Sorceress Guide - Guide for Diablo 2 Expansion: Lord of Destruction
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Diablo II Expansion: Lord of Destruction - Sorceress Guide v1.00 made by *Leitão* [[email protected]] (Feel free to contribute anything) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- (c) 2003 ICQ: 176561579 ---------- VERSION INFO AT THE END (***) ---------- I have always been a HUGE fan of magic-users so choosing the sorceress to begin my quest through Sanctuary was not much of a surprise. (Just who cares if Blizzard says that she is one of the hardest characters to handle along with the necromancer? - I sure don't; I came to regret my decision MUCH later.) The sorceress is, in my opinion the hardest one to play, since she is COMPLETELY dependent on her skills. You must be fully aware of the full extent of each skill before you begin to add points. Picking skills simply because they "sound nice" or "look cool" is a surefire way of getting your derière disconfigured by the final bosses of each act. I have made this FAQ simply because I felt that my own strategy of gameplay has made the game run quite smoothly (to my advantage of course).I have no intention of detailing EVERY single step I took to reach my current level that will take too long, and frankly I don't remember at what level I added what point where. What I WILL do is give you the reasoning I used to add attribute and skill points, along with some useful tips to get through tough spots. One more thing, this guide takes into account the changes that the Diablo II Expansion: Lord of Destruction has made to the original game. My approach may be somewhat different if you are simply playing the ORIGINAL game. Be warned!!! Other than that, enjoy and I hope you will find this useful. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- I N T H E B E G I N N I N G ... ------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Sorceress starts out with about the same amount of mana as she has life. This has some serious implications. Because of the fact that there are NO set limits to how many point you can distribute to each attribute, the Sorceress has the potential of boasting the most Mana of any of the seven characters. ATTRIBUTE POINTS (Note: I like nice even numbers, so I always add the full five points for leveling up to only one attribute per level - this has NO influence on the bonuses that apply to that attribute, it's just pure aesthetics.) STRENGTH The first thing I recommend is to begin to add points to strength - just enough to equip a chain mail later. This might mean the first four or five levels (about 20 - 25 points) you need to be comfortable. Right now it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to depend on your Mana for a steady source of fuel for your skills; it wears out too fast now. DEXTERITY The next thing to worry about is dexterity --> it comes in handy to increase your attack rating against the later monsters in Act I. You bash them while your mana regenerates. Just don't add too many points, it's a waste later. (At the moment my Dexterity is at 40 and I'm at Level 45 (as of August 27, 2001), and I don't regret my decision.) VITALITY (1 point = +2 Life, +1 Stamina; +1 Life, +1 Stamina upon Level-up) Vitality and Energy should be raised according to your style of gameplay. If you feel that the hits you receive take too much of your life - 1/3 to 1/2 - add to Vitality. If not, add to Energy for more mana. Vitality adds only one point to your life and two to your stamina, so you might need to use up a few levels to significantly increase your HP and survive more blows. Regardless of how huch life you have, it is ESSENTIAL you learn how to dodge ranged attacks and avoid melee combat unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. You just won't do too much damage - at least when compared to a Barbarian or Paladin. Keep to the magic attacks. ENERGY (1 point = +2 Mana; +2 Mana upon Level-up) Whenever you are unsure as to where to add your next attribute points, just add them to energy. You'd be surprised at the result. Each point added increases two mana points, which is the highest rate in the game. The Necromancer also has the same rate of growth but since the Sorceress starts off with MORE mana, she has the greatest potential stock of mana in the game (Thus proving my earlier point - yesyes, thank you, no applauses are necessary - but they are noted ^_^) Well, anyways *ahem*, with this in mind, by level 30 or so, you will have piled up enough mana to cast a barrage of spells without needing to wait and regenerate more. What's more: since mana regeneration is a percentage-based ability that ALL characters have, the more mana you have, the more regenerates. What is higher: 10% of 100 Mana or 10% of 500 Mana? The rate of regeneration is the same but in the second case you