Sunday, August 19, 2012

Diablo 3 Wizard - Nightmare Notes on Bastion Keep and Heaven

I've seen statements that you should be able to end Nightmare Level at level 50, but I think this is true ONLY if you're using a toon that's very well geared (and it's more likely on Barbarian or Monk simply because they're the toughest characters.  Wizards have about all the durability of wet tissue paper.)

At Nightmare level in Diablo 3, wizards are very crunchy targets and apparently number one on the diet of every bad guy out there.  After surviving the interior keep, I was fairly certain that I could handle the battlefields -- they hadn't been THAT much more difficult in Normal mode, and by now I was level 49.  Just charge in, throw the Templar at them, and it'd be great.

Boy, was that the wrong assumption. 

I found that I needed to upgrade my gear (via auction house) AND the Templar's gear to at least level 45 to get through there without dying every two minutes -- instead, I died every three minutes.  Switching to Frost Build also helped.  After trying all three followers, I found that the Scoundrel seemed to work better for a lot of the battlements and the Enchantress worked better in the battlefields.  However, once we got to the "heart of sin" part of the quest, the Enchantress proved less than successful and the Templar turned out to be a better choice. 

As a general rule, the Templar works well indoors or in places with narrow doorways.  If you can group your attackers, the Templar works as a nice wedge point and although he does a piddling 300 damage (on gear that would give me MUCH better numbers), he makes a very nice door.  You can shoot through him.

However, he wasn't much help with Asmodan.  I ran in, whacked Azmodan, and Azumi promptly fell over dead even though he was level 51.  And he kept dying, repairs were expensive, and I had to buy the expensive (Resplendant) health potions.  I reset the Templar's skills, changed my skills, and STILL fell over dead.

The Auction House was the key to success, frankly.  I'd spent about 50,000 gold in gear and combining gems (and making repairs after unsuccessful runs) and tried out different followers.   I gemmed and geared Azumi up to nearly 3,900 damage and after trying (and failing) to gear the Templar up to where he could do more than 300 damage, picked up my old friend, the Scoundrel, for the fight.  Although his damage was only 425, it was enough.  I invoked Diamond Skin, used the Poison Hydra, called up the Arcanot Familiar, hit him with a nice Frost Ray blast and then powered up Archon form.  Azmodan didn't last very long after I powered up as Archon. 


In case you've forgotten, the first fight inside the Diamond Gate involves a lot of crawly black shadow mobs (a LOT of them) and a purple level boss.  Use a Slow Time bubble, Ice Armor, bring out a Hydra, and blast them as Archon.  The Enchantress is probably the most useful follower for this part.

You get jumped on by Rakanoth.  It's not pretty (unless you're Rakanoth, and then the "two hits and they're toast" is probably pretty amusing.)  Hire the Templar, put up a Time Warp bubble, throw out the Hydra, Archon up and blast him.  After blasting him, go back to the keep and get the Scoundrel or the Enchantress to DPS down lesions and everything else.  I also teleported back to Bastion's Keep several times to get the healer to heal me for free.  By the way, Angels have really bad gear in their armor racks.  This, apparently, is the reason they're losing the war.


At this point, you're going to find yourself out of money -- because it's a new Act, and your gear isn't up to it.  You also have to think carefully about how you're going to approach a mob (I can see why people tend to avoid the blue and gold monsters here.)  I kept trying to use the Enchantress and Scoundrel as my followers, and they weren't as effective as the Templar.  Part of the problem is the glowing spheres put out by the succubi, which will follow you for quite a distance.  The Templar rather obligingly runs into them and absorbs the damage -- the 270 damage he does isn't terribly effective, but if you think of him as a very nice wall, it sort of soothes your feelings.

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