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Diablo II Single Player Thread - 2

Discussion in 'Diablo 1 & 2' started by dmc, Jan 27, 2010.

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  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, supposedly, they upped the casting level of OK's other curses, including Amplify Damage. Amplify Damage is still not a good curse to be under, it's just not the insta-death result of Iron Maiden. Truth be told, I always thought that the ability to be hit with an Iron Maiden curse mid-attack was completely unfair, as there's no way to stop mid attack, and OKs could sling their spells from off-screen where you couldn't even see them. A paladin or a druid in the middle of a Zeal or Feral Rage cycle has no means of stopping.

    Keep in mind that IM was completely irrelevant to any missile using characters or magic using characters, so the OK was NOT a dangerous opponent to them, at least as far as the IM curse was concerned. I cannot articulate what the exact thinking of the Blizzard developers was, but it certainly appears that they felt IM was unbalancing in that it meant insta-death for melee characters, but nothing to non-melee characters. There is no converse situation in the game, where a melee character is unaffected by some game mechanic that has a great adverse affect on missile or magic using characters.

    Dolls and fire enchanted bosses will still dole out about 500 points of damage when they blow up - more if your fire resistance isn't up to snuff. They're still going to hurt. You just won't get a situation like you had with your amazon against the ancients where your full life amazon got gigged when one blows up. This was definitely a balancing issue. Having an enemy deal over 1000 damage on death when many character builds in the game cannot reasonably expect to have over 1000 life is unbalanced.

    On the CE issue, I completely agree. CE was already extremely powerful. It is because of that spell that necros can basically go through the whole game on players 8, because the damage that spell does is based on the life of the creature killed. On players 8, monsters have a ton more life, so CE deals a ton more damage. With this change, even if a monster is fire or physical immune, it will still take considerably more damage from a CE (even dual fire/phys immunes will take significant damage if Amped).
     
  2. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    I'm starting to wonder if I should actually use ATMA, i've seen it mentioned so often. In fact, i'm off to download it.
     
  3. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I can confirm that ATMA works just fine AND the Iron Maiden curse is a goner.

    So just for the heck of it, I did a Diablo run on my zealot in record time. OK's are still mighty opponents, Lower Resist or Amplify Damage can still really ruin your day, just that you no longer need to worry about getting instagibbed without having any means of avoiding it.

    Since the fire arrows got boosted, seems like it's time to realize that Freezing Arrow/Immo Arrow/Strafe amazon I've been thinking about. :)
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    If you ever plan to play another character beyond the present one you are doing, ATMA is a must. As you have already seen, you are finding items with your druid that are useless to your current character, but could prove very valuable to a character of a different class. ATMA allows you to swap items between characters.

    I am intrigued. Obviously it's 20 points in Strafe, Freezing, and Immolation Arrow. Strafe gets no synergies, but there are synergies for each of the other two skills. Is there a straight bow build where you spend no (or almost no) points in the other trees (I can see if you want one point Slow Missiles or Critical Strike for example)?
     
  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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    You'd also want to get to pierce as well, but I think that's just three skill points, so no big deal.

    I wasn't a big fan of the bow side of things for my zon. I'm much more into wading in and bashing things or hanging out and slinging spells.
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Yeah, and one of the three is critical strike, which you'd probably want a point of anyway.

    I was reading up on the respecialization, and according to the read me file, you get one every time you complete the Den of Evil quest. However, it says that hell characters who already have done the Den of Evil quest all three times will receive a free respec upon the patch update. So it seems rather simple to determine if this works in single player - just get the patch and see if one your hell characters gets a respec.
     
  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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    I think the respec concept is actually pretty interesting. I can't see doing it for any of my current characters, as I built them all with finishing Hell in mind. However, you can now plan builds that are purely to try things out, so long as you know where you're going, you can rebuild them in Act I Hell.

    It might really help out people who play untwinked, in that they can build a character with a certain end in mind, only to find a completely sweet piece of gear that would be usefull for a different varient. They can then do a complete change mid-stream. (Think bone necro that finds an Arm of King Leoric along the way.)

    I see the point you are making with OK's by the way, but, to me (not playing hardcore), part of the coolness of this game is how difficult it is and how most characters can still die if unlucky or not careful. I guess I don't mind an instagib every now and again - teaches you to treat things with respect. That being said, you are going to see a lot more Diablo running with melee characters now.
     
