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Need help organizing my chars' gear/roles

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by SWizard, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. SWizard

    SWizard IncGamers Member

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    Hello there! Some of you might remember me from the old days (when ppl like Nightfish and Lone_Wolf were around :p) or from a question some time ago about where to make my Faith runeword (which I ended up not doing).

    I recently got back into the game and picked up again the characters from my last playthrough. I want to continue from where I stopped, which means, on top of making new characters, keeping up with whatever I was doing with the ones I had.

    Thing is, I both don't really remember what I was doing with each of them/how to optimize them, but I'm also in a weird "wealth spot". I didn't do Meph/Pindle "enough", instead focusing on The Pit/Ancient Tunnels/Cow Level, which means I bizarrely have stuff like Griffon's Eye, Windforce and Jah, Vex, Cham, etc runes but zero Shako, and also zero Vipermage, Razortail or even Silkweaves (I'm not complaining, ofc :p)

    To ilustrate, here's where I'm at:

    clvl89 "Fishyzon" (can be respecced to pure Javazon)
    Goals: to run primarily Cows/The Pit, maybe Pindle (is she optimal for that?), maybe WSK (I know she is optimal for that but I don't really like it)

    Questions/advice needed:
    - Belt and boots suggestions in this "poor" stage?
    - How much IAS% do I need? I think 35% hits one bp, right? I socketed a +2 MPK/15% Ias jool in my Griffon's and have access to +2/+20% Gloves (or a +3/+10% pair plus Goldwrap)
    - What other breakpoints does she need?
    - Does Mana steal% help with Lightning Fury throws? I'm using the unique Mesh Belt for that and +mana, is that a decent option?
    - Should I use the inventory slots for my three +1 passive charms (remember I don't have Razortail yet)? I get 80% Pierce by doing that
    - Should I have MF% in the Cow Level? How much? Basically I have Skullder's/Goldwrap as options for that, and maybe charms (I don't have Gheed's)
    - Gear suggestion (with MF%) for The Pits?
    - How can I keep the Merc alive in the Cow Level? Also, what aura? IIRC I have Might or Holy Freeze in him but he dies too fast for me to check

    --

    clvl84 Meteorb
    Goals: teh Meph/Pindle runs that I need to do to find the cheap xuniques I'm lacking :p

    Questions/advice needed:
    - Should I optimize her for Pindle or Meph? I'm thinking Meph first for the elusive xuniques I'm lacking
    - FRW and FCR to aim for?
    - Magefist or Chance Guards? Provided I hit 63% cast rate with the rest of my gear, of course, but the question is basically to find out "if Magefist the best option for the slot, get MF% elsewhere" or chancies are ok
    - How much life and resists to survive Meph comfortably? Do I need max cold and lightning or 50-ish%?
    - Block or no block? Shield suggestions to go with my Occy? Currently I have Viscera (and Ali + Rhyme on switch)
    - I can get around 200-350% MF with her currently. Is there a "sweet spot" or should I go with "as much as I can"?
    - Is Tal's Mask/Belt/Ammy decent for MF running or should I go for something different? No Shako yet, no Tal's Armor. It's basically Tarnhelm+Goldwrap+Something, for the alternative.

    --

    clvl87 Blizz sorc
    Goals: Ancient Tunnels is what she has been doing, but I want to try LK running and, eventually, Travincal with her too

    Questions/advice needed:
    - For LK running all I need is 105% FCR and call it a day? I have access to Arach's, Spirit/Spirit, Magefist and Que-Hegan's, on top of random rare FCR rings. I don't think I can reach 200% FCR yet.
    - life/resists/block for LK running?
    - For Ancient Tunnels running, do I need resistances? Which ones/how much? Block %, or do I keep my high str for Spirit build?
    - Any general advice for either LK or Ancient Tunnels running with her?

    I'll describe the gear I have around, if you could suggest the gear for each character, even roughly, and general necessities of each build (like "x% fire resist, aim for x% MF, have that much life, etc"), it would help me immensely.

    Here's some of the stuff I have:

    Helms: I have Griffon's (in the Fishyzon), Tarnhelm's (one perfect, one 43% already with a PTopaz), Griz's Corona w/ 2 PTopaz, and Tal's Mask with PTopaz)
    Armor: Skullder's (PTopaz) (which char is best suited to use my Skullder's?), 4 PTopaz armor, 'Wealth' Light Plate (currently in use by my BlizzSorc for MF and Gold in AT), Que-Hegan's Wisdom (no sockets)
    Gloves: Mages and Frosties, rares, Chance Guards, +2 Jav/20%, +3 Jav/10%
    Belt: Goldwrap, Arachnid's Mesh, Tal's, and all the exceptional uniques except Razortail, also upped Nightsmoke
    Boots: 2 low roll War Travelers (30 and 38), 1 Gore Rider (no char for that yet), several rare/set pairs
    Ammy: 1 Mara's, 1 Tal's (with Belt and Mask) and one +3 Cold Skills blue (I think the ammys are fine for each character)
    Rings: Manald Heal, Dwarf Star and rares. No Ravenfrost or Soj or anything else yet.

