Questions for Summoner Enginner?

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Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Roadrunner7 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:00 am

I'm playing an Engineer and I plan to go complete summoner. So, max healbot, max spider mines, max gunbot, max sledgebot, max immobilization copter.

That's 90 points, leaving 43 more.


I had a few questions:

1) Since summons scale with player level, and as far as I know are not affected by your stats at all, is there any reason why you would not just go full Vitality? Is there any reason to get other stats? I heard there was a cap on block chance with shield, what is the cap and does that make other stats, such as maybe Dexterity for the dodge chance, actually viable?

2) What other skills should I spend my points on? I was thinking Forcefield for sure, but besides that I don't know.

3) How do summons do endgame? Although they scale with level, it seems that weapon based skills would scale much better as endgame equipment provides greater bonuses to attackspeed/stats/criticals etc.

4) I probably will be playing in a party with atleast 3 other people, how does that change the game in terms of combat compared to single player?

Thanks in advance for any responses!
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby jwallstone » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:24 am

Roadrunner7 wrote:I'm playing an Engineer and I plan to go complete summoner. So, max healbot, max spider mines, max gunbot, max sledgebot, max immobilization copter.

That's 90 points, leaving 43 more.


I had a few questions:

1) Since summons scale with player level, and as far as I know are not affected by your stats at all, is there any reason why you would not just go full Vitality? Is there any reason to get other stats? I heard there was a cap on block chance with shield, what is the cap and does that make other stats, such as maybe Dexterity for the dodge chance, actually viable?

2) What other skills should I spend my points on? I was thinking Forcefield for sure, but besides that I don't know.

3) How do summons do endgame? Although they scale with level, it seems that weapon based skills would scale much better as endgame equipment provides greater bonuses to attackspeed/stats/criticals etc.

4) I probably will be playing in a party with atleast 3 other people, how does that change the game in terms of combat compared to single player?

Thanks in advance for any responses!


Currently playing a summoner engineer as well.

1) Vitality is definitely the most useful stat for a pure summoner. Dexterity will provide a dodge chance, so getting some points there might not be a bad idea. 110 is often recommended as that's a break point where additional Dex has a lower return on dodge chance. Strength is useless - the only possible use is for equipping gear, but you are less dependent on gear. Focus is only useful for gear and for mana. +mana on equipment is more effective though. Some focus will help you equip the best summoner gear out there ahead of the level requirement - the Obscure Belt, Gloomcircles, the Iron Sword. Optional, of course. Otherwise, though, everything should go into Vitality.

2) Forcefield for sure. It provides so much survivability. You don't even need to worry about charging it up, since you will stay out of the action mostly. Another good skill is Tremor. It has a HUGE radius and amplifies damage inflicted to enemies, helping all of your summons. At 15/15, it also has a 100% chance to stun all enemies (reduced for Champions and Bosses, of course). A single point in Storm Burst is quite useful as an escape and mobility skill. 15/15 in Bulwark is also good for further damage mitigation. Those are the top skills in my opinion. Other ones to consider are: Seismic Slam, for a good stunning skill throughout the game, fire it once and run off and let the DoT take its toll; Dynamo Field, if you want to build charge for Forcefield; one of the cannon skills - I recommend Fusillade - so that you can shoot and supplement your summons.

Summary:
Good summor skills:
Forcefield 15/15
Tremor 15/15
Bulwark 15/15
Storm Burst 1/1

Skills to consider:
Seismic Slam
Dynamo Field
Blast Cannon
Fusillade

3) Summons scale pretty well throughout the game. A big advantage is that you don't have to worry about gearing as much. I think if you were to get the best endgame gear that could be obtained reasonably easy, weapon based skills would probably do a little more damage, but at the cost of survivability. A summoner is probably the safest build there is. If I were to try to play a hardcore elite character all the way to level 100, I would do it with a summoner.

If you could pick absolutely ideal gear, ignoring the feasibility of attaining it - meaning full sockets of Joskin and Umbarnum skulls after 75% damage reduction and some Riechlu skulls, Asphyx Set, etc, then I believe the summoner would actually outperform the weapon-based engineer in terms of damage.

