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Need No Merc Builds/Guides/Advice

Discussion in 'Sorceress' started by Frisco, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Frisco

    Frisco IncGamers Member

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    Need No Merc Builds/Guides/Advice

    I have read all the stickied Build Guides here and noticed that they all assume you will be using a merc. Right now I am starting a Tri-Elemental Sorc (CL/FO/Meteor) without a merc. I was wondering if anyone has any general or specific tips on building for this. I would appreciate any insight.
     
  2. Compman

    Compman IncGamers Member

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    Due to the increased difficulty of hell in 1.10 I wouldn't want to play any sorceress who is playing PvM without a merc. If you are only MF'ing then a merc is not as necessary but it is always helpful.
     
  3. Schnuks

    Schnuks IncGamers Member

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    the only time I don't use a merc as a sorc is when i'm doing Meph runs, otherwise I would strongly suggest getting one and levelling him up, they help immensely when you want to MF in such areas as the pits.
     
  4. Soepgroente

    Soepgroente IncGamers Member

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    A tri-elementalist is a rather bad build not to have a mercenary, a dual elementalist would be better because of the higher damage.

    Though i don't see ANY reason why you wouldn't hire a mercenary at level 45+ in nightmare (offensive or defensive one please) and revive him once in a while if you're playing on hell. Teleport smartly and kill many flayers or something, he'll level like mad. Once he's above level 75, which shouldn't take more than a few hours literally, he starts enhancing your killing speed greatly by quickly taking care of single monsters and allowing you to stand still and fire with everything you've got!
     
  5. Frisco

    Frisco IncGamers Member

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    I chose tri-elemental for killing dual-immunes. I suppose the sorc could carry a sword in slot 2 and whack them instead, I haven't considered that. I may actually end up with a "2.5"-elemental using a lower-level fire spell with fewer points instead of bumping meteor. CL/FO/Meteor is only my current plan and is not yet set in stone, I am open to considering a different set or priority of main attack skills. Besides a point or two in static field, what other attacks should I consider. I presume I will throw some more points into the armor (prob shiver armor), energy shield, and telekinesis spells than is normal.
     
  6. Superhal

    Superhal IncGamers Member

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    levelling a merc: check out my "nm act 2 merc diary" in general forum.

    using a merc:
    1. telekill: teleport right next to the monster and your merc will immediately attack it. you can get a free swing in on most monsters this way. the only way to solo mobs immune to you, if you are single tree.

    2. tank: with a defiance or holy freeze merc, let him tank while you fire away. (HF > defiance, but imho, might > either).

    3. teletank: position your merc with teleport, then walk backwards to make sure he is attacked. very easy way to take out dolls in hell.

    4. blizz/meteor buddy: for blizzard and meteor, mobs will only take damage if they move slightly from their original starting position or walk. most mobs will charge you for melee, but many mobs will not, such as oblivion knights. if your merc has kb, he can "push" monsters into your blizzard/meteor.

    5. baby paladin: along with his inherent skills/auras, a merc can get confuse, holy freeze and fanaticism from items. as far as i know, a merc cannot get conviction on any item.

    6. main killer: if you distract the mobs, the merc can kill pretty much anything as long as they aren't swarmed. i found telekenesis and tanking a good way to distract mobs for my merc to kill.

    I don't know what skills you are planning on using, but feel free to adapt as necessary.
     
  7. Superhal

    Superhal IncGamers Member

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    nobody has figured out an effective tri-elemental sorc yet for .10.
     
  8. Saraph

    Saraph IncGamers Member

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    people seem to think that some just dont want mercs.. untrue.

    if your just starting out. you cant provide them with the right gear. and without that... they die. I have 3 chars over 70 and i have found NOTHING that can support ANY mercs in the game. my mercs always croke. so i never bother.
     
  9. Stiertje

    Stiertje IncGamers Member

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    You are in fact trading in a huge amount of killing power for the abillity to kill an occasional encounter with a dual immune. A nice merc with some good gear takes care of these usually with no problem.


    Mercs don't need uber gear to survive. You do however have to think about his gear.

    Most important for a merc is Life Leech. You can get this by socketing the weapon and slapping in an Amn rune or a Perfect Skull.

    Also very important is his resistance. Try to get this as high as possible. Try to level a merc from lower difficulties because their innitial resistances (and total stats too) are higher then mercs hired in Hell difficulty.

