Diablo II: Lord of Destruction - Quick Reference Guide
                                            - Written by Billy Lee
                                              Version 4
                                              02/02/02

*****************************************************************************
                               Disclaimer
This document (c)2001-2002 Billy Lee.  This FAQ may not be used or
distributed for commercial use.  It may not be distributed at all without
written permission from the author(that's me).  Diablo II is (c)2000 Blizzard
Entertainment, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is (c)2001 Blizzard
Entertainment.  This guide must be displayed in its entirety.  No pieces of
it may be removed and/or copied to another location for public display.
*****************************************************************************

UPDATES:

Version 4:More abbreviations and also alphabetized them all.
Version 3:New Section.  Added to the Mercenaries section.  Made corrections
          on spelling/gramatical errors.  Gave a few sections a "face lift"
          so they should be a bit easier to navigate.  More useless info
          about Runes.
Version 2:Fixed a couple glitches.  Added a couple more playstyles and did a
          little refining in a couple of the others.  Added a few more
          abbreviations to the list.  I was bored so I added the characters
          I'm working on.  Added the Auras Desert Grunts have in the mercs
          section.  Started 2 new sections.  Fixed a few spelling/grammar
          mistakes I found.
Version 1:Initial Release.

/------------------------------------\
|Table of Contents                   |
|====================================|
|1. Guide Introduction               |
|------------------------------------|
|2. Common Abbreviations +           |
|3. Playstyles                       |
| 3-A. Amazon                        |
| 3-B. Assassin                      |
| 3-C. Barbarian                     |
| 3-D. Druid                         |
| 3-E. Necromancer                   |
| 3-F. Paladin                       |
| 3-G. Sorceress                     |
| 3-H. Party Configurations          |
|4. Useful Runewords                 |
|5. Rune Names                       |
|6. Mercenaries                      |
|7. Tidbits and Tricks               |
|8. Blocking Bosses                  |
|------------------------------------|
|9. Site Plugs                       |
|10. Acknowledgements                |
\------------------------------------/
      |+ = Section is updated |
      |* = Section is new     |
      \-----------------------/

=============================================================================
1. Guide Introduction

  This Guide is not a walkthrough or in depth strategy guide.  It is merely a
reference sheet for several aspects of the game.

  Before reading this guide, there are a couple things in which you need to
take into account:
- You have to know at least a little bit about the game.  Such as the common
  abbreviations for certain items/skills.  I will give you as many as I can
  remember, but it's usually a good idea to know them beforehand so you don't
  have to keep going back and forth trying to figure out exactly what I'm
  talking about.  Also, bear in mind that I'm playing the game less and less,
  so I'm not always up to date on the most recent lingo.

- I'm not going to list every skill and what it does.  There are a few skills
  not worth mentioning since they won't fit the playstyle I'm going over(i.e.
  I won't talk about the Druid's Elemental Skills when talking about a Shape
  Shifter and vice-versa).

- Along with the previous statement, this is not going to be a step by step
  guide to tell you exactly what to do.  All this guide basically is is a
  quick reference sheet.

- I'm not really going to explain anything in detail.  There are several
  web sites you can go to for a thorough rundown of just about anything you
  can think of.  They are:

         Unofficial          Unofficial               Official
      www.diabloii.net  www.lurkerlounge.com  www.battle.net/diablo2exp

  All of those are high quality sites that should have most, if not all, of
  the information you need.


  If you have a question or comment about the guide, or Diablo 2 in general,
feel free to send it to me.  I'm not the world's most mindful email checker,
so it may take me a while to get to you.
  If you do not get a response from me within a week, then either the email
was lost somewhere along the way, or your question has been asked by enough
people for me to put it in the guide under an FAQ section.  Or, I just
haven't gotten to it yet, in which case... umm... sorry.

  Please, please, please do not email me asking for cheats, trainers, or
realm hacks!  I will not respond to those, as they get a quick toss into
the trash can.

If all that didn't scare you away, then send email to: leeroy3825@hotmail.com

  I think that's all for now, now on to the fun stuff!

  Yes, I meant the guide itself... yeesh...

=============================================================================
2. Common Abbreviations

  I don't think this needs any sort of introduction, do you?  Huh?  What're
you reading this for then?  Well, I like to write here, it makes me feel
complete somehow.  Don't look at me like that...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
General:
Abbreviation     Game Name
-------------------------------
TP             Town Portal
PK             Player Killer
PKK            Player Killing Killer(basically someone who kills pk's)
mod            item modifier(prefixes and suffixes)
excep          Exceptional(the next level up for weapons/armor)
Clvl           Character level
Slvl           Skill level
lol            laugh out loud
rofl           roll on the floor laughing
lmao           laughing my ass off
afk            away from keyboard
brb            be right back
stfu           shut the fuck up

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Character Classes:
Class        B.net Ladder  Common Name
----------------------------------------------
Amazon       Ama           Zon
Assassin     Asn           Ass, Sin
Barbarian    Bar           Barb, Baba
Druid        Dru           Druid
Necromancer  Nec           Necro
Paladin      Pal           Pally
Sorceress    Sor           Sorc

----------------------------------------------
Class Variations
Variant        Class        Style of Play
----------------------------------------------
Bowazon        Amazon       Mainly Bow & Crossbow Skills
Hybrid         Amazon       Bow and Javelin Skills combined
Javazon        Amazon       Mainly Lightning Fury/Plague Javelin with Pierce
Spearazon      Amazon       Mainly Jab/Fend
Tankazon       Amazon       Mainly Passive Skills(Dodge, Evade, etc)

Flier          Assassin     Specialize in Dragon Flight and Tiger Strike
Trapper        Assassin     Mainly Traps

