Diablo 2: Resurrected will test your resolve to boycott Blizzard

My palie is resist capped, with 2 of the resists being above the typical max, my merc is also just about resist capped with pretty amazing gear on, I still get owned in Hell difficulty. The game is just brutal on hell, especially if you run into the wrong combo of 3 traits mobs can have. I’m using a prayer merc with insight on (which doubles the amount of healing prayer does by the way), he’s got a duriels shell, and vamp gaze (big life leech helm), and still get’s dropped like he’s level 1 all the time.

I really love D2 in nightmare, to me it’s the perfect balance, you have to watch out for stuff, but you can actually get your character and merc to a solid defensive level. Once you get to hell, the game really loses me, I have never cared for ‘blink and your dead’ game mechanics, and Blizzard has always been really fond of that design.

How I remember the separation of difficulty

Normal____________________________________Nightmare

Nightmare_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Hell

Normal and Nightmare can be played through with some farming for items/runes and gaining levels.
Hell changes things and certain bonuses from items become mandatory:

  • damage resistance for most melee chars
  • increased max resistance to fire or lightning, depending on what you want to farm
  • a large health pool to decrease the rate of getting one-shot (you are unlikely to eliminate it). Usually this implies you must equip an item that lets you periodically cast Battle Orders
  • several items with + to all (relevant) skills levels (mostly for the dps)
  • max block/evade or very high armor along with max resists

It will take you thousands of hours to farm all of that alone, Hell is not balanced around single player.

I pretty much have all of that at this point. Like I said, all maxed resists, fire and lightning being over capped, every possible point into vitality, capped block with shield buff up. I’m certainly not at end game inventory filled with charms/torch etc, but my character should be a little tougher than it plays given what I do have going. A lot of it is just level vs mob level, I suppose I could go grind out levels doing nighmare ball runs or something, but I just lose the will for it at a certain point.

Eh, I just don’t like the transition to Hell, I think especially that first act or two shouldn’t be so jarring.

What build is it? What’s current damage? Do you have max block? Is your hp above 1k? I didn’t mean having resists over maximum, I meant having items that increase maximum resistance, ie. pushing it from 75% to 80%. Finally, you need to be at the very least lvl 70.

I got really lucking last night with my Barbarian who is doing Hell on Normal difficulty. An Amn rune dropped, and then a Dol rune dropped! So early in the game! Now I’m eyeing all these runewords wondering what I should make with this incredible bounty.

I started a bowazon last night, I couldn’t resist. It’s funny how sometimes our first experiences with a game completely color our perceptions for years and years. I spent most of my time playing not just Bow using Amazons in Diablo 2, but because it was hardcore, I spent most of that time playing the exact same build of Bowazon, trying to always build one centered around Cold Arrow. I initially tried multishot once and didn’t like how I ran out of mana constantly so I NEVER TRIED IT AGAIN in all those years. Same with Strafe.

Initially I did the same with Magic arrow, dismissing it, but then a friend of mine who hates Archers played an Amazon briefly and he was kicking ass by putting all his early points into Magic Arrow, and that’s when I discovered that when you put enough points in, you don’t use mana anymore, and those paltry editions to damage might not seem like much, but they get multiplied by various multipliers, and end up being a pretty nice default attack on the left click. So then the one bow amazon hardcore character I always kept trying was one with lots of points in the level 30 cold arrow skill, and 20 points into Magic arrow for left click, and then lots of points into various passive amazon skills. Eventually I discovered that incorporating a Valkyrie into that build was essential too, so that went in there too.

Anyway, TLDR: I spent all that time playing Bowazons and never really gave Multishot or Strafe a real try.

Until last night. I took my longbow with the 3 chipped emeralds that I usually give to my mercenary archer, and used that with multishot. Wow. I can poison stuff like using a shotgun, and everything dies! It’s so freakin’ satisfying.

And yes, the more points I put into Multishot, the more expensive it gets, so I don’t really have the mana for it, but I can use it sporadically and keep using mana potions as I come across them. It’s not bad.

The other factor is, the controller. My god, it’s so much better to just be firing the bow at enemies and seeing them die via button presses than trying to click all over the screen. Most of the time I don’t have the mana for multishot, but with the controller, I can almost fire fast enough around the screen as using Strafe. There’s no need to hunt enemies and click on the them. Just aim and fire fire fire fire fire. It’s so satisfying. This is a character transformed by the controller. So fun!

Bowazon is a fun one for me, too, doubly so with the controller. Magic Arrow is a nifty little secret weapon, because, as you mention, it can be developed into a mana-cheap default attack that provides extra hit prob %. I use a buffed fire arrow for AOE/shotgun attacks. I have points in exploding arrow when I need lots of distance AOE to chip away some health before engagement, but I don’t lean on it.

Since these are still my first few characters, I still don’t have good starting equipment with great resists. My Barbarian in Hell is sitting at 26% lightning resistance, for instance. His other resists are better, but nowhere near max, except for poison.

