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99 theorycrafting and stuff like that

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by zgpmf, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. zgpmf

    zgpmf IncGamers Member

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    Lately there are a more than few of us, more or less, active 99 runners so I think instead of writting on different threads there should be one thread completely dedicated to 99 theorycrafting.
    We will still use 99 Progress thread for reporting progress and this thread would be about which way would be „the best“ to take char to 99 depending on choice of character, build and equipment.

    I don't mean this to be a guide or something like that, I want this to be „how you would get your char to 99“ thread, it doesn't mean that you have to do it, but it can help other 99 runners.

    Any questions, opinions and comments are welcome. :)

    For example :
    After finishing my untwinked 99 Sorc I was thinking which desicions were good and which were bad. If I were doing it from begining I would do it like this:
    -questing as Blizz Sorc until hell LK
    -run hell LK for some MF charms
    -run hell Meph for some basic equipment depending on need
    -run hell Pindle until clvl 94
    -run hell AT untill clvl 98
    -respec to Lightning/Fire Wall and run Nihl and do Ancients quest for 99 (I did Ancients quest with clvl 94)


    Traper:
    -questing as Traper until hell Pindle
    -run hell Pindle until clvl 90-94
    -run hell CS(p8) + Diablo(p7) until 98
    -run hell Nihl until 99 (+ Ancients quest)

    Now I'm not sure if Baal would be faster from 94 until 98, maybe not if one has good equipment such as godly fcr +2 sin amulet and tiara.
    Cloak of Shadows is a great crowd control in Nihls place, it prevents Leapers from shooting those deadly clouds.
    Skills are pretty much straightforward, max LS and its synergies, 1 point in CoS, BoS (or if you prefer Fade but I think that is not necessary), rest in Fire Blast.
    For equipment, it really depends what you have in your stashes, but if you go with no-Baal route than I would recomend 99%FCR BP because you will for sure use teleport a lot.

    Poisonmancer:
    -run Pits until clvl 98
    -run Nihl until 99 (+ Ancients quest)

    Make sure you have a good map with minimum 3 or 4 shrines next to entrance of Pits and 2 shrines for Nihl.
     
  2. Cyrax

    Cyrax IncGamers Member

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    Nice idea to make a dedicated thread. I've already made one to through an idea into the group and i'm sure there would be more in the future. Now we can keep everything neatly together.

    And i might as well get some discussion started. For the assassin trapper seems like the obvious choice, but somehow i'm still thinking a kicker might do better (at least for the final stretch). Why? Kickers are really good 1 vs 1 and when taking on Nihlathak you're after him and want to avoid killing anything else anyway.

    Still thinking about what weapon would be best. Normally stormlash seems to be recommanded. That's mostly for the static. However that's nice if you want to kill more then just Nihl, but is it still the best option if you just want to take him out? Besides that static is useless if he's LI. So i'm thinking there should be some other weapon better suited for the task. Some that have crossed my mind:
    - Death. High CB and other neat mods.
    - Grief. High damage, IAS.
    - (eth?) Last wish. Even more CB and always a might aura on. This could really help as in the short runs you can't trust the merc aura to switch on in time.

    Merc could be either using faith or pride for another always present aura or maybe reaper's for the decrepify.

    Besides that i've been very interested in scrcrw's Nihlathak running barb that he showed off on page 4 of the 'share your gameplay videos!' thread. Haven't taken the time yet to ask specifics about his gear, but that also seems like a good candidate to take it all the way.
     
  3. EasyG

    EasyG IncGamers Member

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    I am planning a kick/trapper for lvl 99 with max synergized traps. She will run Baal all the way from 90 to 99, I will do this at baal since I just think running to 99 is most beautifull at Baal himself.

    The planned equipment is as following, I am strictly selffound and it will take some time to finish it, also I dont timetravel:

    Harlequin Crest (Um or [email protected] jewel)
    Stormlash (not sure about socket, likely Ist)
    Chains of Honor
    Stormshield (not sure about socket, likely Ist)
    Goreriders, upped (better runspeed as those other CB boots)
    Mavina's Tenet
    Ravenfrost
    BKWB
    Mara's
    Draculs Grasp


    note: finding a godly assassin amulet with +2skills [email protected] and manaleech, might make me swap the belt for arachnids.

    note2: I might experiment with crafted gloves instead of draculs, though I think my merc will die a lot, not being able to teleport him away.

    at switch: 2 cunning claws with as much as possible lightning sentry and atleast +1 venom. the left one socketted with shaels (for fast trap laying while having decrepify at me) and the right one socketed with STR jewels to be able still use upped goreriders aswell on switch without the str from stormshield.

