Here's a little background: I'm just restarting Diablo after a long break, account was deleted, so I remade and have nothing. I've been looking around at the different MF builds, and decided to try something new.
The questions are: Will this build be effective untwinked in Hell?
What should I do with the extra points?
How effective would this be as an MF build?
Not having many things, this is what I've come up with:
Build - FO/FW
FO - Max
CM - 17 (Yes I know I'll get plus to skills, but that'll just add extra damage.)
Frozen Armor - 1
Shiver Armor - 1
Str. - 85 (Enough for Tal's Armor if I happen to be lucky)
Dex. - Enough for max block (I, personally, believe max block is more important than the little life a Sorc receives for a point in Vit.)
Vit. - Rest
En. - None
Helm - 3 PTopaz Great Helm
Armor - 4 PTopaz Full Plate Mail
Weapon - Spirit Sword
Shield - Rhyme Tower Shield (64% Block, that's why)
Belt - Goldwrap
Gloves - Frostburns
Rings - 14% and 16% MF (single mod, couldn't find anything useful)
Amulet - 12% MF with +mana (once again, couldn't find anything better)
Boots - 35% MF (single mod, couldn't find better)
No good charms.
An obvious fault is that I have next to no resistances. Well, I can't really do anything about that until I get the equipment to work around it. That is why I'm going to run NM Meph for awhile.
That's about it, what do you think? Would this be viable, or should I just stick with Meteorb?
EDIT: Forgot about the merc: I'm going to aim for an Act 2 Holy Freeze merc, hopefully with an Insight Polearm, and currently I have a Hwanin's helm for him; armor I'll equip him with the highest Def one I can find until I find better.
Orb/Firewall should do fine. This will be effective untwinked in Hell, concerning damage. Both Orb and Firewall do enough damage.
About the other points, you could consider dropping them Fireball. The FB you get will be rather week, but at least you a have a backup spamming spell to accompany your FW.
Since this is a Dual-tree build you can use this build to farm almost anything.
One warning though: Unless you are proficient at aiming and placing Firewall well you will have your problems when facing cold immune monsters. There are various tricks of placement to make mobs run through a whole length of FW, but you should try this out before. Many get frustrated with FW after a while, others just love it
As melianor mentioned, many people think that targeting FW is be difficult. From my experience with my lvl93 CL/FW sorc, I generally disagree with that opinion. Here's an easy way to do it for monsters that melee (it doesn't force monsters to run along/through your firewall - this will make them stand right in it):
1) You need a merc that can tank (he doesn't have to be a complete bad*ss - he just has to be able to step in and hold a monster for a few seconds).
2) When a monster decides to attack you, teleport away from the monster slightly.
3) Once you've teleported, the merc and monster will charge into each other (you can stand still). When they're engaged, the monster is stationary. Position your FW so that the monster is standing directly in it while he's fighting the merc.
3a) What about ranged attackers that run away when you merc engages them? Generally, they'll run straight away from your merc when he charges, so this is where you 'twist' 90 degress from the direction the merc is running, and then cast firewall (hopefully you get the FW to run the same direction as the monster).
... extra-fast and ranged attackers are a little more troublesome to target (but that's not a problem that's unique to FW - other skills are hard to target against fast/ranged monsters too), but keep practicing and you'll have a working play-style in no time.
BTW, I hope this build works well for you - it's nice to see someone try something other than a cookie-cutter. Good luck.
Thanks to both of you. I think this is going to be my Sorc build when I switch over to USWest come next ladder, as I have a Sorc right now with a normal rush and skills already down the Meteorb path (and I hate to waste things).
I have another question though: Since I'll have enough points left over, should I place them into the utility spells like Teleport, Static Field, or maybe Shiver Armor? I figure I should place points into teleport so it's not so hard on my mana supply, and static field because I'd like to be able to get a badass-CI/FI monster without having to stand next to it. Shiver armor, I guess, is another option, but I don't know if it'd payoff as well as points into the other two.
