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Classes Attack Type-Guide

Often I read something along the lines of: a Rogue should only use her bow. So I decided to write a Classes-Attack-Type Guide (CAT-Guide) especially with some conclusions for the Rogue.

First of all: There is no Rogue, Warrior or Mage specific attack type.


There are, however, 3 attack types:

1. Melee attack (close combat)
This means you kill the monsters in close combat using a weapon like a sword, club,  or mace. It also includes killing without a weapon -using your fist or foot.

2. Non-magical ranged attack (Archer)
This means you shoot at the enemies with a bow or crossbow (Needler). If possible you will shoot from a distance, but sometimes you have to shoot at close range.

3. Magical attack
This means you use spells with a killing-capability like Fireball or Chain Lightning. Similar to non-magical ranged attacks you can kill enemies from a distance (a desirable scenario, especially for Artillery, Naked and Beyond Naked Mages), but sometimes you have to shoot at the enemies at close range.


There are 3 character classes: Warrior, Mage and Rogue (only the main character classes are under cosideration, not the possible variations). Each of the 3 character classes can perform each of the 3 attack types more or less effectively. I will now estimate the use of the 3 attack types for each class.

A note: This is not a: "which is the best class article". There is no best class, your best class depends mostly on your playing style.



The Warrior is the best melee character as he has the fastest sword swing rate. He swings speed/haste swords at 0.35 seconds per swing. This means a Warrior can stun advocate-type monsters (Counselors, Magistrates, Cabalists and Advocates) using a speed/haste sword. Warriors have a hidden +20% to hit bonus for melee attacks. To successfully block every attack a Warrior needs: 220 - (2 x clevel) dexterity (exception: some high level bosses). To reach the needed dexterity a Warrior must (often, I donīt talk about dream setups ;-)) sacrifice some other stats. But even with less dexterity a Warrior can easily block most of the hits. Warriors have a natural blocking speed of 0.10 seconds, like using a fastblock shield, even a level 1 Warrior has it. Warriors can inflict critical hits (probability = clevel %) causing double damage.

Non-magical ranged attack (Archer)
The Warrior fires a bow relative slowly, shooting at 0.55 seconds per arrow for an usual bow and 0.50 seconds per arrow for a swiftness/Needler bow. But there is some advantage to using a bow for the Warrior: a low level Warrior killing the butcher (trap him in the stairs). As well, some Warrior players use a bow for item recovery duties (to recover your items walk slowly, Stone Curse everything and use a bow, this means you donīt have to get too close to the enemies, so you donīt activate very many of them).

Magical attack
The casting speed of a Warrior is slow and he doesn't have much mana. But there is some benefit for a Warrior using magic besides Healing/Townportal/Teleport: Firewall is a great spell for a low/midlevel Warrior. Playing my level 38 Warrior in the catacombs (shrine hunting) I Chain Lightingīed my way through the dungeon. Playing in hell/hell and facing Succubus -I donīt need to think twice -I CL them (playing solo-multi). A Warrior with mana/magic boosting items can be an average/good spell caster (Micro-Mage). However, his to hit probability for magical attacks is not that great, but some spells (for example: Chain Lightning) donīt need to be aimed.

Conclusion for the Warrior
One very good attack -melee, some/little use for a bow and some/good use for magical attacks.



Magical attack
The Mage is without doubt the most powerful magical attacker in the game. He can cast spells very fast and he has plenty of mana and a high to hit probability with magical spells (+20% hidden bonus).

Non-Magical ranged attack (Archer)
Mages fire bows very slowly at 0.80 seconds per arrow for a normal bow and 0.75 seconds per arrow for a swiftness/Needler bow. I remember the first time I played a Mage. I was in the church and found a bow with a to hit bonus. I tried to use this bow to kill monsters behind a grate. After a really short time I sold the bow -the Mage simply fires the bow too slowly.

The Mage is slow in swinging melee weapons, even a sword of speed/haste is only swung at 0.50 seconds. But there is some use for a Mage to turn to melee weapons: triples immunes: Stone Curse them, whack them down with a sword or much better Civerb's Cudgel (CC).

