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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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    I do the same thing (or at least I used to prior to starting SP). Which set is best to start is obviously based on what character you're using, but twinking a new character with a complete set can really carry him a long way, especially in cases where you can start using the set pre-level 10. The ones that immediately spring to mind include Arctic, Infernal, Isenhart, and Death. Milabrega is also excellent, although it's not quite an early set due to the high strength requirement on the armor.

    Sigon's is a sold choice, and it may actually take you a bit further than most sets because it leaves the weapon slot open. The early unique druid clubs come online fairly early, and you could keep the set and start using those weapons. Sigon's offers excellent defense, OK resists, and phenomenal blocking (although given your character choice you're probably keeping dexterity at base).

    Another very solid set for a bit higher level characters is Orphans. For many characters, the shield and mask are worth using on their own, and even the complete set isn't bad, because it leaves the weapon slot free.

    Yeah, you're pretty well stocked. There is virtually nothing you would want and don't already have that can drop in Normal difficulty. Heck, there's probably not much in Nightmare difficulty that you need.
     
  2. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I used to like Sigon's as well, but lately I've switched over to complete Hsaru's instead. A while later (clvl 11) I add Cathan's rings together with any other piece of the set.

    That gives me +30 STR (!!), Cannot be Frozen, some extra fire damage (15-20) from Cathan's and other base goodies. Works especially well for characters that aren't going to invest much in STR, and the added fire damage makes weapon selection easier - you just need something fast.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I was looking through runewords for my barbarian, and it got me to thinking about how some of them do a lot of good stuff for cheap, and a lot of others are quite expensive and do almost nothing. I'm still rune poor, so you think about things like this. So I came up with my own personal list of "biggest bang for your buck" runewords. I'm not saying these are the best you could ever hope for, but are the best when you consider the cost:benefit ratio.

    Helms: Lore (Ort Sol)

    +1 to all skills
    +10 to Energy
    +2 mana per kill
    Lightning Resist +30%
    Damage Reduced by 7
    +2 to Light radius

    While not nearly as good for barbarians and druids who use the helm slot for their class-specific item, getting +1 skills from a helm for the cost of two common runes seems like a bargain to me. Probably best suited for something like a sorceress or necro with the +10 to Energy and mana per kill mods.

    Shields: Rhyme (Shael Eth)

    20% increased chance to block
    40% faster block rate
    +25% Resist All
    Regnerate Mana 15%
    Cannot be Frozen
    50% extra gold from Monsters
    25% magic find

    Tons of good stuff on this one. You get a good block chance, resistances, mana, magic find, even CBF. And it's definitely cheap too. Spirit is also very good on ladder, but it's not necessarily a cheap runeword, seeing as how the base item you need requires you to be a fairly high level to acquire and/or equip. (The lightest shield you can possibly make it in is a Monarch, requiring 156 strength.)

    Armor: Duress (Sheal Um Thul)

    40% faster hit recovery
    +10-20% enhanced damage
    37-133 Cold Damage
    15% chance of crushing blow
    33% chance of open wounds
    +150-200% enhanced defense
    -20% stamina drain
    Cold resist +45%
    Lightning resist +15%
    Fire resist +15%
    Poison resist +15%

    I had to cheat a bit with armors, as the only ruenword that contains exclusively common runes is Stealth - but there's nothing impressive about the mods. Duress only has one rune that can be considered somewhat rare, the Um, but you could find that by late Nightmare, and it's probably reasonable to expect you'll find at least one of these if you play through hell difficulty. I like Duress because of the number of offensive mods that come on this armor. Although it's no slouch in the defensive department either, with FHR, good resists, and up to +200% enhanaced defense.

    Weapons: There's a ton here, although being weapons, a lot of them would only be useful for specific classes. Holy Thunder and Honor are both excellent and cheap, but they don't get the top spot as the base item is tricky to acquire. Holy Thunder requires a four open socket scepter, which isn't common on its own, and add to the fact that you'd need one with some useful +skill on it, means the base item is problematic. Honor requires a five open socket melee weapon, and by the time you get a good one of those, you'll probably have accumulated enough wealth for a better runeword.

