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Two mercenary questions

Discussion in 'Hardcore' started by linkato1, May 4, 2005.

  1. linkato1

    linkato1 Banned

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    Two mercenary questions

    Hello,

    everywhere I've read about mercenaries it's stated that mercenarys level should be as close to the character level so that the merc gains experience.

    But how close? is 4-level difference ok? What about 5 or 3?


    Then what about act 2 mercenary weapons. As I'm not rich I have to use what I can find or buy, but is the weapon speed any issue to the merc.

    If it is then would a little less damaging Brandistock be better than a War Scythe? And if not shouldn't he use a Pike?

    Topi
     
  2. Day

    Day IncGamers Member

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    Hi,

    I think within 4 levels may be a counsel of perfection. When you switch to the Merc it may be there is more than 4 levels differnce - particularly if you swap out to a Holy freeze or Might merc in NM.

    The main thing is that the Merc will gain levels levels more slowly if there is a large difference between his and the monsters levels. If the difference is very great he will not gain levels at all. If you are playing the game through (as I do) there is no problem the Merc will catch you up fairly quickly.

    However, if, say, you were rushed and then have a much lower level Merc you would need to go back (a number of acts) until he starts to gain experience and then gradually work through until he is able to gain experience in the act you want to play in. You of course would gain little or no experience in these earlier acts as your level would be disproportionately high when compared with the Monsters.

    Attack speed does matter for Mercs (they have breakpoints for weapons like characters) but the Act 2 Mercs hit pretty fast with jab naturally. Unless you are lucky with a weapon or something you can socket (I've never had an increased atttack speed jewel) there probably won't be much you can do at the moment.

    I would say the most important thing for an act 2 Merc is to get some life leech - a weapon with some leech is going to be much better than a higher damage weapon with no leech. Without leech your merc will die ofton.

    A cheap way to get a good starter weapon is to simply gamble (on pike's as they do the most base damage provided your merc already has the necessary str and dex)) until you get one with life leech - its not too much trouble to gamble a rare with 100 plus damage and leech.

    A cheap (but excellent) rune word is Amn and Tir Strength

    2 Socket Melee Weapons
    Amn + Tir 35% Enhanced Damage
    25% Chance Of Crushing Blow
    7% Life Stolen Per Hit
    +2 To Mana After Each Kill
    +20 To Strength
    +10 To Vitality

    Put this in a Pike (or the exceptional or elite versions)! The enhanced damge is nice, you have leech and Crushing Blow. In small games (few players) or solo CB is awesome. Don't forget that etheral wepaons don't break on a Merc. So look for an etheral 2 socket pike for even more damage!

    Also socketing an Amn can add leech to a wepaon that doesn't have it.

    If you trade a Kelpire Snare is excellent (because of the slow) with an Amn. this is a great wepaon against hell Ancients and Baal even though its not elite.

    A hone sudan socketed is also great (because of the crushing blow) with Amn Shael Shael (it hits those weapon speed points and has leech).

    There are better weapons (but since I play single player) I've never seen them!

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Day

    Day IncGamers Member

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    further thought - you can of course also socket some skulls to get some early life leech.
     
  4. xeyloderixed

    xeyloderixed IncGamers Member

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    (1) it's not the clvl vs merclvl difference that matters, it's the mlvl (monster lvl) vs merclvl. if it wasn't so, then i wouldn't have been able to lvl a norm defiance merc with my lvl 70+ sorks (call me a perfectionist, but i like lvling norm ones because they get extra stats)

    (2) ias does matter. the ones here (at this site here) is sort of misleading, because of the incorrect table titles. but yes, the more ias the better. for general play ias should be the last thing you have to worry about, because there are a million other mods you want on your merk (lifeleech, res, cb, insight, etc). it also depends on what char you are talkin about. for my nec for example, i use him mainly for killing baal (in baal runs) so i put in a combination of ias and cb: guilame's, 3x shael hone sundan, 4x ias jOOl armor
     
  5. linkato1

    linkato1 Banned

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    But that was my question. What polearm or spear to use as a base?

    You say that weapon speed matters but then recommend to use the slowest most damaging spear: Pike (speed 20, average damage 38.5).

    The fastest spear is Brandistock (speed -20, average damage 12). War Scythe has speed -10 and average damage 25.5.

    I've actually waiting for my merc to get to level 25 so that I can give him Strength (I have the runes waiting). I've already crafted him a Blood Helm, but that ended having level 28 as requirement.

    So should I look for 2 socket ethereal Pike or War Scythe?

    Topi
     
  6. xeyloderixed

    xeyloderixed IncGamers Member

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    speed only matters if you specifically want your merc to hit very fast with a certain attack, ie crushing blow or static (crescent moon). generally people dont use them, as most character classes can handle high hp monsters (the reason to use cb) by themselves; the exception of course being necros. so most recommend the most damaging weapon (pike in this case).

    as i said in my previous post, i used a 3x shael normal hone sundan. my merc cannot kill a thing in 8p hell games, but the pole is there specifically for cb. if your plan is to do the same, then go with the fastest. if not, then the most damaging works better. if you want a balance, then the (middle) choice is good.

    note: also the discrepancy between the damage potential. might also affect your choice.
     
  7. PhatTrumpet

    PhatTrumpet IncGamers Member

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    Not true at all... either that or you put it in a very misleading way.


