Diablo 2 Guide: Lower Kurast running Sorceress

Since the discovery of ‘easy’ Ber runes at Lower Kurast, many hours have been spent in what otherwise would have been just another stretch of land on the road to the Lord of Terror. Many different character builds have been commissioned, the intent of this guide is to present the ultimate Lower Kurast running Sorceress, for faster, safer, easier looting, for glory!
Every item in this guide being available at Hell Mephisto or for perfect gems at the trade forums, this guide is for everybody. More expensive items will not make it any better, expensive charms will only decrease the sorceress’ ability to cary large amounts of cargo and reduce her effectiveness. But let this introduction be; the build:

Contents

  • What you get
    • 105% faster cast rate
    • almost maxed resistances to all elements
    • max block
    • 50% damage reduction
    • free teleporting
    • 40 square cargo hold
  • Skills
(lvl 90: 101 skill points)

Ice Bolt 17
Glacial Spike 1
Frost Nova 1
Frozen Armour 1
Blizzard 20 2268 – 2417 (ø2343)
Ice Blast 20
Cold Mastery 20
total cold skills 81

Static Field 1*1
Telekinesis 1
Teleport 17
total light skills 19

Warmth 1
total fire skills 1

*1 May be skipped, advised for questing.

A blizzard sorceress? Of course. Guide by nepeta: Blizz sorc. Also there are no inherently cold immune monsters in Lower Kurast, it is a powerful spell for leveling, what else could one want? In comparison to the other cold skills and certainly to the other elements, Blizzard shines supreme.

Teleport, 17 points?

 

  • Stat points
  • (lvl 90: 460 stat points)

    Strength 126/76*2
    Dexterity 210 for max block
    Vitality 124/159*2
    Energy 0

    *2 The first number will let you equip the Stormshield without strength-bugging, the second requires a bugging setup.

  • Equipment
  • Code:
    						DR	res	hp	mana	stat	skill	fcr	fhr	Mreg*5
    Head		Harlequin Crest			10	0	1,5lvl	1,5lvl	2	2	0	0	0
    Neck 		Mara's Kaleidoscope		0	20-30	0	0	5	2	0	0	0
    Torso 		Skin of the Vipermagi		0	20-35	0	0	0	1	30	0	0
    Right Arm 	Wizardspike			0	75	0	1,75lvl	0	0	50	0	15
    Left Arm 	Stormshield			35	*4	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
    Right Ring 	10 fcr				0	10	0	0	0	0	10	0	0
    Left Ring 	10 res all ring			0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
    Belt 		String of Ears			10-15	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0
    		Verdungo's Hearty Cord		10-15	0	30-40	0	0	0	0	10	0
    Feet 		Marrowwalk			0	0	0	0	*1	0	0	0	10
    Gloves 	Trang-Oul's Claws			0	*4	0	0	0	0	20	0	0
    
    TOTAL						50+	130	*2	*3	7	5	110	10	25
    *for items with variable stats, rounded up averages were used for totals.
    
    *1	Marrowwalk has 10-20 to str, 17 dex, also +10% mana regeneration
    *2	Depends on belt and clvl
    *3	2,25 clvl
    *4	Other resistance on gear:	fire	cold	light	poison
    	Stormshield			0	60	25	0
    	Trang-Oul's Claws		0	30	0	0
    	Anya's quests			30	30	30	30
    	subTOTAL			30	120	55	30
    	TOTAL				145	235	170	145
    	TOTAL perfect gear (PG)		170	270	195	170
    	total in Hell difficulty	45	135	70	45
    	total in Hell difficulty PG	70	170	95	70
    *5	Mreg is extra mana regeneration

    You will have 4 socketable items, 3 socket quests available. As you can see in the table, the character is very low on Faster Hit Recovery, a wise choice may be a Shael rune somewhere, table below. For kicks, laughs, and further damage reduction, Sol runes may be added at will. Notice that these options do not include the weapon socket. Another option is using the sockets to maximize resists or mitigate the effects of lower stats on gear.

    The Stormshield must be socketed with a Hel rune for greatest effect, see:

    Code:
    		block	dex	str	totstat	pts sav
    Stormshield 73	67	179	156	335	
    	+eld	74	163	156	319	-16
    	+hel	67	179	133	312	-23
    Stormshield 80	67	195	156	351
    	+eld	74	178	156	334	-17
    	+hel	67	195	133	328	-23
    Stormshield 90	67	217	156	373
    	+eld	74	198	156	354	-19
    	+el	67	217	133	350	-24
    Stormshield 99	67	237	156	393
    	+eld	74	216	156	372	-21
    	+hel	67	237	133	370	-23

    An optional switch, for faster running could be a Crainte Vomir or a Harmony bow, for faster run/walk from the ship of Meshif to the Way Point.

