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  1. #21
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    Re: Can a Pure Poison Necromancer solo Hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kretschmer View Post
    Untwinked poisonmancers are horrible in Hell; everything and their dog has heavy poison resistance. I've tried it; not worth the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kretschmer View Post
    Poisonmancers require VERY specific gear to excel (+% poison damage & -% enemy poison resist). Without this gear, even maxed Poison Nova synergies and high level Lower Resist are hideously slow against a typical hell Act 4/Act 5 enemy.
    While there are plenty of monsters highly resistant or immune to poison, there are still plenty that have little or no poison resistance, even in Acts 4 and 5 (Abominables, Baal's Minions, Bat Demons, Blood Lords, Blunderbores, Corrupt Rogue Archers and Spearwomen, Death Maulers, Demon Imps, Fallen Shamans, Finger Mages, Leapers, ...).

    The problem is that if you get unlucky, two or even three of the monster types selected at random can be Immune to Poison in certain areas: the River of Flame becomes tedious when Maw Fiends and Blood Maggots (and their Young) spawn together (unless you can run or teleport past them), while the Bloody Foothills, Arreat Plateau, Frozen River, Glacial Trail, Halls of Vaught, Frozen Tundra, Icy Cellar, Worldstone Keep Levels 1-3 and Throne of Destruction can all be populated exclusively by Immune to Poison monsters.

    At this point, fun and viability depend on player count, purity and patience. If you insist an killing everything possible with poison in eight player games then it can get extremely tedious without -% Enemy Poison Resistance; if you're happy to use a Might mercenary to provide ammunition for Corpse Explosion at a low player count (using Curses to help him survive and kill, and equipping him with Crushing Blow against Act bosses) then dealing with resistant or immune monsters is much quicker and easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kretschmer View Post
    Let's take an example:
    Hell Act IV
    +8 all skills (very nice for untwinked; +2 Helm, +1 Ammy, +2 Wand/Head, +1 Armor) It might be possible to shop a +3 PnB/+3 PN wand for a few extra levels, but that won't move the needle).
    +1 PnB Skills (extremely lucky)

    We get 3800 damage/2 seconds for 1400 damage/sec
    Level 15 Lower Resist is -60% to poison resist

    Hell Oblivion Knights have 75% poison resist and 5600-9000 hit points.
    75%-60% = 15% poison resist
    1400 * 85% = 1190 damage/second
    That's 5-8 seconds for a single Oblivion Knight.

    Venom Lords are 9500-15000 hp and 75% resist. so 8-13 seconds per normal mob kill.
    Fully synergised level 29 Poison Nova applies ~3,843-4,046 poison damage over 2 seconds, averaging ~1,972 per second (3,800/2 is 1,900, not 1,400).

    In Ladder and Single Player Hell Chaos Sanctuary:

    Code:
    MONSTER           BASE HP                      PR %      EHP
                      Min      Max      Average         -60  Average   /1972
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oblivion Knight    7,418    9,273    8,345.5   75    15    9,818   4.98 s
    Doom Knight        7,418    9,273    8,345.5   50   -10    7,587   3.85 s
    Storm Caster       4,945    6,800    5,872.5    0   -60    3,671   1.86 s
    Venom Lord        12,982   15,455   14,218.5   75    15   16,728   8.48 s
    Champion and Unique monsters have HP * 2 and minions have HP * 1.5 in Hell. I'm not sure why you emphasise single kills when Poison Nova has an area of effect of ~11 1/3 yard radius: everything within that area should normally be poisoned simultaneously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kretschmer View Post
    Poison Necros have a short list of SPECIFIC items that boost their power: Trang's Gloves, Trang's Shield (+2), Bramble, Grief, facets, and Death's Web. These items range in rarity from very rare to astonishingly rare, and you will be terrible without them (hampering MF efforts to gear up).
    Don't forget skill bonuses: level 30 (+10) Poison Nova applies about twice the damage of level 20; level 40 applies ~60% more damage than level 30. I also wouldn't characterise Trang-Oul's Claws as 'very' rare: they're a pair of Exceptional Set gloves, and I've found four pairs without intensive item finding. Their +25% Poison Skill Damage and some Fungal Grand Charms mean my Necromancer's level 33 Poison Nova applies ~6,054-6,308 poison damage over 2 seconds, ~57% increase on level 29.

