Multiplayer Guide - Combination ideas for small parties Cool idea to make a MP forum. I just noticed it, though it may have been there for a while already. Although I normally play only SP, a friend and I play MP now and then (2 characters only), and we always try to come up with nice build combinations. The suggestions below are all things we have done or thought of. I hope it gives some inspiration to other MP enthusiasts. Though it focuses on 2 players, I am sure the ideas are also nice for larger (3+) parties. I will not cover specific builds, but just call them by their name. You probably want to look up a specific guide for further info before starting. Or send me a PM and I will give you a link or a quick description. Combo 1 – One-way boosters The duo that most players come up with quickly is a Sorceress with a Paladin using Conviction. I call this a one-way booster; the Paladin's Aura helps the Sorceress but the Paladin gets nothing in return. Different attributes can be boosted, each of which is shown below. Elemental damage boosters Providers: - Paladin with Conviction, e.g. Avenger - Necromancer with Lower Resist, e.g. Poisonmancer or Mage Lord Combine with: - Any Sorceress, Lightning Javazon, Lightning Trapper, Fireclaws Werebear - The following can be combined only with Necromancer / Lower Resist: Poisonmancer, Rabies Werewolf, Venom Assassin, Poison Javazon Physical Damage boosters Providers: - Paladin with Fanaticism, e.g. Zealot - Druid using Heart of Wolverine, e.g. Fury Werewolf, Werebear Mauler, Hunter - Necromancer using Amp Damage, e.g. Skellymancer Combine with: - Barbarian with physical damage (e.g. WW, Frenzy), Zealot Paladin, Smiter, Fury Werewolf, Werebear Mauler, Strafe / Multi Bowazon, Tiger Strike Assassin - Skellymancer or Druid Summoner – minions will benefit from booster Life / defense / Resistance / Life replenish boosters Providers: - Barbarian with Battle Orders, e.g. WW, Frenzy - Druid with Oak Sage, e.g. Wind Druid, Fireclaws Bear - Paladin with Salvation - Necromancer with Life Tap Combine with: - Any character - Druid Summoner / Necromancer – minions will benefit from booster - Combine Necromancer/Life Tap with melee characters only. Other types of boosters - Paladin with Redemption (e.g. Hammerdin) with any type of heavy mana user (e.g. Sorceress) - Barbarian with Battle Command gives +1 to skills to other characters Combo 2 – Two-way boosters In the examples of Combo 1 one character benefited from the combination, while the other didn’t. The best combos however are the ones where both characters benefit. Physical Damage two-way boosters Note: you need a way to deal with PIs! Combine 2 of the following: - Paladin using Fanaticism (e.g. Zealot) - Druid using Heart of Wolverine (Fury Wolf, Maul Werebear) - Necromancer using Amp Damage (e.g. Skellymancer) Life / defense / resistances / life replenish two-way boosters Combine 2 of the following: - Barbarian with Battle Orders, e.g. WW, Frenzy - Druid with Oak Sage, e.g. Wind Druid, Fireclaws Bear - Paladin with Salvation Two Paladins Get two Paladins with different Auras and both will benefit. Lots of possible variations. E.g. create 2 Zealots; one with Fanaticism and one with Concetration, and get a Might Merc to have even more fun. Combo 3 – Different types of damage By focusing each character on a specific type of damage, you have a way to deal with immunities while each build can invest all skill points in one area. The list below lists builds for each type of damage – take one from each to combine. Obviously, because the characters don’t benefit from each other’s skills this type of combo may not be as effective as the ones described earlier. Physical damage - Barb with Physical damage (e.g. WW, Frenzy) - Paladin with Physical damage (e.g. Zealot) - Strafe / Multi Bowazon - Maul Werebear, Fury Wolf, Druid Summoner (Hunter), Wind Druid - Tiger Strike Assassin, Kicker - Skellymancer Fire damage - Fire Sorceress - Fireclaws Bear, Fire Elemental Druid - Fire Trapsin Cold Damage - Cold Sorceress - Frozen Arrow Bowazon - Icemaiden Assassin - Frost Zealot Lightning - Lightning Trapsin, Claws of Thunder Assassin - Lightning Javazon - Tesladin Magical - Bonemancer - Hammerdin - Berserker Barbarian Combo 3 – Tank and ranged attacker A logical combination is to have one character that can tank monsters while the other finishes them off from a distance. Select a tank and ranged attacker from the list below. Tank - Any Barbarian (WW, Frenzy, Titan, Vitabarb) - Any Melee Paladin (Zealot, Avenger) - Werewolf / Werebear - Skellymancer (minions as tanks) - Druid Summoner (minions as tanks) Ranged attacker - Bowazon, Javazon - Any Sorceress - Wind / Fire Druid - Lightning / Fire Trapsin, Blade Fury (+Venom) Assassin - Hammerdin - Bonemancer Combo 4 – More of the same / themed builds It can be fun for both players to make the same build, or to base it on a certain theme. This may or may not improve the build’s effectiveness, but it does normally make it visually appealing. Examples - 2 Skellymancers: an even larger army - 2 Druid Summoners: lots of wolves and ravens - 3 Sorceresses: one for each damage type - 3 Barbs – recreate the Ancients, and beat them - Werewolf and Werebear - Tesla Girls or Electric Ladyland (depending on your musical preference): Lightning Amazon, Lightning Trapsin and Lightning Sorceress - 2 Bowazons with 2 Act I Hirelings - 2 MA Assassins with 2 Shadow Masters - Slow-effect builds: e.g. Cold Bowazon with Necromancer using Decrepify + Clay Golem - Thorns Paladin and Iron Maiden Necromancer Combo 5 – Builds that don’t work single-player Some builds do not work (well) by themselves, but can be quite enjoyable. In multiplayer they can be combined with others. Examples - Mojomancer: Necromancer that focuses on Curses. Curses such as Dim Vision and Attract are a great combination with ranged attackers - Auramancer: Great in large parties, but also useful in smaller ones - Singer Barbarian: another supporting build for large parties. - Undead Hunter (Paladin): focuses on skills and equipment that kills undead. Too specialized for single-player, but fine if your party members can take care of other monsters - Jailkeeper Necromancer: Based on Bone Prison and Bone Wall. Nice in combination with for example Trapsin or Bowazon - Passive Amazon (with maximum-strength Valkyrie): useless on its own but possibly fun in a party - Leap Attack Barbarian: if monsters are held in place (e.g. by minions), the Barb can jump from monster to monster to finish them off. GENERAL TIPS Hirelings Hirelings can add another benefit to your party. For example, the Act II Might Mercenary is great for a physical-damage combo. Act II or V hirelings are great tanks if party members prefer ranged attacker builds. Consider using other Hireling than normally for a change. Act I Rogues can be quite effective if you already have a character or minion capable of tanking. Equipment Some equipment (runewords) provide auras that can strengthen your combos. In multiplayer these are even more effective than in single-player. Magic Find In particular if you play similar builds, you may find items that several players want to have. Agree how to solve this before starting to play. What is the best combo? In my view, one of the following: - Skellymancer (+Amp) and Zealot (+Fanaticism) - Avenger (+Conviction) and Blizzard Sorceress - Lightning Sorc and Blizzard Sorc Which combo is most fun? Depends on the preference of each party member. I had most fun with my friend when we were both playing a Werebear; one Fireclaws and one Mauler. My next project may be to recreate the Ancients with 2 other players; I hope I can be the Leap Attacker.