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1.09 Mephisto farming Assassin

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by symeon, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. symeon

    symeon IncGamers Member

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    1.09 Mephisto farming Assassin

    1.09 Mephisto farming Assassin

    This is a recipe for a way to run Hell Mephisto fast and safely in 1.09, the only really required item being the unique Yari, Hone Sundan. Unfortunately, it doesn't apply to 1.10 as the Assassin has been deprived of her very own way of teleporting and I've heard that Act Bosses are now unleechable.

    This is not a build guide; it outlines the requirements and focuses on the process of the run itself. Levelling a mostly Martial Arts Assassin up to the 70s is not included. Also, some knowledge of the game and Magic Finding mechanics is required, as I haven't gone into detail on the basics. In short, it's been kept short.

    This technique was developed following the find of an ethereal Hone Sundan which made me reevaluate the usefulness of an Act II Merc in taking down Mephisto (surprisingly fast with 45% Crushing Blow), which, in turn, helped develop a practically foolproof way of keeping said Merc alive. Depending on gear and Skill Point placement, Mephisto can be reached in 20" of entering the game and killed in another 15" at players 3. Optimum gear for the dish is not ridiculous or godly, certainly nothing that Meph himself cannot drop.

    Why an Assassin?
    Traditional Mephisto running is done with Sorcs or Barbs solo, as they can't protect their Mercs against Meph's attacks and have no other minions. Sorcs mostly jump back across the moat and kill Meph with ranged attacks, which is slow and dangerous. The Assassin reaches Meph faster and safer than Barbs, is able to protect her Merc while he pulverizes Meph and sturdy enough to both tank and inflict some considerable damage on her own. Plus, Assassins are way cooler :cool:.

    I know all about Meph running, just tell me how to protect the damn Merc.
    Dragon Flight to Meph whether already engaged or not - he'll (re)target the Assassin and the Merc will be free to do his stuff. This guide has probably nothing more to tell you. For the less experienced and those who want to see some nice screenshots though, a more detailed account follows.

    Skill Point placement

    20 Tiger Strike
    1 Cobra Strike
    20 Phoenix Strike (+3 prereqs)
    1 Dragon Flight (+3 prereqs)
    1+ Claw Mastery
    1+ Burst of Speed
    1 Mind Blast (+2 prereq)
    1+ Shadow Warrior (+1 prereq) or 1+ Shadow Master (+2 prereqs)

    I strongly recommend using level 20 Shadow Master, but 1 point in either shadow is all that's required to teleport across the moat. In fact, Phoenix Strike is not required either, but substantially increases killing speed. For the latter reason, 20 points in Claw Mastery is also a good use for them.
    A few extra points should be invested in Burst of Speed, depending on the amount of + Skills items. A total skill level of 10, where diminishing returns really show, is nice and lowers the total run time. You may want to look into your chosen weapon's IAS breakpoints in order to decide.
    For any possible remaining skill points, feel free to experiment. A good use for them would be Lightning Sentry, as Mephisto will be mostly stationary. Other possibilities include (but are not limited to) Venom, Wake of Inferno, Blade Shield and Dragon Tail.
    If, somehow, you use this technique in 1.10, your best option is probably to synergise Phoenix Strike's Meteor damage by investing in Fists of Fire. Please let me know how it's done.

    Stat Point placement

    Strength: Enough to wear your chosen gear.
    Dexterity: At least enough for 75% Chance to Block with your chosen main shield. If you need extra AR or want extra damage, invest more.
    Vitality: Everything else.

    I recommend that, after gear requirements and 75% Blocking have been taken care of, you divide the remaining Skill Points equally between Dexterity and Vitality.

    Mercenary

    This build relies on using an Act II Merc equipped with a Hone Sundan. Funnily enough, the Might Merc is a no-no, as his increased damage prompts Meph to target him more often. The absolute best choice is the Defiance one (Normal/Hell Defensive), as he'll increase your little army's tanking ability considerably. If you don't invest in Dexterity more than the minimum required, you may opt for the Blessed Aim one. If you don't have any sources of cold damage, a Holy Freeze one might turn out to be handy. The rest are largely irrelevant - not bad, but without much to offer either.

