level 8.
Church Level 4: Devil Kin, Burning Dead Captains, Corpse Captains, Burning Dead (axes). Drops: none. Shrines: Sacred. Birthday gift: Ring of Engagement
The Wicked Axe continues to devastate all foes. My opponents only do ONE point of damage when they hit, for the most part! Only bosses can hit me hard enough to stun me, so playing conservatively versus bosses is the name of the game. Otherwise, rock the house!
Finished the Church achieving clevel 10 and the following stats:
Attica(IronSnob) clevel 10 (post-Church)
Vit 25 (15)
AC 18, to hit 112%, Damage 10-20, Wicked Axe and RoE readied.
An IronSnob has cleared the Church! On to the Catacombs!
Catacombs level 5: Horror Archers, Burning Dead Archers, Flesh Clan Archers, Flesh Clan Mace Goats, Bone Gashers. Drops: books HB, HB, and HO, Bloodskin Darkbow = short battle bow, Horror archer drops an ammy = Topaz +13 all amulet of the Jaguar +18 life. Close but no cigar; cannot use it.
The Wicked Axe still crushes; return attacks do only one point of damage max. I thought I would be breaking out the Deadly Hunter to take out all the archers, but it is actually much faster and less damaging for the most part to stand to either side of the doorway and let the goats come to me and then axe em! Even Bloodskins minions are taken out via this method; Bloodskin himself is pinned in a corner and chopped to bits. Rushing the skelelton archers is also MUCH faster than bowing them, so Attica remains pure melee for this level. Clevel 12 achieved.
Catacombs level 6: Stalkers, Glooms, Flesh Clan Mace Goats, Overlords. Drops: a unique longstaff from a chest! (did not choose to ID it, probably the Immolator), book H, Bilefroth the Pitmaster = magic scimitar, a barrel drops an ammy = Gold +22 amulet of Thieves! Oh man, soooo close, and what an awesome amulet that would have been! No can use it though. Shrines: Hidden.
Proper use of doorways and Wicked Axe reduce all foes to bloody heaps. Foes still mostly doing only one point of damage per hit. Character level 14 reached.
Catacombs level 7: Mud Runners, Acid Beasts, and Mud Men. Drops: none. Shrines: Purifying Spring! Birthday gift: Scavengers Carapace.
A few notes here -- although a Purifying Spring shows up on this level, Ive not allocated any lup points to magic and havent been able to read a single book, so I cant cast heal either. Now I am thinking, do I want to get a WizardSpike as my next birthday gift and be able to read Heal and then cast heal on myself? Or should I still get the Scavengers Carapace? These foes are beating me up pretty bad -- doing up to FIVE points damage now sometimes! -- and though the idea of having a blood fountain/purifying spring at my disposal to cast unlimited heals on myself via a WizardSpike is appealing, I decide to go for the Scavengers Carapace instead. That way I wont have to drink as often, and wont be as likely to die, Purifying Spring/unlimited heals or no!
The Scavengers Carapace proves to be a wise choice as once again while I am wearing it, opponents do one point of damage max, even Mud Runner charges! The Wicked Axe continues to stun and cleave all comers.
However -- and this a very disturbing note -- although foes attacks only do ONE point of damage at most, standing in acid proves to be a life-threatening experience. When you stand in an acid pool, your life takes a nose-dive like a thermometer plunged into icewater! I come very VERY close to dying once, opening up a door to a large room filled with dogs! There is dogspit/acid everywhere, and its hard to stay calm and keep track of life remaining while you try to block the door, swing your axe, step out of acid pools, and keep an eye on your remaining belt potions. (As an aside: I thought that by standing to the side of the door -- as you do with archer Goats -- Id minimize the
amount of dogspit flung at me. Actually, the REVERSE seems to be true. If you stand directly IN FRONT of the door the dogs beyond either engage you, run back and forth, or stop one tile to the side and spit -- and the doorway catches this spit. If you stand one tile to either side of the door, the stopping and spitting dogs can nail your position with an acid pool! Exceedingly dangerous! A word to the wise there.) Clevel 16 achieved.
Catacombs Level 8: Unseen, Acid Beasts, Blood Stones. Drops: Ammy from a dog = amulet of Stability! Shrines: Eerie and Mysterious. The Mysterious shrine goes into my Strength! Doh!
Previously primed for acid pools, the dogs arent nearly as bad as before. The Blood Stones, though
they sometimes hit twice while meleeing, still only do 1 point damage each time they hit (the ranged attack also only does one damage).
The amulet stability is an afterthought as no regular foe can stun me anyway.
The level is no contest, but note that I use my last remaining scroll heal on this level. From now on Ill be drinking potions, or trying to get that WizardSpike as the next birthday gift. The next few levels will tell, influencing me one way or the other. But thats it for level eight! Clevel 17 gained.
Catacombs conquered by an IronSnob! On to the Caves!
Attica(SNOB) level 17 IronSnob warrior (post-Catacombs)
Life (oops) forgot to record -- about 82?
Mana (oops) -- about 27?
AC 13, to hit 117%, Damage 18 - 28; Wicked Axe, RoE, Scavengers Carapace, amulet stability; Deadly Hunter and a Unique Longstaff in the backback.
On to the Caves! (Please read on.)