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4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
09-07-2004, 03:42 PM
Post: #1
4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
It’s been a while since there have been any strat/tactics posts, and although this will be pretty mundane, maybe it will inspire someone else to do even better.

Here are some small pointers about tactics for playing classic Diablo Ironman. They transfer somewhat to regular play also.

**********

CHURCH CRUNCH (Tactic for Church and Catacombs 6 & 7 versus skeletal archers; all classes, most useful to warrior types)

Occasionally you’ll find yourself having to rush a group of skeleton archers in your IM game. Here is a tactic I use to kill them as quickly as possible (and thus take the least return damage possible).

First, ready your best blunt, the one that does the highest amount of damage OR has the best chance of destroying a foe in one hit (depending upon what the minimum/maximum damage is and what hit points your foes have).

When you break out from behind your wall for the rush, run your cursor over the group of foes. You are trying to find a pair of archers that are adjacent each other, either side-by-side or catty-corner (diagonally adjacent).

Now plot your attack path and click to attack the FURTHER of the two side-by-side foes, moving in such a manner that when you stop and swing at that first foe you will also be adjacent to the second one.

Ok, now here’s the tricky part; as you are moving up to attack that first foe, place and keep your cursor on the SECOND foe. When your avatar onscreen starts the swinging motion on the FIRST foe, click to attack the SECOND.

What happens -- if you are lucky -- is that the first swing hits and destroys the first foe and you IMMEDIATELY switch and attack the second foe. If all goes as planned, with just two swings you’ve destroyed two foes! Then you can quickly deal with the remaining archers. Repeat the tactic if possible on them too.

With a Barbarian, you can mow down skeleton archers like a buzz-saw this way.

GETTING YOUR GOATS (A spellcasting tactic for those durn Goat Archers, esp. useful in Catacombs; most useful to mages)

When soloing an IM mage I’ve found Goat Archers to be devastating. They have ranged attacks and some run from you making pusuit frustrating and dangerous. Eventually I discovered a tactic to deal with them, and it was especially useful versus Fire Clan Archers in Catacombs.

Prerequisite -- You either need to have your CB stick readied and hotkeyed or the same for Charged Bolt: the spell.

When you hear the “pwoit” of an arrow being fired, dodge and retreat to the nearest corner that is NOT still in line-of-sight of the attacking Goat Archer. Then, after turning the corner, step a SECOND tile away from it (still adjacent to the wall), bring up your Charged Bolt, and turn to face the corner you know the goat is going to attack from.

As soon as you see the Goat make the corner, fire off TWO quick charged bolt casts at it.

What usually happens is this: the Goat makes it to the corner, but doesn’t TURN the corner per se, as its movement AI wants it to “retreat” or at least place some distance between you and it. Thus, when the Goat Archer reaches the corner, instead of attacking you it turns and steps away! Meanwhile, you’ll find your casting speed and the speed of the movement of the charged bolts is enough that when the Goat finally stops and turns to
PREPARE to fire on you, the two Charged Bolt casts will reach it JUST BEFORE it can shoot.

If the casts kill it, well and good. If they don’t, make a dodging retreat for the next corner and repeat. You can usually see if the Charged Bolts are traveling “true” and are going to hit the Goat beforehand; if you see that they are going to miss (or got absorbed by the wall) you can start retreating and dodging for the next corner BEFORE the goat has turned to fire on you! Nice. Save you some heartache and damage.

A FIERY RECEPTION (Three tactics for using Fire elemental damage bows, esp. useful in Caves; great for all but esp. Rogues and Bards)

Rarely, oh so rarely in an Ironman game you may come upon a fire-elemental damage bow (of Flame, Fire, Burning); occasionally a Unique Hunters bow -- Flamedart -- will show up. TREAT FIRE BOWS AS IF THEY ARE MADE OF SOLID GOLD. When properly used, a fire-bow is a terrific weapon for the IM team.

But not in the way you probably think. You’re probably thinking of the devastating buggy damage that Fire on bows does.

Nope. What I’m talking about is the “of Vileness” characteristic that all fire-bows have, in that they STOP MONSTER HIT POINT REGENERATION. How is this important, and how do you use it to your advantage? Well, there are three major ways of doing so, with most of them being of greatest use in Caves.

i.) Since wear and durability are nearly always a concern in Ironman, do this when attacking (with your fire bow) foes that are trapped behind grates, stuck behind lava rivers, or do not move to attack you (Spitting Dog bosses and their packs). Fire ONE shot from the fire bow, hitting a foe (hopefully) then place the fire bow in your backpack and finish off the foe with your rattiest, cheapest, crappiest damage bow you own.
Doesn’t matter that the damage isn’t doo-doo; since the monster is not regenerating, it all adds up anyway and you kill it still. Thus you can use the fire bow over and over in this fashion -- one shot to damage with the fire-bow, kill the foe with your cheap bow -- allowing the fire-bow to last practically forever (great for single player IM Rogue runs where durability is such a concern).

