New Players guide 2.2

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midknight
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New Players guide to 2.2


Introduction
The aim of the guide is to have all the relevant information at the finger tips of the new player for getting through normal and nightmare as smoothly as possible. It is not meant to be read through in one straight go unless you like to! but is intended to be used more of a reference. Median Xl Mechanics has been copied from numerous sources in the Median-Xl documents and hopefully are still up to date!




Basic Items

Gems and Runes
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageThere are 12 different gems

Indicates horadric cube recipe
Gem Upgrade
Image Same gem x2 → Image next higher gem quality
Gem Clusters
Image Perfect Gem + Image Oil of Craft → Gem Cluster of the same type as the Gem

Runes and Enchanted Runes
2 x Runes of the same type → 1 x 1 tier higher Rune
Examples of upgrading Runes
Image + ImageImage
Image + ImageImage
Image + ImageImage
Rune downgrades are no longer possible post patch 2.0
Rune Clusters
Image Basic Rune + Image Oil of Craft → Rune Cluster of the same type as the Rune
(Note: I dont recommend making clusters until hell due to the beneficial use of gold in buying mystic orbs and oils)
For the full documentation of all gems and runes refer to the link below:
https://docs.median-xl.com/doc/items/socketables

Socket Punch
Non-socketed item + jewel x[1-6] → returns item with [1-6] sockets (Maximum socket depends on the item tier)
► Example


Runewords
You can ONLY make runewords in nonmagical socketed (grey) items.
To make a runeword that has 2 runes, in an item with 4 sockets, you MUST insert 2 jewels first followed by the 2 rune in the correct order. Gems will NOT work.
► All runewords from level 1-30

► Examples of runewords

Gambling
Gambling for specific base items can be done at the following NPC's Gheeds in Act 1,Elzix in Act 2, Alkor in Act 3, Jamella in Act 4, Anya in Act 5.
Like Clod, the quality of items is determined entirely by the level of the character (Clvl) gambling. These items can roll between +4 level or -5. For the base item level refer to: https://docs.median-xl.com/doc/items/baseitems
( I prefer my clvl to be as close to ilvl ideally within 2 levels. Otherwise with some uncommon bases it can be quite a while before they show up)
► Show Spoiler


Disenchanting ImageImageImageImageImage
Any unique item + Catalyst of Disenchantment → Arcane Shards + Catalyst of Disenchantment
Catalyst of Disenchantment is dropped by Andariel at the end of Act 1 normal.

Arcane Shards x5 → Arcane Crystal
Image Arcane Crystal + Image Oil of Craft → Image Arcane Cluster
(Note: I dont recommend making clusters until hell due to the beneficial use of gold in buying mystic orbs and oils)
Creating Tiered Uniques
Base item( tier 1-4) +Image Oil of Enhancement + Image Image 2 Arcane Crystals → Tiered uniqued (of equivalent tier to the base item)
► Example

Uptiering Tiered Uniques
Tiered Unique[1-3]( weapon or armor) + Image 1 Arcane Crystal → Tiered Unique[2-4]
( Warning: strength and/or dexterity required to equip the level is likely to increase. Refer to documents if you are unsure https://docs.median-xl.com/doc/items/tiereduniques. If you are level 50 or under Akara gives free respec)

Mystic Orbs ImageImageImageImage
Mystic Orbs can be bought at Gheeds in Act 1, Drognan in Act 2, Alkors in Act 3,Halbu in Act 4, Larzuk in Act 5 . Mystic Orbs add a specfic bonus to an item at the cost of increasing the level requirement. Right Click on Mystic Orb,left click on item to apply (pre 2.0 it was a cube recipe). It is Limited to 5 of Same Type per Item and +4 Required Level per each mystic orb (M0). There are other useful orbs called Unique Mystic Orbs(+10 level requirement) and Effigies (Labyrinth only item) which can be found in Hell. (Note: if you uptier an item the item resets to its base tu value. I recommend uptiering tiered uniques to the final stage before applying mystic orbs to save gold.)
► Mystic Orbs


Oils
    Ordinary Oils can be bought at Gheeds in Act 1, Drognan in Act 2, Alkors in Act 3,Halbu in Act 4, Larzuk in Act 5

    Types of Oils that can be purhased
      ImageOil of Enhancement:Used to create tiered uniques
      ImageOil of Renewal: Cube with any equipment to turn it into a grey item and a chance to roll an additional bonus
      ImageOil of Disjunction: Removes gems/runes/jewel from equipment. It does not work on runewords
      Image Oil of Craft: Used to create Arcane Clusters, Shrine Vessels, Rune containers and Corruption Crystal container

