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Help me, I need to Magic Find!

Discussion in 'Sorceress' started by Valeli, Mar 13, 2012. | Replies: 13 | Views: 2538

  1. Valeli

    Valeli IncGamers Member

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    Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    So. I've been playing around with some melee characters, but they need more gear. Badly.

    I started magic finding on them and it went ok, but it was kind of slow. Then I realized I was really dumb for not using my sorceress to MF find with (I have one sitting at 87, with some respecs waiting). I took my sorc to hell Andariel for the rings/because she's the easiest of the act bosses to kill; I got there in mere seconds thanks to teleport, which was great. Then I promptly managed to spend a much longer time than expected killing her on p1, and my poor insight merc died. Tried again, and got the same result (although I was pleasantly surprised to have a raven frost drop that time).

    I'd rather not have my merc die each time I go down to MF Andariel or Mephisto, and I certainly don't want it take longer to kill her on my sorceress than on my lower leveled zealot.

    My sorceress build isn't ideal. It's mostly a lightning sorceress, with 20 points tossed in hydra for fun/to play with/because I needed something for immunes. I don't have infinity on her, or anything particularly fancy (it would be nice to magic find her up something special while I'm at this). I normally rip stuff up fairly well unless it's lightning immune. When I switched to my MF gear though, my damage plummeted horrifically. I don't know about resists, but Andarial must have much better lightning resist than fire.... my hydra was actually outdamaging lightning pretty badly, which is super sad for a barely synergized spell I took just for fun.

    So I'm thinking this isn't a good way to go about MFing.

    Any thoughts on a better temporary set up to MF in? I'm not sure what I should focus on for areas. Andarial/Mephisto/Travincal maybe? Should I just switch to blizzard with a back up fire attack?

    Also - how much magic find do I want on me? Obviously it would be nice to toss on a ton, but I don't want my damage to shoot down the way it has been. Is there a decent rule of thumb for this? I was able to get her up near 300% MF (after weapon switch), but like I said, I feel that took too much out of my damage to be worth it. Then again, I read people saying how 100% MF is "barely a drop", so I'm not sure where to go with this.

    Thanks guys.
  2. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    If your merc is dying a lot , it can mean one of 2 things- your merc is improperly geared , or, you are taking way too long to kill the boss. Probably both. Generally speaking lightning is not great vs Andariel. You want either fire type sorcs or blizzard, the reason is resistances. Andariel has -50% fire resists and 66 to cold and lightning. Cold mastery obviously helps bring down resists by a chunk, but as for lightning there's not a lot you can do. A better idea would be blizzballer sorc ( blizzard + fireball ).

    Regarding MF gear, full Tals is hard to pass up. The only excuse for not using it is if you don't have it, as Tal's is the ultimate sorceress MF set. You can make some amount of MF gear using Ptopaz shako, skullder's ire, Oculus, chance guards. It will drop your damage output but not by a lot, and if you're worried about the random teleporting you can go for max block on upped visceretaunt. Or, Rhyme. Rhyme has good mf, blocking, CBF and resists. Make in a heater. I'd say have about 200-300 MF.

    Regarding merc. First, make sure he has Life leech, max/near max resists, and insight in an elite polearm ( for good leech ). Good helms are Tal's and Vampire gaze, Stealskull. Armor depends on what you can afford, shaftstop is a solid stopgap until you find something better. IMO, ethereal/ebug 'Duress' is the best for a sorc merc, other good options are 'Stone', and 'Treachery', again in ebug armors. Oh, and pick a defiance merc.

    This thread may be of some relevance to you.
  3. magicrectangle

    magicrectangle IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    For boss running (andy/meph) pure blizzard is pretty hard to beat. You don't need to be able to kill cold immunes, just teleport on by. Blizzballer is fine too as zaphod recommends, but won't snuff out andy as fast as pure blizzard. Pure blizzard has no trouble keeping the merc alive because andy dies in 1 blizzard + a few iceblasts, even with bad gear.
  4. Valeli

    Valeli IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    Respecced to a pure blizzard build, and even with only MF items on and no real + skill items, I was able to kill Andarial easy enough, and without my merc dying. Amazing difference, and definitely a better build for this particular purpose. Thanks. Now to do it 2000 times more... ^.~

    Edit: So i've killed her a bunch now, and my merc is still actually dying more than i'd like.

