Old school Lightning Sorc 2020

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Engersion
Thunder Beetle
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Introduction
With the influx of new players and a subsequent rise of questions about game mechanics, I have taken upon myself to make an updated version of the Temptestsucks guide found in the old guide forums. The goal is to help guide new players through the game from level 1 to at least level 125 with content up to level 125 completed. Tempest & Thunderstone is chosen because it actually requires using the entire sandbox of the game to achieve even a reasonable level of competency.

Warning
If the introduction doesn't make it clear, this build is far from being the best sorceress build. In the hierarchy of caster sorceress, she is behind her contemporary sister that focuses on Forked Lightning, and is far inferior to her cousin that focuses on Abyss & Frigid Sphere from the Cold tree. It is a constant uphill battle, but because of how much slower it is, you will end up seeing more of the game than you otherwise would if you played a superior build(because you need to squeeze everything out to get even the basics done).

Change log
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Table of Contents

Normal
Nightmare
Hell - lvl 105 to 110
Hell - lvl 110 to 115
Hell - lvl 115 to 120
Farming for gear
Moving Forward - 120 and onward
Arbitrary link to the start of 125
The Remaining Bosses



Getting started, settings up game tools
D2 Stats
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Speed Calculator
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Preference setting
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Skills Overview
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Aiming Thunderstone
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Aiming Tempest
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Normal
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Shopping list for normal
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Skill Plan for normal
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Stat goal for normal
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Useful Habbits
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ACT I
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ACT II
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Act III
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Scaling your character
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Act IV
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Act V
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Gear check before entering Nightmare
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Nightmare
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Items to look for in Nightmare
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Skill Plan for nightmare
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Most of Nightmare function the same way as normal except monsters are now capable of killing you if you don't have the proper defensive stats. Your primary goal here is to build up your gold bank and enchant all your gear with the appropriate mystic orbs with the gold you have accumulated. There are also certain monsters that you have to hunt down for specific upgrades, these are

Veteran Monsters
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Nexus Crystal
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Rare items, Shrines, reading item affix
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Crafting
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Before going to Hell

Check your stats
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Gear Set
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Hell - lvl 105 to 110
Hell is where the actual game takes place. Here you will find a large variety of items, numerous new encounters as well as rewards that don't occupy gear slots. All Act quests operate the same way they do in Normal and Nightmare. There are however a lot of portals / cave entrances or expanded areas scattered throughout the 5 Acts that will take you to levels never seen before in classic D2.

Skill Plan for Hell
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Items you are looking for in part 1 of Hell
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Waypoints you have to secure when progressing
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Fight your way through the 5 Acts, but take some time away from the rush to clear the following:

The Butcher
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The Infernal Machine
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Island of the Sunless Sea
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Tal Rasha - requires lvl 110
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Death Projector
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Bul Kathos - lvl 110
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Clear you way to World Stone Keep level 2, grab the waypoint. DO NOT proceed to Baal. Instead, go back to previous Acts and continue your hunt for bosses. By this point you should be around level 110. If you are not, spend some time in the Halls of Vaught for some extra levels as well as a chance at extra gear.
Edited by Engersion 6 days.
Engersion
Thunder Beetle
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Hell - lvl 110 to lvl 115
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By this point you would have completed all the aforementioned areas as well as securing the waypoint in World Stone Keep lvl 2. Go back to Kurast Docks in Act III, head to the south east of the docks and you'll find a portal that'll lead you to


Torajan Jungles
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Return to town with a TP after you kill Akarat. Now go back to Lower Kurast with the waypoint, head towards the Flayer Jungles. Killing The Vizier will open a portal that takes you to

Caldeum
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The Secret Cow Level
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Hell - lvl 115 to 120
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This is the last stage in the game where your progress is measure by character level. By this point you should have all the lower level charms with the proper stats. If you can get your hands on some Sacred Uniques, that's a bonus. Although you should be able to clear all bosses up to level 120 without too much trouble with existing gear. The main goal at this stage is to hunt down more bosses as well as finally beginning to put together a competent set of gear.