Tools
The official MXL tools can be found at https://www.median-xl.com/tools.php . I recommend using D2Statreader as it will indicate when specific items drops in game. The typical format for needed bases is: Case sensitive
"Item Name" 1 2 3 4 (for tiered unique bases)
"Item Name" sacred (for sacred bases)
► Updated Basic Filter


Honorifc
Mark of infusions drop from Shenk in act 5 Quest 1. Honorific items receive DOUBLE bonus from mystic orbs
Magic items (Weapon/Armor) + Image = Honorific item
(Note: Base item level becomes the highest level of jewels, runes, gems or Base item i.e if you put a lvl 68 jewel in a honorific its base level will become lvl 68)

Signets of Learning (Sigs) [Signet]
ImageImageImageImage
Increases the attribute points of a character (LImited to 400 per character)
ImageCatalyst of Learning: Can be found at the Summoner in A2 Nightmare (for free) or bought in a5 at Larzuk
Catalyst of Learning + Sacred Sets/Uniques/ (Max 25) → Signet of Learning

Respec
Akara offers FREE respecs after completing the Den of Evil: any number up to level 50, then once per difficulty at level 51+.
Belladonna Extract can be found as a random world drop in any difficulty.



Median XL Mechanics

Attributes
Unlike Clod, attributes provide a way of scaling damage either through a weapon, energy if its a caster and/or though specific skills.
Physical damage
► Calculating Weapon Damage

Innate elemental damage
It increases the scaling of elemental damage on elemental weapons such as crystal sword, stag bow. Spell damage only adds it to direct melee hit, even though the tooltip may suggest it always increase it. So spell damage is insignificant for most IED builds.
(I recommend looking at d2s page 2)
► Technical information

Spell damage
%spell damage increases all fire/cold/lightning/poison/ physical/magical spells by the same %
Calculation of Spell damage
In Median XL, direct damage spells gain a damage bonus from energy. This bonus has diminishing returns: the damage gained per additional point of energy is lower if you already have lots of energy to begin with. The spell focus bonus provides an additional benefit regardless of your energy, and does not have diminishing returns. Spell focus is capped at 1000.

The formula used to calculate the bonus from energy and spell focus to the base damage of your spells is:
Image
► How spell damage work from a practical perspective



Resistance
Lightning, Fire, Cold, Poison are capped at 90% (overstacking of cold maximum resistance is beneficial for Phoboss. Phoboss reduces max cold resist by 2 in a t6 lab and an additional 1 max cold resist for each higher labyrinth)
Physical resistance is capped at 50%
Magic resistance is capped at 50% (It is rare for builds to have any magic resistance)

Curse length reduction
Curse length reduction is to reduce the duration of the curse (Max 75%)

Poison length reduction
Poison length reduction reduces the time to be poisoned capped at 75% (Max 175% on Hell difficulty)
  • Normal 0
  • Nightmare -50
  • Hell -100

Pierce
Enemies resistance can be reduced to -100. You do not need to break resistances like Clod
► Table of resistances

Block
Blocking and defense rating in Median XL work much the same as in classic Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, but their role in the game has changed. In the regular game, max block through investment into dexterity was common, while defense rating was hardly worth it. The two statistics are much more balanced in Median XL, and max block is now 50% (can be increased up to 80%).

Important: In Diablo II, when you run, attack always hit you and chance to block is reduced to 1/3 of the current value. Walk speed is much improved in Median XL though, so you might consider walking.

Attack Rating and Defense
The chance to be hit, when walking or standing, is as follows:
Image
Capped between 5% and 95%, rounded down.

Investing into defense pays off if you can get around 75K defense at level 120, at which point you will see a noticeable improvement in your chance to be hit. Some builds can go well over 500K defense.

Soft and Hard skill points
Some skills require hard points( physical points) i,e per base level. Other skills scale with soft points i.e plus class skills or all skills
► Show Spoiler



Leech penalties
  • Life No penalty in norm 1/4 in nm 1/9 in hell
  • Mana 1/6 in norm 1/24 in nm 1/48 in hell
  • All bosses: 40% less lifesteal on all difficulty

Minion Resistance
Minions get 15% resist as a hidden bonus per soft skill level (up to 75%), and the minion resist stat is capped at 75%. With difficulty penalties of 0/-50/-100 for minions, this means you need the following amount of minion resist:
  • Normal: 0 + 75% + 25% = immune to elemental damage
  • Nightmare: -50 + 75% + 75% = immune to elemental damage
  • Hell: -100 + 75% + 75% = 50% total elemental resist
A Hunter druid's bear companion instead has 15/0/-15 base resists (on normal/nightmare/hell) and so always benefits from 75% minion resist.

