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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. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    Aldeth - I'll consult the diablo 2 text files a bit later, but I'm fairly sure that the monsters wont cast iron maiden at level 25 in hell difficulty. All monsters get a certain skill rating for their skills, and get a flat bonus to that at higher difficulties. Its in the region of 10 for Hell, about about 6 for nightmare.
     
  2. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Not to nitpick, but according to Arreat Summit, Melody is for bows, not shields:

    Melody 3 Socket Missile Weapons Shael + Ko + Nef +50% Enhanced Damage
    +300% Damage To Undead
    +3 To Bow and Crossbow Skills (Amazon Only)
    +3 To Critical Strike (Amazon Only)
    +3 To Dodge (Amazon Only)
    +3 To Slow Missiles (Amazon Only)
    20% Increased Attack Speed
    +10 To Dexterity
    Knockback


    To expound a little more on the zon so far, I actually did a couple of Baal runs since my last post, swapped out mosers for my sorc's stormshield socketed with an eld, so I had to invest a couple dozen points in strength and sunk another 40 into vit, leaving me with about 40 left over. Life is in the 700's or so, mana is still around 300, which can be a PITA, but I'm not wasting a point on energy. I figure I can start hell, see where my resists are (I have several charms in ATMA that I am not using because my resists were already over 75 across the boards, tidy everything up, sink the rest of the points in vit and get going.

    I like the freezing arrow option because I am not using the holy freeze merc. Freezing arrow generally freezes whole packs of monsters for my merc to beat up (and I can quickly switch weapons and CS them as well). A fire based attack doesn't do that. Not sure how the relative damages play out, as I am doing a couple thousand points of damage per arrow now. I imagine the fire attack should have a better damage output because it lacks the side benefit of freezing things.

    I'd still like a Titan's, but Thunderstroke isn't too shabby.

    My merc's defense is pushing 10K. I started playing around with decoy, and I think I will sink my extra points there to give it more life and a longer lifespan. The cows were fricking awesome and netted me my two dozen runes and gems (total, not each), but I couldn't see running Nightmare cows, so I killed the king. I think I will run Hell cows though.

    The most interesting thing right now is I still can get a level every two Baal runs (I'm basically level 77), so I am thinking of just leveling up to 80 and then starting Hell. What do you think I should imbue if gloves and boots are such a crapshoot? I just don't know if headgear makes sense because the Shako is so awesome. Even if I save my imbues to 80 and use them before going to Hell, I'm not sure I can get the +2skills bonus on circlets at that point anyway, can I?
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Damn it! I cannot think of its name then. The runeword is Ko-Ko-Mal. For shields. It gives a big boost to chance of blocking and 50%-70% resist all.


    Most experienced D2 players will only imbue Tiaras and Diadems. They both have a built-in magic bonus the their levels, which is why you can gamble +2 to all skills diadems and tiaras when you're level 70 something, but you cannot get your hands on a +2 skill amulet until you're level 85. I think they are +17 and +12 (although I'm not sure on the exact numbers) that are added to your level when you imbue them. When you do an imbue quest with Charsi, she also gives you an automatic 5 level boost on potential imbues, so the combined bonus is significant. Any 70+ level character (basically end of nightmare) can get the +2 to all skills bonus.

    I wouldn't imbue any other headgear though - circlets and coronets get a bonus to their levels too, but not as much as diadems and tiaras, so I'd steer clear of them as well, unless you're talking about a character that's over level 80. No other headgear gets any bonus, and no other head gear can get +skills anyway.

    The only other thing that you see people advocate for imbuing are low-end elite body armors. Dusk shrouds can be fantastic imbued, and can be used by characters with lowish strength scores. In the last ladder, I had a dusk shroud that I imbued with my iron barb - it's base defense following the imbue was over 1200!
     
  4. 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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    Yeah, but your low strength character isn't going to have enough goodies to do anything with that defense in Hell difficulty and is pretty much going to be autohit without blocking, so I'm not sure I see the real point there. I have several white tiaras and diadems sitting around though, so I'll just do that.

