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Diablo II single player questions

Discussion in 'Diablo 1 & 2' started by dmc, Jul 31, 2008.

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  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    The first time you kill a boss you get a bonus to your MF. It is not unusual to find your first time killing a boss to be more rewarding that subsequent attempts. I'm just surprised that you did multiple Diablo runs with a paladin. I absolutely hate the Pandemonium Fortress because of the Oblivion Knights that always seems to cast the Iron Maiden curse on you when you are in the middle of Zeal sequence.

    If that was from killing Mephisto on normal difficulty, that is one damn fine drop, and that weapon will easily see you into nightmare. A jagged star is the exceptional version of the morning star, and it is rare to see one drop before Act V normal. If you got one for killing normal Mephisto - and a rare one no less - that's a one in a million shot.

    If you would be so kind, could you please check the durability on that weapon? The reason I ask is I'm interested in discovering if it is a failed unique or not. You see, in order for a unique item to drop, not only must the drop make a successful unique roll, but the monster dropping it must be of equal or higher level than the unique item level in order to drop the unique. If the unique roll is successful, but the monster's level is lower than the item's level, you get a rare with double the normal durability as a consolation prize.

    Moonfall, the unique jagged star, has an item level of 50, meaning that in order for a monster to drop it, it must be at least level 50. While I am uncertain what exact level normal Mephisto is, it's a heck of a lot less than 50 (I'm guessing it's in the low to mid 30s). I am certain that normal Diablo is 40, and obviously Mephisto is less than that. It is possible that Mephisto rolled for a unique jagged star, but was of insufficient level to drop Moonfall, and thus you got a double durability rare instead. The normal durability on a jagged star is 72, so if yours has 144 durability, it's a failed unique. If the durability on it is 72, then it's a regular rare. (But it's a great drop from normal Mephisto regardless).

    Act I is very easy, regardless of the character. Even Act II is mostly doable, with the only real challenge being Duriel (he's hard with a sorceress). It's Act III-IV where the going will be slow. The "whack monster with stick" strategy starts to fail then as your chance to hit will start to drop quite a bit by then, and monsters start doing more damage so that you will want to kill them from a distance. The problem is that you won't have Frozen Orb yet - which pretty much clears the screen when you cast it - Meteor will be low level, and you won't have the mana to spam fireball.

    Expect your mercenary to do a lot of the grunt work for you. That's why some of the bosses can be difficult, as they usually make short work of your mercenary. I'd highly recommend casting a town portal right before the fight with both Duriel and Diablo, as the chance for death is quite high. Diablo killed my highly twinked sorceress twice.

    Of course, it's not like this character is starting from scratch. I imagine that you have a nice stash of items for a newbie sorceress to help her get a start on things. I highly recommend The Salamander if you happen to have one lying around. It's the unique battle staff, which gives +2 to all fire skills, and additional +skill bonuses to both Fireball and Warmth. It's level requirement is just 21, and that served my sorceress well until she hit level 33 and started using Hexfire.

    My sorceress is currently level 34, and is now fairly self-sufficient (of course I still have a mercenary accompany me). With Hexfire providing +3 to fire skills, and with additional +1 to all skills from both my shield and a Stone of Jordan, I have a good fire and cold attack. I have trained myself to start using Meteor and "leading" enemies in to the blast area. My Meteor has a damage range of several times that of a fireball, and only costs a little more mana. Since I still don't have a ton of mana, spamming fireball is not mana efficient, and I get more bang for my mana buck by casting Meteor. It takes a little practice, and I certainly have not perfected the process at this point, but I think it will pay dividends at higher difficulty settings where damage is king.
     
  2. Dengo Gems: 8/31
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    Hello people,

    During the last economic crisis I lost my job and I've lots of free time now. :D So I started a Magic Arrow Amazon. I'm at level 29 and at Arreat Plateau of Act 5. I think I was a little fast. I will run Bloody Foothills again and again for some XP. I recommend MAzon to all Amazon lovers and everyone who wants to try a different character. After level 13 MA doesn't need mana and at lvl 20 it converts %20 of your physical damage to magical. Since both magical and phsical immune characters are rare in Hell I hope she can survive there.

