DIABLO II Necromancer FAQ ver. 1.0 by: Fiefo! (firstname.lastname@example.org) TABLE OF CONTENTS: A. Legal Stuff and Where to Find This FAQ B. Revision History C. What is This FAQ For? D. Necromancy 101 1. Curses 2. Poison and Bone Spells 3. Summoning Spells E. Training Your Necromancer F. Necromancer Walkthru 1. Act I 2. Act II 3. Act III 4. Act IV G. Boss Guide 1. Act I Bosses 2. Act II Bosses 3. Act III Bosses 4. Act IV Bosses H. Tips and Hints I. Help Me! J. Credits ----------------------------------------------------------------------- A. Legal Stuff: All the information here is for public viewing and should not be used for profit and the expressed permission of the author. Please do not use the information in here for any personal gain. This FAQ, being published in the Internet is automatically is protected by international copyright laws. In other words, this is mine! Don't remove my name and say, "This is my FAQ and I'm taking all of the credit for it!" Got it? This FAQ can only be found in these places for now... 1) www.gamefaqs.com (Lots of faqs here. Duh! The first update will ALWAYS be here!) 2) DLH.net (European site! Pretty cool design here!) 3) neoseeker.com (More like a host page, but it does got a few good FAQs as well!) 4) gameadvice.com (Actually has TWO sites within it!) ----------------------------------------------------------------------- B. Revision History 1.0 October 1, 2000 First draft. More to come? 1.1 October 3, 2000 Boss Guide Update. Thanks to Werebear and DragonSlayer2500. More websites where this FAQ can be found! 1.2 October 8, 2000 MAJOR REFORMAT of borders and spaces. Thanks to Thomas Schuering. UPDATE on almost everything! Thanks to Ja Mes Kor and Jason Lane (and the "Lurkers")for the big amount of info. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- C. What is This FAQ For? First things first, although this FAQ gives hints on how to play the game as a Necro, you can use a lot of the information, like the walkthru and the boss guide. But, it shows on how to use a Necromancer efficiently, because... HE'S TOUGH TO USE! Anyway, I hope you enjoy my work! ----------------------------------------------------------------------- D. Necromancy 101 This is a general runthrough on the Skill Tree of the Necromancer. As you know, there are some skills that are useful and some, well, plain suck. This goes for all of the Classes. But more so for the Necromancer! A lot of his skills are not useful, but he sure has some powerful stuff. This is just to make sure you don't get a lemon-like skill (which he's got a lot of!). 1. CURSES The weakest part of a Necromancer's Skill Tree. A lot of the stuff here is plain useless... but there are a few gems here... not much, but the few that are actually good you'll probably use until the end of the game. [FROM: Jason Lane Curses: You've underestimated the power of this entire tree. You're not the only one. Various people have played curse-specialized Necromancers. The curses are so powerful that it does in fact work - all the way through the higher difficulty levels. This tree is fully as powerful as the other two, if employed properly. ] -Jason Lane The great thing about curses is that they don't use up a lot of Mana points. Skill Name : Amplify Damage Required : None Skill Effect : Double damage to a group of enemies in a set radius. Pros : Makes killing bad guys much, much easier! Cons : Radius range and time of effect is limited. Comments : One of the better skills a Necromancer has to him. You'll probably use this in almost all instances when fighting. [FROM: Jason Lane Amplify Damage: Actually reduces the 'resist physical' attribute. This is largely irrelevant, but it does mean that melee attacks against the Insects will do 11 times as much damage as normal (they have 90% physical resistance), and similar effects will be seen against anything with the 'resist physical' attribute - Wraiths would be an example. Not as powerful as you think it is, in comparison to other curses. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Dim Vision Required : Level SIX (6) Skill Effect : Cursed monster's light radius is greatly reduced. Affects a certain area or group of monsters. Pros : Opponents can't see far ahead, making it easier to do sneak attacks or just sneak past opponents. Cons : Once you get close to the bad guys, it becomes pretty useless. Comments : Not really that good. It's pretty useful against monsters with projectile attacks, tho. [FROM: Jason Lane Dim Vision: This can completely freeze many monsters in their tracks - melee attackers as well as ranged. The major trick is that if it's already targeting something, it will continue to chase and target it. If it has to pick another action - ranged attackers do this for each attack - it'll realize it's blind and stop. I've noted earlier in this email that BONE WALL and FIRE GOLEM cause their victims to pick a new action. :) Of course, if it's attacked melee, it'll just counterattack... but this can still be used to effectively immobilize many opponents in many circumstances. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Weaken Required : Level SIX (6) Skill Effect : Casts a curse in a set radius that makes that group of monsters strike with less strength, thereby reducing the damage inflicted. Pros : Hey, damage done to you is reduced! Makes you like longer, right? Cons : A whole group of monsters, even while WEAKENed, can still take you out! Damage reduced isn't that much, unless you really put Skill Points here. Comments : Better off putting the Skill Point into AMPLIFY DAMAGE. That way, you can kill the monsters before they can even get a chance to cause damage! Skill Name : Iron Maiden Required : Amplify Damage, Level TWELVE (12) Skill Effect : Casts on a group of monsters, this will cause them to receive some damage that the cursed ones dish out. Pros : Opponents can actually kill themselves! Cons : You can still get killed! Doesn't seem to work on Elemental attacks. Comments : Good for fighting against those "Extra Strong" monsters. Cast it on them and then let your minions take the damage. Or just cast BONE ARMOR on yourself and let yourself get attacked and recast BONE ARMOR again and again until the monster dies! [FROM: Jason Lane Iron Maiden: In and of itself, is vastly powerful in combination with any minions - more so than the minions attacking in and of themselves. This is the single most commonly cast Necromancer curse on higher difficulties. It's worth it.] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Terror Required : Weaken, Level TWELVE (12) Skill Effect : Causes monsters to flee! Pros : Good when surrounded! Cons : You'll have to chase your opponent! Comments : Not that useful. Just try not to get surrounded and you won't need this skill at all. Besides, CORPSE EXPLOSION works better in clearing out a room if you are surrounded! [FROM: Jason Lane Terror: A wonderful curse. As I said in the BONE WALL entry, this can be used to end fights instantly. But wait, there's more! TERROR sets a bit of information on the monster, called its 'flee flag'. This means that REGARDLESS of whether TERROR is actually on it, the monster will continue to flee. Yes, this means that you can effectively stack another curse on TERROR. Why would you want to? Wait. :) ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Confuse Required : Dim Vision, Level EIGHTEEN (18) Skill Effect : Cursed monsters attacks anyone in range, friend or foe! Pros : Can make the opponent fight one of his partners. Cons : They still can attack you! You have to have learned DIM VISION! Comments : Kinda fun to use... but is it worth getting this skill? Not really. [FROM: Jason Lane Confuse: A beautiful, beautiful curse. Its basic effect is to cause CONFUSED monsters to attack any non-CONFUSED monster they see. The first note regarding this is that this only becomes effective when they decide what to do - ie, a FIRE GOLEM's aura affects them. So, I just said that TERROR was so useful. Why? Because you can stack CONFUSE the fleeing monsters.. and they will run off at warp speed to find non-CONFUSED monsters to kill! Another huge application of this skill comes from the fact that Uniques, Champions, and Bosses are basically immune to most curses - including this one. So if you cast a CONFUSE over the Unique and his army of Minions, all of the Minions will become CONFUSED... and the Unique won't. CONFUSE makes CONFUSED monsters attack non-CONFUSED monsters. Poor, poor Unique. :) ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Life Tap Required : Iron Maiden, Level EIGHTEEN (18) Skill Effect : When any of your party hits a monster inflicted with this, they will get back 50% on what they inflict. Pros : You can get your life back without using a potion! Cons : You have to hit to get life back! Comments : Use this on one-on-one battles only! You won't get enough life back if you try to fight back against a horde of baddies to survive. [FROM: Jason Lane Life Tap: You should never be meleeing anything as a Necromancer. If you play the game single-player, this curse is basically useless. If you ever play the game multiplayer, and use LIFE TAP with the right people around, they will follow you around like lost puppies. (Much as Barbarians do regarding my Paladin's high-level Concentration aura. Something about doing more than four times their usual damage, I think.) Why? Because LIFE TAP basically makes a melee Paladin or a Barbarian completely invincible. They do so much damage that having half of it return to them means it looks like they drank a Rejuvenation potion anytime they hit. LIFE TAP will make you lots and lots of friends. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Attract Required : Confuse, Level TWENTY-FOUR (24) Skill Effect : Cursed monsters attack each other! Pros : Hey! Any damage not done to you is great! Cons : You have to have learned DIM VISION! Comments : Watch the monsters fight each other! They kill each other and you and your minions can finish off the leftovers. Problem is, you've gotta learn DIM VISION, and that sort of sucks! [FROM: Jason Lane Attract: Like CONFUSE, worship this curse. The applications should be fairly common-sense - ATTRACT and CONFUSE basically make living monsters into your minions. Why bother with corpses? Note that like CONFUSE and DIM VISION, the effects of ATTRACT depend on having the monsters "decide what to do next". If they're already targeting something, you have to shake them off of it to make ATTRACT work. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Decrepify Required : Weaken, Level TWENTY-FOUR (24) Skill Effect : Cursed Monsters move sloooooooooowly. Pros : Makes opponents use slowly so's you can chase them down! Also does AMPLIFY DAMAGE and WEAKEN at the same time! Cons : Nothing really... but it's such a pretty stupid skill for a Level 24 curse. Comments : You and your minions will have an easier time smashing up baddies and avoiding the blows of the baddies! Still... at this point, you won't really need this skill! [FROM: Jason Lane Decrepify: An evil, evil curse. Its main application is in player-vs- player curse. This curse massively slows its victim, has an effect similar to a weaker AMPLIFY DAMAGE, AND WEAKENs things more than WEAKEN does. A high-level DECREPIFY and a high-level BONE SPIRIT are a very lethal combination in [player-vs-player] indeed. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Lower Resist Required : Decrepify, Life Tap, Level THIRTY (30) Skill Effect : Affected monster takes extra damage from elemental attacks. Pros : When used in conjunction with your poison attacks, FIRE GOLEM and SKELETAL MAGES, you can pump up the damage pretty fierce. Cons : AMPLIFY DAMAGE is better, and you can get that at Level 1, right from the start! Comments : For one thing, AMPLIFY DAMAGE is much more powerful when you've got a FIRE GOLEM and a good weapon. Another thing, it may increase the elemental damage caused, but you've got to have SKELETAL MAGES that live long lives to make this useful. [FROM: Jason Lane Lower Resist: Not all that useful. It's noteworthy that if you associate with a character whose primary attack forms do elemental damage and cast this Curse, they will worship you, follow you around, try to become your friend, etc.. Sorceresses would be the major example. I've had a Necromancer cast this spell for my Sorceress. Things die. Immediately. So a single, lonely point might be worth it. ] -Jason Lane 2. POISON AND BONE SPELLS A much better set of spells compared to Curses! Has some pretty powerful damaging spells and quite a few weak ones as well. Skill Name : Teeth Required : None Skill Effect : Throws a spread of magical bone projectiles. Pros : Your first magical projectile. Has spread damage. TEETH can pass thru opponents, harming the one behind the creature! The next spell after this is POWERFUL! Cons : Extremely SUCKY damage. Comments : Lot of pros, but pretty weak! Teeth becomes useless very quickly! Put one point into it, so you can learn the spell after this, which it pretty powerful! Skill Name : Bone Armor Required : None Skill Effect : A revolving shield of bones protect the Necromancer from melee and non-magical projectile attacks. Pros : If this is active, you take no damage from melee and non-projectile attacks from baddies. Cons : Doesn't protect against elemental and magical attacks. It can get destroyed. Comments : Great spell! Just watch the BONE ARMOR closely. If it gets damage, recast it again! Upgrade this a lot early in the game! Skill Name : Poison Dagger Required : Level SIX (6) Skill Effect : You can cause poison damage when using a dagger. Also amplifies attack rating when used. Pros : Poison damage with this spell is pretty good. You pump up the attack rating with this move, almost getting a sure hit. Cons : You need a dagger! Comments : When the hell are you gonna use a dagger? Skill Name : Corpse Explosion Required : Teeth, Level SIX (6) Skill Effect : Cast on a dead monster. The surrounding monsters will take 60-100% of the corpse's hit points! Pros : Does a heck of a lot of damage! Cons : You need a dead body to use this. Comments : Bound to be one of your favorite spells! Kill a monster. Lead baddies to the dead monster and let loose with this! If the group of baddies don't die, they should be easy pickings! If some of them die, use this again... Use in conjunction with AMPLIFY DAMAGE for lotsa mayhem! [FROM: Jason Lane Corpse Explosion: The first spell I've found you overestimating the effectiveness of. While this is a wonderful offensive spell, as of version 1.03 the damage does not scale with monster hp. Say you use this against a monster that has 1000 hp. In a single-player game, this will do 600-1000 damage and, of course, be wonderful. In an eight-player game (common in Realm play), however, it will STILL do 600-1000 damage.. while the monster will now have huge numbers of additional hp. REVIVED and other methods become more effective methods of doing damage at ths point. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Bone Wall Required : Bone Shield, Level TWELVE (12) Skill Effect : Creates a wall of bone to block your opponent's path. Pros : You can either use this to escape or prevent monsters from escaping! Cons : Pretty useless in almost all situations! Hard to aim properly! The SKELETONS that you re-animate will actually try to destroy it! Comments : Don't waste your time here. By this time, running should be easy with AMPLIFY DAMAGE-CORPSE EXPLOSION combo. Besides, you've got minions to sacrifice when you want to escape! [FROM: Jason Lane Bone Prison : These two spells are widely agreed, by those who use Bone Wall them, to be the most widely underestimated Necromancers spells in the game. BONE WALL is up there with TERROR, in general, as one of the best spells for ending a fight that's not going your way IMMEDIATELY. Very, very unfair kills are possible against the Smith and Hephasto with BONE WALL. One of these spells' major advantages, and one that's very hard to find out about, is the fact that their HP scale with difficulty level. In Hell difficulty, BONE WALL has a base of 400+ hp. Furthermore, EACH SECTION has that many hp - meaning that attacks on unrelated sections of the wall don't effectively combine. The destruction of one section, of course, results in the destruction of the whole wall. It's worth noting here, because it'll become relevant when I get to Curses, that BONE WALL causes monsters to stop and think about what to do next. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Poison Explosion Required : Poison Dagger, Corpse Explosion, Level TWELVE (18) Skill Effect : Poison explodes from a corpse. Pros : Works well against monsters with good defense. Cons : Not as powerful as CORPSE EXPLOSION. You have to get POISON DAGGER... which is very useless! Comments : Stick with CORPSE EXPLOSION. This is only useful against opponents who have high defense ratings... but you've got AMPLIFY DAMAGE so there's no need to worry against high defense monsters, correct? Skill Name : Bone Spear Required : Corpse Explosion, Level EIGHTEEN (18) Skill Effect : Throw a magical bone projectile at opponents. Pros : Very powerful, very fast. The projectile will pierce thru monsters, hitting baddies who are behind them. Good for creating long distance CORPSE EXPLOSIONS. Cons : Lots of mana needed. Comments : I love this one! Useful in tight places when you can just line up the baddies and let loose with this multiple times to kill all of them quickly! Use against multiple baddies. Skill Name : Bone Prison Required : Bone Wall, Level TWENTY-FOUR (24) Skill Effect : Surrounds monsters with Bone Walls. Pros : Makes monsters stop running so you can pelt them with projectiles. Cons : Useless in most cases. The SKELETONS that you re-animate will actually try to destroy it! Comments : Like BONE WALL, don't waste your time here... but then again, you wouldn't be able to learn this in the first place unless you wasted your time with BONE WALL, right? [FROM: Jason Lane Bone Prison : These two spells are widely agreed, by those who use Bone Wall them, to be the most widely underestimated Necromancers spells in the game. BONE WALL is up there with TERROR, in general, as one of the best spells for ending a fight that's not going your way IMMEDIATELY. Very, very unfair kills are possible against the Smith and Hephasto with BONE WALL. One of these spells' major advantages, and one that's very hard to find out about, is the fact that their HP scale with difficulty level. In Hell difficulty, BONE WALL has a base of 400+ hp. Furthermore, EACH SECTION has that many hp - meaning that attacks on unrelated sections of the wall don't effectively combine. The destruction of one section, of course, results in the destruction of the whole wall. It's worth noting here, because it'll become relevant when I get to Curses, that BONE WALL causes monsters to stop and think about what to do next. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Poison Nova Required : Poison Explosion, Level THIRTY (30) Skill Effect : Necromancer produces foul-smelling Body Odor (hehe). Pros : All monsters surrounding the Necro takes a big, powerful whiff of poisonous, and deadly body odor, or something like that. You don't need a corpse or a whimpy dagger! Cons : You need to learn POISON DAGGER! Comments : In the first place, you shouldn't get surrounded! Also, it takes time to kill with poison, so you can still die while waiting for the monsters to die! Skill Name : Bone Spirit Required : Bone Spear, Level THIRTY (30) Skill Effect : Aim at a baddie and cast this. The projectile will hunt down the target! Pros : Follows the baddie wherever it may go! Extremly Powerful! Cons : Dissipate with time. Doesn't hit multiple monsters like BONE SPEAR and TEETH. You have to aim it to make sure it hits the desired baddie. Comments : Extremly useful, especially against fast moving monster who are hard to aim with the BONE SPEAR. Use this against single opponents. [FROM: Jason Lane All of the Poison spells: Poison, for numerous reasons, is horribly buggy in Diablo 2. It fails to work in a whole multitude of nasty ways. No one who's not deliberately playing a difficult character should consider these spells at all. ] -Jason Lane 3. SUMMONING SPELLS Although you only use these spells from time to time (re-casting your Golem, trying to get a better Skeletal Mage, etc.), these are probably your most useful spells in the game for the Necromancer! Skill Name : Raise Skeleton Required : None Skill Effect : Raises a Skeleton Warrion from a dead monster to fight for you. Pros : Have an extra ally when you need it! Cons : Pretty dumb (can get in your way in tight corridors) Very low HP. Pretty much useless by the end of Act I. Comments : Putting Skill points into this will increase the number of SKELETON WARRIORS you can create at a time. By the end of Act I, these guys pretty much die with a few hits, so I suggest you don't put too much reliance on these guys. [FROM: Jason Lane Raise Skeleton: It would be a good idea to make the entry for Raise Skeleton read more like: "This skill is completely useless after Act I Normal, and in the higher difficulties becomes a complete joke. Do not even think about putting a second point into this skill. Ever." ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Skeleton Mastery Required : Raise Skeleton Skill Effect : Raises the damage and health of all types of SKELETONS and REVIVED creatures. Pros : Makes your SKELETONS stronger and tougher to kill! Being a PASSIVE Skill, this requires no Mana. Cons : The boost in life and damage really isn't sufficient to put a lot of points into this skill. Comments : You may want to put a few points here, but in the long run, it would be better to put the points into GOLEM skills. Skill Name : Clay Golem Required : Level SIX (6) Skill Effect : Creates a creature from the ground to fight for you. Pros : Stronger and tougher that your Skeleton creatures in every way. Cons : You can have only one Golem, of any type, at a time. Pretty dumb (can get in your way in tight corridors) Comments : Putting points here will give the CLAY GOLEM more life and strength, NOT the ability to make more GOLEMS. This is better than the SKELETON WARRIORS in every way. But they do become useless by the middle of Act II. [FROM: Jason Lane Clay Golem: I'm told that various odd strategies involving them are possible, mainly revolving around Iron Maiden and the fact that they cost very, very little to cast. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Golem Mastery Required : Clay Golem, Level SIX (6) Skill Effect : Increases the life and speed of your Golems. Pros : Your Golems will live longer and move faster. Being a PASSIVE Skill, this required no Mana. Cons : Doesn't increase the attacking power of your GOLEMS. Comments : Put some points into it. You're gonna use GOLEMS a lot, even in the end part of the game. Skill Name : Raise Skeletal Mage Required : Raise Skeleton, Level TWELVE (12) Skill Effect : Summons from a dead baddie a SKELETON that can throw elemetal projectiles. Pros : Projectile throwing SKELETONS makes it easy to find baddies. They do elemental damage, which is always useful. Cons : Pretty dumb (can get in your way in tight corridors) They die easily in higher stages of the game. Comments : Putting points here increases the amount of SKELETAL MAGES you can have at a time, So, if you want, put a lot of points here to have a powerful elemental army! Skill Name : Blood Golem Required : Clay Golem, Level EIGHTEEN (18) Skill Effect : Summons a Golem that is linked to your health. Pros : Very tough to kill! When the BLOOD GOLEM hits a monster, you get back a small percentage of life. Cons : When the BLOOD GOLEM is hit, you lose a small percentage of life. You can have only one Golem, of any type, at a time. Pretty dumb (can get in your way in tight corridors) Comments : Good for getting life back. Just sit back and watch it give you life by letting it kill baddies for you. Unfortunately, if your BLOOD GOLEM gets overwhelmed, you lose some life as well. Putting Skill Points here will increase the damage and the percentage of life/damage returned to you. [FROM: Ja Mes Kor Blood Golem: BLOOD GOLEM is your blood of survival till ACT 4. ] -Ja Mes Kor [FROM: Jason Lane Blood Golem: You underestimate the current (v1.03) power of BLOOD GOLEM and IRON MAIDEN. While BLOOD GOLEM is nothing special in and of itself, damage inflicted by IRON MAIDEN is counted as damage inflicted by the GOLEM. Meaning that the GOLEM will heal itself, and you, thus making the two of you practically immortal. Note that this is widely agreed to be a bug, and will probably get nerfed (weakened). Eventually. -Jason Lane Skill Name : Summon Resist Required : Golem Mastery, Level TWENTY-FOUR (24) Skill Effect : All your minions gets resistances to elemental attacks. Pros : Your minions don't die that easily from elemental magic. Being a PASSIVE Skill, this required no Mana. Cons : Your minions still will die from elemental attacks! This skill DOES NOT increase YOUR resistance to elemental attacks. Comments : Not really that useful in my opinion since it doesn't help you defend against the elements. Better off putting that point in the MASTERY skills if you want them to get tougher. Skill Name : Iron Golem Required : Blood Golem, Level TWENTY-FOUR (24) Skill Effect : Creates a Golem from any weapon or armor made of metal. Pros : The IRON GOLEM takes on the properties of the object it's created from! At level 2, the IRON GOLEM has a THORNS Aura, which returns damage that it takes from close melee attacks. Cons : You NEED a metal weapon for this to work! You can have only one Golem, of any type, at a time. Pretty dumb (can get in your way in tight corridors) Comments : Buy a magical weapon made of metal then cast this spell the instant you leave town. Now you don't have to worry about finding a metal weapon with good magical properties. Can be expensive, tho. With the THORNS Aura, baddies can actually kill themselves... and with the AMPLIFY DAMAGE curse working in your favor... Skill Name : Fire Golem Required : Iron Golem, Level THIRTY (30) Skill Effect : Creates a Fire Golem... 'nuff said. Pros : FIRE GOLEMS actually ABSORB Fire elemental damage to it's life! Has a Fire Aura that hits for small damage when a baddie is visible. Creating a new or Unsummoning a FIRE GOLEM, or if it dies, willl cause it to explode for extremely powerful fire damage. Cons : Very consuming on the Mana! You can have only one Golem, of any type, at a time. Pretty dumb (can get in your way in tight corridors) Comments : You'll love this guy! This is the reason why I leveled up until Level 30! Send this guy into the fray. If he gets surrounded and you've got Mana to spare, blow him up! Big time damage, setting up for the CORPSE EXPLOSION chain attack for the leftovers! [FROM: Jason Lane Fire Golem: One note. This GOLEM's fire aura, while nearly useless in higher difficulties in terms of damage dealt, is significant in that it's counted as an attack against anything it targets - causing the monster to stop and think about what to do next (more about this later, under Curses), and under most circumstances causing them to then turn and attack the GOLEM. This makes this GOLEM VERY good at attracting monsters. ] -Jason Lane Skill Name : Revive Required : Raise Skeletal Mage, Level THIRTY (30) Skill Effect : Revived a dead monster to fight for you! Pros : Works on all dead baddies! They get a life boost! Cons : Time limit sucks. Comments : If it weren't for the time limit, this would be the Necro's best spell. Raise a baddie that you had a tough time killing so that the rest of the remaining monsters can feel the hardships that you endured! [FROM: Jason Lane Revive: You underestimate the power of Revived. Revive is unbelievably useful - any conventional Necromancer in NightMare+ difficulty will have a bunch floating around. Ten at a time isn't at all unusual. You cannot revive Bosses, Uniques, or Champions, unfortunately. Mephisto will not get up and follow you around. Pity. :) ] -Jason Lane ----------------------------------------------------------------------- E. Training Your Necromancer Okay, let me get this out first. The Necromancer is very, VERY hard to make effective, seeing that his Skill Tree has a lot of useless stuff in it. But, the useful spells that he can learn are, without a doubt, the most powerful spells in the World of Sanctuary. Below are the strengths and weaknesses of a Necromancer. They are not really 100% correct for your character because you'll be distributing your stat and skill points the way you think. I'm just basing this on my experience in the game. WEAKNESSES: 1) He doesn't go to the gym that often. The Necromancer's starting strength is pretty low. He is on par with the Sorceress strength-wise. Not exactly a young Hercules, is he? Which brings us to his defense. Seeing that he cannot carry heavy stuff, heavy armor will be a problem! This is easily remedied by pumping up his strength stats early on in the game, rather than his other abilities. It's easier to get useful items that increase you Attack and Defense Ratings, the amount of Mana and Health you have, rather that equipment that boosts your strength ratings. [FROM: Jason Lane Your stat advice fails to take in one major factor. In higher difficulty levels, defense is basically completely meaningless, unless you're a Barbarian with Shout and Iron Skin so as to achieve 3000+ defense. The 1k defense my paladin has is just a nice addition to shield blocking. The basic reason for this is that monster Attack Rating is a multiple of what it should actually be, and the bug causing it isn't likely to be fixed for game balance reasons. In Hell difficulty, it's 16 times what it should be. Defense is useless, especially for spellcasters. Go for modifiers instead. Even for melee classes, non-defense equipment is now desirable - check out what Iceblink, a unique splint mail with low defense, is trading for these days. This means that Strength, in your strategy, is... kinda useless. Don't ask me what to go for instead. I'm still thinking about it. :) ] -Jason Lane 2) For a Spell-Caster, he doesn't have a lot of Mana. His Mana is really limited, unlike the Sorceress, who has a Passive skill that will increase the rate of her Mana recovery. Thankfully, his Summoning spells are pretty low, and the Curses practically use no Mana. The only problem is his Poison and Bone spells, which are pretty Mana-expensive. It's a good thing that Mana potions give him a lot of Mana when compared to other classes like the Barbarian. 3) Health Potions are not too effective on him. Health Potions, when compared to, say, a Barbarian class warrior, doesn't give him much health. Pumping up on his energy is out of the question, because you should be concentrating on putting those Stat Points to Strength. To offset this (sorta), the Necromancer has the BLOOD GOLEM, which gives life back to you with each successful attack it does, and the LIFE TAP Curse. Still, your better off bringing a whole herd of Health and Rejuvenation potions instead. STRENGTHS: 1) Necromancers got good eyesight! The initial dexterity is really high for a Necromancer! This means that he has good initial Attack and Defense Ratings. Sadly, this won't be much use for a Necromancer. The reason is... 2) You're almost never gonna fight alone! With the ability to create minions, you don't have to buy friends like the other classes. You can MAKE friends! They will do most of the fighting for you, while you just concentrate on the baddies that cause the most trouble for you (monsters that heal and ressurect other monsters, enchanted creatures, etc.), or you can just hang back and watch the action! Still, you shouldn't over-rely on your minions, especially against Uniques and Bosses. They are generally throw pillows to them. You definitely need to help out in these cases. 