[Guide] Gripphon's LK vs Travincal vs Cows - runefinding guide

Gripphon

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Apr 4, 2020
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DISCLAIMER
Here, the narrator and original writer is @Gripphon. This thread is only transferred to new forum by myself. Only addition: segmentation of guide posts and shortcuts added at the beginning of this post.

Original guide link on diabloii

Hello. In this guide I'll share some mathematical data regarding these areas for runefinding as well as some expectations, tests and build choices. I won't go into great lengths on builds since main point of this thread is to compare these areas head to head to help players decide where they want to seek for runes and how to equip their characters for that. I also took approach as if player reading all of this is not familiar with all the basics. Normally Cows would be left out since they are nobody's favorite, but are best area to farm Zod runes and also for socketables, so someone might consider running them as well, also it doesn't hurt to compare them to LK and Travincal.

Shortcuts
LK aka Lower Kurast

LK stands for Lower Kurast, area in act 3 that has special chests we want to open to get precious items like charms, jewels, gems... and runes. There you can get runes up to Ber. Why are those chests special? Because they have limited amount of patterns they can drop, 65536 more precisely, and there are 6 of those chests you open per run. This would have not been so special if LK chests didn't have so many known patterns with runes and this make them very wanted target because by opening these chests you can farm high runes really fast. "Really fast" in comparison to other areas in the game, it doesn't mean you will do 50 runs and find 5 Bers for it.

How to recognize location of special chests?

They are located around campfires. Campfire has torches around it and there is one hut to the north and one to the east of it. 2 special chests are in northern hut, while 1 is in eastern. Campfire looks like this, also check minimap which has those huts circled in red. There are 2 campfires on that map, but not every map has those.

When you try to find suitable LK map, you want those 2 campfires on it because some maps have only 1 and those have only 3 special chests instead of 6. But, you also want those chests to be as close to the waypoint as possible. In general, best running method is to roll a circular map where after 6th opened chest you return back to waypoint and back to act 4 before you s/e. Why is that stronger? Because it saves a lot of time, otherwise if you s/e immediately after last chest, you spawn in act 3 and you already know it takes ton of walking before you reach waypoint in town to get back to LK. It might take time to roll such map, but it is worth it. Other solution is to roll map where campfires are close to each other, but are not close to waypoint and you instead of returning to act 4, you s/e and start from act 3. That is slower method, but fine if you don't have a patience rolling maps.


LK patterns

Very common question is at what player settings to run LK? Patterns were known before 1.13 version when runes were still really rare, but those patterns changed now. For all known patterns for 1.13+ version check table in this post.

Some player settings were not explored into details, but general rule is LK is ran at p7 or p8 in versions 1.13+ due to most known patterns of which massive amount of Sur patterns stand out and attract players.

p7/8 known patterns (4.4.2017.):

11x Pul
9x Um
15x Mal
7x Ist
13x Gul
6x Vex
5x Ohm
2x Lo
11x Sur
3x Ber


Total known Pul+ patterns: 82
Total known Vex+ patterns: 27
(Pul+ patterns also include Vex+ patterns to not be confused, but I name specifically Vex+ because most people consider Vex+ to be high runes they are after).

Is this a lot of patterns? Yes, it is. Like I said, there are 65536 patterns altogether, of those 65536 82 contain Pul or higher rune of which 27 are of Vex+ quality. If you happen to open 6 chests per run (as you should!), we can calculate how often can you mathematically expect to find something of those runes.

Average amount of runs for Pul+: ~133
Average amount of runs for Vex+: ~405

What does that mean? This means mathematical expectation is you will find Pul+ rune every ~133 runs done by opening those 6 chests, or every ~405 runs Vex+ is expected to drop. But a warning, this is mathematical expectation, it DOES NOT mean it will happen. Maybe you will be lucky and will find Vex+ every 100 runs, and maybe for 1000 runs you might not find anything. The more you run, the more will runes drop according to mathematical expectation if you check how often did you find them.

Q: My runs last like 30 seconds, how long will it take me at average to find something?
A: 133*30 = 3990 seconds per Pul+, or that is Pul+ once in ~67 minutes or slightly above hour at average. For Vex+ it would take you 405*30 = 12150 seconds, or ~3 hours 23 minutes.

Q: I did 4 hours and found nothing.
A: Nothing unusual. Your luck might come if you continue running. Maybe for 5 hours you find nothing, and then in 1 hour you find tons of stuff. I also had ~1400 runs of nothing once, and here I am today after 20+ Surs farmed in LK.

Q: What runtimes should I aim for with sorceress?
A: With a circular map and assuming you don't pick whole zoo of items, your first goal is to reach 25s running. After that you might try to improve yourself further. Fastest runners can do running in sub 20s fashion while also picking charms/jewels/gems/rare rings etc... Normally, if you tend to pick 20 types of items and click racks and whatnot, you will be slower. As for non-teleport builds, it takes longer for them to do, sorceress is the fastest character for LK running.


How long it takes to farm Enigma or Infinity from zero?

Lk is usually ran with a simple goal - to farm runes for OP runewords. Normally, included are CtA and Grief, but those are easily farmed, however real gold of LK lies in farming Enigma or Infinity due to its massive amount of Sur+Ber patterns. Obviously, when farming Enigma or Infinity, we talk about cubing Sur runes into Ber, or Ber into Jah to make it done. So, easiest thing to check is how often do you farm/cube Ber rune by running LK.

to farm Sur rune directly: ~993 runs
to farm Ber rune directly: ~3641 runs
to farm or cube Ber rune: ~1285 runs

So, at average you farm or cube Ber rune once in 1285 runs. That is actually really fast by diablo standards! For Infinity you need 2 Ber runes, while for Enigma you need 3.

to farm Infinity from zero: ~2570 runs
to farm Enigma from zero: ~3855 runs
to farm Infinity AND Enigma from zero: ~6425 runs

This is just expectation, it doesn't mean it will happen in that amount of runs. I know for a guy who farmed Infinity in under 100 runs, also one player farmed Enigma in like 2k runs. But, this is expected amount of runs it might take you to farm runes for those items.

If we stick to theme of 30 seconds running, this means that player will at average farm Infinity in ~21.5 hours and Enigma in ~32 hours of farming. Or, if he wants both, then we talk about ~53.5 hours to do it. Or, we could say 30 seconds Lk running at average nets you both Enigma and Infinity in ~50 hours of running! If player speeds his pace to 25 seconds, it will take him 20% less time than that. Someone dedicated who has time and aims to do the running at 25 seconds pace could farm CtA, 2x Grief, Fortitude, Hoto, Enigma and Infinity in 2 weeks, if he starts from zero with only some Meph gear. And assuming average luck on runes, otherwise it might take him less time than that or more.


p5/6 vs p7/8 for farming Lo runes

Some people consider p5/6 to be perhaps worth it if you plan on farming Lo runes, but, is that so? For this calculation I will assume player will cube Ohm into Lo runes (otherwise, if he needs Ohms, he would stick to p7/8).

p5/6 has 2 known Ohm patterns and 4 Lo patterns
p7/8 has 5 Ohm patterns and 2 Lo patterns

How much profitable is to farm Lo runes on p5/6 instead of p7/8 and what are drawbacks of it?

p5/6, one Lo rune farmed/cubed after: ~2185 runs
p7/8, one Lo rune farmed/cubed after: ~2427 runs

So, to miss all those Sur patterns from p7/8 for ~240 runs you might save by faster farming Lo runes? Your call, sir. Normally, this is just mathematical average amount of runes needed to farm/cube Lo rune.


Clutter problem

Most frequent problem for LK runners is how to be sure did rune drop or not since LK chests tend to drop tons of items to cover everything up? Some players even tend to pick up gold and drink potions to counter this, but it is not needed. It really isn't. Here is best way how to deal with clutter, but it might take time to get used to and to beat your paranoia of missing drops.

1. In diablo items tend to clutter toward the right side of the screen. This means when you open chest, don't open it from the left side, but rather position yourself below or even better right-below chest. Sorceress can open chests with Telekinesis and she can position herself even more to the right of the chests to check drops.

2. When you open chest, immediately press alt to check drops and wait for orange flash. "orange flash" is visible effect that happens when you open chest and rune drops, but it gets cluttered below items. You still see it drop and you see something orange even if you are not sure what rune it is.

3. Orange flashes are incredibly obvious, you will get used to them with time since you will experience it with all kinds of runes. Only time when you might miss orange flash is if you open the chest from the left side and items tend to clutter to the right. So, try to follow 1) as much as you can.

4. If you see orange flash, only then dig through items, do not waste your time if tons of items dropped and there was no orange flash. You will waste massive amount of your time since those situations happen nearly every run. Learn to trust to orange flashes, you will notice they are really obvious and hard to miss.

5. Another method to check what dropped instead of digging is to perform the "walking technique". For it you position/teleport yourself 1/3 of the screen right of the chests and perform short walk to see items shift. This way you could see what rune did drop without digging it out.

6. Last solution which will slow you down is to pick up gold and drink potions to be sure nothing dropped. As soon as you learn to se first 5 mentioned techniques and to ignore this sixth one, the more efficient LK runner will you become. In case if you wonder do I do this technique under 6), the answer is no, I never did that anywhere. Only time when I pick gold is to dig out that rune that dropped, or charm or whatever. I don't waste my time if I didn't see anything drop just to be sure that nothing dropped.


You can check this video to see some of those details in use. This is my HC sorc and I tried to demonstrate from where to open chests (obviously I also don't do it from the below-right side all the time, but general rule is to do it if you can. If plenty of items drop while you open it from the left side, immediately teleport to the right side to see them drop). Walking technique is demonstrated on 0:26 in the video where I performed short walk to see items shift to check what dropped. I don't usually do this if I don't see orange flash, here is only demonstration.
Video demonstration


To pop poppables while running LK?

Yes and no. With some testing it was determined you need to click at least 4 poppables to have comparable drop odds as when you open special chest. Many people tend to pop like 10 of those per run, but actually that is a waste of time and only slows you down. Possibly best balance is to pop poppable only if it doesn't cost you more than a second of your running time which pretty much means you nearly completely focus only on special chests. I tend to pop 1-2 of those as I run, but no more than that, however to break the routine, you could pop more. After all, those poppables can also drop Ber runes, I got one myself too.

Is it good to focus completely only at special chests and ignore poppables? It is completely fine, I did that for a long time and still incline to focus only special chests and ignore any poppable which is not inside hut I open chests. Poppables also slow you down because they tend to drop jewels and charms etc, so you tele there to collect it to waste even more time. You can collect those from special chests. Now, if you really prefer popping stuff, do it...


To kill monsters while running?

