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Paschendale, a 2H Zealing Zon

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by T72on1, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    This thread will be devoted to the Amazon in my Oskill Sept. The principle of the Sept is simple: every character will use an oskill as main attack. In the case of Paschendale this oskill is Zeal, granted through the Passion runeword:

    Code:
    Passion
    +25% Increased Attack Speed
    +160-210% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    50-80% Bonus To Attack Rating (varies)
    +75% Damage To Undead
    +50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
    Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
    +1 To Berserk
    +1 To Zeal
    Hit Blinds Target +10
    Hit Causes Monster To Flee 25%
    75% Extra Gold From Monsters
    Level 3 Heart of Wolverine (12 Charges)
    This character will be played on SC SP, twinked. Player setting will be adjusted depending on killing speed, but will most likely be /p8 for at least normal and nightmare. Respecs are allowed. In my past 2 Septs this was only allowed to optimize stat distribution, but for this Sept any respec is allowed. I'm not going to level up that Wolfbarb to 79 with just normal attack available ... ;). I will try to keep respecs somewhat limited to the theme. So for example that Zealing Sorc won't be a Charged Boltress early on, or that Bear Paladin a Hammerdin.

    On to the plan ...



    Character name

    Paschendale.

    I didn't give it much thought to be honest. Suddenly the name 'Paschendale' slipped into my head, when creating the Passion War Pike for her, and I stuck with that. For those of you who don't know, Paschendale is a Belgian village, which played a role in the first world war. More info can be found here. Iron Maiden made a song about it, God Dethroned devoted an entire album to it, both are very good, I guess that's why it stuck with me like it did, although there's no direct link with my Amazon.


    Build

    2H Zealing Amazon.


    Planned skill layout

    Critical Strike: maxed

    Decoy: maxed

    Inner Sight: maxed

    Rest of the points:

    Option 1: Maxed Valk, 1 point Penetrate, rest in D/A/E
    Option 2: Maxed Penetrate, rest in Slow Missiles just because I can't spend them anywhere else

    Which option I'll take depends. I'll probably try out option 1 first, but I'm afraid that the D/A/E bug will drive me crazy. If that is the case, I'll go for option 2.



    Planned endgame gear

    - Helm: Guillaume's Face, probably socketed with ias jewel

    DS and CB are the main selling points here

    - Body Armor: Fortitude or Chains of Honor

    Fortitude would be the best option in terms of damage. The reason I'm also considering Chains of Honor, is because I'm worried that my resists will be severly lacking. I can't get any on my jewelry if I go with Fortitude, because in that case I'll be tied to Highlord's, Raven Frost and Bul-Kathos' (CBF and enough +skills to reach 5 swings with Zeal). So using CoH would give me much more flexibility in other gear slots

    - Belt: ???

    This really depends on so many factors, mainly the choice between CoH and Fortitude.

    Assuming 40% ias from gloves and Highlord's, I need 3% more ias to reach 8/9/9/9/14 instead of 8/10/10/10/14 Zeal attack speed (and 18% more for 7/9/9/9/13, but I don't think that's worth it), so Nosferatu's would definitely be a good choice here, with 10% ias, but also life steal, slows target and +2mpk (which could be needed as I don't have space to include mana steal with the jewelry mentioned above).

    Other options are String of Ears (DR%, MDR, life steal), Verdungo's (fhr, DR%, Vita), a rare with resists and ideally fhr or even Death's Sash combined with the Gloves (freeing up the need for ias and Ravenfrost, with big life leech and PR and good res all to boot). The latter clearly has the disadvantage of only having two rows.

    So yeah, still pretty clueless here.


