low dex amazon

KoalaBearThirtyThree

Diabloii.Net Member
update on my freezing arrow bowazon...

Well, she's level 71, which is the same level as my (failed) strafer. She will overtake my strafer and end up becoming my #1 amazon soon. She is far more powerful than the strafer. THe only thing my strafer has over this build is valkyrie (lvl 20 vs 7) but I should note that my strafer has no backup attacks and is useless against physically immune mosnters.

I think newbies and those frustrated with the bowazon should definitely try freezing arrow. This build is relatively cheap since she is not equipment dependent, other than wizendraw (cheap to get if you can get it; but can live without it) and Eye of Etlich amulet. The fact that I don't put points into dex (other than equip req) means that she can have way more health than other bowazons. I'm putting points into mana but if you like life, you can minimize energy. Right now I have around 100 unallocated attrib points (so far vitality is like 100 and energy is 133) and not sure if I should boost life further or put more into mana (really not necessary at this point).

Finally killed Duriel in a 1 player game, who was really easy due to the valkyrie. Drop was good (got a +1 paladin amulet with like +17 str and 20% fire res; not godly but excellent for me). Did a bit of act3 and finally facing the consequences of having low resistances (I have like -40 in most resistances :( ). Resistances are mostly not a problem except against one monster: gloams and their family members. I know all chars have problems against these guys (even my paladin with like 90% lightning res has problems if 3 lightning hit at once) so it's not a surprise. It's not really that big of a deal though, since these guys can be frozen with freezing arrow (thank god these aren't cold immune) and I can still spend around 100 points into vitality and boost my life further if I really wanted to.

Also, it looks like Flayer Jungle is one of the toughest area for me so far. Those little guys are cold immune, while the shamans are not. So it's kind of funny how you can kill the fire breathing guy with FA but the little guy that pops up is immune. But fortunately the damage done by the little guys is small so chance of dying is low.

Well, my char is pretty much done from an equipment and skill point of view... all points are going into cold arrow for now... equipment is mostly done unless I find some better rare rings or something.... All I'll be doing is just levelling up and seeing how I handle act4... the fun stuff is all done now :(
 

WarlockCC

Diablo Classic Moderator
KoalaBearThirtyThree said:
I'm not an expert by any means (only played two amazons post-expansion) and my opinion is that strafers are probably not viable. I know Warlock above says he has one in Chaos Sanc but I think he has a bodly ballista (right?).
ok, I uploaded a picture of my 'bodly' ballista as per your amusement.
The damage my zon does is good as you can see on the left panel and also because no attacks are lost to the 4 frame limitor.

http://www.diabloii.net/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=512
 

KoalaBearThirtyThree

Diabloii.Net Member
That is definitely a godly ballista... only thing missing is IAS on it... however... given that there is practically no bowazons past act3/hell, it's probably worth a Cathan's ring at best on bnet. Want to trade it for a Cathan's ring? ;)

LOL while we are on the topic of godly, that exec sword is beyond godly... -30 req must make some barbs happy...
 

WarlockCC

Diablo Classic Moderator
With 20 IAS I would have been able to leave the twitch off and perhaps could have gone for a boneflesh. But I am quite happy with the ballista as is. Same with my zon. Strafers are viable, you just need to move a bit slower then with a hammerdin, preferably with a Valk in front of yah.

Thanks, it certainly makes my barb happy. :)
The 1h min is higher then almost all execs on the realm so it tends to make people salivate.
 

KoalaBearThirtyThree

Diabloii.Net Member
WarlockCC said:
With 20 IAS I would have been able to leave the twitch off and perhaps could have gone for a boneflesh. But I am quite happy with the ballista as is. Same with my zon. Strafers are viable, you just need to move a bit slower then with a hammerdin, preferably with a Valk in front of yah.
I don't know... I would still consider strafe unviable in late hell. I'm not comparing against power builds (like hammerdins) but just for a normal build. I wonder how good your char will be without that godly ballista. If one can't do ok without godly equipment then I wouldn't consider it viable. The vast majority of players will never get the best items so I think that should dictate viability. For instance, I think your xbow has 180%+ enhanced damage but I think around 100% to 120% would be more typical. Do you think you can do well with such a bow? If yes, then the strafer is viable; otherwise I would say no...

