Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Diablo 2 Memories

All the recent talk on the various blogs about Diablo 3 has me fondly remembering all the good times I had in Diablo 2.   For a time, I was a frequent poster on and some of the friends I made there and in-game became friends in real life.   In anticipation of good times to come, and possibly of chances to re-connect with people I haven't spoken to in almost a decade, I thought I'd repost one of my old posts from 2003.

So here is a brief chronicle of  my adventures with the passivezon build which, at the time, was a fairly new concept.  Variations of this have since been taken all the way through hell, but I still think I was the only one who added the restriction to avoid attacking anything directly.

Oh, and there never was a part 2.  The original thread does contain some followup, but nothing worthy of note.  Ultimately I seem to recall that EvenSong was unable to progress beyond Act 2 Normal.

Hello All.
Some of you might recall that I asked earlier for thoughts on an amazon
build using only skills in the passive tree.  Well today I started
EvenSong and, just to make things interesting, I decided to try playing
without attacking.

Let me repeat that:  No attacks allowed whatsoever,  no bow, no throw, no
melee, no spells -- at least not by EvenSong herself.  Truly a Passive

Anyway, here is a rough outline of her adventures through Blood Raven.
And yes, she did take down Blood Raven, untwinked, simply using a
strategic running-around-wearing-the-right-equipment technique.  ;-)

First, before ever leaving the rogue camp she sold her starting equipment
and set her left and right "attacks" to throw.  That way she was in no
danger of accidentally attacking a monster (since she wasn't wielding a
throwing weapon).  Her next concern was then gold -- being unable to
damage anything she was, at the moment, in no position to start thinking
about gaining experience.

Several chests later, and several hops through the cold plains portal,
she was finally able to buy a Sturdy Quilted Armor of Thorns (an entire
1pt. of damage done to attacking monsters).  Excited, she ran right back
out into the Blood Moor and promptly stood smack dab in the middle of a
pack of Fallen.

Sadly, to no avail.  It seemed that her fine Suit of Armor was providing
sufficient defense to prevent frequent hits upon her person by said
Fallen.  They'd hit EvenSong occasionally, but then would fully
regenerate before hitting her again.  Then a voice from above (whom some
know as my wife) said:  "Run!!!!".  Ok, the voice wasn't quite
that emphatic. ;-)   The point being that running makes you more open to
attack -- something I didn't know until now.

Anyway, prompted along by the Powers That Be, EvenSong started running
madly back and forth through the pack.  Success at last!!!  Moments later
she had her first few experience points and the game had finally and
truly begun.

Some short time later, EvenSong reached Level 2.  She placed her skill
point in Inner Sight as a pre-requisite for her eventual Valkyrie, but
had no need of skills as of yet.   Also, by then she had pretty much
liberated (that's what she calls it) every Fallen she could find, was out
of gold, potions, chests, and was completely unable to kill anything
other than Fallen effectively.

A quick "nap" in the Rogue's Camp (i.e. A New Game conveniently provided
by those same Powers That Be) allowed all the Fallen to regenerate and
the Chests to refill -- though she did notice that they were repositioned
somewhat, and she certainly didn't remember those two Experience Shrines
placed conveniently near the Cold Plains Portal.  She wasn't one to look
a gift horse in the mouth however, and after purchasing a Sash of Thorns
(another 1pt of damage, but a 100% increase from EvenSong's point of
view), she very quickly arrived at Level 3.

Charsi at that point was beginning to get the idea, and pulled a Shield
of Thorns out of the back room and sold it to EvenSong at a very
reasonable price.  Finally, at level 3, and doing 3 points of damage to
attackers, EvenSong was able to start taking on Zombies, Fallen Shamans
(yes, they really do have a melee attack if you stay close), and Dark
Hunters,  --- but not Gargantuan Beasts, at least not in packs, and
certainly not that Nasty Extra Strong Unique Gargantuan Beast and his
Minions who were hanging out right on top of the Cold Plains Portal.

Fleeing wildly from that, ummm, situation, EvenSong decided another nap
was in order (but it would be the very last one before Blood Raven, lest
you start thinking she's a bit on the lazy side).

