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View Full Version : Making an Icebolt storm based caster.



N3Wi3
07-08-2008, 12:13 AM
I decided that after Conquerer, Harbinger, and Ranger, I wanted to make a caster class. My choice came onto an Icebolt Storm caster. It seems completely viable with enough +cold% damage and -recharge%. I have the gear for it from my Ranger farming on legendary, but my question is here is what would complement this spec of Storm the best?

I was thinking either Earth or Defense. Defense seems to give me more survivability vs ranged classes which I assume are going to be a problem in epic/legendary, but Earth gives me a nice pet for difficulty levels past normal and some nice concentrated AoE damage to complement the stun of Thunderball in addition to the spread damage of icebolt.

What would end up being a smarter choice for completing legendary on, Paladin or Elementalist?

F4rmerbob
07-08-2008, 12:32 AM
I decided that after Conquerer, Harbinger, and Ranger, I wanted to make a caster class. My choice came onto an Icebolt Storm caster. It seems completely viable with enough +cold% damage and -recharge%. I have the gear for it from my Ranger farming on legendary, but my question is here is what would complement this spec of Storm the best?

I was thinking either Earth or Defense. Defense seems to give me more survivability vs ranged classes which I assume are going to be a problem in epic/legendary, but Earth gives me a nice pet for difficulty levels past normal and some nice concentrated AoE damage to complement the stun of Thunderball in addition to the spread damage of icebolt.

What would end up being a smarter choice for completing legendary on, Paladin or Elementalist?

Energy problems are HUGE with ice shards. Earth has no way to increase energy regen or reduce costs. That is surmountable, but you will use more pots.

See sig for paladin. I really should finish her =x. Inspiration has the most +energy regen of all skills except DC, but Inspiration lasts longer, has a shorter recast, and Defiance will make up for the lost damage from not being a pure caster in Legendary

Nature and Dream are also both viable with some energy regen/reduction and quite a bit of survivability.

Munderbunny
07-08-2008, 01:47 AM
Early on, -energy cost items can help a little, but you'll really just be chugging potions non-stop. Honestly. The good news is, you can't drink yourself bankrupt, unless you absolutely refuse to pick up anything.

My GF did well burst-firing her ice shards, lol. Seriously, she had zero -cost items on (never listens to me) and so she would run around and burst fire on mobs. Run back a little, wait for the frost burn to pick off a few (the frost-burn damage on those ******* things is HUGE), and then cough out a few more shards. On big mobs or heroes, she'll just stand there and spew ice shards until she's out of mana, chug a potion, and just keep going. She can usually keep them going non-stop, though for a day or so, she could empty her mana before being able to drink another pot.

Anyway, point is, you don't NEED to keep them going non-stop, and you don't need to be afraid of drinking energy potions (unless you don't play with potion stacking, in which case, you'll be making a lot of town runs :D).

But, playing Spirit, I have to say, if you can get even to -40% recharge, you can pretty much keep dark covenant going non stop (not that you'd want to). I don't know how it'd turn out for ice shards, but I can't run out of mana using ternion attack with almost 150% attack speed, so... :)

N3Wi3
07-08-2008, 02:04 AM
I was thinking of this build:

http://www.titancalc.com/TitanCalc.asp?mastery=Paladin&master1=8&master2=5&sa=0&m1=32-12-1-0-12-8-0-8-12-0-0-8-6-0-0-8-1-1-0-8-0-0&m2=32-0-1-0-0-0-12-8-0-0-6-0-6-0-0-0-6-0-0-1-0-0

I don't expect to be using thunderball for anything other than the stun, so no reason to get static charge, but this seems like the way I'm going to go.

F4rmerbob
07-08-2008, 02:13 AM
I was thinking of this build:

http://www.titancalc.com/TitanCalc.asp?mastery=Paladin&master1=8&master2=5&sa=0&m1=32-12-1-0-12-8-0-8-12-0-0-8-6-0-0-8-1-1-0-8-0-0&m2=32-0-1-0-0-0-12-8-0-0-6-0-6-0-0-0-6-0-0-1-0-0

I don't expect to be using thunderball for anything other than the stun, so no reason to get static charge, but this seems like the way I'm going to go.

Drop rally, the extra heal isn't necessary, and take defiance instead as it gives a huge defensive buff and MASSIVE damage in Legendary.

Also, you will want a point in batter and rend armor (you'll see as you play). I also suggest some other %attack slow. The true power of the paladin comes in the form of Concussive Blow. A few points in that, some +defense skills (if you are using the unofficial patch Sentinel's shields are easily available), and you are doing more than 10 second stuns with Thunderball (recast 10s).

EDIT: and you aren't equipping anything without Armor Handling. I was wondering how you saved so many points :P

N3Wi3
07-08-2008, 02:27 AM
Well right now I'm going 1-1 str/int as I seem to get plenty of dex off the masteries alone. Does concussive blow work with batter? And I guess the +stun damage works with spells then if you are recommending it.

