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I ran the Countess enough times to cube an Ohm

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Darkthrone, Nov 8, 2013. | Replies: 30 | Views: 2666

  1. Darkthrone

    Darkthrone IncGamers Member

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    And it took me forever. I knew it would be a while, but it was longer than I expected, and I now have a new-found appreciation for the uselessness (at least in terms of cubing up) of low runes. I was desiring an Ohm because I wanted to make a Call to Arms (which I managed a fantastic roll - print out further down). I had the other runes waiting.

    I know most people would say to run Lower Kurast for an Ohm or runes to cube one, but Lower Kurast has always rubbed me the wrong way. It's for sure a "me" problem; I'm not blaming the game. I just can't stay motivated to keep running it and coming up with absolutely nothing. At least with the Countess she placates me with Hels, Lums, and Fals. Some would suggest to pick up other things like gems, jewels, charms, etc. which is fine, but then your run times suffer. Plus I keep enough charms in my inventory that sometimes that becomes a nuisance. There's also the nice perk of leveling up my character while running Countess, even if it is not very much (though at level 89, I significant portion of my experience has come from Countess runs).

    In any case, considering the drop-rate, I got a pretty decent haul given the number of runs I did. I did just over 1,000. I think about 1,050 would be the most accurate (I wasn't too accurate near the beginning of my mission). My average run time was ~1 minute, which includes cubing as I went (only up to Thul), resurrecting my mercenary when he died (didn't happen often), and trying to retrieve my body in the four times I died (once my fault, three times my Occulus' fault). In total, I think it took me just under 18 hours.

    Here's my haul:

    Amn: 139
    Sol: 94
    Shael: 84
    Dol: 53
    Hel: 52
    Io: 36
    Lum: 32
    Ko: 12
    Fal: 10
    Lem: 9
    Pul: 6
    Um: 5
    Mal: 5
    Ist: 3

    I pick up everything, and cubed up to Thul as I went, so I'm not counting the lower ones since they're inaccurate. I ran about 20 more runs after getting my last Mal which completed my mission, just to fill up my inventory. After my first two hauls (empty stash and cube, and a 2x4 space in inventory) I was able to cube up to a Mal.

    To make my life simpler, I wrote a script in JavaScript that parses the Flavie report from GoMule and fills in textboxes which then calculates what I can cube up to (it assumes you have the gems). I used this as I went to gauge my progress. It's very handy. Turned out nothing below Fal was even needed to make the Ohm (hence my appreciation for the uselessness of low runes).

    After I got my Ohm, I started running cows to find a couple flails to put sockets into. Found a few pretty easily. Put in my runes and got the following:

    Code:
    Call to Arms 
    Flail 
    AmnRalMalIstOhm 
    One Hand Damage: 3 - 85 
    Durability: 30 of 30 
    Required Level: 57 
    Required Strength: 41 
    Required Dexterity: 35 
    Fingerprint: 0x704abc8b 
    Item Level: 81 
    Version: Expansion 1.10+ 
    +1 to All Skills 
    +40% Increased Attack Speed 
    255% Enhanced Damage 
    +150% Damage to Undead 
    Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage 
    7% Life stolen per hit 
    Prevent Monster Heal 
    +6 to Battle Command 
    +6 to Battle Orders 
    +3 to Battle Cry 
    Replenish Life +12 
    30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
    
    I nearly jumped for joy at the roll, and felt like it justified the time it took to get it.

    I was contemplating making a Heart of the Oak, because I am getting very sick of the teleport on my Occulus, but I decided the Call to Arms was more versatile and I could use it with other characters - but my next target is a Heart of the Oak, which is awesome because I kept doing cow runs until I leveled and found this, so I'm almost there. I also have a couple flails waiting for socketing once I get what I want.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. Gino

    Gino IncGamers Member

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    Nice one, this SC or HC?
    Also, is your sorc full blizz?

    Edit: Never mind. I read you died a couple times so obviously this is SC. I'm still interested in build though.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  3. nulio

    nulio IncGamers Member

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    Grats!

    If you don't like LK I'm pretty sure Trav is the next best thing. A Blizz Sorceress can run it nicely. Runes, charms, facets, lots of XP. I would never suffer the pain of 17h of Countess (unless you are HC, if so I understand avoiding some more dangerous areas until your sorceress gains more levels).

    If you are SC and aren't against HR rushing, it would have also have been a faster alternative for the Ohm.

