Introduction And Guide to Amazon/Barbarian - Guide for Diablo
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Introduction HEY ALL ITS THE BAD BAD WOLF [[email protected]].I AM SORRY I COULD NOT PUBLISH THE WHOLE DIABLO,BUT IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM IN ANY STAGE OR ANYTHING JUST EMAIL ME AND I WILL REPLY YOU BACK.HAVE FUN INTRO:------------------- Since the beginning of time, the forces of order and chaos have been engaged in an eternal struggle to decide the fate of all creation. That struggle has now come to the mortal realm... and neither man nor angel will be left unscathed.... a Diablo, the Lord of Terror and the youngest of three prime evils, awoke from his long sleep with plans to free his exiled brothers, Mephisto and Baal. But, a nameless hero stood in Diablo's way, confronting the Lord of Terror in the hellish labyrinth beneath Tristram. Diablo's spirit could never be truly destroyed, so the hero made the noblest sacrifice of all. He took the spirit of Diablo into himself, hoping that his own strength of will could contain the demon within. The hero could never have known that his selfless act would not only ensure Diablo's victory, but irrevocably damn his soul for all time. Welcome to GameSpot's official Diablo II game guide. Within this mammoth guide, you'll discover a wealth of statistics, strategies, and solutions for one of the most popular games of all-time, Blizzard's incredible Diablo II. Inside this loaded official Diablo II game guide, you'll find: · The Amazon: This section introduces you to the Amazon character class, covering attributes, skills selection, and strategies. Here you'll find suggestions on choosing your skills to improve your Amazon character. · The Barbarian: Head here for an introduction to the Barbarian character class, with strategies for applying attribute points, acquiring skills, and perfecting combat techniques. The section also includes suggestions for choosing your skills to improve your Barbarian character. · The Necromancer: This section introduces you to the Necromancer character class, covering summoning minions and applying attribute and skill points. Inside you'll also find suggestions for choosing skills to become a Necromancer like no other! · The Paladin: Here, you'll find an introduction to the Paladin character class, featuring strategies for applying attribute points, acquiring skills, learning importance of hotkeys, and supporting fellow party members. The section also includes suggestions on choosing skills and improving your Paladin character. · The Sorceress: Head here for an introduction to the Sorceress character class, complete with strategies for selecting attributes, acquiring spells, applying skill points, and perfecting combat techniques. Inside you'll find suggestions on choosing skills and improving your Sorceress character. · Act I walk-through: This section features a complete walk-through for Diablo II's Act I. The walk-through sections include solutions to all quests, the location of important quest items, and vital information on monsters, townspeople, and dealing with boss creatures. · Act II walk-through: This section includes a complete walk-through for Diablo II's Act II. · Act III walk-through: This section includes a complete walk-through for Diablo II's Act III. · Act IV walk-through: This section includes a complete walk-through for Diablo II's Act IV. · Experience points chart: The chart depicts the experience points needed for each level up to 99. · Shrines: Look here for a list of Diablo II shrines and their functions. · Potions: This section explains the various potions you'll discover in Diablo II. · Weapon and armor statistics: This section includes charts revealing the base statistics for Diablo II's common weapons and armor. · Gems and skulls: Here, you'll find the magical properties for Diablo II's gems and skulls, including their effects when socketed in a weapon, shield, or helm. · Unique monsters: This section includes the list of unique monsters encountered in Diablo II, their unique attributes, and their location. Chapter 1 - Amazon Skills and Strategies "Skilled with the spear and the bow. She is a very versatile fighter..." With skills in bow, crossbow, javelin, and spear, the Amazon is absolutely fierce with ranged weaponry. The power of the Amazon lies in specializing her skills. Choose your route early - either spear or bow - and advance through that particularly skill tree. Attempting to become both a spear and bow player weakens the Amazon's overall power. Choosing the spear route can give the Amazon both thrown and melee weapon power. Hit-and-run attacks prove effective, but you'll definitely want ranged weaponry in your arsenal to dish out damage from long range. Amazon Attributes Like the Barbarian, the Amazon is primarily a weapons-based combat class (unlike the Sorceress with her spells and the Necromancer with his minions) with an affinity for ranged weapons, though melee combat is certainly plausible. Thus, strength and dexterity will be extremely important to the Amazon player, whether you take the bow or javelin skill route. You'll need the strength to wear the toughest armor and pound out some increased damage. Dexterity increases the Amazon's chance to hit and her defensive rating. Diablo II is extremely customizable. There's really no right or wrong way to develop your character's attributes or skills - it's solely up to you! You choose your character's attributes; you choose your character's skills; and, through finding items and gold, you choose your character's equipment. Use these tips and strategies in the character class sections as suggestions on how to mold your character. Keep in mind that there are thousands and thousands of combinations and no right or wrong way to proceed through the game. As a general guideline, for every five attribute points you receive (from each level advance), you could place two into strength, two into dexterity, and one into vitality (or every other one into energy). Once you reach level 10 or so, you'll likely want to start pumping more into energy as you approach the higher skills available in the bow, javelin, and passive skill trees. If you desire the some of the best armor, such as plate mail, raise your strength around 65, then concentrate on the other attributes which by this time will be vality and energy. -Amazon Equipment With skills sets focusing specifically on bows and crossbows or javelin and spears, it's important for the Amazon player to make a selection early to maximize skill choices. This section examines the Amazon's possibilities and the useful skills along each route. The Bow and Crossbow Route Choose the bow and crossbow skills should you desire to emphasize pure ranged weaponry. The magic arrow skill is especially useful, both early and throughout the entire game. The more points added to the magic arrow, the cheaper the mana cost. By its 13th tier, magic arrow is free, though it's cheap and efficient at sixth or seventh tier. Magic arrow is nice because it doesn't require arrow ammunition, which could prove helpful in a pinch. You'll find both the cold and fire arrows useful; the higher cold arrow skills can freeze opponents as well as inflict cold damage. Slowing opponents down is often as useful as inflicting damage points. You'll likely want to select both cold and fire arrows for the early and mid game; use the cold arrows against fire-enchanted unique enemies, while employing fire arrows against the cold-enchanted unique enemies. TIP: The Amazon's bow skills can provide fire- and ice-enchanted arrows. Instead of attempting to acquire all the skills, use gems to alleviate additional skill needs. For instance, if you wish to study skills in fire arrows (and subsequent exploding arrows and immolation arrows), try to find sapphires to place in a socketed bow to provide cold damage. Then again, if you choose to acquire the cold-arrow skills, such as cold arrow and ice arrow, try to find rubies to use in a socketed bow. Critical strike is an important passive Amazon skill used in both ranged and melee attacks - don't neglect critical strike even if you're a bow player! Critical strike works best around level 6 or 7, where you've raised the chance for double damage to approximately 50 percent. Be prepared to use a lot of hit-and-run tactics with ranged weaponry. With bows, you can't afford to get trapped inside a horde of monsters. Use inner sight to decrease a monster group's defense rating and slow missiles to slow down enemy ranged attacks. Penetrate and pierce are also important higher-level bow skills (though in the magic portion of the Amazon's skill tree). The Javelin and Spear Route Selecting the javelin or spear route offers both melee and ranged opportunities with skills associated with each style of play. The jab and critical strike combination is the Amazon's melee bread and butter. As mentioned in the bow section, boost critical strike up to its sixth or seventh level to inflict double damage approximately 50 percent of the time. Couple this with the fast jab attack (and eventually with a powerful weapon), and you can dish out significant damage. Jab also operates at the same speed regardless of your weapon's speed; for instance, if you are holding a slow pike, jab performs at the same level of quickness as if you were holding a basic spear. The Amazon's javelin skills emphasize both poison- and lightning-based attacks, with separate skills for thrusts and thrown strikes. Lightning is the most powerful elemental attack and should certainly be explored by the javelin Amazon player. Poison can prove effective, but lightning is typically more efficient; though you'll