Shopping Java Equipment: Anya vs. Charsi

art_vandelay

Diabloii.Net Member
Since there was some interest in this in the IFT I thought I would write something up. Recently I started shopping Java Gear, i.e. 3/20s and Facet Shields and I wanted to know where I would get them the fastest. To this end I conducted some tests which I'll get into now.

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Facts and Assumptions
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Some assumptions I made along the way:
1) Only Anya, Charsi and Gheed are worth considering because of the possibility of having a red portal next to them. (Online this would also make Larzuk a possibility, at the cost of 3 keys)
2) Items of interest are 3/20 gloves and 3/4os shields of deflecting. The only 4os shields that we get from Anya are Wards and the best 3os shield available in the game is a tower shield (highest base block, str req < enigma str at clvl ~80) which Hell Charsi can sell.
3) A 3os facet shield of deflecting is very much a reasonable thing to create, especially if Griffon's Eye is not available.
4) Strength requirements on gloves are worth considering: Crusader Gauntlets - 151 Str ; Ogre Gauntlets - 185 Str . These will cost you life if you go for a light facet shield as in 3) .
5) Shield weight is irrelevant on a Java as you natively have +75% FRW (Enigma + Titan's) and potentially more from boots.
[6) Gauntlets and Wards/Monarchs are not exactly popular for their looks. Charsi offers different looks for gloves and the always popular tower shield optics.]

and some facts:

a) The vendors in Act 1 Hell are bugged. They do NOT have a chance at exceptional and elite upgrades. This is a blessing and a curse as it means that your chances for a Tower shield are not lessened by unwanted upgrades but on the other hand it is also the reason why Charsi can't sell JAoDs which are the third best facet shields after JMoDs (and arguably the best looking ones!).
b) You can place the red portals in Act 1 yourself whereas the one in Act 5 is fixed. This means that you can place it directly on top of the vendor you're targeting and shop them without ever moving.
c) Charsi opens on her weapons tab while Anya opens on her armor tab, making her slightly slower in that regard.

Since finding all of the relevant information per vendor is quite time consuming I excluded Gheed. He feels very close to Charsi in many regards, so maybe he's worth checking out...

I also make no attempts at completeness. It may well be that there are even better ways of obtaining these items. I do not try to find the most optimal circumstances for shopping them but rather compare a few of them (Finding the optimal chances would require me to reprogram the affix calc in excel which is not something I plan on doing ;)).

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Shopping Footage
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This is how I shop at Charsi. The beginning is a little clumsy and generally speaking it becomes better the longer you do it. Also the location of the red portal in relation to Charsi changes the amount of misclicks you do.


I urge you to listen to music while you do this, it will preserve your sanity :D

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Choice of Difficulty
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Due to the affixlevel requirements of 3/20s and Facet Shields the vendors in Normal are all unsuitable since the highest possible shopped ilvl in that difficulty is 45. Additionally only elite shields may obtain 4os so shopping them can only be done in Hell.
1) In Nightmare Charsi can sell Leather/Heavy/Chain gloves and Light Gauntlets while Anya can sell only Gauntlets.
2) In Hell Charsi can sell Light Gauntlets and Gauntlets. As in NM Anya can sell Gauntlets.

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Items per Reset
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I do not know the exact mechanics of vendor screen generation (anyone know the specifics?) but it seems that all the item types that can be sold by that vendor are checked in a specific order and then added to the screen one by one. So Anya would check if her vendor screen contains ancient armors and how many of them before she moves on to check the same for gauntlets. If an item is selected and it doesn't fit on the screen it is simply omitted. At least that is what my experience has been.

Charsi's vendor screen is usually packed with items and sometimes she doesn't display gloves at all. In comparison Anya's vendor screen is much easier to predict and I even guessed the proability for her screen containing a given number of gloves/shields.

I did series of 100 vendor screen resets for each of the items/vendors and noted how often each item appeared per screen. I put all of that in an excel sheet and found average numbers for items per screen as well as the average time it takes to shop them.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jbDBbgDeNkjVr5BGcg26bTp4yaA57P-g8IXuCj4sUzM/edit?usp=sharing

The sheet 'Raw Data' contains my test results and the sheet 'Main' calculates rates of items based on that and your individual 'run times'. The other sheet is my attempt to find out how the amount of items per vendor screen is distributed.

The odds for affix combinations were obtained by using a combination of the german affix calc and the calculator app on my phone. The upgrade chances for items used are from the shopping calculator.

