The Ultimate D2 Classic FAQ (in thread form)

#1ChiefResurectedPosted 1/1/2005 11:42:39 PMmessage detail
Diablo II
(for use of online version 1.10)

Guide written and composed by the Elevator Chief, 2004. Don't steal stuff and call it your own, and rights to the guide given only to and no where else. If you see it elsewhere send them nasty emails.

What is this guide about?

Very simply, this guide encompasses Diablo II, classic, with patch 1.10. This game was the classic sequel of the hit selling original Diablo, and the precursor to the insanely popular Diablo II Lord of Destruction (LoD). This guide is provided for those wondering the differences between the two games (classic and LoD) and also for those curious about patch updates from v. 1.9 and up. It is my hope to give all the information that one could need about said things, as well as provide some basic builds and information about sets and items commonly found in the Classic Diablo II land. Also answered in this guide are very basic standard questions that people new to the game will find interesting and should check out. All other information you are able to find elsewhere and I suggest you seek that information out.

How does Classic Differ from LoD?

There are vast quantities of differences, and I will label them to make it easier for your viewing pleasure.

(1) Runes and Rune words. Very simply classic has no rune words. At all, period. This addition to LoD is completely absent from classic, and therefor the only things you are able to put into socketed items are gems. There are also no Jewels or charms. Just gems, thats it. Gems range from chipped to Perfect, and can be made into a higher level by using the cube trick. In essence it takes 243 (3^5) chipped gems to make one perfect one... but flawless gems appear in great numbers later in the game, with perfect gems appearing only after smashing Mehpisto's soulstone.

(2) Weapons. In classic there are vast numbers of differences between the weapon selections when compared to LoD. As more people began to play and dupes became widely used in classic, Blizzard took this in to account and began to produce weapons/armor/jewelry in vast quantities in LoD that absolutely destroys the availability and effectiveness of classic items. New rare, unique, and normal weapons were added, including a new sub category for all types of weapons (i.e. sword, mace, etc) called elite items which are better than the exceptional items found in classic (i.e. short sword ==> becomes gladius), and changes were made to old ones. In classic there is a complete abstinence of elite items. Classic contains the same amount of classifications though, as follows:
(1) Normal (white)
(2) Magical (blue)
(3) Rare (yellow)
(4) Unique (gold)
(5) Set (green)
Also missing are elite uniques and sets. What you see is what you get, and will not change. Along the same lines, there are no unique javelins, or elite javelins, or rare javelins in Classic. All javelins are the same, and can not be imbued or altered in any ways, making the process of creating a classic Javazon a slight bit tougher. Rares in classic are rather weak compared to LoD, due to the lack of affixes and suffixes available. While percent damage added in classic max out at 200% and thats about as rare as being dealt a royal flush in a 5 card stud poker game, while LoD can greatly exceed that.
#2ChiefResurected(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2005 11:43:59 PMmessage detail
(3) Armor. No socketed armor. Socketed armor will never spawn in a game, and it will not be gambled or bought or traded for, the exception being the "socket rare" recipe that will allow a single socket into the armor. However, shields, helms, and weapons are all socket-able and will appear all throughout the game until high levels of nightmare and hell, in which case they begin to tail off greatly. Also the armor in classic is vastly weaker than that of LoD due to the restrictions of the highest type of armor. Base armor stats are underpowered and the suffixes and prefixes are again altered, not allowing for the 2,000 + defense armor commonly present in LoD.

(4) Acts. LoD added an extra act, in which there are more quests and you kill Baal, whose Diablo's partner/brother in crime. Classic does not have this act, and ends after you kill Diablo in act 4. The rewards given for completing Act 5 quests are not available in classic either, so if you were banking on that, your out of luck.
(5) Mercenaries. Mercenaries in classic come as they are. You can not equip items to them, you can not put armor on them, and you can not heal them. Although they heal slowly on their own, mercs tend to become useless later in the game, lasting only a few seconds before being overwhelmed by hell's minions. There are also only 3 varieties or mercenaries, as opposed to 4 (rogue, spearman, mage). Another important fact about mercs are that in classic they do not carry over to games and acts.

