Post Reply 
Another way to play Diablo!
02-05-2006, 05:03 AM
Post: #1
Another way to play Diablo!
INTRODUCTION

I've been playing Diablo for a bit; got it when it first came out (even got the pre-release Diablo on a demo disk). Played single player games to distraction, then got a decent Internet connection and went wild on online multiplayer (Bnet and Kali) too.

I've accomplished a bit with the game. Leveled three characters to fifty (a mage, a warrior, a rogue); won solo, duo, and three-person Ironman games, played some variants (Elitists, Barbarians, and a BNM -- even got the latter to 3 dots).

After all those games, I thought that I had exhausted what Diablo had to offer, and that D1 was pretty much played out for me.

Well, I was wrong.

A gaming/forum bud turned me on to another way of playing Diablo. It's not 'regular'; it's not Ironman; it's not a "Variant" per se. It's challenging as all get out and really gets you back into the minutia of the game. (Thanks BigD. Nice call there, dude.)

It's called playing a "Dot at Level" character (or Dot@Level, or D@L).

*****

DOT AT LEVEL RULE(S)

There's only one overall rule governing "Dot@Level" characters.

THE DOT@LEVEL RULE:

Regardless of equipment and statistics, your character MUST get his/her first dot at character level 17; their second dot at character level 20, and their third dot at character level 30. If you achieve these three goals, then you've successfully played a :"Dot at Level" character. Fail, and you'll need to start anew and try again.


I've added two other "rules" that I have chosen to play by, to increase the difficulty a bit and to make the game REALLY interesting (you don't HAVE to play using these two rules, but it increases the challenge -- and the enjoyment --immensely):

Attika's Dot@Level Rule #2:

Whenever your character hits clevels 17, 20, or 30, you must IMMEDIATELY attempt your Dot@Level in that game -- or immediately create a Nightmare/Hell diff game and make the attempt.

If you just turned 17, toss up a TP and from town enter the crack to Hell and try to get Diablo. At both clevel 20 and 30, exit, create a new game (of appropriate difficulty level) and then go straight to Hell and try to win the game. No more shopping runs. No more Butcher/ Leo/ Laz runs. No more checking Adria for Elixers runs. (You can visit each of the townsfolk once prior to entering Hell.) If you succeed; great. If you are driven out by foes you cannot handle, you may exit and try again -- don't abuse this privilege, however. Continue until you succeed, level up, or die (see below).


Attika's Dot@Level Rule #3:

You're mortal. If you die, THAT'S IT! Start over from scratch.


OTHER MISCELLANEOUS NOTES ON PLAYING A LEGIT DOT @ LEVEL CHARACTER

#1. No cheating
-- no third party programs, no duping, no hacks, no trainers, no etc. etc. etc. Try not to exploit bugs, although avoiding the Mana Shield bug does NOT mean your Mage has to wear +237 life gear when you go for your 3@30. Just be reasonable, and use the gear/items your character has bought/found. Try to avoid the horizontal-walk bug. Don't shoot "through" the holes in the walls to kill foes. Just play the game! Nuff said.

#2. No tweaking/twinking.
Your character is "pure" in that he plays alone, accepts no gifts from strangers, friends, or even other characters that YOU have already stored. No gear transfer allowed at all between Dot@Level characters and other characters.

#3. You solo.
ALL the time. Thus someone can't clear the entire dungeon out for you and send a portal to sixteen so you can try for your dot. YOU have to fight your way down there, and survive, and NOT level in the attempt! This is VERY challenging for that 1@17 attempt, as if you kill too many foes on the way down, your character will level to 18 (or more) and doom the try.

OK, so just what ARE you allowed to do in Dot@Level games?

Well, pretty much anything and everything! -- make as many games of whatever difficulty level as you want, repeat levels looking for books, shop til you drop, do Butcher/Leo/Laz runs, go Shrine hunting, start buying Elixers from Adria -- as long as you haven't just turned clevel 17, 20, or 30. When you turn those clevels, your Fate is set -- for a time.

Now you'd think this would make things pretty easy, right? Well, you'll be in for a surprise. Read below and see.

CHALLENGES FOR THE 1@17 CHARACTER

Money is going to be a problem at game start -- you'll be a pauper for quite a bit. Just remember that you can SELL those first books you find to Adria, rather than reading them (esp. books Heal Other). Try to grab as many books as you can. Sell em. Then try and buy a Skullcap4 ($25), a Small Shield 8 ($90) and some Leather 13 ($300!). After that, scrimp and save as much as you can.

Why? Because you are saving for some other needed items. A book Telekinesis. An "of Thorns" item to take care of Hidden type foes. A bow of flame for your Rogue. A fast block shield. And books, books, and more books for your mage. (BTW, that book of Telekinesis is probably THE most important item you'll get in the game -- letting you TK books, shrines, armor racks, weapons racks, and chests all from a distance. It's the Dot@Level character's best friend -- you'll even hotkey it as a spell!)

