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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. Viking Gems: 19/31
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    Grief is a game breaker because:

    1) The way the damage is added means you can turn the fastest base weapon the game into harder hitting than the biggest two handers you can find. In other words it completely destroys the balance of weapons between one v two handed for damage and speed v damage. A PB is not meant to hit this hard, it's meant to be fast.

    2) The damage is also bugged. No, I don't mean it doesn't show up on the display, which is nothing new for the LCS, BUT it adds to skills it simply shouldn't add to like Smite. This is a complete oversight when coding the damage in, and should have been fixed years ago.

    There are other game breakers too of course:

    Worst: Enigma, Infinity, CTA - They take the three highest powered class skills and dish them out like candy, so now everyone can play a cross bread of sorceress, barb and pally using none of those classes? Idiotic.

    Very bad: Faith, Insight. Again adding auras that are game breaking. Faith because of the speed adds, Insight, because no-one on ladder for the last 5 years have added a single point into energy.
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I would actually argue that it is the mana system in the game that is broken, and not Insight. No one adds points to energy, even if you're a mana dependent, no-twink build. There are simply so many ways to increase your mana pool and get mana from kills. Unlike with life, there is no real penalty for being a little late pressing the belt slot to drink a potion. I don't mind Insight simply because no one pumps energy, irrespective of class, build, or ladder.

    Just as a point of clarification, the reason you don't like all of those runewords is because they grant skills to character classes that cannot develop those skills on their own? So you wouldn't have a problem with a powerful weapon like Breath of the Dying, because it doesn't provide any skills a character would not normally have? If so, that seems a little odd.

    My barbarian defeated Nihlathak last night, and I have to say, he took a lot more punishment than I had anticipated. (This is partly because my idiot merc got hung up on a wall and did not participate in the battle, but still...) I made a prismatic amulet last night. While I did not get a suffix, I did get resist all 20%, which is the maximum amount of resistances you can get from that recipe, so I was happy with that. I will eventually find a shield that has resistances on it, so needing to wear a prismatic amulet will not always be necessary.

    Speaking of shields, I got a new one, but it represents only a marginal improvement over what I had. I gambled a rare bone shield that had the "of deflecting" mod on it, along with a few other modifiers, but absolutely no resistances. Since the base chance to block with that shield was 4% less than what I had, I'll have to spend a couple levels worth of stat points into dexterity to get back to 75% chance to block (currently at 70%).

    I also completed my first set last night, Berserker's Arsenal. It's completely useless to me now that I'm level 44, but I can see how it could be of some value as a starter kit for a barbarian. If nothing else, getting +1 to all your skills early in the game would be a big help.
     
  3. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I don't think it's only the oskills themselves that cause imbalances, it's the fact that some items are just so heaps and bounds better than anything else that there's no point in choosing anything else.

    Grief makes any other one-handed physical weapon totally obsolete; even perfect BotD is no match for a low-roll Grief, and anything else is just waaaaay down there. Grief can be made in an indestructible, lightning fast phaseblade, while BotD doesn't make sense unless you get an ethereal weapon to put it in. Even worse, Grief PB puts even most two-handed weapons to shame considering the difference in animation speed between 1h and 2h weapons on most character classes.

    Spreading auras is one thing, but letting mainly elemental casters (sup Sorc) get their hands on Conviction via their mercenary is just retarded. CtA single-handedly steals all the major shouts available to a Barbarian and Enigma is just Enigma. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I'm not too knowledgable about a lot of the runewords, simply because I never had the rune to make them. I know CtA gives Battle Orders. What other barb skills does it confer? What runeword gives Conviction? But yeah, if you can get some dual elementalist sorceress with a merc that has a proc of Conviction would be ridiculously overpowered. Back in the day, I would play online with my brother, and we ran a cold sorceress and a conviction pally. Between conviction and cold mastery, there was nothing that could stand up to cold attacks.
     
