So...

edited August 2001 in Gaming

Comments

  • edited December 1969
    I finished non-exp D II last night. I'll be snagging LoD sometime soon. I'm not playing this again without painfully plunking down $30 for all the stuff they left-out of the original added-in to the expansion. And, it will certainly be on-line. ;) Although I can't see myself surviving long in hardcore yet... although I'd like to get there!

    I know many of you have been playing this for much longer than I, but here's some of my coredump comments I have to get off my chest. There are some minor spoilers below for anyone who hasn't played it yet.

    Blizzard sure has down the interface and playability in this one, especially when looking at the LoD added bits. But the story bits are just so sad. The cutscenes are some of the best I've seen in a game. It's too bad they couldn't figure out how to integrate the story into the actual game a bit more. Act III was probably my favorite of the 4. One was pretty decent too.

    IV was unbelievably bad. Really bad. It was obvious they didn't even try here. No story left to tell, no NPCs to talk to, no hierlings, scenery so boring it could have been from Diablo I. Nothing good. Diablo was boring to fight. The only thing that took so long to kill him was his bazillion hit points. OK, so that lightning stuff sucked rocks, but you figure out how to strafe it pretty quick. I would have preferred a bit softer boss with some tricks up his sleeve or minions fighting by his side in waves. Heck, some of the non-Prime uniques with their hordes required more careful thought to kill than Meph and Diablo. The whole act was the most boring four hours of the whole game. Then to top it off, after slogging through the last two hour sprint from the last waygate to killing the big D, the game tells me I have 90 seconds left to run around. I didn't even have time to go back and listen to Cain and Tyrial tell me I was a good girl(-azon). Geez.

    I was also starved of good magic items for much of Act III and IV. For weapons, I had a rare spear and bow I had been using from acts I and II for the whole game. Nothing better showed up. For most of Act IV the monsters seemed to only drop potions and scrolls. The only saving grace was that Mestipho dropped a pretty sweet rare breast plate and I got a 3-socketed superior hunter's bow right near the beginning of Act IV. I dropped three very nice gems (Sapphire, Ruby, & Amythest--one of the flawless) in it from the Hellforge and it was the only weapon I needed for the rest of the game.
    I started out with a bowazon and got a pretty nice rare bow with poison effects in Act I (Imp's?). With multishot, I could mow down most hordes until my mana dropped out. Then in Act II things got enough HP that I had to switch to a rare spear I snagged earlier. I did more damage with the jab, but of course you are in melee and get hurt more :) I stuck with that until the end of Act IV when I found the socketed bow and switched back to bowazon. With the item drought I had, it was just too hard to stick with one path. :/

    Anyway, there's a newbie's view of things :)

    Now, yet more questions:

    How much do you use gems? I only found a few cases where a socketed item (helm, usually) was better than what I found lying on the ground. I was hording gems for a while, but gave up since I coudn't find anything good to do with them. The nicer gems were useful, but I felt like that was only because I was lacking good item drops for the monsters I was fighting. This seems like a nice element of the game, but I often found that by the time I found a useful socketed item, the gems I had were weaker than 'normal' blue magic items at that point in the game.

    Do you ever go after Sets? With the severely limited storage space in the game, I can't see how these are ever useful to go after. I think I saw 4-6 of these total and only 2 of them matched. Each of the individual items didn't hold out it's usefulness before I had to switch to something more heavy-hitting. Again, this seems like a neat addition, but other factors in the game render it pretty useless from what I've seen so far. Maybe this is a bigger factor with on-line trading?

    Well there you have it... my hand hurts from clicking... ;)

    [img]http://www.clanplaid.net/~charon/charon.gif[/img]
  • edited December 1969
    Some notes

    Blizzard sure has down the interface and playability in this
    one, especially when looking at the LoD added bits. But the
    story bits are just so sad. The cutscenes are some of the best
    I've seen in a game. It's too bad they couldn't figure out how
    to integrate the story into the actual game a bit more. Act III
    was probably my favorite of the 4. One was pretty decent too.

    The cutscenes are pretty, but they're the best (3 combined minutes) of the story. In fact they're about all of the story. Most people had Act 2 as their favorite before the XP, now pretty much everyone goes with A5.