    You're thinking of:

    Sanctuary 3 Socket Shields Ko + Ko + Mal +20% Faster Hit Recovery
    +20% Faster Block Rate
    20% Increased Chance of Blocking
    +130-160% Enhanced Defense (varies)
    +250 Defense vs. Missile
    +20 To Dexterity
    All Resistances +50-70 (varies)
    Magic Damage Reduced By 7
    Level 12 Slow Missiles (60 Charges)


    Which looks pretty good on a +65-70 resists.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, yes, you would have to do it for a high defense character. The reason that I say low-level elite armors, is even characters like paladins, druids, and barbarians try to keep their strength at a minimum. The upper limit is usually 156 for most characters, as that's what you need to use Stormshield. If you are planning on using a character that will have to go well beyond that, then yes, starting with a higher starting elite body armor is acceptable.

    That's the one.

    Getting back to your character, when you say "freeze" do you mean they turn blue and are slowed, or by freeze do you mean they stop moving entirely?
     
  6. 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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    The latter. The sit there like pretty little popsicles, waiting to be shattered. It's quite fun. Most bosses, champions and the like aren't frozen, but, then again, they're not much to worry about with the rest of their pack acting like nice blue statuary.

    On the strength issue, I guess I played my barb differently, in that I used my excess points over what I needed for my items about 50/50 vit and strength, so it really wouldn't have mattered which armor I used (except that I used Enigma anyway, which I made in an archon plate so everyone could share).
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Archon plate is another excellent example of what to imbue. That's the elite form of light plate, and therefore has a very low strength requirement. The elite form of the breast plate (scarab shell maybe) is another popular choice. If you actually had a character that was going to have 230 strength, then sure, go ahead and use an imbue on a piece of sacred armor.

    Freezing something solid is a very good perk. I remember fondly the days where you could build a tri-elemental sorceress, and the primary cold attack was Glacial Spike, because it would freeze enemies solid. Everything that wasn't cold immune got the Glacial Spike treatement. Ah, the memories...
     
  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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    It's a great hauberk and it is a lesser armor than archon plate in that it has a higher strength requirement and a lower defense. It's got a lower level requirement, but big whoop. Both are considered light armors for movement purposes. Scarab Husk is the elite form of hard leather armor, and it's what I made the CoH in (just convenient socketing as I would have been better off in an archon plate, but I didn't have one with the requisite sockets at the time and I was dumb enough not to wait for a socket quest, or ignorant that it would be max socketed).

    If not for the freezing solid bit, I would be fairly underwhelmed with my cold attack.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    You are correct - archon plate is preferable, although a great hauberk still has a very reasonable strength requirement (120ish I think). Granted, if you aren't planning on using Stormshield (or are foregoing a shield entirely), it is quite likely that your body armor is going to be the piece of equipment with the highest strength requirement, and so the difference with archon plate could theoretically save you 15-20 points in strength (I think archon plate is a bit over 100 for a strength requirement). If you are going with stormshield, then anything from elite scale mail (loricated, maybe?) on down, plus the great hauberk and archon plate will have lower strength requirements than that.

    I don't ever have an issue with using a socket quest on a white item if I need it for a runeword. There are no more than four pieces of equipment that you can socket, and you get three socket quests, so spending one to make a runeword isn't a big deal normally.

    I notice that the item slot I am most likely to socket is the shield, assuming I'm using one of course. Regardless of what shield you pick, it can always be made better by adding a perfect diamond, an Um, or an Eld. I socket headgear and armors with about equal frequency, and I'm least likely to socket a weapon if not for making a runeword.

    What's the damage output? It seems like having an underwhelming skill that is one of your two attack types is a major drawback. Or do you only use it for freezing purposes and/or against lightning immunes?

    I have a couple of questions for you regarding your amazon, that will hopefully help me in making my amazon. My strength requirements are pretty managable. I'm planning on using Valkyrie Wing as my helm, which has a strength requirement of 113. If I go with a Hyperion Sanctuary shield, that's one more level worth of strength, as it will require 118. Titan's Revenge gives a boost of +20 to strength, so I don't have to take strength beyond 98.

    Since I'm mostly a missile-based character, dexterity is the sticking point. Do you advocate going for max block on your shield? The reason I'm asking is that will affect a lot, including my choice of mercenary. If I am dumping 150+ points into dexterity, I probably don't need a Blessed Aim merc, and the Holy Freeze merc would be a better choice.

