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Diablo 2 & Sorceress builds

Discussion in 'Diablo 1 & 2' started by Ziad, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Woohoo! Killed Nightmare Mephisto last night, and he dropped the Unique Mesh Armor, Shaftstop. That represents the best armor I have seen thus far in my playthrough by far. It's armor rating is 633, which is over 100 points better than any other armor I've seen up to this point (with this character - not ever), and about 250 points better than the armor I was previously using. (My merc has a greater strength score than I do, and prior to this he had better armor options due to that strength.)

    But it's actually the other attributes that I love about this armor - +250 to missile defense (OK, that one I don't care about), +60 to life (huge given that I will not be able to spend as much on vitality) and the biggie: 30% damage reduction - again a huge bonus because I won't have tons of life.

    I have been using this armor throughout Act IV Nightmare and am very pleased with the results thus far. My armor is such that most enemies only have about a 40% chance of hitting me, my dexterity is such that I'm blocking about 70% of the incoming attacks that make it through my armor, and then the few hits that get through I only take 70% of the normal damage.

    I'll have to start pumping dexterity again. I took a few levels off to raise my strength, and now I'm not at max block anymore, although 70% isn't too shabby.

    As far as equipment is concerned, I'm still looking for decent gloves and decent boots. I'm still using stuff I had from Normal difficulty for the resistances because I haven't found any exceptional gear worthy of use. The plan is to gamble for a rare exceptional. Other than that, I'm in pretty good shape. I doubt I'll ever need an upgrade on my circlet, my orb isn't perfect, but it gives a bonus to two spells I use a lot, plus bonus life and resistances, so it would take something really impressive to outclass it, and my armor with damage reduction is probably worth using until the end of the game. There are a ton of better armors out there, but I likely won't have the strength requirements. Plus, I really cannot consider trading in my armor for anything else that doesn't come with damage reduction.

    The one item I don't know about yet is my shield. The prismatic pavise of deflecting is going to have to be socketed to be of any use to me. Right now, my mechanic's tower shield of deflecting is actually providing 3% more resist all than the as-yet-to-be-socketed pavise, and so I haven't switched over to the pavise yet.

    When you socket a magic item you have a 50-50 chance between getting one or two sockets. Even one socket will make it an upgrade over what I'm currently using, but for the shield to really be usable on hell difficulty, I'll need that second socket. Two sockets means I'll still have fire and cold maxed on hell difficulty, and lightning will be at 72%, which I can live with. Poison will be 58%, but that's easily the least important elemental attack to get resistance for.

    But I'm most pleased with Shaftstop. My life pool was definitely going to be a problem, and getting +60 life and 30% damage reduction is huge. That having been said, I am seriously concerned about facing hell difficulty stygian dolls. Those little bastards are always a pain, but I've never gone up against them on hell difficulty with a character that didn't have tons of life. On Nightmare a close blast from one of them was doing about 3/4 of my life bulb. With Hell damage at 4X nightmare damage, that's insta-death, and there's absolutely nothing I can do to have my life 4X higher that what it is now by the time I get to Act III Hell - definitely a job for my trusty merc sidekick.
     
  2. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    The trick with dolls on Hell is to simply not let them touch you. It's tricky, and one will occasionally get to you and kill you, but with a Sorceress there's not much point trying to get enough life to survive them - you won't. I did find that a Holy Freeze merc was the most useful there - the Freeze aura coupled with Frozen Orb slows them down significantly, at least enough for you to be able to get out of melee and blast them from a distance. The merc will also have so much life by this point that he'll easily survive them.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Actually, I noticed that with the Act 2 mercs who use polearms, they sometimes don't take any damage. I have to assume that the reach of a polearm is sufficient for them to stay out of the blast.

    In other news, I must say - DRAT! I socketed my pavise last night after completing the Act V socket quest, and I received a single socket. I also crafted a new and improved pair of caster gloves that worked out quite nicely. Bunch of decent mods on them, including magic find.

    But the shield was disappointing. I mean, it IS an improvement over what I had, but 2 sockets would have meant the difference between being prepared for hell or not. As it currently stands, while my resistances are currently maxed out except for poison (at 69%), they will prove to be inadequate by the time I reach hell. Granted, I still have Malah's quest that will give me 10% more, but I'm thinking that most of my resistances will be in the 30s and 40s by the time I reach hell. All of them except cold that is. Cold will still be maxed. While I didn't plan it this way, practically every piece of my current equipment has the cold resist attribute. Except for one of the rings, every single other item has some amount of cold resist on it, including the circlet which got prismatic and azure as prefixes, netting me 53% on that piece of equipment alone.
     
  4. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Resistance in the 40s isn't so bad at the start of Hell - when I started Hell some of mine were around zero, and I had to change my outfit completely. Remember, you're playing a Sorceress - you won't get hit with elemental attacks as often as you do when playing melee characters. Lightning enchanted bosses are a big pain though.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Especially when you reach hell difficulty, and the cold enchanted archer in the second area of Act 1 spawns with both lightning enchantment AND multishot. That totally sucked. Killed my merc in two hits and took me out in one.

    Anyway, that was enough for me to take a break for a bit and re-examine my sorceress. I'm level 69 currently, and I may have started hell a tad too early. Then again, maybe I just got unlucky with a bad spawn. The thing is, my merc is in as bad of shape as I am as far as resistances are concerned. The only decent resistance I have is cold (69%) with everything else in the 30s and 40s. My merc is actually worse off, with all of his resistnaces in the 20s and 30s.

    I'm finding that I'm relying much more on fireball than I am on meteor. While the damage on meteor is about 3 times as high as the damage on fireball, because of the delay from when you cast meteor to the time it hits, and that there's no cooldown period on fireball means I can probably get about 5 fireballs off in the time it takes me to get a single meteor off.
     
  6. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    I only used Meteors for bosses and in some specific situations (such as the Arcane Sanctuary). Fireball is much more reliable and easy to use, even though it's nowhere near as powerful. Then again the timer on Meteor ensures things are pretty even (damage per time is pretty much the same for both, I think).

    LE and multishot is NASTY. I didn't see it very often, but when I did it was either instant death or Teleport as far away as possible very quickly, and either avoid that enemy or save and restart the area. Sorceress just doesn't have the life to stand against such a combination.

    I think I was a few levels higher when I started Hell (somewhere between 70 and 75), but it's tough no matter what you do. You might want to go back to Nightmare, find an area with good XP and gain a couple of levels before going to Hell. You might be lucky and get some good items as well, which could help. Remember to hang on to as many protective charms as possible - combined resistance from several can be very significant and helps tremendously in Hell.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I having a really hard time due to a particularly squishy merc. I specifically picked a defiance merc because I needed somebody to go up and engage the monsters (keeping them off of me) while I did the killing. Unfortunately, due to poor resistances, my merc isn't doing too good of a job at staying alive. I'm taking a break from the sorceress for a while, and starting a amazon build that I've been meaning to try for a while (see new thread).
     
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