Fresh Run - All Classes to HC Hell


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Tl/DR Just looking for advice/tips and sharing my story - running all classes to hell - muling between them.

So i've started to do this twice before and have either lost interest of upgraded computers and lost saves but am committed to getting it done this time. Basically my aim is to get every class to complete the game in hardcore all the way through to hell. If i finish that i may look at doing the grail but seeing as i've never completed the above i think i'll cross that bridge when i come to it.

I will be muling between them but mainly just to speed up the melee characters and help with runes. I'm also setting a rule that 1 character can be no more then two Acts ahead of any other. Mainly to change it up so I'm not so its not so repetitive. I've started with a trap assassin and will follow that up with a javazon sorc and then i dont know. Just to get some Gem'd weapons for the melee characters to make act 1 and 2 really fast. I'll bump the players up and down per character just to ensure a quick killing speed whilst maximising EXP.

Early runewords/items I'll be using:
Stealth - speed and cos its cheap
Leaf - simply amazing early
Lore - its just the best early helm
Strength - beast easy way to get CB early
blood gloves - again CB and life steal
3 socket war scepter - with flawed gems - this will be for the pally/barb

Class builds:
Assasin - Traps early - might swap to martial arts in NM/Hell
Sorc - Fire early then i'll swap to cold
Amazaon - Javazon
Paladin - Holy frost/Zeal
Necro - Bone/corpse (my least favourite)
Barb - Frenzy
Druid - no to sure yet?

I've beaten HC hell with a few characters in the past and am prepared for the inevitable deaths.

Early (normal) items/runewords i should look our for farm?
Class ideas for druid?

Current progression
Assasin - ACT 2 - just finished arcane sanctuary
Amazaon - Completed Act 1
have not started the rest yet.


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I've never made it out of Act II with a Druid as far as I can remember, but I've always wanted to do a Shockwave Summoner. I like skelliemancers and LOVE singers, that build sounds something like a cross between the two.

Edit: 'Malice' is surprisingly helpful in Act I/II with the Open Wounds and such, but really seems to peter out around Travincal (at least in a Spear, haven't tried other bases)

Remember to cube your Rings>Amulets, this can increase your odds of getting +skills amulets, MF, shore up resistances, or even something "of the Whale" can make a big difference. I haven't had much success with Amulets>Rings, but I still continue to do it.

'Myth' makes a decent merc armor early on, ctc Taunt will help him defensively, and when things get too hairy, Howl can go off. Don't forget 'Peace' for your Amazon, level 15 Valk at level 30 (once you're able to put a hard point in the skill, too poof-y at 29 when you can first wear the armor) is really powerful. It also has ctc Slow Missiles, which can be helpful once guest monsters start showing up later, they always seem to be archers/ranged for me.

'Edge' is great for gambling, and you can use it against Duriel if you grind a little bit. I think hirelings/pets take like x12 damage from act bosses or something crazy like that, so a good level Thorns can really push some damage back their way.

Khalim's Will has gotten many characters through /p8 Act I normal alone for me, it's a good weapon early.
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cheers for the quick reply. I've gotten all classes to hell before and find the necro to be the most boring.

I didnt find open wounds to be too effective other then putting a DoT on the enemy. CB for chunking away health always seemed to work better.

i hadnt really thought about mercs or what items to give them, i always seemed to find they died to quickly. but i guess if i level them up from normal they could really help. I always assume casters get an Act 2 merc (unsure of aura) and melee get Act 3 cold?

Rings/amu cubing gives and item 3/4 of character level regardless of item level correct?

Does Strength work in claws?
Khalims will is a great idea cant believe i forgot it, it doesnt have a lvl req does it? I might break my rule early just to get one for my melee chars early.


Diabloii.Net Member
Early (normal) items/runewords i should look our for farm?
Class ideas for druid?
Jonesy, this is the hottest D2LoD investment tip you'll ever receive.

Hie thee to Akara and purchase yerself a short staff with two open sockets. A plain one will cost you 151 GP, but if you're impatient (as I was to make this post), you can spend the big bucks for the superior model.


