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Diablo II Single Player Thread - 3

Discussion in 'Diablo 1 & 2' started by dmc, May 27, 2013.

  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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    Retchet - What's the general build for your physical/lightning auradin? Given that I haven't built any runewords yet and have my respecs, I can investigate that idea if the dual elemental route is sub-optimal.

    You give your merc infinity for the conviction aura?
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Hmmm... But isn't the first one basically a Shockadin with a fanaticism aura? So (I'm guessing here so feel free to correct) that you're going dual dream. As that's only taking up the helm and shield slots, it frees up loads of options for the armor and weapon. What's the general build plan here? Max fanaticism, resist shock, and sacrifice? And then a bit to get Holy Shield, and whatever left in Zeal? Even with conviction running on the merc, it seems like you wouldn't necessarily have to pump zeal for the boost to AR, but I think it's adds damage as you level it (although less damage than the sacrifice synergy).

    Oh there are tons better than Dragon - but if you want dual elemental it's the only way to do it. Heck, dmc has Chains on hand - that's a better option too. Although that does become a tough call. Getting +300% damage on armor is nothing to sneeze at. But getting +2 to all skills, along with much better resistances, life steal, and %DR is also very appealing.

    Oh, that I concluded just by doing the math. Once you try and throw cold on there, you are forced to gimp either your fire or lightning damage, resulting in a worse combinatino than if you had simply done 2.

    The other thing I wonder about is if the whole point of an auradin (from dmc's perspective) is to be able to try a build he never has done before? I mean, physical is feasible all on it's own without any elemental damage at all. I have made cheap zeal paladins that just did zeal, sacrifice, conviction, holy shield, rest into defiance. (With one point in Vengence vs. physical immunes.) Conviction was worth it over fanaticism just for the lowered defense and guaranteed hits. These guys were absolute tanks. Even on hell difficulty, I seem to remember my chance of being hit was only around 25% (and 3/4 of those were blocked).
     
  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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    I like the idea of many groovy auras. My very first character was a paladin that did zeal and holy freeze, so I am already well versed in a physical + single element build. I wanted to try something different, even if it wasn't optimal, as long as it would actually, y'know, kill things reasonably quickly. I much prefer casters to melee builds on average, but I was jazzed about the idea of getting level 30 fire and shock auras without having to put points in them. I can plug resist fire and resist lightning, do a good conviction build (better than infinity, I suppose, but I'm not sure how much better) and generally not put points into the things that you would expect me to put points into (which is why I want to get a free holy shield on a weapon - I really like the idea of not plugging points into anything I am going to use except for conviction and a single pip in zeal).
     
  4. Barmy Army

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

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    D2.... retro! How have you managed to get it working? I tried once and even when working fully patched with compatibility for old versions of Windows, I had major colour issues!

    It's still a million times better than D3 to be fair.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I don't understand why you are so fussed about getting Holy Shield for free. Assuming use of Heart of the Oak, you'd have to spend 7 points in combat skills. Combine that with 60 Defensive Auras and 25 Offensive Auras, and you're at 92 skill points. That's level 81 with all quests completed, and there's no way you won't be level 81 by the time you complete all quests. The point in Zeal and the Sacrifice prereq are obligatory, so it's all of 5 points to pick up a hard point in Holy Shield. To put it another way, where else were you looking to spend those 5 skill points? Becasue I can't see where they would be put to any significant use.

    To me, the tradeoff simply isn't worth it. A phase blade will reduce your fpa by 20% compared to a scepter. Since you'll have a 95% chance to hit, this will effectively increase your damage output by 20%. I can't see how saving 5 skill points in a build that's for all practical purposes done by level 81 is worth a 20% decrease in damage.

    And it's not like you're getting nothing for those 5 points - you'll be getting a level 6 Holy Shield out of it. There's no such thing as a scepter that you're going to get your hands on with a level 6 Holy Shield on it. And that's a big difference IMO - the higher the level in Holy Shield, the fewer points you need to devote to dexterity to maintain your block rate. Attack rating is meaningless in a build with an activated high level in conviction. The huge decrease in enemy defense allows you to maintain a 95% hit probability irrespective of dexterity.

