Roede and Taoni Lay Claim to Ironman Triple Crown
It is a tale of perserverance on an enormous scale, as this venture "began" in December of the year 2000. This is when I met RoedeOrm (a German player) on the bnet via the website Realms Beyond Diablo and their forum. We began playing two-man Ironman in January of 2001, and we finally finished our Triple-crown run on the evening of April 8, 2003. So actually completing this task took close to two and a half years!
Previously we have posted the tales of Roede_Orm, warrior, and Taoni_the_Fell, rogue on Realms Beyond Diablo (you will find them listed in the Battle Reports. We have told the tale of our first Normal Ironman win (April of 2001), then later of our journey into Hell/Hell (February 2002; unsuccessful; died on 13 to lava maws). The saga now finds COMPLETION with Roede and Taoni successfully finishing Normal, Nightmare, and Hell difficulty Ironman runs in one continuous sequence!
Our victorious sessions began February 13, 2003 and our final session ended on April 8th, 2003.
THIS IS THAT TALE!
NORMAL CHURCH ONE: Standard foes. Drops: 3 ID, 2 res, books Ho, Cb, club, cloak, falchion, and 4 short bows(non-magical)! Shrines: Divine and Holy.
Warrior goes down solo, looking for a bow and clears the lvl mostly alone. Rogue joins after a bow is found and spends her time muling the drops and cleaning up in the wake of the warrior. This is our standard procedure for level one Normal.
Roede to clevel 4, Taoni still at 1
NORMAL CHURCH TWO: Fallen Ones spear, Fallen Ones sword, Carvers sword, Plague Eaters, Skeletons, Fiends. Drops: books Hb, Cb, scroll ID, short staff, sabre, short bow, mace, staff HO(40), Bladeskin the Slasher= Book Hb, Boneripper= short bow, Butcher= mace. Shrines: none.
We entered the lvl together. As soon as we had a door, the rogue stepped back and the warrior soloed the level. The Butcher, of course, was rogue business at the stairs.
Roede to clevel 6; Taoni to 2.
NORMAL CHURCH THREE: Burning Dead Captains, Horrors, Corpse Axes, Corpse Bows. Drops: book TK, book Fb, 2 ID, res, short bow, hunters bow, quilt AC 10, sm shield AC 6, warhammer, staff TP, Cape, Skullfire= mace, Leo= dagger(high durability). Shrines: religious.
Roede started solo
and spotted two separate boss glows early. Taoni joined and we cleared
all other possible areas. We agreed upon a parking spot for Leo and then
opened the door, where the glow had no line of sight. Dozens of melee
skels were waiting there. We fought them down and left that area for now.
Roede lup to lvl 9; Taoni to 5
NORMAL CHURCH FOUR: Burning Dead, Horrors, Horror Archers, Horror Captains, Dark Ones spear, Bone Gashers, Blinks. Drops: comp bow, claymore, mag spiked club, Spineeater= hard leather, Wrathraven= Unique Cloak (Rainbow Cloak), Madeye= sabre. Shrines: Purifying Spring(!!!), Divine, Magical, Magical.
Uneventful careful clear. We loved seeing the PS though. Due to the magical/PS combo on same lvl, we saw a warrior sporting MS charging those skel archers! Lotsa fun that.
Roede lup to lvl 10; Taoni lup to lvl 9
NORMAL CATACOMBS FIVE: Horrors, Horror Archers, Shadow Beasts, Stone Clan Mace Goats, Stone Clan Archers. Drops: long bow, comp bow, short battle bow, ring. Shrines: 2 goat shrines.
We had some serious desync issues here with foes that morphed and skeleton archers behaving like goats. Thus Taoni went up as soon as we found the stairs to town, and Roede cleared about 1/2 of the level alone. No desync then, of course, and from there those archers were easy to handle with their "sitting duck" behavior. Versus the mace goats Roede was glad he still had the blocking bonus.
Roede lup to 12; Taoni to 10
NORMAL CATACOMBS SIX: Horror Archers, Glooms, Bone Gashers, Fire Clan Archers, Fire Clan Mace Goats. Drops: book Fwall, book HO, book Lightn, book Flash, comp staff, full helm AC 6, large shield AC 5, mag sm shield AC 3, mag comp bow, mag long sword, ring, Bloodgutter= ring. Shrines: 4 x Goat.
We started the level in teamplay. Roede was sometimes "dancing" around Taoni at the doors to reposition the archers and to trick them into his swing. Once Bloodgutter and gang were out of the way, Taoni left and Roede soloed the remaining half of the level. We decided to id the Bloodgutter ring : brilliance +15 Magic. Eh. Allows for a lot of book-reading.
Roede lup to lvl 14; Taoni to 12
NORMAL CATACOMBS SEVEN: Familiars, Unseen, Stalker, Fire Clan Archer. Drops: long battle bow, hard leather, mag hunters, mag comp bow, mag cape, Blightfire= axe. Shrines: Holy and Goat.
