Hardcore - Blocking or max life?

Locohead

Diabloii.Net Member
I don't play HC too often. Playing a HC Sorc which is right now skilled as FO/FB with a +3 FB Leaf staff. RWM active so Spirit is an option later, L45 and starting NM. I have some stat points saved up but still have all 3 respecs also.

Is it good in general, and/or for this char, to block in hardcore, or instead divert those points to vit?

I used to always go for blocking, and I remember Hell diff being vicious without it. But in more recent SC play I've used Spirit on Sorc. My reason to question whether to pump dex for blocking is, it's a % chance. And I'm thinking, well, even with 65 or even 75% blocking, all it takes is a single string of really unlucky rolls and you're dead, and dead is dead. Whereas, you can instead buffer your life a bit more, and while you're much more vulnerable all the time, you also have more buffer, and aren't hiding behind a block chance that will eventually fail you.

And if I do block in HC, what % should I aim for? Thanks.
 

Darkshamangarrosh

Diabloii.Net Member
Go for max life

Most of the hits mobs deal are magical. The only hard hitting melee mobs(that still incorporate fire/cold/etc dmg) are lord de seis pack and listers pack(and perhaps RNG spawned frenzytaurs amp extra strong might aura)
 

okey

Diabloii.Net Member
TBH, it depends on what point of the game as well as the gear available to you.

Speaking from personal experience, early on, I relied on max-vit in conjunction with pdr gear and while the game progresses I gradually transitioned to a 50% block, rest vit with same high reliance on pdr gear.

The reasoning is that, early on sorcs is as hearty as a toothpick, ie early on you'll be seeking as much health as possible, the addition of pdr early on pretty much fractionizes the melee physical damage the damage you recieve while negating range physical damage.

When you sorc's health pool has been considerably buffered to the extent that you won't collapse by a light sneeze, you can focus on utilizing your block%.. However don't rely on it too much, just think of it as a passive that's just there. If you rely too much on it, while neglecting your health and pdr, you'll more than likely die more likely than not. Remember, like it or not you'll be getting hit no matter what, there's no such thing as 100% block.
 

BKC

Diabloii.Net Member
as former gauss player i say go max life. max block is still a chance to block :)
 

Albatross

Diabloii.Net Member
If you go for block it should be 75%.

Cons:
- the invested DEX taxes life heavily (about 300-400 less hp, even more if you manage a CtA)
- if the sorc gets hit she's more likely to go into hit recovery
- there's also block rate to lock her down
- some very dangerous attacks ignore blocking and might insta-gib a low hp sorc (elemental, charges), I remember pindle one-shotting my 800hp, 75% block sorc a few years ago, luckily SC
- you can't (or at least shouldn't) use spirit to block which means -55 FHR you'd want with low life

Pros:
- the sorc doesn't need to run, because she can TP, and shouldn't suffer block penalty
- safety against archers, slingers..
- you can help your merc tank andariel/meph while you are still in your low 80s
- you might get out of frenzytaur packs alive, but you shouldn't be there in the first place

The sorc that got split in half by pindle was the last "caster" sorc I built with blocking, melee is a different story though :)
 

Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
If I have a high block shield and I'm getting reasonably close, then I go max block. If I'm a ranged character then I typically go for max life.
 

Locohead

Diabloii.Net Member
Hmm, lots of different answers. Yeah if I block I would always use fast block, IIRC just something like a Mosers or Rhyme would be fast enough? It was mainly just the question of whether to start pumping dex. I could make a Rhyme for now, usually I can manage to find a Mosers but in fact, my L94 SC sorc still hasn't found one, which is really odd.

