Early-game - BM performance pt. 1 (v1.5.6b)

Hello again and welcome back gentle reader.

With todays post (and another one to come) I wanted to shed some more light on the early game phase of aspiring Blademasters and their holy conquest!
This first part will cover the second and third act up until Monument Station. Character level should be 20 at the end of this part.

To start off, I had to adjust and rework some of the already existing disclaimers and rules that I used the last time. (see here)

  • CH use as follows: only after Charing Cross Station, only once every level, 1k Palladium each level; bought items will be listed with their listed price
  • Maps should be cleared to around 90%
    AB fully cleared - 1 death allowed per AB, if dying twice, the AB has to be skipped with a 5 min penalty.
  • Resets only when necessary (quest mobs getting killed, etc)
  • All the side quests will be done in a speedy fashion (no additional time for quest-text reading included)
  • Skills were picked with more focus than before and according to the situation
  • Achievement-passives will be used

So, without any further blathering from me, here are the results:

Act 2
  • lvl 9 - First AB at Piccadilly Approach ! Will come back later, as ABs will formally be introduced one map later. So when that part is done, I will be back.
  • Piccadilly Bookstore - The chest on the upper floor had another legendary! (Tempest Rifle)
  • Librarian’s Reaper proved to be … actually weaker than a quest reward from earlier. Huh… even though it had three slots to boot. :neutral_face:
  • lvl 10 bought: Icon of the Archangel - 1,5k (8,5k left to spend) Not cheap, but not too expensive. Decent for what it provides. Some people might disagree on this though.
  • went back the AB: mobs were lvl8 around here. This will be quite the ride !
    • Undead: Zombies, Summoners, Bruisers and a lot of Skeletons inside the AB. Well, only Orbiles would be worse, but here we go. Finding a nice corner to hunker and focusing down key targets will be important here!
    • The ever-returning Madam Katherine and Rolar the Ravenous came by for a visit. They stink, so I sent them back.
    • a random, basic relic with +% to spawn charged bolts on kill was really nice !
      → Success! Success! AoP has proven to a lifesaver in conjuction with SoJ and a phasing splash-sword!
      AB completed, no deaths, +2 levels, 2 legendaries, 10 blues nice ! … still only basic, white gloves ò_ó
  • Next Stop: Green Park … but a Treasure Passageway awaits us… $_$ Total profit: ~4,5k
  • lvl 12 - Mini Dynamo that little roach died without a hitch.
  • lvl 12 @ 50% - reached Oxford Circus Station!
  • lvl 13 @ 85% - First mythic item! Hell yeah, it’s about time… (some luck, +poison sfx, and other random goodness)
  • 2nd AB shortly before lvl 14: short pitstop in town before that one. Btw: respawning Sinns are super annoying :frowning:
    • First death ! … and quite an unlucky one at that - the combination of shock slayers and masses of imps have proven themselves to be a little to much. Despite the corner (the one with a statue) I went into, for easier defense and to not get surrounded instantly.
    • Will try again once more … Et voila! After some serious back and forth through the portal (7 or 8 times) I finally got a foothold inside the AB. Now, on to clearing this godforsaken place …
    • AB fully cleared after a good ~25 minutes! - with the exp-debuff I still gained around 1 level and ~35%
    • lvl 15 - Grimborax died in not even 2 SoJ’s
  • lvl 15 @ 98% - first unique item! Stovall’s Smiter! Sadly only 1 slot.
  • lvl 16 - Brought back the npc squad without any losses. Frequent strikes on key targets like Summoners made this really quick.
  • lvl 16 - The Mind of 314 … and madness ensues.
    The fight itself wasn’t as mad as one might think. Straightforward, without any issues in terms of survivability. Damage could’ve been higher on my end, but that was mostly due to me not upgrading my swords in time or at all.

Act 2 finished at lvl 16 70% !
Total playtime 7h14m0s +30mins because of server buffs
Deaths: 1
CH used: 1
Palladium spent on CH: 1.500 (14.500 left)

This act was really doable and not to hard at all. Flying enemies weren’t an issue, for several reasons. There weren’t many Orbiles besides Sinns and the ABs so far were really not that bad. (besides the second one killing me already *shrugs)
My overall gear was mostly blues and that single mythic + 2 legendaries (sword+chest). Nothing to fancy. There were moments, when dropped green gear was quite a bit better than blues, that I had equipped at that time, so those were swapped out.
The secondary set with a grappler came in handy although it’s been rarely used. Maybe act 3 will change this?

Lunchbreak !

Act 3
  • lvl 16 90% - Electrofiend - The Dead fiend.
  • lvl 17 30% - Elite Passageway ! Lots of Orbiles and Bladehusks. Rare and legendary mobs, but all dead ones in the end. Call of the Chosen was really nice here! Wow!

Fun gimmick on the sidelines:
If you use charge when a Bruisers projectiles are already on their way, they won’t hit you. Charge seemindly works like a ‘teleport’ here, bypassing the projectiles, even though you are directly in their trajectory!

