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Need some tips for a Sorceress

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Campaigner, May 14, 2008.

  1. Campaigner

    Campaigner IncGamers Member

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    Need some tips for a Sorceress

    I'm planning on using Fireball and Meteor as primary weapons and Frozen Orb as the answer to fireimmunes. The only other hell viable way I see is Blizzard with Firewall as backup. But Firewall doesn't seem as safe as Frozen Orb. Also, Fire damage will be greater with FireMastery than cold damage with Cold Mastery so I think what I'm planning to be the best.

    Should I really not spend a single point in Energy..? Luckily I got a few manaincreasing things....

    Planning to play simulated 8-player game all the time (Yes I know things take forever to die but the dropchance increases ((and I like it a bit difficult ^^))

    Now, this doesn't leave any points for a powerful Energy Shield with Telekinesis but since ES kicks in before resistances which will leave me dry perhaps it's best to ignore ES....(never played without it)

    This means Vit or blocking....with Vit it's easy to play but it gives so little life for Sorceress....but with blocking I have to find good shields and socket them and stuff....(and pump Dexterity....)

    Will blocking work when I'm running and does it block elemental attacks?


    Planning to use the best Act 2 Holy Freeze mercenary (who else?) but since this is SP I wonder what I should socket his weapon with since Insight doesn't work for SP....

    I got a lot of stuff saved in ATMA but no elite things (Got the Tal'Rasha helmet though :D)


    Does the dropcalculator in ATMA show the correct numbers? I've seen excel spreadsheets from this site where it says that Andariel got 1/15 chance to drop Nagelring or Manald Heal and 1/31 of a SoJ but the ATMA dropcalc says otherwise....and the drop % in general for even actbosses(!) is extremely low for unique and set items with 100 MF. Makes it seem like it's impossible to get anything remotely good....(I'm talking about Normal and NM btw)

    I would need the actbosses and superuniques loottables as well and how they increase with additional players and MF (never knew these existed!)
     
  2. silospen

    silospen IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    So you're doing a meteorber? Groovy. Also firewall sucks.

    Don't spend any point in energy. Get one in warmth and use potions if need be.

    P8 is the right way to go. It shouldn't take forever :)

    Don't do ES, it sucks.

    Vit gives plenty of life. Vit vs dex all depends on what the end goal for this sorc is. I like vit.

    Blocking doesnt work while running and is only against melee attacks.

    Insight works if you get the RWM.

    Depends how you define "correct". Numbers can say whatever you want them to. You may be mistaking the probability of getting an item vs the probability of an item dropping, it's a subtle mistake to make. ATMA doesn't tell you the probability of getting an item, as you would think it does. It is hard to get good stuff in NM and Normal. Solution -> Get to hell.
     
  3. Tejadia

    Tejadia IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    I definitely think the best way to go is the Meteorb track, although I think you will find that you will be using FO for your main attack more often than fireball or meteor due to it being able to hit multiple targets. I think you will be fine without spending points in energy especially if you have some +mana items. I'm making a blocking sorc right now and IMO they are the best cause you block 3/4 of the attacks coming your way. Not sure about the running, but I do think I've blocked Meph's cold ball attack before. As far as the ring thing, I believe that they mean everytime a Unique ring is spawned its a 1/31 chance of being an SoJ (and I believe this applies to only NM Andy), but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  4. nobes

    nobes IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    I'll try to answer some of these, some one else can fill in the rest.

    Fireball and meteor as a primary spell with orb as a back up is comonly referred to as a meteorb and is a very viable and popular build. You can check the many guides or Mat/Pat/Guardian treads for specifics about our peoples experiences.

    Most guides call for no points in energy and you wont need any once you get to higher levels but I still find it helpful to add a few points early on as it makes the early game much easier. For a pvm build I don't think wasting a few stat points is not that big of a deal. pvp is a another whole other story though.

    I'd skip ES as you wont really have the leftover skill points to make it worthwhile.

    vita vs block is a big debate that has been rehashed many times here. I don't have an answer but both are good. (I went vita on my sorcs.)

    for the Act 2 mercs weapons common uniques like kelpie spear or hone sundan work well until you get the runes for the more elite runewords.

    Atma's drop calc is pretty accurate. The 1/31 thing you read for soj from andy is the chance of a unique ring being a soj if andy drops a unique ring but of of course Andy does not drop unique rings every time. Atma is good for this.

    hope that helps at least somewhat.


    edit: pawned twice
    edit2: Resist the urges of RWM. Vanilla all the way!!! :thumbsup:
     
  5. LD50

    LD50 IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    For general strategies, skill and equipment selections I suggest you go and read some meteorb build guides found in the stickies. Very helpful, those.

