DEVELOPinG Your Character

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GAlnlnG EXPERiEnCE points AnD LEVELinG UP

One of your primary goals in Diablo II is the development and advancement of your character. As you play through the game you gain experience points by defeating the evil creatures inhabiting the land. As you achieve certain predetermined levels of experience your character "levels up". You can check your progress towards the next level by examining the narrow horizontal Experience Bar just above your Stamina Bar. When the bar fills up completely, you gain a level. Moving your cursor over the bar displays your current experience points and the points required to reach the next level.

When you level up, your Life and Mana orbs are refilled and you gain points you can use to improve your character's abilities. Two buttons appear on your screen: the New Stats button in the lower left and the New Skill button in the lower right. Clicking on them opens up screens that allow you to assign your new points to your Stats and Skills.

CHARACiERAiiRiBViES

Each time you level up, you are awarded 5 points that you may distribute among your four character attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Vitality and Energy. Clicking on the New Stats icon takes you to the Character screen. You can also bring up this screen at any time by pressing the A or C keys or by clicking the Character button on the Mini-panel.

On the Character screen, assign your new points by clicking on the large " +" button next to the attribute you wish to increase. Each click increments that attribute by one point. Once you have allocated all of your Stat points, the New Stats icon disappears from the Play Area.

NOTE: Each Stat point assignment is permanent, so choose wisely!

To help you decide where to assign your points, take a moment to examine the information displayed on the Character Attribute Screen:

Level - This is your character's current level. New characters start at level 1.

Experience Points - This is the amount of experience that your character has already earned. You gain experience whenever you or your party members defeat monsters in combat.

Next Level - This is the amount of experience necessary to achieve the next level.

Strength - Strength increases the total amount of damage inflicted by your attacks. It is also a factor in equipping weapons and armor. Displayed near your Strength are your attack damage ratings associated with the skills you have selected for the left and right Action Icons.

Attack Damage - The top Attack Damage field represents the damage for the skill that's currently selected in your Left Action Icon, while the bottom Attack Damage field represents the skill selected in the right Action Icon. Whether the action is an attack, a skill, or a spell, the damage displayed in the field represents the current action. The higher the number the more damage your character can do per attack. If a field is blank, then the action selected in that slot does not directly cause any damage. When playing as a Barbarian, and wielding two weapons, you see two numbers within these fields. These numbers represent the Attack Damage for each of the weapons held.

Dexterity - Dexterity is a factor in equipping certain weapons. It also helps determine how often your melee or ranged attacks will succeed, and it affects your character's ability to defend against attacks - that is, your Attack Rating and your Defense Rating:

Attack Ratings - The top Attack Rating field is the action selected in your Left Action Icon, while the one beneath represents the Right Action Icon. The higher the value the more often your character's attacks will actually land blows in battle. Magical attacks and non-combat skills do not have attack ratings and, if such a skill is selected in an Action Icon, the associated field is blank.

When playing a Barbarian wielding two weapons, you will see two number ranges within this field. These ranges represent the Attack Rating for each of the weapons held.

Highlighting the top Attack Rating field with your cursor displays the likelihood that your attacks will hit creatures whose level is equal to your own. Defense Rating - The Defense Rating indicates how well your character can avoid being hit in combat. The higher the value the less often your character will be hit. Highlighting the Defense Rating field with your cursor displays the likelihood that a creature of your level will hit you. Vitality - Vitality determines how much life your character has and how far you can run without resting.

Stamina - Stamina affects how far you can run. Having more stamina allows you to run farther before tiring out and being forced to walk. Life - Life is the amount of damage your character can endure before he or she will die. Life does not automatically regenerate. It must be replenished by drinking healing potions or by visiting an NPC with the power to heal. There are some items and skills, however, that regenerate life. Energy - Energy determines how much Mana your character possesses.

Mana - Mana is your character's spiritual essence. Each time certain skills are used, such as the Fire Bolt of the Sorceress or the Double Swing of the Barbarian, some of this Mana is consumed. When you run out of Mana, your character is temporarily unable to cast spells or use certain skills. Over time, your Mana regenerates. Stat Points Remaining - This shows the number of statistic points you have available for distribution among your attributes. When you gain a level, you earn five points to distribute to your attributes.

Fire Resistance - The likelihood that you will resist damage from a fire attack. The more resistance you have, the less damage you take from fire attacks.

Cold Resistance - The likelihood that you will resist damage from a cold attack. The more resistance you have, the less damage you take from cold attacks.

Lightning Resistance - The likelihood that you will resist damage from a lightning attack. The mote resistance you have, the less damage you take from lightning attacks.

Poison Resistance - The likelihood that you will resist damage from a poison attack. The more resistance you have, the less damage you take from poison attacks.

Normally the numbers that represent your character's current statistics appear in white. However, when a magical item or other magical effect has boosted a statistic or attribute, the number appears in blue.

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