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For the Diablo III versions, see Followers.

A Hireling is a mercenary that you can hire in Diablo II. Hirelings assist the player by attacking monsters. They follow the character and stay in a fixed radius around the character. They can be killed by monsters and can use spells and skills as well. Like player characters, hirelings can also level-up and become slightly stronger over time. Players can only employ the services of one hireling at a time.

Each Act has its own hireling, with the exception of Act IV:

Each hireling has a different AI script, making some run away while others engage in combat without fear. In the original, non-expansion Diablo II, Hirelings had only a limited use as they were killed easily. Once killed, that hireling would be lost forever and the player would have to hire a new one. Also, hirelings couldn't enter different acts. For instance if the player had a Rogue Archer and traveled to Lut Gholein, the Rogue would disappear upon entering Act II.

In the Lord of Destruction expansion pack, hirelings were radically improved. They came to be regarded as co-adventurers as they would now cross into other acts. They received a new stats screen, allowing the player to equip them with items (even rare, set, and unique items) to further enhance their stats and combat potential. A slain hireling could now also be resurrected, preserving their equipment and level. Hirelings could also be healed by dragging a health potion onto the hireling's profile, or by pressing Shift and (right-clicking the potion or using belt slot hotkey).

Hireling weapons are limited to their class. Armor is mostly unlimited, with the exception that most hirelings cannot wear any Class-specific Items, other than the Barbarian, who can wear Barbarian Helms, and the Rogue, which can equip Amazon Bows. Players can still hire a new hireling when their old one's dead. Any gear left on the old hireling will be lost, so be sure to remove their items first.

Hirelings do not possess Vitality, Mana, Energy, or Stamina, and as such, do not gain any benefits from items increasing those stats. They do benefit from extra skills, to that which their skills are native e.g. Amazon skills will increase all of a Rogue's abilities, while on a Desert Mercenary it will only increase the Jab attack.

Diablo II

Act I Rogue

Hireling1.jpg

The Rogue Archers of the Rogue Encampment belong to the order of the Sisters Of The Sightless Eye, and can be hired from Kashya after completing the Sisters' Burial Grounds quest (players receive a free Rogue upon completing that quest) or upon reaching level 9.

  • Abilities: Uses the Amazon skill Inner Sight, and can shoot either Fire and Exploding, or Ice and Freezing Arrows. These skills can trigger their effects multiple times if the Rogue has equipment that causes projectiles to pierce enemies. Rogues additionally benefit from equipment that enhances Amazon and/or Bow and Crossbow Skills.
  • Weapons: Bows only. They can equip Amazon bows, but not Crossbows of any sort.

Per Level up:

  • +8 Life
  • +1 Strength
  • +2 Dexterity
  • +6.5 Defense
  • +2 Resistances

Act II Desert Mercenary

Hireling2.jpg

The Desert Mercenaries hail from the city of Lut Gholein and serve as the town's guards. They can be hired from their captain, Greiz.

Normal/Hell Auras:

Nightmare Auras

Per Level up:

  • +10 Life
  • +1.5 Strength
  • +1.5 Dexterity
  • +9.5 Defense
  • +2 Resistances

Act III Iron Wolf

Hireling3.jpg

The Iron Wolves from Kurast are Sorcerer-knights, and guards of the Kurast Docks. They can be hired from Asheara. In the original Diablo II game, the player would receive a free mercenary upon completing Blade of the Old Religion (quest). This was changed with the expansion, as hirelings gained the ability to travel between different Acts and can now be revived if killed (it's still possible to get a free mercenary if the player has not hired a mercenary before, or has not completed the Sisters' Burial Grounds quest back in Act I, but this is unlikely to happen).

  • Abilities: Casting spells, the element they cast is dependent on their type.
  • Weapons: One-Handed Swords and shields (they are unable to block).

Lightning mercenary spells: Lightning (Main Attack), Charged Bolt and Static Field

Fire mercenary spells: Fire Bolt, Fire Ball (Main Attack), Enchant (both on self and other party members)

Cold mercenary spells: Ice Blast, Chilling Armor, Glacial Spike (Main Attack).

Per Level up:

  • +8 Life
  • +1.5 Strength
  • +1.5 Dexterity
  • +6.1 Defense
  • +2.4 Resistances

Act IV

There are no new hirelings, but Tyrael provides resurrection services.

Act V Barbarian

Hireling5.jpg

The Barbarians of Harrogath can be hired from Qual-Kehk after completing the Rescue on Mount Arreat quest.

  • Abilities: Uses either Two-Handed weapons and the Bash, War Cry and Stun Abilities; or Dual Wielding with the Frenzy, Iron Skin and Taunt abilities.
  • Equipment: Their weapons depend on the abilities of the mercenary hired: Dual Wielding merceneraries may use any two one-handed swords they qualify for (but cannot wield two-handed weapons in one hand), while Two-Handed mercenaries may wield a single one or two-handed sword. Both types can equip Barbarian Helms, and benefit from any equipment that enhances Barbarian skills.

Per Level up:

  • +12 Life
  • +2 Strength
  • +1.5 Dexterity
  • +7.5 Defense
  • +1.5 Resistances

Rumors

Disclaimer: These are all false rumors. It must be noted that the Diablo Wiki does not endorse these baseless rumors.

As seen above, there exists no Act IV Hireling. This led to the rather ridiculous speculation spreading across the internet. A majority of them related to a non-existent hidden Act IV Hireling: the Angel. The Angel was described to use Hadriel's base structure and did not walk but levitated on the ground. They were said to use Cold and Lightning Spells. It was even said that the Angel was showcased by the presence of Hadriel. Because these rumors spread before the expansion, there were no details on what they wore.

The rumors said that the Angel could be obtained by completing certain meaningless tasks mostly on Hell difficulty. They included:

Notes

  • Hirelings were a late addition in the development of Diablo II.[1]
  • Prior to version 1.13, if a hireling had an item (e.g. the Hand of Justice weapon) that gives wielder an Aura when equipped, the Aura wouldn't be active when the hireling was resurrected. To enable it, the player would have to open the hireling screen and reequip the item.
  • When first receiving a hireling, if the player is level 1, the hireling will be level 2. This is the only time a hireling can be a higher level than the player.
  • Hiring a new Hireling while you still have your old one with you will cause them to despawn along with any of the items they are wearing.

References

  1. 2019-06-28, Diablo 2 Legacy Recounted by Stay Awhile and Listen Author. Diablo.net, accessed on 2019-07-03
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