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Diablo 2 - Strange Amazon Build Idea

Discussion in 'Diablo 1 & 2' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, May 2, 2007.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I've been meaning to try this one out for a while. The build itself focuses on having extremely high life. I'm anticipating getting vitality up to over 200! This is the valkrie/decoy/magic arrow amazon.

    The odd thing about this build is that you only have one attack skill - magic arrow. Magic arrow requires zero mana once it gets up to level 13, so it's a zero cost mana skill. What you do is rely on decoy, your valkrie and a merc to do most of the killing, while you stand in the back and watch them work, helping out what little you can.

    The basic build looks like this:

    20 valkrie
    20 decoy (decoy is an excellent target for enemy monsters to go after, plus it synergies with valkrie, giving a huge boost to life.
    13 magic arrow
    All other points go into the various passive dodge skills.
    There's also about 6 or 7 prerequisite skills you need to pick up to get to decoy and valkrie.

    To be honest, I will have a few other skills that I'll get through an item. I already know that once this character gets to level 33, she will be using the unique cedar bow, and it's a monster: +2 to all skills, +3 to immolation arrow, fires fire arrows, 100% chance of piercing. So essentially, even if I put zero points into immolation arrow, it will go off at level 5 by using this bow. The 100% chance of peircing means it will go straight through the target, and repeatedly detonate on every target it hits along the way. It also has high base damage and has over 100 points of fire damage added to it.
     
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    I tried this recently but I didn't put any point into vit, I put all points into dex and Duriel killed me in a few seconds. :grin: With high vit this char would be possible though. I tried it after reading this . I guess it is possible to finish the game with it.

    I tried this a few months ago too but stopped after lvl 30+. Crowd control became a problem. I suggest strafe(or Multishot if you like) as a secondary attack for large crowds.

    BTW unique longbow also has "fires explosive arrows" mod but it didn't work with Magic Arrow. I had to use normal attack to make my arrows explode.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I'm sure the same will be true with this bow, and that makes sense as they don't allow you to stack abilities. If it's firing an exploding arrow, it can't be an exploding and magic arrow simultaneously. I will consider multi-shot and strafe. While strafe is clearly superior, it has a bunch of prerequisities, while multishot only has one.

    As far as crowd control goes, that's what the merc and valkrie will be for. Sure, they are melee, one at a time killers, but working together they should do a decent job. Also, decoys make excellent meat shields, especially against missle opponents. The AI will almost always attack the closest target, and the decoy will give them something else to shoot at.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    An update and a question. I now have my Bowazon in Act IV Normal - should take on Big D tonight. I'm currently level 28, and as soon as I reach level 33, I'll be switching over to this bow:

    It's no Burriza, but not too shabby. As I previously noted, I have been relying exclusively on magic arrow and multishot as my only two skills up to this point. While I'm sure I'll still use those two a lot, I like having a good source for doing fire damage as well.

    Here's my question. In the actual item description of the Kuko, it is identical to the description given above (from diabloii.net) except instead of saying "+50% chance of piercing target", my Kuko just says "piercing attack". So my question obviously is - Does "piercing attack" mean that you have a +50% chance of piercing the target? If that's the case, I'm slightly disappointed, because I had interpreted piercing attack to mean it always pierced. (Well not always - everything is capped at 95%.) The bow is still very good, as +50% chance of pierce means I won't have to spend nearly as many points in pierce to get it up to a high level.

    The chance of piercing is rolled each time it hits something, so ideally you want this number high. With only 50%, you have a 50% chance of piercing 1 target, 25% of piercing 2, 12.5% of piercing 3, etc. However, if I spend a few points in pierce and get it up to 40% (for a total of 90%) now I'd have a 90% chance to pierce 1 taget, 81% chance of piercing 2, 73% to pierce 3 - so you can see how much your odds improve past the first target by adding to this skill.

    Overall, I am presently content with the build, although I must admit that if you didn't have a bow to grow into, the build would be horrendously slow. Without something else to help you, it's a one-at-a-time atttack build (plus whatever your merc and valykrie can handle).

    Still, the thing I like about this build is that it is the only build I'm aware of that focuses on the Amazon's passive and magic tree. I also use a pilum and shield for resistances on my weapon switch, as thrown weapons hit for much more damage than my current bow. Anyway, the point is I will spend no points in the javelin and spear skill tree, and very few in the bow and crossbow skill tree.

