Starter Build Guides

art_vandelay

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2020
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@art_vandelay , excellent corrections; are you willing to review future drafts too? That would be generous. I was using information I found in a couple of wiki sites, https://diablo2.diablowiki.net/Area_Level and https://www.theamazonbasin.com/wiki/index.php?title=Act_Summaries . So far, to me it looks like area and regular monster levels track reasonably closely, even in normal difficulty, but I'll study these some more. I'd like to include a link to your chest guide in my guide.

Everyone: I feel that, if our guides have links that invite site visitors to sample high-quality forum material, they're more likely to lurk, register, join, and participate with us. Would it be better to just link to art_vandelay's chest guide and be done, rather than bloat my guide by enumerating special chests by areas? Or do you think our expected visitors would prefer having this information included among quests and areas in this guide?
I'll try to read them!

On the monster levels: Check out Tal's Tomb in normal to get an idea of how much the monster levels can vary in one area. Especially the Burning Dead vs. the Preserved Dead.

My guide on chests is way too technical for a beginner and might do more harm than good in my opinion but if it's just a one time mention with proper warning it could work.

***

On the Druid guide front I hit Arcane Sanctuary with the Windy and it's painfully slow... And there's no good way to deal with this for a beginner. I think in Speedruns they just teleport past everything but I can't recommend that to a newcomer ... :unsure:

***

There was mention of a general guide on little tricks you can do throughout the game to improve your QoL or are just need to know things. While questing the Druid I made a short list of those that I use:
  • Throw away your shield immediately to not go into a blocking animation when hit.
  • Superchests in Blood Moor can be a good source of very early wealth.
  • Revived monsters don't give XP or drops.
  • You can gamble a Belt (3 rows) at level 8.
  • If a waypoint can't be activated this can be fixed by opening a TP (and sometimes only by entering and coming back)
  • You can equip a quiver in the second slot without having a weapon in it.
  • Sparkly chests have a good chance of dropping two Tier 3 healing AND mana potions, no matter which act or difficulty they are in. Probably the earliest source for those.
  • The savage polearm recipe takes ALL diamonds regardless of tier.
  • Multishot can be made to "pierce": Shoot a very narrow fan of arrows at monsters standing in a line, since MS has a next delay only one of the arrows hits the first monster, the rest goes through it and this repeats for the monsters standing behind the first.
  • RalOrtShael is a cheap version of "Smoke" if you just can't find a Lum or three "Io"s in NM.
There's more but I can't think of them right now. 🙃
 
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Rush

Administrator
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Mar 12, 2020
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Regarding formatting. The Guides section used standard HTML and of course H1, H2, H3 headings etc. I am in the process of reworking all 150 or so guides currently in the section to make sure they have all the correct headings etc. H1, H2, H3, etc also automatically create the TOC of each guide at the top of each page so they are important.

I will be going over this "formatting" stuff with @maxicek and then will come back to everyone involved with a plan and further guidance. Hopefully, that will be really soon.
 

art_vandelay

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2020
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I'm really starting to think that a guide for each character is a bad idea. Wind druid is one of the worst experiences I've ever had in D2 so far. He should be rated at least as high in difficulty as barbarian. I doubt many newcomers would come up with something as miserable as this:
trash.png
If I was lucky the bear would push Hephasto into the jab range of the merc for some extra damage from insight. :ROFLMAO:

Of course I had to teleport/run all the way through the first three areas of act 4 because the merc can't handle bosspacks (Insight/Smoke/Blood Craft Helm) especially if cursed.

And then there's the issue of tornado not hitting 50% of the time, it's just one of the most awkward spells in the game. Even fully synergized it does pitiful damage vs. even regular monsters...

If anyone knows a better druid starter build, please tell me :D
 
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art_vandelay

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Mar 16, 2020
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I stayed fire until act 4 NM, but beyond that I only see Wind as viable, however bad it may be. Summoner build should be out as well, most packs just overwhelm the druids weak summons.
 

Rush

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Mar 12, 2020
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A heads-up that I have gone through every single guide in the guides section, formatted them, added feature images and categorised them all to work with the new search filter. Took about 9 hours (around 150 guides) but we are now all good moving forward to build on for the new guides.
 

Rawness

New member
Mar 30, 2021
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I stayed fire until act 4 NM, but beyond that I only see Wind as viable, however bad it may be. Summoner build should be out as well, most packs just overwhelm the druids weak summons.
You can always use bear+shockwave form for cc. I havent bothered trying it, but it should probably be viable, but painfully slow untwinked.
 

Babyhell

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2020
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Just throwing an idea here: maybe add a reusability score for each build, or a good starter gear to be crafted/targeted for various builds? I got that in mind when I started my HC Sept after my restart.

Thinking about that Spirit sword with low reqs, that could be used by any caster - including trapper. Doubled for Singer, with low req pally shield for Hammerdin.

The AR combos had been detailed already. So was Insight iirc.

Anyway, D2 is about builds (like D3...somehow) AND gear (like...nowhere like D3!), so gearing strategy is an obvious part of any journey.

Maybe also a "best use of runes" guide, with Q&A like "Why should I keep my Mal rune until I find the lacking Sur Ber and 3x Jah?"