  5. Viking Gems: 19/31
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    For merc auras:
    Infinity -> Conviction
    Faith -> Fanaticism
    Pride -> Concentration
    Insight -> Meditation

    Other:
    Enigma -> Teleport
    CTA -> Battle Orders + Battle Command (+1 all skills) + Battle Cry (debuff)

    Grief - Completely unnbalanced. I think the only conceivable downside is that it doesn't work with kicks..... :rolleyes:

    Insight is only forgivable because it's available to all players. (And you're right to a degree about the mana adds making energy pretty redundant).

    Pride sucks regardless though some people insist on it because they know little about game mechanics. Infinity and Faith are pretty much the only merc weapons you will ever see on B-net amongst the Dupe loving kiddies. The occasional Insight for certain cold builds as very few immunes can be broken with any level of Conviction, or extreme mana thirsty builds like Frost maidens and Bone Spear necs.

    Make up your own mind about dishing out the core class skills, but for me it's just pandering to the kids that can't accept that the classes are meant to have strenghts and weaknesses, and that's what makes a game interesting. The other issue of course is that they are so hard to put together that at least 99.99% are made with duped runes which makes it all cheating in any event.

    All that said, the most overpowered runeword is probably Spirit, available at level 25 in your weapon: +2 all skills, 25-35 fcr, 55 fhr, ~100 mana, 44+ life all for price of an Amn? Wow. No resists in the weapon version, but still. (Also available in a shield for Pallies at that level which then includes 35 res to Cold, Light and Poison).
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, I don't play on ladder anyway, so I don't use any of those runewords. There are plenty of very powerful runewords available non-ladder anyway.

    Last night I beat the ancients on players 8. I was level 45, with the XP bar approximately half way filled. Upon killing them, I didn't quite reach level 46. Normally, I gain a full level's worth, and that's on players 1. (Although, as I said, I have no idea if the XP bonus applies to the Ancients - I think I read somewhere that the Ancients give either a flat amount of experience points or one level's worth - whichever is less.) Granted, gaining half a level's worth of experience is still a freakin' ton for five minutes worth of work, but it still puts into perspective how much higher of a level I'm at now than I was at this point in the game in the past. The Ancients were certainly not hard - they weren't even able to touch me because my defense is so high. It just took a while to kill them because of their large amount of life.

    Some other changes to the equipment.

    1. I found a rare amulet that gives +1 to barbarian skills, +8 to all resistances, and few other mods that were not particularly impressive. I know I'm going to need all the resistances I can get, and while it pained me to take off the prismatic amulet, it was a necessary step. My thinking was that I use so many skills so often that anything that grants me +1 to everything is too good to pass up. The other rationalization was that I'm really not losing +12 resistance to all by equipping the amulet, because of course Natural Resistance gets a boost by 1 level as well - it went from +28 to all to +34 to all. So really I am only missing out on +6 resist all.

    2. While I was unable to gamble a rare ancient armor during my gambling spree, I did manage to get a Glorious Ancient Armor of the Tiger, which was none too shabby. High defense and +40 life is hard to beat.

    3. Found a rare plated belt with double-digit resistance to three different elements, so I'm using that. I did not know you could get three different resistances on a belt.

    4. My shield still sucks. I now upgraded to a rare bone shield that has the "of deflecting" mod, so it still blocks fairly well, but no resistances.

    The only downside to playing an untwinked character is that I am reluctant to use my socket quest or my imbue quest on anything that isn't end-game equipment. And right now, I cannot imagine anything that I am currently using being end-game equipment. (I guess one could argue that if I'm willing to up my sword again in could be end-game viable, but I imagine the strength and dexterity requirements on whatever the elite version of a longsword happen to be a pretty steep.

    Edit: Actually, it's not steep at all! The elite version of a longsword is a Cryptic Sword. Unbelievably, the strength requirement is LESS than what it is on the exceptional version - just 99. The dexterity requirement is 109, but that doesn't matter because as a max block character I'll easily exceed that. The level requirement is 61, but with it being upped twice, I need to add 12 to that - but level 73 isn't bad.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  7. Viking Gems: 19/31
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    The Ancients give:

    Normal - 1.2m
    NM - 20m
    Hell 40m

    All capped at max 1 level (same % complete as on your current level).

    This is not affected by number of players or exp nerfs at higher levels.

