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Thread: The Drop Bear

  1. #21
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    Well, I have the "Cadillac" now and the equipment is just about all collected in my stash now (mostly just missing a few charms, but I can steal some from my other characters when the time comes). I absolutely have to try this, after having already slaughtered so many monsters with the auradin. The sorceress that will bring all this to bear is still only in Nightmare, currently Level 60. I haven't been getting on Diablo II much lately, and I have a couple of other characters I want to take through Hell first, so it'll probably be a long time before I finish this sorc. I'll be sure to note how well I think this concept worked once I do get around to that.

    The guide doesn't cover leveling, although I guess anything that works for any enchantress would work for this one as far as that goes. In my case, I'm using Passion, which is working quite well and I might be reluctant to give up the Zeal. I use The Eye of Etlich to level almost all of my characters, and it's doing a fine job for this one. Some of the IK set items were useful for finishing Normal and progressing through early Nightmare. Leaf is a cheap, easily accessible way to pre-buff Enchant and I still have it as my switch weapon. I've also been using Guillame's Face for some time now. Earlier than all that, I used the Sigon's set, which did what it pretty much always does.I don't remember most of my weapons, but I think I used Blood Crescent for a while and Hellplague at some point. I think Coldsteel Eye too. I don't remember ever using Blackleach Blade on anything before, but I gave it to my merc at some point and it is working well enough that I'll probably just leave it on him until he's ready for Infinity. He isn't getting many opportunities to actually poke things at this point, as I telestomp almost everything even on /players8, which isn't surprising for a fully twinked Level 60 character in Nightmare with appreciable melee attack rate and damage. The real test will come in Hell.

    I think the only character I've made that used a plain old melee attack instead of a melee skill in Hell was a summoner necromancer with Beast, and that was just support for the skeletons and mercenary, not a primary killer. I didn't realize it, but this'll be entirely new territory for me, even if it is a bear that will actually be doing the attacking, and not just some chick with a sword or whatever...

  2. #22
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    bring all this to bear
    Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    The guide doesn't cover leveling
    Yea, I didn't bother with leveling portion this time, because, thanks to respec'ing, you can pretty much go whatever route you want, then switch over at the appropriate level. You're doing it in a much more organic way, though, and I really like it. Passion is awesome, but just wait until you go Dropbear, your attack speed can almost double. Leaf can be a great way to buff up. But if you're level 60, you should only be about 5 or 6 levels from being able to slap most of it on. Just wait, your damage is going to go through the roof.

  3. #23
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    I just added an extra option to the amulets section. A crafted Safety Amulet has the potential give this build an extra 500+ life. Granted this would entail one hell of a lucky roll. I'll compare it to the +Holy Shield Call to Arms scepter for the Auradin. Ultra-rare, but good enough to make you drool out of your tear ducts.

  4. #24
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    Well, a safety amulet good enough to compete with Mara's would be an unlikely roll, but the recipe is super cheap...

    It's been a long time since I crafted amulets. What level character did you use? I seem to recall that there's either a clevel or ilevel requirement at 90 to get the +2 sorceress skills mod, but I'm fuzzy on the details.

  5. #25
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    Well, a safety amulet good enough to compete with Mara's would be an unlikely roll, but the recipe is super cheap...

    It's been a long time since I crafted amulets. What level character did you use? I seem to recall that there's either a clevel or ilevel requirement at 90 to get the +2 sorceress skills mod, but I'm fuzzy on the details.
    A couple of points here. First, yes, it would have to be a pretty good roll to compete with Mara's, but the potential is for it to be much better than Mara's. I'll address this in a second. But first, a down and dirty on crafting.

    Crafting amulets is fairly simple. Just go by this equation to determine the additional affixes: ilvl = int(.5 * clvl) + int(.5 * ilvl)
    You'll need the final ilvl to be 90+ to get +2 sorc skills.