    The best you'll find on a weapon is level 3 Holy Shield. For comparison's sake,

    Level 3 Holy Shield: +20% Blocking, +55% Defense, 80 seconds duration
    Level 6 Holy Shield: +26% Blocking, +100% Defense, 155 seconds duration.

    To me, there's absolutely no argument just based on that, but when you add in that you also miss out on 20% damage by getting Holy Shield on your weapon, I just can't see why you wouldn't make that tradeoff.

    Rechet's comment on Life Leech is valid - You won't be leeching nearly as much life as a single elemental build that has a lot of physical damage with it. But it's not like you won't be doing ANY physical damage, and there's a reason for healing potions in the game. Given the number I leave lying on the ground, there's no shortage of them. (Mana leech is of no concern - Zeal costs 2 mana. You can probably get away with no mana leech as the only thing you need it for is to cast Holy Shield once every 155 seconds (assuming level 6.)) I can't see how this build wouldn't work at least reasonably well.
     
  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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    It's the style of the thing more than anything else.

    By the way, don't generic +skills items add to the skills given by other items? Never checked that to find out. If not, then you are absolutely right in that I would want to get holy shield with hard points.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I was under the impression that they did not, but I'm not 100% sure. It should be easy enough to test with another character that can already use HotO.
     
  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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    OK - so, a couple of things: First, items that grant +skills apply to skills granted by other items. For example, I did not put anything into vigor with this character, but when I wear tearhaunch with mara's, I get a level 4 vigor, not a level 2 vigor. That gives me a reason to find holy shield on a weapon for switch purposes, solely for style points.

    Next, the character is level 76 and about to boost to Hell. I am almost fully decked out at this point. Dragon in Archon plate (I didn't want a high strength requirement), dual dreams in a pally shield and an elite helm with a low strength requirement (I forget which), I chose a phase blade for hand of justice and the speed is incredible.

    I have crafted blood gloves with 10% CB, 10% IAS, 3% LL and ML, and incidental other stuff. Gores are the boots of choice. I have an upped paid somewhere as well, but I am not sure I have the strength to wear that yet, I will see.

    Raven Frost is mandatory as is Mara's. For the belt, I have gone with Thundergod's Vigor for the strength and vitality, along with the lightning absorb and + to max LR. The other ring is a rare ring with resists and LL.

    Switch right now is Call to Arms and Spirit. That reminds me that the only way this Holy Shield on a weapon thing is going to work is if I find it on a weapon that can hold CtA, as I am not giving up my barbarian skills of choice just to get a free HS. So, it looks like I will sink the points into HS and cast it when I cast my Battle Orders and Battle Commands. That will take advantage of +2 skills from Maras and +2 from Spirit, which might be all I need. If I need more, I can carry my Stone of Jordan solely to equip when I switch.

    My concern is whether my resists are going to be OK and whether I can keep that red bulb filled. I did a few Baal runs on NM players 8 fully decked out as described and I was astonished at how fast everything died. The pulse damage is not to be sneezed at in the slightest, as many enemies died before I could reach them.

    Merc is a HF merc from Act 2 with The Reapers Toll and Fortitude and Vampires Gaze.

    If Hell gives me some problems, I am thinking of swapping the gloves for drac's and the belt for verdungos and see how that goes.

    This character is by far the most fun melee build I have done, but it helps that I have significant rune wealth and items to make top shelf runewords. For some reason, I think that without optimal gear, this guy would suck.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Nice gloves indeed. I think you hit the max on both CB and IAS with blood gloves. So right there it's a 1 in 100 craft, and anything beyond that is gravy. The Tgods is an interesting belt choice - I hadn't thought of that at all. As for the upped Gores, IIRC you need a ton of strength. I think it's 160 something to equip them.

    And of course an auradin would be completely unimpressive without rune wealth. You need 2 dreams and 2 dragons to make it work. With +skill items, it may be conceivable for a paladin to attain 30 in either HF or HS, but completely unrealistic to have both. (And seeing as how you can only have one aura active at a time anyway, it would be pointless trying to get both.

