Really Kulle Power Leveling

Really Kulle Power Leveling

After Blizzard nerfed the Azmodan run, we started looking around for different ways to continue power leveling.

Our new favorite is Zoltun Kulle, along with a technique that’s been floating around in the internet to get multiple quest turn-ins from 1 kill. With the new technique and 3 people, we took a new Hero to level 60 in roughly 5 hours.


Kill Zoltun Kulle
Act 2 Quest 8 – The Black Soulstone – Soulstone Chamber

Number Summary

OriginalUsing advanced technique
Normal45s run per 10.1k EXP =
13.1k EXP per minute
3 turn-ins x 13.1 = 39.3k EXP per minute
Nightmare55s run per 36.4k EXP=
39.7k EXP per minute
3 turn-ins x 39.7 = 119.1k EXP per minute
Hell55s run per 94.5k EXP=
87.2k EXP per minute
3 turn-ins x 103k = 309k EXP per minute

How To Do the ‘Resume Game’ Advanced Technique

By taking advantage of how ‘Resume Game’ and quest turn-ins work, you can complete the difficult part of a quest and reap the rewards many times over. In most cases, the hard part (killing the boss at the end of a dungeon) is on a separate trigger from collecting the reward (takling to the npc, clicking the dongle, etc). Because of this you can kill a boss and make many copies of the resulting game state where the reward is just waiting to be claimed.

Resume Game Strategy

Depending on how quickly your high level character can kill Zoltun and the number of people in your team, your optimal group size and cycle format will vary. The biggest decision is whether its better to have the high level character create a resume game session for another exp turn in, or pre-emptively start the next session. The sign of a perfect cycle is when the low level character is scrambling to join/leave games as fast as he can with no waiting.

Let’s break up the team’s roles:

Highbie – person killing Zoltun
Lowbie – person getting rushed
Helper – person who keeps the original game alive and provides an additional resume game

With 2 people in the party, the lowbie can get at most 3x the EXP per cycle
with 4 people in the party, the lowbie can get at most 5x the EXP per cycle EDIT: this is wrong, you can get more, but Kulle is so quick it doesn’t help

If your highbie takes a few seconds to kill Zoltun, Three people is the most you need. Your lowbie will be the ‘slow link’ in the chain, joining and leaving games as fast as he can. In this setup the highbie doesn’t clone a game, he instead pre-emptively starts the next ‘cycle’.

If your highbie is a little slower at killing Zoltun, a fourth person will help by filling the time with another resume game. Highbie still doesn’t clone a game, and instead pre-emptively start the next ‘cycle’ to kill Zoltun

If your highbie is really slow at killing Zoltun,
you will want to have him create a ‘resume game copy’ as well and consume his first, before he goes off to pre-emptively battle Zoltun again. A fourth person will be helpful to fill the time.

Cycle for a 3-person rush

  1. Highbie creates game 1 at ‘Soulstone Chamber’
  2. Highbie kills Zoltun,
  3. Lowbie and helper join game 1
  4. Highbie clicks Black Soulstone, and leaves game
  5. Highbie creates game 4 (pre-emptively starting steps 1 and 2 in the next cycle)
  6. Lowbie leaves game, and hits ‘Resume Game’ to create game 2
  7. Lowbie talks to Adria, and gets EXP
  8. Lowbie leaves game 2 and joins game 1
  9. Helper leaves game 1 ASAP
  10. Helper creates game 3 via ‘Resume Game’
  11. Lowbie talks to Adria, and gets EXP
  12. Lowbie leaves game 1 and joins game 3
  13. Lowbie talks to Adria, and gets EXP
  14. Lowbie and helper leave game 3, and join game 4 (joining the second cycle)

Cycle for a 2-person rush
NOTE: Step 2 where lowbie does nothing. The 3-person method allows staggering the start and ends of each cycle, drastically improving efficiency.

  1. 1) Highbie creates game 1 at ‘Soulstone Chamber’
  2. Lowbie joins game 1
  3. Lowbie hangs out in town waiting for about 30 seconds
  4. Highbie kills Zoltun and clicks Black Soulstone
  5. Lowbie leaves game, and hits ‘Resume Game’ to create game 2
  6. Lowbie talks to Adria, and gets EXP
  7. Lowbie leaves game 2 and joins game 1
  8. Highbie leaves game 1, and hits ‘Resume Game’ to create game 3
  9. Lowbie talks to Adria, and gets EXP
  10. Lowbie leaves game 1 and joins game 3
  11. Lowbie talks to Adria, and gets EXP
  12. Highbie and lowbie leave game

Separate Scripts

If you’re anything like us, you may have trouble executing this dance in real time, as it moves rather quickly (or after doing it an hour straight and Diablo psychosis starts to set in). Here are instructions for the three different parts.


