Stillman’s Slab #34: Dealing with Duriel


Who has not come out of his closet, has an angel tied up in his adjacent room, and has a girlie name? Duriel does. Click through for this week’s slab on that chunk lord boss that no one likes!

Dealing with Duriel

With the new ladder season well under way, many Diablo 2 players are shamelessly begging strangers to kill Duriel for them. But for some, facing Duriel is like prostitution; you do not want your friends around watching.  Dealing with Duriel alone is a bit embarrassing in its own right. Taking him out by yourself is like a drug deal; you are just going to run out of pot and have to go back to town for more.

Duriel resembles the Siegebreaker in many ways, but he also looks like a few other things:

Although there is a ton of lore behind Duriel, don’t expect to find any in the game itself.  There is no mentioning of him in the cinematic videos like most other bosses. Even Andariel is mentioned repeatedly by NPCs, but do we learn anything about Duriel? No, he is just a big bug there to bug you. I think he is meant to be a surprise, like a cheap scare in a slasher movie, and nothing more.

There is still no mentioning of Duriel after you squash him. You just go to town and get showered with gratitude:

Blacksmith: ?This is terrible news…?

My little Necro: It is? I saved your damn town. Go on tossing and catching your hammer.

Potion supply guy: ?I’m sorry things didn’t work out as you planned…?

My little Necro: Haven’t you heard? I killed Duriel. Things are working out great, bud. You should be sorry I won’t be buying any more potions today. Ormus is a way cooler cat. Did I mention I rescued a real live archangel? And what do you do? Sell potions! Ha!

Tyrael: ?I thank you for my freedom, though I did expect you earlier…?

My little Necro: ? ? ? Ok. A line from Fallout 2 comes to mind: a good way to show appreciation is by handing over loot. Or was that Baulder’s Gate?

Boatman: ?Jerhyn tells me…?

My little Necro: Don’t listen to him, man. Have you heard about this cover up he orchestrated? Yeah, all the working girls you sailed here for in the first place were hacked to bits by demons. I hope you are a necrophiliac like yours truly here. Blood makes a good lubricant until it coagulates…hey, just take me to Kurast, Ok?

But before all this comes the hassle of killing Duriel. So what if you want to kill him all by your lonesome? Well, the routine goes something like this:

-Have a nice, lag free computer with enough video RAM.
-Save up gold for potions. Dump all your gold on the ground so it stays there in case you die.
-Shop for some speedy boots to stay one step ahead of Duriel.
-Leave your inventory screen open, step through the tp to Duriel’s lair with your mouse pointer hovering over your tomb of tp. As soon as you are in his lair, click to station a new tp for retreating.
-Run around in circles.
-Let him tap your left buttock once, then run and down a potion. Duriel will get stuck in attack mode laying waste to the spot you once occupied. What a stupid idiot. This is when you turn around and shoot him once or twice with your spell or bow. Then, run in circles again until the potion is done filling up your health orb.
-Repeat this dozens of times. Yay. See the disrespectful dealer in town when you run out of pot.

This method should work for any ranged build. But how much fun is it? No fun at all. Even if you level up a bunch in Act 2, you still have to use this potion fest method or get someone else to do it. Why did Blizzard force us to do things this way? Duriel even has a big, radiant smile, like his whole existence is a prank on players.

Both options are pretty lame. How heroic is it to get a sugar daddy to do all the major work? Or, if you kill Duriel yourself, how heroic is it to make that many trips to town? In theory, an NPC could handle Duriel if he or she has enough gold saved up.

Now consider a fight with Mephisto. He keeps you on your toes, has multiple spells, knows when to use them, and makes for a challenging, intense battle the first time through. Diablo will roast you if you neglect resistances and has some terrifying combos like bone prisoning you then letting you have it, or chilling you first if you get too close so you cannot get away. But Duriel is just annoying because you have no choice but to exploit potions and run in circles.

There is a steady theme of automatic damage in Diablo 2 which is a big contributor to this problem. As much as I like Diablo fights, he does have that expanding ring of fire which will hit you no matter what. Achmel the Cursed will just ‘decide’ you are poisoned somehow. Sigh, better go back to town for pot. Yum yum. Then there are holy auras on mini bosses that zap you periodically. Unavoidable. Then, those mini bosses often have fire, lighting or cold enchanted which hurt you automatically if you are melee. The whole game is designed to be an obligatory potion fest. Duriel is just the encounter where you really start to notice.

I suppose I understand now why so much begging takes place on bnet. Duriel is just…the Lord of Pain. They even named him that. Maybe they could have shaken things up a bit with randomization, giving Duriel some tactics that do not involve guaranteed potion spamming. And, suppose the two parts of the Horadric Staff you need are located in randomly selected places. Maybe one can be stashed beneath the Lost City instead of the Maggot Lair. Maybe you have to kill every monster in the Dry Hills and the last one drops a piece of the staff they were trying to hide from you. We would still master all of this quest stuff in time, but getting to do something a bit different each time would be great. As cool as it was to sexily put the shaft and headpiece into the orifice, it gets boring after the 300th time. Besides, Indaina Jones already used a staff to locate a hidden chamber. It is no wonder people feel little regret skipping and begging.

And your reward for collecting parts of an ancient artifact that breaks open an underground lair is…you get to do the exact same thing in Act 3.

Brg Durance wp plz!!!


Opinions expressed in columns and guest articles are those of their authors, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

Stillman’s Slab is where all Diablo characters are dissected and examined piece by piece. It is written by Nicholas Stillman to reintroduce Diablo series topics in a new light or put forth novel themes that have not been fully explored in the forums. Slurry collected from the centrifuge will always contain something new and unheard of at the time of publication. Post your comments below or directly.

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