    --

    I think that's it for now. If there's something relevant I haven't mentioned, plz ask away. Thanks for reading and for your time replying, for any of you that do :)
     
  2. mir

    mir IncGamers Member

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    You use RWM?
     
  3. SWizard

    SWizard IncGamers Member

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    I do. 1.13d. No access to 1.07 items and all that jazz (and no interest in doing so, too).
     
  4. T72on1

    T72on1 IncGamers Member

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    I'm afraid I don't have time to read and answer all now, but as far as Blizz Sorc goes: For AT she only needs some lightning res, maybe cold res too since you don't have Ravenfrost. I wouldn't use Ravenfrost on a Sorc anyway. For LK resists aren't important, and I think 105 fcr is just fine. But maybe that's just me easily misclicking if things go to fast ;). For Travincal you obviously need maxed fire res, bit of lightning too. And the Dwarf Star for some fire absorb.

    I'm someone who always goes for Spirit Shield with Sorcs, and as such vita over max block. But ymmv.

    Other tips for the Sorc? For LK a good map defines everything. Ohter than that just make sure you hit the 105% fcr breakpoint and get your health points as high as possible in case of teleporting into a dangerous mob. Empty your inventory, except for some keys. Basically all the stuff that's in the various LK threads here.

    For AT again a good map is crucial, as is the case with all dedicated running. What a good map is, depends on your goal: mf'ing on p1 vs rune hunting/mf'ing/xp grinding on p7. For the former good boss pack density on an easy to navigate map is what matters. For the latter, monster density is most important.
     
  5. Hutton

    Hutton IncGamers Member

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    Wall of text incoming! Some points are more general/important than others but I'll just answer in the order you asked.

    Fishyzon

    Boots: I'm a big fan of Aldur's boots, alternatively Natalya's are pretty nice too. The 40% FRW is pretty sweet when you don't have access to Teleport.

    Belt: Pretty much any old belt will do for now - Goldwrap is most likely to be useful. But make finding Razortail a priority, as it's an insane damage boost.

    Attack Speed Breakpoints: You can check all of these by searching for "D2 attack speed calculator" (not sure if I'm allowed to link it and also on my phone). The one you're after should be at the top and is in German, but will auto translate.

    Mana Leech: Your physical damage with thrown Javs is usually so low that mana leech is pretty useless on Hell. I find the best solution for Javazon mana issues is Insight and/or just drinking pots.

    Passive Skillers: Probably not worth it if they don't have good affixes like Life.

    MF in Cows: It depends what you're after. If it's runes, wearing MF or not makes absolutely no difference. If you're after base items, technically not wearing any will help out but the consensus is it's generally not worth going out of your way to avoid it.

    Gear for Pits: I assume you'd be running Titans + Shield (Spirit is probably best, or Sanctuary) for LF and Windforce on switch for Strafe? I think this setup would work well. The problem if you go full Java is that without Infinity, you will need to skip all the archers because they're light immune, and they're by far the most annoying/dangerous mobs in there. It might be tricky to squeeze much MF into this setup though. Alternatively you could go Freezing Arrow with a Melody bow on switch instead of Strafe...

    Merc in Cows: This is tricky without teleport, because he's real dumb. Best option is to get some good DR and life leech on him, such as Treachery+Vampire Gaze.

    Sorcs

    Blizzard is going to be significantly better at doing basically everything you outlined. I'd suggest maybe using the Meteorb just for farming LK and the Blizzard sorc for everything else.

    FCR: 63% minimum, but I personally find it's extremely hard to go back once you get used to 105%.

    Survivability on Meph: You can run Meph with absolute garbage gear using the moat trick (YouTube it if you're not familiar) without a merc. If you're using a merc, your survivability is pretty much determined by your kill speed vs how long your merc can tank for, you don't need anything specific.

    Block: For your Blizzard sorc, Spirit and max Vita all the way.

    MF%: There's a graph somewhere that you can find, as all as a pretty in depth video about it on YT by MrLlama titled "How to Magic Find". But the short version is the first 200% or so of MF gives the most "bang for your buck", but there is no 'ideal' number, or breakpoints. You should just wear as much as possible, without compromising your kill speed.

    LK runs: 105 FCR is fine for this, I don't think it's worth going for 200. If you have Whitstan's Guard lying about, it could be worth using that for block (all the mobs are just melee idiots), otherwise Spirit and max Vita.


    AT: Again, you don't need any specific resists for AT but generally "decent resists all round" is good! The only ranged damage in there is lightning (from mages) and Cold Enchanted novas...

    Gear Setup: If I were you, in I'd go for 105% FCR setup with Oculus, Arach, Que-Hagan's (with perf topaz if possible), and a 35% spirit monarch. I'd use Tals amulet just because it's great as well. For the remaining slots, just jam as much MF as possible!
     
