Path of Exile: SSF HC Synthesis died at Level 65
I wasn't going to blog unless something significant happened.
Well, my beloved Synthesis Hardcore Witch, DoNotDieLinny did the expected....she died!!!
So what did I do now that my Hardcore Witch is dead?!
Well, it is Path of Exile dress up time!
That's where I dress my characters up in gear I would like to wear, but don't because they are useless besides looking good. The above image is actually her Softcore sister, CrankyOldWoman_Synth. I wanted an image of this League's main star, Cavas, The Forgotten Spirit. We're meant to help him remember his memories. Since my Hardcore Witch got moved over to the Standard League on death, Cavas does not exist in her Standard League heaven. :(
But below is DoNotDieLinny, my HC Witch's final stats and a pic of her donning the new wings. She earned the right, poor gal. She died at Level 65 in the Act 8 final boss arena. She was up against a pair of sisters, Solaris and Lunaris. I was too tentative, I freaked out that a prophecy changed the conditions of the fight too. All up, I failed due to panic.
So where did these pretty wings come from?
I've decided to start a tradition that with every significant Hardcore death or major victory, I will reward myself with a mystery box purchase. These are naughty addictive little boxes that give you a random microtransaction item (MTX) that are paid enhancements to the game. They are themed, and with Synthesis, came the Glimmerwood collection that is quite quirky and colorful. I've bought 5 to date (2 from the Fairgraves collection & 3 from Glimmerwood) and only when I deserved a treat. My understanding is that a bit like gambling, some people go overboard with them, determined to get all the nice items of the collection.
Well, I lucked out! I'm pleased that in reaching a much desired goal I had set myself this League, which was to get the first of Hardcore levelling achievements (reaching level 60), I was rewarded with one of the best items of the collection! So I am a happy customer. And for how tense it has been playing Hardcore, I am super happy the RNG gods rewarded me. hehe
My Hardcore key progression milestones
Please note, I started a noob to gaming and ARPG almost 3 months ago, so still learning.
Betrayal: Level 22 - First practice run
Synthesis: Level 21 - @mattclarke's 24hr SSF HC race
Synthesis: Level 31 - @mattclarke's 24hr SSF HC race
Synthesis: Level 38 - @mattclarke's 24hr SSF HC race
Synthesis: Level 65 - Survivor Achievement! (Reaching level 60 in Hardcore)
Really hoping the direction keeps moving upward.
For this run, I used my Softcore Witch as my boss scout. So she deserved the wings too for all the abuse she suffered just because I know she can be revived. I've often raced her through zones and into an unfortunate death from a wall of mobs, just so I can get to the arena quicker for another crack at the boss. I decided I needed an advantage to make up for the lack of experience. I used her to learn about the mechanics and to test strategies. I deliberately kept her weak and underpowered so I can spend more time watching and practicing against each boss. To understand what hurts me and what I can wear. It's been a lot of fun and sometimes quite stressful.
The boss who troubled me most until my death was Act 5's mid-boss, Innocence. A friend had already warned me it would be a rough fight. Here was where I really learnt to stay calm, to focus on my position. I feel more confident as a gamer now. I would 'almost' consider myself to be a real one now, what with how obsessed I am. Act 5 Kitava was easy peasy compared to the mid-boss Innocence. Although, I have never been more relieved to be knocked unconscious by him and awaken to Sin (that is part of the story, we're never meant to defeat him) to signal the end of Part One.
After that, each of the following bosses who seemed like a major roadblock, wasn't really. At that stage my Bane + Despair, and Soulrend was simply too powerful for them. They all phased quickly and died.
Act 6's final boss, the Brine King was easy. Basically, I just needed to ensure I had enough defense to withstand his hits, be it physical or elemental, when I was forced to sit on his butt to avoid the wall of water. A stibnite flask seemed to do the trick.
Act 7's final boss, Araakali the giant ugly spider lover of Silk, was done quick too. Basically, I needed to practice her a little, she was a lot of trouble for my SC witch. She was very doable for my Hardcore Witch. I am a terrible parent to my Witches. I put a lot of thought into the build of DoNotDieLinny (HC) and I slapdash CrankyOldWoman_Synth (SC). The key for me was to kill this mean spider fast. Less time required to avoid her deadly laser lines!
Act 8's Doedre was troublesome for my Softcore witch. The same friend who warned me about Innocence, warned me about Doedre too. I did practice that fight a few times. It requires more strategy and I'm still not sure turning the lever is a good thing. I didn't turn it for my HC. Instead, I used my anti-curse flask and another evasion flask. I also was lucky and found a good ring with 40% reduction to curses. The Doedre fight is deadly because she stacks on curses that get your character to a point they are dysfunctional! Then you're forced to turn the lever to flush out all the badness, which I suspect just makes her more aggressive. The mitigations I went in with was just to give me enough time to kill her with my spells. The key thing for me was to keep moving and dodging the deadly puddles as best I could. She died really fast too.
This league for me is learning the core game.
I realized how much I didn't know when I played Softcore in the first league. I've even started using Path of Building to check out how my build will be impacted. There's been a lot of analysis of each boss fight along the way. I really hope it will help me in levelling in the future. I'm also pleased to say since I started, I have not used any builds posted online and I have just played and decided on my build as I go. It's how I am determined to play this game: my own way.
Playing solo self found also meant that I was forced to do things outside my comfort zone when the drops got too lean. I am dreadfully scared of the Labyrinth, the traps always freak me out. But to get my ascension so I had more advantage over the very scary Innocence, I went for it. I got past Izaro not once, but twice. I went back in a second time to farm it for better drops! I wasn't planning to take him down to get to the treasure room again, but when I got there, I thought...oh what the hell, I need the loot. So I killed him and got more keys than I have ever gotten in Softcore -- I was that desperate. Below is the second run, where I even went into areas I would never go to pick up extra bonuses.
Between the two runs, I had a total of 7 treasure boxes. Unfortunately, the loot was still substandard! Such is life with SSF. :(
It was good to see that my goal to ascend to Occultist was also done, thereby giving me the Fearless Achievement.
To be honest, all the tension each time I played hardcore has me feeling burnt out... I've started my new HC Witch, DoNotDieLinny_Synth. (I keep recycling names as I delete each Witch I surpass). I'm going to take it easier with this HC run and not over analyse until I get back to Act 8.
Next goal for me...
Is to get the Undying Achievement! So unless that happens, I expect to be silent. Hardcore is the best! Give it a go!! <3
Fwiw, this latest HC run has changed my views on Hardcore. I'll be using the next few weeks to rework the hardcore concept of my novel. What I wrote and what I experienced is nothing alike!
Thanks for reading.