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Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by sidzie, Apr 16, 2012. | Replies: 45 | Views: 2292

  1. sidzie

    sidzie IncGamers Member

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    Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Hi,

    Long time reader, first time post. I’ve played D2 long enough and lurked here for a while. Thanks to everyone on this site for the really useful and comprehensive info. I used to play online, but I have recently turned to single player.

    I am trying to get a frozen arrow/strafe bowazon through hell, because I’ve never don’t this with any character on single player. I have no ATMA or ladder rune words (just doing it as the game and expansion, with patch 1.13).

    I’ve come to a halt in act 2 and would like some advice how to get past the tombs and Durial (and progress from there). I am lacking physical damage and survivability of my merc (who does decent physical damage, but dies and leaves me and Valk not doing much).

    I’m level 84 (I think), with maxed Frozen arrow (plus synergies), strafe and level 17 Valk. I have an act 2 might merc.

    I have enough str to equip a Grand matron bow, around 600 life (not a lot) and the rest in dex.

    A quick run down of equipment:
    Melody bow (in a +3 bow skills, Matriarchal bow)
    Lore helm
    The spirit shroud armour
    Crafted amulet*
    2 rare rings (combination of leeches, str and some res)
    Bramble mits
    Mav belt
    Rare boots with FRW, some res and MF

    Merc gear:
    Honour in Eth Mancatcher
    Tal Mask
    Magic armour with >1000 def and life based on char level

    *I’m really proud of the amulet: +1 amazon skills, 5% FRW, 4% mana leech, 3% life leech, 20 dex, 11 life and 2 ok resistances.

    I am looking for a Lem rune to make treachery in a dusk shroud. (the 45% IAS along with 20% on gloves and bow should be enough for 8/2 strafe on the Mat bow – if my calculations are correct)
    And looking for a Fal for Lionheart for my merc (although I don’t have an armour yet).

    My current bow is great for speed and +6 bow and crossbow skills for FA, but lacks physical damage.

    I have an Ist rune and 2 Gul runes, which I can up to a Vex.

    Is the rune word Silence realistic to put into a bow for a frozen arrow/strafe bowazon? Would it help my physical damage sufficiently? Given that, it would have to go in a crusader or hydra bow. Should I save the runes for other rune words?

    (My other plan is to find a titan’s revenge and respect to a javazon to finish hell)

    Any advice into gear setup etc, that could help would be good. Durial is a pain and getting to him is tough but manageable.

    Thanks,
    Sid
  2. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Melody bow is sux for strafe. Get rid of it and put 40 points into exploding arrow and it's synergy ( fire arrows for cold immunes ). Or use a javelin-> charge strike/lightning fury for immunes.

    Either way will leave you with not much points for valkyrie, but don't worry. Use 'peace' armor ( ShaelThulAmn ) to proc level 15 valkyrie. You'll need a hard point in it to make it stay alive. Remaining all points go into pierce. You must have 1 point GA for dual immunes ofc.

    Fal, lem runes can easily be gotten by running the countess. It isn't as easy as with a sorc, but should be doable.
    Also, I have no idea how you are managing without insight on merc.

    I can not see 'Silence' being a realistic use for those runes. It is certainly not good for physical damage, the +skills is low compared to melody, the low ias and the fact that you have to put it in a slow 6os bow means it'll probably suck for FA too. I know it sux, but there's no really good usage of Ist/Gul/Vex runes for a bowazon.
  3. Pijus

    Pijus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    I think Silence is a decent choice. It has huge resists, 2 all skills, and a slew of monster disabling mods(hit blinds target and HCMTF). It certainly better than melody. Most monster should either stand there blinded, or run away from you after you shoot them so you can shoot them some more in peace.

    I'd get those points out of the valk immediatly, and put them in penetrate. You need ALOT of attack rating. Aim for 8-10k. It also helps freezing arrow, as the more it hits, the more it pierces, the more damage it does to crowds.

