hide results

    Werebear/Elemental Druid FAQ by willis5225

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 09/21/01 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                  ¯¯| |¯| |¯¯
                    | | | |       __
    |¯¯¯\ |¯¯¯¯¯| /¯\ |¯¯¯\|¯|   /  \
    |/¯\ | ¯| |¯ //¯\\|   /| |  / /\ \ 
    |\ / | _| |_/  ¯  \   \| |__\ \/ /
    | ¯ / |_____|_/¯\_\ __/_____|___/
     ¯¯¯         |¯¯  ¯    ¯¯|
    The Lord of Destruction Expansion
    WearBear and Elemental Druid FAQ by willis5225 (AKA Absolut Wil, AKA 
    Froggy W, AKA Lobster Magnet, AKA The Prince of Lies)
    Version History:
    1.0 9/21/01:
    First version of the FAQ.  Explains the strategy fully, but I was 
    missing the hard numbers on skills, so I got them from another FAQ and 
    credited the author fully.  Sue me.
    1: Introduction 
    Yes, I know there are other Druid guides.  But you know something?  
    Every one of them says that elemental skills are worthless and werebear 
    shouldn't be used because werewolf is better.  I say they're wrong, so 
    I made a guide to demonstrate some winning strategies with both these 
    unloved druid builds.
    1: Introduction: You just saw it.
    2: The Philosophy Behind the Strategy: Before you can maul, you must 
    understand why you maul.  Before you can burn to the ground, you must 
    be one with the fire.
    3: Skills and You: Hint: First skills are wearbear.
       a. Elemental 
       b. Shapeshifting 
       c. Summoning   
    4: Where Points Go: Stat points.  You know, those things that improve 
    your stats.
    5: A Few Words on Weapons: Yes, giant bears and weak-as-hell mages DO 
    use weapons.
    6: Closing Thoughts and Legal Mumbo Jumbo
    Section 2: Philsophy
    Why You Kill Things with Fire
    This way, you expose yourself to the minimal amount of combat, and 
    therefore damage, possible.  Why not make a sorceress, you ask?  
    Because elemental druids CAN go melee when they need to, and they can 
    also summon helpful little beasts to act as targets.  Oh sure, he 
    doesn't have even close to the melee power of the Wearbear (WB) or 
    Wearwolf (WW) druid, but can they wipe out a whole screen full of 
    enemies at once?  No.
    Why You Become a Giant Bear
    Why, you ask?  Well because you get an awesome damage and HP bonus when 
    in bear form, that's why!  The wearbear form is a tank, able to take 
    more damage and give more damage in melee than the elemental (Elem) 
    druid.  Yeah, he can only attack one target at a time, but that 
    target's goin' down.
    Why You Don't Become a Giant Wolf
    Because I'm not giving you advice on how to.  Actually, GameFAQs.com 
    already has a WW FAQ, so go see that if you want to build a WW druid.
    Section 3: Skills
    a. Elemental Skills
    Note: When in wearbear or wearwolf form, you cannot cast any elemental 
    spells.  Since you'll ideally be in either of these forms constantly, 
    when making a transformation druid, don't put any points in these 
    skills.  None.  I don't care if you need offense early on, I said "no".
    Description: Well, it's pretty useless.  Actually, for a transformation 
    druid, it's completely useless.  It's nearly impossible to target 
    without tons of practice (which isn't worth it because of the low 
    damage).  And just remember that that damage is per second, and it's 
    constantly moving.
    Elem: 1 point, as it's a needed prerequisite and it's actually mildly 
    useful for the early parts of act 1.
    WB: N/A
    Molten Boulder:
    Description: It's a boulder that leaves a trail of fire and, when it 
    hits a target, knocks the target back.  The best part: when it hits a 
    wall or certain enemies (that it doesn't knock back) it explodes and 
    deals even more fire damage.   Level 20 is a pretty 205-209 damage.  
    Still, it's not much better than firestorm, although it is targeted 
    fairly easily.
    Elem: 1 point, again as a prerequisite.  I know it's tempting, but hold 
    out for volcano at least.
    WB: N/A
    Arctic Blast:
    Description: Since I've never used it and can never remember the name 
    without the manual, I call it "Cold Inferno" mostly because it's a 
    cold-damage version of the popular sorceress spell.  Except it doesn't 
    deal as much damage.  And isn't as useful.  