Bard           Barbarian    Mainly Warcries
Berserker      Barbarian    Mainly Berserk
Frenzian       Barbarian    Frenzy, usually with 2 Swords
WW Barb        Barbarian    Whirlwind and a Mastery with support skills

Bear           Druid        Skills Specialized around Werebear form
Elementalist   Druid        Mainly Elemental Skills
Wolf           Druid        Skills Specialized around Werewolf form

Cowkiller      Necromancer  Corpse Explosion in the Cow Level
Meleemancer    Necromancer  Poison Dagger and Support Curses
Poisonmancer   Necromancer  Mainly Poison Skills
Zookeeper      Necromancer  A *lot* of minions

Avenger        Paladin      Veangeance with Conviction
Hammerdin      Paladin      Blessed Hammer with Concentration
Martyr         Paladin      Sacrifice with support Auras
Vindicator     Paladin      Smite with Fanaticism
Zealot         Paladin      Zeal combined with Fanaticism/Holy Shock

Tweaker        Sorceress    Equip/Skills chosen for maximum casting speed.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Skills:
Abbreviation   Skill
------------------------------------

Amazon:
CS             Critical Strike
FA             Freezing Arrow
LF             Lightning Fury
IA             Immolation Arrow
Guided, GA     Guided Arrow
MS             Multishot
Valk           Valkyrie

Assassin:
BF             Blade Fury
Blast          Mind Blast
BoS            Burst of Speed
DS             Death Sentry
LS             Lightning Sentry
Flight         Dragon Flight
Master         Shadow Master
TS             Tiger Strike
WoI            Wake of Inferno

Barbarian:
BO             Battle Orders
B'serk         Berserk
LA             Leap Attack
Nat Res        Natural Resistance
WW             Whirlwind

Druid:
Arm            Armageddon
Blast          Arctic Blast
Boulder        Molten Boulder
Dire           Dire Wolf
HoW            Heart of Wolverine
Oak            Oak Sage
Rage           Feral Rage
Spirit         Spirit Wolf
WB             Werebear
WW             Werewolf

Necromancer:
Amp            Amplify Damage
BS             Bone Spear/Bone Spirit(you kinda have to guess)
CE             Corpse Explosion
Decrep         Decrepify
IM             Iron Maiden
LR             Lower Resist
Mage           Skeletal Mage
Wall           Bone Wall

Paladin:
Aim            Blessed Aim
BH             Blessed Hammer
Bolt           Holy Bolt
Conc           Concentration
Conv           Conviction
Fanat          Fanaticism
FoH            Fist of the Heavens
HS             Holy Shield
Med            Meditation
Sal            Salvation
Shock/Freeze   Holy Shock/Freeze

Sorceress:
Ball           Fireball
CB             Charged Bolt
Chain          Chain Lightning
EShield        Energy Shield
GS             Glacial Spike
Orb            Frozen Orb
FW             Fire Wall
LM/CM/FM       Lightning Mastery/Cold Mastery/Fire Mastery
Port           Teleport
SF             Static Field
TK             Telekenesis
TStorm/TS      Thunder Storm

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Items:
Abrev.         Full Name               Type of Item
------------------------Unique Items------------------------
Ali Baba       Blade of Ali Baba       Tulwar(Excep. Falchion)
Arkaine        Arkaine's Valor         Balrog Skin(Elite Splint Mail)
Arreats        Arreat's Face           Slayer Guard(Excep. Avenger Guard)
Atma           Atma's Scarab           Amulet
Bartuc         Bartuc's Cut Throat     Greater Talons(Excep. Blade Talons)
Blackbog       Blackbog's Sharp        Cinquedeas(Excep. Kris)
Blink          Iceblink                Splint Mail
Bong           The Iron Jang Bong      War Staff
Bul Kathos     Bul Katho's Wedding     Ring
                 Band
Buriza         Buriza Do Kyannon       Buriza(Excep. Heavy Crossbow)
Culwen         Culwen's Point          War Sword
DCC            Dark Clan Crusher       Cudgel(Excep. Club)
Eye            Eye of Etlich           Amulet
Frosts         Frostburn               Gauntlets
Garb           Heavenly Garb           Light Plate
Gavel          The Gavel of Pain       Martel de Fer(Excep. Great Maul)
GF             Grandfather             Collossus Blade(Elite Great Sword)
Hand           Hand of Blessed Light   Divine Scepter(Excep. War Scepter)
Harle/Shako    Harlequin Crest         Shako(Elite Cap)
Herald         Herald of Zakarum       Gilded Shield(Excep. Aerin Shield)
Holy Grail     Windforce               Hydra Bow(Elite Long War Bow)
Ialal/Jalal    Ialal's Main            Totemic Mask(Excep. Spirit Mask)
Kuku           Kuku Shakaku            Cedar Bow(Excep. Long Bow)
Lidless        Lidless Wall            Grim Shield(Excep. Bone Shield)
Lycander*      Lycander's Aim          Ceremonial Bow(Excep. Reflex Bow)
Lycander*      Lycander's Flank        Ceremonial Spear(Excep. Maiden Pike)
Manald         Manald Heal             Ring
Mara           Mara's Kaleidoscope     Amulet
Nagel          Nagelring               Ring
Reaver         Messershmidt's Reaver   Champion Axe(Elite Great Axe)
Schaefer       Schaefer's Hammer       Legendary Mallet(Elite War Hammer)
Shard          Spectral Shard          Blade
Shaft          Shaftstop               Mesh Armor(Excep. Chain Mail)
Shroud         The Spirit Shroud       Ghost Armor(Excep. Quilted Armor)
Silks          Silks of the Victor     Ancient Armor
Skin           Skin of the Vipermagi   Seprentskin Armor(Excep. Leather)
Skins          Goldskin                Full Plate Mail
Skulders       Skullder's Ire          Russet Armor(Excep. Splint Mail)
SoE/String     String of Ears          Demonhide Sash(Excep. Sash)
SOJ            Stone of Jordan         Ring
Spire          Spire of Honor          Lance(Excep. Pike)
Spike          Wizardspike             Bone Knife(Elite Dagger)
Tarn           Tarnhelm                Skull Cap
Tears          Tearhaunch              Greaves
TG Vigor       Thundergod's Vigor      War Belt(Excep. Plated Belt)
Titan          Titan's Revenge         Ceremonial Javelin(Excep. Maiden
                                         Javelin)
Treads         Treads of Cthon         Chain Boots
Twitch         Twitchthroe             Studded Leather Armor
Umes           Ume's Lament            Grim Wand
Valk Wing      Valkyrie's Wing         Winged Helm(Excep. Great Helm)
Vamp Gaze      Vampire Gaze            Grim Helm(Excep. Bone Helm)
War Travs      War Traveler            Battle Boot(Excep. Light Plated Boots)
WotE/Eyeless   Wall of the Eyeless     Bone Shield

