Question about stat points for a summoner/werewolf druid

Goldtru

Diabloii.Net Member
Hi all,
I'm fairly new to the game (took a long hiatus from gaming in general) so forgive me if this has been done to death. I haven't found suitable answers online and would prefer asking actual human beings anyway.

I am building a wolf-focused druid. He is only using wolf skills - dire wolves, ravens (OK, not 100% wolves) and werewolf.

I read somewhere online that the 3 summons synergize with each other, and based on that I have maxed out Spirit wolf, dire wolf and grizzly. But I'm wondering if this is a waste of points? Since my goal is to only use the dire wolves and build a really strong werewolf, have I cost myself a few dozen points that could be going into lycanthropy, or werewolf, or fury, or even more ravens?

And before anyone asks why I'm building a druid like this, it's because I like birds and dogs. :smug:

Thanks for the advice!
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
Those are skill points, not stat points! Anyway...

You're not going to get the most powerful Werewolf if you max a bunch of summons. While focusing on summons and using Werewolf as a secondary part of your build is viable, you seem to want to do the opposite. If you want a strong Werewolf, that can take 60 skill points or more. Maxing Werewolf and Lycanthropy takes 40 points, and it takes 22 more to max Fury, they strongest attack in Werewolf form. To make your concept work, I'd suggest maxing Dire Wolf and focusing on shapeshifting skills for the rest, maxing Werewolf, Lycanthropy, and Fury. Then you have a choice between Feral Rage and Dire Wolf synergies, which would be a matter of preference, really.
 

Goldtru

Diabloii.Net Member
Oops, I meant skill points, I really did!

*facepalm

Thanks Namtar, I'll prob respec him then. He is struggling.
 

Dagaz

Diabloii.Net Member
Oh, Ribcracker :)cloud9:), why is a 3 soc Tomb Reaver with a good roll so much better than you?

Anyway, so far I've only used Grizzly and it's an ok tank. Not great, but ok. I also never understood/apprechiated Ravens (apart from style, of course).
 

Goldtru

Diabloii.Net Member
I'm not near my PC right now so I can't give you the exact specs, but he's using the Flesh render club which gives +2 to Druid skills and +2 to shape shifting; he's wearing a Lore helm, Sigon's shield for the +1 to skills (I have shields with higher defense but I traded it for the +1 skills) and an ammy giving +1 to skills. I can't remember what the other gear is. Basically I'm trying to max out the skills.

My plan now is to take 19 points out of spirit wolves and all points out of grizzly (I think I have 15 points there) and put them into werewolf, lycanthropy and fury. I also need him to be stronger and have more life.
 

Goldtru

Diabloii.Net Member
OK, here is his gear:

Fleshrender
Barbed Club
One-Hand Damage: 71 to 121
Durability: 28 of 56
Required Strength: 30
Required Level: 38
Mace Class - Normal Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0x5c644be4
+184% Enhanced Damage
+35 to Minimum Damage
+50 to Maximum Damage
+20 Maximum Durability
+1 to Druid Skill Levels
Prevent Monster Heal
150% Damage to Undead
25% Chance of Open Wounds
20% Chance of Crushing Blow
20% Deadly Strike
+2 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only)

Lore
Full Helm
'OrtSol'
Defense: 24
Durability: 30 of 30
Required Strength: 41
Required Level: 27
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 16
Fingerprint: 0x3dce7bbc
+10 to Energy
Damage Reduced by 7
Lightning Resist +30%
+2 to Light Radius
+1 to All Skill Levels
+2 to Mana After Each Kill
Socketed (2: 2 used)

This armor isn't great, but his strength is only around 116. I'm pumping his STAT points into strength now so he can wear better stuff. Goal is 170 for strength.

Spirit Jack
Templar Coat
Defense: 393
Durability: 60 of 60
Required Strength: 83
Required Level: 25
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 68
Fingerprint: 0x82df1291
+43% Enhanced Defense
Fire Resist +26%
Cold Resist +23%
Requirements -30%
Poison Length Reduced by 75%
14% Chance to cast Level 5 Charged Bolt when struck

Corruption Torc
Amulet
Required Level: 27
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 68
Fingerprint: 0xdfb8aacc
+6 to Energy
+18 to Attack Rating
Magic Damage Reduced by 1
+1 to Druid Skill Levels
+1 to Light Radius

I'm using this shield solely for the +1 to skills.
Sigon's Guard
Tower Shield
Defense: 25
Chance to Block: 64%
Durability: 58 of 60
Required Strength: 75
Required Level: 6
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 60
Fingerprint: 0x8f8a269e
+20% Increased Chance of Blocking
+1 to All Skill Levels

Venom Grip
Demonhide Gloves
Defense: 103
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Strength: 20
Required Level: 29
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 84
Fingerprint: 0x93cf160
+133% Enhanced Defense
+20 Defense
Poison Resist +30%
+5% to Maximum Poison Resist
+59 poison damage over 4 seconds
5% Life stolen per hit
5% Chance of Crushing Blow

