Starter Build Guides

maxicek

Moderator
Dec 24, 2019
813
893
93
With D2R coming @Elly and @Rush want to get the guides sorted out. Many are very out of date and I'm not sure that we have all the basic builds covered. Some are maybe too complicated for a new generation of players.

So first step: What builds need to be covered? Below is a list of cookie cutters from the top of my head, which should we have guides for? Which are not required?

Starter Build Guides
(Untwinked, first ever playthrough)

ClassBuildDifficultyComments
AmazonFishyzonMediumCan be started either as a Bowazon or a Java and has little problem with bosses or large packs due to ChS and Freeze. No immunity problems.
AssassinTrapperMediumStart out with Fire Traps and respect to Lightning
BarbarianWhirlwindHardWhirlwind & Berserk with Warcry for crowd control
Nightfish Berserker?
DruidElementalMediumStart out Fire and respect to Wind
NecromancerFishymancerEasy
PaladinHammerdinMedium
SorceressMeteorbEasyMaybe with a recommendation to respect to pure Blizz once Hell is beaten?

Next Step Build Guides
(I have completed Hell and farmed some items)

Amazon
- Physical Bowazon
- Lightning Javazon

Assassin
- Trapper
- Dragon Talon
- Phoenix Strike

Barbarian
- Whirlwind
- Frenzy

Druid
- Fire
- Wind
- Fury Wolf

Necromancer
- Poison Nova
- Bone

Paladin
- Hammerdin
- Physical Zealot

Sorceress
- Blizzard
- Lightning

This is mainly targeted at people just starting out, who have never played D2 before.
- What build would you start with?
- what builds would you try next?

Edits:
Reformated list to go with post 3
Added starter builds for all classes, thanks @art_vandelay
 
Last edited:

d2lover

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
762
387
63
I fear many of those builds are not exactly for starters.

I will take a sorceress. probably Blizzard.
 

Gynli

Member
Mar 17, 2020
29
51
13
Are these guides meant for players whos completely new to the game; and are just venturing out to blood moor?

Or are they meant for players who at least beat normal and are wanting to beat hell?

Or perhaps people transitioning from the initial story mode to grinding?

EDIT:
I realize the initial post says the guides are mainly for players starting out; but i asked this anyway because i thought a playthrough guide could perhaps benefit those players more.

This could be slightly off topic as it is not a build guide... but do we have a playthrough tips and tricks guide??

Older games like D2 takes a lot of trial and error to figure out how things exactly work; and I imagine something that mentions how Act 1 boss is weak of fire and does alot of poison damage; or how Bone Shield of Deflecting is great againt Act 2 boss; or that one should expect alot of fire damage in Act 3; or how dolls explode on death etc etc would be a neat thing to have for newer players.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: D2DC and Kartongen

TheNix

Active member
Mar 18, 2020
57
127
33
I have used Trappers or Trapper/kicker hybrids as a starter a few times and they have always worked for me. Of course, the Fishymancer is the quintessential starter build, but I'd go with a Boner as I don't really like the Fishy. I would think about a Blizballer initially rather than a Meteorb, but I think that's just a personal preference. A hybrid Druid summoner or a LightningZon would be a second rank builds for me with Barbs and Pallys further back.
 

maxicek

Moderator
Dec 24, 2019
813
893
93
@Gynli I'm wondering if a first playthrough guide may be a good starting place. Something along the lines of "First time on The Blood Moor to Killing Hell Baal"

So lets simpify the first question: What build would you start with?
Blizzballer / Meteorb?
Fishymancer
Anything else?

Second question:
Once you have got into Hell, maybe run Meph for a bit, what build guides do you expect to see next?
The main purpose here is that we have all the cookie cutters covered. So if anyone Google's "Diablo 2 Ressurected Zealot" they are coming here and getting a guide.
 
Last edited:
Mar 14, 2020
4,665
367
83
37
Germany
I'd recommend an item independent build, too. But I guess, for new players it depends on the playstyle. Some people just love whacking monsters with a big hurty stick 🤷‍♂️

A starter guide would be a good idea! Both HC Gunther's and jiansonz's guide are good starting points, although they focus on single pass. But I think pointing out the benefits of early MFing and where and when to shop and gamble the best items is a great idea.

Also, one could include basic infos like @Gynli said:

- Drink some Antidote potions and give some to your merc before fighting Andariel
- use choking gas potions for mobs early on
- you can hire a rogue merc once you hit level 8 even if you didn't beat Blood Raven yet
- players x!!!!
- never put points into energy - ever! 😅

Then in Act II:
- Savage polearm recipe is the earliest to get a high damage weapon - where to shop the ingredients? Equip items with Amethysts for +STR or jewels of freedom so that your merc may start using it as soon as possible!
- Duriel is a beating and a hurdle early on. prebuff with thawing potions, keep potions and TP ready.

and much much more like this...