3) Dead bodies is the ammunition of your Necromancer. CORPSE EXPLOSION is super damaging... and it can kill a whole mess of creautes in a hurry... creating more corpses for your CORPSE EXPLOSION! Also, you need corpses to create your Undead army! 4) The few Curses that are useful are REALLY useful! AMPLIFY DAMAGE makes baddies easy pickings for your minions and CORPSE EXPLOSION. IRON MAIDEN is great against bosses because they actually whack the crap out of him or herself! They smash up your minions? Just make some more! They kill them again? Make more! They'll eventually kill themselves! Sneaky, huh? ----------------------------------------------------------------------- F. Necromancer Walkthru: Although this is for Necromancers, other classes can get ideas for their own battles. A SPECIAL NOTE! This Section has some spoilers on the storyline. So, read with caution. A note before I start with the walkthru. You will eventually find gemstones while defeating the monsters and such and you will find Gem Shrines, which will give you a gemstone if you don't have one or upgrade a gemstone in your inventory. I suggest the instant you find a Gem Shrine, try to make sure that you upgrade the Diamond, the Skull and Emerald Gemstones to Perfect if you can. You'll need them when you are in the final Act. Another note: These are notes for casual players of Diablo II. That means, no heavy levelling up. Just enough leveling up. No extra levels (like the Moo Moo Farm, Nightmare or Hell levels). Just for the ones who are having a devil of a time with the game. -------- 1. Act I -------- Town/City: Rouge Encampment People : Akara - Heals you for free when you talk to her. Sells specific class weapons (wands for example), potions and scrolls. Kasha - Lets you hire Amazon archer warriors. Charsi - Repairs your equipment. Sells weapons and armor. Gheed - Sells weapons and armor. Sells unidentified equipment (Gamble option). Cain - Identifies items for free (only after Quest III) Warriv - Brings you to Lut Gholein (only after Quest VI). QUEST I: Den of Evil Available when : after talking to Akara. Goal of Quest : Kill all monsters in the Den of Evil. Reward given : Free Skill Point. Recommended Level : 1 - 6 After talking to Warriv (the first person you see), he directs you to talk to the leader of the camp, Akara. Go speak to her (she is located in the east part of the encampment). She tells you that there is a cave that is filled with the minions of evil. If you are truely their friend, you will help them. So, off to the Blood Moor, which is just outside the camp. I suggest you train a bit so that you can get at least one more SKELETON WARRIOR or a CLAY GOLEM in the Blood Moor. Oh, and get AMPLIFY DAMAGE while you're at it. If you can, get TEETH now. It's probably the only time it will be useful in th game. Anyway, eventually, you'll come across a cave (the Den of Evil) in the Blood Moor. Enter and the quest box will change and say that you must kill all the baddies in here. Well, at least it's not one-on-100. This is pretty easy. Let your minions do most of the work for you and assist them if they start to get overwhelmed or you encounter Fallen Shamans which ressurect dead Fallens. You don't get experience from killing raised Fallens again so it's better to kill them off quickly. None of the mosters should give you a terrible time. After cleaning you the entire cave of monsters, light will shine in, proclaiming that the cave is now pure from evil. Go back to Akara to get your reward or walk around a bit outside to get more experience. When you return back to the Rouge Encampment, talk to Akara and you will get a free Skill point. Learn anything you like, but remember the recommendations I gave you in Necromancy 101. I recommend getting BONE ARMOR if you haven't yet or CORPSE EXPLOSION if you are at Level 6 by now. Quest II: Sisters Burial Grounds Available when : talk to Kasha after Quest I. Goal of Quest : Kill Blood Raven. Reward given : Free Amazon Warrior. Recommended Level : 3 - 8 Now, talk to Kasha. She tells you that one of her best warriors, Blood Raven has been corrupted by the evil and is now fighting against them. She asks for your help. Go past the Blood Moor and into the Cold Plains. You'll know that you are near the Cold Plains because you'll encounter Flaivie, the Rouge guarding the entrance to the Blood Moor from the Cold Plains. This is where it gets tougher because you're not exactly fighting the undead anymore. You're fighting humans that have been converted to the side of evil! They can be tough, even if you have a lot of minions by your side. My advice is to find the Waypoint in the area here as soon as possible and retreat back to the Rouge Encampment via Waypoint if you get in trouble. Also, there is a cave in this area. While it doesn't really have anything to do with your quest, this would be a good place to get some extra experience points if you want to level up some more. From the Cold Plains, there will be two paths that you can take. One will lead to the Burial Grounds and the other will lead to the Stony Field. Since Blood Raven is at the Burial Grounds, head there if you want to fight her immediately, or go the the Stony Field if you want to level up a bit before you fight her. It's up to you. This is a small area and the place is just overflowing with the undead. Run around the outer boundary of the area, killing up monsters. This is just in case you have to make a hasty retreat later if you get overwhelmed in the middle with Blood Raven and her army of Undead Zombies. Retreat to town if you need to get health up. Don't use the potions in your belt just yet. Save them for Blood Raven. For my recommendations on how to beat Blood Raven, look at Section G, Boss Guide. After beating her, and getting the stuff she drops, explore the area a bit and find the Crypt and Mausoleum. They don't pose much of a challenge and they contain Golden Treasure Boxes, which are just full of valuable treaure and filled with cash. Return to the Rouge Encampment and receive your reward from Kasha, a free Rouge. Quest III: The Search for Cain Available when : talk to Akara after finishing Quest II. Goal of Quest : Rescue Deckard Cain in Tristram. Reward given : Cain is rescued, and will identify your magical items for free! Random Ring. Recommended Level : 6 - 10 This is one of the hardest quest because the monsters are pretty tough, so I advise you to level up like mad before undertaking this quest, especially the ending part of the quest (when you go to the town of Tristram). Akara realises that you and the Sisterhood needs a good advisor. And that person is Deckard Cain. But he has been imprisioned in the town of Tristram. You must first get the Scroll of Inifuss which is found on the Tree of Inifuss in the Dark Wood. So, off you go once again... Go to the Stony Field. If you search around here, you can find a Waypoint, a cave (the Underground Passage you need to go to the Dark Wood), the Carin Stones (which will be needed later in your present quest), and a Moldy Tome. Reading the Tome will activate The Forgotten Tower Quest now. Enter the Underground Passage. There are two levels to this dungeon. Although you only need to stay at Level 1, Level 2 is really, really small, but jam-packed with monsters and goodies to take, so explore that area as well. Passing through the Underground Passage, it would be helpful if you've got CORPSE EXPLOSION by now, seeing that there are a huge amount of monsters here! BONE ARMOR also helps greatly if you get surrounded before you can make a corpse for the CORPSE EXPLOSION. After reaching the other side of the Underground Passage, you emerge at the Dark Wood. Search for the Tree of Inifuss (I still don't understand why a tree has a scroll. Oh, well). After you search it and get the Scroll of Inifuss, look for the Waypoint and go back to Akara for advice (namely, how to use the damn scroll in the first place). Or, stay awhile and fight baddies before returning. The monsters here are kinda strong but they do give good experience. Back at the Rouge Encampment, Akara reads the Scroll and gives it back to you. She tells you to find the Carin Stones found in the Stony Field (remember them?) and touch them in the order she marked in the Scroll of Inifuss to create a Portal to the Town of Tristram. So, use the Waypoint to the Stony Field. At the Stony Field, find you way back to the Carin Stones and right-click on the Scroll. A pattern will show the order you need to touch the Stones to activate the Portal. Do so and a red Portal with accompanying flashes of light will appear. Now, get ready to face a whole lot of monsters and uniques in Tristram... If you played Diablo 1, you may find that the town of Tristram sure has changed a lot. The monsters here are sure tough! Your minions may die a lot so be ready with Mana potions or a quick escape back to the Rouge Encampment via Town Portal. You'll probably meet Griswald (remember him?) and a Unique off the bat the instant you walk a few steps. They are tough so you will really need to help out your minions against them, using melee attacks, casting AMPLIFY DAMAGE and CORPSE EXPLOSION often just to thin things out. Having a SKELETAL MAGE at this point with a Cold attack really helps out tremendously since they freeze the target for a limited time. After you defeat them, reorganize and create a few minions again. There are still some Uniques to fight, althought they aren't as tough as Griswald. Walk around the edge of town first to find Wirt's body (remember him? He's the kid with the super expensive stuff in Diablo 1). Loot his corpse and get a fountain of gold coins and... his leg? (actually, his leg has a purpose but as of now, it's not needed so you don't have to get it. You can get it at the end of the game if you feel like playing an extra stage.) Go to the middle of the town. Here you'll find a whole lot of gold and Deckard Cain hanging in a cage. Free him and he'll thank you but he's not greatful enough to allow you to go with him by the Town Portal he uses to get to the Rouge Encampment :). With that over, return to the Rouge Encampment. But, save the game first before talking to Akara. Copy the save file to a separate folder. Load the game again then talk to Akara. She'll give you a ring. If you think that the ring is just crap. Copy the save file from your separate folder back to the save directory in Diablo and load that game. Repeat until you get a good ring... or if it feels like too much work, never mind. Just talk to Akara. Finally, talk to Deckard Cain, he says he's greatful for saving him and as a reward, he'll follow you wherever you go and identify the magical items you get along your way! Yahoo! No need to waste money on Identify Scrolls ever again! Quest IV: The Forgotten Tower Available when : read the Moldy Tome in the Stony Field Goal of Quest : Kill the Countess found in the Forgotten Tower. Reward given : nothing really. But you do get a whole lot of cash for your effort! Recommended Level : 8 - 13 Remember the Tome you read back at the Stony Field? Well, it tells you about the Countess and the riches that she had hidden. So, off you go to find if she's still wealthy although she's been corrupted by evil. Off you go past the Dark Wood and into the Black Marsh. Here you'll find a cave which leads to a Hole. You'll want to go here for the experience and the treasure that it has. The monsters in the Hole are not that tough, but in the second level of this dungeon, there's a whole horde of several hordes (in other word: much more than a mess of monsters to fight), and a few Unique monsters so lots of magical equipment and experience to get, but also becomes easy to get killed, too. Also in the Dark Wood is the passage to The Forgotten Tower. It's easily identified 'coz the entrance looks like a trapdoor. The first level doesn't have any monsters so no problem there... Along the way, to the depths of the Celler (I thought it was a Tower? Never mind.), you will probably have your first battles with the Ghost-like creatures. They drain Mana as well as hurt you, so it would be wise to back-off and let your minions doing most of the work, while you lay back and CORPSE EXPLOSION the ones that die to help out. Hopefully, by this time, you've got a good SKELETAL WARRIOR and MAGE troop to go along with your sidekick CLAY GOLEM. That way, the SKELETAL MAGES can attack while the Ghosts approach and the rest of your minions close in for the kill, attracting their attention from you. Eventually, you'll reach the bottom of the Cellar and find lots and lots (and I do mean LOTS) of gold just lying around! And with all that gold, you should conclude that the Countess should be close by. Beef up your Minions to full then face her and her court. Refer to the Boss Section to find my recommended method of beating the Countess. After the battle, (I'll tell you ahead of time. She's a cakewalk) return to town so that you can store your piles of gold in your stash immediately. You wouldn't want to die with all that gold, now would you? Quest V: Tools of the Trade Available when : talking to Charsi after activating Quest IV. Goal of Quest : Return the Horadric Malus to Charsi. Reward given : Charsi will imbue one piece of equipment with magical abilities. Recommened Level : 10 - 16 Now, talk to Charsi. She says that she lost her Horadic Malus in the Barracks. So now, she wants to get it back because, with it, she will imbue one (Why only one? How about all?) piece of your ordinary equipment with magic abilities (basically, she'll take that item and make it into a Rare item. Pretty good, huh?) to help you on your quest. This quest will allow you to level up pretty fast, seeing that all the monsters you're gonna fight are tough and plenty of them to go around. Also, it's a long way to the next Waypoint, so I suggest finally getting a Tome of Town Portal so you can keep a lot of those Scrolls of Town Portal easily in your limited inventory. Anyway, use the Waypoint back to the Black Marsh and find the Tamoe Highland. Here, even the weak Quill Rat versions (the Razor Spine) can really rack up the damage because they not only fire at a rapid pace, they also fire in a spread fashion, making it hard to dodge... and they usually come in groups of three or more! You'll probably face the Returned Mage, which are Evil's version of your SKELETAL MAGE. Since, you should know by now, they attack with elemental projectiles, it would be wise to take these guys out quickly if you're really weak at your resistances to the elements. Now, your next destination will most probably be at the entire upper right of the place, which is the Monestary Gates. This area is very small, so you should breeze thru this place and quickly enter the Outer Cloister. The Outer Cloister is where you'll find the next Waypoint, and, boy, are you gonna need it! The baddies here are overwhelming, easily killing your SKELETAL WARRIORS with a few strikes, and your SKELETAL MAGES will probably your main attack force, keeping the monsters at bay. Hopefully, the MAGES you've summoned attack with Ice spells, slowing your opponents down so you and your CLAY GOLEM can rush in and break them into little pieces before they can attack. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Razor Spines here, too. So, your SKELETAL MAGES will get wiped out pretty quickly also, but at least not as quickly as your SKELETON WARRIORS. Once again, AMPLIFY DAMAGE and CORPSE EXPLOSION work their magic... Next, you should eventually enter the Barracks where the Horadic Malus is contained. Hopefully, a Well will be easily found. You may find yourself running back to the well more often than not with all the baddies here. Be careful! One of the doors you open will open up to the Smith Boss, who guards the Horadic Malus with his life! Refer to the Boss section with my way of killing the Smith. After the Smith is defeated and you've got the Malus, go back to the Rouge Encampment and return it to Charsi. She says you can now give her a piece of ordinary equipment for her to enchant it. DON'T USE THE IMBUE YET! (Note that I even used a separate paragraph to tell you not to Imbue any of your equipment yet.) Save it until Act IV, when the equipment you'll get are already powerful by themselves when compared to the magic equipment you can get now! Trust me! You can come back here anyway via Waypoint easily, even all the way in Act IV! By the way, DON'T USE THE IMBUE NOW! Quest VI: Sisters to the Slaughter Available when : talking to Cain after Quest V. Goal of Quest : Kill Andariel in the Catacombs. Reward given : passage to Lut Gholein (Act II). Also, you get to see a new movie! Recommended Level : 14 - 18 Cain tells you that the evil here is probably cause by Andariel, the one who is responsible for banishing Diablo, Mephisto and Baal into the realm of the living in the first place. Killing her will probably stop the evil from propagating in the Rouge Monestary. So, off you go... After the Barracks, the next area will be the Jail. Now, the Jail has three levels to it and all of them are large and brimming with evil. It would be a good idea to have a full accompanyment of your own minions, especially the Skeletal Mages. This is because of the bars. You cannot run thru the bars but projectile attacks, like the ones that your SKELETAL MAGES use. Thankfully, there's a Waypoint here. After the hellish trip thru the Jail, you'll finally find yourself in the Inner Cloister. There will be a lot of those Razor Spines again hurling their quills at you, but since this in an open area, they should be easily dealt with when compared to the Jail levels. You will also find a Waypoint, which is good. After walking in the Jail for a long time, it's good to see progress (and now you can go back easily if you haven't sold or identified your magical items since your descent into the Jail). After clearing out the Inner Cloister (you have been cleaning out the areas for the experience, right?), enter the Cathedral. This area isn't so tough if you've gotten used to killing the Shamans early on when you encounter them. If you've reached Level 18 at this point, it would be good to have learned BONE SPEAR now because now you have an effective long range weapon against the Wraiths who suck up your Mana. With the Cathedral cleared, enter the last area of the entire act, the Catacombs Being the last area, you can bet that this area will be chock-ful of evil's minions. And you'd win that bet hands down! Not only that, you and your minions will be facing a lot of Uniques, too! That's okay, tho, because the Waypoint will be at the 2nd level of the Catacombs for you to return to sell your unnecessary magical equipment you get from them and to heal after those battles! Level 4 is where Andariel is located so don't say I didn't warn you. She will be tough, no matter how prepared you are (unless you've managed to really get super-unheard of levels). She should be behind the big double doors, so clear out the minions on your side. Check your equipment and open the doors and face her. To see my suggestions on how to fight Andariel, check out the Boss Section. After the battle (hopefully she's the one dead), a red portal will open close to her body. You may want to get the stuff she drops and clear out the rooms for any extra baddies you may have missed before using the red portal back to town. With Andariel dead, the Rouges thank you for cleansing their Monestary of the evil and now Warriv can pass to the desert city of Lut Gholein. Talk to all the Rouges and bid them goodbye. Tell Warriv you're ready to leave and off you go to Act II! --------- 2. Act II --------- Town/City: Lut Gholein People : Jerhyn - Leader of the City. Not really a useful NPC. He'll give you a quest. Cain - Identifies