Crushing Blow
Crushing blow works the same way as CLOD. Except it does not work on bosses.
  • 1/4 health with Melee
  • 1/8 health with Ranged
Combat Speed
Combat Speed provides Attack speed, cast speed, faster hit recovery, faster block rate
Hardcore
Characters that die in Hardcore get moved over Softcore if its on ladder it will be moved to the softcore ladder.
Speed Calculator
https://dev.median-xl.com/speedcalc/
► Notes on Speed Calculator

Other useful document
Whirlwind Attack Speed viewtopic.php?f=40&t=76187
Poison Mechanics viewtopic.php?f=40&t=70559




Mercenaries

Heroic Strength
Per 3 strength points: Enhanced Weapon Damage +1%
Per strength point: Regenerate Life +1
Per strength point: +0.17 Energy Factor to Spell Damage

Check the hirelings handbook for a more in-depth analysis of mercs.
viewtopic.php?t=58753
Act 1 Merc

Updated Unique Passive Bonuses

  • Slows attackers by 25%, +1% per 5 levels
  • Can equip Amazon class helms and bows

► Show Spoiler

Act 2 Merc
Updated Unique Passive Bonuses

  • Crushing blow 15%, +1% per 10 levels (Fighter Mage doesn't have this)
  • Physical resist 25%, +1% per 5 levels (will naturally cap 50% at lvl 125)
  • Energy: starts with 20 and gains 4 per level
  • Can equip Paladin spears and helms
  • Fighter Mage: gains 1% fire and cold spell damage per level

► Show Spoiler

Act 3 Merc
► Show Spoiler

Act 5 Merc
Updated Unique Passive Bonuses

  • 20% to strength, gains +1% every 4 levels
  • 20% to dexterity, gains +1% every 3 levels
  • Hits twice with each attack

► Show Spoiler



Leveling

Leveling Tips
  • Buy a Throwing Axe from Akara if your class does not have a specific class ied weapon.
  • Hire an Act 1 Mercenary preferably above level 8 (she sometimes does not gain experience below this level) and give her a bow.
  • Rescue Cain and talk to Akara for
    Akara's Robe (1)
    Akara's Robe
    Quilted Armor (1)
    Defense: 74 to 100
    Required Level: 10
    Required Strength: 10
    Item Level: 255
    +50 Defense
    +(6 to 10) to all Attributes
    +50 to Life
    Elemental Resists +(11 to 15)%
    Cannot be Upgraded
    Socketed (2)
    .
  • The countess will drop 4 runes on quest completion (guaranteed el) and 1 rune after. (I usually skip countess altogether as rune world drop rates are generally good).
  • Preferable order of runewords 1.
    Pax Mystica

    Pax Mystica
    Staves

    'ElTir'
    Runeword Level: 10
    +1 to All Skills
    +7% to Spell Damage
    +(2 to 5) to Blink
    +3 to all Attributes
    Elemental Resists +(11 to 15)%
    (11 to 13)% Magic Find
    ( to provide a source of teleport unless you are an assassin) 2.
    Rainbow
    Rainbow
    Belts

    'Eth'
    Runeword Level: 15
    +5% to Spell Damage
    +(6 to 10)% to Summoned Minion Resistances
    Regenerate Mana +(5 to 10)%
    Elemental Resists +(10 to 15)%
    (6 to 8)% Magic Find
    +2 to Light Radius
    3.
    Enlightenment
    Enlightenment
    Gloves

    'El'
    Runeword Level: 6
    10% Combat Speeds
    2% Life stolen per Hit
    2% Mana stolen per Hit
    +5 to all Attributes
    +(2 to 3) Life Regenerated per Second
    Lightning Resist +15%
    +(4 to 6) to Light Radius
    ,4
    Honor
    Honor
    Helms

    'Tal'
    Runeword Level: 20
    7% Movement Speed
    +7% to Spell Damage
    Elemental Resists +7%
    Poison Length Reduced by (10 to 15)%
    -7% to All Vendor Prices
    ,
    Shark
    Shark
    Weapons
    Except Necromancer Daggers, Assassin Claws

    'Eld'
    Runeword Level: 8
    5% Chance to cast level 9 Bloodlust on Kill
    +(7 to 9)% Bonus Damage to Bloodlust
    20% Attack Speed
    +5 to Maximum Damage
    +0.125 to Maximum Damage (Based on Character Level)
    1.5% Bonus to Attack Rating (Based on Character Level)
    +(24 to 35)% Enhanced Damage
    -1 to Mana
    for melee builds.
  • Useful Resist rune Ral,Thul, Ort, Amn and resistance gems.
  • Use rare boots with good movement speed and resistance or
    Epicenter
    Epicenter
    Boots