And you'll also constantly be buying items that give you +magic, to help you read the books you've found/bought. After all, you only get to work with 16 lups -- every five lup points you put into magic rather than Strength or Dexterity means one less point melee/bow damage when facing foes/Diablo. It makes much more sense to buy "glasses" that let you read books rather than put points into your magic attribute. And these purchases can get expensive!

Of course the Mage and the Rogue also want to get a book of Mana Shield -- find it on Cats Six or deeper, or cough up 16K cash at Adria's. And don't forget Stone Curse, another 12K.

Your Dot@Level character will be wanting to sneak around grabbing Stat-adder Shrines as much as possible, along with the rare Religious, Hidden, Enchanted, and Eldritch shrines. Reducing your light radius helps your sneaking ability A LOT. "Cursed" negative light radius items are the Dot@Level character's wet dream. Cherish them!

There's a good chance you won't find much jewelry until you hit clevel 7 or 8 or so, and even then it's going to stink. Just be prepared to tough it out. No jewelry can drop on dlevel one. Some bosses (including Butcher) can drop cheap rings on dlevel 2. Ammys start showing up with bosses on three (like Leo) and from chests on four. You may find yourself going a LONG while without any jewelry at all!

You'll find yourself doing multiple Butcher/Leo runs trying to get jewelries and certain Unique items that can help you tremendously. The Butcher can drop Constricting Ring, Civerb's Cudgel, Split Skull Shield, Blackoak Shield, and the Executioner's Blade. Leo can drop amulets, Holy Defender, Sparking Mail, Ring of Engagement, Flamedart, Shadowhawk, Thinking Cap, Gnarled Root, Thinking Cap, and Fool's Crest.

Realize that your AC is pretty much going to stink. Your number one concern while playing will be to try and increase your armor class as much as possible whenever possible. Prior to clevel 12, you'll be shopping for "Grand" and "Valiant" gear at Griswold's -- remember those prefixes? At Clevel 12 Griswold will offer you "Glorious"(+71-90%) as an armor prefix, BUT up to clevel 16 the best base armor he'll sell you will be Splint Mail. No Plates. You can try the depths of Caves looking for that "Blessed" prefix that can drop as early as Caves 10, (and "Saintly" can drop at Caves 12!), but the foes there are really gonna chew you up. Be ready to drink like mad -- or die. When your first magical Plate finally drops in Caves, you'll find yourself just about salivating hoping for that terrific prefix/suffix combo, even if it's just Breast Plate!

Getting your first dot is quite the challenge. Since you only get to clevel 17 and RARELY go into Hell (you'd have to sneak your way through 4 levels of Caves first), you'll pretty much just have read the books Adria is willing to sell you at that character level. This means: no Golem, no Teleport, and no Blood Star. Not having Teleport is the one that really hurts, as this means you'll have to either a.) walk through Hell trying to get to dungeon level 16 or b.) learn to use the finicky Phasing spell for limited "teleports".

Add to this AGAIN the fact that your resists are going to be pretty miserable -- it's HARD to find all the gear that will maxx out your resistances! You can constantly switch gear to meet the situation at hand, or you can try to find the ol' Constricting Ring.

Getting decent weapons won't be too hard -- you'll be able to shop for them, no problem. The only problem there is the fact that you are actually trying NOT to kill most foes in most cases! Why not? Because you don't want to level too early, and doom your Dot@Level attempt! So, you actually try to hold off on killing most foes, continually assassinating Boss monsters to get best drops you can from them (remember, the Butcher and Leo give no experience at all!).

PLUS there is the problem of avoiding killing foes while walking through Hell! If you kill too many, you'll lup to clevel 18 before you even reach Diablo, and that means a failed Dot@Level attempt!

Then finally getting your weapons to do stunning damage for Diablo may be a problem -- even for the warrior! After all, you're taking the Demon Lord on when you are only clevel 17! The mage's Holy Bolts won't be stunning, and the Rogue won't have a bow that can stun either, and the warrior will be about stunning about 10% of the time with a vanilla bastard sword (not including crits). Then again, you can always try to get a CC from the Butcher or Leo and work with that.

But once you hit clevel 17, it's off to Hell, Diablo, and good luck! That Shadowhawk may come in very handy right about now to avoid foes on the way down. Wear that Constricting Ring! If you see the stairs down across a wall in Hell, toss a TP over next to it, go back to town, and come down the Town Portal and then continue. When you reach dlevel 16, avoid the first and second rooms to the North/East and try to get instead to the third and fourth rooms -- killing as few foes as possible. TK the bone levers in the third room. Put your back against the walls of the third room. Fire a bolt of lightning down at Diablo to activate him. Break out the CC and good luck!

CHALLENGES FOR THE 2@20 CHARACTER

You've got it all -- bad AC, poor health, low mana, weak weapons. So what's not to love about trying to win a Nightmare game with this puny character? You'll be able to buy the book Golem when you turn clevel 19. Still no Teleport though -- you'll be strolling through Hell once again.

