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Question Diablo 2 Classic (pre-LoD), 1.06b question... Cold Mastery seems to have NO effect? O_o

LaughingSkull

New member
Jun 10, 2022
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I recently got the strange urge to play some TRUE Classic Diablo 2. This means pre-D2R, this means pre-LoD.

I discovered Cactus, and, using the instructions found here I was able to set it up and get to playing quickly.

My immediate choice was a Cold Sorc specced on Glacial Spike, Frozen Orb and Cold Mastery.

After reaching level 30, somewhere around the Black Marsh in Act 1 Nightmare, I decided to do a little test: Level up Cold mastery a bit (say 3 levels) and go back to Act 4 Normal to see just how much more crushing my Glacial Spike is against the monsters I had known previously in the River of Flame area.

Well, I levelled to 32, which had my Cold Mastery up to level 3, and with +1 to sorc skills from staff it was level 4.
This showed a -49 cold resistance on the skill tooltip in the menu.

Then came the EXTREME disappointment:
Going back to River of Flame in Act 4 Normal, I didn't see ANY improvemet in my Glacial Spike's performance against the enemies I'd known there back at levels 25-29.
My Glacial Spike is at the same level as back when I was level 26 -- lvl 10 -- and I assumed that it would deal a SIGNIFICANT amount of extra damage thanks to the newly-skilled and leveled Cold Mastery.
However, it doesn't seem so: Maw Fiends still take 3 spikes to kill, and Stygian Hags still take 3 too, sometimes even 4.
As if I had NO Cold Mastery at all !!! :((

What's going on here? :(

My assumption now is that rather than a direct subtraction from resistances (like in LoD), Cold Mastery reduces multiplicatively:
So say if a monster has 60 Cold Resistance, Cold Mastery's "50 percent reduction" would bring it to 30 (50 percent of 60) rather than 10 (60 minus 50).
Is that so? Even if it were, I should have STILL seen an increase, yet I do not! :O

Also, if that were the case, then how does Cold Mastery affect monsters with 0 (ZERO) Cold Res?
Does it even work... AT ALL ??? o_O

Just... help me out, please, oldskool hardcore D2 players!! :)
 
Last edited:

Niamreg

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Jun 13, 2022
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The two key things to notice with 1.06 is that:
1. It lowers their CR by a percentage of what their CR is. Thus you can never take a monster below 0% this way and it only helps against monsters that actually have CR.
2. It has diminishing returns. Even if you run into a unique monster with 90 CR, level 4 CM would take them to 90 - (90 * 0.49) = 45.9 CR, whereas max CM with 5 skill levels would take them to 90 - (90 * 0.87) = 11.7 CR.

So on normal mode, with a monster that have 0 cold res... you lower it by 0*0.49 = 0 !

LINK : Where I found info
 

LaughingSkull

New member
Jun 10, 2022
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The two key things to notice with 1.06 is that:
1. It lowers their CR by a percentage of what their CR is. Thus you can never take a monster below 0% this way and it only helps against monsters that actually have CR.
2. It has diminishing returns. Even if you run into a unique monster with 90 CR, level 4 CM would take them to 90 - (90 * 0.49) = 45.9 CR, whereas max CM with 5 skill levels would take them to 90 - (90 * 0.87) = 11.7 CR.

So on normal mode, with a monster that have 0 cold res... you lower it by 0*0.49 = 0 !

LINK : Where I found info

Thank you very much for this exhaustive source.
The thing is, even with this useful info at hand, the situation is still weird:

Initially I suspected the same: Cold Mastery only affects monsters that DO HAVE COLD RESISTANCE in the first place and is otherwise without effect.

HOWEVER, this demonstrated itself as CLEARLY not true when I faced uniques with mods such as Spectral Hit / Cold Enchanted / Magic Resistance (which grant Cold Res) and my Glacial Spike proved to be just as impotent against them as it was before lvl 30 and my skilling of Cold Mastery.

Trust me: Cold Mastery simply DOES NOT WORK, or, if it does, it is through some very obscure mechanics that are not immediately logical.

---

So, given that there have been no changes to this skill from 1.01 to 1.06b, which means that people at the time considered it as working correctly...

...NOW the question is:

Just WHAT does it do? Because it clearly does not do the same thing as what us, LoD-hardened players have become used to and have come to expect from this passive skill.

Yet, people who were around at the time of Classic and playing actively, apparently didn't find anything wrong with the skill... so it remained untouched up until 1.09 (I believe?)
---

It's really weird...
 

Niamreg

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Jun 13, 2022
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Maybe the resistance from the enchantement come after the CM is applied in the calculus. I would mean that CM is applied to the base resistance of the monster, and then you add the + X res from Spectral Hit / Cold Enchanted / Magic Resistance.
If so, notice that in 1.10 it would not matter if the enchant is applied before or after the reduction of CM

This is just a guess, based on what you said.
 

LaughingSkull

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Jun 10, 2022
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Maybe the resistance from the enchantement come after the CM is applied in the calculus. I would mean that CM is applied to the base resistance of the monster, and then you add the + X res from Spectral Hit / Cold Enchanted / Magic Resistance.
If so, notice that in 1.10 it would not matter if the enchant is applied before or after the reduction of CM

This is just a guess, based on what you said.

Hm, I think you've actually figured it out! :O
Solid!!

Case closed, I guess, unless someone else has other things to add.

Good job, Niamreg, and thanks very much FROM ALL OF US! :)
 

LaughingSkull

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Jun 10, 2022
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Case closed, I guess, unless someone else has other things to add.

Someone over at d2jsp figured it out completely.
Here:


This is close but not the good answer.

The way how CM worked back then is reducing the resistances by the listed percentage of the target resistance value. This means that if a monster had zero cold resist, CM had zero effect (simple math).

What is important to know is that before LoD, monsters FINAL resistance was capped at 75%. This means that even if a unique mob spawned with cold enchant (+75% to cold res) and magic resistant (+75% to all res), at the end the monster was not immune to cold attacks (150%) but was capped at 75% cold res.
CM however calculated with the UNCAPPED resistance, which means, if a unique monster spawned with multiple resist mods (or already had base cold resitance + resist modifier), CM reduced the percentage of the TOTAL value.

Example:
Unique mob with 150% cold resist (cold ench + magic resistant mods)

Scenario A - you have no points in CM. In this case the mob will have a final cold resist capped at 75% Hit it with 100 cold damage, the mob will lose 25 of its hit points.
Scenario B - you have 4 points in CM (1 hard point + 2 SoJs and a +1 amulet). In this case CM will reduce 49% of the monster's total cold resist --> 150*0,51 = 76,5 rounded up to 77 cold res, but capped at 75. Again, hit it with 100 cold damage, the mod will lose 25 of its hit points.

If you compare the two scenarios, at the end there is no difference, therefore in such cases OP could easily have thought that the skill did not work (also in cases where the mob had zero cold res).


Wow!

What an amazing contribution to the community by this person!!! :O

--

Thanks TO everyone,
FROM everyone! :)

--
 
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DariusTriplet

Active member
Mar 26, 2020
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My memory of playing 1.05 is that I definitely felt the impact of CM - before having it, certain monsters (Act 2 Vampires) were nearly impossible to kill with slvl 2 Spike, but afterwards finishing monsters off post-Static with FO was never an issue at all.

If you aren't using it, I'd strongly recommend putting points into SF - it's by far the strongest skill in Classic (I'd argue even surpassing WW).
 
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