with Lord of Destruction Expansion Set
Single Player Mode
Review by The
I have always lived a solitary, reclusive existence as a Sorceress.
Content to move amongst the shadows, I call the wilderness and
darkened wood my home. At first glance, I, The Siren, might appear
frail; fragile ... Lest you pass me by, know this: I not
only brave elemental nature, but harness it with my own body and
use it! Wielding the fearsome powers of lightning, fire, and ice
as weapons in my hands, I both further the causes of good on this
earth and attain my own ends.
As I wander my vast homeland, I am perplexed and repulsed by
the evil spirits beginning to spawn upon it. Where have they come
from, and what do they want with my world? The beauty of the richly
detailed countryside becomes quickly marred by the bodies of dead
Roguesmy compatriotswho attempt to battle these evil
spirits as they appear. I hear rumors of other existing warriors
against evil, each with their own strengths and attributes, Barbarian,
Paladin, Necromancer, Amazon, Assassin, and Druid. Yet, I encounter
none of them and travel this vividly colorful landscape alone.
Approaching a Rogue encampment (at this moment a darkened, rain-soaked
haven), I seek solace for the night at a blazing campfire. Here,
I find friends who not only impart wisdom but trade goods. They
also detail for me the sordid history of Diablo, the larger devil
behind this spiritual blight against mankind that we now face.
As daylight approaches, my spell-casting skills as a Sorceress
are met with both skepticism and rekindled hope by these entrenched
Rogues, who cannot overtake this evil uprising on their own. I
am challenged by them to take on varied and ever-changing quests
with my magic, to support the causes of right.
I strike out on my own to prove my worth and might! Songs of
both victory and terror perpetually hang in the air. Each enemy
has unique war cries and utterances, and each locale its own distinct
audible nuances to aid me in my battles.
As I spar with ever-increasing numbers of zombies and all manner
of demons and wraiths, my experiences only serve to strengthen
both my character and reserve. Mysterious shrines of renewal and
magical power dot the landscape, recharging my elemental weapons
in time of need. I traverse lush green and golden hills, muted,
stony valleys, and bloodied, rotting caves. Light passes into
darkness; sun into storm. Cold, fire and poison threaten me, spewed
from vile enemies, but I fear not. I meld lightning bolts right
in my hands, first throwing them as static to weaken aggressors,
then sending out chained lightning to finish them off ...
I annihilate rushing herds of mad demons by forming fire bolts
into rows of vicious fire hydras that fight for me. I sculpt moving
blazes and set them down to protect me and follow in my wake,
burning down all evil spirits that might follow ... My survival
is assured by fashioning ice bolts into frost novas that, spiraling
outwardly in rings all around me, slow and shatter the undead
servants of Diablo ... All the while, raiding passed-on souls
both righteous and foul, I gather gold, gems, magic items, weapons
and armor to strengthen and aid me in my quests or to trade away.
I recoup lost items for the Rogues as well, in return for even
These Rogue compatriots of mine at the encampment finally help
to prepare me for their worst local foe: Demon Queen Andariel.
It is a long and arduous journey filled with hordes of murderous,
otherworldly fiends who attempt to strike me down. Alas, I have
hired a mercenary-archer named Gaile from the encampment, and
she follows and guards me willingly and fiercely. Going into battle
with Gaile by my side, her experience, defense and power growing
even as mine do, we fight this poisonous Queen and her onslaught
of new terrors together, emerging victorious once again!
This outland cleared, a caravan leader from the encampment offers
to take us to Lut Gholein, a nearby town also overrun with Diablo's
treachery. We go, by now craving the very things that may be our
end! The owner of a public house seeks vengeance for the deaths
of both her son and husband, and so the first of our new quests
begins ... Locked treasure chests and abandoned barrels and
jugs pepper the landscape, providing new jewel-encrusted magical
weapons, health potions, gold, and magic portals for our emergency
transference back to the safety of the town center. Their presence
is mixed with the tortured corpses of past Rogues, unrelenting
swarms of unique monsters and their masters, and dens and underground
dungeons of evil that must be cleared for new treasures, experiences
and defenses to be gained.
Our journeys, not for the faint of heart or mind, span in all
five expansive locales. Gaile and I gather carnage from murdered
heroes, forging new and incredibly powerful weapons from them.
We ultimately open the sinister gates of hell to confront the
most heinous beings behind this demonic plague of our world; both
Diablo in his infamy and the unforeseen Baal, the Lord of Destruction.
Many traps and deceptions of the eye await us, but for the bravest
of brave, true light shall reign once again as we vanquish these
horrendous foes and restore peace to our once-wondrous land ...
A demonically medieval tale woven through perpetual quests involving
innumerable battles that carry through straight to the end. Diablo
II itself consists of four acts that culminate in a final
confrontation with Diablo; the Lord of Destruction expansion
set adds a fifth act of gameplay and introduces yet another major
boss to defeat in the form of Baal, the Lord of Destruction.
A point-and-click interface allows for strategic targeting of
the unrelenting droves of enemies, along with easy manipulation
of icon-driven weapons, inventory, and character skill tree systems.
