Maltatai:First off, welcome to the forums!
Secondly, amazing job taking an interesting build all the way through the end. I know for sure that I would not have the patience for such a character.
What are your future plans for the pally? Some pindle runs perhaps?
wielanja:Thanks, no future plans at the moment. I'm a bit tired of him right now.
Regarding pindle, I did run him alot but it only yielded rare items despite full mf gear. If I decide to run anything it will probably be Mephisto or Diablo (if I find a way to bypass the river of flame). I rolled a great tower map so I maybe it is worth running the countess as well.
@Kestegs :I believe you can shop for staffs with tele charges although some of the other members would be able to tell you the best places to look for them. Put one of those on your weapon switch and you should be able to speed your runs up a bit.
mattinmn:Nice write up, very entertaining, I find it funny that you never Guardianed a character before because of boredom, and then you Guardian a Cleric!
Very nice and welcome to the forum!
I like the merc conversations, much like what goes through my head, although it never makes it onto paper.
Maltatai:At least you set the bar high with that writeup . Really enjoyed it, especially the merc convos as kestegs said. Congrats on finishing one of my favorite (MP) characters. Dunno if I'd have the patience to make it through with only my moron as company.
Arkardo :Thank you all!
wielanja: Good point, I never thought of charged teleporting somehow. The only drawback is repair costs of course, but the gold from the dwarf stars would compensate for that.
kestegs: Yes, a cleric is not the obvious first build. I tried a zealot or two before but was disapointed at the drop in damage in hell. With clerics, the default is no damage (except undead) so I was always positively surprised.
@Grisu :Hey there, welcome! That's one awesome entry you made, thanks for a helluva read!
crawlingdeadman:Awesome! Great write-up and way to step onto the stage of SPF! 👍 I really enjoyed those merc conversations, too 😁, and found it quite interesting to see how well you adapted your playing style to your current situation/equipment you found! Huge congrats on that achievement!
I'm eager to read about your next themed build!
Oh, and welcome to the SPF! Read the stickies etc. etc.
purplelocust:I too would like to congratulate you on the write up. I've toyed with the idea of a cleric, but didnt think i could take the boredom i figured it'd represent in SP.
tavaritz:Nicely done! Those are nice finds untwinked and you've got quite a sturdy character there. Not using ATMA makes things quite tricky as far as deciding what to keep and what to sell, particularly when you are trying to assemble complete sets, for example. It would be depressing to give up on Iratha's and then have the gloves drop soon thereafter!
Have you visited the Mausoleum much? I think Sigfrid would be very happy there for MFing and experience.
Maltatai:Congratulations on the guardian. Don't you know that if you don't collect the WP in the Hall of ???, you can kill Nilathak and Anyas portal will stay open.
@Kestegs :@purplelocust: No, I didn't visit that area much at all. I had gained levels by killing nm Baal and later choose the ancient tunnels and sewers to try out running undead. I did consider the mausoleum but I am not so comfortable with the lack of space - bolts tend to hit walls and pillars and my mercenary always block the doorways. The drawback with the desert areas is of course that they hold some non-undead but they didn't bother me so much.
Maltatai:What was the damage on HB? I'm guessing around 5k damage and 300 healing, but am curious.
Vox Dei:With my casting switch (wizardspike/rhyme) I have 0 +to combat skills so bolts do about 4100-4600 and heal 156-328. Bolt damage increase by around 200 for each new skillpoint, so a few more skill levels makes a huge difference. Think what Sigfrid could have done with the Herald of Zakarum! I really wanted to find that shield or some rare with +to combat skills, would have made a tremendous difference.
The healing is more unstable than one might think, so you need to throw a purple bottle occasionally to be safe from mercenary deaths. Three bolts heal between 450 and 900, a rather big range when Azrael have about 1700 life.
Oldsoldier:I would also like to extend my congratulations on the Guardian, and the top notch write-up (the conversation between Sigfrid and Azrael is priceless). Masterfully done, Hero 👍
Evasive:Congrats and welcome. I guardianed a couple of clerics and found them to be fun to play but somewhat of a two trick pony. Undead = mass obliteration. Not undead = wait for merc. I think this type of character is what finally broke my addiction! Thank you, clerics!