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Conclusions
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For simplicity's sake I assume that we shop at the lowest level possible and that you can reset each of the vendors at the same amount of time (time to walk between anya and portal ~ time to click charsi's armor tab?). In that instance the ranking for gloves as per the sheet is:
Anya H < Anya NM <<< Charsi H < Charsi NM

The case of shields is different as you can't directly compare JWoD with ATSoD. I'll just list both:
1) Shopping ATSoDs at the lowest possible level at Charsi's is absurdly good. Even with 8s refreshes you should get one in less than 4 hours (on average).
2) The chances of a JWoD are absolutely abysmal. Even if you are an absolute god and shop with 4s refresh times (is this even possible?) you would still look at 400 hours on average or to put it differently: over 16 days of non-stop shopping. Yikes! :(

My takeaway from this is: Charsi reigns supreme! :D

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I'd like to hear people's input on this! If you shop a lot at Anya I'd be interested to know your refresh times there as I have basically no experience with her (except shopping resonant javelins once :D )

Maybe someone knows about the Jeweler's prefix on items with max 3os or the vendor screen generation?
 
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Luhkoh

Diabloii.Net Member
Excellent post. Thanks for taking the time to write it out.

Edit: Why does nobody ever seem to consider plain ole 4os faceted monarch? It seems to me if everyones fine giving up block for spirit, and jmod is filthy good, then plain 4os faceted shield with low block would be an excellent option worth considering as well.
 

zemaj

Diabloii.Net Member
Is a Jeweler's Aegis of Deflecting that much more desirable than a Jeweler's Ward of Deflecting? I would have thought JMoD > JWoD > JAoD, simply because Monarch has least stat reqs and is Light Weight, Ward has better blocking but higher reqs and is Medium Weight, Aegis has best blocking, but reqs are killer and is Heavy Weight. Personally, I always thought a JWoD would be best as its middle-ground, and looks stylish af... not that I'd vendor-food any, but it would be my choice...

@Luhkoh
As a stop-gap, sure... 4os Monarch filled with +3/-3 facets. But when it's time to use the +5/-5 facets, I know I wouldn't want to put 4 of those in a plain item.
 

art_vandelay

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks for the positive feedback! :)

@Luhkoh First of all you are certainly right that a 4 facet shield is already an insane boost for any java. In fact the most iconic facet shield I know of doesn't even have block affixes or 4 facets: Behold the most unique magic shield ever!

That being said, the block is probably the best add you can have on such a shield. Physical damage is the hardest damage type to deal with in the game and some of the thoughest enemies dish it out (de Seis pack, Dolls, Witches, Tomb Vipers...) . For every other type except magic you have plenty of options to get resists, integer reduction or absorb. If you are super rich you can even stuff the bottom line of your inventory with res/mf charms for fire or lightning (CS or Baal) and not lose anything in your equip. (This goes double online where pretty much everyone who could own a JMoD gets 40 free res all from their inventory)

On a Java you get 8% damage reduce and I guess 0 PDR with standard equip, that's the extent of your physical damage reduction here. However Block effectively denies 75% of physical damage (roughly...) and comes at the low low price of about 100 dex for a 24% base block shield 'of Deflecting', i.e. 450 life (50% CtA, more is possible). That is a worthwhile trade in my opinion.

For comparison a plain Monarch needs 100 more points in dex for max block than one 'of Deflecting' and you block at 5 frames instead of 4 (for JMoD).

The most reasonable middle ground in my opinion is either the ATSoD which gives style and full block potential at the cost of one socket or the JMoB ('of Blocking') which costs 50 more dex for max block than one 'of Deflecting' and blocks at 4 frames already.

The chances for 'JMoB or JMoD' are slightly higher than two times the chance of a JMoD, so that's somewhat easier to find as well. It should be noted that the affixes for +Str/Dex and +Life can't compete with the straight block affixes in terms of life saved; however the shield linked above saves about 40-50 strength with the -req affix it has (assuming no Spirit switch, e.g. for baal), so that is a very real alternative for block affixes. A Jeweler's Monarch with any of the block affixes or the -req affixes is roughly 3 times as likely as a JMoD, so maybe something worth considering. The overall chance of a magic monarch getting that is one in ~5107 so if we switch the 7 and the 0 and add 1 it is basically a Zod :D

@zemaj You are completely right, I kinda assumed that Aegis had lower Str req than Ward because it's usually listed before it. So yes, JWoD is second best after JMoD. That being said: If any of us found one of the three we probably would'nt care much for the ranking :D


The JAoD would be my choice though. Enigma in Tigulated Mail + JAoD should look sweet! :) For now though my goal is the more reasonable Enigma Ring Mail + ATSoD!
 
