Meet Matriarch Cassandra, the Meteorber. It's taken a little over 6 months of D2 playing. This wasn't the first character that I started. After playing with a bunch of odd builds a bit (pure LF zon, summoner druid, enchantress sorc, ...) that will all find Hell a tough place, I decided to take an easy character through Hell first. Well, she didn't exactly have an easy time in hell.
Cassandra, level 81 sorceress
Stats (with items):
Hell Resists, after cap: 90/80/80/80 (before cap: 142/98/85/81)
10% Damage reduction
8% MF (final; 30%-60% for most of the game)
11 frame casting (30% FCR)
7 frame hit recovery (87% FHR)
blocking: Ha ha
443 defence before defiance is factored in
LCS fireball damage: 2124-2385
LCS orb damage: 295-311
LCS meteor damage: 5019-5309 (+663-719 damage per second)
-65% to enemy cold resistance
Fireball/Meteor: 20 (23)
Frozen Orb: 20 (22)
Fire Mastery: 11 (14)
Cold Mastery: 8 (10)
One point each in warmth, static field, telekinesis, teleport and
Arch-angel's Clasped Orb: +20 life, +2 sorc skills +2 blaze
The Ward (47% resist all), socketedwith a perfect diamond
"Dire Greaves" rare Chain Boots +20% FRW +32% LR +38% PR
Russet Plated Belt of Stability +12% FR +24%FHR
"Dread Grasp" rare ring +22% FR +29% CR
Shimmering ring of the Apprentice: +7% resist all +10% FCR
8% FHR, +30 life, +17 mana LCs
+36 mana, +16% PR, +38 life +16% CR GCs
+5% FHR, +6% PR +14 life, +11% LR +3% MF, +5% MF, +15 life, +6% LR SCs
I also had a Lower Resist/Life Tap wand on switch, but didn't remember to use either one even once.
Alhizeer, the defiant moron (simply refused to learn!)
LCS damage: 558-937
12 frame hit recovery (17% FHR)
1723 defence before defiance is factored in
"Insight" Superior Partizan
"Viper Shell" rare Mesh Armor, +43% defence, +17% FHR +29% CR
"Plague Casque" rare Helm, +22% FR, +27% LR
Two in all. First one was in the Inner Cloister to an extra strong, mighty archer pack. It was at the start of a playing session, I didn't really see them. Carelessness on my part; this was entirely avoidable. The second was a stair trap in the Throne of Destruction. Two Sand Raider packs: the first fanatic, the second extra fast and mana burn. Of course, the aura helped both packs. Hooray. A lot of teleporting within a small region (I didn't dare venture into the darkness) and quite a few visits to town were needed, but I still died once when I couldn't teleport or enter a town portal.
Quite a few, actually. The idiotic ones apart, there were a few tough fights:
- High Council with Might + Fanaticism. Had to kill the minions one by one.
- Stair trapped by an fanatic mana burn doll pack in Durance 1. Lots of town visits, merc revivals, full juves, NDEs, etc. but I managed to get them before they got me. On another day, this would have been a death or three.
- CE FE cursed frenzytaur boss in the Glacial trail. Once the minions were killed, I had to use telekinesis while the merc jabbed away.
The packs of an accursed Infector and an extra fast Lister had to be broken up, but neither caused any tense moments. With the ancients, I hit the switch and teleported all the way down. On the first roll, only Talic followed me. FI and CI, no thanks. On the second roll, Korlic followed me. He was cold immune (CE stone skin). After killing him with fireball (forgot to static first), I set after the other two. Madawc was fanatic, so Talic had to be isolated (FE and something else, FI) and killed first. I had managed to keep the merc alive until now, but he didn't survive contact with the fanatic Madawc (LI and CI, CE and fanaticism). Luckily, Madawc took position behind a pillar, and I did the cheesy thing by firing fireballs at the pillar and letting the area damage kill him. Not finding out the mods before separating them was probably stupid: imagine killing two and then finding out that the last one was FI CI.
Rockstopper was the best find. Darned useful item, although probably not very rare. Not a single elite. HF gave me a Lum and a Fal.
* All in all, quite safe. Going non-block turned out to be a good decision, considering I found a very good shield that I would otherwise have been unable to use, and I had good hit recovery too.
* Act 5 progress was very, very slow. It took about 20-30 town visits per area clear, mainly for merc healing/resustication/detoxication. Par for the course?
* I didn't use meteor much. Going fireball/orb would have been more effective, with firebolt to synergize fireball, saving three pre-requisite points. I used FO a lot, and could really have used a few more points in cold mastery.
* NOT happy with the merc's performance. I couldn't outfit him well. I didn't really find any good elite polearms (I wasn't really reliant on the meditation aura in Hell, and was prepared to forgo it), and had to sacrifice a high defence armour with "Godly" prefix for resists. Still, with some timely teleports, he could handle most melee creatures quite well, but had a really tough time against minotaurs, succubi and Greater Mummies, and virtually every cursed, mighty or fanatic boss. And I haven't even mentioned IM yet. All in all, I can't help but feel HF would have been a better choice.
* Looking back, this is pretty nice gear for an untwinked character
Could be useful for MF'ing in the act 1 areas with low life critters. The Ward gives me nice resists, so I can stick MF gear in nearly every other slot. Some more +skills would be useful