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4 Player LAN character choices

Discussion in 'MP Forum' started by erockmazz, Apr 24, 2013. | Replies: 16 | Views: 10536

  1. erockmazz

    erockmazz IncGamers Member

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    Hello guys!

    I've been sifting though all the wonderful information on this site for a few days now. I've finally decided to create an account and just ask, straight-up, for advice on what I'm planning to do.

    Me and 3 friends have attempted to run D2 straight from normal through hell about 3 times now and have failed in around act 2-3 in hell EVERY time.

    I'm pretty confident that most of these failures have occured due to poor character build selection.

    I'm wondering if there is a localized selection of 1.13 builds that would be successful in an untwinked marathon of this game.

    I've been thinking about running 2 pallies (1 vengeance/zeal and 1 hammerdin), one fishymancer, and debating on a 4th but am VERY open to suggestion/criticism.

    On a side note - would it be smart to run normal and nightmare in p8 mode and switch down to p4 when we get to hell?

    We REALLY want to actually complete this game on the next run-through!

    I thank you in advance for any advice given!!
  2. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Don't underestimate Barbs. Those buffs are great.
  3. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    First, almost any two builds, even fairly bad ones - such as fire druids, say, paired together will destroy players 8 hell with ease, if you have the right items and some basic synergy like doing different kinds of damage. See, adding an extra player into the game, increases your effectiveness by much more than twice, because of overlapping auras and different damage types and such like. Four players in a p4 game-- should be cakewalk honestly.

    Your problem is probably the lack of diablo 2 knowledge and also the lack of good items. I gather you are probably using random blue or yellow items and that doesn't really work. Zeal and vengeance need a good damage weapon. Example: Oath runeword - ShaelPulMalLum in ethereal base, should be able to put one together pooling the hellforge drops and much better drop rates these days. Hammerdin, you should get items with +skills and FCR. Fishymancer- well this doesn't really need items so I'm not sure what your problem is, amp and CE ownz everything, just get insight on your merc for mana. Also, h-dins and summoners are bad in the maggots lair. Maybe that's where you got stuck?

    I would put together a team like this
    Sorceress of some type - very powerful with basic items like vipermagi, lore, spirit
    Vengeance paladin - Conviction aura to boost elemental damage
    Summoner - For amp, summons and CE
    Barbarian - for battle orders and warcries/crowd control support.
  4. erockmazz

    erockmazz IncGamers Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome and informative post!

    The biggest issue is that we are trying to do this in marathon format. Start to finish with minimal breaks. We are also doing this untwinked. With no items stashed for later, and hardly any time to spend farming, you are correct: we mainly have random blues and yellows are equipped.

    So any builds that aren't item dependent would be ideal.
  5. pharphis

    pharphis IncGamers Site Pal

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    Basically use any build that doesn't rely on physical damage and you're fine :p
    I would replace vengeance with FoH but i'm heavily biased towards them. They make for great undead killers, healers (holy bolt) and still provide a source of conviction. Pretty much everything that zaph said applies though, so I don't have much else to add except maybe consider checking out the mat/pat/guardian thread for ideas on something you would find fun to play :)
  6. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    What you are talking about is often referred to as single pass untwinked.
    It is a demanding playstyle involving knowledge of game mechanics, but can still be done fairly well if you know what you are doing. Even for some what item dependent builds such as barbarians.

    Many people do solo single pass untwinked ( often hardcore as well ) characters, and you can find writeups about them.
    With four people playing non item dependent builds it should be a lot easier.
    This is a SP/ut concentrate barb played in co-op with a sorceress, has detailed writeup. Might be interesting.

    jiansonz's guide to SP/ut MFing makes some interesting points as well and is worth a read, though I don't really follow it.
  7. Drystan

    Drystan IncGamers Member

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    Bolded part is important in this statement. The right items are high level items - Infinity being the most obvious to lower resistances and negate the need for Attack Rating, and various others to keep resistance, mana etc - and having the 'right items' can significantly reduce the need for strategy/planning.
    Going untwinked, you cannot rely on getting the right items, so character synergies, bonuses, and planning/build choices is much more important.

    If you basically want to guarentee you will make it through Hell, the best bet is for:
    Conviction Paladin
    Any basic cookie cutter sorc (Blizzard, Fireball, MeteOrb, Lightning)
    Barbarian primarily for the +life warcries.
    Another Sorc, or primary elemental damage (LFuryzon, Lightning Trapper, Explosionmancer, any cookie cutter that deals primarily with one element.)