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  6. SWizard

    SWizard IncGamers Member

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    Hey, thanks a lot for the quick replies, T72on1 and Hutton!

    I'll address some of your points, Hutton, if I may

    Gotcha on the boots. As for Goldie, since I already have 15% IAS on Gripph I only need 20 more between Belt and Gloves. Is it better to go for the +3/10% IAS + Goldwrap, or is it better to sacrifice the +1 jav and 30% MF for better/defensive mods in the Belt slot? That's basically my doubt right there. When Pit Running I'll definitely go for Goldwrap, but while cowing I don't want any since, yeah, main point would be to find whites/socketables (plus runes and etc).

    They are all blank (one has some irrelevant gold find actually). I'm thinking of using them to get to 80% Pierce, for Cow Level, since I don't have Razortail yet. I know it's not optimal, but until I find one, is it better to run these charms or use the inventory slots for more life/resists or leave blank pickup space? That's what I'm unsure of.

    Fishyzon is Freezing Arrow + LF/CS, not Strafe, so my Switch bow is a +3 Melody, yeah. Not rich enough yet for LF + Strafe hybrid (even though I do have Windforce/Griffon's and access to Faith). My current shield slot is Whitstan's for all the blocking juice. I don't have a Stormshield and, to be honest, wouldn't want to go that far with my Strength stat. I'm thinking of using Lidless for Cowing (+1, +mana, +MPK) and Rhyme or Splendor for Pit Running (I always try to reach ~200% MF when running MF spots). My main question is my armor slot. Skullder's? Wealth? Peace for skills instead of MF%? Que-hegans for +MPK to help with Cowing? Mana is a SERIOUS issue for me right now in the cow level (for Pit I am doing quite fine since the Merc with Insight stays alive). That's why I'm using the unique Mesh Belt and I'm even considering ditching the IAS/+jav gloves for Frosties (but that's probably stupid, heh?). Oh how I'd kill for a SoJ :(

    Blizz > Meteor even for Meph and/or Pindle? That's new to me. I always thought - and always used - Meteorb for that. Specially Pindle.

    I remember reading in one of Gripphon's OP comments that there's a sweet spot for, for instance, rare Rings/rare Jewels and that something between 176-186% is the optimal config for "maximum yellow Rings conditional to max Facet chance". I was wondering if other "sweet spots" are know for, for example, good gold/set chance from bosses conditional to good white/socketable chance from normal minions (could be relevant for choosing my gear for The Pit for example).

    Gotcha! Thanks. Yeah my BlizzSorc is the best one for LK then because she is str/vita build for Spirit. I have a Dex build in my MeteOrb, actually, so I'll probably need to respec. Blocking was helping a lot against Meph, I was dying too often for my tastes (don't really like the cheap Moat trick, and also it often attracts the straggling Council unique monster).

    I'm dying A LOT in Ancient Tunnels from lack of resists :( sparkmages and poison damage are very deadly. I was thinking going for at least max lightning/max poison would be good, but would require some major gear/charm shifting around. I guess I will have to do that :p

    Thanks for all your responses, both of you!
     
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  7. Hutton

    Hutton IncGamers Member

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    Yeah I'd go for the 3/10s and Goldwrap until you get Razortail, at which point you can pop on the 2/20 gloves- you can shop 3/20s I'm pretty sure? It's just mega boring.

    Yeah it might well be worth using until you get the belt. I usually run inventory space on my Javazon so I can pick up extra mana pots mostly, but always run a full inventory with Bowazon so I can pick up arrows conveniently. I've never played a Fishyzon, but suspect I would tend towards the latter option!

    Apologies- wasn't quite sure on the nomenclature so tried to hedge my bets! :D Lidless sounds like an excellent shout if you're not keen to stat for Spirit- though I would add that Spirit is surprisingly helpful on the mana front thanks to the large +Mana bonus! It also looks the most stylish!

    I would probably go with Skullder's, it's pretty sweet and looks nice to boot. Peace is pretty good for cows, though the Valkyrie proc doesn't work unless you have hardpoints in Valkyrie for some reason! For mana in cows, I think just spamming pots is the best, and keep moving until you've assembled a real big herd. You can always use town portal or even consider putting Naj's Puzzler on switch to control your merc's positioning- I assume you basically only use Lightning Fury in cows anyway since it's super OP there?

    It's perfectly possible that Meteorb is better for Meph if you're not cheesing him, especially on p1. But Blizzard gives you the flexibility to start upping the players setting, where Orb's efficiency falls off super hard. Blizzard feels pretty strong on /p1 Pindle as with a good aim you can one-shot the entire gang and Pindle if he's not immune.

    I must admit I've not gone down the rabbit hole on this properly, and it's entirely possible that's true. But in general I think my advice is pretty sound when you're just looking for 'the good stuff' rather than very specific stuff.

