# Can your build handle "/players 100"?

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#### emilsson

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Can your build handle "/players 100"?

I created a thread in the necro forum but dont get much response, maybe because that thread shifted focus. So here I create a new thread with an appropriate title.

THE CHALLENGE
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We know that "/players 8" ups the challenge. For some builds, that is still not enough. But can your build handle "/players 100"? Are there any builds that could, theoretically, handle "/players 100"? Why even think this question? Let us analyze.

In mathematics, we very often reason about "in the limit". Limit thinking is also "worst case scenario". The purpose is to solve the worst case first, because then the normal cases are automatically solved. This is a very useful strategy that can be applied in many different fields. Instead of trying to solve a standard case, shift focus and try to solve the hardest cases first.

So let us apply Limit Thinking on Diablo2. What is the worst case scenario? Well, if the world consisted of only Baals. Let us imagine that there would only be Baals everywhere. If your build can handle this scenario, then your build surely can handle "/players 8" or Uber Tristram, yes? So, can we build a character that can handle this worst case scenario? If yes, yhen we are satisified. So, this Limit Thinking helps us to single out good builds, and bad builds. Is a build powerful? Is it weak? How to reason?

For instance, if you have a build that focus on dishing out large amounts of damage, say 50.000 damage per second, it may be not enough in the limit. Say that each monster have 1 million Hit Points. Then what to do? Then your build would be useless, that build would be a BAD build according to Limit Thinking theory.

Are there any builds that can handle worst case scenarios? In theory, yes. They are what I call "Scaling Builds".

We must remember this is only a theoretical discussion, because the D2 world is not worst case scenario. But if our build can theoretically handle worst case scenarios, then our build can surely solo "/players 8". So let us aim for worst case scenario and try to target a build for that.

SCALING BUILDS
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The key to handle /players 100, is a scaling build. A build that automatically gets stronger as the monsters gets stronger. A build that grows in power when the monsters grows in power. A build that Scales up.

So, what could beat a Baal monster? Why, 20 other Baals of course! If I command 20 Baal monsters, then I have a scaling build that grows stronger as the monsters grows stronger. It doesnt matter how strong Baal is, my build would handle this worst case scenario still.

Thus, necromancer's "Revive" is a scaling skill. And therefore it is a good skill to aim for.

What other things are scaling? If we can find out all scaling skills, we could potentially create a build that handles "/players 100". We just pile up Scaling Skills, and there we have a good build.

Static Field comes to my mind. No matter how many hit points monsters have, it will still be useful. Hence, Static Field is a scaling skill. GOOD.

Crushing Blow scales. Hence we should aim for lots of CB. And, yes, CB is good when entering Uber Tristram. Because it Scales. GOOD

Imagine a Frenzy barbarian with dual Schaefer hammers that give Static Field, together with 100% CB. That build would cut down even large monsters in an instant. It is a very powerful build, according to Limit Theory. I am very tempted to try this one out. Anyone tried it?

Deadly Strike and Critical Strike? Worthless, according to Limit Theory. How good are they when the monsters have 1 million Hit Points? Not good at all. BAD.

Corpse Explosion is a Scaling Skill and as such worth investing points in. The more you invest, the higher the reward. The area grows quadratically, which grows super linear. Not as good as exponential reward, but quadratic rewards which is far better than linear. GOOD.

Fanaticism scales. If your commanded Baals hit twice as fast as normal Baal monster, then it scales. GOOD

Holy Freeze scales. If you slow down the enemies to 50% then you hit twice as fast as them. It really doesnt matter if you are 4 meter in length and the rest of the world is 2 meter in length, or if you are 2 meter in length and the rest of the world is 1 meter in length - you are still twice as large. The ratio is important. I use HF offensively with my Necro so my army hits twice as fast as the enemy. I dont use HF for protection. GOOD

Might and Concentration scales. It increases my armys damage with a certain percent. As my army grows stronger, Might gives stronger advantages.

It is better to hit twice as fast as the enemy, than to increase your damage 30%. So I consider HF better than say Concentration unless Concentration gives more than 100% damage. If my merc does 10,000 damage without Concentration and 15,000 with, I consider HF to be better because my merc attacks twice and potentially does 20,000 damage.

Dim Vision is a scaling skill. It blinds monsters no matter how many hit points they have. GOOD

So we just need to ask, "would this skill still be viable when the monsters have 1 million hit points?" If yes, like CB or Static Field, then it is a scaling skill. And we should just equip our build with lots of scaling skills.

So, what other scaling combos can you find out? Which ones have I missed? How about Amplify Damage, what do you think about this one?