    Gear

    This is the section I usually skip in guides. Basically, you will need good resists in Hell, preferably full but definitely above 50. Strangely, the most important resist is Fire, the only damage Meph cannot inflict. This is because you will sometimes be Meteored and Firewalled by the Vampires shooting craps at the back wall of Durance 3.
    +Life, Run/Walk Speed and as much MF as you can load up are next in importance. However, as long as your total MF on switch is more than ~400 (which isn't hard to achieve) do not sacrifice survivability or killing power/speed for more MF. The diminishing returns on effective MF are just not worth it. Life leech, +Damage, +Damage to Demons, PDR and Crushing Blow are also good if you can find them.
    Now, if you are not like me, here are some (non-exclusive) specific gear suggestions in descending order of drool-induciveness:

    Main weapon:
    1. Bartuc's Cut-Throat (unique Greater Talons). Socket it with something.
    2. Strength (runeword) claw-class weapon.

    Switch weapon
    1. Blade of Ali Baba (unique Tulwar) socketed with Ists :lol: / MF jewels.
    2. Gull (unique Dagger).
    3. Any single-hand weapon with enough (sockets to load up on) MF.

    Main Shield
    1. Moser's Blessed Circle (unique round shield) socketed with Ums. Great defense, blocking, resists and doesn't affect your running speed.
    What? What are you saving the damn rocks for? Oh, fine, stick in two perfect diamonds then. Or a flawed amethyst and a zircon jewel for all I care.
    2. Jeweller's / Artisan's (some shield) of Deflecting, socketed as above. Light shields are better, since Walk/Run Speed is important, but tend to have less inherent Chance to Block.
    3. Chromatic (some shield) of Deflecting with two sockets by Larzuc. Comments as above.

    Switch Shield
    1. Rhyme (runeword) (some shield). Obviously, the more Defense and Chance to Block, the better. Weight is not an issue with this one. More important is that it looks as different as possible to the main shield: any optical clues to let you know that you've indeed switched to your MF gear will be helpful inside Mephisto's poisonous cloud and your Meteors' pyres. Example: main gear - MF gear.

    Ring
    If you have the unique ring Raven Frost, by all means use it. It's as important as a Bartuc's for a good and safe run: tons of AR, Dexterity, cold damage, cold absorb and the (quite essential) Cannot Be Frozen.

    Gloves
    I always felt that melee characters lose too much for the 40% MF and nothing else the Chance Guards (unique Chain Gloves) have to offer. My Assassin used crafted Blood Gloves with 3% Life Leech, 5% Crushing Blow, 20% IAS and +2 Martial Arts. It turned out that using Laying of Hands (set Bramble Mitts) instead increases damage, and hence Life Leeching, substantially. They also keep you entertained with the ultra cool graphics and sound effects of the occasional Holy Bolt.

    Footwear
    Just to remind everybody that Run/Walk Speed and MF are important. Use your discretion.

    Rest of Gear
    As per Flux's MF guide.

    My Assassin's gear
    Bartuc's (Ali Baba with two jewels totalling 18% MF on switch).
    Moser's with two Ums (Rhyme Superior Hyperion on switch).
    Harlequin Crest (unique Shakoshakoshako) socketed with Perfect Topaz.
    Saracen's Chance (unique Amulet) as I don't have a Mara's Kaleidoscope.
    Skullder's Ire (unique Russet Armour - oh, OK, Armor) socketed with Perfect Topaz.
    Laying of Hands.
    Goldwrap (unique Heavy Belt) with Full Rejuvs and Town Portal scrolls.
    Nagelring and Raven Frost (unique Rings).
    War Traveller (unique Battle Boots).

    Merc gear
    Hone Sundan (indispensible) for weapon. The rate of application of Crushing Blow is vastly more important than the inherent damage of the weapon. Hence, if your Merc's next IAS breakpoint lies within the 46% - 60% IAS, socketing with 3 Shaels is superior to 3 40/15 jewels. Some Life Leech is also essential - if you can't get it from other gear, stick an Amn rune in the weapon.
    He'll need, absolutely need, full resists as he'll be Firewalled, Meteored, Hydraed, Cold-Balled, Charged-Bolted and Poisoned, often under Bremm's Conviction aura. PDR, +Life, +Damage to Demons and high defense will also be appreciated. Obviously, more Crushing Blow would be great; go for it, as long as it doesn't compromise full resists or some Life Leech.

