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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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    OK, I need some opinions here. I'll probably fight Nightmare Baal tonight, and I may do some additional Baal runs before proceeding to hell, but I'm just examining my options.

    If I have calculated correctly, I should be OK with resistances in hell. With natural resistances and battle commands active, all of my resistances should be maxed out except for fire, which would be at 72% (which I can live with).

    However, I'm not happy with the dexterity investment it's taking to maintain max block with Mosers. I'm currently level 74, and my dexterity is already at 194, which is significant. While it's nice to have a 95% chance to hit everything in late nightmare, I'm also going to spend each and every level up until I'm in the late 80s on my weapon mastery. So I'm getting an 8% boost to attack rating every level anyhow, so adding 3 to dexterity every level up seems a little overboard to me.

    I see two options available to me.

    1. Make the Lionheart runeword armor, which would have the following stats:

    +20% enhanced damage
    Requirements -15%
    +25 strength
    +10 energy
    +20 vitality
    +15 dexterity
    +50 life
    All resist +30%

    In addition to huge life bonuses inherent on the armor itself, it also has indirect bonuses from +20 vitality, and +15 dexterity should also translate to more life. (With battle orders, it works out to about 400 life - which is a freakin' ton.) The +30% resist all would allow me to unsocket Moser's (at the cost of a Hel rune). From there, I'd only need one perfect diamond to max out all my resistances, and I could place an Eld in the other socket, which would raise it's blocking by 7%, further reducing the dexterity investment needed for max block, and increasing life even further. (The +400 above does not include this dexterity savings - just the +15 dexterity on the armor itself, so in total, it's over 400.)

    That sounds great, but it would require me to stop using my current armor, Shaftstop. I'll definitely come out ahead on my block rate and life by making the change, but I'll obviously lose the 30% DR on Shaftstop. My merc would inherit the armor. (Note I have the runes but not the appropriate base item in which to make the armor.)

    2. Stick with Shaftstop, but instead upgrade Moser's to the elite version (Luna). According to my research, it appears a Luna has a base chance of blocking of 45%, whereas the base round shield has a 37% chance of blocking. Moser's has +25% chance to block on it, so upgrading to the Luna would take it from its current 62%, up to 70% (so actually 1% more than the Eld version in the previous option). My character already meets the strength and level requirements needed to use the elite version. While I do not know offhand the runes I need to upgrade an exceptional unique shield to an elite unique, I'm guessing that the top rune it requires is something along the rarity of Pul, which means I probably don't have it.

    Truth be told, I'm OK with either option, and I'm leaning toward going with whatever happens first (i.e., getting the rune to upgrade the shield or getting the base item to make Lionheart). So I guess the question I'm asking to everyone else, assuming you had both options available to you, do you see either of the two options as clearly superior? Option 1 gives a lot more life at the cost of 30% damage reduction, while option 2 you keep the damage reduction but get a lot less life. Six of one and half a dozen of the other? My current life with battle orders is about 1600. (I don't know if that will influence your decision.)

    Regardless of which way I go, I'm going to need to respec afterwards (and in that regard, I'm quite happy that I did not burn my respec earlier).
     
  2. 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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    To upgrade Mosers, you need a Ko, Lem and a Pdiamond.

    I would think the decision is based on how likely it is that another character would benefit from (a) Lionheart or (b) an upped Mosers.

    Lionheart looks like a decent armor for most characters (doesn't have any one aspect that just screams for a certain character to use it), but it's not stellar such that you would build a character for it. Mosers is always a nice blocking, nice resist shield, which many builds can benefit from.

    Probably six of one, half dozen of the other.
     
  3. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    Lionheart is a bit strange choice for a melee character, since it has absolutely no enhanced defense on it. Ergo, you don't benefit all that much by making it in an elite armor.

    You could consider making Rhyme (Shael - Eth) in a Heater to increase your chance of blocking. You'll lose a bit of your resistances, though, but depending on if you have CBF from somewhere else, it might still make the cut.