    'Ith'
    Runeword Level: 18
    0.0625% Chance of Crushing Blow (Based on Character Level)
    +(4 to 15)% Enhanced Defense
    +(40 to 60) to Life
    Elemental Resists +(3 to 5)%
    .
  • Farm Mephisto or Nithilak for arcane shards ( I prefer to farm Nithalak until lvl 44+ before continuing).
  • Add items that you may need into your filter before starting.
  • Stamina, skill shrines can be reused ideally near way points. Experience shrines provide a nice boost.
  • Rubys, Sapphires in weapon, 1 or 2 life on melee attack, mana on melee attack, life after each kill mystic orbs are ways to prevent the constant chugging of potions.
  • It is recommended to be within 5 lvls of area level to gain the full benefit of experience from mobs.
  • Some builds require the careful placement of attributes, otherwise the gameplay may be a bit of a struggle.
  • If you are struggling with mana early game putting points into energy early game can be really useful.You can respec again for free from Akara before level 51.
  • 2-3k Defence before Sunstone challenge and level 47 + is recommended.
Recommended resistances while leveling:
  • A1 normal: 10% - 20% fire, poison
  • A3 normal: 50% fire 30% light/cold/poison higher if possible
  • A4 normal: 75% fire res
  • A5 normal - 105: 75% elemental res
  • 105+: >75% elemental res depends on ubers
  • 10+ physical resistance in nighmare if its possible (very spec dependent)

Leveling in Normal

  • Act 1 level 1 to 18+ (Notable areas for experience Tamoe Highlands and the Jail)
  • Act 2 level 18+ to 27+ (Notable area for experience Sewers, Arcane Sanctuary, if underleveled Ancient tunnels)
  • Act 3 level 27+ to 33+ (Notable areas for experience Durence of Hate)
  • Act 4 level 33+ to 35+
  • Act 5 level 35+ -49+ (Notable area for experience Hall of pain and Worldstone keep)
► Sunstone challenge

Leveling in Nightmare

  • Act 1 level 49+- 66+ (Notable areas for experience Tamoe Highlands, The Jail)
  • Act 2 level 66+- 74+ (Notable areas for experience Sewers)
  • Act 3 level 74+- 80+ (On killing Mephisto a portal opens to k3k nightmare req lvl 80 to enter. Kill the Enead Necromancer for the Heroic Torch
    ► Map of k3k
  • Act 4 level 80 - 88+
  • Act 5 level 88 -99

For those interested in seeing what numerous builds look like in action. Lynderika recorded numerous runs with different specs from Act 1-3
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=75541


TSW Features:
You can use either of the links https://median-xl.com/acc/ or https://tsw.vn.cz/acc/ and after logging in you have access to all your characters and mules.
Image
You can search to see if you have a specific item. The following commands also work SU, SSU, SSSU, effigy, umo
In-Game Commands
/item #itemname#
This will show you the item stats plus the range of the roll. It will tell you if the item is a Charm, Set SU - Sacred unique or TU - Tiered Unique.
► Example

Game server
To change or select a game server type in /gs #server nunber
For all the available game servers and locations go to https://tsw.median-xl.com/info
Trade gold
Trade gold is the virtual currency of the Median Forum. Players use it for trading, paying for certain events and purchasing other services.
You can gain TG by donating money (1 US$ = 10 TG), by winning events or by receiving it in trades. For more information about TG, visit here: coc.php#tg To donate take a look here: donate.php
Image
To be able to trade gold you need to create a forum account, there is an auction house at tradegold.php. There is a price check feature and a list of recent trades. Auctions have a feature called auto-transfer where the mule with the item gets automatically transfered to your main account provided you have space to accept another character. To create an auction it will cost tg depending on the number of auctions that are in the queue.

► Moderators Advice for trades


Patron, Riftwalker or Hardcore only feature
► Show Spoiler


Online documents
https://docs.median-xl.com/doc/items/sacreduniques
https://docs.median-xl.com/doc/items/sets
https://tsw.vn.cz/quests/
http://median-xl.wikia.com/wiki/Maps
https://docs.median-xl.com/doc/wiki/relics
https://docs.median-xl.com/doc/wiki/affixes

New players on discord
For a swift response to any question please ask questions in new players on discord.