    Mercenaries have awful hit recovery speed. A truly successful Merc needs to have decent resists, a decent amount of life leech, and at least one of the following:

    - a huge amount of life (usually only with Oak or BO)
    - a fast weapon
    - some extra Faster Hit Recovery gear

    With a large life bulb, the Merc will rarely go into hit recovery animation as it's based on a relation between the amount of damage you take to the amount of life you have (something like 1/12 IIRC), thus allowing him to hit back and leech life. With a fast weapon or extra FHR gear there's a much greater chance of the Merc being able to hit back before the monster strikes again, sometimes even putting the monster into hit recovery.

    Due to the game mechanics of D2, speed is almost always better than damage, most experienced players will agree on this. In your case, speed is much more important than damage because you don't have the rest of the gear to make up for a slower weapon. A Brandistock may be a bit extreme as the damage is so low. I usually just gamble Poleaxes and Halberds 'til a get a decent one (War Scythes have high reqs). So if I were in your shoes I'd probably aim for an ethereal 'Strength' Poleaxe, Halberd, or War Scythe if your dood can wear it. Keep in mind that ethereal 2-socket polearms of this type are not all that common.
     
  8. Day

    Day IncGamers Member

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    Perhaps I mis-read your post - I thought (because you were referring to normal weapons and appeard to be just starting out) you were looking for a starter weapon something to take you though Normal and most of NM until you find an end - game merc weapon (like the Hone Sudan or better).

    I agree speed before damage late game. I don't think weapon choice will make much diferrence in normal and NM (I used a normal 2 socket pike with strength on my latest character's merc and he really was fine). There is not much between the Brandistock and the War Scythe. Bigger base damage (on the pike) also means more life leeched so like most things there are pluses sand minusess to any choice. Also agree ehtereal ones are hard to find - so if you get one whatever type it will be good but a normal version is, as I say, fine.

    Here are the weapon speed tables for the three weapons:

    -Character Mercenary - Act 2
    Weapon Brandistock / Forke
    Skill Jab
    IAS Frames per attack Attacks per second
    0 % 7 3.5
    9 % 6.5 3.8
    27 % 6 4.1
    52 % 5.5 4.5
    102 % 5 5


    Character Mercenary - Act 2
    Weapon War Scythe / Kriegssense
    Skill Jab
    IAS Frames per attack Attacks per second
    0 % 7.5 3.3
    8 % 7 3.5
    22 % 6.5 3.8
    44 % 6 4.1
    75 % 5.5 4.5
    142 % 5 5

    Character Mercenary - Act 2
    Weapon Pike / Pike
    Skill Jab
    IAS Frames per attack Attacks per second
    0 % 10 2.5
    4 % 9.5 2.6
    9 % 9 2.7
    16 % 8.5 2.9
    24 % 8 3.1
    37 % 7.5 3.3
    54 % 7 3.5
    80 % 6.5 3.8
    129 % 6 4.1
    208 % 5.5 4.5
    456 % 5 5

    As for the Hone Sudan the third Shael doesn't help (without IAS from another source):

    Character Mercenary - Act 2
    Weapon Yari / Yari
    Skill Jab
    IAS Frames per attack Attacks per second
    0 % 8 3.1
    9 % 7.5 3.3
    20 % 7 3.5
    37 % 6.5 3.8
    65 % 6 4.1
    105 % 5.5 4.5
    200 % 5 5

    Having said that a three Shael hone sudan will enable a Barb using whirlwind to make the lowest breakpoint so its still an option if you want to have more than one use for it. Of course if you have anoher iAS souce it will help (slightly) the Merc (but not the whirlwind barb).

    Good luck.

    Day.
     
  9. xeyloderixed

    xeyloderixed IncGamers Member

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    omg day! i wub u! been looking for forever for them ias tables

    i knew there was a bp between 60 and 120, hence the 3x shael, 4x ias armor. i just didn't know the exact number.

    as for phat's reply, i still believe the statement i made. having a merc wear a strength pike for the longest time IN HELL, i realized that it really depends on what character you are using and the merc's purpose. for example, in general play, a necro doesn't need to use that much ias on merc, because (your point here) as long as he has tanks, he will rarely get hit. another example is a single element character. my trapper, for example, cannot kill li's quickly, so i put on my merc a decent damaging weapon with really fast speed, to help the merc kill quickly while i mindblast the baddies.

    i think what you are saying is the "godly" merc, in the sense that you can sit there all day while you leech from your merc. in that case i agree with all your points: he should have most of the stats you listed. however, for the most part, you only need your merc to do one specific task, that's why i posted that speed rarely matters.
     
  10. Day

    Day IncGamers Member

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    Xeyloderixed

    I'm glad you found the tables helpful.

    cheers.

    day
     
  11. PawnOfChaos

    PawnOfChaos IncGamers Member

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    I tend to ignore massive damage for my a2 mercs and instead make sure I have the following: Crushing Blow/Prevent Monster Heal/Life Leech.

    I have a lvl 90 hf merc now who uses eth bonehew, gaze, and eth rattlecage. His actual damage isn't as important as the pvm and crushing, he makes a mockery of dclone and any light immunes (he's on my javazon). Not to mention with a valk assisting him in the hit-taking department and the dr from vamp he has no problem being a great tank.

    Speed IS important. I've noticed that if you ever slap a very slow wep on a merc he tends to die often. Thats why I'm partial to bonehew with its 3 sockets, gogo shaels!!!
     

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