In any case, I'm glad to see that you are doing well with your bowazon. It's always good to see a bowazon doing well. If it weren't for the javazons, I think amazons would be as extinct as the dodo bird in hell difficulty...




As far as my freezing arrow zon is concernced, she is in act4/hell and I think she is quite viable. In fact she is much stronger than any paladin build I have (not counting hammerdin; don't have a smiter/vindicator yet though). I'm recommending to all the newbie zons I meet on bnet to go with FA. I would still like to check out how my char will do without wizendraw. For an affordable build, the cold zon is amazing...
 

WarlockCC

Diablo Classic Moderator
Just like you, I don't really count a hammerdin when describing a build as viable. :)
I do have some lower damage balista's, I'll give it a go with that.
It should not be a problem though. CB does most of the damage, the Valk is the one that takes the damage, so it would simply take longer with a lower damage Ballista. It wouldn't make this build less viable. My mutant build is just strafe combined with a really solid valk. I also have a nice damage Goth on her, which also works. The min damage is one of the big advantages of the Balista I think. That, combined with the 1 attack per 4 frames limitation, which seems to work perfectly with a 50ias ballista makes me think Ballista's where made to be strafed with.
I did a solo (1 player) CS with her yesterday and didn't have any trouble.


Can you describe your Strafer ? Gear, skillpoints, statpoints ?


And, yes, cold zons work well in Hell. Bosses can be hard I guess, since you cannot freeze them, just slow. But once again a valk should be able to hold them off for you, especially since the boss's entire pack will be frozen(unless cold immune, in which case I don't think you will go near them). Seis might be a prob if you would ever want to solo CS.
 

KoalaBearThirtyThree

Diabloii.Net Member
WarlockCC said:
Just like you, I don't really count a hammerdin when describing a build as viable. :)
Paladin was my favourite class but I think the modern hammerdin destroyed the class. Although it's nice to be #1--at least we can say we are better than the dumb barbs now ;)--but it just totally made everyone become hammerdins. Too many newbies running around on battle.net throwing off blessed hammers. Wasn't BH supposed to be holy? Weren't paladins supposed to be party players? Paladin class lost all its respect ;( I think I'm going to jump on the amazon (always my #2) and necro (building a poison necro) bandwagon now :)


...CB does most of the damage...
If crushing blow is what matters why even use a ballista? WHy not use the fastest bow out there? My guess is you are probably relying on physical arrow damage more than crushing blow. I could be wrong though...



Can you describe your Strafer ? Gear, skillpoints, statpoints ?
I think itt's something like this (all rough numbers):

clvl 71

SKILLS

20 strafe
20 valkyrie
5/1/1 Dodge/evade/avoid
6 critical hit
4 penetrate
5 pierce


ATTRIBUTES

str: 103
dex: 200
vitality: 100 (or maybe 150) (life of around 400 I think)
energy: base (approx mana of 150 I think)

EQUIP

weapon: 30-115(??) gothic bow (cold dmg, mana leech)

20 IAS (glove + goldwrap)
No other special equipment (I've experimented with gob toe, boneflesh, etc but didn't see THAT much improvement)

The standard equip I used throughout most of her life were: angelic armour/amulet/2rings, rare boots, 3ptopaz helm (as well as the aforementioned 10IAS rare glove and goldwrap)

I have to look up the numbers but I think my full damage is 100-300 with probably 70% chance to hit act2/hell monsters (AR is probably 2000 to 2500).

I only played up until act3/hell before retiring this char (she is my nightmare magic find zon :) ). She rarely dies due to the valkyrie but she doesn't kill anything fast enough. I'm open to suggestions (or even remaking her)...


