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Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

Discussion in 'Druid' started by Elyxthaxzus, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Elyxthaxzus

    Elyxthaxzus IncGamers Member

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    Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Well, here it is folks, i did my best to streamline all the stuff i had written and get it down in an organized fashion. Hope you enjoy it!

    Well, this is the basics I have down, comments and critiques are appreciated. This is my version of the windy, and the playstyle I use I refer to as the “Suicide Windyâ€. When played, it’s a blast, and a serious adrenaline pump in hardcore…no need to do PvP for the adrenaline rush anymore :D.

    My goal with this guide was to lay down the basics, and provide a leveling strategy and an approach to tactics that I have used in my druids. For a quick history, I have played D2 for many years, taking a year and a half break and recently coming back to D2 with the news of D3 on the horizon. This is a collected works of information and notes I took down during my playtime on the previous ladder, and currently leveling 2 druids on the new ladder as well.
    In season 4, I had more then 4 druids at one time in softcore, and 2 in hardcore. I’ve leveled naked (only drops and farms), and seriously twinked. I’ve solo’ed hell baal in softcore and hardcore with this build, and was working on ubers when I took a break from the game. For anyone looking for a fun and challenging but adaptable build this is it.
    A quick note: Fenris really covered some great ground in his guide, while I may go over some similar material, I’m going to try and avoid it as much as possible, so please use his guide as a baseline reference on skill descriptions and gear suggestions. Ill briefly discuss how to acquire easy gear and what stats to look for though. Plus ill be short on the general education, im assuming most peeps are looking for the guts on how this is different then fenris’ approach PvP wise, and you can use his excellent guide for a reference to the basics.

    Terminology
    Ca – Cyclone armor
    Hn – Hurricane
    Tn - Tornado

    Pro’s and Con’s
    Pro’s :
    Not melee dependant – A windy is not dependant on melee damage, thus many areas in hell where melee toons are hurting (chaos sanctuary as an example), windys shine. However, they do have access to a key advantage only usually available to melee toons : physical damage source. Being able to do physical damage, yet not have to hit the mobs to do it is a potent combination.
    Highly resistant – unlike every other class in the game, windys have a guaranteed full resist to all elemental damage…thus you don’t have to gear for resists AT ALL.
    Damage scales – unlike, say a hammerdin pally or a WW barb, windy druids have a true AOE skill, so for Every extra mob in its radius, its effective damage increases. 2 mobs in Hn, does twice the damage. 3 mobs, 3x the damage.
    2 Damage sources – windy’s have 2 damage sources, one of them very viable in hell, physical damage. Thus they don’t run into the same problem singular damage type toons have (light sorc, as an example). And they don’t have to spread their points in-between 2 trees to maximize their synergies for these 2 elements. All in one tree.

    Con’s:
    They have cons? JK, of course, but IMO they are few.
    No poison resistance – due to the nature of the windy design, their poison resistance is very low because they don’t stack rez, and Ca does not protect against poison. As a result, they often have to balance this out with poison rez on items/charms, or stick it out. This was my biggest barrier on uber organ farming.
    High maintenance – because of their approach to combat, a windy’s survival is based on maintaining spells, rather then spamming them. A meteorb, as an example, will survive by tele and spamming orbs as fast as they can. A druid may spam Tn’s, but usually will place them carefully. His greatest damage and defense comes from making sure all his spells are up…cyclone armor, Hn, summons. A sorc goes with SPAMMING spells, while a windy is all about MAINTAINING spells.
    More focus – I’ve found that a windy, especially a suicide windy, needs much more focus on the activity and kinds of mobs that are out there then other then other classes. He also needs to watch his summons, place them appropriately, and watch timers on spells. When this is done correctly though, a windy is a force to be reckoned with.

    Skill breakdown
    Elemental –
    1 Arctic Blast (filler)
    20 Cyclone armor
    20 Twister
    20 Tornado
    20 Hurricane
    Summons –
    1 Ravens
    1 Poison Creeper
    1 Spirit Wolf
    1 Carrion Vine
    1 Heart of the Oak
    1 Dire wolf
    20 Grizzly Bear

    There may be minor variations to this, but this is the essential skill breakdown. If you notice, this is only 107 pts, rather then the 110 total you should have available. Grizzly is usually my last to max out, and since most of us probably wont see higher then 90, its reasonable to see this list maxed, with grizzly possibly sitting around 15-19pts unbuffed. Se the leveling section for when and where.




    Leveling process, and Tactics of play

    Low Levels (1-15)
    When you first start out, your really nothing more then a glorified barbarian with none of the cool moves he has. What we DO have in their place is summons, and this is where you’ll place your first points. Only 1 in each tho, as the only one you’ll max out (much later) is grizzly. So 1 pt in ravens, spirit wolf, poison creeper, and eventually dire wolf and carrion vine. I highly recommend you find a decent pelt as quickly as possible. My most recent druid got a white pelt with 2 to spirit wolf and 1 to poison creeper. This lasted me until I was able to acquire a jalal’s. You could sub out a more general +skill helm, the runeword Lore is an excellent example. But some pelts are just hard to beat…I had a full deck of summons from a single point in each. Pick up every pelt you can find and compare, if they aren’t worth it they sell for big bucks too, there’s your money source.