Buyard Cholik
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Asmodan
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Rathma Square
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Legacy of Blood
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The Silver City - Part I
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Farming for gear
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Stat Goal and Gear Plan
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The value of magic find
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Signets of Learning
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Farming Routine
Due to the variety of gear we require, we would have to scour through different zones, slay numerous monsters in order to get the gear we are looking for. This is a process that takes many hours to achieve even 50% completion. It is highly recommended you have a podcast playing at the background while you perform the boring task of holding Tempest and watch for items to pop up on the top left of the screen. I personally like by the numbers. And I heard the Joe Rogan Experience is great as well. Once you have cleared the farm areas, go back to Nihlathak for 2* Signet of learning per game. Now with your podcast loaded, head on to

Kurast 3000 BA, Hell Version
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Tran Athulua, Hell Version
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Moving Forward - 120 and onward
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The Silver City - Part II
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Island of Skartara - Part II
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Gear Upgrade
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Duncraig - Primary Farming Area
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Everything listed below DO NOT have to be done in order. Dip your toes in them whenever you feel your character is strong enough.

Tenganze - Part I
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The Black Road - Part II
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The Triune
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Kingdom of Shadow - Part I
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Baal, Hell version
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By this point you should have a majority of your unique items found, completed all the aforementioned bosses. You might not have your
Umbaru Treasure
Umbaru Treasure
Required Level: 120
Keep in Inventory to Gain Bonus
Cube with Essence/Runestone to Roll Stat
+(6 to 10)% to Spell Damage
Essence Slots: 20
and
Corrupted Wormhole
Corrupted Wormhole
Required Level: 100
Keep in Inventory to Gain Bonus
completely upgraded, that's perfectly okay. You can go back for upgrades while trying to see if you can get through the areas ahead with your current gear.

Fauztinville
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Bremmtown
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Toraja
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Vizjun
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Island of Skartara - Part III
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Yshari Sanctum
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Edited by Engersion 1 week.
Engersion
Thunder Beetle
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The Remaining Bosses
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Warning: Only do these last bosses if you are looking for 100% completion. Many of these bosses are either badly suited for the build or require gear so specific that it will take a lot of time to put together. Unless stated otherwise, assume you want to walk in with a completed gear plan from the last gear upgrade section.

The Lord of Lies
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Moon of the Spider - Part II
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Nephalem's Sacrifice
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Teganze - Part II
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The Kingdom of Shadow - Part II
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Genesis
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The soon to be updated Void
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Herald of the End
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Dimensional Labryinth
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Edited by Engersion 1 week.
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Scalewinged
Mahasattva
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Why
Lumen Arcana
Lumen Arcana
Body Armors

'Ith'
Runeword Level: 15
+1 to All Skills
-(3 to 8)% to Enemy Fire Resistance
-(3 to 8)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
-(3 to 8)% to Enemy Cold Resistance
-(3 to 8)% to Enemy Poison Resistance
+(28 to 45)% Enhanced Defense
+2 to Light Radius
not mentioned as useful item for start/a1? There's also other useful items until you travel into TUs:
Prophecy
Prophecy
Scepters

'Ith'
Runeword Level: 15
+1 to All Skills
+(20 to 36)% Enhanced Damage
+(3 to 4) to Maximum Damage
Cold Resist +(21 to 40)%
Fire Resist +(21 to 40)%
Attacker Takes Cold Damage of (21 to 25)
Attacker Takes Fire Damage of (21 to 25)
+
Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Shields

'Sol'
Runeword Level: 27
+1 to All Skills
+(6 to 8)% to Poison Spell Damage
+(11 to 15) to Strength
+(11 to 15) to Vitality
Requirements -10%
combo. At start i prefer just having as much +skills as possible for caster.

A3. Lam Esen not giving +10 all attr. It giving +10 attr points.

As for TA - you can blink to Lycander from very entrance instead of running around, also due to zones rework you can now also blink from Skovos to Phillos - there's small passage down in the right-most part of Skovos arena. Once you find it - stand at the very bottom corner, aim at somewhere above your belt potions and it will blink you to Philios arena (prepere smth also because probably wou'll be surrounded by amazons).

At MOing TU caster weapon i advice LaeK instead of EF since EF not playing that big role until at least mid-game.

