Questions regarding Rogue Hireling

MaStAViC

Diabloii.Net Member
Questions regarding Rogue Hireling

Hey, Everyone,
How's it going? I have a level 87 Rogue Hireling that I got from Hell Difficulty's Act 1. I have a few questions regarding this Hireling. Please note that this is my first week back to D2 after over being away for over four years, so not only is my memory a bit rusty, things have changed dramatically in the game as well. Thank you.

1) In 1.09 patch, when I left, Hirelings that were hired at low levels and then gained levels through experience were better than Hirelings hired at higher levels. In other words, if I hire a Hireling and build her up to level 80, she would be stronger than a Hireling I purchase at level 80 to start with. Someone told me this is no longer the case. Please verify, thanks!

2) What is the attack speed of Rogue Hirelings? If I got a bow for her that is 10 attack speed by default, would she shoot slower than if I got a bow that is -10? Weapon attack speeds do affect Hirelings, right?

3) What would be the best bow for a Rogue Hireling in all of D2? Unique, set, runeword, and anything else is fine. From what I can tell, Faith and Brand seem to be the best. If that's the case, what type of bow should I put the runes into?

4) Arreat Summit points out here that the Grand Matron Bow has 5 sockets. However, that just means that it has a maximum of 5 sockets, right? In other words, Grand Matron Bows also come in 4 sockets, correct?

Thank you in advance! Even if you can only answer one or two of the questions, I would really appreciate it.

Sincerely,
-=MaStA ViC
 

Delreich

Diabloii.Net Member
1) In 1.09 patch, when I left, Hirelings that were hired at low levels and then gained levels through experience were better than Hirelings hired at higher levels. In other words, if I hire a Hireling and build her up to level 80, she would be stronger than a Hireling I purchase at level 80 to start with. Someone told me this is no longer the case. Please verify, thanks!
The level you hire a merc at doesn't matter one bit. The difficulty, however, does. Get them in Normal. For A2 ones get them either in Normal or Nightmare, depending on what aura you want.

2) What is the attack speed of Rogue Hirelings? If I got a bow for her that is 10 attack speed by default, would she shoot slower than if I got a bow that is -10? Weapon attack speeds do affect Hirelings, right?
Check the FAQ, in post #23 (I think) RTB posted IAS tables.

4) In other words, Grand Matron Bows also come in 4 sockets, correct?
Correct.



 

MaStAViC

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks a lot for the quick and informative reply, Delreich.

Just out of curiosity, what would be the difference between a Rogue hired in Normal Difficulty and one hired in Hell Difficulty. I can probably test this out myself when I turn on D2 tonight (if you don't reply, that's fine - I'll post back here after I find out on my own so that others who are interested will know).

Gosh, I used to know those IAS tables so well, but I can't understand them anymore. If the Rogue uses a speed -10 bow instead of a speed 10 bow, will there be a difference?

Still hoping someone else can answer my third question. Thanks again!
-=MaStA ViC
 

SSoG

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks a lot for the quick and informative reply, Delreich.

Just out of curiosity, what would be the difference between a Rogue hired in Normal Difficulty and one hired in Hell Difficulty. I can probably test this out myself when I turn on D2 tonight (if you don't reply, that's fine - I'll post back here after I find out on my own so that others who are interested will know).

Gosh, I used to know those IAS tables so well, but I can't understand them anymore. If the Rogue uses a speed -10 bow instead of a speed 10 bow, will there be a difference?

Still hoping someone else can answer my third question. Thanks again!
-=MaStA ViC
Rogues hired in Nightmare or Hell have slightly lower stats, slightly less life. The harder the difficulty, the worse the mercs are- do all your hiring in Normal, unless you want a Nightmare-only aura.

Also, as far as the best bow goes... I'm a big fan of the WWS. The ctc Amp will help out any physical damage build a ton, and it's not widely known, but Deadly Strike will double ELEMENTAL damage as well as physical on Mercs (and only on Mercs). This means with a WWS, Rogue Mercs will tear through PIs.

Faith seems to be the most popular merc bow, though.



