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    Sorceress Guide by Damneon

    Version: 1.1 | Updated: 07/26/00 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

             | Diablo II                 |
             | Sorceress Guide           |
             | Version 1.1 (7/26/2000)   |
             | Copyright 2000 Damneon    |
             | damneon@yahoo.com         |
    1. Introduction
    2. Starting a Sorceress
        -Level Exp chart
    3. Spell Lists
    4. Defeating Diablo and Beyond
    5. Sticking Points (Small Spoilers)
        -Boss guide for every quest
        -Which monsters will give you the hardest time
    6. Credits
    7. Legalese
    1. Introduction
      So you want to be a Sorceress?  The Sorceress is the weakest character 
    physically, but more than makes up for it in sheer fire power.  Low hit 
    points and armor will cause many deaths, but you will get so many kills you 
    will not mind.  Diablo II is very well balanced for the character classes, 
    but I've found that I prefer the finesse required to make a good Sorceress. 
    A Sorceress requires good planning on your skills, as many become obsolete 
    very quickly.  You will need to accept the fact that you are not an up 
    close fighter and will need to avoid melee combat at all costs.  
      I've been playing Diablo II since it came out.  My opinion is biased 
    towards the Cold spells because I think they are the best.  I've had little 
    difficulty killing the monsters in Act II of Hell difficulty at level 43 
    with Cold spells.
      I've used several game hacking utilities to try out all the spells, and 
    I've compared and compiled a list rating each of the spells and how 
    effective and useful they are throughout the game.
      Feel free to contact me at damneon@yahoo.com if you have any questions or 
    comments about this FAQ.  Or you can contact Lady Aelana on B.net USWest.
    2. Starting a Sorceress
    It is important to plan out your Sorceresses spells early on.  Choose two 
    or three primary attack spells and put all of your points into those.
    I suggest:
     Cold: Blizzard, Glacial Spike, and Frozen Orb.
     Fire: Fire Ball and Blaze
     Lightning: Static Field, Nova, Chain Lightning
    Once you have chosen your primary attack spells, don't put more than a 
    single point into any spell that is a prerequisite for those spells, and 
    don't put any points into spells that you don't need.  There are a few 
    exceptions.  I wholeheartedly recommend you put as many points as you can 
    spare into Warmth and Static Field, as both are very helpful.  I also 
    suggest putting a single point into these skills: Telekinesis/Teleport, 
    Frozen Armor and Frost Nova.  All of them are very good even with a single 
    point in them.
    Starting Stats:
      Strength:  10
      Dexterity: 25
      Vitality:  10
      Energy:    35
      Stamina:   74
      Life:      40
      Mana:      35
    How stats affect your character:
     Every 100 Strength = +1 to minimum damage with a weapon
     Every 20 Strength = +1 to maximum damage with a weapon
     Every point of Dexterity adds 4 to your attack rating
     Every 4 points of Dexterity adds 1 to your armor
     Every point of Vitality adds 1 stamina and 2 health
     Every point of Energy adds 2 mana
    If you find a piece of armor that you absolutely must wear, put some points 
    into the required stats until you are able to wear it.  50 strength should 
    be enough to wear just about anything you find that is worth wearing.  If 
    you are concerned about having a low armor class, wait until you start 
    getting exceptional items in Nightmare and Hell difficulties.  I've found 
    armor with 200 AC with a very low strength requirement.  Mostly you will 
    want to put all of your available stat points into energy.
    Level Chart 1-20
       Level  Exp
      1          0
      2        500
      3      1,500
      4      3,750
      5      7,875
      6     14,175
      7     22,680
      8     32,886
      9     44,396
     10     57,715
     11     72,144
     12     90,180
     13    112,725
     14    140,906
     15    176,132
     16    220,165
     17    275,207
     18    344,008
     19    430,010
     20    537,513
    3. Spell Lists
      Fire is by far the most damaging category of spells available.  The main 
    drawback of the Fire spells is it's lack of direct attack spells.  Most of 
    the spells involve casting them then running your fool head off until the 
    spells eventually kill your attackers.  This is generally a good strategy, 
    but Lightning enchanted uniques will rip you apart if you use Inferno, Fire 
    Wall, Blaze, or Meteor against them since these spells will trigger the 
    Charged Bolt counter attack several times a second.  With no defensive 
    skills available, you may find yourself getting killed if you aren't 
    careful about keeping your enemies away from you.