But of course, we should not only focus on scaling skills. We must also be able to dish out some basic damage. But we also need some scaling skills. For instance, a Frenzy Titan barb with dual Shaefers and 100% CB and high critical and deadly strike would be pure whoop ***. Of course, the Shaefer hammers need "Jah" rune to cut through the monsters Defense Rating. Imagine if the monsters DR is very very high, then you need Jah.

Credits go to Metalman.

#### Pijus

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

Interesting, however, while crushing blow does scale on players 1, it's pretty much useless on players 100, since it doesn't scale with the players setting. Same with Corpse explosion.

Back to the point, if all the game world is populated by Baals with 1000000 hit points, would lightning fury be a good skill? It scales not with the players setting, but with the number of monsters. It's almost useless against one Baal, but it might be good against 20.

#### zerth

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

Not a single skill from the ones you mentioned scales with higher player settings (at least proportionally to the increased HP of the monsters)*.

Revive needs increased damage output from the monsters. If a monster hits 100 hp hard it is useless against a monster that has 100000 hp. This is exactly what happens with higher player settings.

CE only takes into account the base monster hp (aka the /p1 hp)

I won't even bother write about Fanaticism/Concentration/Might etc. etc., since Revive does not work as you think it does. I have a necro with Enigma/Beast/etc and Might merc with Pride. It is not fast on /p8 (at least slower than other cookie cutters needing less high-end staff). I can't even begin to imagine what /p100 would look like.

*CB and Static Field are the only ones that make some sense (I am not sure whether they get some kind of penalty with higher /p settings though so that they become less effective as the /p number increases).

#### XCodes

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

CB and Static Field don't become less effective. In fact, the amount of damage they (and CE) deal is exactly the same regardless of /player settings. As a result, the monsters gain a lot of HP while CB, Static Field, and CE all remain exactly the same. It doesn't make these abilities bad by any stretch. Quite the opposite, they're likely the most damaging abilities you can have in high /player settings, but they don't scale like the OP says.

This is why he "didn't get much response" in his other thread. Despite his flaunting of his so-called mathematical capabilities, he refuses to listen to anyone who suggests that he doesn't know what he's talking about when he talks about all these "scaling" skills.

#### Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

CB doesn't do more damage with more players in the game. A CB on /p100 would not do much more than a standard hit.

Similarly with CE, that doesn't scale with player setting either, so at /p100 you wouldn't even tickle a monster with CE. Perhaps an example would be better. Each extra player increase monster life by 50%. So on /p100, monsters would have 5000% more life. Let's assume, for ease of math that a monster has a base life of 100. On p/100, that monster would have 5000 life. If you cast CE when it died, it would still only deal about 100 points of fire and physical damage. On /p1, as soon as the first monster dies, you can usually kill mutiple other monsters by casting CE. On /p8, you need to kill several monsters to start the CE chain. Of course, with /p100, you may not even be able to kill a single monster, meaning CE wouldn't even be available to you.

Edit: (As an aside, that's really worst case scenario - not being able to kill a 1000000 life monster in order to set off the first CE.)

#### scrcrw

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

I cheat, so I have a Beast iron golem, which helps me when I level up.
That's not how we do things here.

Also: Wouldn't looking at the worst possible case make more sense?

Finally, HF really does not make you twice as strong. There have been several good explanations in the other thread. The only measure of power is how fast you can kill. Making the enemy kill slower does not increase that (unless you need safety, but that isn't the case).

My reasoning is obvious to me, but we mathematicians tend to think in another way.
No.

#### Milb

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

This thread screams 'I didn't get the answers I was looking for in the necro forum so I'm going to try again here'.

Trust me, your ideas are still terrible in this forum, and your game knowledge is still miles off with some of the comments regarding scalability in the opening post.

#### emilsson

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

CB and Static Field don't become less effective. In fact, the amount of damage they (and CE) deal is exactly the same regardless of /player settings. As a result, the monsters gain a lot of HP while CB, Static Field, and CE all remain exactly the same. It doesn't make these abilities bad by any stretch. Quite the opposite, they're likely the most damaging abilities you can have in high /player settings, but they don't scale like the OP says.

This is why he "didn't get much response" in his other thread. Despite his flaunting of his so-called mathematical capabilities, he refuses to listen to anyone who suggests that he doesn't know what he's talking about when he talks about all these "scaling" skills.
Ok, it seems that I have misunderstood the skills. I would have appreciated if you explained this, in the original thread.

So, what skills does scale? I thought, for instance, Static Field shaved off a percentage of the monster's life. And I thought the same about CB. But it seems I was wrong on this, they only shave off the base monster life - which is not scaling. What more skills have I misunderstood? (I played D2 years ago, and just recently picked it up. I have missed all changes in later patches).

Regarding Revive, I meant to accompany it with a matching lvl of Skeleton Mastery which allows revives to scale. Without scaling revive, it would suck. But Skeleton Master is required to scale - which is does, am I correct on this?