regenerate about 50 Mana every few seconds, which is enough to cast all the fireballs or glacial spikes you want. SKILL POINTS What is important to remember here is that skill points are few and PERMANENT. The best Sorceress skills are obtained at later levels (Level 24+). Which means that you should hoard those points as if your life depended on it! - since it just might at nightmare or hell difficulties. Add a few points to Warmth is just my suggestion. This is optional; I know of several people using the Sorceress who save up those points and do quite well. However, they dedicate a higher percentage of their attribute points to Energy for a big pool of Mana. I added about 4 Skill Points to Warmth, and now with 526 Mana at Level 45 I regenerate about 10 points every SECOND!. The key to hoarding your points is to be completely dependent on staves and orbs for the free skill points they give upon using them. This may mean saving up ALOT of gold to go to Akara to buy them. I consider only a few skills worth INVESTING in: - Blizzard - Thunderstorm - Fire Wall / Blaze - Lightning Mastery - Cold Mastery - Fire Mastery Of those skills I specialize the most in Blizzard and Thuunderstorm, along with Lightning and Cold Masteries. Blaze and Firewall I ONLY use for Duriel and Mephisto respectively. The key to success is to keep in mind the skills you TRULY want later, so you don't waste your points on spells that are useless later on. My strategy was to add points along the tree to prepare for the truly useful spells. It is important to know that there are a fewskills that are quite useful with only one or two points added to them. Precisely Teleport, Static Field, Warmth (explained earlier), and Telekinesis. Teleport is GREAT with just ONE lousy point, all future points simply reduce the cost to cast it - but with high regeneration and a large pool of Mana that won't be necessary; a cost of 24 Mana is small enough. I use teleport strategically, i.e, I don't cast it all day. Just for certain reasons: (1) To Teleport my Hireling: Since a Hireling teleports right along with you it is EXTREMELY handy throughout the game. You could teleport your hireling out of an ambush or a mob of powerful enemies, or teleport him into a group to kill a few ranged attackers while they're off guard. It is also a great way to avoid spells like meteor or more importantly the pesky Bone Spirit that the Oblivion Magi cast at you. (2) To save MYSELF from dangerous situations - like the Charged Bolts of a powerful Lightning Enchanted Unique Monster. (3) To save time in maze-like areas of the game - like the tombs in act II, the act III dungeons. (4) Or to simply save time retracing explored areas (especially after dying - where by teleporting you could easily reach your body. Static Field is a good spell, since it takes a fixed percentage of an enemy's life (25%) REGARDLESS of the amount of life it has. Successive points only increase the radius of the spell, so the amount of points added is proportional to how much you like to gamble. The only limitation is that Lightning Resistance reduces the damage inflicted, and those "lucky"
monsters that are Immune to Lightning receive no harm. Telekinesis is a nice spell - especially when you want to beat someone to a shrine or an item (I try to be fair with what I find when I coop, but let's face it, not everyone has that same attitude). Only one Skill Point is necessary, since the damage it inflicts is minimal, and the stunning effect it has only works on SOME monsters, and does not last a noetable amount of time. Besides, it's a requirement for Teleport so you might as WELL give it a try. HEHE. HIRELINGS Whether you wish to believe it or not, your faithful (however dumb) companion is a great necessity for the Sorceress. There are four hirelings that become available throughout the game. Two are melee fighters - the Desert Mercenarie (Act II), and the Barbarians of Harrogath (Act V) - and the other two are ranged attackers - the Rogues (Act I), and the Iron Wolves under Aeshera (Act III). Any of these are a great help, but I recommend one of the two melee attackers. My particular style of gameplay is through ranged attacks, which are about 85% of the Sorceress' Skills. Your hireling should attack while you are to provide coverfire and ranged support. The fact that a melee attacker is usually the closer target should make him cannon fodder, but since Hirelings are somewhat costly to revive (usually since you want to place equipment on him to make him more powerful), the key to your attacks should be to weaken the enemy as much as possible for him to deliver the finishing blow. The less time he is in contact with one particular monster, the less punishment he receives. Later on in the game you will judge what monsters he can handle on his own so you can cover your flanks and avoid large-scale