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ChimpFarmer's Smokey Druid: A Guide to 1.10 PvM Fire Druids. der=0

Discussion in 'Druid' started by ChimpFarmer, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. ChimpFarmer

    ChimpFarmer IncGamers Member

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    ChimpFarmer's Smokey Druid: A Guide to 1.10 PvM Fire Druids.

    Hello there, I finished my guide and I'm gonna post it below... please enjoy reading it, and thank you for your time.
     
  2. ChimpFarmer

    ChimpFarmer IncGamers Member

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    Part 1

    Welcome to the intricate world of Flamers… I mean Druids that use fire of coarse, not flamers in the homosexual reference (not to say that a few druids probably are homosexual, who’s to determine that?). My name’s Morsey, but you guys probably know me, slightly, as ChimpFarmer. A little while ago I promised you a guide to a fire elemental Druid that I called “Smokeyâ€â€¦ and here it is. After not too long of calibration, I have finally put together my first guide in the world of www.diabloii.net. This guide will be divided into a few different segments, chapters if you will. They will be as follows:

    I: Introduction
    II: Stats and Skills (and their uses)
    III: Equipment
    IV: Mercenaries
    V: MFing
    VI: Conclusion

    -=Section I: The introduction=-

    So what the heck is Smokey anyways? That’s a good question, with an equally good answer. Think of Smokey the bear. What was he? He was a bear that preached about stopping fires and such, but hey, we all knew that he started those fires to begin with. So I twisted his reputable name around, and changed it so that You as the Druid would not have to be the bear… In other words if you came here hoping to see an Armageddon Wearbear then you came to the wrong place. Smokey the DRUID is a Fire druid who specializes in using a bear to single out stragglers that have somehow managed to escape the deadly wrath of one of his four powerful possible skills which, by themselves, wield enough firepower (pun) to take down the toughest of enemies.

    The reason I decided to develop Smokey was so that I could bring the most versatile Druid I could think of to the playing field. The beauty of Smokey really lies in the fact that he can do pretty much anything, in battle, aside from shape shift. He uses fire skills, true, and there is only so far that fire skills can get you. But Smokey also provides the Grizzly, a powerful killing machine in his own right, and finally Smokey brings himself into the picture, but I will get more into that when I talk about his skills, and their uses…

    Remember that these are guidelines. I won't list too many choices of each particular thing because it kind of takes the fun out of discovering new ideas yourself.. This guide is meant to be FLEXIBLE, so use it as a guide, not a Bible.

    -=Section II: Stats and Skills=-

    Ahhh… here’s where the guide starts to get interesting. As a “spell caster†(and I use that term LIGHTLY), you may find that mana is an issue to you… but never fear, Morsey is here with the answer to all of your blue orb woes. Mana is the most controversial stat that a caster can have. A lot of people will tell you to keep it at it’s base, where as an equal number will argue that in order to have sufficient mana, you must pump it through the roof. My suggestion for mana is listed below, along with other stats, starting with…

    Strength: You don’t need an ungodly amount of strength. You won’t really be dealing very much damage, as to truly be an effective melee druid you need to Shape Shift. Strength should be minimized to fit the requirement for your heaviest piece of equipment… which will probably be your armor. You will melee as a Smokey Druid, but damage is not your goal for it. ;)

    Dexterity: Ahhh here we go now. This is what I’m looking for. This needs to be pumped until you can block with 75% accuracy. I mean that this is a MUST for a Smokey Druid, and I will tell you why when we get into the skills, as this section is devoted for stats. As for Dexterity, keep it to 75% block rate.

    Vitality: Everything you don’t put into something else.

    Energy: Now, here’s where the mana issue comes into play. The fact of the matter is this, a Smokey Druid needs mana, sometimes a bunch of it… but this stat only needs to get up to about 50 or so max. Mana comes to you as you level up, and you will leech mana. So about 50 points in energy is all you need.

    So there you have all of your stats. As I said before, you will hit things, and you will melee a lot as A Smokey Druid… but the reason is not to dish out damage. Your Mercenary and your Bear are well off when it comes to damaging people. Your goal when it comes to melee will be to leech mana off of your enemies, and to actually get close enough to them (if you use Armageddon, like this build suggests) for the spell to hit the most it can.

    I thought of writing this with several different ways to build this guy, but I decided against it. I’ve decided to post the build that I am using as we currently speak. This build is a PvM or Player vs. Monster build, but it MAY be able to work for player vs. player… I doubt it though.

    Skills:

    Armageddon is going to be your main killer. The spell hits for an amazing amount of damage at level twenty when you max it’s synergies. Fissure is great as well, and so you will probably find yourself using the two in tandem. This build has the potential to be a very offensive build, but has the ability to also be a very defensive based build, depending on how you play.

    The Druid’s elemental tree, you will notice, is full of skills that do not guarantee a direct hit every time. Instead of flying in a straight path, they have the tendency to swerve off and stagger. Armageddon is no exception. Armageddon randomly casts flaming boulders down from the sky into the ground, and any enemy that is hit by these will sustain heavy damage… however, the skill is random, and it may not hit who you want it to.