Regarding HF, yes if it allows my army to hit twice, whereas the monsters hit once, I have the upper hand. That is obvious to me at least.

So still the reasoning is sound. What skills would work with this reasoning?

(And yes, us mathematicians think differently. Read Simon Singh's book "Fermat's last theorem" and you will understand).

#### zerth

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

Since you are concerned with skill viability as /p number increases, scaling would have to do with the actual player setting. NONE of the skills you mention (and possibly no skill in the entire game) scales with the number of players in the game. And when I say a skill scales with the number of players, I mean (and so does the rest of the world apart from yourself - especially mathematicians) that the amount of damage inflicted would have to increase proportionately with the number of players, i.e. for any given player setting p:

f(p)=a*p*f(1)

where f(x) is the function calculating the damage output of a skill for a x player game (x being a positive integer and a a real positive number).

#### Thomh

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

(And yes, us mathematicians think differently. Read Simon Singh's book "Fermat's last theorem" and you will understand).
Oooh, that`s a great book. It`s a shame the proof in RL is so ugly I`m sure most mathematicians would agree with what Zerth brings to the table, though.

Since you are concerned with skill viability as /p number increases, scaling would have to do with the actual player setting. NONE of the skills you mention (and possibly no skill in the entire game) scales with the number of players in the game. And when I say a skill scales with the number of players, I mean (and so does the rest of the world apart from yourself - especially mathematicians) that the amount of damage inflicted would have to increase proportionately with the number of players, i.e. for any given player setting p:

f(p)=a*p*f(1)

where f(x) is the function calculating the damage output of a skill for a x player game (x being a positive integer and a a real positive number).
Well, Static Field works like a charm. Or am I missing something. Of course it`s pretty useless to get that 1 billion hit points halved, but.......it would work great in Normal

#### XCodes

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

Ok, it seems that I have misunderstood the skills. I would have appreciated if you explained this, in the original thread.
Revives are always the same regardless of the /players setting you use. Same goes for Corpse Explosion, Crushing Blow, and Static Field.
I know it may have taken me a while to actually come right out and say this in that thread, but that's because I figured that you, being a mathematician and all, already had an understanding of the premises you were founding your arguments on. When it became apparent that my own assumption of such was wrong, I corrected my error.

P.S. Stop talking about your math credentials as if you're something special. The assumption that everyone you're talking to is a peon is a poor assumption at best, and the opposite is actually suggested by the facts. This game has been out for a decade. If the residents of this forum started playing when the game came out at the age of 14, then it's feasible that many of them could have master's degrees by now. Even if they started at the age of 12, they could be finishing up a bachelor's degree as we speak.

#### Shagsbeard

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

Wiles' proof is by no means ugly... it took me a year to get through it, but it has some really spiffy math in it. Visualizing the idea of a modular form in the complex field is amazing once you can do it, and the idea that one could be non-analytic is pretty hard to wrap your mind around.

Characterizing how "mathematicians think" is doing a great disservice to the field. We all think differently... that's what makes it so interesting to find the commonalities (truths).

#### Pyrohemia

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

I can't think of any mechanics that scale with players settings any more. Crushing blow, static field and corpse explosion all used to but don't any more.

As for builds that could handle /p100, any build that has crowd control that completely neutralizes the enemy monsters. Once the monsters are neutralized then killing them just becomes a matter of time. If the monsters health gets up to ridiculous values, say /p1000 where the average monster has 2 000 000 life, then you will need to also have a method of stopping regeneration: poison or open wounds. Once you have those things it just becomes a matter of waiting now that the game is so slow.

Build idea: Frostmaiden using an Ice bow (holy freeze + mass freezing) and knockback, merc with kelpie snare, delerium and crow caw for open wounds, a claw golem (likely from wearing Stone), and a high level valkyrie.
It won't kill fast, but you have crowd control for anything you can meet.

Edit:

I have thought of a skill that scales with players settings: Thorns and Iron maiden as they are based upon the damage that you receive which in increased by players setting. Unfortunately these aren't 'good' to start with and the monster damage scaling is slower than the health increase scaling so they will only get worse even though they do scale. Secondly your character doesn't have an unlimited amount of health to sacrifice, nor will you eventually be able to summon golems fast enough.

#### Shagsbeard

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

We definately will need to think outside the box on this one... it's not just a matter of "I'm so good at /p8 that I'm sure I can do /p100". Nothing like that is going to work. I like the idea of thorns/IM and am thinking of a druid summoner with Spirit of the Barbs. Wolves can be cast as much as you would like... and fairly quickly. You might be able to slowly kill off stuff with it's own attacks against them.

Any way, a character that is likely to survive on /p100 would probably not be a build that would play /p1 or /p8 very quickly.

