This book is a good one to become proficient at this classic role-playing game. It's key info is needed to quickly defeat Diablo. I wrote this review after winning Diablo as all three characters; swordsman, archer, and sage, over 6 months as a single player. Diablo won the 1996 game-of-the-year by the computer mags and is phenomenal game that one grows to appreciate its complexity as you get better.
In a nutshell, Diablo is a first person shoot-em-up game against 19 classes of enemies. Diablo stays interesting as the 16-playfield layouts change for each game and the 1000s of creatures have a complex variation of personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. The first 4 levels have sprawling layouts of Dungeon rooms; levels 5-8 have Catacombs which are smaller layouts of rough rock walls; levels 9-12 are Caves with large excavations and meandering streams; and the final 13-16 Hell levels are laid out as interstitial quadrangles. The game play is a nice blend between isometric 3D visualizations, character animations and sounds, and multimedia video clips.
With this book, playing success is an exercise in developing strong Diablo problem-solving skills. Initially looking on the Internet for Diablo cheatz which were few as its a legacy 6-year old game. What this book provides is info and strategy that can help you defeat the myriad of creatures and quests. My book has become a much thumbed, reread, indexed, and enhanced with scrawled notes on how to defeat them.
For example, I found that the easiest character to win was the Rogue archer-woman and won Diablo in 3 games, as archery is a distance scenario. The next easiest character to win was the Warrior swordsman, completed in 5 games, mainly because of hand-to-hand combat experience as a kid. The most difficult character, of course, was the sage Sorcerer, which took me 9 games to win because of the myriad (26) magic potions that need to be mastered. This book gives you an informal discussion and tables of characteristics without all the trial and error. Although it discusses general tactics, it is weak in overall game strategy and specific tactics on specific minions.
This book provides details on the power of weapons and armor and strength and weaknesses of enemies. It also covers the 17 special Quests quite well. The author writes in an entertaining prose and presents key info is in complex tables. I found that Blizzard's production release of Diablo v1.04 and internet update download to v1.08 was very stable and reliable on a P5/233MMX, Socket7 PCI mobo TX chipset, ATI Rage PCI video, 64MB RAM, 52X CD, 10GB HD, and SB16 running Win98SE.
The book is divided into 10 chapters including the making of, but has no index or glossary, which is a serious beginner's omission as the game's jargon is voluminous. There could have been a List of Tables too. And these tables could have had summaries or group breakouts so that the many character(s)(istics) are better organized. The screen shots could be larger and less dark. I bought it at a local used bookstore and the game at a garage sale. Of course, certain key subjects and data tables had erroneous or omitted information.
Each game is saved in the game folder as single_X.SV, where X is 0 to 9; ten games max. Thus create a historical archive subfolder and keep old and partially played games there. Second, game files vary from 200KB to 3MB. So burn game files onto a CD, email, or save on a Zip to impress friends and foes. Finally, do judicious saving for replaying level(s) that eventually went sour. Use the keyboard Ctrl+Alt+Esc to toggle to Windows for making notes and performing file maintenance.
To win maximize building experience points and accumulating gold and key special weapons. Finding, identifying, and redeeming EVERY single weapon, armor, chest, scroll, staff, book, ring, tomb, library, and shrine on every level to maximize your power. Often the first 5 levels and what you accumulate therein can give you a premonition on the final outcome of the game.
For example, the Sorcerer is quite vulnerable in the beginning and the player must strive to play almost perfect levels. Waste the least amount of resources on the minions and don't let them touch you. Learn to run away and lead them into a trap. Accumulate and convert your operating weapons and armor from standard to special ones. Sell as many of the std weapons for health, mana, and ID scrolls from Adria, the Witch. Buy ID scrolls from her as much as possible compared to paying Cain to ID. Categorize the specials and unique weapons and armor into red and blue (fire and lightning resistant), in rows on the ground so that best combinations can be easily selected. Run a pre-level scouting expedition to find what's new on each level. Return to town near the beginning of each level and always re-visit Adria. Apparently attacking minions on a new level triggers her to provide a new list of scrolls, books, and staffs. Accumulate and deploy key fire, lightning, and mana shield spell books rapidly, compared to duplicative staffs and scrolls which are redeemed for more gold. Spell books, and their cumulative power from multiple units, will affect later quest outcomes. If it is taking too much to finish off a minion; its probably because you are doing it wrong. Finally, Quests do not have to be completed serially; do the first five levels without doing the Butcher and King Leoric. Then when stronger and with Arkaine's Valor armor, return back and efficiently finish off the buzzards. Use fKey to Holy Bolt for dealing with skeletons, zombies, King Leoric, and finally Diablo.