    Here's what I've done so far. I have spent 10 points on magic arrow, because at level 13 it requires no mana, and it will be increased to that once I start using the Kuko.

    I have not decided what level I will eventually raise multishot to, although I don't think I will need many points there. It's currently at level 3, but it will go up to 6 with the Kuko, and I don't know if I'll need much more than that. The only thing that increses when you pump multishot is the number of arrows you produce - the damage stays the same. However, even if you shot something at point-blank range, you can only ever hit something with one of the arrows. Because of this, and the fact that I'll have a high pierce rating, it will effectively mean that even at level 10 or so, I'll have more arrows flying out there than I'll ever need.

    So that's an estimated 17 skill points in the bow and crossbow tree. Everything else is in the passive and magic tree. I have a pretty non-negotiable requirement to put 20 points into both decoy and valykrie. Not only do they synergize with each other, but the decoy makes an excellent target for the stupid AI to pound on, completely ignoring the true threats. Counting a few prerequisites (although slow missiles I have found to be a quite useful skill even at level 1), I will have spent a total of about 60 skill points. Everything else will get split up between all of the passive skills (evade, dodge, pierce, penetrate, etc). So say an average of about 6 points in each one (although I'll need less than 6 in pierce). The beauty of those passive skills is that not only does it help you, but all of your passive skills the valykrie gets as well. :)
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Woohoo! Killed normal Diablo last night and he dropped the exceptional unique war spear, The Impaler. While it's not that odd to get a unique from Diablo, getting an exceptional unique from normal Diablo is quite the rare find indeed. As I have an Act II mercenary, it's the perfect weapon for him, and should serve him well for a long time. Ironically, both me and my mercenary still can't use our weapons that we'd like to be using. The Impaler has a level requirement of 31, while the Kuko Shakaku has a level requirement of 33. I'm currently 30, and my merc is 29, so we're both still using normal variety weapons.

    Also, I got my first valykrie last night, and I have to say, I'm quite impressed. From what I have read about the valykrie, her life scales up in all difficulty levels, and so a high level valykrie will be effective as a minion throughout hell. (At level 20, the valykrie has over 1000 life, but decoy adds 20% more life per level, meaning your valykrie can have up to 4000 life if both are maxed. Which basically means she'll have as much life as me and my merc combined.) Unfortunately, her damage does NOT scale up with the difficulty, and therefore on hell difficulty she won't be doing enough damage to kill much stuff. But that's really OK. The whole point of this build was to get two meat shields up front while I do the killing.

    The other thing I've concluded is that the valykrie will actually be a better meat shield than the paladin in all likelihood, because she also gets the benefit of the defiance aura, as well as sharing all of my dodging skills. So that means that she not only has a considerably larger life pool than the paladin, but also that she should be getting hit less frequently.

    About the only bad thing is that valykries cost a TON of mana. A maxed out level 20 valykrie costs 101 mana to summon! Still, even at level 1, having a second minion getting involved in the front lines helps emmensely. (Well actually level 2, as I have +1 to all skills.) I have to do a bit of research here, but it may be better to actually pump decoy first, since damage will ultimately be minimal. If I get more life for pumping decoy (and at 20% per level it certainly seems like that should be more) than valykrie, I may just start pumping decoy instead.
     
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    Kuko Shakaku has 50% piercing. IIRC there is only one weapon with 100% piercing and that's Buriza.

    And about Valkyrie: its mana cost isn't that important. You will only cast it once in town and she survives pretty well. Even at lvl 30 and without any +skill items I rarely recasted it when I was playing with my Amazon.

    I am excited. Maybe I should try this build once more. :grin: I don't have such good equipment (like your Kuko Shakaku) but I have complete "Arctic" set and a few other low level unique bows from my previous games.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    The Actic set is great for a low level character, although it will probably only last you through the first two acts before better choices start coming.

    I am enjoying this character, although it is still another 3 levels before I hit the "launch point" when I can start using Kuko. The 50% pierce is still adequate. I have +1 to skills, and so pierce is effectively level 2, which is 34%, so 84% with Kuko. Pierce allows a maximum of 4 piercings (so hit up to five targets) and my chances will be: 84%, 71%, 59%, 50%. So half of all my arrows will go through the maximum number of targets, which is certainly acceptable.