 

PhatTrumpet

Diabloii.Net Member
Gosh, I used to know those IAS tables so well, but I can't understand them anymore. If the Rogue uses a speed -10 bow instead of a speed 10 bow, will there be a difference?
Yes. For instance (if I'm reading the tables correctly), with 0%IAS she will fire a 10 speed bow at 16 frames per attack while she will fire a -10 speed bow at 13 frames per attack. If you then give her, say, a 60%IAS armor she will fire a 10 speed bow at 11 frames per attack while she will fire a -10 speed bow at 9 frames per attack.

Regardless of whether I'm reading the tables correctly or not, the base speed of the bow definitely makes a difference.



 

Delreich

Diabloii.Net Member
Rouges lose about 60 hp and 1 skill level per difficulty. Other stats are also affected to similar degrees.

So, a Rouge hired in Hell will have 121 hp and 2 skill levels less than one hired in Normal.
 

MaStAViC

Diabloii.Net Member
Also, as far as the best bow goes... I'm a big fan of the WWS. The ctc Amp will help out any physical damage build a ton, and it's not widely known, but Deadly Strike will double ELEMENTAL damage as well as physical on Mercs (and only on Mercs). This means with a WWS, Rogue Mercs will tear through PIs.

Faith seems to be the most popular merc bow, though.
I am looking through the Arreat Summit, but I cannot seem to figure out what WWS (and cta) is. What does WWS stand for? It's probably something I know, and I'm going to feel stupid for not being able to remember after you tell me =P

I even found another thread that you talked about the WWS in but just cannot figure out what it stands for.

Thanks!
-=MaStA ViC



 

Nimbostratus

Diabloii.Net Member
WWS is Witchwild String, the unique Short Siege bow. Stats:
+150-170% Enhanced Damage (varies)
Fires Magic Arrows [Level 20]
2% Chance To Cast Level 5 Amplify Damage On Striking
+ (1 Per Character Level) 1-99 % Deadly Strike (Based On Character Level)
All Resistances +40
Sockets (2)


CTA is the "call to arms" runeword. Its most notable stat is +to Battle Orders and Battle Command (for all characters!).
 

MaStAViC

Diabloii.Net Member
WWS is Witchwild String, the unique Short Siege bow. Stats:
+150-170% Enhanced Damage (varies)
Fires Magic Arrows [Level 20]
2% Chance To Cast Level 5 Amplify Damage On Striking
+ (1 Per Character Level) 1-99 % Deadly Strike (Based On Character Level)
All Resistances +40
Sockets (2)


CTA is the "call to arms" runeword. Its most notable stat is +to Battle Orders and Battle Command (for all characters!).
Ah! Witchwild String! No wonder I couldn't find it - I was looking under the Elite Unique items.

But now I'm more confused. How can my Rogue Hireling use both Call to Arms and Witchwild String? Gosh, I'm too rusty for this game.

-=MaStA ViC



 

Nimbostratus

Diabloii.Net Member
Ah! Witchwild String! No wonder I couldn't find it - I was looking under the Elite Unique items.

But now I'm more confused. How can my Rogue Hireling use both Call to Arms and Witchwild String? Gosh, I'm too rusty for this game.

-=MaStA ViC
If it's something from this thread, I think you just misread "ctc" as "cta."

CTC = chance to cast. Witchwild String has a chance to cast the "amplify damage" curse.



 

MaStAViC

Diabloii.Net Member
Thank you for the clarification. I actually did read "ctc" and just mistyped it as "cta," which is probably worse than just misreading it =P

For SSoG:
You seem to be a big fan of WWS, and with good reasons, it seems (I read your other post in the thread that I linked to above). You pointed out that WWS will average at least 232 damage per hit with Amplify Damage, but Amplify Damage is at 2%, which means that it will only come on once every 50 shots, if I'm correct. Is this worth it? What if I get a bow that just does a ton of damage upfront (i.e. Windforce, which has a nice Knockback feature to perhaps help keep my Rogue alive)? However, if I do decide to go with WWS, what would you recommend I put in its socket for a Rogue Hireling?