  1. Kill Zoltun
  2. Wait until everyone is in the game and then click the Soul Crystal
  3. Leave game, and Create a new game


  1. Once Soul Crystal is clicked, leave game
  2. Create game via ‘Resume Game’, get EXP and leave game
  3. Join the helpers game, get EXP, and leave game
  4. Join the helpers game, get EXP, and leave game
  5.  Join the helper/highbie game and wait


  1. Once Soul Crystal is clicked, just wait
  2. When lowbie returns, leave game ASAP
  3. Create game via ‘Resume Game’ and wait for lowbie
  4. When lowbie returns, complete quest and leave game
  5. Join highbies game and wait

Helper #2 (if your highbie is slow at killing Zoltun)

  1. Once Soul Crystal is clicked, leave game
  2. Create game via ‘Resume Game’ and wait for lowbie
  3. When lowbie returns, complete quest and leave game
  4. Join highbies game and wait

Two Rules of Multiplayer Games

After some testing, we figured out some principles of how Resume Game and Multiplayer interact, explaining why this was working and what its limits are.

1)  When playing in Multiplayer, your single player ‘Resume Flag’ will be updated when something happens on the quest log –
Example: Joining a game where Zoltun had just been killed does nothing to your resume point.
Example: Joining a game, and then having Zoltun killed right after will update your resume point.

2) A game session has to have at least one ‘owner’ at all times, or it will end spontaneouslyBy default, the game creator is an owner. Anyone who is in the game when a quest is completed is promoted to owner as well.
3 players join a game and the creator leaves the game immediately – all players are booted from game.
Player A joins a game created by Player B. Azmodan is killed and Player B (the game creator)  leaves. Game is still open because Player A was promoted to owner when Azmodan was killed.


Raw Numbers and methodology for our tests

Level 51 Witch Doctor
Level 1 Demon Hunter
Level 55 Barbarian

At the 30-minute mark –  Level 20
At the 60-minute mark – Level 30
At the 1 hour 45 minute-mark – Level 40

Runs took 45 seconds in Normal and 55 seconds in Nightmare. (This includes logging on/off)

In Nightmare, we used voice chat to coordinate everyone joining right after Zoltun died, to avoid fighting him at 3x health

Time between Black Soulstone triggers in normal/nightmare =  about 3 cycles of resuming game
our highbie did NOT clone the quest, it was better to have him prep the next cycle while the rest of us consumed EXP as quickly as we could.

Our highbie wasn’t leet enough to continue killing kulle in a few seconds in hell, so we had him clone quests as well to do 4x turn ins

Related to this article
You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.

50 thoughts on “Really Kulle Power Leveling

    • Honestly I’m torn whenever we publish less known information, but ultimately I think its for the best.

      As a min/maxing theorycrafter, I do WHATEVER is most efficient, regardless of fun. And Kulle runs are NOT fun. Diablo psychosis sets in after an hour, and I can normally play diablo for a whole night no problem. But despite the Diablo psychosis, I can’t bring myself to level a hero normally, its just so SLOW.

      I figure the best way to make ‘the optimal method’ = ‘the fun method’, is to tell everyone I know and force Blizzards hand. Every time they remove the current optimal method, its fun for me to hunt for a new one. And maybe one day they’ll get it right and the optimal will actually be fun too. 

      • It’s fine, there’s another I’m doing but it’s more tedious (shorter game, less exp, but probably more exp/min?).
        Personally I can’t level from 30-50. The nightmare difficulty is simply not doing it for me. I’d level my characters to 50, and play Hell and try to explore everything.

        It is a good article, and I hope people who do want to power level will be able to seize the opportunity to use this method while it lasts. 

      • I agree with this and it’s why I think you should keep posting the methods you find.  I’d rather there not be people out there doing this kind of thing and abusing/breaking the system to get ahead, and the more you put it out there the more likely it is that Blizzard will fix it.