    All of the runewords that give a +3 to skills of a particular tree of very good and pretty cheap, but obviously only of use to that character class. So I'm not going to pick things like Leaf, Meoldy, or White either.

    So I'm going with: King's Grace (Amn Ral Thul)

    +100% enhanced damage
    +100% damage versus demons
    +50% damage versus undead
    adds 5-30 fire damage
    adds 3-14 cold damage
    +150 attack rating
    +100 attack rating versus demons
    +100 attack rating versus undead
    7% life steal

    It works in swords and scepters so just about any class can use one of these. All the attack and damage boosts are cumulative, so you effectively get +250 attack rating and 200% damage versus demons, and +250 attack rating and 150% damage versus undead, which account for over 2/3 of the enemies in the game. Three socket swords aren't uncommon, and neither are the runes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, I got to Nightmare Mephisto last night. On my second map generation, I got a decent one. Now I'm torn between going with what I have, or attempting to get a better one, which may result in several iterations of getting something worse than what I currently have. I'm inclined to just keep what I have, as the fighting in Durance Level 2 allows my merc to get his aura up and working before proceeding the Level 3. I just can keep the players set at 1 until I get to down to 3 anyway. If I jump the fire pit and fight Meph immediately, I can do a Meph run in under 10 minutes on players 8. About 3 of those minutes are actually taking out Meph. If I fight everything else on the level including all of the unique council members, it takes more like 15 minutes.

    I ended up upping my little Gnasher to an exceptional weapon, and I have to say that the 20% CB activates often enough that it has become my weapon of choice for Meph running. I've done a few runs so far, and while I haven't got anything good for my character yet, I did get the unique polearm - specifically the unique bec-de-corbin (I think that's how it's spelled) for my merc. It's base damage is over 200, so my merc actually does more damage than me, which really shouldn't be allowed. Robin isn't supposed to outshine Batman, and I'm not my merc's sidekick damn it!

    Anyway, I'm level 64, and I'm probably going to be here a while (doing Meph runs - I won't be at level 64 for long - clearing Durance 3 actually offers some decent XPs). While I don't have a set number in my head, I'll probably have to do a few dozen Meph runs to acquire some decent gear.
     
  5. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I've definitely noticed the improved rune drops, courtesy of the 1.13 patch. :)

    Just in the last few days of consistent Diablo + Baal running on /players8 with my pally, I've scored at least a dozen mid-level runes (from Io to Um), several (!) Gul runes, Ist, second ever Lo and my first ever Ber. :)

    For those wondering: I do have several high-end runewords made of self-made dupes in Single Player to test them out - my mission is to replace them retroactively with self-found runes. IMHO finding the correct socketed items is tough enough without being able to trade for anything. Still missing a Grand Matron Bow with 4 (or zero) sockets with +3 skills for Faith and ethereal Berserker Axe for BotD, among others.

    On a tangential note, I switched my mercenary's weapon from Doom (Holy Freeze) into Infinity (Conviction). I figured I'd get a sneak peek on how slvl 30 Holy Shock works with Conviction before re-speccing to it myself. Lemme tell ya, it was an eye opener. Breaking an immunity doesn't do much as the opponents still have 83% or 93% resistance remaining, but anything else just vanishes as soon as I lay my hands (okay, techically my sword but you get the meaning) on them. It's like going from 0 to 100% crushing blow on a non-twink melee guy. :whoa:

    However, losing the Holy Freeze makes life all that more hectic as it was my only method of crowd control. Oh well, instead of just endlessly piling up on Full Rejuvs I'm actually using them up now to keep my merc alive. Still, he manages to get himself killed consistently by Lord De Seis' pack (the Oblivion Knight Diablo seal boss) since he always comes with Fanaticism/Extra fast and likes to Amp us.