At least you can do multiple Normal diff Laz runs trying to find better gear and books. Good luck and don't die! Buff yourself as much as possible, especially with jewelries. Maybe get a Royal Circlet, Doombringer, Gotterdamerung, and Stormshield from Laz and company. You'll need that edge when you face Nightmare Diablo as a level 20 character! (Just an FYI, your level 20 warrior will need 150 Dexterity for "perfect block" versus Nightmare Diablo.)

Oh, and by the way -- Griswold still won't be selling you Gothic or Full Plates.

Ah, and again you will experience the joy of avoiding killing foes on the way down to dlevel 16 -- you kill too many and you will lup to clevel 21, meaning a failed Dot@Level attempt!

CHALLENGES FOR THE 3@30 CHARACTER

Believe it or not, the 3@30 attempt is probably the easiest of the three as far as killing Diablo is concerned. You can "shop" Adria for Elixers when you turn clevel 26, and can really start upping your stats. increasing damage done, health/mana, to hit, and blocking ability.

What is a pain is when triple immunes show up when you start your 3@30. Laz can be tough, especially if SoulBurners appear on 15 also. Civerb's Cudgel will again come in handy.

What's nice is the fact that you can kill EVERYTHING in you trip through Hell/Hell and STILL not level up to clevel 31. So, don't hold off on the offense at this point. Kill em all! Or, Stone Curse em and kill em all!

WHAT THE BEGINNING DOT@LEVEL SHOULD BE ESPECIALLY ON THE LOOKOUT FOR:

Probably the three most important items/drops a Dot@Level character should be looking for:

#1. A book Telekinesis (can drop on Church 2).
The most important drop in a D@L game. Period.

#2. Shadowhawk (Leo can drop).
Damn what a weapon! It has +resist all so that you no longer get stunned by ranged magical attacks, it is on a broadsword base and has +15% to hit when you actually do need to fight your way out of a tight spot (along with life steal), and finally it has -20% light radius, and this is CRITICAL in avoiding activating too many foes.

#3. Constricting Ring(Butcher can drop).
This ONE item maxxes all your resistances, thus you can concentrate on improved to hit, block, AC, life, etc. with all your other gear. Yes, it sucks the life out of you while you are wearing it, but it's a small price to pay for the job it does. Don't hold your breath looking for two obsidian pieces of jewelry -- not likely that it's going to happen.

SOME DOT@LEVEL ADVICE/TACTICS

1. You'll need to re-learn to walk.
First of all, you'll need to be clicking the cursor constantly to force your character to walk around/past foes -- he's programmed to stop when he walks next to a foe. You need to get PAST that foe!

PLUS you need to AVOID walking next to walls! Huh? Walking next to walls makes it easier for foes to surround your character, forcing you to fight your way free, gaining exp, and making you level up too soon. Just don't do it! Just say no to wall-walking!

2. Try to kill as few foes as possible.
Try to kill just the bosses. Think of ways to avoid killing the minions -- such as firing a bow through a grate at JUST the boss, or using a spell that the minions are immune to. Act like an assassin -- try to kill only the bosses. Leo will pursue you through closed doors, while his minions usually cannot open said doors. Try to run toward a room, slam the door behind you, and then run out of sight of that door you just shut. Leo will still pursue you, while his minions will give it up.

3. When only a few foes are following you around on a level in Church, try to find a decent sized room (with a door) which you can lead them into and then LOCK them inside the room.

For single foes, try to line them up with a wall trap (the hole in the wall) so that the trap will kill them when you open the chest/coffin (you get no exp for a trap kill). As a last resort, let the foe stand adjacent to both you and a barrel, and break the barrel, hoping the explosion (if it is an exploding barrel) will kill the foe. It could also spawn a skeleton however, so this is risky. Another risky tactic -- Phase over a wall and leave the monsters behind.

4. Always carry your weapon in your LEFT hand and your shield in your RIGHT hand.

Why? When you are running through a level -- pursued by many foes -- and pass a Hidden Shrine, you can still TK it without pausing or changing gear. If your weapon loses ten durability, for the most part that's no big deal since you aren't really using your weapon that much anyway. If your SHIELD loses ten dur, that's a BIG deal as your shield gets a workout every single level of the dungeon, especially archer levels! Remember, Hidden Shrines hit the shield slot with a preference, so switch your weapon and shield placement in your inventory.

5. ALWAYS carry AT LEAST one (preferably two) Town Portal scrolls -- for those really, really, bad emergencies.

6. Avoid corners!

Corners are for fighting, which you are NOT to be doing! If you enter a corner, it takes only three foes to "surround" you, forcing you to fight your way out (at least, until you have Phasing or Teleport). If you stand at least one tile AWAY from a corner, and see a HUGE mob approaching, you can always cast a TP into that corner tile and escape -- can't do that if you are in the corner and surrounded.