    Within the equation the ilvl is determined by mlvl, which is determined by alvl. If you stick to alvl 85 areas (Pits, Chaos, Keep, Throne, etc.) all ilvls will be 85 plus. So you'll need to be clvl 96 to roll the appropriate affixes.
    Fear not, champions (fanatic, ghostly, berserker, etc.) get an ilvl of alvl + 2. So one of these guys will require a clvl of 94.
    Uniques, Superuniques, and all of their minions have an ilvl of alvl + 3. So an ammy from one of these will require a clvl of 92.
    Then there are bosses, who have specific mlvls:
    Mephisto --> lvl 87
    Duriel --> lvl 88
    Diablo --> lvl 94
    Nihlathak --> lvl 95
    Baal --> lvl 99

    Monster mlvl Min Clvl
    alvl 85 regular monsters 85 96
    alvl 85 champion monsters 87 94
    alvl 85 uniques/minions 88 92
    Mephisto 87 94
    Duriel 88 92
    Diablo 94 86
    Nihlathak 95 86
    Baal 99 82

    So, you can be as low as clvl 82 and craft yourself some godly amulets, but if you really want to farm, a clvl of 92+ would be a lot more expediant.

    Mara's or Safety Amulet?

    Now to answer the question of what crafted amulet would compare with Mara's. Below I've developed a method for this comparison. I left out some of the math, so I don't bore you guys, but you're welcome to question it. Also, the Safety Amulet must have +2 Sorc skills to compete at all.

    The two big trade offs when going to a Safety Amulet are the resists and the +2 skills to Werebear and Lycanthropy. The Prismatic modifier can take you up to 20%, and other individual resists can help (up to 40% each). Regardless, other gear/charms can compensate for this. The effect on skills amounts to a lost +14% damage, +12% Defense, & +10% Life. However, all things considered, this only amounts to -3% physical damage, -3% defense, & -4% life.

    Without Mara's:
    -150 life
    -20to30% Resist All
    -20 physical damage
    -450 defense

    So in order for a Safety Amulet to be superior, it needs to overcome these deficits by monetizing Life and Life Steal we get as additional affixes (Strength and Dexterity allow you more life by freeing up stat points). The life portion is easily accounted for: Mara's 150 life will equate to +10% chance to block, or 32 Str/Dex (combined), or 64 Life. Resists would be great on the Amulet, but can be made up for with Resist charms. However, Resist charms often mean you're sacrificing Life charms. For my Dropbear, needing another +5% Resist All SC means losing out on a +20 Life SC. In addition, resisting a single element is less efficient.

    After that, it gets a little more subjective. The loss to physical damage is replaced by just 1% Life Steal, in terms of leech. Each percentage point to Life Steal will also boost you leeching by about 3.5%. So I'd probably trade 3% Life Steal for 20 Life. The loss to defense is probably the least consequential. 450 may seem like a lot, but it's only about .5% more likely to be hit. The MDR/PDR should be enough to more than account for this.

    Other notes:
    After +Sorc Skills, Chance to block is the most important mod. 10% CTB will yield you 75 more life than 5% CTB.
    Strength/Dexterity should be considered exactly twice as effective as life (20 Life=10 Str=10 Dex)

    Conclusion: A completely monetized Perfect Mara's gives you the equivalent of 270 Life (91 from +2 WB/LYC, 59 from +5 All Stats, 120 from +30 Resist All) or 230 Life from the worst Mara's.

    My Rule of Thumb:
    20 Life=5 Resist All=1.33% CTB=10 Str=10 Dex=~3% Life Steal=30 Resist L/F/C/P

    Use this account for the 270 Life-Equivalent (LE) from Mara's.

    So that provides some method to determine superiority in a side-by-side comparison with Mara's. Here are some examples that I would trade for over a Perfect Mara's (followed by the Life-Equivalent in []):

    Example 1: [270 LE]
    +10% Increased Chance Of Blocking [150 LE]
    Magic Damage Reduced By 2
    Damage Reduced By 2
    +2 Sorceress Skill Levels
    +40 Life [40 LE]
    All Resistance +20 [80 LE]

    Example 2: [270 LE]
    +5% Increased Chance Of Blocking [75 LE]
    Magic Damage Reduced By 2
    Damage Reduced By 2
    +2 Sorceress Skill Levels
    +55 Life [55 LE]
    +30 Strength [60 LE]
    All Resistance +20 [80 LE]


    Example 3: [270 LE]
    +10% Increased Chance Of Blocking [150 LE]
    Magic Damage Reduced By 2
    Damage Reduced By 2
    +2 Sorceress Skill Levels
    +60 Life [60 LE]
    +15 Strength [30 LE]
    +15 Dexterity [30 LE]