    Once you hit lvl 6, the elemental skills open up for you. This is where most your points will go. However, 1 pt only in arctic blast…I never use it and its only a filler in this build. But once you hit cyclone armor, 1 pt per level and don’t look back. Any extra points you haven’t spent will be used up as you add summons during leveling…i.e. once you hit lvl 18 1 pt in dire wolf and twister, then back to elemental skills.
    As I said earlier, until you hit the mid 30’s and 40, your going to basically be a melee toon. So make sure you keep your armor and weapons upgraded with the best available for damage. Sigons is a good general set for this, as it actually gives you a +skill pretty early, which can help with summons, 2 ravens and spirit wolves with a single point per makes a big difference when fighting mobs. If this is your first toon, and gear selection is low, you may want to spend some time running tristram and the act 1 boss multiple times to grab a few extra drops. Look for bonuses that boost your melee damage at this level, but don’t turn aside +skill or +mana

    Low levels (16-30)
    Right around now is when you start to get the nicer elemental skills, starting with cyclone armor, which really helps in act 2 with the lightning bugs. Although at this stage you wont really be using your casting skills, instead relying still on melee damage and summons. At this point you should go pick up a merc from act 2…which one isn’t too critical as you can always replace later. Get him the best generic polearm and armor you can buy, and upgrade later with quality stuff as you find/trade for it. The key here is he’s a melee toon…as you start to use casting skills you’ll want to stay out of melee as much as possible.

    Once you hit the mid 20’s the casting skills will become more realistic, but will rob you of mana…I usually don’t really start using them till I’m in my mid-30’s, and even then its still a mana thief. This changes a great deal as you walk through nightmare, so don’t worry too much right now. Throw out tornadoes as you can…twister is pretty much a wasted skill, but works well for the occasional stunning of a mob (though brief), but damage is sub-par until you start giving it synergies, but by that time tornado is better anyways. So use your casting skills as you deem fit, but watch out for mana consumption. Summons are still more important to keep up at this level.

    It’s a toss up as to whether you use 1h and shield or 2h weapon. One distinct advantage of druids is they have real odd weapon skill ratings…weapons that are normally slow for other classes are fast for druids. Pick up a polearm and you’ll be surprised at how fast you can swing with it. So it’s personal pref here…if your solo or this is first toon, just use whatever will give you the most damage, and stats secondary.



    Mid levels (40-50)
    Once you hit your mid 30’s and progress into your 40’s, this is where the strengths of the windy start to show. Your mana consumption is getting more efficient, and with the addition of better gear skills start to improve as well. Up until you hit 30 and get grizzly your choice of summons doesn’t matter too much, though oak sage and spirit wolf, combined with ravens and carrion vine, are good ones to have. Once you get grizzly, however, drop wolfs. The bear is an excellent tank, holds aggro on all the mobs, and is your first line of defense, better then your merc. Seriously. Its re-castable, and mobs will always head to your summons before you. Grizzly is what kept me alive when I was soloing hell baal. At high lvls, the bear has insane life and defense, and stuns mobs, This is all good, and works towards the ultimate goal of the sucide windy: keep the mobs on the defensive.

    On another note, tho, may folks love Dire wolves. There advantages would be more crowd control simply due to the fact that you have 3 of them rather then 1 grizzly, Plus their damage is superior to grizzly, and increases when they consume corpses. This is a slightly different approach then what I do, and it may change your choice of mercs (damage aura rather then freeze aura). So try out what you prefer…I find the once you start to put your extra points in grizzly he start to become a serious tank that the dire wolves can never be, but use what you prefer.

    Once you get Hn at 30, put a few points into it and then focus on maxing its synergies, especially cyclone armor. Although its nice to have it do more damage, duration is king here. It’s a huge mana hog, and the longer it lasts in-between casts, the better it is. Besides, your tornado’s will get damage increases from cyclone armor increase as well (I love synergies!). Hn needs ot be up at ALL TIMES, especially during a fight. The key to survival with a suicide windy is in keeping the mobs on the defensive (hit lock/slow), and if your Hn goes down you will be amazed at how quickly you will go down :p trust me, ive done it many times in hardcore, its not worth it. Max ur cyclone armor first once you have a few points into Hn (3-4 or so) then you can work on Hn and Tn alternatively until their maxed. Once that’s done, its up to you whether you lvl grizzly or twister. You wont use twisters, so their only a synergy skill, but should be maxed as they affect all your others. I usually put a decent amount of points into grizzly (8-10, depending on ur +skills), and then finish maxing out twister, then go back to grizzly. Alternatively, you can add points into both Hn and Ca, uping both the time and base damage. I wont go past 10 pts on Hn though, until your Ca is maxed. Ca is both a synergy to Hn for duration, and your chief means of defense against elemental attacks, one of the nicer things about a windy….you don’t need resistances at all.

    This is also where your hurricane and tornado become your primary attack modes. Get some good practice in while your walking nightmare with kiting groups of mobs, spamming Tn, and using the stunlock abilities of both to keep the mobs off of you. You’ll want to be familiar with your range and how Hn affects the mobs, cause you have less reaction time in hell, so you want the range of Hn and the slightly random travels paths of Tn to be second nature here.

