One of the most-awaited computer-games ever is Diablo II. After my Power-Words about Dungeon Keeper 1+2, Pax Imperia and Birth of the Federation it is now time for good power tips for Diablo II.
General tips for gameplay
- First play Diablo II a bit without reading these Power-Words. Explore this fantasy-world on your own and with level 7 you should continue reading this. Remember, your first character wonÃ½t be your final character.
- Basic strategies - every character has a different way of fighting: the Barbarian is the best fighter of DII and fights in direct contact to the enemies. The Amazon has good potential in long-range-fights with her bow, the Necromancer should combine summoning with curses and is a very interesting character. The Paladin should develop good fighting abilities combined with strong resistances (protection auras). Finally, the sorceress is a very interesting (and cute) character, but quite difficult to play. She should avoid direct enemy contact and develop strong specialized magic. More infos in the Sorceress Section.
- Skills: a very important aspect in DII is a well planned character-development. You may play for the exploration a just-for fun-character and then start a new one and plan a strong character. Specialiazing is one of the keys to get a strong character which can play even Act4 in Hell Mode. When you put too many skill-points into different spells you wonÃ½t have spells which are really powerful. (I had to restart my Sorceress two times until I found out about the best skill-planning)
- For finding the best skill-developments read the strategy-pages of the DII-Sites. Or ask some high level players on the BattleNet. I also recommend to download the DII-character planner at www.wizz.de. For Sorceress- and Necromancer players I have some special tips in these Power Words.
- Navigating: many maps have a waypoint which teleports you to town and other places, you can use them also to warp to another Act (if you entered that before). When searching a place for a quest or a special plain remember that some plains have more then two exits. Navigating though dungeons: (if you donÃ½t want to fight all monsters, but simply want to quickly solve the quest): many times the exit to another level or an important location is on the other side of the dungeon. So donÃ½t search near the entrance, but rush fast to the other end of the dungeon.
- The Automap is activated with the TAB-key, run with CRTL. With the numeric keypad (num lock on) you can say something to your fellow players: 0 = "Help"", 1 = "Follow me.", 2 = "For you.", 3 = "Thanks.", 4 = "Sorry.", 5 = "Bye.", 6 = "Die!". With the PrintScreen-Key you get screenshots saved in the Diablo 2 directory.
- ESCaping very dangerous situations (it sounds simple but saves a lot of money & exp): learn to FAST hit ESC and "save game". The ALT key shows you all items on the floor with names; that definitely helps to find good items fast.
- Selling items: if you have found more expensive items you want to sell (good armors, rares, etc.) first repair then sell them - you get more money. - Difficulties: in Diablo 2 you can play the whole game with all quests in three difficulty-levels: Normal, Nightmare and Hell - mode. When dying in Normal mode you will loose all money you carry (it lies next to the corpse) and a part of the money from your stash. In Nightmare and Hell you will also loose experience points. So be extra careful if you have a character which will get a new level soon. Especially in Hell you NEED lots of resistance (best go for prismatic amus / rings), because there is a high negative restistance bonus.
- When dead, your character rematerializes in town, but does not have the equipped items. The corpse of your character lies at the place where it was killed. You can go back to that place, hopefully kill the monsters and get back your items with clicking the corpse. Be careful with equipping new stuff. Many players lost items that way. If you get killed several times (and had re-equipped) you will loose items! I would never equip my char with any new stuff after it has just been been killed.(in BattleNet a disconnect sometimes deletes your items in corpses when youÃ½ve equipped new items...) After dying and game-restart the corpse will be in the town.
- Surviving: Rejuvenation-Potions ("life+magic"-potions) help in difficult fights / duels because they instantly regenerate life + mana points (normal potions let you regenerate slowly).
- Bosses: there are some monsters with blue name (stronger then normal) and be careful about the monsters with brown name (very strong monsters with special magical abilities). These monsters strengthen other normal monsters of the same type, try to kill the bosses first, then the others wonÃ½t be so strong anymore. When fighting a tough boss (or a quest opponent like Mephisto) you should open a town portal. Concentrate your attacks or spells on one monster until it goes down, then attack another monster to its end.
