at great trauma torn myself away from the game and written up these first
impressions - I hope you enjoy them :)
Also don't miss the Followups.
Charis sat home, camping for the FedEx truck that would bringthe fabled
D2Beta CD. As the time slipped by, he began pacing, and thought to pass
the time trying a MOD. Middle Earth was fired up, and sure enough... doorbell
rings! When he came back his Dunadan was in a pile of his own blood on
the floor, but that was of no concern. Two concerns to pass now...
i) would his flaky CD ROM causes problems with install or play, and
ii) would the Video work, given it was a laptop that thought 640x480 was
best done by showing you half a screen... D2Beta... install ok... DirectX7.0a...
ok... reboot... crash! Ack! That's the CD-ROM :(
Doesn't like to boot with drive in bay... remove.. restart... insert..
So far so good... cinematic, fine ... join b.net??? Crash! :(
One more try... this time ok, connected... patch download... ok. Character
selection... crash! Aaaarggggh!!! Try again, same... Ack! :( Let's try
VCD then... Nope :( Video driver? nope :(
I did some other things I can't even recall now, and while stil crashing,
managed to get far enough to get to 'options' and turn off music - no
crashes since then. Yay :)
Since I'm associated with the "Amazon" amongst Variants, the first one
just had to be an Amazon. Charis_Sena was soon born! 14 other characters,
names and styles, were already planned after this one. Being Good Friday,
a Paladin today is also a must :)
Woo! Finally, in a game, with no crashing. Met the townsfolk, and before
long was searching for the Den of Evil. First monster killed was a Zombie,
and Quill Rats were all over as well. I kept quite close to the path,
and was told by a wandering rogue named Flavie it might be better not
to go further til I had finished this quest for Akara... Thunder... Lightning...
Even birdies! wow :)
Running... wow! You may have read elsewhere the graphics are poor or low
res, but the "immersion factor" is very high with the details in animation
and the sounds. (I'm not even using 3D acceleration yet - I want to save
some ooh and aah for the real game)
Pace is faster! Happy feet skills still work! :) First shrine: Experience
shrine, so i kick into auto run and go wild. Then a gem shrine --> chipped
sapphire, and into Den of Evil, there a Health Shrine helps me out. Before
I quite realize *what* they are, I run into fallen Shaman. Actually, the
fireball gave it away! Instincts had me dive to miss, and i took it out
with some javelin thrusts - the other fallen easily fell next. Finally,
a pause to look at stats : sheesh, lvl 3 already! :) Nothing distributed
yet, nor skills. Let's finish den if possible nondist.
Next, a Gargantuan beast! Looked worse than he was fortunately, he was
rather large :) Then found some damaged javelins, and felt ok to try throwing.
(Since I was poor and you have to BUY javelins used up when throwing,
I was conserving.) Much more dmg, but in short supply. At clvl 3, 1-3
vs 4-12 (base 0-3, 4-10, odd how that adds) They're thrown *very* fast.
It was odd to see my character turn a very deep blue color - from a cold
monster called "Corpsicle"
Armor found was autoequipped! Low quality quilted, DR 6, some magic Leather
DR 14, and a crude sash. Despite some resting, hp did NOT regen, so back
to the Health Shrine - would it work again? Yes :) Otherwise... I miss
Pepin already... Quest done, JUST shy of clvl 4. When I ran out of javelins,
the other ones autoequipped. Also nice. Nice touch: hover cursor over
red globe- displays "5/54" Now I find out that after this Den of Evil
quest, Akara will not only heal me but fill up mana globe :)
clvl 3 stats: 25% block
AR 72 - vs mlvl 3 = 82%. DR 20 - me hit 23%
Outside around camp, in the Blood Moor, was a Skill Shrine and a Health
Shrine. Maybe after I actually distrib skills I'll use ;) (BTW, Flavie
was likely right... "Dark Hunters" and Garg Beasts out there in the Cold
Plains. Cool death anim for the Dark Hunters, a lovely aquamarine cloud.)
OK! Took some skills: Jab, Inner Sight, and Critical Strike. Sena is well
rounded, with emphasis more on melee than others.
First death... took the skill shrine, and charged. Four fallen shaman
and a gut web. Ouch! "Charis_Sena was killed by Fallen Shaman" Oh the
ignominy! :( Revenge was swift! Note on restart in camp, health and magic
are full. Let's try to grab corpse and autoequip! t worked just fine.
Found cracked and crude hand axe, to axe down the first boss she sees
In Cold Plains (outside Blood Moor) was Entrances to Caves lvl 1. Is this
good?! Hmm.. for quest, i need Burial grounds. Another neat detail: ran
across a barn, and as i entered, ceiling poofed away, allowing sight on
interior. Stony Field also was seen. In there were Cairn stone and Underground
Passage Lvl 1.
