Games Newbies Play


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Games Newbies Play

I live with my brother, who's been playing Diablo 2 just about every day since it came out. You may remember that I'm pretty new to the game, and I've noticed a few differences between the way I play and the way he plays. See if anything here sounds familiar to your days as a noob:

I once read that the people who designed Diablo 2 honestly had no idea people would specialize their character classes and choose to max out a handful of skills and generally ignore the rest. The Assassin I'm playing now (level 52 in Nightmare Act 2 now, a personal best) is the first character I've played using that method. Every character I've had before that had a couple points in every skill. Needless to say, doing 200 damage with my previous characters was a lofty ambition.

Watching my brother play, I've noticed that he picks up only a few items: mainly armor, rings, and +skills items. He leaves the rest sitting on the ground. I usually pick up anything not bolted down and go through Town Portal Tomes like water. Maybe there's a reason why he gets through the game a lot faster than I do.

The closest thing I have to any kind of strategy is usually the way I arrange my inventory. A Tome of Town Portal and a Tome of Identify, my Horadric Cube, one slot for keys (actually, I found that Assassins don't use keys, but it's still a habit picking them up), two rows of charms (it doesn't really matter what those charms do, as long as they fit neatly into the space I have assigned for them) and a row of mana potions (because laying down five traps for every Fallen you see isn't overkill, it's being cautious).

If I come across a class-specific item, I'll usually equip it even if it isn't the most useful thing I have. I don't know why. It just feels right.

Every quest. Every waypoint. Every time. I've read through a few forum posts and I am now convinced that I am the only person in the world with the Halls of the Dead waypoint in Nightmare.

It puts a smile on my face to see green- and gold-lettered items drop, no matter how useless they may be. Three items I've found really floored me, though. Manald's Heal, Chance Guards, and Rockstopper were like gifts from the heavens. These weren't just unique items (still things of fascination to a noob like me), these were items I've actually seen listed in some strategy guides. These are things that the lauded experts of Diablo 2 have deemed Very Useful Things (well, maybe not the ring), and the fact that I have a couple of these Very Useful Things is, for lack of a better term, pretty friggin cool.

They say the first step to overcoming your problem is recognizing that you have a problem. Looks to me that I've got a few of my bad Diablo habits nailed, it's just a matter of overcoming those habits.

But I'm curious. I surely can't be the only one ever diagnosed with a severe case of Noob Madness. Maybe a few of you guys remember some of your own bad habits in your early days in the game, when having to actually choose a difficulty level after picking your character was a cool new thing. Maybe you'll even share, make me believe that I can one day rise above my station and do something amazing, like complete a Grail or make a strategy guide (I'm sure there's one variation of a character that hasn't been done yet).

After all, everyone was a noob once.

At least, that's the excuse noobs everywhere else on the Internet have been using for the last decade or so.

slappy sam

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Well like most people, I always put a handful of points in a skill until I thought it was good enough. I never really maxed a skill, or stayed with just 1 point. I tried pretty much every skill, sometimes just to see what it did/what the graphic was like. I also picked up all magics and sold them, until I got into nightmare and realized I had max gold and there was no point to picking up worthless magics and selling them for pathetic amounts of gold.

Another thing I did that might be unusual, I'm not sure, is that I tried to conserve my mana so I didn't have to use pots. Even today I do it. But when I started out, with my magic arrow bowazon (and strafe, immolation arrow, freezing arrow, and high level valk) I would use the normal attack skill almost all the time. Or when magic arrow cost nothing, I would use that, and save strafe etc. for when I really needed it; when I couldn't handle it with magic arrow. Which wasn't a lot of the time :p.


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I have the halls of the dead waypoint in nightmare. :) I get every one except for Halls of Pain in hell for obvious reasons, and do every quest, including the hour and a half long (on players 1) adventure that is Nihlathak's corpse explosion and poison vipers.

When you're new and untwinked, all three of those items mentioned are exceptional to have. :) Rockstopper is actually a very nice helmet, manald heal is cheap mana leech, and chancies are of course the highest MF gloves you can get.


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I did the exact same things for the longest time (I started playing Diablo 2 when it first hit the shelves). It wasn't until I started playing on a year after 1.09d came out (yes, I stuck to SP for that long :)) that I started to learn about character builds and other indepth aspects of the game. I honestly think that after my short time playing on (~4 months), Diablo 2 became less "wonderous" to me than if I had kept on playing in SP only.