    Suggested Primary Fire Path:
     1  Frozen Armor
     2  Warmth
     3  Warmth
     4  Fire Bolt
     5  <save for next level>
     6  Inferno and Frost Nova
     7  Static Field
     8  Static Field
     9  Static Field
    10  Warmth
    11  <save for next level>
    12  Fire Ball and Blaze
    13  Fire Ball
    14  Blaze
    15  Fire Ball
    16  Blaze
    17  Fire Ball
    18  Fire Wall
    19  Fire Ball
    20  Blaze
    21  Fire Ball
    22  Blaze
    23  Fire Ball
    24  Meteor
    25  Fire Ball
    26  Fire Ball
    27  Fire Ball
    28  Enchant
    29  <save for next level>
    30  Hydra and Fire Mastery
                   Fire Bolt        Warmth
                      |               |
                      |               |
        Inferno       |               |
           |          |               |
           |          |               |
         Blaze     Fire Ball          |
           |          |       \       |
           |          |        \      |
        Fire Wall     |            Enchant
                 \    |               |
                  \   |               |
                    Meteor            |
                   Fire Mastery     Hydra
    *---- Fire Bolt  Lv 1
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 3-6        Damage: 31-34     Damage: +3/2-+3/2
          Mana Cost: 2.5     Mana Cost: 2.5    Mana Cost: +0
            Fire Bolt is the spell you start the game with.  It does very 
          little extra damage with each additional point you add, and even at 
          level 20 it does pathetic damage.  This spell will be able to get you 
          through Act I with just one level in it, but don't count on it doing 
          anything beyond that.
    ***** Warmth  Lv 1
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Mana Regen: +30%   Mana Regen: +258% Mana Regen: +12%
            Warmth improves your mana regen rate.  You will naturally regen all 
          of your mana in two minutes.  Warmth reduces the time it takes to 
          regen to full.  At level 20 you will regen your full mana in about 30 
          seconds, regardless of how much mana you have.  No matter what area 
          of magic you plan to focus on, put plenty of points into this skill.
    **--- Inferno  Lv 6
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 12-25/sec  Damage: 190-203/s Damage: +19/2-+19/2
          Range: 3.3 yds     Range: 12.6 yds   Range: +2/4
          Mana Cost: 7/sec   Mana Cost: 21/sec Mana Cost: +3/4
            Inferno shoots a stream of flame from you out to a distance equal 
          to the range.  Holding down the right mouse button will keep this 
          spell going until you run out of mana.  It does a good bit of damage, 
          but it requires you to stand still and usually you have to be fairly 
          close to the target to hit it.  It is a great spell to use in Act I 
          to kill bosses/uniques, but beyond that it isn't very useful.
    ****- Blaze  Lv 12
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 18-37/sec  Damage: 196-215/s Damage: +19/2-+19/2
          Duration: 4.6      Duration: 23.6    Duration: +1
          Mana Cost: 11      Mana Cost: 20     Mana Cost: +1/2
            Blaze creates a trail of fire behind you as you walk/run.  Blaze 
          doesn't do as much damage as Fire Wall, but lasts just as long, 
          costs less mana, allows you to dodge while laying down the fire, and 
          is generally easier to hit things with.  Cast Blaze and run away from 
          a nasty unique, or run circles around/between a large group of nasty 
          monsters.  For an added touch, lay a Blizzard or some Hydras on top 
          of the whole mess and you will have an easy time killing many things.
    ***** Fire Ball  Lv 12
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Radius: 2 yds      Radius: 2 yds     Radius: +0
          Damage: 6-14       Damage: 139-147   Damage: +7-+7
          Mana Cost: 5       Mana Cost: 14     Mana Cost: +0.5
            Fire Ball is the most damaging attack spell in the game.  A slvl 20 
          Fire Ball with slvl 20 Fire Mastery does nearly 300 damage per hit 
          and costs next to nothing in mana.  With only one prerequisite spell, 
          you can learn Fire Ball even if you want to spend all your other 
          skill points in other categories.  The only disadvantage to this 
          spell is that it's radius isn't quite as large as Glacial Spike or 
    ***-- Fire Wall  Lv 18
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 32-42/sec  Damage: 389-398/s Damage: +75/4-+75/4
          Range: 4 yds       Range: 30 yds     Range: +4/3
          Duration: 4.6      Duration: 23.6    Duration: +1
          Mana Cost: 22      Mana Cost: 60     Mana Cost: +2
            Fire Wall creates a line of fire wherever you click.  The angle of
          the wall is based on your position.  Fire Wall does ridiculous 
          amounts of damage (800 with Fire Mastery), but I've found it 
          difficult to keep monsters within the fire.  It's high mana cost can 
          prevent you from casting it too often.
            Note: According to Geoff Frazier's posts on the Battle.net message 
          boards, his Sorceress' main tactic is to lay down some fire walls, 
          hydras, then throw some Meteors on top of the whole mess.  I'm not 
          very fond of any of those spells, but he has had great success with 
          this tactic, so you may get more use out of these spell than I have.
    **--- Enchant  Lv 18
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 8-10       Damage: 27-29     Damage: +1-+1
          Duration: 144      Duration: 600     Duration: +24
          Mana Cost: 25      Mana Cost: 120    Mana Cost: +5
            Enchant adds fire damage to a weapon.  Target the player/minion you 
          want to enchant, and all of their weapons will now do additional fire 
          damage.  A purely multi-player spell, you will find little use for it 
          in single player (except to enchant your mercenaries).