For your Sorc, you'll want staff mods, of course. But a plain li'l ol' Leaf with NO staff mods works not only for a Sorc, but for three other classes:

- Your Trapper. Even if she's primarily a Lightning build, you'll surely pump Fire Blast for the increased Death Sentry shots and as a LI solution.

- Your Paladin. Well, maybe not; your Frost Zealot probably will have dispatched Andariel before reaching level 19. But if not, the prerequisite point in Holy Fire would make very quick work of her with Leaf equipped.

- Your Druid. Even if you respec to another build later, please do yourself the favor of starting him out as a Fissureman. He's just insanely fun (and very fast) in Normal. I like to scout with a 1 point Poison Creeper, then plant Fissures under the crowd the little ankle biter collects. And I highly recommend using your prerequisite point in Molten Bowling Ball in the Maggot Lair and Arcane Sanctuary. :D

Oh: And when all of your characters have outgrown the plain ol' Leaf with no staff mods, don't discard it immediately.


I think that's a pretty darned good return on investment.

EDITED to add: My first Fire Druid, back in 1.10, reached Hell Act I before I was able to give him anything more powerful than his Leaf Short Staff.


Strength most definitely works in claws.



Note that these claws cannot spawn "in the wild." They're the product of what I call the Rocdog Rule, in honor of the Amazon Basiner from whom I learned it:

If you're looking for something to do with a low-quality Greater Talons, toss it in a cube with a chippie and an Eld. The resulting claw can get tier 1 (not sure about 2) skills, and 2 sockets from Larzuk instead of the usual 3. I normalized a GT to make a Strength for my kicker and was pleasantly surprised to get +1 Tiger Strike on it as well.

Considering how cheap the recipe is, and how useful many of the tier 1 assassin skills are (DTalon, TS, CM, FB) there's no reason not to cube up every damaged GT, or even Runic Talon I come across. :)
And, yes, the Normalization recipe occasionally does yield Tier 2 skills.

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Take a look at this guide : and this one

They are aimed at single pass, but there is a lot of great info about gambling, low level runewords and useful cube recipes I found really interesting for untwinked chars in general, single pass or not.

The claw info is really cool btw! That lvl requirement though...
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Cheer guys, will read the guides now. Those claws look amazing ! So pretty much chippy and eld until you get a good roll then lazruk for the sockets and add strength?


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So pretty much chippy and eld until you get a good roll then lazruk for the sockets and add strength?
Exactly. Be patient... The claws pictured are the results of many tries over many years. And, while my luck has been good with Dragon Talon, I've never yet achieved more than +1 Fire Blast. The RNG gods are fickle!


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well im liking the assassin the most so may just invest that extra time into those claws.

Baltha- I read through all of that, the MF guide in particular is handy and i now no longer have any chipped topaz's as i dumped them all into mf gear.

Assasin - finished act 2 - wake of fire is OP
Pally - at andariel - i wanted to try the gem'd weapons i made but find him pretty slow
zon - act 2 somewhere i think - i like zon's late game
Sorc - finished act 1 - got bored of the pally it was just so fast with the sorc. handy hitting lvl 3 and putting on 3x faster cast rate jewellery.

Will fire up a fissure druid tonight and hopefully with all the gear i've been hoarding it should make the barbarian run more interesting and less of a slog.


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Are you using Double Swing? I think 8 or 9 points takes all the mana cost out of it, and with flails he will move like a freight train. Get one of the guys in Act II to shop him a couple of socketed ones, and give him some mix of 'Strength'/'Steel'/'Malice' and I bet he picks up speed. He's also a good candidate for junk elemental damage charms in this section of the game. Give him a bit of IAS (Sigon's is miraculous on an early swinger) and he's just about set for Normal difficulty.


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have not started the barb yet, but i think the crowd control is the issue. With the exception of the pally (who does get BH) everyone else can kill groups quickly. double swing helps with single monsters/bosses but still having to slowly hit everything.


Diabloii.Net Member
I was talking more early game, wasn't thinking long term sorry.

'Delerium' can work well on PC or merc, don't forget about Howl and Taunt. I'll have to think about it for other ideas.


Diabloii.Net Member
I'll second that delirium, it's a great merc helm on characters lacking crowd control if you can get that Ist. I also like Gloom runeword in that regard, ctc dim vision makes short work of ranged attackers.