    The key with Tn is not to be targeting mobs, but to use a sweeping pattern at the edges of the screen. I’m not sure if this is hard fact, but on all my druids I’ve found that the farther away the cursor is when you click for Tn, the tighter it’s path becomes. Rather then targeting the mobs, try targeting behind them, and sweep back and forth a little as you hold down the button. A few Tn’s will get off, travel a more straight path, and usually hit the mobs multiple times. Due to the erratic path of Tn’s, they have a good chance of hitting mobs more then once as they travel past. Just remember, the key is to not click ON the mob but past them, the closer to the edge of the screen the better.

    On my suicide fights I follow a similar pattern, but a little different. Run to the center of the mob and spam Tn’s, using a smaller circle sweep a little ways outside of the group of mobs, and moderate the pace to adjust for Tn’s, you want them basically fanning out in an even pattern to hit all the mobs. Sounds hard, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a blast. In this situation you actually WANT the random pattern of the Tn’s to be more pronounced. You hit more mobs that way, and more mobs get hit more often with the same Tn. It’s a huge adrenaline rush to jump into a pack of mobs and spam Tn’s while Hn is up, especially in Hardcore mode.

    This is where high block rating comes in. If you have access to enigma, teleporting into a pack of mobs is a blast, but without block it can be nasty. Remember…a hit recovery from block is ALWAYS faster then recovering form a non-blocked hit. I know that many debates run back and forth about which is better, vit or block. But seriously, I have leveled 2 druids in hardcore all the way to act5 hell, and used this method. I obviously survived, and I commonly tele’d into mob packs. You just have to know your mobs, and what kind of damage they do. Teleporting works extremely well in these situations, so if you have access to something that allows you to teleport, use it. When you tele, all your summons and merc appear RIGHT ON TOP OF YOU. Suddenly, in the middle of a pack of mobs, you and 5 or more summons, including your merc, pop up right in the middle. The summons give you a meat shield of sorts, and a few extra seconds to respond with Tn’s before the mobs start wailing.

    If your not as gusty as that (cmon, in softcore why not :p), you can practice kiting. Circle around the mobs, using the edge of your Hn to slow them down. Its not as efficient and fast as the suicide method, but it works, and gives you good practice on using the radius of your Hn to achieve results. Suicide really is best tho, and I have used it on multiple toons as early as the mid 30’s with success. Remember, Hn is an AOE style attack, which means its real damage output scales additively with each mob in the exposure area. In this way its better then the pallys hammers, but due to the fact that its centered on the druid, you have to be in the thick of things. So max ur block, block, block. It doesn’t need to be maxed right away..i usually boost str and dex until there both at a level that allows me to use the weaposn I need/want/plan for, then I work on stamina and dex until dex is a reasonable level for block, and once max block is achieved, rest go into stamina.

    High levels (60-80)
    This trend continues. Your goal with skill points is to max out elemental synergies. Plus, at this level, gear should really start coming in. Windy’s are very hardy toons, they can work fine on lower lvls of gear, but they shine with +skills, the more the better. This is where all that time you spent farming in nightmare come in handy. You can get the runes for a dual spirit relatively easy, and those are both excellent to carry well into hell. But watch for the max block issue here…once you hit hell it really become critical, and its usually better to sacrifice the +skills on a spirit or other +skill shield for one with a high block, such as mosers (I love Mosers, my highest hardcore windy used it solely until I got a stormshield. I almost think mosers is better, simply due to the lower lvl and stat req’s, but a SS is hard to pass up)

    Rather, get your +skills from other items…charms, belts, gloves, headgear, whatever. Jalal’s mane is my favorite. cheap to get, outperforms anything else in its category for druids. Get one asap, there usually purchasable for pgems.
    Yes, Harlequinn has more general +skills, and if you min/maxing then it synergizes well with other things, but on a new ladder, or if your single mode, Jalal’s will be more viable, and reachable far earlier on. You can most likely get a jalal’s shortly after you hit its level req, but im sure you will be farming and trading for ages to get a shako. Wait for one to fall in your lap…until then go for jalal’s (that and I think druids look much better with a mane then a silly cap :p)

    At this point whatever gives you the +skills go for, as long as it doesn’t gimp your other stats too harshly. As in most builds, your mana should come from items, not points. Same with health. If you have to make a choice between investing a point in Dex or Vit, go Dex. There are far more items the give HP and Vit then there are tha give Dex, so its always better to spend points on Dex as long as you are still UNDER BLOCK CAP. The key is knowing how much you will eventually need for max block. The dex needed for max block on SS is 225, so this is a good number to shoot for.


    Stats
    STR:
    Personally, im not a min/max kind of person…I tend to go more for the survival approach…set your skills up so you don’t have to depend on items to get you what you need. So a 55 str isn’t what your looking for…that requires a lot of gear to be set up correctly. I’ve found 110 to be a good number to shoot for, and the sooner the better. That allows you to equip most items you need, and many of those items will have a str bonus on them, usually boosting you above the mark where you need to be for SS. SS requires 156 str, so if your going for ultimate survival, that’s your mark. But those extra points can be spent on dex, increasing your max block. But again, my hardcore druid survived on a mosers, so don’t think you need uber gear just to make it in hell.

