fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro ifr

galzohar

Diabloii.Net Member
fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

We all know the common hammerdin, summon/ce necro and FA/LF zon and that they're all rather great builds for untwinked and can actually handle single immunes better than any other untwinked class (although if you ignore immunes you have more options, I'd rather have a class that can solo as well).

Hammerdin should be very strong and require simple gear. Due to range it's the most vulnerable option though, and deaths=exp loss.
Team advantages: Concentration aura for physical damage dealers.
Team disadvantages: Probably nobody will do a lot of damage that actually gets boosted by it (except summoners...) and nothing else that's usefulf or the team.
Benefits from: Having meatshields, not much else can help really since it's just magic damage.

The necro is probably the least gear intensive, I'd give him that, but I'm not sure about speed. Especially without a cruel war pike on the merc, but even with it, getting the first body might actually take as long as the other classes take to clear the whole pack.
Team advantages: lots of meat shields, amp damage, CE chains after others get the corpse down.
Team disadvantages: Hardly anyone would deal physical damage and cold damage will mess up your entire purpose for existance.
Benefits from: anyone who can get corpses and not destroy them... Which includes a lot of good classes but also excludes a lot of other good classes.

The amazon requires pierce (razortail) and some +skills, and prereably a +6 bow and a titan's, but can do without. While I think she'd likely be the fastest killer once you have those items, spending time farming gear so you can have those (even though they shouldn't be too hard to get) might not be worth it, not to mention even with those items she might not be faster. But I'm really not sure about that, since amazon damage is very hard to estimate due to it getting multiplied by number of successful pierces which varies a lot.
Team advantages: Massive freeze and overall powerful area of effect, while the lack in single target power is not as important.
Team disadvantages: No real team boost and freezing stuff screws necros over.
Benefits from: poison necros, avengers, fanatic zealots (probably not going to be too common at ladder start due to gear dependancy and/or immunity problems).

Which one do you guys think would have the best success in ladder leveling?

Do you think MF should be considered for ladder leveling or will it just be a waste of time and try go with a build that can go through without a single MF run? And do you think the zon will manage to trade for said items without much farming or just let go of that idea?
 

Tarantella

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

Just proper solo and non-rushed levelling to lvl 90 will net usually several skillers, a sackload of pgems (50-150) and several good items for your class. The summoner can make sacrifices to gear to carry more mf items and has the advantage here but levelling past 90, having to raise summons every run, gets very tedious.
 

galzohar

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

Since my recent comback I finsihed the game with a couple characters on single player and only found 2 P&B skillers and 1 warcry skiller, and I ran a lot of pindle (probably in the area of 2000 runs). So I think your expectations of finding stuff are kinda higher than they should be.

On the other hand, I went and played with an editor, and noticed a couple things regarding amazon:

1. On hell pindle LF kills very fast even with just 1 in pierce and +2 all skills and 40% IAS from gear. In actual areas though if the mobs are spread out it can be slow.

2. I edited a collosus crossbow to have IAS, 200% ED and ~+200 combined min/max damage to simulate a low-mid quality upped buriza and gave 550 dex to simulate might merc and some AR charms/ring(s), and multi actually killed faster than LF in certain situations (when monsters were far away and/or spread out) but was much slower in others (when the mobs were bunched up).

3. FA with only +2 skills is weak but very capable of killing even without pierce. At level 30+ with high pierce it turns into a very good killer, and if your bow is physical-based (not usual for this build though but still an interesting idea) is a good single-mob killer, as physical damage with high dex is much better than +skills for handling single mobs. But then again I was running with no merc as well as charged strike being able to help VS single mobs so physical bow for FA may not be the best idea.

I'll come back when I experiment some more, I'd love to hear some feedback.
 

helvete

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

Hammerdin has the advantage of being very easy to melee with in the start, just pumping the aura. This might not benefit every char, but it DOES benefit every merc (no one uses act 3 mercs unless they're desperate for corpse disposal, and a decent party won't be).

Also, getting +5 all for a hammerdin is piece of cake, as dual spirits +Lore can be gained in act 1 NM at the most convenient. They do well with crafted sharkskin belts, and their mercs are usually equipped with an Insight at the first decent 4s exceptional pole. As early as act 2 you can reroll a grand scepter with chippies from going through act 1, and get decent damage, 2 sox and even staffmods such as +3 concentration or hammer.
 

galzohar

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

I don't really care much for going through the game, you can do that with a firebolt sorc too with ease. I'm looking for what is going to get as high as possible as fast as possible, and let's face it leveling above 80-90 takes a lot longer than reaching 80 with just about any build.

Going for aura over hammer is silly - at least with the first many points hammer>>synergy>>aura, only at higher synergy levels aura starts beating synergy by a little making it worthwhile to alternate between them, and neither never get close to beating hammer on damage per skill point.
 

helvete

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

However, you'll run into mana troubles until you have dual spirits or something. Redemption won't help you enough, and with a low base mana, insight will be of limited use as well. Nice to have good merc/party damage in those cases.
 

