Act 3 Mercenary

Wraithan

Diabloii.Net Member
Act 3 Mercenary

I tried to search for this but came up with little that answered my question (I appologize if people have posted this in the past and i missed it). I started a Freezealot, and was lookin to use a Act 3 Fire or Lightning merc. My problem is, what kind of gear do you put on a Act 3 merc, they don't physically attack so a lot of the typical modifiers don't work for them (atleast not to my knowledge)... should I just try and stack FCR and a aura on him? I am lost, any help would be appreciated.
 
Theres alot of info in the Merc FAQ about them. i bolded the bits about armour for you.
Useful mods to look for are FCR, -enemy res, +fire/cold/lightning skills (not sorc only mods though) and MF can be loaded onto the sword (which is very rarely used so look for one with those mods, not base damage)
Act III Mercs: The Iron Wolves

Hire from: Asheara
Can equip: Swords and Shields
Level up: +1.5 Strength, +1.5 Dexterity, +4.5 Defense, +1.5 Resistances, +6 Life

The Iron Wolves are all sorcerers who come in 3 flavours, fire, ice or lightning with the following spells.

Lightning: Charged Bolt and Lightning
Cold: Glacial Spike or Ice Blast with Frozen Armour
Fire: Inferno and Fireball

Their spells reach the following levels as the mercs experience lvl increases.

Code:

Eastern Sorceror - Fire
Exp Level 15 37 61 99
Inferno 6 13 20 20
Fire Ball 4 11 18 18

Eastern Sorceror - Cold
Exp Level 15 37 61 99
Glacial Spike 1 5 9 9
Frozen Armor 2 9 16 16
Ice Blast 6 13 20 20

Eastern Sorceror - Lightning
Exp Level 15 37 61 99
Charged Bolt 4 8 12 12
Lightning 3 10 17 28​



They can equip shields and swords, but, only use the sword in rare circumstances (such as when they are being mobbed) so it is worthwhile equipping them with a decent weapon. Ideally a sword with +1 to all skills or faster cast would be of most benefit to them. Life leech is less of an issue here, due to the infrequency of melee attacks that these mercs make.

Base cast rates for Act 3 mercs are (fast cast = FC) (Thanks to corax for the date)

0% FC - 18FPS
10%FC - 17FPS
15%FC - 16FPS
30%FC - 15FPS
40%FC - 14FPS
60%FC - 13FPS
90%FC - 12FPS
140%FC - 11FPS

Like the Rogue these are ranged combatants and can provide useful back-up for a melee character. Again the cold mercs attacks will help against crowds of monsters but freezing them solid or slowing the monsters down.

Although they can use use a shield, they cannot block. Thus a shield will only help with their defence and also their resists if you give them a good unique/rare shield. They are strong enough to wear heavy armour and use large shields, which is useful as their defence increase per level is pitiful. The cold sorc has an advantage here in that he also casts frozen armour which confers a defense bonus. Thus he can actually serve as a limited tank compared to the other two.

Their magic attack is also very useful against PI's in Hell and Nightmare, just so long as the PI is not immune to the Sorcs chosen element or is magic immune as well. This is particularly useful for those character classes that do not have a strong attack for dealing with PIs i.e. Werewolf Druids. The added elemental damage from the Mercs attack can assist whatever damage the WW has on his weapons.

Sorcs suffer from the same AI problem as Rogues though, they back off to range, target something and keep firing until its dead, irrespective of whether 20 Flayers have just run onto the screen next to them and are currently turning the merc into Swiss cheese. Again once this process has started it is very difficult to get the merc to move away. The shield will help the merc survive for a bit, but their low hp means that will be killed sooner rather than later, unless the player character has the opportunity to thin out the mob somewhat.

As these mercs only attack very rarely with their melee weapon the amount of damage these Mercs do isn't very great. This means they can't fight their way out of a scrape very quickly and on hell diff it takes an age for them to hurt anything. Add in the existence of elemental immunities on Hell diff and this mercs use becomes severely limited. This lack of damage can be compensated for if the Merc is accompanying a Paladin that uses the conviction aura.

However, because the Act III merc's damage is mostly unaffected by the equipment they use, there is an ideal niche for them to fill. Magic Finding. Its easy to equip these mercs with up 300% MF and because they tend not to go, toe to toe with monsters, you can shield them with your character while they get the last shot in on a boss monster. For the dedicated Mfer, this can be worthwhile niche to exploit.

Another feature in 1.10 is the introduction of unique items with the mod "-% to enemy resistance" (Griffon's Eye) and "+% to elemental skill" (Ormus Robes). Equipping such items would improve the damage done by the Act III merc.

In addition the cold merc is often in danger of trapping you or himself when surrounded. Because he's targeting a monster a distance away, he will fire at it regardless of whats in his way. This can mean that you can find your retreat blocked by frozen, or chilled monsters, or him surrounded by a crowd of frozen enemies from which he cannot retreat.
He will use his sword to fight his way out of these situations, but is unlikely to escape when surrounded by monsters. The cold merc is also of least use to a Necro Overlord as the frozen corpses which shatter into nothingness are no use to the Necro for summoning or reviving.

Getting your Act III Merc to Move (a tip from Pantin)

When my mercenary starts getting hit too often for its own good, I start running in a big circle from where I was to where I was with a radius just a bit smaller than half the screen's height. So I always end up exactly where I left off, and with some speed the monsters almost don't move from where they were.

The main GOOD thing is that the mercenary stops firing and actually moves back to follow you. But when you go back and restart fighting it stops where it is, usually half a screen behind you, safely placed.
 

Wraithan

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks for pointing that guide out... still new around here not sure why that didn't turn up in a search.
 

Pico Dynamite

Diabloii.Net Member
One question that I wondered since 1.10 came out is do the iron wolf's skills synergies each other, as in does their charged bolt synergies the iron wolf's lightning. I don't think it does, but if it did that would be really cool because I always wanted to see an act3 merc doing some decent damage in hell :)
 

Shade

Diabloii.Net Member
Todesritter said:
Thanks for pointing that guide out... still new around here not sure why that didn't turn up in a search.
It depends which 'search' you use. The 'search' button searches everything, but you need to use 'search this forum' to limit it to just the SPF. Also, the Merc FAQ is an older thread so might not show up as quick... most of our guides and such are linked in the sticky, so that's a good place to check stuff over.

Pico Dynamite said:
One question that I wondered since 1.10 came out is do the iron wolf's skills synergies each other, as in does their charged bolt synergies the iron wolf's lightning. I don't think it does, but if it did that would be really cool because I always wanted to see an act3 merc doing some decent damage in hell
Apparently they do (it was posted some time back by RTB, I think). However they don't benefit from the charge-synergy feature, so that's out.
 
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