- Traps: you will be warned that a trap is activated when you hear this creaking noise. Run fast then! - Getting rare items: when you are not in "levelling up"- or "quest"-mode you can just fight for getting nice items: equip magical items for additional-chance% of finding magical items like ring-of-luck or Tarnhelm. Especially in Act-4 you will find a lot of rare stuff - exploit it first (fight many monster bosses and get their rare items) and trade with that stuff to get what you need. And then continue on in next mode (Nightmare or Hell) - you will see that good items are needed because every advance in mode makes the monsters much more powerful.
- Retrieving items: when the monsters get you and it is too difficult to kill them to get back the stuff from your dead body, better leave game and enter another game, the body is back in town.
- In one quest Charsi offers to magical transform a basic item. DonÃ½t use it too early, better wait until Act-3 (better until another mode like Nightmare Act-2) or when you find better basic items. The best is to "imbue" an armor because a (good) rare armor has great worth for use and trading in BattleNet. You can only transform basic items (white name).
- The Horadric Cube (to be found in Act-2, halls of the dead) is a special magical item you will need in Act-2 and Act-3. With this cube you can transform segments of quest items to the final quest item. And you can do some other magical transformations with the Horadric Cube: here are not all, but some interesting combinations:
- 3 gems (same type and grade) = 1 higher grade gem (same type)
- 3 Health-Potions + 3 Mana-Potions = 1 Rejuvenation-Potion
- 3 Health-Potions + 3 Mana-Potions + 1 gem = 1 full Rejuvenation-Potion
- 3 perfect gems (of any type) + 1 magical item = 1 new random magical item ( same type)
- 3 Amulets = 1 Random Ring
- 3 Rings = 1 Random Amulet
- 6 Gems and 1 sword = 1 socketed Long-Sword - The secret cow level: in Tristam you will find WirtÃ½s leg (search his corpse). After defeating Diablo on this mode (Normal, Nightmare or Hell) you can open a portal to this sectret map: place wirtÃ½s leg and a town-portal-book in the horadric cube and transform them. Enjoy the funny cows. :-)
- Diablo II has more and more modifications with every new patch. Especially the power of some spells will be changed. These Power Words are written in Oct-2000, and in future some details about DII might be changed.
- Open BattleNet: "doesnÃ½t exist" for me (you can easily cheat and duplicate items) many cheaters / playerkillers are out there. So the more fair and real challenge is the closed Battle-Net, because up to date there is no cheat in closed BN.
- Playing in Battle-Net: In closed BattleNet the char is saved on one of Blizzards (free, but slow) servers and until now cheating is impossible. LetÃ½s hope it stays this way - because creating a good char here and finding / trading good items takes quite some effort.
- Parties: you can play alone like in single-player mode, but the fun is being in a party with different chars. (press "P" for party screen). When you are in a party you share the experience and taken gold with all members if you are on the same map. So donÃ½t do the fights alone while others search only gold and items.
- Trading: be careful about your trades when you are a beginner. Some advanced players like ripping off newbies (giving much less worthy stuff for good uniques). Read the offers and postings in the trade channel and the reactions of the other players. If you have special wishes or special items for sale leaving messages in the trade channel is faster then just randomly meeting other players in trading games. "Spamming" / "Flooding" (= repeating long messages very fast) wonÃ½t bring you much friends in trade channels - a constant, but changing slow flow of messages is much better. My way of getting good deals is having a text-file (in Windows) with my offers like:
"offers rare amu 6%-life-steal + fast cast rate + some Res"
"offers Tarnhelm or Nightsmoke for Culwens Point"
"seeks FROSTBURN offers WORMSKULL"
"trades Rare+2Staff-Sorc(20-45 dmg) / BONESNAP nice Unique Hammer
"trades MILAGREBAS-Scepter(+1Pala) / IRON JANG BONG (good +1Sorc Staff)"
"offers SILKS / SIGONS Shield / MAGEFISTS / Rare +2-Staff-Sorc (20-45dmg) / Pala+nec+1Amu-with-4%Mana-steal"
"seeks rare MagePlate AC300+"
"needs 1h-sword dmg 50+"
(and bring them *not too often* with copy (CRTL-C in textfile in Windows) and paste (CRTL-X) into the trade channel screen)
Item Trading guide: - forget trading Basic Items (white): - Magical Items (blue): donÃ½t have much worth (maybe some good items from Hell mode, like armor and helmets with high AC = ArmorClass).
