Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Friendly's Sentries

The primary thing that determines whether you are going to find Diablo 3 a cakewalk or a slog is how much damage you can do.  How much damage you take certainly matters, and powerful defensive abilities have their place, but if you could just outlay enough damage to the enemies then being made of glass wouldn't make things too difficult.

So one of the things that you really learn about while playing the Random Ability Challenge is which abilities do a lot of damage and which don't.  You shouldn't need such empirical research, because each ability says how much damage it does, but because abilities function in different ways it isn't always obvious which one does the most damage just from the raw number.  For example, Arcane Hydra says it does 60%, but what it means is that each of the three Hydra head attack 0.6 times per second for 60% of your listed dps, which is 108% damage.  Because this essentially just adds on to the damage you do with your regular attacks, levels with Arcane Hydra are easy levels for a wizard, while levels without any Hydra are harder levels.

Right now Friendly the Demon Hunter is in the mid-thirties, just starting Nightmare.  The start of Nightmare is probably the hardest part of Random Ability Challenge because the increase in monster health from normal to nightmare is much, much more than the increase in your damage.  It is a bad time to get bad abilities.

For Demon Hunters, the ease of a level is essentially determined by your 3 button.  If you have Sentry you are in for a pretty easy time, if not then you are going to go fairly slowly.  Sentry lets you create a turret that attacks for you so it is very much like Hydra.  It says it does 175% damage.  Strangely, unlike Hydra, it actually does 175% damage.  It's attack speed is based off of your attack speed.  Because it only attacks one target it is not as good as Arcane Hydra at taking out hordes of densely packed monsters, but because you can drop two of them the area thing isn't usually an issue.

I entered Nightmare difficulty with about 500 dps and unique monsters seem to have between 40 and 60 thousand health.  With the abilities I had I could do about 225% damage to a single target, so it took about 30 seconds to kill one of these uniques off after beating it's minions.  Two sentries add 350% damage and reduce that time to about 12 seconds.  That's the kind of difference we are talking about.

There are a few exceptions to the sentry rule.  Not that Sentry doesn't always make the game hugely easy, but there are a few abilities that compensate for not having it.  The Echoing Blast rune on spike trap makes it a 30 Hatred attack that deals 825% weapon damage to an area, which makes those levels pretty silly.  The Fire Support rune for Rapid Fire is single target but will deal over 600% damage depending on weapon speed, so it makes elite enemies and bosses much more palatable.  I don't quite understand the mechanics of the Ball Lightning rune for Elemental Arrow, but it seemed to hit the same enemy multiple times.  At any rate, Ball Lightning levels were pretty quick.

There may be more abilities that make for quick and easy levels as I head towards 60.  Playing all the way through is part of the fun.  I just killed the Queen Araneae last night, and I hope to be well into act 2 this evening.

No comments:

Post a Comment