    Luckily, I have developed a way to almost guarantee Armageddon a hit. The vast majority of Armageddon’s bolts of fire hit the ground very close to you. So, theoretically, if you are close to an enemy, and the bolt also lands close to you, bingo. This can be achieved in different fashions, depending on how offensive or defensive you are. You can melee, and if you have mana leach, you will gain mana back, and pummel the enemy with fiery balls of death… or you can do what I like to call “weavingâ€. Weaving is running through packs of monsters so that the bolts that land on either side of you have a better chance of hitting them.

    This is where the block comes back into play. You will get hit a lot with this build. Weaving means that monsters are going to focus on you and swing at you. And chances are that they will hit you. However, if you have 75% block, then most of their attacks will be thwarted. With this build you will be the focus of the enemies, not your bear, surprisingly enough. The bear is more of a straggler-killer, he will kill what the Armageddon doesn’t, and he will take down Fire Immunes.

    Below is a breakdown of how I would do the skills for this build. I did it this way, it’s my suggestion. But you can change it if you feel like it. The skills below add up to around 100 skill points, so there is not much room for choice unfortunately.

    Skill allocation-

    Elemental Tree
    Firestorm- 20 points (synergy)
    Arctic Blast- 1 point (prerequisite)
    Cyclone Armor- 1 point (prerequisite)
    Twister- 1 point (prerequisite)
    Tornado- 1 point (prerequisite)
    Hurricane- 1 point (prerequisite)
    Molten Boulder- 1 point (prerequisite)
    Fissure- 20 points (synergy AND strong killer)
    Volcano- 20 points (synergy)
    Armageddon- 20 points (main weapon)

    That alone is eighty-six skill points. The majority of your skills go into this tree, as you can see.

    Summoning Tree
    Raven- 1 point (prerequisite)
    Summon Spirit Wolf- 1 point (prerequisite)
    *Oak Sage- 5-10 points (life is gooood)
    Summon Dire Wolf- 1 point (prerequisite)
    *Summon Grizzly Bear- 5-10 points (beast)

    * notes that you should get one of these skills to above 5, probably below ten, and the other should rest at five. That will give you around 100 skill points.

    This is the general skill build idea for the Smokey Druid. Armageddon receives synergy bonus from Molten Boulder, Fissure, and Volcano. Fissure receives synergy bonuses from Firestorm and Volcano. As you can see, this pretty much works itself out. Volcano is a synergy for both of your main skills… I understand that in order to reach Fissure’s maximum power, you would have to max Firestorm… and so we will, as it is a synergy to both skills. Armageddon and Fissure tend to work great in conjunction with each other. Fissure is generally guaranteed a hit, and it’s cool down is nothing unbearable.

    A good strategy to use when you play as Smokey that generally works in about any situation, is to cast the Armageddon and as Enemies approach you, cast Fissure in front of them so that they are forced to run over the fiery bridge, taking damage there, and plus Armageddon naturally owns people. Once you max out the four fire skills listed above, you should do an incredible amount of damage with each. Armageddon should last at a minimum of fifty seconds, which is really a VERY long amount of time. Fissure is a natural born killer as well.

    Why fissure over Volcano?
    That is a question you may be asking yourself, seeing as how Fissure is a synergy for Volcano, as is Molten Boulder, and Armageddon. Logic should point you in the direction of using Volcano due to it’s naturally high damage when it is maxed with it’s synergies. The reason that you will not use Volcano is because Volcano tends to have a very long cool down. There will be too many situations where you HAVE to melee because there is nothing else you can do. Volcano is a natural boss-killer, fact, but Fissure deals it’s damage to EVERYTHING it hits, where volcano is most effective under a single enemy. Volcano is also random, and since our main skill is random, we need a sure fire hit to fall back on.

    Firestorm
    Originally, I had Molten Boulder listed here, but then I realized that it would be a much better choice to max Firestorm instead... silly me, it gets stronger at higher levels, and it can really kill packs of enemies close by. Use it well.

    Cyclone Armor
    This is something I have to talk about. There is so much could say on this skill, but I’ll keep it relatively short. I do not recommend using Cyclone Armor for this build… I may be a little biased, but I really don’t think the skill has as many uses as people make it out to. It absorbs elemental damage… true, but the thing is that you really don’t need to worry about elemental damage as much as you may think. In the equipment section, I will talk about the fact that resistances play a major role in your equipment. Also, in every difficulty, Mala will give you plus 15 to all resistances if you do the Anya quest. That is 45 free resistances. Also, in order for cyclone armor to be truly effective, you need to invest a LOT of points into it and it’s synergies… and as you can see this build is struggling for enough to fill it’s own requirements. I recommend not using Cyclone armor with this build, but it’s really up to you. I think it’s more of a hassle than it’s worth.

