Here we go again. I just died while "casually" playing through the Frozen River area on Nightmare (Hardcore of course) with the /player 8 setting.
The last time I reached this far and wrote about it is almost 2 years ago now—I really do not play games much these days, I am way too busy with work, so every play-through is painfully slow.
Not even sure why I bother anymore. I guess it just gives me something to get my mind off of things and relax a bit.
Anyway, I found the Iceblink armor again, it seems it actually drops quite often. The last few times I tried playing through to Nightmare it dropped every time. I seem to make it to Act 5 Nightmare on almost every play-through now.
There is one interesting aspect about playing on Hardcore, that is, I memorize more things in the game and situations that are dangerous. The frustration when you die is probably also a motivating factor towards paying more attention to what kills you.
Died as level 78. What went wrong?
So what exactly went wrong this time? It certainly looked promising for a while—I even made it through the infamous Halls of Vaught, killed Nihlathak, and reached Hell difficulty where I finished the first quest. But, then I decided to go back to Nightmare and look for better equipment.. Maybe that was a mistake.
Everything was fine until I swapped my Hwanin belt and my "strength" sword for some stronger items. The sword had life steal, and the belt had 12% Damage Taken Goes to Mana. It turns out, that was probably what caused me to get stuck. As a Barbarian, Damage Taken Goes to Mana might be helpful in those rare cases where you get stuck in a corner with a unique monster with mana steal.
Whirlwind is also extremely bad choice for Hardcore, it seems, since it tends to "lock" your character and prevent you from escaping for the duration of the animation/movement. It also suffers from occasional bugs (even in single player) that causes you to get stuck in the environment—getting stuck rarely happens, but it is something we should be aware of.
I think, next time I will try to use a shield. In theory, I could go with Berserk + a socketed shield with 3 sol runes (21 damage reduction), and focus on damage reduction equipment. I would probably become close to invulnerable through Nightmare like that. Not sure with Hell difficulty.
As I have played this game on Hardcore single player, I have learned to appreciate damage reduction gear, and even used crafting to make safety rings and amulets. That was how i beat Nihlathak - a long and slow preperation. I enjoy running through everything—rushing spoils the fun for me..
Anyway.. Back to Act 1 normal :-D