    There are a few problems with this class however. First of all, Act IV normal is TOUGH. At this level, it is impossible to use multishot effectively for crowd control unless you really set up your build for mana leech. Multishot costs 5 mana at skill level 1, and the mana cost increases by 1 mana per skill level, making the mana cost prohibitive early on. At higher levels, when you are dealing much higher damage, it is very conceivable with a few % mana leech to start using the skill with regularity. I plan on putting a Pskull into Kuko, and that should be enough for leeching purposes.

    Finally, a maxed valykrie requires 40 skill points between raising the skill itself and decoy. Since you're also sinking a bunch of points (I'd guess about 6-7 each) in the dodge skills, so you are severely restricted in your bow and crossbow skills. You need to pick two skills - one crowd control and one cheap mana skill, and raise both of them to around level 10. (Assuming a final level of 80 here - if you play beyond that, obviously you can put more points in them.)

    I decided on magic arrow for the low mana cost, and multishot for crowd control. I specifically selected magic arrow because it's a free mana skill once you get it to level 13 (I'm at level 10, but get +3 from Kuko). So it can leech back mana without using any. You can also start pumping this skill with your first skill point, giving you an excellent early skill. It also is a viable option against physical immunes, as it adds magic damage.

    Upon further consideration, if you can by with using regular arrows for the early part of the game, guided arrow is another possibility at level 18. Guided will do much, much more damage long term than magic arrow, and it is also a skill that requires less mana the more points you invest in it (but unlike magic arrow, the damage increase is much greater). At level one guided arrow costs 8 mana, which is much too high early on, but the cost decreases by 0.25 mana for every point beyond the first. So if you go to 10 points in this instead of magic arrow, it's a much friendlier 5.5 mana casting cost, which probably could be leeched back, as it hits for 50% more damage than magic arrow. Guided is also a much better option against bosses than magic arrow, espceially once you start pumping pierce at level 30. So guided is probably better long term, but what to do until then?

    For crowd control you really only have 2 choices: Multishot or Strafe. For me, the choice was an easy one as I have a high pierce chance. Getting out a bunch of arrows that can all strike numerous creatures was definitely the way the go, considering you can get off about 3 or 4 multishots in the time it takes to go through a single strafe cycle. The high pierce also means I don't need as many arrows to get the same damage output as otherwise would need. Finally, Multishot can be used to attack things off screen, and is much more effective in hit-and-run attacks than Strafe.

    Strafe is more mana intensive early at 11 mana, but that's a fixed number, so long term it is actually a bit cheaper to use than multishot (past level 7). If you don't have pierce, stafe may be the better bet. Plus, as the damage of strafe increases with points spent, it can partially make up for the fact that it takes longer to strafe than multishot.

    Finally for your attributes, remember that strength is only useful for wearing equipment. The damage for your bow is based on your dexterity. I've done 1 strength, 2 dexterity, and 2 vitality every level up. The only real restriction is with armor. You'll be limited to leather armors in act 1, can graduate to a breast plate in act 2, and will have sufficient strength to wear light plate by act 3 or 4.
     
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    OK I started an Amazon too. I killed Duriel easier this time thanks to Arctic's huge life bonus. After he killed my merc I let Duriel attack me and used my bow as a melee weapon. :lol: I just drank two potions of light heal during the fight and he died quickly.

    I'm currently lvl22 and have 10 points in MA. I'll max it later. I'm thinking about getting Strafe instead of MS. I'm not a very skillful player and hitting things with Strafe is easier. :grin: Also Strafe looks cooler.

    I've 100 dex, 45 str and base vit. Next 10-20 points should go to vit. I like spending all 5 points at once at same attribute.

    I found that I've saved Endlesshail (unique Double Bow) in one of my previous games. I'll start using it as soon as I reach lvl36.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Yeah, I'd say max it out MUCH later. The main attractions with MA are its low mana cost and magic damage. At level 10, it only costs 0.3 mana per arrow. Even with base energy, you should be able to shoot it constantly with little fear of running out of mana, even with no mana leech. Adding points beyond level 13 (when it costs no mana to use) will not up the magic damage much though. Given the priority that a lot of other skills will take, you shouldn't spend another point in MA throughout the rest of normal.

