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Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by pharaoh, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. pharaoh

    pharaoh IncGamers Member

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    Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    I usually don't write mat/pat threads, but this is an exception. Kalita was a pure spearzon, and I built her without using Fend. This was a deliberate design decision; Fend is notoriously bugged if you're using Dodge or Avoid.

    First, let's do the skills. These are hard skill point totals:
    1 Jab
    1 Power Strike
    1 Poison Javelin
    1 Lightning Bolt
    20 Charged Strike
    20 Lightning Strike
    1 Critical Strike
    1 Penetrate
    1 Inner Sight
    1 Slow Missiles
    5 Dodge
    5 Avoid
    5 Evade
    12 Decoy
    20 Valkyrie
    Remaining points are going into Decoy until it is maxed; after that (if I level her that far), points will probably go into Power Strike for the synergy boost.

    Now for her gear:
    Weapon: ethereal Hone Sundan, with three resist/IAS jewels
    Switch Weapon: beta 'Call to Arms' divine scepter (this one moves around a lot)
    Switch Shield: Lidless Wall (just for the +skill to prebuff)
    Armor: 'Fortitude' scarab husk
    Helm: Kira's Guardian with resist/IAS jewel
    Gloves: Lava Gout (Enchant helps my AR when I need to use Jab)
    Boots: Marrowwalk (was using Waterwalk before this, but then remembered the Life Tap charges)
    Belt: Thundergod's Vigor
    Ring: Stone of Jordan
    Ring: Raven Frost (thinking of swapping this out, since Kira's has the CBF, but the AR/dex is still nice to have)
    Amulet: Cat's Eye (IAS and FR/W, mmm!)
    Charms: two Acrobatic charms with +life, various AR/resist charms
    And my merc, a Normal Combat (Prayer) merc named Mizan:
    Weapon: ethereal 'Insight' giant thresher
    Armor: 'Duress' cuirass (yeah, base type sucks, flame me)
    Helm: Crown of Thieves with IAS jewel
    My life with gear was 1370; with a BC and BO prebuff, it soared to 2434. This was enough to get me through most situations. After prebuffing and triggering Lava Gout's Enchant proc, my Jab damage was 846-1840; Charged Strike and Lightning Strike were at 1-1158 (7 bolts) and 1-1131, respectively. My chance to hit generally hovered around 60-70%, which would be abysmal for most melee characters. However, the lightning spear skills don't need to hit to release the lightning, so it wasn't so bad. It did mean that Jab was a bit slower to take out LIs, and I couldn't rely on leech (even if I'd had some). This latter point was why I went with a Prayer merc with Insight. It nicely made up for the lack of both life and mana leech, and kept me topped up in all but nasty situations.

    As an aside, I did pull my Infinity over to this girl for a test drive, and found that Insight was actually more helpful for this build. LIs were not a serious enough issue to warrant such an expensive runeword, especially since it was a tradeoff between that and the healing/mana regeneration of an Insight merc. Without Insight, I found I was scrabbling for mana potions all the time, and it quickly became annoying.

    This was actually a pretty fun character to play. If they weren't lightning immune, Charged Strike took them down in short order. If they weren't LI, and scattered (fallen, etc), Lightning Strike wore them down, and I could CS individuals to death until LS stopped arcing. If they were LI, then Jab with my Hone's innate 45% crushing Blow took them down quite quickly. Mixed mobs of LI and non-LI usually had me poking an LI with LS, which would slowly wear the LI down (physical damage when I managed to hit, plus the fire damage from Lava Gout and its Enchant proc), and fry the non-LIs with the bolts. I'd repeat until the LI was down, and switch to another so long as non-LIs were still alive. If I was left with only LIs, I'd switch to Jab, and if left with non-LIs, I'd switch to CS.