    DEX:
    As I mentioned above, max block. Max block. Max block. Some peeps suggest you only need this for PvP and suggest higher Vit. But then again, most peeps aren’t going to run into the middle of a pack of lightning gloams in hell and spam Tn’s and cyclone armor continuously. Or the middle of baals minions of destruction. Block is king here.
    Plus, even if you went max Vit, a hit without block creates a much larger hit recovery time then a block does…more hit recovery = less tn’s spamming = less monster dying = more hits on you….you can see my point.

    In stat progression, you’ll want to start off with pushing str and dex to levels to allow you to use a decent weapon/armor. I usually go with 60 str as a base…you need at least 60 for sigons gloves, and with the str boost on the gloves you can wear the rest the armor. Dex and vitality I usually alternate after that, unless you have a weapon you need dex for, such as a polearm. If your going sword and shield initially (as if you have the complete sigons set, or at least want to use the shield for the +skill), then dex isn’t as important at first. I susualy go str to 60(or 70), then alternate dex and vit until their both over 100 or so, then back to str until 110 or so, then I put 3 into dex and 2 into vitality. Once you start to see gear coming in you may want to focus on one or the other, i.e. dex if you have a shield you want to max block out on, or str if you finally get a nice SS or monarch shield of whatever.

    Maintaining spells
    A Sucide windy is all about maintenance. I’ve said this a dozen times, and it still bears repeating. DO NOT let your spell set go down. If Hn drops during a fight, your pretty much dead, especially if you tele’d into a pack of mobs. Hn is best refreshed in-between mob packs. Cyclone armor, well, you tend to build a rhythm with it, and know how long its going to last with certain mob types. If im in the middle of a pack of zombies, im not too worried. If im in the middle of a pack of ghosts in act 3 in hell, im spamming it almost as much as I’m spamming Tn’s. there is never a time when you can overspam cyclone armor...ever. there are times when its not as necessary, but id rather eat a mana pot and keep my cyclone armor up then conserve mana and bite it.

    The harshest areas I’ve found are in hell where you have the gloams. Their lightning can easily ruin your cyclone armor. If I start to hear the dreaded whisper or see the lightning start to play, I spam Ca and run as fast as possible into the middle of them. Screw anything else in the area, don’t care, kill gloams fast. Key note: in situations like this, its often better if you have hard time juggling spells to focus more on keeping Ca up. You will never bite it if you keep Ca up amidst gloams, and there health is lwo enough that your Hn can take them down quick. If you can get off an occasional Tn, great. But the times I die on these guys is when I try to get out Tn’s too much, and my Ca goes down.


    Summons
    These are often underused by many windy’s. the key is not to wait until there expired before re-casting. You will often not have to worry about it, but once you hit hell your grizzly is your prime distraction for mob packs. Cast him into a pack, wait a second for him to grab agro, spam away. Cast him where there’s a pack of archers (though ravens can be better for this) if you unsure what’s around a corner, cast him up there, wait for the sounds…use the walls to your advantage. He is you mobile recon unit.

    If the grizzly’s your mobile recon, ravens are your scouts. They don’t take any damage, and at higher levels blind frequently enough to be a real asset, especially with ranged attackers. If your in a group of mele mobs and suddenly archers appear around the bend, re-cast your ravens up there. They will keep most the archers busy until you can reach them with grizzly and merc in hand.

    Oak sage? Nice guy, gives you a nice health boost, and dies about as often as your cyclone armor does ?. I recast him more often then any summon, almost as much as my Hn. But with 1 pt + skill bonuses from items, hes worth having around. HoW is a waste of time. Though your summons are nice, and at early levels are a prime damage source then, but once you are high enough to use it to its max effect, your summons are really just distractions and meat tanks. 1 pt in Oak is enough.

    Wolves – some folks really like their wolves. Personally, I’ve never had them be a real advantage in hell. They die far to quickly, and aren’t anywhere near the sturdiness of the bear. Remember, at higher levels they are not the damage source…you are. The bear is a tank, and has a nice stun effect that aids in your overall strategy.

    Mer – Um yeah , dur. Of course ?. Everyone has a merc. My pref is act 2 nightmare defensive. The holy freeze aura aids greatly in slowing down mobs. There in your Hn more, and take more damage, and there easier to control. Other options are Offensive Hell for the might aura to pump up your damage from summons (but we covered this above…their meat tanks). Another option is act5 barbs, nice damage and excellent health, with a different assortment of weapons available. I tend to rely on my summons more then my merc for my controllable meat tanks, so I usually prefer the act2 holy freeze for the crowd control. If you have a good bow act 1 is a possible option, but again, the freez has always been such a key advantage I nvr dug too deep into this.

    Gear
    This is one of the strengths of the Windy. In PvM there is little dependency on gear, though as with any class higher lvls of gear equates directly to better performance. But a windy can survive in Hell on found/traded gear as well as anyone. I would suggest, however, that if you have the option of using the trade avenues please do so…there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get decent gear for your windy relatively easily. The key is utilizing your farming options. Well talk more of this later.