-------------------------Set Items--------------------------
Halo           Angelic Halo            Ring
Sigons         Sigon's Guard           Tower Shield**
Whitstans      Whitstan's Guard        Round Shield(Excep. Small Shield)

----------------------Set Abreviations----------------------
IK             Used to signify a piece of the Immortal King's Set
Nat            Used to signify a piece of Natalya's Set
Tal            Used to signify a piece of Tal Rasha's Set
Trang          Used to signify a piece of Trang Oul's Set

------------------------Magic Items-------------------------
CCB            Cruel Collossus Blade   Cruel is +200% - +300% Enhanced Damage
                                           The Blade is the Elite Great Sword
CCBQ           Cruel Collossus Sword
                 of Quickness          Same as above, only adds the mod "of
                                           Quickness" for +40% Increased
                                           Attack Speed
CBBQ           Cruel Balrog Blade of   Cruel is +200% - +300% Enhanced Damage
                 Quickness                 Quickness is +40% Increased Attack
                                           Speed, the Blade is the Elite
                                           Giant Sword


*  - When people talk about the 2 Amazon weapons that start with Lycander's,
     you have to use a bit of common sense(I know, it's heresy to use that
     stuff).  When they're in conversation about Bowazons or such, they're
     usually referring to Lycander's Aim.  When the conversation is geared
     towards Spearazons and whatnot, it's a safe bet they're referring to
     Lycander's Flank.

** - There are other items in the Sigon set, but usually when people use that
     they are talking about the shield.

  As far as gems are concerned, the names usually aren't abbreviated, but
people will usually put a "P" in front of it to signify that they are talking
about a Perfect quality gem(i.e. PSkull means Perfect Skull).

  That's all I can remember for now, I'll add more when they come to mind.

=============================================================================
3. Playstyles

Section TOC:
3-A. Amazon
3-B. Assassin
3-C. Barbarian
3-D. Druid
3-E. Necromancer
3-F. Paladin
3-G. Sorceress
3-H. Party Configurations

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-A. Amazon

Bowazon:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Passive and Magic:
Valkyrie                 1
Evade                    1~5
Dodge                    1~5
Avoid                    1~5
Critical Strike          20
Penetrate                5
Pierce                   20

Bow/Crossbow Skills:
Multiple Shot            5~15
Guided Arrow             10
Strafe                   2
- All excess skill points should go into the evasion skills, bows are two-
  handed only, meaning you will never be using a shield for added blocking
  and defense.
- Stat points should go mainly into Dexterity and Strength so you can equip
  the higher end bows/crossbows.

--------------------------------------------------------

Javazon:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Javelin/Spear Skills:
Jab                      1
Plague Javelin           1~20
Lightning Fury           20

Passive and Magic:
Decoy                    1~5
Valkyrie                 1~5
Evade                    1~5
Dodge                    1~5
Avoid                    1~5
Critical Strike          5~20
Pierce                   20
- Critical Strike and Plague Javelin are skills that you have to go either
  all or nothing into.
- You're not going to need very many points in the evasion skills, but they
  will come in handy.
- Stat points should go mainly into Dexterity and Energy with some in the
  other two.
- Try to get as much + to skill equip as you can.  You will also need mana/
  life leeching equipment, but not as much.

--------------------------------------------------------

Magezon:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Passive and Magic:
Valkyrie                 1~5
Evade                    1~5
Dodge                    1~5
Avoid                    1~5
Critical Strike          10
Pierce                   20

Bow/Crossbow Skills:
Freezing Arrow           20
Immolation Arrow         20
- Points put into Str and Dex should only be enough to equip a bow with
  Piercing as a mod.  This mod is only available on a few Unique bows and
  Crossbows.  All of your other points should be put into Energy, as the
  Elemental Arrows will not leech back very much mana.
- You might also consider going after Hellmouth, the Unique War Gauntlets
  since those have a % chance to cast Meteor as well as Firestorm for each
  enemy that is attacked, which will work with the radius effect on Freezing
  Arrow.
- Along those lines, you might also consider looking for Goldstrike Arch,
  the Unique Gothic bow since it has a %chance to cast Fist of the Heavens
  with an attack; however it does not have a piercing attack, which you may
  or may not need depending on the Slvl of your Pierce.

--------------------------------------------------------

Tankazon:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Passive And Magic:
Valkyrie                 5
Inner Sight              1~5
Dodge                    20
Evade                    20
Avoid                    20
Critical Strike          10
Penetrate                5
- Stat points should go into Strength, Dexterity, and Vitality.  Energy is
  virtually useless.

