Communication refers to the way you play and relate to the people you party with. It is important for all members in the party to communicate properly should any unusual or dangerous situation occur. This aspect of the game is important enough to warrant it’s on section in this guide. It is hardcore after all and any one mistake could cost you your life, or worse, another player’s life. This section pertains to parties and so if you solo, the following information would be of no relevance to you.
When playing in parties, it is useful to know the needs of other players, and also let them know what your needs are and perhaps also your lag condition so that they can keep a lookout for your health. Such needs include whether you or other party members need a lot of mana potions, require resists (where auras are concerned), have a lack of hp/mana (battle orders) among other stuff. If you ask and find out that the necro you are partied with have mana problems maintaining say 8 revives, then you could do him a favor and take less mana potions, and simply cast more static and less finishers yourself.
Fire spells are sprite intensive and large amounts of fire all over the screen can kill the frame rate of old graphics cards and those people playing with 64 MB of memory. Before you start to cast firewall and meteors all over the place, it is advisable to ask if they mind or not. Most do, and generally a fire sorceress has to solo more than the standard ice sorceress.
Similarly, ask them if they mind blizzards; although this spell does not really cause frame rate to drop, it has a nasty effect of obscuring everything behind the Blizzards, even worse than Firewall/Meteors. It is generally ok to cast one on top of yourself when there are leapers around.
When partying with a necromancer, request him to use Lower Resists on every monster if he has this skill. Static really shines when LR is cast on those lightning resistant monsters such as stranglers and oblivion knights.
Try not to use the telekinesis spell too much. The sound of that spell being cast severely annoys other players, even if the only things it is used on are trapped souls, mana potions, piles of gold and perhaps a few armours that are worth some gold. If you grab a rare, inform the party about it even if it sucks, and then maybe drop it for them to see.
More often than not, the favorite place to get experience with a sorceress would be to party with a necromancer or an Amazon in Chaos Sanctuary. The seals by themselves are not dangerous, neither are the monsters itself, but rather the way they all appear suddenly.
Always clear the entire area around the seals first before opening the seals, tell your partner so when you enter Chaos Sanctuary. This isn’t really mandatory if your partner is an established one you have always been playing with, and have established plans at what to do at the seals.
The generally safe method of opening the seals would be to decide way before hand who should be the one that always flicks open the seal in the party. This player as a rule of thumb should never open the seal until all other players in the area have indicated that they are ready. Do not open the seal when there are ongoing battles, the last thing anybody wants is a swarm of monsters appearing behind them when they are fighting things in front.
Opening a seal before others have indicated their readiness is generally considered very rude, and a careless mistake can cost a players life at the seals. When fighting at the seals, pay more attention to where you click and do not accidentally open the seal.
Lightning Enchanted Bosses (LEBs) can be particular annoying, especially a teleporting one. Static field usually does nothing but scratch them, and other attacks of the sorceress generally tend to cause more retaliatory charged bolts to be released than anything else.
Assuming everybody in the party have maxed lightning resists, these bosses are not killers, just annoying. It is perfectly alright to chain static one of these if all party members are ranged attackers, but before starting to do so, note whether they are getting damaged badly by casting static once or twice first. If there are melee party members around, there are 2 ways to kill the LEB.
The first would be to let the melee player kill it. All other party members stay back as the melee player doesn’t want any more bolts than he already has to deal with. Barbs can usually WW a LEB safely. The second method would be to allow the ranged attackers to deal with it, and let the melee players stay back.
Usually, which method takes place isn’t discussed beforehand, so usually it will depend on who takes the initiative to attack the LEB first, the ranged or melee player. If you start to attack and a player joins in, pull yourself back.
If an Amazon is in the party, request that he use Slow Missiles on the LEB if he has not done so automatically already. This reduces the range and speed of the charged bolts by 1/3 and any attack larger than 7 yards or so of the LEB is safe.
It is wise to ask people in your party whether they have maxed lightning resists or not before adventuring out of town.
These bosses are one of the most feared and lethal combinations of attributes that can ever be generated. Owing to how charged bolts stack, the multishot attribute causes the retaliatory charged bolts to increase and stack on top of each other. In Nightmare difficulty, this is x3, while in hell, this is x7. The end result is seeing super thick white charged bolts.