4) I haven't played a summoner in a party, a possible complaint would be that the mass of minions following you could slow down lower-end computers. A summoner does not provide much to a party in the way of direct synergies with the exception of Tremor, as compared to other builds, but others certainly should appreciate that the mass of meatshields helps divert attention from squishier builds, and the stunning from high-level spider mines is very useful.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Roadrunner7 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:52 pm

jwallstone wrote:Currently playing a summoner engineer as well.
2) Forcefield for sure. It provides so much survivability. You don't even need to worry about charging it up, since you will stay out of the action mostly. Another good skill is Tremor. It has a HUGE radius and amplifies damage inflicted to enemies, helping all of your summons. At 15/15, it also has a 100% chance to stun all enemies (reduced for Champions and Bosses, of course). A single point in Storm Burst is quite useful as an escape and mobility skill. 15/15 in Bulwark is also good for further damage mitigation. Those are the top skills in my opinion. Other ones to consider are: Seismic Slam, for a good stunning skill throughout the game, fire it once and run off and let the DoT take its toll; Dynamo Field, if you want to build charge for Forcefield; one of the cannon skills - I recommend Fusillade - so that you can shoot and supplement your summons.

Summary:
Good summor skills:
Forcefield 15/15
Tremor 15/15
Bulwark 15/15
Storm Burst 1/1

Skills to consider:
Seismic Slam
Dynamo Field
Blast Cannon
Fusillade


Thanks for the responses! I never consider tremor, but that seems like forcefield, bulwark, tremor, and storm burst 1/1 are obvious picks.

My only question is that the skills seismic slam, dynamo field, blast cannon, and fusillade are based off Strength right? I was under the impression that pretty much all attack skills, except for shield bash, which explicitly says it deals damage based off your armor. Doesn't that mean your damage with them is negligible? Would you consider shield bash, since high vitality and bulwark increases your armor so much, and damage is based off that? Also, if you get cannon skills, you cannot use a shield. Do you find that hard to not take advantage of the shield and the 50% block chance that comes with max vitality, or are you tanky enough that it doesn't matter?
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Highborne » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:53 am

I have a 100 Summoner with essentially the best gear I can find...

I run with Vitality as all my leveled Stats.
Then I enchant my gear for around 350+ Dexterity to get 50% Dodge.
Grab about 100+ Focus from Enchants as well for some mana.
Strength is base, worthless for you completely.

Items I use:
Image

This is a bit old, I am replacing enchants right now since I seem to cap out at 10584 health (even if I increase vit more...) so reducing my Vit enchants and grabbing other ones (like flat +health, random +pet damage if I can roll it, etc.)

With this setup I have 75% Damage Reduction, 65% Block (can max if I want to use Blocking Spell), 50% Dodge, something like 900% pet damage (maybe a bit more), and my Iron Sword (now level 100) has 2 x 6% Cast Speed embers though I am considering -750 armor x 2 as well.

I use the basic setup:
Spider Mines
Heal Bot
Gun Bot
Siege Bot
Immobilization Bot
Tremors
Forcefield
Bulwark

All maxed, and I have 12 points left which I am likely going to dump into Seismic Slam just because though Blast Cannon isn't a bad idea either if you want to pump str via enchants.

There are a few other gear options that have damage reduction etc. but I wanted to maximize as much as I could the amount of +Pet damage sockets possible without sacrificing health or damage reduction.

As for NG5+ on Elite, it is easymode.

Right Click - View Image since it seems this forum cuts it :(
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby jwallstone » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:39 am

Roadrunner7 wrote:Thanks for the responses! I never consider tremor, but that seems like forcefield, bulwark, tremor, and storm burst 1/1 are obvious picks.

My only question is that the skills seismic slam, dynamo field, blast cannon, and fusillade are based off Strength right? I was under the impression that pretty much all attack skills, except for shield bash, which explicitly says it deals damage based off your armor. Doesn't that mean your damage with them is negligible? Would you consider shield bash, since high vitality and bulwark increases your armor so much, and damage is based off that? Also, if you get cannon skills, you cannot use a shield. Do you find that hard to not take advantage of the shield and the 50% block chance that comes with max vitality, or are you tanky enough that it doesn't matter?



