Hands-on with Diablo II's Sorceress
Find out if the sorceress' magical power can match the barbarian's physical ferocity.
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The sorceress has the ability to cast fire-, ice-, and lightning-based spells, which makes her an enjoyable character for players who like to see spectacular magical effects on screen. As in Diablo, spell energy is deducted from a mana pool, and as long as there is enough mana, the sorceress can launch rapid-fire attacks. In many ways, she is similar to the sorcerer from the original game. However, because of the sorceress' more extensive spell tree, she appears to be more powerful, or at least have the potential to wreak greater destruction.
As with other character classes, the sorceress has three skill sets. In the sorceress' case, her three sets are lightning spells, fire spells, and cold spells. The first-level fire spell affects only one opponent, doing a fair amount of damage with a small fireball that flies in a straight line. The first-level lightning spell does less damage to a number of opponents through snakelike energy bolts that wander randomly along the ground in the direction specified by the player. The first level cold spell is an ice bolt similar to the fire bolt spell. Many of the spells in the first level of skills are similar to those in Diablo, but there are also some interesting new ones. In the cold spell set, for example, is frozen armor, which freezes your attacker, and frost nova, which acts like the nova spell from Diablo, but fires a ring of ice instead of electricity.
Unlike spellcasters in many other games, the sorceress can wield many weapons, including short swords, although she definitely survives longer using spell-based ranged attacks rather than engaging in hand-to-hand combat. In fact, as the character with the most powerful spells, she is naturally the weakest fighter. When the mana runs out and spellcasting is not possible, the options are either to run or fight. Fighting is not a smart choice. Thankfully, the sorceress regenerates mana over time. With the warmth spell from the fire spell set, she can regenerate mana even faster.
At this point, it seems like the sorceress already has a good set of offensive spells that can affect either a single opponent or several opponents at once. Because the upper level of spells are disabled in this beta, we'll have to wait until the final game to learn what powerful spells the sorceress gains at higher levels.