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amazon: fend

Discussion in 'Classic' started by KoalaBearThirtyThree, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. KoalaBearThirtyThree

    KoalaBearThirtyThree IncGamers Member

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    amazon: fend

    While I'm levelling up my frost maiden, I was thinking of a melee amazon when I get bored or something. I'm thinking of fendazon (I don't like that label so I'm not going to call her that). I looked at some guides here (mostly tailored for expansion though) and, although I'm not sure how viable this char will be, I'm thinking of doing it...

    I have thought about it and here is a rough plan. Let me know what you think...

    One key thing is that I decided to go with dodge. People always complain about the dodge bug but I don't think it's viable without putting points into it. The guides I have looked at where people don't put points into dodge seem to be expansion players. I'm not really sure how viable this char will be without dodge and weak life leech/no life tap (as in classic). I'll find out very quickly (normal difficulty) whether the bug makes dodge unviable.


    SKILLS

    20 fend
    8 critical strike
    11 dodge
    1+ penetrate
    7 valkyrie
    20 lightning strike (secondary attack??)

    ATTRIBUTES (incl equipment)

    str: 110 (lance req)
    dex: ** (lance req)
    vital: rest
    energy: base


    WEAPON
    rare lance (will likely spend all 3 imbues on this)


    EQUIP

    If I'm doing my numbers correctly, speed breakpoints are 30IAS and 60IAS.

    SET UP 1
    goal: speed (60 IAS)

    (This set up has horrible resists unless I find godly rings or boots so it may not be viable... depends on if the valkyrie takes most of the damage or not (not entirely clear what happens when you melee close to it))

    twitch
    sigon glove+helm
    Eye of Etlich amulet (mostly for cold dmg)
    2 rare rings
    rare boots
    goldwrap


    SET UP 2
    goal: resists (30 IAS)

    sigon glove + helm
    darkglow unique armour or rare armour (goldskin ideally but can't afford it)
    rare boots/belt/rings
    Eye of Etlich amulet (mostly for cold dmg)




    Since this char will be kind of tough, I would like to put as many skill points into the passive tree as possible so I'm not sure about the secondary attack. But I don't like building a char that can't handle areas. I'm thinking of 20 into LIghtning strike but not sure. Obviously lightning fury would be better but I'm trying to avoid that (since my bowazon already has that and also minimize weapon switching)...

    Any thoughts...
     
  2. fledgeling

    fledgeling IncGamers Member

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    fend missess when you attack someone and he retaliates/attacks you WHEN you have spent any points into evade/avoid/the third one

    I have a level 45+ fend amazon and she is pretty good on normal difficulty, where the monsters miss you. but later you simply cant hit them
    the damage is nice

    the additional problem is that an amazon in goblins is SLOW
    and you have low resists

    I would consider a jab amazon, but she will be VERY slow - 1 target at the time

    I havent tried leveling the amazon up to say level 90, when the monsters would have lower level and miss her - she'd be like some WW barb/zealot hybrid

    also aim for a -requirements lance!!!

    as for duel, WW barbs seem to own her, but I have low evade/avoid..

    etlich causes a problem - quite low AR (mine has around 2500 I think, with an etlich and 120AR/leech/res rings)
    angelics would probably be better

    your lance should have -req AND IAS
    death's set for ias leech and resists
    twitch for more IAS (someone has calculated the IAS somewhere)

    she looks cool
     
  3. KoalaBearThirtyThree

    KoalaBearThirtyThree IncGamers Member

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    How many points do you have in D/A/E?

    Also, when you melee close to a valkyrie do the monsters mostly target the valkyrie or you? Do you tend to melee close to the valkyrie or do you melee on a seperate pack away from the valk?


    I don't think I have ever used fend in my life (even pre-expansion) so I would like to test it out. I have actually played max zeal zealots (paladin) a long time ago when everyone thought it was tough so I view this as a similar situation. However, unlike the old school zealots, iceblink doesn't freeze all the time, life leech is much lower on hell now, and the game desynchs way more now (at least it seems that way) so it'll be different. I know that there will be issues but we'll see...

