On Diablo Feats

The Diablo franchise has seen something of a surge of usage in the OBD in recent days. AgentAAA has done a decent job cataloging and calculating some of the feats. I’ve actually (and quite independently) been thinking about some of the feats. I’ve been thinking about them because I’ve been playing Diablo II recently. I’ve actually been playing the game on and off since late 2001, but I started again more recently at the behest of a buddy on another forum, much to my own surprise. I’ve probably wasted far more time playing this game than I should, but I digress.

These feats aren’t calculated, but they are just a few things I’ve noticed. Again, this entry is limited primarily to Diablo II.

Diablo II OBD
The five original character classes in Diablo II and Big D himself, though the Barbarian isn’t looking too good right now.

It might behoove me to go over the basic abilities of the character classes:

Sorceress: Can teleport, has telekinetic abilities, and can form various shields of ice that protect against attacks and an energy shield that absorbs a certain amount of damage and converts it into energy for her to use. She can call forth meteors from the sky and summon hydras (that can’t be attacked, but that’s obviously just a game mechanic). Her most powerful ability in terms of sheer damage is Static Field, but I think this attack might be another game mechanic in its entirety, since it’s based around cutting off a certain amount of hit points in the enemy (but no further) in one shot.

A perhaps most interesting ability is the Thunder Storm attack. Although certain electrical discharges have been shown by AgentAAA to not be real lightning, the description for this attack is as follows:

Weather manipulation is the most impressive form of elemental magic a Sorceress may attain. A Sorceress learned in this skill may manifest a tempest of dark storm clouds that follow her wherever she travels. Any who approach the canopy of her storm are subject to the full force of the gale and bolts of powerful lightning.

This description seems to me to fit the definition of natural lightning that we’ve been using in the OBD for a long time. Clearly the attack is coming from a cloud. Maybe you want to argue that these clouds are somehow artificial given the term “manifest.” I’ll leave that to later. From a speed standpoint however, the most interesting aspect about this attack is that it cannot be dodged. Enemies that get hit with this attack can do nothing about it. The bolt cannot be dodged. This may put a damper on the speed claims AgentAAA has made in his recent calculation.

Amazon: My preferred character class. Amazons are probably the most versatile fighters in Diablo II, as they have access to a wide array of abilities. In terms of sheer hax, the Passive and Magic skill tree delivers a wide array of abilities. These include lowering the defenses of enemies, slowing down missile attacks, increasing her damage output and accuracy, giving her attacks a high chance of piercing, duplication, and summoning a very powerful Valkyrie that can stand up to just about anything in the game, including the act bosses (Andariel, Duriel, Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal). She can also avoid and evade very quick attacks at quite a short range, unlike some other classes (all of which can potentially block arrows and crossbow bolts with a shield at short range). In terms of reaction time and reflexes for combat, the Amazon is probably the fastest character from an OBD standpoint.

In terms of sheer martial prowess she can go along one of two lines – the Javelin & Spear line, or the Bow & Crossbow line (or both if you want to challenge yourself to build that kind of character successfully). Like the Sorceresses’ Thunder Storm ability, the Amazon’s Guided Arrow attack will never miss. Amazons in the bow skills have fire and ice manipulation, while those in the javelin/spear skills use lightning and poison.

Javelin/spear Amazons are very interesting from an OBD standpoint, particularly the lightning abilities. These abilities are some of the most potent in the game. Charged Strike and Lightning Strike send potent discharges of electricity that obviously hit the top tiered monsters in the game. Lightning Fury is perhaps the most spectacular move in the game, launching a bolt of lightning that immediately breaks apart into a frenzy of bolts, blasting clouds of enemies with lightning bolts which are basically impossible to dodge or for her to miss.

The Necromancer is an interesting character. In-game, I don’t really like to use him, as his style of fighting is too indirect for me, but for OBD purposes, he makes a great caster with an array of haxed abilities including soul manipulation (though how potent these abilities would be will likely require some test threads). He has the most widespread summoning abilities of any character in the game, with the ability to animate the dead as various kinds of skeletons, and he can summon golems of various different kinds. The Blood Golem heals itself and the Necromancer upon doing damage to enemies, the Iron Golem seems to me to be a form of transmutation, as the Necromancer can use items on the ground and craft them into a “living” golem, with the properties of those items. The Fire Golem absorbs a certain amount of fire damage.

