Introduction Goes Here

Currently, I've been pretty much owned by Diablo 2 (yeah, I know, I'm like 6 years late or whatever...bite me, I was busy playing a 9 year old game.) I tried a few builds (mostly barbarians) with pretty poor results. Since having no equipment and no clue how to play doesn't lend itself to getting in a demon(or 30)'s grill and wailing away, I went looking for some guides/builds. I stumbled across a few Barbarian guides, but almost all of them involved "get a BOTD in a range 5 elite polearm and Arreats Face and SoJ's...blah blah blah." I contemplated just playing until I found some of these items...but then realized that the fact that I had no intention of playing the game online reduced my chances of finding this stuff to basically nil.

With that in mind, I did some more searching and found a build called the "fishymancer." Basically, this is a build that uses the necromancers ability to create an army from dead enemies to form a large amount of skeletons to serve as meatshield and damage inflictor. Basically, it's the build for slow clicking, slow moving people (protoss players. Well, hell, I'm a lazy bastard (ask anybody) so the prospect of sitting back and allowing my army of undead warriors clear out everything while I picked up the drops sounded like just the amount of effort I wanted to put in. To add icing to this cake, this build also gives the user (especially a new player, like me) a fairly easy way to build up wealth, since the character can devote basically all of his equipment to increasing magic find. So I'm pretty much able to be lazy and get rich at the same time...good shit, right? That said, since I have little to no experience with this game, I imagine I'll find things a bit more difficult than I'm supposed to.

Bring in the Pasty White Guy

I present to you, Champion Necky_Baby:

And his partner in crime, Zanarhi

My basic point with this character thus far has been focusing on items that grant plusses to skills and magic find. I've found some nice items with my necro (though most of the gear I'm wearing I either gambled for or received as a quest reward.) The lack of resists may make life hard on me in the later areas of Hell, but hopefully not too much to not be overcome.

Skills

Skill allocation is hugely important in any Diablo 2 game, and I would be remiss if I did not include mine. Since I cannot adequately describe/identify each skill here I will provide a link to the game's official site (The Arreat Summit) for further information on each skill branch. Click on the individual pictures to take you to the individual skill pages.

Summoning Skills:

Poison and Bone Skills:

Curse Skills:

You may no doubt notice that I have 6 skill points saved up, the reason for this is that I'm not sure what to do with them. Since I haven't noticed a glaring problem yet, I'm going to save them until I see an issue I need to shore up through their usage.

Equipment

Necky_baby's equipment currently is as follows:

My equipment is certainly not top shelf, but it's been serving me decently thus far. The plus to skills has been giving me more powerful skeletons and a larger area of effecto for my curses, which has made my life much easier. The magic find has granted me a decent amount of low level unique/set equipment (which has been transfered to other characters/a stash using ATMA, a single player muling application...very handy piece of software.) I'm hoping my magic find helps me find better gear for Hell difficulty, though, as I could be in trouble with such low resistances.

Now, finally, before we begin, let's examine the equipment of my mercenary.

You're So Helpless I Have to Clothe You?!

Helmet: Armor:

And Weapon:

Zanarhi's equipment is fairly nice, on the other hand (imo, at least.) Since I have a lot of skeletons, I'm not really using him as a tank, but more of a major damage inflictor. To that end, I've tried to use equipment that makes him attack faster (increased attack speed, from the helmet), hit harder (crushing blow and open wounds), and give him the ability to leech life (from the helmet and the armor) to make up for any hits he may take. The Hone Sundan has 3 slots available, but I haven't put anything in them so far since I'm not sure what he may need (if anything) to be really effective in Hell.

So, without any further ado, let's kick this thing off.

Act I


It Begins.

I set foot, for the third time, into the Rogue Encampment. I've been here twice before, but this time is different, it's more...more exciting. The air even smells different.

