**********Diablo II - Lord of Destruction*********
                    *********Multiplayer Guide********


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Date:   17-10-01
Author: Ben Cleaver	
E-mail: benc2k@aol.com
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                               *Please Note*
This guide may not be distributed or used in any way for personal gain without
the permission of myself. If you wish to place this guide on your webpage please
e-mail me to the address above, I will gladly share this guide if I belive it is
not for someones personal gain. All Diablo II trademarks and battle.net are owned 
by Blizzard entertainment and this guide must not be used to break any of Blizzards 
own policies and ruling. Please refer to www.blizzard.com for any additional info.
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  _____________________________
 (  TABLE OF CONTENTS:         )
 (  1) Introduction            )
 (  2) Info on Battle.net      )
 (  3) Getting Started         )
 (  4) Beginners Tips          )
 (  5) Playing The Game        )
 (  6) Rare Item Finding Tips  )
 (  7) Hardcore Guide          )
 (  8) Additional Information  )
 (_____________________________)

           
----------------------------------------(1)------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------Introduction--------------------------------------------------
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   After looking on GameFAQS and not seeing a multiplayer guide available on one of 
the best online games I decided it was time I took action. Diablo II has been one
of the greatest online experiences available, and the new Lord of Destruction 
add-on was what we were all waiting for. Forget all the online games of Starcraft,
Ultima Online, Command & Conquer and even the great Counter Strike, you are going
to find your place in the huge community of Diablo II. 
   
   Many of my friends who own this game liked playing it offline, in the single
player mode, which is very enjoyable with the O latency (lag) and playing the game
through and finding some of the rare items available. They had never played the 
online game, which in my opinion offers a lot more to you. When you log onto 
battle.net you have the oppurtunity to make great teams, and progress throughout
the game without being fiercly outnumbered by the deamons and monsters in the world.
Enjoy this Guide to battle.net, I have tried to include all my own experience for 
playing to aid you, please enjoy reading :)

  

-------------------------------------(2)---------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------Info on Battle.Net-------------------------------------------------
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   Battle.net is your gateway into the multiplayer universe of Diablo II, LOD. 
Sometimes battle.net can be unresponsive at times, but due to many people being on
the game it can be a difficulty. I live in the UK and find the best times to play
is in the morning where America are asleep, well most of them :D

  Choose your times to play, and you will enjoy a lag free environment, but if you
have some sort of broadband access then you should have no problems at any time of
play. 


***** You can make as many accounts as you feel necessary, but these       
***** are the points that you should be aware of when making many accounts:


* More accounts mean more characters to play with, look at tips for the benifits
  for having multiple accounts in section 4.
* You MUST play your account for at least 2 hours within 48 hours of making it, 
  or it will be wiped.
* After making the account and playing for the 2 hours, it will stay on the system
  for upto 90 days, so as long as you do play your multiple accounts at least 2 hours
  then they are safe.
* Make a note of you accounts, because my friend forgot 1 of his with many characters
  who had rare items with them, put their passwords somewhere safe.


***** Chatting in the battle.net rooms


* The people in the rooms will probably be experienced players who know a lot more than
  you, so be wary as some of their intentions may be unhealthy for your account ;)
* If you see some messages asking for your account name and password because of a 'bug',
  ignore them becuase someone is trying to steal your account. Blizzard never ask for 
  account details.
* If your stuck in a game on a certain act, ask someone in the room to give you a hand, 
  some players who are high levels will gladly help a new player get on their feet.
* Try to make friends with someone who is a similar level to you, there is a possibility
  that they have another character which has a very high level, and you may even get some
  goodies from them.

   If you get the messages 'player not found' or 'realm down' please do not threat, close
Diablo II totally and reload, if this does not work you may need to reconnect to your 
internet. I tend to try different numbers if I experience such problems.


--------------------------------------(3)--------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------Getting Started--------------------------------------------------
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   So what character are you going to choose? I have created a list below to show
you what each character has that makes them a good choice:

* Amazon- The amazon is fast and doesnt get into much combat where she is hurt, 
  quite a hard character to train up for your first, and you will only gain exp in
  big groups. 
  Beginners Rating: 6/10

* Assassin- My friend chose this character over the overs to play first, and he belives
  that it is the best. If you screw up the skills you give it you can make a pretty
  ineffective assasin. The only problem with this character is that its hard to do some
  really quick killing for the rare and unique items mentioned later in the guide.
  Beginners Rating: 5/10

