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Expansion Features

DETAILS ON SOME OF THE NEW FEATURES IN THE EXPANSION SET

Expansion Characters: After installing Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you will have the option of choosing between two different "character types"-Standard and Expansion-when creating a new character. (Note: Do not confuse this with the two new character classes- the Druid and the Assassin.) Standard Characters are just like the characters you are used to playing in Diablo II, whereas Expansion Characters are specifically created for use in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. You should be aware of some details before deciding which character type to create:

  • Expansion Characters can only create or join expansion games. They cannot create or join original Diablo II games.
  • Standard Characters cannot use any of the new features or modifications found in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, nor can they create or join Expansion games.
  • Standard Characters can be converted permanently to Expansion Characters simply by accessing the "Select Character" screen, left-clicking on the Standard Character you wish to convert, and then left-clicking on the "Convert" button.
  • Converting a Standard Character is an irreversible, one-way process. Once a character has been converted to an Expansion Character, he or she can never be changed back to a Standard Character. Similarly, once an Expansion Character has been created, he or she can never be converted into a Standard Character.

Corpse Recovery: In Nightmare and Hell difficulty settings, whenever your character dies, he or she suffers a loss of gold and experience points. In games of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, if you recover your corpse at the location of its demise, you can regain some of the experience points you lost. If, however, you choose to 'Save and Exit' out of your current game in order to restart and recover your body in town, you will not regain any of your lost experience.

Item Swapping: In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you have the ability to swap quickly between two sets of equipped weapon selections (i.e., right- and left-hand inventory slot configurations). To do this, merely open your Inventory screen and equip your character as you normally would. Next, left-click on either of the two tabs denoted by the Roman numeral "II" (or press the "W" key) to toggle between the two weapon configurations. Now equip your character with an additional two-handed weapon, a weapon and a shield, or (for Barbarians and Assassins) a pair of appropriate one-handed weapons. You can switch between the two weapon configurations at any time by pressing the "W" key or by clicking on the inactive weapon configuration's tab in your inventory screen (the inactive configuration is the one shaded a darker grey). Note: Your left and right mouse button skill setups are linked to your two weapon configurations. This allows you to customize your skill mouse buttons in order to complement your current weapon configuration. Remember that your character must meet the requirements for any weapons you want to equip. Also, please keep in mind that only your currently selected weapon configuration is actively equipped. Any magical properties of items in your inactive configuration will not affect your character until you make that configuration active. For example, if you are currently using weapon configuration "I," any magical properties of items in configuration "II" have no effect until you make it your active configuration.

Hirable Non-Player Characters ("Hirelings"): Diablo II: Lord of Destruction offers some exciting modifications to hirable NPCs. These computer-controlled hirelings who fight by your side can be hired from specific NPCs in most "towns"-the safe starting points in each Act-or are given free of charge as a reward for completing certain quests. In the original Diablo II, they followed your character around and helped you slay monsters, but you did not interact with them directly. In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you can increase their efficiency in combat and assist their development in a number of ways. (Note: These special new features only apply to hired NPCs and retainers acquired as quest rewards. Summoned creatures are not subject to these improvements.)