    My Merc's gear
    Hone Sundan (unique ethereal Yari) socketed with 2 Shaels and a resistance jewel.
    Black Hades (unique Chaos Armor) socketed with Ral, Ort, Thul.
    Tal-Rasha's Horadric Crest (set Death Mask) socketed with Tal.

    Preparation

    1. You should really complete the save Anya quest before starting to farm Mephisto regularly. The extra resists and experience are invaluable. Level 75 is a good minimum, but the higher your Assassin is, the better.

    2. You should also map all Charge-Up Skills and Finishing Moves to the left mouse button and be cofortable with fighting this way before you start running Meph. It is by far faster and more accurate than having the finishing moves on the right button. That should be reserved only for Mind Blast, Cloak of Shadows, Burst of Speed, your chosen Shadow and possible traps.

    3. Pick a nice, empty spot, like outside the Rogues' Camp, and practice teleporting until the move sequence is instinctive to you and you can pull it off at will, reliably and fast. Like 0.5" fast. The move sequence can be summarised in the following 4 steps:
    - Cast the Shadow at the place you want to teleport to.
    - Without moving the pointer (pointing at the Shadow), select Dragon Flight on the left button and Unsummon on the right.
    - Click the left button to Dragon Flight to the Shadow.
    - Voila! You're there.

    4. Change the map seed (by switching difficulty levels) until you are blessed with one with the stairway to Durance 3 right next to the Durance 2 Waypoint (usually in a clockwise direction). It is very important to waste as little time as possible in Durance 2. On no account should you settle for a map that may spawn monsters between the waypoint and the staircase. It may take dozens of tries or just a couple. Any time spent getting a great Durance 2 map is time well invested. Here is a good, common example.

    Process

    1. Enter a game at players 3, or whatever setting suits you best. Cast Burst of Speed and run towards the Kurast Docks waypoint.
    If you are low on health/mana, or need to stock up on Town Portal scrolls or Super Health potions, hit Ormus (buy with Shift + right click).
    If you are carrying itamz from the previous run, hit Cain to identify them, then chuck them into the stash. Only sort them out once the stash is full, not after every run.
    Take the waypoint to Durance level 2. Run and hit the entrance to Durance 3.

    2. Enter Durance 3, run along the wall until Bremm Sparkfist plus co-conspirators are right across it. They are always in the same position, which you may recognise by the visible glow across the wall (beside the Merc icon), or because you just know where they are from previous runs. Here, you have two choices:
    - To optimise for speed, cast Cloak of Shadows and move on. All the council members will be rendered stupid and will often trap Bremm among them.
    - To optimise for safety, cast Mind Blast at their position a few times until you've sparked a fight in their midst. More often than not, they'll completely disregard your army crossing the gate at step 3 and Bremm's Conviction won't even touch you. It costs time, though.

    3. Cross the gate in the middle of the wall, disregarding the Vampires that are gathered there. You may want to Mind Blast them, but if you've adequate footspeed, it's faster and safer to just run past. Here is where the odd Undead Stygian Doll boss pack may attack you. If they reach you before or while crossing the gate, abort the run. Don't try to be a hero, you can't win without losing too much time, you'll probably die, just abort.
    Clear the gate and run along the central dock. If Undead Stygian Dolls appear now and follow you, you may opt to continue if you believe you can teleport off the edge before they can lay the first hit. This depends on your footspeed and the critters' aura, but most of the time you cannot and, hence, should abort. Even if they don't have anything visibly nasty (auras or Extra Fast), you can bet they'll be Extra Strong. Even if they don't kill the Assassin outright once they flock around her, the Merc will come along and blissfully kill everybody ("just doing my job, ma'am").
    Obviously, if you're playing HC, definitely abort at the first suspicion of Dolls this side of Mephisto's Lair.

    4. As soon as you've reached the far edge of the central peninsula, stick your mouse pointer all the way at the upper-leftmost corner, beyond the Merc icon and use the teleport trick to jump to the circular island on the other side. Be quick about it, or the Vampires and possible Council Members following you can turn things really hot - and really fast. Don't just stand there taking screenshots like an idiot.

