[This will be edited as new information is available. Please, do not hesitate to post. I will update ASAP] If you haven't already, see my general time travel guide for better understanding of this part Welcome to the Time Traveler's Guide to 1.00 We start in 1.00 because it is convenient. Like in all pre-LoD versions, gambling odds are FAR better with regards to Sets and Uniques, the portal to the Secret Cow Level can be created even by characters who have killed the Cow King. And the Cow King is by far the best source of Uniques and Rares which would be costly to gamble for. Another reason is the fact that Maggot Young and Maggot Eggs actually give exp and drop items in 1.00. In other words, you can run around in the River of Flame all day long without creating new games. Since there is no /players command, this makes it a lot less time consuming when using self-MP to level main character and/or characters to forward to the other patches. Quest items: Just hold off on any quest involving items if using self-MP method. At least make sure to actually use whatever quest item obtained in that act, before you leave it. The "Gidbinn" quest can give some sick rings, but beware, completing the first quest of act 3 (jade figurine thing) and waiting to use the reward (potion adding 20 life) is NOT a good idea. I've had that one bug out on me, losing the potion and any chance of the +20 life that quest gives. A quick note on Magic Find It only works on normal monsters (possibly minions). No random bosses, superuniques, champions, act bosses, objects or racks. Exceptional items seem to have some sort of bonus to their quality, which strangely enough makes them eligible for only three qualities (at least in act 4 hell): Superior, Magic and Rare. Magic and Rare can be failed uniques. I personally never bothered with MF because the Cow King drops really good quality anyway (and he's the only boss worth running for items). Really good MF items should be forwarded to 1.07 eventually. Let's do a short introduction to the characters, as they were back in the Stone Age: Barbarian The Barbarian skill Whirlwind, although mana costly, has attack checks EVERY frame. Yes, regardless of weapon speed, Whirlwind attacks 25 times per second! As you can imagine, even with an average damage of 400 and a hit rate of 50%, this is 5k damage per second. The drawback is the mana cost; it starts at 25 and increases by 2 for each level, making for a whopping 65 mana per WW if maxed and no +skills. Luckily, mana leech items aren't that hard to come by, and neither are +mana items. If you can get your mana to around 140 points (most likely with Frostburns and Battle Orders), go ahead and max Whirlwind after your mastery. The skill Leap Attack counts as a ranged attack, and thus is an Iron Maiden solution. This is good, because Berserk is NOT magic damage only in 1.00 and thus a bad alternative when under the effect of Iron Maiden. Leap Attack starts at +100% damage and increases by 30% each level. A good candidate for spare skillpoints. I wouldn't bother with other combat skills, simply because WW is so damn strong in 1.00. When it comes to Warcries, you'll quickly notice that their duration is nothing like what we're used to. Synergies were years away too, so no added duration to Shout nor Battle Command when maxing Battle Orders. Battle Orders is the only one worth more than one point, and you'll probably want to max it. If you can stand recasting it every minute, then wait until after maxing Mastery, WW, 5-6 points to Natural Resist and 1 point in Increased Speed. You're holding off on maxing BO because it has brutal diminishing returns, unlike what we're used to. Because of a bug, monsters have four times the AR they should have, so there is no use in more than one point in Iron Skin or Shout early on. And late game, there is no need for defense since you'll be leeching like mad. Trust me, defense needs to be VERY high for it to matter, and odds are you don't want to stat 170 strength for an Ornate Plate until it's too late for defense to matter anyway. When it comes to Weapon masteries, this of course depends on your weapon. Please note that there are NO magic+ throwing weapons, so Throwing Mastery is best left untouched. Also, two-handed maces (such as mauls, great mauls, war clubs [which can't drop anyway] and Martel De Fers) all do their "one handed" damage. Which is 1-1 min/max damage. Regardless of what the item claims, no Enhanced Damage will take it farther than 2-2 actual damage, leaving these weapons useless. You COULD still find an awesome Battle Hammer, and just go with using a shield, but you'll do far less damage than two handed axes, spears or polearms. For my first barb, I'd leave Mace Mastery alone as well. Sword Mastery comes out a little better, but there is a bug here too. Two-handed swords do not actually have a two-handed damage, regardless of what is stated on the item or the character screen. They all have their one-handed damage displayed correctly though, so swords are more viable than maces. Only one weapon is used for WW; no alternation, so better go with a shield to pair with. Then we're left with Spear, Polearm and Axe Masteries. Spear means "Pike". Easy as that. None of the exceptional spears can match the damage of a Pike. Pikes also have lower requirements than the exceptional axes and polearms, but exceptional axes and polearms have a little better