items for free. Warriv - Brings you back to the Rouge Encampment. Kaelan - Guards the palace. He really has nothing to say but guard the palace. Elzix - Has the Gamble feature that Gheed had, but with better equipment. Griez - Has warriors that you can hire. Drognan - sells you the specific class equipment like wands and staves. Also the one selling attacking potions and scrolls. Atma - Gives you a quest. After that, she's useless. Geglash - Totally useless. Lysander - Sells you various potions. Fara - The weaponsmith. She'll repair your equipment when damaged. She's also the healer! Meshif - Takes you to Kurast, the location of Act III after you finish off the quests of Act II. QUEST I: Radament's Lair Available when : After talking to Atma Goal of Quest : Kill Randament found in the Sewers of Lut Gholein Reward given : all vendors will give you a discount. Recommended Level : 16 - 20 Jerhyn will greet you first in the city. He tells that he is the leader of Lut Gholein but evil has been creeping in slowly in the lands that he controls. In fact, something has already befallen one of the townspeople and directs you to Atma. When you talk to Atma, she tells you that her husband and child were killed by monsters that climbed up from the sewers. Although the sewers are closed up, she wants revenge. She implores you to kill the monster that killed her husband and son in cold blood. No problem, right? There are two ways into the Sewers. One is close to Griez, the other one is next to the docks. Either way is fine. Most of the monsters (if not all of them) are undead. One of them (the Dried Corpse) releases a cloud of poison smoke after you re-kill them. In other words, don't get close to them after you kill them. In fact, let your minions kill them and CORPSE EXPLOSION on them. This place is pretty easy with a full accompanyment of undead evils to face. But, this place is a cakewalk. The Waypoint is on the second level. Going a level below that and you'll find Randament, the monster who killed the husband and son of Atma (I'm assuming). He's the Boss of the area. Look at the Boss Strategy on advice to beat Randament. After killing him (again?), the Quest is over! Go back to town and talk with Atma. She'll tell you that she has talked to the vendors and they have agreed to give you discounts on the wares they show you. QUEST II: The Horadic Staff Available when : you show the Horadic Scroll (found in the Sewers) to Deckard Cain. Goal of Quest : Find the Horadric Cube, Horadric Shaft and Viper Amulet. Combine the Horadric Shaft and Viper Amulet with the use of the Horadric Cube. Reward given : The Horadic Cube and Horadic Shaft (also the Viper Amulet) Recommended Level : 18 - 22 This is a super massive quest. In fact, it encompasses another Quest! So, when you finish this quest, you also finish another one! Two for the price of one! Cool! Also, the reward, the Horadic Cube, is one of the most useful items in the game! I'll just list the things you have to do that doesn't belong with the other quests. With the Horadic Scroll in your inventory, talk to Deckard Cain. He will explain that you need to find the Horadic Staff which was broken up into two parts. You'll need to repair the Staff with the Horadic Cube. The Horadic Staff is the key to enter the prison of Baal, one of the Three Prime Evils. First thing to do, exit the Town and enter the Rocky Waste. You'll find the Stony Tome here. There is a Gold Chest in the Stony Tome and a whole lot of monsters to battle, but, they upside is you can get a whole lot of experience here... but they are tough if you are at a low level. Even a Level 18 Necromancer can have a hard time! Afterwards, from the Rocky Waste, find the passage to the Dry Hills. Here, you'll find a Waypoint and two paths to different areas. Also, you'll see the entrance to the Halls of the Undead. This will lead to the Horadric Cube, the first item of your quest. In the Halls of the Undead, there are a lot of monsters, most of them undead. There is also a creature (the Hollow One) that will ressurect your killed undead monsters, so as much as possible, take him out first or all your hard earned killing with be for nothing. There is a Waypoint here on the second level, and it's a good thing, too! You'll probably lose a lot of health fighting those monsters. Finally, a the bottom of the Halls of the Undead, you can find a Gold Chest. It contains the Horadric Cube which you need. It'll probably be surrounded by monsters. A lot of them! It would be wise to lead them out or BONE SPEAR them from a distance and use CORPSE EXPLOSION to take them out en masse! Take the Horadric Cube to Cain and he'll congratulate you and explain how it works. You can also use the Horadric Cube to combine the same type of gems that you've gotten and combine three of them to upgrade them. You can also use the Horadric Cube to hold items! Next, by the Dry Hills is the entrance to the Far Oasis. There is a Waypoint here and the entrance to the Maggot Lair. You'll face a lot of Death Beetles here, which can be a pain because of their Lightning counterattack, so let your minions do the work in taking them out. You'll also have your first encounter with the Swarms (they're called Itchies here) and they can drain your Stamina with their attacks. More of a hassle rather than a problem, they can be taken out with relative ease. Anyway, enter the Maggot Lair. Hopefully, you've got BONE SPEAR because this is the most useful areas to use this spell! The hallways are so narrow that the monsters will have no choice but to line up! You'll face the Rock Worm and Sand Maggots. These monsters have the ability to lay eggs that hatch out their young version. But, with the BONE SPEAR and the small hallways, you can take them out with ease. In the third level of the Maggot Lair, you'll find Coldworm the Burrower, surrounded by a ton of Sand Maggots! And where there are Sand Maggots, you'll find their Young! This could, and will get ugly pretty quickly. Read the Boss Guide to find out how easily Coldward the Burrower is defeated! After the battle, you'll find the Gold Chest which contains the Horadric Shaft. Take it and make your way back to Lut Gholein (or use a Town Portal, but it's not necessary if you've cleared out all levels of the Maggot Lair). Show the Horadric Shaft to Cain and he will tell you that you now need the Viper Amulet and the combine that item with the Horadric Staff with the Horadric Cube to finally get the Horadric Staff, which you will need to open The Tomb of Tal Rasha, the reason why you're here in the first place. This will be accomplished in a later quest, specifically, the Tainted Sun quest. QUEST III: The Tainted Sun Available when : The sun goes dark. This happens when you enter the Lost City area. Goal of Quest : Find the cause of the Solar Eclipe over Lut Gholein and fix it. Reward given : Viper Amulet (Top part of the Horadric Staff) Recommended Level : 18 - 22 Find your way to the Lost City. When you enter the area, all of the sudden, it will become night. You may want to find the Waypoint and kill a few monsters to gain experience since you're here anyway. Once you go back to town, talk to Drognan. He'll explain that the darkness is caused by something blocking the sun (Duh!). He wants you to find the source of the problem, which is probably close to the Lost City. So, off you go! Back at the Lost City, you'll have to find the path to the Valley of the Snakes. But, take a side trip to the trap door in the area that leads to the Ancient Tunnels. It's only one level and the monsters are pretty easy if you have a full compliment of minions with you. There's a Gold Chest here, so you know there's a lot of goodies to be had in the Ancient Tunnels. Anyway, when enter the Valley of the Snakes, there's only one place to go. That place is the Claw Viper Temple. That's where you'll find the Viper Amulet and what's blocking the sunlight. You'll fight the Claw Viper, who can charge at you that can cause Cold damage, and a Salamander who can do the same. Use the AMPLIFY DAMAGE and CORPSE EXPLOSION combo. Also, BONE SPEAR is great here if you happen to face a lot of them at once. It won't happen too much, but it's good to help your minions with this once in a while. On the second level, you'll face a swarm of Salamanders and a Unique. The Unique here is Extra Fast, so it would be in your best interest to help out your minions in taking out the monsters in the area quickly. Either take out the Unique first or the normal Salamander creatures (which I recommend so you have ammo for your CORPSE EXPLOSION). In the center of the second level of the Claw Viper Temple, you'll find the altar that contains the Viper Amulet. Apparently, the snake beings managed to use the Amulet to block out the sun (Why?). So, once you get the Viper Amulet from the Altar, the sun will shine in Lut Gholein again. Back at Lut Gholein, Cain will tell you that the Viper Amulet is actually the top part of the Horadric Staff. Place the Horadric Shaft with the Viper Amulet inside the Horadric Cube and Transmute the two item to create the Horadric Staff, the key into the Tomb of Tal Rasha. QUEST IV: Arcane Sanctuary Available when : Talking to Drognan after completing Quest III. Goal of Quest : Find the Portal to the Arcane Sanctuary underneath the Palace. Reward given : Entrance to the Arcane Sanctuary and a path to the Canyon of the Magi Recommended Level : 19 - 24 After restoring the Horadric Staff, talk to Drognan. He will tell you that the entrance to the Tomb of Tal Rasha should be around the area. But, it was lost. There is a person who witnessed the imprisonment of Baal and Mephisto. He was the Summoner Horazon, who can control the forces and wills of different creatures. Drognan tells you to talk to Jerhym, who has requested to see you, and to tell you more about this. Go to the palace and talk to Jerhym. He tells you that the palace has been overrun by foul demons, which is why he hired Greiz's warrior mercenaries to guard the city. The palace guards are too busy protecting the palace from the demons. He also tells you that the bowels of the Palace must be where the entrance to the Arcane Sanctuary of The Summoner must be. The Arcane Sanctuary will also lead you to the Canyon of the Magi, where the Tomb of Tal Rasha is located. In the palace, you and your minions will face a lot of long-range projectile slinging undead creatures, like the Horror Archers and Horror Mages. They are plain annoying since the walls are grates which they can shoot thru while you are busy finding a door to get to them. If you are too lazy to do so, let your SKELETAL MAGES take them out from a distance with you casting BONE SPEAR and CORPSE EXPLOSION to quicken the process. The other baddies are no problem. Even the hulking Blunderbore, who will Stun you and your minions if his attack connects, are pretty easy to kill by now. Eventually, you'll find a portal that leads into the Arcane Sanctuary. Fortunately, the Waypoint is very close to the portal exit in the Arcane Sanctuary. So, return back to Lut Gholein for healing. This is gonna be a tough area! The Arcane Sanctuary has four paths to take. Three of them will lead to goodies and the fourth will have you battling the Summoner (hehe). The monsters here are tough! Suitable defense against Fire is great here. Specters have good attack ratings, can fly so they don't have to follow the paths and bridges that you are limited to, and a whole pack of them can occupy the same place! Not only that, they suck your Mana! It's best to let your minions face them and you BONE SPEARing them from a distance so your Magic won't get sucked away. Hell Clan members are easy to deal with, even without your minions! So, no problem here. Just take them out in melee combat or let your minions do them in. No sense in wasting Mana on them. In fact, it's fun to let your SKELETAL MAGES kill them when you're in a different bridge than the Hell Clans are! Now, the toughest monsters in my opinion the the Arcane Sanctuary would have to be the Ghoul Lords. They can cast Fire Wall with deadly accuracy, throw Fire Balls with tremendous accuracy and, when they hit you with their melee attacks, they'll absorb some of your Health to theirs! As much as possible, get close to them quickly and kill them as fast as you can! They can be a tremendous bother in large packs of monsters because they can assault you with their Fire spells and the other monsters block your avenues of escape. The next quest, the Summoner, will finish off the Arcane Sanctuary quest as well. QUEST V : The Summoner Available when : you get close to the location of the Summoner in the Arcane Sanctuary Goal of Quest : Kill the Summoner of the Arcane Sanctuary. Reward given : Learning the true symbol of Tal Rasha Recommended Level : 19 - 24 When you get to a certain place, you'll see a new quest pop up. This means you are close to the Summoner and completing Quest IV as well. You'll also have to face a lot of monsters getting to him. Lead them away from the Summoner and take them out one by one. To find out how wussy the Summoner is, read my Boss Guide. After you take out the Summoner, or while in battle with the Summoner (Yes! He IS that easy to kill!), read the Horazon's Journal. A portal will open, gaining you access to the Canyon of the Magi. QUEST VI: The Seven Tombs Available when : talk to Jerhym after Quest I Goal of Quest : Kill Duriel. Reward given : passage to Kurast Docks (Act III). Also, you get to see a new movie! Recommeneded Level : 19 - 24 You can get this quest very early if you talk to Jerhym after killing Randament. But, this is the only time you can do something about it. Anyway, when you talk to Jerhym after Quest I, he will tell you about the Seven Tombs and one of them is the Tomb of Tal Rasha. Going thru the portal from the Arcane Sanctuary, you will end up in the Canyon of the Magi. Activate the Waypoint here since it's so close. Head back to town and heal up and repair equipment and stuff. Return via Waypoint and search the surrounding area. You will find seven Tombs of Tal Rasha. Six of them are fake, and only one of them is the one you are looking for. In front of each tomb is a symbol. Look at your Quest Log and you will see the symbol for the True Tomb of Tal Rasha. When you see it in front of a Tomb, that's the one that will lead you to the final battle of Act II. But, like before, enter each of the fake Tombs first to build up experience. The bad guys here give a hefty amount of experience, and believe me, you're gonna need it for the Boss of Act II. Besides, the monsters here aren't so tough and each of the fake tombs has a Gold Chest. In fact, you may want to save and load the game a few times just so you can level up a few times. When you do decide to enter the True Tomb of Tal Rasha, you'll eventually find an Orifice, where you should place the Horadric Staff in order to unlock the entrance to the burial place / prison of Tal Rasha and Baal. Once you do so, a passageway will open that leads to the Boss of Act II. Sadly, you are too late! The Dark Wanderer has already been here and released Tal Rasha / Baal from his prison. In his place, the Wanderer has left Duriel, I assume is one of the Lesser Evils. To read why Diablo II players are calling him the toughest Boss in the entire game of Diablo II, refer to my Boss Guide. (PS. I agree with them!) After the toughest battle yet, and Duriel is down, the cave will start crumbling, revealing a pathway leading to where Baal was imprisioned. You will find the Archangel Tyrael. He tells you that Diablo / The Dark Wanderer and Baal / Tal Rasha have left for the town of Kurast. They seek to revive the last imprisioned Prime Evil, Mephisto. Tyrael gives you the holy mission to follow them and stop them before its too late. At this point, a portal leading back to Lut Gholein will open. Step in. Say your goodbyes to the townspeople of Lut Gholein and then talk to Meshif. Now that he is able to leave the docks, he tells you that he will gladly bring you to the port town of Kurast. ---------- 3. Act III ---------- Town/City: Kurast Docks People : Hralti - Weaponsmith. Repairs your weapons. Cain - Identifies items for free. Natalya - Useless NPC. Ormus - Heals you for free when you talk to him. Sells specific class weapons (wands for example), potions and scrolls. Asheara - Has warriors for you to hire. She also sells weapons! Alkor - Sells potions. He's also the one with the GAMBLE feature. Meshif - Takes you back to Lut Gholein if you want. QUEST I: The Golden Bird Available when : You find the Jade Figurine Goal of Quest : Trade specific items to the townspeople to make them happy? Reward given : Added 20 points to Life Recommended Level : 22 - 25 Once you talk to all the townspeople and go for the exit, you'll SEE THE DARK WANDERER just taking a stroll. When you get close, he dissapears and small demons appear. Kill them off easily, but it does tell you that you are close to the ending, huh? Enter the Spider Forest. Here, you'll encounter the Fetishes and the Fetish Shamans. The Fetishes with daggers aren't much of a problem because they have to get close to you to attack, but they can wreck havok on your minions, especially the SKELETAL MAGES, since