--------------------------------------------------------

Hybrid:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Bow/Crossbow Skills:
Guided Arrow             3
Multiple Shot            5

Javelin/Spear Skills:
Lightning Fury           20

Passive and Magic:
Valkyrie                 1
Critical Stirke          5~10
Pierce                   20
- Stat points should go into Str and Dex to start out so you can equip the
  higher end Bows/Javelins.  After you meet the requirements, put all your
  points into Vit each level.  Or, if you want to keep your blocking up for
  when you use the Javelins, put 2 Dex, 3 Vit per level.  As long as you
  have enough mana leach and +mana after kill equip, you won't need to worry
  about energy.
- Try to get both Class specifics for your weapon(Lycander's Aim for a bow
  and Titan's Revenge for a Javelin).  Both are very useful, and Lycander's
  Aim is easier to come by than Eaglehorn or the coveted Windforce.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-B. Assassin

Trapper:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Traps:
Wake of Inferno          20
Lightning Sentry         20

Shadow Disciplines:
Burst of Speed           1~5*
Fade                     1~5*
Shadow Warrior           1
Shadow Master            20
Cloak of Shadows         1
* You cannot have both Burst of Speed and Fade active at the same time.  You
  must choose between them depending on the situation.
- Stat points should primarily go into Energy and Vitality.  If you wish to
  use claws for the extra skills you can get from them(which you should), you
  do not need to pump Str/Dex to equip the bigger ones since all claws will
  be able to get those benefits.  You may want to pick up a normal claw item
  and save it for a high level imbue later on as the lower end claws tend to
  not drop very regularly once +to skills becomes available.

--------------------------------------------------------

Ninjassin:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Shadow Disciplines:
Claw Mastery             20
Burst of Speed           1~5
Fade                     1~5
Shadow Warrior           1
Shadow Master            1
Cloak of Shadows         1

Martial Arts:
Dragon Claw              1*
Dragon Flight            1~20**
Tiger Strike             20
Cobra Strike             1
Phoenix Strike           20
* Dragon claw is the only finishing move to use Claw damage, rather than Kick
  damage, and as such, it can not be used without 2 claws equipped.
**Dragon Flight is all or nothing.  At high levels, combined with Tiger
  Strike, it will be able to kill pretty much any monster in one hit.  It
  doesn't use claw damage to enhance it, rather it goes up by about 3 to 5
  damage per point in Str/Dex.
- Stat points should primarily go into Stength and Dexterity for equipping
  higher level claws.  Vitality will also be needed a lot due to the very
  close range fighting you'll be doing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-C. Barbarian

Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Masteries:
Any Weapon Mastery       20*
Increased Speed          1~5
Iron Skin                5
Natural Resist           7

Combat Skills:
Leap Attack              1~5
Berserk                  20
Frenzy                   1~10**
Whirlwind                5

War Cries:
Battle Orders            20
* Masteries are chosen based on weapon preference:
  Sword - Fast, 1 or 2 handed, when used with one hand, damage is lower.
  Mace - Fairly slow, 2 handed, have highest minimum damage.
  Spear - Very slow, 2 handed, have highest maximum damage, very long range.
  Polearm - Fairly Fast, 2 handed, small damage range(high min, low max).
  Axe - Fast-Slow depending on which type, 1 or 2 handed, high damage.
  Throwing - umm... don't use this one...
**Only invest in Frenzy if you're going to have a secondary weapon set made
  up of 2 one handed weapons.  Otherwise, put those points wherever you want.

- Stat points should be placed around your weapon, so if you're going for a
  Sword setup, place points so you can equip the strongest swords, likewise
  for the other setups.
- I don't really like the Barbarian class and have very little experience
  playing it, this is all based on what I've read and seen people using in
  games.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-D. Druid

Elementalist:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Summoning:
Oak Sage                 1~5
Grizzly                  1
Carrion Vine             1~5
Elemental:
Fissure                  1*
Cyclone Armor            1~5
Tornado                  20
Hurricane                20
Armageddon               20
* Fissure is a good skill that will get you through normal difficulty until
  you can get the higher powered skills, that's why it's listed and not
  counted as a standard prereq.

- Stat points should be used mainly for mana, which is where they will be
  needed.  Before you hit level 30, you should use mana potions and pump
  strength for the armor/weapons you may want later on.  After level 30 your
  points should go in a 2 vitality, 3 mana per level until you have enough
  life to take a few hits without dying(i.e. no one hit kills), after that,
  pour everything into mana.
- Try to get as much + to skill equipment as you can, you're going to need
  all you can get.

--------------------------------------------------------

Powered Werewolf:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Shape Shifting:
Werewolf                 5-10
Lycanrthropy             5
Feral Rage               20
Fury                     20

Summoning:
Heart of Wolverine       20
Grizzly                  1~20

NOTES:
- Grizzly is 1~20 because it's a matter of personal preference.  The wolves
  you can summon will not have enough life to be able to survive later
  difficulty levels.

--------------------------------------------------------

Vitalitous Werebear:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Shape Shifting:
Werebear                 5-10
Lycanthropy              20
Hunger                   20

Summoning
Oak Sage                 20
Grizzly                  1~20

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-E. Necromancer

Minionmancer:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Summoning:
Golem(Iron or Fire)      5
Golem Mastery            5
Summon Resist            5
Raise Skeleton           1
Skeleton Mastery         5
Raise Skeletal Mage      5
Revive                   15

Curses:
Amplify Damage           1~5
Iron Maiden              5
Lower Resist             5
Decrepify                5

Poison and Bone:
Bone Spear               20
Bone Wall                1
Bone Prison              1
- Stat points should mainly be split between Vitality and Energy.  Strength
  should be raised for armor.
- Try to get as much + to skill equip as you can, you're gonna need it.

