Seeking runeword base suggestions (and answers to some questions)

rafquad

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May 16, 2020
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Hey, all!

My rune farming in D2 has been very fruitful, and I have been accumulating some great runes that I'm looking into turning into runewords. Some RWs I already have but want to make another (Enigma), and others will be the first time and I'm not sure what qualifies as the "best" or "correct" base.

First some random comments about my preferences and current RWs:
- I hate Archon Plate. Let's just start here. I understand how good everything is in an AP, but I also dislike how "vanilla" it is. I'd like to use different bases unless I'm really losing too much by forcing something different. I'd like to specifically avoid AP because, even though I do like how it looks, I already have access to it ->
- Since my current Enigma is in a Light Plate. I made it specifically for a base-STR Hammerdin, and I decided to pay 11 stat points to avoid doing it in a Breast Plate (because it looks bad IMO). My Pit/Pindle Zerker is also using this Enigma, but since I have 2 other characters in the making that will use one, splitting the same armor between 4+ chars is going to be too painful. Since I already have a "caster Enigma", I'd like to make a second one specifically for the Pit Zerker and other melee builds. So it can be something with more defense and more srt reqs. Embossed and Ornate types/looks have my interest, to name a few. I do have a sup 8% Balrog Skin, and probably some other options if I look into my mules.
- I like versatility with my runewords (I made my BotD in a War Pike just to "gain" the ability to play a Spearazon and use it in mercs, for example, as other options were probably better if I would use it just for Paladins/Druids/Barbs). Whenever possible, "this base is good because it is very good for the greatest # of builds" is going to be a high priority for me.

And now the questions:
- I don't yet have Infinity, and very recently I found a 4os ethereal Great Poleaxe. I don't have a 4os eth Thresher yet. Is the GPA good enough? What would be I losing/gaining for going either way?
- Provided my GPA is not for for an Infinity, but I still want to use it, what else would be good in it? Pride? Or just make Insight and forget about it?
- I have a superior 15% ed, 14% durability Diadem. How good/bad is this base for Dream? Will the repair cost be unbearable? Also, is 14% the max dura? I seem to find a LOT of 15/14 bases, so I began doubting 15/15s even exist.
- If not Diadems, what else is good to make Dream helm in?
- What is a good shield base for Dream that is not a Troll Nest? Like with the Archon Plate, I would really like to avoid "what everyone does" here. I was thinking Scutum and Dragon Shield, since Dream has integer +defense, but I'm not sure if I need to meet certain block requirements, which brings me to:
- If I do make dual Dream, what exactly can I do with it? I know about auradin and the bear sorc, are there other good builds for 2x Dream or are those two pretty much it?
- Beast. Where to make it, which builds use it, etc? Is Berserker Axe the standard, or some builds really need a specific base?
- Would Faith in a Hydra Bow be a good compromise between "good damage main wpn for an Amazon" and "usable by the act1 merc", or would I simply be making a poor choice in all fronts? a +3, 4os GMB seems impossible to find, and the idea of spending Ohm and Jah in a Blade or Great Bow doesn't appeal to me at all.

Thanks in advance :)
 

art_vandelay

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This is just my opinion mixed with what's optimal:
  • Only people on bnet use Enigma AP, here on the forum most people try to go for normal bases like BP or your Light Plate. Everything that's lets you wear Spirit without overstatting Strength will be a fine base really, as long as it doesn't have -10 run penalty.
  • BotD War Pike actually is the best base for Paladin but I don't see a point for it on a Mercenary when Insight, Infinity and Reaper's Toll are available.
  • General advice on Insight/Infinity was to make Insight GPA and get a good roll (CS/ED not Meditation) while making Infinity in a fast base to capitalize on the Crushing Blow (Thresher/Giant Thresher)
  • If you want defense from your Dream then put it in a Grand Crown, much easier than trying to go for superior Diadems. I would argue that Diadem is perfectly fine though. ; I made my Dreams into Diadem/Blade Barrier because that shield never gets used otherwise, it looks pretty cool!
  • No other class can really enhance the damage from Dream noticeably except for Sorceress and Paladin, so those are the two to go for...
  • Hydra Bow is horrible, it's inferior to Crusader Bow which has lower requirements but basically gives you the same damage output.
The Faith base I would argue for is Diamond Bow, I do so here in a lot of detail:
 

