I started to play Diablo 2 (PC) back in 2001. I play solo, and my first character was an amazon because I like to use bows in RPGs and she’s good with them. I don’t know if I started with patch version 1.08 or 1.09. What I know is that with each new patch the skills of my amazon got dumped down more and more. Or in other words: skill combinations that worked in 1.08 (or 1.09) no longer worked so well in 1.11 (my current version). Result: my amazon has a lot of trouble on the highest difficulty level with (bow)skills more or less all over the place. Plus, she has rather crappy gear.
I started other characters. My cookie-cutter sorceress played on the same difficulty level as my amazon in no time at all. And with no trouble at all. Grrr. But I wanted to beat Diablo 2 with an amazon first, and preferable with my first one. The last time she was seen was on Hell difficulty before “The Ancients” quest at the end of July in 2006. That was the last time I played this game.
Yesterday night, it snowed outside for the first time this winter and there it was. I felt like playing Diablo 2 again. So I sat down and crap – I had forgotten a lot! I was slow and had trouble remembering the keys for my skills so it took me some time to get back into the game. I did my level-up and well, it was time to face the Ancients. After some tries, I thought I had “manageable” modifiers on them and got down to business. My merc got killed early and then it was only my valkyrie and I. The last Ancient standing had stone skin (very high resistance to/immune to physical attacks) and was immune to cold. Ups, not so manageable, and without my valkyrie, I would have had no chance. I think she killed him all by herself. But yeah, I did the quest and soldiered on to the last waypoint before the final boss Baal.
Umh, yeah, I did it, all right, but I got my ass seriously kicked! Baal kept summoning his “twin” and draining my mana (and life) and I kept swallowing potions and making sure my valkyrie attacked the “real” Baal while also trying to attack Baal myself. Many trips to town to stock up on potions and arrows were in order. I also revived the merc often. Most of the time, he died right away, but sometimes he managed to chuck away at Baal’s hit points quite nicely for more than 20 seconds, so I kept doing it. Again, without the valkyrie, I would have been toast.
I didn’t look at the clock, but I was busy longer than I thought before I started playing. But I finally did it and that’s what counts. My all-over-the-place-skilled amazon beat Diablo 2 as my first character on Hell difficulty!
And I’ll never go to face Baal again with her on that difficulty level.