--------------------------------------------------------

Poisonmancer:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Summoning:
Golem(Iron or Fire)      5

Poison and Bone:
Poison Dagger            20
Poison Explosion         1~5
Poison Nova              20
Bone Armor               5
Bone Prison              5

Curses:
Lower Resist             20
- Stat points should be spent in Strength and Dexterity for equipping items,
  and then pumped into Vitality/Energy.
- Try to get a totem(Gargoyle Head, Zombie Head, etc.) with 25-50 poison
  damage added to it for the increase in poison damage.  For a weapon, go
  with a 3 sockey dagger/blade and put 3 Perfect Emeralds in it if you can't
  find Blackbog's Sharp.  Alternatively, you can get a six socket Military
  Pick and use that instead of Poison Dagger, but you will lose some poison
  damage.
- Your basic tactics will be to hit something and then run away and let the
  poison kill them.

--------------------------------------------------------

Spiritmancer:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Summoning:
Golem(Iron or Fire)      10
Golem Mastery            5
Summon Resist            5

Curses:
Decrepify                20
Confuse                  5
Attract                  5

Poison and Bone:
Bone Spirit              20
- Stat points should be primarily in Vitality and Energy with enough strength
  for equipment.
- You will need as many + to skill items as you can get.
- When approaching a pack of monsters, first cast decrepify, then attract,
  then send out Bone Spirits like there's no tomorrow.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-F. Paladin

Avenger:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Offensive Auras:
Conviction               20
Fanaticism               5~20

Defensive Auras:
Vigor                    1
Meditation               1
Salvation                3

Combat Skills:
Zeal                     3
Vengeance                20
- At lower levels stat points should go into Str and Dex so you can equip
  better weapons.  One you get enough for the equipment, start pouring into
  Vit.

--------------------------------------------------------

Hammerdin:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Offensive Auras:
Concentration            20
Holy Freeze              5

Defensive Auras:
Vigor                    5
Salvation                3

Combat Skills:
Smite                    20
Blessed Hammer           20
Holy Shield              20*
* Holy Shield is more for its Smite damage bonus than its blocking.
**Since patch 1.09 came out(and maybe before that, I didn't really check),
  Hammer no longer works with Fanaticism, so if you want to actually deal
  damage with hammers now, you have to use Concentration.

- Boost your strength up enough to equip higher end Paladin Only shields.
  The rest of your points should go into Vitality and Energy(more Vit than
  Ene though).

--------------------------------------------------------

Zealot:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Offensive Auras:
Fanaticism/Holy Shock    20*
Conviction               5~20
Holy Freeze              5

Defensive Auras:
Vigor                    5
Meditation               1
Salvation                3

Combat Skills:
Zeal                     5
Fist of the Heavens      20
* Use either Fanaticism or Holy Shock, both will add a lot of damage, but
  Shock adds lightning damage while Fanat adds normal damage as well as an
  added attack rating and swing speed.  If you want both that's fine, but 
  you're going to be using an extra 20 skill points.

- Stat points should be at first divided between Str and Dex for one handed
  Swords, preferably a fast sword, such as a Phase Blade(the elite Crystal
  Sword).  Once you hit lvl 30 you will need a few in Ene for FoH.
- Attack speed is also very important.
- It's usually a good idea to turn on Holy Freeze and then switch to
  Fanaticism when you plan to attack with Zeal.
- Get a Might merc(Act 2 Nightmare), you'll need the extra damage.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-G. Sorceress

Cold Only Sorc:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Cold Skills:
Frozen Armor             1
Glacial Spike            20
Frozen Orb               20
Cold Mastery             20

Lightning Skills:
Telekenesis              1
Teleport                 1
Energy Shield            1~5

Fire Skills:
Warmth                   10
- Stat points should primarily go into Energy with Vitality Secondary.  You
  will not need all that much Str(usually only 45).
- Try to get as much + to Cold Skills equip as possible.

--------------------------------------------------------

Fire Only Sorc:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Fire Skills:
Warmth                   10
Firewall                 20
Hydra                    20
Fire Mastery             20

Lightning Skills:
Telekenesis              1
Teleport                 1
Energy Shield            1~5
- Stat points should primarily go into Energy with Vitality Secondary.  You
  will not need all that much Str(usually only 45).
- Try to get as much + to Fire Skills equip as possible.

--------------------------------------------------------

Lightning Only Sorc:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Lightning Skills:
Charged Bolt/Nova        20*
Thunder Storm            20
Lightning Mastery        20
Telekenesis              1
Teleport                 1
Energy Shield            1~5

Fire Skills:
Warmth                   10**
* Choose between CB and Nova, you won't need both.
  CB - Sends out a lot of bolts, long range, more than one can hit each enemy
  Nova - Medium-small radius, hits everything in radius, higher damage
**You're only really going to need Warmth if you chose Nova.

- Stat points should primarily go into Energy with Vitality Secondary.  You
  will not need all that much Str(usually only 45).
- Try to get as much + to Lightning Skills equip as possible.

--------------------------------------------------------

Multi-Element Sorc:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Fire Skills:
Warmth                   10~20*
Hydra                    15
Fire Mastery             5

Lightning Skills:
Thunderstorm/Nova        15**
Lightning Mastery        5
Static Field             5
Telekenesis              1
Teleport                 1
Energy Shield            1~5

Cold Skills:
Frozen Orb               15
Cold Mastery             5
* Work on Warmth after you've gotten your other skills to high enough levels.
**Nova/T-Storm is a matter of personal preference.  I prefer T-Storm myself.

- Stat points should primarily go into Energy with Vitality Secondary.  You
  will not need all that much Str(usually only 45).
- Try to get as much + to All/Sorc Skills equip as possible.