I put these boots on before facing Duriel for the cold resist, and I like the extra speed, but I know there are better boots out there. Plus wearing 2 items from a set might give some bonuses - or does it have to be 3 items?
Sigon's Sabot
Greaves
Defense: 13
Durability: 23 of 24
Required Strength: 70
Required Level: 6
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 85
Fingerprint: 0x97ca152f
Cold Resist +40%
20% Faster Run/Walk

***Partial Set Item Bonuses***
+50 to Attack Rating
50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
***Partial Set Item Bonuses***

Beast Fringe
Plated Belt
Defense: 19
Durability: 23 of 24
Required Strength: 60
Required Level: 18
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 41
Fingerprint: 0xe32bc479
+35 to Life
+3 to Mana
+60% Enhanced Defense
Cold Resist +5%
Attacker Takes Damage of 2

Manald Heal
Ring
Required Level: 15
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 68
Fingerprint: 0xf861ee3
+20 to Life
Regenerate Mana 20%
4% Mana stolen per hit
Replenish Life +7

Plague Eye
Ring
Required Level: 35
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 75
Fingerprint: 0x31480988
+7 to Life
+13 to Mana
+9 to Maximum Stamina
+3 to Maximum Damage
Cold Resist +28%
6% Life stolen per hit

The merc has better gear and is doing pretty well.

I like the woestave, even though it has low damage - freezing a target seems to make up for it, at least in NM. I'm sure it won't cut it in hell.

Woestave
Halberd
Two-Hand Damage: 15 to 58
Durability: 55 of 55
Required Dexterity: 47
Required Strength: 75
Required Level: 28
Polearm Class - Normal Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0x24932760
+31% Enhanced Damage
-3 to Light Radius
Hit Blinds Target +3
Prevent Monster Heal
-50 to Monster Defense Per Hit
Freezes Target +1
50% Chance of Open Wounds
Slows Target by 50%

Eagle Shroud
Embossed Plate
Defense: 501
Durability: 55 of 55
Required Strength: 125
Required Level: 25
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 79
Fingerprint: 0x9b5b41d1
+24 to Life
+65% Enhanced Defense
Damage Reduced by 3
Fire Resist +6%
Poison Resist +9%
Poison Length Reduced by 50%

Carrion Crest
Sallet
Defense: 102
Durability: 18 of 18
Required Strength: 43
Required Level: 25
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 45
Fingerprint: 0x96a4077b
+6 to Energy
+63% Enhanced Defense
+15 to Attack Rating
Fire Resist +9%
+1 to Light Radius

Maybe i should upgrade to one of these shields - is it worth it to lose the +1?:
Stormguild
Large Shield
Defense: 53
Chance to Block: 62%
Smite Damage: 2 to 4
Durability: 18 of 37
Required Strength: 34
Required Level: 13
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 31
Fingerprint: 0x3b0833ac
+57% Enhanced Defense
+30% Increased Chance of Blocking
+30 Defense
Magic Damage Reduced by 1
Lightning Resist +25%
Adds 1-6 lightning damage
+13 Maximum Durability
Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 3

Viper Badge
Dragon Shield
Defense: 102
Chance to Block: 38%
Smite Damage: 15 to 24
Durability: 63 of 76
Required Strength: 73
Required Level: 25
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 44
Fingerprint: 0x96d36ad
+50% Enhanced Defense
Fire Resist +10%
Poison Resist +6%
Attacker Takes Damage of 6
Requirements -20%
5% Chance to cast Level 3 Frost Nova when struck
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, Dagaz has pointed out the option of using two-handed weapons, something I've seen but not tried for myself (actually I just remembered that I was using Buriza for a while at some point).

When I first did a Fury druid (actually my first druid ever), it was with a new installation of the game and I'd lost all of my original characters, starting Diablo II again after a hiatus of a few years. I was playing untwinked for a while, but the weapon I had was pretty weak. I eventually made other characters, then started acquiring better gear and giving uniques and runewords to my original druid (I exhausted all my runes making a batch of runewords at some point, and for a long time I was using Famine, which is still one of my favorites). I didn't even bother taking him all the way through Hell until I'd farmed a bunch of stuff with other characters, eventually making a Breath of the Dying berserker axe for the druid, which put him way over the top and let him beat Hell fairly easily.

I've never actually tried Fleshrender, but it seems like a good enough weapon to take all the way through Nightmare. There are certainly more powerful options (depending on your druid's level), but I'd think Fleshrender should give just about everything you need.

Lore is a nice low-level helm. Have anything to replace it with? Vampire Gaze is the first thing that comes to mind.

The armor looks serviceable, although it's another thing that looks like it could be replaced with something better. I remember using Goldskin for a long time, which wouldn't really be too much better. I guess it depends on what you have.

The amulet seems OK. I'm assuming that if you've found The Eye of Etlich, you'd be using it here. I'm not saying use The Eye of Etlich on all characters ever, but do use The Eye of Etlich on almost all characters ever. I seriously put it on every single melee character I make and don't take it off until I can equip an endgame amulet like Highlord's Wrath. And if I didn't have the good elite unique amulets, I'd still be using The Eye of Etlich to beat the game. It's just an amazing item. The only downside to it is that you have to actually find one in order to use it.