DaveW:I have a cleric-in-progress, this excellent Guardian thread has given me the motivation to keep pushing forward with him.
Maltatai:Nice job Maltatai and good write up. I don't think I cud play SP without ATMA. I'm too much of a twinkadin. Grats!
Swamigoon:Here are a few ways I can think of to make clerics more offensive and versatile. Since the class really is based on only prayer and holy bolt it offers a lot of customization;
Both blessed hammer and FOH synergize the holy bolt and offer attack possibilities if you devote 20 points from the bolts to their respective synergies.
As I mentioned I think a cleric using thorns and having his mercenary taking lots of painful hits could work. Mercenary should have high life,life steal,regenaration but not much PDR sice returned damage is based on the damage you actually take. This will speed up demon slaying. Maybe possible to combine with conversion and make a missionary hybrid - in that case I recommend a rogue to keep the mercenary from killing himself.
Thorns can be combined with either a synergy to holy bolt, which will let you kill undead at decent speed, or even some attack skill. Vengeance come to mind since it will let you deal with PI:s that are untouched by thorns. The high mana cost can be compensated for with meditation.
Zeal is a very cost-effective attack if you can manage the attack rating (I was fortunate enough to find hexfire with ITD which really helped). The reason is of course that you can apply all sorts of interesting process effects with those many hits.
Crushing blow and open wounds are great mods to combine with a low power smite and zeal. They complement each other very well so try to find both. Hit as many enemies as you can to spread the stun and the wounding.
As I also mentioned I found slowing to be vital for my survival. It is also of great use offensively since it allows characters to be more aggresive than would otherwise be safe. One situation where it is especially handy is when facing packs with maggots or the disgusting flesh spawners. Slow and curses allow clerics to smite their way inside the crowd to reach and kill the spawner without being killed by the minions.
@Evasive: What kind of cleric are you building?
Maltatai:Same here. My SP cleric build is very different, though. I have maxed his holy bolt, prayer, and sanctuary, and so far I'm almost halfway to maxing cleansing. He's in Act V NM. With no investment at all in the offensive synergies of holy bolt, he has a very different cleric play style; he likes help from the mercenary for all battles (not just non-undead battles). He heals the mercenary with his fully synergized holy bolts every now and then, but most of the time, he swings a black runeword tyrant club at non-undead, usually with a cleansing aura. For undead, he weapon-switches to a rose-branded mace and a hawk-branded targe, with which he flings moderately low-damage (about 250 magic damage) unsynergized holy bolts at undead, while running sanctuary, which periodically pings them with almost 200 magic damage that knocks them *way* back. My experiment with the synergized sanctuary aura is turning out to be more entertaining than I expected, and I'm looking forward to trying a few leisurely mausoleum strolls with it when I get to hell difficulty.
After reading your report, I have decided to put one point into smite sometime before I get to hell difficulty; the black runeword should work nicely with it.
pharaoh:Thats interesting, my current paladin project is also using a maxed sanctuary. It is a really underrated aura, I must say. Not much damage, but fun and safe.
Maltatai:I'm also playing with a cleric build myself. I've tried a few times, but always get bored, so maybe now I'll finish him. For some reason, Smite just never occurred to me, possibly because I like the idea of running with an Insight staff for the double heal (Cleansing being my main aura). However, since I have a high-end Exile, I'm thinking I'll forsake the extra healing for added defense and damage.
I might also switch to a Holy Freeze merc as suggested. I was running a Prayer merc with Insight (slvl 16 Meditation), so he would get healing from his Prayer plus his synergy through Meditation, along with my Cleansing aura when I run it. My understanding is that since Meditation normally does not apply to minions (as they have no mana pool), the only way they can have the aura active on them is by making the aura themselves (Insight merc/Iron Golem). My Insight had slvl 17 Meditation, so I got his Prayer, plus the synergy on my own Meditation (since it was higher level than his, and thus overrode it) and Cleansing auras. Thus, we both got healing from three auras whenever I ran Cleansing. However, it might be overkill, and if I switch to using the shield, the added defense from Defiance might make up for less healing.
