A guide to crafting weapons

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When playing a melee character in the end game (lvl 55+) areas it's important to realize the choice of your weapon plays a big role in your actual contribution to the team success.

The first step is obviously loot/trade for a good weapon (from db-dis-abyss runs), but those come with fixed damage types on them, and such types aren't going to be the best suited ones for every situation; hence the need of aquiring multiple copies of the same weapon, and craft them accordingly to the monsters you want to fight.

Contents

Why is crafting weapons important?

Monsters healing from a particular dmg type is the obvious answer: if you have the wrong damage type on your weapon when fighting a particular monster you'll see a healing animation, its health won't drop (hit points can go over maximum as well, examining the monster will show a temporary hit points icon), and the whole party will yell at you fire heals, stop healing, no fire on the sup pit fiend, omg noob and such :)

The less obvious answer is that you're not doing your job if you use a suboptimal weapon even against not-healing monsters; it's like choosing the wrong spell for the situation or forgetting to use a ability. It may seem like you're doing fine, not dieing and tanking stuff, but that's half the job of a melee character, and using the wrong weapons means you're making the run lasting longer than it should, self-nerfing your dmg output.

What do I need in order to craft a weapon?

  • A spare Dustbone or Dis weapon: a fully buffed DB one has a slight edge in dmg over a fully buffed Dis one, but sometime you lack some dmg buffs/keen and the difference is minimal, so both work; DB ones are quite easy to farm solo or with small party.

Abyss/lvl50 ones aren't craftable, lvl 35 and below rare ones are too weak, and Min ones are only good as a backup, solo farming, or for assassins/rangers who only care about the istakill and lack a gmw; so it's DB or Dis ones, for now.

  • 6x crafting gems; the crafted weapon is going to have the dmg type of the gems you used, and you must respect the elemental/exotic dmg restriction on the base weapon: if the weapon came with acid/fire/cold/divine/negative/magic damage (3 elemental types, 3 exotic types), the new weapon can't have all 5 elemental types.

All Dis weapons have 3 elemental types and 3 exotic types, most DB ones have 3 and 3 as well, some have 4 elemental dmg types and 2 exotic ones: when craftinh a weapon, you must find 6 appropriate gems even if you only need to change a single dmg type.

Such gems must be +2d12 or +16 dmg ones: a DB weapon needs 6x 2d12 gems, a Dis one requires 4x 16 gems (3 elemental, 1 exotic ones) and 2x 2d12 gems (for the last two exotic type). Keeping such restrictions in mind, you can figure out why DB ones are cheaper to craft and your best solution (+16 gems only drop from few miniboss creatures and paragon enemies).

  • Gold. Quite some, around 100-150 millions for a DB weapon (appraise score lowers the price, go craft with your wiz/rogue and then give the weapon to the dumb barbarian).
  • A bag. :P

Visit the Alchemist in town, he'll explain you the procediment; long story short, use !forge command on the bag with the weapon and the 6 gems then speak with him.

Image:A guide to crafting weapons.jpg

That looks like a huge hassle, is there no cheaper way?

Please consider your weapon is the most important piece of gear for a warrior.

The gold cost is a fraction of what a good bur is worth on the market, and the gems are usually left (not identified) in the loot split: if you're in need don't feel bad act as the packrat grabbing all the gems and stay in party until all the unpicked items are mass-sold.

Finding spare weapons might look problematic: I saw quite many level 70+ NOOBS using a single, uncrafted, sometime lvl35 weapon in the end game areas (gaining a quite bad reputation out of that, but the good thing is they are the main sponsors of this guide), because they coudn't find spare weapons. BS.

First of all, stop look at the posted builds and copy their weapon of choice: everybody love to suggest katanas and bastard swords with the result that finding such weapons is a desperate mission. Most of the enemies you want to tank are crit immune, or take bad slashing damage, so you can safely choose less oomph weapons: warhammers, maces, battleaxes, longswords... martial weapons have low market demand and are perfectly fine. Keep in mind the choice of damage is important, and even more important is swapping to the right weapon istantly instead of running like a chicken when you meet a healing-type monster and your only katana has the wrong dmg type: if you have 4 unused DB longswords in bank and only one bastard sword, by all means choose longsword for your next tank.

