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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. 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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    What boots are you using? Does it make sense to add the IK boots to this?
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    It doesn't really make sense to add the boots, because that's where my CB is coming from - Gore Riders. I could use Guillaume's (sp?) Face I suppose, but I really wanted to use Crown of Ages as my helm. That's where a good chunk of my resistances in hell difficulty are coming from.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 24 minutes and 47 seconds later... ----------

    EDIT: Although blood gloves still may not be so bad. I'll probably craft up a couple. The dex and str are certainly nice, but I'll already be at the last break point for Baranar's Star without the IAS (you only need 20% more than what's on the weapon, so that's a Shael and you're done with it). Getting some more CB, leech, and maybe adding in a bit of whatever resistance problems I may have might be the way to go.

    But the belt is a no brainer. Saves me 25 str points, and fills in the two resistances I'm most concerned about fire and lightning. I should be good with both cold and poison, as I'll have a huge cold boost on SS, and Atma's Scarab comes with a huge poison boost (75% I think).

    This is quite an odd character in that getting your hands on +skills is nearly irrelevant. I'm using three skills maxed out: Conviction, Zeal, and Holy Shield.

    With Conviction, it's actually capped at -150% resistance, attained at level 25 anyway. I should have it at level 21. The difference between having -150% and -130% resistance seems marginal. I can already break everything that is immune, everything that isn't immune is already well into negatives, so not a big difference. With Zeal, I'm unconcerned with the AR boost, and the damage increase is just 6% per level. Most of the damage I get is actually from the Sacrifice synergy, and that doesn't benefit from +skills. Finally, there's Holy Shield, and with the linear increase to defense with skill levels, that's the one that does matter, but I'm covering that with switch gear.
     
  3. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    The IK gloves + belt combo is a mighty fine one. It's actually pretty hard to come up with something better for general use, high grade uniques and crafts included. MAYBE apart from the 110 STR requirement on them, which can be a bit on the high side for some character builds. Of course you don't get any LL, ML, FHR or stuff like that.. but if you did, you might as well not bother with other alternatives. :D
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    You can always pick up LL and ML somewhere - heck you can even get those on rings. And it's not like FHR is particularly common on gloves and belts - I don't think it's even available outside of a few select uniques, and possibly some sets, although none spring to mind. The strength requirement can be a bit high for some builds, but I'm going to be rocking sacred armor for this build, so 110 is just getting started.
     
  5. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    The IK set's armor is also a Sacred armor so no wonder why Blizzard felt like sprinkling some STR in the other set pieces.

    In fact, considering how many set bonuses you get by wearing the items, it's not only Barbarians that like it. Many Weredruids like the set as well, especially the weapon, and even Paladins, tank Amazons and some strange Assassins have been known to wear at least partial sets to great success.
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I don't doubt that Rechet - in fact I have toyed with the idea myself of making a Conviction Zealot using pieces of the IK set. I'd need to use at least four items to get the bonus cold, fire, and lightning damage from the maul. I obviously wouldn't be able to use the helm, and since I lack the armor, I'd have to use the belt, gloves, and boots to get to four. I just didn't like the idea of going without a shield, so I ditched the idea without ever trying it out.

    I finished Normal yesterday with my conviction paladin, currently level 47. I'll probably do some Baal runs for a while yet. I'm still at the point where a single Baal run is worth a full level worth of XPs, and with a decent map I can probably do such a run in about 10 minutes. You cannot beat that in terms of return on your time investment. I love the Vampire Gaze + Kelpie Snare combination on my mercenary. It's effectively slow target by 95%. Absolutely lovely for boss-killing. He's not high enough level yet (I don't think), but I'm thinking about giving him a shaftstop as his armor. And for shiggles, I tried using redemption on the skeletons around Pindleskin, and it does in fact work.

    EDIT: Actually, I just checked and I do meet the requirements for Shaftstop. Not only that, but with a defiance merc, it may even be worth upping. Boneweave (the elite version) has a level requirement of 47, which would increase to 54 once I up it. The strength requirement on it isn't bad - 158. Although, it will probably take longer for the merc to get 158 strength than it will to get to level 54.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    OK, I'm now in early Act II Nightmare, level 54. If I calculated correctly, I just met my strength goal. I don't actually have 232 strength yet, but the additional bonuses I will get from my equipment should get me to that total, and if not, that's what respecs are for.

