Though my progression in terms of levels gained has slowed down, I am fairly satisfied with what I accomplished on day 9.
The Monk is level 55 and he has just finished Act 1 in Hell. I beat the Butcher without major issues (also at level 55), on the first try. Before reaching 55 I also spent a few hours farming Azmodan on Nightmare for XP.
When I logged out for the day, the Monk had 3400 DPS and 21K hit points (with the Earth Ally rune for Mystic Ally). Not bad at all. I started Act 1 Hell with about 2200 DPS and I was having a hard time burning down certain groups of champions/rares fast enough. There was a lot of running and kiting involved.
Eventually, I decided to shop a little on the Auction House and I found these two beauties. I'm sure they were being sold by the same person.
Remember yesterday's weapons? The new swords improved my DPS by over 800 (from 2359 to 3221) and health by 1000. The truth is that these cost me 50K gold each but they were worth every penny. This is certainly the most expensive upgrade I have bought so far but just look at those stats! The rolls are almost perfect, if it wasn't for Intelligence on both of them.
Thanks to these new weapons, I've got Act 1 Hell pretty much on farm mode. There are, of course, situations when I come across groups of champions/rares with bad affixes and I either spend 5 minutes kiting them carefully or just quit the game and start a new one. While dying isn't expensive at this point (thanks to my relatively crappy gear), I don't want to die if I can help it.
Speaking of Hell, I love seeing weapon drops with 200+ DPS on them and I also love the frequent 600+ gold stacks. I even saw a 800+ gold stack once.
Auction House woes
I'm very pissed at Blizzard and their crappy Auction House. Commodity trading is completely screwed up. Thanks to this I lost a few hundred thousand gold over the past few days. It was partly my fault because I should have skipped trading until they fixed the damn thing but still... if this happens with the RMAH, I smell some lawsuits.
On the positive side, I discovered a surefire and risk-free method of making easy gold, something that I also used to do in WoW. Sorry, I won't disclose what it is because the competition this time is everyone on the US server. You'll have to discover it on your own.
Build and skills
My build has changed little from the previous day.
Build @ level 55 (available at 53)
The only difference is the access to the Earth Ally rune for Mystic Ally at level 53. This rune is pretty cool for survival because it gives you a 10% health boost, as long as your Ally is up.
Next, I will try to move slowly into Act 2 of Hell and will probably shoot for level 57 at the end of the day. Or, alternatively, I can go back and farm Act 4 Nightmare or Act 1 Hell.
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