  8. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I'm thinking along the lines of 40 for FA+synergy, 40 for Immo+synergy and 1+skills for strafe plus prerequisites. I'd pretty much have to go Valkyrieless with that, as squeezing out the points to reach Pierce already puts me into 90+ level range.

    While Ice runeword certainly packs a wallop for a Frost Maiden, I'd rather consider Faith due to its much higher physical damage and Fanaticism to boost Strafe. A perfect Faith gives +5 to Bow skills as well, so it's not like I'm sacrificing my elemental attacks by choosing that.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Since you're not putting anything into javelin and spear skills, there's no reason why you couldn't use both bows. You could have Ice on weapon switch for when you're using the cold skills. I did something similar a while back when I made a Stafe/Immo build. I had a Buriza as my main weapon, and I switched over to Koku for Fire attacks.

    I completely agree it is a boon for untwinked characters. I can even see the nightmare respec being helpful to reset your stat points, if you find a piece of equipment with a higher strength and/or dexterity requirement than you were expecting.

    However, it also allows you to play as many variants of a single character class as you'd like, as you are NOT required to use the respec as soon as you earn it. To use your planned druid build as an example, you could make a pure Kodiak, save your respecs, beat Baal on hell difficulty, use your respec, and try beating him again with a Armageddon Kodiak. Then use another respec, and try beating him with a Hurricane Kodiak. Finally, you decided you liked Armageddon the best, so you use your last respec to turn him back into a Armageddon Kodiak.

    Beat Diablo and did the Bloody Foothills last night. Running rune count: 1 Sol, 2 Amn, 1 Ort, 1 Tir. Certainly seems like more runes to me. I actually acquired two more levels before fighting Diablo, and got two more in the Bloody Foothills, so I'm level 37 now. I also checked off the first item on my "To-Do" list - finding a suitable one-handed weapon. In the Bloody Foothills a regular monster dropped Hellplague, the unique longsword. The +2 to fire skills is entirely useless for any barbarian, but it has solid base damage, add 25-50 fire, and some poison (always handy). The winning mods on it are the 5% mana and life leech. That greatly increases the flexibility of all my other equipment choices (well, at least jewelry choices) as I can get by with just that for leech purposes (although I still like my rare life leech ring with some other useful mods).

    I put the Sol I had just found to immediate use and immediately upped it to a rune sword. It was perfect the way this worked out. I barely had both the strength and dexterity requirements for a rune sword, and I had just acquired the Sol. So I went from a slow clunky rare maul, to a very fast one-hander, which allowed me to equip a shield, and actually upped the damage of my main weapon along the way. You can't beat that.

    The other items on my to-do list before going to nightmare in order of easiest to hardest to acquire:

    1. Given that my resistances are not so great (they are all nearly maxed as of now, but that's going to be insufficient in nightmare), I'm probably going to do the prismatic amulet craft as soon as I get the required pgems (I burned my only pemerald on the weapon upgrade, as that was definitely a higher priority). Recipe is one pgem of every type except the skull + any magic amulet = prismatic amulet (resist all 16-20%). There's a 50-50 chance of also getting a suffix on the amulet, which can be any suffix with an alvl less than or equal to your character level.

    2. Get a better helm. The only reason I'm using the rare circlet I have right now is because prior to acquiring Hellplague, it was my only source of mana leech. The circlet does practically nothing other than that, so it's usefulness is at an end. I'm hoping Anya hooks me up with a decent barb helm, although whatever rare she gives me is likely to be better than what I have.

    3. Better armor - and barring a lucky drop this will likely have to be acquired through gambling. Once I hit level 40ish, I'll be able to gamble ancient armor (technically you can gamble ancient armor as low as level 36, but there's only a 1 in 10 shot of ancient armor possibly being listed then). I'm looking for two rares if possible, one for me, one for my merc. So I'm going to need enough gold for about 20 ancient armor gambles. The plan is to stockpile gold until I hit the 2.5 million stash limit (currently at about 1.1 million), or until I hit level 40, whichever comes first.

    4. Get a better shield. I'm currently using a tower shield of deflecting. It has a nice block rate, but it is rather disappointing beyond that. Unfortunately, there is no easy means of acquiring a good shield other than finding one. Larzuk hardly ever has any shields on his armor list of equipment (Anya sometimes does, but typically not of the base item type I'm looking for), and since I'm not going to settle for anything less than a tower or bone shield* with at least the "of blocking" mod (preferably the "of deflecting" mod) and something in the way of resistances (or sockets), it could be a long time coming.

    * Bone shields actually have the second highest base chance to block of all the normal shields. The tower shields are the best at 49%, but bone shields are 47%, have much lower strength requirements and can be found as early as Act II.
     