    So now, I'm working on dexterity and vitality, and they both need work. I need to get my dexterity to approximately 113 by level 77, and I'm currently about 30 short of that mark (although I get 15 dex as soon as I equip Baranar's Star). I'm a bit concerned about my life pool, which is only around 400 at the moment (if I had to guess I think it's exactly 407). I don't get hit that much, but when I do, I feel it. When surrounded by enemies, that life bulb drains away a little quick for my liking. It's managable for now, but the bulk of my stat points from here on out are being dedicated to vitality, which is currently the lowest of stats (except energy of course - but that doesn't count as it's at base).

    My final strength will actually be 242, as I get 10 from Gloom, but I cannot put Gloom on until I hit 232. This is going to be a late-blooming character. It's rare that I develop a character where the vast majority of his end-game equipment is unequipable until his level is in the 60s. The only end-game equipment I'm currently using is the belt, boots, and one of my ring slots. And even in that case, I still need to up the boots. My weapon, amulet, and second ring aren't usable until the 60s, the shield in the 70s (and since I need the strength from the shield, it also pushes my armor into the 70s as well), and the helm last at level 82.
     
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  8. 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 have both my toons at level 51. I'm going to run Baal until I max their second skill (or until I get really bored). Should be somewhere in the mid-50's for both.

    I haven't given a great deal of thought to equipment yet, but I imagine the sorc will use HotO and Spirit, although I may opt for Stormshield. I will probably us CoH for her, and I think Shako and Mara's are a given.

    I think Enigma is necessary for the necro as his "army" dies pretty easily (except the merc) so a quick exit is mandatory. I have a +2 necro skills head that has some other plusses to specific skills and I am using White in a wand that already had +3 bone spear and a couple of other plusses too.

    I haven't decided on gloves yet, although I'm thinking frosties for the mana bonus or chance guard for the MF.

    For boots, I'm thinking Aldurs or Natalyas depending on what resists need the help. I have a couple of rare boots with MF that I might go with as well.

    Both will eventually use Arachnid Mesh for belts.

    I'll probably given them each a Raven Frost and a rare ring to top off the resists (I'm doomed never to find a SOJ, I've just given up hope).

    Charms to add to life (I have more +20 life small charms than I know what to do with), resists, MF and FHR (I have a half dozen small charms with +5 resist all and I think +5 FHR).

    Should work out OK if I can make infinity for the sorc.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I typically stop running Hell Baal when it takes more than 2 runs to level up. As I just did that, I can say with confidence that the number is 54 on p8, when you have a good map, and the only thing you kill along the way is what you run into, but you don't do full clears. The combined XPs for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th minion spawns are so much greater than what you get from everything else (including Baal himself) that it makes no sense to do full clears. In the time it would take you to clear the two side chambers in the Thone Room level, you can do another run (with a good map).

    To block or not to block... that is the question. Totally agree with the others on the list. The main benefit of Enigma over CoH (teleport) is moot with a sorceress. Although it would up your mf...

    I have to say that of all the items in the game, Mara's is probably the most useful item irrespective of class. I'm not saying the Shako isn't good - just that there are other options for helms (especially class-specific barb and druid) that would prove more useful to specific characters. But Mara's is useful for everyone. +2 skills, 20-30 resist all, +5 all attributes. About the only other options that would even enter into the coversation are Seraph's Hymn and Metalgrid. But Seraph's doesn't have the resistances, and Metalgrid doesn't have the +2 skills. Even if you want to bring rares into the discussion, it is true that a +2 skills rare can beat Mara's, but all of those are +2 to one particular class.

    It's also invaluable for telestomping.

    No Homunculus? But never mind that... You made White in a +3 bone spear wand? You get +3 added to Bone Spear directly with the runeword, and another +3 to all poison and bone skills, so you have +9 to Bone Spear on your wand? That's incredible. That has to be your end game weapon. That beats the pants off any unique and even some ultra-rare.

