I feel like this post is really long overdue. And I'll probably never learn to stop chatting in docks no matter how many deaths it leads to. But on with the plot!
Concept: lots and lots of minions, all augmented by auras. Went with RS, since arguably it puts out more minions than any other skill can, and quantity over quality because auras add quality all on their own.
How I got to this point: post 1 post 2 post 3 post 4 post 5
I made post 1 around the planning stage, and then threw one of my existing respecs in there. She was CI and I ran out of mana, hence post 2. Post 3 was made when I thought I wasn't going to get hold of a Torment, and indeed I didn't manage it in Invasion, but found a lucky claw on xyz allowing me to go RS after all. If with a much smaller margin of error. That claw is now in SC, yay me.
Switched to CoC at 58 though it could have gone earlier. Spent 10 levels with it, mostly in docks. If you're interested in how levels 1-60 went, see posts 4 and 5.
Now it gets interesting, since I was working on an incredibly small budget before, and taking less "risks" with it. By which I mean, although I was pretty sure the character was map-capable, I didn't put her through it because docks is still less risky than even lunaris and I didn't need to leave yet. Ah, the joys of HC.
First thing I did was finish running my A3M quests immediately, including Dominus, on the exact setup I died with just to prove I could. Second thing I did was shake up my gear. Replaced rings with Torment, replaced claw with a dagger I had on hand, moved gear around to cap resists. Those two changes (ring and dagger) were the absolute most significant. Except for getting a 5L, but that would've cost as much as everything else combined and then some.
A note on budget. Aside from leveling gear such as Shiversting, the total cost of everything I was using when I died was approximately 15-20c in invasion. Thief's Torment would've been 1-2ex, or more than my entire character was worth up to that point. A high crit high aps dagger with no other stats might have been a few c. My current SC dagger, at 200pdps, is probably worth somewhat more, but most of the damage still comes from my summons so the pdps is a wasted stat. (Replace RS with any spell of your choice or none at all, you'll see my point.)
In any case, I then proceeded to level up in maps a couple of times before getting bored and half-leveling an Ambush character. The few levelups I did make went to ias and hp, no surprises there. In effect, the character's progression ended at 70~ with the listed gear, and further improvements are merely incremental.
I'm thinking Alpha's, where did I leave my Alpha's Howl again. Actually, why am I not using Tabula? Oh, don't mind me, just thinking out loud here. And I have no minion nodes whatsoever. Didn't think them
necessary, for the most part; I'd consider taking the one cluster down
below EE, but that's it.
There's not very much of the aura-support idea left in
here, is there? The auras do contribute a significant amount of dps, as
measured by clear speed when I forget to turn them on, but it's not flashy at all. Might be I could
try dual-totems again now that I have a
Torment, but the whole point of dual totems was to avoid reflect/thorns, and
I'm not having trouble with reflect/thorns. Plus, I'm pretty sure the shockstacks are mine, minions don't crit much. Shockstacks are good.