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Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by zgpmf, Jul 11, 2012.
Which skill setup on the nova necro? Merc items?
Merc items on Windy for Lister runs?
Skill setup CS nec:
20 to all poison spells
20 corpse explosion
1 bone armor
1 iron golem
1 summon resist
1 to all curses (attract is cool sometimes)
rest lower resist
It is possible to mix stuff
His merc: Insight, Chains of Honor, Steel Shade
Note: Infinity is possible, but you will find a lot of problems with mana without Insight, it might be impossible to do running comfortably cause of mana problems or using potions all the time. Golem dies too often to make it worth use Insight, unless there is strategy to keep him alive which I didn't find really. Too much trouble.
Windy merc: Reaper's, Fortitude, 1.07 Valk with cham
Using anything else beside Reaper's slows you down too much, you need that decrepify to pierce through opponents fast. Mana is easily manageable with mana small charms and investing some points to energy (I ended up with 1800 mana and over 4k life with oak for example, but I also use beta Cta). You can also use solar creeper or whatever the name is to replenish mana if in mana problems. First 4 waves are super easy, you will probably never find yourself in danger, except with tons of dolls when clearing throne in some questionable scenario.
You could keep Lower Res at 1 and invest in Golem Mastery. Or you could max RS with 1 mastery and go the hybrid route ( I suspect this might be the best necro version for overall CS running but if you just rush 2 seals raising minions might not be worth it). The advantage of 1.09+ Shako is the mana but it's difficult to get sufficient FCR with it.
There's no reason to put Steelshade on a CS merc if you're not killing Diablo and even then as a Necro I wouldn't bother as you're likely to use either Clay or Decrep to control him.
I think the traditional overlord with max CE may actually perform better than pure Nova necro when it comes to doing all seals+Diablo.
The ideal merc setup in either case is Infinity+Treachery+3s/LL Tiara with Res/IAS/CBF imo.
Even for the druid I'd use Treachery for faster Decrep procs and faster removal of Baals Decrep in case he gets hit by it. The key to Lister is positioning yourself between him and Baal or staying back and resummoning wolves/Grizzly to draw the Decrep but I guess you already know that. Also I hope you're using might merc on both chars.
Could a blizz sorc / fire hybrid work in CS? I was thinking either Blizz baller, or possibly a firewall variant. OK's seem to stand still, thinking a moderate fire skill point investment could allow for full seal clears and big-D. I was thinking going vita route, and using phoenix for mana problems, -efr%, and fire absorb.(Max block with phoenix seems out of the question.) Merc could then use infinity over insight. Other gear options I've been testing are: .07 shako vs. nightwings, .07 skulders vs. arkaine's, maybe .07 wiz for gg resists, mana, and fcr vs. Fathom.
Any thoughts on this? My goal is some faster leveling up to 98, while sporting some MF. I've been testing this a bit with my 95 blizzballer, I don't have a phoenix at the moment, but she still seems fairly safe with decent MF.
Unless you're already 97 there's no point killing Diablo unless you need burning essences. He really doesn't drop much of interest.
The only sorc build that might have the potential to rival pure light or pure cold (with reapers treachery kiras might merc) for "full clearing" p8 CS is Blizzard/Nova if you have the adequate equipment. There's a very high chance of whatever CI you encounter to be FI as well in CS.
Why use iron golem at all if not for insight?
BTW, my golem didn't need to be replaced very often when running nihl, so I think CS is doable
I put ~10 points in golem mastery iirc and had enough + skills and BO for 10k life. BO multiplies the base life just like golem mastery, it's not additive which means it's super easy to get huge amounts of life
Just pick up any 4os insight stick for future use. If you've already got ~20+ sets of runes and a few sticks and are willing to pick up the ingredients you might be low on (tir?) then it should work fine
Steel Shade is great helm, it makes your merc very tough. Try it out if you didn't. I know Froz was also suspicious when I suggested that helm. I simply love it. You don't need any tricks to keep merc alive, those firelords are fountain of healing for both you and merc.