    IV was unbelievably bad. Really bad. It was obvious they didn't
    even try here. No story left to tell, no NPCs to talk to, no
    hierlings, scenery so boring it could have been from Diablo I.
    Nothing good. Diablo was boring to fight. The only thing that
    took so long to kill him was his bazillion hit points. OK, so
    that lightning stuff sucked rocks, but you figure out how to
    strafe it pretty quick. I would have preferred a bit softer boss
    with some tricks up his sleeve or minions fighting by his side
    in waves. Heck, some of the non-Prime uniques with their hordes
    required more careful thought to kill than Meph and Diablo. The
    whole act was the most boring four hours of the whole game. Then
    to top it off, after slogging through the last two hour sprint
    from the last waygate to killing the big D, the game tells me I
    have 90 seconds left to run around. I didn't even have time to
    go back and listen to Cain and Tyrial tell me I was a good
    girl(-azon). Geez.

    Act 4 was a hack job to get us into Hell, and I think they ran short on time and ideas for it. In the latest version of the game Diablo is hard because they gave him an insane block rate, trying to take him down without a sorc in the party takes 4x as long as it used to. The 90 second timer has been removed in LoD; it was insanely unpopular and widely regarded as idiotic in the original.

    I was also starved of good magic items for much of Act III and
    IV. For weapons, I had a rare spear and bow I had been using
    from acts I and II for the whole game. Nothing better showed up.
    For most of Act IV the monsters seemed to only drop potions and
    scrolls. The only saving grace was that Mestipho dropped a
    pretty sweet rare breast plate and I got a 3-socketed superior
    hunter's bow right near the beginning of Act IV. I dropped three
    very nice gems (Sapphire, Ruby, & Amythest--one of the
    flawless) in it from the Hellforge and it was the only weapon I
    needed for the rest of the game.

    Keep in mind the game is designed with online play and specifically trading in mind. You get a lot of stuff you can't use, and you're supposed to trade it or something. This aspect of the game is especially broken, with rampant cheating among traders and an 'economy' based on an item most players never find. My advice is to never trade.

    I started out with a bowazon and got a pretty nice rare bow with
    poison effects in Act I (Imp's?). With multishot, I could mow
    down most hordes until my mana dropped out. Then in Act II
    things got enough HP that I had to switch to a rare spear I
    snagged earlier. I did more damage with the jab, but of course
    you are in melee and get hurt more :) I stuck with that until
    the end of Act IV when I found the socketed bow and switched
    back to bowazon. With the item drought I had, it was just too
    hard to stick with one path. :/

    At higher levels Strafe is easier on your mana than MS, though the strafe lock problem is hard to adjust to. There are no straight melee 'zons on the Realms because they simply can't survive consistently at the higher difficulties.

    Anyway, there's a newbie's view of things :)

    Now, yet more questions:

    How much do you use gems? I only found a few cases where a
    socketed item (helm, usually) was better than what I found lying
    on the ground. I was hording gems for a while, but gave up since
    I coudn't find anything good to do with them. The nicer gems
    were useful, but I felt like that was only because I was lacking
    good item drops for the monsters I was fighting. This seems like
    a nice element of the game, but I often found that by the time I
    found a useful socketed item, the gems I had were weaker than
    'normal' blue magic items at that point in the game.

    Generally people only put perfect gems in sockets, and then only under certain circumstances. 4-6 Perfect emeralds makes a weapon that can carry you well into nightmare (With some trouble in A3) regardless of what physical damage it does. 3 perfect diamonds (4 for a Paladin) make an incredible resistances shield to fight the resist penalty in NM/Hell. Gems are also extremely useful in crafting (See diabloii.net's crafting page) and in building temporary gear (Like your bow there). My necro's entire stash is full of perfect gems that I keep just in case I want to craft something or make a good +life helm or armor for a merc, etc. (And because my necro is nearly useless in the XP).

    Do you ever go after Sets? With the severely limited storage
    space in the game, I can't see how these are ever useful to go
    after. I think I saw 4-6 of these total and only 2 of them
    matched. Each of the individual items didn't hold out it's
    usefulness before I had to switch to something more
    heavy-hitting. Again, this seems like a neat addition, but other
    factors in the game render it pretty useless from what I've seen
    so far. Maybe this is a bigger factor with on-line trading?