    - Boots: Gore Riders

    CB, DS ... enough said

    - Gloves: again many options here, as long as they have at least 10% ias

    A few options here ... LoH for insane damage vs Demons and huge fire res, Bloodfists for fhr, life and min dam (this would mean I certainly need the ias jewel in my helm), rares with ias and resists, Death's combined with the Sash

    - Amulet: Highlord's Wrath

    Scaling DS, lightning res and a much needed +skill

    - Ring 1: Ravenfrost

    CBF. Could be changed if I take Death's gloves + sash, but even then the AR, Dex and Cold Absorb might be my best bet

    - Ring 2: Bul-Kathos' or rare with life and/or mana steal, resists, ...

    Bul-Kathos' if going with Fortitude, rare if going with CoH

    - Weapon : Passion War Pike
    Screenshot180.jpg


    - Shield: none

    Chaos probably gives most damage and would boost my ww skill with 1 point. Shadow Killer has the benefit of freezing enemies (which should make things very safe), decreasing enemy defense, a lot of mana per kill (which should help a lot with manaburners around). O yes, and it's indestructible, which definitely is a bonus, as I hear WW Sins have to repair their weapon a lot.

    - weapon switch: CtA and Spirit shield

    No-brainer there, no?


    So as you can see, still quite some things I'm not sure about. For now I tend to think that I shouldn't be playing this character like a Zealadin, but have to take the careful approach, use option 1 as far as skills go, go for offense (Fortitude) when it comes to gear and then attack monsters from behind my Valk and Decoy, enabling me to get away with not so ideal resists ...

    That's the theory though, and as always, and probably even more in this case, advice would be very much appreciated [​IMG].


    Merc

    Act 2 Might Merc with eth Reaper's Toll, eth Fortitude and Andariel's Visage.



    Build before Passion

    The initial plan was to just invest points in CS, grab the best weapon I could get from my stash and whack away with normal attack. Until I finally realized ... this character should be played with big 2H Spears and 2H Spears only !! So I decided that, next to CS, I will put a point in Jab and a few in Fend, and go like that until I can equip the Passion, at which point I'll use a respec. Both Jab and Fend also have some similarities with Zeal, so that only seems like the appropriate thing to do.

    Come to think about it, Passion's highest rune Lem only requires level 43, so I'll create another Passion in a different base, so I don't have to wait for level 66 to start Zealing. Hyperion would be ideal, since it's level req is also 43, but I'll have to see what I have in my stash. I might have to farm or rack a bit for such item.

    That's about it as far as the theory is concerned. Time to start things in practice. I will give frequent (hopefully) updates here as I progress. As I said before, suggestions, criticism, advice is more than welcome to help me get the most out of this character.
     
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  2. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    CS has sever diminishing returns, so that would definitely be an option. My reasoning was that I'll have points to spare anyway, since maxing both Inner Sight and Penetrate will probably be overkill anyway. I'll have to see how it goes though, and definitely take your suggestion into consideration.

    I would love to use CoA on this one, like you suggest. I have never ever found one though :(.
     
  3. Brak

    Brak Diabloii.Net Member

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    I might be wrong but I think Valk is really helpful for Passivezons. If you want to avoid DAE, you could consider Peace, although it will go poof a lot. Slow missles is kinda silly for a skill with a hit cycle like Zeal also, too.
     
  4. Pb_pal

    Pb_pal Diabloii.Net Member

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    Speaking as someone who Guardianed a Passion-wielding (though not zealing) passive zon, I can confirm that a maxed Valk is insanely hardy and useful, and probably the main reason I survived at all.

    On SC and twinked it wouldn't be as needed, but if you have the points I would definitely invest in it at least to get to the slvl 17 at casting (where she gets her upgrade to War Pike). That way she can not only tank like a beast, but also kill things. My advice is to keep rolling her until you get one that has a ctc Amp weapon, makes everything better for everyone. :)

    I'll be watching this closely, passive zons are just so damn cool.
     
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  5. Dodgydave

    Dodgydave Diabloii.Net Member

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    Good luck with the build. Should be a good challenge.

    Paschendale is a very poignant place in my country's history so the name definitely caught my eye.
     
  6. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Thanks.