    One of the things you wont have to worry about is resistance. Ca is more effective then resistance, as long as you keep it up (see maintenance). Ca is zero resistance, so any abilities that affect resistance (such as a sorc’s cold mastry) do not affect Ca. it simply absorbs ‘X’ amount of elemental damage, period. It doesn’t matter if your resists are maxed or at 0, it will still absorb the exact same amount of elemental damage, then phail. Due to this, I usually recommend that windys do NOT gear for resists. Since the whole approach is to keep Ca up at all times, resists are just taking up precious itemization points in your gear selection. Any resists already on the gear you plan is fine, but don’t take one piece over another if the biggest factor is resists. There simply not needed. An example of this is mosers. I love the shield, use it on a wide variety of my toons so I usually have one available. But its high resist, and I usually have 2 pdiamonds in it. So I have some resist from that shield, but usually it doesn’t really make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Whistans guard is often overlooked by many due to its lack of resists, but this in itself makes it an excellent windy shield. It block is one of teh highest in the game. I think SS outperforms it due to damage reduction and other buffs, but for the price whistans is hard to beat.

    The key with gear selection is +skills, vit, and mana return. Since we spend more time maintaining spells, having a huge mana pool isn’t necessary, but it comes in handy. I have used an insight before with my windy’s, but have leveled without as well. Excessive mana regen simply is not needed. My current windy is walking nightmare easily with no more mana regen then whats on his armor (skin of the vipermagi). Its only a small mana return per kill, but your Hn kills LOTS of monsters at a time with almost NO mana investement. The mana only seriously drops when your fighting a boss or single elites.

    I want to make a quick note of leveling gear: most gear you can get by fine with, they key stats you look for are the saem kinds of stats your look for on a sorc…+skills, mana, vitality, fastcast. Melee oriented stats dont do you any good except for the initial leveling stages (1-30). Possibly mid 30’s If your a die hard single player vanilla style of play, but once you hit nightmare your farming options open up. There’s plenty of solid leveling gear and runewords that are underestimated by the community as a whole due to the ‘uber’ gear such as enigma/Hoto/spirit etc. Stealth as an example is an excellent armor to use once you hit your casting phase. Spirit of course is the all around best leveling weapon to use, and an excellent end game if you have no other. But most peeps forget items such as islestrike. Its stats suck for casters except for the +skills and +stats. No reason why you cant use it as an in-between until spirit or something better comes along. The +skills are what make it king…it also work well for the occasional melee attack. Yes, I know, its gutter drood gear…but if your only other option is a melee weapon, you might as well pick up a melee weapon with +skills on it ;)

    There’s not much to say on high end gear…Hit fenris’ guide on PvP and the gear is pretty much the same. On a new season, though, high end gear is going to be rare, and anything you can get that has higher them mid-lvl runes is most likely duped. Just a fair warning…I don’t know if id turn away a chance at an enigma, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I hop onto my toon a week later and its mysteriously gone. You have been warned :D


    Farming
    Here’s the short and skinny. There’s no reason why you cant have some decent gear by the time your trekkin mid-way through nightmare. Dedicate a few evenings to countess runs, as an example, will net you a huge amount of lower runes, and a few nice higher ones. You can probably build a few nice runewords from these runs alone (thinking spirit and stealth here). Or farm normal cows for gems(and a decent selection of uniques), and hit the trading scene. You’d be surprised at how many decent mid-lvl items can be traded for gems. If you’re a serious MF’er, you can prob get a lot of gear this way…but a windy druid is not king at MF…roll a meteorb and have at it. Tele is just too potent for farming of this sort. No, in relation to cow levels and gem farming, I love my windy. And if you can gain access to an enigma, he fits right in to MF just fine. Sorcs are better for this tho. But if this is your first toon, there’s nothing wrong with MF runs. The same runs that sorcs use are viable for druids, with less worry, as long as your maintaining your spells.

    Well there you have it. By all means please leave critiques, or other information you would like to see in the guide that I did not provide.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  2. williamchan

    williamchan IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    newb talking here but, if in your build you are maxing block, and not maxing oak, isn't it nerfing a lot ur HP? but overall a very good guide, just thinking about that doubt that I had in mind about following with MB.
     
  3. morthosak

    morthosak IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Thanks for the guide Elyxthaxzus.

    There is one part that confused me slightly though. According to the skill tree's and official D2 website's description of grizzly and dire wolves, additional skill points only provides a passive increase in damage for all summons and doesn't increase the grizzly's base life of 650. While additional points in dire wolves provides a passive life increase for all summons and a slight increase in the dire wolves' damage as well.

    So my question would be, wouldn't it be better to max out dire wolves instead of grizzly if the purpose of maxing grizzly is to make the bear a more effective tank? Since maxing out dire wolves would provide a 525% bonus to the grizzly's base life of 650.
     
  4. CarloC

    CarloC IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    I was gonna say that, morthosak.

    Also, you didn't cover mana efficiency. I've never palyed a druid and don't see how mana efficient a druid is while spamming spells and summons etc.
     
