1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

Diablo II Single Player Thread - 2

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  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!)

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,570
    Media:
    88
    Likes Received:
    374
    Gender:
    Male
    Just getting started thinking about it (with two characters in NM, it's not like I'm going to be running out tomorrow to start this character), so I don't really know. I'll dwell on it for a week or two and formulate my thoughts before really bearing down. I just need to know what bows I have to look for in white or 6-socketed form.

    Finished NM with the sorc - level 73.

    On the way, found the following: Plague Bearer (unique rune sword -- only the second one of those), Crescent Moon (first one of those), and 16runes, including two lems (one from hellforge), a lum and dol. Not bad for NM level.

    There were too many sets and uniques that I have dozens of, and rares out the yin-yang.

    I'm using Thundergods Vigor as the belt for now and it's great. I sat there amid a pack of gloams and just laughed as they did no damage. I'm going to save that for hell and see if it's as effective there. Might not use arachnids for Baal running if that's the case.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Come to think of it, I don't have one of them either... Not that it's a must-have item, but it's rarity and item level are not any higher than many other unique amulets that I have... so that's strange.

    You got 16 runes between hellforge and the end of Act V? Including at least four semi-rare ones? Jeez - I can spend all night running Countess and not haul off that many.

    Thinking a little bit more about your bowazon, I also will recommend making Peace runeword for armor while you're leveling and waiting to get Chains, Enigma, or whatever end-game armor you plan on using. Peace is very good for a level requirement of just 29 - and you get a level 15 valk for free (which is very adequate in normal and nightmare). Also, gamble as many gloves as you can with your current characters. You're on the lookout for rare gloves with +2 bow/xbow skills and IAS. Anything else is gravy.

    Assuming you'll focus almost exclusively on the bow tree, I'd only take the passives as one point wonders, and skip all the magic skills. I think you can safely skip Inner Sight, Slow Missiles, Decoy and Valkyrie. You obviously need at least one point in Pierce, which means you need Critical Strike and Penetrate (but those skills are good enough in their own right that a point in each with +skills will make you better anyway). And a point each in Dodge, Avoid, Evade is always a sound decision.

    As for the bow/crossbow skills, I think maxing Cold and Freezing Arrow is pretty non-negotiable, especially if you have a Nightwing's Veil laying around. (If fact, there's no other helm choice that makes any sense if you have a Nightwing's - +2 skills, a boost to cold damage, up to 20 dexterity, cold absorb, and all for a strength requirement of just 96.) Freezing Arrow negates the only real drawback of Silence - frozen monsters cannot flee - and with a maxed synergy and Nightwings, you're looking at well in excess of 2000 damage per arrow (the cold damage alone is over 1500) with a good bow. Ice Arrow is, IMO, unnecessary as it only increases the freeze time (and not by much), not the damage, of Freezing Arrow.

    Next is the decision between fire and physical, and this really depends on your backup bow. If it's something like an upped Kuko, fire is the obvious choice, and the rest of your skill points go here. (And a non-upped Kuko is a great leveling weapon early on - low 30s level requirement, and a level 5 exploding (splash damage) arrow as your normal attack.) The drawback to a cold-fire combination is the steep mana costs, and I don't know if the physical portion of your damage will be sufficient to leech back the mana, which would force you into taking an insight merc with you.

    If you're more inclined to physical (which I would recommend to leech mana back for the high cost of Freezing Arrow), then you want multishot and/or strafe. IMHO, strafe is better for fast bows, relatively few enemies on the screen and/or enemies spread out all over the screen. Multishot is better for slower crossbows and/or when there's a whole lot of mosnters in one direction on the screen. (Multishot, for example, is absolutely wonderful throughout Act III. OTOH strafe is much better in Act V with all those annoying demon imps telelporting in all drections.) YMMV.

    Of course, if you're going with physical as your secondary damage type, you have points to invest in both. In that scenario, I'd max Strafe, as it gets a damage bonus with more points, and raise multishot until you are happy with the number of arrows. There's no real reason to max multishot as far as I'm concerned. More points raise damage indirectly by increasing the number of arrows, but since each enemy can only be hit by a single arrow, once you get to 12-15 arrows, more is usually unnecessary - you're not necessarily going to get more hits with 25 arrows as you'll get with 15. Multishot is also great for things like gloam packs. You can retreat so that the gloams are off screen and fire away with multishot. (Naturally, this will cause the gloams to come after you.) You can usually get several volleys off before you're in danger again, then run away again, lather, rinse and repeat. Some people prefer Guided Arrow for this purpose as it too will travel off-screen, always hits, and unlike multishoot, more points in Guilded Arrow increase the damage.

    Even with just the equipment I know/think you have, you'll have +2 skills armor, +2 skills ammy, +2 skills helm, +1 skill belt, and +2 bow skills only gloves. So passives are +7, bow skills are +9 at a minimum. Six skill points into passive skills. (Note: I never place more than a single point in Pierce because of the steep diminishing returns. One point will give you a level 8 Pierce, good enough for a 65% chance of piercing. Level 20 only takes you up to 85%, which is IMO, not worth it. You're firing so many arrows that having 2/3 of them pierce is just fine.)

