SP Assassain queries + random stuff

ElmoCorruptsChildren

Diabloii.Net Member
SP Assassain queries + random stuff

I've been working on finishing the game w/ all character classes, 4 down and 3 to go. Lately I've been working on a melee assassain, which I'm hoping will work but doesn't look like she'll go too far. Currently in A1 in Hell, she's approximately lvl 75, using Firelizard's, but ultimately trying to level up enough to use the entire Natalya set. Other items: Stormshield, Soul Drainers (weaken? useful?), String of Ears, Raven Frost, probably Manald Heal. I've maxed Tiger Strike and Claw Mastery, and pretty much have one or a few skill points invested so I had access to the skills I would think most meleers use. My Shadow Master's only at lvl 3 WITH +to skills, and WoI and LS are maybe at 5 w/skills.

I've been having trouble clearing out big packs of enemies, as well as killing PIs. I JUST found Atma's Scarab, so having the chance to cast Amp Damage will help out in both cases. However, I've got 25+ skill points to use, and I don't know where to allocate them. I could max a trap and put the rest into my Shadow... good idea? Also, is using Natalya's set worth it in the end, or would I be better off with another weapon/armor/helm/boots? I've got some decent gear she could use (Arkane's Valor @ lvl85, Harle's Crest, whatever the boots are that give %crushing blow, and Tiamat's Rebuke for PIs), but not really any better weapons besides Firelizards, Bartuc's, and Nat's weapon. Or... will this build simply not work, since basically all I do is Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, normal attack? Should I add in the finishing move that does fire damage just in case?

And here's for the random questions... sorry, long post. I've been playing the game for years, but still don't know certain things. For instance, my Assassain is has a chance to cast Weaken. It drops damage done by 33%, but is that physical damage only, or does that include magical attacks, as well? Second, if I have a mace-class weapon w/the inherent bonus of 150% undead damage and I come across an undead PI, do I still not do any physical damage? Third, do the Assassain's skills LS and WoI hit multiple enemies at once so long as they're in the same line, or is it a single enemy hitting skill only?

I've probably got a bunch of other stuff I've forgotten, but I guess that's a long enough post already, eh? Thanks in advance, and good luck in your item hunting, y'all!
 

Quickdeath

Diabloii.Net Member
You've asked some specific questions that are pretty hard. I'm sure Forum experts will start to answer some of them (I believe that Weaken only reduces Physical damage but someone more expert than I will comment.)

I had a couple of comments on your build.

Shadow Master - get him up to at least lvl 17 and I would recommend 20 points. Not only does he get all the best gear at lvl 17, but the level of the skills he uses = 1/3 the level of the shadowmaster + 1/2 the level at which you have the skill. Shadow Masters are not just tanks, they can be effective killers in Hell.

Dragon Tail - if you have maxed TS, then consider maxing DT. Remember that that the damage of the Dragon Tail kick is the product of the DT damage factor and the entire damage of the TS charges. This is one of the few combinations of skills where the enhanced damage factors are multiplicatively combined, rather than additively combined. Also, the DT kick has an area of effect of 4 yards -so a single kick after three TS charges can kill an entire pack of monsters.
 

ElmoCorruptsChildren

Diabloii.Net Member
I knew the Amazon's Valk gets better items, therefore better mods, at and beyond lvl 17, but the Shadow Master, too? Cool. It's too bad she's too dang stupid to pick one skill and go with it. It's all too often I see five or six orbs floating around her, and she decides to lay down a couple traps and then runs away.

however, I have to be a little more selective about what I can and can't max. Right now I've got 25 skill points to burn, and will eventually have MAYBE 10 more WAAAAY later, but I need to specialize in one skill and then move on to another that probably will never reach lvl20. Both those ideas were decent enough, but which should I invest in FIRST?

Oh, second question, do the Masters have any form of life leech or life regeneration like your hirelings do? I don't care if I have to keep recasting her; that's essentially how I made it through Hell with my Bowazon, but merely curious. Thanks again. Anyone else have anything more to add?
 

Summoned

Diabloii.Net Member
ElmoCorruptsChildren said:
Oh, second question, do the Masters have any form of life leech or life regeneration like your hirelings do? I don't care if I have to keep recasting her; that's essentially how I made it through Hell with my Bowazon, but merely curious. Thanks again. Anyone else have anything more to add?
The life regeneration is automatic, just as it is for valkyries and skeletons and mercenaries, how much? I don't know. The shadow master may also spawn with weapons that have life leech in them, or in the case when she is down to low health, she will (smart for a minion) use cobra strike to try and refill her life bar before dying. Another thing about shadow master is that she will always try to attack the same target that you're fighting. For example, you're a screen away from a shaman and your shadow master is somewhere else as well, you throw a psychic hammer at the shaman, and almost instantly, you'll see a dragon filght and the SM will be right on top of that shaman. Pretty nifty for AI. :D
 

ElmoCorruptsChildren

Diabloii.Net Member
Hahaha, I KNEW I would think of something. Sorry for the multiple posts, but it's better to get what I want to ask out now so more people can mull it over.

Sockets. I got 'em and I don't know what to put in 'em. 1 in whatever weapon I'll be using (still pending on suggestions from the board) and 3 in Nat's armor. My resists right now... not so good, though I'm used to it, kinda. Poison's fine, fire's about 25, cold -1, lit -6. Once I am able to use Nat's weapon, tho, add 50 to all and it'll be sufficient, I think. It'll be a while to get 4 lvls... I'll have to clear the first couple acts over and over and over and... you get it. But it'lll go quickly, so long as I don't abandon her and go for my Concentrate barb, also another first time hell runner (well, first SUCCESSFUL hell runner). I've got runes up to Mal, and a few +28% ED jewels.

Also, if you socket something with a Hel, it reduces reqs by 15/20% depending on where you put it. Stupid question, I know, but do the level requirements drop, too, or just strength/dex reqs? And weird question, since I'm at it; will the Unique Ogre Axe always be etheral and indestructable, or did my buddy and I both have mad strange luck to get the same item w/ same mods?

OK, I'm done now, I promise. Paz.
 

ElmoCorruptsChildren

Diabloii.Net Member
Maybe it's not Indestructable... I just give it to my merc and it never wears down. But maybe what I should have asked was, Is it always etheral? I don't believe d2.net reports it like that, but not all their stats are reliable. ie, the fact they have listed Merman's Sprocket Wyrmhide Boots, which someone told me doesn't exist.
 

San

Diabloii.Net Member
If you're playing 1.10, at a player setting higher then 1, you will not kill anything with unsynergized lvl 5 traps. Those points were wasted..

I'd probably max Venom. The damage is really good at higher levels, if pre-buffed.
You should go shop at Anya for a while, to get two claws with +3 skills to Shadow Disciplines. Then with a couple of other +skills you'll have

Venom - lvl 28
Mana cost: 12
Duration: 228 Seconds
Poison duration: 0.4 Seconds
Poison damage: 655 - 675 (ø665)

This will really help against PI's.

...and with those claws, you'll only need 11 points in SM (minus the points you get from other equipment/charms) to reach slvl 17.
 

Serdash

Diabloii.Net Member
I noticed nobody mentioned this yet, but I would like to know a couple of things.

1) What are your skill/stat placements at the moment? It would be much easier to determine how to help out. Unless I missed them in a previous post(kinda scanned through).

2) If you don't have it already, a few(or better yet, 20) points in Death Sentry will increase your kill-speed TONS. It's one of the most effective skills an assassin can use. Get one or two corpses down, toss a sentry or two out, and you clear just about everything else. Assuming you play on /players 1 that is.

3) Cloak of Shadows is your best friend in heavily crowded areas of monsters. Especially if it has a lot of archers. Use it as often as you need to keep monsters at bay, and make sure you let the full effect wear off before you move on to the next pack. That's how I do it, at least.
 

Rugruth

Diabloii.Net Member
Your resists are too low for hell. Once you get to ACT3 the elemental damage will be a pain. Use the sockets of nat's armor for that. Even with ral ort and thul runes you will raise the 3 main resists.

You should max at least lighting resist, and fire resist its a good idea to max too.

Dtail/Tstrike/DS is a fast killing machine, but it needs some practice.

Forget about might merc, the bonus of tstrike will nullify its usefulness. Something like HF merc or defiance would be nice.
 

ElmoCorruptsChildren

Diabloii.Net Member
Hmmm... people are generally telling me that... well, I sucked when I was allocating previous skill points. That's okay; I've got plenty of defunct characters, and they all helped me learn a thing or two. And if I have the time and patience, I can always create another Assy that's pretty much at the same level within a week.

Stat allocation will be fuzzy, considering I'm not at my 'puter, but they're something like this:

Str: 155ish - enough to equip Stormshield
Dex: 130-140 - random guess, but it's enough to have 75% block
Vit: 110 - I think from here on out, this is all I'll invest in, except enough dex to keep my block up
Energy: ...You know, I have no idea. I don't think it's base, since I figured on maxing a trap eventually, but It's not all that high... maybe 50?
With extra mods on weapon/armor stuff, I'm probably not changed all that much... I think some of Nat's stuff gives some str and dex... stormshield? Soul Drainers? Just don't remember. Just take it all at face value and criticize me from there...

Thanks, everyone, for trying to help me out; it's all super appreciated. All the suggestions are duly noted, but I can't help but notice that no one has really agreed with another person's ideas... there's a lot of ideas, but no seconds or thirds about any one idea. I guess that comes with the territory, since there are about a zillion ways to play any one character.