    ***-- Meteor  Lv 24
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 40-50      Damage: 268-278   Damage: +12-+12
          Fire Damage:       Fire Damage:      Fire Damage:
           16-21/sec          150-154/sec       +7-+7/sec
          Range: 4 yds       Range: 4 yds      Range: +0
          Mana Cost: 17      Mana Cost: 36     Mana Cost: +1
            Meteor causes a big-ass flaming rock to fall out of the sky and 
          cause a world of hurt for anything it hits.  The problem is the 
          "anything it hits" part.  When you cast the spell, the ground starts 
          to glow where it will land, and a few seconds later the Meteor makes 
          it's appearance.  There is plenty of time for your target to move out 
          of ground zero.  With some practice, you can aim a meteor in front of 
          you and walk toward/through the landing zone so that it hits your 
          pursuers.  It also leaves a small area of a Fire Wall-ish effect for 
          a few seconds after it hits.  Meteor does do a lot of damage, but 
          it's difficulty aiming makes this one of my less favored spells.
    ***** Fire Mastery  Lv 30
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Increase damage    Increase damage   Diminishing returns.
           for all fire       for all fire      First few levels provide
           spells:  18%       spells: 100%      the largest bonus.
            If you have any Fire spells, you need Fire Mastery.  Fire Mastery 
          improves the damage done by all of your fire spells.  At slvl 20 it 
          doubles the damage done, and even at level 1 it will greatly improve 
          your kill rate.  As with all the Mastery skills, the first few levels 
          you put in the skill provide the largest bonuses.
    ***-- Hydra  Lv 30
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 6-12       Damage: 44-50     Damage: +2-+2
          Duration: 12       Duration: 31      Duration: +1
          Mana Cost: 21      Mana Cost: 59     Mana Cost: +2
            Hydra opens a hole in the ground and three heads pop out.  Each 
          head will shoot Fire Bolts at nearby targets for the duration of the 
          spell.  My main complaint about this spell is that at level 30 when 
          you can first learn it, 6-12 damage isn't going to kill a lot, even 
          at clvl 50 when you can have this spell at slvl 20, 44-50 isn't going 
          to do much against what you are fighting.  This isn't really a kill 
          spell, but more of a support spell.  Throw a few Hydras in the middle 
          of a Fire Wall/Blaze field, or in a Blizzard and you will do much 
          better than if you didn't have Hydra.  The greatest use I've had for 
          this spell is to kill lightning enchanted uniques.  Throw a bunch of 
          Hydras at it and run around a corner.  With strategic planning and a 
          good helping of Fire Mastery, Hydra is a very useful spell.
      Lightning can be a difficult path to follow.  It has several attack 
    spells, but only Nova and Chain Lightning are worth anything.  It lacks any 
    high level attack spells, and most of the spells available are utility 
    spells.  Most Lightning spells have a very large range of damage (1-192 for 
    Lightning at slvl 20) so you can't count on a spell killing even the 
    smallest thing in one shot.  The mana cost for most of the spells is quite 
    low, even more so with Lightning Mastery, so running out of mana shouldn't 
    be too much of an issue.  Lightning seems to be mostly a multi-player 
    choice of spells.  A large amount of Static Field will help your friends 
    kill everything while you keep at a safe distance.
    Suggested Primary Lightning Path:
     1  Frozen Armor
     2  Charged Bolt
     3  Warmth
     4  Warmth
     5  Warmth
     6  Frost Nova
     7  Static Field
     8  Static Field
     9  Static Field
    10  Static Field
    11  <save for next level>
    12  Nova and Lightning
    13  Warmth
    14  Nova
    15  Warmth
    16  Telekinesis
    17  <save for next level>
    18  Teleport and Chain Lightning
    19  Chain Lightning
    20  Chain Lightning
    21  Chain Lightning
    22  Chain Lightning
    23  <save for next level>
    24  Thunder Storm and Energy Shield
    25  Energy Shield
    26  Energy Shield
    27  Pick one: Warmth/Nova/Chain Lightning
    28  Pick one: Warmth/Nova/Chain Lightning
    29  Pick one: Warmth/Nova/Chain Lightning
    30  Lightning Mastery
                 Charged Bolt
      Static Field    |          Telekinesis
           |          |               |
           |          |               |
         Nova      Lightning          |
           |          |               |
           |          |               |
           |        Chain          Teleport
           |       Lightning          |
           |    /             \       |
     Thunder Storm              Energy Shield
                Lightning Mastery
    ***-- Charged Bolt  Lv 1
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 2-4        Damage: 11-13     Damage: +1/2-+1/2
          Bolts: 3           Bolts: 22         Bolts: +1
          Mana Cost: 3       Mana Cost: 12     Mana Cost: +0.5
            Charged Bolt fires several small lightning bolts that wander around 
          in front of you randomly.  It's low mana cost and the potential to do 
          about 260 damage at slvl 20 makes this a fairly powerful spell.  