    With the bow skills, I'd recommend:

    Magic Arrow - 1 (prerequisite)
    Cold Arrow - 20 (synergy)
    Multishot - no more than 5 or so - with +9 bow skills, that's already 10 arrows, which is already getting close to as many as you need. I'm more of a 12-15 multishot guy, so I'd want a few points here, and you can spare it.
    Ice Arrow - 1 (prerequisite)
    Guided Arrow - 1+ (After the base build is compelte, this is one of only two sensible options as a final skill)
    Strafe - 20 (right mouse button skill)
    Freezing Arrow - 20 (left mouse button skill)

    Even if you count 5 with multishot that's just 68 skill points, and the 6 from the passive tree takes you to 74. Needless to say, there's a TON of points left with relatively few options with what you want to do with the rest. If you feel you don't want/need Guided Arrow, you can add a maxed valkyrie, and it still only takes the build to a very doable 97 skill points (20 in Valk + 3 prerequisites).
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  3. Morgoroth

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

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Messages:
    2,392
    Likes Received:
    45
    After twelve or so Lightsabres, Mephisto finally dropped me a Azurewrath. Funny I thought the item was beyond mephistos drop capabilities. Anyhoo, this probably means my Frenzy barb just got himself a shiny new sword instead of his dual lightsabres he'll be getting a azurewrath as his second weapon. I've been getting quite a few exceptional uniques I have been missing recently including shaftstop, war travelers and lava gout. My abowazon is being a pain to play in normal with her damage, attack rating and mana being serious problems. I'll have to figure out something before Act III or it will be a serious pain. I just completed Act I with her.

    EDIT: Also, I hate to gloat but I got my first SOJ today, breaking my SOJ duck. Sorry dmc. Anyhoo regarding my bowazon I'm thinking about going for atleast one of the elemental arrow skills. If I choose to go just for one, which would generally be considered the better of the two?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Not beyond, but barely within. Mephisto is level 87, but the TCs he can drop from are capped at 78. So he cannot drop anything from TCs 81, 84, or 87. While he can in theory drop from up to TC78, he rarely does so, and his odds of picking from TC75 are also extremely long. It is typically recommended that Hell Mephisto is a great source of items from TCs 72 and lower.

    Phase Blades are in TC 75, so you already beat some really long odds just to get him to drop you any type of phase blade at all. Azurewrath has a qlvl of 87. In order for a monster to be able to drop an item, it must first be able to drop from the given item's TC, and the level of the monster dropping the item must equal or exceed the qlvl of the item. And Mephisto meets both of those parameters.

    This is one of two reasons that Lightsabre is so much more common than Azurewrath. Lightsabre has a qlvl of just 66, so any monster that is high enough level to pick from TC75 must also meet the qlvl minimum to drop Lightsabre - i.e., all monsters that can drop phase blades can drop Lightsabres. (There is no such thing in the game as a monster who can drop from TC75, but who is not in excess of level 66). However, the list is long of monsters who can drop from TC75, but have a level less than 87, and therefore could not drop Azurewrath.

    EXAMPLE: Regular monsters in the Pits have a mlvl of 85. Champions and Uniques in the pit get a boost of +2 and +3, respectively to their level. So while any monster in the Pits can drop a unique phase blade, regular monsters in the Pit can only pick Lightsabre, while the champs and uniques can pick from either Lightsabre and Azurewrath.

    Which brings us to the second reason why Lightsabre is more common, and it's because of item rarity. As already shown, any monster that can drop Azurewrath can also drop Lightsabre. So the game has to pick which one to drop, and it does this based on the item's rarity. Lightsabre has a rarity of 10, while Azurewrath has a rarity of 1. So a monster will drop 10 Lightsabres for every Azurewrath it will drop (assuming that the monster can drop either).

    It may actually be worth having one of each. You get the additional damage type of lightning from Lightsabre, and you also get mana leech on Lightsabre, which would save you picking that up on some other equipment piece.

    Most unique items don't have rarities, because there's only one for each particular item type (for example, there's only one unique cleaver in the game, Butcher's Pupil, so if the game decided to drop a unique cleaver, it's always BP). The Lightsabre/Azurewrath combo is one of those exceptions. Rings and amulets are typically the two item types where you see rarities come into play. SoJ has a rarity of 1. Manald Heal and and Nagelring both have rarities of 15. Since any monster capable of dropping a SoJ must also be able to drop a Nagelring or a Manald Heal, that's why these things are so rare. The rarities of all the unique rings add to 59. So a monster that is capable of dropping any unique ring will only drop a SoJ in one out of every 59 unique ring drops.