By the way I'd recomend going full mana potion inventory with the sorc to be able to spam your chosen spells.


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So i've been a bit slack with playing as i've been playing too much overwatch with the wife. As i was sick and had the day off work thought id get a lot of progess done. Got the holy freeze zeal pally to the end of act 2, only concern with duriel was keeping the merc alive so she continued to get exp. Then decided to give sorc a crack as it was "easy" - this resulted in a death to some tainted boss group in the jail followed by another death in the sewers - pop goes the 6 Faster cast rate rings i was saving for my sorc and druid!

decided just to go for something click click after that as my sick brain obviously wasnt coping with trying to rush through thing. Suprisingly jumped onto the barb and absolutely smashed through the levels and act1/act2. As soon as double swing became mana free it was ridiculous how quickly my 3 flawed socketed gem grand scepter smashed through things. also as the barb wasnt muling anything of i wasnt constantly save exiting everytime i found a rune or the stash got full.

in general i've found very few uniques or set items, a few artics and beserkers plus the unique long staff and a crossbow. nothing usable and nothing to write home about.

Trap assasin - still start act 3
no changes since last update. have not touched
Sorc- DEAD :(
Pally - finished act 2

really starting to slow waiting for level 25 for strength, was only using chippy war scepter so definitely in line for a weapon upgrade.
barb -finished act 2
flying up to duriel with the flawed socketed weapon + a rare life steal and amp damage mace. again will slow down until i get strength or more damage. - really durable no chance of death
amazon - finished maggot lair
im saving skill points here to be a light - javazon so really relying on the merc to do the damage so slow going. tempted to do a poison javazon now to speed things up and re-spec later
yet to start

other then the bard ive always done a tower run every time ive hit a waypoint to really try to maximise those runes. I'm currently muling every gem/rune/unique/set no matter the quality which is slowing me down, is this viable long term?

edit - just so i'm not bumping my post
I'm looking at gambling a life steal/MF ring. is it best just to start doing this at level 31 to get the best chance of the MF?
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I've held of for doing updates until i have made some decent progress. I'm considering this decent progress as i am doing all characters but obviously fairly slow compared to those focusing on one character.

Darty - Assasin - Lvl 27 - start of Act IV
Probably my favourite character and named after my favourite pet - D'artagnan or darty for short a beagle cross cav. All wake of fire except for some points to get a shadow and burst of speed. I think i might need to re-gear here or change as im fairly fragile in act IV and my strat of running away from everything is a bit sketchy. Running full MF gear except for stealth in body armour. Need to find a 4 OS weapon for spirit and am tempted to swap MF helm for Lore. I have not discovered plains of despair yet but have ran around the first level. Main

Jess - Sorc - Lvl 28 - start of Act V two deaths - myJess and MyJessica
Named after my wife, and yes if you can guess her full name from my name she does loath the comparisons to the marvel character. running leaf/stealth, faster cast rate rings and amulets but have MF golves and some nice FR+MF boots. Focusing on fireball and blizzard - will swap to blizzard hyrda at 30 - plus single points in teleport/static. i am forcing myself to play a lot more cautiously here, she can kill so quickly and diablo went down really fast with static. (i have a+3 static on switch to improve range) will probably be the one to charge through NM first to get better gear for the others but the most work has gone here since last update. Act 2 prayer merc has really helped. major lazor references for the first name, not because i like them but because i like to stir the wife

Gully - Pally - Lvl 24 - lower kurast
Named after our whippet cross cocker spaniel - Gulliver (he travels) and is my go to char if ive had a few beers/wines. built like a tank and has not even come close to death. no gear updates, pretty much all MF except for some life steal rings. still running holy freeze but unsure if i'll use a stat swap and go hammerdin - i've never done one and dont know if i'll enjoy it.
unsure what merc to use with the holy freeze as well.

Hamish - Barb - Lvl 24 - Finished act 2
Hamish is my wifes first pet black lab which moved in with us a year ago to retire. gear dependant for speed so will have to wait for the other characters to do some muling to get him some gear to power through.