          Unlike in Diablo 1, if a Charged Bolt shot hits a wall, it will stop 
          instead of bouncing off it.
    ***** Static Field  Lv 6
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Range: 3.3 yds     Range: 16 yds     Range: +2/3
          Mana Cost: 9       Mana Cost: 9      Mana Cost: +0
            Static Field is another of the spells that every Sorceress should 
          know.  It reduces a monsters current hit points by 25% with each 
          hit.  After about four shots of this, a monster is about half dead, 
          and should be easy to finish off with your primary blasting spell.  
          At slvl 1, the range of this spell is barely large enough to hit 
          things before they can hit you, but each level in this skill 
          increases the range.  By slvl 20, the range is well beyond the 
          dimensions of the screen.  Another bonus of this spell is that it 
          will light up any enemies it hits, making it easy to see how many 
          monsters are in a dark room.  The most important thing to note about 
          this spell is that it is just as effective in Normal mode as it is in 
          Nightmare and Hell.  No matter where you choose to focus your skills, 
          get a healthy supply of Static Field.
    *---- Telekinesis  Lv 6
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 1-2        Damage: 20-21     Damage: +1-+1
          Mana Cost: 7       Mana Cost: 7      Mana Cost: +0
            Telekinesis picks stuff up for you without having to walk to it 
          first.  Whoopee.  It does pathetic damage, and if you didn't need to 
          study it to get to Teleport, I wouldn't waste a single point in this 
          skill.  It does have a use in a multi-player game if you are playing 
          with treasure hogs, or want to be a treasure hog yourself.
    ****- Nova  Lv 12
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 1-20       Damage: 134-153   Damage: +7-+7
          Mana Cost: 15      Mana Cost: 34     Mana Cost: +1
            Nova shoots a ring of lightning, hitting any nearby enemies.  It 
          does decent damage, and is one of the few lightning spells that 
          increases it's minimum damage as well as maximum each slvl.  The 
          damage is on par with the other lightning spells, and it can hit as 
          many targets as it can within the range of the blast.
    ***-- Lightning  Lv 12
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 1-40       Damage: 1-192     Damage: +0-+8
          Mana Cost: 8       Mana Cost: 17     Mana Cost: +0.5
            Lightning shoots a lightning bolt at the target, and the shot 
          continues on beyond the target to damage anything it passes through. 
          I'd suggest waiting another 6 levels to get Chain Lightning instead 
          of putting more points into this spell.
    ****- Chain Lightning  Lv 18
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 1-40       Damage: 1-230     Damage: +0-+10
          Mana Cost: 9       Mana Cost: 28     Mana Cost: +1
            Chain Lightning shoots a lightning bolt at the target, then the 
          bolt changes direction to hit another four targets.  This will 
          probably be your primary attack spell if you get nothing but 
    lightning, and it isn't a bad spell except that it can do just a 
          single point of damage no matter how high you have it trained.
    ****- Teleport  Lv 18
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Mana Cost: 24      Mana Cost: 5      Mana Cost: -1
            Teleport: You click there, you be there.  Whether you use this 
          spell to escape from combat, or just to avoid walking around the 
          Arcane Sanctuary (mostly the latter), this is a very useful utility 
          spell.  You won't get any kills from this spell, but the option to 
          escape from combat while surrounded will probably save you quite a 
          bit of experience in Nightmare/Hell difficulty.  One level of this 
          spell is sufficient, and any additional points spent will only reduce 
          the mana cost.
    **--- Thunder Storm  Lv 24
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Duration: 32       Duration: 184     Duration: +8
          Damage: 1-100      Damage: 191-290   Damage: +10-+10
          Mana Cost: 19      Mana Cost: 19     Mana Cost: +0
            This defensive spell will give you a Paladin-ish aura that shoots 
          lightning bolts from the sky randomly at nearby monsters.  The damage 
          is very high, but it doesn't fire very often.  You may find this 
          spell helpful if you are in combat often, but if you avoid hand to 
          hand combat like the plague, you will probably not hit many things 
          with this spell.  On the other hand, if you avoid hand to hand 
          combat, this spell will fry anything that tries to get close enough 
          to hit you.  It isn't a *bad* spell, it just doesn't meet my 
          expectations of what a level 24 spell should do.
    ****- Energy Shield  Lv 24
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Duration: 144      Duration: 1056    Duration: +48
          Mana Cost: 5       Mana Cost: 5      Mana Cost: +0
          Percentage of      Percentage of     Diminishing returns.
           damage is taken    damage is taken   First few levels provide
           from mana: 23%     from mana: 63%    the largest bonus.