Very careful teamplay: Rogue scouts don't like hiddens on a level . We were lucky about the boss: we"d already cleared about 3/4 of the lvl when we found him, so it was our choice of the door. Taoni lured and bowed 6 minions down during the retreat to our set. After the boss was gone, Taoni took another well deserved rest and Roede finished the level.
Roede still lvl 14; Taoni to 13
NORMAL CATACOMBS EIGHT: Acid Beasts, Toad Demons, Horned Demons. Drops: book Heal, book Inferno, ID, res, elix mag, staff HO(27), staff HO(40), comp bow, long staff, mag sm shield AC 7, mag leather AC13, armor rack - mag chainmail AC 21. Shrines: Divine.
Tough foes, and desync made things worse. We saw different foes, thin air appearances cut off the scout, and seemingly each rescout by the warrior brought respawns. We finally decided to end that disaster and let the warrior go it alone, which was doable since Roede still had his blocking bonus.
Roede lup to lvl 16; Taoni to 15; end first session.
We started together and carved out some moving space. We found some nice fences, with doors far enough that opponent AI didn't detect them. That allowed bow usage by the warrior. We declared it a warrior's level, and Taoni went for tea at Ogdens, only visited by Roede for the occasional HO.
The entire level layout was a warriors dream: only melee foes, long lava rivers to shoot across and lots of small chokes with additional barrels that gave those Chargers no straight line.
We ided the ring drop (hoping for "gold"); it was "of Thieves".
Roede still lvl 16; Taoni still 15
NORMAL CAVES TEN: Hellstones, Bloodstones. Drops: elix dex, book SC, flail, mag short war bow(grd), rags, amulet. Shrines: none.
Lots of HO needed here. One fast double attacker was bad enough, but two at a time would surely cost a red. It took us quite some time to fight our way out of the stair corner, luckily there was a corner to fight from. Things went a tad easier once we had some breathing space, but not much.
Since we were desperate to improve the warrior's to hit, ided the amulet (still hoping for "gold") - it was "of Radiance". Oh well...
Roede lup to lvl 17; Taoni to 16
NORMAL CAVES ELEVEN: Obsidian Lords, Frost Chargers. Drops: kite shield AC 8, staff CL, staff TP, scale mail AC 28, short war bow, long war bow, mag kite shield AC 12, mag short war bow, mag short battle bow, short sword(grd), Bluehorn= splintmail AC 30. Shrines: none.
These foes looked somewhat easier than the ones before. Being animals, they were more readily stunned by Roede's claymore. Having no ranged attacks incoming was a welcomed change also, BUT their tohit was more than enough for Roede's AC. We spotted the boss glow early, and tried to avoid him as long as possible. When we finally had to activate him, our set was far enough that the retreating rogue could bow them down and only the boss himself made it to our set. Still the warrior had to burn through four reds to survive that encounter.
Roede lup to lvl 18; Taoni to 17
NORMAL CAVES TWELVE: Fire Drakes, Vortex Lords. Drops: elix dex, elix str, ID, book Heal, plain broadsword, small axe, morn star(grd), full helm AC 7, long war bow(chest), scale mail AC 25, Viperflame= hard leather, Windspawn= scimitar. Shrines: none.
Tough going right from the start. One Vortex could drain the entire lifeball of our warrior. Single drakes were doable, if they came as singles. Wielding a claymore, the only possible stun was the occasional critical hit. Still early in the level some desync killed the warrior instantly: suddenly the place in front of his set filled with foes, mostly Vortexes. He had no way to run, just to die and save the reds for later. It was up to the rogue to run arround and bow them down eventually. That was the first death of the game, not bad after all - but it sure looked like more to come.
was halted by a stuck minion somewhere in the back and could be bowed
Roede lup to lvl 19; Taoni to 19; second session ends.
THIRD SESSON FEB.
Pretty much a rogue's lvl. Roede got his share of dogs though and had some freeze jobs and cleric duty. We still felt the need to improve and ided the jewelry drops: amulet of stars +8, ring of vigor +16, garnet/harmony ring. Finally, a Dex adder! The Garnet will help if more Balrog types show up, and will of course help the Rogue in scouting 16.
Roede luped to lvl 20; Taoni luped to lvl 21.
NORMAL HELL FOURTEEN: Balrogs, Lava Maws. Drops: book Golem, plain great helm AC15, mag large axe, mag crown AC 9, quarter staff, Naj's Puzzler(corpse), CC(dog), mag sabre, ring. Shrines: one cauldron.
Seeing balrogs, we felt that the garnet/harmony ring from previous lvl came just in time. First set had to be at stairs. It was a rough going, the balrogs tended to come in packs, and their dancing caused lotsa desync too. Or was it vice versa? The potion consumption increased considerably, as Roede had to throw in reds in midbattle several times. Later, in a rather tight set spot, Taoni died to a Balrog that attacked her rather than the waiting warrior(game creator). Roede saw that and stepped in, but not in time to save her life. Had to use our second res here. Overall balrogs and dogs tend to attack the rogue, was it desync related? Who knows? We tried to compensate for that, by chosing "wider" set points and separating the two adventurers a bit further than usual. Still, at one point the rogue was attacked and had to run, leaving the warrior with three balrogs and two dogs. Thanks to the "harmony", he could squeeze out of that mess for the price of many reds, of course.