If you get in a REAL jam -- in a corner, surrounded, no Phasing or Teleport, and don't want to fight your way out -- remember, Telekinesis can temporarily PUSH a foe away, opening up an escape route. It works best when TKing a "slow" foe -- like a Zombie or Bat -- and pretty much won't work at all against faster moving foes like Rats.

7. Reduce your light radius!

The more you reduce your light radius, the fewer foes you activate and have to deal with, and that's pretty much the name of the game for a Dot@Level character.

8. Learn to use the Phasing spell. The Phasing spell is your friend -- sort of!

*****

Well, that's it for now. Hope you liked the read, and hope you accept the challenge of creating a mortal Dot@Level character. You'll discover a whole nother aspect of playing and enjoying the game.

Good luck and good hunting!


Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-05-2006, 05:01 PM
Post: #2
Another way to play Diablo!
Not much to say. Mostly just some numbers for those interested in the beastly matter of 1@17s and 2@20s.

For 1@17
Exp to Lv: 147123
Max Exp: 3400
Max Exp from: Mlvl 27+
Monsters to Lv: 44

I recall monsters/dlvl estimates at around 180. That means full clears of even one dlvl are out of the question. You can't use more than 10 kills on a given dlvl.

For 2@20
Exp to Lv: 341073
Max Exp: 4000
Max Exp from: Mlvl 30+ (all of Nightmare/Hell)
Monsters to Lv: 86

Full clears are still not possible. You can't use more than 20 kills on a given dlvl.

For 3@30
Exp to Lv: 4495869
Max Exp: 6000
Max Exp from: Mlvl 40+ (all of Hell/Hell)
Monsters to Lv: 750

If there are about 720 monsters on dlvls 13-16, a full clear is absolutely possible. There should be little fear of leveling up providing you don't kill much after hitting 30.

Quote:Your Dot@Level character will be wanting to sneak around grabbing Stat-adder Shrines as much as possible, along with the rare Religious, Hidden, Enchanted, and Eldritch shrines. Reducing your light radius helps your sneaking ability A LOT. "Cursed" negative light radius items are the Dot@Level character's wet dream. Cherish them!

Given the roughness of your other rules (no deaths, soloing even outside of dot runs), this emphasis replaying weak levels for free stat shrines and stealth gear seems rather cheesy. Though I don't argue that doing so gives you a fighting chance.

As a side note, you mentioned An "of Thorns" item to take care of Hidden type foes. I don't see these would help this character at all, since the nasty Hiddens live in areas far beneath places this guy should be (re)playing. In general, though, this might be good advice in mods where Hiddens exist in Hell.

Quote:You'll find yourself doing multiple Butcher/Leo runs trying to get jewelries and certain Unique items that can help you tremendously. The Butcher can drop Constricting Ring, Civerb's Cudgel...

Just for general interest, here's how CC Warrior makes out. We assume he has 60 dex and CC, and then watch what happens as we add +ToHit from items.

1@17
ToHit(Items) ToHit vs BK
0 30%
20 50%
etc.

2@20
ToHit(Items) ToHit vs BK
0 Autohit only.
20 Autohit only.
40 23%
60 43%
etc.

These numbers can be generalized, since these values are effectively just slightly less than Warrior with a plain weapon.

Quote:Your number one concern while playing will be to try and increase your armor class as much as possible whenever possible.

For 1@17
AC BK ToHit
100 86
110 76
120 66
etc.

Blocking's your best bet here. I don't know why you suggested looking for good AC armor in Caves; doing so will just make you level up. And for those interested in the Nightmare values...

For 2@20
AC BK ToHit
100 195
150 145
200 95
225 70
235 60
etc.

Blocking's pretty much your only chance here. There is a very minute chance that a clvl 20 character will find nice armor (e.g. my clvl 19 Bard who found a 75/144/10 APoS), but that'd be a once-in-a-lifetime find.

Quote:Not having Teleport is the one that really hurts, as this means you'll have to either a.) walk through Hell trying to get to dungeon level 16 or b.) learn to use the finicky Phasing spell for limited "teleports".

The wily character will note two other ways to scamper about dlvls:
(1) Statue Gardens
(2) "Teleport" via Town Portal. Place TP over a wall, walk to town, take the TP.

-Lemmy
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-06-2006, 12:23 PM
Post: #3
Another way to play Diablo!
Well, I have to agree with Lemming except a few points:
LemmingofGlory,Feb 5 2006, 05:01 PM Wrote:For 1@17
Exp to Lv: 147123
Max Exp: 3400
Max Exp from: Mlvl 27+
Monsters to Lv: 44
[right][snapback]101222[/snapback][/right]

Clvl 17 in Hell receives max exp from monsters mlvl 22+ and Cave Vipers (mlvl 21) so in fact, from EVERY monsters in Hell.
This is just minor point because I believe that all other data here are correct.