(6) Blocking percentage. gaijin writes : "In LoD, Dexterity factors HEAVILY into the equation of actual blocking percentages. Especially at higher character levels. However, blocking percentages in Classic are more straight-forward. What the shield lists is exactly what you get." So in other words with only 20 dexterity, you can get maximum blocking percentage on your shields.

(7) Other item information. Other items, such as amulets and rings have been greatly dumbed down. The most common complaint about classic gear is the lack of good +skills gear. In general, there are slim to none options, with the exception of the SOJ, +1/+2 amulets and weapons and thats about it. And on these amulets, there's almost no hope of other solid modifiers. However, there are certainly enough weapons and amulets and the like to function, and there are still other items (such as Sigon's shield, wormskull, tarnhelm, hellplague and magefists raise fire skills specifically, etc) that provide plus skills in other areas. So now that your clear about differences I give you the official Beginners guide to 1.10 builds! While there are literally hundreds of builds, all varying in effectiveness, I only plan on posting some basic beginners ones and then adding more when I feel bored some day. The key to a good build is specialization. As any first time player can tell you, when you first go to make a character you will put 2 points into everything, and then by the time you hit late nightmare and hell, you realize a level 2 bonespear, 3 skeletons, a clay golem, life tap and poison dagger are just not going to cut it. So to save you the trouble here are some surefire builds. If one wants to duel (player versus player or pvp) More points should go to vitality than otherwise mentioned, while pvm builds don't require such strict adherence.


Necromancer Build


Bonemancer Build- Your main goal for this build is to kill things using magical damage. There are almost no monsters in the game that are resistant to magical damage, and with everything maxxed you will do a ton of it. So to begin, the skill set up
#3ChiefResurected(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2005 11:44:39 PMmessage detail
Poison/Bone Skill Tree -- This is going to be your main skill tree, so learn it well, and come back to it often to distribute your skill points. The correct order to distribute skill points is Teeth, Wall (until you get Spear) then max spear, then a couple into Spirit and prison, and then from there put more points into what you like more whether it be spirit or wall or prison.

20 Bone Spear - This will be your main pvm weapon for most of the game. This solid attack will go through monsters, and can clear an entire hallway in one shot. Extremely valuable and mana efficient. Max this skill as soon as you acquire it.
20 Bone Spirit - This is a spirit that has a homing capability. The duelers best friend, it is available after spear, and is definitely worth maxing. Although it requires a bit more mana, the effects of spamming (or repeatedly casting) this spell can be devastating.
20 Bone Wall - A wall. Made of Bones. Go figure... Actually an incredibly valuable skill, that blocks monsters from reaching you. It also synergies with spear, spirit, and armor pumping those skills up, causing more damage and giving you more defense. Definitely worth maxing, and experiment with it to learn how to cast it.
20 Bone Prison - Sort of like wall, except instead of casting a wall straight across, it casts it around a target. Cast 3 or 4 bonewalls around a monster, and there is no chance of escape. Cast an iron maiden on said monster, and watch as they hack their way out of the prison, they'll be dealing 250% damage back to themselves, and they'll die without you having launched a single attack!
1 Armor- An incredibly important skill. However, only one point is needed because both wall and prison synergize with it, adding 15 points, while a point into armor only adds 10 points. So by adding a point to wall your actually adding a point to wall, 15 more damage points to armor, and around 20 more attack points to spear/spirit. Not a bad deal, but again only 1 point is needed here.
#4ChiefResurected(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2005 11:45:12 PMmessage detail
1 Teeth- Ah, Teeth. The trouble with teeth is the fact that only one "tooth" can hit at a time. So even if you shoot 27 teeth, only one can hit a monster at a time. Believe me when I say you'll be happy you saved the skill points that could have gone into teeth for spear/wall/spirit.
Curses Tree -- Highly Under-rated for a bonemancer. This tree provides important skills, and with around +3 in skills from plus skill items, these can become important items.