they rely on long-ranged attacks. The Fetishes with blowdarts are worse, 'coz they can pelt you from long-range, across rivers and offscreen. Not only that, they run pretty fast when you get close. Now, the worse of the Fetishes, the Fetish Shaman. He has a Flame Breath attack that can wipe out your Life quickly for the unprotected. Better use the BONE SPEAR rather than get close and risk getting hit by it. By the way, once you kill the top part (actually, the top part isn't real! It's just a doll that the lower Fetish is using to fool the other Fetishes to follow him! So, you cannot ressurect the Fetish Shaman corpse), there will be another Fetish that you have to kill! While in the Spider Forest, you'll eventuall kill a Special Monster (Unique or Champion) which will drop a Jade Figurine. Well, you have no use for it, right? But, maybe Deckard Cain can identify it's use. Once back in Kurast, talk to Cain. He'll identify it as... a statue. That's it? What the hell am I gonna... oh, wait... Cain then tells you that on your way to Kurast from Lut Gholein, Meshif mentioned to Cain that he (Meshif, that is) collects statues like the one you've got. So, go have a chat with Meshif. Showing the Jade Figurine to Meshif, he's happy 'coz now he finally completed his collection of Jade Figurines. In return for the Jade Figurine, Meshif trades it for a Golden Bird statue. Now, you still have no use for this, so go show it to Cain. Cain takes a look at the Golden Bird statue and remembers a story about a great man who died and was cremated. His ashes were put in a statue just like the Golden Bird. So, what now? Alkor may have a use for this, so go to his tent and show him the statue. Alkor takes the statue from you and tells you to return in a while. He's going to make a potion from the ashes inside the Golden Bird. Talk to him again and he'll give you a Potion of Life. Drink it down and you'll get 20 points to Life permanently. That's it! Lame quest, wasn't it? QUEST II: Blade of the Old Religion Available when : After Quest I, talk to Hralti Goal of Quest : Retrieve the Gidbinn. Reward given : Random Ring and a free Mercenary Recommended Level : 23 - 26 Hralti tells you that the barrier that is currently protecting the Kurast Docks is getting weaker and weaker as time goes by. It isn't going to last for long. The only thing that will strengthen it again is the Gidbinn, a legendary weapon with mystical properties. Ormus will use the Gidbinn's powers to reinforce the barrier. Back in the Spider Forest, find the Spider Cavern. It's filled with Spiders (Duh!) and has a Gold Chest. Clear out the Spider Cavern for good experience. You can also try out getting a mercenary from Asheara to be impressed with his skills in killing them. Watch out, tho! If he gets poisoned, he's dead for sure! Pass the Spider Forest, enter the Great Marsh. Explore the area and you'll eventually find a Gold Chest in the area as well. Watch out for Gloam, who has a Lightning Spell. Not only that, the Gloam is hard to see. You can see him while invisible by looking at the light radius surrounding him. Also, watch out for River Stalkers. They are hard to hit with melee weapons, but projectile attacks work well on them! After the Great Marsh, you'll go to the Flayer Jungle. You'll meet the Flayers, brothers of the Fetish, but much tougher. Also, you'll find the Swampy Pit. The Swampy Pit isn't needed to finish anything, but that OK. You can get a whole lot of experience here. The Flayer Dungeon is also located here, and you'll need to remember the location 'coz you will need to go there for the next quest. Anyway, continue searching the the Flayer Jungle, and the Gidbinn will be found in a village. But when you touch it, the Gidbinn burns up and then Rat Men and a Unique will appear. Kill them off, especially the Unique because he's the one carrying the real Gidbinn. Redeem the Gidbinn and return to Kurast Docks. Back in town, give Ormus the item and he will use the weapon to reinforce the barrier. For a reward, Ormus will give you a ring (Random abilites. Save the game and copy the file to a different folder. Replay the game. If you don't like the ring, simply exit the game and then copy the save game back to the save directory of Diablo II.) and you can go talk to Asheara to get a free mercenary volunteer (or not if you don't want to). QUEST III: Khalim's Will Available when : Talking to Cain after your encounter with the Dark Wanderer Goal of Quest : Find Khalim's Eye, Khalim's Brain, Khalim's Heart and Khalim's Flail scattered all over Kurast. Use the Horadric Cube to combine all these items into Khalim's Will. Reward given : Khalim's Will Recommended Level : 24 - 30 You can get this quest after the first quest even though you haven't gotten the second quest. I have to mention that this quest is pretty similar to Quest II in Act II, the Horadic Staff. You have to find four items this time and then use the Horadric Cube on the four items to create Khalim's Will. Cain will tell you that since your mission here is to find and destroy Mephisto, he tells you about the Compelling Orb, which hides the lair of Mephisto. The only way to detroy it is to find the body parts of Khalim, the former Que-Hegen of the Zakarum Church. His body part were scattered all over the land of Kurast. You need to combine the said parts with Khalim's Flail to create Khalim's Will, the only weapon that can smash the Compelling Orb. First off, you have to go back to the Spider Forest. Find the Spider Carvern, the other dungeon other than the Aracnid's Lair in the area. Like the Aracnid's Lair, the Spider Cavern is filled with giant spiders. There are also Giant Lampreys, which are like the Sand Maggots back in Lut Gholein. Find the Gold Chest in the area to find Khalim's Eye, the first item. Next, go back to the Flayer Jungle and find the Flayer Dungeon. The baddies here are previous monsters you have encountered while on the surface, so at least you already know what you're up against. Go to the third level of the dungeon and open the Gold Chest you find to retrieve Khalim's Brain. Two down. Two to go! For Khalim's Heart, go to Lower Kurast, the area just after the Flayer Jungle. Lower Kurast has new monsters, namely the the Tree Lurker, which are just tougher Cave Leapers, and Zakarumites, former follwers of the Order of Zakarum. The monsters here are pretty easy to kill, and there's very little chance to get overwhelmed, thanks to your minions. Since this is a relatively safe place, Lower Kurast is a great place to level up a bit. Now, go past Lower Kurast into the next area, Kurast Bazaar. Here, you will find the Sexton. Sure, she has a funny name but her abilites are hard to laugh at! She can heal the Zakarumites and teleport around. Because of this, you will usually see the Zakarum now run away when you hurt them, so they can get healed by the Sextons. This area can get tough if, all of a sudden, you get surrounded by Zakarumites and a couple of Sextons. Anyway, find the Sewer entrance. There should be a couple of them. Enter either one. It doesn't matter. The Sewers is a very big place, so it would be wise to check the map once in a while if you don't leave it on. You could get lost. Khalim's Heart is located on the second level. But you have to open the door to the second level with a lever. So, find the lever, then find the entrance to the second level of the Sewers. On the second level, find the Gold Chest and pick up Khalim's Heart. You're almost there... The last item you need, Khalim's Flail will be finished in another Quest, specifically, Quest V, The Blackened Temple. Quest IV, Lam Esen's Tome Available when : talk to Alkor after entering Lower Kurast Goal of Quest : Give Lam Esen's Tome to Alkor. Reward given : added Five (5) stat points. Recommended Level : 27 - 29 After entering Lower Kurast, return to Kurast Docks. Talk to Alkor. Since you can go to Kurast and face the monsters there, Alkor remembers Lam Esen, who has done studies on the effects of the Three Prime Evil on the world. It will be of great help to you and the world if it were to be found again. It was lost in one of the temples of Kurast. So, back you go into Kurast! There are six temples in Kurast which are accessable by stairs you have to touch to open them. But, Kurast is split into three parts, Kurast Bazaar, Upper Kurast and, finally, Kurast Causeway. Each of these areas have 2 temples each. Lam Esen's Tome is located in one of those temples and it seems that it is always placed in the Ruined Temple, found in the Kurast Bazaar area. But explore all the temple anyway for experience. Once you find it, return to town and give Lam Esen's Tome to Alkor. As a reward, Alkor will boost your character stats with five points. Too bad it's not a level up, tho. Quest V: The Blackened Temple Available when : Talk to Ormus after you enter Travincal Goal of Quest : Kill all Council Members of Travincal and destroy the Compelling Orb. Reward Given : Access to Durance of Hate Recommended Level : 27 - 30 Once you enter Travincal, return to Kurast Docks. Have a chat with Ormus. He'll tell you basically that the Zakarum Council Members have already been corrupted by Mephisto's dark powers. Now, those former holy people are now guarding the Compelling Orb, which appears to be controlling the evil in the area. He hopes that you are able to destroy the Compelling Orb and kill the Council Members guarding it. Since it is one of your quests anyway (Remember Khalim's Will?), go ahead! Now, enter Travincal and activate the Waypoint if you haven't yet! This is a really tough area! Not only are the Zakarumites (now called Zealots) and Sextons back in full force, they are now joined by the Night Lords, which are tougher versions of the Ghoul Lords! Night Lords have all the spells and properties of the Ghoul Lords, they also have the spell Meteor! If you're standing on a piece of ground that has a circle of red, GET OUT OF THAT SPOT IMMEDIATELY! That's where the Meteor is gonna hit. I suggest that you clear out the upper border levels first of monsters and slowly work your way to the upper center of the area where the High Council members are located. It's bad enough to face all the baddies at once, but add a Council Member or two into the mix, you'll soon find your way running all the way to the Waypoint to escape! It's also in your best interest to take on once Council Member at a time, so move to the upper center structure slowly and wait for a Council Member to come out then run away and lead them (the Council Member and his minions) to a safe place where you can move around and take them out from a distance with BONE SPEARS, AMPLIFY DAMAGE and CORPSE EXPLOSIONS. Your minions will take a beating but they will distract the monsters chasing you from your Necro. Anyway, one of the Council Members has Khalim's Flail. So, when you find it, return to town and use the Horadric Cube to combine Khalim's Eye, Brain, Heard and Flail together to obtain Khalim's Will. Return to the upper center structure and enter the building to find the Compelling Orb. Equip Khalim's Will as your weapon and smash the Orb. The stairs in the center of the room will open up, leading you into The Durance of Hate, where you will find Mephisto and the rest of the High Council Members waiting to take you out. Quest VI: The Guardian Available when : talk to Ormus after returning the Tome of Lam Esen to Alkor Goal of Quest : Kill Mephisto. Reward given : passage to the Pandamonium Fortress(Act IV). Also, you get to see a new movie! Recommended Level : 27 - 30 Now, to find Mephisto. The mosters in the Durance of Hate are real tough. Not only that, it's harder to run away from them since it isn't an open space like in Travincal. Take it slowly and keep your supply of minions up. It's a good thing there is a Waypoint in the second level of this dungeon. But you know what this means. Mephisto is on the third level. Clear out all the baddies in the second level so you can run up quickly if the battle gets too intense on the third level. On the third level of the Durance of Hate, the instant you enter, you'll probably encounter a few Blood Lords and a Council Member. They are tough, but don't get any bright ideas of running away into any unexplored area of the third level of the Durance of Hate! Mephisto lies waiting and also two more Council Members and their minions. So, if you get into trouble with the monsters you are facing now, run up into the second level, heal up and return to town, if necessary. Mephisto lies just opposite of the entrance of the third level, so you may want to go to the other areas (the left and right areas if north is where Mephisto is), before taking on the big guy right now. This way, you take out the other High Council Members out before taking on the eldest of the Prime Evils. Once you've cleared the area of the Council Members and Uniques, refer to Section G, Boss Guide to see how to take on Mephisto. After your battle with Mephisto and he is broken, a Red Portal will open up. But before you enter the portal to the Pandamonium Fortress, collect the Soulstone from Mephisto's body. You'll need it for later. --------- 4. Act IV --------- Town/City: Pandemonium Fortress People : Tyrael - Gives you a quest. But that's it. Cain - Identifies items for free. Halbu - Weaponsmith. Jamella - Healer, sells potions and specific Class weaponry. Not only that, she provides the Gamble option. QUEST I: The Fallen Angel Available when : Talk to Tyrael Goal of Quest : Kill Izual Reward given : Two free Skill Points Recommended Level : 28 - 31 The Pandamonium Fortress is the last remaining outpost of Heaven in the relm of Hell. With this in mind, it's painfully obvious that there are no mercenaries available to you! Thank God for your minions! But first, it's nice to outfit yourself with the best equipment you can have. Remember the Imbue reward way back in Act I? Now, it's time to use it! Get the best armor you can buy. If you can get Superior Gothic Armor with high Defense and Durability, get it. It'll be worth it! Save the game and copy that file to a separate directory. Now, load the game again and take that armor to Charsi and Imbue it to get a new piece of Unique Armor! If you don't like what comes out, simply exit and copy the old save game back to the Diablo II save directory. [FROM: Jason Lane Imbues. Don't even use them in Act IV. Wait til at least level 40 or so to use them. Imbuing is entirely dependant on character level, and I waited until level 50 to use mine. :) ] -Jason Lane Talk to Tyrael, and he will tell you about Izual, a former Angel who has become corrupted by Diablo and his brothers. As punishment, Izual's body has been twisted and reshaped to show what his soul looks like... hideous and monstrous. Tyrael cannot take this anymore, so he charges you to kill Izual and relieve him of his eternal torment. When you leave the Pandamonium Fortress, you'll immediately know that this is indeed Hell. New monsters abound and they are plentiful! The first area, just outside the stairs of the Pandamonium Fortress, is called the Outer Steppes. There are a lot of monsters here... so getting surrounded here is pretty easy. You'll face the Flesh Spawners, who can spit out Flesh Beasts, which are just like the ones you've encountered when you got close to the Dark Wanderer at the start of Act III. Take out the Flesh Spawners quickly or you could get overwhelmed by a swarm of Flesh Beasts. The Doom Knights, which are just like Paladin warriors are good at swords attacks and pack a mean wallop. It's a good thing your minions, especially your IRON or FIRE GOLEMS are tough enough to stand up to them. Help out your minions with AMPLIFY DAMAGE and CORPSE EXPLOSIONS. Finally, the Corpulents, who can eat dead bodies to replenish life, aren't that tough, but they do possess a poison spit attack. They are pretty easy to kill, but if they are surrounded by the others, this could get ugly. Make your way to the Plains of Despair. Izual is here, and a few more monsters, like the Doom Casters, who are like the Gloams but with auto-tracking projectiles and the Pit Lords, big hulking brutes whose blows can stun you. Before facing Izual, you may want to read a good way on defeating him in the Boss Guide. After Izual is dead and his soul released, Izual reveals that it was he who told the Three Prime Evils how to corrupt the Soulstones, so, in fact, he wasn't corrupted by them. He was corrupted already! With your coversation with Izual is over, head back to Tyrael. He'll say that he is dissapointed with his brother, but since you did complete your mission, he allows you to develop your skills with two Skill Points. QUEST II: The Hellforge Available when : Talk to Cain after completing Quest I Goal of Quest : Collect the Hellforge Hammer and smash Mephisto's Soulstone. Reward given : Lots of gems. Recommended Level : 28 - 31 Now, Cain will tell you that in order to destroy Mephisto's evil forever, you must smash his Soulstone that contains his essence. In order to do so, there is only one place and one item that can do so, the Hellforge and the Hellforge Hammer. Both are located in the River of Flame. Return to the Plains of Despair and pass it to enter the City of the Damned. More new