The Necromancer’s hax also extends to curses with a variety of effects – weakening enemies, lowering their resistances to elemental attacks, blurring their vision, and the list goes on.

Then of course there is his immensely powerful Corpse Explosion ability.

The Assassin is the most technically skilled hand to hand combatant in the game and emphasizes traps (with various effects), but can also summon a powerful Shadow Warrior (which is more like duplication given the description). She also has some mind manipulation abilities with her Mind Blast technique, and her Fade ability allows her to become partially intangible, which resists not only physical attacks, but magic, elemental, and more haxed affects via curses.

Barbarian: The strongest physical fighter in the game. His attacks are physical based and so he can be said to lack hax in certain respects, but his Warcries skill tree present an interesting panoply. These skills variously allow him to increase his health and defense, make his own and his allies’ abilities more powerful, make his enemies less powerful and accurate, and so on. Although lacking in pure direct hax, his abilities make him an excellent team player.

Druid: Like the Necromancer, the Druid is another summoning class, however, his skillsets are far more direct, including powerful elemental magic and shapeshifting abilities. A most interesting summon is the Carrion Vine, which eats corpses and in turn heals the Druid. A similar summon, the Solar Creeper, gives him energy. His Spirit of Barbs reflects damage back at attackers.

The Druid can shapeshift into either a bear or a werewolf, with different abilities for each, and can use powerful elemental magic, including creating fissures in the ground:

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 may be a most interesting feat to calc later.

Finally, the Paladin, perhaps the most powerful overall character. In an OBD context, his most potent abilities are on a team, as he has access to many passive auras that grant great offensive and defensive haxes – greatly reducing enemy resistance to elemental attacks (Conviction), several auras which grant healing or energy recharging abilities, damage-amplifying auras, the Fanaticism aura, which increases attack speed/reflexes as well as damage output, the Thorns aura, which, while weak, hurts those that attack the Paladin or his allies, the Vigor aura which increases speed, the Holy Freeze aura which slows enemies down, and more.

Fist of the Heavens is a magical ability that has already been explored by AgentAAA. His Conversion ability is a temporary form of mind control that may make enemies fight for him. Then of course, there is the infamous Blessed Hammer ability which deals a massive amount of magical damage.

As for the bosses…

Andariel: A large amount of poison manipulation, but is weak against fire.

Duriel: The Holy Freeze aura.

Mephisto: Powerful lightning and poison manipulation as well as ice-based abilities. Outside of game mechanics, Mephisto has very powerful mind control abilities, as he corrupted the entire Zakarum order all throughout the country of Kehjistan (or at least the Kurast metropolitan area). He can also possess others.

Diablo: Powerful fire-based abilities and the ability to imprison his enemies in potent bone cells. Like his brothers, he also has possession and mind control abilities, though from what I understand his mind manipulation is less potent than Mephisto’s, as his feats primarily concern corrupting King Leoric, Albrect, and Aidan.

Baal: Out of the act bosses in Diablo II, Baal has the most haxed abilities. These include energy draining, fire manipulation, ice manipulation, duplication, teleportation, and so on. He also has possession and mind control capabilities.

Of course, the Prime Evils also have soul manipulation and resurrection capabilities.

Baal Diablo II OBD
Baal, Lord of Destruction in all his ugly glory.

Regarding the monsters themselves – some are immune to physical attacks, making them intangible. Most monsters have an immunity to at least one element in the game (usually fire, ice, or lightning, but sometimes magic or poison). They’ll usually have elemental manipulation or a potent melee ability.

 

Items: Certain items grant teleportation abilities. There are also certain items in the game that lower enemy resistances such as Griffon’s Eye and Thunderstroke (which lower enemy resistances to lighting attacks). Essentially any hax in the game, some item somewhere will grant it. Particularly interesting items include the Nature’s Peace ring, or items that have a “fallen monsters reset in peace” modifier that prevents any form of resurrection or necromancy.

This list was mostly a ramble, but I think I listed some of the feats well. We’ll see how we continue to examine the series in the future.