    Elem: 1 point if you want hurricane, tornado or Armageddon.  My elem 
    uses Volcano primarily (and he's kicking some [backside] in NM 
    (Nightmare difficulty))
    WB: N/A
    Description: Opens up little holes in the ground for about a quarter of 
    the screen (on the default setting) that your enemies run into 
    sometimes.  Here's a little tip, the corners of the square are usually 
    the first to open up.  If you take a look, the damage isn't much better 
    than boulder, which is more easily targeted, though it hits a smaller 
    target.  Still, if you listen to me you won't be using it past level 24 
    anyway, seeing as all but the last few skills are kinda useless later 
    in the game.
    Elem: 1 point.  Prerequisite for volcano, my favorite spell.  But if 
    you're just going to use hurricane (I don't recommend it) leave this 
    one and all the other fire skills I listed as "necessary prerequisites" 
    WB: N/A
    Cyclone Armor:
    Description: If you take the points to get it to level 20, you can stop 
    worrying about those lightning enchanted uniques.  Of course I don't 
    have the attention span to remember to keep it up around him, which is 
    the same reason my sorceress keeps dying. (Energy shield... oh, never 
    mind)  Even at lower levels, it absorbs all the damage from a hit even 
    if some spills over, so you can last against one of those Mephisto 
    charged bolts before the other ones stop your heart from electrocution.
    Elem: You won't actually be fighting a whole lot, as your minions and 
    spells will do it for you, so you shouldn't find use for it very often.  
    It does protect against at least one elemental hit, no matter how 
    strong each time you cast it, so you may as well put a point in here, 
    especially since it's a hurricane and Armageddon prerequisite.
    WB: Actually, you may want to drop a few in here so you can take a few 
    more hits from that nasty light enchanted multi-shooter.  Just cast it, 
    transform and away you go (Note: I haven't actually tried this yet 
    because there's no way I'm going to waste a precious skill point on 
    arctic blast, so it may not work.  Hey, try it out and e-mail me.)
    Description: 3 tornadoes appear out of nowhere to stun your opponents 
    for a fraction of a second.  Whoopee.
    Elem: The initial damage is only a little better than firestorm's, and 
    the level 20 is less.  1 point for prerequisites.
    WB: N/A
    Description: A little volcano appears and spews out dozens of little 
    missiles.  I think if you cast it where an enemy is standing, it also 
    takes damage similar to how fissure works, but no one believes me.  
    Anyway, I consider this one of the more useful spells, because it has a 
    great blanket effect.  And because my elemental druid has 10 points in 
    Elem: Pretty much the first skill you can start pouring the points 
    into.  Great support for melee attacking, because at about the time you 
    can use it you'll start adding strength and HP in large quantities.
    WB: N/A
    Description: Eh... it hits one target.  Even though it passes through, 
    it's not really a worthwhile pursuit, seeing as volcano does more 
    damage in the long run, and so do Armageddon and hurricane.
    Description: The ultimate melee helper, by the time you get up to them, 
    they're up to 200 HP weaker.  And that spells results.  Walk into the 
    middle of a battle with this thing on and drop a volcano underneath 
    yourself, and that's the end of... well, everyone.
    Elem: Max.  Or nearly so.  It's the last of two abilities, so it's not 
    like you've got much else to do with those skill points.
    WB: If you're fast enough and have enough unused skill points, you can 
    drop your transformation, cast this puppy, retransform and run into the 
    fray.  Again, not sure if it works or not.
    Description: Ahh, here we go.  The good stuff.  Fire raining from the 
    sky, striking your opponents dead.  Like blizzard, but oh, oh so much 
    better.  Send your bear, or wolves, into the middle of the battle and 
    then let this puppy loose overhead.  Pardon me while I kiss the sky.
    Elem: The Cream of the Crop.  Max for best effect.
    WB: N/A
    So that about wraps it up for elemental skills.  To summarize:
    Hurricane, volcano and Armageddon good
    Everything else bad
    Don't use if transformation druid
    b. Shapeshifting
    For simplicity's sake, I'll skip all the werewolf skills.  I'm gonna 
    say right now that you need werewolf and feral rage, as they are 
    prerequisites for some fairly useful (and in werewolf's case, 
    essential) skills.
    Description: For these skills, I'm going to include my suggestion for 
    levelin' in this section.  I would've done it with elemental, but I 
    didn't think of it until now and I'm too lazy to go back and change it.  