* Barbarian- My first character I made on my Diablo II account was the barbarian, and I 
  think that it is the best character by far for new players. I was able to train it up
  extremely fast and make it strong enough to get unique items for my other characters. 
  You can use a high level barbarian to equip your other characters later in the game.
  Beginners Rating: 10/10

* Necromancer- Perhaps one of the harder characters to train up, the necromancer is a 
  very weak character who relys on his minions to do the damage. Good if you dont want
  to risk dying early in the game, but when you come to fight the bosses of Durial, 
  Diablo and Baal you will find training this guy up as your first character very
  challanging.
  Beginners Rating: 4/10

* Sorceress- The Sorcersss is supposed to be the strongest character by far, many of my
  friends say a high level sorceress is perfect for player killing (pk) due to its best
  spells. For a new player this character may be a bit hard to get used to, but it is 
  quite easy to train her up as they get extremely strong later in the game. 
  Beginners Rating: 9/10

* Paladin- The paladin is similar to the Barbarian in many ways, however when you have a
  paladin you should probably use a shield at all times. Unlike the barbarians who normally
  wield two weapons or one large one, the paladin commonly uses maces or swords with a good
  shield. A very good character to train up, as its just 'bash bash' like the barbarian 
  which really is the easiest way to get a high level fast.
  Beginners Rating: 8.5/10

* Druid- The second of the new characters, and is the more physical of the two. The druid 
  can use his shape-shifting techniques to change into either a werewolf or a werebear.
  Takes a lot of training and patience to train up this character. I would say that it is
  more challanging than a barbarian to train, but I dont think its final skills are too 
  great for a new player. Perhaps would be better once you have your first character up
  a few levels.
  Beginners Rating: 6/10


                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   Really it is upto you what you decide to become first, I certainly believe that the
barbarian is by fas the easiest character to train up, and it is very important to have
one really good character. Please read in the tips for finding magical items in section
6 to understand why it is so vital. 
   I tried to train up a barbarian and a necromancer and I ended up with a level 77 
barbarian and a level 17 necromancer becuase I focused on the easiest to get up. You 
will find many players in the games you join will be the same classand a similar level, 
see if you can pick up tips from them.
                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

------------------------------------(4)----------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------Beginners Tips----------------------------------------------------
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COMMON INFORMATION
  
   After choosing your first character you can now join or create your own games. For
a new player you should definatly go on join games and choose one with a name such 
as: 'Act 1 Start', and look for how many players are on, because this will decide
how much exp you get.

  Try to avoid games like 'bloodrun123' or 'baalkill01' because these are for better 
players who just want to do fast killing and leave to make a new one. Join a game 
where the players will stay on for some time. If you join a game with 7 other players, 
their levels are all added up then divided to decide how much exp you get, so if there
is a nice level 70 person helping, it will also aid you. All you should be interested
in is some quick levels.
   
JOINING PARTYS

  If you want to join a party, press P on your keyboard and if someone has invited you
you can 'accept' their invitation. You can also invite other people to join your party
on this option. You will share all the experience that your party gains as long as you
are in the area. Many players leech exp from people who work hard for it, although this
may seem very tempting you are missing out on all the rare items that others are getting.

QUICK EXPERIENCE

  The quickest way to get some experience is to join games with 5-7 players already on 
them. Start fighting in the blood moor, but if you have the oppurtunity to go further in
the act kindly ask for a tp. Mass killing will get you upto a high level, so start training.
I have got a paladin on level 10 within 30 minutes so it is very easy to get the levels up.

GENERAL TIPS

  If you feel like your out of your depth, allow others to do the work for you. Take breaks
to heal and always fight in a group to increase your chances of surviving. Be kind to your
fellow players and you may get a present :)


-------------------------------------(5)---------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------Playing The Game--------------------------------------------------
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THE 5 ACTS

  On Single Player the only way to finish the game (without hacking) was to make your
way through the acts and finish most or all the quests. On multiplayer though you 
can miss quests out to progress. My advice is to NOT just rush through the quests to
get to act 5 for 'mega exp' because it won't happen. Players get very angry if you 
have done this, and you don't get anywhere near as much exp as you may like. Below are
some of my guidelines for levels you should be at in all the 3 different modes. The 
levels are shown from the minimum to the maximum you should stay in each act.

