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Guardian #20 or deeds? - Now with more unspent skillpoints than a Necro!

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Nightfish, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. Nightfish

    Nightfish IncGamers Member

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    Guardian #20 or deeds? - Now with more unspent skillpoints than a Necro!

    Well, weekend over, time for another one. Actually #20 was supposed to be a lightning trapper but I decided she was boring and cookie cutter so I went for a pure strafezon instead. My first go at a strafer did not turn out so well. Used LF for backup and in the end ended up using only LF and maybe strafe for LIs. Well, this time it went completely different... Allow me to present with as much pride as one can present a D2 char: Viridia, the lvl 81 Strafezon that actually deserves that name:

    Stats & Inventory:

    http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/8444/viridiastatsinventory8vh.jpg

    Damage is with might and enchant.

    Skills:

    20 Strafe
    20 Penetrate
    14 Pierce

    1 all prerequisties

    and that's it. No Valk. No Decoy. No D/A/E. No Inner Sight. No Slow Missiles. No nothing. Just strafe, Penetrate and Pierce.

    Unspent Points: 33

    I think that's some kind of record.

    Items

    Helm: Perf Ruby Blackhorn's Face
    Armour: Perf Ruby Crow Caw
    Belt: Blood Craft: 2% LL, 8% OW, 27%LR, 5% FR, 20 Life, 17% FHR.
    Boots: Gore Rider
    Gloves: Cleglaw's Set
    Ring 1: Ravenfrost
    Ring 2: Rare from Ormus: 8% LL, 6% ML, +13Str, 3% Res all, 19% CRes
    Ammy: Cat's Eye

    Weapon: 2 x 25% ED Jewel Up'd Witchwild String (220% ED final)

    Switch: Demon Limb (Enchant)

    So, what's the point of all this? Basically my plan was to keep alive using three things:

    1) Knockback. Okay, this is obvious. Strafe attacks fast and throws stuff back. Simple deal.
    Pro: Works like a charm for regular "questing"
    Con: Does not work against act bosses and ancients.

    2) 67% FRW. I know, I know... How can you run in HC? I get that all the time. But tbh, running owns hard. Nothing like cheesing it when a mob of angry somethings chases you.
    Pro: Makes me faster than them.
    Con: Makes me faster than my merc, which results in me having no merc, and no aura most of the time

    3) Slow target by 45% (Cleglaw + Blackhorn). Sweet. This is probably the best thing ever.
    Pro: Makes them slow. This is win vs act bosses.
    Con: Less effective vs Extra Fast monsters

    So, the basic idea was to just run a bit and start strafing. Usually everything just died before it even got close to me. Sweet. Act bosses are just owned by this. Duriel never even hit me on nightmare or hell difficulty.

    Right, this covers how I planned to stay alive, how did I plan to kill? Well, WWS at 220% ED does okay damage. Nothing great but it's ok. With close 100% Deadly Strike this is doubled which is enough for good killspeed in hell. With amp damage this is quadrupled which makes stuff just melt away. Another excellent addition to the arsenal is open wounds. This owns a lot more than it's given credit. Just a few items providing the mod and stuff doesn't heal anymore and the irresistable damage kills all unbreakable PIs for me. Sweet. Strafe is also a lot better than it looks on the stat screen. If you know how where to stand you can attack a lot of things at the same time. Pierce & 3 FPA are pretty nice.

    The original plan was to give the merc a crescent moon and have him whittle down things with static but that didn't happen as the merc is a complete and utter idiot. Go to hell merc. And die. Horribly. Moron. -.-


    Merc

    Might, I think. To be quite honest I went through complete areas without even *seeing* him. It seems in 1.11 he can get stuck and doesn't portal after you at all sometimes. I hate him. He sucks. Go to hell mercenary. Go to hell and die.

    The Why and the How:

    As usual, I want to skip normal and nightmare in my narrative, with one exception: I had planned to go close to base vit with this char until in act 3 nightmare I discovered that stygian dolls do a ****load of damage when they pop. And, that my merc is never around, *except* when he can kill a doll standing right next to me. Ouch. Ouch to the max. At that time I decided to go for 200 Vit instead, and we'll see whether or not that was a waste.

    Why max strafe? Well, tbh I just maxed it cause I had the points. But it turns out strafe now fires a minimum amount of arrows even if there's only one target (forgot about that) and this rocks so much. Sure, there's next delay but that does not actually affect things. Fact is you'll be attacking real fast if you strafe and now strafe owns all other bow skills when it comes to taking out single enemies. And of course it is still awesome against crowds if you know where to stand. (in a line with the mob)

    Why max penetrate? Well, strafe is no good if you can't hit. As I relied on strafe for crowd control I needed good AR. Same reason I got enchant from demon limb. Get's my AR up to a decent level without sacrificing much - neither from gear nor stat points.

    Why 14 Pierce? Well, this was around 60% for a while until I realised I won't be needing anything else.