    Edit to add - for your shield, you could consider a Rhyme Bone shield (or higher versions). Cheap, and has a little bit of everything you need including CBF which can be a pig to get for a no twink character.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I do have the runes for that on-hand (not that a shael is hard to get). The issue I have with Rhyme is I thought that it gave you increased blocking speed, but not an increased chance to block. While both are desirable mods, the former is not as important to me as the latter.

    I killed Baal last night, and the one noteworthy drop was Gravespine, the unique necro wand, that gives a very nice +2 to all necro skills. Threw that in ATMA for future skellimancer use.

    Now I have a decision to make. I'm level 48, whcih is definitely good enough to go on to Nightmare. However, I have an excellent map to run Baal, and possibly pick up some additional goodies before proceeding to Nightmare. The stairs from the WSK2 waypoint to WSK3 are very close together, and likewise the stairs down to the WSC are not far from that. Baal's minions are still providing me EXCELLENT experience, and while Baal took a while to kill owing to his high life total, he was by no means difficult. I didn't use a single potion during the fight, although I did have to provide my merc with a couple.

    Normally normal Baal isn't much of a run to find items, but as I'm just starting out, and basically have nothing, it may be worth a few runs. Baal can drop every base unique item in the game, a lot of which I do not have, but could prove useful (I'd love a Goldskin for example).
     
  9. 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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    As long as you don't get bored, you can run Baal until you are level 58 or so in order to get most of the low level set and unique items (how's your Durance map for Meph runs?).

    There's so much bang for your buck on the minions at this point that it's really worth it so long as you can handle the repetition.
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I do not know how my Durance map is for doing Meph runs, but honestly, I'm not sure it matters. My WSK2 map is great. The way point is literally around the corner for the stairs down to WSK3. I killed like 5 monsters between the WP and the stairs down. On WSK3, the stairs to the Throne Room are also very close, albeit further than around the corner, but still a short trip.

    So the way I see it, Baal drops better than Mephisto, and Baal's Minions (the named ones) drop better than the unique Council Members leading up to Mephisto, and the XPs earned from a Baal run absolutely dwarf the amount I'd get for a Mephisto run. So I think I'm better off doing the Baal runs irrespective of my Durance Map.

    By the way - do I have to do anything to stay on Normal? Since I now beat Baal I do NOT want to open my character and have it immediately shoot me to Nightmare, destroying my awesome Normal WSK map.
     
  11. Balle Gems: 19/31
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    just don't pick nightmare after you click in on your character, it will work lige this:

    open diablo 2>singleplayer>character> CHOOSE difficulty (and pick normal if that is the one you want to pick)
    if you want to keep your maps in normal, don't enter any other difficulties(spl?) or any lan games etc.
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Thanks Balle - I discovered last night that it's pretty much idiot proof (which is good considering it's me we're talking about). Once you open your character you have to pick a difficulty before the game starts, so I can stay in normal (and keep my maps) as long as I want.

    I only played a little while last night - I did just one Baal run. While I did not get anything of particular value from Baal, the XPs are simply fantastic. For about 20 minutes of playing, I went from level 48 (with about half the XPs for level 49) to a couple percent shy of level 50. So I gained a level and a half for that single run. Until I reach a point where I hit major diminishing returns on these Baal runs, there's no reason NOT to continue doing them. I serioiusly doubt I'll be gaining a level every 20 minutes in Act I Nightmare.

    Of those 20 minutes, I'd say five of them are spent fighting Baal. He does take me quite some time to kill. He does not pose any significant threat to me, as both me and my merc have enough life and defense that we don't get hit all that often. In the two Baal runs I've done up to this point, I haven't had to drink a single potion, and my merc only needs a few full healing potions to make it through the battle.

    While I don't know exactly when I'll decide to stop doing Baal runs, I am going to keep going as long as I'm still receiving a full level for a single run. Since I'm currently getting about a level and half per run, that should be at least a few more levels. The way I see it, players 8 is harder than players 1, so it makes sense that I should crank my level up a bit before proceeding to Nightmare. The general rule on Battlenet is you shouldn't start Nightmare before level 35, and preferably level 40. But that's assuming you're in a group, or are playing by yourself on players 1. With players 8, I imagine it's more like at least 45 and preferably 50. With the way I'm going, level 55 seems like a reasonable estimate.

