Nightmare Week in Diablo III

Nightmare Week in Diablo III

Well it’s been a little more than a week and Coolidge and I have taken our time going through Nightmare Difficulty. Although as usual, I wanted to explore all parts of the map and re-watch some of the cut scenes again (which was only my second time). It did seem to take considerably longer with the mobs having more health and such but since this is the second level of difficulty, I’m wondering how much harder the other two will be.

I’ve read some posts from other bloggers like Effy’s recent trials and tribulations in Inferno. It sounds hard but at the same time I’m looking forward to trying them out with Cool.

Earlier in the week I managed to get the Made It Work achievement, meaning I can be more colour coordinated from now on. At this stage, I still have a few of the colours to try but that will come in time after I relaunch the game a few more times.

Wizard - 40

So here we are after defeating the Butcher. I’ll say it was a bit harder but then again I was trying some new talents. Always good to try new stuff for a boss fight :P Worked out though :)

The end of Act II was a little more tricky and again I made good use of the health globes. Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I expected so that was a nice surprise.

Wizard - 43

After 40 levels, I might have finally settled on a banner design. If you didn’t notice, my banner hadn’t changed for three levels. That’s very unusual for me as I just couldn’t decide on one I liked. I first saw the trim on one of Cool’s toons and was really happy when I managed to get the achievement to use it.

As my main computer still uses a standard screen, I’ve been a little annoyed since Cool always seems to be able to see more stuff going in the distance like letting me know a yellow mob is in the back somewhere or a loot goblin. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to change the screen res in-game so I put up with it. Yesterday I decided to try the letterbox setting in the game options. OMG! I wish I had tried that sooner.

In Act III, I’ve tried quite a few of the other talents and runes just to see what combination I like. As a result, it’s also pretty often that I’ll say “Pinky” to Cool, indicating when I’m using a health pot :P

Wizard - 46

As an experiment, I tried the invisible dye on my chest piece. I think you can tell I liked to look of it, not that Coolidge minded either :P but after finishing Act III today, I decided to show her chest piece again since just looking at her was making me cold.

Wizard - 48

We finally finished Act III today, logging out just as we entered Heaven, ready for Act IV tomorrow.

Act IV Complete

Having completed Act III earlier today I was game to see how hard Act IV was. It really did seem very short as you’re exploring Heaven which isn’t really a big place.

Before too long I was fighting Rakanoth, a servant of Azmodan. He was actually quite tough to me as I died the first time.

Thoughout this Act, Imperius – the Archangel of Valour kicks up a stink as he doesn’t trust humans and considers me a threat, especially in Heaven. Never-the-less he lets me pass and I find myself before Diablo himself. This is only after I find that my follower can’t follow me any further.

Ah, Diablo we meet again. It may have been nine or so years since we last met and you had the better of me then but I’ve had a lot of gaming experience since then :P

I will admit that even today he had the better of me for a while. I died on the first part and then managed to get to the second phase – the Realm of Terror (where you fight your own shadow as well as Diablo’s). I was all excited when I managed to kill him in this realm, only to find that I was teleported again back to my normal realm. Sigh…

This is where I had the most difficulty. You’ll find that whatever health you had going into the other realm is what you have for the next phase of the fight. On one particular try, I was very low which ended up being my downfall on that attempt. So watch your health at all times.

I did use a fair amount of potions as well as several defensive abilities. In the normal realm there were two healing wells, one mid left and the other mid right. In the Shadow realm, my shadows often dropped a health globe which came in very handy as well.

So after a few tries, I decided to take a break, get something to eat and repair before I attempted to try this again. Coolidge even had another weapon for me to use so I was all set to go again. I’m happy to say that I’ve now completed the game on Normal Difficulty! I was determined to do this alone – for myself (with the exception of Act I so I could get the gist of who to play, objectives and all that – so thanks Cool for getting me through the start. You don’t know how good it feels to say that I kicked Diablo’s arse FINALLY!

Coolidge did say he knew I could do it. I did too, it was just a matter of time and some perserverence!

Unfortunately, I didn’t really get anything useful from the drops but this is what she looks like at the end of Normal Difficulty. I forgot to take a screenshot while I was in Act IV so I don’t have a cool Heaven background. Hopefully I can get one the next time around.

Wizard - Level 32

I have to say though, one of the most satisfying screenshots I’ve taken in the game is this one…

Now to start collecting those Pages of Jewelcrafting and Tomes of Jewelcrafting.