attacks. You will also see that with good Skill Point management you will often be able to decimate a group of evil minions before your hireling can actually get to them. In this case, keep him alive for bait - it's better that he should get the punishment than you, since he usually has more life. Of the two melee hirelings I recommend the Desert Mercenaries, since they have auras. A Thorns Aura or a Defiance Aura come quite in handy. There are three types of mercenaries available: Offensive, Defensive, and Combat. Each has upto three auras available as he gains levels. The only problem is you can't choose which one he is going to use, but he usually sticks to one. My Hireling (Defensive) is stuck with Defiance - which is good - but I would have much rather had Holy Freeze as his first choice. The auras per hireling type are as follows: Offensive : Defensie : Combat : RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT Since 90% of all your attacks will consist of HEAVY support and coverfire for your brain dead hireling, High Defense is NOT a requirement. It is useful, I mean, but don't pass on a nice Rare Item with decent attributes, for example, simply because your armor has a higher defense. HELM - ARMOR Look for Magic Resistances, Fast Recovery Rate (so you don't have to worry about casting Teleport only to be hit and have the spell nullified), Bonus to Mana, Mana Regeneration, among others (I think you have the idea) SHIELDS The same strategies that apply to Helms and Armor apply to Shields - with ONE exception: High Block Rate, Fast Block Rate. The Sorceress suffers from a particular problem, just because a shield has a 60% block rate, doesn't mean that THE SORCERESS does. She usually will have something nearer to 25% or 30%. The fact of the matter is that as you progress from one difficulty to another, you must increase your defense drastically to withstand the hits from your enemies. It has also come to my attention that there is a nice glich added to Hell Difficulty called "4XAR" (for 4X Attack Rating), which simply means that a monster will hit you quite easily UNLESS your defense is off the charts - like 16,000 or something similar. This can ONLY be done through the use of Paladin Auras or Barbarian Skills, combined with, maybe, an Armor Shrine. To put it simply, it is gonna be QUITE a task to match that with a Sorceress. On the other hand, the Block Rating was unaffected since the absolute maximum is 75%. So exploit this to its maximum. WEAPONS I recommend Orbs (OBVIOUSLY), since they grant additional skill points, like staves, and due to that fact that the Sorceress is the most skill-dependent class, this is a must to exploit. Look for fast cast rate to bombard enemies with Fireballs and Glacial Spikes. Extra Mana is always welcome, along with Magic Resistance, and Attribute Bonuses. Simply ignore the damage of the orb, you will rarely need to go hand-to-hand with it. Don't overlook staves simply because they are two-handed. You may have to sacrifice the use of your shield (just put it away in your second quick weapon slot ("W")), but if the staff has a good bonus to some skills you are using - then by all means USE IT. Just be sure to avoid getting too close to monsters. BELTS Top priority, above ALL ELSE, is to increase the amount of potions you can carry. I do NOT care if the previous belt had a higher defense or a good bonus to anything, the more potions you can carry the safer you will be. The maximum is 16 slots, which is available from Heavy Belt onward, so once you reach that belt, follow the strategies for any other piece of armor. BOOTS Again, do not worry too much about Armor Class; concentrate more on speed. 30% or more increased run/walk speeds comes QUITE in handy when atempting to run away or dodge enemy projectiles and magical attacks. Magic Resistances are always welcome, as well as extra mana or attribute points. RINGS/AMULETS Look for Skill Bonuses - quite often found in Rare Amulets and Rings. There are certain uniques which are worth looking into, such as the Eye of Etlich and the Stone of Jordan. Each increases all Skills by one point. Always be on the lookout for Magic Resistance!! CHARMS The best charms are skill increasing ones (only available in Grand Charms - 3 slots) and attribute increasing charms. Charms that increase strength will help you conserve those points for more mana or more life. Since Mana Shield no longer does what it used to do in Diablo, it is practically useless, so the more life you have the better. By default, charms that increase life are also nice to have, along with Magic Resistances. Be on the lookout for charms that combine two of these recommendations to save up space. Also, it is important to know that there are NO rare more unique charms. (I will post the equipment I have on a later date) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- T