         
                                   NORMAL MODE
          ___________________________________________________________
             ACT 1       ACT 2       ACT 3        ACT 4       ACT 5 
          -----------------------------------------------------------
            1 - 12      13 - 20     21 - 29      30 - 34     35 - 43+
          -----------------------------------------------------------


                                   NIGHTMARE MODE
          ___________________________________________________________
             ACT 1       ACT 2       ACT 3        ACT 4       ACT 5 
          -----------------------------------------------------------
            40 - 46      47 - 52     53 - 57     58 - 61     62 - 68+
          -----------------------------------------------------------


                                   HELL MODE
          ___________________________________________________________
             ACT 1       ACT 2       ACT 3        ACT 4       ACT 5 
          -----------------------------------------------------------
            65 - 68      69 - 70     71 - 73     74 - 77     78 - 99
          -----------------------------------------------------------

  
*  Some people may believe some of these levels are a bit high, but you need to
   know whether you are ready for playing in the acts and modes that you are. Because
   you can play on your own to get rare items (please refer to section 6) later in
   the game. 

*  Dont be tempted by the chances to get too far ahead in the acts, about 
   2 days before I wrote this guide I was playing with my level 39 necromancer in
   nightmare mode and a level 6 amazon joined the game and was 3 acts ahead of me.
   Totally ridiculous and a waste of time because she could only join nightmare 
   games when in the chatrooms. She died from a zombie when in act 1 and left the 
   game ^_^ 


---------------------------------------(6)-------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------Rare Item Finding Tips--------------------------------------------
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   The first character I trained up was my barbarian, who is now on level 77. I have
not trained him up to level 99 because I want to get my necromancer and my lvl 70 
sorceress up. The only reason my necromancer and sorceress are good characters is due
to the fact that I have some very unique items that I captured with my barbarian.

THE BEST METHOD

  If you have took my advice and trained up your barbarian, or even a paladin would do,
you can do a fair and easy way of getting rares. You need to be around level 50 to do
this right, and to have finished act 3 on normal mode. Follow the instructions below
if this applies to you:

1) Create a game, doesnt matter what name, and make a password. I usually type something 
   like 'dsjfmjdsfmds' and password 'fdgfdg' because its fast and nobody will have it. 

2) Once in the game go straight to act 3 durance of hate level 2 waypoint. Mephisto is 
   well known to give the best items than most other bosses. Make sure you have any
   magic item boosts equipped. I use a helmut with 3 perfect topaz in, the defence is only
   29 compared to my 215 defence helmut but it isnt inportant.

3) If your a barbarian you can use leap attack on level 1 (which jumps as far as level 20 leap)
   and hop over all the monsters. Once on floor 3 just leap over the red portal to the
   Pandemonium Fortress and tackle Mephisto. I did this on level 50 a few times and found loads
   of uniques.

4) Do this a few times and you should find quite a few uniques. They probably will be normal
   uniques, but if you want exceptional and elite uniques then do this in nightmare and hell 
   mode.


WHAT IVE FOUND USING THIS METHOD

  Doing this over and over again in normal and nightmare mode I have found exceptional weapons,
plate armor and many gloves and boots etc. I found a bow which is 60-122 damage and +2 to necro
skills so I use that for my necromancer. I have also found Immortal Kings helmut and lots of set 
items. Rare items are common from Mephisto, and if you only get magic (blue) items then you have 
been short changed.

WHY ITS ONE OF THE BEST METHODS

* Extremely fast to do
* Mephisto gives the best items
* Only 1 floor to go down
* Not really too hard for a decent barbarian
* Can be done with any good character, but barbs. are the fastest :)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON RARES, UNIQUES AND SETS

  Although I believe this method is very good, there are many others, you can get rare items at
any time in the game from any monster, but your chances do increase with the mepthod above. 
If you are in a big group you have a better chance, but it is certain that everyone is looking
to get these too, so you may be out-looted. My friends say they get all their items from hell
mode, but nightmare is where I have found nearly all my items, and I even know level 60 barbs. 
that only train in normal mode. Killing bosses is the sure fire way of getting the rares you want.


----------------------------------(7)------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------Hardcore Guide------------------------------------------------------
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   This is where it gets very interesting, the hardest mode available can be unlocked
on battle.net aswell. Once you have finished the game and have that renounced title
'Slayer' then you can enter the hardcore arena. You want to know all the good and bad parts
of this, well read on...

BAD PARTS :(

* Lots of PK'rs can make it very annoying.
* You get ONE life, you die and thats it.
* ONE LIFE???!!!
* Everyone goes 'rip rip R.I.P' if you die, which makes me curse a lot.

GOOD PARTS :)

* Better items to find in my experience.
* Very, very exciting. 
* Makes the game more enjoyable if you survive (if).