    As for the lack of Fend, I was going to be shieldless (using a spear kind of carries this drawback). As a result, I wanted to mitigate the damage I'd take, especially since my resists were poor for most of Nightmare and early Hell, until I could wear Kira's, so I decided to drop five points into each of the evasion skills. This would make Fend virtually useless, with the bug, so I decided to forego it entirely. Most of the time, I was doing single-poke attacks, and any attack would either miss (in which case my attack doesn't get interrupted), hit and cause hit recovery (causing my attack to be interrupted), or (if I put points in the evasion skills) hit and be negated by Dodge or Avoid (again causing the attack to miss). The first part of the equation, the attack not hitting at all, is constant, so it basically boils down to getting hammered and having my attack interrupted, or avoiding a hammering and having my attack miss. Duh. It's a no-brainer. Even if they weren't helpful for the build, I'd have put a point in each just to be able to get Valkyrie. Still, I'm glad I put points here. There were a few times when they triggered enough and my life dropped enough to let me know I'd have been dead without them.

    The Avoid skill occasionally made it hard to get off attacks against large mobs of ranged attackers, but my answer to this was simple. A quick sidestep gave me a chance to cast Decoy in the middle of the mob, and once they started targeting that, I could close the distance and start using Jab or Charged Strike on them. Some ranged attackers would even retreat from the Decoy, which would give me the opportunity to get Lightning Strike arcing around while I picked them off one by one.

    Valkyrie and the merc were great for this build. With maxed Valkyrie, hard points in D/A/E, and a bunch in Decoy, the Valk was virtually indestructible. After prebuffing me and casting her, she had 3784 life, plus BO, so she had absolutely huge life. Decoy was used to take the heat off myself and the merc, and beat a hasty retreat if the situation called for it. With a tough Decoy, it usually lasted through the battle except when fighting nasty opponents, such as frenzytaurs and Amp-casting, Blood Star-tossing succubi.

    One thing I thought would be a huge obstacle turned out to be pretty easy, and that was Iron Maiden. My approach for this was simple: cast Decoy next to the nearest OK. He'd cast Decrepify on it, and then usually run away from it. Kind of like what your parents would tell you about bees, and how they were more afraid of you than you were of them. Depending on which side of him I cast it on, he'd run away from me, or towards me. If he ran towards me, Charged Strike took him down. If he ran away, I'd cast another so he had something to curse that kept him busy while I dealt with the group of doom knights and other monsters. With a bit of patience, I got through all three difficulties without a single IM death, though my merc and Valk occasionally succumbed to it.

    There was a somewhat amusing incident over by the seal of Lord de Seis in Hell. One of those little pillars with the fire atop it was in the corner, and an OK had spawned behind it. No spear was mighty enough to reach it; not mine, my Valk's, nor my merc's. Normally, I'd just leave him there and move on, but as I hadn't popped the seal yet, I needed to guarantee he wouldn't IM me while I was dealing with de Seis and his mob. I was on the verge of running to town to buy a bow and begin the tedious task of killing hm with arrows, but then I noticed one of the monsters had dropped a stack of javelins. With a low-level Lightning Fury (T-God's giving me the skill), and a trip to town to buy more javelins, I ended up taking him out before popping de Seis's seal. Unfortunately, I didn't take a screen shot of that. I should have, though, as it was kind of funny.

    I did run into the odd LI/PI baddie. These tended to be more tedious than threatening, as my merc had open wounds on his Duress armor and a bit of poison from Insight; I also had a bit of cold and fire damage from Lava Gout and Raven Frost. This meant all we needed to do was keep poking, and eventually we'd emerge victorious. One boss had me kind of worried though, and that was a PI/LI/Might aura/cursed frenzytaur. Even with my prebuffed life, a single hit took over half my life, so I just hung back and spammed Decoy. This gave him something to focus on while the merc and Valk slowly killed him.

    The nastiest monsters were, without doubt, the Amp-casting succubi; these girls could take huge chunks out of my life with their Blood Stars after Amping me. They also scattered in random fashion, which made it hard to get them to focus on the Decoy. Fighting these monsters made me glad I'd invested in the evasion skills.

    Act bosses were generally quite easy. The hardest was probably Hell Andy, because my poison resist wasn't the best, and she often ignored the Decoy and Valk (after quickly killing the merc). Hell Duriel was easy enough, and by the time I'd hit Meph, I'd had the presence of mind to switch my boots to Marrowwalk. Life Tap made every act boss from then on a piece of cake, and the LT helped out a couple of other times with nasty LI monsters.

