Lorzate made it through two full acts to get to level 94. He also maxed his fame level. NG++ was not very tough at all. NG+ was only hard because I switched from Normal to Veteran difficulty. Act 1 went super quick, but Act 2 took some time. By the time I had gotten to level 93, Lorzate was almost done with Act 2. I just decided to finish it up. I always hate leaving the game before getting to a big milestone (finishing the act).
As far as items, Lorzate got really lucky with finding spells. He pretty much has all the spells I wanted for them, the pet as well. He and the pet just need to upgrade one spell each from V to VI to be totally done, definitely not needed though. Lorzate also found a new mace and shield, though the mace has a required level of 100. The shield was a good Armor boost. The mace will be a very nice damage boost when Lorzate finally gets to level 100.
Level 94 Engineer
Fame Level 33: Demigod (capped)
Strength: 320 (+20%)
Dexterity: 129 (+61%)
Focus: 39 (+70%)
Vitality: 386 (+31%)
Damage: 1430-2718 (+22%)
Health: 8285 (+3%)
Mana: 181 (+23%)
Armor: 2056 (+35%)
Block Chance: 75% (+10%) (capped)
Good increases across the board this week. A lot of the attribute bonuses came from enchantments. I happened upon an enchanter that did “attributes only”. For a tank, I think pure attributes are the best affixes and enchantments. They just give you so much more than +Health or Health recovery per second.
Lorzate’s lucky find with Weapons Expertise increased his damage by 22%. That correlates almost exactly with the spell description (increases physical damage by 24%). His Armor also went up from a higher level Armor Expertise (along with lots of Vitality boosts). Lorzate also finally capped block chance. Block chance cap was raised to 75% from 50% a few weeks ago. With the Blocking spell and lots of Vitality, he is at the cap.
The only think that stayed the same was Health. The Vitality increase did contribute to Vitality, but Lorzate only gets 3-4 Health per point. His roughly 200 Health increase corresponds with the Vitality change, but that’s not all that much at these levels. I’ve seen monsters do critical hits for 10,000 against my pet. Two hundred Health makes no difference in that situation.
Healing Bot 15
Seismic Slam 15
Shield Bash 15
Ember Hammer 15
Sword and Board 15
Fire and Spark 15
Flame Hammer 1
Aegis of Fate 1
Lorzate got enough levels to max out 8 skills. I still remember when I had just learned these skills with 1 point in them. It’s been a long journey. With the left over points, I decided to pick up Emberquake. It’s another Fire damage skill, so it gets bonuses from Fire and Spark. It also scales a little bit with weapon damage. That made it my best damage spell for single target. It’s still great against groups of monsters, but the 8 Fire tendrils can all hit the primary target. Massive damage ensues.
This has made me think that Ember Hammer might not be the best for a tank. It’s such a slow casting skill, it would do much more damage with a slow two-hander. With a one-hander you just don’t get as much oomph out of it. Where to put those 15 skill points had I not invested in Ember Hammer, I am still thinking about. I will have to answer that question for my first build.
Armor Expertise VI
Elemental Protection VI
Weapons Expertise VI
Dervish VI (on pet)
Silence V (on pet)
Heal All VI (on pet)
Retribution VI (on pet)
My luck with finding spells turned completely around this week. I found the max level Armor Expertise and Elemental Protection spells, so Lorzate got even more Armor/Elemental Armor. Then, I also found the max rank Weapons Expertise spell for +24% weapon damage. For the pet, Dervish VI dropped. It got upgraded to max rank. Now only two spells need upgrading. Both Lorzate and pet will be done with their spells. Things really turned around.
Blocking VI – have V, looking for VI
Silence VI (on pet) – have V, looking for VI
Lucky Die/Lucky Coin – I got upgraded versions of both of these. They each have higher gold/magic find.
Rift Ember – I got an upgraded version of this gem as well. This time it adds 26 Mana on hit. I am saving it for Lorzate’s future weapon.
Skull of Vastok
Armor/Trinket: 360 Physical Damage Reflected
Weapon: +18% Attack Speed
Physical Damage Reflected is basically the same as Armor but the reduced damage is damage on monsters. The only downside is it doesn’t get any bonuses like Armor does from Vitality.
Skull of Trenkay
Armor/Trinket: 4.4 Mana recovery per second
Weapon: Conveys 15% chance to Stun for 2 seconds
Stun chance is always a good affix on items. It doesn’t affect champions much though. They seem to have very high resistance to all debuffs.
Armor/Trinket: 74 Health recovery per second
Weapon: Conveys 15% chance that the target Flees for 2 seconds
I feel Health recovery is somewhat weak. It just isn’t enough compared to the damage monsters are doing. I think it might be pretty good on a glass cannon though. They only get hit rarely, and Health recovery will be enough to keep their health topped off.
