How to deal with archers in hell?

skoolbus

Diabloii.Net Member
How to deal with archers in hell?

So last night I lost my third HC char in hell to archers. I'm beginning to see the trend. This past one was a windy, and I was entirely way too slow on the rejuvs, so it was definately my fault, but my LF/FA zon and trapper both got instakilled. What character should I make SPECIFICALLY for being really tough against archers?

I realize that assassins and amazons are probably the two classes that would fair best, due to slow missles and CoS, but obviously I can't use those very effectively.

Right now I'm thinking fishy, but I really don't like playing them. Also I'm not going to make another one of my failed builds, and I play untwinked (but still do xp runs). Can anyone recommend builds/skills/items to make me immune to archery?
 

lionheartthebrave

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

Avoid them

If not, try and split them up by backtracking, or split who/what they're targetting

They can still hurt, a MS/LE/cursed with a might boost pack killed my 2300 life hammerdin near instantly
 

Cius

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

Nadir helm for areas with archers. CoS charges help. Otherwise keeping up good blocking helps. In those areas remember to switch to walk, not run, as you can't block while running. Proceed carefully and use whatever control skills you have. Things like slow missile, cloak of shadows, taunt, blind (ravens) etc. Having minions obviously helps as they can draw some of the heat.

Still, sometimes you die while they are still off screen and you don't even see it coming. This is why I don't play hardcore (along with the NM FE bug).
 

Merlin The Wizzard

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

Necromancers - Dim Vision/Confuse/Attract
Amazon - Decoy
Assassin - Cloak of Shadows
Barbarian - Taunt/Howl and High life/Resists to be able to tank a few shots
Sorceress - Not much, hydra as scout perhaps and simply rain destruction on their head.
Druid - Not sure, quite build dependant. Summoners should not have too many problems, Elementalists will have problems and lycanthropes as well. Can't see good solutions there,but a lyc should have a decent lifepool, espec. with oak sage.
Paladins - Not sure either. Charge might be useful to quickly close in and deal damage. Shouldn't be too hard to get a build able to tank some shots due to high defense and resists...

EDIT : Oh yeah. Nadir rocks
 

Schmaleop

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

Without trying to sound rude I'd suggest changing your play style some what.

If your struggling to counter them with an Assassin or an Amazon then i'd guess you play very aggressively.

I'm currently playing a Trap Assassin (SC) and CoS is a skill i've never much used before, but my opinion of it now is that is absolutely magnificent for rendering enemies useless. I only have trouble with the char when my patience wears a bit and I charge in ahead of my merc and SM and I also fail to trap ahead of myself to scout.

I only recount a few deaths on this current char and that is down to my some-what sloppy playstyle at times. On occassion i'm been isolated by a pair of boss packs and CoS coupled with MB have saved me.

So what ever you try next it may be best to exhibit a more cautious approach and really get used to those utility skills as in HC you'll definately need them.

Good luck with whatever you decide to try next :thumbsup:
 

skunkbelly

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

Archers are rough, but there are some things to do...

1. You should know they are there before they can really hit you. Cast a minion or trap ahead of you, as a scout... this will work for any character except a barbarian or paladin.

2. When the first arrow comes near your character, back up or get out until you are comfortable with the scenario.

3. If you are a barbarian, use Taunt liberally! There is no excuse for a barbarian to be hit with arrows, except by an un-tauntable boss or champion.

4. Are you remembering to walk? Do you have at least 50% blocking? This combination cannot be underestimated in HC play.

5. In my experience, archers are most worrisome when they are cursed. Don't play while amped in HC, ever. Get to town, get healed, and come back.
 

Neksja

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

I have only one advice to add all the above. Practise your fingers :)

Seriously, I feel your pain. I haven't lost any HC characters (yet, thank god), but many of my SC characters have died because of them. I made one thread about them some time ago, IIRC something like "Have you ever thought some monsters are bugged?" or something. I rant'd a little in there :rolleyes:

Found it. Not that anyone should post there, but can have a look.
 
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Smips

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

I tend to avoid them at all costs. I typically use sorceresses and for that I'd say max block, hit recovery charms, and FCR help a lot. You typically can teleport past them without any issues and if you do manage to get hit, well, pray it isn't an instakill. That's one of the main reasons I don't play HC most of the time.
 

skoolbus

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

@Schmaleop, I'm trying to, now I wish I'd started HC way back in the day. Wouldn't have my stingy potion morals and other bad habits I do now.

While I've used nadir before, I've never thought to use it on non-tourney chars, thanks for that. I read Neskja's thread, and that's basically what happened to me (but with worse resists and PDR). Is there anything that will stop arrows from hurting me or at least make them not hurt as much?

I never walk, ever, but I do keep my blocking around 60%. Walking is probably the easiest change to make. I guess when my poison necro makes it to hell (hopefully) I'll just switch to walk whereever there are archers. Speaking of which, where are all the places archers can spawn?