    • I’m sure Blizzard will be nerfing repeat quest reward EXP in due time (which is the obvious solution to the problem). Then all of these exploits will be finished once and for all.

      • I think what they should do is diminishing return in EXP.. or scale down based on level. 

        • Why not just stop you from getting the EXP reward for a particular quest more than once per difficulty level? Or maybe cut it down to 1/10th of the reward after the 1st one? Seems entirely fair to me.

        • Require every player to be in the boss chamber in order to be able to progress to the quest reward and have the boss seek-and-destroy any toon more than some arbitrary number of levels below the highest level toon in the chamber… say 10 levels or so. 

  1. ^ what he said. although i appreciate sharing knowledge with the community, we all know blizz will nerf this exploit in a day or two. guess im off to find another chill farm spot.

  2. Honestly, please do stop posting this shit. You’re  finding loopholes in a game and ruining the fun and experience for others. 😈 👿 😥

    • Indeed, but just like the Azmodan runs, this will also be nerfed. Enki is bringing more awareness to this leveling flaw, while at the same time we can benefit from it. 🙂

  3. I like the fact that this is a method to quickly level characters. For me it has taken the place of rushing characters in D2. Granted there are no perma talent trees so one lvl 60 or each class is all you will ever need for normal, but Hardcore a death is going to happen at some point, and its really annoying to have to slowly work your way through leveling. D2 had rushes and xp runs ala tristram, tombs, baal, and cow runs. Seeing as how multiplayer games don’t increase your XP other than clever quest turn ins do you really expect someone to spend a ton of time leveling a new char in Hardcore mode after an unfortunate death.

    If there is really to be a fix it would be to tie the xp to being in the boss room when he dies instead of a quest turn. That way people trying to lvl up solo on bosses like this can still get xp quickly.

    • Thanks for this reply. I was about to ask what the point was of powerleveling when you only need to lvl 5 chars to 60 once, never crossed my mind to think about hardcore. What’s the point in hardcore though if all you’re gonna do is leech. Leech your way to 60, die in inferno, then leech to 60 again ad nauseum?

  4. personally, i think problem is not in any single quest but in whole system – running any easily reachable boss with decent quest XP (hell, even skeleton king does, though he is bad for this, magda runs are nice for XP, i guess minibosses in act 4 are good as well, belial might be good – pretty much all of them) results in far more XP / time then running content normally, especially once you are lvl 50+, so I guess they have to either remove repeated quest XP totally, nerf it significantly (to like 10%) or just cut quest XP alltogether – game like Diablo really does not need XP for quests

  5. lol, you guys ain’t got no clue about the math. With 2 players you can do that 3 to 5 times. 5 Time being possible if the 2nd player is in for the boss kill, 3 times if he joins right after you killed him.
    3 players can summon up to 11 times for player 1, 5 times for player 2 and 1 time for player 3 (who kills the boss). Your math is pathetic.

    • I’m very curious to see how you’re getting 11 quest turn ins from one Kulle kill, would you be willing to elaborate on the method?

      However, with Kulle runs theres no point to that many turn-ins. At 3 turn-ins per cycle (and with a properly geared rusher) the lowbie is joining/getting exp/leaving games as fast as humanly possible with no waiting. You’re thinking about the wrong numbers if you’re trying to maximize the # of turn-ins per cycle, its the same exp/min either way. And if your method doesn’t allow the highbie to pre-emptively start the next cycle while the rest of the team is cloning games, it would actually be worse exp/min.

      • after some further digging I think I figured out what you mean, but I end up with 12 turn ins with 4 people, not 11. You can clone the kill state, then, within each resume game, clone the talk to adria state. This would be helpful if blizzard simply nerfs Kulle exp returns and we’re forced to use a quest that takes somewhere in the range of 2minutes to complete. Lots of time that needs filling

  6. At what level are you switching difficulties? 

    Can level 1 character join a nightmare game? If not, do you need to kill act bosses/diablo in previous difficulties, in order to do Kulle runs in later difficulties?

    Can you post videos?  

    It’s unfortunate Kulle is the thing to do right now. I think he is the weak point of the game, at least storywise. 

    • you need 30 to enter nightmare and 50 to enter hell – we jump up difficulties as soon as possible.

      I wanted to post a video, but from one perspective it wouldn’t show the process very well, so I’m looking into ways to get a grid display of screens.