Overall one of best guides i've seen since Sigma came out. Very detailed and covers the whole game and not just gear suggestions as many of last ones. Also additional + is that it's not for obviously op char who need nothing to shine (looking at UHM pal).


PS: There's also some wrong info at ubers details.. morphs in both Tal Rasha and Koth ubers are now location-based instead of aura from boss. Butcher charges his shrines immediately with his Bloodlust on attack and it's fairly possible to catch him in spot when he will never charge any of shrines.... etc.
Edited by Scalewinged 1 week.
mortimer_85
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First of all: Great Effort! You put quite some time into writing this stuff. It seems to me more of a mix between an entertaining walktrough and a guide.

To be honest - I have not read it all. Nevertheless I have some notes/questions.

Skills:

Tempest vs Fsphere:
you say tanky summons comes first and you also say that Tempest is the main farming skill. While I agree that you can make up a lot due to proper positioning with Tempest it also is simply strong because of the autoaim. In my experience spamming while moving yields good clear without to crazy gear but maxing this skill.

Witchblood:
Engersion wrote:cut
Gives us life after each kill and increases the potency of our spells if we are above 80% health. It is picked primarily because of the life after each kill, less so for the spell damage increase.
cut

Please don't get me wrong but from this sentence it seems that you do not really know what Witchblood exactly does or you think that being above 80% of max HP simply never is the case.
However - this Bonus stacks with the Synergy from EF/ene and scales with slvl (4% per) - therefore leads to really big Synergy multipliers in endgame. This skill is the reason why Sorc skills on a Sorc are actually f*ing strong. This skill is also the reason why in some cases all skill/Sorc skills can be better than some Spell Damage or EF/ene. Skills increase the base damage and the synergy % for a Sorc at the same time.

Endgame Gear:

rings:
You are emphasizing perfect light rolls on rares while also suggesting
Witchcraft
Witchcraft
Ring

Required Level: 100
Item Level: 120
+2 to All Skills
20% Cast Speed
-5% to Enemy Elemental Resistances
Maximum Mana (-5 to 5)%
Total Character Defense 20%
. This seems a bit odd to me. The only reason why Witchcraft might be compete with good rares in endgame is the skill Witchblood but as long as you are not capped with pierce even a mediocre 1sk 7 pierce low sd ring will beat mentioned SU in total damage output.

Body Armor:
While mentioning gg crafts on Weapon and Helmet slot you are not doing so for Sorc Body Armor what seems weird. A good craft can beat
Hide of the Basilisk
Hide of the Basilisk
Chain Mail (Sacred)

Defense: (5807 - 6817) to (6568 - 7711)
Required Level: 100
Required Strength: 538
Item Level: 120
+(1 to 2) to All Skills
30% Cast Speed
+(25 to 38)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-35% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(13 to 16) to Thunderstone
+(130 to 170)% Enhanced Defense
+500 to Mana
Maximum Lightning Resist +4%
Physical Resist 15%
2% Reanimate as: Silverbolt
Socketed (6)
and
Ennead's Bane
Ennead's Bane
Kazarghand (4)