H E J O U R N E Y T H R O U G H S A N C T U A R Y ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This section is by NO means a detailed walkthrough, it is only a GENERAL strategy on how to breeze through each act, along with places where the game might prove to be a greater challenge (such as certain unique monsters and Act Bosses). Act I should be no challenge until you reach the Monastery. The only ones you might see as a threat are Rakinishu, Griswold, and the Countess(along with the few unique monsters who are Lightning Enchanted). Rakinishu has very few hit points - and by then you should have gotten your *FREE* Rogue Hireling. If you have given her a good bow, the little imp should be down in a few hits. Griswold should be treated carfully. Sometimes he can pack quite a punch especially with him being Cursed. Attack from afar with Ice Blast, Ice Bolt, or Frost Nova to slow him down while using your Rogue to finsh him off. The Countess is easy - just try not to get too close. She has alot less hit points than Griswold, but she gets those lucky shots that do serious damage. Don't be afraid to run through the firewalls she casts at the entrance to her room. Keep a potion for that just in case. HINT: It can be a good idea to get a bow for your Sorceress so she can help attack while her Mana recovers, just don't go spending all your attribute points on Dexterity - later on in the game that will NOT have made any difference since damage from bows aren't that great. Your spells do more damage. A N D A R I E L The final boss for Act I is not too hard, it just takes some time to kill her. You can't do alot of damage with your spells, since they should ALL be at level 1 or unused, like Frost Shield and it's family. Ice blast is a good spell to use as well as Blaze (my all time favorite against her - and Duriel). Before you reach her, go to town to buy several stamina potions. You are going to be running ALOT. Also buy some antidote potions just in case she poisons you. Her poison does ALOT of damage and acts rather quickly. Clear out the floor and approach the throne room's back wall. You should hear her speak - now RUN. Outside there is a large, circular pool of blood and human corpses. You are going to use this to make her chase you around it. Cast Frost Nova to slow her down, and then cast Blaze. She will follow you around scorching herself in the fires. Cast Frost Nova every time you see her unfreeze, and time your Blaze castings so she doesn't catch up to you. Keep your antidote and stamina poitons ready in your belt for a quick recharge. In a few minutes - 10-15 - she will be down and out, and with luck you will have survived. I wasn't killed, and I only used a few antidote potions and stamina potions. If your aim is off or you cast blaze too quickly, i.e, didn't wait for it to burn out before casting it again, keep some mana potions accessible, but DON'T STOP RUNNING - at least not until she stops to cast something. -- * -- Act II, for the most part is smooth sailing. Just remember to be greedy with those few Skill Points. In other words, regardless of what you need at the moment, do not add any more than ONE POINT to Fireball, for example, unless you TRULY plan to develop it in the near future. This would also require you to add points to Fire Mastery when the time is right, since at maximum level (Level 20), Fireball inflicts almost 300 damage - but this does NOT include the penalties for Fire Resistance in monsters; therefore you will TRULY need FIre Mastery to get that damage up to do some noticeable damage. Anyways, my advice is to save up your skill points for Blizzard (inflicts 300+ damage at level 11), and Thunderstorm (which requires, in my opinion, Lightning Mastery due to its slow rate of fire). The FIRST thing you should do is to buy a Desert Mercenary (I recommend Defensive, but a Combat Merc is good due to Thorns - that is unless you are stuck with Prayer permanently in which case you better start praying or buying a NEW Mercenary). As usual, any Lightning Enchanted Unique Monsters present a particular challenge for the unwary Sorceress. Even with an Desert Mercenary it might be hard, considering that your Hireling might get killed with a few hits of the charged bolts. The Scarab Demons are a close relative to these uniques, but luckily they don't ALWAYS counter with charged bolt when hit. Upon dying they do, so be careful. If the monster is ALSO a unique Lightning Enchanted Monster, RUN!!! I will not be responsible for any gold lost upon an encounter with one of those freaks! Radiment is a walk in the park. Just make sure to use Ice Blast on his minions to avoid any reanimation from his part. Having a few antidotes for you and/or your hireling will make you rest more easily - Remember, you cannot die from ONLY poison, but your hireling sure can! The next