    Why the defiance mercenary on a Sorc? Did it help with the archer packs? (only dangerous foes in countess running imo, they gave some NDE with my old HC Hdin)
  4. Darkthrone

    Darkthrone IncGamers Member

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    Yeah definitely soft core. I don't have the patience to play hard core. My blood pressure rises high enough just dying now as it is :p. I could never imagine losing everything.

    Skill-wise my sorceress is split between blizzard and charged bolt as her two primary skills, though ice blast is her "cool down" spell while blizzard waits. Originally she was orb and charged bolt, but I respecced her and shifted some of the skills over to blizzard because I kept reading that blizzard sorceresses are the best at running Mephisto, which is my all-time favourite thing to do. I actually don't find it that much faster than when I did it with orb (I had done it enough times that I could position myself pretty perfectly to get the nice damage bonus from it), but I've kept with it. I find it to be kind of buggy, actually. Sometimes it seems like it deals massive damage and other times it looks like it misses entirely. There's also a spot right where you fight Mephisto when he comes out "down" the stairs where if you corner him he doesn't take any damage from blizzard at all, so I made sure to lure him out into the open near the path to the portal to kill him.

    Thanks!

    I'm just going to get passed my issues with Lower Kurast and will probably run them from now on, but I'll take a look into the Council. They seem to be a fan-favourite of barbarians, I guess due to their horking ability.

    I find that defiance makes the mercenary the ultimate tank because nothing can hit him. Originally my sorceress was made for Mephisto runs, and I remember reading somewhere that damage reduction is pointless on mercenaries against act bosses because they get such an insane damage bonus against them (I think it's something like 1000%), so the best way to prevent them from dying is to ensure they can't hit at all. Once the aura kicks in he can go toe-to-toe with Mephisto pretty easily or the Countess and her pack even if she spawns with might. While running her I put on an upped Shaftstop and a Vampiregaze and he's pretty much untouchable. With the aura his defence is about 11,300 and change. I'd like to up the Vampiregaze but it's the only one I have at the moment so I'm going to hold off.

    Regarding the archers I actually find them to be non-factor most of the time. The only instances they were an annoyance was when a boss pack would spawn inside the room. Sometimes they were sprinkled amongst the Countess' pack but when I spotted them I just dropped a blizzard on them and they were gone. If they were next to me while my mercenary was fighting the Countess I would launch some ice blasts to freeze them while my charged bolt mopped up the Countess. Having an Oculus can be annoying with them, though, which caused a few of my deaths.
  5. TheNix

    TheNix IncGamers Member

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    A few years back I ran about 2000 Countess runs and the results were sort of the same until it got to the higher runes.

    Amn: 324 (139)
    Sol: 204 (94)
    Shael: 189 (84)
    Dol: 97 (53)
    Hel: 96 (52)
    Io: 68 (36)
    Lum: 48 (32)
    Ko: 39 (12)
    Fal: 24 (10)
    Lem: 15 (9)
    Pul: 20 (6)
    Um: 6 (5)
    Mal: 4 (5)
    Ist: 9 (3)
  6. Gino

    Gino IncGamers Member

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    So, a blizz sorc with charged bolt as second element?
  7. Darkthrone

    Darkthrone IncGamers Member

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    Not bad! Were you running for anything in particular or just to run?

    Yup, pretty much.
  8. TheNix

    TheNix IncGamers Member

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  9. nulio

    nulio IncGamers Member

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    A well-played Blizz Sorc can be as much or more efficient than a Barb running Trav (it will depend on the skill playing both). In the Lounge or show videos thread frozzzen posted a nice video of his blizzsorc running trav.

    I find that weird because normally the mercenary is just something to help the sorc with his auras, and maybe just kill an immune monster you don't want to leave alive. The sorceress kills much faster than the merc. For example, versus mephisto you just use the moat trick and blizz him away if you feel it's too risky to kill him in another way.

    With respecs you can make your sorc stronger by making her a full blizz one. She kills everything so fast. This if you want to run as fast as you can ofc.
  10. japanzaman

    japanzaman IncGamers Member

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    I did this a while back for a hardcore javazon and vowed never to do it again. I'm pretty sure LK would be just as fast on a good map, and there's always the possibility a Ber falls. Three of those, and look out.