So here's my feedback: 1)I've never had luck with poison skills, but I'd give venom a try if someone else says it's a great killer. And does having poison charms help the damage? (I only keep one ever on my characters to keep monsters' life regeration at bay, no more, but maybe I'll have to be on the look out for some now)
2) Socketing my armor with resist runes was never my first choice, even knowing that they should be higher, but I always tend to play with low resists; even my Barbs, who are so easy to max resists, are always lacking. However, if there's nothing better to put in there I might entertain the idea. ED jewels not a good idea?
3) Charged Sentry? Is this the best trap to use? if so, someone was right, I DID waste those points in WoI and LS, but... well, now I know better. it's not like I use them anyway; right again, they're too weak, but I had planned on maxing one of them in the end. Guess I should have done a bit more research.
4) Still looking for a good rune for a weapon. If I'm going to start having to use Cloak of Shadows more often, then maybe I should think about something that ups attack speed, but will it make much of a difference?
5) If I wanted to keep my character as a meleer and not rely on any traps, it's already been stated that I might try Venom to get some damage. From here, I've got two choices: strenghtening my Shadow Master or starting to use the fire-attributed finishing move. Or forget Venom, max the finisher, and put whatever I have left into my Master? ...it's too much to keep straight, man!

So, I'm getting some good feedback, but I'd like to have a little more feedback on other people's ideas... what works, what doesn't, how your momma's doing... stuff like that. Again, thanks for taking time out for me. hopefully I'll be able to do the same for one of you in the future! (except that you're all masters and I'm struggl-ING)

edit: If I'm wearing Atma's Scarab (chance to cast amp damage) and Soul Drainers (chance to cast weaken), the curses can't stack, can they? If not, I'll need different gloves... not much for me to choose from besides these and Laying of Hands... maybe I'll have to start crafting for some +to skills...
 

San

Diabloii.Net Member
You can forget traps. Due to 1.10's twinking in synergies, the amount of life on monsters was also twinked heavily. It's damn slow making a melee/trapper without it becoming either:
A trapper that has ~20 skill points in claw master or some thing
or
A meleesin with ~20 skill points in a trap.

Those 20 skill point's can be spent to strengthen the main route.

Even if you maxed one trap, it wouldn't be enough without one or two maxed synergies.


As for the poison charm question, don't use them with Venom, they mess up the damage, since the poison's time on Venom is only 0.4 seconds, while on charms it's usually several seconds.
 

Gouda

Diabloii.Net Member
ElmoCorruptsChildren said:
Str: 155ish - enough to equip Stormshield
Dex: 130-140 - random guess, but it's enough to have 75% block
Vit: 110 - I think from here on out, this is all I'll invest in, except enough dex to keep my block up
Energy: ...

So here's my feedback: 1)I've never had luck with poison skills, but I'd give venom a try if someone else says it's a great killer. And does having poison charms help the damage? (I only keep one ever on my characters to keep monsters' life regeration at bay, no more, but maybe I'll have to be on the look out for some now)
I don't really like the usual poison skills either, but due to the very short duration of venom it works more like a normal added elemental damage. So yes definately usefull. It will require maxing the skill, since there is no point in using just a bit of poison. Another option is indeed a finisher/charge up skill.

ElmoCorruptsChildren said:
2) Socketing my armor with resist runes was never my first choice, even knowing that they should be higher, but I always tend to play with low resists; even my Barbs, who are so easy to max resists, are always lacking. However, if there's nothing better to put in there I might entertain the idea. ED jewels not a good idea?

ED jewels are not the best plan, i always have maxed resist before anything else, but i do play hardcore, so dying is extremely painfull for me...

ElmoCorruptsChildren said:
3) Charged Sentry? Is this the best trap to use? if so, someone was right, I DID waste those points in WoI and LS, but... well, now I know better. it's not like I use them anyway; right again, they're too weak, but I had planned on maxing one of them in the end. Guess I should have done a bit more research.
For a melee assassin the only trap worth considering IMHO is death sentry. Here the damage you do is not related to the investment in skill points, but the HP of the corpses that are located around the trap. So yes your points in the traps sofar are mostly wasted. Having traps is not necessary anyway.

ElmoCorruptsChildren said:
4) Still looking for a good rune for a weapon. If I'm going to start having to use Cloak of Shadows more often, then maybe I should think about something that ups attack speed, but will it make much of a difference?
German weapon speed calc is your friend. Remember that you can't use BoS when using venom (I think)

ElmoCorruptsChildren said:
5) If I wanted to keep my character as a meleer and not rely on any traps, it's already been stated that I might try Venom to get some damage. From here, I've got two choices: strenghtening my Shadow Master or starting to use the fire-attributed finishing move. Or forget Venom, max the finisher, and put whatever I have left into my Master? ...it's too much to keep straight, man!
My advice: get two +3 shadow skill claws, dump enough points in shadowmaster that you'll have a lvl 17 shadowmaster with those claws.
After that select one skill and max that. Maybe phoenix strike? No clue about Martial arts, so you'll have to decide that for yourself.
I wouldn't use venom, but use burst of speed or fade instead, which should be around lvl 10, with all your + skills, so a nice boost to your lacking resistances.

ElmoCorruptsChildren said:
edit: If I'm wearing Atma's Scarab (chance to cast amp damage) and Soul Drainers (chance to cast weaken), the curses can't stack, can they? If not, I'll need different gloves... not much for me to choose from besides these and Laying of Hands... maybe I'll have to start crafting for some +to skills...
Try gambling for a +3 shadow amulet. You can kep it in your inventory/stash for casting you shadow master/fade/whatever. Circlets can also get +3 shadow skills, so that could be your next target.


Have fun,

Gouda
 
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