    While somewhat dependent upon your bow of choice (look at post #762 for some examples), if you are only picking one, most people will take Freezing Arrow, along with Cold Arrow as it's synergy. Immolation arrow can work, but it's 60 points instead of 40 points to max out, and because of the 1.2 second cooldown timer, you cannot continually fire Immolation Arrow, so you have to intersperse Exploding Arrow in between the Immolation Arrow shots to maximize your damage. It is possible to use both cold and fire arrow skills, although it's a mana hungry build, and requires all of your skill points for maximum effectiveness.

    EDIT: My paladin is now level 83. I made some gear adjustments once I hit level 82 to get Crown of Ages Equipped. Once I had CoA on, it allowed me to replace a lot of the resistance charms in my stash with +life charms instead. I added about 100 life in charms, so my life is now around 950. (I carry the Horadric Cube with me, and I have four full rows open in my inventory, which I feel is the minimum necessary to pick up a decent number of items.)

    My mf still pretty much sucks. It's just 60%, and I don't see it going much higher than that anytime soon, because replacing any item at this point would require me to to get everything out of the new piece that I have on the existing piece in addition to mf. So I'd need something like another CoA with two sockets instead of one, or finding a Ber which would allow me to make CoH, which would give enough +res that I could ditch the CoA in favor of something like a Shako, or finding a Gheed's, etc.

    I finished Act II this weekend, and I'm not at all pleased to report that Fangskin killed me - twice if you count the first failed attampt to recover my body. I blame myself. One of the problems of playing a character with a high defense is that it makes you a bit cocky. Of course Fangskin always spawns extra fast and Lightning Enchanted. He also picked cursed as his bonus mod. Curse is "cast on attack" not hit, so you don't have to be hit for the curse to go active, just attacked.

    Anyway, I charged headlong into the claw viper pack, and my merc and I got cursed. (It was at this point that a controlled retreat would have been wise.) But no... me and my huge defense (presently a shade under 23K with my new equipment) decided to stay the course. I even thought to myself "It doesn't matter if he can't hit me". Famous last words. You see, while he couldn't hit me, he could hit my merc - and killed him. Now my defenes has dropped to a still good, but very hittable 13K. (It was at this point that a hasty retreat would have been wise.) For some reason, the death of my merc didn't cause any degree of concern for me. I don't know why - I know I rely on my merc for a good deal of my defense - it just didn't register. Maybe because I had just finished working on my taxes and my mind wasn't completely functioning - but I just kept zealing away, and died quickly. As I said, I also died on my first body recovery attempt, and the whole thing largely sucked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  5. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Found this online ...

    Code:
    
    
    ******
    Jewels
    ******
    
    Bliss		+5-10 to minimum Damage
    Ire		+2-5 to maximum Damage
    Joyfulness	+1-4 to minimum Damage
    Wrath		+6-9 to maximum Damage
    Carnage		+11-15 to maximum Damage
    Passion		+1-3 minimum and +6-10 maximum to Fire Damage
    Fire		+4-10 minimum and +11-30 maximum to Fire Damage
    Burning		+11-25 minimum and +31-50 maximum to Fire Damage
    Envy		+20 Poison Damage over 2 seconds
    Frigidity	1-5 Cold Damage for 2 seconds
    Icicle		+2-3 minimum and +6-10 maximum to Cold Damage for 2 seconds
    Glacier		+4-5 minimum and +11-15 maximum to Cold Damage for 2 seconds
    Ennui		+1 minimum and +10-20 maximum to Lightning Damage
    Lightning	+1 minimum and +21-60 maximum to Lightning Damage
    Thunder		+1 minimum and +61-100 maximum to Lightning Damage
    
    Daring		+1-9 to Dexterity
    Knowledge	+1-9 to Energy
    Virility	+1-9 to Strength
    Spirit		+3-8 to Life
    Hope		+9-20 to Life
    Honor		+1-4 Replenish Life
    Freedom		-15% to Requirements
    
    Fervor		15% increased Attack Speed
    Malice		Attacker takes Damage of 1-5
    Truth		7% Faster Hit Recovery
    Avarice		+10-30% more Gold
    Prosperity	+5-10% Better Chance of getting Magic Items
    
    
    Diamond		+25-50 to Attack Rating v/s Demons, +25-40% Damage v/s Demons
    Pearl		+25-50 to Attack Rating v/s Undead, +25-50% Damage v/s Undead
    Nickel		+10-20 to Attack Rating
    Vermillion	+11-15 to maximum Damage
    Cinnabar	+5-10% Damage
    Rusty		+11-20% Damage
    Realgar		+21-30% Damage
    Scarlet		+1-4 minimum Damage
    Crimson		+5-8 to minimum Damage
    Carbuncle	+1-5 to maximum Damage
    Carmine		+6-9 to maximum Damage
    Bright		+1 to Light Radius, +10 to Attack Rating
    Tin		+21-40 to Attack Rating
    Silver		+41-60 to Attack Rating
    Argent		+61-100 to Attack Rating
    