    Leveling up early on.
    Early on in the game you will be forced to melee, all up until level six. Your first skill point should go into Firestorm, and you should keep investing into it for a looong while... Melee with a club or shopped mace style weapon. Join eight player games for the best experience. When you get to level six, drop a point into Molten Boulder and Oak Sage, and continue to invest points into Firestorm and only Firestorm so until you reach level twelve. When you hit this pinnacle, invest one into Fissure, then go on back to Firestorm.. Keep working on Firestorm. I know it seems like you should work on Fissure more, but trust me, there will be time for that later. Firestorm is getting you places right now, it is killing pretty well, I guarantee it. Fissure’s damage will fail in comparison to it. Save points from levels 20-23. and thereafter build up the other side of the elemental tree, get volcano, and work on preparing for Grizzly.

    When you get to level thirty, use your saved points to put points into Hurricane, Armageddon, and Summon Grizzly. Work on Armageddon now. Don’t stop until it is maxed out. You may feel like putting some points into fissure, but trust me, get Armageddon up to level 20 first, the damage will be spectacular. After that, then you work on Fissure, and finally the rest of the synergies. Don’t even bother with touching Grizzly and Oak Sage for a little while. After you get all of your synergies up to date for maximum owning… you can start on Bear and Sage. Besides, you may end up having a few +skills…

    -=Section III: Equipment=-
    Now here we go, it’s time to talk endlessly about the ideal equipment that you should use for this build.

    One thing that always gets me is when I read a guide that has the ideal equipment at some ridiculously hard to find stuff. I’m a poor man, I still am at Diablo II. All of the things that you will see under here should be pretty easy to get. Granted that the best equipment for this build IS in fact godly items that you will be lucky to even SEE… Below I will list two different sections of equipment. One being ideal questing and Baal running equipment, and the other being magic find stuff. I love talking about items, it’s just great to point out all of the different possibilities that you can use to in fact make really good equipment.

    Questing Gear
    This will be the stuff that you should generally do all of your non Magic Finding stuff in. With this comes speed of killing, mana, defense, mana leach, and possibly the most important of all… resistances. Resistances is VERY important to you… Remember when I told you that you would be getting hit a lot with this build? You will. And in hell, everyone does some kind of elemental damage (I think).

    One thing you wont find in here is the ridiculous “plus a bazillion to skillsâ€. I find it very difficult to get your hands on that much uber leet equipment… so my stuff is more suited for a poorer man, so to speak. You also wont find any hard to get stuff in here... the majority of it is pretty easy to get, save for the absolute best things I list. You probably also won't be finding a lot of listings for every specific item, as this is a set of guidelines... use these to find similar items...

    Weapon
    So let’s start with your weapon. Everyone loves to talk about weapons. The absolute best weapon that you could get with this guy is actually two different weapons. One would be the rune word “Heart of the Oak†in a flail. It is important that it is in a flail, as a flail is a one handed weapon. Heart of the Oak requires Ko, Vex, Pul, and Thul all in that order into a four socketed mace or staff. You want a reason? Just take a look at what it does!

    +3 To All Skills
    +40% Faster Cast Rate
    +75% Damage To Demons
    +100 To Attack Rating Against Demons
    Adds 3-14 Cold Damage
    7% Mana Stolen Per Hit
    +1 To Blizzard (Sorceress Only)
    +10 To Dexterity
    Replenish Life +20
    Increase Maximum Mana 15%
    All Resistances +30-40 (varies)
    Level 4 Oak Sage (25 Charges)
    Level 14 Raven (60 Charges)
    +50% Damage To Undead

    That is supreme. That is PHEONOMINAL! +3 to all skills is a great mod, and so is the faster cast rate, the mana leach, the dexterity bonus… and especially the RESISTANCES! Problem is that this rune word is VERY hard to come by from my experience in the game… You would probably be better off checking out the next option, which is slightly easier to come by, but still difficult none the less. Nothing is bad about this weapon.

    This next weapon is the Earthshaker, which is a unique Battle Hammer. This is hard to come by as well, but it does enough good things for a fire druid that it’s hard to pass on without seriously looking at it.

    +180% Enhanced Damage
    5% Chance to cast level 7 Fissure on striking
    Knocks Target Back
    30% Increased Attack Speed
    Hit Blinds Target
    +3 to Elemental Skills (Druid Only)
    +50 Increased Durability

    This doesn’t have as many mods as Heart of the Oak, but it does give three to elemental skills. Another GREAT mod is the 5% chance to cast Fissure on attack. You can literally swamp and enemy with so much fissure that they will die in seconds… Heart of the Oak is a better choice, because it is more useful if more ways. If you can get your hands on Heart of the Oak, DO IT! It will make your life so much easier…

    Another good weapon is the third and final choice… a poor man’s weapon. Craft a one handed caster weapon if all else fails. It probably wont be nearly as good as the others, but it is still better than nothing, and is even better than a lot of things for this build. The formula for making a crafted item is as follows.

    Magical Rod (any) (being a wand, staff, or scepter)
    + Jewel
    + Tir Rune (#3)
    + Perfect Amethyst

    This will give you some decent mods, but nothing special. I’d go for the scepter or wand here, seeing as how they are the 1 handed weapons. This is the worst choice that I have listed, but it’s alright none the less. Another good choice for a weapon would probably be a nice rare weapon, they have the potential to give to druid skills…

    Headgear
    Headgear is something I love in the world of Diablo II. I don’t know why, but it’s really cool to me for some reason. Some great headgear are as follows, please note that the first may not be that easy to acquire, but thereafter it should be pretty easy to find something I list.

