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Tips for getting a Sorc to 30+

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Enzio, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Enzio

    Enzio IncGamers Member

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    Hello gang! So I recently reinstalled LoD and I've been working my way through normal on a Zealot a /players8 (except for Diablo, after it took me FOREVER to kill Izual on /p8, I figured I'd drop down to /p1 for him [and while we're on the subject, Chaos Knights are the bane of my existence, and Venom Lord's can breathe that fire out their ***]), and while I'm planning on continuing, every now and then I want a change of pace but still want to play Diablo.

    Enter: the Sorc. I have never leveled a sorc beyond ~15 or so, because I just get so bored meleeing crap with a staff. How do you SP veterans get your sorcs up to a decent level? All I ever hear about is how great sorcs are, and I'm sure they are, but I, apparently, am a terrible sorceress. What do I do to get her to a level where I can actually cast spells that hurt things? Lower player settings? Do you just never do it untwinked? Do you save every blue potion you've ever found on any character and chug them like there's no tomorrow?

    Especially with respecs now, is it better to just pump the crap out of either Fire or Ice Bolt to get through normal and worry about builds later?

    I really want to make this sorc work, and not just park it after several levels of frustratingly slow melee boredom.
     
  2. Jocular

    Jocular IncGamers Member

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    The easiest way to get a sorc to level 30+ would be to get on your paladin and shop akara for a 2os +3 fireball staff, and make a leaf in it. Then work on getting a sorc to level 12, give her the staff, and pump the rest of your points into fireball/firebolt until you're level 30. Get your strength high enough to use a scepter, and a javelin (for throwing). I would think those two weapons should be more than strong enough to get to level 12. From then on it should be incredibly easy, but you'll be chugging mana pots all the live long day. This is assuming you don't care about burning one of your 3 respecs (unless you actually want to make a fireball sorc). Obviously put 1 point into the utility spells like teleport, static field, and warmth. Frost nova is incredibly handy as a utility spell!
     
  3. SunsetVista

    SunsetVista IncGamers Member

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    Leaf is a good plan if you want to use fire. You can shop bases from Drognan in Act 2, too.
    I think the easiest ways to level a sorc (twinked) are:
    * Use an Act 2 merc (with or without Insight). Polearms do a lot of damage, so he should be able to kill well even on /p8 (bosses probably go lower at first). The advantage of this is that you can load up on magic find stuff. But hey, you don't even get to kill things this way, so that's boring.
    * Use jewels of Envy (20 poison damage/2 secs) in armor and Tal/pEmeralds in bow. It's possible to get your poison damage high enough that you'll just have to hit things once even on /p8 and they will die.
    * (not actually easy) Play it normally, as a caster. Kill things with a skill that will later be a synergy for the main skill you plan to use. Put Sapphires in your armor or use the Stealth runeword. Don't forget a point or two in Static Field - all the way through normal you can sliver things with it. You can do it on /p8 but it does take time.
     
  4. Enzio

    Enzio IncGamers Member

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    Isn't Leaf 19 not 12?

    Also, the best I've been able to find so far is a + to Fire Bolt, not Fire Ball; is that what you meant, or should I get to Nightmare Akara or something first?

    Thanks for the replies so far guys; still seems like the first ~20 levels or so are just awful and need to be slugged through. Time to suck it up, I suppose...
     
  5. Jocular

    Jocular IncGamers Member

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    Ohhhh yep, it is 19. for some reason I thought it used tir+el, rather than ral. And even then it would be 13!

    Once you're level 12 or so fireball staffs will start showing up in akara's shop.

    I like the beginning levels of the sorc! It's the only time when you can truly play her as a sword n' staff character.
     
  6. Enzio

    Enzio IncGamers Member

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    I really like the idea of a melee caster; a sorc who uses max block because she's up there pummeling the occasional demon in the face or poking out an eyeball with her orb while she lights the world on fire. But basically what happens on my sorc is I run in, get hit-locked to death, and then rage quit. It's a vicious cycle :confused:

    Edit: Finally found a +1 Fire Ball staff...it's that or +2 Fire Bolt so far. The shopping continues!

    Edit 2: Man, if I was going for Inferno or Telekinesis I'd have this in the bag...