    Finally: One of the greatest challenges in Diablo 2 has gotta be getting a random spawn consisting of Black Souls, Oblivion Knight packs and Horadrim Ancients in Throne of Destruction. Oh wait, make that a triple boss pack (one of each type), peppered with Might, Blessed Aim AND Fanaticism for good measure. I haven't tested the Ubers in Ladder but they've gotta be wussies compared to that triplet. :p
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I'm glad you brought this up. I have noticed similar rates of higher rune drops, although I was unsure if it was due to the new patch, or if it was because I had switched over to single player and have been playing through the game for the first time on /players8 mode. Granted, I'm only doing Nightmare Mephisto runs at this point, so the runes I'm getting are more of the Amn-Hel variety, but I'm getting them at much higher frequency than what I been getting them previously.

    Your decription is pretty much what I would expect. I have played Conviction Zealots in the past, and they were one of my preferred classes when I played in groups and didn't have to worry about physical immunes. They are crazy fast and do crazy damage. Worthless in single player if you don't have a means of doing non-physical damage, but very impressive if you do. One of the things I eventually hope to accomplish is to make a lightning zealot with Doom (either myself or giving it to a merc) to proc lightning and cold damage. If I used it myself, I don't know exactly how I'd feel about a shieldless paladin, as I think that Doom only works in polearms.

    Are you saying you actually ran into such a grouping or are you speaking hypothetically? All three can spawn in the ToD, but can all three spawn simultaneously? (I'm not sure how the game picks which monsters to put in each level. Granted, prior to Act V, there's only a little variability on what kind of monsters you can get - you get like 3 out of 6 possible choices. But in Act V, there are dozens of possibilities. I don't know if the game just picks three from some master list, or if it's one from Group A, one from Group B and one from Group C. If the latter, I don't know if those three monsters share a common group, and therefore could not be picked simultaneously.)

    I did a few more Meph runs last night, and I must say, I have been somewhat disappointed in the results thus far. I'm about 10 runs in now, doing full clears of Durance Level 3, and fighting nothing on Durance 2. (Since I'm a higher level than all the monsters, I just run through Durance 2 spamming Howl.) While I've leveled up twice, I have yet to find any suitable equipment for my present character. I've found a ton of low level set and unique items, which could be useful for future characters, but I need a better weapon right now. For example, in the last run last night, I found the armor from Arcanna's Set and Duskdeep. I didn't have either of them up to that point, and while both are worth having, they are completely useless to me at the moment.

    I guess my complaint is not with the quality level of what's dropping (the majority of items dropped are rare or better) it's the actual item types that are dropping (hardly anything is exceptional). It's been a while since I've read up on drop mechanics, but my understanding was that magic find only affects quality level of drops - it doesn't influence what can drop, so this may simply be a case of bad luck. As I said, I've only done about 10 runs to this point, so the sample size is inadequate to draw any conclusions.
     
  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 your statistical universe is way too small to make a generalization about NM Meph drops at this point. I've gone on stretches with Hell Meph drops where I've gotten nothing but crap for a dozen in a row, so I can't imagine that your NM experience is indicative of expected drops. At 25, you will probably have enough to start seeing patterns.

    I haven't patched up to 1.13 yet, for no real reason that I can think of. Couple of questions -- other than the issue that was raised earlier in the thread about essences, are there any ATMA problems? Also, will the ladder runeword mod work on the patched game (I assume so, but figured I'd ask)? As I am still levelling through normal with my Kodiak (my folks were in town so I really haven't played much), I have some time before I would notice a difference on the bear, but I expect that my Necro runs would get a lot sweeter right away.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    A point I have already conceded. I was just hoping I would get lucky. Although since the XPs are still decent, I shouldn't complain too much. Besides, like I said, it's not like my drops have been terrible in terms of number of rares, sets, and uniques. It's just specifically which rares, sets, and uniques I happen to be receiving.