    You are Belgian too? Geweldig ;).
     
  7. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Due to the answers given here and at the Amazon Basin, I changed my plan and think I'll be going something like this instead:

    Penetrate, IS and Valk: max
    Rest of the points spread between CS (level 10 or so after +skills), Decoy and D/A/E.

    Ok, onto Paschendale's journey so far. Let's see ...

    Like I said in the op, I went with Spears from the start. I should have taken a pic at level 1, when starting out, but only realized a bit later this would be a cool thing to do. So here is Paschendale at level 3, with already some twinking gear on her:

    [​IMG]

    I just love how those gigantic spears look on the Zon. Starting out one of the later session, I even noticed they are so big, that they don't really fit into the character selection screen:

    [​IMG]

    Definitely cool, and even more so if you see the animation of how she actually hits monsters with it. I just love the approach I took for her up till now, and have been having a blast with Jab and Fend.

    So yeah, that's actually the single most important thing to remember from my journey through normal. The rest is simple:

    [​IMG]

    It

    [​IMG]

    went

    [​IMG]

    fast

    [​IMG]

    even

    [​IMG]

    on

    [​IMG]

    /players 8.

    As it usually does when fully twinked obviously. Still, there's always some difference between characters, depending on available low level skills and twinking weapons.

    Speaking about those, for a Spearazon there are plenty. I switched weapons more often than I usually do: some low level blues and rares, depending on drops, early on, followed by Razortine, The Tannr Gonerod, Kelpie Snare (giving an eth one to the merc at the same time), then 3x Shael Hone Sundan. The last one was extremely fun, even if only because of the speed. I'll probably start out in NM by trying out a Spire of Honor because of it's big damage, but I expect to return to the Hone Sundan because of it's speed (and the fact that the big CB should offset the loss in physical damage).

    I went through the game in a straight line, often skipping packs if it would slow me down too much or if I'd go past the leveling curve too much. Even doing so, I was level 20, 26, 29, 32 en 43 after the act bosses. In act 5 I did 2 levels worth of Pindle runs when I reached that point and then some more after Baal to reach level 44, but other than that I didn't rerun any areas.

    I got a Nef from my forge, which is really low, but other than that I think that Paschendale already got some great low level items:

    [​IMG]

    Great starting Wand. One of the first drops for me.

    [​IMG]

    A grailer !!! Only 2 Cow King set items and Vortex Shield to go.

    [​IMG]

    Amazing drop for that level.

    [​IMG]

    Very cool second mod on a Jewel of Envy, although it won't do that much in the end probably.

    [​IMG]

    Another TC3.

    [​IMG]

    Baal quest drop. I'll take it :).

    Looking forward to enter NM.
     
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  8. OldSoldier

    OldSoldier Diabloii.Net Member

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    That's a pretty sweet ring right there, nice!
     
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  9. Noodle

    Noodle Moderator

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    Really enjoyed the write up.
     
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  10. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Thanks.

    A remark from someone at the Amazon Basin made me doubt about my endgame merc again. Would an Act 1 Rogue with a Faith bow give me a higher damage output then an Act 2 Might merc with Reaper's Toll? I would be zealing about 2 frames faster, but I'm not sure if that's enough to counter the loss of Might and Decrep. Any opinions are welcome.
     
  11. Brak

    Brak Diabloii.Net Member

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    I'd stick with Reapers as it should break most PIs, unless you were planning on some lightning backups for such purposes.
     
  12. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    No, no backups. Zeal only.
     
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  13. Grape

    Grape Diabloii.Net Member

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    And I'm sure lightning skills aren't needed either because 'Passion' has an inbuilt PI solution :)
     
  14. DiabloTwoinDC

    DiabloTwoinDC Diabloii.Net Member

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    Love all the low lvl items. :)
     
  15. onderduiker

    onderduiker Diabloii.Net Member

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    Passion has Hit Causes Monster to Flee 25% and Hit Blinds Target +10, which means that a melee attack that doesn't cause a monster to flee will always blind it once your Amazon is within 26 levels of it (so once she's level 62, anything that can be blinded in Hell, will be)... and both fleeing and blinding will overwrite Decrepify. Although Decrepify still applies for the damage of the first hit before fleeing or blinding, and it can subsequently overwrite those effects in turn, it will be much less effective than usual.

