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Mercenary Survivability?

Discussion in 'Necromancer' started by The Wikt, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. The Wikt

    The Wikt IncGamers Member

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    Mercenary Survivability?

    I've been wondering.

    When I last made a Necromancer - untwinked due to poorness of myself, but I did get a Trang Set from a very generous person on the forums. I did try a NM A2 Offensive merc..

    The problem is, if he gets in the middle of the battle, and a monster turns on him, he's usually toast in moments, despite any potions I feed him.

    Now I am making a new Necro on SP, and am soon to be in Nightmare. I stuck with the A3 Sorcerer for now, Lightning Version, and he survives very well, usually out of the fray. So I've been wondering. What should I look for to give my A2 NM Offensive mercenary (once I get him)? I suppose lifeleech should definitely be there. I've got a very nice partizan (excep poleaxe) for him, and Larzuk gave me two sockets for it. (Made in Cube. Savage Partizan)
     
  2. Feetstench

    Feetstench IncGamers Member

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    What kind of necro are you building? I will guess that it is a Skelle or Battlemancer since you seem set on using a Offensive merc.

    Stick with the Nightmare act2 def Merc.

    Decent items for the mule challenged are Tals mask (Falling like flies for me) and that set curiass (Haesmosisisis or whatever the name is) and Hwaanins Bill with an amn rune. Any polearm with leech helps!
     
  3. slappy sam

    slappy sam IncGamers Member

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    Uhh... assuming he is a summoner, he really needs to go with a NM A2 offensive merc. The might aura helps a ton and the holy freeze (NM A2 Def) will shatter corpses which is bad (Not as much CE or skellies).
    Look for a polearm with nice damage, life leech, and ias. Get an armor and helm with physical damage reduction, a bit of resists, and + skills maybe too. +life stuff is good too.
     
  4. The Wikt

    The Wikt IncGamers Member

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    I haven't mentioned.

    I'm making a Skelemancer. (More of a Fishymancer, too.) To get the additional damage which will help a LOT, I need just that - an Act 2 Might mercenary. However, the survivability I experienced so far is.. Well.. Horrible. I might try keeping an eye on him and eventually cursing the monsters away from him using AI curses. (Confusion or Attract, anyone?)
     
  5. Pherdnut

    Pherdnut IncGamers Member

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    Life leech and maxing the merc's resists is the key to making mercs survivable for any build although they can get by in summon heavy builds without the leech because they won't be getting ganged up on as much.

    With summoner necros it's critical that you give him a nice polearm or he'll start falling behind on XP in no time and start to get laid out a lot. Early on Pikes and Lances with some ED work quite nicely. With the right gear, your merc should never be more than a level or two behind you. If you just give him crap and let him stay dead a lot he'll fall behind your skeletons and become worthless. I don't worry too much about my normal difficulty mercs since I'm usually going for a Might merc anyway though. Just try to keep your merc making the majority of the first kills before corpse exploding and he'll do fine.

    Outside of the high end rune words, I'd recommend a Bonehew which has two sockets for Amn runes and 15% requirement jewels or an Eth Arioc's Needle +4 which is not only a nice merc polearm but also cranks up his Might skill to give 40% more ED to base skeleton damage.

    Resists seem more important than upping defense although that helps too. I was having problems with a merc in Hell and that changed quickly when slapped a Vipermagi on him. Rockstopper is another excellent and very cheap source for maxing merc resists. The Gloom runeword is a fairly cheap source of resists if you've started to pick up any of those medium level runes yet. If you get richer, Chains of Honor is ideal for any Act 2 Merc IMO. CoH cranks up his auras, gives huge resists, life leech, some PDR, and enhances damage against demons and undead.
     
  6. Myrakh-2

    Myrakh-2 IncGamers Member

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    A Skelemancer merc should have no problem surviving --- I'm seeing this almost every day now, since I've made a bowazon as a second playchar. And her merc... well, he's causing me headaches.

    In any case, my Skelemancer merc has only gone through a few gear changes. He has always had his +4 Ariocs Needle (but that's not required, see below), and started with a Crown of Thieves and some crappy rare archon plate. I recently replaced the archon with Naj's plate (+1 skills and some resists, never bad), and even more recently I replaced the Crown of Thieves with Andariel's Visage (RALed), so I now get +7 skills on the merc :)

    I found it doesn't really matter what he wears --- whenever there are OKs around, I put his weapon away into the stash, and he still doesn't die. I can walk through Chaos Sanctuary, Worldstone Keep 3 and Throneroom with a weaponless merc and almost never loose him.

    I haven't even socketed his Ariocs yet...
     
  7. dodenbezweerder

    dodenbezweerder IncGamers Member

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    My ACT2 merc also almost never died. In even Hell and i have no fancy equipent. He has a normal DushShroud or something with a nice weapon. Never found him dying that much.

    Just out of curiosity, why do you take you merc weapon away when you meet OK (oblivion knight?)?
     
  8. Myrakh-2

    Myrakh-2 IncGamers Member

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    Because Ariocs on a lvl 91 Might merc with +7 skills does a lot of damage, even more so since I amp everything in sight --- which, if he happens to cursed by Iron Maiden, means instant death, or near-instant death. Esp. since if he can hit once, he can most likely hit again...

    If he's just hitting them with his fists -> no problem. I loose the 40%ed from the +4 skills, but that's better than loosing the merc :)

    I also leave his weapon when rushing in normal difficulty --- he hasn't killed himself yet, so I was either lucky, or my assumption that it's actually inflicted damage that is reflected (same as for life/mana leech) is correct (i.e. if he hits for 2000 damage, but the target only has 100 hitpoints, he'll only get 100 damage reflected).

    Nowadays I use the bowazon for normal rushes, though --- can't protect her merc, and he needs a lot of potions and resurrections in hell, but Windforce clears out normal CS faster than my merc can run to kill himself. I don't take her to nightmare/hell places with OKs...
     
  9. richo

    richo IncGamers Member

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    well i noticed with my merc with my summoner that when i do baalruns and traviruns that he always dies first...

    he has max resist and about 10% LL from andy mask and he uses a stone hellforge plate and pride GPA, still a merc vs elemental attacks is stupid he dies, and when i tele myself in the minions of destrcution he lives wich is weird but merc is very bugged :( ...

    RICHO
     
  10. Myrakh-2

    Myrakh-2 IncGamers Member

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    Does he have some faster run/walk, maybe? The reaosn why my merc never dies, IMHO, is that the skellies engage much faster, so by the time the merc arrives the monsters already have their targets. The only occasionally dangerous situation are ranged attackers that the pathfinding doesn't get to, but I usually divert their attacks long before it turns into a problem by presenting them their favorite punchball "Gumby" for some target practice.

    My bowazon merc, on the other hand, dies a lot --- mostly to monsters he can't leech from, or high damage ranged attackers, but every now and then even a leechable bosspack is too much :-( I do try to use Valk like Gumby, but the 4 second casting timer tends to get in the way...

    It's the difference between one minion in a crowd of 30 (14 mages, 14 warriors, gumby, merc --- I don't usually use revives), or one minion in a "crowd" of 2 (valk and merc), or maybe 3 (decoy)...
     
  11. The Wikt

    The Wikt IncGamers Member

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    Yesterday when I went on a Baalrun with my necro (A3 sorc back then, now I temporarily use an A1 NM Merc), the Sorc died very fast due to getting himself too close to the battle. (On Bartuc, I think.)

    I do happen to have a very good polearm for my future mercenary right now:
    Savage Partizan
    Two-Hand Damage: 56 to 124
    Durability: 65 of 65
    Required Dexterity: 67
    Required Strength: 113
    Required Level: 23
    Polearm Class - Slow Attack Speed
    +66% Enhanced Damage
    Socketed (2: 0 used)

    If I happen to come across Amn runes, I'll use them in this polearm.
     
  12. Pherdnut

    Pherdnut IncGamers Member

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    Edit: NM, you DID have max resists. If you're merc is dying against bosses a lot but has decent LL and max resists, he's probably too low level or you aren't decrepifying/clay golem slowing them. Are you sure his resists are max though? I wouldn't think Stone would be good enough to do that.

    Amn is easy. Just cube your runes up to 3 Thuls. All you need is a chipped topaz to make Amn out of the Thules and I think that recipe works off-ladder. You should be able to get Thuls out of countess runs in no time.
     

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