    It's not a huge deal, since each run either gets something useful or enough money to revive him, and he doesn't die every run, but I'd really rather not have him die like this. She dies pretty fast... a bit under two blizzards. But she usually drags my merc with her from the poison.

    He has a thieves crown for his head, duriel's shell for his body, and an eth. insight polearm. His poison resist is 70, which isn't all that bad, I don't think.... any thoughts?

    Maybe I should find him something with -poison duration?
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  5. Kalimora

    Kalimora IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    Hey Valeli! :)

    My merc dies a bit from andariel too, unless i feed him pots.
    I always take her on higher player settings though.

    -poison duration is very helpfull.
    The reason he dies against andariel is probably because he cant leech life off bosses.. Im not 100% certain that is the cause, but it looks like it to me.
    what you can do, is bring one set of antidotes, and feed one to your merc as she dies.

    I can also recommend you do ancient tunnels on hell difficulty when you get there, if you are full blizzard.
    no cold immunes there.

    mephisto is a good target aswell, if you play single player atleast. the same map is always nice :)


  6. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    Mephisto can't be leeched at all. The other act bosses can, but have low leech effectiveness.
    Anyway the best idea is just to feed him a big purple when he's low on life. Also, use teleport to reposition the merc.

    When you have better items, you won't have to bother with all that ofc. My merc rarely ever dies, and certainly not to Andariel. He's carrying eth Insight colossus voulge, Eth Duress balrog skin, Vampire gaze. Being level 91 and battle orders from CtA helps as well I guess.
  7. Valeli

    Valeli IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    CtA would be a super nice item to put together.... I'd love BO on all sorts of characters.

    I wonder if I should put my Vampire gaze on my merc. I'm having trouble trying to decide what to do with that really. It's a good hat but I can't figure out if I want to use that or guiaullmes face or various other stuff on my close combat guys. If I did trade helms on my merc though, he'd loose out on most (or all? I think all...) of his life leach. Either way, the -damage% from that wouldn't work against poison (would it?)

    I'm also not sure what to do with my merc's armor. He's running a defiance aura in the hopes of letting him tank decently - although he can't do that at the moment without good armor. Not that Duriel's is awful... CBF is nice, and it has some fun resists and stuff. But it doesn't have a high enough base defense to really work. I found some 1200 defense armor MFing andariel that's not particularly good in any other respect... think I should just dump the highest defense armor I can find on my merc? (Ebugging some ethereal piece would probably be a ton better, but if that's really an unintended exploit I kind of feel icky doing it. Just a bit. Not to preach or anything though, since I use the rune word mod and Atma to trade gear I find, neither of which is intended for single player either, technically).

    Another choice I guess would be to run countess until I have the runes to make him a Stone for it's defense/resists? That would probably be better than 1200 by a lot, but I don't really have a grasp of how much time I'd have to spend running her to get there (and I'd get really annoyed that I was running her as pure blizzard now, after having specced out of lightning which was great at running her untwinked, if not much else just yet). Maybe I could do Lower Kurast chests for runes instead, but I tried running Lower Kurast chests once and it seemed a particularly soul killing exercise to me. I'd much rather run an area/boss than port to chests, quit, restart, repeat. And as far as areas go, I"m not sure what would be best. I tried travincal and was able to get it done, but not fast enough that it would be worth my time just now. Even on p1.

    Talking about chests though; is there a way to have the computer automatically set to players 8, or to copy/paste the command with ctrl+v or something? I know typing /players8 isn't hard or anything, but after 50 runs or so I start really wanting to be able to just hit two keys to shortcut that phrase. I haven't figured out how to do that though, if it's even possible.

    Oh well, I guess a dying merc isn't a big deal and I can just bite the bullet. Maybe if I use a few mana potions I can even just let my merc stay dead while I'm magic finding her and do all the work myself. I'm not entirely sure how much I'm relying on insight, since Andariel dies so fast. Although insight probably is helping me a ton spamming teleport nonstop.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  8. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    Duriel's is okay. I've used eth upgraded Duriel's shell on mercs a couple of times and it worked surprisingly well. And you don't have to use ebug armors if you don't feel like it... I use a non-ebug eth armor and it still has 1900 def ( Duress ). Eth upgraded Duriel's shell also has about 1800 def. If you run countess a bit more you'll soon have the Ko and Lem to upgrade your stuff.

