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Help with PVM build: no cold skills allowed

Discussion in 'Sorceress' started by sputnik78, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. sputnik78

    sputnik78 IncGamers Member

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    Help with PVM build: no cold skills allowed

    I want to build a pure fire/lightning PVM sorc, capable of decent magic find runs somewhere and capable of handling most any area without running like a weakling from something immune to my primary attack.

    I also don't want to rely on a merc doing all the dmg (sloooow, not rich with uber merc gear) too often. Fire/light imune enemies the only exception.

    I am not rich, and this will be a ladder character. I have some decent stuff for a merc (800 def armor, rockstopper, ethereal meatscraper) so he'll stay alive in hell for the most part until I find better stuff. I'm figuring a holy freeze merc is really the only way to go for a fire/lightning sorc.

    I've got an occy, and a few good resist + mana + +1 sorc skill ammys. Frosties, no SOJs, no crazy armors (my other sorc uses a 4 topaz armor).

    So now the big question .... What skills?

    I know CL is a good ligthing skill killer, but it requires about 65 points to max.

    Realistically, at level 76 to 80, I'll only have 85 to 90 skill points to spend.

    I'm thinking perhaps spending 60 total in CL, its synergies and light mastery and pre reqs (meaning, for max dmg including +5 skills until I find better gear, lighting is maxed but not LM).

    Nova is a cheaper option, but will require a lot of + mana gear, vit, and dex. Perhaps even a sheild other than a Shael eth grim sheild.... which I don't have yet. Also, I'm sick of Nova from 1.09.

    As for the fire skill, FireWall at 20, with maybe 5 points in mastery and a merc that can tank is slow but doable.... I hate fire wall though.

    Meteor... we know its great if you can pump at least one synergy, but I can't do that AND Chain lightning. Is it any good without a synergy pumped? Compared to Hydra or Fire Wall with equal points spent?

    Hydra... I am definitely considering this, but don't know how well it does in 1.10. It looks like with +5 skills, the best way to spend 40 points in fire with Hydra is 20 in hydra, 15 in mastery, and 5 in a synergy. Thats about 500 damage per shot.

    Essentially, how can a good, playable PVM build come from fire + Lightning.... Everyone and their grandmother has orb, and the rest are blizzard sorcs. I don't want to be like every other CL/Orb MeteOrb sorc out there.

    Suggestions? What fire and lighting skills combo together and give you the best bang for your skill points and without too much synergies?

    THink about a level 72 sorc just starting hell with 80 points spent, and another a little later at level 80 entering act 5 hell with 91 points spent.

    I'm not sure what to do, I like the CL / Hydra because it would be a hydra/CL/CL/hydtra casting (maybe more CL's of course), a lot of running around without having to get too close to enemies (hence, probably a vit build unless I find a great shield and a wizspike or something that needs dex).
    It might be a lot of fun... except with lightning immunes... is hydra good enough?

    Thanks!
     
  2. prion

    prion IncGamers Member

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    The damage on Hydra looks a little low. I am not sure 500 will cut it especially since they fire slower than you do. You might try diverting some points that are spent in either hydra or mastery into fireball, so that you can back up your own hydras against LI's. That's been my thinking anyway. I don't have any experience with Hydra as a major skill (not even in 09) so I don't know at what level it can be effective.

    Similary, you might try fireball/meteor.

    I'm working on an inferno sorc right now, and sadly I had to settle on orb as my backup skill. I would like to see a build that doesn't use orb or blizzard so I hope someone can help you.
     
  3. wind

    wind IncGamers Member

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    I've been leveling a CL/FW sorc and she's at level 74. She just made it to act 2 hell. Does pretty good.

    The way I see it, FW isn't as bad as some people make it out to be. It's much like meteor except you have to make an effort to line it up properly agains mobs when using a merc or a friend tanks. Not as easy as using meteor in this way, but that is offset because FW damage starts immediately upon your cast.

    Now I did use hydra in 1.09 and it's deadly enough, but it never seemed to be as effective as using Meteor going on your own. I remember using it against Eldritich and it never matched meteors performance. I believe FW will do better. I tried it in nightmare instead of CL and it worked pretty good. With Eldritch and his group, the monsters in front die, the ones behind take their place, then they die. Practically the same killing speed as meteor.

    Now the only thing I'm concerned with, is getting my FM up there to meet the challenges in the last 2 chapters in hell. It's sort of this kind of dilema, weaker CL - stronger FW or stronger CL - weaker FW, where's the right balance? I'm planning on maxing the Lightning synergy, once maxed I'll just save my points and see if I need it in FM.

    I'm working with +6 skills now.
     
  4. Verocity

    Verocity IncGamers Member

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    There are a few things you can try:

    20 lightning
    20 chain
    20 LM

    20 hydra
    20 FM

    This looks interesting and I'm considering trying this myself. Hydra is slow no doubt, but it does get the job done.

    20 fire ball
    20 meteor
    20 FM

    20 lightning
    20 LM

    Lightning is pretty good on it's own and synergizing FB with meteor gives you good damage in the fire tree. This would be a lot more mana intensive though with FB and lightning being non timered.

    20 FW
    20 FM

    20 lightning
    20 chain
    20 LM

    Fire Wall is good since it has no synergies and does pretty darn good damage though you need a tough merc to hold your enemies still. Defiance definitely works well here.
     