    By that time, I should have maxed out both Battle Orders and Concentrate. That's a good thing, as it means by the time I switch out my current defensive merc for a might merc in act 2, that I'll already be building up my shout skill. Right when I'm losing the defensive benefits my merc is providing, I'll be able to pick up the slack with providing our defense.
     
  13. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Okay so I killed Mephisto with my necro here the other day and got something called "the charged essence of hatred". I assume this is some new quest item added in 1.13. an similar in nature to the key of hatred, destruction and terror. Now, does anyone know what this stuff actually does and if it's of any use in single player? I tried to find something of it from diabloii.net but a search gave me no answers.

    EDIT: Apparently the essence causes trouble with ATMA, and you can't open your character if you have it in your inventory or stash. I might have to get rid of it in order to get access to my stash.

    EDIT2: I also figured out what the essence does. According to diablowiki the essences of suffering, hatred, terror and destruction can be used to craft a token of absolution which grants one skill and stat reset. So fairly useless.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    That is correct. The reason it is fairly useless though is because you now get a free reset from Akara, every time you complete the Den of Evil quest (i.e., the first quest) in Act I. So you get three "free" resets every game. If you did NOT receive that reward, having a reset is a very powerful thing. How many times have you played a melee character and sometime in Hell difficulty you find a weapon that you don't have the strength to equip? The reset solves that problem. The other thin that's great about having a reset is it allows you develop skills early in the game before your end item skills become available, or in the case of mana hungry builds like the sorceress, it allows you to place points early on into energy to keep the spells coming. Later, when you aren't in need of that anymore, you can reset those points.

    I had already completed the Act I Normal difficulty quest prior to v1.13 going live, so I didn't get the reward for that. However, my barb did finish the quest in Nightmare difficulty this weekend, and I did receive the reward. Now, when I go to Akara, in addition to having the "Talk" and "Trade" options available, I also have a "Reset Stats/Skills" choice. I was not required to use it as soon as I received it, and apparently, it's good for as long as you'd like. Since I have the strength to equip all the equipment I currently have, I do not foresee using it any time soon. The only skill points I'd rearrange is if/when I find my end-game weapon. I currently have one point in Sword, Axe, and Mace mastery. So I can save two points if I respec.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Hmmm... I was looking through runewords, and I found this recipe which is pretty good and fantastically cheap. The hardest thing is getting the appropriate weapon:

    Honor: Any melee weapon with 5 sockets
    Recipe: Amn + El + Ith + Tir + Sol

    Results:

    160% Enhanced Damage
    +9 to Minimum and Maximum Damage
    25% Deadly Strike
    +250 Attack Rating
    +1 to All Skills
    7% Life Stolen per Hit
    +10 Replenish Life
    +10 to Strength
    +1 Light Radius
    +2 Mana per Kill

    I mean, really, what's wrong with that? Good damage, attack rating, life leech, deadly strike, and even +1 to all skills! It's like a poor man's Call to Arms. So long as you had some crushing blow somwhere else in your equipment, that runeword made in an elite weapon should be able to carry you a very long way...

    Another runeword that I would not want as my main weapon, but that is also cheap and could be of some use in boss fights is:

    Black: Club, Hammer or Mace with 3 sockets
    Recipe: Thul + Io + Nef

    Results:

    +120% Enhanced Defense
    40% Chance of Crushing Blow
    +200 Attack Rating
    Adds 3-14 Cold Damage for 3 seconds
    +10 Vitality
    15% Increased Attack Speed
    Magic Damage Reduced by 2
    Level 4 Corpse Explosion
    Knockback

    That last modifier makes it almost un-usable against melee monsters. The last thing you want to do is knock them away from you, especially in mobs, where you want to work on a single one until it's dead. But the big defense bonus and large Crushing Blow chance make it a solid choice against bosses.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I hit the Inner Cloister last night. I've gained exactly one level since starting Nightmare, currently at 54. Although Act I does have the greatest disparity of experience points when comparing the beginning to the end of the act, so it's not completely unreasonable to assume that I'll gain an additional level or 2 going forward.