    The issue is that half the time, I'm not going to be using a shield at all, when I'm using my bow. Granted, dexterity does give a 1% physical damage bonus per point invested when you use a bow, so I'm getting something out of it. It will also improve my attack rating with a bow, but considering that Immolation Arrow comes with a significant AR boost per point invested, I don't think hitting is going to be a problem with Immolation Arrow. On the other hand, Lightning Fury doesn't come with ANY bonus to AR, so more points in dexterity may help out some there. Amazon javelins receive a 0.25% physical damage boost per point spent in dexterity, but that's tiny, and most of the damage isn't physical anyway.

    If I don't go for max block, then the highest dexterity requirement on my equipment will be from Titan's Revenge, at 109. Titan's gives +20 to dexterity as well, so I will have 129 in dexterity if I don't go for max block. I'm guessing the difference between using and not using a shield will amount to 50ish points in dexterity. Also, do you rely on your shield for max resistances in hell? If I go that route as well, Sanctuary is a very poor choice. If all I need is a shield with a good block rate, then I can make Rhyme which will give the exact same block rate, mana regeneration, cannot be frozen, and magic and gold find. It's super-cheap to boot, as I only need Shael-Eth. The hardest part will be finding an elite shield with two open sockets, as you cannot craft those, although I suppose even a bone or tower shield would do in a pinch.

    Finally, what do you think about Pierce? With my base equipment, I'll have +7 to Passive and Magic skill trees, so with a point investment that will take me to skill level 8, which is 65%. Koku has a 33% chance to pierce, so I'm already at the max there. Is 65% going to be enough to get it done with Lightning Fury? I have a bit more +skill items for the other trees - I'll have +8 to javelin and spear, and +9 to my bow skills (+12 to Immolation Arrow).
     
  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!)

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    Hmmm. OK - to clarify, I only use Freezing Arrow in two circumstances: (1) against Lightning immunes, (2) against a clump of monsters that are bothering my merc or me and where I don't feel like bothering with LF. Sometimes it's just fun to freeze things. Remember that it is an AoE attack, meaning I freeze the thing I hit, and its neighbors as well.

    I do over 1000 in cold damage per arrow and over 1000 in other damage when I hit, which, on Nightmare, is pretty much all the time. I have an adjusted dex (i.e., with equipment) of 187, strength is 176 (because stormshield gives +20), vit is around 180 now (life is in the 900's) and energy is base. Doing a couple of meph and baal runs on Nightmare, I can tell you that nothing hits me consistenty (and almost nothing hits the merc twice), I hit everything consistenty, and I'm going to move on the Hell earlier than level 80, because I am unenthused by the drops and figure Jalal's was my pre-Hell bonus item for this character.

    I will be better able to give you an idea of how I do on Hell later in the week (probably won't play again until Thursday because of RL things to do).

    I carry no resists on my shield, because I realized that I had better not rely on shield resists due to the fact that I won't have the benefit of it against gloams, which are the obvious problem on Hell for a lightning based character. That's why I am not using Enigma and, instead, am using CoH. I have my shimmering grand charm in my ATMA stash waiting for Hell as I am maxed in Nightmare without it. I will probably need to change the charms I am carrying -- right now I have a few that are aimed at +life, but I will ditch them for +resists in hell so as to have the same amount of carrying space on my character. I have a Gheeds and two skillers (one passive and one javelin) that I am going to look at stowing away for purposes of clearing Hell -- probably just the Gheeds -- in order to replace the space with + resists if necessary. We'll see.

    On my character, I have max block and stormshield and I highly recommend it. Without a defiance merc, your amazon might as well be wearing butter as armor so you need to not be hit by way of blocking, meaning max block. If you're hit, you need to reduce the impact, meaning damage reduction. Stormshield gives me both and you should probably do the same. That way, your armor can be about resists. Your helm isn't giving resists at all, unless you socket it with an Um/jewel, and then you lose the +24 MF that you would have gotten with a PTopaz. You've loaded up the resists on your shield, which is good for 75% of Hell, but you are going to be mighty naked when fighting gloams, which can kill you in a hurry with lightning resist under 30, which is what is going to happen when you are using the bow. I therefore don't recommend it.

    You can't socket a javelin so your Titan's is what it is -- meaning no MF and no resists. However, the +30 run/walk means that your boots can be pure resists and MF and you don't have to worry about speed on them, so rares are great.

    If you really want resists on the shield and don't wan't a severe drop-off on the switch, you can use the Witchwild string (resists +40), fires magic arrows, but it misses Kuko's +3 immolation arrow and +3 bow skills bonus which I think means you don't go that route.

