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New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by twincitiesknick, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. twincitiesknick

    twincitiesknick IncGamers Member

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    New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    Hello all,

    After reading a bit about the changes that have come to the game in the 4-5+ years I've been away from D2 (yeah, it's been a while :whistling:) I am totally swamped and overwhelmed. When I read stat distribution guides, I see stuff about "get just enough strength for <x item that I haven't heard of> and Enigma, these are needed!" and stuff about frames per second, and my head's a bit swimming.

    I like wolves, so I'm gonna go with a werewolf here and try to figure it out as I go. The gist of building one seems to be to distribute stats pretty evenly as I go between strength, vitality, and dexterity. As far as skills, I guess I'll distribute pretty evenly as I level between Lycanthropy, Werewolf, Fury (?), and Heart of Wolverine. Also, just use the best stats and armor and weapons I find.

    A few general questions:

    1) Wolverine or Oak Sage? Seems like 6 or one and half dozen of the other, but if there's a consensus, would love to know.

    2) 2Her or 1H + shield? Does it matter, or do my wolfy claws do the trick regardless of weapon/shield?

    3) Fury, hunger, rabies, fireclaws? Any one better than the other to focus on?

    4) Pet or no pet? My inclination would be to focus without a pet, but maybe a grizzly or some wolf buddies are helpful.


    Well, I tinkered in D2 when it first came out, but maybe got one guy through normal and that was it. Hopefully this'll go better! I'll try to update this thread as Gallinari (GO KNICKS) levels up, and who knows? I'm pretty ignorant of D2 mechanics and choices, which is good in how fresh the game feels but I hope I'm not in over my head.

    Any advice you guys in this wonderful SP forum have about this build, playing untwinked, returning/being new to the game - all of it's appreciated.

    Thanks!
    tck

    EDIT: Quick question from having started this guy... is it just me, or does being in werewolf form actually slow his attack speed down? I seem to hit quicker and harder as a human, but I could be mistaken.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  2. tavaritz

    tavaritz Banned

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    Stats: No dex, you don't need it. Save every dex charm though to equip items.
    Equip: Two-handed.
    Skills: Alternate werewolf and Lycantrophy until Werewolf is 6, then max lycantrophy. Get 1 point into Oak Sage as fast as possible and the same with every Vines. Feral Rage also as soon as possible. After maxing Lycantrophy and before reaching 30 put points into Oak Sage. When you get Fury max it, then Oak Sage and last Werewolf.

    Why no dex. 1st you don't wield a shield so you don't block. 2nd Werewolf gives you the AR.

    With strength you want to use Maul as fast as you can gamble one and in the end you'll use Ogre Maul.
     
  3. Vildecor

    Vildecor IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    First of all, welcome back! The game has changed quite a bit in the last 4-5 years, especially with skill synergies, harder hell difficulty, new runewords, etc.

    I'm sure just starting out again trying to read build guides can be pretty rough, especially if they expect some forehand knowledge of the mechanics of some of these new changes.

    Check out the FAQs stickied at the top of the page, maybe read over the changes in 1.10 and beyond. There's some guides for playing untwinked and lots of other goodies there too.

    As for your questions:

    1. There's not really a consensus. It's all about playstyle. If you're HC, Oak Sage will definitely be more important, but for SC you can go either way. You can either get Oak Sage and not have to dump tons of points into vitality, or you can go with the Heart of Wolverine, and spend extra in vitality and max out Lycanthropy for its life bonus.

    2. It's the eternal matter of damage vs safety. Going 2H will net you more damage at the loss of the extra security and tankability of having a shield. Going 1H + shield will put more emphasis on getting the best you can out of your weapon. Both ways are perfectly fine. Should you go 2H, extra life is definitely suggested (Oak Sage would be a good choice here), plus some Faster Hit Recovery, and you'll need to be more careful about how many mobs you take on at once. Blocking will make you need to spend enough in dexterity to get between 50-75% blocking (75% is best, a high % blocking shield helps) and you will also occasionally stop your Fury attack to block, which isn't too cumbersome, and having a shield will make reckless playstyle a bit more forgiving.

    3. This all depends on how you want to play. Fire claws is a great skill, though to be viable in Hell Difficulty, it will require you to spend 20 points, plus at least another 40 in 2 synergies in the Elemental tree, and get the fastest weapon you can use regardless of the physical damage. You'll also have a tough time against Fire Immunes, having to rely on your mercenary, or summons, or a weapon with lots of elemental damage on switch.

