Hellforge Rushing Guide


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Hellforge Rushing Guide

Guide to 1.09 Hellforge Rushing
by Ragnarod


Hellforge rushing is perhaps the safest way of getting mid-high runes in 1.10 and 1.11, since it doesn’t depend as much on your luck as other methods, such as running the Countess or Lower Kurast. Basically, your goal is getting a character to Act 4 Hell, so you can complete the Hellforge quest in 1.10/1.11 and get the runes it drops. For each character you rush successfully, you’ll get a rune from Sol to Um off the Nightmare quest, and from Hel to Gul off the Hell quest.

The easiest way of getting a character to Act 4 Hell to get the quest reward is by rushing him, completing only the quests needed to advance acts with the help of a stronger character. Rushing was easier in 1.09, so I suggest you to rush your characters in that version, and convert them to 1.10/1.11 to complete the quests there, to save time.

Getting started

First of all, you’re going to need to be able to run several instances of d2 in one computer, or several computers. There are different methods to run several d2 instances, from fast user switching to modified dll files, so use the one you prefer. I suggest using two computers, one dedicated to the characters being rushed (with which you’ll host games, so you’ll want to have your computer with better specs here), and the other for the character who will do the rush. Of course, you also need to be able to host TCP/IP games for the characters to get together in the same game, but I think that goes without saying.

When that first step is solved, you’re going to need a strong rushing character in 1.09, so the rushes are made quickly. I suggest a Sorceress build, since having Teleport makes things much easier on you. I do my rushes in Classic 1.09 with a Sorceress, since Static Field has no caps in Classic you can be very successful with a Frozen Orb build supported by Thunderstorm (Duriel is Cold Inmune in Nightmare and Hell, and Cold Mastery won’t break inmunities), and you’ll have spare points to boost Static Field and even Teleport a bit (for the range and mana cost, respectively). I’ve been doing rushes with my Sorceress consistently from level 55 or so, with modest equipment, so it doesn’t take very long getting started. If you prefer doing your rushes in LoD, you probably won’t have any trouble finding a good Sorceress build in the Strategy Compendium, just keep in mind that you’ll have to do Act 5 too in your rushes.

Needed quests

The quests you have to complete in order to reach Act 4 Hell (assuming you are playing Classic 1.09) are:

- Andariel (Normal/Nightmare/Hell): when killing Andariel, one of the rushed characters has to be in the Catacombs level 4 for it to count.

- Horadric Staff (Normal): make sure you pick up three Horadric Staves in Normal, so you don’t have to look for the pieces again in Nightmare and Hell. To keep the Horadric Staff in one character, you just have to unparty when another character uses it to open Tal Rasha’s Tomb (unpartying the character opening the tomb is easier in most of the cases, they just can’t be in the same party when the tomb is being opened if you want to keep it). I suggest having the rushing character equipped with an Horadric Cube, and lending it to the rused characters to make the staves each time.

- Duriel (Normal/Nightmare/Hell): none of the rushed characters have to be down in Tal Rasha’s Tomb when killing Duriel, since speaking to Tyrael will allow them to complete the quest anyways. Make sure you don’t speak to Tyrael with the rushing character, or you’ll have to create a new game and kill Duriel again.

- Mephisto (Normal/Nightmare/Hell): one of the rushed characters has to be in the Durance of Hate level 3 for it to count, when Mephisto dies.

- Diablo (Normal/Nightmare): one of the rushed characters has to be in the Chaos Sanctuary when Diablo dies for the quest to count. Be careful, because it won’t count if Diablo dies too far away from the rushed character! You don’t need to complete this quest in Hell, remember that.

Time-saving tips and general advice

- If the character hosting the game has the Horadric Staff, once you get to Act 2 you can speak to Drognan for him to allow you into the palace. By doing that, you can speak to Jerhyn, go to the Harem level 1, and make a town portal, appearing near Meshif and saving you a long walk. I suggest moving all the characters near the palace as soon as you reach Act 2, besides the one that will open Tal Rasha’s Tomb in that difficulty (or the three that will get an Horadric Staff, if it’s Normal), those should be moved to where the Town Portals are opened.