    Why no Valk? Running in place and *whiff* bugs. Also because I seriously do not need a tank for this build.

    Why no decoy? As above, I need no tank. And if I needed one, a copy of the zon would suck *** even with 200% life. The zon can take 2 hits before she drops, so the copy would take 4... I'd be recasting this so much I wouldn't get to strafe.

    Why no other attack skills? Because strafe kills and hard. And I didn't want or need anything else.


    The Battle through Hell:

    Well, this was truly fun. After the disappointing hydra sorc she was a welcome change. Left normal at 40 and nightmare at 74 respectively (to wear the dual leech ring, otherwise I'd be in hell at 68).

    Normal questing is relatively uneventful. Run a few paces, strafe, see if that hits something, if so, keep at it until it drops. If hits nothing advance. In battles Viridia tries to position herself on a line with the bulk of the enemy forces to maximise the potential strafe + pierce offers. And that's not too shabby.

    The slow target mod is really awesome. Even without a merc she was in no danger at all. Strafe, fall back, strafe, fall back, strafe, gg no re. No problem with her FRW and the enemies being all "zomg!!! I R TEH SLOW!!! ME = TEH SWISS??!?!?".

    I had a few close calls when I passed doors. Of course you should always expect 2 boss packs, one cursed, one extra strong, mighty or fanatic but when it actually happens you are surprised. Well, again FRW made for a clean exit.

    What totally surprised me is how she eats bosses for breakfast. Even without swapping gear onto her merc. The slow mod totally screws them over and most of the times she didn't even get hit unless she deliberately tanked, i.e. diablo's fire / lightning hose.

    After a fun trip through the world of diablo, complete with getting lost in act 3 and forgetting to bring the body part of the flayer dungeon... (moron!) she finally reached the arreat summit. Da da da daaaam. Dramatic pause.

    I have to admit I was slightly worried for her. But, I thought this was a good chance for my merc to make himself useful. So, on he puts his guillaume's face, shaftstop and crescent moon and he's all ready to go. Viridia hits it and .... curse.... bam... merc dead. Okay, okay... that was a curse, nothing serious, just revive him and go again. Second try... she hits it... the merc drops. I was like... Okay, fine. Nobody needs you anyway. Go to hell. And die... Oh, you did... Well, good going. Moron.

    So, there she is, my poor little strafezon with 3 ancients, one of them sporting the popular might aura, 2 of them FE, none PI. Well, my policy is, "if they're not cursed you can handle them". Damn policies. But seriously, again slow target by 45% owned the **** out of the the troublemakers. I could do the strafe, fall back, strafe, fall back and almost never get hit. 2 of the ancients went down like my merc (I hope he's still dead. Moron) which left me and the FE whirler. Only one of us would make it... Can I tank the FE explosion at full life or not? Click to find out:

    http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/9278/viridiaouch7sx.jpg


    Well, that's it for this one. No remarkable finds. Runes were fal and hel. Yay.












    (she made it in the end, of course. Rest of the game was a cakewalk. Proves that you really don't need a tank as a bowzon)
     
  2. Sint Nikolaas

    Sint Nikolaas IncGamers Member

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    Nice one.. at least this one was better then the hydra sorc right? .. I bet you felt all nice and warm the moment that ancient blew up huh? :grin:
     
  3. Nightfish

    Nightfish IncGamers Member

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    This one was straight 10/10. Right up there with the WWsin, Golemmancer, Ribsin, DualFleshripper WW barb and all the other fun ones.

    Yeah, I felt kinda warm -.- But happy that I didn't go glass cannon...
     
  4. Reborn2k

    Reborn2k IncGamers Member

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    Sweet! :thumbsup:

    Congrats also on your Hydrasorc! Do you only play HC?
     
  5. Nightfish

    Nightfish IncGamers Member

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    Thanks :)

    Thanks, she had her own threads, despite being boring to the max and sucking to the... what's > max?

    Almost exclusively. Started SC, of course, but eventually fully converted. Now I play SC only with dashy because he's too nubby for HC. He died to normal corpsefire. And he was hosting so it's not like he lagged... :badteeth:
     
  6. inanefedaykin

    inanefedaykin IncGamers Member

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    You ever tried a medusazon? I think you'd enjoy the build, it's somewhat similar to what you did on that zon.
     
  7. crazy_bear

    crazy_bear IncGamers Member

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    Nice strafer NF. WWS + OW owns.
     
  8. MadMardigan

    MadMardigan IncGamers Member

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    Geez Nightfish, you've got to slow down. If you keep at this rate you'll be done with your sept-sept by the end of the month. :grin:

    Seriously though, nice work. Characters are always easier to play when they're "fun".

    ~MM
     
  9. DX-Crawler

    DX-Crawler Banned

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    Congratulations to your number 20 Fishy:thumbsup:
    Looks like my WWS strafer except I chickened out and used Valk aswell, and they are indeed very strong characters

    And yes running is always good in HC cant stand walking around slowly

    DX
     
  10. chickenhed

    chickenhed IncGamers Member

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    Another fun read from fish. Thanks! And its great seeing you back with your guardian builds!
     
