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Speedrun Guide by Nightfallx

This Guide Created by Nightfallx2 and you can find the original page Here. Full Credits go to Nightfallx2 (aka Void).

If something is worng with the Guide (like links etc) feel free to Contact Us

This page is a guide that will teach you how to speedrun Diablo II.
We hope it can encourage you to start Diablo II speedruns or start races against people!
I did not learn this all on my own. This is the original guide that taught me most of what I know (Created by LaVSR) and the rest of this website was help made by the Twitch & SRL community.

Last Update - January 5th 2015

Diablo II Streams on Twitch | Diablo II Races on SRL

Pre-Game + Misc.

Most Diablo II runs are on /players 1. If you're interested in running on P8 or Px (The ability to change the number of /players at any time), then the strategies from the run will differ from P1. It is best to set the game to the right amount of /players with any character previous to starting your run. You COULD run on P2-P7, but I would advise not.

Although you want to spend as little time in your inventory as possible, it is essentially to keep it somewhat organized so that you can loot larger items for gold that's necessary for the run. If you have potions scattered, then you'll be wasting time attempting to pick up items.

You'll want your inventory to be empty as possible when you're killing the final boss of every act. The goal to loot everything worthwhile in one single trip.



Mobs with minions as well as random large groups of enemies should be your primary source of experience. It may be worth skipping ranged mobs with challenging enhancements.
Champion packs can have 2-4 enemies. They may be worth skipping when there are only 2 or 3. Shaman packs are a fortunate exception to that, kill them all!

If you haven't discovered a nearby waypoint yet, it is best to put up a TP at the entrance of a dungeon that you need to enter for quests. This way you can find the waypoint of the area (or next area) and take the TP back to eliminate backtracking.

Act I


  • Throughout the entire run, you will be item hunting for gold. You'll want mana and stamina potions ASAP so that you aren't forced to walk or wait for mana regen. Potions become expensive in later acts, and you'll need a lot of them. Keep a lookout for items that will sell for good gold. You may want to leave some space open in your inventory to pick up loot
  • Level up once in the Blood Moor for additional stamina, and to have your skill ready for the Cold Plains
  • Inspect the large houses for chests and beds (Click on the bed for potential loot)
  • There are a lot of shrines that can drastically improve your time -- actively seek them
  • Selling Items to look out for: Potions, Staffs, Wands, Javelins, Throwing Knives, Gems, Jewelry, Charms, Keys, Magics/Rares
  • (Pro Strat) Look for a super chest on the porch of a house. reset if there is not one (unless you already have good drops)

The Stony Field will never be in the corner of the map. When you reach the fork in the road, you will have to make a judgement call on which direction will not lead into the corner of the map

  • The Cain Stones are always hugging the trail on the ground
  • Rakanishu and his minions give amazing experience

The Underground Passage's map layout can be tricky. Do a few practice runs of exploring the area to acquire a firm grasp of which way to go

  • The WP and Forgotten Tower will always be hugging a wall
  • Exploring the "boxy" areas (red circles) are a waste of time, but you can attempt to stay close enough to find any potential shrines in them

The Outer Cloister only has three different map layouts. You can determine where the Barracks is based on the WP.

Act II


Stay against the walls in the deserts. Everything you need to find will be hugging against the wall

Act III

"Don't get a shitty jungle layout" - S73nd4r.
The Great Marsh is sometimes skippable.

If you are running with a fire build, then it is necessary to hire an Act III merc with cold skills. He's your key to killing Grand Vizier and Colenzo.
You'll also want to start saving any poison potions you find at this point to kill the fire immunes quicker.

The Lower Kurast's exit will always be in a corner of the map, and the Upper Kurast's entrance will always be in the opposite corner of that exit

Act IV

Killing Infector Of Souls while kiting him up to Lord de Seis will save time

First case of the fire immune. Use your cold merc + poison potions to kill him

Act V

When killing the ancients. after killing Madawc, run up to the entrance of the Worldstone Keep. Click on the highest step possible and you'll be in a "safe position". Talic and Korlic won't use WW or Leap Attack.

Leveling

Staying up to level can often be overlooked in an attempt to skip enemies and save time. For some categories of speedrunning, that is no good! In some areas, being underleveled can result in a loss of time from being too weak, not getting item bonuses, or not being the required level (Ancients anyone?)

Here's a general guideline of what level you should be:

Cold plains: 2
Underground Passage: 3
Forgotten Tower: 5
Fighting Andarial: 12
Arcane Sanctuary: 16
Fighting Durial: 17
Travincal: 19
Fighting Mephisto: Almost 20

Character Orientation

To execute correct map layouts, you must understand your character's orienation to the map. Look at your character's point of view of what's straight, left, or right.
It is never north, east, west, south.