    Example 4: [270 LE]
    +10% Increased Chance Of Blocking [150 LE]
    Magic Damage Reduced By 2
    Damage Reduced By 2
    +2 Sorceress Skill Levels
    +6% Life Steal [40 LE]
    +60 Life [50 LE]
    +15 Strength [30 LE]

    Example 5: [264 LE]
    +10% Increased Chance Of Blocking [150 LE]
    Magic Damage Reduced By 2
    Damage Reduced By 2
    +2 Sorceress Skill Levels
    +60 Life [60 LE]
    +40 Lightning Resist [27 LE]
    +40 Fire Resist [27 LE]

    Ultimate Example: [350 LE]
    +10% Increased Chance Of Blocking [150 LE]
    Magic Damage Reduced By 2
    Damage Reduced By 4
    +2 Sorceress Skill Levels
    +60 Life [60 LE]
    +30 Strength [60 LE]
    Resist All [80 LE]


    And that's how I calculate that. I think it makes it fairly simple to quickly evaluate a freshly-rolled Safety Amulet. Like I said, it is somewhat subjective, but I think I gave fairly justified explanations for my valuations, though. It's also worth noting that the LE computed above is pre-lycanthropy so if we factor in the life bonus, the first five examples will increase your red bubble by 630 life and 820 for the ultimate saf ammy, provided she's built accordingly.
    Last edited by Clervis; 03-09-2013 at 19:07.

  6. #26
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    Well, I've made some progress with this. In Act IV Nightmare, I was able to make the switch from Zeal to ursine domination. I telestomped the Chaos Sanctuary and didn't even bother tranforming back into a human to use Static Field on Diablo, which was a bit reckless because he targeted my mercenary with his lightning hose as soon as he spawned and almost managed to kill Azrael before I took him down. Act V Nightmare was done probably more quickly and easily than I've ever done it before. I'm now in Act I Hell with all of my equipment and charms, although I'm still using Mara's. The safety amulets I've been crafting have rlevels around 90, and my enchantress is still in the low 80's. I crafted this one amulet with +10% chance to block, life, dexterity, and prismatic, but with +1 paladin skill levels. So close...

    I'll have to wait for the more challenging zones of Hell to know more, but so far everything has been looking good. She stomps most mobs even more easily than the auradin, which is the most obvious comparison for a few reasons (both use a Dream helm and shield, both use an extremely rapid attack with fire and lightning damage, both use Conviction, both have excellent defenses, both were pioneered by Clervis). Even though I still have a long way to go, here are my thoughts...