            Energy shield takes a percentage of the damage you take from mana 
          instead of health.  Since you should have much more mana than health, 
          this spell will help you stay alive longer.  At slvl 20, 2/3 of the 
          damage you take will be taken out of mana, effectively giving you 
          three times the health you had before.  The main drawback of this 
          spell is that it has five prerequisite skills you must learn before 
          getting this one.  I recommend finding a staff with +3 in this skill 
          and using that instead of learning it the hard way.
    **--- Lightning Mastery  Lv 30
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Reduce mana cost   Reduce mana cost  Diminishing returns.
           for lightning      for lightning     First few levels provide
           spells:  15%       spells: 63%       the largest bonus.
            Lightning Mastery reduces the mana cost for all of your lightning 
          spells.  At slvl 20, the cost for all your spells is 1/3 of the 
          original cost.  Lightning Mastery combined with a healthy supply of 
          Warmth will keep you casting for a VERY long time.  As with all the 
          Mastery skills, the first few levels you put in the skill provide the 
          largest bonuses.
      Cold spells generally do less damage than their Lightning/Fire 
    counterparts, but the additional freezing/slowing effects make them 
    extremely powerful.  Monsters that are slowed move and attack at half 
    speed, and frozen and slowed monsters tend to shatter when they die making 
    it impossible for them to be resurrected.  Cold is generally a very safe 
    path to choose since you can slow and run away from anything, or simply 
    freeze it until it dies.  
      The main problem with choosing a full Cold path is the lack of a good 
    attack spell to use between levels 6 and 18.  It would be a waste to put 
    more than one point into Ice Blast, so you will need to find a staff with 
    another spell to survive long enough to get Glacial Spike.
    Suggested Primary Cold Path:
     1  Frozen Armor
     2  Warmth
     3  Warmth
     4  Warmth
     5  Ice Bolt
     6  Ice Blast
     7  Frost Nova
     8  Static Field
     9  Warmth
    10  Static Field
    11  Warmth
    12  Static Field
    13  Static Field
    14  <save for level 24>
    15  <save for level 25>
    16  <save for level 26>
    17  <save for level 27>
    18  Glacial Spike
    19  Glacial Spike
    20  Glacial Spike 
    21  Glacial Spike
    22  Glacial Spike
    23  Glacial Spike
    24  Glacial Spike and Blizzard
    25  Glacial Spike and Blizzard
    26  Glacial Spike and Blizzard
    27  Glacial Spike and Blizzard
    28  Blizzard
    29  <save for next level>
    30  Frozen Orb and Cold Mastery
                   Ice Bolt     Frozen Armor
                      |               |
                      |               |
      Frost Nova   Ice Blast          |
           |          |      \        |
           |          |       \       |
           |          |         Shiver Armor
           |          |               |
           |          |               |
           |      Glacial Spike       |
           |     /                    |
           |    /                     |
    Blizzard                Chilling Armor
         Frozen    Cold Mastery
    *---- Ice Bolt  Lv 1
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 3-5        Damage: 22-24     Damage: +1-+1
          Cold 6 sec         Cold 32.6 sec     Cold +1.4 sec
          Mana Cost: 3       Mana Cost: 3      Mana Cost: +0
            Ice Bolt is your introduction to the Ice spells.  It does decent 
          damage for most of Act I, so if you are going to go the all ice 
          route, you won't be stuck.  The additional slowing effect of this 
          spell is very helpful and is the main reason this spell can keep you 
          alive long enough to level up and get a real blast.
    ***** Frozen Armor  Lv 1
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Duration: 120      Duration: 348     Duration: +12 sec
          AC Bonus: 30%      AC Bonus: 125%    AC Bonus: +5%
          Freeze 1.2 sec     Freeze 3.4 sec    Freeze +0.1 sec
          Mana Cost: 7       Mana Cost: 7      Mana Cost: +0
            Frozen Armor is one of the best spells you have available to keep 
          you alive.  This spell will freeze any monster that hits you with a 
          melee weapon, and even some ranged weapon attacks up close.  This is 
          an extremely important spell as you go into Act II and III as many of 
          the monsters attack rates prevent you from casting any spells while 
          you are being hit.  The AC bonus it provides is minimally useful 
          since you will not have the strength to wear enough armor to make it 
          worth while.
    ***** Frost Nova  Lv 6
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 2-4        Damage: 40-42     Damage: +2-+2
          Cold 8 sec         Cold 27 sec       Cold +1 sec
          Mana Cost: 9       Mana Cost: 47     Mana Cost: +2
            Frost Nova shoots a ring of coldness around you, slowing anything 
          it hits. When you are being attacked by a large group of enemies, 
          slowing them is often the best strategy.  Whether you slow them so 
          you can run away, or so that they are easier to hit, Frost Nova will 
          be your best friend for quite a while.