#### ancalagon the black

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

The reasoning isn't sound. For example, let's say we have 2 damage equations, a = x^2 - 16 and b = x + 1. If x < 5, then equation b will give more damage. It doesn't matter at all that equation a would be better in a different game, or that b has a quadratic rate of sucking less. The final number that comes out of the equation wins.

Static is limited to 1/2 the monster's health in hell, so all it can do is divide a huge number by 2, leaving you with a huge number. It might speed things up, but that's all it will do.

CB, no matter the /players setting, will always work on the first half of a monster's hp faster than the second half. Eventually, no matter how many hp the monster starts with or how little damage you do, CB will end up doing less damage than your attack.

CE/death sentry will do big damage proportional to monster health on /p1, but they are always calculated with /p1 hitpoints, so on /p100 they would do only a few percent damage, even if you assume no fire or physical resistances. Considering that you'd have to take down a /p100 monster first to make even one corpse, it just wouldn't be effective. That's without taking into account the monster regen rates, which I believe are proportional to monster health. Also, the quadratic increase in the area of effect, though nice, isn't an increase in damage at all.

Finally, the numbers you use in saying that straight damage is ineffective are off. If we assume that an average monster on hell has 5k hp (a reasonable assumption, since fallen have ~1-2k and frenzytaurs ~10-18k), then on /p100 they would have an average of 250k hp. So 50k per second would kill an average /p100 monster in about 5 seconds. CB would take 100 blows to reduce a monster's hp to 60.**%, and that would take much longer than 5 seconds, unless, of course, you could do 20 blows per second.

If you're interested in what a quadratic damage increase would be like, I think the best thing to do would be to play a charged boltress through normal difficulty. Until you max out charged bolt, you'll be getting more bolts that do more damage for each skill point.

#### SeCKSEgai

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

I couldn't help but find it funny that the self-touting mathematician didn't do his research before hand.

Nothing truly scales proportionately with the game skill wise short of maybe static field and maybe thorns, at least of skills that I can think of off the top of my head that would make a significant difference. But considering that hp is already over 400%+ at player 8, this theorizing seems to forget that damage and ar are generally improved to scale to.

I can't remember for sure if that's the case, but if it is - your life/damage will not scale - monsters will - monsters win.

#### Greebo

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

emilsson, as you've been told, you have little idea what you're talking about.

As an actual mathematician with MSc in Math, I cringe at what I read in your post. I just hope that people who are not mathematicians take note of the fact that you're not one either, before they judge me for my profession.

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Just so that this isn't OT:

IIRC, 1.09b has the /players64 command working just fine. Anyone actually Mat/Pat the game on it? (possibly not Baal killing, I imagine)

--Greebo

#### thefranklin

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

Sounds like you are in high school pre-calc, read a math book, and then posted online with your asymptotic knowledge as limits is all the further you are in your studies. The whole "20 Baals" argument is not indicative of someone who has an advanced degree or even a high school diploma.

A mathematician would have definitely have done some research and already known about p64 1.09. Heck, they would have played at that level before posting their results.

They also would have read the work many bright people have done, many of them still active in this very forum. You can't expect to contribute to the field without studying the Newtons and Gallileos of D2.

No skill does more damage with more players in the game. CB, CE, etc dont (at least in the current patch). Static field doesn't do damage, it reduces the monsters life by a set %, but stops at 50% in hell in LOD. So in classic, you have the one skill that is still just as powerful at p100 as it is at p1, against non LI's.

#### Joeyzon

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

This might be a little OT, but would anyone care to take bet on how far Superdave could get with a naked character on p/100?

#### Crazy Runner Guy

##### Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Can your build handle "/players 100"?

Just so that this isn't OT:

IIRC, 1.09b has the /players64 command working just fine. Anyone actually Mat/Pat the game on it? (possibly not Baal killing, I imagine)

--Greebo
I don't know if anyone pat'd a character @ /p64, but Icebird (right?) and one other player (now deceased, iirc) made a sept of 99'ers in v1.09b and would run Ancient's Way and other areas on /p64 for experience.

As for a character that could beat, lets say, Baal @ /p100 - It would have to be either a 200 FCR lightning sorc packing packing Infinity or a fully-synergized Lightning zon (i.e. clvl 98 or 99) with enough facets to bring Baal to -100 light res i.e. Infinity (-95), Perf Griffons (-25), T-Strokes (-15) + HHG (-15) for charged striking. Merc would use Holy Freeze (for slow), Kelpie Snare (for slow), Delerium (for confuse) and Toothrow (for OW).

If the char was for more general PvM, I'd go with a Death-wielding fanatacism-based zealot. Merc would use Delerium, Reapers, and Toothrow. Char would be tricked out for max speed, with loads of DS and CB. Another option is to with a grief-wielding smiter based on a ubers-type build.

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