I'm playing Diablo v1.0 and at some level (level 4 or so) my Holy Bolt and Charged Bolt spells aren't improving when I read a book. Damage and mana usage stays the same as on the previous level. Is that a bug or something else?
Sounds like a bug, but honestly with v1.0 I couldn't tell you with certainty. Why not download the patch? Otherwise I can only suggest that you make a new game and see if the stats have changed on the spellbook page.
Up until 1.04, Diablo had some pretty serious bugs in it. The other patch of particular note was 1.08, basically the last hurrah where they fixed many lingering issues. Many still remain, but 1.08 cleaned it up a lot (especially many Mana Shield bugs).
For single player, upgrading to 1.09 should have no adverse effects on any saved games you have.
For multiplayer, I'm 95% sure that upgrading won't affect you either. 1.08 does save the multiplayer characters in the Diablo directory directly, wheras prior to that Blizzard decided that the windows system directory was the obvious place for Diablo multiplayer characters (well, they did release the game in 1996...), so moving up to 1.08 it will move the saved data for you.
Incidentally this is why Hellfire 1.04 doesn't let you play multiplayer in Vista and Windows 7, because it fails to create the character in the system directory due to the increased security in these OS's. Microsoft implemented a virtual directory structure for programs accessing protected system areas, which Starcraft is compatible with (I'm playing it on my Win7 laptop at the moment), but it seems that Diablo/Hellfire is not. If you run Diablo <1.08 or Hellfire in compatibility mode for XP SP3.0 you might get around this limitation, though.
Ahh, I understand now. I don't think there was any bug here at all. These spells are working as intended, and were probably working as intended back in 1.00 as well.
Holy bolt damage:
Min: 9 + clvl
Max: 18 + clvl
Clvl is character level, which means Holy Bolt gets stronger when your character levels up. But getting extra levels in Holy Bolt from books will not improve it's damage. Holy Bolt starts at 7 mana and is reduced by 1 per slvl (spell level), down to a minimum of 3. So slvl 4 Holy Bolt will cost 3 mana to cast. Holy Bolt also increases in speed with higher slvls, which is quite obvious when you compare a low slvl HB to a high slvl one, but over time as you level it up 1 point at a time it is not so obvious.
Charged bolt damage:
Max: 1 + magic/4
Similarly to Holy Bolt, Charged Bolt will not gain damage from levelling it up. It's maximum damage depends on your magic attribute, so it will not increase unless you level up (or wear +magic items). The number of bolts does increase 1 every 2 slvls, so at slvl 2 you should get 5 bolts, whereas slvl 1 will only have 4. Charged bolt mana cost is fixed at 6.
Finally, as for your EXP question, EXP is earnt only for killing enemies that are appropriate for your level. As you level up, you get progressively less EXP for killing the same monsters, to the point where you gain very little or no EXP for killing the easiest monsters in the game. So if you played up to clvl (character level) 5 or 6, and then start a new game and kill monsters on dlvl (dungeon level) 1, then you will gain very little or no EXP for that. But the monsters on dlvl 2 will still give you EXP, and dlvl 3 monsters will give you maximum EXP. Similarly, once you get up to clvl 15 or 16, the monsters in dlvl 1-4 will give you very little EXP, and you will have to kill enemies in dlvl 5+.
So in short, I don't think you are experiencing any bugs with the game at all.
Thank you for this post and the link, it really explains a lot. I have 2 more questions though:
- I'm in dlvl 5 and I'm thinking of going again from the begining, but not so much for the EXP, I'd go for the books & quests. If I do that, will I gain more OR less EXP points as if I'd just go on with the game (from dlvl 5)? Is it recommended for a better Sorcerer build-up to do this (go again from the start)?
- What you wrote about Holy Bolt spell (that it's advancng with the character level going up) - should I read the Holy Bolt books as soon as I get them or wait to become a higher clvl? Does it matter?
When you start a new (single player) game, you start back at dlvl 1 but with the same character. This means you have to go through the low dlvls again to get back to where you were. As you are killing more monsters than you otherwise would have, when you get back to the same dlvl that you were at in your previous game, you will have more experience likely an extra clvl or two, as well as all the spellbooks and items that you found on the way.
Playing a sorc in single player it is worth re-starting at least once, when you first get to dlvl 5-6 or so, as the church and catacombs are quite book-heavy so re-playing them in new games is quite beneficial for a mage. You'll also want to get Arkaine's Valor as it is likely to be much better than anything you're wearing at the time you get the quest on dlvl 5. So if you've cleared dlvl 5 in your game and didn't get Arkaine's Valor, it's worth starting a new game until you do (you can always just run past the first couple of dlvls - take the stairs down as soon as you find them).
As for the holy bolt books, you still gain benefit from lower mana cost, so read the books when you find them. Note that when you read a spell book, you get the same mana added as the slvl 1 spell costs to cast, so when you read a holy bolt book you'll get 7 mana filled up. Use this to your advantage (to save on mana potions), and read spell books when you have less than max mana.
Thank you a lot for your help! I've been playing this game a long time ago as a kid (with Warrior) and now I see how fun is the Sorcerer (I'm only building his magic a strenght too, no points in dexterity and vitality - I'll buy a Mana Shield book as soon as I get 16000 gold). I also play Diablo 2, but I think that I love Diablo 1 even more.