I still have my first character I ever got to Nightmare, a barbarian named Pelias, who had skill points all over the place along with spread out stat point allocation. I spent several points in energy, as the mana cost of bash and other skills seemed like too much at the time and I wasn't going to waste belt slots on mana pots. I never considered mana leech as a worthwhile modifier, which probably wouldn't have worked well anyways, as I only found one exceptional item worth using (a rare Sallet) and I didn't consider maximizing damage output through skills.

The first time my barbarian went to Nightmare, he got his butt kicked multiple times by fallen in Blood Moor. I ran through Normal difficulty a couple of times, trying to find a new weapon so I could at least significantly damage the monsters in Nightmare. I settled on a rare war sword with the truly awesome modifier of "Hit Causes Monsters to Flee" which got me through much of Act 1 Nightmare with a little bit of patience. I never even knew about "shopping" for items or that gambling could yield some decent equipment.

Ah, good times. :D Another example of a character I played early on was a necromancer who had points spread out in all three trees. Needless to say, when I got to Andariel in Normal with him, all of his minions died instantly (a normal occurance) and I ended up having to kill her with level 1 Teeth while running around the blood pool (used that tactic as well with a poorly built amazon character using a bow).

I could ramble on more, but I think I've said enough about my early Diablo 2 experiences. :yawn:


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I still pick up almost everything with a blue, green, yellow or gold name, to sell or stash. (Blue claws or class-specific things that aren't my current class usually get left on the ground 'cause they're just too cheap.) I'll pick up the better kinds of heavy armor or scepters even if white or grey. Which means I burn through a lot of TP scrolls and go sloooow overall.

I often carry a Tome of Identify around to identify set and unique items, charms, etc. and large weapons so I can put them on switch and carry more stuff.

I do the mana conservation thing too -- I hate hearing "I need mana." Lately I've just stuck with low-mana-consumption characters and/or lots of leech.

I still have a Manald Heal and a Nagelring on my level 66 paladin (highest character since before LOD came out, and maybe ever) 'cause I haven't found better.


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SourImplant said:
I've read through a few forum posts and I am now convinced that I am the only person in the world with the Halls of the Dead waypoint in Nightmare.
Nope, I've got it, too. Only in Hell did I not pick it up. And it was hard... I hate seeing that gap in the WP screen.

And all of my chars have at least 1 point in every skill. I can't exactly explain why... completeness?, the desire to try any skill whenever the mood strikes me?, the idea that a jack-of-all-trades is the most well-rounded? I may create a specialized, planned-out char some day. But not until I mat/pat all 7 of my original chars.


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When I first started playing I wondered why Charsi wouldn't sell me any armor. Didn't see the tabs at the top of the screen.....and yes, I was a packrat to a freakish level, probably worse than you are now. After a few hundred hell meph runs you wind up picking up fewer things though.



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I still pick up every waypoint... all my mats/pats have 100% waypoints. =D That is a habit that you shouldn't give up - clicking on a waypoint and seeing full access to all waypoints is just (y).

My first character never made Nightmare (this was when LoD first came out). It took me almost 15 minutes to figure out how to heal with pots. I kept trying to 'feed' my character the pot and it ended up dropping to the floor. :( My Necro was split into all three branches, and I fought Normal Diablo with a Necro with + ~5 Amplify Damage, + ~Life Tap, + ~5 Iron Maiden, + ~10 Revive, + ~10 Fire Golem, and pre-reqs. It took me 45 minutes for my Fire Golem to kill Diablo. I was so happy when he finally died. :)


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Ahhhhhhh.. The good old newb days. My very first character was a Paladin on I coulnd't really stand playing all by myself on SP. I got him to around lvl 39 ish. I think I was still in act 4 normal, trying to defeat Diablo. Everytime I died I left the game for some reason. I guess I never noticed the "press esc" thing. Then one day I was playing and some nice guy offered to "rush" me through to hell. I was so excited I would finally pass normal, AND nightmare! Then the last I remember of that character was being level 42 and venturing into the Blood Moor on hell. I ran confidently up to a Zombie, and before I could even hit him, one slap and I was dead. I finally noticed at that point I went seriuosly wrong with that character. I decided to try my luck at a Necromancer. Well, let's just say I ended up at lvl 93, I had ATLEAST 200 strenght, 160 dex, and almost nothing in vitality, and the rest in Energy, and point spread out in everything, mainly fire golem, revive, amp, and bone spirit. My fondest memory was killing some cows with my Hellslayer I was using... :lol:


SourImplant said:
Every quest. Every waypoint. Every time. I've read through a few forum posts and I am now convinced that I am the only person in the world with the Halls of the Dead waypoint in Nightmare.

