I was tired of acid cloud, so came up for nice farming/exping build.
Idea: Build around locust swarm, that focuses on killing all trash with 1 hit of the skill, at low monster power (1 or 2), at 100% success rate. Eliminate dependance of crit chance, for long duration dot skill.
Now, the problem of all dot skills is, as they are usually very powerful damage but in one hit, is being dependent on crit chance. These skills either crit and kill targets fast, or not crit and don't kill anything at all.
The reason why this is happening is low base damage of our weapons. If you use ceremonial knife + mojo combo, minimal base damage if it is around 400 for knife, 100 for mojo, not counting bonuses from jewelery. But if you hit dot with that, and it rolls low minimal damage and doesn't crit.. it deals very little damage, and most likely doesn't kill anything.
If we use 2h, it gets better. But we don't really want to use skorn as it is 1.00 speed and that weapon has not best base damage. It has crit bonus, and with 2h we end up having around 30% crit chance. Do we care if 30% of targets hit by locust swarm die instantly? No. The point is to make sure everything that didn't get hit by crit dies relatively fast (within 8s duration of skill at least).
So best way is to use 2h 0.9 speed mace with as high as possible minimal damage, preferably life steal and high inteligence.
What increases damage of "white" hits? Primary stat, bonus damage to skill, skill enhanced damage. So ideal weapon is mace with high base damage and high inteligence.
Skill bonuses come from helm, ring(s), amulet. Helm can roll up to 14% locust swarm, rings soj and skull grasp 12%, maras 12%. But we don't really want to use skull grasp at point of leveling paragon, so I suggest using only soj and hellfire ring.
At low monster power, we don't need crit chance and crit bonus for this build. If our weakes non crit hit kills any trash monster in the game, with minimal damage roll, crit doesn't really matter. We will not kill faster with it. Elites die to bears at mp1/2 in 2-3 seconds, and trash dies to 1 hit of locust, regardless if it is crit or not.
- highest minimal base damage weapon
- locust swarm damage bonus (helm, ring, amulet)
- enhanced damage skills (pierce the veil and provoke the pack)
For example locust swarm damage with items:
360% over 8s base. 14% helm, 12% soj, 12% mara = 38%. After bonus it is 497% over 8s.
Rune of choice is pestilence, It seems to be way more effective than last rune that deals most damage. Fact that pestilence spreads nearly instantly, makes up for lower damage. Last rune spreads so slowly in big crowds, we often end up goign too far from monster pack and it stops spreading if character is too far.
provoke pack - extra 15% damage one of very few ways to increase locust damage
spirit walk honored guest - mana regen source, locust + ptv cost ton of mana, need full mana for bears before elites
horrify stalker - 20% movement
soul harvest 60s rune - keep 5 stacks as much as possible
locust swarm pestilence - our main move
bears - skill vs elites
circle of life - source of dogs
pierce the veil - 20% damage
gruesome feast - mana regen and tons of damage on a high int build
Gameplay of this build is about casting locust swarm once in a while, and watching it spreads. Monitoring minimap for legendary alerts. Don't wait till enemies die to swarm, just look for new monsters as fast as possible. Locust often goes even through walls so no need to visit all rooms in depth keeps for example. Vs elites use zombie bears. Recast and sacrifice dogs when they are up for additional 15% extra damage. Make sure 5 stacks of soul harvest are up all the time, since you need max damage output to be sure everything always dies to 1 hit of locust swarm.
This build uses spirit walk and horrify stalker for increased movement. Due to nature of locust skill, and fact most stuff dies out of out pickup range, there is no point to use grave injustice as kills will usually not count, unless you had pickup range reaching far beyond screen. However build is still fast because we are constantly moving, as we waste very little time on casting skills, swarm spreads through several screens on its own. It becomes really effective at farming, I find it faster than acid rain build that kills stuff in one hit, just because we don't have to spam any ability that often, which is essentially waste of time. Another advantage of it is, that it is relatively cheap. Gear without crit is cheap, weapon is matter of few hundred k.
I might record some clip if you want. This build is quite easy to test for youself, since gear is really cheap (and if you don't want invest into locust swarm items, can always use mp0 to lower difficulty and see how it works).
first off wanna say that I love people experimenting and trying to come up with more viable builds that are good for paragon leveling or ubers or whatever.
Now I tried this out. mind you I was jsut using the skill and weapon and didn't bother hunting down the other +swarm dmg items. but my dps is high enough that in MP1 a single cast was able to kill everything, crit or not.
The one single thing I liked least about this came down to a simple quality of life aspect. in my MH/OH build I use TotD for the passives and becasue I like to pickup gold from across the screen without running up to it. Without TotD or a comparable PuR I would cast swarm, keep running and by the time most things died I would be way gone with no chance to even see what they dropped. One suggestion the OP offered was to use minimap to recognize possibly missed legendarys as a missed legendary will ping your map.
I suppose if you are looking for really fast, cast and blast setups this works great for grinding paragon. But i cant justify the missed gold.
The advantage of acid cloud, even with its huge hit radius is that you are generally casting it in front of you and thus have ample time to run through a dead mob to soak all the globes and gold that lay around.
With that being said I hope people like the OP continue to mess around and find fun and different builds
Missed gold can be an issue, but really, the amount of gold I have picked through 94 levels of my wd vs total gold obtain from selling items/flipping ah is ridiculously small. I know it adds up, but still the amount of time you need to farm to collect even 100m gold is just ridiculous, in terms of time/gold very inefficient, to the point it can be ignored imo.
I tryed soul harvest- vengaful spirit / grave injustice combo and it works great for me. Spirit walk and soulharvest are always available. Mobs that dont die with vengaful spirit, die with locus swarm. Its really amazing the speed at witch locus spread, but how long locus swarm is spreading? 8s?
Currently I'm using it for farming, but with my main manajuma+offhand spec, no locust bonus items. Just classic speed farm build with bears, except not using acid rain but locust. It is faster, because i need cast locus maybe once per 2 screens, and some bears here and there, while with acid rain build I waste much more time on casting spell. Overall it takes more casts/screen to clear = runs are little slower.
To kill with such unbuffed locus and 1h, you need very good gear unfortunately.
I picked up a SoJ, an ammy with +Locust dmg, a Zuni helm with +Locust damage and a very sweet 2h with a min dmg amount of 1405. I then set out to try this build with a paper doll dps of around 100k give or take. I loved it. The limiting factor of my run completion time was how quickly I could move through the map mostly. Every now and then an elite pack would take 2 or 3 seconds but that was about the only thing that would slow me down. For straight up XP farming it's awesome.
Now, the downside...
You have to get used to not picking up ANYTHING since it usually drops behind you (except elite packs)
I may have missed Legendary drops because on one occasion I retraced my path, just out of curiosity, and found a beam sitting on the ground even though I diligently watch my minimap for pings and listen for the drop notification. it's possible I missed others and don't even know it.
You don't pick up much gold, even with my pick up radius of 32, since most things die way off screen. I know this was discussed but and the OP makes gold from flipping and all but that's not for everyone.
Despite these points I really, really enjoyed this new way of playing but it's soooo hard for me to think about the things I *might* be leaving on the ground behind me. lol
Regardless, kudos for trying something different and sharing it with the community.
I just started playing my WD again (53) and Locust Swarm has been my move of choice for leveling. It's just so nice to fly through everything. I was thinking a build like this would be amazing for speed XP runs.