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 Post subject: Skill or ItemMod Tips & Tricks, updated 2018-08-04
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:28 am
Posts: 1117
Location: Vancouver, BC
If you know of hidden effects or strategies when using some skills, this is a thread to share them in. If you've been playing D2 for a long time, and have figured out some super effective ways to play, this is a thread to share that information with newer players or those just curious to try out a build. Below are some examples, please continue them. I think it's a safe bet that some of the folks brought to HU by their friends might be new to D2 too, so they might not be familiar with the basics on ArreatSummit (some of that info still applies to HU and most other D2 mods).

Fire Damage per Second (DPS) skills (Meteor, Blaze, etc) - the patches of fire from the same skill or other skills all stack, so it's a great idea to set up a nice dense patch of flames on the ground and then tank a tough boss or mob so that they're standing in the flames. Blaze is especially good at this effect if you've got lots of Faster Run/Walk gear. None of these skills "hits" a target, so they'll never cause counters or start the boss's full-heal timer.

Poison DPS - These don't stack in most cases, read more in this thread (TL;DR: Highest DPS wins even if the duration is short, but lots of other info given). Poison is a great boss-killer because once you've tagged the monsters with poison, you can concentrate on avoiding their attacks. Like other DPS skills, poison doesn't cause counters or start the boss's full-heal timer. Poison doesn't bring players below 1HP, unless they're already at 1HP when they're hit (kinda hard to test since monsters seem to have a min-dmg of 1, similar to how a player attacking with fists does 1-2 damage).

Next-Hit Delay - When a monster is hit by a missile with a Next-Hit Delay, no other missiles (from any source, but generally they're from skills) that have a Next-Hit Delay can hit that monster. Basically all skills with Next-Hit Delays do not stack.

Skill Cooldowns - D2 is a pretty old game intended to run on pretty old hardware, so the purpose of skill cooldowns was to reduce the graphics several players could have active at the same time. Nowadays cooldowns are usually used reduce skill usage as a balancing or challenge feature (similar to how mana is used in D2), but D2 just wanted to reduce clutter so all skills share a cooldown. If your attacks proc a skill with a cooldown, then your attack skill will appear red (as if it's in cooldown), but that's just a glitch (the attack skill with be available as soon as the attack animation is done).

Whirlwind (WW) - This basically ignores your off-weapon attack speed bonuses, and it always attacks on frames 4 and 8, so if you're using a massive damage weapon that attacks super slow, then you can still WW in very short segments (so the WW lasts about 1/3 a second) and your super slow weapon will still be hitting about 6 times a second. WW lets you phase through monsters, which makes it really handy as a slow teleport skill, this lets you ignore critters if you want to just walk through an area.

WereWolf, WereBear - These basically ignore your off-weapon attack speed bonuses. If you are shapeshifted, then you can not go below 1HP. If you're low on HP and take a huge hit, then you'll just transform into a human form with 1HP, and then likely die.

Walking vs Running - When running, your AC is effectively reduced to zero, and your block is reduced to 1/3. Monsters might still miss you if your level is similar or higher than theirs, since the to-hit formula relies a lot on the level difference.

Energy Shield - This is a good way to magnify your damage reduction (NonPoisDamageReduction: NPDR or PDR/MDR) and can often let you become immune to trash damage while your mana pool holds out. EShield doesn't redirect poison damage to mana. More details in this thread.

ClawBlock, Dodge, Avoid - These block any melee/missile, and in D2 most spells count as missiles, e.g. you could block a lightning bolt.

Smite - You can't use LifeSteal or ManaSteal with Smite, and the character screen display is a bit buggy (damage from synergies won't be shown, but they're there and working). You can still benefit from HP/MP OnStrike or PerKill mods or LifeTap curse.

Knockback effects - Smite, Bash, DragonTalon, Telekinesis, etc. There are several skills that you can use with just 1 skillpoint to pin down some bosses (generally pre-HU minor bosses like Bloodraven) by continuously forcing them into their Knockback animation.

Hydra, GuidedArrow, no-corpse Summons - When you summon a Hydra far from your character, the Hydra has it's own AI range that extends even further, which allows it to target stuff you can't even see (e.g. around a corner), which is a very strong strategy. GArrow is kinda similar, in that you can attack a point on the ground, and after the arrow gets to that point the arrow will find its own target somewhere close by. Summons can be used similarly, but if you click too far away then their AI tells them to come back to your character.

Charges of Skills - Repairing recharges these, so an ethereal item can't be recharged since they can't be repaired. While wearing this item you genuinely have the skill, it will synergize all the skills it normally should but only if you don't already have a point in the charged skill. You need a minimum of 2 charges to use the skill; D2 seems to subtract the charge and then see what skill and level to cast, so if you just tried to use the last charge then nothing will happen because you don't have the skill when the casting resolves. HUv1.7 made heavy use of this bug/feature.
Example: An item has 1 charge of level 40 FireBall, your Sorc has no points in FireBall so when she casts a synergy skill (even if cast as an item's OnStruck or OnStrike proc), that synergy skill will receive 40 levels worth of FireBall synergy. If you use that FireBall charge, then nothing happens and you lose the synergy bonus until you repair the item. If you place a point in FireBall, then your synergy skill only receives 1 level worth of FireBall synergy.

MultipleShot, Teeth, Shockwave - The width of the cone of missiles produced by these skills is based on the distance between your character and the mouse cursor (long distance = narrower cone). For non-piercing missiles like Teeth (or MultiShot if your char lacks Piercing gear), you can pseudo-pierce a long line of monsters by aiming far past the last monster so that the missiles in the narrow cone travel down the line (monsters are only hit by 1 missile, so other missiles continue to hit the critters directly behind them).

There's lots of other ideas and tricks, I might add a few more myself when I find the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Skill or ItemMod Tips & Tricks, updated 2018-08-04
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:18 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:36 am
Posts: 969
You can farcast javazon skills with timing a right click and switching between skill throw skill.


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 Post subject: Re: Skill or ItemMod Tips & Tricks, updated 2018-08-04
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:35 am
Posts: 22
Are soceress masteries hardpoints only? Or do +skills work? If its capped at 20% doesn't seem like I should be investing any points into it...


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 Post subject: Re: Skill or ItemMod Tips & Tricks, updated 2018-08-04
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:23 pm
Posts: 81
I believe hard and soft points have the same effect on sorceress masteries, but you should probably only 1 point them because they have diminishing returns. I didn't test, but I'm pretty sure this is the case.


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