Implication:

- Light Radius (-LR) items are MUST in 1@17 and 2@20 runs. I remmember to 3@30 with my mule warrior. He wore Nightscape + Topaz ring of Dark. But even with max -LR he had to kill monsters. They were placed in narrow pasages too close to each other, that was really impossible to walk through without killing.
Im not guy who spend hours of playing just to rely to lucky dlvl generation like stairs up right next stairs down, Lazarus chamber right next to room with stairs and pentagram and stairs to 16 right between cross and Diablo's room and layout without barriers.

So, I would clear all lvls up dlvl 6 for first time, then replay dlvl 4 and 5 (maybe 6 - depend on monsters) and hunted for items of Night/Dark. In best cases jewels/armor/helm. Experience is going slow here, you can meet quite lot of uniques - and collect some money and buy items from Gris and SC book in Adria!s shop.
Once you have got "enough" -LR items, you are prepared to enter Hell. You dont need any "super gear". Some resist for prevent stun in situations when "something turned wrong" and thats it. AC is totally pointless here. You should focus to beating Diablo. Other monsters can be bypassed (except Lazarus of course) or StoneCursed. When you think, you can beat Big D, make clvl 17 and farewell.

2@20 is much the same. With your -LR items you can do quite lot of Laz Runs and get much better gear for your run.
3@30 is piece of cake. You can buy whatever you want, picking gold in NM/Church. In first dlvls you cannot worry about gaining (much) experience, so your gold supply is in fact unlimited.

BTW: I didnt mention it BUT, you have to use scrolls of infravision while using -LR items in dungeon. I hope, you got it, but in case, you didnt, Im reminding it here :-)
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-06-2006, 03:31 PM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2006 03:41 PM by LemmingofGlory.)
Post: #4
Another way to play Diablo!
Sekel,Feb 6 2006, 08:23 AM Wrote:Clvl 17 in Hell receives max exp from monsters mlvl 22+ and Cave Vipers (mlvl 21) so in fact, from EVERY monsters in Hell.
This is just minor point because I believe that all other data here are correct.

Technically, you could nit me on the 2@20 and 3@30 "Max exp from: Mlvl X" as well -- max exp actually begins well before mlvl X critters show up. I was giving a quick and dirty bound (as should be obvious from noticing that X is clvl+10 - i.e. at +100% exp from monster), but it's always nice to have the least bound.

-Lemmy
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-07-2006, 01:33 AM
Post: #5
Another way to play Diablo!
Very interesting discussion, Im assuming then a dot char is a valid choice.?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-07-2006, 08:51 PM
Post: #6
Another way to play Diablo!
Good stuff on the 1@17 and 2@20 runs and kills vs leveling up.

But on your other comments, disagree on many points.

First point, as far as tackling tough foes: “Blocking's your best bet here.”

Um, disagree completely with you here.

If you rely on AC, you can “slide past” a LOT of foes (not BK, but we’ll get to that later). If you rely on blocking rather than AC, you are going to slide past NOTHING. And as soon as you activate more than two fast attackers like lava dudes, dogs, snakes, or storm demons, you’ll find yourself quickly in blocklock and just as quickly dead.

There are TONS of fast attackers in Caves -- and Hell (even Night Clan goats in Cats are pretty scarey!). And how many dot@level games are you going to be activating multiple opponents without killing them?

Try -- EVER SINGLE ONE of them (except your 3@30 run of course). :)

Suppose two (or more) fast attackers have engaged you and you have started blocking their attacks. The only way out of this mess is to either kill them (not good, you don’t want the Exp for normal attackers), walk out of it, or phase/teleport/stonecurse/TK out of it. Well, if you chose either of the latter two options, you NO LONGER CAN BLOCK. (You don’t block while walking; you don’t block while casting spells.) So, if you’ve been relying on your Block and you have poor AC, once you get into a serious blocking situation with two or more fast attackers, you’ve pretty much sealed your own Fate. And remember, you ARE Mortal.

But with a high AC, you can, at a cost, get out of even some tense situations. My clevel 10 dot@level mage escaped six lava maws, five Steel Lords, and six Azure Drakes while having 128 AC. It cost about a full belt of blues each time, but he was able to Phase out of it. Had he relied on high dex/ perfect block, there is no way he’d be alive now.

Sure, blocking will help you survive all 1-on-1 and even 2-on-1 encounters with Blood Knights -- but why are you fighting BKs? Why in the world would you want to hang around tackling one of the toughest and most experience-laden foes in the entire game? To get the drops? Killing bosses is MUCH more effective in terms of dangers endured and items drops and experience avoided. (As an aside, I don’t think my 1@17 mage killed a single Blood Knight. Not one, ever. Not even on dlevel 16 prior to killing Diablo. My 2@20 Mage killed maybe a half dozen.)