This is ESPECIALLY useful for dealing with those foes on the other side of a lava river who run back-and-forth and back-and-forth (dogs mostly) and make you waste a good bow’s durability while trying to kill them. Instead, shoot with the fire-bow until you damage the creature ONE TIME, then switch to your el-cheapo bow and finish it off. Lose durability on that bow? -- bah, who cares, it’s a POS bow anyway!

ii.) Getting good experience to all the Ironman team players is difficult to do the further down in the dungeon you go. The more deadly the foes, the more difficult it is to get the weaker party members (read: mage) or those who have trouble with ranged attackers (read: warrior) their share of experience. With a fire-bow properly used, Caves becomes a bonanza of experience points for all. What you do is this: find a lava river (or closed corral) that separates the foes from your group. Bait/scout and bring a single or small group of foes to this area. Have either the warrior or the mage use the fire bow and shoot ONE time to damage one foe. Then trade the fire bow to the other character (warrior or mage) and have him shoot once to damage that same foe. Then have the Rogue (with a ratty bow) finish off the damaged foe. Everyone gets experience!

Rinse and repeat as many times as you’d like.

This tactice is especially useful when there are Night Clan Archers, Lava Demons, Storm Demons, or Dogs on the other side of that river. What usually happens when using a regular bow is that the warrior or mage tries to damage or kill these said foes to get experience and in return gets smacked up side the head with damage! With a fire damage bow the warrior or mage peeks out, snipes quickly, and dodges back to safety taking very little damage! Then the Rogue, using happy feet, finishes off the nasty beast while taking little damage in return! (Remember, your characters must stay on the level to get experience when the foe is killed. If you have to drink from a Blood Fountain or something, wait until after the kill is completed.)

iii.) One last fire bow tactic: dealing with bosses with minions. When a boss with a mass of minions shows up, have the Rogue immediately switch to her fire damage bow and shoot to hit AS MANY _DIFFERENT_ FOES as possible in the attacking group, and try to get a shot in on the boss especially. Then lead the enemies back to your trap point (door, gate, group of barrels, whatever) while switching to your “high-damage” bow. This way you’ve stopped the regeneration of a number of creatures (and lord knows it may take a long time -- read: lots of time for those foes to regenerate -- to kill all those foes at your choke point) and you’ll more quickly and efficiently dispatch the entire group.

Not bad, eh?

BAITING BALROGS (A tactic for Balrog demon types, useable in Caves and Hell; most useful for warriors types)

When playing solo IM warriors, I’m nearly ALWAYS lacking in the resistance department by the time I reach Hell. Balrog type demons are especially devastating in that they have two attacks, a physical melee attacks and a (somewhat) ranged magical attack that is tough to dodge.

After scouting a bit to draw in a single Balrog, what I USED to do was stand two tiles back behind a corner, one finger on the shift key and one on the mouse ready to swing like mad as soon as I saw the Balrog turn the corner. (Ah, you don’t stand AT the corner due to Balrog’s circular movement and Inferno attack.)

Unfortunately, about 1/4 of the time the Balrog STOPS at the corner, pivots, and breathes Inferno in my warrior’s face. To move I have to stop swinging, take my finger off the shift key, and then either move to dodge the Inferno or simple move THROUGH the inferno to attack.

Very painful.

What I learned to do was this. Scout as usual, drawing in a single Balrog. Run back and turn the corner, stepping two tiles away from it. This is same as before.

HOWEVER, this time do not hold the shift key at all! Keep your cursor at the corner the Balrog is about to turn, and your eye peripherally glancing at the portion of the screen that displays dungeon information.

AS SOON AS YOU SEE the information portion of the screen display the monster’s name -- meaning he is about to turn the corner -- click to attack. Not shift-and-click, just click. As soon as you move and are adjacent the Balrog, THEN hold the shift key and swing like mad.

IF the Balrog had stopped at the corner and fired off Inferno, you’ve ALREADY stepped through it and are engaged with him and doing him damage. If the Balrog didn’t and chose to attack, well, you’re already engaged with him anyway!

What’s nice is that the information portion of the screen will show the monster’s name -- and you now have it “targetted” and may click to attack it -- BEFORE the monster has actually turned the corner! So you are given a split second where you can target a foe and move to attack it without actually “seeing” a target/foe on the game screen!

