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The last entry, from about one year ago, marks the end of the Diablo II era. Since that time, the adventurers have become 3D and updated their wardrobes.

Two Sins
Gavin & Ling

(a somewhat belated update)
Patch v1.11 was released (8/1/05) near the end of the 2nd Ladder Season with a good deal of new content, most of which involved new Uber monsters. By hunting certain bosses in the game, players were able to collect 3 different types of Keys:

Act 1 - the Countess - Key of Terror
Act 2 - the Summoner - Key of Hate
Act 5 - Nihlathak - Key of Destruction

By transmuting these 3 Keys in a Horadric Cube while in Act 5, players gained access to a portal leading to an Uber monster.
Tip: Find 3 Keys of each type, and transmute each set in the same game to guarantee access to the 3 different portals.

Matron's Den - fight Lilith - drops the Relic Diablo's Horn
Furnace of Pain - fight Uber Izual - drops the Relic Mephisto's Brain
Forgotten Sands - fight Uber Duriel - drops the Relic Baal's Eye

After collecting the Relics and transmuting them while in Act 5, players gained access to Tristram to fight Uber Mephisto, Uber Diablo, Uber Baal and their minions. Players that were up to the challenge and were able to defeat the 3 were rewarded with a Unique Large Charm:

Hellfire Torch
+3 to all skills (class specific)
+10-20 (varies) to all attributes
+10-20 (varies) to all resistances
25% chance to cast lvl 10 firestorm on striking
lvl 30 hydra charges (10/10)
+8 Light Radius

and a mystery item (?):
Standard of Heroes
Only one Hellfire Torch will drop but a SoH will drop for each player in the party. Is it a small charm...? *shrug* No one seems to know. It has a lvl 90 requirement but as of yet has proved to do absolutely nothing. Feel free to contact the webmaster with your outlandish theories.

Who will sound the booyah

The first Ladder Season (7/8/04) has officially come to an end and Season two is well under way. The top 10 players from each Class, and the overall top 10 in each Realm, have been immortalized on the Blizzard website. Congratulations to Vampirella, who ranked #7 on the US East Assassin Ladder despite several months of retirement.

Reincarnated Vampirella

Also deserving of recognition, but left unmentioned due to early retirement:

For my pal Ratmao
so long and thanks for all the 6-packs ^^

Since I've last been able to update, v1.10 went live on the Realms and the first Ladder Season began (10/28/03). The most surprising thing about the patch was the insane amount of time spent in the Worldstone Keep. Baal runs became the "new" Cow runs, with a few major differences. The most glaring of these was the quantity of runs necessary to gain any kind of experience. High level death took a tremendous toll and could erase a day's work in a second's time. Besides that, Baal runs required a certain amount of social engineering to be successful. I'll simply call it the "politics" of a run; anyone who was there knows what I mean.

Despite the more unpleasant aspects of it all, I would be lying if I said it was all bad. Quite a few good friends were made, and fond memories will remain. Maybe it's a bit hasty for me to be writing about the Ladder Season as though it were already over - it isn't yet. However it's my feeling that it's nearing completion, as there are probably about half a dozen level 99's currently. The truth is there's no way to know. Maybe the Season will continue for another year. Either way, Wiz is taking an extended vacation from Ladder running. For now I'll leave you with a few screenshots taken during that time.

In Baal's Throne Room
Wiz in a Baal Run

Friends hanging out in Harrogath

Wiz and Vamp in Harrogath

Well, it's almost Halloween and still no patch... Am I surprised? Not really. But it does make the "tribute" a little premature. Despite the uncertainty, people on the realm have been keeping busy. Here are a couple of photos taken by a certain camera-happy sorcy.

Tyreal, the Magekiller, and the Mage
In Pandemonium Fortress

Rogue Encampment
Transfer Party in Rogue Encampment

Beta testing is in progress for 'Diablo II: Lord of Destruction', and the 1.10 patch is imminent. I'm sure many will miss the old, but are looking forward to what the future holds.

A Tribute to Times Past (v1.09)

Things to miss
old characters
all-night cow runs
the tri-sorc, the bowazon, and other v1.09 builds

Things not to miss
did I mention bots

The Tribute Continues
Due to the release of v1.10 beta (8/4/03) and the corresponding skill re-balancing, many v1.09 characters will become relics of the past. One is the sorceress to whom this write-up is devoted, Ji-Shivayah. The classic melee/orb-sorc was later rebuilt as a nova/orb caster-sorc and will remain as a memory of my first character. To date, she is the only one to reach level 99.

A name familiar to Final Fantasy enthusiasts everywhere, Shiva is the ice-elemental summon of that particular world. Like many characters in games, her real origin is mythological. In contrast, her mythological namesake is associated with Agni, the god of fire.

other things

moon phases