    Generally speaking, unless I need them for a set, I find that rare boots are almost always your best option for casters. It's possible to get a rare with faster R/W, mf, and at least two resistances (with 20+% in each if you're lucky), or three resistances along with either faster R/W or mf.

    I don't mean to laugh, because I essentially had the same thing happen to me with Tal Rasha's Adjudication, but your run of bad luck in finding this ring is astounding. As I've said, NM Andariel is your best odds, but they aren't exactly good - 1 in every 31 unique rings Andariel drops will be SoJs. Once you reach hell difficulty, where just about everything is capable of dropping an SoJ, 1 on every 75 unique rings dropped will be a SoJ. Given how long you've been playing, I think it's safe to say you've had more than 75 unique rings drop on hell difficulty - probably many times that in fact.

    You know SCs are one area where my stash is really lacking. I have small charms of vita, small charms of luck, and small charms of resist all (or 10% or 11% individual resistances), but I have NO SCs that have two of those three.
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Ah... happiness is my son staying with the grandparents tonight, and my wife going on a girl's night out. There will be much D2 playing tonight - after I work out. (It's one very strange workout in the P90X program - back and biceps - I've seen a lot of workouts in my day, but never have I seen a workout that combines those two specific muscle groups together.)

    The only problem with this character is it's boring thus far. I'm still opitimistic about the final result, but I'm basically an auraless paladin at this point. I don't do significant enough elemental damage (yet) for conviction to help much, but I need to have conviction on to maintain a high chance of hitting. (I currently only have a couple hard points in it, but the big gains to -def occur at early levels - at level 1 it's already -50%!)

    On the upside, I'm closing in on level 60, which will finally allow me to equip one additional end item - Atma's Scarab. That will hopefully speed things up some. My current damage is decent - about 1000 per whack - but it's not as fast as I'd like - I don't like not being able to kill a group of more than 2 with a single zeal cycle. So I'm pretty much complaining that I'm not a buzzsaw yet. The consolation is that currently the damage is significantly lower than what it will turn out to be. I still have a better weapon, tons of elemental damage, and a significant strength boost on the way.

    The launch point is definitely level 65 when I get BStar. Gloom, SS, and CoA are all necessary hell gear, but as soon as the weapon becomes available, I'll start motoring through NM. Right now I've maxed both Zeal and Sacrifice - which is why I'm bummed out with the damage - I'm pumping Conviction, but with Butcher's Pupil as my weapon, there's no means of me upping my damage further at the moment.

    I'm definitely going to do some blood gloves crafts once I hit level 70. I already have a couple of vambraces saved up - may as well go for the top defense ones, as I already have the strength requirement met.
     
  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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    Sounds dreary. I just hope BStar is all you want it to be speed wise.
     
  12. Morgoroth

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

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    OK something strange happened today. Namely the countess dropped the Lo rune. Now I was under the impression that the countess only could drop up to Ist but apparently I'm mistaken in that regard. Or perhaps it was that anything above Ist is extremely rare. Anyhoo I'm not complaining since I have two Lo runes now. I probably have to start considering doing some potential highend runewords sune since I also got a Vex yesterday.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  13. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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    I just got The Ward.
    Shoved a P Diamond into it and have +65 to all Elemental resistances now.

    That got me thinking, do you guys get just one set for resistances or do you have different sets for different elements?
    You could still have 80% resistance to any one element even in Hell if you put in 4 P Gems in a Shield. Is this useful at all or should I just look for increased Blocking Rate and Defense?
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    It is possible to get a Lo, it is just very, very rare. I won't go through the whole process of drop mechanics of the Countess, but the short version is this: She has two drop phases. Her first drop(s) phase is done just like a regular monster, and during this phase she can drop all the way up to Lo. However, there's no guarantee during this phase of her drop process that she drops a rune at all. (In fact, the odds are heavily stacked against you of getting any type of rune, never mind a Lo.) She always drops at least magic quality, but you can - and almost always do - get weapons, armor, etc. from that drop.