    I think I only died twice. The first time was in Act III Nightmare to a pack of explodey dolls, and the second was in Act I Hell to some random boss in the early areas. This latter was just a case of sorely misjudging the monster difficulty ramping in Hell; in my defense, though, I believe I was playing /p8 at the time (as for all of Normal and Nightmare). I also had a very close call with Hell Ancients; upon killing one of them that was fire enchanted, the death explosion took me from roughly 2400 life down to under a hundred. Ack.

    Some observations:
    • Charged Strike rocks. I mean, anyone who knows me knows that I'm a big fan of my boltress, and CS is a similar skill. However, it has one benefit: the bolts seem to originate from the monster, not the character. This means that even with small targets, lots of the bolts hit. With fat targets, you're pretty much guaranteed to hit with all bolts.
    • Lightning Strike is awesome looking, and watching the bolts bounce back and forth for seconds at a time is mesmerizing. However, it's woefully underpowered. LS is affected by the nextdelay bug. For those that don't know, nextdelay is a 'feature' that triggers when a nextdelay attack strikes a target; that target becomes immune to all nextdelay damage for a set number of frames (depends on the initial attack). Nextdelay is the reason Inferno and Arctic Blast can't damage anything past Act I Normal, and why a fast Strafe means half your arrows pass harmlessly through your targets. This temporary immunity had its use back in the days of '80s platform games, to prevent the same bullet/missile/etc from hitting the same target multiple times, but in this day and age, it's disappointing. Let's hope Bliz removes this 'feature' in a future patch. I mean, Lightning Strike and Lightning Fury are both clvl 30 skills. LS requires melee, with all concomitant risks. LS with a spear precludes a shield; LF guarantees a shield can be used. LF benefits from Pierce, releasing several times the listed number of bolts, and is unaffected by nextdelay, so they can all deal damage. LS will arc around and look pretty, but only deal damage for the first few bolts in most cases.
    • Dodge/Avoid/Evade are lifesavers, if you plan for their use.
    • Decoy is the smartest minion in the game, without a doubt. She always tanks what you want her to tank, and never wanders off to do something stupid. With enough points invested, she can tank a great deal.
    • A heavily-synergized Valkyrie is a juggernaut. She's virtually impossible for monsters to kill, short of Iron Maiden, and she can lay the smack down like nobody's business.
    • Having two mobile mercs plus a Decoy gives you plenty to hide behind.
    • Using a spear gives you the reach to poke over the shoulders of your merc, Valk, and/or Decoy.
    Anyways, all done. I know I can be long-winded at times. Thanks to anybody who took the time to read this. :)
     
  2. NagisaFurukawa

    NagisaFurukawa IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Congrats! I like your little stories. hehe.

    For your issues with CtH, did you give Inner Sight any consideration? That'd weaken your Valk/Decoy a bit, but with BO, they should be more than buff enough for most purposes. Besides, you can always recast them. x).

    Ah yes. CUIRASS?!?! FLAMEFLAMEFLAMEFLAMEFLAME.
     
  3. TedDeeBoy

    TedDeeBoy IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Congrats, the spearie makes only few appearances in Mat threads. Great stories. Those silly amping witches would be shut down with a slow missiles if if can get close enough to them in the first place. BTW any chance of getting her full stats.

    Also the character's name, what is the inspiration for using Kalita?

    Duress CUIRASS GG :wink3:
     
  4. TheReadMenace

    TheReadMenace IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Congrats!

    I wholeheartedly agree that Charged Strike is super effective. I made a hybrid with LF a few months back, and I got her through Hell in about four days! Anything that wasn't LI was a goner in no time. CS is a real boss killer, if I'm not mistaken. I'll also agree that Infinity was a godsend.

    Props to a pure spearazon! Now do it without the RWM! :wink3:
     
  5. nebux

    nebux IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    congrats on your mat!
     