Riley - Amazon - Lvl 21 -finished act 2
Suprisingly i ran out of animals or partners to name my toons after, so went to maths/one of my favourite shows. Someone will get the reference. will again burn a skill reset here once i hit 30. Merc really does a lot of the work here and painfully slow but will really speed up once i hit 30 and get my lightning javs. at the moment ive dropped alot into poison javs.

O'Malley - Druid - Lvl 23 - finished act 2
with the weapons i got from the barb/pally i actually am running feral rage and dire wolves, as soon as the act 1 merc gets a high enough level i'll throw and edge together for the thorns. favourite part here is having so much health! the annoying thing is keeping the sage alive to keep that health. name after our good cat who was named after the aristocats and is an abyssinian - and is the only reason we have cats as im allergic and they are hyper allergenic.

last but not least:

Bernard - Nerco - Lvl22 - finished act 2
Think Bernad Black from black books and you have the other devil cat we own and yes the last of the 5 animals. Standard fishymancer who lucked onto a good +3 teeth early for speed and +CE head and + BS wand later on. fairly boring to play which is directly opposite compared to how crazy the cat is. again will probably swap to lore but currently running full MF

Noteable finds (sorry cant remember where)
AMN Rune (highest)
2x Nagel
24% MF 10 FRW boots

nothing of else, still chasing 4OS polearms or 4OS single handed weapons for spirit. or 2 OS druid/barb helms for lore or a head for rhyme sheilds.

Missing finds:
no decent charms at all!
very few sets

Get everyone class any deaths to the arreat summit. once there is shouldnt have to do as much muling and only keep a few key items for running someone to NM pretty twinked. As i get higher and higher a death means i really have to focus on 1 class to bring them back to everyone else

should hopefully have another update at the end of the weekend.

slight issue - i took some screen shots and went to go have a look at them all to post them in here but they are all messed up. colours inverted and not clear? any advice to get some screen shots in?



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4os items can't drop before nightmare. They can only be cubed if the ilvl is appropriate. ;)


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Ahhh thanks for the heads up. Having a look at the wiki i'll need an ilvl 26-40 on the below items and pretty much after act 4 normal its all above ilvl 26.
  • polearm
  • halberd
  • war scyth
  • phase blade
Do the Ral +Amn + pAM for weapons and should have a 3/6 chance for 4OS.

Shields seem to be harder as they wont drop until ilvl 41 to be 4OS and even then the earliest is a monarchs at Clvl54 they wont be dropping for a while.

If i find a good class specific normal item and add sockets to it for a runeword, when i use the recipe to add sockets does it re roll the base item and its stats?


Diabloii.Net Member
No, they don't.

Also the likelyhood of Phase Blades and Monarchs dropping before Hell is either very slim or impossible (can't check the drop calc atm).

You have several good options at this stage:
  • Wait for a Partizan drop (possible form early Act5) and Lazruk socket it (if ilvl is 26-40 it will get 4os)
  • Gamble and cube socket it
  • 4os Crystal/Broad/Long swords and Poleaxe/Halbred/Scythe are common in early NM so there's no reason to waste gems on those
  • Use Rhyme for shield slot (2os Bone shields can be bought from Drognan)
  • Drop Stealth armors for anything else (topaz/ruby/sapphire filled breast plate is a much better option)
  • Same goes for helm slot. While Lore is nice it's better to have MF in that slot.. Or mana for that matter so you don't spam pots.


Diabloii.Net Member
So during my limited play time i go everyone bar the necromancer and assassin to the start of act 5. I really did not enjoy the amazon run as she abused the corners and pioisen jav and probably made 10+ trip back to town before downing diablo. My sorc with a a +3 static field on swtich destroyed daibo and is soo much faster.

had a death with darty my assasin, maybe an hour ago? im stilll fairly grumpy as i was just a silly death to a diablo lightnight funnel. i knew he/she was squishy but i just didt not hit a health pot fast enough,
sorc did shenk, which breaks the rules but i was little grumpy and no harm really.


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Apologies for the post above, spelling errors and no flow make for no fun reading for anyone. I'll make an effort to post coherent easy to understand and hopefully entertaining posts in the future. new rule - no posting unless sober.

I'll hold off posting until a significant update and will continue to post/involve myself in other SPF projects.