    I got my rare ancient armor, and now I'm looking for a weapon upgrade. I've been crafting, and I've been doing the blood recipes, simply because those are the only recipes that give you guaranteed enhanced damage on the resulting weapon. (In fact, if you get lucky, you can get a TON of enhanced damage, because you always get it as a base modifier, but %ed can also be chosen as one of the random modifiers.) I've been crafting any and all exceptional axes I find, with little success - everything I've crafted up to this point would be a step down from my current weapon.

    Due to the weapon damage being a bit low on my sword, I decided to also try to pick up some crushing blow on my gloves. That's also a blood recipe, so the limiting factor has been perfect rubies. The crafting of gloves has been even worse than axes. The only one I got with a decent crushing blow (9%) has no other worthwhile mods on it - no IAS, no resistances, no magic find. And, to make matters worse, since it spawned with a whole bunch of worthless mods on it, it has a level requirement of 62, meaning I cannot even use it yet. (And the craft was with regular heavy gloves - I didn't use sharkskin that would have upped the base level requirement. None of my axes, all of which were done with exceptional versions resulted in an item I could not use - never mind eight levels higher than what I could currently use.)

    None of this is to say that I'm having great difficulty at this point. I'm still hitting 95% of the time, I'm not dying, and I've been able to handle everything thrown at me. However, given how long it took me to kill normal Baal, I have to think Andariel in Nightmare is going to be a long fight, and with her poison attack, I'd love to be able to get through that in a shorter amount of time.
     
  17. 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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    Started my druid. Finished the first three areas, including Blood Raven and the two dungeons in that area. He's level 12. All I've done is sink a point in the open prerequisites and pump up strength and a little vitality. If I ultimately go for a phase blade as my main weapon (if I find and Azurewrath or if I make a runeword in one) then I am going to need to sink substantial points in dex. I am going to look at the end game gear that I know I have and count backwards for stats, but I think that this character is going to need to be stat-micro-managed because he's going to need substantial strength, dex and vit.

    I have him currently decked out in the Hsaurus set, along with the Infernal Cap, the Cleglaw gloves, a couple of rare rings, a rare ammy, and various crappy charms that I will ditch as time goes by.

    I find that his killing speed is actually better in his own form, although I have not really experimented with either feral rage or maul given that I just got them. I have sunk no points in any tree other than shapeshifting, although I expect that I will ultimately sink a few in the summoning tree. I am having serious doubts about going elemental at all.

    I am also running the necro trying to get some socketed or white items that the druid will be able to use. So far, I have about a dozen phase blades, several of which are of the superior version, a couple of which are socketed (one has five sockets, which I think can handle Grief, IIRC).

    I am expecting to cube a bunch of them to see if I can get a four socketed version to make:

    Oath
    4 Socket Swords/Axes/Maces
    Shael + Pul + Mal + Lum
    30% Chance To Cast Level 20 Bone Spirit On Striking
    Indestructible
    +50% Increased Attack Speed
    +210-340% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    +75% Damage To Demons
    +100 To Attack Rating Against Demons
    Prevent Monster Heal
    +10 To Energy
    +10-15 Magic Absorb (varies)
    Level 16 Heart Of Wolverine (20 Charges)
    Level 17 Iron Golem (14 Charges)


    It comes with built in speed, indestructible and PMH means I don't have to focus my gear so much on things like open wounds or poison. Also, the Level 16 HOW means that I could actually completely avoid the summoning tree (or I could sink two points in it to get a hard point in HOW so that it would stick around if I go to weapon switch). I could also see using the Iron Golem on special occasions where I need an extra tank in Hell.