See you in Nightmare :D

Act III Complete

As the game goes on the Acts do seem to take less and less time. When I first saw Ghom, the first boss in Act III, all I could think of was Jabba the Hutt.

He didn’t pose too much of a problem though. So I continued on until I worked my way to the Siegebreaker Assault Beast. Boy does he love to get nice and close to you, as he’s not afraid to pull you to him pretty frequently.

But this one had a happy ending too without too much trouble. Next came a creepy looking spider lady who was half succubus / half arachnid. She turned out to be a bit of a tease letting me fight her and then disappearing soon after.

Eventually, I managed to fight her too. But she was anti-climactic to say the least. The fight was over in ~10secs flat.

When you’re like me and tend to explore every last inch of the place before you proceed to other areas, it can be fairly time consuming but you can also find some nice bonuses like Treasure Goblins and lots of rare mobs. Those books are a nice XP bonus too :)

Eventually, I worked my way to the last boss, Azmodan. As expected he proved to be more of a challenge but with quite a lot of kiting around I managed to add him to my kill list.

The most interesting thing in this Act was actually the part that came after the last boss, once you’ve added the last soul to the soulstone. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just leave you with some pictures. Let me just say it was pretty awesome.

Wizard - Level 30

So my dear readers, it appears I have an open engagement with Heaven.

See you on the other side :)

Act II Complete

Last night, I logged in to see if I could defeat the first boss in Borderlands. It took me a few goes on my laptop (as I attempted to play in bed) but I finally got her! Whoo hoo!

Kiting the adds around seemed to do the trick and I’ve started using my Templar as my companion which has really been handy at times.

Wizard - Level 21

During Part II, we’re tasked with putting together Kulle’s body. I must say that I thought he had a pretty creepy voice so he played his part very well. But then again, we did have a talking head in our bags…

So I must be getting better because I one-shot this guy! Not sure if he’s one of the easier ones in the game or how long that will last though because according to Cool, the last boss in Act II is the most difficult one in the game. At this stage, I didn’t know who the boss was and didn’t want to know as I wanted it to be a surprise, like everything else. So I asked for no hints so I could see what I was dealing with and how I would do.

When I started the fight, there were the usual mobs and I was excited when I got Belial to around 20% without too much effort… that is until he reset his health and morphed into some huge demon with pincers. This is where things got tricky. I died a few times trying to get this bit down and had to port back to town to repair after most (if not all of) my gear had broken. I even changed one of my talents around before trying again.

After my trip back, I levelled just as the fight started. Gah! I wanted to look at my talents and see if I could change a couple of things around, so while I was fighting the initial mobs again, I decided to try and change my talents anyway. Luckily for me I didn’t die this attempt and just kept moving when those green puddles came. Also watch his huge pincers as they’ll likely strike around where you’re standing.

I made sure to soak up all the health globes I could. In fact, just to be safe I used every one I could see, timing them between the stuff on the ground or at least manoeuvred myself (sometimes using teleport) when things got dicey :P

But I FINALLY did it!

I’m so proud of myself and also surprised by how much I’m enjoying this game. I don’t see it taking over my love of WoW but it sure came out at the right time. By the time I’m done with this game (not sure how many toons I’ll make or difficulties I’ll get through but) it’ll probably be around the time that Mists comes out.

Wizard - Level 25

So this is how I look at the end of Act II. I was so excited when I had an offhand that wasn’t a book. I mean we all need some stress balls at some stage of our lives, don’t we? :P

Stay tuned for Act III…

Act I Complete

Act I Complete

Late last night I decided to get through a bit more of Act I, working my way up to the second boss – The Spider Queen.

Not too bad a fight, even though I had to get through quite a lot of spiders just to get up to that bit. I was very glad to have that section completed though.

Wizard - Level 14

A pretty ugly mask if you ask me but Effy had me all excited by her dye post yesterday. Not only can you colour your gear but you can hide certain pieces too. OMG! Let me at the dye lady!!

Today I logged back in and one thing was on my mind. Where are the Dyes? I asked Coolidge and he told me that they could be bought from one of the vendors out the back. Arghus the Collector in Act I will sell them under his ‘Miscellaneous’ items tab.

