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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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    I'm thinking of going fire and lightning and bringing along a holy freeze merc. He can handle the slowing down tasks, and my conviction aura will help his cold damage as well.

    What I need to come to grips with is how I get resists and how many high runes I am going to spend on this. I had been accumulating runes for several characters, given that I haven't made any HR intense runewords since, I think, I made infinity in an ethereal giant thresher (that is a sweet rig for the merc for my lightning sorc, as she is focused purely on lightning, one pip in warmth, and owns because he breaks virtually every LI enemy and, when he doesn't, he breaks the packs and she kills them while he offs the boss).

    So I have quite a few high runes ready to go. Given that I don't play this game much at all, I can't see a reason to hang on to them. So, I have to see if I have enough for a dual Dream (helm and shield) creation.

    Add dragon armor and hand of justice in, say, a phase blade, and that gives really impressive levels of lightning and fire damage on a super fast weapon. Maybe toss in Drac's and the nifty verdungo's I just found, and this can work.

    I don't think +skills are all that crucial for this character, so I can ditch arachnid's mesh. I think I need Mara's for the resists, so I'll get a couple of +skills there. I think a ravenfrost and a dual leech ring makes the most sense there.

    Gotta add up the runes for that and see what I have though.


    Edit: Just checked - I need a Cham, two Jah's, two Sur's and two Lo's (two Io's and two Pul's also, but whatever). I am pretty sure that I have a Cham and a Jah and several Lo's. Not sure about a second Jah and I cannot recall whether I have any Sur's at all. So, I can probably accomplish this in most part right now. I have to see what kind of paladin shield I have (I'll need a high resist one) and what kind of helm I have. I want to make this low strength so I can bulk up on vitality, so I would expect to make the armor in an archon plate or dusk shroud.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I've done some calculations and I have determined that my initial suspicions were corret. Maximizing physical damage is not the optimal way to go here. It takes a lot of the shine off Beast as an option, as Fanaticism won't make up for the lower base on the HF aura. You are further correct that doubling up on two elemental types is the way to go. Two Dreams, Dragon, and Hand of Justice. That set up should give you level 30 in both HF and HS. The HS damage is going to greatly exceed the HF damage. While the HF will offer more consistent damage, it will on average be significantly lower.

    The spread at level 30 HF will be 174-207 base, with an average of 190, but with synergies it goes all the way up to 1102 - that's per hit. (I am completely ignoring the pulse damage as that contributes marginally to total damage - you can probably complete 2 complete zeal cycles between pulses.) Hand of Justice does confer a -20% to enemey fire resistance, which I assume stacks with Conviction, taking up the damage against non-fire immunes to 1322.

    The spread at level 30 HS is 1-1608 base. No matter what, the low number in the HS range is always 1. Still, if we're talking averages that's an 804 average. Throw in the synergies, and it's up to 3377 per hit. (Again, the pulse damage is marginal.) So you'll be getting nearly 3/4 of your total damage from HS. Of course, HF is still necessary to get around lightning immunes, but other than those instances, your HS aura is going to do the heavy lifting.

    (As an aside - if the sky is the limit on this build, the optimal merc would be a definance merc armed with a Doom polearm - you'll still get the HF from the runeword, and you'll get a better defense rating. Hand of Justice comes with a Freezes Target +3, so the only purpose the HF will serve will be for slowing things down that you aren't hitting already.)

    Resistances are potentially a problem. Dream gives a randomized 5-20% resist all, so even with two, you're likely looking at something between 20-30% resist all there. Dragon and Hand of Justice give nothing. It is obviously essential that you build Dream in a paladin shield with a high resistance as a base attribute. I'm assuming you have one on hand with at least 40% resist all (45% is the max). I also know you have a Mara's. But that still brings you to ~100% resist all, which is zero on hell difficulty.

    So let's try to figure this out a bit with the rings, gloves, boots, and belt. The boots aren't going to help at all, because you're stuck with Gore Riders here. Even though you aren't focusing on physical damage it's silly to build a zeal character and not include some CB. And that's the only place where you're getting any.

    A Raven Frost does give 20% cold absorb, so you're effectively getting 40% Cold Resistance out of that, and I think that's a solid inclusion. For the other ring, you already have life leech on your existing equipment. If you have a mana leech with resistances, that might be an option.

    Unfortunately, the belt isn't going to help at all. And there's nothing that leaps out at me as a must-have belt here. Either Verdungo's or String of Ears I guess.

    Gloves aren't much better. There's nothing there that's going to get you resist all. However, one possibility would be to use Soul Drainers if you have them. They are dual leech, and that would free up a ring slot for a resist all ring as opposed to needing to get some mana leech out of that spot. If you have a Scintillating Ring of Something in your stash, you can add another 15% resist all there.

    And that's it. All you can do after that is charms. Unless you have around 10ish Shimmering Small Charms in your stash, this could be problematic. Not that I'd have a problem using up that much inventory space - you've reached a point where there is very little you'd need to actually pick up. The only things you're picking up are runes, rares, and the occassional set or unique if you don't already have it, and those are few and far between at this point. The problem is actually having that many resist all charms.

