Thanks for the encouragement, from an HCSF (or SFHC) monk who has gotten over the wall too! This whole farm then craft and/or vendor (as the only source of upgrades) has made the game very interesting again now. It does add a whole new dimension to the game that I'm really enjoying. So thanks for the encouragement. Onward and upward, I say!
We only lost him because we were busy fighting 2 elite packs /w 3 trees in the highlands and he got hit by accident.
This is why this blog or thread won't be nearly as good as overg & demiwraith's posts. I can't really recall the details of what happens. But I'm glad that you are chirping in here to remind me of what happened. I remember that being a very hairy battle, but I don't think I was aware that we were trying to take down 2 elite packs and a pack of trees at the same time as the gob. However, I do remember feeling quite nervous during that battle with the craziness taking place around me during the battle. While it wasn't an NDE for me, it is probably as close to one as I've had since starting HC.
The key is to listen to the nagging voice in your head that is telling you that you don't feel very safe, and stop to farm at that point for gear upgrades.
Or to drop it down a couple of MP levels and try again? But yeah, the bottom line is to listen to that nagging voice too.
Another point for people who are reading this thread with any remote degree of interest in this way of playing. Playing it SF (or maybe call it TF for Team Found for what I'm actually doing) while totally resisting AH makes for a much more enjoyable experience in between runs when we are all in town, salvaging our gear, crafting items, and sharing the results (and the occasional insults...lol). There's a lot of movement of gear between each other's stashes and it's been a very enjoyable experience (for me, anyway). And as for playing HC instead of SC... in some weird way, I feel "closer" to my team in this form of playing than I have ever felt playing SC (with AH). Maybe it's because we are fighting through the trenches and making sure we are watching each other's backs (or thankfulness that I have my team watching mine)
To contrast that experience with the normal way (that relies on AH), going back to town to salvage and go through stash is largely seen as a nuisance. There is the occasional e-peening on a GG item that you may have picked up but 90% of the time, it's a very solitary and boring process. Very little discussion on items and upgrades, etc. The sense of comraderie isn't as much there, as nobody really cares if they die except for the sake of pride and possibly being a nuisance for the team.
All I can say is that I've only done HCTF for 5+ acts, and I just gotta say that doing it in this way has been a much more enjoyable experience so far than doing it in SC. There is a part of me that wonders how much I will be picking up my SC character the further I get into HC. Yes, it's that much fun! :)