    I confess, I think I got the bug back. I've never made a Hammerdin, and I checked out my rune wealth over the weekend, and I couldn't believe I didn't have a Vex. Cripes, with the exception of Zod, I have a copy of every rune beyond a Vex, but no stinkin' Vex. There really isn't a good solution other than to break out another character and do Countess runs if I want one. She can't drop Vex - Ist is max - but I have a ton of lower level runes as well, and I can cube one up to a Vex with (hopefully) a smallist number of Countess runs.
     
  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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    Heh - I have a hammerdin. He rocked 98% of the time. He was a pain on Baal runs because one of the minion group (I forget which) was immune to the hammers, so you had to break out the secondary attack. I'll check him out at the end of the day today to remind myself. He was fun to build though.

    I am playing on players 8 in hell and having an easy time of it, which is somewhat astonishing to me. I can't remember ever doing players 8 because it just took so long to kill things. Not with this guy.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I'm guessing it's the second wave of mummies, as they are typically immune to magic on hell difficulty. Although I'm guessing they wouldn't be immune to Holy Bolt?
     
  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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    Exactly.

    So, my auradin is moving along. Halfway through Act 4 Hell, and he is level 87 already. It's amazing to me how relatively fast he levels up on a constant players 8 in Hell.

    The only bummer is that his inventory is necessarily half full of charms to make sure his resists are up there. Thus, that, plus the gear arrangement, means no appreciable MF for him. He is a lot of fun to play though, because he just wades into whatever is there and zeals for all he is worth. Everything freezes up for all practical purposes and then he and the merc whale on the statues.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Damn it to hell. With all the work I've been doing on my house preparing for the move, I have very little disposable enjoyment time. However, I think I have finally acheived the best Countess map I've ever had. The tower is visible from the way point. Level 1 of the tower is a short travel distance to level 2. Not so short as you won't encounter any enemies, but by no means a run across the entire map either. Level 2 to Level 3 and Level 3 to Level 4 are literally around the corner. Often times you won't even see, never mind bothering to stop and fight an enemy. Level 4 to Level 5 is also a short run, comparable to what you see on Level 1 to Level 2. What this means is that I can accomplish a Countess run in a couple of minutes. A Vex may be closer to my reach than I had originally anticipated.
     
  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!)

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    So, finished the run last night. Wound up level 89 1/2, which is by far the highest level I ever finished D2. That's because I ran him on players 8 the whole time and explored all of Hell. I have to say it was a pretty fun character to run. The normal things that would bother a melee character didn't bother him at all. Gloams were laughed at. His LR was 95% because of the resist lightning max skill and the Tgods plus 10% to max LR. He could park in a crowd of them and just laugh.

    I died a couple of times due to brazen stupidity mostly. I think I should probably have swapped the HF merc for a defiance merc. The freeze ability of Hand of Justice was plenty adequate for slowing enemies down and I probably could have used the extra defense from a defiance merc. It's funny, but I actually found a pallie stick with holy shield on it, but decided not to bother. I wound up with HS at around level 12 (with +skills, such as they were) and that, coupled with a small investment in dex, had me at max block. I just found that I had the skill points to push up HS and wanted the extra duration so I didn't need to micro manage him.

    I watched the red bulb and when it dropper from 2000 or so to 1300 or so after the BO/BC expired, I would finish whatever battle I was in, weapon switch and recast BO/BC and HS. Easy.

    The deaths came at the hands of double boss packs, where one had fanaticism and the other either multi shot or cursed. Hard to survive being amped and then whaled on by 20 fanatics.

    I doubt that I will be able to effectively MF with him just because of the number of slots needed for resists. I could see doing players 1 runs until reaching the bosses and switching to players 8, but I really don't have much MF on this guy. If I add a Gheeds, I am looking at half the inventory with resist charms and the Gheeds. The best Gheeds I have is 39% MF. The two dreams give 12-25% MF (I really did not pay attention to that stat). Dracs don't give any MF. Neither do Gores. Neither does Tgods. Neither does Maras (and believe me, I need the resists from Maras). I can't ditch Raven Frost, but I could ditch my second ring and add a Wisp Projector for more lightning absorb and some nominal MF. But I would have to see what that would do to my resists.

