Area Level (Diablo II)
Area Level denotes the level that an area has in Diablo II. The level affects monsters objects spawned in it.
For Normal difficulty, area level has no impact on monsters whatsoever. In Nightmare and Hell difficulties however, monster levels are identical with the area level unless they're considered boss monsters by the game. This means that all monsters found within a given level will have identical levels, and thus largely identical drops as well.
As monster levels are adjusted by the area level and not the monster level in Nightmare and Hell, some discrepancies appear. Because of this, a single monster can have large level variations, depending on where it spawns. Since hit points, attack rating, damage, armor class and the experience of a monster depends directly on the level the monster has, this can lead to large differences.
A good example of this is the regular Zombie in Hell. In nightmare, level progression is fairly even: areas close to each other usually have the same level, give or take a few levels. In Hell however, this is not necessarily the case. There, the Blood Moor has an area level of 67, meaning all the monsters there also receive a monster level of 67. The Den of Evil however has an area level of 79, giving all monsters in there a significantly higher level. Because of this, a Zombie in the Den is not only harder to kill, it also drops significantly better loot.
There are several exceptions to this, namely all monsters which are considered boss monsters by the game. These monsters will still use their own monster level regardless of what the area level is. As such, Ubers are always level 110, and Griswold is level 87 Hell, while all other monsters on Tristram are level 76.
Below is a complete list of all boss monsters:
- All Act Bosses
- All Ubers
- Some regular bosses
Similar to monster level, the area level will decide what items that chests can drop on that level. Higher area level means better items from chests.