baddies are located here and all of them are tough. It's a good thing there's a Waypoint in the area for you to make a quick escape back to the Pandamonium Fortress. But, they do give off a healthy chunk of experience points! Pass the City of the Damned and enter the next area, the River of Flame. Here, you'll find new and improved monsters to kill. All of them are just revisions of the monsters you have faced before. But, they are plentiful and tough. Use your minions to take most of the heat away from you while you pelt away with BONE SPEARS and CORPSE EXPLOSIONS. Here, you will also face Hephasto the Armorer, and he holds the Hellforge Hammer. So, you have to kill him to redeem the Hammer. He is bound to be surrounded by a group of Blood Maggots (like Sand Maggots) and the like, so be careful! To see how to defeat Hephasto the Armorer, refer to Section G. Boss Guide for info. After Hephasto is dead, he will drop the Hellforge Hammer. Pick it up and then take it to the Hellforge, which should be pretty close to where you encountered Hephasto. Once again, the place will be swarming with baddies. Clear them all out with AMPLIFY DAMAGE and CORPSE EXPLOSIONS with your minions help, of course. With the place clean of monsters, you can now work in peace. Place Mephisto's Soulstone on top of the Hellforge. Equip the Hellforge Hammer and use it to smash Mephisto's Soulstone into small fragments. The fragments are various gems, so pick them up. Move past the Hellforge a bit and find the Waypoint so you can return to Tyrael and give a report. But first... Since you've got all these Gems, and you have been saving and upgrading Gems since the start of the game, it's time to finally use them! It's near the end of the game anyway. Better make the best Headgear and Shield you can now before the final battle! Go back all the way to the Pandamonium Fortress and get a really good Socketed Crown or Socketed Great Helm and stick in a Skull. This will replenish some life and Mana while you run around avoiding attacks. Also, stick in an Emerald in that piece of Head Gear. This will increase your Dexterity value, so you can hit more accurately and dodge attacks better. Go get a Socketed Gothic Shield. Now, put in as many Diamonds (two is good enough) so your resistance to all elemental attacks will increase. You may want to stick in a Skull so that damage will be returned to the monsters who do manage to strike you. But I prefer to add an extra Amethyst instead of a Skull to increase your Defense rating. [FROM: Jason Lane Your advice telling everyone to build 3d (triple diamond socketed) shields is dead on. However, make them Tower Shields, not Gothic. Higher blocking is the best attribute a shield can have, and imperative.. If you have trouble locating a Tower Shield, wander Act 3 for a while. They show up there regularly. Gems in equipment, other than a 3d shield, are basically garbage compared to exceptional rares. Gems at higher difficulties are mainly useful to brew up full rejuvenation potions - and you want your shield to be three diamonds, not two diamonds and a sapphire, because of the resistance reduction in the higher difficulties! ] -Jason Lane After getting the best mix of Gemmed Headgears and Shields, talk to Tyrael. He will give you two more Stat points for you to better your skills. You're gonna need it! Why? It's nearly the end of the game! QUEST III: Terror's End Available when : Talk to Tyrael after completing Quest II Goal of Quest : Kill Diablo. Reward given : The Epilogue cinema of Diablo II. Recommended Level : 28 - 32 With Mephisto's Soulstone out of the way, Diablo is next. Diablo is being protected in the Chaos Sanctuary. He is your target now. Tyrael charges you to find Diablo and finally destroy his evil forever. Easier said than done, pal! Use the Waypoint and use it to go to the River of Flame. You will meet Hadriel, the Angel guarding the path to the Chaos Sanctuary to ensure that the forces of evil do not suddenly charge forth into Earth. He lets you pass and informs you that Diablo is protected by 5 seals. In order for Diablo to appear, you must break all 5 seals and the Lord of Terror will appear in the center. You will have to pass a series of floating bridge islands to reach the Chaos Sanctuary, where Diablo resides. But, blocking your way are Hell's full force of lower monsters. A whole herd of baddies are to be fought on these island bridges. And you haven't even entered the Chaos Sanctuary proper yet! After wading thru the hordes of monsters, you will finally enter the Chaos Sanctuary. Being the last line of defense of Hell, all the monsters you will fight here are gonna be hard to defeat! First and foremost, the Storm Casters can suck up Mana points, become invisible and shoot tracking projectiles at you and your minions. It would be wise to lead them away and let your minions take most of the heat. BONE SPEAR works great here in taking them out en masse while the baddies are busy trying to whack your minions. The Venom Lords are just like the Pit Lords. But, by this time, they just look imposing. Even in large groups, they aren't too hard to defeat especially with a FIRE GOLEM and AMPLIFY DAMAGE. The hardest monsters here would have to be the Doom Knights and Oblivion Knights! You may have faced Doom Knights before, but when they are this plenty and have an Oblivion Knight, who can cast Iron Maiden and Decrepify Curses on you, with them, you can die in a blink of an eye! Oblivion Knights are just like Undead Necromancers! They have various curses that they can cast, and they also have the Bone Spirit tracking spell with them! As much as possible, kill the Oblivion Knights off first! They can be a bitch! I prefer to have a lot of Town Portal Scrolls in a neat Tome just in case. This is where the use of FIRE GOLEMS are greatly appreciated. It loves to charge into the middle of a group of monsters. And, WHEN it dies (you can be sure it will die after being overwhelmed), the resulting explosion will kill of the baddies surrounding him! Create a new FIRE GOLEM quickly and repeat. Help out the process with AMPLIFY DAMAGE and CORPSE EXPLOSION to take out the baddies quickly. After polishing all of the monsters in the Chaos Sanctuary, go find the seals. But be careful, 3 of the seals will also release monsters and very tough Uniques! This is when you should use those Gems you've been collecting and the Imbue reward from Charsi from way back in Act I! Since the sealed Uniques are tough, read Section G, Boss Guide to see ways on how to defeat them. After all the seals have been broken and all the Uniques have been killed, Diablo will emerge from the center of the Chaos Sanctuary for the final face-off against Good and Evil! I hope you're ready! The final battle with Diablo is described in Section G. Boss Guide. Get ready! After the aurodous battle with Diablo, collect the magic Items that he drops because they are almost always good! If you still have time, talk with Tyrael and Deckard Cain to hear their words of praise for your work! [FROM: Jason Lane Above all, you need to keep in mind strategically that Act 4, Normal difficulty, is not the end of the game. Heck, to anyone who's actually been through the entire game ([Nightmare]/Hell), everything through level 30 is the beginning, and one that only takes a day or two to get through at that. ] -Jason Lane That's it! You have finished Diablo II! Now, all you've got to do is wait for the add-on to find out what happened to Baal! ----------------------------------------------------------------------- G. Bosses Guide: NOTE: It's always good to have BONE ARMOR active when battling the Bosses to limit the physical damage done to you. Re-cast BONE ARMOR when it gets destroyed, but be sure to run away from a Boss anytime you feel your Necromancer is about to bite the dust. Heal up and then go back to the Boss. ------------- Act I Bosses: ------------- 1) BOSS : Blood Raven ABILITIES : Bow and Arrow attack Fire Arrows Rapid Arrow Summon Undead STRATEGY : Blood Raven is pretty easy if you're totally ready for her. As I said in the walkthru, it's smart if you clear out the baddies around the border of the area. Afterwards, move in to the center of the Cemetery to face her and her minions. It would be great if you had a long range attack, but all you have now is TEETH, and that's pretty useless! And I'm not suggesting to switch to bow and arrows for this battle either. So, you'll have no choice but to go toe-to- toe with her. But she won't like that, being an archer. With your minions by your side, charge in quickly! Almost surely, they will attack HER minions and not her, so they won't be of much help for this battle. So, you're the one who has to smash her without relying on your minions for the first time. Run towards her in a zig-zag fashion to avoid her arrows. When you get close, wail at her with your weapon! It's a difficult battle only because she runs extremely fast for a tall girl (not that I'm saying all girls run slowly! I mean, I admire the WNBA players!). You'll have to chase her around a lot. If you've got a weapon that can inflict COLD damage, the battle will be easier 'coz she won't be able to run fast anymore when she's frozen. What you need is against Blood Raven is actually good Stamina! As long as you have got the Stamina to chase after her, Blood Raven shouldn't be a problem. 2) BOSS : The Countess ABILITIES : Fire Axe Fire Wall STRATEGY : Cakewalk. She doesn't really seem like a boss when you face her! It may be a bit hard because she has assistants with her. But you've got an army of undead monsters with you, so no problem! Once you enter the room where she's at, she'll cast Fire Wall at the entrances of the area so you'll take an enourmous amount of FIRE damage if you try to leave the battle. But, you've got Town Portal Scrolls, so you can actually escape at any time you want. The joke's on her! Not that you'd want to leave, tho. Anyway, lay back and let your minions smash up her assistants, helping out with your AMPLIFY DAMAGE and CORSE EXPLOSION spells. If some of your minions die, no problem! Just make new ones during the battle. Eventually, The Countess will be all alone against your entire army of minions. AMPLIFY DAMAGE on her and let your minions have fun smashing her to pieces. In fact, the Countess doesn't really feel like a Boss. The only thing that makes her tough is if you get trapped between her minions and get stuck in her Fire Wall attack. 3) BOSS : The Smith (Extra Strong) ABILITIES : Overhead Smash STRATEGY : Hard to beat! It gets easier on the higher levels. But as for now, let's say your Necromancer is around Level 12 to 16. Not high enough to have BONE SPEAR, where you can just pelt at him from long range. So this isn't an option yet. He's extra strong, which means one swipe from his attack will cause that red globe at the lower left of your screen become transparent pretty quickly! Your minions don't fare well against him, especially the SKELETONS, who pretty much crumble with one swing. So, what's a poor Necromancer to do? There are two ways, actually, which I found to be effective, and they all involve the WELL in the area. When you meet up with The Smith, chances are he's with a bunch of Devilkin and Shamans, so take the battle away from there! The Smith is hard enough by himself and with those pesky ressurecting fiends there... it's gonna be triple hard! So, run away and lead The Smith (and a few Devilkins) away from their room. Run all the way to the WELL, but kill of as many Devilkins that manage to follow you. Now, when it's just you and The Smith with the well close by, you've got two options. Both of them are Mana extensive but work very well! The first way is to cast AMPLIFY DAMAGE and create minions constantly, using the dead Devilkins for SKELETON WARRIORS and MAGES and CORPSE EXPLOSION if The Smith is close by. Also, run close and hack away at him and quickly run away to avoid his attack. Use the Well to replenish your Mana and let it recharge by running around The Smith. Another method is to use his Extra Strong ability against him! Cast IRON MAIDEN on him and let him attack your minions and yourself with the BONE ARMOR active on you. Rush him and take the damage and let your minions die but create new ones immediately. If your BONE ARMOR gets destroyed, re-cast it again and let yourself get hit by The Smith as long as you have IRON MAIDEN cast on him. Run to the Well if you're getting pummeled or run out of Mana to have the BONE ARMOR cast. This is a shorter method, although more dangerous because you might die all of a sudden if you're not careful. Both methods are dangerous against him, because one big blow from him and it means it's all over for you! Just be alert on your Health Status and run to the Well when your Health drops to about 1/3 of it's full level. 4) BOSS : Andariel ABILITIES : Poison Slash Poison Cloud Poison Spray STRATEGY : Now, she's the last Boss of Act I, so you can bet your bottom dollar and your mother's freshly baked cookies that Andariel will be ultra hard! And ultra hard is just putting it mildly. First and foremost, she'll be surrounded by a ton of monsters in her room. Make sure you clear the room before her when you're going to face her. She's tough enough alone, but with her minions, it's going to be Hell! Her attacks cause you to be Poisoned so it would be helpful if you've got items that will increase your Poison Resistance of reduce Poison Length. Andariel's Poison Cloud has her spit out a fast moving cloud of Poison and her Poison Spray has her fire a spray of Poison Clouds in a spread fashion. Now, how to beat her. There are three methods, actually. One of them is extremely dangerous, and the other two are safer but still dangerous. There is no easy way to beat her, other than leveling up really big, but that would take too long. Before I tell you the methods I used to beat her, I have to tell you one important factor about Poison Damage. It may kill your minions and your hired Warriors, BUT IT WON'T KILL YOU! You'll be reduce to 1 point of Life only. But, of course, that means you're and easy target. One slight tap would kill you at that point, but this is important 'coz you can run away if that occurs. The first method is to use dead bodies for CORPSE EXPLOSIONS. Why is this dangerous? You'll have to face a ton of monsters in her lair and use them as ammo. This means, you'll have to kill a ton of monsters while avoiding Andariel's Poison attacks, and they can drain your health pretty quickly. You can use this method but it's risky. The second and third way is much like the methods used to defeat The Smith. You can use IRON MAIDEN on her but you'll need to get close to get hit, 'coz it seems that Poison and other Elemental Damage done to you won't cause the IRON MAIDEN Spell to return damage back to Andariel. So, this is risky to do as well. So, the third and safest method is also the most brainless method. First, lead her out of her chamber and goad her into following you close to the stair leading the the upper level of the Catacombs. This way you can escape anytime you want if you get inflicted with poison. Simply go up the stairs, wait for the poison to subside (you won't die, remember?) and heal (or use Town Portal if you want). Now, you have a means to escape if you get too hurt to fight. But how do you take out Andariel? AMPLIFY DAMAGE on her and have you and your minions team up and surround her, wailing away at her! You'll get hurt, so run back up the stairs, heal and then go back to beat on her some more. Repeat until Andariel bites the dust, finally. -------------- Act II Bosses: -------------- 1) BOSS : Randament (Extra Fast) ABILITIES : Cross Smash Shadow Projectile Poison Breath Raise Dead Minions Heal Minions STRATEGY : He's tough when Randament is with his minions. Alone? He's a wuss. So, take out his minions first... but, then again, don't! Randament has the ability to raise his fallen warriors when you kill them. There are two ways. One is the long method, and the other is the short method. The long method involves you leading Randament's minions away from him then killing them. And I mean FAR, FAR, FAR away! Randament can heal and ressurect them at quite a distance, even if he can't see them! Anyway, afterwards, when all the minions are just piles of bones, go back to Randament and take care of him. The short method may be quick, but you run a risk of dying. Have your minions attack Randament's minions and then lead Randament towards the pile of dead bodies. Then CORPSE EXPLOSION as much as possible. This way, he cannot ressurect the dead because they're all blown away! This is Mana expensive but can be quick if you're lucky. I suggest using the short method, because once you've defeated Randament, any leftover minions are going to be easy to mop up since they cannot be brought back to life. 2) BOSS : Coldworm the Burrower (Cold Enhanced, Magic Resistant) ABILITIES : None STRATEGY : As a Boss, it's a real creme-puff! In fact, it doesn't do a single solitary attack! All it does is sit there! So, the only time it will cause damage to you is when it dies (it explodes with an ice ring and a poison fountain). So, it's not him you're worried about. The Sand Maggots and the Sand