1.10 is out. Let the rejoicing commence.
Party game info:
We are playing on the ladder on Battle.net, US West. Account names are as follows:
Brian: Zane314? Andrew: NeonElephant? Nick: Squirrelloid Steve DeFord?: Willworker Curtis: Iainuki Steve (The real one): OptionalBowser?
We are currently in Act II Normal in the Canyon of the Magi.
We have been starting at 9:00 PM EST, but I'd like to try starting earlier with a break for food in the middle.
Those who wish to join, catch up and talk to one of us. My address at firstname.lastname@example.org still works; I have AIM under Iaimeki. --CurtisVinson
FYI: The port D2 servers listen on is TCP port 4000 (four thousand). So those of you behind routers, if you forward port 4k to your D2 playing box, you can host D2 even behind a router/ firewall. --PomonaSteve
Path 1.10 Beta has now been out for several weeks. I've noticed a few bugs. I have a Hurricane/Tornado? druid sitting at the end of Normal; after beating Baal, he can't enter the Destruction's End portal. Monsters sometimes will stop moving and allow you to kill them with impunity; the Countess appears to have the worst case of this problem, but I've seen other uniques do it too. There are some graphical issues with the Cloister doors in Act I.--CurtisVinson
A note on 1.10, for those of you designing characters: none of the documentation I have found online is entirely accurate. Further, even the lists of synergies, etc. in the game aren't wholy accurate. For instance, I have yet to see a reference to the fact that Tornado has a third synergy skill; most things I have seen just list Hurricane and Twister, and omit the fact that Cyclone Armor is also a synergy. Thus, some caution is recommended when designing characters.--SteveHaas
A few random thoughts on skills in 1.10:
In 1.09, many character classes could afford to buy their core skills and then have oodles of skill points left over to sink into utility skills. 1.10 characters are different, primarily because of synergies. Skill points have become scarcer for all characters, and in particular builds whose skills are not primary (e.g., many melee builds) now have to worry about skill point allocation.
In 1.10, I propose that all skill point expenditures belong in one of four categories: prereqs, synergies, essential utility skills, and primary skills. Prereqs and synergies tend to be useless at anything except fulfilling their assigned function (there are useful synergizing skills, and the usefulness or lack thereof of the synergy skill certainly affects the quality of a build). Primary skills do most of the damage. But what's an essential utility skill?
I think of it as a skill that will be useful from the point the skill investment is made until the character is a level 99 demigod(dess).
I'm amused that there are now rune upgrade recipes all the way to zod... now if only they'd make a formula that let you turn an item into an ethereal version of that item... I'm sure i can get a zod eventually... countess runs, here i come --NickJohnson
Character Designs for the Party Game
Characters which cause substantial lag are bad. Top offenders (historically, anyway): Hurricane Druids, Turbosummoning Necros.
''I don't think a balanced party is essential, necessarily, I just think that we'll have a lot easier time surviving if we all have three times the normal number of hit points thanks to Oak Sage and Battle Orders, to say nothing of +1 all skills from Battle Commands and +400% to damage and a massively increased attack speed from fanatacism. It's not essential, but it would sure be a whole lot easier.
I'm reasonably convinced that the optimal party looks something like this:
Now, the problem with this is that its not real interesting, particularly for the Necro and the Barb. So the question is, what's fun to play? Well, the answer varies from person to person, so its a hard question to answer.
However, I will provide a brief list of the better character concepts. There may be other good options, this is just what I've found so far.
Very high damage characters (probably around 7k per cast):
High damage characters. These characters still do a fair amount of damage, though not as much as the last group. Typically in the 2-3k per shot range:
Other useful things to have in the party:
However, at the end of the day, we'll probably be able to beat the game with almost any party, given what we already have. We could use a third element, but that's hardly essential. So play what you think will be most fun. But if you're asking what will be most helpful, the answer is definitively the Druid (AoE? cold damage to slow enemies, decent damage output in a new element, and Oak Sage are all good).'' --SteveHaas
Individual Character Discussion for the Party Game
Holy Freeze?!?! Dear Gods man, take Fanaticism! (or conviction)--NickJohnson
It should be noted that Holy Freeze is significantly better in 1.10 than it was in 1.09. In fact, a Zealadin with Holy Freeze can do truly disturbing amounts of damage. At level 20, with maxed Resist Cold, it does 703-722 damage per hit. This goes up fast with +skills, and you can also max Salvation to add to the synergy bonus. With Zeal to max the attack animation, Holy Freeze can do massive amounts of direct damage, plus the area effect damage and chilling. Holy Shock does better damage-wise, of course, at about double Holy Freeze's damage, but it doesn't chill.