    -As a bear, her life is fairly high (over 2100 at Level 84 in my case) and doesn't drop very readily (90% resistances and a huge defense rating), but doesn't refill quite as easily as other melee characters when it does drop. She tends to kill most enemies before Life Tap procs, so sometimes she doesn't benefit from it.
    -I'm used to thinking of melee characters as having attack rating and enhanced damage from their melee skill. A bear sorceress can't do that. I do still think this is unfortunate, but it is somewhat mitigated by the AR and fire damage from Enchant (almost like using a Fire Claws druid). This basic attack hits faster than any other melee option the sorceress has, and also faster than most other melee builds (slightly slower than a maxed Zeal). It also lets one give exactly no regard to mana burn monsters at all. I see my blue orb suddenly go empty and I just keep swiping stuff like I was going to do anyway. Since mana burn has been such an annoyance in the past, this is a nice change.
    -I was worried about the number of resistance charms needed to cap those resistances in Hell, but really, it's not that bad. I could do it without Shimmering Small Charms if I had to. I don't even have the last resistance scroll from Malah yet, so I might dedicate some space to non-resistance charms. I wanted to have enough room in my inventory to collect drops, but it turns out that I've played other characters in the past that have had less inventory space available.
    -I was also apprehensive about playing a sorceress that locked herself out of Teleport temporarily. When I was using Passion, I was zipping all over the place. Well, it does take some keystrokes to drop, transform into a bear, switch weapons, kill everything, switch weapons, transform back into a human, and repeat. However, it can be accomplished very quickly. I didn't realize it, but apparently I can activate Werebear and then, while in the process of transforming, switch from Beast to Griswold's Redemption.
    -In bear form, there is no visual difference between Beast and Griswold's Redemption (or if there is, I've missed it). The Holy Shock aura from the Dream shield doesn't change the visual either, since there's already Holy Shock from the Dream helm. To make sure that I really am using the right weapon, I've taken to having the right mouse button for the Griswold's Redemption and Dream switch be marked as Telekinesis, a skill I'm unlikely to accidentally switch to while wielding Beast and Spirit. Not a necessary precaution, but I think it's helped me be sure to have the right weapon/shield combo equipped.
    -Boo Boo is using Infinity and Vampire Gaze. He hits hard and that takes some getting used to. A few times I've dropped in on a small mob, made the switch to a bear, watched as my mercenary wiped out all of the monsters before I even hit any of them. When monsters are weak or sparsely arranged, it can be faster to let the mercenary kill them than to bother transforming. Not a problem, but it took a little getting used to.
    -Infinity's Chain Lightning comes up a lot and shoots stuff I haven't damaged yet, but the Holy Shock pulses appear to be doing considerable damage to some monsters before I reach them. I think that's what I'm seein' anyway. I don't know if ursine it too. Maybe because I'm still in Act I and I'm misremembering it, the auradin's pulses, which had both Holy Fire and Holy Shock, along with a higher level Conviction, which should combine to make them do much more damages than the pulses an enchantress would get, didn't appear to be hitting as hard as these pulses. Is that something Lightning Mastery does?
    -The Conviction aura is dependent on the merc being nearby and alive. The former isn't really a problem, thanks to Teleport, and so far the only thing that took my merc out by surprise was Coldcrow. He's pretty robust. I think that because of my reliance on the aura, for areas where I expect things to get tough, I will pre-buff Enchant. It's probably not worth bothering for many areas of the game, but with skillers it's possible to get Enchant over level 50. The extra AR could help me land hits if I lack Conviction. This may also be an issue for aura-enchanted monsters that have Conviction. I don't know what level the Conviction is on those. Can they outlevel Infinity's Conviction or is their Conviction always lower than slevel 12?
    -The drop bear's physical damage is actually not too bad. Against enemies that don't die in one hit from massive fire and lightning damage, life leech is quite effective.
    -The sorceress is much more vulnerable prior to transforming. Her life total is smaller and her fire resistance is lower with the Spirit shield than with the Dream shield. If things might get dangerous, it's safer to be a bear.

    While not really that far into Act I Hell, I got "Diablo Walks the Earth." I usually play on PlugY, and the simulated version of that sometimes triggers. I had already killed all the nearby super uniques, so I went back to the Blood Moor to let him spawn in place of Corpsefire. I didn't pre-buff Enchant and I didn't change from /players8, both of which were reckless. Well, my chance to hit him without Conviction was too low. I had to use a couple of potions because I was whiffing too much to trigger Life Tap. Eventually he got low enough that crushing blow wasn't helping much and it was taking forever, so I portaled back, resurrected my merc, circled around and got him to target me instead of Azrael. With Conviction, it was over quickly and easily. Too bad the Annihilus he dropped had the worst stats I've ever seen on one.
    Last edited by Namtar; 13-09-2013 at 07:14.