    5. Safely across the moat, you can fantasize about throwing the bouquet back towards the catwalk and hope an Undead Stygian Doll catches it. Those fellows really need to get laid. Tense little buggers.
    Start towards the circle on the floor immdediately or you risk getting hit by Firewalls, Meteors or Hydras from across the moat, while more likely than not still Convictioned. No fun.

    6. Stand on the circle on the floor and wait for Mephisto to appear. If anybody in the party has developed a case of Amplify Damage, this is the time to town portal and touch Ormus (possibly buy back the scroll as well). Don't engage Mephisto while cursed.
    When Meph appears on top of the staircase, he'll do one of two things:
    - Stay at the top of the staircase. If so, Dragon Flight to him and engage. This may awaken a couple of the Vampires from the back room, but it's better than waiting for Meph to coldball your Merc dead, and much faster. More likely than not, your Shadow will Mind Blast one of the Vampires and you'll have a nice fireworks show. Or Mind Blast them yourself. You'll appreciate Fire Resistance there.
    - Descend the stairs to attack the Assassin, the Merc or just float towards the circular island. Dragon Flight to him as soon as he clears the staircase and engage. If he keeps moving, run after him and smack that puppy with Tiger Strike.

    7. Engaging Mephisto: The Assassin's secondary role is to inflict damage on Meph. The best way to do so is to charge 3 Tiger Strikes, 1 Phoenix Strike and release with the regular attack. One such cycle should take about two seconds, depending on her AR and level. Since most of the time you can't see which and how many charges the Assassin has gathered (or anything else for that matter), you'll have to rely on the statistical average time, otherwise known as experience. It's not as hard as it sounds.
    Her primary role is to tank Meph so the Merc can whittle him down. With 75% blocking and good defense, she'll be hit seldom. Assuming a life total of 800 - 1000 Hit Points, Meph will take away less than half her life with a hit and about 2/3 when he hits with Critical Strike. If she's not able to leech back all her life via the regular release of Tiger Strike, add 1 or 2 Cobra Strike charges. It's possible and very much desirable to time the release of the charges right after each of Meph's hits so you know if you need to take extra measures.
    If Mephisto targets the Shadow, let him: free hits for the others. A level 20 Shadow Master is very sturdy and can even last the whole fight sometimes. At any time Meph targets the Merc, or you suspect he might (like if the Merc disengages and reengages or the Shadow dies), just press Dragon Flight and Meph will retarget the Assassin. Keep hitting him with full Tiger Strike and Meteors and watch the Merc take out large chunks of his life at an amazing rate.

    8. Finishing Mephisto: When Meph's been slivered to 1 or 2 lines of life, switch to your MF gear for the kill. Don't just press the switch button, first stop hitting and then press it. It's a good idea to have a different right button skill to what you use on your main gear, so the right button skill icon acts as an indicator that you have, indeed, switched to your MF gear as most of the time you can't tell otherwise. Hit Mephisto with Tiger Strike until he dies - this should happen before you've had a chance to release 3 charges.

    9. Congratulations, Mephisto is dead. Switch back to your main gear immediately, collect your great drops and exit. Ha ha, just kidding :D. No, really!

    10. GOTO 1.
     
  2. Chimaira

    Chimaira IncGamers Member

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    Nice guide:) I just want to say that a Mephisto running with a sorceress in 1.09 isn't dangerous at all, as long as you've got max resists you can just tank his attacks... I've done it plenty of times, and if you add max block to that you shouldn't be in danger at all. I'm not sure about the damage that a sorceress would do, compared to the damage an assasin+merc would do...if you can kill Mephisto at p3 in 15 seconds that's quite impressive, I don't think a sorceress could do that. Also if a barb+merc attack Mephisto, wouldn't Mephisto target the Barb since he does the most damage...isn't that the way it works? I still think a sorceress/barbarian would be more effective, mostly because they can carry more MF without compromising killing speed, but if you want to use an Assasin this doesn't sound bad at all.
     
  3. symeon

    symeon IncGamers Member

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    Thanks Chi :).

