[Invasion] Sarah the Self-found Solo Summoner

Level 64-RIP

Walked out in the Riverways and proceeded in search of the tree. Saw some projectiles coming so dropped a skeleton totem and moved down and right to curse whatever was out there...and died. Immediately. Didn't have time to hit a flask, never even saw whatever was out there...until it wandered over to my corpse.

That would be a Judgement Apparatus.

I have to assume the boss and several of his minions hit me at once, because I had no opportunity to do anything; either that or there was some really poorly timed lag. Tore through 2516 life and 465 ES so fast that I never saw my life go down, despite my seven level advantage. One second I was about to drop a curse, the next I was dead. I'd hate to see the version of this guy that existed before the Invasion boss nerfs!

Nice write up! Enjoyed reading of your journey. Judgement Apparatus was also the cause of my demise. One bar from lvl 80 in a 67 blue map with no damage mods. Wife was calling me for dinner and I figured I could squeeze in one quick bar of XP to level. Dumb. One second I am kicking ass with my dual flame totems, next second I am dead. Bout 10 seconds after my death I see Judgement Apparatus slowly amble onto the top corner of my screen, taunting me with his off-screen one shot ability. Taking a break from Invasion after that.
RIP Sarah, you will be remembered!
...and stay dead!
Thanks for all the kind words, folks. I've had a request for her final passive tree, so here you go:

Fun while it lasted!

Another incarnation is possible at some point, though I'm playing a lot less PoE lately. There are a lot of other games out there with achievements/challenges that are actually achievable for those of us that are antisocial enough to like a true solo experience.
I'm sad to see the best thread on this forum come to an end. I was hoping that it wouldn't be a bullshit death that ended it, but as PoE players most of us have been there.

Bob, thanks for the wonderful story. RIP, Sarah.
I'm sad to see the best thread on this forum come to an end. I was hoping that it wouldn't be a bullshit death that ended it, but as PoE players most of us have been there.

Bob, thanks for the wonderful story. RIP, Sarah.

I'll just echo grant_m's sentiment. Really bummed to see it end, but that's life in Invasion.

It's time. Sarah the Self-Found Solo Summoner rides again! Why now? Several reasons:

** Patch 1.1.3 dropped recently, making Invasion slightly less dangerous again, which is all to the good to my mind. Yes, I know some people don't like the changes, but there's always people who don't like things. For the vast majority of players, reducing the likelihood of death in a hardcore league is a good thing, especially if it means you don't feel unable to access certain content (i.e. corrupted areas) for fear of insta-death. Lag, play mistakes, simple bad luck...there's plenty of ways to die still, so I don't mind some of it being toned down.
** I've been playing other games since Sarah I died, so I've recharged my PoE batteries a bit. Spent some time with Crusader Kings II, discovered the online TCG Infinity Wars (excellent game if you're into TCGs; my referral code is 85623 if you want to try it), and I just finished spending a week with Marvel Heroes (they were running this crazy boost event for their 10-month anniversary). I've also spent some time in Ambush league in PoE, but now I'm feeling the need to visit Invasion again.
** After playing MH, I'm going through summoner withdrawal! (OK, they have Squirrel Girl, but I don't have her yet; plus, a dozen squirrels is not really comparable to a zombie horde.) In my opinion, MH is better at making each of its characters feel special, what with all the little one-liners your character says during play and the very different styles of the various heroes. But the MH build structure isn't nearly as fun to play with as PoE, and I really miss the power customization with the PoE's gem system.

There's going to be some duplication of thoughts and information from Sarah I in this journal, as I'm likely to run across many of the same situations. I figure if something works, it bears repeating.

One thing I am planning to do a bit differently is the early passive tree: here's my early passives plan. Still planning to head for Minion Instability quickly, but taking a slightly different route. Net difference is 8% more cast speed, 10 more intelligence, and 5% more spell damage (assuming elemental spells) at the cost of one additional skill point. Plus this takes care of having the two sides of the tree linked, so I won't be planning a respec from the start this time.
Level 1-2

Created Sarah's new incarnation and was typing up some of this when I noticed a zombie was trying to eat her brains before she'd even stood up out of the surf! A witch can't even lie on the beach in peace in Wraeclast. Took care of the interloper and many of his friends, got to level 2, set Hillock on fire, and onward to Lioneye's Watch. Hillock was nice enough to give me a rare Shabby Jerkin, good starting gear. Raise Zombie obtained from Tarkleigh to begin building the minion horde.

Level 2-3

Roamed the Coast setting fire to zombies, sand spitters, and cannibals. Found Fire Fury just after hitting level 3; applied fireballs to the face until dead. No invasion mobs of any kind spotted.