- SET-items (green): most beginners are after them. Wizzard just says: waste of energy! Some SETs are maybe useful with level 16-24 or so. If you play well you will fast advance and donÃ½t need them. Good rares are in many cases better then any SET. Even most complete SETs donÃ½t have much worth.
- The only SET-items I can recommend (up to 20s Levels) are: +1-Weapons like Arcannas Staff, Infernal Torch, Milagrebas Scepter and Sigons Shield (the only SET-item with some worth even for higher players) (If you have a SET complete, it will add a special bonus, for example more armor).
- Rare Items (yellow): a good rare crown/armor/weapon is often more worth then the a uique crown/armor/weapon!
- Unique items (gold = dark yellow): it may sound strange, but many uniques are worthless for trade and use! Most weapons have too low damage or shield have too low AC. So donÃ½t think in trading that every offered unique has value. But there are some very good unique items.
- This Unique-List tells about some useful and valuable items:
- Stone of Jordan (+1Skill / +mana-ring): one of the most valuable unique items - many players want it but the value decreased since there is a "trick" how to get it (see below)
- FrostBurn: gloves/gauntlets with good AC and giving +40% more Mana! One of the most-searched Items in BattleNet! Try to get it when offered cheap, it has great trading value. (my Sorceress Beldandy has got five Frostburns just because of its trading value)
- Silks of the Victor: nice armor with +1skill, high trading value.
- GoldSkin: another Armor with high trading and good using value.
- Wormskull: maybe the most searched for item for low/midlevel-players. You canÃ½t be five minutes in the trade channel without reading "... seeks Wormskull.".ItÃ½s a Necromancer-skill +1 helmet with 4% life steal. I don't think itÃ½s soo worthy to be crazy about it. But give it only away for *good* stuff!
- Tarnhelm: it increases the chance from 20% to 50% to find a magical item and gives +1 to all skills, but has a low AC. ItÃ½s worthy to have and good to use up to the 20s level (or equip it only when fighting for good items in Act-4). With higher % it has nice trading value. - Nightsmoke: a belt that gives you mana for damage (but does NOT prevent damage!) - okay for Sorceresses and Necromancers under 30. - Magefists: give +1 to all fire-skills
- Culwens-Point: a sword which gives +1 to all skills, many mid-level sorceresses wear it.
- Spectral Shard: a nice weapon for Sorceresses with +10 Resistances, +50 Mana, fastest cast-rate, fast attack and +55 to attack.
- Eye of Ettlich: +1 skills amulet and 3%-life-steal, +4 light radius and some more. Not bad, but donÃ½t give too much for it unless you really need that +1skill / life-steal combination.