  11. Quickdeath

    Quickdeath IncGamers Member

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    Great reading, congrats on #20.

    Why did you not invest in Critical Strike? And how did you handle PIs?
     
  12. Nightfish

    Nightfish IncGamers Member

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    Thanks everybody ;)

    96% Deadly Strike. DS & CS can't happen on the same attack so crit would be wasted. PIs were handled through amp damage and / or open wounds. Damage from OW is irresistable and just killifies everything - given a bit of time. PI moonlords take a while, though.
     
  13. Psychic Watch

    Psychic Watch IncGamers Member

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    Interesting read as always, NF.


    I'm curious about what /players X setting(s) you use at various stages of the game.


    Are there any builds you've made Guardian that could go /players 8 the entire game, and still finish in a timely fashion?


    How do some of your recent Guardians fare on that setting? Always looking to find "/players 8 enablers". :laugh:
     
  14. AeroGear

    AeroGear IncGamers Member

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    I run normal and nightmare on PL 8 all the time in HC with any char. I run Hell in /pl 3 or /pl 1 when me and my merc dont have good enough gear. My 87 javazon is currently doing cow/countess/pit/tunnels/meph/pindle/eldritch runs (doing same thing over and over would bore me and its good xp that way) at /pl 5.

    /pl 8 would require some pretty strong twinking otherwise kill speed is REALLY affected. I'd rather have to cast LF once to kill 20 flayers for say 200K XP than have to throw 20 LF to kill 20 and net 500K.

    Assuming I play totally untwinked, normal in pl8 is easy, nightmare can be tricky if I dont have anything good, implies rerunning areas to be ready. We'll see anyway, currently working on an untwinked martial arts assassin, I'm thinking that since she would be far less item dependant than a paladin or barbarian (hammerdin excluded) she should do fairly well.

    Act bosses, champions and some specific mobs would be rather annoying with pl8 settings, gloams are annoying enough at pl1, oblivion knights, watever mob is immune to your main attack wether you're a sorc or a fury zon etc. Summoners can do the whole game with pl8, minion's strenght scale with the number of players but its slooooooooooooow.
     
  15. Nightfish

    Nightfish IncGamers Member

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    I go p8 for act 1 - 3 normal. p1 for act 4 and p8 again for 5. Stays on p8 for the entire NM difficulty. This is generally the easiest difficulty to go p8 on and it's the one that takes me the least time to finish by far. Hell is p1. I feel that hell is the only difficulty that is somewhat balanced with respect to how much damage the average character can deal and how much monsters can soak up.

    Well, if you want to go p8 you just gotta accept that it takes 4.5 times as long as normal for pretty much everybody. Basically the only ones that can easily go p8 all the way are those that are slightly overpowered or overtwinked. Blizzard sorc - she has to park CIs, though. Hammerdin - yawn. LFzon - parks LIs. Winddruid, see hammerdin. I expect my pure lightning trapper to be capable of similar things, going p8 and parking immunes. Most of my 2h Ribcracker chars can handle P8, the furywolf, zealot and the avenger. The IK Whirler will probably be able to do that, too.

    Overall I think going p8 is a waste on hell. It's not worth it for the items and it's not worth it for the levels. If I go p8 all the way that's a difference of about 4-5 levels. And seeing how most of my chars have spare points intead of desperately needing 4 more... I have no inclination of taking somebody to 99 either. Got a few past 90 just doing P1 WS K runs. Takes 4.5 times as many runs but probably only 1.3 times as much time or so.

    The only reason I go p8 on normal and nightmare is because it doesn't take significantly longer for most builds.
     
  16. NeoKnuckles

    NeoKnuckles IncGamers Member

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    Did you go valkless just as a novelty thing? From the looks of it, you didn't spend tons of points, and could have easily poured 40 points into it and decoy.
     
  17. AeroGear

    AeroGear IncGamers Member

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    I think thats the point, he's making it harder/more challenging on purpose ;)
    He can pull it off, I'm not sure I would risk it :shocked:
     
  18. Skullcaptain

    Skullcaptain Banned

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    Congrates, guardian is always worth alot of respect~!
     
  19. Nightfish

    Nightfish IncGamers Member

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    As I said in my longish post, no valk was used for several reasons:

    - She's absolutely and totally 100% unneeded
    - Points in dodge / avoid / evade are bugged, at least they were in 1.10 and I don't know if this persists in 1.11. Running in place bug and can cause strafe / fend cycle to miss.
    - Decoy was not used because it can take twice as much damage as me on slvl 20. That's 4-5 hits. If I use that I'd be casting decoy all day instead of strafing

    The thing is with strafe, slow and knockback, pretty much nothing reaches me alive. I can attack things with strafe that I can't even see yet and monsters are often not even on the screen when they die.
     
  20. XeLou

    XeLou IncGamers Member

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    Poor merc :grin:
     

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