As for your ideal merc setup... how do you think to manage mana? With Insight golem? I mean, try your version with more points to summon resists and see can he actually survive. I can't keep him alive more than 15-20 runs with my variant, and even that is pretty optimistic. Maybe I play too aggressively, but I do want to have as fast as possible running with safety behind it.
As for Lister... positioning is fine, but still even if your tornados hit through most minions, those who are not hit will make you waste too much time on them to kill them after. It can be worth to kill half of Lister pack then I guess, but to kill them all... they seem too tough to me and I waste too much time on them. Ok, so I killed 5 minions relatively fast, but other 3 or whatever have full hp cause they weren't hit with tornado. You understand the rest of the problem then.
As for might merc, I don't use it for necro. I think for general playing random defensive merc >>> might merc. CS is not a cake walk after all. Even if I can use might merc, I would still suggest any player to use defensive merc for more benefits. How much does might merc speed you up after all, 5 seconds most (is even that much)? In my opinion that is totally not worth it. Safety has greater importance.
Because I'm lazy to summon clay golem at beginning of every run, that's pretty much it. And I never use Insight iron golem, even for Pit. I've try it once just to compare Infinity vs Insight on merc, and difference is only 2-3 seconds, so... Don't know how much difference would Infinity make for CS, probably slightly more. Anyway someone go test that with iron golem thingy and let people know.
How does this compare to River of Flame / Chaos? S/E at lister, I mean?
Also, 2-3 seconds per run does matter when doing thousands and thousands of them. I've never played with insight golems, but it does indeed sound interesting.
Back to business with Hammerdin. As I mentioned earlier I was about to go Nihlathak with Smiter for 98-99. I decided against that. It's all those HRs and possibly some other drops too I'm after. With single attack skill such as Smite, I'd just get the drops from Nihla, so without much luck it would probably be a dry long haul.
@Corrupted is that 2,9m/hour with your Samsara hunting exp shrines from act 1 or not? I tested my running efficiency again and it was about 2,5m/h. I've 4 shrines on my RoF/CS map. I tele with inv/char screen open and try to jump to seal bosses asap. Also players 7 all the time.
edit: found your lvl 99 thread and the video. It has been too long break, I've similar approach as you; shrines at Travi and rof/cs. I had totally forgot about these shrines in Travincal. I'll run some more tests, and I should go a bit higher than 2,5m/h that way. I had also very poor amount of exp shrines during this test.
I come seeking wisdom from you 99 hunters, although my mission is far more likely to end in the 96/97 range. (Still a personal best)
After a ridiculously long stint at trav, I have the runes needed to make dual dreams for my Bear Sorc. The plan is to try and use her to run Baal, utilizing the ridiculous lightning damage along with whatever enchant damage I can manage, but I have a few questions for people with more experience with baal or the character in general.
First I'll list what I have loosely planned for gear:
Gris Caddy (more on weapons later)
Chains of Honor
Dream Shield (shield type discussion later)
Laying of Hands (1.07 possibly? Don't have yet but could get)
String of Ears (also still debating)
Gore Riders? Aldurs for life/frw/fire res? Some tri res boots? War Travs? Not sure.
Mara's (+2/res. If my res are super stacked I guess I could consider Seraph's Hymn)
BK Wedding Band (+1 and some LL)
Merc: Infinity, everything else up for discussion
I guess I should talk a little about my goals for the character. I want her to be sturdy most of all; my hardcore mentality never left even though I'm on SC now... plus I'm lazy and need safety. I also want her to be able to deal with any monsters; I don't want to have to park Lister. (I believe he can be FI/LI unbreakable?) I'd also like a high enough level WB/Lyc so that I'm not constantly reshifting. (Level 9, as my gear listed, should be okay I think.) Other than that, her goal is to kick as much ass as possible.