To those advocating Sanctuary, I've not really used it, but it occurs to me that Lawbringer is an effective way to get a respectable level without spending points. It also offers -50% target defense (good for characters with crap AR), potential staffmods (Redemption and Salvation are excellent skills, and having them through the scepter means more synergy points), elemental damage (for PI non-undead), and 20% ctc Decrepify (which fits nicely with the 'slow enemies' theme, and can likewise help vs. PI non-undead). I'm pretty sure ctc effects work with Smite, too, though not having used Smite much, I'm not certain on this. If they do, it means that you can easily Decrepify the most troublesome enemies. The RIP mod might help against annoying shaman bosses, but since most non-merc kills will be against undead, I*'m not sure it'll much matter. Of course, the most important reason to use this runeword is that the name 'Lawbringer' reeks of holy paladin badassery.
Maltatai: Thanks for the nice writeup, and inspiring me to carry on with my cleric.
Yes, minions do not benefit from paladins meditation. I don't know if they get the healing when they generate the aura themselves, but it would be logical.
Labringer's aura is a nice complement for melee paladins, who get most of their power from other skills. It is however not sufficient to keep undead from the paladin, so if one decides to go for a cleric with enough sanctuary to keep undead at bay when bolting, a maxed sanctuary with +skill from items is required. A cleric wielding lawbringer could of course achieve some decent survivability from 20 points in another skill...
Hitting things with -% to defence beats smite on one level; it allows you to use vengeance and dispose of PI non-undead, who are a pain for the mercenary in most cases. FOH and hammers work but are very slow. The knockback from smite is sometimes good and sometimes bad so is guess it is evened out.
Naked/Gear Strength: 132/133 Dexterity: 153/173 Vitality: 205/205 Energy: 15/63 HP: 829/975 Mana: 138/140 Stamina: 351/577 Defense: 38/513 AR: 735/1050 Resistances Fire: 192/152/92 Cold: 128/88/28 Lightning: 176/136/76 Poison: 97/57/-3 Skills Naked/Gear Magic Arrow: 1/6 Multiple Shot: 20/25 Inner Sight: 1/4 Critical Strike: 8/11 Dodge: 9/12 Slow Missiles: 1/4 Avoid: 11/14 Penetrate: 20/23 Decoy: 1/4 Evade: 1/4 Valkyrie: 1/4 Pierce: 20/23
“Lore” Grand Crown Livexia's “Smoke” Gothic Plate Cleglaw’s Pincers Wilhelm’s Pride Aldurs Advance Dwarf Star Corruption Finger Ring +73 to Attack Rating 4% Life stolen per hit Replenish Life +4 +6 Maximum Stamina All Resistances +5 Damage Reduced by 2 Eagle Talisman Amulet +1 to Warcry Skills (Barbarian Only) +12 to Attack Rating 4% Mana stolen per hit +8 to Energy +6 to Life Lightning Resist +39% Lycander's Aim Ceremonial Bow. socketed with a Shael Rune. Livexia's Woestave Bec-de-Corbin Charms for a total of: Fire Resist +44% + Fire Resist +16% (reserve grand charm in the cube) Lightning Resist +39% Cold Resist +33% Poison Resist +12% +26% Faster Hit Recovery +50 to Life +1 to Strength 1 - 5 Lightning Damage +5 Defense +105 to Attack Rating +2 to Mana and... Gheed's Fortune Grand Charm 127% Extra Gold from Monsters Reduces all Vendor Prices 13% 36% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Magic Finding Gear: Socketed Ancient Armor with 4 Perfect Topazes Livexia’s Chance Guards Circlet of Luck (later sold to make place Blood Spiral Ring Cold Resist +19% Poison Resist +30% Damage Reduced by 2 10% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Chaos Knot Ring Replenish Life +5 All Resistances +11 Lightning Resist +11% +1 to Mana after each Kill 9% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Valkyrie Casting Gear: “Peace” Breast Plate The Stone of Jordan Athletic Amulet Rattlecage (used by Kyoko against bosses) Hellmouth (good against Diablo and great against immune foes, as well as burning herself) “Nadir” Cap (used to neutralize potential stairtraps, see below) War staff of Teleportation (later sold, used to get to the snakes altar)
Naked/Gear Strength: 133/133 Dexterity: 200/210 Life: 1346/1346 Defense: 1118/1228 AR: 2146/2362 Fire: 138/98/38 Cold: 168/128/68 Lightning: 138/98/38 Poison: 138/98/38 Her Equipment: Howltusk Treachery Ring Mail Magewrath, socketed with a Shael Rune Bow
Livexia: I say! But then I tore through it all and crushed his false hopes! What kind of loser puts his faith in regeneration to prevail?