  10. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    Well, techically I COULD do that, but the main point of having my main, backup and anti-small-group attack on the same weapon is that the weapon switch could be used for something that gives me further benefits, such as Call To Arms. Given that I'll have loads of +skills on the guy, the extra life actually becomes meaningfull.

    Edit: On the subject of respecs.. The day my Grief/Dream zealot finally finds a Highlord's Wrath amulet, he's queued up for a respec. Sure Fanaticism is nice, but all I really need is 40% off-weapon IAS to reach the final Zeal speed breakpoint and Conviction will solve the AR problem much better than Fana does. Not to mention Conviction + slvl 30 Holy Shock is bound to give some.. interesting results. ;)

    Edit2: On another thought, does anyone know what exactly happens when you get Decrepified or Holy Freeze aura'd? More specifically, does having Fanaticism counter getting hit by them, or do you get capped at 4fpa (with or without Fana) first and THEN slowed by the Decrep/HF percentage?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I agree that Conviction is a much better option for solving AR problems than Fanaticism. Once you hit hell difficulty, anything that lowers enemies defense by a percentage is always going to be more advantageous than increasing your attack rating, unless you're talking about adding a TON of AR. Making a conviction zealot is actually something I've wanted to do for a while, but for one reason or another, I never got around to doing it. I was thinking of making a low budget one - something along the lines of Baranar's Star + Doom armor and seeing how that performed.
     
  12. Viking Gems: 19/31
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    Lots going on here. I've spent about 20 minutes if that in the live 1.13 patch, so I've not seen anything different as yet.

    Magezon - They've increased the power of the Fireskills for sure, but I cannot bring myself to play (I have tried) a bowie with a ~30 frame attack cycle. If they wanted to fix it, the should simply have removed the cool down.

    Hydra sorceress - The skill was always hell worthy. Orb hydra is a great no twink hybrid to solo the game with. Even better if you have some gear of course, and even better now of course. The problem with Meteor is that it really only has very limited use as an attack spell, and great use as a synergy for Fireball. But really any Metorb sorceress is really a Fireball / Orb sorceress with meteor to drop on Meph and other rare occasions. The Fireball on your Hydra sorceress is indeed somewhat under powered, but it's decent to spam during the cool downs.

    OK / IM - Shame imo. And I only play HC. It was the seriously on your toes sort of thing, though of course it was a little harsh at times.

    Leap attack / Zeal - Yay for bug fixes here. Flying Booyaka is back on the menu if I find a suitable weapon for it.

    Respec - Bad imo. The real challenge of a lot of builds was actually levelling them up to their main skills. The replayability of the game was for me at least the trying of different builds, and making them work all the way from A1 normal -> Act 5 Hell. (Clearly quite a few never made it quite that far.... )

    Runes - Good. Though they missed the real trick which would have been to move the Hell forge to drop the top 11 runes in Hell. (Drops 1-11, 12-22, 14-24). Dropping 23-33 in Hell would certainly make it viable for those of us who don't use dupes to consider some of the higher end runewords. As it stands, they are still rare as rocking horse dung, just slightly more likely than before. 4 x no chance is still basically no chance.

    I can't remember if the lower runes have been increased accross the board. Certainly high end has been increased four fold. However, this is not the chance of actually dropping runes in the first place which I don't think has been changed. It's simply the rune distribution that's been changed as I understand it. In other words what you've seen so far is probably not the function of the patch.

    Making the necro even more powerful - Well, CE and PN really needed a boost :rolleyes: The necro was the most overpowered class in 1.12. I think it's fair to say that there were other places Blizzard could/should have spent their time giving out the love.

    On the analysis of Cb earlier - 25% of current HP is more effective than you describe. Particularly for High end bosses. Even more so for those of us that don't use duped runes which generally means no Grief etc, etc.

    Conviction is indeed better than fana in almost any situation in Hell. Conviction zealot - I used Gimmershred for mine Ouch for range, yay for damage. Nothing immune, but hard work. I hate LMB attacks. Doom armour btw??
     
  13. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    In which way, then? I know I ignored the discretization part of it, but that's hardly going to change it from 'kinda nice' to 'ignore everything else but this' status. :D

    It's 25% of current HP only against normal mobs, which incidentally have lots less life than any boss does. Against bosses it's 12,5%.