Merick

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

Whichever one has a friend that does grushes.
 

galzohar

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

I doubt you'll have an easy time finding rushes at the start of the ladder season.

I've tried all 3 builds and nothing really seems to beat lightning fury with a practically no damage javelin and very low +skills, even if you only have 1 base point with few +skills for pierce. Not as safe as a necro but getting the first body seems to take too long and fire or physical immunes need more than 1 body on top of it.

Spirit should be insanely easy to get. Ral+Ort+Tal X3 from the barb quest is already almost covering it.

Problem with hammerdin it seems too up close and personal with the monsters, which isn't very effective when you don't have gear to defend yourself, as in low resistances and not much blocking if any, and if you do get blocking your already low HP will get even lower. Zon seems a lot safer.
 

helvete

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

I think the key is to know your character inside and out, even untwinked. (Not everyone seems to, on bnet). Knowledge of the first available cube recipes, what items are worth crafting, even at low levels (HF pgem) and what items can be easily shopped or gotten with very high probability. Since I've been rooting for the hammerdin so far, I'll use the summoner as the first example:

1 - Know what items have decent resale value (throwing knives sell for 480, and any non-class specific with staffmods sell well too.) Then shop akara for a +3 RS wand. Also look for a +3 clay golem wand for early switch. These cost around 5k to 10k, so sell sell sell.

2 - Save EVERY chippie. Buying a magic wand with no staffmods costs nothing. Rerolling it with the 3chip recipe might give useful skills, or useless ones. If useless, it can usually be sold for 10k in act 2.

3 - Save every el and eld rune. Use them and a chippie to reroll cracked wands and heads. This sets their ilvl to 1, which is excellent for RS, SM, amp, clay, bone armor and CE.

4 - Any diamond + any staff + any belt + kris = savage polearm. Except for the diamond, all the other ingredients can be shopped in act 2. This will sometimes give you exceptional poles, which can then be 3chipped for 2sox (good chance for lower damage tho) and stuff two -req jewels in there for a great merc weapon. However, pikes can be found from the toombs on, so if you find an eth one, you're set to go anyway.

5 - In the very earliest stages, use 2sox armors and helms with rubys in them for a little extra life. Good if you're going str first. Sapphires might be another good idea, depending on how reckless your play style is.

Doing this, it's not uncommon to see +5 to RS and +x to SM by the end of act 2. Which makes for very strong minions very early. The perfect char to couple with is a hammerdin going aura first, and meleeing until high enough mana to make hammer effective.

I'll skip the zon, as I don't have a clue about their early game. 3sox bow with chip topazes sounds like a good idea. (This is a good idea for a rougue as well; 3s hunters bow with emerald topaz topaz or emerald topaz sapphire).

For the hammerdin, I like to go melee at least until act 3. Shop a 2sox scepter, put that might prereq in, and act 1 is as good as done. Collect str charms like mad, but start ditching them when you have more life/resist ones. IMHO dex is a bit of a waste in the beginning, but if you know your planned gear and find a deflecting shield, why not.

Reroll a Grand Scepter (shop from drognan once you have the cube) for 2sox and either good ED or good skills. If you get crappy skills, but the scepter has a good resale value (9-10k) sell it, and buy a cheaper one to reroll with. If you get, say, +3 hammer and 2sox, you have a hammer switch weapon which will do until you make it to NM and spirits become available. Stick TIR runes in the sockets.

Don't stop rerolling grand scepters, as you need one with good ED as well, unless you find a very good melee weapon. Maxdmg jewels in the socket(s). Get a prayer merc unless your armor is awesome. Put flawed rubys in a 3sox armor for him, or use a rare armor. Start gambling circlets as soon as they become available, and might want to gamble a pike as well. If that pike gets +1 AR, reroll it. If it's rare, keep. Or use a savage pole. Your merc will be a great asset in the maggot lair, arcane sanctum (gotta guide him a little in there) and all through act 3.

Long story short, get to act 4, check which monsters have mlvl 25+ and wait for them to drop a crystal sword. This goes for most of act 5 as well, since you may want an eth one for the lower str req and probably don't have spirit runes yet. AS has correct monster levels for all of normal difficulty, IIRC.

Look for the first blue sharkskin belt. This will be your first craft. Don't stop gambling circlets unless you have a rare +1 pala or +2 combat/offensive one. As for shield, look for pala shields to put flawed diamonds in (save chips) or a rare with good blocking. Once you get to NM, first 4sox pala shield that drops, that's your spirit. Even with crap resists. Start looking for an eth bill, or a 4sox pole for Insight. If you're down on runes, pay NM countless a visit. From here on, it's easy.
 

Merick

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

I doubt you'll have an easy time finding rushes at the start of the ladder season.
If that's what we're talking about, then it doesn't matter too much, since you'll almost always be in games with 7 sorcs and hammerdins. If you aren't one of them, you won't outdamage them, so a utility character is all that could speed things up.