    The second phase of her drop(s) are the rune drop(s). She can drop (in theory) up to five runes during this phase (I've never seen more than four), and during that phase of the drop, the highest rune she can pick is Ist. That is the highest possible selection from the rune drops, and the runes you receive from Countess are almost exclusively from her rune drops.

    Chance of getting a Ist from a Countess: 1 in 500
    Chance of getting a Lo from Countess: 1 in 30,000

    Resistances, blocking, and defense are all important factors in picking your shield. Resistances are capped at 75% in every element. That's pretty easy to do in normal, but harder in nightmare and potentially quite difficult in hell. That's because there's a resistance penalty of -50% in Nightmare, and -100% in Hell difficulty. This means that in order to have your resistances maxed out, you need 125% resist all in Nightmare, and 175% resist all in Hell.

    You correctly point out that shields are great places to get resistances, and nearly all characters strive to get their characters resistance as close to 75% as possible. That said, because of the resistance penalties in the higher difficulty levels, you cannot get all of your resistances just from your shield slot. But 65% resist all is definitely a great start.

    Blocking is a whole 'nother story. One error many people make is that the blocking percentage listed on your shield is NOT your actual chance to block. Blocking is affected by several factors that include the following: the percentage listed on the shield, your character's dexterity, and your character's level. The percentage listed on your shield is just the base number that the calculation starts at. You can find what your actual percentage is by hovering your mouse over your defense on your character sheet, and you'll get a pop-up box that tells you your actual chance. Just like resistances, blocking is capped at 75%.

    Here's the actual formula:

    Chance to block = (Blocking percentage on your shield) * (Dexterity - 15) / (Character Level * 2)

    Other than adding an Eld Rune to your shield, there's no way to increase the blocking percentage listed on your shield, and since Character level is in the denominator, increasing your level actually works against you. So the only way to increase your chance of blocking up to 75% is by investing in dexterity (although it is highly advisable to use a shield with an increased chance to block to start with).

    Unlike with resistances, which all character seek out, having a high chance to block is largely dependent upon what type of character you are playing. Dexterity does three things: Increases your chance of blocking, increases your attack rating (allowing you to hit monsters more), and increases your defense. So for melee fighters who constantly are entering into close combat, having a high chance to block is highly advisable. The dexterity investment also allows you to hit more, and improves your defense, so points in dexterity usually provide a solid return.

    On the other hand, casters do their damage from a distance, and so it's not as essential. Casters don't enter into melee, so increasing their attack rating is meaningless to them. Casters don't have great defense, so increasing it by raising dexterity isn't going to help much. So for casters, the ONLY benefit of raising dexterity is blocking, and many casters feel that since they aren't entering directly into combat often, they'd rather not spend the points in dexterity, and instead divert those points from dexterity into vitality, so they can better withstand the damage on the relatively rare occassions when they do get hit.

    Either way, your dexterity investment is an all or nothing type deal. You either raise dexterity to get to 75% chance to block (which means raising your dexterity to around 200 by the time you get to high levels - even if you have a shield that offers a high chance of blocking - so it's not a small investment), or investing only enough in dexterity to meet the minimum requirement on your weapon. As many caster weapons have no dexterity requirement, a lot of casters leave their dexterity at base.

    Finally, you asked about defense on your shield. Defense is probably the least important factor on your shield - resistances and blocking are much more important. There are two reasons for this. First, the majority of your defense is going to come from your body armor. Shields just have less defense than body armor, and the difference between a shield with a high defense score and an average defense score isn't going to make a large difference in your total defense. Second - and more importantly - once you reach hell difficulty, monsters have very high attack ratings. So much so that unless your total defense is several thousand, it won't make much of a difference in terms of the monster's chance of hitting you. It doesn't really matter if your defense in hell is 200 or 2000 - you're getting hit often either way, and the defense on your shield is not going to be the determining factor in whether or not your final defense score is high.

    Note: for many characters - including most casters - it's just not feasible to have a high defense score. Melee characters like barbarians, paladins, and werebears have skills that raise their defense, and so having a defense in excess of 10,000 is possible. That's why some casters try to get high blocking anyway. Other casters make an effort to avoid getting hit entirely, but pump their vitality scores as high as possible so they can take a few hits before dying.

