Diablo 3 Hardcore Diary – Part 6

May 25, 2012

*** Warning – Contains spoilers ***

This is so much fun! I experienced genuine anxiety, tension and a worryingly accelerated heartbeat during the Belial fight at the end of Act 2 and it reminded me how attached I can get to video games, particularly when there’s the constant threat of sudden and permanent Game Over. Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself again. Part 6 of my Diablo 3 Hardcore Diary starts at level 23.

With a considerable amount of zone repetition (grinding) I levelled Rollins up to 27 before the big fight at the end of the Act. Due to carelessness on my part, I didn’t have my screen capture utility running when I went through levels 24 and 25 so there are no pictures of those, sorry.

I completed several of the desert zone events, such as that one in the picture above. It’s always worth fully exploring each area of the map to discover as many of these as you can.

That’s a nice zoomed-in party shot where I was running around with Leah, Kulle, Covetous Shen and my pet Templar in the sewers. The Dead Adventurer (random loot bucket) always makes me think of Skyrim; I’m wondering if the guy used to be an adventurer like me, and what might have happened to his knee.

And that was Anarchis Filthpit. Some of the elite fights are very pretty, in a firestorm carnage way. On my standard (non hardcore) Barbarian, I faced Belial at level 25 with admittedly rather average gear. With Rollins, I wanted to be two levels higher and a lot better equipped. Just to be sure.

As you might imagine, levelling progress starts to slow right down between 26 and 27 in the desert. Even though the grinding was making me a fair bit of cash from loot, I was starting to think I needed to get to the end and get this fight over with, no matter how it turned out.

The fire and environmental destruction effects are great; I love those massive stone pillars in the tombs that come crashing down when you hit them. It does a lot to help reduce the feeling of repetition when you’re constantly hacking through the demonic hordes.

The Templar doesn’t like the look of this place. I was about half way between level 26 and 27 so I didn’t really care where we were.

At last – level 27. At this point, I thought let’s finish up whatever quest we have on the go, sort Rollins’ skills out for the final fight and get it over with.

With Kulle out of the way, there are just a few quick conversations and a bit of preliminary running around killing stuff before the end of act showdown. Going into the Belial fight, this is how Rollins was set up:

Active skills

Frenzy (Triumph rune)
Rend (Blood Lust rune)
Ignore Pain (Bravado rune)
Revenge (Vengeance is Mine rune)
Threatening Shout (Intimidate rune)
Call of the Ancients

Nerves of Steel
Inspiring Presence

Strength – 323
Dexterity – 38
Intelligence – 82
Vitality – 302
Armour – 1330 / Life 3449
Damage – 217

That’s rather over the top, I admit!

Belial joins the fight as a fairly normal looking elite enemy. When you wear him down to about 20% health, he gives you a bit of a speech and then transforms into a much larger version. The first time I fought him with Rollins, I completely forgot to take any screenshots as I was concentrating so hard and also too scared of making a mistake. I got the pictures here by going back and doing the last quest again and repeating the whole Belial fight sequence. Possibly rather silly, but in the first fight I had taken hardly any damage so I was reasonably confident.

The extra fighter you can see on the left is one of the temporary ones who get summoned by the ‘Call of the Ancients’ skill

You’re hoping I blew it and got Rollins killed the second time, aren’t you? It would have been funny if I had, I’ll give you that! Sorry, he’s still alive and waiting at the start of Act 3. I’m going to go through most of that act on my standard Barbarian before taking Rollins through it, so the next part of this diary might take a day or two to appear.

Rollins at 27. Yes, there is blood dripping from the sword

See you in part 7…

[Diablo 3 Hardcore Diary – Go to Part 5]

[Diablo 3 Hardcore Diary – Go to Part 7]

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