    Shako. Harlequin Crest. Making it’s return all the way from Diablo 1. This helm will give you some nice mods, in fact, why don’t I just show you?

    +2 to All Skills
    +1.5 Life per clvl
    +1.5 Mana per clvl
    +50% Better chance of getting magical item
    Physical Damage Taken Reduced by 10%
    +2 to Strength
    +2 to Dexterity
    +2 to Vitality
    +2 to Energy

    The mods on this are well worth having on your head if you ask me. Personally, I have never had one of these in all of my time playing Diablo II… so that just goes to show you how hard they truly are to get your hands on. The plus two to skills is great for any caster, as is the mana boost, and the Magic Find. The damage reduction is also great, seeing as how, like I constantly say, you will be getting hit a lot with this build.

    Jalal’s Mane is another good choice, and it does as follows:

    +2 To Druid Skills
    +2 To Shape-Shifting Skills
    +150-200% Enhanced Defense
    30% Faster Hit Recovery
    +20% Bonus to Attack Rating
    +20 to Strength
    +20 to Energy
    +5 Mana After Each Kill
    +30% Resistance To All

    Most of these mods are pretty good, but the Shape-Shifting skills bonus isn’t needed at all with this build, so it is wasted. The resistances are great, as are the stat bonuses… But there is an even better Helmet to talk about.

    Ravenlore is a helm that just started spawning in 1.10, and it is a Sky Spirit Falcon Mask. The mods are great. Check this thing out, it’s an element list’s dream.

    +(120-150)% Enhanced Defense
    All Resistances +(15-25)
    +3 to Elemental Skills
    +(20-30) to Energy
    -(10-20)% to Enemy Fire Resistance
    +7 to Raven

    Not that many mods, but they are all important ones. The defense on this baby is really high as well. Quite possibly the most useful mod on it is the minus 10-20 fire resistance of your enemies. That means that you can really start kicking in some damage to people… I’m not sure if it obliterates the immunity to fire or not, it would be godly if it did though. The drawback with this helm comes from the fact that it requires 113 strength and level 74. By the time you are able to use this helm you may not really need it…

    Other helms are simply the kind you find on the ground. If you find a helm that gives to druid skills, use it! Uniques aren’t everything, but they are cool to have. The Lore Runeword is also good early on.
     
  3. ChimpFarmer

    ChimpFarmer IncGamers Member

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    Part 2

    Armor
    Ahh, now here’s the heart of your druid. This is what is needed to keep you living, and it can also get you some boosts in what you really need as a Smokey druid. The best armors I would suggest are the following:

    Skin of the Vipermagi is a great armor, and I absolutely love it. I love it to death, it is my favorite armor in the entire game… don’t ask me why, there are better armors out there, but this one is my favorite.

    +120% Enhanced Defense
    +20-35% Resistance To All
    30% Faster Cast Rate
    Magical Damage Taken Reduced by 9-13
    +1 to All Skills

    The plus to skills is nice, and so is the resistance bonus. The 30% faster Cast Rate will help you in your spell casting antics. I love this armor… it’s not even amazingly great, but I still worship it as a false Idol. Fear the Vipermagi!

    The Stealth rune word is great and VERY easy to make… al it takes is a Tal and Eth rune. And look at what all it does!

    25% Faster Casting Rate
    25% Faster Hit Recovery
    25% Faster run/walk speed
    -3 magical damage taken
    +15% Mana Regeneration Rate
    +30% Poison Resistance
    +15% Maximum Stamina
    +6 Dexterity

    Sure, no plus skills, and no plus to all resistances, but there are poisen resists, and there are some other great mods. ALL of these mods are useful when it comes to a Smokey Druid. Great early on, but not the best late game choice.

    There are other armors that give great caster bonuses… but the problem is that it is VERY hard to find them. Armor is not the focus of your skills tree, so If your armor doesn’t give to skills, don’t pout… you don’t need a million points in every skill for this build to kick some serious monster ***. Look for resistance, defense, damage reduction, and more resistances in armor. You get hit constantly, keep that in mind. Plus to life is good as well as it will make Oak Sage’s percent bonus better.

    Belts
    There are really a lot of good belts out there that nobody pays any attention to. Here are a few belts that work great on the Smokey Druid.

    Arachnid Mesh is of coarse a great belt for any situation… but again, it’s hard to find. Here’s what it does so that you can drool over it until you realize that it’s likely that you may never find it.

    +(90-120)% Enhanced Defense
    20% Faster Cast Rate
    Level 3 Venom (11 Charges)
    +1 to All Skills
    Slows Target by 10%
    +5% to Maximum Mana

    Actually now that I look at it again it doesn’t seem all that amazing of a belt. The only real useful mods for a Smokey Druid is the Maximum mana and Skills bonus. You may find the slows target by ten percent useful, but ten percent is not that much. If you wanna slow someone down, hit em with a cold move, don’t be Smokey.

    Nightsmoke is my personal favorite belt. It’s easy to acquire, and it has some good mods for any caster.

