SO, at the end of the 2002 school year, with finals on the prowl, I made the mistake of attempting to follow a bunch of seniors with nothing to do as they powerhoused their way through DiabloIi. At one point, I distinctly remember being twenty-or-so levels behind the epic group . . . but the game's momentum had begun to take hold on me again. So, my Single Player / Open Realms character is still chomping through the game, eyes on a most impressive prize: the Best Bow in the Game.
The thing is, one person alone couldn't POSSIBLY assemble all the requirements for this bow--so my plea went out to Schmack on May 24, 2002 for assistance. It's an obsession, friends: and the sooner this obsession is squashed (preferably with success), the better.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to contact him about potential trades with Artemis. She (and I) will thank you greatly.
Are you certain that one person couldn't possibly assemble all the[requirements for your bow?] And in case you were wondering, yes, that is a Grand Matron Bow in the picture. Alas, due to a bug in the game, you can't 6-socket a Grand Matron Bow. So the Crusader Bow (which is actually better than a Hydra Bow) is there as an alternative.
...and in case this wasn't clear, said requirements are available for trading, for reasons that are somewhat beyond me... I really ought to keep this myself. Oh well.
Well, the mighty archer Artemis has not abandoned faith, just because the mysterious party she had been tracking dispanded over some sort of "graduation" ritual. She continues on, with a firm purpose and a goal in her heart--a goal to wield in her capable hands a weapon to strike fear into what little constitutes the hearts of the Prime Evils.
The problem? Given the rarity of certain drops, she may need some help doing so.
So, calling all Diablo II East-Dorm affiliates . . . my character is on a quest for the following items:
A "Matriarchal Bow", Elite Amazon-Only, with VIRGIN SOCKETS. The bow doesn't specifically need *6* sockets -- I'll keep a socketing quest open to bring it up to six when I get it. But none of the sockets on the bow can be filled.
The runes DOL, ELD, HEL, IST, TIR, and VEX. ELD and TIR are pretty common, and I think I already have them. DOL and HEL will be a little bit more trouble, considering I haven't even seen them yet. Unfortunately, IST is easily missed, and VEX is vexing--they don't drop often at ALL. THAT's the crux of my problem.
(Note: diabloii.net states that runewords only work in "grey-text" weapons--ie, no magic, rare, set, or unique. Low Quality, Superior, and Ethereal are fine, though. What I'm not sure about is whether or not "Amazon-Specific" is prohibitive to runewords; if it is, I'm looking for a "Hydra Bow", not a "Matriarchal Bow." C'est la vie.)
Thank you, adventurers. May the pantheon of Artemis guide your journeys in gratitude. Perhaps, by the time my character is of sufficient level to USE such a bow, it shall be possible for her to find and assemble it with your help.
Will "certainly not trying to put Silence into the best bow class in the game, no sir" Shipley
Still Need: sadly, everything, except maybe the easy runes
Matriarchal Bow (or Hydra Bow) Dol Rune (Rarity 14) Eld Rune (Rarity 2) Hel Rune (Rarity 15) Ist Rune (Rarity 24) Tir Rune (Rarity 3) Vex rune (Rarity 26)
As one of the aforementioned seniors (this whole "graduated" thing still seems weird, btw), I will note a couple of things. First of all, runewords work just fine in socketed class-specific items with +skills, so long as they aren't magical. Second, make sure you use the Nightmare or Hell socketing quests, to get the full number of sockets. That's all the easy stuff. Now for the hard things: there are only two hard things, the Ist and Vex runes. Running hell cows without mfind on will turn up a nonmagical matriarchial bow sooner or later, probably sooner. However, Ist and Vex runes are ridiculously hard to find. I've never seen either, and I've done a fair amount of scumming, on hell cows, bloody foothills, and various hell and nightmare bosses. Moreover, if I had an Ist, I'd probably socket in an Ali Baba or something to help my own mfinding out. Vex's only main use is the runeword Silence: though 7% mana stolen is useful, it's not like you shove rune 26 into a socket to get it, so that might actually be easier to get your hands on. The essence? Be prepared to pay through the nose to get those runes; we're probably talking elite uniques and set items, and stuff like that.
The Hell or Nightmare socketing quests aren't the issue WRT number of sockets, according to [Diabloii.net]; it's the item level of the item being socketed. Low-level versions of an item cannot necessarily have the maximum number of sockets, and so items found in Normal (which tend to be those which have the Normal socketing quest used on them) may appear to come up short-socketed... For a Hydra/Matriarchal? Bow, this probably won't be an issue.
Also note that a socketed item can't have the socketing quest used on it to "fill out" the number of sockets; you'll either have to find a 6-socketed one or a nonmagical one. Also according to [Diabloii.net], finding a 6-socketed Matriarchal Bow might be a bit hard. You may want a Grand Matron Bow instead...
Grand Matron Bows are in Weapon 78; Hydra Bows are in Weapon 87. Hell Cows can theoretically drop either of them, then, though the odds on that in an 8-player game are 16419:1 against (for the Grand Matron) and 43304:1 against (for the Hydra). [I guess that's not too bad, given the number of cows on a level; for comparison Ist and Vex runes are about 500K:1 and 1M:1 against, respectively]. Stats calculated at [Diabloii.net].
The real problem with trading for stuff in an Open game is that, in general, there's no reason not to hack yourself equipment and stuff to trade...
Anyhow, I think I've gone on long enough here; are you sure this is better than a [Windforce]?
It should be noted that the aforementioned Windforce is not actually the best bow in the game. A [1.08 Windforce] is somewhat better. Anyway... speaking as someone who has played the game a bit, finding the bow is the easy part; I've found unsocketed, nonmagical Grand Matron Bows already. Finding the runes is really the limiting factor. It should be noted, as someone who has played the game a bit, that the highest rune I have seen from sources other than the hellforge quest is Pul (21) and the hellforge (which is where most people get their better runes) tops out at Um (22). Thus, I suggest you investigate alternatives to your proposed bow. Or hope that Blizzard makes runes more common in the 1.10 patch. Because I seriously doubt that you'll get the runes you need.
Oh, and a note on the below: Hell Countess is the best source in the game for Ist and Vex. However, the expected number of times you need to kill her to get said runes is about 6000. Times, oh, say, 2 minutes per run is a modest 200 hours of play. Have fun...
If you're looking for runes, the Countess on Hell difficulty is supposed to be an excellent source - there are some that are better, but the Countess is easier to kill. BTW, for what it's worth, I have all but the Ist and Vex runes and the bow... and if I find those, I'd probably be willing to trade them cheaply (and if you have something good, I'll spring for the socketing if needed). This amuses me, and I think I'd like to be a part of it. ^_^ -JeffBrenion
Alas, it appears that noble Artemis may never get around to completing her quest. Which is probably a good thing, cause the best bow in the game is now likely a BotD? Crusader Bow. And if you thought ist and vex was tough... well... just stop now. (Though the hell hellforge now drops through Ohm... it still won't help get BotD?). Add to that the fact that zons suck (though not as much as some classes) in 1.10, its probably time to give up the quest. --NickJohnson