Recently I just finished a run in the infinite dungeon on a character that now holds the record for level achieved there, and probably also for depth. The character was, as the title shows, a skeleton bulwark, which is a great combination for its racials and stats.
I figured I'd post this since I reached a depth of about 88 or so, and I think I set a record. After playing this character I've realized some things about the infinite dungeon and the game in general, but first I'll talk about the run itself.
I started about 5 or 6 skelly bulwarks in the ID before I got one of them going strong. I find that opening vaults is the only way to keep a character I high enough level to stay ahead of the uniques and keep them strong enough to survive, and this is what killed most of those early ones. Once this char got going however, it was nearly unstoppable. I had one death relatively early, around floor 30, but that was due to some bad luck in vaults, and my own failure to realize that I should have bought a second TP rune with one of my unspent cat points (instead of leaving it sitting in my inv). The death itself was caused by the entire floor filling up with dreads since some dreadmasters escaped from a vault, and that led to me running around the whole level fleeing and trying to survive. I did but I died once.
My character really got a defining trait later on, when I built to deal arcane damage almost exclusively in melee. By making a crystalline voratun mace and wielding the lunar shield (which does arcane damage) I achieved this, and could have had an arcane damage mod of over +70% with equipped items. I never actually made crystalline voratun platemail, since I'd had the heart but never found plain voratun platemail.
At this point my character was doing rather well, but I'd run into a few bosses that even I had to flee from, one being a multihued drake with corruptor talents that could fearscape me, I didn't even want to fight that thing. The other was a rogue bulwark (both of these had something else, but I can't remember) with 100% armor hardiness and so much armor I could barely do any damage, it also had a 1600 damage heal. Obviously a melee character couldn't kill either of those.
Despite those I was doing very well, steamrolling anything that came in my path, even one of the pride bosses, which I found in a vault. My other two deaths came around this time, around floor 70+. My second death was to a unique greater demon that I summoned from a vault, thinking I could probably kill it. It had insane stealth that never broke, shadowstrike with +250% damage and one shotted me. I ran and survived but was down to my last life.
I continued and things got stronger and stronger, I killed a level boss that had so much armor I couldn't damage it in melee, and killed it with activatable items. And then around floor 88, I met my killer. It was a rare shadowblade orc necromancer. I didn't realize it was a threat until when I tried to tp away, it followed, thanks to shadowveil(a shadowblade talent), it gained 82% resist all, always tp'd to me and did immense damage. I couldn't have survived, without changing my build drastically.
After dying finally, I realized some things about my build. I had armor training at 4/10 and the tree had 1.9 mastery. If I'd but a cat point into the tree, and maxed the skill I think I could have survived. I had less than 70% armor hardiness for the whole game, and melee enemies are what killed me every time. Melee enemies were also, for the most part, the hardest to kill. I had about 140 armor, when I died, if I'd had 100% hardiness and 190 armor, none of those enemies would have even been able to damage me, and I would have survived much longer. Its a rather interesting lesson really.
Playing the ID really makes me appreciate the main game which is so much more balanced. One other random thing, demon telepathy saved my life against corruptors, giving me an early warning about anything that could fearscape me. I hope this was rather interesting to read, I'm thinking I'll do a slightly different version of this build next beta, to see how far I get.