Now, on to more specific questions:
1. Weapons. Right now I'm thinking a Gris Caddy with 4x shael or 3x shael and a 15 ias/28 ed jewel. This would give 5 FPA attack/7 under decrepify (gets to 7 decrep'd with 5 oIAS, no oAIS needed if I use 4x shael). This would get me to an extremely fast attack speed without needing to waste 136 points in dexterity. My concern is whether it does enough damage to leech (my above setup has 21% LL, but using normal attack the damage should be quite low).
My other weapon options I've considered are Azurewrath and 40 IAS Grief PB. The Azurewrath (Shaeled) would give 7 fpa attack with only 5 oIAS (requiring 15 oIAS to get 10 fpa under decrepify). The thinking with Azurewrath is it provides similar physical damage to Gris Caddy, but diversifies the damage with 250-500 cold and 250-500 magic damage. The cold can be increased by a point put in Cold Mastery as well. Plus it has Sanctuary aura, which could be helpful knocking undeads away and if I'm not mistaken letting me leech some of them. It would also add +1 to all skills to pump the fire/light damage a little bit. Of course, downside is slower attacks = less total damage. Oh, and wasted dexterity.
And the 40 ias Grief PB. It would need 15 oIAS to hit 7 FPA (25 oIAS to hit 10 FPA under decrepify). The idea with this weapon is obviously to up the physical damage as a third source of damage and to increase the life leech thus increasing survival. Same downside as Azurewrath in terms of slower/less total damage and high dex requirement. Without any ED other than a low level Werebear skill, I'm not sure the physical damage will be enough to matter. I think I may as well just rely on my Conviction wielding merc to do the physical hitting.
If any of you have an ethereal 400+ed 40 ias 2 open socket phase blade, I'd love to take it and try that as well.
2. What shield base?
Right now I'm thinking I want to make it in a Kite Shield. Why? Lowest possible block percentage with 3 os. Bears block rates suck horribly, so I figured I'd try and avoid the whole block lock thing as much as possible... but anyone can try and convince me that another option is better and I'll listen.
3. Gloves/Belt/Boots combo
My default gloves for melee chars obviously are LoH, but in this case the physical damage is low enough that I imagine it might be better to look elsewhere. (With Gris Caddy only needing 5 ias to hit lowest FPA under decrep, that especially opens options.) I've gone with string for the dmg reduction, MDR, and life leech (it's my favorite belt) but are there other options I should be considering? Running baal are gloams and such enough of a worry that I would consider T Gods? A blood crafted belt perhaps? Screw safety and go Arachnid Mesh? And as for the boots, a source of CB and DS seems nice, but once again with such low physical damage and low total CB is it really worth it? I was thinking more defensive boots might be nice, although I'm not sure what they'd be. Plus the bear is gonna run slow without an enigma on, so 40 frw boots might be in the cards.
It's my understanding that Lightning Skillers would add the most damage, but is that necessary? I was thinking it might be better to use some Fire ones to balance out the Fire vs Light damage to make the character a bit more versatile. Also, small charms? I imagine life/resists/fhr are probably of most importance.
5. Merc set up
So I've got 1.07 eth Infinity Thresher; that one is easy. However, without any defensive skills (don't have the druid bear's shockwave) I was wondering if it might be prudent to take a more defensive approach to the merc instead of loading him up with fortitude and Andy's or whatever your typical damage set up is. I'd planned on using your typical might merc so he could help me in situations where I'd need physical damage, but I'm not sure how well we're going to tank Lister and company. Would Holy Freeze help? I can't even remember if he and his guys are affected by that. Maybe outfit him with a cham'd 1.07 Gaze and... I dunno, CoH or some Dmg reduction armor I can put a jewel of fervor in? I'm really clueless on this part.
As currently planned, I'm going to have a mere 35 fcr on my switch for teleporting. Anyone ever have any trouble teleporting to the throne room with such a slow teleport? I'd really prefer not to have to carry an extra item in my inventory, like a Wizzy or something, to boost my teleporting and then switch out when it's time to fight.