    ***-- Ice Blast  Lv 6
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 10         Damage: 143       Damage: +7
          Freeze 3 sec       Freeze 6.8 sec    Freeze +0.2
          Mana Cost: 6       Mana Cost: 15     Mana Cost: +0.5
            Ice Blast is a curious spell.  The damage increases fast enough
          that at skill level 20 it is on par with Fire Ball, Glacial Spike, 
          and Chain Lightning.  The major disadvantage of this spell is that it 
          only hits a single target.  I don't recommend training this spell 
          beyond the first level. Glacial Spike is just a few levels away and 
          is a much more effective spell.
    *---- Shiver Armor  Lv 12
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Duration: 120      Duration: 348     Duration: +12 sec
          AC Bonus: 45%      AC Bonus: 159%    AC Bonus: +6%
          Damage: 6-8        Damage: 44-46     Damage: +2-+2
          Cold 4 sec         Cold 4 sec        Cold +0 sec
          Mana Cost: 11      Mana Cost: 11     Mana Cost: +0
            Shiver Armor works the same way as Frozen Armor, except it slows 
          instead of freezes.  When I first started playing a Sorceress, I 
          looked at this spell and thought "Wow! A defensive spell that will 
          kill my enemies!." After finishing Act I, I suddenly realized 1: if I 
          am hit I tend to die if I can't stop them from hitting me, and 2: 8 
          damage isn't going  to save my ass.  Even if you waste your next 20 
          skill levels in this spell, 46 damage isn't going to put a dent into 
          the things you will fight at level 32.
    ***** Glacial Spike  Lv 18
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Radius: 2.6 yds    Radius: 2.6 yds   Radius: +0
          Damage: 16-24      Damage: 149-157   Damage: +7-+7
          Freeze 2 sec       Freeze 4.2 sec    Freeze +0.1
          Mana Cost: 10      Mana Cost: 19     Mana Cost: +0.5
            Glacial Spike is your friend.  It does large amounts of damage, 
          freezes, and has an area.  Even at the highest character levels, this 
          spell will still do the job.  This is the highest level spell that 
          will freeze your enemies.  The damage it deals is about the same as 
          Fire Ball (without Fire Mastery), but when a big-nasty-thing is 
          coming at me, I like the feeling of safety freezing them provides.
    ***** Blizzard  Lv 24
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 16-24      Damage: 92-100    Damage: +4-+4
          Duration: 4 sec    Duration: 23 sec  Duration: +1
          Mana Cost: 23      Mana Cost: 42     Mana Cost: +1
            Blizzard sends a shower of Ice Bolts from the sky for the duration 
          of the spell.  Monsters will generally take one or two hits of this 
          spell per second, more or less depending on their size.  While not 
          the most damaging spell in the game, this is one of the best "Fire 
          and forget" spells available.  If you run into a large group of 
          monsters that you cannot take on, run away and fire a Blizzard ahead 
          of you.  The Blizzard will thin out the numbers of your attackers.
    *---- Chilling Armor  Lv 24
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Duration: 144      Duration: 258     Duration: +6 sec
          AC Bonus: 45%      AC Bonus: 140%    AC Bonus: +5%
          Damage: 6-8        Damage: 44-46     Damage: +1-+1
          Mana Cost: 17      Mana Cost: 17     Mana Cost: +0
            This spell is bad for the same reasons Shiver Armor is.  At level 
          24 when you can first get this spell, 6-8 damage just doesn't cut it. 
          The fact that this spell hits ranged attackers is nice, but since it 
          doesn't do anything for the (more dangerous) up close attackers makes 
          this spell one of the worst available.
    ****- Frozen Orb  Lv 30
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Damage: 32-35      Damage: 146-149   Damage: +6-+6
          Cold 8 sec         Cold 27 sec       Cold +1 sec
          Mana Cost: 25      Mana Cost: 63     Mana Cost: +2
            Frozen Orb is my favorite spell.  It is a sphere of coldness that 
          launches dozens of Ice Bolts in all directions.  A well-aimed Frozen 
          Orb can hit a monster 3 or 4 times.  **CAUTION** There seems to be a 
          bug with this spell:  if you fire a Frozen Orb directly at a monster, 
          either by clicking directly on one, or by a monster simply running 
          through the Orb itself, the ice shards coming from the orb after it 
          passes through the monster will not hit/slow/damage anything.  Your 
          best strategy is to fire several orbs in a V formation around your 
          enemies.  This spell would get 5 *'s if it weren't for this annoying 
    ***-- Cold Mastery  Lv 30
          Slvl 1             Slvl 20           Increment
          Reduce cold        Reduce cold       Diminishing returns.
           resistance on      resistance on     First few levels provide
           enemies:  23%      enemies: 85%      the largest bonus.
            Cold Mastery reduces the cold resistance of a monster when you hit 
          it with a cold spell.  This won't help other party members do damage 
          with their cold spells, but it is essential if you use only cold 
          spells.  As with all the Mastery skills, the first few levels you put 
          in the skill provide the largest bonuses.