Vile Thorn the Sharp - Extra Fast, Zombie - was first boss slain dropping
a minor red and a magic sash ;) Then an early goat dropped a Superior
Bardiche :) dmg: 1-25 (2H), slow and needs 40 str
Not a bug but a feature: Could not equip an UNID "Sash". ID'd as: Crimson
Sash - Req'd lvl 2. Then a Triumphant Hand Axe, +1mana after each kill,
3-6 1H dmg. In Stony Field, found Moldy Tome ;)
Quest for Countess comes from this.
Hmm.... what's this gray ugly thing... oh wait! That's a 'socketed item'
Bardiche... one you can add gems to... More exp shrines, more crazy running,
and I'm lvl 6 :) Poison Jav, Power Strike and Dodge (still no bow skills)
Finally, stumbled in to Burial Grounds.
More finds: Deadly Short Sword of Blight (poisons 'em!)
Second Death: Treehead Woodfist in the Dark Woods. Never noticed he was
a boss until dead. Third and Fifth deaths to "Returned" with Lighting
Enhanced (ouch!) I could have *sworn* i heard him come up to the body
afterwards and say "Bitch!" Javelin to the heart dropped him and a skull
cap. From Akara in thanks, a Beryl Ring of Str (PoisRes :)
Worst foe in Tristram was... I won't say... it's a spoiler. But he was
extremely tough guy.
Finished up a little after 5am... clvl: 8 (almost 9), stats: (mod) STR
36, Dex 41, VIT 20, NRG 20, HP: 66, Mana: 33 Block: 30% Jab 1-7, PoisJav
17-33. AR 136 (77%), DR 54 (21%), 23% FireRes, 7% PoisRes Slvl 1 of Jab,
Crit Strike, Inner Sight, Dodge, PowerStrike, PoisJav; two points left
undistributed, to be added to the clvl-12 tier later.
Wirt's Leg, Crim Leath, Skull Cap Jackal, Crim Sash, Superior SmSh, Beryl
Ring Str, Fortuitous Ring Crafts, Crimson Amu. Fine Spear Leech, Triump
Scim Leech, Triump Dagg Frost, Fine Dirk Shock, Deadly ShSw Blight (time
to go more S/S i see ;)
Neat! Can jab *thru* gates :P
A lil math: DR 95 at clvl 12 vs mvl 12: 19% hit me, 74 is 23%, 58 for
28%, 50 for 31% Thus 1% to HIT =~ 5 DR (although it may be very nonlinear)
Hit 12 and Waypoint Cats2 - Lning Jav, Impale, and PoisMissiles Also found
first set item: Angelic Sickle :) (Tis a sabre)
Sena's next game was coop, where she joined a character very near the
Countess. That lady was taken down, and we rushed off to the monastery.
The partner was higher lvl and did most of the damage to Andariel - I
likely got off a poison javelin and jabbed around a bit. In any case,
this earned the "Dame" title at clvl 13 or 14.
Initial Thoughts on Amazon?
- Jack of all Trades seems ineffective. With a simple swap of gear the
Diablo 1rogue could be anything - amazing 100% blocking fighter, great
mini mage, and the supreme archer. NOT so with the Amazon in Diablo 2.
Skill choices are crucial and irreversible. I purposefully spread them
out all over two trees to see as much as I could. Jab and Poison Javelin
were nice, but the others, at slvl 1, didn't catch my attention. Nor was
my damage or defense particularly good. - Amazon seems (seemed) like a
fairly balanced, or even underpowered class. [In subsequent games I've
learned about the awesome, indeed imbalancing power of Multishot. It's
truly pathetic, a machine gun of instant death] - Lack of magic javelins
was a major bummmer. If I want to use shield I'm stuck with either a non-magic
weapon and jab, or a magic weapon like a sword with NO offensive spell
to use, and no ranged skill to use. I could use spear, but then I not
only give up the shield, but I can't throw the javelins (Poison, etc.)
This or multishot bow rogue? It's way, way, off. Spear should be a one
or two handed wpn, doing less damage one handed (to allow magic 1H wpn
you can jab with), OR a throw javelin attack should throw the last equipped
jav stack, even with a spear or sword in hand. (Slightly unrealistic,
but would balance things much more) - Her graphics and fluid running with
spear in hand were a joy to behold.
Fighting *behind* a Barbarian, using her longer reach, was fun
You'll hear more on the Amazon later, but those were my... First Impressions