    I've tried it a few times (note "a few" - never actually developed a strategy) and it was a bad experience. Granted, you've got Static, but how does a Sorc leech back life? Meph can hit for some impressive damage occasionally. You'll have to chuck down reds, while my Assassin has never used a single potion.
    Not once.
    Ever.
    Her belt is filled with full rejuvs since the beginning, but Maph doesn't drop them.

    Neither do I (as I said, I haven't actually delved into it). Perhaps with Meteor, but I can't see her tanking Mephisto as safely. She can reach Meph a bit faster though...

    Unfortunately, no. If one of the characters disengages, Meph focuses on the other. When they reengage, Meph can stay with the former or focus on the new one - you just never know. The Merc dies in 1 or 2 hits at the most, and he tends to wander around rather often :mad:.

    This is true for the Sorceress, but a Barb's gear is on par (in fact more or less the same) with the Assassin's and Mephisto cannot be horked. The Assassin's damage rate with Tiger Strike can only be challenged by the Barb's Berserk, which doesn't leech, or Frenzy, which leaves him wide open. Whirlwind loses in killing speed. Plus, the Assassin reaches Meph much faster (comparing the Skill Point investement returns between Increased Speed and Burst of Speed).

    All this is academic, though, since most of the damage is inflicted by the Merc's Crushing Blow.

    Plus, as noted, Assassins are way cooler :cool:.
     
  4. Rizzo

    Rizzo IncGamers Member

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    symeon: Very nice guide. Very well written, very well documentet and testet. I like it alot. Good thing with all the screenies as well. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Chimaira

    Chimaira IncGamers Member

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    My sorceress used to run Mephisto all the time...And she could tank Mephist perfectly well, she used Energy shield and Mephistos attack didn't really scratch her...the only exception being his cold ball attack. Sometimes Mephisto would go amok and cast 2-3 in a row...that hurts, otherwise he isn't dangerous at all. Most of the time I'd just tank him and kill him, sometimes I used a potion, and sometimes in very rare occasions I had to dodge him to avoid getting killed. But take my word for it a well built sorceress has no problem facing Mephisto...

    No life leech... Hopefully you're not standing close to Mephisto...because then he will kick your ass, just keep your distance and his lightning/charged bolts attacks will make you laugh.

    A barb can dual weil Ali babas for the last kill, which gives a lot of extra MF, but other than that, they have pretty much the same MF. I was mostly talking about sorceresses since the Tal Rasha combo is so effective.

    Frenzy would deal quite a lot of damage...you can get much better swords than Bartuc's (which I assume you're using), and a Barb can even have some crushing blow too, greatly adding to the killing speed. Again a wellbuilt Frenzy barb shouldn't have any trouble against Mephist. Burst Of Speed is faster than Increased Speed, but you need a good map for Meph running so it doesn't matter too much.

    Can't argue with this:)

    This looks like a great way to MF but I still think barbs and sorceresses hold the upper hand.
     
  6. Zavior

    Zavior IncGamers Member

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    Great guide. Very original.
     
  7. Disco-neck Ted

    Disco-neck Ted The Dark Library

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    I'm in favor of any guide that includes speculation on the sex lives of stygian dolls. ;)

    The big debate vs. Meph in 1.09 was always which was better, barb or sorc, blah blah blah. Glad to see you answered this question in your own way. I solved it by running with a paladin and a rogue merc, who got the kills 93% of the time, totalling about 800% MF. Same basic principle, though, tank Meph and let the merc get the final hit.
     
  8. Serdash

    Serdash IncGamers Member

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    I would just like to add something in:

    You said that blade shield might be a good idea to place a point into, but I recommend always putting a point in it for any build. Here is why.

    With blade shield, it carries over things such as Crushing Blow, Open Wounds, ect from your equipment. If you're up on top of Meph and hacking at him, blade shield can help do some of the work and make it much easier. It's also a nice levelling tool.

    Overall a very very helpful skill. It could probably help shorten your meph runs by a few more seconds. ;)
     
  9. symeon

    symeon IncGamers Member

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    I don't doubt that. Even badly built ones rule in 1.09 - they're so overpowered it's ridiculous. Did you use Meteor/Thunderstorm or what?

