Telekinesis/ES or Shiver Armor? (Melee sorc question) ifra


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Telekinesis/ES or Shiver Armor? (Melee sorc question)

Alright, so I've made a melee sorc. She is pretty darn good, but I'm not 100% sure what to do with the rest of my skill points.

To give a basic run-down, I focused on DR by using a Shaft and String and then put a point into ES. I'm going to be getting +7 skills from items when all is said and done, so I'm looking at 55% absorb from ES.

Currently my mana holds up. I have about 420 mana, maxed Warmth and a 15 Med aura from my merc. However, there are still those enemies that just tear into my mana, and in turn my health.

This brings me to my question. Should I put extra points into either ES, Telekinesis, or Shiver Armor? Or, should I mix them? I am going to have enough to bring any one skill to a base level of 18. I'm thinking I should just stick the points into Shiver. Basically just avoid getting hit to begin with instead of focusing on how much damage I can actually absorb. However, I'm not sure exactly how much I'd benifit from the extra defense in regards to an enemy's chance to hit me.

Also, I've read a lot about how maxing either ES or Telekinesis on their own doesn't do much, and they have to be leveled together. If this is the case, I simply do not have the skill points to invest and might as well go with Shiver.

The only thing that has me second guessing shiver is, if I'm able to actually gain a substantal bit of damage absorbtion from adding points into Telekinesis or ES, will it be enough to nagate Shiver causing me to get hit less? I guess what I'm asking is, what's better, trying and make it so you can absorb more hits, or reduce the total number of times you get smaked to begin with?

I feel like I'm rambling, so I'm just going to click submit and see what everyone says. If it helps, my base defense is pretty much 1800 before Shiver.

Thanks in advance to any advice!


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A quick list of your other skill points placement would be helpful as well, as the answer also lies in how and what you are meleeing with.

Defense matters little in Diablo 2 unless you can get it to very high proportions, like a pally's Holy Shield or Iron Skin barbs, e.g. 10,000+. On the other hand, an increase of 2500 to 3000 isn't going to help you much.

On Shiver Armour, if you invest 1 hard skill point and let your +7 skills take it to slvl 8, you'll get 87% bonus to your defense. If you take it to base 18 and with +skills, a slvl 25 Shiver Armour will give you 189% bonus to your defense.
Slvl 8 = 1.87 * 1800 = 3366 defense
Slvl 25 = 2.89 * 1800 = 5202 defense

The extra 2000 defense will help. Perhaps a 10-20% (estimated number) decrease in chance on being hit. Especially with diminishing returns on defense, the first few thousands will go much further than, for example, another 2000 defense when you already have a defense of 15,000 (which you won't have).

It also depends on the merc you are using. A Defiance merc will help improve your defense, and Shiver Armour will add to that. I am uncertain as to the formula behind it, so if someone else could post with an explanation on how it is calculated, it would be useful to both of us.

If you're going with ES, and an Insight merc, then TK over ES. A slvl 1 TK uses 1.9375 mana per point of damage absorbed. A slvl 16 TK uses 1 mana, and a slvl 18 TK uses 0.875 mana. There is a lot of merit in maxing TK. If your merc stays alive, you'll be absorbing a lot of damage and regenerating mana fast enough to not worry much about your ES collapsing.

ES and TK are ideally maxed together, but in the situation of limited skill points, TK > ES. Let your +skills take ES up. Btw, only hard points work with TK in 'synergising' ES.

So, it would be useful to know what skill setup you have and how you are meleeing. Having said that, I would pick Shiver Armour if you are using a Defiance merc, and TK and ES if you are using a Might merc with Insight.


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My basic skill placement is:

Cold Tree:
Ice Bolt - 1
Ice Blast - 1
Frozen Armor - 1
Shiver Armor - 1

Lit Tree:
Static - 1
Charged Bolt - 1
Telekinesis - 1
Lightning - 1
Teleport - 1
Chain Lightning - 1
ES - 1
Lit Mastery - 20

Fire Tree:
Fire Bolt - 1
Warmth - 20
Fireball - 1
Enchant - 20
Fire Mastery - 20 (not maxed yet)

I'm using a Dream Bone Visage, Dream Troll Nest, Phoenix Phase Blade, Shaft (Umed), String (Tgods for LE monsters because I am still working on max resistances), Waterwalks, Mara's, Raven, and either BK, Dwarf, or Manald depending upon what the current need is.