    Well, I patched up right around the time I started using ATMA, so I may not be the best person to answer this question. However, there is nothing that I have tried to do with ATMA that I haven't been able to do. I can put stuff in the stash, take it out, give it to different characters, so I don't think there should be any issues.

    I don't know, but like you, I see no reason why the mod would not work with the new patch. As I understand it, the ladder runewords are already present in the software for non-ladder players, they are just disabled. The only thing that the mod does is allow them to become usable.

    As far as I'm concerned, getting more runes is reason enough to get the new patch.

    EDIT: Apropos of nothing, I think I'm going to name my skellimancer Sine Qua Non.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  9. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I actually met such a group. First I saw my merc turn into dust within an eyeblink, then I started taking in 500-700 damage hits myself from the super-long-range Soul bolts. :whoa:

    Thank god the triple pack sat at the final crossroads before the actual throne room, so I had some room to divide & conquer. I emerged victorious.. about an half hour later. :D
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I did a few more Meph runs last night, and the results were better. Nothing for my character in particular, but I least I feel like I accomplished something in that I gained some general wealth.

    The following finds were noteworthy:

    I got my first exceptional unique - Razorswitch, the unique jo staff. +1 to sorceress skills, fast cast rate, big mana, and 50% resist all. Not terrible given that it has a level requirement of just 28. You lose the shield, but at least you would not lose the resistance benefits which a shield provides.

    Runes - several, including Io and Fal. I now have the runes I need to make Lionheart (Hel-Lum-Fal). I was considering making Smoke, but I'd much prefer this. The resist all is lower with Lionhart (30% vs. 50%), but just about everything else is better. +25 strength, +20 vitality, +15 dexterity, +10 energy, +20% damage, +50 to life, and -15% requirements. All of my resistances are currently maxed, except fire which is at 70%. With this armor and the Malah quest, I'll pretty much have my resistances topped off for hell. (And presumably I'll eventually get my hands on a shield that offers more than the resist all 25% that Rhyme provides.)

    But I really like Lionheart because of the life bonus. The +50 alone is nice, but +20 to Vitality is worth another +80 life, and with +15 in dexterity, those 15 points can also be put in Vitality, for another +60 to life. So that's a grand total of +190 life, which of course will then be multiplied by Battle Orders, which will more than double the total. Now all I need to find is a 3 open socket elite body armor (or at least a very good exceptional). The -15% requirements means I can put it almost anything.

    My strength is already 156 (which was picked because it not only allows Stormshield, but allows the use of all one-handed swords, axes, and maces in the game), and while this armor would take my stength all the way to 181 which would allow me to equip all but the heaviest items, I cannot actually use that strength to equip the armor in the first place (obviously). Anyway, given my present strength and the -15% requirements, any armor with a strength requirement of 180 or less will do. Which, IIRC, means any armor in the game except sacred armor, and whatever the name for the elite version of full plate mail is (shadow plate, maybe?).

    Set items: Whatever the name of the helm is in Sazabi's set. It gives +1 to all skills, but not much else. I have no idea what the other items are, or what the total set bonuses look like, or even what class is most suited to use it, but given that it's a higher level set based on the helm, I figured I may as well hold onto it.

    Rares - The game openly mocked me here. On one of the runs, Meph dropped a rare tomahawk, which is the first elite item I've seen with this character. I thought it had the possibility of replacing my current weapon. Well, the base damage on it would average just 25 points more than what I'm currently using, and the knockback on it makes it effectively unusable.

    Still, not a bad day overall. What do you guys think about the armor options with Lionheart? I don't really care about stamina drain, least of all with a barbarian because of increased stamina and my huge vitality, so should I just go with the biggest armor I can find (excepting the two armors with strength requirements in excess of 180, of course)?
     
