Sorceress Levelling Guide
This guide will take you through an efficient method to level your Sorceress and complete the game on Hell difficulty. There are various approaches to levelling and the method will change depending on your situation (for example if you have been rushed, you will level differently), this guide presents a method for playing through the game yourself and levelling the traditional way. We will also discuss an efficient way of allocating your skill points and useful items to collect / farm along the way.
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As you begin Normal difficulty you will start with a staff that provides +1 to Fire Bolt, this skill provides a good amount of damage for killing monsters during the first few levels. When you level for the first time use your skill point into Charged Bolt, this will be your main skill until you reach level 12. As you continue to gain levels keep placing skill points into Charged Bolt as the early damage is very strong, when you reach level 6 take a point in Static Field, and at level 7 take a point in Frost Nova. Static Field is the strongest Sorceress spell in Normally difficulty, each cast reduces monsters health (including bosses) by 25% and in Normal difficulty monsters have zero immunity which means we can cast this as many times as possible to reduce monsters health to a low level then finish them off with Charged Bolt. The point in Frost Nova is for crowd control, cast this a single time on the pack of monsters before Static Field to slow their movement and allow you to kite around them easily. You will gain the most experience from killing Champion and Elite monsters, so the most efficient way to level as you play through the game is to target these and ignore normal monsters.
Between levels 7 and 11 place all of your available skill points into Static Field, and once you reach level 12 take the Nova skill in the Lightning Spell trees. From this point onwards place all of your available points into Nova (apart from when you reach level 18 and you can gain the Teleport skill) as this will be your primary skill. The playstyle using Nova is the same as explained above, cast a single Frost Nova on enemies then 3-4 Static Fields to get them below 50% health and finish them off with Nova. As you gain more and more points in Nova you may find you no longer need to cast Static Field on normal monsters as you have enough damage without it.
For your stat points, the general rule is to put enough points into Strength for the equipment you need to use then spend the remainder into Vitality.
In Act 1 the best place to gain experience up to Level 18 (if playing solo) is in the Forgotten Tower beneath the Black Marsh. Each level in the tower has at least 1 Champion or Elite pack, so you will find a minimum of 5 packs and the Countess herself on level 5 making it very efficient. Killing the Countess also provides us with early rune drops and there are some very strong low level Runewords that we can target for the Sorceress. You will need to farm Countess until you find a Tal and an Eth rune to make the Runeword “Stealth” (Tal Eth) in a 2 socketed armour (you will find one of these as you play, and if you don’t Charsi sells them). “Stealth” is a strong runeword for every character, but in particular the Sorceress as the 25% Faster Cast Rate significantly increases her damage per second. Other items to look out for as you play through are Rings, Amulets and Wands with Faster Cast Rate. Act 5 Quest 2 will provide you with a Ral, Ort and Tal rune which we can socket into a shield to make the “Ancient’s Pledge” Runeword which provides a big boost to our resistances (I would recommend a Large Shield or Kite Shield).
If you’re an experienced player, once you reach level 18 you can simply teleport through the game to complete quests quickly and target Champion / Elite packs to pick up experience on your way. If you’re a beginner you can take it slightly slower following the playstyle above.
Once you have worked your way through Normal difficulty you can start doing Baalruns to gain experience and prepare yourself for Nightmare difficulty. You should ensure you reach level 40 as a minimum before entering Nightmare, this can be done either playing solo or with a group. When you reach level 30 gain the Lightning Mastery skill for a damage boost, and once you have maxed out Nova spend your points here.
To play through Nightmare difficulty we will change our build from Nova to Blizzard. Blizzard is extremely powerful throughout the game but in particular the early levels. Reset your skills in Normal Act 1 with the reward for completing the first quest. Place as many points as you can in Blizzard and Cold Mastery, make sure you gain the Teleport skill then spend the rest of your points in Ice Blast to boost your Blizzard damage. Max out Blizzard first, then Cold Mastery then all the synergies for Blizzard for maximum damage. Spend your stat points as per the general guide in the Normal difficulty section.
As you begin to play through Act 1 Nightmare you will have no problems at all with damage from Blizzard and it will be relatively easy. The Sorceress always has relatively low amounts of life so you will still need to be careful not to get too close to monsters, particularly Champions and Elites. When you reach the Countess quest we will need to begin farming runes again. There are 3 Runewords we want to target, these are: “Spirit” (Tal Thul Ort Amn), “Lore” (Ort Sol) and “Insight” (Ral Tir Tal Sol). “Spirit” is made in a 4 socketed sword, you may need to farm Normal Secret Cow Level to find either a Broad Sword, Long Sword or Crystal Sword which you can use your Act 5 Quest 1 reward to gain 4 sockets in, or you may be lucky enough to find one with 4 sockets already! “Lore” is made in a 2 socketed helmet, the type of helmet doesn’t matter and I normally buy a 2 socketed cap from Charsi. “Insight” is for our Mercenary and requires a 4 socketed Polearm (again, farm Normal Cows for this) and provides the Meditation Aura which will sustain our Mana as we teleport.
From this point onwards Nightmare Difficulty will be easy, you can teleport as much as you need killing monsters with Blizzard as you pass by.
When you finish Nightmare Difficulty, you will want to do more Baalruns and reach a minimum level of 60 before progressing into Hell.
The method for Hell Difficulty is very similar to Nightmare. You will find monsters that are immune to cold damage in this difficulty which we cannot kill, simply ignore these and teleport past them until your Mercenary is strong enough to kill them. If you are lucky enough to find a 4 socketed Monarch shield, you can make another “Spirit” Runeword.
Play through Hell until you reach Mephisto in Act 3. This is as far as you need to go to begin farming on the Sorceress. Your target farm locations will be Andariel in Act 1 and Mephisto in Act 3 to find Unique items. You will still have relatively low life at this point so will need to be careful and watch your health, but with Blizzard you can cast on the boss and kite around to avoid damage. It is also possible to trap Mephisto in the corner of the steps next to his throne, you can then stand out of range and cast Blizzard onto him and kill quickly. Particularly useful items for the Sorceress are Harlequin Crest Shako, The Oculus Swirling Crystal, Arachnid’s Mesh Spiderweb Sash and War Traveler Battle Boots. Once you have a few of these items you will be strong enough to continue your journey through Hell.