Chocolate break! … Alright, lets continue slaughtering demonkind and head towards Temple Station.

  • reached Temple Station at lvl 17 95% !
  • Another Elite Passageway in Aldwych - lvl 18 ! Oh, and Vendae got killed. :v
  • The Seers Surcoat is … nice, but provides almost a third armour less than the part I am using. :o But +2 AoDeflection is pretty neat!
  • Note2self: Time to nano my gear! Really these multiple (2+) SoJs start to get annoying :<
  • lvl 18 35% - The Sandman died. No major issues. Avoiding his volley will be helpful!
  • Dropped the Longshot in another Elite Passageway! Hunter unique :confused: Still nice !
  • Sword of Authority feels very satisfying to use. Especially when Charge kills the shields and then mobs simply die. Even blues with the toughened-affix go down to like 10% hp! Definitely recommend it or getting it via +1 on a weapon. So much worth it as a burst to get nasties out of the equation fast.
  • lvl 18 - The Goblin needed another reminder of who’s in charge here. SoA three times on his nasty visage and mush it is.
  • On to Waterloo ! - Workstation found and off we go.
  • lvl 18 85% - The Wurm was cut into tiny bits of demon-protein without issues… but flew off anyways. (2 legendaries, 1 DE, 4 rares) The sfx fields were weaker than I remembered them. :thinking:
  • lvl 18 90% - The vengeful Lady never got what she wanted. The infested affix was pretty ‘soft’ to be honest.
  • lvl 19 - AB incoming! Let’s see what this has in store for us… but I decided to do the Big Gundown first.
    → Shot down the Exospecter. A Grappler was really nice to have here, becuase of all those orbiles. Shock sfx prevents you from using a turret properly, so … yeah. - Get over here!
    • Inside the AB: mostly undead, lots of skeletons and summoners again
    • WOW ! CotC really showed what it is made of! I really underestimated this one here. I could clear masses of (stun sfx-heavy!) without issues just because of that fear! Maybe it was just luck, but I was glad nevertheless. The whole issue some people have with fear making mobs run away wasn’t really a thing here, as it didn’t last very long to begin with. So they came back quickly enough only to get feared again.
    • cleared the AB - got 2 legendaries and a whole lot of rares.
  • lvl 20 50% - The second death! Inside a normal hellrift. Man these Imps are brutal, no joke. Aura of Deflection helps, but even with that and constant CotC-ing it wasn’t enough.
  • Inside the Exospetor:
    → A room full of Orbiles … and the Grappler does its job, once again.
    → Up until this point I still used and upgraded Big Ben’s Falcata! A legendary drop from act 1!
  • lvl 20 - The Hag casts tried to cast another spell, but got banished instead.
  • lvl 20 - Met Templar Austen again. That fair lady (not as fair as Audrey back in the day) didn’t seem to want to come with me, so I had to abandaon that quest. :frowning:
  • lvl 21 - Killed Oculis in no time and got to Monument Station.

Act 3 finished at lvl 21 ~22%
Total playtime: 10h23m53s +60 mins because of server buffs
Deaths: 2
CH used: 1
Palladium spent on CH: 1.500 (18.500 left)
Gearquality as follows: 1 unique (sword), 4 legendary (helmet, shoulder, chest, belt), 4 rare (sword, gloves, legs, boots)

The third act was definitely a bit more challenging, than those before. One can really feel the expectation from the game towards the player to use more than just one, but everything you have in your repertoire.
Still, there is use and a place for bread n’ butter tools.
The Seers quest reward was a bit underwhelming (stat-wise), even though 2 points in Aura of Deflection are really tempting.
The changes to Imp Snipers really start to show here and I can only assume it’ll get more and more prevalent going forward.

I hope this could show how good or bad BM fares in the early acts (2+3) of the story.
There is certainly some difficult situations around, but you have all the tools to overcome them. Looking back, I really think that SoA and CotC where two of the biggest gamechangers so far. Selecting key positions and targets as a BM is very important and when done in a swiftly and precisely, it really works wonders. For the next part we shall see how they hold up and if they can justify their spot on my skillbar, or if I need to re-evalate them.

While dying might not be an option for HC, it can definitely happen to anyone and shouldn’t be taken as an indicator of weakness of a class. While HC and SC do have different ‘rules’ they are played by, one should take the epxerience from death and try again. If it is at level 5, so be it. If it is at level 50 rank 35, so be it. Take in what you did wrong and do better next time.

This is what I will do at least.

Until the part,

€: fixed some typos … again


Dangit !
Here’s a really important addendum that I have to make:

Skills taken:
1 Matched Blades, 3 Sword of Reckoning, 1 Sword of Authority, 2 Call of the Chosen (from an item), 1 Aura of Power, 2 Surge of Restoration, 1 Templar Restoration, 2 Surge of Wrath, 1 Surge of Speed, 2 Sword of Justice, 1 Sweeping Strike, 2 Holy Instinct, 1 Charge, 1 Aura of Deflection