    Camphor		+5-15% Resist Lightning
    Ambergris	+16-30% Resist Lightning
    Beryl		+5-15% Resist Poison
    Jade		+16-30% Resist Poison
    Garnet		+5-15% Resist Fire
    Ruby		+16-30% Resist Fire
    Lapis Lazuli	+5-15% Resist Cold
    Sapphire	+16-30% Resist Cold
    Shimmering	+5-10 to All Resistances
    Scintillating	+11-15 to All Resistances
    Blanched	+5-8 Defense
    Bone		+21-40 Defense
    
    Zircon		+5-10 to Mana
    Jacinth		+11-15 to Mana
    Turquoise	+16-20 to Mana
    Brown		+10-15% Heal Stamina
    Aureolic	+1-3 Mana per Kill
    Dun		+7-12% Damage goes to Mana
    Chestnut	+10-15 to maximum Stamina
    Maroon		+16-25 to maximum Stamina
    Eburine		+9-20 to Defense
    Ivory		+41-64 Defense
    Emerald		+3-7% Better Chance of getting Magic Items
    
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Yeah, the list of prefixes and suffixes for jewels is long, and their names don't match up with similar properties you see on other items. For example, "of excellence" is the weapon suffix that adds 5 damage to weapons, but it's "of bliss" on jewels. That list isn't complete either - there's way more than that many suffixes and prefixes on jewels (offhand, I know there's "of luck" and "of fortune" and all of the +attack rating ones that I don't know the names offhand - but they aren't bronze, silver, gold, platinum, etc.). Basically, any modifier that can turn up on any item in the game can show up on a jewel. I'd guess that there are around 100ish total modifiers available on jewels.

    EDIT: Didn't play much last night - I did a couple of Countess runs and started Act III. I got a Mal and a Pul though (on different runs - that would be a phenomenal haul for a single run), so not to shabby considering I played for under an hour.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    One additional note on Peace runeword armor for the amazon - in order to get the ctc a level 15 Valkyrie to work, you need to have at least one hard point spent in Valkyrie. Every few seconds the game rechecks your Valk level, and if you have no points in Valkyrie, your autospawned Valkyrie will poof. That said, spending four points to get a level 15 valkyrie is still a deal.

    Well, I am now in Kurast in Act III. Just hit level 84. I acquired my 2nd uber tiara (rare) last night. Unfortunately, it was also for the assassin, which is what my first uber tiara was for. It took me a while to get there, but I'm finally to the point where I'm comfortable with my life bulb. I will finally break 1k life upon my next level up (currently at 991). That said, it's unlikely that my vitality will surpass my strength score unless I really level this character up to high levels. Which is not out of the question.

    I'm very happy with the results of this build. Granted, I won't be able to give my final seal of approval for a bit. Gloams have proven to be an annoyance, but not nearly as dangerous as I initially thought. However, I have yet to face the upped versions that can spawn in Act V, and that will be the true test. And honestly, I can see that potentially being a problem. I have great defense, blocking, and resists, but defense and blocking doesn't stop a lightning bolt, and taking 25% of the damage of said lightning bolt can still hurt.

    If there is a weakness to this build it is exactly that - unblockable elemental attacks that ignore defense you just have to take, and seeing as how I have no ranged attack (I have Holy Bolt, but even with my switch gear it would be a measly level 7 with virtually no synergies), I'm going to have to run through a lightning bolt shower to get to them. Divide and conquer will have to be the order of the day against boss packs. (Or the cheese version of using "save and exit" whenever I don't like the random spawn.)

    At least physical immunes aren't a problem. I have faced numerous physical immunes at this point, and they honestly don't last much longer than those that aren't physical immune. And if Amp Damage kicks in, they don't last any longer than anything else. Even dual immunes (physical + something else) aren't that bad. I'm still dealing out several hundred damage per whack, and they fall like everything else once Amp kicks in.

    I guess the reason I didn't try a build like this earlier is because while I realized there was an inherent versatility with such a character (nothing is immune to your standard attack), I wasn't wowed by the damage potential until I actually sat down and did the calculations. The character screen very much underestimates what you're actually doing, because it doesn't factor in the conviction bonus (either in your hit chance or the bonus elemental damage), the chance to cast Amp Damage, nor the bonuses from Deadly Strike or Crushing Blow. (And when the DS activates while a monster is Amped, you're doing quad damage.)

    I think I'm a Gheed's away from having this character be able to do whatever I want him to do. Even looking through runewords, I don't think I can find anything that will beat out the damage of Baranar's Star. The runeword Famine does, in fact, offer a bit more elemental damage than Baranar's, but I would not be able to maintain my attack speed, and so I doubt it would change my final damage by much. There is 30% IAS on the runeword, but Baranar's has 70% IAS (with a Shael), and given that Famine only works with Hammers and Axes, there is no base weapon that's going to get me there without seriously modifying my other equipment. The only weapons I see that would be fast enough to meet my desired frame rate attack speed and also carry elemental damage with my current equipment are extremely limited:

    Nord's Tenderizer, Azurewrath, Frostwind, Lightsabre, Gimmershreds, and Stormlash

    Of those, none offer the kind of elemental damage that BStar does, except Gimmershreds, and if I found those, I would give them a whirl. The only other items I would consider using would be a Herald of Zakarum (although I'd have to respec to meet the strength requirement for my armor), and Dracul's Grasp (although I'd have to figure out where to get the 20% IAS back on my gloves).
     
