The Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Manual is transcribed here. All the manuals of the Diablo games contain a lot of lore of the world of Sanctuary, and is one of our primary sources of information. They contain texts that are meant to be excerpts from books written in the actual world, but as a reader you need to be aware of the fact that much of the actual years written down have been "retconed". This means that we currently don't know exactly what yearly calendar is actually canon information. However, the actual events that take place are usually correct, so if you are adding material from the manuals to an article, feel free to add years and events into the article, and we will have to update the article when more accurate information comes out from Blizzard.
Some words have been wiki-linked for easy information navigation, and in some cases the formatting has been changed to work with the wiki. No words below the introduction (this text) has been altered.
Make sure to read all of the manuals:
- Diablo I Manual
- Diablo I: Hellfire Manual
- Diablo II Manual
- Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Manual
- Diablo III Manual
Each dawn, I rise alone, mired in ancient sorrows. Wretched and deprived of my
native land, I have had my mind bound with fetter. For many years, I lay hidden in
the concealment of the earth, buried deep in stone. From there, I went, abject and
winter-grieving, over the surface of the waves. I sought the prison of my noble
kinsman. Sorrow is a cruel companion to one who can afford few friends, and the
path of exile attends this mournful spirit.
And so this world, every day, is crumbling and falling. The rulers lie dead,
deprived of revelry, bands of warriors lie fallen proud by the wall. War destroyed
some, carried them away; a sorrowful man hid one deep within a grave. Thus the
creator of men laid waste this dwelling-place, until the old works of giants stood
vacant, without the noise of their inhabitants.
So said the Wanderer, set apart in secret meditations.
The kingdom of the earth is full of miseries, and the decree of the fates shallchange the course of the heavens.
The Wanderer (Anonymous),
What's New In the Expansion?
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction contains a number of new features and exciting enhancements to the original Diablo II:
- Two new character classes – Command the forces of nature as the Druid, or use stealth and cunning as the Assassin. Each class possesses 30 unique new skills, offering totally different game-playing tactics.
- An entire new Act – Explore the mysterious Barbarian Highlands, battle new monsters, and complete six exhilarating quests as you delve further into the epic Diablo mythos. Whether you are starting anew or continuing on with an established character, defeating Diablo at the end of Act IV opens the portal to new adventures in Act V.
- Increased Character Stash – The Stash chest has doubled in size! Each Expansion Character can now store twice as much loot as before.
- Higher resolution – By accessing the “Video Options,” you now have the choice of playing Diablo II in either 640x480 or 800x600 mode. (Note: Playing Diablo II in 800x600 resolution can reduce system performance and is recommended only for higher-end systems.)
- New treasure types:
- Class-Specific Items – This class of items, new to Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, offers properties and powers specific to the seven different character classes.
- Improved Item Sets – There are many fantastic new Set Items to be collected, endowing the wearer with even greater powers.
- New Insertable Items – Jewels and Runes add even more magical possibilities when you insert them into items with sockets.
- New Exceptional Items – Advanced players should be on the lookout for additions to the existing Exceptional Items.
- Elite Items – This new class of items is similar to the Exceptional Items found in the higher difficulty levels of Diablo II...only better.
- New Unique Items – More than a hundred mysterious ancient artifacts, including Exceptional and Elite Uniques, are just waiting to be discovered.
- Hundreds of new magical properties – Items of all levels can now possess greater and more diverse magical powers.
- Improved hirable NPC interface – Players now have the ability to heal hirable NPCs as well as equip them. Additionally, these NPCs now gain their own experience points and improve their abilities as they gain levels.
- New Horadric Cube recipes – Numerous additional recipes for the Horadric Cube are just waiting to be discovered.
- Item swapping – Quickly alternate between two sets of weapon/shield configurations (equipment outfitted in the left and right hands) with a click of the mouse or through a convenient keyboard shortcut.
- Eight new skill hotkeys – Additional hotkeys double the number of skills you can call upon with the lightning-fast stroke of a key.
- Interactive environments – Carve your own path through Act V by destroying breakable wall sections, barricades, and siege towers.
Playing Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is more than just your standard expansion set. Once you have installed Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you will have access to such a host of thrilling new features and expanded implementations of the original game’s features that it will feel like you are playing a whole new game.
This manual assumes that you have played the original Diablo II game. If you have not, we recommend that you at least read through the Diablo II manual in order to familiarize yourself with the basic terminology and concepts of the game before proceeding.
Expansion Characters: After installing Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you will have the option to choose between two different “character types”—Standard and Expansion—when creating a new character. (Note: these are different from the two new character classes. See pages 15 and 20.) Standard Characters are just like the characters you are used to playing in Diablo II, whereas Expansion Characters are specifically created for use in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. You should be aware of some details before deciding which character type to choose:
- Expansion Characters can only create or join expansion games. They cannot create or join original Diablo II games.
- Standard Characters cannot use any of the new features or modifications found in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, nor can they create or join Expansion games. (These are games specifically designed to enjoy all of the extra benefits contained in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.)
- Standard Characters can be converted permanently to Expansion Characters simply by accessing the “Select Character” screen, left-clicking on the Standard Character you wish to convert, and then leftclicking on the “Convert” button.