    IAS, FHR and CBF are optional, but make your mercs life easier. IAS makes him leech more, and so does FHR because when your merc is being hammered into stunnlock he can't leech and he's gone. CBF is usually important for a single tree sorc who has to rely more on a merc for killing immunes. You want him to attack as fast as possible then, which he can't do when frozen.
     
  10. Soepgroente

    Soepgroente IncGamers Member

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    Duriels shell + crown of thieves + shael/amn bonehew is acquired for around 20 perfect gems. Anybody can afford that. And your mercenary lives with it.
     
  11. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    Gonna wade in here....Sorry folks I'm in kind of a ranting mood.

    Superhal,

    We, in this group, have developed not only one but several variants on the tri-elementalist build that are fully viable for soloing hell. See stickied guide before decalring that "nobody has figured out an effective tri-elemental sorc yet for .10." Mine (@ 85, Blizz/CL/Meteor),has soloed the game up to the Ancients in Hell (I stopped questing her to do some MFing, but think I'll quest her out this weekend.)

    Frisco,
    To be a tri-elementalist is to use a merc when questing. The three tree build does reduce the per hit damage of your elemental attacks. As such having a good tanking merc positioned between you and your target, while not mandatory in the later stages of your build's development (the higher you level your archmage, the more independant she becomes), is necessary in the early stages if you are planing on soloing the game. If you're planning on clan questing, or just joining multiplayer games then the melee chars in the game act as your tank.

    My personal suggestion is to take an act 2 normal, defiance merc, level and equip him as you would yourself.

    For the MFing you can either use the merc (which I do for pit runs) or kill him off for moating meph. Just remember if you're MFing that MF bonus is stacked with merc. This means that you can keep a decent balance between MF and combat gear, by placing some mf gear on your merc.

    Saraph,

    The only time my merc dies are;
    1) When I kill him off
    2) When I let him get surrounded by hodrs of undead which negates his life leaching
    3) When encountering the rare unqiue nasty or unique oblivion Knight.

    In the last case, it's usually one of those cases where he's killed so quickly I can't teleport to a safe location to fix him up. I can tell you from my personal experience that the I would rather have my merc take that death than me.

    Stiertje,
    Yes the killing power of the build is reduced, but the that should not be a deterent to anyone from trying the archmage. They are , IMHO, the only build that allows one to fully solo quest the entire game (kill all..take no prisoners). The single/dual builds (of which I have great respect for) are "weaker" overall (not taking about pure killing power) as they are mostly built with the expectation of running away from the dual immunes. (True some dualists use a good merc to take on the dual imunes head on. But the majority of players I talked to just teleport around the unqies that pose too much of a challenge to them.) The Archmage build foraces teh player to develop all of their playing skills not their teleporting, and attack skills. this has probably developed as many are now turning to the Sorc as a fast MF char and not a questing char.

    In gerneral,

    I started my Archmage build development to see if it was possible to create an overall strong and viable char, not a speed killing demi-god. IMHO many sorc players (present company excluded) are focused on the "hit the mouse three times... everything dies ...woo hoo look what I found" and not the pure joy of the challenge of the game. These same players are the ones who complained that the Sorc had been "balanced" (read nerfed) out of existance in 1.10, and also complained that 1.10 was too difficult.

    I actually have found that with the tri-elementalist build, good EQ, and a good merc, that the game is more enjoyable than pre 1.10. All it took was a little adaptation in playing style, and a little creativity in character building.
     
  12. melianor

    melianor D3 Wizard Moderator

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    Thats not entirly true Stertje ;)
    Look at stickies at top of forums. There are many Tri-builds in there from people who have played those Archmages up to Act5 HELL and further...
    But all those use a Merc :cheesy:

    Not playing witout a Merc can be pretty suicidal especially with a Tri-Build.
    Some extrafast monsters with some other auras will be very hard to escape.
     
