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Mage without MS?
08-04-2011, 07:57 PM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2011 07:59 PM by lyyn.)
Post: #1
Mage without MS?
Hi everybody,

finally delurking after a couple of weeks Smile
Thanks for all the info and help I got reading a lot of the posts here.

I recently had a bout of nostalgia and started playing Diablo again. Turns out, it is still fun after all these years.
Actually, this time around its even better, because I'm playing Hellfire: More levels = more fun.
Plus more information from forums like this and guides (thank you, Jarulf) which I didn't have 14(?) years ago.

I noticed a lot of heated discussions about the MS Bug and it got me thinking: I was dieing a lot, not so much because I didn't know what I *should* be doing, but basically because I was sloppy most of the time. So the posts about the Mana Shield bug gave me an idea and I did exactly what is considered cheating here: I built a Mage and put all lup points into magic, no exceptions, I even sold the occasional Elixir of Vitality and didn't use it.
BUT I don't use Mana Shield.
It really helped. Nothing helps me focus and think ahead like not even being able to survive a friendly pat on the back
At first I thought that I am only going to do this for a few level until I had gotten used to more careful tactics, but I am currently level 27 and playing Nightmare/Caves and so far it's still working just fine.

(Well, I did turn on the Mana Shield once for Diablo after I had cleared the room around him. Just wasn't up for any frustration that evening Wink )

When does this become impossible? Did anybody ever try to find out how long you can hold off on the MS? Nightmare/Hell? Hell/Hell? Not at all, provided you are careful enough?

Just so I know what I can realistically shoot for...

lg,
Lyyn
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08-05-2011, 12:20 PM
Post: #2
RE: Mage without MS?
It never becomes impossible, although you do have to be careful and focused to avoid deaths. You can heal so quickly, and you can consider using the odd item from Wirt like a cap of the whale to withstand an extra hit in the higher difficulties. To be honest this could be a quite powerful character if approached with a careful "arty mage" style. One issue that always hurt even playing rogues without mana shield is only having the 4 hot keys for spells. If you need healing and fire spell and a lightning spell, now you are forced to choose between stone curse and teleport. That is tough because either of those spells can be very valuable in keeping yourself out of range of the bad guys.

To be fair, I never played Hellfire, so I can't vouch for any unique difficulties in the end game there. But as long as stone curse works and you can withstand a couple ranged attacks without dying, the character should be playable.

Back when Diablo was my drug of choice, I created a crazy variant called the Geezer who, among other things, could not use mana shield, stone curse, fireball, chain lightning, lightning, or teleport. It was very different from normal mage play, and a lot of fun, and very difficult, but as it turned out hell/hell was still quite playable (if you don't mind dying repeatedly when things go bad).
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08-05-2011, 01:54 PM
Post: #3
RE: Mage without MS?
Hi Nystul,

thanks for the reply.

Of course I mind dying! That's is the whole point of this mage. He's supposed to teach me to be more careful so I DON'T Wink

So far it turns out, that using only magic has it's drawbacks. I tried a tip I read and used a CC on a stoned Demon. Got me killed in a few seconds flat. I guess I should put at least some points to Str and Dex?

Funny that you mentioned a rogue. That is actually my favourite (and main) character. If this mage thing works out, I am planing on building a rogue that is all offence and as little as possible defence/armour/life and seeing where that takes me.
I'm already looking forward to seeing what happens then.

Do you play a rogue? Is that why you mentioned it? I'm comparing Bows right now.
If only the good ones weren't almost prohibitively expensive to repairSad

lg,
lyyn
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08-05-2011, 02:35 PM
Post: #4
RE: Mage without MS?
... and HOW DID you play without stone curse?? Is that even possible with all the resistances/ immunities on higher difficulties??

(sorry, I missed that one at first)
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08-06-2011, 10:56 AM (This post was last modified: 08-06-2011 11:00 AM by Nystul.)
Post: #5
RE: Mage without MS?
I wouldn't bother with Civerb's Cudgel as a mage unless you are facing triple immune demons. Otherwise, use your spells! Even against triple immunes, a decent golem can make things go a lot faster than just attacking things by your wussy self. If you are regularly facing triple immunes and don't already have maxed strength, you might consider shopping for elixers. It doesn't take much to max out strength. Dexterity is basically useless for this class aside from the small AC boost for high AC mages. All this Diablo jargon is driving spellcheck crazy.