7. Extra Skill Points
I know the Bear looks hideous with energy shield, but is that a decent option? You'll have maxed warmth anyways, so maybe a 1 pt ES and the rest in TK? Or, as most people, do, Frozen Armor? and if the Frozen Armor route, which skill is the best of the three? I've literally never used any of them lol.
Any other random advice you might have would be greatly appreciated. The LCS numbers for this char are ridiculous, but I know she won't be the most efficient runner. I'm just hoping that she can get the job done comfortably, even if she's not a sub 2 minute lightning zon.
A few random thoughts although I've yet to try this build at all:
holy freeze does work against lister et al.
Would CtA work as a passable weapon (40 ias in phase blade...)? You would lack physical dmg but excel in safety (especially with ES)...
I would def go with 1 pt ES and from there ya probably just pump SHIVER armor or TK
After BBS' bear sorc thread, I did a bit of reading up on the build/play. I've never actually made one, so none of this advice will be from experience.(I do plan on making one very soon however.)
Weapon- I would do gris caddy. Get that crazy elemental damage on target, as fast as possible. Sucks it doesn't have more damage or indestructible mod, but speed I believe is going to be the main focus.
Boots- gore riders. I think the CB will help with the odd double immunes, and will help fighting bosses. You're hitting so fast, even low CB will have a noticeable effect. Gogo more DS.
Gloves- why not some crafted gloves? More CB, life leech, resists/stats. If you don't need IAS on them, getting triple resist, or even double, isn't terribly hard.
Amulet- I'd go HLW, +1 all skills, light resist, IAS you need, great DS. Seems perfect.
I too looked into ES. I thought, why not, right? You're not doing anything with the mana anyway... but I think the points are better spent on Chilling armor.(Or whatever the good one is, I'm on my phone.) There are so many mana burners in the game, you'd lose your ES every 30seconds. You'll have to get out of bear form, recast, reshift to bear, and pray a mana burner isn't right around the corner- just itching for you to rage. Seems like to much a hassle to me.
The bear skill gives a hefty defense bonus, I'd instead maximize on that. You might not need as much PDR/safety equipment, if you can bring your chance to be hit way down. Also I believe it gives a slow effect to attackers, which brings in a desperately needed form of CC between dream procs. Edit: Eesh, I'm tired. I was talking about the bonus of having a high chilling armor here.
Just my .02 though, I'd wait to hear from someone who has played it first. I'm sure I probably missed something, or was wrong somewhere.
If you end up using a PB, I'd advocate Guardian Angel and Max Block. The first drops the block animation from 12 to 8 frames. The normal sorceress block animation is 9.
You have/will probably read what we were thinking out loud on irc, but I'll post it here for the sake of having it all in one place.
First, I'd like you to forget any sort of physical damage and leech. It just wont' work. Even if you go all out damage on your setup (might merc + LoH + CoH etc) you will end up with like 52 leech per hit on minions of destruction, and they have 50% block. It's not worst ever, but it's not anything reliable and you should really not focus on it.
You will absolutely need cta, if because of anything, for merc. He will drop dead each and every time he encounters any dangerous aura or any pack of not so friendly monsters. Especially if you don't have that much control over him (and you don't cuz no teleport on demand). CtA will be must. You cast BO, swap with beast in inventory and go on. I don't really think this should be open to discussion
Another thing that shouldn't be open to discussion is merc setup. You will want Infinity, beta Delirium and Holy Freeze. Armor that compliments him best is CoH for resists, good damage and leech. This will make your fragile character into crowd control monster that shouldn't die unless you are drunk.
Anyway, you still have option to go with maxblock and PB (4fpa/6fpa decrep) or caddy vita one (5fpa/7fpa decrep).
From quick glance I'd favor maxblock setup but it's your choice in the end.
Amulet: 2sorc/10 chance to block craft (fcr, dex, other nice mods are nice)
Weapon: 6os PB with 5 x ress/IAS jewels and Shael (5fpa)
Armor: Guardian Angel (Cham, 5/5 light facet)
Shield: Dream Tower Shield (best block)
Gloves: 1.07 LoH (20IAS for 6 fpa under decrep)
Ring1: BKWB (RF if no Cham armor)
Ring2: BKWB (10 fcr if you want to keep 65 fcr switch, probably good choice unless you have beta BKWB)
Boots: high frw and whatever compliments your build best (high ress, MF, noclue)
Beast/Spirit switch, cta in inventory
With GA and ctb amulet you will need only 208 dex for block at level 95. It seems reasonable and it allows you to use PB. 208 dex should provide you with enough ar to whack most things under conviction without needing to focus on ar. Vita setup will have more problems with this. Besides, you still want good attack rating because mercs being mercs often wander outside your range and you can't quick tele to get him back without reshifting. If you use RF, you won't need much/any cold ress at all. With 50% fire sorb of LoH you won't need much fire ress, but it's still not advisable to tank wave 4 head on unless you have some FR at least.
With GA max 15 to all ress you can hit 90 allress but I think it's going overboard. Your PB will have 5 os to play with resist/ias jewels and with dual dreams having avg 25 allress, still having boots slot open and small charms, you should be able to get 90 LR and probably one more resists that you think might be crucial (I'm mostly looking at PR). 40 fbr on GA will lower your block from 12 to acceptableish 8 frames.
If you get hax 2sorc/10fcr/high ctb amulet you can even use secondary fcr ring while keeping 65 fcr teleport switch.
Charms should be mostly lightning skillers for damage or vita/ress charms if you need some safety. Balance is up to you. No fire plz. Check Baal monster resists and immunities. Light is only way. Especially gg would be sparkling/7frw charms in both setups.
Amulet: 2/10 fcr with usual useful mods
Weapon: Griss Caddy 3 shael, ar/IAS or ress/IAS jewel
Armor: 1.07 ark whatever socket (defensive) +20lsd/-20elr/100life/30LR armor (ofensive)
Shield: Dream Kite Shield
Gloves: 1.07 LoH
Ring1: RF (one Ravenfrost is must or your ar might suck too much even with infinity)
Boots: high frw and whatever compliments your build best (high ress, MF, noclue)
Beast/Spirit switch, cta in inventory
You might want to add some attack rating charms or you might end up sub 2000 attack rating overall. Not sure how crucial is ar with conviction, but you might not always have merc around you like I said probably 10 times already, so getting some ar here might not be bad idea. Rest of the charms like above.
I added offensive armor option just because, but if you want more durable char, you might want to go SoJ RF Frostburns, and some split between energy and vitality to have decent ES. You will have massive life from Arkaine's and beta cta already so dumping some points into energy might not be worst idea ever. This works nicely with your warmth providing nice mana regen, but you would need to socket your Ark with IAS/something jewel to keep 7fpa under decrep.
Optional skills might be Orb + 1point CM for LI/FI lister, ES/TK in second setup (don't like it in first cuz you'd already waste lots of points into dex for block), chilling armor, Thunderstorm for helping you chase those last few skeletons around, SF for quick cast before starting whacking monsters etc.
This should cover you for now. When you decide of vita/block and your wealth level, we can try and optimize her with what you have available and ready to spend on her
Cool to see this build discussed here. What players setting will you run Baal at? (I bet this question already show's my ignorance).
I will qualify this by saying I'm a super inexperienced player, but I'd guess that speed, not safety, will be your concern, though I know deaths are anathema when going for a high level.
With my set up, Baal was not a problem even at /p8. Actually, he was one of the easier targets, though I didn't run him on an extended basis. For Lister, the damage reduction from CoH was really nice + SoE, I didn't feel in danger. Some extra CB/DS would be quite nice, especially when running Baal. HLord's, Blood gloves, Gore's, etc. Since Baal doesn't deal a ton of damage, it might be quicker to shift out of bear form, use Static Field, then switch back.
In my experience the serpents and charger skeletons were the only things that ever put me in danger.