It puts a smile on my face to see green- and gold-lettered items drop, no matter how useless they may be.

I'm glad to tell you that you are not alone! I have been playing Diablo 2 for 5 years, now, and still, I just have to get that Hall of the Dead waypoint, or else it just doesn't feel right...And I also am very happy whenever I get a unique item, nomatter what it is! Even when it's that green breastplate, I'm still happy! :lol:


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Holyknight said:
And I also am very happy whenever I get a unique item, nomatter what it is! Even when it's that green breastplate, I'm still happy! :lol:
ARGH, back in my noob days I liked set items, because I never found them and thought they were rarer than uniques, but nothing makes me madder now than unique claymores/defenders and set rings. I'm always mad that the ring couldn't have been unique, cause it could have been a Soj, or raven or something that might see a shred of play.


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I pick up all the waypoints, too, except for nihlathaks's waypoint becuase I like to have any char that's in act 5 run pindle at the start of every game. take about 2 mins and he can potentially drop some good stuff, even in norm. I pick up virtually every blue item that drops, and only drop it if it's like some weapon with +1 max damage or +3 AR or something, which sells for beans (and sometimes a lot less). Basically i pick up everything worth more gold/inventory slot than the highest quality mana potions that can drop at that point in the game, so... I burn through tp's quite fast.

let's see... some of the earlier noob mistakes I've made... well, I've been playing on and off since v 1.00 (i got d2 for my 13th birthday :D ) so I have had plenty of opportunities for making mistakes hehehe. I remember seeing my friend who got the game a little before me, play with his necromancer... and i thought the coolest 2 skills were teeth and skeleton mage. my first character was a necro that didnt make it past diablo. I had about 7 points in skeleton mage and 5 points in teeth, and many points in poison dagger, too. It was quite fun actually... and i loved being able to take down fallen shamans (in jail and such) with my teeth as my minions engaged the fallen... hehehe I seriously thought teeth was the coolest thing ever.

Oh yeah and killing andy with cg + im... gotta love that. about 15+ tp scrolls... hehehe... it was either that or teeth :( And having to rerun areas to get to clvl 12 for that IM before taking on andy. and duriel being really easy due to bg + im. hee hee.


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Wow. There are more of me? :eek:

I still play like this in many ways. Nothing like just playing the game to keep it fresh. Granted most of my characters up to recently petered out in Nightmare. But after a few years of knowing nothing let me tell you I am REAL good at "playing" this game. ie. I know how to take something with no chance in hell, to um... well Hell.:D

Never went to Bnet. Didn't find SPF till a couple years after the game came out. So no way to know about Builds, or bugged skills, or MFing, or P8 for that matter. No maths or numbers beyond what my screen was telling my. Just pure n00b goodness. Started playing in HC off build tourney's when I got here and found my "skillz" came in quite handy. Nothing like the ingrained need, upon seeing a Fallen approaching, to stop and caculate your chances. :lol: Instead of wading into waves of baddies to get gacked. Going wtf, oh yeah I don't have a <insert uber item/build> do I. :eek:

Talk about return on investment. I just landed my first Elite Unique in a current tourney, and my first SoJ as well. And wow. Items I have actually heard of other people being in search of, or using on their uber chars. They look like the kind of things that might be fun to use one day. *warm fuzzies*

But thats just me.

Have fun out there!


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This post should be stickied as a piece of advice to older players: don't ever let the game be more work than fun!

I've been playing since 2001, and have 2 Pats and a Mat (well, the second pat was a clone of the first, and I lost the mat in a crash, but you get the idea). I remember with fondness the challenge of new areas; I played the game through NM Act III without knowing anything, really; I was using Double Swing instead of Frenzy, because I didn't like how FR made the barb TOO fast :rolleyes:

I still get all waypoints except Nilly's temple in Hell, but I've only brought three characters that far, so that isn't saying much, I guess.