    There was a post on this site (can't find it now) where someone was saying that the key is not to hold down the key. If you get interrupted, let go and click again--or someting like that. Have you tried it?

    Or how about SHIFT-attack? Does that work?


    I really think I have to go with dodge. I don't see how you can survive with 0% blocking and probably 80% chance of getting hit (due to low defense). I have my doubts with max dodge so not really sure how you can play with no dodge. Many of the posts I have read are for expansion where you rely on life tap and life leech (can be much higher in exp).


    I don't plan on using Goblin's Toe. My first set up will have super-low resists so it probably isn't viable (unless most monsters attack the valkyrie). Most likely the second set up, at a lower speed, will be the one I go with. I should be able to hit high resists with the second set up (mostly rare items).

    I have used jab before so it's boring for me... also jab probably isn't viable. After playing several pure melee paladins, I don't see how jab can do anything in hell since its damage boost is so low.


    I don't duel...


    I personally don't like the angelic combo. I tend to rely on rings for resists... I may need angelic rings for this build but I'm buildikng without it. I might end up throwing some points into penetrate (waste of precious points but oh well). EoE just seems good on paper for this build, but if I can get cold damage from the lance hten it probably isn't needed...


    That would be nice but I don't have such a lance and probably can't afford one. So I am building without taking that into consideration. Hopefully one of the imbues turn out well...

    I'm planning on using sigon glove+helm (30IAS + say 500 AR + 10% life leech). Sigon doesn't have the resists but it has 500+ AR (depends on clvl) and offers comparable life leech and speed. It also doesn't have cannot cannot be frozen but I'm one of the few who doesn't care about that...

    I looked at the German speed calculator and, if I'm reading it right, I need 30IAS or 60IAS. The first set up I listed is for 60IAS (horrible resists) while the second is 30IAS (likely one I'll end up using). If it's just 30IAS then the sigon combo (or death's set combo if you prefer) will satisfy that.

    My secret fantasy ;) is to wear the full iratha set but it is probably useless since it's hard to get 85 resist (need 70 on top of iratha) without godly items (especially if wearing twitchthroe armour). I would also lose cold dmg from EoE with iratha but the high resists will make up for it. Not sure about the loss of AR though (by not using sigon)... I guess this is set up 3.

    So basically the three equipment set ups I have in mind are: set up 1 (speed), set up 2 (speed;resists;good mix), set up 3 (resists).
     
  4. KoalaBearThirtyThree

    KoalaBearThirtyThree IncGamers Member

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    Found the fend-related posts... Most of you here interested in fend probably read these posts already, but for those that haven't, here are a couple of good posts on the fend bug:

    http://forums.diabloii.net/showthread.php?t=490464

    http://forums.diabloii.net/showthread.php?t=490462


    This reminds me of the 20 swing (or whatever the max was years ago; not sure if the max was 20 or 10 back then) zeal issue. Zeal used to have more than 5 swings (each skill point was like one extra swing) and if you missed the first swing, you would miss the other 19 (or whatever it was). Obviously fend is behaving in a similar manner. Since Blizzard really didn't fix the zeal bug in an elegant way (they just capped the swing at 5 instead of actually fixing it--maybe it's nto possible to fix with such fast swings and arbitrary internet speeds), I think fend isn't going to be ever fixed (maybe it will be limited to less swings but that's all)...

    In any case, thanks to Frostburn and Flayed One for testing fend and providing all that detail. I'm going to try playing with the click&release method, but this will be less efficient (your first attack will always be slow).

    A solution to max swing zeal was to SHIFT-CLICK and I would like to test that with fend. The way messages are sent to the server seems to have changed from the early days so not really sure if SHIFT-CLICK actually works well now.
     
  5. fledgeling

    fledgeling IncGamers Member

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    I dont have a valkyrie, so I dont know.
    Use a hero editor and test it on single player

    you can have an amulet with cold damage, but well, you might be using angelics
    your weapon can have cold damage
    leech is quite good I believe
    as for desync? wtf?