- The Council Members in Act 3 won’t use Hydras if they’re not damaged, so if you’re careful not to hit them, you can open the town portal for the rushed characters in the platform near the portal to Act 4, without risking their deaths and getting delayed by having to kill them.

- Still, if a rushed character happens to die in the middle of completing a quest, don’t press escape, and the quest will still be counted as completed when the Act boss dies.

- You don’t need to complete the Summoner’s quest in order to find out which is the true Tomb of Tal Rasha, you just have to teleport there and notice which of the seven symbols is missing (there will be just six of them floating in the platform where the Summoner is), and that one will mark the true tomb.

- Remember which character are you hosting the game with! If you exit the game with this character, all other characters will exit too, which could be useful (after Diablo is dead, exiting with the hosting character will make all other characters go to the ‘congratulations’ screen), or downright horrible (exiting with him after he’s in Act 4 Hell, when there are still characters left in Act 3, will make you have to create a new game and kill Mephisto all over again), so keep that in mind.

- If you use the suggested setup with two computers, you should try getting a second person to help you. If one person manages the characters being rushed, while another person manages the rushing character, the whole process is sped up significantly.

- If you’re using a Sorceress to do the rushing, you might have trouble with Duriel. The tactic I’ve found to work best against him is to walk backwards right after you enter his chamber, until you have your back against the wall. That way, he won’t be able to use his Charge against you (besides the opening Charge he always does), and all of a sudden he becomes much less dangerous, you’ll be able to tank him with some block and a moderate amount of life by just using healing potions.

- Be careful in the Chaos Sanctuary, in 1.09 all of De Seis minions were also Oblivion Knights, so you want to have maxed resistances when facing them!

- If your Sorceress isn’t strong enough to make the rush in Hell by herself, you might want to consider building a Barbarian. You only need a half-decent weapon and Whirlwind (remember Whirlwind doesn’t take into account weapon IAS in Classic 1.09, I’d suggest imbuing a few Lances until you get a nice one), and you’ll have a good enough character to get you through Hell. Remember that you need to be at least in Act 3 Hell for the classic characters you convert to 1.10/1.11 expansion to be awarded the Champion title, or you’ll have to complete Act 5 Nightmare (and thus the ancients, needing a level 40 character, which defeats the purpose of rushing them). This won’t be the case if you rush them in 1.09 expansion, but you’ll need to complete the Baal quest both in Nightmare and Hell, which will slow you down.

- When rushing several characters at once, it’s important to disable all the visual enhancements, so your computer still runs smoothly. I also suggest playing in windowed mode (adding –w to the command line in the shortcut), without sound (adding –ns) and using the 640x480 resolution. When running multiple instances of D2 in one computer, you have to keep in mind that you’ll need a fair amount of RAM (at least 512 mb) for it to work nicely without crashing often.

- By rushing the characters in 1.09, you can also transfer them to the 1.10 beta if you’re after one of the beta runewords, such as Bramble or CtA. Just remember not to complete their Hell quests in 1.09, since it could only drop up to Um, if I’m not mistaken. From my experience, you should expect rushes to take about an hour and a half to two hours, doing them in Classic, and about a Gul-Vex rune of profit for every rush (seven characters, in my case).

Final words

Well, I think that’s all I can think about Hellforge rushing right now, I hope it was useful to you. Comments and things I might have overlooked are most welcome, so don’t be shy to post! Thanks for taking the time to read through the guide, best of luck with your Hellforge rushing


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While being boring as hell, I think is the better/most legit way of getting mid-high runes (up to ohm or a little more) easy, for people not having tons of time in his hands.

Rushing in 1.10 LOD is also possible, I did it before on cattle.net with 4-5 friends. You only need a char that hits lvl20 and lvl40 for normal and nm respectively. Playing with some friends is pretty fast, and the main rushed char will be used at the end. For me is the least chessy it can be(even still being cheesy).

Ok, but what they thought we would do making the runes so ridicously hard to drop?

Good Work :thumbsup:
nepeta said:
Having doubts about rushing in 1.09 and using the runes in 1.11...
What about 1.09 -> 1.10beta -> 1.11 :p. Great guide. I allready knew everything in it tho ;). Im still working on my sorceress. lvl 40 and needs help with the WSK in hell (rushed ;)). A RUSH *hint**hint* and some cows would be nice ;).