    With 25 Increased Attack Speed from the Passion War Pike itself and 50 IAS from other sources, you have 8/9/9/9/14 Zeal attack speed, or 49 frames in total: level 12 Fanaticism reduces that to 6/8/8/8/11 (41 in total, or ~19.5% faster), and level 13-15 (and level 12 with 55 off-weapon IAS) reduces it to 6/7/7/7/11 (38 in total, or ~29% faster). Berserk attack speed is also reduced from 12 to 10 frames (20% faster), or 9 frames with 55 off-weapon IAS and level 14-15 Fanaticism (~33% or 1/3 faster). Level 12-15 Fanaticism also grants you +(118-144)% Damage (and your Rogue +(237-288)% Damage) and +(95-110)% Attack Rating.

    Due to a bug a Rogue's physical attack damage is doubled, and she uses Fire or Cold Arrow with increasing frequency as she gains levels, both of which not only add (admittedly modest) fire or cold damage but also convert a percentage of that physical attack damage to the same. She also casts Inner Sight, so you may not want or need to invest points in it yourself.
     
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  16. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Thanks a lot :).

    I was already thinking about making a Faith and trying it out, because it's probably the best merc option for my Berserk Druid anyway. Your reply only confirms this feeling.

    That does mean I'll have to farm an other Jah ...
     
  17. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Cue Johnny Logan singing ... 'What's another Jah, ...'

    So yeah :).

    Now to make up my mind about which base to use.
     
  18. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Due to RL being way too busy, this has taken far too long, but finally another update for Paschendale :).

    Starting out in Act 1 nm, there weren't any major gear changes. I just went through the act, hitting hard and fast. The only somewhat threatening encounter I had was with this double boss pack:

    Screenshot003.jpg

    Not sure about the mods anymore, but they sure hit hard !! Shortly after Paschendale hit level 50 and met with Andariel.

    Screenshot004.jpg

    She didn't stand a chance.

    After that I finally took the time to check my stash, only to find out I could have been using Lycander's flank for quite a while at that point. Not only that one though, as I also found a +2 superior Ceremonial Pike with 5 sockets in my stash, which I turned into this beauty:

    Screenshot005.jpg

    In the end it wasn't better than the Lycander's, and I prefered the speed of that one, but i tsure is a nice weapon to have at level 38.

    After Radament I switched to a might merc. He got an eth Obedience Tresher at level 53. Other than that, the only thing that stood out in the early stages of Act 2 were the map layouts:

    Screenshot006.jpg

    Screenshot007.jpg

    Screenshot008.jpg

    Waypoint always next to the exit :).

    In Cellar 2 Paschendale suffered a death, because of my own fault :(. I was rushing things way too much, because I wanted to get to level 66 and start using Zeal, and as a consequence was just heading in like a maniac, until an archer boss pack (amp and some other mods) proved me wrong on that tactic. I killed Duriel at level 57.

    Act 3 saw me starting to use CtA on switch at level 57 and Fortitude at level 59. Early on I found a Lem, which is quite high for that place, I think. I died again in Flayer Dungeon level 2 due to being Amped, BO running out and meeting a pack of Dolls. Too bad really. I died a third time to the Council, although I'm still not sure why. It was because of one of the members being FE and dying, but my fire res was high, so I'm not sure how that happened. Other than that the act was fun, especially the early places, where Fend really shined against all those small foes.