  13. Frisco

    Frisco IncGamers Member

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    :rant:
    Guys, I know that you are trying to be helpful; however, telling me to get a merc and how to handle him does not answer the question. The question is: How do I build, equip, and play without a mercenary? When I want to play fire support for another character I will party with one. (Other people seem to be more powerful and less stupid than the computer and take care of themselves in terms of equipment, health, levelling, etc.) When I want to solo, I want to SOLO. Not using a mercenary may be foolish and suicidal for my character; I am doing it anyway and am not going to change my mind on this. Telling me how to use a merc is a waste of both our times, so please restrict your comments to me to the advice I asked for.</rant>


    So far my stats plan is just enough strength for good equipment, high dexterity for blocking, and everything else in vitality and energy. My primary attack skills plan is chain lightning, frozen orb, and meteor, though I am unsure if these are the best choices or how to balance those three (even power? two high power one moderate? decreasing power depending on usage priority?) For secondary/special purpose attack skills I plan on a point in static field for speed against non-LI uniques and bosses, I don't know if there are any others worth considering. I also plan on a couple points in frozen armor (not shiver armor as I said before), one point in energy shield and several in telekinesis for the synergy. And a point in teleport and warmth. Equipment is whatever I can get. Gameplay I expect to consist of a lot of shooting and leapfrogging to the rear in addition to carefully clearing corners and doorways instead of walking straight into mobs and breaking up mobs and engaging individual monsters whenever possible.

    If you have any useful comments on how to not use a merc or my tentative plan above I would like to hear them.
     
  14. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    I guess the two main questions are; what EQ you ultimately plan on using.; and will you be playing on the ladder.

    The"on ladder" question is important becasue if you're on the ladder thre are some EQ possibilities (upgraded visceratuant shield) that are not avaiable in non ladder play. The uped viscer shield cab get you max block at lower dex and str investment and free up more stat points, (A key factor if you're going to use E Shield)

    The wrong EQ will necessitate extra points in dex and str, and thus, even though you have max block, your char may end up too weak in def to withstand Hell attacks.

    I personally would warn you off E Shield development beyond 1 point to help you solo in Normal (for the reason stated above.)

    Also with a tri-elementalist build you do have weaker hit points and this is typically off-set by using as much + skills EQ as possible.

    So you may want to think about the EQ you will eventually be using once you've finished the build.

    As to your choice of skills, CL/FO/Meteor is a viable build.

    I went with CL/Blizz/Meteor with a fairly even distribution. (A few more in the lightning tree to allow for armor, teleport, and TS.) but substituting FO for Blizz (like you propose) might actaully be the better build.

    You said you checked out the tri-elementalist build guide above, so if you use the point distribution that I used but substitute FO for Blizz you points spread should be OK.

    Watch yourself when solo questing in Normal and early NM. I did solo the game (w a merc) and found that the early stages of the archmage (up to lvl 30 or so) were the most difficult to solo as I wasn't able to leverage EQ, (+ skills) etc.

    The good news is with the right EQ, and the points spread evenly (more or less), at lvl 85, you can easily solo in the style that you want to play. (no merc).

    Chart out your points distribution before you start. Developing three trees can oft times confuses some, and as you ARE developing three trees every skill point counts.

    My suggestion would be;
    To limit E Shield to that single point to use during Normal and NM and leave it at home in Hell.)

    Develop your base cold and lightning skills in Normal. (No imunes but as you are play with no merc to tank for you, the timered Meteor may get you into trouble in the early stages of the game when you wont have max block and will have lower res.

    Start to develop base fire skills as you quest NM, and complete the cold tree. Take a few extra runs each act to level up.

    By end of NM you should have your cold tree almost completed be at 3/4 developed in your lightning and half developed in Fire tree.

    As you quet hell, leave the Lightning tree alone for the time being and stress the completion of your cold and Fire trees. Of the skills you chose to master your best bang for your buck will come from FO and Meteor. By this time you should be okay with max block and can tank well enough to use the timer spells more effectively.

    Once you have Meteor and FO maxed finish off CL. The go to work on your masteries/syngergies.

    Depending on how much + skills you get for your EQ, it may be best not to put too many points in CM as you can reach a pretty good level from EQ bonuses, and if so invest your spare CM points into LM.

    Melianor has some good feedback in the build guide re this.

    Good luck and once you're finished your build please add it to the Tri-Elementaist guide so we can inculde the "No Merc" variant to the final guide.

    Storm
     
  15. Superhal

    Superhal IncGamers Member

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    sorry. misunderstood your post. i read it again, and it could be taken both ways (no merc, use a merc, etc.)