- ocau_mikle


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What prevents one from using a rusher that has already been built? I'm not too well clued up on multiplayer in general, but I don't see why the rusher has to be at the same point in the game as the rushees (as opposed to some Matriarch one has lying around). Don't quest completions depend only on the host?


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Thirty-Thirty said:
What prevents one from using a rusher that has already been built? I'm not too well clued up on multiplayer in general, but I don't see why the rusher has to be at the same point in the game as the rushees (as opposed to some Matriarch one has lying around). Don't quest completions depend only on the host?
You're right about this, I didn't mean to say that the rusher has to be at the same point in the game as the rushees, could you quote the part that gave you that impression so I can reword it?

About having doubts to whether hellforge rushing is cheesy, or legit, or whatever, it depends on the player, as several other things in this game. I don't have a problem with it, and I made the guide to let other SPF members know the way I did it because a few of them requested it, but I'm not forcing anyone to follow it. You are free to disagree with this method of getting runes, but that's no reason to post it in this thread, in the same way I don't post in a character build thread stating that I think the build/class to be boring or uninteresting, because it adds nothing to the thread in my opinion

One thing I forgot to mention in the guide is that running the guide in 2D mode helps with the computer performance, and might allow you to run several instances of d2 more easily, I'll add it when I revise the guide. And rushing in 1.10 is indeed possible, just a lot more work! You need level 20/40 characters to complete the ancients quest (or a character capable of completing the Baal quest, and with the ancients quest completed, partied with your rushees), you have to get the staff and kill the Summoner in all three difficulties, and kill the council members at Travincal... Monsters are harder too, so that doesn't help either, but it's not a bad choice if you feel that rushing in 1.09 and getting the rewards in 1.10/1.11 is too cheesy

Thanks for the (few) nice comments, they're always appreciated :)


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Thank you very much for the guide. I now understand how it is done (after the 3rd read).
Not sure if I will try it though.
Looks like a lot of work. :)


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necrolemming said:
Why classic? Does skipping act 5 really make up for not having a good tank?
Well, the thing is I already had the Sorceress with some gear in classic, since I had started her in 1.06, and it didn't take much to make her decent in 1.09, just a spectral shard. Since I had no characters in 1.09, and I got to skip act 5 while I was at it, it was an easy decision :) Having a tank would be useful, specially when facing Duriel and perhaps in the chaos sanctuary in nightmare, but they're not much of a trouble right now anyways, and not doing act 5 in two difficulties should make the rushes about 15-20 minutes faster at the least (you don't have to move all the characters to act 5, find the throne, kill the minions and baal, so you're saving yourself a lot of effort there in the long run)

In short, if you're going to create a character just for hellforge rushing, I think classic is the way to go, but if you already have a character in 1.09 expansion, I don't think it's worth it starting all over again in classic, the time you'd save in the rushes would be spent in leveling and finding decent gear for the char anyways :p


Diabloii.Net Member
In terms of time and effort....
I think Hell Countess still beats the Hellforge running.. imho..
Hellforge and Countess are both based in luck anyways..
And a chance of getting a max of 4 runes in a minute of run is very rewarding...
than running and finishing quests of Hellforge... in hours.. or even days ^_^

Great guide though! :thumbsup:

Steven Q Urkel

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Could you elaborate (if possible) on the difference between fast user switching and modified dll switching?? I'm new to the whole rushing thing so I'm not quite sure what the difference is.


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Death_StrikeR said:
In terms of time and effort....
I think Hell Countess still beats the Hellforge running.. imho..
Hellforge and Countess are both based in luck anyways..
And a chance of getting a max of 4 runes in a minute of run is very rewarding...
than running and finishing quests of Hellforge... in hours.. or even days ^_^

Great guide though! :thumbsup:
Yeah, what lemming said!!!

I was about to write it all out, but saw that he already had.

Nice guide Ragnarod.


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necrolemming said:
Nice summary of classic ther, Rag. ;) But does the (relative) abundance of 1.09 expansion items on other forums make a difference? I begged my 1.09 sorc's gear

Okey dokey...

