Normal Acts Three and Four

The first two acts of Normal difficulty had been cleared at a breakneck pace, and there was no sign of slowing down. Everyone was in the process of maxing Enchant, and the boost to attack rating and fire damage was (temporarily) allowing us to fly through the monsters with few problems. The creatures in the jungles were easier to deal with than the resurrecting undead and sparking beetles in the False Tombs. In fact, we were going to fast that I have hardly any pictures at all from the early stages of Act 3. The Spider Cave was cleared with no problems (though I believe I was killed there through my own poor play, if I remember correctly). More jungle, then finally some noteworthy fighting in the Flayer Dungeon:

Typical fight with some of the little flayers; with these particular boss abilities, Endugu is not a real threat. Endugu is doing his best Dathon impression by using Inferno, of course. Also note that we accidently picked up some mercenaries as a quest reward; one of them is blasting away with cold spells at the bottom of the screen. When playing in Normal, it's tough to get them killed sometimes...

We obviously must have done a good job getting through the rest of the jungle and the lower parts of Kurast, because my next picture is from one of the tombs in Kurast:

This was the tail end of a fight; Sarina was dangerous but not deadly with these abilities. I see Meteor circles blooming at her feet, so Dathon must have been busy again. The only other thing to notice is that one of the Blue Rogues (I think it was Jaffa, not 100% certain) had made the Stealth runeword and thus appears to be missing a weapon in this picture. The purple trim on the armor was the envy of the other Rogues.

On through Kurast and Travincal... The Council Members evidently weren't too dangerous. I do have a picture of Wyand on Durance Level 3:

Looks like he's pinned in the corner with Hydras (Guardians?) from either Jaffa or Alan. Hmmm, or maybe those are Wyand's Hydras... it's hard to tell. Jaffa(?) is still easily identifiable by the Stealth armor. In any case, Wyand is clearly under control.

A good picture of Mephisto. He's being hit from three different sides; that's a lot of arrows in mid-flight. Looks like M is getting ready to fire the cold shot at someone off screen. Unfortunately, we again had problems fighting an Act boss and suffered a rash of deaths. I think this was due to the fact that we were used to being able to stand up to the monster attacks in Normal, and then when we ran up against a boss too strong to tank against... bodies started hitting the floor. In short, I don't think we had learned enough caution yet at this point. But eventually, Mephisto was killed as well and we moved on to Act 4. The entire Third Act was done (and full-cleared) in one play session - a pace that in retrospect is hard to believe.

Izual gave the Rogues a chance to try out some different weaponry. Sirian is the Rogue using the Flail and Bone Shield just below Izzy, and I'm pretty sure it's Dathon sporting the blood-red sword. I'm not sure who's using the spear, but I think it's Alan. ME0003 is now extremely easy to spot, thanks to the bright GREEN armor that MoonGrabber is wearing. Izual himself... does this guy ever provide a challenge? Not this time, at least.

City of the Damned was full wall to wall with... Damned! This is a fairly common occurance, but still amuses me. Shooting through a wall at them was good target practice for the Rogues - although they could fire back as well. It looks like I had picked up an Armor Shrine here, for whatever good that was doing.

Hephasto had a Fanaticism aura, an unusual and rather dangerous ability. I believe that we managed this one by having Sirian tempt the boss while everyone else fired away (at least I think that's what's going on in this picture). One of our Blue Rogues (either Cy or Alan, I think) is also sporting some fashionable new black armor on the right side of the screen.

I like this picture. One of the Vizier's minions is exploding into flames as the boss himself gets pummeled from multiple sides. Dathon is in the midst of an action pose as well, with Red_RidingHood swinging her sword at the Vizier. By this point we had obviously almost cleared the Chaos Sanctuary and were in the process of popping the last couple seals. Vizier was easy, but I specifically remember us having to retreat all the way back to the River of Flame for the Infector and leaving five bodies behind on that long march. No pictures from that trip; I was busy staying alive.

Diablo getting pincusioned. Everyone is using their bows, even Sirian (who was our tank pretty much all the way through Normal). Everyone else seemed to have no problems with Diablo, but I kept getting Svava killed for some reason. I was either too close to Diablo (a distinct possibility) or didn't have enough fire and lightning resist gear on hand. For the rest of the rogues, Big D was not a problem and he went down easily.

Congratulations Dame Svava! Err, wait no - this is D2X. We have another whole act to go before completing Normal. So off to Harrogath we go...