    Edit 3: +2 Fire Ball! I think I'm going to have to have Akara spawn: 1) A Superior Long Staff, 2) With 2 Sockets, 3) WIth +3 Fire Ball. It's gonna have to be a perfect roll... I've been shopping for longer than I'm proud of. Send help.

    Edit 4: I've officially been shopping long enough I'll bite my tongue rather than mocking my wife the next time we're shoe shopping (but only the next time...). Also, +2 Fire Ball, 3os staff. Cute, Akara, really cute.

    Edit 5: Found a 2os/+3 Fire Bolt. Also a 2os 1 Fire Ball, 1 Frost Nova, 3 Inferno. Gettin' real tired of your sh!t, Akara.

    Edit 6: Getting the sneaking suspicion my sorc would be 30 already if I put as much effort into leveling her as I do shopping for her...

    Edit 7: 2os +2 Fire Ball, +1 Static Field. It's like she's mocking me now.

    Edit 8: Mechanic's Staff of the I should have let Andariel burn your encampment down.

    Edit 9: +2 FIRE BALL, +3 FROZEN ARMOR?! WHY?!

    Edit 10: "You are a horrible person. I'm serious, that's what it says: A horrible person. We weren't even testing for that."
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
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  7. Gynli

    Gynli IncGamers Member

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    just what i was thinking! xD

    My usual run goes like this.
    p1 till tristram;
    p3~8 till lvl 12 at trist/rakanishu;
    p1 on through till lvl 13;
    p8 till 30 with tir socketed weap/shield/helm/armor for high mpk while pumping up fireball.
    - wish i had those super high mpk rings from earlier versions of D2.
    frozen orb at lvl 30 and continue on through normal and respec before nightmare.

    just my two-cents!
    All hail King Tir - the king of all Low Level Casters!
     
  8. Enzio

    Enzio IncGamers Member

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    Final shopping update for the night (may or may not try more in the morning :p): +2 Fire Ball / 2os Long Staff, or a +3 Fire Bolt / +2 Warmth / 2os Short Staff. Could be worse...
     
  9. Enzio

    Enzio IncGamers Member

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    Do you just grab vendor socket gear to throw Tir's in?

    Suggestions for alternatives if I don't have a ton of runes to burn or don't want to use them yet?
     
  10. jiansonz

    jiansonz IncGamers Member

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    I go slowly, as I do single-pass full clears on players 8. I don't really need any skills in Normal (although Static is awesome against act bosses and such). Full clear on /p8 Normal gets me to level 49 and main skills are then reasonably powerful.

    I put my first 3 level-ups in STR, buy a 2-socketed Scepter and a Small Shield. Chipped sapphire in one socket. Using javelins on switch against LE enemies (and to avoid death effects on FE/CE bosses).

    Basically, after level 8, the merc does most of the killing. 3s Long Bow with chipped sapphire and usually 2x chipped ruby, but sometimes early jewels are better. Sorc is mostly there to tank for the merc. Static Field is used against the bigger foes like Smith and Andariel.

    In Act 2, I go with prayer merc. Usually with a basic Spetum (cold damage is a plus) until I have the Cube, then Savage Poleaxe/Halberd. Then just hang behind him. Switch merc weapon to Savage Partizan mid-Act V.
     
  11. srrw

    srrw IncGamers Member

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    Leveling up as a caster is annoying, even if you twink like mad you never have enough mana until lvl24-25.

    My strategy would be:
    - Rush to Act 2, get a prayer merc, he'll kill most of the stuff
    - At clvl18 pump Firewall until 24, it's not as mana hungry and kills at decent speed (Leaf helps)
    - At clvl24 pump blizzard until 30 (use this or Firewall depending on the situation)
    - At clvl30+ pump Frozen Orb until finishing Normal (1+pt in Cold Mastery)
    Respec at the end of Normal, pick the build you wanna play.

    For clvl1-18 Envy jewels in armor/hat/long bow is your best bet to support mercs killing speed (and kill Shamans). Since you just started you probably won't have 12 Jewels of Envy, so a 3-4-5 Socketed bow with Flawed Topaz's will do the job good enough.