Also, what unofficial patch? I'm just using the regular old patch that I downloaded from fileshack.

I only started playing the game maybe 2 weeks ago, so I'm not entirely familiar with all of the mechanics yet, but I learn quick.

F4rmerbob
07-08-2008, 08:37 AM
Fan bugfix patch for TQ 1.1 (http://tqitfanpatch.com/)

Sentinel's (+2 Defense mastery) shields aren't available without the patch as the link was broken.

Serpan
07-09-2008, 07:51 AM
Energy problems are HUGE with ice shards. Earth has no way to increase energy regen or reduce costs. That is surmountable, but you will use more pots.

See sig for paladin. I really should finish her =x. Inspiration has the most +energy regen of all skills except DC, but Inspiration lasts longer, has a shorter recast, and Defiance will make up for the lost damage from not being a pure caster in Legendary

Nature and Dream are also both viable with some energy regen/reduction and quite a bit of survivability.


I was playing Ice shards for a while and tbh I was not having any issues with Mana Regen. I had ~15 Mana Regen and 12 Health Regen before I respeced for another build at lvl 30 (another plus is that Ice shards is fun to play, because it requires very active playing). With this regen abilities at that lvl... Mana regen is not an issue :P

N3Wi3
07-09-2008, 08:58 AM
I'm definetly having mana regen issues atm, but I can't wear my next set of gear in the 32-37 range so that's probably why. Either way it's a fun build. Ranger was too boring to keep playing, and this is way more fun than a 1 shot destroy everything from range class.

StrictlyFire
07-09-2008, 05:22 PM
I'm definetly having mana regen issues atm, but I can't wear my next set of gear in the 32-37 range so that's probably why. Either way it's a fun build. Ranger was too boring to keep playing, and this is way more fun than a 1 shot destroy everything from range class.

Remember you said that when your ice caster gets surrounded by ice sprites near the yeti caves... hehe ;)

F4rmerbob
07-09-2008, 10:55 PM
Remember you said that when your ice caster gets surrounded by ice sprites near the yeti caves... hehe ;)

Meh. They have no health, and Squall does both decent damage and removes the sprites immunity.

StrictlyFire
07-10-2008, 08:56 AM
Meh. They have no health, and Squall does both decent damage and removes the sprites immunity.

True, but I bet Astra never had a problem. Just whip out the 'ole mace, bop em all in the head a couple times, and move on :whistle:

F4rmerbob
07-10-2008, 09:40 AM
True, but I bet Astra never had a problem. Just whip out the 'ole mace, bop em all in the head a couple times, and move on :whistle:

Batter usually kills 3 of them at once (in epic):P

Munderbunny
07-10-2008, 08:08 PM
Or you could just give them an ironic death and kill them with ice shards anyway; my gf never had any problem doing it. We'd run into a pack of those buggers and she'd start shooting ice shards at them, and I'd be like, "No, honey, quick hit them with lightning bolt because they're made of ice, and your....oh, they're dead. Well, nevermind."

N3Wi3
07-10-2008, 08:26 PM
I'm not really sure how to deal with the mana issues right now. I've spent approximately 20 billion gold on mana potions so far, taking over 300 per act, literally just chain chugging them. I only have about 1k mana, with a lot of that reserved thanks Battle Awareness, Storm Surge, and Storm Nimbus. I'm near the end of act 5 normal, but stopped playing because it's really annoying. Does it magically get better later? Or continue on to be this way.

Munderbunny
07-10-2008, 08:57 PM
Only 300 per act? Man, you're doing great! ;)

And what are you complaining about? So you gotta drink energy potions. LOL, it's not like that was a secret.

And, have you tried burst firing them? Give your frost burn a chance to do some damage as well. And, as your intelligence goes up, so does your damage, which means fewer ice shards.

Unfortunately, because you're playing with defense as your second mastery, the ways to alleviate that drastic cost aren't available to you; you're not getting another bump to your total mana and intelligence from a casting-based mastery, neither are you getting access to skills that work well with ice shards like dark covenant, or (to a lesser degree) tranquility of water. Trance of Convalescense and Inspiration are great for upping your base regen, but unless it's insanely high (ala dark covenant), the regen isn't going to cut it, and the amount of +regen equipment you'd have to stack up is insane; not to mention, once you get something to up your casting speed, relying on a high-regen alone will mean you're just blowing your icy-load every ten seconds. I think you'd be better off with -energy cost items, and +total mana items. With even a moderately high regen, you'll be fine to build up between encounters, but the point is still to work off your mana potions and get as much bang for your buck.

