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Any builds that work outside the 5-6 cookie cutters?

Discussion in 'Classic' started by Blackfoot, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. Blackfoot

    Blackfoot Diabloii.Net Member

    Apr 23, 2017
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    Just coming back to D2 from a long absence - I was mostly a HD LoD player in 1.08/1.09. I really have no interest in 1.10 LoD and feel like its time to switch to Hardcore Classic Ladder..

    But I don't really know what to roll, I have no interest in hammerdins, ww barbs or sorcs. What does that leave on classic in all reality?

    Can Pikeazon work? What about melee paladin, non-ww barb? This will be for solo ladder play mostly. Any input is appreciated.
  2. Shinra Beelzebub

    Shinra Beelzebub Diabloii.Net Member

    Mar 26, 2017
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    Hey there, blackfoot!
    Sorry, never played classic, so I might not be able to help you... With that out of the way, I do want to leave my thoughts here.

    Is Classic really that bad compared to LoD? I mean, if I only do a quick brainstorming about Hell-viable builds in LoD (not even looking at exotic gear or runewords) I get 3-5 viable Builds for each class. And my brain is not that big. So is Classic that different? Where, except for the few builds you mentioned, anything else is crap? I can't really believe that.

    Next, are you maybe just looking for the best builds that aren't cookie cutters? But aren't those builds semi-cookie cutters, which aren't much better than the cookie cutters themselfes...? I mean, I love D2LoD for being able to make the characters I like, and any build that you put a good amount of thought in will work pretty good. Sure, not as fast as your hammerdin, but it will work. And, most of the time, you don't even need tons of equipment unless you go full hybrid.

    So, enough of that. Builds that should definitely work in hell are Bowazon (Multishot Pierce), Necro Overlord (Summoner), Leap Barb, Fanatic Zealot,...
    If I were to ever try Classic, and found out those builds won't work, I'd throw the game across the room and go back to LoD. Who wants D2 without build diversity?

    Well, what can I say, I can't stand Classic anyway for "removing" two of my favorite classes.
  3. Namtar

    Namtar Diabloii.Net Member

    May 1, 2012
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    Haven't tried it in a long time, but yeah, the contrast is pretty severe. I could go revisit it and see if my recollection is accurate, but I'm kinda in the same camp as Shinra on this one. Having a blast with itemization that isn't remotely possible in Classic. And who wants to live with that itty-bitty stash anyway?

    Anyway, I never became particularly proficient in Classic, but even I was able to get a Summoner necro to work. Hell was very tedious, but I was ignorant about so many aspects of the game back then, and I'm confident that it could be done much better.
  4. onderduiker

    onderduiker Diabloii.Net Member

    Jan 24, 2008
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    For what it's worth, over the past year or so I've completed classic Diablo II Single Player with one of each class:

    Amazon: Charged Strike, Lightning Fury and Plague Javelin
    Barbarian: Whirlwind with Bonesnap Unique Maul
    Necromancer: Bone Spear and Spirit
    Paladin: Blessed Hammer and Holy Bolt
    Sorceress: Frozen Orb and Lightning

    These aren't Hardcore characters, but none were slain before completing Hell (the Barbarian has since been slain once at level 86 (currently level **... that is, eighty-eight), the Paladin once at level 80 and three times at level 84). I have another level 59 Barbarian using Double Swing and Throw who's made it to the Outer Cloister in Act I Hell (at level 58 he was slain by the minion of a Unique (Extra Strong Cold Enchanted Teleportation) Dark Lancer in the Tamoe Highland), despite only being able to use Superior Harpoons (although he switched to some gemmed Military Picks to kill the Ghosts in the Tower Cellars)... although I doubt I'll play him any further, since it can be quite tedious.

    You'll notice that of the five that completed Hell, only the Barbarian used physical weapon damage (and Crushing Blow). In classic Diablo II, there are no Exceptional or Elite Set or Unique weapons, no rune words or crafted items and no Elite or ethereal items of any quality, so the best weapons you're likely to get are rare high-end Exceptional weapons with maximum 200% Enhanced Damage. Between those five characters I've found or gambled no such weapons, although I've only really continued to play two after completing Hell: the Paladin was originally a Holy Freeze Zealot, but in Hell I reset stat and skill points because killing Immune to Cold monsters was taking so long without a weapon capable of inflicting decent physical damage (whereas he was able to complete and continue playing Hell at /players 8 with Blessed Hammer).

    I didn't play a Summoning Necromancer because mercenary and pets cannot travel between Acts, which means the Necromancer himself needs to kill monsters to raise from them, particularly in Act IV (where you cannot hire a mercenary to do the job for you). Although monsters seem to be lower level in classic Diablo II, so are you: in Lord of Destruction my characters tend to enter Hell around level 75 after completing Normal and Nightmare at /players 8 (and complete Hell around level 85 at /players 3), whereas in classic Diablo II they tend to enter Hell around level 60 and be level 72-75 upon completing it at /players 1-3. This can make it more difficult to have a strong enough secondary attack to deal with immunity (or even just high resistance).