Always be on the alert for LEBs and MSLEBs. The moment you sight the huge thick bolts, usually the effects of static, teleport and get the way clear of the MSLEB before worrying about telling your party members about it.
Partied with a necromancer, have him make multiple layers of bone wall to shield the bolts from touching both of you. If the MSLEB is a melee type monster, the fastest way to kill it would be to throw a golem near it, and cast Iron Maiden. If the MSLEB is a ranged attack monster, have the necromancer cast Lower Resist on it. Either way, as the sorceress, you should stand behind the bone wall and cast static one time per second, and if the walls fall, wait for them to be recast before continuing to static.
The best way to kill a MSLEB would be to deal damage in large packets, so that the amount of retaliatory bolts are minimal. Corpse Explosion is such a skill, and it is highly underused. Imagine the following situation I have experienced before:
“Opening the Lord De Seis Seal, he spawns right next to it. I teleport out, static once and discover that it is MSLE. The necromancer casts 3 layers of Bone Walls, traps the knights and casts lower resists. I start to cast static once every second. The necromancer casts a few Bone Spirits through the Bone Walls and obtains a corpse. Explode it, the whole seal dead in 15 seconds.”
Now this tactic also works on Lord De Seis even if he is not MSLE. When he spawns, simply Bone Prison the whole group before they can move, chain cast static, BS for the first corpse, and one CE kills the whole group. The level of the CE doesn’t have to be too high for it to work well. If the necromancer does not have CE or BS, then the next best alternative would be for the sorceress to cast an area spell such as Firewall, Meteor or Blizzard on the MSLE while behind the walls after enough statics. Worst comes to worst, TP out of the area.
With an Amazon, Slow Missiles will reduce the MSLEB to a baby, making it chain static-able and strafe-able (multishot or guided arrow is better here). As long as the Amazon refreshes the Slow Missiles every 10 seconds, and constantly recasts the Valkyrie and Decoy, the MSLEB is killable with minimal effort.
Partied with other classes where they do not have minions as tanks, it is not advisable to try to kill the MSLEB. Discretion is the better part of valor, leave the area and go elsewhere.
It is generally understood that players do not look for Hephasto and avoid the Hellforge Area, unless they are partied with a necromancer. Where this is concerned, I will assume that as a sorceress, you will not attempt to look for and kill Hephasto unless you are partied with a necromancer.
Hephasto is generally easy to kill when there are a lot of minions around to tank. The only one that would be of any real danger is a teleporting one. The obvious thing to do when such a Hephasto is identified (either by visual sight on screen, or hearing the teleporting sound) would be to run. Do not even stop to tell the necromancer that Hephasto is teleporting. As the sorceress, you need to TP to town first before the necromancer.
The best way to notify the necro that Hephasto is teleporting is the ZERO button on the keypad. Your character will shout “Help!”, “Help me!”. Press it twice, teleport back 3 screens, open a TP and enter it. The necromancer should follow right behind you and enter your TP while Hephasto is still engaged with minions. Of course, tell the necromancer beforehand that this is the plan to follow should a teleporting Hephasto be encountered.
It might be possible to continue to clear the River of Flame by returning via the waypoint, depending on how far out Hephasto’s Hellforge region is. As the Sorceress, remember to recast the TP at the waypoint so that players will not enter it by mistake.
When partied with no-minion players and Hephasto is activated, teleport well away and TP to town. Most importantly, do not ever lure Hephasto to the River of Flame waypoint, save and exit if you have to.
It is important to know the needs of your party members, and also important to let them know your situation, especially when in lag. If you are able to find a playing partner that you always party with everyday, this is obviously a lot better than just randomly looking for playing partners in game. Besides having established plans when facing certain situations and dangers, both you and him would also know each others needs and lag condition. Over time, trust would establish.
Diablo 2’s main replay ability factor does not lie in the skill trees and ability to customize one’s character, but rather the interaction and socializing with other players online, to make new friends everyday, to see and learn new ideas on how to apply skills in ways you have never imagined yourself before. Definitely, partying may not be in everyone’s book, given the large amount of PKs out there and perhaps real life relations that require you to be able to save and quit at a moment’s notice.