The information presented in these archived FotDs is now outdated, but that's often the most interesting thing about them, seeing how much the game has changed from then to now.
The original FotDs are indented and italicized. Explanatory comments below them were written by Flux at the time the FotDs were archived, usually a couple/few months after the original FotDs had been presented.
August was another slow month for the number of FotDs, with so much content on the site and the game just out. There are some missing from the archives as well.
Some interesting finds were made this month though, with the change to how Piercing worked, and also the unique ring/amulet item drop order stuff that Jarulf found out. That one really revolutionized how the game was played, since it enabled SoJs to be found (gambled) somewhat at will, and started the hording of them, which lead to them becoming the currency, much to the chagrin of most players, it seems.
August 6, 2000
- Corpse Explosion is a Clvl 6 skill from the Necromancer's Poison and Bone Skill Tab. Formerly one of the most powerful skills in the game, CE allows you to target any corpse, and detonate it in a lovely spray of giblets, dealing 60-100% of the monster's full living hit points to anything within range. In the v1.03 patch, this skill had the radius decreased, and more importantly, the damage no longer increases proportionally to the monster hit points in a multi-player game.
Nice screenie there. For a while in D2 the most fun to be had was to detonate a room full of corpses, just to see the blood fly.
August 14, 2000
- Pierce is a Clvl 30 skill from the Amazon's Passive and Magic Skill Tab. Always very useful with normal arrow attacks, or Strafe or Multishot, this skill was improved in the recent v1.03 patch. Elemental skills now work on anything they strike, so if you fire an Immolation Arrow into a pack, and Pierce works twice, you will have three separate pyres burning.
Initially Immolation Arrow, Freezing Arrow, Lightning Fury, etc only trigged on the first thing they hit. If Pierce worked the arrow/bolt/javelin would continue and might hit several other targets, but the skill's elemental bonus wouldn't work on anything other than the first target. This change made a lot of skills much more useful.
August 17, 2000
- Berserk is a Clvl 30 skill from the Barbarian's Combat Skills Tab. While extremely powerful, Berserk is not used that much, as it is difficult to properly balance the huge damage increase with the decreased defense it also creates. Each point into Berserk ups the Barb's damage and AR, while decreasing the duration of the benefit. A strategy detailing some tips for surviving with this skill can be seen here.
Berserk wasn't seen as much use in D2. It was very buggy, the physical damage didn't convert to magical damage as it was supposed to, and the AC penalty from it was very buggy, it tended to keep multiplying your penalty every use, and would get to -56000 and then flip over, so you could make yourself invulnerable, then next swing it would flip back to negative, etc.
In D2X Berserk is tremendously powerful, and is probably the most overpowered Barbarian skill, enabling a Barb with a good weapon to kill any PI (Physical Immune) monster in a Hell game in just a few swings, much to the envy of Paladins and especially Druids, who have no useful skills against PIs. It's such a massive damage and AR bonus that Berserk is nice for killing any single target, while Whirlwind is better for mobs where you can get multiple hits on multiple targets.
August 26, 2000
- Finding Uniques in Diablo II is both simpler and more complicated than previously thought. In new info unearthed by Jarulf, and posted about by Bliz as well, it turns out that unique items of the same type (rings, amulets, etc) will only generate in a certain order, and that you (or someone else in your game) must have the first (and second) items in order to get the third. More testing is needed to determine exactly how this works in terms of gambling and also monster-dropped items.
We describe exactly how this method worked on our Uniques Rings pages now, but the method no longer works in D2 after v1.07, and it never worked in D2X. The discovery of this was quite a change, since it made gambling SoJs not all that hard, and started the real hording of them, which lead to them eventually becoming the currency of the realm. The same technique worked on Unique Amulets, but no one valued those as much, and Eye of Etlich (the most desired one) required only a Nokozan in your stash.
August 28, 2000
- Three modifiers found only on Unique and Set Items are commonly asked about. "Deadly Strike" is a chance of doing double damage with any weapon attack. It is calculated after all other damage, including Critical Strike but not elemental damage. "Crushing Blow" is a chance of reducing the monster's remaining health by 50%. This one doesn't seem to work on big bosses though. "Open Wounds" is much like a poison attack; it causes a continual life drain to the target. Full modifiers info can be seen here.
The page linked to has been updated many times since then, and now has all sorts of odd D2X stuff like Absorbs and Demon Heal and such.