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Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment    Genre: Adventure & RPG    Expansion For: Diablo II
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3    RAM: 64 MB    Hard Disk: 800 MB    4x CD-ROM    Graphics: 800x600 @ 256 Colors

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
July 30, 2001 | Michael Phillips

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The Druid
Using nature as a weapon, the Druid is able to smite the forces of evil with stunning efficiency. The Druid controls both Elemental and Prime magic, thus he can manipulate fire, earth and the winds and the creatures around him. The Druid also has the ability to change his shape and transform either into a vicious dire wolf or fierce cave bear.

Playing the Druid is very fun indeed; his shape-shifting skills add an interesting twist to Diablo II. Depending on his skill level, the druid may transform into a deadly beast for a certain amount of time. The dire wolf is an extremely powerful, agile killer and in fact, I found myself staying almost entirely in wolf form. Much like the Necromancer, the Druid is able to summon creatures such as hawks, wolves and natural spirits to do his bidding. These summoned beasts provide excellent cover for the Druid while he performs more powerful attacks. Lastly, the Druid has the ability to control Elemental magic. With the flick of his wrist, the Druid can cause the sky to rain fiery boulders, unleash deadly ice attacks or call upon the earth itself to vanquish evil. The Druid is a very powerful, albeit “earthy” fellow.

Aside from Act V and the new character classes, Lord of Destruction boasts uncountable new items, class specific items, such as the Barbarian’s bone helm or Necromancer’s Shrunken Heads, a larger stash, more hot-key options, Runes, Charms and enhancements to hirelings.

The new items are excellent; I firmly believe that much of Diablo’s fun comes from the surprise of finding cool new gear for your character. Thanks to the addition of a larger stash, players are able to keep even more items on hand. It is also now possible to swap equipped items with the press of a single hot-key. This allows for easy switching from, let’s say a sword & shield to a two-handed weapon.

Runes are a very interesting addition to Diablo II. Like Gems, they fit into socketed items and provide bonuses. However, unlike Gems, certain combinations of Runes can create entirely new items. This makes for some very interesting surprises.

Charms come in all different sizes and provide various bonuses simply by resting in a player’s inventory.

Finally, we come to hirelings. In Lord of Destruction, hirelings are FAR more useful. Players are now able equip their hirelings with armor and weaponry, transforming them instantly from demon fodder to noble allies. This is a great new feature, yet it also provides my ONLY complaint for this otherwise excellent expansion set. Here’s the problem, when a suit of armor or weapon is given to a hireling, their appearance doesn’t change AT ALL. What were the Blizzard artists thinking??? This oversight really hurts Lord of Destruction’s immersion level. I hope that this artistic blunder will perhaps be resolved in a future update.

Graphics: Sharp as Baal’s Claws
Lord of Destruction features the same excellent graphics found in Diablo II with the added bonus of the ability to run the game at 800x600 resolution. Lord of Destruction looks outstanding running at 800x600 with minimal performance hits on newer Macs. Also, the spell effects on the new characters are outstanding. I especially enjoy the Druid’s shape-shifting animation.

Conclusion: Go Out and Smite Those Demons
Blizzard Entertainment has done it again! Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is yet another masterpiece in their long line of top-notch titles. With a new Act, new characters and thousands of new items, this expansion set is a must have for any Diablo fan.

Now, I leave with a question… The hero from Diablo was possessed by evil through the use of a Soulstone. How was Homer Simpson possessed by evil? The first person to answer this correctly wins their very own copy of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. (Note: We have a winner! The correct answer is: Homer is possessed after receiving a hair transplant from Snake.)

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment


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