    Charms: 7 skillers, 1 tome of idenify. 3 FHR small charms, resistances to fill up missing resistances and life sc's.

    Merc: infinity. as armor helm, Im thinking of GA+Vamp Gaze, both Um'ed/scintilating jewel of fervor.

    skills: max lightning sentries+synergies, 20 dtalon, 1 BoS, 1 shadow warrior+prereqs, finished at lvl 98.
    shadow warrior will take the first few hits and give me time to survive if the 4th or 5th wave comes with rly nasty mods.

    stats: enough str to equip stormshield/goreriders, dex for maxblock, rest in vit.

    I will use burst of speed+venom buffs and will have to run to wsk3 without enigma, luckily I allrdy have an awesome map, with both entrances right around the corner.

    on main sitch I will have [email protected], 75% block, 50(53)%pdr, some light absorb (stormlash) and offensively 48% crushing blow, 15% static field and good kickdamage and plenty lifesteal.

    on trap lay switch I will have lvl 39-46 Lightning sentries and lvl 8 venom or something, depending on equipment. I will lay those traps in between each minion group and after I killed Baal to ca 50% hp with static field/crushing blow and the merc's aura kicked in.

    The groups should die rly fast at p8. quickly setting of some static fields and the sentrys will do the rest. depending at how strong my lightning sentries are, and how well infinity works, I think I might need to switch to little bit lower /p settings at lister in order to kill them in 1 trap round. I found laying new traps while there are still 4+ minions alive pretty dangerous. getting in hit recovery and not leeching HP.
    Baal should die incredible fast.

    I have really given this char a lot of thought, checking all breakpoints and stuff like that, but if you think I went wrong with some equipment, I am very open for suggestions. You are also free to call me an idiot to go without enigma/CtA, or give me kudos for going without them.

    Right now I am looking at the insane task to find 3 Ber's and a stormlash :), so plenty of time to adjust my build :whistling:.

    edit: also not sure yet if maybe holy freeze merc would be better/safer as might merc. I will lose a bunch of lifeleech/damage, but can see the advantages aswell.

    edit2: disadvantage of draculs is that lifetap overwrites cloack of shadows so with draculs I cant prevent wave 3 making hydras. After some testing I wonder anyhow if I can prevent them from doing so with CoS, and it requires absolute perfect timing.

    edit3: with crafted +2ma gloves, bkwb and a rare +2all/manaleech amulet and arachnid, I could reach lvl 30dtalon for an extra kick, which seems interesting. Sadly I feel draculs is needed to keep my merc alive. Could also swap some trap skillers for MA skillers.

    edit4: changed grand charm setup plan: removed gheeds, added skiller.

    edit5: Since the arachnid mesh isnt really offering more as just +1 skills, I just realised that I swapped the arachnid mesh for mavinas belt (5% ml, 20%frw) and then would use bkwb instead of dual leech ring. This way I still have dual leech and +1 skills, but also 20% frw. I lose the 10% slow from arachnids, which isnt enough to keep baal at his place anyway. The light radius is also semiusefull when running to the throne room.

    edit6: eh I realise now I switched out the rare ring, I am really lacking resistance. 65 from armor + 15 from harly +29 from mara + 30 from anya-100 from hell= 39% all. I will need a lot of awesome small charms.
    Well still need to find 3 Bers and stormlash and BKWB and 6 skillers before I can finish this setup anyway, so by that time I might find some shimmering SC. First I try to find stormlash and after that I go farm cows for charms and runes (and cow set)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  4. zgpmf

    zgpmf IncGamers Member

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    @Cyrax

    I've just tried Lash/Phoenix combo with DTalon and DTail and it works nicely, only the problem is if you don't put Nihl in hit recovery he tends to teleport away when you are in melee range. Now, just have to figure out what to do if he is LI or FI, luckily he is mostly CI.
    For the merc, I think Infinity is a must.

    @EasyG

    Nice plan, only maybe LI+FI Lister might give you trouble even on p3 but you can easily park him.
    I'd say might merc because he will leech more, but you already said you have a good map so switching merc would mess it up.
    Btw, I'm looking for an eth Stormlash, not for the sin but for the druid. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  5. EasyG

    EasyG IncGamers Member

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    LI lister is surely annoying, but I dont know why you mention FI. Maybe you read wrong and think I will use fireblast instead of dtalon as secundary skill, or maybe you ment PI/LI, which will indeed need to be parked.