    Considering your Shaftstop doesn't provide resistances, you could consider switching over that for a Prudence (Mal - Tir). The auto-repair mod means you can put into a cubed ethereal armor, netting you anywhere between 2000 to well over 3000 defense from that spot alone. (Tal + Thul + PTopaz + ETHEREAL elite armor yields 1-4 sockets with base defense easily over one thousand...)

    And as mentioned before, Treachery (Shael - Thul - Lem) is an excellent choice for anyone that can draw benefits from HUGE +ias, +resist all (Fade), damage reduced by X% (Fade) that also adds a bajillion of non-physical damage (Venom). Which, incidentally, is most melee characters by my reckoning.

    Those are the choices in the roundabout same rune cost range as upgrading that Mosers of yours, of course.

    You might squeeze out extra blocking from crafting Safety Amulets (Thul - PEmerald - any jewel - any magic amulet), they go up to +10% chance to block with a chance for some really tasty mods. Paladins get it easy with their Holy Shield, but that extra 10% might save a literal boatload of points from DEX for other character classes.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I know I have a Ko, but I do not believe I have a Lem yet. That's nothing that some hell Countess runs cannot fix though.

    An upped Mosers would probably have more long-term use. The requirements on it are not high, other than the required level. A base Luna has a level requirement of 61, so you'd need to be 68 to use an upped Mosers. The strength requirement is just 100, so that is no big deal at all.

    Right - which is why I said a decent exceptional would do just as well. The thing is, even if I continue with Shaftstop, my defense still won't be that high. (Although that brings up another question, do I up Shaftstop instead? That would take the base defense to over 1000.) The base defense on Shaftstop is about 600, so that's nothing to write home about in hell difficulty. So I wasn't intently focusing on defense anyway.

    The reason for the appeal of Lionheart is the huge bonus to life, which a barbarian would definitely benefit from.

    I actually switched from Rhyme to Mosers. A hyperion would probably be my best bet if I switched back.

    True, but the odds of getting one with exactly 2 sockets are just one in six. While the ingredients for the recipe are dirt cheap, etheral elite armors don't exactly grow on trees.

    Any craft has a chance to be spectacular, and that's not a bad recipe to give a whirl or two. For it to be truly worthwhile though, you'd have to also get resist all and/or +skill for it to really shine.

    ---------- Added 21 hours, 27 minutes and 22 seconds later... ----------

    Beat Nightmare Baal last night. I think I will run him a few times before proceeding to Hell just for the XPs. (If I get a good item or two, all the better.) I will have to get a new map though, as the one I had isn't particularly good. I suppose I will do the cows too.

    While I think my barb will be capable of surviving hell on players 8, I doubt I'll have the patience to do it. Even players 1 hell monsters have a freakin ton of life, and since each player beyond the first adds another 35% to life, players 8 means the monsters will have about 3.5 times as much life as players 1 monsters do. Not a big deal in normal and nightmare, but a very big deal in hell.

    Additionally, I can get far more experience points by doing Baal runs on /players8 nightmare than I can possibly hope to acheive in players 1 hell. The amount of experience points I gained going from WSK2 waypoint through killing Baal was more than a full level's worth - and the only things I killed were creatures I found between the WP and the stairs down, and the middle portion of the WSC. The ancillary monsters on the sides of the WSC and those you find in the WSK represent such a tiny percentage of the XP you'll earn that it's not worth it*. I'd estimate that 90% of the XPs I earn are from Baal's minions (especially the last two groups) and Baal himself.

    * At least in nightmare difficulty. WSK2 and beyond on hell difficulty are area level 85, so the drops are potentially very good.

    The exception to the players 1 rule is, of course, when I do level 85 areas. So the pit will be run on /players8, especially considering that level 85 areas also offer the best XPs. From the information I've read, level 85 areas on /players8 offer decent XPs all the way until you reach the mid-80s. I foresee me spending quite a bit of time in the pit, and I'll probably do some Countess runs as well. Due to the funky drop mechanics of the Countess, it would actually be counterproductive to do her on /players8 assuming you want runes. Here's a very good explanation of the Countess' drop mechanics from the Amazon Basin:

    So while you can get a higher rune in the initial five ItemTC drop chances, your odds of actually landing such a rune as opposed to getting a magic or better drop are low. The reason for the huge differences in drop rates between the two groups is because the ItemTC can drop anything up to TC66. So there's no guarantee you get any runes from it at all. The only way you get more than one pick in the RuneTC group (which as the name suggests only contains runes) are as replacements for "no drop" rolls. Since "no drop" is highest on players 1, you get the most runes this way. Granted the bonus rune(s) you get may be Els and Elds, but at least the possibility of getting something good is there. The RuneTC must be a rune drop - it's only a question of what quality of rune you get. With a 26.6% chance of "no drop" and 5 drop attempts, odds are high that you'll get at least 2 drops from the RuneTC. (85% of the time you'll one or more bonus runes, and you get one pick automatically from the RuneTC.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  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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    Did the 1.13 patch increase the maximum rune the Countess will drop?
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I don't know based on the post I quoted. The post WAS edited when 1.13 came out, but I have no means of looking at how the edited one compared with the previous one, so I don't know what was changed.

    He did comment that the chances of getting the runes improved, but he didn't actually state that the highest increased, so I'm thinking no.

    EDIT: One other point - he did say 500 runs for an IST doesn't mean you'll actually have to do 500 runs for the equivalent of an IST. You can usually earn an IST by upgrading lower runes with a fraction of that many runs.
     
  7. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    Actually, I think this isn't exactly true. You get a random number of sockets equiprobably between one and the maximum allowed for the item, NOT 1d6 capped to the maximum. Had this been the case, I would surely have noticed a lot more items with the max amount of sockets compared to the ones that had less than that. I must have cubed hundreds of items by now so I doubt luck would play such a large part in it.

    It's the Lister's pack that makes this happen. The base amount of exp for one of them is about double compared to any other monster in the game. I haven't checked which monster level they are on Nightmare level, but even if they're mlvl 70 they'll give you more exp per pop than the early Hell monsters well into the upper 70s.

    Depends of course on what you mean by "decent" exp, but mlvl 85 monsters remain worthy kills all the way to level 90. All the way up to 94 is manageable, but you'll get reductions to the exp gains due to the level difference on top of the normal high level decay by doing that.

    Just for reference, a level 94 character gets around 900 to 1300 exp per normal mlvl 85 monster on /p8. Took a while to grind my pally to level 95 so I had plenty of opportunities to check that. :p After that it drops to a whopping 200 to 300 per kill, effectively making them just as worthless kills as any other normal Hell mob. Bosses avoid this final drop in exp all the way to character level 98. After that, only Hephasto, Diablo and Baal will give you any meaningfull amounts of exp.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I don't know if it will work out this way on Nightmare, but when I was doing Normal, I was getting about a full level per run. When I finally switched to nightmare in the low 50s, I only gained about 3 levels in all of Act I. So it was a no-brainer in terms of XP/time spent as to what the better rate of return was. I can only hope the same is true now, as there is very little chance of me dying during this run. In fact, I'd say I have a better chance of getting killed by a tough boss pack on the way to Baal, than by Baal or one of his minion packs.

    I mean relative to other non-area 85 monsters in the game. I guess from that perspective, they'll always be better.

    I knew there was a XP gained penalty per monster kill that kicks in somewhere around level 80. I had not realized that there was an additional penalty for level difference between you and the monster. Is the experience point penalty similar to the bonus/penalty you get to hit monsters if you are at a significantly different level than they are? (I think it's +/-5 levels there's no penalty, but if you are more than 5 levels higher than them or 5 levels lower than them you get a bonus or penalty, respectively, in your chance to hit.)

    Even 900 to 1300 sounds pitifully small, as I think you need over a billion XPs to go from level 90 to 91.
     
  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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    Rechet - when cubing you have an equal change of getting one through six sockets on everything. However, if the max sockets are below 6, then anything above the max results in the max. Thus, for an armor that can get you up to 4 sockets and no more, cubing gives 4 sockets 1/3 of the time, and 1, 2, and 3 sockets 1/6 of the time each. As you're talking about cubing for 2 sockets in armor, you're never going to do better than 1/6.
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    That's what I thought as well, but since I was unsure and I couldn't find a link, I didn't respond. He already knew that's what I thought, and I couldn't find anything directly that contradicted his position.

