I was a bit inspired by LozHinge the Unhinged's two Golemancer attempt threads and I wanted to try out something a little new with my favorite class...Necros. LozHinge's threads can be read and enjoyed elsewhere on this forum.
I am still fairly new at Diablo 2 EXP but I have enough experience to have beaten Normal Baal once several years ago with a Necro build I have long forgotten.
Even though Necros are my favorite class and there are a lot of great and helpful playing guides out there, I along with so many other newbie players can get a bit frustrated and overwhelmed with all the different choices out there for a Necro build. (After all, how many times do you see on this forum: "Do you like this build?", "How does this build look?", "What should I do with my remaining skill points on my fishymancer/poisonmancer?", etc.)
As a response to this common issue, I've decided to make normal Diablo 2 a little more challenging and fun with timevalue's new "NO"mancer build.
My "NO"mancer's name is (what else?) Rathma.
Here are my rules for now:
--Absolutely NO skill or attribute points are allowed to be spent! Yes, I must save every single skill and attribute point and see how far I can get purely on items and my merc.
--Rathma is completely untwinked (all items self-found or bought in game).
--I am playing Softcore single-player passworded games on Battle.net. If (more likely, when) the day comes that I die I will hopefully have a good idea exactly where I want to spend my skill/attribute points.
--I will only allow myself to pass through each area only ONCE. Yes, a one-time pass through on all the adventures this game has to offer. No re-running anything. The major exception *HAS* to be allowed for Battle.net connection issues. If I lag out and lose my game I will allow myself to re-run an area from my last captured waypoint. This is unfortunately a fairly common experience but it hasn't happened so far (thankfully!).
--I also have 7 "permed" mules set up for Rathma on my BNet account. Most of them are already crammed with cheap items to test out an iron golem with since I have never tried an Iron Golem before! :rolleyes:
The reason I am playing it this way is to buy myself some time to figure out a promising future path for Rathma that is eventually Hell-viable (but not too cookie-cutterish like the uber-powerful Fishymancer build). At the moment, I am leaning towards a poison/golem build.
This also can help me to become a better player!
Since I am in Act 2 Normal already without having died yet I will give a rundown of my progress so far on my next post.
Before I describe what has happened so far I need to ask a couple of newbie questions:
a) How can I take screenshots of my game and post them here?
b) How do I provide links to other threads or posts from here?
Right now Rathma is level 20 and I am in Act 2 Normal, having just taken the Horadric Staff of Kings from the Maggot Lair.
With a few exceptions, Act 1 Normal was a breeze...as long as I was very PATIENT! The only three times I recalled getting close to being killed was with Andariel, Coldcrow, and another random Frost Nova boss somewhere in the Black Marsh. Andariel was not that big of a deal when I had town portals ready and antidote potions in my belt.
Since Rathma is so dependent on items I have placed a large emphasis on gold find equipment for now. I constantly need to shop for good wands and they are expensive!! I am also gambling for myself and my merc frequently since I can only run through each area once. I have been patiently cleaning out and selling EVERYTHING (still selling arrows and bolts at vendors even though I already have 150,000 gold in my stash and 75,000 in my pocket rop: ).
I have two gold find small charms: 6% and 10% (lucky find!), 26% ring of greed, and I gambled 48% gold find heavy leather gloves.
I am also fortunate to have found a ring of regeneration (+5) in Andariel's catacombs.
I am also trying to master the art of "synchronizing" my +skills wands bought at the shops with +skills totems I find out on the battlefield.
My usual setup for now:
WAND: +1 RS, +1 Clay Golem (aka Gumby), +1 Skelly Mage
ZOMBIE HEAD: +1 Clay Golem, +1 Skeleton Mastery
So, I am usually running around with lvl 2 Gumby and a lvl 1 mastered Mage as a missile backup for my Act 2 Blessed Aim merc.
On my weapon switch I can have:
+3 Clay golem
The only problem is that I MUST use my Unraveller Head on this setup that requires 18 strength. I have a rare sash that gives +2 strength and a small charm to give another +1, but it prevents me from wearing the Arctic Binding belt I found when I killed Radament.