On that note, I don't know how you're building your char, but I believe the multiplicity of the shards pays out better than raising the base damage, so only put 1 point into ice shard, and max out its synergies first (from top to bottom). Later on, when your mana is doing better, you can start pumping up the base damage. Also, put points into things that raise your damage without increasing mana costs, like max out the cold synergy on storm nimbus, and max out the wisp's synergy (do that first--10% damage per point is a steal). And remember, -cost and +damage > regen. :)

Munderbunny
07-10-2008, 09:54 PM
So, I just defiled up a new character to lvl 40. Gave her waypoints and a bajillion gold. Went to elysium and shop farmed for about 10 minutes, grabbed a +112 casting speed ring from storage, bought total crap armor and a staff.

I built a paladin like this: http://www.titancalc.com/TitanCalc.asp?mastery=Paladin&master1=8&master2=5&sa=0&m1=32-1-1-1-0-8-1-8-1-8-1-0-1-0-0-8-1-0-1-8-0-0&m2=16-0-0-0-0-0-1-0-0-0-0-0-6-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Put all but like 10 stat points into int, rest into dex. I had a bunch of left-over skill points. Didn't know what to spend them on, since I've never played defense.

I went to the tower and judgement and went and fought some tortured souls and machae in normal. I gotta say, I drank a lot of potions....HEALTH potions. Damn, that character runs slow! And, of course, zero resistances. All the equip I bought had +to energy, int, and cold/elemental damage.

Played for like 20 minutes. Used inspiration once (only because I kept forgetting to otherwise), and had no problem whupping ***. I drank maybe 3-4 energy pots. Ice shards all the way, except for the occassional freezing blast when I would get surrounded.

So, I'm not really sure how you've built your character, but something is wrong. And, I'm not sure why you're playing defense if you want to play an ice shard character. Is it just for inspiration, or am I missing some other skill that you want to capitalize on?

EDIT: oh yeah, and I forgot to turn on storm nimbus, so I lost out on a lot of cold damage.

F4rmerbob
07-11-2008, 12:16 AM
Spellbound amulet gives double -%mana cost. If you are lucky you can get a -26% one for -52% mana cost from one item that is relicable and has other very good bonus'

If you want to take advantage of that... otherwise you are stuck meleeing alot.

Defense offers some really really nice stuff to the ice shard caster, like the ability to actually stand up to melee mobs. With the top-end gear you lose nothing compared to a pure caster, but getting there is harder.

Here (http://www.titancalc.com/TitanCalc.asp?mastery=Paladin&master1=8&master2=5&sa=0&m1=32-1-1-0-1-8-0-8-10-8-0-0-1-0-0-8-1-1-0-1-0-0-0&m2=16-1-1-1-6-0-1-0-0-0-1-0-6-1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0) is a good option from Munderbunny's post. Forget spellbreaker and LB, as one you don't need and the other you can't afford to boost. Batter gives you melee capability, as it nearly always hits even much higher DA.

N3Wi3
07-11-2008, 12:56 AM
Is that spellbound necklace bug in the official patch or only in the unofficial patch?

Munderbunny
07-11-2008, 01:30 AM
Yeah, I didn't know where to put points when I made that build--I've never played with defense before. I'm just not sure why defense is the best second mastery for an ice shard build--I think I'm missing something.

F4rmerbob
07-11-2008, 01:44 AM
I don't think spellbound necklace was touched in the patches.

Defense isn't the best until you get a full set of end-game gear. Before that with Defense you get a more exciting game due to both being able to take hits and melee somewhat and not being able to output as many iceshards.

Munderbunny
07-11-2008, 09:24 AM
See, I can't really bring myself to build around gear....mostly because I don't want to try and go through a catelogue of it when thinking about the next char I want to play.

I like the idea of taking defense to add a challenge to playing an ice shard character, but I think it might be frustrating the OP a little. ;)

But, playing pure storm through normal, is probably the way to go. I'd just want some good foot speed. Seriously, my diviner runs around at 166%, and it's just an entirely different game, whereas playing a new char...man, I forgot how slow it could be.

StrictlyFire
07-11-2008, 10:31 AM
Yeah, I didn't know where to put points when I made that build--I've never played with defense before. I'm just not sure why defense is the best second mastery for an ice shard build--I think I'm missing something.

*gasp* I can't believe you said that to the creator of Astra... LOL. But seriously, we all know after playing this game more than once or twice that it all comes down to survival, and playstyle, in that order. No two people like the same thing, and are going to play differently. Defense radically up's the chances of survival on a Sharder. As Bob mentioned earlier, using defense allows you to stand right next to a melee mob, and survive more than 2 seconds. There are obvious drawbacks as well. A pure caster will have a *much* higher Int and mana pool, and far superior mana regen. (mana regen I can take or leave.. that's what potions are for, and I am not ashamed to admind I am a potion junkie from way back, most likely started during my Dungeon Siege or D2:LOD days)

Playing my own Ice Paladin, (IceQueen) has given me insights into Astra. It's a slower (and less travelled) path, but has many options available as well