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TO UNLOCK HARDCORE MODE: Finish the game in normal mode to create hardcore characters.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   Yeah...its the hardest mode around, and can be one of the most annoying available.
Ive lost level 30 hardcore guys because of mega lag, once you see that black screen blocking
your path you need to get out of the game! If you do well though you can have the honour of
knowing that you are a expert Diablo player. 
   
VITAL TIPS

* You lag at any time, save and quit the game immediatly.
* If you get half health and there are monsters around you, get out of the game.
* If someone goes hostile and you dont think you can take them, dont!
* Play dirty, if you get annoyed at someone weaker than you then go hostile to scare them off.
* Don't take any risks, if you think you will die, then get out, if you cant switch pc off at
  the mains or something ;)

A very hard mode which you should not try to do until you have mastered a class, below are a
list of the characters and whether there good for hardcore mode or not.

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* Amazon- One of the best characters you could want to use in this mode, the amazon can dodge
  monsters and use her bows to attack. I suggest you read a bowazon FAQ as using a spear is 
  suicide. Let others do the work and you hide in a safe place with your bow and you will be ok.
  Hardcore Rating: 8.5/10

* Assassin- This character may be quite hard no get to terms with in normal mode, but she does
  suit the rigors of hardcore gaming. You can use your traps to aid you in your survival, and 
  with the many good charge up attacks you could pick your attacks well. If you get overrun 
  with monsters then you may need to make a hasty retreat. Once on level 30 hit some points 
  into death centry and shadow master, as your double can die all she wants :)
  Hardcore Rating: 7.5/10

* Barbarian- The best character in normal mode is far from the best in hardcore. Although my
  normal barbarian is a high level, he has died I don't know how many times. The barbarian
  is suited to running in and causing mass destruction, this is why he is at threat more than
  others. However he is very strong and if you used a shield and hit more points into vitality
  then you could find him to be good for you. 
  Hardcore Rating: 7/10

* Necromancer- Perhaps one of the harder ones to train up without some sort of background 
  knowledge. If you can somehow live until level 30 with this character then you have reached
  a large milestone. My necro on normal mode seemed to become a man when he was able to get 
  his fire golem and revive high. Take no risks and avoid ALL contact with the enemies. Allow
  your minions to do the work or you will not last long at all.
  Hardcore Rating: 5.5/10

* Sorceress- Without a doubt the sorceress is the most popular character in hardcore mode. 
  She has the perfect mix of power and safety in her attacks. She can cast spells from a 
  safe distance and cause devestating damage. Use the sorceress well in hardcore mode and 
  you could live a long and illustrious life. 
  Hardcore Rating: 10/10

* Paladin- In hardcore mode you would probably see the paladin as the best combat character
  available. I have seen a lot of lower level paladins perish on the acts of 2 and 3. But 
  those that do live seem to be extremely strong. Get your Zeal high to do some fast and
  easy damage. Then you can consider getting your defensive auras up due to the one life
  clause ;) Make sure you have a good shield with resistance boosts for your characters.
  Dont go to act 2 until at least on level 15 if you want to live.
  Hardcore Rating: 8/10

* Druid- I've only heard good things about the druids on hardcore mode, even though they seem
  to be the least popular chosen. There ability to change is a great asset, but I noticed that
  many of hardcore druids use the elemental skills which I think are a waste of time in normal
  game mode. Get your summons up and don't rely on your transformations into wolf or bear too 
  much. Background knowledge on druids are needed before making this character on hardcore mode
  or you will find that in nightmare and hell modes you will die very fast.
  Hardcore Rating: 7/10

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  Be very careful with your choice of character, as this could determine whether your sucessful
  or not. Hardcore mode is created solely for players who find the normal play not challanging
  enough. I suggest that you must have tried the characters beforehand to make your own decisions
  on whether you are good enough to play without dying. 


--------------------------------(8)--------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------Additional Information---------------------------------------------------
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   If anyone has a problem or question about battle.net please send me an e-mail at 
benc2k@aol.com. I will try to answer all e-mails as thoroughly as possible. This is
my first guide on GameFAQs so I would gladly take any comments and suggestions that
you may want to make.

  Many thanks to Blizzard Entertainment(c) for making the great game, and I look forward
to future titles that they are sure to release.

BEST WEBSITES
* http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp/
* http://www.diabloii.net/

I believe that http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp/ is the best resource for Diablo II that you
could ever want. Its the official and the best, no contest, please refer to this for info on
every possible part of the game.

Copyright to Ben Cleaver 17/10/01, must not be distributed without permission from myself.
This guide should only be posted on GameFAQs, if it is on another webpage please inform me asap.
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