Correct me where I'm wrong, I'm just guessing
Act 1: stony field - andy
Act 2: not sure
Act 3: ruined temple
Act 4: none
Act 5: everywhere

Should I stuff nef runes in body armors? Sorcs are also out of the question, I die with them in act 1 or 2 haha.

I'm thinking of going for another assassin, fade, CoS, MB, and a shadow will all be welcome.
ps. thanks for the suggestions everyone, keep em coming
 

pharaoh

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

skoolbus said:
Act 1: stony field - andy
Act 2: not sure
Act 3: ruined temple
Act 4: none
Act 5: everywhere
That looks pretty accurate to me, except that they cannot spawn on Andy's level. I'm not sure if skelly archers can spawn on Cat3 though.

For Act II, don't forget javelin cats. Sure, they're not technically archers, but they amount to the same thing. Likewise for Act V and Blood Star-casting succubi. Both of these are physical damage projectiles used by monsters that like to spawn in big groups and target you from three screens away.

Remember that they do not kill you in one hit, unless you have really poor life, are cursed, or meet a very nasty boss. This means that blocking can help a lot, and the humble PDR mod (as opposed to %PDR) really shines. If there are twenty archers shooting at you for 50 damage each, and they shoot once per second, that's 1000 dmg/sec. Add in 40 PDR, and it's cut by 80%. Add in enough, and archers are harmless in almost every case.

A while back, I tried to make an 'indestructible necromancer'. The idea was to max Bone Wall and Bone Prison, use Weaken and Decrepify, and wear the 'Bone' runeword. The idea was that with monsters being cursed to deal less damage, they wouldn't be able to deal damage to me faster than my BA could absorb it. While the concept was ultimately a failure, it was fun to stand there and let a swarm of archers pelt me. Basically, as long as monsters seldom exceeded ~100 damage, the BA proc would be active. It cast once per 6.67 hits, on average (say one out of seven hits triggered BA), and it absorbed 710 damage each time. Monsters that did small amounts of damage very frequently, such as archers, fetishes, and the like simply could not take it down without a lot of luck, and even then, it'd pop right back up, and my Insight/Prayer merc would have my life topped back up in a second or two. The only reason it failed was because of heavy hitters that would take it down in one or two hits, but archers simply were not in this league. I could leave the room and come back at full life.
 

MukTuk

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

Should I stuff nef runes in body armors?
Nah, defense is one of the least useful ways of avoiding damage. I think you need something ridiculous like 10k+ defense in Hell or you may as well not even bother. I also seem to recall that some archer/ranged monsters have far more AR than they are supposed to, so they will hit you regardless.

The Nef's would be more effectively used in making disposable Nadir helms than using for defence.


 

sirpoopsalot

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

If Nef runes are out, but you have a few sockets, then Sol runes might be worth looking at.

Typically the individual damage from one arrow is moderately low, but when you get ~5 of them hitting you within 0.3 seconds, the damage can add up fast... 3-4 Sol runes might take the danger out of all but the worst situations (Cursed, +2-3 other "tough" mods will still hurt, but most packs of archers will be much more manageable).


Also, Merlin's list (previous & below) is a good starting point - each class will have skill or two that fits well with your needs against archers. I'm most familiar with sorcs, paladin's and barbs, but here's my thoughts expanding on that list:


Necromancers - Dim Vision/Confuse/Attract
Amazon - Decoy
Assassin - Cloak of Shadows
Barbarian - Taunt/Howl and High life/Resists to be able to tank a few shots
Sorceress - Not much, hydra as scout perhaps and simply rain destruction on their head.
Druid - Not sure, quite build dependant. Summoners should not have too many problems, Elementalists will have problems and lycanthropes as well. Can't see good solutions there,but a lyc should have a decent lifepool, espec. with oak sage.
Paladins - Not sure either. Charge might be useful to quickly close in and deal damage. Shouldn't be too hard to get a build able to tank some shots due to high defense and resists...
Necro: Decrepify = 1/2 speed attacks, lower phyiscal damage, and works against everyone... Merlin's other suggestions work too
Assassin: CoS and MindBlast, traps (if available) for scouting
Barb: Taunt... all you'll really need, although many of the other warcries work well too.
Druid: not sure
Paladins: Conversion... for a class that doesn't have any other minion-creating skills, Conversion can be somewhat underrated... Vigor = runaway-power
Amazon: Decoy++, Slow Missiles (you likely have this as a prereq anyways; you might as well use it)

Sorceress: Teleport + Faster Cast Rate + Tanking merc... all three work together. You'll really want some FHR in there too, because sorcs have miserable hit recovery. But with this strategy you can teleport a short distance from archers (~1/3rd of a screen) and let the merc charge the monsters (while running sideways, a little, to avoid piercing attacks).