  5. Elyxthaxzus

    Elyxthaxzus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Thanks for the reply's folks! good stuff keep em coming...

    In relation to man efficiency, TBH i've never ran into mana issues. But i will admit i make it sound like you can spam tornadoes non stop without consequence. Truth be told, you do have to watch it early on, as time goes on you do get much more mana efficient simply due to an increasing mana pool, and better items. We don't really run into the issues a sorc does, as one of our main damage components is a timered spell...one cast, and it lasts for 'x' seconds. at first, it seems frustratingly short in its duration. But this is why i encourage you to lvl up you Cyclone Armor. the extra duration is not only an increase in mana efficiency via less casting, but also in improvement in damage/mana, as it takes less mana to do more damage.

    Compare that to a sorc, who has to consistently spam frozen orb, or fireball, or blizzard/meteor. some builds are more efficient then others, but all in all, my insight polearms always went to my sorcs mercs, while my windy always went without.

    My current Windy is walking through nightmare, and the only real mana regen he has is from his Skin of the vipermagi. and i dont have any mana issues. Of course, my tornado spamming isnt necessary at this point, and even in hell i remember that i use it pointedly in most cases, except when dealing with the pack issues. I've been balancing out leveling Cyclone armor and Hurricane. Cyclone armor is maxed now, and Hurricane is next. Both of these increase my tornado damage, so my tornado is increasing its damage as well. I've been using tornado's solely on elites and larger groups, and usualy one or two is enough.

    I think any mana type that is based on '# of creature killed' really helps, as you tend to have a great deal of mobs that die under your hurricane. thru the first two acts of nightmare i really didn't use tornado much if at all, just stared using it on elites in end of nightmare act II (tal rasha tombs).

    If your looking for more mana efficiency then, anything that involves giving mana back per creature killed is excellent, but anything with mana regen works as well.

    My current equipment includes my skin as my shining star, a jalal's mane i traded for pgems, using islestrike as a weapon (yeah i know, melee weapon but it has 2 +skills on it, when ur just starting out ya scrub :D ) with mosers (also a trade) in my offhand. everything else is trash, my merc wears scrubs and i think a yellow polearm (no leech on it whatsoever), and i have a single +elemental skiller an MF'er gave me out of pity (i think lol) during a run. so a total of +6 skills altogether, and crap for mana regen. And so far ive had to pot only on bosses, mostly due to the skin mana bonus solely.

    I daresay that peeps that are more careful then i could probably garner better gear. I'm currently in the process of farming nightmare countess for runes, have a 4 socket runesword i got in a cow run i'm saving for my spirit, so im hoping the gear will increase here soon. But even with what i have now, most of act I and II died from Hurricane alone, along with my minions.

    In relation to MB, all i can say is through quite a few windy builds i always brought my str up into the 120-140 range, dex for max block and rest into vit, and i've ran up through organ gathering with that build in softcore, and hell baal in hardcore. If you want to maximize your vitality with an MB build, make sure your setting yourself up for the right shield, either a SS or Whistans if your going the cheap route. or even a sigons if your extremely scrupulous. Those will allow you to invest less dex overall, and put rest into vitality.

    I cant argue with vit builds...alot of peeps swear by them, but all i know is if your going the suicide route, from experience, having the health to deal with a few extra hits in hell isn't worth the sacrifice of losing your block. It's not just damage your losing, your also losing casting time. Don't forget, one of the means at your disposal to avoid damage as a windy is keeping the mobs on the defensive through your maintenance spells and your casting. If your getting hit you cant cast, and blocking has a much faster hit recovery then being hit. It's easy to test. hit a group (that you can easily survive), and let them hit you, and try to cast, its really tough. Now do the same thing, but jump in and throw a few tornadoes with hurricane up...there the ones who are spending time in hit recovery at that point, and your going to find it alto easier to survive, keep up your cyclone armor, and other spells that way. If you are getting hit more often, all the health in the world wont help you if you cant get off a spell cast.

    And So if it's a tradeoff of being hit and being able to take that extra hit, or being able to block it and re-cast faster, ill take block. But i encourage anyone who wants to do it to try out max vit role, and let me know how it works, the more info we have the better. I know from reading the sorc forums that both directions are liked, MB builds and Vit builds, and a windy's approach is much the same as a meteorb...you tend to get up close an personal, and block really helps in those situations. This isnt to dissuade folks from trying max Vit, but i have yet to play a caster based toon that didn't prosper with max block.

    I tried a max oak once before, and found that the biggest issue with oak wasn't the lack of health at low levels as the fact that it simply dies....all the time..alot...in hell. And if your relying on oak as a major addition to your health, your going to see your health drop drastically when it dies, and it always dies at very nasty spots...i remember specifically one time in hell when a bud was running his sorc, and i was pretty much keeping oak up non stop spamming it because it would die so frequently, and he was relying on its health boost to survive. I wasn't having as many issues, and ironically i was max block on this druid. it was sorta funny...he had admitted he was spamming a macro to remind me to keep my oak up lololol.

    I honestly dont know the exact numbers, but i don't wish to rely on a health boost that may suddenly disappear. In comparison with the other maintenance skills we keep up, it may just fall into that category anyways, and simply be another spell to monitor and keep up. But i found over time that it was less of an issue to always have then simply a beneficial buff. However, i found the grizzly to be a vital resource, thus investing points into that aren't wasted IMHO.