I state here that I tried to read each post with attention, exception done of guides with files, so I am already sorry for things that are already part of the existing work that I missed.

Real life brings me almost out of D2 until maybe end of june, I will push to complete that Trav RFL batch to check a year's goal, and Pat my Itherael's runner for the same reason, but then I may be out until then. Will be lurking again for a couple of months ;-)
 
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maxicek

Moderator
Dec 24, 2019
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I’m wondering if some of the builds we should leave more open ended - If you were making an untwinked Fishyzon and a WWS dropped, physical bow skills start to look more attractive. How to describe this is the hard part.
 
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maxicek

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Dec 24, 2019
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I guess I will take the trapper. We still need more help here, please help if you can.

SectionContent OutlineAuthor
General Introduction- Why D2 is different to other ARPGs (including D3)
- BNet vs Single Player
@Vang
The Character Screen- Stats
- Life
- Mana
- Resists
- Damage and Attack Rating
- Blocking / not blocking
- Defense
Extended Stats(Not shown currently but available in D2R)
- FHR / FCR etc
- Leech
- Crushing Blow / Deadly Strike / Open Wounds
- MF / GF
Skills- Why to save points
- Links to starter build guides
Quests & Playing the Game- What is important
- What can be skipped if required
- Dealing with Immunities
- Tips for completing quests
@Swamigoon
Mercenaries- Which ones to hire
- How to equip them
@Drixx
What to do after completing the game- Farming for items
- Next step builds
@Drixx
Other stuff not decided where to go yet- What to do if you get stuck
- Notes for console users

Linking to the starter build guides:

ClassBuildDifficultyAuthor
AmazonFishyzon / Gunslinger / ?Medium@PhineasB
@Drixx
AssassinTrapper, starting out fire and respect to FB / LightningMedium@maxicek
BarbarianWhirlwind / Hybrid / NF BerserkerHard@PhineasB
DruidElemental, start out Fire and respect to WindMedium@art_vandelay
NecromancerFishymancerEasy@PhineasB
@Drixx
PaladinZealot & respect to HammerdinMedium@Drixx
SorceressMeteorbEasy
 
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Gynli

Member
Mar 17, 2020
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I fully agree with leaving some guides open ended - especially the ones more gear dependent.

As for the how, i think providing the base skill tree - that require ~60 skill points (mid-late NM) - that branches off to a number of different paths will work well enough.

For e.g. unwinked fishyzon
Baseline:
20 LF + prerequisites
7 strafe + prerequisites (max enemies hit)
10+ Valk + prerequisites
couple in pierce + prequisities
20 FA + prerequisites

Found a nice physical bow? Respec
Drop FA + prerequisites
10+ strafe
10+ critical strike
10+ penetrate
13- magic arrow
10- multishot

Found a mat bow with runes for melody
and prefer bow over jav?
20 FA synergy

Like jav?
20 LF synergy

Not sure yet and prefer safety?
20 Valk
10+ decoy

EDIT:
I cant commit to a deadline due to work; but i will volunteer for 'what to do when stuck', if no one else will. Of course, i will need to gather veterans' tips and tricks first. :p
 
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Apr 24, 2020
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When saying other ARPGs for the difference I was going to focus on D3 and Path of Exile.

I could also focus on others but feel they are less played or just not a good comparison model such as Grim Dawn, Torchlight Series, titan quest (never played), Last Epoch, Magic Legends, or Warhammer Chaosbane(never played)/Inquisitor.

Any thoughts?
 
May 27, 2020
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Sanctuary
I think there is something to be said for sort of coming to be at peace with the fact that very few untwinked builds are capable of full-clearing Hell, and the ones that are capable of that are often as much about patience as they are about skill (or at least game knowledge).

This is a concept that should be introduced early to new players, I think. The most efficient MF build in the game kills a handful of monsters per run. People run Pindle endlessly. End-game MFing is more about finding an area that your build can farm than it is making a build that can farm anywhere. Etc.

Those builds do exist, and they can be great fun.... but not every class has one that is accessible to unknowledgeable, untwinked, new players.

My two cents.
 

art_vandelay

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2020
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Another trick I think should be in at least one guide:
cheese.png
You can do this if you don't have the HF map pointing to the lower right (with the little island you can tele on) or if you do but don't have a teleport staff yet.
The other RoF entry layout has such a hook as well. It works best with a minion to fixate Hephasto and keep him busy while you run to the other side of the hook.

It's most valuable for bad spawns such as this cursed fanatic Hephasto in NM.
 

Swamigoon

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Apr 18, 2020
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I'll put a "retreat and try to see if you can position a moat of lava between you and Hephasto" in the "playing the game" document. Excellent tip, @art_vandelay .

Edit: attached is an updated draft. Again, I solicit comments and corrections.
 

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Swamigoon

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Apr 18, 2020
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Another note: if anything in my proposed guide attached above is better discussed in someone else's guide, I'm happy to let it go, or have @Rush or someone insert a link into the guide.
 

maxicek

Moderator
Dec 24, 2019
813
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I found this whilst fixing some links:

May be some useful info there.
Also we probably need a central glossary.