    The problem with this, is that the Sorc will do almost all the damage, while the Paladin is only for his Conviction aura (and Meditation/Prayer until you get the runes and 4 socket Polearm for Insight [only available if you use RWM].) The Barbarian will just cast shouts and warcries, and have no killing power. And the second elemental caster is basically a backup for the immunities of the Sorceress.

    If you don't mind one or two people just chasing the Sorc around and overall not doing much, it will give constant progress, with enough firepower to charge through the game as quickly as possible.

    This is a good guide that gives a description of the types of MP-based bonus's and synergies.

    If you all want to be active, then a combination of cookie cutters (tried and tested, standard and easy builds - nothing special, but solid working builds,) that provide life and damage bonuses to each other, while maintaining approximately the same killing speed/damage is what you'll have to look into.

    We can help you with that, but you and your friends have you aims and goals in mind. We don't know whether you just want to finish quickly and easily, or all want some active part in the game.
    Also, as you say you normally die around Act 2-3 Hell, I feel you might be getting ahead of yourself, and rushing too fast into the final stage, where you should be playing slower, cautiously and control your progress. A lot of the time, people push fast into hell, and get overwhelmed by a bad unique, get themselves swarmed by more than their build can handle, or don't have enough resistances/life to handle the Cold Enchanted explosions/Lightning Enchanted bolts etc.
  8. erockmazz

    erockmazz IncGamers Member

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    Wow! Thank you guys so much for the informative and well written posts!

    We were looking to have some fun while running through the game, but also move as swiftly as possible. Since we are trying to do this in one sitting, speed is necessary. The conviction pally with two sorcs and barb/necro seems like a great strategy for speed. .

    Our issues arose last time because we played with people who put little to no thought behind their build. They picked a random, item-dependent (and in one case, PvP) style build. I'll keep this thread updated as we get closer. We are going to attempt this run in May and possibly have a stream running on twitch.tv

    Thank you guys so much for the advice. I've lurked here for awhile and you guys are some of the most respectable members of an online community I have ever seen!
  9. Drystan

    Drystan IncGamers Member

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    To maintain speed, you will need a Conviction Paladin and a Sorceress. As you are looking for some fun, the sorceress can choose either a straight up cookie cutter (Blizzard, Frozen Orb/Fireball, Lightning, Fireball/Blizzard) and be a powerhouse, or can choose something unique. A Tri-elemental Sorc, a Hydra/???, or an Enchantress with a backup elemental (Cold or Lightning Skill Tree.)
    The Conviction Paladin can use the main skill Zeal or Vengeance (try both, and use the skill reset if you prefer one,) and still do damage with Enchant, while the Sorc will still have enough power to move through the game.
    A Necromancer with Dim Vision can basically solo the game untwinked (guareneed, I've done it a couple times) albeit slowly, so a Necro with Dim Vision can provide valuable Crowd Control against dangers such as Gloams (big killer in A4/5 Hell), and be a Bone or Poison necro, with a backup Lower Resist curse.

    Unfortunately, with these, the Paladin will do less damage, but hopefully with Enchanted Zeal, and a fast weapon/crushing blow (low-mid level runewords are great here,) he'll still be able to pick off a couple, and protect the Sorc/Necro from the couple straggler survivers.

    As to the fourth character, I'd go with some other tank/melee character, otherwise the Paladin would really struggle to get a couple kills. I'd also pick an item-independant skill, as the Paladin will need the best of the melee weapons found, and that's not always guarenteed. Melee characters can struggle, but as I said, with Enchant, hopefully he should keep some struggling pace with the other two.
    The fourth may also be a Strafe/Multishot zon (Enchanted) or for safety, a melee Barbarian (Zerker?)/Druid (Fireclaws bear with Shockwave and a +life giving Oak Sage) both of these to boost the life of the party.

    The third and fourth come down to choice, but that's what I'd look at. To keep the speed up, you will need a Padin with Meditation (until RWM Insight) and Conviction, and you will need a Sorceress build (cookie cutter for complete power, or hydrid/unique build for more balance/fun.)