Also, people might not now that there is a definite end-game, and not Torment 67+ or something like that (e.g. that monsters only respawn if you log out and start a new game. Items on ground disappear after some time (man, that was a bummer back then when I didn't know this because it didn't happen in Diablo 1 and I came back to my game and everything was gone :cry:)
 

maxicek

Moderator
Dec 24, 2019
813
893
93
So maybe we start like this, with a general guide:

An Absolute Beginners Guide to Diablo 2 and Diablo 2 Resurrected

(These are just stubs at the moment, not a complete list)

The Character Screen
- Stats
- Life
- Mana
- Resists
- Damage and Attack Rating
- Blocking / not blocking
- Defense


Extended Stats
(Not shown currently but available in D2R)
- FHR / FCR etc
- Leech
- Crushing Blow / Deadly Strike / Open Wounds
- MF / GF

Skills
- Why to save points
- Links to starter build guides

Quests & Playing the Game
- What is important
- What can be skipped if required
- Dealing with Immunities
- Tips for completing quests

Mercenaries
- Which ones to hire
- How to equip them

What to do after completing the game
- Farming for items
- Next step builds


We can then use this intro as a jumping off point to other builds. It also means we don't need to repeat some things in each quide.

What do you think?
 
Last edited:

art_vandelay

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2020
464
843
93
Nice idea @maxicek !

I'd be down to write something ;)

I like the idea of there being guides for general survival and "Things you probably didn't know or expect", especially because it's a 20 year old game and stuff isn't as intuitive as in newer games.

But I feel that in terms of builds there should be a list of seven guides, one for each class and suited for a first playthrough. Difficulty would be marked behind the link to the guide, maybe in stars? I.e. Barb is three stars but Necro is one star.

The idea here is that people open the character selection and a character jumps out at them and they want to play THAT class and no other. Telling them they should play Sorc instead just feels wrong. Not everyone wants to farm Mephisto before playing another character.

The builds for each class I imagine could be something like this:
  1. ** Amazon: Fishyzon; can be started either as a Bowazon or a Java and has little problem with bosses or large packs due to ChS and Freeze. No immunity problems.
  2. ** Assassin: I think PhStrike is too involved for a beginner, Trapsin makes more sense. Start out with fire traps and then respec into lightning seems a good way to go about it. Also few immune problems thanks to DS.
  3. * Necro: Fishymancer, no explanation needed :D
  4. *** Barbarian: That would be an ambitious one, but I think a new player can get a WW/Zerk build through Hell with the right help. Would have to emphasize crowd control a good bit.
  5. ** Paladin: Hammerdin.
  6. * Sorceress: Meteorb.
  7. ** Druid: Fire into Wind; Probably one of the easier playthroughs and it exhausts an entire skill tab.
***

Finally I always wanted to write a "Directions" guide that is as complete as possible a listing of all the layouts for maps there are. That would include even small maps like The Stony Tomb or the Hell levels in act 5. First learning how maps work is a game changer for people :D
 

maxicek

Moderator
Dec 24, 2019
813
893
93
I'm not including Blizzard in the starter builds due to the immunities problem. Whilst it will be a popular choice for experienced players, I think it may be a bit daunting for someone starting their first playthrough.

@art_vandelay Great suggestion of one build per class. Thanks for volunteering to write, you may have guessed that would be the next step :)

I also want to get a standard format for the guides so they all feel similar. I use this site when I dabble in D3, I really like their "Starter and Fresh 70" Guides:


What about Nightfish Untwinked HC Berserker for the Barb?

I'm editing your list into post 1, thanks for this.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Jocular

CaseyJones

Active member
Mar 16, 2020
90
230
33
Usually start with orb baller or hammerdin. Both mostly gear independent without many non killables.

I have tried starting with melee toons and always hit a wall mid nightmare with lack of AR usually so tips on managing AR would be good.

Also, tips on build focus. When first starting out I tended to spread points all over into skills that sounded interesting which was fine through normal but it was years before I tried going NM and Hell because I always got my butt handed to me in NM blood moor and couldn't figure out why (so I would just play a different class through normal again :) )

The knowledge here is vast so I am sure good guides will be no trouble at all :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kartongen

Kartongen

Member
Jan 20, 2021
35
76
18
The Frozen North
Very many good ideas thrown around here. I was going to write something along a separation of "questing" and "farming", but work gave me no time and I see @maxicek have already summarized it better than I could.

I also think @art_vandelay's idea of a guide with a single build of each class is an amazing idea. Regarding the barb, I have a suggestion I will throw out there so all you more experienced players can explain how I am wrong... But maybe concentrate? It was the first barb build I really liked (used Hal's guide iirc), and it is generally described as a "slow but steady" kind of build. Generally, not dying even if overwhelmed, is quite fun if you ask me.

And I, with the strongest of emphasis, second @CaseyJones' suggestiong of adding a section of AR in there. For so long I skipped AR, not realizing what it did, and disliked my physical characters for it. Or later, tried to get AR via pumping dex, which I feel is almost as wrong as putting points in energy. (Dex is vital for other things, but does anyone allocate statpoints in it for "to-hit"?)
So yes, mention AR and also how (little) Dex affects it.

edit: Also, just so we are all on the same page, I think all things above should probably not be in a single guide. @Grisu's "Useful tips if you get stuck" should probably be separated from @art_vandelay's "New to Diablo II - try this build first" and @maxicek's "How stuff works in this old-ass game". (Though mentions/links to eachother could be smart.)
 