Charles Warren has created a variant called Muscle Mage. This Mage meleeīs his way through the dungeon without using magical attack spells.

A note: Mages swing shields at 0.45 seconds per swings -no other class has a faster shield swinging rate, but shields only do 1-3 damage. However, the shield can be a very good weapon for a Mage who only has a Dreamflange and is facing triples immunes.

Assuming your base damage is 30:
Bullet_diamond_gold.gif (334 Byte) Dreamflange damage: 30-37, 100 swings/minute= 3350 damage/minute
Bullet_diamond_gold.gif (334 Byte) Shield damage: 30-32, 133.3 swings/minute= 4133 damage/minute!

Conclusion for the Mage
The best magical attack, yet a very poor archer -I think this attack is absolutely useless for a Mage (maybe useful for a low level Mage, trapping the Butcher in the stairs and killing him with a bow, but this takes forever ;-)) and an average melee fighter. Note: There is an Archer-Mage variant (Moor) on Charis' Page, something for the true masochist ;-).


The Rogue

Non-magical ranged attack (Archer)
The Rogue has the most efficient non-magical ranged attack. She fires normal bows at 0.35 seconds per arrow and swiftness/Needler bows with 0.30 seconds per arrow. 0.30 seconds is the fastest non-magical attack speed in Diablo. Rogues have a hidden +20% to hit bonus to non-magical ranged attacks.

Rogues don't deal the amount of damage a Warrior can, but they are very close when using a Civerb's Cudgel.

They can be very good melee fighters when the following conditions are met:
Bullet_diamond_gold.gif (334 Byte) a plus to hit (plus damage) sword of speed/haste or Civerb's Cudgel
Bullet_diamond_gold.gif (334 Byte) AC around autohit value (not a big problem for a Rogue with her naturally high AC: 50 with dexterity maxed)
Bullet_diamond_gold.gif (334 Byte) shield with fastblock ability (most often Stormshield or Holy Defender)
Bullet_diamond_gold.gif (334 Byte) high dexterity (again no problem for a mid/high level Rogue ;-))

A displayed to hit of 220 gives a clevel 40 Rogue a maxed melee to hit in hell/hell. A displayed to hit of 200-220 is sufficient in Civerb's Cudgel/shield setup . Such a Rogue can fight one-on-one with any monster without being hit (exactly she can block every hit, exception: Diablo himself, sometimes he attacks and casts Apocalypse at almost the same time, one can only block one hit in 0.10 seconds) and she can fight easily against 10 or more Blood Knights in hell/hell when standing with her back against a wall or even better a corner (hint! ;-). She only has to take some hits from time to time (you are *hitable* while you are blocking, that is why Rogues should use a fastblock shield). Blocking speed for Rogues without fastblock shield is 0.20 seconds, with a fastblock shield it's 0.10 seconds. Rogues swing speed/haste swords at 0.40 seconds per swing which means they can't stun Advocate-type monsters when using a sword. A high level Rogue can even use a Civerb's Cudgel very efficient without wearing gold items.

Rogues (with mana/magic boosting items) are good spell casters. I use a lot of magical attack spells, playing a Rogue solo/multi in hell/hell. When I am playing the CAT-Rogue style there are only some monsters I seldom use magical attack spells (hell/hell difficulty): Blood Knights and Azure Drakes (and triples immunes of course ;-). For all other monsters I use spells to soften them up or to kill them (playing solo/multi). A DF/s-Mini-Mage-Rogue or an Archer-Mini-Mage-Rogue can also kill Blood Knights and Azure Drakes in hell/hell with Fireball easily ;-).



We have 2 classes: Warrior and Mage, who have one very good attack type and two poor/average/good attacks and we have one class: Rogue, who has two very good attack types (Archery and Melee) and one good attack (magic). However, Rogues have less mana than a Mage and less life than a Warrior (with the same equipment).



Conclusion for Rogues
The combination of her 3 very good/good attack types and the lack of mana/life is exactly the reason why there are so many different styles of playing a Rogue. None of these styles are (totally) wrong and there is not just one correct style.

