Thanks to Slice’s build suggestion, I defeated Diablo in Nightmare mode.

Take that, Diablo!

Take that, Diablo!

Only took two attempts (yeah, I got one-shot in the second phase – forgot to kite) and made it to Hell mode.

Welcome to Hell

Welcome to Hell

I also checked out the gold auction house, and found a relatively inexpensive weapon upgrade for under 5k.  No, I’m not going to spend a gazillion gold simply because I don’t have it.

I’ve been pretty much breaking even in the gold department.  Sure, there is a lot of gold to be found and I’ve been vendoring the crappy blues I find, but I blow it all on repairs and health drinks.

Hell mode started out okay.  I was doing fine until I got to the desert part and entered a couple of caves.

Blue enemies and a yellow guy with his friends right at the entrance of just about every flipping cave.

Yeah, that went well.

In one cave I was killed immediately each time as there was no place to run and no where to kite.  My armor was completely red (disappeared) and I used up about 30 drinks, not to mention the 4k repair bill.

The more you die, the longer the rez timer so by the time 30 seconds was up the blue and yellow guys had regained a fair bit of health again.

It was annoying as hell (pun intended) so after I finally got through I decided to hell with it (pun intended again) and do something else.

I had gone back to Normal mode to farm for the components needed for the Staff of Herding to get the “secret” level and got lucky.  It only took a few attempts to get everything except the Blacksmith plans.

That actually took me 3 attempts, and when I finally got it I realized I already had it drop from my first attempt in Normal and my Blacksmith had already learned the plan.

Oh well.

I made my staff, found the Cow King and went to Whimsyshire.

Cow King

Cow King

It was a blast – a nice relief from the frustrating die-over-and-over again in Hell mode.  Plus it was Normal mode so I got to one-shot everything.

Killer Rainbow Ponies

Killer Rainbow Ponies

I decided to upgrade my staff for Nightmare mode and realized I didn’t have 200,000 gold to pay for it.

No point trying to get gold in Hell mode because of the die-repair-die-repair cycle, so I went through my stash and decided to try selling a few rares on the gold Auction House.

I listed ten low level rares with crappy stats.  No idea what the current market value was so I just picked random amounts for bid and buyout – anywhere from 2k for low level stuff to about 15k for higher level gear.

Most of it sold – the lower priced stuff sold almost immediately but I was still a long way from 200k.

I picked a random quest in Nightmare mode, farmed until I had enough to pay the Blacksmith, upgraded my staff and went to Nightmare Whimsyshire.

Nothing like dying a few times to Rainbow Ponies!  It’s definitely a lot more fun than Hell mode.

I’ll have to keep farming Nightmare for a while and get some gear upgrades before trying Hell again, or just wait until the patch comes out that purportedly fixes the crappy stuff that drops.

I might be able to find a few inexpensive upgrades at the gold Auction House.

Until then, I’ll just keep hoping I break even.