likely place points in the poison skills, use more in the lightning-based attacks. Even with the powerful throwing skills, a javelin-based Amazon player will likely come back to jab and the passive critical strike time and time again. A strong Amazon player can take out tough, Act IV bosses with a beefy jab and critical strike rating (assuming a powerful thrusting weapon is being held). Be ready to cycle through other skills, particularly the throwing lightning skills (or poison if you prefer), should you desire to switch to ranged combat and knock down enemy health from the safety of long range. Applying Amazon Skill Points - Bow You receive a skill point each time you advance a level (plus you'll receive more from completing particular quests, such as the Den of Evil quest in Act I). It's important to plan your skill choices ahead. Some high-level skills have multiple prerequisites, meaning you must follow two paths down the tree to reach that particularly skill. Further, it can be a tough decision whether or not to add multiple points into a particular skill - and how many should you add? Naturally, your skill choices will follow your playing style. As a norm, for your first time through, you should concentrate on either the bow or javelin skills. That way, you can beef up particular skills in that tree and not waste points on weapons you aren't using all the time. Out of all the character classes, the Amazon is perhaps the most specialized, at least on the first time through the game. Wasting points on unneeded skills, at least at that time, can prove costly when you reach the tougher unique enemies and boss monsters in acts three and four. There's certainly no right or wrong way to choose skills. All skills can prove useful under the right circumstances, with the right equipment, and for the particular player. Keep in mind that some skills have two prerequisite skills. Even if you reach a particular skill's prerequisite level - such as level 18 and the guided arrow - you must also have already acquired multiple shot and cold arrow to use the new skill. Plan ahead and consider hoarding skill points until the higher skills appear. In this section, you'll find a 30 skill point example for an Amazon player specializing in bow and crossbow weapons. This is simply a guideline, and it's very likely you'll find better combinations to suit your personal style. NOTE: The plan presented below is one of thousands and thousands of potential combinations. For the most part, the plan is presented to illustrate the reasoning behind skill choices and isn't meant to be the only, the best, or even one of the best ways to spend your points. Everyone will have their personal preference - which was certainly the case around Blizzard's development offices where virtually every member of the QA team had their own personal style! Magic arrow - 7 skill points Inner sight - 1 skill point Critical strike - 6 points Cold arrow - 2 points Fire arrow - 2 points Slow missiles - 1 point Dodge - 1 point Avoid - 2 points Evade - 2 points Decoy - 1 point Ice arrow - 2 point Penetrate - 2 points Pierce - 1 point This is only one of thousands of possibilities for a high-level Amazon (30 skill points, not counting skill points you would receive completing quests or boosted by magical items). Magic arrow is a useful skill, especially to raise to higher levels; magic arrow actually costs less mana the higher the skill level. Raise the skill to around seven or eight, and it barely costs any mana to use the magical arrow (which is useful, since it won't use regular arrow ammunition). Cold and fire arrow provide nice alternatives, depending on the current opponent, with an emphasis on cold witnessed by the selection of ice arrow. The selection of slow missions and decoy not only supply decent defensive magic, but pave the way for valkyrie, a must have once you're above level 30, at the next skill point. Early in the game, you can use magic arrow in combination with fire arrow to eliminate most early beasts. Place inner sight on a hotkey so you can quickly access the skill; inner sight decreases a target's defense and affects all monsters within a certain radius. Start pumping points into critical strike; eventually, you'll want the skill up to five or six, so you're doing double damage approximately 50 percent of the time. During the middle game, you're still employing magic arrow, certainly at a low cost by this point, along with cold, fire, and ice arrow. Penetrate helps increase your attack rating for all ranged attacks, and slow missiles can provide some safety in dangerous situations against ranged attackers. Late in the game, pierce, a passive skill, provides a chance that your ranged attack will hit its target and continue to hit through others. You're still using magic arrow along with your elemental attacks. You should have