    I think your pierce should be OK, although, obviously, razortail would take care of that. I know you can trade on the realms, but is that something you don't want to do? Otherwise, trade for a razortail.

    What belt, boots, gloves and armor are you planning on? I just think that relying on a shield for resists is a bad idea, so you need to tally up your total resists from the other stuff, add the quest rewards along the way, and figure out where you are.

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    It's going to be difficult to swing a Razortail in a trade. Unless you happen to have a specific piece of equipment that a person with a Razortail needs (and given that is a high level item it is unlikely I'll find a match), then I will have to resort to the other form of currency in trades: perfect gems and runes. Perfect gems are useful trade bait for lower level stuff. They're good for getting things like normal uniques, and some set items. For high end stuff, of which Razortail certainly qualifies, I'm going to need a high rune, which is generally accepted to be Vex or higher. I am loathe to part with my only Vex or Ohm for a Razortail. Razortail may only be an exceptional piece of equipment, but trade values are not set by the rarity of the item - they are set by their usefulness, and supply and demand economics. A Razortail is easily worth as much as a Shako in terms of value.

    Obviously, I have access to a stormshield if I so desire. However, that's a significant outlay in strength. It's a difference of 38 points, although I suppose the hit to vitality won't be as bad since I won't be taking as much damage. I guess the difference here is that having both a valk and a merc means I don't get hit that often. Hmmm... And with a high chance to block on stormshield it would save me some points in dexterity, so maybe not a bad idea. I currently have a perfect diamond in it, but I could even replace it with an Eld for even more chance to block.

    I can probably get damn close to maximizing my resistances on hell difficulty without a shield. I am going to use Skins of the Vampermagi, which is a perfect version (+35% resist all) that I have socketed with a +15% resist all jewel, so there's 50. I also have a rare amazon amulet that gives +1 to all amazon skills, resist all 19%, with two of the elemental resistances more than 19%. I know I have rare boots, gloves, and belts with a good amount of resistance on them. Charms can carry me the rest of the way. Heck, I know I've made bowazons in the past with maxed resists - it can certainly be done.

    Right now, I'm working my way through Act I normal. As soon as I hit level 18, I'm going to stick three perfect gems in a longbow, and that weapon will carry me all the way until I can use Koku.

    EDIT: Let me know about how frequently you're getting hit Hell. That will be the deciding factor in which merc I go with.

    ---------- Added 2 hours, 36 minutes and 28 seconds later... ----------

    Another thing - how do you keep your mana going? I imagine that mana leech is not a particularly effective method, as you (and I will) do very little physical damage. Getting a few % mana leech is no biggie, but do you require a large amount of mana leech to compensate for the mana spent?

    Currently, as I level I'm spending two points into strength, two into dexterity, and one in vitality. I think I will continue this until I hit a strength of 93, which will allow me to equip all of my equipment (once I add my strength bonuses) except Stormshield. After that, I'll go one point into strength and two points into dexterity and vitality. I can gradually meet the strength requirements for SS, as it has a much higher level requirement than everything else (67 or so).

    You know you're playing too much D2 when this occurs to you: Instead of using a longbow with 3 perfect gems in it, I think I'm better off using a 3 socketed hunters bow instead. Hunter bows have a slightly higher attack speed then longbows. While the physical damage is lower than a longbow, the physical damage is dwarfed by the elemental damage, and therefore I can maximize my damage by getting more arrows out faster rather than maximizing the damage per arrow.
     
  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!)

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    One of my items has a damage to mana component and, I think, a +mana per kill or something like that. I do chug a decent number of blue potions, but what do I care? They are all over the place and I never run out.

    Go with fastest attack speed, elemental damage is where it's at.


    Edit: As far as your stat points go, what you propose looks fine. Heck, I've beaten Nightmare on Players 8 while storing roughly 90 or so stat points, so it's not like you necessarily need to spend them each level anyway.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I know Valkyrie Wing comes with a +mana per kill, although I am unsure what the value is. It's pretty small, but my skills are area of effect, so there is a chance I can kill more than one enemy per hit.

    You're right with blue potions, especially considering you don't need super mana potions. With no points spent in energy, I imagine the greater mana potions fill your bulb up. One row on your belt is probably sufficient.

    I generally do spend my stat point each level up, because I know what my end-game stat requirements will be, so unless I find something unexpected that I can actually use, it's unlikely that my stat requirements will change. (I'm not saying I don't ever find anything useful, it's that you usually already meet the requriements, or the item is for a different type of character than what you're currently playing, so you wouldn't be using it yet anyway.)

