This blog is part of the series I am doing about my progress in Season 2 of Diablo III.  I’ve got a hard core Demon Hunter named Dusk and my goal is to get him to Level 70.  If I accomplish that goal, I will come up with another one to shoot for.

In Season 1, I played a soft core Barbarian named Gurr.  I started him in Story Mode, spent a lot of time there, and eventually moved on to some Adventure Mode.  For Season 2, I wanted to change the way I play Diablo III as much as I could.  Or, at the very least, do something different than the path I took through Season 1.  This blog shows my first attempt at soloing bounties in hard core.  The screenshots you see in this blog were taken on February 18, 2015.

I’ve been moving much slower through Season 2 than I did in Season 1.  Part of the reason is that I played so much, right away, in Season 1 that I ended up “burning out” for a little while.  The other reason is that I don’t want to do something stupid – like rush through things, or play while I’m on a lot of allergy medication, and end up killing my hard core Seasonal character.

Last time I played, I stuck to Story Mode in Normal difficulty – and got bored.  It was no longer challenging enough.  Instead of kicking up the difficulty to Hard, I decided to shift to Adventure Mode.  It was time to run some Bounties in Act 1, in Normal difficulty, and see what happens.

The first thing I did was make sure that I “hired” both the Scoundrel and the Enchantress.  I “hired” the Templar last time, and then promptly forgot to switch to the other Followers.  The purpose of doing so was to earn Achievements.

Stolen Moments: Use the Scoundrel as your follower.

Me, Myself, & Eirena: Use the Enchantress as your follower.

The Comfort of Strangers: Recruit the Templar, Scoundrel, and Enchantress.

Last time I played, I failed to sort through the stuff I accumulated in my bag.  It turned out that some of what was in there as better than what Dusk was using, so I equipped it.  He already was using a quiver and a one-handed crossbow.  Now, he had a cloak.

Death Dealer: Equip a Cloak and Hand Crossbow at the same time.

I was now ready to start doing my very first set of solo Bounties in hard core.  I selected the Templar as my Follower because he can heal.  For now, I’m sticking with the Bounties that are in Act 1.  Hopefully, I’ll run across some more Achievements as I go.  With luck, I’ll end up killing enough monsters to earn some of the Seasonal Monster Slaying Achievements.

The first Bounty sent me into Halls of Agony Level 2 to kill Sotnob the Fool, Leoric’s Royal Jester.  Yes, I’m “standing in the bad” in the screenshot below, but it wasn’t causing me any harm.

The Bounty included killing off Sotnob the Fool and also killing off a number of other monsters.  One of those other monsters dropped a Legendary for me.  I can’t remember what Sotnob dropped, so it probably wasn’t anything too special.  Funny how that works, sometimes.

The Legendary was an Aquila Cuirass chest armor.  The flavor text says: Ceremonial armor commemorating the chieftain Ghaold’s victory over the wild men from the east.  As you can see, this chest piece was better than what Dusk was using, so I equipped it.

Level 25!

Dusk just unlocked the Sentry Totem skill.  Things were about to get a lot more exciting!  The second Bounty was in Leoric’s Hunting Grounds, where I was to enter the Highland’s Cave and help Rike the Apothecary.  This Bounty contained a couple of Cursed Chests.

A new event started when I entered the Highlands Cave.  Rike the Apothecary was already inside.  He will follow you through the rest of the cave as you fight monsters and look for Rike’s brother.

Rike the Apothecary says:  Help!  Cultists have kidnapped my brother!

Dusk says: We should start searching, then.  Quickly!

Rike the Apothecary says: The cultists poisoned my brother and brought him to this cave, all because they want my elixers!

Dusk says: We will show them the price of such reckless greed.

When you find Rike the Apothecary’s brother, Rike says: He’s over here!  I’ll give him the antidote!

Instantly, a batch of cultists pop up out of the ground. You now must defeat the cultist ambush.

Rike the Apothecary says: Oh no…they’re here!  Fight them off while I give him the antidote!

It didn’t take long to kill off the cultists (on Normal difficulty).  The Sentry Totems helped speed that along.

Rike the Apothecary says: He’d be dead if it weren’t for you, brave hero.

Rike the Apothecary says: Take these elixirs for your trouble.  We’re going back to town.

A New Start: Complete 5 Bounties.

Why did this Achievement pop up now?  I’ve only completed 2 Bounties so far!  The reason is because the game counted some of the Bounties I completed when I was in the cooperative game with my friends the other day.  At least, that’s my best guess.

The third Bounty was to Enter the Chamber of Queen Aranea and kill her. I wasn’t sure how well Dusk would do in there, but figured the Sentry Totem skill would make things easier.  I managed to kill Queen Aranea, but failed to take a screenshot of that.

Level 26!

Dusk the Demon Hunter has surpassed my only other hard core (non-Seasonal) character.  Una the Witch Doctor is at Level 22.  My intent is to level her up in between seasons (right after I get my soft core Wizard to Level 70).  I’m making progress!

In the above screenshot, Dusk the Demon Hunter is fighting Arsect the Venomous, Instiller of Fetid Decay. “Arsect?”   What the hell’s an “Arsect”?  Is that like, a cross between “insect” and “aspect”?

Bless You: Get the following benefits from shrines.

Blessed (Reduced Damage), Enlightened (Increased experience), Fortune (Increased chance to find gold), Frenzied (Attack speed increased)

Upon returning to town, I decided now would be a good time to try and Level up the Blacksmith.  I don’t have enough gold yet to get him to Level 12, but I was able to do a little bit of leveling.  Once I get the Blacksmith up, I’ll pick another crafter to spend gold on and level up.

Steeling With Feeling: Level up the Blacksmith.

Iron Heart: Raise the Blacksmith to Level 5.

The fourth Bounty sent me to the Fields of Misery to Kill Melmak the Swift and 150 additional enemies.  Dusk the Demon Hunter hit Level 27!

Dusk ran into two monsters with purple names in that Bounty: Burrow Bile, Mauler of the Fields, and Melmak the Swift, Quick as Lightning.

Sword for Hire: Earn 50,000 gold from quest rewards.

The fifth Bounty sent me to the Den of the Fallen. The goals were: Enter the Den of the Fallen Level 1 and Kill all enemies in the Den of the Fallen Level 2.

Dusk the Demon Hunter fought Grimuku, Patron of the Mad.  Grimiku is a Blizzard Community Manager.

Level 28!

The only other interesting thing in this Bounty was the Cursed Chest of the Dead.

Here’s the loot I got after completing my first set of five Bounties in Season 2.

Here’s Dusk the Demon Hunter at Level 28.  I swear, I did not dye his armor yellow!  It just ended up that way.  I think it’s a strange color for a moody, dark, Demon Hunter who wants to hide in the shadows.  He’s a neon sign!  I’m going to leave things this way, though, because he will end up with different armor as he levels up to 70.


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