Credits
Minh for allowing me to use all of his images and gif. (I probably wouldn't have written the guide without it!)
Lynderika for providing general feedback and comments.
Usling for sharing speed running info.
Siosilvar and Zapp Brenigen for providing technical information and technical gobbledygook.
Istaryu and Flavourius for some suggestions in game mechanics.

Have Fun! Good Luck!
Edited by midknight 1 day.
midknight
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Taem
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On rune words, you may want to include the recipe to convert a sacred into a non-magical superior item with an oil of renewal, then an oil of enhancement, then MO with ED before putting runeword together.

You should probably include a link to how poison damage and spell factor work.
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midknight wrote:Leech penalties
  • All bosses: 40% less lifesteal on all difficulty


This is a bit misleading, because the situation is much worse. Bosses have a stat called damage divisor, which reduces the damage they take, thats how they can virtually make infinite hp bosses, and higher lvl bosses have higher number. It means that you will be doing low dmg with your attacks, so basically leeching doesnt really exist on bosses once you get into higher ubers.
midknight
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Taem wrote:On rune words, you may want to include the recipe to convert a sacred into a non-magical superior item with an oil of renewal, then an oil of enhancement, then MO with ED before putting runeword together.

You should probably include a link to how poison damage and spell factor work.


its a basic normal and nightmare guide so i wont be going into these kind of technicals here. I already had linked siosilvars poison damage and the spell factor is basically a copy paste from docs.
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midknight wrote:
Taem wrote:On rune words, you may want to include the recipe to convert a sacred into a non-magical superior item with an oil of renewal, then an oil of enhancement, then MO with ED before putting runeword together.

You should probably include a link to how poison damage and spell factor work.


its a basic normal and nightmare guide so i wont be going into these kind of technicals here. I already had linked siosilvars poison damage and the spell factor is basically a copy paste from docs.


So you did! I guess I missed the SF because it was wrapped in a spoiler and I overlooked the link to poison when skimming through the first time. Solid guide! However to be fair for the rune words, some people farm base sacreds on k3k from NM Baal before proceeding to Hell, before 120. Those sacreds can be used as runewords. Since your guide inckude NM, you may want to consider including that.
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Afysr
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Really detailed and helpful guide
Good Job
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midknight
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Taem wrote:
midknight wrote:
Taem wrote:On rune words, you may want to include the recipe to convert a sacred into a non-magical superior item with an oil of renewal, then an oil of enhancement, then MO with ED before putting runeword together.

You should probably include a link to how poison damage and spell factor work.


its a basic normal and nightmare guide so i wont be going into these kind of technicals here. I already had linked siosilvars poison damage and the spell factor is basically a copy paste from docs.


So you did! I guess I missed the SF because it was wrapped in a spoiler and I overlooked the link to poison when skimming through the first time. Solid guide! However to be fair for the rune words, some people farm base sacreds on k3k from NM Baal before proceeding to Hell, before 120. Those sacreds can be used as runewords. Since your guide inckude NM, you may want to consider including that.


I am planning on doing a hell guide so i can probably add it there somehow
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congrats for a good write up
when i played 2.0, i wanted to write similar guide
but i got frustrated with the endgame boring situation

there are couple of things need to improved like formating (tedious i know)
especially when there are big wall of text, with no separator
they can be hide in spoiler since some of them are abit technical
and maybe some sort tl;dr (alt tab guide for recipe, large image)

with sigma overall, i think the game need some sort of progression guide for endgame
but i dunno you want to cover (usually i refer to random specific guide, it have more details together with item level)
last time i made a simple spread sheet with ubercharms icons (credit to Afysr on Discord)
maybe you could do something similar (i used it to double check which ubercharms i have or not)
► Show Spoiler
midknight
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iwansquall wrote:congrats for a good write up
when i played 2.0, i wanted to write similar guide
but i got frustrated with the endgame boring situation

there are couple of things need to improved like formating (tedious i know)
especially when there are big wall of text, with no separator
they can be hide in spoiler since some of them are abit technical
and maybe some sort tl;dr (alt tab guide for recipe, large image)

with sigma overall, i think the game need some sort of progression guide for endgame
but i dunno you want to cover (usually i refer to random specific guide, it have more details together with item level)
last time i made a simple spread sheet with ubercharms icons (credit to Afysr on Discord)
maybe you could do something similar (i used it to double check which ubercharms i have or not)
► Show Spoiler


yeah, the big wall of text is kind of necessary i think( i tried to keep that section as simple as possible ). The problem with the coding is that i cant do spoilers within a spoiler. Otherwise i would have had that whole section in 1 spoiler. I kept hell separate as there is too much information for a new player and its not really necessary for normal and nightmare.