 

helvete

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

Just gotta chyme in to say...very nice Helvete
Thanks. Been playing for a while, including 2 ladder resets and 2 "simulated" resets. Check out the untwinked MF guide by Jiansonz as well, many great tips in there, including what to gamble and how to get decent MF at an early point when having no items to start with.

EDIT: And in the player matchup forum, it's not too hard to plan out a party in advance, in case you want to have some diversity in the party. (Meaning BO and Oak combined with some damage chars).

...and wtf is up with that green smiley next to my forum name??!!one!



 

galzohar

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

Pre-hell gameplay is just too easy for me to worry about it, by the time you roll/shop a couple scepters you could've already been halfway to the next act, if not faster. Especially if you're teaming with teleporters.

The guide you linked is for people playing single pass, meaning they're only allowed to do every zone once and once only. If you're looking for speed, your strategy will be very different. Since you have nothing stopping you from repeating zones, you'll actually get faster exp going as fast as possible though the game (while not being too much behind on levels so you can kill stuff) and stopping to level on baal runs. Good gear won't be needed until hell, and even in hell if you can kill pindle you're set. The guide is really only good for the "single-pass" style play (which is what it was written for), and if used for regular play will really, really slow you down.

I don't know about not outdamaging sorcs and hammerdins. Wtih lvl22 LF and lvl18 synergy (+18%) and lvl3 pierce and 40% IAS I killed pindle faster than my 20/20/20/20 meteor/fireball/firebolt/mastery sorc did. So a dual-tree sorc (so you can solo stuff) will generally be even slower. And I'm not yet sure if hammerdins actually kill faster than javazons (without insane +skill gear), and I'm pretty sure a javazon will die less. With +6 skills your hammers will do ~6600 damage and in most zones 1 hammer will only hit a few mobs, and require you to be up close. Lightning fury may only do ~500 damage with that gear, but pretty much always hit all mobs multiple times.

But yeah blessed hammer does scale a lot faster with +skills, and I suppose once you have high HP and max resists hammerdins can be faster. But if you can't stand up to the mobs I'm not sure hammerdin will be faster than javazon. You can take your editor of choice and give it a go in SP.
 

helvete

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

Both zons and hammerdins have good block potential, the zon has decoy or even valk to help out, and the hammerdin has his trusty merc. Mobs don't hit really hard until hell (save for FE bug which isn't fixed in NM to my knowledge).

However, starting out, there's really not much point in choosing a character you think could be faster, over one that you know well, or think it would be fun to try. You'll likely be in a rather large party anyway, so playing a char with support skills (like a summon druid or a poison necro, or even better, avenger or singer) won't be a problem since 80%+ will be hammerdins and variuos single-tree sorcs. You may even speed up the progress through the game more by playing a barb with BO rather than being the 8th sorc in the party.

I generally don't like partying with zons and assassins, because they don't have any really useful party skills. Paladins (auras, yay!), barbs (warcries, yay!), necros (curses, minions, yayyy!), druids (oak ftw, sometimes minions) and sorcs (damage, tele) I find much more useful. For a really speedy party, I'd prefer frenzier, wolf (with oak), hammerdin, avenger, blizzy, light sorc, chantress and one more char, maybe a necro for curses. Even naked, this combo wouldn't have any trouble.
 

Merick

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

I generally don't like partying with zons and assassins, because they don't have any really useful party skills.

They have some good party skills, they sadly just aren't used very often. I made an FA zon last ladder as my first, and keeping large groups frozen was very useful. Slow missiles is nice for ranged attackers that aren't stupid, and inner sight helps the melees hit, but it's extremely rare to see these in action, and I think they override curses too.

Cloak of shadows is nice, and somewhat annoying. I remember the first weeks after the expansion came out, it was dark half the time. The knockback/stun/conversion skills which I don't recall is also in the somewhat useful, somewhat annoying camp.



 

galzohar

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

Keep in mind hammerdins don't really do anything useful to sorcs and hammerdins, and avengers are going to be pretty much party-play-only since I can't see how you can manage kiling stuff using a single-target melee attack with a subpar weapon and low survival gear. So while in a game with 7 single-tree sorcs it would pwn, it would suck when you play with 7 hammerdins not to mention when you play by yourself.
 

Merick

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: fastest leveler cage match - zon VS hammerdin VS necro

Keep in mind hammerdins don't really do anything useful to sorcs and hammerdins, and avengers are going to be pretty much party-play-only since I can't see how you can manage kiling stuff using a single-target melee attack with a subpar weapon and low survival gear. So while in a game with 7 single-tree sorcs it would pwn, it would suck when you play with 7 hammerdins not to mention when you play by yourself.
You'll never be playing with 7 hammerdins. Weapons will be cheap. Avengers do lots of damage to single targets, which also makes them nice against bosses. Max block and holy shield will do a lot towards survivability.

And what's wrong with only playing in parties? That's the fastest way to level unless you have the gear to solo 8 person hell games, which no one will for quite a while.



 
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