Possibly overwhelming for a novice are the intricacies of the
specific character classes and their detailed skill trees, where
various types of experience points are earned for victorious battles
that can be applied to numerous character traits, such as strength,
vitality and energy, and used to broaden and reinforce character
specialties such as spell-casting. Once specific experience points
are applied, for better or worse, they can never be removed or
reused; that said, the neverending battles do allow for constant
earning of additional experience points. Each numbered level of
character experience requires more and more game play in between
to reach, though, and most locations must be played through multiple
times (with enemies spawning again and again), or else a character's
experience level will not build up adequately enough to win boss
The game manual does little to direct the player towards the
better experience point choices or to detail many specifics, so
too much experimentation yielding poorly placed points often lends
itself to beginning the game again on a better footing. The game
automatically saves all progress over itself in the same save
Once a quest area is started, if the game is exited before completion
of that area, reentering the game will start at the closest safe
town and the desired area will have to be accessed via Waypoint
portals for transport and then conquered from scratch again. If
a playable character dies, that same character spawns again back
at the nearest safe town bereft of most inventory previously carried
(except that which has been stored remotely in personal chests)
and also sans acquired armor and jewelry previously worn.
One must only save and exit the game, then reenter it at said
town and raid one's old corpse, however, to recover everything
intact, except for items carried in personal sashes and any gold
the character had on his or her person. If a particularly difficult
fight has been won or a large amount of experience points just
earned, it is a good idea to exit the game and back up the sole
save onto a disk, where it can be reinstalled back into the game
over the current save if there is a major mistake made. A saved
character from a previous Diablo II game may be converted
to an expansion character for use with the LOD, but once
converted that character cannot be changed back. Maps randomly
change with each new character and game started, and a nice red
overlay map showing all entrances, exits, shrines, caves and the
like can be toggled on and off.
The ability to upgrade "socketed" weapons and armor
by inserting acquired gems and jewels into those sockets, thereby
adding magical attributes, certainly personalizes and enhances
the gaming experience. However, there are so many magic items
added with the LOD expansion set in addition to the already
overwhelming amount of existing magic items, armor and weapons
available in Diablo II itself that even the doubling of
the storage area in LOD and the inclusion of large, wearable
sashes for extra goods can't keep inventory from spiraling out
of control. The perpetual required trading and manipulation of
inventory can be cumbersome and overly time-consuming.
The Horadric Cube, an acquired inventory device used for combining
inventory items and morphing them into better items, has vague
connotations and can be difficult to use to its maximum potential.
Rewards of battle are immediate, and health and mana (fuel for
spell casting) refills are abundant. Keyboard shortcuts can be
programmed for quick fortifying of characters, as well as for
fast access to inventory and character attributes, etc. Constant
upgrades for armor and weapons are in almost infinite supply;
however, when selling items to vendors, their worth is cut in
half compared to what a game character will pay to purchase them,
making poor purchasing choices or lack of inventory storage space
To the uninitiated, the amount of character stats, class-specific
weaponry, beneficial shrines, and magic items may seem inhibiting
at first. With patience it becomes easier to comprehend, and the
thrilling battles will quickly draw the player in and render the
less-clear points as secondary to some degree. The game can still
be completed even if its finer details are not understood and
the Horadric Cube's use is not maximized.
Diablo gets a boost with the Lord of Destruction expansion
set, bringing its world into the long-overdue 800x600 resolution,
with optional (and more enjoyable) 3D. Scenes are bright and richly
detailed, if not still somewhat pixelated. The rare in-game movie
sequences look stunning, however, and offer decent backstory information.
The voice acting of the NPCs is superb, as is the constantly
evolving medieval musical score. Sound effects for everything
from changing weather to enemies' actions and vocalizations are
top-notch as well.
The wide range of character classes to choose from, the forming
and perpetual refining of each character, and the sheer breadth
of customizing traits available all serve to solidify the replay
value of this immense epic. The fact that maps differ when beginning
a new game also adds to replay value.
Diablo II with the LOD installed and ran flawlessly
under Windows 98 SE on my Athlon XP 1900+ PC with 512 megs of
PC2100 DDR RAM and an Elsa Gladiac GeForce2 Ultra video card.
Release Date: 2000 (Diablo II); 2001 (Lord of Destruction expansion)
Four Fat Chicks Links
Lord of Destruction expansion pack requires the full version of
Diablo II to play
Windows 2000, XP, ME, 98, 95, and NT 4.0 SP 5 or greater
64 MB RAM
800 MB available hard drive space (in addition to the original
900 MB Diablo II multiplayer install)
4X CD-ROM drive
Direct X compatible video card
Additional requirements for Lord of Destruction multiplayer:
Up to 8 players over TCP/IP network or Battle.net (Battle.net
requires a low-latency 28.8 Kbps minimum internet connection)
Multiplayer games played over a LAN require a TCP/IP network
Enhanced graphics support: 8 MB 3D acceleration card that supports
either OpenGL (v1.1.2 or higher), Rave, or 3dfx
G3 processor or equivalent
Mac OS 8.1 or later
64 MB RAM plus virtual memory
650 MB free hard disk space
4X CD-ROM drive
Video support for 256-color display at 800x600 resolution
Mouse and keyboard
Glide, OpenGL (1.1.2 or later), RAVE, or 3dfx compatible 3-D accelerators
64 MB RAM plus virtual memory
950 MB free hard disk space
28.8 Kbps or faster modem
Up to 8 players over TCP/IP network or Battle.net requires low-latency
Internet connection with support for 32-bit applications
Where to Find It
Links provided for informational purposes only.
FFC makes no warranty with regard to any transaction entered into
by any party(ies).