My mage with no stonecurse often used golems to buy himself time to move away or cast spells. Let's just say stonecurse works a lot better. But it was a lot of fun.

I did play some rogues back when I was playing. I played quite a lot of Diablo and quite a lot of Diablo characters! But not so much in the last 5 or 10 years.
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08-07-2011, 02:19 PM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2011 02:31 PM by lyyn.)
Post: #6
RE: Mage without MS?
Wow, but your still active in this forum? That game must have left quite an impression.
Actually, same here; it's been a while that I played anything at all. I had forgotten how much fun it can be.
Did you ever play D2? Is it any good?

I think I’m done being careful for now. You were right about my wussy self. Doublechecking around every corner is great for keeping the adrenaline up but I feel ready for some hands on bashing right now. A nice stupid, reckless warier swinging and whacking with that cudgel might be just the perfect contrast to an overly nervous mage Wink

(But I admit: fireballing a stoned knight/witch/other from 2 squares away does have this VERY satisfying *thump* )
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08-08-2011, 01:39 AM
Post: #7
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-07-2011 02:19 PM)lyyn Wrote:  A nice stupid, reckless warier swinging and whacking with that cudgel might be just the perfect contrast to an overly nervous mage Wink

This will sound counterintuitive, but reckless + warrior = high percentage of death. For the most part, Mages can be played with more room for error IMO.

In other games the stereotype is usually true. Warrior\Fighter, easy and powerful. Magic user usually fragile until late game. It's topsy turvy opposite in D1\Hellfire.

Even with Hellfire's sweep attack, if you're playing melee based characters you still have less room for mistake.

By the way, I highly recommend getting 'HF:Fixed', if you don't have it already. Makes playing a Warrior actually fun again, the Monk playable for real, and fixes many stupid bugs in vanilla Hellfire.

Reading your posts brings back great memories of D1-Hellfire, IMO where the -true- Barbarian lives. Shamed they neutered him in D2. His awesomeness was probably too overwhelming and jealousy inducing.
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08-08-2011, 02:40 PM
Post: #8
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-04-2011 07:57 PM)lyyn Wrote:  So the posts about the Mana Shield bug gave me an idea and I did exactly what is considered cheating here: I built a Mage and put all lup points into magic, no exceptions, I even sold the occasional Elixir of Vitality and didn't use it.
BUT I don't use Mana Shield.

MS Bug abuse is the use of low health and MS to circumvent experiencing hit recovery. That's not happening here, so you've done nothing that's considered cheating 'round these parts.

Quote:When does this become impossible? Did anybody ever try to find out how long you can hold off on the MS? Nightmare/Hell? Hell/Hell? Not at all, provided you are careful enough?

You could hit a brick wall if you start getting one-hit-killed by projectiles, but the great thing about "Diablo" is that you control enemy activation. So life could become exceedingly slow going with some monster mixes, but I know of no level of tedium in this game that some players have not overcome.
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08-08-2011, 02:50 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2011 03:57 PM by lyyn.)
Post: #9
RE: Mage without MS?
Hi Hammerskjold,

Probably won’t play one anyway. I tried once and it didn't hold my interest beyond church. So it was basically my frustration speaking.

The CC episode I mentioned earlier was just a trial run. I was fighting against Bone-Demons in the crypt and just wanted to give it a try. Turns out, they are not demons at all, they're Undead – my bad, should have been obvious, what was I thinking Wink

But yesterday I broke out my Civerb's Cudgel for real. I was doing Laz runs (kind of obsessed with finding a Royal Circlet) when I leveled to 30 and suddenly had the silly idea “why don't I try a 3@30?”

Levels 13 and 14 were ok. I got ripped apart and killed by Lava Maws once (first death for this char, yay), but that’s what I get for letting myself be swarmed. Item recovery is not too hard with telekinesis and I doubly enjoyed frying them after that. So far so good...
But then I hit 15 with Soul Burners and Balrogs and find myself not so much fighting for my life as fighting mounting tedium. Actually fighting for my life would have been way more fun. The Balrogs I could dispose of, but it took me AND my golem(lvl 7) three to four stone curses(lvl 12) worth of time whacking away at one Soul Burner simultaneously to kill just one of them, and there were maaaany. This was just plain hard work and plenty of potions. The German term would be “Materialschlacht”, no game playing involved. After I had forced myself to fight my way through to Lazarus and kill him and his girls (that part was fun) I had completely lost interest in going on further. The only way I am going back and facing those triple immunes again is after many more books!
So, what's the secret, besides having higher level spells? Is there any trick to fighting Soul Burners as a mage? They hardly even register when I am playing my usual rogue, just some more witches to shoot...

About HF:Fixed, yeah, I considered that, but I remember reading the fix list and IIRC there were things that were deal breakers for me, like all scrolls that were available as runes were eliminated... what!?... no stone curse scrolls for my lower level chars?? Nope, not for me. I'd have to find the link again and go back to be sure about this, but it was something like that..

You say you have played D2... is it fun? Is it very different? Or is it just the next logical step?
lg
lyyn

edit:
BTW, speaking of Lava Maws... strange thing happened on level 14: I was melee attacked by a single Lava Maw ( I know, I know... should have warned me of what was to come later, when I met a pack of his friends Wink ) I tried to run away, but I couldn't because it had me stunlocked. I managed to stay alive by using hot keys to drink my belt empty. Then, suddenly, while I am down to my last potion and frantically clicking on some empty space to break away, knowing I will die …. it drops dead! Huh???
Did it suicide because I was to pitiful for it to bear? I have no idea what happened, but it certainly wasn't me that killed it!?!


lg, lyyn
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08-08-2011, 03:24 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2011 03:36 PM by lyyn.)
Post: #10
RE: Mage without MS?
Hi Lemming,

sorry I posted my response before seeing your post.
Here is the short version: I HAVE found my unsurmountable level of tedium Wink

lg, lyyn

Clarification: this is a different mage. I started doing solo-multi. You guys are right: It IS more fun.
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08-08-2011, 04:01 PM
Post: #11
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-08-2011 02:50 PM)lyyn Wrote:  So, what's the secret, besides having higher level spells? Is there any trick to fighting Soul Burners as a mage? They hardly even register when I am playing my usual rogue, just some more witches to shoot...

Physical damage, either with a melee weapon (e.g. Civerb's Cudgel) or with a Golem. Stone Curse is more or less a necessity.

Quote:You say you have played D2... is it fun? Is it very different? Or is it just the next logical step?

D2 failed to recapture the atmosphere of Diablo, and the gameplay changed significantly. It's still "Kill stuff and get treasure", but it's really more about being able to kill crowds of enemies as quickly as possible - and that goes for every class. It is fun, but it's a different beast.

Honestly, the most similar game to "Diablo" that I've played has been "Demon's Souls" on the PS3. Dark fantasy, great atmosphere, and no matter what build you play, you have to play smart. Melee, archery, and magic all require good strategy and careful gameplay. Death is a considerable punishment rather than a slight inconvenience (as in D2). The downside is that it doesn't use random levels, and since it's on a console you don't have convenient spell hotkeys like you do on PC. To me, this game is Diablo's spiritual successor. And it is the only game I've played where you can dual wield shields.

"Torchlight" is a PC dungeon crawl made by some of the Blizzard North guys (though it's currently being ported to some consoles). It features music by D1's composer, which is awesome because it sounds just like Diablo. It seems to play a bit more like D2, though I daresay with more strategy required. It does have randomized maze-like dungeons (yay), and if you play it on "Hard" or "Very Hard" its level of difficulty is much closer to that of D1. There are spells which can be learned by any class, and I can't tell you how happy I was when the first few things I found in the dungeon were scrolls of identify, town portal, and a Weapon Rack. Its atmosphere is much lighter and far less dire than Diablo's, but over all, I feel like I'd still recommend it over D2. YMMV.

Quote:BTW, speaking of Lava Maws... Then, suddenly, while I am down to my last potion and frantically clicking on some empty space to break away, knowing I will die …. it drops dead! Huh???

Odd. Nothing's coming to mind. Monsters don't typically just die on their own.
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08-08-2011, 04:42 PM
Post: #12
RE: Mage without MS?
thanks for the tip,
from your description Torchlight sounds like my kind of game. I guess I will try that next. If and when I tire from my current newly found Diablo obsession, that is.

Do you still play, or are you retired too?

Quote:Odd. Nothing's coming to mind. Monsters don't typically just die on their own.
That is what I thought too... until this one did. Maybe they are more friendly than we think Wink

On a totally different note, just because I have say it out loud, preferably to somebody who gets it and won't just get this mild look in his face, humouring me:
I just found Wizardspike!! YAY! I can't believe how lucky this char is in finding stuff!!!
such as:
a (perfekt) Amulet of Wizardry!!
a Obsidian(!!!) Ring of Wizardry - not perfekt, but who cares Smile
and now Wizardspike...