    Hit Recovery Rates – Sorc and conveniently Act 2 merc’s. (Faster Hit Recovery / Frames per Hit-recover)

    Code:
    FHR	0	5	9	14	20	30	42	60	86	142	280
    FPH	15	14	13	12	11	10	9	8	7	6	5

    table courtesy of RTB

    Final note: This gear is not an actual build-breaker. Lower Kurast is one of the easier areas in the game, especially after you have killed the High Council at Travincal; half of the Kurastians will run at the sight/smell of you. You are free to take this ‘guide’ as a character report with a ludicrousity tumour, I will not be offended. It is more or less my take at a specific problem, combined with a tad of a tendency to write things up.

  • Mercenaries
  • A2 or A5
    Helmet: Delirium runeword. Chance to cast Confuse and Mindblast: love it.
    Armour: Gloom runeword. Chance to cast Dim Vision, 45 res all: love it too.
    Weapon: Kelpie snare. Slow monsters 75%: love it also.
    Weapon: Any sword with damage and leech: you’re safe enough anyway.

    Any level 90 mercenary will be able to handle Lower Kurast, this is just overkill, but what the hell… Safest merc setup for the price. For A2 mercenaries I assumed the aura would not activate (consistently) during a run, so pick your pick (normal merc for better stats), maybe something nice for questing or multiplayer.

  • Lower Kurast: The Deal
  • So, what is so special about Lower Kurast? As mentioned in the foreword, it is a prime place to find high runes. Ber being the highest rune being available from objects (chests, corpses, stashes, logs) in Lower Kurast, many people have done ‘chest runs’, to get some peculiar results.

    Check out the Item Generation Tutorial by Warrior of Light and Urlik’s Rune Finder’s Guide for details on the mechanics of item generation in general, chest drop mechanics in particular, for the here and now let it suffice to state that certain drop patterns get favored by superchests. Superchests being special objects which drop large amounts of items in a single drop, they can be found in Lower Kurast in the area by the campfire. It is possible to get a map with 2 campfires, so with the static maps in Singleplayer, that is what you should be looking for.

    Code:
    Rune	pX	Item 1		Item 2			Item 3			Item 3
    [URL="http://img157.imageshack.us/img157/7930/deadbobberkm0.jpg"]Ber[/URL]	p8	Arbalest	Gothic Plate		Full Helm		Vambraces
    Sur	p8	Grand Crown	Studded Leather		War Axe
    [URL="http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/5678/screenshot038tz1.jpg"]Lo[/URL]	p3	Balanced Axe
    Vex	p8	Crossbow	Large Siege Bow		Throwing Spear	War Sword
    Ist	p8	Broad axe	Highland blade		Hyperion spear	+2 more
    Ist	p8	Balrog spear	Glaive			Helm			+4 more

    Screenshots from deadbob (Ber), Phosheez (Lo)

    As you can see, should you see an Arbalest accompanied by a Gothic Plate and a Full Helm, look for the Vambraces and a Ber. There is some evidence the [/players X] command influences rune drop patterns, therefore it is advised you run on [/players 8]. A Lo rune has been found on [/players3]. With the massive Lower Kurast running done at the Single Player Forum from diabloii.net there has been no sighting of a Lo from superchests on [/players 8] although with the low odds for runes, the evidence is not yet conclusive it cannot happen.

    Also note that Ist has 2 different drop patterns. There is reason to believe the number of drop patterns increases as rune value decreases, as Io has 14 reported drop orders.

  • Lower Kurast Running: The Process
  • Get a map with two campfires, then hit the superchests, save and exit. Options you have are to hit the Way Point and go to A4, to be closer to the starting Way Point in the next game. Do not neglect the other objects (normal chests, stashes, logs, corpses) either, as they can drop runes too, as well as charms, jewels and flawless gems. Your runtime should be <1 minute, from the moment you hit the “Single Player” button until the “Save and Exit”. A wise man once said: “Don’t expect Ber in 10 runs.” and he was right. Expect about 7 000 runs before anything significant shows up. That’s a lot of time spent, high runes are not for the lazy.

    On a sidenote, with a grand total of 50 MF and little killing power, combined with the horrid drop tables of the monsters in Lower Kurast, it is not worth your wile to kill them. Leave them alone, only take snapshots, on your way out please do not forget the tourguide.

    Now you should be good to go, Good luck, Soldier!

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