  11. 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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    Hmmm. In no particular order:

    Sazabi's Mental Sheath is OK for a mid range helmet I guess. Gives you skills, nice defense (if that matters) and some key resists without a particularly high level requirement. I'd have to say the other two items in the set blow (relatively). The armor is a balrog skin and the defense is under 1000. It has a level requirement of 67, which means I can use a lot better armors at the same time or earlier. Strength requirement is 165, so that won't matter, it does give 30 FHR which can be nice and +300 AR against demons. +25 To Strength is nice too, I guess, and +50-75 to life certainly can't hurt, but that's it. The weapon in the set is a cryptic sword with a wide damage range (12 To 192). But the friggin thing has a level requirement of 73 -- give me a break! Plus, the dex requirement is 109 (against a str requirement of 99. It has good speed (-10 with 40% IAS) and +318% damage to demons. It adds 25-35 cold damage, which is always good. It's indestructible, yay, so that saves some gold and it adds +15 to dexterity and +5 to strength. Big Whoop. The set bonuses are pretty good, +40% FRW for the partial set and +40% FRW, 15% LL, increase maximum life 27% and resist all +30, for the the complete set, but I'm just not seeing the allure when you compare it to a runeword armor (or even something like Skullders), a shako, and any decent elite unique or runeword weapon. It lacks in +skills.

    Lionheart looks OK -- definitely works well with the barb as you noted the benefits for the stats that translate into sweet life boosting. Have you thought about Fortitude? It's a four socket armor rather than three, so you don't have to worry about specifically finding a 3 socket elite. You can cube an unsocketed armor with a 50% chance of success or have the socket quest make it 100%. Given the way the runes are dropping with the new patch, the Lo is certainly not out of reach for even your first character.

    Fortitude

    20% Chance To Cast Level 15 Chilling Armor when Struck
    +25% Faster Cast Rate
    +300% Enhanced Damage
    +200% Enhanced Defense
    +15 Defense
    +X To Life (Based on Character Level)*
    Replenish Life +7
    +5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
    All Resistances +25-30 (varies)
    Damage Reduced By 7
    12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
    +1 To Light Radius

    There are some sweet perks in there for your barb, including 300% ed and resists.
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, it's not particularly useful for my character, as I already have a rare barb helm that gives +1 to all skills, some life, +3 increased speed (not a big selling point) and came with two open sockets, which I used for +48% mf.

    As for the other items and the complete set bonuses, I agree. They aren't terrible, but by the time you reach the level 73, you should have better options available. I would certainly prefer a combination of other uniques or runewords in those item slots that you could reasonably assume you'd acquire by then. The high level requirement is probably due to the base item being elite. You probably have to be level 60-something to even equip a white cryptic sword. As an aside, the strength and dexterity requirements of the cryptic sword you listed are true for all cryptic swords. They are all 99 str and 109 dex. It's one of very few items in the game where the strength requirement is less for the elite than it is for the exceptional. (The only other one I can think of are phase blades which have a strength requirement of just 25, which is less than a dimensional blade.)

    I have considered it - I just listed Lionheart because I have the runes for it in hand, so the only requirement is getting a suitable base item. Any time you have to invest in runes beyond the first 15 or so, you want that item to be end game gear. So while I can make it in the first 3-socket armor I find, I want it to be a minimum of a high-end exceptional.

    I agree that a Lo rune isn't completely out of the realm of possibility, although it is significantly higher than anything I currently have. I don't have all the rune numbers memorized, but Fal (which is the highest rune I have) is in the high teens, while Lo is in the high 20s, which translates into a huge difference in drop rates. I also think Fortitude is ladder only, so I'd need the mod. (Which may not be a bad idea anyway.) That said, I do agree it is a better option.

    I always forget about the cube recipe for adding sockets. I don't think I've ever done it, and I honestly would have to look up the recipe to even know what ingredients to use. (I seem to remember that all the recipes are similar to upgrades from normal to exceptional, requiring gems and common runes.) And as you said, whenever you need an item with the maximum number of sockets, and the maximum number is less than six, the cube recipe is a solid option. That said, I'm not completely opposed to burning a socket quest on it either. I never use socket quests on anything that isn't end-game gear either, so I have yet to use the one from normal. However, I will use the Charsi imbue quests to improve lacking equipment on my first few characters. I scored a sweet rare templar coat the other day.
     