That said, I'm not sure Holy Freeze is the best choice for a party game, mainly for the reason that Act II Nightmare Mercs can provide the area chilling and some of the direct cold damage. If I were doing a Zeal/damage aura combo, I'd go Holy Shock. On the whole, I think that Conviction would help the party more, but I'm not sure what combat skill the paladin takes or where his other points go.--CurtisVinson
As it turns out, both Holy Freeze and Holy Shock do far more damage than Fanatacism on a zealot. In fact, a good Holy Element Zealot can churn out damage about 5 times faster than most melee characters and on a par with the better caster builds. --SteveHaas
Question of the indeterminant amount of time: Do i play a Bear Druid of some build, a caster druid (hoping the hurricane lag issues have been solved), or a weather sorc (blizzard + thunderstorm)/cold sorc (all cold, all the time)? --NickJohnson
I suspect that the most *effective* of those would be the Druid, though I'm kinda guessing. My suspicion is that Hurricane is still as lag-inducing as ever, but its possible that enough people have upgraded their computers such that it would matter quite so much; I'm pretty sure the source of the lag is just graphical. It shouldn't bother me, for instance. My feeling is that the cold sorc will be kinda short on damage, having investigated the situation a little more thoroughly. At typical game-beating type levels, you'd be doing something like 1000 damage per shot (compare to the Fire Sorc at 7k and the Concentration/Blessed? Hammer Pally at 7.5k). Admittedly you can freeze, but your only options are Ice Blast, which only hits one target, and Glacial Spike, which doesn't freeze for very long (I'm not convinced it can freeze lock opponents on Hell). The problem with the weather sorc is similar: Blizzard does decent damage, but the AoE? is kinda erratic, and with only 20 points to stick in its synergies... I'm not hopeful. The thunderstorm will be doing good damage... though to one target at a time. The Hurricane druid, on a damage per shot basis, still won't be doing great. But Tornado will do something over 2k damage, and Hurricane around 1200 per second, and to the entire screen. And you'll have enough skill points leftover to pump something else productive, like Oak Sage.
Maxing the heck out of one skill seems to be brutal, but ineffective by yourself (immunes and all). Top picks seem to be Sorceress (Either fireball/ meteor or ice blast/ blizzard), caster Druid (molten bolder fire stuff or hurricane/ tornado), bone Necromancer, Magazon (freezing arrow), Traps Assassin (either Wake of the Inferno or Lightning Sentry, or possible both though that won't be nearly as good). Shall i point out that death sentry is one of 2 skills that pumps wake of inferno? Ie, going for wake of inferno means having a good death sentry. Sounds like the old traps assassin strategy only got better (at least for the fire end of things). Shall I point out that Death Sentry also pumps Lightning Sentry, which does markedly more damage as well? And thus that optimally you probably max all three and use Wake of the Inferno and Lightning Sentry?