Zanarhi and I step into the Blood Moor, beginning our quest into the wilderness. With just a Golem and my mercenary to start off with, I only place the /players setting at 3. After resurrecting my first couple of skeletons from a group of normal spike fiends I moved the players setting up to 5, and promptly run into a boss pack of zombies. The bosses modifiers were "Extra Strong, Stone Skin, and Spectral Hit," what this means is he and his minions do more damage (extra strong), are much more resistant to physical damage (stone skin), and adds a random elemental damage to each attack (spectral hit.) The minions hit hard, but went down quickly enough since they weren't phsyical immune. The boss, on the other hand, had become physical immune thanks to the stone skin modifier. Through the usage of my amplify damage curse (reduces physical resistance by 100, but is reduced by 1/5th against immunes) I was able to break his immunity, but just barely. Luckily through the combination of crushing blow and open wounds from my mercenary, we were able to bring him down after a rather long fight.

Crushing blow is a modifier possible on equipment that gives a chance to reduce the opponents hit points by a certain percentage (it works at 1/4 against normal monsters, and 1/8th vs champions, uniques, and bosses,) before the weapon does damage. Physical resistance does affect this, so a high physical resist greatly reduces it's effectiveness.

Open wounds is a modifier possible on equipment that gives a chance to make the enemy lose life over an 8 second period of time. This mod serves the purpose of preventing the monster from regenerating life as well as causing constant, un-resistable damage, to a phsyical immune monster. The damage done is based on the level of the character dealing the damage, so the higher the level of the character the more damage done.

The rest of the Blood Moor wasn't too rough, except for a single boss spike fiend with a teleportation mod that he made liberal use of. After chasing him around for awhile, we finally pinned him up against a wall and stunlocked him. After clearing out the rest of the area, I proceeded to the Den of Evil.

The Den of Evil

The Den of Evil is an underground area in the Blood Moor. Clearing it of all baddies is the first quest you receive on all difficulty levels. In exchange for clearing the Den, you receive an extra skill point to do with as you please, making this a very important quest.

Before entering the Den of Evil, I set the players setting to 8, the highest available, to impart as much experience as possible.

The monsters in the Den weren't nearly as difficult as I had expected. The fallen shamen were a bit of a pain, since it took some good usage of corpse explosion to use up the dead fallen corpses before the shamen could resurrect them. I expect some problems in this area later on, when bosspacks of shamen start showing up. There weren't any real issues until I came up against Corpsefire (unique zombie boss, always occurs in the Den.) Luckily, he didn't spawn with especially bad modifiers, but at players 8 he'll still take a beating.

He and his minions were pretty rough, I lost several skeletons and had to cast a lot of corpse explosion to make much of a dent. The next image is after about 5 minutes of fighting. To give you a comparison, it probably took me maybe 20-25 minutes total to clear the Den and 7-10 minutes of that was vs this pack alone.

After finishing up the Den, I went into the next area, The Cold Plains, found the waypoint there and called it a day.

Having faced and overcome his first challenge, Necky_baby looks forward to facing the trials ahead. Next up should be a date with Blood Raven and her minions of the undead (Graveyard fight!) which will hopefully happen soon.

Cold Plains

I head back into the Cold Plains, and am able to raise most of my army with no fuss. A few spearwomen and a few fallen don't really pose any threat to me. After raising about 2/3rds of my possible skeletons, I go up to players 8. Almost immediately after doing so, I turn a corner and find a pair of fallen shamen bosses, along with a group of champion shamen and a large number of fallen. I sing a few bars of a four-letter aria, and set to work.

Only one of these mods is especially rough on my army, that being "Cursed." This modifier means that any of this shaman's minions or himself cause an amplify damage curse on any target they hit. Since this causes a curse, the effect is spread over more than just the hit target. These monsters generally curse you and your entire army at once. This reduces phsyical resistance by 100, more or less doubling physical damage done to the target. By themselves, this pack wouldn't be too bad, but then I see this guy.

