So I've reached Act 2 Nightmare with my level 45 Wizard and I was going through Archives of Zoltun Kulle with 3 random people, a Witch Doctor, a Demon Hunter, and a Monk. A pretty respectable team except they were all about 4 levels below me, this was where the problems started. Right from the beginning I didn't really gel with them; I get a bad feeling when no one even returns my greeting when I join the game (later found out that at least one of them didn't speak english... don't ask me why he was in the NA servers) the other two were just the quiet types I suppose. But anyways, bad communication from the get-go. Beyond that I felt that I was pulling the team along, that I was doing a significant amount of the work and taking more risk than the rest of the team. These signs should have been more of a red flag, but hey, this is the furthest I've ever gotten and only my second HC character, what do I know. In this case ignorance was NOT bliss.
It wasn't until the Archives that things went from manageable to bad. I became very nervous at our pace, we were going too slow and I was taking a significant number of hits... Something, as a Wizard, I would rather avoid. I had this gut feeling that I could not shake.
I decided to try communication with my digitally mute komrades "I feel like we are in over our heads here, maybe we should call it quits..." I stated. The lack of conversation was nothing new, I honestly thought I had done something to offend them. But, I tried again "We aren't doing very well, I think we're under the suggested level range for this area." hoping someone would agree with me and turn us back.
For some reason I felt like I had to stay with them, like abandoning them was the wrong thing to do.
And then I almost died.
This wasn't like the majority of my near death experiences. Previously I had stood too long in an AOE poison or fire, or I decided to go toe to toe with a rare because it's HP was winding down faster than mine. This was actual, hopelessly, dying. I managed to get pinned to a wall by four champions of the fast electrified variety and both Diamond Skin and Mirror Image were on cooldown and I was lacking any kind of knockback. I honestly don't know why they suddenly decided to stop attacking me but the only reason I survived was that some shining miracle caught their attention for a split second and I made my escape.
At this point I was resolute with my team "Before we get to the Shadow Realm, I'm done. You should all turn back too." and at the very least I had confirmed that my teammates were nothing if not consistent in their silence... possibly the monk was a real monk and the vow of silence he took included online messaging as well. But, as promised, I went a little further.
And then all hell broke loose.
We encountered a Treasure Goblin, harmless enough, but we quickly found that the pacifistic coin-handler was wedged in between the worst monster combination I have come across to date. On the one side of us was a very fast molten vampiric rare, and on the other side was a frozen illusionist champion pack. Frozen anything can be a small challenge on its own but the rare was a surprisingly insidious critter that was regenerating as fast as we were damaging it. So we turned our attention to the frozen champions but by that point it was already too late for one of us... and then seconds later another hero fell.
The demon hunter and myself didn't have time to type anything, and for the first time we were able to communicate with perfect clarity. It is almost a shame that the only time I have ever experienced telepathy was with someone over the internet, and the message that we shared was "LET'S GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!!11" (I was hoping my first time would be better but, oh well). We managed to assist each other on a retreat to the previous floor with an impressive amount of teamwork, if only we had shared this level of unison a few minutes earlier the results would have been much different.
In the end two of us made it. I was shaking with adrenaline, it was hard to type. We somehow managed a small chat, which meant I could put my concerns of his illiteracy to rest. We grieved for our fallen allies and departed the realm.
In the end I learnt a valuable lesson about trusting my instinct. But I also had an irreplaceable moment of excitement that I was not expecting from a video game. Ultimately I would hope that everyone remember what I now know, that Wizards and Demon Hunters are clearly the superior classes and everyone else sucks.
Thank you for your time :D