The forest…I kill a pack of monkeys and instantly spawn 2 degen/haste beyond packs. NOPE. I run all the way to town (metaphorical tail very much between my legs) NOTE: this was before the nerf to those mobs.
I manage to pick up a +40 life belt, which I transmute to get 14% increased flask duration, nice and…+3 armour. whoopee.
I’m lvl17 by the time I reach crossroads waypoint. I grab the lightning walker and frost walker nodes, because they both give 15% resistance, which will help me a lot as I level (and technically increase the damage of added lightning etc, although that’s a very, VERY minor benefit) and once (if) I get overcapped resists, I can use some respec points on them.
A bit of vendor wrangling gets me a +1 fire wand with B-B-G all linked sockets: fire trap, fireball + added lightning. (will swap fireball with flamesurge). I also manage to augment 5% cast speed on it, which is pretty nice.
I head to chamber of sins and pick up a chaos flask, which should be handy for the weaver fight and the boss on floor 1 (plaguewretch? his name escapes me) just as I get a charge on my chaos flask, another one drops, this one blue and with quality, guess the game really wants me to have chaos resist.
The unique drops a blue coral amulet, which on a whim I ID, and I’m glad I did, 4 life per second (which I’m fairly sure is the max) 5% spell damage and 10 dex – which I need for firetrap, decent amulet overall.
On the second floor of sins I meet Elreon again and feed a totem some souls. Elreon is now halfway to level 3, shouldn’t be too long until i get my hideout.
Black death…this guy can be really deadly with the new version of viper strike, thankfully the chaos resist flask makes it a much easier fight.
Upon entering the third floor I see a zone door that I can’t enter, I suspect tora is about somewhere, time to search the level, I quite quickly find the entrance to fidelitas’ lair (you can tell because it’s a long narrow corridor) but I want to find tora first, I’m not sure I’ll have much use for her crafting stuff, but I might as well get it. I find her in the very last unexplored room on this floor, typically. I “track” the animals down to the den, and enter. It’s full of exploding chaos beetles, without a doubt the amethyst flask saves my life.
With that sorted it’s time to take on fidelitas, he puts up a brave fight (poor fidelitas) but in the end, he drops, portal back to town and…FLAME SURGE, aww yeah. I swap out the +1 cold gems wand for a 15% spell dmg shield I pick up from gruest, hunter of boars. I now have a wand with flame surge, fire trap and added lightning (all linked) in my main hand, with the shield in my offhand, time to go test out the spell (I’ve never used it before). I run to the west and kill a few mobs, spawning some beyonders, one fire trap + flame surge takes them all out, colour me impressed. I keep heading west and run into tail slinger, who dies in a firetrap + 2 flame surge hits, this spell is way stronger than I expected. In the weavers I run into catarina, and get a very short and easy mission, I head into the weavers nest and I’m honestly a bit worried, I have very little armour. It was worry over nothing, chaos flask + fire trap/flamesurge combo and I kill her before she even manages to retreat to the ceiling, this is a scarily effective spell.
In the western forest I make short work of alira, I have to say, the AoE on flamesurge is much wider and less problematic than I imagined. Captain arteri and his blackguards drop like flies, that’s another free passive point!
I go through the vaal ruins and head up to oak to grab my +40 life, which he won’t give me…then I remember that I forgot to take care of kraiytn for him, I go and correct that, (he puts up even less of a fight than alira or arteri). He does drop a wand I’d normally be delighted to have, 16% implicit and 38% spell damage roll as well as mana and some other useful stats, sadly it’s a rare…so to the vendor it goes. I head back to oak to get the +40 life.
I quickly run through the waterfall caves (I really don’t like this place to tend to run past everything and get to the ancient pyramid asap).
I’m scaling the ancient pyramid when I find a chaos orb, handy! not two minutes later, another drops! Shame I don’t have anything to spend them on just yet. Blazing through the ancient pyramid I get overconfident and an some beyond flamesurgers take me down to 30hp, I quickly back off and regen health, and then fling firetraps like a madwoman, it seems to work.
I manage to find catarina again, not too far off level 3 with her either, exciting! Here goes vaal…
so, uhmm, the vaal oversoul just sort of falls apart, and I beat him handily. That is honestly the quickest I’ve ever beaten a level appropriate vaal. I’m starting to think flame surge is really quite strong. He drops me a shield with a total of 46% spell damage on, sadly it’s a level 28 requirement so I can’t wear it just yet, but soon…soon.
Onwards to Act 3…