    It really is personal preference with Strafe vs. Multishot, as I said earlier. I like having the ability to shoot and run away quickly at the higher difficulty levels. With strafe, you are locked into position for a second or so while the Amazon fires the strafe volley. That having been said, MS has a 25% damage penalty, so strafe shots will hit for more damage.

    :lol: I'm level 45, and my dex is only at 115! Of course, my vitality is about 100, with my strength about 70. I have maintained the 1 strength, 2 dexterity, 2 vitality distribution, and I really haven't had much in the way of problems with equipment. Sure, the really good armors are, and always will be, out of reach, but I'm getting by OK with what I have, as the general thinking is to stay out of harm's way.

    I agree that you are going to have to start pumping vitality, or normal Diablo will be a pain. While it's never advisable to bask in his Pink Lighning Bolt of Death attack, going in there with nearly base vitality will give you no margin for error.

    While Kuko will be my primary weapon for the foreseeable future (and possibly for the rest of the game), I also picked up and nice bow for my weapon switch. It's Skystrike, which is the unique exeptional version of the short bow (edge bow maybe?) It adds up to 250 points of electrical damage, meaning I now have a high fire damage bow and a high lightning damage bow. Since I'm Act 1 nightmare, I am starting to see some unique monsters with elemental immunities, but nothing with immunities to two elements. I switch to Skystrike whenever I run into a fire immune, when Kuko isn't a good option. I also sunk one point into Guilded arrow (relying on +items to get it higher), and that is my base attack with Skystrike.

    However, for anything that isn't fire immune, Kuko is always the best weapon. Not only does it add 80-140 points of fire damage per arrow as a base weapon ability, it's "normal" attack is level 9 exploding arrow, meaning it's fire galore, with splash damage to boot. All regular creatures go down with no more than 2 shots from it, and the battle with Baal took less than one minute. About the only bad part is that my magic arrow skill seems to be a complete waste at this point. About the only reason I would have to use magic arrow is if I ran into something that was immune to lightning, fire, and physical, and I don't think such a combination is possible.

    I've also discovered that the strategy guides really downplay the valykrie's ability. Presently, she is a better tank than my act 2 defiance merc. She can kill most stuff with one hit. Granted, the merc will probably pass her off eventually, as she will cease improving her damage output once I hit level 49 and put my 20th point into valykrie, while the definance merc will have his strength (and therefore his damage) increase every time he levels up. However, my merc will NEVER will be able to touch the valykrie in terms of punishment he can take. I think I underestimated the valykrie's life total once I max out both valykrie and decoy. She already has over 2000 life, and I still have 4 more level of valykrie to go, and 14 more levels of decoy to go. Decoy adds 20% life per level, so just from decoy I'm adding another 280% to the valykrie's base life. I think 5000 is probably a better estimation for total life points.

    [ May 14, 2007, 15:01: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
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    [​IMG]
    You're right. He was. Even though I managed to kill him in the end, he killed me 3 times during the fight. He casted his bone prison + "his Pink Lighning Bolt of Death attack" (we should find something shorter for this). Normally I can run away from this attack but I've forgotten his bone prison. :mad:

    I only had 40 vit during that fight. Anyway I'm leveling up at Bloody Foothills and putting all the points to vit now. Currently I've 50 vit and I'm lvl 29.

    I couldn't find anything better than Arctic set yet. I killed Mephisto more than 10 times but he didn't drop anything useful. Maybe in NM he can drop better equipment.
     
  11. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Okay, I have 5 characters on the go (One of each of the 5 normal classes), and two of them have the armour from the Arctic set. This seems strange to me. I've only re-installed it a couple weeks ago, and only have one of them in act 2 (Paladin with Zeal/thorns combo, but using Sacrifice to boost the damage on my attacks as well).

    My Amazon is still using the original Javelin because I haven't found a decent bow or spear. As a result, I've been putting my points into Passive skills mainly until I decide which route to go.
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    How about PLBoD?

    Normal Mephisto is not a very good item run, as he is only level 30 on normal. Remember that the better gear has higher item levels. In order for a monster to be able to drop something, the monster's level must be equal to or greater than the item's level. Most of the good normal uniques have item levels in the 30s, with a few even in the low 40s. That's why Diablo (level 40) is the first monster on normal that makes a decent item run. However, given the difficulty of the Pandemonium Fortress, most players opt not to run Diablo more than once to complete to quest. Baal is actually an easier item run, gives much better experience on the way (making him an item *and* an experience point run), plus he's level 45 so he can actually drop better stuff than Diablo too.