The correct direction will be based on:
if it exists, the map layout
the direction your character is facing whenever starting to explore the new area.

Focus on the character's direction.

Map Layouts

Some areas in the game have specific map layouts that you can easily learn and follow.
This is the most essential part of Diablo II speedrunning! Study these parts well.
Here is a list of every currently known map layout.

Act I
  • Cold Plains - Not In Corner
  • Underground Passage - Straight
  • Forgotten Tower - Left
  • Outer Cloister - Based On WP
  • Barracks - Left Or Straight
  • Jail Lvl 1 & 2 - Straight
  • Catacombs 2 - Right of WP
Act II
  • Halls Of The Dead - Left
  • Maggot Lair 1 & 2 - Right
  • Maggot Lair 3 - Straight
  • Claw Viper Temple - Left
  • Tal Rasha's Tomb - Left
  • Symbols line:
    O    (    []    *    <<>    Δ    O)
Act III
  • Flayer Dungeon 1 & 2 - Left
  • Durance Of Hate 1 - Left
  • Durance Of Hate 2- Straight
Act V
  • Crystalline Passage - Left
  • Glacial Trail - Left
  • The Ancients Way - Left
  • Worldstone Keep 2 - Right Of WP

The most straight forward map pattern. This is what we hope for every time!

If you find the WP before the exit, use that to your advantage.

Stick with the left direction, let it guide you. It will eventually take you to the right way.

Another straight forward map pattern.

Unfortunately, layouts are not always black and white. This is occasional, but it can happen. The map layout does technically remain true, as seen with the green arrow.

Blue Arrow Indicates Character Orientation + Literally Following The Map Layout

Green Arrow Indicates Character Orientation + Generally Following The Map Layout

Yellow Arrow Indicates Following The Correct Way To The Exit

Understanding The First Tile

Let's take the Underground Passage for example. To understand what is truly "straight" in context of the character's direction, you must consider the map's "first tile." Think of the map as a bunch of lego pieces put together; you want to identify the first one. I've done so in the screenshots below with the purple box.

The first tile will always have one single exit, and it's that direction that is your character's straight. You'll want to literally follow that direction as much as possible as seen in the above screenshots. These are your winning map layouts!

But it cannot always be that black and white. You'll have to generally follow that direction at times, which means using your discretion. As seen in the above screenshots, you may have to take a few turns before you can return following the correct direction again. In a worst case scenario, you may have to pick a direction that's completely perpendicular to what you need.

Stealth

Stealth is the foundation of most speedrun categories that go beyond act two. The FRW, FCR, and FHR bonuses are enough to guarantee finishing your run with a faster time.

Likewise, Leaf is essential to any fire builds that run beyond act two. The idea is that with RNG permitted, you'll find these runes roughly around the same time that you find S tealth's.

You also benefit from the great experience that the Forgotten Tower offers with your multiple coutness runs.

Leaf

Javelins

If your main attack is too weak, Javelins will annihilate most things in early Act I. Extremely useful for The Countess when running with assassins.

Dagger Or Scimitar

If running with an assassin, your trap/fire blast speed is based off your weapon on hand. Daggers and Scimitars are the fastest weapons to easily acquire at Act I

FHR Gear

Getting FHR lock is a bitch. While you're at Charsi, quickly skim over any items for sale with Faster Hit Recovery. Don't do this until you have money though. They usually cost around 1,000 Gold.

Ral'd Helm

Tanking in Act III - V can be challenging with little to no fire resistance. If you find any extra Ral runes during your countess runs, throw them in a 2os helm to tank those infernos much better. If you don't fnd any, then shop for FHR Gear, but keep in mind that a Ral rune may drop sometime during your run! Also 3x Tals can transmute into a Ral.

FCR/Skill Staves

FCR/Skill Wands

Generally speaking, I've found that getting + skills weapons at the very beginning is more beneficial than getting FCR weapons. Of course getting an item drop with both would be ideal, but it will not happen often, so you'll need to shop for a weapon. You'll need to have a good amount of gold saved up before you start shopping since these weapons are expensive, usually ~3000 - 8000 gold.

With shopping RNG considered, I usually buy the most reasonable item that I first stumble upon. I wouldn't want to waste too much time resetting the shop for a specific item (such as an FCR weapon) if there's an affordable +skills weapon that I can get, and vice versa.

Charms

Sell junk charms for gold. Ideal charms to keep have a good amount of life and resistance. If you find a good charm early on, it may be worth selling it if you still cannot afford your mana and stamina potions.

Antidote

Antidote potions will make help you tank Andarial & Mephisto. (+50% poison resist for 30 seconds)

Stamina

Stocking on stamina and mana potions as soon as possible is essential for a good run.

Thawing

Thawing potions will help you tank Durial & Mephisto & Baal. (+50% cold resist for 30 seconds)

Gas

Gas potions are useful for difficult to kill mobs and very large groups of enemies. Just throwing one is quick and will deal a lot of damage. Throwing a few at the countess and her minions could save you time if your primary skills don't deal a good amount of damage yet.

Click here for LaVSR's guide on Character Builds.
Amazon
Amazon
  • Poison Javelin, Power Strike, and Charged Strike are your go to skills.
  • Juggle between Poison Javelin for large mobs and Power Strike for single enemies.
Assassin
Assassin
  • Wake of Fire, Fire Blast, and Burst of Speed are your go to skills.
  • Find a balance between Fire Blast & Burst of Speed that works best for you.
  • Use Fire Blast on bosses and narrow areas during the run while your traps are working.
  • Get a dagger or scimitar ASAP. They improve First Blast and Wake Of Fire speed.
  • My Skill Order: Fire Blast to Level 3 (Char Lvl 4) -->
    Claw Mastery to Level 1 (Char Lvl 5) -->
    Burst of Speed to Level 4 (Char Lvl 9) -->
    Fire Blast to Level 5 (Char Lvl 11) -->
    Wake of Fire for the rest of time. (Char Lvl 21)
Necromancer
Necromancer
  • Teeth and Bone Spear are your go to skills.
  • I shall update this once I perfect my strats and get my sub 3 hour run!
Barbarian
Barbarian
  • Pretty fucking useless.
  • Buy scepters and use double swing or something.
Paladin
Paladin
  • Holy Fire, Sacrifice, and Zeal are your go to skills.
  • Shop a sceptar and throw javelins in Act I.
Sorceress
Sorceress
  • Nova and Fireball are your go to skills. Find what works best for you.
  • Two skills to consider are Frozen Armor and Frost Nova, they will freeze/chill annoying enemies.
  • If you're not respecing, be sure to get telekinesis at level 11 so that you can get teleport right at 18.
  • My Skill Order: Charged Bolt to Level 5 (Char Lvl 5) -->
    Frost Nova to Level 1 (Char Lvl 6) -->
    (Hardcore) Charged Bolt to Level 9 (Char Lvl 10) -->
    Static Field to Level 1 (Char Lvl 11) -->
    Keep Investing Into Charged Bolt Until Respec. Once Respec -->
    Telekinesis, Teleport (Save 1 point for it), Frost Nova, Frozen Armor to Level 1
    Static Field to Level 7, All other current and future skill points into Nova.
Druid
Druid
  • Firestorm, Molten Boulder, and Fissure are your go to skills.
  • Using Feral Rage in Werewolf form in Act V can improve your time.
  • Oak Sage is an optional skill if you feel comfortable with more life.
  • My Skill Order:
    Firestorm to Level 4 (Char lvl 5) -->
    Molten Boulder to Level 1 (Char Lvl 6) -->
    Firestorm to Level 9 (Char Lvl 11) -->
    Fissure for the rest of time (Char Lvl 21)
Why did you create this website?

I want to help the D2 Speedrunning grow. I hope that this page can explain in simple detail everything that one would need to know to have effective runs.

What can you speedrun in Diablo II?

You can start whatever category you want as long as it follows SRL rules. The popular categories would probably be to kill normal baal with an assassin, sorceress, or druid. It can be on either softcore or hardcore, players 1/players 8/players x. You could have races to find a kill a specific enemy, find a specific item, obtain a specific amount of gold, using specific character builds, suicide with sacrifice or fire, die at a specific location, or even without the automap.

Segmented runs also have a webpage as well. Although you can't race with segmented runs, you can still make your own.

Aren't the maps always randomly generated?

To a degree. There are specific patterns for most of the game that are very easy to learn (check out the map layouts page). You will begin having solid runs almost every attempt once these patterns are mastered.

Isn't there too much RNG in Diablo II?

There is, but that's what can keep speedrunning this game fresh. Technical skill and critical decision making are still a huge parts in how fast a timed run would finish. The RNG in Diablo II in addition to all of the different category opportunities are what can keep every race unique and exciting.

What is that timer that everyone is using?

It is called WSplit. You can find it here. There's a lot of ways that you can customize it to make yours look unique.

Are resets allowed?

Absolutely. You can Save And Exit Game as many times as you want as a part of your strategy. The only exception is if you were doing a race on SRL where the category specifically indicates no S/E'ing.

Why is Sonic inside of Diablo's skull?

Gotta go fast.

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