The base damage from Seismic Slam, Dynamo Field scale with Focus only. Blast Cannon scales with Strength and also Focus for the elemental parts of your weapon. Fusillade scales equally with Strength and Focus. Strength also improves your critical hit damage, so in that way every skill also gets some benefit from Strength.

Shield Bash also scales with Focus, on top of your shield armor. From other people's testing, Shield Bash only considers your base shield armor, which does include socketables and enchantments, but it does not include any +% armor bonuses from Vitality or Bulwark. The only stat that scales it is Focus. But all this is not really the point with a summoner.

As a full summoner, you are making the choice that basically all your damage will come from your pet and minions. This greatly simplifies your gearing and stat choices - the only things you need are survivability and +pet and minion damage, and that is very freeing in that you can neglect the stats and gear affixes that other builds go for, and completely focus on those two things. This however carries the drawback that no matter what, your non-summon skills simply won't be doing much damage. That's just the math. So there is no point in trying to pick skills that will deal some reasonable amount of damage, because none of them will. (Unless you want to play a hybrid, which means you have to go back to worrying about all those stats and gear).

The only thing you should look for in offensive skills is their effects, not their damage. Tremor is amazing because it applies a long debuff to everything on the screen that amplifies your minion damage, reduces the enemy's damage, knocks them back, interrupts, might make them flee, and stuns them. Perfect. Forget the damage component, it's irrelevant. Other skills can be looked at the same way. Seismic Slam provides reliable stun throughout the game. The DoT damage is just a little bit of gravy. You use it to stun, then run away and let the DoT do its thing - it won't be comparable to your minion damage, but it is on top of a useful effect and requires barely any time or commitment from you. Shield Bash builds charge and stuns and can be used to escape from mobs.

With cannons, they all have two amazingly useful effects - stun and knockback. The point with cannons is that they don't detract at all from your primary game plan. They simply provide additional tactical advantage. A single point in Blast Cannon is enough, and since there is some downtime between casts of Spider Mines, just blast away during that time for some extra damage and good effects. I still always use a shield, I simply switch to a cannon when there is some breathing room. For Fusillade, make sure you have a little bit more breathing room, since it can't hit close targets. The extra advantage there is that you can fire down or up on enemies who have no chance for retaliation. A single point is ok, but I would consider 10 points in Fusillade if you want to get it for that Tier 2 splash bonus.

The overall point is that the other skills you choose should supplement your primary game plan - minions. If during a heated fight you spend half your time casting Shield Bash or cannon skills and neglect some summons, then you are splitting your attention to much. The gearing and stat choices needed to make that work would make you a jack of all trades and master of none. But if you have full summons up and use Blast Cannon during your downtime to add extra damage, or use Seismic Slam to stun and get away to deploy more Spider Mines, then you are adding bonus damage without hindering your primary game plan at all.

As a sidenote, Highborne's gear is pretty much the ideal summoner gear, but it is not at all realistic unless you dupe skulls or ridiculous hours farming for skulls and money for enchantments. So if you want to play the theoretically optimal summoner and don't care about duping your skulls of Joskin and Umbarnum, his gear gives a good idea of what to do. But if you don't like duping, then I wouldn't worry about trying to achieve that.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby DarthRevan » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:18 pm

Ive been looking into building a Summoner as well so alot of this information is helpful but i did have a question. Has anyone contemplated using 2 of the Iron Sword (Minecraft sword with huge pet bonus) I recently farmed 2 of them out of Notch's Mine and have been wondering if a dual weild build would be viable to bolster the pets.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Highborne » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:52 pm

DarthRevan wrote:Ive been looking into building a Summoner as well so alot of this information is helpful but i did have a question. Has anyone contemplated using 2 of the Iron Sword (Minecraft sword with huge pet bonus) I recently farmed 2 of them out of Notch's Mine and have been wondering if a dual weild build would be viable to bolster the pets.


