As I posted previously, I have been running a necromancer through Diablo II Resurrected, to see how far I could get playing a class I had previously ignored. And it has been going pretty well.
Having made it through Normal mode I launched myself into Nightmare. It is a pity that the difficulty modes are hard coded to your character progression… mobs don’t have visible levels, but under the covers the effectively do… so you have to play through normal mode before turning the notch up a bit. I think the group run through Diablo II would have been better for that.
In addition to mobs being high level and hitting a bit harder, you also start running into a lot of mobs that have default resists to various magic damage types.
Meanwhile, your own resistance to lightning, poison, fire, and cold damage start at a deficit, a negative percentage, which means that you take even more damage from them.
Fortunately I had collected enough gear with resist bonuses that I wasn’t hit too hard by that. Still, I did end up dying more often that in the pass through normal.
Act I wasn’t too much tougher, and and I even got a bit of a boost going into later on because I remembered, kind of late, that in Nightmare mode you can hire a mercenary with the Might aura, which boosts skeleton damage. That had a noticeable effect and, while mobs were tougher, my own pack of nine skeletons were able to cut a swathe through most groups that showed up.
Act II went fairly well, and going into Act III I had maxed out my skeleton skills and was raising hostile dead to help fill my ranks. They don’t last for long, but they can add some heft to a fight in a pinch.
Act IV was its usual short self, and in facing off against Diablo my biggest problem was keeping my aura mercenary alive. I had to go in with a wave of skeletons, let them battle Diablo until they were whittled down to just a few, then portal out to the Pandemonium Fortress, from where I would use the waypoint to go back to an earlier act to kill some mobs to raise more skeletons for a return fight.
That is the hook with the necromancer, he isn’t a lot of use until he has some skeletons backing him up. And if you left them all die, it just makes it harder to go fill your ranks again because the golem isn’t all that tough and I was in danger of going broke raising the merc over and over.
I managed it, and moved on to Act V, where skeletons and the Might aura and the occasional raised dead kept me going.
I also have a trio of skeletal mages in that shot. I picked up a piece of gear that, in addition to other benefits, gave me +3 to skeletal mages. They are weak, so die quickly, but add a little but of damage on top of everything else.
I think one of the things that drags me through Act V quickly is that the waypoints are a bit awkwardly placed. You get to one and you’re still so far from the next objective, and the next waypoint, that I end up just pushing on in very much the Diablo II version of “just one more turn.”
So I ended up doing a bit of a marathon run through most of Act V, breaking in to fight Baal who, most annoyingly, comes at you in a room with no other mobs, which is quite inconvenient for a necromancer looking to raise some replacements. There was, once again, portals out to use waypoints to raise another group of skeletons… and to pay to revive my mercenary yet again… as I used them to chip away at Baal.
This time around I did get the clone version of Baal, so was facing the pair for a bit. But the clone was gone when I came back from one of my skeleton recruitment runs, so he still seems to be a bit bugged. And so I persisted… it didn’t actually take that many runs at him… and brought down Baal.
That got me the end game screen for Nightmare mode and the title Champion.
That put me into the reach of Hell mode, which I immediately jumped in and tried… and immediately died in. Seriously, the first group that I hit after leaving the rogue encampment killed me, my golem, and my mercenary. Mobs were tougher, and all the more so when I was out there without and skeletons.
I took more care on my next venture out of camp, cornering single mobs if possible until I built up a few skeletons. Once I hit critical mass of skeletons, mobs out in the field were generally manageable. I was able to get on my way, clearing out the Den of Evil and chasing down Bloodraven.
But on Hell not only are the mobs harder and your base resists even lower, but mobs often have multiple resists and mini bosses can be very tough if they have the right (or is that wrong?) setup against your build.
That guy in the screen shot has Stone Skin, which deflects a large percent of physical damage and is immune to physical damage. I have a curse that can reduce mob resists, so they are no longer immune, but with my physical damaged focused pack of skeletons, that combo was too much. I burned through a few groups and barely chipped away at him. I eventually called it a night on him.
But I have a necromancer in Hell mode now, which is honestly as far as I think I have ever gone in the game. I played it a lot back in the day, but there were not nearly the resources about for builds as there are now. We’ll see if that information is enough to get me through Hell.