    The bigger XP stash helps, but again the idea is rooted in trading. You trade to complete your set while someone else trades to complete a different one. This fails on the previously mentioned trading problems, but also because some sets are vastly superior to others and become the only sets people want. Some of the set bonuses are incredible though, again check diabloii.net's sets page. Also some of the individual set items are really spectacular items (The Tal Rasha's mask has 10% dual leech and 15 to all resists... at a level 66 req).

    Well there you have it... my hand hurts from clicking... ;)

    The problem with your experiences and assertions is that they are based in normal difficulty, which Blizzard balanced very badly IMHO. Practically any equipment and any skills (Or no skills, it's been done) can get your through Normal (This makes normal work for solo players, but effectively ruins it for MP) whereas optimizing your gear and skills becomes increasingly necessary in NM and critical in hell.

    A particular tip on 'zons and clicking, with strafe and multishot it's generally easier to 'aim' by holding down shift and clicking once to fire. Strafe auto-aims, so you can click and hold anywhere s'long as you aren't in immediate danger of death due to strafe lock. With MS this is even more important because you control the 'spread' on MS by how far from yourself you click. If a monster is closing in shift-click behind him at the edge of the screen and send the whole set of arrows through him. If a swarm is advancing shift click at your feet for maximum spread and maximum hits. Also be aware that by putting your main attack on right click can hold it down to run and auto attack anything in range. WW lance Barbarians on XP runs used to go in one side of the RoF with WW held down and come out the other on the same click. ;-) DII will teach you economy of clicking very quickly (Or you'll buy a new mouse), I generally click less in DII than I do in Myth.

    Any other questions?

    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    Gems and Sets and some hints.

    I don't have the expansion pack so I don't know if this transfers over but...

    Gems are pretty useless in normal difficulty but become nice additions in nightmare and hell. I play a cursing, no minions, hardcore necro (I know, everyone I play with has no idea why I'm still alive or how I made it to hell difficulty but my build actually works great and sounds funny. A cursing necro, like he's pissed off and constantly muttering foul language under his breath.) But here's the thing, the only time I'm really in danger of a quick, omg! what happened death is from spells so resistance is more important for me than armor. Gems help me accomplish this in a difficulty where you start off with -10 resistances. Gems also help give me very high mana for taking out huge groups of monsters.

    A perfect Topaz helm is a great treasure hunting item. Wear it where you have an easy time and you'll find some pretty cool items.

    Skulls. Collect as many as you can. Remember the Horadric Malus quest where Charsi will imbue an item for you when you return the hammer? Put six perfect skulls with the item of your choice in the cube and that item will be imbued.

    Complete Sets. I've used them a lot, getting them through trades. If you're looking for the super, ultimate, makes me invulnerable, dupers wet dream, you won't find it. But they do give usefull bonuses when you complete the set. It just depends on your character and how you play it. As a necro, Infernal set is great but not very sought after due to it's low armor rating.

    Charsi's imbues. You get one for each difficulty level. Don't use the first one right away. Wait until you've gotten into nightmare and then use the imbue. You'll be able to outfit your character better then. You'll pretty much have the major items you use on your character by then and you'll be able to fill in the lacking areas with imbued items. Demonhide gloves, belts or boots make great imbues but you don't get them until nightmare.

    Cow level. Supposedly the Cow King drops very cool items. He hasn't dropped anything but stamina potions for me but the level is a great place to level up. You can only do one cow level per difficulty and once you make a cow level you can't make another if you quit that game, so make sure you're ready to commit to killing a whole lot of very hard hitting cows when you do this. To get to cow level (and I recomend you do this in a private passworded game either by yourself or with trusted players); while standing in the Rogue Camp in Act I, morph Wirts leg (found on his body in old Tristram) and a tome of Town Portal in the Horadric Cube (you can't do this unless you've killed Diablo on that particular difficulty setting). A portal will open and when you go through you'll be in killer cow land. Be ready for a fight 'cause you get jumped right away. The benefit of doing this in a private game is you can dump all the stuff you find in camp and go back to fight and get more. Maybe if you do this level while wearing a topaz helmet you'll get more cool items.