And, yes, cold zons work well in Hell. Bosses can be hard I guess, since you cannot freeze them, just slow. But once again a valk should be able to hold them off for you, especially since the boss's entire pack will be frozen(unless cold immune, in which case I don't think you will go near them). Seis might be a prob if you would ever want to solo CS.
Cold zon has it easy... I haven't soloed Chaos Sanc but I've been in some CS runs and they are not bad (it might even be easier than Flayer Jungle--when those little guys are cold immune and charging at you from all directions, it's trouble :) ). All the oblivion knights are cold immune but I can freeze every other monster in CS. Since curses don't really impact bowazons much (only one that hurts me is decreptify) I can happily take out all the other monsters while oblivion knights just curse me.... I think River of Flame might be harder than CS. The Stygian Dogs are cold immune and can take out my slvl 7 valkyrie quite easily...
 

fledgeling

Diabloii.Net Member
I wonder how much damage would the boneflesh itself do, on your level Warlock. Is it 25% chance of open wounds, or 12,5% for missile attacks?
What damage is it? 500 per 3 seconds at level 80?

the higher your level, the more damage you do and highest monster level is 80?
 

WarlockCC

Diablo Classic Moderator
KoalaBearThirtyThree said:
Paladin was my favourite class but I think the modern hammerdin destroyed the class. Although it's nice to be #1--at least we can say we are better than the dumb barbs now ;)--but it just totally made everyone become hammerdins. Too many newbies running around on battle.net throwing off blessed hammers. Wasn't BH supposed to be holy? Weren't paladins supposed to be party players? Paladin class lost all its respect ;( I think I'm going to jump on the amazon (always my #2) and necro (building a poison necro) bandwagon now :)
You could make a healer. It's the ultimate party-pala.
KoalaBearThirtyThree said:
If crushing blow is what matters why even use a ballista? WHy not use the fastest bow out there? My guess is you are probably relying on physical arrow damage more than crushing blow. I could be wrong though...
If you hadn't cut my quote short it would have been here, since I described why I use a ballista rather then anything faster(which is about every other bow).
KoalaBearThirtyThree said:
I think itt's something like this (all rough numbers):
clvl 71
SKILLS
20 strafe
20 valkyrie
5/1/1 Dodge/evade/avoid
6 critical hit
4 penetrate
5 pierce

ATTRIBUTES
str: 103
dex: 200
vitality: 100 (or maybe 150) (life of around 400 I think)
energy: base (approx mana of 150 I think)

EQUIP
weapon: 30-115(??) gothic bow (cold dmg, mana leech)
20 IAS (glove + goldwrap)
No other special equipment (I've experimented with gob toe, boneflesh, etc but didn't see THAT much improvement)
The standard equip I used throughout most of her life were: angelic armour/amulet/2rings, rare boots, 3ptopaz helm (as well as the aforementioned 10IAS rare glove and goldwrap)

I have to look up the numbers but I think my full damage is 100-300 with probably 70% chance to hit act2/hell monsters (AR is probably 2000 to 2500).

I only played up until act3/hell before retiring this char (she is my nightmare magic find zon :) ). She rarely dies due to the valkyrie but she doesn't kill anything fast enough. I'm open to suggestions (or even remaking her)...
In nm my zon kills things very fast in nm. And in the Flayer Jungle in Hell those little buggers don't stand a chance either, as long as they are not attacking my zon, but my valk. I tend to cast a decoy on the edge of the screen since the valk is thick in the head. When there is a group around her, she sometimes kills one and then happely walks towards and past me, dragging that group with her.

