What if...Plague was enabled? (a thought exercise)

TopHatCat64

Active member
May 27, 2020
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Quick disclaimer: I'm NOT advocating for this runeword to be enabled in SP with a mod, this is more to stretch our brain muscles and provide some posting variety.

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As some folks know, there are a number of items listed in D2's data that were never enabled as droppable/buildable items.

One of them is the Plague runeword.

Code:
Plague
Axes
Cham + Fal + Um
20% Chance to cast level 12 Lower Resist when struck.
25% Chance to cast level 15 Poison Nova on striking.
Level 13-17 Cleansing Aura When Equipped. (varies)
+1-2 to All Skills. (varies)
+260-380% Damage to Demons (varies)
-23% to Enemy Poison Resistance.
37% Deadly Strike (Based on Character Level) [+3% DeadlyStrike/Lvl]
25% Chance of Open Wounds.
Freezes Target +3.
+10 Strength.

If this item DID exist in D2, what role would it serve?
  • The cleansing aura and lack of unconditional enhanced damage would seem to point to a utility weapon on switch to quickly remove amp damage
  • It's not as good as Death's Web (max stats of +2 skills, -50% enemy poison res) for pure poison damage for necromancers, especially when you factor in the added +2 Poison and Bone tree affix and the fact that necs can cast LR and PN themselves. Plague javelin zons would still be better off with Death's Web on switch, but for Rabies druids? Hmm, the lack of attack speed wouldn't be great as a main weapon, but as a switch weapon, it would be interesting as a source of LR that you could "cast" while still in werewolf form.
  • It has some tasty damage mods with deadly strike, open wounds, and freeze target, but again, the lack of unconditional enhanced damage and big damage to demons would still seem to limit it to certain areas of the game.
What does everyone else think?
 

d2lover

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Jun 24, 2020
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If hirunes are still rare I'd never waste a Cham like that.

If the rw would be made like harmony out of low runes, then it could have a niche use.
 

Pyrotechnician

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May 11, 2020
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I think it would be interesting, but I really dislike the "on struck" mechanics because that means a. you have to get hit, and b. you have to get hit, which means it needs to pass all defense and blocking checks. I tried to do something with the medusa's gaze shield that had a 10% chance of lower resist going off on struck but it wasn't reliable enough to be effective. I would say that the 20% chance probably wouldn't be much better.

Maybe if the act 5 barb mercs could use it (so allowed in a sword base) and it was on striking then I could see some niche uses that way.

The default would be a rabies druid, although it could possibly work for a fire claws build in a less effective way.
 
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art_vandelay

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Mar 16, 2020
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It actually has +0.375% Deadly Strike per level, not +3%. The value of 3 for "deadly/lvl" in runes.txt determines the Deadly Strike per level in eigths, so it's 3/8=0,375 per level. The 37% listed in the first post is the maximum you can reach (rounddown(99*3/8)=37).

Even if it was 3% DS per level it would still be a pretty poor melee weapon since it has no on-weapon ED%, instead having off-weapon ED% in the form of damage to demons.

Speaking of damage to demons: In versions prior to 1.13a the modifier for that is misspelled in runes.txt, so the game will not apply it - and every mod following it - to Plague. Luckily the mods following it are only ... all of them.

If you enabled it in 1.13a+ it would grant all bonuses though.
 

TopHatCat64

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May 27, 2020
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It actually has +0.375% Deadly Strike per level, not +3%. The value of 3 for "deadly/lvl" in runes.txt determines the Deadly Strike per level in eigths, so it's 3/8=0,375 per level. The 37% listed in the first post is the maximum you can reach (rounddown(99*3/8)=37).

Even if it was 3% DS per level it would still be a pretty poor melee weapon since it has no on-weapon ED%, instead having off-weapon ED% in the form of damage to demons.

Speaking of damage to demons: In versions prior to 1.13a the modifier for that is misspelled in runes.txt, so the game will not apply it - and every mod following it - to Plague. Luckily the mods following it are only ... all of them.

If you enabled it in 1.13a+ it would grant all bonuses though.
Interesting, thanks for the correction. I saw a couple different versions of what Plague's actual stats were, so I wasn't totally sure if the ones I found were right.
 

zemaj

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Mar 17, 2020
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Hmm... possible use for Blender Sin? I'd have to double check how much (if any) of that would work with blade traps, and even then it's a novelty build, certainly... but at this point, I'm personally more into novelty with each passing session, and don't think I'm terribly alone on this...
 
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Miron

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Mar 24, 2020
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Interesting runeword but the mods are a bit conflicting. LR on "struck" together with "freeze target", CtC PN but if you want to synergize it (necro) you don't need LR...

Anyway, some possible builds that come to mind:

- Rabis druid. Get some iPDR, wait for LR to cast and switch to rabies. Maybe even some combination of fireclaws and rabies.

- Frenzy barb with emphasis on elemental damage. Use gimmershred or rift as 2nd weapon. I would try to get as much poison damage as possible to utilize -EPR.

- Melee/iPDR enchantress. Get lightning mastery and focus on lightning damage as second element.

- Melee/poison amazon? Use melee until LR get off the switch to one of the poison javelins skills.