I know diablo is supposed to be a game where you kill monsters for items, but when you run LK, you DO NOT want to waste your time on monsters because in comparison to special chests, they are worthless. Only time when you do kill them is if they are blocking chest which you already popped and it dropped something you wanna pick up. Even if monsters are blocking chest which you didn't open, try to open it with Telekinesis, if it doesn't work, MOVE ON, don't waste time on killing them to be able to open than chest. It will slow you down. More profitable is to simply ignore that single chest and continue to the next one. Now, if you really can't stand leaving chest unopened, well, go get them then...


Running techniques

There are a few ways you can do the running, but here I will mostly focus on what do you do with items you collected. There are pretty much 3 ways how can you do it.

Way 1: standard running with item identifying and probably gem cubing
Way 2: standard running without ever identifying items, instead when character gets full, you visit gomule and dump items there in some stash. You still cube gems in game.
Way 3: same as way 2, but you do not cube gems, you also put them in flawless form in gomule

I found that way 3 is pretty much the fastest. You don't have to identify items ingame to know what dropped, you can see it in gomule and save yourself time of identifying and dropping them ingame. Similar story with cubing gems, it is faster to do when you do the cubing once you collect 200-300-whatever flawlesses to do big cubing session instead of cubing them when your inventory is cluttered with items. If you really must identify items ingame because you feel most comfortable by doing it, then do it, but otherwise way 3 for the president for saved time. Once I ran with way 3 until I collected 500 unidentified grand, small charms, jewels and so on, then went to see what dropped. It took several thousand runs. My point is, you can run without ever visiting stash or Cain and according to my tests, that is the fastest way possible. Normally, exception is if you run through town 3, then Cain is right at the way and you can do it then since you will be slower anyway and it won't matter much.


What else to know about running LK?

1. You need keys. 2 rows is enough for some time.
2. You can run with empty inventory as I do in SC. Only 2 rows of keys and run until you get full inventory.
3. Do you REALLY need that tome of town portal in your inventory while LK running? Unless you plan on returning into act 3 with it to get into act 4 for a faster start of a run, don't clutter your inventory space with unnecessary items.
4. Sorceress can open waypoints and chests with Telekinesis, even through the hut roof. Use it!
5. Returning to act 4 is MUCH faster than s/e immediately and start run from act 3, so try to roll circular map which allows you to fast go into act 4 after you open last chest.
6. For HC I'd recommend going for max block, but for SC go 200 fcr and let runes fly your way.
 
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Babyhell

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Mar 13, 2020
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Travincal

Travincal is area in act 3 which you visit if you are going downstairs to Mephisto. I won't go into massive details here, but will cover some basics of running for some characters. What we want to kill is Council units and only them since they have increased drop chance. You ignore everything else around and kill only the Council.

The Council consists of 11 minions of which there are 3 bosses. They tend to form into 3 groups: Ismail Vilehand + 4 of his minions, Geleb Flamefinger + 4 his minions and Toorc Icefist which is forever alone. You could roll a map when they spawn all together at one big bunch and that kind of map you are interested in the most.


When to hit Travincal?

Travincal is more dangerous and more advanced area than LK. It is not advisable to go there with poor characters because you might find yourself overwhelmed by their power. Unlike in LK which you can run pretty much naked, for Travincal it is recommended that you already have gear like CtA, Enigma and possibly Infinity for some characters. Yes, Travincal comes after LK running is done, not at the same time or before. If you try to compete with LK by running Travincal with poor gear, forget it, it won't happen. Travincal is much slower area for farming runes unless you are really well geared, only then can Travincal come somewhat close to LK.

If you wonder whats the point of running Travincal if you already have CtA, Enigma, Infinity...? There are a few reasons. One is, Travincal is not as boring as LK. Second reason is, Travincal is arguably best area in the game for facet farming. Do you want facets? Travincal! Unless you want to hit Mephisto with Infinity and such gear lol. Do you want Jah and Cham runes? Travincal! Unique rings and amulets? They can all drop in Travincal. Rare jewels and rings, charms, gems? Travincal is great target, for rare rings and jewels strongest in the game and second strongest for gems after LK.

Q: What if I don't have good gear and still want to hit Travincal, will it be fine?
A: It could be perfectly fine if you are okay by skipping LK which is at that point over 2 times as strong for farming runes. With sorceress ofc.


What kind of map do I want for Travincal running?

To answer this question, I will assume player has Enigma and does not use stairs to position his mercenary.

Best sort of Travincal maps are the ones where all minions are together. While you roll Travincal maps you will notice often times that Toorc dude ruins otherwise perfect Travincal map. Get used to it, you will see it often. :D You want minions together anywhere, though best possible map is if you have them outside on balcony as close to dead end as possible. Warning, it might take some time to roll such map! Most of the times when you roll a map where all minions are together, they won't be very near to dead end on balcony, but still that map is a keeper and is excellent. Map you see on my videos is pretty much the perfect map, but that kind of map is not needed unless you want to achieve not only fast, but fastest possible running. Map rolling could be so boring that even if you see Toorc ruining your otherwise perfect map where all other minions are tightly packed, I'd consider leaving that map for some running. Some players used such maps because they didn't wanna use too much time rolling better map than that. Even if you roll a map where minions are rather close to each other, but not in perfectly tight formation as shown on map from my videos, I'd still consider keeping it for a while. General rules of keepable maps:

1. all minions are in tight formation except Toorc - potential keeper
2. all minions are not in a tight formation, but are pretty much together - solid keeper until you decide to upgrade it
3. all minions are in tight formation, but not at the dead end of the balcony - excellent keeper
4. all minions are not in tight formation, but everyone is located at the dead end of balcony - excellent keeper
5. all minions are in tight formation and also at dead end of balcony - jackpot baby!

All of those are keepers, only difference is what is your goal. If you want fast and efficient running, any of those maps will do. If you wanna do best possible running and push your abilities to the limit, then maps 4 and 5 are pretty much what are you after, in some cases even 3 might work decent enough. Blizzard sorceress profits a lot by having map with tightly packed minions while WW barbarian and the rest could also run less perfect map comfortably, though pretty much all characters want map number 5 with perhaps exception of hammerdin, but I didn't investigate enough to know would he prefer different kind of map.

Perhaps best way to roll maps is to first settle with any map from 1-3 type and then use OTHER character to try to roll for an upgrade, or roll with the same character later on trying to find upgrade or trying to roll that perfect map. Let's call this "2 characters rolling technique". Having 2 characters viable for Travincal running does make map rolling much easier because when you roll good map with one character, you can seek the upgrade with the other one until you find the upgrade, and then make that character to be your main Trav runner instead and then use the other character trying to upgrade your map yet again. If you don't have 2 characters for the task, then perhaps best thing is to improve map bit by bit since immediately trying to roll map number 4 or 5 might be tedious to do. If you want to roll a perfect map, I'd recommend using described "2 character rolling technique" so that you always have 1 character ready to do Travincal running while with other you roll maps as long as you want until you find the perfect one or at least the upgrade. At least that is the most convenient way to do it without getting to position you rerolled excellent map and now you feel sorry for doing it.

I also did this "2 characters rolling technique" to roll better Travincal maps, but also same technique applies for any map rolling. I used it to roll my now "perfect" Pit map with 2 barbarians. Thanks to this I never really lost great map for anything else but an even better map.

In case you wonder why is there difference between map number 3 and 5, there are 2 reasons. Reason 1: map number 5 has minions cornered and they CAN'T spread around except going through you. Map number 3 means they have much more space to run away from you. Reason 2: like explained, items tend to clutter to the right side in Diablo which means it is preferable to do the killing if you stand on the right side of minions (with exception of melee characters who can't do that obviously), and map number 3 means if you do that, you will be further away form the waypoint and it might take you 1-2 extra teleports per run to position yourself and get back to act 4 again. This is why map 3 is excellent for top tier running, but map 5 is the one you want for record-breaking running (map 4 will do too for non-sorc characters).

When I talk about Travincal rolling maps, I talk about going into game, teleport there, s/e checking map without killing anything, repeat if map is not good. That way you can roll 4 maps per minute and you could get great map once per hour of rolling. If you tend to get there to kill things... well, it will take you longer to roll that good map you want. For a start you could settle with less perfect map though to not waste too much time on rolling maps and to satisfy your hunger for Travincal running.

When rolling maps, there is one important thing to know. There is one so called "magical" line in Travincal which determines where will minions spawn depending do you teleport north or south of it. In other words, yes, teleporting path does influence where will minions spawn.


If you take path 1, spawn locations will be different than on path 2. There are more magical lines like that in Travincal, but only this is of importance because it lies at fastest path to Council. Also, path 2 is strictly SUPERIOR to path 1, so when rolling maps, I'd recommend to check only with this path 2 and ignore all other paths. Why is it superior? Because once you roll that perfect map where minions are on balcony outside near dead end, with path 2 you immediately close their way out and they can't scatter around. That is harder to do if you take path 1 and you need to do extra teleport. So, why bother with path 1 at all if path 2 is strictly better? Your choice anyway.

For "perfect" Travincal map check any of the videos I will post. It will take some time to roll something like that, but once you do... YEEEEEEHA. I do suggest you reread this map rerolling section again (especially 2 character rolling technique) to make sure you don't waste too much time trying to roll that perfect type of map, there are many possible keeper maps even if they are not perfect.


What player settings to run Travincal with?

For Travincal best setting is players 3. No if's, no but's, no when's. It is a pure fact confirmed by a test. On players 3 minions have 90% chance to drop item while on p7 they have 100%. Because of this and their HP bonus they get on higher players settings, on p3 you run them the fastest and if we include the fact they drop 90% items of those on p7, it is easy to conclude with test that p3 is simply stronger for farming. Stronger and safer at the same time. There was some rumor that Zealot paladin is fast enough on p5 or p7 to beat p3, but nope, it is not true. He is also fastest farmer on p3.

So, the answer is p3 if you want most efficient farming, or p1 if you can't handle p3, though in that case LK is just too strong to skip for Travincal on p1.


Drop chance of runes in Travincal

Question is, just how strong is Travincal for farming runes? It is second strongest area in the game right after LK, with addition it can also drop Jah and Cham which cannot be found in LK, only cubed.

To compare drop odds, we must also include barbarian who has that juicy Item Find aka "hork". Item Find is always p7 too. For him I will also include the fact that Reaper's Toll is used as merc weapon and it has cold damage, and according to my tests every four runs one minions is shattered and cannot be horked. I will list drops of Pul+ and Um+ because Pul is generally considered worthy enough to be picked up, while Um+ runes are usually considered in some runefinding events like RFO (rune-find olympics, check tournament list to see).

Drop rates for non-hork characters on p3
Pul-Cham: ~188 runs
Um-Cham: ~ 237 runs
Vex-Cham: ~ 572 runs

Drop rates for 55% hork barb on p3
Pul-Cham: ~117 runs
Um-Cham: ~148 runs
Vex-Cham: ~358 runs

If you, for example, have 45s barb running who has 55% hork, you are expected to find Vex+ rune once in 358*45 = 16110 seconds, or once in 4 hours and 28 minutes of running.


What characters to use for Travincal running?