From now on, this mage is the official supplier, Laz-Runer for ALL my chars.
And that's not even counting my last purchase from Adria: She actually sold me a Bountiful Staff of Apocalypse. 24 Charges!! I didn't even know they existed legitimately. I thought 12 was the limit.
The weirdest part: It only cost 15600!? I'm half convinced that this was some mistake, but I took it and ran.

I know I can learn Apocalypse myself in Hellfire and taking along lots of pots is more economical (and Bountiful) than a staff, but this one is for my collection Smile

It did get me thinking though: Those witches are getting another visit sooner than I thought Smile
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08-08-2011, 06:59 PM
Post: #13
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-08-2011 02:50 PM)lyyn Wrote:  About HF:Fixed, yeah, I considered that, but I remember reading the fix list and IIRC there were things that were deal breakers for me, like all scrolls that were available as runes were eliminated... what!?... no stone curse scrolls for my lower level chars?? Nope, not for me. I'd have to find the link again and go back to be sure about this, but it was something like that..

It's been a while since I played it and looked at the change list. But my memory of it is for myself, any minuses (and my bias is there's very few of it, but that's me.) is outweighed by the many plusses and fixes.


Quote:You say you have played D2... is it fun? Is it very different? Or is it just the next logical step?

My bias is this, atmosphere wise, D1\HF is still special IMO. Gameplay control, D2 has more hotkeys and a built in auto clicker to save wear and tear on your mouse button and finger. Other than that, control wise I actually think D1 is more precise.

Echoing what LoG said, it's fun it it's own way. It's definitely different IMO.

/waves to LoG.
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08-08-2011, 08:12 PM
Post: #14
RE: Mage without MS?
Quote:It's been a while since I played it and looked at the change list. But my memory of it is for myself, any minuses (and my bias is there's very few of it, but that's me.) is outweighed by the many plusses and fixes.
So I guess I'll find that link and check it out again with a more open mind.
Maybe I didn't dig deep enough yet, but I haven't stumbled over sooo many bugs (except that suicidal Lava Maw sparing my life and you're not going to hear me complain about that Wink )
What bugs bothered you?

Quote:My bias is this, atmosphere wise, D1\HF is still special IMO
Seems to be the general consensus. An ok geme but just not a second Diablo.
I liked the sound of Lemming suggestion "Torchlight" so I guess I'll go with that.


Of course that is AFTER I give those pesky Soul Burners a second visit Wink
(and after I get over my obsession with finding a Royal Circlet)
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08-08-2011, 10:33 PM
Post: #15
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-08-2011 08:12 PM)lyyn Wrote:  I just found Wizardspike!! YAY! I can't believe how lucky this char is in finding stuff!!!

Wizardspike's a great mini-Dreamflange. The wiggly dagger's a nice look, too.

Quote:And that's not even counting my last purchase from Adria: She actually sold me a Bountiful Staff of Apocalypse. 24 Charges!! I didn't even know they existed legitimately.

I'd completely forgotten about Apoc staves (that's what I get for not playing in several years). Some arty mages carry them instead of CC to deal with Soul Burners, but you do end up running back to town an awful lot to recharge it.

If you're interested in Torchlight, give the demo a try first. It seems to let you play as much as you want, but it sets a level cap at 7.

Hammrskjold Wrote:My bias is this, atmosphere wise, D1\HF is still special IMO. Gameplay control, D2 has more hotkeys and a built in auto clicker to save wear and tear on your mouse button and finger. Other than that, control wise I actually think D1 is more precise.

Regarding precision, I feel like the the mousefeel of D1 still hasn't been captured by anything else, either. Playing a warrior, you could feel each strike in your finger. The game just had great feedback that way. By comparison, I felt like D2 enemies were... squishy. Killing those Doom Knights in D2 felt nowhere near as satisfying as killing a Blood Knight.

Worse, nearly all games nowdays make enemy corpses vanish, which I'm sure they do for memory reasons but it still disturbs me. The worst offender to date is Dragon Age 2, where enemies seem to vanish before their corpses even hit the ground. "Oh look, that large dragon just melted into a pile of treasure." Whatever happened to surveying the destruction you've wrought? Bleh.
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08-08-2011, 11:13 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2011 11:36 PM by Hammerskjold.)
Post: #16
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-08-2011 08:12 PM)lyyn Wrote:  What bugs bothered you?