As a HC sorc is there any key protective gear I should look out for, that I might not care about as a SC sorc? Is there a certain target PDR for Hell that makes it worthwhile?
 

okey

Diabloii.Net Member
personally speaking, pdr is great. generally I'd aim for 5-10/15-30/30+ pdr for the three difficulty when playing hc.

consider this: you find yourself in a situation where you'll be facing off against 3 groups of flayer spitters. on p8 nm each spitter will be doing 13dmg per dart. let's say each group consist of 8 let's give you benefit of the doubt and say half of em hit you in span of 3 barrages.. 12x13x3 = 468 damage.

now let's assume you got yourself some modest pdr gear in the form of a 2pdr protection ring and say a rare pdr roll in a shield giving you 5.. voila now it's 12x6x3 = 216 damage.

okay let's go even a step further and say rngesus graces you with a everlasting amulet, 25pdr.

boom-- 12x0x3 = 0 damage.

http://classic.battle.net/diablo2exp/monsters/act1-fetish.shtml, you can see the average damage each difficulty deals you, the high range assumes you're playing on p8 while the low is considering you're playing on p1. generally i would consider the trying to negate the range damage while fractionizing the melee.

oh and pdr also has the benefit of allow you to run through nm and hell nithlak temple worry free, ie tomb viper's bugged poison cloud won't lolrape your poor sorc; just have pdr gear to reach the following at p8 nm: 33-44dmg; p1 hell: 44-56dmg or you'll be in for a world of trouble. for more info: https://www.diabloii.net/forums/threads/dealing-with-tomb-vipers.776600/#post-7640437
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Yes, Vita and CtA. Other than that it's a matter of teleporting wisely and getting to know your map layouts.
 

GalaXyHaXz

Diabloii.Net Member
The only time I recommend max block is on the Sin or Zon, who actually benefits from Dexterity. You simply can't afford the loss in life, too many monsters will bypass block and/or ES altogether. If you want to be really cheap you can time travel and get you an older Shako/Valor and Beta Cta. That should bump you up quite a bit. I usually don't farm anything in Act 4/5 Hell until my Sorc has at least 2k life. After BO that should give you upwards of 3k (maybe even 4k with gg gear).
 

Locohead

Diabloii.Net Member
- Not going anywhere near Nihlathak - I'd only do that on Bnet ladder for DKeys
- Currently don't have a stash of HC items, not gonna have anything other than what she finds, so CTA is out unless I grind LK
- Sticking with 1.14d, no old "power" items although maybe someday I'll play those

Guess I could have been more specific. This is a self-found 1.14d HC Sorc at least until she manages to beat Hell Baal, at which point it won't be a big issue. I suppose she could still grind out LK for CTA and stick with Vit though. 1pt ES is interesting although a hardpoint would require 3 additional prereq skill points.

I'll probably try Vit and PDR and LK grinding for CTA then. But I don't know how you manage "at least 2k life" on Sorc before BO. Tons of Vita SC I guess. I don't think I've ever had 2k life AFTER BO, lol.
 

GalaXyHaXz

Diabloii.Net Member
Would it hurt to go back and run the Pits/Tunnels for xp+runes? You really do want to have at least 1.5k life in HC just to be safe. 1 pt into ES won't do you much good, you really do have to pump up ES/TK before it will save you from anything. Spending those points to increase killing power will be a better defense in the long run. And yeah, unless you have older patch items, hitting 2k is difficult without tons of 45 lifers/20scs. I had a bnet sorc that hit 3k after BO, but that was basically perfect gear.

This is how you get 2k life without BO. If I bring her forward and stick on a beta Cta, I'd presume she'd be at 3.5k:
Screenshot001.jpg
 

Locohead

Diabloii.Net Member
That does seem fun to have! Someday I'll go back and run those old versions. I guess my main issue atm is I don't want to mess with multiple versions especially due to the upcoming ladder season.
 

pharphis

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
remember that in later versions BO won't increase the life from +vit or +vit/clvl (not sure if it boosts +life/clvl but it DOES boost +life I'm pretty sure)
 

GalaXyHaXz

Diabloii.Net Member
While that is true, it boasts 2 skills and 600-800 life, which not even runewords can top. I write protected my sorc and brought her forward to test it. With a beta cta she clocks in at 2.9k life. Could easily hit 4k with better charms. Did a little test and it seems BO only works on hard points into life and +life. Vitality, Vit/Clvl, Life/Clvl , Max Life % are not affected. (Which I don't understand why people whine that 40% Shako is OP, since BO doesn't even work on it). I guess they had to nerf BO into oblivion since they decided to give it to every character.
 
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