    Rabies is good with 20 points also in Poison Creeper. It's best to pair with Fury rather than relying on the poison alone to kill mobs (mostly in Hell difficulty...you can wipe mobs out quick with maxed, synergized Rabies in Normal and NM)

    Hunger's not something you'd use as a stand-alone attack. It's really only good for refilling your life/mana balls. For me, it's always easier to charge up Feral Rage and have gear with life & mana leach than to spend points on Hunger's prereqs.

    Fury will be your mainstay attack if you're not going with Fire Claws. Having a fast weapon with good damage will make it even better. It needs no synergies, so you can have a backup attack for physical immunes with either Rabies+Poison Creeper or with a weapon with lots of elemental damage on switch.

    4. Pets are definitely helpful, especially for crowd control. Being able to summon a grizzly or wolves to help break up dangerous monsters can help keep you and your merc alive longer. You'll need to drop some points in them for them to survive in Hell difficulty, so you'd really only have the skill points for these if you went Fury without Rabies.

    Hope this has helped shed some light on a few things for you. Above all, the most important thing for you to do is just play the game and enjoy it. Don't worry about being in over your head. Don't be too concerned about min/maxing your character. After you finish the Den of Evil quest you open up the option to re-do your skill points and stat points (you can do this for free a total of three times, awarded once/difficulty) should you later decide to try something differently. Should you get to Hell difficulty this time around and find yourself in some tough spots, just ask some more questions and we'll answer them for you.
     
  4. twincitiesknick

    twincitiesknick IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    Thanks for the reply!

    Why 2H over shield? Do werewolves survive ok without the shield, or would they become too squishy up close?

    Also, if going for a 2H, are mauls in general good, or just the Ogre Maul and aside from that any 2H works best (polearms, mauls, etc)? Something to do with slow attack speed being good?

    I had assumed that putting a single point wouldn't help much... is it worth it to have one of each of the vines out at all times then?

    Apologies in advance for the noobosity on my end :(
     
  5. jdkerr

    jdkerr IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    2H is better damage. Better damage means enemies die faster and you leech more, both of which are good for your survival. A shield is another way to increase your survival, especially since there are some cheap runewords that give great elemental damage resistance. Wereform druids have high life, though, so that makes survival a bit easier. I would go for a 2H weapon with high damage and speed because that would be the most fun for me. If you get easily frustrated by deaths or are playing Hardcore, though, you might want to go with a shield.

    Some people like the benefits of the vines, but they are not necessary. Getting all three only costs 3 skill points, so it's not a big deal either way. I would skip them, personally.
     
  6. twincitiesknick

    twincitiesknick IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    Is the attack speed thing (werewolf form seeming significantly slower than normal form) something to worry about, a bug of some sort, or is it normal? I saw somewhere that even though it looks slower the attack speed is really quicker, but I don't understand how that could be.

    Your replies have been very helpful. I'm way less worried about this character crapping out than I had been. :)
     
  7. Mostly_Harmless

    Mostly_Harmless IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    Welcome back to the game. We never leave for long, do we? =)

    First, let me say that I play in SC, but work very hard not to die. For me, SC is a safety net for the times I play while drunk or watching a movie. If you play HC though, you may want to take my advice with a grain of salt.

    1) I used to be a big proponent of Oak Sage, but the more I play with it the less I like it. It makes your LCS look pretty, but it's never alive when you need it. Worse yet, stopping to recast it means you'll stop leaching for several frames. In my opinion, this will kill you a lot more often than using HoW and having a realistic view of your life total.

    2) After a lot of experimenting, I have to say 2-hander. Not because damage is more important than safety, because 2-handers are safer for wolves. First of all, wolves block really slowly. Every time you block an attack, you stop leeching for a long time. Second, wolves have a lot of life and excellent hit recovery breakpoints. This means that getting hit doesn't stop leeching very long, if at all. Third, more damage means more leeching, which means your bulb stays full. Notice that leeching is pretty much the key to survival. This makes undead a fairly large issue, so you have to be pretty careful around them. It's entirely possible to play around them with no extra gear, but a sanctuary aura does wonders. You can make Lawbringer pretty cheap, and that will help immensely.

    3) All of those skills are perfectly viable. All of my advice is based on the non-FC skills. FC is very good too, but has very different requirements (mostly speed). I'd recommend Fury or Feral Rage for starters.

    4) Pets are great. If you have a lot of spare points, I'd go with Dire Wolves (max DW and Grizzly). If not, I'd go with a 1-point Grizzly.