    And on that note, ill do more research into the grizzly. I don't remember the details, but i do remember that my extra points simply went there instead of Dire wolf...ill have to find out why, if nothing other then habit. It worked, thus i used it :)

    I'll have to see if i can put this info into the guide here as well, and update it. Thanks guys :D!!
     
  6. Elyxthaxzus

    Elyxthaxzus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Well, here’s the data I’ve collected so far on Grizzly and dire wolves, most likely well know in the druid community, but im posting this for the guide and to refresh my rusty brain. This is condensed from Lothrics druid summoner guide, so credits due him J

    Essentially, the summons each provide a passive boost to themselves as well as the other summons. Spirit wolves provide AR and Def increase, the Dire Wolves Health increase, and the Grizzly a damage increase.

    Each summons also provides a 5% increase in total resistances per each skill point in that specific summon beyond 1. So, as an example, a lvl 11 grizzly would have a 50% resists all ([11-1]*5 = 50 ), that is not affected by points in the other summons, nor does the grizzly’s resistance affect the other summons in turn. Now there’s a caveat here: I DO NOT KNOW if summons resists are affected by the difficulty level reductions (50 in nightmare, 100 in hell). My memory tells me that it doesn’t, but I’m hoping some of the more experienced druids can direct me to any links that would have that info.

    So I guess the question boils down to what you want out of your grizzly. Its strengths are high damage, knockback, and stun on hits, plus the resists you’ll get from the points you put into it. On the flip side, if you invest the points into Dire wolves, you’ll have higher bas health at the sacrifice of lower damage and lower resistances. If you take a look at the data below, it’s a serious nerf to damage and resistance for the health increase, yet health is pretty low without the dire wolf bonus:

    Grizzly info @lvl 1 with maxed dire wolves
    Health: 3,410 (roughly, +/- a few pts)
    Damage:25-37
    Resistance: 0%

    Grizzly info @lvl 1 maxed Dire Wolves(with +6 overall skills)
    Health: 3410
    Damage: 166-222
    Resistance: 0%

    Grizzly @lvl 20 with 1pt in dire wolves
    Health: 975
    Damage : 945-1039
    Resistance: 95%

    Grizzly @lvl 20 1pt in Dire wolves (+6 overall skills)
    Health: 975
    Damage: 1665-1777
    Resistance: 95%

    So overall, it depends on what you really want to be able to do with the grizzly. If you want the meat shield, go with the max dire wolves. Given the predilection to using them as a meat shield. Especially if you take into account the bonus from extra players in the game, the health can get pretty crazy. But at that same time, your losing a great deal of potential damage. At lvl 26, your over 1,5k per whallop, that’s enough for the grizzly to finish off mobs on his own.

    I would safely say that either direction could work…Both my high level hardcore druids ran with maxed grizzly, and im not sure about the other’s I leveled in softcore, but I could see their survival being even greater with the change to maxed wolves instead. So think it’s a personal pref at this point for that. Or you could juggle…if your grizz is just dying too much for you in hell, throw some points into dire wolves. It’s a tough juggle, the resists are a big deal in hell, but so is 2k life :D. their knockback and stun is also a big help, and you get that either way. So id say to choose and adjust depending on your situation. The advantage you have here is these are the last skills you should be maxing, so you will have a good amount of experience with your druid and his grinding process to know which direction to go.
     
  7. Elyxthaxzus

    Elyxthaxzus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Here’s some more info…Was doing some research and came across this pet calculator via amazon basin. Almost forgot it was there, but it gives you an excellent resource to calculate the exact numbers for your pet given the skill lvls you have in its synergies, and the results. Based on the info from this site, and the calculator, from what I can determine your pets resists are NOT affected by lvl difficulty. Thus resists are a big deal when determining the overall value of maxing dire wolf vs. grizzly. Here’s the grizz results. I calculated using a lvl 85 toon, and +6 to skill lvls.

    Stat Grizz(20)DW(1) Grizz(1)DW(20)
    Hit Points* 2340 5037
    AR 4408 4028
    Damage(avg) 665-1777(1755) 166-222(202)
    Frames/Att 12 12
    Hit Recovery 10 10
    Resistance 85 30
    HP regen/sec 71.4 153.7
    Avg. DPS 1495.5 171.5

    * = with a lvl 7 Oak sage up (1 skill pt with +6 from items)

    As you can see, with grizz maxed you gain almost 10x as much damage, 50 more resist all (even at hell lvls), and about 100 more hit rating. With DW(Dire Wolf) maxed, you gain over double the health, and health regen. Sorry about all the posts covering the same info, but I believe these stats are more accurate then the baselines I calculated on my own in the previous post. That and im Bored at work, and have the time to research :D. Results are still the same. I think ill still go the route of max grizzly, the extra resist IMO make up for the reduction in health on its own, not counting the extra damage.
     