Not as useful dual wielding them as you lose block and 45% Pet Minion damage from double socketing a shield with Skulls.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby doafihood » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:22 pm

dude later on the mines do shit dmg. U would do more dmg with emberquake.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Highborne » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:46 pm

doafihood wrote:dude later on the mines do shit dmg. U would do more dmg with emberquake.


Uhhh no.

I faceroll NG+5 with Spider Mines + Gun Bot nothing lasts more than about 3 seconds (elites) and maybe 15 seconds for bosses.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby doafihood » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:23 pm

o.O emberquake > mines, now if u accept that what would u rather cast, emberquake or mines?
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Highborne » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:28 pm

doafihood wrote:o.O emberquake > mines, now if u accept that what would u rather cast, emberquake or mines?


Completely different builds, to make emberquake even half good you have to pump str or focus, neither of which helps spider mines, gun bot, siege bot.

In short, emberquake cannot be taken unless going for a hybrid.

If you want summoner, ignore the trash that is emberquake.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby doafihood » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:31 pm

but summoners pump vit no? and how can u say emberquake is crap -,- have u even used it?
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Highborne » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:43 pm

doafihood wrote:but summoners pump vit no? and how can u say emberquake is crap -,- have u even used it?


Emberquake is garbage for a SUMMONER build as summoners do not pump focus.

And yes, to be most effective just dump every point into Vitality.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby doafihood » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:05 pm

i understand that emberquake is "garbage" for a summoner's build. What i dont get is how vitality helps the dmg of the mines. And if it doesnt how is emberquake < mines
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Highborne » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:13 pm

doafihood wrote:i understand that emberquake is "garbage" for a summoner's build. What i dont get is how vitality helps the dmg of the mines. And if it doesnt how is emberquake < mines


No stats help mines, gun, siege bot damage only +Pet&Minion% Damage does.

So maxing vit makes the most sense since it is defensive and gives block/armor/health.

Thus, a SUMMONER build never prioritizes Focus or Str which do increase Emberquake damage.

Here is what I posted on d2jsp.
http://torchlight2armory.com/skill-calc ... gXzmgpi3B4

Take this build, you have 11-12 points leftover (if you don't want to use Stormburst).

Either dump into Blast Cannon and use a cannon for weapon switch, or Seismic Slam or dump remaining points into Aegis of Fate.

You will never build charge, no skills build charge at all so anything that uses charge is worthless (except Forcefield).

Moreover, Charge Dominion doesn't proc off of Gun Bot, Siege Bot, or Spider Mines so it is worthless as well.

As for the rest of the build:

Gearing:
Helm: The Asphyx (5 x Skull of Umbarmun) *Enchant - Dexterity as high as possible (Borris)
Amulet: Alhidade Amulet (2 x Skull of Joskin) *Enchant - Vitality as high as possible (Borris)
Shoulders: Obscure Shoulders (2 x Skull of Limoany) *Enchant - Vitality as high as possible (Borris)
Chest: Tenebra's Armor (2 x Skull of Joskin) *Enchant - +5% Pet Damage as many times as possible (Fondo) or Vitality as high as possible (Borris)
Gloves: Hands of Orlac (5 x Skull of Umbarmun) *Enchant - +5% Pet Damage as many times as possible (Fondo) or Vitality as high as possible (Borris)
Belt: Mondon's Belt (2 x Skull of Umbarmun) *Enchant - +5% Pet Damage as many times as possible (Fondo) or Vitality as high as possible (Borris)
Legs: Breeks of Railsmith (2 x Skull of Joskin) *Enchant - +5% Pet Damage as many times as possible (Fondo) or Vitality as high as possible (Borris)
Boots: Machinist Clogs (2 x The Eye of Jutham Kasam) *Enchant - Movement Speed (Garbahd)
Rings: Gloomcircle x 2 (2 x Skull of Joskin each) *Enchant - Vitality as high as possible (Borris)
Weapon: Iron Sword ilvl100 (NG+3 or higher to find one) Socket choices = 2 x Giant Chaos Ember 6% Cast Speed or 2 x Skull of X'n!troph (Armor Reduction) *Enchant - Dexterity as high as possible (Borris)
Shield: The Untold Story (2 x Skull of Umbarmun) *Enchant - Dexterity as high as possible (Borris)

Iron Sword sockets depends on if you want to be "involved", if so you can actually change up the build somewhat; put the X'n!trophs in, take Ember Reach for your last 11-12 points and use auto attacks to weaken enemy armor while spamming Mines + Reach + Tremor's to increase the damage they take.
If you want a more passive approach letting summons do all the work, just take Cast Speed for quicker Forcefields/Tremor casts.