Every one of these mods can be a pain. Aura enchanted can mean any of a number of auras, but I somewhat lucked out this time. He had Holy Freeze (slows and does some damage to nearby enemies,) instead of Might or Fanatacism (both of which greatly increase damage.) Multiple shots gives the monster two additional bolts (in this case, the shaman fires 3 fire bolts whenever he uses his firebolt attack,) this can be one of the most dangerous mods on a monster when in concert with a lightning enchanted boss (which casts out charged bolts when hit) since it triples the amount of bolts realeased. Luckily, this monster just casts more low level firebolts, not too much of a problem if not for... "Extra Strong" is a modifier that increases monster and minion attack damage. This monster and his minions hit much harder than normal, and my army and I are taking double damage thanks to the other boss pack. Backing up these two boss packs is a group of 2 Champion Shamen. Champions have twice the hit points, double damage, increased movement speed, and increased attack speed.

This would be a tough pack regardless, but on players 8 it's especially rough. Zanarhi and my Fire Golem go down rather quickly, and my skeletons sort of fall apart around me. I'm forced to run away and portal back to town. After resummoning my golem, resurrecting Zanarhi, and healing everybody, I head back into the fray. The fallen and shamen had rearranged so they were all in a single line. The ability to bring more of my army to bear was nice, even if it did mean everything was hitting at once. Unfortunately, a few fallen were resurrected behind me, and I was forced to run. Figuring I could just keep them busy while my army, which was making decent headway, dispatched some of the bosses, I ran into the fray. I failed to remember, however, that one of the bosses was aura enchanted, and was quickly hit by Holy Freeze. The slowing of this mod made it very difficult to get away from attacks, I took a couple fire bolt hits, and since my resistances were in the negatives took much more damage than normal. As the fight appeared to be turning in the favor of my army...a fire enchanted minion fallen tags me and I'm out.

I'm brought back to life in town. All my minions are, of course, gone and I have to build up any army again from scratch. I resurrect Zanarhi and my Golem, and figure this is going to be a real pain to raise a new army this time. We head back into the battle, and as soon as the enemies were occupied I popped in and picked up my corpse (retrieving my items,) then turned and ran well away from the fight. I decided the only real way to raise a new army was to lure some of the fallen away so I could deal with them easily. The trick worked, and I was able to get back up to a respectable number of skeletons rather quickly. To add to my luck, the Cursed shaman boss had wandered away from the rest of the pack, and made for easy pickings. Without the extra damage, the rest of the shamen and their minions went down relatively easily. After finishing that pack off, I continued my trek to the Burial Grounds and my showdown with Blood Raven...though I did reduce the players setting to player 6, just for an added feeling of safety. Most of the way went without any trouble, but this pack caused some concern.

These mods can be rough, since the aura on this batch is Might (the same aura as my merc has,) which increases the physical damage done by all friendlies in range. Combined with the cursed mod, they can pack a real punch. Magic resistant imparts increased resistances to cold, fire, and lightning damage, but my minions (save my golem, whose mostly just a tank anyway) are almost 100% physical damage so that's not much of a problem. I lose a skeleton or two, but my army is mightier.

Burial Grounds

As I enter the Burial Grounds, I reduce the players setting to 3. Blood Raven can be a pain, not really because of her, but because of the fact that she's able to summon undead warriors. At a high player setting my minions would be mostly pounding on endless waves of undead instead of pounding on Blood Raven, herself. I cleared out the area to the entrance of the graveyard, and went in, finding a few undead warriors waiting for me.

Through liberal usage of amplify damage and corpse explosion, we were able to roll over these guys fairly quickly. Blood Raven's extra fast mod can be a pain for some chars, but the Necromancer has a simple answer for this. I cast amp on the few remaining minions, and led some of my skeletons to Blood Raven while casting Decrepify on her. This curse reduces the target's defense, damage, movement speed, and attack speed. Blood Raven was still fast enough to dodge around a bit, but after the last of her minions fell we were able to surround her and keep her too busy to raise anymore.

After another minute of pounding, Blood Raven bites the dust. I think that deserves a gratuitous screenshot of carnage, don't you?

Break in the Action

Thanks to Eumenides excellent advice, I've made a change in my mercenary's equipment. This change was not in effect in anything before this, which accounts at least partially for some of the time consuming parts up til now. Hopefully his advice will greatly increase my killing speed from here on out.

