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The expansion pack for Diablo II, Lord of Destruction adds one new Act that takes your character north through the Barbarian Highlands that were mentioned in the original game and also introduces two new playable characters, the Assassin and the Druid.

The blurb on the Blizzard website states: In the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you will return to follow the path of Baal, the last of the Prime Evils, into the Barbarian Highlands of the north. Traveling with hordes of demonic minions, Baal intends to corrupt the powerful Worldstone, which protects the whole of the mortal plane from the forces of Hell.

You will face a new series of quests and challenges to prevent the vile minions of the underworld from destroying the world of Sanctuary.

The two additional characters bring the total playable characters to seven and allowing players even more freedom in who they want to be in this game world. The Assassin is a character who is fast, trained in martial arts and capable of laying devestating traps for the minions of Baal while the Druid can change his shape into that of a wolf or bear, increasing his combat abilities many times over.

Supposedly a new elite set of items will be available, along with new jewels and runes to enhance socketed items even more than the original gems did, adding powers and abilities previously unseen.

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is created and published by Blizzard Entertainment and is currently in it's Beta Test phase, due for release sometime in 2001.
It's out now (July11 2K1), And so far I have to say its pretty damn cool. It fixed most all of the bugs that the original had, even though it added a multitude of new ones. But I'm focussing on the new features. Runes, all though their stats are often not amazing, make some very cool items when properly combined into rune words. The elite items are VERY hard to get... Even plain ones. Jewels are especially cool because they can be rare. Some other improvements include rare throwing weapons that can be recharged, charged items that contain skills that anyone can use (eg amulet of teleportation, can you say teleporting baba?), magic only prefix and suffixes, the new char classes, the list goes on. Since the monsters on hell mode are now ilvl 90 max, they are EXTREMELY strong and barbs/amazons/paladins are basically fucked. (not hammerdins) They need really good damage elite weapons to fight in these zones which virtually no one has yet. Since sorceresses don't need much equip to fight, they are DOMINATING the ladder. It was reset shortly after the expansion was released. I have a 76, that I started before ladder reset, then I made a new one and got her to 77 in 2.5 days WITH sleeping. She's 84 now 1 billion EXP. The main reason why they do so well is fire wall is now 8700 damage with max mastery/wall. That's with a lot of +skill items on too though. The new uniques in the expansion really really own. 500 damage bows... ITD too.

See www.battle.net/diablo2exp and www.diabloii.net for more info.

The game does have a lot of bugs even though they claim its far under the standard for the industry... I suggested that they make a page on their site with a form for bug submission, and then the top ten bugs would be listed so people had a resource to tell if their bug was known about or not. Then users would vote as to whether or not they had experienced *particular bug* or not. I emailed the idea to the web master at blizzard (Geoff Frazier web@blizzard.com) And he didn't like my idea very much because he is a RETARD!! Anyway he said I'd have to email it to tech support. Feel free to email him and tell him how fucking dumb he is =) hehe anyway the point of my idea is that the tech support guys (who are fags I've spoken to most of them) get like 20000 bug reports a day and it could be automated by a simple page. They get so many bug reports they have an autoresponse that they just copy and send to anyone who gives a report. What a huge waste of time!!!!!!!!

Back to the real topic here, the expansion. Overall I would reccomend it to anyone who disliked diablo2 anyway because it fixes most of the things that were wrong with d2. And (sofar) it is pretty enjoyable. Socketing is definitely a BIG part of the game now.

You can buy a copy at www.ebworld.com btw.

If you have any questions about diablo II or Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, you can email me at thender21@yahoo.com

It's been a while since this game came out, about a year I think.

The two new character classes in Lord of Destruction are the Assassin and the Druid. There are two new types of insertable items, Runes and Jewels, and a new kind of item called Charms. I also think the last Act's quest rewards are worth mentioning as well.

- The Druid

The Druid is, like the Paladin, a sort of hybrid of a spellcaster and a melee fighter. Unlike the Paladin, however, the Druid's spells are rather diverse: on one tab he has Sorceress-like elemental spells, on another he has Necromancer-like summoning spells, and on the last he has Paladin-like combat skills - with a twist.

The elemental spells are varied in type - the Druid has a couple of fire spells, and an ice spell called Arctic Blast which is basically an ice Inferno. He also has a couple of interesting wind spells that work like the Death Knight's Whirlwind in Warcraft II. That is, they wander around the screen, damaging whatever they touch.