    +10% Resistance To All
    +50% of damage taken goes to mana
    +20 to Mana
    Physical Damage Taken Reduced by 2
    +15 Defense
    +30-50% Enhanced Defense

    This is THE Caster Belt. The non crafted one anyways. I love this belt to death, just like Skin of the Vipermagi. I’d probably even suggest it over Arachnid Mesh, even though it gives none to skills. Learn this people, when your skills do as much damage as Smokey’s, you don’t need a bazillion extra points into them.

    Gloves and Boots
    I list these here because there are really only one good pair of each that are unique. Well, one good apiece for this build. You can probably get by with some rares, but here are the unique.

    Gloves: Magefist. Look at this.

    20% Faster Cast Rate
    +25% Mana Regen
    +1 to All Fire Skills (All Chars)
    Adds 1-6 Fire Damage
    +10 Defense
    +20-30% Enhanced Defense

    Notice that this gives plus one to ALL characters fire skills. This is NOT just a sorceress boost… which means that this will in fact give you better skills. The Faster Cast Rate and Mana Regen are also very helpful mods. These gloves are also pretty easy to find because of the fact that they are simply unique light gauntlets. I’d suggest these above most other gloves, but if you can’t get them, go for a nice rare with similar mods…

    Boots: Treads of Cthon… they aren’t the best boots, but I like em a lot… It only has a few useful mods, but better boots are too hard to come by.

    30% Faster Run/Walk
    +50 Defense vs. Missiles
    +50% Slower Stamina Drain
    +10 to Life
    +12 Defense
    +30-40% Enhanced Defense

    The only real good mods on these puppies are the Run/walk and the Stamina Drain. Marrowalks are better, but they seem to be too hard to come across.

    Shields
    With this build you will definitely be using a shield. I used the Ancient’s Pledge Shield for the vast majority of the game… and believe me, it is great for how unbelievably easy it is to acquire. It takes a three socketed shield and the runes Ral, Ort, and Tal. If you’re keen, you will realize that you do, in fact, get these for completing the mercenary quest on in act 5. So there you have it, it’s so easy to get, and look at the great boost to your resistance department.

    +43% Cold Resistance
    +48% Fire/Lightning/Poison Resistance
    10% Damage Taken Goes to Mana
    +50% Defense Rating

    This is good for you. The goal here is that with all of your questing equipment on you should be able to keep near maximum resistance in hell when the Aura Enchanted Enemy has Conviction on you. This may seem hard, but I’m sure with all of my resistance loving bliss, it can be done.

    Another good shield is this one, Moser’s Blessed Circle. You probably hear a lot about this, but I am going to include it here, because it can suite the build very well.

    +25% Resistance To All
    +25 Chance to Block %
    +180-220% Enhanced Defense
    30% Faster Blocking
    Socketed (2)

    This is the life saver shield. It’s resistance bonus isn’t as high as Ancient’s Pledge, but it also has two sockets in it… Meaning you could put two perfect Diamonds in and achieve great Resistances… This shield will also help you block most attacks that come your way… The increased chance to block and the faster block rate make for a dastardly combination, seeing as how you can rattle off blocks faster than the opponent can throw them.

    I like this shield a lot as well… The Lidless Wall

    +1 Light Radius
    +1 to All Skills
    20% Faster Cast Rate
    +3-5 Mana After Each Kill
    +80-130% Enhanced Defense
    +10 to Energy
    +10% Mana

    The best thing that this shield ahs going for it is the plus to skills… but again, I’m going to remind you that you do not need 45 points in every skill to deal crippling blows to even the toughest of enemies. The mana bonuses and caster rates are good as well, and hey, the farther you can see the better, so more power to the light radius.

    Rare shields are good as well, as can be any Socketed shield with diamonds or some rune words. Ancient’s Pledge is my favorite one of the above, however.

    Amulets and rings
    Well, this is the last section of the equipment part of the guide, so pay attention. Amulets and rings are easy to come across, and suite you well. Everybody knows that Mara’s Kaleidoscope and the Stones of Jordan are the best choices, but let’s look deeper into the game for once. I have never straight up found a Stone of Jordan OR a Mara’s Kaleidoscope… I tend to use magical rings and Amulets. Some gambled amulets can give plus to skills, and you can craft three rings into an amulet, and you may turn yourself up a nice druid one. Rings are weirder. Go for mana, regen, faster cast rate, life, etc. Rare rings with multiple mods are great… Stick to those guidelines with rings and such.

    That wraps up the Equipment Section… so now, onto your best friend… Your Mercenary!

    -=Section IV: Mercenaries=-

    Which mercenary to pick… this is always debatable. There are two that everybody decides between, and, I hate to fall into a group, but they have damn good reason in doing so. The act two mercenary and the Act 5 Barbarian Mercenary are the best choices here… I would personally suggest the Act 5 one, though, and here is why.

    The act Two Mercenary gives off auras, true, but you do not really need one, and neither does your bear… you have extra life, and that’s really all that you need. The act Two Mercenary has moderate health standards… but he is nothing at taking hits when compared to the Act 5 Mercenary.