For any dot@level character, high AC or high Dex, here would be my advice on how to handle a level containing Blood Knights:

First, throw up a town portal as if you are going to make a quick escape.
Second, make a quick escape.
Third, make a new game.

Perfect Block won't save you against multiple BK’s. Neither will high AC. You shouldn’t engage BK’s at all. Period.

Not convinced of the greater usefullness of high AC versus high Dex for a Dot@Level character?

Try this then:

Play a mage to level 10, getting him some decent stats and mana (around 275 or so), then load him with gear that gets his AC to 120 (the Dex doesn’t matter) and slap a Shadowhawk in his hands, and learn how to use the Phasing Spell. Then try to go from Caves 9 through to the Caves entrance to Hell on Caves 12 without killing ANYTHING and without dying. It’s a challenge, but it’s doable. (Um, you’ll of course be using Mana Shield).

Now try the same thing with that same mage but with half the AC and any Dexterity at all you’d like to give him. Try the exact same run.

THAT’S why I say you should be trying to up your AC constantly. I did, and my clevel 10 mage was running Caves all the time (after having run through Cats to get there, of course).

Having high Dex and “perfect block” gives one a false feeling of security that lasts as long as you are attacked by only one foe at a time. High AC lets to try multiple opponents and gives you a true feel for just how much you can “push” on the level, take damage, and still survive and work the level.

And Blocklock with multiple opponents and low AC is a death-knell.

So, on that first point, sorry, I think AC is MUCH more important than Dex for the Mortal Dot@level character.

Point two: “I don't know why you suggested looking for good AC armor in Caves; doing so will just make you level up. “

Bullhockey.

With AC 120 my level 10 mage didn’t have to kill ANYTHING in Caves, and I made MULTIPLE trips through it. Here was my mage’s armor progression:

Leather 13 purchased at clevel 1
Butcher drops Wisdom’s Wrap at clevel 7
Valiant(63%) Armor17 drops in Cats when clevel 8
Valiant(65%) RingMail 19 drops in Cats when clevel 8
Glorious(+87%) Breast Plate 20 drops in Caves 9 at clevel 9
Plate 48 of Accuracy +13 drops in Caves 11 at clevel 10, and then one level later in the same game, Glorious(73%) Plate40 of Stars+10 drops on Caves12 at clevel10. (THAT’S why I go to Caves. In addition, it _could_ have been up to a GOTHIC Plate dropping on Caves 12 -- mine was just regular Plate though.)

There are plenty of those corrals in Caves that have magic items appearing inside them, and sometimes the magical item is armor. TK it and ID it and use it if you can -- it stands the chance of being better than ANYTHING Griswold can sell you for your entire 1@17 trial.

So, on point #2, the deeper you go, the better quality armor can drop. Since you won’t be turning 17 and entering Hell a lot prior to your 1@17 (because at clevel 17 you’d immediately be DOING your 1@17 run) you’ll be running Caves a LOT from clevel 13(or earlier) to clevel 16, hoping for a nice armor drop. (Caves also drops significantly nicer jewelry than all prior levels too. And Swifty bows can drop there if you are a playing a Rogue.)

Point Three: “Given the roughness of your other rules (no deaths, soloing even outside of dot runs), this emphasis replaying weak levels for free stat shrines and stealth gear seems rather cheesy.”

Um, being Mortal makes the game really tough; the cheese factor barely enters into the equation when you’re just trying to stay alive. Plus, if you don’t want to play in whatever way you consider cheesy, you don’t _have_ to play that way.

You don’t wanna do it, then just don’t do it.

But in looking at your comment, you don’t think playing multi- rather than solo dot@level is cheesy? I can see SO many ways of exploiting that situation. Pair a mage and rogue, get the rogue’s Dex to perfect block, whip out the fast block shield you bought earlier, and then have the rogue hold doors/gates ad nauseum while the mage stone curses and kills bosses from a safe position. Or do the same with a Warrior/Rogue combo, with the warrior getting dex to perfect block while the Rogue buys a nice killer bow (can you say elemental damage?) and picks off foes/bosses. Just how disparate can the two player's levels be? Could one player go to Hell, throw up a TP, and the other then join him in Hell even if his clevel wouldn’t normally allow it? And then the other player enjoy the spoils of Hell? (Remember, you’d get no exp for Stone Cursing, so a Mage would have a field day, grab great loot, and get no exp at all!)

Pee-yuh! You claim to catch the smell of cheese in my comments; you DO recognize it in your own?

Anyway, after playing a Mortal dot@level character, playing them as immortal smacks of cheese in and of itself. What challenge is there if one can continually re-animate oneself? -- then it’s just a matter of time, equipment, and stair placement -- a person would just have to master the tedium rather than master the tactics. Where is the accomplishment in that?

So on the third point: eh, cheese is where you choose to say you smell it.

