Patriarch Ulysses Classically Themed Smite / Ranger Paladin "I long for home, long for the sight of home. If any god has marked me out again for shipwreck, my tough heart can undergo it. What hardship have I not long since endured at sea, in battle! Let the trial come." The Odyssey, Book 5 I was reading one of the Eternal Champion novels by Michael Moorcock and came across a mention of Ulysses as one of the incarnations. The Odyssey could easily fit in the series as Odysseus (or his Romanisation Ulysses) is the original doomed hero. Ulysses feigned madness in an attempt to be recruited to the Greek cause in the Trojan War. For ten years the Greeks fought outside Troy, then Ulysses wandered for a further ten years before returning home to slay his wife’s suitors, who sought her hand believing him dead. Most of the arms and armour in D2 are based on Medieval European sources, but there are also a number of Greek items, especially the Full Helm and of course the Hyperion Shield. So an idea for a character started to grow. I levelled him to about 45. I lost interest. I made him my glove shopper for crafting. Then just before the RFL I started to work on him again. Equipment On this character the equipment came first, so that is where I’m going to start. “Here is my lord Odysseus' hunting bow. Bend and string it if you can.” I had three possible weapon choices in mind for Ulysses: Pike / Spear - I was thinking about the Greek Phalynx from the time of Alexander The Great. Much later than the Trojan War of course, but just about fitted the theme. Shield and Short Sword - A classic Greek combination, this one had to be included. Bow - It doesn’t really get mentioned until the end of the Odyssey but gets used to grizzly effect: ”So the great soldier took his bow and bent it for the bowstring effortlessly. He drilled the axeheads clean, sprang, and decanted arrows on the door sill, glared, and drew again. This time he killed Antinous.” In the end I chose the short sword and shield with the bow on switch. But the trouble is with the short sword is the low damage. I can’t make any decent runewords in it as it only gets 2os. The uniques are also a low on damage, but Rixot’s Keen does have 25% crushing blow. So I decided to make the sword switch a Smite attack for boss killing. Of course the nice thing about Smite is it requires no AR... And nor does Guided Arrow. Using Widowmaker for the bow meant that I could ignore AR completely, which allowed me to stuff all spare holes and slots for damage output. Weapon: Widowmaker Shield: Arrows Switch Weapon: Rixot's Keen Switch Shield: Exile Vortex Shield Originally I was intending to go with a Sanctuary Hyperion, but found that a Vortex shield actually looks more Greek. That of course opened up Exile, which matched Smite perfectly. I made a new one specially for the character in a non-ethereal base though so it looks correct. Helm: Darksight Helm Armour: Duress Great Hauberk Darksight Helm is a great helm in it’s own right, with Cannot Be Frozen, Mana Leech and Cloak of Shadows charges, but the fact that it also fits the theme perfectly made it the only choice for this build. I could have made a Fortitude Great Hauberk or something, but chose to go old skool with Duress. The crushing blow fitted my sword switch and the FHR was much needed. Belt: Pain Chain crafted blood belt Boots: Gore Rider Gloves: Ghoul Hold crafted blood gloves Amulet: Highlord’s Wrath Ring1: Storm Grasp rare Ring2: Rune Grasp rare I wanted to pack the inventory with as many 1.07 damage charms as possible, so that meant getting as many resists in the belt gloves and rings as possible, so I wouldn’t need to rely on resist charms. I needed 40IAS to hit the maximum attack speed with Guided Arrow, so the gloves and Highlord’s took care of that. Including Widowmaker, Ulysses is at a tasty 79% deadly strike. Inventory: Mainly 1.07 damage charms, a few resists. Equipment Readouts: Spoiler Code: Rixot's Keen Short Sword One Hand Damage: 9 - 14 Durability: 