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Merc Opinions, Please

Discussion in 'Barbarian' started by Dacar92, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Dacar92

    Dacar92 Community, Amazon, DH Moderator & Inc Clan Officer

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    Merc Opinions, Please

    My original merc from Normal is stuck on lvl 22 and keeps dying in NM. I am in NM act 2 and would like to hire a higher lvl merc. My question is whether to hire the offensive/might merc or a different one, for my specific barb build.

    I would like opinions please. My barb is a conc/BZ build and does decent damage at lvl 52 with a Bonesnap Maul.

    Thanks
     
  2. wind

    wind IncGamers Member

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    My preference is a might merc and I'm just playing a berserker. The 20 points in shout helps him out a lot. In solo it isn't too hard to keep him alive and he'll rarely die. He hasn't died fighting end bosses mostly because they don't like me more than him. :uhhuh:

    Multiplayer it's a little harder keeping track of him, mainly due to the chaos of what's on the screen. Usually just fighting beside him does the trick. He dies infrequently and I find that choice of merc well worth it.
     
  3. TheAntiHero

    TheAntiHero Banned

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    the following was taking from HALCIETS GUIDE located at the top of the barb forum!!

    Act 2 mercs are your best bet, thanks to their good stats and auras, which help you and the rest of the party out a lot. There have traditionally been three big choices:

    Act 2 Normal/Hell Defensive:
    These guys give you the defiance aura, which can take your defense to insane proportions when combined with Shout and Concentrate. With decent gear and a high-level Shout from you, you can get this guy up around 20k defense, and yourself to 30k base, which makes both of you massive tanks.

    Act 2 Nightmare Defensive:
    Always popular for their Holy Freeze aura. Slower enemies mean less swings, less swings mean fewer hits. They were an excellent choice prior to the patch, but now, I would never hire one, for two reasons: one, some enemies cannot be frozen, and thus they are useless against them; and two, the “Doom†runeword. This thing is incredible. With it, any merc can be a holy freeze merc, thanks to the passive aura it provides. It also gives +2 to skills, making the merc’s personal aura that much stronger. Thus, there is really no reason in hiring a Holy Freeze merc, if you can get your hands on the runes for “Doomâ€.

    Act 2 Nightmare Offensive:
    Ah, the Might Merc, staple of the barb class. Regardless of the fact that his aura has been nerfed down a lot, it still tops out at level 20 by level 99, which gives a very respectable boost to your damage, and there are no enemies that ignore damage (except maybe an immune to physical, immune to magic unique that would nullify both concentrate and berserk). With good armor and your massive Shout, he’ll have no trouble surviving, and will greatly increase your killing speed. Throw on a “Doom†ethereal pole, and he’ll be kicking some crazy ***. Think about it: between this merc and your cries, you’ll have a health/mana boosting aura, a defense boosting aura, a skill boosting aura, a damage boosting aura, and holy freeze…my God.

    So, in short, while the Defiance merc is nice, with your big defense, you won’t really need that much more. Go ahead and get some more damage from the Might merc.

    Outfitting Your Merc:
    Anything with big defense is a plus, and you should try and make sure everything he’s wearing is ethereal, since his gear doesn’t get damaged. He’ll need some life leech from something, but other than that, it’s up to you. Vampire Gaze and Shaftstop are nice for the pdr and leech. Crown of Thieves is very nice as well, and an “Honor†weapon is a powerful, east-to-make weapon for earlier in the game. I’d definately try and get the runes for “Doom,†just because that will make the merc much more powerful and useful. For the super rich, “Chains of Honor†is a nice choice for body armor, with the +2 skills (which will boost his aura) and life leech, and “Delirium†runeword is an incredible helm, with the % chance to cast Confuse. Doom, Delirium, and CoH, all in ethereal gear, would probably be the optimal equipment, though there are certainly many other options.
     
  4. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    I know that the might merc is very popular, but right now I have an act 3 normal cold merc and he is about the same level as I am (60 or so). I give him swords with 3 perfect saphires in them and he has a nice habit of making most of my enemies stand still while my conc barb shatters them. He is still helpful in nm, but is he going to suck in hell? Should I go ahead and get a might merc and solo him a while to bring him up to speed?
     
  5. warding

    warding Banned

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    3 Perf Saphs in a Act 3's Merc is useless. It doesn't add to his spell damage, and he never swings his sword. He's not the most efficient merc to be sure, but stick with him, and try it out :) D2 would be pretty boring if everyone used the same merc.
     
  6. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    Ok, is there a good source for info on how the mercs work? I know that it says my merc does more damange depending on what sword he has. But I am having (obviously) a hard time tweaking him. If he never swings his sword, then why does it matter what sword he has? If it does matter what kind of sword he has, what do you think i should give him? Should he leech? Is all magical damage useless? Remember, I'm poor.

    I am having fun w/him at this point and don't really want to be a pure cookie cutter build. I'll let him tag along into hell and see how he does. If he sucks, I'll let you guys know and replace him.
     
  7. WackenOpenAir

    WackenOpenAir IncGamers Member

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    my preferences:

    act2 mercs are the only way IMO, they have very good survivabillity, killing power and an aura. they are godly.

    for any barb except the singer, a might merc (nm off)

    for pala's might or defiance (norm def)

    for sorces holy freeze (nm def)

    i use no other classes, and no other mercs :)

    if you take a norm / hell merc, it is better to level one from normal then to hire one from hell. they will have better stats and a higher aura. You need some patience though.

    to level your merc, play solo. if you are in the right area, he will gain a level every 5 or 10 minutes or so. playing solo in games with many players (mule parks) is even better. If he kills, he gains much more than when you kill, therefore, walk past a few monsters before starting to kill, this way when your merc comes behind you, there is still something left for him to kill. (whereas otherwise he'd just be running after you and ariving at the scene just when everything is dead)

    Often i do mf runs on eldritch and shenk for leveling my merc.
     
  8. Halciet

    Halciet IncGamers Member

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    The problem with a3 mercs is that they have pitifully low damage in hell, low survivability, and once you run into immunes, they become a lot weaker. Granted, against PIs, act2 mercs get a bit weaker, but they are very stout, and give you the aura to boot; thus, they're all around the best merc you can get.

    As for your sword issue with your act 3 merc: his display damage in his eq screen is meaningless. That's his melee damage, and since he never swings, it's never used; this likewise means that things like leech, damage to daemons/undead, cast on strike, and anything that adds damage or % damage (other than rainbow facet jewels) do nothing for him. His real damage is based on the level of his spells, which you can check over on diabloii.net, I believe. The best thing to give him is something along the lines of culwin's point, for the +1 skills and such, or any other item that gives nice general bonuses like faster cast, stats, etc.

    The only really good thing about a3 mercs is that they can hold a shield as well, and thus get a bit of protection from that, along with another slot for mf/attributes, but all and all, they're rather weak, especially in hell.
     
  9. Grandar King of Trolls

    Grandar King of Trolls IncGamers Member

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    I see... I had better retire him before I get to hell then. Thanks for the info. I was confused about all that.
     
  10. prion

    prion IncGamers Member

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    those kind of mercs work best when they have the benefit of someone with conviction or lower resist around..
    The spell damage of these guys will ALWAYS be low. As far as I know, they have no mastery or synergy.
     

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