Nightmare Baal has died. Hell awaits!
Not going to bother documenting all of the uniques/sets I've found thus far, but there isn't anything particularly notable yet. At the moment I'm keeping anything that I don't already have in an attempt to collect every item in the game or at least get a nice collection.
Solo Hell Blizzsorc Rules:
- Solo/self-found only (obviously)
- No cheating/maphack/etc. (to be clarified below)
- Ladder/online features enabled
- Client/patch version 1.13c
- D2SE Mod Manager is being used so as to utilize PlugY plug-in
- A program called Cursor Lock is being used to lock my cursor to my D2 client window.
- PlugY enables several features, including expanded/shared stash (seen above), Ladder/Online features enabled in Single Player (Ladder-only runewords, ubers, etc.), improved stats screen (seen above), and easy respec/reskill.
As PlugY allows easy respec/reskill, I will from time-to-time reallocate a few stat or skill points in an effort to tweak my build or allow myself to use a new piece of gear. This is definitely "cheating" to some degree, but I consider it mostly harmless and not against the spirit of this challenge so I'm allowing it. However, what I will not do
is massively change my skills to circumvent immunities, as that goes entirely against the spirit of this challenge (for example, I'm not going to change from a Blizz sorc to a Meteor sorc to be able to farm different areas or be able to more easily kill certain bosses or anything like that.) The goal here is to get a single-element (cold, in this case) sorc through Hell difficulty without any outside assistance.
Additionally, there are no maphack/item drop/whatever changes to the game. As I'm playing Single-player mode, my maps remain revealed and do not change unless I choose to change them by switching difficulty, and I will certainly "exploit" this by rerolling my maps until I get good layouts for certain boss runs or areas.
When I last tried and completed this challenge, the latest version was 1.11b
. I didn't expect much to be different this time and if anything expected it to be easier due to some changes made in 1.13c (improved rune drop rates, significantly lowered damage from fire enchanted mob explosions, Iron Maiden removed from Oblivion Knights), some improvements to my knowledge bank, and the fact that I don't have to deal with lag due to playing single-player mode. However, one thing I really noticed was a change in the difficulty of Normal difficulty. Perhaps it is just because of differences in item finds/gear and such, or perhaps it is due to the fact that I was really rushing through the game and not stopping to level/gear up, but I found Normal difficulty to be much more difficult this time around, particularly once I reached the Worldstone Keep/Throne. On more than one occasion I found myself running out of gold and being unable to supply potions to my incredibly thirsty sorceress, and had to sell items/gems I was holding onto for later. However, once I managed to get Normal Baal down and got a few runs through cows to get a few levels and get the item base I needed to make my Spirit runeword weapon, it was smoooooooth sailing from there. I didn't bother grinding out levels on Normal Baal this time like I did previously, and started Nightmare difficulty a solid 10 levels earlier this time than last (at level 30). With the exception of a few (~5) Nightmare Meph runs, it was a straight shot through Nightmare difficulty with no need to stop and grind/farm and no more running out of money to buy potions.
One big change that I've made is that I've come to value Faster Cast Rate and Faster Hit Recovery much more than I had previously. I was never one to completely neglect them, but I've learned and seen just how much of a difference these two stats can make, particularly when trying to teleport quickly and safely from Point A to Point B. At the breakpoints I've met currently, my character recovers from hits more than twice as fast (7 frames versus 15 without any FHR) and casts more than 30% faster (9 frames versus 13 without any FCR.) The FHR in particular has saved my ass more times than I can count.
From here going forward, I'll probably do either some Nightmare Meph or Nightmare Baal runs or maybe some Nightmare Cows to try to work on my gear situation. As you can see above, some of my gear is severely
lacking and it shouldn't be very hard to find a few upgrades. As soon as I can, I'm going to want to push at least to Hell Andariel to start really working on my gear, as she can drop many of the things I will want before I try to push through Hell.
Ultimately, I hope to take on the Ubers with this character, and I may not consider the challenge "complete" until that happens. Beyond that, as stated before, I may be attempting to collect every item in the game. Updates to follow as they come!