  • Attributes and Experience: Hirelings in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction come with their own set of attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Health, Damage, Defense, and Experience. As hirelings kill monsters, they gain experience points. When they gain enough experience points to reach a new level, their attributes automatically improve. You can also improve their attributes by equipping them with better equipment (see below). Keep in mind that hirelings aren't just paid mercenaries-they are co-adventurers. They fully share experience for their kills with you and your party, and they receive a smaller share of experience for monsters that you or your party members kill.
  • Equipment: You can now furnish your hirelings with equipment such as armor, helms, and weapons. Your hirelings must meet all strength, dexterity, and level requirements for the item, and any weapons must be compatible with the hirelings' weapon type, as represented by what you see them carrying. (For instance, the Rogue hirelings in Act I can be equipped with a War Bow, but not a Short Sword, whereas the Town Guard hirelings in Act II can be equipped with a Voulge, but not a Crossbow.) To equip your hireling, simply left-click on the appropriate button on your Mini-panel or press the O key to bring up the Hireling Inventory and Information screen. Then place items in the corresponding slots as you would in your own Inventory screen.
  • Healing: Previously in Diablo II, if you needed to heal your hireling, you had to return to town and visit the local healer. In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, however, you can heal your hireling directly by left-clicking on a healing or rejuvenation potion in your backpack or belt and then dragging it over the hireling's gold-bordered portrait located in the upper left of the game screen. When the portrait is highlighted, left-click again to release the potion onto the portrait. You can also heal your hireling by visiting a healing Well.
  • Hireling Continuity: Hirelings are now willing and able to accompany you to any of the various Acts of the game. In fact, you can actually finish the entire game through all three difficulty settings using only the first hireling received in Act I. You may choose to employ a new hireling at any time, but you may not take more than one hireling into your service at a time. If you choose to replace your current hireling with a fresh one, your old hireling will retire and be unavailable for further service. Before you replace a hireling, open the Hireling Inventory and remove any items you want to keep. Otherwise, you will lose that equipment.
  • Death: When your hireling dies, you can return to the nearest mercenary captain and either pay to have your late comrade resurrected or hire a new one. If you choose to resurrect your hireling, he or she will return to your employ with all of the attributes, experience, and equipment he or she had at the time of death. If, however, you decide to employ a new hireling, you give up the services of the recently departed and forfeit any equipment he or she was wearing. Note: If your character dies, your hireling dies as well.

Automap Options: There is now an "Automap Size" selection in the "Automap Options" menu in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. This new option allows you to choose between viewing the map as either the traditional full-screen Automap or the new, scaled-down "Mini Map." The Mini Map is about one quarter the size of the Automap and, when active, is displayed in one of the top corners of the game screen. You can switch this location from left to right by pressing the V hotkey.

Repair All: You can now repair all of your outfitted items in a single step. To do this, go to the nearest "blacksmith" NPC (whoever repairs your equipment) and select "Trade or Repair" as you normally would. Blacksmiths still have the usual buttons for buying, selling, and repairing; in Expansion games, they also have an added "Repair All" button. This option allows you to repair all of the items that your character currently has equipped in a single operation. If you move your cursor over this button, the highlighted text shows the cost of this procedure, and pressing the button completes it. Note: The Repair All button only repairs equipped items. Any damaged items that your character is not wearing must be repaired individually.

Fill Tome: By pressing the Shift key while right-clicking on a scroll you want to buy, you automatically purchase enough scrolls to fill the first unfilled Tome of that scroll type in your Inventory.

Item Properties: As you adventure, keep in mind that even the regular magic items you find now have hundreds of new magical properties with many wondrous new effects to help your characters on their brave quests. They are far too numerous to list here, but keep an eye out for new magic item names; their explanations appear in the item's pop-up description. (This text, which explains the properties and requirements of the item, appears when you have your Inventory window open and highlight an item with your cursor.)

Class-Specific Items: Items of this type can only be used by the character class for whom they were designed. In the original Diablo II, there were certain items that anyone could wield, but that had properties only accessible to certain classes (e.g., the Necromancer's wands or the Paladin's scepters). In Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, there are specific items that are only usable by their intended class, possessing special abilities only pertinent to that class. Be sure to pay close attention to the requirements of each item as listed in its pop-up description to see if an item is class specific.

Elite Items: Elite Items are similar to the Exceptional Items found in the original Diablo II, but far more powerful. Exceptional Items are found in the higher difficulties (Nightmare and Hell), having the appearance of items from Normal difficulty games (both in the inventory and on the character), but with different names and substantially increased statistics. Elite items are of an even higher caliber than Exceptional items. Mostly found in Hell difficulty games, they possess new names and proportionately increased statistics, yet still retain the appearance of their corresponding Exceptional and normal versions.