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ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
Regarding shields, personally IMO block shields don’t really provide significant upsides on a Java for PvM. For 3os shields, I’d always go with HHG. I also made a 4-facet one in a plain Monarch for her, and as @Luhkoh said that’s a very good choice. While JMoD (or other blues with useful stuff) are of course better, it doesn’t have nearly as much of an impact as it does for characters that actually need the block (and have better FBR). Java is played like a caster, she doesn’t benefit from block any more than for example a Sorc does. In SC PvM it’s pretty irrelevant.
 

Luhkoh

Diabloii.Net Member
@art_vandelay All great stuff and all makes sense. That is a sick shield from frozz. I also am a big block fan, however my question stems from the fact that most jmod-less people main spirit. So to clarify my question, if block is so important, why do people use spirit? If they use a spirit, but wish they had a jmod, why not plain 4os faceted? I never see that mentioned as a good option (until @ffs just chimed in that is, thanks!) and it seems like: while ofc jmod is substantially better, that IF jmod > spirit, then plain faceted monarch must also be > spirit. So was just curious on why its not mentioned as the a huge upgrade from spirit for people who don't plan on being lucky/determined enough to find a 4os shield of deflecting.

edit: and so as a follow up question, are you sure you don't want a plain monarch (or JMoAnything) over JTSoD? :p
 

art_vandelay

Diabloii.Net Member
@Luhkoh That's a very good point. I guess people want to save their perfect facets for the best possible base not realizing that they could have something that is basically as good right now (?).
That being said: Why not spirit on switch for casting and plain monarch on main for damage? That would be better than either!

I primarily want the ATSoD because:
a) Style
b) In RFL round three I want to run Baal/WSK/CS with her and there the block is actually useful. I'll find runes AND level up.
c) I play too recklessly and greedy for no block in general :D

@ffs I agree with your sentiment that Java technically doesn't need block in PvM if your goal is just to run a target regardless of potential deaths. In fact I should have added that it depends entirely on target... Cows and AS don't need it and CS and WSK/Baal arguably do if you want to level in your runs (which is very unlikely in AS).

I can't say how it is with Nihla though... Are Tomb Viper Missiles blockable? If not then there your ideal shield is probably JMoA(micae) which gives 15 PDR.

One more thing: A 4 frame block is very good in comparison to the abismal rates for Sorc, Necro and Druid. Java and Assassin have the second best block rates in the game after HS Pala. Also they receive +5% more class block bonus than the aforementioned three. So I really don't know which these 'characters with better FBR' are :p

@Fruit This is just the tip of the iceberg :D (Always wanted to say that!)
 

Luhkoh

Diabloii.Net Member
@Luhkoh That being said: Why not spirit on switch for casting and plain monarch on main for damage? That would be better than either!
That's exactly what I meant, I'm surprised we don't see that more! I would definitely dump any 3/5's or 4/5's into one and go to town if I had them :p I am one of those people I mentioned who doesn't plan on being lucky/persistent enough for a JXoD :D
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
Block doesn’t help much in WSK or CS either. For Nihl the initial Viper shot can be blocked, but I think the repeated insta-rip clouds cannot, which is what kills you.

Generally she does not have any survival issues related to having block or not, it’s really just nice to have, nothing more. The LPK from HHG for instance does way more for her survivability.

Frozzen's shield is pretty sexy though. However, if you’re going to invest like that, note that the Cham in it is a mistake, should go into Griffon's. This way he gets frozen when on teleport switch, and won’t unfreeze when switching back. May or may not be a big deal to you, but I figured it’s worth stating if you’re exploring shield options. I almost made the same mistake, only realised that issue last minute.
 

art_vandelay

Diabloii.Net Member
@Luhkoh I think we'll have a new perspective on Facet spending after RFL round two :D

@ffs That's good to know about the Vipers!

I still don't fully agree with the statements about CS/WSK since I only really did those intensively with ATSoD in the past, but I'm going to try the no-block anyway and see how it differs for me! Of course I don't know your playstyle, so I have no idea how much our difference in opinions is based on our difference in playstyles.

I will admit that I also favor ATSoD over HHG/Monarch because of style, that's entirely subjective though.

And don't worry about the Cham, I've learned about that in Fabian's pitzerker guide where people discussed using Rune Master if they don't have a Cham to put in their shako. :D
 

Gripphon

Diabloii.Net Member
The more damage output javazon has, the less important block is because she may not have enemies around to block against (at Baal for example, waves are killed before they make first two steps except Lister who can make 3 steps before killed). Don't know about WSK though, worth to be tested with and without the block.
 