There are several choices of more popular characters you can pick for this task and hope to be efficient enough: WW barb, Blizzard sorc, Bonenec, PNova nec, Hammerdin and Zealot. You can also try something like Icemaiden or Bowa, but in general listed characters are chosen for the task.


WW barbarian

He is pretty simple fellow to play. Oaths are cheap weapon option while 2x Grief is the standard. You could also try something like Grief + Beast. If you want to know all the basics, check this guide.

If you want to know details of optimizing, you can check this post where I explained my thinking about optimized WW barb for Travincal running. This is not needed for startup, but could help you understand what WW barb has to deal with while running Travincal.

Just a fast facts:
- Enigma is stronger than Fortitude and CoH because it positions your mercenary which carries Reaper's Toll with amazing curse which will boost your damage the most.
- it IS faster to teleport back into town 4 instead of running through town 3, it saves you like 2 seconds.
- DON'T use Ravenfrost, it has cold damage and it hurts efficiency of your running more than it improves you! If you really have no choice or anything marginally useful or rare rings, only then use Ravenfrost.

Video of demonstration of WW barb running Travincal. This is highly optimized barb (even the Grief+Beast part). Why G+B? Because with my tests I once confirmed that G+G is stronger, other time G+B won slightly, so... I'd still recommend G+G, but it is possible G+B is just as strong and it does merc proc curse faster.


Clutter problem:
barb tends to have large clutter of items due to hork. To counter it you can do this:
- always hork from the right to the left because items clutter to the right side, and the more to the right you are while horking, more likely you are to spot items
- hork with alt pressed down, it might take some time to get used to, but it is best way to do it
- perform short walk technique after everything is done. For this you teleport to the right of the drops and do walking to see items shift and then check for orange flashes. Check the video for demonstration

How to make merc safe?
Another really important question. Simplest solution is to use Kira's Guardian socketed with Ral, Guardian Angel socketed with Ral and Reaper's Toll with Shael (you should use Might merc to make him leech better and also to give you bonus to damage). If you are rich, you could socket ias/fire resist jewels. This way you also counter Conviction from Travincal which reduces your resistances by 75%. Merc naturally has ~155-160 allres, so your goal is to make him have additional ~110 fire resist to have 90 max even under Conviction. Real value depends on what roll of Kira's do you have and what is merc level, but what kills your merc are hydras under Conviction. Once you make him have 90 max fire even then, your problem is solved.

Since barb has hork, that rises question how to compare him to other non-hork characters. It is mathematically quite simple if you know your average runtime.

If your barb has 55% hork, divide his runtime with 1.597 to know average time of non-hork character which is equally efficient farmer.
For 56% hork barbarian divide his runtime with 1.608 to compare.

As additional info, any sort of barb is supposed to work nicely in Travincal, but WW variant is the fastest one to have.


Blizzard sorceress

For a long time WW barb was considered to be the king of Travincal, but if he is the king, Blizzard sorc is definitely the queen. Newest tests revealed she is actually even just slightly better than WW barb, but is possibly more challenging to play. First, some important points:

- you DO NOT need Fathom to do nearly fastest possible running for her. It is confirmed she can do sub 19s running with Hoto
- Infinity is best solution for merc stick, no Insight
- map is incredibly important for her, especially the fact to have all minions together
- if you use Insight, you constantly face 1 cold immune boss while second one can become immune too.
- if you use Infinity, one boss can turn cold immune once in 55 runs, it is best to skip him and not waste time killing him, you will find out he slows you down a lot
- I'd recommend might merc so he can actually help you kill stuff, but prayer or HF are fine as well.

To read more about sorceress safety, read this post.

As for possible sorc gear solution, read this post. You could check the whole thread which is great source of information.

For merc, I'm using Infinity + Fortitude + Steelshade to great success. No, he does not need leech, but in case you want some, you can use CoH instead and solve that problem!

Demonstration of what Travincalsorc is capable of on p3:

Technique is quite simple. Get there, blizzard, static, blizzard, blast, etc. I am planning to open thread about her where I will explain everything into details on both typical farming and goldfind front.


Poisonmancer

Not really tested nor known character for Travincal running until recently. My mistake was that I used lower resist curse at first. Now you wonder, isn't poisonmancer supposed to use lower resist curse? Well yes, but amplify is stronger because it makes mercenary kill minion faster and it also boosts your corpse explosion by a huge amount to clear whole Travincal fast. So, DO NOT use LR curse, use amplify! It is MUCH stronger.

Slight problem: every 5 runs or so one boss turns physical immune and after you break his immunity with amplify, he is still NOT worth killing so you best skip him. Or, you can be stubborn and go kill him every time cuz they shall not live!

You can check some details about gear and basics in this post.

About more test results you can read here.

For merc you can go the same way as with sorceress - Infinity + Fortitude + Steelshade. Or CoH if you wanna leech. For necro you really want might merc to get the killing going, just make sure merc doesn't have any cold damage because it might shatter your first corpse and delay your CE chain and slow you down.

And, final version with Beast golem I made video from too. Normally no one is expecting to make Beast golem for Travincal running, it only makes you 1 second faster, but, to kick things into perfection... why not. Making IG from something like Immortal King maul is decent option too. To keep golem alive, I'd recommend maxing golem mastery.


Bonenec

Quite similar to poison variant, but slightly different. Everything important about him you can check in this post. Also, as with poison variant, here you also skip that tough physically immune boss to not slow you down too much. Use might merc.

Video demonstration:

Merc: same as with poisonmancer.


Zealot

Very popular build for Travincal. You can go 2 routes here: 2 hander of Grief + shield (Spirit or HoZ). But, some facts about this build as well:

- teleporting is faster than charging, Enigma >> everything else unless you wanna deal with telepor charges
- teleporting back to town 4 is faster than running through town 3, even if you have vigor
- he is more efficient on p3 than on p5 or p7, confirmed by a test
- might merc is the best choice

Is it better to go 2h or 1h + shield? I'd say it doesn't matter much... I'd go Grief + shield for better safety. LoH gloves + Highlord's should be standard.

Video demonstration:


Hammerdin

He is quite simple really, get 125 fcr, get block, use Rising sun and kill them all! However, it is annoying build because hammers have blindspots and you have to reposition after you drop like 5 hammers to kill them all, otherwise minions in blind spots will remain at full HP. Sadly, I didn't test this character much, but he can do sub 25s running on a good map and is pretty solid Travincal runner overall in case you want to try him. For him it doesn't really matter what kind of merc do you have, but I'd still use might to help you kill minions better.


Is MF important for Travincal?

In general, the answer is no. However, you can farm facets, rare and unique rings, amulets and some useful gear in Travincal, so having some MF doesn't hurt. In general I aim for something in 150 range which is enough and it is kinda useful to have. After all, why to miss opportunity of farming something else other than charms and runes? I found plenty of Sojs and Wisp projectors and stuff in Travincal after all.
 
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Babyhell

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Moo Moo Farm aka Cow Level

You have to defeat Baal to be able to enter Cow level. Cow set items can be found only here. Also, do not kill King, you will lose ability to visit Cow level with that character. Since Cow King is lightning immune and cannot be broken, this makes lightning based characters really good to farm cow level with. But, does that mean other characters are not good? Wrong! In fact, so far best known cow runner is not lightning based character.


What players settings is best to use?

For a long time it was believed p7/8 was strictly the way to go since cows, unlike Travincal, tend to have more increased drops with each player in the game. Until few weeks ago this was not properly tested. In general, answer is this:

- p5 is best to farm on with any character except with Javazon which is slightly stronger farmer on p7 due to nature of Fury.

Why is not p3 here the best? Because increase in drop chance between p5 and p3 is the same as improving running by 25%, and that might be really hard to do on p3 to make up for difference in drops. This is why p5 is in general best to target cows. It was confirmed with numerous tests that p5 is slightly stronger than p7 not only in efficiency of farming, but also less clutter of items. What else do you need?


Long live the King!

How to avoid killing the King? First thing you have to do is to learn where he is located in his "castle", and then pay attention you don't snipe cows around there or don't drag him out. This does mean you will get annoyed if tons of cows are located around King and you can't touch them... but good news is, you could hope to roll a map where King is kinda lonely with his minions, but it might take some time. In general, if you play non-lightning character, if you rolled a map which is full of cows around the King, I'd consider rerolling it. With lightning based characters only danger is if you let merc pond on King for like 10 seconds, that will definitely get him killed.


How many cows are there on Cow Level?

Good question. All the test we have done suggest number varies anywhere between 350 and 500, so you could aim to kill like 400 cows per run if you do have some leftovers, but still pay attention to herd them right and kill them. Overall there is no reliable way to determine how many cows do you really kill because it depends on character, on your playing style and possibly map (not confirmed!). Real number of killed cows can be slightly below 400 or even like 450. I can share a methods how to estimate number of cows.

To determine how many cows are there, you can use XP method, but only with character level 94+! If your character is not in 94+ region, it will not work because minions offer like 60x more xp than regular cows and if you miss minion count just slightly, your test will fail big time.

Obviously, you should know how much xp does one cow give, you should estimate how many minions and champions do you kill and then when you know how much xp you gained from a single run, you should be able to have solid estimation once you remove portion of xp you got from minions. Remember, minions offer x5 and champions x3 xp compared to regular cows, so you should remove (number of minions x4 + number of champions x2) cows from a total you get by dividing xp gained in a single run with xp gained by single cow. Method is not 100% precise, but it is ok enough.

Second method is by using jewels since you know their drop rate there, if you know number of jewels collected, you can estimate number of cows killed per run. But, this method works only for longer session of running like 10+ hours.


Do I kill all cows on cow level?

NO! Don't waste your time to kill those 5-10 cows that remained once you get rid of a big herd, move on to a next herd. Everyone has leftovers. In the end, it is more efficient to kill large group of cows and leave leftovers behind than to waste your time on leftovers just because you have to kill them all. You want highest number of kills per minute, and you won't reach that by killing every single cow you see on screen.


How good are Cows for runefinding?

To get the answer here, I will assume we kill ~400 cows per run, though more precise average estimation across builds should be 380-390. I will also assume we do the killing on p5.

Pul-Cham: ~31 runs
Um-Cham: ~ 39 runs
Vex-Cham: ~ 93 runs
Zod: ~3161 runs

So, if you have 4 minute running while killing 400 cows per run, you are expected to find Vex-Cham runes once in ~ 6 hours 12 minutes.


Clutter problem

Check LK clutter problem again, similar rules apply here. In diablo items tend to clutter toward the right side of the screen. This means when you kill cows, teleport to the right of where drops are and perform fast check of drops or fast walk technique to check is anything orange hidden in there. When killing you can also hold alt and check for orange flashes which are similarly obvious here as in LK.

There are few tricks how to minimize chance to miss something. It is actually mixure of techniques done while running LK and while running Travincal with barb.

1) Hold alt while killing
Might be annoying to do with some characters, but at least check frequently what dropped.

