2017 Winter RFL Signup and Running Thread: Grande Finale


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Didn't know where to post this, so I've decided to post it here as post-tourney video. Basically I joined the "make Nova great again" fanclub. Here is my slightly different take on Nova sorc. What I must yet test is does CM beat Eschuta's. Fairly simple playing style with constant drop checking and pretty easy item pickup, easier than with many other builds I tried. This is definitely kind of build I could play for 20 hours on cows, one of the few actually. This is necros map used for testing, though advantage of Nova sorc is she can use any map since there is no risk of killing Cow King unless you let merc pond him for 10 seconds. I didn't yet test how well she can perform, though I could say it is top 5 build candidate for cows.



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It's good to see Nova being used. With the right gear, it's definitely usable. Although it will never be as good as it was back then. It doesn't stun monsters like it used to either.


Diabloii.Net Member
Fairly simple playing style with constant drop checking and pretty easy item pickup, easier than with many other builds I tried. This is definitely kind of build I could play for 20 hours on cows, one of the few actually.
Agreed. Nice work with the LPK setup, and the phoenix shield as a backup. Also, that high level static drawing cows from off the screen, works in conjunction with vita build too. It will be interesting to see what CM can do, not only in terms of nova damage, but how much the extra -ELR can boost static field damage.


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Now I figured out I forgot to list equipment. Everything is pretty standard except with a few minor changes to make vita version work comfortably.

First what you need is good mpk, I'm using 1.07 ring and Silkweave boots which makes mana immortal until you get mana burned.
Second what I wanted is to solve life problem since this sorc does get hit and it would be annoying to constantly drink potions. So, lpk is incredibly useful thing since it practically makes my sorc constantly have full life. LPK comes from Enigma (14) and Dracul Grasp gloves (10) for a total of 24. Combination of mpk and lpk makes me pretty much ignore cows completely.
There is also possibility of Phoenix switch backup, but honestly in 20 or whatever runs I didn't use it even once, so I don't think it is needed. It doesn't solve mana problems any more than mpk does and it doesn't make you not use rejuvs to solve life problems since with this kind of lpk, your only concern is teleporting into cows and get hammered down.

Perhaps stun mechanics got changed. Now Nova sorc has 37.5% chance to put cows into hit recovery and only if they are under conviction. So, 1/3 casts will do it. It still prevents cows from ever reaching you unless they are already on top of you.

High level static is cool, but there is now one problem I'm facing which I didn't have with any other sorc. This sorc has over 28 static range while other sorcs had 24. As a consequence, this sorc draws attention from a very far, but also splits distant packs and makes things messy. Other sorcs didn't do that, it seems 28 range is a bit too high and makes distant packs to split apart making them harder to herd while 24 hits whole screen on the diagonal and considerably off screen up and down which is pretty much enough. I think I'm gonna reduce that static level to see will I have this splitting cows problem again.

I'll also restat sorc to have maxed Thunder Storm. It will do like 3k damage once per second, kinda good since it will kill cows while I pick stuff up. There is another variant of sorc with Fathom and using Blizzard pumped to some degree. Basically, sorc would have same Nova damage, but add 4.2k blizzard on top of that and it should be powerhouse killing machine. Only problem is Warmth would be level 1 and not 20, and I have no idea could that mean anything. Only problem is Blizzard would prevent cows from gathering faster since it slows down, but if I throw it in a clever way, it should make sorc nearly twice as fast killer... who knows. Just an idea that needs to be tested.
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I like the thunderstorm idea. with infinity and all the -elr it should kill random cows easily.


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I was wondering if you intentionally had high level static to draw cows from that far away. On my own sorc, I have level 22 static which is enough range for me, but I tend to teleport closer with ES. Looks like there's a certain sweet spot for static range, not too short but not too far. Only gear piece I couldn't guess was the 1.07 mpk ring, I don't time travel so I don't think of those items. Mpk ring certainly helps with nova being so mana hungry.

My lazy side likes the cast once & done thunderstorm, but blizzard does have potential.


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Hmm I didn't know nova stunned at all. In 1.09 it stunned 100% of the time.

Here's some gear suggestions: 08 valor for armor, grief pb weapon, 30ll ring from 1.07.

This will give you up to 25lpk with dracs, plus massive leech and life from the valor. This is what I used on a melee sorc.


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Since 1.10, hit recovery or 'GetHit' is triggered when damage to a target reaches a certain percentage of a target's max life, or MaxLife/divisor. The standard divisor is 16- most attacks/spells in the game will use this divisor. however, some attacks/spells will use a divisor of 8. See this webpage for a detailed analysis of how hit recovery is triggered and the list of attacks/spells and its corresponding divisor number.

The summary is this:
For attacks/spells with the standard divisor of 16:
1/16 of MaxLife will have 37.5% chance of GetHit
1/8 of MaxLife will have 75% chance of GetHit
1/4 of MaxLife will have 100% chance of GetHit

With divisor of 8, damage will need to be twice as high to obtain the above chances of GetHit. 1/8 of MaxLife will have 37.5% chance of GetHit and so on.