    Bottom line - item running before normal Baal is not particularly profitable, but running Baal about 10 times before continuing to Nightmare is highly advisable - you should really be able to improve your equipment, and level up to the low 40s to boot.

    Well, regarding what I said above, it's not THAT strange. It has to do with monster levels and item levels. Sets and uniques have item levels, and the better the item, the higher the level. On Act 1 Normal, Andariel is level 22, and nothing else is higher than level 18. Since most set and unique armors have item levels in excess of 18, Arctic Furs are one of the few set armors that CAN drop.

    But it goes even beyond that. Whenever you kill a monster, the game rolls to see what the monster will drop (if anything). Items are grouped together in Treasure Classes (TCs). Monsters drop from a TC about equal to their level. It's not exactly their level, because TCs go in multiples of 3. So the lowest TC is 3, and it goes all the way up to TC 90. The highest armor you'll ever see a normal monster in Act 1 drop is ring mail. The next better armor after ring mail (scale mail) is in TC 21, meaning Andariel is the first who could drop it. Obviously, if a monster cannot drop ANY scale mail, it can't drop a magical, set, rare, or unique scale mail either. So to get a set or unique, two things must be true. First, the monster must be able to drop from the right TC. After that, the item level of the set or unique must also not exceed the monster level in order for it to be dropped.

    Perhaps an example here will serve better. Let's use the plated belt. In order for a plated belt to drop, a creature must be able to drop from TC Armor 21. Therefore, from about the middle of act 2 normal difficulty and onward, any creature COULD drop a plated belt. Any creature that is capable of dropping a plated belt is also capable of dropping a magic or rare plated belt as well. So you can get one of those by mid-act 2. However, the very popular unique plated belt, Goldwrap, is item level 40, so the first monster that could possibly drop it is Normal Diablo. You might see dozens of plated belts drop in acts 2, 3, and 4 - but you won't ever see Goldwrap drop before hitting Diablo. (Of course there's no guarantee that normal Diablo will drop Goldwrap - in fact he probably won't - I'm just saying that's the first time when it's *possible*.

    Well, javelins will always do more damage than the early bows - it's not likely you'll find a bow that does more damage than a javelin for quite some time. Bows do less damage, but fire much faster than javelins. So they make up for their lower damage per arrow by having a quicker rate of fire. I don't know why you haven't found a decent spear yet though - spears generally do MORE damage than javelins. However, I don't know too many Amazons who use spears, because you can't throw them, and you can't use them with a shield.
     
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    I restarted. Diablo made me angry. :flaming:

    I'm lvl 23 and I've 60 vit now. I'll not die this time.

    BTW I have a question: what happens when you fire a guided arrow from Kuko? Does it explode?
     
  14. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    I've only finished the first 2 quests and haven't bothered with the extra side areas very much. I've got my Paladin to the Dry hills and my Necromancer is in the Inner Cloister. The Other three have not gone far.

    My Necromancer got the Arctic armour from the Countess, and the Barbarian got the armur even earlier...
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I just looked up on diabloii.net the stats for the Arctic Armor. It has an item level of 2. That means the only creatures that cannot drop the armor are the ones you find in the very first area outside the rouge camp (as they are level 1 monsters). That means the first creature you encounter that theoretically could drop that armor is the unique zombie you find when clearing out the cave for Akara (the first quest).

    No. When you fire a guided arrow you get a guided arrow. No double damage for you! You get the level 9 exploding arrow when you use the normal attack. It functions just like a level 9 exploding arrow, except that it doesn't cost you any mana, yet it leeches like crazy, so I totally spam that skill. My typical setup is normal attack (exploding arrow) on the left mouse button, and multishot on the right mouse button. When I weapon switch to Skystrike, I have guided and multishot, since Skystrike can only fire a level 1 exploding arrow (it has +1 to all skills).

    I'm now in Nightmare Act II. My first purchase there was a pair of Gymanast's Light Bracers, which gives +2 to all skills in the passive and magic tree. The acquisition of this item has made me reconsider my skill allocation - +2 to all in that tree changes everything.

    The first thing it does is my Valykrie (once I get the last two skill points into her) will be cast at level 25. She's going to have over 3000 life even if I don't sink another point into decoy. Although decoy does synergize with valykrie at +20% more life per point spent, I don't think that the valykrie really needs any more life. She certainly doesn't need 14 more levels of decoy, and certainly not any more at this stage of the game.

    So after that, I started looking at my other passive skills. The +2 raised those up into the 4-6 range. The thing is with those skills, once you get about 6 in them, you get severely diminishing returns. An additional point in those skills will only net me an increase of about 4%. So *maybe* I'll sink a point more in each one (except critical strike - given the number of arrows I'm firing, a 4% increase in double damage is a big difference in total damage - so that might merit another 2 or 3 points).

    My pierce chance is now over 50%, so when added to the 50% on my bow, I'm piercing pretty much everything (the 95% cap means sometimes it doesn't work, but the percentages are now: 95%, 90%, 86%, 81%). And nothing I do will make that get any better.

    Still, given where I'm at now, by the time I hit the mid-50s, I'm going to hit a "what now?" point when it comes to skill selection. The only thing I've definitely decided on is I'm not raising decoy in the immediate future. Eventually increasing my valykrie's life beyond 3000 may be a good idea, but right now she's tanking everything, and I've never even seen her life bar drop into the yellow range. The only time I recast her is when I get a new level, and I cast a better valykrie. I'd like some advise from you guys as to what to do - here are my options as I see it:

    1. Continue as planned a sink a few more points into each of my passive skills.

    This option has some merit, because I'm never going to get a great defense rating, meaning most monsters on hell difficulty will have a 95% chance to hit me. So basically, I'll get hit by everything unless one of my passive dodge skills kick in. Even if the spent points only represent a 3% or 4% increase, every little bit helps. Plus, if I go this route, then it is possible I could eventually trade out of my current gloves (they do nothing other than grant +2 passive skills), into something that gives increased attack speed, or knockback, or enhanced damage without my dodge skills taking much of a hit.

    2. Pick another bow skill to develop.

    A. As I said earlier, there's no point in me increasing magic arrow any further, as with my current equipment setup, the only time where I would need to do magic damage is if I ran into something that was immune to fire, lightning, and physical - and to my knowledge it isn't possible for a unique to spawn with more than two immunities. So that's out.

    B. Pump freezing arrow, the level 30 skill. You need to put one point into cold arrow as a prerequisitie to get guided arrow, so I only need one other prerequisite (ice arrow) to start developing this skill. It's mana intensive, so I'd have to alternate this attack with some other attack, in order to leech mana back. The advantage of this attack is that it freezes the target solid - they aren't slowed - they are stopped (unless they are immune to cold of course). The point of this skill will be to briefly stop enemies - I don't need additional elemental damage. Given my current equipment setup, a 20 point investment would actually mean it would go off at level 24, which is 32 mana (yikes! - like I said, I'd have to alternate with another attack), and 400 additional points of cold damage. Freezing arrow also has synergies with the other arrow skills that do cold damage, so it would actually be a bit more than 400, as I have to put a point in all the prerequisities which will synergize.

    C. Pump guided arrow. A much more mana friendly option, as additional points spent into this skill increase the damage and *lower* the casting cost. A 20 point investment here would give me: +115% damage, and a casting cost of just 2.2 mana, so it's imminently spamable. Also, +115% damage should easily equate to 400 damage, but it obviously won't freeze enemies.

    Thoughts?

    [ May 16, 2007, 14:51: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Well, I'm thinking that guided is probably my best option. It's low mana cost, combined with the fact that it will be my primary attack against fire immunes makes it appear to be the best choice. Also, I'm thinking that I may not be able to use the level 9 exploding arrow normal attack as much on hell difficulty because the damage may not be able to keep up. Basically, I think that the rate at which my damage increases (about 2% per level as I add dexterity) will be a considerably lower increase than the rate at which hell creature life increases. OTOH, all creatures in hell mode have automatic 50% immunity to physical damage, and guided is all physical, so I'm not so sure. Also, creature AC also increases in hell, but that doesn't matter for exploding arrow because it's autohit, while guided is not.