  7. Everyone remember my reply regarding the XP nerf to Azmodan?  Let me restate it. 

    “The exploit should not have existed in the first place, and the fix is asinine.  The fix should not be nerfing the XP, the fix should be not handing out the quest reward more than once in each difficulty setting.”

    Case and point, this news item.  The nerf did nothing because it did not address the real, broken problem.  Under no circumstance should a quest reward be handed out more than once per difficulty setting.

  8. I am assuming that the following won’t work:

    1. Highbie creates game
    2. Lowbie joins
    3. Highbie kills Kulle and clicks soul stone
    4. Lowbie leaves game
    5. Lowbie resumes game, gets reward.
    6. Lowbie joins highbie game
    7. repeat from 4

    What mechanic prevent this from working? Just curious. 

    • Point 6 and 7 are preventing. Because you’re not getting the “checkpoint” save in quest log, as you already done it…

  9. What mechanic prevent this from working? Just curious.   Quest update markers, you have to update your own quest status to get the game to save it so you can resume your own copy. You can resume at   Kill Soulstone Talk to Adria   Each player you can join at any of these 3 spots you can go from 1 save state to the next and have the game maker leave and make a new game.   4 players = 10 turn ins. (main game, P1 After kill, Soulstone, Talk Adria, P2, P3)

  10. Keep posting these articals. I like when it takes 3 years to level a character because everythings nerfed 👿

  11. Dont nerf quest XP at all.
    People SHOULD be able to run a boss more than once. 
    Personally I had no trouble levelling my main. However my Barb buddy had geared a bit wrong and had to start HELL from Act2 again to continue to level and get different gear.

    However, i would suggest that QUESTS should not give the EXP more than once/day. that EASILY fixed all powerlevelling we currently see, since most are based on the Quest exp.

    A character could still run NM or Hell Multiple times on his own, before proceeding to the next stage, getting kill EXP while quest EXP would be once / day.
    Hence no need to nerf the amount of EXP.

    my 2 cents


  12. Yay!! There is a 10 character limit in D3 so you can have all your characters maxed out in a few days and be done with it! 

  13. Honestly, I do not understand the point of Blizzard touching the game at this point. 

    If someone rushes to 60 in 5 hours or 5 years what is it to blizzard?

    “Oh its unfair in PVP!” <— well no…that was my first thought but that doesn’t exist yet and well they have to have a weird scaling/stat change for that anyway. A lvl 60 demon hunter can 1 shot a 10k or even 20k barb so that will have its own special rules.

    “Oh! Blizz cares b/c it means they won’t get as much money.” <— A valid point to a degree, but most of the people that ruin the game in this manner and become bored have already spent money on the game.

    I guess my point is honestly. If you want to rush to 60 and fight the inferno difficulty level….Then you should you want to subject yourself to mindless hours of quest repeat “trickery” then so be it. Why does it matter?

    Its a choice….In Diablo 2 as many people have said it was a choice really to go beyond 60 to push for 99 but the way you got their was completely up to you. (Yes you had to just grind mobs but where etc)

    There is another option for those who don’t have the time or don’t want to spend their days treating diablo like an mmo to reach lvl cap.  So who cares?

    Does it hurt me and my game play if quest turn ins can be repeated? No…..not really…

    Does it make my game any less fun? No…I’m still enjoying the game and having a blast….

    51 Demon Hunter
    Achieved current level my own way…why does it matter. ❓  

    • I would just like to know: does the booster get the multiple quest turn in ? even if it takes a little while longer I would love to boost my friends but wanna reach 60 with them … So I can turn in somehow and enjoy their turn ins ? even if the second Kulle kill doesnt happen before i delivered 3x then … ?

  14. Would someone/a few people be able to help me power level from 52-60ish? if so please message me on here or my gamertag is xBOOTNAZx#1206.  Thank You

  15. So…  does it still work after today’s patch?  I did some last night just in case, but it’d be good to finish off a character or two.

    • yup, Kulle runs still work fine – I expect a hotfix soon, it wasn’t long after Azmodan run got published that blizz patched it.