Armor/Trinket: 67 Health recovery per second
Weapon: 60% Bonus to Critical Damage
This is a huge bonus to critical damage. It would be very nice to pair this with a high critical chance build, perhaps an Outlander.
The Eye of the Manticore
Armor/Trinket: All Damage taken is reduced by 2%
Weapon: 20% Bonus to Critical Damage
The reduced damage is pretty good. As monsters do higher damage, percentage reductions become better. For example, a 10000 critical hit from monsters would be reduced by 200. It also will scale as you fight tougher monsters.
The Eye of Ezrek Kahn
Armor/Trinket: +8% Wand and Staff Damage
Weapon: Conveys 5% chance to Shock for 5 seconds
Both of these bonuses are good for an Embermage. If their wand or staff has the same elemental damage as their skills, this 8% bonus will also add to their skills damage. Shock chance works well with one of their passive skills.
The Eye of Mordux
Armor/Trinket: Poison damage taken is reduced by 6%
Weapon: +78 Poison Damage
The Poison damage is pretty low compared to other gems. For example, the Poison gem around this level goes up to +97 Poison damage. Reduced poison damage taken is, however, pretty good in the first half of Act 3.
The Eye of the Manaforged
Armor/Trinket: -5 to all character item stat requirements
Weapon: 8% damage bonus when dual-wielding
I may have gotten this gem on an earlier New Game mode, but I can’t remember. Reduced stat requirements is a unique affix. I wonder if it only applies to the item the gem is placed in or if it’s a global reduction for any item the character equips.
In the last character update I wrote how I wondered if item level requirements would go above 100. Well I’ve learned this playthrough that does not happen. The unique one-hand mace above is item level 100, and its level requirement is also level 100. Level 100 is the cap for required levels, definitely good news for Lorzate, who has low Focus.
Quite a lot of items this time, but that’s because a full two acts were cleared. That’s probably double what I’ve done in prior updates. Despite the number of drops, Lorzate only found one upgrade (the unique shield), and it was more of a side-grade. That unique mace I ended up gambling for. I’m generally satisfied with my damage, but I wanted something in the 90s level range. I happened to roll a level 100 mace. Too powerful for Lorzate to use now but will be awesome later.
Other than those, there wasn’t much change in Lorzate’s items. I found some rare boots with high Vitality. As described in the Stats section above, I found an attribute enchanter. Most of my items that were at level 2 enchantments I increased to level 3, which added quite a bit to Lorzate’s attributes.
I think attribute enchanters are one of the best in the game. Most commonly I find element enchanters, which are only good for shoring up a low Elemental Resist. I imagine they are great for Embermage weapons. Just enchant with the element you use. Elemental damage that aligns with the skill damage is added to that skill’s damage. For example, added Fire damage to a weapon will also add that damage to Fire skills you use. Without a new weapon Lorzate has no need for this, but he could take advantage of Fire damage increases.
With Lorzate’s skills and spells almost complete, progress this week was a breeze. Lorzate did die a few times but it was very rare. I noticed he is doing pretty good damage for a tank. In particular Act 1 of NG++ went really fast. For the most part I didn’t even need to use Forcefield. I could just keep Lorzate’s Charge bar maxed for the occasional hard hitting champion. The rest of the time he was doing max damage Ember Hammers. His critical hits are now in the 17,000s.
Act 2 definitely felt slower than Act 1. I think it is a bigger act but also I just had to be more careful with Lorzate. Act 2 had more “dangerous” monsters than Act 1. These are the monsters that normally do 2000 damage but can easily do criticals in the 6,000-8,000 range. One time a couple big skeleton monsters got two critical hits on Lorzate for an instant kill. The odds of that are pretty small. First, Lorzate didn’t block either attack. Then, both monsters happened to roll a critical hit. The odds are probably only .02% or 1 in 6400. It didn’t happen again.
So I had to do both Act 1 and Act 2 to get to level 93. Well Lorzate got to 93 with most of the second big outdoor area cleared. I felt pretty close to the end, so I decided to just finish up the act. That got Lorzate the extra level to 94. His fame level had maxed about halfway through Act 2. The next fame level requires over 9 million fame points. That won’t be happening soon. Also, I found that the next fame level is “Unattainable” and that it doesn’t award a skill point. No point in worrying about it.
I am nearing the end of Lorzate’s journey. He only needs to gain 6 levels to get to the max level. I am thinking it will take both Act 3 and Act 4 to get there. NG+++ starts at level 101, so it is easy to assume the remaining levels will take the rest of NG++ to attain. I could be wrong though. Act 3 is the longest in the game and has a huge 5 floor dungeon. It’s possible Lorzate will get to 100 before Act 4. Sadly, I will be stopping Lorzate then.
I have an Engineer tank build planned based on what I’ve learned in this playthrough. That won’t be for a few weeks though. Next week Lorzate will be level 100!