Sigfrid the Cleric: Shut up!
So, the next time Livexia entered the second floor she teleported to the middle, grabbed the loot and opened a portal home. Then she hesitated. Fangskin was still there. Undefeated. And her little army held a castle of sorts with only one entrance, blocked by the valkyrie.Livexia: Did it really happen that way? I don’t remember all those unwomanly worries and the valkyrie messing everything up.
Maltatai: Allright, maybe not entirely. But it made a thrilling section of the story, didn’t it? The important thing is that I/you failed twice, as far as I recall, after finishing the first level. It was only then that I finally saw sense and acquired a staff of teleporting to get into the middle and grab that stupid trinket before Fangskin woke up.
Livexia: Wait a second, what do you mean “you” did this and that? It was I who went through that hellhole! You probably sat in comfortable chair enjoying yourself in the meantime, or something equally lazy.
Maltatai: Now calm down! I happen to be the Omnisci...ah, just shorten it to ORC.
Livexia: You’re going to describe yourself as “orc” in an rpg game? And you expecting to survive for even four minutes?
Maltatai: Come on, this is Diablo II, not Baldurs Gate II or something. There are no classical fantasy monsters here. Nobody has ever heard of orcs or goblins or whatever. We could perhaps talk about risky behaviour if I said I was a “disgusting defiler” or “putrid heretic” or something like that. All monsters are either spawned from religious mythology or slime-oriented. The same goes with names. If I would select from the most evil and badass of names in the history of fairy tales nobody would recognise it. I could call myself Morgoth Bauglir, or Palpatine or just Grom, and nobody will lift a finger. If, however, I would introduce myself as “Blade Snarl the Axe” or something equally absurd, I would face an army of D2 characters in no time. Not to mention if I would call myself “Putrid Snot the Goo” – that would trigger prophets to announce the coming of apocalypses and end of days. Again, the more slime-oriented something is in this game, the more powerful is it in the hierarchy of the Prime Evils.
Livexia: I am speechless. You may be on to something. We do actually treat our enemies like objects...
Fangskin and his pesky minions where finally broken. Unable to storm the citadel in the middle of the room they fell for the mighty arrow flurry of Livexia and Kyoko. None of the serpents thought of digging or crawling over the little sand dunes. Stupid serpents... I don’t remember the fight against Duriel very much. His lair is naturally very un-archer. But he is still only one and was distracted by the decoys. On to act 3 it was!Livexia: Loose the arrows and hold your ground! Fire at will, that is, MY will - NOW! Livexia wills it!
Kyoko: “Livexia wills it”? We are not templars, you know. Don’t you think you should have been a Paladin the way you command and bark at us? Or a barbarian...
They went and went and suddenly saw a large sign and a billboard.Kyoko: Why are you so miserable today? We have lots of leechable targets and we are done raiding the treasure chest of those pesky spiders. I never knew spiders had big shining treasure chests with eyes inside. Perhaps I should have taken that extra classes about bestiaries.
Livexia: Soon we will have to venture into the great marsh. There we will face terrible spirits who can shoot all-piercing lightning from out of sight.
Kyoko: How do you know that?
Livexia: I have lived through it in a past life, or rather, the same life in an easier world when I was younger.
Kyoko: If you lived through it, then it sounds like something we could handle now as well. What do you mean with “past life” by the way?
Livexia: It’s like, first everything is rather simple, then it becomes a nightmare, and now it’s hell.
Kyoko: You mean the taverns, right? Yeah, I agree. I mean, Akara had some quite decent potions but
Lysanders where just dry and Alkors are just liquid manure.
Livexia: No! I mean life itself. First you have, like, good resistances and then they are lowered and you can’t leech properly and...
Kyoko: “blank stare”
Livexia: Ok, I know you are a bit messed up when it comes to memories, having died so many times. Let’s continue.