  7. #27
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    ursine domination
    I like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    -As a bear, her life is fairly high (over 2100 at Level 84 in my case) and doesn't drop very readily (90% resistances and a huge defense rating), but doesn't refill quite as easily as other melee characters when it does drop. She tends to kill most enemies before Life Tap procs, so sometimes she doesn't benefit from it.
    Yea, but life wears away so slowly that if you don't get a good proc until the 10th, 11th, or 12th monster, you still won't have to go to your belt. One the proc does hit, you bounce but up fairly quickly and you have your regularly leech to keep things in check as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    Since mana burn has been such an annoyance in the past, this is a nice change.
    I love the obsolescence of mana burn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    I've played other characters in the past that have had less inventory space available.
    I'm starting to find that inventory space is a great place to make up for resists. Other than that, most charms for most builds have a fairly small impact on the build. I prefer the convenience of an open inventory--this is a loot-centered game afterall. Some people will rack up 9 skillers and ditch their cube and not even be able to pick up stuff. That befuddles me. I require at least 8 slots plus my cube.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    -I was also apprehensive about playing a sorceress that locked herself out of Teleport temporarily.
    Once you get the timing and muscle memory down, you'll be dropping all over the place. It's a lot of fun and much more fast-paced than Enigma-less Auradin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    -In bear form, there is no visual difference between Beast and Griswold's Redemption
    My Beast is in an Axe, not a Hammer. My shield is also in a Monarch, not a Ward. In addition, my usual pre-buff pattern is BC, BO, Shiver Armor, Enchant, Werebear, so if it's still on Werebear, then I know to switch. I'll also hit the Werebear hotkey and if it won't let me, then I can keep swingin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    the auradin's pulses, which had both Holy Fire and Holy Shock, along with a higher level Conviction, which should combine to make them do much more damages than the pulses an enchantress would get
    The Auradin does 258 pulse fire damage and 585 pulse lightning damage on average. So that's 843 pulse damage with -150% resists.
    The Drop Bear does 661 pulse lightning damage with -85% resists.
    So that one goes to the Auradin, but it's still a noticeable difference. Between your pulse damage, your merc, and his Chain Lightning, there will be a significant portion of monsters that you won't have to personally deal with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    Can they outlevel Infinity's Conviction or is their Conviction always lower than slevel 12?
    The level of Monster conviction is MonsterLevel/8. So in order to beat out your merc's Conviction, they'd have to have mlvl>96. So basically, Uber Meph is the only one that poses a threat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    If things might get dangerous, it's safer to be a bear.
    Word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    Too bad the Annihilus he dropped had the worst stats I've ever seen on one.
    Lame-O.

  8. #28
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    Well, I'm still progressing through Hell, playing infrequently. In terms of actual killing speed though, Acts I & II have been going by as quickly as I can remember having seen any one character do full clears, and certainly faster than any sorceress I've ever seen.

    I actually had PlugY spawn Uber Diablo a second time (I've had some characters that never got him once in their entire playthroughs). It must really like me. This time I prebuffed Enchant and used Battle Orders and made sure not to let my mercenary blunder into him, so I got to keep him under Conviction. While he didn't go down as easily as Andariel (who got destroyed so quickly she'll probably develop a phobia of bears), he might as well have been regular Diablo. Got a somewhat better Anni this time, although still not a great one. Duriel had better be stocking up on bear spray.

    Anyway, I can, with no skillers and no skill shrines, pre-buff my Enchant to well over slevel 40. It's not that time-consuming, since I'm not moving charms around, and it lasts about 20 minutes. I've noticed that that Battle Command and Battle Orders from Call to Arms add a nice touch too, but I don't think I want to bother with the swapping, yelling, swapping back every few minutes, so that'll probably be something I save for special occasions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clervis View Post
    Yea, but life wears away so slowly that if you don't get a good proc until the 10th, 11th, or 12th monster, you still won't have to go to your belt. One the proc does hit, you bounce but up fairly quickly and you have your regularly leech to keep things in check as well.
    Yeah, this is definitely not a potion-hungry build. I don't remember even needing to go to the belt a single time since my first fight against Uber Diablo. I might need to if I get unlucky with a few of the nastier packs in Act V, but generally the leech is strong enough.

    I'm starting to find that inventory space is a great place to make up for resists. Other than that, most charms for most builds have a fairly small impact on the build. I prefer the convenience of an open inventory--this is a loot-centered game afterall. Some people will rack up 9 skillers and ditch their cube and not even be able to pick up stuff. That befuddles me. I require at least 8 slots plus my cube.
    I was worried about initially because I hadn't done the math and the gear didn't offer a ton of resists. Then I took a look at the image of your inventory. My current inventory consists almost entirely of shimmering small charms (and of course the Annihilus, Torch, a stack of keys, and the Horadric Cube). I mean, I just about rand myself out of Ko runes for this stuff, but it looks very, very nice now.

    My Beast is in an Axe, not a Hammer. My shield is also in a Monarch, not a Ward. In addition, my usual pre-buff pattern is BC, BO, Shiver Armor, Enchant, Werebear, so if it's still on Werebear, then I know to switch. I'll also hit the Werebear hotkey and if it won't let me, then I can keep swingin.
    To be clear, I can easily tell the difference between the Beast BA and the Griswold's Redemption when she's in human form. When she's a bear, I don't get that visual. In all likelihood this is a problem only I have, but what I ran into early on was that I'd occasionally cast Werebear and fumble with my hotkeys so that my RMB on both weapon switches was Teleport. Once that happened, it took me noticing that my attacks were slower than usual before I'd realize it. Since I never use the RMB while wielding Griswold's/Dream, making the RMB for that switch be something else I'll never use gives me an insurance policy against my own clumsiness. I might accidentally switch away from Werebear, but I'm not so likely to accidentally switch to something I don't have a hotkey for, so if I don't see the symbol for Telekinesis while I'm in bear form, I'll know I messed up.