    I don't fully understand what you want to do. a single tree sorc can solo through hell as all the quest monsters are not immune to anything, other than the ancients and possibly some of the a3 council members.

    from what i can understand, your goals are:
    use a tri-elemental no matter what
    don't use a merc
    never teleporting through a level or past mobs
    killing everything you encounter

    if that's true, you can get a lot of tips from mongojerry's melee sorc guide.

    stormcryer: i meant that nobody has figured out a way for a tri-elemental to be as effective as single or dual tree sorc. play style is irrelevant. that you choose to is not my buisiness.

    however, i would be the first to give credit to the person who did.
     
  16. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    Superhal,

    I quess it depends on your definition of effective. I have soloed the game with an Archmage so therefore my build is effective against the game. "as effective as" is a subjective phrase that stems from ones expectations, not from fact.

    If you're expectation is speed of the killing than you would find the archmage "not as effective as".

    If you're expectation is tanking ability, than you would find the archmage "as effective as".

    If you're expectations issurvivablilty than you would find the archmage "as effective as".

    I could go on with the list.... of "as effectives as" but cannot find any other aspect of the game beside the "killing speed" (Damage per hit) where the "not as effective as" expectation can come into play.

    My char Teles as fast as anyone would care to, never dies, and can MF all levels at will. How does this make her non effective.

    Playing style is not "irrelevant" (in fact it is the ONLY relevant fact) as it is ones playing style that determines ones expectations and thus their oppinion of effectiveness.

    I'll use a sports analagy to demonstrate. A football team that runs the ball can win a game just as football team that passes the ball. If the teams expectation is to win then both are effective. Just becasue one simply moves the ball faster does not equate to more effectiveness...the goal, winning the game, is still reached. Defense comes into play, strategy, etc.

    If two passing teams meet then the end reults is merely a higher scoring game but eventually one team wins..hence goal achieved, effectiveness proven. The same holds true for a two running teams, the only difference is a slower game and potentially lower score.

    Remember we're talking about PvM not PvP. Effectiveness is then measured by the chars ability to beat the game.
    You're not talking about effectiveness....your talking about speed. If a player prefers to play a slower more methodical style of play, but still finish the game, they are still as effective (goal = finish game not speed drive arround it) as one who preffers to three hit kill and run around those he cannot.

    Storm

    speed kills...but so can a single, deliberate, strong club to the head
     
  17. melianor

    melianor D3 Wizard Moderator

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    :thumbsup: Stormcryer for this nice comment. :D
     
  18. ReZ The Profound

    ReZ The Profound IncGamers Member

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    Why not have a merc?

    and i think its very important to have a merc on mf runs to tank it up so the boss focus's on the merc while your hitting him with the big guns.
     
  19. Frisco

    Frisco IncGamers Member

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    Thank you, that was much more helpful. Through a combination of soloing, rushing, and partying I now have her at a mid-50s clvl. Up to level 24 was like pulling teeth since skill points went to prereqs and stat points went to STR and DEX for equipment and blocking so I was playing as melee. Once she hit 24 and got meteor I was able to solo around the act 4 areas and kill Hephasto; she died to one unique monster just outside the city (got trapped on the stairs.) At 30 FO and masteries were available and I was able to pull in some +skills EQ off my old character which made a huge difference and the levels started flying by. I did cheat and buy a merc when fighting Duriel, the 0.25 secs he lasted allowed me to easily grab my old corpse and its equipment. I decided not to use ES which freed up several points, but otherwise the skill points have been spent as I said earlier and spread evenly between FO/CL/Meteor and their masteries. I think I'm going to pump FO for awhile and then bring the other two up even again.

    It is a ladder character. I am using a Visceratuant shield with pDiamond, but do not have the runes to upgrade it. I also have the Spirit Shroud armor, Peasant Crown hat, Frostburn gloves, +1 skills amulet, +2 skills orb, decent rare boots and belt w/resists, generic +mana and +fcr rings, +1 lightning skills charm, and some +fhr charms. This is 99% of the best equipment I have available.

    I think I can already give you the basic no-merc build guide: follow Stormcryer's stickied guide and ignore everything having to do with mercenaries.


    Superhal, I want a character capable of killing everything instead of needing to tp around dual immunes and doing so without the help of a merc. No merc was the only fixed requirement, tri-elemental simply seems to be the best way of handling dual immunes.
     
  20. spencert

    spencert IncGamers Member

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    With ur low AR, u would register 1 hit in 10 "whacks" :lol:

    Not advisable....
     

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