My personal play preference is solo untwinked, like I did in the beginning, even though I do try twinked projects occasionally (like my current spearbarb, lvl 20).

Keep playing and keep having fun....may you stay a noob, at least in spirit, for a while longer.



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Full clears. I'm the Full Clear Girl. Every time I enter an area I want to see it entirely. I just love to see that map unfolding before my eyes. Open every chest, kick every barrel. Just can't help myself.


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SourImplant said:
I usually pick up anything not bolted down and go through Town Portal Tomes like water.

The closest thing I have to any kind of strategy is usually the way I arrange my inventory. A Tome of Town Portal and a Tome of Identify, my Horadric Cube
Since I don´t repeat anything in D2, I have limited resources, and therefore I pick up anything worth at least 50 gold per inventory space (yes, that includes Crude Spetums, Healing potions, etc.). Because of this, I want my inventory to be as clean as possible. I keep my cube in the stash (I usually store socketed items there, because then there is less risk I will accidently socket them, and they can´t be as reliably stored on the ground as magical items can). I don´t need ID scrolls, because I use Cain. I go to town to sell anything magical anyway...

Charms: I can have everything from none to almost completely full, depending on the frailty of the build, where I am in the game and what charms I have found. I like to have at least a 2x4 space free.

I do full clears and kill everything. Parking only the few monsters where I have either no way of overcoming or stopping their life regeneration, or FE+LE bosses with a no-ranged-options character.

I hate missing out on stuff, like in these situations:

* Getting too much valuable crap that the vendors can´t pay the full price for, and I can´t store.
* Imps that die on towers (they give no XP, and MF items aren´t used for the drops). It´s a fun little chess game trying to outsmart them and kill them down on the ground!
* Slayers (and such) that turn into suicide bombers. I miss out on potential drops if they do.
* Suicide bombers that kill themselves before I kill them (I miss out on XP)
* Getting Cursed while under the effect of an XP Shrine (or forgetting to turn off Fade before hitting said shrine!).
* Finding a Monster Shrine when I have killed everything there already!
* Finding a Gem Shrine when I have just used/cubed the gem that I would have upgraded otherwise.
* Accidently shatter shambling undead (Pindle´s monster type), especially minions. Then they can´t rise again and give me more XP and items if that happens. Using up such a corpse before I know that it will stay calm is also a mistake.
* Failing to kill an Evil Demon Hut, Foul Crow Nest or Mummy Sarcophagus before it expires by itself (I miss out on XP). Unless I´m a horking barbarian, where I will gladly let it spawn as many monsters as possible!


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They say the first step to overcoming your problem is recognizing that you have a problem. Looks to me that I've got a few of my bad Diablo habits nailed, it's just a matter of overcoming those habits.
So long as you're having fun you're playing in the right way.

Hm, I think that compeltely sums up my views on D2. :) Personally I'm a logic person so I go the way I perceive as most efficient. Like, when I intend to make a little gold from my runs I only pick up stuff I know is worth 35k, or at least close to that. That yields more cash over time than going back for 5k items and it also lets me kill more monsters per time which results in better drops. Of course if you think too much about it the whole game becomes pointless... Gotta find your own balance.


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I've just started to be able to leave crap magic items where they are, and not take them too sell (well, unless my inventory is nearly full anyway, and I was going to TP soon...). With new characters, I pick everything up until I have some gold spare. It takes far longer than it should, I really should learn to leave things.


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I remember playing on Bnet in the early early days, and we were still using Gold for currency. I gave 50k gold from my treasured level 33 barbarian for a magic warsword with good mods. Then my friend would go duel and have me hold his gold cuz it was so valuable to us. Ah...

A friend of mine and I played the old way for a few weeks, it was great. Really gives some meaning to your 25th level Amazon when you're playing on P1 and seeing a yellow item drop is orgasmic.


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Hmm well I used to repair everything before i sold it to Charsi. Dunno why since i dont get more gold for it.
Also remember my baba's with like 5+ point in every weapon mastery and nothing into warcries except "find potion" and "find item". And put a lot of stats into mana since WW had so huge mana cost and I had no idea what "mana leech" was.

Ah ye about 1 year ago, one of my friends wanted to start playing d2 so I gave him full Tal set and some other nice things. Next day i come online and he says "look at all this gold"! He had sold every item for 5000 to charsi. . .
Well, at least it was a pretty good laugh :)