    (I've actually gotten a Ber during a countess run, but it was just fluke luck)
  11. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Wow, that must have taken quite a while. Well done anyway.
    Countess is actually mainly good for low runes. It's where you go if you want a couple of dozen hel or Amn runes.

    I understand your sentiments on LK. And it is perfectly fine not to do it. I never did any LK runs and didn't have a problem in getting runes.
    That said, there are much better things than running the countess.
    Council in Travincal is very popular, and not just for barbs, paladins are cool too. Other than that just questing or running level 85 areas in Hell difficulty. Also, trading used to be good in this regard, but that has dropped a lot and not really sure what the situation is now.
  12. maxicek

    maxicek IncGamers Member

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    Countess is sooo 1.10, good job.

    I remember people joining the forum when I joined and claiming that they made Enigma from countess cubed runes. Invariably a ban came shortly after, but not before three pages of sarcastic questions and witch hunting. Oh those were the days ...
  13. Gripphon

    Gripphon IncGamers Member

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    You are right, if you pick up charms and jewels, your run times will suffer. However, this will only mean ti will take you longer to get rune, that is all. On a profit side, if you compare haul of player who picks up only runes vs player who picks up jewels and charms too, there is only one possible victor. Player who picks only runes will get more runes obviously, but his overall haul will pale compared to second player.

    Now, some numbers for comparison to explain why first player stands no chance.

    Assume we have 2 players who both run LK in 18 seconds average time if they pick only runes. How much slower will second player be if he picks up jewels and charms? Let's say there is 2 seconds difference, but I believe difference is even less than that.
    Every 2000 runs you get some great charm at average, or some great jewel. In LK it takes 390 (or whatever, something like that) runs to get Vex+ rune at average.
    After 2000 runs second player will be 4000 seconds behind first player, meaning first player will do total of ~222 runs more. First player might be Vex+ rune ahead of second player, however second player will get many charms and at least one really good charm/jewel.

    Let's continue on. After 6000 runs first player will do total of ~666 runs more. By this time, first player will be 1 or 2 Vex+ runes ahead, however second player will get 3 really good charms/jewels by this time, few decent ones and many others. With 6000 runs done he has good chance to get at least one godly charm/jewel which is better than any rune LK can give except Ber probably.

    If we continue this even more, second player will eventually really get godly charm/jewel which is worth even more than Ber. Sure, he will be Sur + Ohm or whatever shorter in runes, but if we consider all charms and jewels he got, some of them more valuable than both Sur and Ohm, he will clearly come victorious.

    Another reason why is profitable to pick charms and jewels is... after some time runes become "lolrunes", not something you really need. It took me half year after restart to get to the point of "lolrunes", where I had many runes collecting dust in stash. Well, they were good trade fooder, and still are. But godly jewel/charm will always be godly jewel/charm, always useful and always great. In 15k or so Lk runs, I got at least 3 charms/jewels more valuable than Ber itself, many that are at rang of Sur, many that are close to it and many good ones. And if I skipped charms and jewels, now I would be few high runes richer, having few more dust collectors in stash.

    That is my case, however you get the point. So, even if you run a little slower when picking up jewels and charms, you will always have higher profit compared to someone who picks only runes.
  14. NoisemakerArrow

    NoisemakerArrow IncGamers Member

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    The defense of Vampire Gaze can actually drop if upgraded, so you might not want to chance it.
  15. helvete

    helvete IncGamers Member

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    I actually ran countess until I had CtA and HotO in 1.10 and back then, even IO and LUM seemed worth cubing. Rough estimate of 15k runs, but might have been a lot more.
  16. Darkthrone

    Darkthrone IncGamers Member

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    I tried them out for a bit. I did terribly at first but then you kinda develop strategies once you learn some of their patterns. She does pretty well, especially now with Call to Arms. I switched out the Magefist with some rare gloves with fire resistance and she's at 75%, so it's pretty safe. I can see myself going back to them from time to time.

    Looking over the auras offered by the other mercenaries, I think defiance is the best one (for a sorceress). Might and thorns are pretty much useless given she's a sorceress, and prayer is just a non-factor later in the game. That leaves holy freeze and defiance. Holy freeze seems to be popular, but I just don't see its benefit when I can teleport around quickly if required.

    Defiance turns my mercenary from just a walking aura (I have an Insight on him, though I probably don't need it anymore) into a full-fledged tank. As a ranged character, I really appreciate him being able to occupy the hoards while I rain (or snow?) death upon them.