Maggot Young monsters are the one who dish out the damage. You'll probably face the Sand Maggot Young first. You'll know you're near Coldworm the Burrower when the tunnel becomes filled with Sand Maggot Young. Pretty easy when you've got BONE SPEAR! You just fire at them and they'll die the instant it connects in one fell swoop! Next, clear out the Sand Maggots. Let your minions enter the room with Coldworm the Burrower and the other Sand Maggots and have them kill one of them. Then, here comes the fun part! Just AMPLIFY DAMAGE on the ones close to the dead Sand Maggot then start the CORPSE EXPLOSION chain reaction! All the Sand Maggot will be dead in a few seconds! Coldworm the Burrower will be the only one left. Sit back and let your minions kill it! Don't bother helping out. It'll fall soon enough. Keep your distance because when it does die, it will explode with an ice ring that causes Cold damage. Also, it's death will have it spruting a fountain of poison. In fact, I killed it without any damage to me! He's that easy! 3) BOSS : The Summoner ABILITIES : Fire Wall Fire Ball Frost Nova Glacial Spike Amplify Damage Curse STRATEGY : Think of him as a Coldworm the Burrower with attacks... but easier! You don't have to worry about him. Worry about his companions, because there's a lot of them, namely Ghoul Lords and Hell Clans. Lead the Ghoul Lords and Hell Clans away from the Summoner and kill the baddies one by one. It would be best to join in the fray with your minions 'coz they ARE tough. Once they are taken care of, all you have is the Summoner to worry about. Then again, you don't need to worry about anything! Simply go up the stairs where the Summoner is and have your GOLEM follow. Let the GOLEM swing and connect WITH JUST ONE HIT AND IT'S ALL OVER! The Summoner will get killed with that one hit! That's it! I guess the Summoner has only 5 hit points. In fact, when I faced him for the first time, I read Horazon's Journal accidentally while chasing after him, then my Blood Golem came running in, slashed him once, and that was it! 4) BOSS : Duriel ABILITIES : Claw Swipe (can Stun) Holy Freeze Aura STRATEGY : Now, this guy's a BOSS! Ultra-tough Starship Troopers- like creature. Not only is he fast, he's stronger than than Extra Strong, Duriel has a Holy Freeze Aura that will freeze you, but not cause COLD Damage. Did I mention that he's tough? First and foremost, Duriel can smash you up real quick since Super Strong. Your minions will die faster than you can say the word "DIE", so you can count them out of the battle. Now, with Duriel's Holy Freeze Aura freezing you and slowing you down, he can quickly catch up with you easily with his six legged sprint that can chase you down quickly. CORPSE EXPLOSION, your most useful spell, can't be used because, well, there aren't any corpses to explode! For once, you'll be hoping for the Boss to have minions to help you out. Now, how to beat him. The instant you enter the area, open up a Town Portal. You'll need it for a quick escape back to town, and believe you me, you're gonna need it! A few swipes with his claw can kill you! So, it's good to run back into Town the instant you start to get beaten up to regroup and replenish your minion supply. He has a Holy Freeze Aura, so having items to help you with COLD will be good right now. But, it won't be useful 'coz he'll just get close to you and you'll get frozen again! So, never mind getting those equipments to help you against the COLD. Duriel, although he runs very fast, is still very easy to avoid. Just run parallel (ie. across) to where he's running. In other words, when he's charging at you, run to the left or right. He won't be able to stop quickly and you can get a few blows in. But, wait a minute! By this time, you're bound to have BONE SPEAR at this point in the game! So, run left and right to avoid his attack. Then, fire BONE SPEARS at Duriel. When your Mana level is low, replenish with a Mana potion, run around a while so your Mana builds up or return to town and get healed by Fara. There is another way, but dangerous. I did this against him a bit before I switched to the above strategy. This method works good, but not as well as the BONE SPEAR way. Simply cast IRON MAIDEN on Duriel and have your minions get killed by him. Have BONE ARMOR cast on you and let him get a few strikes in before running away and activating your BONE ARMOR (It'll probably be blown away with one swing of Duriel's Claw Swipe). If you're too beat up, use the Town Portal to get back to Lut Gholein, heal, exit the town and create a full compliment of minions and return and repeat the process. This method is dangerous because Duriel can get a good swipe in and, all of a sudden, you will be scrambling for the Town Portal. I recommend pelting Duriel with the AMPLIFY DAMAGE and BONE SPEARS, rather than the IRON MAIDEN method. Good luck! Did I mention that he's tough? [FROM Werebear: Fighting Duriel isn't as hard as what you think. I find him easier though a bit more dangerous than Mephisto. Why? Let's see.. BLOOD GOELMS and IRON MAIDEN works to very good effect. IRON MAIDEN returns whatever damage back by a BIGGER percentage and the damage done is by whoever it strikes. When you consider a BLOOD GOLEM steals 33% of damage done by itself...and it means even by IRON MAIDEN. Let's see, Duriel got a BIG BAD attack as you said in your FAQ. So if you boost your IRON MAIDEN enough, the damage return will be much more BIGGER. :> Like what you said, Mephisto deals lotsa elemental attacks and yeah, they don't hit back with IRON MAIDEN, thus useless. And I remembered killing Duriel with BLOOD GOLEMS and BONE SPEAR in like 15 seconds. Though the COLD damage will kill your golem if your mastery is too low... -Werebear PS : Oh yah, you can try gambling for Tarnhelm early on so when you go for Duriel, you have easily a higher skill lvl on BLOOD GOLEM(More blood stealing and damage), IRON MAIDEN (More damage returned) and BONE SPEAR. ] [FROM DragonSlayer2500: Hello, nice faq. I would like to say that the necro has a very cheap trick against Duriel, which makes him easy. Just have a GOLEM spell, and as many SEKELETAL MAGES as you can. What you do is simple... Duriel always goes for the GOLEM as long as he is the closest. So keep making CLAY GOLEMS as they die while you stay out of reach and the SKELETAL MAGES shoot him down! This is EXTREMELY safe but EXTREMELY Mana consuming though. ] -DragonSlayer2500 [FROM: Ja Mes Kor Firstly, I fought Duriel, Izual, Mephisto and some other bosses in ACT 2 & later using the BLOOD GOLEM. Firstly, I would have to invest a few more points in GOLEM MASTERY. BLOOD GOLEM with IRON MAIDEN on the above bosses allow you to attack the boss while he is busy entertaining himself with your GOLEM and you do get the blood back from your cute BLOOD GOLEM. I find it useful and so far but I have not met Duriel in Nightmare yet...In normal, this is feasible as one of my friend who did it, agreed with my tactics so far. ] -Ja Mes Kor [FROM: Jason Lane: Regarding Duriel, unless you wear the sash from the Death's set (which prevents ALL freezing), no COLD item in the game will do a single thing about his Holy Freeze aura. They won't let you move one inch faster, and it won't end until he dies anyway. You also fail to note that Duriel gets a free attack while the game loads him into existance. While this is a negligible problem for a Necromancer (since the minions will happily eat the damage), it's a huge one for members of any other class. ] -Jason Lane --------------- Act III Bosses: --------------- 1) BOSS : Mephisto ABILITIES : Death Swipe Charged Bolt Lightning Ice Ball Poison Explosion STRATEGY : Oddly enough, Duriel, a Lesser Evil, is a whole lot tougher than Mephisto, in my opinion, anyway. Sure, Mephisto may have a lot of abilities compared to Duriel, but, he is still easier! First thing you got to do is to make sure that all the other mosters and Uniques are taken care of. In other words, they should be dead. Now, it's just going to be you and Mephisto in a one-on-one match... Nah! You've got minions! Use them! The best way is to face Mephisto head on! Mephisto will only use Charged Bolt, Lightning and Ice Ball when you are at a distance from him. Being that these are his more damaging attacks, you can have him not use these spells by simply getting close to him! Now, the only spells Mephisto will use are Poison Explosion and his physical attack, the Death Swipe. But, he will have to contend with you, a GOLEM, a bunch of SKELETON WARRIORS and SKELETAL MAGES. So, odds are he'll be kinda busy striking all of you and distributing his time on his attacks. So, cast either AMPLIFY DAMAGE or IRON MAIDEN on Mephisto. Either you and your minions kill him quickly, or Mephisto kills himself! But, he isn't a cakewalk. He CAN still kill you with his powerful strikes. If you need to get away, go behind a wall so that Mephisto cannot reach you. Use potions to heal you or return to town and restock on health and repair your equipment. Return to Mephisto and repeat. But, you won't have to do this that often when you compare the battle to the one you had with Duriel. [FROM DragonSlayer2500: Mephisto is really easy for a necro. Just stay away from him, and everytime he shoots something, sidestep it and shoot a couple of BONE SPEARS at him. Make sure you have Mana and Stamina potions on your belt when you do this. You can do the same for Diablo. ] -DragonSlayer2500 [FROM: Ja Mes Kor Firstly, I fought Duriel, Izual, Mephisto and some other bosses in ACT 2 & later using the BLOOD GOLEM. Firstly, I would have to invest a few more points in GOLEM MASTERY. BLOOD GOLEM with IRON MAIDEN on the above bosses allow you to attack the boss while he is busy entertaining himself with your GOLEM and you do get the blood back from your cute BLOOD GOLEM. ] -Ja Mes Kor [FROM: Jason Lane Regarding Mephisto. On higher difficulty levels, the High Council members stationed down there with him are far, far, far more dangerous than Mephisto can dream of being. ] -Jason Lane -------------- Act IV Bosses: -------------- 1) BOSS : Izual ABILITIES : Freeze Slash Frost Nova STRATEGY : Now, I actually found this fallen angel harder than Mephisto! What's up with that, huh? He may be twisted to match his soul, but I thought that Izual looked really good! Really cool looking! Izual is tough enough alone because of his freezing attacks that will slow you and your minions down quickly. This, when combined with an army of Doom Casters and other baddies, will slow down you and your minions enough for Izual and the rest of the monsters to surround you. So, one of your goals in facing this Boss is to avoid this. Having suitable resistances to Cold attacks is optional but recommended for this battle. But, it's more important to clear out an area free from the normal monsters, preferribly close to the stairs that lead back to the Outer Steppes or a corner of the area. This is where you should battle Izual. Once you've got Izual in this area, you've got two choices to go to beat him. The first way is to go toe-to-toe with him, attacking him face-to-face and have your minions join in. Cast AMPLIFY DAMAGE or IRON MAIDEN on Izual to help out on the damage delivering. This is very dangerous but the quickest way to do so. Just heal up and cast BONE ARMOR when doing this method. The other way is safer, but as usual, Mana-expensive. Simply keep a distance from Izual and pelt him from long range with your BONE SPEAR or BONE SPIRIT. You may want to cast AMPLIFY DAMAGE to double the damage. Usually, he will go after your GOLEM while you run around pelting him with your offensive spells. Obviously, your GOLEM will eventually die. Run away and replenish your Mana then return to him and resume the assaul with a new GOLEM in tow. Obviously, I would recommend the safer method. Sure, it's longer, but any way you defeat Izual means you defeat him! Also, when you kill Izual, you'll be amazed at the amount of experience you get! The little white bar above your Stamina Meter goes up a good notch or two! [FROM Werebear: There're lotsa other boss that die without much to do like Izual. He dies fairly easily with a BLOOD GOLEM standing there for him to hit and damage himself with IRON MAIDEN casted on him. Even the ermm Venom Lord Uniques? The Storm Caster Unique? All their damage doubles back to themselves or even 4 times back. BOOM. I just leave my BLOOD GOLEM there with IM and all of them dies. Cheap on Mana, and by just watching. [FROM: Ja Mes Kor Firstly, I fought Duriel, Izual, Mephisto and some other bosses in ACT 2 & later using the BLOOD GOLEM. Firstly, I would have to invest a few more points in GOLEM MASTERY. BLOOD GOLEM with IRON MAIDEN on the above bosses allow you to attack the boss while he is busy entertaining himself with your GOLEM and you do get the blood back from your cute BLOOD GOLEM. ] -Ja Mes Kor 2) BOSS : Hephasto the Armorer (Extra Strong, Cursed, Magic Resistant) ABILITIES : Hammer Smash Amplify Damage Curse STRATEGY : He's probably the Smith's (Remember him way back in Act I?) older, tougher bully of a brother. He's really scary to face! Not only is he Extra Strong, Hephasto has an Amplify Damage Curse, ensuring pretty much instant death if he connects, even with BONE ARMOR active! Also, since he is Magic Resistant, using your offensive magic spells like BONE SPEAR and BONE SPIRIT won't be as effective on him. So, what's a poor Necromancer to do? Well, the first thing to do is to take him away from the other monsters he has surrounding him. An excellent place will be the stairs leading back to the City of the Damned so you can quickly climb up the stairs to safety and use the Waypoint to heal up from the massive damage he dishes out. Once he's isolated, there are two ways that work well against Hephasto the Armorer. One way to kill Hephasto the Armorer when you take him on is to slow him down! So, have a SKELETAL MAGE with COLD Magic is great. When he gets frozen, you can get close enough to him to get in a few whacks with your own AMPLIFY DAMAGE Curse cast on him. When you see him raise his mighty hand to hit you, quickly run away from the blow! Have your SKELETAL MAGE freeze him up again, and strike him a few times once more. But, obviously, this is really a long process. Not only that, very risky! Another way is to use his Extra Strong stat against him. Cast IRON MAIDEN on him and let your minions do the fighting for you. When he strikes your friends down, he is actually killing himself! Actually, having an IRON GOLEM here with THORNS on him is better than having a FIRE GOLEM! This is because the THORNS aura combined with the IRON MAIDEN Curse on him will triple the damage returned to him! And with him being Extra Strong, he should be gone pretty quick! The second method is easy and safe, but the first method works pretty well! I used the first way on Hephasto and I didn't get scratched! All it takes are real good reflexes to avoid the blows of Hephasto. [FROM Werebear: Now, imagine [a] BLOOD GOLEM going to kill Hephasto with IRON MAIDEN. Remember, Hephasto do[es] AMPLIFY DAMAGE on the GOLEM and only do melee damage.... Hope you find this useful. ] -Werebear [FROM: Jason Lane Regarding Hephasto the Armorer, use any sort of minion whatsoever and cast Iron Maiden on him. I've seen this in action, it makes for a very short fight, even on Hell difficulty - since he deals so much damage. ] -Jason Lane 3a) BOSS : Infector of Souls (Extra Fast, Spectral Hit) ABILITIES : Power Strike STRATEGY : Infector of Souls is a Venom Lord Unique. He is also the easiest of the three sealed monsters of the Chaos Sanctuary. Think of him as a beefed-up Venom Lord. Sure he's strong and got a lot of hit points. But, without his minions with him, he's pretty much nothing. Simply cast AMPLIFY DAMAGE on his minions and BONE SPEAR them. When one of them is down, use CORPSE EXPLOSION. And again if there are any leftovers. Once all of the Infector of Souls' minions are down, he should also be badly beated with all of the CORPSE EXPLOSIONS done on him in the process. Now, all you got to do are a few more CORPSE EXPLOSIONS on the pile of bodies you've done with AMPLIFY DAMAGE on him and, poof!, no more Infector of Souls! 