Level 3 Skills
|Chain Lightning||Guardian (Fire)|
|Elemental (Fire)||Mana Shield|
Chain Lightning (Lightning) – The biggest killing lightning spell in the game, and a spell that can deal the most damage per cast. Chain Lightning sends one bolt where your cursor points, and another one for each target in range (range is calculated without regard for walls or other obstacles), each time it is cast. The range increases with more points in the spell, as does the damage per bolt.
Elemental (Fire) – Elemental fires a running, target-homing human-shaped fire elemental. This one is far less useful than it would seem, for while the damage displays the same as Fireball, Fireball is boosted by a buggy, non-displayed splash damage. Elemental does not deal that splash damage, and as a result it’s less than half as damaging as Fireball. Even though it doesn’t “splash” like a Fireball, each Elemental can hit two targets if they are very close together.
Fireball (Fire) – The most popular fire spell in the game, and a hugely damaging spell against single targets or tightly-packed groups. Fireball moves very quickly (increasing with Slvl) and its damage increases with Slvl and Clvl, making it indispensable for all Sorcerers and many other character builds as well. Each fireball deals a splash of damage that’s equal to the damage of the spell itself. The fireball or the splash can be blocked, but not both, and monsters that can’t block always take both, making this one basically double damage against most enemies.
Flame Wave (Fire) – This spell basically creates a moving firewall, one that moves across the level until it hits a wall. The extend of the Flame Wave increases with more points in the spell, and it can be wider than the visible screen at high levels. The killing power of this one is far less than Fireball, but it’s a useful way to wake up all of the monsters in an area and bring them out to fight without disturbing the fire immunes in the area.
Guardian (Fire) – A three-headed, firebolt-spitting dragon is summoned, tunneling up from the ground in the location targeted with the spell. Guardians can only be cast in the line of sight, and not over walls or through doors. These are not especially useful to kill with, on higher levels, but are such fun to cast that many players enjoy using them anyway. They can be useful to shoot into a room you have not yet entered, but they are inefficient. The Guardians only shoot at whatever target is nearest, and if it’s fire immune their shots will pass harmlessly.
Mana Shield – A defensive spell, Mana Shield allows the caster to lessen the damage taken, and causes all damage taken to deduct from the mana pool, rather than from the life. This spell is mandatory for higher level Sorcerers who usually have hundreds of more points in mana than life, but can also be used by Rogues and other characters with moderately high mana who need or want an extra defensive buffer.
Phasing – This spell is a random teleport. Using it instantly transports the player to a random location somewhere on the visible screen. It’s only utility is as an emergency escape spell, if your character is surrounded by enemies. Since Phasing is non-targeting, it casts .05 faster than Teleport, and can therefore be useful to escape when stunlocked. Warp is a better choice in Hellfire, since it will take you further away, and to a predictable location.
Level 4 Skills
|Blood Star (Magic)||Lightning Nova|
|Bone Spirit (Magic)||Teleport|
Apocalypse – Apocalypse is the ultimate spell in Diablo. It creates a blossom of fire beneath a monster’s feet, but is not fire damage. Apoc is a special type of damage that can not be resisted, and that no monster is immune to. In Diablo it hits everything on the screen, even over walls, and is frequently used to decimate the creatures inside of Diablo’s square before the bone levers are thrown. In Hellfire the spell can be learned from spellbooks, but they are only dropped by Na-Krul, and the spell requires a line of sight to work; it can’t be used over walls anymore.
Blood Star (Magic) – A projectile spell most commonly seen being cast by Witches. Each Blood Star moves relatively slowly and in a straight line. There is no splash damage. Blood Star is the only viable, magic-type skill to kill targets at a distance, but the fact that it does so much less damage than comparable fire or lightning spells means it is very seldom used, except in special circumstances.
Bone Spirit (Magic) – Fires a pink, ghostly creature that moves relatively slowly, but that can home in on the target. The damage is percentage based, making this skill very damaging to monsters with full hit points, but virtually useless on ones nearer death. The damage is resisted, just like any other magic-based spell, if the monster has magic resistance.
Golem – A summonable stone man, the Golem is a slow moving but fairly damaging companion, most commonly used by sorcerers against triple immune monsters. Golems can also be helpful to distract enemies, and to kill targets on the other side of a wall. They benefit greatly from the stone curse spell, since if their targets are stationary and helpless, the golem hits with every strike and takes no damage during the battle. Without backup Golems are not useful against higher level melee monsters, who will kill them quickly.
Nova – A powerful lightning spell, Nova sends out an explosion of lighting in an expanding circle; albeit one riddled with gaps. Nova is more useful than Chain Lightning only when totally surrounded by monsters, when the sprite limits would cut Chain Lightning’s effectiveness.
Teleport – One of the most useful skills in the game; teleport allows your character to move to any location you can point to, whether you have a line of sight there or not. Great to move quickly around the levels, to escape monsters, to back up to gain more room to fire spells or arrows, etc.
Hellfire Expansion Added Skills
|Jester||Ring Of Fire|
Skill Descriptions, Alphabetical
Berserk – Berserk is a curse-like spell that resets a monster’s AI, and makes them hostile to their own kind. Monsters will fight other monsters when Berserked, but they are not necessarily on the character’s side; they simply attack whatever is nearest. This spell is best used as a decoy or diversion; turning an army of monsters with Berserk can be amusing, but it’s not an especially viable strategy.
Immolation – A fire-based version of Nova; this spell shoots out a ring of Fireballs. They are much less damaging than actual Fireballs, and do the same damage as Nova, but look just like Fireballs.
Jester – Jester is only found on staves. Jester staves will cast a semi-random spell each time the charges are used. Spells are fired at the character’s appropriate Slvl, or at level 1 if the character has not yet read a book for that spell. Spells included are:
- Firebolt: 20%
- Apocalypse: 10%
- Chain lightning: 10%
- Fireball: 10%
- Fire Wall: 10%
- Guardian: 10%
- Teleport: 10%
- Town Portal: 10%
- Stone Curse: 10%
Lightning Wall – An extremely damaging spell to any target foolish enough to stand still in it. Multiple Lightning Walls can be stacked on top of each other, increasing the damage proportionally. Most monsters will not advance into the lightning, but this AI can be used against them. Simply cast a Lightning Wall in front of them, and then cast one on top of them. They will stand and sizzle since they’re not smart enough to move backwards out of the line of fire.
Magi – Found only in charges on staves, the Magi charges work like drinking a full mana potion. They completely refill the mana of the caster, unlike the partial mana fill granted by the Mana charges.
Mana – A spell that works just like healing, but one that refills the mana globe instead of the life bulb.
Reflect – This spell creates an armor icon that floats above the character’s head, much like the mana shield graphic. It’s used by melee fighters and other characters who wish to reduce the damage they take from being hit by melee attackers.
Ring Of Fire – Ring of Fire casts a circular Firewall all around the player. It does the same damage and has the same duration as Firewall, but there are gaps in the circle that monsters will enter through, so it’s not a very effective defense, in of itself. Players will take damage from their own Rings of Fire, with that damage treated as though it had been inflicted by a trap.
Search – Perhaps the most useful feature added in Hellfire, this one causes items on the ground to light up as though they were being highlighted by the pointer. It also makes dropped items show up with a blue square on the minimap. Search in vain for that dinging ring no more.
Warp – Works like Phasing, but instantly teleports the character to the nearest stairway. A useful escape skill, but also helpful when rushing through levels and trying to find the way down, which most players do in the Hive, for instance.
(Continued in next post.)