*****

I stand by my statement that AC is the most important thing a Mortal Dot@Level character can get. Dex/blocking is secondary. Dex/blocking is for surviving a fight while killing opponents in that fight. High AC is about running around/away from and avoiding fights altogether (because you aren’t supposed to be killing things, you’ll level up too soon!) The latter is MUCH more important than the former for a Mortal Dot@Level character. It may be harder to do, but it is more important.

So, just how hard IS it to get a decent AC?

If you play conservatively and shop a bit, you can get decent AC for even your 1@17 run.

As a level 16 character, Griswold will (eventually) offer to sell you:

Glorious Splint -- could have AC range 50-66
Glorious Crown -- could have AC range 13-22
Glorious Kite Shield -- could have AC range 13-28

And even a lowly mage has starting Dex 25, making for 5 more AC.

Adding this together you could get then a total of AC 81 to 121, and that’s without including rings(esp RoE’s), amulets, and your characters own Dexterity that you added to when he leveled -- because OF COURSE you are going to add to the character’s Dexterity. The Warrior will have 60 Dex and the Rogue probably over 100! (The Mage, well . . . )

With AC 120 you can pretty much walk/Phase through Normal Caves (and thus, enter Hell) -- while drinking -- with even a clevel 10 character. How do I know? Because I did it. Multiple times. Dozens and dozens of times. With a level 9 and then a level 10 Mage. (Just beware them Maelstorms!)

With AC 130 and a CR, you can begin doing multiple Normal Laz runs, depending upon the foe mix -- again, been there, done that. (Maelstorms and BK are still a no-no; Steel Lords and Azure Drakes and Lava Maws are “proceed with extreme caution”.)

For the clevel 17-19 character, I’d recommend multiple Normal Hell runs, going to 15 and looking for armor racks that could have saintly/awesome plates. More of same for clevel 20-29, along with Normal diff Laz runs for SS, RC, Gott, and jewelries.

For the clevel 30 character (making his 3@30 run), the point is moot -- stone ‘em all and kill em all.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-07-2006, 09:58 PM
Post: #7
Another way to play Diablo!
Long comments follow.



1@17 - Warrior, Rogue - close to if not completely impossible. Sorc, not sure but probably the same.

2@20 - Same as above, although iirc there were many posts on the DSF about 2@low20something, so who knows. Of course no deaths means many fruitless tries and therefore mucho boredom and frustration. Not worth the trouble, IMO.

3@30 - Ho-hum, easy. Not even worth mentioning.



Now for the long comments......



Same as above.



-A






Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-08-2006, 01:23 AM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2006 01:25 AM by LemmingofGlory.)
Post: #8
Another way to play Diablo!
Attika,Feb 7 2006, 04:51 PM Wrote:First point, as far as tackling tough foes:  “Blocking's your best bet here.”

Um, disagree completely with you here.

Code:
CLVL  17
DEX  60
AC  50    70    90    110    130

MON TO HIT

MAW  49    29    9    -11    -31

MAELSTORM  72    52    32    12    -8

VORTEX  102    82    62    42    22
BALROG  116    96    76    56    36

CAVE  66    46    26    6    -14
RED  85    65    45    25    5
GOLD  104    84    64    44    24
AZURE  118    98    78    58    38

BLACK  92    72    52    32    12
DOOM  116    96    76    56    36
STEEL  110    90    70    50    30
BK  124    104    84    64    44

I picture a 1@17 warrior as a character who, with good finds, has the best equipment that scrounging around in early catacombs has to offer. If he's thrifty, he may have saved quite a bit of money and tried to buy something nice from Griswold, but given that most players aren't anal enough to shop Griswold at clvl 16 until he offers Hell-worthy armor, I'm going to doubt this guy has very much in the way of good AC -- hardly anything in the realm of 130. This means, versus tougher foes (i.e. the low guys lower on the list), he's going to want to stock up on "of Accuracy" junk he can get. (It's not so hard to buy that because, when one goes for blocking, base type hardly matters. With good armor, Enchantment and Base Type matters.) Any AC that he can get with that is gravy, and no doubt he should try to mix in some resists.

Quote:Suppose two (or more) fast attackers have engaged you and you have started blocking their attacks.

Why is a (supposedly) well-played character waking up so many monsters at once?

Secondly, if you've engaged even 2 monsters, you need to take advantage of chokes so that you don't get killed. If there are no convenient chokes, then you've made a big error in activating that many baddies.

Quote:Sure, blocking will help you survive all 1-on-1 and even 2-on-1 encounters with Blood Knights -- but why are you fighting BKs?  Why in the world would you want to hang around tackling one of the toughest and most experience-laden foes in the entire game?  To get the drops?  Killing bosses is MUCH more effective in terms of dangers endured and items drops and experience avoided.

You're fighting BKs because, in general, it's quite likely that you'll have to fight at least a few en route to Diablo, regardless how many your magi (read: sample size = 2) fought. Frankly, it doesn't matter how "experience laden" BKs are, because to a clvl 17 the give the same amount of exp as any other damn thing in Hell. This was shown earlier.

