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 Post subject: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:51 am
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I don't play multi mostly because I have a rather unreliable internet connection (unsecured wifi that sometimes drops), and also because I'm more of a single player type of guy. I bought Diablo II in 2000 for the single player, and the expansion a year later for the same reason. The first character I tried was the Necromancer, and I've always wanted to make a Necro that could get past nm Baal, nevermind hell difficulty.

That being said, I was wondering whether a bone necro would be better for solo play than poison. I tried creating a poison necro following the guidelines in some other posts, and ran into a stone wall at Moloch on normal difficulty. I've found Moloch to be worse than Diablo.

So taking into account that I have no help other than my merc, is it possible for a bone necro to be strong enough by Act IV normal to defeat Diablo's lieutenants, nevermind big D himself?

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:51 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:01 pm
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Poison for sure

Bone will hit a roof in Hell and will be close to useless by the end of the game. For bosses that poison strike can't handle you need a kickass physical merc, your lvl 1 Amp and an army of golems//blades (lvl1 blades with infinite cast can keep a boss at bay fair enough) to let your merc live and fire.


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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:16 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:51 am
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Thanks for the advice. That makes a lot of sense. It could be that I messed up with this character a bit, and didn't devote enough attention to equipping my merc well.

Perhaps I should remake my poison necro, as I'm currently at level 54 and having a lot of trouble in Act IV. My summons (the golems) die extremely quickly, so I find myself having to tank more than necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:36 am
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Location: Phoenix
for moloch just get some thornage yourself , use iron golem and iron maiden, and you can solo moloch easy

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:40 pm
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So I made a psn necro on sc and have him at lvl 54 or so, honestly untill you get ahold of awesome gear at high lvls I just dont see how it is that good. Against anything non trash the damage feels very weak right now (supposedly 28k psn strike). But even worse is it feels like an extremely squishy build with not enough points to get golems up to par and needing to dedicate a lot of my gear to increase damage instead of survivability it feels very weak. Dont get me wrong I know first hand that the geared out end game psn necro can be godlike, but I understand where this guy is coming from unless we are both doing it wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:36 am 
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thatoldmfsorc wrote:
So I made a psn necro on sc and have him at lvl 54 or so, honestly untill you get ahold of awesome gear at high lvls I just dont see how it is that good. Against anything non trash the damage feels very weak right now (supposedly 28k psn strike). But even worse is it feels like an extremely squishy build with not enough points to get golems up to par and needing to dedicate a lot of my gear to increase damage instead of survivability it feels very weak. Dont get me wrong I know first hand that the geared out end game psn necro can be godlike, but I understand where this guy is coming from unless we are both doing it wrong.


You aren't. What people don't seem to realize is that poison is mediocre to average against bosses until you're decked out end game. That's where the scaling for poison damage really shines. Not to mention your summons finally getting some points and the hell lifebuff.

And I personally stand by the theory that most Bone Necros hit a breaking point in hell because they're stupid and don't treat it like an elemental caster. I've yet to find the time to test it out, but eventually I shall bring a Boner to hell.

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:07 am 
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Abominae wrote:
thatoldmfsorc wrote:
So I made a psn necro on sc and have him at lvl 54 or so, honestly untill you get ahold of awesome gear at high lvls I just dont see how it is that good. Against anything non trash the damage feels very weak right now (supposedly 28k psn strike). But even worse is it feels like an extremely squishy build with not enough points to get golems up to par and needing to dedicate a lot of my gear to increase damage instead of survivability it feels very weak. Dont get me wrong I know first hand that the geared out end game psn necro can be godlike, but I understand where this guy is coming from unless we are both doing it wrong.


You aren't. What people don't seem to realize is that poison is mediocre to average against bosses until you're decked out end game. That's where the scaling for poison damage really shines. Not to mention your summons finally getting some points and the hell lifebuff.

And I personally stand by the theory that most Bone Necros hit a breaking point in hell because they're stupid and don't treat it like an elemental caster. I've yet to find the time to test it out, but eventually I shall bring a Boner to hell.


Thats very true, you need to adjust gear abit and drop damage by a few thousand (translates to a few hundred per second) in order to survive. Fights will take a little longer but you will be more sturdy.

Remember to "curse swap" while playing a poison necro. That is the main form of defence. I'm sure abominae knows this but i`ll post here anyway incase some don't know.

I see alot of poison necros (even endgame) casting LR for the entire fight. Thats a big nono. You want to have LR and Decrepify on 2 easy to get to hotkeys. Once you cast LR, hit the boss with poison strike, then immediately switch to decrepify. The poison damage will continue to be aplied as if lR is still active (The calculation is done as soon as the poison is applied and stays the same no matter what curse you switch to while they are poisoned). This will greatly slow the boss and lower damage being done. The other thing to do is to spam clay golem (forget about the other ones). Its best to start of with decrep until the golem has landed a hit. This will slow the boss by another 25%+ making for a very very slow boss.

Make sure you use absorbs when available. get as much damage reduce as you can (skulls in shield) you can cap resists through charms if needed.