    I just click once and wait
    not sure if it works or not
    but sometimes I cant kill goblins in act1 normal and the char does like 700damage or something as far as I remember (with a bad lance!!)

    not sure
    but the character "runs" a bit faster if you right click (with fend on the right mouse button) on ground


    Im using twitch for the IAS, so the characters has like 140 defense...
    technically you could get a grim helmet with FHR, life, resists and 250defense..
    the problem is that the skill is BUGGED
    if it wasn't it would be some sort of zealot alternative

    the character sucks in duel and with 50% avoid barbs own her without shield

    fend is bugged
    it is unplayable
    that's why you dont see any fend-zons

    you need IAS and life leech I believe. While attacking you are unstopable, you might die chasing the monsters

    goblins are a must in my opinion, consider a fend-zon a weaker version of a zealot, which is a weaker version of WW-barb

    with a 340 pike it can I think. also it is NOT bugged
    if there were 1h rare weapons, you could try 20evade/avoid + sigon's shield build

    you can have an amulet with cold damage
    Im using some rare rings PvM and can hit them (act4 normal? I havent rushed the character yet, she just got cowed in NM)




    I maxed speed on my amazon, since Im impatient
    I wonder if this character is viable in hell
    if fend wasnt bugged it could be
     
  6. KoalaBearThirtyThree

    KoalaBearThirtyThree IncGamers Member

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    I started my fend zon so I'll find out very soon. I'm like level 16 or something so maybe by the end of the weekend I'll know if it works out...



    I just don't see how anyone can survive with zero dodge, unless your decoy absorbs nearly all the damage. Even if you go for high defense (and wear ornate, etc) your chance to get hit will be very high. Most of the classes where defense actually makes a difference rely on skills that boost defense (Barbarian & Paladin (now with Holy Shield boost)). Since amazon doesn't have anything to boost defense, defense is next to useless IMO (at least once you hit late nightmare and hell)... so.... if the zon is unviable due to the fend bug, then not having dodge is even more unviable IMO... haven't played one so this is all just my guesses and opinions...


    I'll test it out and let you know. You may be right in saying that it is totally unplayable but we'll see. Just because you don't see any fend zons doesn't mean it is totally unplayable. For example, you hardly see any avengers (paladin) but they are probably the strongest pure melee character out there (if you don't count WW barb as melee).


    Yeah... I'm going for one step higher with IAS (30)... not sure about leech. Initially I wasn't going to concentrate on leech because it has mostly been useless for my melee paladins. But the more I think about it, leech can work for this char. Unlike melee paladins with 1h weapons, this zon will do big damage so even a few percent should be noticeable. I think I'm going to change my set up #2 and aim for leech. I think my plan now is to go for life leech rings and amulets. I'm not sure if I should wear a unique life leech armour and/or helm (but this will lower resists). If I go for leech, it'll be at the expense of strength (+str items), AR, or resists.

    When you say weaker, are you talking about defense or just talking about damage only? On paper, she should do way more damage than a zealot because she will use 2handed weapon vs 1handed for zealots. But if you account for defense (blocked attacks, misses, etc), a zealot may do better but only marginally I think (but this doesn't account for the fend bug).

    Ever since I started playing a few months ago (post-expansion), I am not sold on crushing blow (at least with low %, say gob toe only). The nerf in hell just seems big for what you get with it. I may slap on gob toe on this char but we'll see. On paper, fend does enough damage for this not to matter. According to my calculations, base lance damage with max fend and 30IAS will be something like an average of 888dmg/sec. If I can get a lance with say, 100% enhanced dmg, then we can double that (or more).


    If I go for life leech, Eye of Etlich makes sense. I get life leech, cold damage, and +1 skill. Only thing lacking is resists (so I give up probably 40% total resists). We'll see...

    BTW, if one really wanted angelics for AR while sticking with EoE, one can always wear the angelic armour and the rings. One doesn't really have to use the angelic amulet.