    The Auradin does 258 pulse fire damage and 585 pulse lightning damage on average. So that's 843 pulse damage with -150% resists.
    The Drop Bear does 661 pulse lightning damage with -85% resists.
    So that one goes to the Auradin, but it's still a noticeable difference. Between your pulse damage, your merc, and his Chain Lightning, there will be a significant portion of monsters that you won't have to personally deal with.
    And a lot of the ones I do have to deal with go down in one hit. I suspect that a lot of the things that turn people off to single-target attackers don't really apply to this build.

    The level of Monster conviction is MonsterLevel/8. So in order to beat out your merc's Conviction, they'd have to have mlvl>96. So basically, Uber Meph is the only one that poses a threat.
    Oh, I remember now! I was confused because I thought some monsters could have slevel 20 Conviction, but it's actually just Uber Mephisto. That's good news. Don't have to worry about Infinity's Conviction not lowering something's defense as long as my merc is there for me.

    Speaking of which, could this sorc beat the Pandemonium Event with specialized gear changes? I'd play with that myself, but I'm not on B.net. Seems like it might be possible with enough preparation...

  9. #29
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by Namtar View Post
    Speaking of which, could this sorc beat the Pandemonium Event with specialized gear changes? I'd play with that myself, but I'm not on B.net. Seems like it might be possible with enough preparation...
    This I have yet to fully hash this out. I've tried it with limited success, but ultimately needed assistance with the standard get-up. Maybe you can help me do some brainstorming.

    Accepting that the proper strategy is to spawn them one at a time, the problem mainly resides in Uber-Mephisto. His Conviction cancels your mercs making him brittle and nerfing your damage. In addition, your lightning damage is nullified by his 110% resists. That leaves you with your small physical damage and fire damage being resisted at 75%. Your hit rate drops without Conviction as well. This simply doesn't cut it. In addition, your high resists and high defense are nullified by -125% and -90% respectively, ouch.

    So the bad news is that the original essence of the build is ruined. The good news is that a lot of the original gear choices are superfluous. Drop the Dreams and GA and put on something a little more comfortable, this time oriented towards shoring up your decimated defenses. Between Conviction and your Dreams, you may need to make up as much as 150% resists. Slap on a CoH (65), and a Treachery Fade buff (65). Give yourself a Phoenix Shield and you not only boost your physical damage (+350-400%) but you also lower fire resists by 28%, which more than doubles your fire damage again Uber-Meph. The +max fire (10) and lightning (5) and fire absorb are huge as well. Throw on Guillame's Face (Um), and you've got a solid 50% CB.

    Now that you've got acceptable defenses and a redistributed offense, the question is how to lay down the damage. As you said, you can get a pre-buffed Enchant over slvl 40, which will help a lot, but you need base AR to boost. I imagine, but haven't calculated, that an Angelic set can shoot your AR way up. BK rings aren't too necessary, especially considering the life leech doesn't work. So, an Angelic ammy/Angelic ring/Ravenfrost combo give you huge AR, CBF, and the dexterity to get you back up to max block. Add some resist charms to make up the difference. This probably puts you in the realm of 15K AR, not bad.

    Other things that help, of course, are CTA, Life Tap wand, Fire skillers, AR charms. I'm not sure your Merc can be of much help, but it would take some finagling.

    Grief is something that I think is best avoided. Here's why. Grief can boost your physical damage from about 1K to 3K, after physical resists. This gives you an extra 2K damage per hit. However, Grief, at best (40 IAS w/15 IAS off-weapon), will hit at 7 fpa. The caddy will hit at 5 fpa with 1K physical, 5K fire, and 50% CB. Therefore, Grief delivers 25K damage per second and the Cadillac brings 30K damage per second. And this is after resists, but before CB. So it's a no-brainer.

    So the general strategy looks like, boost your Enchant pre-buff and deliver fire and CB as fast as possible.