damage. The troublesome part is, you'll pretty much need to decide on a weapon type from the get go and max its mastery, else you'll do inadequate damage and progress extremely slowly until level 30. It IS doable, though, especially if leveling a sorc in tandem with the barb. Sorceress The 1.00 sorceress is somewhat of an art to play. There are no immune monsters at all, but some have very high resistances. There also are no cast delays on anything, so Fire Wall and Frozen Orb can be spammed really fast. This will quickly deplete mana, though, and mana pots cannot be bought. The solution is Static Field and Warmth. Static has low mana cost, and cost even less with points in Lightning Mastery. Furthermore, there is no cap on Static Field in classic in any version, so every single monster in the game can be slivered by it. Just note that some are heavily lightning resistant, and this can't be helped when self-MP or single playing. This is why we have Fire Wall and Frozen Orb. You'll need to stat a LOT of energy, and you should probably sink some points in Energy Shield because of this. Warmth needs maxing eventually, or you'll be going back to town to refill mana twice a minute. Savour items that add to your mana, and get a Tower Shield, either Sigon's or one with 3 Perfect Diamonds. Possibly Wall of the Eyeless late game. Necromancer Corpse Explotion! Every point in this skill adds a yard to the radius, which is insane. It scales with players in the game, and can kill enemies off screen when maxed. Also, when using Blood Golem and Iron Maiden in conjunction, the game believes that the damage monsters do to themselves when hitting the Blood Golem is damage done by the golem, and heals you both from it. Which means immortality when fighting melee monsters. IM/BG/CE necros can walk the entire game if played correctly. [Need to gather more info. Perhaps... even play one ] Paladin These guys can be built in a number of ways. None as effective as barbarian or sorceress, and they have a lot less life than barbarians and no teleport to get out of harm's way. Thorns/Conversion was popular, but it's a bit slow since when monsters convert back, they retain their thorns aura for a while, and thus finishing them off can be dangerous. Hammerdin is certainly possible, but won't be the 1.10 killing machines we know today. Zealots suffer from three annoying drawbacks; no %ED on Fanaticism, no cap on zeal swings, and when a swing misses, every subsequent swing will also miss. None of the elemental auras do anything but their (weak) pulse damage, and conviction is much less powerful. In short, fun to try, but not very effective compared to barbs or sorcs. Amazon There's a bug with bows which means %ED has no effect, which makes bowazons a lot weaker than they should be. Still playable (because strafe is bugged the other way around...) but ineffective. Lightning Fury has a graphic which will make you go blind or epileptic in 3 seconds, and I believe there are bugs with jab and fend similar to the zeal bug. Weapon speed is ignored, though, so some serious damage can still be dished out. Overall, Amazons are the weakest class in 1.00. Beating the game If you have 4 or more cores on your processor, you should start all 8 instances, then task manager. Right-click each game.exe process and choose "Set affinity..." and then deselect one of the cores, the same for each process. This is because game.exe WILL use any available processing power if allowed to do so, and this will make web browsing etc. extremely sluggish. Keeping D2 away from one core should allow other programs to function when you decide to take a break or want to check resources like this one. ACT I I would start right off with an 8-player party of at least two barbarians, and the rest sorceresses. Perhaps a Necromancer. The reason we're doing two barbarians is that we want a backup one IF that perfect exceptional rare weapon should drop, and we have 20 points in the wrong mastery. If your computer can't handle 8 games simultaniously, try for 5. 5 players maxes out item drops for normal monsters (90%). You'll want to level one barb and one sorc simultaniously. This can be done in one of two ways: 1 - Clear the first area with the sorc, then pop back into town and clear the next area with the barb. Keep going like this throughout act 1. 2 - If you have a strong preference for either barb or sorc early game, park the other one in the beginning of each area and clear with your preferred character. The "must be within couple of screens to get exp" thing wasn't invented until 1.10, so both chars will gain experience. Pump Warmth, Static and Weapon Mastery, and leave the rest at 1 point. Stat points need to be spread around a little, heaviest in Energy for the sorc and Strength/Vita for the barb. You may want to move all characters to just outside town, else you will have trouble resetting merchant inventories. Try to resist the urge to open the gamble screen. One or more of the items could very easily spawn as unique, and if it does, it cannot spawn again in that game. Don't gamble until at least the stash is maxed with gold (which takes a while in act 1). Before long, you'll notice that the barb gets slow, while the sorc kills reasonably fast due to Static Field. When this happens (and it WILL happen if you chose spear mastery or to hold off on choosing a mastery), switch to playing the sorc only. We'll want to get to