    You don't have to type players x every time you start a run. Once is enough. It remains until you quit Diablo.
  9. Pyrotechnician

    Pyrotechnician IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    The -damage% from gaze only works for physical attacks, so it would not help against the poison spray attack that Andy does. Depending on how far you have to teleport will probably determine how much you really need the meditation from insight, but of course it is always nice to have not needing to pot and all. Stone would provide an excellent defense boost, however the extra defense is not really going to help with the merc dying from poison damage since the attack is elemental and will always hit as long as the merc is within its range. It will only prevent him from being hit physically, best idea so far is to keep a line of antidotes in your belt and throw one on him when he gets sprayed, leech should take care of the rest.
  10. Valeli

    Valeli IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    Oh, can I really do that? I was under the impression that you could only upgrade normal to exceptional in single player, and not exceptional to elite (although I've never actually tried, and may just have misunderstood the description). Would be neat if I could upgrade my exceptional items. Thanks for letting me know about players8 staying up also.... I feel silly now. That's helpful.
  11. magicrectangle

    magicrectangle IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    You can do it in single player and on ladder, but not on non-ladder.


  12. Valeli

    Valeli IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    Thanks - that's really cool to know. I guess it's like the "ladder only" items that still drop in single player, but I never made that link before. I have a whole bunch of stuff that might become useful to me and/or my merc now. Awesome to find out. You guys are the absolute best.

    By the way - is there any convenient rule of thumb to figure out what /not/ to upgrade to elite?

    I read this post about how if you upgrade a vampire gaze, for example, you have a good chance of ending up with lower defense. Is there any good way to know what things to avoid touching for upgrade purposes?
  13. magicrectangle

    magicrectangle IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    Look at the stats of the base (white) item as an exceptional, and as an elite. If the lowest defense on the elite is higher than the highest defense on the exceptional, then upgrading will always increase its defense. Upping a vamp gaze can decrease its def, it can also increase its def, because the ranges for grim helm and bone visage overlap a bit.

    Weapons will never decrease in damage, although checking the stat requirements on the elite version of weapons is a good idea.


  14. TheWorkingBoor

    TheWorkingBoor IncGamers Member

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    Re: Help me, I need to Magic Find!

    For weapons & defense both, the 'increased requirements' vs. 'what my expected end-game stats are' is a significant factor. As an obvious-but-impractical example, lets say you were considering upgrading an Undead Crown (unique Crown) all the way to up to a Corona... your required strength would jump from 55 for the Crown to 174 for the Corona. If your next heaviest item is a Spirit Monarch (156 str. required), is it worth spending the extra 18 stat points in strength? Likewise, don't forget the increased character level requirements (in this example, it would go all the way from 29 to 78). In this case, it's obviously not a very good candidate to upgrade.

    Personally, the only defensive items I ever regularly consider worthy of an upgrade are belts to exceptional quality (so that they'll get 4 rows of potions). If I were making a defense-oriented build I might consider upgrading an item or two that I had planned for that particular character (or, of course, a kicker-assassin's boots for the extra base damage)... but for the most part defense is a moderately useless and ineffective modifier, and I'd rather have lower defense and lower strength and character level requirements than higher defense (which adds virtually nothing to most builds) and higher requirements.

    As for weapons, that's a different story. Again, the changing requirements are something to consider, but if you consider the average damage of the different base weapons - and then any on-weapon damage modifiers - the extra requirements are sometimes worth it.

    The classic example in favor of an upgrade is a Ribcracker Quarterstaff (a plain quarterstaff has 17 average base damage) to a Stalagmite (91 average base damage), then factor in the 200%-300% Enhanced Damage on top of that base, and you're looking at an extra ~300 base weapon damage (before any skill-modifiers, off-weapon bonuses, etc.). That's definitely worth an extra ~50 stat points. And considering you're likely to have (near) 63 in str and 35 in dex (for a Stalagmite) anyways, it definitely makes sense to upgrade - even though the character level requirement will jump from the low 30's to the mid-50's.

    A different example against an upgrade would probably be something like a Blade of Ali Baba. 70/42 required stats aren't too far from what even a no-blocking character can expect, but the jump up to 142/105 required stats as a Hydra Edge may be much more of a stretch - especially considering the fact that you probably won't be whacking anything with it anyways. But even if you were planning to whack things with it, the jump in damage wouldn't be that great. That makes it a pretty bad candidate.


    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012

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