  16. How about they address this like every other MMO, make quests repeatable once a day.  Or maybe chain the rewards, so your experience stacks for the more consecutive quests you do. 🙄

  17. Obviously, not the same thing, but I’m doing the following:

    Normal WD here. 1,5 min tops. Enter TP, casts dogs, casts gargatuan, enter chamber. Casts grasp of dead w/ damage, acid rain (when avaliable), explodes dogs, explodes dogs again (when an extra dog pops, if avaliable), spits darts x3 ftw, walks for soulstone, walks to the portal, TP, talk adria for 10k XP & 1K gold, leave game, change quest for the soulstone chamber part, start new game… Level-up in around 10-15 min.

    Since WD is a little too much of a cookie cutter, maybe it works well past normal with different skill setups. I started doing it because I killed kulle for the first time in less than 2 min, not because it’s as good as powerlevelling… Also, I have nm gear already, so I plan to just run&stun through the normal… When I reach nm kulle, I’ll try to get some gear on AH…

  18. Warden is autobanning people who use the multiple turn-in exploit ( after the 1.02 patch, since they also updated Warden ), so either take this down or use at own risk.

    • As far as I know Blizzard hasn’t even acknowledged this, let alone voiced an opinion on it.
      Blizzard doesn’t ban accounts for doing what is optimal; blizzard fixes the game to make it not possible anymore 😛

      our previous article on Azmodan resulted in Azmodan exp getting nerfed to the ground. I expect this to happen to Kulle soon. 

      • Also worth noting – some of the hacking/botting communities out there are claiming that, so far as they can tell, Warden currently isn’t implemented (as of 1.02 patch). This has no bearing on this EXP farming method, as Enki said – Blizzard doesn’t ban accounts for doing what is optimal. Point being – the Warden talk is just fear mongering, so far as I can tell.

  19. “Warden is autobanning people who use the multiple turn-in exploit ( after the 1.02 patch, since they also updated Warden ), so either take this down or use at own risk.”
    How can this be possible for them to ban you for earning exp this way? I mean, its in the game isn’t it? Its not a third party program.
    Where did this source come from?

  20. Does the highbie get the 3x XP ? I would like to boost myself and my friends / not just my friends …
    Been doing the normal method at lvl 40 for boosting my lvl 20’s friends but only the slow method of 10.1k xp a run ?
    Can I deliver 3x in their games and just kill Zoltan slightly slower ?

    • The Highbie doesn’t get all of the turn-ins; with this method, the lowbie gets 3 and the highbie gets 1. You could try simply running Kulle repeatedly without waiting for your friends to do the turn-ins, but you wouldn’t be gaining much more EXP and they would be losing quite a bit.

    • Warden is a tool that fights software. If he got banned by warden I suspect he was botting or modifying the game client, because that is what Warden is interested in. The post in the thread refers to an ‘exp glitch’, and the responses are a mix of offtopic posts and people asking ‘what do you mean?’. I’ve never heard the resume game technique referred to as an exp glitch, so I suspect he was doing something to the client.

      For myself, Blizzards response to Azmodan rushing is exactly what I expected. They didn’t ban anyone, they decided they didn’t want that to be the optimal route to exp anymore, so they changed it. Kulle is an identical situation, and identical technique. All that changed is the boss in question. 

      Edit: another thought – banning people for doing this technique makes about as much sense as:
      – banning demon hunters that use nether tentacles to kill obscenely fast through guaranteed crits
      -or banning all the pro players that got world first inferno kills while extremely undergeared by doing things that Blizzard didn’t think were possible.
      its all just creative use of game mechanics.

  21. So, has anyone been banned for this? I’m still doing this, but some people report that they have been banned for using “EXP Exploits”. I personally don’t think that Blizz would ban for this, but meh… who knows.

  22. You can actually get 5x quest XP in a 2 person party.
    Person 1 & 2 create game, kill khulle
    Person 2 leaves, resumes game, turns in quest (1)
    Person 2 rejoins original game, person 1 leaves, person 2 collects soulstone turns in quest (2)
    Person 1 remakes @ grab soulstone, person 2 joins, person 1 collects, person 2 leaves remakes turns in quest (3)
    Person 2 rejoins person 1, person one leaves, person 2 turns in quest (4)
    Person 1 remakes at Adria, person 2 returns and turns in quest (5).
    I have no idea if this is faster, but it just shows how many times you can collect quest off of one kill.

  23. Think it have been nerfed in nightmare and up, still get good xp up to lvl 30, but when you switch to nightmare you get less xp than in normal.

Comments are closed.