    1/2 the time for 4 sockets, because 4, 5, and 6 would all result in 4. Thats's why cubing is a good idea for any item in which you require max sockets and the max is less than 6. Nothing that I know of have a max of 5 sockets, so for armors you have a 50-50 chance of getting 4, and for 3 socket max items, your odds are 2 in 3.
     
  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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    Duh, math wizard . . .

    Not only was my math wrong, so was my hypothesis. Turns out that, for armor, the max sockets is 4 so it rolls one to four, not one to six. The recipes are all similar in that it rolls one to the maximum sockets that particular item type can have. Because I mostly cubed weapons, I applied the one to six soxkets that weapons provide across the boards.

    From Arreat Summit:


    1 Tal Rune + 1 Thul Rune + 1 Perfect Topaz + Normal Body Armor = Socketed Body Armor of same type

    The number of sockets created will vary. The item must be normal and unsocketed. Low-quality items and superior items do not work. The item gets 1-4 sockets, randomly. However, the number of sockets is then restricted by the maximum number of sockets that base item with that ilvl can have. The chance to get X sockets in most armor is 1/4 (I.E: Mage plate has a max of 3 sockets, so it has a 2/4 [1/2] chance to get 3 sockets).
     
  12. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    You start getting an exp penalty all the way from level 70. Your exp gain multiplier goes down linearly from 100% at level 70 to 25% at level 85, ie. by 4.69% less per level. After that you get only three quarters of the exp of the previous level cumulatively all the way up to level 99. By level 98, you only have a piddling 0.79% percent remaining.

    On top of this, any monster more than five levels below you gets an extra penalty multiplier. It goes from 100% (five levels below) to a mere 5% (ten levels below) in leaps of 19% per level difference. Since there's no basic monsters in game above mlvl 85, you're stuck with that 5% once you reach 95 yourself.

    Bosses and their minions avoid this final banhammer a bit longer since they're effectively mlvl 88 monsters, while champions weigh in at mlvl 87. :)

    Sure that's small, but considering the sheer amount of normal monsters compared to the minibosses and champions, they still make up a fair chunk of your total exp during Diablo and Baal runs. For comparison, a level 94 guy gets roundabout 12k-20k per boss/minion (still /p8) and half of that against champions. After 95, it's pretty much all about the bosses. :(

    The difference in exp required to reach next level doesn't scale as much as you think - the early 90s are still below 200 million exp per level. Kind of has to be that way, since you "only" need three and a half billion exp to reach 99. It's just that squeezing out the final points at 98 is a bit over two thousand times harder than when you were level 70. (0.79% times 5%)
     
  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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    Hoo boy, another good Necro run:

    Kelpie Snare found in the Pit, which I did not have yet. Sweet. Kelpie Snare will go along for the merc in Hell, non necro, Baal runs. (Little point giving it to the merc in a necro run as he already decrep's Baal, so what's the point of the 75% slow with a clay golem and decrep?)



    Um rune dropped by one of the guys in the pack before Lister's pack.

    Ume's Lament dopped by Diablo. While basically useless for me, it's nonetheless cool.

    Pompei's Wrath, Immortal King's Forge and Pierre Tombale Couant (Sp?) dropped by I can't remember. They may be extras of things I already have, but they are COOL extras.


    And a nice Dol rune dropped by no one in particular.
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Kelpie is excellent. Along with the slow, I also think it gives +1.25 life per level, making it that much more useful for your merc. Although I agree that with Decrep slowing 50%, and Clay Golem adding to that, you probably don't need it on your necro's merc - other than to see just how slow you can get something to move... I would assume that just like everything else in the game, movement is capped at 95%. Kelpie plus any other source of slowing (like Holy Freeze) should get you to 95%. Still, that's 1/20 of normal movement speed. I know that when I had a merc with Kelpie, on boss fights if you stopped swinging as soon as the boss began his swing, you could actually walk away (no need to run) before the stirke landed.