powerful bow weaponry at this point, potentially with gems and other magical properties to further increase damage. Applying Amazon Skill Points - Javelin If you aren't concentrating on bow skills, you're going javelin. As stated previously, there's no right or wrong way to make these selections. Some players might excel one way, while others choose a completely different set of skills. You could even finish the game pumping all your points into a single skill - though expect quite a challenge! Keep in mind, in most instances, it's beneficial to plan ahead and aim for certain skills. Consider holding points until you reach a certain level, so you can distribute lots of points immediately into your preferred or favorite skills at this new level. In this section, you'll find skill examples for an Amazon player specializing in javelin and spear weapons (30 skill points shown). Once again, this is simply a guideline, and it's very likely you'll find better combinations to suit your personal style. NOTE: The plan presented below is one of thousands and thousands of potential combinations. For the most part, the plan is presented to illustrate the reasoning behind skill choices and isn't meant to be the only, the best, or even one of the best ways to spend your points. Everyone will have their personal preference - which was certainly the case around Blizzard's development offices where virtually every member of the QA team had their own personal style! Jab - 6 points Critical strike - 6 points Magic arrow - 1 point Inner sight - 1 point Power strike - 1 point Dodge - 2 points Slow missiles - 1 point Poison javelin - 1 point Lightning bolt - 3 points Avoid - 2 points Decoy - 1 point Charged strike - 1 point Evade - 2 points Plague javelin - 1 point Lightning fury - 1 point Naturally, this is just one of many possibilities for a high-level, javelin-oriented Amazon player. This example includes 30 skill points, not counting skill points you would receive completing quests or by using unique or magical items. Jab is the javelin player's bread and butter; once you reach level 6, it ceases to include a damage modifier penalty. Critical strike is also a must; at level 6, you're inflicting double damage approximately half the time. Magic arrow can be used as a simple, unlimited ranged attack (it doesn't cost much either). Finally, this guideline focused on the lightning attacks, the most powerful element and one that will likely inflict more carnage than the poison-based skills. Further, you're just one skill point away from selecting valkyrie. In the early game, you'll concentrate on jab and using magic arrow for your ranged attack. Be sure to employ inner sight when you approach difficult areas to decrease enemies' defense ratings. Continue to boost jab and critical strike to easily defeat most early beasts. You should continue to increase these skills throughout the middle game as well. During the middle game, you'll switch off jab with your lightning attacks, including power strike and lightning bolt. You may also use the poison attacks, though it's likely you should concentrate on the lightning element. Your increased jab and critical strike will continue to serve you well; don't forget to employ inner sight inside each difficult and crowded enemy area. In the late game, the jab and critical strike combination is still living strong, especially with a powerful spear or javelin. Lighting fury, gained at level 30, is extremely powerful and capable of taking on multiple targets. Continue to switch through the lightning attacks (for thrown spears) and jab for melee combat. Amazon Skills The Amazon's skills are separated into javelin and spear skills, bow and crossbow skills, and passive and magic skills. Javelin and Spear Skills This section covers the Amazon's javelin and spear skills, offering each skill's description, level prerequisite, skill prerequisite, and useable mouse button. Jab Description: Attack with multiple rapid thrusts using a javelin or spear weapon Level prerequisite: 1 Skill prerequisite: None Mouse button: Left or right Power Strike Description: Add lightning damage to javelin and spear weapon attacks Level prerequisite: 6 Skill prerequisite: Jab Mouse button: Left or right Poison Javelin Description: Magically enhances your thrown javelin to leave a trail of poison clouds Level prerequisite: 6 Skill prerequisite: None Mouse button: Left or right Impale Description: Increases attack damage but rapidly degrades the weapon Level prerequisite: 12 Skill prerequisite: Jab Mouse button: Left or right Lightning Bolt Description: Magically converts your thrown javelin into a bolt of lightning Level prerequisite: 12 Skill prerequisite: Poison javelin Mouse button: Left or right Charged Strike Description: Adds lightning damage to javelin and spear weapons and releases charged bolts on impact Level prerequisite: 18 Skill prerequisite: Power strike, lightning bolt Mouse button: Left or right Plague Javelin Description: Magically enhances your thrown javelin to release clouds of poison upon impact Level prerequisite: 18 Skill prerequisite: Lighting bolt Mouse button: Left or right Fend Description: Rapidly attacks multiple hand-to-hand targets Level prerequisite: 24 Skill prerequisite: Impale Mouse button: Left or right Lightning Strike Description: Adds lightning damage to javelin and spear weapons and releases chain lightning upon impact Level prerequisite: 30 Skill prerequisite: Charged strike Mouse button: Left or right Lightning Fury Description: Changes a thrown javelin into a powerful bolt of lightning that splits on impact Level prerequisite: 30 Skill prerequisite: Plague javelin Mouse button: Left or right Bow and Crossbow Skills This section covers the Amazon's bow and crossbow skills, offering each skill's description, level prerequisite, skill prerequisite, and useable mouse button. Magic Arrow Description: Creates a magical arrow or bolt that does extra damage Level prerequisite: 1 Skill prerequisite: None Mouse button: Left or right Fire Arrow Description: Magically enhances your arrows or bolts with fire - always hits Level prerequisite: 1 Skill prerequisite: None Mouse button: Left or right Cold Arrow Description: Magically enhances your arrow or bolts by adding cold damage and a slowing effect; cold arrows only do half of their regular damage - always hits Level prerequisite: 6 Skill prerequisite: None Mouse button: Left or right Multiple Shot Description: Magically splits one arrow or bolt into many Level prerequisite: 6 Skill prerequisite: Magic arrow Mouse button: Left or right Exploding Arrow Description: Shoot an arrow or bolt that explodes on contact, damaging all enemies nearby - always hits Level prerequisite: 12 Skill prerequisite: Fire arrow, multiple shot Mouse button: Left or right Ice Arrow Description: Magically enhances your arrow or bolt to freeze your enemies - always hits Level prerequisite: 18 Skill prerequisite: Cold arrow Mouse button: Left or right Guided Arrow Description: Gives your arrows and bolts the intelligence to track your target or seek one of its own - always hits Level prerequisite: 18 Skill prerequisite: Cold arrow, multiple shot Mouse button: Left or right Strafe Description: Magically splits on arrow into several that target multiple nearby enemies Level prerequisite: 24 Skill prerequisite: Guided arrow Mouse button: Left or right Immolation Arrow Description: Enhances arrows or bolts to cause severe fire damage and creates a pyre upon impact - always hits Level prerequisite: 24 Skill prerequisite: Exploding arrow Mouse button: Left or right Freezing Arrow Description: Magically enhances your arrow or bolt to freeze entire groups of monsters - always hits Level prerequisite: 30 Skill prerequisite: Ice arrow Mouse button: Left or right Passive and Magic Skills This section covers the Amazon's passive and magic, offering each skill's description, level prerequisite, skill prerequisite, and useable mouse button. Inner Sight Description: Illuminates nearby enemies, making them easier to hit for you and your party Level prerequisite: 1 Skill prerequisite: None Mouse button: Right Critical Strike Description: A chance that your attacks will do double damage Level prerequisite: 1 Skill prerequisite: None Mouse button: Passive Dodge Description: A chance that you will dodge a melee attack when standing or attacking Level prerequisite: 6 Skill prerequisite: None Mouse button: Passive Slow Missiles Description: Illuminates nearby enemies and slows their ranged attacks Level prerequisite: 12 Skill prerequisite: Inner sight Mouse button: Right Avoid Description: A chance that you will elude a missile attack when standing or attacking Level prerequisite: 12 Skill prerequisite: Dodge Mouse button: Right Penetrate Description: Increases your attack rating for all ranged attacks Level prerequisite: 18 Skill prerequisite: Critical strike Mouse button: Passive Decoy Description: Creates a duplicate of yourself that draws fire from enemies Level prerequisite: 24 Skill prerequisite: Slow missiles Mouse button: Right Evade Description: A chance that you will elude a melee or missile attack when walking or running Level prerequisite: 24 Skill prerequisite: Avoid Mouse button: Passive Valkyrie Description: Summons a powerful valkyrie warrior to fight alongside the Amazon Level prerequisite: 30 Skill prerequisite: Decoy, evade Mouse button: Right Pierce Description: Your missiles have a chance to pass through enemies that they hit Level prerequisite: 30 Skill prerequisite: Penetrate Mouse button: Passive Chapter 2 - Barbarian Skills and Strategies "He is unequaled in close-quarters combat and mastery of weapons..." For melee warfare, there's no better choice than the impressive Barbarian. The Barbarian skill tree offers masteries in various hand-to-hand weapons and powerful damage enhancers, including bash, double swing, leap attack, and whirlwind. If you desire to seek out the best hand-to-hand weapons, get the best armor, and fight toe- to-toe with Diablo II's fiercest creatures, select the Barbarian and prepare for intense melee combat. Barbarian Attributes It's little surprise that strength takes precedence among the Barbarian's statistics. You receive five attribute points per level, and you should pump at least two into strength each time you gain a new level. You want to reach the 60s as quickly as possible, so your Barbarian can wear suits of strong armor; don't neglect dexterity, though, which determines chance to hit and defensive rating. You're going toe-to-toe with most monsters; you'll need defense, and you must hit the beasts more than they hit you. Vitality and energy aren't as important initially, especially if you're using the find potion skill to search corpses for healing potions - it's possible to remain healthy with the abundance of potions alone. Early in the game, put extra points into vitality with some into energy every so often. As a Barbarian, you should have enough strength to take on most enemies without the need of mana-using skills. Once you reach some of the higher levels and gain access to the more powerful skills, such as double swing, leap attack, and, eventually, whirlwind, you should start diverting more points into energy to keep your mana supply high. TIP: Mana-stealing weapons can turn a high-level Barbarian into a juggernaut. Cherish each mana-stealing magical weapon you find. Seek out skulls, which can be used in socketed weapons to steal both life and mana from the enemy. A Barbarian with mana- stealing weaponry and the whirlwind skill is a devastating combination - the more monsters to whirlwind, the better! The Barbarian in Combat The Barbarian doesn't shy away from getting his hands dirty - the Barbarian excels in close-quarters combat with multiple hand-to-hand weapons. This section details the Barbarian in combat and how to improve the Barbarian's destructive power by acquiring mastery skills, war cries, and special attacks, such as leap attack. Weapon Mastery A Barbarian can specialize in one of six different weapon-types - sword, axe, mace, pole arm, throwing, spear - through use of the skill tree. It's possible to find dominant weapons in each category, so you could succeed with any route. Don't limit yourself to a single weapon mastery; if you pump a bunch of points into sword mastery, but later find some unique axes, you may have to decide to either waste an excellent axe or the improved sword mastery. Further, the biggest improvement is gained by simply putting one point into each skill (nearly 30 percent to damage rating). Be ready to improve multiple weapon masteries, but don't go overboard. Swords and axes are plentiful and powerful in the early game; pole arms can be powerful late-game weapons. Maces carry 150 percent damage to the undead. With sufficient mace mastery, you can buzz through Diablo II's second act and its abundance of undead monsters. TIP: If you have a choice between a socketed weapon full of gems or a weapon with inherent magical properties, it's often best to use the gem-socketed weapon. The socketed weapon will be less expensive to repair, a constant concern for the aggressive Barbarian. If you aren't careful, you could run out of gold keeping up with the high cost of magical item repair. You'll eventually want to combine your weapons mastery with a skill like double swing, which enhances the Barbarian's ability to carry a one-handed weapons in each hand. When two weapons are equipped, double swing attacks two targets if possible or one target twice. An improved weapon mastery skill combined with dual-weapon (of that mastery type) double swing is a powerful combination. TIP: You can actually carry two two-handed swords - one an each hand. You can't hold two two-handed axes this way, but you can use the swords. Keep this in mind should you desire this route and wish to improve sword mastery and double swing skills. Knockback weapons can be useful in many situations, but could pose problems late in the game, especially against life-stealing creatures or if you're already overwhelmed with beasties. The Barbarian's double swing and other bonuses to damage and attack rating often mean your best course of action is to get toe-to-toe, assault quickly, and finish off the beast as quickly as possible. Knocking back the creature could just prolong the battle and open you to damage from other creatures. The Barbarian War Cries Perhaps the most useful war cry isn't technically a war cry - the find potion skill can save the Barbarian in a pinch and especially save the Barbarian loads of gold