Countess drop rates according to Urlik's Rune Finding Guide, version 1 (can't find the newer version on my comp :x)

Lo - 0.000312%, 320,512
Ohm - 0.000468%, 213,675
Vex - 0.000546%, 183,150
Gul - 0.000819, 122,100
Ist - 0.074436, 1343

Let's assume that each countess kill takes 30 seconds.

For an Ist, that would take about eleven hours. You might get one earlier if you're lucky.

With HF rushing, we'll assume that each set of seven rushes takes 2.5 hours.

Two sets would give you, assuming no extremes in luck, at least an Ist and a Gul.

So in half the time, you're getting three times the runes.

@Urkel - dll switching is using a modified version of d2gfx.dll so that one can run multiple instances of diablo 2. Fast User Switching is using windows XP's ability to have multiple users logged in at the same time to run multiple instances.
oh.. thanks!
Its good to know about that...

But rushing for runes is not my style of playing...
Coz I enjoy every minute of playing my character for the reason of having a funtime...

Oh and btw, i don't have ubber computer/s to do it anyways...


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I just want to point out that if you do decide to HF rush in 1.09 LoD, an amazon will make MUCH quicker work of the Chaos Sanctuary than a barbarian, and I find even sorcs sometimes have more trouble. Multi-Shot + FA makes for amazing crowd control. Once all of the seals are finished, it might be better to switch to a sorc. But unless you've got a good tri-elemental build going on with your sorceress, it might be better to use an amazon in the CS for safety and effectiveness purposes.

Just a little thing of personal preference. :p


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There was a pretty decent meteorbnova sorceress guide somewhere once upon a time. It was a nova sorceress build with maxed meteor/orb and 1 point in each FM and CM.

It's a very nice cow build, as well, since both meteor and nova vaporize cows at extreme rates. I think the following items would work in 1.09.

Wizspike (Oculus + Magefist for Baal to avoid Blood Mana)
Stormshield (for tanking hell Duriel and cows)
T-God's Vigor (vs. MSLE Bartuc, plus, you'll want the +20 strength to use SS)
Mara's/Crafted caster amulet (if using magefist to reach 8-frame casting)
SoJs (I'd never found one in 1.09, so good luck)


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necrolemming said:
Nice summary of classic ther, Rag. ;) But does the (relative) abundance of 1.09 expansion items on other forums make a difference? I begged my 1.09 sorc's gear
I guess it comes down to personal preference then, if I had had nice 1.09 expansion sorc gear available I'd probably be doing them in expansion too :p But if you're starting from scratch, classic equipment is much easier to come by, this is what my sorc is using for reference:

Iratha's crown
Spectral shard
Grim shield socketed with 2xpdiamond
Rare light plate with life, fire and light res, and fhr
Rare boots with frw, fhr and some light res
Magical amulet with +17 all res
2x SoJ (oh, the beauty of having played 1.06 :p)

I don't even need the extra fire and light res from the armor, since I'm wearing Iratha's crown (keep in mind that the resistances penalty is smaller in classic, -50 in Hell iirc), and the two sojs could be replaced with two +mana rings without much trouble. Still, you can find all of these items from NM Meph without much trouble, and you'll have a sorc with a decent mana pool and max resistances, along with 70% fcr and 40% block (block doesn't depend on dexterity in classic, just on shield block!). If you're lucky, you could get the full Iratha's set for some nice bonuses, although it might take a while finding the amulet

I don't know, I just like classic I guess :D

@jjscud: Thanks! Will you be posting your Lower Kurast results soon, by any chance? I'd like to see them, since I don't have the patience for chest running, and I'm not really sure about how does that compare to HF rushing, it would be an interesting read for sure


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I think the best you get from hellforge rushing is that you KNOW for sure that you will get some mid-high rune on each set. It's less discouraging for me than another kind of runs based on pure luck.

To get amn-sol and the like countess is still better IMO.

And don't forget that along the 7 hell hf you get also 7 nm forges, and if you are lucky you will get some pul-um runes.



Diabloii.Net Member
One question to throw in here, people are jumping between 1.09 1.10b and 1.11 in this thread like it's just that simple.

How would you accomplish this? One installation running classic 1.09 and one LoD 1.11? But then when you xfer the save files between installations you only get the option to upgrade the classic chars to 1.11 yes?

What's the whole doubt behind converting from 1.09 classic to 1.11 LoD?