Zanarhi's new helm:

This new helm gives faster hit recovery, meaning Zanarhi won't be "stunned" so long after taking a hit, increased % chance of Crushing Blow, which stacks with that on my weapon already to make an 80% chance with each attack, the increased strength increases the damage done with the weapon, and Deadly Strike gives a chance to do double damage with an attack. 15% isn't high odds, but any chance is better than none.

Zanarhi's improved weapon:

The new runes give increased attack speed (quite a bit of it, in fact,) and gives the weapon itself some life leech, so I'm not so tied to getting it from equipment. Remember the penalty on life leech in Hell, though, so instead of leeching 12% (he has 5% leech on his armor) per hit, he's only leeching about 4%. But the Hone Sundan packs quite a whallop with the Might aura, and Zanarhi isn't taking that many hits, anyway.

The Caves

After loading the game back up, I headed through the Cold Plains again, this time looking for the path to the Stony Field, the next map section. Along the way I ran into the Caves, another underground area, and popped in for a visit. On the first level, I ran into a few uniques, but nothing really too rough came along. Since I had the players setting down at 3, killing went fairly quickly. The only real trouble was against a bosspack of fallen shamen with a bosspack of skeletons who kept my minions busy while the dead fallen kept being resurrected behind me. Several times I had to run into the middle of the fighting, cast amp on the fallen chasing me, then cast corpse explosion to topple the bastard...until the shamen raised him again. Dim vision seemed to help some, but not overly so. The rest of level 1 wasn't too bad, and I quickly found myself at the entrance to level 2. I went down, cleared out the first section and proceeded on looking for the treasure chest and ran into a bosspack of Might Aura Enchanted Extra Strong Fire Enchanted Dark Hunters in a tight corridor. I quickly lost half my skeletons and pulled off a hasty retreat. After leading the Hunters into the open, we were able to surround them, and after the first one dropped Corpse Explosion cleared up the rest pretty quickly. For my troubles I was rewarded with a treasure chest filled with...bupkis. Meh.

The Stony Field

I decided to go ahead and search for the waypoint in the Stony Field, which I felt sure would require me to explore the majority of the area. Quite a bit of fighting was required, but none of the enemies proved to be much in the way of a problem until I came across a bosspack of Fire Enchanted Lightning Enchanted Extra Strong Goatmen. Luckily, these guys were alone and we were able to clear them out without too much trouble. A couple of skeletons were lost, but I managed to avoid any of the bolts (and, let's be honest, I'm the only one I care about.) I waded through until I found the waypoint, which was right next to Rakanishu and his minions. I barely had a chance to get a screenshot of him, Zanarhi and crew rocked him so hard. That extra fast bastard went down faster than mattz on des at last year's Christmas party.I was proud.

I activated the waypoint, then traveled back to the Burial Grounds and plundered the two Crypts in the Graveyard.

Mausoleum

This area contained several unique monsters, but no real difficulties arose from any of them save one. A Cold Enchanted Stone Skin Mana Burn Zombie made for a long fight, and when he went down and released his Frost Nova I almost bought the farm. Negative Cold Resistances aren't fun. To make up for it, I received two high level items elsewhere in the level. Neither was very effective for me with this character, but hopefully they'll find a use with another. After clearing out the whole level, I hop back into the Graveyard and head to the Crypt.

Crpyt

This area got off to a cool start. My skeletons darted through a door ahead of me while I hung back and cast some curses and used Corpse Explosion. As I walk in, I realize that there's a bosspack in there, mouse over the boss and see "Cold Enchanted" right as he dies. I get nailed head on by another Frost Nova.

Have I mentioned I'm not a fan of Frost Nova? I hate it almost as much as that joke. I searched through the rest of the area, and didn't have much luck in the items arena. Quite a few champion and unique monsters made their appearance, though, and with players set to 3 I gained a good bit of experience (even leveled up...level 78 woot!.) Bonebreaker, the Super-Unique for this level, spawned with some nasty mods.