noteworthy challenge is Coldworm the Burrower, who will usually poison you when you are simply in VISIBLE range of him. The trick is to get poisoned by one of the sand maggots that surround him beforehand. The poison attacks don't accumulate in this case. Just use Glacial Spike on his minions, and use firewall (if you decided to add points to it) on him. The rest of Act II is quite easy until you reach The Summoner. His magic attacks are not to be taken lightly - and neither are his curses. A few well placed firewalls will send you to your death, and his glacial spikes REALLY slow you down. The trick is as simple as can be: Teleport NEXT to him (with one or two castings of the spell) and hack away at him with your hireling. Usually one or two hits will kill him. Only worry about Frost Nova at close range, and even then that barely does any damage. It just slows you down and allows him to get out of range, but if you have a Desert Mercenary with a spear this should pose no problem. (NOTE: Stock up on Mana Potions before facing Duriel; buying stamina potions is a must.) D U R I E L This over-grown cockaroach can be quite deadly - especially to a Sorceress, who does not boast of an excessive amount of Life. His permanent Holy Freeze Aura is also a problem, since it will slow you down, making you use more stamina, and allowing him to get close. His only attack is close-ranged (with his large protruding apendages), so, by all means, stay away from him! The required spell here is Blaze. I HIGHLY recommend it NOW even if you may never use it again (until nightmare or hell that is...). Cast the spell and let him chase you. Apparently he was not gifted with as much intelect as brute strength, so he will follow you right through the trail of fire you leave behind. Use Mana Potions as needed, and save your stamina potions in your belt like you did for Andariel. If you are cornered, teleport out ASAP! Duriel should be an over-grown pile of slop in no time... (NOTE: If you manage by any chance to reach Duriel on level 24, CAST THUNDERSTORM!) -- * -- Act III is one of the larger acts of the game due to the huge size of the jungle-hell. I tend to have a few stamina potions (1-2 only) on hand just in case. If you find yourself without these, Teleport away until you recover some stamina. By Act III you should have ALOT of Skill Points stored away, 13-15 points or more. Use them to reach Blizzard and Thunderstorm (unless you already have them); I haven't added any points to Blaze or Fire Wall, but that's my priority (I only use them for Duriel and Andariel). You do not have to use all your points now. Save them to beef up Blizzard and Thunderstorm - as well as their respective masteries for additional damage (NOTE: you may not notice any increase in damage on the skill tree for blizzard with any extra points in Cold Mastery, but the damage is there; it is autpmatically applied to an enemy with Cold Resistance.) Act III has a few monsters that are troublesome: the Shamans, the Corrupted Preists, and the Council Members. Each of which do the worst damage with MAGIC attacks (hence a heavy inclination to choose magic resistance to defense since their most powerful attacks also have a nice range. The Shamans can be easily avoided with Blizzard from afar. This will also help you control their followers, who cannot be resurrected if shattered. The darn Priests of Zakarum (Cantors, Heirophants, etc.) can do alot of damage with Lightning and Blizzard. The best thing is to counter with Blizzard and/or teleport near them so your hireling can mash them to a pulp. The Council Members are another story. They have too much life to be mashed quickly by your hireling, so the best alternative is thunderstorm and blizzard (Firewall is nice if they are on the other side of an obstacle. Run when a hydra appears; they do little damage with each firebolt, but since their rate of fire is quite fast, they can decimate you in no time. teleport out of range, and have the enemy follow you while making him walk through the blizzard. The only unique monster that you are pretty much obligated to fight is Stormtree. He is a Lightning Enchanted bramble hulk, who can do some serious damage. Pay close attention to your hirelings life, and don't be afraid to pass a potion to him . The Vampires(Blood Lords, Night Lords, etc.) can also pose a threat with their incessant Firewalls and Meteors, which can kill you if you are not careful. The Blood Lords are an extra challenge, since they can and WILL attack you with magic even when they are out of your visible range. Good luck. M E P H I S T O Before facing Mephisto, clear the floor he is located on. There should be another three Council Memebers and a possible unique Blood Lord. Kill them so you have room to move. The First Council Member is near the entrance to the fourth floor of the Durance of Hate