Could you perhaps post a screenshot of her in the gallery ?
My zon has quite a lot of dex and if your zon only has 200, then where are your points ? :)
KoalaBearThirtyThree said:
Cold zon has it easy... I haven't soloed Chaos Sanc but I've been in some CS runs and they are not bad (it might even be easier than Flayer Jungle--when those little guys are cold immune and charging at you from all directions, it's trouble :) ). All the oblivion knights are cold immune but I can freeze every other monster in CS. Since curses don't really impact bowazons much (only one that hurts me is decreptify) I can happily take out all the other monsters while oblivion knights just curse me.... I think River of Flame might be harder than CS. The Stygian Dogs are cold immune and can take out my slvl 7 valkyrie quite easily...
Quite amazing that they can kill a level 7 valk so fast. My valk survives even while surrounded by Blunderbores and those stygian dogs. I thought they where called Flesh Spawner in the river though. Seems the difference between a level 7 and level 20 is a lot.


fledgeling said:
I wonder how much damage would the boneflesh itself do, on your level Warlock. Is it 25% chance of open wounds, or 12,5% for missile attacks?
What damage is it? 500 per 3 seconds at level 80?

the higher your level, the more damage you do and highest monster level is 80?
The boneflesh probably would cause quite a lot of damage. But since I use CB with strafe, that damage probably would not have enough time to do it's dirty work. Bleeding takes time. And unfortunately, I do need the ias of the twitch, otherwise my zon will be at 5fpa, which really is too slow for a 10 shot strafe. :)
 

KoalaBearThirtyThree

Diabloii.Net Member
WarlockCC said:
If you hadn't cut my quote short it would have been here, since I described why I use a ballista rather then anything faster(which is about every other bow).
I didn't catch your reasoning. Were you saying that you reach the same speed with the ballista?


In nm my zon kills things very fast in nm. And in the Flayer Jungle in Hell those little buggers don't stand a chance either, as long as they are not attacking my zon, but my valk. I tend to cast a decoy on the edge of the screen since the valk is thick in the head. When there is a group around her, she sometimes kills one and then happely walks towards and past me, dragging that group with her.
This strafer cruises through nightmare. I can do nightmare chaos sanc run, including diablo, in 10 to 15 min (1 player game). I'm not a power player or a hammerdin expert but my strafer probably can clear chaos sanc faster than my hammerdin (at least in 1 to 3 player games).

The flayer jungle difficulty was with the cold zon (many of those little flayer guys are cold immune). I agree with you that strafers have an easier time in flayer jungle. My strafer is basically ok with any monster that has low hit points (this applies to flayer monsters). But she is just very slow to kill once I hit act3/hell (even act2/hell gets to be slow) and monsters have a lot of hp.



Could you perhaps post a screenshot of her in the gallery ?
My zon has quite a lot of dex and if your zon only has 200, then where are your points ? :)
Sorry.. my numbers were way off... my attr are totally different... and my bow does slightly less damage (it's also a long siege bow, which has same speed as gothic though)... I uploaded pics of the char screen, skill screens, and some rare items I use:

http://www.diabloii.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=150&cat=500&ppuser=180759


Sorry about misleading you but here are my real numbers (incl equipment):

21 strafe
5 multishot
21 valkyrie
12 critical hit
5 penetrate
8 pierce
3 dodge
(2 in all othe pre-requisites)


str: 103
dex: 297
vit: 40
energy: 15

(horrible resists :) )

dmg: 106-397
AR: 5694
life: 425
mana: 181

bow: 24-101 (base/fast speed; cold dmg; poison dmg)
angelic armour+amulet+2 rings; goldwrap; rare gloves; rare boots; 3ptopaz helm


Quite amazing that they can kill a level 7 valk so fast. My valk survives even while surrounded by Blunderbores and those stygian dogs. I thought they where called Flesh Spawner in the river though. Seems the difference between a level 7 and level 20 is a lot.
I have a level 20 valk with my strafer and level 7 with my frost maiden. I personally see a big difference between them. My level 20 rarely dies but my level 7 can easily die.
 

WarlockCC

Diablo Classic Moderator
Nice Large Siege bow, but you should consider imbueing some gothic bows. The extra damage will be worth it.
Seems for nm your zon is geared towards MF. What gear would you wear in Hell ?
---===---
And about the ballista speed.