--------------------------------------------------------

Second Multi-Element Sorc:
Skill                    Points
-------------------------------------------
Fire Skills:
Warmth                   
Fire Wall                15
Fire Mastery             10

Lightning Skills:
Nova                     20
Lightning Mastery        20
Telekenesis              1
Teleport                 1
Energy Shield            1~5

Cold Skills:
Frozen Orb               20
Cold Mastery             1
* Work on Warmth after you've gotten your other skills to high enough levels.

- Stat points should primarily go into Energy with Vitality Secondary.  You
  will not need all that much Str(usually only 45).
- Try to get as much + to All/Sorc Skills equip as possible, as well as a lot
  of + Single Tree charms.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3-H. Party Configurations

  These are ways you can group the different characters together to get a
more effective playstyle against the bad guys.

Elemental Insanity:
Class            Main Skill
--------------------------------
Paladin          Conviction
Necromancer      Lower Resist/Decrepify
Necromancer      Poison Nova
Sorceress        All Cold(Orb/CM)
Sorceress        All Fire(FW/Hydra/FM)
Amazon           Lightning Fury

Offensive Insanity:
Class            Main Skill
--------------------------------
Paladin          Might*
Paladin          Concentration
Paladin          Fanaticism
Druid            Heart of Wolverine
Amazon           Strafe/Multishot/Guided Arrow
Barbarian        Whirlwind/Berserk

* You could also hire a Might Merc, but the Aura won't be as powerful as from
  an actual Paladin, since Act 2 Mercs don't get +skill benefits.

Defensive Insanity:
Class            Main Skill
--------------------------------
Paladin          Defiance*
Paladin          Salvation
Barbarian        Shout
Necromancer      Lots of Revives/Skeletons to take hits

* You could also hire a Defiance Merc, but the Aura won't be as powerful as
  from an actual Paladin, since Act 2 Mercs don't get +skill benefits.

Life Insanity:
Class            Main Skill
--------------------------------
Barbarian        Battle Orders
Druid            Oak Sage

Invincible All Paladin Team:
Auras: Conviction, Concentration, Holy Freeze, Vigor, Salvation, Defiance,
  Fanaticism, Holy Shock.
Attack Skills: Vengeance, Fist of the Heavens, Smite.

  You can mix and match with all of these to make your own.

=============================================================================
4. Useful Runewords

  To make a Runeword, you need 3 things:
  - The required item with the exact number of sockets needed(i.e. using a 3
    socket armor to make Stealth will not work).
  - The correct Runes needed for the Runeword.
  - You need to put the Runes in the item in the right order(i.e. to make
    Stealth you need to socket the Runes in the order Tal, then Eth or it
    will not work).

  Thse are the Runewords I found interesting and/or effective.

Runeword             Runes Used
---------------------------------------------------
Amor:
Stealth              Tal(07), Eth(05)
Lionheart            Hel(15), Lum(17), Fal(19)

Helmets:
Lore                 Ort(09), Sol(12)
Nadir                Nef(04), Tir(03)

Shields:
Rhyme                Shael(13), Eth(05)

Melee Weapons:
Fury                 Jah(31), Gul(21), Eth(5)
Honor                Amn(11), El(01),  Ith(06), Tir(03), Sol(12)
Silence              Dol(14), Eld(02), Hel(15), Ist(24), Tir(03), Vex(26)

Swords/Scepters:
King's Grace         Amn(11), Ral(08), Thul(10)

Wands:
White                Dol(14), Io(16)

=============================================================================
5. Rune Names

  As you may have noticed, some of the runes by themselves or when combined
with others make words.  Whether they were inentional or plain coincidence,
only Blizz knows that(unless they've told someone, then that person and
whoever they told know as well).

Amn - The Abbreviation for Airman, a rank in the US Navy.
Ber - Well, all I could find on Ber was that it's an acronym for various
  things.
Cham - The Cham is the sovereign prince of Tartary, aka khan.  Located near
  India.
Dol - A dol is a unit of pain intensity.
El  - Spanish for "he."
Eld - means to make old/age.
Eth - A letter in several languages, including Old English.
Fal - I found nothing on Fal itself, but it sounds like it would be part of
  an Arabic name.
Gul - A stylized octagonal motif in Oriental rugs.  It's also a rank in the
  Cardassian Military in the "Star Trek" series.
Hel - Norse goddess of death and the underworld, also the daughter of Loki.
Io  - In Greek mythology, Io was a woman who was in love with Zeus.  She was
  turned into a white heifer.
Ist - ist is a suffix, which is used to refer to a person who does, believes,
  etc.
Ith - I remember there was a card in Magic: The Gathering, a card game, that
  was called "Maze of Ith."  Whether there is any relation... I dunno...
Jah - It means "God" or "Jehova."
Ko  - It's an acronym for Knock out.
Lem - A spacecraft that carries astronauts from the command module to the
  moon and back.
Lo  - To look/see etc.
Lum - A chimney.  Can also be used to mean a woody valley or deep pool.
Mal - Means bad.
Nef - The nave of a church.
Ohm - A unit of eletrical resistance.
Ort - means a scrap, usually left over food on a plate.
Pul - An Assyrian kind.  Also means destruction
Ral - Well, it's similar to Ras, which is a type of gene.
Shael - I found nuthin... But hey, if you switch the "s" and "h" it's leash
  backwards.
Sol - Sol means, well, the Sun.
Sur - A prefix signifying over, above, etc.
Tal - Well... it's the second half of a couple words such as metal or mantal.
Thul - Found nada...
Tir - It's similar to Tyr, who was the God of War and Strife in Norse
  mythology.
Um  - Um... Well, that's what it is, a word used to express doubt and fill
  space/waste time.
Vex - A word in English, not used much anymore, meaning to annoy or bring
  disaster
Zod - The only thing about Zod that I can remember right now is General Zod,
  the main bad guy from the movie "Superman II"

MalUm - Malum, which is on the Diablo II CD case, means evil in Latin.
TirIth - Well, Tirith.  Minas Tirith is a fortress in the land of Gondor in
  J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Lord of the Rings"
ElBerEth - Elbereth is the name of an Elven lord, also in Tolkein fantasy.

