The main aim of the mod: to enhance, not to overdo, to keep things more or less balanced and, most importantly, to change the feeling you get when you hire NM or Hell merc.

I strived to make every hireling worth having, each one of them with their own pros and cons and not to far from the original design. This is still a work in progress, but pushed far enough to be shareable. You be the judge of it – I myself am quite pleased with the result.

It's not yet tested enough ingame apart from quick damage / utility / bugginess tests at 99 level – if you care and see something you feel needs to be changed, leave a comment.

Important note: I've retuned some of the skills to be useful or damaging enough to be worth using or having on your merc, mostly duration of cold effects and damage of some lightning skills. The skills I changed are marked with ‘*’ and described below the hireling changes list.

Another important note: the mod is done and used over a great Enjoy-SP Mod, without which I can't imagine playing Diablo anymore.

Yet another note: I might not remember all the changes I’ve made, nor I claim being a perfectionists. All was done in the “more or less” and “if it works, it works” spirit. I tried to make things better – not perfect.

New hireling skillsets:

Rogues

  • Normal Fire – Inner Sight, Fire Arrow, Vigor, Pierce;
  • Nightmare Fire – Inner Sight, Exploding Arrow, Vigor;
  • Hell Fire – Holy Fire*, Exploding Arrow, Pierce;
  • Normal Cold – Slow Missiles, Cold Arrow*, Blessed Aim;
  • Nightmare Cold – Slow Missiles, Ice Arrow*, Critical Strike, Cyclone Armor;
  • Hell Cold – Freezing Arrow, Holy Freeze;

Notes: Cold as more balanced, defensive, carefully aiming. Fire as faster and more pushing. Hell as apotheosis of power over fire and cold.


Desert Mercenaries

  • Normal Combat – Meditation and Cleansing after 43 level (it retains the healing from Meditation);
  • Nightmare Combat – Holy Freeze (moved from Defensive);
  • Hell Combat – Conviction;
  • Normal Offensive – Might;
  • Nightmare Offensive – Concentration;
  • Hell Offensive – Fanaticism;
  • Normal Defensive – Defiance (unchanged);
  • Nightmare Defensive – Sanctuary;
  • Hell Defensive – Salvation;

Notes: Holy Freeze is useful enough to be wanted on both ranged and melee setups. Sanctuary will rather be a niche choice, but honestly I had no better idea which defensive aura to put here. Hell auras may seem like an overkill, but remember that the merc stats are unchanged, which mean they are much lower than the nightmare or normal ones.


Easter Sorcerors

  • Fire Normal – Blaze*, Fire Ball, Fire Wall;
  • Fire Nightmare – Fire Ball, Fire Wall, Meteor;
  • Fire Hell – Fire Wall, Meteor, Hydra;
  • Cold Normal – Glacial Spike, Frozen Armor*, Frost Nova*, Ice Blast*;
  • Cold Nightmare – Glacial Spike, Shiver Armor, Blizzard;
  • Cold Hell – Frozen Orb, Chilling Armor*, Blizzard;
  • Lightning Normal – Charged Bolt*, Lightning, Nova*, Lightning Mastery;
  • Lightning Nightmare – Lightning, Chain Lightning, Thunder Storm*;
  • Lightning Hell – Chain Lightning, Thunder Storm*, Static Field;

Notes: I really wanted to get a Telekinesis* as a form of CC for Lightning, but I couldn’t get the pushing effect to work on mercs. Cold is more CC-oriented at lower levels, damage-oriented at higher and skills were adjusted to reflect that. Lightning have more or less constant damage no matter which level, but the Thunder Storm adds “rare random nuke” effect (damage is adjusted) and Static Field… You know what it does. Fire is just Fire, making more Fire as it gets higher.


Barbarians

(work in progress)

  • Normal – unchanged, needs to be done.
  • Nightmare Offensive – Battle Cry, Frenzy, Increased Speed (yes);
  • Hell Offensive – Frenzy, Berserker, Sword Mastery;
  • Nightmare Defensive – Shout, Concentrate, Iron Skin;
  • Hell Defensive – War Cry;

Notes: these are most themed ones of all mercs and least serious. NM Off is all about speed, and I strongly recommend having Vigor somewhere to make him go even faster. Hell Off doesn’t seem to be using Berserker, needs to be tested more. NM Def is all about armor and Hell Def is an area stun-machine – the skill is too op to add any other (he had natural resistances and Battle Orders before, but it was just too much).


Being considered

  • Lightning Rogue / Desert Merc;
  • changing Jab to other skills at Desert Mercs;
  • full physical / magical Rogue.


Skill changes:

  • Frozen Armor, Ice Blast, Ice Arrow, Cold Arrow, Frost Nova – increased cold and freezing duration five-tenfold;
  • Chilling Armor – increased damage from missiles, now it’s actually worth getting shot;
  • Thunder Storm – strikes once in couple of seconds instead of every second. Damage is changed to better reflect the lightning tree – from one to tens and hundred of thousands. Although it may seem high, it isn’t – it’s useful and climatic, but nothing to build the whole character around.
  • Nova – damage increased to be useful. Now it’s fine aoe spam skill when you need alternative aoe damage without investing in synergies as cold/fire sorc.
  • Charged Bolt – it has damage now. I actually might have overdone it, but well, it is a cool spell and it deserved some love.
  • Blaze – damage slightly increased.
  • Holy Fire – it is now on par with Holy Shock. And to put it on the other side of the scales, it always deals the same amounts of damage.
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