    Sure, if you're poor/unlucky enough to not have obtained a decent melee weapon (100+ damage) by Hell level, CB is going to look exceptionally good in comparison. The problem is, it has a fixed value that never increases, thus it'll get left in the dust eventually.
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    You would still have to use Exploding Arrow during the cool down, just like before - and that damage has been boosted as well.

    I too noticed that once I got to hell difficulty I was using Fireball a heckuva lot more than I used Meteor. The problem with using Meteor is it requires you to have a very durable merc, in order to get the monsters to stay in one place. If your merc cannot take much of a beating, and you are more of a hit and run type of sorceress, it's nearly impossible to land a direct hit with the meteor, which basically relegated Meteor to a boss killing skill (and it did exceptionally well for that purpose). My concern would be whether or not Hydra did enough against bosses.

    In most of my Meteorb builds, I went a slightly different way with my skill selections. Most builds recommend maxing Fireball, Meteor, and Fire Mastery, whereas I maxed Fireball, Meteor, and Fire Bolt, as Fire Bolt does more for your Fireball than Fire Mastery does. (Of course, I did spend the initial point in FM, as the first point is more than the FB synergy, and FM benefits from any +skill gear you have.)

    I agree with the Hellforge.

    Some of the higher end runes certainly appear to have been increased more than four fold. The chance of a Ber is now 1 in ~1500 and the chance for a Zod is now 1 in ~6000. You are correct in that creatures that previously could not drop a Ber or a Zod still cannot drop a Ber or a Zod. Furemore, while they increased the chance of picking the rune TC, it relies on the still quite remote chance of picking that TC in order for the rune to drop. However, in the case of Ber, if that TC is picked, it's a 50% chance of getting a Ber, and in the case of a Zod drop, if the right TC is picked it's a 100% chance, as there's nothing else in that TC (all other rune TCs have two runes in them).

    Generally, I agree with your assessment that the main change in rune drops is in distribution. Your odds of landing anything from Ist on up are still pretty damn low. The biggest change seems to be greatly increasing the frequency of the runes in the 15-24 range. My point is THAT helps, as you can upgrade runes. Getting more mid-range runes allows you to have hopes of upgrading to get one Vex, or one Ohm to access those high end runewords. The ladder-only runewords, many of which require 3-5 very high level runes, are still out of reach.

    I stand by my earlier statement that if you are a melee character, you probably want one source of CB somewhere on your equipment. In most cases, melee characters have high enough attack speeds and hit rates that even getting something like 10%-20% CB is adequate in most instances. I did have a frost zealot once running around with about 70%, and he was a ton of fun. I have found that for other classes, such as Fury WW, and WW Barbs can get away with considerably less.

    I don't know what an LMB attack is. The Doom armor would most likely be used by my merc, and the merc would almost certainly be an Act II merc with defiance. Using conviction means I'm not going to have problems hitting things, and I'm not going to necessarily need a might merc because a goodly percentage of my damage will be elemental. A defiance merc with Doom armor represents the ultimate defense merc, as you get the boost to defense, and the benefit of slowing enemies down, which is basically the equivalent of 50% damage reduction. The selection would be based on increasing staying power.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 47 minutes and 2 seconds later... ----------

    EDIT1: My barb is now level 43, and next up is doing Nihlathak. I have also completed maxing Battle Orders, so my next skill to max will be Concentrate, which is currently at 9 hard points spent. As for my to-do list.

    1. Prismatic Amulet - not done yet. I need one flawless or two regular emeralds to upgrade into a perfect and have what I need. As I said, my resistances are currently maxed, but that's with completing the Anya quest, and they are all going to be in the 20s and 30s once I get to Nightmare.

    2. Better Helm - I did OK with my gift from Anya. The barb helm had +1 to all barb skills, +3 to increased speed (whatever), +22 life, and two open sockets. Haven't decided what I want to socket, although I'll probably go with perfect topazes for a nice +48% mf.

    3. Better armor - I decided to just wait until I got to 2.5 million gold before I went gambling. Higher level means better mods available anyway. So while I haven't got my rare ancient armors yet, I haven't been actively shopping them yet either.

    4. Better shield. This one has been an abject failure up to this point. Larzuk occassionally has tower shields for sale, and Anya occassionally has bone shields for sale, but I have not found a decent one yet. If I complete the other conditions, I'll proceed to Nightmare with what I currently have, but I cannot believe I cannot do better than a tower shield of deflecting. Heck, any prefix along with deflecting would be better. A mechanic's or even a single elemental resistance (like ruby or something) along with deflecting would be better than what I've got.