1 Amp Damage - Important until you get spear. You will have to deal primarily with physical damage until level 18 unless you find a wand with teeth skills, or a wand with some summon abilities, so having amp damage will help you with the difficult problem of killing things with a puny wand.
1 Dim Vision - Absolutely crucial at some times. Although it is easy to forget you have, when ranged enemies are blinded, its amazing how easy it is to breeze through a group of archers or mages or other ranged attackers, and just sit there and blow their brains out while they are too blind to fight back.
1 Iron Maiden - I love this curse. Throw a couple bone walls in front of a pack of monsters, or spam prisons around them, throw this curse on, and watch them die trying to hack their way out of the bone walls that surround them. Nothings like watching Andarial kill herself. It also has minor uses while things are killing you in the beginning.
1 Weaken - You'll use it early on in the game, and then later for parties. Granted its not the most important skill for a bonemancer to have, it does have its uses. This point may be thrown into teeth if your so inclined.
1 Confuse - Funniest curse of all time. Cast this on a group of monsters, watch them get confused and start beating the crap out of each other. While they're killing each other, you can just sit back, relax, and shoot spears at them until they are all dead. It is also a powerful attract spell, bringing monsters from FAR off screen, so it can also serve as a scouting tool.
1 Attract - Force monsters to all kill one specific monster. This can be insanely helpful. One of the most powerful curses, watch as an entire pack of devil kin turn on the devil kin shaman and kill him. Useful for all sorts of trouble, and again, reasonably amusing to watch.
1 Decrepify - Putting that point into weaken should be done if only to use this skill. It drastically weakens a monster, while at the same time slowing it down greatly and making it essentially a slow moving target. Just pound away at it until it dies, because it can do nothing to you.

Summon Tree -- Totally useless to a bonemancer. A golem from a wand may be helpful to take some damage but otherwise don't waste any points here and dedicate all your points into the above skills.

This build requires 90 points, and thusly should be done by level 78 (including the 12 skill points you get from quests.) All remaining skill points can be used to pump up teeth, thusly synergizing with Spirit and Spear, making them even more powerful. Most skills can be bolstered to 23-26 with plus skill gear, which also greatly helps.
#5ChiefResurected(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2005 11:45:48 PMmessage detail
Stat Points

Strength - Enough to wear the gear you want to use. I'd reccomend putting a total of 20 points here. Any more can be found elsewhere using items. Silks of the Victor requires 100 skill points, while sigs shield requires 76, and a good breastplate requires 55. Just some things to consider, although its not reccomend you attempt to use silks, as the mods are not all together beneficial for a necro.

Dex - Leave at base, theres absolutely no need for dexterity.

Vitality - Oh baby, pump it up pump it up. Once you have everything else where you want it, the rest of your skill points are belonging here.

Energy - Hopefully you'll be able to find lots of regenerate mana and + mana gear. Leach life will not work here because it only works with physical attacks, something you will not be doing. If you stumble across a shield called Wall of the Eyeless, it adds +5 mana after every kill. So put a couple points here until you can comfortably cast spells using only the pots your find on the ground.


Barbarian Build


Barbarian Build- The barbarian - everyones favorite fighting class. Your main goal here will be to hit things with sharp/pointy/blunt objects until they die. Here's a simple build, that happens to be very generic.

20- Weapon Mastery of Choice - This is the key to a good barb. Your choices encompass all of the possible weapons one could run across, but only two are really worth having. This is because of the mechanics of whirlwind. Wielding two weapons and wirlwinding (ww) does not cause twice the damage, nor does it cause 50% more hits in classic, but instead the weapons just alternate hits every four (4) frames when the game runs a check to see if your attack hits or not. So a good whirlwind barb will not need to worry about having two weapons, but rather one very strong one. This leaves us with spears and mace class items. Lance barbs are popular due to the extreme range of the lance, it allows for very effective skirting around while still causing mass damage. The problems with lances are the relative rarity of them, the very weak durability, and the fact that they require quite more dexterity then most care to put into it. Hammers on the other hand are very short ranged, and also quite slow. However, two of them can be wielded until lvl 30 using double swing, which negates the slowness, yet does nothing to help the short range. Hammers are slightly more abundant and have durability of 60, which means they need to be repaired less. However, if one wanted to make a sword barb, there are a couple of options. Good swords are abundant, and if one could get an insanely powerful sword, and then equip a shield like swordback which increases open wounds, and also helps damage and blocking things, then that would be a solid build. Swords have the advantage of using 1 or 2 hands. While the two handed damage isn't as good as a martel or lance, the ability to use 1 hand greatly makes up for it. Another possible option is equipping said powerful sword and a gull dagger and magic finding all over the place. Your call, pick one and stick with it.
#6ChiefResurected(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2005 11:46:14 PMmessage detail
20 - Whirlwind - Oh freaking baby. Almost every barb that uses whirlwind loves it. Your barb goes into a spinning frenzy and has the ability to hit every 4 frames, causing mass damage. In classic IAS (increased attack speed) has nothing to do with how many hits you inflict, and thusly insanely heavy but powerful hammers and they like can be equipped, without worrying about the speed loss. The key with this skill is to not simply POWER through groups of people, but rather to skirt along the outside, hitting monsters without taking damage to yourself. This skill starts with a damage penalty, but once at level 20, the bonus is fairly sizable and allows for mass killings of enemies. Short bursts are often preferred to extended long ones, and will allow for more controlled whirlwinding and thus safer wwinding. The danger areas with this skill are that you can not pot (use potions) while doing it, it release insane amounts of lightning bolts from lighting uniques and normals such as the beetles in act 2, and if you have iron maiden cast on you while wwinding in act 4, then you can simply kiss yourself goodbye. A fun strategy involving whilrwind is knockback. With a Howltusk (unique helm) which causes knockback and terror in enemies, you have the chance to ww an enemy, knock them back, ww them again, knock them back again, and continue wwinding them until they die. Its possible to kill andy with one ww if you knock back effectively.