the Canyon of the Magi, or at least the maggot lair for some power-leveling. There really is no point to cubing gems until Nightmare difficulty, except for diamonds, since you'll want 3 perfects for a shield. Amethyst can be left on the ground, but I'd drop every topaz/sapphire/emerald/ruby of any quality in town to be picked up by one of the rushees. Items don't disappear in town, at least as long as someone is nearby. Don't sort them; you'll be using ATMA by the time you forward them. Except for skulls, those need to be cubed/shrined to perfect and later sent to 1.06b. Repair items before you sell them. This exploit wasn't fixed until 1.08, so take full advantage of it. Do not repair items if [current value + repair cost > vendor max pay]. Rings and Amulets sell for almost no gold, so keep them for later cubing. You'll want all the chances of getting high mana or high leech that you can get. ACT II Even if you had decent luck with weapons for your barb, this will start to get tough. BEWARE of the vulture type monsters! I'd use the sorc for killing, Static Field and Glacial Spike shines against undead who might be resurrected. Sorceresses need all the skillpoints they can get, so don't go too heavy with Glacial Spike, and leave static at 5-7 points. Concider Fire Wall; it is a great skill except for in Act IV. Rest still in warmth to cut down a little on those trips to town, which should have been quite a few already. Get the cube, and cube up diamonds and skulls if you kept them, and start cubing 3 rings to 1 amulet and vice versa. Look for leech and improvements to your sorc. Push your way through, preferably to the Canyon of the Magi, but Maggot Lair is good too. Especially Maggot Lair lvl 3 can be exploited to spawn a LOT of maggots, which all give exp and items, even the eggs upon hatching (no need to kill them) and the young. You can clear everything but the last chamber, use a rushee to set up an everlasting portal, and just pop in and out of it to level, occationally killing some young. When this gets slow, you should push on to Canyon of the Magi, clear a corner for safety, leave the barb there and run around killing anything but large maggots and eggs. If you can get into the high 20's with both characters by doing this, you should be fine against Duriel, as Battle Orders become available at lvl 24. Use both sorc and barb to handle Duriel. Hire a merc with the sorc, BO right before Duriel's Chamber, and proceed to enter with the sorc. Static like mad, then get out of there (if HC) or just die and switch to the barb to finish off the last of Duriel's HP. Get the drops and proceed to the next act. ACT III Just a little further to lvl 30 and WW ownage. Park the barb just outside town, and proceed to clear the Spider Forest with the sorc. When you hit a new area, clear a bit and move the barb up. You really want to do all the quests in act III, since the 20 HP from the first quest is sorely needed, 8 rare rings will have a great chance for much needed leech and other stats, and the 5 stat points will also be a nice boost. Don't talk to Asheara (the final part of the Blade of the Old Religion quest), because if you want to rush characters later, you will be able to activate the Gidbinn with the rushing character. If you really need a cold merc though, you should get one, but remember that they can't be equipped and vanish when changing acts. As soon as you hit lvl 30, put a point in WW, Natural Resistance, Frozen Orb, and all the elemental masteries. You should be able to shop pikes by now. Even with no added damage, Pikes are scary weapons. If you went with Spear Mastery, it should be almost at max, making one point in WW and some leech of each type all you need to start using WW to speed things up considerably! Act III will be where your gold account starts to ramp up. I'd gamble for rings/amulets, but not if total gold is less than 200k, since you might not afford a ring and miss one of the uniques. It is important to get all three, since carrying Nagelring and Manald Heal will force SoJs (or rares if SoJ is/was also in the game at any point). Push forward as best you can. Mephisto is dangerous, but can be killed slowly by Fire Wall from across the moat. Act bosses only drop good when killed by a character to complete the quest, so don't bother thinking about running him. ACT IV For the final act, I should give you one tip and two warnings: Tip: Little maggots are a great source of exp, far better than in act 2. Warning 1: Hephasto the Armorer is VERY dangerous. Warning 2: Oblivion Knights cast Iron Maiden, which makes the Chaos Sanctuary in general very dangerous to barbs, and Lord De Seis (who spawns with Oblivion Knight minions) extremely dangerous. Remember that Leap Attack counts as a missile attack, and that you do have a sorc. The warcry Taunt can be used to progress safely, albeit very slowly through the Chaos Sanctuary. Fire resist and MDR will help in act VI in general, and a lot against Diablo himself. THE MOO MOO FARM You probably noticed by now, but I'll mention it anyway. Drops don't work the same way as in the expansion. I don't know exactly how or why, but the same area tends to drop the same items over and over again unless the map is rerolled. This can be heavily exploited, since the Cow King will drop rare/unique items very frequently, and his drops per map seem to be very limited. This is how I got my hands on