    My general starter setup for twinked charactes is the following:

    Head: 3soc Mask /w Jewels of Envy
    Body: 3soc Breast Plate/4soc Gothic /w Jewels of Envy
    Weapon: 6soc Crystal Sword/5soc Long bow /w Jewels of Envy
    Shield: 3soc Large Shield /w Jewels of Envy (if using Sword)
    Rings/Ammys: Angelic's
    Gloves/Belt: Death's
    Boots: Hsaru's for FRW

    You can add Large Charms of STR (+3) at clvl2.

    For when you start using firewall:
    Head/Body: Socketed with Perfect Sapphires
    Weapon/Shield: Socketed with Tir runes (or shield with Eth)
    Others: Whatever you want really

    On Fireball: Just don't. It doesn't work well enough without massive mana twinking/1.07 mpk ring.
     
  12. Gynli

    Gynli IncGamers Member

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    like most people pointed out leveling casters tend to be so slow that any kind of twinking will speed things up drastically.
    to answer the question, yes I do mostly use vendor items, or whatever else I've found as I get to lvl 13.
    My usual focus is on tir's - because Im so used to pumping mpk now - that I run some countess for extra tir's if i need them.
    i find the bare minimum to be about 3~4 tirs; this lets me stay at decent mana with mpk + mana pots drops.

    i think the best way - or the fastest way - is the jewels of envy stack like @srrw pointed out; but this means you already have an extra character to find these twinking items. also want to point out mauls can get 6os without lvl req. with enough -req via Hel or -req jewels, they make quite a monstrous weapon.

    If you are untwinked and have no twinking gear, look to @jiansonz as he's the master at untwinked single-pass full clears.

    Personally, if i'm untwinked and am not restricted to single-pass, - AND you dont' want to be chugging mana pots nonstop - I believe mpk route with tirs is most optimal for speeding through.

    edit: one thing i totally forgot about! is to transfer over khalim's will from your other char and using that as your main weapon. no req with high enough damage with fast attack speed makes it a great weapon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2015
  13. GooberGrape

    GooberGrape IncGamers Member

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    One time I leveled a sorc to 30 using nothing but Charged Bolts. I would just fill my entire inventory with mana potions and fill the screen with lightning. It was so fun I almost want to do it again. Almost.
     
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  14. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    With full Sigon's, Civerb's Cudgel, Angelic amu and 2 Angelic rings, any character can finish normal mode and thus reach L30 just with melee attacks. Your merc (act 2 offensive) could receive Sigon's helm+armor and Dimoak's Hew (Insight later on if you are using the runeword mod). You might not even need such a huge ar bonus (Sigon's, Angelic, merc), so the combat merc might be more useful. Regarding charms, those with fhr, resists, life and lightning damage are probably most useful, as well as one with cold damage and one with poison.

    If you want to do as little melee as possible, you can use other rings and amulets and exchange the elemental damage charms. Sigon's defensive bonuses are pretty impressive on their own and might still be worth the str investments. In that case, I would switch to Stealth, Rhyme, Lore and (runeword mod needed) Spirit (sword) and Insight (merc) as soon as possible. Perhaps the str investments for Sigon's aren't worth it then, however. If you want to be able to wear it a bit earlier (its level req is 6) or save stat point investments, you will need a few +str charms. LCs with +3 str have a level req of 2.

    Your sorc won't have to do melee anymore from L24 on, so that might be a . From that point, she can use blizzard which will be superb until the end of nightmare.

    Skills: One point in tepelort, warmth and srozen armor. Otherwise, whatever synergizes blizzard, like this: L1-5 - ice bolt, 6-17 - ice blast, 18-23 - glacial spike, L24+ - blizzard. Before having blizzard, make sure that mana costs aren't too high, so it might be useful to invest into synergies synergies rather than by investing into the used skill itself, as that will increase damage as well, but not increase mana costs. Those few cold immunes are whacked to death, either by the sorc herself or by the merc while the sorc uses telekinesis.
     
  15. Enzio

    Enzio IncGamers Member

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    This seems to be the biggest issue I have with Diablo II in general, I've reinstalled a few times (read: lost everything from ATMA/GoMule), and I was never that far into the game anyway, so I don't have sets of anything laying around. I have like 1 piece from three or four sets that my paladin has been lucky enough to find on his way through normal (Baal is really boring as a zealot without a decent weapon, btw).