    I just have to remember to buy that bow in Act I. By the time you hit Act II it's hard to find socketed items for sale. However, in Act I there is a cap of level 12 items sold, so socketed items are quite common.
     
  14. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    One HR for a Razortail? :eek: That would be rather.. costly proposition, methinks. But it was a long time ago I traded on Realms, no idea of current inflation rates.

    WARNING!

    That won't be safe to do. You're effectively strength tiering your helm, the #1 item on the list of stat dependencies. You won't be able to recover your items with a single click should you happen to die, and in case you die again mid-recovery, you'll lose your helm permanently as only your newest/most valuable dead body has items on it. Also, unless your bow ALSO gives +20 STR, you're helmless when plucking away.

    Mana problems for a FA/LF hybrid are best solved by using an Insight wielding mercenary, or failing that, a healthy dose of Mana Per Kill does the job admirably. (Mana leech needs strong physical damage base to function well.) A ring or a couple of charms with hefty +mana is nice to have as well, although not strictly necessary.

    Finally, there's nothing quite like Arctic Horn (from the Arctic set) with two other items from the set for early elemental damage ownage. Sure, a 5-socketed Stag bow with +3 bow skills automod beats it, but it also has a level req 14, or rather 18 since you'd pretty much only want to drop perfects into it...

    Edit: Playing my own LF/FA hybrid I realized that such a build doesn't really have worthy attacks for stragglers, much like in the case of Hammerdins. A point in Strafe could be something to consider since you're already packing lots of +skills, but pretty much nothing in their equipment really supports physical backup attacks well. Otherwise, considering efficiency alone, it might be worth your while to only take down the biggest packs and leave stragglers behind.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    The barter system has changed greatly in recent years. It used to be that SoJ were the standard of currency in D2, but not any more. There's also a tiering system for runes. For example, a Ber, Jah, Cham, or Zod are worth way, way, way, more than a Vex or and Ohm. There's also a significant dropoff below Vex, because the next rune, Gul, is practically useless for runeword purposes. Ist runes are still fairly valuable because of the MF bonus, and becaues Ist is a common component in rune words. Below that, the lowest rune you can get much of anything for is a Pul. If it's not worth at least an Ist, you can probably buy it for PGems instead.

    The second argument won me over. I never had a problem double clicking to get all of my items on, but you're right - I don't have a strength bonus on my bow, so I need the full strength investment.

    Actually, I'd say the whole set is pretty useful, and would carry you throughout most of normal, or at least until you got around level 30ish and could start equipping some of the better items.

    I'm not playing a standard LF/FA hybrid. It's more of an Immolation Arrow/Valk/LF hybrid. I'm using Koku as my bow, and since it fires explosive arrows with the standard attack, it's perfect for picking off stragglers, at no mana cost.
     
  16. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, if you need the full strength investment anyway for the helm, then Stormshield looks more attractive, no?
     
  17. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Played a little on Hell just to see how it was. Her non-poison resists are virtually maxed with the javelin/stormshield combo, but a bit lacking on the bow switch. On players 8, critters on the Blood Moor have a 25% chance of hitting her with the merc's aura active. She autohits with CS and has a 91% chance of hitting with FA. I was wrong, FA's max damage is about 1500 cold and 600 non-cold.

    The merc's defense is about 9600 -- he has no problems walking through things untouched.

    Yayness.
     
  18. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    Ehh.. you have Nightwing's Veil on you and yet you don't even USE cold attacks for much of anything? :whoa:

    Standard attack + Kuko seems a bit lacking for stragglers, especially in Hell difficulty, but sure, it'll work. The point about them stragglers being a nuisance to kill still remains, though. :p

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 11 minutes and 0 seconds later... ----------

    More nitpicking here: None of the elemental arrows give bonus to AR. I know they SAY that they do, but they actually don't. This has been extensively tested by the guys at Amazon Basin, for example.
     
  19. Balle Gems: 19/31
    Latest gem: Aquamarine


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    but the magic thing hits allways anyway rigt? so it's just the phys. dammage that gets affected?
     
  20. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    Yes, the elemental splash damage will happen no matter if the arrow carrying it hits or not. However, not hitting your target means you can't Pierce either, which is kind of the point of having it in the first place..
     
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