Thank you,
-=MaStA ViC
 

MaStAViC

Diabloii.Net Member
I am looking at the different Runewords, and Ice looks like it'll make a good weapon for a Rogue Hireling. The features of Ice that I am interested in are:
Level 18 Holy Freeze Aura When Equipped
+20% Increased Attack Speed
+140-210% Enhanced Damage (varies)
Ignore Target's Defense
+25-30% To Cold Skill Damage (varies)
-20% To Enemy Cold Resistance
7% Life Stolen Per Hit
20% Deadly Strike

"Level 18 Holy Freeze Aura When Equipped" would mean that the aura is there all the time, right? If that's the case, why bother with an Act2 Hireling that has Holy Freeze (except that Act2 Hirelings have more life and such). Along with Ignore Target's Defense, 7% Life Leech, and 20% Deadly Strike, this would probably go well in a Blade Bow or a Great Bow, as it achieves 12 frames. Am I confused about something here, or is an Ice Blade/Great Bow a great Rogue Hireling weapon?

Faith looks great as well, as it has "Level 12-15 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped." I am now torn between a bunch of great bows. Please throw some recommendations at me!

Thanks,
-=MaStA ViC
 

jiansonz

Diabloii.Net Member
Am I confused about something here, or is an Ice Blade/Great Bow a great Rogue Hireling weapon?
Looks absolutely awesome to me. However, be aware that those high runes (Jah + Lo) are extremely rare. I have played for years and never seen a rune higher than Gul.


Rogues are my favourite mercs. Some equpiment I have enjoyed:

* Goldstrike Arch. This is an excellent bow, one of the best I´ve used.

* A high damage elite rare with ctc Amp is not bad at all. The ctc Amp here is 5%. My rogue that uses such a bow fires so fast that Amp seems to go off rather often.

* If you need crowd control and don´t mind monsters fleeing, a 'Passion' bow looks interesting. Never had the chance to try it myself, though.


Not bows, but these items are great for a rogue:
* Treachery armor: Big IAS, plus Venom

* Guillaume´s Face (set Winged Helm). Good amounts of Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike, very nice.



 

papajustify

Diabloii.Net Member
Dont forget, that when you get to the point where you are going to make a runeword for your act1 merc(like faith or ice or whatever) to not put it in a bow that is for amazon only, such as Grand matron bow, or matriarchal bow, because she wont be able to use it!
 

SSoG

Diabloii.Net Member
Thank you for the clarification. I actually did read "ctc" and just mistyped it as "cta," which is probably worse than just misreading it =P

For SSoG:
You seem to be a big fan of WWS, and with good reasons, it seems (I read your other post in the thread that I linked to above). You pointed out that WWS will average at least 232 damage per hit with Amplify Damage, but Amplify Damage is at 2%, which means that it will only come on once every 50 shots, if I'm correct. Is this worth it? What if I get a bow that just does a ton of damage upfront (i.e. Windforce, which has a nice Knockback feature to perhaps help keep my Rogue alive)? However, if I do decide to go with WWS, what would you recommend I put in its socket for a Rogue Hireling?

Thank you,
-=MaStA ViC
First off, the Amplify Damage.

On a Rogue Merc, the Amp is sort of like a special treat. It won't trigger at all reliably, but when it does trigger it'll bring a nice smile to your face. It's just a handy bonus. Really, the ctc Amp shines on a Strafe Amazon, who can fire 10 arrows in just over a second (meaning Amp will be going off once every 5 seconds or so).

The reason why WWS is so good on a Rogue Merc is the Deadly Strike. As I said, due to a bug (or "feature" :wink3: ), Deadly Strike will double *ALL* damage on a Merc, rather than just physical damage like it does on characters. A level 80 Rogue will fire a slvl 26 Fire/Cold Arrow almost half the time. That arrow will convert 53% of the Rogue's physical damage to fire or cold damage... and then the Deadly Strike will trigger 80% of the time, doubling that Fire/Cold damage. The result is that the A1 Rogues are capable of very easily dealing thousands of points worth of elemental damage with every shot, which makes them very handy for taking down physical immune baddies if you're making a melee build. Also, if you're on ladder, you can upgrade that WWS to Elite, which will nearly double its damage output.