24 of 24 Required Level: 29 Fingerprint: 0x10e37f84 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +20% Increased Attack Speed 100% Enhanced Damage +5 to Minimum Damage 20% Bonus to Attack Rating 25% Chance of Crushing Blow +25 Defense +2 to Light Radius 1 Sockets (1 used) Socketed: Shael Rune Exile Superior Vortex Shield VexOhmIstDol Defense: 671 Chance to Block: 0 Durability: 99 of 99 Required Level: 66 Required Strength: 148 Fingerprint: 0x859d1292 Item Level: ** Version: Expansion 1.10+ 15% Chance to cast level 5 Life Tap on striking Level 14 Defiance Aura When Equipped +2 to Offensive Aura Skills (Paladin Only) +30% Faster Block Rate Freezes target +1 +248% Enhanced Defense Replenish Life +7 +5% to Maximum Cold Resist +5% to Maximum Fire Resist All Resistances +43 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Increase Maximum Durability 10% Repairs 1 Durability in 4 Seconds 4 Sockets (4 used) Socketed: Vex Rune Socketed: Ohm Rune Socketed: Ist Rune Socketed: Dol Rune Widowmaker Ward Bow Two Hand Damage: 70 - 172 Durability: 31 of 48 Required Level: 65 Required Strength: 72 Required Dexterity: 146 Fingerprint: 0xb72f3c71 Item Level: 99 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Fires Magic Arrows 226% Enhanced Damage +5 to Minimum Damage Ignore Target's Defense 33% Deadly Strike +5 to Guided Arrow 1 Sockets (1 used) Socketed: Ruby Jewel of Bliss Ruby Jewel of Bliss Jewel Required Level: 58 Fingerprint: 0xc46a51 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 33% Enhanced Damage +5 to Minimum Damage Darksight Helm Basinet Defense: 250 Durability: 30 of 30 Required Level: 50 Required Strength: 82 Fingerprint: 0xa8422cbb Item Level: 99 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 6% Chance to cast level 3 Dim Vision when struck +26 to Maximum Damage 5% Mana stolen per hit +166 Defense (Based on Character Level) Fire Resist +39% Cannot Be Frozen -4 to Light Radius Level 5 Cloak of Shadows (30/30 Charges) 1 Sockets (1 used) Socketed: Vermilion Jewel of Carnage Vermilion Jewel of Carnage Jewel Required Level: 50 Fingerprint: 0x5344b4cf Item Level: 75 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +26 to Maximum Damage Duress Great Hauberk ShaelUmThul Defense: 1319 Durability: 50 of 50 Required Level: 56 Required Strength: 118 Fingerprint: 0xff7d9328 Item Level: 86 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +40% Faster Hit Recovery 11% Enhanced Damage Adds 37 - 133 Cold Damage Over 2 Secs (50 Frames) 15% Chance of Crushing Blow 33% Chance of Open Wounds +165% Enhanced Defense -20% Slower Stamina Drain Cold Resist +30% All Resistances +15 3 Sockets (3 used) Socketed: Shael Rune Socketed: Um Rune Socketed: Thul Rune Highlord's Wrath Amulet Required Level: 65 Fingerprint: 0x8097018d Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +1 to All Skills +20% Increased Attack Speed Adds 1 - 30 Lightning Damage 31% Deadly Strike (Based on Character Level) Lightning Resist +35% Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 15 Rune Grasp Ring Required Level: 48 Fingerprint: 0x8badefee Item Level: 60 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Adds 3 - 1 Damage +15 to Dexterity +37 to Mana All Resistances +10 Lightning Resist +28% Storm Grasp Ring Required Level: 66 Fingerprint: 0x30dc200e Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +9 to Minimum Damage +84 to Attack Rating +17 to Strength Replenish Life +7 All Resistances +11 Fire Resist +26% Pain Chain Mesh Belt Defense: 38 Durability: 16 of 16 Required Level: 47 Required Strength: 58 Fingerprint: 0x47e161f3 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 12% Chance to cast level 4 Charged Bolt when struck 3% Life stolen per hit 9% Chance of Open Wounds +32 to Life Cold Resist +24% Lightning Resist +20% Gore Rider War Boots Defense: 159 Durability: 34 of 34 Required Level: 47 Required Strength: 94 Fingerprint: 0xb8a0605e Item Level: 99 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +30% Faster Run/Walk 15% Chance of