D2 Gameplay

Dieing, it’s a matter of every day life [no pun intended!] when playing Diablo 2. Characters will fall at the hands of other players or creatures at some point or another [Hardcore characters, obviously not as often]. When having died, characters will re-appear in town, naked, that is without any equipment. To recover their lost equipment they must search the area where they were slain for their dead body and ‘pick it up’ and regain all that was lost. A player cannot have two separate dead bodies, that is, if the naked character dies while trying to find his body; he will not leave a corpse. If the player decides to equip his naked character with equipment in his inventory [only equipped items are on the dead body] but is killed before reaching his corpse, the equipped items will ‘pop’ out, allowing other characters to pick them up. So be careful!

Killing Mobs
Players will often find themselves faced against dozens upon dozens of enemy creatures, the situation often looks quite grim, and 1 against 50 is no easy feat. That is, unless you are well prepared. All classes have a few large radius devastating skills, learn to use them wisely as you will be needing them on a daily basis. If you do not wish to use these sort of skills, make sure you have something to take the brunt of the damage [i.e., a summon]. The Barbarian does not have a large radius attack per say, but he is able to use one of the most formidable skills available: Whirlwind. It allows him to mow through line after line of targets.

All characters will find themselves hurt in battle, especially when faced against higher level enemy creatures. Players should understand the value of potions; they are there to help you and should be used when needed. The Barbarian is usually the class that uses the most potions, as he takes the most damage in combat. Be sure to have plenty in stock, otherwise you might find yourself in dire need them in battle, yet none at your disposal.

Mana Potions
Although Melee characters will most likely not need mana potions due to their ability to leech it off their attacks [when using the appropriate weapons], casters on the other hand will be faced with the likelihood of running out of the necessary mana to cast their ever so devastating attacks. Characters falling under the ‘caster’ category would be wise to bring enough potions to supply themselves with the required boost in battle. If you ever do run out of mana and can’t do anything about it, running is always an option [loss of pride is always better than death. Remember that.

Necromancer Summons
The necromancer has one of the most effective set of soloing techniques available in Diablo 2. The ability to summon a horde of creatures to fight alongside him. This must be used to a necromancer’s advantage in order to be effective. Although, the skeletons can be rather efficient when at a lower level, they become obsolete later on. The summon which must be used is a golem, either a fire or blood golem. I personally prefer the blood golem as he is not only very effective for soloing but is an awesome killing machine in pvp if packed with the correct curses. When using a golem, the most effective way to defeat opponents is to cast Iron Maiden on them, as for every attack upon the golem a percentage of the inflicted damage will be returned to the opponent. This allows for great crowd control, assuming the golem is able to maintain sustained attacks inflicted upon himself.

Experience gathering Tips
The most useful tip which can offered to new players is to player in multiplayer games on battle.net rather than go through the single player campaign. Leveling can be done at 8 times the rate. How? Easy, merely join a game with 7 other people in it and all monsters will give out 8 times the amount of experience that they would if you were alone. The monster difficulty also escalates for every additional player. Another rather useful technique is to participate in quests with a group, in areas which should in theory be too difficult for you. As the experience gathered in more difficult areas is rather large when leveling (but remember, characters in your group should not be much higher in level than you otherwise you will not be receiving much experience for the kills). In the 5th act (Baal), one of the quests is the face the ancients. Make sure to do this quests rather quickly as when it is completed, it offers an enormous amount of experience. It usually supplies enough experience for the character to go up 6-7 levels (assuming the quest is done at the level it was made to be done). You can redo the quest at each difficulty level and it will always supply roughly enough experience to jump 5+ levels (again, if at the level it was meant to be done at). Tagging along for the ride, the newbie way Newbies often have the habit of tagging along with higher level characters in order to get quests accomplished. Typically, they just stand around and watch while the others do all the work. But you know what? For once, they have it right. Players have an interesting and useful technique to level up at the speed of light, using your friends to help you out! When creating a new character, it can be rather tedious work to start from level 1 and reach level 60. Yet, a technique is used to alleviate this and increase the rate of gaining experience quite substantially. It is rather simple, have a high level character (usually a friend) help you defeat the boss of every act. Obviously, the high level character can kill off the bosses in rather astonishing speed and ease and this will allow the low level character to reach a high level difficulty without doing almost any work. Now you say, what is the purpose of this? Say for example you are in act 1 nightmare and just so happen to still be level 2. If you somehow are able to kill one of the creatures, with the help of a friend to soften them up, your character will most likely jump 3-4 levels and that’s with only 1 kill!. Now assuming you kill a few more and in no time at all you are at level 20. Although, it goes much faster if you are a level 1 and on hell difficulty as you can probably reach level 40 within a very short period of time. I personally do not like the system, but it is effective and a technique which is rather wide spread.

Personal Stash
Players can expect to gather large amounts of items in their journey within the Diablo 2 world. Chances are that quite a few of these pieces of equipment will be rather valuable and there is not enough space in a characters backpack to carry them all. To ease the strain, the developers have included a ‘stash’ within each town. The stash is a chest of sorts which can be used to store any item the player wishes to keep. This allows the character to have a large amount of items, without having to carry them around.

Those who specialize in item hunting will most likely run out of space quite rapidly, even with a stash. Players have come up with an ingenious way to keep even large quantities of items in their procession. This can be accomplished through the use of ‘mules’, which are essentially characters which have the sole use of storing items. The process is a as follows:
  1. A player joins a already in progress game, which he/she believes will not end within the next 20 minutes or so. The player will then, usually, go to act 1 and then drop and hide whatever items the person wishes to transfer to a mule. Typically, the character will go outside the town and place them in a corner somewhere.
  2. The player will then exit the game
  3. he player will rejoin the game with his mule character
  4. With the mule character, the player will go find his hidden items and store them in the character’s inventory and stash. The item transfer is now complete and they are now in the procession of the item mule. A player wishing to retrieve these items and hand them off to his character would have to go through the inverse process. Typically, these characters are not used very often in inverse trading, but rather are more likely to be used as item traders as their inventory is often loaded with valuable loot.

Diablo 2 features some of the most impressive cinematics of it’s time and even now they are looked upon with awe. They have been called upon as a revolutionary. Their use is more than merely eye candy as they have been very useful at creating an extra sense of immersion. Besides the introduction cinematic, there is a very detailed and story driven video for every act and two for with the Lord of Destruction expansion pack. Players can view each cinematic more than once, assuming the areas which they are linked to have been accomplished, from the menu screen.