    Now for all those sweeping changes you need to make to fight this one guy, the other two can be taken care of, one at a time, with the original gear set-up, provided you can keep your merc alive. But, then again, you could also try this new combo. Uber Baal and Uber Diablo, however, aren't the monoliths that their brother is. Baal is immune to cold and completely susceptible to Fire and Lightning. Diablo is immune to Fire but that can be broken, not that it matters. Keep your merc alive with a CtA boost and/or Fade boost and good tactics and you'll be dealing some real damage.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Clervis; 24-09-2013 at 12:54.

  10. #30
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    Re: The Drop Bear

    Quote Originally Posted by Clervis View Post
    This I have yet to fully hash this out. I've tried it with limited success, but ultimately needed assistance with the standard get-up. Maybe you can help me do some brainstorming.
    I'd love to actually test it, but I haven't played on B.net in many years (I think not since 1.11). I have tried out PlugY's mock ubers, well, a lot (I wanted Torches). My guess, from playing through those, is that they just never finished the event. The first three portals seem like they probably approximate the real deal. They're definitely tough and I've had several characters die against Uber Duriel. It's the Tristram portal that fails: there are no minions in the entire zone, just the three bosses. It's really too bad. I was hoping some day we'd officially get all the ladder-only stuff in single-player/open play, but it never happened.

    Accepting that the proper strategy is to spawn them one at a time, the problem mainly resides in Uber-Mephisto.
    Couldn't the merc get swarmed and killed against Diablo or Baal? If they're no longer losing 83% of their defenses, they'll be a lot more problematic for the drop bear.

    His Conviction cancels your mercs making him brittle and nerfing your damage. In addition, your lightning damage is nullified by his 110% resists. That leaves you with your small physical damage and fire damage being resisted at 75%. Your hit rate drops without Conviction as well. This simply doesn't cut it. In addition, your high resists and high defense are nullified by -125% and -90% respectively, ouch.
    Well, obviously the resists and hit rate have to be dealt with, while the loss of lighting damage can't really be reasonably dealt with. The 90% defense reduction from his Conviction aura really hurts too. I was thinking that since this is the one monster where Infinity's Conviction is nullified, the merc would probably just die. Is that preventable? Maybe it's futile, but if the right items can make the merc durable enough to survive, even if he's otherwise useless, his Defiance aura seems like it would be really nice to have against that Conviction aura.

    So the bad news is that the original essence of the build is ruined. The good news is that a lot of the original gear choices are superfluous. Drop the Dreams and GA and put on something a little more comfortable, this time oriented towards shoring up your decimated defenses. Between Conviction and your Dreams, you may need to make up as much as 150% resists. Slap on a CoH (65), and a Treachery Fade buff (65).
    Treachery can also give you a nice Venom, although I'm not sure how big of a factor that is.

    Give yourself a Phoenix Shield and you not only boost your physical damage (+350-400%) but you also lower fire resists by 28%, which more than doubles your fire damage again Uber-Meph. The +max fire (10) and lightning (5) and fire absorb are huge as well. Throw on Guillame's Face (Um), and you've got a solid 50% CB.
    I was already using Treachery and Guillame's Face on my enchantress back when I was using Zeal, and I was going to give her CoH until I saw you mention GA. Those jump out at me immediately as gear to use against Uber Mephisto. I didn't think of Phoenix, but the -%EFR really sells it (that, and the boosted physical damage for Life Tap). I'm not sure about the Um rune in Guillame's Face, though. A few charms can do the same job, and I wouldn't be worried about clogging the inventory if it's strictly for Uber Mephisto. The charms could be put back as soon as he's dealt with.

    Another option specific to Uber Mephisto might be Thundergod's Vigor.