    Blocking works at 1/3 chance when running. The blocking/life debate is old, my opinion is that as a sorc you shouldn't get hit with melee attacks at all, and with elemental attacks blocking doesn't help.

    The drop odds you gave are interesting. 1/31 for a SoJ? As in 31 Andy runs will net you a SoJ? 31 hundred is closer, and 31 thousand may still be closer. Trust the ATMA. :)

    The 1/15 and 1/31 probably mean that one in 31 unique rings will be a SoJ, though I don't know what it should be.


    edit: whoah, that was pretty slow..
     
  6. Skinhead On The MBTA

    Skinhead On The MBTA IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    Not entirely true - the LCS will say that it has a bigger effect, but the reduction in enemy resistance is more effective than the same increase in damage, if the monster already has resistance.

    Say Blizzard does 1000 damage (this is a simplified explanation, I'm sure they can explain it better over at the Stats forum);
    If a monster has 0% Cold resist, it will do the full 1000 damage.
    If it has 75% CR, it will only do 250 damage.

    If you have Cold Mastery so it reduces resistances by 25%;
    For 0% CR, Blizzard does 1250 damage
    For 75% CR, Blizzard does 500 damage

    If you have some way to increase your cold spell damage by 25%, but no Cold Mastery;
    For 0% CR, Blizzard does 1250 damage (the same as with reduced resists)
    For 75% CR, Blizzard does 312.5 damage - nearly 200 less than with reduced resists.

    If you're pushed for skill points, however, my advice would be to put just 1 into Fire Mastery and max a synergy, letting any +skills you have push FM up further, and push Cold Mastery up to level 17 after +skills (since the Orb synergy is next to useless).



     
  7. o1d_dude

    o1d_dude IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    Contrary to the opinions expressed above a BlizzWaller does NOT suck. Max your Blizzard, Ice Blast, Glacial Spike, and Firewall. Prequisites as needed, and a point each in TK,TP, SF, Warmth, and whatever flavor of shield you like. With enough pluses to skills you only need 4 points in CM to reach the magic slvl 17 and can dump the rest in FM.

    My lvl 92 girl went through the game on players 8 all the way up to Hell Diablo. The Chaos Sanctuary was the done on players 1. YMMV but this was done without a single death.

    Twinked to the gills, of course, but when you've been playing the game for the past 7-8(?) years you tend to accumulate a lot of high end gear so why let it go to waste, eh? Death Fathom socketed with a Cold facet, Ormus Robes with 15 percent to Cold and Fire, Spirit shield, etc. Let your imagination run wild.

    Thanks to Kanonfutter for suggesting the build to me.
     
  8. silospen

    silospen IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    It's sweet because blizzard kicks so much *** :p
     
  9. Ugla

    Ugla IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    Since Silo's and LD's comments on blocking may be misleading, I'll re-state the facts:

    Blocking does work against all ranged attacks with physical basis, no matter whether the projectiles carry additional elemental component (which will be blocked as well). This is in fact much more important for a sorceress than the ability to block melee attacks - you have Teleport and Frozen Armor to keep you safe from melee hitters. The chance to block is cut to 1/3 while running. You cannot block charging attacks (snakes, Pindle-type zombies), but you can block explosions (FEs, dolls).

    Most of the RWM players tend to go vita, using 'Spirit' shield with its unparallelled offensive power. Its huge Str demands don't allow to put sufficient amount of points into Dext to make up for its crappy blocking properties.

    Blocking is generally comfortable for questing, but e.g. for Baal-running, its value is arguable. I have ~60% block on my vanilla Blizzballer.

    ES is not that bad as everyone says, but you got to know how and where to use it. E.g. it's great when running Meph with low-level merc, but totally worthless for Baal-runs. I would not go for a hard point in ES with a hybrid.
     
  10. LD50

    LD50 IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    Very true, and since the archers hit like a mother in hell, blocking them doesn't sound too bad.

    ...but you can't block with a spirit!! :cry:



     
  11. silospen

    silospen IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    This is why I don't contribute to the wiki :)
     
  12. Campaigner

    Campaigner IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    Thanks for all the answers. I expected a Vit vs Dex debate though ^^
    When archers fire on me I tend to run sideways as I don't want to be hit so maxing Vit and using shields for resistances and stuff seems best. I plan to never get hit with the Holy Freeze Merc (remember reading here that his aura even affected Cold Immunes).