Fruit

Diabloii.Net Member
I do not know the exact mechanics of vendor screen generation (anyone know the specifics?) but it seems that all the item types that can be sold by that vendor are checked in a specific order and then added to the screen one by one. So Anya would check if her vendor screen contains ancient armors and how many of them before she moves on to check the same for gauntlets. If an item is selected and it doesn't fit on the screen it is simply omitted. At least that is what my experience has been.
Pretty much. The list is made according to the entries/ids from the txt files, so it will start by checking #0 Hand Axe and continue down until it reaches #305 Matriarchal Javelin. Then it moves on to armor.txt, starting with #306 which is the good ol' Cap, down to #507 Bloodlord Skull.

So that basically ends up being the order by which the game will try to add items to the vendor pages, while skipping them if they're too high qlvl. I assume that if a page is full, then the item will get bumped on to the next page (if one exists), and it would make sense that if there is no more room, it either tries the next item(s), or will just stop completely. (Just theories, I haven't looked at that part.)

You can find the min & max spawns of items for each vendor in the armor.txt and weapons.txt files. Some items have a min of 0 while having a max of 1+, so they won't always show up, even when there is sufficient room.
 

art_vandelay

Diabloii.Net Member
@Fruit That is very interesting! The last part is confusing though: CharsiMin, CharsiMax, CharsiMagicMin and CharsiMagicMax are all empty for Tower shield, so why can she sell it at all? Even more: most vendors have 3 of an item in their screens yet none of the above entries for them are bigger than 2 :confused:

Also how did you find out how the game does this? Insights gained from experience?
 

Fruit

Diabloii.Net Member
@Fruit That is very interesting! The last part is confusing though: CharsiMin, CharsiMax, CharsiMagicMin and CharsiMagicMax are all empty for Tower shield, so why can she sell it at all? Even more: most vendors have 3 of an item in their screens yet none of the above entries for them are bigger than 2 :confused:

Also how did you find out how the game does this? Insights gained from experience?
On Nightmare, it'll first attempt to upgrade to Exceptional, if that fails then the item will be upgraded to whatever the column "NightmareUpgrade" dictates. For Hell it's similar, but it will first try upgrading to Elite, if that fails it'll try Exceptional, if that also fails it will upgrade it to the item in the "HellUpgrade" column. If the column contains "xxx", it won't be upgraded. (You can find these columns at the far end of the txt files.) So in this case, a Buckler will be upgraded to a Tower Shield for Charsi on Hell, so you won't see Bucklers anymore.

Not sure what to think of the second part. Are you sure they were the same item? I've made this mistake with items looking identically, like Katar & Wrist Blade.

Nah, not much experience going on. I rarely shop in fact, it quickly makes me mad. :p I've debugged some vendor functions to get a better understanding of how that all works. But.. not thoroughly enough to know why there would be more items than the maximum should allow. :rolleyes: Were they the same quality? Because regular and magic items are separated, so if the min & max for both regular and magic are 1, you will find 2 of that item total, one normal and one magic.
 

art_vandelay

Diabloii.Net Member
@Fruit I think I partly understand it: Since we're in hell the items all have bigger qlvl/ilvl (don't know which is compared for this) than the CharsiMagicLvl and hence will become magic. Thus you get up to CharsiMax+CharsiMagicMax of that type in Hell (or whenever the magic level is reached).

Buckler is upgraded to Tower Shield and so is Large Shield and they both have a max of 2 per screen which then already accounts for up to 4 tower shields per screen. Now I have witnessed up to 6 in my 100 screens looked at. That means something else must also upgrade to Tower Shield in order for those numbers to make sense. However Small Shield is upgraded to Kite Shield and those do occur in the vendor screen. At 0:12 of my video above you can in fact see 3 Kite shields on display. So for some reason there are 2 Tower Shields too few and at least one Kite Shield too many. At 1:29 there are even 4 Tower Shields and 3 Kite shields, so it seems that the extra two Tower Shields can't be explained by Kite Shields somehow upgrading to them.

Are those vendor functions hard to read?
 

Fruit

Diabloii.Net Member
Are those vendor functions hard to read?
I wouldn't say it's hard, but it's at least tricky. You would be reading the code as Assembly. You should be able to find everything to get started over at d2mods. Can't really discuss too much out in the open (rules), but feel free to PM about it. (I'm a newb, though. :D)
 
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ioupainmax

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice analysis!

I do prefer the looks of the Kite Shield line over the Tower Shield line, but as you say, it's subjective!
 
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