    Of course, I forgot the dueal-wielding part. It's just that beyond the 400-500% MF mark, the differences aren't very noticable. Now, a Sorceress with 900% MF, that is a substantial difference all right, but if you already have a Tal Rasha's armour, you're probably looking for items that Mephisto cannot drop.

    I have to respectfully disagree, sir ;) ; footspeed is very important (well, not for a Sorceress).
    Half the time of the run is spent getting to Mephisto, so it has quite a big impact on the average run time and, hence, the amount of runs per time invested in MFing.
    Also, the faster a character, the safer they plus Merc will be from crossing the gate (3.) to teleporting to safety (4.) and often it means the difference between making the run, aborting the run or even dying.


    All in all, I'm well aware of the MF potential of Sorceresses and Barbarians and don't deny them for a moment. I just prefer to side with the underdogs - especially the misunderstood ones :D.
     
  10. ArchAngel Tiberrius

    ArchAngel Tiberrius Banned

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    I don't believe the topic was about the best 1.09 Mephisto runner, but rather an informative guide and opinion on how to do it with an 'Sin. No need for a debate.

    Symeon - Thank you for such an excellent write up. You've obviously put a lot of thought into this! :thumbsup:

    edit: I also agree that footspeed is very crucial when thought of over a period of time.
     
  11. Sint Nikolaas

    Sint Nikolaas IncGamers Member

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    You should put another line in the ''how to run meph''-section.. Going trough the red portal after finishing meph will safe you quite some time ;)

    Good write up, nice guide. No need for arguementation.
     
  12. symeon

    symeon IncGamers Member

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    I know that this is the case in 1.10, but I'm not certain about 1.09. Are you sure?
    If it is, then it's certainly worth a point and some Blood glove crafting materials.

    Quelle improperness, sir! You say it as if it's not important :mad:.
    Joo n00blaR :lol:!
     
  13. Chimaira

    Chimaira IncGamers Member

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    Meteorb...well actually only orb.

    I agree that too much MF is overkill, but having a good switch will allow you some equipment freedom. Another shako will never hurt:)

    Footspeed is very important, especially for the quite long walk in town, forget my previous statement that was stupid. What I really meant to say was that I don't think the difference between Burst Of Speed and Increased Speed is enough to cripple the barbarian as a Mephisto MF character. Especially when you look at the other benefits available to a Barbarian.

    I did some runs with my MF barbarian yesterday (thank you i found a herald of zakakorum) and you can just run the whole way and simply Leap over the divide not dangerous at all and no need for aborting runs.

    I also found that you can easily keep your merc alive. After you leap across the river you just make a town portal and go back to town, re-enter and you will have your merc right beside you. Then run straight at Mephist and engage him in point blank range, then he will target you instead of the merc. This works 95% of the time if you just engage Mephisto first. Although I must say that I wasn't impressed by the increase in killing speed. It's also insane how easily the merc dies, even with BO it only takes 1-2 hits...ouch!

    An informative guide is very nice...but I believe that barbarians and sorceresses were severly underestimated.. No reason in making a guide if the information isn't correct. I know that Symeon is probably well aware that Sorceresses and Barbarians are good MF characters and he just wanted to make his special build look good (which 95% of guide writers do:)) but the following isn't a fair representation of facts. Besides there's nothing wrong with a debate...you might learn some new stuff, more interesting than just 1 page of "good work" and "nice guide, thumbs up!".

    I hope this doesn't offend you Symeon cause I still think it's a great guide, but maybe just represent the Assasin as an equal MF'er compared to Sorcs and Barbs instead of being superior...

    Also I have a question how much damage does maxed Phoenix Strike do??? Cause when I played an assasin I'd never used since you had to use 3 "weak" attacks to charge up and release 1 strong attack...I'd just use Dragon Claw for 4 average attacks, and that worked better, but I didn't have maxed Phoenix Strike.
     
  14. Serdash

    Serdash IncGamers Member

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    My assassin in 1.09 uses Goblin Toe and Blade Shield when going up against bosses. Toss in Dragon Claw and they go down in seconds. It's quite handy in cows, too, I hear.
     
  15. sunbearie

    sunbearie IncGamers Member

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    Yup, it works in 1.09, hence the "blender" build.

    Excellent guide symeon, esp the illustrated parts. I just have a few questions.

