Guide:Worldstone Keep v1.10, by Nightfish
This guide to clearing out the Worldstone Keep on the way down to Baal is themed for the Skeleton summoning Necromancer (the Fishymancer) but contains plenty of general advice suitable to all types of character builds.
Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:
Well, this is basically just my 0.02$ on running the WS K with a necro. I've spent quite a bit of time there and got a fair share of gold and green out of that. While the returns are obviously not as great as they are with mephisto, I do believe this to be the best way to get items of TC78 and higher.
Yes, you can run other places and find good stuff. Yes, you can use a million of different builds and find good stuff. But I don't want to write a 20 page guide every day so this is just focused on this small thing. As a matter of fact it's an addendum to my skelliemancer guide. So please don't tell me how a hammerdin or a winddruid is much better or how the pit or pindle reign supreme... Quite frankly, I don't care. No offense intended.
Why the WS K?
Well, it's an alvl 85 area which means it can drop everything. What sets this apart from the other 85ers is baal who's waiting at the end -which causes some people to just skip the WS K and focus only on baal which is in my opinion a bad move for several reasons. Reason being that if you just focus on baal you will compare the results you get from him to mephisto's and that can't work out. It just takes longer to get to baal and you can't expect him to give you a windforce every run. And if you just skip through the WS K and only kill baals minions you end up "wasting" a lot of time you could spend killing good stuff.
Imo, the right mindest to run the WS K is to consider it to be equal to the pit with baal as the icing on the cake. And not the other way around, Baal with too many obstacles before him. While this may seem trivial, having the right things in mind helps keeping one sane while MFing. (though people argue MFing in itself is already proof of sanity slipping)
Refer to the guide for detailed info on build and why to chose which merc. Here I'll just briefly reiterate what we want from our gear and why we want it. This assumes realistic MFgear you can attain without running the shadowmaster for runes.
In general we want:
- Weapon 1: MF
- Shield 1: Resistances & Blocking
- Weapon 2: Teleporting Charges
- Armour: MF and +skills
- Helmet: MF and +skills
- Belt: MF
- Boots: MF or +mana per kill
- Gloves: MF
- Rings: MF or +skills
- Ammy: Resistances and + skills or Resistances + MF
- Charms: Try to cover your resistances here or go for more MF with 7% small charms.
Here's what I use, for example. If you don't have what I use, use something else. (duh?)
- Weapon 1: Gull or Ali Baba (2 x Ist or 2 x Tir)
All of these give similar MF, the 2 Ist Ali would give more MF while the 2 Tir Ali would give you 4 mana per kill which helps keep CE going. I favor this over +skills for this slot because you can get a big chunk of MF for the +skills you surrender.
- Shield 1: Homunculus(PDia)
In this case it's exactly the other way around, you can get a lot of +skills and resis for a very small amount of MF lost considering the only MF shield you have is probably Rhyme.
- Weapon 2: Teleporting Charges
This is either spellsteal or Naj's Puzzler, with the puzzler being the obviously better choice. Teleporting just rules. Weapons can be repaired with the cube which saves money. (not that we need to but still). I favor this over a switch with higer +skills for summoning skellies.
If you have enigma for teleport you are probably hacking and I have no idea why you're trying to MF for items... Okay, just kidding. If you have enigma you will want a +skills switch or a beast / oath runeword. Another option is an -150% defence weapon and crushing blow setup to help kill baal faster.
- Armour: Skullder's (PTopaz)
Used for 2 reasons: Good MF and +1 skills. Also it looks better than tal rasha's armour which is the other good option here.
- Helmet: Harlequin Crest (PTopaz)
Ugly as hell but impossible to beat. Skills, mana, life, MF, this one has it all.
- Belt: Goldwrap
Mainly used because there is other belt that seems to be very useful. Arachnid Mesh is an option, or something that gives you more resis. My necro doesn't need more of either so he uses goldwrap.
- Boots: War Travelers
Kinda hard to find but these are probably the best boots. More MF is all we really need. Another option is silkweave if you have trouble running out of mana when casting CE.
- Gloves: Chance Guards
Uhm... MF? Gold Find? Thanks.