    Anyway, this skill is fairly essential for the successful Werebear.  It 
    may not seem like much to have a little extra time transformed, as you 
    can always just switch back for a measly 15 mana, but you don't want to 
    un-transform in the middle of, say, a boss battle.  There's also a 
    little semi-bug I've found you can exploit.  If you're running out of 
    HP, you can go back to regular form, and when you go back to being a 
    bear, your HP will increase by the percentage bonus you get from both 
    lycanthropy and the bear.  So max this skill.  Or nearly so.
    Description: Become a big, muscular grizzly.  I don't think I need to 
    tell you to get this one pretty high.
    Description: Well, it's sorta like the Assassin's charge-up skills, 
    except that when you attack, it doesn't get released, but keeps you 
    powered up until you haven't mauled anything for 20 seconds.  You can 
    tell how much power you're getting from what the green thing circling 
    around you looks like.  By the time it's trailing and has ridges, 
    you're maxed out.  Now, my suggestion is to have only 1 point in this 
    skill.  Here's why.  The only thing that extra skill points adds is AR.  
    As a bear, you don't need AR because you can add extra points to dex, 
    as you need less strength.  And the extra points can be used to max one 
    of the wolves, or heart of the wolverine or grizzly.
    Fire Claws
    Description: You can see by my less-than-complete graph what I think of 
    this skill.  Still, it's a way to deal with those nasty physical immune 
    uniques.  As for physical\fire immunes... well I say rabies, but, as a 
    colleague of mine at the GameFAQs.com LoD board says, "Rabies never 
    solved anything".  I tried his theory out on open and he was right.  So 
    yes, the truth is out.  I'm actually a 1337 h4x0r in single player.  
    Description: It sends out a little shockwave.  Yes, the damage is 
    unimpressive, but that's what maul's for.  This is for that nice 13 
    second stun length.  
    Description: Like I said before, if you want damage, use maul.  If you 
    want 36% dual leech, use this.  'Course you can't max this, werebear 
    and shockwave and still have enough left over for critters.  You'd 
    better make a decision.
    So that wraps up Shapeshifting.  Now, on to what has killed the use of 
    the necro in pop culture: Summoning.
    c. Summoning
    I had a rant here about how I wasn't going to be adding anymore skill 
    charts.  Then I took out the skill charts.
    Anyway, no one should put more than one point in this skill.
    Oak Sage:
    The HP bonus increases 10% each skill level.  Now, this one is more 
    useful for the elemental druid.  He relies very heavily on his minions 
    for cover fire (taking the hits for him, actually) and they're better 
    off living longer.  Actually, if they deal more damage they also live 
    longer.  It's six of one, half-dozen of the other with Heart of the 
    Wolverine.  The WB druid, on the other hand, has an inherent HP bonus.  
    So it's about 500% HP with a maxed oak sage, bear and lycanthropy.
    Poison Creeper:
    Don't bother.
    Spirit Wolf:
    Put some points in here.  They're useful early on, and no points wasted 
    since there's a passive bonus to all bears and wolves.  For spirit 
    wolves, AR and def, 10% per level.
    Carrion Vine:
    Restores some life for every body it eats up.  If you're elemental, you 
    shouldn't be fighting all that much and if you're a bear you can have 
    up to 500% life bonus.  Just forget this whole section of the tree.
    Heart of the Wolverine:
    This is the one for you Werebear druids out there.  Increase to attack 
    rating, defense and damage.  A truly find skill.  Less useful for an 
    elemental druid, as he won't be doing as much melee and won't take as 
    much advantage.
    Dire Wolf:
    Same deal as spirit wolf.  These guys increase the HP of your spirit 
    mammals.  They're also about a dozen times better than spirit wolves, 
    so once you have 3 points in this skill, go to these guys instead (keep 
    the spirit wolves until then).  If you're an elemental druid, you may 
    want to keep these guys out even after you get the grizzly, seeing as 
    they provide even more targets.
    Solar Creeper:
    Same as carrion vine, but it increases your mana recovery rate.  WBs 
    shouldn't use enough mana for this to be worth it, and the spell timers 
    do an excellent job of making sure that elemental druids never actually 
    spend any mana.
    Spirit of Barbs:
    It's widely regarded as worst level-30 skill.  I can't really say the 
    masses are wrong.  First off, you have to take damage to give it back, 
    the same problem with the paladin's Thorns, or the necro's Iron Maiden, 
    except that it's less damage returned.  And on top of that, it makes it 
    so you can't use Oak Sage or Heart of the Wolverine.