    I'm pretty confident that AT with the setup I recommended would be a breeze. Between Oculus, Tals and Spirit alone you've got a pretty solid amount of resists already. You can avoid all poison damage with good positioning and patience- just let those clouds clear before you go in for the loot! Good luck!
     
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  8. ffs

    ffs IncGamers Member

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    Weird sport indeed :) I'd run Mephisto a lot for now to get those missing essentials uniques first with a Blizzy.

    Sorc is pretty straight forward. Use Blizzard and throw a lot of MF gear on her. 63% FCR for Meph and 105 for LK is perfectly fine to start off with. I'd definitely go pure Blizzard over Meteorb. Though with Griffon's you could try Lightning as well, but that requires Infinity to shine, don't know if you have/can make it.

    As for Amazon, Razortail is key, hope it drops soon. Next step for Java would be to farm Infinity and/or Enigma in LK depending on what you have/can make. You're going to spend a lot of time there anyway. ;) For her you should shoot for 35 or 55 IAS depending on what you want to run, though IMO 35 setups are superior. With Enigma, FCR BPs become relevant also. 68% is not hard to hit, 99% is harder to hit but optimal for her. Leech helps and supplements MPK well, take it to the extent you can. And yeah passive skillers are a waste of space. :)
     
  9. maareek

    maareek IncGamers Member

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    If you have an Infinity, a dedicated fire sorceress is probably the best Meph runner. Cold is where you want to be otherwise, and is still pretty close, I think you're talking a difference of a couple seconds average between Fire and Blizz. For Pindle, Blizz sorc is where you want to be for a sorc. I did a video on what I think is the best Pindle running Blizz sorc build, there may be wisdom there for you to glean.

    For Meph, remember your merc cannot leach from Mephisto, so he's going to die sometimes unless you feed him pots. p3 is generally what you want to run Meph at, p5 is marginally higher on drops per run (I think p3 averages like 5.9 or something drops per run) but the difference in run time for p3 vs p5 makes p5 rarely worth doing unless your gear is very nice. 30 second runs is where I'd start my goal at, whatever MF you can get in there while still making that happen is good. Over time that MF amount will rise. For Pindle, aiming for 20 second runs is a good start. Remember that run times are the #1 factor in finding items (okay, actually running is #1, but you probably get what I mean) so focus on killing quickly first, fit in MF around that.


    It's been awhile since the RFO where Gripgod was talking about that, but if I remember correctly he was specifically looking for rare rings because he needed a specific set of mods for his PvP characters. There no doubt exist such "sweet spots" if you're looking for a very particular thing, such as grip focusing on maximizing his chance for those rare rings, but also keep in mind he was running Travincal then, and the Council cannot drop higher tier items, or really much of anything other than runes, jewels, gems and rings that would interest our Croatian overlord. He didn't limit his Pit runs to such a low MF. Know what you're looking for, and what your target can provide and you can adjust to get the rewards you want.

    In terms of the specific question you asked (ie the sweet spot of gold/greens from uniques and whites/greys from minions) that balance will be determined by your gear, which sounds obvious but follow my point. If you want whites and socketables, then you must kill minions/normal monsters. That requires a specific set of builds. Now, you also want to kill fast and at higher player settings. That means you need a powerful character that deal damage in a large area, that limits you to a few builds and basically the only build I can think of that would kill fast enough to efficiently farm whites AND have enough MF to make any real affect on the number of white items dropped is a singer barbarian, and even that only at a very high level of gear wealth. Basically, just focus on run times and pick up MF where you can.



    Understand that LK, AT and the Council each require a good map to make the most of them. I would definitely just use your Meteorb for LK since build doesn't matter for that since you can just roll a good LK map with her and not have to worry about needing to roll anything else.


    Lightning damage from the skeletal mages and from LE bosses are rough. High lightning resistance is a strong recommendation from me, though not a must. Cold is also good because cold novas from CE bosses are rough. Fire I never really care about and the need for poison resistance is really determined by how much you hate drinking potions.

    As for general advice running AT, I'll link you to my AT blizz sorc video. For LK advice, here's a post from grip. I think there's some more advice further on in that thread, but that's a good place to start. 45 seconds is the first run time target I would aim for in AT, 30 seconds is the first target I'd shoot for in LK.
     
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  10. T72on1

    T72on1 IncGamers Member

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    If you are really just starting out, I'd up the run time targets from @maareek a bit ;). Very sound advice otherwise though.

    In general Blizz Sorc is very strong at most mf and rune hunting stuff. Unless you have very good gear, I'd even go as far as to say they are best at all that stuff. If you do have high end gear, specific builds can be stronger for specific targets.
     
