Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is an expansion set for the base game, Diablo II. The story picks up where Diablo II left off - Diablo has been slain, but now his brother Baal has invaded the ancient barbarian highlands of Mount Arreat and corrupted the World Stone. The expansion adds a slew of new features including 2 new classes, dynamic mercenaries, an entirely new act, class specific items, new socketables, charms, crafted items, new Horadric cube recipes, many new and improved unique items and set items, two new cinematics, and new titles for completing the game on various difficulties.
The expansion introduces two new classes, adding even more depth and replayability to the game. The classes are the Assassin and the Druid. Each plays differently than the other classes, with little to no overlap amongst other classes.
A hybrid class, the Druid is capable as a supportive caster or supportive tank. The Druid has a line of offensive elemental spells, from creating fiery boulders or cyclones to rip through hordes of demons, to even commanding volcanoes to erupt and blast enemies within range. He can summon various animals and nature spirits that help fight enemies or give the druid and his allies buffs such as increased life or attack speed. He can also transform into either a bear (werebear) or wolf ( werewolf) in order to get into the fray up close and personal, gaining attack skills such as rabies.
More detailed information about the Druid can be found at the Druid page here.
The Assassin uses various Wrist Blades to deal out concentrated melee damage. The Martial Arts skill tree allows for the development of burst damage in the form of charges dealing physical/elemental damage. She also has Shadow Disciplines, where she can increase her damage with Wrist Blade attacks, move faster, and create a duplicate to fight autonomously by her side. Lastly, she can set various traps in the environment to crowd control and destroy the many enemies of the game.
More detailed information about the Assassin can be found at the Assassin page here.
Many new items were added in the Lord of Destruction expansion. Beyond just expanding the existing categories of items (which was expanded quite extensively), many new item types were added.
Class Specific Items
Each class in the expansion was given a class-specific item type that only they could use. These could be either armor or weapons depending on the class.
Runes are a new kind of socketable item. They range from common to rare. Each rune has a unique effect it can add to a piece of gear. They are gray with a design on them. What makes runes unique compared to gems, outside of the different modifiers they add to items, is that if combined properly in specific items in a specific order they can create:
Runewords come about from specific use of Runes, with numerous examples for weapons, shields, and body armor. Runes must be inserted in a specific order to receive the bonuses for the runeword. For instance, you can form the runeword Duress by combining the runes "Shael", "Um" and "Thul" into a 3 socket piece of body armor. Doing so will give the following enhancements:
- 40% Faster Hit Recovery
- 10-20% Enhanced Damage (varies)
- Adds 37-133 Cold Damage 2 sec. Duration (Normal)
- 15% Chance of Crushing Blow
- 33% Chance of Open Wounds
- 150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
- -20% Slower Stamina Drain
- Cold Resist 45%
- Lightning Resist 15%
- Fire Resist 15%
- Poison Resist 15%
The benefit of the Runeword system lies in adding a form of player-directed item progression to the game. While the player is still at the whim of RNG with regards to whether they find a rune and which runes they will find, they can at least rely on the Runeword system to generate a specific set of stats on an item.
Charms are items that give you a passive statistical bonus simply by sitting in your inventory. They come in 3 sizes, Grand (1x3), Large (1x2) and Small (1x1) they also come in 2 varieties, magical and unique. The charms can do many things like increase run/walk speed, add to base stats and health and mana, add elemental damage, increase magic find, and much more. Charms present an interesting consideration to the player who must decide if their passive boost is worth the sacrifice in space in the inventory grid.
Within the patches, ranging from 1.10 and up to 1.11, Blizzard released unique charms to be included in the game. These charms could only be triggered by certain events or drop randomly. Today these charms are very common cause of the numerous of bots and hacks people use. You can only have one of each unique charms in your inventory, meaning that you cannot stack these on one character.
This was one of the first unique charm introduced back in the patch and ladder season 1.10 on October 28, 2003. This charm could only be obtained by a obtaining a random event, triggered when a ring called Stone Of Jordan was sold enough times back to N.P.C.'s on a server. If your game was affected by this, a text message would pop out announcing how many of these rings were sold to a merchant. If a player was lucky enough to achieve this, the game would simultaneously trigger the spawning of a Diablo "clone". This clone is extremely powerful, but it will drop one of the best charms in the game. Diablo Clone can spawn almost everywhere where a mini boss is (e.g Rakanishu in Stony Field). Keeping Annihilus in the inventory grants a permanent +1 to all skills, attributes, and resistances which varies from 10 to 20. It also grants "extra experience gained" which varies from 5-10%.
