Clan Plaid Discussion Boards
DII/LoD overview and misc.
edited July 2001
edited December 1969
Since some people are kinda just starting with LoD I thought I'd offer some broad tips and information. First a listing of useful websites:
(The 'unofficial' Diablo II site. The forums stink, but for general information and news this is the place to go. Also, with some digging, lists of monster levels, rough build guides, crafting/runeword information, and similar can be found)
(The official Diablo II site. The Arreat Summit is maintained by a Blizz employee, but he's a busy guy and material almost always appears here well after the fan sites post it. For easy of navigation and lists of item, monsters, skills, and so on this is a great place.)
(A fansite for a bunch of guys who 'lurked' at the old Diablo Strategy Forum. Hosts a ton of other informational sites and the only moderately good forums in the community IMHO. News is rarely updated, but the strategy forum and the bugs forum are invaluable.)
(Rune word listing, every item they show a rune word working in means that it's been confirmed by a realms only screen shot.)
On the different difficulty levels; any character build can get you through normal. Even if you don't spend a single skill point you can get through normal pretty handily. As a result even with the higher hitpoints for monsters in 8 player games, there is little concerted challenge from monsters on normal. Nightmare is moderately harder, and forces parties to work together against better monster abilities. The new level curve makes it possible to comfortably quest through normal and most of nightmare without having to 'level' in a high experience area between acts to equal the monsters in the next act. Hell is much more difficult, with specific attack immune creatures from the very start requiring diversification and making parties work together well to win and advance.
The higher difficulties solve some of the problems with partying in the game, if you're untwinked and want to live in nm/hell you tend to stick with the group. Characters that have a hard time going it alone really shine in high difficulty parties, Necromancers for example.
Mercs are a lot of fun even though their level curve is a mess. Make sure to equip them and give them potions to keep them alive, there are some good items on the plaidmules account for mercs. Ethereal items don't lose durability (And thus don't go poof) on mercs, so that high ethereal armor you're drooling over will make your merc a happy critter. Read up about mercs at one of the sites above and choose in advance the one you want to eventually stick with, the A2 guards and A5 barbs are the most popular.
Key setups are fully customisable, but some common ones to keep whatever you set them to in your head are run/walk, map, show items, merc character screen, party info screen, your character and inventory screens, the skill tree, map scroll keys, and right and left attack selection keys.
You need to make sure you're always with the group when a quest is completed to get credit, and should always check for group members before completing a quest.
That's about all I can think of offhand. Getting comfortable with the game and knowing a good bit about your character and your party make the game much more interesting than just running around killing stuff with some guys. Picking out desireable equipment and asking the party to keep an eye out for one for you is better than just hoping. Solo a character or two through normal at your own pace to get familiar with the flow of the various act quests.
edited December 1969
Great info... thanks! [nt]