- For more details on other mercenaries, see Diablo II/Mercenaries.
Mercenaries prove much more useful in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction then in the standard game. Hirelings have been improved across the board; for instance, you can now equip your hirelings with various weapons and armor.
Each mercenary has their own specific armor and weapons that they are able to use - this is also even further restricted by level and statistic requirements. For example rogues can only use bows and Iron Wolves can only use certain swords.
If you are playing the game alone, don't neglect the assistance of a hireling. They can absorb a lot of punishment meant for you and distract many enemies from your spellcasting, powerful melee attacks, or ranged attacks.
Furthermore, keep your mercenaries intact by using healing potions on their icon. The hireling actually gains experience like any other party member and can steadily improve as you keep him or her alive throughout the current act. Bolster your hireling's resistances (quite important depending on the act and current battle) by switching out specific armor. Though remember that attribute requirements apply to hirelings as well.
Act 5 Mercenary: The Barbarian
The Act 5 mercenary, the Barbarian, can be hired by Qual-Khek in the western part of Harrogath. They fight with swords, tanking for you and your party. They can't dual wield swords, and they can't wear shields, so a two handed sword is preferable. Since they actually are Barbarians, they can wear barbarian helms.
Barbarians always have only two skills, no matter which you hire or what difficulty you are in. Barbarians always know the Barbarian skills Bash and Stun.
Barbarians are quite popular choices for mercenaries, since they can do a lot of damage and have the most life of any mercenary. In general, you want to put the most damaging sword you can on your barbarian. Some good abilities to have on weapons are knockback to help you mercenary handle large groups of monsters, as well as cold damage. Good resistance can be important for areas with large populations of spell casters. High attack speed is also vital to keeping your Barbarian powerful and alive.
Suggested High Level Gear