I've been trying a summoner build for the last week or so. I saw a few relevant threads here and thought I'd share my experiences thus far.
I started the character looking for fun variant class - and thought I'd give it a try.
I freely confess I've had little experience with druids prior and I'd read very little about this build prior coming to this forum. Thus don't read into my meanderings below as gospel, im no expert, its just my obervations on what seemed to work.
I came to this forum looking for information on how to actually calculate the damage of my rabid dire wolves. (or more correctly how the enraged bonus, might merc bonus, heart of wolverine bonus, and Grizzly synergy bonus stack on the dire wolf damage.)
I'm on US West currently playing (under the account Ill-Be-Back) a druid summoner called ISummonThee
I've got to level 67 NM Act 5.
I haven't been twinked - and I haven't been rushed.
Yes i have joined in some Travincal / Baal runs when i've made it there.
So far it seems to be a VERY safe build and a pretty fun.
Also it's fared somewhat better than I expected (for a variant curiosity build.)
I've been killed twice:
1st time to Lord de Seis'es pack in NM; some considerate Sorc tele'd in and set off his seal right on top of me. I died instantly. The sorc then nicked my gold and ran. No I didn't add him to my friends list.
2nd time to gloams saving Anya in NM (no shame there).
Yes I haven't visited hell yet - this may be a very different story for the build.
Yes - he doesn't break any records for kill speed, but better is better you might expect.
5 x ravens
1 x spirit wolf
20 x dire wolf
20 x bear
20 x heat of wolverine
I'm undecided what do do with points here on in.
60 Str (enough to carry equip) (could add more if you intend to block - though I usually go bow so more is a waste)
65 dex (enough for throwing spear/bow)
(loads of stat points saved up for a rainy day - I expect the weather in hell to be wet.)
I usually go with direwolves, rather than 1 grizzly. The seem to kill packs faster and survive well enough. Also tactically more useful. Though a grizzly is obviously better able to tank a solo boss. Dires also eat the raisable dead.
I use 3 dire wolves, 5 ravens, heart of wolverine, and might merc
Them seem to survive quite well and kill okay (in games up to 4 people).
If the merc or the HotW carcs it the kill speed drops off.
I love the dires primarily because they're cheap to cast, and you can place them individually positionally. Ie i usually have them + merc bottle up an area then recast 2 wolves behind/next to enemy boss etc to take him out. Works well
Similar tactics to necro minions except 1 respect. You can positionally cast a dire wolf anywhere to want
Bosses: so far my wolves have tanked them quite well. Hardest seemed to be andy NM actually. Her poison seemed to affect the wolves more than Diablo's fire, and if they all go simultaneously you have to scramble a bit to recast them.
With diablo I cowardly stood behind a pillar and just recast 'em till he died. Not a fast fight - but very safe.
A few points in ravens seems pretty damn useful, they blind emeies nicely
Also I read somewhere (nameless source) that they add a hidden synergy of resists to other pets. Certainly they surprising seem to tank elemental damage well - this may be true.
No the dires wont kill fast in large player games - though they make great bait and distraction. And other players do thank you for them. I joined a sorc to do NM ancients. And it was easy. The wolves baited/tanking the ancients giving the sorc ample time to target and eliminate them - and make a cup of tea at the same time. Easiest ancients I have ever done.
I'm currently using a bow skystrike I found, mainly for ranged elemental damage.
Which is wear you run into problems - physical immunes. I have a lightning bow, and a big firey javelin as a counter.
Early on I had a nice throwing spear that did 1-117 lightning damage + amp (lvl 18 req)
Mana is not an issue except early on - use some pots.
I have a tonne of stat points in reserve. I untwinked gear, have lousy resists, and low blocking - but the wolves still seem to provide enough cover and survive. BTW im on 56k dialup from New Zealand - yes I lag alot too.
My equipment is very bad its just what I scavenged. I like an elemental damage weapon and on switch a pre-buff skill weapon. Obviously more +skill and +resists equipment would be the biggest drawcard.
I normally play more in-ur-face type immediate damage chars - so I've had to find some patience and sit back and watch more - and resist the temptation to go up and bash stuff. Just hang back let the pets do the work for you. Spend your time sniping with bow and recasting your pets positionally.
I guess people would call this a hunter build. I freely confess I'm no druid expert, and haven't played druids much before. But as a variant so far the summoner has been better than my expectations. Hell difficulty maybe very different :0)
Especially vs nastier and plentiful physical immunes which are the main problem area.
I have no idea how much damage the wolves actually do, if not sure how its all multipled or in what order. If someone knows please let me know
Factors are the dire wolves +HotW bonus + Grizzly synergy + Might merc
Im looking for a few items with charges and runewords to cast stuff before adventuring there.
Like amp, decrepify, corpse explosion, and attract.
This is my 1st contribution to the forums and hopefully is of interest to someone out there
I cant believe I never got a deng welcome message :hanky:
Anywho, my first druid is/was a werewolf. Last nite I started my pure summoner build. I must say, it's kind of fun, although he doesnt kill as fast as the wolf. But I think he will be less dependant on his equipment.
Anywho, my build will be:
10 Spirit Wolf
20 Dire Wolf
20 Heart of the Wolverine
When I get to Act 2 NM, I will get a Thorns merc. If my summons are tanking, they might as well give back some of the damage. Im at level 23 at the moment, Act 3 normal.
Oh, and someone mentioned casting the wolves during battle to better position them. Ive been doing that with my Werewolf for some time now. Most often on Pindle runs. I run into the building, cast grizzly in the middle of the pack of undead warriors to draw their attention away. Then 2 seconds later, they all die to the Fury :thumbsup: ...