"Diablo": Tips and Tricks for Beginners
This article will list tips and tricks to help you beat the original Diablo video game on PC—or at least help you get your footing. I dedicate this article to those of you who have recently decided to pick up a copy of this excellent classic.
Diablo sets itself apart from most other games of the genre (even from its own sequel!) because, although you can potentially wipe out whole groups of enemies by blindly throwing yourself into them, that approach rarely pays off. It's much better to use a healthy dose of strategy.
With that said, here are some general tips, tricks, and notes that will help out new players.
Assorted Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Here are some assorted tips to help you on your way.
- Save frequently! If you die, you have to reload, and backtracking stinks!
- Teleport is your friend. Use it and abuse it once you get it, especially if you're not a Warrior.
Shops, Items, and Gold
- Most shop items aren't that good. Those that are will probably be too expensive for you, unless you luck out. What I'm trying to say is: Don't buy items from shops.
- Monsters tend to drop gold and items when you kill them. Of particular note are items that have a gold name. Those are Unique and will never be sold in shops. Most of them have drawbacks to compensate for their benefits.
- Addendum to the previous tip: Quest items also have golden names. They're just as Unique as the item drops, but for different reasons, as you may have figured out.
- Wirt, the one-legged kid sitting all by his lonesome, will charge you 50 gold just for looking at what item he's selling. It's a gamble but, on occasion, that item can be pretty good. Just make you sure you take a lot of money, as the items he sells are rarely cheap. (10,000 gold or more is a ballpark figure on how much those items of his cost.)
- When shopping over at Adria the Witch's shop, keep a look out for spell tomes for Fireball, Town Portal, Fire Wall, Holy Bolt, Healing, and Lightning. Mana Shield is pretty much essential as well for Sorcerers.
- Two-handed weapons hurt, but can also get you killed when you're unable to block incoming shots and are surrounded.
- Always keep your items in adequate repair. (And I don't mean the Warrior repair skill if you're playing as one—although that one can be useful to repair items you intend to sell.)
- Items that drop to 0 durability are permanently lost!
- Always keep at least one Scroll of Town Portal with you. You may need to make a hasty retreat from a dangerous situation. And even if you don't, remember what I said about backtracking.
- Most monsters don't know how to open doors. Abuse this fact when looking into rooms that have openings you can shoot into (mostly Rogues with bows and Sorcerers with spells).
- Always use chokepoints to single out foes. You may feel like you're indestructible—a feeling that's most amplified when you're a Warrior or a Sorcerer with good spells. But trust me, all it takes is one unchecked monster to wreak havoc.
- Avoid the Black Death like the plague! Each successful hit they land on you drains your maximum HP by 1, permanently. (If you're a Warrior, I hope you have Holy Bolt by this point.)
- Fallen Ones and their kin (Carvers, Devilkin, Dark Ones) are cowardly. Kill one, and any others in the immediate area scatter until their morale is restored. Don't get cocky though; a group of them is still dangerous.
- Skeletons are resistant to damage from blades, such as swords and daggers. They take extra damage from crushing weapons though.
- As you kill more enemies of the same type, you gain details about them: such as the hit point range those creatures are known to have, as well as any spell resistances and immunities they may have as well. Use this knowledge wisely!
- When Dark Ones demand a Sign from you: Don't give it to them. It was the tavern owner's to begin with. (If you get this quest, you'll understand the hint.)
- Chances are you'll get the Butcher quest in your first playthrough. Clear the level he's in first, and then save the game. Give him a trial run. If you can't beat him, backtrack later when you're stronger and have better items.
- Against King Leoric: Holy Bolt is your friend. If you don't have it, I hope you have a bunch of Mana Potions for Firebolt (Sorcerer), a bunch of Healing Potions to help you slowly whittle him down to size (Warrior), or you may just have to backtrack because bows don't help much against him (Rogue).
Tips for Warriors, Rogues, and Sorcerers
Here are some tips for each of the specific classes in the game.
- It's always good to use the good old sword and board strategy. That is, always use a one-handed sword and a shield.
- You'll still want Holy Bolt and Healing tomes. Town Portal can't hurt either, if you manage to muster up enough mana to use it.
- You should always have a belt with eight Full Healing Potions. At the very beginning of the game, you'll have to make do with regular Healing Potions. But upgrade these to full ones as soon as possible.
- Allocate your stats on level-up like this: 2 points in Strength and 1 in every other stat.
- Always use a bow. Once you get more game experience, you can risk fighting in melee. But as a beginner, you should always use a bow. Play to your strengths!
- Try to always have a belt with five Full Healing Potions and three Full Mana Potions. Rogues can cast spells decently, but you'll probably need the health more.
- Allocate your stats on level-up like this: 2 points in Dexterity and 1 in every other stat.
- Try to always have a belt with three Full Healing Potions and five Full Mana Potions. Once you get Mana Shield, you could try having a full belt of mana. But that's a strategy for when you're more experienced, as it's very risky.
- Allocate your stats on level-up like this: 2 points in Magic and 1 in every other stat.