best used to improve or repair weapons and armor. Dump at least three skill points into find potion over time; with so many monsters to fight, you'll be scoring free potions with unparalleled success. This particularly comes in handy during Diablo II's fourth and toughest act; the Barbarian can often find full rejuvenation potions replenishing both health and mana points. Three points into find potion should be sufficient, but if you near five or six, you'll have a 50 percent chance of finding a potion in each corpse. TIP: A corpse can only be searched once by find potion or find item. Once you've searched the corpse, the corpse is no longer a useable item - even by a Necromancer in your party who might wish to use the corpse to raise a skeleton! Other decent Barbarian war cries include shout, which raises you and your party's defensive rating, and taunt, which taunts an enemy creature into fighting you. Taunt can be especially useful when dealing with a dungeon's riff raff (such as Act I's fallen or carvers). Often these little creatures run from you on sight or after you've killed off their shaman leader. Use taunt to keep them close, so you don't have to run out searching for them. The higher level war cries, such as battle command and battle orders, are best used in multiplayer games. If you're choosing to play the Barbarian through the single- player game, without party assistance, you're likely better off using the skill points for more offensive-based skills, such as double swing, leap attack, and whirlwind. Further, you can stack some of the war cries to compound their improvements to you and your party. TIP: Choosing what skills to select isn't the only decision you have to make. Often it's wiser to save your skill points and keep them unused. Then, once you reach a particular prerequisite level (6, 12, 18, 24, or 30), use them all to improve one of the higher-level skills. For instance, you could save up the skills you earn by advancing the first five levels of the game, then use one in bash and the rest in double swing (double swing requires bash). This is just one example of thousands of possibilities. Barbarian Leap and Leap Attack The Barbarian's leap and leap attack skills are a must - not only because they're a prerequisite for the Barbarian's über-skill, whirlwind, but because they are extremely handy defensive and offensive skills respectively. To be blunt, leap can save your butt in a dire situation. Since the Barbarian excels at close-range melee combat, it's highly likely that the Barbarian will become overwhelmed with enemy attackers. With a click of the mouse button, the Barbarian can leap away to safety. The amount of points into leap determines the radius of the jump. One point should be sufficient, but if you desire a larger leap, use more skill points, though you're likely to see more benefits by using those points in offensive skills. TIP: You can also use leap to jump across gaps in the walkway, such as two catwalks separated by otherwise impassable land. Examples of these can be found in the arcane sanctuary and Kurast sewers! Leap attack is devastating and functions like a ranged attack. If you're within an enemy's range and successfully click on the monster, your Barbarian's leap attack blow will connect. Placing additional skill points into leap attack increases radius (how far you can leap from) and damage potential. Its mana cost is relatively high, however, especially for Barbarian players not concentrating on the energy attribute. Don't overuse the attack if you must conserve mana. Leap attack is best used when there are one or two tough creatures remaining; in a crowd, leap attack can work, but the action is so chaotic it's difficult to remain aware of what's occurring around you. With only a few monsters to content with, though, you can perform the leap attack, then retreat quickly and follow up with another without even being touched. TIP: Leap attack is particularly devastating in player vs. player multiplayer killing! Battling Tough Beasts It's likely the Barbarian will have the weapons and strength to take on most of the unique enemies and boss monsters head on, but don't neglect to use skills to your advantage. A good technique when approaching a unique enemy, boss, or simply tough monster is to use shout to raise your defenses, then use a combination of leap attack and double swing as a hit-and-run burst. You must keep mana reserves high (or have high energy points) with mana potions, or you'll run out fairly quickly. By the time you reach Diablo, you should possess most of the offensive skills except whirlwind - if you can advance to level 30 before facing Diablo, though, do so! Whirlwind is a huge asset against the game's boss creature. Using leap to avoid Diablo's fire and lightning attack, then following up with whirlwind, is an effective combination.