A new Morning Dawned and with it, EvenSongs first big test.  A pack of
Champion Dark Hunters had moved in (right where those Vicious Gargantuan
Beasts had been the previous night) and proved to be her greatest
challenge yet.  With Flavie's help and strategic use of fences along the
boundary between the Blood Moor and the Cold Plains, she was able to
isolate them one at a time and eventually prevailed.  Lo and behold, what
should one of them drop but a Small Brown Leather Cap which would
completely change EvenSong's way of thinking.

A Cap of Charged Bolt.

Yes, I know one doesn't normally talk about (even less Capitalize) a Cap
of Charged Bolt, but it had a 10% chance to cast level 3 charged bolt
when struck -- more than enough to wipe out entire crowds if she was
lucky enough to get the thing to fire off twice in rapid succession.

In any case, after picking up and selling all the great stuff dropped by
the Champion Dark Hunters, EvenSong had about 6000 gold saved, and was
able to purchase another Charged Bolt Item at Charsi's.  A Belt, which
unfortunately meant she had to make a decision between direct thorn
damage and an increased chance of casting Charged Bolt.  After some
experimentation, wearing the Charged Bolt Cap and Belt, and the Thorns
Armor and Shield, seemed to be the most effective combination.

At this point, EvenSong had reached Level 5 and finally decided to go
clear out this so-called "Den of Evil" she had been hearing about.  Turns
out she needn't have waited so long.  The Den was quite easy at that
point.  Strategy mostly consisted of luring lots of Fallen near the
larger monsters, rushing into them, and letting the resulting Charged
Bolts take everything out.  She tried to leave the Shamans alive as long
as possible because being hit by the extra revived Fallen running around
actually helped a great deal with the larger Gargantuan Beasts and such.

Unfortunately she ended up fighting CorpseFire all by himself.  Took two
trips back to the Camp for Potions, but he eventually fell and dropped
nothing of note.

Feeling heady after her first major victory, EvenSong headed to the Rogue
Camp and prepared to tackle Blood Raven.  Preparation pretty much
consisted of purchasing extra potions and adding 15 points to her
Vitality, bringing her life total up to 103.

Blood Raven was tough.  EvenSong had some quick early luck when Blood
Raven decided to stand right in the middle of her undead army.  Simply
standing there alongside Blood Raven and quaffing potions was enough to
generate sufficient Charge Bolts to bring her life bar down to about
half.  Unfortunately, that killed off the army and for some reason Blood
Raven was smart enough not to raise more dead -- at least not for about
the next 3 minutes.

EvenSong spent those minutes trying desparately to stay close enough to
allow the, now rarely seen, Charged Bolts to actually hit.  But
controlling the direction of the Charged Bolts was difficult and Blood
Raven proceeded to heal back up to about 2/3. 

Eventually though, EvenSong was able to gather Blood Raven's remaining
(and slowly growing in number) troops in a fairly tight bunch and won the
day in a Charged Bolt Spectacular worthy of Song (well, worthy of
EvenSong at least).  ;-)

No drops to speak of there at the end.  And EvenSong was pretty tired at
that point so wandered off to take a nap.

And that's all for now.  Mostly I just wanted to see if I could get
through to Blood Raven.  Now that EvenSong has a merc, things should go
much more smoothly.  I still do plan on avoiding any sort of attack and
playing untwinked as well, so if I have anything interesting to say (and
if there's any interest here) I may post a part 2.


  1. I feel a bit sorry sometime that I never played Diablo 2, it seems I really missed something there. that said, I am still undecided about D3, I just have a very hard time enjoying isometric view games.

    Seems I'm not the only one feeling very nostalgic about the "good old days" in games at the moment though - your post made me chuckle after having just published my own little stroll down memory lane! =)

  2. I'm actually suspecting my expectations for D3 are too high. Diablo 2 was my first (as it sounds from your recent post that classic WoW was yours). And I know its very difficult to recapture the past so I have no idea if I'll be able to become as fully immersed as I hope.

    Stabs' latest post has me all excited though.

    Thanks for the comment -- glad I could make chuckle. :)