    The only drawback with Kelpie is its relatively low damage. (Once you get to hell - it's very powerful in normal, and definitely acceptable in nightmare.) You could up it, but the upped version has some pretty high requirements. Like level 70 or so to use, and dexterity and strength requirements in the 130-150 range. The strength and dexterity issue won't be a problem for your merc, but one of the great things about Kelpie is how early you can equip it - in it's standard version the level requirement is in the low 30s. So if you want your merc to be to kill stuff in hell difficulty, you really need to give your merc a source of CB. Easiest is probably Guillaumme's Face.

    You can never have too many Um runes. They're used in a ton of runewords - just off the top of my head you need Ums for Chians, Duress, Stone (which is underrated IMO), Crescent Moon (which is excellent given the cost), Doom (very expensive, but the best merc weapon in the game IMO), and probably several others that are less popular. Socketed in armor or helms they give 15% resist all. (22% if socketed in the shield, but IMO, it's not worth it when you can get 19% resist all out of a pdiamond.)

    That was the first unique necro wand that I found since moving to SP. I will probably use it with my summoner necro, once I get around to making one. I have the infernal set for low levels, and I think I'll graduate to Ume's and the Undead Crown once I get to the late 20s in level.

    The IK Forge is what piece? The only ones I remember are the Stone Crusher and the Soul Cage for the weapon and armor respectively. But it's funny you bring up Pompeii's Wrath and Pierre Tombale Couant. PTC is what my merc currently has equipped. The +3 to barb skills does nothing for him, but it is the highest damage spear/polearm I've found thus far.

    In the one Baal run I did last night, he dropped Pompeii's Wrath (and I did gain an additional level - now 76 I think). Now I have a decision to make between that and Earthshaker. I have respecs, so it's not a big deal to do. I'll earn an additional respec at the beginning of hell difficulty, so even if I burn one now, I can always change again. I just don't know if it's a big enough difference to merit a change. In fact, the two weapons are pretty damn similar.

    Earthshaker has 98-162 damage. Pompeii's is 37-91, but adds 35-150 fire damage, meaning the total is really 72-241. So for anything not fire immune, Pompeii's does give the higher average damage. OTOH, I do have a 156 strength, and that gives me +156% physical damage, meaning Earthshaker makes up a lot of that difference because it has a higher base damage. In fact, if you do the calculation, they are almost dead even in damage given my current strength. They both have knockback. Pompeii's has ctc Volcano, Earthshaker has ctc Fissure. Pompeii's slows, Earthshaker blinds. The blinding effect does over-write war cry, battle cry, and taunt, although since a blinded creature reacts similarly to a taunted creature, the latter is not such a big deal. The question really comes down to whether or not the slowing effect is worth it.

    The only other benefit I'd see in switching to axes is in possible future weapon selection. Axes have a lot more runewords available to them, and axes are the only candidate for the blood weapon recipe.

    ---------- Added 4 hours, 41 minutes and 8 seconds later... ----------

    Doing a little bit of research on guides, I stumbled across a variation of the Fishymancer guide. The basic premise of the build is exactly the same, and he even references the Fishymancer guide frequently, and cites it as the basis for the build. The primary difference between this guide and the Fishymancer guide is that it utilizes a fourth maxed skill: Skeletal Mage. Quite contrary to the Fishymancer guide, the author claims that Skeletal Mages are NOT useless, although some of the four flavors are far more useful than others. The reason that most people don't see the high potential for mages is that their damage stays low if you just have one point in mages and a maxed skeleton mastery. Just like you get a bigger return on investment for spending points in Raise Skeleton compared to the mastery, you get a bigger return on spending points in Skeletal Mage compared to the mastery.

    Here's the basic gist of it. The author concedes that Raise Skeleton is far more useful than Skeletal Mages for many reasons, most notably because they gain the benefit of the merc's might aura. It is for this reason that the author recommends Skeletal Mages as the last or next to last skill you max, after RS, SMas, and at least a significant investment in CE. However, assuming a maxed Skeletal Mage and mastery, you increase your damage output by about 25%, which is especially useful against bosses, as you can kill them 25% faster.