    The act 5 Mercenary deals tremendous amounts of damage to people. He can take probably more hits than you and your bear combined, and with Oak Sage he will be a walking wall of meat and Flesh that no monster can break through. I would go with the act 5 one… but if not, do as you will.

    Mercenary equipment.
    I will only list the best choices for mercenary equipment here. Do not worry, these are not uber leet choices that you can never get a hold of… because if I can find the way to get them, you definitely can. I suck at finding things at Diablo II…

    Merc Weapon
    My personal favorite one does not leech any life, and that is the only real problem that I can see with it. If it stole even a little life, then it would be perfect… unfortunately, it is also a Rune Word, so you cant put extra sockets into it… never fear though, because your merc’s helmet will do the leeching for your merc.

    Crescent Moon- Shael+Um+Tir.

    10% Chance To Cast Level 17 Chain Lightning On Striking
    20% Chance To Cast Level 13 Static Field On Striking
    +20% Increased Attack Speed
    +220-260% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Ignore Target's Defense
    -35% To Enemy Lightning Resistance
    25% Chance of Open Wounds
    +9-11 Magic Absorb (varies)
    +2 To Mana After Each Kill
    Level 18 Summon Spirit Wolf (30 Charges)

    This will literally turn your merc into a demonic killing machine. It works in either weapon, sword or polearm as well. The fact that with this you will not only have a severely destructive weapon, but you will also have a second kind of elemental damage to deal out. I’m surprised not many people suggest this rune word. The fact that if your barbarian hits Diablo a few times, and casts static field on him, and reduces his health by a third is phenomenal. I LOVE THIS RUNEWORD, and the runes are pretty easy to get as well. The enemy will die like a fly to the swatter to this rune word.

    Merc’s Helmet
    I lied, I will list two helms here. They are similar, but Iwill elave it up to you to decide which you like more.

    The first is Vampiregaze… a popular Amazon helm that has duel leech and some nice cold damage.

    +6-8% Mana Stolen Per Hit
    +6-8% Life Stolen Per Hit
    15% Slower Stamina Drain
    Physical Damage Taken Reduced by 15-20%
    Magical Damage Taken Reduced by 10-15
    +100% Enhanced Defense
    Adds 6-22 Cold Damage, 4 Seconds Cold Length

    Some of the mods are wasted on a merc, such as the stamina drain, but the cold damage means slower bosses, and the life leech means a longer lasting Barbarian/Pole Dude.

    The other helm is the Crown of Thieves… I like this one better because it has more life leech to it.

    +25 to Dexterity
    +9-12% Life Stolen Per Hit
    +50 to Life
    +35 to Mana
    +33% to Fire Resist
    +160-200% Enhanced Defense
    +80-100% More Gold from Monsters

    This will also boost his fire resists and will get you a little richer faster. Another choice for a helm, if this is unavailable, is the blood helm ,which will give you minor life leech… but hey, your merc will do a lot of damage, and little leech is better than no leech. The formula for the blood helm is

    Magical Helm
    or Casque (Excep)
    or Armet (Elite)
    + Jewel (any)
    + Ral Rune (#8)
    + Perfect Ruby

    Armor
    Rare armors work really well, but the best merc armor out there has got to be good old Shaftstop. It’s just the best for a merc… even if it is a little hard to come by.

    +250 Defense vs. Missiles
    Physical Damage Taken Reduced by 30%
    +60 to Life
    +180-220% Enhanced Defense

    The defense here will make your merc live longer, as will the HUGE damage reduction, and the small life boost… but remember, your Oak Sage raises life by a percent, not by a fixed number, so the more life you have, the more it will increase it. Remember, rares are also good choices for mercs… look for things similar to old Shafty up there.

    As concludes the guide for the Smokey Merc… hope you found it useful.

    -=Section V: Magic Finding=-
    I don’t know what to tell you here… but the Smokey Druid does not make the best Magic Finder. However, if you do want to magic find with him with cheap equipment, try and collect the following stuff.

    An Armor with four perfect topaz in it. (94% MF)

    A helmet with three perfect topaz in it (72% MF)

    Gull Dagger (100% MF)

    War Traveler Boots (50% MF)

    Chance Guards (30% MF)

    Prolly two rings with around 15% MF a piece (30% mf)

    Amulet with prolly around 15% MF (15% MF)

    Milabrega’s orb (25% MF)

    Gold wrap (30% MF)

    That gives you a total of 436% MF… that’s pretty damn good. But again, the Druid is not the best character for magic Finding… but hey, he can if you can, so there ya go.

    -=Section VI: Conclusion=-
    This ends my first guide in the world of Diablo II… I really hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it, and I hope it helps you in your journeys. Remember: This is a guide, not the Ten Commandments… you can bend these rules, and even change them if you want… it’s all up to you as the player. Thank you very much to www.Diabloii.net for their awesome Item’s Database… It saved me A LOT of time writing this… Once again, thank you for reading this, and I wish you good luck on your adventures!

    PS. I’m not a God at Diablo II… so there may be some things in here I could have talked about and didn’t, but please forgive me. I think that in my heart this guide should suffice if you plan to make a good PVM Fire Druid.