  5. Pent

    Pent IncGamers Member

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    one thing to note about all dual sorc builds...max the mastery(s) last since synergies don't work with +skills, but masterys do.
     
  6. nebby

    nebby IncGamers Member

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    One thing hydra does have going for it that meteor and FW do not: the ability to kill without being able to see your enemies on screen. I recently lost my MF FB/FO sorc in hell (HCL), to some fanat FE archers. (bleh. lost a nearly perfected MF set up...deeds...no loot...dammit.) Anyway, what I've noticed in 1.10 is that my much weaker trapsins can handle hell reasonably ok, even with MF gear on. Why? Mostly cuz when the heat is on, they ain't there. Its just too bad sorcs don't get a summonable, like nearly every other character in the game...hmmph.

    Anyway, hydra in 1.09 was always nice cuz ya didn't have to hang around for nastiness, and with maxed FM, it doesn't do that bad. Think thats gonna be in my next sorcie plan- can it last in 1.10? we'll see.
     
  7. supermonkey

    supermonkey IncGamers Member

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    everyone keeps saying to do this, but what's the reasoning behind it? i was under the impression there aren't diminishing returns on any of the masteries. so the +skills is going to give you the Exact Same percentage increase (for +mastery) in any case? in which case, why not spend each skill point wherever it will give you the maximum % increase to your target skill? (this, of course, discounts the strats that use the synergy skill as a secondary attack.)
     
  8. Stiertje

    Stiertje IncGamers Member

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    Just a few things to comment.

    1. You're speaking as if you want to level doing MF runs. This isn't very handy, since it makes your runs that much slower because you at first lack the killing speed. Why not make your build complete first, and THEN go MF running. MF is all about making a fast run over and over again, and should not be done with an incomplete build.

    2. Fire Mastery does indeed work with +skill. It also gives your primary attack the most advantage. Synergies give nowhere NEAR the same damage boost. So I say, max Masteries first since you'll get more extra damage AND the benefits from +skill.

    3. With no FO support you let the best backup spell alone. Because of the way Cold Mastery works it gives the best bonus at about level 8 Mastery (with about +7 skills of course), whereas with Lightning or Fire Mastery you need the full 20 points. THAT'S why most dual tree builds contain FO, it's synergy is only nominal, and it gives the most bang for your buck (in this case skillpoints) The MeteOrb guide elaborates this quite nicely.
     
  9. sputnik78

    sputnik78 IncGamers Member

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    As for synergies vs masteries... there is a little misunderstanding out there.

    Lets use the Hydra example. Mastery is + 7% damage and synergy is +3%. Wouldn't mastery at 20 be better than 10 in mastery and 10 in synergy?

    Actually, in this example it definitely is. But add +8 skills gear. Now it isn't.

    For every mastery / synergy combo, there is a point at which points in the synergy are more useful, even if their percent seems lower.

    Here's why.

    Lets assume fire mastery is at + 163%. This means the base damage is now 2.63x what it was. Another mastery point gives you +7% to a total of 2.70x.
    However, 2.70 is only 2.6% more damage. Even the wimpy 3% hydra synergy is more damage boost than that.

    The breakpoint for Hydra is 15 mastery points, including synergy. After that, approx 1 point should be spent in mastery per synergy.

    So with +8 skills gear, and 20 points to divide up in mastery and synergy for Hydra, the optimal balance is for mastery to be 15 points higher. Subtract the +8 that mastery gets that the synergy does not.... 7 points spent in mastery gets you to 15 mastery, and there are 13 points left. Split these ~ equally, and get to 13 points in mastery (for 21 total with +8) and 7 in synergies for max damage with only 20 points spent. outside of Hydra.

    Now, with stronger synergies, like those that are closer in % to the mastery boost per point, the closer the optimal balance is. For many skills, this means only a few points in the mastery, and the rest + skills. +8 is a lot on ladder, but +5 is reasonable for any caster.

    The formula for the point at which synergy is better than mastery is this:

    Synergy Ratio, R = (Mastery % boost per lvl) / (Synergy % boost /level).

    R is the relative strength of the mastery and synergy.

    Solve this problem. At what point does the mastery yield a % boost that is equal to this ratio?

    For example. Fire mastery and Meteor. Meteor synergies are +5% per level, mastery + 7%.

    R = 7/5 or 1.4

    At what point does Fire Mastery yield a damage of 1.4 times the base? Between Levels 2 and 3 (37% and 44%).

    So after level 2 or 3 in mastery, including + skills, Sunergies are more effective. In general, optimal damage occurs when Mastery (including + skills ) is 2 or 3 levels higher than total synergy.

    However, also note that there are +2 to synergies just to get meteor, so we are already at synergy = 2. This means that mastery needs to be 2 higher, or 5 to 6 to be optimal.



    Ok, back to my questions on effectiveness of fire and lightning skills with limited points.

    I think Hydra can be decently effective as a backup skill now, but It doesn't look like anyone has really tried in 1.10. With enough points in FireBall and Fire Bolt, Fire Ball would be a decent compliment to Hydra, but that would take away a lot from the lightning tree.

    Of course, if you dump 60 into fire.... meteor starts looking pretty good. But a more general question:

    Lets assume I can dump a solid 60 points into fire... is there anything in the lightning tree that can be had for 40 points? Nova? (ick) T-storm? Lightning? Nothing there looks any good except CL which needs 60 points.

    I guess Chain LIghtning/Hydra would be pretty good at killing stuff off screen you can't see though.
     

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