  There are some that apparently don't mean anything, but they could be
fragments from other words or changed spellings, like Shael.

  I'm sure there are more, I just can't remember them right now.  If you've
found one not listed here, let me know and I'll put it up.
Sources:
www.dictionary.com
My own memory and interpretation

=============================================================================
6. Mercenaries

  Each Merc has it's own use and function.  This is just a brief rundown on
their strengths/uses and weaknesses.

  Mercs tend to die quickly on higher diff levels and vs. Bosses.  If your
merc dies a lot, it may be better to go on without it, rather than to keep
dishing out money to revive them.

  If nothing else, mercs make a mini-stash to hold items for you.  My Act 2
merc is still holding a Spire of Honor, Goldskin, and rare helm that I'm
holding on to for a while.

  Mercenaries will be stronger in the long run if you hire them at a low
level and build them up as opposed to buying them at an already high level.

  Any merc can wear any armor/headgear that is not class specific(except for
Barbarian Mercs which can equip Barb specific headgear) as long as they meet
the requirements to do so.  Mercs will not gain life/mana stealing bonuses,
as well as a few others that seem to be player specific.

  If your mercenary dies, talk to the person that hires them in that act.
Reviving them can be quite expensive at higher levels.  In Act 4, talk to
Tyrael, since there is no "Rent-a-Merc" shop there.

NOTE: These evaluations are on a scale of 1-10(10 being best), not their
  actual in-game stats.

Act 1: Rogue Scout
HP - 4/10
Attack - 2/10 to 10/10*
Defense - 3/10
Resists - 5/10
* The actual Damage of their bows is quite low.  Your best bet is to get a
  5-6 socket bow and put Perfect Emeralds in it for some really high damage.
Equipment: Bows only, no Crossbows
Skills: Elemental Arrows(depending on which kind you hire), Inner Sight
Bonus: If you give them equipment so that they have +3 to all skills, they
  will use a "Lightning Hose" attack, where it seems like she'll cast a short
  range version of the Sorcs Lightning, but only dealing a lot more damage.
Bottom Line: Use them for an added ranged attack punch and their Inner Sight
  to help you hit stuff.  Watch out though, they are the easy to get killed,
  which tends to happen frequently in later areas.

------------------------------------

Act 2: Desert Grunt
HP - 6/10
Attack - 7/10
Defense - 6/10
Resists - 6/10
Equipment: Spears, Polearms
Skills: Paladin Auras(they vary with the type you hire and which diff level
  you hire them in), Jab
  Aura: Hired on Normal of Hell diff
    Offensive: Blessed Aim
    Defensive: Defiance
    Combat: Prayer
   Aura: Hired on Nightmare diff
    Offensive: Might
    Defensive: Holy Freeze
    Combat: Thorns
Bottom Line: Use them for their Auras.  They are my personal choice of merc
  since the Auras are very helpful, especially the Holy Freeze aura when you
  are a Spellcaster or Might for the Melee fighters.
NOTE: In order to activate their aura, you must first take them into battle
  and have them attack a monster.  They don't have to kill it though, this is
  just to put them into "Active" mode.

------------------------------------

Act 3: Iron Wolf
HP - 5/10
Attack - 3/10
Defense - 5/10
Resists - 5/10
Equipment: 1-Handed Swords, Shields
Skills:
  Lightning Merc: Charged Bolt/Lightning
  Ice Merc: Glacial Spike/Ice Blast/Frozen Armor
  Fire Merc: Fireball/Inferno
Bottom Line: Use them if you feel the need for added elemental damage, other-
  wise, skip them.

------------------------------------

Act 4: NONE!!!

------------------------------------

Act 5: Barbarian
HP - 10/10
Attack - 9/10
Defense - 7/10
Resists - 8/10
Equipment: Swords, 1 or 2 Handed.  They can equip Barbarian only helmets.
Skills: Stun, Bash
Bottom Line: Use them to tank, i.e. stand on the front lines and take hits
  for you, and to do some added physical damage.

=============================================================================
7. Tidbits and Tricks

  These are just a few things about the game that I've noticed that may come
in handy, or they may just be good for a nice laugh.  Just be forewarned that
they aren't always thoroughly tested so if they don't work perfect don't be
too mad at me.

Skill Stuff
- The nerf on SF says that it will not deal damage to an enemy below a
  certain point on Nightmare and Hell difficulties(1/4 and 1/2 respectively).
  This is partly true.  It will actually take a monster below those levels,
  it just won't activate when a monster hits them.

- The Druid Skill "Hurricane" will not trigger the charged Bolts that come
  from a Lightning Enchanted monster.

Elemental Stuff
- When resistances go negative, the damage you take from that element will be
  increased by the % your resistance is.  So if you've got -100% Fire resist,
  which can happen in Hell diff, you'll be taking double the amount of damage
  you normally would from Fire attacks.  This also works with monsters, if a
  Pally has Conviction turned on or a Necro uses Lower Resist and you bring
  the monsters resistance negative, they will take a lot more damage.

- You don't neccessarily need Poison Resistance.  If you have two or more
  items with "Poison Length Reduced by 75%" or are using the Paladin's Aura
  "Cleansing," the poison will wear off before it has a chance to do any real
  damage.  Just watch out though, if your poison resistance is negative, you
  can still take a lot of damage before it wears off.