Frostburn, Tearhaunch, Bladebuckle, The Face of Horror, one SoJ, Silks of the Victor, the Tannr Gorerod and many more costly-to-gamble items: Start a multiplayer game with one of the other characters, and keep it open. Join with the barb, go get Wirt's Leg and proceed to open the portal. WW until you hit the king, and kill him. Take a mental note of what he drops, pick it up and ID/sell/keep, then exit the MP game with the barb. If the map was good (short distance from WP to Tristram, king close to red portal, king dropped desireable base item) then keep the MP game still running. You can now create a Single Player game with the barb, and the map will be the same. Run this map until the king drops the item(s) you were looking for. If you need to mule, just join the MP game again. If the map was bad, or you got what you were looking for, start new multiplayer games with the other characters, and repeat until you have some good gear. Remember to keep The Tannr Gorerod unique pike in your stash even though it is a weak option for use. All uniques have five times base durability, and so do rares which are failed uniques. Pikes have 25 base durability, and need very frequent repairs, but if you can get a failed unique with at least 100+ max damage, you are pretty much set. NIGHTMARE Don't be afraid of NM; you can teleport past all of act 1, most of act 2 and 3, and all of act 4, just stopping to complete quest objectives. Leave the Hell Forge alone in NM and hell; gems have no use in this patch anyway. If you feel underleveled, feel free to stop in NM Canyon of the Magi or hell River of Flame to level to 40-50. The same monsters which were dangerous in normal are still dangerous in nightmare, but WW should demolish anything and if you have gotten enough leech, you should only need to go back to town to sell/repair. If you got Frostburns from the Cow King, and leech is good enough without the Hand of Broc, your mana should be enough to start putting points in WW now. Your mastery should be maxed, BO at around 10 points, natural resist at 4-5. I never felt the need to get strength high for more damage, so get to a comfortable HP with BO and save unneeded points. You will never have use for more than 2k life, so might as well save points for strength. Nightmare Cow King should get a visit, especially since he can drop Ancient Axes and Bec De Corbins (for your other barb). HELL Same as nightmare, tele past anything unimportant and complete quests as you go. The goal is the River of Flame. When you get there, the leveling should start. If underleveled (as in 50 or less), prioritize your barb and leave other characters in town. If 50+ and you can handle maggots, go ahead and clean one corner of the river, place all remaining characters there, then proceed to kill anything which isn't a big maggot or an egg. This makes for potentially endless leveling, and not at a bad speed either: MOVING ON When your rushee sorcs get to around level 65, consider moving one or two of them to expansion 1.07. If you've collected 12-18 perfect skulls, slap some useless rare amulets, a cube and all your perfect skulls on a fresh made character and forward it to 1.06b. This will likely be your first +2 skills amulet. When you get one for sorc, forward it to 1.07. Keep cubing amulets, though, the potential is very high. You should probably get 2 SoJs, some decent rare boots/belts/gloves/armor/helm for each of them. Also worth forwarding is MF gear if you have it, but be advised that it will take some racking first before you can MF efficiently in 1.07, so prioritize cast rate and safety. Be sure to kill Diablo with the entire party before moving on, so that hell act 5 will be readily available. Some levels to shoot for (if you have the patience): - lvl 61: This allows use of the 1.07 Wizard Spike, which will greatly increase rack run speed. Also grants the best chance of a SoJ when cubing rings in 1.07 - lvl 62: Allows use of 1.07 Harlequin Crest, which greatly increases kill speed and survivability, should you choose to do more leveling in 1.07 - lvl 67: Allows use of +2 skill rare amulets; recommended for just about any sorc, and especially if you by any chance have a good +2 sorc amu in 1.00 (rushes). - lvl 76: Allows use of Tal Rasha's Guardianship, a highly recommended MF armor in 1.07 and beyond. - lvl 91: Crafted amulets in 1.07 will be ilvl 60, which allows +3 skilltab crafts. I dare you to level this far in 1.00 though.... Your initial barb and sorc should stay in 1.00 indefinetly. You'll want to rush more characters after a while, and 1.00 is the safest and quickest place to do it. You'll want to be able to create full games for leveling purposes, as leveling past the mid 80's is tedious enough as it is, and you need as high a level as possible for eventually gamble +2 skill rares for use in 1.00. Items to look for in this patch which are valuable in later patches: - Any quality ruby/topaz/emerald/sapphire: Forward to 1.07 - Exploding potions: buy from Lycander in act 2 and forward to 1.07 - White War Scepters with +3 Holy Shield/+x Redemption: Forward to 1.10s (CtA base) - Perfect Skulls: Forward to 1.06b to cube rare amulets - Rare boots/belts/gloves/rings/amulets: Pay attention to stats vs. level req! Great twinking gear, and some stats which are impossible to get in LoD. - Stones of Jordan That's all for now; please leave your suggestions for improvement below. Much apprechiated!