    And yes, I will likely just stay with might merc, unless I die often since I would rather not lose my map just to test HF merc.

    I have nowhere the experience with nihlatak or running to 99 as you guys, so cant rly help with suggestions for you.

    After I finished my build I can tell my runtimes at Baal to give you an idea how fast it is. considering DC went under the 5mins, even around 4 mins. I think I should also be able to get around 4 mins even without enigma. As long as I dont get stuck in flayers in the wsk.



     
  6. spearv

    spearv IncGamers Member

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    I love Barbarians, I love Chaos Sanctuary, I have a fair idea how I'm going to spend a bunch of my time.

    My barb started life, give or take, as a Hellforge rushed mule which means I haven't done normal and NM ancients, and I'll be abusing that fact at level 98. I did, vaguely, plan to just get to a reasonable level and then farm Chaos over and over, probably low /players, whacking it up a bunch for Diablo.

    The reality is that I decided to run Trav for a while, I want to chance my arm at a few runes/charms/jewels while that still offers good XP. Then I saw the Pindlethon. I have *just* turned ** and I have 1500 Pindle runs to bash out. I don't have a solid plan for after that point, I know I'll spent a lot of time in Chaos Sanc, but I may not rush there. Other than the Ancients quests I have no idea what I'll do at 98.

    I've decided to gear for serious damage at this point (speed > risk of occasional death at this level) so Guils, Gores, Grief MH and Enigma. The guils+gores combination is remarkably strong compared to my normal shako+travs barbarians. Though while I'm doing /p1 Pindle, I have temporarily gone back to the high MF switch, it just makes sense.

    Other slots are up in the air. I've just switched to a 1.07 Beast offhand, but I feel Grief is probably a far better choice in the long run (as well as upgrading my current Grief to a 1.07 base). I think I'd like to try a 37% FCR build (2 rings and the rest from either belt, gloves or neck) at some point, and I've a feeling that level 98 will involve a 110fcr switch (10% from a ring). Anyway, at 37% teleporting will be quite responsive as I attempt to bounce from one elite pack to another, or perhaps CS seal to seal, without having to worry about constantly switching to an FCR setup (would allow a BO switch, I suppose).

    As mentioned in the Pindle thread, I'm skipping Hork simply because it will add so much time. I've also skipped stamina and speed, though if the 37% thing isn't workable I'll probably respec for a point in speed so my area running is more fluent. I really feel like so much time in D2 is spent moving from brief moments of action to other brief moments of action (consider Pindle: 9-10 seconds from exiting a game to getting into the portal, 4 teleports to Pindle, potentially two 1s WWs to clear the pack). Of course, that's good reason to use high player settings.

    I plan to dump spare points into Nat Res (to 64%), enough in Double Swing so that its free and the remainder in getting armor, there's really nothing else left at that point.
     
  7. zgpmf

    zgpmf IncGamers Member

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    I mentioned FI because he is always FI, but I thought you will be using Death sentry, when I play with traper I always put one death sentry trap along with 4 lightning traps.


     
  8. EasyG

    EasyG IncGamers Member

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    Death sentry without fireblast synergies only lights 5 times and for that reason lightning sentry is more usefull to me, since I dont like to stop kicking (switch to vulnerable swiitch) and lay new traps.
    After I got infinity I might use death sentrys in atleast wave 1-3. What I do however, is put death sentry at my rightmouse click on main switch, so my shadow warrior sometimes lays a deathsentry halfway the wave if still alive.



     
  9. crawlingdeadman

    crawlingdeadman IncGamers Member

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    I've had an idea bouncing around for a while about the best way to level a Barb (berserk) to 99, but I'm not sure on what to run for how long.
    -pits to good gear
    -CS seal bosses p1/p8 Diablo to ?
    -Nihl + ancients ? to 99

    Maxed howl makes seal bosses so very fast (especially w/ teleport). Nihl is a cakewalk even walking with a barb. Baal bites the big one so I'd not even touch him.

    +damage doesn't work with kicks.



     
  10. scrcrw

    scrcrw IncGamers Member

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    I think Nihlathak might also be a good option for Paladins to go from 98 to 99 (CS Hammerdin to 98 as usual). Telesmiter or -zealot should do fairly well. Might be worth a try at least if you find yourself in that situation.