Set Items: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction introduces some exciting new improvements to Set Items. First and foremost, there are many new sets to collect, complete with brand-new bonus abilities. Rumors have been circulating about the many new relics and the powerful magics they grant to those who obtain them. Here are some other facts to be aware of:

  • Set Items are now scaled more directly to the difficulty of the Act in which they are found. For example, when you find a Set Item, you are more likely to be able to equip it right away.
  • For some Sets, you no longer need to assemble the complete Set to receive its bonus abilities. You now receive partial bonuses for partially complete Sets.
  • A Set Item can now have more than two magic properties.


Socketed Items: When playing Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you can now find "Socketed" versions of many more kinds of items, including armor and high-quality, magic, Rare, and even Unique items. Be sure to read the description of a Gem, Jewel, or Rune to see what abilities it imparts to the different item types.

Insertable Items: In addition to the Gems in the original Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction provides two new types of items that you can place into an item's empty sockets.

  • Jewels: Jewels are similar to Gems, except that instead of having predetermined magical abilities, like a Gem, each Jewel possesses random magic properties, allowing you to bestow a wide variety of magical abilities to your Socketed Item. Some uncommon Jewels can have two or more magical properties. Before inserting a Jewel, its magical properties must be "identified" either with a Scroll of Identity or by a wise sage who can provide such a service.
  • Runes: Runes are small stones inscribed with magical glyphs that can be inserted into Socketed Items. Runes are different from other Insertable Items: not only do individual Runes have magical properties, certain combinations (or Rune Sets), when inserted into an item in the proper order, give that item even more wondrous abilities. To discover some of these Rune Sets, keep a sharp eye out for Scrolls of Knowledge. (See the section on Scrolls below.)

Charms: Charms are special magic items that grant magical enhancements without needing to be equipped to do so. Charms provide their abilities simply by being in the "Backpack" section of your character's Inventory. They do not function if placed inside your character's Stash or inside a Horadric Cube (even if that Horadric Cube is located in your hero's Backpack).

Ethereal Items: Any type of armor or weapon, even one with magical properties, can be Ethereal. These items appear translucent in the Inventory, and when equipped, they appear translucent on the character wielding them. Their ethereal nature gives them an improved fundamental ability. However, they have decreased durability and cannot be repaired. Due to their extra-planar origins, Ethereal items often have requirements lower than those of an equivalent item.

Charged Items: Some new magic items grant the use of certain skills to any character. Some of these items have skills that are only triggered under certain conditions, such as striking an enemy or being struck by one. Charged Items allow the wielder to use the skill at will, but only a limited number of times. To engage the skill granted by a Charged Item, left-click your right mouse button Skill Selection (or press the S key). The Charged Item skill is listed near the top of your list of available skills; left-click on its icon to select it. The skill can now be performed by right-clicking on a target. Charged Item skills have a limited number of uses, so be sure to check the item's pop-up description or the lower right-hand corner of the skill icon to see how many charges remain. If any of an item's charges are depleted, you can return to a nearby town and recharge the item by having the local Blacksmith repair it.

Scrolls: In addition to Scrolls of Town Portal and Identify, you might now occasionally come across Scrolls of Knowledge. The sole function of these scrolls is to provide the player with information. Specifically, they are inscribed with "recipes" for the various Rune and Horadric Cube combinations.

 

Overview

    • Two new character classes (the Assassin and the Druid) each with 30 unique skills/spells
    • One new Act set in the Barbarian Highlands
    • Many new monster types, including bosses and uniques
    • Interactive environments, such as siege towers and fortified battlements
    • Thousands of new weapons, armor, and magical items, including class-specific quest items
    • New recipes for the Horadric Cube
    • Increased Stash Size
    • Supports 800x600 Resolution

Other Character alterations have been made.  Mostly starting with the Diablo 2 patch for 1.08.  See Blizzard.com for more info on that.



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