    As for the speed issue, it may be because you have a lot of off-weapon increased attack speed (OIAS). When you're a wolf, pretty much only weapon increased attack speed (WIAS) matters, so I think you might be losing a frame that way. (I'd have to check to be sure, but that's my best guess.) Pretty much, you want to find the fastest weapon you can that still has good damage.

    For skill points, I'd say pump Lycanthropy until you're happy with your life total and the duration, then work on damage skills. Add to Lycanthropy whenever you feel like your life is getting too low.
     
  8. stephan

    stephan IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    You'd be better off statting for dex and getting life charms. The max dex you can get on charms is 2.5 per inventory slot slot, which means in case of a Druid a 5 life sc is already covering for that.

    About the speed. As said you want to have a lot IAS *on* the weapon. And with a lot I mean more 60-80% than 30-40%. It's one of the reasons I don't like Weredruids untwinked. Getting a weapon with that much IAS and enough damage is not easy. Also, don't use swords and spears as they have a speed penalty for Druids.



     
  9. twincitiesknick

    twincitiesknick IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    How can I tell what my IAS is? Just check whether the weapon says "Normal" or "Fast" speed, or is there somewhere in the character stat window that will tell me? I imagine daggers will have that speed, but not worth the trade-off.

    If I actually give stat points to dex and only intermittently use a shield, does it still help then, or is it just good for the +block%?
     
  10. Flayed One

    Flayed One IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    With untwinked shapeshifters I often use 'Steel' runeword(Tir+El) in Large Axe/Military Axe/Feral Axe if I can't find anything better. They do not deal big damage, but are fast enough to cut down the frustration(and Open Wounds help with the damage).

    Large Axes are ideal when starting.
    -Druids attack fast with them
    -You can shop for Large Axe with 10% IAS in the very beggining which helps your attack rate
    -You can shop for Large Axe with 2 open sockets for 'Steel' as soon as you can run countess a few times for the runes.

    This weapon will comfortably carry you through the first 2-3 acts.
    The ending of act 3 and act 4 are slow as hell, but once you get to act 5 you can find military axe IIRC, that will smoothly take you to nightmare act 2.
     
  11. Mostly_Harmless

    Mostly_Harmless IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    I second the Steel Large Axe suggestion. That weapon will take you a long ways.

    I also checked on why you were attacking so much slower, and I was right about the off-weapon IAS. Basically, you want your weapon to have as much IAS on it as possible. If your weapon is slow, then you'll actually attack slower as a wolf. You can find the base speed in the wiki. For instance, here are the large axes. The lower the weapon speed, the faster it is. Basically, take the opposite of the weapon speed (so a large axe would count as 10) and add any IAS listed on the weapon (so a large axe of readiness would say +10% IAS, so you'd add 10 more, for a total of 20). The bigger your total is, the faster your weapon. IAS from other sources such as your gloves or armor (OIAS) will never count for as much as that from your weapon (WIAS). Once you get to about 50 total from the weapon, OIAS pretty much stops mattering all together.

    Dex is never a waste, since it helps out with your AR, but once you can wear all your equipment you'll usually be better off with more life (or strength for more damage if you're feeling safe enough).
     
  12. twincitiesknick

    twincitiesknick IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    Came across both a Tir and El rune, found a socketed large axe, and...

    Put it in as ElTir. :( Now I know that order matters lol.

    Currently level 22 in Act 2 Normal, lots of fun so far!
     
  13. Dalerian

    Dalerian IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    As lessons go, that's probably the best way to learn this one. :) It costs you something, but the runes are common and the item easily replaced. Much better learning on this one than something like Doom that needs 5 high-level runes.

    To replace the runes, maybe run the Countess a few times in a solo-game (or /players 1 if you play off-line). It will take her relatively few runs to replace those two.


     
  14. Pär

    Pär IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    I used the following guide to get my recent HC untwinked-ish 2H werewolf through Normal:

    http://home.comcast.net/~thedragoon/werewolf/skills.html WFS

    However:
    1. huge problems hitting things with little investment in Dex
    2. it absolute SUUUUCKS getting shifted out in the middle of a fight - especially when you're behind a piece of terrain and can't see your character.
    3. Blessed Aim - consider this aura from a merc, though most guides will dismiss it, those guides are generally written by people who are really good, or have the gear, or are only interested in Hell since they leech xp to get there
    4. "Insight" weapon on merc - another option for bad mana issues

    I got bored with him in early NM. Meh. Takes a bit more skill and/or gear than the stuff I've usually played, maybe. I'm not all that.
     