    Ok, now we've hit the big time.  The Bear.  His hits stun and knock 
    back.  He's a tank.  He gives a passive damage bonus.  He is the bear.  
    Or she, I suppose.  I'll just say it.  It is the best companion for the 
    WB and the WW druid.  I prefer three dire wolves for my Elemental 
    druid, but the Bear is useful for those nasty uniques that cut their 
    way through your poor wolves while they whimper in agony and dying.
    4: Stat Points
    You'll actually find that the werebear and Elemental druids both tend 
    to have the same point distribution in the end.  In the beginning, 
    however, they're pretty different.
    To begin, you'll need a lot of dex and vit.  And some mana.  Strength 
    isn't important until level 12 or so.  I subscribe to the "put all 5 
    points into one stat each level" theory.  I'll usually play it by ear, 
    see what weapons I get and if I'm running out of mana too often.  My 
    li'l guide will go up to level 12, because you should be able to tell 
    what you need by then.
    Level 1: Dexterity
    Level 2: Energy
    Level 3: Vitality
    Level 4: Energy
    Level 5: Strength
    Level 6: Strength
    Level 7: Vitality
    Level 8: Strength
    Level 9: Energy
    Level 10: Energy
    Level 11: Strength
    Level 12: Dexterity
    That should create a fairly well-rounded character, who can use a good 
    majority of the equipment he finds.  Remember that as a druid, you only 
    need about 50 energy total.  Inordinate spell timers serve to make sure 
    that you can't actually spend mana, as you will regain it by the time 
    you can cast another spell.  
    Strength and vitality are the big ones here.  Sound strange that I just 
    suggested that you get all the skills that increase these two factors?  
    That should tell you something.
    a)The bear is a hulking beast.  He needs to run, thus he needs stamina. 
    b) HP is good for a bear.  He takes about 12 minutes to attack, so even 
    though he makes his enemies fall down, he'll suffer a bit for it first. 
    This guy also needs about 50 energy in total, because the regen should 
    be enough by that point; your main skill should be maul and you only 
    need 3 mana every 10 seconds or so to keep it going strong.  Same rules 
    for my guidelines apply as above:
    Level 1: Strength
    Level 2: Vitality
    Level 3: Vitality
    Level 4: Strength
    Level 5: Energy
    Level 6: Dexterity
    Level 7: Dexterity
    Level 8: Strength
    Level 9: Energy
    Level 10: Vitality
    Level 11: Strength
    Level 12: Energy
    So there's my talk on stat points.
    Chapter 5: Weapons, armor and all that good stuff.
    Elemental: You want something that can attack fairly quickly and 
    repeatedly.  A halberd is a good weapon for act 4 or before.  This is 
    because you need to be able to get in and out fairly quickly, hopefully 
    doing some hurricane damage, as your minions and spells should be doing 
    the better part of the damage.  It doesn't do you any good to be 
    standing there getting killed while you're swinging your maul while 
    your spell timer is still ticking.  As for armor, some resistance would 
    be good.  Assuming you'll be staying back, most of what hits you will 
    be some kind of missile.  A good number of those missiles will have 
    some elemental tacked on.  Helms should have nice mods before nice def.  
    Remember, you're supposed to run around the battle, hitting enemies 
    with hurricane and volcano.  And your weapon, when you get the chance.  
    You're not standing there and trading blows.  As for everything else, 
    same rules apply.  Don't go completely without defense, but a +3 
    hurricane, +3 Armageddon spirit mask is much better than a godly 
    exceptional crown.  Well not much better, but a little better.
    Werebear: There's an important thing to know about the werebear's 
    weaponry: speed doesn't matter in the slightest.  You still attack slow 
    as hell.  Now everything I just said about elemental druid is untrue 
    here.  You will be trading blows, hopefully with you as the winner.  
    The best thing to look for in armor is a high def or good hit point 
    mods.  And of course everyone needs resistance.   Now assuming that 
    falcon mask has +3 wearbear and +3 lycanthropy, I really couldn't tell 
    you if the crown is better.  It's actually your call.
    Chapter 6: Some Closing Words and Legal Stuff
    First of all, let me thank depthcharge for writing the FAQ from which I 
    got the few exact figures I used for skills.  
    I guess that's it actually.
    This document is copyright 2001 Wil "Willis" Cerbone.
    It may not be reproduced in any way shape or form without the express 
    permission of the author.

    View in: