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Help Requested RE "Hell Mode: The Game Hates You Variable" (D)

Discussion in 'Diablo 2 Community Forum' started by Spongewrench, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Spongewrench

    Spongewrench Diabloii.Net Member

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    I am considering giving up the game entirely, as "The Game Hates You Variable" keeps killing the character with one hit from a low level monster, not a boss or minion, or special (Champion, Beserker, or Frantic). I have completed multiple equipage upgrades since the last level up, and have successfully cleared the current area (Lost City and Ancient Tunnels) several times (in Hell Mode). As soon as the character enters the Viper Temple, real difficulty ensues, usually death from a snake or zombie. Please advise. Specifics are provided below:

    Character:
    Game: D2 LOD Expansion v1.14 (Hell Mode)
    Class: Barbarian
    Level: 86
    Attributes:
    Strength: 202
    Dexterity: 140
    Vitality: 110
    Energy: 107
    Health: 679
    Mana: 198
    Stamina: 366
    Defense: 3087
    AR: 3344
    Resistances:
    Fire: 75
    Cold: 75
    Lightning: 75
    Poison: 70
    Equipage (Defense):
    Doom Horn Carnage Helm 272
    Godly Kraken Shell 1257
    Gerke's Sanctuary Pavise 249 (75% Chance)
    Lava Gout Battle Gauntlets 121
    Raven Cord Vampirefang Belt 104
    Gore Rider War Boots 160
    Shadow Heart Amulet
    Havoc Coil Ring
    Scintillating Ring
    Primary Weapon (Damage):
    Baranar's Star Devil Star 129 - 159
    Skills:
    Sword Mastery: 20
    Speed: 10
    Natural Resistance: 20
    Bash: 21
    Double Swing: 21
    Frenzy: 2

    Merc:
    Class: Rogue (Cold Arrow)
    Level: 86
    Strength: 133
    Dexterity: 203
    Damage: 224 - 572
    Defense: 2364
    Equipage (Defense):
    Hwanin's Splendor Grand Crown 228
    Godly Great Hauberk of Dexterity 1024
    Primary Weapon (Damage):
    Cliffkiller Large Siege Bow 37 - 150
    Resistances:
    Fire: 38
    Cold: 75
    Lightning: 38
    Poison: 38
     
  2. peytron

    peytron Diabloii.Net Member

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    First thing I notice is the lack of Battle Orders. Your life seems low for a Barbarian.

    Also you have all your points in Sword Mastery but aren't using a sword.

    Do you have any runes laying around we could put to use? Any other uniques available?
     
  3. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    In order to succeed in hell mode, it's not enough just to finish nightmare. You also need a strategy:

    A key element is to get your hands on better items and your gear looks not that great. Perhaps I've missed something among it, but the only really good item seems to be the Gorerider boots. It would be a good idea to make another character who is good at finding stuff and play that one for a while. I suggest to start a sorceress who's concentrating on the blizzard spell. That skill allows you to kill effectively while wearing not so good gear or a lot of items with bonuses to finding magical items (which also improves your chances on rare, set and unique items). She also has the teleport skill and can reach areas more easily and also avoid unrewarding or dangerous situations.

    A short guide: Invest into blizzard and its synergies, a bit in cold mastery and also put a skill point into frozen armor, warmth, teleport and static field as soon as possible. Stat points: As much in strength and maybe dexterity as needed to just fulfill the requirements for her gear, the rest goes into vitality.

    If you want to get along with what you have:

    As said, you don't have the battle orders warcry which would add a lot of life. It would also be better if you maximize frenzy before of double swing.

    When using double swing or frenzy, you need two weapons, so you cannot wear a shield. As peytron said, it should be swords because you have invested into sword mastery. The problem here is that you need really good swords and if Baranar's is the best you have, it might not be a good idea to have a dual-weapon barbarian.

    Don't invest into more into strength than needed to fulfill the requirements of the gear. It's not that rewarding to invest more for more damage, there are other ways to achieve that. When using a shield, have enough in dexterity for 75% blocking (the maximum). The value shown on the shield isn't the real blocking chance, it's the base blocking chance which is modified by level and dexterity. Move the mouse pointer over the defense rating on the character screen, that's the real value. Each time you level up, check that value and invest into dex to make it 75% again. All remaining stat points go into vitality, but keep a couple of unspent points in reserve, in case you change parts of your gear.

    You could also decide to change him into a sword+shield barbarian using whirlwind instead of dual swing or frenzy, as it's easier to find a good shield than another good weapon. It will still be tough with a weapon like Baranar's Star, however. The barbarian forum has a list of builds.
     
  4. Spongewrench

    Spongewrench Diabloii.Net Member

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    To peytron:

    p1) I had no idea that Battle Orders provided any value in single player mode.
    p2) I usually use swords, in fact 95% of Normal and Nightmare I used Double Swing as my primary attack mode, only switching to one-handed with a shield for the really tough enemies. In Hell, I have to use the latter much more often, sometimes backed up with a bow as a Tertiary Weapon.

    Barbarian's Secondary Weapons:
    Viper Scythe Executioner Sword
    1 Hand Damage: 49 - 89
    2 Hand Damage: 97 - 172
    Very Fast
    +160 to Attack Rating
    Adds 7 - 29 Cold Damage
    King's Legend Sword of Readiness
    1 Hand Damage: 41 - 106
    2 Hand Damage: 95 - 178
    Very Fast
    +135 to Attack Rating
    Barbarian's Tertiary Weapon:
    Endless Hail Double Bow
    32 - 77
    Very Fast
    Adds 15-30 Cold Damage over 3 seconds
    +50 Defense vs. Missile

    p3) I found about Mule programs AFTER starting Hell, though I do have 100 runes, 109 Perfects (Gems / Skulls), four backup swords (3 uniques), 3 backup bows, bits and pieces of several sets, an ocean of Full Rejuvenations, and a lake of gold.
    p4) My frustration is caused by getting waxed by a lowly enemy with only one or two hits, the same exact type of enemy that I just handily beat consistently for the previous 20 - 30 minutes. As if all of the sudden, the 32nd one of the exact same enemy has radically different power, it makes no sense.
    p5) Thank you for your feedback!
     
  5. Spongewrench

    Spongewrench Diabloii.Net Member

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    To Krischan:

    K1) Not only did I not know that I needed a specific strategy, I had no idea that the gear was crap. In fact, I was especially happy when I found the Godly Kraken Shell (the previous armor was 300 Defense lower). In an attempt to get better gear, I tried switching out a few items with ones that had a "find a magic item" percentage, though it just resulted in more deaths.
    K2) I am not starting a new character, I started playing this game to relax and unwind, not as a second, unpaid, job.
    K3) Yes, I found out about how I mismanaged the Skills Tree from another Master Gamer, and unfortunately right now, I cannot correct that deficiency.
    K4) I usually use swords, in fact 95% of Normal and Nightmare I used Double Swing as my primary attack mode, only switching to one-handed with a shield for the really tough enemies. In Hell, I have to use the latter much more often, sometimes backed up with a bow as a Tertiary Weapon.

    Barbarian's Secondary Weapons:
    Viper Scythe Executioner Sword
    1 Hand Damage: 49 - 89
    2 Hand Damage: 97 - 172
    Very Fast
    +160 to Attack Rating
    Adds 7 - 29 Cold Damage
    King's Legend Sword of Readiness
    1 Hand Damage: 41 - 106
    2 Hand Damage: 95 - 178
    Very Fast
    +135 to Attack Rating
    Barbarian's Tertiary Weapon:
    Endless Hail Double Bow
    32 - 77
    Very Fast
    Adds 15-30 Cold Damage over 3 seconds
    +50 Defense vs. Missile

    K5) I will definitely follow your guidelines for Strength and Dexterity, and check out the builds and see if I can learn more.
    K6) My frustration is caused by getting waxed by a lowly enemy with only one or two hits, the same exact type of enemy that I just handily beat consistently for the previous 20 - 30 minutes. As if all of the sudden, the 32nd one of the exact same enemy has radically different power, it makes no sense.
    K7) Thank you for your feedback!
     
  6. Spiritspawn

    Spiritspawn Diabloii.Net Member

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    All good feedback here.

    I'd also like to just throw in that it's easy to become discouraged with the game but I'd like to add that Barbarians in Hell mode are incredibly difficult!!! Especially Frenzy Barbs.
    Most of the time you need to have pretty godly gear in order for them to solo properly meaning that you often need a feeder character like a blizz sorc as krischan said.

    I had so much frustration with Barbs for a long time as they are super fun to play. Swords are totally fine to go with. But you'll deffo at least need an Arreats Face Helm Highlords Amulet, a Ravenfrost, Dracs Gloves and probably some meaty beat sticks like BotD and Grief.
    Although I understand that these items are not easy to come by.

    Keep it up and I hope you get the barb you want soon and smash the minions of hell to bits!!!:)
     
  7. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    The snakes in the Viper Temple are pretty nasty because their charge always hits and cannot be blocked and they come in hordes. I remember a few incidents involving them play ping-pong with my characters, throwing them back and forth with their special attack.

    I thought so :).

    If you can deal with areas like the hell act 1 Pits (below the act 1 Tamoe Highland) or the Ancient Tunnels (below the act 2 Forgotten City), visit these areas as often as possible, i.e. until it starts feeling like work (but finding great stuff will add a lot of motiviation). You can basically find any item there. Have a look here (and anywhere else in hell mode) for the elite weapons for the runewords mentioned below. If you can deal with hell Andariel safely, go to her as well. Once you are through hell act 3, Mephisto is a rewarding target as well.

    Mephisto and Andariel are good targets on nightmare as well, you can find a lot of stuff that's far better than you have now and you can probably wear a bit gear with bonuses to magic find and still be effective! You probably won't find a good weapon her that will bring you through hell mode, but most of the other good stuff can be found here.

    A few budget magic-find items: Wealth runeword, 4 socket armor with perfect topazes, 3 socket helm with ptopazes, Tarnhelm, Chanceguards, Goldwrap, Skullder's Ire. When dual-wielding weapons, one of them could be a Blade of Ali Baba or a Gull dagger. Don't wear too much of it, however. Being speedy is better than having huge bonuses here.

    If you aren't sure whether something is worth keeping, keep it. On single-player, muling isn't as tedious as on battlenet and you can still throw it away when you know more about it.

    But you know that you can reset stats and skills with a quest reward of Akara in act 1, right? Or did you already use up the rewards? If you overlooked that, have a look at the barbarian forum for skill and stat point distribution for frenzy barbs. You will also fidn lots of tips on gear there. Just don't get discouraged by suggestions of extremely rare items, they are based on the abundance of stuff on battlenet, due to people spending endless time on item finding and also a lot of botting.

    A cost-effective pair of swords for dual-wielding are the Oath and the Crescent Moon runewords. The runes aren't that unlikely to gather (you might even have most of them already), all of them can drop at least in in late nightmare. I suggest an elite ethereal balrog blade for Oath (barbs can use all swords one-handed and Larzuk's quest reward will add 4 sockets to it) and an elite non-ethereal sword for Cresent Moon, a two-hander would be best as well. Don't use a Larzuk reward on the latter, you can probably find one with 3 sockets right away.

    As said, frenzy is the better skill.
     
  8. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Also don't forget the very good crowd control skills that a Barb has. Use Taunt from a distance to draw in enemies one by one. Howl if you get surrounded. Leap to knockback enemies and create some space for yourself. Battle Cry to decrease the damage that enemies do. War Cry to stun them.

    I think all of those, except maybe War Cry (because it needs quite some points to get decent stun length, but a Frenzy / DS Barb is rather tight on skill points), deserve a point on every Barb and should be used a lot to increase your chances against monsters in Hell. The better your gear is, the less you need the skills, but in the situation you are currently in, they will save your butt a lot.
     
  9. Spongewrench

    Spongewrench Diabloii.Net Member

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    To Spiritspawn

    When Krishan brought up the Sorceress, for some reason, I did not make the connection that it would be a support function to the Babarian.
    Thank you for assisting me in understanding. My apologies to Krischan.
     
  10. Spongewrench

    Spongewrench Diabloii.Net Member

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    To Krischan:

    K8) Regarding revisiting previous areas, within Act 1 or 2, are the experience points and difficulty the same, or at a reduced value?

    K9) As above, regarding revisiting previous areas, is it a good idea to go and replay Nightmare in it's entirety, and if so, how many times would be prudent?

    K10) I am aware of that, however while in this Hell current game, can Akara reset stats and skills more than once, or do I need to do it in Nightmare?

    K11) What does botting mean in this instance?

    K12) What is the benefit of using a ethereal anything, and how long do they last?

    Thank you for your feedback!
     
  11. Spongewrench

    Spongewrench Diabloii.Net Member

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    To T72on1:

    T1) Does Taunt really only summon one at a time?

    T2) I did not know that Leap knocked back enemies. How do I utilize numerous commands while in heated combat, does it involve adjusting keyboard settings?

    Thank you for your feedback!
     
  12. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    The usual experience gain in act 1 and 2 isn't high, but there are a few areas that provide as much of it as the best ones in act 4 and 5, including loot. The mentioned Pits and Tunnels are the most popular ones. In nightmare and normal mode, they aren't special.

    Nightmare provides good experience until about level 70-75. After that, it's better to start with hell mode. If you are still lacking halfway decent gear, it pays off to visit nightmare Andariel and Mephisto, however.

    She will do it only once in normal, nightmare and hell mode each.

    Using a hack that plays the game for you.

    Etheral armor and weapons provide 1.5 times as much defense and damage. You cannot repair it, so it will break at some point and become useless, but a few runewords offer indestructibility, like the mentioned Oath runeword.
     
  13. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    You can only Taunt one enemy at a time.

    You can set your hotkeys in the settings. By default it's the F keys, but I find that doesn't work well. So I set them to azer qsdf wxcv.
     
  14. Spongewrench

    Spongewrench Diabloii.Net Member

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    To Krischan:

    K13) Where / how do I find a hack?

    Thank you for your feedback!
     
  15. Spongewrench

    Spongewrench Diabloii.Net Member

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    To T72on1:

    Wow! I had no idea that there was that much keyboard capability.

    Thank you for your feedback!
     
  16. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    Perhaps I should have mentioned that the use of hacks is not allowed to be discussed here :)
     
  17. Spongewrench

    Spongewrench Diabloii.Net Member

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    To Krischan:

    Duly noted.
     
  18. Zarniwoop

    Zarniwoop Diabloii.Net Member

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    Basically I would read one of the many guides on the barb forum and follow it to the letter first time around.

    Then ask questions for sure.

    Also you can respec your skills not sure about stat points.
     
  19. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    Stat points are reset as well.
     

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