That is why some Rogue players try to boost life and play a Rogue without Mana Shield (even in Diablo v. 1.07) and this is ok -itīs your style.

Some others are trying to boost mana and use a lot of magical attack spells and Mana Shield (even before Diablo v. 1.07).

Some play a Mini-Mage Rogue often with Thinking Cap, Dreamflange/Stormshield-obsidian/emerald Shield combination or with an obsidian/emerald bow to free slots for +mana +magic items (only one obsidian/jade ring/amulet needed), killing everything with magical attack spells (even Blood Knights and Azure Drakes in hell/hell) and often finishing the monsters with bow/sword.

Another Style is the: CAT-Rogue (this is the Rogue playing-style I prefer in COOP games): boost mana and magic (not as much as Mini-Mages), use Mana Shield (hell), wear AC around autohit value, use either a bow or a weapon/shield combination (+to hit +damage sword of speed/haste or Civerb's Cudgel, shield with fastblock ability) depending on the monsters on the level.

Speaking as a high level Rogue I never carry a bow with me in dungeon level 1-12, in hell I always carry a bow and a weapon/shield combination with me when playing COOP. I switch weapons depending on the monsters and often I change weapons within the level (for example: level 16 I killed some Advocates using my bow, walk around the corner and see five Blood Knights coming my way, I switch to weapon/shield while walking). Playing the CAT-Rogue style solo/multi I use a lot of spells and kill about 40-50% of the monsters with my weapon/shield combination, 40-50% with magical attack spells and 10-15% with my bow, but this 10-15% kills are very important kills and I like my bow ;-).

I would never say that the Rogue playing-style I have chosen for COOP games is the only/correct/best one ;-), but I think a Rogue should always use the weapon that fits best to the situation in COOP games.


Versatility- is the way to go as a Rogue


The main advantage for a Rogue who (sometimes) uses a weapon/shield combination is: She can block hits and can do this very well (using a fast block shield). You can't block hits while using a bow. However, I think a low level Rogue should mainly use her bow (and a little bit of magic) ;-).


Now some examples of attack-type use (Rogue clevel +30, hell/hell, CAT-Rogue playing-style, solo-multi player).

Steel Lords and Azure Drakes
I use my weapon and shield setup. Once I played this level and only 2 hits did damage to me. Two hits on the whole level (with the exception of Lazarus' room).

3 Kinds of Witches
A bow level (no surprise). I often kill Snow Witches with Fireball on this level.

Balrogs and Hell Spawns
Usually I use my bow and Stone Curse the Balrogs. Using CL on Balrogs is very mana intensive.

Doom Guards and Succubus
Bow setup, CL CL CL ;-)).

Knights and Snow Witches
Depends on the Knight type, but very often I use my sword and shield (Civerb's Cudgel/shield) equipment and Fireball the Snow Witches.

Soul Burners and Azure Drakes
I use my bow in this level and Stone Curse the Azure Drakes if necessary, but often change to sword and shield (Civerb's Cudgel/shield) setup, if no Soul Burners are around.



So, if you are playing a Rogue and feel comfortable using only your bow and no weapon/shield combination, do it. If you are exclusively using a weapon/shield combination -it is your decision. I don't want to convince other players ;-).

However, I don't want to see statements like: "A Rogue should only use her bow" or if you are (occasionally) using a weapon/shield combination as a Rogue -"Why don't you play a Warrior instead?".

These statements are annoying, anger inducing and in my opinion show that these persons have no knowledge about the mighty Rogue.

Im my honest opinion Rogues need the most micro-management of all classes (this does not mean that players of the other classes are brainless -no offense- I play all classes ;-))).


A player who does utilize the Rogue's micro-managements can be very powerful.




Click here to break out of a frame and/or to see the whole page.

Credits: I have posted my CAT-Guide many times on the wonderful Diablo Strategy Forum. Many people have given me tips to improve my CAT-Guide. Unfortunately I canīt remember each name so I want to say: Thank you all ;-)

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