- Rings: Nagelrings or Stones of Jordan
Personally I find both about equally useful. I don't kill a lot faster with SoJs, I don't get that much MF from nagels. I think I'm neutral here.
- Ammy: Mara's
This is another slot where you can gain +2 skills and a decent amount of resis for sacrificing a small amount of MF so I got this ammy here.
How to Run
While this is pretty straightforward there are some things to keep in mind. First of all you will want to have a good map and run that map in a good way. Now, what's good? In contrast to a good meph map where you want the distance between WP and stairs to be minimal, here you are looking for a map that allows you to go almost everywhere without walking the same corridor twice. This includes smart use of teleport.
As you can see I can run the entire place without stepping on the same stone twice, which is the way it should be. Personally I like to optimise my WS K 2 map and accept a slightly less good map on WS K 3 because I sometimes clear that only partially.
A small note on player settings: I run on players 1 since I am after the items. Since about 80% of sets and uniques come from bosses champs, and because those are unaffected by players that's the way to go. I stay there for baal since his no-drop chance is already pretty small and I don't want to double his life for the small gains that gets me.
Of all the things I can spawn here nothing should give your necro a hard time. I know lots of people have issues with gloams but with a bit of practice they're easy, too. Just try to have about 800-900 life and 75% LR, that's enough. Use your curses and your golem (reposition) and just wait for the first corpse to go down then 1-2 CEs send them all into eternal darkness.
I would consider bypassing this area if the selfexploding monsters and the hierophants spawn. The one kind doesn't give you any items, the other kind occurs only in a low density which means that you won't be getting a lot of items this run.
Useful stuff to revive: Not much. Serpents are alright, flayers and beetles are okay, too. Hellspawns are so-so. Gloams are horrible, just like hierophants and cadavers.
This place can potentially give you bigger problems but nothing that can't be handled. OKs can kill your merc if you're not careful but most of the time you should be able to explode some DKs before your merc goes down.
I would consider bypassing this one if both kinds of PI monsters spawn on top of OKs. It's still possible and probably easy to clear but that's sometimes a bit of a hassle with unbreakable bosses.
Useful stuff to revive: Death Knights, Frenzytaurs, Flayers, Ghosts. Don't bother with other stuff. The teleporting goblins and wraith's outright suck, the succubi on this level tend to overwrite your curse with their own lower defence curse which blows. I'm not even mentioning those funny blue things that never do anything.
Throne of Destruction
This one is a bit difficult to run efficiently, I only fully clear it if I feel like it and if it spawns my favorite revivables. Some teleporting at the right places might help. Again there's OKs on this levle but genereally I have no problem with anything here.
Revives here include Hell Witches, which are about the best revives all around and Frenzytaurs which come in as a close second. Death Knights and Infidels are decent, too. Vampires, Dolls and Serpents are alright, too, but aren't really the top choices. The only bad revives on this level are burning souls.
Try to enter the throne with as many revives as you can and with as much time on your revives as possible. Teleport once or twice so you don't lost too many if you're coming a long way.
When the minion waves spawn it's always the same routine, cast amp damage and make sure your merc is attacking something. Then cast CE. Stop casting CE once stuff is dead as about half the time baal neglects to remove all the corpses which gives you a head start on the next battle. I'd only revive a few of the third wave if you still have less than your max revives. Always get a few of the fourth wave, though. I'd explode a corpse or two and then start reviving. If lister proves dangerous (fanatic / might) use Decrep instead of amp. Again, make sure your merc is attacking and cast CE.
Before entering baals room summon a clay golem and switch to decrep on your main switch, then switch to your teleporting weapon switch. Enter the chamber and teleport right on top of baal, switch back to your main weapons and cast decrep. Once you're sure the clay golem has slowed him you can change to amp. Now wait for him to die. (and teleport if he does so) Pick up loot and curse at baal for not giving you the item you were longing for again. Rinse and repeat.
I usually don't bother selling items because I make a lot of money from gold find alone. I do pick up and identify most rares and all charms / jewels and everything else that might be useful.
Well, that's basically it for the first version. Hopefully this answer some of the more common questions, I know it's nothing new to most people.