  13. 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've got a white sacred armor waiting for an appropriate runeword for the right character.

    Anyway, I'm almost done with Act II for my bear. As I mentioned, it's been slow going because my parents were visiting and now it's the NBA playoffs, so I'll be watching the Lakers, not killing things, tonight.

    I might patch up to 1.13 and do a quick necro run at halftime, just to check out the new patch.
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    The "right character" may well be the one you're currently playing. The only character classes where you could consider using a sacred armor are werebears, barbarians using shout, or paladins using holy shield. There are no other characters with inherent defense boosting skills that would allow such an armor to really shine. In order to meet the 232 (I think) strength requirement it would also help to use it on a character that isn't using a shield, and thus does not need to invest in dexterity for max block, of which your Kodiak also qualifies.

    As for trying out the new patch, it automatically downloads when you connect to bnet (and stays active when you go to single player). While rune drops have increased, it's still unlikely to score a high rune on a single pit run. The biggest difference you will notice will be in corpse explosion. I've checked out a few other sites, and the early returns on the improved damage of corpse explosion on /players8 is that as opposed to needing 4 or 5 corpses to clear out a pack, the total is now about 3-4. So it's about one fewer casting to kill everything. On players 1, a single casting is usually sufficient to bascially clear the screen.

    No great finds last night. I found the unique war hat, Peasant Crown, which my merc is currently wearing (+skills gear does benefit merc and +12 replenish life and +20 vitality doesn't hurt either), and I also got Blackhorn's Face. While there's nothing particularly noteworthy about Blackhorn's (lightning resist, lightning absorb, slow target 20%) that item does come from a fairly high TC, so at least I know I can conceivably get some of these things to drop. I'm still waiting for a exceptional unique body armor or weapon to drop. (Although moreso the weapon as I know I can improve my armor with a runeword eventually.)

    While I cannot confirm this, I suspect that there is something about NM Mephisto's drop mechanics that makes him very likely to pick whatever TC light plate is in. I'd guess that about 1/3 of all the runs I've done have resulted in NM Meph dropping a magic, rare, or set light plate (seriously, I've probably got about 4 or 5 sets of Arcanna's armor from him).

    EDIT: I may start going back to the blood recipes soon. I can start shopping for Nagas from Hratli. Store bought items (not gambles) have an inherent item level of your clvl +5. When determining the output value of the craft, it's 1/2 your clvl rounded down plus 1/2 the item level round down. If that number is over 70, you get the maximum number of four bonus modifiers. I'm currently level 66, so a craft from a store bought item at the moment would (0.5 * 66) + (0.5 * 71) = 68. I'll need to get to level 68 for the guaranteed four modifiers. The limiting factor in the crafting will be Ort runes. (Not that Orts are uncommon, but they are less common than perfect rubies, while jewels and store bought magic Nagas are essentially available in infinite supply.)

    EDIT2: Although one problem with the crafting recipes is that crushing blow is not a possible modifier to receive in the blood weapon recipe - only blood gloves give crushing blow, and no more than 10%.

    EDIT3: Something just occurred to me - perhaps I'm not being as efficient as I could be in doing NM Mephisto runs. It certainly helps to have players 8 active when killing Mephisto for the large XP bonus, and because increasing the player settings increases the total drops. (All Act bosses have an upper and lower cap on how many items they can drop, but increasing the player settings improves your chances of moving towards the upper cap.) What I'm now wondering is if it is worth it to have the players 8 setting when doing the rest of the level.

    When you increase the players setting, it doesn't improve the quality of what monsters drop, but it increases the chance that they drop something (i.e., it reduces the "no drop" chance). So you get more of everything when you run on players 8, but the total number of magic, rare, set, and unique items you find as a percentage of total drops is the same regardless of what the players setting happens to be. I've been clearing Durance 3 because there are always 3 unique council members and 1 or 2 unique blood lords there, and I figure they have a decent chance of dropping something I could use.