  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!)

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,570
    Media:
    88
    Likes Received:
    374
    Gender:
    Male
    Remind me which belt you're using . . . wouldn't T-Gods make your gloam problem a little easier for Act V?

    Lightning Absorb, +10% max lightning resist, mambo strength and vitality, bonus lightning damage, decent defense and you could up it for better defense numbers.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    I'm using the IK belt, along with the gloves, because the only way that the gloves grant the IAS I need to meet the last break point* is if you are wearing at least one other item of the set.

    *technically, I'm NOT at the last zeal breakpoint. There is a 3fpa zeal breakpoint in theory, but it would require 200% IAS. Barring doing something silly like using a 6x Shael phase blade, that's not attainable.

    So a belt change would require a change of gloves as well. It's not that hard to get +20 IAS on gloves (several set gloves include that as a base attribute), but that's not the only problem. Removal of those items would be a major bummer in that they combine to give +45 to strength, and while I would get 20 of that back with T-Gods, and the +20 to vitality on T-Gods would make it a virtual wash in regards to my life bulb, I'm not sure the lightning absorb is worth it overall, if it is worse for performance against virtually everything else. The only decent gloves that occur to me off the top of my head that give +20% IAS is Laying of Hands. All the other gloves would only offer the IAS and not much else.

    It is the need to have 20% IAS on my gloves that my blood crafts have thus far resulted in nothing that I could use. Even if I got some great mods on the gloves, the 20% IAS is a must-have mod.

    Note - the Gloams weren't that bad in Act III - I haven't yet died in the entire act, and seeing as how glaoms are no longer on the list of possible spawns once you get to Kurast, a gloam will not be a cause of death in Act III. (One of the small bonuses to using Conviction is that you can easily see them coming. Sometimes, you don't see a gloam until it starts firing, but with the green halo underneath them from Conviction, you see them immediately.) I'm assuming that gloams, black souls, etc. that can spawn in Act IV and V will be harder hitting than those in Act III, so it's possible that they could be problematic. That said, I did notice that Gloom was a really great item in that it casts Dim Vision when you get hit, which does sometimes shut down the pack for about 10 seconds or so.
     
  10. 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!)

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,570
    Media:
    88
    Likes Received:
    374
    Gender:
    Male
    Well, if you find Drac's, you might consider swapping out the IK gloves and belt for Drac's and T-Gods for those portions of the game with a high gloam density IF the gloams actually start giving you trouble. Drac's carries a strength bonus as well as T-Gods and the loss of some IAS might be palatable if it means better life expectancy against gloams. You can leave the items in the cube or stash until you need them.

    On my front, I start each session with a sorc run through NM Andy and Baal (which I will do until she's level 80, for arachnid's mesh) and either a hammerdin or summoner necro abbreviated run to the Countess, Meph and Baal.

    Then I go back to pushing the Bone necro through NM. He's on to Act II right now and he's sorta underwhelming. He kills things and all of that, but it's really hard to get all jazzed up about bone spear when CL is so much more user friendly. As earlier discussed, amp and CE are fine'ish but P8 means that they don't work all that fast, so I'm left with a bit of twiddling of my thumbs when I hit a pack that I can't just run around.

    I guess that, ultimately, he'll be fine, but it's a bit boring right now. I also was thinking for end-game merc gear and I think I can't do much better than triple amned Hone Sundan and either an upped shaftstop and Vamps/Shako (I don't have a CoA), or maybe the CoH with Shako for extra MF goodness.

    The summoned minions already are weak and serve no purpose other than cannon fodder, so I imagine I might respec at some point and put those skill points to better use. The golem is somewhat better than the skellies but skellie mages can actually be useful throwing poison and cold if they stay out of the fray. When I get to the end of NM, I'll see how it is, and I might actually start Hell first before respeccing to see how they do.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    I would only do that if I had Drac's. The IK set items are definitely a both or neither proposition. If I'm not getting the IAS from the gloves (by removing the belt), then there are other gloves that may be better. Although I do get +20 strength and +20 dexterity from the IK gloves (along with +25 strength on the belt), so I'd need to respec to have the strength and dexterity requirements for equipment and max block.

    That was kind of like my current paladin from mid NM until I started hell - he was OK, but not particularly fast. CE will be become much more potent once you reach hell difficulty and reduce the players setting to 1. Also, there is definitely a linear progression in the damage that a bone necro does as he levels. His damage increases a few percentage points each level up. (Unlike my paladin, who's pretty much done damage-wise. All level ups from here on will improve his defense.)

