Diablo 3 – Hell mode cleared

Last night Shigeko and I finished clearing Hell and started Inferno. Woo!

We had a small run around in Inferno: finished the first few quests/areas there and it didn’t look terrifying. We only fought one champ pack and the ability combo wasn’t insane, so we killed them quickly and painlessly. I’m assuming the pain levels will ramp up heavily though as we press onwards.

We thankfully didn’t come up against one of these:

The difficulty of Hell difficulty

We actually didn’t find Hell toooo bad. Elite packs with annoying combinations sometimes took a few corpse runs to defeat. There were definitely some tense moments where we thought we might not be able to defeat an encounter – but in general it was just a matter of kiting and peeling regardless of the composition of the pack.

There was one pack of champs we gave up on. It was in one of the Act 3 Sin dungeons so it was at a linear point where we couldn’t easily ‘skip’ them. However, we wanted to press on: we had our Nephalem buff and didn’t want to lose it. So Shigeko aggroed them and ran away while I vaulted like mad through them… and the rest of the level… and dove through the portal at the end. Shig rezzed and hopped through my banner and we went on from there.

So champ/boss packs in general were difficult, but not impossible.

The consistent pinchpoint through every difficulty so far has been Izual. Certainly on Nightmare and Hell, it was after a few deaths on Izual that we re-thought our gearing level and headed off to the AH to look at upgrading some gear pieces.

We killed Izual the night before last, but it took quite a few attempts, including one where he decided to spawn twice. Fighting two Izuals was less than enjoyable, although unsurprisingly brief. We decided afterwards that we both needed some mitigation upgrades and did a spot of shopping.

Fighting two Izuals. This didn't go so well.

Last night we started Act 4 again and cleared right through to Diablo. We wanted to stack our Nephalem buff; most of the large rooms/trash with elite potential is early in the act. This time we killed Izual on the first attempt – although it was still messy.

How we handled Izual

Shigeko’s monk tanked Izual while I pewpewed at range. I moved to avoid frost bombs, Shig did not. There are two waves of adds (based on his health I guess, maybe 70%/30%?) melee/fire breath demons first wave, fallen angel casters next. When the adds spawned I would take them down one by one (with a little kiting for the melee ones). Any that ended up on Shig I took down last with AOE or single target, depending on how things were going.

Often one of us would die. It is possible to get a rez off if a) you have movement abilities as Izual is fairly slow or b) during a window where Iz stops to use his frost bombs or decides to attack an angel or Tyrael. But it’s touch and go, sometimes he just chases you endlessly. If he’s low on health and your adds are dead then we found it was often better just to solo him down and rez after. But rezzes are possible when duoing, if difficult.

We were frustrated initially by Shigeko being one-shot inexplicably at times – especially during crunch times like while moving into a space during frozen bombs, but we have a plausible theory for what was causing this.

The theory: Izual crushes your puny frame if he gets to hit you while you are facing away.

It seems that mostly we were oneshot while running from him. Actually, Shig was oneshot once while just turning to begin to move away, hence the theory. And hence why we switched to Shigeko tanking the freezes. His mitigation is such that the bombs themselves don’t hurt much, and it doesn’t seem that Izual does significantly more damage when you’re frozen. Well, not compared to the smash-in-the-back-oh-you’re-dead attacks.

And then there’s Diablo – but he/she deserves another post. :-)

And I leave you with these poignant words from the family in Bastions’ Keep:

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6 Responses to Diablo 3 – Hell mode cleared

  1. Malevica says:

    Glad to see you’re still going strong! It’s also good to hear I’m not the only one having a tough time in Hell. Listening to some of my guildies talk about how easy Hell is/was did make me wonder if we were playing the same game!

    I’m playing a Wizard solo and in mid-late Act III I’m just starting to find myself facing elite packs I have serious trouble with (fast with invulnerable minions is just mean!). Quite a bit of corpse running involved until I can thin the pack a bit and make the damage manageable.

    Actually I know I could make life a lot easier with better gear, most of my kit is late 40s or early 50s while I’m a hair’s breadth from 59, but I’m loathe to drop a ton of gold at this stage of the levelling. I suspect I might need to upgrade something though before the end!

    • Glow says:

      Yep, it sounds SO similar to us.

      I was still wearing a lvl 18 ring I think when I hit 60… and lots of my gear is still 40s gear. The only thing I’ve really invested on via the AH is a bow. I really really should check the AH for other pieces, my armor is so low that everything one-shots me, even with my 40k health.

      Maybe this is why I’m sold on the kite build/playstyle… I can’t afford to let anything touch me!

      I don’t feel like Hell has been too hard, but I like things to be challenging so it’s hard for me to judge. AND I haven’t been soloing at all – so again difficult for me to give a fair assessment.

      Fast Invulnerable minions…. shudder. How can I peel the boss when you do this to me?! /cry.

  2. Navimie says:

    Grats Glow! I still can’t get into it, maybe when I’m sick of WoW (when is that going to happen o.O) and I am super impressed!

    Too smart for me. I R 2 dumb 2 play D3.

    • Glow says:

      Haha you KNOW true. And if you don’t know then THIS IS ME TELLING YOU. D3 isn’t smarter play than Wow. It misses a lot of the complexities of Wow, and the strategies are different… they aren’t harder.

      I admire your lack of sick-of-Wowness. I should be able to keep myself creative in that space, but I’ve kind of given up. Maybe I’m just old and ‘get off my lawn’ about it. I don’t know. I need some of your energy and pep. Gimme!

  3. Saif says:

    I’m still hanging on to the solo train! Wizard level 51 and just started Hell mode. Man, it’s tough to be this fragile but it’s keeping me on my toes and is fun. Looking forward to a night of wiping tonight! Good luck w/ Inferno. :)

    • Glow says:

      Saif! Last night in D3 I had an item drop that was a ‘Saif’. I took a screenshot =D I’ll try and remember to post it, I was pretty excited haha :-D Hope you’re still enjoying your wizard!