My Diablo II Legacy.

My Diablo II Legacy.

Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

June 25th, 2002, 3:56 pm #1

The adult education program for the disabled that I am cooking up will not be starting till the fall, so, this leaves me with some free time to take care of many things I never got around to.

One of them is my own contribution to the DII community.

First off, I would like to give many thanks to Charis, as it was his assistance that greatly enhanced my research into Rogue Merc AI. Also, many thanks to KoP for his work with Kyoko.

My studies into Rogues began when I noticed that not all mercs acted the same. Some of them seemed to live longer, some of them died far to quickly, while others seemed, well, pathetic. I began to suspect it had something to do with an AI pattern of sorts. So I began a long affair with Rogues, watching them, studying them, and, even allowing the Rogue to be the Hero that destroyed Baal in Hell difficulty. (Some of you might remember my Paladin who "escorted" the rogue. Also, there was Scourge, my other Paladin, and his insanely agressive Dominatrix.

There are three distinct flavours of Rogues, with varying degrees of behavior. There is the Agressive Dominatrix, there is the Total Coward, and then there is the Hip Hugger.

The Agressive Rogues think they are big beefy barbarians. They frenquently run into mobs and usually die rather quickly. They are quick to spot a target, and, even quicker to hunt it down. They often give other Rogues a bad name, as many people consider Rogues to be awful mercs. They have a huge awareness radius and are often seen shooting things far off screen or chasing after it and getting themselves mobbed.

The Total Coward is a survivor. At the first sign of trouble, they run away. They don't shoot much. When directly threatened, they scoot off at nearly light speed and will only attack once they are safe. They hesitate, and, often fall behind. They are the sorts who hide behind a corner while you do all the work, and, when trouble has passed, they come out and try to look brave and fierce. They too, have a fairly large awareness radius, and, when something blips on the radar, they panic. If you watch them carefully, you can tell when trouble is about to start, before it even happens. They will start pacing back and forth looking for a good place to hide.

And last, but, not least, the Hip Hugger. These are the best of all of the Rogues, at least in the general sense. Certian people with variant builds might want something a bit more agressive to do the killing for them, but, overall, the Hip Hugger is the best choice. They are easily spotted, as they always stay very close to your character. If you move, they move, and stay close. They are down right co-dependant. They have a small awareness radius. When something attacks your character or the Rogue, they can become quite agressive, but, will not move away from your side. This can lead to problems with certain builds like melee barbs who get mobbed. The Rogue will not move away, is so faithful that she can some times meet her end. For caster characters, they can be quite impressive as a last line defense. This is especially true for Necromancer builds, as when something slips through the wall of summons, the Rogue can be the last thing between you and certain death.

In my own mind, Rogue Mercs are probably the best mercs in the game, and, not just for the Lightning Hose feature. With the right gear, they can deliver a massive elemental punch. A 4 socket armor filled with poison jewels, a 3 socket cap filled with jewels of thunder and fire, and a 6 socket bow filled with emeralds or other elemental goodness. This can lead to massive amounts of quickly delivered elemental hurting. Rogues can also be outfitted with common Amazon variant play styles. Some of you might remember my speedazon rogue. She had a Fervour'd Twitch, a Shaeled Rip Hook, and a 2 socket hat filled with IAS and + damage jewels. She was a real speeder. She was deadly. She was able to shoot so fast it was sickning. Combined with my fanatism pally, she was down right disgusting for sheer damage output. Other builds might include a Rogue Frostmaiden, give her a six socket bow filled with cold damage jewels or sapphires, and, stuff her armor and hat with cold damage jewels as well. You can get incredible chill times even in hell. Of course, this is mostly for variant purposes, but, hey, that's what we do. There is also one of my favourites, the Rogue Sapper. Give her a Kuko socketed with a Nef. Whole mobs will get knocked back and burnt crispy.

As for basic Rogue outfitting, their needs are pretty simple, compared to other Mercs. Almost any bow will do, something with leach or amplify damage is just dandy. Just about the perfect armor is Grayform, as it leaves the bow options open. Socket it with an Ort for lightning resist. A circlet or a helm works fine, for circlets shoot for one with resists and or elemental damage. For sticky moments, a good cheap way to insure your mercs survival is a 3 socket hat with 3 rubies. A Rogue with an Amp Damage bow can be down right nasty under the right circumstances.

The right Rogue with the right AI can be a perfect companion for any build, and, are more than capable of holding their own in almost any circumstance. Indeed, for many under powered variant types, a Rogue can be their ticket to ride.

