The Hell Guide v0.26
WARNING! - Do NOT import your characters from Hellfire or any other Diablo or Hellfire mod into The Hell, because TH uses completely new experience building system, not present in any other Diablo or Hellfire mod. If you do, you can experience different unexpected in-game crashes, mana system bugs, imbalanced leveling, etc.
First of all, the recommended level progression is this:
+ Please realize that you will (most likely) not be able to beat the game from the first attempt, instead you'll have to CONQUER every area (every dungeon level, or, as we say here, DLVL) and only then proceed to the next one. And when you beat the game on Horror mode, proceed to Purgatory difficulty and continue conquering every level. Conquering a dungeon level means that you can fight at it relatively safe, or at least without dying too much;
+ Attribute points are VERY important and should be spent wisely. However, some shrines will allow you to roll back a little, to correct your mistakes. But don't count on it too much. Don't forget that elixirs can no longer be bought from potion sellers. You will only have what you can find as a random drop from monsters and dungeon objects and from shrines. In general, be careful when increasing your attributes and keep in mind that some of the most powerful unique items might require primary stats of 300 or even higher;
+ You will find magical items with '-50% all ranged damage' feature, you MUST have this feature, so get yourself such item as soon as possible (preferrably, before you go down to level 3 and deeper). Such items are NOT cumulative, so it doesn't matter if you have one or 7 such items. But if you won't equip one, the game will be too harsh for you, again I'll repeat: this is VITALLY important that you always have both -50%ARD and -DFE items on;
+ Also, you will find many magical items with '- damage from enemies' (a.k.a. '-DFE'), these ARE cumulative, so get these as many as possible because it really helps. But know that damage absorption works better for those who are naturally healthy (high basic Vitality, not the one that comes from +VIT items) - DFE is capped at Vitality divided by 2 (the actual formula is ((baseVIT+1)/2) ), so, for instance, a character won't have more DFE than 15 if his/her Vitality is 30 (no matter how high your DFE is). Damage absorption and Vitality depend on each other and work together very well, remember that;
+ MAX resistances = 85% now, it's very important, so don't underestimate its value, you MUST have resistance on you when fighting elemental damage dealers;
+ Barrels, burning crosses and traps now do more damage - be careful;
+ You should use Blunt weapons (Maces, Clubs, Flails, Hammers, etc) against Undead (Zombies, Scavengers, Skeletons, Liches, Lost Souls, etc) and Swords (Claymore, Gladius, Long Sword, etc.) against Animals (various Bats, Boars, Stingers, etc.) for best damage, and I would highly recommend '+100% vs Demons' items when fighting demons;
+ You will need MAG for using jewelry (Collars & Bangles), recommended minimum is 20;
+ You can find high level spellbooks, weapons & armour quite early in your quest but you won't be able to read/equip them because requirements are quite high. The exception is Staves, which will require relatively low STR. Sometimes you'll also find one-handed staves - these are shown as staff animation when wielded without a shield in offhand, but shown as a mace when you equip shield. Wands are extremely rare though;
+ Shrines are less negative, there is no real risk of touching them, feel free to do it;
+ No monster can steal your hit points, vitality, or whatever;
+ 'Increased Life Stealing' bonus is cumulative with '3% or 2% life stealing' effect, so if you, for instance, find 'Life Stealing' (+ [0-6]% life stolen per hit) and '2% life stolen per hit' items, wearing them both will give you 2-8% life stolen per hit effect, this will prove very useful on Purgatory and Doom modes. However, you can't, of course, go higher than 3-9% LS;
+ Certain types of bulky armours can add several points to your maximum damage;
+ Blocking Suffix now can be found on Staves, which is quite useful for Monks;
+ Take EXTREME caution when facing Demons that attack with both hands as they are very dangerous and not to be played with even on Horror mode. You'll believe this warning when you come across Abaddon the Steel Claws or Veliur the Bashing Fist;
+ Hydra spell will blast enemies with Fire Balls now, and it can detect enemies from a decent distance, it will also substract your Mana for every Fiery Blast. You can raise multiple Hydras simultaneously (as it's a spell of the higher level). The Hydra's fire balls' damage, speed and ToHit percentage is based on your MAG, so it will be useful to Mage and Assassin. However, keep an eye on your Mana if you've conjured several Hydras, you don't want them to drain all your Mana leaving you without Mana Shield in the middle of combat;
+ Golem is tougher now, it's resistant to lightning and magic and immune to Hydra's fire balls. So, you can use those simultaneously. You can have only 1 Golem at a time;
+ All monsters regenerate hit points faster, especially demons from deepest dungeons;
+ Many monsters love ambushing you, many have colours that help them to hide themselves from you (and attack all of a sudden);
+ Be careful with spiders, bats and hounds that spit poison and leave puddles, standing on these puddles is dangerous: they do damage constantly and it's updated very fast;
+ Fury doesn't have Lethargy phase (where all of your stats would decrease below normal). Fury leaves you with 1 Hit Point for 1/20 of a second when it ends, so try not to cast it if you are facing monsters that do magical damage with high update speed: lightning, poison, inferno, flash.