Some builds weapon of choice is quite forced (staffy, rapier-wit smiter...) and you have to accept the fact finding the right base weapon is harder than normal, that being said using low demand weapons on your other tanks will help you trade spare fashion ones.

How many weapons do I need to craft?

Most of the time (and for all your Hells tanking duty) the right answer is 2. Yes, just TWO. You can see this is not a huge effort at all.

Two weapons let you cover all dmg types, while forcing you to have a single elemental and two exotics common to both weapons: such common dmg types can be problematic if you find the appropriate healing type monster, but you select them among the dmg types that heal only very rare enemies. More details in the next paragraph.

Consider casters have limited patience and number of weapon buffs, asking buffs for 10 different weapons is not going to make you popular; asking for all damage buffs plz isn't going to make you look 'pro' either because it means you have no clue about healing monsters, and the fact a added 4d4 dmg buff on a weapon without the appropriate elemental type isn't worth the time to buff (often resulting in a 0-1bonus dmg after dr/imms).

So, for every run you need 2, at most 3 (for the best dmg choice against the boss or a particular nasty monster) weapons crafted and buffed.

What are the best weapons to craft for every run?

HELLS

1) Cold/Elec/Sonic/Divine/Positive/Negative

2) Acid/Fire/Sonic/Divine/Positive/Magic

3) Acid/Cold/Sonic/Divine/Positive/Magic

The reasons behind the choice of elemental types are quite simple: almost nothing in hells heals on sonic, and sonic dmg is quite good against most things; with two weapons only you are forced to share a elemental type, and sonic is the safest choice.

Weapon 1 is perfect against Pit Fiends, your main target (even if you're a dex tank, you'll often have to flank these guys because everything else dies before them), and weapon 2 works against Malebranches. If you're doing your job, you're targetting these two guys most of the time. Asmodeus and most bosses are best served with weapon 1 as well. Weapon 3 will not heal paragon Pit Fiends, Malebranche or Cornugons so reduces the amount of switching if these are your targets of choice, in this case it is worth also having a suitably buffed Fire or Sonic level 50 weapon weapon to trash paragon Osyluth as they heal on cold.

Take your time to study the hells wiki and you'll discover how switching between weapons 1 and 2 let you have at least one major type of dmg good against every common foe, and such weapon isn't going to heal the relevant superior version.

Divine and positive are overall good exotic types for Hells as well, so they're shared by the two weapons: negative works good on many enemies mrs. Weapon 2 is aimed against (cornugons, osyluths, malebranches...) but it's going to heal superior kokrachons (a enemy not many druids deal with efficiently, and other casters can't instakill so must be bashed to death) and crafting weapon 2 in such way gives you a good weapon for Thanatos (Abyss) as well. No magic on mr. Weapon 1 because you want to have it equipped to deal with magebanes (paragon bueroza, heals on magic) fast, expecially in nessus/boss fights when you wield it most of the time: a cold/elec/div weapon with no magic on it is great in Shedaklan (Abyss) as well.

About the rare sonic/pos/div healers, the superior/elite versions of these mobs might be a problem: Masterwork Baatorian Golems and Orthon Fists (Div), Brachina Seductrix, Narzugon Eyes and Unbounds (Pos), Vexiarch and Kyton Legionnaires (Sonic); consider the only one of these who can't be istakilled by a caster is the Orthon Fist (not even by you noob Greater Ruin spammers! :P), and the superior/elite version comes as a very rare random.

You can take your chances and not have a perfect weapon crafted for these guys as well, but here comes the usefulness of level 50/Minauros weapons that don't need gmw to be effective. A Acid/Negative, or Acid/Magic level 50 weapon is a great panic choice in these rare circumstances, else use a weapon from the next paragraph, or just focus on some other monster.

