Okay world. Now I'm level 80 (I've had way too much time on my hands these past 2 weeks)
Basically I fought my way up to the outer cloister in the Monastery and I just stayed there for a while. What I did was cleared out the Pit lvl 2 in the tamoe highland and The Tower that the countess has in the black marsh. I occaisonally did the cave in the black marsh as well.
What's awesome is a +2 druid skills axe dropped! it also gives +10 attributes. I still haven't put point attribute points anywhere yet (I have about 50 floating around).
Just so you know supposedly anything can drop in the pit, that's why I ran it, hoping for some good uniques. I probably have like 100-150% mf (any Bnet freak will think that's way bad, but for single player, it's about the best I can do.) I was running the countess hoping to make some rune words. I didn't really make that much headway in terms of the high-level runes I need. I REALLY need an "um" rune and a 3-socket 1h sword for my merc. See The only monsters I can't take down are cold immune, Physical immune, lightning enchanted. The lightning enchant makes their resistance too high for my merc to do permanent damage, they just regenerate it back. BUT there's a rune word that gives -35% enemy lightning resist. I need it. badly. (If I ever hope to kill those super uniques...). The cold and physical immune ensure I can't do it any damage.
Well with my "power" gear (my gear that focuses on +skills, +resist, +replenish life and mana regen) I get a whopping total of +5 druid skills, about 10-20 replenish life and none of my resistances are negative and about 30% mana regen. What pisses me off is I've gotten stellar +skills amulets to drop. For assassins. and Paladins. grrr......
At this point, I would say identify anything that you or your merc can wear. Any kind of attribute can roll on it and at this point, it's better safe than sorry.
-site with rune words on it.
I also got a circlet with just +3 summoning skills. I kept it. Because the stats of your minions are determined by your skill level at the time of casting. I put on the circlet, spawn my minions and then put on my helm of choice.
I'm sick of grinding so now I'm taking a break and when I'm done with everything I want to do today, I'm going to kill Andariel. I'll get you my pretty and your little Catacombs too!
P.S. - note on my MF (magic find) gear - at this point in the game any class-specific item can roll +skills, including socketed ones. A socketed Hunter's Guise dropped that gave +3 to tornado (it wasn't blue it all, it just looked gray). I added some topaz to it so it gave +36% MF. so my Tornado is still way powerful, but I get some added MF.
P.S.S. a some notes on hell-difficulty tactics.
1) RUN! if something gets sticky, run away and try to pick off the monsters that follow you.
1b) Pick your battles. If a certain super-unique monster isn't killable, lure him to a part of the dungeon you've already cleared, run to where you want to start over from and cast a town portal to "save" where you are. Always remember to recast after you go to town.
2) as a druid one of my biggest weaknesses is physical ranged attackers. I figured out the best way to fight them is the same way I fought with my sorc, even though it's way tricky. Hit and run. Cast a tornado in their general direction (that's the tricky part, getting it to hit) and strafe sideways so it's harder for their arrows/projectiles to hit you. if they aren't cold immune, try to hit them with the edge of your hurricane so you deal damage but so you can still strafe.
3) More wind druid notes - if your oak spirit dies, in many instances you're screwed so pay close attention to his health and re-cast if necessary (and put your cursor somewhere AWAY from the fray when you cast him) even if recasting him will yield a lower +health because of less skill points at the time of cast, still recast, something is better than nothing (so if I resummon with my helm of choice on, I'll have less +summoning skill because I use my circlet for that, but it's still worth the recast).
P.S.S.S - notes on my skills. My cyclone armor is base level 10 (w/o +skills). I'm keeping it there until I max twister. I'm noticing I need the damage on my Tornado and Hurricane ALOT more than the added elemental damage absorption. (remember that twister is a synergy to cyclone armor anyway, so it's not like it's not getting stronger anyway)