Return of the Bonemancer
So, it’s been quite a long time since publishing Path of Diablo: Part II. In that article, I was ready to dive into Hell difficulty with my good ol’ Ravens Druid. Unfortunately, interest kind of dropped off once I reached Hell. The difficulty of course spiked, it became more tiresome to play, so I decided to hang the pelts up and wait for the interest to come back to me.
Surprise, the interest came back to me. Diablo II: Remastered has been heavily rumored for a few years now, more so in recent months. I’ve started to notice that just like I want to re-watch Lord of the Rings every time I see something Lord of the Rings related, whenever I hear something new about Diablo II, I get that itch again.
I felt that Path of Diablo never really got that full shake from me, so in I dove again. This mod of the game has now reached it’s 18th patch, dubbed Flint, three patches past my last article in this series.
I feel like whenever I re-start Diablo II, the go to character is always a Sorceress to utilize Teleport and make things quite a bit easier. I ended up changing that formula with a Druid the first time with Path of Diablo, so I took the same approach this time.
In my time of playing Diablo II, I never really gave the Necromancer much attention. At various times, I did have a Poisonmancer, Summonancer and Bonemancer, but they were really just made out of boredom and they were never long lasting.
After reading the more recent patch notes, I saw something amazing.
Yes. Bone Spear shoots two additional spears every cast. I had my new character. With the increased damage from the very first patch and the additional spears in patch #18, it didn’t even feel like a debate. I always loved Bone Spear as a skill, it just never felt like a heavy hitter on its own. You always had to cast bone walls to block enemies in, then in a way, slowly damage them with Bone Spears, not the most dynamic or exciting gameplay. Here, the potential was much greater for a fun spin on an old skill.
Normal, Nightmare and Hell
This would typically be the point to where I speak on how leveling overall went as a Bonemancer…with my three Bone Spears. Honestly, that story would be incredibly boring. It was fantastic. I can’t really point out any specific moment where I had any sort of difficulty. The usual points of fear like the Chaos Sanctuary or Hell Ancients were just blips on the radar and before I knew it, I had defeated Baal and started aiming to clear maps, Path of Diablo’s new end game.
In terms of gear, I aimed for a few basic rune words to help things along. The rune word ‘White‘ is a staple among most Bonemancers, and is easy enough to obtain for anyone only requiring two runes; Dol and Io. The great thing about White (aside from its already +3 Poison and Bone Skills and +2 Bone Spear bonuses) is that you can find an open, two-socket wand with + Bone Spear already built in, giving you more of a skill bonus to your bone spear.
‘Spirit‘ is also a no brainer for a lot of builds at least early on before finding better gear and creating more expensive rune words. It does require a four-socket weapon or shield, but there are plenty of cases where you can actually use the socket quest from Larzuk in Act V to receive those four open sockets. In a shield, you receive +2 to All Skills, faster cast rate, faster hit recovery, resists and more.
Endgame for Path of Diablo is similar to Path of Exile in that we have maps to run. I started to delve into Tier 1 Maps on this Bonemancer (out of 4 Tiers) but haven’t gone much further than that at this time. Maybe I will detail that aspect of the game in a later addition to this series.
One great aspect of Path of Diablo, is the ability to implement a loot filter, similar to Path of Exile. In Action RPG’s like your Diablo games, loot is incredibly important. It’s vital that you try to maximize your characters equipment at all times. Even more important if you’re playing online, you want to know what is valuable so that you can sell or trade those items away to increase your wealth.
There are a variety of loot filters that are available to the player and they can be found here. Each filter is incredibly simple to implement with following the directions on the previously linked page. I’m using the Pure Karma filter myself, but each has their benefits.
Quality of life is also increased with this loot filter. Instead of ‘Greater Healing Potion,’ popping up and filling your screen as a common drop, you have a red symbol (and blue for mana and so on). Higher ranked runes are now blasted with symbols on your screen to make it as unlikely as possible to miss them. Since ‘Spirit‘ is a ridiculously good rune word, things like your typical white Crystal Swords will now say ‘Spirit Base’ beforehand so the player knows that they can just throw that weapon into Larzuk’s socket quest and create a Spirit rune word.
Extra Bowazon Action
Outside of plowing through Hell with the Necromancer, I decided to start a Bowazon. Why? Two different items; Arctic Bow and Hailstorm, unique arrows. With both of these items equipped, and both having a very low level requirement, I’m flying through normal difficulty while shooting five cold arrows per shot. It effectively gives you a cold infused multi-shot.
Is this something that’s long lasting? No, of course not. Arctic Horn has a level 2 requirement to use and only has a damage range of 9 – 21. I’ll soon be shifting to Kuko Shakaku and some sort of fire arrow build, but this is an example of new things that Path of Diablo offers, especially for older players.
Just the idea of having a new experience with a Bowazon in normal difficulty was enough for me to roll the character and give it a shot. A similar thing happened with the Necromancer. Just the idea that I can shoot three Bone Spears instead of one every cast made me want to create that character so that I could have a new experience within Diablo II.
Path of Diablo isn’t flashy like your Median XL‘s or Eastern Sun’s, but it does a very good job of many changes to the base game without making Diablo II not feel like Diablo II.
I’m sure that I’ll keep adding to this series over time as I get that renewed Diablo II feeling that always seems to swell over me. For now, I’m content progressing with my triple Bone Spear Necromancer.
As always, check out the following links for previous articles and resources related to Diablo II and Path of Diablo;
First Thoughts – Diablo II: Median XL Sigma
Official Path of Diablo Subreddit
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