In our particular scenario, our nova attack (divisor 16) against a P5 Hell Bovine will generally fall between 1/16 and 1/8 MaxLife, which provides us with a 37.5% chance of GetHit.

I'm not sure how different hit recovery mechanics work in older patches. It's possible the 1/12 of max life rule use to work in older patches. All I know is that this is the first time I've analyzed hit recovery divisors outside of pvp. Has some use in certain pvp match-ups where reaching a certain life threshold could mean not being put into hit recovery. Hint: Bone spear uses the crappy 8 divisor.


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There is also 1 more "useless" FHR thing which is probably not mentioned there - FHR duration does not reset. This means once you enter FHR state, you are in that state until your FHR duration expires after which you are free to go. If something hits you 1 frame before your hit recovery expires, it will not reset it to a new duration, but instead something must hit you once again when you get out of hit recovery and before you manage to perform the action (like teleport) to keep you in "permastun" situation. I'm not sure 100% is there additional mechanics than that to make things more chaotic, but this is my general observation of some tests.

Also switching weapons constantly prevents any FHR. Which means if you get into serious trouble, just WSG out of it without being stunned. Not useful in PvM though, we all use potions by reflexes and tend to get stunned while we run out of danger.
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Diabloii.Net Member
So here are some more reliable javazon numbers for cows, now that I got her to lvl 94. I know it's a bit late for RFL :) wanted to deliver this earlier but too much stuff going on and, more importantly, to test her full potential I wanted to make a 4x RBF shield first. So I've hit Travincal like a mad man in the play time I had since the end of RFL round 3. Now that it finally delivered I got back to business.

Runs pretty much look like this:

At 2m50s this means 165.52 cows killed per minute (or rather more actually) based on the following calculation:

To account for boss packs using the same method as @Gripphon did for his comparison of some builds, I counted packs on my map 20 times with the result that there are on average 5.1 packs plus Cow King, which I hit as well with javazon. Assuming 20% champions for (non-Cow King) packs means I'm averaging 1.02*3 = 3.06 champions and 5.08 boss packs, amounting to 5.08*5 = 25.4 + 3 extra Cow King minions = 28.4 boss pack monsters. Multiplying 3.06 champions by 3 (=9.18) and boss pack monsters by 5 excluding cow king (=137) is equivalent to 147.18 normal cows. Subtracting the 31.46 kills (28.4+3.06) means that 114.72 cows should be deducted from what XP gain suggests as cows killed.

The run in this video netted 84557 XP at /players7. At lvl 94 a normal cow gets me 145 XP, so 84557/145 = 583.15 - 114.72 = 468.43 cows killed in 2m50s.

This results in 165.52 cows killed per minute in this run when calculating 583.15-114.17 = 468.43, divided by 2.83 (2m50s) = 165.52, on /players7.

Correct me if there's some mistake somewhere, because I did have a few drinks. :)

Important to note: These numbers are lower than actual numbers because even in this run alone you can see that the number of boss pack monsters killed is actually way lower (and spawn is also below average), and you basically never ever actually kill the average number. But I can't see any better method to compare cow running efficiency.

Gear & build used for those interested:
  • Griffon's -16/+13 with 15 IAS/3 MPK jewel. (Tried with -23/+18 faceted second one I have and using HLW, but this one has that epic jewel)
  • Titan's
  • Enigma
  • +2/8ML/@ amulet
  • 4x RBF Monarch (-18/+18 -- I got too impatient in the end and used one rather average facet to make this...)
  • 3/20 gloves
  • Razor
  • SoJ
  • Raven
  • Silkweaves
  • Switch: Wizzy + Spirit; CtA used to pre-buff
  • Inventory: 7 skillers, life scs, also some FHR
Some key stats: 35% IAS, 8% ML, 8 MPK, 86% FHR, and 99% FCR switch of course. ;) Max LF dmg is 3596.

Merc (Defiance): Infinity CV, ebug Forti, Andy's with 15 IAS/25 FR

Build: Vita only; one point D/A/E and Pierce and pre-requisites each, rest LF/ChS and synergies

Also I should note that this map is really insane. It's dense and narrow, pretty much perfect for this fast teleporting play style, big groups are amazingly easy to herd quickly and the LF/100% pierce combo can be abused like hell. The density in this video is not even the best I had in comparison to other runs, some of which netted over 96.000 XP when doing a bit more fullish clears. That means even when assuming 7 boss packs (the most I ever counted on this map) that there are at times over 540 cows on the map.

Having played javazon a lot since RFL round 3, I've had a few really interesting realizations regarding that character in general. I'll share some more in-depth thoughts on her in a separate thread at some point, I think maybe some will find it interesting.
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Diabloii.Net Member
Great info there.

I think we should definitely investigate more closely the problem of number of bosspacks and number of cows on a map, do those differ from map to map or not really. It might be possible that you should deduct even less than 114 cows in the end given the number of bosspacks of only ~5.1 + cow king.