Hi. Sorry it’s so long, but I basically have to describe my entire Paladin to make this work.
I’m looking for a solution that does not mean changing to a different build, such as a Hammerdin or Tesladin. But I can reassign attributes and skill points freely if needed, thanks to the “enable respec” parameter.
Lvl 76, offline, /players8. Purely melee. +50 IAS. Weapon’s base speed is normal. Fanaticism and Sacrifice 22, Zeal 17. Average dam 1300, almost entirely phys. Leech 13%.
Lvl 76 HF Merc, Avg dam 1400, Lionheart armor, Honor weapon, so 7% leech. +15 IAS. Weapon’s base speed is fast.
Just started Hell, and a bunch of normal monsters are quite tough. Mostly Zombies. If I run into a pack, they force me to run around a lot. If it’s a unique+minions, it then ranges from even tougher to impossible. Merc’s died a lot. I’ve been using multiple health/rejuv potions per encounter, when I was used to barely touching them even when facing Baal in NM.
I think the biggest reason for this, is how brutally nerfed Life Leech becomes when facing those. It’s already down to around 4% thanks to Hell. And those Zombies turn out to be 50% both on drain effectiveness and phys dam resist. Which I’m guessing, means my Leech ends up being a pathetic 1% in practice against them.
Even though leech was doing quite well for Zealot and merc back in NM, I knew it’d be reduced further in Hell. So, I’ve always been on the lookout for chances of improving it. I just didn’t get any, really. No rune drops beyond Fal thus far, and I did farm Pindleskin a lot, plus a few others twice. Countess, Diablo, Zakarum council. I know Pindleskin’s not the best for farming runes. I was just looking for whatever would drop. Bases, mostly.
Currently, Zealot gets 10% leech from Sigon’s partial set. And 3% from a rare ring. I don’t have any runes that could make runewords with leech, nor any stashed magics/rares/uniques that grant it.
I’m guessing, improving leech big time should be my priority. Improving dam and attack speed, should help too.
My weapon is an Ironstone. I made two upgrades. Reciped it to a Battle Hammer base, and added a socket where I put a Shael. Even if I removed that and put an Amn (which I don’t even have, right now) for +7% leech… Losing nearly half of my gear-based IAS is a bad idea.
I have The Minotaur, as a swap weapon. Maybe I could socket that one, then put an Amn there when I find one? And rely on it more often. I don’t use it that much, but I like how it can slow down almost anyone. The fact it has so many other useful mods, doesn’t hurt. But I have to switch back to Ironstone+shield quick, ‘cos I rely on the shield big time of course.
So, I suppose I should do some very specific farming back in NM? What gear do you suggest, and where should I look for it?
I currently gamble in hopes of a better belt, though I don’t know if one of those can come up with leech. And I keep the highest level Grand Charm I find, to reroll it with the cube once I have enough p gems to spare.
How about switching to other skills, to face Zombies? I was just starting to branch out into Conviction+Vengeance (lvl 3, both). In case of phys immunes. Could I reach a situation where a different combination of Conviction/Fanaticism+Vengeance/Zeal, would be more effective? I know Zombies have no res against fire and lightning, even in Hell. But Vengeance suffers greatly from being much slower, single-target, and its dam not benefiting leech.
Defensively, I think my Zealot is fine although of course not ideal. Maxed block, 2750 def, 95 FHR, Rhyme shield stashed for CBF, HF merc + The Minotaur + Weaken
But it seems my priority should be to improve the offense here, as no defense is sufficient if I cannot put down the monsters fast enough.