    EDIT 2: Do you get the XP bonus for the Ancients playing on players 8? The reason I ask is that it seems senseless to do them on players 8 if you don't. I can probably beat them either way, but why make the battle take longer than it has to if you do not? I have never been level 43 (probably more like level 45 by the time I get there) when I fought the Ancients, but I cannot imagine that I'll get a full level's worth of XP unless you do get the bonus on players 8.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  15. Viking Gems: 19/31
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    Of course Cb instead of damage on your weapon is relatively awkward unless you're a kicker or smiting the ubers.

    I do agree though that the way is generally Helm/Boots even armour if up against it, and possibly reserve anything high CB for bosses.

    Grief is completely broken though, so comparing that with anything else is a little like saying just use Grief. I've never had the runes to make a Grief, nor would I probably make one even if I could.
     
  16. 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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    Why is Grief broken? I finally downloaded the ladder runeword mod, and that's one of the ones that I actually have the runes for (it isn't all that major except for the LO). I have several phase blades stored up, and I think one may have five sockets. I also have some berserker axes, although I don't think any of them have five sockets.

    I think I am going to start my Kodiak this week. No Dracs, but I have several crafted gloves with 10%CB instead, which the author seems to favor. I could also go with a good chunk of the IK set too.

    I decided that the zon wasn't all that great at running anything. Too many LI's slowed me down. I plugged in the points to make the valk, and she's decent enough (I could see where she'd be great with a serious hard point investment). All in all though, not fast enough and, as I mentioned, I'm not that much a fan of bows, so when I have to fight LI's, I get irritated.

    Not a fast Meph runner either, what with the council guys being LI at the beginning of that level and on either side to get to Meph (plus, my Durance 2 map just blows, and I don't have the patience to restart the map to get a better one). She'll go on the shelf with the rest of the non-necro characters, maybe to be trotted out every now and again.

    The necro is still a major runner -- almost level 93 too. For some reason, he still finds a boatload of runes, more than the zon, which makes no sense, but I have given up wondering why.
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Do you consistently play the necro on players 8, while you don't with the other characters? That's the only thing that would explain more rune drops. BTW, if you're now at level 93, he should also be your primary gambler. He can gamble +2 to all skills amulets. (Rares that come the +2 to all skills and potentially a boatload of other mods.)

    How was your amazon in terms of cow running? I imagine she'd be super quick, as that is consider the build for cow running.
     
  18. 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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    Cow running was fine (although I had to TP out really quick last time, as I realized my merc had engaged the Cow King -- without my permission, I might add). Players 8 was a little tough, as the merc tended to die before the cows were vaporized because of how many there were, how hard they hit, and the fact that I was herding together at least 4 major groupings per engagement.

    I only play the Necro on players 8 against Meph, Baal, Pindle, Eldritch, Shenk, and level 2 of the pit. I find runes, though, all the time with him, even crappy little el's and eld's. Much more often. His MF is over 300, but I didn't think MF actually impacted rune finding. Maybe it does.

    Also, he's almost level 93, not quite there yet. As you know, it's really slow going at this point, so I barely pay attention to experience levels.
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Ah, you see, that is why they recommend Titans for cow running. Titans has a replenish quantity mod on it, so there's no need to herd massive groups together. One group at a time is nearly as quick - the only reason to do mass herding is to conserve javelins, as one group at a time would cause you to run out of javelins fairly quickly.

    MF neither increases nor decreases the chance of finding a rune, simply because the type of item a monster drops is decided before the quality of the item is selected. To use a simple example, the game decides it's going to drop a cap before it decides if the cap is a normal, magic, rare, set, or unique. Since runes do not come in magic, rare, etc, flavors, MF has no impact. Two characters running in identical areas should find (on average over time) equal numbers of runes, both in quantity and rarity. The only variable that affect rune drops that you have any control over is the players setting.

    The +2 all skills mod is a level 90 enchantment. So once a character has reached level 90, you have a 50% chance of having the possibility of gambling such an item. This doesn't mean that 50% of all gambled amulets will be +2 skills, just that 50% of the time your gamble level will be high enough that you could get that modifier. Add or subtract 10% for each level below or above 90, respectively. So at level 93, you'd have an 80% chance of having the possibility of getting a +2 skills amulet. (And conversely, there is no chance of gambling such an amulet prior to level 86.)
     
  20. 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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    yeah, he pretty much only gambles rings and amulets, with the occasional circlet/coronet (those suckers are expensive).

    I have no answer to the rune issue, it just seems to work out that way.
     
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