with the unique Blood Lord. The other two Council Members are on the two rooms opposite to the Red Portal. Mephisto is at the other end near the Portal's entrance. The trick here is to avoid his lightning attacks and pound him with Blizzard or Firewall when he's across an obstacle. Have your hireling attack him, but Teleport away once his life meter is yellow. Mephisto can kill him in just two hits with his Poison attack. Be sure to carry around plenty of Healing Potions for you and your hireling. AND BE SURE TO DODGE MEPHISTO'S LIGHTNING BALL - it will kill you in one hit. Attack him and Teleport out of range. Repeat this until he is dead. Have fun... ^_^ -- * -- Act IV is the shortest but most intense Acts of the game. The key thing to worry about here is to avoid getting surrounded. More than 3/4 of the Act is an open field with few places to single out enemies; they will prefer to attack in groups of at least three. I consider all the melee attackers to be easy. Thunderstorm and Blizard do the trick! The key trouble are the Abyss Knights and Oblivion Knights, which attack with blasts of pure elemental energy. They can easily kill you in one hit. If you have maximum resistances for any of the four types of magic, consider yourself lucky. But despair not - learn to dodge their attacks, and PAY ATTENTION for any off screen attacks (they don't have to be in your line of sight for the inverse to apply). The fun begins when preparing to face Diablo: all those oblivion knights. The best help I can offer is to carefully monitor your hireling's health. He may not be at all useful when actually facing Diablo, but he is EXCELLENT cannon fodder for all those demons that stand in his way. Move slowly and make yourself known to only small groups of enemies at a time. You can take bigger risks when facing the Venom Lords, but be careful just the same. Clear each group out with a few Blizzard castings, and empty out the floor to make your second task easier. Now go one by one clearing out the Seals. I recommend starting with the top seal, which is directly north. This is Lord de Seis, a powerful unique oblivion knight - with a few minions of course. His magical alignment varies with each game, but they are all deadly attacks. When activating the seal, teleport out of the corner and into an open area, so you can maneuver. This may take several castings, and PLEASE do NOT Teleport INTO their immediate area, you may not get out alive. Slowly dispach each one by themselves with a combination of Blizzard and Firewall or Hydra if you chose that spell. Deal with Lord de Seis in the same way, just MUCH more carefully. After he's dead the remaining guardians are much easier. Choose left or right; it's pretty much the same. Use your hireling as cannon fodder and clean them out with Blizzard (non are Immune to Cold). D I A B L O After all Five seals are activated, Diablo will appear. Cast a Town Portal near one of the seals as a precautionary measure, i.e, in case you DIE! For some reason Diablo does not chase you that far. Say goodbye to your hireling, since he will only stand close to one or two hits from Diablo. MAKE SURE YOU HACE MAXIMUM LIGHTNING RESISTANCE (75%), due to that fact that his most powerful attack (the red and white flame) is Lightning based. Cast Thunderstorm and keep your distance. Don't even BOTHER to cast Blaze, since Diablo actually has traces of intelligence he will not chase your around, but will zigzag about and stop beside you and attack. Blizzard comes quite in handy, since it slows down his running speed and allows you to keep your distance more easily. Keep alot of potions at hand for his Flame Nova, and Firestorm Spells which do a fair amount of damage. If for some reason he gets too close or you run out of potions or mana - USE THE TOWN PORTAL!!! But be sure to recast it once you return, just in case of death. This strategy is one of the safest ones I've decided upon, although it takes a bit more time to see the results. Once he's dead, enjoy your victory and prepare for Act V (no time to gloat any more). -- * -- Act V is a very unique part of the game, however innocent it may seem. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONTRIBUTIONS: NOME! ------------------------------------------------------------------------- VERSION INFO: v1.00 (20-MAY-2003) -- Initial Release ------------------------------------------------------------------------- DISCLAIMER/COPYRIGHT: This FAQ can be freely distributed, however ONLY in its entirety and with due credit to its author. It has taken me ALOT of time and effort to do this. If you wish to use this information for your own FAQ or web-page, etc. PLEASE give credit I don't mind sharing this information, otherwise I would not have sent it to Cheatcodes.com. I give credit to ANY contributions, and I only expect of others what I expect of myself.