(I know you suggested I put points into Fireball, but I'd hate to have an attack that takes forever to kill something with a weak character. It leaves alot of room for error, especially if I get adds.)
Static Field might make sense, since you can cover a really wide range with it, when 20 points have been invested, but i think that would be rather wasted points. You will eventually +skills available which can cover extra points for your utility spells.
Shiver armor would make no sense, since you only use this for the bonus, that monsters get chilled when they decide to attack you and not much else. The defense bonus is nice, but nothing you really need.
I don't think you should have mana problems when using Teleport, no matter at what level. After all there is still mana potions
Maybe you might want to look into using ES with Telekinesis. That might make more sense.
The build sounds okay. If you do finally find or buy a tal set, even a Stormshield wouldn't be a bad idea for max blocking. Requires a lot of strength, but makes your weak sorcie a pretty good tank herself. Enough to block some hits and lay a few firewalls nearby. That is mostly the case with only the Tal Set equipped (as I won't consider here wearing Enigma and such), because with the set bonuses, you'll have enough life after pumping your str to 156 and dex to ~200+. Even 1k+ life is achievable this way with a little help of charms.
Anyway, back on topic. I would not recommend ES to you. This really does need frosties and preferably 2 sojs. And the latter ones are always expensive. As Firewall isn't really skillpoint expensive, I'd max the Orb synergy. It gives "only" 2% damage increase per level, but it really turns out to be something in the end. You will notice the difference in hell, a place where Orb really lacks some damage. Sure, it kills, but it could do it a bit more efficiently.
Last thing. You said something about lacking resists iirc. When going max block try upgraded moser's then. Plenty of res. On the other hand, Whitstan is always recommended for max block and achieves it with ease. However, I just hate how the sorc looks wearing both the Tal set and a small, round shield.
I have to agree - I wouldn't bother spending the points to up your utility spells.
Synergizing the Orb, or developing the fireball are both good ideas. I'd prefer to have a non-timered spell myself, but it's a toss up. You aren't trying to hit any of the fireball fast cast breakpoints, so upping the damage on the orb my be better (no fast cast needed). Having said that - even a faily weak fireball that hits the 105% or the 63% FCR breakpoint will kill effectivly, but if you can't even hit the 37% breakpoint, then go orb.
You will eventually get some +skills equipment, Even if you play thought the game solo, and never trade anything, you can still get probably +4-6 for skills. (2 skills on weapon and amy are fairly easy). You can probably get another skill on your helm - and even on your armor. I think tying to up your static/teleport/cold armor beyond 1 point is a waste.
For your merc - I totally agree with holy freeze and building him as a tank. Try to raise his def, life leech, hit recovery, and resists. Don't worry too much about his damage and attack speed - he's a tank, not a killer. The holy freeze will slow the monsters down as they attack you, and run through your firewalls. It will also help greatly when you tele.
Just be sure your build will work for a while - after you've build up some wealth. Tal's amy can be had for about 40 pgems, after that the armor is just 1 high rune away (you could get lucky on your forge drop). Not much is more disappointing to find your build doesn't improve with better equipement.
I forgot to mention your sorc's hit recovery breakpoints (conviently the act 2 mercs have the exact same breakpoints):
Wow, thank you very much. This is more than what I expected.
I hadn't thought about the Orb synergy. That's a really great idea now that I think about it. I'm working on getting Wizard, Mosers, and the Gull. Wizard and Mosers (with two PDiamonds) would be on the main for teleing and just running around in general. Those two, plus the Anya quests should give me fair enough resists to be comfortable. Gull and my Rhyme Tower Shield would be on switch for the boss kill. SOJs are going to be hard to get, ofcourse. I think all of my plus to skills are going to have to come from the ammy, rings, and maybe if I get lucky, charms. Hopefully I can come by a Skullder's as well.