For your shield, the measly +1 skill isn't the issue with switching from Sigon's Guard. It's the chance to block. Most shields require a lot more dexterity to reach max block. Since you have Stormguild as an option, I'd switch to it. You'll reach max block almost as easily as with Sigon's guard.

Venom Grip looks good. Might as well keep them unless you happen to have something really good available.

On the Sigon's set: yes, the boots give the partial set bonuses you listed if you're also wielding the shield. You also get 10% life stolen per hit as the bonus for completing two items out of the set. Not bad, but it's probably best to just bid the Sigon's set farewell and move on to higher-level items. Gore Rider would be best, but there are plenty of other options of if you don't have them.

For some reason, good belts are really hard to find. You're definitely high enough in level to equip one, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they just haven't been turning up.

For your rings, mana leech is nice, but Manald Heal shouldn't really be necessary. Fury is very cheap. Hopefully you don't have to resummon your wolves that often. If nothing else jumps out as better, Manald Heal certainly works. I'd suggest being on the lookout for dual leech rare rings. Obviously a Raven Frost would be nice, but they can be elusive. The rings you already have really aren't bad. I wouldn't make replacing them a priority. You'd see bigger benefits from changing other gear slots, if possible.

The merc's gear should be great for Nightmare. Which aura does he have?

If you beat Nightmare and are struggling in Hell with no better weapon options than Fleshrender, some of the Ladder Only runewords are pretty useful. Lawbringer should work.
 

Goldtru

Diabloii.Net Member
Hi Namtar, thanks for such a thoughtful reply! I don't have any of those items yet, unfortunately, but I'll be on the lookout. My wolf is doing better with the storm guild shield but I don't think the Flesh render will cut it in hell. Hopefully I'll find something better for him by then.
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
Good luck improving your equipment for Hell. And like I said, if you really get stuck on the weapon (and have access to the Ladder Only runewords), Lawbringer is really not a bad deal. Even if you haven't been collecting runes at all, it would probably still be reasonable to just kill the Nightmare Countess a bunch of times and cube all the rune drops to get the Lem and the Ko. It doesn't give any enhanced damage or increased attack speed, which sucks. However, the elemental damage, -50% target defense, and Decrepify are all very nice. The Sanctuary aura gives you some breathing room against undead too. There are significantly stronger runewords for a werewolf, but for the price, it's amazing.
 

Dagaz

Diabloii.Net Member
Lawbringer is an interesting weapon, yes. I made one for my fury druid, but he used it for about 1/2 an hour in arcane sanctuary, Hell. :) While it does some nice damage to undead and has chance to cast Decrepify, the knockback to all undead form sanctuary aura drove me mad.
I think that if you haven't played with Lawbringer before (and don't have the runes to waste), you should ask yourself about your playstyle. If you are more defensive type of player, then I would reccomend Lawbringer. But if you are offensive (I now I am) (and perfectionist --> leaving no monster behind alive) you'll end up chasing those undead to who knows where.
It all comes down to playstile. I personally hate running around, chasing individual mosnters. ;)

p.s. I'm using Lawbringer now on my frezny barb against undead, because they cannot be leached and need to be killed very fast (or knockbacked). I plan to use it until I find someting nice to put Death in (and I am looking forward to that day :p).
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
I plan to use it until I find someting nice to put Death in (and I am looking forward to that day :p).
An ethereal berserker axe, perhaps? Actually, I keep finding socketed ettin axes lately for some reason. I kind of wish they were berserker axes.
 

Dagaz

Diabloii.Net Member
He's (kind of) a themed character, so only swords, among other restrictions. Not to mention jawbone visors. With 2 sockets. For Lore. :badteeth:
 

Archone

Diabloii.Net Member
An ethereal berserker axe, perhaps? Actually, I keep finding socketed ettin axes lately for some reason. I kind of wish they were berserker axes.
Doesnt Death require 5os axes? And Berserker axes has 6os as maximum, while Ettin has 5os.. just sayin' ;)
 

Goldtru

Diabloii.Net Member
I can't get the Ladder RWM to work on my PC. It downloaded fine, but it won't let me access any of my old chars. It will only let me create new ones. It's very frustrating and I can't spend any more time on it, so Ladder runewords are off the table for me, unfortunately.

I'm going to keep my eyes open for some better gear for him. He's doing pretty well right now in act 3 NM but there's no way he will survive hell the way he is at the moment. However I shall persevere and have faith in him! He's a good doggy!
 

NoisemakerArrow

Diabloii.Net Member
Maybe you didn't install it correctly? You should sort out this issue, since the ladder runewords are great.

A Lionheart armour would help greatly, as well as Jalal's Mane. Upgraded Ribcracker is wonderful, as is Highlord's Wrath as an amulet. For the gloves, you can't go wrong with Laying Of Hands. Nat's boots are what I use on my wolf druid, switching to Goblin Toe for bosses.

It's not a good idea to start off with a melee character. A caster can do much better and find a lot of items that melee characters need to do well.
 
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