    It is - and then some. Update forthcoming soon.

    ---------- Added 1 hours, 17 minutes and 48 seconds later... ----------

    To put it as succinctly as possible, I had outgrown my weapon. As soon as I switched from Butcher's Pupil to the unique paladin scepters - most notably Heaven's Light - problem solved. My minimum damage with HL exceeded the maximum damage with BP, and I started mowing things down.

    It improved things so much that I quickly finished the rest of NM and moved on to Hell this weekend. I'm now level 78, and so all of my end game gear with the exception of Crown of Ages is equipped. Strength is 242, dexterity is enough for max block (120-something) and everything else is in vitality (currently around 150). I have about 850 life, so getting to around 1,000 should be doable as most of my points from here on out go into vitality. I need about 1 per level in dexterity to maintain max block (which may increase to 2 once I'm done with Holy Shield), and everything else goes into vitality. I've maxed Zeal, Sacrifice and Conviction, and I have about 10 hard points into Holy Shield. All of my resistances are maxed except fire (70%) and that will be taken care of as soon as I equip CoA.

    Let's talk offense first. Generally speaking a single Zeal cycle can kill just about everything. Monster with low life (like Fallen) are weeds, and I'm a weed whacker. A single zeal cycle can kill several. A normal life monster (say a goatman) are killed with a single zeal cycle, and I need two zeal cycles to take out a pack of three or more. High life creatures (like uniques) usually require two zeal cycles to kill, and obviously very high life creatures (like Blood Raven) take a few zeal cycles to dispatch.

    The conviction penalty on monster defense does not display on the character screen in terms of your chance of hitting. It tells me I have a 78% chance to hit, but I'm hitting way more than that, and when I switch to a different aura, it still tells me I have a 78% chance of hitting, so it does not display. That said, from playing in hell, I hit all the time, so I guess I'm at the 95% cap. (As a side note, I do use sanctuary instead of conviction at times - like when I fought Blood Raven to keep all of the zombies off of me. In addition to the knockback and damage, it removes all immunities from undead. If I had known this, that would have been the skill I would have recommended for your hammerdin - it would have obviated the need to use Holy Bolt or Smite.)

    But enough of that. Let's talk defense. I knew I would have well in excess of 10,000. I was hoping to have 15,000. I currently have nearly 18,000 (it's 17,900 - something). Keep in mind that I've only invested about 10 hard points into holy shield. Every point earned from here on out goes to HS, and after that I'll invest in Defiance for the synergy it gives to HS. So 18K is by no means the end here - I will easily break 20K during hell. (In fact, as soon as I equip CoA, I may very well break 20K.) Gloom worked wonderfully. I got lucky, and the one variable stat, +% defense, I got +259% - the maximum is +260%. I only had one 3-socket sacred armor on hand, and I was going to have live with whatever I got, so I was quite pleased by the result. So my body armor alone is just shy of 2K.

    That said, it is evidently extremely difficult to get monsters down to 5% chance to hit you. I'm not quite there yet. Everything that I've run into thus far has been in the 6%-9% range. The only thing that got out of single digits was Blood Raven, and she was 12%. Every level is 15% more defense for me, so hitting 5% is not completely out of the question. Of course, monster AR will also increase as I progress, so perhaps I won't see much difference. My added defense will only make up for the added AR. It's also possible that defense may operate on diminishing returns. I have no idea. Maybe the amount of defense you need to go from 10% chance to get hit to 5% chance is much higher than what you need to go from 15% to 10%.

    But for right now, I'm tanking everything. Conviction breaks everything. I have yet to run into a monster immune to any element except poison. Atma's Scarab procs amp damage quite frequently. (Just a 5% chance, but with Zeal it typically doesn't take more than a cycle or two. Unless the monster is physically immune, the amp damage is superfulous - it won't live through two zeal cycles anyway.) There is also a wonderful little mod on Gloom that I had overlooked. When I (rarely) get hit, it casts a level 3 Dim Vision on the offending creature. So even something like rogue archers only hit me once. Since they are typically tightly clumped together, no matter which one hits me, the DV hits the whole pack.

