My goal from the very first time I started playing my ranger was to be able to solo Amrath. As I wrote about it previously someone recommended that I look at this thing called Monk (I guess somewhat sarcastically) but to me that’s kind of silly. If I enjoy a class why should I then look at something else simply because it’s ‘easier’ to do something with that one and forego the challenge with my choice?
If that was true I would simply stick with my FvS since BB and kite works fine wherever I go.
When I talk about solo I don’t talk me, the sunlight in the back and a hireling. I mean we all use hirelings and sometimes they’re more roadblocks than they’re useful. Like if the hireling is ‘close’ enough they’re going to take their time running to you. If they’re not they first have to tell you ‘do I really have too?’ when you it the come hither button 15 times. And then they do so. And you forget telling them to stay put and suddenly you’re in a bloody scrap and your hireling is in the middle wasting all its SP while being clobbered to death.
Hirelings are just the support wheels on the awkwardly put together bicycle we call fully capped toon. And sooner or later it’s time to take the training wheels off.
That’s what I did this weekend.
Just like with the FvS it was a gradual process from everywhere to in specific quests and slayer areas only. Sooner or later that displacement and haste isn’t really that important when it means dealing with waiting for a hireling to give you that 2 minute haste before having to redo it again.
And I think I finally stopped all together with my FvS when I put together my perma blur item.
Enter ranger – my list for being able to solo Amrath boiled down to 2 things – either mitigate damage all together via AC or being able to survive incoming blows by self healing. Using a healer hireling is a death sentence since the healer will be caught in a loop of self healing their own pain when you’re ambushed by scores of devils. Plus as a ranger getting the 65 or so in AC just won’t work that well as even if I could it would severely compromise something else.
That’s why I envisioned a couple of GS items to solve that issue and I was glad that it worked out like expected. First off – being able to self heal. Rangers have a small SP pool and they can cast cure serious wounds. It’s expensive. So naturally it won’t last very long and wouldn’t take your average ranger very far. And pot healing isn’t nearly good enough as the max you’ll get out of it is normally 20-30 and with heal amp 30-50.
So the first thing I did was to get heal amp. 10% on my dragontouched and those 20% bracers with strength +6 out of Subt (VoD I think). That usually gives me 30-40ish HP using cure serious pots and 50-70ish through healing. By using a superior devotion IV ring it’ll get me 70-100 using the spell. And I’m definitely looking to add the epic red fen item that provides another 30% heal amp together with the new epic trinket so you don’t have to use both items to get the set bonus. That should give me an average of 90 to maybe 110ish HP each time which is very good.
Secondly I crafted 2 con op items. Since I have a very small pool of SP it’s not nearly enough even for a partial run. Unlike my 2800 SP on my FvS I’m at about 400 SP or so with my ranger. Con Op gives you a 4ish percent chance to either add temporary HP (30 something) or 15-30 SP. It doesn’t proc as often as the torc, but it can be a steady trickle when you most need it. Combine that with a good 70-100 heal and it’s possible to survive even the worst onslaughts.
With only one item – my helmet it’s a struggle. It’s easy to run out of SP during a thick fight since you only have this small proc chance, but I’ve managed to prove with several close successful runs that it’s enough; if not by a hair. With the added con op Khopesh I can use the nature of my DPS to get another chance to proc, providing enough temp HP and SP to almost always have about 400 SP to heal from. In fact I was so confident that I took on the devil that can chain you (above chains of flame quest). It’s even a pain with my FvS and I wiped with my ranger when running with another guild member and 2 hirelings. Now I took some heavy damage (and I was smart enough to pull most of the trash mobs first so I didn’t have to fight everything at the same time) and then slogged it out. 30 second haste pots – 70-100 heals – even chained I was dishing out some pain.
I usually combine that Khopesh with a vorpal since there’s only a few red named bosses and the rest lack death ward (except bezekiras I think). So that generally translates into an average of less need for DPS since I roll enough 20’s for the vorpal to do its job. For everything red named I switch over to my tier 2 min II to be khopesh and the con op. It’ll take big chunks out of anything and I do have construct bane stuff for the constructs.
Over all I’m not looking to solo quests instead and see what kind of damage my weapons can do in those. I still want the torc – it procs more often than con op and it would provide a reliable if not ‘endless’ pool of SP that can only be outstripped if I’m incapacitated (say knocked down). That’s where those temp HP comes in – it’s only 30 or so but it’s enough to keep me afloat until I can self heal. Good thing too.