This charm was introduced in the patch 1.11 and ladder season 3 in August the 8th, 2005 and was known in the community as the father to the little Annihilus. The charm also introduced people to the "Pandemonium Event". This event is difficult to trigger owing to the requirement of specific items needed for its completion. First off you will need three keys dropped from various mini bosses throughout the game. Once you have the three different keys you can transmute these in your horadric cube to open a portal in Act 5's town. This will trigger a hard event with a boss. This boss will drop one of the three organs you will need (Diablo's Horn, Baal's Eye and Mephisto's Brain) to trigger access to a zone called "Uber Tristram". Uber Tristram was intended only for the strongest players, since it pitted players against all the hardest bosses in the game at once, now in "Uber" form: Uber Diablo, Uber Baal and Uber Mephisto. Not only that but you will also have spawning minions around you. If you can take all of the bosses you will get this unique charm. The Hellfire Torch have a permanent 3-to all (random character class skill) and also attributes and resistance which varies from 10 to 20. The Torch also got 8 to light radius, 10 charges on level 30 Hyrda and a 25% chance to cast level 10 Firestorm on striking (Nerfed to a 5% chance to cast with the patch 1.13). The concept of hunting for keys to open a portal to more difficult versions of the game's bosses was carried over into Diablo III, where players can hunt keywardens in order to use the Infernal Machine, a system which generates fights with Uber versions of King Leoric, Maghda, Siegebreaker, Zoltan Kulle, Rakanoth, Ghom, Diablo and more in the hopes of finding crafting materials required for extremely powerful legendary jewellery.
Also introduced in patch 1.10 and first ladder season. This unique charm could drop randomly from any enemy ranging from minions to bosses. If the enemies killed have a monster level (mlvl) of minimum 62, Gheed's Fortune has a chance to drop. In other words, any monster in Hell difficulty and the end-game enemies in Nightmare difficulty. Gheed's Fortune has extra gold find which varies from 80-160%, reduced all vendor prices varies from 10-15% and better chance of getting magic items (Mf) varies from 20-40%.
Jewels are another new socketable and come in three forms: magical, rare, and unique. Jewels differ from other socketables because, unlike gems and runes which have set bonuses depending on where they are socketed (A topaz will always add lightning damage if socketed inside a weapon, for example), the modifiers on jewels are random. Magical jewels can have up to 2 modifiers and rare ones can have up to 4. Their modifiers are random.
Crafted items are created by combining the right recipes in the Horadric Cube in order to create a predefined, random item. Crafted items have 3-4 predetermined stats with a few random ones mixed in. Everything from rings and armor to weapons, shields and amulets can be crafted and to great effect. There are numerous recipes.
Along with all of the previously mentioned updates, there were many miscellaneous tweaks and updates introduced by the Lord of Destruction expansion.
No longer satisfied with being background noise, the mercenary was upgraded and updated with Diablo II's expansion. Mercenaries would now have their own, dynamically changing stats. They could level-up and increase in power. They would do this automatically by fighting by your side. Experience is shared between you and your mercenary - they gain more experience for their own kills. Mercenaries are persistent (unless killed), meaning they will come with you from game to game regardless of whether you leave the game. If slain, they can be resurrected in any one of the five towns. You can also equip items to the mercenary. Each mercenary can equip a helm, armor and a weapon; which weapons they can wield are limited by which mercenary particular you have working by your side. There are no mercenaries for hire Act IV.
Act I: Rogue Scout
- Skills: Flaming Arrow / Inner Sight or Frozen Arrow / Inner Sight
- Weapon: Bows (no crossbows or Amazon specific items)
Act II: Mercenary
- Skills: All Act II Mercenaries have Jab plus an aura based on whether they are combat/defense/offense and whether you hired them in normal, nightmare or hell difficulty
- Weapon: Spears, Polearms, Javelins
Act III: Ironwolves
- Skills: Charged Bolt / Lightning or Inferno / Fireball or Glacial Spike / Ice Blast / Frozen Armor.
- Weapon: Swords and Shields, only mercenary that can equip shields.
Act V: Barbarian
- Weapon: Swords, can also equip Barbarian class specific helms.
The franchise's recurring composer Matt Uelmen wrote a few songs specifically for the Lord of Destruction expansion-set.
Currently, Diablo II is slated for a major content patch, patch 1.13. The patch was delayed due to an exploit experienced in Blizzard's sister title, WarCraft 3 in which custom maps can be loaded with malware and distributed via a custom map. The Diablo "legacy" team had to swap out from working on 1.13 and help fix this major exploit. This has caused an uproar in the Diablo II community because a ladder reset was announced for before the 1.13 patch was to be released. Blizzard made the announcement because the patch was "imminent" but they were blind-sided by the WarCraft 3 issue.
The new 1.13 patch was to hit the Public Testing Realm in July 2009 according to a post made by Bashiok, a community manager for Blizzard. The patch was to include an increase in stash size and other changes as suggested by players on the official Diablo 2 forums.
This patch is now live on public testing realms awaiting further testing. Anyone can access this test server to try out the additions and changes. The increased stash size had to be removed as it threatened to undo the very game itself if they added an increased stash size. The game has however gained the ability to respec characters as well as some new bonus content and a few tweaks and balances.