    Very pleased at this point. Is this character as fast as a sorceress? Of course not. Spamming fireballs, meteors and/or frozen orbs is much more damaging. But he's easily the quickest melee character I've played thus far - much quicker that the WWS zon, and the kicker/trapper assassin - and definitely considerably safer than any melee character up to this point.
     
  15. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't 75% Chance to Block (actual) mean that 3 of 4 times the character will not take any damage from Physical? And that is checked only after monster attack score manages to get past defense?
    On the other hand I read about Block-Lock, and why a shield should not be used with Berserk's 0 Defense when you are liable to be swarmed. Does this also apply to spell-casters, ie. will the casting be interrupted while blocking? I know it will be interrupted when hit.

    About Defense, does Enhanced Defense apply to total Defense after all values have been added? eg, will Nadir & Smoke give me +125% total defense or +50% defense from helm and +75% defense from armor.

    When talking of Resistances, can I actually include Anya's +10 Resistance reward or not? If I add that as well then NM would be -40% and Hell -80%.
    Now say you get a 4 socket shield and put 4 P Rubies in it, that should give 4 x 40 = +160 Fire resistance. -80% Resistance in Hell will still give 80% Fire resist.
    Now does that actually work if one can afford to have 4 sets of such shields. Else is that useless because too many monsters in hell in an area have more than 1 elemental attacks?
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Correct. Blocking either negates all damage or no damage (depending on whether or not it was successful), and defense is checked first, so if it doesn't get past your defense, no block check is rolled.

    Yes, a block animation will cancel the spell out, but from experience this is not a major issue. The reason why it is a problem with the barbarian, is that berserk is a melee attack, so if you are close enough to hit a monster, the monster is close enough to hit you. Also, in melee there may be a lot of monsters around you, and so the block check will occur frequently (especially with a skill like berserk). So block lock can be a problem.

    Spellcasters don't have that problem. Unless they are on top of you, they cannot attack you (except missile using enemies). Plus, the spell animation takes a fraction of a second, and so unless you are under really heavy fire, there is ample time to get a spell off.

    The latter in the case of runewords, the former in the case of skills. To use smoke as an example of the runeword, if you make smoke in an armor with a defense of 100, it will be 175 after you make the runeword.

    However, skills like the Barbarian skills Iron Skin and Shout, and the Paladin skill Holy Shield, work on total defense. It adds up the total defense on all of your armor pieces, and grants a bonus on top of that. So lets say your character is a barbarian who has 100 defense armor, 50 from the helm, 25 from the boots, 10 from the gloves, and 15 from the belt, for a total of 200. When you place the first point into Iron Skin, it grants a 30% bonus to everything, so it ups your defense to 260. (Actually, it's a bit more, because it will also add in a defense bonus to points spent in dexterity, but you get the idea.)

    Yes - on both counts. If you count that in, it's -40% and -80%.

    You can, but there are a couple of issues. First, 4 socket shields don't exactly grow on trees. Only the elite shields that are monarch (elite version of kite shield) or higher can get 4 sockets. All have rather high strength requirements. The exception of this are the paladin specific shields - lower versions of them can get 4 sockets, but that is only a solution for a paladin.

    Most monsters in hell only have one form of elemental attack. The only ones that spring to mind that are the exception to this are the undead spell casters than appear in Acts IV and V. They come in four flavors - one for each element, and while each one only has one type of elemental attack, a pack of them can have mixed elements.

    The larger problem is that acts aren't filled with one type of monster. Let's say you're wandering around Act IV, and the area you are in have both Blood Lords and Burning Souls (a common combination). Blood Lords have elemental fire attacks, and Burning Souls have elemental lightning attacks. So how to you chose? That said, there is definitely a heirarchy with elemental damage types. Fire and Lightning are much more dangerous than Cold and Poison, so if you have to chose, I'd prioritize Fire and Lightning. Cold would be next, and Poison is the least dangerous.
     