Gris, if you would like, you can post this as a guide. I don't mind.

Any feedback or points I missed would be greatly valued.

Charis, once again, many thanks for putting up with me and my crazy experiments, and thanks to your Moorish Necromancer as well. (Sorry, can't remember the name.)
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Charis
Charis

June 25th, 2002, 7:43 pm #2

Thanks for the write-up, good stuff!
(And wow, hasn't it been quite a while since those early tests! Gasp, I'm even blanking on the name too? ChariSahara?)

I was surprised when you first mentioned this, and immediately went out to test. My Moor's rogue was a hip-hugger with coward tendencies, perfect for him! I've seen the 'Type A' cant-stay-alive one too. My only wonder is if there are 3 (or n) specific types and you get one of the three, or are there 2 (or 3) variables that are chosen at random: a) aggression lvl, b) distance they like to stay from character, and perhaps awareness radius. I only say this because I thought after watching this a while I saw behavior in the Moors rogue that was square between two of the types mentioned. Set # choices, or two random variables, both about the same programming difficulty, so I'm not sure which it is.

In that era I came to quite like the rogue merc as well, tnx in no small measure to this observation of yours. :P

Charis
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

June 25th, 2002, 8:00 pm #3

Slightly related.

Iron Wolves run a very similar AI. I still remember Scorch, my thrower's insane fire magician. Extreme hostility and pure agressive AI. However, there are some attributes that make them a little different then the Rogues. Little things that for some reason, I can't recall what they were, but, I do remember there were some differences.

I started examining the melee mercs AI, but, never got around to finishing the full study. As I recall, there seems to be 2 distinct AI types for melee. Conan the Barbarian and Brave Sir Robin.
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Joined: July 12th, 2000, 8:18 pm

June 25th, 2002, 8:10 pm #4

The adult education program for the disabled that I am cooking up will not be starting till the fall, so, this leaves me with some free time to take care of many things I never got around to.

One of them is my own contribution to the DII community.

First off, I would like to give many thanks to Charis, as it was his assistance that greatly enhanced my research into Rogue Merc AI. Also, many thanks to KoP for his work with Kyoko.

My studies into Rogues began when I noticed that not all mercs acted the same. Some of them seemed to live longer, some of them died far to quickly, while others seemed, well, pathetic. I began to suspect it had something to do with an AI pattern of sorts. So I began a long affair with Rogues, watching them, studying them, and, even allowing the Rogue to be the Hero that destroyed Baal in Hell difficulty. (Some of you might remember my Paladin who "escorted" the rogue. Also, there was Scourge, my other Paladin, and his insanely agressive Dominatrix.

There are three distinct flavours of Rogues, with varying degrees of behavior. There is the Agressive Dominatrix, there is the Total Coward, and then there is the Hip Hugger.

The Agressive Rogues think they are big beefy barbarians. They frenquently run into mobs and usually die rather quickly. They are quick to spot a target, and, even quicker to hunt it down. They often give other Rogues a bad name, as many people consider Rogues to be awful mercs. They have a huge awareness radius and are often seen shooting things far off screen or chasing after it and getting themselves mobbed.

The Total Coward is a survivor. At the first sign of trouble, they run away. They don't shoot much. When directly threatened, they scoot off at nearly light speed and will only attack once they are safe. They hesitate, and, often fall behind. They are the sorts who hide behind a corner while you do all the work, and, when trouble has passed, they come out and try to look brave and fierce. They too, have a fairly large awareness radius, and, when something blips on the radar, they panic. If you watch them carefully, you can tell when trouble is about to start, before it even happens. They will start pacing back and forth looking for a good place to hide.

And last, but, not least, the Hip Hugger. These are the best of all of the Rogues, at least in the general sense. Certian people with variant builds might want something a bit more agressive to do the killing for them, but, overall, the Hip Hugger is the best choice. They are easily spotted, as they always stay very close to your character. If you move, they move, and stay close. They are down right co-dependant. They have a small awareness radius. When something attacks your character or the Rogue, they can become quite agressive, but, will not move away from your side. This can lead to problems with certain builds like melee barbs who get mobbed. The Rogue will not move away, is so faithful that she can some times meet her end. For caster characters, they can be quite impressive as a last line defense. This is especially true for Necromancer builds, as when something slips through the wall of summons, the Rogue can be the last thing between you and certain death.

