Diablo II: Hirelings Guide
A hireling, or often called a mercenary, in Diablo II is a helping warrior that will accompany you while you journey in the game. You will not be able to control them directly like your character, but they will help in slaying demons. They can even enhance your character's power and defense drastically if properly built. You can only hire one hireling at a time.
There are different kinds of hirelings, depending on which act you hired them. If you complete most of the quests per act, you will naturally unlock the conditions for hiring mercenaries throughout the game.
Lord of Destruction Expansion - Hireling Improvements
With the Lord of Destruction expansion, the following changes improved the hirelings:
- The hireling can follow you throughout the game.
- You can equip your hireling with magical or socketed armor and weapons.
- You can heal hirelings by dropping a health potion on their icon. You can use the keyboard shortcut as well: SHIFT+potion key.
- You can resurrect your hireling for a price. This price increases as the hireling levels up.
Hireling Names - I Choose You!
The hireling names are randomly generated from a fixed source of names. And like your character, the hireling would not have an editable name. It's permanent once set.
Why would you care about your hireling's name? Indeed, the name of a mercenary does not make it any different from other mercenaries, stat-wise, or skill-wise. However, you will be with this mercenary for the rest of the game, and the real challenge in hiring is getting the best name you like.
So look at the possible mercenary names per act below and try to get the one you like when hiring. This is like soft-resetting in Pokemon, to get the gender or nature you want.
Hirelings - Game Mechanics
- Hirelings can level up to 98, but will not level up higher than your character. If your hireling is a higher level when you hire him, it will stop leveling until your character reaches his level.
- Hirelings are also affected by Holy Bolt and Prayer Aura.
- Hirelings can be poisoned. If he is still poisoned when you get back to town, he can still die, unless healed.
- The maximum price for resurrecting a hireling is 50,000.
- Resurrections can be performed by:
- The items you equip your hireling do not need repair. Hence, it is a good idea to give him Ethereal items.
- Hirelings also have resistances. When they level up, their resistances also increase. They also get the resistance penalties in Nightmare and Hell.
- Hirelings do not lose experience when they die.
- Hirelings use life steal, but not mana leach, as they have unlimited mana.
- Hirelings also benefit from item bonuses.
- Each party member can bring his own hireling in a multiplayer game.
- Hirelings fully heal when they level up.
- Hirelings do not get experience from kills made by party members, but they do from your own minions.
- If you replace a hireling, you will lose any equipment he is using. So, it is wise to first remove his items before hiring a new one.
- If your character dies, your hireling dies as well.
- Hirelings automatically regenerate their health over time.
- Hireling damage against bosses depends on the mode you are playing:
- 50% in Normal
- 35% in Nightmare
- 25% in Hell
- Hirelings take ten times more damage from Act bosses.
- Your character gains experience when a hireling kills a monster.
- Your character does not get less experience for using a hireling.
- You can't dismiss a hireling.
Act I Hirelings: Rogue Scouts
You can get the hirelings of Act I from Kashya in the Rogue Encampment. You need first to complete the quest Sister's Burial Grounds, though. The Rogue Scouts specialize in the use of bows and are powerful ranged support. Some of them get special abilities as well and can shoot Fire or Cold arrows. In Act I, Cold arrows are very useful in fighting Fallens, so they don't get resurrected. They explode when shot.
The Rogue Scouts are not Amazons, so they can't use Amazon Only items. They can use the Amazon skill Inner Sight though.
Skills: Inner Sight and Cold Arrows or Fire Arrows
Allowed Equipment: Armor, Helms, Bows (no Crossbows or Amazon-only bows)
Rogue Scouts Names
Act II Hirelings: Desert Mercenaries
You can get the hirelings of Act II from Greiz in Lut Gholein. They are available by default, and you don't have to do any quests for it. The Desert Mercenaries specialize in Melee Attacks. Each of them also come with special aura abilities, making them the most popular mercenaries in Diablo II.
The auras of the Desert Mercenaries affect all members of the party, including Minions. For example, the Necromancer summons will all increase in their attacks or defense, all thanks to the hireling.
Skills: Jab attack
Allowed Equipment: Armor, Helms, Spears, Polearms, Javelins (only used for melee attacks)
Auras: In each game mode, there are three types available. The auras found in Normal and Hell modes are the same.
- Combat (Normal): Prayer
- Combat (Nightmare): Thorns
- Combat (Hell): Prayer
- Defense (Normal): Defiance
- Defense (Nightmare): Holy Freeze
- Defense (Hell): Defiance
- Offense (Normal): Blessed Aim
- Offense (Nightmare): Might
- Offense (Hell): Blessed Aim
Desert Mercenaries Names
Act III Hirelings: Ironwolves
You can get the hirelings of Act III from Asheara in Kurast. They are available by default, and you don't have to do any quests for it. The Iron Wolves specialize in Elemental Attacks, using either Fire, Cold, or Lightning spells. Even though they have swords and shields, they rarely use them for attacking or defending. Their behavior is similar to the Rogue Scouts, and they act more like range attackers.
Allowed Equipment: Armor, Helms, Swords, and Shields
Skills: One of the following. The cold hirelings are the most popular, because of the chilling effect and slowing of targets.
- Ice Blast
- Glacial Spike
- Frozen Armor
- Charged Bolt
Act IV Hirelings
Act V Hirelings: Barbarians
Skills: Bash and Stun
Allowed Equipment: Armor, Helms, Barbarian Class-specific Helms, One Sword (can't dual wield)