Defense: (173 - 204) to (354 - 417)
(Sorceress Only)
Required Level: 6
Required Dexterity:
46 to 48
Item Level: 9
+1 to Sorceress Skill Levels
5% Cast Speed
+(3 to 4)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-(6 to 8)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(24 to 46)% Enhanced Defense
+(11 to 15) to Dexterity
+(11 to 15) to Energy
Lightning Resist +(11 to 15)%
Requirements -(11 to 15)%
Socketed (2)
Defense: (625 - 710) to (1152 - 1309)
(Sorceress Only)
Required Level: 24
Required Dexterity:
60 to 63
Item Level: 27
+2 to Sorceress Skill Levels
15% Cast Speed
+(5 to 8)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-(11 to 13)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(69 to 92)% Enhanced Defense
+(21 to 25) to Dexterity
+(21 to 25) to Energy
Lightning Resist +(21 to 25)%
Requirements -(21 to 25)%
Socketed (4)
Defense: (1618 - 1784) to (2915 - 3213)
(Sorceress Only)
Required Level: 41
Required Dexterity:
110 to 117
Item Level: 48
+3 to Sorceress Skill Levels
25% Cast Speed
+(9 to 12)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-(16 to 18)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(115 to 137)% Enhanced Defense
+(31 to 35) to Dexterity
+(31 to 35) to Energy
Lightning Resist +(31 to 35)%
Requirements -(31 to 35)%
Socketed (5)
Defense: (2444 - 2670) to (4372 - 4776)
(Sorceress Only)
Required Level: 51
Required Dexterity:
211 to 225
Item Level: 84
+4 to Sorceress Skill Levels
30% Cast Speed
+(13 to 15)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-(18 to 20)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(138 to 160)% Enhanced Defense
+(36 to 40) to Dexterity
+(36 to 40) to Energy
Lightning Resist +(36 to 40)%
Requirements -(36 to 40)%
Socketed (6)
by far. The TU is in quite some cases (especially with capped pierce + Griffon + nice % ene) even better than Hide. Because of the light res, the flat ene - but most important: the 2 more skills -> looking at Witchblood and base damage again.

Gloves:
Same like Body Armor. Good crafts beat
Lamha Na Draoithe
Lamha Na Draoithe
Gauntlets (Sacred)

Defense: (1339 - 1506) to (1567 - 1763)
Required Level: 100
Required Strength: 574
Item Level: 120
+150 Strength Factor to Spell Damage
+2 to All Skills
30% Cast Speed
+(16 to 20)% to Spell Damage
+(140 to 170)% Enhanced Defense
+75 to Strength
-100 to Life
Elemental Resists +15%
Socketed (4)
and
Lorekeeper
Lorekeeper
Light Gauntlets (Sacred)

Defense: (1018 - 1179) to (1159 - 1342)
Required Level: 80
Required Strength:
272
Item Level: 120
+3 to All Skills
20% Combat Speeds
+(5 to 10) to Firedance
+(90 to 120)% Enhanced Defense
Regenerate Mana +(40 to 60)%
Requirements -50%
Socketed (4)
. Only the one more skill and more MO space on Lores can make them better when having pierce elsewhere - Witchblood again. I assume that you would have been in a squishier Fire/ light Spec anyways for maximizing damage output. If you stay in cold/light then yeah the Firedance boost will beat any craft.
Engersion
Thunder Beetle
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Scalewinged wrote:Why
Lumen Arcana
Lumen Arcana
Body Armors

'Ith'
Runeword Level: 15
+1 to All Skills
-(3 to 8)% to Enemy Fire Resistance
-(3 to 8)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
-(3 to 8)% to Enemy Cold Resistance
-(3 to 8)% to Enemy Poison Resistance
+(28 to 45)% Enhanced Defense
+2 to Light Radius
not mentioned as useful item for start/a1?

Because I'm mentally ill and definitely have the memory of putting it in there.

Scalewinged wrote:There's also other useful items until you travel into TUs:
Prophecy
Prophecy
Scepters

'Ith'
Runeword Level: 15
+1 to All Skills
+(20 to 36)% Enhanced Damage
+(3 to 4) to Maximum Damage
Cold Resist +(21 to 40)%
Fire Resist +(21 to 40)%
Attacker Takes Cold Damage of (21 to 25)
Attacker Takes Fire Damage of (21 to 25)
+
Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Shields

'Sol'
Runeword Level: 27
+1 to All Skills
+(6 to 8)% to Poison Spell Damage
+(11 to 15) to Strength
+(11 to 15) to Vitality
Requirements -10%
combo. At start i prefer just having as much +skills as possible for caster.

Those are good options. The reason I didn't have them is because
Pax Mystica
Pax Mystica
Staves

'Nef'
Runeword Level: 13
+1 to All Skills
+15% Bonus to Poison Skill Duration
+(2 to 5) to Blink
Elemental Resists +(11 to 15)%
(11 to 13)% Magic Find
was enough to get me to Mephisto and begin farming Arcane Crystals. Added to Act III section in case anyone needs extra help getting Mephisto down.