    Even if fend wasn't bugged it'll be tough. The biggest issue, apart from AR and missing, will probably be the super low defense with zero blocking. Even slvl 20 dodge only gives something like 60% to dodge, so if we assume you will get hit 80% of the time due to defense, then you will get hit 32% of the time for sure. That's like saying one in three monsters will hit you. Just imagine being swarmed by (even the lowly) act1/hell carvers. You'll have the valkyrie for crowd control but if the monsters target you then you will get clobbered.
     
  7. fledgeling

    fledgeling IncGamers Member

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    I havent "selfrushed" her - e.g. brought her through all acts alone

    they aren't totally unplayable, just the bug makes this class barely playable

    I think you need good gear and HIGH LEVEL. So that the monsters will miss you by default. If fend wasnt bugged this type of amazons could be comparable or even better than zealots IMO

    Im talking about everything.
    On paper she is better. In fact she would be better if fend wasnt bugged.

    Damage - is higher than zealot, but you MISS - and do 0.
    Defense is low
    You dont wear a shield - and cant use the equivalent - avoid

    if the skill wasnt bugged it would be some sort of 2h zealot with built-in shield

    I think every melee character (apart from some sort of 1hit-kill wonders) should wear goblins
    also useful while fighting bosses


    you can get a +2amazon amulet, with cold damage, prism. not sure if leech can spawn on it too, but I suppose that it can (I have a +1pala 18prism 1-4cold damage amulet - I think it has mana leech too, but Im not so sure)

    (I think my character is using this amulet though.. just because I didnt have anything better at the time I built her)


    you dont wear the twitch then :/
    angelics should have boots or something..
    also you could consider goldskin

    gs+death's set = 0res all in hell
    say 15 from amu and some random from jewelery if you decide to scrap angelics and go PvM

    I think it might look like my (failed?) project of 2h-scythe-zealot for whom I dont have a -req 30ias scythe, so I need to go 140str/140dex - which leaves him at very low life
    while fighting he leeches enough life to survive, but if I stop just for a moment (no leech) he dies. also he has problems with getting close to monsters like act2 archers etc
     
  8. KoalaBearThirtyThree

    KoalaBearThirtyThree IncGamers Member

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    I get your point but high level and good gear is out of the question. I rarely take my chars past clvl 80 (it gets way too boring for me, especially since act4 is so small and I hate act3 (except kurast)). I am also not rich so goldy equipment is out of the question. However, I do have a ton of uniques (not the high-end ones but tradable ones) and don't really mind playing wihtout uber items.

    Yep... I think you said it nicely when you said they would basically be a 2-handed version of a zealot... but :( we are stuck with what we have, and since this game is 5+ years old, chances of Blizzard patching things gets remote by the day...


    I'll experience it first-hand but I think going with dodge is better than those that decide to go without dodge.


    I disagree but let's not go there ;)



    That's too expensive for me. Primatic amulets tend to be expensive and I haven't really seen many spawn with cold damage. I just have to plan with what I have and what I think I can acquire. If I had to spend resources, I would rather spend them on a good lance than on an amulet anyway...


    With my second equipment set up, I won't wear twitch anyway. I will only be going for 30IAS with this set up (sigon combo gives that). The set up is as follows:

    rare lance
    sigon glove + helm (alternate sigon item like boots is also possible)
    rare armour or darkglow or boneflesh (goldskin ideally)
    rare boots
    rare belt
    rare life leech rings
    Eye of Etlich

    The sigon combo gives me around 500 AR (around clvl 60) so I don't plan to concentrate on further AR but we'll see. Total AR will probably be around 2000 by clvl 60. It'll be lower than most people would like but I plan to play through it.

    A lot of people love to use angelics for AR (it's simpler) but I don't like that. If I really need AR, I would rather slap on hsaru belt+boot (another 500AR) than use angelics.

    This current proposed set up also has horrible hit recovery but I don't usually value that too much because I don't go into hit recovery that often--at least I hope not...

    Ironically this char may actually end up with lower life than my frost maiden bowazon who has 100+ points in energy, simply because of all the points in strength and dexterity.