Crushing Blow 15% Deadly Strike 10% Chance of Open Wounds +196% Enhanced Defense +20 Maximum Stamina Requirements -25% +10 Maximum Durability Ghoul Hold Sharkskin Gloves Defense: 34 Durability: 14 of 14 Required Level: 57 Required Strength: 20 Fingerprint: 0xd39be350 Item Level: 91 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +20% Increased Attack Speed Adds 1 - 5 Fire Damage 3% Life stolen per hit 8% Chance of Crushing Blow +20 to Life Lightning Resist +26% 21% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0x4cc0b1a6 Item Level: ** Version: Expansion +20 to Maximum Damage Serrated Grand Charm of Quality Grand Charm Required Level: 31 Fingerprint: 0x69340324 Item Level: 93 Version: Expansion +28 to Maximum Damage Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0x23b7c7d4 Item Level: ** Version: Expansion +20 to Maximum Damage Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0xc2cb847 Item Level: 63 Version: Expansion +20 to Maximum Damage Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0x7dd49455 Item Level: ** Version: Expansion +20 to Maximum Damage Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0x573f4f3c Item Level: 91 Version: Expansion +20 to Maximum Damage Shimmering Small Charm Small Charm Required Level: 25 Fingerprint: 0x16d4cc74 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ All Resistances +4 Shimmering Small Charm Small Charm Required Level: 25 Fingerprint: 0x1af59113 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ All Resistances +5 Shimmering Small Charm Small Charm Required Level: 25 Fingerprint: 0x2bb85a73 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ All Resistances +4 Jade Small Charm of Vita Small Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0x8cf82d6b Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +17 to Life Poison Resist +8% Jade Small Charm of Vita Small Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0xfe5180ca Item Level: ** Version: Expansion 1.10+ +18 to Life Poison Resist +8% Jade Small Charm of Vita Small Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0x20afb092 Item Level: ** Version: Expansion 1.10+ +17 to Life Poison Resist +8% Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0x157c6576 Item Level: 47 Version: Expansion +20 to Maximum Damage Viridian Small Charm of Sustenance Small Charm Required Level: 17 Fingerprint: 0xe593b2c Item Level: 69 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +14 to Life Poison Resist +7% Static Small Charm of Vita Small Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0x24efbe69 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Adds 1 - 6 Lightning Damage +19 to Life Skills Smite: 1/2 Only one point in smite, it was about applying the crushing blow, not the damage. No Holy Shield as then the shield would be a very un-Greek white cross instead. Holy Fire: 20/21 Sanctuary: 9/10 Fanaticism: 20/21 I planned on using Holy Fire as a PI solution, but it sucked. The cold damage from Duress was almost better. Sanctuary was great against PI undead, although firing speed dropped significantly due to the lack of Fanaticism. Resist Fire: 20/21 Vigor: 1/2 Redemption: 9/10 Salvation: 1/2 Redemption always useful, especially against the un-leechables in A2. Stats Name: Ulysses Class: Paladin Experience: 955700115 Level: 83 Naked/Gear Strength: 139/156 Dexterity: 131/146 Vitality: 225/225 Energy: 15/15 HP: 879/997 Mana: 138/175 Stamina: 371/391 Defense: 32/2507 AR: 640/799 Fire: 134/94/34 Cold: 123/83/23 Lightning: 178/138/78 Poison: 100/60/0 MF: 21 Block: 23 GF: 0 FR/W: 30 FHR: 40 IAS: 40 FCR: 0 Attack Stats (Smite / GA) LCS Damage 62-1083 / 1028-4356 Crushing Blow 63% / 38% Deadly Strike 79% / n/a Open Wounds 52% / 52% Mercenary Equipment Might Desert Mercenary Helm: Darksight Helm Armour: Chains of Honour Weapon: Pride I didn’t entirely manage to keep the theme going into the merc, but he did get a Darksight too, which was very useful keeping him alive. Maybe he was a bit slow in attack speed, but he died a lot, especially