Bone Nec
The biggest problem with them it seems abominae is the people controlling them. Not making use of passive pierce in hell is cutting everyones damage in half when it could be multiplying it by taking them into negatives. People are using +1 nec rings in order to get big numbers to show on the "LCS" and ignoring the benefits of whisp projectors and diamonds in weapons for some reason. I'm pretty sure you will be more than happy with one if you set him up like any other caster. Go for it and show these fools who refuse to capitalise on pierce whats what! :P

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:40 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:09 am
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I've dabbled a bit with a geared bone necro in hell on Single player... I see absolutely nothing wrong with them. It's just a matter of people not knowing how to play/gear a character, or expecting a lot more out of something. In reality, it crushes things, has a LOT of versatility with both boss and trash killing, has access to different curses for different situations without worrying about damage, and can pick and choose whichever merc fits his style best (I enjoy the tanking merc for a bone necro decked out with slow as well).


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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:51 am
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Pappy wrote:
for moloch just get some thornage yourself , use iron golem and iron maiden, and you can solo moloch easy


That's a good idea. Can a suicide branch drop in Act IV normal? That seems like an ideal weapon for that case. Just need to combine it with some poison duration reduction gear, presumably. Also, amplify damage would increase the amount of thorns damage Moloch receives, right?

Finally, reading what some other chaps have posted about bone necros and elemental casters in general, should I go for passive poison pierce in my weapon (i.e. fill a six-socket weapon with emeralds), or +skills when dealing with bosses?

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:59 pm 
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go for pierce. I usualy go on a 1% pierce being = to +3% skill damage ratio

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:51 am
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Thanks for the advice, PureRage. So socketing a crystal sword (or any other six-socket 1h weapon with a low strength requirement) with 5 perfect emeralds would be a good idea for dealing with bosses? The only successful builds (i.e. reaching Act V) I've created so far in this mod have been melee builds. The bosses have immense amounts of life when compared to the trash, so it's a bit difficult for me to envision defeating them with pure damage alone.

Also, for trash, I'm guessing that a White wand would work well until I can get Death's Web?

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:20 pm 
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the only problem with a multi-socket item for a psn necro is that it introduces multiple sources of psn dmg and that will diminish your duration a bit. Until you can get to pestilence eyes that duration cut will really hurt.

The best bet at your lvl is BlackBog's sharp - lvl55 dagger. That should do you quite well for a while.

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:55 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:51 am
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Thanks for the advice, Blue. Just wondering, could elemental craft boots and armor be a problem, as they add additional sources of poison damage over 3 seconds? The armor has passive poison resist, and the boots provide a %damage boost, but if the 3 second duration on both affects the duration of poison from my skills, then perhaps I should switch those items out.

I remember reading somewhere that poison damage defaults to the shortest duration, although I wonder if bosses all have reduced poison duration.

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I am the master of my fate:
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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:49 am 
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poison length is the average of all combined durations.

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:12 pm 
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Severus wrote:
Thanks for the advice, Blue. Just wondering, could elemental craft boots and armor be a problem, as they add additional sources of poison damage over 3 seconds? The armor has passive poison resist, and the boots provide a %damage boost, but if the 3 second duration on both affects the duration of poison from my skills, then perhaps I should switch those items out.


Ya, which really kind of sucks. The biggest culprit in my opinion though is the psn dmg on necro heads which is just a plain old screw. You still may want to use them anyways - the boots at least.

Severus wrote:
I remember reading somewhere that poison damage defaults to the shortest duration, although I wonder if bosses all have reduced poison duration.


Psn dmg works very differently depending on what skill is being used to apply the damage. Here's the basics:

No skill - if you are just using a standard attack the psn durations all average out as PureRage stated.

Venom - this skill is neat because it sets all durations to the extremely short venom duration of .4 seconds. This doesn't magically boost the damage the other items do though, it just cuts their duration down allowing you to repeatedly strike. Example - if you are using a moonstone emerald that does 800 psn over 10 seconds you don't get that full 800 dmg in .4 seconds now. Instead you get 32 psn dmg over .4 seconds (80 dmg/sec * .4 seconds). This may seem like a screw, but it is there for the fast attack rate that Assasin's use.

Psn Strike - psn strike duration stays out of the average and is just added at the end. So if you have 3 sources of psn dmg other than your psn strike that are 10 seconds, 5 seconds and 6 seconds they will all average together to make a 7 second duration. Then you take that 7 seconds and ADD the duration of your psn strike. So if you have a 6 second psn strike, your TOTAL duration will be 13 seconds. Pretty handy for attacking bosses.

Rabies - rabies plays totally different and doesn't interact with other sorts of poison. I believe that it patiently waits until other sources of psn dmg have completed, and then it applies, but I haven't ever confirmed exactly what the heck it does. The duration of rabies is completely independent of any other psn you may be using though, that much is for sure.

Oh - and to answer your question, yes I do believe that bosses have psn reduction that I believe is tied in to their poison resist. The more psn resist they have, the shorter your psn duration (again, not something I have tested, just a hunch). Generally though it seems like the duration is pretty decent towards the end game giving you time to stab and run.

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 Post subject: Re: Poison or bone for solo necromancer?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:51 am
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^Thanks for the detailed information :). That is very useful, as poison mechanics in this game are not exactly obvious.

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I am the master of my fate:
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