Ioannes' D2 Strategy Guidance Thread

Ioannes

Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.
There are several builds that survive in the game that I know of. Concentration, Berserk, Whirlwind, variations of Frenzy and throwbarb. Also, if you're playing with reliable people, Bard barbarian (with warcries) is an option.

I can't call any particular one strongest. The easiest, however, is Concentration barb.
1. Stats
Identical for any barb build
Str = enough for equipment
Dex = enough for equipment
Vit = everything
Nrg = nothing at all
2. Skills
from the Combat tree

20 Bash
1 Leap
1 Stun
1 Leap Attack (for combat utility)
20 Concentrate
1 Berserk (for the Immune to Physical)

from the Warcries:
1 Howl (both prerequisite and useful)
1 Find Potion
20 Shout (boosts defense, very good for a concentration barb, who is basically a tank)
1 Find Item (a very underrated skill, which I love; later in the game the skill bonuses give it 30%+ chance of finding any item, which works magic for your wealth if you remember to cast it)
20 Battle Orders (a mandatory skill to max for any barb - it doubles the life and mana of anyone buffed by it, including ofc you)
1 Battle Command (1 point is enough because it gives 1 additional skill point but higher levels of Battle Command only increase the duration and you can always re-cast it)

Combat Masteries
1 Iron Skin (for additional defense)

89 points are the basis of the build. Throughout the game you will get 99+3*(1+1+2) skill points in total (which makes 111, NOT 408 as some people may believe). The remaining points you may spend customizing your character. Most likely pick Taunt (1) Iron Skin (19 more) and/or any mastery, because those are the most useful.

3. Equipment
Not commenting -.-

Partly because I don't really know, partly because I don't like the prospect of there being 1 single best combination of items for a given build. There probably are - Shako and some of them high-level rune words being the usual suspects - but I don't like that. This being said, Immortal King set is nice.
 

Ioannes

Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.
Elemental druid+ Werewolf druid please, good sir : )
While in werewolf form, the Druid cannot cast any elemental skills - except for Armageddon, the ultimate. Which means


1. Stats
Str = enough for equipment
Dex = enough for max block OR for equipment
Vit = everything
Nrg = nothing at all

Unlike the barbarian, the rest of the classes cannot dual-wield, nor will they use a 2-handed weapon. However, there are some 2-handed weapons (big spears or big mauls) that fit amazons and druids well. In fact, the druid is particularly apt at using mauls/greatmauls/ogremaul/etc. because while the attack speed allowed to other classes is Slow or Normal, for the druid it is Fast. Hence, depending on what items you possess - whether you have good mauls or good shield+normal weapon - you will put enough dexterity for wielding or some more dexterity for maximum block rate (75%) (dexterity increases block rate).

2. Skills
Obligatory
20 Heart of the Oak

It summons a spirit that provides you and your allies with a life-bonus aura. Increases the max life to up to 125% at level 20. It's like the druid's Battle Orders. It's kinda puny later on, but it is cheaply re-summonable. Doesn't participate in combat in any way. Highly recommended.

a - Shape Shifting
the decision is simple:
20 Werewolf
20 Lycantrophy
1 Feral Rage
1 Rabies
20 Fury

Fury is your main attack skill, as it is the best available attack skill for wolf druid. The life-leeching one doesnt allow enough damage and the poison one is kinda weak in Hell, where monsters' poison resistance is 75% and 1/3 or 1/4 of all enemies are immune to poison. Fury is basically the druid's Zeal. Also, you don't need Fire Claws IMO, nor Hunger, because the items you'll be getting from lvl30-50 and up all give life/mana stolen per hit.

This is what the generic wolf druid uses. At this point there are 29 skill points left for choosing whichever thing you like and making your druid special.

b - Elemental
Armageddon is the only elemental skill that can be cast while shape-shifted, last time I checked. Therefore, you want to put 20 points there.
1 Fire Storm
1 Molten Boulder
1 Fissure
1 Volcano
+ 1 Arctic Blast
1 Cyclone Armor
1 Twister
1 Tornado
1 Hurricane
20 Armageddon

And I think that's about it. Nothing left for other synergies. I have no idea how such a guy performs in Hell (where the real game is). I don't know how effective the elemental tree is. You may want to cast Cyclone Armor at Normal and Nightmare, but eventually it will become too weak while at the same time you will be finding items with better and better +resistance bonus. So yeah.

As for the items - the usual. Enigma, Shako, :p
 

Narks

Vastly intelligent whale-like being from the stars
i dont suppose you have any experience with median xl
 

Ioannes

Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.
i dont suppose you have any experience with median xl
Um, no. There are gameplay elements there which I do not approve of.

In the vanilla d2 characters always had strong sides and weak sides. This made it fun. Like, for example, the Barbarian had Find Item which was the best skill a magicfind character could have, and yet he was also very gear-dependent, making him the hardest one to be equipped with mf items and be playable (because the more magic find % you have, the less fighting capability will be because you have to substitute items with great damage, defense and bonuses for weaker items with magic find %). This, IMO, was a great decision. When I checked median years ago I saw that such disabilities have been curbed - e.g. the barbarian had a passive skill that increased magic find. Which I didn't like.

Also, things like the unnaturally high movement speed of lvl1 chars felt strange in an unentertaining way. Which was enough to make me delete it.
 
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