The story of Diablo II takes place some time after the end of the previous game, Diablo, in the lands of Sanctuary. In Diablo the main body of the story takes place beneath the floors of a cathedral in a small town known as Tristram. It is here that Diablo, the Lord of Terror, is defeated by an unnamed warrior after many previous battles are also won.
The unnamed warrior that vanquished Diablo drove the demon's soulstone into his forehead, in an attempt to contain the monster's essence within his own body. Later in the canon it is suggested that this is what Diablo intended so that, should he be defeated, he had an "escape plan" in place of dying.
The unnamed warrior is ill fated from the moment he does this and is gradually corrupted over the course of the next few days by the demon's spirit. Deckard Cain recounts the story to the next band of adventurers that pass through the Rogue Encampment in Diablo II. It is one of these adventurers that appears in the wake of the destruction caused by the now possessed unnamed warrior, and attempts to find out the cause of the evil, starting with the corrupted warrior (known as the Dark Wanderer throughout Diablo II).
As the player continues through each of the four acts, he faces off against two of the Prime Evils (Mephisto - Act III and Diablo - Act IV, with Baal, the last prime evil, being the main boss in the expansion pack i.e. Act V), and two lesser evils (Andariel - Act I and Duriel - Act II), who act as minor bosses for the first two acts. The player learns of the truth behind the corruption and the story of the soulstones. Diablo released Mephisto (Lord of Hatred) and Baal (Lord of Destruction) from their soulstones, as they were taught long ago how to corrupt them by the fallen angel Izual (also a minor boss in Act IV).
In the end, the player eventually reaches and slays Mephisto and Diablo, in their respective Acts. The story continues in the expansion to the game, where the player chases the last of the Prime Evils: Baal, who is going after the mythical Worldstone in an attempt to corrupt it. See the main article on the expansion for more information.
Lord of Destruction adds a number of new features to the core gameplay of Diablo II. These include:
* Two new character classes: the Assassin and the Druid.
* A fifth act taking place in and around Mount Arreat in the northern Barbarian Highlands, with an additional act boss, Baal.
* Many new weapons and new pieces of armor:
o Runes can be placed into sockets and provide different bonuses from gems.
o "Runewords" are very powerful bonuses that are granted to an item when specific runes are socketed in a specific order.
o "Jewels" gain the same random bonuses that items can. These can be placed into sockets. They have the same effect no matter what the base item is. Unique jewels are "Rainbow Facets" which have different bonuses to a certain element.
o Ethereal items that are normally more powerful than their standard counterparts, but they have lowered durability and cannot be repaired.
o Charms that can be kept in the inventory and provide passive bonuses.
o Class-specific items that can only be used by a certain character, e.g. Claws for an Assassin.
o Additional unique and set items, including class-specific sets.
* An expanded stash for storing itemsGG�Gǥtwo times the size of the original stash.
* An alternate weapon/shield/spell setup that can be switched to via a hotkey in gameplay.
* Hirelings can now follow the player through all the Acts. They can also be equipped with armor and a weapon, can gain their own experience (originally they leveled up with the player), can be healed by potions, and can be resurrected when killed.
* The game can now be played at 800x600 resolution, up from 640x480.
CHARACTER CLASSES AND SKILLS
The Assassin relies on a mixture of martial arts skills and the ability to lay passive traps. She can also open locked chests without the use of a key.
Her Shadow Disciplines tree contains a mixture of passive bonuses (such as Claw Mastery or Weapon Block) and buffs (such as Burst of Speed or Venom), along with a few spells such as Mind Blast which stun and confuse the enemy rather than causing direct damage. She also can summon a Shadow Warrior or Shadow Master, which are useful summons that are also capable of dealing significant damage themselves.
The Traps tree provides a few direct attacks, and more importantly, a number of summonable traps. The traps are stationary devices that will attack any hostile target in range a certain number of times before breaking. Traps are either based on fire or lightning, though the Death Sentry trap can explode nearby corpses in addition to shooting bolts of lightning. The blade trap skills are essentially ranged projectiles that cause physical damage.