    4. Defeating Diablo and Beyond
      Once you defeat Diablo on Normal difficulty, you will find that your 
    persistence with a Sorceress has paid off.  Many of the posts on the Diablo 
    II message boards on Battle.net suggest waiting until you are level 40+ 
    before venturing forth into Nightmare.  By level 40 I had beaten Nightmare 
    with my Sorceress, and I ran into very few problems.
      When you start your first Nightmare game, you will find that your Fire 
    Ball is acting more like Fire Bolt in terms of damage.  Monsters in 
    Nightmare have several hundred hit points in Act I, so it will take several 
    shots of your best spell to kill them.  Uniques will have more special 
    abilities, and the ones they have are more powerful.  If you use the same 
    strategies you did when you first went through an area, you shouldn't have 
    much difficulty.
      Some spells become more powerful in Nightmare than they were in Normal. 
    Static Field still does the same amount of damage, regardless of 
    difficulty, so your levels in it will start to pay off.  Cold also has an 
    advantage here since all of the monsters will move a bit more quickly than 
    they did before.
      In the higher difficulties, the fact that a Sorceress does not rely on 
    equipment will be a great advantage.  If a Paladin or Amazon dies in the 
    middle a large group of monsters they will have a lot of trouble collecting 
    their bodies without their weapons.  A Sorceress does not have any such 
    limitation (unless your only attack spell is in a staff, but that would be 
    5. Sticking Points
      I've done my best to be vague about who you will have to kill as the 
    game progresses, but for those of you that don't like even small hints at
    the plot, don't read on.
    Act I
     Quest 1:  You should have few problems here.  A few uniques or champions
               will drain your mana quickly, but you should be able to finish 
               this quest with only your staff.
     Quest 2:  Blood Raven is not very difficult to kill.  Draw the zombies and 
               her other minions away from the graveyard and kill them if you 
               become greatly out numbered. Again, your staff should be able to 
               kill her if you run out of mana.
     Quest 3:  The Zombie boss for this quest is fast, strong, and will give 
               you a run for your money.  Avoid going to the center of the area 
               and you should be able to kill all the Shamans and other little 
               things there before you try to tackle the boss.  Keep a good 
               distance between you and him and you should be fine.
     Quest 4:  This quest isn't as difficult as the quests before it.  Once you 
               enter her room, run back out and fire spells into the doorway to 
               kill her minions.  Hire a rogue to help if you are still having 
     Quest 5:  The Smith is difficult for the same reasons the Zombie boss 
               was.  Remember that monsters this early in the game cannot open 
               doors.  Find a jail cell or other wall that you can shoot 
               through and lock yourself in there and peck him off from there.
     Quest 6:  When fighting Andariel, bring along plenty of antidote potions. 
               The poison she uses can quickly kill you if you don't have a lot 
               of health.  Kill everything in the first two rooms before 
               opening the door to the third.  A hired rogue can keep her
               distracted long enough to finish her off.
    Act II
     Quest 1:  This quest is fairly easy.  Radament can raise the undead near 
               him, so Cold has a definite advantage here.  
     Quest 2:  This quest has many parts, and won't be over until you are right 
               in front of the end boss.  The three areas you must go to 
               collect the pieces of the Horadric Staff aren't very difficult, 
               except you should carry a few antidote potions (some of the 
               poisons will kill you in a few seconds if you aren't prepared). 
               The Claw Viper Temple is the most difficult area in the game in 
               my opinion.  The boss at the bottom of the temple is lightning 
               enchanted and there is very little room to move down there.  He 
               moves very fast and can kill you in one or two hits.  Be 
               prepared to die on this one, probably many, many times.  Use 
               Static Field to weaken him, then use Nova/Fire Wall/Blaze/
               Blizzard and run around in panicked terror until he's dead.
     Quest 3:  This quest also takes place in the Claw Viper Temple, so see 
               above for strategies.
     Quest 4:  The Arcane Sanctuary is a pain in the ass.  Narrow walkways, 
               M.C. Escher type architecture, and monsters with annoying 
               abilities (mana drain, flight, fire spells).  The Ghoul Lords 
               cast Fire Wall and Fire Ball, but the levels of those spells is 
               quite low, so it isn't much of a problem.  There are Goatmen 
               here as well, and will kill you with only a few blows.  
               Fortunately you can shoot them across gaps and finish them off 
               before they have a chance to strike back.  The Ghosts in this 
               area are probably the most dangerous.  They have mana drain, can 
               fly across the gaps, and cannot be frozen while they are 
               hovering in mid air (they can be slowed while floating, 
               however).  Teleport will be your best friend in this area.  
               Frost Nova is also helpful to keep the Ghosts away long enough 
               to kill them.