    Some caveats:

    1. You're going to have to unsummon quite a few mages to get the composition you want. You want most of them to be fire or lightning mages. Those two have the highest damage output. Cold mages have respectable damage, and they slow enemies, but the problem with having lots of them is that there is a chance that when they kill something the corpse will shatter. This is bad if it's the first corpse of a group that you were hoping would start a CE domino effect. Furthermore, you already have Decrepify and a Clay Golem in your arsenal for slowing things, so you really don't need an additional source. Finally, the poison ones are not very good. Their total poison damage output can be impressive, but it's a long timer to deal the full damage. Their usefulness is limited to preventing monsters for regaining life. The author recommends either one or two each between cold and poison, and the remainder evenly split between fire and lightning.

    2. He agress with Fishy that there are certain situations where they get in the way. However, he says the areas are limited to the maggot lair and arcane sanctuary. In those areas, you can probably clear them quicker if you unsummon them. However, they speed things up in getting through doorways. Where you can only have a couple of skeletons trying to get through a doorway that is blocked by enemies, the mages tend to stay further back and take out the monsters more quickly.

    3. Once you have RS, SMas, and CE maxed, Mages are, simply put, the only thing to invest in that is going to increase your killing speed by a noticable amount. Clay Golems can get massive life, but even at very high levels they don't do much more damage than a single skeleton. Their primary use is slowing things down, and they do that from level 1. A single point in Clay Golem, Golem Mastery, and Summon Resist (which you'd be getting a point of anyway) along with some +skills are adequate for your Clay Golem to survive. Revives can make excellent summons, but good ones are not available in infinite supply, and they are timered, so once you leave an area where there are good revives available, you quickly lose their services.

    4. While the author highly recommends gratuitous use of CE, he feels it's not necessary to max it. Points add to blast radius, but not to damage. A 10 point investment gives you a little more than half the screen, even without +skills. Similarly, Amplify Damage doesn't get anything besides radius of effect with more points, and so there's no reason to go beyond a few points here either - he recommends about a 5 point investment depending on the amount of +skills. So the author recommends pumping CE until you are comfortable with its blast area, and then max Skekeltal Mage. So you max RS and SMas first, then about 5 in Amp and 10 in CE, then max SMage, then back to CE (you'll be around level 80 at this point) as there's nothing else worth investing in then.

    So the full skill distribution looks like this:

    Summoning Tree:

    Raise Skeleton: 20
    Skeleton Mastery: 20
    Skeletal Mage: 20
    Clay Golem: 1
    Golem Mastery: 1
    Summon Resist: 1
    Blood Golem: 1 (prerequisite to Revive)
    Iron Golem: 1 (prerequitie to Revive)
    Revive: 1
    Subtotal: 66
    (If you have no interest in using Revives, you can save three points.)

    Poison and Bone:

    Teeth: 1
    Corpse Explosion: 10+ (eventually maxed)
    Subtotal: 11

    Curses:

    Amplify Damage: 5+ (more points for convenience)
    All other curses: 1 (so 9 more points)
    Subtotal: 14

    Total: 91 - Build complete at level 80 assuming you've done all the skill quests and decided to get that point in revivies - level 77 if you don't (although you probably haven't done all the skill quests yet if you're level 77). If you want to count the build done after CE is maxed, then it's at level 90 with all skill quests completed. Any points from 91 onward can go where ever you'd like to put them.

    I think I am going to try out this build as my next character - it's a Fishy + Mages. I see all the benefit of the skellimancer build, with no real downside, as it just recommends a place to stick those extra points that Fishy doesn't specifically allocate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  15. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I've always considered a summoner necro incomplete without the mages. What is he going to do against unbreakable physical immunes without them?

    Sure they aren't the damage powerhouses like your melee skeletons are, but it's still several hundred points of non-physical damage per mage per hit once you get into decent +skills gear, and they always hit. Barring line of sight issues, of course.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Because the vast majority of physical immunes are breakable, Nightfish doesn't see this as too big of an issue. Most PIs in the game have 100% physical immunity, so amplify damage works just fine on them. However, you are correct that certain boss packs can spawn 120% immune to physical, which means amplify damage won't touch them.

    In the fishymancer guide, he recommends a single point in skeletal mages for this purpose, along with a 1-point lower resist curse. His reasoning is that with some +skills gear, both spells will function at a considerably higher level than level 1. Because you encounter these things so infrequently, slowing down every once in a while to take care of them this way works. That said, I'm not sure if you run into a pack of regular ghosts who are 100% physical immune if it wouldn't be better to just cast lower resist and have the mages go to work on them, with the skeletons there as a meat shield to protect them.