Level 3-4

Just inside the Mud Flats, saw Nighteater coming and ran the other way quickly. Level 3 is not a good time to be slowed by Temporal Chains and stuck in place by Bear Trap. Reset the zone and found the Duchess, but was able to avoid her; also saw a corrupted area, but not ready to explore those just yet. Found the glyphs, opened the cave, and headed back to town to pick up my Summon Raging Spirit gem. That's about the end of my fireballing days; I'll keep it around for a few levels just in case, but I'd much rather throw spirits around. Easier on the mana and better damage in most cases since they can hit multiple moving targets. Especially if your aim is as bad as mine.

Level 4-6

Explored the Lower Submerged Passage to find the waypoint and Flooded Depths. Ran into Glassmaul in the depths, which was a bit of a challenge at this level since he killed the zombies pretty fast. Fortunately I'd just hit level 6 and picked up Lord of the Dead, so the spirits had just gotten a damage boost, and eventually they wore him down. Beat up the crab without further incident.

Level 6-7

The Upper Submerged Passage contained Granitecrush, inconveniently located in a passage that I had to traverse to get to the exit. There were enough corpses around that I could resummon zombies as needed, so I stayed out of his discharge range and tossed a lot of spirits his way. Easier to fight him in the tunnels as opposed to out in the open, since he didn't use his rolling attack nearly as much.

Level 7-8

Up to the Ledge, where Tailslinger made an immediate appearance. Had him almost dead when I ran out of corpses to summon more zombies, and had a bad moment when he used a Frost Wall and momentarily trapped me. But a couple of life flasks kept me alive and the spirits finished him off. Since I'd already dealt with the Invasion boss, decided to go on past the waypoint and clear the rest of the zone. Chopped down Kuduku (nice new look, by the way) without incident, then found the Climb and its waypoint without seeing anything else of note. Found a nice +1 to fire gems wand, which is a excellent home for the Raging Spirits gem.
Glad to hear that Sarah is back !! Wish you better luck this time!
...and stay dead!

Woohoooo :D

(glad your going at it again, wish you the best of luck, will definitely read again :) )
It is not easy to realize the monster in yourself, truly it is not easy to create purposefully.
It is easy to realize the virtue in yourself, truly it is easy to destroy.
Contemplate which is worth your time.
Level 8-9

Time to backtrack a bit for the two optional quests I skipped. First a visit to the new and improved Hailrake. Took all of about 2 minutes to run over to the Tidal Island and smack him down. Lack of Ice Spear really makes that an easier fight. Got my Quicksilver Flask from Nessa and Ice Nova from Bestel. (Ice Nova won out over Fire Trap since I can use Ice Nova to break pots. Won't have time to cast either in combat very often, what with all the Raging Spirit summoning.)

Then to the Fetid Pool. Strangledrift wasted no time attacking, showed up just inside the entrance, and I wasted no time dropping him. Kadavrus stood no chance; didn't even have to bother de-corpsing him, just let the spirits wipe him out while the zombies kept his undead rhoas busy. Five level advantage this early in the game is a big deal.

Level 9-10

Visited the farm...I mean Ledge...for a bit before venturing further. Took out Bladeback Guardian on the first trip; by staying at range I avoided his Incinerate Nova, and he had enough friends that I could use their corpses to replenish the zombie supply while the spirits went to work. Found a Quicksilver Flask; never seems to fail, go out of your way to get one from a quest and another drops soon after. Second Ledge visit resulted in a Mammothcage kill; easy pickings as long as you retreat a bit to draw his friends away from his cannot-die aura to kill them first.

Level 10-11

Moved on to the Climb and immediately was assaulted by Blood Morpher/Blood Stasis and all their monkey friends. With some work I probably could have killed them, but why take the risk when the entrance was right behind me? Reset the zone and got Corpsestitch; took some time to get rid of his corpses, but went down easy after that. Ironpoint was a bit of a problem since he spawned right next to a pack of fire dogs, so I had to retreat long enough to resummon zombies and let the burning ground next to him die down. Didn't last long in the second assault, though.

Level 11-12

Rancor made an appearance a few rooms into the Lower Prison. Actually heard his teleporting before I saw him, and so was able to position myself behind a door where he could see my minions but not me. Hold down Summon Raging Spirit button, dead. Had a quick encounter with Chatters which ended poorly for him, then up the stairs.

Level 12-13

Poor Pewterfang seemed very confused by the zombies when I encountered her in the Upper Prison, doing a lot of flicker striking from one walking corpse to another, but not much else. Spirits melted her fairly quickly. Hit level 13 on the way up to the Warden, and beat him up by hiding behind a pillar and letting the spirits do the fighting. He chewed his way through the zombies and started after me eventually, but by then he was out of time and fell over before he could find me.

Hooray, Summon Skeletons! All the basic tools are now in place for the early-to-mid-game standard tactic: summon skeletons ahead to keep stuff busy/take alpha strikes, throw raging spirits at things until they die, and summon zombies between groups.

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