The one that bugged me the most was spell blocking even with positive resists. This doesn't really affect classes\builds who doesn't use shields, so most Mages and bow using Rogues are unaffected.

But Shield\Weapon warrior, shield\w Rogue, and Monks bare handed (iirc) = block locked the minute you encounter bloodstar volleys. Warriors could ditch the shield and or go 2 handed sword, but for the average warrior build shieldless= major pain in the rear.

Now officially, IIRC this was a 'feature'. Practically speaking, this was idiotic. If it was really official, then it was officially idiotic.

All the other stuff was relatively small (weird drop formulas leading to some undroppable items etc) but they add up IMO. But spell block=block lock was a big one for me.

Now don't get me wrong, I like most of vanilla HFire. But I always thought it was incomplete, with strong hints that if the team was given more time, they could have polished and fixed things.

HF: Fixed, is the closest thing to an official fix for me. Actually I don't particularly care whether or not it's official, the important thing is it addresses most of the things that for me, is missing\broken\incomplete with the game. It'd be awesome if it can be played on B.net, but that's probably asking for a major miracle. I'm happy that HF: Fixed exists at all.



Quote:Seems to be the general consensus. An ok geme but just not a second Diablo.

Yeah, I don't think there will ever be another D1. It came from an ancient era when Condor\bliz crafted IMO, their crown jewels of Diablo1, Starcraft1, and Warcraft2. There is no such beast as a flawless, perfect game. But D1 rightly earned it's place in video game history IMO.
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08-08-2011, 11:33 PM
Post: #17
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-08-2011 10:33 PM)LemmingofGlory Wrote:  Regarding precision, I feel like the the mousefeel of D1 still hasn't been captured by anything else, either. Playing a warrior, you could feel each strike in your finger. The game just had great feedback that way. By comparison, I felt like D2 enemies were... squishy. Killing those Doom Knights in D2 felt nowhere near as satisfying as killing a Blood Knight.

Yeah, D1 for me is still the benchmark for great feedback.
For D2, the closest I've ever gotten is with Paladin zealots and Assasin kickers. Even then it's still not quite the same.

Best as I figure it's not just one thing, but many small things. The grid tile helps, but also the timing both sound and animation, I dunno. It's probably closer to alchemy than hard science in getting it right. But whatever they did, D1 got it really really right for responsiveness.
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08-09-2011, 12:06 AM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2011 12:16 AM by LemmingofGlory.)
Post: #18
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-08-2011 11:33 PM)Hammerskjold Wrote:  Best as I figure it's not just one thing, but many small things. The grid tile helps, but also the timing both sound and animation, I dunno. It's probably closer to alchemy than hard science in getting it right. But whatever they did, D1 got it really really right for responsiveness.

Grid systems are great. It added to the precision of the game, and I really had no complaints about it. Fallout 1 & 2 and the HoMM games used hexagonal grids very well. I think the biggest drawback of the grid system is probably that anything in-game seems like it must fit on one game tile, so the game doesn't do large scale creatures very well. How can you be intimidated by Big D when he comes scuttling at you with his bright shiny red butt cheeks? Or Hellfire's Defiler, who seems strongly reminiscent of Trogdor?

I've heard that with Diablo 3, Buzzard's one-upping their previous missteps by changing the ending to D1. The dude in the end cinematic is allegedly no longer the hero of Tristram: it's Justin Bieber! ...wait, no. Close, but no. It's Prince Albrecht!
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08-09-2011, 05:15 AM
Post: #19
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-09-2011 12:06 AM)LemmingofGlory Wrote:  The dude in the end cinematic is allegedly no longer the hero of Tristram: it's Justin Bieber! ...wait, no. Close, but no. It's Prince Albrecht!


Wait, so...wait a minute...then who was phone?

Seriously, at this point for me I'm like, meh. Par for the course with the horse they hitched their wagon to.

I don't necessarily love or hate ret-cons, it depends on how well it's done in my book. But D3 is an activizzards production. So at this point, I'm not entirely surprised.
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08-09-2011, 06:36 AM
Post: #20
RE: Mage without MS?
(08-09-2011 05:15 AM)Hammerskjold Wrote:  I don't necessarily love or hate ret-cons, it depends on how well it's done in my book. But D3 is an activizzards production. So at this point, I'm not entirely surprised.

I'd be okay with certain retcons, like if D2 was actually the daydream of an autistic boy.
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