DonÃ½t forget: This list is not complete and other players may see the value of these items differently, itÃ½s just to give you some idea about this subject! - Crystal Swords: these interesting sounding items are quite worthless in Diablo II, no good attack and even the unique crystal-sword is not really interesting. - Money has NOT that much trading-worth in this game, only for gambling (rares and uniques) and repairing, so donÃ½t sell a good item (some bad players try to rip-off others with just buying good items). Some good items are even sold online for real money. - Gems: You will find different sorts of gems when killing monsters or solving quests. They are in different degree of perfection: chipped, flawed, normal, flawless and perfect. You can place three gems (same sort and quality) into the Horadric Cube to transform them to the next higher level. Many beginners are seeking and trading for gems, but it is a waste of time. If you advance fast you will get better gems easily. For example for a perfect diamond you need 81 chipped diamonds! And if you collected and traded and transformed and finally have some perfect gems you are on an advanced level where gems donÃ½t have any trade value. The only good worth of them is sometimes place them into socketed weapons to increase AC, mana or so. And you can use them to transform magical potions into greater rejuvenation potions. (see Horadric Cube section) - The "real currency" in BattleNet in higher levels are good rare (commonly used items like) armors (AC 400+, str 100-), swords, helmets, belts and good unique items (see list). So I recommend if you find nice stuff try to get good uniques for it. Even if you get "only" Magefists and Nightsmoke, you can trade several of them for more valuable stuff like Wormskull or Frostburn. With some of those really searched for items you have the "money" you can get easily good stuff when needed. (imagine you loose a good staff and need a new one...) - DonÃ½t forget to repair your valuable items you have in use like armor and helmet if itÃ½s a good one, itÃ½s worth the money. - Item-Magic you will need: fastest hit recovery, (Sorceress: fastest cast rate), resistances (look that all your resistances are balanced (equal), prismatic rings or amus are nice, those help you surviving Hell more then +1 skill items), +life, +mana. Some weapons with 7%+ life / mana steal are nice, but it depends on the character. - A good trade can have equal worth like playing half a day! Trading is a nice part of this online-gaming (as long you donÃ½t meet rip-offs or beggars ...). Give it a try! - Last tip for trading: learn by doing. - Gambling: a good way to get rares and uniques (even if you arenÃ½t so advanced in game) You can gamble in every act (e.g. at Gheed or Elxix): theyÃ½ll offer items for high prices, when buying them they will be identified and the result can be magical (mostly useless), SET (mostly useless), rare or unique (better). If you seek a special unique and donÃ½t have the stuff for trading it, find out how it looks like. (the Frostburn looks like plate gauntlets, Tarnhelm like simple iron helmet and Nightsmoke like a small leather belt). I recommend always gamble Nightsmoke and Tarnhelm, they are cheap (less then 10000), and even if you donÃ½t use them they are good trading items. Anyway there are many useless object offered (useless even as rare or unique) so just spend your money on worthy items like Frostburn or Stone of Jordan (ring). When you donÃ½t find good stuff offered for gambling go to another map (waypoint) and back to town and see what the new offers are. - The Stone of Jordan: there is a "trick" to getting it: if you can trade (or gamble) the unique NagelRing and Manald Heal Ring (donÃ½t give too much) and have them with your char, you have a better chance to get that most valuable item. It is because when gambling you canÃ½t get a unique item you already possess (with that char).
- Levelling up in closed BNet: it sounds funny but donÃ½t advance too fast! There are players with level 24 in Nightmare and wonder why it is so difficult. DonÃ½t go to Nighmare until level 30, better 33. (use that time to go over and over into Act-4 collecting nice items...) If you have found a level which is easy to play and brings lots of exp-points then play that level many times with 5-8 players (with no ally = no sharing of experience-points)! ThatÃ½s the warp ticket to fast level advance. With more players the monsters get their hitpoints multiplied (for example four times with four players), but NOT their attack damage, they are harder to kill but not more dangerous. Easy level-up-locations I can recommend are Act-2: Sewers, Oasis and Palace, Act-3: Under-Kurast and Bazaar. DonÃ½t combine levelling up with playing (difficult) quests. In some quests you encounter hard fights you might loose and loose experience points (Nightmare and Hell). So start your quest when you just have reached a new level. - Necromancer Basic Tips: there is no "only good" way of playing the Necromancer, you can play a summon-only Nec or a Poisonmancer etc. But the basic rule here is (like in all other characters): specialize