    Act 4 was done really fast, but that didn't prevent me from getting two good items:

    Screenshot018.jpg

    Screenshot019.jpg

    Somewhere along the road I also found this nice charm, although looking at my hit points and the weapon I was using, that must have been much earlier than this:

    Screenshot021.jpg

    Very good for that level !!!

    Then, early on in Act 5, things completely changed when I hit level 66. In came the Passion War Pike, which I would personalize later in the act, after slaying Nihlathak

    I also switched some more items, equiping Nosferatu's, Laying of Hands, Highlord's and Bul-Kathos', next to optimizing my charms. But the biggest change when it comes to items, next to the Passion War Pike, was the creation of this beauty:

    Screenshot022.jpg

    I was so afraid I'd get a lowly level 12 Fana roll, but instead I got top roll on both varying stats :cool:. Obviously I also switched to an Act 1 merc with Treachery and Vamp Gaze.

    Skillwise I respecced to max Penetrate and Valk, some 12 points in Decoy and the rest split between D / A / E, Inner Sight and Critical Strike.

    With that setup I started Zealing away, and ever since I've been having loads of fun. Having D / A / E does take a different approach, as just wading in means you'll be in D / A / E mode almost all the time, hitting absolutely nothing. But proper use of Decoy and Valk and then hitting the edges (which is ridiculously easy with a range 4 weapon) is a very good recipe for success, and a lot of fun to boot.

    This way I rescued Anya being close to level 69. So I did a few more Pindle runs before proceeding.

    Ancients were very easy, but I did have the impression that Berserk was actually doing more damage than Zeal vs 2 of them. Probably due to the mods they spawned with?

    When Paschendale killed Baal, she was already almost level 74, so I decided to move on to Hell straight away. Resists were quite bad, with poison and cold just below 0, fire in the 40s and lightning in the 20s, but I decided to give it a try and see how safe the Valk and Decoy would keep me. So far, just before going to rescue Cain, the answer is: very safe [​IMG]. And I have encountered quite a lot of elemental enemies already !!! Valk and Decoy are just such a good team. And on top of that the Valk seems to be killing really well too.

    In those early stages of act 1 I found a grailer for my eth grail:

    Code:
    Zakarum's Hand
    Rune Scepter
    One Hand Damage: 58 - 110
    Durability: 26 of 26
    Required Level: 37
    Required Strength: 48
    Fingerprint: 0xb61cf397
    Item Level: 79
    Version: Expansion 1.10+
    Unidentified
    6% Chance to cast level 5 Blizzard on striking
    +30% Increased Attack Speed
    208% Enhanced Damage
    Ignore Target's Defense
    +150% Damage to Undead
    8% Mana stolen per hit
    +2 to Holy Shock (Paladin Only)
    +2 to Holy Freeze (Paladin Only)
    Regenerate Mana 10%
    Heal Stamina Plus 15%
    Ethereal
    O yes, one thing I seem to have forgotten to tell: nm was played on /p8, Hell on /p5. /p8 would definitely be possible in Hell as well, but it would be a bit too slow for my taste.

    Hopefully I'll get the next update out a lot earlier, but don't count on it, as RL seems to remain this busy for quite a while. Playing Paschendale has been a blast though !!
     
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  19. maxicek

    maxicek Moderator Single Player

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    Very nice, I think you will enjoy the Faith on lots of characters. It really makes melee with big 2h weapons much more viable.

    The only trouble with this is that many PIs are mana burn. And you have no defense when you zerk, so you get hit lots. It's not useless, but it is not as good as it seems on paper in my opinion.
     
  20. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    It actually is. Thanks to Valk and Decoy. Without them it would indeed be an issue. Now I use Berserk a lot, not only vs PIs. Works wonders.

    I just realized I never calculated my attack speed with the Faith bow on my rogue. Right now I'm at 50% off-weapon ias (Highlord's, LoH, Nosferatu's), but the ias on the Nosferatu's might do nothing for me when it comes to hitting the next breakpoint, in which case I'd better use something else.
     

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