And yeah, CTA in inventory is a must for the poor mercling.
with conviction it would take ~3 casts of static field iirc to bring baal to 50% life. That very well might be faster than melee but I don't know how much dmg these things normally do (30k? 50k? 100k?) when you take safety into account.
Even with only one or two skillers in the inventory mine was at 42k-43k max damage, maxed resists, 20 % dmg resist. I eventually added a lot more skillers just because I didn't need so much inventory space. Hell Baal seemed to have such high HP that I felt Static would have certainly been faster for that first 50%, but others can speak probably more knowledgeably than I.
So I tried out different set ups for my Bear sorc. Biggest game changer was Dracul's Grasp. Attack speed is fast enough that it provides plenty of leech throughout a Baal run. I can do /p8 Baal run and never have to use a potion.
87% FHR breakpoint makes a big difference to me. Without it, I can't let Baal spawn monster packs on top of me, or my attacks are too interrupted and I have to start using potions.
So, the set up I used was this:
Hlords / CoH / SoE / Rfrost / BKWB / Sandstorms / Dracul's
HF Merc: Infinity / Delirium / upped Duriel's (um)
Stash: 3 Lightning Skillers, resists, FHR
I figured out how to video with Bandicam, so I took a vid of p8 Baal run. Waves + Baal completed using no potions, letting all monsters spawn on top of me (even Lister), which my Zealot cannot do even with max block. Time was 3 mins flat, which is probably slow, but you will see I am a clumsy player. (I did not record the teleport and initial clearing of throne room.) I have never played video games before D2 so switching skills is still difficult and I can't seem to play very well in windowed mode. I know everyone says they are clumsy players, but you will see I actually am. But character is, if not fast, pretty much invincible.
I will post vid later because I'm posting from phone. You can switch CtA and Beast to rebuff the merc between waves if needed, which I badly demonstrate in the clip even though it's probably not necessary.
It is much faster to Static Baal since his HP is so massive at p8. Even with 42k max LCS dmg, it takes a while to whittle him down.
This was the safest set up I tried for Baal. Also tried different helms on merc, various permutations of 1.07 Ark's, 1.07 LoH, Verdungo's, Gore's--basically, most of non ES setup a listed above. Other set ups might be faster, but 87 FHR and life tap from Dracul's seem to be the most important variables for safety. As froz says, leech is not very useful; life tap is huge and stays on seemingly the entire time. My set up already has 22% leech, which does help a tad, but all the non-Dracul set ups still required drinking potions, which isnpobably a no no for trying to level a character.
One question: Does life tap stack? I.e., does the proc put me at 72% leech?
Focusing on CB and DS seemed not so important because I can just switch to eth beast and kill dual immune a without problem. Merc also has huge physical damage with Fanat aura and 1.07 eth Infinity.
A few more things: um-ed 1.07 Ark's is cool, and pushes life to 3.7 k, but I don't have the greatest charms, so making up for the lost resist in inventory means a bit of a jigsaw puzzle with charms and then giving up damage reduction, which improves safety against Lister combined with SoE. It felt a bit like 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other to switch from CoH.
I am using normal Delirium; beta would be awesome. Same for CtA. Another OP item that comes to mind is a bugged 1.07 leech ring(s), which could easily push leech to 40%+ even before life tap.
Dreams already have a CTC Confuse, combined with Delirium, monsters are quite bamboozled. Also, it has the added benefit of sometimes making waves spawn on top of each other.
Here's video. A bit sloppy but gets the job done.
This is maxblock setup described in post with couple alterations because I don't have all items mentioned above.
Backup skill was nova to clear room and wave 1/2 scattering monsters. I think it works rather well.
I'm sure run times could be improved if capable player used sorc, someone who doesn't eat every decrepify and uses tele reshift to keep merc on top of monsters, so appropriate music was used.
EDIT: I used seed command to get nice map and nothing was kept (not even XP) in those couple runs I tried. Just for demonstration video.