When you attack a single monster with strafe using a gothic with 10ias, you will be firing at 3frames per attack.
The engine allows for a monster to be hit by a single attack(7 strafe arrows is 1 attack) once per 4 frames. So with a 3fpa attack, the second arrow will allways miss because of this limitation. The third arrow can hit again because more then 3 frames have passed.
The above only applies to single monsters.
But, monster can also be lined up and in that way hit several times. First the front monster is targeted, the arrow pierces that monster to hit the monster behind him. Then strafe targets the monster behind, so the first and second monster could get hit again.
With a solid valk, monsters are often packed together while they are busy attacking the valk. Just make sure you are at a descent distance so your target lines cross several monsters.

Supposing the monsters are in different direction and there is no way pierce can cause a double hit, then a gothic would be faster combined with CB.

This once per 4 frames limitation also resolved the zon's GA doing such massive damage. In stead of targets getting hit up to 6 times because the arrow was zooming back and forth trough them.

There are bound to be errors in the above, but reading from the different sources, this is how I understood it to work. There are probably some Amazon experts on here (Dacar ? :) ) who can fill in the blanks and correct it where it's slightly off.
 

KoalaBearThirtyThree

Diabloii.Net Member
I wrote up some big reply but it was lost :(:(:( oh well... to cut to the point...

WarlockCC said:
Nice Large Siege bow, but you should consider imbueing some gothic bows. The extra damage will be worth it.
I tried a couple of imbues and they didn't turn out any better. I think I have one bow with slightly higher dmg than this siege bow but mods are bad (given my weak damage and monster regen, the poison dmg on this is valuable). In any case, I just don't see how, say, 30% increase in damage would even help. The damage is just too miniscule (even in act2/hell) IMO...


Seems for nm your zon is geared towards MF. What gear would you wear in Hell ?
I don't change much. I just swap out the topaz helm and angelic armour for rare resist items (basically dual resist helm and armour). My damage doesn't really go up but resists go up so the change isn't that radical.


The engine allows for a monster to be hit by a single attack(7 strafe arrows is 1 attack) once per 4 frames. So with a 3fpa attack, the second arrow will allways miss because of this limitation. The third arrow can hit again because more then 3 frames have passed.
The above only applies to single monsters.
I didn't know that. So there is no point in even using gothic bow past the base IAS (at least for single monsters where you hit all the time)? Does this mean Cho-ku-nus are, well, pointless (not that too many people use them)? I'm only talking about a single monster and hitting it all the time (obviously if you miss it's a different story)...
 

WarlockCC

Diablo Classic Moderator
Faster bows aren't useless, there are plenty of times when the enemies are far apart. In those cases a Gothic would be faster. And since the arrows are longer then bolts, it just seems like a continual line you are firing when using a bow.

Personally I think the advantages of using a ballista outweigh the disadvantages. But it's mainly what you can get your hands on. When I found this ballista I just wanted to see if I could make a hell viable zon with it. And as far as I can tell, I succeeded in that. Though I don't think I can take out a pack of Ghosts, there probably are a lot of chars who have trouble with that.

I never used a Chu-ko-nu although I do have some +130ed ones lying around.
 

KoalaBearThirtyThree

Diabloii.Net Member
Based on your comments, it looks like ballista is the choice of weapon (even a sucky one) for a strafer. You can easily hit the faster IAS with items so ballista looks like the best choice. Also, based on my experience, ify ou have a valkyrie, you are likely to get hte monsters close together so the efficiency drop of a ballista due to misses, distant monsters, etc, shouldn't be that big of an issue.

I think I still have an imbue left and will see if I can use a ballista with my strafer. I think gothic makes little sense to me if there is that attack limit.

Now that I think about, this speed limit must have been playing a role with my char. I remember fighting act2 zombies and it took forever to kill them even if I was right next to them. I'm not sure if zombies have higher physical resistance, but I just found it odd that I was doing so little damage. I guess I must have been "skipping" quite a few of my shots. All this time my 20 IAS from equipment was useless (at least for the first monster, which is what I care about)...