- Converting a Standard Character is an irreversible, one-way process. Once a character has been converted to an Expansion Character, he or she can never be changed back to a Standard Character. Similarly, once an Expansion Character has been created, he or she can never be converted into a Standard Character.
Corpse Recovery: In Nightmare and Hell difficulty settings, whenever your character dies, he or she suffers a loss of gold and experience points. In games of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, if you recover your corpse at the location of its demise, you can regain some of the experience points you lost. If, however, you choose to ‘Save and Exit’ out of your current game in order to restart and recover your body in town, you will not regain any of your lost experience.
Item Swapping: In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you have the ability to swap quickly between two sets of equipped weapon selections (i.e., right- and left-hand inventory slot configurations). To do this, merely open your Inventory screen and equip your character as you normally would. Next, left-click on either of the two tabs denoted by the Roman numeral “II” (or press the W key) to toggle between the two weapon configurations. Now equip your character with an additional two-handed weapon, a weapon and a shield, or (for Barbarians and Assassins) a pair of appropriate one-handed weapons. You can switch between the two weapon configurations at any time by pressing the W key or by clicking on the inactive weapon configuration’s tab in your inventory screen (the inactive configuration is the one shaded a darker grey). Note: Your left and right mouse button skill setups are linked to your two weapon configurations. This allows you to customize your skill mouse buttons in order to complement your current weapon configuration.
Remember that your character must meet the requirements for any weapons you want to equip. Also, please keep in mind that only your currently selected weapon configuration is actively equipped. Any magical properties of items in your inactive configuration will not affect your character until you make that configuration active. For example, if you are currently using weapon configuration “I,” any magical properties of items in configuration “II” have no effect until you make it your active configuration.
Hirable Non-Player Characters (“Hirelings”): Diablo II: Lord of Destruction offers some exciting modifications to hirable NPCs. These computer-controlled hirelings who fight by your side can be hired from specific NPCs in most “towns”—the safe starting points in each Act—or are given free of charge as a reward for completing certain quests. In the original Diablo II, they followed your character around and helped you slay monsters, but you did not interact with them directly. In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you can increase their efficiency in combat and assist their development in a number of ways. (Note: These special new features only apply to hired NPCs and retainers acquired as quest rewards. Summoned creatures are not subject to these improvements.)
Aust of Harrogath
3rd day of Montaht, Lauds
- Attributes and Experience: Hirelings in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction come with their own set of attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Health, Damage, Defense, and Experience. As hirelings kill monsters, they gain experience points. When they gain enough experience points to reach a new level, their attributes automatically improve. You can also improve their attributes by equipping them with better equipment (see below). Keep in mind that hirelings aren’t just paid mercenaries—they are co-adventurers. They fully share experience for their kills with you and your party, and they receive a smaller share of experience for monsters that you or your party members kill.
- Equipment: You can now furnish your hirelings with equipment such as armor, helms, and weapons. Your hirelings must meet all strength, dexterity, and level requirements for the item, and any weapons must be compatible with the hirelings’ weapon type, as represented by what you see them carrying. (For instance, the Rogue hirelings in Act I can be equipped with a War Bow, but not a Short Sword, whereas the Town Guard hirelings in Act II can be equipped with a Voulge, but not a Crossbow.) To equip your hireling, simply left-click on the appropriate button on your Mini-panel or press the O key to bring up the Hireling Inventory and Information screen. Then place items in the corresponding slots as you would in your own Inventory screen.
- Healing: Previously in Diablo II, if you needed to heal your hireling, you had to return to town and visit the local healer. In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, however, you can heal your hireling directly, by left-clicking on a healing or rejuvenation potion in your backpack or belt and then dragging it over the hireling’s gold-bordered portrait located in the upper left of the game screen. When the portrait is highlighted, left-clickagain to release the potion onto the portrait. You can also heal your hireling by visiting a healing Well.
- Hireling Continuity: Hirelings are now willing and able to accompany you to any of the various Acts of the game. In fact, you can actually finish the entire game through all three difficulty settings using only the first hireling received in Act I. You may choose to employ a new hireling at any time, but you may not take more than one hireling into your service at a time. If you choose to replace your current hireling with a fresh one, your old hireling will retire and be unavailable for further service. Before you replace a hireling, open the Hireling Inventory and remove any items you want to keep. Otherwise, you will lose that equipment.
- Death: When your hireling dies, you can return to the nearest mercenary captain and either pay to have your late comrade resurrected, or hire a new one. If you choose to resurrect your hireling, he or she will return to your employ with all of the attributes, experience, and equipment he or she had at the time of death. If, however, you decide to employ a new hireling, you give up the recently departed’s services and forfeit any equipment he or she was wearing. Note: if your character dies, your hireling dies also.
Automap Options: There is now an “Automap Size” selection in the “Automap Options” menu in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. This new option allows you to choose between viewing the map as either the traditional full-screen Automap or the new, scaled-down “Mini Map.” The Mini Map is about one quarter the size of the Automap and, when active, is displayed in one of the top corners of the game screen. This location can be switched from the left of the screen to the right by pressing the V hotkey.