    I know there's some Single Player trading, but I don't have anything worth giving in trade, lol.

    My sorc just finished Act I, and I'm going to go buy an Act II merc - is it better to farm Andariel for a few levels rather than trying to jump right into Act II? I'm thinking if I use my first respec to go the route towards Blizzard, I can just use that through Nightmare, and decide if I need to respec before Hell or not. I don't mind doing boss runs or farming, but there's so much loot and so much randomness in the boss drops I feel like I could do 10,000 Baal runs on my paladin before I find anything useful for my sorc.

    But that's the joy of Diablo, eh? Keeps you farming :)
     
  16. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    In that case, you need a "how to start from zero" strategy.

    Don't waste time with shopping or staying anywhere in normal mode for longer than finishing the quests (in hardcore, it's worth doing normal Baal minion runs, for safe and easy XP), but wear whatever halfway useful stuff you find and get to the nightmare Countess as quickly as possible. Visit her until you have the runes for Stealth, Rhyme, Spirit (in a sword) and Insight. It will probably take the longest to find a 4 socket sword rather than the runes (most easily found in areas beyond the nightmare Countess). Then off to nightmare Meph. Harass him while wearing as many MF items as possible until he gave you all you need to survive hell mode. You can finish nightmare in parallel and level up to 75 with Baal runs, to speed up those nightmare Megh runs.

    If you are poor, Meph runs are less boring than you might think... at least it's like that for me :)

    Skills: As above. Once you enter hell mode, you use the Anya restat reward to turn your sorc in what she will finally be.

    Stats: Don't waste time with being stingy on strength investments. You restat her later anyway.
     
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  17. Enzio

    Enzio IncGamers Member

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    So push push push, (even on lower /players if necessary?) until I can get to NM countess, runeword myself like crazy to finish NM, then Meph/Baal until 75 or properly equipped for Hell?

    How come nobody ever does Diablo runs?
     
  18. SunsetVista

    SunsetVista IncGamers Member

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    You can farm Andariel if you want, but it's better xp to go right to act 2.

    Diablo is harder to get to and harder to kill than Meph, and doesn't drop very much better. It's very safe and fast to moat trick Meph while wearing tons of mf, so that seems more efficient. You could do Diablo if you want, of course. =)

    Ah, so you don't have a bunch of stuff lying around. I remember when I was first starting out, too. I had made a WW barb and struggled to get through Normal untwinked. Then I read about this ring, Ravenfrost, that gives Cannot Be Frozen, and I decided I needed one for the barb. And so I made a blizzard sorc to mf with. I was a mf sorc all the way through the game. I did Normal Andariel runs until I found Gull (this took a long time). I got through the early game by having my merc kill most things. The rogue had poison damage on her bow, and then I found the biggest polearm I could for a prayer merc (I was not using RWM at the time). If you clear on /p8, you can be lvl 24 in the Maggot Lair, so you will definitely have Blizzard ready for the Flayer Jungle. I just quested through on the highest player setting I could do until River of Flame, where I leveled up to 30 before taking on Diablo. You can get a lot more experience in Act 5 in the Bloody Foothills and by killing Shenk and Eldritch over and over again, even until 42. By then, your skills should be developed enough to finish Normal without relying so much on the merc. Then you can run NM countess for runes and NM Andariel if you like, before moving on to NM Meph.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
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  19. Enzio

    Enzio IncGamers Member

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    Diablo is also full of those godforsaken chaos knights and venom lords who nearly kill me every time I face more than one of them. My paladin's resists...are not strong.
     
  20. SunsetVista

    SunsetVista IncGamers Member

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    You can get quite a bit of gold by selling even white armors and scepters/wands/orbs/heads with staffmods, and then gambling rare gloves and belts and boots with resists, mf, fhr. And the special paladin shields in NM Act 3 can get a base 45 all res, and they can be socketed with pdiamonds. I usually make Rhyme (Shael +Eth) in a 2 socketed bone shield that I shop from Normal Drognan, but you can make Rhyme in a paladin shield and get even more resist.
     

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