    As soon as the first one drops, cast CE on them, as that deals half physical, half fire damage, and while the physical part won't do anything, the fire part will do considerable damage owing ot the lower resist on them. The only time you run into a real problem is when you run into an unbreakable physical immune who is also fire immune. These creatures are exceedingly rare. (Dual Fire and Physical isn't that rare, but to be dual and unbreakable is.)
     
  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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    Well, speaking as the guy who still runs his fishymancer fairly regularly, I have to say that my single point in mages with plus skills gear is more than adequate to take out any PI's I run across. I wind up with 7 mages, which is more than enough. I suppose I could respec this guy, now that I have patch 1.13, and try it the other way (I probably wasted 4 or 5 skill points at least on aspects of the bone tree that were not CE).

    I'm fairly lazy though, so maybe not. If ATMA could handle the essences, I suppose I could gather them all, and, when I got them all, do a respec through them (saving the one I was given as a freebie in the game in case I don't like the result), but I understand from you guys that ATMA locks up with those items.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    ATMA does not recognize the essences, but I thought it was only a problem if you put them into/took them out of your character's inventory using ATMA. The essences only take up a single inventory space, so you could theory just save them in your stash.

    A bigger problem may be that I do not know if cubing the essences is enabled in SP. As in, even if you collected all of them, I don't know if you would actually get the respec in SP. So there may be no turning back if you don't like the outcome. Besides, if you're happy with your character, then there's no real need to respec.

    I started hell last night on /players1 and did the first two quests without issue.

    EDIT: I think the appeal for me was the stated 25% increase in killing speed, which is significant enough not be overlooked. There's now way a 10000+ life clay golem is going to be as useful as getting a bunch more high damage skeletons out there. I understand your point that having 7 skeleton mages is enough, but remember that the damage of those skeletons increases pretty linearly per point spent, and that the increase in spending 19 more points into skeletal mage would be VERY significant. Irrepsective of how much +skills gear you have, that 19 more damage increases that are available.

    The second benefit I see is that it doesn't cost you anything in terms of your main damage sources - the regular skeletons, the merc's aura, and CE. If it cost you any of those, it would be a deal breaker. But you get to keep all of that, and the only thing you "lose" is a near-indestructible minion that cannot kill anything. (Yes, the slow benefit is of great use against bosses, but even a low level golem provides that, and I even if you have to cast in more often, mana is rarely an issue.)

    So your left with a build that maintains physical damage as your primary damage source, but a prismatic secondary attack. Granted in hell, almost every creature will be immune to some of your mages's attacks, but none will be immune to more than two, and most will still take 3 additional types of damage. I cannot see how this could be bad.

    I did try out the fishymancer in my last summoner on multiplayer. Since that was likely going to be my next character anyway, I see no real downside in trying this type out. The build for normal and nightmare is pretty much exactly the same.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I think not, but it sure looks like you get better drops overall.

    After doing some Countess runs this weekend, the answer is either yes, the drops are much better or I am just getting phenomenally lucky. I did six Countess runs this weekend, and 4 of them yielded an Io or better. In addition to the Io, I landed an Lum, Lem, and an Um. As for the other two runs, I got a Shael and a Tal. (So even the Shael isn't that bad.) I used the first Lem I got to upgrade Mosers to an elite. The drops have been so good thus far that I may continue running Countess until I get another Lem (or the necessary rune to upgrade to a Lem) in order to up my Shaftstop to an elite.

    I have yet to do any pit runs yet, but that's just because Countess has been so good to me. The Um is really the prize there, because that opens up a wealth of runeword possibilities, such as Duress or Crescent Moon.

    Also, here's a link to a handy dandy Shopping Calculator. Just enter your level and item you're looking for, and presto! It tells you what vendors in the game sell the item you're looking for.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  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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    Well, I double checked and you cannot use ATMA when you have one of the essences in your stash, so that's that.

    Got a random vex drop again yesterday.
     
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