    One setup I really like, and that I use on my level 84 hardcore amazon(who is in act1), is harmony bow + peace armour. Having harmony means I don't need any hard points in valkyrie to prevent the valkyrie from peace from poofing. Let's not forget Peace also gives +2 to amazon skills, and + a few points in critical strike aswell.

    IIRC, there is no such thing as a 2 frame strafe. It's a client-server glitch. Don't think it's been fixed. You're better off getting a 3 frame strafe, and using your equip slots for resists and AR. Strafe also has a 4 frame next delay. Those dudes at Blizzard do not like amazons.

    I really think you should take the time and get GoMule. Just because blizzard want you to have many items doesn't mean you shouldn't. Also get rune word mod. That's how you can get Harmony and Insight.
  4. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    HMCTF is a very annoying mod. And honestly you do not need the 'hit blinds target' mod either. A bowazon's best crowd control is knockback, which melody has just by default. Use 1 point strafe to knockback everything. Explosive arrows knockback as well, and freezing arrow.. well it freezes stuff. 'Slows target' mod is also helpful. And if everything fails, hide behind the valkyrie. That works. I don't see the point in using high runes to make a bow with 4 less skills than melody, and being much slower. You shouldn't really need resistance either. Just have some charms to swap on in an area full of gloams or other elemental attackers.

    I hope your bramble mitts are 2/20 BC gloves cause you didn't say.
    Mav belt is again a kind of weird item. If you don't need FRW, just shop something like 'ocher belt of the squid' for ~25 literes 70 hp.

    2 frame strafe works on single player. It may not work on bnet I'm not sure.
  5. Pijus

    Pijus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Explosive arrows don't knock back.

    With melody you'll spend a very long time killing cold immunes.

    HCMTF might be annoying with a melee char who would need to chase things down, but since the amazon is using a ranged attack that doesn't even need to be aimed, I don't see how it could be annoying.

    IMO, the best belt for a strafer is Razortail(and for FA as well). The 33% pierce can get you close to 100% easily, which helps you hit an entire crowd with strafe and FA.

    It's true that it may not be worth it making Silence. However, it certainly is worth it to make Harmony.
  6. thefranklin

    thefranklin IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    I second the notion to not waste runes into silence. Harmony will do more damage and vigor will make the game a lot more fun. Edit, but harmony requires the rune word mod. If you choose not to use it, shopping a cruel bow is an option, otherwise look for the highest ed rare you can and up it.

    If you are just trying to get through hell, I would put the ist into delirum and wear it. When you morph, wp to town and switch acts. The confuse will help out your merc quite a bit.

    If you don't do that, look into a life tap wand for when the merc fights unleechables (the skeletons). You might also want to figure out a way to remove corpes to make your progress through the tombs easier. An amulet with charges of grim ward should work there, but something I never have personally tried.
  7. ioupainmax

    ioupainmax IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Just to clarify, can you list your skill point distribution. I have a feeling you have maxed out one of FAs synergies that might not be very useful by the sounds of things.

    Freezing Arrow Receives Bonuses From
    Cold Arrow: +12% Cold Damage Per Level <- This is good and needs 20 points
    Ice Arrow: +5% Freeze Length Per Level <- This is pretty crap and needs only 1 point

    Bear in mind that a few cold damage charms completely outstrip the added freeze length from the Ice Arrow synergy. Furthermore, duration is reduced in Hell anyway so it's even worse than it appears.

    This then gives you 19 extra points (if you respec) to distribute between Pierce/Penetrate/other passives.

