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Other mercenaries

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Ergroilnin, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Ergroilnin

    Ergroilnin IncGamers Member

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    So guys I would like to ask you about other mercenaries than Act II ones. Those are of course the mainstream ones especially due to their auras and thanks to relatively cheap RW sticks for yet another auras.

    Thanks to that mercs from AI/III/V aren't used nearly as much and I think that is a shame since I like them, mainly the AI rogues. I would like to use them more but I hate doing so if that lowers my efficiency, so what I want to ask is if there is any character of any build, where other mercenaries are actually superior to those of AII ones.

    Also if there are such a builds, are those mercenaries superior even without say Faith/Ice bow for AI merc etc?
     
  2. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    Act1 This was the best at times in the games past (+3 skill bug) I use today in lots of builds and runeword combos. AI needs position but works if you don't treat like an act 2 guy..
    Act4 Got a few still, stun works OK if not Great but the big selection of effects is nice and AI moves well.
    Act3 it can be done, but it takes combo of right build for it, and a lot of select spending to get right. AI sucks on position and a lot of stuff IMHO.
     
  3. Drystan

    Drystan IncGamers Member

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    The simple answer is a No, with a But.

    The mercs are simply there to support you, and not excel on their own. They will never shine unfortunately, especially in comparison with A2 mercs. With this in mind, it's obvious why Prayer, Might, Defiance, Holy Freeze and Blessed Aim benefit the vast majority of characters and builds so much. Throw in one of the better damage weapons, Savage Polearm recipe, and Insight / Infinity into this, and it just gets worse for other mercs. They just give so many additional benefits to the main /playable/ character.

    For any physical build, there's Might. For any build (especially mana intensive), there's Prayer + Insight with double healing and mana regen. For elemental builds (and physical as well,) there's Infinity that lowers enemy resists and defense. For crowd control, there's Holy Freeze. Etc etc.

    Any other merc is primarily style points. There are some benefits to each, but it's extremely hard to have them comparable in terms of what they provide to the main character.

    A5 Barb mercs have higher health regen, and can be equipped with nice Two Handers. They can tank reasonably well, stun, and have great style for some builds. But, they generally won't compete with the A2 mercs in what they offer to the main character (damage, AR, -enemy resists, survival, overal tanking, mana regen, life regen etc.)

    A3 Mercs have several challenges... The AI for one, damage for two, and one elemental skill is bugged so does basically no damage as a third. Throw in lower life and bad survivability... And we could mention a couple more things. The Cold Sorcerer does have some crowd control capabilities, but again, can't be compared to A2 mercs. Definite style points if one does use one though. It's possible, but needs a lot more effort, planning, skill, knowledge etc than reasonable.

    And finally, Act 1 Rogues. They can, and have been used very well. Faith in a bow can give the Fanaticism aura, their AI is... okay in that they will occasionally try to avoid melee range, but you have to control their position - you have to be aware of where they are, and be in front. In terms of direct comparability at a high-end setup, they still don't compare well, however...
    For the specialist character, with style points, with objectives, they definitely show solid style which everyone appreciates, and can still contribute well to a character with the right design and planning.

    There's little doubt it will lower your efficiency taking anything other than A2 mercs, escpecially if we're talking low->mid range gear (and to a degree high end,) but it's not the end of the world. They are good for specialist builds and gain some great style points. I know there's a couple around here who also like keeping A1 Rogues. If you've got a build in mind, or just want to use one, do it. It's all about fun, and style, and simply won't "make or break" your character.
     
  4. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    WTF are you talking about Dry?

    I can and do play a lot of the game in "Let George Do It" mode. and OK the act 2 guys pimped do that best, but if you start by saying "The mercs are simply there to support you, and not excel on their own. They will never shine"
    You sound like you have no clue and I know you do. You can make your merc win the game for you. You can do it with a act 1 merc.
    I can point out examples.
    Some builds never hit anyone and use the Army and other than act 2 guys, yes I know act 1 girls that can support it just fine.
    Meh.
     
  5. Drystan

    Drystan IncGamers Member

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    Hahaha, true, BobCox! Thank you... Yes, although it is an exception, and not part of the "efficiency" part. Oh, how could I forget my Mojobonemancer (A tourney char who simply could do nothing himself. He had no damage, no real attack and no real defense apart from one skill. He relied only on Dim Vision and the merc... That was everything he had, and needed, and it was entirely a game of "Let George Do It.") From this, yeah, definitely, certain builds that come to mind don't need A2 mercs, and get by (probably better) with other mercs. Faith-merc based skelemancer/fishymancer. (It doesn't require Faith, as the skeletons are just fine on their own, but Faith in this case is almost guarenteed more beneficial than an A2 merc.) Unfortunately, I don't have a Faith, but it is one of a few perfect examples.

    Yes, you can always play "Let George Do It," and it'll always be do-able. The comment /generally/ is about efficiency here. Are any other mercs more efficient than the A2 merc? In terms of efficiency, it's the playable character doing the work most of the time (minions in my mind are part of the playable character in this case) - if you rely on "George," it's probably slower and less efficient than using the playable character, although do-able. The playable character can work with, or without the merc. But using an A2 merc with Insight or Infinity, it is almost always more efficient than using any other merc, including A1 merc with Faith, with the odd exception.
    BUT, I love utilising other mercs (although don't do it myself, I love seeing others do it,) and, there are some setups that provide good, if not equal and better, benefits to an A2 merc. The A1 Rogue is an example in this case.

    *Now wants to make himself a Faith, and another skelemancer*
     
  6. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    Sure 100% agree act2 does it best but I have made act1 and with the skills bug it was sweet, and act 5 mercs that carried the game for me and heard tales of those that did it with an act 3 merc.
    Just saying. In HC you better let George do it mostly.
    But act 2 is the bread and butter of the game agreed, 100% if you are play to win fast and easy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  7. mir

    mir IncGamers Member

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    With some patience any equipment and any merc will work for you. But if you want to be efficient then I can only think about very few builds that can make good use of other mercs. Here some good teams that I used:

    Bone necro & Barb merc – no need in aura (nothing can help your damage). With amp, on lower settings , his damage will be enough to provide you with a corpse as fast as act 2 merc.

    Avenger & Act3 merc (cold base) – the merc can provide quite good crowd control, on non-CI he will work even better then HF merc since he will freeze them instead of slowing them.

    Golem based necro & act 1 merc – amp & iron golem, no need in aura. With good equipment (no need an elite RWs) you will have your 1st body fast enough.

    Summoner (druid) & act1 merc – you can use her as great crowd control and you have HoW to compensate for the loss of might aura. I did such a build and it worked fine. It's easy to get amp source (uniqe bow/axe) and you can use crescent moon RW yourself to speed things up
     
  8. Gripphon

    Gripphon IncGamers Member

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    Only build that can possibly (not sure is that true though) make more from other mercs than AII merc is Berserker barb running Pindle using AI merc with Faith bow AND he uses ATMA-bugged Grief in Berserker Axe. He will have fastest zerking with higher range and higher damage than usual Berserker barb with phase blade Grief. BUT it is highly questionable how good is that since you lose meditation aura from Insight (meaning more focus on potions = it will slow you down), and lower survivability (meaning you will drink more potions = it will further slow you down). I've never tried it, I just saw some people mention it. I don't think that is better than AII Might aura Insight merc since those zerkers can manage 15 sec avg run-times, and I don't really know can Zerkers using Faith merc do any better really.

    Other than that, efficient-wise I can't really tell does some other character profit more from some other merc than AII. I'm efficiency freak after all, but I also never really played some builds like skeliemancer and such, I rather focus on stronger characters like poison nec and such.
     
  9. Drystan

    Drystan IncGamers Member

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    From the OP:
    I'm not saying the others aren't usable, or that builds don't benefit from mercs other than A2 mercs. But this is in terms of efficiency, and what the merc brings to your party (your damages, minion/summonables, crowd control, mana and life regen.) Not about what is viable, or fast, but which has the best efficiency.

    There's always exceptions to the rule, in which case, YES, there are builds where other mercenaries are superior to those of A2, but there are few. In that, I'm contradicting my first post ("Simple answer is No, with a But", where it should technically be "Yes, with a But.") The Fishymancer/skelemancer (I believe) gets more value from a Faith Rogue than a Might Desert Merc, so that answer is YES.

    I'm not saying to avoid the other mercs, or that they are unusable, or that they cannot carry a party. Like I said, you reminded me of my MojoBoneMancer, which could've relied on any merc to do the damage, as he was simply and 100% only useful for Dim Vision, Crowd Control. Any merc could've carried him through with patience, but he went with an A2 merc for the easy weapon choice - Savage Polearm -> Insight. A good sword is harder to find, in which case, an A5 Barb may have lost some efficiency, even though it would've been completely possible. In that situation, efficiency depended on Untwinked, HC playstyle - access to weapons (Savage Polearm -> Insight was more efficient that looking/gambling for any other weapon.)

    I love seeing people use the Barb merc, and praise them on their regen, stuns and tankiness. But as a comparison to a free aura and decent tanky merc that is basically guarenteed to have good damage as well? It's hard to say they are comparable, and while there are exceptions, there aren't all that many.
    I've used an A3 merc, and... They have challenges. Do-able? Yes, and in terms of the Cold Sorcerer, can be neat and stylish. But "Superior to those of AII"? Not in my experience; I'd prefer the Holy Freeze, and most characters I played would prefer either Might or Prayer+Insight over that. In my experience, they lack AI, they lack survivability, they lack damage, and they require more revives than my A2 mercs. That all leads to a decrease in efficiency.

    Act 1, as I attempted to note and you've pointed out, is a definite exception. But it requires the correct build and planning. You can always pick an A2 merc which will boost your efficiency with end-game gear (Infinity + Aura or Insight + Aura.) But Faith + Rogue Merc will only benefit some characters. And for those some, a couple will be more efficient than the A2 merc.
     
  10. mir

    mir IncGamers Member

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    I think even in this case act2 merc win - might merc & pride with beast on necro :)
     
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  11. Gripphon

    Gripphon IncGamers Member

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    I'm not really expert for skeliemancer, but isn't Reaper's Tool unbeatable on merc for physical damage dedicated build in general? I know you can curse yourself, but still necro can probably do something else. Naturally only for enigma build.
     
  12. Ergroilnin

    Ergroilnin IncGamers Member

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    Not for skellemancer since it overrides his own Amplify damage which helps the damage way more.
     
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  13. SunsetVista

    SunsetVista IncGamers Member

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    I like a lot of what Drystan said.

    I did alright with a rabies druid with a strong grizzly using an A3 merc. It was a single pass, heavily gear restricted tournament and I was running out of gold trying to keep Waheed alive. Grizzly is a better tank than A2 merc in some cases. I imagine that would be true for a shadow master or valkyrie as well. (Although, once I got a better polearm to make some runeword in, I hired A2 again anyway. But while it lasted, A3 was really fun with the different AI)

    Jiansonz often uses an A1 rogue in tournies when he's doing the tanking. That gives you some nice options to use terrain against (and both be ranged against) things you'd rather not get close to - the smith, certain frenzytaurs. I've been thinking I might try that, myself.

    I've heard the A5 mercs can be ok. In some versions they have ridiculous regen and so are easier to keep alive than the A2 guys.

    But... most of the time I just use A2 mercs. They are the clear default because of the auras and high damage weapon type. It gets kinda boring though to always do the same thing... but it's so efficient. Guess I'd better farm up some runes to get some auras on different merc types.
     
  14. Timinator

    Timinator IncGamers Member

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    I would like it (maybe in a mod) if you had an option to have more than one merc so the game played more like Dungeon Siege/Guild Wars. You were the party leader and imagine if you had a rogue merc/barb/and a mixture of act 2/3 guys all working together.

    Hypothetically I think it could be fun, but it would change the game quite a bit from the solo you and one other model.
     
  15. pharphis

    pharphis IncGamers Site Pal

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    I'd love to have one of each merc :eek:
    Act 3 cold for crowd control
    Act 1 rogue with either faith or amp dmg bow
    Act 2 mec with whatever useful aura and wep as usual
    Act 5 barb unsure... High ED for actual DPS or something like lawbringer for chars that need decrep boost?
     
  16. GooberGrape

    GooberGrape IncGamers Member

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    I rotate between:
    A2 Insight/Prayer
    A2 Reaper's/Might
    A5 Lawbringer

    I used to run the A2 Kelpie/Defiance a lot, but I find as my player skill improves that I don't need to crutch on mercs as much. Now I only run them if they improve my speed. With some chars I just leave the merc dead because I waste too much time babysitting.
     
  17. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    The problem with multiple mercs that this doesn't improve their artificial stupidity. I think the additional fun will be outweighed by the annoyance of having to resurrect them four times as often.
     

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