    ChimpFarmer
     
  4. Tor

    Tor IncGamers Member

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    hmmm

    a fire druid does not need fcr so a ehl Earthshifeter with +7 skills would be a good choice


    fissure and volcano are ur main killers..damage and ranged..geddon kills nearby monsters
    i suggest maxxing firestorm instead of boulder because of the lower cooldown and more damage (around 3.5k)

    why points into hurricane? ur a fire druid

    20 Armageddon
    20 fissure
    20 volcano
    20 oak sage
    20 firestorm
    1 molten boulder
    1 arctic blast
    X cyclone armor (X=spare skill points)
    1 twister
    1 tornado
    1 hurricane
    1 raven
    1 spirit wolf
    1 dire wolf
    X summon grizzly

    would be ideal




    better introduction:

    Surrounded by a horde of slavering demons, soul-thirsty animated dead, and corrupted wildlife, the Druid assessed the situation. The creatures with jagged claws, serrated teeth, and evil-looking weaponry would most likely charge in towards him, intending to rend him limb from limb with their melee attacks. The Druid quickly summoned his steadfast minions to disrupt their ranks and turn their attacks against them. His Dire Wolves could throw them into chaos, and his Grizzly bear could send them screaming back into the burning hells. His friends, the vines, restored his life and mana, and spread disease to the enemy, weakening their lifeless bones flesh.

    Burning skeletons with savage looking bows and magically enhanced demonic sorcerers prepared to fling physical and ephemeral attacks in his direction and towards his trusted minions. The Druid prepared to open volcanic vents underneath their very feet and send powerful windstorms into their ranks, scorching them with flaming magma and molten rock and hurling them through the air with the power of storms.

    Even with these formidable powers and friendly beasts, the Druid knew he could not last forever against such a multitude of evil. He knew he would require the everlasting vitality of the forest; the mighty Oak Sage. He called it forth from another time and place, and felt it empower him, sustaining him and holding his mortal body more firmly together. The Druid also summoned deflecting winds and caused them to swirl around his body, turning away the elements, keeping him warm, healthy, and grounded.


    “So it begins.â€

    From these haunting first words until the death of the final Prime Evil, the Fire Druid will entertain you, make mere pixels of your enemies, and look awesome while doing it. With his deadly fire damage, massive stores of life, Cyclone Armor to protect against elemental damage, and powerful minions to wreak havoc in crowds, this character will be a joy to play and is easily viable in Hell mode, when played correctly.

    However, since Druids are far from being a cookie-cutter, one skill wonder class, there are some things you should know about how to organise your character, and how to make best use of his skills, stat points, and items.

    by Proudfoot
     
  5. ChimpFarmer

    ChimpFarmer IncGamers Member

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    Hurricane is a prerequisite to Armageddon. And I figured I cut to the chase instead of drawing it out... it was long enough as it was... Hence the lack of a catchy story at the beginning.

    And forgive my insolence... I completely failed to recognize Firestorm at all... ah well, that's what the edit buttons for.
     
  6. Tor

    Tor IncGamers Member

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    furthur more your equipment selectiuon could be vastly increased

    stealth is obselete for you do not need fast cast rate


    Helmet: harlequin crest shako, godly circlet(+ skills, resists, + stats, fcr, frw) or pelt(+skills aka +2 druid/+3 ele, +3 skills you use) or even jalals mane or ravenlore

    Amulet: crafted +2 druid, fcr, stats, resists OR Mara’s kaleidoscope

    Rings: bul kathos wedding bands, stone of Jordan

    Armor: “Enigma†light armor (jah, ith, ber), skin of vipermagi, que hagens wisdom, spirit shroud if you dont have any of these

    boots: aldurs advance, silkweaves, waterwalks, sandstorm treks

    belt: trang ouls girth, arachnid mesh

    gloves: magefist

    Weapon: suicide branch with resists all jewel or a wizardspike, earthshaker battle hammer, earthshifter, heart of the oak

    Shield: lidless wall, whistans guard, storm shield

    magic find:

    ptopaz shako
    enigma
    NAGEL RINGS good soo common... 30 mf
    Gull Dagger, alibaba is good too; more mf
    War Traveler Boots
    Chance Guards
    maras ammy or a rare +2 druid stats/mf one (ammy)
    RHYME shield, cheap, resits, cbf, mf
    Gold wrap


    EDIT: disregard that hurricane comment..my eyes skipped a line ><""

    EDIT2:

    length is no worry, make it the BEST YOU CAN
    (put some color/spacings, its hard to read)
     
  7. ChimpFarmer

    ChimpFarmer IncGamers Member

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    As i said dude, this is Guidelines, not the Bible. It's meant to be flexible. These are suggestions, not set in stone rules.
     
  8. Tor

    Tor IncGamers Member

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    as i said before:

    make it the best you can

    this guide has potential becasue this is an underly used sub class
     
  9. mepersoner

    mepersoner IncGamers Member

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    It's a very good guide thus far. A few things you could add are things like what to pump at what level, where to level at at what levels, what gear at what levels, etc. All good for a p v m guide. I would definately make for the equipment section a "if you're poorer or are in single player use THIS but if you're rich THIS is a better choice.