+ F1-F4 keys now work as hotkeys with F1 (Fury), F2 (Healing), F3 (Arcane Shield), F4 (Mana Shield). More Hotkeys will come with future updates.
+ Since Bone Wings are resistant to Holy Bolt, I made them vulnerable to Lightning on Horror & Purgatory modes. Doom mode will still have fully immune Bone Wings who resist Holy Bolt, too. Be careful.
+ New 'HellMSG.ini' file refreshed multiplayer quick messages to F9 (retreat), F10 (please wait), F11 (stand aside) and F12 (i need help).
+ Since TH is the hardest of all Hellfire mods, one needs some sort of tactics there, lest will get chopped pretty fast. It is simple, though: if on next dungeon level you are having a hard time, then you have to stick on the previous level and look for better equipment: more AC, faster attack, fast block, -DFE, etc. No matter how much I warn people that it's very hard down there, they still rush blindly into next level as if they were playing Diablo or some regular HF mod. Of course, they run into difficulties, and then won't stop whining that it's too hard. Well, it *IS* hard, and it is very hard, but it *IS* also possible, I assure you. On Doom mode you might want a good co-op team to beat those creatures. Especially, Crypt levels will be super-hard, no matter what character class you're playing.
+ You should know that if some monsters have too many hit points (in your opinion), you can use Dreadful and Astral (if Demons) bonuses to significantly increase the amount of damage you deal to them. Also, standing right behind a doorway and using a bow/crossbow with a Knockback effect (KB), will prove very useful for Scouts. Mages might find benefit in casting many Hydras near monster swarm and teleport away to let the Hydras deal with monsters (if they are vulnerable to Fire), Fiery Ring and Lite Ring could also prove useful.
+ Make use of those items that grant extra AC vs undead or demons. Now they give extra 15 AC vs demons and extra 10 AC vs undead. Don't underestimate these bonuses: in certain environment they can make difference between your life and death.
+ Co-oping makes the game a lot less hard. Especially on higher difficulties. So, don't be confused if the game gets unbelievably hard on Purgatory and you start thinking about asking for help...
+ Characters do not have blocking bonus in TH. Instead they fully rely on their baseDEX to block with shield (or staff or one free hand, in case of Monk). This means that, for example, your Paladin will not block many attacks of dlvl-1 monsters when you start the game. But raising DEX will raise your chance of blocking. Blocking is not required for Mages and Scouts. All others need it badly. Thus need their DEX constantly improving.
+ Bosses are always harder to fight in melee than their base monsters. Their To Hit is +8% as compared to their minions. You will have more chances if you face them with more AC. Rulers are especially hard.
+ Again, I'm going to warn you that you need to get '-50% all ranged damage' + '-damage from enemies' bonuses A.S.A.P. On higher difficulty modes Church and Catacombs are also hard. The only price for that is ->>>>>> these places are too hard without the above mentioned bonuses. But they are available, in abundance. So, it's not really a problem.
+ Unique items in The Hell mod have varying stats. For instance, one time you find Underworld's Plate it can have +10 to all attributes, another time it will have +15 to all. Or when you find Chameleon it might have +30% to hit, +40% damage one time, and +30% to hit, +150% damage another time, and so on...
+ You cannot enter Multiplayer Horror difficulty mode after your character is level 30+, and you cannot enter Doom difficulty mode after your character is level 40+. This is done to ensure that players won't hang out on easy modes doing countless item runs.
+ Assassins weild blades better (swing faster) and deal increased critical damage (+300%) Monks have increased critical damage, too. Scouts have increased critical damage also, but their chance to deal a critical is halved (CLVL/2).
+ Fountain of Tears now gives Arcane Shield and takes away 50 current mana, possibly reducing it below zero. The fountain is reusable.
+ Search spell is activated automatically when you set Auto-Map ON.
+ Characters have passive Life and Mana regeneration. The regeneration rate is based on Base Vitality for life, and on Base Magic for mana. This menas that regeneration rate is NOT affected by +VIT or +MAG bonuses from items or spells. Regeneration formula is equal for both life and mana. The formula is: 20/64th of one hitpoint per second per each 8 points of Vitality/Magic. For instance, when you start as a Mage your Vitality is 5, and you do not regenerate at all. If you raise your Vitality to 8 with the next levelup you'll start to regenerate life, 1 HP per 3 seconds. If you raise your Vitality by 16 points you'll regenerate 2*(20/64th of one hitpoint per second), which is 1 HP per 1,5 seconds.
+ Characters can dodge missile and melee attacks by increasing their baseDEX attribute. The chances to evade missile attack (both arrows and magic) are 5% + (baseDEX / 4)%. Chances to dodge a melee attack are made when AC is otherwise too low, the formula is 0% + (baseDEX / 8)%.