    Shoot for:

    BOW + CROSSBOW SKILLS:

    20 Strafe
    20 Freezing Arrow
    20 Cold Arrow
    1 Magic Arrow
    1 Multiple Shot
    1 Ice Arrow
    1 Guided Arrow

    Total: 64

    PASSIVE + MAGIC SKILLS:
    20 Penetrate
    9 Pierce (if using Razortail)
    1 Dodge
    1 Avoid
    1 Evade
    1 Inner Sight
    1 Critical Strike
    1 Slow Missiles
    1 Decoy
    1 Valkyrie

    Total: 37

    Grand Total: 101

    Level at which build complete: 101 – 12 = 89

    You can take some points from some of these skills and add them to Critical Strike but shoot for 8 points after +skills (after slvl 8, there are diminishing returns)

    As mentioned previously you might want to use Razortail and then aim for slvl 9 in Pierce after +skills.
  8. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Explosive arrows put monsters into hit recovery, which is sorta like a knockback.
    If you want to use strafe at all, get a different bow for it on switch. Buriza can be easily gotten from NM Meph or Baal runs.

    Melody is better than harmony for +skill based build. Also you may need to reroll the harmony a few times to get a nice roll, and that can be difficult if you don't have a stack of Lums and Ko lying around.

    There's absolutely no reason to get strafe if you have a low damage bow. Explosive arrows does about ~60% the damage of freezing arrows, which is plenty fine for immunities. Penetrate is okay, but not hugely necessary.
  9. felixbavaria

    felixbavaria IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    I guess the easiest option would be to re-spec and use Immolation / Exploding Arrow with a Melody bow to kill Cold Immunes. For what it's worth, that build can solo Hell with a cracked Short Bow. As ioupainmax said, Ice Arrow is useless as a synergy.

    IMHO Strafe is only usable with very few bows in the Vanilla game (upgraded Buriza, upgraded Witch Wild String or - unrealistically - Windforce) and it might take a lot of running to get these. Harmony is a bit easier to obtain but you need the Rune Word Mod for it.

    I like your attitude of playing the game unmodified, but you might consider using GoMule - it's basically nothing more than multiplayer with yourself to mule off items without losing your map file.
  10. KiraZ

    KiraZ IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    All nice advices here.

    Just a little add on. I didn't notice any source of CB in both builds. Do you have trouble killing bosses? Monsters in hell is buffed in both hp and DR. A Duress would be a nice change from your merc's blue armor. A Guilamme would be best. IIRC, ranged attacks suffer 50% effectiveness (on top of other penalties). Though it's been a long time since I play that build so YMMV.

    I third the advice on Razortail. It'll make a lot of differences in FA. Strafe and FA also need somewhat different mods, you'll be quite pressed to combine them. You either need to respec or spend some time gathering the items listed.
  11. felixbavaria

    felixbavaria IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Yeah, getting high chances of piercing is very important for this build to work, as the area of effect of FA is limited. It's much more important than getting the last bit of damage.
  12. Black Cat

    Black Cat IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    If you can manage to enable ladder runewords (using *hacks we don't allow - Thyiad*, atma, modified mpq, or whatever...) make a harmony runeword, and problem solved for the damage output (though having some points in pierce will not hurt).

    For merc survivability : learn how to use decoy and valk effectively, and/or switch your merc for a rogue with ort-eth runeword (thorn aura, nice secondary damage output, even in hell). Or just farm better items and get the merc some nice stuff with life leech, armor, fhr, resists etc...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2012
  13. felixbavaria

    felixbavaria IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    The forum accepted way to get the ladder runewords is the Rune Word Mod. ATMA does not modify the game itself in any way.

    The Zephyr rune word (Ort-Eth) does not provide a Thorns aura, but the ladder only Edge rune word (Tir-Tal-Amn IIRC) does. It's near useless in Hell, though. If the rogue gets hit, she will die very quickly. I would stay with the Act II merc since the Bowazon cannot have enough tanks at her disposal. Upgrading the merc's armour to Treachery or Duress, should make a large difference.


    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2012
  14. Black Cat

    Black Cat IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Ah yes, Tir Tal Amn, my bad. You are wrong about the usefulness of thorn in hell, though. It may be useless against some monsters, but the high dmg close combat one will lose a lot of life. Tested and approved by several untwinked linear amazon : a rogue with edge will often help yourself more than an act II merc, unless you can manage to get good items for the act II merc (which is not always the case). Of course the rogue is not supposed to get hit, your valk and decoy can tank and deal indirect damage with thorns.