  8. morthosak

    morthosak IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Thanks for all that work in the follow-up and the mentioning of the pet calculator from amazon basin Elyx. That site has definitely been helpful.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  9. williamchan

    williamchan IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    well lvl 50 atm on my windy druid, stats atm are 130 str, 70 dex, 100 vit, idk if i should go for max block while leveling since im going to hell around lvl 70+, still not sure if i should max bear or not though... but def sure that im going for MB.
     
  10. Hello Jim

    Hello Jim IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Okey, so I couldn't make myself read the whole guide and posts in 2 A.M but I will. However, still a couple of notes of the stuff I came across:

    1. Mosers' is mostly a res shield, but those two socket are perfect places for 2x Eld (+14% CTB). Whistan't still has better block (Eld it itself), but it's still a good option.

    2. Not true that you don't have to worry about res. If you don't notice your CA is gone, negative res can get you 1 hit KO. Even more important is Poison. CA doesn't absorb it, so it can be a pain. Some res gear/psn sc/Tal runes/P.Emerald/items with huge psn res (Venom Ward, Razortail) can be a good solution.

    And a couple of general notes- Make the guide more readable. Make highlated titles, paragraphs, maybe even make it shorter (I can't know if you need to, cause I haven't read it).
    Also, make a understandable gear section (Helm: Armor: Shield: etc). You can devide each gear slot to catagories and give more than one option (high-end, normal, poorman's). Also, if you want (and it would be nice) give an explanation on each choice you made and recommand.


    That's it for now until I actually read the whole thread :)
     
  11. williamchan

    williamchan IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    1. So is going for ELD on the shield advisable to spend less points on DEX for MB, so I can get a bigger HP pool?

    2. I was thinking about this too, so how much resists to all / poison, should we be aiming for?



     
  12. Elyxthaxzus

    Elyxthaxzus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    thanks for the awesome tips Jim :D

    Il have to start digging in and adjusting my format...now i gotta figure out how to do that on this forum *crai*

    In relation to resists, ur right on, if you let your Ca go down its nasty without resistance...ill have to do some res naked running in hell to check it out. I don't really remember gearing specifically for resistance tho, but poison was definitely an issue, don't know if i had that in this revision had it in the first...it was my first major barrier when i was organ running, stopped playing before i could re-gear to resolve it, but ya poison you have to take into account. BUt for normal res, i thikn i usually just ran with whatever was on teh gear i had..usually high end gear has some on it.

    @williamchan : ya know, personal choice i go with MB and 1pt in oak. The druids hp/vit really is poor, one of the worst in the game. Might be due to that fact that shifting skils add health, and its a balance thing, but it leaves us poor windy's out on a limb health-wise. In other words, you get less from 1 pt in vitality then most classes. I'd go max block, but make sure you have a good shield to pair it with, like we've been discussing so far. Heck, even sigons is pretty good, high block, just not much else stat wise
     
  13. williamchan

    williamchan IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Umm, so is it advised to use runes on the shield to increase your block rate so less points are used in DEX?



     
  14. Verashiden

    Verashiden IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Why? You'll only gain at most 100 life from it.

    Why WHY would you 1 point Oak? A major strength of a Windy is the sickeningly high health pool for a pure caster. I mean, They hit 5-7k Life on a regular basis.

    Also... what separates this guide from fenris' in the stickies?
     
  15. williamchan

    williamchan IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide


    So you stating that instead of maxed bear to go for maxed Oak?

    I think what is different is maxing bears :thumbup:, not too sure, didn't read up to close detail the stickied guide since it was meant for PVP.



     
  16. Verashiden

    Verashiden IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Well, here's why a Windy shouldn't max Grizzly:

    You're already dealing physical damage from Nado.

    Griz is blockable

    More points into Griz doesn't increase its survivability while more points into Oak increase both yours AND your Griz's

    Griz's damage is redundant for a Windy. That's why there's not really a Wind Shaman build going around.
     
  17. williamchan

    williamchan IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    I think OP stated that putting points into Bear made his resists higher, helping more in Hell than rather raw HP's, though I think I agree with you that putting points in Bear is bad since hes just there as a decoy.:whistling:



     
  18. Hello Jim

    Hello Jim IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    I'm against maxing Grizzly as well. Only reason for NOT making Oak is that he does die alot. After finally getting to Hell, every lightning/fire monster kills him in a sec. That's very annoying.

    So IMO it's more of a question of putting points in Oak or putting points in Dire Wolves, because boosting resist and dmg doesn't seem like a big + for me.

    And "sickeningly high health pool"- I'm sorry, what? I'm not an experianced Dudu but in lvl ~60 I had roughly 800 life with Oak on. So are you reffering to lvl 99 Godly Druid prehaps?
     
  19. SlashRox

    SlashRox IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    Well, yea. I mean, its pretty hard to get to 5k hp, it's true, but the "sickeningly high health" is pretty much what it is. You can EASILY get 2.5k or 3k life by lvl 70-80. My Windy is 55 and I've 1.2k life with pretty much crappy stuff (first bnet char). Also, if u are in party with a barb and he casts BO, well, figure it out yourself.


     
  20. williamchan

    williamchan IncGamers Member

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    Re: Druid Suicide Windy PvM guide

    So how CAN you get 5k hp? Charms?/ Godly gear?
     

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