    I'm thinking of getting a Holy Freeze merc eventually and trying to decide what to arm him with, now that I've added the RW mod. I can always rely on the old staple Hone Sundan, but some of the RW's look interesting. Obedience seems nice (it has 40% CB and some cool other mods), Insight is probably not right for this character, but I might want to make one for mercs for future characters, if I had a couple of Bers just lying around, Infinity would be awesome -- too bad I don't, yet, I could keep an act I merc with cold skills and give her Ice if I could just get another pesky Jah rune -- that has level 18 Holy Freeze on board which is kinda sweet, or I could use the mythical Jah to make Faith for that same merc -- yeah, right.

    I think I need to make an Edge just to equip when I go shopping.

    Speaking of mythical runes and rune words, I could make myself a last wish phase blade and my merc a destruction GPA (just need 4 Jahs, 2 Bers and other minor trivialities) and prance through the whole game on autopilot. The ridiculous runes required for some of these RWs are insane.

    I do, however, have a three socketed archon plate ready for Duress, so that's cool at least.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    You aren't imagining things. His attack speed in his unchanged state is faster than both the standard attack in both bear and wolf form. In fact, Maul and Feral Rage will STILL be slower than your standard attack, but of course your standard attacks will not benefit from the enhanced damage and leech from Maul and Feral Rage, respectively.

    What build are you going with? If it's the Hunger build, then your main attack will get no benefit from the elemental tree, although that does leave open the question of how you would deal with physical immunes. Fire Claws would require you to spend points in elemental synergies to get the damage to respectable levels. Rabies is also very good if you max out that skill and Poison Creeper. It also gives you the added benefit of getting a very high hitpoint vine that will deal considerable damage (and even be able to kill stuff on it's on) throughout nightmare.

    You have a one in six shot with a phase blade.

    That's unnecessary. HOW is a summons, once it's summoned, it sticks around until you un-summon it, cast a different spirit (like Oak Sage) or it gets killed. It won't go away if you switch to a different weapon.

    Since we're on the topic of insane rune words, if you go with a Act 2 merc, you could get Doom - Hel-Ohm-Um-Lo-Cham. So for the cost of just 3 high runes, you could get a level 12 holy freeze, chance to cast level 18 volcano on striking, huge IAS, ED, Prevent Monster Heal, open wounds, deadly strike, +2 to all skills and a partridge in a pear tree. Plus, since it's an Act 2 merc, you could get the Holy Freeze aura on top of the Might aura.
     
  19. 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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    Sorry, but I think you are wrong on the summons issue. If I summon something using a weapon and then switch it out, poof, no more summons. However, if I have a hard point in that skill as well, it will stick around.

    I am going with the Kodiak build, but there are variants, given that the base build does not require all of you points. I can stay pure and max maul, lycan, hunger and bear and put enough hard points in shockwave to reach level 15 with +skills (any more than level 15 is worthless because the stun will not increase beyond that point despite what the computer says). That would leave me with a couple of points left over anyway.

    Or, I could do less than max those skills and invest in the other trees. Just not sure yet.
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I must confess that I have never tried this personally. I always thought that +skills to summons stayed on, even after the weapon switch. For example, if you had a necro with +3 to summoning skills, your skeletons summoned with that wand would retain the benefit of being 3 levels higher, even if later you switched to some other weapon. However, in that case, I obviously had more than one point in the skill to begin with.

    The Kodiak is the one that uses Hunger as the main skill, right? When I played my druid I placed a single point in shockwave, but it was around level 9 or 10 with equipment. At that level, it lasted plenty long to kill stuff. The shockwave/fire claws combo was my solution to PIs, and a single shockwave was always more than enough time to kill at least one monster, sometimes two.

    I know that Maul now gives a damage synergy to shockwave, although I do not think the reverse is true. Unless I'm wrong about the synergies, a one point shockwave should be adequate. A pure Kodiak will have huge defense and huge life totals - like stuff will have trouble hitting you in hell difficulty and you'll be leeching back more life than you'll lose anyway - sometimes shockwaving before killing will be entirely unnecessary, and stuff isn't going to live beyond the length of a shockwave anyway.

    My next druid build - who knows when that will be - will definitely be some combo build that features armageddon. That was the Kodiak variant that I liked the best. That said, if you have a PI solution, a pure Kodiak looks like a ton of fun.
     
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