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Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by JacobMiller, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. JacobMiller

    JacobMiller Diabloii.Net Member

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    Just re-installed D2 and have to start from scratch was hoping to find out the fastest way to get through normal with a blizz sorc. Should I just play on /players1 and if that's the case where are the best places to power level and what levels should I change targets?
     
  2. TheNix

    TheNix Diabloii.Net Member

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    I usually start all my characters on /players8, even with a restart. Remember that you get a respec after clearing the Pit, so you can start off with a quick killer early, then change later.
     
  3. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    While I agree with using a quick killer at first (I suggest a charged boltress) and respeccing her later (I suggest level 30 or when you reach nightmare), I don't think that /p8 is effective for getting started as quickly as possible.

    Power-leveling at low levels only makes sense if somebody rushes you through the quests. In normal, you have to do all quests by yourself which will earn you enough XP. When starting from scratch, I guess the most effective (i.e. quickest with respect to leveling and gaining wealth) would be like this:

    Step 1: Proceed through everything at /p1, doing all useful quests. Just don't go beyond act 4 before level 25, as XP penalties for being early are more severe at L1-24. If you are that quick, you could switch to a higher /p setting for some time. Act bosses are done at /p3, to maximize their drops. Higher /p settings just cost time while you could get as many XP in later areas at /p1, but with loot of a higher quality. Besides, drops from random bosses and half of the predetermined ones are independent from /p settings anyway and they are who give you most of the good stuff.

    Step 2: When reaching the Countess, roll up a map with a short way to her (switch to normal and back to nightmare to reset the map). Visit her until you have the runes for Stealth, Lore and Rhyme, as well as (assuming the runeword mod) Spirit and Insight. On the way to her, have a look for 4 socket polearms (preferably exceptional or even better, ethereal as well) and 4 socket swords (preferable with low reqs). The socketables for the other runewords can be bought in normal act 1 or 2, in case you haven't found good stuff yourself. Doing this at /p1 will maximize rune drops.

    Step 3: Reach nightmare Mephisto, roll up a map with a short way to him, switch tp /p3 and visit him let's say 500 times while wearing as much MF stuff as you can wear without being slowed down too much. That will give you a lot of the basic gear. Applying the moat trick (lure Meph to the moat, teleport to the other side, kill him from afar, preferably without stirring up other monsters there) makes this a pretty safe thing, but get the merc killed before visiting him, he will spoil it. Also pick up stuff which sells for much gold because you will need lots of mana potions at first.

    Step 4: Proceed to hell Meph, do the same here. This will give you more advanced basic gear. Inbetween you could proceed to act 5 and rescue Anya which will give you all quest rewards that are useful at this point or be through with all quests and finish hell mode. You can stop Meph runs for now once you have stuff like Oculus, shako or the like, but you might come back to him if you need basic gear for other chraracters as well.

    Step 5: Tunnels (below the Lost City in act 2), followed by Pindleskin, ad inifinitum.
     
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  4. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    I've never found anything beyond Gul in LK, but perhaps 20 of them elsewhere, so I think you usually find enough of them while looking for stuff in L85 areas. However, there are people who played much more in SP than me and I guess it takes longer to be satisfied with rune finds than with to with anything else :)
     
  5. helvete

    helvete Diabloii.Net Member

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    Blizz sorcs are different in the sense that they don't rely on high runes at all. Perhaps CtA on switch, but it's hardly mandatory.

    I'd listen to @krischan and just power through (almost) as fast as possible, while paying respect to the lvl 25 thing.

    Hell meph could in theory be ran as early as lvl 41 (not in HC because you'd need to die a lot to prevent leveling further) when not getting a rush. What I'm trying to say is that with the right map, you'll be completely safe even with -100 all res and base life. Once you get to hell meph, you can deck out your character pretty good for the rest of the game with relative ease.
     
  6. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    What the others said :).

    Early on, mana shortage will be your biggest enemy. To counter that, sapphires and tirs in as many sockets as possible are your best friend. You don't really need much in terms of defensive stats if you kill fast enough, so really go for mana and mpk.

    Charged bolt is the perfect killer early on. At lvl 24 respec to Blizzard and never look back.

    Good luck.
     
  7. PhineasB

    PhineasB Diabloii.Net Member

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    Welcome back @JacobMiller! I'd recommend what @T72on1 suggests for early skill before respec, and agree with @krischan and @helvete on general approach -- runewords aren't as important for blizz sorc. Good luck!
     
  8. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    I think that at L24, blizzard is still significantly worse than charged bolt, so I wouldn't respec before L30.

    Regarding mana consumption, I suggest to invest a bit into synergies and a small bit into cold mastery before maximizing blizzard itself. Synergies and cold mastery provide more damage without extra mana costs. At the time you get blizzard, you probably have invested 20 points into cold skills which will serve as synergies, so I would invest let's say 10 points into blizzard, five in cold mastery (the first point right at L30) and from that point on, perhaps 2 in synergies and one in cold mastery per point in blizzard.

    Some people say it's not worth having cold mastery beyond L17 (-100% res). I think that's wrong, as monsters can have cold resistance, in particular in hell mode. Increasing the synergy bonus from let's say 250% to 300% is just 1/8 more damage while having -150% res instead of -100% is a heck of a lot more, in particular versus those with cold resistance. I would bring it to -195% (L36 when having no -res gear) which is certainly possible, so everything but cold immunes is at its minimum of -100% cold resist.
     