rafquad

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May 16, 2020
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This is just my opinion mixed with what's optimal:
  • Only people on bnet use Enigma AP, here on the forum most people try to go for normal bases like BP or your Light Plate. Everything that's lets you wear Spirit without overstatting Strength will be a fine base really, as long as it doesn't have -10 run penalty.
  • BotD War Pike actually is the best base for Paladin but I don't see a point for it on a Mercenary when Insight, Infinity and Reaper's Toll are available.
  • General advice on Insight/Infinity was to make Insight GPA and get a good roll (CS/ED not Meditation) while making Infinity in a fast base to capitalize on the Crushing Blow (Thresher/Giant Thresher)
  • If you want defense from your Dream then put it in a Grand Crown, much easier than trying to go for superior Diadems. I would argue that Diadem is perfectly fine though. ; I made my Dreams into Diadem/Blade Barrier because that shield never gets used otherwise, it looks pretty cool!
  • No other class can really enhance the damage from Dream noticeably except for Sorceress and Paladin, so those are the two to go for...
  • Hydra Bow is horrible, it's inferior to Crusader Bow which has lower requirements but basically gives you the same damage output.
The Faith base I would argue for is Diamond Bow, I do so here in a lot of detail:
Thanks for your response, Art! A few replies back:

- About Enigma, if I do make a second one it will be aimed at characters thatcan get/won't mind having str way past Spirit's requirement. Do you have any suggestions for something in those lines? Melee Barb/Paladin/Druids. Casters and Javazon can share my Light Plate.
- Right, nice to know it was the best for Paladin! The mercenary comment was just "to have that as extra", in comparison to, say, a Berserker or Champion Axe, which would be probably better for Druids/Barbs, still good for Paladin, but not usable in mercs.
- Making it in "a" Diadem is perfectly fine, or specifically my 15/14 one is fine? I'm worried about the repair costs, not sure if that's really an issue (and I can always just use Ort runes, right?)
- I completely forgot that Crusader Bow was the same bang for less requirements, thanks for reminding me. Will read your points about the Diamond Bow!
 

d2lover

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If you don't mind time-traveling, I suggest 1.07 bases for Infinity/Insight

They have 50% enhanced maximum damage ;)
 
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art_vandelay

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- About Enigma, if I do make a second one it will be aimed at characters thatcan get/won't mind having str way past Spirit's requirement. Do you have any suggestions for something in those lines? Melee Barb/Paladin/Druids. Casters and Javazon can share my Light Plate.
- Making it in "a" Diadem is perfectly fine, or specifically my 15/14 one is fine? I'm worried about the repair costs, not sure if that's really an issue (and I can always just use Ort runes, right?)
It's only worth it to put Enigma into anything other than light normal armor if you want to use the defense and if you do then something like Dusk Shroud or Mageplate comes to mind.
I never put any non-indestructible RW into anything superior simply because I'm lazy and I want to neither be forced to gold find nor carry around Ort Runes. You will have to weigh for yourself whether the extra defense is worth the hassle.
 
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SirName

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I would stay away from superior bases as a rule. Superior items can indeed be superior, but very often just bump up repair cost without much benefit.

If your Diadem has perfect base defence (60) that cool sounding +15% ed means a gain of +9 defence. Not worth the repair costs!

Not saying don't use superior items. Just be smart about it.

Edit: orts solve the repair cost issue of course, but is an extra hassle. Be sure you gain something by the syperuor base.
 
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saracen85

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- IMO GPA/Thresher/Cryptic Axe are all ok. Speed or Damage, your choice. CV/GT have prohibitive requirements.
- Diadems have no strength requirements, so it works. The repair costs should be a lot, but selling stuff here and there shouldn't be a problem. Bet repairing a TGods would cost more:ROFLMAO:
- Otherwise, go for looks. Crowns and Bone Helms look good. Great Helms look ugly. Haha. That's just my opinion though.
- Dream shields are tricky, at least for non-pally types. On one hand, low block type is preferred (when you go bear). Otherwise, a better blocking type is better. Not much difference between Scutum or Dragon Shield. But you can consider Kite Shields if you really want to minimize blocking.
- Dual Dreams = Bears, Zeal Enchantresses and Auradins. Pretty much it. You can get creative with multiple classes, but essentially 2x dream + infinity merc basic setup.
- Beast. I made mine in BA. Since I still think that Bers don't grow on trees, I made it with flexibility in mind. Beast BA is a pretty decent weapon on its own. +Str bonus means you'll always able to equip a Spirit with it.. Otherwise, an eth normal axe version works fine for exclusive prebuff use as well a summon necro weapon.
- Faith Bow. Pretty sure somebody will link this to a previous discussion. Short answer, no Hydra Bow. Other bows, maybe.

Side note on armor choice.. LOOK AT DURABILITY. Dusk shrouds are popular for low str reqs, but 20 durability means it'll break often for melee builds. I think that's why LP/BP class armors are so popular as they provide a great balance. Medium/Heavy exceptional armors should be fine. Speed penalty be damned. You're going for looks here!
 