    Very good guide though. The gear thing I would definately add to this guide, and the rest you might try adding in if you ever want to update it. :)
     
  10. FenrisWulf

    FenrisWulf IncGamers Member

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    @ChimpFarmer:
    Heh, I actually like your gear section. :p Shopping lists annoy me; it's much better, in terms of PvM, to simply list the style of mods that you're going for, and then just give a few suggestions, instead of mandating certain gear combinations. mep and Tor are correct, in that it would be nice to mention some of the high-end gear, but I frankly would give them as few words as possible.

    And you suggest Crafted items! Incredible. You're one of a dying breed. :)

    A few suggestions as far as the content goes:

    You say that having max block is important so that you can "weave" through crowds and get Armageddon to land. If I remember correctly, though, blocking is reduced by 2/3rds when you're running, meaning (I think) that you'd cap out at a 25% Chance to Block. Are you running or walking through the mobs?

    As you will be getting hit as you melee/weave through crowds, despite blocking, you might consider dropping two points to get Carrion Vine (Poison Creeper prerequisite). If Armageddon kills well, then Carrion Vine should keep your Life globe brimming.

    It seems as though you're looking mainly for a tank as far as your Mercenary goes; you might try out a Defiance Merc (Normal/Hell Act II Defensive) at some point, as he'll be able to take a lot of pressure off of you both by acting as a very solid meatshield and also increasing your own defense, hopefully to help out when you get close to monsters (again, with walking, as your defense drops to zero when you run).

    In terms of how/when to distribute skills: I would finish out those 15 or so points in the Summoning Tree before you get to the Volcano Synergy. Maybe even earlier. You'll probably need the Oak life more than the extra Armageddon/Fissure damage.

    What sort of strategies do you employ for Act Bosses (as these will be the hardest challenges most PvM players will run into)?

    Fire Immunes are quite common as you get into late NM and Hell. What can you do besides wait for your Grizzly and Merc to deal with them (which will likely be fairly slowly)? Suggestions: get a Lower Resist wand (purchase from NPC vendors) to strip the Fire Immunity off. Or go wild with your unsynergized Volcano phyiscal damage. :p

    All in all, though, it seems like a very decent build. Good job with your guide, and good luck on future revisions!
     
  11. mepersoner

    mepersoner IncGamers Member

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    No way, fire cannon all the way, no summons!
     
  12. petri

    petri IncGamers Member

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    While I agree that heart of the oak is a great +skill weapon for this build, if you truly wanted to actually go up and hit something with this build (and stay alive in hell) then I would suggest a shield, and the use of the hexfire shamshir (+3 fire skills, +max fire resist, fire resist, ITD). If you upgrade it you will get soso damage, and with ITD you will at least have a chance of hitting things. Of course, you won't really kill anything that fast by hitting it with even an upgraded hexfire...but at least you can possibly connect.

    Anyways, for a fire druid I much prefer hexfire over earthshaker, as I essentially use only fire skills, plus I get the resist help...

    And while an earthshifter is an interesting idea to build around, you'll probably need an enigma + hel'ed earthshifter to leave you enough stats left over for vitatility otherwise you will be super fragile...oh yeah and you'll probably also want a pretty decent meatshield (grizz+some in dire perhaps).
     
  13. Bob_TheMadCow

    Bob_TheMadCow IncGamers Member

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    I personally feel that fire druids DO benifit from FCR, as this guy at least will be in melee range (hence the need for a shield, another point against that stupid maul) the faster you can cast a spell, the less likely it is to get interupted, and the more time you have for manouvering.

    Um, I've not read the guide through yet, but at first glance I'm wondering: How do you deal with FIs? Do you rely on your merc? Cause I can't see that bear doing much good as anything more than a distraction... If you are relying on the merc to kill FIs, how do you propose to kill FI/PIs? You mention leaching mana o_O really...?

    Oh, and Volcano also gets a synergy bonus from Armageddon as well as fissure, so it should be good and strong in its own right.

    I'll leave my personal opinions about skills for another time, and get round to reading this guide properly later tonight. The fact it spread to two full posts is encouraging for me, I look forward to reading it fully :thumbsup:
     
  14. Killfrenzy

    Killfrenzy IncGamers Member

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    one lil nit-pick: you forgot wizardspike!

    i know it doesnt help your skills but it gives you a LOVELY mana boost and can have up to 90 all resist (75+15resist all jewel)
     
  15. ChimpFarmer

    ChimpFarmer IncGamers Member

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    Thank you very much for the feedback. I will work on updating this guide soon and will be sure to include what you have suggested. I like to think of this as more of a "rough Draft"
     
  16. memememe173

    memememe173 IncGamers Member

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    Good job.

    I'd say no summon at all except one point in OS and Raven.
    Earth Shifter is not that great.
    Aldur's set also works well with this build. That's what I'm using.

    I see CoH as a much better end game armor then Enigma.
     
  17. Remlin

    Remlin IncGamers Member

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    Anya's quests give 10 resistance each time, not 15.
     
  18. Garbad_the_Weak

    Garbad_the_Weak IncGamers Member

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    One you make the changes, PM me a link and I will get it added.

    Garbad
     

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