2) Check drops from right and bottom side of a killing site
Items tend to clutter to the right in diablo. To properly check what dropped, tele to the bottom right side to check drops. Checking from anywhere else is not good enough, not on cow level where items clutter big time. This kind of checking is not required if you don't kill massive amount of cows at the same spot, but is still advisable to at least tele there and fast check did something drop.

3) Perform walking technique
Similar to what Travincal barbs do, tele to the point explained under 2) and perform fast walk to see items overlap and check for orange flashes for runes. Perhaps not required all the time, only when you kill massive amount of cows at the same spot.

4) Check for orange flashes
Connected to both 1) and 3), runes tend to show when they drop even when they get cluttered similar as when you run LK.

5) Preferably kill standing bottom right from cows (lower priority)
Not that important and hard to do all the time, but if you can, do the killing that way to have higher chance of spotting orange flashes and see more drops. If you don't do the killing this way, make sure to perform checking explained under 2) and 3) afterwards.



What characters to use for Cow running?

Recent tests showed there are plenty of characters you could use, you just have to pick:
Javazon, Nova necro, Summoner necro, Blizzard sorc, Lightning sorc, Nova sorc, Fireball sorc, Fissure druid, Hammerdin, Trapper...

To read more about my tests check this post. In general I recommend whole thread for reading (original thread on diabloii site) since it is full of great info. There are more tests done by other members as well. Here is some idea what to expect:

Potentially best runners: Javazon, PN/Nova necro, Summon necro
Great runners: Nova sorc, Blizzard sorc, Trapper, Fireball sorc
Could be very good: Fissure druid

Some characters are not yet tested like Lightning sorc, but I'll update this table with time. Idea is to present some numbers character can achieve. As you can see, you have plenty of characters to choose from. Which one is the best? Depends on your own playing style! Best results I know of come from p7 Javazon which means she could be the queen of cows. However same is not true for my own playing style, I achieved by best results with PN/Nova necro instead. So, depends on your playing style and your gear. For some best is Javazon, for some necro and for you might be Nova sorc. Who knows! I'd say most important factor for running cows is to be comfortable running and enjoying the experience to keep going.

Important mods for gear:
- mana per kill from 1.07 rings are of massive help!
- life per kill is of massive help as well!
- using Phoenix shield of switch is just amazingly neat trick to refill your life and mana and you can use it for every character like that!

Mercs:
- might masterrace in general, especially for builds that rely on fast getting corpses (necro, trapper)
- prayer is a fine choice for some characters
- defiance is also ok if you really think you want that
- I would recommend to avoid holy freeze, this merc will make herding exceptionally difficult
- you can use most typical merc gear ever: weapon + Fortitude + Andariels Visage


Necromancer

- CE is the king, max it and use it!
- amplify curse is OP, it makes merc kill first cow fast and then you can start CE chain fast. DO NOT use LR curse just because you went with Poison Nova
- use might merc and make sure he does not have cold damage!
- using IK maul iron golem is good and cheap solution
- use Revives if you are not summoner, they are fantastic to keep you alive!
- merc using Andariels Visage does not make it bad just because he casts weaker Novas, I use Andy merc too. Primary goal of PNova is NOT to kill cows, but to weaken them enough for them to die once you cast first CE. PNova cast from merc does not prevent that kind of usefulness from your nova, but Visage does make merc kill faster and get corpses faster in comparison to other potential helms

You can go two ways here. Either you can go summoner route with Beast axe or you can go Nova route with Web. Or you can experiment with something in between. Advantage of Beast route is faster first corpse, but disadvantage is lower CE range and slower CE chain due to longer time needed to get second corpse. Nova has slower first corpse, but CE chain starts immediately when first creep falls.

Gearwise, use mpk ring and Infinity merc, but in general it doesn't matter much do you use Insight or Infinity. Infinity is slightly faster though. Also, if you are perfectionist, go 125 fcr breakpoint for maximum potential.

More about necro you can read here and here.

Video demonstration


Javazon

Considered queen of cows for a long time, she is an obvious choice. She is the only character which profits more from p7 than p5 due to Fury nature to kill most cows. As for a running style and gear, check these posts:

Gear 1
Gear 2
Gear 3
Technique of running 1
Technique of running 2

Video demonstration by @ffs:

I also performed more tests with her, comparing 32 vs 55 ias and p5 vs p7. Conclusion I got to is p7 is slightly better than p5, also there is no difference between 32 ias and 55 ias. Thought I'd leave that IAS question open since all over the place people are saying 55 IAS is the way to go while on the other hand I tested on 3 different areas with conclusion it offers no upgrade compared to 32 IAS...

For her I'd also recommend might merc to make your javelin have stronger damage so you can leech better.


Nova sorceress

You can go two ways with her - ES or vita. ES is quite simple - get Infinity, cast ES as high level as possible and give merc Insight. Vita relies on mpk and lpk gear.
Some info about ES variant
Video demonstration of ES variant by @NanoMist

Some info about vita variant
Vita variant can go to max Thunder Storm which I recommend. You do have tons of points to spend.
Video demonstration of vita variation

As for merc, I prefer might to help me kill cows, but you could go for prayer merc as well to replenish your life if you think you need that.


Blizzard sorceress

She is very simple. Give merc Insight, max your Static + Blizzard and whack cows with it. Best way to go around it is to cast static, blizzard, her cows, blizzard again, some blast to kill and move on. There is really not much to talk about here. You could consider using life per kill gear since cows will hit you, or you can use Phoenix shield on switch to replenish life. Also, you don't need Fathom for her to be powerhouse cow runner.

Merc: either might or prayer would be my choice


Fireball sorceress

She is good cow killer. Use meteors and fireballs to your advantage, also have maxed Static Field and I would recommend using Griffon's as helm to have stronger static to not rely on Conviction at all. Phoenix as shield is really great.

As for killing technique, drop meteors on large clusters of cows and fireball the rest. You can even play with only meteor while you use fireball to finish of leftovers... Merc is might or prayer.

Check one gear variation in this post


Trapper

Trapper is cool Cow runner, but I think she needs Phoenix on switch to really run comfortably. Her technique is simple: teleport to cows, drop 2 Death Sentries and blast cows with Fireblast to get corpses which DS will blast to kill whole screen of cows. You could also use LS trap, but I find DS is good enough if you go to Fireblast cows fast because DS has initial delay before it starts firing, so it is better to already have it down when you get corpses. Alternatively you could lay some LS down and then fireblast to get corpse. See for yourself what technique do you prefer. Once first corpse is down, create 5 DS and wait till they kill all cows. It goes really fast. Give merc Infinity to make it work better, you have Phoenix on switch to replenish life and mana.

As for skills, max Fireblast, max DS and put as many points to traps + leave one point for Mind Blast and 1 for BoS. As for gear, go for 102 fcr breakpoints using Hoto and Spirit + Arachnid Mesh. Rest is up to you really. Why not using Phoenix on main switch? Because it uses corpses and makes your DS weaker. Power of trapper is in making corpses and then her DS uses CE to kill cows.

Use might merc, you need corpses as fast as possible.
Video demonstration p7 by @NanoMist
Video demonstration p5 by @NanoMist
Newest Video demonstration p5 by @NanoMist

More about trapper can be read in this post


Fissure druid

He is not a standard Cow runner, but he is really good at it. Gear is pretty simple, something similar as presented in this post where is also some info on how to run with him. In general, you throw Fissure and basically lead cows over them. There was some discussion whether to use Armageddon or not, but conclusion is it is not worth it at all.

Use might merc, you have or should have Phoenix shield which will make you constantly have full life and mana.


Hammerdin

125 fcr, max block and you are ready to go. Strategy with him is simple. Start casting hammers, cast like 5-6 of those, then teleport to another place and cast 5-6 hammers there. Repeat until cows are dead. You must do this because hammers have obvious blindspots and if you would just stand and spam, cows would be happily alive and you will be annoyed. Overall, he is not exactly great, but is solid for cowrunning.

For him I'd recommend might merc since everything else does not benefit you at all. At least might merc will help you kill cows faster.


Thanks to everyone who contributed at making this guide with great discussions and by providing their insight on the builds and testing results. If anyone has any post with good info that can contribute to this thread in any way, please do share. Also comments are welcome to improve this guide further.
 
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Babyhell

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DISCLAIMER: original narrator and writer is @Gripphon

Post subchapters
LK vs Travincal vs Cows ultimate comparison
First time rune-hunting, what area to hit?Farming Ist runes
Farming Lo runes
Farming Ber runes
Farming Jah runes
Farming Cham runes
Farming Zod runes
Final words

LK vs Travincal vs Cows ultimate comparison

After all relevant basics and numbers are posted in post 1, now it is time to take it to a next level of comparison. For this comparison I will assume player already has properly geared characters rather than the ones who still seek their first Ber runes. If you are in position you have nothing yet, best course of action is to stick to LK and farm it until you get everything needed. After you get Enigma/Infinity/Grief company, only then Travincal and Cows can possibly even compare to LK and you will see why in a moment.

I will do comparison in 3 ways. For the first way I will assume runetimes that are borderline efficient, not too hard to get to, but still challenging enough to get there with practice. For the second way I will assume more advanced running with faster times players could and did achieve with some practice. For the third way I will put the numbers out for fastest known farmers to put things into perspective of ultimate possible rune-farming in diablo. You could also get info for your own runtimes by simply multiplying number of runs needed with average time in seconds to get average amount of time needed for you to farm certain item of interest, be it runeword or rune.


First time rune-hunting, what area to hit?

Very short and straightforward recommendation: LK
Why? Because to hit LK properly you do not need some special gear, basically what you got in the game by then. Sorceress is most powerful choice due to excellent fcr breakpoints and teleporting ability + telekinesis. Even 63 fcr sorceress could aim for something really good, even she is easily able to do sub 30s running, but let us assume player is rather new and he wants to improve his LK farming and he manages to get to 30s running. Some numbers for LK are already shared, but lets compare all 3 areas where I assume some runtimes for the player. I will also assume we cube Sur to Ber and Ber to Jah.

You can compare areas with your own numbers, just multiply number of runs needed with your average time in seconds and you can extract info how long will it take you to farm Enigma/Infinity at average and compare LK with Travincal this way.

Area: LK p7/8
Character: sorceress (any type)
Runtimes: 30s
to farm Infinity from zero: ~2570 runs (21 hours 25 minutes)
to farm Enigma from zero: ~3855 runs (32 hours 8 minutes)
to farm Infinity AND Enigma from zero: ~6425 runs (53 hours 33 minutes)

Area: Travincal p3
Character: barbarian (50% hork)
Runtimes: 60s (perhaps 60s is doable to reach with some practice)
to farm Infinity from zero: ~4107 runs (68 hours 27 minutes)
to farm Enigma from zero: ~3857 runs (64 hours 17 minutes)
to farm Infinity AND Enigma from zero: ~7964 runs (132 hours 44 minutes)

In case you find it strange, yes, it is faster to farm Enigma than Infinity in Travincal because Ber is rarer than Jah and for Infinity you need 2 Ber runes either cubed or directly dropped, while for Enigma you need Jah and one Ber and that makes it easier to make than Infinity. Same thing would be true for LK if it could drop Jah runes too.

In short, until you are well geared, LK is 2 and more times faster for farming runes than any other area in the game. Replacing this 64 hours to farm Enigma for 32 hours seems like a crazy good deal to me.

I won't do comparison with Cows because they are even worse than Travincal, at least for players who are not experienced enough to make Blizzard sorc work to her full potential. For them you would use Blizzard sorc since she does not need strong gear and you use Insight on merc.

Conclusion:
For first gear and first high runes run LK, it squashes any other area in the game, even Travincal. If you want Vex or Ohm or Lo, stick to LK too. Travincal becomes "viable" once you have all OP runewords for your character you plan on running with.

For the next comparisons I will include the fact player already has all essentials to make his build OP, only thing left for him to do is to roll decent map and start improving his runtimes to farm faster.

Farming Ist runes

Ist runes are very valuable because they give MF when socketed, especially true for weapons. 6x Ist phaseblades are a norm to get for MF Berserker barbs, or getting 6x Ist crystal sword for singer. Or maybe for some other character as well. Ist is also used to perfect your gear by socketing them into helms or armors instead of perfect topazes even if they offer only 1 extra MF. For this comparison I won't consider Countess though she is probably best possible target for that. But, lacks better drops than that. You could farm/cube Ist like once every hour on her I think. But, running LK/Travincal could prove to be much more valuable even for farming Ist runes due to all other drops you get there and you don't get while hitting Countess unless you are in a hurry to farm Ist runes.

Runes I'll consider cubing up to Ist: Pul, Um and Mal

Area: LK p7/8
Average runs to cube/farm Ist: ~603 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Ist:
25s: ~4h 11m --> farming pace that starts to get efficient
21s: ~3h 31m --> farming pace to a very efficient side
18s: ~3h 1m --> fastest farming pace (sub 18s is possible too)

Area: Travincal p3
Character: sorceress
- for barbarian 55% hork divide numbers of runs by 1.597, and for 56% hork divide by 1.608
Average runs to cube/farm Ist: ~847 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Ist:
26s: ~6h 7m
22s: ~5h 11m
18s: ~4h 14m

Area: Cows p5
Cows killed per run estimate: ~400
Average runs to cube/farm Ist: ~138 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Ist:
4m 30s: ~10h 21m
3m 30s: ~8h 3m
2m 30s: ~5h 45m

LK easily wins, Travincal is second, Cows are third.

Farming Lo runes

Lo runes are valuable because they are not used only to make first Griefs in pharblades and Fortitude, but also to make Griefs in Berserker Axes later and especially to reroll Griefs for better roll. You can't get enough of Lo runes.

Runes I'll consider cubing up to Lo: Gul, Vex and Ohm
- I do assume player does really want Lo, in which case he might not hesitate to cube up all the way from Gul to farm his Lo. Vex and Gul runes are otherwise good to have to make Deaths.

Area: LK p7/8
Average runs to cube/farm Lo: ~1433 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Lo:
25s: ~9.9h
21s: ~8.4h
18s: ~7.2h

Area: Travincal p3
Character: sorceress
- for barbarian 55% hork divide numbers of runs by 1.597, and for 56% hork divide by 1.608
Average runs to cube/farm Lo: ~1725 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Lo:
26s: ~12.5h
22s: ~10.5h
18s: ~8.8h

Area: Cows p5
Cows killed per run estimate: ~400
Average runs to cube/farm Lo: ~281 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Lo:
4m 30s: ~21.1h
3m 30s: ~16.4h
2m 30s: ~11.7h

LK wins again, Travincal is second, Cows are third.

Farming Ber runes

Ber runes are really valuable because people tend to farm their Infinities once they have Enigma, or their Enigmas once they have Infinity. There is also CoH runeword and Beast axe to consider.

Runes I'll consider cubing up to Ber: Sur
- Lo runes are probably too valuable to be cubed to "worthless" Sur, or in other words they seem to valuable to serve as 1/4 of Ber. Still, some players might consider cubing them if they really want those Enigmas or Infinity, but otherwise practice of getting Bers is to cube from Sur and use Lo to reroll Griefs.

Area: LK p7/8
Average runs to cube/farm Ber: ~1285 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Ber:
25s: ~8.9h
21s: ~7.5h
18s: ~6.4h

Area: Travincal p3
Character: sorceress
- for barbarian 55% hork divide numbers of runs by 1.597, and for 56% hork divide by 1.608
Average runs to cube/farm Ber: ~3162 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Ber:
26s: ~22.8h
22s: ~19.3h
18s: ~15.8h

Area: Cows p5
Cows killed per run estimate: ~400
Average runs to cube/farm Ber: ~515 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Ber:
4m 30s: ~38.6h
3m 30s: ~30h
2m 30s: ~21.4h

Is this surprise LK wins by such big margin? Not really. All those Sur patterns... easy win LK obviously.

Farming Jah runes

First Jah usually goes to Enigma, but what to do with the rest? You can do Faith, arguably best bow for bowazon. You can do Enigma in other base. You can do Ice runeword. Or... whatever else.

Runes I'll consider cubing up to Jah: Sur and Ber
- after you make Enigma, it is questionable is it worth it to cube Bers into Jah, but lets assume player really needs that Jah and is willing to cube Ber for it. Perhaps he is after Enigma after all.

Area: LK p7/8
Average runs to cube Jah: ~2570 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Jah:
25s: ~17.8h
21s: ~15h
18s: ~12.9h

Area: Travincal p3
Character: sorceress
- for barbarian 55% hork divide numbers of runs by 1.597, and for 56% hork divide by 1.608
Average runs to cube/farm Jah: ~2778 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Jah:
26s: ~20.1h
22s: ~17h
18s: ~13.9h

Area: Cows p5
Cows killed per run estimate: ~400
Average runs to cube/farm Jah: ~453 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Jah:
4m 30s: ~33.9h
3m 30s: ~26.4h
2m 30s: ~18.9h

Mathematically, LK wins yet again by a slight margin over Travincal. But, considering the fact that only way to get Jah from LK is to cube Ber runes, Travincal might be a better choice because in Travincal Jah can drop directly and you won't face a decision to cube Ber runes to get it. Also Travincal has yet another advantage - it can drop Cham runes, while in LK you will pretty much stack up onto Ohm, Vex and such runes.

Overall, I'd say if you want that Jah and you are somewhat decent runner, go Travincal even if it is mathematically slightly slower, I still think it is worth it more for mentioned reasons.

Farming Cham runes

Cham is usually considered to be best rune in the game by diablo veterans, though not everyone agrees. Why is it so valuable? Because of massively useful CBF mod it offers. It is used to make CBF into Shako, Andariels Visage, Guilaume's Face, perhaps even Steelshade. Others consider Cham is valuable because it can be cubed to Zod.

Runes I'll consider cubing up to Jah: Sur, Ber and Jah
- usually people do not cube Jah runes into Cham, but for this comparison to make sense, I will assume player wants to farm Cham at all costs. Without this assumption, answer is pretty straightforward - go farm Travincal. But, lets see how other areas stand for fun of comparison.

Area: LK p7/8
Average runs to cube Cham: ~5140 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Cham:
25s: ~35.7h
21s: ~30h
18s: ~25.7h

Area: Travincal p3
Character: sorceress
- for barbarian 55% hork divide numbers of runs by 1.597, and for 56% hork divide by 1.608
Average runs to cube/farm Cham: ~3179 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Cham:
26s: ~23h
22s: ~19.4h
18s: ~15.9h

Area: Cows p5
Cows killed per run estimate: ~400
Average runs to cube/farm Cham: ~518 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Cham:
4m 30s: ~38.9h
3m 30s: ~30.2h
2m 30s: ~21.6h

Travincal wins easily this time, but Cows are also more efficient target than LK, depending on how efficient you are. Someone might compare runs and time needed to farm Ber rune and Cham rune and you might see times are identical... reason is Ber is rarer than Jah and is cubed only from Sur for our calculations, while Cham is rarer than everything, but is cubed all the way from Sur. This just means that, if you do enough runs to farm/cube that Ber, you might also be really close to cubing runes all the way to Cham, or getting it directly.

Farming Zod runes

Zod is supposed to be godly rune you get, so indestructible even Chuck Norris can't break it. And what are we supposed to do with it, make BotD that is beaten by Grief? Or BotD polearm that is beaten by Insight? Zodgod items? Indestructible bug? Your call. Lets see where gold at farming Zod runes lie. Obviously question is only between Travincal and Cows here.

Runes I'll consider cubing up to Zod: Sur, Ber, Jah and Cham
- don't ever cube Cham to Zod. That is simply a waste of perfectly good rune! It is like trading Ferrari for Fiat Seicento! Joke to the side, I will assume player wants to get Zod at all costs and is willing to cube it up from all those juicy runes. I will also do second calculation assuming player is not willing to use Ber runes as 1/8 of Zod, but is instead willing to start cubing from Jah onward.

Area: LK p7/8
Average runs to cube Zod: ~10280 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Zod:
25s: ~71.4h
21s: ~60h
18s: ~51.4h

Area: Travincal p3
Character: sorceress
- for barbarian 55% hork divide numbers of runs by 1.597, and for 56% hork divide by 1.608
Average runs to cube Zod: ~6358 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Zod:
26s: ~45.9h
22s: ~38.9h
18s: ~31.8h

Area: Cows p5
Cows killed per run estimate: ~400
Average runs to cube/farm Zod: ~780 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Zod:
4m 30s: ~58.5h
3m 30s: ~45.5h
2m 30s: ~32.5h

In short, you would have to be among most efficient cow runners on SPF to be able to challenge Travincal and cubing Zod runes. So, unless that is a case and depending on your own runtimes, Travincal is expected to be better Zod-farming target than Cows.


Runes I'll consider cubing up to Zod: Jah and Cham
- not all players are willing to use Ber as 1/8 of Zod, but they might be willing to use Jah as 1/4 Zod. This calculation is for them.

Area: Travincal p3
Character: sorceress
- for barbarian 55% hork divide numbers of runs by 1.597, and for 56% hork divide by 1.608
Average runs to cube Zod: ~8494 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Zod:
26s: ~61.3h
22s: ~51.9h
18s: ~42.5h

Area: Cows p5
Cows killed per run estimate: ~400
Average runs to cube/farm Zod: ~963 runs
Average run-time and time needed to farm Zod:
4m 30s: ~72.2h
3m 30s: ~56.2h
2m 30s: ~40.1h

Similar conclusion as before, if you are among most efficient SPF cow runners, Cows might provide you better chances for Zod than Travincal. But, is it really worth it due to lower drop chances of other runes, no facets either? Your call.

Final Words

For all other comparisons of interest you could ask and I might do it. Just remember, it is not all about runes. LK is still strongest target for charms, jewels and gems no matter what condictions, Travincal is arguably best target in the game for facets and some unique jewelry since along the way you also farm gems and charms and runes. Cows are kinda unique target for socketables, but do not drop facets which is a big minus, and also they are not best target for anything unless you are into Zod runes.

With this I'd like to conclude this guide and wish you all happy farming.
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from 2015 Spring RFO Sign-Up and Running Thread

Gripphon:

Someone mentioned bowazon in Travincal? I have made and tested one right now.

Probably not made in a best way anyway, but running times are in range of 35-38 sec on p3, or ~40-42 if I include shopping of arrows + cubing pgems in stash.

Gear:
Kira's Guardian with 15 ias 29 ED jewel
Enigma
Highlord's
Faith Matriarchal bow
Arachnid Mesh
knockback 20 ias gloves
dual fcr rings with lifeleech, manaleech, mods
War Traveler

switch: CtA + 35 fcr spirit
Moron: Reaper's, GA, Kira's

Idea of running: roll map where all minions are clustered on balcony for a great running experience. That way you tele there, merc curses, you multishot, then strafe/GA to finish remaining guys. I summoned Valk before BO, but for myself I wouldn't take any of d/a/e nor Valk, they only distract.
Gear offers maxed cold and lite res which is nice, coupled with few max/res charms in inventory. 4x4 empty space to pick up stuff. Inventory consists of: 35, 33, 26 maxers, 20 max 30 CR, 14 max 35 LR and 13 max 33 LR + some 10, 9, 7, 6 maxers small charms

Bowa has 2100 life after BO which is super tanky. Neither mine nor my mercs HP didn't drop below 90% in 50 runs I did. I did borrow map from sorc cause who has time to roll great maps for such tests.

In the end, it is possible to make better bowa with some tele charged fcr circlet, less focus on resistances and using Fortitude instead. I teled to act 4 at the end of run with Enigma. Don't know would Forti be faster, must test it. But would say it definitely is not better cause of lack of MF from Enigma (Travi is great farming place for useful gear, especially rare rings, jewels, facets and such so MF has considerable impact after all).
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from 2015 Spring RFO Sign-Up and Running Thread

Gripphon:

Just put something like this in your Arreat's people:
Code:
Blood Talisman
Jewel
Required Level: 37
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 86
Fingerprint: 0xf58010c8
+5 to Strength
+27% Enhanced Damage
6% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
38% Damage to Demons
+41 to Attack Rating against Demons

Easy enough, right?
I will share few interesting ideas what you could do with travbarbs and you decide what do you like or don't.

My personal top priority is to get 105 fcr breakpoint with switch. That can be done on a several ways naturally. Simple and powerful solution is hoto+hoto+arachnid mesh+ fcr ring, that way you also have 56% item find instead of 55%, but 55% is fine.
Second biggest priority is to get 170-186 MF because that is the range where rare rings have highest drop chance. 170-175 is range for rare jewels, so I aimed for 176-186 to have slightly better chance for facets. Also having that MF naturally means you farm facets nicely, and Trav is second best place in the game to farm facets. Having that MF has much higher impact on efficiency of running than squeezing 5 or 10% more damage out of the build, but that's me. Not to mention you can also farm Mara's, Sojs or whatever.

Now my third biggest priority is this: survivability. Put enough points to vitality to have desired number of life. I find that having like 2500 is enough to keep you alive for at least 20k runs if you watch what you are doing. And try not to totally ignore resists, have at least some amount. I personally maxed cold and kept lightning in 50 region. Fire is whatever if you use 1.07 LoH, and with 1.13 LoH you can max it easily.

My next priority in combination to previous one is maxed cold resistance + having half freeze duration on ring slot. That way cold nova explosion from bosses last only 5.5 seconds on you, and their chilling attack lasts like 3 or less. That means you will profit by being chilled to whirl slowly through minions, and at the same time when there is physical immune boss left, chances are you will get chilled cause boss before made cold nova explosion. You can hork 2-3 corpses and then you always kill that phy immune with zerk and you are NOT chilled, so no slow slashing. With HFD mod you effectively achieve to have both chill effect to whirl slowly and cbf effect to zerk in full speed. If you get what I mean by that now. Problem is, finding such rings to cover resists and MF and leech at the same time + fcr + ar is not exactly easy thing to do.

My rings are this so you can see possibilities:
Code:
Plague Master
Ring
Required Level: 48
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 96
Fingerprint: 0x70992165
Fire Resist +15%
Lightning Resist +9%
Cold Resist +9%
Poison Resist +9%
4% Life stolen per hit
5% Mana stolen per hit
8% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
10% Faster Cast Rate

Viper Band
Ring
Required Level: 44
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 92
Fingerprint: 0x5f3b1f93
+3 to Strength
+11 to Life
+46 to Mana
+114 to Attack Rating
Cold Resist +26%
3% Life stolen per hit
Half Freeze Duration

My next priority is to have fastest zerking. Now notice there is one cheap trick here. HLW has 20 ias and LoH gloves have another 20, right? If you happen to use berserker axe, notice that you need 75 ias total for 10 frame zerking, instead of 11 frames you would have otherwise. This means your Grief BA needs 35+ IAS on primary slot! 34 ias gets you fastest ww breakpoint, but not the fastest zerk breakpoint. With phase blade your zerk will be 9 frames if not chilled so thats it, no cheap tricks there.

Next priority is to have enough mana to be able to hork councils, then tele back to act 4. I find that anything over 350 is great so you don't drink mana potions or any potions because of mana missing at all. Why act 4 with barb? Because according to my testings, using act 4 makes for like 2 seconds faster runs than if I run through town in act 3. It seems to me both Maareek and Frozzzen came to same conclusion after testing.

Next priority is AR. Notice that Grief has ignore target defense? That means against 8 out of 11 minions having AR is useless. I calculated that optimal AR to aim for is between 4500 and 5000, depending on your damage output. I personally have like 4650 total. In combination with rings and charms, pump dexterity to have that much AR. Pump vitality to have desired amount of HP as per survivability priority, and rest put into strength to rise your damage output.

Last priority is damage cause damage is easy to come up with, at least if you use Griefs. Use LoH gloves etcetc. Notice that War Travelers and Gore Riders offer similar damage output (to me Travelers offer more if I don't include crushing blow on Riders) + Travelers give you much wanted MF! Also you could use gheed in inventory instead of 1 maxer cause MF>damage on travbarb (according to my opinion that is), but I don't use it cause in combo of that jewel posted and rings + 50 mf travelers + few MF charms I have desired target of 176-186.

Now combine all those priorities and you have idea what my travbarb looks like.


So overall, depending on your needs and goals, I'd say some jewel that rises damage is best to put in Arreat because MF you can come up with in other slots. If you cannot and wanna use Rider's cause you believe they are super godly, then either Ist and Ptopaz in Arreat is by far best option (again, I value MF>damage). If you however don't care about MF at all and think Enigma is good enough for you, then go damage-damage-damage as Froz would say. What jewel is best is up to you to calculate using formulas, but I'd say high Ed% is best option.

Now choose your priorities and have fun building your barbs.
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from 2015 Spring RFO Sign-Up and Running Thread

Gripphon:

For blizzard sorc 2 things matter when we talk about safety: one is minion spawn locations, and other is resists on sorc. Minions should all be tightly together if possible so you can tele next to them, but out of their attack range and kill them with blizzard. As for resists, there are few possible ways to achieve maxed resists (not poison, its irrelevant), and I believe both CoH and Umed/jeweled Vipermagi do the trick. On top of that, one could use absorb amulet or helmouth gloves to heal from hydras. That kind of sorc would be unkillable unless you tele into the pack with mistake. Otherwise you probably wont lose a single life in whole run, or even 100 runs.

Even without rare bird Fathom, sorc with say: faceted Nightwing's Veil, faceted Vipermagi, hoto, spirit, mara's kaleidoscope, snowclash belt, dual soj, helmouth gloves, resist boots + whatever inventory with skillers and resist/life charms should work wonders in safety of running + she would actually have decent damage.

Assuming average rolls of everything (30+ allres Vipermagi plz), she would have 155 cold and lite ress, 120 fire ress + there are res from the boots I didnt count + from inventory you could use, so easy to max for anyone I believe. Fire is not important since Hellmouth gloves will heal you with 120 fire res anyway.
Damage of such sorc with say 5 skillers in inventory and average rolls of facets and Nightwing's would be ~ 8600 dmg according to skill calculator, or 8900 if you use 6 skillers (and I have ~9700 on mine since I don't use battle command and only 4 skillers, but difference is rather small). So Fathom is not really needed after all. That kind of sorc + Infinity on merc would eat Travincal alive + would be super safe, just make sure to roll map where you can safely tele next to minions and blizzard them.

So 105 fcr, nice mana, great damage, cold absorb + 90 cold resist if not conviction, fire absorb that will heal you, maxed lite ress. Only downside is you don't have MF (you could use Gheed + War Travs and make up resists with small charms), but if you don't care about that...
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from 2017 Winter RFL Sign-Up and Running Thread: Second round

Gripphon:

Here are some possibilities for sorc gear. All sorcs want to aim for 105 fcr and safe running. Safe running include few things: map (won't cover it now), lightning resist and good fire resist/absorb. Cold is optional. Also I will suggest CoH for all sorcs, but if someone doesn't have it, then Vipermagi or 1.07 Ark work ok. Also if someone has beta BKWB, use it!

Maximum damage: assumes perfect gear and 6 skillers
Minimum damage: assumes worst roll gear and 5 skillers + Gheed
No usage of BC assumed for fastest running possible (it only slows you down really)

Hoto + damage approach
Head: NMW + facet
Body: CoH
Shield: Spirit
Weapon: Hoto
Belt: Snowclash
Rings: dual SoJ
Gloves: Trang Claws
Amulet: 2/10
Boots: whatever

Minimum damage: 8156 (possible 100+ MF)
Maximum damage: 8976

Hoto + safety approach
Head: Shako + facet
Body: CoH
Shield: Spirit
Weapon: Hoto
Belt: Arachnid Mesh
Rings: SoJ + Wisp (lite absorb + MF)
Gloves: Hellmouth
Amulet: 2/10
Boots: whatever

Minimum damage: 6894
Maximum damage: 7303

Fathom + damage approach
Head: NMW + facet
Body: CoH
Shield: Spirit
Weapon: Fathom + facet
Belt: Arachnid Mesh
Rings: SoJ + SoJ
Gloves: Trang Claws
Amulet: 2/10
Boots: whatever

Minimum damage: 9112
Maximum damage: 10827

Fathom + safety approach
Head: 2/20 circlet + facet
Body: CoH
Shield: Spirit
Weapon: Fathom + facet
Belt: Arachnid Mesh
Rings: Wisp + SoJ
Gloves: Hellmouth
Amulet: 2/10
Boots: whatever

Minimum damage: 8099
Maximum damage: 9738

Fathom + balanced MF approach
Head: Shako + facet
Body: CoH
Shield: Spirit
Weapon: Fathom + Ist
Belt: Arachnid Mesh
Rings: SoJ + Wisp (lite absorb and MF)
Gloves: Trang Claws
Amulet: 2/10
Boots: War Travelers

Inventory: Gheed
Minimum damage: 7898
Maximum damage: 9036
MF: ~200

Other options:
Dwarf Star ofc, but I find it less desirable when Hellmouth is available.
Shako in safety mode for more mana: then you would need Dwarf Star ring since Hellmouth is not an option unless you drop fcr 1 frame
Snowclash in some Fathom damage variants, I don't like it, but you can use it
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from Anything goes D2 lounge!