    On a more bright note, I was very pleased with the suffix on my prismatic amulet I made last night. 1pgem of every type + amulet = prismatic amulet of X. You aren't guaranteed a suffix, but you usually get one. I usually end up making several of these amulets in an effort to get one with a good suffix. On my very first try at one with this character I got +17% resist all (which is average - you get something between 15%-19%) with "Life Everlasting" which is damage reduced by 22 (which scales up in nightmare and again in hell). So now, even when I get hit, I'm not taking much damage. I also have skins of the vampirmagi as my armor, which reduces magic damage by 11, has 23% resist all, and +1 to all skills. I've found the thing that causes me the most damage is poison, as I only have 29% poison resist, while fire and lightning are maxed, and cold is a respectable 59%.

    I'm half way though Act II Nightmare now, having just completed the maggot lair. The thing I'm most concerned with is the ability to do enough damage in hell to kill things reasonably quickly. My merc + valk are both excellent tanks now, with good survivability - neither one has died yet, and the valk hasn't even been dropped into yellow yet.
     
  17. Dengo Gems: 8/31
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    Maybe maxing MA would be better for you. As you said all creatures have %50 physical resistance in Hell. Also there will be lots of fire immunes. Magic damage is always a good thing to have.

    BTW this time I killed Diablo without dying. I socketed Arctic Bow with a P.Skull with an old char and gave it to my new Amazon. I also noticed that my previous zon didn't have enough fire and lig. res. This time I wore Hotspur boots (45 fire res,+15 max fire res.) before Diablo. He couldn't damage me too much except his PLBoD.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Magic arrow isn't really going to help much more, even if I max it out. The description of magic arrow is converts X% to magic damage, and adds +X magic damage where "X" is the skill level. I could add up to 10 more points in magic arrow, but all that will do is increase my magic damage output by 10% and add 10 more points of magic damage - in other words not much.

    EDIT: The other thing I was thinking is that the one source of damage I currently lack is physical damage. While it's true that you will run into trouble if you deal only physical damage, it is generally considered wise to have a good physical attack because relatively few monsters in the game are immune to physical damage. In hell difficulty, any boss *can* spawn with PI, but very few do. The only monsters that are always PI are the ghost-type creatures.

    Plus, when it comes to physical immunes, I will already use of one of my two existing bows that add fire or lighning damage with the level 10 skill magic arrow. The only way the physical immunes will be a problem is if I run into something that is immune to physical, lightning, and fire. And if that happens, I'll run away!

    PI only = Kuko w/MA
    FI only = Skystrike w/GA
    LI only = Kuko w/GA
    PI + FI = Skystrike w/MA
    PI + LI = Kuko w/MA
    FI + LI = Kuko w/GA (gives a bigger bonus to GA than Skystrike)
    PI + LI + FI = screwed
    For any combination not listed above, my best bet probably would be firing Kuko's exploding arrows.

    EDIT2: Got through the Arcane Sanctuary last night. I got lucky and I chose the correct path to the Summoner on my first attempt. I considered taking the other three paths for the XPs and items, but a quick check of area levels quickly squashed that idea. The Arcane Sanctuary has an area level of 46, while all of Tal Rasha's Tombs have an area level of 49. A three level difference is a significant difference in terms of experience points, and also opens up TC 48, which is unavailable in the Arcane Sanctuary. I'm much better off running all of Tal Rasha's Tombs for the gold chests and the higher experience.

    [ May 18, 2007, 14:17: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  19. Dengo Gems: 8/31
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    I restarted again. :grin: This time I won't use any items that I found in my previous games. I wonder if I'll ever finish this game.

    Yes with such cool equipment you can play even without any skills in bow&xbow tab. I looked at stats of unique bows (at diabloii.net) and these two seems to be the best bows with elemental damage.
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Oh, stop - you're making me blush :o :lol:

    Really, the only twinked item was the Kuko - Skystrike was found. As far as exceptional unique bows are concerned, they are among the best for elemental damage. However, the best bow of the exceptional class is Burriza without a doubt. Bow of my bows are also outclassed by the elite bows and crossbows - although I admit that the elite crossbow have some pretty hefty strength requirements that put them out of reach by most bowazons.

    Actually, most of my characters are run untwinked. I have never played enough Diablo2 to acquire the truly high-end runes and items necessary to have optimal equipment for any character. That's why I tend to play classes that are not highly dependent upon items. The bowazon - relying heavily upon a merc and valk is such a character. Other good starter builds for the poor include the concentrate barbarian, and either of the two classes of shape-shifter druid.
     

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