Interesting Info about Assassin Shadows
From a post on the Lurker Lounge:
From a post on the Lurker Lounge:
I guess you learn something new everydayCrystalion said:Assassin Shadows do indeed get skill synergies. The way in which this occurs is rather convoluted. I don't believe it has been worked out in detail, correctly, before, and the consequences highlighted.
This post is an attempt at a human readable version of my brain bending tests and conclusions in The Workshop about Shadow Warriors.
The underlying mechanisms for Warriors and Masters, re: the discovery, are probably the same. However the techniques for making use of the consequences are a bit different. Masters are more complex, so I won't discuss them at this time.
Here I'll give a simplified base build plan for a Shadow Warrior loving Assassin variant, so you can get the idea of the importance of the "discovery" if it interests you.
In a nutshell there are two key parts to the discovery...
a. The skill level (slvl) a Shadow casts a skill at, is indeed based on a simple formula using both on her slvl (i.e. your slvl at which your cast her) and the current slvl of the player for the skill the shadow is casting
b. The skill the Shadow casts can indeed be synergized! This is because anytime the Shadow casts a skill, she remembers the level she cast it at (from the formula alluded to above). Thus she "learns" (or "burns in") skills, whose slvl then becomes helpful as a synergy to other skills she may cast.
Here is the formula:
shadow skill_level for when she casts skill X =
half of the player's current skill_level in X (including +skill adders *now*)
rounded down, plus
one third of the shadow's skill_level when she was summoned (including +skill adders *then*)
with a minimum skill level of one.
This slvl value is then remembered. If your shadow dies, or you summon a new one, that memory vanishes.
If the shadow casts the skill again, the old memory is irrelevant (as far as I know) and is overwritten.
If the shadow casts a skill that has synergies, then the shadow wil either consider the synergy skill level to be zero (if she hasn't cast the synergy skill before) or she will consider her synergy level to be the value she has remembered.
This is very generous of the game! This partly accounts for some of the feelings reported by Assassin players like "my Shadow destroys whole legions of enemies".
The biggest things you can do to take advantage of this, when planning a build, are to:
a. summon your shadow at the highest multiple-of-three skill level that you can
b. help her to memorize useful synergize skills and not forget them (i.e. don't let her die or resummon her).
c. encourage her to cast her strongest, most synergized skills
While extreme gear helps this build can become silly-uber, as do many v1.10 builds, but you can get very good results with ~50 base skill points, as follows...
1 claw mastery
1 weapon block
1 psychic hammer
1 cloak of shadows
1 shock web
1 charged bolt sentry
1 lightning sentry
1 death sentry
1 wake of fire
1 wake of inferno
20 shadow warrior
20 fire blast
50 total points (this build is for illustration only)
As a bit of trivia, for a rushee, getting all 12 quest skill points "early", you can complete this "build" at clvl 39.
Let's assume your only skill boosters are +1 shadow skills, +1 traps (perhaps dual claws, one each).
Your Fire Blast at slvl 21 will do 95-125 fire damage, with (6x9%, that is) +54% synergy, for ~146-192 net.
Your Warrior's slvl when cast will be 21. She will always get 21/3 = 7 points of slvl into her casts due to this, so long as she lives. When she casts a Fire Blast, she also gets half your slvl in FB truncated, so 21/2 ~= 10. So her Fire Blasts will be only slvl 17 (7 + 10).
If you haven't put her through her paces, she won't "know" any synergies, so her damage will be 55-77, which is very disappointing compared to yours.
But let us assume you help her to "know" each of the six synergy traps, by encouraging her to cast them. For each of those her slvl will be 7 (from her slvl/3) plus 1 (half your 1+1 adder skill in each trap), thus totaling 8.
With 6 synergies, each at slvl 8, times 9% damage bonus, we get a net synergy for her of +432%.
This makes her FB damage ~293-410. This is rather better than you do, eh?
For your synergies you only benefit from base points in synergy skills. But for your Shadow, your +skill adders to summoning her, and to your traps when you help her to "know" those skills, are actually applied (at her 1/3rd and 1/2 reductions, respectively) thus boosting her synergies!
If you have a *lot* of +skill gear at the appropriate times, her FB damage goes through the roof. All without costing you any more skill points than the sample build here, provided for your illumination. smile.gif
So you can potentially have builds in which your Shadow Warrior will obliterate things for you while you have ~50 more skill points to go into whatever you want.
I focused on traps, because the synergy opportunity there is very easy to see. But the same principle applies to charge-ups that are synergized (though far less spectacularly). Of course Fire Blast isn't the only trap you can focus on synergizing in this way.
As far as I can tell, the Shadow Master gets the same benefits outlined here, although she might be a bit harder to coerce into learning and doing what you wish her to do.
I do not know if Act 3 hirelings benefit from this "remembered" synergy skill level, or if it is only a property of Shadows. Certainly those of you that were jealous of the huge boost to Valkyries in v1.10 can now see that Shadows were not neglected. Both Valks and Masters get good equipment at umpteen+ slvl.
Both Master and Warrior use your base armor for torso and headgear (you should consider donning high-end elite armor for torso, perhaps with Hels socketed, before summoning, and similarly the highest you qualify for of: circlet, coronet, tiara, diadem, since those will skyrocket the potential affixes the shadow rolls for headgear, afaik). Warriors particularly benefit from this torso trick, as they have an insane bonus to DR%. If she also rolls Godly on the torso, and you are using a Defiance merc, she might be very hard to hit.
If you're going to play with this build, in single player by -act 5 or some such, you should know that a Shadow Warrior, even when you have both left and right mouse buttons set to Fire Blast, will often run up to melee. So you have to be prepared to pull her back, to encourage her to FB instead. This can be done with waypoints, town portals, teleport and simply running around. My personal favorite to "reset" minion/hireling behavior is to use charges of teleport. Dragon Flight might be made to work here, but I'm dubious.
I'm sorry I'm not giving more details, but I'm trying to keep this post relatively simple. There are many other factors to consider and many technical questions still unanswered.
But it has bugged me since beta that I'd not seen more info on this topic, so I hope you enjoy the "discovery" and the questions that are answered, finally.
p.s. Though I suspect I've seen the 1/2+1/3 answer before, there are so many "answers" to the recurrent asking of this slvl for shadows question that I didn't have any reason to believe any of them, sans testing, and thus my use of "discovery" for the results.