In my own mind, Rogue Mercs are probably the best mercs in the game, and, not just for the Lightning Hose feature. With the right gear, they can deliver a massive elemental punch. A 4 socket armor filled with poison jewels, a 3 socket cap filled with jewels of thunder and fire, and a 6 socket bow filled with emeralds or other elemental goodness. This can lead to massive amounts of quickly delivered elemental hurting. Rogues can also be outfitted with common Amazon variant play styles. Some of you might remember my speedazon rogue. She had a Fervour'd Twitch, a Shaeled Rip Hook, and a 2 socket hat filled with IAS and + damage jewels. She was a real speeder. She was deadly. She was able to shoot so fast it was sickning. Combined with my fanatism pally, she was down right disgusting for sheer damage output. Other builds might include a Rogue Frostmaiden, give her a six socket bow filled with cold damage jewels or sapphires, and, stuff her armor and hat with cold damage jewels as well. You can get incredible chill times even in hell. Of course, this is mostly for variant purposes, but, hey, that's what we do. There is also one of my favourites, the Rogue Sapper. Give her a Kuko socketed with a Nef. Whole mobs will get knocked back and burnt crispy.

As for basic Rogue outfitting, their needs are pretty simple, compared to other Mercs. Almost any bow will do, something with leach or amplify damage is just dandy. Just about the perfect armor is Grayform, as it leaves the bow options open. Socket it with an Ort for lightning resist. A circlet or a helm works fine, for circlets shoot for one with resists and or elemental damage. For sticky moments, a good cheap way to insure your mercs survival is a 3 socket hat with 3 rubies. A Rogue with an Amp Damage bow can be down right nasty under the right circumstances.

The right Rogue with the right AI can be a perfect companion for any build, and, are more than capable of holding their own in almost any circumstance. Indeed, for many under powered variant types, a Rogue can be their ticket to ride.

Gris, if you would like, you can post this as a guide. I don't mind.

Any feedback or points I missed would be greatly valued.

Charis, once again, many thanks for putting up with me and my crazy experiments, and thanks to your Moorish Necromancer as well. (Sorry, can't remember the name.)
That was a great and very informative write-up. I haven't used rogues extensively myself, so it was all new to me. I started a Pally yesterday (Smite Pally; been wanting to try one) and his Rogue fantastically increased his kill power. I'm not sure which type she was. In mob situations she'd back up about 1/4th screen away and fire from a safe distance.

I ditched poor Amplisa for Hazade in A2 though. I just can't resist the power of the mighty Legion. Plus Hazade is doing pretty fantastic damage, much more than what I'm doing.

Your experiences with Rogues has me wanting to try one though. Maybe Hazade will get called back to the Legion at some point and one of Kashya's will join up again.

One question though. Is there a way to tell which rogue type you have while in town? Or do they pretty much all act the same while in town?

[o: *LEMMING* :o]
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

June 25th, 2002, 8:35 pm #5

And watch what they do.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

June 26th, 2002, 8:13 pm #6

It took me a while to figure this out, but, out of the range mercs, Rogues got Ironwolves beat in almost every way.

With the exception of freezing from the cold IW, Rogues can do everything they can, only better. However, one could say a high level rogue with a Silence bow or a bow with the rune that freezes target, they have the IW beat in this department as well. I am not even taking the lightning hose into account, but, they can do more lightning damage than a Lightning IW. Properly set up, a Rogue could potentially deal out around 1300 to 1400 lightning damage per shot. This would take a lot of jewels of thunder though.

For killing PIs, they have all other Mercs beat as well. You could give a town guard or a barb a rocking elemental damage weapon, but, they probably would not last long in a no leach situation. The Rogue on the other hand, can safely plink away from a distance.

I would almost venture to say out of all the mercs, Rogues and Town Guards are probably the best over all.
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Griselda
Griselda

June 26th, 2002, 9:43 pm #7

The adult education program for the disabled that I am cooking up will not be starting till the fall, so, this leaves me with some free time to take care of many things I never got around to.

One of them is my own contribution to the DII community.

First off, I would like to give many thanks to Charis, as it was his assistance that greatly enhanced my research into Rogue Merc AI. Also, many thanks to KoP for his work with Kyoko.

My studies into Rogues began when I noticed that not all mercs acted the same. Some of them seemed to live longer, some of them died far to quickly, while others seemed, well, pathetic. I began to suspect it had something to do with an AI pattern of sorts. So I began a long affair with Rogues, watching them, studying them, and, even allowing the Rogue to be the Hero that destroyed Baal in Hell difficulty. (Some of you might remember my Paladin who "escorted" the rogue. Also, there was Scourge, my other Paladin, and his insanely agressive Dominatrix.

There are three distinct flavours of Rogues, with varying degrees of behavior. There is the Agressive Dominatrix, there is the Total Coward, and then there is the Hip Hugger.

The Agressive Rogues think they are big beefy barbarians. They frenquently run into mobs and usually die rather quickly. They are quick to spot a target, and, even quicker to hunt it down. They often give other Rogues a bad name, as many people consider Rogues to be awful mercs. They have a huge awareness radius and are often seen shooting things far off screen or chasing after it and getting themselves mobbed.

The Total Coward is a survivor. At the first sign of trouble, they run away. They don't shoot much. When directly threatened, they scoot off at nearly light speed and will only attack once they are safe. They hesitate, and, often fall behind. They are the sorts who hide behind a corner while you do all the work, and, when trouble has passed, they come out and try to look brave and fierce. They too, have a fairly large awareness radius, and, when something blips on the radar, they panic. If you watch them carefully, you can tell when trouble is about to start, before it even happens. They will start pacing back and forth looking for a good place to hide.

And last, but, not least, the Hip Hugger. These are the best of all of the Rogues, at least in the general sense. Certian people with variant builds might want something a bit more agressive to do the killing for them, but, overall, the Hip Hugger is the best choice. They are easily spotted, as they always stay very close to your character. If you move, they move, and stay close. They are down right co-dependant. They have a small awareness radius. When something attacks your character or the Rogue, they can become quite agressive, but, will not move away from your side. This can lead to problems with certain builds like melee barbs who get mobbed. The Rogue will not move away, is so faithful that she can some times meet her end. For caster characters, they can be quite impressive as a last line defense. This is especially true for Necromancer builds, as when something slips through the wall of summons, the Rogue can be the last thing between you and certain death.

In my own mind, Rogue Mercs are probably the best mercs in the game, and, not just for the Lightning Hose feature. With the right gear, they can deliver a massive elemental punch. A 4 socket armor filled with poison jewels, a 3 socket cap filled with jewels of thunder and fire, and a 6 socket bow filled with emeralds or other elemental goodness. This can lead to massive amounts of quickly delivered elemental hurting. Rogues can also be outfitted with common Amazon variant play styles. Some of you might remember my speedazon rogue. She had a Fervour'd Twitch, a Shaeled Rip Hook, and a 2 socket hat filled with IAS and + damage jewels. She was a real speeder. She was deadly. She was able to shoot so fast it was sickning. Combined with my fanatism pally, she was down right disgusting for sheer damage output. Other builds might include a Rogue Frostmaiden, give her a six socket bow filled with cold damage jewels or sapphires, and, stuff her armor and hat with cold damage jewels as well. You can get incredible chill times even in hell. Of course, this is mostly for variant purposes, but, hey, that's what we do. There is also one of my favourites, the Rogue Sapper. Give her a Kuko socketed with a Nef. Whole mobs will get knocked back and burnt crispy.

As for basic Rogue outfitting, their needs are pretty simple, compared to other Mercs. Almost any bow will do, something with leach or amplify damage is just dandy. Just about the perfect armor is Grayform, as it leaves the bow options open. Socket it with an Ort for lightning resist. A circlet or a helm works fine, for circlets shoot for one with resists and or elemental damage. For sticky moments, a good cheap way to insure your mercs survival is a 3 socket hat with 3 rubies. A Rogue with an Amp Damage bow can be down right nasty under the right circumstances.

The right Rogue with the right AI can be a perfect companion for any build, and, are more than capable of holding their own in almost any circumstance. Indeed, for many under powered variant types, a Rogue can be their ticket to ride.

Gris, if you would like, you can post this as a guide. I don't mind.

Any feedback or points I missed would be greatly valued.

Charis, once again, many thanks for putting up with me and my crazy experiments, and thanks to your Moorish Necromancer as well. (Sorry, can't remember the name.)
A lot of modmakers have worked extensively with hirelings, learning about their stats and behaviors. For example, understanding hireling AI was instumental in learning how to get the Act 2 mercenaries to turn their auras on more often in mods.

Some people have fiddled with all mercenaries' AI- raising or lowering their chance to perform certain actions.