Though he could have been really rough, with a few nice Corpse Explosions I was able to clear out his minions and surround him. Zanarhi's increased attack speed made relatively short work of him (thanks again, Eumenides,) from there. Clearing out the rest of the area imparted nothing of note in the items sector, and very little in the way of tough monsters. I finished the area, stashed my cash, and closed up shop for the day.

Underground Passage

I start out on the search for Cain, working my way through the Stony Field to the Underground Passage. The layout of the map requires us to pass by Rakanishu and company again, which wouldn't be so bad if he hadn't spawned Cold Enchanted. I was busy cursing and Corpse Exploding another bosspack behind me when I see Zanarhi and a few skeletons laying into a group of Carvers. About the time I mouse over Rakanishu, he goes off and I drop down to about 50 hit points. I chug one of the healing potions he was kind enough to drop and head on.

The entrance to the passage was guarded by vile hunters and champion skeleton archers. I had thought they were a bosspack at first, and attempted to use Dim Vision on them, but when it didn't workI realized they were champs and just focused on using CE to clear out the melee fighters ASAP. The rest of the Passage was fairly well populated by archers, but since I never ran into another champ pack I was able to use Dim Vision to more or less negate their effect throughout the area. After hacking through a few more bosspacks, I found myself at the exit of the passage.

The Dark Wood

My first two orders of business in this area are to find the Tree of Inifuss and to find the waypoint. The Tree gives me the scroll I need to rescue Cain, and is guarded by a super-unique monster. While looking for the Tree, my army ravages a group of carvers and I duck out from behind them to pick up a mana potion...and get slammed by a bunch of arrows. I start to run, switch to dim vision and fling it in their direction, drink a potion...but it's too late. I died before I hit the potion key. Fine, they wanna play rough, I can play rough.

I cast Dim Vision and shut down big boy's minions, then my army converged on them and while his minions fell around him, I gave old Gut Eater the patented maar fireworks display. There were a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs," and when I finally sent that last M-80 up his ass and sent him back to wherever the hell it is dead guys go, the crowd went wild. It was beautiful.

After seeing what I did to Gut Eater, the rest of the area was pretty meek. Hell, when I found the Tree of Inifuss, Treehead and crew were nowhere to be seen. I searched around a bit, and found them hiding in the woods. I lured him and his buddies out for a group picture...

Before I sent him to that great big forest in the sky.

With Treehead down, I got the scroll, boogied back to town and gave it to Akara. Then I headed back to the Stony Field and the Cairn Stones. Without Rakanishu around, all was quiet as I activated the stones and opened the portal to Tristram. I stepped through, ready to kick some cursed original Diablo character butt.

Tristram

I arrive in Tristram and begin clearing my way to Griswold. I'm hoping to get him in a postion where he's more or less alone, so his cursed mod can't cause too much problems for my minions. After clearing out a path to him, we rumble.

Fairly rough mods, though not as bad as they could have been. And, as you can see, I wasn't exactly able to take him on solo. There were actually two bosspacks of carvers to be dealt with at the same time. His might aura, combined with his cursed mod, meant he hit hard. And with his massive amount of hit points, he took awhile to go down (though once Zanarhi got on him and I was able to hit him with a few CEs, things sped up greatly,) so he was able to inflict massive damage on my minions. He killed over half of my skeletons, but I was able to recoup these losses fairly easily. After laying the old blacksmith to rest, I set Cain free and received a somewhat valuable, though of no use to Necky_Baby, ring in return. With Cain free, I turned my attention to the fortune to be had in dealing with the Countess...

Road to the Countess

I hope back into the waypoint to the Dark Wood and clear my way to and through the Dark Marsh. No real worries along the way, with players 3 things went pretty easily. After finding the waypoint, I headed back to the Countess' temple and headed down below. Tower Cellar level 1 went fairly quickly. A few boss archer packs slowed us down and one managed to take down Zanarhi before I could give him some healing potions. Holy Freeze, Extra Strong, and Extra Fast were somewhat rough mods, but after reviving Zanarhi and pinning the archers in, they fell fairly easily. I scored a nice unique armor against one of the boss packs on this level, but it wasn't viable for my build so I stashed it for use on a later character. Level 2 seemed fairly easy until I saw there were ghosts, which are physical immune as a base. These guys can get to unbreakable physical immune status, which could be a real pain. I hope I won't see one of those bastards and plow on until I run across this baddie.