    1) Any huge difference in survival between charging TS 3 times first+1 PS charge instead of spaming meteors all the way. I presume spamming meteors would kill Meph twice as fast at the risk of reduced leech, or ensures that Meph focuses on you?

    2) When attacking bosses, I find it useful to open up the char screen, instead of observing charges. You can either note the increase in ar or the color change in damage (turns red) and act accordingly. Have you tried that before?
     
  16. symeon

    symeon IncGamers Member

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    Damn you :p.
    I'm still looking for one.

    Was the Merc using a Hone Sundan? Because otherwise there's no point. His halved or quartered damage barely scratches Meph and you may as well let him die. It's only big Crushing Blow he's useful for. Unfortunately, in my experience, Mephisto tends to target him much more often then.

    I certainly agree this is honest, constructive debate and nothing to shy away from. I welcome it :thumbsup:.

    But I think I see the main point of it clearly now, so let me make this clear:I would never regard the Assassin as an equal or superior MFer to either Sorcs or Barbs. People have been MF running using those since Diablo II came out for a good reason:
    Sorceresses have stupid killing power even naked, plust Energy Shield and Teleport (voted as No. 1 out of all 210 skills by the SPF). Barbs have great killing power and survivability plus extra MF, plus Find Item.

    The Assassin doesn't even come close in general MFing ability. She is a great all-around character and extremely versatile. I've always run Meph with my Assassin because of... emotional attachment, really. She's not as good in it as a Sorc (and carries like half the MF total), and although she reaches Meph faster and safer than a Barb, she is weaker and frailer during the fight itself.

    When I wrote the "Why an Assassin?" part, I meant to say that she's not as bad as people think, and that under the right circumstances - i.e. that you have a Hone Sundan and are prepared to hotkey yourself to sweat in order to keep the Merc who uses it alive. That is, I was coming from the point where Sorcs and Barbs are superior to start with. After all, it's the (Dragon Flight + Merc + Hone Sundan) combination that make the run times so short, and it is this the guide is about - not your average MA Assassin chancing it out on Durance 3.
    Reading it again, it does give the wrong impression, which is my fault, and for that I apologise; I wanted to keep it short and didn't explain fully. If I wrote it now, I'd leave it at "Because Assassins are way cooler :cool:."

    I'll have to get back to you on that tomorrow. I'll take a look at home. The meteor damage must be around 500, if I remember correctly, plus the pyre damage over time which is not listed anywhere that I know.
     
  17. LprMan

    LprMan IncGamers Member

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    Nice guide Symeon, very clear and informative :) For sure it is great help for those who play 1.09 and want to try something different :thumbsup:


    Chimaira...good sorc or barb can propably beat assasin at MFing, but does it matter? Is only the best possible MF build/character acceptable for doing runs? There is people who like to play something else than ultimate cookie cutters and still do MFing
     
  18. Chimaira

    Chimaira IncGamers Member

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    Of course it does...If you don't know much about the game and you read this guide you'd assume that Barbarians and Sorceresses were crappy MF characters. This doesn't matter to us oldtimers that have all the good loot already, but for a newcomer who is desperately searching for his first unique shako I think it would be very unfair to present a MF character that isn't necessarily the best character... as the possible MF character.

    No of course not...but I have never postulated that...so frankly I don't know why you are asking me this.

    Again why are you telling me this??? I already know this and I've never said that it was unnaceptable to use non-cookie cutter builds for MF.

    I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I'm getting really tired of people reading stuff into my posts that I don't really say. I'm not an evil person who makes fun of people who want to try out unusual things...I will tell them that better/more efficient options exist...if they still want to continue, I won't laught at them but try and give them the best advice possible. If that's a crime, then I'm guilty. I saw something that I didn't think was correct, I presented my arguments for it not being correct and that's pretty much it...So I really can't see why you're asking me all these questions.

    Symeon was perhaps a bit positive in his estimation of his assasins MF qualities compared to a Sorceress or a Barbarian...or in other words he said that Barbarians and Sorceresses are crap Mephisto runners...this of course is not true...is there anything wrong in saying that Sorceresses and Barbarians are not crappy MF characters but indeed some of the best??? This is a guide for a MF assasin, which is fine with me, I've even used Druids for MF'ing and it worked okay...I just don't want an otherwise excellent guide to be marred by some misinformation.