Spells:
Summon Skeleton VI
Animal Handling VI
Concentration VI
Choice of Blocking VI, Summon Skeletal Archers VI, Treasure Hunter VI

Pet Spells:
Summon Nether Imp VI
Summon Nether Imp IV
Summon Skeleton Archers VI
Silence VI

I use these, but up to you really...can switch out stuff depending on what you enjoy.
Pet Summones do not get increased by your +Pet Damage %, so they are "weak" compared to the Summon Skeleton VI you summon for example.

Stats:
Strength: Base, never increase this
Dexterity: Base, never increase this
Focus: Base, never increase this
Vitality: All

Dex will be increased via Enchants, and Focus is secondary for enchants since it increases your mana some and allows for a bit of scaling if you so choose to take a direct damage ability that scales with it.
You are aiming for 350 Dex from enchants to give around 45-50% Dodge%.
Focus if you have any remaining items with no enchants and cannot be enchanted with +Pet Damage or +Health.
Vitality "caps" around 1100 for increasing health, so keep that in mind.
Enchanting Vitality is great, if you can cap out decently quick, start enchanting either +Health from Greezo or +Cast Speed from Garbahd.
Turn pet into a Jacklebeast for poison dot (-33% armor on enemy) or Mimic for awesomeness.
With the damage reduction from items and the 2 skulls you cap at 75%, 65% Block base (thus blocking spell to cap at 75% if you want to), 45-50% Dodge with enchants, and have around 10k health base with some vit enchants.
You are extremely durable while still doing crazy good damage with summons.
With the above sockets only you break 900% pet damage, with enchants can get almost 940% assuming base enchants and no super power ones for pet damage...

This build is not going to break 100k crits, but it is safe, consistent and works well in all difficulties.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Rogueleader » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:48 pm

How about a summoner using Emberquake, as well as spidermines? Is that viable too?
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Highborne » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:10 pm

Rogueleader wrote:How about a summoner using Emberquake, as well as spidermines? Is that viable too?


No for multiple reasons.

1) Need to build focus/str.
2) Why have 2 primary attacks? Spider mines does essentially the same thing as Emberquake, but you haven't build around Emberquake with the rest of the kit (all summons, no passives).
3) Need Fire & Spark passive to really make the best out of Emberquake, as well can take things like Coup de Grace, Charge Domination as they will proc off of Emberquake; but since you don't have any more points I don't see the reason to do this.
4) Your itemization is aimed towards +Pet Damage; not focus, not fire damage, not weapon damage, etc.


Why is this so hard for people to grasp, if you want to build an Emberquake Summoner, go for it; but don't expect to be min-maxing and your gearing, stats and skills will be quite random trying to figure out how to deal damage.

If it is fun, have fun.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Rogueleader » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:21 pm

And how do you gain charge? I see a lot of builds using dynamo, and spam that for charge. Or do you just use the default forcefield, instead relying on dodge/block to mitigate the damage before FF gets affected?
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Highborne » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:29 am

Rogueleader wrote:And how do you gain charge? I see a lot of builds using dynamo, and spam that for charge. Or do you just use the default forcefield, instead relying on dodge/block to mitigate the damage before FF gets affected?


Charge is difficult to build unless you go a melee or cannon engi.

Base forcefield is plenty powerful enough, and Dynamo means you aren't spamming Spider Mines enough.

Remember, You Block, Dodge, Reflect, Damage Reduce & Armor/Elemental Reduction before Forcefield blocks any damage.
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Re: Questions for Summoner Enginner?

Postby Rogueleader » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:45 am

Can't you use Dynamo in between spider mine casts though?
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