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Stealth Info

The following are exerpts from a few AGD posts by  Sandjar and Morgane, my own editing will be done soon. Flash

The starter's guide to stealth mode.

So what is stealth mode? That's the way you play Diablo when you equip items that reduce your light radius. You can go up to 80% light reduction. Stealth mode needs a bit of practice, but can make your life very easy in some situations, especially when facing triple-immune creatures with a Sorceror. These situations may be dealt with Golem and/or Apocalypse, but stealth mode is actually safer and faster.

What follows is a list of tips and tricks I've gleaned in my errands beyond the great chasm. They're slightly biased towards fighting 3-immune Advocates with a Sorceror, but may be useful to other characters and other situations.

(1) With reduced light, you're nearly invisible, but you're also practically blind. For stealth mode to work, you'll need to make provision of Infravision scrolls. Buy them to Adria as they appear in her inventory, before anything else. Even at 600 gp, they're still invaluable.

(2) As a consequence, don't waste time when you're in stealth mode. Infravision duration is limited, so your time is directly related to the number of scrolls you carry. Proceed cautiously, though. You'll get no warning when the spell runs off, and running hastily in a pack of knights or drakes is usually fatal when you're blind.

(3) (At the risk of contradicting myself) What's great with stealth mode is that it gives you a lot of time for planning and making elaborate traps, thus bringing a whole new dimension to the game. So it can be beneficial sometimes to rest a while, study the situation and find an unusual and funny way to deal with it.

(4) You can bypass some lone monsters and let them live as an insurance, as you proceed further beyond them, that your Infravision does not runs off unexpectedly. You can also play with a chronometer besides the monitor ofc.

(5) There's a bug or a feature in Diablo that ties the duration of Infravision to the level of the readied spell (the one that shows on the spell icon in the UI lower right corner). So select your highest level spell before reading an Infravision scroll.

(6) Murky pools also gives you Infravision. You can find them in the Church, Catacombs and Hell - I never saw one in the Caves, but IIRC, Jarulf's bible says it's possible. Duration of "Murky Infravision" is the same as if cast at level 2 in the Church, 4 in the Catacombs, and 8 in Hell.

(7) With 80% light reduction, your enemies won't see you as long as they're at least a chess knight's move from you (that is, one orthogonal + one diagonal tile away). Hiddens are an exception to this rule, as they can always "sense" you, regardless of distance and line of sight, and are always active.

(8) If you want to play a level in stealth mode, keep in mind that the game computes your current "stealth level" as the smallest light reduction value you ever had in this level. So equip your special items BEFORE entering, and don't drop them to re-equip later in the same level. You'll lose all benefits of stealth while retaining all its detriments. This can be fun as a challenge, though - I once played level 15 in hell mode, facing Snow Witches and Magistrates, dropped my light radius by 80% AFTER entering and played the entire level without any Infravision scroll. Whooof! It looked like a nightly firework festival.

(9) After a few trips in Diablo's Lair, you'll know Level 16 topography as well as your trousers pockets. But in other levels, you'll find yourself stuck against the walls more often than not, as Infravision only lets you detect living(?) bodies. Town Portal is a great help here, as a side effect of this spell is to lighten the immediate surroundings. Its light will not activate mobs nearby, so it is safe to use. This works both ways, though, as it will not allow you to seem them, so stick to Infravision for detection.

(10) There are a few circumstances where you can go with 60% light reduction, as it allows you to locate walls better. But in general, stick to 80%, especially in the hardest levels. Note: I prefer 60% darkness when I use it, 80% will make it difficult to find walls, chests, items, etc. But 80% is most effective in item recovery..Flash

(11) If you have to stone a creature, aim at the feet - or more precisely, aim at the tile he/she/it stands upon. It's sometimes tricky to ensure a group of Advocates is properly stoned before whacking. Remember all monsters in Diablo have a special "at rest" animation, and watch the red sprites carefully. Are they moving (mages waving hands, etc.)? If no, they're stoned.

(12) This is also true for other aimed spells (Fireball, etc.). Aim at the tile, NOT the creature's "red" sprite.

(13) If you have to melee, remember that you can't aim what you can't see directly, and that for all practical purposes you're blind beyond one tile. Move adjacent to your foe FIRST, then ONLY click on it to start hacking. If you try to click on a monster to engage it while "red" (ie, out of direct, true sight), what you really select is a tile, more likely the one that lies behind it. So you'll find yourself wasting precious time waving hazardly around without doing harm. You'll understand how important this is when engaging a large group of Advocates.

(14) If you're in a stone-and-hack routine, keep in mind that good timing is essential, especially againts packed groups of Advocates. How fast can you bring one of them down? In this situation, don't stone anything before it really needs to, ie, if you have to step on a tile where it could see you.