For a merc I'm currently using a Prayer A2 merc with an Insight, Shaft, and Gaze (debating swapping him with a HF or Defiance merc and switching out the Shaft/Gaze for something else).

I don't do much physical damage, as you can imagine. I picked the PB because it will offer me more damage than another weapon would for when I run into the pesky unique li+fi monsters--it does get the job done, just very slowly. However, when elemental damage is factored in I'm doing upwards of 40k per hit--average of 20k, (last time I killed Hell D he went down in 3 slaps) without having FM maxed yet and lacking a +1 skill from a BK. I also have the HS aura doing damage to surrounding enemies for some fairly high damage.

Like I said, my mana holds up in most cases. After all, I'm currently level 80 and fully capable of doing a complete hell rush and mfing every major area. Yet, there are still times when I simply do not have enough mana to keep ES up.

I've been investing in Vit and currently have around 900 life. I'm also going to be either making or trading for a CtA to throw on switch so I can increase my life and mana a bit. I'm not sure if investing in Vit is smart or if I should go with mana instead, but it seems that if ES neglects resistances it's smarter for me to go with life because then my abosrb, resistances, and dr ALL come into play to help keep me kicking. Also, I never cast, so running out of mana purely means that enemies can start taking a crack at just my life orb. Though, that doesn't last long because of maxed Warmth+Insight+Redemption aura.

I'm trying to think of anything else to add that might make a difference in determining what I go with. I can't really think of anything, so I hope that's enough info. Sorry if I started to ramble again.


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Bah, I can't edit my post anymore. Anyway, I forgot to mention that I'm using a pair of crafted blood gloves that give me 20ias/13str/19life/3ll/8cb/11fr so I'm not likely to switch them out for anything.

Also, if I go with Telekinesis I'm debating switching my Shaft for Naj's Light Plate. The extra res and +skills would help, and I'd get damage to mana as well. Thoughts on that?

EDIT: Thinking more. If I DID switch to Naj's, would it pay to switch to Tal's belt and possibly Tal's belt+Ammy? I'd get more damage to mana, but I'd lose ALL of my DR and 7ll from my String. I'd gain a little bit more life and mana, though.

Personally I tend to like my setup still. I don't get as many +skills, but that only reduces my damage marginally, and I get 45 straght DR (the String is 15dr).


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SmittySixTen said:
...because of maxed Warmth+Insight+Redemption aura.
Based on that, I'd go with max TK. Having 55% of both physical and elemental damage absorbed by ES, and with a mana bulb that regenerates amazingly fast, makes it very worthwhile. It is like having '55% PDR and MDR'. And then comes in the real PDR% from your Shaftstop and SoE to further negate the 45% of damage that doesn't get absorbed by your ES. And on that note, I'd stick with your current setup. %DTGTM from Naj's and Tal's belt doesn't mean much when you have maxed Warmth, Insight and Redemption aura. Even without those three, I'd still give precedence to PDR% over %DTGTM.


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Mmm... That's what I was thinking as well. I just did a few Baal runs, and I'm fine right up till Lister in most respects... Burning Souls still really tear into my Mana, though. However, Lister and his minions have such a high % hit on me I doubt Shiver would help much. I think my best way around this problem is a HF merc, even though I'm REALLY enjoying the Prayer aura right now.

What I may do is just make a Doom to keep handy or something… just cringing at the stash space it will eat up.

Anyway, thanks for the advice.

EDIT: Tried out a HF merc to see and all my problems are solved. I do have an issue with regaining life because I use a Tgods for the lit absorb while facing the minions, but that's easily solved with Super Healing Potions. That said, I am defiantly going with Telekinesis.