Last edited:
Apr 24, 2020
311
294
63
Ohio
I maybe indifferent, and I like the idea of guides, but working with teenagers and even knowing gamers, maybe a more intro guide into what Diablo II is and why it is different than every other ARPG out there.

Couple points come to mind right of the top of my head:

Item level requirement does not mean higher is better. There are endgame builds that use low level items (Two piece AR bonuses from Angelic/Hsaru's, CBF from Death's gloves/sash, etc) ***This here is pretty much different than every other ARPG I have played, is especially true if you come from D3.

Very few characters ever make it to 99 due to the time commitment and very very minimal gains. I think this is key especially since D3 is really focused on end-game and it has its own little thing, that Diablo 2 really doesn't have in the same respect.

(D1 I never made it past low 40s for example, and by the time I figured out why a Warrior is so strong as they move up, it sure didn't seem like a solo game time commitment I would ever want to make)

Maybe even more so is to figure out what you want to do with your first couple characters, like recommend idea farm areas so you can farm specific areas for gear/runes/base items)

Your fast kill character builds that wipe out packs and your more inline single target builds.

Talk about how much slower this game can be if you are coming to play single player:

Like for example I can spend 30 hrs and get end-game gear and a character to ~500paragon by myself in D3. On the other hand I do a tournament character and I normally have maybe just completed Normal difficulty. I think even on my super fast recent Javazon I spend 15 or so hours just going through Hell, and that was at the speed of light.
 

Swamigoon

Well-known member
Apr 18, 2020
300
840
93
I'd recommend different categories of "next step" build guides:
  • those that can be still done untwinked, but with a little more skill or time than the seven featured untwinked starter builds. (I think many of your suggested next steps builds fit this category, maxicek, but maybe not all of them.)
  • those that would be more easily tackled by waiting to farm certain key items or item mods, and then twinking those items from an ATMA or GoMule stash.
    • (Examples I can think of: "poison skill damage" and "reduced enemy poison resist" stuff for poison builds. Good elite boots for kicker assassins. A four socket staff with an energy shield staffmod for an enlightenment sorceress. A high-damage weapon and lots of IAS/FHR for a werebear.)
    • (Maybe some key items to look for while farming, along with candidate builds that can take good advantage of those key items?)
Also, how about a separate category with advice for playing a hardcore YOLO character?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jocular

Drixx

New member
Mar 21, 2021
6
3
3
I feel like a Zealot Paladin aiming for Crescent Moon is probably a strong contender for a starting Paladin build. Some interesting budget things you can do to gear it without needing anything super rare, and the runes for Crescent Moon are pretty low intensity to farm AND the Zealot can use just about anything along the way and be fine, and then once they make that sweet runeword it's a blast.
 

Gynli

Member
Mar 17, 2020
29
51
13
Lotta great discussions!

I definitely agree that there should be a gigantic warning sign, that this is a 20 year old game and things is not as user friendly as modern games.

As for the builds, i would recommend frenzy barbs and zealots over ww and hammerdin for complete beginners - as hard difficulty. They may not be the easiest to beat hell with from our experienced perspectives; but they are so much more straightforward in playstyle. They also have the benefit of getting into their playstyle early in the game - at lvl 6 for double swing and at lvl 12 for zealot. I can see one quickly losing interest if they beat Act 1 and is midway into Act 2 (lvl 12~20+ depending on player settings) and havent got a glimpse of what the final build would look like.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kartongen and Vang

SirName

Active member
Mar 25, 2020
93
179
33
A tips and tricks section should contain stuff like this:

Had to search this post as I had forgot how to do that. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rush

maxicek

Moderator
Dec 24, 2019
813
893
93
So I think we are almost there with the content map, now comes the big question:

Who would like to volunteer to write something?

Please post what you would be up for writing. I think we will need to make edited version of NF's guides too.
 

art_vandelay

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2020
464
843
93
This morning I stumbled on the charm guide written 15 years ago by the guy who was gifted a tainted Zod :D

I noticed it had some inaccuracies as well as some mistakes so I went and wrote a new one. This is a draft still and it's missing three tables but it should be readable.

Feedback is appreciated, especially on how easy it is to read for someone that's new to the game. I refrained from listing every single prefix/suffix and listed types of affixes instead. This makes it a lot more tidy in my eyes and as soon as the german affix calculator is back online there will be a resource I can link to for a full list.

I'm especially interested to hear whether anything is missing?
 

Attachments

  • CharmGuide.txt
    20.6 KB · Views: 7
  • Like
Reactions: Rush
Apr 24, 2020
311
294
63
Ohio
I wouldn't mind writing an overview of things to expect in d2, kind of sort of like my post. Just give me a dateline for a draft and it'll be done, or if it needs to be something else that isn't covered I'm more than willing, just let me know what to write about.
 
Last edited: