the Forge (Classic Diablo)- by KingOfPain
The following philosophy has worked for many Ironman teams and is meant to be an overall guide to game and character development.
OVERALL PHILOSOPHY: THE "BUFF WARRIOR" PHILOSOPHY - by Attika
The team is trying to get the Warrior down onto dlevel 16 to face the Lord of Terror. With that in mind, the use of Shrines and the Identification of items is geared toward improving the Warrior first, and the rest of the team afterwards. You are trying to have the Warrior get the lion's share of the experience -- and that is tough for him in the deeper (Hell) levels.
Yes, the Mage's Holy Bolts can stun and kill Diablo faster and the Rogue can kill most foes in Hell faster using ranged attacks. However, the Warrior can stand with Diablo toe-to-toe and keep the Lord of Terror occupied for minutes on end due to the Warrior's fast block and ability to do stunning damage. This means that the Warrior can allow both the Mage and the Rogue the chance to ply their respective trades longer, and can "cover" for the team longer if errors (miscast spell, wrong weapon readied) occur.
If you make it to 16 with a "buff" Warrior in the group, you'll stand a good chance of clearing it and then facing and defeating Diablo.
Character Job Descriptions
Sometimes, when the Mage or Rogue need experience very badly (in order to level up) the Warrior must act as a "punching bag" and simply stand at the set point while the other character tries to defeat (or at least tag) the foe.
The Warrior also gets the thankless job of cracking barrels, some of which explode in his face!
And sometimes it is the job of the Warrior to hold a set point no matter what the cost, even if that cost is his life. The Warrior only runs -- and this to another, better set point -- if the team leader says "run!".
The Rogue also opens coffins, doors, and chests -- trapped or no.
Sometimes she will lend artillery support when boss creatures show up or she sees that the party has the wrong type weapon (blunt or sharp) readied against the present foe. She may also be allowed to "shoot to kill" when the team enters Hell, especially when the mix there is ranged attackers (can you say tri-witch level?).
Her job is often thankless, and if she activates too many foes, the demise of the team is to her discredit. Finally realize that she is doing a terrific job if she lags behind both her teammates in character level. The worse she looks, the better her team is probably doing!
Occasionally the Mage will be called upon to use his magics to defeat certain foes -- Holy Bolts for Leo, Firewall for certain bosses, and Stone Curse (should he have it) as the situation demands. Also, the Mage may act as the team physician, being called upon to cast Heal Other on seriously wounded comrades.
In deeper levels of the dungeon the Mage may even scout, trying to "tag" opponents with magic prior to luring them back to the set point where they are dispatched.
The job of the Mage is to support the Warrior, glean whatever experience he can, and SURVIVE to the next dungeon level. If he makes it to level sixteen and Diablo, it's time to dust off those Holy Bolts one last time.
Remember that the denizens of the dungeon attack characters in the order in which they enter the game. That being the case, we suggest that the warrior create the game, followed by the Rogue and then the Mage.
Adjust your F9-F12 hotkeys to quickly reflect important information. Some suggested notices:
Along with the hotkeys you will want to communicate quickly with your group when talking. Some suggested conversation abbreviations include Y=Yes, N=No, ?=what, HO=Heal Other(meaning, cast Heal Other on me please), HB=Holy Bolt, Sh=Sharp, Bl=Blunt,BR=Bow repair, MT=empty, TP=town portal, and CYC=can you carry?
Don't block doorways! Leave the doorway/gate clear for the scout to have quick and easy movement between rooms.
The overhead view of the dungeon is tilted 45 degrees. This being the case, a "standard" of directions has been created through useage in the game. Movement/direction toward the top-right corner of your computer monitor is considered North. The bottom-left: South. The top-left: West. And the bottom-right: East. This way if you advise your team that the "North" corridor is clear, everyone knows what you are talking about.
When a team is getting ready to go to the next dungeon level, the Warrior usually goes first, ALONE. The Warrior should have good hit points (cast a HO on him otherwise) and should have his best weapon and armor readied. When he enters the new level, he should try to stand still but also deal with any ambush that may be present.
Once the initial ambush has been taken care of, he should place his back against a nearby wall and wait about 15 seconds. If no new ambush develops and no Hiddens show, he should call "Safe to Follow" to his teammates.
When the rest of the team enters the level, they should walk to the wall where the warrior is set and remain there with him until an ambush does/does not develop. After that point, the Rogue scouts for a doorway or arch where the team can set at.
When the Rogue finds that doorway/arch, she must carefully guide the team there. She must be sure the area around the door has no foes.
When you set at the doorway the Warrior usually sets aboveit while the Mage sets below it, leaving a tile between the two of them through which the Rogue can move into the other room. Once the Rogue is satisfied with the setup she opens/disarms the door and scouts the next room. She lures opponents back for the Warrior and Mage to deal with. She does not shoot to kill.
Once all the opponents in the next room have been dealt with, the Rogue guides them to the next doorway/arch and repeats the procedure.
If the path they were following dead ends, simply turn the set around to the other side of the door/arch and scout in the opposite direction. Continue doing this until the level is cleared.
In Church there are doorways and arches. In Catacombs there are doorways. In Caves there are gates in fences and corrals. In Hell the stairs sometimes are adjacent to a wall, or barrels form a natural choke point. NEVER BREAK ANY BARRELS IN HELL until you have discovered your choke point/ set point.
Always always ALWAYS move SLOWLY while in the dungeon -- you never want to activate more foes than you can take care of.
Always check the time before beginning a new dungeon level. Make sure no one has another commitment which might force them to leave the level before it is done. Their presence may be sorely needed!
You may create and re-create your first original game, trying to locate decent town purchases. Some teams hope for good armor, some look for ID scrolls, while some just get a res scroll and are nearly done with it. As soon as you purchase an item, you are stuck with that game. Although this initial "shopping" may add some to the game's overall time, it is often a time saver in the long run.
Whenever a res scroll or ID scroll is found, as quickly as possible drop it near a stairs. This prevents the res/ID scroll from ending up in the backpack of a dead character and inaccessible. (No, you don't get to "claim" that you can access the dead character's backpack and the scroll.)
Keep Heal, Heal Other, and Res Staves lying on the ground near stairs rather than inside backpacks also (same reason as above).
Never put an ID scroll or a res scroll in your belt. Accidentally hitting the wrong belt key or typing in a number when you thought you were in "chat" mode can lead to irreversible loss of an important resource!
Usually, Warriors pick up all Red potions, Mages pick up all blues and yellows, while Rogues carry all heal scrolls. (The Rogue should only be scouting, not fighting, and has little need for potions.)
Leveling Up and
For the most part the Rogue puts level up points into Dexterity unless a SPECIFIC bow or armor shows up that she wishes to use. At that point, points may be allocated to Strength. If a SECOND book of Heal Other shows up, the Rogue may consider putting two points to Magic. If a Blood Fountain shows up, cancel that advice.
For the most part the Mage puts all points into Magic, unless a specific staff or armor shows up that requires more Strength to use. At that point he may choose to increase his Strength attribute.
Creepy Shrine: to
More Detailed Advice
Please remember that this and all such sites are advice and recommendations -- nothing is written in stone. Even the experts don't all agree on every aspect of how to play Classic Diablo Ironman! This is one of the things that makes playing Ironman so interesting and unique. If you feel strongly about your own philosophy, style, or strategy, by all means follow your instincts (assuming you are the team captain, of course). We'd all be interested to hear of new, successful strategies and tactics!