Diablo II Sorceress suggestions

Anyone have some suggestions on how to build a Single-Player Sorceresss for Diablo II?

I may have wasted two points - I put 1 point on in Charged Bolt and 1 in Static Field. I want to get Lightning Storm (Fire and Forget) and Mana Shield later, and Static Field, I understand, is a good Diablo-killer late in the game, especially with fast casting.

Should I go for Lit Specialization? Fire-balling master? Frostmaiden? What’s hot and what’s not?

As I understand it, you want a few points in Strength so you can use the best gear if you find good stuff, and maybe a few in Vitality (but not, since you’re going for Mana Shield), soyou pump almost everything into Energy, right?

(using 11.1b patch)

Warmth! That affects your mana regen. Also, often freezing things is a good thing, so cold disciplines are a decent choice. Chain lightening is nice, so is Frost Nova. Thunderstorm is very nice to have.

Playing single-player, you need to be able to take out pretty much anything the game throws at you, and in Nightmare & Hell level you’re going to see things that are immune to one or two elements. So, you need to target an attack spell down at the bottom of each of the three trees, or one good, simple one (like Firewall) partway down. So, I’d recommend focussing on,say, Warmth, Thunderstorm, Firewall, and Cold Orb. That gives you Cold Orb as your main attack spell, with TS going in the background, and if you run into somebody who’s immune to Cold, you’ve got Firewall. Cold Mastery lowers enemies’ resistance to Cold, if I remember correctly, so that’s a good one to buy up, too.

For the mid-game at normal level (18-30th level), Fireball & Glacial Spike, but don’t put too many points into those.

Also of importance is your little buddy. Get a spearguy in act II so you can stand behind him and nuke things. In Normal level, focus on buying up your Fire damage because you’ll be getting a cold-based buddy to freeze monsters for you. I haven’t had a lot of luck with Act V buddies, and tend to stick with the cold wizard until nightmare level, when I start over again with an archer.

Dang, now I want to play D2 again…

I’d drop Firewall and use your Act II (prayer then holy freeze) merc to handle the cold/light immunes. I find that tri-elemental builds just don’t put out the damage you need them too, even in single player games.

Darn mid-terms preventing me from playing Diablo II. That and needing the space for UT. I’ll e-mail my account stuff to someone if so they can get that HoZ back. Who should that be?

The best Sorceress build, arguably the best Diablo II build period, is as follows:

A lot in Warmth. Not quite every other point, but damn close to.

A respectable amount (5-6) of Static Field. Nothing’s more effective against the bosses.

Everything else into the ice path. Ice isn’t quite as damaging as the other two, but the slowing/freezing effects simply cannot be beat. No one can even get close to you.

Also consider carrying a one-handed weapon and shield instead of the customary staff. Not for the armor/offense (although that’s nice in the very early game), but because you can double the secondary bonuses by having both. This is very arguable, since staves often come with the best Sorceress-specific bonuses.

Allow me to disagree slightly with the learned messieurs above. Assuming you are playing with patch 1.10 or 1.11 ( the latests and virtually identical for the purposes of this ) :

No more than one point in warmth. It suffers from diminishing returns and by the time you reach hell you should have +skilles gear to buff it up for you. More would be nice, but surviving hell will require your focus on killing skills and their synergies.

No more than one point in static. Another one point wonder - more just adds to radius and again +skills will be sufficient.

No points in Mana Shield. Personal choice - I’m just not a fan in the latest patches. You want your mana to kill with, best defence is a good offence, etc.

No on lightning storm - too weak 1.10/1.11.

The safest and most reliable single-player build in 1.10/1.11 would be the old cookie-cutter MeteorOrb sorceress. So…

Max ( 20 points ) Frozen Orb - It will slaughter everything in normal and mightmare.
8-10 points in Cold Mastery - To enhance Frozen Orb ( which otherwise requires no synergies to be effective, one of the vary few killing skills for which this is true ).
Max Meteor - For cold immunes in hell and nicely clumped crowds before that.
Max Fireball - Synergy for Meteor and nice spammable skill.
Max Fire Mastery - For your fire skills.
One point in Teleport ( utility skill, vastly useful ), Static ( ditto ), and Warmth. The rest into prerequisites. If you prefer Fireball to Meteor, you can split the difference between Fire Mastery and Firebolt ( a Fireball synergy ).