As for whether this damage output will compare with, say, a Windforce... no, of course it won't. Windforce is the king of bows for very good reason. It deals unmatched damage. The thing is, if I found a Windforce, I can GUARANTEE you that I wouldn't be wasting it on my merc.:laugh:

I like WWS a lot. It's a very versatile bow. If you want it to be fast, you can double-shael it and make it fast. If you want it to be safe, toss in a pair of scintillating jewels and it offers up to 70% resist all. If you want it to deal damage, toss in some ED jewels. If you want it to create some space, toss in a Nef or some Dols. Or you can combo any of those ideas. Combine that with the chance to cast Amp and the Deadly Strike doubling elemental damage, and you really just have a very well-designed bow whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts.



 

PFS

Diabloii.Net Member
"Level 18 Holy Freeze Aura When Equipped" would mean that the aura is there all the time, right? If that's the case, why bother with an Act2 Hireling that has Holy Freeze (except that Act2 Hirelings have more life and such). Along with Ignore Target's Defense, 7% Life Leech, and 20% Deadly Strike, this would probably go well in a Blade Bow or a Great Bow, as it achieves 12 frames. Am I confused about something here, or is an Ice Blade/Great Bow a great Rogue Hireling weapon?

Faith looks great as well, as it has "Level 12-15 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped." I am now torn between a bunch of great bows. Please throw some recommendations at me!

Thanks,-=MaStA ViC
(Apologies if you know most/all of the following, but you seem to be coming back from a break so to fill you in...)

I know you are asking about Rogue Mercs but...

If you want Holy Freeze then go for an Act 2 Merc, who you can then give a range of polearms that give awesome Aruas, so you have a merc giving you TWO Auras. The holy freeze will also be a higher level on an Act2 Merc too.

Polearm Choices for Auras:

Infinity (Ber + Mal + Ber + Ist) will give a Level 12 Conviction Aura. Great for Elemental characters. Particulary Light and Fire sorcs. VERY Expensive, but a truely great weapon.

Insight (Ral + Tir + Tal + Sol) will give Level 12-17 Meditation Aura. This means you will never have to spend any points in Mana for any character (except ES sorcs), and will not even need warmth on Sorcs. An awesome and cheap runeword. To me this is a MUST HAVE for casters until I get an Infinity. Although I go for a 'Normal Difficulty Combat Merc, who has a Prayer Aura which synnergises with the Meditation Aura to heal my Sorcs at about 50 Health/Second at higher levels.

Obedience (Hel + Ko + Thul + Eth + Fal) No Aura, but has a level 21 Enchant to max out merc AR and 40% Crushing blow and massive damage will tear through bosses.

Pride (Cham + Sur + Io + Lo) Gives a Level 16-20 Concentration Aura. VERY Expensive though. Awesome for melee characters and for summoning necromancers (and druids) - but with a summoner use a might merc.

The Act 2 Mercs have the following Auras:
Normal: Blessed Aim, Prayer, Defiance
Nightmare: Holy Freeze, Thorns, Might

Another useful polearm that needs a mention is Reapers Toll - this has a 33% Chance to cast Decrepify on striking. Basically monsters near the merc will be permanently cursed. Great for crowd control, dealing with physical immunes and taking down bosses.

For merc armors a good, cheap start is Treachery - (Shael-Thul-Lem) which gives awesome bonuses to ANY merc:
5% Chance to cast level 15 Fade when struck
This makes your merc *almost* curse proof and gives them 60% Resist All. Given the amount the merc gets slapped about and the length Fade lasts this will mean your merc is permanently faded. I THINK they also get a 15%damage reduction bonus. They look cook too when faded.
25% Chance to cast level 15 Venom on striking
300 poison damage per hit. Helps with your mercs damage and helps with preventing monsters from healing (they don't heal when poisoned).
+2 to Assassin Skills
No merc bonus. Ignore this one
+45% Increased Attack Speed
Very nice. With an obedience runeword this will chew through bosses. Otherwise just makes their damage output that much higher and helps them stay alive through more life leech
+20% Faster Hit Recovery
Always nice
+30% Cold Resist
Also always nice, this is on top of the 60% resist all from Fade
50% Extra Gold from Monsters
This one does not really do much...