Paladins are versatile warriors, who believe in discipline and war art. They have mastered the usage of shield and can block the most powerful of enemy attacks with it. Their potential in building defense is unmatched and it lets them survive the most horrible of the battles with demons in the Underworld. They don't deny magic but their potential in this area is limited. They usually use defensive and healing spells. They can't make a good use of (cross)bows. But they wield sharp and blunt weapons better than any other class, and they always use the weapon with a shield (their war ethics doesn't allow for two-weapon style because it brings down their defense). They are keen on weapons and armor and can repair damaged items on their own, albeit at a small price of decreasing item's maximum durability.
Stats to focus on, in order of importance: STR, DEX, VIT, MAG
Scouts are the best archers, whose arrows are fast, precise and deadly. They are vulnerable in close quarters and cannot even approach Paladin defense level, and melee weapons in their hands is practically useless. Their magic potential is higher than that of Paldins and they successfully learn spells that heal, increase defense, stop enemy at the distance and enrage them. Scouts shoot multiple arrows when under Fury and knockbacking weapons make them a good ranged fighters. They are not supposed to be approached and always try to kill everything before it reaches them (for when it does reach them, Scouts usually die) and protection from ranged attacks is more important for them than protection from melee attacks. It is vitally important for Scouts to plan the battle ahead and follow their tactical pattern, because even one simple mistake can instantly lead to their death. They can detect and disarm traps.
Stats to focus on, in order of importance: DEX, STR, MAG, VIT
Mages are true casters and masters of elemental damage, who use fire, lightning and arcane magic against dark creatures of the Underworld. They are absolutely helpless in melee combat, but it's not what they're famous for. Mages are powerful spellcasters who can destroy a whole pack of demons with one spell. But despite their unbelievable magical abilities, they have to use different spells against different enemies: one spell can turn one type of demons into flee and be absolutely useless against another sort of monster type. That is why Mages are very cautious and always have several different spells in the speedbook. They have the ability to recharge magical staves.
Stats to focus on, in order of importance: MAG, STR, VIT, DEX
Monks are agile and fast, and they prefer staves to any other sort of weapons. In fact, they wield staves so well that they can even block enemy attacks with it, and they block even better than Paladins. As they gain more experience, their innate ability to dodge enemy attacks also increases, but it cannot, of course, substitute a good plate armor. They are more cautious than other sort of fighters because they don't have as much stamina. Monks are, perhaps, the fastest class - their attack speed is amazing. However, their damage potential is also a bit lower. On the other hand, ancient knowledge of the warriors from far East lets allows them to damage the most important of monsters' organs, quite often it results in monster's death or severe damage. Monks don't advance much in spellcasting and usually limit themselves to healing and defensive spells. Monks have the ability to instantly teleport in a random direction to get out of a tricky situation.
Stats to focus on, in order of importance: DEX, STR, VIT, MAG
Assassins are cold-blooded killers, they use both magic and melee weapons. They have the ability to identify magical items. Assassins don't care about how they kill, they simply love the act of killing. Their magical abilities are second to Mages', they use shields pretty well, they can (and usually do!) wield two weapons at once, but definetely benefit more from using swords and sword-like weapons. They tend to use those of weapons that require more dexterity than those that require brute force. They strike quickly and powerfully when wielding two swords and it makes them a very dangerous opponent for monsters. Besides, they tend to concentrate on thweek spots of their enemy's defense and cause tremendous critical damage, sometimes instantly killing the enemy. But they have even less stamina than Monks and rely on their armor and agility more than on their ability to endure damage. They defense potential is decent and approcahes that of Gladiators', but Assassins tend to use armor type that requires more dexterity than strength. Often, they weaken their enemy from distance and finish him off in melee, receiving pleasure from the act of killing.
Stats to focus on, in order of importance: DEX, MAG, STR, VIT
Gladiators are true masters of melee combat. Their ability to inflict tremendous melee damage is unparalleled. They can also wield any type of weapons (including bows and staves) quite effectively. But they prefer either two weapon style or axes. Less often - bows. The biggest of Gladiators receive bonus to their damage from vitality when wielding axe. They don't use shields very much as they don't benefit from those as others, and they prefer to cause more damage than hide behind the shield. Their stamina has incredible potential and compensates fro the lack of defense. They scorn magic and spellcasting, their magic potential is nearly non-existent, and their spellcasting speed is very low. Plus, they don't gain mana points when leveling up. The only spell they use is their skill - the Fury, which makes them (for some time) more resilient in combat, turning them into unstoppable war machines.
Stats to focus on, in order of importance: STR, VIT, DEX, MAG
Detailed information about game mechanics are available in this (regularly updated) file: Formulae.XLS
Details about spells are available in this (regularly updated) file: Spells.XLS
If you think this guide has missed something, comment on this.