So I faced the dilemma last night: Look for good resists on equipment by gambling maybe? Or just say fuck it, and take on Diablo?

You can probably tell from how I phrased that choice that I went after Diablo. Luckily none of the Oblivion Knights cast Iron Maiden on me. Mostly just Weaken, which looks similar to Iron Maiden but is 1000x less dangerous.

The one curse that kept getting my mercenary killed is the one that looks like little fireworks going off above my head, it’s the one that lowers resists. Once the Oblivion Knights cast that one, they would then start doing huge damage with their elemental attacks. I had to revive my mercenary about 7 times.

Finally Diablo. Would I survive with such low lightning resistance? I’ve never survived in that battle with less than max lightning resist before with any of my previous Barbarians. But I had a secret technique this time! I was going to run away from his lightning instead of trying to face tank it.

So the fight starts. He does his fire thing and his cold thing. And then he does the lightning. I’m not used to dodging so I face-tank the first one. Ouch. I almost died. But I drank a couple of Full Rejuvs to prevent that. I would run out of full rejuvs pretty fast if I kept doing that. So on the next lightning, I tried dodging it, but it’s tricky to try to dodge all of it. I kept getting hit by some of it, which was usually enough to set off some panic. My merc died a few times and I revived him in town and bought some more healing potions.

I did get better at dodging the lightning streams the further I got into the battle, but I still got grazed by it sometimes, which really hurt. But I finally took him down. Phew.

TLDR: I don’t recommend fighting Diablo with a measly 26% lightning resist. Don’t do it.

Have been running 3 characters since the launch; a Hammerdin (my all time fave) and a Frenzy Barb and a Fire Druid. There’s a sort of synergy between the three and all are pretty simple to play. E.g. Barb is the only melee; Fire Druid doesn’t care about fastcast. So often if I find something ‘good’ but not right for the one I’m playing, I can make use of it with another character.

For a good while, only the Hammerdin had made it to Hell difficulty; the others were languishing. But then in quick succession I found both an Ali Baba (2 socket) and a Goldwrap. MF/GF time has come! With all other gear for Hammerdin being pretty crap I still am able to sport over 300% MF and GF and it’s made a huge difference. Now all three are sporting much better gear and I’ve got hordes of perfect jewels and millions in gold waiting to gamble and cube. Good times!

Held off on starting a necro. Just started one a day or so ago. So are they easy mode throughout the game or just early on?

Are you using bone, poison, or summon?

I only ever made the latter two, and the summoner was definitely the stronger of the two, but there’s a lot more to playing it properly. Between utilizing curses, corpse explosion, and of course maintaining your army, you’ll be plenty busy. But that’s what makes it so fun and interesting. It is one of the easiest to solo with, but it has its challenges later on in the game. It’s not the greatest boss-killer, for instance.

I highly recommend you stick with it though. It’s one of the best builds in the game, and probably the most enjoyable build I’ve ever done. There’s nothing like unleashing 20 minions on a room, and then using a string of corpse explosion to just decimate everything in sight.

Things are going a lot better for my BlizzBall sorceress. I’m in Act V Hell now at CLVL 80 and it’s been smooth sailing most of the way. Andariel, Duriel, Mephisto, and Diablo were all trivial to kill with SF + Blizzard. I’m talking less than 30 seconds.

I leveled up in the midst of a chaotic fight and accidentally clicked the skills button that popped up and put a point in Frozen Orb, which I thought was seriously annoying, but also funny. So I used my first respec to fix that, and I took the opportunity to take a few unneeded points out of Strength and decided to start upping my Dexterity to improve my blocking. I have about 850 HP, which is sufficient to get me through the endgame.

Act I was challenging in spots, but I farmed The Pit and the Countess for a while to level up which helped a lot.

Most of Act II was a cakewalk in comparison with the exception of the tomb areas. There are some seriously dangerous mobs in there on Hell; several of which are cold-immune. And of course it’s loaded with revivers, and getting to them with my Fire Ball and Merc without getting tore up was rough to say the least. I believe this is where my second (and hopefully last) death occurred.

Act III was fairly easy with the wide-open areas and low health mobs. I know the dungeons can be extremely dangerous so I took it slow and methodical in the Flayer Dungeon and Sewers, and I had to be pretty cautious with the Council. Thankfully most of them I just killed with Blizzard off screen, but I needed to kite the cold / fire immune dude into an empty area so my Merc could kill him. I did not complete the Lam Esen’s Tome quest, but I will eventually. Those little ruined temples are kind of a death trap on Hell. I stepped into the Ruined Fane and my Merc died within approximately 4 seconds, causing me to TP for my life.

Act IV was a breeze, which I figured it would be. Very few enemies here are cold-immune, so my Blizzard was able to lay waste to just about everything. I think Act V is going to be a different story since so many enemies are cold-immune.

