This isn't an argument about D1 (since magic is so much faster killing than melee/bow, and sorcs cast so much faster than the other classes) but it would be a more interesting debate in hellfire. Not that anyone really played the Crypt that much, since there were no bosses and it got boring, but with all of the small rooms and narrow hallways, and all of the FI/LI monsters, sorcs were no longer necessarily the uber killers? (Ignoring the apocalypse spell, for the sake of the argument.)
A high level D1 rogue is faster than a sorc on 15 if soul burners spawn. Those witches are harder for sorcs than advocates on 16, since they have higher hit points, they run away and cluster more, and they will ruin golems. Plus whatever else spawns on 15 isn't necessarily as easy as the slow, straight walking blood knights.
High level rogues are definitely faster on 16, especially if they have the gear to go mini-mage for half the level, luring out the blood knights for lvl 18 fireball disposal. Going with bow and stone curse and golem is much faster than a sorc stone cursing and teleporting around and whacking away at the triple immune advocates.
So by extension, I'd think a high level rogue could be as fast or faster than a sorc in the crypt levels, where there are lots of LIFIs, and triple immunes too. Or could a sorc who learned to use bone spirit and blood star wield those quickly enough to kill faster than a rogue? That there are just 4 hotkeys is a big handicap, if you ever had to use FB, Chain, and magic spells on the same level, along with stone curse and teleport.
The other possibility is a Bard. She doesn't have the mana or the magic or the casting speed to match a mage, but she can dual wield dreamflanges and leave a mini mage rogue in the dust, and she can dual wield ksoh or other big weapons (or ksoh/dreamflange) and rip through triple immunes much faster than a sorcerer. I think for some HF crypt monster combinations a good bard would be the fastest.
The caveat to all of this is Apocalypse It doesn't work over walls in HF, but it's just devastating to triple immunes or LIFIs. It's an enormous mana drain, but it's such a fast killer that it's still well worth it. So of course a sorc is the fastest in Hellfire, with a good level of apoc capable of going through FILIs in a blink... but if you ban apoc... it's an interesting debate.
best for lvling- sorc
best for equipping- sorc
best for pvp - sorc
best for item running- sorc
Sorc is just a cheeser class. There's no way in the game to improve other chars cast-rate, so you're always bouncing around with a sorc dealing huge amounts of dmg with a 100% impenetrable mana shield. Sure the other classes kill things like soulies better, but (A) lvling a sorc on 15 isn't near optimal, and (B) if you're going for items you play hell on normal where you can chain the packs of soulies with ease. A sorc playing on hell mode trying to melee trip immunes for an hour would be a player error in strategy and not a class fault.
There was an era in this game where it made sense to say "play a warr first to get your feet when but then a sorc will be easiest later on" ... I don't anymore due to the fact that there's a jillion hack-and-slashes out since the 90s and I dont think learning a caster to a totally new game for someone should be that hard anymore.
Why make categories if you feel the sorcerer is better overall? Unless, of course, you were trying to make a point.
Since Hell/Hell is the place you would be leveling in after ~35, assuming you have decent items, it wouldn't be a strategy error playing as a sorcerer on 15/16 and trying to melee triple immunes, especially if you use a good weapon like Civerb's Cudgel.
Are all hack n' slash games released so similar to Diablo that anyone could make a sorcerer? Recommend me some if there are, I'd like to try them.
Also, could you please elaborate on '100% impenetrable Mana Shield'?
EDIT: Flux's ideas are quite interesting. Has anyone ever tested them out?
depends upon what you want with diablo 1 i think?
If you just want to play through single player, then they're all quite equal.
Moving on to multiplayer:
Sorc is the fastest of the three for most dungeon lvls....only parts of the dungeon where i think he is slightly slower would be lvl 1-4 on normal due to his lack of spells at the early levels and lvl 15-16 on hell difficulty due to lots of triple immunes.
The rogue and warrior might not be as fast as the sorc, but they can stay in the dungeon forever...with the right gear you could probably go through the entire dungeon on hell difficulty without returning to town. The warrior is particularly good for this style, due to mana/life steel.
But for the most part i'd say that the rogue and sorceror are better at high levels.