We rumbled. He and his minions were taking very, very little damage from my army, so I had to basically sit around and wait for one of them to fall. I kept hoping the amp curse had broken the boss' immunity (even though I was 99% sure it didn't), then when I finally scrolled over him again I saw the bad news. I searched for a few bodies and found a pair just outside the room, so I made a pair of skeleton mages. The mages don't really do any damage, but they do a little bit, and in this case every bit counts. The main damage dealer in this case was the Open Wounds modifier on my mercenary. It was a rather long process, but we finally brought him down. The rest of level 2 was tame by comparison. I found the stairs and headed down to find more Goatmen, archers, and ghosts. I encountered another bosspack of ghosts, but this one was fire enchanted, aura enchanted (Holy Fire), and extra fast so it was no really problem. Level 4 was another non-issue with no real standout bosses or drops.

The Countess' level opened into a nightmare. I step into the main room and find 3 bosspacks all on top of each other. A fire enchanted, mana burn, extra strong Devilkin pack, an extra strong, extra fast, aura enchanted (might) Goatmen pack, and a multishot, extra fast, stone skin archer pack. Arrows flew everywhere and I had to keep popping in and out of the doorway to get all of my minions to get into the battle. With so many speedy baddies out there, I mainly just darted out long enough to cast amp and explode some dead bodies. At one point I ran out to cast Dim Vision on the archer pack, but was caught by a devilkin minion and was almost killed. I ran him into my army to get him off of me, and hid back out to heal myself and restore my mana. We cleared the devilkin pack, and were able to surround and finish off the goatmen pack soon thereafter. We had to cast the damn archer around the whole room before we could get here backed up against the wall and take her out. I pilfered all the wealth lying around and moved on to the countess. Her minions ran out, and were quickly mowed down. With the minions fallen, we rushed in.

She went down in no time, thanks to the corpse explosions I was able to put down on her. Her drop was fairly poor, I may run her a few times to get some more runes.

The Pit

After taking out the Countess, I headed for the Tamoe Highland and cleared out the monsters there on the way to the Pit. It's an underground area with some very good possible drops. Unfortunately, I receive nothing of any real note there, and only run into any rough monsters at the end of the second level. Two bosspacks of archers (fire enchanted, mana burn, extra fast and cold enchanted, aura enchanted [holy freeze], and extra strong) to go along with a bosspack of devilkin (mana burn, extra strong, lightning enchanted) and several devilkin shamen. I ended up having to cast dim vision all over the place and explode basically every body to get the area cleared out. After finishing off the Pit, I make my way into the Monastery and find the Outer Cloister waypoint and close up shop for the day.

New Equipment

Well, after my last activities I went back and took down the countess again. I got next to nothing for my troubles, so I went to try out the Pit again since most of the best items in the game can drop there in Hell difficulty. From some random monsters in the Pit I managed to find two new items which made their way onto Necky_Baby.

New weapon:

This staff replaces my wand and my shield, but since I was only getting +3 skills from those I think it's a good trade. I lose a little more in resistances, but I think I'll be alright. That, of course, is the main reason I switched to this weapon, but I must admit an increase to experience gain is pretty tempting too. The extra energy gives me more mana so I can cast more CEs without having to drink a potion. It's not optimal, but it should be a nice weapon until I find something better.

New ring:

Definitely not optimal, but the poison resist is nice and the poison creeper adds another minion and some extra character. Hopefully I'll find a more useful ring for my build soon, but if not this should be nice anyway.