    The game is clearly not balanced for normal/classic play. The fact that people have to use some obscure angelic combo (almost a loophole because I'm sure the intention was not that) is very lame. The attack rating system is totally broken IMO. It is very difficult to play true melee characters and we have to rely on lame combos like hsarus and sigons to even have a chance of hitting anything. Oh well...

    yeah... that's my ideal armour but not sure if I can afford it. Everything comes down to whether resists are important when I have an slvl 20 valkyrie around. Until I play I won't know.

    I am not a fan of death set for a lot of reasons (the lack of potion slots for instance) but we'll see. I am guessing that resists don't matter that much as long as I have ok res for lightning and fire. Based on my experience playing bowazon (I know it's not the same but still), the valkyrie should take most of the damage but we'll see.


    I have only tried 2h zealots pre-expansion and they were unfeasible back then too (although much easier back then). You just get hit with everything (as you point out, ranged attacks like the skeleton archers or even the flayer little guys will kill (the worst would probably be the spear throwing cats in canyon of magi)). To me a fend zon without dodge is like a 2h zealot and that's one reason I want dodge for sure--fend bug or not...
     
  9. FrostBurn

    FrostBurn IncGamers Member

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    I'm really out of my depth here, since I play SP 1.11b, and not classic. So I'm not really in a position to comment or give advice. However, I can link you to a post that has more info on Fendazons. Just bear in mind that the discussion is all based on expansion.

    I might comment a little here, but just remember that all of it is based on expansion.

    Unless classic is somehow different from expansion with regards to Fend, I wouldn't use the click and release method. On paper it looks viable, but in-game, it gets really annoying when you are constantly waiting for either the next interruption, or waiting for the Fend cycle to complete, before having to click and release for another cycle. And if it's the interruption that you are looking out for, you won't know if you'll get interrupted on the 2nd attack, or the 5th attack, or the 9th attack, etc.

    I don't know about shift-click, but I imagine it would be the same as having Fend hot-keyed to the right mouse button, and then right click and holding on the ground and walking up to monsters. I have tried that, and so long as you keep the right mouse button held down, eventually you will whiff (if you have points in D/A/E). So the same rule applies i.e. click and hold and you will whiff, or click and release and you will either get interrupted at some stage, or not get interrupted and complete that Fend cycle.

    For expansion, the general rule is to avoid D/A/E, forget about defense, and rely on damage, life leech, PDR%, resistances and player skill.

    And thank you for your thanks. I've been getting a lot of flak from elsewhere recently, so I'm pleased to see that my efforts are appreciated in some quarters.

    Good luck on your classic Fendazon.
     
  10. KoalaBearThirtyThree

    KoalaBearThirtyThree IncGamers Member

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    Hard to see how soemone could be dissing you for your work (it looks good) but hope you don't take anything personally... keep up the good work...
     
  11. KoalaBearThirtyThree

    KoalaBearThirtyThree IncGamers Member

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    Spent some time playing around with slvl 1 fend. I agree with the rest of you that it is likely unviable. The problem isn't even fend; it's the fact that the amazon can't melee. I have like 4 or 5 points in dodge (something like 40% or 50% chance to dodge) and she gets hit a lot. I faced off against the Stygian Dog family in act4/normal (one player game; moderate lag). I consider these dogs to be the best melee monsters in the game so if I can't melee these guys then there's no point playing a melee char. I just get hit too much for even fend to matter so this char probably isn't going anywhere. Granted, I don't necessarily have max dodge, good 'fast hit recovery', or even a valkyrie (valk will make a huge differnce) but it still may not be viable.

    As far as fend is concerned, I need to play around with it more. It misses a lot but it reminds me of early zeal so there is still hope. The one positive thing about fend, compared to early high swing zeal, is that fend seems to stop midway whereas zeal never did. I will probably play and test this until I get my valkyrie. With a valkyrie, one may be able to fend up to 4 monsters so I'll see. I'm thinking the situation only gets out of hand with 4+ monsters.
     

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