(15) Monsters react differently once they activate. Try and learn. If you use stealth mode to face 3-immunes in Hell 15 & 16, here's what you have to know:

(15a) Magi (Advocates), once alerted, can see you and blast you at any distance, so must be dealt with caution. If you retreat to a safe spot and wait a dozen seconds, they will deactivate. Oddly enough, it sometimes happens they're phased out when this happens, so you can't stone them no more, and have to activate them again by moving near the spot where they disappeared to finish them. Facing very dense groups of Advocates can be challenging with stone- and-hack. If you have a staff of Apocalypse, or play Hellfire and know the spell, Apoc is a safer and faster alternative.

(15b) Witches (Soulburners). I've been a bit disapointed to realize how harmless these nasties become against an invisible foe. Unlike magi, they NEED to see you to shoot at you, and at the same time they're very reluctant to stay near you. As a consequence, once alerted, they will keep moving to and from you without shooting. I've found it's more fun to leave them unstoned and hack them as they approach you, once you have an high to hit % to lock them in stun.

(15c) Blood Knights. Not 3-immune, but since you'll have to face them along with Advocates, they deserve a mention here. Just FB them. Once alerted, they will move towards your last known position. If you move away, they won't follow further - unless they near enough to spot you, ofc. If you're afraid to disturb several ones at once, you can activate one at a time using a preliminary Firebolt, since it doesn't do splash damage.

(15d) Diablo. Not 3-immune either, but he's there for the same reason. What's great fun in stealth mode is that you have plenty of time for planning and making traps. I've find a way to deal with him without a scratch: just set up four firewalls around him so he can't move without stepping in them. Retreat around a corner. Finish the job using Elementals and/or Guardians. He's stuck and won't retaliate (he needs a direct line of sight to Apoc you). The end. Find your own way to handle this, it's up to you and your imagination.

(16) Useful cloacking items:

(16a) Nightscape: -40% light radius, plus other nice bonuses, including faster hit recovery, which is always welcomed. A great item I always keep in my inventory.

(16b) Doombringer: -20% light radius. This unique bastard sword deals an impressive amout of damage (+250%), has a small to hit bonus (+25%) that's enough to consistently hit stoned Advocates. My 46 lvl Sorceror needs only 4 swings to whack one of them to pieces.

(16c) Veil of Steel (in Hellfire and SP only): after a while, every Diablo player should have run into one
of these. A wonderful helm for a Warrior, and great for any other class. +50% resist all and -20% light radius.

(16d) Jewelry of the Dark (-40% light radius) is also a good thing to have as it doesn't take a lot of room in your inventory. Keep one if you find it.

(16e) There are many other unique items (Shadowhawk, Gotterdammerung, Blackoak Shield, ...) that can cloack you, but these ones are the most useful. Try to keep them if you have room to spare.

(17) Multiplayer: sorry, but I live in France, and for me is an unaffordable luxury. I've absolutely NO multiplayer experience, so someone else will have to add a multiplayer section to this guide.

Well, that's all for now. Feel free to comment, correct,
and complete if there were obvious omissions. I hope
this was slightly more interesting than a brick.

Before I add to your guide, allow me to share my experience. I play in at least partial stealth about 80% of the time, with all 3 classes. I also have played many variant classes that have constant and mandatory levels of stealth in both single and multiplayer environments. Under these circumstances an Infravision scroll is not always available. As a point of interest, about 50% of the time, I play with my pack screen open while compensating for the smaller view by reducing my light radius by 40-50%. The additions I suggest below are intended to assist you in writing a futher edition of your guide.

stuff you missed:

(16f) Gibbous Moon (-30% light radius) This is good for middle aged Rogues who want to get an odd % stealth bonus. Or for item recoveries by any character.

(#) -70% light radius is just as effective as -80%, and you can see better.

(#) When you are below about -60% light, a bug occurs where you can see where stairs are on your mini-map. One or more filled-in portions will appear just after the level loads. These spots are close to, if not part of, stairways.

(#) the suffixes 'Of the Night' and 'Of the Dark' can only occur on armor, jewelry, and weapons in regular Diablo.

(#) Holy Bolt can be used as a navigational (similar to Town Portal) aid without activating monsters on levels where Undead are not present, such as Hell.

(#) If you are attacked by a monster from one of your adjacent 'blind spots' while in full stealth, you can retaliate by shift-clicking without moving.

(#) Be wary of Black Death zombies while in full stealth and without Infravision on levels 3-5.

Multiplayer section:

The facts are the same as single player, with the following exceptions:

(M1) You cannot by visual observation alone detemine another player's light radius. All players look to an observer as if their light radius was full, even if it is maximum (+144%) or minimum (-80%). You can however appoximate it by observing the reactions of monsters to them.

(M2) You can plainly and normally see a player even if he is at -80% light. The player at -80% light radius will only see you at a distance of one square away as normal. During a duel, you could gain an advantage by increasing your light radius to spot other players (prior to their sighting you).

(M3) If a player in stealth mode is safely standing in a room full of monsters who cannot see him, and another player's larger light radius activates them, they will attack the closest player - even if it is the 'Invisible' stealth player. For this reason, it is wise to match light radii with other players in the game.