    As for weapons, I think there are only three choices for Act II mercenaries (irrespective of build) that are clearly superior to all the rest - and HS is one of them. The only decision there is whether to spend 2 Amns + 1 Shael for speed, or 3 Amns for more leech. The next to consider is a Kelpie Snare. That's if you don't care how much damage he does, and are more interested in slowing big singluar enemies (like Bosses, Izual, Hephasto, Lister, et al) to a crawl. Finally, there is Reaper's Toll, although possibly not as great for you as the decrep will over-ride your curses.

    Bottom line: Since the damage mercs do is always relatively small compared to you, you pick the weapon based on what it can proc - like CB, slow target, or a curse. (Thinking a bit more, I suppose Tomb Reaver would be great for a merc too, although I've never owned one of them - which is probably why it didn't occur to me intially - and so I cannot say for sure.)

    For armor, I like upped Shaftstop best, and I've tried many. If not upped, I prefer a 3xSol Griswold's armor - same idea, but better defense and +skills if you happen to be using a definance merc. (But only if not upped - you get a better total defense on the merc with an upped Shaftstop. I know this because I just tested it with my current character.) That said, I cannot see how CoH would be a bad choice for your merc...

    For the helm, it depends on what your mercenary needs. Both Shako and VG offer %DR, but IMO, since you already have LL covered with a 3xAmn HS, I'd lean towards Shako. One final option I'd throw out there is Rockstopper if you need some resists - up to 50% in fire, lightning, and cold and the same 10% DR that the other helms offer. (Although it would take a phenomenally lucky roll to actually get max resists in all three - more like 30% in each is more realistic - the range is 20%-50%, so there's a 1 in 30 chance of getting the 50% score, so getting all three would be 1 in 27000). CoA is a solid choice, but it takes 184 strength to equip, so even if you had one, I don't know if your merc would be able to wear it with the other equipment you listed.

    I cannot make a suggestion based on never having done this. I know that summons get an automatic boost when they move from normal to nightmare, and from nightmare to hell, but I don't know if it's a big enough boost to matter.
     
  12. 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!)

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,570
    Media:
    88
    Likes Received:
    374
    Gender:
    Male
    I have a Tomb Reaver. I guess my general view on a merc for a necro in Hell is I need him to help kill the big guys. For regular monsters all the way up to boss-packs, he needs to make a single corpse, which he can do with any weapon.

    Thus, to me, the weapon needs to have CB, otherwise Kelpie Snare is great for slowing. Tomb Reaver has no CB. It has nice ED, so I can certainly try it out and see.

    No point in using Reapers, as my necro can decrep if that's what I want.

    As far as resists go, I ignore them for the merc. By the time it matters, they are usually maxed, an, if not, CoH handles that very nicely if I want to go there.

    May use the Tomb Reaver concept for a MF merc with Shako and CoH or Enigma - although I will probably have the necro using Enigma, meaning the merc gets something else.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Well you can always switch the weapons around prior to boss fights. I think for bosses, HS is better than anything else you can get, because with nearly half your hits carrying CB, there's no amount of base weapon damage that will equal that. TR may be better for anything that's not a boss. It will deal tons more base damage than HS, and for lower life run of the mill monsters, the CB may not be as important. Like I said, I've never so much owned a TR, much less equipped one on my merc, so I'm speculating. I've certainly been wrong with weapon choices before, so there is always the possibility of it sucking balls.

    Yeah, if it needs to have CB, then for boss fights, you're better off with your HS. No amount of ED is going to make up for knocking off 10% of life of an act boss.

    Well, yeah. I was more or less speaking in general terms on weapon selection, and as soon as I reach the appropriate level, I always have one of those three equipped.

    Interesting. TR + Enigma + Shako for merc. That's quite a bit of mf. The problem may be making sure the merc gets the last hit on bosses. Of course, you can certainly sliver the bosses, and let the merc just finish them off.

    ---------- Added 20 hours, 11 minutes and 46 seconds later... ----------

    I'm on a great map run! I finished Act III last night, and since I do intend to run Hell Meph for a while (it's absolutely ridiculous how quick I can take him out), I was hoping for a semi-decent map, because my map for the Countess and Pits are quite good, and I would prefer not to have to reroll it just to get a good Meph map.

    Calling this Meph map good would be an understatement. I can run from the WP to the stairs down to Durance 3 in about 5-7 seconds. It takes me longer to stop and pop open the stashes near the exit (there are about 4 of them) than it takes to run there. So I get the great Meph map, and get to keep my very good Countess and pretty good Pit maps. The location of the pit is great - the Black Marsh wp is located right near both the Tower to the Countess and the entrance to the Tamoe Highlands, and the Pit is just into that area. It's the Pit map itself that is less than outstanding. The map forks at one point, and you need to take the side route and then back-track to clear the first level. It's not a huge amount of back-tracking, but it does make the map less than ideal. Still, any time I lose in back-tracking is more than made up for by the short time it takes to get to the pits in the first place.

    I see me camping out for a while. A lot of Countess-Pit-Meph runs.