    And the skills are really easy at this point. You are completely correct that +skills aren't of much concern. They don't add to your rune words, nor do they provide synergy bonuses. The only +skills that you'll benefit from are Zeal, Holy Shield, and Conviction. With conviction running, there is no purpose in raising Zeal above level 4 to get the 5 attacks. And with Mara's as a definite include, you shouldn't need to place more than 2 points here. If you happen to make Hand of Justice in a scepter that gives a bonus of even +1 to Zeal (HoJ is any 4 socket weapon I believe) then you would just have to invest a point.

    You probably are going to want 20 Conviction eventually, just because there's no way you're going to pile up more than +5 all skills with the equipment list we're looking at. There are no diminishing returns all the way to the cap with Conviction in terms of -%resist (there are dimininshing returns in terms of -%defense). Every skill point gives an additional -5% resist. There's also 5 mandatory prerequisites, so we need 25 skill points with that.

    Ideally we'd like to max Resist Fire, Resist Lightning, and Salvation. Fortunately, there's no prerequisites there, but that's 60.

    With combat skills, you'll need at most 2 points in Zeal (with one prereq), and Holy Shield has 4 prerequisites. Once Holy Shield gets to level 5, you're at +25% chance to block. Level 10 is just 30%, and Level 20 is just 35%. It certainly sounds like Level 5 is the sweet spot, so 3 points + Maras. That comes out to 10.

    So we're looking at 25 Offensive Auras, 60 Defensive Auras, and 10 Combat Skills, for a doable 95 skill points - level 84 with all quests. It's also clear that the one you're doing last is Salvation. You need three points in Salvation to equal the synergy bonus of one point in either Resist Fire or Resist Lightning. Adding a point to RF and RS gives +18% and +12% respectively. If you instead spend those two points on Salvation, you'd end up with 12% to Fire and +8% to Shock. So there's no need to ever place a point in Salvation until both RF and RS are maxed out (at which point you'll already have your comat skills and offensive auara where you want them).
     
  3. 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 - way more math than I was willing to do, but the same result. My only thought was to hope to find a paladin stick with +1 holy shield in it for the weapon so I don't have to sink any hard points to holy shield. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

    I have several charms that are either +5 resist all small charms or +15 resist all grand charms, so it's doable.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I did a bit more checking, and technically Conviction doesn't cap. You keep getting the -5% every level. However, monster -%resistance DOES cap. The lowest it will go is -150%, which you get with Conviction at level 25. So adding points in Conviction beyond Level 25 would only improve your ability to break immunities. Given that immunity breaking works at 1/5 effectiveness, a point in Conviction beyond level 25 will allow you break through 1% more immunity. So while not tehnically a cap, it is a cap in practice.
     
  5. dmc

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

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    Well, yeah, that's what I meant by saying that putting further points in it would be worthless.
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Another thought - and this just makes resistance a little more annoying to get - is that by sinking 20 in resist fire and lightning, you're getting the passive bonuses. Therefore for those two elements, your max resistance will be 85% instead of 75%. (I know it's only two more inventory spaces - either two more 5% res all or one 10% fire and one 10% lightning.)

    EDIT: I'm also on the fence now about the weapon choice. (Not the runeword, but what you make the runeword in.) If you have a scepter with key +skills, I'd probably go that way, but there isn't a whole lot of IAS on this build. HoJ gives 33%, and I don't think there's anything else here. So picking a very fast attack speed weapon does offer some potential advantage. The fastest scepter available is the caduceus (or it's normal/exceptional counterparts, but I'm assuming you're going to want the elite). It's base speed is -10, which is "very fast" and certainly not bad. But a phase blade is -30. According to some tables I looked up, in order to hit 4fps zeal, a -10 weapon requires 40% IAS. However, a -30 weapon only requires 15% IAS, which you already have from the runeword itself. So if that's our equipment list, you'll have to decide for yourself whether or not you can live with 5fps with the scepter.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  7. dmc

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

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    Maybe I do it in a phase blade and, if I can find any pally stick with holy shield on it, I use that as the switch weapon. I'd love to not sink any real points just to get holy shield.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Cripes, if ALL you need your switch to do is buff Holy Shield, just throw on a Heart of the Oak - which you already own IIRC - as your weapon switch. +3 there and +2 from Maras, and with just one point in Holy Shield you're at 6.
     
  9. dmc

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

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    Right, but then I need to sink points in the prereq's for Holy Shield and the skill itself, which I am trying to save. Oh well, I probably will do what you wrote anyway.
     
  10. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    There are still people playing D2?
     
  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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    Well, at least one. :p

    I pick an old game and play a run, and then I pick a different old game and do the same.

    There aren't any new games that intrigue me right now.
     
  12. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I have some experience with Auradins, having one going physical/lightning route, the other one going fire/lightning (dual Dragon, dual Dream), both past level 90. The first one uses Fanaticism as the main aura as the Merc provides the Conviction, the other one does Conviction himself.

    In my humble opinion, while going dual-elemental route leads to better synergy with the Conviction aura, the damage just isn't strong enough to compensate forfeiting your physical damage. Remember that an Auradin is still a melee character at heart, so he lives or dies by his ability to lifesteal. Besides, Fortitude is much, much better body armor in melee than Dragon is.

    Tri-elemental isn't feasible at all, the standard slvl 15-18 auras only do like 200-400 damage per hit with full synergies. Might as well spare the coin and go with Famine weapon, as it does very comparable elemental damage on its own.
     
  13. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Whoa! You guys filled up another thread... Time to start a new one if you so desire! :)
     
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