To me, it seems very unlikely that modmakers could have scritinized the mercenaries so much and not uncovered your three rogue AI patterns. I believe that the common understanding is that any rogue can exhibit any of your AI patterns depending upon the situation (and just the "luck" of the "dice").

I know that there have been plenty of game discoveries that were noticed first by players (Hidden shrines in D1 come to mind), and I also firmly believe in the power of learning-by-playtesting. But, your rogue's AI theory is one that I'm going to have to remain skeptical about.

This thread is a few weeks old, but it has some interesting information about hireling AI:
http://forums.theamazonbasin.com/d2/iko ... =7300;st=0

-Griselda
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Charis
Charis

June 27th, 2002, 3:46 am #8

I was sceptical too, and acknowledge it could still be blind luck, but...

After hearing this I immediately hired a rogue merc. Type A all the way, an aggressive mama. Had to res her 3 times in short order. After another in-your-face death, let her stay dead. Hire another. Scaredy-cat. Same foes, same area, same lvls, and sheesh, this one wanted to run home to mama. Both acted distinctly different from 'Kuko', the only rogue that I really worked on. Then I hired a third, ah, the hip hugger, different styles from the first two, and not far off from what I distinctly recognize as Kuko-ish behavior.

Whether it's 3 patterns, or two variables where I sampled very different values, there are definitely differences in rogue hires. And I've not seen anyway to know before you buy than to hire and see.

Take one (well, two or more) for a ride :P
Charis
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Occhi the confused
Occhi the confused

June 27th, 2002, 3:19 pm #9

A lot of modmakers have worked extensively with hirelings, learning about their stats and behaviors. For example, understanding hireling AI was instumental in learning how to get the Act 2 mercenaries to turn their auras on more often in mods.

Some people have fiddled with all mercenaries' AI- raising or lowering their chance to perform certain actions.

To me, it seems very unlikely that modmakers could have scritinized the mercenaries so much and not uncovered your three rogue AI patterns. I believe that the common understanding is that any rogue can exhibit any of your AI patterns depending upon the situation (and just the "luck" of the "dice").

I know that there have been plenty of game discoveries that were noticed first by players (Hidden shrines in D1 come to mind), and I also firmly believe in the power of learning-by-playtesting. But, your rogue's AI theory is one that I'm going to have to remain skeptical about.

This thread is a few weeks old, but it has some interesting information about hireling AI:
http://forums.theamazonbasin.com/d2/iko ... =7300;st=0

-Griselda
Cheesey little me. I will accept a lashing with a wet noodle, but hey, Biondi is not on iteration number 11, and I like my Might mercs. This HC melee stuff can be a real PITA!!!

What that thread seems to be telling me is that, per Ruvanal's explanation, my merc will hit level 11 Might at level 42(32 levels later on the 1/32) and at level 52 he will be at 14 ish.

At level 55 he will reset to level 16, rather than go up to level 16.

And never get higher? Or, once level 16 is hit, it will increase 10/32, so that when he hits level 87(I wish!!) his might will be level 26? The uncapped Might merc concept would suggest the latter.

Do I understand that correctly?

My holy Freeze merc arrived at level 22 with Rustinaille. At level 54, which he just achieved, he should have Holy Freeze at level

11

or is that a level

12 (based on starting at level 18)

What I am asking is whether or not the hiring level really does influence his progression. It seems that Hlvl, hiring level, would hold my Kazin to 11 at present.

Which is it?

I really am now more confused than when I opened that thread.

*Wanders off to find the coffee pot, caffeine obviously needed*
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Occhi's conscience
Occhi's conscience

June 27th, 2002, 5:14 pm #10

What I meant to say was . . .

Per Ruvanal's explanation, my merc will hit level 11 Might at level 42(32 levels later on the 1o/32) and at level 52 he will be at 14 ish.

At level 55 he will reset to level 16, rather than go up to level 15.

And never get higher?

Or, once level 16 is hit, it will increase by 10/32, so that when he hits level 87 (I wish!!) his might will be level 26? The uncapped Might merc concept would suggest the latter.

Do I understand that correctly?

My holy Freeze merc was hired at level 22 with Rustinaille. At level 54, which he just achieved, he should have Holy Freeze at level. ( 1 + 10)

11

or is that a level

12 (based on starting at level 18)

What I am asking is whether or not the hiring level really does influence his progression. It seems that hlvl, hiring level, would hold my Kazin to 11 at present.

Which is it?

I really am now more confused than when I opened that thread.

*Wanders off to find the coffee pot, caffeine obviously needed*
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