ABYSS

Here things get nastier, because many monsters heal from some particular damage, even if they're not a superior/elite version.

If you have crafted weapons 1 and 2 for your hellish duty, you'll be set most of the time because you only heal with sonic/positive/divine that, while being more common healing causes than they are in hells, aren't going to screw you against any major enemy. Checking the abyss wiki your main issue will be deal with Black Molidei (heal on divine and they're not random in Thanatos either); that being said I present you:

3) Acid/Cold/Sonic/Magic/Negative/Positive

4) Acid/Fire/Cold/Magic/Divine/Positive

5) Fire/Cold/Elec/Positive/Divine/Negative

You don't truly NEED these weapons badly if you have 1) and 2), but don't forget your tank duty is to kill enemies fast, with the right damage types, and using hell crafted weapons for abyss is not optimal.

Miss n°3 is going to be your Moly/Balor basher; Miss n°4 is what you want equipped for most of your Zio travels, it doesn't heal ekolids and deals perfect dmg vs them (and Obox). Miss n°5 is a all around great weapon in Azzagrat (and perfect dmg types vs damn trees). For Than and all the undeads healing on negative you dust off weapon 2)

A lot of swapping is needed in Abyss, please read wiki/use loggers/ask in game.

ELYSIUM

Negative/sonic are great dmg types to have against pretty much everything. You might want to not have positive on your weapon because it heals prismatic golems and the deathless guys, but these are casters targets so crafting ad hoc weapons is overkill. Weapons 1) and 3) are fine, but if you feel rich, and want to have a perfect weapon against malebranches/osyluths as well just modify 2) changing magic to negative damage, or modify 3) changing positive to divine and you can bash deathless in safety for when the casters' skills are underwhelming.

ABOLETHS

A lot of things with kickback you don't want to hit here, and your weapon isn't going to do much against aboleths if they're not dispelled/you have a slashing one. That being said fire and positive are good types to have, with cold being useful against most minibosses, acid and magic against golems, while it's important not having elec on your weapon so you can bash stoned cristal oozes in safety. Weapon 4) is great to use here

LIMBO

All Slaads (and several other creatures in Limbo) heal on acid so any weapons with this damage type should not be used on them.

I want more pro tips!

  • Learn what to expect in the next spawn, so that you are wielding the right weapon and you don't need to swap, losing one full round worth of attacks.
  • If you killed your opponent, and the next target is badly wounded it's often not worth swap weapon and losing attacks in the process, obvious exception if the target is a healer.
  • Rename your weapons: it saves you a lot of time not having to examine each one. "!setname" command is your friend.
  • Craft the weapon appearance as well: just change the blade color or the weapon visual ( "!wp##" command), it makes it a lot easier to realize you're wielding the right weapon.
  • Carry some toyshop gems for the 1 in a 100 chance situation when you have to swap to the odd weapon that's not worth ask buffs for
  • Some spontaneous casters can't fit the Keen Edge spell, carry some cheap scrolls if you have umd/arcane splash or use items like the Rona sai or the Phleg armor for it, unfortunately the scrolls will only work for slashing weapons and as the spells for bludgeoning and piercing weapons are HG specific they can not be scribed
  • Once you get tagged to Malbolge try and grab yourself Teldar's Toolbelt of Honing as this handy item can give you +13 gmw and will Keen any weapon type not just slashing ones
  • Sometime can be worth craft a weapon you didn't spend feats for: if your tank uses a warhammer you're going to be disappointed by the physical portion of dmg against things like aboleths/viper trees/oozes ... the good thing is that many of these high resistant enemies have very low ac and often are crit immune so you're going to hit anyway and deal better damage if you buff a alternate weapon (a slashing weapon with fire/positive/elec/cold works great in these examples), possibly a Min one so you don't need a fresh IoF either (because 99% chance it's already been used)
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