    Wheren't you the guy who fund a Stormspire?? Wow that's some weird MF luck right there:)

    Yes of course...your guide said you had to use a Hone Sundan so I did:) it really wasn't that impressive, but I didn't time it or anything so...

    I'm not sure what you're doing wrong...I did 20 Mephisto runs with my barb and as long as I was a point blank range Mephisto would concentrate on me and not my merc. Staying in point blank range shouldn't be a problem for an assasin since their weapons are all range 1...maybe my barbarian deals more damage than your assasin and therefore Mephisto sees your merc as a bigger threat??

    Also I've been wondering about the vampire lords behind Mephisto...You seem to regard them as quite a threat... I almost never have any trouble with them, just lure Mephisto a bit forward and they'll (almost) never notice you. Sometimes it's unavoidable to attract the attention of other monsters...On one of the runs there was a fanatascism doll boss pack right next to Mephisto...talk about nasty!

    A man after my heart:)

    You're obviously very knowledgable about the game and I kind of suspected that the introduction was sort of pre-guide "fluff" intended to make your build look special, but not everyone would know this. No need to apologize, as I said every guide writer does it to some degree. I will say it again so no one gets the wrong impression... Great guide Symeon :clap:

    About the Phoenix Strike damage...I really meant Tiger Strike, sorry. I've always felt a bit iffy about the finishing moves in 1.09 since they didn't really do enough damage (in my opinion) to justify the long charge-up sequence...maybe you as an assasin lover could shed some light on that??? My MA assasin used Dragon Claws almost all the time, with a little Cobra Strike when needed.
     
  19. TheNix

    TheNix IncGamers Member

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    I've been busy doing renovations over the last week and I've missed this thread, but as a 1.09 grailer I just had to reply. Symeon this is a very good guide for a MF'ing Assassin, I've just started an Assassin so I'll give your ideas a run. Now to enter the MF'ing debate. I personally don't give a sh1t about cheesy builds or cookie cutter builds, I play builds that I like. Burazons to Wirtadins, Whirlybarbs to Solo Werebears, if I like the build I'll play it. There is no difference in legitimacy, or acceptability for that matter, between an item found by my Burazon or my Wirtadin. I use two MF'ers, a 83 lvl Meteorb for NM and my 92 lvl Burazon for Hell. Both run with about 500% MF, my Meteorb through weapon switching and letting the merc make the kill and my Burazon by sacrificing resistances, my best being -50 or so. I have tried Hell Meph runs with all of my characters, but the best I have is my Burazon. The decoy, dumb blonde, and the merc lure your prey into sight and hold them there as you blast them with all you got. There are major dangers though. Running around trying to shoot and avoid lightning bolts is fun, especially when your lightning resist is -70% or so and I love the way those undead timebombs run straight for you when there is a homing missile on their tail. :lol:
     
  20. symeon

    symeon IncGamers Member

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    Why, thank you good sir :).

    I experimented a lot with this and, unfortunately, it doesn't seem to make any noticable difference in Mephisto's demise time. He has 50% fire resistance and the Assassin's Meteors aren't as powerful as the Sorceress'. Plus, I'm quite sure by now that their pyre damage doesn't stack.
    I find that it's just as fast to use 3 Tiger + 1 Phoenix, and the massive life leech gives this combination the edge. Survivability suffers quite a lot without full Tiger Strike releases and you end up having to charge Cobra often, which beats the purpose of spamming Meteors in the first place.

    I have and I feel very claustrophobic with the Character screen open :).
    This technique is great for the second Phoenix Strike charge, as it's the hardest to time. As regards the first, my Assassin has currently 90% (I think) chance to hit Mephisto, so it's just an issue of pressing Phoenix Strike and, 0.2 seconds later, pressing normal attack. You may miss the odd Meteor every now and then, or you may release 2 Tiger charges instead of 3 - big deal.
    I find that reacting to the colour change, let alone to the number of visible charges is way too slow and most of the time you end up gathering an extra charge before you change. Not bad for Tiger Strike, but catastrophic for Phoenix.
     

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