About Diablo II - Blizzard MMO Game
Diablo II, sequel to the popular game Diablo, is a dark fantasy-themed Action role-playing game in a hack and slash or "dungeon roaming" style. It was released for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS in 2000 by Blizzard Entertainment. Diablo II was developed by Blizzard North.
The game continues the storyline from the first game. The player follows in the path of Diablo who heads eastward from Tristram to free his two imprioned brothers Mephisto and Baal. Unlike the first game which took place underground, Diablo II features many outdoor regions ranging from desert to jungle} and eventually hell itself. Other notable changes are the five new characters each with 30 unique skills, a larger array of monsters and items, a greater ability to build characters and a more fleshed out story and world.
By April 2001, Diablo II had become one of the most popular online games ever. Major factors that contributed to Diablo II's success include what fans found to be addictive hack and slash gameplay and free access to Battle.net. Diablo II may be played as a single player game, multiplayer via a LAN over TCP/IP, or multiplayer via Battle.net, with the latter being the most popular. It has also become one of the top thirty best selling computer games ever. Including Diablo II, the Diablo series has sold 17 million copies.
An expansion to Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, was released in 2001. The expansion finished the story arc begun in Diablo II as the player kill Baal, the last surviving Prime Evil. The gameplay remained largely the same as the core game and mostly expanded the content with a brand new act, two new classes, a new rune word mechanic, new monsters and items as well as various minor additions and fixes.
Though there are many unconventional builds that can use weird skill and gear combinations, the most popular builds typically fit the archetype and intended function of the class.
The Amazon is a warrior who fights with the bow or spear. The strongest builds are the ranged ones that utilize the bow, crossbow or javelin, while the spear builds are more risky due to the lack of a shield and the added protection it would bring. The attacks themselves are either fire or cold attacks for the bow and crossbow, or lightning and poison attacks for the spear and javelin. Both focuses also allows for pure physical attack skills. The passive abilities either augment the attack skills of the Amazon - whether ranged or melee - or provide ways for her to keep enemies off her, such as Decoy and Valkyrie.
The Assassin uses a distinct mechanic in the Martial Arts tree that involves charge up moves and finishing attacks: the Assassin can power up with up to three charges and release the charges with various finishing moves for a host of different effects. The Shadow tree contains passive abilities, such as a skill that allows the Assassin to block attacks with claw weapons instead of a shield, and the ability to create a duplicate of the Assassin that can utilize her skills. The Trap tree allows the Assassin to throw deadly projectiles, including blades and bombs, and also includes several fire and lighting sentries that work much like the skills of the Sorceress but originating from a thrown stationary item rather than a spell.
The Barbarian is the heaviest melee class with many melee skills and passive abilities for survivability. The Barbarian is the only class who can dual wield melee weapons (apart from an Assassin using claw weapons). The Combat Skills contains the attack skills, and allows for specialization in either one weapon (either two-handed or with a shield), two weapons or two throwing weapons. The Masteries tree contains exclusively passive skills that boost both offensive and defensive stats of the Barbarian, and the Warcries are temporary buffs the Barbarian can apply to himself and allies. Any number of warcries can be active at one time, further boosting the Barbarian's ability to boost his own stats as well as managing monsters.
The Druid requires the most specialization of all classes, as each of his trees provide for unique play mechanics. Elemental makes him a caster that creates earthquakes, hurricanes and other spells based on nature. The Shape Shifting tree allows him to become either a Werewolf based on speed or Werebear based on power, and makes him a dangerous melee combatant. The Summoning tree allows him to summon wolves, crows, a bear, creeping vines, and several spirits that provide buffs similar to the Paladin's auras.
The Necromancer is a pure caster focusing on the dead. In the summoning tree he can raise skeletons, create golems and revive dead enemies, while the Poison and Bone path makes him a more direct damage caster with poison and magic abilities. Curses are debuffs that can be cast on enemies to create a host of effects, such as increasing their damage taken and slowing them down.
The Paladin is a holy warrior and the second focused melee class. He excels while using a shield. He can use one aura at a time that provides a persistent bonus to him and his party members. Defensive helps him survive attacks, while offensive boosts his ability to inflict damage. The combat skills tree serves a similar function to the Barbarian's combat skills, but the tree is broken up between melee skills, shield skills, and magic attacks.
The Sorceress is the second caster class who focuses exclusively on elemental attacks from the elements of fire, cold, and lightning. Each tree offers different benefits: fire provides high reliable damage, cold slightly less damage but also slows enemies, and lightning provides the highest potential damage but has a large damage variance. Each tree contains some support skills in addition to the multitude of attack skills she possesses.
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