The new 1.13 patch has now gone live. As of March 23rd, 2010 the Ladder has now been reset, sending all Ladder characters from before the patch to non-Ladder status.
Here are the changes introduced by the new patch:
A new mystery has been revealed within Diablo's bosses you will now have a chance to find essence which you can transmute in your cube to make a token which again you can use to respec your characters attributes and skills. Note that these items only will drop from the last act bosses and only in hell difficulty.
- -Fixed an item dupe bug (Dupe is an abbreviation for duplicate)
- -Video improvements for Intel Mac machines with OS 10.5 or greater.
- -Fixed an issue where some players could kill other players while in town
- -Fixed an issue where some players could disconnect other players when they had too many active states.
- -Fixed two issues where players could stack auras in an unintended way.
- -Uber Mephisto now checks for both Uber Baal and Uber Diablo to be killed before spawning summoned minions (Before he would only check for Uber Baal).
- -The game will no longer stop and then restart the game music after the window loses and then regains focus.
- -Fixed an issue where the game window would minimize when running in windowed mode when it lost focus.
- -Fixed an issue where the game window wouldn't center properly when it was created.
- -Fangskin should now properly drop loot in Hell difficulty.
- -Fixed an issue where auras were not re-applied to your mercenary after it was resurrected.
- -Fixed an issue where if you had two items which provided auras to a mercenary and you unequipped one, the aura from the remaining item never became active.
- -Fixed an issue where the Paladin class runeword 'Principle' wasn't having all of its stats applied properly.
- -Fixed an issue where the Paladin's Charge ability would become locked out if Holy Shield faded while charging.
- -Fixed an issue where the Barbarian's Leap ability could become locked out if they were hit when they started to leap.
- -Respecialization is now possible. Completing the 'Den of Evil' quest will now additionally reward 1 free respec which can be saved through all difficulties, meaning you can now have up to 3 free respec points. Talk to Akara in act 1 Rogue Encampment to claim your reward.
- -Increased the drop rate of high Runes.
- -Support for blit scaling in windowed mode. The game can now be maximized to the largest 4:3 resolution supported (hooray widescreen users).
- -Some rare drop items now have an orange color. i.e. Runes and items required for Uber Tristam.
- -Modified the gold bank limit to be a flat cap not bound by level.
- -Removed the requirements to create a hardcore character.
- -Greatly reduced the explosion damage dealt by Fire Enchanted monsters.
- -Uber Mephisto and Uber Baal's summoned minions no longer give experience.
- -Removed Oblivion Knight's Iron Maiden curse.
- -Hellfire Torch Firestorm proc rate has been reduced to 5%.
- -Users can now toggle the display of text over the Health and Mana globes by clicking on the bottom area of each orb.
- -When creating a single player game, each difficulty button is now bound to a unique key: Normal 'R', Nightmare 'N', and Hell 'H'.
- -The 'Enter Chat' Button in the battle.net waiting room is now bound to the 'Enter' key.
- -Added the windows system buttons to the game window (MIN, MAX, CLOSE).
- -Added new command line parameter '-nofixaspect' which allows users to not fix the aspect ratio to 4:3 when maximizing in windowed mode. This lets the game 'stretch' to fill your monitor.
- -Added support for '-sndbkg' command line switch. This enables sound in background.
- -Added the following aliases for pre-existing command line options, '-nosound', '-window', and '-windowed'.
Revised Skill balance for player character classes
- -Immolation Arrow - Increased radius of Explosion effect by 33% and Immolation effect by 50%.
- -Immolation Arrow - Explosion effect damage increased by 20%.
- -Immolation Arrow - Increased base duration by 33%.
- -Dragon claw - Synergy receives 4% additional damage per point of Claw Mastery.
- -Dragon Talon - The bonus to Attack Rating per point has been increased to 35.
- -Shadow Master - Increased resistance range per point from 5-80 to 5-90.
- -Combo points awarded by combo moves now last 15 seconds, up from 9.
- -Whirlwind - Reduced initial mana cost by 50%.
- -Masteries - Changed critical strike chance from 0-25 to 0-35.
- -Blessed Hammer - No longer ignores resistances of undead and Demons.
- -Werebear - Damage bonus increased by 15% across all ranks.
- -Werebear - Increased health by 25% and armor by 1% per point.
- -Shockwave - Synergy from Maul adds 5% damage per point.
- -Blood Golem - player no longer loses life when the golem takes damage.
- -Corpse Explosion - Increased base damage dealt from 60% - 100% to 70% - 120% of corpses health.
- -Poison Nova- Increased base damage by 15%.
- -Firewall- Synergy receives 1% damage per point of Inferno and 4% per point of Warmth.
- -Blaze - Synergy receives 1% damage per point of Firewall and 4% per point of Warmth.
- -Hydra - Increased base damage by 15% per rank.
- -Hydra - Increased base speed of Hydra projectile.
- -Hydra - Reduced cooldown by 25%.