    Admittedly, an untwinked Necromancer is unlikely to get higher than level 30 Poison Nova or find those gloves, but completing Hell is possible as long as you have a plan for dealing with heavily resistant or immune monsters (since poisoning the latter after removing their immunities won't do much beyond stopping damage regeneration). After completing Hell, a poison Necromancer is typically used to run the Pit in Act 1, the Chaos Sanctuary in Act 4 or Travincal in Act 3 (for runes or gold in SP).

    -% Enemy Poison Resistance allows you to increase the player count, perhaps forget about casting Lower Resist on resistant monsters and effectively poison and kill the formerly Immune to Poison, but it isn't a prerequisite for completing Hell or doing something useful afterwards.

  2. #22
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    Re: Can a Pure Poison Necromancer solo Hell?

    Thanks for the math fix; that's what I get for posting at odd times.

    I would say that the build is not fun untwinked; anything can technically clear hell. There's a thread in the SPF where someone soloed the game with a naked amazon using Valk and Decoy. I believe an earlier poster was characterizing poison as one of the better untwinked choices, when my personal experiences empirically disagreed.

  3. #23
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    Re: Can a Pure Poison Necromancer solo Hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kretschmer View Post
    I believe an earlier poster was characterizing poison as one of the better untwinked choices, when my personal experiences empirically disagreed.
    Assuming any Necromancer starts using Corpse Explosion once bodies start to drop, untwinked Poison probably ranks behind untwinked Summoning and untwinked Bone due to the much greater numbers of Immune to Poison monsters in Hell (and more importantly, the greater likelihood of areas being populated mostly or exclusively by Immune to Poison monsters in Act 5). In terms of item finding it's more specialised and limited until you can equip some -% Enemy Poison Resistance.

  4. #24
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    Re: Can a Pure Poison Necromancer solo Hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kretschmer View Post
    I would say that the build is not fun untwinked; anything can technically clear hell. There's a thread in the SPF where someone soloed the game with a naked amazon using Valk and Decoy. I believe an earlier poster was characterizing poison as one of the better untwinked choices, when my personal experiences empirically disagreed.
    If by "an earlier poster" you mean me, I did not say that poison necromancers are a strong choice for untwinked play. What I said was that necromancers untwinked in Hell are tedious no matter what, and that this isn't some special weakness that poison has. I like necromancers. They're by far my favorite class in the game, but they're also underpowered, with most of their skills either being gimmicky (Revive, which offers the strongest pets in the game, but they wander off and vanish all the time), inferior (thinking of Bone Spear/Spirit compared to most other magic damage skills characters use), or lacking in utility with the rest of the necromancer's kit (thinking of some curses compared to those same curses used on chance-to-cast equipment by other classes). They can solo Hell and we all know that, but expecting them to do it gracefully is often a bit much.

    I don't generally play untwinked (having hoarded thousands of items in an external stash, I try to put them to use if I think I can). I haven't taken any untwinked characters through Hell for years now. My first character in Diablo II was an untwinked necromancer in Classic that made it to Hell, but couldn't finish Hell, although once I learned more, my later characters did clear Hell. And of course, some of that was quite tedious.

    Like I said if I had to take an untwinked necromancer through Hell, I'd probably focus on poison. I suppose I should amend that to include that if I was using a mod that allowed Insight to be made, I'd be tempted to switch to bone, as that would solve a lot of the mana problem that makes bone more problematic (as you rightly point out, it doesn't have nearly as bad of an immunity problem most of the time). Bone is pretty tedious too. My judgment isn't so much based on the notion that poison is so much better without good gear than bone is, though. It's really just that poison gets decent damage without needing much investment into synergies. When I say "I'd probably focus on poison" what I really mean is that I'd use Poison Nova/Dagger (Explosion not so much), not that I'd necessarily go for an all-out poison necromancer. I don't know how big of a distinction that is: the last necromancer I took through Hell (twinked) began putting points into Skeleton Mastery for stronger Revives, having already maxed all poison synergies and having a strong Lower Resist.

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