    I also did some stash re-organizing last night. Now that I have found several Eye of Etlich amulets, I sold off all of my +1 skill tree amulet and +1 to all class skills amulets in my stash. EoE has a level requirement of 15. The +1 skill tree amulets also have level requriements of 15, but EoE gives all skills instead of just one tree, and the +1 to all skills amulets have a minimum level requirement of 27. The only +1 all skill amulets I kept were a couple that had good second mods on them.

    I also looked through everything else, and I realized that I have an excellent selection of rare and unique javelin-class weapons, both regular and amazon-specific, which inclines me to do the Poison-Lightning Javazon as my next character - not that I plan on starting that anytime soon. I don't have a Titan's, but that's the only noteworthy one I'm missing. I have a Thunderstrokes. I also have a Demon Arch, which isn't bad when you consider it adds a 3rd elemental type (232-332 fire damage), and the always ethereal (but replenishes quantity so it doesn't matter) Wraith Flight, which would offer the best physical damage of anything I pick. I even have the class-specific spears that would be worth using as switch weapons. Stoneraven is absolutely lovely with its huge base damage, +45% resist all, +500 defense, and +2 skills. I also picked up an assortment of rares with quality stats that I can use while I level. I even saved a rare with some nice low level mods that has a level requirement of just 3! I actually paused for a moment when I first saw it. I was confused in a "Why would I have held on to this weapon?" kind of way. Then I saw the level requirement and it became perfectly clear.

    The thing that's great about Titan's isn't its damage at all. It's the +4 javelin and spear skills, the replenishing quantity, and the level requirement of just 42. It really is more of a leveling weapon than end-game weapon. Thunderstrokes comes with so much extra lightning damage that it will out-damage Titans. Demon Arch adds 232-332 fire and lightning damage, and even without the +skills, adding around an extra 500 elemental damage will probably make it exceed the output of Titans. Wraith Flight has a base damage over 120 higher than Titans, and gives life leech and +15 mana per kill (which is as good as mana leech when it's that high). And with the exception of Thunderstokes, they all have replenish quantity. However, they also all have level requirements in the high 60s or low 70s.

    So if I don't find a Titan's I'll use the rare +2 javelin skill amazon weapons that I have, and even if I do, Titan's will be a temporary weapon that I'll use throughout Nightmare.
     
  14. 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!)

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,570
    Media:
    88
    Likes Received:
    374
    Gender:
    Male
    Titan's has a couple of things going for it though. It's guaranteed +4 to jav/spear skills (rather than a variable 2-4 on T-Stroke), and it provides +2 to the other skills. It has a larger stack size and it replenishes (major props for both). I can recall several times having to stop my attacking runs because I ran out of T-Strokes. It also gives +20 str/dex. It has LL and Faster R/W too, which is always nice.

    T-Strokes, however, carries some nice mods like IAS, -15% enemy LR and some other goodies. You could almost use those two as switches except that you'd probably want a backup skill with fire or cold and they don't really help there.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    From level 42-68, there's nothing that's even in the ballpark with Titan's. The one downside to Thunderstrokes is that it specializes in lightning damage, and it's not like you have a shortage of that when you're a LF amazon. The -15% enemy lightning resistance is spectacular, but it doesn't do you any good against lightning immunes. I'm thinking the best switch weapon may well be Demon Arch. No +skills, but 300 added fire damage sounds workable, especially when coupled with poison. The other option would be the higher physical damage Wraith Flight. The thing is, I'm unsure if the added damage will make up for the +skills. You'd actually have to test them to find out.

    I totally agree that the replenishes quantity is a necessary mod on at least one of your javelin stacks - I'd hate to go back to town because I ran out.

    EDIT: The other thing Titan's has going for it is it's negligible strength requirement - just 25. I think you get 20 when you click "create character".

    The highest strength requriement of any item is Demon Arch, which is still a workable 127. Thunderstrokes has the highest dexterity requirement of 151, but you'd likely exceed that anyway for max block.
     
  16. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,345
    Likes Received:
    64
    Ehmm.. What has your weapon's extra lightning damage to do with how much damage you do with your spells? Or do you mean when using it for something like Jab? :p
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    If I'm using an item like TS - something without the replenishing mod, I need a non-throwing attack, and Jab makes the most sense, because I need a point in it as a prerequisite anyway. So yeah, I definitely plan on having some type of melee attack.
     
  18. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,345
    Likes Received:
    64
    Titan's ain't bad even as a pure melee weapon. Especially the one I found recently: Exactly perfect stats (!) and ethereal (!!!). Guess if I upgraded that? :p
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    On Thunderstrokes - wouldn't the -15% LR mod also work on it's standard lightning damage as well, even if it wasn't a lightning based attack skill (on the 1-500 - or whatever it is lightning damage as a mod on the weapon)?

    Regarding TR and whether or not to up it, I don't know if it's in your interest to do so or not. I think it would come down to the character, and whether or not you were planning on meeting the strength requirements on the upped version. I assume that the upped requirements would be the same as on Thunderstokes - 107S, 151D. So if you were going for a build that required very little strength, you may not get to 107. That said, since most of the throw skills do their damage based on elemental damage, it would only have a marginal damage increase on the elemental attacks, no?

    My Paladin reached Patriarch status over the weekend, level 86. (His first gambling attempt after reaching level 86 was a +2 all druid skills ammy. It wasn't a great ammy - other than the +2 skills - but I think of how often I gamble with character of higher level than that, and how infrequently I get the +2 all skills, and I have to chuckle at getting one at that low of level.)

    Anyway, now I have to consider what I want to do with this paladin, and whether or not I want to have him as my main Hell Baal runner. The only strike working against him is his lowish magic find - just in the 60s. Even with a Gheeds - something I have yet to reacquire - I'd still only be in the 90s.

    The points in favor of him doing it are several. First of all, with the exception of Gloams, which still absolutely suck when they come in packs, there's really nothing that slows him down. I have done a few Baal runs over the weekend, and he actually did die to Gloams on one occassion. In the future, it just may not be worth doing runs where gloams spawn, and simply abort those runs (still do Countess, Pits, Mephisto though).

    As for my Baal map, it can be considered either good or bad, depending on what you're looking to do. It's bad if you want to run Baal in the shortest amount of time possible, as there's a decent distance between the WP and the stairs. It's good if you're looking for items and XPs from the regular drops along the way. WSK2, WSK3, and the WSC are all area level 85, so the bosses and champions encountered there are capable of dropping anything. So it's the equivalent of the Pits in terms of drop rates, but with better XPs. On the downside, it's also more dangerous.

    I suppose the best reason to use him as a Baal runner is that all of the equipment in his possession, is well... his. Unlike other previous characters I have made, where I will cannabalize the equipment for later characters, I'm unlikely to do that with his stuff, simply because the strength requirements on much of it make it prohibitive for most other characters to use. About the only pieces I'd consider having some other character use would be the IK set items, but only if I completed the set and made a barbarian for that purpose. (Seeing as how I'm missing the Soul Cage to the set, I can only say that it will be an indeterminite amount of time before that happens.)

    I'm still likely going to do the amazon next. Perhaps I'll do a Countess-Pit-Meph-Baal run each day prior to doing anything with the zon. I still haven't made decisions on a lot of equipment yet. I know I want to do a javazon, and as such, I'll certainly be using one of javelins I listed earlier.

    I definitely want to make Peace rueword armor, although I still have to acquire a suitable armor to make it in. I have this bad habit of only saving elite socketed armors, but since Peace has a level requirement of just 29, I would much prefer something of the exceptional variety that I can equip earlier. Ideally, I'd like something along the lines of serpentskin, demonhide, or other exceptional light armor, that would have level requirements right around the same as 29 (I think most or all of the exceptional pieces have level requirements of 25), and also have reasonable strength requirements.

    As for other equipment, I know I want to use Thundergods for sure, and rare gloves with +javelin skills are probably the way to go for that slot. I'll have to look through my stash, but I'm sure I have +2 J&S skill gloves (probably a few choices) in there. I guess Valkyrie Wing for the helm (although Nightwing's Veil does pretty much the same thing with a lower strength requirement, but higher level requirement). Jewelry is negotiable at this point, although probably one RF. Maybe a Dwarf Star for the other.

    As is the case with most of my characters, I'll probably look to the shield for blocking and resistances, and forego the +skills I'd get with Spirit. I know I have Sancturary in a hyperion, but the strength requirement may exceed what I need for that. Second choice would be an upped Moser's Blessed Circle - I know with that one the strength requirement is exactly 100, which is definitely within my range.

    EDIT: One other thing I was thinking - possibly picking up Fend instead of Jab as my melee attack. Fend would require just two more skill points, and deals considerably more damage than Jab. That would mean I'd invest nothing in the Bow and Xbow tree, one point in everything in the Passive and Magic tree, max Poison Javelin, Plague Javelin, Lightning Strike and Lightning Fury, along with a point in everything else in the Javelin and Spear tree, making for a very robust 86 point expenditure in that tree.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  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!)

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,570
    Media:
    88
    Likes Received:
    374
    Gender:
    Male
    I dunno about running Baal with the pallie. With such crappy MF, it strikes me as just not worth it. Less than 100 even with a Gheeds isn't anything to write home about.

    My sorc is hell ready, but I'm not going to bother until I find/upgrade the second ber for infinity. She's strictly a one trick pony, lightning, and her CL does something like 6-7K of damages with 11 stops along the way, and the straight lightning skill does 14K of damage. I can only imagine what an infinity merc would do to those numbers. I'm moving the necro along moderately quickly, considering I still start each run with an Andy run by the sorc and a pindle. countess, meph baal run with the summoner necro (he sheds his MF gear to kill the countess).

    The bone necro is in Upper Kurast now and I'll finish Act 3 and probably Act 4 the next time I run him.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.