  17. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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    So a Barb with 20 Shout (+290%) & 1 Iron Skin (+30%) using 20 Concentrate (+290%), accompanied by a Defiance merc (+260%), will have +870%, or 970% of Defense.
    So if you managed to get 1000 Defense from items, the Barb would have defense of 9700?
    And this is without taking any +skills into consideration.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Correct - when he's swinging. The bonus from Concentrate is only when you are actually attacking, but it does help, as the time you're getting attacked the most is when you're in melee. If he's just standing there and gets hit with an arrow, he won't get the bonus from Concentrate.

    If you look at my first post of today (#734), you will see that my current paladin, who has worked on Holy Shield in conjunction with using Gloom runeword armor, some other high defense pieces (Stormshield, IK belt and gloves, Gore Rider, and soon to equip Crown of Ages), and a defiance merc, has a defense score of approximately 17,900 - and all the rest of my points are going into Holy Shield, and it's synergy, Defiance. I will likely surpass 20K defense on this character.

    On Hell difficutly, monsters have less than a 10% chance of hitting me (6%-9% depending on the monster), and even when they do, I'll block 75% of those attacks.

    ---------- Added 1 hours, 10 minutes and 36 seconds later... ----------

    Hmmm. I found the armor to Aldur's Watchtower last night, completing the set. So I go and look up the bonuses, and um.... compared to most of the class specific sets, it kind of sucks.

    Aldur's Stony Gaze (class-specific helm):
    defense 158
    25% FHR
    +5 light radius
    Regnerate mana 17%
    cold resist +35%
    2 open sockets

    Aldur's Rhythm (weapon - jagged star)
    60-93 damage
    30% IAS
    Adds 40-62 damage
    250% damage vs. demons
    +50 lightning damage
    5% mana leech
    10% life leech
    3 open sockets

    Aldur's Deception (armor)
    800 defense
    -50% requirements (only 115 str to wear)
    Lightning resist +45%
    +15 dexterity
    +20 strength
    +1 elemental skills
    +1 shapeshifting skills
    (the armor is the only piece that's not sucktastic)

    Aldur's Advance (boots)
    Indestructible
    40% FRW (OK, that's decent)
    +180 stamina
    10% damage taken goes to mana
    heal stamina +32% (WTF - why 32%)
    +50 life
    fire resist +45%

    Complete set bonuses:

    +3 all skills
    +350% enhanced damage*
    +150% attack rating
    50% magic find
    10% mana leech
    +150 Mana
    +45 energy
    All resistances +50%

    * Now, 350% sounds like a lot. But look at the damage range on the base wepon - it's an exceptional, not an elite version. The damage increase only takes it from garbage to OK - it's still far from great. There also isn't a ton of +skills on the set, and the biggest bonuses are to elemental and shapeshifting, which work poorly in conjunction with one another.

    I have no idea what type of druid you'd even use with this. Typically the class specific sets are useful for sinking points into all three trees, but not this one. I mean really, what would you do? A Fury/Geddon WW with a token summons? An elemental caster with a summons? Neither are particularly appealing, and unlike most of the class specific sets, whatever you pick there are options of uniques that are much better suited to your use. All of the other class specific sets offer some amount of upside. For just one example, the barbarian set for example offers a huge amount of +skills, and the damage on the maul is tough to beat once the set is complete. Oh, and the armor is fantastic.
     
  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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    Aldurs blows -- simple as that. Still, always nice to have a complete high level character set.

    Nice stats on the pallie dude, sweet.

    I have my sorc at level 57 (so she could use Hoto and Spirit) and the necro at 55 (cause that's when I got too bored running Baal).

    Started NM with the sorc and played for 20 minutes. In that time, I got all the way to rescuing Cain. She rocks.

    Right now, using vipermagi, frosties, rare boots, HotO and Spirit, peasant crown, a rare +1 sorc skill amulet with various resists, and I think a dwarf star and ravenfrost, but not 100% sure. I have max resists, my lightning does mambo damage so I rarely have to shoot more than one CL as long as I have decent monster density (sometimes the damages roll blows, requiring a second shot).

    I'm thinking I run her all the way through NM in a day, camp out with doing NM andy and baal runs until I damn well find a SOJ, and meanwhile run one of my high level toons to boost rune count to get that infinity.