Gripphon:

Respeced to poisonnec. He is slighty stronger than boner, and also more relaxing to play. Overall nec turned to be much better Travincal farmer than I expected.



What I tested:

Infinity vs Insight
Result: very similar, practically no difference, though with Infinity it is easier to spot that physical immune boss there, but with Insight merc does give corpse slightly faster. Nothing to win over Infinity though. I do use Infinity, but Insight is just so good and easy to use...

Iron Golem reliable?
Result: he didn't die in 200 runs I tested, so... once you max golem mastery, he is decent tank. Only thing you have to watch out for are fanaticism + migth packs. I made mine from IK maul.

[highlight]Gear used:[/highlight]
1.13 Shako (Cham)
Web + facet
The Rising Sun
Enigma
Spirit
Arachnid
Trang Claws
fcr mpk from 1.07
Wisp projector
resist/frw/MF boots

5 skillers
Merc: Infinity + CoH + Steelshade (Cham)

Why Cham Shako? Because it is annoying to be slowed by chilling effect when you go back and run toward portal. Necro does not have telekinesis to solve that problem. So, Cham speeds you up more than facet. Actually facet is irrelevant here.

Long term average:
I expect easy sub 21s running is possible

Sub 20s possible?
On a short run, yes. For anything else I'd have to make Insight golem from eth elite polearm to see what kind of advantage does it give. Perhaps I can test that too these days.

EDIT
Curse used is Amplify, NOT Lower Resist!
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from Anything goes D2 lounge!

Gripphon:

I've performed 3 more tests, though short ones (30 runs).

Elite Insight golem + additional 4 all skills on gear
No improvement at all. Reason is golem does not kill faster than merc, he just weakens second corpse faster, but PNova does that already, so influence of this golem in damage is insignificant and impossible to see at all. As for aura bonus + 4 skills, those are the only things that could make a difference, but since it is PNova we talk about here and since its damage bonus from +4 skills is only ~16% extra and since its only function is to weaken other minions so they are killed by CE provided by merc, those extra skills mean nothing but to give you slightly more life and make golem 1% sturdier.

Arioc's Needle golem
Another test just to confirm that Insight golem does not provide improvement in runningtimes. And yes, confirmed similar runtimes as with Insight golem.

Beast main weapon instead of Web + elite Insight golem
In theory, Beast should provide corpses faster by speeding up your merc. Did it work? Well... first corpse was indeed faster, but second was slower than with Web and stronger PNova. In fact this variant made me slightly slower (~0.3 seconds) and I couldn't really beat typical Web variant. Obviously faster first corpse is not the only thing that matters, but also the speed at which chain starts. PNova does provide slightly slower first corpse, but minions are weakened enough to have really fast CE chain to kill them all once first minion is dead. Not the case with Beast I'm afraid. It was quite similar at the cow level while testing summoner vs Nova variant. Faster first corpse, but slower chain start.

So, I don't think I can manage sub 20s running. All my tests ended right between 20.1 and 20.7 seconds, but doing sub 20 was only a matter of a few runs, not anything maintainable.
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from Anything goes D2 lounge!

Gripphon:

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

I made Iron Golem out of my PvP Beast. It is mediocre roll and I did plan on rolling it one day, so I might as well do something useful with it. If I made IG from eth ATMA bugged Grief for cownec, I think this is even better investment in comparison. Normally I'll look to roll a good Travmap for this necro. With it I lose my PvP nec, but there is no PvP going on at all, so whatever.
Code:
Beast
Berserker Axe
BerTirUmMalLum
One Hand Damage: 143 - 421
Indestructible
Required Level: 64
Required Strength: 128
Required Dexterity: 49
Fingerprint: 0x2ba0abe8
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion
Level 9 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped
+40% Increased Attack Speed
298% Enhanced Damage
20% Chance of Crushing Blow
25% Chance of Open Wounds
Prevent Monster Heal
+3 to Werebear
+3 to Lycanthropy
+34 to Strength
+10 to Energy
+2 to Mana after each Kill
Level 13 Summon Grizzly (5/5 Charges)
Ethereal
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Tir Rune
Socketed: Um Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Lum Rune

It served me well and I think it deserved to be transformed into Iron Golem.

Result of testing on 100 runs
Items picked up: Rals, Sols, all jewels, small and grand charms, unique jewelry, flawless amethysts


Dat fastest run... I had 4 runs below 17s in total.


I tried to record a great ~19s Travrunning video with him, but I have failed, sadly. This video will have to do:
~18.5s running. Cuz ~19 was way too slow.


Conclusion:

Now I accept all the tears because of Beast golem. Agreed.
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from Anything goes D2 lounge!

Gripphon:

This video is for everyone who want to see Travincal dudez with a boner.

Not really optimized playing style since idea of boner is to cast spears at minion which is attacked by a merc to get corpse faster. But, upon trying to really aim like that, it didn't really speed me up by any meaningful margin... I suppose reason is, by nailing minion at random like this, 1/3 of the time you do nail minion that gets attacked by a merc, and if you nail the wrong one, upon switching spear to the attacked one you do get corpse faster, but chain stops because after 1 CE other minions do not have low enough life yet, they should be nailed by merc further to get a second corpse. This is obviously not a problem if you manage to nail the attacked minion right away. By doing this random target and simply casting, my idea is to get minion down to 50% hp and by then merc kills his minion. Upon starting CE this way, chain usually does not stop at all since second minion has low enough HP to be killed by CE-ing the first minion. Also, that playing style is much simpler than constantly looking to aim toward the right target with similarlish runtimes anyway.

Here is a video demonstration of ~21.5 s p3 running with Travincal boner. Managed to do 50 runs in sub 22s average, but problem is one boss turns stone skin aka physically immune, and he is too tough to be killed with spear or CE, so you skip 1 minion like once in 5 runs or so. Still, this is quite irrelevant anyway. Tests were done on a sorc's map.


Skills:
1 Amplify
1 Clay Golem
1 Golem Mastery
1 Summon resistances or whatever it is called
1 Bone Armor
20 all relevant skills to pump Bone Spear to maximum
2 CE (had 1 extra skill point)

Gear:
2/20/Topaz circlet
2/10/[email protected] amulet
Enigma
Hoto
Spirit
Arach
Hellmouth gloves (fire absorb)
beta bkwb + Wisp projector rings
30frw/high lite/cold/fire res boots with 10 MF

5 skillers
3x 7mf SC, 2x life res SC
Total MF: 170 (cool!)

Merc:
1.07 eth GPA Insight
eth CoH
eth Steelshade (Cham)


I assume poison variant should do similarly fast, but I will see that upon test.
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from 2017 Winter RFL Signup and Running Thread: Grande Finale

Gripphon:

Fine, did more testing on characters. Trapper, firesorc and hammer were tested on 10 runs while rest were 20 runs sample. I took into consideration some builds kill more minions than the others, so I removed this portion of cows from a total got from xp gain:
-100 for fireball, javazon and hammerdin
-110 for nec, blizzardsorc and fissure druid

Results are by no means precise due to these estimates, but it gives us pretty good idea where certain builds could stand compared to each other in p5 cows killed per minute. Though, javazon was tested on p7 since she is the only character where it is more profitable to go for p7 instead according to 20 runs tests I did for both p5 and p7 (her result is also expressed in p5 cows killed per minute, calculated from her p7 cows per minute). In bracket is average run time with average xp gained.

1. PN/Nova necro ~168 (2:24, p5lvl95 41660)
2. Blizzard sorc ~144 (2:47, p5lvl96 29974)
3. Javazon ~142 (2:46, p7lvl95 47941)
4. Trapper ~137 (2:48, p5lvl95 39755)
5. Fireball sorc ~130 (2:45, p5lvl96 26994)
6. Fissure druid ~126 (3:06, p5lvl95 40579)
7. Hammerdin ~97 (3:24, p5lvl96 25313)

As for javazon, tested was p5 vs p7 with result that p7 is slightly stronger due to her herding nature and fury damage nature. Also, tested was 55 ias vs 35 ias with not even a slight difference in between them. This is the third area I tested 55 ias vs 35 ias with no confirmation that 55 ias is any better at all. Everything is identical to a number.

How to interpret the results? Like this, tiers of builds like I already posted before:

Nec
Blizzard, Javazon, Trapper
Fireball, Fissure
Hammerdin

Javazon has higher potential than both trapper and blizzard sorc for a simple fact that she could nail cows around king too while trapper and blizzard cannot. They need really great map where king is isolated (like on my nec map) to reach their full potential, otherwise they would be strictly worse than javazon. With a strong map, however, they seem to be similarlishy strong, but I'd prefer blizzard over javazon or trapper in that case due to her very simple playing nature. Also, someone else could prove that javazon is actually better than what my tests suggest, it seems I can't really find improvement for her since by now I've done enough tests and didn't see any improvement at all.

Need to test yet: lightning sorc, give another shot to a trapper
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from 2017 Winter RFL Signup and Running Thread: Grande Finale

Gripphon:

Beast is best, but not by much.



It is. In fact nova is there only to help merc kill faster first cow and to weaken other cows for faster second corpse and chain CE. Without web nova would take them down to 60-70% HP and that is fine enough.

Now, is it better to have Hoto/Web or go with Beast to make merc stronger to get first corpse, I don't know. Web has incredibly convenient HP per kill/ mana per kill mods so I value it higher than Beast variant, even though Beast variant provides first corpse slightly faster. In the end I didn't see any difference between summoner or nova/summoner variant in killing speed.

Necro is pretty much about getting first corpse via merc and then start CE chain. How is that done is not really relevant. I never saw some special use in skeletons other than meatshield. Fine, they are there to help merc get corpse faster, but in general running with them or without, same thing as long as merc is there to provide corpses. I settled with typical poison nova necro with amplify damage curse, very simple and works just as good as any other necro variant, in fact I prefer it over other variants after some tests.