    -Croaker #CP#V-
  • edited December 1969
    [b]Notes on notes[/b]

    [quote]
    Skulls. Collect as many as you can. Remember the Horadric Malus
    quest where Charsi will imbue an item for you when you return
    the hammer? Put six perfect skulls with the item of your choice
    in the cube and that item will be imbued.

    [/quote]
    This was changed with 1.08 for LoD and Classic to imbue at only ilvl 40 (Which means level 40 properties and below only). Only certain items can have desireably properties at that ilvl, so be careful with your pskulls. :-)

    [quote]
    Complete Sets. I've used them a lot, getting them through
    trades. If you're looking for the super, ultimate, makes me
    invulnerable, dupers wet dream, you won't find it. But they do
    give usefull bonuses when you complete the set. It just depends
    on your character and how you play it. As a necro, Infernal set
    is great but not very sought after due to it's low armor rating.

    [/quote]
    You will find that set in the XP, it's called Tal Rasha's. ;-)

    [quote]
    Charsi's imbues. You get one for each difficulty level. Don't
    use the first one right away. Wait until you've gotten into
    nightmare and then use the imbue. You'll be able to outfit your
    character better then. You'll pretty much have the major items
    you use on your character by then and you'll be able to fill in
    the lacking areas with imbued items. Demonhide gloves, belts or
    boots make great imbues but you don't get them until nightmare.

    [/quote]
    There a listing of the *old* imbue ilvl/clvl information at:

    http://www.diabloii.net/strategy/imbue/index.shtml

    This can still serve as a rough guide as to when you want to imbue which item to get the best possible chance of good properties. Since this is an old listing, and some things changed, I've been saving my imbues until a new listing comes out (Except on my sorceress, where I imbued amulets by crafting them first to test this loophole out). Rare items are less useful in the XP, so imbues are less useful, but still can turn out pretty interesting items.

    [quote]
    Cow level. Supposedly the Cow King drops very cool items. He
    hasn't dropped anything but stamina potions for me but the level
    is a great place to level up. You can only do one cow level per
    difficulty and once you make a cow level you can't make another
    if you quit that game, so make sure you're ready to commit to
    killing a whole lot of very hard hitting cows when you do this.
    To get to cow level (and I recomend you do this in a private
    passworded game either by yourself or with trusted players);
    while standing in the Rogue Camp in Act I, morph Wirts leg
    (found on his body in old Tristram) and a tome of Town Portal in
    the Horadric Cube (you can't do this unless you've killed Diablo
    on that particular difficulty setting). A portal will open and
    when you go through you'll be in killer cow land. Be ready for a
    fight 'cause you get jumped right away. The benefit of doing
    this in a private game is you can dump all the stuff you find in
    camp and go back to fight and get more. Maybe if you do this
    level while wearing a topaz helmet you'll get more cool items.

    [/quote]
    In the XP cows have a high chance of dropping decent runes in hell. Also, very important to know, you *can* repeat the cow level as many times as you want if you leave the Cow King alive. On normal and NM that's pretty difficult (Because cows have low defense and 0% resists) but in hell they have enough health to survive a few mistaken swipes and the bolts from the CK's LEB will tip you off on when to bail. I generally find that if you clear the edges only and turn around the second you see the 'pen' that the CK is always near you can leave him alive without too much trouble or missing too many cows. If you're using Hydra or something similar you can leave the game immediately to prevent it killing him and you losing your cow level.

    [quote]
    -Croaker #CP#V-

    [/quote]
    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    Gems

    Charon,

    Here's how I handle gems. You prolly know that the Horadric Cube can upgrade gems; put three chipped in, get a flawed; put three flawed in, get a regular, etc. After act 2 I stopped picking up chipped and after act 4, I stopped picking up flawed. Currently I only pick up regular, flawless and perfect and use the Cube to upgrade them as I can. This led to a sweet helmet with a perfect and a flawless diamond in it that gives me +50 to life. I also use the better gems to keep my LoD merc in good weapons/armor.

    I was also amazed at the 3 or 4 hundred % increase in the amount of gems dropping out of LoD monsters.

    Scruggler

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