Temporary Hiatus and OpenDiablo2

Haha np. Hopefully my history is correct enough.

1.10 as a single player patch is pretty good (more difficult than 1.09 of course), but in terms of the original 1.10 rune words, they were powerful, but the rune drop rates on single player are low, so by the time you actually find the runes all by yourself, it’s a good reward. But when paired in a MP economy, the items are too powerful and makes a lot of things obselete. On SP this \"obseleteness\" isn’t the worst on SP given the time required to get all required components and what the items ultimately mean I suppose.
So many things need to be rebalanced, nerfed or buffed about D2. The game was more or less fine during 1.05/1.06. The expansion became a slippery slope of power creep, which broke the original design of the game. However, it is much much harder to take away than it is to give. Once they introduced all the broken runewords, it became hard for them to tone them down/remove without tons of back lash. (This is what happened to Concentrate boosting Blessed Hammer, they added it back to shut people up).

A nice, one time breakage to overhaul the game and bring the balance closer to 1.06 but with the new LoD content would be nice. But... as you alluded to, it will never happen (by them) anyway.

I always choose to play 1.00-1.06 as is, or 1.09/1.10 with some light modifications. Really, you have to look at things objectively. There was never a perfect time in D2’s life, the developers never had time to make it so.
Definitely. In defense of concentration boosting hammers again (added back in 1.05), I definitely support that decision:

The Paladin’s Concentration skill now enhances the damage of Blessed Hammer just as it did in 1.03. The damage displayed on the Character screen is correct, too.

Remember that in pre 1.10, hammers did physical damage, not magic damage. Diablo’s physical resistance is pretty strong so it took a WHILE for me to kill him with a prelod hammerdin. Especially since CB doesn’t work on Super Uniques, and mana is harder to find, it’s much more difficult. Redemption (even at level 1) basically became an extremely valuable skill and became my primary source of mana recovery (and health as a nice bonus).

I love Diablo 1, and I love that Diablo 2 prelod feels like a Diablo 1.5. But you are definitely right that every single patch wasn’t perfect and the game always had issues, although I like the overall balance (and issues / and possibly lack of features) in the original game. One thing I do miss is that there are no partial set bonuses (introduced in lod 1.07), so you really need every set piece to get the full set bonus. It reminds me of Exodia in Yu-Gi-Oh back in the day, although set pieces aren’t necessarily completely useless individually, where as Exodia is basically useless unless you get all the parts ... But if you do, then you automatically win the game haha. Although given that the goal of classic itemization is rare items, not having partial set bonuses isn’t the worse thing, but the partial set bonuses are a nice to have, and makes getting your character a little bit easier to get up and running... less challenging of course.
Well the problem with the concentrate thing is that other physical boosting auras (might, fanaticism etc.) didn’t work on it. So, either it’s all OK or none of it is. Since they changed it to magic, none of it should apply.

1.05 was a good patch, the game was about as balanced as it ever got. All the original items designed had purpose, you could put 3-5 points into all skills and beat hell. It was designed to be that way, but the itemization (like Diablo 1) sort of sucks and gets dull rather quick. I like having crafting, runes, charms, etc. but doing it properly means making all choices up front, and redoing the game from scratch. They definitely didn’t have time or budget to do so, so they kept tacking on new content which made all the previous stuff obsolete.

1.07 gets a notable mention for playing more like 1.06, but several bugs make crafting quite godly. It’s essentially like classic, where end game is grinding for the right random item, but then you get to imbue it with runes for godly effects. Sadly runewords broke the design of runes for that purpose, and crafting got screwed in 1.09.

Diablo 1 in general is fun but only for single play throughs. It has no end game/grind.
I remember hearing at some point that itemization in 1.00-1.06 was built so there was no \"best item\" - you would always be looking for something better. Hence why rares were generally better than anything else, because there was so much variance in affixes that I don’t think the perfect lance/Gothic bow/wand/etc could ever actually spawn. It _could_, though, and that’s a powerful driver. Even if you found a +5 Hammer/+5 Conc scepter you’d immediately think, cool, but what if it had FCR also.

I started actually doing the math on Grief vs even the most bonkers 1.07 craft, and the runeword won every time. You can find a Lo rune and you immediately have the best possible weapon, TC or affixes be damned. Spirit is even sillier, since a Paladin can have the best possible shield before Duriel. There’s just so little reason to really think through a build or keep playing in hunt of the next amazing item. I loved character planning in 1.05 and weighing resists vs FCR vs mana, then having to find the damn things, but now there’s just no tradeoffs.