Quote:Having high Dex and “perfect block” gives one a false feeling of security that lasts as long as you are attacked by only one foe at a time.  High AC lets to try multiple opponents and gives you a true feel for just how much you can “push” on the level, take damage, and still survive and work the level.

And you should not engage more than one foe at a time. If you do, you're asking for it; I don't care what your AC is.

Quote:Leather 13 purchased at clevel 1
Butcher drops Wisdom’s Wrap at clevel 7
Valiant(63%) Armor17 drops in Cats when clevel 8
Valiant(65%) RingMail 19 drops in Cats when clevel 8
Glorious(+87%) Breast Plate 20 drops in Caves 9 at clevel 9
Plate 48 of Accuracy +13 drops in Caves 11 at clevel 10, and then one level later in the same game, Glorious(73%) Plate40 of Stars+10 drops on Caves12 at clevel10.  (THAT’S why I go to Caves.  In addition, it _could_ have been up to a GOTHIC Plate dropping on Caves 12 -- mine was just regular Plate though.)

...and as convincing as a singular case study may be, I still doubt AC's the best way to go for every character.

(1) Clvl 10 characters cannot normally enter Caves (clvl 13 restriction). While careful playing obviously got you down there, you have to begin on Cats5 every time you want to go there. It's great to be a mage with 275 mana and phasing, but I wouldn't want to be a warrior doing that... dozens of times.

(2) Your case study used a mage. In a discussion about AC and blocking, how about we talk about a melee character?

Quote:Um, being Mortal makes the game really tough; the cheese factor barely enters into the equation when you’re just trying to stay alive.  Plus, if you don’t want to play in whatever way you consider cheesy, you don’t _have_ to play that way. 

It's just funny to see "And you can repeat dlvls as much as you want!" when you're afraid co-op play will lead to people exploiting it at every turn. Listen: People who play these sorts of challenges do so for the challenge. Someone genuinely interested in doing 1@17 is not going to shadow his Sugar Daddy Tank Mage for his Hell leave-behinds. As such, rules such as "PLAY LEGIT!" and "THIS CANNOT BE DONE BECAUSE IT IS CHEESE!" are quite extraneous.

Quote:But in looking at your comment, you don’t think playing multi- rather than solo dot@level is cheesy?

I don't see any direct cheese in typical co-op play. As I said, players who exploit co-op situations aren't really interested in the challenge in the first place. The dot runs should, of course, be done solo; otherwise it's not the same challenge (but it might be a fun co-op game).

Quote:What challenge is there if one can continually re-animate oneself?

Number of deaths during a particular run is usually noted so that readers can determine whether their deaths were in such excess as to render the run unimpressive. Immortal Hero 1@17 is very impressive. Someone who died 2 times along the way, but still got 1@17, is pretty neat to me, too. Someone who died 2 dozen times... gets points for trying. :P

Quote:For the clevel 30 character (making his 3@30 run), the point is moot -- stone ‘em all and kill em all.

How dull.

-Lem
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
02-08-2006, 08:03 PM
Post: #9
Another way to play Diablo!
Quote:It's just funny to see "And you can repeat dlvls as much as you want!" when you're afraid co-op play will lead to people exploiting it at every turn. Listen: People who play these sorts of challenges do so for the challenge. Someone genuinely interested in doing 1@17 is not going to shadow his Sugar Daddy Tank Mage for his Hell leave-behinds. As such, rules such as "PLAY LEGIT!" and "THIS CANNOT BE DONE BECAUSE IT IS CHEESE!" are quite extraneous.

Who said anything about a Sugar Daddy? Listen: For any co-op game, someone is going to be game creator and shield, and someone is going to be either sheltered OR helped. Even with two dot@level players that’s going to hold true. So no matter how you look at it, if you are playing a dot@level player co-op, there will be some exploitation going on. So if you are talking about challenges, the greater challenge would simply be not to play co-op.

Then again, if you want to play co-op, go right ahead! The only real rule to dot@level is to get yer first dot at clevel 17, second dot at clevel 20.... etc.

From Lemming Feb7, (quoting Attika)
"For the clevel 30 character (making his 3@30 run), the point is moot -- stone ‘em all and kill em all."

How dull.

Written by Lemming Feb5
Quote:The wily character will note two other ways to scamper about dlvls:
(1) Statue Gardens

Dang that’s funny! :)

Anyway, the point of the post is just to give other players a challenging way of playing Diablo. And this playing dot@level characters is, or can be, a great way to play the game. Choose whatever rule(s) you wish to abide by and have at ‘em!

As a matter of fact, just about all my original posts here at the forum are to increase the either knowledge or joy of gameplay for the Diablo community.

As I stated before, the primary dot@level rule is 1@17, 2@20, and 3@30. If you want to play by any other suggested rules, it's all up to you! Enjoy the game!

Attika

Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump: