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Diablo II Single Player Thread - 2

Discussion in 'Diablo 1 & 2' started by dmc, Jan 27, 2010.

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  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I definitely wouldn't waste an Um. For me, Um runes are only for runewords. In a shield, you can get 19% out of a pdiamond versus 22% for an Um. The 3% doesn't do anything for me. In the case of a helm, it's even worse, as you only get 15% resist all. You can get up +15% resist all from a jewel, and while the +15% are a bit hard to find, if you're willing to settle for something in the 10%-15% range, it likely won't make a difference. Just yesterday I got a jewel that give +14% resist all and 9% mf - I'd much rather stick that in a helm than an Um.

    I don't know why Silks of the Victor is so hard to find. Perhaps it's because it's in a TC that doesn't get picked frequently (I don't know this to be true - I'm just speculating). Whatever the reason, it's drop frequency is similar to high end excecptional unique equipment. The only reason that it's not a highly sought after piece of equipment is that it doesn't do much. It has high defense, +1 skills, and not much else. There are several armors in the game that give +1 skills in the game, offer good defense, and then some.

    The Gul is very nice indeed.
     
  2. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Totally forgot about the jewels, duh!

    I have plenty of them with varying degrees of resist all and side benefits like MF.

    On uniques, I find that there are just some that don't crop up for me. Initially, it took me forever to get a Skin of the Vipermagi, so it's just the luck of the draw.

    I'm telling you, the runes are sick - two vex drops and a gul on my last three necro runs.

    (BTW, I have upwards of a dozen Um's . . . )
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Absolutely - and a scintillating (+15% variety) jewel of anything is always s a superior choice compared to a Um, irrespective of the "anything" is (because it's nothing on an Um).

    Where are you running? I have been doing Pits on players8 daily and I've been getting only two types of runes: Jack and Squat.
     
  4. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Pindle, Shenk, Eldritch, Meph, Diablo, Baal, Pits.

    I TP straight through Durance 2, but complete all of Durance 3. I complete all of WSK 2, 3 and 4 before offing Baal.

    I generally run on P1 by the way, because it still takes too long to do the legwork on P8, except for the boss fights, when I put it on P8.

    One vex was dropped by the generic undead guys on the way to Pindle (that was a shocker). One was dropped on WSK 2, maybe in a bosspack, not sure.

    The gul was dropped by a seal boss on the way to Diablo.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well that settles it - I need to start making further progress through the game. The reason I'm running the pits is because it's the only level area 85 I have acess to. Well, that and the mausoleum, although that's not nearly as good of a target seeing as how it is filled with undead unleechables.

    I have an ATMA related question for you. Is it possible to transfer gold between characters? I'm just thinking that by the time I'm ready to start my necro, I could give him a million or so gp to go shopping early on. I have a collection of stuff for him, but I could definitely shop a better wand than the one from the infernal set.

    I already have a bunch of things set aside for him once he gains some levels. Ume's Lament is an excellent levelling wand - +2 to all skills, and a level requirement of just 20. I'll probably make lore in a 2-socket helm. Although, now that I think about it, I have a Wormskull and a Peasant Crown, which also offers +1 skills, but in the case of Peasant Crown, I think it gives +20 to vitality and energy - and they all have level requirements in the 20s.

    I know my belt and gloves will be standard mf gear - Chance Guards and Goldwrap. I have a +1 summoning skills amulet with a level requirement of just 15. Strangely, I have found exactly zero unique rings of any kind with my barbarian, so while I would normally go with two Nagelrings, I don't have any.

    About the only thing I'm unsure of is the armor. I have my choice of a bunch of different low level set and uniques to pick from to start off. I'm thinking ahead to the armor that I'll use until I can move into something high end. There are two major contenders as I see it:

    Option 1: Lionheart - (HelLumFal)

    Sir Rechet was right when he pointed out that this armor is not a great choice for any melee class, and especially not for a melee class that can benefit from high defense, as it lacks any +def. If defense isn't important to you though, it has a lot to offer:

    +20% enhanced damage (useless for a necro)
    -15% requirements (also useless - I'll likely make it in mage plate or similar)
    +25 Strength
    +10 Energy
    +20 Vitality
    +15 Dexterity
    +50 life
    All res +30%
    Required Level: 41

    So this one gives you a ton of life (both directly and indirectly through saved stat points), and the +30% resist all is definitely nice.

    Option 2: Bone (SolUmUm)

    This one is also in my price range. It won't give me nearly the bonus to life, but it's a very affordable way to get armor with +2 to all skills:

    15% ctc Level 10 Bone Armor when struck (hopefully useless, as I won't get hit much)
    15% ctc level 10 Bone Spear on striking (ditto, because I won't be hitting)
    +2 to Necromancer Skill Levels
    +100-150 mana (potentially very useful for spamming CE)
    All Resistances +30%
    Damage Reduced by 7
    Level Required: 47

    At this point I'm leaning towards Bone, just because +skills are so much more important than everything else with a necro, even though to bonus life is tempting.

    I also find it odd that the Armor runewords intended for a specific class have such wildly different price ranges. The necro one is on the high end, requiring two Um runes. But the Paladin one is definitely the most expensive, as you need a Gul. On the other end of the spectrum, the Amazon one is dirt cheap (although it still offers +2 skills just like all the rest) in that the highest rune it requires is Shael, and has a level requirement of just 29. The Amazon one is actually very good, as it offers a ctc a level 15 Valkyrie, which is functional even on hell difficulty.

    EDIT: I was looking through a rune hunting guide last night as well, and the author came to some interesting conclusions. As of the new patch, he did conclude that runes are much easier to find, and so he set about doing full clears of areas in the game to see where you get the biggest bang for your buck.

    He decided to do 60 full clears of the areas, so he could get a meaningful average and standard deviation. He also timed his runs so he could do a runes found per unit time calculation. Some things have stayed the same with the most recent patch. For example, if you're interested in runes Ist or lower, the Countess is still far and away your best source. So he limited his calculations for number of runes found beyond Ist. He then further narrowed down his search by looking at the game code and finding out which areas are capable of spawning monsters that can drop a Zod. This is where it gets interesting.

    In the new patch, any monster capable of dropping from TC66 or higher also has a chance (albeit a small one) of dropping from Rune 33, which is a Zod. TC66 ain't that high - in fact, it covers most monsters in the game on Hell difficulty. The problem is that most monsters capable of dropping a Zod only do so at a rate of about 1 in 100,000 drops according to the code.

    So he set out doing his full clears in single player on /players8. His conclusion was that the best place to get a rune hgiher than Ist is by running cows. Full clears (minus to cow king of course) yielded a rune higher than Ist in 9 of the 60 runs, or 15% of the time (none of those 9 were a Zod, although according the code, a Zod drop is possible here). There's no reason why a cow should have a higher chance of dropping a high rune than any other generic hell monster according to the code, and he suspects that the results are due to such a large number of kills in that area.

    The second best area for finding high runes was very surprising - the Arcane Sanctuary. This is due to the high concentration of ghosts, which have a higher than average chance (compared to other monsters - so still relatively low) of picking from TC66(Good) which contains things like jewelry, gems, and - of course - runes. This was actually better in terms of total runes found than hell cows - 12 of the 60 runs yielded a rune higher than Ist, with 3 of those 12 yielding two runes higher than Ist.

    The obvious question then, is if the Arcane Sanctuary offered more high rune drops than cows, then why are cows better? The answer is twofold: The Arcane Sanctuary takes a lot longer to clear than the cow level for starters. There's no quick way of doing it, no matter what character you're playing, whether or not you use teleport, or any other means of getting around quickly. He found it took him nearly twice as long to clear the Arcane Sanctuary as it did to clear the cows, and so two runs from cows were superior to one run of the Arcane Sanctuary. He found 1.29 runes hihger than Ist per hour spent playing doing the Arcane Sanctuary, while he received 1.47 runes per hour doing cows.

    The caveat he places on this was that he was running a LF zon - the premier character in the game as far as cow killing is concerned. The author concedes that if you have a character less proficient in killing cows, and it takes you just as long to do the cow level as the Arcane Sanctuary, you may want to do the Arcane Sanctuary instead.

    The second reason is another factor that slows you down even further - the monsters with the best chance of dropping runes are the ghosts. However, if you kill a ghost while it is hovering in an open area with no ground below it, anything it would have dropped is lost to the inky depths below.

    All of the level 85 areas were very similar in terms of drops higher that Ist - 60 runs of all the level 85 areas yielded between 5 and 7 drops higher than Ist, and no one particular area stood out as being considerably better or worse than the others.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  6. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    In no particular order -- I would choose Bone over Lionheart without a second thought. +skills are so crucial to a necro, it's that simple. Obviously, my necro uses Enigma, because I'm a slave to TP, but the +2 skills holds true there as well. Without it, I'd give him a TP ammy to swap in when he needed to jump and would pick a different armor. Again, not even a question in my mind here.

    On the runes -- you can see from my post above where I found the best runes. I can trot out my zon to run cows to see if the runes are better, I guess, but I'm not that interested. Actually, my amazing rune run came to an end last night (I vowed to continue running the necro until I no longer got an um or better) when I found a dozen or so runes, none higher than a thul. Back to leveling the bear.

    On your ATMA question, I have never tried to pass gold. All I do is give my new characters some decent gems that have accumulated to sell so that they can start off with enough money to shop better stuff than they get to start, and then I usually equip them with whatever I find until I can start putting low level sets on them. You really can't die at low levels in this game unless you fall asleep at your computer.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    That's what I was leaning towards. The only other thing I really look for on my necro is high resists, and since both armors offer the same +30% resist all, that's not a factor in the decision. One thing the switch to SP has allowed is the making of a lot of the mid-range runewords (or perhaps this is just because of the improved rune drops). It's also changed my interpretation of what a decent rune is. Before, anything Amn or higher I considered a decent rune. Now it's more like Lum or higher.

    The other thing I like about the mid range runewords is that you can get a decent amount of +resist all on a lot of the armors. Before SP, if I wanted to get a resist all on my armor, I was basically chained to either Skins of the Vampermagi or Goldskin (usually the latter).

    Once you move onto the high end runewords though, I think there really are two that shine above all the rest - Enigma and Chains of Honor. (If you have the mod for adding the ladder only runewords, you could make an arguement that Fortitude would be included as well.) Once you can use them, I don't see why you'd chose any other one.

    I was actually quite surprised by the Arcane Sanctuary result. I've never been a speed freak, so to me, the extra time it takes to run the AS isn't too big of a deal. They also changed the Summoner to drop very similar to the Countess - he now drops up to a Lo, although rarely. Each of the chests that you can get to by picking the "wrong" path to the summoner can now drop up to Ist. The Countess is still the preferred run on bnet, because you never know which direction the Summoner will spawn, and so the Countess is usually much quicker with the same drop percentages. OTOH, the necro is certainly NOT a character that can do AS quickly.

    Yeah, it wasn't really worrying about dying (there's no XP penalty in normal) but more about speeding up the levelling process. I could probably purchase a +3 Raise Skeleton, +3 Skeleton Mastery necro wand from ATMA, as she doesn't sell anything with automods higher than you can access at level 12, so there's a good chance of getting something like that.
     
  8. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I would say that Fortitude really only shines for a melee class (what's a caster going to care about +300% ed and +200% defense?) but the lack of +skills makes it inferior to Engima and COH, which both carry +2 skills and, in the case of COH, has much better resists, life leach, +MF, +strength, and lesser, but still present, ED and +defense.

    I think Enigma is a much better caster armor than COH, because, unlike you, I really don't give a rat's ass about my resists as long as they aren't negative. I rarely, if ever, get targeted by any attack, whether elemental or physical, with my army around me, and I just want life, MF, TP and speed on the neco, which is exactly what Enigma gives. That's why I scavenged every rune I could find for so long until I could make that armor.

    I really don't care too much about running the Arcane Sanctuary. It's not one of my favorite places because of the narrow paths you have to stay on and the mana burning critters that infest it, so I'll pass on that.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I agree - the only reason I mentioned Fortitude is that it would offer superior damage and defense than CoH. It would only be for a melee class that was looking for max damage.

    Oh definitely - Enigma for casters, CoH for melee.

    The other big difference in our playing styles is I don't care nearly as much about max block than you do (at least regarding casters). And when you think about it, it makes sense. You base your character around avoiding the hit entirely, which means max block. I base my character around being able to take the hit and survive, so I go max life, and max resistances.

    Oh, it's a terrible area for a skellimancer. The narrow paths prevent your army from being able to easily engage the enemy. A dual elemental sorceress could probably run the area with ease (especially the one with the red teleportation portals - she could still stuff from the other side).
     
  10. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Actually, my necro doesn't have close to max block -- he's got enough strength for his equipment and every other point went to vit. His life is over 1000.

    Edit (Friday night): In leveling the Bear this evening, I decided to try Ribcracker. Holy greased lightning Batman, this thing is wicked fast. I ditched my club in a heartbeat for this weapon. Amazingly fast, makes you not care all that much that you're killing them one at a time.


    Edit 2 (Saturday afternoon): Finished normal today -- level 49. I had drops of a Dol, several Shaels and Amns and multiple Thuls, which I think is better normal on normal. Maybe not.

    I will run him to the mid to high 50's and start NM. I think I am going to save the respec until the end of NM, at which point I will have 2 of them to make variations on the build and see what I like.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, I have to officially stop whining about my lack of finds in the Pits. I didn't get a single good rune this weekend, but one of the boss packs dropped an item I have never possessed before - the unique balrog skin - Arkaine's Valor. I'm also playing one of the few classes that can make optimal use of it - once I hit level 85.

    The thing with Arkaine's Valor is it offers massive defense (1400) and +2 to all skills, but not much else. So for a barbarian with a high strength focusing on defense, it's awesome. But for just about any other class, you'd rather have something like CoH, Enigma, or even one of the class-specific armors that give +2 to all skills. Although with a barbarian, +2 to skills basically makes everything better - AR, damage, defense, resistances, life, mana, etc.
     
  12. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    It also gives you vitality, damage reduction and FHR, so it's nothing to sneeze at.

    I ran a few times and he's level 57 right now. It's funny, I start up, set P8, turn into a bear and then literally run through WSK 2 and 3, ignoring everything. I make a dash for the throne room as well, killing as little as possible (wastes time), and run through the minions and Baal. Takes a whopping 5 minutes start to finish.

    I'm at the point where it takes two runs to get a level. Once I get to level 60, I'm going on to NM. I plan on doing the minimum instead of my normal area cleaning and just rip through it so I can run NM Baal (and maybe Meph if my Durance map cooperates).

    I dropped the Ribby and am using the Oath. The damage is pretty sick so I don't even worry about CB at all. I'm using Jalal's, Vipermagi, the IK gloves, belt and boots, raven frost and dwarf star, saracen's chance ammy, and my switch is Fleshrender and a unique shield that I cannot remember - gives some resists that I don't really need right now and some other stuff.

    Once I start NM, I am going to take a good look at my resists and maybe make some wholesale changes. I think that I am not going to be able to get away with the IK gear in Hell and maybe not in NM, but we'll see.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I thought the boost to vitality and the damage reduction were so small that it wouldn't make much of a difference - but I may be wrong.

    I think your plan on WSK is optimal. You've reached the point that it is nearly impossible for you to get anything of value from Baal's drops anyway, so you're doing it primarily for XPs. Since Baal and his minions are worth far more than everything else in WSK2, WSK3, and WSC combined, it makes sense to do it exactly the way you're doing it.
     
  14. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    The DR is smallish, but it think the Vit scales.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I just looked it up - it's 0.5 vitality per level. So I guess that means you get one extra point in vitality every two levels? I've seen +life per level, but not vitality. I wonder if you actually get 0.5 per level - which I will discover when I hit level 86, and see if I gain two bonus life or 4.
     
  16. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I'd imagine it rounds, but less us know.

    By the way, it's amazing how fast you can truck through an act when you make a bee-line for quests and don't mess around with optional areas, etc. I think I finished Act I (on P8 in NM) in about 20 minutes (which is really all I had at halftime of the Laker game).
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    You completed all the quests in Act I NM on p8 in 20 minutes? That's amazing. I know there have been people who can do acts that quickly, but they don't complete all the quests. (For example, you don't HAVE to kill Blood Raven or the Countess to finish the Act.)
     
  18. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I killed the countess and blood raven, but neither took very long at all. The longest time was finding all the stairs in the jails/catacombs. Also, my bear is basically insta-killing anything he goes after. I keep it on maul, and right click on the victim, hold it down and, presto, 5 seconds or less later and there's a freshly made corpse. Nothing took longer than five seconds - smith, countess, andarial, all fell before my mighty axe.

    I figure on act 2, I need to waste time getting to Radamant, getting the horadric staff materials and figuring out which way to go in the astral part. Maggot Lair will probably take a bit. I will not do any false tombs at all. I'm hoping for a half hour run through act 2.

    Act 3 can be a little more painful in that I need to find the three parts of Khalim's body, which involved a lot of running around above and below ground to wind up finding the requisite dungeons and the gold chests in them. I'm going to do all of the quests so I can get all of the quest rewards. Probably take as long as 45 minutes, as I am going to make sure I cover all of Durance 2 so that I can run Meph if it turns out he gives good enough experience to justify it.

    Act 4 will be 15 minutes, tops, IMO.

    Act 5 will be longer, just because the ground I need to cover is larger. Also, I will need to map out WSK 2 to locate the waystone for Baal running. I'm thinking I finish it in 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.

    We'll see. I'm also trying to figure out what level I want to be when I start Hell.


    Edit: Act 2 took a bloody 50 minutes. Maggot Lair took forever, Arcane Sanctuary took forever. Groan.

    Acts 3-5 will wait until the weekend. I promised to test run Din's Curse and write a review, so I need to start that tomorrow after the Laker game.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Impressive indeed.

    I thought that 30 minutes was ambitious. (Although I thought 20 minutes was very ambitious for Act I.) I was just thinking that you cannot do much of anything to avoid doing all three sewer levels for Radamant, both levels for the Claw Vipers, and all three levels of the maggot lair. Plus, if you get unlucky, you may have to take all four directions for the AS, and the True Tomb of Tal Rasha is pretty darn big, so it can potentially take quite a while to find the burial chamber.

    Act 3 will almost certainly be the longest of the first four, unless you get very lucky. None of Khalim's relics are necessarily easy to find. There's no way to predict where the Spider Cavern will be located on the map, where the Gidbinn and stairs for the Flayer Dungeon are located, and then there's the whole thing of three levels in the Flayer Dungeon itself. While the Sewers beneath Travincal are most certainly in a fixed location, the stairs down to level 2 are not, so that could potentially take some time too. The Durances are also quite large and it can take some time to find the stairs down.

    There aren't too many "skipable" areas if you want to complete all the quests in Act III, and the few there are I usually do anyway. In Lower Travincal, Travincal, and Upper Travincal, there are two super chests in each area (even though they aren't gold or sparkly they drop like gold sparkly chests), and I usually make it a point to seek them out. I did hang around NM Mephisto for a while, but it was to gain items - not XPs. By the time I hit NM Meph, I was about level 60. I probably ran him about 20 times, and I may have leveled once in that time - so I really think there's no point in running anything for XPs prior to Act V.

    I agree - it's a potentially dangerous act depending on what spawns, the XPs aren't particularly good, and most areas contain nothing that you need. Even in normal, that's an Act you can complete in one sitting. Of the big three areas at the start of the Act, the only one that you need to spend any time at all on is the middle one to kill Izual - there's nothing else in those areas that would make you want to stay longer than it takes to find the stairs to the next area.

    Obviously, you'll want to do the hellforge quest, but there's nothing else there worth doing, the River of Flame is small, and while the Pandemonium Fortress is a big area, it has a fixed layout, so it can still be done quickly.

    Well, it will be worth getting the WP there just for running purposes. I stayed in Act V NM until I was nearly level 80, because the XPs were so good. I was able to complete Shenk, Eldritch, Pindle, and Baal in about 15 minutes (just clearing the central area of the WSK - not all the side areas), and about two runs was all it took to gain a level. Anything that gives you a level in 30 minutes once you get into the 70s is worth doing.

    I don't even know what that is. (Din's Curse - I know what the Laker game is.)
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I did the Maggot Lair and Claw Viper temple last night without incident. But that's not the news.

    As my battle hammer came crashing down on the unique Dark Elder, the eclipse lifted ever so slightly. A small beam of light was cast down from the heavens and illuminated a unique ring resting near the corpse. I think I heard angels singing. I finally have a Raven Frost. And a none-too-shabby one at that. 19 dex 228 AR. (Range for dex is 15-20, range for AR is 150-250.
     
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