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I read some complaints about Diablo 1 being really hard around the internet. So i thought i'd chime in with some beginner advice. This is for single player Diablo 1 with no hellfire although all the advice here should be equally valid for hellfire.

Fire - Really important for the last level of the game. Save some fire resistance gear in town.
Magic - Really important for any level with succubi, they use the spell Blood star which deals magic damage.
Lightning - Enemies that deal lightning damage don't really do much damage so you can skip this one entirely.

Unique items:
These items aren't necessarily the power items you'd expect from having played D2 or D3. Most of them are worse than good quality magic items. There are three "special" uniques that i'll discuss in detail, use the advice given for each character for the other uniques.

The undead crown/Helm of sprits.
Undead crown is a quest item that can only be obtained from slaying King Leoric. If the fountain in tristram has blue water then you are guaranteed to get this item. The helm of sprits is much rarer and also worse. These two items are amazing on vitality based melee characters. It is very rare that i ever replace the undead crown on a warrior. The life steal only works with melee weapons. The same is true for items with mana steal.

Civerb's cudgel
This is the most damaging weapon in the game. The 200% damage increase vs demons multiplies all of your physical damage. If you are playing a rogue and find it early in the game you might just want to go melee. Warriors have trouble achieving high "to hit" so only use this if you have gear that boosts "to hit".

Dexterity is the most important attribute for warriors. It boosts armor class, to-hit and your chance to block with your shield. You should max this as soon as possible. You could leave it at 57 until you know if you get the Black mushroom quest however.
Strength should be thought of as just a requirement to wear decent gear. I like to go to 50 after maxing dexterity in order to wield Bastard swords should i find any.
Magic is super important in multiplayer but you can safely ignore this attribute in single player.
Vitality is where you should spend the vast majority of attribute points. You will need those hit points. Monsters hurt.
Once you reach dungeon level 13 Peppin and Adria will start selling attribute boosting potions. They restock everytime you enter town. This is a great place to spend money, but i would save some for full healing potions and griswold's shop. Griswold restocks everytime you level up.

Warriors can't achieve a great magic score but you can save magic boosting items for book learning. Just drop extra books and gear that buffs magic in town, it won't disappear.
Healing - This is what i'd consider the "core spell" for warriors. Get it to as high spell level as possible.
Fire wall - Great spell for all classes. Getting a few levels of this will really help you deal with ranged monsters.
Stone curse - Great spell if you can get the mana for it.
Teleport - Great spell if you can get the mana for it and the magic necessary to learn it.
Chain lightning/Fireball - Warriors cast slow so you shouldn't rely on these spells, but they can help you deal with enemies that are hard to catch.

Warriors swing fast with melee weapons and they have inbuilt "Fast block" trait. Their attack speed with bows is rather slow. For 99% of situations you should be using a shield and a one-handed melee weapon. I would avoid two-handed weapons unless you find a king's anything of speed/haste.
Pre/Su-fix you want for you weapon:
1) "To-hit". This is the most important and the number one priority. You'll want 150-170% to-hit for the lower levels of the dungeon.
2) Increased attack speed. Readiness is bugged and does nothing. Swiftness is good. Speed and haste are entirely equivalent, this is the one you want.
3) Life/Mana steal are very nice to have.
4) Bonus damage is not a primary goal. Weapon damage is added onto your normal damage from strength+level so it really doesn't matter too much.
Things you don't want:
Knockback is counter productive to your strategy, particularly against ranged enemies. You don't want to keep chasing after enemies. Avoid this trait. Griswold's edge is still decent enough but it's really sad that they put knockback on it.

For the rest of your gear try to get +all attributes, bonus hit points, armor class and fire/magic resistance. Armor class can be ignored if you can't get above 100 in the lower levels of the dungeon. Just be extra careful if you have low AC.

Enemies and strategy:
The warrior is in my opinion the hardest class to play. Number one rule is that you don't want to be surrounded, just retreat a step or two if the enemies are surrounding you. Retreat to a corner or door opening if you are having a hard time.
Yellow zombies aka. Black death. These bastards permanently drain 1 hit point from you when they hit. This is the only enemy where i prefer bows and spells to melee weapons. Don't go into melee with these guys.
Succubi and other ranged enemies that retreat. Don't walk in a straight line towards them, you'll be pelted with projectiles and all you will accomplish is them retreating and you taking damage. Walk in a zig-zag pattern towards them instead or walk in the "lane" next to the one they are in. They will have a really hard time landing a hit on you if you do this. Another solid option is to retreat behind a corner and take swings at them when they follow you. Try to pin them if you can - you really need to learn their AI patterns to counter them effectively.