  6. NeoKnuckles

    NeoKnuckles IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    I made a zon based on lightning spear skills before (no lit fury). I was MP'ing with my bro so I had the luxury of making her pure lightning with no backup. I poured all my points into synergizing lightning strike. It's a very pretty skill and it's actually decently strong. I just find it BS that at 80+ point investment, it doesn't hold a candle to lit fury, which is safer, only requires 20-odd skill investment, does loads more damage.

    I didn't know about the next delay. Does it affect melee skills like fire claws and zeal?
     
  7. TheReadMenace

    TheReadMenace IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    http://strategy.diabloii.net/news.php?id=538

    Do a control+f and look for nextdelay. This guide is for an assassin, but it lists all the skills that are affected by nextdelay. Hope that helps.

    [/hijack]

    Congrats again! :thumbsup:


     
  8. RssDiablo

    RssDiablo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    a very impressive matriarch,
    makes me want to start a spearzon.
     
  9. Cygnus

    Cygnus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Gaah, you stole my originality points :angry:I have a baby level 26 spearie, she just killed Duriel. But I think mine will have better style :cool:

    Seriously though, great job. I guess Kira's took care of all resist problems?

    Charged Strike's bolts originate from the tip of the spear. With a long range spear (I haven't checked Hone's range, but it makes sense that spears are long range), they give you the appearance that they originate at the monster rather than at your character. With small monsters, about 1/3 of the bolts hit.

    NextDelay was introduced to keep the graphics rendering from freezing your computer back in the day. Implementation concern rather than a design "feature"



     
  10. pharaoh

    pharaoh IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Yeah, join the club. Maybe if we get all the spearzon players in the world to sign a petition, and send it to Blizzard, our seven signatures will persuade them to fix it. :)
    Not to my knowledge. Any single-hit, single-target attacks won't be affected. Things that persist, and can hit multiple targets (or the same target multiple times) may or may not be affected (it depends on the skill). Ones I know are affected are Strafe, Lightning Strike, Chain Lightning, Inferno, Arctic Blast, and Wake of Inferno. I'm sure there are others- perhaps in the druid's elemental tree, but nobody but corax plays druids, so it doesn't matter- but those are the ones that spring to mind.
    Haha, sucks to be you! :tongue:
    Yup, pretty much. Before I could use it, and before I decided to burn three (!!) scintillating jewels of fervor in the Hone, I used Stoneraven for a bit. That was nice, but the lack of crushing blow made high-health LIs take forever to kill. Whenever I switched over to the Hone to benefit from the Crushing Blow, my resists plummeted, and I finally decided to burn the jewels. I don't regret it. Without them, even with Kira's, my resists were pretty low.

    Like I mentioned above, while Fortitude is a great armor, Treachery is also quite nice. IAS, Fade, and Venom added together cover a lot of holes in the build.
    Yeah, I was thinking this as well. However, I think they are emitted from the point of impact, not the point of the weapon. Perhaps an example, to make things clear.

    Imagine you've got a weapon with range 5. A monster with a range 2 attack comes up to you, and melees you. If you use CS, and they emanate from the spear's point, this will probably be behind the monster. I didn't notice this in play, so I think it's the point of impact instead. Of course, this is based on observation, not specific knowledge of the game mechanics.

    For the record, the Hone's range is 5. Spears and tridents (and exceptional/elite versions) are range 4; all other spear-class weapons are range 5.
    You're thinking of casting delays (Meteor, Valkyrie, etc), and yes, that was the justification from Blizzard. However, this is a load of crap. Look at graphics-heavy skills like Lightning Fury (no casting delay). Then compare it to Valkyrie (casting delay). It was done more as a nerf for skills Bliz thought were too powerful, and for some skills, this makes sense. For many skills, though, this does not seem fair.

    Nextdelay, on the other hand, has no good reason for existing. If I ever mod the game, this will be one of the first things to go, provided modding can remove it (I think it can). If CPU stress from rendering the graphics was the issue here, then they dropped the ball; LS is still as graphics-intensive as it ever was. Nextdelay only determines whether a target is damaged by an effect, not whether or not the effect is displayed client-side.
     
  11. maxicek

    maxicek Moderator Single Player

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Congratulations on making Mat already! That was quick. I'm still waiting to push my templar (that you MPed with in A2 & A3 NM) through Hell.

    I remember that one :smiley:

    Nagi asked me about D/A/E in another MP game, specifically about "Dodge Lock." Like you, I never had a problem with it on my Zerkazon. Decoy and slow missiles work wonders for keeping the heat off you.
     
  12. pharaoh

    pharaoh IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Heh yeah. I think we were running /p8 at the time; I didn't have a chance. Well, more specifically, I probably had a 24% chance- I think this was before I started pumping Avoid. Fate didn't smile on me, though.
    I experienced the lock on occasion, but it was always with rapid-fire ranged attackers. It was never a problem with melee attackers, and it never stopped me from moving, just from attacking or casting Decoy (but that's what sidestepping is for). Still, without the evasion skills, I'd have either been dead or stuck in hit recovery anyways.

    The big problem, if I understand the Fend (and Strafe) issue correctly, is that your cycle is interrupted but the cycle continues client-side. This means that server-side, you're standing around with your thumb up your nether regions while monsters pummel you, and there's nothing you can do. You won't block (and probably won't dodge), and thus you're probably dead.

    Like I said though, if you plan for it, it's really not a problem. It almost (almost!) makes mewant to build a daggerzon.

    [idea] Hmm. I just had a thought; perhaps someone with Beast can test this out for me. I'm assuming that the bear graphic doesn't have animations for D/A/E; does this mean that dodge lock isn't a problem if shifted? Just imagine a bear-based daggerzon. Big life and ~50% chance to avoid any attack? Yes please. [/idea]
     
  13. maxicek

    maxicek Moderator Single Player

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  14. lionheartthebrave

    lionheartthebrave IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Can I see a readout/ screenshot of this please, did you find the CB helpful?

    :shocked: Well done for surviving

    Very nice character, must make one someday:thumbsup:
     
  15. muzzz

    muzzz IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    [hijack]
    AFAIK, it's casting delay that was introduced to keep graphics rendering and network usage in check. NextDelay is pretty much a hack to keep craptastically implemented novas (those are actually 32 overlapping missiles) and piercing missiles from becoming overpowered.
    [/hijack]



     
  16. pharaoh

    pharaoh IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    It's a perfect one, in every way. I actually have two eth ones, and was really lucky (one 196% ED, and one perfect). It's stuffed with perfect res/IAS jewels (sadly, all I have are some non-perfect ones left).
    Hone Sundan
    Yari
    Two-Hand Damage: 149 to 304
    Durability: 15 of 15
    Required Strength: 101
    Required Level: 37
    Spear Class - Fastest Attack Speed
    Item Version: 1.10 Expansion
    Item Level: 87
    Fingerprint: 0x2262cbc1
    +200% Enhanced Damage
    +20 to Minimum Damage
    +40 to Maximum Damage
    All Resistances +45
    45% Increased Attack Speed
    45% Chance of Crushing Blow
    Repairs 1 durability in 10 seconds
    Ethereal (Cannot be Repaired), Socketed (3: 3 used)
    Still less res than the Stoneraven (48) I was using for a bit, but like I said, I do not regret this. It was previously triple Shael, before I switched to Stoneraven, and then switched back to it. It's not upgraded because the stat requirements shoot up, but I've actually been considering this.

    To answer the second part, yes, the CB was immensely helpful. The merc had Duress, which did help with bosses, but 45% CB is huge. I was actually considering tossing on a pair of Gore Riders, but I found 45% to be plenty (remember, I only needed it for LIs, and I had big damage on the spear). The dex from Waterwalk and Marrowwalk (and the LT charges on the latter) made these choices better, in my eyes.

    I was using the Duress earlier on in the game, and found there wasn't a big difference between the 45% and 60% totals. I imagine if I'd been able to hit more reliably, and used Jab more regularly, I'd have noticed the difference more.