    Your stash may be half the size it is in Lord of Destruction, but I found that you don't collect nearly as much: gems are far less useful (as are most Horadric Cube recipes), no jewels or runes, no charms, no base or socketed items for rune words (no socketed body armour, at all, unless you socket a rare one using the Horadric Cube), no items for crafting, no circlets or class items, no Exceptional or Elite Set or Unique items, no rare Normal weapons (they cannot be upgraded) or even low-end Exceptional weapons (a rare Gladius with 200% ED still has less damage than a normal Battle Hammer) and magic items are rarely if ever better than rare items (magic amulets and rings can have higher percentages of Better Chance of Getting Magic Items, but that's about it).
  5. chapi45

    chapi45 Diabloii.Net Member

    Apr 30, 2017
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    Hey man, what realm are you on? came back to d2c hardcore last days but kinda stopped cuz already tired of playing alone :/ (level 36 on europe ladder atm)
  6. HegemonKhan

    HegemonKhan Diabloii.Net Member

    Mar 20, 2008
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    classic is much more challenging, due to lack of LoD equipment (lots of +skills, runes, high damage weapons) while having LoD's higher monster stats, and especially the physical resistances.

    max +skills:

    +2 rings (two SoJs: +1 x 2, best sources: 1. hell andarial quest bug + high mf, 2. norm diablo + high mf)
    +2 amu (from hell diablo or gambling clvl 86+)
    +2 (+4: barb) weapons (non-staff-mod-weapons' +specific skills)
    +1 headwears (tarn or wormskull), there's also the undead crown that gives +3 skill mastery for necro
    +1 armors (silks or victor armor or for barb: berserker set's armor)
    (+1 for fire only skills) glove (magefist)
    +1 (+2 paladin) shield (+1: sigon, +2 rare)
    10 for all except: amazon (+8 total only due to bow/spear: no shield), paladin (+11 total), and barb (using dual weapons: +12 total)
    +2 (temporary) skill shrine
    12 for all except amazon (+10 total only due to bow/spear: no shield) and barb (using dual weapons: +14 total)

    don't forget though that individual skills can be higher for the sorcs (staffs), necros (wands), and paladins (scepters)

    classic's cookie cutters:

    1. hammerdin
    2. ww barb
    3. lit zon (charged strike:no pierce or 1 pt pierce and/or fury:max pierce), aside from lit immune and high resist areas/monsters
    4. necro: ce + whatever build (bone necros have ce due to it's required for bone/spear/spirit skills, bone necros need high/lots of +skill gear to kill in 8 player hell cs and don't forget to use ce too), summoner's are slow killers without ce, every necro needs/should/must-have: cep
    5. blizzard, meteor+fireball, and lightning+chain_lightning sorcs, aside from element immune and high resist areas/monsters
    6. orb sorc, aside from element immune and high resist areas/monsters

    7. holy freeze paladin
    8. cleg zealot
    9. berserk/frenzy + howl barb: solo monster/boss killer (great once you're doing hell diablo runs "towards" clvl 99 and/or item farming from him)
    10. ice maiden (frozen arrow or frozen error + strafe), aside from ice immune and high resist areas/monsters
    11. poison mancer, aside from poison immune high resist areas/monsters


    most physical characters needs high damage/defense/resists rare gear, which makes them difficult (non-cookie cutter) in classic, aside from the few exceptions above

    this is especially the case for a physical bowazon, she's one of the hardest most gear dependent builds there is on classic, as she is so nerfed/hurt (-1/3 damage for a lot of her bow/xbow skills)... you MUST have a godly rare gothic or ballista, along with set/unique/rare gear for damage enhancement (ias, kb, ow, poison, +min, +max, etc) and resists.

    Magic zon (magic arrow) probably is more viable (though you're still going to need a godly rare gothic or ballista), but I've not yet made one very far/high in clvls / (hell cs)


    some classes are quite viable, but slow and/or specialized killers:

    1. smite dins: powerful, but can only target a single monster at a time, pwns bosses/single monsters, but doesn't have crowd control that the barb does with its howl
    2. holy bolt dins (great for undead in hell cs, but has weak blessed hammers for trying to kill the venom lords)
    3. pure summoners (NOT using ce), if you can get and maintain a huge army of revives until hell cs is cleared... not easy to do... and even then though, very weak, slow killers.


    about area/monster levels:

    highest normal monster mlvl: 78, in hell cs and hell cows. (in general though, as the '78' is just the area level, and then you got that monsters have higher mlvls depending on what areas they're found in, for example unique urders in hell river of flame are like around mlvl 85-ish)

    so, there is no 'area lvl 85' areas, act 1 the pits is NOT a good farming area

    hell diablo is mlvl: 90, so he's your main/only farm, for a chance at godliest rares from monster farming

    hell mephisto is mlvl: 76


    a good alternative to monster farming is gambling, which is based upon clvl, so get a high level character, and do gambling with him/her.

    and gambling (clvl 86+) is thee source of +2 amuse


    teams (multiple characters) is a different matter, as now you got the boosts from those other characters' skills... allowing any build to now be viable...

    using elemental damage? immunities/high_resists, no problem! conviction paladin party member and/or lower resist necro party member (now, your fireball/meteor/chain_lightning sorc or lit zon or poison necro or elemental zealot, etc, pwns all!)

    using physical damage and not doing enough damage (due to the LoD's high physical resists)? no problem! amp necros, enchant sorcs, concentration/fanaticism paladins, etc? Now your bowazon owns hell cs/cows!
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
    Deuterium likes this.

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