    Currently she is quite strong. I killed Duriel, farmed Mephisto (he didn't drop anything useful except the unique crosbow from his first time) and killed Diablo twice (he didn't drop anything useful too). I haven't died yet and I will start another character if she dies. I use the healing aura desert mercenary.

    Anyway I want to ask something. Sometimes monsters completely ignore my mercenary and come after me. Even a single monster doesn't touch him. Did anybody else experienced something like this? It happened during my first Act 3 run. Than it happened in my first Act 5 run yesterday.

    Happy Diabloing to all of you :D
     
  3. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    @ Chicken,

    If you have a little money saved up and don't mind getting taking a chance or two, I'd experiment with gambling. In my early Diablo 2 days I wrote it off as a waste of money, partly because I incorrectly assumed that you could gamble weaker "magical" weapons (like in Diablo 1). While most of the items you get from gambling are rather blah, I've found that about 1 in 8 items I get is a rare (at least that's been my luck). As soon as I get a new level in Act 1, I make a b-line for Gheed to see what new weapons become available (there's a chart for it on the Diablo 2 wicki I think). I got myself a rare crystal sword at level 8, which carried me well into act 2, where I gambled a nice rare long sword. By the time I hit Andariel I had a rare version of something in every slot (except my amulet and 1 ring slot - I got lucky with the rare ring - I never gamble for jewelry), which included splint mail, a full helm and a kite shield - all items you cannot buy in act 1, and can only find in Act 1 if your level is high enough. After a while, I stopped browsing the "regular" wares altogether, since "blue" items just seem too weak for use. I only sell them now.

    Selling class-specific items - like staves and wands that give class bonuses - will go a long way in padding your piggy bank for gambling. :)

    @ Dengo

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. :( Best of luck to you, man. In the meantime, you've inspired me to give a Magic-Arrow Amazon a try. Thanks.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    It's actually 1 in 10 that are rare. So multiple gambles will eventually score you a rare. Also, there is a 1 in 2000 chance of gambling a set or unique item. I have gambled a couple of these in my lifetime, so it IS possible. You just shouldn't expect it - but you should expect rares if you make the investment.

    Which is good strategy early in the game, but by the time you get to hell difficulty, most players gamble jewelry almost exclusively (that and anything in the circlet class) with the hopes of getting a +2 skills rare. By the time you are in hell difficulty, the chances of getting most other equipment from a gamble that is better than what you are currently using is remote. Jewelry gambles continue to improve all the way up to level 90 though, so people tend to spend thier money on them once they are flush with cash on higher levels.

    Actually, you cannot find these items in Act 1 normal even if you character is level 99. What TCs monsters can drop from is determined by the monster's level, not yours. Act I normal monsters are not of sufficient level to drop any of those items (with the exception of Andariel, who can drop them). All of the blacksmiths in normal mode (Charsi, Farsa, etc.) also have max levels of items they can offer. Act I items for sale are capped at 12, Act II at 20, Act III at 27, Act IV at 33, and Act V at 40. In nightmare and hell difficulties, item levels offered for sale are your character's level +4.

    What items are available for gambling, on the other hand, are entirely based on the level of your character. Every time you open the gambling window, the game automatically picks a number between -5 and +5 and adds or subtracts that from your character's level (clvl). You don't know what that number is*. The items available for gambling and the modifiers on the items are based off of this number. (Everything in the game has levels associated with it - including items (called ilvl), and the modifiers (called alvl for "affix level") on the items.) Items available for gambling are randomly selected** from all those items that have ilvls that are equal to or less than the selected level, and the affixes are from all modifiers that are equal to or lower than the selected level. That is why it is possible to gamble things that have a higher ilvl than your clvl. (Like gambling for crystal swords and splint mail in Act I. The only downside is there is a slight chance to gamble something that you are of insufficient level to use.)