at /p3. Spoiler Code: Name: Hazade Race: Desert Mercenary Type: Off-Nightmare Experience: 69464246 Level: 83 Dead?: false Naked/Gear Strength: 183/203 Dexterity: 147/147 HP: 1687/1687 Defense: 1245/2263 AR: 1889/545921 Fire: 235/195/135 Cold: 212/172/112 Lightning: 212/172/112 Poison: 212/172/112 Chains of Honor Dusk Shroud DolUmBerIst Defense: 776 Durability: 18 of 20 Required Level: 63 Required Strength: 77 Fingerprint: 0xf0c887ec Item Level: 86 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +2 to All Skills +200% Damage to Demons +100% Damage to Undead 8% Life stolen per hit +70% Enhanced Defense +20 to Strength Replenish Life +7 All Resistances +65 Damage Reduced by 8% 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 4 Sockets (4 used) Socketed: Dol Rune Socketed: Um Rune Socketed: Ber Rune Socketed: Ist Rune Darksight Helm Basinet Defense: 242 Durability: 15 of 30 Required Level: 38 Required Strength: 82 Fingerprint: 0xb9cefed Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 6% Chance to cast level 3 Dim Vision when struck 5% Mana stolen per hit +166 Defense (Based on Character Level) Fire Resist +23% Cannot Be Frozen -4 to Light Radius Level 5 Cloak of Shadows (23/30 Charges) Pride Cryptic Axe ChamSurIoLo Two Hand Damage: 73 - 337 Durability: 33 of 33 Required Level: 67 Required Strength: 155 Required Dexterity: 93 Fingerprint: 0x70c54500 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 25% Chance to cast level 17 Fire Wall when struck Level 18 Concentration Aura When Equipped 50% Enhanced Damage 288% Bonus to Attack Rating +83% Damage to Demons (Based on Character Level) Adds 50 - 280 Lightning Damage 20% Deadly Strike Hit Blinds Target +1 Freezes target +3 +10 to Vitality Replenish Life +8 155% Extra Gold from Monsters (Based on Character Level) Ethereal 4 Sockets (4 used) Socketed: Cham Rune Socketed: Sur Rune Socketed: Io Rune Socketed: Lo Rune Finds Hell Hellforge: Ist. I also found a Fleshripper in the Flayer Dungeon which isn’t bad. A Reaper's from Diablo, not Ethereal of course. Nothing else really interesting maybe I kept a few charms too. Gameplay “Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.” - The Iliad I really like the gameplay for this character, having a switch weapon that does something other than just cast Enchant / BO etc. makes for much more versatility. Fire some arrows to thin out the minions. Smite the boss a few times to drop his life, when he is knocked back switch back to bow and blast him in the face. Nice. The trouble with the Pride / Might combination is the Merc adds too much damage but doesn't do enough himself. I could do enough damage to player at /p5 - until he died, which he did quite often. So then my damage dropped and I had angry monster running after me with under 1k life. This led to a few deaths, until I got bored of resurrecting the merc and dialled down the players settings. Really I would have been much better to replace most of the damage charms with life charms. This would have made the character much more durable, as due to the high strength and dexterity investment I didn't have many points left to invest in Vitality. The lack of life made the ctc Life Tap from Exile not triggering problematic. It sometimes takes a few hits to trigger, of course I was taking damage at this time. If it triggered too slowly, I had to be quick about chugging a big purple or I could die easily. All in all I had a lot of fun with this character and I think the theme worked quite well. Of course it would be easy to make the character much stronger. Grief Phase Blade max Holy Shield make him hit harder and the resulting max block would make him more durable. I have the stats to switch to this for a bit of levelling if I decide to play him more. I am John Daker, the victim of the whole world's dreams. I am Erekose, Champion of Humanity, who slew the human race. I am Hawkmoon. I am Corum. I am Illian. I am Aubec. I am Elric. I am Asquiol. I am Ulysses. I am Cornelius. I am many more.