20- Battle Orders - This is essentially a self preservation skill. When maxed it bolsters your health, mana, stamina (who cares?) for you and your party by insane amounts which will keep you alive for much longer. It also synergies and has synergies for many skills, which helps a lot. Don't forget to always call this one out when going into a battle.

Those are your maxed skills. One from each tree. Now onto the less important, but still key skills. Distribute points how you may, but make sure you have at least one in each.
#7ChiefResurected(Topic Creator)Posted 1/1/2005 11:47:18 PMmessage detail
Bash - A prerequisite to many things, its a solid skill for a little bit, but concentration will later replace it. Knock back feature is nice for getting out of a jam though.

Leap - only put a point here, unless your making a leap attack barb (don't laugh, i've tried one). Leap attack has insane distances if used correctly, so more than a point here will not be necessary. However, it is useful because it comes with a knockback feature that can be used for jumping around places like the maggot liar without setting off chains of lightning.

Leap Attack - Quite possibly the most glitchy skill in the game. You can leap any distance now, and then attack a creature. It also works sort of like a poorman's teleport. It definitely has its uses but more than point is not necessary.

Concentration - Your primary non-whrilwind skill. It has great increases of attack rating and damage, and its uninterruptible, AND increases attack. For dealing with pesky things or when you don't have enough mana to whirlwind. A good set up for a barb is to make this your left attack and whirlwind your right attack. Just a suggestion, many people make ww their left attack and BO (battle orders) their right attack. Whatever you find most comfortable. Personally i use the concentrate - ww set up with BO hot keyed. This should be used in most cases over berserk because it allows for leaching which all barbs can not do without.

Berserk- THE physical immune (PI) skill. This deals large quantities of magic damage, and takes cares of PI uniques with ease. However, it does not leach life or mana, and thusly can cause some problems. But it will be your friend in hell when all the stoned skinned monsters turn into physical immunes.

Battle Command - Plus one skill points. Very nice for partying and for yourself. Battle Orders will add time here, so this skill should last for a couple minutes. Feel free to put a couple points here, people will love you.

OTHER BARB SKILLS - Experiment with them. Some people only use warcries, and then mf using the find item option. There's tons of things to play around with, but my goal is only to give a simple build.
#8scrotalshavePosted 1/1/2005 11:48:15 PMmessage detail
Skill Points

Strength - As much as you need for equipment. The heaviest armors clock in at around 170 for an Ornate Plate. Martel's usually hit 169. Thats about as much as you could possibly need.

Dexterity - Could be needed for some items such as lances and swords, so be certain to have enough for the high ended items that you want to use and put enough skill points here in order to use those items, and then leave dexterity alone, and find AR and defense elsewhere.

Vitality - All points that are not needed to wear gear go into vitality. While some may consider this a waste, while they could be getting points of damage, or a higher attack rating, vitality is absolutely necessary. A finished Barbarian should have over 3,000 life with battle orders. This is necessary for withstanding the high-pressure attacks of Hell. No one can explain how hard hell can be until they get there.