    Now that you've got acceptable defenses and a redistributed offense, the question is how to lay down the damage. As you said, you can get a pre-buffed Enchant over slvl 40, which will help a lot, but you need base AR to boost.
    Yeah, Enchant by itself isn't going to cut it, no matter what. But just to squeeze out every ounce of fire damage possible, I'd go all the way. The Bul-Kathos' Wedding Bands are already equipped, along with a Spirit shield. The drop bear also already has a Torch and Annihilus. Magefists give an additional bonus to fire skills. A Volcanic circlet, amulet, and orb aren't that hard to acquire, and give even bigger bonuses. Arachnid Mesh gives one more +skill. But it's possible to get even more. Chains of Honor would give +2, but finding an elusive +3 Enchant Ormus' Robes beats it by one. And if one can get +3 Enchant in that Volanic orb, the weapon slot is giving a total of +6 to Enchant. With the Battle Orders from Call to Arms, all of that adds up to +26 to Enchant. If one can't find the right Ormus' Robes or orb, Chains of Honor and an orb that only gives +3 Enchant would, with the rest of the setup, achieve a level 42 Enchant. Adding 9 fire skillers (tedious to find, but not as much as the Ormus' Robes, unless maybe you're really lucky) and using a skill shrine brings the optimal setup to a level 57 Enchant, the highest possible as far as I know. In addition to pushing your fire damage through the roof, it lasts for 24 minutes, 48 seconds and gives a +524% bonus to AR. While it wouldn't make or break an Uber-killing setup, it would still be worthwhile prebuff with as many of those pieces as possible. Realistically, some of the skillers, at least, would have to go unless one brought in a mule: using one's entire stash just to pre-buff Enchant wouldn't really work.

    I imagine, but haven't calculated, that an Angelic set can shoot your AR way up. BK rings aren't too necessary, especially considering the life leech doesn't work. So, an Angelic ammy/Angelic ring/Ravenfrost combo give you huge AR, CBF, and the dexterity to get you back up to max block. Add some resist charms to make up the difference. This probably puts you in the realm of 15K AR, not bad.
    My drop bear is still in the mid-80's. She'd already borrowed gear from my Whirlwind barbarian before, so I decided to do so again. I did indeed get just over 15k AR from the jewelry change. So yeah, not bad. It'd be possible to get a bit more, if necessary, but just gaining levels into the 90's (which includes getting more points into Dexterity for max block with the Dream ward anyway) would help too.

    Well, I guess when I say, "a bit more" what I really mean, if getting CBF from somewhere other than Ravenfrost (or going without it, but I can't remember Uber Mephisto can freeze or not) is viable, one can get a whole lot more just by equipping two Angelic Halos instead of just one.

    Other things that help, of course, are CTA, Life Tap wand, Fire skillers, AR charms. I'm not sure your Merc can be of much help, but it would take some finagling.
    I do think the Defiance aura alone might make him worth keeping if possible. But I don't know that equipping him to survive is feasible in the first place. Can't really bail him out with teleport while you're busy swiping a regenerating boss to death.

    Grief is something that I think is best avoided. Here's why. Grief can boost your physical damage from about 1K to 3K, after physical resists. This gives you an extra 2K damage per hit. However, Grief, at best (40 IAS w/15 IAS off-weapon), will hit at 7 fpa. The caddy will hit at 5 fpa with 1K physical, 5K fire, and 50% CB. Therefore, Grief delivers 25K damage per second and the Cadillac brings 30K damage per second. And this is after resists, but before CB. So it's a no-brainer.
    I was actually thinking not of Grief, but of Lash Wish for the CB and Life Tap, but that's even worse because of the wereform IAS issues. One would have to ditch Werebear to bother with Last Wish, and that means sacrificing the huge boost to life, in addition to the much faster attack speed. Not worth it. And Fade can be obtained from Treachery anyway. It might be worth it to bring a wand with Life Tap charges against Uber Mephisto, although with a high enough AR, the massive attack speed of the Caddy should proc Life Tap from Dracul's Grasp quickly enough that a wand wouldn't be necessary, or that's what I'd imagine. 5 FPA is really quite fast, as long as there isn't much whiffing.

    So the general strategy looks like, boost your Enchant pre-buff and deliver fire and CB as fast as possible.

    Now for all those sweeping changes you need to make to fight this one guy, the other two can be taken care of, one at a time, with the original gear set-up, provided you can keep your merc alive. But, then again, you could also try this new combo. Uber Baal and Uber Diablo, however, aren't the monoliths that their brother is. Baal is immune to cold and completely susceptible to Fire and Lightning. Diablo is immune to Fire but that can be broken, not that it matters. Keep your merc alive with a CtA boost and/or Fade boost and good tactics and you'll be dealing some real damage.

    Thoughts?
    Well, would they be dropping quickly enough that Battle Orders wouldn't expire? It might be dangerous for that to happen in the middle of an uber fight while in bear form.
    Last edited by Namtar; 24-09-2013 at 20:48.

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