Thus, the first potential encounter with gloams was cancelled out. Livexia and Kyoko handled the rest of the act quite well until they entered Travincal. Dragons ate valkyrie breakfast, valkyrie lunch and valkyrie dinner. At least the place has a lot of space. More than can be said about the Durance of Hate. I do indeed hate the little dolls that thrive in those places. This area is completely exhausting to play through. It’s freaking enormous and of course the waypoint had to be in the room I looked last. Livexia decided to go and finish Mephisto the same session since the waypoint was so far away. But his immature habit of throwing snowballs could turn out to be very unpleasant for a shieldless character with under 30 in cold resistance.Kyoko: The flayer jungle was the place where the heart of Khalim would rest in a murky dungeon, right?
Kyoko: So now we could, theoretically speaking, perhaps postpone the visit to the dangerous marshes?
Livexia: A prudent idea. I think we could postpone it to...let me check my calendar..."when pigs fly".
Kyoko: Aeeeh, a bit early. How about “when hell freezes over”?
Livexia: “Hell” actually derives from the norse “Hel” or “Helheim”, which was cold and frozen. But I see your point. Sadly, I’m busy at that time. But I have a free spot here...”never”.
Kyoko: [writing] visit Great Marsh N-E-V-E-R.
Livexia: Excellent! Let’s continue. I feel better already!
The prebuff from fade helped a lot. Especially combined with a thawing potion or two. Standing in the flames aren’t that bad with a dwarf star on your finger. I am unsure whether I had Hellmouth by this time. Those gloves made Livexia almost immune to the little indoor campfires. Mephisto went down after a very aggresive fight – I have rarely seen him casting and moving so furiously. Perhaps he thought Fade was cheating?Livexia: :whistling:Hmmm, hmmm, that armour Kyoko is wearing looks interesting. I wonder if it could somehow, say, gather and store the heat from a fire if I wear it and stand in a fire. Then I would be protected from the cold. Let’s go to the cold plains (ironically enough) and try it out in one of the ruined houses.
:rant:“To hell with you, I am an archer that can outrun any of you slugs! Magic arrows are endless arrows! Raaagh!”
Achmel the Cursed: What the (insert name of difficulty level here)! Those are MY skeletons, and "cursed" is supposed to mean that I am despised, not actually cursed! Stay away from my minions, you thief!
Galthran: Join the Necroskeletons today! Free spare ribs for all newcomers, hehehe!
Achmel the Cursed: That's not funny! By the way, are your skeletons called "necroskeletons"?
Achmel the Cursed: Because a skeleton is by definition dead, so only a very stupid jerk would call them necroskeletons - with a prefix meaning dead. It's like calling the "dead dead ones" or "dead deadlings".
Galthran: Ah, shut up. The stupid name is probably the work of your masters.
Galthran: I thought the Council of Zakarum was slain in Act 3. What council are you members of?
Bartuc the Bloody: We are the Council of Ministers, of the European Union.
Galthran: What on earth are you doing here?!
Bartuc the Bloody: We're looking for funding to solve the Euro crisis, of course! We hope that Baal will join other foreign investors to grant loans to save the monetary union.
Galthran: Negotiate fast then, because Baal's days are numbered, and the number is even lower than your poularity.
Bartuc the Bloody: What!? That low!? We haven't had the time to negotiate yet! Hydras, attack!
Galthran: Will you pleae stop this foolishness and ATTACK THAT DEMON!?
Skeleton: But we're surfing and having fun!
Galthran: That blue thing is not a wave, it is an evil spell that causes knockback!
Skeleton: But we are not destroyed, we are just knocked back. How can it be a spell then?
Maltatai:Nice one. I really like the mediocrity of your gear!
Oh yeah, and the effort in Christmasifying the pics.
Glacial Spike and Fire Wall is a nice combo.
khuzgan:Thanks. Actually it was ice blast that was the main complement to the fire walls, since it freezes longer, but spikes proved necessary against fire immunes. Sooo slow. And I hate Talic.
How dare thou mock my uber-leet-haxxor-gear!? It was the mightiest ever assembled and shall terrify all on bot.net.* soon enough!
*Degrading term for battlenet for those who wondered.
Very nice writeup with the poetry and picture editing. I love seeing guardianed somewhat underpowered selffound builds.