    I'll also rip the bone necro through NM, but that can wait. I foresee a lot of summoner necro running once the tournament starts, as I will only have a fraction of my attention to give this game . . .


    Edit: Just re-read this post and realized that I wouldn't have understood any of it when I started the first one of these threads and, what's more, would have considered myself an ASS!!! Pretty funny.
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Yes - that much is clear - I'm just stunned at the sucktasticness of it when compared to the other class-specific sets. (And yes, part of this is sour grapes in that the first class-specific set I've completed is one I cannot really make any use of.) I'm not saying that the other class-specific sets are all outstanding - in almost every case, you can get some combination of runewords and uniques that will outperform the set. But typically, the sets are better than everything but very high-end equipment.

    But really, what was Blizzard thinking here? My biggest beef is with two items in particular - the helm and weapon. If they made Aldur's Rhythm a devil star as opposed to a jagged star, it would have made a huge difference. And it is indefensible that Aldur's Stony Gaze - the freakin class-specific item in the set - offers NOTHING in the way of +skills.

    However, I did overlook one fairly big bonus on the set - it gives +45 to all of your stats. The helm gives +15 energy for each item you equip beyond the helm. Same thing with the boots that give +15 dexterity for each additional item. The armor gives +15 vitality for each additional item, and the weapon gives +15 strength for each additional item. So at least your crap character will have nice stats.

    At gun point, I'd say if you were going to make a character using this set, your best bet would be an elemental caster (at least you'll have a lot of mana with +45 to energy and +150 mana for the completed set). I think I'd sink just about all available points into that tree, with a balance of the skills. Fissure and Volcano synergize each other nicely, which would give decent fire based damage, huricane would provide cold damage, and twister/tornado would give physical damage. It could work, I just don't think it would work particularly well. Maybe a point into armageddon, just because I'd already have all the prerequisites anyway.

    Didn't do too much last night other than running Countess a few times. I got an outstanding map. Not only is the WP very close to the tower, but the tower is setup in such a way that you don't have to clear much of each level to get the stairs down. Even the two levels where the stairs aren't particuarly close, it's a straight shot through, where you don't have to go to any side chambers, and you pass two super chests along the way.

    I also picked up two useful items in the Tower runs last night. I got an Arm of King Leoric (first one since switching to SP). And I got a second Gore Rider - which was actually a very good thing. Now that I have two, I upped one of them to Mirmidon Greaves. I figured I may as well as I already have the strength and level requirement for it. Since I have a second pair, I still have access to one for future characters available at the lower level and strength. The upped version took my defense up nearly 500 points (that counts the bonus from HS and the defiance merc - the base defense increased about 70).

    I was also pleased with my performance against ghosts - the first PIs I have ran up against in any signifcant number. Even when the amp doesn't activate, I only need two zeal cycles to get rid of them if I encounter them singularly. In packs, I need more, but in packs amp usually activates sooner than later. I also rescued Cain last night, and had to kill an extra strong, extra fast, Treehead Woodfist to get the Bark of Inifuss. Of course, I tanked him. I don't think I even got hit.

    Vipermagi and Peasant Crown are, IMO wildly underrated, especially once the low level requirements are taken into account. PC especially - I think it's level requirement is in the 20s. I'm surprised a bit by the amulet. I'd think by now you'd have switched over to a lightning (I think "static" is the prefix) amulet. (+2 all skills amulets have very high level requirements, but a +3 to lightning skills amulet has a level requirement of just 45.)

    As an owner of a SoJ, I must say that it's not as great as many would have you believe. Mana is never really an issue, the added damage is a pittance, and so basically it's +1 to all skills. I know this is your personal bane of item finding, but even though I have one, I rarely use it. Unless you have a character that requires nothing else out of your ring slots, why would you burn an equipment slot for +1 skill?

    I think that's one of the best parts of the game. I think I like D2 because it requires a lot of thought just to know how to play the game. You can certainly half-ass it and get a character through normal and nightmare, but you really have to understand the game to play on hell difficulty.
     
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