Fotds: October 2001
The information presented in these archived FotDs is now outdated, but that's often the most interesting thing about them, seeing how much the game has changed from then to now.
The original FotDs are indented and italicized. Explanatory comments below them were written by Flux at the time the FotDs were archived, usually a couple/few months after the original FotDs had been presented.
October 2, 2001
- The Amazon skill Fire Arrow was changed in v1.09, and is much improved now. Rather than shooting a normal arrow and adding a little bit of fire damage to it (as the game description states) FA converts your total bow damage to fire damage. If you have a big damage bow, like a Buriza, you can do 350 or so fire damage per shot at around Clvl 80 + any other elemental damage you might have from equipment, + the physical damage to leech with. This beats high level Immo arrow, not to mention saving your skill points.
A nice change to the game here, undocumented, but it turned Fire Arrow into a sort of weak Berserk, converting physical damage to elemental damage. Exactly how it works is still not known, but it does seem to convert about your bow damage to fire damage + the normal physical damage. I'd heard a rumor about Fire Arrow working better, so I tested it in a game with a bow that did around 160 max, and my Fire Arrow damage with that was nearly identical to the damage of a normal attack by my Kuko Shakaru, which was on the bow switch.
Having used it a lot since then, I'm not sure quite how it works. It seems to do more damage when you have Might on than when you don't, which shouldn't be the case if it's just your bow damage, and it also seems to get Critical Hit at times, as you do about double the normal damage, for some reason. Blizzard has never made any comment about this skill change. It totally ruined Immo Arrow, which was pretty much nerfed in D2X anyway, but it is nice to give the Bowazon a useful elemental damage attack that doesn't require a ton of skill points.
If you have a bow with 100% piercing, like a Buriza, this is very effective, even on non-PI monsters. You just need to get two or more of them lined up, and the Fire Arrow never misses if you aim it accurately, so you can deal full physical damage + fire damage + Buriza's cold damage + charms damage to everything you hit. Leeching just as much as a normal Attack. If you hit two or more targets, you are doing more damage than you would with a normal two-hit Piercing Guided Arrow.
October 11, 2001
- All shrine effects now carry over between acts, so if you spot an experience shrine in the Blood Moor, you could pass it by, and then just as you were going to kill a major boss come back and get it, adding 50% to your experience from the boss. Many monsters have curses that will cancel out your shrine bonus though, such as any Cursed boss, Oblivion Knights, Succubi, and Baal, so pick your spots.
In D2C you only got shrines in that act. This doesn't often come into effect, but it can be nice if you find a useful shrine just as you are about to leave an area, so you can take it with you.
October 16, 2001
- Succubi have three Curses in D2X, and these are like Necromancer or Oblivion Knight Curses, targeted with a radius, rather than like a Cursed boss, which is always Amplify Damage and has a 50% chance to infect you if your minion is hit. The most annoying Succubi Curse is called Blood Mana. It is cast only on characters who have more mana than hps, and with it they lose hps equal to the casting cost of all their skills, when they cast them. It doesn't kill, stopping at 40 hps, but can be very annoying for Sorceresses.
Blood Mana isn't seen that often now, with most Sorcs having far more hit points than mana, doing low mana builds like Firewall, but the curse is a pain when it hits you. Energy Shield doesn't help with it either, you take your full casting cost right off the top of you hit points, and if you are a fast caster with an expensive skill like Nova, this can be really dangerous, weakening you constantly.
A good way to avoid it is to let your merc lead the way, since he/she always has more hps than mana, the Succubi and Baal will cast the lower defense one on both of you.
October 22, 2001
- The inventory window for your hired merc lists them dealing substantial damage even when they have no weapon equipped, but this figure is wildly inaccurate. You can remove the weapon from your merc and they will take no damage at all if they attack when cursed with Iron Maiden, and will have a lot of trouble even killing normal monsters. How far should you trust the listed damage with a weapon? Not very.
This is still true now in v1.09d, and if you remove the weapon from your merc they are much safer in the Chaos Sanctuary, without IM deaths to worry about, even if their listed damage is still in the hundreds.
October 28, 2001
- A change made in either v1.08 or v1.09 D2x, and recently noted by Jarulf, is to how Deadly Strike, and the Amazon and Barbarian's Critical Strike skills, stack. Initially in D2X these could work on each other, with Critical Strike doubling and Deadly Strike quadrupling your total physical damage. This double stacking no longer occurs, the game now checks one, and only if it fails checks the other. So you have better odds of double damage with both, but will never get 4x.
This comes into play with the various weapons that add Deadly Strike. They are less useful on Amazons or Barbarians, since those characters get a chance at double damage already.
October 31, 2001
- "Magic Resistant" bosses have 40% resistance to Cold, Fire, and Lightning (but not Poison or Magic damage). "Magic Immune" monsters are immune to "magic" the type of damage Bone Spear/Spirit, Teeth, Blessed Hammer, Berserk and a few other skills deal. This is confusingly worded by Blizzard, but just think of the random boss modifier "Magic Resistant" meaning "Elemental Resistant" and it will make more sense.
This one still confuses people all the time. Perhaps Blizzard could change the wording in v1.10.