Runeword Preparation and Item Improvement

RedRockRun

Diabloii.Net Member
I've been doing a lot of research into cube stuff since starting D2 again (having not bothered with any of it when LoD first launched), and I'm a bit confused about prepping items for runewords. According to every resource I've found you can make low quality items normal, but I also remember reading something somewhere about stats improving from using superior normal items. Is there a way to turn a white item into the superior version?

Similarly I was looking up ethereal items (having run across some posts where people were wishing there was a "turn item ethereal" quest and found another tidbit about upgrading Dimensional Blades to Phase Blades. Was I reading this wrong in that you can upgrade white normal>exceptional>elite? Or is this only possible with rares and elites?

Also on the subject of runeword prep are there any specific gear types I ought to be looking for? Circlets seem all the rage for reason I haven't figured out yet, but does that only extend to gambling/imbues?

Sorry; I'm sure these question or a version of it has been asked many times. I've been reading three guides up and down, and a lot of this stuff is blurring together. Perhaps I should stop being so obsessed with runewords; they just seem so cool .__. Also I'm still running player8 NM and don't think I ought to bother with MF until Hell.
 

jiansonz

Diabloii.Net Member
Nope, you can't turn regular white items into Superior ones, you must find them Superior.
(In some cases, a superior item may not worth the bother, as repair costs can go up a lot, especially for items with staffmods (+ to individual skills). Depends on the item, of course - e.g. if it's for a runeword that is planned for a merc it won't lose durability so would never need repairs)

You can only upgrade rares and uniques. Normal -> Exceptional -> Elite. Some people imbue ethereal Crystal Swords and Dimensional Blades, hoping for some huge +damage and other good mods, then upgrade to a Phase Blade (which can't drop as ethereal due to not having any durability).

Circlets can spawn with a whole host of other abilities that other helms can't, plus the affix level is counted differently so it's easier to get good affixes earlier (i.e. at lower item level) on them. It's generally worth it to ID all the circlet types you find in the field as well, you never know...
Other helm types can't compete with them, except for some set/unique/runeworded ones.
 

RedRockRun

Diabloii.Net Member
I actually haven't seen any magic circlets at all, or if I have then they've have forgettable affixes. Just to be clear however, there's no special benefit to runewording a circlet? Just ID and gamble?

Why would Phase Blades have 0 durability if they were to drop as ethereal? Is that unique to Phase Blades?
 

jiansonz

Diabloii.Net Member
I actually haven't seen any magic circlets at all, or if I have then they've have forgettable affixes. Just to be clear however, there's no special benefit to runewording a circlet? Just ID and gamble?
Nope, for runewords, several other helm types have better Defense and still reasonable STR requirement.

Why would Phase Blades have 0 durability if they were to drop as ethereal? Is that unique to Phase Blades?
Items that can't break will never spawn ethereal (with the exception of a few 'always-ethereal' uniques), so any magical or rare item with the 'of the Ages' (= indestructible) mod can't spawn ethereal. Phase Blades simply do not have any durability parameter (the durability line in the item description text isn't there at all) and they can't spawn ethereal either. Ethereal magical/rare items can spawn with self-repair, though.
 

RedRockRun

Diabloii.Net Member
...unless you're a Barbarian or Necromancer. :)
(in my opinion, at least)
How can you not swoon at the flowing silver locks of the Necromancer?

Items that can't break will never spawn ethereal (with the exception of a few 'always-ethereal' uniques), so any magical or rare item with the 'of the Ages' (= indestructible) mod can't spawn ethereal. Phase Blades simply do not have any durability parameter (the durability line in the item description text isn't there at all) and they can't spawn ethereal either. Ethereal magical/rare items can spawn with self-repair, though.
As a quick aside, why is eth bugging accepted (unless I misread the faq) on the SPF? So the benefit to using ethereals is that they have higher base stats and can be eth bugged? What's the long term strat there: have a stock of Orts? For instance I've been seeing a lot of ethereal circlets dropping and am not entirely sure what I ought to be doing with them. I'm nowhere close to getting runes need for higher level headgear runewords, and as far as I know I can't cube a magic armor piece like you can with weapons.
 

maxicek

Moderator Single Player
1.10+ eth bugging when originally found (around 2007) was thought to get a game related bug, but it was later found to be an ATMA bug. By then the genie was out the bottle though.