The summoning skills are a little different than the Necromancer's. The first summoning skill you can use is called Raven, and creates a raven that hovers around you and attacks a set number of times - I forget what it is exactly. Aside from that Ravens work similarly to Skeletons. Then, there are Spirits, Wolves, and eventually a Grizzly. There are various kinds of Spirit, and they are basically summoned units that have auras like the Paladin's. There are two kinds of Wolf, and you can only have up to three Wolves at a time. Finally, there is the Summon Grizzly spell. It summons a huge bear. You can only have one bear at a time, but it is extraordinarily strong.

And then there are the combat skills. These skills have a twist - you must first turn into a Werewolf or Werebear to use them. A Werewolf is faster and has a better rate of attack than a regular Druid, and the Werebear is bigger, has a heavier attack, and more HP.

Druids have another interesting facet: they get a fast attack rate with Mauls.

- The Assassin

The first thing that you should know about Assassins is that they have an entire weapon class devoted to them: Claws. An Assassin can use two Claw-class weapons at once, which initally gives them the same attack capability as a Barbarian, with a much faster rate of attack.

Assassins have two new kinds of skill: Martial Arts and Traps. Each time you use a Martial Arts skill, it puts a charge on the affected enemy. If you use a "Finishing Move," the charges get turned into attack bonuses. One of the first Trap skills is basically a hand grenade, and the other is a patch of lightning that sits on the ground for a small period of time. There are also a couple of blade Traps that are basically throwing stars. However, the higher-level Traps are small objects that act like the Sorceress' Hydra. The level-30 Trap is called the "Death Sentry." If you liked the Necromancer's Corpse Explosion, you'll love Death Sentry. Whenever a monster goes near the Death Sentry, it starts exploding nearby corpses until the monster leaves the area or dies.

There is also a tree of skills that give your claws elemental attack bonuses, and two skills that summon shadow warriors - basically mirror Assassins.

- Runes and Jewels

One of the coolest new features of Diablo II was the Gem. In LoD, there are two new kinds of items you can put in a socketed item. Jewels are like Magic items: you must identify them before you can use them, and they have one or two random attributes. (There are, however, Rare Jewels, although I've yet to see one.)

Runes are a unique kind of item. There are quite a few kinds of Rune - 20 or so. Each kind of Rune has a different effect, similar to the different kinds of Gem. However, the Runes have a variety of different effects, such as increasing light radius, or making the item indestructible. By Transmuting three of the same kind of Rune in the Horadric Cube, you can get one Rune of the next higher level. And if you put the right combination of Runes in the right class of Socketed Item, you get a Runeword, which is more or less a quick and easy path to a Unique Item, and one whose power you can define to a point. (Elite items are great. Elite Runeword items are greater.)

- Charms

A Charm is a magical item that, once identified, need only be carried in your inventory and you get some sort of bonus.

Charms present a unique dilemma. There are three sizes of Charm: small charms, which take up one inventory slot, large charms, which take up two slots, and grand charms, which take up three. Naturally, grand charms carry the most potent benefits. However, it doesn't take long before you've filled half of your inventory with Charms. Charms can make your character much more powerful with very little effort, but they can also decrease your carrying capacity drastically.

- Act V Quest Rewards

Diablo II already let you Imbue items. This is very frustrating (like when you Imbue some lame Act I weapon, then get to Act IV and find some kick-ass second-level item (i.e. 30-something defense Sharkskin Gloves).

Well, in Act V, you can do two really cool things to your items: Socket them, and Personalize them. After completing one quest, you can take an item and add sockets to it. (How many sockets you get depends on the item.) Now let's say you find a unique shield. It has amazing bonuses, but only a little defense. It's carried you into Act V, but you really need more defense. So socket it, then put a Perfect Amethyst or high-level Rune in it.

Perhaps it's a small thing, but you can also Personalize your items as well. This puts your character's name in front of the item's name. For example "Swordback Hold" becomes "Corsicus' Swordback Hold."

- Other Changes

The Stash is more than twice as big. This needed to happen.

There are a shitload of new item attributes.

There are new rare and unique items.

Some of the old skills have been tweaked a little (some spells come with a cooldown period, for instance).

Hirelings follow you from one act to another. They have stats and gain levels, and you can actually give them equipment. You can also resurrect them if they die.

- In closing...

If you don't hate Diablo-style games, buy Diablo II and Lord of Destruction. Now.

Also, because of the new item attributes, it is a very good idea to start playing with the expansion. The bigger Stash alone makes the game so much more enjoyable.

And one more thing: Do not play this game if you want to sleep. In fact, you will have more success with it if you forgo sleep. Mountain Dew and coffee aid in that aspect.

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