Not a Merc Topic at all, but another runeword you should look at for Casters is "Spirit" (Tal-Thul-Ort-Amn) for Swords and Shields. It is cheap and simply godly:

Swords:
+2 to All Skills
+25-35% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
Adds 3-14 Cold Damage for 3 seconds
+75 Poison Damage for 5 seconds
7% Life stolen per hit
+250 Defense against missiles
+22 to Vitality
+89-112 to Mana
+3-8 Magic Absorb

Shields:
+2 to All Skills
+25-35% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense against missiles
+22 to Vitality
+89-112 to Mana
+35% Cold Resist
+35% Lightning Resist
+35% Poison Resist
+3-8 Magic Absorb
Attacker takes Damage of 14

Almost EVERY stat on them is amazing for casters. For Paladins make them in a shield with natural high resists for a godly shield. you can use it from level 25. A hammerdrin at level 25 with spirit sword and shield is amazing. Both are good end-game items. For non-Paladins you need a 'Monarch' shield for the 4 sockets, which needs 156 Strength - But I think it is well worth it.


Sorry if I have sidetracked quite a bit - but I felt you should have these items pointed out as you seem to be coming back from a long break and I am not sure what was about when you left.

Apologies if you already know all this.



 

PhatTrumpet

Diabloii.Net Member
The other problem with spending the wealth to put an 'Ice' bow on a Rogue Merc is that their AI causes them to run away most of the time. The farther she is away from monsters the less effect her Holy Freeze aura will have.

Act 2 Mercs, on the other hand, constantly engage the enemy and can actually tank pretty well. This is why people will generally go with the Holy Freeze Act 2 Merc rather than sticking 'Ice' on a Rogue.
 

MaStAViC

Diabloii.Net Member
Information overload... but I'm enjoying it! Thank you for all of the help, from SSoG's additional information regarding WWS to jiansonz's equipment recommendation and PFS' Runewords breakdown (after reading your post, I will be making a Spirit shield for my sorceress).

I just wanted to point out that I have a tendency of giving my mercenaries better equipment than what I give myself, as I have fun with that =P

One last question before I stop shoving questions at other members' faces:
What would your dream equipment (weapon, helmet, body armor) be for a Rogue Hireling if cost wasn't an issue? I might want to try this out on Single Player with a trainer just to see the best a Rogue Hireling can be =P

Thanks!
-=MaStA ViC
 

Eilo Rytyj

Diabloii.Net Member
Mine would be... something like...

- Perfect Superior (15% ed, +3AR) Faith Crusader/Shadow/Great Bow (varying attack speeds/damage)

- Andariel's Visage w/ 40/15 jewel
OR
- Jeweller's Diadem of the Whale w/ 3x 40/15 jewels

- Perfect ethereal-bugged Fortitude Archon Plate
OR
- ethereal Jeweller's Archon Plate of the Whale w/ 4x 40/15 jewels.

Still doesn't compare to the funkiest merc in the game, an Act5 merc with eth Last Wish CB, eth-bugged Fortitude Sacred, upped eth Arreat's Face w/ 40/15 jewel. Unholy damage (barb merc hits twice on normal attack FYI), Awesome tankyness (thanks to Fade and Life Tap) and STYLE!

Ghost Barbarian Mercenary is all up in yo' grill.
 

jiansonz

Diabloii.Net Member
One last question before I stop shoving questions at other members' faces:
What would your dream equipment (weapon, helmet, body armor) be for a Rogue Hireling if cost wasn't an issue?
Note 1: The b.net only runewords do not exist in my D2 universe, so I won´t choose from them.

Note 2: This is not something I am at all used to thinking about, since I have always played untwinked, with no repeating of areas. I may be totally off in my choice.

But I think she would be really powerful with:

* Breath of the Dying Crusader Bow (+15% ED Superior bow, of course)
* Guillaume´s Face, socketed with a 40/15 jewel.
* Jeweler´s Archon Plate of the Whale, socketed with three 40/15 jewels and a rare jewel with 30% ED, 10% resist all, cold damage and 1-100 lightning damage


The best possible rare bow fore a rogue hireling would be a Great Bow with perfect Cruel and Master´s (for +450% ED), 2 sockets, 20% IAS, ctc Amp and finally +20 minimum damage (or +20 DEX, whichever led to the highest damage...)



 
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