Energy - Putting points here will not be necessary. With high level battle orders, and mana leech abilities, points into energy will not be necessary.

Notes: The most important thing for a barbarian is life leach and mana leach and attack rating. These three things will be your saving grace. Good life leach is between 10-20%, closer to 20 in HELL due to the leaching restrictions they add. Mana leech will be huge because whirlwind is not what we call a mana effective skill. However, with enough mana leach, you should never have to pot if you hit something with whirlwind. Seek for around 10-20 mana leach, less if your weapon deals over 200 base damage. Attack rating is important because you need to hit things. 75% is a good rating to shoot for. You can see your chance to hit by hovering your mouse over the attack rating, in case you didnt know... The most effective way of raising attack rating is the combination of angelic amulets/rings (set items) which raise AR exponentially depending on level. Duel rings with the ammy at level 70 can add 2,000 to you AR. Of course there are other alternatives. Your chance to hit ratio is also based on level, so as you see your level increase, you will also be able to see your to hit percentage going up. Dexterity raises your AR but not much, and is not a very good option.
#9scrotalshavePosted 1/1/2005 11:48:38 PMmessage detail

Zeal Paladin (written by Dark Half, in its full form, with a few minor tweeks)


Zealer Paladin
Well I am the dark half I have an level 81 pally I got to hell and beat hell diablo i do alot of damage and if you follow this guide well then you can too !

1-12 prerequisites to fanaticism and holy shield ( one point each nothing more ) as well as sacrifice, defiance
12-30 zeal, sacrifice, defiance, holy shield as many points as you see fit
30-80 fanaticism, zeal, sacrifice( if not maxed already) defiance, holy shield

This setup maxing zeal, fanaticism, sacrifice, holy shield, defiance will cost
100 points not including prerequisites for these skills ( 7 skill points on prerequisites) by level 80 you will have 92 skill points ( yes including all the skill quests) so use these wisely
if you don't want to max zeal that gives you another 15 to play around with ( 5 to just have the 5 hit ability and less of a damage boost)

mods – you will want these mods on your equipment in this order:
life, +stats , + skills, faster hit recovery, damage modifiers, defense multipliers, resistance obviously in weapons you will look for damage and in armors defense but otherwise this if the order you look for things.

What & Why
Weapon - High damage rare one handed Naga - high damage hammers with speed equal to a Naga are hard to find, also nagas usually have more damage

High defence ornate – ( Ideally 750+) see mods above

Belt – the more FHR( faster hit recovery) defense and resistance the better but mods above still apply

Boots – ( 30 faster walk speed ) high def if you can get - use these for whatever mods you may be lacking in when you choose boots such as resistance, dexterity, don’t rely on them too much unless you're using duped ones.

Helm – High defense mods above resistance if you can get but not important.

Rings – min damage gets boosted here as sojs are not the greatest for a zealer, life leech is important to get here and min dmg is good too; resistance is ok as well and a nice perk if you can find. Another really important thing to look for is Life and Mana leech as always, especially life leech, because you will have no real way to escape.

Amulet + 2 and whatever mods you need

Shield + 2 20 block rate /30 increased chance to block/17 fhr and mostly resistance

Gloves – increased attack speed and follow above mods
#10scrotalshavePosted 1/1/2005 11:49:19 PMmessage detail
How to play:
You are a Zealer and if you have the right skills and the right equip then ideally you should jump into the heart of the fray and hammer everyone into submission. And hopefully quickly as you have no way of getting out and end up relying on damage, leech, and fhr to survive. Zealers are not good duelers, whirlwind from a barb beats then every time and sorceresses teleport out of the way. If you want a dueler paladin go for a Foher or a Hammerdin. Use the usual leveling methods and play with lots of other people they will help you gain exp and you will help them with your auras ( most noticeably with barbarians as fanaticism helps them lots)

This is version 1.0 of my Faq! More builds to come

If you want to talk about Diablo 2 Classic or if you have any questions IM me at ElevatorChief

This Guide is copyrighted (c) 2004 by Nick Pavlak
Blizzard is a copyright of the Blizzard Corporation

Thanks go out to:

Gaijin for various informational posts
The Dark Half for his Zeal Pally Build
Blizzard for making the game and letting me play it for free