Roede lup to lvl 21; Taoni still lvl 21; end third session.
The stairs were in a side pocket of the SW quadrant. Roede set behind the stairs and Taoni went scouting, turned out to be a triple witch lvl. Lucky us, there was a shish-kebob at just the right distance from the corner. As a result, we both had our cover and witches could be dispatched while sitting duck or running aimlessly between us, depending on their AI. Even the usual desync-- though present-- didn't harm us in that spot. The warrior could gather some exp with bow on the ducks or with some sword swings on the runners. That set was just perfect, hard to remember a 3-witch lvl where we had fewer problems. We cleared about half of the lvl from this one point. Then the distance to run got a bit too long and Taoni cleared the rest of the lvl alone, only calling Roede for the occasional sitting duck and for the Laz freeze.
We decided to id the Black Jade amulet, the ring from an advo and the Laz warhammer: cobalt/perfection amulet, ring of lion, cobalt hammer. Still no good weapon for the warrior, but no complaints on the amulet.
Roede still lvl 21; Taoni luped to lvl 23
NORMAL HELL SIXTEEN: the standard foes. Drops: elix mag, book Fball, plain long war bow, flail, gothic shield AC 15, club, claymore, amulet, Sir Gorash - gothic shield AC 17(indestructible).
Roede had a plain broadsword and no str adders, so he had no stun at all and only 48% scoring rate vs Bloodknights. He needed 59 kills to lup. Under those circumstances we tried to minimize the risk, so Taoni started the lvl alone and cleared the surrounds of room 3 & 4. Then Roede joined and set at the corridor connecting areas 3&4 with 1&2. Taoni went out to clear the rest. Advos she did alone, Knights were brought to the set. That way we cleared area 1, the maze and the knights out of the cross room. When there were only advos left in the crossroom, Roede needed nine more kills to lup.
He got out his bow and hunted down/tagged advos. The more stubborn ones were finished by Taoni. We both luped doing that. We burnt our last two ID on the CC and the flail drop from 16; it was a "lapis". Ah well, this warrior is going to challenge Diablo with a plain broadsword.
For the final cleaning we placed two TP: one in area 1, the other behind the crossroom(Room 3). Roede set at the dividing corridor and Taoni threw the levers. Taoni in s/s setup (to block the first apoc) sent a lightn along the center line,and sure enough, Diablo responded. Taoni ran past Roede and took the TP in area one. Roede waited till Taoni was up, the lured the circling Diablo to that TP and bailed out himself. He took some apocs, but made it out only slightly battered.
Taoni went down the other TP (set West of the third room) and bowed down the guards in Room Four. When all was done, except Diablo, we geared up for the final conflict. We went down the safe TP and carefully squeezed into the dividing corridor. Roede settled in a corner and Taoni peeked through the arc to lure Diablo. Considering our gear, we were going to play this as shield/executioner. Since Roede had no reasonable weapon anyway, he'd be the (not so perfect, but fast blocking) shield and Taoni would be free to bash away with the CC. And sure enough, Roede took some beating. He pumped two full reds and was ready for the third, but by that time, Taoni had done her part and smashed D down. It took a while, but the deal was done.
RoedeOrm level 22 Ironman Warrior Pre-Diablo
AC 109, to hit 92%, dam 25-33, res 0/44/47
Plain full plate AC 61, plain great helm AC 15, gothic shield AC 17 indestructible(unided), plain broad sword, cobalt(47%)/perfection(+24) amulet, ring of lion(+55), garnet(44%)/harmony ring.
Taoni_the_Fell level 24 Ironman Rogue Pre-Diablo
AC 76, to hit 112%, Dam 22-29(tripled due to CC), Res 0/0/0
Splint Mail(35), Saintly(+114%) Helm(7), Buckler(3; indestructible, not ided), Civerb's Cudgel, Ammy of Stars +8 all, Ring of Vigor +16 Vit, Ring of Brilliance +15 Mag (used Mana Shield via a scroll).
After Diablo was dispatched we met again in a new game both sporting dots. Then we had all the mules bring in everything and used the free id from a grateful townsfolk. It was amazing how many good weapons we had on mules, while we were forced to fighting the Big Boss Demon with a plain broadsword. Go figure!
Roede carried across
to the Nightmare game:
Taoni carried across all her gear and-- most notably-- a Fine Long War Bow of the Pit (-4 all). This semi-cursed bow, believe it or not, was the best bow she had after all the bows got ided. She also muled across an Amber Short War Bow of Flame, a Short Battle Bow of Burning, a Bow of the Bear, and a Large Shield of the Tiger along with various jewelries.
Both Roede and I are looking at that King's Scimitar and Taoni's CC and nodding our heads. If we play our cards just right, and if the foes are just so, and if we work slowly and conservatively-- then this just may be the game where we go all the way to and through Hell. It's only been two and a half years in the making. This may be the set of games that actually succeeds.
We packed from Normal and started Nightmare.