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Tips on playing Diablo 2 again

Diablo 2 was one of the first MMORPG franchises that were truly addictive. Players around the world logged in to Battle.net for hours, hunting Diablo 2 items and strengthening their builds that even game developers themselves have never thought about. Add the fact that the game featured a multiplayer cooperative and PvP modes; Diablo was one of the best PC games of its era.

Want to relive the experience of Diablo 2? Then this guide should help you get back up to speed and avoid committing mistakes with your build:

• Decide on what play style you would use first, because picking a character class not suited for your style would always mean going back to square 1 and creating a character again. Just a quick rundown of character classes you can choose from:

o Paladin – best mix of offense and defense. Paladins are always welcome to any party, thanks to the Aura skills he has.
o Sorceress – her repertoire of offensive elemental spells can mow down mobs in a blink of an eye. The challenge in building a Sorceress has always been her survivability. Given the right equipment and stat distribution, she is a force to be reckoned with.
o Barbarian – you prefer melee builds? Then he is the best choice for you. You can even opt for single or dual wield build. Barbarians can go toe-to-toe with bosses and not really worry much about dying.
o Amazon – pick either a bow or javelin mastery for this class. Bowazons (a nick name for Amazons who specializes on Bow skills) have the advantage of whittling down enemies as they come near, even kill them. Javelin users have more beef though and are less fragile than their Bowazon counterpart, but require you to engage enemies up close and personal, pretty much like a Barbarian.
o Necromancer – you want minions to do the fighting and dirty work for you? Then he is your best choice. With a wide range of spells and various monsters to summon, he can just hang out in the back.
o Druid – similar to a Necromancer, but the number of minions he can summon is less. One advantage that he has over the Necromancer is his ability to shape shift which bolsters his stats.
o Assassin – the only class in Diablo 2 that’s combo oriented. Strike your enemies with various martial arts skills then let loose with a big finishing move. Adept with Poison and Trap skills as well, staying true to her nature.

• Stat Distribution – one of the common mistakes that players commit while levelling their character is with Stat Distribution. Basic rule of thumb is focus on your character’s primary stat (e.g. Strength for Barbarian, Dexterity for Amazon) then add a few points to Vitality as you go along and level up. Having trouble with Health and Mana? Then hunt for equipment with boosts, but never spend a significant amount of points for Health and Mana, they can be compensated with good equipment.
• Power levelling – a process where you stay on a specific area and slay monsters repeatedly. The experience gained and difficulty of monsters have been proven to be very efficient and the easiest way to level your character. Locations are the following:

o Level 1-15: Tristram
o Level 16-20: Tomb of Tal Rasha
o Level 21-25: There is now Cow Level
o Level 26-50: Ancients/Chaos Sanctuary/Boss: Baal

• Gems – always pick up gems that you come across. The boosts they provide are valuable and not to mention, when you get the Horadric Cube, they can be combined with far bigger benefits. At one point you would have to hunt for socketed gear, starting your Gem collection right from the very start is recommended.
• Sets and Unique equipment – people have been debating which is better; I would say that Unique equipment are far better, mid to end game. Sets are good if you manage to get your hands on them early, but given their preset attributes and stats, they pale in comparison to Uniques at the end of the game.

These pointers should keep you on the right track as you play along Diablo 2. There are countless builds available for your chosen character class, but experimentation always pays off, and it’s not a bad idea to see what works for you and not in the game. After all, you’re here for the experience once again.


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