(Just for those jumping to this post, most of what we discussed in the last few posts apply when using strafe. If you are not using strafe, and hence is nowhere near the speed limit, then ballista will not be the best.)
 

KoalaBearThirtyThree

Diabloii.Net Member
I imbued a ballista and it didn't turn out well. It wasn't horrible but it is below-average :( I think the bow ended up with something like 80% enhanced damage with bad mods except for cold damage. I still have one imbue left so here's hoping that it ends up with 100%+ ED and ideally IAS.

Nevertheless, I converted my zon from bow to this xbow. The average damage on this ballista is 20 more than my previous bow (while it's obviously slower). I started wearing speed gear so I have like 50 IAS (twitch+sigon glove&helm+goldwrap). Needless to say, all my resists plummeted and I think I have close to -50 res in all *yikes* :) But I'm wearing gob toe which I can swap out for around 40 more total res (I will probably do this and raise my lightning res to around -10).

If my numbers are right, I should be doing around 40 more damage than my previous set up on the first hit.

I didn't play around enough with this char but first impressions aren't too positive. Even if I get an above-average ballista, I don't think this char is viable. I still think strafers are not viable (in general)...
 

WarlockCC

Diablo Classic Moderator
Personally, I think strafers are meant to be combined with Valk and decoy.
Recast your decoy often at the edge of the screen to trigger enemies and then your valk will walk to them. Your zon should not be hit. Your minions are supposed to take all the damage.
My zon has a bit of res from her rings and amu. With just your rings you should be able to get at least 2 of your res's at 0 in Hell. 25 res per ring average is do-able. When you use Deaths gloves+belt, poison is not a problem anymore either(+50 poison res and poision length reduced by 75%) and you get another 15% res all. Sig+twitch+wrap is overkill since you then have 60ias. Deaths set has allways been a zon's best friend(and also her worse enemy on a speedbarb). Then you can also stick a Iratha's crown on your head for 30 lightning res and 30 fire res. And get a prismatic 20 amulet.
supposing your rings have 25f/25c and 25f/25l your total res would be something like :
45f/-10c/20l/15p

I just think a Strafer is not suited to be full of MF/GF gear and then sent into Hell. With some proper (couple set, couple rare, nothing godly) gear a strafer can be viable in Hell, just not with the 1.09 mode of play of running into a room and starting blasting. You will have to move your playing style towards Dave's and just rely on your valk and decoy more :
http://forums.diabloii.net/showthread.php?t=480035

Now, if he can do that in LoD, then a Strafing zon should certainly be do-able in classic I would think. :)

You could also go for a CB(gobs) and bleeding (Boneflesh) zon. No damage bow required(although it would be nice for the manaleech), just get yourself a high IAS double bow of any damage and take res gear. Might just work for a strafer aswell. You could even add the Coif of Glory so they are blinded while bleeding.
 

KoalaBearThirtyThree

Diabloii.Net Member
Personally, I think strafers are meant to be combined with Valk and decoy.
Recast your decoy often at the edge of the screen to trigger enemies and then your valk will walk to them. Your zon should not be hit. Your minions are supposed to take all the damage.
Yeah... I actually don't have problems dying. The level 20 valk can last forever so I rarely get hit (valk+slow missiles means no problem getting hit most of the time). I only made it up to act3/hell (but I"m testing my ballist in act1 though) and the only problems I ever have are with gloams (since their attacks go right through my valk). Overall, my concern is damage more than death.

You could also go for a CB(gobs) and bleeding (Boneflesh) zon. No damage bow required(although it would be nice for the manaleech), just get yourself a high IAS double bow of any damage and take res gear. Might just work for a strafer aswell. You could even add the Coif of Glory so they are blinded while bleeding.
I know many of you here emphasize crushing blow but I am not impressed with it. My previous bow zon was using it for a while and it made marginal difference. I'm actually wearing gob toe with the new ballista zon and it is not that big of a difference to me.



 
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