    However, unique monsters have a 0% chance of no drop, so it seems like having players set to 8 for unique monsters is irrelevant beyond getting some more XP for killing them. Same thing for Find Item - it is either successful, and you get another full drop, or it fails and you get nothing - player setting doesn't do anything to help you here either.

    Since it takes me longer to actually clear the level than kill Mephisto, I may be able to greatly reduce my run time by going through the entire level on players 1, and only switching to players 8 for Mephisto himself. I would certainly get fewer XPs per run, but I would increase the total number of runs, and it shouldn't effect my drops from the uniques in any way. The only reduced drop rates I would see would be from the non-unique blood lords and council members, but it would initially seem like my odds of scoring anything particularly good from them would be low anyway.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2010
  15. Balle Gems: 19/31
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    AFAIK that is not how the /players 8 setting work.

    as i understand it it sets the difficulty for all previously un-entered maps, for each game.

    so, you can change the difficulty (while) in level 2 of the durance of hate, from 1-8, and the difference of lvl 2 will be zero ("still on /players 1") but all other places you haven't yet visited in you game will be on difficulty will be on /players 8

    this might very well be easily circumvented by a mod of some sort, but i doubt you have much interest in that
     
  16. Viking Gems: 19/31
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    No.

    The players setting works on monsters spawned, it's not for the map, it takes effect when they are generated for exp / HP etc, and when they die for loot.

    There is no link between a map itself and the players / x setting.
     
  17. SlickRCBD Gems: 25/31
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    new player, seeking info on mandatory mods/patches?

    I just got back from the Friends of the Library Book Sale and managed to pick up a copy of Diablo II for $2.

    Will I have any trouble installing it on my old dell Optiplex Gx110 with Win98SE, a 966mhz processor, 512mb RAM but only 8mb integrated vRAM? I can play the Infinity Engine games and Pool of Radiance II, but not Neverwinter Nights.

    I'm wondering if I should use that old thing, or my modern Vista 64-bit Home Premium computer.


    Also, are there any patches I should seek out and install like the Baldurdash patches for Baldur's Gate before I even try to play?

    I tried to search these massive threads, but didn't have much luck with the search engine. Most of the talk has been about character builds, and I haven't read the manuel yet.
     
  18. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    Diablo was designed for really old computers (think 200 MHz) so both of your computers will work just fine.

    Common consensus is that once you've installed the official patch (just install the game and log on to Battle.Net and you'll get it straight away), there's not much bugfixing that needs to be done. There's a LOT of modifications out there, but none of them has the playerbase of the plain vanilla D2.

    Remember also that installing any mods will run the risk of getting you permanently banned from Battle.net, so it's absolutely not recommended if you intend to play on the Ladder games there.
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    While I did not know for sure one way or the other, the game mechanics seem to function in the way that Viking described. For example, when I enter a new area, and I forgot to type /players8, I quickly am reminded that I forgot to do so, because I kill everything in one hit. So then I type /players8 in, and any monsters in the immediate vicinity I still kill in one hit. However, once I progress a bit (maybe a screen length or two) all the monsters have the improved hit points, and confer additional experience points for killing them. It also seems like their drop rates improve (hard to tell on individual monsters, but chests seem to drop more items).

    This is all moot anyway, since I stopped running Mephisto. After doing a total of around 20-30 runs, I became discouraged by my lack of finds (and yes, I am aware that 20-30 runs isn't that many, and you cannot judge your finds with such a small sample size). Regardless, I proceeded to Act IV, and tried my luck there.

    While I did not get anything from Diablo that was particularly worthwhile, each of his three seal bosses dropped some fantastic stuff. The unique Storm Caster dropped String of Ears, the unique Blood Lord dropped Moser's Blessed Circle, and Lord de Seis (unique Oblivion Knight) dropped Shaftstop. To paraphrase: Ca-Ching!