  • Tamerlane

To clarify: Are you playing the expansion, or classic Diablo II? It makes a huge difference. For instance, in classic, you simply can’t rely on your hireling, since they die at the drop of a hat, can’t be resurrected, can’t be equipped, and (I think) you can’t take them with you from one act to another.

Also, are you planning on playing through all three difficulty levels, or just through normal? If just normal, you’ve got a lot of leeway in your build, but if you’re planning on soloing Hell, you’ll absolutely need at least something in each element.

Assuming you’re playing Classic (since you’re worried about Diablo rather than Baal) and that you’re planning on all three difficulties (since just Normal is easy): I would recommend Fireball, Frozen Orb, and Static Field. Static Field won’t kill anything, but in Classic, it’ll get anything (that isn’t lightning immune) very close to dead. Fireball will be your main damage spell for small groups of enemies or bosses, and Frozen Orb will be your main killer for those swarms of little things. Frozen Orb is also effective against single monsters, if you stand just the right distance away: The orb will explode right on top of your target, hitting it with half or more of the shards. You will occasionally (in Hell) encounter a monster that’s immune to both cold and fire; usually, you’ll want to just avoid these monsters. If you absolutely can’t avoid them (the Council in act 3, for instance), then you’ll use Static Field to sliver it (get its life down to one pixel), then finish it off with any other lightning skill (even Charged Bolt, if that’s all you have).

For stat points, you’ll probably want 75 strength (for a tower shield), just enough energy that you’re not continually guzzling potions, and all the rest in vitality. Energy shield can be nice, but unless you have a ton of points to spend on it and Telekinesis (its synergy skill… You are playing 1.10 or 1.11, right?), it’s no substitute for life. And with three skill trees to develop, you won’t have any points available to waste on Energy Shield.

On equipment, your ideal is Angelic Garb light plate or Twitchthroe studded leather for armor, the Spectral Shard dagger for a weapon, and either a socketed tower shield with three perfect diamonds, or Sigon’s Guard. Your amulet should have plus to sorceress skills, and your rings should have faster cast rate (ideally, they should be Stones of Jordan, but that’s not going to happen). The ideal helmet is probably socketed with three perfect skulls. Playing single-player, you might well not get all of these items; your next best choice for a weapon is a wand with +mana and/or faster cast rate (you can buy these from vendors), and for an armor, resists and life are more important than defense.

Finally, I might ask why you’re playing single player. If you have the expansion, you’re welcome to join other Dopers online, where we’ll be glad to give you a lot of help of all kinds. And playing with Dopers, you wouldn’t have to put up with any of the dweebs one usually finds in online games. We play on the realm US West, and can typically be found in a game called sdmb (or sdmb2 or sdmb3 or…) with password “cecil”.

Well, maybe I will try online. I’m really not all that good, though, and I haven’t played in a long while. I like trying to last extremely long whiles without spending any points. (I’ve made it all the way to Andariel with a Paladin before!)

I never made it past her without spending points, but I bet I could do it with a Barbarian. I am playing with Lord of Destruction. I never beat Baal before; those stupid three magic barbarian warriors kicked my buttocks in Act 5 the last time I tried to play through.

Have you ever read the tale of Irene the Infirm? Some fellow beat Andariel with a hardcore sorceress, without any equipment, skill points, or stat points.

And if you’re playing the expansion, then large chunks of my previous advice need to be modified. You’ll still want a bit of Static Field, but in Nightmare and Hell, it will no longer bring enemies to the brink of death, so you’ll need some other way to kill fire immune/cold immune monsters. Fortunately, in the expansion, hirelings can be half-decent, and can generally kill the things you can’t (as long as you’re patient, and there’s not too many of them). You’ll want one from act 2 or act 5.