    Treachery would be a good step toward a viable act II merc, indeed.
  15. Ugla

    Ugla IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    I know I'm repeating myself, but maxing Strafe is overrated. Its %ED is simply added to other off-weapon sources (dexterity bonus, might aura):
    - for bows/xbows, the %ED bonus is equal to your dexterity
    - the slvl of merc's Might aura is equal to his clvl*10/32, which yields slvl20 Might (+230%ED) for clvl64 merc

    Adding another 100%ED to ~400%ED value results in the relative damage improvement of 25% if we ensure the same chance to hit. This is a rather optimistic assumption, seeing as the AR will suffer without additional investment into Penetrate.

    Strafe is not much of a killer in the first place - we are talking untwinked zon here - but it will do the job. A balanced composition of Critical Strike/Penetrate/Pierce may result in a slightly lower damage output with Strafe, but improves the overall performance. If I wanted to sink 20pts somewhere, it would be maxing out valk, which really makes a difference in untwinked play, where merc sometimes struggles on his own.

    Using elemental backup results in higher kill-speed on average, and still leaves you physical attacks as your last resort. The defensive skills are restricted, though, which makes such builds more vulnerable to unwanted surprises, stairtraps, etc.

    Summary:
    cold-physical - arguably the safest build in the whole D2, extremely robust
    cold-lightning (or better lightning-cold) - highest damage output
    cold-poison - the most fun as far as I'm concerned
    cold-fire - the least gear dependent, a bit fragile compared to the rest
  16. thefranklin

    thefranklin IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Really? The 55-160 cold damage is added to the explosion and only ~115 average damage (8%) below the three extra skills of melody, assuming 5 + skills (8 for melody). I would choose the extra benefits of harmony over melody any day. And revives!



  17. FredOfErik

    FredOfErik IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell


    this .


  18. sidzie

    sidzie IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Hi All,

    Thank you – wow that’s a lot of replies and info. It may take some time to think and work through all this.

    Firstly – I’m going to carry on without GoMule or RWM. I know it’s going to make things more difficult, but that’s what I had in mind when I set out. If it’s gets way too tough then I’ll consider it again later.

    @zaphodbrx
    I agree that melody is not great for strafe. I have been considering javelins for lightning (I have kept a Winstan’s guard for good blocking if I go for javelins). I was trying to stick to a bowazon, but it makes good sense.

    Peace is a good idea. I had been thinking treachery for the IAS and fade.

    HCMTF and blinds target could be pretty useful on strafe as a secondary attack to FA, since it will stop my Valk and merc being surrounded.

    The bramble mits are laying of hands – don’t know why I didn’t mention that before.

    Mav belt is the only decent belt I have found – I would love razor tail.

    I have been doing a few runs to try to find a higher damage bow for a switch, but no luck so far. Thefranklin mentioned shopping for a cruel bow, so I may look into this for a higher damage bow on switch.

    @Pijus
    I know that Silence isn’t ideal, but as you said it’s a fairly well rounded bow, and with strafe it will have decent crowd control – which is good considering at the moment I’m using FA primarily and strafe on Cis.

    @thefranklin
    I would like to try without the RWM. Where would be a good place to shop for a cruel bow?

    I like the idea of delirium – I’ve not used it before – and the skills and confuse would be good for FA and strafe.

    Does life tap work for unleechables? Cool if it does – I will look out for a source of life tap.

    FA normally does a good job of removing corpses, but in Tal Rasha’s tombs FA does not remove apparition corpses which Unravellers can raise. Would grim ward (or similar) work on those?

    @ioupainmax
    I haven’t put points into Ice arrow – sorry I made it sound as though I had. My skill points are looking fairly close to those you suggested.

    My bow + xbow skills are the same.
    Passives and Magics:
    9 Pierce (in hope to get razortail)
    17 in Valk
    1 in the others (maybe I have a few more in penetrate and crit strike)

    @fleixbavaria
    I have not used the fire arrow side of a bowazon before. I will consider this, along with respeccing to FA/java.

    I’m starting to realise that strafe is underwhelming without a high damage bow. I will keep looking – it’s not out of the question to find Buriza or WWS.

    Thank you – I’m going to try and carry on without the mods (even GoMule) – I’m sure I will get it later for other characters, but this is my only character at the moment.

    @KiraZ
    I agree, this is all good advice.

    I have Goblin toe which I’ve been using for bosses – I don’t know how much difference it makes.

    I have been looking at Lionheart for merc armour, but Duress looks good too – do you think Duress would be better for the CB and OW?

    I am still looking for razortail – do you know where the best place to look would be?

    Yes, it does seem difficult to combine FA and strafe, now that I’m playing it. I was reading Dacar92’s guide to Poor Man’s FA/Strafer and it sounded pretty straight forward.

    @BlackCat
    You’re right, I think practice with Valk, merc and decoy help. I think I’m getting better as I play the character more, but I guess I’m not there yet.

    I like the act 2 merc because it’s another tank. I was wondering whether to get a Holy Freeze merc rather than Might. Would treachery be a better merc armour than Duress?

    @Ugla
    I have maxed strafe because every small increase in damage helps. It is struggling with killing, but as someone mentioned above using delirium could make strafe good for crowd control (or other similar effect to confuse). I think I will need to look into getting peace armour and moving Valk points into crit strike/penetrate and pierce.

    Thank you for your summary too – it gives me some options to consider.

    @FredOfEric
    Yeah, Harmony looks good and I would definitely be aiming for it if I were using RWMs. Maybe if I still struggle I'll add them

    @All
    It seems that most of you think to use peace armour and get rid of points in Valk – maybe putting them in penetrate (if I stay strafe) or fire arrows or some java skills.

    It doesn’t sound worth using runes for Silence.

    How about using delirium?

    I’m still looking for Razortail.

    Which armour would work best for merc? Lionheart, Duress of Treachery seems to be options that I can or nearly can afford.

    I should decide whether to
    - stay strafe (and how best to make this a support spell for FA) and how to kill bosses
    - go fire arrows to support FA, melody would be a pretty good bow for that.
    - go for a bow/java hybrid

    Thank you for all your advice. Any more advice welcome

    Sid
  19. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    If you are trying to find any specific item like buriza or razortail then good luck. You'll probably find all the items in the game before you get the one you want. But anyway, run NM Mephisto or Baal with 100-200 mf and you have decent chance of getting it.

    Apparitions ( wraiths ) are 0 chill effectiveness, so they cannot be frozen (CBF ), and are even unaffected by holy freeze. The corpses only smash when they are frozen in the first place. Other notable CBF monsters are Gloams, frenzytaurs, undead bone dolls and any cold immune.

    Defiance merc is probably the best at keeping himself alive, but on an untwinked build you'll probably rely a lot more on the valkyrie, decoy, because the merc will still be constantly dying anyway, without good items. Life tap works on unleechable.

    As mentioned before points in strafe don't make a huge difference but the choice of bow does. A buriza using 1 pt strafe is miles better than melody using 20 points strafe.

    I suggest going FA/EA with peace runeword, and keep the melody bow. Put 1 point in strafe, so if a buriza or something else turns up you can try it out.
  20. sidzie

    sidzie IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help get untwinked bowzon through hell

    Thanks Zaphodbrx,

    Yeah – I know it always feels like I end up finding every item other than the one I want. I guess specifically relying on finding one (like Buriza) isn’t a great idea, whereas Razortail would just be a nice find.

    Cool I didn’t know about chill effectiveness. So something like grim ward would be a good alternative to preventing them from being forever raised?

    I will have a think some more about whether to change merc. Might doesn’t have a big affect on my strafe – it does help him and Valk do some damage though. Maybe Holy Freeze would keep them both safer.

    I think I have everything I need for Peace and a 3 sox great Hauberk, so that may be the approach I take. I’ll keep thinking for now

    Thanks again,
    Sid

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