The Aventures of Zarqa – Act 1 Normal

It starts on the beach, as always. I’ve decided to kill stuff to level up to 2 before fighting hillock, not because he’s hard, but because I need items. I want quite a few wisdom scrolls when I get into town. I get lucky and get some scrolls drop, and an Iron ring, which I’ll use to turn into a resistance ring (iron ring + blue/red/green gem = cold/fire/lightning res ring). I’ll then use those rings to craft a +1 to fire gems wand.


Hillock dies…and drops a thousand ribbons. I wish I was joking. way to mock me game, way to mock me. The game then immediately makes up for that trollish start by nessa selling me a 30 life coral ring (max roll) as well as a +1 to cold gems wand for 2 scrolls of wisdom. Sadly I don’t get flamesurge until lvl19 (intruders in black quest) and so will have to use something else to level with until then, so I will be use freezing pulse, as it’s nice and defensive thanks to the chill and possible freeze, and now I can make it even stronger.(spells generally scale very well with gem levels)


I set off into the coast with a superior iron hat (because I’ll probably hoard superior gear for a while to trade in for whetstones/armourer’s scraps). +30 life ring and a +1 cold gems wand with freeze pulse in. Nice.


Into mud flats at level 3, on a normal character I’d just run the entire first act in 45mins or so, knowing I could just find some rares along the way, or use some of my previously built up currency/gear if I needed to, not so here. Therefor I’ve decided to go a bit slower and try and build up a currency base, as well as slightly overlevelling for the zones, to help combat my “poor” gear.

after grabbing the mudflats waypoint, it’s quickly back to tidal island. After killing hailrake, if you’ve grabbed the mud flats WP (and I have) you can log off, log back in again, grab your reward and port back into the mud flats quicker than you could run, and save yourself a portal scroll. (racing technique, that one). Talking of rewards, I grabbed a quicksilver (Mmm movement speed) and fire trap.

I find a blacksmith’s whetstone; thankfully, weapon damage doesn’t matter to this build, so I can vendor any blacksmiths whetstones I get for scrolls (the vendors occasionally want them in payment, but I want the scrolls more as I’ll likely be ID’ing a lot more stuff than usual)

in the lower submerged passage I encounter my first beyond spawn; flamesurgers. They knock off half my health very quickly, but I retreat and wear them down with fire traps, throwing freeze pulses to keep them chilled and slow them down. They drop my first rare item, which will obviously be vendored, they were also kind enough to drop 2 medium life flasks.


I head back to town when I find the waypoint and check nessa. RNGesus loves me today, she has a + 1 fire gems wand for 2 scrolls of wisdom. booya!. sadly it’s red-green linked sockets, which isn’t ideal, but it’s nice for fire trap. I also find a pair of boots with life and cold resist on.


On ledge I meet my first forsaken master: Elreon, how brave am I feeling? brave enough to try the mission? after quickly grabbing a nearby ES chest that was lying about i feel confident enough to give it a go.

I get lucky yet again, it’s the mission to destroy the 3 corrupted relics, which I tend to find easier than the static defense mission. This success also means I’ll have a new vendor in town, awesome (can’t access a hideout until I get one of the masters to lvl 3, and you can’t invite others into your hideout unless they’re lvl2+)


In the climb I run into a small problem: not enough dex to level fire trap, darn. Back to town to buy a jade amulet from nessa. An ornate strongbox, yay, but I’m very low on id scrolls…do I dare risk opening it blind? I do. +3 magic items. rngesus really, really likes me today. I ID one of the chest armours I get, strength + mana, not great, but better than nothing


in upper prison I run into Haku, excellent! more masters for town. The totems in his missions at low levels are very dangerous, so I carefully time my movements to dodge them all.

Brutus goes down without too much trouble (although a lucky stun from a falling cage + ground slam combo scares me a fair bit). Grab clarity as a reward.

Prisoner’s gate goes without incident. as does ship graveyard and coast (I tend to just run straight through graveyard and coast).

Grabbed an added lightning from nessa, and picked up a +20 ES belt with less flask charges used, which is nice.


At this point I’m going back to do the dweller of the depths and fairgraves. Normally I’d do them as I encounter them, but with the addition of beyond mobs, I didn’t want to risk it until I was a bit higher level. Turns out this was a good option, as I had several groups of beyond mobs spawn in the flooded depths, and dealing with then a few levels earlier would have been very long winded and quite dangerous.


I get lucky and find 2 sapphire rings on the way to merveil, and quickly nip back to town to get some large flasks.


Merveils lair is in sight, when from the corner of the map I hear…”God bless you on this fine day exile..”. Do I dare?


It’s a timed relic defense, and it’s going pretty well, until about 15 seconds remain, when the suicide mobs start spawning, and I’m taken down to 20hp. PANIC. the timer expires, the remaining mobs die and I breathe a sigh of relief, that was dangerously close. I could have got a party in to help, but that sort of defeats the point of this character, I want to solo as much as possible.

Onwards to merveil!

Merveil’s new fight is great,you can’t just stand there wailing on her, you actually have to move around and think about dealing with her children (now there’s a sentence you don’t hear every day). It’s a pretty tense fight, but i emerge victorious, nothing of interest drops.

Act 2 awaits!


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