    [edit] If anyone's thinking of trying this, I heartily recommend using a Hone Sundan. The ED doesn't matter much, nor if it's eth or not- but obviously it's better if it is- because you're really looking for the CB. If you have scintillating jewels of fervor, go with those; otherwise, go with Shael runes and make up the res difference with charms. Use the best jewels you've got, even if they're all you've got, because they won't be wasted. It still makes a phenomenal merc weapon if you decide to abandon the build. [/edit]
    Yeah, on the surface, that makes sense. However, they already have code in the game to limit the number of missiles from a single attack that hit a given target; look at Multiple Shot and Teeth. Multiple missiles from one 'cast' will not hit the same target, so it seems to me they didn't need such a kludgy solution for Nova, etc.

    Either that, or they could have done the realistic thing, and just let the multiple missles hit. They could adjust the damage if it was overpowered. This would lend realism in two ways. First, larger enemies that were in contact with more of the nova (hit be more missiles) would take more damage. Second, enemies closer to the caster would be hit by more of the missiles, thus taking more damage and giving the nice effect that the strength diminished with range.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
  17. pharaoh

    pharaoh IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    You know, I was certain I'd replied to some of these comments in my first reply, but now they're not there. Usually, I open the 'reply' page in multiple tabs so I can get the quoted text, and then I copy-paste it into one post, so as to avoid five posts in a row. I must have buggered that up; sorry if a couple people felt ignored. :/
    Thanks. :)
    See, this is something I remember answering before. I would have used Slow Missiles, except that it means getting too close. It's closing the gap where they hurt you with the shots; once you get up close, they die too quickly to be very dangerous.

    It would be so much cooler if SM worked like a necro curse, where you could pick the center of the area of effect, rather than having it fixed on you, but alas, that's not the case. If it were, I'm sure it would get a lot more use.
    Another thing I swear I typed a response to. Oops.

    Naked (mmm, naked amazon- and yes, I remember using this joke, too):
    Str: 110
    Dex: 85
    Vit: 300
    Ene: 15 (base)
    Life: 1116
    Mana: 139
    With gear:
    Str: 140
    Dex: 147
    Vit: 320
    Ene: 15
    Life: 1370
    Mana: 249
    Jab AR: 1801
    Defense: 2198
    With gear and prebuff of Battle Command and Battle Orders, and after procing Enchant (Lava Gout) and Chilling Armor (Fortitude):
    Str/dex/vit/ene same as above
    Life: 2434
    Mana: 426
    Jab AR: 2976
    Defense: 4725
    Like I said the first time, I tend to pick names from books, movies, etc, or just assemble sounds that I like. For the latter, I sometimes base it off a real name, often tweaked to be different, or use a random name generator. In this case, 'Kalita' was just something I liked the sound of. Some resources I use for naming characters that you and others might find helpful:

    Behind the Name
    Baby Names
    RinkWorks Fantasy Name Generator
    Thanks.
    Considered it and dismissed it. Early on, I planned on using Infinity to virtually eliminate enemy defense, and by the time I abandoned that idea, I was too set in my ways. Still, it worked out well, and with a few more levels, CtH problems will become even less of an issue.
     
  18. Cygnus

    Cygnus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Thanks for correcting me on the NextDelay. Somehow I thought it was the meleer's equivalent of the Casting Delay.

    Casting a decoy right in the middle of a witch pack scatters them. You can then SM and pick them off one by one.
     
  19. Swiller

    Swiller IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    Why didn't you max impale? OMG nub. :laugh:

    All joking aside, congratulations! Yet another build on my list of things to do.
     
  20. moo-cow

    moo-cow IncGamers Member

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    Re: Matriarch Kalita- pure spearzon

    they actually did drop the ball on LS in pre-LOD. I unfortunately didn't save a copy of the screenshots, but they have been posted in other forums of LS covering the entire screen in lightning and doing very little damage to the mobs while lagging everyone. To me it seemed reminiscent of chain lightning from diablo 1 where if you had too high a level of chain lightning some of the sprites wouldn't display and wouldn't do damage in those hexes.



     

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