It’s a only slight improvement over the other method, but in Ironman every advantage counts.

**********

Hope your found at least one original tactic in the group. Please feel free to add your own.


Attika
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10-07-2004, 12:18 AM
Post: #2
4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
Hey, Att:

Great post. Most interesting.


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10-08-2004, 01:32 AM
Post: #3
4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
Good stuff, Attika.

Quote:When you hear the “pwoit” of an arrow being fired...

I like your interpretation.

-scrape
How about them apples? They say they do not fall far from the tree, and that one can spoil the whole bunch. Well I say we may not all be rotten, but we are all spoiled.
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05-11-2009, 01:37 PM (This post was last modified: 05-11-2009 01:40 PM by weakwarrior.)
Post: #4
4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
Quote:Rarely, oh so rarely in an Ironman game you may come upon a fire-elemental damage bow (of Flame, Fire, Burning); ... TREAT FIRE BOWS AS IF THEY ARE MADE OF SOLID GOLD. When properly used, a fire-bow is a terrific weapon for the IM team.

One other nice use for the fire bow is if you happen upon Leo without your blocking bonus as a warrior (this can happen in mp if you lag out) and with no rogue around or with a mage without HB. You almost certainly don't have flamedart yet (Brokenhead Bangshield is the only boss who can drop it) but since the IM game is almost certainly over as is you may want to try and ID what bows you have. If you happen upon a fire damage bow then you can hit leo with a shot from the fire bow and then you can run and shoot (with whatever bow you have handy), doing your best to avoid leo's big sword. The reason a fire bow is necessary is that with a low level warrior or mage's low cth, damage, and shooting speed when using a bow, leo will almost certainly regenerate hit points faster than you can dole damage out (especially since every so often he will make contact with that sword of his). This way it may take loads of patience but you can bow him down. KoP used this tactic without a fire bow in his IM game in hell difficulty (http://realmsbeyond.net/diablo/cdimphantom.html) but his cth and damage were far greater and therefore leo couldn't regenerate fast enough. Remeber, if for some reason you need to go off lvl during the fight (a bf on 2 for example) then try to hit leo asap with the fire bow when you come back to 3 since once you go off lvl the tag for no regen stops working.

Of course if you have no qualms just go to dlvl 4 and come back for him later.
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05-11-2009, 04:41 PM
Post: #5
4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
Hi,

Quote:Attika
Great post.:)

--Pete


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06-10-2009, 04:21 PM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2009 06:24 PM by weakwarrior.)
Post: #6
4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
Quote:Hope you found at least one original tactic in the group. Please feel free to add your own.

Here goes my attempt at adding an IM pointer.

In the cave-in ironman variant parking Diablo is a resource expensive endeavor. He moves faster than you as you try and get to the parking spot and so you take apocalypse and direct hits as you get there and then after you’ve escaped from the parking spot (however you plan on doing that) there is the risk that he will sense you or your teammates and become active again. On the other hand, you can’t kill him first since after that the game ends and you can no longer finish the 4th cage. Moreover, even in relaxed-fit if you don’t have someone to hold the game for you then you still need to park Diablo (though at least you can use tp to bail once in the maze).

Here is a way to clear Diablo’s room without activating him. All you need is someone who can use a bow you have and who has not worn a light radius extending item on dlvl 16 (since if it was worn at any point even if you take off the item monsters will sense you at the same radius – and in cave-in you can’t go off level to reset the distance at which they sense you). If you are wearing a light radius reducing item now is the time to take it off. Since the rogue is best suited for this job it is worth considering taking all light radius enhancing items off him before entering 16. Also, if at some point you decide to id an item you’ve been carrying around with you for some time then make sure it’s not on the bowing character when id’d – just in case it screws with your light radius.

Setting up: before throwing the levers it is a good idea to mark a number of things. First off you want to set markers right outside the walls of the 4th cage. In the diagram below I have put a pile of 1 gold at the corner, skipped a tile and put down 3 gold, skipped a tile and put down 5 gold, and so on with 7 then with piles of 9, 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1. If you haven’t miscounted the final pile of 1 gold should be at the next corner. Then go around the 4th cage and mark all 4 walls this way (there is a hidden jut of a wall on the back wall so just offset the pile you would put there and put it 2 tiles away from the wall in that spot). I typically mark the tile between two piles of 9 with a pile of 66 gold offset one tile from the wall.