  11. SWizard

    SWizard IncGamers Member

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    Thanks a bunch ppl for your inputs :)

    To clarify a bit, despite my questions I am somewhat "veteran-y" in this game haha. I have started and restarted multiple times. I have already done all of these runs, with high end gear (that I still have access to, in old characters, but I'm not willing to bring back just yet, like Infinity, Enigma, Grief, Fort, etc). I asked for help because I forgot a lot of the specifics (it's been a while since I last played and had all the info on the top of my mind) and because, while I do know a bit about optimal configuration with high end gear, I am struggling a bit to find what is optimal with the gear I have at the moment. For example, stuff like what are the important defensive attributes for each run, so that I can follow the right direction. I didn't remember by heart if it was better to have blocking or vita against Meph, for example, and how much Cold/Lightning resist is "safe enough", or if I need resists in AT and which ones, etc.

    Of course, even though I have played for many years and followed/participated in this forum for quite a while, I have never reached the level of the true masters like Fabian, Gripphon, maxicek, maarek yourself, etc, with sub-20 seconds runs and perfect gear, but I usually do mostly fine by myself. I like to pick up most stuff when running, so I don't mind not having "maximum" optimization. Just trying to optimize a bit with what I have now while I search for the cheap items are missing, so that I can really optimize my characters for the high-end options for item farming. Since I'm somewhat poor, I have to make decisions like "which toon is the best one to wear my only Skullder's" and "what helmet since I don't have Shako". Once I have access to multiple Shakos, for example, it becomes a lot easier since I will have enough for all the toons and it would be just the optimal helmet anyway.

    Maareek, I'm watching your Pindle video. I will gear my BlizzSorc with your tips in mind and see how she fares in a couple hundred runs :) for the Fishyzon, I settled for Pit since it's a lot quicker and more fun than Cows, and allows me to have good MF% to have a shot at finding nice stuff from bosses. I found Windforce last week with her there, my first one ever (it's annoying/curious to have found 3x Cham, 2x Jah, 3x Sur, etc but only now my first WF hahah).

    For my MeteOrb, what do I do with her, then, since the BlizzSorc is best at both Pindle and Meph? Respec? Gear her for LK running? Again, besides a great map, lots of keys and space and 105% FCR, I don't really need anything else for LK running, really?

    Again, thanks for your responses! :)
     
  12. mir

    mir IncGamers Member

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    You can use the meteorb in glacial trail, although it's a level 84 area it provide an interesting challenge.

    I run it with a fire sorc since only 1 type is FI (frenzytours), when I see them I just go immediately for the 2nd level or skip the run.

    Just find a map with the sparky chest and the 2nd level are close enough to each other and give it a try.
     
  13. maareek

    maareek IncGamers Member

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    I'm going to take just a minute to talk about mindset and approach real quick as it pertains to achieving goals. I understand completely the point you're aiming to make, and it's a good one, however, if one is intent on setting a goal of improvement it is imperative to set a static goal that is difficult to achieve so that the struggle drives the learning required to gain the knowledge integral to performing the task. For example, if you want to have good run times in AT, saying "I'm new so I don't have to worry about hitting 45 second runs" keeps you from having to roll a good map. If you set 45 seconds as a staunch goal, the time must come where you settle in and force yourself to get a good map, because great gear and solid skills can't run a terrible map in 45 seconds but bad gear and decent skills can run a good map in that time. Having these numbers as "this is what serious running starts at" gives a catalyst for pushing past the easy excuses human beings give themselves and accept. To circle back to your point, there's no shame or blame involved in not reaching these goals - I myself started out at about 75 second run times in AT until I joined my first MFO - but learning how to accept right-now performance while still seeing it as inferior to what you want to be able to do in the future is key to pushing forward and improving in anything at all in life. So I make the same recommendations to anyone starting out, whether brand new to the game or a veteran of more than a decade, these are the first milestones and if they choose to push past that, then the knowledge gained from the climb to get there sets them up to know how to make the next moves forward to whatever goals they set for themselves. Plus, it gives me a reason to write pointless walls of text from time to time. ^_^ :rolleyes:

    @SWizard: I get what you're saying. That sounds alot like many of the reasons I did my exceptional sept a few years ago when I came back to the game (before leaving again...) mainly to gain knowledge and relearn how to pivot gear around the needs of a build. As a bit of advice, though, most of the questions you're going to ask yourself in regards to things you've forgotten or are unsure of just in actuality don't really matter. Like is it better to have block or no block for Meph? Unless you're pushing for a hyper efficient Meph runner that rivals Grip or Froz, it just absolutely does not matter. I don't like using block on a sorceress at all, ever, but when I started out in D2 I did thousands of Meph runs with a Stormshield wielding Blizzy and she was great (she also ran alot of AT.) A lot of the questions your brain will throw at you just serve to trigger anxiety or doubt, when just putting in a little time and testing will generally show you a path.

    Such as: you said you're dying alot in AT to the mages that throw lightning. Well let me tell you, when I say lightning resist is the most important resist in AT, I say that because I was dying alot to the mages there that throw lightning. So we're encountering the same thing, you don't need me to tell you that it's okay to put lightning resist on your sorceress, just put some lightning resist on her and see if it helps. When you encounter problems, attempt to solve them, and then once you find something that works if you want to come back and tell us about it and ask if there's other options to try, that's what we're here for. But if you're trying stuff out, I mean sure maybe you'll "waste" some time that could've been more optimally spent in some other fashion, but were you having fun? Enjoying playing the characters you have in a game you chose to put some time in? That's not much of a waste, really.

    What I'm really getting at here is: the "masters" you mention enjoyed what they were doing. Fabian loves numbers and statistics and that drove him to the things he achieved. Grip has a passion for pushing himself to the limits of his abilities and he used D2 as a means towards that end. Max really enjoys Assassins, their style and their gameplay, so he knows Assassins (also other stuff, of course, but that's a big thing for him.) I followed what was cool and interesting to me in this game. None of us just did what was the "correct" way to play, we approached the game as a way of expressing and interacting with something we enjoy and so that spurred us to find new avenues and places within the game itself.

    All that is to say, it almost sounds like you're saying "this is the builds I have, what should I do?" and nobody can really answer that but you. Do you like playing these builds? If yes, where? Are there parts you don't enjoy? Would you rather play other builds? We aren't you and can't speak for you, and let me tell you it doesn't matter if something is optimal or not, if you don't like doing it you either won't or you'll burn out. I don't like running LK. At all. I've done it, burned myself out on D2 every time. So I don't, or I do very little here and there. I can tell you what's optimal, but if you enjoy 2 minute Mephisto runs with a Necro swinging a maul instead of 30 second runs with a Blizzard sorceress, then you should do 2 minute Mephisto runs with a maul-swinging Necro. It's the correct thing for you to do. I would really take some time to figure out what you like to play and/or run, or decide what it is you want to do, and let that give you some specific direction.

    As for the Meteorb, I would suggest gearing her for LK running and leaving her to that. But again, if you like playing her doing other things, then you should do that instead. But no, for LK all you need is a good map, keys, and you're ready to start farming gems and charms and jewels. Sometimes runes as well, but mostly those other things.
     
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  14. SWizard

    SWizard IncGamers Member

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    This paragraph is epic! hahaha. I agree, btw. I want to both have fun and feel like I'm effectively using my time and best efforts in order to find gear (mainly because I do enjoy the optimization, but I'll get to that in a moment).

    Thanks for this input. I have played Sorceress to farm Meph multiple times already, but I'm always "unsure" if I'm doing it right. Like, sometimes I die for absolutely no reason (that I can think of), and that is what leads me to asking things like "block or vita?", "do I need max cold/lit res against meph or just 50% each or something else?". Right now, my MeteOrb sorceress is clvl84 and I die once every ~15 runs or so and I want to fix that. I asked those questions because I'm not sure I'm dying because "I'm messing up when facing him", because "I don't have enough survival gear on" or because "I'm still only clvl84". Knowing "go for Block against Meph" or "nah, just go str/Vita and use Spirit" fixes the "I know she is geared right" part, so I know I just have to focus on playing.

    I just respecced her last night, btw, and went for a Str/Vita build. But now she can't hold her Ali Baba :p I need +12 stats (on top of Mara's), or I can give her back the Tal's Mask/Belt/Ammy combo (which I think is the best option for now). Thing is, stuff like "should I just give her 10 dex stat points and use a +2 charm waiting for Shako" or "no, don't waste dex points in a str/vita sorc" is something I personally enjoy, it's not an anxious struggle. I like min/maxing, I have fun in knowing I am optimizing her stats/skills/gear the best I can with what I have so far :)

    Yeah, you're right. I'll just give her LR% and keep her above 0% in Poison, I think that will help. But do note, as I wrote in the previous paragraph, this kind of "struggle" is something I do enjoy. I know that LR helps with LR mages, but I like knowing "this much LR is enough, aim for that and play safe". And since more LR comes in the price of more MF or kill speed or inventory space, it's a question I'm interested in solving, because of what you stated in your first paragraph. I want to aim for the good run speeds, I want to improve and feel like I'm putting the effort. That's what lead me to these questions, even those that, yeah, can't really be answered by other ppl.

    Absolutely. I love Zons, Sorcs and Pallies and what I have in this current playthrough are toons I love (Blizz, Meteorb and a LF zon are always the first chars I go for). I am playing them and having fun, just trying to gear each of them the best I can, so that I can focus on just playing. For example, I like doing Meph with my MeteOrb builds, I always have, and so I will gear her for that (and Pindle, and LK). Since LK is map/105 FCR/keys and space only, and Pindle is very safe, and I'm missing some key excep uniques, I'm focusing on Meph first. Which is what led me to the "block or vita? how much resists?" questions. I have around +10 to all skills, have access to 105 FCR and 420 MF%, but survivability feels lacking. So I want to know which sacrifices I should make to make the runs safer and as quick as possible.

    Thanks a ton for your responses and for the underlying message, which is the #1 more important thing indeed. I am having fun, it's after all what keeps bringing me back to Diablo every couple of years since it got released :)
     
  15. maareek

    maareek IncGamers Member

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    I can understand this. I will give a bit of advice related to you saying you enjoy the optimization and having these questions to face, though: if you enjoy having the questions to answer, then you will almost certainly also enjoy arriving at answers yourself. So I'm going to just take one of your questions and walk through the path from original question to eventual answer to try and highlight how that process works.

    You say you aren't sure if your survivability issues come from being too low of a level for the Meph runs. Certainly an answer exists, and many solutions could be tried, and plenty of advice can be given from the people here or elsewhere, but it is a question you can ask further questions about and end up with testable hypotheses that move you toward an answer that gives you not only the information you seek but the understanding of why. "Am I dying because I'm only clvl84?" Ask yourself "what exactly is killing me?" if it's elemental damage, such as Blizzard or Lightning from Meph or hydras from the council members around, then your character level doesn't affect that and you can assume that's not the problem and move on to something else. However, if it's physical damage, then having a higher clvl will make you harder to hit so that can factor in, though with a sorceress it doesn't really matter most of the time because she's going to be easy to hit for anything in range anyway. So let's say you do this exercise and decide you need more resistances to survive, pack on resists, run some more and are still dying, well then it's time to ask the question again "what exactly is killing me?" Let's say, for example, that you teleport over to Meph, cast Blizzard and static him down to half, then while you're finishing him off the merc is dying every run, you're teleporting away to keep Meph from backhanding you into oblivion and porting right into a Blizzard he cast, going into recovery and getting hit by a lightning bolt and a meteor or fireball from the night lords at the back are finishing you off. It's tricky to answer the question in that situation, because so much is going on, but it's still about breaking down each part. If your resistances are maxed and you're still dying, then there's no point in really saying "I need more resistances" and you can move on to another possible reason. I'll just highlight three potential reasons here and not comment on them too much: 1. "My mercenary is dying too soon, leaving me vulnerable." 2. "I'm teleporting into bad positions and getting killed for it." 3. "I'm not dealing enough damage so the fight is going on too long." For 1, the next question is "why is he dying?" For 2, the next question is "where can I teleport that would be better?" For 3, "How can I get more damage out of what I have?" Breaking questions down into smaller questions helps get to a point where you can work out possible solutions to test.


    It's also worth keeping in mind that what to aim for exists on a continuum, it isn't set in stone. That's why I focused on questions to ask and how to dig deeper above, because if you want to get the maximum you can out of things, it's a constant process of asking questions and breaking down even what's working for you to see if there's a better way. You may find that as you practice more, the amount of resistance you need goes down as your tactics improve and you can pack on MF, that kind of thing.


    I can dig it. And yeah, if you enjoy running Meph with the Meteorb more than the Blizzard, go ahead. As for the question of what sacrifices to make, I'll just say that MF is pretty much always what to start cutting if you find you need something other than MF.

    You're welcome. :)
     
  16. Liquid_Evil

    Liquid_Evil IncGamers Member

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    Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    A thousand times this. You absolutely need to set good goals, especially since you're using a sorceress and won't be able to rely on any of those sweet style points that a Druid could have netted you. Try and shore up those deficiencies with a good map or something.

    You salty dog, you've never needed a reason before!
     
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  17. maareek

    maareek IncGamers Member

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    Ah yes, Druids. The Taylor Swift class, cause they never go out without style.

    I have since Pink unleashed the concept of needing to be given a reason on the world. It's okay, though. We're not broken, just bent, and we can learn to sorc again!
     
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  18. SWizard

    SWizard IncGamers Member

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    WOW! L_E! How's it going? Very nice to see you around :)

    @maareek: thanks a ton for all your inputs. I respec'd and geared my Meteorb (which is my favorite of the 2 sorcs), choosing a Fireball-tilted build (less points in Fire Mastery to put some in Fire Bolt) and fried Meph for some runs with Meteor+Fireball. I went for Str/Vita, reaching ~1100 life and 105% FCR thanks to Spirit. I gained 2 levels and found Wisp Projector in the process, which helped a lot with Meph's lightning attacks. I'm killing faster, moron is dying less, but I'm still about 10-15% below what I wanted for CR%, and also have not rolled a *great* Map very often. I mule with multiple instances of the game, since I think that's "more real" as to what Blizz intended - chars meeting in a MP game, so I lose my map everytime I have to mule stuff off. No use going for a killer Dungeon2->3 Map then.

    I found Razortail too but Ethereal haha. Found my 1st Vipermagi and another Skullder's, though! Now my Fishyzon and my Meteorb don't have to share the armor. Also got some sweet stuff like Andy's Visage, 2nd Vamp's Gaze, Arreat's, etc.

    Then, this morning I emptyed her inventory and geared her for LK running (light armor/shield, still 105% FCR), just to change a bit. After I get tired of LK running, getting Harmony and a good MF/kill setup will let me do lots of Pindle (which is what I feel I will be the closest to the suggested runtimes). Thanks a lot for all your patience and comments. I'm always grateful - but never amazed! - at how great the SPF community is.
     
  19. maareek

    maareek IncGamers Member

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    Congrats on the sweet finds and progress!

    Hmm, if you use multiple instances to mule, you may want to spread out your runs a little bit, just to put more of your time into running than in finding good maps that will go away. Maybe target a few things with the Meteorb (like, Meph->LK->Andariel, if you need some stuff she can drop) and maybe hit AT and Pindle, maybe even the Council, with the Blizz sorc. You won't be achieving perfection since you'll be losing every map you roll anyway, so you may as well focus on getting the most drops you can out of the time you put in. I'd just remember that if the map is particularly bad, don't hesitate to just skip the run in that cycle (like if you're running AT+Trav+Pindle with your Blizz sorc and your AT map is terrible, just run Trav+Pindle until you roll another map, that kind of thing.)

    That advice depends on just how often you do mule, but if you find you're spending a lot of your time rolling a good map as opposed to just running, I'd suggest that change. If you barely pick up anything, then maybe stick to focused single-target runs. The whole point of aiming for quick runtimes is to maximize the return on your time, but if trying to get those runtimes means you're spending more time map hunting than running, you're actually losing time. So keep the goal (making good use of your time) in mind and keep an eye on how things are going and you should be fine.

    Good luck with the runs!
     
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  20. SWizard

    SWizard IncGamers Member

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    maareek, I need your help :( (and others who want to contribute as well)

    I have no idea what I am doing wrong, but running Meph with my Meteorb has been quite infuriating. I'm clvl86 now, but I'm having several problems:

    - Merc STILL dies too fast. I was using Kelpie/Shaft/Vamp Gaze, found Reaper's, switched to Reaper's, changed the hat for Kira's Guardian so that he has CBF and max resists, but nope. I even tried running on players 1, and the Merc STILL dies every dozen of runs or so. This slows me down a LOT since I need to keep reviving/buying potions. Visiting Jamella is time-consuming and annoying.
    - I'm dying too, more than I'm comfortable with. With Merc, without Merc, whether I"m "tanking" or "dodging" his attacks.
    - I remember that, in the past, Meph running was quite comfortable, but I don't remember the exact configuration I was using. I remember being able to leave the Merc dead and "tank" Meph myself. So, I tried having max cold/light resist PLUS Wisp Projector (20% lit absorb), Ravenfrost (CBF and 20% cold absorb) and I'm even using Griswolds's Corona (5 cold absorb). It's still not possible to tank Meph myself (I have ~1000 life, but no block since I respecced to use Spirit)
    - I tried having Fireball/Meteor/FO anywhere from slvl26 (Wizardspike, for max resists) to 32 (Eschuta's Temper, Magefist), and p3 Meph still is not possible (Merc dies too often).

    So, I have a few questions to ask:
    - first of all, should I run at /p1 and not care about the no drop chance, or is gunning for /p3 worth it? I've always ran him on /p3, IIRC.
    - What runtime should I aim for and general advice in achieving it? 30s? 45s? Never visit Jamella for heal/pots?
    - is 1000 life too few? is block needed? Any "magical numbers" for good suvivability? Keep in mind I don't want to use the moat trick, at all, period. I can leave the Merc dead or alive, but I want to fight Meph for good.
    - What is the best Merc gear? I understand leech doesn't work on Meph, I was using Vamp Gaze for the PDR%, but switched to Kira's for max resists, and it all looked the same to me. Also: Kelpie or Reaper's? And does he need IAS? I was thinking of Treachery for the IAS + CTC Fade.
    - Do I need 105% FCR or is 63 enough? Gloves is Chance Guards ATM because my Spirit is not 35% so I can't reach 105% anyway with Magefist, and I don't have Amns left to keep rolling (tried like 8 times with no luck).

    Also, just as general info: I'm not sacrificing survival gear for MF%, I'm just trying to find the right balance of life/resists/+skill so I can kill jhim before he gibs me and the Merc. My MF is basically all on Skullder's plus Ali Baba+Rhyme on switch, Topazes on Gris Corona and Chancies, plus the free MF from charms and my rare boots. I was using Tal's mask/ammy/belt for the 65+24+14 MF and godly stats, but switched to Mara's + Gris Corona for the current resist setup. I'm not sure which one is better (I still haven't found Tal's Armor, so Mask/Belt/Ammy is the only possibility).

    My BlizzSorc is not currently available for Meph (I never got her past AT) and, again, I don't want the Moat trick. Just want to find the right config to comfortably run Meph with my MeteOrb so that I can finally find Shako/Razortail and move on to other MF runs.

    Thanks again!
     

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