    Blocking at 1/3 when moving is a decision maker for me. Two hits would probably kill me and would not protect against Duriels charge (Duriel is a true magekiller for me....)

    I checked the ATMA calculations per kill but I probably should have checked "per drop" instead....I thought Andariel had a chance to give me a SoJ every 31th time she died :(

    I recently upgraded my computer and my 250GB harddrive with my Diablo 2 SP stuff are ruined!! "Failed" it says in diskmanagement....oh well....Guess I didn't need that ArchAngels staff of the Sorceress or the +102 mana swirling ball or the 100 runes and rares....*jumps out the window* *remembers his Tal Rashas Horadric Crest* AAAAAH!! *Jumps out the window again* (+_+)

    But then again....it's gonna be a nice challenge to start all over again....


    Just gonna read over which bosses got what loottables (anyone with a high chance of dropping Tal Rashas and other magestuff? :))
    Does a monster have a bigger chance dropping from his highest TC then lower ones and is it a static formula? (i.e. a lvl 24 monster got 50% chance of dropping stuff from TC 24 and 5% smaller chance from every lower TC?)
     
  13. muzzz

    muzzz IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    The general consensus is NM Meppy until you have gear that feels comfortable in Hell. Then Hell Meppy.

    TC's work in a cascading fashion. A monster's TC references a bunch of other TC's, which reference other TC's, which... ad nauseam (or more likely, a headache). In practice, this means that most monsters have a relatively small chance to drop from their highest TC as well as from low TC's.

    A monster's TC isn't inherently tied to it's level, nor is there any sort of formula to determine the odds of a specific monster dropping from a specific TC.
     
  14. pharaoh

    pharaoh IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    Insight works in SP if you have RWM installed. If you don't want to install the mod, but still want Insight, you can beg/trade one from another player, or join a RWM-hosted game, and make the runeword there. Any of these options will give the character (and its items) modded status, regardless of whether or not you install the mod.

    I recommend installing the mod, unless you're one of those die-hard vanilla players. More parity with b.net in terms of game content is a good thing.
    It does, usually. That is to say, the slowing effect will not be prevented by immunity. However, the damage it deals will be reduced/eliminated by cold resistance, and every monster has a 'chill effectiveness' stat. This affects chill/freeze times; if it is zero, the monster cannot be chilled or frozen, and this will prevent HF from chilling the monster too. This stat is independent of cold resistance, so you will meet some monsters that cannot be chilled, but can easily be dispatched with cold damage (dolls in later difficulties and one type of frenzytaur in all difficulties are examples of this).

    If you take my suggestion about installing RWM or otherwise getting an Insight, I recommend a Prayer merc (Normal Act II Combat). The Meditation from Insight receives the Prayer psuedo-synergy (aka 'passive bonus'), where it heals according to his Prayer slvl. This means that the healing is effectively doubled, and you get huge mana regeneration. A minor bonus is that you still get the healing from Meditation before your merc decides to turn on the Prayer aura. Just remember that there's a bug with mercs; if your merc dies, you will need to un-equip and re-equip his Insight (this goes for all aura-when-equipped gear on mercs) before the aura will take effect. Still, it's a minor issue, and unless you've done something silly like equip him with gear in ATMA that he cannot wield due to stat restrictions (sometimes done with Insight since it offers +5 all stats, and can grant the stat boost necessary to wield itself), it's not going to affect your game.

    Honestly, the Prayer + Insight combination really is that helpful. Unless another aura is very helpful for the build (such as Might for physical attackers and skellimancers), this is my favorite combination by far. What build doesn't like huge life and mana regeneration? If you're playing a build that takes small amounts of damage, and/or takes damage infrequently, the regeneration often outpaces the damage you take. As an example, a merc with Insight and slvl 20 Prayer will heal 25 life every second (actually bursts of 50 life every two seconds). That's an awful lot of healing, especially considering it's running constantly. It's so great, in fact, that for my spearzon, I found it to be a superior choice than Infinity (the latter absolutely rocks on my boltress, though).
    In Normal, he can be pretty tough. If you're playing twinked, though, just give the merc the gear to keep him alive. Full clears on /p8 can get you and the merc (the latter is the important point) to clvl 27+ before facing Duriel. An Insight-wielding Prayer merc should be able to tank him without much difficulty. Make sure his Prayer aura is active before entering the chamber, feed him a potion any time he needs it, use Static Field to get Duriel down to a sliver, and then seal the deal with your attack spell of choice.
    Well, she does have a chance to drop it every 31st kill. In fact, she has a chance to drop it on every kill. The expectation that she will average one SoJ every 31 kills, however, is unwarranted.