    Thus, my MF is not good. Gheeds - 39 + dreams (I will assume average for a total of 37). I don't have any shimmering charms with MF and I am not going to ditch my resists just to add some paltry little MF. So, if I can add a Wisp Projector (10-20 MF, so call it 15), my total is 91. Not too good.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Keep in mind that MF is not the be all and end all of characters. In fact, most serious D2 players build characters specifically for the purposes of MFing. The most obvious candidate for this by a wide margin is the sorceress, as all you have to gear towards are +skills, resistances, and MF. And even the +skills so long as you have some you're usually OK. Just off the top of my head you can throw on a ptopaz Shako (74%), a ptopaz Skullder's Ire (1.25% per level + 24% so say ~125% depending on your level and it does give +1 all skills to boot) and you are already at 200 without any other piece of equipment. Given that you want to target about 250-300, it's easy to get the rest of the way.
     
  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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    I was just looking at it from the perspective of whether I would ever take the character out again or not. The answer is probably not.

    I ran my meteorb last night for kicks and giggles. What an unwieldy toon compared to the lightning sorc. The lightning sorc kills faster and feels safer because she gets to stand a little farther away from the action. She's the MF'er that I find I am using most. (Heh, I said MF'er, heh.)
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I think the popularity of the Meteorb over the Lightning Sorceress has nothing to do with who is the faster level clearing machine - the lightning sorceress wins that hands down. I think the difference is that with lightning immunes, you already have to possess a fair amount of wealth in order to effectively build a lightning sorceress in the first place. OTOH, Meteorbs provide versatility, and with the exception of a rare dual fire/cold immune, there's nothing they can't handle. So if you don't have the wealth yet to get around lightning immunes, a Meteorb provides a cost effective alternative that doesn't need great gear to become a viable MFer.

    EDIT: Here's a MF setup that can easily be completed in normal difficulty:

    Tarnhelm (25-50)
    Goldwrap (30)
    Charce Guards (25-40)
    Milabrega's Orb (20)
    2 Nagelrings (15-30)

    Taking the averages you get a total of 142% with nothing else. That would allow you to farm at the very least normal Baal and get you started.
     
  18. 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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    Probably right. The meteorb will remain honorably retired. I might try the skellimancer for a run or two to get him back in my fingers, and maybe the hammerdin.

    Then, I will probably close up D2 for another extended period while I go play something else.
     
  19. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    You guessed the build order. Holy Shield is the last maxed skill (clvl 90+) to relieve the pressure on pumping DEX. Fanaticism is nice in that the only IAS I'll ever need is from the weapon itself, it greatly helps to nullify enemy HF/decrep effects on you, and the mercenary benefits greatly as well. Conviction from the merc is mainly to speed up killing stuff so that I'm not hosed if he dies. A Reaper's Toll to decrepify stuff would work just as well, if not better, considering the additional life leechable targets once you break physical immunities, although dual Dreams ARE a pain when (trying) to use other curses due to their Confuse ability.

    The main selling point of going physical/lightning rather than fire/lightning (with some physical) is that you only need one item to really boost physical damage (Grief) but you'll need two for fire (HoJ+Dragon). Finally, although Fortitude is mostly known for it's tremendous +damage%, it also has one of the best defense ratings on any armor in the game once you count its Chilling Armor AND it carries a whole lot of +resist all.

    That said, both variants are absolute death machines at /players 8, and getting yourself killed using one is most likely the result of getting greedy in trying to see how many screenfulls of mobs you can take on at once rather than a flaw of either. ;)

    Edit: Actually, it's not P+L vs L+F+P, it's P+L+POISON vs F+L+P. Grief's Venom ability is a dual unbreakable P/L immune solution all by itself.
     
  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!)

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    Gah. I hate myself. For some reason I felt the urge to play D2 for a little, so I did. No harm, right? Sure, you say, not a big deal.

    THEN, I score the final piece to the IK set (the armor). Sweet, and all, except that I once said that I would have to run a character for each of the top character sets if I ever should get them. So far, that meant that I ran an assassin using that set (which character I absolutely despised).

    Well, I think I dislike barbs more than assassins. Crap. Crap. Crap. Damn!!
     

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