    This is the video, for reference (somewhat outdated gear and tactics). It's unlikely that I'll ever take this char to 99, but I think the concept is valid.
    I went for Concentrate instead of Berserk because Nilly has 0% physical res and 25% magical res. That balances out the %ed advantage of Berserk (at least it did for my builds). Once Decrep triggers, Conc does far more damage (or equal, when there's stone skin). As a bonus you get the ability to leech and extra defense instead of zero defense.
    Gear and stuff:
    Gear:
    Enigma - Surprise!
    Grief eth BA - more consistent damage than eDeath, but the difference isn't that big. Last Wish isn't much worse as well.
    Beast BA - AR, ED and attack speed. nice. Well worth losing the shield for. Block is irrelevant because all minor damage is leeched back immediately. Integer or % dr on the shield is nice, but I found myself getting into trouble just as much on the cast switch.
    Berserker's <circlet> of LE - 39dr with 2xSol. Not enough to negate viper damage, but sufficient to prevent insta death when I **** up
    Steelrend - No ias or damage to demons/undead necessary, so the usual choices are out. That leaves a nice blood craft or these
    String of Ears - more safety
    Gores or Travs - not much of a difference
    Highlord's - i decided on more damage instead of more integer dr here. it's a pretty decent boost.
    Raven Frost + Fcr/dual leech - plugging the last few holes

    Charms are fine/steel/sharp of vita/sust from 1.10+.

    The Merc has Reaper's (ias), Beta Delirium and a random 60ias armor. Fast curse delivery, nothing else. Doesn't die much, surprisingly.

    Stats: ~3,8k life, rest Strength

    Skills: Max Conc, BO, that other synergy, Mastery and enough NR for [email protected]

    Nothing particularly creative...
    My journey to 98 shouldn't be taken as advice: /p3 Council to 94, /p1 Pindle to 95 (yay MFO), Baal to 97, Nilly to 97.5, Baal to 98 (yay MFO) and then (in theory) Nilly to 99.
    Barbs in general suck at high /p-level area running, so Baal is probably the easiest option to 98 (or 97, if you're a slow Baaler). I don't know if it's worth losing the ancients exp though, but I didn't have that option anyway.

    @spearv Are you seriously running Pindle without Increased Speed and Hork? That seems like an incredibly poor choice.


     
  11. zgpmf

    zgpmf IncGamers Member

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    From Arreat Summit:

    [SIZE=-1]Properties that do work with kicks:
    • Crushing Blow, Open Wounds, Slow Target
    • Magic, Elemental, and Poison Damage (not displayed on the character screen)
    • Life/Mana steal and Life/Mana after kills
    • %Chance to Cast on Attack/Strike
    • +% Damage (except from weapon)
    • +AR (except on your weapon)
    • +% AR (from anywhere)
    • Blind, Freeze, Prevent Monster Heal
    • Magic Find and Gold find

    [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Properties that do NOT work with kicks:
    • Deadly/Critical Strike
    • Enhanced Damage from equipment (if it works it doesn't display on character screen)
    • +% Damage to Demons/Undead
    • + Min / Max damage (so no 3/20/20 charms for kickers)
    • Claw Mastery bonuses (Boots are not Claws!)
    • Melee mods such as Increased Attack Speed (IAS), Crushing Blow, Open Wounds, prevent monster heal, life leech, etc. are not applied from the secondary claw (in a Dual-Claw setup).
    [/SIZE]
     
  12. Cyrax

    Cyrax IncGamers Member

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    @CDM: For running Diablo p7 is high enough. p8 does not add additional exp, only more hitpoints.

    @scrcrw:

    Thanks for the gear breakdown scrcrw.

    Other benefits that i see on your build is that concentrate cannot be interrupted and concentrate is a single target attack, meaning you'll be delivering damage in the most efficient way, namely only the chosen target (Nihlathak).
    Before 97/98 i think he'd do well in AT's. That should save up the ancientsquest as well.

    And you should take him to 99! I'd hate to have to beat you to it with your own build. :wink:

    After finishing up my pally i think i'll see how this goes. Also gonna compare it to p1/7 CS runs with some kind of barb using howl. Not sure if it'll be berserk or some other skill.

    @zgpmf: Thanks for the info. Seems like i'll have to do some more research before i'll be taking her out for a spin. Doesn't matter much yet as i think assassin may be one of the last i'll be trying so there's plenty of time.
     
  13. spearv

    spearv IncGamers Member

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    Lack of hork is just about saving time regardless of what I choose to run, switching to Pindle didn't change my mind on that (I wasn't horking Trav, I won't be horking CS). I appreciate this is a poor choice for finding items, but it is a great choice for aiming at 99.