    As for the moat trick, I find it to be way too slow. Right now I can just teleport right in front of Mephisto and begin my assault. He'd be dead before he reached the moat.

    Yeah it was mostly as an experiment. Plus I just find running the Countess to be cathartic. I have since rolled a pretty decent Lower Kurast map which I began running late last night. I'll stick with it until I get some good drops. An Enigma would be pretty awesome.

    Oh, to have an Enigma...

    I can't run Lower Kurast in 18 seconds even if I just teleport to the chests and don't open them, and I have a decent map with both campfires next to each other next to the way point, and I have 200% faster cast rate.

    Also I don't think it's only 2 seconds more. It's probably a lot more than that when you consider picking up the additional items, identifying them, putting them in your stash (if they're worth keeping), making room for them, replenishing ID scrolls, etc. You probably end up spending a lot more time than just two seconds. That's not to say your analysis is incorrect, but I think your numbers may be a bit off.

    Lastly, I find runes to be far more valuable than jewels or charms. Yeah, you could find a +20 life, 7% magic find small charm, or some godly skiller, but for me those are worth next to nothing compared to a high rune. I can honestly say I have never put a jewel into an item in my Diablo II career, save for low level stuff when you're just starting a character and anything is better than nothing. Rune words are in my opinion the best items in the game, and are also the most time consuming to obtain due to the scarcity of the runes.

    I see what you're saying, and to be honest I do pick up small charms, grand charms, and jewels, but I'm not happy about it. :p

    Oh really? How does that work?
  17. pharphis

    pharphis IncGamers Site Pal

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    base defense on an armor is rerolled once upgraded. The ED% will remain the same, though
  18. Gripphon

    Gripphon IncGamers Member

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    @ Darkthrone

    I can't run LK that fast either, however there are some players around here who can, even faster than 18 secs.

    As for 2 seconds thing, it's technique thing. When running LK, you don't use ID scrolls, they are waste of time. With them it's a lot more than 2 secs difference, I agree. However, ideal LK runner has only 2 columns of keys in inventory and everything else empty. That way you do tens of runs before you get full, you just run like maniac, pick up things. After you get full, you visit Cain, identify everything with one click, drop useless stuff, then repeat. It takes time to get full, so that one run when you will check everything wont add much to your running times.

    As for your high values of runes, I can understand it. Now I don't know your case, but I will tell generally. Usually runes are very valuable to a player who don't have some key runewords, like Jah and Ber to make Enigma, Lo for Grief and such. As you make runewords, runes become less and less valuable to you. After you make everything you need, you will find runes a lot less valuable than before. With charms is the opposite. In the beginning that Enigma or Grief will mean a lot to you, but some 20 life 11 lite res won't mean that much. As you grow richer, your equipment needs become more specific. Once you make key runewords and find key items, suddenly only way to improve character is through charms. At that point charms become more and more valuable.

    That is one possible way of playing the game. Some players have their own style and they never really need some fancy charms while runes are always welcome. In HC runes are a lot more valuable than in SC.

    Now only question is what playing style do you have. If you prefer to continually improve your characters, making them better and stronger, you will eventually get to the point when runes won't do a thing for your character, but charms will. Or some jewel. Especially because in 1.13 runes are pretty much everywhere. Ok, it's not like that for some casual player, you still must play the game to get stuff.

    You don't need to pick charms or anything if you are not happy with it, however you might ask yourself in the future "why the hell didn't I pick charms, now I would kill to get that and that charm or this jewel, maybe I left it on the ground... and what the hell should I do with this 2 Jahs?!" ^^
  19. NoisemakerArrow

    NoisemakerArrow IncGamers Member

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    The defense ranges for Grim Helm and Bone Visage overlap, so if you have a high defense Vampire Gaze, it might have less defense after the upgrade if you roll a low defense Bone Visage. You can calculate the base defense of your Gaze by working backwards and seeing where it falls in the range of a Grim Helm. If it's on the low end, then you can upgrade without worry.
  20. helvete

    helvete IncGamers Member

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    All unupgraded items which spawns with %ED spawns with a base defense of max+1, thus there is no such thing as a "high defense Vampire Gaze", since all of them spawn with the exact same defense (save for ethereal ones, which are also all alike).

    This even applies to the IK armor, since it has %ED as a hidden bonus.

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