Taking on the Smith

I popped back into the Outer Cloister and quickly cleared a path into the Barracks. I was met with a bosspack of undead mages and several packs of devilkin complete with shamen. I had to do some healing of Zanarhi, and my patented destroy every corpse so the shamen can't revive them play but we got a foothold. We ran across a couple more situations similar to that, but none of them presented as much trouble. We quickly found ourselves taking on another round of the devilkin/shamen/mage monsters when Big Ugly shows up.

With the extra strong and spectral hit mods he hit pretty hard, but since he was quickly surrounded and was standing on top of a pile of bodies it didn't really matter. With him dead, I returned the malus to charsi and headed for the Jail.

The Jail

More devilkin, more archers, and some melee skeletons greeted me in level 1. A few bosspacks were a little tricky, but with corpse explosion they didn't pose much of a problem. I cleared out most of them, found the stairs down, and quickly ran into a champion pack of ghosts including one of them with the "Possessed" mod.

Possessed means that he has a greatly increased resistance to physical damage. On a ghost, it means he has an unbreakable immunity. With my skeletons rendered useless, and Zanarhi's damage reduced only to what Open Wounds will inflict, I look around for some bodies to make some mages. I manage to find a devilkin corpse and raise a lightning mage. It was a long process, but we finally took him down. Damn I hate ghosts.

The rest of the level was comparatively tame, though a pair of devilkin and archer bosspacks nearly managed to kill me (had me well below 100 hit points) but I managed to drink a potion and run for my life. I find the stairs down, go a few steps and run into another damn bosspack of ghosts. I mouse around over the bastards and see a boss with physical immune and think the worst, after I get an amp off on them I see this:

Since he wasn't stone skin I was able to break his physical immunity. I was still somewhat concerned by him, though, since his teleportation mod meant he could teleport on top of me and his mana burn mod meant a single hit would take away all my mana. However, since a non-ranged boss won't teleport until about 2/3rds of its life have been taken away I waited until he was down to about 1/3rd life and then exploded all the corpses at his feet, solving any teleporting problems. Damn CE is sexy.

Showdown with Andariel

I finished up the Jail and arrived in the Inner Cloister. After activating the waypoint there, I called it a day for now. The next update should involve taking down Andariel and moving on to Act II.

The Cathedral

A few bosspacks of dark ones complete with shamen and a bosspack of tainted greet my entrance into the Cathedral. Constant corpse explosion finally gains us a foothold and we proceed in. We soon run into another bosspack of dark ones, and Bone Ash.

He took awhile to take down, but after he finally popped we found the stairs down to the Catacombs and headed down. Nothing but a few levels seperate us from Andariel and proceeding to Act II.

The Catacombs

Catacombs level one was a breeze, I ran into the stairs down almost immediately. Figuring my good luck on level one would catch up with me, I check through the level and finally run into these jokers.

Cursed, what a bastard. I had to do a lot of running to stay away from resurrected dark ones while casting corpse explosion and drinking potions. Fun stuff. He wouldn't have been such a pain without this guy though.

This guy's minions could really hurt. I danced around, blew the shit out of a bunch of dark ones and finally we had the room cleared out. We'd lost a couple of skeletons and I had to recast my poison creeper, but otherwise we were no worse for the wear. We moved on and quickly managed to run into another dual pack of shamen bosspacks, the worse of which was this guy.

Any of the bolts this guy puts out could really hurt. Luckily I have several nice big meatshields to cower behind...I mean who gladly shield me while I perform the manly duties required in leading the troops in battle. Yeah, that's it. After safely removing this guy from the battlefield, we search around and find the waypoint and the stairs down without any real issue. Level three was pretty simple, no real major bosses to worry about and the stairs down were found fairly quickly. We arrived at level four, and quickly took care of the monsters before Anadriel's throne room. After running back into town, unloading my items and stocking up on antidote potions we return to the fray and enter the throne room. We're quickly beset by bosspacks of ghouls and tainted. None of them had especially rough mods, though, and were quickly taken care of. We drew out Anadriel, and quickly took her down.

Unfortunately, she didn't drop anything worth mentioning. Now, it's time to proceed on into Act II and Lut Gholein.

See you next time,

-<3 maar

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