Scalewinged wrote:A3. Lam Esen not giving +10 all attr. It giving +10 attr points.

Corrected

Scalewinged wrote:As for TA - you can blink to Lycander from very entrance instead of running around, also due to zones rework you can now also blink from Skovos to Phillos - there's small passage down in the right-most part of Skovos arena. Once you find it - stand at the very bottom corner, aim at somewhere above your belt potions and it will blink you to Philios arena (prepere smth also because probably wou'll be surrounded by amazons).

You are right. Updated map.

Scalewinged wrote:At MOing TU caster weapon i advice LaeK instead of EF since EF not playing that big role until at least mid-game.

I thought about that. Ultimately I picked energy factor because we already have Witchblood and Anitmass and +50 life after each kill on weapon isn't really going to be enough if you are in imminent danger. The other reason is that I assume there will be a chance for people not being able to find
Ghostmoon
Ghostmoon
Sacred Globe (Sacred)

One-Hand Damage: 36 to 37
(Sorceress Only)
Required Level: 100
Required Dexterity: 177
Item Level: 105
Dexterity Damage Bonus: (0.17 per Dexterity)%
+8 to Maximum Forked Lightning Projectiles
+(4 to 6) to Sorceress Skill Levels
+20% to Spell Damage
-20% to Enemy Elemental Resistances
Regenerate Mana +(15 to 40)%
Maximum Elemental Resists +(0 to 1)%
(15 to 25)% Gold Find
(15 to 25)% Magic Find
Socketed (2)
until much later.

Scalewinged wrote:PS: There's also some wrong info at ubers details.. morphs in both Tal Rasha and Koth ubers are now location-based instead of aura from boss. Butcher charges his shrines immediately with his Bloodlust on attack and it's fairly possible to catch him in spot when he will never charge any of shrines.... etc.

Can you elaborate more on this? The morph part as in the morph is applied when you enter and stay in the map? Corrected the butcher

mortimer_85 wrote:Please don't get me wrong but from this sentence it seems that you do not really know what Witchblood exactly does

You are correct, I don't know this part of the bonus. I know Witchblood and Bacchanalia are supposed to have some bonus that interacts with stat synergy from your spell damage article although I never quite managed to find the exact way it works. If you don't mind can you do a breakdown of the skill and I'll link to your post for the proper explanation? I'll avoid speculating too much to limit misinformation here.

mortimer_85 wrote:Tempest vs Fsphere

I think we are operating under different assumptions here. I don't think of it as a Tempest vs Sphere(Elementals) and more of Tempest + Thunderstone vs Sphere(Elementals) + Thunderstone. My assumption is that a player will farm with whatever spec they are also using for boss hunting. The reason I frame it this way is purely to limit the number of times a character has to use respec. In terms of farming it is better to max Tempest. And Elemental is not really needed for farming once you have some basic SU.

Regarding Tempest itself, it is an ok skill. Although I find the auto target sometimes working against me especially when I'm getting swarmed by large groups of monsters early on. More often than not, it will leave your flank open to Lightning Absorb monsters and you'll have to Thunderstone yourself to get rid of them. Alternatively it will glue to nearby Lightning Absorbs while leaving your flank open to other monsters. Even at max level the primary strength still comes from the number of lightning bolts you can launch at a target rather than a singular stray lightning bolt. The cast and move method works when you have good enough gear where you can take out any non Lightning Absorb quickly so the auto aim targets the remaining monsters.

mortimer_85 wrote:Rings

I put in
Witchcraft
Witchcraft
Ring

Required Level: 100
Item Level: 120
+2 to All Skills
20% Cast Speed
-5% to Enemy Elemental Resistances
Maximum Mana (-5 to 5)%
Total Character Defense 20%
because even good rares seem very hard to come by when it comes to jewelry. I did not mean the say
Witchcraft
Witchcraft
Ring

Required Level: 100
Item Level: 120
+2 to All Skills
20% Cast Speed
-5% to Enemy Elemental Resistances
Maximum Mana (-5 to 5)%
Total Character Defense 20%
can be considered BiS in any way. I'll go back and correct that.

mortimer_85 wrote:Body armor & Gloves

Crafted Body armor is not mentioned because I consider
Hide of the Basilisk
Hide of the Basilisk
Chain Mail (Sacred)

Defense: (5807 - 6817) to (6568 - 7711)
Required Level: 100
Required Strength: 538
Item Level: 120
+(1 to 2) to All Skills
30% Cast Speed
+(25 to 38)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-35% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(13 to 16) to Thunderstone
+(130 to 170)% Enhanced Defense
+500 to Mana
Maximum Lightning Resist +4%
Physical Resist 15%
2% Reanimate as: Silverbolt
Socketed (6)
a good enough option to last til at least 135. And with how many shrines you would have spent on the Circlet, Gloves and Belt. A second reason is that farming areas in later levels aren't really as generous with shrines as the earlier levels so I pivoted towards uniques instead. The same is true for Gloves. I'll go and add those back in since the last gear upgrade section now functions practically like a gear plan for BiS.

I actually stuck with Light & Cold all the way. Boss hunting is a bit of a mess without Elementals. I will go for a respec when I finally put together something that can go into the last areas.
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That is a really well constructed and well thought-out guide, great job! :)

Ennead's Bane
Ennead's Bane
Kazarghand (4)

Defense: (173 - 204) to (354 - 417)
(Sorceress Only)
Required Level: 6
Required Dexterity:
46 to 48
Item Level: 9
+1 to Sorceress Skill Levels
5% Cast Speed
+(3 to 4)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-(6 to 8)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(24 to 46)% Enhanced Defense
+(11 to 15) to Dexterity
+(11 to 15) to Energy
Lightning Resist +(11 to 15)%
Requirements -(11 to 15)%
Socketed (2)
Defense: (625 - 710) to (1152 - 1309)
(Sorceress Only)
Required Level: 24
Required Dexterity:
60 to 63
Item Level: 27
+2 to Sorceress Skill Levels
15% Cast Speed
+(5 to 8)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-(11 to 13)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(69 to 92)% Enhanced Defense
+(21 to 25) to Dexterity
+(21 to 25) to Energy
Lightning Resist +(21 to 25)%
Requirements -(21 to 25)%
Socketed (4)
Defense: (1618 - 1784) to (2915 - 3213)
(Sorceress Only)
Required Level: 41
Required Dexterity:
110 to 117
Item Level: 48
+3 to Sorceress Skill Levels
25% Cast Speed
+(9 to 12)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-(16 to 18)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(115 to 137)% Enhanced Defense
+(31 to 35) to Dexterity
+(31 to 35) to Energy
Lightning Resist +(31 to 35)%
Requirements -(31 to 35)%
Socketed (5)
Defense: (2444 - 2670) to (4372 - 4776)
(Sorceress Only)
Required Level: 51
Required Dexterity:
211 to 225
Item Level: 84
+4 to Sorceress Skill Levels
30% Cast Speed
+(13 to 15)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-(18 to 20)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(138 to 160)% Enhanced Defense
+(36 to 40) to Dexterity
+(36 to 40) to Energy
Lightning Resist +(36 to 40)%
Requirements -(36 to 40)%
Socketed (6)
is just so damn good, that its not worth spending shrines on it before you upgrade your other item slots, as you would need a ton of shrines to beat that tu.

Just a side note, irrelevant to the guide:
I am still waiting for the day when caster sets become viable. 10% lightning pierce is just pathetic, for 4 item slots, on the lightning sorc set. Fire sorc set can have up to 39, for 4 item slots, which is still pathetic. Most, if not all other casters sets have similarly low pierce.
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I think you're doing your guide a disservice with the title. References to some ancient post won't actually inform the new players, your target audience, what the guide is about and make them click on it.
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Your Tempestsucks hyperlink to the old guide doesn't actually link to the old Tempestsucks guide.

Overall, nicely done, in my opinion. It looks like you explained things in pretty plain terms for new players to understand. Nice to see lightning sorc get some attention.
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suchbalance wrote:I think you're doing your guide a disservice with the title. References to some ancient post won't actually inform the new players, your target audience, what the guide is about and make them click on it.

I agree. There was a lot of effort put into this just to say it sucks right in the title.