    * You cannot tell what the number is normally, however, on lower levels you can infer what it is based on the items you see for sale. For example, say you have a character that is level 18 who opens the gambling screen. One of the items offered is a pike. A quick look up of wiki tells you that a pike has an ilvl of 22. You can infer that the game picked at least +4 in order for such an item to be displayed. The highest ilvl that appears on the gambling screen is a coronet, which is level 50. Thus from level 55 onward, it is impossible to tell what number the game picked.

    ** It's technically not totally random. You will always have the option of gambling at least one ring and one amulet. The highest modifiers on amulets (+2 skill rares) are level 90, so you have to be of very high level to get these.
     
  5. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    AFI - The sorceress is running around with Isenhart's Set and Cathan's ring and amulet. The Salamander is on weapon switch. I'm lazy at this point, so I find whacking things the easiest way to deal with them. I've decided to try the max block route just for something different, so, the benefit of the higher dexterity is a continual 95% chance to hit (yeah, I know it will go down, but it's fun for now). Teleport is cool.

    I'm in Act 2 so I picked up the defensive merc. So far so good.
     
  6. ChickenIsGood Gems: 23/31
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    It is a regular rare with a durability of 72.

    I'm pretty much a compulsive gambler in the game (and in many real life situations :p) so I do gamble quite a lot. The main thing right now for me is to find better gloves, belt, and boots. My weapon is pretty darn good, my armor is the unique ghost armor (just finished Act 1- nightmare) so it is solid, and my shield is unbelievably good right now. Due to this nice equipment status I haven't bothered with gambling as much, but probably will soon as I fill up my gold stash.

    And for a quick question on gambling... I haven't really check, but does it indicate if an item available is an exceptional or elite version before gambling. Like I said, I just started nightmare so I haven't really had experience with this yet.
     
  7. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    On gambling, they all look like the normal version, but there's a chance that they will be exceptional or elite. For example, I gamble coronets and will get tiaras and diadems occasionally (the latter is obviously pretty rare). AFI can probably tell you the exact odds.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Isenhart's set is definitely solid for early in the game. I've used it before, and it really gives you everything you need in the early going. The Salamander is obviously useful for when you want to cast fireball, and for regenerating mana after casting fireball. I don't even know what Cathan's amulet does offhand. I know the ring is there for life leech.

    Exact odds I cannot give, as there are two factors in play. 1.) Your character's level. The higher level you are, the greater the chance of having the item upgraded to the exceptional or elite version. 2.) The item you are gambling. Lower level items have a higher chance of getting an upgrade. For example, there's a much greater chance of a sash being upgraded to a demonhide sash than for ancient armor to be upgraded to ornate plate. There are also minimum level requirements for getting the upgrades (although I'm not 100% sure what those levels are). I think you have to be at least level 35 to score an exceptional while gambling, and I think that you need to be at least level 70 to get an elite.

    At higher levels - say 70 and higher - your odds of getting an exceptional are generally quite good. The frequency of getting them varies with the item in question, but from my expereince the odds of getting an exceptional are certainly better than getting a rare. I do remember reading a link where the author did some experimentation gambling coronets. He did several hundred gambles with this character to try to avoid sampling error. All the testing was done with a level 90 character, and he scored an exceptional tiara nearly 30% of the time. I must admit that I've never been able to test this myself, for lack of a level 90 character. My highest character level is 88, and I do score a lot of exceptional equipment with his gambles, so the 30% chance at level 90 does not seem unreasonable.

    Elites are a different matter entirely. The odds of getting an elite are always significantly lower than getting an exceptional. That same article stated that coronets were only upgraded to the elite diadem about 3% of the time, and keep in mind that was with a level 90 character. Lower level characters would have even worse odds.

    Keep in mind that you aren't just interested in gambling an exceptional or elite. You also need the upgraded item to be rare to really be a good item. Rares are a flat 1 in 10 chance regardless of a character's level, so the odds of getting an exceptional rare are only around 3%, while the odds of getting an elite rare are only around 0.3%.

    There are two very good reasons why high level characters gamble a lot of jewelry: 1) jewelry (especially amulets) can get modifiers that are generally not available on most other types of gear. 2) There is no such thing as an exceptional or elite amulet ot ring. Once you get to a high enough level, every amulet you gamble has a (small) chance of getting the +2 to all skills modifers on a rare, so you don't have to worry about getting both the upgrade and the rare simultaneously.

    With my level 88 necro I gamble a lot of amuelts and rings. I also will always gamble both circlets and coronets. (Circlets can only get the +1 to all skills modifier (as opposed to coronets, tiaras, and diadems that can get +2), but +1 to all skills along with other good modifiers on a rare is a very good item.) I will also gamble for any item I am currently wearing that is a rare. This usually means boots, gloves, and belts. No matter how good your rare is, you can always do a little better. (However the same is not true for set and unique items as they can have modifiers that are unavailable on gambled items. For example, you can never gamble a weapon with the crushing blow modifier. So sometimes if you are using a set or unique item, you already have something better than anything you could hope to gamble.)
     
    ChickenIsGood likes this.
  9. Dengo Gems: 8/31
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    @Death Rabbit: Thanks and good luck if you try a MAzon. The best thing about her is she is not very item dependent. I just use the most damaging bow I could find and try to max resistances with other items. A glove with knockback would be useful and can be crafted. I found Cleglaw's Pincers (knockback and slows target) in Act 1 normal, I'm still using them in Nightmare, probably I will finish the game with them.
     
  10. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Cleglaw's pincers are a good pair of gloves, though you would be missing out on all the set bonuses by using them with an Amazon.

    Regarding gambling, I'm getting exceptional versions of items rather frequently. I don't know if it's item-specific in any way but all the Leather Gloves I'm gambling are turning up as Sharkskin gloves. Unfortunately they're all either normal or magic items, no rares are turning up yet.

    My Necro (using Proteus's mod) is in the Kurast Bazaar now. My little army consists of 3 skeletons, 3 skeleton mages and a Fire golem and they're doing quite well for the time being. The golem is good, he's doing quite a bit of damage. The skeletons aren't powerful enough yet, but they're acting as good fodder and the mages are more useful for their specials (poison and especially ice) rather than the actual damage they're doing.

    I'm finally starting to see more runes as well, though they're all still the low-level ones (well, mostly El and Eld, but the Cube can fix this eventually)
     
  11. Balle Gems: 19/31
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    i have installed d2 again on my new comp and will be playing a strafe/coldazon using this guide http://forums.diii.net/showthread.php?t=676075

    i chose this guide because it does not really require any good items, and i might switch to another char during this run, but i don't think so

    as this is my very first build on the new comp i sadly have no gear what so ever to pass on, but after i clear with this one i will see what gear i have got and then decide on a new build

    if anybody has a good low lvl bow feel free to pm me with it
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Really Ziad? I'm too long winded for you to go through my posts? I apologize, but I addressed this very thing in my previous post:

    So yes, something like regular leather gloves are a low level item and thus have a higher chance of turning up exceptional when you gamble, irrespective of your character's level.
     
  13. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    You did address it, and I did see it, then when I went through your calculations for rare exceptionals and rare elites it slipped my mind. No need to get snappish about it.
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Sorry Ziad - I wasn't trying to be snappy. I was more disappointed in myself to think that I was so long winded that people had stopped reading what I wrote. It's quite the ambarrassing situation. I certainly wasn't angry with you Ziad.

    My Meteorb finished up a few more Baal runs on normal, as I wanted to level her a bit more before proceeding to nightmare. She's now level 41, and I think I will start nightmare tonight. I wanted to get to level 41 to wear Duriel's Shell (the unique Cuirass) for the resistances. My cold and poison resistances are maxed, and I'm one percent away from maxing fire and lightning (close enough). It also has cannot be frozen and gives +1 life per character level, which isn't bad.

    The only other armor that I'm even considering using in nightmare is Que-Hegan's Wisdom, the unique Mage Plate. It doesn't give any bonuses to resistances or life, but does give +1 to all skills, faster cast cate, bonuses to mana and energy, and +3 mana per kill. So it's much more of a caster's armor than Duriel's Shell. I'll probably wear one of these armors until I can equip Tal Rasha's Guardianship at level 71, which is clearly superior to both.

    I'm really on the fence with the pieces I have to Tal Rasha's set. The only piece I'm definitely using is the armor. If I had the amulet, I'd have the entire set, and then it would be a no brainer to use everything for the mega compete set bonuses. Unfortunately, I don't, and so I need to decide which pieces to use based on the properties on the items and partial set bonuses. With huge resistances, high armor rating, big magic find and a strength requirement of just 84, the body armor is superior to anything else I'll be able to get my hands on.

    The mask is decent enough. It gives significant bonuses to mana and life, has nice resistances, and oddly has both mana and life steal as modifiers. (Odd in the sense that sorceresses don't typically enter melee, and therefore will not be dealing physical damage, which is the only way to leech mana or life.) It's OK, but I wouldn't use it over a circlet class item that gave bonus skills and resistances.

    Then there is the orb, and that's the one I'm completely undecided on. Fire is going to be my primary attack. My current weapon, Hexfire, gives +3 to all fire skills. Tal Rasha's Lidless eye gives +2 to all three elemental masteries (fire, cold, and lightning) and has a partial set bonus for wearing two items of +1 to all sorceress skills. If that was the only basis of comparison I was using, Hexfire would be the superior choice. However, if I add a 3rd item of the set (either the helm or belt, although probably the helm as the belt is the least impressive item in the set), I get the partial set bonus of -15% enemy resistance to fire and an additional 65% magic find.

    At that point the question becomes is -15% enemy resistance to fire going to be more damage than having an additional +2 to both fireball and meteor (since I get +2 fire mastery on the orb, my fire mastery skill will be +3 regardless of which weapon I have equipped). My feeling is that it will, although it will probably require some play testing to be sure. The -15% will be insufficient to break fire immunes, but equipping the orb will give me an additional +2 to cold mastery, which should make fire immunes take somewhat more damage from my frozen orb.

    I have to real motivation to add a 4th item to the set unless I acquire the amulet. The partial set bonuses for the 4th item are -15% enemy resistance to lightning (which I don't use as a meteorb) and +20% faster cast rate. So there's no way I'm using both the mask and belt without completing the set.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  15. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Question - does the Secret Cow level net better drops than other areas?

    I did it for the first time the other night (careful not to kill the Cow King, so I can keep going back), and I've now done 3 total runs. I've found 2 uniques, 4 set items (completing Ceglaw's Set...my first!) about a half-dozen flawless or perfect gems, and a stockpile of 3-socketed weapons and armor. I've never seen so many socketed items drop in one area, ever. It's awesome. This is my level 42 Frosty Zealadin, on Normal difficulty (I'm just barely into Nightmare), so I have to have it on players 8 otherwise it's just too easy. I realize players 8 is helping with the drops, but the quality is just outstanding. I have a ton of magic-find gear on, but that doesn't explain the socket items, runes and gems flying all over.

    Or am I just lucky again?
     
  16. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Aldeth, your posts are not to blame. My short attention span is :)

    As for your Meteorb, I've never had Tal Rasha's set but from your description it seems that staying away from the set until you get the amulet is the way to go. From what I remember I relied on Fireball and Meteor with my Sorceress far more than on Frozen Orb, especially when I had enough mana to spam Fireball for insane amounts of damage. You could always have the Eye as your 2nd weapon configuration and switch to it when you want to use Frozen Orb. If you really want to get the exact numbers you'll have to make the calculations and compare the damage that your Fire attacks will make with each weapon. You may end up with a situation where one weapon is more effective against fire resistant enemies while the other is better against the regulars.

    About the resistances you mentioned from Duriel's Shell - are they maxed in Nightmare, or is that still in Normal?

    Speaking of unique swords for a Sorceress, my Necro found Hellplague yesterday, which gives +2 to all Fire skills, a very nice item to have. Oddly enough it also adds lots of elemental damage and life and mana leech, which needless to say my Sorceress will not benefit from, as I think she's a bit past the point where she can get away with beating things in melee range.
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    DR - As far as sockets are concerned that's just plain lucky. About 5% of all normal items are socketed - assuming that they can contain sockets - so helms, body armor, weapons, and shields. Of course that's on average - there is nothing to say that a single area will not net you a higher percentage, but unless you've done dozens of cow runs you probably don't have a large enough sample size to make a prediction.

    I also notice that you get a ton of gems on the cow level. There must be a high probability of cows selecting from the gem TCs, although I have no idea what the exact odds are. The final reason you get so much stuff from the cows is that there is simply so many of them! The number of cows on that level far exceed the number of enemies you encounter on a single area anywhere else in the game. Good magic find + players 8 + tons of enemies getting killed = good drops!

    Enjoy your experience with players 8 in nightmare - that will come to an end once you hit hell difficulty.

    Ziad - Tal Rasha's set is the class specific set for the sorceress. Like the other class specific sets (the Immortal King set for the Barbarian, Griswald's Legacy for the Paladin, etc.) it is pretty much the ultimate set you want for a sorceress. The huge bonuses you get are mostly for the complete set. For example, once you complete the set, you get resist all +50%, and +3 to all skills, along with about 10 other less impressive bonuses. I'll definitely use the armor, because it gives you +40% resist all along with big magic find.

    Speaking of resistances, those are my resistances in nightmare difficulty. Maxing out resistances in normal is nearly automatic. When I advanced to nightmare, a lot of my resistances were seriously below 75% though. Duriel's Shell provides +50% resistance to cold, and +20% to the other elements. That's a very respectable total for body armor.
     
  18. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    I'll definitely have to keep an eye for any pieces of Griswald's and Tal Rasha's sets. I know there's also a good high-level Necro set (Trang-Oul's I think?). I'm really starting to see the advantage of running multiple characters simultaneously, what with having all the rares, uniques and set items combined between them and pooling all their runes together.

    Speaking of the Necromancer, I'm in Act 4 Normal and I've officially stopped using /players 8. The amount of HP that the enemies have is just ludicrous at this stage. It was manageable until I got to the City of the Damned, then it became just tedious to wait forever while my little army eats through the hordes of enemies. I may turn it back on when I get to Act 5 and see if it's more viable there. I did find my very first +1 to all skills items, a very nice unique amulet that also gave other useful bonuses to my Necro. The Necro also found a nice staff with +1 to all Sorceress skills which I will pass on to her.
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Trang-Oul's is indeed the necromancer set. There's one for each character. To complete the list, Aldur's Watchtower is Druid set, M'avina's Battle Hymn is the Amazon's (the weapon it comes with is a bow - javazons are out of luck) and Natalya's Odium is the Assassin's set.

    There are also a few other sets that aren't technically class specific but because they give +skills to a specific character class, you probably wouldn't use them otherwise. For example, Berserker's Arsenal comes with an axe, armor, and helm that anyone can equip. However, the completed set gives +1 to barbarian skills, so unless you were a barbarian, you probably wouldn't be interested in the set. Other examples: Milabrega's gives +skills to a paladin, but anyone can equip the set, and Naj's give sorceress skills but anyone can equip it.

    Regarding players 8, don't sweat it. I play on battlenet, so the only time I play against monsters equivalent to players 8 difficulty are when there are seven other players in the game! The only thing you are sacrificing is fewer drops from monsters, and a few levels worth of experience. Both dmc and I made necros - he played nearly the entirety of the game on players 8, while I played on battlenet, usually soloing, so the equivalent of players 1. He certainly found a lot more runes than I did, but in terms of set and uniques we weren't that different. Also, you'd think that he would have earned way more levels than me, but that didn't happen. He was just short of level 90 when he finished the game, and I was level 86. Granted, you need to more than double your experience point total to go from level 86 to level 90 - so dmc did earn a lot more experience points than my character - it's just that leveling past 85 or so is such a slow process that having half the XP results in just 4 levels worth of differnce.

    OK, I STILL cannot decide on my headgear, and the decision time is nearing. My sorceress is near the end of Act II, nightmare, and is level 50. The two contenders for my helm are the unique Harlequin Crest (henceforth abbreviated HC) and the set Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest (henceforth abbreviated TR), which is part of the Tal Rasha's set. Once the partial set bonuses are factored in, it becomes a very difficult decision (if you compare just the stats on the two helms, HC is better than TR, but partial set bonuses count).

    (As an ancillary point, I have determined that based on partial set bonuses, a Meteorb is best off using an odd number of pieces to Tal Rasha's Set - you should use either one piece, three pieces, or five pieces (which is the compete set). Using two or four pieces just doesn't make much sense. Two pieces improve your mana regeneration rate and gives +10 to replenish life. Nice, but nothing that makes you say wow. Adding a third piece gives you a huge bonus to your fire damage (by lowering enemy resistance to fire). That obviously is a huge bonus. The fourth piece does the same thing for lightning as the third piece does for fire, but a Meteorb does really use lightning based attacks, and thus, doesn't benefit from it. The fifth piece improves cold damage by 15%, and also completes the set with all the other bonuses. So I'm assuming wearing three pieces right now, and I'm adding in the partial set bonus for the third piece to TR's helm.)

    In favor of HC:

    Bonus to mana and life. you get 1.5 bonus mana and life for every level of your character. TR also gives a bonus, but it is a flat +60 to mana and life, irrespective of level. Even at the earliest level you can use it (62), HC would already provide +93 to mana and life, and the difference gets greater for every level you gain. Significant advantage HC.

    +2 to all skills. Partial set bonus from TR set will give me +1 to all skills. Obviously, this is also a significant point in favor of HC. In fact, if not for an unusual attribute in the TR partial set bonus, it would end the debate right there. Significant advantage HC.

    10% Physical damage reduction. Since I'm going to have very high life regardless of my helm selection, (I went for high life instead of high block) this is a nice mod to have, but certainly non-essential. Slight advantage HC.

    In favor of TR:

    15% resist all. HC provides no resistance of any kind. Signifcant advantage TR.

    10% life and mana steal. Nice to have, but since I won't be entering melee much (generally I only enter melee to finish off wounded opponents) it's certainly non-essential. Slight advantage TR.

    65% magic find. This is another partial set bonus. HC provides 50% magic find. Slight advantage TR.

    -15% enemy resistance to fire. This is a bigee, and it's another partial set bonus. There is no comparable stat on the HC, nor on any other helm in the game to my knowledge. This will more than make up for the damage on my fire attacks being one level lower. Resistance for monsters can go into the negatives, so the only things that won't be affected by this are fire immunes (immunities can be broken, but you need a lot more than -15% to do it). Big advantage TR.

    So there you have it. Like I said, I'm undecided. I get one more +skill going with HC, meaning my cold attack will be stronger (both Frozen Orb and Cold Mastery get the bonus) with HC, while the -15% enemy fire resistance will make my fire attacks more powerful. I get more mana and life with the HC, but with improved resistance on TR, I'll likely take less elemental damage. I just don't know.

    EDIT: This is all assuming I do NOT find the final piece of Tal Rasha's set. I'm missing the amulet, which is the second hardest piece to find (the armor is the rarest piece). If I find the 5th piece, using the complete set is a no brainer, as it gives +3 to all sorceress skills, thus exceeding the biggest thing HC has going for it. Regardless of what I eventually decide on, I will for a time at least, use HC. I cannot equip the other two pieces of Tal Rasha's set I want to use until I'm level 71, and the stats I get for just the helm without the partial set bonuses (which obviously require using the other pieces of equipment) make TR a lot less impressive. The only big bonus on the helm itself is resist all 15%. However, I can equip the HC at level 62, and I get all the bonuses irrespective of the rest of my equipment. So for at least those 9 levels I'll use the HC.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  20. Balle Gems: 19/31
    Latest gem: Aquamarine


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    the frostmaiden is coming along nice, and i have even found the unique bow Wizendraw, it is a normal unique with dammage from 15-35 or something like that.

    BUT it has a modifier of -32% to enemy cold resistance, wich means i am shredding through enemies of act 3 nm, she is in the mid 50's now btw.

    the only other 2 drops worth mentioning are the tannr gore rod(a pike with nice dammage and other stats, good for act 2 merc) and the lidless wall (original caster shield of d2 expansion with +1 all skills faster cast rate and a mana boost)
     
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