So the moderators had a choice - incorporate the practice into accepted gameplay or make half the forum do a restart, or probably just leave. Not an easy choice for anyone to make.

It is easy to say with the benefit of hindsight people should have known etc., but at the time runes were much rarer so experimentation was much less.

At the end of the day, nobody is forcing you to do it if you don't want to.
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
To be clear: eth bugged items don't need to be repaired anymore, so no need for Orts (or Rals, for that matter). The end result of eth bugging is an item is that it's ethereal, but indestructible.
 

RedRockRun

Diabloii.Net Member
Ah I see. That's quite the bug then.

Unrelated, but I upgraded Wall of the Eyeless from normal to exceptional and while I don't see a change in the in-game portrait gomule shows it having changed.
 

zoo

Diabloii.Net Member
Unrelated, but I upgraded Wall of the Eyeless from normal to exceptional and while I don't see a change in the in-game portrait gomule shows it having changed.
I upgraded a Twitchthroe (studded leather) the other day and the portrait changed to what looks like a green Iron Pelt (trellised armor). My thought then was that maybe all upgraded uniques somehow inherit the skin of the higher version unique but still retain the same colour. With this in mind it would be interesting to see if a upgraded Wall of the Eyeless looks anything like a Lidless Wall.
 

RedRockRun

Diabloii.Net Member
I upgraded a Twitchthroe (studded leather) the other day and the portrait changed to what looks like a green Iron Pelt (trellised armor). My thought then was that maybe all upgraded uniques somehow inherit the skin of the higher version unique but still retain the same colour. With this in mind it would be interesting to see if a upgraded Wall of the Eyeless looks anything like a Lidless Wall.
I hadn't thought of that, but you're right. On gomule it's the same portrait as Lidless Wall. I just wish the appearance changed in-game. That being said, I also upgraded Tarnhelm a few days ago, and its appearance changes in-game; I wonder why this works with some pieces and not others.
 

zoo

Diabloii.Net Member
I hadn't thought of that, but you're right. On gomule it's the same portrait as Lidless Wall. I just wish the appearance changed in-game. That being said, I also upgraded Tarnhelm a few days ago, and its appearance changes in-game; I wonder why this works with some pieces and not others.
My observation is based on in-game appearance only since I don't use GoMule (or any other third party software for that matter). Kind of odd that it works this way for some items and not for others. I feel some investigation is in order, though of what I can tell not many items have their own unique skin in this game.
 

zoo

Diabloii.Net Member
Why would you upgrade items like Tarnhelm and Wall of the Eyeless?
Well, to upgrade from normal to exceptional only costs 1 Tal Rune + 1 Shael Rune + 1 Perfect Diamond for armor and stat requirement for the new items aren't very high. I guess it comes down to a) it's possible and b) it's fun. :)
 

krischan

Europe Trade Moderator
Shields may also get a higher blocking value when upgraded. However, the level req of a Tarnhelm or Wall of the Eyeless will go up to 30 then.
 

RedRockRun

Diabloii.Net Member
Why would you upgrade items like Tarnhelm and Wall of the Eyeless?
I don't know much about the game. I don't get many uniques because since I've yet to get a character on Hell and assemble a high MF set. Also runes drop more frequently while in player8, so I figure that instead of hoarding everything I get thinking everything will always be too good to use, I'll instead embrace the transitory. I'll eventually get more Tals, Shaels, and Perfect Diamonds, so I don't see the big deal about some minor, short-term upgrades.

Granted, I probably won't upgrade them to elite since by the time I have Lums and Puls I'll probably also have found better uniques. I may upgrade Goblin Toe to elite if I don't find better shoes however. The CB seems nice for my barbar.
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
It doesn't hurt to upgrade, since the runes are cheap and in this case the requirements still stay low. The only thing you get out of it is some extra defense though, which is next to useless.
 

RedRockRun

Diabloii.Net Member
It doesn't hurt to upgrade, since the runes are cheap and in this case the requirements still stay low. The only thing you get out of it is some extra defense though, which is next to useless.
Is this the case with all upgraded uniques in that only defense goes up on armor?
 

zoo

Diabloii.Net Member
By upgrading her Bloodfist gloves my Amazon increased her defense rating by 10% yesterday. :)
 
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