3b) BOSS : Grand Vizier of Chaos (Extra Strong, Fire Enchanted) ABILITIES : Spark Melee Strike Homing Mana Drain Missiles STRATEGY : Grand Vizier of Chaos is a Storm Caster Unique. He has those annoying Homing Mana Drain Missiles which make it hard to keep a distance and attack with BONE SPEAR and BONE SPIRIT because if you get hit with those missiles, your Mana will empty out pretty quick. This is an easy battle if you've got a FIRE GOLEM with you. Run around the Grand Vizier of Chaos and his minions so that they won't be able to get a bead on you. If they can't aim at you, they won't be able to hit you with those missiles. And running around them is a good distraction, too! Your FIRE GOLEM will kill a few of the minions off with a little help from your SKELETAL MAGES and a AMPLIFY DAMAGE Curse. With a few of them down, you've got your ammo for CORPSE EXPLOSION fun! Keep on running around and casting CORPSE EXPLOSION on the dead carcasses of the minion Storm Casters. Another good thing about the FIRE GOLEM is if it does die, there is a good chance that the resulting explosion from its death will take some of those baddies along with him! This still means that you're gonna get ammo for your CORPSE EXPLOSIONS! But, what if you haven't gotten a high enough level for a FIRE GOLEM? Well, this will be a hard fight! What you have got to do is pretty much the same thing, but you really need to be a bit more active! You still have to have your Necromancer run a circle around all of the baddies while your minions are in the fray. Once in a while, stop and cast BONE SPEAR in the crowd of baddies. Hopefully, you've got some Mana or Rejuvenation Potions with you to replenish your Mana. When a few of them are dead, use your CORPSE EXPLOSION on the dead Storm Casters and keep on doing so until all of them, including the Grand Vizier of Chaos is dead. 3c) BOSS : Lord De Seis (Extra Strong, Aura Enchanted, Thief) ABILITIES : Thief Swipe Bone Spirit Iron Maiden Curse Decrepify Curse STRATEGY : First of all, Lord De Seis is an Oblivion Knight Unique. And you know what a pain ordinary Oblivion Knights are! Now, he's a buffed-up Oblivion Knight surrounded by an army of Doom Knights and Oblivion Knights! Now, THIS is gonna be rough! This battle will be extremely tough because, not only is he a Oblivion Knight, Lord De Seis is surrounded by a horde of Doom Knights and a few Oblivion Knights. He is also Extra Strong, so his attacks, the Thief Swipe and Bone Spirit, do a heck lots of damage to you and your minions! He also has Iron Maiden and Decrepity Curses. When he casts Iron Maiden on you, just run away quickly! You'll know it's Iron Maiden when you see the same tiny fireworks display over your head. His Decrepify Curse will make it difficult for you to run and strike with your weapon. So, run away as far as possible, too, when you get hit with this curse. His Thief ability means that each time he connects with his Thief Swipe, one of your potions from your belt gets knocked off. Get hit a few times and you're going to have an empty belt! So, this will make it hard for you to heal with your potions. With this in mind, Lord De Seis is going to be extremly difficult to kill. But, of course, it is possible. With great skill on you, your Necromancer, the assistance of all your minions, and a bit of luck, he will die. This easiest way to kill Lord De Seis is to have a FIRE GOLEM in your party. Cast AMPLIFY DAMAGE on the herd of baddies that are coming after the FIRE GOLEM. Now, while they're all busy beating on your FIRE GOLEM, quickly create another one, preferribly close by Lord De Seis' position. With your AMPLIFY DAMAGE over the herd of Doom and Oblivion Knights that went for the old FIRE GOLEM, the resulting explosion of creating a new one will kill almost all of them! Clean up is then easy with a few CORPSE EXPLOSIONS. Now, all you're left with is Lord De Seis. Run up to him quickly and whack him. Staying close to him and hitting him with your weapon will prevent him from casting Bone Spirit on you. Sooner or later, Lord De Seis will bite the dust. Without a FIRE GOLEM, you have to rely on your BONE SPEAR to kill as many minions as possible. Just aim for Lord De Seis with the BONE SPEAR and make sure that the BONE SPEAR will strike the group of baddies heading toward you. Make sure you've got AMPLIFY DAMAGE on him and his minions while doing this. Afterwards, when a few of the baddies are dead, CORPSE EXPLOSION on them to clear them out, leaving Lord De Seis all by his lonesome. Get close to him, and attack! At any time, during any of the above methods, you feel that you're gonna get killed, just run away! I mean it! If you do die at this point, it is going to be tough returning to your corpse and get back your equipment with all the tough monsters still in the area surrounding your dead body. Personally, get the FIRE GOLEM and use the first method. It's really easy with that method! As long as Lord De Seis is alone, he's really not that hard to beat! 4) BOSS : Diablo ABILITIES : Ice Claw Fire Nova Fire Wall Fire Bolts Lightning Wave Bone Cage STRATEGY : Here it is! The final battle to decide the fate of humanity! The concluding match between the forces of good vs. evil! More importantly, the last boss of Diablo II! Kill Diablo and the game is over! Sure, you're gonna miss the long, sleepless nights playing the game! You're going to remember the good times you had with your faithful GOLEMS and SKELETON WARRIORS. It's been one hell of a ride (In fact, the ride took you right into Hell!), but now it's time to end it! Once and for all! Diablo has three ranges for his attacks. Get close to him, he will either try to strike you with his Ice Claw melee attack or unleash his Lightning Wave. The Ice Claw is really nothing to fear by itself. But, get hit with it, and you'll slow way down, making it easy to follow it up with another Ice Claw or strike you with his Lightning Wave. The Lightning Wave is a multi-hitting lightning attack, much like the Fetish Shaman's Inferno. The Inferno does lots of damage, but Diablo's Lightning Wave will do a colossal amount of damage if you stay still, even with the best LIGHTNING Defense on the entire planet! So, close range is very risky. At mid-range, Diablo will unleash his Fire Nova (imagine a Poison Nova, only it's made of fire), Lightning Wave, Fire Wall and Fire Bolts (much like a Charged Bolt of fire). The Fire Nova will outright kill your SKELETON WARRIORS and SKELETAL MAGES. And, with your SKELETAL MAGES always keeping a distance from a baddie, Diablo will use Fire Nova for sure to get them! At long-range, Diablo's attacks are just limited to Fire Bolts, Fire Nova and his Fire Wall (which he won't do too much). This is where you should be! Keep a good distance from Diablo! He can't do much damage with his Fire Wall if you keep moving. The Fire Bolts are pretty easy to dodge as well and the Fire Nova will spread out, so you can move in between the fire balls with precise movement. Now, while keeping a distance, run around Diablo, just enough so you can still see him in the screen. Stop occasionally to cast AMPLIFY DAMAGE on him and your long- range offensive spell on him. I hope by this time, your Necromancer has already learned BONE SPIRIT! Having this spell will eliminate the need for you to accurately aim. BONE SPEAR can work, but if Diablo's moving around as well, so it is pretty easy to miss with BONE SPEAR. Having a FIRE GOLEM is good, too! He will absorb any of Diablo's Fire attacks into his health, but since his main close range attacks are non-fire based, your FIRE GOLEM will die pretty quickly. Which is, actually, a good thing! The FIRE GOLEM will explode next to Diablo, giving off a few extra points of damage (I'm guessing Diablo's got good defense against Fire). Any extra damage is good! Just don't bother creating a new one. It's better to do it solo (for once). If you need to run back to town via Town Portal, run away from Diablo! I mean, FAR AWAY! Diablo will usually cast Bone Prison around Town Portals! So, if you're going to use a Town Portal, either go behind a wall so Diablo can't see the Portal, or open it up far away from him. In conclusion, in facing Diablo in the final battle, pelt away with your BONE SPIRIT or BONE SPEAR spell with AMPLIFY DAMAGE on him. It'll take a long, long time, but it is the easiest method I found to kill Diablo! [FROM: Ja Mes Kor As for Diablo in Normal, my friend actually suggested to use the BLOOD GOLEM instead of FIRE, and you need to re- cast your BLOOD GOLEM numerous times (he was at level 31). I tried and found that you may still need to run around a bit like you suggested. My stand is: BLOOD GOLEM is your blood of survival till ACT 4. ] -Ja Mes Kor [FROM: Jason Lane Regarding Diablo tactics. The very best tactic for a Necromancer against Diablo, from what I've seen, is to get someone else to help you. This is easy enough, as many characters, in higher difficulties, have major problems with Hephasto.. and an IRON MAIDEN-wielding Necromancer will, as I said, laugh at him. ] -Jason Lane ----------------------------------------------------------------------- H. Tips and Hints 1) PUT THOSE STAT POINTS IN YOUR STRENGTH Although you won't be needing to get up close and personal with the baddies most of the time, it's better to be safe and sure. In order to increase your Defense Rating, you'll need good armor of have good Dexterity. Unfortunately, increasing your Dexterity won't do much for your Defense Rating when your Necromancer is at a very high level. So, what you want is a good armor, shield, etc. In order to do that, you need to be strong enough to carry the stuff. This is why Strength increase should be the Character stat you should be putting your points into. Getting items that can increase your Attack Ratings is pretty easy to find! 2) SAVE AND UPGRADE THOSE GEMSTONES In the last Act, where a lot of the baddies do huge Elemental damage to you. That's why you need to get those Gemstones and upgrade them. Diamonds, when attached to a Shield will increase all your Elemental Resistances. Putting an Amethyst in your Shield will increase it's Defense. Adding a Skull into your Helm will increase your Mana recovery and will recover Life! Finally, the Emerald in your Headgear will increase your Dexterity! 3) GET A FAST WEAPON BUT NOT A WIMPY FAST WEAPON Since you won't be fighting that much, you'll want a weapon that hits hard and fast for quick getaways. I know that you'll probably find a weapon that does Enchanted Damage or get a Hammer that does more damage than your very fast sword, but the fast hit-and-run style really works well for a Necromancer. But don't go overboard on the speed department! If you get surrounded, and you've got a fast weapon but does little damage (for example, a Dagger), you won't be able to clear out the bad guys around you! Also, two handed weapons aren't meant for the Necromancer. Since you need two hands on a two handed weapon (Duh!), you won't be able to carry a Shield! And your Shield is needed for added Defense, and if you've added Gems into your Socketed Shield, it's needed to take most of your Elemental Damage. Swords work well. They have fast attacking speed while delivering modest damage to the opponent. There are other weapons that have Enhanced Attacking Speed so, even though those type of weapons are slow weapons normally, the added speed will be welcome while doing the same amount of damage. [FROM: Ja Mes Kor In another Necro FAQ, someone actually suggested to use a really damaging 2-handed weapon in later ACTs...I think this may be true in Nightmare...I found one Maul and went back to get it imbued and it does nearly 90 dmg on average and it kills off enemy faster. A gemmed shield is useful when you meet up with those irritating elemental attacks... otherwise I keep the shield for later uses. ] -Ja Mes Kor 4) LEARN THOSE USEFUL SPELLS AND USE THEM! You've gotta love those spells the Necromancer has! Sure, a lot of them suck big time and aren't worth getting, but the ones that really work well, really work damn good! AMPLIFY DAMAGE is bound to be one of your faves! It costs only a few Mana points, yet it will double the damage you and your minions can do! CORPSE EXPLOSION does a huge amount of damage! Kill a baddie and cast it on the body! BOOM! A few more baddies are bound to die, setting up for more CORPSE EXPLOSION attacks! Also, exploding a corpse prevents the dead body from being ressurected by creature that have the ability to raise the dead. BONE SPEAR and BONE SPIRIT also does a lot of damage! BONE SPEAR is great for huge groups of monsters. The BONE SPEAR will eliminate a few of them, setting them up for CORPSE EXPLOSION. The BONE SPIRIT, on the other hand, will only hit one baddie, but will to massive damage, and will chase the targeted monster! 5) SUMMONING MAKES SURE YOU'RE NEVER ALONE Any SKELETON WARRIOR and MAGE are really good in times when you need assistance quickly. They can provide distractions if you need to run away. Not only that, using those spells will deny the body to be ressurected ever again. REVIVED creatures, although they are active for a limited time, are really powerful if you use this spell on Champions and Uniques. They also get a big boost on their life stats. It's great on Bosses, like Mephisto (if you manage to get Level 30 at that time) and Diablo! Finally, the jewel of your Summoning monsters, the GOLEMS! The CLAY GOLEM is tough enough to last till the end of Act I, and BLOOD GOLEMS work wondrous against huge amount of baddies. IRON GOLEMS are real bad boys! They can take a beating and dish it out as well! It's THORNS Aura also help it kill tough monsters, especially the Extra Strong, by returning 150% of the damage back to the attacker. And, last but not least, the FIRE GOLEM will absorb Fire Elemental attacks to its health, has a Fire Aura as well and really hits hard! Another ability that the FIRE GOLEM has that no one really exploits is the fact that, when it dies, it explodes, delivering Fire Damage to the surrounding baddies! The Summoned Monsters are Mana expensive, but, then again, YOU ONLY HAVE TO CAST IT ONCE! Unlike your other spells, like AMPLIFY DAMAGE and BONE SPEAR, the effect of the spell and the damage it does either has a time limit or is instantaneous. They can last for a long time. And, when they do die, you can always make another one, and return to the nerest town and recharge you Mana! 6) SAVE THAT IMBUE In Act I, when you return the Horadric Malus to Charsi, she'll say that she'll Imbue one of your ordinary Items with Magic properties. It may be tempting to use it immediately, but don't! Save it until Act IV! In Act IV, the ordinary Item you can buy are really good! So, Imbuing an item that you get during Act IV, and Imbue that Item, you'll get a really powerful item! I suggest Imbuing the best armor you can get later in the game, then go back all the way to the Rouge Encampment. Go to Charsi and give her the armor and have her Imbue it. After that, she'll give you your new, powerful Magic Armor! 7) CHEAT! You heard me right! Cheat! For example, if you're gonna Gamble or get a Ring as a reward, save the game first! Then, go back to Windows (you don't have to exit the game) and copy all the save game data from the save directory of Diablo II to another directory. Now, load the game again and do whatever you want. If you get a lousy item from Gambling or a crummy Ring for a reward, go back to the Main Menu of Diablo II by saving the game. Since you didn't want what you got, simply overwrite that save game with the one you copied to a different directory! You're back again without the said Item and you can try again! Do this when you're about to use the Imbue! Imbue it and then, if you think the new Imbued Item sucks, just do the above process! 8) IF YOU CAN PLAY MULTIPLAYER WITH YOUR FRIENDS, DO SO! Why? Playing with friends is just darn fun! I played with my friend. I was using my Necromancer while he used his Paladin character. No matter how powerful the baddies were, the fights were pretty easy! Imagine the combinations! Your Necromancer and his minions, with the help of a Paladin with Prayer, Might or Thorns Aura. You, your Undead army, a Golem with an Amazon pelting the baddies from long range. Two Necromancers with a ton of minions! Your Necromancer casting Amplify Damage while a Barbarian totally killing the forces of evil! Letting your minions distract a horde of monsters while a Sorceress friend cast Frozen Orb on the lot of them! Or, ALL CHARACTER CLASSES against the army of the Evil Dead! The possibilites are endless! Also, you can trade your items! With the help of your online friends, it's pretty easy to complete the Set Items! Help your friends by giving him items that you don't need anymore! Or they can help you in the same way! ----------------------------------------------------------------------- I. Help Me! Send me some comments or suggestions to make this FAQ a better one. They are always welcome! Contact me at email@example.com. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- J. Thanks! www.gamefaqs.com (CJayC)- a great site for your faqs! Thanks for putting this one up! You get credit now for being the first one to do so! DLH.net (Bernd Wolffgramm) - thanks for asking to put this up! gameadvice.com (Al Amaloo) - thanks for asking to put this up! neoseeker.com (Peter Judson) - thanks for asking to put this up! Blizzard - for making Diablo II. I hope you guys can read this FAQ! 'Coz I wanna say thanks for the great game that Diablo II is! Werebear (Chris Chua) - Gave me a few pointers on how to defeat Duriel, Izual, Hephasto the Armorer, and even Diablo himself! That's quite a lot of help! DragonSlayer2500 - Gave advice to beat Duriel and Mephisto, two major Bosses! Thanks! Ja Mes Kor - For some great advice to beat Duriel, Izual, and Mephisto. Diablo, too! Jason Lane - For tons of advice in the game! And I mean TONS! Go ahead! weight it! It's about 2,000 lbs! The "Lurkers" - Friends to Jason Lane. They gave Jason Lane a huge bulk of the info he sent. Thomas Schuering - For pointing out to me that my FAQ was a bit wonky in it's former setting. Norman Lee - for letting me play Diablo II for the first time at his house! And for playing with me online! Thanks, pal! END!