Luis Royo: The Voice of Deceit
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
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
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
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
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).
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.
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:
30-37, 100 swings/minute= 3350 damage/minute
||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
something for the true masochist ;-).
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:
||a plus to hit (plus
damage) sword of speed/haste or Civerb's Cudgel
||AC around autohit value (not a big problem for a Rogue with her naturally
high AC: 50 with dexterity maxed)
||shield with fastblock
ability (most often Stormshield or Holy Defender)
||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
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.
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
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.
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 ;-)