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Luhkoh

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My inputs:

1. Even for melee character, I don't want a super high strength requirement armor. Sometimes I still end up with fewish str points invested for a higher life total, since str gives a poor dmg return and enigma gives a lot of str anyways. Pitzerker in particular probably wants to stick with that light plate. But monarch-wielding casters can go for a higher defense base, since they need 156 str anyways. So my input is make it in a dusk shroud (not superior since you'll have to repair a decent amount). If you really want to go wild for looks though, have at it. I'm sure it could be fun. Don't forget about the frw penalty. It's a small difference, especially in the case of enigma, but it's there. Gothic plate, sharktooth armor, and russet armor are ones I would consider if I was making enigma in loads of different bases :p.

  1. GPA works great. If you have reason/capability to make the infinity now in it, I wouldn't hesitate.
  2. If you don't use it for infinity, it's the best base for insight imo, so I'd roll a good one in it.
  3. I personally would not use any superior armors for runeword bases. The tiny extra defense just isn't worth the repair hassles imo. Weapons, sure.
  4. Diadem is a nice and popular choice. I made my dual dreams for paladin so went with grand crown and sacred targe. If I was prioritizing sorc, I would probably choose hyperion and diadem.
  5. Hyperion/scutum/sacred targe.
  6. You CAN do whatever you want with it (@Pb_pal made a dual dream thrower a while back that was super fun and worth reading about), but dreamadin, bear sorc, and zeal sorc are the only places where it really shines imo.
  7. Doesnt matter what you make it in as long as the requirements arent too high. Looks to me that every single build that uses it doesn't actually attack with it. Assassin and necro just hold it for the fanaticism, and bear sorc (or most any other bear build), just uses it to shift and attacks with something more powerful. I made mine in a double axe.
  8. Hydra bow is pretty bad. I made mine in a superior diamond bow, which i do think is the best choice, but think any elite bow base speed 0 or faster, or either of the 3sk zon bows can be a reasonable choice. Lots of factors can go into it, but fwiw I made mine quite a while ago and havent equipped it once.
 

rafquad

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All right, lots to tackle here!

@d2lover I considered going back to 1.07, yes! But I have some doubts of how to properly do it (afraid I'll mess up) and couldn't really find it in the threads (or didn't look properly). Basically, I'd like to know if it's possible to keep two separate installations so I can have 1.07 and 1.14 in the same machine - and how to do it. I do have a notebook where I can simply downgrade it to 1.07, but my CDs aren't working anymore so I need to "force-downgrade" from bnet's installator, which is 1.14 from the go.

@SirName gotcha. That 15%/14% Diadem is thrash, then? I though it was a very cool find at the time :(

@art_vandelay and the other Enigma comments: I have my eye in doing a second Enigma in a medium armor, for variery and looks, yes. So far my favorite options are Gothic/Ancient/Embossed/Ornate. Ornate is maybe a stretch, but I don't have a single melee build that can't reach 170 with the base and rest of the gear, and it does have "elite-like" defense. What I'm paying for a medium armor in terms of gameplay is a 5% penalty in run/walk and stamina, yes?
I'd like to stay away from Dusk, I think most characters just look like they are wearing no armor and it annoys me. Would rather pay more strength and go straight to Wyrmhide or Scarab, honestly.

@saracen85 and other polearm/dream comments: All right, so the GPA is more than good enough and the builds that shine with 2x Dream are Auradin/Zeal sorc/Bear sorc. Got it. Will give this some more thought, as Jah runes don't really grow in trees and I think I prefer to make the 2nd nigma and Faith before that.

@Luhkoh: I have a single Ber, so as soon as I find the 2nd one I'll go for it :) and we all know that it might not really be "soon" hahah

Thanks for the responses, ppl! Appreciate it :)
 
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rafquad

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@rafquad if you're looking for uses for jah other than enigma, phoenix monarch is by far the most useful and fun imo.
Yes! That is a very good idea. I'm a Lo and a Vex away from it, though (made Fortitude in a 15% sup Wyrmhide two weeks ago which I kinda think I'll end up regretting lol).
What builds have you used it with? I have a Meteorb that I think can benefit greatly from it to run Mausoleum/Pit/Icy Cellar. Javazon will probably love the Redempt. What else?
 
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Luhkoh

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I use it on swap for all non-sorc's who have an infinity merc. Just much nicer than using mana pots for me personally. But as far as actually using it, theres fire sorc (and all hybrids who main fire such as meteorb or fb/nova), fissure druid (need to get mine up and running in AT, but am still hoping ravenlore will drop soon), and trapsin. I pretty much am always using it on trapsin unless I'm running baal with her. It's really a nice shield :).
 
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