in the most effective spells!! Find out which spells will serve you in long term (mostly NOT the first spells of any char) and put lots of skill points into them. That can help surviving in Hell mode. Good Necromancer spells are: Amplified Damage (even in later modes) and Iron Maiden. These are the best from "curse" tree, a kind of "must have" for every Necromancer. The higher curse spells arent soo good. A good spell from Bone Magic is: Corpse Explosion (yummy...). It is very effective even against high level monsters (when 1-2 are dead you cast it and get more monsters down and cast again...). There is no resistance against Bone Magic, but it does not get too many points. (Bone Spirit on high level could work for duels, but I recommend not to put many points into that skill tree). Summoning.... ahhh thatÃ½s the thing I like about the Necromancer. It looks funny to walk through town with spellbound monsters walking behind you like little doggies... ;-) DonÃ½t invest more points than necessary into Summon Skeleton and Clay Golem (and zero to Skeleton Mage), but lots of points into Skeleton Mastery (for itÃ½s good for Revive, too), and quite some into Golem Mastery. Now the big question arises which Golem is better: Iron Golem (you need a metal object like dagger to cast, and the Iron Golem will take combat-related magical abilities from that object) or Fire Golem? Well, many succesful Necromancer players say in most times the Fire Golem is better because of more hit-points. The Blood Golem: use only one skill-point, it is not useful to play with it in late Nightmare or Hell. Until version 1.03 you can use that trick: Blood Golem and Iron Maiden (cast on monsters) combination: you will be healed greatly. And Revive (resurrect dead monsters which fight for you) pays off with high Skeleton Mastery, even if time length of the spell is quite short. In the beginning when you donÃ½t have too many skeletons (again: not more then ONE piont to Summon Skeleton, keep the points for better spells): buy a staff with Summoning Skeletons+3 and Summoning Skeleton-Mages+3 and so youÃ½ll get some... And important: get the Bone Shield (1-2) points, it will help you even in later levels. Necromancer Stats: donÃ½t waste any point into dexerity. In the beginning increase mostly strength (better armor) and energy (youÃ½ll need mana for lots of curses) and later on in vitality and energy. The Necromancer does not have the Warmth ability like the Sorceress, his mana regenerating ability goes directly with the maximum amount of mana.
WizzardÃ½s Guide for Sorceresses: It is said that the way of the Sorceress is the most challenging in the realms of Diablo II. I can agree it is not easy. But with good skill planning and some strategies you can develop a powerful character. And skill planning is important. (so many players started their character all over because of wrong skill planning) A nice skill planning utility you can download right here: ( DOWNLOAD LINK D2planner.zip ) Skill tips: MOST successful sorceress player say Ice-Magic rules. Very true! (some people suggest fire-magic: nice graphics and a good fire sorceress can be OK but Ice is the best!) I recommend Glacier Spike, Blizzard and Frozen Orb. Put lots of points into these. Other magic you need is Shiver Armor, Warmth, Static Field. Shiver Armor gives you a bonus to armor. Beldandy, my level 60 sorceress, has over 1500 armor with that spell enhancing her armor. (3-4 skill points are OK) Chilling Armor: DONÃ½T use that because it is too expensive and ineffective. Warmth indicates the speed of regenerating mana: itÃ½s good to have lots of warmth, but donÃ½t put too many skillpoints into that. (The power of your spells is more important, you should have lots of mana/rejuvenation-potions with you anyway).
Glacier Spike freezes the enemies (for a short time) and damages them (not only the one you hit, but also the ones standing next to them). Blizzard reminds me of the Warcraft II spell of the same name: an ice rain goes down damaging all enemies within that area. Frozen Orb is a great attack spell in higher levels and for player duels. Cold mastery is not too important in Nightmare, but in Hell many monsters have a high (cold) resistance (well, they like it hot in hell, isnÃ½t it?). So put at least 3-4 skillpoints into cold mastery to reduce their restistance to your Ice spells. Tough enemies you can kill with Glacier Spike (freezes them), some Blizzards (more Blizzards at the same place: damage will be added!) and static field. The only disadvantage of Ice Magic is that a Necromancer (there might be one in your party) canÃ½t revive cold-killed monsters. Static Field is one of the most important spells to kill the bosses: all enemies in range will loose 25% of their (actual!) lifepoints. So weaken the boss with four Static Fields and then give it some Glacier Spikes. More skillpoints in Static Field will only make the range better, not the percentage, about 3-4 skillpoints in Static Field is enough. Some players suggest teleportation: I didnÃ½t like it. My tip is get a wand with Teleportation and test it if you like it before wasting skillpoints on it.