  9. Albatross

    Albatross Diabloii.Net Member

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    I'll try to add a bit to all of this good advice.

    After a restart my goal is to reach act 5's 1st waypoint while being level 25 as fast as possible.

    Then I proceed to run eldritch on p8. There is a nook in the rocks on the right side where you can position yourself and the merc so that no more than 2 minions at a time can attack you. This will make it easy to kill them safely.

    You can get to level 40+ very fast this way, then you do normal baals to 50 and proceed to nightmare.
     
  10. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    I don't think @krischan said CM will break immunities. He suggests -195% CR because that will bring any non-immune to -100% CR.

    I'd agree with you about Infinity on about every character. For a Blizz sorc not much so, due to CM decreasing CR as well. I got my Blizz Sorc to 98, so spent quite some time on her, and the difference between using Infinity or something else was small. That was when running Chaos. IIRC @Pb_pal tried different setups as well and came to the same conclusion. It obviously depends on your target. For AT for example it's totally not worth it, and you are better off with the convencience of Insight. For Travincal runs I did use Infinity, because Insight isn't really needed, and breaking the CI Council member (always one, sometimes two) makes a big difference on such runs.

    But ymmv of course :).
     
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  11. JacobMiller

    JacobMiller Diabloii.Net Member

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    Thanks!!
     
  12. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    FYI: When starting from scratch, there are a whole lot of things to obtain before making an expensive runeword like Infinity. I think I played SP for two years before I did that.
     
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  13. GooberGrape

    GooberGrape Diabloii.Net Member

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    I still don't have Infinity, and only a couple of my builds would even benefit from it. Insight however sees a LOT of use, it's hard to beat infinite mana.
     
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  14. Southpaw8668

    Southpaw8668 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Quote from AS: "Cold Mastery will not work against monsters that are Immune to Cold. So even if you have Enemy Resistance -105%, they will still be Cold Immune and you will still be unable to damage them. So what's the point of 100%+ you might ask? Well if they are NOT Cold Immune, it will lower their Cold Resistance down below 0% which essentially means they will take more damage. It's just like when *you* have negative resistances in Nightmare/Hell difficulty."
    Perhaps I'm reading your statement incorrectly, but CM never directly increases cold damage. You are correct in stating that if their CR is higher than your CM -% then they will receive zero cold damage from your spells.
     
  15. GooberGrape

    GooberGrape Diabloii.Net Member

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    I can see the benefit of Conviction breaking immunes and Cold Mastery taking them to -100%. That's actually pretty clever.
     
  16. PhineasB

    PhineasB Diabloii.Net Member

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    For what it's worth, I think Conviction makes a big difference for bosses that get CI due to auras, enchanted, etc. Those can be tough when questing through Hell (in my experience).

    For my untwinked 99er sorc, she just got Infinity, and her CS runs are much smoother, largely due to fewer bosses ending up cold immune (plus, I assume, dropping non-immune all the way to -100CR). @Pb_pal did some testing and concluding Infinity sped up CS runs by ~15% compared to Insight. It won't break regular Oblivion Knights (much less bosses), but it breaks most CI Balrog bosses and, I think, all finger mage bosses.

    I will also give a +1 for value of Infinity for physical damage builds. I ended up preferring it over Reapers later on in my 7x7 for most characters. This was due to significant impact on chance to hit, especially for characters that struggled to get up their AR in late Hell due to skills they were using. Hitting > 90% of the time significantly improves damage per second and survivability (given leech) if the character might otherwise have a low or middling chance to hit. And the crushing blow and solid damage makes the merc formidable, especially if you're using a helm with leech or Chains of Honor for armor.
     
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  17. helvete

    helvete Diabloii.Net Member

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    Largely depends on what you're doing, what the goal is, and which players setting is used.

    My choices:
    For leveling, assuming /p8 and CS or AT: Infinity any day.
    For questing/rushing: Insight most any day
    For AT/CS MF, assuming /p1 and not HC: Insight any day, if you can live with skipping PI/CI bosses.

    Don't know if Infinity will break the cold mages in baal wave 2, but if it does, I'd probably use it there.
     
  18. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    I basically agree to helvete, but I wouldn't use Infinity on a cold sorc even when leveling. I think that endless mana saves more time for her than additional killing power. You can probably break those few cold-immune bosses (I haven't tried it so far), but there are few enough of them to let the merc finish them up while your sorc kills the minions and then pins the boss to a wall with telekinesis.

    I think the best characters for Infinity on a merc are lightning-based ones because most LI monsters can be broken with it. Conviction also lowers enemy defense which makes it useful for summon necros as well, but they wouldn't be my first choice.
     
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  19. JacobMiller

    JacobMiller Diabloii.Net Member

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    Just got to lvl24 and got blizzard. I have 14 unspent skill points. Should I wait for level 30 and go CM and Blizz till there gone or pump ice blast now?
     
  20. PhineasB

    PhineasB Diabloii.Net Member

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    I recommend pumping synergies for now, as it does not impact mana cost of blizzard while increasing damage. Good luck!
     

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