I would like to point out that hurricane/ tornado kind of sucks now, because hurricane doesn't seem to do cold damage anymore. Otherwise that would rock. Spirit of barbs got seriously gimped, so thats no longer a viable strategy. And enchant now sucks, because it adds crap for damage. (80 fire damage at 20 ranks for 40+ mana? you've got to be kidding!). Some of the spear lightning skills for amazons seriously rock now... and while most poison is going to suck it, have you looked at poison javelin (not plague javelin)? I have edited my preferences above. --NickJohnson
I was actually thinking about playing fire claws if i go bear druid (whether for needed close combat ability or because armageddon probably causes serious lag). It would amuse me greatly, and is a druid build that effectively deals both fire and physical damage (and so would only have problems with phys+fire immunes, which are thankfully rare). --NickJohnson
If you go fire claws, I would strongly recommend that you go with werewolf. Since fireclaws does a flat amount of extra damage per attack, it behooves you to maximize the speed of your attacks, and werewolves are better at this than werebears. I guess if you have enough IAS, this won't be a problem, but if we play untwinked, equipment will be tight. Note that a fireclaws druid will be tight on points, being a blend of elementalist and shifter: you want enough points in shifter skills to increase your combat bonuses and HP (particularly, you need to make sure you have enough attack rating to hit reliably; werewolf also helps with this), and then everything left over goes into elemental skills.--CurtisVinson
I've got a test meleezon going at the moment, in an attempt to figure out which of the lightning skills (if any) might be viable. She may not make it much past Normal before the patch is out, however... (I don't particularly optimize for killing speed, Diablo isn't the only thing I'm spending time on, and my brother keeps running off with the expansion CD since it's technically his (though he doesn't own a copy of the regular game). --AndrewSchoonmaker
I've recently been looking at a silly Paladin build, as I was trying to figure out a reason to max meditation so large parties would love me- currently debating the Fist of the Heavens + synergies + prayer + meditation. Does roughly 2000 lightning damage a cast, and ungodly magic splash damage (only to undead, though, unfortunately). Consists of the "burn myself out of mana in four seconds" "heal it all back in two" play style. I've decided that the next party paladin I play will be this build. -- EvilSouthie
Discussion of Open vs. Closed for the Party Game
summary: No real decision, but there were some votes for untwinked.
Untwinked does have the advantage that we could play Ladder chars and get access to some of those things. I dunno if any of them will be worthwhile and feasible.
You can actually get the ladder items in Open play. The only people who can't get them are closed non-ladder people. Some of them are godly; most are kinda mediocre (well, mediocre in comparison to the existing elite uniques; still better than what your average player finds). As for feasible... rares/ sets/ uniques seem a little more common now. I picked up my first 1.10 unique last night, a unique Ward Bow. Got it after about 2 hours of countess runs. If that's indicative, we should have access to some pretty good stuff. So, in conclusion, the only real debate is twinked or not. If we aren't twinking, we might as well play closed ladder. If we are, it needs to be open. I should also add that I won't be able to twink a party this size very heavily, so either other people will need to help or we will be using a lot of stuff we find anyway.--SteveHaas
For those of you who need ideas for characters, or, alternately, have no clue how to play and want some advice on where to start, we have compiled a list of CharacterConcepts.
For slightly more in-depth discussion of the game, take a look at the DiabloIiStrategy page.
Add new players to the top. If you update, move yourself to the top. This will give readers of this Wiki an idea of active players.
PokeTest?: Amazon 42 (Act V Normal), javelin-wielding lightning skill melee (a test of the Party Game concept)--AndrewSchoonmaker
Jekyll: Druid 86, werewolf/heart of wolverine/fury/summoning. Luthien: Sorc 79, freezing sphere/hydra/thunderstorm with some wasted points on Chain lightning (it looked like a good idea on paper) Charcaroth: Barb 80, Axe frenzying berzerker. Beren: Pal 76 (Act IV Hell): blessed hammer/concentration/fist of the heavens/a little bit o' zeal Nimrodel: javazon 75 (Act II Hell): lightning fury/lots of passive... just doesnt work well somehow, but i will beat the game... Eol: Necro 75 (Act II Hell): fire golem/amplify damage/poison nova/getting some bone spirit (Nightmare Baal was painful) Arwen: Assassin 75 (Act I Hell): death sentry/wake of the inferno... traps really do work, holy cow Feanor: Pal 45 (Act II? Nightmare): vengeance/zeal/fanaticism/+ wee bit o' conviction Coming soon: A bowazon A spellcasting hunter thorn druid A sword and sorceress A martial arts assassin A whirlwind barbarian (likely sword(s) or polearm) A real Necromancer? Maybe? (Nah)--NickJohnson
I suppose I should add my characters here. I'm not going to bother with the ones that haven't beaten Hell difficulty. Those that have, in chronological order:
Advertisement: Today I found approximately the best theoretically possible weapon for a whirlwind barb. I have no intention of playing a such a barb anytime soon. However, this weapon is too good not to be used. Thus, if someone would like to borrow it for such a character, I would be amenable to this. It is a Cruel Great Poleaxe of Quickness (damage: 185-504) with two open sockets. It has a reach of 5, and with a Shael rune it will reach the fastest possible breakpoint for whirlwind, making it possible to hit a single enemy up to 8 times with a single whirlwind. The contents of the other socket are negotiable, but one will certainly be Shael. Let me know if you are interested.