There’s also much better equipment in the expansion. You’ll only need about 60 strength, and your target items are now a good orb or the Wizardspike bone knife for weapon, Skins of the Vipermagi for armor, and Lidless Wall for a shield. Until you get those, you can get a lot of milage out of a staff with the Leaf runeword in it (Tir Ral). Make it in a staff which starts with +3 to Fireball or other good skills (you can buy good staves from Drognan in act 2). Other good and reasonably affordable runewords are Tal Eth in an armor, or Ort Sol in a helmet.

If, of course, you’re determined to play solo. But the offer stands to team up: We’ll get you caught up to speed in no time. If you look for us online, my username is sonorhC.

I’ll give it a try tommorow. I would guess that team sorceresses go in much more for cold attacks, given the advantages of slowing with teammates are greater than slowing alone?

Secondly, how does mercenary selection change in multiplayer? Do you’all go for mas range fire a’la the wizard? Or mass buffing via Act 2 mercs?

Well, if you play with other characters that can make up the weakness of a single-element offence, Blizzard-centered sorceresses ( all Blizzard synergies maxed ) will blow everything not cold immune away. In fact there aren’t many characters, if any, that can kill things faster.

  • Tamerlane

You mean, other than a fire sorc?

On mercs, we mostly go with act 2, since auras affect everyone in the party. But you see a few others occasionally. The act 3 battlemage mercs are generally considered the least useful.

You might want 1 point in Teleport (since you are getting quite a lot of the prerequisite). Mana Shield is not terribly helpful, especially at higher difficulties, as elemental damage reduce your mana before resistance kicks in.

If you have teleport, you don’t need to have a high level of static field - at any rate, as the difficulties ramp up, it will be less effective.

Specialisation in patch 1.10 onwards is a must - but dump points at skills which matter most. However, fireball is not a good way to go, as most foes starting from Nightmare onwards are resistant to fire. Also, keep in mind that Blizzard delibrately designed 1.10 such that to prevent solo-play (which can be achieved with a kickass arsenal of runewords and uniques, btw). Your sorceress is unlike to achieve much in Hell, despite any skill builds, because of double and triple-immunes.

Also, please don’t feel bad if you find that you can’t surivive without a good mercenary. Blizzard made it that way.

Cold Mastery is your friend in this case. It reduces ice resistance and may break ice immunity.

Well, I’ll be starting a Sorceress online today. Now let me see if I can find a name not taken which isn’t Sephy_fanboy_65092309785209876. :wink:

Cold spec sounds good.
So, the ultimate question:

Why was Blizzard so pinchy about Immunitie? And what’s up with the Lightening Enchanted monsters? IME, they are far worse than anything else in the game.

Your opinion is widely shared. At least you can engage them at range; try them with a Frenzy barbarian sometime.

If you want to try something that’s oddly effective, you can also try a beekeeper. All points go to maxing out charged bolt + lightning mastery, plus any useful synnergies. Max out firewall and fire mastery for an alternate damage form for when you run across lightning immunes. After you have 16 pts or so in charged bolt, you don’t have Floating Blobs of Death so much as a Pea Soup of Doom. Frighteningly effective after a while. At least until you hit Hell (never took one that far myself).

Theres a bug with lightning enchanted and fire-enchanted being on the same critter. When you see one, <b>RUN!</b>, 'cos each of their bolt is does as much damage as when they die (the corpse explosion).

Oh yeah, Blizzard put in the immunes so that there will be less solo-run and more teamwork. Personally, if you want team-work, I suggest you try one of the more than excellent mods www.d2mods.com

loet me put it this way. I bought Diablo 2 on opening day way back when. My first character? Zealadin.


Probably the best build in 1.11 is a Blizzard/Lightning sorc. Max out for synergies. Put maybe one into warmth and equip an act2 (normal or hell only) defiance merc with the Insight runeword.

Other than that?

Upgraded Skin of the Vipermagi is a must
Spirit runeword sheild
+2 to all skills (or better) orb
Peasant Crown/upgraded Tarnhelm/Shako for a helm. Possibly Lore runeword circlet

A few other things as well I guess. Resists are vital of course, but I regularly solo Andy/Meph/Pindleskin in hell with this build