Also, one strategy I've learned is that aggressiveness can be rewarded (or it can be suicidal in HC). For example, my two-handed Avenger-sorc had a hard time if she stayed at range - but in-close, she ripped archers to shreds (even moreso than almost any other non-nova sorc I've ever played). So when that sorc found archers, typically she teleported almost on top of them and tried to make the merc absorb the worst hits long enough for her to take out a few, and still have enough to retreat.


Finally, for the most part, archers often focus on physical damage. Specific items (like Shaftstop or VampireGaze) can be used to help significantly (sometimes).



 

jiansonz

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

Correct me where I'm wrong, I'm just guessing
Act 1: stony field - andy
Act 2: not sure
Act 3: ruined temple
Act 4: none
Act 5: everywhere
Act 1: Stony Field - Inner Cloister (with some exceptions) plus the Cave
Act 2: Harem/Palace Cellar levels
Act 3: Actually NOT in Ruined Temple, but in the last four temples (the ones in Upper Kurast and the Causeway)
Act 5: Just about everywhere, but not past the Summit.

I think that any Necromancer build with high-level (12+) Dim Vision and at least a golem as minion will be a safe bet against archers. The ability to spam DV effect off-screen in the direction you are going is great.



I think that the two main archer types play out rather differently. Skeleton archers are slow and move around very little. So you often know where you have them, but tight boss packs can be hard to approach and attack safely (depends a lot on the terrain). Corrupted rogue archers will try to flee of something moves next to them, so they are easier to separate and lure a few to you, but the are much more unpredictible and IMO harder to deal with when other monsters are the mix at the same time.

(FYI, I have six v1.10-1.11 Guardians and I almost never walk in this game).



 

galzohar

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

You're "effective" HP (average amount of hits to die) is actually linear to your defense. If you have just as much defense as the monsters have attack rating, you will have 50% chance to be hit, and therefore 2x effective HP. If you double that defense, you will have 1/3 chance to be hit, and therefore 3x effective HP.

Of course, if you have 200 or 400** defense is quite meaningless, which is what makes people think that defense does no good if it's not in large numbers, which isn't true. If anything, the relative benefit will be higher the lower your defense is.
Another thing that misleads people is that classes with higher defense usually have higher defense multipliers as well, so every point of defense from gear does more for them than it does for you.

All of this is only true if every hit does significantly less damage than your total HP. If you're getting killed by a very few hits then even very high defense will still leave a reasonable chance to die anyway (say you die in 1 hit, even with 5% chance to hit you're going to lose your HC character eventually). However this fact is just as valid for low defense characters as it is for high defense characters, so it doesn't say anything about the incorrect fact that "defense is only good if you have a lot of it".


**this is the real reason defense from missiles won't really help. It's just not enough to be noticeable, but has little3 to do with your current defense. If anything it would be slightly more noticeable with lower defense.
 

sirpoopsalot

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

Although defense may be somewhat underrated, it can easily be overrated too. The fact is, if you want your attackers to "miss" more often, the easiest solution might simply be to gain a few levels. I've found that once you get about 4 levels higher in level than the monsters you're facing, all of the sudden attackers start missing significantly more often.

To me, more levels is often a better/easier solution than adding defense when facing monsters with high Attack Ratings.
 

bcoe

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

I've found that "Gloom" on a merc helps noticably. Let the moron run in front, get hit by a bunch of arrows, and then the ctc DV will shut the archers down while you close the distance...
 

galzohar

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

I never said defense was of great value, I just said the value of defense does not really depend on your current defense like people say it does.

And yes, levels do help with the chance to hit formula when the monsters are higher than you, since their chance to hit (which means damage) is multiplied by you and their level average and divided by your level. So if you're level 50 and the monster is level 60, you'll get hit 1.1X as often as you would've if you were level 60 - this is independant of your defense rating (as long as you don't get past the 95% max chance to hit or under the 5% minimum chance to be hit).

And even better way is to just move out of the way of the arrows.
 

Docturnal

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

A question: Ive tried a moderate PDR for my last conviction pally (about 45pdr) And I found that amp didnt make much of a difference. Isnt amp added in at the same stage as resists (as in after the numeral pdr)? If so, having a lot of pdr would negate anything but boss/champion damage from arrows.
 

skoolbus

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: How to deal with archers in hell?

@gaholzar, I realize raising defense helps a lot, but my problem is more of one arrow hits me and I die. Also, since I'm untwinked always, gear with resists, fhr, and +life far outweigh defense. But you're right, nef isn't the way to go, just thought I'd throw it out there.

@docturnal, You have the correct answer, but it seems you confused yourself. The pdr will kick in, effectively meaning you take 10 or so damage, then the amp will double it, so you take 20. It's barely noticable, but if amp worked first, you'd take over 100 or so.
 
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