Tales of Brave Ulysses - Smite / Ranger Paladin

maxicek

Moderator Single Player
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.
Ulysses Shield Comparison.jpg

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:
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%

Ulysses LCS GA.jpg

Ulysses LCS Smite.jpg

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.

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.

Ulysses Ancients.jpg

Ulysses Baal.jpg


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.
 
Last edited:

logoutzero

Diabloii.Net Member
Really cool there. I'm planning an eternal champion myself. Have to gather some swords first!

Granted, I don't know nearly as much of the lore as you seem to.
 

Zyr

Diabloii.Net Member
Cool concept, implementation, and documentation! Very nice results on the gloves and belt. Thanks!
 

Grape

Diabloii.Net Member
Loving the theme, the write-up and the item choices were really well-thought and fitting.

All around exceptional work!

This reminded me, I still haven't read James Joyce's Ulysses. Odysseys I'm familiar with, though. Michael Moorcock is a familiar name but oddly enough I never read anything by him despite reading tons and tons of fantasy when I was a teenager. Maybe something to look into. Guy has some bibliography!
 

maxicek

Moderator Single Player
Thanks for the comments everyone.

@LozHinge the Unhinged Glan you noticed the Cream reference. I thought I would just skip it in and see if anyone picked it up.

@Grape Joyce’s Ulysses is the Hardcore 99 of literature. I started it, got about 150 paged in and gave up. I remember a part where it describes kidneys frying so well you can smell it. Trouble is that goes on for about 12 pages.

If you want to try Moorcock I would start with either the Elric or Hawkmoon series, they are a nice entry to the series.
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
@Grape Joyce’s Ulysses is the Hardcore 99 of literature. I started it, got about 150 paged in and gave up. I remember a part where it describes kidneys frying so well you can smell it. Trouble is that goes on for about 12 pages.
I started reading it on the subway on my way to the university, back when I started studying some 10 years ago. Very easy going, perfect literature for drowsy mornings. In fact, I have no idea why I never got past the first ~100 pages. :rolleyes:
 
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