    So while I didn't get my improved weapon, I upgraded my equipment considerably. I added two perfect diamonds to Moser's, so I have resist all 63% on it. The blocking percentage on it was a bit lower than what I had on my Rhyme shield (69% vs 62%) but 62% is workable. I ended up dumping my next few levels worth of stat points in dexterity. (In hindsight, I should have just used the respec - oh well.) The Shaftstop-String of Ears combo is very nice, as it gives me a combined 45% damage reduction (it's capped at 50% so that's almost as much as you can get.) I socketed Shaftstop with a perfect Topaz, as I figure that's endgame equipment. If by chance I find something better, my merc will inherit it.

    My new weapon came in Act V. I'm now using:

    Earthshaker (Battle Hammer)
    One-Hand Damage: (33-39) To (91-105)
    Mace Class - Fast Attack Speed
    +180% Enhanced Damage
    +50% Damage to Undead
    5% Chance To Cast Level 7 Fissure On Striking
    +30% Increased Attack Speed
    Hit Blinds Target
    Knockback
    +3 To Elemental Skills (Druid Only)

    I socketed it with a shael, and it's actually very fast, given the base item type. At first, I was disappointed when I saw knockback (and the +3 to elemental skills are obviously useless to me), but I gave it whirl because it was so much better than what I was using. My old weapon had a maximum damage output of a little under 900 per hit, and Earthshaker had a minimum damage output of a little over 1000 per hit. So I definitely wanted to try it out, especially since once I socketed it, it was actually a tad faster than my old weapon. I have decided that knockback is not nearly as annoying as I remember it, and you can actually use it to your advantage in game play.

    First, a monster is only knocked back if there is nothing behind it. If there's something behind it (regardless of whether there's a chest, a wall, a tree, your merc, or even another monster) it stays right where it is. However, the knockback animation takes place when you hit him regardless. During the knockback animation, the monster cannot attack. If there is something immediately behind the monster, you can attack and hit him again before the knockback animation is completed, and it restarts the knockback animation. So by using the terrain to your advantage, Knockback can be a very useful modifier, as you can basically stun lock any monster you run into.

    In open areas, it's not nearly as useful, as you can only stun lock them if you get attacked by a pack, and there's another monster right behind it, or if you get the monster between you and your merc. In all dungeon type areas though, there's always a wall handy.

    The Hit Blinds Target isn't bad either. A blinded monster just stands there until you close to melee range, at which point they will attack you with their melee attack. So things like Frenzytaurs are much less dangerous. You hit each one once to blind them, and then they just use their much less impressive standard attack. From my experience in game play, the Knockback effect seems to work on everything, but uniques and champions don't seem to get stunned (even though they are pushed back), and the blinding effect only seems to effect normal monsters. Fissure activates quite a lot, but at level 7 it is not a major contributor to damage.

    I'm now in Act V, and I just killed Nihlathak. I'm level 73, and I'm now working on my weapon mastery. (At the moment, maces.) I have Concentrate, Battle Orders, and Stun maxed, with one point in everything else except weapon masteries that require two handed weapons. I am still enjoying the enhanced leveling provided by /players8. Normally, I've already started hell at level 73, and that's usually after doing several Nightmare Baal runs first. I still have a couple of waypoints to touch before I even get to the Ancients, and the entire WSK to do. I'll easily be level 76 or 77 by the time I get to Baal, and if the XPs are as good as I hope, I'll probably run him several times. On normal difficulty, I ran Baal a bunch of times, because each run was netting me over a level's worth of XPs. I didn't move on to Nightmare until my level was in the low 50s - a good 10 levels higher than what I did on players1.
     
  20. Balle Gems: 19/31
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    i seem to be both wrong and fail to express myself clearly.

    i thought the /players x settings worked area based, but it seems it is "location" based, rather than area based, thx for the correction
     
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