    The 1-in-31 figure simply means that, of every 31 unique rings, you should get a SoJ. For Hell Andy, who can drop unique rings more often (fewer 'failed unique drops' that turn out as rares), the numbers will differ. This doesn't mean Hell Andy will have a lower percentage of her ring drops be SoJs. However, because Hell Andy can drop from more TCs, this dilutes her likelihood of dropping from the one containing rings, and hence, her SoJ drop odds over the long term.

    In simple terms, as long as the base item type (such as 'ring') is not near the upper limit of a monster's drop range (as it is for the higher TC items in a monster's drop range), you're better off running an easier version of the monster. For example, Nightmare Meph will drop Bonesnap more frequently than Hell Meph. I'm not sure if Normal Meph can drop it, but if he can, his odds might be better than Nightmare Meph's. Once the base item type is determined, TCs are no longer a factor, and all that matters is the monster's base drop odds (over which you have zero control), the monster's level (ditto), your MF, and the qlvl of any unique that may be rolled. If the qlvl is too high with respect to the monster's level (not sure if mlvl > qlvl is necessary, or if mlvl >= qlvl will suffice), it will turn up as a failed unique (triple-durability rare, or magic item if a rare is not possible, such as for charms). The same goes for sets, except a failed set is a double-durability magic item. As I understand it, the game first determines the number of items that drop. Then, for each item, it determines the base item (ie ring vs phase blade), quality (low-quality, normal, superior, magic, rare, set, unique), then the specific item for any set/unique results (ie Nagelring vs Stone of Jordan, or Azurewrath vs Lightsabre), then it checks mlvl vs qlvl and downgrades any that need downgrading (including items for which there is no unique or set version), and finally it rolls the random mods of any magic and rare items remaining (which includes any failed unique/set items).
    Ack, that's got to suck. Before you give up on the drive, you might consider trying SpinRite to recover your files. If you attempt this, you should not do anything to the drive in the interim. This means no trying to reformat or repartition it, running Scandisk, or using any other tools on it. Disconnect it entirely, if possible; this will prevent Windows from trying to access it at all.

    On another note, now you know to backup your stuff. It's really sad that even though everyone is told this, nobody seems to learn until they lose something they consider valuable. Another option to explore is disk-imaging software like Acronis TrueImage. This lets you install your OS, drivers, OS updates, application software, and then create an 'image' of the drive for backup (you can span the image across multiple CDs/DVDs). Then, should recovery be necessary, you don't have to reinstall and activate Windows, install all your drivers, and install all your pplications again. You just restore the image, whether to the same drive or a different one. I've got my system backed up on DVD (the crummy thing is that my DVD drive died, and it's a laptop, but I'm a computer nerd, and could get around this issue if disaster stuck).
     
  15. Campaigner

    Campaigner IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    pharaoh: That's a LOT of advice :D

    Prayer is surely useful but Holy Freeze Aura will reduce enemy move and attackspeed by atlest 30% which prevents the damage that Prayer would otherwise have to heal. A preemptive move if you so will :D

    Reading the item generation wiki now. Read about the Super Uniques a few days ago. It says that ColdCrow (Cave lvl 2 SU) has a good chance of dropping The Gull but that must be on normal difficulty huh? On NM and Hell she would have a much lower chance of dropping it since she got so many TCs to choose from....So If I want The Gull and Magefist I should run Normal ColdCrow and Diablo? (According to ATMA V they got the best chance of those 2 items).


    Skills

    If I take 20 Firebolt, Fireball, Meteor and Fire Mastery I will not be able to max Frozen Orb since Warmth, Inferno, Blaze, Firewall, Static Field, TK and TP and the frozen tree will require twelve 1-pointers.

    Wondering over a Blizz sorc with maxed synergies (Icebolt, Iceblast and Glacial Spike) with Firewall as a secondary since that only require eight 1-pointers (Firebolt, Inferno, Blaze, Warmth, SF, TK, TP and Frost Ring.

    What do you say..?
     
  16. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    You're going to have to put the full 20 points into whatever secondary attack you choose. You're probably not able to max the synergies of the main attack, but otherwise the secondary attack will be too weak. With a Meteorb, I recommend you max Frozen Orb as soon as possible since it is such a devastating spell through the end of normal and the whole nightmare difficulty.

    Blizzwaller is a nice build, too, though I prefer pure Blizzard over it any day. (I don't really know which I like better out of Blizzwaller and Meteorb.)
     
  17. Campaigner

    Campaigner IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    But how will you survive against CIs then? :p

    I've used Blizzard before and remember that it got problems hitting stuff....was this decayed in the Horadric Cube tomb that walked right through a Blizzard (Don't remember if got hurt at all....). Like FO better in that if the Orb goes through anything then half it's life is gone.

    Yeah, maxing the Orb is tempting but then I should stick to Meteor instead of Fireball....argh....I'll make up my mind on my way through I guess :)
     
  18. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    Teleport, and a strong merc if really necessary. The build is more efficient in mf'ing in the most popular places, but questing with her is a pain at times.

    Orb is more comfortable for use, but blizzard is a lot more potent when it hits; it's not that problematic, either.

    Trust me, you really want that orb maxed if you intend to kill any fire immunes. Some extra points in cold master don't do any harm, either.



     
  19. pharaoh

    pharaoh IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    What can I say, I'm loquacious. :)
    Yes, HF is also a good choice, and for casters, one of only two sensible choices in 99% of cases. Might doesn't benefit a caster at all (though the merc will benefit, which might make it useful if his weapon is really strong), Thorns is useless past Normal (even for non-casters), Blessed Aim is useless, and Defiance is only useful if you have high base defense (casters won't).

    However, you'll find that in the later game, not only are there a lot of monsters that HF utterly fails against, but it does little if anything against ranged attackers. Either they are outside its radius, immune to the slowing (Gloams in Hell and possibly NM as well), or the attacks they are using aren't affected. Much as chilling will slow down attack speed but not cast speed, I suspect many elemental ranged attackers will not be slowed down by HF. Assuming you keep your distance from enemies with proper footwork and copious use of Teleport, most of the damage you take will be of this kind. Slowing the enemies down a bit might not help as much as healing ~50 life every two seconds. The healing is also very party-friendly, helps in situations when leech is reduced or eliminated, and does a pretty good job of countering poison in many cases.

    Of course, like so many things about the game, it boils down to play style. I find that by keeping resists high (maxed is best, obviously), having a healthy life pool, and aggressively killing monsters (read: killing them befoe they have an opportunity to inflict much, if any, damage), the Prayer merc works very well. Depending on your build and play style, this approach might not work as well for you. I suggest trying both in late-game (hire the Prayer one in Normal for best results, as his aura will then have a higher slvl cap to my knowledge) and making your decision based on that.
    If you're not playing self-found, I can give you both of those items, as I have several of each.
    I say you've encountered the dilemma that virtually all sorceress players have. Skill points for pretty much every sorcy build are stretched to the limit. My advice is to strive for balance if you will be doing more varied runs, but if you are going to be exclusively (or near-exclusively) running an area where immunes seldom spawn, feel free to go all-out with one element. A pure Blizzard sorcy in the Ancient Tunnels is a good example. She is very good at what she does, but that's all she's good at.

    You can use the skill calculator to plan your points. I can't link to it because of forum rules, but google is your friend here. For many fire/lightning skills, it is more effective to drop a single point into the relevant mastery, letting it be boosted by +skills gear, and then pump synergies. If in doubt, hold on to skill points rather than spend them, and check the calculator, guides, or the forum for advice.

    Also, keep in mind the nature of the spells you use. Some spells have a low listed damage, but are actually quite effective because they spread this over a large area, or apply it multiple times. Frozen Orb and Charged Bolt are good examples. Another factor is whether the spell is 'timered' or not. A spell like Frozen Orb that cannot be cast in rapid succession works well when coupled with a non-timered spell that you can spam between castings of FO. On the other hand, spells without a timer benefit from faster cast rate gear, which means with lots of FCR, your damage over time is much increased. One of my most potent characters is a sorceress whose main attack is Charged Bolt. The downside to spamming spells is that you are locked in place while casting, thus meaning you spend more time casting and less time moving. This can be compensated for with yet more FCR. Yup, there are few problems FCR can't solve. ;)

    Above all, just pick something that's fun. Want to make a sorcy that kills everything with Nova and Frost Nova? Knock yourself out. As long as you have fun, nothing else matters, since it is a game, after all.
     
  20. zerth

    zerth IncGamers Member

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    Re: Need some tips for a Sorceress

    I strongly believe that Blizzballer (Blizzard, but cut down one synergy and points from CM to spend ~30 points in Fireball, Fire Mastery and Firebolt) is THE sorc build for SP. She can do Meph+Andy, she can do /p8 Baals to level, she can do a lvl 87 area (AT).

    The only reason not to go pure bliz is Baal runs, which is the only efficient way of leveling past 92 (unless you really plan to do 5K AT runs or something).
     

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