Repair All: You can now repair all of your outfitted items in a single step. To do this, go to the nearest “blacksmith” NPC (whoever repairs your equipment) and select “Trade or Repair” as you normally would. Blacksmiths still have the usual buttons for buying, selling, and repairing options; in Expansion games, they also have an added “Repair All” button. This option allows you to repair all of the items that your character currently has equipped in a single operation. If you move your cursor over this button, the highlighted text shows the cost of this procedure, and pressing the button completes it. Note: The Repair All button only repairs equipped items. Any damaged items that your character is not wearing must berepaired individually.
Fill Tome: By pressing the Shift key while right-clicking on a scroll you want to buy, you automatically purchase enough scrolls to fill the first unfilled Tome of that scroll type in your character’s Inventory.
Champion-Class Monsters: You will remember Champion-Class Monsters from the original Diablo II. These appear as a slightly different-looking pack of monsters that are tougher than normal monsters of their kind. You can immediately discern a Champion-Class Monster because its name appears in purplish-blue letters when targeted. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction offers several different monsters of this type. In addition to the standard Champion, you might encounter the following monsters:
- Berserker – These monsters have been driven into a homicidal frenzy by demonic corruption. They focus so much energy into slaughtering anyone they see that they do significantly more damage than normal demons. However, their frenzied rage leaves them physically weakened and therefore easier to kill.
- Possessed – Some demons have been instilled with especially diabolical spirits. These spirits grant the Possessed increased vigor at the cost of the demons’ free will. Because their minds are no longer their own, the Possessed cannot be affected by Necromancer curses. Fanatic – Fanatics are monsters who responded to their own corruption with such zeal that they are now willing to do anything to win the favor of their dark masters. They rush into any battle, fervently attacking with blinding speed any and all foes. Their recklessness does leave them open defensively, and if you can avoid their cascade of blows, you should be able to strike them with greater ease.
- Ghostly – Once, a powerful faction of mages developed a spell to banish a group of monsters from this world. The use of this spell created a spiritual conduit through the Planes, allowing those monsters to return to the material world by projecting themselves back through the conduit. Their translucent bodies and sluggish gait make these specters easily recognizable. Due to their incorporeal nature, Ghostly Champions are harder to hit with physical blows.
The Coming of the Lord of Destruction
A Wanderer will pass through the ancient lands trailing chaos in his wake.
The Three Brothers will be reunited as the mortal world trembles before their might.
And so it was foretold that the Three, once reunited, would be shattered again—
And the last of them would set his sights on the holy mount. The warnings held that
Their defeat would be illusory—that the final gambit had yet to be played..."
+ + +
And now at last the storm surges forth from the southlands, and the hand of Destruction
Reaches out to undo the workings of the Ancients. The tides of Hell surge—ready to smashDown upon the shores of the mortal world—to drown the guilty and the innocent alike.
-Excerpt from The Prophecies of the Final Day
The Last Testament of Ord Rekar
I once believed.
Others looked to me for strength, for my faith was a pillar in the house of the Elders. I once believed in something greater than myself; I believed that the faithful would be rewarded and the evil would be punished.
I believed the Prophecies of the Final Day to be mere superstitions—and that even if they had any credence at all, as our ancestors believed, the events they spoke of would never come to fruition in our time.
I was a fool.
The gods have not revealed their divine plan to me, nor have they blessed me with their countenance. But I am certain of one terrible fact—At long last, the prophecies have begun to fulfill themselves.
First, there was Tristram...
Diablo, the Lord of Terror, cast his shadow over the quiet hamlet and set his demonic minions loose across the countryside. A number of valiant heroes rose up to challenge Diablo’s wrath and hunted the demonlord into the bowels of the earth itself. Only by the grace of the Light did they vanquish Diablo’s mortal host and put an end to his nefarious schemes.
It seemed that the Lord of Terror had been defeated, and my heart took solace in this affirmation of my faith…but alas, the nightmare was only just beginning.
Somehow, Diablo’s terrible spirit survived and took root within the very hero who struck him down. Wearing the guise of the mysterious Wanderer, Diablo set out to free his brothers, Baal and Mephisto, from their imprisonment in the East.
Just as before, a new band of heroes arose to put a halt to Diablo’s dark quest. Though the Lord of Terror succeeded in freeing his brothers from bondage, their reunion would be short-lived. The mortal heroes managed to vanquish Mephisto and even hunted Diablo into the depths of hell. Only Baal, the Lord of Destruction, was left unaccounted for...
Once again, it seemed that justice had been served. Blind as I was, I clung to the path of the righteous—believing that perhaps, finally, all was well...that the nightmare had given way to a dream of peace.
But the plague of evil persists, and I...grow weary.
For now, the nightmare has started once again.
Aust of Harrogath
4th day of Montaht, Sext
Baal has resurfaced, and behind him marches the vast Army of Destruction. He has gathered a legion of demons that revel in mayhem and wanton chaos—and they are headed right towards us...right towards the holy mountain our ancestors swore to protect. It is obvious that Baal comes to assail Arreat, seeking the Heart of the World. And my faith, once unwavering, is now shaken to the very core.
The prophecies that spoke of this day have at last come true. Doom has come to our world.
As I have said, my brothers, I grow weary. I have no doubt that Evil exists. I have seen it with my own eyes; I have seen its cruelty. But is it not cruel for the gods to give hope, only to dash that hope again and again?
In my youth, I tried as best I could to prepare for such an event. It was, at one time, the very reason for my existence. But now that the moment is at hand, I feel old. I feel afraid. I feel that I have lost my strength.
I confess that my faith no longer guides my path. It is with a heavy heart that I take my leave of you, my brothers. I would say that I will pray for you, but I fear my prayers would fall on deaf ears.
May you someday find the truth, and may that truth finally give you freedom.
In the third century, two brothers rose to dominance from within the ranks of the Vizjerei clan of mages; their names were Horazon and Bartuc. Both were equally powerful and ambitious, and both were fascinated by the power one could obtain through the practice of Demonic Magics; however, the two differed in their views regarding how best to study demons. While Horazon viewed demons as a great source of power, he felt that in order to use that power best, you must harness a demon and bend him to your will. His brother, on the other hand, grew to sympathize with the demonic powers and felt (with no small influence from the demons) that the demonic forces were best understood by allying with the Hellish authorities so their secrets could be shared freely, and that is exactly what he did. Their diametrically opposed philosophies caused a great schism that split the ranks and tore the Vizjerei clan apart.
When at last their fierce rivalry culminated in inevitable violence, the combatants learned too late that they had both been played as pawns by the demonic host. The ensuing battle was so great it set the very firmament aflame, and when it was complete and the stillness of remorse was all that remained, Bartuc lay dead, Horazon had vanished into self-imposed exile, and the Vizjerei had learned a costly lesson. The small surviving group of sorcerers, the remnants of the once-great Vizjerei clan, resolved forevermore to spurn Demonic Magics and set about renewing their studies in the Elemental Magics. To further ensure that a similar tragedy could never happen again, they formed a secret order whose sole purpose was to police the mage clans, destroying corruption wherever they found it. This was the birth of the Viz-Jaq'taar, the Order of the Mage Slayers — otherwise known as the Assassins.
Knowing that such an order might itself be corrupted if exposed to the power of magic, the Vizjerei deemed it of the utmost importance that these Assassins maintain the purest, most focused minds. They should live in meditation and draw their power from within, not from external forces that could easily mask demonic interference. To this end, the Order would not employ the magic arts directly; rather, they would use ingenious devices and enchanted items to battle those possessing great magical powers. To further their campaign against demonic corruption, they concentrated on honing the natural martial abilities of their bodies, both physical and mental.
Because the Order remains veiled in secrecy, few people, even among the mages, know more than rumors about this mysterious organization. Their reputation has been one shrouded in ambiguity. Legends of their stalwart vigilance, and the widespread fear of their retribution, have kept many mages away from the temptations of corruption, so actual sightings have been rare. However, with the reemergence of the Three, and the subsequent increase in demonic manifestations in the world, the Order has shown a greater public presence of late.
Traits and Abilities
Assassins do not employ the magic arts directly; rather, they use enchanted items that mimic elemental powers, which can function autonomously. To further avoid potential corruption, they also focus on the natural abilities of the mortal body — powers of the mind and unarmed combat. The Assassins have trained extensively in the use of an exotic group of weapons: sets of metal blades and claws that strap onto the wrists. They have expertly incorporated the use of these weapons into their martial arts, and when wielding one in each hand, an Assassin can deliver a devastating double attack. Even the most novice of Assassins is a past master of infiltration, and no lock has been made that they cannot circumvent. Hence, an Assassin needs no key to open locked chests.
Intrinsic to the Assassin’s arsenal of abilities is her incredible prowess in the mysterious Martial Arts style of the Viz-Jaq’taar. Martial Arts skills come in two forms, Charge-up Skills and Finishing Moves. A Charge-up Skill is an attack that adds a “charge” for each successive hit within a short time frame. While each Charge-up attack deals normal damage, the charges continue to accumulate until triggered or until the time limit runs out. To trigger the accumulated charges, strike a monster with either a normal attack or one of the Finishing Moves. A Finishing Move doesn’t just trigger the release of the accumulated charges—it also adds a powerful effect of its own. Furthermore, by building up a succession of different Charge-up Skills, Assassins can generate a potent combination of effects. Assassins are specially trained in the use of exotic Claw-class weaponry, and certain of their skills can be used only when armed with these weapons.
Tiger Strike – Charge-up Skill
Through extensive training in human, animal, and demonic anatomies, Assassins have developed the ability to perceive natural points of weakness in their foes and target these locations for especially devastating attacks.
Dragon Talon – Finishing Move
An Assassin is taught to utilize her entire body as a weapon—using this skill, she lets loose a powerful kick to send her opponents flying.
Fists of Fire – Charge-up Skill
Combining her powerful Martial Arts abilities with her psychic training, an Assassin can charge her own fists with pyrokinetic energies, scorching her opponents when the charge is released.
Dragon Claw – Finishing Move
This skill allows the Assassin to try to finish her opponent off with a rending double claw attack. (Requires two equipped Claw-class weapons.)
Cobra Strike[ – Charge-up Skill
A properly trained Assassin can focus her mind to draw upon the ambient energies surrounding her. Using this skill, she drains her adversary of life and spiritual essence adding it to her own.
Claws of Thunder – Charge-up Skill
Using her weapon’s metal blades as conductors, an Assassin charges the ions surrounding her and delivers a devastating lightning attack to any who dare challenge her. (Requires equipped Claw-class weapon.)
Dragon Tail – Finishing Move
The experienced Assassin can deliver a kick so powerful it actually causes an explosion on impact, sending any nearby victims sprawling.
Blades of Ice – Charge-up Skill
Charging the ether around her claw blades, the trained Assassin can freeze opponents with a vicious rake of her razors. (Requires equipped Claw-class weapon.)
Dragon Flight – Finishing Move
After years of disciplined physical conditioning, an Assassin can develop the ability to move faster than the eye can follow in one quick burst. Using this skill, she lunges at her target and delivers a devastating kick.
Phoenix Strike – Charge-up Skill
This mighty skill allows the Assassin trained in its arts to prepare an attack that gives off powerful elemental energies.
To remain protected from exposure to the potential corruption of magic, Assassins must defeat their sorcerous opponents without actually using spells themselves. To this end, they have mastered the clandestine talents, as well as the arts of obfuscation, and honed their latent psychic abilities to develop the Shadow Disciplines. These skills represent the end result of generations of strict mental conditioning and intensive stealth training.
Claw Mastery – Passive
Well-disciplined training in this skill improves the artistry with which an Assassin wields her unique Claw-class weapons.
By utilizing her intense mental prowess, an Assassin creates a powerful force of mental energies and directs it towards a hostile creature, blasting it backwards.
[[Burst of Speed
Tapping into her psychokinetic energies, an Assassin temporarily increases the speed of her movements and attacks.
Weapon Block – Passive
After developing this skill, an Assassin wielding two Claw-class weapons can use her blades to deflect incoming attacks, thus giving herself a defensive edge without using a shield. (Requires two equipped Claw-class weapons.)
Cloak of Shadows
Moving through the darkness, unseen by her foes, the enshrouded Assassin can steal past opponents or ambush her unsuspecting victims with a series of devastating attacks.
An Assassin can will her physical being to shift partially into the astral planes. As her body becomes less substantial, she becomes less susceptible to the effects of elemental attacks and magical curses.
The Assassin trained in this discipline has the ability to project a “shadow” of herself. The Shadow Warrior makes use of the two skills the Assassin has readied for herself.
Focusing her anima, an Assassin using this potent ability can crush the will of a group of enemies, stunning them and confusing the feebleminded into attacking their comrades.
Poison use is another technique an Assassin has to help even the odds when battling demons and their ilk. An Assassin who has mastered this skill secretly coats her weapons with vile toxins.
This discipline allows an Assassin to project an even more powerful shadow avatar. The Shadow Master has access to all of the Assassin skills.
Sometimes, the incredible martial prowess and awesome psychic capacity of the Assassins are not enough to battle all forms of magic-wielding menaces. To supplement her array of tools and abilities, the Assassin has access to an ingenious group of devices. These mechanisms, engineered by Viz-Jaq’taari sages, have been perfected over many years of use. They range from simple thrown missiles and bombs to more complex proximity-triggered sentries.
This skill gives an Assassin the ability to manufacture and throw a small incendiary device. This ordnance explodes on impact, damaging any foe within its small blast radius.
These traps comprise a collection of small conductive components that arc electricity between one another, damaging any opponents who tread upon them.
This skill allows the Assassin to throw a razor-sharp device that flies back and forth between the Assassin and its target, slicing any hostile creatures in its path.
Charged Bolt Sentry
This small device, once cast upon the ground, emits charges of electricity that shock any adversary who strays too close.
Wake of Fire
Once erected, this trap releases waves of searing flames that incinerate any opponents within its path.
Using this skill, the Assassin throws several small blades, shredding her enemies with a barrage of metal.
This device discharges great bolts of electricity, frying any assailants foolish enough to come near.
Wake of Inferno
Once an Assassin throws it to the ground, this trap expels a large spout of fire at any opponent who moves within its range.
This trap emits projectiles laden with a potent chemical catalyst, detonating the exposed cadavers of slain enemies.
This contrivance releases several small razors and uses magnetic forces to set them spinning about the Assassin, inflicting grievous wounds on any foe who approaches her too closely.
In the ancient tome of the Druids, the Scéal Fada, it is written that Bul-Kathos, the great and ancient king of the Barbarian tribes, had a mysterious but trusted confidant, who was only referred to as Fiacla-Géar. This man is sometimes described as Bul-Kathos’s close friend, and at other times, he is referred to as his brother. Whatever the source of their relationship, their bond was strong, and together they shared the secrets of the ancients: of the mysteries below the peaks of Arreat Mt. Arreat, of the venerated task put to their people to protect those mysteries, and of the prophecies regarding the dark times ahead. They both agreed that, in order to fulfill their sacred trust, their people must devote themselves to nothing save that charge. However, they disagreed on exactly how the people could best do this. Bul-Kathos believed that only by bringing the tribes together and training them in strict martial discipline could the tribes faithfully concentrate on their goal for generations to come. Fiacla-Géar, on the other hand, believed that only through obtaining a spiritual oneness with the land they had sworn to protect could the people truly appreciate the importance of their role. Both agreed the other’s philosophy had merit, and so around the time Bul-Kathos united the tribes, Fiacla-Géar gathered together a small group consisting of the tribes’ greatest warrior-poets and shamans and mysteriously retreated into the forests surrounding the area known as Scosglen. There he and his people created the first of the Druid Colleges, huge mortar-less stone towers, covered in vines and safely hidden beneath the leafy canopies of the dense forests. They have dwelt there ever since, forging a new way of life for themselves. They created a new culture and Mt. Arreat until the time of the Uileloscadh Mór, the final battle between the men of the world and the demons of the Burning Hells.
Here, in preparation for the impending conflict, he taught his people the Caoi Dúlra, a way of thinking that holds harmony with the natural elements of the world, its plants and animals, as the heart of its most intrinsic beliefs, for they are the personification of the very world that the Druids have sworn to protect. Not only was Caoi Dúlra the basis for their system of values, but through its study and practice, the Druids learned to bond with the natural entities of Sanctuary. This bonding was so absolute that eventually they discovered how to talk to the plants and animals, and these beings taught them all the secrets of the natural world. They taught them methods to call animals from far away, how to summon sentient plants from the earth, ways to change their own forms to share the strengths of their animal cousins, even, to a limited extent, techniques to control the weather.
At the Túr Dúlra, the greatest of the Druid Colleges, stands the magnificent oak Glór-an-Fháidha. This tree is the most revered source of the Druids guidance and teachings. Under its branches, for centuries, the Druids of Scosglen have been honing not only their powerful arsenal of natural magic, but also the martial skills they have retained from their Barbarian forefathers. They have done this because they believe themselves to be the world’s last line of defense when the time of the great conflict comes, a time they believe is at hand. Lashing out in fury at the recent insurgence of denizens of the Burning Hells, and at the Leathdhiabhala, demonic corruptions of the very creatures they have vowed to defend, the Druids have, at last, emerged from their forests, marching toward their final stand against the minions of Chaos.
Traits and Abilities
The Druids shun the use of traditional magic, or Dubhdroiacht, as they call it. They instead practice a form of magic based in their close bond to nature. Through this intimate kinship with the world of Sanctuary, a Druid has the power to command fire, earth, and the winds. He is a friend to the animals of the wilds and can call upon them to aid in his struggle. He can also use his heightened rapport with the animals to change the shape of his own body, drawing on the strengths and abilities of his woodland companions to better serve their cause.
Years of study and a life lived in harmony with nature have provided the Druids a unique empathy with the world around them. These skills represent the Druids’ ability to influence the forces of nature. Expertise in these skills allows them to strike at enemies from a distance, assault whole groups of enemies at once, and even protect themselves from the elemental attacks of others.
Wielding this ability, the Druid projects waves of molten earth that spread outward and burn a wide swath of destruction through his foes.
By virtue of this talent, a Druid can summon forth a huge, rolling mass of magma, bowling over smaller enemies in its path before bursting into fiery shards.
Aided by the will of the North Winds, the Druid conjures up a chilling torrent of frost that incapacitates all caught within the frozen blast.
Sending his plea to the very core of the earth, the Druid rends the earth’s very crust, tearing open volcanic vents beneath the feet of his adversaries, charring them to the bone.
This skill allows the Druid to sheath himself in a swirling mass of charged particles that absorbs damage from fire-, cold-, and lightning-based attacks.
Calling to the winds, the Druid sends small whirlwinds advancing into the midst of his enemies, buffeting and stunning them as they go.
A Druid trained in this ability possesses the power to summon from the bowels of the earth a violent eruption, raining molten rock down upon all nearby foes.
Manipulating the great winds into a fearsome cyclone, the Druid sends this force of destruction into a throng of opponents, crushing into them and leaving devastation in its wake.
This terrible force of nature’s vengeance rains down flaming stones around the Druid who cast it, pummeling any opponents foolish enough to be caught in its fury.
Particularly talented Druids can summon this most potent gale of devastation. A fierce storm wreaks havoc around him, while the Druid stays cradled within the gentle calm of its eye.
This is perhaps the most astonishing of all the talents granted to the Druids. Shape Shifting allows the Druids to manipulate their own flesh and form, taking on characteristics and capabilities of the beasts they have sworn to protect. Druidic warriors follow two paths: the path of the bear, and the path of the wolf. Some shape-shifting skills are available only to a single animal form, while others are common to both wolf and bear forms. Note that while in animal form, Druids lose access to certain skills. The wise Druid summons any spirits needed before transforming.
This ability allows an enlightened Druid to take on the form of a wolf, imparting to him quicker reflexes and heightened combat facilities.
Lycanthropy – Passive
Changing shape is quite a taxing ordeal for a Druid, and he can only assume animal forms for a limited time. This skill enhances his constitution while in animal form, thereby increasing the amount of time he can remain transformed.
This skill empowers the Druid with the capacity to assume the form of a savage bear, granting him great strength and fortitude.
Feral Rage – Werewolf only
When in wolf form, the Druid using this ability enters a frenzied rage, viciously tearing into foes and becoming heartier with each consecutive attack.
Maul – Werebear only
A Druid in Werebear form uses his mighty paws to rend brutal gashes in the flesh of his enemies. Using this ability, the fury of his assault increases with every opponent he kills.
Rabies – Werewolf only
When a Druid utilizes this ability, he toxifies his own saliva and attacks his enemies with a vicious bite, spreading a contagious disease that wracks the flesh of his infected opponents.
Fire Claws – Werewolf or Werebear
While in his animal form, a Druid can use his affinity with the natural elements in order to supplement his attacks with a blazing assault.
Hunger – Werewolf or Werebear
Nature gives life, but it can also snatch it back. When a Druid using this ability bites an opponent, he drains some of his victim’s vital essence, replenishing his own.
Shock Wave – Werebear only
With a tremendous roar, the Druid shakes the earth, stunning any enemies in the surrounding area with the resultant tremor.
Fury – Werewolf only
The use of this skill drives the Druid into a bloodthirsty frenzy, attacking many foes with a raging fervor.
Long ago, the Druids confided in prayer their sacred charge to the supreme spirits of Nature. The spirits were moved by their plight and answered the Druid’s call for help. Over the many years since then, the spirits have contributed in many ways to the Druids’ cause, even offering up soldiers to serve in their campaign. A Druid educated in the language of the Natural spirits can appeal to them, and they will provide him with valuable companions. These companions fall into three groups: spirit animals, sentient vines, and minor spirits of Nature.
With enough training in this skill, a Druid can summon a conspiracy of ravens, who viciously attack any opponents with razor sharp talons, flying over obstacles even the Druid himself cannot traverse.
A more subtle ally, these intelligent vines travel through the ground and use their cruel thorns to poison any opponents they contact.
The Druid uses this ability to call upon a helpful spirit of Nature to enhance his well-being, as well as the health of his companions.
Summon Spirit Wolf
This gift of Nature allows the Druid to conjure forth one or more wolf allies who, with their mystical powers, provide the Druid a potent and ferocious colleague.
The sentient plant summoned by this skill draws the corpses of your enemies into the ground, where it rapidly decomposes them, giving their life energies to the Druid who summoned it.
Heart of Wolverine
This ability grants the Druid the knowledge needed to summon into being a spirit that increases his skill in battle, as well as that of his party.
Summon Dire Wolf
This blessing from Nature imparts to the Druid the ability to summon several great wolves. Though the wolf is already fierce in combat, its savagery becomes greatly inflamed as it consumes the corpses of fallen foes.
This skill conjures forth an intelligent plant that draws the enemy’s dead deep into the earth, where it drains their spiritual essences and bestows them upon the Druid who summoned it.
Spirit of Barbs
The spirit invoked by this skill bestows upon the Druid and his company the mystical ability to reflect damage back at any opponents who injure them.
This boon grants the Druid the aid of a tremendous wild bear with huge claws and great fangs that fights ferociously alongside him with terrible strength and unmatched fury.
While most heroes who bravely adventure through the mortal realm do so for glory and for the liberation of mankind from the demonic shackles of the Burning Hells, it must also be noted that the accumulation of vast amounts of treasure is a welcome by-product. To some, in fact, the accumulation of wealth is the greatest reward of all.
Whether you choose to spend your time searching for the perfect collection of magic items with which to outfit your hero, or you merely enjoy seeing how much loot you can amass, the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction expansion set offers an abundance of new item types and enchantments to whet your appetite.
Item Properties: As you adventure, keep in mind that even the regular magic items you find now have hundreds of new magical properties with many wondrous new effects to help your characters on their brave quests. They are far too numerous to list here, but keep an eye out for new magic item names; their explanations appear in the item’s pop-up description. (This text, which explains the properties and requirements of the item, appears when you have your Inventory window open, and highlight an item with your cursor.)
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Class-Specific Items: Items of this type can only be used by the character class for whom they were designed. In the original Diablo II, there were certain items that anyone could wield, but that had properties only accessible to certain classes (e.g., the Necromancer’s wands or the Paladin’s scepters). In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, there are specific items that are only usable by their intended class, possessing special abilities only pertinent to that class. Be sure to pay close attention to the requirements of each item as listed in its pop-up description to see if an item is class specific.
Elite Items: Elite Items are similar to the Exceptional Items found in the original Diablo II, but far more powerful. Exceptional Items are found in the higher difficulties (Nightmare and Hell), having the appearance of items from Normal difficulty games (both in the inventory and on the character), but with different names and substantially increased statistics. Elite items are of an even higher caliber than Exceptional items. Mostly found in Hell-difficulty games, they possess new names and proportionately increased statistics, yet still retain the appearance of their corresponding Exceptional and normal versions.
Set Items: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction introduces some exciting new improvements to Set Items. First and foremost, there are many new sets to collect, complete with brand-new bonus abilities. Rumors have been circulating about the many new relics and the powerful magics they grant to those who obtain them. Here are some additional facts to be aware of:
- Set Items are now scaled more directly to the difficulty of the Act in which they are found. For example, when you find a Set Item, you are more likely to be able to equip it right away.
- For some Sets, you no longer need to assemble the complete Set to receive its bonus abilities. You now receive partial bonuses for partially complete Sets.
- A Set Item can now have more than two magic properties.
Socketed Items: When playing Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you can now find “Socketed” versions of many more kinds of items, including armor and high-quality, magic, Rare, and even Unique items. Be sure to read the description of a Gem, Jewel, or Rune to see what abilities it imparts to the different item types. Insertable Items: In addition to the Gems in the original Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction provides two new types of items that you can place into an item’s empty sockets.
- Jewels: Jewels are similar to Gems, except that instead of having predetermined magical abilities like a Gem, each Jewel possesses random magic properties, allowing you to bestow a wide variety of magical abilities to your Socketed Item. Some uncommon Jewels can have two or more magical properties. Before inserting a Jewel, its magical properties must be “identified” either by the use of a Scroll of Identity, or by a wise sage who can provide such a service.
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- Runes: Runes are small stones inscribed with magical glyphs that can be inserted into Socketed Items. Runes are different from other Insertable Items: not only do individual Runes have magical properties, certain combinations (or Rune Sets), when inserted into an item in the proper order, give that item even more wondrous abilities.
Charms: Charms are special magic items that grant magical enhancements without needing to be equipped to do so. Charms provide their abilities simply by being in the “Backpack” section of your character’s Inventory. They do not function if placed inside your character’s Stash or inside a Horadric Cube (even if that Horadric Cube is located in your hero’s Backpack).
Ethereal: Any type of armor or weapon, even one with magical properties, can be Ethereal. These items appear translucent in the Inventory, and when equipped, they appear translucent on the character wielding them. Their ethereal nature gives them an improved fundamental ability. However, they have decreased durability and cannot be repaired. Due to their extra-planar origins, Ethereal items often have requirements lower than those of an equivalent item.
Charged Items: Some new magic items grant the use of certain skills to any character. Some of these items have skills that are only triggered under certain conditions, such as striking an enemy or being struck by one. Charged Items allow the wielder to use the skill at will, but only a limited number of times. To engage the skill granted by a Charged Item, left-click your right mouse button Skill Selection (or press the S key). The Charged Item skill is listed near the top of your list of available skills; left-click on its icon to select it. The skill can now be performed by right-clicking on a target. Charged Item skills have a limited number of uses, so be sure to check the item’s pop-up description or the lower right-hand corner of the skill icon to see how many charges remain. If any of an item’s charges are depleted, you can return to a nearby town and recharge the item by having the local Blacksmith repair it.
In the initial stages of their campaign, the Three used a combination of relocated lesser demons and vile corruptions of native beasts to flesh out the ranks of their marauding host. To support him in his attack on the great Mt. Arreat, Baal knew that common rabble and poorly disciplined earthly mutations would never do, and so, to this end, he has enlisted some of his most powerful minions from the depths of his demesne.
Whenever Baal needs vast numbers of troops to lay siege to some stronghold determined to resist him, he musters the Reanimated Horde. These undead minions are the twisted souls of dead soldiers whose hearts turned black while still alive and have been given a new existence in the service of Baal. Chosen from only the strongest and most fearsome of warriors, members of the Reanimated Horde are distinguishable from normal skeletons by their greater size and by their vicious charging attack. When you encounter a member of this dark army, kill it and make sure it stays down; they have the nasty habit of refusing to remain dead.
The Death Mauler is an earth demon that dwells deep within the network of subterranean caverns of the Burning Hells. They are well protected by a hard shell bristling with spikes and a thick, gnarled hide. Hulking, tenacious beasts with the strength of twenty men, they can attack at close range with enormous claws or use their special attack to strike from a distance. Be wary of this ranged attack—the Death Mauler can discharge long, burrowing tentacles from his hands that travel quickly and surreptitiously under the ground, bursting forth and impaling his opponents.
Centuries ago, when men were foolish and practiced the demonic magics, it was common to invoke lesser demons and subdue them in order to gain their power. Fooled by the Imps’ small stature, sorcerers underestimated their powers and often summoned them to serve as familiars. Once lulled into trusting these clever and conniving demons, the master would find his will subjugated by that of his “servant,” who would then vivisect him and create numerous homunculi from the pieces. In time, these homunculi would grow into other Imps. Aware that its size is a liability in battle, an Imp uses magic to teleport and attack an opponent at range, from a fortified tower position, or even while mounted on the backs of large beasts.
These vile, loathsome beasts strike fear even into the black souls of Baal’s own troops. Not only can the Defiler viciously attack using its razor-sharp forelegs, it reproduces at will by silently hovering near an unwary demon and parasitically infecting the hell-spawn with pain worms. These pain worms immediately travel to the brain of the host monster and grow fat on the vile thoughts of the fiend. If the monster is killed while the worms are gestating, the parasites eat their way through the beast’s brain and ultimately burrow out of its skull in search of a new body to inhabit.
The handmaidens of Andariel, these powerful demonesses were thought to have been all but killed off during the battle below Tristram, but Baal has unleashed his personal harem on Mt. Arreat and enlisted their charms to help fulfill his desire to control the mortal realm. Succubi are among the most zealous minions of their master. They possess an incessant craving for blood, especially that of human men, and they take to battle with a passion and a joy not often seen in demons. They are fast and mobile in combat, preferring to weaken their prey from a distance with a diabolical curse that causes the afflicted to lose life instead of mana when using their skills. Once their prey is weakened, the Succubi move in for the kill, slashing viciously with their long, curved talons.