[Image: parkdia1.jpg]

This gives us a coordinate system to work with (the number of gold in the pile = the coordinate). Diablo is always at 10,10, which is why I mark the 10th tiles, and there are always advocates at 8,8 and 10,8 (which makes 8 advocates at least).

Next, mark the row that is 5 tiles offset from diablo’s room – I usually put 3 markers on each wall: 2 across from the 1 gold piles and 1 across from the tile between the 2 tiles marked 9. See below. Often times the 5 tile line will be right up against the wall on some sides.

[Image: parkdia2.jpg]

Now open the levers. The line 5 tiles off of where the wall was is at a distance where knights (blood knights and the black knight) can see you but advocates can’t. By walking along this line you can activate all the knights (slowly) without activating any advocates. Kill all the knights by leading them far away from the room before shooting them (so there is no risk of stray arrows waking anyone up). I believe that if Gorash is in the room he may or may not become active until you start clearing the advocates since his position can be anywhere in the room except places with previously set monsters).

Once you have killed all the knights it is time to move on to the advocates. You have markers to help you shoot straight (either the gold or the empty tiles between the gold) so standing at the 5 tile line you can shoot row by row column by column (never at a diagonal), skipping the 10th row and column, thus activating one advocate at a time (occasionally you will miss and you may hit an advocate behind the one you activated, but still that’s only 2 active advocates). If they start shooting back at you and you want to try and dodge make sure not to move forward at any time and make sure not to shoot at a diagonal. Keep killing them this way but never cross the 5 tile line. Occasionally they will phase out of the room and then you can target them better. Occasionally they may phase into a corner in which case you may want to leave them for now. Remember to check down the 8th rows and columns since you are guaranteed at least 8 advocates along those. After you’ve killed as many as you can this way take 1 step in and walk the 4 tile perimeter and if nothing goes active then walk the 3 tile perimeter. If you have infravision cast, then when you walk the 3 tile perimeter you should be able to just see Diablo while keeping him inactive. Every other creature in his room that is alive should become active when you walk the 3 tile perimeter. If they start shooting at you walk to their exact row (unless it’s the 10th row or column) and using the markers shoot straight at them. If they are on the 10th row then they won’t be on the 10th column and vice-versa so go to the adjacent wall and shoot from there. If you are worried that something is in the corners then feel free to shoot there while holding the shift key - Diablo is nowhere near the corners so you need not worry about activating him. At any point if you are taking too much heat you can always hide somewhere out of view for a few seconds while the advocates become inactive and then try again. If done correctly at this point only Diablo should be in his room so you can charge into the room and put your back in one of the corners (of what used to be the walls of the 4th cage) and take him out. He will possibly apocalypse you once before reaching you but it will be fewer apocalypse blasts than you would get if you tried to lead him to a parking spot or to another point to fight him.

I recommend having a backup parking plan ready in case you miss the shift key and awake Diablo by accident before you are ready.
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08-12-2009, 03:21 PM
Post: #7
4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
Thanks for the brilliant Diablo strategy. I've made a strategic map, so that it is easier to see which tile implies which effect:

[Image: diablot.jpg]
Pink = Diablo
Black = Wall
Grey = Wall that disappears
Green = Safe tile
Orange = Tile where you activate Knights or Advocates
Red = Tile where you activate Diablo
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09-07-2010, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 09-07-2010 09:04 PM by weakwarrior.)
Post: #8
RE: 4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
(06-10-2009 04:21 PM)weakwarrior Wrote:  Occasionally they may phase into a corner in which case you may want to leave them for now.... If you are worried that something is in the corners then feel free to shoot there while holding the shift key - Diablo is nowhere near the corners so you need not worry about activating him.
This actually isn't as simple as I originally thought (I read a Gillias WildViking write up that points this out). Fact is shooting the corners is difficult since your average IM character will have very low to-hit at this distance (likely only 5%). You cannot telekenese the advocates out since you cannot telekenese a monster you don't see. The simplest option, if available, is use of firewall. Otherwise you can shoot and hope eventually you can prod the darned advocate out of the corner. If anyone has any other ideas I'd love to hear them.

I should point out that advocates getting trapped in the corner is fairly unusual and if there is only one you can try and kill it before diablo gets to you/while your teammate deals with diablo.
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09-08-2010, 02:11 PM
Post: #9
RE: 4+ Tactics for Classic Diablo Ironman
(09-07-2010 06:36 PM)weakwarrior Wrote:  I should point out that advocates getting trapped in the corner is fairly unusual and if there is only one you can try and kill it before diablo gets to you/while your teammate deals with diablo.

There comes a time in life when you need to stop fooling around and face your demons.
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