- On a similar note, I've found it useful to put a column of Antidote Potions
  and a colum of Thawing Potions in my belt, in case I'm poisoned or chilled.
  This is especially helpful when you're going to be running around the Chaos
  Sanctuary where either one can be lethal.

- If you're going to use a lot of poison attacks, you're going to need a lot
  of running space since Poison is a lot more effective when you hit once and
  let the damage continue.

- Poison and Open Wounds damage will not trigger charged bolts from a
  Lightning Enchanted monster.  The initial hit will, but the duration will
  not.

Cow Level
- The Secret Cow Level is one of the best places to get items and experience
  in the game.  Granted, not *the* best, but it's excellent to play since
  cows have no elemental resistances or immunities on any difficulty.  On
  Normal Difficulty, cows are level 28, Nightmare 61, Hell 90.

- To access the Secret Cow Level(what, you thought I was gonna leave you in
  suspense?  Well, what do you think I'm doing now?), you have to beat the
  game on the difficulty level you want to play it on, so if you want to play
  the cow level on Nightmare difficulty, you have to beat the game on
  Nightmare.  Once you've done that, go to Tristram and get Whirt's Leg by
  clicking on his body in the lower left corner of the map.  Then go back to
  the Rogue's camp and put Whirt's Leg in the Horadric Cube with a Tome of
  Town Portal and Transmute them.  A red portal will open next to your
  character, allowing you access to the Cow Level.
  NOTE:  Anything in the cube at the time of transmutation will be lost, so
         don't leave anything valuable in there.

Merc Stuff
- Mercs and Minions don't take any damage from the kamikaze bad guys such as
  the ever so popular Frenzied Ice Spawns.

- Occasionally, Act 2 mercs will be "broken" in that their Aura will not turn
  on.  If that happens, try going to town to try and reset their active mode.
  If that doesn't work, hire a new merc, you got a dud.

Misc Stuff
- Most Amazons will have better blocking % when using a shield than a Paladin
  since the zon usually pumps Dex a lot more than a Paladin does.  Kind of
  odd how that works since Blizzard gives Paladins higher shield blocking and
  a skill designed to increase blocking %.

- Every character class has it's own special greeting from a person in each
  act.  For example, the Barb gets a different greeting from Charsi than
  the other character classes the first time you talk to her.  They will only
  talk to you this way in the intro, every other conversation is the same for
  every character class.

Tidbits not relative to gameplay
- When you select the Sorceress in the Character Select Screen, it says that
  she is skilled in Magick.  The extra k at the end is quite interesting to
  see, considering the fact that the word was always spelled as Magic(with
  no k).  A wiccan author added the k at the end so people would not confuse
  real magic that is practiced in the real world with the flashy stuff you
  see in games, movies, tv, etc. 

=============================================================================
8. Blocking Bosses

  All normal attacks from bosses can be Blocked with a shield, Dodged with
a high enough defense rating, and Avoided with the Amazon skills Dodge and
Evade.  This is just a list of some of their special attacks that can also
be avoided in one way or another.

Andariel - I think all of hers can be blocked. The single poison projectile
  can be with a shield, and the poison spread can be avoided with a zon, not
  sure about shields.

Duriel - Theoretically, his Charge can be blocked/avoided, but it has an
  astronomical AR which makes it almost impossible to avoid without a shield
  or an Amazon's high level dodging skills.

Mephisto - The Cold "Orb of Death" can be blocked, but not avoided or dodged.

Diablo - His "Cold Touch" can be blocked/avoided. The Lightning Inferno can
  be Avoided with Amazon skills, but I'm not sure about shields. I'm not sure
  about his fire attacks, I think I've doged his Fire wave nova thingy once
  or twice, but I don't encourage people to sit there and try it.

Baal - I think his Fire Spray can be avoided with the Amazon skill, but other
  than that, he can't be avoided.

  I'm not entirely sure, but it's been my experience that bosses have such a
high AR that is doesn't matter what your defense is, you're always going to
get hit by the normal attacks if you don't have a good shield or a zon with
dodge/avoid/evade, and since defense is only melee, it won't work against
their magic.

=============================================================================
9. Site Plugs

  These are sites about Diablo 2 and it's expansion run by fans, they are not
official sites run by Blizzard.  The official site won't be plugged here, it
was plugged elsewhere.  Anyways, these are the plugs:

The Unofficial Diablo 2 Site - www.diabloii.net
**The Lurker Lounge          - www.lurkerlounge.com
Phrozen Keep                 - www.planetdiablo.com/phrozenkeep
V&K Mods for Diablo 1 and 2  - www.vkmods.de
Savior's Realm               - sivut.koti.soon.fi/hedgehog/

**Sadly, The Lurker Lounge is closed now.  The site itself will remain up,
  but there will no longer be any more content updates to it.

  Other site plugs not specifically related to Diablo 2, but having something
or someplace on the site for Diablo 2(like a message board or something like
that):
GameFAQs - www.gamefaqs.com

  If you have a site you'd like mentioned here, send me an email with
"diablo 2 link plug" or something along those lines in the subject.

=============================================================================
10. Acknowledgements

Most recent version of this guide always available at www.gamefaqs.com

The following sites have permission to display this guide:
GameFAQs - www.gamefaqs.com

Thanks to the following individuals/groups:

Mike - My best friend.  Awwwww..................

Blizzard - Making a game so addictive it made me write this thing.

DiabloII.net - The website feeding you more info about Diablo 2 and its
       expansion than you need.

Dictionary.com - The online dictionary.  Lots of the info from the runes
       section came from there.

Anyone I might've forgotten - whatever your contribution was.

*****************************************************************************
*******************************End of File***********************************
*****************************************************************************