I went with max Amplify, max Nova, max one synergy, max CE, 1 pt revive, 1 pt skeleton mastery (to make revives have some punch), 1 pt bone shield, rest into last nova synergy (nova is not that important, but is a nice touch, especially since on p5 with Web cows lose like 60% life in 4 seconds because of it. For hoto you might prefer max synergy and rest into amplify). While skeletons help merc get corpses faster, same job is done by pnova and revives in this variant... so this is why is it hard to see difference between those necro variants, except one has very nice Web mods while other has Beast.

For summoner, I assume you know the drill.
 
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Babyhell

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Extracted from 2017 Winter RFL Signup and Running Thread: Grande Finale

Gripphon:

Optimized setup has 125 FCR on primary switch, while other switch is used only for CtA buff. If player has trouble achieving such fcr, then he is good to go with 75 too. Difference is small.

When thinking about summoner, I'll list some interesting things about it.

- skeletons have AI delay, so Beast has limited influence on them, but it is mainly to power up your merc anyway
- skeletons scatter around much faster than revives, I'm not sure that is a good thing
- skeletons can be summoned at Rakinishu which means you have slightly faster start on a cow level, however if player is running p5, this advantage is pretty much non-existent
- 1pt revive + 1pt skeleton mastery make your revives have solid damage per hit. Skeletons still attack faster and have higher damage, but 1 hit even from revives is enough to get corpse in combination with merc
- pnova on top of revives damage offers more damage than what skeletons could ever achieve, start of the CE chain is faster
- skeleton summoner uses Beast as a weapon most likely, pnova variant has a choice of using Web with mana per kill / life per kill mods as well
- pnova variant can also use Beast if you have 1.07 mpk ring, that pretty much neutralizes any advantage pure summoner has in gaining first corpse faster, but also has advantage of starting chains faster due to pnova
- pnova variant has considerably bigger range of CE which also makes a difference

Overall, I didn't see some difference between mentioned variants, they were spot on in killspeed, but pnova variant still had life per kill mod from Web which is very useful on a cow level and higher level CE to cover more area. I guess it could be worth it to try to test again, at least using Beast instead of Web for pnova variant to see the effect. I don't guarantee all players will have similar results with testing those variants, they require similar, yet slightly different playstyle. So, choose your own variant you find most comfortable to play.

My setup is pretty standard I'd say.

Web/Beast
2/20 circlet (option is also Griffon to get that fcr)
1/20 amulet (could be 2/10 amulet if you use dual fcr rings)
Enigma
Spirit shield (35 fcr)
Arach
fcr mpk ring
beta BKWB (2 skills)
Trang Claws
Silkweave boots

For 75 fcr you could go with Shako and second skill ring easily. For summoner I'd even consider 75 to be better to squeeze more skill points to have better range of CE, but then again that is slight disadvantage to 125 fcr pnova variant has by standard.

I would test javazon if she weren't that incredibly boring to play to me. Last time I tested her she couldn't get close to necro clearing speed, but I also didn't put too much effort in it. I just know javazon had more stragglers than necro and was slower. Now necro is slightly upgraded than the last time I played him, but I don't know how to upgrade javazon further except to play her better. My best averages with her were 3:25-3:30 while killing similar amount of cows as necro does. I could test her again, but what we need are players like Corrupted or Frozzzen to test javazons properly, I just dislike her too much to bother with her. Fastest javazon running I heard of on SPF is ~3:30 range done by 3 players, though that might be upgraded.
 
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Babyhell

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Gripphon:

Just checked what kind of frost nova do cold enchanted monsters have. Cows release level 42 unique frost nova with 46 seconds cold duration. OP. There is just no way to run cows with javazon without CBF. One of those explosion and it is either potion drinking or game over for that run. Not good.

EDIT
Here is variant of javazon I'd like to test tonight.

Griffon's with ias/14allres j00l
Enigma
eth upped Titan's (2 of those)
Spirit shield
2/9 amulet with 61 mana and 6% manasteal
Razortail
2/20/stats gloves
beta BKWB (2 skills 5 lifesteal)
Ravenfrost
Silkweave boots (5 mpk)

Cta + Lidless switch (to save 20 strength stats to carry Spirit with Titan's).

Idea is to use extra skills, fcr, mana and especially fhr from Spirit (going from 0 to 55fhr means going from 11 to 6 frames hit recovery). 5 mpk + 6% manasteal should be able to make my mana doable with 61% critical and eth upped Titan's, however this is the only questionable part of the gear. In case this is not doable, I'd have to go into alternative, but I really hope this will do it. Lifesteal + lpk from Enigma to make me replenish life enough to not use potions. 68 fcr breakpoint is there, 100% pierce is there... hype?

Alternative is to use Lidless wall and mpk ring to solve mana problems for whole eternity, but I don't wanna lose that juicy extra mana and fhr from Spirit. I'd rather replace beta BKWB for dualleech ring if it comes to that which I assume it won't. Or, I could use Phoenix on CtA switch and simply use it in case I need mana. Seems like more favorable option at a price of 20 stat points.

Ah yes, Monaco - City tonight. 5+ goals guaranteed. I guess I'll test later.
 
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Babyhell

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maxicek:

My zon setup is currently:
Griffons / 15 IAS jewel
Highlord's
Enigma
Ravenfrost
10 FCR / MPK ring
3/20 gloves
2xEth Titans
35FCR Spirit
Razortail
Boots currently War Trav, may go Aldur's for the FRW
= 55IAS / 70FCR

Still not sure what to run with though.
 
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Babyhell

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ffs:

@Gripphon Glad you find the Wizzy thing cute at least :) though for me it's more like the only way I see to get the style of gameplay that I'm personally looking for.

Regarding cow running javazon gear in general, I guess what's pretty much locked in is:
- Titan's
- Enigma
- Silkweave
- Griffon's
- 3/20 gloves
- Razor

Apart from that it's flexible of course. I'm still undecided and switching around between a lot of these:
- Griffon 15ias/3mpk jewel and Griffon with RBF 23/18
- HLW and this amazing amulet I lucked recently.
- 2x RBF Moser's and Lidless + RBF. Now, if I had a 3-4 RBF shield, the rest of the gear would magically fall in place with a clear choice for each slot... but I don't have enough good facets at the moment :(
- Raven (I tested without, using thawing potions.. really too annoying)
- SoJ
- Switch: Spirit and CtA or and Wizzy ;)
 
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Babyhell

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ffs:

Okay, so here's a video of two runs with a Javazon in 5m15s on /players7.

First run is around 2m40s, second is around 2m35s.


Now, with that out of the way, let's not talk about run times, but more about what really makes up efficiency, which is not the run time. The deciding factor is how much you kill in a certain amount of time. This playstyle as you can see involves skipping smaller groups and going only for the juice. So is it worth it? I don't know, but here are a few points to note.

The first run netted 549,638 XP (compare LCS when teleporting to the leg in run 1 and run 2). The run lasted 2m40s aka 160 seconds, which means 3435.23 XP per second. This in turn means 206,114.25 XP per minute. (EDIT: As @Gripphon pointed out, this has limited value however due to the running character being lvl 91.)

This super-quick playstyle is based on three things: Fast teleporting, fast throwing, and herding a lot. That means 55% IAS, 99% FCR on switch, good mana upkeep because of the high attack speed and LF abuse, and some overcoming of your OCD when skipping mobs. ;) The aim is to herd mobs as big as possible while keeping the risk of missing items as low as possible, which takes a few runs to balance properly. Since you only go for the juice, and everything dies instantly on /p7 because of how LF + Razortail combo works, no other player setting apart from /p7 makes sense for this.

Gear used in video above:
Griffon's with 15ias/3mpk jewel
Titan's
Enigma
Razortail
HLW
Lidless Wall with 5/5 RBF
Silkweaves
3/20 gloves
Raven
SoJ

Switch: Wizzy/Spirit with CtA pre-buff.

Most important stats being: 55% IAS, 99% FCR switch, and 13 MPK.

Regarding CtA pre-buff: I've tested without and just using Wizzy. As I've expected, the Javazon is fine without the extra life, but the Merc is not. It just needs too much babysitting, which adds up and means losing too much time.

To me, this style of play is incredibly fun, way more than I thought a javazon could be, and I encourage everyone to try it, especially Javazon players with really godly gear, to see what she's really capable of. Runs above are far from perfect still, there is room for improvement regarding both play style and map (narrower corridors would help a lot, but in general map is good). You can pick up less items than I do, and not do the misclicks I do. ;) Personally, having timed maybe 20 of these runs, I never got under 2:30. I think 2:40 is probably average. Regarding player settings, I just noticed I didn't set /p7 visibly in the video, so I'm sorry XP gain shown in LCS will have to serve as proof.

So people let's see your xp/cows per minute data people, I'd love to see how it compares! :)
 
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Babyhell

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Gripphon:

Okay, I've done more tests. Tried this... lets call it rambo-style with Java.
Rambo style - go in, kill as many enemies as you can in the least amount of time, gtfo fast. Agreed. But, this is the only way for java to even compete with other builds, so just herd cows, throw javelins, what is dead is dead, what is alive is alive, move on to next big herding job. She does kill surprisingly fine amount of cows given how many leftovers there are.

Javazon p7 35 ias (level 95) rambo style
Average xp per run: 47695 xp
1 cow offers: 108 xp
Cows killed per run: 344
Average time: 2:42
p5 cows per minute: 143
p7 cows per minute: 127

Javazon p5 35 ias (level 95) rambo style
Average xp per run: 34952 xp
1 cow offers: 81 xp
Cows killed per run: 334
Average time: 2:23
p5 cows per minute: 139
p7 cows per minute: 123

Hammerdin p5 (level 96) rambo style
Average xp per run: 25313 xp
1 cow offers: 59 xp
Cows killed per run: 331
Average time: 3:23
p5 cows per minute: 98
p7 cows per minute: 87

Reason why I killed less cows on p5 with java is because I played slightly differently. On p5 I afforded to fast-kill small packs of cows without herding, though it seems that is not optimal. Herding with p7 style is better, but I'm lazy to test it again... Same style is applied with hammerding because he kills SLOW, but if you gatther big herd, it is no problem. But, you will have plenty of areas skipped, especially smaller isolated packs. Even 2 packs are probably not worth the time given his slowish killing nature.

I'm still gonna try to improve with javazon, it is not easy to be Rambo over the night. Same story with trapper since she is so close to java. But, here are test results so far. Left number is p5 cows killed per minute, right number is p7 cows killed per minute.

1. Nova CE necro 163-144
2. Rambo java 143-127
3. Trapper 140-124
4. Fireball 130-115
5. Slowdin 98-87

Next up: fissure dr00d, lightning sorc and 55 ias java.

Also, look at that. Just-look-at-that

Code:
Tal Rasha's Guardianship
Lacquered Plate
Defense: 931
Durability: 50 of 55
Required Level: 71
Required Strength: 84
Fingerprint: 0x82835583
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+400 Defense
Cold Resist +40%
Lightning Resist +40%
Fire Resist +40%
Magic Damage Reduced by 15
**% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Requirements -60%
Set (2 items): +10% Faster Cast Rate
 
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