  15. jdkerr

    jdkerr IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    1&3. A blessed aim mercenary is an excellent idea until you can get your AR problems solved with gear and can switch to a might mercenary. Angelic Jewelry is always a cheap AR solution.
    2. Random unshifting can be solved by reshifting between fights.

    I started an untwinked HC druid as well. Personally, I am playing him as a Fire/Summoner hybrid. I plan to farm Hell Meph for some basic gear, then probably respec from there. I'll probably die before level 30, though -- I have never been a HC guy.
     
  16. twincitiesknick

    twincitiesknick IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    Yeah, found the runes again like immediately after I posted that lol. Level 27 now after going through full clears on Act 2 (normal). I had forgotten how much fun this game is, how great the art/graphics are and the whole mood. Though I have some nagging feeling that Act 3 will annoy the hell out of me. Something about yap-yap-yapping midgets breathing fire and stabbing me in hordes...


    I find myself now swamped with runes, and I'll spend some time on the wiki list of runewords to see what I can do, but anything that jumps out at y'all as basic and useful (the way that Steel was, and that weapon is a true godsend)?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  17. Pär

    Pär IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    For runes:
    http://www.spaceman.ca/rune/index.php?MyRunes=
    http://diablo.incgamers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=764204

    For AR and to-hit issues you really really really can't go wrong with Angelic amulet and 2x Angelic rings. Trade for them or run NM Meph or use the drop calculator to find them. I have yet to find that elusive second Angelic ring, which is part of the reason playing Werewolf and Berserker wasn't much fun - had to invest in Dex and use AR charms that I didn't have, just to be able to hit stuff.
     
  18. twincitiesknick

    twincitiesknick IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    Just made it to Act 5 (normal), level 35, and still using the Steel runeword Large Axe. Haven't seen any Military Axes just yet on the vendors, but hoping to see one drop to "Steel" up. I've seen other axes that do more damage and have some better stuff going on, but when I tried going to them without the IAS, especially with Fury going, felt like I was running through sludge, so went back to the Steel Large Axe. Would it be better to trade off the Steel Large Axe/Steel Military Axe for some random unique axe a couple of acts into Nightmare? I wonder if it will continue to cut it or whether I should just tradeoff some IAS for improved damage or some other stats.

    I'm often a wow player and am used to using Rawr's theorycrafting tool, so a bit strange to make decisions based on how a weapon feels without having a good sense of the precise mechanics involved lol.
     
  19. Obdob

    Obdob IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    you're not gonna be able to shop that axe in act 5. Act 2 is the last place where vendors sell non-magic items.
    I recently pat'd an untwinked wolf actually. I used the cube to make a few savage pole-arms and just dealt with the slow attack. Then I shopped for a decent maul (or great maul) in act 5, and eventually came across a Steeldriver, put a shael in it, and up'd it when i could (btw, the elite version requires lvl 77).
    Steeldriver and Bonesnap can both be found in normal and can get you through the game if you up them.
    Also, dexterity is your friend, if you're missing too often, give it some love.
     
  20. jdkerr

    jdkerr IncGamers Member

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    Re: New Werewolf - Gallinari [untwinked]

    If you come across a good base item, "Honor" is a nice runeword:

    Amn El Ith Tir Sol (5 socket melee)
    +160% Enhanced Damage
    +9 To Minimum Damage
    +9 To Maximum Damage
    25% Deadly Strike
    +250 To Attack Rating
    +1 to All Skills
    7% Life Stolen Per Hit
    Replenish Life +10
    +10 To Strength
    +1 To Light Radius
    +2 To Mana After Each Kill

    If you are talking about trading for a unique in Nightmare, I would be happy to send you this as a gift now (assuming our versions match up, etc; PM if interested):

    Steeldriver
    Great Maul
    Two Hand Damage: 100 - 153
    Durability: 40 of 60
    Required Level: 29
    Required Strength: 50
    Fingerprint: 0xc6d94420
    Item Level: 87
    Version: Expansion 1.10+
    Unidentified
    +40% Increased Attack Speed
    164% Enhanced Damage
    +150% Damage to Undead
    Heal Stamina Plus 25%
    Requirements -50%

    Your socketing quest from Larzuk (it's the first quest in Act 5) will let you put a socket in it so you can add a "Shael" rune for another 20% ias.

    If you can't make the runeword and don't like getting items from others, then shop your heart out until a good RW base or unique drops. :)
     

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