I'm in Heaven

Look at that, another achievement. They seem to be frequent in this game, not that I’m complaining :)

So first thing of course was to hide the helm. I bought one of each colour just to save for later but decided on using the blue for my chest and gloves. In Act II, you can buy some dyes from Squirt the Peddler in the Bazaar.

Blue Dye

Unfortunately I still haven’t settled on a banner design I like, although every few levels you get some new additions to the shape or icons, etc.

I admit I didn’t know anything about The Butcher before the last encounter as I wanted to be surprised. The only thing I was warned about was to watch my feet. On the way to find the Butcher you’ll fight a lot of mobs in the dungeons with  very hot grates and lava shooting up from time to time. This is what you’ll be watching for during the final encounter in Act I.

I’ll admit here that I died the first time as he has an ability to pull you in with his meat hooks and then hit you hard if you’re still in melee range. The first time I died, he managed to get a hard hit on me while I was trying to run out of the molten grates at the same time. I did manage to get him past 50% though so I was pleased with that first effort.

After that first death, Cool told me to look out for two of the healing wells on the back left and right wall. I have to say both of those came in very handy during the fight. You can also tell which grates are about to be ‘no standing zones’ as they glow just before they start burning.

So once you get the hang of that and get range on him just after his meat hook ability you should be fine. Again Diamond Skin and Ice Armour came in handy for this one.

Just look at those goodies :)

Now see you in Act II.

The Skeleton King

The Skeleton King

An interesting thing happened to me today. Yesterday I had logged out in the cathedral all set to explore the crypts today after first helping my Templar (follower). So today when I logged back in, I was just at the portal to go to level three of the Cathedral but decided to explore the whole floor as I always like to discover all the parts of the map. Especially in WoW where you even get achievements for that very thing.

Wizard - Level 8

So I made my way down to Leoric’s Passage and wasn’t sure at first which passage to take – should I take The Cathedral Gardens path or go to Cathedral Level 1? At first I took the Cathedral Gardens route, realising soon after that the place looked awfully familiar and went back down. I admit yesterday (which was my first day of playing) was a bit of a blur as I ended up just following Coolidge around so I didn’t really pay attention to where things were. I just listened when he said “let’s take this waypoint here to town” or “Ok, now we have our own portal”.

Anyway, back to what I was saying.

I took the port back to Leoric’s Passage and went down to Level 1. Explored the whole floor and found there was nowhere else to go so went back up to the Gardens. This must be the way to the crypts I thought, somewhere outside in the gardens. So I found this old hidden cellar, killed a few things, nope not the right place and headed back along old Tristam Road and found another Dank Cellar to go down into. Suddenly I saw a purple mob called Sarkoth. Hang on a minute… I killed him yesterday. When I told Coolidge who I had run into, he said I had been going backwards. Geez, doesn’t a crypt mean you need to work your way down? At least I thought so…

Coolidge told me to go back to town and retrace my steps. I couldn’t see what good that would do as I knew I was in the right place being in the Cathedral to begin with. But after killing that same purple mob as yesterday I decided it would be quicker to hearth back to town and see what the waypoint options were. I saw the (quest) goblet to go to Level 3 of the Cathedral so I took it.

OK!

When I got there, I opened the big map (pressing ‘M’ or tab) to see that there was actually a level 4. Really? Going UP to a crypt. Blizzard you make no sense to me right now. But I made my way up exploring every inch of the floor until I saw the door for the Royal Crypts. Bingo! When I went through, it was quite exciting as I picked up a sword, listened to some ghosts talking and had to ‘defeat the four pillars’. After that, I looked around until I came to a big slow opening door – I had finally reached the Crypt of the Skeleton King!

I wasn’t sure how hard the fight would be so I just did my thing making good use of my Diamond Skin ability and other stuff. I finally made use of those health potions too. I’m happy to say I didn’t die. So HURRAY to me! Now although that may not be much of an accomplishment to all the veteran Diablo or multi-MMO players out there but it was certainly an achievement to me! Not only that but I managed to get my first yellow item, a pair of boots!

Wizard - Level 10

This is how she looks as of this moment. My wizard is looking a lot more … wizard like today with a wizard’s hat and wand that even yielded it’s own achievement! Earlier, I had a cool looking globe off-hand which I wish was better than this book as I think she looks a bit silly running and reading at the same time. I think to challenge myself I’ll be grouping with Cool until we get to one of those bosses so I can slowly get my revenge on being unable to finish D2 the first time ’round.

So Diablo – I’ll be coming to get you soon!

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