Note - Telekinesis is underrated. I basically never used it before this run, but found you can more-or-less stun-lock enemies against a wall with it. This let’s my Merc take care of fire / cold immunes while I do more than just sit back and pump health potions into him.`

Summon so far.

I’ve been using this guide for my necromancer summon build.

I’m no Diablo expert but the advice I can offer is that a summon builld performs well in places with lots of space to maneuver but they’ll cause traffic jams in tight corridors like those found in the Maggot Lair or get separated on pathways like those leading up to Diablo’s sanctuary. Your summons and revived monsters can handle trash mobs with ease but they can get overwhelmed against hard hitting packs led by elite monsters.

Unfortunately, against Diablo himself they’re practically useless. On my first attempt at Diablo on normal he swatted my summons down in the blink of an eye. Not even an army of hulking Udar’s stand a chance against him. I had to cheese Diablo by spamming a fire golem to distract him while I plinked away at him with a frost damage bow. It must’ve taken ten minutes to kill him due to the frequent trips back to town for more mana potions.

On Hell difficulty I was able to handle Diablo with relative ease because I respec’d using that guide above. With points invested in decrepify I was able to keep him pinned in one spot while distracting him with a fire golem. My summons of skeletons and revived monsters lasted a bit longer than on normal but you still can’t count on them to tank Diablo. ose found in the Maggot Lair or get separated on pathways like those leading up to Diablo’s sanctuary. Your summons and revived monsters can handle trash mobs with ease but they can get overwhelmed against hard hitting packs led by elite monsters.

Unfortunately, against Diablo himself they’re practically useless. On my first attempt at Diablo on normal he swatted my summons down in the blink of an eye. Not even an army of hulking Udar’s stand a chance against him. I had to cheese Diablo by spamming a fire golem to distract him while I plinked away at him with a frost damage bow. It must’ve taken ten minutes to kill him due to the frequent trips back to town for more mana potions.

On Hell difficulty I was able to handle Diablo with relative ease because I respec’d using that guide above. With points invested in decrepify I was able to keep him pinned in one spot while distracting him with a fire golem. My summons of skeletons and revived monsters lasted a bit longer than on normal but you still can’t count on them to tank Diablo.

Well I got to the Ancients without too much issue but it looks like that’s where I’m going to be staying for a while. I don’t think there’s any way with my current gear and mercenary that I’m getting through them. They do way, way too much damage for any kind of merc tanking strategy to work unless perhaps if I decide to carry an entire inventory full of Full Rejuvenation potions.

I might try the TP + Fire Ball trick I used on Duriel at some point, but I doubt it’s feasible against the three of them (especially since at least one of them will be Fire Immune, and they also have an axe thrower). I managed to take the Whirlwind guy out by kiting and dropping Blizzard behind me, but that takes forever and uses a ton of mana.

I might just have to farm and farm and then farm some more to level up and hope to get some decent drops to significantly up my skills and my merc’s survivability.

So close, and yet so far…

This is my love/hate relationship with Diablo the past 20 something years.

Fortunately, I have a pretty high tolerance for farming. And when that breaks, I always enjoy starting a new twinked character; there’s always some unusual variant to discover.

My progress with my Barbarian has been really slow. I remember now why I never played a Concentrate barbarian before. It’s such a boring skill compared to something like Frenzy. You’re sitting there slowly swinging your axe over and over and over. Not like Frenzy where you’re swingswingswingswingswinging between multiple enemies and such. Much more exciting.

Of course, it’s compounded by the fact that I’m still using a damned War Axe that just doesn’t do that impressive a damage. I just want to find one good weapon, any weapon, and redistribute my mastery points to whatever that weapon is, but I haven’t found any.

I’m desperate enough that I’m thinking maybe I should just find a good plain weapon like a two handed mace, and go Imbue that with Charsi from Act 1.

The nice thing about the shared stash is it makes it easy to swap equipment that you find with other characters. So if nothing else you could always try a faster build and then keep nice melee weapons that you find in the shared stash and send them over to your Barbarian.

Concentrator is definitely not a fast build, but well-equipped it is a heavy hitting tank at the end (11000 attack rating, 3000-5000 damage, 22000 defense, 3000 life). Even Physical Immunes aren’t spared, because even 1 point in Berserk gives you huge magic damage. Being able to survive the absolute worst mobs and stand toe-to-toe with Act Bosses in Hell without breaking a sweat makes it worth it to me.

So yeah he’s not going to clear areas in seconds like a Hammerdin, Necro, or Sorceress, but it’s the only build I’ve ever felt legitimately safe with in all situations in Hell. Gear is important, but gear is important for almost every build once you’re in the late game.

Yeah, I should level up a Trap Assassin again. I know the first 5 died, but the fifth one got to Baal’s minions. The best part about that Trap Assassin is that she doesn’t need good equipment.

One feature I really appreciate is that when you’re getting really hard by stuff suddenly, or are low in health, the controller lets you know. I don’t know what’s going on exactly, it pulses suddenly in your hands in a way that gets your attention. It’s a great effect.