As an aside, I am wearing a Biggin's Bonnet unique cap I found near the Smith in Act 1 monastery (more life and mana!) but I don't know what I will do with the Beserker's helm I found when looking for the Horadric cube
This adventure is simply a learning experience for me but I see your point. At the moment, I have a wand that offers:
+1 raise skeleton
+1 raise skelly mage
+1 clay golem
Since this wand offers plusses in BOTH raise skeleton and skeleton mage it gives the necessary prerequisite for the higher skeleton mages skill.
What I am **hoping** for soon is to find a wand that offers (+1 clay, +1 blood, and +1 iron) on the same item to give me the necessary prerequisites. I'm sure an item like this would be very expensive in the shops and I will have to walk in and out of town a lot until a good wand shows up in the vendor's inventory. This is why I am trying to find lots of gold% equipment as I will be spending a lot of money!
I did find out the hard way about the "Graverobber" mod that offers +1 to all summoning skills. I paid 11,000 for this wand to try it out but it only offers +1 to the skills already granted to me by the totem I equip.
I forgot to say I think you have my "synchronizing" my wand and totem confused with skill synergies. What I meant by "synchronizing" my wand and totem was to have a decent layout of a few item-granted skills that work well together in the beginning. So, if I had a wand with +1 teeth and a totem with +1 skeleton mastery it would be considered much less useful and "synchronized" than a wand with +1 RS, CG, SM and a totem with +1 CG.
i dunno what you mean by prerequisites, unless thats part of your rules that i missed. if you have +3 mages, you get those three mages, you don't need points in skellies or +skel items. you can try out IG without having anything in summoning tree.
That's good news, thanks for telling me! I didn't know that for sure until now.
Prereq's were not part of my rules, no. Anything goes where items are concerned as long as it's untwinked.
Halfway Through Act 2
I have just finished restoring the Horadric Staff to its original condition after a rather hairy final fight at the Claw Viper Temple's altar. My merc required 2 full rejuvie potions during the final fight, but my little paper tiger gang and I came out of it all in reasonably fine shape.
At this point, my skeleton warrior with lvl 1 mastery is useless so I've been relying on Gumby, my merc, and a lvl 1 mastery mage for backup.
It looks more and more like I am becoming a "Mercmancer"! Maybe some wand shopping will solve this problem.....I did finally find a +1 Golem Mastery totem, however...
Found three set items so far in my game but two of them are of no use except maybe for some weird Iron Golem down the road.
I have 150k in my stash and another 150k in my pocket because of my 90%+ gold find and taking LOTS of runs back into town selling indescribably huge piles of junk laying all over the desert.
Rathma thinks this may someday pay off for him in a lucky gambling session if he keeps up the hard work. Not really looking for uniques or set items, just a nice rare with good mods that will help him survive the increasingly hellish encounters ahead. (A nice rare life-leech polearm for his merc wouldn't hurt, either.) Rathma, Level 21, Act 2 Normal
My mules are under strain!
Rathma is taking a brief rest before pressing on into Jehryn's palace.
One of the great things about Diablo 2 are the hours someone can put into setting up a strategy and careful item management.....all to prove itself in the arena of terrifying, death-defying battles that can be over in mere seconds or minutes.
Years ago when I played Diablo 2 before the expansion pack came out I was once a failed Barbarian that admitted defeat in the face of Diablo himself before finally succeeding against Baal as a Necromancer.
Those bad memories of Diablo come back to haunt me to this day....
How? Bad potion management!
As a barbarian I remember spending ALL of my worldly gold and possessions buying healing potions trying to defeat Diablo...only to give up broke and in disgust.
Now, as Rathma, my mules are holding well over 150 (perhaps even 200+) light and regular healing and mana potions that I have saved since I set off for the Den of Evil.
Perhaps I can trim this down a bit, eh?
Time for a little housecleaning!
I did learn today that potion effects DO NOT stack. There is simply no reason to take two healing or mana potions hoping it will replenish faster.
I am also wondering why I am keeping so many "regular" potions around when my base life right now is only 75 and my mana is only 65....hmmm....