     Quest 5:  At the end of the Arcane Sanctuary, this quest will pop up.  The 
               Summoner is the boss of the Arcane Sanctuary.  Ghoul Lords, 
               Ghosts, and Goatmen will appear randomly on his platform making 
               melee combat difficult.  The good news is that Sorceresses don't 
               have to even see him to kill him.  He has a low amount of 
               health, and mostly casts Glacial Spike, Fire Wall, and the Lower 
               Resist curse.  Pick your favorite spell and launch it in his 
               general direction and he will fall quickly.
     Quest 6:  Stock up on Town Portal scrolls, because you will probably die 
               many times.  Duriel is the single most difficult boss in the 
               game.  He has the paladin aura that slows you, and if you don't 
               slow him back you will quickly be dead.  He is resistant to 
               Cold, kills you in one or two hits, and is very fast.  The first 
               time you enter his room you will probably die before it finishes 
               loading the area.  The set item Deaths Guard is very helpful 
               here because it prevents you from being slowed, and I recommend 
               you gamble for sashes when you can to get one.  Blaze, Fire 
               Wall, and Blizzard are very good for killing him if you are 
               fortunate enough to have them.  The first time I defeated him I 
               used nothing but Frost Nova for about an hour, so it is possible 
               to kill him with a weak spell, I just don't recommend it.  Hire 
               a mercenary each time you die so that you will have time to pick 
               up your corpse and hopefully do some damage to Duriel before 
               your mercenary dies.
    Act III
     Quest 1:  The first unique monster you run across in this act will drop a 
               statue.  It seems to be totally random which type of monster it 
               will be.  In your first journey into the jungle, watch out for 
               midget Fetishes with big knives and blowguns.  They are fast and 
               will quickly surround you, so Frozen armor will help a lot here. 
               Fetish Shamans will cast Inferno, so stay away from them if you 
     Quest 2:  Eventually you will find a group of Fetishes in a cute little 
               village (usually near a waypoint).  Near the center of the 
               village is a dagger.  Same rules as above apply to these 
     Quest 3:  This quest has several parts.  None are particularly difficult 
               except for the last part which is also Quest 5.  The Council 
               Members and most of the monsters near them can cast Lightning, 
               Blizzard, Meteor, Hydra, and there are three unique Council 
               Members that have other goodies to make your life hell.  Proceed 
               slowly through Travincal so that you don't get the attention of 
               too many things at once and you should do fine.
     Quest 4:  After you collect each item for Quest 3, visit Alkor to activate 
               this quest.  Nothing new on this quest, see above for strategies 
               for killing any individual type of monster you run across.
     Quest 5:  See Quest 3 notes.
     Quest 6:  When you finally work your way down to the bottom of the Durance 
               of Hate you will find Mephisto and several new unique Council 
               Members and Ghoul Lords.  The Council Members will prove to be a 
               challenge since one of them is lightning enchanted, and will 
               cast Meteors, Fire Walls, and Hydras like no tomorrow.  Mephisto 
               himself isn't very difficult, except that his attacks will hurt 
               you plenty if you can't dodge them.
    Act IV
     Quest 1:  Nothing in the first two areas of Act IV is new.  They have new 
               names and look different, but the same strategies you used in 
               previous Acts will get you through this area.  Azrael is not 
               very difficult, and the same strategies for other bosses apply 
     Quest 2:  Through the last few areas of Act IV, you will start coming 
               across Abyss and Oblivion Knights.  These are similar to the 
               other skeletal mages you've fought before, except they are much, 
               much stronger.  A "fire and forget" spell such as Blizzard, 
               Hydra, Fire Wall and Chain Lightning will help against them.  
               Again, nothing new in boss strategy for this quest.
     Quest 3:  Diablo is very easy if you plan ahead.  Three of the five seals 
               you must break will release monsters.  If you've already broken 
               the three that spawn critters, save the last seal.  Cover the 
               center of the pentagram with Blizzards, Fire Walls, or Hydras 
               and then run to the seal.  If your duration on those spells is 
               long enough, Diablo will be severely damaged by the time you 
               even see him.  Try and wear as much resistance equipment you 
               can.  His primary attacks are sending out rings of fire, 
               shooting a giant lightning bolt, and creating several 
               Blaze-type trails of fire in random directions.  Keep moving and 
               casting your favorite spell at him and he will eventually fall. 
               Good luck!
    6. Credits
    Thanks to
      - Blizzard for making yet another addictive game
      - Geoff Frazier for making me reconsider the usefulness of some 
        of the fire spells.
      - My roommates for not beating me over the head with a stick for 
        hogging the computer
      - DiabloII.net for lots of random bits of information
    7. Legalese
    Diablo II and pretty much all that I've written about in this FAQ is 
    probably a copyright or trademark of Blizzard Entertainment.
    This FAQ cannot be modified without the consent of the author.  If you take 
    any information from this FAQ for use in any other form, please give me 
    Feel free to post this FAQ anywhere you please, just give me proper credit 
    and mail me to let me know where you are putting it.
    Copyright 2000 Damneon