Put everything in magic and buy magic boosting potions. Getting a higher strength value can be useful if you find some good gear.

Mana shield is the most important spell, the book costs 16000 gold and can be farmed simply by re-entering town repeatedly until Adria sells you one. You only need 1 book, more is a waste.
Main damage spells are fireball and chain lightning. Get as many of these books as you can, chain lightning is a little glitchy above spell level 8 so you might want to stop there.
Firebolt/Guardian are pretty decent in single player. Guardian shoots firebolts so you can boost damage by getting a higher firebolt level.
Firewall is likely the first good damage spell you'll get. Get a few levels of this.
Teleport/Stone curse are really nice to have, i wouldn't go out of my way to get higher levels of them but you definitely want at least level 1.
Golem is nice to have for the rare occasion that you have to deal with triple-immune enemies.

It doesn't matter too much for the sorc. The number one item i'd look for is a staff of Apocalypse. Adria sells them. Apocalypse is slightly nerfed in hellfire but on the up-side your character can learn it from a book.

Look for gear that buffs mana and fire/magic resistance. Getting faster hit recovery is also nice. Ignore armor class, it's highly unlikely that you'll get enough of it to matter.

Keep your distance and don't be stingy with your spells. Buy lots of full mana potions before entering the dungeon. The main enemy to look out for is usually the "Hidden". Cast a few firewalls and spam spells before walking forward if you are on a level full of these enemies. As a general rule of thumb you should go in a wide arc around corners. Don't want to get hit by that knight standing around the corner!

There are so many ways of playing this character. I will focus on my preferred build.
Strength/Dexterity should be thought of only as a requirement. Just spend enough points to wear gear. Once you get access to attribute boosting potions you can boost these two.
Magic is the attribute i aim to max as fast as possible. Leave it at 67 until you know if you get the black mushroom quest. Once magic is maxed you can focus on strength/dexterity.
Vitality can be safely ignored for this particular build.

Same as the sorcerer. Mana shield is top priority. Second is chain lightning and third is fireball.

Look for a bow with Swiftness, +All attributes or Resistances. Getting burning/lightning arrows is also cool. If you can get a long war bow with a big damage boost (Such as the Massive prefix) then that is also excellent.

For the rest of the gear get magic/fire resistance, mana and bonus to all attributes. It's rare that you can stack armor class high enough for it to matter.

Keep your distance and abuse choke points. Shooting blindly by holding down shift is a valid strategy. If you hit anything you'll hear a sound, just keep firing if thats the case.
This is the best Diablo 1 post on the internet. My child mind could never figure out what my man-child brain finally learned: dexterity/vitality is the key to a warrior, not strength. Thanks for posting.
Post edited July 01, 2020 by jol0821
you should add the 3 hellfire classes: the monk, the bard and the barbarian to the guide.
Thank you for this little guide. You did some mistakes I'll try to correct. Civerb's Cudgel is one of the best items in the game. Even for the sorcerer. It triples all damage against demons, not just melee damage. Playing a sorc in hell and past level 12 is very easy with this item.
CaptainCosmotic: Thank you for this little guide. You did some mistakes I'll try to correct. Civerb's Cudgel is one of the best items in the game. Even for the sorcerer. It triples all damage against demons, not just melee damage. Playing a sorc in hell and past level 12 is very easy with this item.
Thanks for your little reply, you are 100% wrong.
3x demon damage is processed only for melee damage, same place as life/manasteal.
So if you claim 3x damage vs demons suddenly made your spells deal 3x dmg, then they surely lifesteal/manasteal as well huh?
I suggest verifying info before posting.
Funny how newbie accounts keep ressurecting this thread after a year or so :)

Oh forgotten thread
Lost to the ages
Arise and return
To the frontmost pages!
Post edited May 20, 2021 by Realpsojed