The Martial Arts tree consists of charge-up skills and finishing moves. Attacking with a charge-up skill increases the number of charges, up to three, then the finishing move releases the charges in a single powerful blow (note that a normal attack also counts as a finishing move). The charge-up skills include attacks like Blades of Ice and Fists of Fire, which add elemental damage to the finishing blow, and also skills like Cobra Strike, which adds life and mana stealing to the finishing attack. The finishing blows are, for the most part, kicks, such as Dragon Talon, which releases a number of kicks in quick succession, and Dragon Flight, which teleports on to a target and kicks them, releasing any charges.
The Druid specialises in nature-based magic and shapeshifting, with direct damage spells and a variety of minions. The Druid is voiced by Michael Bell.
The Elemental tree consists of the magic of earth and sky. The 'storm' spells have effects like Cyclone Armor, which protects the Druid from the elements, and Tornado, a vortex of swirling winds that moves somewhat randomly and can deal massive damage. The 'fire' spells are more earthly than the Sorceress's, with spells like Fissure and Volcano. The ultimate Elemental spells are Hurricane and Armageddon; both create a storm that follows the Druid, damaging all that come too close.
The Summoning tree governs the calling of natural allies to the Druid. While the wolves and grizzly the Druid can summon are traditional melee summons, the other summoning spells are a bit different. Ravens do marginal damage, but can blind enemies and cannot be targeted. Ravens disappear after they have attacked a certain number of times. The Druid can summon sages that provide Paladin-like Auras, such as increasing damage, life, or returning damage back to the attacker (like the Necromancers Iron Maiden). The Druid also can summon one of three vines. These can poison enemies from below, or consume corpses to replenish the Druid's life or mana.
The Shape-Shifting tree gives the Druid the ability to become an animal himself, with gigantic bonuses to life. The Druid may either become a nimble Werewolf or a large Werebear. Each form has its own special attacks, such as the Werewolf's Feral Rage, which causes the Druid to get faster and faster as he continues to attack enemies, and the Werebear's Maul, which makes the Druid swing harder and harder during attacks. The Werebear is also able to obtain substantially more life and armor than the Werewolf is. It is worth noting that all of the Druid's equipment functions as normal when shifted, if at different speeds, but the druid is virtually unable to cast spells, except for Armageddon and summoning ones.
hails from the islands of the Twin Seas, near the border of the Great Ocean. The class is based on the Amazons of Greek mythology. She is similar to the Rogue of Diablo: both primarily use bows, and both make equal use of strength and magic. The Amazon can also use javelins and spears. Many of her passive skills are defensive in nature, especially Dodge, Avoid, and Evade.
is a versatile death-themed spell caster. Necromancers are the priests of the Cult of Rathma from the Eastern jungles. His Summoning skills allow him to raise skeletons, create golems, and resurrect dead monsters to fight alongside him. The Necromancer possesses powerful poison spells, which rapidly drain life from afflicted monsters. He also has "Bone" skills, which directly damage enemies, while bypassing most resistances. His Curses also afflict the enemy with debilitating status ailments, sowing confusion and chaos in their ranks.
is a powerful melee fighter from the steppes of Mount Arreat. He is an expert at frontline combat, able to absorb great punishment, and is the only class capable of dual-wielding weapons. His Combat Masteries allow him to specialize in different types of weapons, and also passively increase his resistance, speed, and defense. His Warcries dramatically increase the combat effectiveness of him and his party, as well as afflicting status ailments on enemies. He has a variety of Combat Skills at his command, most of which focus on delivering great force upon a single foe.
hails from a rebellious coven of female witches who have wrested the secrets of magic use from the male-dominated mage clans of the East. She can cast ice, lightning and fire spells. Nearly all of these skills are offensive in nature, besieging the enemy with elemental calamity. Her Cold Skills can freeze enemies solid and bypass resistances, but do less damage than lightning or fire. The Sorceress's Teleport spell allows her to instantly travel to a new destination, making her very difficult to hit. The strong point of the Sorceress is her damaging spells and casting speed; her weakness is her relatively low hit points and defense.
is a crusader from the Church of Zakarum, fighting for the glory of the Light. To reflect this, the zealous Paladin's combat skills range from fanatical attacks to heavenly thunderbolts. His skills are split into Combat Skills, Defensive Auras, and Offensive Auras. His auras have a range of abilities, such as increasing damage, or resisting magic attacks, or boosting defense. The Paladin's auras affect all party members. The Paladin is highly proficient in the use of a shield, and is the only character that can use it as a weapon. The Paladin also has specialized skills for eliminating the undead.
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