    In the Pindlethon thread I noted that I'd probably shave something like a second off my runs if I put a point in increased speed, but I'm averaging around 18.5s per run, that seems plenty fast enough. I'll only respec for speed if, at some point, I discover I'm physically running around an area a lot more than teleporting around. I mentioned in the Pindlethon thread too, but I'm not using any shouts while he's my target (no close calls yet, either). I appreciate it is a little odd that I'm doing some things to shave seconds off my runs yet I refuse to respec speed at this point, but apparently that's just the way I'm rolling!

    About barbs running at high /players. I tend to agree that they're not so hot at it, but I'm hoping that damage output Guils+Gores will work out at /p3 or /p5, say. Or perhaps I'll wind up mimicing a Hammerdin and doing easy seals+high /p Diablo.


     
  14. crawlingdeadman

    crawlingdeadman IncGamers Member

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    Thanks! That's the kinda stuff I don't remember/have never known. I was running Baal for a while on p8, trying to get essences when I was told it wasn't worth the higher player count. I tend to forget to change player counts quite frequently so maybe doing everything on one count would be easier.

    I'd agree if you were talking about area clearing, but if you're just targeting a single monster, barbs can do high player counts with medium to high end gear. 9k is pretty easy to get on a grief wielding zerker. You can get much higher with a bigger weapon like Death CB.



     
  15. zgpmf

    zgpmf IncGamers Member

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    It's hard to go with only berserk because you want area damage skill at least until going for Diablo/Nihl.
    I'd go with p3 Council until 92-93 to pick up runes for enigma and dual Griefs (possibly eth Atma glitched BAs) then run p8 Pits until 97 or 98 and then respec from WW to either conc or berserk and hit Dia/Nihl.



    Actually Barb is very good at p8 Pit runs, I use dual BA Griefs, enigma and rest is standard. Put Reaper's on merc and teleport from boss pack to another and when decrep triggers just WW them to death.


     
  16. spearv

    spearv IncGamers Member

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    I think I've always fallen into the trap of comparing what a typical barb does compared to some other cookie cutters (hammerdins, blizz sorc, lightning sorc, trapper, perhaps) when they're excelling. And, come to think of it, I've only had serious gear on a Barb on battle.net, which favours spellcasters (unique charms, and no 1.07 atma axes).

    I made a Pit barb every season I played on b.net, but that always meant /players 1 which were, of course, extremely efficient. I'm certainly game to experiment a bit during the journey, I think for a Barb that a few changes of pace will probably help keep me interested.


     
  17. crawlingdeadman

    crawlingdeadman IncGamers Member

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    Hasn't ever been hard for me... but then I hate WW.



     
  18. Ugla

    Ugla IncGamers Member

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    @EasyG: Lister can not spawn LI/PI as he's already FI in the first place. Still, Minions of Destruction have 50%DR along with 50%block, which means you will barely do any damage to him without getting amp/decrep up (CB is affected by %DR as well). I strongly recommend using DS on his fallen comrades as it takes a major chunk of his health with amp on and some proper positioning. I assume you go with infi-merc, so no decrep from Reaper's.
     
  19. spearv

    spearv IncGamers Member

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    I starting pitting on p8 once I was done with the Pindlethon.

    Guils, Gores, Highlords
    Laying of Hands, String of Ears, Enigma, 2 mediocre rare rings (covers ML, LL, a little res, 10% fcr)
    2x Grief, Enigma
    A few damage charms (I'm going to add more, I don't pick up enough to care about inv. space)

    I'm very impressed with performance and XP gain (@91). Apparently I haven't kept a set of Ghoulhide gloves which I think may be the best choice. I'm going to think on setup a bit then probably hit the trade forum, 1.07 damage charms and crafted rings seem like a good idea. My Enigma is in a Mageplate, I think next time I see a Jah I may roll one in a heavy armor, partly for style, partly for the 500-odd base defense. I'm sort've half teleporting, half running, around, I don't think it'll be long before I try Arachnid and 2 10fcr rings.


     
  20. zgpmf

    zgpmf IncGamers Member

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    I have dual Suicide branches on switch and one 10% FCR/mana leach ring for 105 breakpoint.

    Other equip. is Guils, Gores, Highlords, dual eth 1.07 Grief BAs, Enigma Sacred armor, String of ears, LoH, Ravenfrost, stash filled with res/vita sc because I went with Titan build. :)
    I only hit boss packs and leave Champions because they give lousy exp on higher clvls.


     

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