    Good luck with deciding (lots of options here depending on playstyle, and what you're looking for,) but we're always here to give input and help out where we can. I look forward to seeing the builds and decisions you guys make.
  10. thefranklin

    thefranklin IncGamers Member

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    We just answered this question for someone else, but it was for HC:

    http://diablo.incgamers.com/forums/...deas-for-an-untwinked-3-man-LAN-Hardcore-team

    Even with 4 people and I assume softcore, it is nice to have something summonable that takes the beatings for you. If you try to have a barb/pally do it, but he cannot leech enough life because of low damage or low attack speed, then he is always having to run away, spreading guys out and feels non-contributive. Valks and Bears and Gumbys oh my.

    A quick guess on setup:
    1. Kick/Trap Assassin (kicking things is fun!) or Harmony zon (with FA or CS backup)
    2. Wind Druid (I am putting these guys everywhere lately)
    3. Fire Sorc (my favorite, any element will do, FoH pally, Hammerdin)
    4. Poison or Bone Necro

    And run normal/nm at players 8 for sure. You can take act 4,maggot lair, ancients, baal in both difficulties back down to 4 if you want. Be sure to do all of act V in norm and nm at players 8. Roll a bunch of Savage Polearms asap and build an insight early in nm/ or even in late normal when you get a 4 socket polearm. It will be worth the socket quest.
  11. erockmazz

    erockmazz IncGamers Member

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    Are you able to build an insight on single player?
  12. pharphis

    pharphis IncGamers Site Pal

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    using the RWM (runeword mod) you can. It's just a text file
  13. Korlic

    Korlic IncGamers Member

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    Blizz sorc
    WW barb
    Hammerdin
    Summoning/wherebear druid

    With a setup like that the game should be easy. It is not my fav chars, but they all work very well together.
  14. Kretschmer

    Kretschmer IncGamers Member

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    In my mind, a successful LAN group has the following properties:
    -Fun: Everyone can contribute directly and somewhat equally to clearing Hell. Fun is not buffng your party and picking up gold while your friends blow up Sanctuary.
    -Speed: You can kill quickly enough to finish the game in one sitting.
    -Survival: When your group goes up against the Big Bad (or a lesser bad with tough mods), you can stand toe to toe and dish out the damage.
    -Synergy: Your builds complement each other, making the group more than the sum of its parts. Otherwise, why aren't you in single player?


    FUN
    Diablo 2 is about killing hordes of monsters and finding shiny items. Untwinked, single-pass play limits the number of builds that can effectively do that: anything that relies on particularly shiny items will leave you bored and ineffective when your luck runs low. There's nothing sadder than a Concentrate barb whose Sword of Awesomeness (or Fal rune) never dropped.


    On a practical level, this means that skills that add a % of weapon damage are out, as you may end up clearing hell before the strong shiny drops. Ditto for caster builds that rely on specific drops (or item mods). Steer clear of:
    Amazons: Strafe, Jab, Multishot, Plague Javelin (+/-% poison), etc.
    Assassins: Blade Fury (CB, others), Kickers (CB - sort of).
    Barbarians: Just don't play a barb. You'll be removing slivers of health while your sorceress friend is cackling with glee.
    Druid: Fury, Maul, Rabies (+/-% poison) etc.
    Necromancer: Meleemancer, Bowmancer, Venomancer (+/-% poison), Bonemancer (+skill charms), etc.
    Paladin: Fanatic Zealot, Vengeance, Charge, Conviction Zealot, etc.
    Sorceress: Melee/Bow Enchantress, etc.


    What are some good options? These all do inherently decent AoE damage based on skills and synergies (not shinies):
    Amazon: Lightning Fury, Frozen Arrow, Charged Strike.
    Assassin: Trapper, Phoenix Striker, Tiger Strike/Dragon Tail.
    Barbarian: Hahaha...seriously, don't do this.
    Druid: Wind Druid, Fissure, Volcano.
    Necromancer: Corrupted Televangelist (I prefer this to a fishymancer; see http://diablo.incgamers.com/forums/showthread.php?308953-The-Corrupted-Televangelist or Google "Barons Bazaar corrupted televangelist guide"); Skellimancer/Fishymancer, Minionmancer.
    Paladin: Blessed Hammer, Zeal/Holy Shock, Zeal/Holy Freeze.
    Sorceress: Meteor, Blizzard, Frozen Orb, Chain Lightning, Fire Wall, Fire Ball.


    SPEED
    What are some specific skills that help you clear monsters and bosses quickly? No one wants to pass out on their keyboard because you're eight hours into normal.


    Corpse Explosion - This is a huge boon while taking on groups of enemies. There are two sustainable sources: a necromancer with Corpse Explosion and an Amazon with Death Sentry. To make this shine on a necromancer, keep his mana bulb full with insight (requires RWM mod). No insight? Time to lay traps. This (and necro minions) is why it might be better to leave cold damage builds out of your team.


    Static Field/Crushing Blow - Static field is wonderful for quickly dispatching enemies with tons of hit points (e.g. Act Bosses, Ancients, and similar adversaries). Your best untwinked bet is a sorceress (although a Lightning Zealot with Crecent Moon will work, if you're lucky). The alternative is crushing blow gear - some of this can be made from cheap runes or crafted, then stuck on a player with high attack speed, like a flavor of zealot or fire claws bear. Either one will keep you cruising.


    Teleport (Sorceress) or Vigor (Paladin) are great for speeding up your exploration. Just don't skip too much content with Teleport - you'll end up underlevel, dropless, and frustrated.


    SURVIVAL
    Less masochistic players will need a way to take hits if they want to take down tough hombres.


    +%HP - Skills that increase the size of your red bulb are the perfect way to keep on chugging. Oak Sage is the obvious candidate, more than doubling the life of everyone else in range. Battle Orders would be better, if you bring a buff barb.


    Meat Shields/Mitigation - Someone has to take all that damage! The obvious candidates are characters built with tons of life and defensive stats; a frost zealot has high block, high defense, and an aura that slows enemies to a crawl. Still I prefer disposable, indespensible minions; why should player characters take damage at all? Necromancer revives are the best, as they combine insane health pools with large numbers. A corrupted televangelist or overlord build can cover the screen with revives. Skeletons also tank many mobs at once. In a pinch, you can also pool the combined castable minions of your party members to soak up blows: Valkyries, Shadow Masters, Grizzly Bears, and Golems come to mind.


    Auras - Some of those defensive paladin auras work wonders; don't be afraid to slow down the killing on tough parts to apply salvation, resist lightning, Cleansing, etc.


    Dim VIsion/Cloak of Shadows - These can really save your bacon against long-range killers (e.g. Willowwisps, guest vipers, and the like).


    SYNERGY
    Playing as a team can make you extremely strong with many skills and builds boosting each other.


    Force Multipliers - Amplify damage does wonderful things for any sort of physical damage, whether it comes from a sword, tornado, mercenary, or exploding corpse. While some items will proc Amp Damage on hits, there's nothing quite like a necromancer to spread it around. Always a good choice, especially when you have a lot of physical damage dealers. Conviction and Lower Resist work wonders for elemental damage, but there aren't any good untwinked group builds for either. A shame!


    Discrete Damage Types - With 1.1x's immunes, you want multiple damage types in your party. A good mix of Physical, Magical, Cold, Fire, Lightning, and poison will make any immunity permutation crumble.


    So what would a good party be? Let me outline one example:


    Member 1: Necromancer - Corrupted Televangelist
    +Physical/(Fire) Damage
    +Revive and Golem Meat Shields
    +Insight, Thorns
    +CORPSE EXPLOSION
    +Amplify Damage
    +Dim Vision
    +Item Independent
    -(Requires RWM for Insight and Edge; otherwise use a Skellimancer)


    Member 2: Druid - Windy
    +Physical/(Cold) Damage - Synergizes with Amp Damage
    +OAK SAGE
    +Cyclone Armor lets this guy survive without resist gear; more for the rest of the part


    Member 3: Sorceress - Fire Wall/Static
    +Fire/(Lightning) Damage
    -STATIC FIELD
    -Teleport


    Member 4: Paladin - Tesladin
    +Lightning/(Physical) Damage - Synergizes with Amp Damage
    +High Block/Defense Meat Shield
    +Crushing blow for boss killing
    +VIGOR


    Anyways, I hope that helps.
  15. coju

    coju IncGamers Member

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    Don't underestimate Necros. Those curses are great.
  16. zrk

    zrk IncGamers Member

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    I have seen little mention of weapon-damage oriented builds.

    Well let me show an alternative: Weapons CAN work as the main damage source in untwinked play.

    Just get a Pala(zealot perhaps) with fanat, a pala with concentration, a druid(fury wolf) with the damage boost spirit and a necro, a skelliemancer. With a might merc and these lads your typical unviable untwinked melee build becomes a monster even with 150 ED blue items in hell.
  17. coju

    coju IncGamers Member

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    That does sound devastating.

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