This thread will serve a dual purpose, as I haven't introduced myself here yet. Personal Introduction: Spoiler I'm Josh. I've been playing D2 in some form or another for over a decade now. I started out like most others, making mistakes and just getting a general feel for the game as a teenager exploring PvM. After a while a took an interest in PvP and the majority of my time on the game was was spent dueling and devising strategies/builds etc. I played mostly on East NL as Ele Druid and organized/participated in many different variations of 1v1 tournaments/ladders. But enough about that, that's not why I'm here. After a while I began playing HC single player, with the majority of my walks being limited to only P8 settings with very few exceptions (Countess reruns for example). I've been browsing this forum for quite a while now without an account (major props for the awesome work done here running Lower Kurast and the LK Patterns thread in particular) and I decided to make one and post my progress for my latest project. I noticed a thread here for "untwinked level 99 progress" (don't worry, I'll be posting there as well, this is just more of a personal blog) and it really sparked my interest. This (finally) leads me to the point of this really long post: my experiences trying to reach level 99 as a Druid and his grail attempt. First, I'd like to clarify that Kyrie is already a level 90 Guardian. This is my first successful P8 HC untwinked walk. My previous Druid RIP'd @ Hell Maggot Lair and I've also RIP'd an Assassin and Sorceress @ Hell Lower Kurast and Hell Ancient Tunnels respectively. He is currently a Fury Druid that I have not played in roughly 5 months outside of the occasional LK run or two just to spice things up from other projects. Before my hiatus I was already planning to token to Ele (I've already used up all of my Akara respecs during the original walk) so I have already acquired a good bit of the essentials for the change but I'm still missing a few items and the last essence (Baal being stingy). We will pick up from where I left off, trying to acquire the last essence for the respec and hunting down the last few items to support the runs to 99. Short-term Goals: Spoiler 1. Acquire the last essence from Baal to respec to Ele. 2. Construct a viable Ele setup/merc setup to handle P8 CS runs. 3. Test my setup with a few runs, make adjustments necessary before the long grind. Guardian Summary: Spoiler Normal: I used Fissure with stops at Countess for Leaf/Stealth and Pindle to catch up on levels before NM. The AoE output of Fissure is ridiculous so I didnt have any issue clearing the content @P8. Nightmare: I continued as Fissure to farm bugged Andariel and decide which spec I would finish the game as. I was really leaning towards Fury as my first Druid attempt was Ele. One ethereal Vipermagi drop later (roughly 300 runs in..) and I had firmly decided to play Fury. I ended up doing over 500 runs without producing a Ribcracker so I settled for a Butcher's Pupil and respec'd Fury. The damage was ok at best but I was rather safe with heavy investments in Werewolf/Lycanthropy/Oak Sage and inherent leech from Feral Rage. I ultimately upgraded the Butcher's and even spent a socket quest on it before entering Hell. Hell: Early Hell was an uphill battle. I gave myself the luxury of running Countess @ p1 (her rune drops are better this way anyway) and that helped but the Archers in the tower are dangerous and I often encountered situations where I had lost upwards of 2500 HP in 1-2 seconds at most from nasty packs. After a few days of P1 Countess and P8 Pits I had enough levels and a decent enough setup that I felt comfortable progressing. In the same spot that my first Druid RIP'd I got my first real break of the walk (IIRC it dropped from a regular Swarm mob: Black Locusts - swarm2 (H) Maggot Lair Level 1 1:1936782) Spoiler It didn't take long to find the base from Pits which led to one of the worst rolls I've ever seen, but a ridiculously good weapon nonetheless: Spoiler From there I bee lined for LK, feeling I was only one piece away from safely completing the walk. After a little over 2000 runs I had the last piece in hand: Spoiler From there I felt extremely confident I could complete the walk sporting Grief damage, 4500+ HP, max elemental resistances (PR was a little under max), and ~30% physical resistance. I ran into some trouble a few times (most notably @ my attempt on Hell forge, which I ultimately had to abandon after being surrounded) but I eventually stood above someone's corpse: Spoiler Funny, I actually forgot to restock TPs in my anxiousness to finish so I had to do waves 4 & 5 + Baal with no trips to town.. E: I also have not used any muling programs thus far in any of my walks as they were completely untwinked and I didn't have plans for grail attempts. Open to suggestions of which of the two programs would be better for this as I'd like to track my grail progress throughout my push to 99.