A rebalance of 1.05 or 1.10 would be cool. 1.05 probably needs less work - the only truly egregious thing I can think of is Weapon Mastery - but balanced synergies would be a lot of fun. D2 always suffered from a lot of chaff in the skill tree (a relic of D1) so seeing builds not just be \"max the one good skill\" would be really neat.
Well said Darius. I also remember Brevik saying originally the intention of rares was they would be so rare only a few would exist per realm, but thankfully they made it less so. You can tell the design difference with the expansion, which Brevik had little to do with. In 1.06 you can always grind for something more, but I think the fact the affix pool is so limited, you sort of hit \"basically the best\" pretty quick. I like that LoD added more affixes and weighted rarity, though some like \"Level 2 crap skill on attack\" need to be reworked.

Grief, Infinity, and Spirit are basically memes. I started playing 1.10 two weeks ago and after getting to hell I sort of lost motivation to play because the end game is just chasing the same runewords. I like the idea of having purely randomized end game loot so that the best item theoretical basically will never drop. So, instead of quitting I enabled the 3-4 socket affixes on rares+crafts, and also all weapon types for crafting. This simulates 1.07 pretty well. I’ve been having a blast over the past few days grinding to make the next best thing, and it really feels so rewarding. Crafting non stop and I finally rolled a sweet sword, which then got 3 sockets at Larzuk, to decide what I want to go into it depending. And then it adds the next layer of the grind, finding those sick jewels or runes to really get technical. And a minimum roll of Grief still beats it!

I don’t forsee any of those runewords ever changing, not after the Warcraft 3 Refunded disaster, they will play it conservative. Vanilla 1.05 is pretty much solid as is though, it has a few nasty bugs and some balance problems, but it’s much less. 1.10 needs a total overhaul to make synergies worthwhile, but I very much prefer the difficulty of it. 1.07-1.09 were just way too easy.
I love this thread. It feels like old friends sitting around the campfire, chatting about the greatest game ever made. :D

Aside from WW Barb, what are some good builds for Classic 1.05b?
The highest I ever got a character in 1.05b was Level 64 with my Iron Maiden / Blood Golem Necromancer. It almost never does lol. Exp gets really slow pretty early (like even at level 30-45 it feels heavy haha), but I suppose the levels mean more. Although I don’t think it’s necessarily as bad as 1.10+, although I also never tried to really hit 99 in 1.10+. Especially since there is no lod content, there is no Act 5 to grind in.

You can take a look at his back in my Ladder 1 retirement thread: https://themovingcaravan.com/viewtopic.php?t=38

His name is ContriClu and he’s named after the Dominican drink \"Country Club\" lmfao, but I put a Dominican pronunciation and accent on it :lol:.

Manny said:
Aside from WW Barb, what are some good builds for Classic 1.05b?

Static Field + Frozen Orb Sorc is arguably the strongest 1.05 build, since SF scales with players. Levels 1-29 are tough since you’re using junk slvl 1 skills, but once you get Orb + Mastery you really zip through the game.

A fire Sorc could be cool - untimed FW/Meteor/Hydra! - but Fire Mastery is bad (and broken with Hydra). Don’t bother with lightning outside of SF and utility skills since Lightning Mastery just cuts mana costs (admittedly amazing with SF/Tele).

1.05 is the good Hammerdin patch (displays damage + combo works) so they’re strong. I lost mine to a surprise MSLE around a corner, but I think he could have made King.

Amazons were fully fixed in 1.05 (bows work + skills aren’t bugged), so they play as intended. 1.04 is _the_ bowazon patch in D2C, but they’re probably fine in 1.05.

I’m not smart enough to play a Necromancer in D2C so I can’t say much there.

It’s a pity the Weapon Mastery bug (damage bonus is multiplied, like Strafe used to be) was never fixed; the issue with WW was never actually WW but that it very quickly delivered buggy damage.
The beauty of classic 1.05-1.06 is that pretty much any build is viable. Thorns/ATD works well in general vs. newer patches. Bowazons? Check. Javazon? Check. WW or frenzy barb. Any element of sorceress. IM/BG/CE necro. Really, the game doesn’t scale nearly as much into nightmare/hell, so normal level gear and 5 points into most skills will suffice.

In 1.00 WW/CE were more powerful, but many other builds were worse. Auras had a star shaped radius. Pierce was capped to 50%, bows were bugged and such. Certain items couldn’t drop.