Slayer Artemis, level 45 Bow-wielding Amazon, JUST beat Baal on Normal Difficulty. (overleveled? who, me?) Guided Arrow is the most beautiful thing to ever happen to her; Strafe, Immolation Arrow, and Freezing arrow tie for second place. Ah, spamming Freezing arrow, with a Cold Arrow Rogue Mercenary . . . It's probably just as well she never caught up with the massive gaming session during finals week 2002. (EvilSouthie would have wept as everything on the screen shattered!) Artemis' overarching goal is the QuestForTheBestBowInTheGame, though she may never lay hands upon it. Wish her (and me) luck! --WillShipley
I'm planning to play through all three difficulties once with each class, and have named each character (yes, I already created them so if I find something really spiffy, I can trade it to the appropriate person) after a character from a different video game series. Current characters include:
Cool the Necromancer, Bitchin' the Sorceress, Badass the Paladin, and Stirfry the Amazon: I didn't play that much, never got past level 14, but I had the best character names. --AriNieh
Sir Alejandro El Fantastico, knighted some time ago. Uses EVERYTHING from throwing axes to sythes, but normally is content with the 2-handed sword. Likes really cheap tactics like opening up a town portal before encountering a boss and not using it so he can just hack at the boss until he dies and then use the still-open portal to get right back into the action. --AlexBobbs
Sir Hazel-Rah, knighted 7-31-00 1:30am. Prefers gemmed flails and war hammers. Preferrably gemmed with emeralds or saphires. Freeze 'em & poison 'em. --MarySullivan
Dame Aria, tanking with a really big pike, but has a cool bow in reserve (was primarily a bow amazon until the pike). Roasted though Mephisto, and had damage control problems w/ Diablo both times. --Joshua Middendorf
Sir Turnipgod, knighted roughly 12 seconds before Sir Invisibor. Expert of the Grim Wand, yet usually just hides behind his Golem and blows the hell out of any and all corpses, especially the big ones, they're squishy. --IanSchempp
Dame Snailprincess, Given title 7-20-00 2:30am. Ruling the land with multi-shot. Can kick your ass from a distance. --DustinBarnard
Raistlin the Necromancer has finally beaten Baal on Hell (Thorns and a golem, as well as bone spirit), and my paladin is now up against those damn ancients on Hell (Lightning Aura and Zeal and 75% resist all on Hell). Just a little update. --JohnWalseth
We got done a little early tonight since we beat Diablo at 2:30 or so, so I thought I'd add this page. My anecdote for the day? You should always have enough strength to carry your weapon without your rings and amulet, or should remember that you don't. --JohnWalseth
Evil Urns can make amusing uniques sometimes. I got a fire-enchanted Frozen Creeper (you know, the made-of-ice critters in Act 5). When he died from my freezes-enemies bow with Immolation Arrow, his corpse shattered, faded away, and then exploded rather bloodily. --ChainMaille
A note on herding for any hybridzons out there: always herd with your javelins out, and never with your bow out. Trust me. --SteveHaas
My most amusing anecdote involves an episode with Lam Esen's Tome on Hell. My brother and I were playing an assassin and a sorceress, respectively. The entrance to the Ruined Temple was . . . hot. We died. When we came back, we found that it seemed like every monster in the place (this wasn't true; more of them arrived to join the party later) was standing around the entrance, waiting to whack us into stunlock. We died again. It took us a few more deaths to conclude that attempting to get our bodies was not a reasonable option, and that, moreover, reviving our mercs was futile.
We were persistent, however. After some time, we developed a strategy(?). My brother would summon his Shadow Master, go in, and attempt to Mind Blast as many of the monsters as possible, while running into one of the side rooms to draw their attention. Right after he did, I would enter and head for the other side room, then I would spam Frozen Orb in between bouts of frantic running in circles. None of this, of course, prevented us from dying, but bit by bit, we began to wear down the enemies. Meanwhile, all the running attracted other monsters, including Serena, so we weren't making progress as much as standing still. The real break came when had managed to clear, mostly, one of the side rooms. This increased the length of time we survived. Then we cleared the front room, grabbed our bodies, and began to take revenge. It took about an hour and a half, but we eventually cleared the entire Temple, grabbed the Tome, and gloated over our victory.
Thought of the day: it takes way too much xp to level past level 90 or so.